Synaesthesia

Kitchen Theory is an innovative project meant to change the way we experience food. Founded by chef Jozef Youssef (a Fat Duck veteran), Kitchen Theory evolved from a website designed to drop all kinds of food science on our minds into a group who have taken a more practical approach to doling out gastronomic knowledge. They now regularly host experimental dinners, with the help of gastronomic experts in academia, meant to broaden the mind and the palate while giving you an experience unlike any other.

The latest in their series of experimental dinners was called Synaesthesia (a term which combines the name of the human trait, synesthesia, with the word for appreciating beauty, aesthetic). Synesthesia is the experience of conjoined senses. For example, a person may hear the word “arrow” and simultaneously taste cheese even though they aren’t eating anything. Or they might experience certain objects/words/sounds/tastes alongside colors (e.g. “milk is a blue food,” or “the melody of this song sounds orange to me” ). Apparently only 4% of the population are Synesthetes, but most of us have this trait, too, to a degree. It’s what allows us to understand and create metaphor. Here’s a great video on the subject.

The dinner I went to Saturday night was the second to last in their Synaesthesia dinner series, and I was SO happy I snagged a ticket. Each of the 13 guests (myself included) were seated and given a drink menu. Questions were projected onto a screen on a far wall. Among them were: If you purchase a bottle of wine during a holiday, why does it taste better on holiday than it does once you’re home again? Would French food taste as good in an Italian themed restaurant? Some of the question slides included photos. On one slide, three plastic cups were pictured. One held red liquid, one green, the last blue. The question was, What flavor is the liquid in each cup?

I had a drink while I pondered these questions (because evvvveryone thinks better on alcohol. OK, not really, but man did I need a drink). I had a Peach & Rose Fizz. Peach juice, rose water, and Prosecco.
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On the table in front of each of us was a black envelope which held the menu for the evening. The hostess urged us not to open the envelope until we’d eaten the second of our seven courses — the first two required guessing on our part. Each course was accompanied by a different instrumental track and set of visuals projected on screen.
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Before we officially got started, we were given little, round pieces of hot sourdough bread accompanied by two domes of butter. The butter on the right was a viking salt butter; the one on the left was worm butter. And I thought my bug-eating was at an end…
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The worms in the butter were “super worms”, scientifically enhanced with nutrition. The hostess told us they were believed to be the future of food (or at least part of it). She also told us the viking salt butter isn’t actually made with salt crystals, but with ash. I knew I had a curious evening ahead of me.

Course one was called The 4 Tastes.
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We were asked to arrange each spoonful in order — salty, bitter, sour, sweet — using sight alone. Pointedly ignoring the associations I would normally make based on color, and focusing instead on what each garnish reminded me of, I arranged mine: black (caviar), green (parsley), red (that white sour stuff that I’ve seen in candy making), and white (I think I was thinking of milk candy here, so OK, this one was color-based). Turns out I was wrong wrong wrong (and should have gone with the normal associations that sprung to mind first). The correct order was white, black, green, red. Those things look like little jellies or mochi don’t they? They actually burst open in my mouth — each was a gelatinous shell full of liquid! The white was filled with raita, black was full of Guinness and accompanied by dark chocolate, green was flavored with lime, fennel & coriander, and red was cranberry & rose.

Next up, Bouba & Kiki.
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Yep, those are two halves of two different plates. We were told to try Bouba first. The guessing game here? Which half is Bouba? This one I did get right. Bouba was on the left side, Kiki the right. Why? Because Bouba is a round-sounding word made of round letters. As a result, it’s taste was more full-bodied and rich. Kiki on the other hand was sharp and citrusy (the letters that make up Kiki are also sharp).

Next: The Sight and Sound of Flavor.
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Poor little fellow had his bum out. But not for long. He was soon enveloped in a delicious bath of white miso veloute, langoustine, hazelnut butter, and saffron. With this dish, we were each given a tiny spray bottle full of safranal (unless I’m misremembering…) the key component of saffron’s scent. We were instructed to try the soup on its own, then to spray a bit of the safranal around to see if the aroma affected the taste of the dish. It didn’t truly enhance or take away from the dish for me — it was delicious either way! I will say though that our sense of smell seemed more important in the presentation of this dish than sight or sound.

Our first main: Marinetti — Cubist Vegetable Patch.
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Sesame and coffee marinated paneer cubes, mushroom crisps, pearl barley, smoked bacon, and maple cream. This dish was inspired by the futurist Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti who had the idea of dinner parties where each guest wore pajamas made of different textures and, as everyone ate, they could rub the diner beside them to see if and how the different textures would impact the eating experience. While I didn’t get so…er…friendly with any other diner that night, I did have a textured cube at my disposal (we all did). Each side had a different feel to it. Interestingly, stroking the cube did impact how much I enjoyed what I was eating! Mostly when it came to the paneer pieces, which themselves were rather firm and odd to chew anyway. The side that felt like smooth, slick fur combined with the paneer turned out to be the most enjoyable, though I couldn’t tell you why. Weird, huh?

There was more scent experimentation with this dish. As we ate, our hostess came around and sprayed three different scents around the room to see how each aroma would affect our eating experience. The first scent was bacon, I can’t remember the second, and the third was pomegranate (the winner for me).

Second main: Born in Papua New Guinea.
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This one came to us packaged in a plastic bag full of smoke, which was then cut open…
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…to reveal my favorite dish of the night. Guinea fowl, sweet corn risotto, and miso cured yolk. Holy hell. This was so. Good. The meat absorbed some of the smoke and so it tasted like it was fresh off the grill. The risotto was creamy and rich. I love when miso is used to flavor dishes. It has such a warm, full quality. It makes food taste…more expansive somehow.

Our pre-dessert (yep, you read that right. Why can’t there always be a pre-dessert?!) was called Give Weight to It.
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Each glass tier could be separated from the others. It was like a food puzzle tower. The first and lightest section held candy floss and a flavor pipette full of lychee juice to be squeezed onto it. The second tier held a cranberry soaked baba — bread, with the taste and texture of a plum or something like it (an effect of the fruit juice). The heaviest tier held a chocolate brownie with a scoop of chocolate cream and cherry tapioca.

The main dessert, Believe Nothing of What You Hear, was an experiment in the “correlation between sound and texture/mouthfeel.”
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Chocolate, passion fruit, and toffee. Not to mention popping candy and popcorn. Enough tastes and textures to make your mouth (and brain) explode. Sharp popping candy, pebbly chocolate pieces, crisp-then-soft (not to mention sweet then salty) popcorn, shards of toffee, tangy passion fruit stars, and a smooth mousse/pudding-like log with a flavor that I honestly couldn’t identify. So much was happening in my mouth that I was just happy to put my brain on autopilot and go with the flow by then.

This was truly a unique adventure for me. I’d totally recommend Kitchen Theory to anyone interested in eating a fantastic meal and learning, not only about food, but about our relationship to it. Their next dining series is called SensualitΓ . This series is only happening over the course of two weekends, though, so hurry up and get a ticket if it sounds good to you πŸ™‚

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#IndieBookshopLove

Happy Independent Bookshop Week, everyone!

What? It’s Thursday? Well, better late than never, right?

London is full of bookshops, many of them of the independent variety, which is way cool (well, it’s cool to super nerds like me, anyway). Independent Bookshop Week aims to celebrate those wonderful local bookshops which are the heart of any community (in the UK and Ireland). Last night, the London Review Bookshop celebrated with a special Happy Hour complete with DJ, delicious food, a prize drawing, and (as they do during a number of events) discounted books πŸ™‚

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The London Review Bookshop is one of the best bookshops I’ve ever been to. The variety of titles they have on offer is remarkable considering how small the shop is, and the staff are so knowledgeable that I’m always guaranteed to walk out with at least two books that are perfect for me (though I hadn’t even thought to look for them myself). When I arrived yesterday, the London Review Cake Shop (small restaurant attached to the bookshop) staff weren’t quite done setting up for Happy Hour, so I looked around for a book that might help me with the critical part of my thesis (which has been driving me effing insane lately). I asked one woman who worked there where the monster books were, and she led me to another colleague of hers who immediately led me to the right part of the store and handed me two books I’d never heard of that were just what I needed.

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I went back upstairs to browse some more and promptly tripped over the DJ’s stool (ruining the event photographer’s shot in the process) because no event is complete without me accidentally bumping into persons/things, knocking something over, or otherwise embarrassing myself.

Not long after that near tragedy (I almost toppled a book display like a game of Giant Jenga…), the food was ready to order.

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The dishes were vaguely Tex-Mex themed. They had red bean chili and rice, smoky mushroom cheesesteaks, and kimchi pork cheesesteaks along with a choice of either an iced mint julep or a Michelada beer cocktail. I went with the kimchi pork and the Michelada (spiciest drink I’ve ever had and SO good).

I’d heard about the dessert well before the day of the event. A chocolate brownie with beetroot ganache, topped with… a real grasshopper.

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Yes, I did eat it. ALL of it. Now I can tell my grandchildren one day that I ate a bug. It wasn’t as traumatizing as you might think. Probably because I popped the whole thing into my mouth; all I could really taste was chocolate and beetroot. The grasshopper just added… texture. πŸ˜€

I almost left without hearing the results of the prize drawing but, thanks to my old lady brain, I’d left my rings on the edge of the bathroom sink. When I came back upstairs, it was time to announce the winners. The drawing was for two tickets to a film of your choice during BFI Southbank’s Dennis Potter season, which ends in July. It’s a good thing I stuck around for the drawing because I was one of the winners!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Hey everybody! I’ve been living life, meeting bloggers, and trying to absorb every bit of this crazy London journey. Last Thursday night, I hung out with Frankie, Sophie, and Flick at Brooklyn Bowl. 20150618_215056 20150618_214717 20150618_214445 We ate (Biscuits & gravy, and chicken with honey), 20150618_205212 20150618_202156

drank (mine was called The Sting), 20150618_192441 20150618_192424

and were merry. As big a city as London is, it can be difficult to make friends, so I’m super glad to have gotten to hang out with these girls.

I also recently finished the novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler. The protagonist is in college and is talking to you about her life without her siblings. Her older brother left home a decade or so ago, and her sister was taken away. Forced away. Sounds horrific, eh?

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was shortlisted for last year’s Man Booker Prize, and I can absolutely see why. The prize is for an original work of fiction written in English and published in the UK. This is one of the most original and interesting novels I’ve ever read. The protagonist’s parents are psychologists who used their immediate family to conduct an experiment. The protagonist is the youngest child and principle to the experiment. However it ended up affecting her and the rest of her family in ways they could not predict. I bet you’ve noticed how careful I’m being in writing about this. That’s because the story’s “twist” (which is revealed before the halfway point in the novel) is something I already knew going in, but wish I hadn’t. Knowing doesn’t stop you enjoying the book, but I wonder how different my reading experience would have been had I not known ahead of time.

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In any case, what I WILL tell you is that Fowler is excellent at illustrating how the behavior we learn through experience shapes our personalities as we age. I think a lot about what I was like as a child: loud, brave, emotional, sensitive, hopeful. I kept to myself sometimes, but most of my me-ness was projected outward without fear. Fear, anxiety, shyness, those things developed more as I aged and spent time around other people at school. The older you get, the more rules are foisted upon you to “smooth out” your personality. Some aspects of your identity are determined to be acceptable — others, not so much. Fowler explores this and the idea of ones’ “true self.” Does a “true self” exist? Does it change as we grow up? Is being your “true self” necessarily a good thing to be? Fowler asks a lot of questions through her characters and gives you breathing room to come up with your own answers.

Another remarkable thing about this book? Let me preface this by saying that I’m like Graham in The Holiday: a crier. Certain scenes in my favorite movies and TV shows that I’ve seen BILLIONS of times never fail to make me cry. When someone says or does something particularly kind, I cry. When I’m angry, I cry. I’m a bag of water, y’all. However, one thing that rarely, if ever, makes me cry? Books. I don’t cry when I read stories. It doesn’t matter how invested I am in the tale, novels/short stories don’t make me cry. I’d only had one experience where that happened and it was because reading that story made me angrier, sadder, and more confused about human beings than any novel ever has. (I’m talking about PUSH by Sapphire. Read at your own risk.)

I cried at the end of this book. The last scene is gorgeous, and not in a smarmy way. It’s perfect.

Have you read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves? Let me know what you think if you do decide to pick it up!

Happy Monday πŸ˜€

Published by LitroNY!

I’ve been submitting work to a few literary magazines, and had a bite!

LitroNY published one of my flash fiction pieces on their website today. Since it’s flash, it shouldn’t take you too long to read πŸ™‚

We all need encouragement, something that tells you someone out there actually likes what you do. Well, this little ego boost came right on time. Now I’m all:

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Happy Wednesday πŸ˜€

“You must all go to Brighton…”

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I finally made it to the coast! Turns out that medicine was helpful (it just took a looot longer than 15 minutes to be helpful) and I was able to go to Brighton with friends without mouth-breathing like a human leaf blower the whole time. We’d made some plans (pancakes, Royal Pavilion, the pier), but mostly winged it the whole day. We ate at Brighton’s Breakfast Club which was done up on the inside with bright pinks, greens, and blues. It reminded me of a cruise ship (especially the pink, scalloped booth seats). Our waitress told us they were out of OJ (Booo…no Mimosas for us 😦 ), so I went for a Bloody Mary. She asked if I wanted a virgin one. I blinked and said, “Where’s the fun in that?” The one I got was a spicy eye-opener (and yes, full of delicious, nutritious alcohol). Our whole reason for eating at The Breakfast Club was to order pancakes. Mine were unfortunately undercooked, but my friend’s were cooked through and she liked hers, so I guess they were a bit hit-or-miss there that day.

On to the pier!
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We passed waffles on sticks, temporary tattoos, and folks laid out in beach chairs before ending up surrounded by games and rides. I rode three deathtraps with a friend while our other tripmate kept her feet planted safely on the boards.

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The “Horror Hotel” started out pretty hokey, but ended up making both of us scream. I think being in the dark knowing something’s about to jump out at you tenses you up just enough to be scared, even by mannequins with eroded faces and wigs askew if they pop out at the right time. We also rode a coaster called “Turbo” that flung us around like rag dolls. Have you ever ridden the Outer Limits coaster at King’s Dominion? Like that, only flimsier. And the one after that (“The Sizzler”???) spun us around in a wide circle while spinning our car around individually, too. There was a cushion on my side that helped about as much as a sheet of Kleenex while my friend repeatedly slammed into me from her side. Holy f***, carnival rides ain’t no joke. I felt so old afterwards. My friend actually screamed “My back!” at one point. Oh yes, we’re in the Springtime of youth over here…

Our bones thoroughly crushed, we decided to head back towards the shops. Walking around, I kept hearing Lydia Bennet’s voice in my head (the youngest daughter in Pride & Prejudice) saying, “You must all go to Brighton! That is the place to get husbands. I hope you have half of my good luck.” I even saw a red military coat on display in one of the shop windows (or maybe it was at the pier) that made me think of Mr. Wickham and scowl.

The little shop lanes around Market Street are like a maze. Without knowing how, we found ourselves at Choccywoccydoodah!

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All of those “cakes” are made of chocolate. It’s cray in there.

I’d first heard of this place on Amanda’s blog Rhyme & Ribbons, and really wanted to go there. Everything chocolate? Hell yes. And it’s not just a chocolate shop — they have a cafe on the first floor, too. We put our names down. We had an hour to wait, so we headed over to the Royal Pavilion. SO gorgeous, y’all.

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I felt like I was in a fairytale. Or a Rudyard Kipling story. The Royal Pavilion was originally built for King George IV (who at the time construction began was merely Prince of Wales — Ha! “merely”…). He hosted lavish affairs there that lasted for days. Kind of like the regal version of Bonnaroo. It didn’t become a royal residence until Victoria became Queen. She sold the Pavilion in 1845 because she thought it was too public a place for her family to live. We didn’t go inside, but King George apparently demanded the palace be designed in an Indian style on the outside and a Chinese style on the inside, though he’d never been to either country. So really, what we see when we look at the palace is a “Western interpretation” of the East. Here’s a video about the Royal Pavilion if you’re interested!

Back at Choccywoccyfragilisticexpialidocious…

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You better believe I slooshed every piece of my blondie around in this plate of chocolate :D

You better believe I slooshed every piece of my blondie around in this plate of chocolate πŸ˜€

I had a praline milkshake and a blondie. Kind of anti-chocolate, I know. But I KNEW there’d be legit chocolate accompaniments to whatever I ordered, so I didn’t feel like too much of a traitor. Our seats were made to look like deer antlers forged into furniture; there was even a little furry cushion to sit on. I felt like Gaston.

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Brighton is super cool. I’ll definitely be back to see more of it!

A Stuffed Head & 5AM Wanderings

I. Am Sick.

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This is incredibly inconvenient, as had planned to attend event at Foyles this evening, but no longer feel up to it. There was also an event earlier this week that I’d been hoping to attend there, but still more body issues got in the way of that. Anyhoo, for the past week or so, my horrible propensity for violent sneezing, itching, plugged ears, and a tidal wave of mucus in the Spring and Summer has reared its ugly head.

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But because my confidence in my body’s ability to deal with such things is ridiculous and excessive, I hadn’t bothered to buy medicine. Last night/this morning, I reached my breaking point. I did not sleep — I couldn’t — because my head was so full of fluids, I thought my eyes would pop out. I lay in bed miserable, cursing the lack of CVS and Walgreens in London. I think about how much I miss 24-hour pharmacies on an almost daily basis. That’s what I think I miss most about the US: being able to just get things when I want to. Some stores here are open 24 hours, but I haven’t found many. At around 5:30AM I couldn’t take it anymore (“it” = rolling around sleeplessly on a bed of used tp, the contents of my head sloshing about). So I pulled on a sweater, left on my sweatpants (b/c who’s around at 5:30AM?), and went a-rambling.

Yes, yes, this is 2015, so I checked my options online before heading out to see what (if anything) would be open. No pharamacies in my area of course. I was given the option of a 24-hour pharmacy in my online search…that I would have to take a bus, then a train to get to. No thanks. Fueled by righteous anger and a head full of snot, I tramped through the mostly empty streets of Acton. It’s so funny how early the sun comes up. I felt like I was already in the middle of my day when most people were still happily snoozing (with the help of blissfully empty sinus cavities, I might add).

It was kind of nice walking around with so few people on the street; a rare scene in such a large city. My first stop was a nearby, 24-hour “convenience” store. Ended up being inconvenient for me as they didn’t have any medication. This store sits next door to a Lloyd’s Pharmacy…that does not open until 8:30AM. I was…not happy. (Sidenote: one of the perks of being out so early is that you can mutter angrily to yourself out loud and no one will look at you like you’re wearing a tinfoil hat b/c their too busy sleeping).

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I remembered there was a Tesco a walkable distance away, and hoped they would be of help as I can usually count on Tesco in times of need. Lo and behold, there it was: a tiny section of medicines for the overstuffed. I bought Benadryl, Vicks VapoRub, Kleenex, immunity fruit smoothies, 2 big bottles of water, chocolate digestive biscuits, and a bag of Jacobs Mini Cheddar crackers, all of which dangled precariously from my arms since I’d only intended to pick up the medicine and hadn’t grabbed a basket. The man at the counter raised an eyebrow at me, then smirked when one of my fruit smoothies fell out of my arms and bounced onto the counter before helping me unload the rest. As soon as I got out of the shop, I popped a pill and waited for its miraculous 15-minute kick-in time, and the subsequent 8 hours of relief advertised on the box. Turns out these meds don’t work as well (for me) as I’d hoped. Glad I bought that VapoRub (which was promptly slathered on as soon as I got home). Finally, after everything, I was able to get some sleep.

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I report to you now from a nest of tissues. Doesn’t look like I’ll be making it to Foyles today 😦 Instead, I’ll finish re-reading Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and HP & The Chamber of Secrets, silently cheering every time I’m able to breathe through my nose without imploding. I’m supposed to head to Brighton tomorrow. Let’s hope my nose cooperates!

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Have a good weekend, y’all πŸ™‚

Man Up

Hey you guys/gals πŸ™‚

Things have been a bit busy for me lately, so yesterday I took myself on a date-break to the Electric Cinema in Shoreditch. While the Portobello Road location is my absolute favorite, the two theatres don’t have the same films showing at the same time. I’ve seen approximately 9 zillion posters for Man Up in the Underground, on the sides of buildings, and tattooed on the foreheads of sweet old ladies knitting socks in the park. I was intrigued. It’s been a while since my last romcom fix, so this film came along just in time.

I got to the theatre 2.5 hours early (because I refused to pay to go home only to turn around and come back out in a couple of hours) so I took advantage of the brunch offerings at Barber & Parlour (where you can also get a haircut or a manicure if you fancy) and ordered the Ham hock hash & fried egg with watercress… 20150607_143827

…and a Peach Tea Punch cocktail. 20150607_143118

After my extremely satisfying meal, I went to the basement lounge to read and wait for the cinema to open. The staff kept shooting glances my way, as if it’s odd to sit in a lounge alone, reading a book, when there are haircuts, manicures, and booze to be had upstairs. Ah well…we can’t all be normal. Before too long, I was freed from the curious stares of passersby and allowed to enter the screening room. Now while, as I said, I prefer the Portobello Electric, one thing I love about the Shoreditch location is that you can purchase an “angled view armchair” seat for only Β£8 (Β£10 less than the cost of a regular armchair seat). There are four such seats to choose from, at either end of the first two rows. I always choose the same one if it’s available so I can’t speak to the view from the other three angled seats, but the view I’ve experienced hasn’t stopped me enjoying whatever film I’m watching. Now onto the movie itself.

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I knew the basic premise going in — woman semi-accidentally goes on a date with a man who mistakenly believes her to be his blind date and ends up having a great time — but wasn’t sure what type of romcom to expect. I mean, you’ve got your kinda cheesy ones (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Valentine’s Day, The Holiday), teen favs (Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mean Girls), your quirky originals (Obvious Child, 40 Year Old Virgin, What If), and the raunchy/ridiculous variety (Bridesmaids, What’s Your Number?, Pitch Perfect), plus all the kinds I haven’t even mentioned. Since what I watch is dictated by mood, I love every single type of romcom there is because, however I’m feeling at the moment, there’s always one that hits me just right.

Therefore, I was curious as to what category Man Up would fall into, but came out of it unsure as to what the filmmakers intended (tbh, I think they were, too). It’s got elements of the realistic, adorable cynicism that makes Bridget Jones’s Diary a favorite of mine, but it also has this really awkward element to it. The characters speak quickly when they’re embarrassed and make jokes/statements that don’t receive reactions from other characters right away, all of which is almost embarrassingly realistic. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I have this habit of covering my face with my hands and watching between my fingers — not when something scary is happening on screen, but when something embarrassing is happening. I definitely did that a couple of times while watching this film, but more often than not I was so caught off guard by the truth of a character’s manner that I felt too much empathy to cover my eyes — so I just inwardly cringed instead.

The movie is definitely funny, but not in the way I was expecting. Most of the laughs came from the awkwardness/strangeness of comments and situations, whereas with actors like Simon Pegg and Lake Bell — who I for some reason see as typically playing characters who proactively drive their stories forward — I went in expecting just flat out raunchiness. Not at, like, Hangover level, but still, more active, less passive. But the story seemed to drive the characters forward, not the other way around. But I LIKED that surprise! It added to the realistic, cringiness of it all. Because that’s what it’s like when you meet someone new — you tiptoe around a bit and try to feel them out; you worry about revealing your entire self too quickly. I think the characters, and the movie itself, conveyed that sensation really well. And in the end, we got that bit of cheesiness that romantic comedies are known (and loved) for. All in all, a pretty good addition to the romcom ranks.

After the film, I got one more cocktail. The Redchurch Barber & Parlour always has a special, featured cocktail themed for whatever movie is showing downstairs. The one they have now is called “Blind Date.” 20150607_192837 20150607_192827

Best (and only) blind date I’ve ever had πŸ˜€

France Finale

So, here it is. The end.

That probably sounds a bit more ominous than it should, but you know by now that this is a pretty weird corner of the internet. Anyhoo, we spent 2/3 of mom’s last days in Europe in Paris. Unfortunately, there won’t be a lot of pictures of French landmarks because between the two of us, our three devices were all dying. But we had a wonderful time!

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We actually got there later than we were supposed to because when we got to the train station, not only were we too late to check in, but I had forgotten my passport at home. FYI, this is the second time I have done this. I really don’t know wtf is wrong with me. It’s like I live in a damn sitcom. But I summoned an Uber driver, got driven home and back to the station, and we made it to France. The first evening was spent foraging for food at one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, Racines

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Veal and the heartiest, coarsest, best risotto I have ever eaten.

Veal and the heartiest, coarsest, best risotto I have ever eaten.

Some kind of brilliant chocolate mousse masterpiece (on a bed of chocolate biscuit crumbles).

Some kind of brilliant chocolate mousse masterpiece (on a bed of chocolate biscuit crumbles).

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(after first stopping at a restaurant that did not have the first dish I requested OR the alternative I asked for) and mom trying macarons for the first time.

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It later turned out that she should have continued never eating macarons because they are made with almonds and my mother is allergic to nuts. She did think they were delicious before the itching set in, though!

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Next day, we did the Big Red Bus tour because we were due to head back to London that evening, so it was the easiest/fastest way of taking in all the important sights. We will of course be back someday, but I really did enjoy the tour!

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Friday was mom’s last full day in London, so we took it easy. We hung around for most of the day, then did the London Eye “cocktail hour” experience, which was severely understaffed. The London Eye is alright…but if I’m being completely honest, I preferred the cable car and my view from Duck & Waffle to the London Eye. Just sayin’…

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Yes, I have a cat phone cover. What of it?

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When it came time to get our photo snapped inside our London Eye car, I side-eyed the other people in the car. Right as the photo was being taken. I’d been standing there waiting, and eeeeeverybody else waited patiently for the flash bulb to go off, but I (being the 5-year old that I am) started getting impatient and wondering when the dang photo was gonna be taken. So yeah… everybody’s smiling for the camera except me.

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Afterwards, we headed to the Rum Kitchen in Kingly Court (Soho) for a bite to eat and some amazing drinks.

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I’d first read about Rum Kitchen on Amanda’s blog, and got super excited about the pulled pork. It was every bit as delicious as she said it was. And now I’m thinking about it. And want more.

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On Saturday morning, I rode the tube to the airport with mom and saw her off. Yes we cried, because we’re dorks. We are rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say…well… you know the rest. I wish she could have stayed longer, and I am not at all ashamed of this.

I had a wonderful visit with my mama, and can only bide my time until the next one. Love you, Ma! ❀

Hope you all are enjoying your week πŸ™‚