Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 4th Annual

Haydn and I had our 4th Thanksgiving together this year. The first was in snowy Cambridge, MA, this year was in North Bondi with the balcony door open, a calm early summer night, and rather exciting federal election to provide the conversation piece. Change is afoot in Australia, or at least the long-term incumbent was voted out after 11 years and there is new Prime Minister from the left-leaning Labor party. We shall what comes of Kevin Rudd's tenure.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Haydn's tenure as Thanksgiving chef is becoming the stuff of legend. The food tells it all. Oh and I baked the pies and would like to thank Gregg for bringing me Libby's canned pumpkin a year ago. That stuff still had a year of shelf life left.

Twas wonderful to introduce more people to Thanksgiving, for such a rather elaborate meal it's about a pretty simple sentiment.

And, Haydn, colour coordinating with the pumpkin pie.

Happy Holidays,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Home Improvement

I've really not been too in to TV lately, as in I haven't really developed any must-see weekly TV. Maybe it's a withering attention span, maybe it's resentment for Channel 9 taking off ER (a show that is very hard to find to download), maybe it's because I'm just waiting for my Gilmore Girls season 7 DVD that I just pre-ordered from Amazon.

However, I realized this past weekend, there is one show I tune in to regularly and even know the various broadcast times it is shown on the Lifetyle channel. This show is Grand Designs, a UK program hosted by building/design guru Kevin McCloud. He finds a couple with varying degrees of building and renovation knowledge but armed with a dream to renovate some kind of really old house or buildling. Often, the build goes overbudget and into overtime. Somewhat often, ol' Kev doesn't really care for the end result. It might be environmentally wasteful, too ostentatious, or it just didn't end up as it was envisioned. Other times, he's profoundly moved by the structure and what it can do for the landscape, local history and the family.

I've become riveted by this show. I think it's the British-ness, the history, and Kevin's astute and thoughtful commentary. And, I think it's just a bit of voyeurism. It's like going on walks at night and seeing in to different kinds of homes. It's maybe a bit of growing older, as I find myself tuning in to This Old House or Location, Location, Location as well. Maybe it comes from watching a lot TV shows based in homes of impeccable settings - the Cosby's comfortable brownstone, Friends' spacious West Village flat (an oxymoron!), the Gilmore's idyllic Stars Hollow, and wanting to see an actual "set" at those standards and beyond, with a dash of Little House on the Prairie's rustic-ness.

Sigh...I do know it's good TV with a narrative structure that doesn't really change, but the contents do with each episode. And there's something to be said for employing that successfully. I know I find myself making Haydn put up gingham curtains and I have bought two eBay items recently -- an old gold reading chair, and a red fiesta ware gravy boat. Maybe I'm embracing a new home or craving creature comforts.. Regardless, if you can tune in to this gem, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I highly recommend.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Weather with you

Just got home from seeing Crowded House at the Entertainment Centre with maybe 7,500 other people. Yes, it's that Crowded House as in Neil Finn and co. and their collection of songs that inspire cross-generational sing-a-longs.

While Crowded House were superstars and pretty much remain legends in Australia (tho, technically the Finns are Kiwis), before I moved to here I always associated them with a certain bygone era -- the early days of MTV in the Carter household, when it was Channel 23. I think it's safe to say I had a crush on Neil Finn but I might not have been totally aware. If anything, I really liked him and Crowded House hits like Something So Strong and Don't Dream Its Over bc they were sang by this well-scrubbed, rosy-cheeked guy. Boy George was confusing, Neil Finn wasn't.

And still isn't. The man has energy, a full head of hair, and can craft a song like no other.

But, I better wrap up my stroll down memory lane and will just leave you with bit of a Then and Now for pondering.


Something So Strong - 1986

Don't Stop Now - 2007