Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Day of The Doctor

So today was the big day.  It was the day of the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who.  For those of us who are fans of The Doctor, it has been a day of much anticipation.  As soon as I found out that a movie theater near where I live would be showing the 50th Anniversary episode on the big screen in 3D, I was practically knocking down the theater door to secure my tickets.

The episode was AMAZING and I am so excited to see where the show will be going as it has now added a brand new, very interesting plot.  I won't go into a review of the entire episode.  I'll leave that to my friend Glenn Walker over at Biff Bam Pop.  He wrote an excellent review.

For those that did not get to see it in the theater there were a few little extras for us theater goers.  Before the episode, Strax appears and warns us about all of the unpleasant things that will happen to us if we use our cell phones, try to record the episode illegally, or talk and annoy those around us.  He also gave me a brand new view of popcorn.  Apparently popcorn can feel pain.

After Strax, the 11th Doctor appears to tell us that it is time to put on our 3D glasses, for a moment he transforms into the 10th Doctor who warns us that we must not be alarmed when the 11th Doctor's gigantic chin comes flying at us during the 3D effects. 

After the ending credits there was also a special making of the 50th anniversary episode feature that was narrated by Colin Baker.

It was a lot of fun seeing the episode with a large audience.  Because everyone was uber excited, no one was chatty, or rowdy, and it's awesome to hear everyone laugh together at all of the various Who related jokes and clap and cheer at all of the cheer worthy moments.  I was actually surprised by how loud the crowd cheered when Peter Capaldi made an appearance.  It was nice to see him already so lovingly accepted.

I made my own movie snack bags to share with my friends.  Jelly Babies are extremely yummy.

I met up with my fellow Oodles of Noodles team members (or should we call ourselves Cup-O-Soup) so we could watch the episode together.
When we first arrived there was quite a line, filled with people dressed up.  It absolutely befuddled people who were coming to the theater to see other movies.

The theater split the Who goers into 3 different theaters.  We were in 13.

The Fourth Doctor received a lot of Whovian love.

I am pretty sure that fez sales sky rocketed in anticipation of the 50th anniversary episode.
I was impressed with this girl's TARDIS dress complete with light up hat,

and while in the bathroom I ran into a fellow dalek hat wearer.
After leaving the theater, I zipped over to the British Chip Shop so that I could end the day with a TARDIS cookie.

It was so much fun.  I am a little sad that it is actually over now, but I am looking forward to hopefully finding Gallifrey.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You Can't Twerk to the Violin- A Quiet Rumble

With our bellies full we were ready to head across the street to Union Transfer to see The Head and the Heart.  The Head and Heart is categorized at an indie folk rock band. 


Here is a little something so that you can get an idea of what the band is like. It may help you appreciate the story to come.

 Soul Mama (whose blog I love reading) loves the band and she raises sheep and then spins her own wool into yarn for homemade knitting projects so I think overall I was expecting the crowd to be mostly made up of crunchy types with some hipsters sprinkled in for good measure, but I believe my husband said it best,

“I feel like these people are at a completely different concert than the one we’re at.”
We found a nice little spot to hunker down in. A spot that we thought was fairly out of the way of craziness, after all you are not allow to drink alcoholic beverages on the floor of Union Transfer, so that should cut out at least some of the nonsense, right?

Things seemed fine when the first opening band began.  They were called Quite Life and they were good.  All of the members had great beards and hats.

The second opener was Thao and the Get down, Stay down. 

 She was kind of like if a member of Mumford and Sons had a daughter with Bjork and then that daughter started a band with Jesus as the drummer. She was very talented, but we weren't 100% on board with her set.  She did have one very catchy song that involved the banjo that I must admit I've been humming to myself all week.  When I checked out the album on iTunes it was pretty good, better than the live performance, so I may get it sometime in the future.
It was about the time that Thao was ending that Cassie and her crew showed up.  They were a rather friendly group of girls who decided to take up residence in front of us in our peaceful little spot.  Cassie taught her friends that when you go to the bar and order non-alcoholic beverages, your cup is marked with an X so that the security guards know that your drink has no alcohol.  Cassie brings her own Sharpie to Union Transfer, orders alcoholic beverages and then marks them herself with an X so the security believes them to be non-alcoholic.  One of the girls in the group brought her own flask, while others had tiny bottles of liquor that they added to their cups of soda.  That probably should have been the sign that we were in trouble.
Finally the time had come for The Head and the Heart to play. 

We were all very excited.  The girls were very very excited to see the band.  They loved indie folk rock music so much that they decided to have a full on dance party. 
Now usually at these types of concerts there are certain moves.  I'm a big fan of the sway bounce.  I usually sway bounce quite a bit a concerts.  There is also the sway bounce that includes some shoulder shakes and head shakes or there is your basic up and down pogo sometimes accompanied with a raised hand and finger point as though you are saying, "I love you band, you are awesome!"  Those are the usual moves found at these types of shows.  This was not the type of show, especially  a sold out crowed show, to show off your full out on the night club dance floor moves, but clearly Cassie and her friends were not aware of this information. They were very touchy feely and affectionate with one another, which made us wonder if there was more than just vodka in their systems. They did not seem to care that their dance moves resulted in them crashing into those around them.  I had to dodge an elbow to the face more than once.  A couple of times, one of the girls did some twerking moves.  One, it doesn't have quite the same impact when you are twerking in jeans and a flannel shirt and two, you can't twerk to the violin!  Indie folk rock is not twerking music. 

At the same time, we became aware that there was a guy behind us who did not have proper concert etiquette either.  He seemed to think he was in a mosh pit.  He was a big guy and was yelling and getting super rowdy, so much so that the guards came and talked to him several times.  At one point between songs he yelled out,
"Let's get ready to rumble!!!!"
Charity one of the band members replied, "It's a quiet rumble." 
Well rumble guy eventually stepped over the line when a guard asked once again that he calm down so he wouldn't hurt the people around him and rumble guy responded by saying that the guards should just kill him.   He got thrown out.
Between rumble guy and Cassie's group my cousin said,
"I feel like we are in crazyland."  Again, just to remind you this is an indie folk rock band.  Very mellow with contemplative lyrics, not crazy moshing music at all.
We were happy when the band started breaking out their slow songs.  Surely the girls couldn't dance to these songs, we thought.  We were right, they did not dance but instead formed a glob of bodies.  Now I have seen girls stand in a line with their arms around each other and sway, but this wasn't a line, it was a mass of arms, legs and heads.  They swayed violently, crashing into us over and over again and would sometimes do this move where they would all lean back, causing us to be in danger of receiving a head-butt. 
A few times my husband said to me and my cousin,
"You better watch out or you will get sucked into their love fest."  He also said,
"I think they are going for a record for longest group hug."
At the point when we had had just about enough of being smashed into by a group of swaying girls my cousin said,
"I am about to break out my karate moves." I said I would break my karate moves out too.

Thankfully towards the end of the concert the girls migrated to the left and further up so we were able to enjoy the last few songs unmolested.  Overall we had a good time at the concert, but we would have enjoyed the show more if it were not for the crazy people.  At least we have a good story from the experience.  I can see us in ten years still breaking out,
"Do you remember that concert with those crazy girls and the rumble guy? That was a fun time."

Here's the song I've been singing all week.  Sadly the drummer in the video does not look like Jesus.




You Can't Twerk to the Violin-The Chocolate Eating Part

I believe that my cousin summed up our Saturday night with three phrases

“Holy Mackerel this is amazing”

“I think we are in crazyland”

“I am about to break out some karate moves”

I summed up our Saturday evening with one phrase

 “You can’t twerk to the violin”

 When we found out that The Head and the Heart would be playing at Union Transfer in November, we got tickets right away.  We love the band, we love the venue, and it was the perfect excuse to revisit Sazon.

 We had enjoyed dessert at Sazon back in April and were looking forward to tasting all that the Venezuelan restaurant had to offer.

“Holy Mackerel this is amazing,” said my cousin as we tore into our food.

  For starters we got an appetizer sampler platter that included cheese sticks, an empanada and two different kinds of arepas. 
Everything was so yummy.  I think if we went back, I would have to get the sampler again, because it would be difficult to pick just one of the appetizers to get.

 For my meal I got the pulled pork arepa and a side of sweet plantains. 

My food was also amazing.  The pulled pork filling for the arepa is marinated in orange juice and wine and was absolutely delicious. The plantains were great as well.  Everyone at our table raved about their meals and our only regret was that we could not try everything on the menu right then and there, but we couldn’t eat too much, we needed to leave space for chocolate.

 Now we are big fans of Max Brenner’s chocolate, but I am pretty sure that Robert Campbell, the chocolate alchemist at Sazon, could give the Bald Man a run for his money.  Once again, it was almost impossible to lock down exactly what we wanted to order because we wanted to order everything. There were chocolate drinks, chocolate truffles and lots of chocolate desserts.  My husband and I both ordered a part drink, part dessert called the orgasmo.
  It is chocolate, banana, peanut butter and Kahlua.  Everything is blended together so well that none of the ingredients overpower the others.  My cousin and her husband both ordered cafĂ© mochas. Everyone but me ordered a truffle and I ordered churros and chocolate, which I graciously shared with the rest of the table (because after the meal and a chocolate drink there was no way I was finishing them on my own). 
I am a pretty huge fan of churros and chocolate, partly due to the fact that it was name of my ninth grade Spanish book, and if they are on a menu anywhere for dessert I will give them a try.  I would say that thus far Sazon had the best churros and chocolate that I have had.  The chocolate part was great of course but the balance of the crispy cinnamon sugared outside and an inside that was perfect, not too doughy and not overdone, put them over the top. 
We loved our meal at Sazon so much that we can’t wait to go back again and try some of the other things on the menu.  The other great part is that it is affordable, just be sure to bring cash because they don’t take credit cards.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In Your Face, Monday!

I suppose like most middle aged people, I sometimes long for my early college days when I could stay out until 2am, catch a few hours of sleep and be in my seat for my 8am class with barely a yawn.  Least you think I was some kind of crazy party animal, I usually spent those college evenings at the diner, drinking coffee, eating cheese fries and discussing artsy geeky stuff with my friends.  I wish back then that it would have been possible to extract some of my 19 year old DNA and transform it into pill form to use later, kind of like how ladies turn their placenta into pills to take during menopause. Then I could still hang out on a school night and not regret it the next day.

On Sunday October 27th, we went to see Frightened Rabbit (yes again) play at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.  Of course you can’t go to a concert on an empty stomach, so we stopped by The Silk City Diner for a bite to eat. 

The Silk City Diner is a great place to grab some grub.  It’s casual, affordable and has a fun funky atmosphere,

and on a Sunday night or other week night it’s usually pretty easy to find a free parking spot. 
As an appetizer we got the baked mac and cheese.  I hate making these types of claims because haters have to hate and jump on you to prove you wrong, but in my opinion, The Silk City Diner mac and cheese appetizer is the very best restaurant mac and cheese that I have had so far.  It is always (we get it every time we go there) super creamy, never oily and the most yummy part, is the garlic bread bread crumbs that are baked on top. 

For my meal, I decided to keep things simple so I went with the cheeseburger and fries.  It was tasty and the leftover cheese in our mac and cheese dish went great with the fries. 

The Electric Factory rates somewhere in the middle as far as small concert venues in Philadelphia go.  It is not the best, but it also isn’t the worst. 

 I think this experience was much better than the last time we were there to see The Black Keys.  Maybe it was because it was late on a Sunday night, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded and squashed and we stayed to the back so we avoided some of the drunken fools (who the lead singer of the band at one point threatened to have thrown out) who had staked claim at the front of the stage.  Frightened Rabbit of course was amazing. 
Thanks to Scott Buchanan for this great picture
 Maybe they have DNA pills from when they were 19 because they had tremendous energy on stage and I could not imagine having to exert that kind of enthusiasm night after night after night.  By the time the concert had ended and we got home and to bed, it was about 1am. The funny thing was that I didn’t end up being tired the next day. It may have been that I was riding on the fun and excitement of the night before and/or that I enjoyed the fact that I am a grown-up who can stay out late on a school night, but whatever it was I woke up in the next morning and exclaimed,
“I stayed out late and I’m not even tired. In your face Monday!”