Good news, everyone! Here’s a new chapter of Return of the King for you – and it’s an exciting one! Stuff happens! Many thanks to everyone who emailed me some gentle reminders :) Those emails really help motivate me when I’m not feeling great.
“Great was the clash of their meeting.”
Here’s a bunch of random stuff that I want to share:
Zenmate — a free browser extension which can mask your location and encrypt your traffic. Say, for instance, you lived in the US but you were addicted to UK tv shows. You could, in theory, install Zenmate, tell it you’re in London, and watch the BBC’s iPlayer until your eyeballs bled. If you got tired of non-commercial British TV, you could also watch the ITV player and 4 on Demand and enjoy the not-quite-American commercials and freaky reality shows. And Downton Abbey, which has definitely jumped the shark but has such lovely costumes…
Star Trek sound effects: http://www.trekcore.com/audio/. A dizzying assortment just waiting to be made into ringtones and alarm sounds.
Fans of The Great British Bake Off — do you know about Stuck-In-A-Book’s hilarious snarky-but-affectionate episode recaps? Here’s a link to his recap for the finale of Series 5. http://stuck-in-a-book.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/great-british-bake-off-series-five-final.html Dig around and read all the others. They’re priceless. I got to the point where I look forward to reading his recaps almost as much as watching the show.
(And congratulations to our Nancy! Well done, you!)
If, like me, you get your TV shows from various sources (including but not limited to Netflix and HBOGO), you might sometimes find it hard to remember which episodes you’ve seen, which shows are about to start, what airs on Thursday, etc. It’s a lot more complicated than back when we had three networks and all shows started in the exact same week of Fall. Have I got an online tool for you!!!
TV Calendar: http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat/
Make an account. Click “Settings” and adjust the timezone (important). Click the “Shows A-Z” button. Add your favorite shows, or shows that you haven’t seen yet but want to be reminded about. Scroll to the bottom for shows that aren’t currently airing (very handy for if you’re doing a re-watch of some old show and want to keep track of where you are). Now the front page will show your personal TV Calendar! Tick the box after you watch an episode and it’ll go dim. Green is the first ep of a new season, red is the last.
Never again will we forget which Only Connects and Colbert Reports we’ve seen! And we’ve been doing a re-watch of Boardwalk Empire from the beginning (well, re-watch for me, first time for Henry), so I’m ticking off the episodes as we go. Every show’s page has a complete list of episodes and, as you tick them off, it will even tell you how many hours of your life you’ve wasted watching that particular show. Sigh.
(Only Connect wasn’t in the list when I made my account, but I requested it via the twitter account and the guy added it! :)
I’ve been reading a German translation of Marian Keyes’s “Last Chance Saloon” (in German it’s “Pusteblume” (Dandelion) for some reason) on my Paperwhite Kindle. I installed a German-English dictionary a long time ago, but I just realized that if I press an unknown word my Kindle will look it up for me! Astonishingly helpful. After I’ve looked up a word, I highlight it — so I can glance back through later and see if I remember the new words. Some words are too slangy for the dictionary, so if I’m really mystified I highlight the whole sentence and hit “translate” — and google (I assume) figures it out for me — if not WELL, at least to the point where I know what on earth is going on. Remarkable.
I just realized that I’ve never posted my excellent pasta salad recipe. Here ya go:
ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
about 1 1/2 lbs pasta
1 can black olives (I cut them in half)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 bag sun-dried tomatoes
1 chopped fresh tomato (or two if they’re small, or a bunch of cherry tomatoes)
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 bag “melange a trois” frozen red, yellow, and green pepper strips, or a chopped fresh pepper
1 bottle Tuscan Italian Dressing
Rinse the frozen veggies in warm water to melt off any ice. Cook the pasta, drain, rinse, combine with everything in an enormous bowl. It probably tastes best if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours before you eat it but I can never wait that long.
You could probably add some fresh herbs if you have any, or pine nuts, or green olives, or anything that sounds good. Cold cooked greenbeans or asparagus might be nice. This was the first time I put in the artichoke hearts and peas. Those little marinated fresh mozzarella balls would probably be amazing.