Movie Rants – where I rant about movies I’ve seen

Now that I’m watching movies again (thank you mommy for my functioning beautiful iPad) I’m thinking I need to start a series of rants on movies on this blog. I am of course watching them alone so I feel the need to complain about the stupid shit I see in films to someone. That someone is going to have to be you I’m afraid.

I have a deep, unabiding love for monster movies. The stupider the better. Usually these things are low budget but sometimes Hollywood makes an effort to make high budget ones and make them serious which usually ends up with something like this:

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Aaaaaaaaaaargh!

 Godzilla 2014

OMG this movie. Can I point out that the only reason Aaron Taylor-Johnson is still alive by the end of it is because he is incredibly slow? As in stopping and staring every time something happens slow? For minutes on end? It might be a good survival strategy in real life but in a movie being the total opposite of Quicksilver makes him just seem – well – not quite as heroic as he is supposed to be.

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Everyone can see what’s coming Aaron. You are sloooooooow!

Elizabeth Olsen (hey there second Maximoff twin) plays his wife and is a nurse i think, but I’m just gonna pretend she is a doctor to counteract some of the tropes. The kid that plays Sam, their kid is – I believe – supposed to be charming and cute, but like almost every other human in this story is – well – not (except the lost japanese kid. He was cute). Aaron spends most of the movie trying to reach them in San Francisco after meeting one of the Motos in Japan, seeing Bryan Cranston die, meeting Godzilla on Hawaii, getting almost stomped on by Mrs. Moto in Nevada and getting almost stomped on by all three in San Francisco.

The “experts” Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins are just way too overly emotional and dramatic to take seriously. In a movie that takes itself very seriously. Why can’t Sally be the competent one? It’s just so annoying. You root for the military guys and that’s just wrong in a monster movie. They are never right. The only human hero in this freaking film is the bus driver that saves the kids on the bridge (including Sam, not that anyone cares) by driving them of it when everyone else is standing around staring at Godzilla and the Motos.

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The wife and I are starting a familyyyyyy!

The tone of the thing is VERY serious all the way through. There isn’t a single joke or fun person in the entire two hours. Not even Bryan Cranston. Which is in the movie. The 1998 Godzilla was cheesy as hell but I love that movie with all my heart just because Jean Reno is in it. I love Jean Reno. There were jokes in that movie. lots of jokes. And Jean Reno. I miss that movie.

The monsters are great though. I wish they were on screen more. And stomped a bit more on the slooooooow one.

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This is a better Godzilla.

Rest – The Bane of My Existence

When I was better I managed to take rest periods on the days I worked from home, and I’d take a break or two to regroup when I was at the office, and when I came home. This meant I had absolutely no social life at all and I had no energy to do anything else than basic stuff. After I my big crash last year my baseline has been difficult to find. I still do way too much on the days I feel a bit better. I’m semi mobile and manage to feed myself and keep myself and my place in ok shape but I just want to do everything. I’ve finally accepted that I need help and my mom comes in and does the heavy stuff, but still…

Resting is very hard for me. My brain starts working on high gear almost immediately after laying down, and before you know it I have analyzed Jurassic World and worked myself into a little bit of a furious state. Yes she is their aunt, but for fucks sake she is running a multi million dollar business that requires her attention and is not a convenient babysitter service for sisters who are getting divorced without telling their kids first.

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See! I can run in from dinosaurs in stiletto heels while you stand there being a completely charmless know it all Chris Pratt!

(How did this movie happen btw? You must have a pretty bad script and a really bad director to manage to get this calibre of actors to be this bland. Omar Sy is in this mess for fucks sake, and Pratt should manage to be funny if you just let him do his thing. Bryce Dallas Howard has nothing to work with here, you can see the struggle if you look.)

Sometimes I design my dream house in what is supposed to be rest, and end up in trouble when I eventually have to look up if whatever it is I want is possible. I don’t want a large house just a fantastic one.  I’m thinking I need a view like this and a house with large windows facing the right way.

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I’m trying the guided meditations on youtube and I think I need to try to stick to a set schedule so I’m being a bit more proactive here with my rest. I’m so bored these days I’m doing the boom and bust thing and as a result spending even more time in bed and that is not good.

So this was all rambly and possibly a bit incoherent but hopefully you get the gist?

 

It’s my birthday!

I’m 42 years old today. Though my body feels like it’s a hundred and ten I feel like I’m still 27 1/2 inside. I would like a puppy, a puppy, a puppy and everything in the Apple store for my birthday please. And a puppy

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Puppies!

PS. My mommy got me a new iPad so I don’t need that from the Apple Store any more. I cried. My old iPad might have been the oldest one still in a semblance of working order but the new one is the bestest thing ever. I love my mommy.

Soup IV -The Revenge of the (Hot) Sauce

Welcome back to more of my series on cooking for people that can’t stand around forever and cook gourmet meals cause we’ll faint and not be able to eat anything while unconscious. The Saga of Soupengrim Bedrider continues on of course in what we all agree is a portal in to Hell (no really, you can take the train from Oslo Central Station):

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Hell is frozen over!

As promised in my tomato soup post last week I’m making a meatier soup today. I’ve used chicken in mine but you can use any kind of meat or fish you like in this one, just remember to swap out the chicken stock/fond if you use fish. You can also make it with no meat at all, just vegetables if you want it to be vegetarian. This is a bit of a quicky version of a thai inspired soup and I’ve probably left out some of the things that belongs in a real one. It takes about four minutes to cook and makes a pretty large portion and is plenty for two people. I’m also using frozen vegetables in this one – no need to defrost them first.

Coconut Lime Noodle Soup

  • 1 tin of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 table spoons of Chicken fond or a stock cube
  • Water (about half a coconut milk tin)
  • Coconut oil (or any other oil that tolerates heat well)
  • A handful of fresh coriander (you can absolutely use dried, but watch how much you use if you’re a bit sensitive to it)
  • 1 Chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 portion Rice noodles
  • 2 cups Frozen vegetable mix (wok mixes work well here)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Chili (I use the ordinary milder red chili)
  • 1 piece of Ginger (about half a thumb, more if you want it hotter)
  • A splash of Hot sauce (if you want it even hotter)
  • Two table spoons of Soy sauce
  • A couple of spring onions cut into slices

Start by boiling water in your kettle if you have one, if not on the stove. Pour the boiling water on your noodles (in a pot please, not directly on the kitchen counter) and set them aside to cook through. Finely chop the chili and garlic (use a garlic press if you want) and grate the ginger. If you want less heat, remove the seeds from the chili before chopping it. Add some oil to a tall sided frying pan or wok (you can use a big pot if your frying pan is too low sided) and quickly stir fry the frozen vegetables. Add the garlic, chili and ginger, and then the chicken strips and cook for a minute or two.

Pro tip: Look for old kitchen equipment you need in charity shops like my excellent grater that works better than many a modern one. I have also found high quality cast iron pans that needed minimal attention to be useful again.

Pour in the tin of coconut milk and rinse the tin with cold water and add the rinse water as well. Bring it to a boil. Add the soy sauce, chicken fond and hot sauce (if you want it). Remember to taste before adding too much stuff, it’s better to add stuff gradually than end up with inedible food. You might need some salt but wait until you have added the soy sauce and stock to decide. Add the chopped coriander (if you don’t like coriander you can leave it out) and let the soup simmer for a minute or so.

Your noodles should be finished by now, so drain and rinse in cold water. Add them to your soup and let them get heated through. Squeeze your lime into the soup just before before serving and add the spring onions for crunch. Eat!

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This soup is great by itself and you probably don’t need anything on the side to go with it but you should do what you like best. I usually eat it from a soup cup with chopsticks and drink the rest but feel free to be a person with actual table manners and use a spoon 🙂

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Table manners!

 

Soup 3 – Soup of the Red

The Soupening continues here in the hellish landscape of Oslo, Norway. How we manage to do anything here is beyond me. We are closing in fast on Halloween now so a bit of gore is to be expected – therefore todays theme is Blood Red Tomato Soup. Oh, mmmm tasty and an excellent substitute for fake blood if you are in need of that, just remember to let it cool down first. Or not if you are using it on someone else, mwaha hahahahaaa haa a. Ok then, let’s get to the:

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Cooking!

Simple (and quick or slow) Tomato Soup:

  • 1 Onion (I used a red one but any onion works)
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 Carrot
  • a bit of olive oil (about two table spoons)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • Two tins of tomatoes (I like the cherry tomato ones but use what you have and like)
  • Water
  • Chicken fond (2 tablespoons, optional) or a stock cube (also optional)
  • A handful of chopped Oregano (fresh) or a palm full if dry
  • A handful of chopped Basil (fresh) same as above with dry
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • You can also add any kind of spicier stuff you like with your soup. Chili flakes or smoked paprika is tasty.

Chop the vegetables as fine as you can. Try to make them semi even, but dont worry too much. They cook a bit quicker if they are fine, but it really doesn’t matter as long as you don’t burn anything. The reason chefs make everything roughly the same size is that it cooks evenly, and the smaller it is the shorter it takes to cook it. If you have a food processor you can use it to chop up vegetables for you if using a knife is difficult. I use mine for any bulk project, like the massive amount of sauerkraut I made the other week that took me all of  four minutes to do all together. Crush the garlic cloves and slice roughly (just smack them with something or use a garlic press).

Pro tip: Unless you have very large or very small hands the palm of your hand holds just about a table spoon of any dry ingredient (like herbs). Very useful and time and dishes saving 🙂

Pour a bit of oil in the soup skillet, toss in the vegetables and let them simmer on a medium heat until they soften. This takes a couple of minutes and you have to stir occasionally so they don’t burn. Sit on something if you get tired or shaky. I have a little step ladder that is far to low but I use it anyway. Put in a tablespoon or two of tomato puree and let it simmer for a minute or two to get the rawness out- then pour in the tinned tomatoes and add the herbs. Add some water as well, I usually rinse out the tomato cans to get the leftover tomato juice so about half a tin each? A bit of salt and pepper- and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down low and let the soup simmer under a lid as long as you like.

Pro tip: Sugar, like black pepper is a flavour enhancer in smaller amounts. If your tomato dish needs something its usually a pinch or two of sugar. You don’t need much,  don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with tomato jam.

Tomatoes tend to get sweeter and meatier the longer they cook, although the rawness and freshness of letting it cook around 10-20 minutes can also be good. I like them both. Do what your stomach tells you to. You can go sit down and let the soup cook itself so set a timer on your phone if you are liable to forget you have something on the stove.

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I have no memory of this soup Gandalf, never mind where we are!

Now its time to put the soup in the food processor, blender or use a handheld mixer if you want it smooth, or just smash up the tomatoes a bit more with a fork or whatever (potato mashers work) and eat it lumpy. Remember to taste after smashing to see if you need more salt and pepper or something. It will probably need a bit more salt.

Todays soup took me just about five minutes to put together and that included taking pictures. I managed to make coffee in my french press while I sauteed the vegetables and cleaned up the little mess I made. So, very quick to make.

It’s also versatile. The soup is fairly thick and can easily be used as a tomato base when you are making any kind of tomato sauce for pasta dishes. You might have noticed there are three tins of tomatoes in the picture (and no tomato pure ’cause I forgot to take it out for picture day). That’s because I’m making a large lasagne next week and need tomato sauce for it.

I can’t eat Parmesan because it’s cow’s milk, but if you have leftover old Parmesan that has been sitting a while in your fridge getting hard around the edges put it in the leftover soup (in bits, hard edges and all) and let it melt. It takes a while to melt but becomes delicious pasta sauce and is great served with meatballs for instance. I use Manchego (sheeps milk) cheese as a substitute which tastes great but doesn’t get quite the right texture. Freeze in portions and you have instant pasta sauce whenever you want.

Serving suggestions:

  • Add some macaroni. Not too much though, if you still want it to be soup and not sauce. For us spoonies its probably best if you cook the pasta separately and chuck it in just before you eat so it doesn’t end up sticking to the bottom of the soup skillet when you can’t manage to stir it any more. Happened to me you ask?
  • You can put some cream in your soup, or serve with a dollop of sour cream.
  • Us Norwegians serve some soups like tomato and spinach with wedges of semi-hardboiled eggs. Try it, it’s tasty.
  • A little drizzle of good olive oil on top and some fresh bread.
  • Heat it up with the chili/hot sauce/mexican spices of your choice and serve with avocado and tortilla chips.
  • What you like in or with your soup, I’m not a dictator. Unfortunately. I think I’d be brilliant at it.
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Soup of the Red!

Next time I think I’m gonna do something with meat or fish in it, the soups up til now have all been possible to make fully vegetarian/vegan so it’s time to do something a bit more proteinous.

 

An anniversary of sorts

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Høst – Bendik Riis, 1946 – ©Riis, Bendik/BONO – Owner/photo: Nasjonalmuseet

26. October – Not the fun kind of anniversary, the serious kind. It’s been a year since my brain haemorrhage. This year has been strange to say the least. It’s been marked by emotional ups and downs, and a turn for the worse in my M.E. It’s been a short year in many ways, time seems to shwosh by these days and I’m stuck here inside not getting to be a part of it much.

It’s also a month and a half more than eight years since i first got M.E. I have the same story as a lot of us, getting a viral infection and just not getting better again. Except I did for a while and then I overdid it massively, got new infections and crashed again to a much worse version than I ever had before. I’m on the severe side now, before the brain haemorrhage I was just tipping over moderate towards severe.

I know how M.E. works now, and I did a year ago so the absolute unexpectedness of something new happening was a massive shock to the system. I didn’t actually think it was all that bad although I realised I needed help and called my mom and then an ambulance. It took many months for me to realise that the reason they drove me in with the sirens on was not because of traffic like they told me, but because they thought I was having a stroke or bleeding out and needed me to get in fast enough to start treatment.

When it turned out it wasn’t a stroke I figured they would send me home the next day. Turns out they take unexpected events in the brain department pretty seriously in 40 year old women and they kept me in hospital for over a week. I came home the day before I turned 41.

I didn’t notice massive problems at first, and some of the ones I have now are difficult to separate from M.E. problems. No matter what, I was massively lucky in position and size of the bleed. My eyesight has deteriorated quite a bit, I had to get new glasses and I’m not certain it had stabilised when I got them. I think I should take another eye test soon. I have some problems with my fine motor skills. I don’t always manage to hit what I think I am and things like typing is sometimes difficult (I touch type and learned to do it without looking down). My memory is bad, but that’s a symptom of M.E. so I’m not sure that is a consequence of the bleed. I have some anxiety issues that developed from this, but I think mostly it’s natural to get scared from something so serious so I try not to beat myself up over it.

Now this sounds like I have a lot of complaints, but I’ll tell you something. I’m not unhappy. I wish I could do everything I want to of course and I have shitty days quite often, but there are positive things happening in my little life as well. I’ve taken the scary jump to talk to some new people every day and even made a few new friends I hope. I’m thankful for those people every single day, they make me feel like fighting and laughing and making jokes again.

I’ve started up a few hobbies again. I knit and draw and colour in. I’m trying to write a bit, I have some story ideas. It’s slow going, but I hope I’m getting somewhere. I’m reading again. I do this blogging thing which is also a bit scary since traffic is picking up. My soup series seems to be a hit, and I hope to do some more cooking stuff. I used to be a chef before my knees decided to give up on me and I’m trying to come up with more food that is quick, simple and tasty but also nutritious.

Anyway, I’m doing ok although I’m not well. I’m doing my best to entertain myself from the crushing boredom of being housebound and unable to be social in real life. I sometimes get scared it’s going to get worse, or that I’m getting another bleed and that isn’t much fun but somehow I manage to shake myself out of it every time. I try to stay positive – not always succeeding but as long as I do my best I think I can be proud of that. I’m pretty emotional this week, I didn’t think it would be this hard to reach the one year mark but I’m still here and still trucking on.

Making new habits – getting better at being effective at what I can do

I’ve talked bit about habits before and how I use them to preserve energy.  A few years ago I found a tumblr called Unfuck Your Habitat (UFyH) and that started changing how I approached housework. I used to be really messy, and would clean and tidy up in a panicked frenzy when someone was coming to visit. Naturally that meant I hated every second of it.

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Oh, do come in.

It’s a lot of work changing habits like these, it has taken me about a couple of years to get to the point I’m at now where I have a home that is pretty much always – if not super clean – at least tidy. It feels good to have gotten this far being as sick as I am.

So what sort of routines have I created for myself? Well the rules of UFyH are pretty simple; put it away not down, laundry has three steps – wash, dry, put it away dammit, everything has to have a place to live. Most importantly the system emphasises working within your limits. I’ve not documented the paring down of my excess stuff since most of that happened in the middle of the renovation of my living room and kitchen, but trust me I got rid of a lot of stuff I never used.

The routines I have now is as follows: Keep the kitchen and bathroom spotless by doing a little bit every time I’m in there. I wipe down counters and sinks and put stuff away pretty much on automatic now and I think that I might use about 10 minutes or so a day keeping things clean. I had to get a new dishwasher for my new kitchen and bought a narrow (45 cm)  one because a full size one wouldn’t fit in the new layout. Best decision ever! It’s more than enough space for one person, and has a very handy short program that I often use when the machine isn’t full. Not filling things up to the brim makes it easier to empty again strangely enough 😏

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About a decade ago I was an apprentice in a restaurant kitchen, and pretty much the first lesson I got was to keep your workstation clean. Don’t know why I stopped doing it ’cause it turns out it’s a lot easier to cook when I do it now. We separate out food leftovers in green bags Oslo (they turn it into bio fuel) so I keep the (smallish) bucket I use for it on the counter while I prepare food and have less steps to go to get rid of vegetable peel and eggshells etc. Packaging gets tossed in the sink first and sorted later. Most of it is plastic and gets recycled and some of that needs to be rinsed before going into its blue bag (blue and green bags gets separated out by a giant robot named Bagsy and goes to making new stuff. The leftover garbage gets burned and is used for heating homes, like mine). My bins are under the sink so its a short distance.

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This goes in there, that in here and we’ve saved the world!

I’ve also gone back to preparing all the ingredients before I start cooking (mise en place) – it saves a lot of energy since you never have to hurry to finish chopping something up or finding something you need. And as always – there is no shame in using frozen and already prepared ingredients. If you have a food processer of some kind using it as often as you can does save your energy.

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Cooking is easy, all you need is a horse a cow and a goat.

Laundry gets the same treatment. I thought I had to get a narrow top loaded machine for my tiny bathroom (a narrow frontloader will fit I found out later) and had no room for a tumble dryer. Hanging laundry can be really heavy work, but I tend to run smaller loads these days so I manage to get it done. When I can tho, I’m getting a combination washer/dryer so I can just skip the hanging up all together and go straight to putting it away dammit.

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This is where this belongs, and this is where that belongs

My mom comes in to change my sheets and mop the floors for me and do other heavy stuff, but I manage to stay on top of most of my chores even if it gets a bit dusty in here sometimes. I have though about getting a robot vacuum cleaner but my google skills has failed me a bit on finding one that will work well in a small apartment with a lot of walls and furniture in the way. If anyone has any suggestions I’ll be grateful.

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Step aside peasants, I’m coming through here

I hope this didn’t come across as too splainy, I’ve re written this post a few times and still think it could be better. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask ( I might take a little time to answer tho, I haven’t slept that much lately and it feels like I might be able to now :))