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  1. Maybe it's my appreciation of symmetry, but I was put off by the visual result of the braised chicken. Staggering the cooking times to make sure every piece has adequate time to hang out in the sauce without being overcooked is a no-brainer in theory, but in execution it resulted in the two tapered breast pieces not getting any browning time. So, at the end, the (pale, ugly) skin was removed from those two pieces. But they still didn't match -- there are all these beautifully-browned pieces, and two pale ones. On the serving plate, one's eye is automatically drawn to the difference. Does it really matter, visually, that it's pale meat rather than pale skin? (Of course the browned skin tastes better than would the pale skin that was removed.) I'm sure it all tasted delicious (although, just as a matter of personal taste, I hate mustard other than the straight-up, non-vinegar spicy kind [because I hate a good 70% of vinegars]), but the visual result was off-putting. I wonder if it's really impossible to brown one side of those pieces -- the idea must be that in doing that, they could then only spend so little time put back into the braising liquid that they wouldn't adequately pick up the flavor. And I get that; flavor is more important than appearance. But ATK totally glossed over the glaring imbalance when it came to appearance (not to mention the fact that, as Anne Burrell always hammers home, "brown food tastes good") and presented this as the "perfect" solution for braising a whole chicken (and it's not making use of a whole chicken to begin with, as they left out the wings). It's good, but it's not perfect; make it at home, certainly, but would you serve it to guests? But, hey, my silicone basting brush is their equipment testing winner.
  2. Because of the commercial that ran for years (or at least what seemed like years). I don't know if Aleve is still a sponsor of the show, as I haven't taken particular notice in a while, and I tend to think not, but its "What is Aleve?" commercial made to look like a FJ segment aired during the commercial break between DJ and FJ for quite some time. Alex Jacob made the same joke for his I have no idea FJ response several years ago, so this was repetitive (and not as timely).
  3. Bastet

    Major Crimes

    “Long Shot” is another one I commented on at length when it first aired under this single-topic replacing the lost vaulted forum nonsense, so I’ll mostly confine myself to thoughts I didn’t express then: Taylor’s unsuccessful “Mr. Mayor” attempts to get the mayor’s attention never fail to amuse me; it’s one of the perfect little touches in season one showing that while he is less slimy now that he’s achieved Asst. Chief (and, in fact, this started as The Closer was ending, when he knew he was going to get the promotion), he’s still Taylor – wanting to be a player, and in love with the cameras. They scatter such scenes throughout the rest of the series, too, and it’s always a nice bridge between the two shows. The one thing I feel compelled to reiterate, because I think I feel it even more than the writers intended with Sharon’s comparison between good fathers and those not cut out for the job, is how much Angel’s father gets to me. Mr. Reyes was a good cop in Juarez, and his refusal to go along with corruption led to his wife and all but one of his kids being killed; in response, he sacrificed a career of which he was proud to be a maintenance man in a foreign country, always looking over his shoulder for ICE, in order to save his remaining son (and I love the subtle touch that what he’s ironing when the assassin shows up is Angel’s work uniform). His death really gets to me. Jumping off that to another new thought (and the fact I can have one after all this time is one of the reasons I love this show), I reflected more tonight than I have upon previous viewings about Angel. His dad was all he had of his old life, and now Mr. Reyes is gone, too. So not only is Angel shunted off into a witness protection identity in which he knows literally no one, but he lives with the guilt that maybe if he’d called the police immediately and revealed what he saw, his dad might still be with him -- his decision made sense, especially in the heat of the moment (he didn’t want his dad knowing he’d been taking the extra set of keys to use the vacant penthouse as a love shack, and, more importantly, didn’t want to bring his dad to the government’s attention, given their undocumented status) – but it’s going to haunt him for how it all played out. (In the midst of this, it’s a nice touch that the son of a cop gives such a good description, better than most witnesses manage, and our cops appreciate that.) The big emotional thrust of the episode is Rusty now legally being an orphan/ward of the state, but having a family in the squad, and I enjoy that. But the Reyes family really resonates with me, too. This episode has fundamental flaws, as I said before, about the assassin’s car (why does he leave the mirror behind, why don’t the cops try to ascertain his license plate the way they did Angel’s) but it’s still a good one, especially because of the personal storylines. I think it’s a solid conclusion to a short first season, and I’m never remotely surprised TNT looked at that run and said “more please” in response to that experiment.
  4. Twixy was an interesting case, with the pseudo-hermaphroditism. I like that such a story was shown without sensationalizing the condition or being overly joking about it. The owners just rolled with it - because who frakkin' cares, but some people would unfortunately be weirded out - and Dr. Lavigne appreciated getting to follow a case nowhere near as typical was what he usually sees. Zeus's shaking was hard to watch, poor little scaredy guy. I'm glad he just needed time to recover from soft tissue injury. And his brown "eyebrows" are adorable - I love that about chihuahuas' coloring. Prince's hyperactivity exhausted me just watching; I can't imagine having a pet like that. Dr. Lavigne joking about feeling pressure, because Dr. Blue's dental health depending on how he handles Prince's ACL surgery was funny. Hamilton's skin condition pictures are always shocking. I love all the work everyone (owners and vet) put in, rather than just ditching or euthanizing him when this cute little piglet turned into an oversized special needs child. And it's funny that his nickname is Hammy. But they need to deal with his weight! Those jowls and belly are excessive. My one gripe with this show is cats are underrepresented in the stories producers choose to show (of course, it's possible they're underrepresented among Cy-Fair's patients, and statistics indeed show Americans as a whole spend more - on everything, including vet care - on dogs than cats, but I lean towards blaming the producers on this one). I don't want to go so many episodes where the only cats I see are those in the cage shots that transition scenes!
  5. That was my impression, too, so I just perused an article to confirm, and yep - the treatment is hard on them, and the heart and lungs need to be protected by strictly curtailing activity for a prolonged period. So it makes sense that VRC would want to take responsibility for that period. Kathleen and Daisy, from tonight's episode, having spent two days together in bed crying after Barney died is such a sad and sweet image. It was nice to see Daisy, more comfortable at home but still a little apprehensive about Daisy, calm down a little and pick Annabelle as their new family member. Minnie vaguely looks like a bigger and more colorful version of Daisy, and Annabelle vaguely like a smaller and more colorful Daisy; I thought look good as a trio. But those two shy girls are good for each other -- "quietly becoming best friends" is exactly what I predicted from their initial interaction. LOL at naming the pair of rescued dogs Brad and Angelina - I know producers include package stories filmed long ago into episodes, but that would go way back. I like the motivation behind Tania's book. I read an interview with her years ago in which she talked about how hard it was living in Agua Dulce (their CA location) as an outsider and she didn't need to say more -- it's an insular environment, very unaccepting of anyone who doesn't fit the narrow mold its overwhelmingly white, rural, conservative residents decree as the right way to be (a friend lived in that general area for several years, and her parents remain there). It's sad to hear she also feels so judged in New Orleans, a more diverse and welcoming city (and I do just mean more than Agua Dulce, as it certainly has its own acceptance problems, as anyplace does), now that she's a parent. She didn't get anywhere near as many funny looks there when it was just her, but now that she's dared spawn a child, people look at her with a baby/toddler and assume she must be an irresponsible mother. The Bluie dedication page is beautiful. I really like how Tania and Perry don't allow Salem's face to be shown on the show. I don't think it's bad that Moe and Lizzy do allow their son's, especially at his young age, but I dig the choice.
  6. Random peeve of the day: Hearing drawer pronounced as "draw" barely even registers with me anymore, since I've heard people from a few different areas say it that way over the years, but seeing it written that way annoys me.
  7. It was posted upthread: She not only lived a long life, but was working up until the end - per IMDb, she did nearly ten screen projects last year, she has four more in post right now, and was slated to be in something that's in pre-production.
  8. I only saw a few clues, and had to read the archive for the rest (thanks again, @WhoisMark), but I did get to see Alex's face when shilling was a TS and greatly enjoyed it. I wonder what his face looked like by the end of the game -- there were about 15 TS! In addition to shilling, I was surprised to some degree by the V.C. Andrews, untouchables, sponge, hawk, skunk, guard, trebuchets, and Blitz TS. The only film in the Quotable Movies category I've seen is The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but I didn't remember that quote. I knew the ones from The Hunger Games and Black Swan via cultural osmosis, though. And I didn't know any of the TV villains. I'm very hit and miss on pop culture clues, and I was just a big ball of miss tonight! At least I knew most of the other clues, and FJ was an instaget.
  9. Bastet


    Well, I think Valentine's Day is utterly ridiculous, so it doesn't do anything for me to have a stranger wish me a happy one. But, like I said, it didn't bug me, either. It just wasn't something that had ever happened before.* I wonder if all those stores instructed their employees to say it. At least they were all women; it would have been even stranger from men. *That so many people said it. It has happened occasionally with one person in the course of the day. Yeah, I was also pretty surprised - and some strange combination of amused and dismayed - to find out the reason the parking lot was unusually crowded at the grocery store was that the store was full of men buying last-minute, mass-produced flower arrangements and boxes of crappy candy. If you're going to participate in this ridiculous exercise of a holiday, put a little thought into it -- make your partner's favorite dinner, frame a picture of the two of you (hell, just send a picture with a little note about what a wonderful day that was together), something like that. Little, but personal.
  10. Bastet


    I ran errands this afternoon, and at each of the four stores I went to, the cashier wished me a happy Valentine's Day. I've had strangers say that before, but never every one with whom I happened to share a transaction on February 14th! It doesn't bother me, I just find it a little odd.
  11. What a great story; Kristyna from Tuesday's episode grew up watching the show, and it did far more than entertain her: And her little tidbit about Alex made me smile; I love how much he loves being handy:
  12. Seriously! Are people really so addicted to their phones these days they compulsively answer all calls, even when they're busy or just not interested in talking right then, then blame the caller for "interrupting" them? I don't think there's anything wrong with preferring to get an "are you free to talk about X?" type text or IM first, but I do think declaring it rude to get a call without one is ridiculous.
  13. Another archive night for me, so I must reiterate (on the off chance anyone involved with the J! Archive site reads here) how much I appreciate whatever changed this season that it is consistently updated daily, and early in the day. The Valentine clue belonged in the Toddler Tournament. Noblesse oblige, desert, Cher, boiling, and radiation were all varying degrees of surprising as TS, but the Hinckley TS was as shocking as last night's Mississippi TS. I was horrible in the Cast of the TV Show category; I don't watch any of the shows, and the only one I could guess based on the info in the clue was Dr. Who. I missed a couple of the Civil War clues (war history is not my bag) and could not spit out Gulf of Aden, so I had a worse first round than is typical for me. In DJ, of course I didn't know any of the religious fiction clues (and I find it offensive at least three of the five were about Judeo-Christian novels) and only correctly guessed one of the Opera Zingers clues (Don Giovanni) -- my two worst subjects! FJ came to me very quickly, but overall it was not a good game for me. Boo, hiss.
  14. I don't call anyone back who doesn't leave a message. If it's just a missed call, I figure they decided to send me an email instead, or it was something that was only relevant if I was free to talk right then, so it's now moot. When someone leaves me a message, I know what they need to talk to me about, and can thus prioritize my return calls. I have no idea. The TL;dr crowd is so averse to spending more than three seconds of their precious time on any one thing that a sentence consisting of complete words is anathema?
  15. Well, I'm three for three. But I'm also fine being considered rude in whatever bizarro world those things are rude in.
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