Tuesday, June 30, 2015

VA Wimbledon Day Two

Day Two was about the same as Day One, unfortunately. Work is really getting in the way of my embracing all things Wimbledon. I had an "English Fog" this morning and some baby scones again, but when you leave for work at 5am, it's tough to pack a proper British lunch. I did have some delicious lemon cookies, though:

A photo posted by Scarlet Rose (@scarls17) on

I did have some crisps as an afternoon snack, but dinner ended up being a takeout salad because I was in traffic on the way home for way too long. Side note, but I remember when I was in Scotland I kept eating all of my garnishes because our meals were so meat/potatoe heavy. Everything was DELICIOUS, but I craved salad and such. I love the green foods!

Tennis-wise, I'm happy with a lot of the wins (Murray, Wozniacki, Watson, etc.) and kind of shocked at some others (Bouchard, Halep). I didn't think either would make it too deep into the tournament, but first round losses were not on my bracket.

Tomorrow is going to be a goooooood VA Wimbledon day because I am off work and my only errand is to post something. I'm thinking a proper English breakfast is in order! And tea! Lots and lots of teaaaaa!


Book Boos: June

Halfway through the year and I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 47 books. Woohoo! So what did I read this month? Let's see!

6. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard. (Audio) Don't get me wrong- just because I put this book in last place doesn't mean I didn't completely enjoy it. I LOVE the show and this was a fun way to spend some commuting time. 

5. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick. (ARC) This book has a seriously good main guy character and I liked the setup for the plot. Unfortunately, I questioned a few too many things and then I was even left wondering if some conclusion had been left out. BUT I would still recommend this because I really enjoyed reading it.

4. Gathering Deep by Lisa Maxwell. (ARC) I had planned to read Lisa's first book, Sweet Unrest, before this one, but then, with the ARC about to expire, I jumped right in because I didn't want to miss out. (Have I mentioned that I am addicted to ARCs??) So, while I totally enjoyed this book and especially the characters, I kept thinking that I should stop and read the other first-I even own it! Sheesh, I'm a dufus. I'll rerank this one once I can give it its proper attention. Can I just say, though, that Lisa Maxwell has the greatest covers? <3 td="">

3. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. (ARC) I'm realizing now how much I really enjoyed all of my June books! It's so difficult to rank them. Finding Audrey was so much fun. The premise is of a serious nature, but the writing was so light and fun when it could be that it was extremely enjoyable to read. The characters are hilarious and unique and memorable. 

2. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. MacLagan. (ARC) I LOVED this book and am so so so glad I randomly picked it out from Netgalley. It called to me because of the spy element and the details in the book were so cool! I'm super impressed that this is the author's first book...and I really hope she has a sequel planned!

1. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Cool characters and interesting world-building, this book is one I highly recommend. I loved Kelsea, the heroine, and it was a great read to follow along as she found her way as the new queen. I'm on the sequel now and it's equally as fun...but (not a spoiler) some interesting things are introduced!

Monday, June 29, 2015

VA Wimbledon Day One

Like I said yesterday, since I'm not actually in London for Wimbledon, I'm bringing the Championships to me in Virginia. I have a lot of fun things planned (mostly food related) and I got my first day kicked off fairly well.

This first week, while I still have to work, will be the tougher of the two and I started off today at 530am in the Starbucks line, realizing that I had to use my free drink coupon by tomorrow. Getting tea was out of the question because those free drinks are too valuable to waste so I went with my standby: triple grande toffee nut latte...toffee is an English thing, right? To go with my drink I got a breakfast sandwich with rashers.

A photo posted by Scarlet Rose (@scarls17) on

For my mid-morning snack I had some delicious mini- scones.

A photo posted by Scarlet Rose (@scarls17) on

Lunch was kinda tough because I hadn't packed anything proper and instead had a breakfast sandwich. But, I had ginger ale and that totally counts because of Canada and all.

A photo posted by Scarlet Rose (@scarls17) on

Oh, and my British candy bar! Delish and airy!

A photo posted by Scarlet Rose (@scarls17) on

Dinner was a steak and salad, but I pretended like I had HP Sauce on it.

So, one day in and VA Wimbledon is going well. Oh, and the tennis! I almost forgot about why I'm doing this! Well, I worked during all of the live matches today, but watched what I could once home and caught some of Djokovic's match as well as Sharapova's.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Virginia Wimbledon

Back in January, when I requested off for the second week in July, it was with the extremely high hopes that I would win Wimbledon tickets in their annual ballot. Being my second year entering it, and being the insane tennis fan that I am, I had a feeling it would work out for me.

Well, it didn't. But that's okay because I am going to make the best of it and celebrate Wimbledon in Virginia! I love a challenge so I've decided that for two weeks, I'm going full on British*. I always get strawberries and cream for the finals, but this year, I am majorly upping the ante. We're talking tea, scones, meat pies, mushy peas, Pimms, more Us in my words, fewer Zs, and hopefully a lot of chips!

This is going to be FUN and I am going to document VA Wimbledon both here and on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #VAwimbledon. Follow along and let me know if you have any classic British foods I should try.

Unfortunately, I still have to work this week, so things will be a little more tough and I might have to fudge a little on some meals. But where I can, I am in 100%. Luckily, I already love tea so I'll have no problem subbing that for coffee for 14 days. I also went to both Wegmans and The British Pantry in Aldie, VA to stock up on some other treats.

The UK aisle at Wegmans.

My haul from Wegmans.

Starting on Saturday the 4th**, I am off until after the finals so I can also try to cook some British meals. Or maybe I'll just go to my favourite Irish bar every day and order bangers and mash, fish and chips, or boxty.


Also...go Andy Murray!!!!!


*This will include anything from Great Britain, of course.
**Might pause to celebrate Independence Day because otherwise, that's super awkward.

True Detective 2.2

Everyone is so clear after episode two. Or, rather, nothing is clear now.

Let's dive right in...

We start off with some major Vince Vaughn* ennui. He's laying in bed telling his woman a super depressing story about his childhood and being locked in a dark basement for days and days as his dad was on a bender. He includes the awesome detail of waking up to find a rat chewing on his hand and then killing the rat. Terrible pillow talk, VV. He's kinda freaking out, wondering if he's still in that basement now and how he feels like he's being told to "wake up".

Later on, VV finds out that Caspere died with all of his money figuratively on him. He didn't invest it in the land deals like he had promised. OMG. VV basically has nothing now. He is quick to say he cane get the money back, though. Obviously he's going to have to dabble in the illegal to do this. I guess one of his first things he does is threaten some guy who apparently runs books on Vinci sweatshops? I have no idea. There is obviously a lot of under the table business going on in Vinci: VV has a handle on Colin Firth (lol, I keep getting him confused with Farrell- can you imagine if Mr. Darcy was in this?!), VV has inside deals with city guys, and the city guys are working with other people. It's a lot to keep track of.

So, I guess VV starts to try to investigate Caspere on his own and ends up at a club, interviewing one of the girls. Turns out she went home with Caspere, not to the mansion, but to a seedy little house in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, our three cops are working on the Caspere investigation. We start off with the autopsy, which is pretty gruesome and they show Caspere's penis shot off-whoa. We get to see all of the different precincts trying to fight over the body. It's a little confusing because I honestly am not sure who is playing who. The most honest moment is when they talk to Colin Farrell and he straight up asks "Am I supposed to solve this or not?" Basically they tell him not to turn up any surprises. Allrighty then.

While we get some backstory on our detectives (Taylor's mom is a mess and he won't talk about the war, Rachel smokes e cigs and feels like she was the only one to escape from the hippie commune her dad runs, Colin is VV's little bitch and is about to lose his son), they also manage to do some legit sleuthing. They find out about Caspere's girl from the club named Tasha. They find out there was a $4k withdrawal five days ago and then Rachel figures out, via coordinates from the GPS, that Caspere was heading up north on some days.

Just a note on of my favorite moments was when Colin tells Rachel all of his dark secrets and then asks abut hers. The conversation ends with him saying that the investigation isn't supposed to work. He asks her to consider why it's just them three working on it and not a big task force. Colin speaks the truth, y'all.

All of the information gathering from the two sides comes together when VV meets up with Colin Farrell at the bar again and tells him about the side house where Caspere took his girls. He tells Colin to go there and hide anything having to do with the land dealings. Colin, who was just told he might lose his kid, pretty much tells VV that he might not have a reason to work for him again. For all of these years, VV has kept Colin under his thumb after the murder of his wife's rapist. VV does a good job of not looking freaked out and tells Colin to not talk like that.

Side note: the song being sung in the bar is "Come On" by Earl King (I think- a million people have covered it, but I think he is the original writer) and it has lines like "So many people live in make believe They keep a lot a dough up their sleeve But my love baby is not the kind that folds Come on baby, let the good times roll."

Now, the weirdest thing happens: Colin heads to the Caspere's house to check it out and there's music playing and a video recorder and then he hears something and you think he's going to  turn around and shoot someone, but...but...the weird bird man shoots Colin! Twice! OMG!

So, here are my questions about True Detective so far:

Is Colin dead?
What is happening?

*I will be using actor names! It's just easier.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

True Detective S2.1

So let's start from the end really:

These three cops (Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Colin Farrell) all want to know what happened to Caspere, a city manager who had gone missing. They're also all three pretty effed up in different ways. Let's review:
  • Rachel McAdams as Ani
    • She's a cop who has family-related issues. Her sister works at a sex-cam house, her father is the leader for some religious institute, her mother's out of the picture, she has cold relationships with men, and she apparently drinks away at least some of her problems.
  • Colin Farrell as Ray
    • I find him to be the most confusing. He's an alcoholic, pot-smoking (?) cop who has anger issues? His wife (at the time) was raped and had the child nine years ago. Now he wants more time with his son (who is bullied), which at first seems sweet, but then, after he calls the son a "fat pussy" and then later brass knuckle-punches  the father of the bully, I started to think that maybe more time with the kid wouldn't be such a good idea. 
  • Taylor Kitsch as Woodrugh
    • I think I gathered that he was a war vet? Hence the scars? He also takes being a cop very seriously sand when he gets put on paid leave (for a woman lying that he solicited a BJ to get out of a ticket), he kind of doesn't know what to do with himself. We also find out he has a very randy girlfriend, but he won't ever stay the night. 

Now, we also have Vince Vaughn as Frank Semyon who is trying to cross the line from criminal to respectable. He is closely tied to Caspere because they were in business together (?) with the California Central Rail Corridor, but he also knows Ray from years past when he gave Ray the name of who raped his wife. Is Ray just doing jobs for Frank on the side? Because when an article comes out in the paper saying the city of Vinci is possibly the "most corrupt" around, Frank sends Ray over to take care of it so another report doesn't come out.* Later in the show, Ray shows up with the reporter's laptop and notes and says he took care of. Then he drinks himself to sleep. Frank was also the one to send Ray to the lawyer about getting custody-weird.

I'm curious if the story of the missing young woman who ended up working at Ani's father's institute is part of the story or was just a way for us to find out about Ani's family.

So, why was Caspere killed? His own receptionist says that he had a hold on the "purse strings" for a lot of people. Is it over the rail corridor? Something else? Something related to Frank's past life? The sex-cam house? The bully of the kid? OMG I have no idea. It should be noted, I think, that Caspere's house was filled with really weird art and dildos and some very strange naked woman in milk sculpture thing. Whut? I did have one awesome line in my notes: "Road trip continues. It would so be like me to miss that it's Caspere in the backseat." Lol.

Sooooo what did you think?

*I think? Basically this entire review is one asterisk to "I THINK".

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Friends Review: 1.5: TOWTEGLD

THe One With The East German Laundry Detergent

  •  So we're still inthe baggy clothes era of Friends. *sigh*
  • So they start off discussing the pros of being a male or female, which ends with Ross saying, "Multiple orgasms!" I dunno, being able to pee standing up would be super convenient.
  • Chandler has a date Saturday night despite wearing a horrific sweater vest that is only buttoned at the bottom. It's truly terrible. 
  • Oh, it's with Janice. 
  • Rachel is upset because her father offered to buy her a Mercedes convertible if she moves home. Hmmm...that would be tempting. 
  • Ross is super precious trying to set up a 'date' with Rachel to do their laundry. Pro Tip: Don't mentions rats...ever. 
  • An ex of Joey's comes in, dressed like Jessica Rabbit and then she taunts him about being "just friends". I do love love love that Joey sets up a double date, but then tells Monica that she's setting her up with Angela's brother. Amazing.
  • Why does Ross have a violin on his wall? Like, as a decoration. The dinosaurs in his room are kind of funny, though.
  • At Central Perk, Phoebe and Chandler are there to break up with their significant others. Of course, Phoebe's goes super quick and Chandler's is a mess.
  • I was always super confused by the mean lady in the laundromat. What is she wearing? That hat...what? Actually, I think I always thought the title of this episode was "...East German Lady" now that I think about it.
  • Ross is precious during the laundry 'date'.  "I'll use the...gentle cycle." "Under panty things."
  • Did Ross say "whole nother"?! Yuck.
  • The restaurant scenes are so funny and they work so well. "My brother didn't even tell me when he lost his virginity." 
  • Ew! Angela eats her wings so disgustingly. But even more disgusting to Monica, who thinks they're brother and sister, is how lovey dovey the two are. So funny! She finally figures it out and she and Joey plan on breaking them up:)
  • Meanwhile...Chandler is on espresso 32890 so Phoebe breaks up with Janice for him. 
  • The moment when Ross spins Rachel around in the cart and then kisses him is perfect. He is so freaked out. It's the best. 
Ross and Rachel, throughout the beginning of Friends always represented the most real aspect of the show for me. Phoebe is just too out there at times, Chandler is a little too slap-sticky, Joey too much of a lady's man, and Monica, at times, is too high strung. And not that real people aren't all of those things, but Ross and Rachel are effortlessly real to me in these episodes. Ross trying to finagle his way into her plan to do laundry is so something I would have done. He loves her, but just can't do anything super concrete about it. It's sweet and that's why he is my favorite character...followed quite closely by Rachel, of course.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Darkness

For a happy person, I watch a lot of very dark TV.

  • The Fall is an amazing crime drama from the BBC that was filmed in and takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It stars the incredible (and incredibly hot) Jamie Dornan as a serial killer who is being tracked by Superintendent Stella Gibson, played by the amazing Gillian Anderson. The first two seasons are comprised of just 11 episodes, so it's very easy to catch up. I actually tried to spread it out and then found myself unable to stop watching the last four or so episodes. It's a slow burn, but so worth it in my opinion. Also, don't be concerned if you find yourself attracted to a serial killer- blame Jamie Dornan. 
  • Vikings. Holy hell is this an awesome show. Now in its third season (and each season is 9 or 10 episodes), this is the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, the famous Norse hero who rises to power by raiding England and generally being bad-ass. The scenery is incredible, the acting is sensational, and the story will have you on the edge of your seat. I've seen some reviews that say it's slow, but I never feel that way when watching. This show also has one of the coolest characters on any show I've ever seen: Lagertha. If you don't want to be her, then you're crazy. 
  • Pretty Little Liars is probably a surprise show to see on this list of dark series, but have you been watching? It is dark! Season six premiered last night and I felt like I was watching a horror movie. I love this show because it just doesn't care how crazy it gets. You can't watch it and try to reason the plot out- you just watch and enjoy. 
  • Game of Thrones- Duh. This show brings me so much joy. I think the very high production value + great acting + great costumes + awesome story lines is what keeps me so obsessed. Oh, and Jon Snow. I feel like the first few seasons were very much "omg who is going to die now?!" as things were set up and now it's just watching to see how things play out. I haven't read the books (I like to read after I watch), but since the show writers are doing their own thing, that doesn't matter as much anymore. I still get nervous every single week that my favorites (Jon Snow, Sansa, Tyrion) are going to die, but it wouldn't be Game of Thrones if I could watch without some dread.
  • Outlander has been such a treat for me. I absolutely adore this show. Of course I started watching it because it's about Scotland and a hottie Scotsman, but what's kept me totally engrossed is the story and the acting...not to mention the incredible chemistry between Jamie and Claire. The show, which has some heart-warming romantic moments, is also quite dark at times. There has been some criticism over some of the scenes, but everything is handled so well and so smartly, that I have never had a complaint. 

Monday, June 01, 2015

Red Reviews: June 2015

Time for new magazines!

9. This is a striking cover but once you look at it for too long, you notice that the white starts to blend in with her outfit and her hair looks super weird. The movement is nice, but it starts to be distracting. I love the dress she is in. 
8. A nice cover. It doesn't offend me, but it also doesn't excite me. 
7. I like the very face-forward pose and I even think she looks a tiny bit like Elizabeth Olsen in this stance. The bright red is great for a June cover, isn't it? Pastels are so often used and pastels are gross.
6. Love Anna Kendrick. I mean, who doesn't? I like this dress and the color scheme of the layout, but her expression just doesn't captivate me. I need a little more smirk. 
5. Also love Mindy Kaling! And this dress, and the way it matches the top, is so good. Kind of like Glamour's cover, I need a little more life in her expression.
4. UK Vogue is always knocking it out of the park, in my opinion. I looooove the inclusion of the beach and the full body, but relaxed pose. And orange! Love.
3. Taylor Swift is a goddess. I love her so much and I am SO glad she has grown into such a fashionable, smart, talented person. Major props for this cover and it's boldness of 1) the outfit, 2) covering up of ELLE and 3) the dead space left alone by her pose. (It was difficult to not type "dead space between her legs"-Yikes!)
2. I love Kristen Stewart, you guys. I think she's an awesome actress and her fashion spreads are always great. See how her eyes are really piercing? That's what I want from the other covers. The only negative for me on this cover is the amount of pastel pink. Wow!
1. Everything about this cover speaks to me. The colors are amazing- the icy blue against the soft background. Her hair looks amazing and even has movement in the shot. Her eyes are so beautiful and piercing that I feel like I'm looking at an HD TV. And her pose, which is exceptional and anchors everything together in just the right way to highlight how gorgeous she is. I. Love. This. (Also, definitely pick up this issue because the main spread is beautiful, too.)