Saturday Morning Brain Drain [19/9/20]

What I watched: The first episode of Crazy Delicious, a newish cooking show on Netflix. Well, It was certainly no Great British Bake Off, whose season 11 starts the 25th in the US, and I can’t wait for more of the Paul Hollywood supercilious sneer. However, Crazy Delicious did follow the basic cooking contest formula. To tell you the truth, it was fun to hate-watch it.

So, the show’s schtick is that the food must be fantastical, and ingredients are found throughout the magical set environs, all of which are edible. I found the set to be gaudy, overpowering, crowded, twee, and confusing – but I have depth-perception vision issues so it may have looked worse to me than it does to you.

There is little actual cooking, and few of the results looked appetizing. For example, the pile of black rounds pictured above is a pizza homage, featuring cheese and sauce filled dough balls colored with charcoal and piled into a volcano shape, then covered in pizza sauce lava and finished with a grade school-like application of dry ice. And do not even get me started on the contestant who sang with her food presentation…

The judges seemed to be talented chefs of some renown. I hope that they are getting paid well for participation.

Should you watch it? Well, are you into searing your eyeballs and yelling at the television? If so, this show is for you!

(Disclaimer: I am the worst person to suggest things to watch, I am super-fussy. I did enjoy watching a bunch of Affinity software how-to videos for work this week, but that doesn’t count, eh?)

What I read: I’ve been reading cocktail recipe books. It’s not like I can have a drinks party anytime soon, but this author is a friend of a friend, and her two books are little gems. They are Gin Made Me Do It and Winter Warmers: 60 Cosy Cocktails for Autumn and Winter. While available as eBooks, I chose the hardcover versions. Each cocktail has a fun illustration, quite suitable for framing and hanging in your home entertainment area, if you are willing to slice up your book. The recipes are accessible (none of them require you to go forage to make your own shrub) and many were new to me.

So here is a delicious example: Satan’s Whiskers. Take ½ oz dry gin, ½ oz red vermouth, ½ oz white vermouth, ¼ oz Grand Marnier or orange curaçao, ½ oz fresh orange juice, 3 dashes orange bitters. Add to shaker filled with ice, shake to chill, pour into a coup glass and garnish with an orange peel.

I may have tripled the recipe and made two shakers full the other evening during a Zoom get together. (I rarely drink unless entertaining, so this was a party!) Sadly, by the time I was shaking the shaker to pour a glass from the second batch, my finger slipped off the top of it and there was a flying ice cube incident all over the den. (And wouldn’t The Flying Ice Cube Incident be a great punk rock band name?)

Should you read this? Yes! It can be excellent source material while you plan a post-pandemic get-together for 2021…or 2022…or 2023.

What I listened to this week: On repeat, the full May 2020 album by The Neverly Boys, The Dark Side of Everything.

And Never Come Down, a song about the worst birthday ever:

Red Flag:

Let Love in

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, what’s up with you? What’s going on? What did you watch, read, or listen to this week? Is everyone doing okay? Have you any fun weekend plans? Do tell!

About Elliecoo 522 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. watching and reading…uhhh nada…mostly on account of i still cant see properly (well…today i seem to have aquired the ability to see in focus and blurry at the same time…its breaking my head a little)
    and listening

    oh look..a local :p

    • Hi Farscythe, glad to hear that your eye is improving! Maybe your eye is seeing clearly, but the ointment is blurring your vision? I really liked that local – and yet another song goes on my unwieldy playlist. Have a good weekend.

      • could be that i guess i dunno..its hurts more than it did yesterday..but i see better…dont know what to make of it *shrugs* ill just keep following doctors orders and see where we are by the time the ointment runs out
        you have a good weekend too 🙂

  2. In between NBA games, I’ve been watching A.P. Bio.  It is really funny and Glenn Howerton’s character is very similar to his character in Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    I’ve been listening to and downloading a bunch of old Jazz Butcher stuff


    Today is the wife’s birthday, air quality is finally better but that is because of rain.   Girls and I will make her exercise (she gets grumpy if she doesn’t do that), we will clean the house, and cook her a nice Furakake Ahi w/ wasabi cream sauce for dinner.

  3. Good morning Deadsplinter. I’m sure most of us don’t feel like engaging in our usual Saturday chit chat. But maybe it’s what we need.

    The cocktail books sound perfect for my daughter, I’m going to order both. She’d love the Satan’s Whiskers. I’ll make it for her when she comes to watch horror movies on Halloween.

    I started watching Derry Girls, Cousin Matthew recommended it on a DUAN. It’s very funny.  Since I haven’t starting reading anything new yet I’ll suggest a book I read a couple of years ago that is also about growing up during The Troubles. Milkman by Anna Burns is a darkly comic novel about the effects of living with ongoing trauma. It’s brilliant, one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

    Listening to Vasto by Cabaret Voltaire off their upcoming new release due out in November. WARNING ELLIE – your dogs will hate it.


    I’m not doing anything fun this weekend, laundry, grocery shopping, avoiding the news. Maybe toss in some heavy drinking and/or depression napping. 

    • Hi Hannibal, I will add Milkman to my list. We are hosting my Mother-in-law for lunch today, to celebrate her birthday which was yesterday. I’ve not seen her since the holidays. She is not practicing pandemic safety, and has enough medical issues that she should be. She is a dramatic extrovert with good intentions, but leans toward a Pentecostal biblical point of view. Masks on! Happy weekend to you.

    • This is very late but I have to jump in and talk about Derry Girls. My love for it knows no bounds. The Other Half doesn’t get it. “You’re not Catholic, you’re not a girl, and you’ve never been to Ireland, let alone Northern Ireland. Why do they all hate each other? Why is that nun named Michael? When is this supposed to take place? Do you think it’s really like that?”
      There are two seasons available. During the final episode of Season 2 things wrap up nicely BUT I’ve heard it was such a hit that they are making/have made a third series. Global pandemic-related delays got in the way, I guess.
      I’m looking forward to Season 4 of “The Crown.” It’s supposed to be released on Netflix in mid-November. The royal family has never said anything publicly about it but “royal watchers” in Britain have plenty to say/speculate about it. We meet Diana, and she’s like the third rail among “royal watchers.” A side circus to all of this is Harry and Meghan’s lucrative Netflix deal. The Princes William and Harry are very protective about their mother, Diana, so there’s anticipation that Harry might have something to say. The Harry/Meghan abandonment of royal duties was spurred in part, supposedly, by what happened to Diana, and Harry didn’t want Meghan to suffer the way his mother did.
      “Royal watchers” have pointed out two things.
      1: the Spencers (that’s Diana) have been floating around the British royal family for centuries. The Spencers are more noble and go back much further than than the current line of occupants of the throne. Prince Charles dated Diana’s older sister, Sarah, and she apparently broke it off because she didn’t want to be the wife of the heir to the throne. It took Charles a while to get married, he had no lack of women who would have gladly stepped into the role, but he settled on Sarah’s younger sister. He was marrying up in a way. His father, Prince Philip, served nobly in the British navy during World War II and was royal-ish himself via the deposed Greek monarchy but there’s a German side and his sisters were, pretty much, high-living Nazis. This is alluded to in The Crown. His wife, QEII, is a Hanoverian, descended from a noble German family, and her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha. Upon her insistence the family took that as a last name, not that the British royal family really uses last names, and that it was until her grandson, George V, changed the name to Windsor, entirely made up, during World War I, to take off the edge of how German they were. For that matter, Prince Philip’s last name is actually Battenberg, former dynastic rulers of Hesse, in Germany, which was anglicized to Mountbatten. Where was I? Oh yes…
      2. Meghan Markle, though not Spencer-ish so a stranger to the ways of the royal family, was not unacquainted with fame and celebrity and might have guessed what was in store for her. She might have under-appreciated how vicious the British media and public can be. Biracial divorced American woman? So I don’t envy her, and the Harry/Meghan marriage has devolved into this story of hapless, dim Harry being led by the nose by this scheming, manipulative, social climbing foreigner.  The fact that they holed up near Vancouver, then Beverly Hills, and now in Montecito, has kind of sealed their fate I think. Just when the British royal family was getting back to the popularity they enjoyed up until around 1990, and the growing acceptance of Camilla, Prince Charles’s second wife, as…not a queen, I forget what her title will be…there is now a great and growing sentiment of republicanism, and once QEII dies just get rid of the monarchy once and for all. 
      Thanks for listening to my TED Talk. If you need me I’ll be reading British tabloids and taking notes.

      • …not exactly up on my tabloid reading, I confess…but I think you must take good notes because I’m pretty sure I know brits who’d do a worse job on that TED talk

        …the thing about it that still strikes me as tragic is that they almost certainly could have improved their standing in the public eye had they brought Harry & Meghan into the fold rather than estrange them the way they have…famously the last time an american divorcée married into the family it meant her husband renouncing the throne so there probably are/were some people who would have objected to even the potential that they’d be next in line in the event that something happened to the older brother…but he has a son so I believe Harry isn’t actually next in line & really they could have rolled with it

        …so all in all I don’t think I buy the line that he’s just doing what she’s leading him into…I think it’s entirely more likely that he’s done pretty much what he’s wanted to since he was a kid but didn’t know how to on his own…& I guess I hope it works out for them?

        • Harry is sixth in line to the throne, I believe. He hasn’t been stripped of his title so I think he’s still on the list. It will go to Charles, and then to William, and then to any of his three children, the oldest being George. They changed the rules of succession so now if George dies, sometime in the 22nd century because they all seem to live forever nowadays, and he doesn’t have children it will go to Charlotte, the middle daughter. 
          If it were the 1950s and something happened to Charles the throne would have passed to his sister, Anne, eventually. But then Andrew came along in 1960 and he would have become the heir presumptive. This is another  republicanism talking point. Imagine Orgy Island Andrew on the throne. Not out of the realm of possibility in that scepter’d realm.

  4. Hi Loveshaq, happiest of birthdays to your Missus! Your Furakake Ahi w/ wasabi cream sauce sounds like a FYCE post waiting to happen…or you could at least PM me your spice mix and wasabi cream? Pretty please? We got rid of network TV a few years back, as our local cable is a wildly over-priced monopoly (we kept Amazon, the Fire Stick, and Netflix). So I bet I can’t see A. P. Bio, which looked like something I would enjoy. Happy weekend to you.

  5. Because I am always far too mentally exhausted and emotionally drained for much of anything new, I rarely watch much that demands my attention anymore. 
    So my most recent viewings include the recap of an Aussie YT car-dude, Benny’s Custom Works, who has shipped his car over to the US to compete in Drag Week for the past two years. Drag Week, for those who are less auto-enthusiastic, is a week-long multi-venue event where participants must drive their drag racing vehicles to each track and must carry their gear and spares with them using their race car. No support vehicles are allowed. And all cars must be “road legal”. How road legal a 6-second 1/4 drag car is actually is debatable.  
    I’ve also been making my way through the first series of Bubblegum Crisis, a campy, noir, retrofuturistic Anime released from 1987-1991. It’s wonderfully dated, nonsensical, and a bit dumb. The heroines are friends, who might be in a band (that detail seems to have been lost along the way), who are also part of a secret crime-fighting organization who use mech suits and motorcycle-transformers to stop the evil multinational conglomerates from building cybernetic robot-human hybrid vampires(?). Like I said, it’s a bit silly. I found the first few episodes on YT, which are still in Japanese with subtitles. The full first series along with the much longer follow up series are also on Tubi. The ads on YT are insufferable, but the Tubi episodes are dubbed, and hilariously poorly. The voice acting is so, so bad. 
    And I’ve been listening to that Essential Mix I linked to earlier this week. I seriously have not heard anything so wonderful in a very long time. It’s two hours of continuous bliss. If you like drum & bass, or electronic music at all, I cannot more highly recommend giving it a listen. 


      • I was just reading about the scourge of drag racing in The Bronx. I assumed they meant the various houses and balls and vogue-ing, etc., but no, they meant kids on really loud dirt bikes racing up and down residential streets at all hours. We have the dirt bikers too and they’re a huge pain in the ass but with the weather turning colder I’m sure this will calm down.

  6. I love that i just read this “from building cybernetic robot-human hybrid vampires”. Puts a whole new spin on current events…was the first one named Mitch? Happy weekend!

  7. Someone suggested this (perhaps Cousin Matthew too…) and I’ve been going through it this week. It’s super charming, pretty light, and the scenery is beautiful. Good escapism…

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