My top 10 Drag Race Queens

So tomorrow is the season premier of what is possibly the greatest show ever made, RuPaul’s Drag Race. I only discovered this incredible reality show about three months ago but I am already on my second viewing of the first six seasons. I am not sure what it is about watching a group of fieeeeeeeeerce drag queens compete against each other that is so fabulous but it just is and it’s reminded me that I really kind of wish that I could be a drag queen – curse actually being born as a woman instead of getting to be a man dressed as a woman. Anyway not all queens are created equal and these are my most loved from the six seasons so far.

Yara Sofia

Yara Sofia
Season: 3
Placed: 4th
This little Puerto Rican pocket rocket is as mad as a bag of frogs and as fishy as well a kettle of fish!
Catchphrase: Echa pa’lante!

Sharon NeedlesSharon Needles
Season: 4
Placed: Won
Sharon took flack from some of the other girls for being too, weird and out there but I loved her unique take on drag.
Catchphrase: When in doubt, freak ‘em out.
“I have ‘dignity’ looks and ‘paycheck’ looks. Dignity is when I will not bend, for anyone. I don’t care if I make a dollar, I’m doin what I’m doin. Then there’s times the electric’s about to shut off so I dress up like Lady GaGa.”

Shangela

Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Season: 2/3
Placed: Last (season 2), 6th (season 3)
Shangela crashed and burned in season 2 but she came back and proved everyone wrong in season 3.
Catchphrase: Halleloo!
“They attacked me with knives. I don’t attack with knives. I attack with strategy.”

Raven

Raven
Season: 2
Placed: Second
Raven is as cool as a cucumber and takes no shit from anybody.
“I think I can sell ice to an Eskimo, but, not dressed as a fucking chicken.”

Manila Luzon

Manila Luzon
Season: 3
Placed: Second
I  loved Manila’s zany comedy and her willingness to push the envelope.
Catchphrase: WERK!
“Oh, I’m so glad you covered up your face.”

Latrice Royale

Latrice Royale
Season: 4
Placed: 4th
This ex-con is the last person you’d ever imagine would look good in a dress but damn she was fierce!
Catchphrase: Eat it!
“She is large and in charge, chunky, yet funky. Bold and Beautiful baby.”

Jujubee

Jujubee
Season: 2
Placed: 3rd
Jujubee was both fierce and hilarious and she always looked gorgeous.
Catchphrase: Do you catch my drift?
“Tyra, she believes she’s Beyonce. And she doesn’t want to hurt Beyonce’s feelings because somehow Beyonce pays her bills.”

Jinkx Monsoon

Jinkx Monsoon
Season: 5
Placed: Won
Jinkx was an underdog throughout but her incredible comic timing made her a force to be reckoned with and she was so damn charming.
Catchphrase: Water off a duck’s back.
“I tried to tease it but I just pissed it off”

Bianca Del Rio

Bianca Del Rio
Season: 6
Placed: Won
Bianca’s lightning quick wit meant she had the best oneliners but she also proved regularly that she had a heart of gold.
Catchphrase: Baloney!
“Calm Down, Beyonce!

Adore_Delano_fave

Adore Delano
Season: 6
Placed: 2nd
Adore was just so incredibly cute and dumb and vulnerable. I just wanted to hug her all the time.
Catchphrase: Party!
“I’m from Azusa. I’ll stab a bitch.”

Film Friday #220

Selma (2014)

Selma follows the life of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jnr (David Oyelowo) in the lead up to a groundbreaking march for equal access to the ability to vote for African-Americans. As someone with a limited knowledge of US history, I didn’t know much about King apart from the fact that he was influential, he made a famous speech and he was tragically shot, so this film was a powerful introduction into just how much impact he had and I have to admit I was blown away. My connection with this true story might in some way be related to the fact that I grew up in a place with a history of racial segregation and oppression but whatever it was, I was deeply touched. A lot of this has to come down to the performances, particularly from Oyelowo who was absolutely shafted when it comes to an Oscar nomination because I could not take my eyes off him. He is ably supported by Carmen Ejogo, playing his stoic wife, Coretta – always consigned to playing second best to the movement, as well as, Tom Wilkinson playing President Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth playing the Governor of Alabama. I liked that the film didn’t portray King as a saint, refusing to shy away from his infidelities, insecurities and willingness to do whatever it took – even if that sometimes meant the loss of innocent lives. A lot has been said about the idea that Johnson is portrayed as a villain but as an outsider to the actual history to me he just came across as someone with a lot on his plate trying to balance everything. I am very glad that I managed to see Selma in advance of the Oscars as it’s definitely one of my favourites for 2015. 5/5

hgurhguiir

Do you know who I am? I’m fucking Oprah! Put me down!

Cake (2014)

When Nina (Anna Kendrick), a fellow member of Claire Bennett’s (Jennifer Aniston) chronic pain support group commits suicide, Claire finds herself obsessing about Nina’s life. To some extent Claire is jealous of Nina because she’s escaped yet she cannot bring herself to to do the same. As the bitter, disconnected, pill-popping Claire sleepwalks through her life she forms rather odd friendship with Nina’s husband, Roy (Sam Worthington) as well as dragging her long-suffering housekeeper/carer, Silvana (Adriana Barraza) on a series of random adventures. There are some issues with Cake. It’s slow-moving, Worthington is as wooden as ever and some of the direction around the effect of Claire’s pain medication on her vision and perception is a little bit obvious. On the other hand, Aniston’s performance is impressive. She makes you believe that every movement she is making is agonising and as more and more of the circumstances of her accident are revealed she moves from being very difficult to like to a deeply sympathetic character. Overall I found Cake to be a touching study of grief, blame, loss and ultimately hope. 3.5/5

What do you mean i don't  look like a twenty-five year old stripper?

What do you mean i don’t look like a twenty-five year old stripper anymore?

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Minutes after being released from prison, master thief, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) decides to bring together a team to take on the biggest heist of his career – knocking over three Las Vegas casinos in one night. The crew includes, Basher (Don Cheadle) – a British demolitions expert, a pair of Mormon brothers (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) – who never stop arguing, a Chinese acrobat (Shaobo Qin), the legendary Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), pickpocket, Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) and Danny’s right hand man, the permanently hungry Rusty (Brad Pitt). It won’t be easy though. The three casinos are owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), known not only for having an unbeatable security system but also for exacting brutal retribution on anyone who crosses him. But is the job really about the big score or is it about the fact that Terry is dating Danny’s ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts)? The reason this excellent crime caper is so enjoyable is threefold. Firstly it’s packed with outstanding performances and an electric chemistry within its ensemble cas . Secondly its dialogue is sharp, witty and clever. And finally it balances exposition and suspense perfectly. The audience is only ever half in on what is happening so every twist in the story hooks you even further… plus we all secretly love the idea of a bunch of clever guys getting one over on a a dodgy fat cat. The only real downside is Cheadle’s horrific British accent. It’s so bad he could have had a lead role in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I mean I love Cheadle but why they didn’t just hire Idris Elba is anyone’s guess. I haven’t seen the original but this remake is definitely worthy of its classic status. 4/5

Let's hurry this up! Downtown Abbey is about to start.

Let’s hurry this up! Downtown Abbey is about to start.

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

Chris Parker’s (Elisabeth Shue) boyfriend stands her up so she decides to take a babysitting job looking after Thor-obsessed, Sara (Maia Brewton). Sara’s brother, Brad (Keith Coogan) is supposed to be staying over at his friend, Daryl’s (Anthony Rapp) house but once the two realise the sexy, Chris is going to be there for the evening they decide to stay in. Chris settles herself in for a quiet night but it’s not long before her friend, Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) calls her to say that she’s run away from home, regretted it and is now stuck at the bus station in the city needing a ride. Against her better judgement, Chris bundles the kids into the car and heads into central Chicago. Throughout the night the gang will face crazed mechanics, a chop shop, a subway gang, frat boys and the blues… but will they make it back before their parents do? Adventures in Babysitting is so very 80’s it hurt, which is awesome – especially if you grew up in the 80’s like I did. And I loved the fact that Sara wanted to be Thor rather than some kind of princess. On the downside there are some things that have not dated as well. There are a lot of homophobic jokes in this movie that made me cringe and the way that Chris  eventually gets the money to get her mother’s car back seemed a bit dodgy.. as did the weird subplot that she was the doppleganger of a Playboy centrefold but if you can get past that and enjoy it as a “period” piece, you’ll probably have just much fun as I did. 3/5

What do you mean these clothes won't be back in style until 2006?

What do you mean these clothes won’t be back in style until 2006?

Welcome all wankers

All bloggers occasionally fall into the trap of looking at the search terms that have lead people to the little corner of the internet that they call home. Recently I have fallen into the same trap.

It turns out that my blog is pretty popular with wankers (see red underlined terms)… probably my own fault because of this post. So I’d just like to say welcome to all masturbation fans. Please bring your own tissues. I apologise for the lack of gifs and videos but we keep it classy here.

There is some other very weird stuff going on here too (see blue underlined items). To all of you I apologise because there’s a pretty good chance you didn’t find what you were looking for here because I don’t recall ever doing any posts on Patrick Stump’s penis, (non-existent) connections between Nazi’s, Gogol Bordello and mustaches or Tom Cruise t-shirts. Good luck on your future endeavours.

SearchWTF

Things I have been cooking lately #104: Spicy lentil bake

This lentil bake is sort of reminiscent of a moussaka but with more Middle Eastern flavours. The base recipe that I built this on showed the different layers as all being beautifully separate but when I cut into this it all kind of glooped together. That didn’t make it any less tasty though and I quite liked the fact that it all merged into a delicious goo. Of course that made it a nightmare to photograph so please don’t let the rather bland photo put you off, if you’re looking for a filling, healthy vegetarian dish, this is a knock out.

Spicy lentil bake

Very loosely inspired by this recipe on One Green Planet

2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 spring onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
500g pre-cooked green lentils
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of harissa pasta
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
A handful of chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 cup water
Salt
Pepper

For the cheese sauce
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 handfuls of cheese

For the layers
1 aubergines
2 courgettes

2 extra cups of cheese

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions until lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry until also golden. Add the red pepper and harissa and cook until the red pepper has softened. Add the lentils and mix well. Then add the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 20 minutes.

While that’s on the go, slice the aubergines and courgettes lengthwise and cook them in your griddle pan until you have the nice grill lines on them. Set aside.

Then make the cheese sauce. Heat the olive oil until runny. Then remove from the heat and stir in the flour and a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time and mix well after each addition ensuring that there are no lumps. Return to the heat, stirring continuously until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add the cheese and stir over the heat until you have a smooth sauce.

In a large baking dish spread half the lentils. Then a layer of cheese sauce. Then a layer of courgette and aubergine. Followed by a layer of lentils, a layer of courgette and aubergine and a final layer of cheese sauce. Then top with the additional cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serves 6 – 8

wpid-img_20150221_194631.jpg

My top 10 Oscar predictions – how did I do?

The Oscars are over for another year and  I know the question on all of your lips is… how did I do on predictions for the 10 categories I actually cared about? (Spoiler: it’s not good).

oscars-2014-nominees

Writing – best adapted screenplay

What did I want to win?
“Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

What did I think would win?
“Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

What actually won?
“The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore

Thoughts?
I haven’t actually seen The Imitation Game so I can’t comment on how good it was but I am sad for Whiplash, which was great.

Writing – original screenplay

What did I want to win?
“Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

What did I think would win?
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

What actually won?
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Thoughts?
Birdman
 was really good but I desperately wanted Nightcrawler to win so I’m disappointed.

Supporting actor

What did I want to win?
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

What did I think will win?
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

What actually won?
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

Thoughts?
Anything else would have been a travesty!

Supporting actress

What did I want to win?
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”

What did I think would win?
Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

What actually won?
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”

Thoughts?
I am just so glad Meryl Streep didn’t win and Patricia Arquette was great in Boyhood. 

Actor

What did I want to win?
Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

What did I think would win?
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

What actually won?
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

Thoughts?
No surprise here and I thought Eddie Redmayne was amazing in The Theory of Everything so I can’t complain.

Actress

What did I want to win?
Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”

What did I think would win?
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”

What actually won?
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”

Thoughts?
I don’t think this was a surprise to anyone. Still Alice hasn’t been released in the UK yet so I can’t comment on Moore’s performance.

Cinematography

What did I want to win?
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman

What did I think would win?
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman

What actually won?
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki

Thoughts?
As much as I enjoyed Birdman it wasn’t as beautiful as Grant Budapest Hotel.

Film Editing

What did I want to win?
“Whiplash” Tom Cross

What did I think would win?
“Whiplash” Tom Cross

What actually won?
“Whiplash” Tom Cross

Thoughts?
I am really pleased with this result, the editing on Whiplash is a big part of what made it so exciting.

Director

What did I want to win?
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater

What did I think would win?
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater

What actually won?
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Thoughts?
I know Boyhood has been passed off as gimmicky but I think what Linklater pulled off was astounding and I am disappointed that he didn’t win the Oscar.

Picture

What did I want to win?
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater

What did I think would win?
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater

What actually won?
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers

Thoughts?
Look, I am just happy American Sniper didn’t win.

Score: 5/10 actual predictions, 3/10 on what I hoped would win.

So what do you think? Did the Academy got it right?