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i like your moxie, sassafras!

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"Cary Elwes went ballooning."
composition, brave, live, arcadia
Hi, everybody!

Once again, putting up a post before the length of it becomes prohibitive. So, behind the cuts, the story of my family's sad attempt at Thanksgiving, my thoughts on Suits, a play-by-play of Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway and a couple of thoughts from tonight's "A Conversation with Gary Oldman," to which I brought the lovely alizarin_nyc who adorably elbowed me when Benedict Cumberbatch's name came up.

Okay, Thanksgiving first. My family doesn't really celebrate this holiday, my dad coming to this country only in 1973 and my mom in 1975 and going back to India to have me. So no pilgrims and only the other kind of Indians in our story. But my mom's birthday is the 30th, so we try to use the holiday as an excuse to celebrate her day. Anyway, she and my brother were supposed to drive up here from New Jersey together but that got derailed - between whispers of a blind date and then a late conference call on Wednesday, it turned out that they were going to have to come to my place separately. And of course my mom, though I told her all I needed her to bring was a couple of blankets, brought a lot of food. Meanwhile, she told me that my brother had invited a couple of friends of his and their THREE-WEEK OLD INFANT to my apartment without asking me or even mentioning it to me. So that was fun. She showed up Tuesday morning, he came Wednesday night. In the meantime, while I was at work on Tuesday, my mom started cooking things even though I explicitly said that I had everything planned so that I really only needed to do an hour of prep work on Thursday morning before putting everything in the oven. So she started making things in advance, not using any of the recipes I put aside. Also fun. In any case, his friends never showed up and we ended up having a nice, relaxed meal: my baked tofu (pressed, drizzled with olive oil, honey, crushed red pepper, onion flakes, and sea salt); polenta with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and garlic; asparagus with butter and lemon; roasted brussels sprouts; roasted spiced chick peas; vegan hoppin' john; mint brownies (for him, as I can't stand mint); and good old regular brownies. And he'd brought both seasons 2 and 3 of The West Wing, which is ideal family fare, and season 1 of Suits.

So, Suits - it's the show that USA premiered this past summer. The premise is blindingly stupid, but the show is actually kind of compelling. Mike Ross is a brainy conman expelled from college who convinces top lawyer Harvey Specter to take him on as an associate. There's all sorts of other crap happening, and Mike really is kind of a weenie, but Gabriel Macht, who plays Harvey, is charming and has a brilliant smile and killer bone structure and gorgeous eyes; the actress playing Harvey's assistant is awesome; Rick Hoffman plays an excellent adversary; and, most importantly, GINA TORRES plays the head of the law firm. I can't honestly recommend the show because there is so much of Mike being a weenie and a really tiresome love triangle, BUT Harvey is a very compelling character - he's ethical and competent and hilariously dorky in unexpected ways (his "Rocky" impression is worth your time, seriously). Plus I find it ridiculously endearing when fictional characters laugh at jokes, their own and others', and Harvey gives good laugh, all eye-crinkly and beaming. And Jessica (GINA TORRES) is a badass in high heels.

I took my mom to Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway for her birthday. Man alive, Hugh Jackman is hot in person and a born entertainer. I jotted some notes on my phone when I got home after the show, and I'll try to recreate as much of the show as I can.

He talked a lot about his family - dad, siblings, wife, kids. He said the "only time" his wife has ever been wrong was when she rolled her eyes at his audition script for X-Men, which said something like Wolverine knew something was wrong - his nostrils flared. She apparently didn't get the poetry of nostril-flaring. He went to the first audition fresh from playing Curly in Oklahoma! He put up a picture of the ghastly perm he was working for the role, saying that he can't look at it without thinking he looks exactly like his sister Zoe.

He showed a photo of himself at 12 standing on a track, just one long bony-kneed line - no muscles whatsoever - topped with a big smile and a mop of wavy chestnut hair. So adorable. Then he said that he'd shown that picture when he did the show in Toronto and one of the band from that show pointed out that peeking out from Hugh's wee little athletic shorts was the dangling end of a jock strap. Simultaneous facepalm from Hugh and the entire audience.

He told a story about singing at Carnegie Hall and his dad saying he wanted to come frm Sydney to see him perform. Hugh told his dad it was a black-tie event and found out at the last minute that it wasn't. He caught his dad just before the performance and explained that it wasn't black tie but his dad showed up in a tuxedo anyway. When he asked why, his dad said, "My son is singing at Carnegie Hall, of course I'm wearing a tuxedo." Such an awwww moment.

So, no surprise, Hugh Jackman can really move. Those hips are happy to shake, those legs are long and limber. He did some sexy moves, popping a squat while rolling his hips very seductively for a good two minutes - "How you doing, sir?" he asked in the middle of it to a man in the front row.

He referenced the Muppets (Statler and Waldorf) by referring to some people in the balcony seats. He dropped the word "chutzpah," which was hilariously endearing. He mocked Rick Perry by pretending to forget the third on a list of three, taunted NBA fans by dribbling a basketball for ten seconds and saying that was all the action they were going to see that season, and referenced Milli Vanilli. He mentioned that he was going to be playing Jean Valjean in the upcoming Les Miserables film - finally a JV I can like! - and was generally naughty and adorable.

He brought an audience member up on stage for a song and dance, did a tap routine, and sang songs including "Rock Island" from The Music Man (playing ALL the salesmen), "Luck Be a Lady," "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," "Mack the Knife," "Tenterfield Saddler," "My Boy Bill," "Fever," "Singin' in the Rain," and "Gotta Dance." What a rich voice he's got. I need to see him share the stage with Sutton Foster in a big Broadway musical.

And in the end, he auctioned off (for Broadway Cares) his undershirt - top bid was $10,000 and second-highest was $7,000, so he took them both - he wore one undershirt in Act I and another in Act II. The lady behind the latter bid asked if he'd throw in a kiss to which he said, "Yeah, what the hell? Of course I'll kiss you." He's a star, deservedly so.

and I went to hear Gary Oldman being interviewed tonight. (The title of this post is a quote from him on the prep Francis Ford Coppola had his actors doing for Dracula.) The interviewer could have been better - listened to GO's answers before asking repetitive questions - but it was an interesting evening. GO gave thoughtful and honest answers, including confessing that he took the role of Dracula just to be able to say the line, "I've crossed oceans of time for you." He talked about themes of his career, did impressions of various actors and directors, and made a joke about what was "behind the veil" he passed through as Sirius Black (the answer? Batman.) It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours, and I got to pimp Touching Evil (US) to alizarin_nyc and chat about our Yuletide fics.

I'm drafting my Yuletide fic using Written? Kitten!, which gives you a new picture of a kitten for every 100 words that you write. It's surprisingly motivating. I've got over 1200 words after one evening on the site.

So, how are you all doing? Who's excited about Yuletide or holidays or anything else? I'm thinking of rewatching season 1 of Veronica Mars - I miss that world and those characters. But I'm also open to suggestions for things I should watch that you've loved.

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Suits. I love that silly show, and for all the reasons you mentioned. Gina Torres shines in anything she's in and Donna, assistant extraordinaire is such a pleasure to watch. Gabriel Macht makes me melt. That man can wear a suit like no one else I've ever seen. He's gorgeous. Throw in the Harvey super competent smart, sneaky thing and I'm gone.

Hugh Jackman live. I'm not sure I'd survive it. I'd probably implode.

Your tofu sounds yummy. I've gotta try that.:)

I am pretty much the furthest thing possible from a fashionista/clotheshorse, but I always look long and hard at what Harvey and Jessica are wearing, because they wear them so well.

Hugh Jackman live was worth every penny!

The tofu is really easy and yummy. Just press a block of extra-firm tofu for at least 30 minutes to get rid of excess water, then chop it into cubes and scatter them in a pan and drizzle the aforementioned over the cubes. Stick it in a 350 or 375 degree oven for at least 45 minutes, until the cubes are toasty tan/brown.

Your Thanksgiving meal sounds delicious! I keep thinking that I'll make something interesting to take for myself when I go my mom's, but I always end up just having a Tofurkey. Which I enjoy and is nicely analogous to what everybody else is eating, but your tofu sounds much nicer. :)

And I agree with you on Suits. However, I'm such a h/c girl that Mike being a weenie is okay with me because it's led people to write a bunch of id-fic that, while not often high-quality, is enjoyable. But yes! Gabriel Macht! Gina Torres! Pretty red-haired woman!

The thing is, I do want to like Mike, and occasionally, I do. But I'm not a h/c girl, so I just want him to be quiet most of the time.

Tofu "recipe" given above!

oooo! I wish I'd seen Gary Oldman with you guys!

I felt the same way about Suits--I kinda loved the first half of the season...and then gradually lost interest...

(the boys and I watched the first episode of Grimm tonight, which we enjoyed, even though my ten-year-old pronounced it a cheesy mashup of everything from Percy Jackson to Harry Potter--not that he considered that necessarily a bad thing).

ps: now it turns out we might be in NYC for my dad's 75th bday ~1/20. I'll keep you posted!

I wish you had been there tonight too!

I thought Suits got stronger as the season progressed, but I also had all the files on my computer, courtesy of the little brother. If I'd been watching week to week or even on DVD, I might not have bothered.

I haven't tried or gotten hooked on any new show except for Up All Night, which is gently charming most of the time and absolutely hilarious about 5% of the time. So if the cheesiness of Grimm, which I suspected from the ads, has now been confirmed, I'm going to sit that one out as well.

Ooh, yes, 1/20 sounds like it would work!

I've heard such good things about Up All Night, but I don't think I can watch it due to close-to-home-ness.

The awesome and non-cheesy show of the season is Homeland--have you tried that? (New Yorker review)

Will keep you posted on the NYC visit!

I honestly had never thought of UAN as triggering, but I suppose it could be - sorry! I think I will try Homeland once the first season is all available. Maybe Revenge, which seems to have a fangirl fanbase.

Yes, do keep me posted!

I don't know if triggering is the right word--just as a single working parent the idea of someone with a spouse willing to stay home with the kids is...just something I don't think I can watch. I mean, I know plenty of families like that in rl, but I want something more distant when I turn on the TV, y'know. Like fairy tale creatures or consulting detectives.

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Okay, so here's the scoop on Fringe and me. I started watching it when it first started airing here - and while I thought it was slow and not that involving, I stuck with it because of all of the X-Files comparisons, etc. I stayed with it long enough to write a Yuletide fic in it that first year and then I dumped it. Which, of course, is apparently when it went from okay to AWESOME. I do have plans to watch the whole thing at some point, but kind of want canon to be stable (or as close as that show gets) before I wade in, and it seems to be one of those perpetually "on the bubble" shows, so I'm not sure when the right time to start is.

Thanks for the offer, though!

I am completely immune to finding Australian actors hot. Hugh Jackman is the exception to that rule. I saw his Boy From Oz here and, yeah. That man is magical.

Oh, you just reminded me of one of my favorite bits of the show! So he was talking about how singing and dancing was even more fun for him than straight acting, and also about how the industry tries very hard to typecast actors and gets all cranky and confused if actors try to hop genres or media. He put up a picture of himself as Wolverine - full snarl, big hair, rippling muscles, the whole works. And then one of him as Peter Allen - standing on one foot with the toes of the other foot balancing him so that his ankles were crossed, arms outstretched, big smile, wearing a pink-and-white Jared Padalecki shirt that was tied in a jaunty bow above his navel. And he said, "No one could picture this playing that. When I mentioned it, this is what they pictured." And he superimposed his Wolverine snarly face and adamantine claws over his Peter Allen face and arms and it was hilarious.

He really is beautiful and seems really happy to be able to sing and dance and tell stories. I got the feeling he'd be doing just the same even if no one was in the audience.

I still haven't seen Suits' twelfth episode. I mean, I do like all the actors, but I just want to shake Mike. Also, my mother, her father, and her big brother are (were in grandfather's case) all law graduates, and my mother's younger brother bailed from his law studies for a job when his now-wife's father offered him one. And I have half a term's worth of law studies as well (just an introduction, which my brother also has). The premise of Suits is... But OTOH, the cast. And I do like the clothes too; my (actually really quite curvy = hourglass) body looks best in tailored stuff, but the cost is a bit prohibitive.

Really like Hugh Jackman (actually discussed Paperback Hero with a male romance novelist on my LJ friends list) and Gary Oldman as well. REALLY want to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!

Mostly sleep deprivation and the flu from this end...

Aw, I'm sorry to hear you've been sick. Are you able to take the time to take care of yourself or are you just plugging on?

All of Harvey's suits are apparently Tom Ford, so "prohibitive" is exactly the right word, I think. There was one shot of him and Mike waiting on a corner to cross the street and Harvey looked almost like he was in a corset, so sleekly did the suit follow the lines of his body - broad shoulders and trim little waist and hips. It was gorgeous.

Yeah, the premise is . . . better left unspoken. It is so upsettingly dumb. But the cast does seem to be having a lot of fun with it. (Do you need ep 12?)

I've never even heard of Paperback Hero, but I am acquiring it as I type! It sounds like delicious fun.

I cannot WAIT to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy! Every review I've read has been nothing short of a paean.

Well, thing is I wanted to get my business (nonfiction translation) up and running this autumn, but it's December... Started to get my translation juices going by translating essays from Vanity Fair, because I'm actually good at it; we did a text by Christopher Hitchens (Unfairenheit 9/11, it was called) on the programme, so I thought I might as well get some confidence first. And then... a fire next door and sleep deprivation due to worry and stuff that had to be done, and, and... but I'm nearly over the flu and have slept a whole lot (am being treated for it, actually).

I know. I WANT to learn how to cut out fabric for my measurements; my mother made a red thai silk dress for herself in the 1960s that I'm still using on occasion. And we have more or less the same body type, but she's six or seven centimetres taller so it's a bit loose in the waist for me...

Yes, the cast... well, they appeared all of them to be full of joy, which is great to see. (No, I do have it as .avi. But thanks for offering!)

It is. I mean, HELL YES it's predictable, but the cast more than makes up for it. Also, most fiction is more or less predictable, at least in my eyes. Hugh Jackman as a truckdriver/romance novelist, with a dog. Completely irresistible. And the female lead, Claudia Karvan, is producing and starring in Spirited, which I'd be more than willing to let you have a look at. ;-)

I know. There's a Swede raised in Denmark in the cast (David Dencik), and this autumn I've seen him being an awesome romantic lead in a Danish tv series (dramacomedy). And the director is very good, and his father Hasse Alfredson is very, very famous in Sweden. And then there's the rest of the cast. Also, I'm reading the book at the moment, and it's lovely. I mean, cold, bleak and depressing, but very, very good. The film is supposed to open December 25th here. Eee!

I know. There's a Swede raised in Denmark in the cast (David Dencik), and this autumn I've seen him being an awesome romantic lead in a Danish tv series (dramacomedy).

Did you mean Lykke?

i've become a huge fan of his but i'm from the U.S. and most of his shows/movies are not available here. Can you recommend a good/legitimate site where I can buy danish/swedish dvds?

Yes, I mean Lykke.

Well, I know of a few sites, but I'm not sure whether they'll ship worldwide. And I hardly think there are English subtitles, in any case. You could always Google for it (for instance "Lykke dvd"), or ask people on an IKEA or a Scandinavian food shop (I know such shops exist, but I don't know the particulars, as I'm not an American). I have neither the time nor the inclination to hunt down all sorts of stuff for someone that isn't even the friend of an LJ-friend.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to hunt down all sorts of stuff for someone that isn't even the friend of an LJ-friend.

Sorry. I was just asking for a recommendation or two. Nothing more.

Hey, sorry for the delay - between work being very busy and people coming out of the woodwork to lay claims to my evenings, I've not been around very much. I did, though, manage to watch Paperback Hero! Well, it was adorable and I really liked Claudia Karvan. I thought the film suffered a bit of a lag when Hugh Jackman disappeared for a good chunk of time in the middle, but I was genuinely interested in Ruby's story, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I'd love to take a peek at Spirited, though not at the moment, as I'm barely catching up on lj and writing!

Oh, yikes, that fire sounds dreadful, and it would have taken something far less terrible to throw me off my game, so kudos to you for persevering! And your business sounds fascinating - in this day of 24-hour news cycles, there must be a pretty high demand for nonfiction translations.

Off to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!

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Mine's drafted and with the beta, but there are so many other things to write by the end of the year! Ack!

Ha ha, you didn't mention that your bro's friends never even came. LOL.

who adorably elbowed me when Benedict Cumberbatch's name came up.

I elbowed you for a few others as well! Tom Hardy I remember but who were the other ones?

Gary Oldman should have offered US kisses!

Ha, oh yes, and he just offhandedly said, "Oh, yeah, they're in Jersey for the day." GOOD TO KNOW.

eeeeee, seeing you soon!

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