TV Binge: Glee (Season 6 Finale, 2015)

Glee has taken us on a journey. Over the six years of episodes, they’ve gone through a lot and for those like myself who spent a lot of time watching it since it first started, it is a goodbye. One that has been expected but still, as you come to discover, a little hard. Its also one of the reasons why it has taken me about a month to get this up. Glee started its journey for the first few seasons in McKinley High School and saw the growth of its characters graduate high school and head off into their own futures staying in Lima or moving to New York or wherever else and finally after hardships still coming back together in Season 6. Sure, the last few seasons have kind of lost a bit of what it used to be but something about watching the final season and the further it gets to the finale, made it a little hard to let go. That just might be sentimental me talking, of course.

Again, I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s check it out!

Glee (Season 6 Finale, 2015)

Glee Season 6

Creators: Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy

The final season of Glee. It is hard to imagine that Glee is has come to an end last year! It is. As much as I stopped watching it after feeling a little disappointed with the fourth season, it always had this nagging feeling to continue. I wasn’t crazy about Season 5 either and going into Season 6 was really trying to stay optimistic about it when I pressed play on the first episode. I feel Glee holds a lot of memories and for the fans, the second half of the seasom definitely improves immensely from the first half and we can see them taking the time to end the series respectfully and they definitely do. The best is seeing a final reunion of pretty much all the characters by the end and sending off a final encouraging message.

Glee

Lets breakdown the season in two parts. The first part, as mentioned before was not so engaging. For the most part, we start with hardships and Rachel picking up her pieces after bombing her career and finally finding a way to restart the glee club at McKinley High after Sue has become the principal and ruled out all arts from the school. It starts feeling a lot like how the show started but instead of Will, we have Rachel fighting. As they build up the Glee Club again, the next gen members group together but this time, the focus yet again is not on them but on the original Glee club group that shows up in rotation to help Rachel out, not only in driving Glee Club into the right direction. Here is where the show suffers a little in the sense that it proved that Glee was not viable as a long running show because the audience and crew grows attached to the characters and when these characters grow up and the focus is still on them, its hard to grow the cast and take it back to its roots at McKinley and the new Glee Club. The problems become redundant at times except with new voices. Some of amazing voices but yet they don’t get to hit their full potential.

Glee

In the second half, it is still focused on Glee Club andn their path to regionals. However, the main focus goes back to rounding out the season and all the loose ends with the old members, the cast the audience has grown to love (or hate). There are some moments that make no sense and some that are downright awkward. It made me wonder what I missed the whole time. However, the loose ends were done well whether it is for Sue Sylvester and Becky or Rachel, Kurt, Brittany or Sam. Everyone got something about having courage, taking challenges and finding themselves. It constantly paid respect to Corey Monteith’s character which is nice because he was significant to the show. The finale didn’t feel rushed and felt like it was a nice goodbye. It reminded me of a lot of the past early seasons of Glee and why I liked it. It also made me miss it but also knowing that it was the right time.

The final season of Glee is not the best season in its entire TV lifespan however, it is done in a decent and respectful way to the show and its fans. Perhaps it took a little while to get there in the first half but the second half was quite fun to watch. For fans of Glee, I feel like it shouldn’t disappont too much.

Are you a Glee fan? Did you finish the series?

Netflix A-Z: Jenny’s Wedding (2015)

This week’s Netflix A-Z is for J! I ended up choosing Jenny’s Wedding!

Before my blogging days (or maybe I was but before TV Binge days), I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy and loved Katherine Heigl, even if her character didn’t really work that well and eventually just left the show. Then she did a really fun 27 Dresses. You can disagree all you want but I liked it a lot plus there’s James Marsden. I don’t have reason why I like rom-coms anymore. Jenny’s Wedding’s cover looks a lot like Bride Wars but this one is not about the same thing. Oh, and I like Alexis Bledel because of Sisterhood of Travelling Pants. I didn’t see any Gilmore Girls yet (which I probably should eventually.) Reasons for why Jenny’s Wedding is on my Netflix list.

Let’s check it out!

Jenny’s Wedding (2015)

Jenny's Wedding

Director: Mary Agnes Donoghue

Cast: Katherine Heigl, Alexis Bledel, Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond, Grace Gummer

Jenny Farrell has led an openly gay life – except with her conventional family. When she finally decides to start a family and marry the woman they thought was just her roommate, the small, safe world the Farrell’s inhabited changes forever. They are left with a simple and difficult choice – either change with it or drown.-IMDB

When you look at Jenny’s Wedding’s ratings online, its really not good. You might even turn away from it. However, Jenny’s Wedding is worth something, even if its a courageous coming out story.  Jenny’s Wedding does do a good job at showing the potential hurdles of coming out. Its never easy to live in a lie especially to family who are the people someone loves the most. Jenny’s Wedding does a good job at showing the journey of not only Katherine Heigl’s character Jenny breaking free from those lies and confronting her family and showing the opposite side of her parents and siblings trying to decide if they can accept it and still see her for the person she had always been. While that is the dominant story, Jenny’s Wedding has a little more simply about honesty, family and being true to yourself but also realizing that what you assume of others may not be true just like when others assume something of you.

Jenny's Wedding

The intentions of Jenny’s Wedding is commendable. However, the one downfall that made me resist liking it more was that Jenny is courageous but at a certain point, in a very frustrating way. She’s a grown-up woman who decides to take this huge step to marry the woman she loves impulsively after being inspired by her father’s words but she never takes into consideration of how this sudden news that doesn’t even give them time to warm up to is thrown at them with somewhat of an ultimatum. The frenzy that is causes between each member of her family brings out something different. One of the scenes with the most impact scenes is when she gives her dad (played by Tom Wilkinson) a huge lecture about taking her for who she is or leaving it.  It shows how great of an actor Tom Wilkinson is because you can see the devastation and shock on his face even though he doesn’t say much. In the end, you realize that she midjudged him all along. It is moments like these that make us feel frustrated about Jenny’s character but it feels deliberate to allow to see that no one here is perfect and this is a difficult and conflicting situation for both sides.

Jenny's Wedding

On the other hand, Jenny’s Wedding is an independent drama. One of the enjoyable choices are the cast and the personalities they have. Some of the best parts here portray their confusion of not being able to grasp what just happened and in that process, everyone shows a quirky silly side as they struggle. For example, the mom played by Linda Emond is quite adorable when she cares but doesn’t know how to but at the same time, while she doesn’t know what she is doing, people have already assumed her actions and she will ask them back what she is doing. And then there’s Grace Gummer who plays Jenny’s sister who looks at her marriage, Jenny’s happiness and relates it to the grass in her yard and obsesses over it. These are at times silly moments and to some, it may even.be unnecessary but it also made it feel more objective to see that everyone takes a little something different away from the same scenario, just like real life.

Jenny’s Wedding isn’t long but it still won’t  be for everyone. It might sit in the convoluted territory at times or it might feel like not a lot is going on. It might even watch our characters in silence or talk in other parts. While it is an indie drama about coming out, there is still much to learn from it. The overall movie is average: harmless and has good intentions. If this is your type of movie, check it out.

Next up is K! That might be after October. I’m still deciding😉

Vancouver & Kelowna: Vancouver & Visiting Storybrooke!

It is time to leave the beautiful Kelowna and the wonderful Okanagan Valley. With an early start to hit the road, we got Vancouver at a decent time. There was a lot of dropping off everyone at different locations. My mom stayed with her high school friend to chat and have fun and ended having lunch with them. My aunt and cousin went to their friends’ place before heading back home. We all said our goodbyes and it was officially the start of our belated honeymoon (since we didn’t have one last year when we got married)

The first stop was the lunch mentioned before which was at this wonton joint in a sketchy-looking place that drove my husband crazy with our parking story when a lady would not budge after he signaled to park. The joys of a big city, my friends. That is pretty much what we got from the entire trip which was not great especially driving a giant car like a  Ford Explorer, tight parking spots, unknown places and lots of traffic. It is one of the reasons why we usually don’t vacation in mega cities much just because we already live in one. So you’ll notice in the next few days that we actually don’t stay in Vancouver a lot but head out into the outskirts. That’s for the next few posts.

Lunch

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Steveston (aka Storybrooke)

Steveston

Steveston

Steveston

Steveston

Steveston

Steveston

Dinner at Moxie’s

Moxie's

Moxie's

Moxie's

Moxie's

That’s it for Day 4 of the trip! Not a lot really happened. The meals were decent. Steveston was really nice and gorgeous. It was relaxing and comfortable to walk around the town and by the waterfront. The highlight was definitely Steveston! I totally fangirled in Storybrooke. I will be getting back on track with Once Upon a Time soon!

What We’ll Do For Blood (The Almost Human Series #1) by C.L. Mannarino

For some of you who are new here, I love supernatural and paranormal novels. More specifically, while the vampire genre has been wildly overused, I still remain intrigued by what else is showing up. This is where this next novel comes in. What We’ll Do For Blood is the first book in a series by C.L. Mannarino.

Before we start the review, I would like to send a huge thanks to the author for sending me the novel in exchange for an honest review!

What We’ll Do For Blood
by C.L. Mannarino

what we'll do for blood

In the sleepy town of Northam, Massachusetts, not everyone is who they seem to be. Take Scott Whitney, for example. A struggling high school senior, Scott wants nothing more than to have his much-divided, social-climbing family believe him when he comes to them with something important, no matter how often he disregards their rules. One night, Scott catches his father’s beautiful colleague, Maria, drinking his father’s blood in their office parking lot. When his father has no recollection of this event, and gets weaker the more he spends time with Maria, Scott turns to his mother and sister for help. When he realizes that Maria has captured their hearts and minds, as well, Scott has to find a way to believe in himself, and become more than anyone thought he was capable of, in order to stop her. But what will it cost him? – Goodreads

What We’ll Do For Blood is the first in the author’s series. For that, it definitely does set a decent stage to the characters and story. In particular, we learn quite a bit through his actions and decisions and thoughts about the person he is. Our main character is Scott and if not a little silly sometimes, because he lacks a bit of real life experience since he is only a high school guy, he definitely is brave. He emphasized the point that you can’t choose family no matter what happens. It never is too far-fetched in building up a scenario or a thought and that is especially with a genre like this one.

As mentioned before, vampire stories are overused. You don’t need me to tell you all the crazy ways they have been portrayed in books then adapted to movies and TV. For the most part, the vampires here stick pretty much to tradition. They feed and glamor and do what they have to to survive. They live in groups but hunt in solitude. They are ruthless and don’t eat human food and drink human beverages. I do appreciate sticking with the traditional portrayal. However, this story does also hit a lot predictable turns whether it is the choices or Maria, the vampire and adds in pieces that are just glimpses of supporting characters that are there.to serve a certain purpose only.

The aspect that saves it is that it is well-paced and well-written. Nothing beats a good reading like having a tasteful piece in front of us. What We’ll Do For Blood hits some super predictable plotlines and in the end, its really easy to see what it is setting the stage for. However, the setting itself is before modern times and I believe somewhere in the seventies perhaps. I cannot remember the time frame. It is mostly a vibe perhaps also because the characters themselves also live in a small community with even more small-minded people which makes Scott’s father’s recent promotion at his work so significant and why it becomes even harder to sidestep talking to the wrong people and even how Scott’s parents perceive what his son is doing.

Overall, What We’ll Do For Blood is a decent start as it is well-paced and well-written. While we can appreciate taking the traditional vampire route, it does have its predictable moments that do take away from it being exceptional. The extra of society ranking and community impressions and the likes add a little something extra to the story. It is an easy read and while does feature a high school main character, still will appeal to an older audience as it has some more violent descriptions but do note that this book seems to be intended for young adults (at least).

Game Warp Special: Explorers Wanted

Are you fans of Mass Effect? You may be excited about the new game, Mass Effect Andromeda coming out in 2017. Us over at Game Warp are.

explorers wanted

Although we can’t be part of the game and we only like to play games, Bioware launched a contest that is really special. You can win a role as a voice talent in the game as either the journalist Jordan Tate or a Tough Mercenary. For more details, you can check out the contest HERE. The contests ends on September 28th.

At least one of us ( aka me) are not eligible to participate because the province of Quebec always gets left out, so we decided to do our own fun entries for a special mini podcast and grouped together the rest of the That Moment In family to join in on trying out the two scripts available.

Here is our interpretation! Have a listen and tell us what you think!

Thanks for listening! Hope you had fun!🙂

Vinyard Terrace Restaurant (Kelowna, Canada)

We talked about lunch in the last vacation post. It was a classy lunch at the Cedar Creek Winery Estate. The restaurant is called Vineyard Terrace Restaurant (or some spots say Terrace Restaurant).

Cedar Creek Winery Estate is absolutely gorgeous. You can see the pictures on the day recap HERE. To sit on their outdoor terrace to look out at the vineyard with a little bit of breeze and eat a delicious meal was really a fantastic experience. Especially with great company.

Let’s check out the food!🙂

Wines

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

We only had 3oz-6oz glasses, not the entire three bottles.

Appetizers

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Wise Earth Carrot Salad

20160829_115039

Can’t find this one’s name but I think something to do with heirloom tomatoes or something….

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had those nantes carrots variety but we love it at our place. We recently started eating the multicolor ones and they are so good. This one with a little bit of spices to aid the taste but not overpower the actual carrots’ natural deliciousness was awesome!

Main Dish

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Wild Moon Organic Pork

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Seared B.C. Albacore Tuna

Dessert

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Maple Apple Tart

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Callebaut Chocolate Mousse

Cedar Creek Estate Winery

Okanagan Fruit

Okay, I’m guessing you all can figure out that I got the Okanagan Fruit. I always complain about how the alternative for lactose-intolerance is either sorbet or fruits. I’ve never honestly enjoyed a fruit cup more than this one. Okanagan fruits are so good. The peaches and berries. This fruit cup was with sabayon which they described as a sweet hollandaise sauce. I only learned then that hollandaise sauce is just egg whites, same as sabayon, which is why I could have it and it is a really good balance.

Overall, this was a great restaurant experience. We all enjoyed the mains as well. The dessert was delicious as well as the appetizers. The wine was quite good as well. I had the 2014 Riesling. My cousin has the 2015 Senator’s White. My husband, my mom and my aunt shared a bottle of 2014 Gewurztraminer. I guess I should have mentioned it up with the wines.

Have you ever eaten at a winery restaurant? If so, where?

Cité Memoire: Daytime Trail (Circuit 2-60 mins)

Last week’s My Weekly Adventure, I had talked about this free historic event in Old Montreal. All you needed to do to learn about architecture and history of Old Montreal was to strap on your comfortable walking shoes and head out for 30, 60 or 90 mins, depending on what you liked and even choose day or night. There were different circuits for the thirty and sixty minute ones exploring different area of Old Montreal. If you didn’t want their circuit, you needed to get the app (you need whether or not you follow a circuit) and go the points of interest.

I have yet to do the nighttime trail but I have done the daytime trail. Its the Circuit 2 which runs somewhere near where I work and was a good after work activity.

Cite Memoire

What makes Cité Memoire so special, right? The point of it is that it is a free history lesson using modern technology (aka your cellphone) and using this year’s new favorite technology, augmentative reality. It is educational and is a good reason for a walk around Old Montreal and admire the city a little while having a little guide in your hands telling you where to turn and what the highlight is. I think its pretty nifty and I’m not even a tourist. There was some stuff I knew before but there’s also information that I never learned about. It isn’t like there is a Montreal history course in school, there is World History and Canadian/Quebec history.

What I’m going to do is take you on this Trail again! I didn’t actually snap a lot of pics on the trail so I went back to some of the locations.

BMO Building

BMO Building Montreal
And with augmented reality…

Cite Memoire
New York Life Insurance Building

New York Insurance Building
Place d’Armes

Cite Memoire

Molson Bank

Molson Bank

Canada Life

Canada Life Building
Merchants Bank Building

Merchants Bank
Gas Lighting

Gas Lighting
Saint Anne’s Market & Parliament Building/The Grand Trunk Building

Grand Trunk Building

St. Anne's Market

Centre D’Histoire de Montreal

Centre d'Histoire de Montreal

The Grey Nuns

Grey Nuns

Allan Building

Allan Building

Joe Beef’s Tavern

Joe Beef's Tavern

Berthelet House

Berthelet Building

John Lovell and Son Building

Lovell and Son

Lewis Building

Lewis Building

CPR Telegraph Building

CPR Telegraph Chambers
Centaur Theatre/The Montreal Stock Exchange

Centaur Theatre
The Old Custom House and Place Royale

Place Royale

De Maisonnveue’s Path and The First Seminary

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Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica
Aldred Building

Aldred Building

Here’s your walkthrough in pictures. I hope I got most of the buildings right. It was mostly by memory of the path that I took and little bits of historical things I retained. You’ll see some buildings will have American architecture influence like the last picture. Some will have European influences and others are just historical symbols of the city. Its sad that I can only do this mostly in the evening so some of the sculptures on the building like the gargoyles and whatnot, are not as apparent. I used to never notice them until this walk.

I hope that it returns next year. I’m not sure if it is still running now. Maybe the nighttime one? I’ll have to double check. But I’m hoping to go check out more if its still on if not, next year, I’ll be back out to learn more!