DTSFT Men’s Column #21 – Romantic Getaway

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Well, well, well, if it hasn’t been two years since we last spoke.

There’s been a sort of DTSFT hiatus, an extended one at that, while we all get the hell on with our lives and work and stuff – well, some of us. Me? I’m back to sitting on my albeit super-sweet behind and doing fuck all, all day. I mean, that’s not strictly true; I’ve been busy sifting through the thousands of emails, letters and texts (I don’t know how you got my mobile number, but it’s too late to do anything about it now, isn’t it?) sent to DTSFT HQ from men in need. In the two years that have passed since my last DTSFT Men’s Column, so much has happened, and not all good stuff. An anti-feminist party stood for parliament in 2015; a creepy, bum-fluff bearded man-child tried to organise a li’l rape rally; and Anthony Mackie starved to death.  It’s no coincidence that this all happened in my absence, and I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to women all over the world for my lack of attention, for not keeping men in check, for not responding to the mountains of correspondence from desperate men, just looking for a light in the darkness of their ignorance. It was my job, MY JOB, to make sure men knew how to respect women, and I was asleep at my desk. I apologise.  With that said, I’d like to crack on with my latest advice column. It seems apt that this column should return almost two years to the day since the last post, so I picked a letter that addressed the same topic as last time.  From Peter in Gravesend:

 

“Hi Helen,

I want to take my girlfriend on a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, but I’ve got no idea what to do.  Recently, she and I have been really getting into Breaking Bad, and I was thinking of taking her to a swanky hotel for some Netflix and chill, if you know what I mean… Do you have any advice or ideas other than this?”

 

Hi Peter.  Well, first of all, kudos to you for asking for my advice; people don’t realise how stupid and ignorant they really are until they hear my opinion. Some people are so embarrassed by their own stupidity that they disappear off the face of the earth and I never hear from them again, which is a shame.  Secondly, it’s a good thing you mentioned Breaking Bad, because as it happens ‘Netflix and chill’ is so 2015 – this year it’s all about ‘Hulu and arguing’, and I don’t want to see you and your girlfriend arguing, Peter, I just don’t, I can’t bear the thought of you two being unhappy, it just fucking tears me apart, man. Don’t let Hulu do this to you.

What both of you need to do, what everybody needs to do, is to just calm down. And what better way to calm down than with some delicious meth? This Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to go to some expensive, swanky hotel; just get her some of that crystal she’ll never lose interest in, and you’ll never have to worry about what to get her ever again.

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No need to thank me, Peter, I’m just doing my job.

 

@bythesheetstore

 

 

Women of the Year 2014

Malala Yousafzai

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It would be impossible to have a list of the Women of The Year without including this phenomenal young lady. As the survivor of an assassination attempt and, at just 17 years old, the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, Malala continues to inspire women across the world with her campaign for human rights, particularly with regards to access to education for women and children in Pakistan and other countries. This is one woman who could truly change the world.

Sophie Hannah

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Sophie Hannah’s books have been popular with crime and fiction fans for a long time, but it is her 2014 offering that has earned Ms Hannah a place on this year’s Women of The Year list. The Monogram Murders is the newest Hercule Poirot mystery – now, we know that it’s damn near impossible to fill Agatha Christie’s shoes, but we can’t think of anyone better to take a shot at it than Sophie Hannah.

Gillian Anderson

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2014 was truly a great year for Gillian Anderson. Not only did her performance in the second series of The Fall get great reviews, she also had an award-winning run as Blanche DuBois in the National Theatre’s staging of A Streetcar Named Desire. And as if that wasn’t enough for Anderson to be getting on with, in October of this year she published her first novel, A Vision of Fire, which quickly became a New York Times Bestseller.

Jess Glynne

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On Clean Bandit’s absolute banger of a tune, ‘Rather Be’, Jesse Glynne’s voice was all over the radio this year. But rather than fade away like so many featured vocalists, Glynne released her own solo material off the back off the success of ‘Rather Be’; with her husky, soulful voice reminiscent of (and dare I say it, much more interesting than) Adele, the 90’s dance vibe of ‘Right Here’ has hopefully set Jess up for a solid music career.

Lupita Nyong’o

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Sure, we included Lupita on last year’s list but that was before she won her Oscar, so she’s earned her place on this year’s list too! Not content to impress us with her powerful performance in 12 Years A Slave, Lupita’s classy and earnest acceptance speech at the Oscars earned her a place in our hearts. We can’t wait to see what’s next for her!

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

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If you haven’t been watching Broad City, the Comedy Central sitcom about two twenty-something women in New York, you’re missing out. This weird and hilarious show centres around Ilana and Abbi’s fictionalised versions of themselves, struggling to make ends meet and always managing to get into weird situations. It’s bold, cool and most importantly, totally hilarious – I can’t wait for series two!

Jennifer Kent

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The Babadook was easily one of the best films of the year – utterly terrifying without relying on grisly shock-gore or worn out cliches, the sense of claustrophobic terror created instead by tricks of the light and clever sound editing. The character from the film, Mister Babadook, was so scary and popular that Kent is publishing the pop-up book from the film in 2015. Just try and stop me from buying it, I dare you, I DARE YOU

Men of the Year 2014

David Oyelowo

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You may or may not recognise the name, but you will sure as hell recognise the man. Mr Oyelowo has been in some of the biggest films of the last five years – The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Lincoln to name just three – and this year was no different. With roles in Interstellar and A Most Violent Year, David’s career seems to be getting bigger and better, culminating in a brilliant performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in the highly recommended Selma. As our very own Sarah put it, he’s come a long way since Spooks.

Chris Pratt

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Whether he’s Fat Pratt or Six Pack Pratt, we’re smitten with the Parks and Recreation star – his turn as Star-Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy has seen him go from (please excuse this next word) cuddly, cute comedy actor to bonafide box-office banger. And before you say it, no it’s not *just* his looks that have us hooked – Pratt’s hilarious performance as Emmet in The Lego Movie appealed to viewers of all ages and his voice was perfect for the earnest and enthusiastic hero. And good lord was it difficult to make a decision on which picture of him to use for this post. I spent HOURS researching…

John Boyega

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Since the end of November, there’s only one film anyone has been talking about, and it doesn’t even come out for another year – Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The trailer opens with a young man popping up on screen looking panicked and exhausted – that’s our John Boy(ega)! With a lead role in arguably the most hotly anticipated film of next year, we’re so impressed that the star of Attack The Block and Half of A Yellow Sun has seen so much success so early on in his career – and he’s still only 22 years old!

John Oliver

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When Jon Stewart took a break from hosting The Daily Show this summer to direct his film Rosewater, he could have picked any of the show’s correspondents to stand in for him, and he chose the only British one. John Oliver did a fantastic job of hosting the show; he was already hugely popular with the audience, you could tell this from the rapturous applause he received whenever he hosted a segment. His brand of super-sarcastic, verbose humour was wasted on the absolutely dire Mock The Week, and he’s much better suited and appreciated in his role as a correspondent on a fake news show. Sure, he looks like a Jim Henson muppet come to life, but he actually did such a good job that he was given his own show on HBO, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which is similar to The Daily Show but with even more sarcasm and a British accent – what more could you want? And speaking of The Daily Show alumni…

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

This year, Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman’s replacement for when the talk-show king steps down in 2015. While the DTSFT ladies agree that it would be nice to see someone other than a white, middle-aged man hosting a late-night chat show, we’re still pretty pleased with the choice that’s been made. Stephen has come a long way since his days as a correspondent on The Daily Show, landing his own show in 2005, The Colbert Report, which sadly came to an end in December with a final episode packed full of callbacks to earlier episodes and a sing-along with his favourite recurring characters and guests. It’s going to be weird to see him hosting as himself rather than the conservative character (also named Stephen Colbert) that he has played for so long, but we’re definitely excited to see what he has to offer.

 Kailash Satyarthi

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Along with Malala Yousafzai, Kailash was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize for his tireless campaigning for children’s rights. The access to education, which we in the Western world take for granted, has been a focus point for Mr Satyarthi, and his Nobel Prize was well-deserved.

Peter Capaldi

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Here at DTSFT, we were delighted with the casting of Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Doctor, as he made a nice change from the potato-faced Matt Smith. His turn as Mr Curry in Paddington also brought him to the attention of a new and younger audience, who will hopefully be tuning in to be utterly terrified by Doctor Who.  Mwuhahahaha!

Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie

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Yeah I’m lumping them all in together because otherwise this post will go on forever – it’s the Captain America: The Winter Soldier gang! With Hannah’s insatiable lust for Sebastian Stan, there was no way the DTSFT ladies were going to leave this trio off the Men of The Year list. While we’ll have to wait for Captain America: Civil War to see the boys back onscreen together, you could check out ‘Playing It Cool’ for a cheeky helping of Evans and Mackie. We’re especially proud of Evans for his directorial debut, Before We Go, as well as his role in the dark action thriller, Snowpiercer – give it a UK release date, god DAMMIT!

Chadwick Boseman

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Chadwick made waves last year with his role as Jackie Robinson in the magnificent 42, and it looks like the next few years are going to be no different for this versatile actor. After portraying soul legend James Brown in the biopic Get On Up, Boseman is set to star as the Marvel character Black Panther in not one but TWO upcoming Marvel movies – Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther. Chadwick, you complete and utter BANGER.

Jack O’Connell

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Unlike some actors who seem to love the limelight more than the craft, Jack O’Connell is a young actor who has worked hard at his talent and is finally starting to get some recognition. After making his name with a role in Skins and films like Private Peaceful and Harry Brown, this intense young actor’s star has continued to rise and this year saw him in three of the most talked about films – ’71, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken. From interviews I’ve watched, he doesn’t seem all too comfortable on the chat-show circuit, which I think makes for a better actor – the less we know about him, the more believable he’ll be in his roles.

The Apprentice 2014 Episode 4 – DTSFT Roundup

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Guys, guys, you watched it, right? Tell me you watched it. If you haven’t – sod off and come back later when you’re done.

Okay, ready?

What the hell you guys, TRIPLE ELIMINATION, BABY! Yeah we all suspected there’d be a double again but BAM, three in a row? Nah, none of us expected that. This week’s task was one of those ones where we all reckon we could do a great job, but probably would end up screwing it up the same way the teams did. With ‘Dare to Dine’ competing against ‘Fat Daddy Fitness Hell’, I’m surprised anyone watched the videos (but then again, it was probably sent to all the BBC staff to give them at least a handful of views).

Here’s the roundup:

I’m going to start off with my favourite thing that has happened so far in this series, and is in my top 3 moments of all time of anything happening ever. Daniel woke up and banged his head on the side of the bed.

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Do you even realise how funny this is? Hahahaha

Solomon asking Felipe to do his tie for him. Is it that he physically cannot do it for himself, or is he just so lazy? Either way, Felipe is too cute for doing it for him.

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But Solomon is totally the man for the job. He’s the internet man, you see.

“That’s right, Lord Sugar. You see, it’s about ethics in gaming journalism, and…”

Ella being TOTALLY CLEAR AND ALSO GOOD AT FILM THINGS

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Ella’s line of ‘I am me, I am Ella Jade’. Why do people think it’s such a cool thing to say stuff like “I’m just being me” or “I’m the only one of me”? Shut the hell up. Shut up. That’s basic common sense, not some special thing you’ve come up with to show how unique and extraordinary you are. Everyone is different, so shut up forever.

Cheeky little Felipe and his mole face, putting his ‘Fat Daddy’ idea into place with his self-deprecating self.  Also, how harsh is it that no-one looked bothered by the Fat Daddy concept other than the Geordie lass? (Still working on a nameless basis here because they’re all so powerfully forgettable)

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No, Felipe, you’re just MySpace-more-to-love

Over on the other team, check out the genius ideas on their chart. ‘Cafe Culanary’ is my favourite – remember, brightest minds in Britain here. Also, you can almost hear the conversations behind each of the suggestions.

“Blind Food, like blind-fold, get it?”

“James, why don’t you sit down and have your Cheesestring, yeah mate?”

“Okay Sally-man”

“It’s Solomon”

“Sommolon?”

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Sanjay, I think that banana is inflated enough, take your mouth off it.

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I like the crossover with the cameraman from a Scooby Doo episode. Zoinks!

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Not a real job. Nope.

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This picture looks like one of those random photos taken at a nightclub where a drunk business woman has bumped into her boyfriend’s younger brother, who is out on the lash with the rugby society from uni

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Look out, it’s a Bantersaurus! HILARIOUS!

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This delicious looking cartoon burger, what the hell is wrong with me?

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One true highlight of this episode was Steven’s truly cringe-inducing, rambling pitch – from his practice run to the real thing, it was just so long-winded and repetitive, it’s no wonder they weren’t successful. Here are some screenshots of his truly glorious nonsense:

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 Team Tenacity apparently recreating The Graduate, if this weirdly framed shot is anything to go by…

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Lord Sugar’s reaction to the Dare To Dine video, which was the same as everyone else’s…

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I thought it was very sweet of Lord Sugar to make this comment to Felipe:

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As it would have been easy for him to make some snarky fat-joke or mean comment. I also liked that these next two shots which followed directly the comment – it’s clear that James has totally misunderstood what Lord Sugar just said.

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Ultimately, Team Summit won with their dire Dare to Dine video, leaving Ella Jade and her teammates on Tenacity to head to the Bridge Cafe and await their fate. Steven had his strategy sorted. Claws in, cat:

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Lord Sugar had the chance to get a bit cheeky in the boardroom…

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And Ella Jade did bring him back, along with Sarah. After some fantastic bickering, lots of bitchy talking over one another and raised voices, the amazing triple elimination happened:

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Ella Jade’s last look through the door after not so gracefully accepting her fate – “Please Lord Sugar, I’ll learn from this, I promise, I’ll be so good, I’ll eat all my vegetables, please” – was superb, almost cinematic in its tragedy.

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There’s your documentary, mate

Finishing off this post with what little London p-0-r-n there was:

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To be brutally honest, the episode itself wasn’t up to  The Apprentice’s usual standard until the end, where it saved an otherwise mediocre episode. Next week is the coach trip task, where the teams will have to create London bus rides for tourists – this was the task where Stuart and Chris fell out and acted like total dickheads a few series back, so you know it’s going to be a good one…

Saturday Special: Don’t Bother, It’s Nut-Ella Worth The Hassle

I’m going to be honest with you here.

You know that bit in ‘Liar, Liar’ where Jim Carrey is shouting at the judge and he goes “I HOLD MYSELF IN CONTEMPT, WHY SHOULD YOU BE ANY DIFFERENT?” – that was me after completing this god-forsaken task.  This is the stupidest recipe I’ve ever tried (apart from the vegan cheesecake… but we don’t speak of that dark time any more, it’s too painful).

Pinterest is a wonderful place – full of ideas for DIY, beauty, and especially recipes. One that kept popping up from people I follow is how to make your own Nutella; great, I thought, I could make a nutty chocolate spread with a different nut, since hazelnuts can be pricey, we always have almonds, and my brother doesn’t like hazelnuts. These recipes always say that there are other varieties of nuts that you can use, including almonds, so I decided that this would be the day I tried to make my own all-natural Nutella. More like nut-HELL-a, amirite?? Oh wait, I haven’t explained everything yet, that won’t make sense – it follows on from the recipe.

It’s a super simple recipe, to be fair. Two ingredients:

  • One cup ‘bittersweet chocolate chips’ (guys, dark chocolate chopped up will work fine too)
  • One cup almonds (or hazelnuts if you want)

Lego jar optional.

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And all you need is a food processor.  The impossibly simple steps, as guided by various websites, are:

  • Roast the nuts for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Take the still warm nuts and put them in the food processor or mini chopper, processing for 5-10 minutes – you might have to periodically stop to push the almonds down the side of the processor.
  • Once the consistency resembles a nut butter (think along the lines of smooth peanut butter), add the chocolate chips and and process again until it’s all combined completely.

So easy, right? WRONG.

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Here’s what they don’t tell you:

One cup of nuts is actually quite a lot, and nuts aren’t really all that cheap or low in calories – I should add that this recipe is touted as a ‘healthy’ and ‘clean’ version of Nutella. Calorie for calorie, a one tablespoon serving of this recipe is exactly the same as shop-bought Nutella.

‘Process for 5 to 10 minutes’? Pardon my French, but fuck the fuck off. Let me tell you something – if you’re in need of this ‘Nutella’ on short notice and you can’t go down the shops, you’d better have some kind of industrial strength food processor because the only thing that took 5 to 10 minutes were the breaks I had to take in order to let my mini chopper cool down and stop from over-heating. Yes, my friends, to give you an idea of how long it took for ONE CUP of almonds to process down into a nut butter consistency, I watched THREE episodes of Desperate Housewives (don’t judge me, don’t you dare judge me) and had to get my laptop charger (sure, that’s more to do with the battery-draining nature of Netflix, but it makes the whole thing more dramatic, doesn’t it?).  It stays in the crumby, powdery stage for absolutely ages, and it really doesn’t seem like you’re getting anywhere until after a really, really long time. I did some checking around before hand, plenty of people said that a mini-chopper would be fine, but they were obviously big fat liars with stupid faces because I would bet money on my mini chopper being able to process paving slabs into custard quicker than getting these almonds down to a nut butter.

Paving slabs would probably taste better, too

Paving slabs would probably taste better, too

Finally, just no. No. It’s not like Nutella.  You know that smooth, delicious, oh-god-if-I-eat-the-whole-jar-I’ll-regret-it-and-if-I-don’t-I’ll-regret-it-more, magically quality that Nutella has? Yeah this doesn’t have that. At all.

I want to formally apologise to you all, for letting you down by forsaking Nutella. And I want to apologise to Nutella. If a representative could please send me 100 jars as a means of communicating that they have accepted my apology, that’d be great.

Saturday Special: Gorgeously Golden Peanut Butter Cookies

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Excuse the mess…

Long time no speak.

So here’s a cookie (BISCUIT BISCUIT BISCUIT) recipe from Nigella Lawson’s website, which I understand to be a ‘community recipe’, and thus not by the lady herself. Nevertheless, these tasty treats are so delicious that you’d enter into a battle to the death with your own mother just to have the last one.

Taken from the website:

Ingredients

50g soft light brown sugar

50g caster sugar

50unsalted butter (soft)

1 medium egg

teaspoon honey

teaspoon vanilla

200g peanut butter crunchy

100plain flour

teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

teaspoon salt

Saw This And Thought It Was Cool: Avengers lights

I know. I know. My first post since the age of the First Men. BUT AREN’T THESE PRETTY?

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(Picture from here.)

If anyone knows where I can buy them – or knows where I can look at them and cry because I can’t afford them – do let me know. Somebody needs to take my money.

@thatmissdeen x