Five Things to do on a Rainy Day

poker chips and cigar

Gloomy weather can quite literally put a dampener on your plans. The rain, wind and snow means you’re forced to stay huddled up indoors and seek out some new entertainment. Well, when the storm clouds start to gather, don’t feel blue. Instead, why don’t you . . .

Host a card/games night

If you don’t enjoy stepping outside then bring the fun to you. Invite your friends over, crack out the drinks, cigars and snacks and indulge in a bit of healthy competition.

The details are pretty much up to you. If you like video games then get the controllers out and power up a co-op mode on one of your favorite titles. Alternatively, you could put your money where your mouth is with a poker night. You can even play for free on sites like www.butlersbingo.com, and see if you can outperform your pals.

Whip up a great meal or some tasty dessert

Grilling steaks might be more fun outside on a sunny day, but you can still fry up a killer steak in the kitchen. There are all sorts of delicious ways to pass the time. Shows like The Great British Bake Off have inspired us all to cook up a storm in our kitchens. Whether you’re a baking fanatic or a complete novice, anyone can make something tasty.

Choose your favourite food, whether its cakes, buns or brownies, and look up a no-fuss recipe before getting to work. Not only will it kill a couple of hours, but afterwards you’ll get to sit down with a nice cup of tea and your own delicious creations.

Enjoy a Netflix binge

Netflix is chock-a-block with TV series, cartoons and films. As we’ve said many time, you can binge on on a great series in one sitting.

A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to catch up with that show all your co-workers have been raving about, or get nostalgic with some of your favorite childhood cartoons. You can even invite your friends over, pour out the popcorn and sit down for a tailored film fest of your own.

Pamper yourself or your wife/girlfriend

When it gets cold outside, there’s nothing better than sinking into a nice hot bubble bath for two. Light some candles, put some good music on in the background and just watch your troubles melt away.

Women love this cause they can spend this time to exfoliate their skin, deep condition their hair or paint their nails, so you can also suggest this for them as something they can do so you can do something else. She’ll feel a million dollars and will look for ways to pamper you!

Get organized

Days like this are perfect for getting to that to-do list that you’ve been neglecting. Clean up your place, read that book you have been trying to find time for or just organize your upcoming events and plans. When you’re done, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

  

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Entertainment Untethered: What it’s like to ditch TV

flat screen TV

Before we begin, let me backpedal for a second and set the stage for “ditching TV”.

Here’s how I’d word it:

• Watching TV is the actual act of sitting down in front of one to consume entertainment
• Ditching TV is removing all those setbacks that come from viewing

What I’m trying to convey is the difference between being a zombie in front of a TV set versus having an a la carte choice in what shows and movies you watch. Instead of getting stuck with commercials and waiting for shows during primetime – you’re cutting those setbacks so you can binge.

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Original “Dr. Strangelove” trailer

We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic film “Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” If you haven’t seen it make sure to put it on your Netflix cue.

Here’s the original trailer for the film which was never used and wasn’t uncovered for years.

  

The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with James Brolin (‘Christmas with Tucker’)

James Brolin has been a star of TV and film since the ’60s, rarely disappearing from either for very long before popping back up somewhere or other, and tonight at 9 PM he can be found starring in “Christmas with Tucker,” the debut original movie from the Hallmark Movie Channel (which, just in case you aren’t aware, is a separate entity from the Hallmark Channel), playing a gruff but loveable grandfatherly type fella who gets to have a lot of scenes with a very cute dog. I was fortunate enough to chat with Brolin for a bit when he attended this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, and – as you’ll read below – I was even more fortunate to be able to continue the conversation a bit later.

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Bullz-Eye: So you’re in a dog movie, but are you a dog guy by nature?

James Brolin: Yeah, but guess what? I don’t have a dog right now. But I’m kind of shopping! The thing is, I’m not sure where I’m going to be next, and I kind of hate to go off and leave a dog once I have it. I’ve found that didn’t work well in the past. But I got my wife a dog. And the dog is… I can’t believe she’s had it 10 years now. And it sleeps right here. [Points to his head.] It likes the top of the couch or the head pillow. So usually, if you roll over it or around it, it gets out of your way and just goes down to the other end. Anyway, I’ve been moved to the back seat of the car now. [Laughs.] Those two run things.

BE: Yeah, we just got a dog a few months ago, so I know what you mean.

JB: Oh, yeah. If it ain’t a baby, it’s a dog. [Laughs.]

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BE: How was this dog, Tucker, to work with?

JB: Fine! Really good natured. He would do all the things, and then when you’d go to shoot, sometimes the dog would have a little brain fade or confusion, but it’s not unusual. You just keep going. You have the trainer keep going, you run the camera, and now with digital, you can just turn the camera on and let it run for two hours, and then you go in there, wade through it, and pick out just what you need. But that’s Filmmaking 101, in a way. If you have time for that, you do that. And if you’re doing a dog picture, you make time. And the kids… Anyone youthful who was involved was just right on. Gage (Munroe) is just like a honed pro, so that wasn’t an issue. Kids weren’t an issue. But animals are always an issue, and you just need to schedule the time to shoot and shoot and shoot a little bit.

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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Famke Janssen (“Hemlock Grove”)

Famke Janssen made both her film and television debuts in 1992, but it wasn’t until a few years later, when she became a Bond girl by the unforgettable name of Xenia Onatopp in “GoldenEye,” that everything started to come up roses for her. In the intervening years, Janssen has made multiple films, most notably starring as Jean Gray in the “X-Men” franchise, but 2013 marks her inaugural foray into a full-time TV series gig…and by “TV series,” what I really mean is a Netflix series. “Hemlock Grove,” produced by Eli Roth, kicks off its first season on Friday, April 19, but Bullz-Eye was fortunate enough to chat with Janssen way back in January, at the Television Critics Association press tour, about her new series as well as a few of her past films.

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Bullz-Eye: “Hemlock Grove” marks the first time you’ve ever taken on a series-regular role for television. Did you have any trepidation about taking that kind of a plunge for a show that’s being delivered to viewers in a non-traditional manner, or was that part of what drew you to it?

Famke Janssen: Trepidation about that element? No. Doing a series, period? Yes. [Laughs.] But to me, I think the fact that it was for Netflix and not your traditional network or cable show was one of the deciding factors—or certainly an added bonus, anyway—because it felt like we were kind of in the wild west, with new territory to explore. It wasn’t this whole weight of a specific way of working that we had to carry through in some way. So with that, I was hoping that there would be less control coming from above, and not so much like a big studio standing there with a whip, making you feel like you’re more of a puppet than anything else. Also, the whole 13-episode part was attractive as well, because I’m designed my life in such a way now that I’m trying to go back and forth between writing and directing and acting, and signing up for something that would’ve taken an entire year, as a network show would’ve…I hadn’t considered that at all, just because I don’t have the time for it. I don’t want to tie myself down. So in that regard, it was a perfect set-up, because I can make money and then I can pursue my passion of writing and directing in my free time.

BE: So what can you tell us about Olivia Godfrey without divulging anything too spoiler-y?

FJ: Olivia’s still mysterious even to me, and I’ve lived with her now for 13 hours onscreen, not to mention many more hours shooting the series, of course. She’s married into this Godfrey family, a family with a lot of money, but she comes from a lot of money as well…or she seems to, anyway. But whether she does come from a lot of money or where she really comes from or what her deal really is, nobody really knows, and maybe nobody will ever find out. [Laughs.] She’s highly manipulative. She loves her children, but she’s also somebody who just has an agenda most of the time. And she’s in love with her husband’s brother, and…there are all sorts of integral relationships with bizarre things going on within this small town as well as with these family members. [Shrugs.] It feels like “Twin Peaks” to me. That’s what it felt like. That’s the reason why I really liked it: because it is, in a good way, nonsensical. It’s not linear. You’re not gonna…not everything is going to be explained. There are going to be a lot of mysteries surrounding it all. Nothing is going to be wrapped up with a neat bow.

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