With Fondy out of town for two and a half weeks, I was fully prepared to follow a simple, no-fuss home meal plan (a.k.a. eating a sandwich standing over my kitchen sink) but, despite my best intentions, I’ve ended up dining out far more often than I’ve eaten it. Last week, it was a final Atlantis 2008 dinner with Bob Picardo at Fuel. We had the ever-delicious corn soup, perfectly prepared salmon (and “wing”) with homemade potato pierogi, and a spectacular rack of lamb served with corn succotash and crown pork. To end the meal, Bob enjoyed the crème brulee and split the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cake
with albion strawberries, caramelized cream and vanilla foam with me (I know, I know. I don’t usually mix fruit with dessert but these strawberries were incredibly sweet with not a touch of tartness).The gang in the kitchen also created an extra-special, mind-numbingly decadent dessert that incorporated dark and milk chocolates, rich cream, crushed hazelnuts, and Nutella. I was so overwhelmed that Bob had to guide me back to my car, put a brick on the gas pedal, and carefully steer me into traffic before seeing me off.
Two days later, I was back with a hankering for more corn soup. I sat at the bar where I chatted with the crew, left me meal in Ted’s infinitely capable hands and enjoyed, yes, a bowl of the corn soup, sablefish liver a la Ted (golden fried to smooth, crispy perfection), foiegras with Corinthian grapes, pork loin and gnocci, and a sneak savoring of a new seasonal addition – a gorgeous and aromatic chanterelle soup. I decided to forego dessert in favor of a second bowl of corn soup.
Then, Sunday night, Marty G. took me to dinner. Guess where. Yep, we were back at Fuel. Again, we sat at the bar and this, time, Avlin called the shots, More corn soup, prawn two-way, incredibly flavorful veal meatballs that even my traditionally dubious Italian mother would have loved (again, served two-ways), and the restaurant’s now trademark de-boned crispy-fried duck. Martin tapped out and skipped dessert. I, uh, opted for a finishing bowl of corn soup.
Last night, Carl and I hit Cobre, the Nuevo Latino hotspot in gastown. The neighborhood is a little skeevy but, on this night, our window seats overlooked the street level action and included an unobstructed view of the crafts service table for some production shooting in the area. Between courses, Carl and I entertained ourselves by playing a little game I like to call “Teamster or Tramp?”. As for the food – Carl was mightily impressed. We ordered five tapas dishes – actually six if you count the second order of pulled duck with charred scallion and whole roast garlic tortillas – and, when all was said and done, Carl was already making plans for a return visit. In addition to the aforementioned pulled duck tortillas, we had the wild boar chorizo and nugget potatoes tortillas (a little light on the chorizo and a tad heavy on the potato), a superbly salty and sweet Indian candy tamale with green apple jalapeno jelly and plantain fritos, a fine white corn free range chicken taquitos with homemade guacamole, and the Maple chipotle glazed beef short ribs with that proved tasty but a little stringy and not all that meaty. All in all, a very good meal.
Tonight, Paul and I are heading out to dinner with some friends, including Jennifer Finnegan who most of you know as Annabeth Chase from Close to Home but Paul and I know, far, far better as Kim McCloud from our very first live-action series, Student Bodies. Well, I suppose we also know here as Jen Finnigan as well… Also joining us tonight will be fellow Student Bodies alums Sarah Edmondson and Ross Hull.
Then, this Friday night, it’s dinner with my agent followed by Saturday night’s series wrap party. Hell, there is no way I am squeezing into that tux.
Thank you to everyone who has weighed in with their thoughts on Keeping It Real. Just a reminder that you have one more day to post your questions for author Justina Robson…
Drldeboerwrites: “I definitely wanted to hear the song and was disappointed to find theNoShows.com to be offline. I then checked Cynic Guru’s site for it and have to say that the song Doom (I agree it’s funny in itself if you ever played the game like we used to) does fit what I imagined The No Shows played, stuff not my taste (synthy rhythym & bubblegum) but technically pretty good.”
Answer: What did you expect? The band is made up of an elf and fairies. Did you know that Britney Spears is half elf on her mother’s side?
Antisocialbutterflie writes: “ I liked the fact that the demons weren’t the traditional evil creatures as defined by Christian standards, but rather they present a different side of the magical coin from the elven magic.”
Answer: Oh, agreed. I also loved Zal’s half-sister and was kind of hoping she’d play a bigger role in the proceedings. Maybe next book?
Antisocialbutterflie also writes: “ Zal failed to capture my attention to the degree I am accustomed. It may have been that he remained disconnected from the audience just a bit too long to for me to connect with him. Or it was because he was a self-absorbed jerk.”
Answer: Perhaps a little of both. It’ll be interesting to see what Robson does with the character in future books. I suspect there’s more to Zal than the mere surface impressions we were treated to in Keeping It Real.
Narelle from Aus writes: “Firstly, I Loved It! But then again I have a thing for elves…”
Answer: I knew it! The last line of my first paragraph in yesterday’s entry was a specific reference to you.
Narelle from Aus also writes: “It took me a while to grasp Lila’s essence. Her modifications made her insecure in the way a lot of women are.”
Answer: Yes, the parallel insecurities of both main characters (Lila and Zal) wasn’t lost on me. However, unlike Zal, we were offered a glimpse into Lila’s mind and, thus, were better able to sympathize with her as she struggled with her cyborg modifications. As you pointed out, Zal’s acceptance of Lila said a lot about him given the emphasis placed on the physical scarring she must live with.
Terry writes: “ The revulsion that the elves have for Lila, a product of science, is most interesting especially since Lila had an initial feeling of dislike for the non-science bound elves–I could suggest that it’s a deliberate display of the divide between the ‘green’ environmental nuts and those who live through science.”
Answer: Hey, interesting. I never thought of that but now that you mention it, yes, it’s very easy to draw parallels.
Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Ivanaaa’s cousin’s little girl.
Today’s video: A goodbye message from Paul McGillion.