As a result of losing a bet to my co-worker Kerry, I’ll be accompanying her to a local musical production of her choice. Her choice? Altar Boyz, the hit off-Broadway musical that has been described as “DIVINE!” (Michael Sommers, STAR-LEDGER), “AN ENERGETIC CROWD-PLEASER!” (David Rooney, VARIETY), and “HITS ONE FALSE NOTE AFTER ANOTHER!” (Larro, BroadwayBox.com). Today, I found a gift from Kerry sitting in my office mailbox – the Altar Boyz CD. In addition to some truly memorable lyrics (“Now we don’t believe in hurtin’ or in hatin’/’Cause that’s the kind of stuff that leads to Satan” and “God put the rhythm in me so I could bust a move.”) the inside liner features shout-outs from the various performers including, my favorite, Luke:
“Yo. This is Luke, in full effect, bustin’ the appreciation all up in your grill, cold-phreakin’.” Damn, this guy is hardcore. No, no, I realize it’s a satire and I probably would enjoy it if, say, it was three minute SNL sketch or maybe a quickie youtube video. But a 90 minute production?!
All kidding aside, I really, really, really don’t look forward to this show.
Hey, guess who I’ve convinced to do a Q&A on this blog? None other than my arch- nemesis, the marquise of mischief, the duchess of deviousness, the countess of calamity, the viscountess of vegetarianism – Ashleigh. She was reluctant at first, insisting she isn’t that interesting. But I beg to differ. I have a feeling this will be THE GREATEST GUEST Q&A EVER! Ashleigh wants your questions! Make ’em good and post ’em here. I’ll be collecting them over the next few days, then sending them her way on Monday.
Speaking of questions – you have one more day to get your questions in for author Jonathan Carroll. I’ll be sending the questions his way on Friday.
And speaking of answers – tune in tomorrow for a very special Q&A appearance by astronomers Dave Tholen and Roy Tucker, co-discoverers of 99942 Apophis, the asteroid once feared to be on a potential collision course with Earth – until, of course, being eventually talked out of it.
Lots to watch at work these past few days: The Time dailies, Carl’s cut of Life, and Brad’s cuts of Darkness and Light. Rob Cooper has been doing a terrific job directing. Time looks fantastic. Quite the trip, this one. Speaking of terrific – I should make special mention of both David Blue and Brian J. Smith who deliver outstanding performances in this episode. Heartbreaking stuff. Meanwhile, Robert Carlyle tears it up big time in the Darkness and Light two-parter. Love his “for a fact” scene. Truth be told, there are incredible performances throughout these two episodes: Minga Na and Justin in the red room scene, Peter Kelamis and Patrick Gilmore in their kino scenes, Jamil’s stoic warrior acceptance, Elyse in Chloe’s farewell, and Alaina Huffman’s turn as T.J., a character whose cool professional exterior belies genuine charm and a wicked little sense of humor.
Do you know what the saddest thing about 2008 was? No, no, not that kid running around the world for charity who was eaten by crocodiles in Egypt. And no, no, not that grandmother who adopted all those children whose last wish was to see them all before she succumbed to a rare blood disorder only to be done in by a bowl of tainted clams the night before the big family reunion. No, I’m referring to the closing of The Budapest, one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver, home of the Transylvania Platter with its schnitzels, sausages, cabbage rolls, and spaetzle! Well, today, we took out from Danube – owned and operated by the former chef at Budapest and located only minutes from work. We ordered up a couple of those familiar Transylvania Platters while Ashleigh opted for the vegetarian option – the perogies that were, interestingly enough, served with fried onions and bacon. “Of course you have to add bacon to the vegetarian dishes,”I told her. “That’s what gives them their taste.” Surprisingly, she opted to go bacon-less. Carl, Paul, Lawren and I, on the other hand, had no problem going full meat, then topping off the meal with some out of this world cherry-poppy seed strudel. Once done, Carl declared it “The best lunch we’ve ever had” at the office. Guess we’re putting Danube on the lunch rotation.
Oh, and speaking of vegetarian crackpotism, I was checking out the Vancouver foodie forums last night when I came across a thread describing the latest antics of the local food Nazi’s in their quest to dictate you can or cannot eat. To no surprise, they go after foie gras because the average folk rarely eat it, know little about it, and thus aren’t all that bothered by anti-foie demonstrations since they don’t inconvenience them. To which I say – if you’re anti-foie yet don’t think twice about purchasing meat at a supermarket, please do me the kindness of shutting the F up until you’ve educated yourself on the process by which said meat reaches your plate. You may not like what you learn – which is why many people turn a convenient blind I to their own menu while decrying the eating habits of others. Of course, don’t delude yourselves. First, it’ll be foie gras. Then, it’ll be veal and lamb. Then meat. Then fish. Then eggs. Then fruit and vegetables that haven’t (to quote Carl) “died of natural causes”. But, I digress.
One of the restaurants being picketed was none other than Fuel. It was a little after 7:00 p.m. and I phoned them up. Owner Tom answered the phone. “Yep,”he informed me. “They’re right outside.” “Save me a seat,”I told him. “I’m on my way.”
I arrived fifteen minutes later to find a group of placard-wielding demonstrators standing outside the place. Their numbers were made up of some masked young pseudo-anarchists (“Awwww, mom, where’d you put my bandana?! I neeeeeed it for the demonstraaaatiooon.”) and what looked to be a couple of homeless people (“Just stand around for an hour and I’ll buy you a sandwich.”) one of whom seemed to be holding his sign upside down for most of the night. I grabbed a seat at the bar, right by the window, and watched the show. They loitered about and lustily belted out some uninspired slogans until the hostess at the Thai restaurant next door stormed outside and kindly requested they shut up. About twenty minutes later, they all clambered into a waiting SUV (Apparently, the environment isn’t as important as ducks) and motored off to parts unknown (“Hey, Safeway is having a sale on quinoa!”).
I ended up enjoying an excellent pan-seared foie gras with rhubarb served atop a toasted brioche and I owe it all to the protesters. To be honest, it’s been months (and months!) since the last time I had foie gras so a huge thanks to the demonstrators (Skinny Yelling Guy, Backpack Girl, Woman In Desperate Need of a Shower #1,Woman in Desperate Need of a Shower #2, Medusa Hair, and Upside-Down Sign Holding Guy Who Was Hungrily Eyeing My Foie) for making it happen. I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future as any further demonstration will guarantee a foie gras purchase on my part.