I missed a phone call this morning. Actually, two successive calls from the same number. As a rule, I refuse to answer my phone before 9:00 a.m. so I let it go to voice mail. And, of course, the caller didn’t leave a message. Presumably the reason for the call was important enough to warrant a redial, but not important enough to leave me a message. Curious, I phoned the number on my call display and was greeted by the automated switchboard of Vancouver Coastal Health that informed me: “Unfortunately, we are unable to identify the party that called you.”
Now why the hell would Vancouver Coastal Health be calling me? The only thing I could think of was that x-ray I got the other week. But my doctor already reviewed the results and gave me a thumbs up and, if it WAS x-ray-related, her office would be the ones calling me back. No? My creative mind ran through a host of possible scenarios. In the most unnerving, my x-ray got forwarded to VCH as a matter of procedure where their experts studied the results and marvelled “Holy shit! How did his doctor miss THIS?!”.
Is it x-ray-related? Are they going to call me back? If so, when? What’s the deal with my x-ray?!!
Lesson learned. If somebody phones you before 9:00 a.m., assume it’s important!
Over the last little while, I’ve listed off the shows I checked out and stopped watching. Today, I’d like to turn to more positive territory and discuss some of the shows I actually watch on a regular basis:
Ah, a show that combines two of my favorite things: food and New Orleans. It’s been years since I last visited the Big Easy, but every time I glimpse Bourbon Street or hear mention of Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s, or The Commander’s Palace, the happy memories return. It was a truly memorable trip highlighted by my traveling companion, a girl I fell into conversation with at the library one day. She mentioned she wanted to go to Cuba but couldn’t find a friend to go with. I told her: “Make it New Orleans, and I’ll go with you.” And she did. And I did. I remember checking into our hotel and cutting through the courtyard toward Bourbon Street. I heard something and happened to glance over my shoulder, catching a young woman out on her balcony, stretching – stark naked. She smiled, gave me a wave, and ducked back inside. Ah, good times.
Anyway, the show! Sure, there are many competitive cooking shows out there, but none are anywhere near as good. Great judges, great personalities, and, always, some great-looking food. I wasn’t a big fan of Last Chance Kitchen when it first aired, the internet-only appendage to the show that allows eliminated contestants to cook their way back into the competition, but have grown to accept it. I’m less forgiving of the decision to make last season’s finale a “live” event that ended up forced and awkward, lacking the suspense and drama that typified previous finales.
Unlike my fellows writer-producer, Carl Binder, I DO possess the zombie gene and so I do enjoy a good undead outing. Granted, in the past, I have criticized this show for its sometimes slow progression and stealthy zombies who shamble around noisily unless you happen to back up against a chain-link fence at which point they can sneak up on you like ninjas. But this season, the show is firing on all cylinders as the survivors of the zombie apocalypse battle the undead, internal division, AND unseen threats within their camp: a deadly flu and a potential mole within their ranks. Will Glenn survive the flu? Will Daryl’s group get to those much-needed meds? Is someone responsible for spreading the virus within the prison?
In the case of the latter, I’m going to say “Yes!” and offer up my number one suspect:
The one new fall show I am still watching is this HBO comedy created by and starring Stephen Merchant, one half the talented duo that brought us The Office (the UK original and, by extension, the U.S. version as well). It’s humour in the vein of Larry David and Ricky Gervaise as our hero attempts to navigate the oft-treacherous waters of the L.A. dating scene. Merchant is brilliant and he’s backed up by a terrific cast of supporting players including Christine Woods as a struggling actress, Nate Torrence as his recently divorced buddy, and Ken Wiseman (formerly Marshall Flinkman of Alias) who plays a physically disabled Lothario with a mean streak. Wonderfully, uncomfortably hilarious.
I know, I know. It’s admittedly a guilty pleasure. I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about this season’s Blood vs. Water set-up which sees former contestants competing with/against loved ones – and am still not convinced. Still, I love the human dynamics – the alliances, the shifting loyalties and, best of all, the blindsides!
I’m watching this one with Akemi because she wanted to watch something scary, but not as scary as The Walking Dead. This show is perfect because it vacillates so wildly between visceral horror and over-the-top silliness as each episode attempts to cram in as many horror movie tropes as possible into its twisting and turning narrative. I object on the grounds that it doesn’t make a jot of sense, but it’s immensely entertaining for those who don’t get hung up on traditional storytelling rules like logic and plausibility.
Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Das!