Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today, I had Cotton Balls Taped to my Inner Elbows

Warning: this is a follow-up injury blog post.

So why with the cotton balls? Because all the cool kids are doing it. Or because I decided to multitask while waiting for my clicky wrist examination appointment and pop into the lab next door to get blood drawn for my dermatologist, who wants to make sure that my liver doesn't turn to stone while I'm on the meds that he prescribed.

I haven't had blood drawn in a bargazillion years, and I must admit that I'm a wee bit fascinated with seeing vials filled with the stuff. Especially when my body decides to act up and make the lab tech work to get that crap into the vial.

Today I learned that the veins in the dominant side of your body are much more likely to give it up without complaint. The non-dominant? Not so much. "Tell me why!" they demand, "Convince me to fill up that vial, lady!"

And so, both inner elbows are now sporting lovely bruises. And, apparently, a small allergic skin reaction to the tape that held the cotton balls in place? That's right, freaking medical tape. I need to stop being surprised by these things, I really do.

In maraca-wrist news, my hand is not likely to fall off of my arm. And the clicking will likely subside when the swelling completely dies down. Likely - you know what that means. I'll let you know when my hand falls off. I'm thinking about replacing it with a chainsaw. Do you think that would be a good look for me?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Of Gimpy Fingers and Clicky Wrists

I am mine own worst enemy, as previous injury blog entries attest to. Sometimes I feel like I should wear a hazard symbol on my forehead, just to warn people that, quite possibly, if they stand too close, they may be sucked into my whirlwind of physical spaz.

So the wrist, she seems to be healing nicely. Until I start to make more and more use of it, doing things like rotating my hand. Because then? Then I feel a resistance. And a click. Oh, bother, that's just not right! The continued tenderness, I understand. The click? Not so much. And so then I do too much research on the possible cause of my timebomb wrist, and then I start to worry, and then I make an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow afternoon to make sure that my hand isn't about to fall off of my arm.

And then I look at my secretly broken finger, which healed up fine, but at a sad, silly angle, and I wonder if perhaps I'm starting to fall apart.


A couple of days ago, I found out that Chef Susur Lee is going to be taking part in a demo at Trish Magwood's Dish Cooking Studio in March. I considered attending, until I came across the price of a seat in the room. I reckon I would much prefer to spend $175 on eating a meal at his restaurant and purchasing a new shirt to wear at that meal.

Seriously, $175? That's freaking crazy-talk. But then, the studio's prices on cooking classes seems quite out of step with other places offering similar courses as well. See what happens when you have a show on Food TV? You get all crazy with the charges.

PS: My parents stopped by Anna Olson's Olson's Foods and Bakery last week, and were sorely dissappointed by both the selection and quality of the food offered up for sale. And the pricing? Also crazy.

Friday, February 24, 2006

It's a Band Crush Post

Band Name: Ninja High School
Release: Young Adults Against Suicide

The Reason Why: They give me the same feeling that The Go Team! does. That feeling? The need to shake my thankfully unbroken ass. Also, there's nothing like cheerlead-chanting "You're going home in a fucking ambulance!" at the top of your lungs while driving down the QEW in the dark, dark night.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

So, Let Me Tell You A Story

Let me tell you a story about my yesterday evening. Let me tell you a story of an excellent meal and an excellent time.

Last night, my oldest friend, Brad, and I had dinner at Susur, which, I know, I have raved and raved and raved about in the past. And, you know what? I'm about to do it again.

Arriving at the restuarant, I was greeted by Lennon, the host. Personable and polite, to a fault, he sat me at a booth in a corner of the room, giving both privacy and an excellent voyaristic vantage point of the rest of the dining space. Because I? I am a voyeur who tends to hate being around people; I was so very much pleased by our table, I can't even begin to tell you. Our server, Robin, stopped by to introduce herself, and took my
request for a bottle of sparkling mineral water. She wore a most excellent modern-prarie pintucked shirt, that I just had to compliment her on it.

Brad arrived a couple of minutes later with an unexpected birthday gift in hand. Oh, how I love recieving unexpected gifts, but that, really, is beside the point. Seeing Brad making his way to our table, Robin reappeared, menus in hand, and asked if we were celebrating any occasion in particular. Although I had no intention of bringing attention to the fact because I just hate to be that person, the gift sitting beside me was pretty hard to ignore, so I confessed that we were there to celebrate my birthday.

Brad and I had already decided to duplicate our tasting menu experience of last year (to the freaking day, people. To the DAY), and paired our meal with an Alsatian Pinot Noir. One of the most excellent things about Susur is that the kitchen produces dishes based on what looked good at the market that day, so you never know just what the hell you're going to be eating. And, more importantly, the kitchen takes their guests dietary needs into consideration in all that they do - talking with Lennon on our way out, he mentioned that the night before, the kitchen had the challenge of creating a 5 course tasting menu for a vegan celiac sufferer. Now that? That is amazing. Susur's tasting menus are, in a way, served backwards, starting with plates that are heavier on the palate and the plate, to ones that are lighter and smaller.

The next 2.5 hours were spent in a state of continual surprise and culinary delight. Being a massive geek, I brought my wee reporter notebook along for the ride, and forced Brad to bring along his spy camera. Of course, both were only remembered after our amouse bouche was served, savoured and whisked away, so the documenting is not exactly complete. The following, however, is a log of our excellent gastronomical adventure. A few of the photos are nothing but blur. Take this as overwhelming food excitement making the camera shake instead of lack of photography skill, okay? Because that's what I'm going to call it.

My amouse bouche was a set of three vegetable compotes and gelees. I do confess that I was too involved in tasting and talking (I do tend to talk and talk and talk) to take real note of what was placed before Brad, although it sure did look pretty.

Course One


Roasted winter vegetables and lentils with chutney in a coconut yellow curry sauce

God, how I love curry. The root vegetables and asparagus were roasted to perfection, and the lentil cocunut curry that they were layered on was perfectly balanced, with the hit of spice being tempered by the coconut milk.


Fillet of bison with crispy glazed sweetbreads and a spiced tamarind sauce

Course Two


Hand rolled potato gnocchi with black trumpet mushrooms.

The gnocchi was tender and succulent and pan-seared with the black trumpet mushrooms. I detected a hint of citrus in the mushroom. I may have clapped my hands with delight, like a five year old.


Seared fois gras and Ontario sturgeon topped with quail egg.

Okay, seriously, the quail egg? It made us coo. Like freaking quails. But look at how cute!

Course Three


19 vegetable chinese salad with spicy apricot dressing.

This dish is actually a dish that Susur created for his second restuarant, Lee (which, by the way, is located in the building next door to Susur). And, as I've mentioned in the past, it's a dish that lives very high on my list of the Top Ten Favourite Things that I Have Ever Eaten. When the plate was placed in front of me, I really didn't think that I could have a better night. But really, the best was yet to come.


Sesame tuna and scorpion fish sashimi

Course Four


Braised salsify and morel mushrooms with asparagus, served over two foams of carrot and dill

I had never tasted salsify before, and really, had no idea what it actually was. I asked Robin about it, and she said that it was some sort of root vegetable. All that I know is that when I placed it on my tongue, it seemed to start to melt, releasing all kinds of excellence onto my taste buds.



Okay, so the salsify distracted me to no end with it's seduction of deliciousness. So much so that I forgot to write down exactly how the kitchen had prepared Brad's lobster. Whoops?

Course Five

Following the removal of plates and utensils of our fourth course, Robin returned to our table, and placed a plate and utensils in front of Brad, and utensils only in front of me. A few seconds later, a two-tier desert tray was placed between us, with four two-bite delights on the top tier, and six on the bottom. Cakes and mousses and sorbets and pastries and crepes, and, holy crap. I was ready to dive into the sampling, but realized that without a plate of mine own, such a thing could make for messy eating. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spyed what seemed to be a flickering candle, perched on a plate being brought towards my table. And was that "Happy Birthday", written in chocolate, splashed across it's shiney white surface? Why, yes, it was! Robin made my day, she did. Here I am, showing off my plate:

But, back to the desserts: I can't even begin to tell the the number of heavens we experenced as we shared and devoured every damn thing on that tray. Take a look!

I swear, I don't know how he did it, but the pastry chef at Susur made me love desserts made with things that I hate. White chocolate mousse rolled in coconut? Hate white chocolate. Hate coconut. Fucking LOVED this. And, most surprisingly, I delighted in a ravioli shaped desert that consistend of paper thin slices of pineapple with a raspberry preserve centre. I can't stand pineapple! I wanted plate after plate after plate of this insanely tart and sweet delight. But the cup of molten chocolate cake? It really sent me over the edge. I believe the phrase "Jesus Fuck" might have been uttered as I sunk low, boneless, deep into the cushy padding of my booth seat.

The Ending

A perfect meal it was, so much so that I asked Robin to pass along our thanks to the kitchen. And the perfect meal was made into a perfect experience as we were getting ready to leave. While Lennon was retreaving our coats, he, randomly, asked us if we were interested in taking a wee tour of the kitchen.

The. Kitchen. Let's face it, it's one thing to see Susur emerging from the kitchen to survey the room throughout your meal, it's another thing completely to actually see where the wonder in your belly actually came from.

Walking into the Susur kitchen was a revelation, and I swear, I could barely keep still from the delight. The kitchen was long and skinny and packed with Chef and his staff. Lennon talked us through each station, and the kitchen crew were lovely and welcoming, though they must've been cursing Lennon for bringing random kids into their domain. We were then shown through to the private dining room, and talked with Lennon some more. And then back through the kitchen with a quick wave to the staff, and then on out the door where Brad and I just had to recap and talk through everything that we just experienced.

I am more then a little in love with last night. And I am about to send the restuarant, and especially Robin and Lennon, a thank you for making it such a excellent, hot damn awesome time.

Notice to Torontonians: Brian at Rotate has cultivated an excellent beard. I complimented it, and I think you need to do so, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I am Madly Self Centered

Madly. Self centered. Because for the next few days, I have a feeling that all I will want to talk about is my birthday. And how awesome my birthday will be. And is. And was.

I may have started celebrating the occasion last weekend with the Dando show, if that gives you any indication of the way I like to celebrate things. The longer you can cash in on an occasion for the fun, the better, I reckon. I think I managed to convince people to celebrate my MLIS graduation a good six months after it actually occured.

Plans for the days ahead:
. Take the day off tomorrow
. Head into the city to dine at Susur
. Take of the day of my actual birthday
. Recieve visits and gifts

And milk it for all it's worth.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I am Good at Making Decisions

See, I've got me a bathroom renovation planned for sometime in the near future. The vessel sink and toilet? In my possession. The vanity shape, size, colour, wood and top? Settled on. The wall colour? Ditto. The new shower system? Take a guess.

Since today was a corporate holiday - my company's corporate head office is based in Alberta, and those crazy kids are celebrating something called "Family Day" (don't ask me. They're stampeding fools that I will never claim to understand) - I took my day off to head on in to a tile store. Vanity wood and top sample in hand, I grabbed a few sample boards (and a clerk to help me pull things that jived with what I had in mind), and headed on home to see what they looked like in the oh-so unnatural light in my bathroom.

One of the worst things about my bathroom is the fact that it's located smack dab in the middle of my second floor, along the shared wall with the unit next to mine, and, as such, is absolutely windowless. Everything looks so different when placed in that room (which leads me to wonder why I do my make-up in there, but I digress), so I'm glad I took home a couple of sample boards, because the inital tile I was leaning towards turned out to be a smidge too dark for the effect that I was looking for. But the other? Freaking-assed-perfect.

Now, all I need is to get the bathroom guy that my gym/bathroom&kitchendesigner friend recommended to nail down his availability, and the buying? The buying will begin.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Have Puppy Fever

Puppy owners, beware. I can't be held responsible if I run off with your furry faced children. You have been warned.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rabbits in my Mailbox. And I am Not a Murderer. At Least, Not Yet.

The Kozyndan rabbit prints have arrived. They are currently sitting on my dining room table, waiting for framing, and also, possibly, in hope that they'll multiply. Like rabbits do.

So, it turns out that I'm not to be branded a murderer. Both taste testers (guinea pigs!) are alive and well. And I now breathe a sigh of relief. The fact that both forgot to take the PB home with them last night made my day, mainly due to the fact that both, BOTH, brought in bread to try it out today. There's nothing that outweighs the horror of having someone try something that you made and are unsure of right in front of you then seeing them whip out a slice of toast and/or bread out of their respective purse and/or computer bag. Though I suspect that both have a tendency to carry around slices of bread with them at all times, anyway.

I think the verdict was a positive one. I may make a minor tweak to the cinnamon v. chocolate battle going on inside the peanut butter, and then figure out where to go from there. Oh, man.

Confidential to Kate: I want you to try it too, lady!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For Washing, NOT EATING. Also, Random, for Your Reading Pleasure

That's what I had to keep repeating to myself in the shower this morning. My Philosophy Mint Chocolate Chip 3-in-1 arrived today, and it is one of the most delicious things I have ever smelled. In my shower. Excepting me, of course, because dammit, I always make sure that I smell good enough to eat. Or, at least, good enough to make people not say, "Dude, you smell bad".


I have come to a point in my life where I demand one thing: Music must make me shake my ass. And I don't just mean music made for dancing, I mean all of it. If this ass doesn't shake, indie rock fools, you're just not good enough for me.


I sent home a peanut butter experiement with a co-worker and my boss today. Chocolate Cinnammon, made with bits of Dagoba's Conacado dark chocolate bar. I hope they don't die from eating it. I don't think I would like to be branded a murderer.


If I was to ever go shopping with one television personality, it would be Tim Gunn from Project Runway. I would like him to take me to all of the excellent boutiques and fill my wardrobe full of clothes that look like they were made for me, dammit. I would, for spaz-sakes, try to buy a pair of the ugliest shoes in the world, just to try to make him say, "Don't defend the shoe!". Because I am an ass.



Monday, February 13, 2006

Why, Dorian Grey, What's Your Secret?

Being Evan Dando, apparently. The man, I swear, just does not age. And neither, apparently, does the Hamilton indie rock scene.

"I think I know that guy. But I know I don't. He just looks familiar"
"That's because the indie rock scene here never changes. Backpack + Weezer glasses = and scene".

So let's see how those predictions played out:

. Excellence from Dando. Check. Song segueyed into song, until he just up and left the stage without a word. The voice still sounds like a mournful glass of whiskey. And to top it off, he played both "Ride with Me" and "Skulls". Which was all I really needed him to do. Therefor, no accidental make-outs needed.
. Fun with Monica. Check, check. Old times, but only the good bits, you know?
. Ackward run-ins with people from the past. Less so then I thought, but a minor check. A young man that used to frequent the record label's store when both Monica and I toiled there was in the room. We had christened him Kleenex Boy Wonder, and made fun of him because for such a lovely looking man, he sure did have bad taste in music. He gave us a stare of recognition. And then almost followed Dando into the bathroom to be a drooling fanboy. It was excellent.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

I Make Predictions

For tonight.

. Complete and utter excellence from the Dando. I've been reading reviews of the past few shows up at EvanDando.co.uk and it sounds like he's on his game. Excellent. I also vow to not accidentally make out with the Dando, no matter how good he is onstage. That's because any making out? It will be on purpose.
. Much fun with Monica as we celebrate our upcoming birthdays. Have I ever mentioned how glad I am that we became friends again? Because I am.
. Bumping into people I haven't seen in years, feeling uncomfortable about it, and running away to the other side of the room.

That's three official predictions, kids. Let's see how they play out.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Roofers, Not Raccoons. Roofers. NOT Raccoons.

Sometimes I have to wonder about the things that go on in the world inside my head. And then I have to confess them to you. Lucky!

Case in point: last blog post, I made passing mention of roofer raccoons. Passing mention in blog-form, that is, because in my excellent brain? That mention became a pause and ponder and plan about just how a roofing team comprised only of raccoons would work.

In fact, it would work like this: the raccoon roofers, clad in overalls, lumberjack shirts and safety boots, purchased in the RACCOON section of Marks Work Warehouse, or, perhaps, the Cabbage Patch Kid aisle of Toys'r'Us, would scamper about merrily on my roof, clutching wee yellow plastic hammers in their paws, replacing skylights and shingles in the blink of an eye. The blink of a QUIET eye.

The reality of the situation, however, is that (a) raccoons are not skilled labour, and (b) I don't think they would ever get down with wearing boots. So real life human roofers have taken on the task, and I am left sighing over the excellence that could have, but can never be, with Mr. Coon and Sons, Roofers.

I will be happy when the roofing work is over and done with, and I will again have the option of walking about my home, nekkid as a jay-bird, without fear of a roofer peering in through the skylights in my bedroom. Because me and the roofing crew? I just don't feel that we're close enough to be comfortable having that kind of relationship. The raccoons, on the other hand - I fear they've already seen too much.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Winter is the New Spring

At least, that's what the roofing company that my condo board contracted to work on our complex is trying to tell me. Thing is, it really is still winter, as evidenced by the sub-zero temperatures that returned after a brief warm spell the week before, when they optimisically started the work.

Yesterday, I was greeted by the vision of a roofing crew, dressed in a bargazillion layers against the cold, running about my roof like the racoons from the ravine below my building do. Racoon roofers! Dude.

In addition to shingling, they also began the process of installing new skylights in my unit. New skylights = excellent. The crap that has been falling down onto the tarps I've had to throw down on the floor? Not so much. Especially since both skylights are located in my masterbedroom. And I hate having to clean building materials up before I can fall into bed. Because building materials? Not my ideal sleeping companion.

But the work is done! And the skylights are lovely and clear and I can see the trees and the stars so very clearly. And though I complain, I am pleased.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Well, God Damn

A couple of weeks ago, NBC bowed to pressure heaped upon it from affiliates in the Bible Belt and the kids who buy airtime to broadcast commercials and cancelled The Book of Daniel.

Did I say God Damn already? Because, really, God Damn.

Apparently, showing a minister with real problems is problematic. Who knew that those who decide to dedicate their lives to the service of God are supposed to have perfect, pure lives? And that their conversations with the God that they serve are only ever supposed to be one sided? Not me, that's for sure.

But who am I to question the godly protestors? I seem to remember giving up organized religion due, in part, to the very fact that some of the most horrid people I knew lauded themselves for being godly and uber-religious (interesting, that). I am so out of the religion loop, I should be ashamed.

Although NBC did what they had to do (questionable, as it is), I do applaud their commitment to getting the unaired episodes out to the show's audience. Every Friday, true to its original airtime schedule, NBC is airing all of the episodes filmed up to the time of it's cancellation via their website. Why this is different from airing on TV, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps the religious shun the Internet? Either way, I'm glad the show is continuing on in another medium. And I'm glad that I'll get to see it.

Here's the deal:
. Fire on up IE 5.5 or higher on a Windows machine.
. Head on over to NBC.com/The_Book_of_Daniel.
. Watch the episodes.
. Head back next week for a new show.
. Fall a little more in love with Aiden Quinn.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Unexpected Rabbits

I have a new art crush. Behold two prints that I just ordered from the Toronto shop Magic Pony.

Both are by the illustration team Kozyndan, and both prints are 16" x 22". The tsunami of rabbits, entitled "Uprisings" first appeared on the cover of the magazine Giant Robot, while the second, "Bunny Blossoms" is its breedin' bunny sequel. I can't wait for them to arrive!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Have Been Outbid!

On the skirt! And I am crying tears of anger and sadness. Tears of frustration and rage. Tears of...right, I'm not crying. In fact, though I did love the skirt verra much, I'm releaved that I will no longer have the duty of attempting to find something to wear with it. Brown and gold? What? Before being outbid, I was stressing over matching browns, or going completely another way in natural, earth tones that weren't brown, and finding something lovely enough to wear with the skirt that wouldn't overpower it, and...

I have the uncanny ability to focus on the mundane. As you can see.

Since I had earmarked a wee bit of money for the purchase and delivery of the skirt, I have decided to spend them ducats on a small spree at Sephora. My pleas of "Hey, you going to Sephora? Wanna smell something for me?" have been answered (WITHOUT the help of my SLACKER COWORKERS), and I have settled on including a new Philosophy 3-in-1 in my order. Chocolate mint chocolate chip ice cream? Why, don't mind if I do! When I settle on an eyeshadow and eyeliner (I like the pretty colours, she says like an ass) I will make it mine. And then I will compose sonnets and make you read them when it arrives at my house.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Competitive Reading

When I was in primary school, one thing that I looked forward to every year was the MS Readathon. Did I care that the money raised went towards Multiple Sclerosis research? Hell no. But a sport for your brain? Ohhhh, yeah.

Every time I looked at the book log put out by the MS Society to aid in that year's Readathon tally, I scoffed, SCOFFED at it. 20 books? Ha!

Even when I was young, I was a voracious reader. And when you read to live, you learn to read fast, so you can digest an incredible story and move on to feast on the next. And, not to brag, I was a pretty advanced reader, swallowing novels whole while my classmates were walking about with Mr Mugs.

Mugs Scores, indeed.

PS: The only thing that comes close to Competitive Reading is Competive Eating. If only for the gross-out factor.