Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Random Ephemera

I am feeling STRESSED, sons.  Which manifested in a painful, blocked, engorged boob on Monday which is probably a sign from the milk gods that I should relax a bit.  EXCEPT THAT I CAN'T.  I've got a million things on the go - this week alone has doctor's appointments every day Monday to Wednesday, then the Big Yam home with me on Thursday, and hopefully Friday I can get a breather except I have Book Club Thursday night and Ladies night on Friday night and no time to do anything or research kindergarten or fill out a million passport renewals, or stay on top of laundry, or keep the house clean, or tidy or put things away from get the drift.

When the Dotytron was asked to MC the Yeti's Memorial on Saturday, at one point he turned to me and observed that if there's one thing we have learned from this experience of three under three and newborn twins, it's that people generally have a VERY high opinion of us.  The things we are asked to do on the regular is INSANE.  Like, people wouldn't ask that of people with one newborn kid, let alone two at once!  People would hesitate to ask the same from like, people who just work one regular 9-5 job!  Also: the offers of help dry up faster than the need for help does.  That's just the way it goes, I suppose.  On the one hand I'm proud of how well we're managing, all things considered.  On the other hand, IT'S OKAY TO OFFER HELP TO PEOPLE WITH TWINS AND A PRE-SCHOOLER, FOLKS.  THEY WON'T BE MAD AT YOU, I SWEAR.

That being said, I want to give shout outs to my brother, Bruce Wayne, and his gf, and Dr. Rei and Hanbo who came and managed the kids while we went to the memorial on Saturday.  My brother took the Big Yam to the first of his winter parks and rec classes - I signed him up for a half hour of hip hop followed by a half hour of ballet.  As it turns out, he's the only boy in both classes, but he was so into it - it was so cute.  We asked him what he learned and he showed us and was so proud, which is a million times more engaged than he was for the sports classes.  Bruce Wayne took some photo and videos and we basically died watching them.  I'm on the hunt for some ballet slippers for him now.  Some of the other girls were mad tricked out in full dance apparel, but thankfully the Big Yam was oblivious.

My mum was amazing and came with me to Sick Kid's Orthotics Clinic last week to manage Lindsay Lou-Lou while the Quincess was having his first appointment for his helmet.  They took a 3D scan of his head and will base the helmet off of that, so there won't be a need for any plaster casting of his head.  In order to do the 3D scan they put this stocking cap on his head and well, I'll let the picture speak for itself:

I mean, COME ON.  How cute is that?!  

He looked so friggin' cute in the stocking cap that any lingering fears I had about the helmet were washed away.  If anything, it's just going to put more emphasis on his little sweetums face.  So yes, he will have to wear it 22-23 hours a day, but I have a feeling it's just going to be the most adorable thing, ever.

When my mum showed up she tossed me one of my Poh Poh's fur coats.  So now I own a black fur, which is kind of boss.  I should raid my Poh Poh's closet for her vintage Christian Dior purses.  This is how much of a baller my mum is.  I asked her, innocently, "Do you know what kind of fur it is?" and she gave me a look of withering disdain and was like, "It's mink, OBVIOUSLY."  LOL.  EXCUSE ME!

After the appointment I took her to Santouka Ramen for lunch.  The menu hyped up this special, limited (until they run out) ramen that was $15/bowl so I ordered the shio version and my mum ordered the spicy version.  We also split an order of gyoza.  Here are my notes: 1) ramen for 2 people with gyoza should not be a $50 meal (which this was).  2) I gotta learn and stop ordering gyoza out.  It's always a less satisfying, less meaty, more delicate (read, wimpily flavoured) corollary to a Chinese potsticker and those are way more up my alley.  I always want more of everything - more filling, a chewier, doughier wrapper, more of a stomach-filler.  3) The special ramen wasn't so special.  The broth was nice and clean tasting, the ramen were really bouncy and had a great chew and the pork neck was perfect, but overall, I still prefer Sansotei.  At least I now know that I've tried all the heavy-hitting Toronto ramen contenders now and can come to my own preferences with a clear conscious.  PHEW.

I also went crazy and decided to install a runner on my stairs.  I got sidetracked by a busy week but I'm slowly gathering my supplies.  I will do a full blog reveal when this shiz gets done (which should be in the next two weekends), but it did require me putting out an APB to the neighbours for a pneumatic stapler and having one dropped off to my house within minutes of pushing send on the email.  Way to go, street!  Killin' it!  My quest for the runner led me to Target which also led me to impulse-buying a Dyson vacuum, on super-sale (only $299!).  I put it together and gave it a test run and once again, I am in awe of Mr. Dyson's industrial design sensibilities.  The thing just makes sense, you know?  Like, how does one become a Mr. Dyson?  I'm going to start crowd sourcing funding to make a documentary on that guy.  He's one of those people that I'm just in awe of.  How do you dial yourself in to that extent?  

Over the holiday I took the Dotytron out for his birthday dinner.  We went with our Discerning Coyote friend and his gf to this high end Italian place called Buca.  It's one of those King West places that oozes money.  I wasn't a huge fan, to be honest.  The space is kind of impersonal and ill-designed, in that it's such a throwaway room - lots of exposed brick and a giant ceiling in the service of a disjointed design aesthetic.  Our server was basically Wario.  By that I mean he couldn't have been more the embodiment of a deplorable stereotype.  He was also a terrible, terrible server.  He seemed vaguely patronizing and I've never had a fine dining experience with as many awkward exchanges.  I'M NOT NEW AT EATING OUT.  I've been around the horn a time or two, you know?  Yet, he would come to the table and ask, "Do you-ah, know-ah, what-a, you-ah, would-ah, like, to order?" and we'd nod and then there would be nothing.  Like, beat after beat of awkward silence as my tablemates and I exchanged glances because we weren't being cued as to who was to speak first, or when.  So we'd be looking at him to see who he was talking to and he'd be staring blandly back at us and it would go on until finally one of us would break the silence with a hesitant, "Uh, I guess I'll go first?"  It was so awkward.  He also dropped a cheese plate with NO EXPLANATION and I know I sound all, "it's MINK, obviously" about it, but really, you're supposed to describe the cheeses on the cheese board!  I want their pedigree!  It was very untoward.

The food was pretty high concept and fussy.  The presentation of some dishes was needlessly conceptual.  We ordered a whipped boar lardo which came on a giant wooden board, but was composed of drips and drops and dabs of dots of the components.  We were told that the idea is that you're supposed to "smear" everything together and scoop it up with this toast/frico type thing, but here's the thing with serving stuff on a wooden board - THE BOARD ABSORBS STUFF.  So we smeared it as instructed but some of it got mashed into the wood grain and wouldn't come up onto the toast.  A lot of the dishes lacked a balance of flavour.  I had this ravioli doppi, a double stuffed ravioli with braised goose and foie and squash, with a parmesan foam and some orange.  It's pictured below:

Me so hungee.

That is five bite-sized ravioli for $26.  Why are the portions so small?  I know you're paying mad luche on rent, but c'mon, guys!  Give a gal something to eat!

My dessert was a torrone (nougat) semifreddo with pistachio blobs.  It was delicious but I could have used 3.75x the portion.  In the end, I think the restaurant is out of step with how I want to eat, and how restaurants are positioning themselves.  I can get similar flavour profiles at a place like Porzia, for half the cost, and emerge, stuffed (which is my preferred state of being!)  I just don't want to be taken for a ride to subsidize your King West rent, ya know?  Especially if the service doesn't make me feel, "it's mink, OBVIOUSLY."

We also ended the holiday by getting takeout from the bricks and mortar outpost of a popular foodtruck, Hogtown Smoke.  We got a dinner for 2 sampler and chose the ribs, the brisket, the wings, and beans and coleslaw for our two sides.  The standout was the brisket - it was so fatty and juicy.  Not a tonne of smoke flavour in anything, but the wings were snappy and burnished and tasty.  The ribs were pretty forgettable.  The sides were on the tiny side, with the coleslaw being an afterthought and the baked beans tasty, but nothing extraordinary.  There's another barbecue joint opening up soon in the 'hood and of course, I could always get off my butt and smoke 'em myself.

Prof. Gantok is a giant, hungry, hungry hippo right now.  He doesn't chew his solids, but swallows whole bites like they're shooters.  He also shotguns his night time bottle and then gets SUPER-MAD that the Quincess is leisurely drinking his and tries to bat it out of Quincess' hands.  It's hilarious.  He's such a Chris Farley.  He's like Belushi in Animal House.  He's been babbling up a storm - lots of "bababa" and "mama" whereas the Quincess just seems content to stare dreamily off into the ether.  The other night as we were heading home from dinner at our friend's place, the Dotytron was putting Quincess in the car and out of nowhere, we both swear he said, "Eyeeelooooovveeeeuuuu" and Dotytron was like, "Did you just say 'I love you'?" and when we pulled his car seat out of the car he had fallen asleep.  That basically sums up his sweet little daydream believer personality to a T.

Here are some random kid pics:

Dinner solidarity.  They stayed like this for the entire 30 minutes we all spent eating dinner.

Scoping the scene from the command centre

Lindsay Lou-Lou has been jail-breaking his swaddle lately, just to get that one arm out.

Had a visit with an old friend and her cute little wolf cub.  Look at that baby scrum!  Lindsay Lou-Lou's expression is totally, "Who is that man?" Also: the little cub is so chubby that Lindsay outright tried to nurse his turkey drumstick thigh.  Mouth open and everything.

7 months old!  What!

All the boys together.

Seared rib-eye.  Mushrooms sauteéd in butter and brandy.  I've been all about the cauliflower-potato mash lately and added pureed kale to this batch.

Butter chicken, peas paneer, and amazing garlic naan from (one of) the Pakistani joints around the corner.  For some reason the garlic naan is cheaper than the regular naan, but 10x as good.

Last night's cabbage rolls & broccoli

Chicken stew & biscuits.


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