Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poor Long-Form Written Word

This poor, poor blog!  So few posts compared to the halcyon days of yore.  And yet, I can't stop won't stop.  I won't give up on blogging.  Not now, not ever.  I will hold true.  There is room for the long-form reflective written word and this is my space.  You can't supplant it with all the Snapchats and Instas and FBs and just can't.

What have I been up to?  ONLY HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE.  The weekend before this past one was literally insane in the membrane.  That's the technical designation for what I did.

Friday was my day off and I spent the day running around like a maniac.  I helped out at the book fair, went back to the Big Yam's school to do sub lunch, did mad errands, and that night I met my friend M in Kensington and then had tortas from Torteria San Cosme which were DELICIOUS.  We split the chicken milanese and the cubano, and I also bought a cochinita pibil one for home.  The sandwiches are priced at around $9, which is kind of pricey, but they're substantial and so well made and they griddle the bread, which is key.  It's a nice touch.  I'm of the belief that hot sandwiches should be served on buns that have been kissed with some kind of fat and then burnished on a flat top - it provides a texture barrier and just ups the general ante.  Anyway, the space is super-cute - it looks like a little cafeteria lunch counter with excellent floor tile work.  I'm a little in love with it.

That Friday was one of the nicest spring days we've had yet, and I was running around in my very ancient, vintage Mexican embroidered shirt that I've had for over 10 years.  The moms at the Big Yam's school were going apes**t and one of them asked me if I got it from Anthropologie.  There's been a lot about cultural appropriation in the media of late (see: Justin Bieber's dreads) and I was like, damn, am I culturally appropriating?  Should I not be wearing this shirt?  Then at Torteria San Cosme, one of the Latin American women working the grill (and it was super-amazing that the whole crew behind the counter was women - assuming they also have a say in the means of production), pointed at my shirt and mouthed the words, "I love it."  That made me feel a little bit better, but also: am I just being lazy and relying on a "native insider"?!?  WHO EVEN KNOWS ANYMORE.  The point is, those sandwiches, that I might have zero business in the world eating, were freakin' delicious.

Then we saw a Frida Kahlo documentary that was meh.  It was very "classic documentary" which meant long, still shots of the light on a wall and the sound of birds chirping.  It was about this Japanese photographer who went to Kahlo's house and took photographs of Kahlo's stuff and then they framed it by also interviewing women in Oaxaca who produce the embroidered clothing (it was just a random coincidence that I wore my shirt that day, I swear) that Kahlo wore.  I get what the documentary was trying to accomplish, linking Kahlo's embrace of her Mexican heritage and work as a woman artist with the traditionally female craft work and domesticity, but it was a bit of a slog and the thesis could have been tightened up a bit.

Saturday we played in the Regent Park playground with the Wonder Twins and then followed that up with dinner at Bar Isabel with Dr. Rei and Hanbo.  Such a fun time.  I love those guys.  My mum watched the kids and was hilarious about it.

Sunday was Mother's Day.  Mother's Day has been AMPED UP in recent years.  My FB exploded with heartfelt and sentimental tributes to all was a bit much for me, to be honest, but the Dotytron was lovely and took the kids away for a couple of hours so I could work on a quilt.  Then we went on a nature walk, and then Momma D came over and watched the kids so we could have dinner at A3 Napoli (one of my favorite restaurants) with JJ and S and then we went to see the Noma documentary at Hot Docs, Ants on a Shrimp.  

This documentary felt like a slog, to be honest.  It's ostensibly about the time the chef, Rene Redzepi, packed up the whole restaurant and transplanted Noma to Japan, for a 3 week engagement.  What emerges is this slavering fanboy flick that doesn't critique anything.  You don't get any sense of the thought processes that go into the dishes, what they're after, how the dishes taste, what the reception of this endeavour was...basically, as a viewer, you're supposed to take it on faith that the stuff tastes good.  It was very acritical and all I got out of it was flashbacks of my time on the line.  There was also all this hyper-masculine, macho stuff: the film opens with the chef de cuisine and the sous chef charged with conceptualizing the menu, both of whom are heavily tattooed dudes, and are shown in the opening scenes of the film doing weird cross-fit type stuff like pull-ups and working on rowing machine until they get blisters.  Just, ew.  Get over yourselves, stupid macho kitchen mentality.

The Don is so magical

Comic book nerds are also magical

Some of the awesome stuff I picked up.  Love that Prince and Bitch Planet poster!

This weekend we had my friend C64 and his partner over for dinner on Friday, then on Saturday we went for a rainy walk in the Don Valley with the Wonder Twins, and hung with SMckay that night.  The Dotytron went to see Lee "Scratch" Perry and on Sunday, SMckay and I hit up the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.  I dragged the Big Yam which was, in retrospect, a bit of a mistake.  Although I was gazing longingly at some of the other parents who had children, seemingly younger than the Big Yam following them throughout the crowded halls, with their noses buried in comics.  Really want to share my nerd interests with my kids, yo.

That being said, the Big Yam has been hilarious.  A few week's ago we went to see Peppa Pig at Boston Pizza.  They were blasting Peppa Pig on the screens and Peppa came around to all the tables.  At a certain point, as she was making her way, the Big Yam craned his neck to see, and announced: "Peppa Pig is coming!  ... Jesus."  LOL!!!  He's so funny.  The other night, we had our neighbours over for dinner and were having a big conversation about wants versus needs.  I asked him, "So, can you think of something that you really need, versus just want?" and he said, "Ummm...wifi?"  Touché.  Can't really argue with that, can we?

Some snaps from around here, lately:

Sleepiest bubbies

B-b-b-b-bath time!

These two.  Finally starting to get along and be friends.  They're doing more collaborating and colluding and are frequently in cahoots.  During their increasingly fraught nap times, I'll hear Quincess test the door knob of their room (we have one of those door-knob protectors which means they can't turn the knob), and report back to Twin B, "It's locked."  So cute.

Eats around here, lately:

Company dinner: tagliatelle with radicchio and bagna cauda, with a poached egg and crispy croutons

Made a pretty kickin' chicken biryani with green beans thoren.  There are some refinements to be made, but it's definitely a good foundation.  Next time I might add some plumped raisins and will make some extra rice.

Saw some stunning artichokes so we roasted them, I made chorizo potatoes, and seared some ling cod and served everything with romesco.  GAH!  Love romesco so damn much.


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