Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bachelor Week - Part 2

Okay so after the success of my first Bachelor FilmFest entry I was eager for day two.

I had a laze around day, no surprise, and ate huge sloppy Buffalo Burgers with steamed broccoli and cheap red for dinner. After a spirited round of "Math and Spelling" Race with daughter - you really had to be there, I tucked daughter into bed, cracked a cold beer and got ready for The Watcher, a 2000, or is it 2001?, thriller starring James Spader, Marisa Tomei and Keanu Reeves.

I wanted to like this movie, I like Spader a lot and the plot lines of urban alienation, serial killers and the thin line between hunter and hunted are all well worked but appealing. Then there is the Keanu factor. I want to like Keanu, I want him to have that epiphany as a performer, after all he starred in two tremendous movies The Matrix and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure plus there are redeeming moments in Speed, Little Buddha and even The Replacements. Still I can't shake the fact that he always seems stiff and unemoting in his work.

Anyway the film is bad, bad plot, badly lit, cliched scripting even Spader is mediocre and exactly when did Marisa Tomei get frumpy ? There are no connections between many events and ooooh Keanu as a serial killer is ...... well stiff and unemotional.

A Big Bachelor Thumbs Down.

On a happier note - the Yankees clinched their 13th consecutive playoff berth last night and the Leafs scored two goals against Buffalo.

In my LTO wine notes I forgot that a nice little Spanish Garnacha/Carignena blend from the Emporda region, Espelt Saulo is down a buck to $13.99, well worth a purchase.

The strength of the Canadian dollar is wreaking havoc with marijuana exports from British Columbia, and if you don't think that is a serious problem then you aren't very aware of how big the drug economy and its' spinoffs are. Hell, the drop in the sale of Humvees alone will cost 100 jobs. I urge you to lobby your local MP for some guarantee of currency stabilization immediately, well not exactly immediately ...... let's wait until mid October after I get back from California.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bachelor Week - Part 1

Wife is in Manhattan for a conference which means I'm bachelor for a week (well not quite - four days but no quibbling). I always take this week off work because:

1) I couldn't possibly get babysitting for four nights

2) By this time of the year I need a week off

I just hang for the week, cook and watch the kind of movies that wife doesn't enjoy, namely action and/or scary movies.

The Bachelor Guy FilmFest began last night with a screening of The Transporter, a 2002 Action flick starring former Olympic diver and fashion model David Statham as an ex-military black ops guy who now "transports items" for shady types. The plot is laughable but the action is nicely choreographed, especially the martial arts scenes and the opening car chase.

I give it a "Bachelor Thumbs Up", but not way up.

Tonight is either creepy or vampire - I'll keep you posted.

Nothing great on the wine front, though there are a bunch of "Limited Time Offerings" at the BCLDB this month. LTOs are when the agent/producer discounts products by $1 or $2 for a month to boost sales. Some notables are the Finca Los Primos range of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay all at $8.95 and yummy Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon for $13.99, down from $15.99.

Shockingly, Carlo Colaiacovo is hurt, surely Nic Antropov's knees aren't far behind.

The Red Sox have now clinched a playoff berth and stand as mortal locks to win the World Series, not only this year but until the end of time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brisket and BoSox, both sweet

We had a "commune" dinner on Sunday, six Adults, four children and a big smoked brisket.

Brisket was procured on Thursday, AAA Angus beef, and rubbed on Saturday with a mixture of paprika, coarse salt, pepper, sugar, elephant garlic and ground poblano chilis then left overnight. Daughter and "almost four" T-Money helped apply the rub, with great pleasure. I also prepared a "mop" for the brisket combining beer, cider vinegar and vegetable oil with a half cup of the rub and some habanero sauce, simmered for 30 minutes to reduce slightly, reserving 1/2 cup of mop for future use.

The brisket entered the smoker early Sunday morning and, despite some temperature control issues, was pronounced 150 degrees by around 4 pm. The beast was wrapped in foil and placed in a low oven (150) until dinner time. I prepared a sauce using the reserved mop and a commercial BBQ sauce, Wild Turkey BBQ sauce direct from Tennessee, while potatoes were roasted and corks popped. At 6ish dinner was served and the brisket was almost perfect, just slightly dry but with tremendous flavour and, sadly, none leftover. Wine was a Spanish Garnacha, Las Rocas, which had tons of ripe fruit and enough tannin to complement the smoky brisket.

Dessert was an incredibly rich, but not too sweet, chocolate pecan pie. The only downside, besides the lack of brisket remains, was that inclement weather precluded outdoor dining.

On a happier note the entire population of RedSox Nation have their heads in paper bags this morning trying to stop hyperventilating while an endless loop of September 1978 plays in their heads. It's September 19th and the once insurmountable lead over the Yankees has shrunk to 2 1/2 games.

This is sweet indeed, maybe sweeter than brisket, as I get to observe, on a daily basis, the misery of the RedSox faithful. I want to email every pundit who wrote off the Yankees and declared the RedSox divisional title a "sure thing" and ask them how they feel, but it would take too long.

The shift in collective body language between the two teams speaks volumes as the Yankees have their swagger back while Boston appears tentative and nervous like a runner constantly looking over his shoulder waiting to be caught......... and passed.

The funny thing is I still believe the RedSox will hang on and win the division in fact I think they're a mortal lock, but regardless the next 12 days should provide some great viewing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday Morning Musing

I should apologize for not blogging but it's my blog so no apologies are in order.

Daughter is back in school full time, and if they ever cut the grass at a city field again, will be competing in Girls U9 Soccer soon. As with almost all things in her life daughter is ambivalent about soccer until it starts and then she is excited about it. Daughter is not likely to ever be an outstanding player but she enjoys the game and I hope she continues to forever. I firmly believe that team sports are important for character development, especially for girls.

Speaking of teams - the NFL season kicked off last week and I didn't place a bet, watch a game or really give a rats ass. Strange that in my late teens through my mid 30s the Sunday/Monday rite of NFL passage was one of great delight and now, with the exception of the odd Redskins game and the Superbowl I hardly even notice that the league is there. I would say it is a sign of maturity but since I exhibit so few signs of maturity I think it must be something else.

The restaurant I work at is becoming an impossible situation for me. The restaurant has always been a bit of an embarrassment in the way it is run, or not run, and in the price/quality ratio of the dining experience it offers. I could always take the mercenary route however of saying "Yeah but as long as I get my shifts and pull in my $200 a night I don't care". In the back of my mind, actually probably in the middle, I always did care though and it frustrated the hell out of me to see all the potential being pissed away by an inept management team.

As this summer began there were signs of life, we possess the strongest kitchen brigade we have ever had with a confident and practical exec chef and we had a good solid crew of floor managers. But alas it was not to be as the two best managers succumbed to the sirens' call of :

1) A better management job
2) a life outside the industry

leaving us spinning in the wind with little or no direction and the winter approaching. I can put up with the bullshit for $200 a night but not for $125. I have a couple of weeks off approaching so we'll see what develops.

I haven't tasted anything great lately but did get a nice bonus on my last trip the The MotherShip (39th and Cambie). Somehow the Board got stuck with a returned special order of 24 half bottles of Riesling Reserve 2004 from Pierre Sparr and priced them at $9.95 - I quickly grabbed a couple and popped the cork on one with grilled Coho on Sunday night, I wish I'd bought more.

Speaking of Salmon, why if there aren't any left can I still buy fillets of Wild Sockeye for $8.00 a pound ?

Will the recent shootings in Vancouver restaurants result in "No Firearms" sections ?

Tony Gallagher, reportedly a newspaper columnist, blamed the Minnesota Twins hitting coach for Justin Morneau's problems this season in todays Province. Strangely I don't recall any columns last year, when Morneau was the thoroughly undeserving winner of the American League MVP, giving credit to the Twins coaching staff for Justin's success. But then Gallagher is such an unbiased "Homer" that unless the hitting coach was a BC boy he is not worthy of any praise.

The Boston Red Sox will easily win the World Series this year, they are mortal locks.