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Our work place has the usual conversation. What would you do if you won the lottery? How much would it take to quit work? What would you spend 37 million on? How the heck can you spend it all? My answer always includes traveling and spending it on things I can only dream of, completely frivolous but most likely, completely worth it.

For example, how about siphon coffee? At $20,000 this coffee machine does a very unique blend of filter coffee that is fabulous in it's design and, from what they say, it's flavour. I love coffee in all forms and flavours. From the ubiquitous Large Double Double to the crappy corporate sludge I have right now, to Starbucks to my own homemade drip or plunger or stovetop espresso or even the jar of instant that I have more for cookies but is often used for lazy lazy days. Yes, days lazier than plunger (bodum k?) cuz i was so lazy i didn't clean the fucker out the day before. Hell, I even like my three day old microwaved coffee. I still want to try the rodent poop coffee and the $15 cup from around here. And probably tomorrow, I will try the new machine my sister gave me, one of those push button espresso makers. Yum.

Must. Not. Fall. Asleep. I just had some leftover turkey dinner for lunch. So many caaaaaaarbs. Have lead weights on eyelids. Putting hot coffee below nose so when my head dips, the pain will wake me back up. Either that or I will look like one of those bobbing birds.

Gawddamn it all !! Socks disappear and become coat hangers. Car keys become dust bunnies. Well you know where all those bones from "boneless skinless chicken" go?!?! Into MY boneless-skinless-chicken !! Every fucking time I bite into a piece I get a stab or a crunch. I even chipped a tooth biting into a chicken breast one time. I have always hated chicken bones including those yucky chocolate candy ones.

Ade, by proxy of Kent, dropped off a bag of cherries, from a cherry tree that fell victim to one of the recent wind storms. I must admit to my fruit quirk -- I am not much one for fresh fruit. It's a texture thing that is attached to unpleasant experiences from childhood when all fruit related encounters involved canned fruit. I still just don't like fruit that goes squoosh in my mouth... dunno why, really. Anywayz, I am trying to change even now decades after I abandoned my picky eating. Ask the twenty old me to try japanese or attend dim sum and he would have collapsed into a tight knot of embarrassment. Anywayz, i do like me some pie so with Marmy's creation last night, I may gain a respect for cherries.





One of the joys of working downtown, one which I am yet to actually take advantage of much, is being so close to the delightful foodstuffs of Kensington Market. For example, I can go over and pick up fresh chorizo sausage for Chickpea and Chorizo Soup. I also had no problem getting chipotles in adobo sauce for Marmy's squash soup. And that reminds me -- I want to learn how to do my own sans-nuts mole sauce.


It's a fascinating story over at Megnut's guest side of things where Michael Ruhlman lost a tooth to an oyster shell. Being American, the repairs came out of his pocket. His little company of himself didn't carry dental insurance. Either do we, as I am with Marmy's dental, but that sort of thing is automatically covered by our Canadian Health Insurance. About 5 years ago I knew the grinding I was doing was hitting critical mass as all the major molars on the bottom row were sensitive. I could feel one in particular had thin cracking lines in it. I had one dentist fill it but that seem to make it worse and then one fateful evening I felt it go, an entire half-molar in my hand. Long story short, it got filled and fell out again (with a caramel) this spring past. New dentist repaired as (freely) easily as the last. I like Canada.

Grazie, the Italian resto which always has a line, is just around the corner from Work. I have asked but never heard whether it warrants the line but as we well know reputation rules all in this city. Sunday night we had a bevie of movies and no interest in cleaning the kitchen enough to prepare dinner. Pizza held no interest so we decided to take another look at MenuPalace. This website is not about take-out ordering as it once was but is also just a way to gather all the restaurants together in one place.

They also seem to have a successful business doing restaurant mini-websites. Or full-blown; it's hard to tell micro vs macro in the webword these days. But all the sites have a similar Flash-based style with music, sliding menus and a skip-able splash screen. I like this idea as it sets a standard for restos to follow -- there is nothing more annoying than a resto that considers itself upscale but it has a 1996 all-centered website. Food of an upscale nature is about look & ambience as well as taste so I think the website should look good as well. And I also like the idea of a micro-market of webdesign where a designer can focus on one idea and get it right.

But conversely was the actual ordering process. Grazie sent us to which redirected to the ugly It's a badly designed and badly organized site that seems more about providing business to businesses than it does providing an on-line ordering system. It may just be me but shouldn't I know exactly what to click on to place an order without having to guess at "Individual Solutions" ? From MenuPalace to the Grazie site to RestaurantsOnTheGo to OrderIt. And stupidly, I had to have both the Grazie menus page open as well as the OrderIt ordering form open, so that I would know what I was going to be eating.

The food? The food was great.

japanese snacks
Originally uploaded by tbit.
Yes, those are what you think they are. One bag of potato chips of Okonomi flavour and one of Gyoza. For those not knowing, Gyoza are the japanese version of pan fried potstickers and Okonomi(yaki) is a pancake/pizza/fritata like dish with cabbage and batter as the main ingrediants but seems to have as many recipes as there are styles of pizzas. Most are topped with a style of BBQ sauce and mayonaise.

Hey, this lil note from megnut says that there might be a burger joint for Keller. He's one of those celebrated chefs that Nood geeks about. I understand that celebrated chefs like when wealthy patrons coming in and spending money but do they ever get the experience of food geeks? Does a crowd of not so wealthy patrons come in hoping to meet the celebrity chef leading to a moment of, "Duuuuude I SO like what you did with the DUCK, maaaan!!! Can we get a photo with you for our photoblog???" I have always wanted to upscale my eating, choosing to wear clothes a little better , save some extra dough and eat at a place where they have napkins, require reservations and would majorly frown upon our loud, raucous and references to, "6-slotting damage on that bitch!!!" I am sure I could handle upscale eating if it was a burger joint.

So it's been about a week away from the keyboard. We had a guest in the guest slash computer room and while I did have access to the media slash J's computer, I do my blogging from here.

A few things on the go. Turned 38 the week past and I feel old. Maybe it's the trucker belly that is uncomfortable to sleep on, maybe it's the almost-40 and in neutral (workwise) and maybe it is because I actually am. I collected my usual fair of popculture from friends and J -- finally I can watch Jeremiah Johnson in it's entirety instead of just a few minutes here and there when it runs on A&E on sundays. And it's appropriate that I am watching Band of Brothers considering the time of the year.

Speaking of gifts, on the day in question J and I did our dinner at our favourite mexican resto here at Yonge & Eg (Mariachi just south of Eg) and on the walk there I was wondering if something was up. We had sent out emails to the usual crowd and everyone, including the guest, replied that they had other plans. Every plan sounded plausible but the coincidence was amazing. So of course they were all at the resto when we arrived. Cards were passed, beer was imbibed and I ate far too much. I paid for it the rest of the night. Oh, and cake was eaten -- Dufflet cake, gawdamn heavenly cake! Thanks for coming folks!! And after all these years J still knows how to make me grin in appreciation.

The week with the guest (p.s. since when am I so anonymous? it was the geeky ent by the way) was a way-stressful week at work. I know, I know people who know me never hear me stop but things were grandly stressful. The largest seasonal sale of The Store's year was happening -- we were down at least half a dozen bodies with inexperienced occasionals taking up the slack, managers calling in sick and customer tensions at an all time high. There is a point in stress where you no longer get annoyed or angry or upset but feel tired all the time. That was me, burnt and exhausted but not due to overt hours. Sure I worked a day-off and some extra hours here and there but really it was the environment and seeing all the people who were on day 11 of a no-break stretch. It's over now so the lack of bodies is balanced by a normal 100% customer ratio.

Pop culture is still being absorbed at a high speed downloaded rate. Watched the new D&D movie the other night in all it's badly acted, horribly scripted, tons of in-jokes glory. Still, it was strangely better than the hollywood first movie. On the weekend the rest of the gang giggled at MST3K while I fell asleep. On Monday, gKent and I went to see MirrorMask and I fell asleep a couple of times. Too much imagery turned a switch in my brain. Will have to see it again with J and any other Gaiman slash McKean fans who want to come. My current loo-read is an atomic age Green Latern paperback digest that gKent gave me -- lots of weak stories, silly villains and less than a stellar understanding of science; I love old comics. And I haven't rolled a ball all week.

Other than my successes at Gyoza, I have tried to make Okinomiyaki only once. It was a mild success, based on my experiences at Okinomi House here in TO. Basically, at least there, you have a light pancake with chicken and cabbage held together by egg. Great idea for breakfast but if J can eat cereal at 12am then I can have okonomi at 8pm. Mine was only mildy ok, as it tasted like what I had there but my batter was too... battery. I do intend on trying again.

Makin' curry - step 1
Originally uploaded by coquettish.
I was commenting the other day to wNood that I saw this image of blocks of curry on the web somewhere. I guess it was this image at lala's place. man, that schtuff looks like chocolate but is dried curry, which leads me to believe that this would be a perfect way to market mole. P.S. wNood proceded to buy me a box.

Originally uploaded by tbit.
This is my typical breakfast, created by a need for a non-cereal, lower carb breaking of my fast that would keep me going until noon or four. The toast is some sorta of grocery store, ultragrain kind that is nummy slathered in margerin. And the plate, well the plate just says it all doesn't it? P.S. There is nothing more disgusting than chomping into a grape tomatoe and having it go "ooooze" instead of the expected "crunch-squish".