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Monday, January 31, 2005

Winterlicious 2005 - Pangaea

So, first restaurant of WinterliciousPangaea is located at Bay and Bloor, very trendy area of town, across from David’s Shoes, a store that I cannot walk by without wanting to lick the windows… (shoe fetish much?). The outside is very unassuming – in fact it looks like very small spot when I pass it every day on my way home from work. Inside, the architecture of the room is beautiful, with high ceilings, a stunning sculpture on the upper right wall. Enough about the restaurant. The food was fantastic… I started with the wild greens and pear dressing… other than the profusion of clover-type leaves in my salad (I kept looking for a 4-leaf clover – no luck), it was very nice. Both the Bride and I had the duck… and the first bite was maybe the best bite I’ve ever had. Spectacular. The entrée was overwhelmingly large, the wine did not stop flowing and dessert of lemon mousse was tiny, but delightful.

This restaurant would be normally quite out of my reach (the desserts are all $12…) but for the occasion of Winterlicious, which I guess is the point… I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys duck. We had a bit of difficulty with the wine list… like any restaurant list it was hugely expensive, but in this case, there was nothing on there that screamed spend $50. We ended up with a nice bottle of La Palma Cab (Chile $32). Meh, on the wine list.

$30 Dinner
Choice of:
Pangaea Hot Soup
Acorn squash and quince with Quebec cheddar
Wild and cultivated greens, shaved vegetables,
pear-pommery dressing

Choice of:
Duck Confit
Duck legs on apple & cinnamon braised cabbage, speck,
roasted duck and juniper reduction
Egg noodles, slow cooked tomatoes, leeks,
baked garlic, parsley, in truffled olive oil
Roasted vegetables, stewed organic lingot beans,
thyme & white wine butter

Choice of:
Hot Belgian Chocolate & Marshmallows
Cup of hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows
gingerbread and candied orange
Lemon Trio
Lemon mousse on lemon curd
with crisp meringue, and lemon cookie

(beverages, taxes and gratuity not included)

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:08 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Further adventures of the celebrity shocker - TIFF Top Ten

I will admit to being absolutely the most inept, insipid and yes, insane person around celebrities… I have come a long way in the last year, from my regrettable encounter with Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry, “can you believe that I read your book in school? In school! How cool is that?!”, the Colin Firth incident of the 2004 film festival… “CO-LIN!!” and my recent encounter with Douglas Coupland at a reading/book signing… “Oh, that being blessed part? You can scratch that out.” I have now hit what I believe to be a new low… I told director / writer Daniel Roby of La Peau Blanche (winner of City TV’s best Canadian First Feature at the TIFF, a film that I saw during the festival last year) that I (quoting here) “threw up a little in my mouth when I heard from the guys in the lineup that your movie was about vampires.”

I did bounce back from that comment and we had a really great discussion about how his film did not feel like a vampire movie, it wasn’t shot that way, the lighting, shooting, tone of the movie was not something that resembled that genre and it felt more supernatural. Despite being very hungover the morning of the screening, (hence the throwing up), I really enjoyed the film. We also chatted about how the film had been received at different festivals, and he made the interesting comment that he had encountered some difficulties in France because as a French movie, the film was presented without subtitles, and the accents were troublesome for some audiences.

On the whole, I think I’m getting a bit better – I haven’t actually insulted /assaulted a celebrity in quite a while… although Greektown Girl might disagree – she had to repeatedly remind me to use my indoor voice when I got a little excited about Atom Egoyan standing next to me and I exclaimed that “he’s teeny tiny! I could put him in my pocket.”

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:04 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Gimme my free cake and there had better be some singing!!

Here it is everybody… the latest and greatest in new ideas courtesy of Hot Chocolate. Are you ready? Birthday Eve. Ya heard me… birthday eve. We add a whole other day to the official birthday celebration. It means two days of free cake and singing at restaurants… two nights of legitimately doing jello-shots with no irony or remorse. Think of it… when you wake up all hungover and yucky from the birthday eve celebrations, there’s cake and presents (and more booze) to make you feel better. I’ll take that over a bottle of Gatorade any day.

2005 is like the perfect storm of birthday celebrations too… Saint John Flames is coming up to celebrate our birthday (we’re turning 24 – shut up beeyatches), which falls on a Sunday (hello baseball game at the Skydome with giant beers). Greektown Girl’s birthday is on the Friday. Sooo if you factor in birthday eve celebrations, we essentially begin the celebrations on Thursday with birthday eve for Greektown, the real b-day on Friday, b-day eve for SJ Flames and I on Saturday and b-day on the Sunday. Start booking flights gang, you don’t want to miss this. An itinerary will be published for the four-day event but is likely to include a concert on the roof courtesy of 601 if he’s back from boring Europe.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 3:58 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Further Adventures of the "Music Groupies"

Damn it all to hell, I missed the Trailer Park Boys Tuesday night (effing sold out). How am I ever going to be on their show if I keep missing them??? The only thing offering me solace right now is the fact that I’ll get another crack at the Stars when they come through town in April and that I saw two stellar shows last week… the Scissor Sisters and Metric. Two VERY different shows, but both amazing!

Scissor Sisters, a very sexually charged, flamboyant NY band put on a fabulous show… (Fabulous being the only appropriate word)… I LOVED where we were standing (not really standing, more like gyrating), crowded into the dancing gay men section. I LOVED that the lead singer dude was wearing the tightest, most sparkly, did I say tightest?, lowest cut pants I’ve EVER seen on anyone. As Saint John Flames would say… you could see what religion he was… tee hee. I’m never going to get over my jealousy over his feather boa either… bitch… The highlight of the night (other than the matching sparkly suspenders) was a cover of Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out, à la 1970’s disco as lead in to Take Your Momma Out during the encore… again – Fabulous! I came out of there in the best mood! (and not just because I hung out with a room full of men from my neighborhood and no one tried to give me a makeover).

Metric was awesome for a whole other reason… the show was at the Mod Club, a first time venue for me… I loved the spot, though the acoustics kinda bit. Within minutes of Emily hitting the stage I was in complete agreement with Greektown Girl that if I were ever to be a rock star, I would want to be her (maybe with Gwen Stefani’s stomach). We had an awesome view… hanging out upstairs with our own bar within reach. The music was great, the band was tight and Emily really warmed up to the crowd as the show went on. The cutie hotties hanging around us didn’t hurt either… they even quieted down when Greektown gave them her “you don’t appreciate this music… I do, so shut your face” speech. Awesome… we got several rounds of drinks for that speech (sidebar… I have to stop letting people buy me drinks… I get the worst hangovers because I lose track of how much I’m drinking if I’m not buying). Anyhoo, much dancing and singing along later… the evening ended on a flattering note with the following dialogue with one of the cutie hotties:
Boy: can I have your number?
Me: no
Boy: can I give you mine?
Me: not really
Boy: can I give you my email?
Me: if you really want to
Boy: can I kiss you goodnight?
Me: no
Boy: really? Just one kiss
Me: no

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 3:54 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Are We Broken Up?

So I was chatting with Saint John Flames last night and we were reminiscing about the good old days… (that which we can remember through the alcoholic haze). Hmmm… beeeeeer (sorry, it’s Friday… my body is programmed this way).

Anyhow, we got on the topic of best breakup lines… and between snorts of laughter, we decided to post a top ten list… now this is an “audience participation” game… I’m going to throw out a few of my own, one of the more memorable ones from you guys (sorry Cowgirl), and we’ll fill in the blanks together. Like a school project, only more fun. FYI, I’m putting my own as #1 because no one can beat this for originality / hurt / eventual hilarity factor (which are our 3 main criteria). Please post additions to the list in the comments field (do NOT send me an email otherwise I’m the only one who sees it!!!)

1. I hate your mother, I hate your books and I hate your friends (then wanted to get back together...)
2. I feel pressured for sex (a boy said this to Cowgirl in university)
3. I have mono ("well what about when you're better?" "I don't think it ever goes away... (particularly if you don't have it??))
4. I like women again (thanks, SJ Flames)
5. Quit drinking or we're breaking up (thanks, I'm REA-DAAAY)
6. You sleep too much (said Marathon Girl...)

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:52 PM :: 6 Comments:

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Monday, January 17, 2005

“Pink shirt girl, you’re a mess”

I love that in this city I can decide on a whim that I want to try something new and then just do it. Greektown Girl suggested a few weeks ago that I tag along to her hip hop dance class which I did with great excitement (yes, I was the whitest girl there – wearing running gear while the rest of the class was skeezed up in Puma sneakers and Madonna gear circa 1985 complete with wristbands).

This being Toronto, hip hop dance class isn’t held at the Y. Our class is at a dance studio, with Keisha Chanté’s choreographer, Lenny. Word must have gotten out that I’m the worst dancer in the history of the world (making me the ideal person to bring along to these things, because I make whoever I’m there with look like a rock star), because this past weekend, Midtown Girl invited me to try ballet with her.

So off we go, down to Union Station on a bright Saturday morning, jump on a streetcar and arrive at Queens Quay and Spadina (Saint John Flames (tee hee), I am ruined for pronouncing Spadina correctly because I will forever hear it in singsong as Spa-dee-nah). We walk a half block west and arrive at the door of what else… the National Ballet of Canada. Those of you who have seen me dancing just cringed! Yes, it was like watching a car wreck… I am that bad. But I had the most fun ever! Both hip hop and ballet classes are drop ins, which means that you jump in and try to keep up with what’s going on. There’s very little “instruction” in ballet, and none in hip hop – we just learn a new “routine” (makes it sound very cheerleader-y) each week. I’ve learned that in hip hop, if I skip a move in every eight count, I can sort of keep up. In ballet, I’m going to have to take extended water breaks during anything resembling pirouettes. Die! pirouettes, die! (I got called out in ballet during our pirouettes or whatever those psychotic turns were called: “pink shirt girl, you’re doing that all wrong”).

So now I’m hooked on each. Where else in the world can a (below) average girl hang with a real choreographer and learn a routine as he’s creating it? Or take ballet lessons with a pianist playing a grand piano in the corner of the studio? Only here, with my crazy friends! I’m drawing the line at belly dancing though…

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:33 PM :: 3 Comments:

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Right Man Need Not Apply

If you’ve been the perfectly behaved, non-wild, serial-monogamist girl all your life and have built up a fabulous world around you – friends, family, career (!) and a stellar social life… is there room for a little harmless and pointless dating fun before settling down?

I hate dating. I’m always either seeing someone seriously or not dating at all. I find casual dating awkward, overly strategic and it makes my head hurt. I just don’t do it. The whole awkward dating / break up / sexual politics / etc of being perpetually single has really never appealed to me. Until now.

It occurs to me that at the ripe young age of 28 ½, that the next person I date seriously might be (dun, dun, dunnn) THE ONE (you, know – THE one – the guy I live happily ever after with – and by happily I mean never getting married and never having children). I’ve put a great deal of thought into this over the last few months as I’ve re-adjusted to being single (post - Ebola) and I’m not sure I’ve given the whole “being single” thing a chance.

Pickings were very (VERY!) slim in my hometown on the East Coast, unlike the plethora (“brackets many” – Saint John Flames!) of available men here (and since we’re at it, why limit myself geographically…). Hmm - It’s like the “last class bash” of dating (shout out to the UNB alum)! Time to date a few wrong ones – fun ones – guys I won’t want to be with long term, and just have a little fun. I think knowing that I’m not actually looking for someone serious takes the ugly out of it. Sounds like a New Year’s resolution…

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 10:23 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Just when you think it can't get any better...

We decided to kick off our concert year with a roadtrip to Kingston ON, to see our favorite band of 2004 – K-OS, whom we had each already seen a few months ago at the beginning of their tour, but felt was worthy of a 3 hour drive out of town. It set a ridiculously high standard for every other show we’ll see this year.

Picture the smallest stage EVER. I could have touched about three of the band members without having to fully extend my arm. Also, the band had improved since we’d last seen them and were really tight. They seemed much more at ease… Highlights included the most amazing freestyle (I am the least hip hop person (read as: whitest) in the history of the world and I am likely abusing the expression freestyle, but it captures what I heard) … in the middle of “Crabbuckit,” this blond skank climbs up on stage and starts molesting K-OS. Without missing a beat, he starts rapping about how this blond girl is touching him inappropriately… He kept it up until security hauled her off stage and then went back into the song. Awesome.

We were admittedly among the more enthusiastic people in the audience - that being said, we were not among the “hump the speaker” crowd, nor the “I forgot to put on a shirt and oops is my t-bar showing, tee hee” group. Not band groupies, more like music groupies.

Which makes it all the more fun that we got to hang with the band after the show, because I was under the impression that only the “strippers in training” as Greektown Girl describes them, got invited onto any band’s bus. Apparently the mere fact that we were having the most fun ever was enough to score an invite.

So sure, it was fun to hang on the bus and it made for a great Monday morning story… sort of solidifies my status as the trendiest person in the office… (I’m also the only single person in my office and the youngest by many years, so the “trendiest” moniker is not that tough to get). But it was also cool to get to know them afterwards. I guess what will make this concert experience hard to beat in the coming year is not so much that the performance was amazing, nor that we had so much fun during it, or even that we got to chat them up afterwards… but the fact that it all happened at the same show.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 3:22 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Check Greektown Girl Out

The title kind of sounds like I'm the matchmaker and I'm posting her picture, however that is not the case (unless I receive multiple requests, in which case, I'll dig something up from Halloween...)

Greektown Girl has been responsible for my musical education over the past few months and can be credited with introducing me to my new favorite: K-OS (whom we’re seeing AGAIN tonight in Kingston!!), as well as several others I will admit to never having heard of before the concerts: Le Tigre, Interpol, Broken Social Scene and The Constantines (the last two being other TO locals and new favorites). Check out GT Girl’s Blog, called Star Gazing – the link is on the side tab.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:41 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Smart Girls Stay Single

Was it not just a matter of time before someone did a study legitimizing my very existence?! No, they did not just prove that finding the perfect boots after weeks of intense searching can replicate the feeling of an orgasm (poor Ebola).

The London Sunday Times published an article last week entitled: Clever Devils Get the Bird, by Roger Dobson and Maurice Chittenden. Hello, epiphany. In short, it turns out that men's marriage prospects increase dramatically, the higher their IQ's. Women's do not. And I quote: "For boys, there is a 35% increase in the likelihood of marriage for each 16-point rise in IQ. For girls, there is a 40% drop for each 16-point increase." Ouch!

And yet, not ouch. I no longer have to worry about finding a response to my now favorite question "why aren't you married YET?" or variations such as "aren't you worried that you're not married?" or "you mean, you live alone?" and my favorite, "not into boys?" This very handy study sums it all up... I am too smart to get married.

Here it is: I make enough money to live a very silly lifestyle of amazing restaurants, film festivals, concerts, travel and periodic visits to my married friends out East. I can buy a pair of ridiculous shoes without feeling ridiculous. I can choose my own furniture (did I mention I'm buying all new living room furniture this weekend - I'm a little excited!) and it will not be leather or have gigantic brass tacks on it. In short, I can do anything and everything I want on my own and not have to worry about that eventually leading to marriage counseling. Kind of nice, I think. Smart too.

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 5:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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