June 2011

the mind is determined but the body- not so strongAfter a couple of weeks of working out to dance music in my gym, and a planned dance lesson that had to be canceled because of the downtown crowds for Game 7, I finally walked back into the ballroom for a dance lesson. This is the first time I have been back since October 3rd, two days before my stenosed spine decided to finally compress my sciatic nerve so severely that I felt like I was one of the baddies in an episode of 24 with high voltage shocks going down my right leg. So its been 8 and a half months with no dancing - almost as bad as physical torture for an addict like me.

But now I have mentally switched from thinking rehabilitation to thinking "GI Jane training" and though I am not working on weapon or  demolition skills, nor for that matter getting exhausted, water-logged, starving, or resisting torture, I do  have a multi-faceted program that keeps me plenty busy.

why am I smiling you may askThe nutritional plan-low carb eating seems to be working despite the fact that I have occasionally - well quite a few times actually  - been busted eating fries and breads. And then of course there is wine. But still I have managed to drop half the 15 pounds I gained during my 5  month forced couch-potato existence.

Right now I try to get to the gym or walk for a cardio workout at least 4 to 5 days a week.  Cale, my usually Satanic trainer has been relatively cherub-like as he gradually eased me back into a weight training and general fitness regime after the surgery. But he is now starting to channel Viggo Mortensen's Master Chief role as my workouts with him are getting more intense.

It is working because I am managing to hold core exercises like bridges that I thought I would never  have the strength to do again. So when I hear "10 seconds more" and I think "can't do it", I just breathe and think of my muscles getting longer and stronger - and I hear "done!" Whew.

spiced beef tartareC Restaurant,
2-1600 Howe Street,
Vancouver
Ph: (604) 681-1164 or Reserve Online

C Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I was invited to lunch by an out-of-town friend, and thought that the patio at C Restaurant would be a perfect place to take him to. It is several years since my last meal at C, which was a recruitment dinner for a potential new hire.  I was keen to see what changes had occurred.

My wicked Sangria got things goingIt was the turn of Margaret and her sous-chef Marilynne to prepare the food for the next SASSY Supper Club gathering.  Margaret, who had become familiar with Spanish cuisine when her daughter spent some time in Spain, decided on a Spanish theme.

appie assortmentThe idea of the SASSY suppers was for a group of us to try out new or family recipes in a no-pressure environment, and to enjoy simple meals in good company with great conversation. Somehow we never run out of things to talk about. Perhaps because the wine flows as freely as our words.

I thought the good company might enjoy my wicked white wine Sangria so I made a pitcher full and brought it over.  It was a lovely evening, one of the few we have had this rainy summer, so we moved out to the patio and tackled the Sangria.

Antipasto Misto - part of the dishItalian Kitchen
1037 Alberni Street,
Vancouver
Ph: (604) 687-2858 or Reserve Online

Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

We were going to be treated to a Mother's Day brunch at Italian Kitchen but at the last minute, had to cancel due to illness. So we were very happy to be able to reschedule to a later date. There were five of us who arrived for the Sunday lunch.

veal, rabbit & duck terrine with apple and rhubarb preservesThis week I attended an special benefit event hosted in a private home  as a fund raiser for Blackbird Theatre's upcoming production of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." Godot is scheduled to run from December 27 to January 21, 2012 at The Cultch.

Blackbird Theatre  is a professional Vancouver theatre company that is dedicated to staging classic works. In their words, their mandate is "to present Canadian interpretations of classic plays to contemporary audiences." With over 2000 years of theatrical history to chose from, the range of plays produced so far has extended from Euripides' Hecuba (written around 428 BC) to a new adaptation by local prof, Errol Durbach, of Charles Dickens "Great Expectations"  staged earlier this year. Their first production,  Schiller's Mary Stuart  in September 2005,  introduced me to Schiller's work which I had neither read nor seen before.  From 2006 onwards as a writer for Immediate Theatre, I  reviewed several of Blackbird's early productions. I saw Pinter's The Birthday Party, Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Marivaux's The Triumph of Love  and enjoyed them all immensely.

You may wonder why a story about a theatre company is illustrated by pictures of food but read on and all will become clear.

Me plus IPod - about to start listeningDog of Your Understanding - a PodPlay
Written by Jan Derbyshire, Music by Yawen Wang
Featuring
the voices of Peter Anderson and James Fagan Tait
Produced by Neworld Theatre with Screaming Weenie Productions
PodPlays created by Neworld Theatre with
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Production partner: CBC Radio One

Vancouver, BC:  I just experienced my first PodPlay. If you are wondering what exactly a PodPlay may be, that is not surprising because PodPlays are a fairly recent innovation in the podcast world. A PodPlay is a site–specific audio play listened to on a media player like an IPod. 

chilled avocado soup with rare-seared scallopKitsilano Daily Kitchen
1809 West 1st Ave.,
Vancouver
Ph: (604) 569-2741 or Reserve Online

Kitsilano Daily Kitchen on Urbanspoon

As the choice for a pre-show dinner, before heading off to opening night of The Merchant of Venice at Bard on the Beach, I was eager to try Kitsilano Daily Kitchen, which had recently been recommended to me by another Foodie friend.

watermelon saladMilestones Grill and Bar Yaletown
1109 Hamilton Street,
Vancouver
Ph: 604-684-9111

Milestones Grill and Bar (Yaletown) on Urbanspoon

We were walking back from Tinseltown, or as it now known, Cineplex Odeon International Village, where we had just seen "Midnight in Paris." To my surprise, not having been much of a fan of Woody Allen movies, I actually loved the film.

phyllo shrimpIt was around 7 when the movie ended so we decided to drop into Milestones for a light supper.

We decided to share three appetizers and they proved to be more than enough to satisfy us, particularly aided by a glass of wine each. I had the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Richard Newman and Lindsey Angell. Photo by David CooperThe Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Directed by Rachel Ditor,
Bard Mainstage, Vanier Park,
June 15 to Sept 23, 2011

Vancouver, BC: Of all the Shakespeare plays I have seen I find The Merchant of Venice to be among the most compelling yet certainly the most disturbing to watch. While taking into account the likelihood that the play's reception by a contemporary audience would be very different from an audience of Shakespeare's own time, the script sets up so many powerful and conflicting issues that one is on a non-stop rollercoaster ride.

Dungeness crab salad in buttermilk crepesDiva  Restaurant and Bar at the Metropolitan Hotel,
645 Howe Street, Vancouver
Phone (604) 602-7788  or Reserve Online

Diva at the Met on Urbanspoon

For our pre-show dinner, before seeing Bridge Mix 2011, a site specific theatre production at the Metro Parkade on West Pender, we went to Diva at the Met Restaurant.

It was a pleasant twenty minute walk to Granville and Howe, and we noticed that on a few of the boards covering broken windows from the previous evening's mayhem, people had written comments expressing the anger at the rioters and support for the city and our  Canucks.

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