Late night insomnia induced internet searching turned up this photo of the cast from the world premier of Cumberland Blues (a musical of Dead songs) with LJR as Bertha.
Go in Peace
Yeah, just did one of these last week, but I can't sleep right now so . . .
1. What time did you get up this morning? 6a.m.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Neither
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Batman Begins- Not bad.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Without a TV for four months now.
5. What did you have for breakfast? Skipped
6. What is your middle name? Michael
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Polish
8. What foods do you dislike? Items not fresh
9. Your favorite Potato chip? Better Maid
10. What is your favorite CD? R.E.M. Life's Rich Pagent
11. What kind of car do you drive? 1986 Jeep Cherokee
12. Favorite sandwich? PB&J
13. What characteristics do you despise? Lies that force complicity or confrontation.
14. Favorite item of clothing? Sweat Pants
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? Australia, next year.
16. What color is your bathroom? White
17. Favorite brand of clothing? Land's End
18. Where would you retire to? Mr. Bush says this isn't an option for me.
19. Favorite time of day? Past 1am
20. Where were you born? In the hospital, I wanted to be near my mother. Thank you, tip your waitress.
21. Favorite sport to watch? Hockey. Remember hockey?
22. Who do you least expect to send this back? Not sending to anyone
23. Person you expect to send it back first? See above
25. Coke or Pepsi? Vernors
26. Are you a morning person or night owl? Night Owl
27. What size shoe do you wear? 11 1/2, another myth explodes.
28. Do you have pets? Alas, no. Alas?
29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Nope, it's a secret.
31. Favorite Candy Bar? A frozen Snickers
32. What is your best childhood memory? Being up at the cottage on Harsens Island.
33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Booking Agent, Waiter, Electrician's Reluctant Assistant, Soldier, Newspaper Boy.
34 What color underwear are you wearing? Can't help you there.
35. Nicknames: Pony Boy, Mr. Skrocke.
36. Piercing: Healed now.
37. Eye color: A blue you could lose yourself in.
38. Ever been to Africa? No.
39. Ever been toilet papering? Nah, took a pass on that.
40. Love someone so much it made you cry? No.
41. Been in a car accident? Yes.
42. Croutons or bacon bits? Bacon makes everything better.
43. Favorite day of the week? Sunday Morning.
44. Favorite restaurant? 1550 Hyde
45. Favorite flower? Lilac
46. Favorite ice cream? Gurnsey Farms Butter Pecan
47. Disney or Warner Brothers? Warner Brothers, they have Bugs.
48. Favorite fast food restaurant? A & W
49. What color is your bedroom carpet? Beige
50. How many times did you fail your driver's test? I failed the written 3 times.
51. Before this one, from whom did you get your last
e-mail? Guiness Girl.
52. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? They say there's a Ronco store somewhere down South.
53. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read
54. Bedtime? After midnite
56. Last person you went to dinner with? Ginhee
57. Ford or Chevy? Ford
58. What are you listening to right now? NPR.
59. What is your favorite color? Purple
60. Lake, Ocean or river? Lake St. Clair
61. How many tattoos do you have? Three
62. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg's got to be the girl right, so it's the chicken
Go in Peace
There is, in me, a strong sense of class awareness. What with the Food Network and all it might appear that being a Chef is the same as being today's Solid Gold Dancer, but it ain't so. Most Chef's aren't kings of their own little fiefdom/restaurant, they are managers in large corporate chains if they feed the bottom third of society, mid-level management in hotels/resorts/upscale-chains for the middle third, and when you get to serving the rich and powerful you graduate to server class. Think Gossingford Park with less sepia.
I was on the opening staff of The Rattlesnake Club in Detroit, it was my first conscious experience with how the rich view arts. We opened with a party for some Erte' auction or exhibit and my clearest memory was of all the underling "volunteers," who were doing the menial tasks of hosting the event, having to come out into the same lobby as we poor cooks and waiters while the speeches went on. Sent to the equivalent of the Thanksgiving children's table, they suffered the same brief humiliation that so many of our waiters would soon go through, the realization that you are not part of the party, that the guests may be gracious and polite but that is not the same as friendly.
It always makes me bristle when I watch my black and blue collared friends orbit the world of the rich, because I know that somewhere out there looming is the place that they will put you in, usually in a polite yet dismissive way that stings a bit more than a direct statement would. Florists, Assistant Directors, Event Co-ordinators, photographers, floor managers, hostesses . . . all of us moths around a monied flame.
And I guess that's why I take a little too much joy in the foibles of my hometown rich. In Detroit the Illich family are the new royalty- they parlayed their pizza empire into a quasi Sun City like district of the city where they own the theaters, the restaurants, the ball team . . .everything but the hookers, which they have to rent. But even as Ronald does his small town Hugh Grant routine, it is nothing compared to the comeuppance that his brother got back in the '80s as a failed pop star and actor. That's hm holding the guitar on the poster to Slumber Party Massacre 2.
It's a bit embarrassing to admit that one of the biggest snort laughs I ever had was at his expense. During his Pop phase, all around Detroit were posters promoting Atanas's album release. While any number of us were toiling in the relative anonymity of the alt/indie scene that we thought a sort of meritocracy, here was this kid born with a silver spork in his mouth getting press, radio, and billboards as if to say that all our values didn't match up to a promotion budget, a famous name, and a sport's coat bought from Miami Vice catalog. One night during the height of the ad blitz, the Junk Monkeys were playing Paycheck's and db was a bit fed up with it all, I think. Earlier in the night the "advance guy" for Atanas had stopped by to try and convince me to give his client a gig. I handed the guy back his album and press kits, telling him that this was the wrong venue for him and that there would be better places to play. He left the press kit and album and I think that how, later on, db ended up on stage doing a poetic reading of Atanas's lyrics. At some point he stopped reading and said, "I seem to see an ABAB rhyme scheme developing here." and laughing in the way of peasants everywhere when their betters are mocked, I laughed out a snort heard down Caniff.
I'd like to think that I've matured since then and that I'd overcome this, but it still rises up once in a while. Usually at events where artists/performers are fund-raising. Who knows what pep talk the Soprano is given before she is trotted out to sing while the Galette is served and then dismissed before coffee? Whatever is said, it might as well come across as the command Dance, Monkey! Dance!
So it was class loyalty, more than anything, that had me enjoy last night's San Jose Stage Company annual Monday Night Live. Rather than spin plates, have actors pass cheese puff "in character" or dress the chorus in clingy black pants, SJSC puts on a night where they make fun of local politics, politicians, and, of course, San Francisco. My English friend Luke tells me that his people call this "taking the piss out of someone" and if anyone understands class awareness, its a Brummie son of a Cab Driver.
I have no idea who the supervisors, clerks, and other locals are but we all know the type so the jokes worked with a sort of insert-name-here sensibility. I went to support LJR, who co-writes and performs the news segment. The crowd howled at all the appropriate points, the same places where I laughed at Atanas all those years ago. At least the Company filled their coffers with more than just self satisfied indignity.
They also used the event to publicize their next production Idols of The King. Of course I'd go because LJR is in it and she's always worth the price of admission, but to finish off last night's show they brought out the guy who plays Elvis to do a couple of numbers. Damn, he's good. Not in a impersonator sort of way, there is nothing cheesy about him. He and I talked for a while at the after party, mostly about cooking. Nice guy.
Once the evening's take was counted we built a barricade in the street, sang songs from Les Miz and started calling each other "comrade." Then I went home.
Go in Peace
This is what I drank while feeling the UberBaby kick:
2003 Laurent Miquel Syrah $9.99
The Miquel family has been running the estate since the French revolution (1789). Laurent now following in his father's footsteps continuing the tradition of wine making and vineyard management. The two bottlings, Viognier and Shiraz, come from the new plantings, called Nord-Sud, since they are planted on a North-South axis to maximize sunlight. The wines are produced with consulting enologist, Ben Riggs of Australia (Woop Woop & Mr. Riggs, McLaren Vale Shiraz) and represent outstanding values that while influenced by the Aussie hand remain very much French in style. Aged in new French oak, the 2003 Shiraz is spicy and rich, with a pleasantly peppery bite and toasty notes on the nose and palate. Delicious with hamburgers cooked outside on the grill!
This is a great new find, the people at K&L just never seem to steer me wrong. We didn't have burgers with this, instead opting for our new tradition of warm chocolate chip cookies. The critic pegged this, it has the fruit forwardness of an Austrailian Shiraz and the earthiness of a French Syrah- so it should probably be called Shyraz. Decanting definitely helped, as usual, and if you can find this I recommend buying a case- there's no need for holding onto this wine as it was made for the American market and expects to be drank right away rather than sitting in a dark closet.
I also have a bottle of their Viognier that I opened while typing out this post.
2004 Laurent Miquel Viognier $9.99
Aged in new French oak, the 2004 Viognier is redolent with honeysuckle and peach aromas, but with accompanying acidity on the palate for balance.
I've found Viognier to be the most frustrating wine, it is the anti-chardonnay as there is so little similarity between each producer's release. I love the heady, perfumy nose and bright fruit flavors of the grape but after trying a couple dozen different American ones we haven't found any that warranted purchasing. Not that they are bad, but the light fruity ones are not really food friendly and the drier crisp ones don't serve any purpose that a sauvignon blanc would fill much better. I could make something work, maybe a steamed sole with pink peppercorns and a butter sauce made from the same wine, but it seems like a wierd compromise to the fish and the wine both.
Sitting here now drinking a glass by itself I can see that this is a wine for drinking on its own- it'd probably be a great thing to bring to sit outside on a warm summer's night, working much better than either a chard or sb would.
Go in Peace
Recently I've gone to the memory bank and come up empty like a United Airline's pensioner. A little help, please?
1. What was Steve "the kid" Kostan's shift on ABX?
2. Mr. Houdini taught at a Livonia Junior High School, which one?
3. What was the bar that Leon Spinks bartended at? (I remember going there one night, but not much else).
4. Was Joshua Door the victim of a mob hit? (All I remember was the parody of the commercial You've got an Uncle in the trunk of your car, Joshua Door)
Go in Peace