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Archive for June, 2007

le Commensal

I’ve been neglecting my blog.  But don’t be offended.  I’ve been busy and sick (yes… again) and all those other things that just plain get in the way. 

Last week I was in Montreal on training for work.  It was a great week.  The training was good, the food was good, and I got a new tattoo (yeah!! … details to come).  The weather was quite muggy and hot for walking around but that’s better than rain, right? 

Currently my favorite place to eat in Montreal is ‘Le Commensal’.  It’s an all-vegetarian all-buffet restaurant where you basically load your plate, sit it on a scale, and pay based on weight.  It’s perfect!  You take what you think you can eat and that’s it.  There is much less waste and much less over-eating.  They actually have other products now too… frozen dinners, etc.  Good stuff although a bit on the expensive side.  

Is that chicken pieces or artichoke?  Forget about it!  Hmm … I wonder if that is bacon bits or bits of red pepper?  Forget about it!  An all-vegetarian buffet is a vegetarian’s dream!  Well, a lacto ovo vegetarian’s dream at least… I shouldn’t forget my more hardcore compadres.  Normally I have to pick out the two, maybe three, things that are okay; it is rare that I step up to a buffet and actually have to decide on what I’m going to eat. 

“Gee… I wonder what Le Commensal actually translates to?”.  Why, I am so glad you asked.  In English, “commensal” is an adjective of the word commensalism:

Main Entry: com·men·sal·ism
Pronunciation: -s&-"li-z&m
Function: noun
: a relation between two kinds of organisms in which one obtains food or other benefits from the other without damaging or benefiting it

While all of you meat eaters out there are gagging, I will say “well isn’t that neat?!”.  Another definition says it means “eating together at the same table”.  Just as neat, I suppose. 

 If you are in Montreal or Toronto, check it out. 

On the reverse side of that, the other place I like to head is Peel Pub on Peel street.  While there is nothing fancy about this particular sports bar, I seem to like the atmosphere there.  Even though it is typical pub food and I am, true to usual form, limited to a few menu items, I seem to enjoy it.  I do notice that they are working on a ‘Peel Pub Live’ section of their website… Hmm.  Interesting.  (While there are many places I could take this, I think I will just leave it at that 🙂 ). 

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And it ends …

When the Sopranos series finale went black I, along with 13 million other people, wondered what had happened to my cable.  When the credits rolled, I was disappointed… that was it? 

But the more I considered it on Monday morning, the more I came to grips with that final show.  It did tie up some loose ends although maybe not enough for some people… Tony wasn’t hunted down by New York, there was no big fight scene between the families, Carmella and the kids went into and came out of hiding without incident.  Action wise, it was a boring episode, with the only piece of violence being the crunching of Phil’s head under his own minivan. 

Throughout the series, David Chase has never put things in a little package and tied it up with a bow.  So why would he start now?  He’s an artist; he wasn’t catering to the viewers’ desire to have something definitive and clearcut happen at the end that would tidy up the whole series.  Wouldn’t th expected be boring?  Maybe the people who are so upset about the last episode (and season 6 for that matter) don’t grasp his style.  He is a genius.  Whatever his next project is, I’ll be watching it.  If you don’t get it, go watch Friends or something. 

I still can’t figure out the point of the cat staring at Chrissy’s picture.  It had to serve more purpose than just to display Paulie’s neuroticism one last time.  I’m sure once I watch the season again I’ll pick up on things that I didn’t notice the first time around.  That’s what I love about the Sopranos:  the way it keeps you interested time and time again because of all the little nuances and sayings that weren’t apparent the first time around. 

I’m sad that it’s over but it went out with a bang. 

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Joy ride?

This gives new meaning to the words… story 

Bwa ha ha!  The guy was unfazed?!  This is a welcome laugh in the middle of my afternoon. 

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Brian, Ali, Randy, Dave, Blair and I took off Saturday morning, all in our own kayaks, to tackle the south branch of the Miramichi.

It was a beautiful, sunny day.  The run starts out shallow; we had to get out and drag the kayaks in a couple of spots.  Before long the water rises and it’s clear sailing… er, paddling. 

This part of the Miramichi is quite narrow and really bendy … mucho fun in a kayak, that’s for sure!  We came across one spot in particular that really seemed to be a dead end … beaver dam and everything … but we backtracked just a little and maneouvered our way through a narrow (8 feet tops), alder-filled passageway that opened up again in just a minute or two. 

Let’s see… memorable moments:  Brian’s makeshift kayak paddle (yes, that’s duct tape).  Although I didn’t see it, Randy got caught up in a tree that was laying across the stream and dunked in good style (keep an eye out for that sandal, would you?).  Ali got caught up on a rock that spinned her right around backwards (although she remained upright).  We took a hike to the convenience store in Juniper because we had run out of beer.  Oh and my proudest moment… at the very end of the day (notice this is after getting MORE beer), I reached down to pull someone’s kayak ashore, lost my balance, and ended up face first in muck.  Thankfully it wasn’t rocks. 

It was a great day and we’ve all got the bruises and sunburns to prove it! 

(For those of you keeping score, I didn’t tip … Candice 1 Chi 0)

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