Happy Birthday to Me

A very eldritch birthday to me!

A very eldritch birthday to me!

Well, despite STRONG hints about what I would like for my birthday, Julian Assange did not pop out of a cake, and WikiLeaks did not retweet me. And I even bought their tee shirt! What does a blogger have to do to get an rt up in here? Jeez.

I did get four free birthday drinks made by Canada’s best bartender, and excellent company. Apparently I have a present en route whenever Canada Post wants to get it to me. And the friend who stood me up tonight can probably be coaxed into taking me to the new oyster restaurant in Chinatown.

159 Birthday wishes on Facebook. It took me the better part of an hour to just thank people!

And for the first time in history, I ran into my cousin at the mall. She lives in Marpole, and we simply never see one another unless we set up an appointment, so this was definitely kismet.

What did YOU get me?

My Birthday Cake

My Birthday Cake

Oh yes, the bartender also bought me my birthday cake, which was technically flourless, so therefore on my diet. Awesome!

Occupy Vancouver Occupies the Port of Vancouver

DSCN5506

If I do say so myself, I got some kickass photos today.

DSCN5494

And won the Great Poutine Bet, although I should have known better than to bet with a tory with a tory judge presiding. Count your fingers after making THAT handshake deal.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

DSCN5497

According to the one protester left to mind the placards and People’s Lovely Lending Library, about 300 people showed up, with the protesters only slightly outnumbering the media. After the obligatory speechifying (which I am glad to have missed) they then strode over to the viaduct into the port, where they were met by a count of 35 Vancouver police officers ranged across the bridge, completely blocking traffic, whether pedestrian or vehicular.

Here is Court, reporting from the scene:

Now, the Great Poutine Bet has everything to do with whether or not traffic was able to move into or out of the port, even though Dave doesn’t seem to think so. He and I had a bet: that if Occupy Vancouver shut down access to the port (and by that, what moron would think I meant completely sealing it off? We don’t have a geodesic dome big enough anymore!) on Monday the 12th, I’d win all the poutine I could eat, and if OV did not shut down access to the port, he would win all he could eat.

To which someone made the following observation:

Is #FreedomCurds or is it not the best hashtag of all time? Thank you, it is.

Anyhoodle, Dave weaseled out of the bet as expected, even though FoodNotBombs shut down access via the Clark bridge in the morning, OV shut it down at Britannia in the afternoon, and in early evening another group of OV shut down the Clark onramp again. Shut down access to the port.

Five people were arrested at the second Clark occupation (well, five people left involuntarily in custody of the police, although police say only two were arrested) and later released without charges filed.

Oh well, one must be philosophical about such things. Once Dave tries my cooking, he’ll realize that there are many ways of winnning, and many ways of losing.

Pooo. Teen.

Pooo. Teen.

Bastille Day at Le Frolic in Yellowknife

Array of Amuses at Le Frolic on Bastille Day

We ARE amused! Array of Amuses at Le Frolic on Bastille Day

Welcome to Yellowknife! Hope you brought a fork!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s not all musk ox bones and walrus blubber up here, ya know! Although some of it is. Some of it is even whale:

Bowhead Whale Hunt by Glenn Williams. Didja bring yer fork?

Bowhead Whale Hunt by Glenn Williams. Didja bring yer fork?

Wanna see the Food Chart the government distributes? Well, you will just have to wait till I’ve figured out how to convert PDFs to PNGs on this damn computer!

Oh, wait! GIMP to the rescue:

Om to the nom nom! The NWT Food Guide!

Om to the nom nom! The NWT Food Guide!

BACK to the future. It looks post-apocalyptic on the NWT Food Guide

BACK to the future. It looks post-apocalyptic on the NWT Food Guide

Yes, that is a rat on the food chart. And seaweed. And fish bones. And a Beluga Whale. And yes, they are endangered.

I heard they had to take the chicken leg in the grocery store packaging out of the new edition, because nobody knew what it was. They eat a lot of what is called “country foods” up here: outside of Yellowknife, something like 45% of families get 40% or more of their food off the land or from the sea. You don’t have to go to the Amazon to find hunter-gatherers, and frankly having sussed out the grocery stores here I’m thinking of trying it myself.

Anyway, not all food comes off the land or the endangered species list. Some of it comes off quite elegant presentations, as you can see from the image at the top of the post. Here`s how it all happened…

So there I was back a few months ago, minding everyone else`s business on social media, as one does (if one is this one), and I found out there was an actual, honest-to-god French chef in Yellowknife. Well, naturally I thought someone was pulling my leg; as far as I know not even Julia Child would have attempted to Frenchify a hunk o’ musk ox.

Boy, was I wrong.

Le Chef Pierre doesn`t mess around. You should see what happened to the last Top Chef in Yellowknife.

Le Chef Pierre doesn`t mess around. You should see what happened to the last Top Chef in Yellowknife.

Le Chef Pierre does exist, and not only does he exist, but he Follows me on Twitter, which as far as I`m concerned is truly the only authoritative signifier of meaningful existence. Naturellement. And once I`d moved up here and he found out I`d been born in France, he went ahead and invited me and my friend MoneyCoach to the Bastille Day celebration at his very civilized French restaurant, Le Frolic.

Now, as we`ve firmly established around these parts, a lot of my favorite words start with F; I don`t need to list them, do I? But the greatest of these is “Free.” Somehow, the psychic Chef Pierre sussed this out (what are the odds, eh?) and that is how I, my camera, and my best YK pal ended up freeloading our own bodyweight in steak tartare and cab sauv under the shadow of a three-story-tall red-white-and-blue model of the Eiffel Tower (where do they keep it the rest of the year?) or maybe that was just me.

Yeah, that was just me. Nancy’s a light eater, and I’m a lifelong believer in the calorie-free nature of food which you didn’t pay for.

In related news: food is also zero calorie if eaten standing up, by the light of the fridge. Very few people know that.

Well, if you flick through the Flickr pix you can see many things: bruschetta, amuse-gueules on a very snazzy steel presentation stand, a assortment of wines the list of which I had in my backpack until it rained, so sorry wine sponsors, no names in the post! and a trayfull of desserts, of which I only tried the butter tart, being a butter tart snob of the old school. Those of you who are Canuck Foodie Purists will be relieved to know that Chef Pierre is solidly of the “no nuts in the butter tarts” school. I’m glad I could take your mind off that worry. I was equally fascinated by the butter tart, as you can tell from the what, six pictures I took of it? Well, it was an uncooperative model, so I did my best. “Look up, baby! Work it! That’s it, that’s it, gorgeous, now more animalistic!” Oh, I tried my best, but the damn tart just wasn’t having it; I felt like David Bailey before he found his mojo (I understand he found it in his other pants).

Shortly after the butter tart posing session, I decided to stumble home, sated, but not before someone took me aside and whispered, “You better eat and drink your fill before the French get here. They bring big handbags, and they leave weighted down!”

Noted.

The history of Puppy Mills

It's a dog's life.

It's a dog's life.

The Rules of the Universe dictate that for every kitteh post we post a puppeh post. Oh, and if reading the harsh truths about the conversion of excess pettitude into electricity so you can watch Two and a Half Men in comfort shocks you, there’s also this:

Om nom nom Pom

Om nom nom Pom

Coming soon: Xanadu, Yelp-style

a pretentious little quadrangle, with overtones of morbid obesity

a pretentious little quadrangle, with overtones of morbid obesity

Still too woozy from my latest hospital visit to do a useful post, but very soon I shall put up a restaurant review-style comparison of the multifarious psychoactive substances the wonderful Canadian healthcare system has been doling out to me gratis. Not sure whether to rate them on overall experience or just quality of hallucinations, but definitely in there somewhere.

Today the Emergency Room doctor told me my Demerol space cosmonaut monkey hallucination was “totally awesome.” I think it made his day. God knows, it made mine.

I can see where you're coming from, man.

I can see where you're coming from, man.