Sunday, June 14, 2009

Anything to Avoid Doing Dishes

I've been an absent blogger all week, but I had a good excuse: my life was boring and I felt like a sack of shit. However the last two days were much more eventful, and I'm mostly over the cold I developed on Sunday night and am now just plagued by my agonizing allergies.

Friday I got my Birthday Haircut ('cause Monday's my birthday...hint hint) which I'm very happy with. It's still a bob but he cut it nice and short in the back to keep my neck cool in the heat of summer--if it ever gets here. At around 8pm or so I went out with Kiki, Randy, Katie and Guy for a much anticipated "Evening in Paris." Sadly not Paris, France (or even Paris, Ontario) more like a bar with cardboard Eiffel Towers on the tables and an annoying (but hot!) mime. It was an event hosted by the staff association at work, so our expectations weren't high. Tickets were $15 each and for that you got 2 free drinks, all the deep-fried pickles you could eat, and a shot at some sweet prizes which (not unsurprisingly) none of us managed to win. Despite the lack of prize winning, we had a good time and didn't leave until the music stopped and we were nearly forcibly removed.

But the weekend was just getting warmed up! A special woman in my life takes me every year for my birthday to see a play in Stratford and to either lunch or dinner at a nice restaurant. Yesterday that day finally came and it did not disappoint. We saw Colm Feore star in MacBeth at the Festival Theatre and it was really well done. It was set in Mid-century, civil-war torn Africa which seems strange but was oddly fitting.

Feore is one of my favourite Canadian actors, but he wasn't my favourite player in this--I really enjoyed the actress who played Lady MacBeth, Yanna McIntosh, and I was impressed with the short but effective performance of Kolton Stewart who played the young son of MacDuff. In his final scene he's murdered by having his throat cut by MacBeth's henchmen. It was done in a very realistic and visceral way and it was quite disturbing, as was all of the violence in the play.

I found in general the performances were very subtle, not overblown in the way Shakespearean theatre can sometimes be. The modern military setting served to enhance the feeling of tyranny and control MacBeth tried to exert over his domain, with the ever-present soldiers in army fatigues standing watch from towers equipped with searchlights and machine guns. The use of television screens in most of the second half of the play conjured up comparisons to an Orwellian "1984"-like state. It was an interesting and effective interpretation of a play that's difficult to execute in a modern setting.

For dinner, we went to Charbries, a local fine dining establishment and one of my special friend's favourites but one I have never visited. I had a lovely spring salad with chevre to start and beer-battered pickerel with sweet potato for my main. I somehow found room for strawberry rhubarb pie flambeed table-side for dessert. My friend and our other dining companion (a childhood friend of hers visiting from Arizona) each had crab cakes and pizza Provencal--a flatbread crust with "spicy garlic sausage, roasted sweet pepper & red onion ... layered between mozzarella, parmesan & goat cheese ... drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette." I had a bite of it and it was as delicious as it sounds!

Today I'm recovering from the food coma by doing dishes, making Father's Day cards and throwing together some chocolate peanut butter squares for my co-workers for tomorrow--it's tradition to bring a "treat" to work on your birthday. My rule is you don't get a treat until you wish me a happy birthday. What?! It's my birthday, my rules! Who's gonna argue? These squares are awesome!


Logical Libby said...

I think people are supposed to bring you treats on your birthday. Maybe that's just here in America...

So, in the Canadian MacBeth is his wife the good guy?

Kidding. Happy Birthday!

psychsarah said...

Happy Birthday!! Your day in Stratford sounds delightful. We missed you at the other birthday girl's bbq-much fun was had by all. What lucky co-workers you have-not only do they get to exist in your presence on a daily basis, but you also bring them treats! The squares sound divine!

Guy Hosenpeter said...


Shara said...

Happy Birthday!
btw- what do deep-fried pickles have to do with Paris?

kendall said...

That, Shara, is an excellent question.

Mindy said...

Does it really matter what the pickles have to do with Paris.. it's deep fried pickles... yum!

Happy Birthday!! (Can I have a chocolate PB square?)