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Are You (Natto) Experienced?

April 8th, 2015 No comments

So, I’ve had this little tub of natto defrosted since Monday, but tonight was the night I swore I would eat it.

The traditional way is to make rice, put natto on top, add the flavouring packets from the natto package, top it all with a raw egg, and dig in. I am not feeling quite hardcore enough to do the egg, but I do make some good Japanese rice.


The package. It comes with a small packet of soy sauce, and an even smaller packet of mustard. And, of course, the delightful clump of fermented soy beans.

Also traditionally is the stirring up of the natto before you put it on the rice, which is supposed to bring out its flavour. But before that, I cautiously sniff the natto. People do say some nasty things about its aroma.

But for me, honestly, the main thing I got was a smell of coffee beans. MAYBE I’M GENETICALLY STRANGE IN MY NOSE SNIFFER CELLS


Before mixing. Look at those succulent strands, eh?


After mixing. The strands have gotten more numerous.


Well, enough avoiding the situation. Time to fix this up for eatin’. The yellow blob at the top of the photo is me not really doing a good job of pouring mustard from a tiny packet. The picture being sideways is the Internet reacting to the power of natto.

The soy sauce is, well, Japanese soy sauce. If you know Kikkoman, it’s very similar. The mustard is good, and a bit hot. Very much like any hot mustard you can buy off the shelves here.

So, the taste?

I won’t say it’s not strong flavoured. But, it’s not disgusting, either. It reminds me of another fermented soybean product, tempeh. In fact, I like it better than tempeh, because the fermented bits are smaller, there is seasoning and rice mixed in to make it more palatable, and I really do like this taste better than that of tempeh.

Would I eat it every night? No. It’s not a flavour right now that makes me want to do that. Would I buy it again? Sure would. It makes a quick, simple meal.

And the damn things do taste a bit like coffee beans, too. MY TASTE BUDS AND NOSE SNIFFER CELLS ARE OUT TO GET ME HELP

P.S. If you have a mustache, then wash your face after to avoid the embarrassing questions that would arise of why you smell like that.

Categories: Food, Non-Western Food Tags: ,

The Bathurst Experience Artist Date

April 5th, 2015 No comments

One of the principles of The Artist’s Way is the artist’s date, where you just go out by yourself and explore and do whatever the heck recharges you. Something I haven’t been doing enough of lately.

I wanted to get some Japanese food staples, so I decided to go down to Sanko on Queen Street West. Places like T&T have most of the stuff, and J-Town has all of the stuff, and Sanko is a bit pricier, but I am willing to forego a bit of a price premium for a huge convenience factor in getting there.

Also I wanted to go to Midoco. For some reason, I had a refill pack for a “liquid pencil”, but I didn’t have the pencil itself. Don’t ask…

So, first stop, Midoco. The staff there are great and helped me find the actual pencil that I was supposed to use. Then I stopped off at the Green Beanery to get a coffee and cookie, and try the new pencil out. Judgement: doesn’t work very well in my cheap spiral bound notebook, I will try it on all my notebooks and see if it’s a paper quality problem, or a pencil problem.

Then seeing Honest Ed’s right there, I thought I might as well go in. My fancy Alton Brown-inspired measuring tube had its seal go poof, and so I didn’t have a measuring device for cooking. Long story short, I also came out with some cool little stainless steel bowls with lids and a new pressure cooker in addition to the measuring cup.

You don’t have to spend money on artist dates, but it doesn’t hurt, either.

Then down to Queen and Bathurst. Went for lunch before shopping at Sweet Lulu’s. A bit pricey, but the shrimp and vegetables were fresh, and the Thai sauce with the ginger and lime leaf were very tasty.

Finally, off to Sanko. My main reason to go was to get some natto and see if I liked it or not. I remember having it and liking it, but then maybe it was not really natto, because apparently it is an acquired taste. So, I can say I had something that looked like natto and was all stringy like natto, but maybe it wasn’t the real deal.

Then back home to put all my frozen purchases in the freezer. A fine day and a fine artist date.


Categories: Real Life Tags: , , ,

Welcome Back

April 5th, 2015 No comments

Wow, one year since I’ve posted anything.

It’s been an interesting year in terms of personal life, which means a crappy year in terms of theatre life. Especially the unpaid type of theatre life.

Time to get back in the saddle, though.

Categories: Real Life Tags:

RIP Sweetie

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

I euthanized my cat today.

The vet did a home euthanasia, which made it that much less stressful for her. She was strong up to the end. And she taught me a lot more than I taught her.

RIP Sweetie. No more words.

Categories: Real Life Tags: ,

The Cat Abides

February 12th, 2014 No comments

Look, my cat is by no means 100% healthy. She has a bad leg which looks like it’s never going to heal properly.

But, her appetite is up, the litter box looks normal, and she is spending more time in the open. She is also seeking out to be petted more.

I was really planning to euthanize her last week. But now I don’t know. I don’t believe in letting animals suffer, but I don’t know how much she is now.

Wait and see? Because there is a lot of selfishness in me not wanting to lose my beloved cat.

Categories: Real Life Tags: ,

Cats are Tough

February 4th, 2014 No comments

So, I don’t know.

My cat has a bad leg, with a wound. Which I though was the cause of the bad leg, but the vet said it was a symptom. But basically I was told to bring her home and spoil her. Implying the end is near.

Except on Friday night her appetite sort of came back, and her wound seems to be slowly healing, and she stood on my chest this morning per usual to get breakfast service started.

She’s definitely not near 100%. So I guess I see what happens in the next few days and decide whether to go for euthanasia or not. I know she’s in pain, but how much?

Categories: Real Life Tags: ,

Lessons Learned From A Dying Cat

January 31st, 2014 No comments

It’s not easy watching my beloved cat dying.

The vet said basically to take her home and spoil her, because there’s not much else to do.

But it’s hard to spoil her. She has almost no appetite. She hides a lot, like cats do when they feel vulnerable. And she looks at me when she is out in the open with a look.

She doesn’t really want to be petted, because I think she’s in a tremendous amount of pain. All she really wants is lots of water, changed for fresh water as often as I can do it.

I don’t know what her look means. Does she think I’m going to be able to fix it up? Is she judging me? Or is it just a look?

Small things like her actually eating a few bites of food this morning are miraculous. I was so happy to see that. I just wish I had a magic wand to wave to make it all better.

But here’s the thing. It hurts her to jump, bit she still jumps up to her windowsill. It hurts her to walk, but she still comes out in the apartment hall when I open the door so she can explore her empire. She keeps going through it all.

And that’s what I have not been doing since I learned about it, but why should I not keep doing my equivalent of jumping into windowsills and exploring my empire? Humans have this complex idea that this kind of stuff is unfair, and God knows it is sometimes, but somehow you have to keep going.

I left her at home with her head peeking from behind the bookcase and her eyes almost totally shut, still breathing. Who knows what the next few days will bring.

This is all a mess of writing. I don’t know totally what I’m trying to say. I just had to write this down.

Categories: Philosophy Tags: ,

Rob Ford, P.I. and The Long Goodbye

January 3rd, 2014 No comments

Rob Ford, P.I., woke up in his office. He rubbed his eyes and blinked.

“What a strange dream,” he said out loud.

He looked around his office. Paint was peeling off at the top of the walls. A framed high school graduation photo of him was tilted a bit counterclockwise, and the glass over it was dusty.

Why this weird dream? Rob Ford thought to himself. The old Rob Ford, the dirty P.I. that Rob Ford had been, might have had a dream this weird.

The old Rob Ford had done things that he had been ashamed of, or almost ashamed of, or at least he’d claimed publicly he was ashamed of. Crack cocaine, public drunkenness, public urination, hanging out with suspected criminals, overweight. All things he was not proud of being made public. All things that had caused a bad dream more than once.

But now he was the new Rob Ford, P.I. He was working out to lose weight, and probably everything else would follow after that. Five days a week, working out. One hour to drive to the gym, fifteen minutes to find a parking space, two hours of exercise, then an hour and a half to shower and get home, if he was lucky. He didn’t have much time left for detecting lately, what with all the time being spent in arranging working out.

But this weird dream. Where he was some kind of clueless buffoon having misadventures across the city. That wasn’t him. Rob Ford, P.I., was a different sort of animal.

He got up from his desk, slipped his brass knuckles into his right jacket pocket, put his M1911 pistol in his shoulder holster, and perched his fedora on his head. It was time to meet some constituents, and then go home for some dinner.

“Oh shit!” he said, and rushed out the door. Today was the first day you could file to run for P.I. of Toronto for another four years. And Rob Ford, P.I., was never planning to say goodbye to this job.

Categories: Writing Tags: ,

Current Status part 2

December 25th, 2013 No comments

Wow, another long time since my last post. Been going through some crazy personal stuff which for the most part has died down now.

HATCH did not go through, but I learned a lot about the submission process for curated theatre festivals, so that was really useful.

Three scripts went out, two came back with the big “REJECTED” stamp across them in my imagination. Third one I still have hopes for, as I really love the piece.

Not directing for New Ideas this year, because I did not know you could apply with a script AND apply to direct. I did do the cold reads for New Ideas this year. I don’t have a current headshot or the $$$ to get a new professional one done up. Guess I’ll do a selfie with a duck face.

No, just kidding.

Applying to InspiraTO to direct this year again if there are some scripts that grab me. Because let’s be frank, if you’re not getting paid to direct, then the script you work with had better excite you. Otherwise you’re just going to drag the whole production down with you.

That’s it for now. As part of the clean up of the personal mess of my life, I can n0w devote more time to creativity and happiness. So expect more blog posts on a regular basis.

Current Status

September 30th, 2013 No comments

Wow, long time since I posted in here.

I’ve got two scripts out for judging for production. One of them got onto the waiting list for the Dream Up festival in NYC this summer, so I’m fairly hopeful.

Applied with a colleague for HATCH this year. We got turned down, but I did get to talk with someone from HATCH, and they were very helpful in helping me understand how to make my submissions more competitive in general in the future.

Then there is Inspirato after that.

I guess more writing, too. Gotta get paid somehow.