My wingman/partner in crime is out of town for a couple of weeks, catching some sunshine and trying to stay out of trouble in Florida. My plan while she was away was to rest, relax, take care of the home fires, maybe even get going on one of my overdue home projects. That’s worked out well – NOT! I’ve spent this weekend partying like a rock star, it’s been a blast, though I have to stop sending drunk emails at 2:00am when I’m on the bus home. But I get bored and it’s late . . . .
This is how my “restful” weekend went . . .
I’ve volunteered for the last 4 years at the Gold Medal Plates Culinary Competition and Gala. It’s a fundraiser held in cities across Canada for the Canadian Olympic Athletes and it’s always a blast. At $350/ticket it’s out of my budget, but volunteering is a great way to enjoy the event for free! Some of the best chefs in town set up stations and compete against each other to create and serve one perfect item, which is paired with a fabulous wine – in Vancouver it was all the top BC wineries. The winner from each city goes to the Canadian Culinary Championships, which will be in Kelowna this year.
Sound riveting? Where’s the party you ask? Well, the night continues with a live auction and entertainment and lots more wine. Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo organizes some great talent to play in each city – we had Barney Bentall and Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea). There is a live auction of some Amazing cycling, hiking, wine tasting trips to places like Chile, Tuscany, France and England – each trip is hosted by one of the musicians plus an Olympic athlete. The $10,000 price tag is out of my reach (damn it) but we can dream, right? So the wine flows, great music is played . . .and then there is the after-party.
I was finishing up a glass of wine, all set to go home when I was kidnapped off to the after-party. I’ve been to them before, they rock, and usually involve skulking out of the hotel at about 3am to trying to find a cab home. I was really doing my level best to stay with the “get some rest” plan, but to no avail. It was the after- party for me. This year I managed to avoid some of the fun and frolics I have entertained people with in the past:
- doing a photo shoot in a bathtub (fully clothed, before you ask!)
- giving the national wine advisor (a very well known wine critic and columnist) a lesson on how to remove a broken cork from a bottle of Burrowing Owl (I am SUCH an idiot sometimes)
- losing my coat and/or shoes and having to do the walk of shame out of the hotel at 3am without either, in nothing but a very short cocktail dress – in November. How lovely.
But having avoided those pitfalls, I ran into an old friend from my ski bum days in Banff – we hadn’t seen each other in about 100 years. He had the best opening line ever (truly can’t be repeated – sorry) but I laughed my ass off. Segway to shots of frozen Belvedere and the night got looooong. 2:00am bus ride, indecipherable emails and Saturday was a day not worth living through, really. Party like a rock star.
Having survived Saturday morning, had to go into damage control mode and get myself sorted out for Saturday night. I promised to take a friend (another music lover who is visiting from out of town) out to hear some live music and do some dancing. I wanted to kill myself, but hey, I’d said I’d do it, so time to man up. A great dinner and some excellent wine set me on the road again and it was off to the Fairview Pub on West Broadway to hang with the hipsters and listen to some fantastic music. And drink some Chicken Beer – Speckled Hen – but that got too complicated by about the 5th can, so it was Chicken Beer for the rest of the night.
The line-up included the James T. Kirks who bill themselves as garage/punk/surf and write in their MySpace profile:
“after 13 whiskey soaked years of rawknroll madness The James T. Kirks are still alive, still kickin ass, still breakin hearts, and still corrupting youth, just as they always have” It’s all true and they were fantastic.
Also on the bill was Rich Hope and the Evildoers – I’ve seen Rich a number of times before – the pic below is from Canada Day. He plays some wicked guitar and harps and does a totally rocking set. Last night was no exception. And there is pretty much nothing I love more than listening to some great live music and yakking it up all night long about music of all types with another really knowledgeable music lover. Awesome. I’ve got another festival to think about getting to some time now . .Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival – in Tennessee! So many festivals, so little time
Around 2am it was like a déjà vu of Friday – bus, unreadable emails etc etc. But having avoided shots of any kind and stuck only to chicken beer, today is a kinder day than yesterday and, best of all, an EXTRA hour of sleep. Love the Fall time change.
And here it is Sunday, time for some rest finally? Not quite . . .a client has invited me to the Cirque du Soleil – Michael Jackson Immoral World Tour tonight. Pre-event reception, private box – the whole nine yards. I know, it’s a tough life, but someone has to do it, right? Didn’t get much sleep but I had a lot of fun!!
Some music for today – how about some Florence and the Machine “Shake it Out”.