Monday, April 18, 2011

So a ninja and a chef walk into a bar...

Well here we are, getting nice and settled into the spring months, and after this past weekend I can tell that love is definitely in the air. And by love I mean overly excited guys molesting people in bars, much like dogs greeting each other at the beach. Aka – lot’s of humping.
And so begins this tale...

The day started off well, with a lovely walk at the Derby Reach park in Fort Langley accompanied by LM and our dogs, which was a story in itself. When we first ventured onto the trail it was sort of sunny, but it soon turned into all the realms of Middle Earth. We walked through sun, clouds, rain, hail... you name it, it happened. I would say that in Lord of the Rings terms we went by route of the Shire and ended up in Helm’s Deep. Along my travels I noticed that there were a lot of lone woman on the trails with earphones in. Probably not the best idea, as there were also a few unsubby looking guys doing their walk in construction boots and jeans.

Is this the best apparel for walking a trail and making the people around you feel like you’re not going to bury them in the middle of the forest under one the car graveyards in the woods? Yes, there were also the skeletons of two cars in these woods. How? Why? What? How? Who murdered these cars and left them there? Or better yet, how did they get them in there? I wonder if there’s a Fort Langley message board I can put these questions on.

So yes, seeing as the day started out like this, it could only get weirder from there. After getting some fresh air and a little bit of exercise, we decided that we should probably counter balance it with some pub food and drinks. We stopped in at Jimmy Mac’s pub to fulfill this urge and had some pretty delicious sandwiches while we were at it – a clubhouse and a grilled cheese respectfully – and our first drink of the day. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty okay with $4.75 pints of beers.  If you are in the Walnut Grove/Port Kells area, first off I’m terribly sorry, but while you’re there you may as well hit up the Mac. The food has always been pretty tasty, they have great specials and it’s an excellent locale to watch whatever sport you fancy. There are many, many TV’s and plenty of seats. There are also a lot of old men there, but if you’ve been reading, they are everywhere, so just embrace it at this point.

Having that first drink obviously meant we had to have some more drinks, so we went on our merry way to have a mini Vampire Diaries marathon and to get ready for the evening. Vampire Diaries is a whole other topic entirely, and will be covered in an upcoming Mancouver of the week feature. There’s just too much hotness to talk about and I will get way off track. This was accompanied by a bottle of red wine, so by the time we made it to my sisters to gather the rest of the Mancouver crew, we were feeling pretty sassy. Clearly we needed one more bottle before we left for dinner, so guess what? We had one.

Ed Note: Thanks LM for the discovery of the DB Traminer Reisling. An thank you De Bortoli Wines for making such a delicious wine to put in our mouths!

Dinner was happening at The Refinery on Granville Street, it was a place I had been to before and was intrigued by it enough to go back. Big mistake. Huge. When we arrived the place was fairly empty, except for a large group of people in the back room. Obvious place to seat us in an almost empty restaurant? Well right next to the party that we weren’t a part of. Where else? It’s like the staff thought to themselves “Okay where is the most awkward place we could put this reservation that is not connected to the other, much larger reservation? Oh I got it! Right next to them...” We were a little perplexed by this, but were willing to go with it. What if there were potential men at the other table? Gotta think of the big picture. Well there weren’t, but I guess that’s not the restaurants fault.
The room itself is pretty cool, but that alone can’t redeem a place. And oh, it was going to need redemption.

Our waitress started off pretty nice, but we had the whole bourbon issue come up again. My brother in law said “I hear you guys specialize in bourbons, what different kinds do you have?” It seemed promising when she started listing them off, but as it turned out she only got through two and was like actually I don’t know, I’ll have to go and ask... if you are an establishment that claims to have a drink that is your “thing”, should you not make sure your staff is informed about it? Or perhaps I’m alone here? Am I too invested in this whole bourbon issue? Maybe I should go to some sort of bourbon counseling session where they tell me its okay when the wait staff does not know about their spirits, and that I’ve just got to move on. Well you know what? I’m not ready to move on yet. I’m keeping the issue alive for a while.

  It’s a good thing our drinks arrived quickly because we were about to embark on a lengthy thank you speech session that the table next to us was getting into. I am not unfamiliar with speeches, they happen more often than not at my work unfortunately, so what I don’t want to hear when I go out for dinner is more of them. Actually, do people generally ever want to hear speeches? I mean at weddings people are usually off getting more drinks that they don’t need, loud talking over the speech, or making fun of the person giving it. When the President gives speeches people are usually pretty angry because their shows on TV are cancelled for the evening or postponed. So in theory, speeches are a downer.  From these speeches we learned that they were a group of BCIT students that were also part of a karate dojo, and they were dropping sensei bombs all over the place. I can’t be around the use of the word sensei; it makes me laugh A LOT because it will forever remind me of Napoleon Dynamite. So of course while all the karate lingo was being thrown out around us we were obviously saying things like “I wonder if their dojo is called Rex Kwan Do, “Bow to your Sensei!” and the Karate Kid special “Sweep the leg”. These people were no Cobra Kai I’ll tell you that much. 

Actually if they were into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I could have gotten into that. I know a lot of information about that particular show, especially the movies. I mean Vanilla Ice was in the second movie which is pretty awesome, and his “Ninja Rap” scene is nothing short of spectacular. My favorite turtle was totally Leonardo. Reflecting on this, I wonder if I had a crush on Leo? I probably did. That’s weird because he’s a human turtle? It is. And I know it is. So we’re all good here.
Anyways, the speeches went on for like a million years and volume of the clapping that people were doing was so loud that I’m surprised I have eardrums today. But thankfully they were on their way out shortly after the speeches ceased. Because we were laughing a little too much, mostly at them, I’m pretty sure that they weren’t impressed with us. One of the dudes kept staring us down, and I’m sure he was karate chopping each of us in throat in his mind. I bet if I had pulled some throwing stars or nun chucks out of my purse he would have been impressed. But as it was, we didn’t want to impress any of these guys. I don’t think they were what Mancouver is looking for. But if I ever want to join a dojo, I know were to go.

During that mess we placed the first of our many food orders of the evening. And do not judge, we all shared. We started with two types of flatbreads, the prosciutto and organic vegetable, which were super delicious. There was a lot of commotion about the organic vegetables at first, but everyone shut up about it after it went into their mouths. Next up was:

the Gnocchi and Cheese 

 Smoked Pork Tenderloin 
and braised beef short ribs. All of these items were enough to share between four people, but I would totally be okay with an order of the gnocchi all to myself. Creamy, cheesy, fattening. Outstanding! We did take a break, but eventually ordered some dessert as well, opting to share

 The Profiteroles 

A lovely cap off to a fabulous dinner. But then all this happened...

After all the ninjas left, we noticed that we were now left all alone in the back room. No supervision, no one really checking on us. Not good. Since the staff was preoccupied by another huge party in the front of the restaurant, we were left to our own devices. This was around the time that all the drinks we had consumed up to this point were kicking in, and much like a child that has been left unmonitored, LM started touching all the things that she was not supposed to. In the back room there is a huge rack of wine that goes all the way up to the ceiling, and as if it was taunting her, LM had brought forth a challenge to herself to see if she could take a bottle down without them noticing. Well they didn’t, and this made LM up the challenge ante by wanting to open the now newly acquired wine. After much convincing we finally got LM to put the bottle back, because we didn’t really feel like being banned from the restaurant quite yet. She did not like this part of the game and was pretty focused on them catching her fucking around with their wine. To quote her – “Why won’t they just catch me?” Why indeed. Well they did eventually catch on as when the waitress finally came back she was like ummmm when she saw the wine sitting on the counter. And then side eyed us suspiciously. Seeing where this was headed, I knew it was time to leave. It was also time to leave because the DJ had checked in and was spinning tunes from the Cactus Club’s ambient house grooves mix, and it was starting to make me sour.

Wrapping it up, we asked for our bill and this here friends is why The Refinery turned into a big mistake. Once they brought our bill they asked us how we wanted to pay and all of us said we had to use our debit cards. No big deal right? Oh so very wrong. We all went up to the bar to pay, and after waiting for what seemed like an eternity we asked what the problem was. The problem was that we very much inconvenienced them by wanting to pay with a few different debit cards. This not being my first time out for dinner, I am 100% positive that you can use multiple debit cards for your dinner transaction. You put in an amount, you pass the debit machine to the customer, they punch in their shit, and it is then passed back to you to tear off the receipt as clearly this is too confusing of a process for anyone but the restaurant staff to figure out. And that’s usually the end of it. Not at the Refinery. They did not like us describing to them how most debit transactions work, though I can’t say it was being done in the kindest tones, and when LM asked the person who I’m assuming was the bar manager what we could do to make it easier he said “Well you could have paid with a credit card”. This was also not said in a kind tone. And that was that. LM turned on some Hulk rage, my sister handed over a credit card and we all left wishing that we had stolen that bottle of wine after all.

Final outcome? The food was so, so good, but the staff was so, so not. I will not go back to a place where wanting to use more than one debit card comes with ‘tude. I mean for reals, get with the times, Joey’s will even divide up your bill for you by how many people are at the table. Down to the extra sauce ordered on the side. $0.89 cents three ways? Fuck yah they will. After telling most of the people that passed us on Granville not to go to The Refinery, we made our way over to Johnnie Fox’s for a drink before our night’s finale, The Roxy. Johnnie’s was busy and full of the usual Irish men that get Irish drunk in there. But that’s fine, we don’t go there for the men, it’s for the atmosphere and the best bartender in town, Dave. But if you are into drunken Irish men there’s no shame in that. They are Irish after all. And on this night they were especially into the drink, as one of the guys did an amazing bail off of his stool, only to get right back up and start drinking again. That isn’t a talent. It’s in their blood.

We did meet some nice fellows from Toronto and Kelowna, Rob and Billy, who were not falling off their stools, but did talk us into doing a shot of Jameson with them. Guess what? We didn’t need it. They also had with them a friend, who looked exactly like another guy in the bar. When we first saw him we were like huh, that guy was just sitting over there...WHAT?! Holy shit there’s two of them! It was madness. We were like did you realize your identical twin is in the bar right now AND he’s Irish? He then told us that people often tell him he’s a bit Donnie Wahlberg in the face, and to prove it he acted out some Blue Bloods lines for us. I’m not sure if they were actual lines from the show, but he did a pretty good job nonetheless. And his face was a little DWish, but nowhere near as hot. Yes Donnie is hot. Both my sister and I are longtime NKOTB fans, and we will fight you on this. To the non believers I say peace.

While we were enjoying our beverages and chatting away I noticed something happening out of the corner of my eye. I could see our friend talking to Rob and Billy and one other guy that had just arrived. She was saying something along the lines of “Why are you so low to the ground”, and when we looked over I was like oh no, is this really happening? It was a train wreck in the making and I could not look away. Well he was so low to the ground because he was in wheelchair, which is what he told her when she asked why he was so low and it was followed up by “I don’t believe you”. I am killing myself laughing because Rob, Billy and pretty much everyone else around us were looking at each other with the same looks on our faces that said she is not making fun of a guy in a wheelchair right now is she? She was. Good thing he had a sense of humor, because he was laughing too and had to roll over and convince her. Cue up the face of mortification in three, two, one...
Yup. Mortified. And that right there pretty much made my night. Until something epic happened later on to top it.

So that was pretty much our cue to leave and head over to The Roxy. There was no special reason for going to The Roxy on this evening, it was mostly because it’s The Roxy and it’s awesome. It was pretty busy, as it usually is on a Saturday, or really any day that end in Y I suppose, plus there were also a few stags and stagettes milling about because it is that time of the year after all. BUT, not so busy that we didn’t locate a prime booth at the front of the bar so that we could watch the flow of people coming in.  And then we saw something amazing happen. A young man was trying to make his way to the back of the bar, when he suddenly got caught in a cougar trap midway. The unhot cougar forcefully grabbed his face and trailed her talons down his body. The look on his face was priceless, just screaming somebody help me! After he successfully removed her claws from his body, he walked over to us and said “Oh my GOD did you guys see that?! What was that?!!?”Oh yes. Yes we saw it. He was like I think I just got raped, she literally almost tore skin off my body when she raked her nails down my chest. And she also asked as she was defiling him “Do you like that?” No. No I don’t. I don’t like you ripping my skin off with your Freddy Krueger nails as it is not sexy, and your face is very old and scary. Just like Freddy. We all bonded over George’s pain and he would be back to see us later, where I could share his trauma and tell him my very own horror story.

That was more or less the theme for the rest of the night. Raping. It happens at The Roxy. Before my own personal terror was about to begin, we were finally blessed with seeing a very good looking guy that was a part of one of the stagettes, and apparently everyone else in the bar thought so too, because he was surrounded by girls the entire time we were there. Since LM gave herself the job of The Roxy hallway greeter, which basically involved saying hi to everyone who walked by our booth, when the hot guy walked by the first time she reached out and touched his hat – side note, she also touched someone’s hair when we were at the bar, which could have gone either way, but it turns out he liked it. Once she touched the hat, a girl literally came out of nowhere and said “That’s my cousin”. And not in a friendly go get him he’s hot vibe, more of a hands off he’s mine, incest is best vibe. Really weird. However, I did eventually go over to his table and tell him that he was the best looking guy in the bar, but left it at that. I didn’t have the patience to fight off the half dressed 20 something’s that were all up in his grill, who were also yes, raping him. And I never will. I’m not going to dance up on you wearing a shirt no pants combo. I’m just not. Not out at the bar anyways.

But what I will do is attract men that look identical to everyone’s favorite celebrity douche chef,

There I was just minding my own business when Guy danced up to our table and consumed the rest of my night. Everything about him was awful; he was truly a hot mess. The bleached hair, the murse, the bad tattoo job, all of it was wrong. So wrong. At first I tried to brush him off, but Guy was not going to back down so easily. Even after he claimed “You guys are making fun of me”, to which I said “Yes, yes we are”, he still stuck it out. I think he even enjoyed it. He was nothing but determined. Because boundaries meant nothing to him, he got close enough to tell me that I smelt like brown sugar, and my response to that was that I work in a bakery. I don’t.  And if that wasn’t enough, I went with a whole story of owning a bakery with my sister called Two Sisters Bakery. Why? Why this lie? But from that moment on I will now only make up places of business that my sister and I co-own and uses the term “Two Sisters”.

Ed Note: There actually IS a Two Sisters Bakery. It's in Alaska. We probably won't be visiting soon.

Since Guy wouldn’t stop hounding me, I finally gave in and danced with him, and that turned out to be a really bad idea. Next time you feel like giving in to an annoying celebrity chef look a like, don’t. You’ll end up having to speak to him like we speak to my sister’s dog – Don’t. Don’t do that. No humping. Stop it. What did I just say? And so on. Needless to say it didn’t last long, and I left the dance floor to try and find sanctuary at our table. During one of the brief moments that Guy wasn’t around, our friend George found us again to tell us he was being raped once again, and why weren’t we there to help him. Listen George, I have my own raping problems to deal with right now, in the form of Guy Fieri. My problems far outweigh yours. He was a very nice young man, so George I hope that you made it out alive, sorry we couldn’t have been more of a help!

LM was busy dancing up a storm in front of our table and making friends with all the passerby’s, and at one point I saw her conversing with one of the dojo dudes from the other party. God only knows what that conversation was about, but I’m going to guess that the use of multiple debit cards came up. She also stopped some other guy who was not a ninja, but he was a douche bag. He earned his douche title because my sister and I overheard him say “No one in here makes over $100,000 a year” to which my sister put her hand in his face and said “BYE”. Does it get more obnoxious than that? Is it even possible? Who says that? And okay moneybags, if you’re so disgusted in the poor people of the Roxy then why are you here? Hey why don’t you have a few more drinks and drive home.
Capital F. Capital U.

But let’s get back to Guy, who was deteriorating before our very eyes and still not wanting to leave me in peace. Because remember when I said earlier that my night was made but then something more epic happened later on to make it even more excellent? Well here it comes, the TSN turning point of the evening.  If there was ever a moment to use the term full circle, then this was it. There Guy was, busting a move in front of our table when all of a sudden even his body started rejecting him. His legs were about to give way, and he was going to bite it. In the midst of this happening, the guy in the wheelchair from Johnnies was entering The Roxy and making his way down to the back bar...but he did not make it because Guy dinner, drive in and dived right into him. It was almost like the whole thing happened in slow motion, we were like oh god, OH GOD, this is actually happening, and to this poor guy again!!! And you know what? This time he did NOT laugh. Wheels was pissed. I didn’t hear it, but he definitely mouthed Guy off and continued on with his night. Hopefully things turned around for him once he left our presence, because we were not doing him any favors in the luck department.

One of the two surprising things about Guy is that he was pretty resilient. Even after the fall, that was closely followed up by another incredible fall; he would get right back up and keep going. The other surprising, no wait, shocking thing was that for how incredibly annoying he was, he was with a huge group of girls. How did this happen? They were all singing his praises too about what a nice “Guy” he was. Which you know what, fine I’m sure he was, but when I tell someone to ease up and not try to rape me anymore I usually hope that they will listen. Unless I initiated it, or gave you the go ahead, don’t. Just don’t. One of his girlfriends even had to tell him to be gentle. He again, did not listen. After he bit me in the shoulder – yes, and WTF – I had finally had enough. As much as I love The Roxy, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Trying to fend off Guy had used up all of my energy, so we quickly escaped, picked up some Pita Pit and got the fuck out of there.  

And so ends the tale of yet another Mancouver night. After writing all this out it feels like it went on for three days, but I can tell you that all of this happened in the span of 6 hours. And believe me you can’t even make this stuff up, it’s all true and it always happens around us. Lucky? Yah I would say so. We wouldn’t have anything to write about otherwise.

Toodles friends, until next time!

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