Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm calling it here first -- I think we just witnessed the end of American Idol.

Just after he finished receiving his reaming from Simon Cowell on Tuesday night's show, Chris Richardson sent his thoughts out to those affected by the Virginia Tech massacre. He seemed genuinely upset, saying he had many friends in that area.

The cameras cut back briefly to Simon and Paula, and Simon clearly rolled his eyes at Richardson's statement.

Now, I'm not saying Richardson's words couldn't be seen as a bid for sympathy by someone who had just given a particularly lousy performance, but how terrible does it look for Cowell to apparently be shrugging off someone's reaction to the tragedy? Whatever his intentions, Cowell has just opened himself up for a world of criticism.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'll post a little bit more about the media coverage of the attack at Virginia Tech, but after watching the press conference just a few minutes ago on CNN, there's at least one jackass who deserves a beating right now.

Some asshole actually asked VT's president how the shootings might affect recruiting and registration of new students. This is eight hours after 33 people have been killed.

Here's how Dr. Charles W. Steger should have responded:

"You ridiculous, insensitive fuck. We have more than 30 people dead on our campus, and you think I'm wondering about whether we'll have a problem filling our seats next term? Get out of this press conference before I come down there and snap your neck, you prick."

Of course, there shouldn't be any press conferences at this point. The media (and I used to be one of them) should all have to work from the same release sheets and the same canned quotes. Our right to know is not nearly as important as the necessity for people such as Dr. Steger and the police to do their jobs.

Our hearts are with you, Hokies.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A couple of literary notes:

* So long to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I have nothing to say that hasn't been said more elequently already by someone else closer to him, but Slaughterhouse 5 is one of my favourite books and one of the few I've sought out on audio because I thought it would play by ear even better.

If you haven't heard Ethan Hawke read it, go buy it. There's also a nice interview with Vonnegut at the end.

* The recent news that David Sedaris fudges his facts and characters isn't really news, is it?

As a former newspaperman responsible for writing our paper's columns, I never intentionally fudged the characters or facts of my pieces. I would have felt I was taking liberties that wouldn't have been appreciated by my readers.

However, having read Sedaris, I never remotely considered that every bit of his work might be factual. It simply would have been too convenient and too miraculous.

Do I feel cheated now to know this to be the case? Oddly enough, I do -- and I think it's because Sedaris chooses to work in "nonfiction" when he's clearly not. I'd also believe those writing him cheques would take kindly to a head's up on stretching the truth, but then, maybe Davis thought they were all in on the joke already?

Change your labels, David, and you lose your problems.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This was our first trip the Aji Sai on Bayview, although we have eaten at the same restaurant's Barrie location. As was true farther north, we were not disappointed!

We ordered the dinner menu and enjoyed the rolls and sushi, including our favourites, the spider roll, crazy love roll and aji sai roll. The butter fish and salmon sushimi was fresh and cut in nice pieces, and my two hand rolls featured perfectly sticky rice.

What sets Aji Sai apart is the wider selection of dishes. They make a terrific sesame chicken, fantastic crab cakes and wonderful cheese wontons -- things you might not be able to get from other AYCE sushi restaurants. There are also more than 30 rolls, so try a bunch of different stuff.

We were served incredibly fast for our first order, but the second took quite a long time. I think, however, that it was done, and they just missed bringing it out to us.

Staff was extremely courteous (and interested in how they stacked up against the Barrie restaurant!) and helpful, and they even left me a pitcher of ice water on the table! Take note, other restaurants!

Highly recommended and we'll definitely be back -- our five-year-old commands it!

Visit them at www.ajisai.com!