Archive | February, 2012

Love is Delicious

15 Feb

“Valentine’s Day is so Cliche.” Twilight Sparkle claimed yesterday morning, along with multitudes of other negative Valentine’s Day things. “I think it should only be for little kids, that’s kind of cute. But it’s so cliche, all the lovey-mush on Valentine’s day.”

I sat quietly and listened to my inner monologue narrate how lonely her life is. Sure, Valentine’s Day is a giant Cheese-fest. I can agree with that much. I can also agree that it’s probably some huge scam by the chocolate companies, floral companies and card companies to suddenly generate some revenue in an otherwise Holiday-dead month. But, all I could think as she ranted all day long about how irritating the day was–was how cliche it is to hate Valentines Day. Yes, it’s cliche to love it too. So, I like to take the mainly middle road of passive indifference. (i.e. I can live with it–but I can also live without it.) Besides, how could you not smile a little bit at the idea of how that holiday even started up? I mean, some saint who is secretly marrying Christians when Christianity is forbidden gets beheaded and thousands of years later we’re all chasing our tails? (or some tail, depending.)

For the past few years, my idea of the ideal Valentine’s Day involved masses of delcious and savory foods, friends and zombie movies. (Eat your heart out) But once my boyfriend, Mickey, came into my life–things changed.

I have never been a romantic. In fact, I have a tendency to ruin moments that would otherwise be considered as such. I will admit, I almost sometimes go out of my way to ruin them because I get nervous. Not Mickey. Last year, he made every effort to create the ideal Valentines Day for us. It went horribly awry, and ended in tears–but I appreciated the effort all the same.

This year was different.

So, as I listened to Twilight Rant all day–truly just grinding her lonely, dateless existance into the very pores of our team–he was plotting. I practically sprinted out of the office yesterday, forgoing the elevator for stairs so I could burn off steam. As I pinged my card through to access he train and nervously barrelled down the stairs, Mickey was waiting for me.

Dressed in a long black coat, black slacks, dress shoes, a suit coat, a white button down shirt and the new black and silver bow-tie I had gotten him as a gift–he looked more ready for the Opera than just a casual night out. (When I told him this, he replied “I always do.” And he does.) Leaning against the wall nearest the stairs, he posed, extending a colorful bouquet of flowers toward me, and a cocky proud smile. (probably laughing at my surprise.) I could already feel my cheeks flushing as I took the flowers and pecked him on the lips. Even though we’ve been together for over two years, romance still makes me flustered. It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change completely. I was also presented with a card, hand=designed with photos of us from last year and a heartfelt message within. (This gift I showed off to my whole team at work today, to Twilight’s great displeasure.)

Together, we took the red line toward Kendall. Until this moment, I had not been told where we would be heading. (Though I had tried to weasel the answer out of him from the moment he mentioned wanted to plan something.) Eagerly, I fidgeted in my seat before he finally told me that we would be having sushi that night.

As I know you don’t know my boyfriend like I do, reader, let me make something clear about Mickey. He is a picky eater. On a usual night, he won’t even eat chicken, let alone sushi. My brows raised when he made this declaration.

“What made you decide on sushi?” I asked him earnestly as we walked into the cool wind through East Kendall.

“Remember the other night, when you told me I should be more adventurous with my food?” He asked me back. I furrowed my brows, vaguely recalling something like that happening when we were out. I nodded my consent. “Well, I decided you were right. And when I tried something new last time we were out, you were so proud of me. I wanted to give this a shot.”  He makes me smile.

Fuji at Kendall, is not a far walk from Kendall station off of the red line. Located at 300 third street in Cambridge, a little Googleing after our visit pulls up the website immediately. The place even from the outside looks modern and organized. (Just as most of the buildings in this area) We were promptly greeted by the hostess once through the door, who quickly showed us to a table. I was pleasantly surprised to find that other than a handful of people at the sushi bar, we were the only patrons. The sound system pumped gooey but classic music through the open and airy space, but was not overpowering or unpleasant in any way. (In fact, I quite like Frank Sinatra.) Tables for two clustered across the right side of the restaurant, in an evenly and carefully placed in a way that almost felt overly planned. (but was also visually pleasant) Each table was neatly set with a fresh colorful orchid set in vases of water, along with carefully folded napkins, small white plates, and plastic chopsticks neatly awaiting use. Despite feeling slightly exposed due to the very clear windows surrounding us, the space felt bright, clean and open. Across from us was the bartop, decorated with liquor and thoughtfully arranged wooded boats. My boyfriend smiled as he watched me take in the space, knowing I was more than pleased with his choice.

We did not drink anything other than ginger ale yesterday, so I can’t review their drinks, but their food was beautiful. What I like most about Japanese food, or any Asian cuisine, really is the attention to visual detail that is paid of each dish. Our appetizers, steamed vegetable dumplings, and salt and pepper shrimp–came first. The dumplings popped from the plate in bright green hues against the stark whiteness of the plates, and were flavorful even without the spicy dipping sauce provided with them. The shrimp were cooked to a perfect-looking golden brown and flecked with bright reds and deep blacks of pepper.

Our sushi was not as visually impressive, but was some of the best that I have had, taste-wise. The Unagi Maki was sweet and slightly warm–which I enjoyed. The Boston Maki was cool and tangy, slightly chewy and the spicy tuna maki–well that was perhaps the only let down on my part. The spicy mayo included in bright orange, warning hues on top is nothing to laugh at. The spice was almost overpowering rather than enjoyable.

By far though. the dessert was the most wonderful to look at. We decided to each try Fuji’s fried dessert options. I decided on the safer, Fried Icecream, while Mickey opted for the Fried Cheesecake. Both came out with beautifully decorated plates and were both delicious in their own way. The fried cheese cake is not for the texturally sensitive though.

All and all, I would definitely return to Fuji at Kendall. The only major problem I had with the service was that our waitress felt very pushy and I felt overly rushed to finish my meal. For now, I will pass it off as the fear of the Valentines rush.

Though I may not be the romantic type, I’m glad I’ve finally found someone who is. Cheesy and mushy as it may sound–he brightens up my life each day, not just on Valentines Day. I hope everyone out there remembers to show those you love that you care each day–and treat each day like it’s a holiday. Love should always be celebrated, even if it’s not the romantic kind. Even if it’s a working relationship in the office, a group of close friends or your family–a little love each day, expressed in some little way might make all the Twilight Sparkle complainers out there–feel a little more tolerable toward the hopeless romantics.

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A Night at the Theater–Addams Family Musical Review (Spoilers!)

9 Feb

They’re creepy and they’re spooky, mysterious and kooky–they’re all together ooky–The Addams family!

Well, creepy certainly was the word. Crammed in the tiny balcony seats of the Schubert Theater in Boston, I was trying with some difficulty not to allow the overly-nosy eight-year-old boy in front of me to look up my dress in the awkward angle and sitting beside my boyfriend who looked even more uncomfortable. There, we awaited the start of The Addams Family Musical. ( My poor boyfriend’s first words once the show ended was–“I think my shins are bruised.”) I felt lucky that we had managed to even get seats on opening night–the place was packed– and even the cramped space of the balcony weren’t under $50 dollars a ticket.

The crowd seemed restless and eager to start the show. Ages varied from young kids to so elderly they needed assistance getting up and down the narrow (and without a middle railing, which was terrifying in heels) stairs. After all, who couldn’t recall the memorably grim but laugh-inducing Addams? I knew I couldn’t resist. My childhood was riddled with memories of Saturday morning cartoons, in which The Addams Family often frequented the screen. The show was grim, and hilariously twisted, which is the main reason I enjoyed it. It is that spirit of twisted humor that was kept alive throughout the opening night of The Addams Family Musical.

The premise: The creepy cold child, Wednesday, has suddenly found herself in love and wanting to be engaged to–dramatic pause–a “normal” boy! Hiding the ring from her over-protective mother, Morticia, she confides in her father, Gomez, about the reason for a sudden dinner party with this boy and his family. She begs him to promise not to tell his beloved wife–and so hilarity ultimately ensues.

All of the characters I knew and loved made their premier on stage, portrayed with care and confidence by their respective actors and actresses. (Well–with the exception of a rather annoying little boy who played Wednesday’s brother, Pugsley. Him, I could have done without.) Even Thing and Cousin It make a few short appearances.

The show was much better than I anticipated; the music was catchy, saucy and well-composed, the scene changes were fascinating to watch–and the use of puppeteers was a pleasant and fun surprise throughout the production.I found myself bouncing in my seat to the music as performers sang and danced, grabbing your attention and ultimately keeping it.

The only issue (depending on who you are) that I found with it was the massive amounts of sexual humor that permeated the whole performance. As an adult–I have no problem with sexual humor. In fact, it’s kind of my favorite. But it does get somewhat uncomfortable when there’s an eight-year old in front of you and Gomez just made several penis jokes. All I could think was, God, I hope this goes over your head. Oh, also, the occasionally topical humor that Uncle Fester tosses into the performance–I found somewhat jarring. Funny, sometimes–but other times just unneeded.

I must admit, that I was thrilled to realize that the actor playing Uncle Fester had also played Edna in Hairspray when I went to see it with my Meme five years or so ago. All of the cast did a bang up job–particularly the actors and actresses who played, Fester, Gomez and Wednesday,  who stole the show. Even the actor playing Lurch surprised me with a suddenly solo singing performance that gave me chills in ways that only seeing The Phantom of the Opera on stage had done previously.

All and all I give The Addams Family Musical a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s only here in Boston for this month–and I would definitely recommend it to the younger generation looking for a laugh. (Or perhaps even the older. People are DYING to see this show.) Sorry, I had to. If you can afford it–skip the cheap seats. But honestly, the view from anywhere in this theater is fine. It’s only legroom that gets tricky.