Zero to Hero, Cellar to Stellar

Being remiss lately in regards to this blog (negligent is such legally loaded word and is best left unused), I had better update it when I can. There certainly has been no shortage of Perfect Moments.

Last night, in fact, was a night that the Perfect Moments knew they were in competition and did a good job of one-upping themselves as the night progressed. Having had a bad start, I worried that there wasn’t going to be a Perfect Moment, so I started noting them early, without reflection, unconsciously trying to erase the poor beginning.

Let me explain

The Less Than Perfect Start

Getting off work early on Friday, meant I had a little time to explore. Rain seemed imminent, so I wanted to explore somewhere indoors.  I also did not want to do too much walking because my calf muscle still gets pretty stiff and painful after a few hundred metres.

Being heavily influenced by Lawrence Block’s anti-hero Keller, the stamp collecting hit man, I thought I would go to a stamp dealer just to see what this hobby is about. What I have seen online doesn’t give me a clear understanding of the hobby.  Being a hobby in decline (so they say) there aren’t a lot of places  to go and see anything up close.  I had lots of time before meeting my friend for drinks and food, so I researched a few places and set off in search of philatelic paradises.

The first was closed. I was a little disappointed, but I just decided to go to the other place on my list.  Sadly, my list did not include a phone number.  When I got to the second place, the rain began and I found the business had also closed for a vacation.  I had wrongly surmised that since I had to work the Friday of a long weekend, most other people would too.  Obviously I was wrong.

The First Perfect Moment

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After the stamp debacle, I arrived about 40 minutes too early to meet my friend. As usual, I was carrying a book (a forgettable tale of drugs, biker gangs, and police informants), so I went in search of someplace to read.  I figured, I would find a Tim Hortons, get out of the rain, and read a few chapters.  As any Canadian will tell you, you’re rarely far from a location of the donut franchise.  Huddled under my slightly broken umbrella, fate intervened.

I passed what I instantly recognized as a Vietnamese cafeteria style restaurant. I had an inspiration to have some “white coffee with ice”, as I had done on my vacation.  Though only six-months gone, nostalgia hit me like a freight train.  I had no trouble waiting for my friend.  I should also mention there  was a discount because the restaurant/cafeteria was participating in Summerlicious.

The Second Perfect Moment

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After meeting my friend, we decided to stick with the Asian theme and go to a place that served both Japanese and Korean food. It had been a while since I had sashimi, but after one bite, I knew I had been missing it; craving it, in fact.  It was so delicious that I vowed to myself that I would never again go that long between sashimi meals.

As you can see by the image I have provided, someone at the restaurant has been watching the Food Network a lot lately.  I cannot believe there is any other reason for me having to eat my raw fish out of a martini glass.  It is not exactly my idea of presentation.

The Third Perfect Moment

With a few beers in our stomachs, men need to go out and prove themselves. My friend being married precluded the female conquest competition–which, honestly,  neither one of us would have won had we gone that route.  Instead we chose to shoot pool upstairs at the Rivoli.  The Rivoli is a time honoured bar in Toronto that has pool tables upstairs.

Normally, despite the blustery talk of men and boys, drinking does not lead to great pool playing. It is a game of coordination and concentration, which isn’t facilitated by beer.  Luckily we hadn’t drunk very much and the little we had provided a bit of relaxation.IMG_20170804_211235941

No, the pool hall wasn’t the perfect moment. There were no Fast Eddy characters, all the attractive women came with dates, and although the bartender had an awesome voice (she does commercials she told me) and the music provided was, at times, awesome, it really wasn’t the atmosphere that did it.  The tables were a bit wonky, the cues lacked straightness, and there weren’t enough shelves to rest my beer on.

Instead, what did it was the shot of a lifetime. I hit the perfect two shot sinker.  You know the one I am talking about.  The first ball goes in like it was planned, the cue ball hits the second ball and it slowly, unbelievably, rolls into the pocket just as it seems like it is going to stop on the lip.  It’s like a movie, only it’s happening to you.

To Sum Up

Vietnamese iced coffee + sashimi + pool + friendship = Today’s Perfect Moment

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About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, coffee, ethnic food, food, playing pool, sashimi, sushi and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Zero to Hero, Cellar to Stellar

  1. Keller would have enjoyed that white coffee with ice…

    • Anthony says:

      It was indeed delicious.
      How do you think he would have felt standing outside the stamp dealer, wondering why they were closed?
      Who’s kidding who, he is too well adjusted (for a hired killer) to get angry, and he probably doesn’t need that many Canadian stamps….or does he.

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