Monthly Archives: April 2008

My Brightest Diamond @ the slaughtered lamb

We went and saw my brightest diamond this week in the basement of a great pub in clerkenwell called ‘the slaughtered lamb.’  got there early enough to grab a couch.  she played a divine show backed up by a string quartet also playing with Clare and the reasons (they are great! – will see them later this summer at the ‘end of the road festival’).  we’ve seen mbd maybe 6 times now and every show is fantastic and unique in its own way.  it has been great to see her develop her own performance style after the subdued ‘sufjan’ years.  She played through most of her new album throwing in the ‘hits’ from her first album ‘bring me the workhorse’, and a ridiculously pimp cover of prince’s ‘when doves cry.’  seriously great date night out for bruce and pj.

Bethany descends from yonder skies

Our dear friend bethany hodge (left) flew over in a big jet plane to spend some time with us last week.  1st class no less.  She spent a good bit of time sleeping on our kitchen floor when it was dark, but made good use of the daylight to venture about London.  She walked till her feet hurt one day – all about the river thames – saw big ben, tate modern, st. pauls, london eye, etc.  it is amazing what you can see of London in one good day of walking.  bethany went with pj to paris and visited me at work.  she hung out with us at night (we took her to the pub one night to pretend that we were normal londoners).  She knitted for us and watched the Tudor’s with us (sorry bethany! it’s addicting…we know!)  One night she even baked us an apple pie.  We love bethany’s pies…it was divine.  I still have the wine bottle she used as the rolling pin.   When she was done here I took her to the airport and she flew back.  but had to spend the night in minneapolis because she missed her connecting flight.  uggg.

Pj conquers the Pompidou

Pj is on a monthly quest back and forth between London and Paris providing movement direction and a bit of performing for a school project at the Pompidou Center.  Last week they closed off part of the gallery for rehearsals.  i’m very impressed by this.  Everyone here tells me this is a very beautiful and important modern art gallery.  maybe THEE modern art gallery in europe.  (i do like the tate modern a lot though).   To see some more pictures check out our flikr page.

Becoming a connoisseur of Champagne, pt. 1

For most americans the typical champagne experience consists of either a) fizzy stuff we drink at weddings that’s probably not real champagne and is always pretty bad! b) or reminiscing about the famous saturday night live skit “The Continental” with Christopher Walken and “cham-pan-ya” 

Here’s a bit of the script I pulled from the web……………………………

But first, a glass of fine champagna. 

[ he walks over to a table to pour the champagna into two glasses ] You know, champagna is not champagna unless it comes from the province of Champagne. I learned that in Bartending School. [ bring their champagne to the settee ] Sit, please. [ hands his visitor her glass ] Forgive me if my hungry eyes feast on the banquet of your sumptious decolletage. [ champagne is thrown in his face ] The champagna you have thrown stings my eyes. You are a fiery vixen. You have a spirit.. like a frolicksome colt. [ glass is held before him ] Ah! I see you have changed your mind about the champagna. No one can long resist the lure of those delicate bubbles.. [ reaches for the bottle ] ..each whispering the same message of love. [ the champagne is again thrown in his face ] Thrown champagne in my face once, shame on you. [ adjusts his soaked fake moustache ] Throw champagna in my face twice, shame on me. 

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I’ve been drinking a lot of champagne this year and just attended a master class this week on champagne.  I thought it would be fantastic to pass on a bit of what I’ve learned for those of you susceptible to the whispering messages of love in each fine bubble. 

The Grand National

When I showed up for work on Saturday morning the first thing my colleague asked was who I was betting on today?  “Betting, Who, what?” I replied.  I then preceded to get a cultural education on English Horse racing and “The Grand National” which is a huge annual horse race that everyone bets on in England…even people staunchly opposed to gambling (“Oh, So they jump over hurdles. “No, their called fences.”)  So, after a few hours of reading the saturday paper I put £5 on #33 Comply-or-Die.  Later on in the day we skipped across the street to ‘The Slug and Lettuce’ to watch the race…and who finished first but good ol’ #33.  We jumped, high fived, and screemed like girls…and then preceded to the bookies to collect our winnings.  £30 each.  We split a bottle of bubbly to celebrate (Jantz – an excellent sparkling wine from Tasmania) and I took Pj out to dinner that evening with friends David and Ping Henningham.  Here is a link if you want to read more.

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Pj is on Holiday

Well, it’s been fairly quiet at casa de benedict the last week or two.  Pj is on a 5 week holiday break between terms and is busy writing, reading, and researching.  She’s becoming quite a little scholar giving me updates daily on her readings in authentic movement, dance theory, gender performance studies, and the like.  You can email her for more extended reports.  I’ve been busy studying for my intermediate WSET Qualification.  (Wine and Spirit Education Trust). This is part of a professional qualification in basic wine and spirit’s knowledge.  I’v been learning things such as the major wine regions of the world, the differences between production styles of whiskies, brandy’s and liqueurs, how to properly evaluate wine in tastings, and wine and food matching.  Next week I head down to oddbins HQ for a masterclass on Champagne’s. Life is tough.