A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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When I first started blogging, I never dreamed it would bring me fame and fortune…

Which is a good thing because it hasn’t.

A bit of fame, sure – in and amongst my people and their people and even some of their people. But fortune? Erm, not so much.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the blogosphere…..people started sending me stuff. Free stuff. Despite not making a dime on these musings of mine, I have somehow become one of those bloggers that people think people wanna know about. I love that!!! And now the marketing genies, keen to cash in on all things bloggy – ie. trusted word of mouth – have sent me freebies. Samples. Swag. Call it what you want, it’s free free free!!!

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!

Well, it was cool. Except now that they’ve paid the bill, I’m expected to, ahem, put out. And I can’t. I’m just not that kind of girl. (Anymore.) Look, I know nothing’s really free. And that when something seems too good to be true it’s cuz it is. Or isn’t (is too good? isn’t true? Y’know what I mean). Anyhoo, I’ve been tracked down. The stuff’s been sent. And now it’s payback time.

Faced with mounting pressure to lie back and spread ’em – the word on these products, that is – I find I’m more inclined to blow is all off and hide. Except now I feel like a real tease. They took their time to treat me to their product, and yeah, I encouraged them to, so the least I could do is tell you about it, right?

Wrong. You see, trusted readers, at the end of the day, I’ll only tell you about things I love. Or loathe. Anything in between, well, what’s the point, right?

Remember Pom Tea? I adored it. At the time I couldn’t sing its praises loud enough… Now I can’t stomach the stuff.
Joe Fresh? Cheap and cheerful. And cheap – the zippers are constantly undoing and they wash like crap.
Tassimo? Retired my machine the other day – too pricey and I felt like an environmental terrorist in my own home.

No one paid for this press – good or bad.

Banu? Paid full price for every meal. Every hookah. And I’ll keep going back for more.
Paige Denim? A bloody fortune, but I love love love ’em. And I’ll keep going back for more.
Jude Law? Didn’t give me the time of day, despite bringing a hot leggy blond as my winger. And, yeah, I’ll keep going back for more. (Sheesh, not even a passing glance….)

Again, think any of that was free? I WISH.

Granted, once in a while something works for me – I got these awesome Crayola crafty paints and markers and crayons that rocked down my house. Especially the crayons – triangular, easy to hold (what? my kid has fine motor issues) and even easier to clean.

And see? I told you about them. Because I wanted to. On my own terms. I don’t think I need to write about something simply because someone went to town and couriered it to my house.

Am I protesting too much? Probably. I’d kill to turn a profit here in the blogosphere. Maybe I should whore myself out a little more. Maybe I should write about any – and every – sample that someone sends me. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m not being sent the right kinda things. Hear that PR people? Marketers, start your engines….and start sending me stuff I can get excited about!!

Jude Law’s agent – you getting all this?

Please and thanks….

5 comments:

Anonymous said…

They don’t realize that they need to send you facial products. Celex C, vitamin B and E, retinal take your pick – what almost 40 (sorry mother – gave it away) babe doesn’t want that sent to them. And while your’re at it – get 2 sent!

5:29 PM

Anonymous said…

what a mind.. LADY. I WISH I HAD A PRODUCT YOU COULD TOUT… OR NOT

7:08 PM

Anonymous said…

Way to not sell out MOAM. Maybe Dancap will send you a season subscription so you can once again SING the praises of the musical. Didya see Drowsy Chaperone? There is hope!

10:41 PM

Mother of all Mavens said…

I hear you people….And i’ll take it, any of it. Particularly face creams and musicals. As for Drowsy – duh! Been there, done that. twice. Not really worth a double take but guess what? The tickets were free! Send in the swag….

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October 16, 2007   No Comments

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The Happy Hookah

Doing dinner.

Sounds great, right? Except for the dreaded question: where to go. French? I don’t get the fuss – the fussy food or the big deal. Southeast Asian? Done done done. Tapas? Some slabs of piggy and olives? Can be tasty, but naah. Chinois? Soooo not Saturday night fare.

And the list goes on. And on. And on. The hipster spots are too busy. The neighbourhood spots too, well, neighbourhoody. You go through the city, street by street, trying to think of somewhere new and different and then it hits.

Banu.

Ba-who?

There’s a new kid in town. Our town. Sorry foreign readers, you may want to stop now. But locals, keep readng. It’s down on Queen Street. Past the throngs of Queen West, but not too far deep into the newly-minted trendoids of Queen West West West. Look closely and you’ll find it, Banu: an unpretentious, delicious and totally unique vodka-and-kebab experience.

That’s right, experience.

If you find it. Banu has no sign, only Farsi writing overtop a blue-tinged sepia photo on the glass door. Once inside, you may be a bit confused – the place feels more spa than supper. Actually, it feels like a Hammam. I know I’m mixing my cultures here, but it feels like whatever the Iranian equivalent of a Turkish bath is. But go with it.

Pick your vodka – you’ve got about 14 to choose from. Pretend you’re an afficianado and try try try. Or just go for one of their delicious martinis: sour cherry, pomegranate or (yawn) plain. Then open your menu. You’ll find 3 starters, 3 salads, 3 yoghurts. That’s right, yoghurts. And a whole slew of kebabs.

Aaaaah, the humble kebab. It’s not just a late-night drink absorber anymore. Banu takes these humble meat sticks and turns them into an art form. We skipped the lamb balls and heart (I swear!), opting for more traditional fare of ground beef, marinated beef tenderloin, lamb chops and saffron chicken. Yum, yum, and yum. (Note only 3 out of four ‘yums’. Skip the chicken.)

Food arrived family-style, on a plate lined with traditional bread – I haven’t a clue what it’s called. It’s thinner than pita but it could be just that. Also on the platter were green onions, radishes, and a handful of greens. Herbs, that is: mint, basil and tarragon leaves.

And that’s it. A lovely restaurant. Looked pretty. Tasty food. The end.

Or so we thought. Boy we were wrong. ‘Cuz with the dessert menu came something else. A little thing some people like to call a Hookah.

HOOKAH HOOKAH HOOKAH

Water pipe, bong, call it what you want. We had a choice of around 10 flavours and went for the blackberry. And for those of you who are thinking we sat around getting high – maybe we did. But it was on blackberry molasses.

Huh?

I know, I know. I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now. I’ma hookah virgin. All’s I know is we sat around the table, inside the restaurant, smoking! Yes, smoking. But nary an evil eye in sight. ‘Cuz with no nicotine, tar, or nasty bi-products, this was a totally natural, delicious way to lounge. And for those of you with an aversion to other people’s, erm, spit, fret not – every one is treated to their own hermetically sealed, totally non-gross plastic pipe.

The hookah went for an hour (insert porny jokes here). We smoked. We watched it bubble and burn. We marvelled. We smoked some more. Look at us! We’re so rad! Check us out! Tourists in our own town!

HOOKAH!

We topped it all off with Iranian desserts and tea and marvelled at how, well, different it was from your average night out for dinner. It was, as they say, an experience.

HOOKAH!

Are you experienced?

4 comments:

jojo said…

Now this I relate to!!!!!! Martini’s, tasty food and hangin’ out smokin’ !
I must admit it reminds me of us 40 years ago! You know who and you know who…… our Sat. nights[with gin martini’s though!]
We must try this place. Thank you for the review!
I wonder what Joann Kates would say? I’ll bet she has been keeping Banu a secret for a while!
Take Nanu to Banu; it will cheer her up!
Silly arn’t I?

6:50 PM

scribbit said…

That is some experience. Never knew you could get “virgin” hookahs. Too bad I’m 2000 miles away.

6:01 PM

Anonymous said…

So happy to hear that there is a Hookah cafe in Toronto. Went to one in Washington DC last summer and thought it was great. Chose the apple flavour. Yummy!

All I kept thinking was how great it would be to have a similar place in Toronto, but how tight-assed the city was and it would never be allowed.

Let’s keep Banu our little secret.

Oh yeah. Would love to join the 2 of you there one night when we have a baby sitter.

-Vooolfie and Vern.

October 2, 2006   No Comments

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