Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rebukes and Spooks; Volts and Votes

So, it looks like we’re not going to Chelsea’s wedding after all. More about that tomorrow. As you may imagine, this is a bit of a sore point.

The good news last week was – other than the tantrum Lady M threw when she found out about the wedding slight – it was a fairly quiet week around here. MO exhibited uncommonly good sense and did not venture out without me.

Everyone was busy anyway, getting Malia  ready for camp and Lady M and little Sasha packed for their ‘girlfriends’ trip to Spain. Spain! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? El Bulli! Ferran Adrià’s temple of molecular gastronomy: you know - where food is spun out of thin air and light, nothing is what it appears to be, and as much attention is paid to the vessel the food is placed in as the food itself. Sounds like comfort food in Oz.

  El-Bulli-raspberry courseEl Bulli raspberry course, minimal and yet somehow still unsatisfying 





El Bulli’s famous white foam on black base: meant to excite your palate and want more: much, much more


 ElBulli__pine nut and cocoa plums

El Bulli chocolate and pinenut “plums”

 El Bulli “mussels”ElBulli__Seafood_v1_489_-_Version_2



El Bulli pond scum soup, gilded with water lilies





El Bulli “olives” spheres of ephemeral olive flavoring. Will not work well in martinis.




“Molecular” used in conjunction with dinner doesn’t as a rule interest Lady M, as it seems to designate “tiny things.” But we’ve been told not to worry; that while each course is lacking in bulk, the tasting menu compensates with quantity: between 40 and 50 courses! Of course, each ‘course’ is only one bite. We could still have a problem: the last time MO restrained herself to just 50 bites at a meal was when she was recovering from a bout of food poisoning – which was quite suspicious and is still under investigation.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be going to Spain just in time to enjoy El Bulli because the restaurant will be closing for good after this season. Apparently even at $500 per head (excluding the Stoli) the restaurant has been losing over half a million Euros per year. That sounds like economics we can believe it. Maybe if Lady M really likes it, she can get Big Guy to give them a bailout. Of course if we do, they’ll have to produce an alternate low-fat, vegan menu each night, to support our No Child’s Fat Behind program. 

elbulliblobsEl Bulli’s peas: regular and “spun” into a sphere of good intentions

Kind of like at GM. Big Guy was in Motown yesterday, doing high-fives and taking victory laps in celebration of GM turning out such a wonderful little sardine can car, the Chevy Chevrolet Volt, with the $50 billion bailout Big Guy gave them.

voltwDriving the GM Bailout: Behind the wheel of GM’s Green lemon

Oh, and they also created or saved 55,000 jobs with that money! Wow! Aren’t Obamanomics awesome!? Everyone is just as excited as can be, even the hard-to-impress NYT:

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

In short, the Volt appears to be exactly the kind of green-at-all-costs car that some opponents of the bailout feared the government might order G.M. to build.

body  Check out that body!

Meanwhile, back on the home front: because Sasha has seemed so sad lately, probably because she has to go to Spain instead of going to sleepover camp with Malia,  Big Guy and Lady M took her to the International Spy Museum last night. When they got back they both looked really spooked. I have no idea what they have in that museum, but apparently it’s really unsettling.  Or maybe it’s because of the book little Sasha selected from the museum store: The Dead Drop. I’ll admit, the synopsis is a little unsettling.

spys like us Spies like me

But it’s just a book. It’s nowhere near as unsettling as the real thing:

bo-the world is not enough copy

Next week we’ll all be back in our comfort zone, doing what we do best: Big Guy will be campaigning around the country, Lady M will be staying at 5-star resorts, and I’ll be refracting reality, making sure that nothing, indeed, is as it seems.