“Wingman?” More like, “wingnut.”

What’s a nice girl like you…?Sticky honeyLast night (Friday) began at the cozy little house of a fellow print journalist. Emma works for one of the local dailies, where up until a little while ago she wrote a food column. In the time I’ve known her she’s gone totally Foodie, waxing beat-poetic at every opportunity about reductions and different kinds of olive oil. We–Emma, her friend Rose, myself–hadn’t seen each other in awhile so, over lentil tarts smothered in a spicy tomato sauce, orange slices garnished with leek and fennel, and  a potato/ tomato filo-crusted pizza, we filled in the gaps. Turns out Emma has taken her Foodie-ism to an extreme–since losing her column she’s broken up with the 23-year-old dude she was seeing and taken up with a 20-year-old chef! She was feeling quite pleased, as he’d just called her before my arrival, though she has her concerns about the age difference–she was listening to Nirvana while he was in diapers. Still, more power to her I say, especially as this now frees me up to date 20-year-old chefs!

Rose, meanwhile, is off again with her on-again artist. A lit instructor at a local art college (including a course on deviance),  she estimates they’ve broken up and reconnected (his decision) seven times since May. For my part, I told a story from the previous night, when I’d attended the opening fete of the European Film Festival (www.euff.ca/of how I’d been talking to this girl I’d just met, Cheryl–dark-haired, pretty, and with that aura of singledom–when my trusty wingman came over and inserted himself into the conversation. For some reason, he started talking about a friend of ours, almost as though Cheryl wasn’t there. Then, as though realizing this, he turned to her and said, “Oh, they used to go out” (meaning Mary and I). Uhm, thanks for clearing that up. Then here comes Wingy again, a few minutes later, punching me on the shoulder in excitement and blurting, “Guess who just had a birthday! J! Did you know?” Uhm, yes. “I saw it on Facebook. I noticed you didn’t write anything on her wall!” Yes, that’s right. Then he turned to Cheryl. “J’s one of his exes,” he explained helpfully. She fixed me with one of those girl-glares signifying a test question. “Are you a serial dater?” she asked. “Uhm, well, who isn’t?” I countered. This seemed to fix her wagon, at least momentarily. But my point is/was, does someone I hardly know, and whom I might be interested in, really need to hear anything at all about my dating history, especially from a third party? I can screw things up myself, thanks. With wingmen like him, who needs enemies?

After dinner, which included a few glasses of red wine capped by a couple flutes of bubbly, Emma and Rose went off to check out some exhibit openings while I headed off to Richard’s on Richards (www.richardsonrichards.com/), a downtown nightclub that serves as Vancouver’s indie-rock hub. Juliette Lewis, better known for her roles in movies like Natural Born Killers, was rocking out with her band the Licks (www.julietteandthelicks.com/ ). Wingy and I arrived just in time for the encore, and then he got us backstage. He’s good for something, after all… anyway, if I’d had my wits about me–and didn’t care about coming off as a star-struck goof–I would’ve had my picture taken with Juliette instead of just stammering how awesome it was she once played my rock-starved hometown, Winnipeg.

We didn’t stay long–backstage was a sausage party–before going east to the Astoria, a brick-walled punk rock beverage room complete with Keno board, and situated in a somewhat questionable Hastings Street hotel. My memory of the rest of the evening is as dim as the room’s lighting, though I do remember telling anyone who would listen–including Alisha, pictured with her friend Michelle–that they simply had to come out tonight for what, to me, is the social event of the year: SK Robot covering Guided by Voices songs (read my preview piece here: http://www.canada.com/vancouvercourier/news/artsandentertainment/story.html?id=076146a2-b6fe-4ee3-b6c9-cd47e20f26b5). More on that tomorrow…

Next: A tale of two girlfriends in the heartbreaking opus “The Brides Have Hit Glass”.

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