Champions on Ice

Champions on Ice was a real event for me. Disregarding for a moment how incredibly geeky it may be to follow ice skating, I loved every minute of it and cheered like a schoolgirl. He wasn’t on the list to be there, so I nearly fell over when Evgeni Plushenko was announced during the opening number. The best way I can explain this is, imagine you’re a golf fan and Tiger Woods made a surprise appearance at the one golf event you had ever gotten out to see in person. There is something truly unique and mesmerizing about Plushenko that tells me I’m seeing something historical every time he performs. That said, he fell down after a jump during the opening number and I somehow felt relieved, because now I know he IS human. Tanith and Ben are just as smoldering in person as they are in their close-ups. I reluctantly admit Sasha Cohen is exquisite when she isn’t nervous. After having watched them perform for so long, it was a thrill to see Surya Bonaly (in her trademark goofy costumes doing her trademark backflips) and Irina Slutskaya (who also fell on a jump during her solo, it seemed like she was having an off night). Victor Petrenko proved that though his career has been long, he hasn’t lost a bit of his edge. And I was highly entertained by something I never seen before, trick skating. Irina Grigorian the hula hoop skater and the comedy/acrobatic team were doing things with their bodies that just didn’t seem real. But I have to wrap this up with a mention of Alligator Soul, the Everett restaurant specializing in Cajun cuisine. It was a mixed blessing, but mostly very good. Scott got the ham hock plate and from the tender meat to the collard greens and black eyed peas, it was top notch. Also good were the bananas foster beignets (though they weren’t really beignets, more like Dutch pastry puffs) and the homemade moon pies. I liked the fried green tomatoes and the hush puppies. The gumbo was very disappointing, making the unforgivable mistake of pairing brown broth with sausage (brown is for seafood!), putting the rice in ahead of time, leaving out the file (pronounced fee-lay) and including okra that was not all that cooked, but if you don’t know the difference it didn’t taste half-bad. But the thing to avoid is the boudin. I knew I might be in for it when the waiter pronounced it boo-don (it’s more like boo-dan), but what came out didn’t even slightly resemble the real thing. Get anything but that and it’s a really tasty place.

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