Archive for May, 2012

Missing [NOW FOUND] since May 21 on way to Santa Cruz

NEWS ALERT:  

 

David McAllister

UPDATE:

Happily, as is the case with most missing 21 year old men, David is now home with his mother safe and sound, having merely suffered from a huge lapse in judgement (a common affliction with 21 year old boys).  His mother Debbie thanks everyone in the community from the bottom of her heart for reaching out to her with thoughts, prayers, and offers of help.  We at Metblogs are quite relieved to know this is no longer a missing persons case, and would like to remind all young men and women out there that being an adult sometimes means you still need to check in with your parents.

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David Logan McAllister was last seen on Monday, May 21st at 5pm in Santa Clara, heading over to Santa Cruz to an unspecified beach. He called another friend at 9:42pm to say he was driving over to Santa Cruz.  He drives a black 2007 Ford Fusion, license plate [redacted].  Verizon is reporting no outbound calls or texts from his phone since May 21, however someone accessed the web on his iPhone May 24  at 1:37am

I have known David’s mother for most of my life, and have known David to be an outstanding young man who loves his family, and enjoys telling stories of the time he spends with his grandmother. I find it highly unlikely that he has left on his own without contacting anyone.

If you are in the Santa Cruz area or anywhere in between SC and San Jose, please be on the look out for his abandoned black Ford Fusion or David himself.  Missing Person reports have been filed with the SJPD and SCPD, but missing 21 year old males do not have highest priority.  We need the public to help find him.  Detective Alfonso Rodriguez [redacted] has now been assigned to the case. Please call if you have any information.

 

David is 6 feet tall, and 185 pounds, Dark Brown Hair, Blue eyes. He drives a black 2007 Ford Fusion, license plate [redacted]. I have never seen him without a smile and a helping hand for anyone who needs it.

 

 

David McAllister and his mother, Debbie

The Battle for Foie Gras in San Jose

foie battleOn Monday I joined another Dishcrawl event in downtown San Jose. Unlike previous events which rove from restaurant to rrestaurant, this one stayed at one venue, namely Myth Taverna and Lounge. The event is part of a series of dinners Dishcrawl is producing around the theme of Foie Gras.

You may or may not know this, but pretty soon Foie Gras will be unavailable in California. A statewide ban begins on July 1 via California Senate Bill No.1520 and chefs are all up in arms about it and creating farewell menus left and right.

I know, I know, protesters who promoted the law say the tradition of gravage is wrong, and that’s how the law got passed, but we’re not here to talk about that. Indeed 5% of the proceeds of the Discrawl Foie Battle goes to CHEFS the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards.

Personally I adore well prepared foie gras and it takes a deft hand to not over cook it or melt it away to sad nothingness in the pan. We were treated at this dinner to an eclectic menu of 5 courses, each with foie gras prepared in unique ways. Here’s the menu.

  • Gunkan Foie Gras Sushi with demi “soy”, horseradish “wasabe”, jicama and flower petal salad
  • Foie Street Tacos with vadalia sweet onion, banana peppers, and French sauce vert “salsa verde
  • Foie Mousse in pepper smoked bacon cups with demi glace and micro broccoli
  • Skirt Steak and Foie Pate Roulade with chili oil, french fingerlings, and lascanitos kale
  • Foie Panna Cotta Pearls with vanilla drizzle and berry compote

Four local chefs collaborated on the menu, David Ramsay, Drew Gaither, Ron Afortunado and Andrew Doberstein.

Each item was paired with wine as well and the wines were perfectly matched.

If you are a foie gras fan too, visit the website for upcoming foie battles, each with a theme, the next one is on May 24 “Filipino Foie-Down“.

Not your typical candidate for judge

One of the great things about living in a downtown neighborhood like the Northside is that you meet all kinds of people, like my friend and neighbor Alexis Cerul, who’s running for Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge. The first thing I have to tell you is that Alex is not a judicial candidate out of Central Casting.

What Alex is best known for in the Northside is his garage. What looks like a two-story cottage behind his 19th century Victorian house is actually a garage to house his vintage Mustang and his enormous collection of found and collected items, sorted into hundreds of 1-gallon coffee cans, each labelled with an enigmatic tag. He built the garage mostly himself, using new and found materials like 100-year-old siding from a demolished Victorian house.

During one of his many home improvement projects he had an idea for a way to protect electrical wiring from nails through walls, for which he received US Patent US6779232.

When a friend of ours, who is a tireless neighborhood volunteer and advocate, came back from a trip to Italy raving about the beach experience there, Alex organized a group of neighbors to build a replica beach cabana for him. It’s now standing in our friend’s back yard holding his garden tools.

But Alex isn’t just a can-do guy who wants to be a judge — my lawyer friends (okay, one of them is his wife) tell me he’s entirely qualified for the position. His experience isn’t as a trial attorney, but working at the courthouse, doing the research work that helps the judges decide complex legal questions. Whenever I’ve asked him questions about legal matters in the news he’s always had a ready and understandable answer. He’s received endorsements from 9 sitting and retired superior court judges, more than a dozen working attorneys, and numerous civic leaders, elected officials, and community organizations.

I hope you’ll keep Alexis Cerul in mind when you cast your ballot for judge, either on the vote-by-mail ballot you’ve probably already received or at the polls on June 5.

ArtHouse opens museums to kids in downtown San Jose

Five South First Area museums and galleries hosed a fun event this afternoon, called ArtHouse. MACLA held a poetry slam (pictured) and painting workshop by a local artist. The Stage Theatre hosted Notre Dame High School’s improv comedy players. The ICA gallery held a filmmaking workshop. Numerous artists had prints available for sale. The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles had free entry to their exhibit of tapestries designed by Bay Area artist Mark Adams.

It was a pretty quiet event, on a warm, still day; but I’d love to see it grow in future years.

Opera Novice gets delightfully frightened at FAUST

Mephistopheles (Silas Elash) conducts a mesmerized chorus in Opera San Jose’s production of Gounod’s Faust. Image by Pat Kirk Photography

Better late than never, the Opera (not so-) Novice is here to tell you to make fancy shmancy plans to see FAUST this weekend! This is the final weekend, and you’re not going to want to miss this thoroughly entertaining show. My guest and I absolutely adored it, and I think it was my favorite of the entire season.

It really was one of our best opera dates ever. We always have a great time at Opera San Jose, but sometimes the perfection of what they do can dull the excitement and cause me to wonder how to write a review: “The music was perfect,” “The Baritone was perfect,” “ the scenery was perfect,” “the costumes were perfect.” You know what? Last night wasn’t perfect, for me. And you know what else? Still one of the best operas EVER.

But what’s not to like? Méphistophélès, dressed as a sort of pirate, steals the show. You also have a scary, supernatural child angel who scared me more than Méphistophélès did. There’s one song which is all about drinking “beer and wine” and “anything but water” — Gotta love it! There are religious symbolism and bargains with the devil, doomed love and terrifying horror, and always the perfection of the opera orchestra and singers (which I would never really complain about!).

These were all awesome things, but some were also a little out of the ordinary (even for my short experience with the opera, where I’ve learned opera is NEVER what you expect). I’ve rarely felt as uncomfortable about a character as I did the tiny little angel on stage, and kudos to her for pulling off that Stephen King-like creepiness along with the religious grandeur and horror, all at the same time. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out the name of this young actress, but she did a splendid job.

I was also taken off guard by watching Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste on stage for the first act and a half without singing a note (that I noticed). She finally gets her turns in the second and third acts, but having watched her in production after production over the years, this was strange for me. (You don’t watch George Clooney just walk through scenes in half a film before speaking a word).

But Opera Novice, are these really things to complain about? Of course not! There were just interesting changes from the norm which piqued my interest and kept me on my toes. But I did have one problem with the show which surprised me. By the end of the first act I was clutching my friend’s arm, exclaiming how much I absolutely loved the set design. The lighting, the artwork backdrops, the bank of colored spotlights on the left and right… somehow it all came together for a most exciting, tremendous setting for the show. But the curtain went up for the second Act and I was taken by surprise. An abnormally small painted back drop was all there was, along with the bank of lights on the side… and it confused me in a less exciting way. I kept thinking they must have spent their entire budget on the amazing backdrops for Idomeneo… but I see from my materials that Idomeneo had the same set designer. What gives, Opera SJ? I’m going to assume that I’m not understanding the message of the set designer this time, and don’t get me wrong: the end of Act II was beautiful… but was it up to the gloriousness of previous Opera SJ productions? I say No.
But then! I guess I was not the only one to wonder about the set designs, because Opera San Jose gave set designer Steven Kemp a chance to tell us poor novices about his reasons for each setting. I now understand what it was he was trying to bring to the production… I’m not entirely sure it succeeded. However, aside from Act II, I absolutely adored the settings of Act I and III.  Simply gorgeous.  Click the link to see some great shots of the amazing designs.

So, is this a good opera for a beginner? YES. Resounding Yes. It has an intensely moving and interesting storyline, amazing, charismatic characters and some really fun songs, along with a great deal of terror. And for those who already love Opera, Faust is one of the most often performed operas of all time, and Opera San Jose, as always, does it perfectly.

FAUST
Opera San Jose
408-437-4450
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Can’t make it to see Faust?
Season 2012/2013 is coming up! Plan your dates now, or get your season tickets!
On the menu for next season is:
THE PEARL FISHERS
DIE FLEDERMAUS
IL TROVATORE
SUOR ANGELICA & GIANNA SCHICCHI

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