April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Life-Extensionist Dinner Party

What an amazing two days it's been. First, hanging out with Aubrey de Grey is so much fun. He is exactly how you'd think he would be: the kind of guy you can have a beer with. He's tons of fun, has great hair, is simultaneously obviously brilliant and easy to be with. I can easily imagine him hanging out with the Hello Kitty Clique back in Philly. After spending says he'd do CR if someone else would cook for him. Of course, he also said he'd do just about any diet if someone else would cook for him... don't worry, scientists, he hasn't changed his position on CR. But I think he could now put it this way: "I don't believe in CR, but some of my best friends do..."

MR and I picked Aubrey up at the airport on Tuesday afternoon. Whisked him home to beer and a brief re-counting of the events of the last three months. Then I went off to make dinner, which you heard about. It took a long time, much longer than it ever takes me to cook, since I was weighing out MR's food and having trouble making all the puzzle pieces fit. I enjoyed the challenge, though, and dinner was late but they loved it. The next day I sent press release reminders to local media and reminder emails to U Calgary professors about Aubrey's Thursday talk while Aubrey and MR discussed M's work in detail at the kitchen table. Then we all sat down in the living room to talk fundraising. Got some great ideas, asked a bunch of questions. Eventually I had to run out to the store to get more groceries for the dinner party for six we were hosting that night. I called MR from the store to ask if he remembered where to find the basil, and discovered that I interrupted him and Aubrey in the middle of a heated argument on a scientific point that I would no doubt fail to understand. By the time I got home things had cooled off quite a bit, which disappointed me because I think it would be very exciting to watch the two genius boys argue. Perhaps they will be so kind as to provide me with this kind of entertainment when Aubrey returns?

I set about cooking for the giant party, and here's what I made:

shrimp in tons of white wine with garlic, grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts
pumpkin soup: pumpkin, soy milk, garlic, salt, the juice of a lemon or two, curry powder
spinach lasagna: zuchinni and red pepper spliced between layers of spinach with cottage cheese mixed with basil and garlic as the "ricotta" and mozarella in the middle. No pasta.
dessert: apples baked in Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum with cinnamon on top

The dinner went over very well. Aubrey really liked the lasagna, Kevin, who doesn't usually like shrimp, asked for seconds of the shrimp.

Kevin had flown down from Edmonton for the event, and it was great to meet him. He's the Outreach Coordinator for the M Prize, and has been extraordinarily friendly and welcoming and explained a zillion things to me that I didn't understand. I can now say from firsthand experience that he is The Nicest Guy On Earth. From the moment he walked in, he proved over and over again that he has a friendly, cheerful way about him that puts everyone at ease and makes errands like making copies at the university library fun. He also brought his cousin, who had some fascinating things to say and made me happy by asking for seconds of the lasagna!

Another of our M Prize brothers flew in from Vancouver, so we had a full table. Everyone enjoyed the food, and I drank two glasses of pinot noir and then shared quite a bit of beer with Aubrey afterwards. I may be CR girl, but I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to drink beer with A DNJ d G. The conversation was amazing, and I was struck by how easy it is to hang out with M Prize brothers, as though we've been friends for years. We took a moment to wish that some of our other Three Hundred brothers were there... hello out there, DG, Reason, and the Brother from Denmark! We even vaguely tossed around the concept of starting an intentional community of life extension folks in Alberta, since MR, The Newest CR'd M Prize Brother, TNGOE, and apparently another brother I wasn't aware of are already here. CR would have the majority, and The Nicest Guy on Earth said he'd convert if we'd cook. If you can't argue with 'em, feed 'em!

This morning we fed TNGOE MR's eggwhite and vegetable scramble with Thai chili sauce, and he agreed with me that when you eat MR's food, you feel so stuffed that it's hard to believe it's CR. MR is so good at getting maximum volume out of low calorie, nutrient dense food. His recipes really are masterpieces... oddly enough, he doesn't actually enjoy cooking. A DNJ d G has coffee only for breakfast. I ate kefir with whey powder, and decided I can't stand it anymore. It's the only thing MR makes that I don't like. I fell into his arms limp with relief and gratitude when he told me that he had picked me up some cottage cheese... I need calcium and protein, but at the end of my long journey, I am finally deciding that whey and I must part ways.

I also had a breakfast salad, which is this delicious green monument to yummy vegetables that MR eats basically every morning. Then we all set out for U Calgary, where A DNJ d G did an interview while TNGOE and I found a place to make copies of our M Prize flyers.

The talk went well, about 30 people, mostly academics but some townspeople who had heard about it through the press releases that we sent out to AOR customers, heatlh food stores, etc.

It was exciting to see A DNJ d G do the talk I had read about... I once accidentally printed out the entire power point, so I have half the slides sitting next to my bed. The house one, the "Let's Roll..." all safely hidden from my de Grey eating cat. These academic talks aren't great fundraising ops, but we did get a few small donations, a list of everyone's contact info, and one potential Three Hundred member... more about that when I seal the deal!

Walking around U Calgary with A DNJ d G, MR, and TNGOE was a lot like being in Star Wars. For one thing, everyone is just so darned cool looking. TNGOE looks much younger than he is and is a dark-haired, brown-eyed anti-aging superhero, complete with mirrored sunglasses that he borrowed from MR. A DNJ d G looks like he's going to defeat the forces of evil with one wave of his wizardly magic wand. MR is of course my CR superhero, and just gets more beautiful every day. I think he may be aging in reverse... I'm afraid that I'll find out that he really is 22. I haven't asked for proof of age, and I'm considering doing so.

I assure you, it was a Princess Leia day, or rather a composite of all my sci-fi heroines, all packed into one real day.
Princess Leia, Molly, Trinity, the empathy of Deanna Troy without the annoying wimpy girlishness or the catsuit. You get the idea.

MR and I are exhausted now and just finished dinner... he cooked for us, which is an ongoing miracle to me. We had his "Supper Stew" which you may have read about in the archives, along with hazlenuts and our glass of pinot noir. He has the most interesting vegetables... I find myself saying, "What is this veggie?" over and over again.

I have more thoughts about all of this but I'm tired, I need to take out the trash, and we have to go to sleep. I just figured I'd better update you guys since a) my friends are all checking the blog to see if I've dropped off the face of the earth or have just been rendered speechless by the combined amazingness of MR and A DNJ d G b) my own mother communicates with me mostly through my blog c) my significant other's mother is now following his life through my blog.

It's an awesome responsibility, but somebody's got to do it.


  • At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Reason said…

    My, it sounds like you guys are having a blast. Try not to wear them out - there's a whole lot more fundraising to come yet.

  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous JD said…

    I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog, April -- and not just because it keeps me in touch with the strange & fascinating life of MR! I'm something of a foodie and your recipes sound excellent. While I'd never do CR, I am working on becoming a Zoner. Looking forward to meeting you! (BTW, M really is 34.) JD :-)

  • At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Dave Gobel said…

    Thanks for the narrative April - please call Mon. @ 7:20.

    I can't wait until I can get an ink jet printer to print out the food you are suggesting - seriously. Where there's a fundraising will, there's a way.


  • At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Heroines include Molly? Well, sounds good (and the blades do make opening mail easier), but the surgically installed sunglasses might be a bit much. :)


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