3 things from this week (#6), the millenial edition

Let’s face it: I’m not very good at this. 

Writing is hard. Not hard like depression or grief, of course. But not hard like growing your nails when they’re naturally brittle, or not eating the whole bag of chips, either.

For me, writing is about as hard as getting out of bed on a Saturday morning after a long week of 9-to-5 work. It’s about as hard as making your first dentist’s appointment in five, six years. It’s about as hard as saying no to a friend, or responding to an email that’s been sitting in your inbox for four, five days—about as hard as not apologizing to anyone, about anything, for an entire day.

It’s about as hard as deciding whether to reach out to a friend who you know has been going through tough times but didn’t reach out to immediately, and so you’re stuck in this weird place of not knowing whether it’s already too late, and maybe the friendship is ruined and over and done.

Writing for me most days is not writing at all; it’s thinking about it, getting excited, then getting delayed, then getting distracted, and ultimately, forgetting until the next day, or the next week.

So, yeah, writing is hard. But I like it.

And so I thought I’d make it easy. I thought, “let’s come up with a formula.” I thought, “three things a week—perfect. Simple, factual, easy.”

Woops.

1) Lana’s new song.

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Just cuz.

2) Lovesick, s02e08.

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Because it took Lovesick (AKA Scrotal Recall, as I’ve just learned) a few episodes to grow on me, but “Abigail (Part 2)” was the point of no return, and I’m now eagerly waiting for season 3.

3) Drawing!

I used to draw a lot as a kid, and then I stopped. I started again last week. It’s hard for sure, but less so than writing. I’m going to try and keep at it.

Have a chill week,

—s

 

Les 3 choses de la semaine (no. 5), ah pis d’la marde

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Les six victimes de l’attentat de Québec, clockwise : Ezzedine (Azzeddine) Soufiane, Boubaker (Aboubaker) Thabti, Ibrahima Barry, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Mamadou Tanou Barry.

Bon.

Ben cette semaine, c’est de la marde.

J’aurais pu vous parler de ce film ou de cet album, ou de la troisième saison de Please Like Me, mais je pense que je vais laisser faire. À la place, je vous conseille :

Fait que c’est ça. Ah oui, pis je suis allée à la vigile de solidarité avec les musulman.e.s de Québec, lundi soir. Je pense que c’est peut-être ça, ma résolution de 2017 : essayer de show up. Je vais faire de mon mieux, en tout cas. C’est trop important.

Bye là,

—s

Les 3 choses de la semaine (no. 4)

Je me demande si ça va devenir une habitude que d’écrire mon billet hebdomadaire le dimanche soir. C’est peut-être mon nouveau statut d’employée de bureau à temps plein qui parle (ou c’est la marque insidieuse du capitalisme dans lequel je baigne depuis ma tendre enfance), mais pour moi, le dimanche, c’est inexorablement le dernier jour de la semaine.

Rien d’étonnant là, me direz-vous (et il n’y aura que les calendriers pour vous contredire), mais pas moins vrai pour autant. Par conséquent, le dimanche, c’est aussi le jour par excellence pour avoir des regrets… et faire du rattrapage. À preuve, ce billet (et les trois cadres que j’ai enfin accrochés dans ma chambre).

Mais assez de niaisage. Sans plus tarder, voici les trois choses de la semaine.

1) Aller voir des shows.

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Deb DeMure, de Drab Majesty.

Les derniers jours ont été riches en concerts (enfin, riches pour moi, la fille qui va voir en moyenne cinq, peut-être six shows par année). Mardi soir, je suis allée voir le duo MadManMind, dont fait depuis peu partie mon amie Pandora, au resto-bar L’Escalier.

Ayant à plusieurs reprises entendu parler du lieu, sans pourtant y avoir jamais mis les pieds, j’ai été agréablement surprise d’y trouver de la bière pas chère (vraiment pas chère), un délicieux burger végane et une atmosphère très sympathique. Gab Stu Toé et Alex Charbonneau, qui jouaient respectivement en premier et en second (et que je ne connaissais ni l’un.e ni l’autre), m’ont beaucoup plu. Quant à MadManMind, je les ai trouvés parfaits, géniaux, A+. Vous pouvez écouter leur musique ici et .

Trois jours plus tard, je me suis rendue avec des amis au concert de Cold Cave, qui avait lieu au Théâtre Fairmount. Je ne connais Cold Cave que depuis un mois ou deux; Pandora (toujours la même) m’a fait découvrir sa musique en prévision du concert de vendredi, et je lui en suis très reconnaissante.

Outre la joie de voir Cold Cave in the flesh (au risque de faire cliché, c’est encore meilleur en show), ce fut aussi pour moi l’occasion de découvrir Drab Majesty, dont j’ai aimé l’esthétique pointue, la vibe tragique et la très très belle musique. C’était une maudite belle soirée.

2) La saison deux de Please Like Me.

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Debra Lawrance et Hannah Gadsby, qui jouent respectivement Rose et Hannah dans Please Like Me.

Ben et moi avons commencé à regarder Please Like Me il y a quelques semaines. La série raconte l’histoire de Josh, un jeune vingtenaire australien fraîchement dompé par sa copine, et qui se trouve forcé de confronter à la fois  son homosexualité réprimée et la maladie mentale de sa mère, avec laquelle il se voit forcé d’emménager après qu’elle ait fait une tentative de suicide.

Nous avons tranquillement traversé la première saison , que j’avais trouvée pas mal du tout, mais c’est la deuxième qui m’a fait tomber en amour avec cette série dont le discours sur la santé mentale, en particulier, me plaît/touche beaucoup. J’ai déjà hâte de voir la suite.

3) The Struggle Bus.

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Parlant de santé mentale, je veux absolument mentionner The Struggle Bus, un podcast recommandé par mon amie Sophie (!) à sa dernière visite. Il s’agit d’un projet de l’actrice et productrice Katharine Heller et de l’auteure Sally Tamarkin, deux BFFs qui se rencontrent chaque semaine pour échanger coups de gueule et encouragements et prodiger leurs conseils (toujours bienveillants, jamais condescendants) aux auditeurs qui leurs soumettent leurs problèmes, petits, moyens ou grands. On y parle beaucoup de self-care et de politique, et même, parfois, de véganisme.

Le podcast roule sa bosse depuis 2014. Pour ma part, j’ai commencé au tout premier épisode. J’en suis maintenant au vingt-cinquième. Tranquillement (très tranquillement), j’espère rattrapper Katharine et Sally.

Voilà — je pense bien que c’est tout pour ce soir. Bonnes lectures, bons visionnements, bonnes écoutes et bonne semaine.

—s

3 things from this week (#3)

I was about to start this blog post with a heartfelt “it’s been a while, hasn’t it?”, and then I realized that that is, word for word, the way I started my last blog post over a month ago. So, yeah, that’s where we’re at.

It’s a little past 8:30 p.m. and I’m writing this from my couch. Gilmore Girls is playing in the background. It’s season six, episode 20. Rory is with Logan in the hospital after a quasi-deadly skydive jump, and Luke is hosting a terribly unsuccessful birthday party for his daughter April, until, that is, Lorelai flies to the rescue with feathered tiaras, makeover baskets, and Pretty in Pink. It’s a pretty cute episode.

Our Christmas tree is still up and we still turn its lights on at night. It’s a little Christmas tree, not even two feet tall. It’s sitting on the window sill. I know we should probably take it down (after all, it is January 15th, and even the Wisemen have come and gone by now), but I always get a little sad about the cold and the darkness this time of year (what exactly is winter good for post-holidays, anyway?), and the tree seems to help a little. Plus, the Christmas lights are still hanging from the canopy on the Plaza right outside our building, so really, I think it’s fine.

Anyway.

Since we’ve now entered a brand-spanking-new year, I’ve decided to make a blogging resolution, and that resolution is to be more diligent about the 3 Things a Week posts, of which this is the third installment. Things got a little bananas during the Vegan MoFo, and finals didn’t help either, but starting today, I am determined to make this space a livelier, more regularly updated corner of the Internet. (We’ll see how long that lasts.)

So, here we go: let’s talk about 3 Things from This Week.

1) This months-old piece on 10 Cloverfield Lane (spoiler alert!).

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Last night, Ben and I sat down with a bowl of BBQ chips and some drinks to watch 10 Cloverfield Lane. The movie had been on our Netflix queue for a while. Personally, I think I was kind of saving it for the perfect night—the kind of night for some cheap thrills, jump scares, and good ole Hollywood silliness. Last night was that kind of night—or so I thought.

It turns out, while 10 Cloverfiled Lane delivers all of the above in sufficient amounts, it’s also a pretty decent movie. I won’t get into too much detail in case you’re even more behind than I on new(-ish) thriller releases, but I found the film’s take on doomsday paranoia, creepo masculinity, and straightup abuse pretty darn interesting. Luckily for me, I don’t have to articulate any of these thoughts any further, because as I soon found out during my routine post-movie googling session, the much smarter and better-equipped film critic Tasha Robinson had already done so (and back in March, too!). Her piece uses viewer backlash against the film’s finale as a starting point for a pretty cool, pretty subversive analysis of the protagonist’s arc, and I really, really recommend giving it a read. (If you’ve already seen the movie, that is; otherwise, go watch it first, then read the piece. Duh.)

2) The new Potter book!

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(A design sketch for Cursed Child’s main characters’ new wands, found here.)

As some of you may know (hey Ben), for some of 2016, I was re-reading the Harry Potter series. I was quite fond of the books as a kid, but what really got me back into them was the Witch, Please podcast, hosted by Canadian scholars and super-rad feminist heroes Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman.

I started listening to the podcast back in June, when I was getting ready to move out of my tiny Plateau Mont-Royal studio apartment and into our current place in Rosemont. It was an exciting, but stressful time, and listening to Witch, Please while taping boxes and throwing clothes in trash bags definitely helped. Eventually (inevitably), I ended up picking the books back up, half for nostalgia’s sake, and half because I was curious to see what Adult Me would think of them. (The answer to that last question is long and complicated. Maybe I’ll write about it someday? Mostly, just go listen to the podcast.)

Of course, after re-reading all seven books, I had to get my hands on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a play set 19 years after the end of the original series, featuring some of the original characters, plus some new ones (mostly their kids). I asked for the book for Christmas, and got it. I haven’t finished it yet (I’m reading a few things at once, and also (mostly), I’ve gotten kind of bad at reading? What’s up with that, btw?), but I am enjoying it thus far, and if you like the HP-verse, I would recommend checking it out.

3) My new job!

I have a new job! For the past six years, I worked as a copy writer/social media person for a small sales company, and just before Christmas, I quit! (Well, I actually let them know way in advance, but my last day there was December 22nd.) And on January 9th (after a whole two weeks vacation!), I started my new job as a translation intern at a mid-size, Montreal-based firm.

This is both my first internship and my first time working officially as a translator (down to the job title in my email signature!), and I must say, I am enjoying it a lot so far. Everyone there is very nice. The work is interesting. The office is well lit (but not too bright) and relatively quiet (but not so quiet that it would be creepy/distracting), and for once, my place of work also feels like the right place for me to be. And I like it.

Alright, kids, I guess that’s it for tonight! Thanks for reading, and sleep tight!

—s

 

#veganmofo 2016: recap

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Hey there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

My last update on here dates back to November 14th, about halfway through this year’s Vegan MoFo. What can I say? Things got really busy, and while I did manage to post a little something on Instagram most days throughout the second half of November, I just didn’t have enough time to update the blog until today. Sorry about that.

Now that it’s December and I’m a little less busy, I thought I’d do a recap of my Vegan MoFo 2016 posts, both Instagram- and blog-wise. You know, for posterity. So, here we go.

Phew! I can’t believe I managed to post something almost every day for a month. It was a bit stressful at times, but still a lot of fun! I might even do it again next year. Until then, I’ll be resuming my regular (AKA sporadic) posting schedule on here. Talk to you soon!

Cheers,

—s

#veganmofo 2016 (jour 14) : mon smoothie vert préféré

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Aujourd’hui, au pays du Vegan MoFo, c’est jour de repas monochrome :

Make some food that is all based around one colour only.

le site du Vegan MoFo

Oké debord.

Je vous avoue que de toutes les semaines du MoFo 2016, c’est celle-ci que j’appréhendais le plus. Pourquoi? D’une part parce que, université oblige, je savais d’avance qu’elle serait particulièrement chargée niveau étude. D’autre part, je n’ai vraiment pas l’habitude de planifier mes repas en fonction des couleurs, encore moins des couleurs complémentaires (et je ne vous parle même pas de la journée « bouffe gothique », qui avance à grands pas et que je crains par dessus tout).

Compte tenu de tout ce stress, j’ai décidé, pour le premier jour de la semaine tant redoutée, de prendre ça relaxe. Je m’explique :

  1. La recette que je vous présente aujourd’hui contient des ingrédients d’au moins trois couleurs différentes, mais le résultat final, lui, est indubitablement monochrome. Je me dis que c’est acceptable.
  2. ll s’agit d’un smoothie. Vert. Ben oui.

Je sais, je sais : un smoothie, c’est presque pas une recette. Vous avez raison. Mais j’aime beaucoup ma recette de smoothie vert, et en plus, aucun de mes repas de la journée (bol de céréales, sandwich à la salade aux œufs sans œufs et pâtes à la sauce tomate et aux lentilles) ne satisfaisait au critère monochrome.

J’ai donc décidé de partager ma recette avec vous. C’est un smoothie que j’aime boire l’été, quand il fait très chaud, mais aussi, curieusement, lorsque j’ai le rhume et que presque rien d’autre ne me fait envie.  Si ça vous ennuie, vous n’avez qu’à passer votre chemin (je ne vous en tiendrai pas rigueur) et à revenir demain. (Ou pas : je n’ai encore aucune idée de ce que je vais préparer.)

MON SMOOTHIE VERT PRÉFÉRÉ

(5 minutes, 1 portion, se double facilement)

  • 1 tasse (bien tassée) d’épinards ou de feuilles de chou vert frisé (kale)
  • 1 tasse de lait de soya (pour un smoothie protéiné) ou de lait de coco (pour un smoothie plus riche)
  • 1 tasse de morceaux de mangues surgelés
  • 1 banane mûre (congelée ou pas), sans la peau
  • quelques glaçons (si la banane est à température ambiante)
  • 1 ou 2 c. à soupe de graines de chanvre, de lin ou de chia (facultatif)
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron (facultatif)

Mettre les épinards ou le kale dans le mélangeur et ajouter le lait. Mélanger à vitesse élevée jusqu’à ne plus voir de petits morceaux de feuilles. Ajouter tous les autres ingrédients à l’exception du jus de citron et mélanger de nouveau, jusqu’à l’obtention d’une texture homogène et très lisse. Goûter avant d’ajouter le jus de citron. Servir immédiatement ou réfrigérer.

Voilà; c’est tout pour aujourd’hui! J’espère que cette recette très simple vous a plu. Pour ma part, je retourne travailler sur mon exposé oral de demain (une autre excellente raison d’être stressée).

À bientôt,

—s

 

#veganmofo 2016 (day 11, except 12 hours late): my favorite cuisine (plus some election-related stuff)

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I know, I know: today is Saturday, November 12th. I really meant to upload this before midnight last night, but then I fell asleep while watching The Matrix Reloaded, and when I woke up from this impromptu nap, going to bed just seemed like the sensible thing to do.

So, it’s been a terrible week, huh? Donald Trump is now President-elect of the US of A, which I guess means white supremacy and the patriarchy are both alive and well. (I mean, I knew they were going strong; I guess I just didn’t know how strong.) I don’t have anything good to say about this mess, really, except that I stand in solidarity with people of color, fellow women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, poor folks, disabled folks, and everybody else—American or not—who will be impacted (if they aren’t already) by a Trump presidency.

As a white feminist, I would also like to direct other white feminists to this excellent thread by Marcelle Kosman, producer and co-host of the Witch, Please podcast and Canadian scholar, on the intersection of white feminism and white supremacy and just why so many white women voted for Donald Trump.

This comic by illustrator and artist Mae on how to help when witnessing islamophobic harassment is also a good thing to read and share, I think. I’ll try to add other relevant stuff as I happen upon it.

And if anyone out there is doubting how strong, overt and unashamed the racism of white conservatives is these days in America, #BlackLivesMatter activist and New York Daily News Senior Justice Writer Shaun King has been doing a good job of documenting that on Twitter and Facebook.

Okay.

Now, to the food.

Yesterday’s Vegan MoFo prompt was about favorite cuisines. More specifically:

Where does your favourite food come from?

those nice people from the Vegan MoFo site

I thought long and hard about this (a solid five minutes, at least) before coming to a conclusion. This was my thought process:

  1. I enjoy and will eat most food, so long as it’s vegan.
  2. While I have some favorite dishes, I don’t find myself knowledgeable enough about any world cuisine to say it’s my favorite.
  3. Also, choosing between cuisines is hard, man.
  4. I like cooking, but I also like when someone else cooks for me. Because of this, I love going to restaurants.
  5. Most days, though, I’d rather stay home.
  6. My partner Ben makes half of our meals and I like his cooking.
  7. Having someone cook tasty vegan food for me + eating it on the couch while watching Gilmore Girls = one of my favorite things of all time, for sure.
  8. Conclusion: Ben’s cuisine is my favorite cuisine.

(Yes, this may just be the cheesiest entry of this entire MoFo. I have decided I am okay with that.)

Ben went vegan a little over a year ago (yay!), but he was cooking vegetarian and vegan long before that. I like that he gravitates towards comfort food, like me, but also towards recipes I wouldn’t look twice at, or ones I wouldn’t dare try. He’s also much, much better than I at trying new things in the kitchen, and at making sure we eat our greens.

I don’t always take photos of Ben’s food, so you (and he) will have to forgive me if the samples below aren’t 100% representative of his style. I think they’ll still give you an idea, though.

So, what does Ben cook?

Well, Ben cooks many things.

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He makes soup, and never forgets to buy and slice baguette for dipping.

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He makes tofu tostada.

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He makes the best bowls, with rice, lemony, garlic-y kale, grilled spicy tofu and homemade ranch.

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He makes burgers from a box, and he makes them look a lil’ fancy.

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He makes me stew when I’m sick. (This is the White Bean & Portobello Stew from Kristy Turner‘s But I Could Never Go Vegan!)

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He makes shepherd’s pie!

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He makes other kinds of bowls, too. This one had a quinoa and split pea blend, some baked squash and more grilled tofu.

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And he cooks vegetables I tend to neglect, like cauliflower and zucchini. (You may recognize this last picture from earlier this week. I’ve since found out the dish is Budget Bytes’ Spanish Chickpeas & Rice, topped with Lemon Pepper Zucchini.) Also, he makes lemonade from scratch and flavors it with fresh rosemary or mint, because he’s that fancy.

If you’d like to follow Ben on Instagram, you can do so here. It’s mostly pictures of cats. Oh, and he has a blog, too. He only started it a little bit ago, and it’s not about food, but you should have a look anyway.

Well, that’s it for today! Feel free to check out my Vegan MoFo posts from Days 7, 9 and 10 (I skipped # 8).

Thanks for reading,

—s