Saturday, 15 November 2014

Dress up time?

About once a year I feel the need to color myself stupidly and take pictures in some sort of costume. This day does not necessarily need to fall on Halloween. This year I was only off by a couple weeks. So like a reasonable adult, I indulged myself and played dressup, and then dicked around with the pictures to make them look more frightening than I look already. And that's saying something. This is what happens when I marathon watch American Horror Story.

Monday, 27 October 2014


So, by now, most of us who are interested have heard that the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi has been fired over his sexual practices, which seem to be centered around the BDSM culture. For those of you unfamiliar, BDSM is defined as "erotic practices involving dominance and submission, roleplay and restraint".

He is suing the CBC for $50 million (taxpayer dollars), claiming both defamation, and an unjust termination based on his sexual preferences. And if they were firing him just because he was involved in BDSM, this would most certainly be the case. It would be the equivalent of firing someone because of their sexual orientation, or because they have tattoos. Not fair.

However, what seems to be missing for many people in the discussion of whether or not the CBC ought to have terminated his employment is the fact that three women have come forward with claims of sexual abuse. Ghomeshi has countered this, saying that he has never engaged in sex with a non-consenting partner, and that the claims of abuse are most likely lies planted by a crazy ex-girlfriend.

I can't speak to his crazy ex-girlfriends, but I can talk a bit about BDSM culture and abuse. BDSM can be violent--it is frequently centered around seeking pleasure in pain. To someone unfamiliar with the culture, it might seem like anyone engaging in this sort of sexual practice deserves whatever abuse they get. But this is not the case. Making this assumption is, in fact, the same thing as saying that a woman in slutty clothes deserves to be raped.

The reason? There is something of a golden rule in BDSM culture that REAL and FINAL power lies in the hands of the submissive. This means if at any point the submissive gets uncomfortable and says "Stop" or some other safeword, it is the dominant's responsibility to do as he or she is told. If the dominant (in this case Ghomeshi) were to ignore this rule, he would no longer be engaged in the same sexual act the submissive originally consented to. In BDSM, an act morphs from consensual sex to sexual abuse the moment final power is wrested from the hands of the submissive.

Now, I'm not saying that this is absolutely the case with Ghomeshi. I don't know, I wasn't there. But I feel like if this is a case of Ghomeshi repeatedly breaking the golden rule BDSM and hurting women who didn't know what they were getting into, the CBC is most certainly right in terminating his employment, because what we are dealing with is an illegal act of sexual abuse. Too often in our culture we are willing to write off the words of a woman claiming sexual abuse as just that -- a groundless claim. I for one am glad that the CBC is taking these allegations seriously, and I hope that there is a full and fair investigation.

It is also my hope that people won't lose sight of the three women who came forward. This isn't a question of whether a person should be fired for engaging in BDSM culture--the answer to that is a simple "absolutely not." The question here is, should a person be fired for perpetrating sexual abuse to which the answer, in my book, is yes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Forgetting to Remember / Remembering to Forget

I have come to the realization over the past few years that I have a memory like a sieve. And I'm not just talking walking into a room and forgetting what I went in there for (although that happens, too, many times over the course of a day). It isn't just my short term memory that's shot--I'm not just forgetting where I put things, or what appointments I have in a day, or what I was saying from one sentence to the next -- I'm also forgetting large chunks of my own history.

Short term memory I'm not too worried about. If I rehearse a thing enough it'll still stick. And if not, there's always the option of writing things down. Being forgetful in the short term is irritating at times, but I don't think it affects Who I Am.

My slowly dying long-term memory is a different issue, however. The speed at which I am losing memories is increasing--it used to be that I had trouble remembering things from childhood. Now I have forgotten almost all of my childhood, and have trouble remembering who I was last year, last month. Someone will try to remind me of something that happened in my childhood, and I'll draw a total blank. Someone will try to remind me of an argument we had a month ago, and again, total blank. It is interesting that most of what I'm forgetting seems to be negative things. Cruel things done to me, or that I have done, sad things, moments of anger and confusion and upset. Poof, gone, like they never happened. I don't know why my mind seems to be locking away all of my negative memories -- and, here is the really alarming bit : I've stopped caring.

In fact, I've actually started to enjoy it. Its sort of nice not being able to remember any of the bad crap in my life--it makes it much easier to forgive and move on. Sometimes I will have a vague sense that I've been wronged by someone, but because I can't pin it on any specific recollection, the feeling fades away soon enough. Sure, it might be difficult to maintain any sort of identity without really clearly knowing where I came from--but what I can remember of where I came from was worth forgetting in the first place.

So, onward, forward, and no looking back. If I want to look back, that's why I keep this blog, and have a camera. A true archivist, I will select those memories worth preserving and discard the rest--save that shelf space for something more vital.

In honour of Halloween, though, let me share with you something a bit on the creepy side which I think might be related to my memory gaps--or might not.

I have started talking like a little girl in my sleep. Child Stevie, the one adult Stevie's subconscious seems so hellbent on forgetting comes out at night and says things like "Help" and "I don't want to!" and "You can't make me!"

Proof of this? Both my mother and my boyfriend have heard me do it,
Further proof?
How about a suitably spooky and poorly done recording? 'tis the season. You hear me say "I don't want to! Don't want to!" and some other sleepybabble.

Further to this creepiness, I've started having dreams--at least once a week now. Dreams where I am running through dilapidated, mold-ridden, collapsing, rat-infested iterations of my childhood homes. I spend my nights scampering through these "rooms of ruin", breathing in the cinnamon scent of mummified mice and old paper, and I look for things. Childhood relics. I find them on shelves, or perched precariously under a bit of ceiling about to fall in, or under all the ooze and muck and grime, and I find them, and I salvage them. I am driven to do it. Salvaging these trinkets in my dreams is the most important thing. Sometimes I am being chased by something that threatens my life, but I still always find the time to pluck a jewelry box from the closet where I'm hiding and stow it away, with the sense that even if I'm killed now, at least I've accomplished something. 

Simple analogy, perhaps. Houses--particularly childhood homes, are meant to represent the mind. Mine is collapsing. The trinkets are the memories that are left. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Thanks Giving

So, Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend and although we didn't celebrate in the traditional sense, I thought I'd harness the spirit of the season and throw down a few things from the past year that I have been thankful for (in no particular order):

* First of all I am thankful that my Dad wasn't horribly crushed in his tractor accident a few weeks back.

What's left of the tractor

* I am thankful for having a family that I am close to, and getting closer to. Even if we don't always agree and sometimes have fighting and sadness and hurt feelings--in the end its all worth it.
* I am thankful for the friendships I am building/rebuilding. I am grateful for all of the people who let me be a part of their lives and put up with my weirdness.
*I am thankful for Stewart--for his patience, gentleness, warmth, intelligence, and humor.
*I am thankful that I have a truly great set of co-workers that make going to work a pleasure. Likewise, I am thankful for my job which has enough variety and fast-paced interesting action to keep me busy and absorbed for hours and hours.
*I am thankful that I seem to have matured from the person I was even this time last year. I am more honest with myself and others, and this has had the added benefit of making me feel less shitty about myself.
*I am thankful for nachos and salsa, which I have recently rediscovered.
*I am thankful for nerdy television, which will get me through the coming winter.
*I am thankful, always, for hot baths. Preferably hot baths with candles, incense, bath salts, and a beverage.
*I am thankful that I have rediscovered the joys of reading for pleasure in the past year.
*I am thankful for my health plan.
*I  am thankful for my little RAV, and my drivers license, which let me get from place to place to place at a whim. They don't call me "road warrior" for nothing.
* I am thankful for the unseasonably warm October we've been having.

For awhile there I was keeping a gratitude journal--writing down five things every day that I was grateful for. You'd think this would be hard, but really it's not. The world is full of amazing things--small miracles and big ones--that can be seen only when you're in the frame of mind to look. I'd like to get back in the habit of a gratitude journal. Its a good way to remind oneself that no matter how you square it, things are never as bad as you might first think. There is always *something* to be thankful for,

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Master of Extremes

Because talking about myself never gets old--AHAHAHAHAHAHA

ahem. . .
Trying to get out a thought that's been bobbling about in my head all day regarding two equal and opposing beliefs about myself that I hold with absolute conviction.

The first will surprise those of you that spend any amount of time with me. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that I am a great person--maybe even an amazing person, with massive amounts of potential, mad skillz. a good head on her shoulders, more personality than your average bear, a unique way of looking at the world, and a good deal of inherent strength.

At the same time, I believe, just as strongly, that I aim a huge failed waste of flesh, and should probably be trampled to death by a rogue mammoth. This will be more familiar to those around me, as I tend to talk myself down more than up (something I think I do because I fear talking myself up would make me unbearable to be near--and I'm already unbearable enough (there she goes again)).

Having these two contrary self images--that I am invaluable, and that I am un-valuable; that I am both awesome and insignificant--sometimes feels like the emotional equivalent of being strung up spread-eagled on barbed wire, being pulled in two different directions.

You might laugh, say "Stevie, Stevie. Don't you know you are not either of these things? You are just a human, like anyone. You have successes, you make mistakes" , and I would have to agree. Let me rephrase : CONSCIOUSLY , LOGICALLY , and RATIONALLY I would be inclined to agree. Unfortunately I am rarely rational, infrequently logical, and usually just barely conscious. I am unable to disabuse myself of either the notion that I am somehow super, or the notion that I am superfluous. I have been trying, for a long time.

So, I suppose my question for you, dear reader, is this : do you ever feel this same way? Torn between two extremes, neither of which reflects the reality in which you exist?

Sunday, 28 September 2014


In honour of nuit blanche which was held here in Saskatoon last night, I decided to try some strange arts this morning. It didn't turn out splendid, but it was fun. I scribbled a bunch of nonsense on saran wrap, folded it over, taped it into a frame, and then held it up to the light to see what could be seen.
Its almost like a fucked up landscape. Almost.

Observations from/about Saskatoon's first Nuit Blanche:
* Great use of social media. Having the twitter feed projected on the side of a building was a very cool idea
* Blacksmithing is a mind-blowingly great idea for a nuit blanche , combining the light show element with live art-making. 
* I now have a thing for fire dancers in baggy pants
*Outdoors exhibits are preferable to indoors ones
*Noise pollution makes for an irritating artform--and this from someone who listens to Nine Inch Nails on a regular basis. 
*Nonsensically dancing in a crowd is a great way to keep a bubble of personal space
*Librarians are still cool. 
*Mexican food is exciting
*The Canadian Light Source fails at lights. 
*Finding a free mixed tape is awesome, even if you don't have the wherewithal to play it. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

On Beauty

I shall be as drab as a peahen.
My hair shall be as tangled ivy,
My teeth stained to ivory.
My legs and darkened places will bear the prickles of a cactus--both warning and challenge.
My flesh shall roll as the hills and meadows; bear those same scars.
My wardrobe a coat of many colours, clashing and threadbare.
And I will be beautiful, for I will be myself.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fear and the University

So, all of us who care to have heard about the drama going on at the University of Saskatchewan lately will have heard by now. The TransformUS project, which really translates into another crippling bout of layoffs and department mergers in the name of a maybe-deficit that isn't too different from the deficit facing pretty much any public institution in the country. Soon-to-be retired professor R. Buckingham's outcry against the TransformUS plan and the rather brutal reaction of the provost/president with his termination and a lifelong ban from campus. The popular outcry that this was an affront to academic freedom and freedom of speech and the resulting resignation of the Provost and termination of President Ilene Busch-Vishniac.

I am ashamed to say that, as an employee of the university, I did very little to speak out against TransformUs, or Busch-Vishniac's treatment of Dr. Buckingham. I didn't blog about it, facebook about it, didn't reshare any of the articles I was avidly reading, didn't attend the May 21st rally. I didn't do any of these things because I was afraid -- like, stupid, paralyzing, lay in my bed in the dark and fear for my job/develop dental tooth-grinding problems afraid.  I am only talking about it now because I feel a bit safer under the administration of our new temporary president Gordon Barnhart.

So, why so afraid? Aside from the obvious fear of losing a job that I love, being a new employee in a unionized setting where there is a push towards "last in the door, first out," I was afraid because under the regime of Busch-Vishniac, there was a seemingly conscious effort to create a climate of fear. All employees regardless of union/non-union/tenure-track/faculty status were at risk of coming to work one morning to find a pair of security guards and (if lucky) a cardboard box waiting at their desk. No two weeks warning, no gentle words of explanation and an honourable goodbye--just the University equivalent of gestapo making an example of you in front of people you'd worked with, maybe for decades, and a long escorted "perp walk" off campus.

Management through fear, while it may work fine in many corporate environments, is absolutely contrary to everything an academic institution should stand for. This is because fear is so frequently partnered with ignorance. I won't say that you can't have one without the other, or that one causes the other, but chances are: where there is fear, there is ignorance, and where there is ignorance, there is fear.

By encouraging an atmosphere of fear on a University campus, Busch-Vishniac was also encouraging ignorance. Innovative thinking on the part of the students can hardly be fostered in a place where staff are bullied to thinking and behaving like drones. And without innovative thinking on the part of at least some percentage of the University population, what, really, is the point of the academic institution? We become some sort of Dr. Seussian machine churning out identical creatures with stars on their bellies and stamped pieces of paper in their hands.

While the relief when the Provost stepped down was great, and the relief accompanying the termination of Busch-Vishniac even greater, I think the true sign that this attitude of ruling-by-fear is changing comes with interim president Barnhart's assurance that Perp Walks are a thing of the past. Perhaps with the withdrawal of the cloud of fear that has been hovering over the campus for the past few years, the entire institution can get back to the important task of focusing on enlightenment over ignorance. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

A Note on Elliot Rodgers

I have ten minutes to write down my thoughts on the mass murderer behind the killing of six people at UC Santa Barbara earlier this week--and ten minutes is more than he's worth.

First: You, Elliot Rodgers, were a spoiled self-absorbed whiny little prat who couldn't take responsibility for your own failures and insecurities, choosing to instead project that self-hate outwards. You lacked the self awareness anyone dealing with mental issues needs to pursue a normal, healthy life. More than that, you were too blinded by your own selfishness to have any degree of that needed self-awareness.

Second: Yes, you were a misogynist asswipe, Elliot, but contrary to what the media is yowling about, the real issue here isn't misogyny. Misogyny played a role, yes. It heavily influenced the heavily influence-able Elliot, for certain, but the real issue is mental illness, and our inability as a society to read the warning signs of someone about to flip their lid, and do something useful with that information. And lets face it, our Elliot was throwing up plenty of red flags. Society as a whole needs to both understand mental illness more completely, take its manifestations more seriously, and deal with it more directly and decisively if we are to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

That's all I've got to say on the issue.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Raisins, and Breadcrumbs

Okay, so I don't even like cauliflower, but this turned out *amazing*. It is probably the longest I will ever spend preparing cauliflower in my life, because there were so many goofy little components, but well worth it.

2 heads  cauliflower, cut into florets
6 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp salt-packed capers, soaked, rinsed and patted dry
¾ cup fresh, coarse breadcrumbs
½ cup low-salt chicken stock
cup sultanas1 tbsp white wine vinegar or
Champagne vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
30g Italian parsley, chopped
[Preheat oven to 220°C]
Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl. Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on two shallow baking trays lined with baking paper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is golden and crispy, about 20–25 minutes.
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, about 2–3 minutes. Watch carefully that the garlic does not burn. Turn the heat up slightly, add the rinsed capers and cook until they start to pop, about 3 minutes longer. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, about 2–3 minutes. Transfer the breadcrumb mixture to a plate and set aside.
In the same saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a boil. Add the sultanas and the white wine vinegar and cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Transfer warm cauliflower to a serving bowl. Scatter the sultana mixture over, then toss to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Sprinkle the cauliflower with the garlic capery breadcrumbs and the chopped Italian parsley.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Chickpeas with Leeks and Lemon

I stole this simple dish from Oprah. That's right, right out of her hands. Because I'm awful like that. My advice is to go easy on the flavoring--I found it didn't need much, and it came out superb. I used the rest of the lemon to make a honey lemon hot drink for my sick self. 


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and bruised but whole
  • 1 6-inch branch fresh rosemary, broken in two
  • 4 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and with the white and light green parts sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 lemon


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, garlic and rosemary over medium heat. Once the garlic turns fragrant and the rosemary begins to sizzle, remove the rosemary, setting it aside for later. 

Add the leeks to the pan, along with a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft and sweet but still brightly green, around 5-8 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas, and continue to cook, turning the beans in the oil, for 5 minutes more, at which point the chickpeas should have darkened slightly in color. 

Using a microplane or zester, add a few scrapes of lemon zest to the pan, along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Check for seasoning, adding more juice, zest or salt as needed. Return the reserved rosemary sprigs to the pan, and enjoy warm or at room temperature. 

A complex relationship with language

. . .or a language complex. . .

Reading kills meaning
as writing slays word.s
Language a slag heap
of bloodied nouns,
broken adjectives,
twitching verbs.

There is a certain type of former English major who suffers a form of literary ptsd. I am one of them. Pursuing my degree ruined me for pleasure reading (simple pleasure reading, anyway--now I always always must analyze what  is being read on a more complex level). Likewise, my ability to string a sentence together in a way that seems clever without sounding trite has been torn from me, and I bumblefuck my meaning across, bleating like a tongueless antelope. (See?)

It's like there are two extremes of interaction with language, and only a certain personality type is able to walk the knife's edge between the two and experience true literary contentment. On the one side, we have an extreme where things like reading and writing seem so dull, onerous, and unnecessary, that individuals would rather lick sandpaper than read a line of Shakespeare. Let us call this extreme that of literary ignorance. People in this category much prefer swifter forms of communication like texting. At the other extreme, we have individuals who find themselves so trapped in a neverending Hell of literary analysis they would rather stab out their own eyes with forks than read another line of Shakespeare. Let us call this extreme that of literary over-saturation. This would be the category I fall into, I think.

Could the ever narrowing gap of literary contentment between these two extremes be part of why language itself seems to be going the way of the dodo? Are we all so impatient with language, or so worn out on it, that we would rather grunt and stab at small screens with our thumbs than communicate openly with our tongues?

I don't have an answer. Ask me again when I'm not running a fever.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Turkish Salmon

Tangy and delicious! 

Preparation time: 15 minutes                                    Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 salmon fillets
16-18 cherry tomatoes, halved
30ml/2 tablespoons olives, pitted and halved
3 small fillets of anchovies in olive oil (from the tin); drained
30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper to taste
 Wedges of lemon to serve
For broccoli & the dressing:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
30ml/ 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
Grease the baking tray with the olive oil and place the salmon fillets on it. Spread the cherry tomatoes, olives and the anchovy fillets over and around the salmon fillets. Season with ground black pepper. Place the tray in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes (please refer to cooking instructions at the packaging as cooking time may vary with the size  or type of the fish), until the fish is cooked and the tomatoes starting to turn crisp at the edges.
While the salmon is in the oven, prepare the broccoli. Steam the broccoli over a pan of boiling water for a few minutes. Cool the broccoli in iced water and set aside in a serving bowl. Combine the olive oil, chopped garlic and the lemon juice in a bowl and drizzle this sauce over the broccoli, mix well.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Big Parade

So, I decided to treat myself to a movie on Friday, and this is the title that came up. The Big Parade  is a silent film from 1925 set during the First World War. It features a young dandy named Jim who throws in and joins the army (much to his mother's chagrin) where he befriends two working class gentlemen: the perpetual tobacco gob chewing Slim, and the tough but hard-luck Bull. After being deployed to France, his unit spends several (weeks? months?) at a small French village where, despite being engaged to someone back home, Jim falls hard for the feisty (and I think absolutely gorgeous) Melisande, played by Renee Adoree:

Isn't she adorkable? I was so sad to hear she died of TB only a couple of years after the filming of this movie. 

Their courtship is delightfully slapstick, involving a barrel, bare buttocks, chewing gum, a swift right hook,and many many giggles. You really can't help but smile watching the pair struggle to convey their mutual attraction across the language barrier (something which seems to work especially well in silent film as medium). 

Another thing about silent film, which I love, is the fact that because so much work must go into making the visuals communicate the story, you could pretty much take a screencap of any point in the film and frame it and put it up on your wall. 

As an experiment, lets do just that: 

1) Jim hits on Melisande on the riverbank. Sure, I'd make this into a poster! Their smiles are so lovely. 

2) The new recruits are greeted by "Flying Fitz" in this scene. Maybe not posterworthy, but definitely could have a small copy in a frame. 

3) . . .And this happened . . .

Well, maybe not. 

Anyway, what I really admired about this movie was the abrupt turnaround it made in the second half. This was a turnaround which was wholly uncharacteristic for the time. The movie went from patriotic beginnings, to the cheerful silly warm days in the village in France, to portraying (probably at least somewhat accurately given how close it was in memory in 1925, and based on my own understanding of how the war was tactically--or not tactically-- fought) the absolute Hell WWI put those boys through. And by "those boys" I don't just mean the Americans--the film turns out to be surprisingly sympathetic to all sides fighting (something we could stand to see a little more of in our war films today, I might add). 

The phrase "The Big Parade" alters meaning entirely from the beginning of the movie to the end. At the start, there is a jubilant sort of excitement as the "Parade" is a patriotic march to the front and to glory. By the end, we are shown a long trail of medical vehicles hauling the wounded back from the front, and the caption comes up "Another Big Parade." 

The field hospital where Jim winds up after taking an arrow to the knee is also portrayed with a sort of chilling accuracy unlike anything we see in renditions of the war today. Flies are everywhere, crawling over our heroes face,  and in a bed near Jim, a man is tied down, screaming in the throes of PTSD. There are no pretty, spankable nurses to be seen, and the "hospital" is not really anything like a hospital-- just rows of cots in a gutted out church. Jim himself appears to have been altered by his experiences at the front. Something sour, blank, and haunted has come over his expression and if you were to compare him to the dandy from the start of the movie, you would hardly recognize the same man. 

This was a time when few but the writers wanted to talk about the human costs of the war (and even the writers did so in a less than direct manner), but The Big Parade takes it on with directness and humanity, tempered with comedy and a bit of drama. This could easily have been a fluffy romantic film. It could easily have been *enjoyable* as a fluffy romantic film. But it went one step further, and that's what made it a classic worthy of preservation in the National Film Registry. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sonnet CXXIV

Here is a sonnet by Petrarch, as translated by Macgregor:

That ever-painful, ever-honour'd day
So left her living image on my heart
Beyond or lover's wit or poet's art,
That oft to it will doting memory stray.
A gentle pity softening her bright mien,
Her sorrow there so sweet and sad was heard,
Doubt in the gazer's bosom almost stirr'd
Goddess or mortal, which made heaven serene.
Fine gold her hair, her face as sunlit snow,
Her brows and lashes jet, twin stars her eyne,
Whence the young archer oft took fatal aim;
Each loving lip—whence, utterance sweet and low
Her pent grief found—a rose which rare pearls line,
Her tears of crystal and her sighs of flame.

The way in which the girl is described in this reminded me of something . . .

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Dingoes Ate My Baby!

Poor neglected blog. Here is a random morbid post to cheer you up.

"A Dingo Ate My Baby!"

We've all heard this quoted. I never knew the origins of the quote until today, however. It is a phrase attributed both to the mother of a real Australian baby who was (controversially) taken and killed by dingo's in this famous case (it was 1980, 7 years before I was born. Can you fault me for not knowing?), and to Meryl Streep who acted the role of that mother in 1988's Cry in the Dark. References have also been made in Seinfeld, Frasier, Buffy, and Supernatural

The more you know.

Now here are pictures of Dingo's doing more civilized things:

Also on the subject of dogs and civilization: 

Friday, 24 January 2014





I am the sand, and the sieve.
I strain myself through myself.



Distilled to vapours;
caught on a breeze.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Capers, Raisins, Nuts and Sole

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 sole fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon raisins
2 teaspoons drained and rinsed capers
1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds
1. Toast Almonds. Heat a plate in a low oven. Whisk together the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside.
2. Stir together the flour and paprika on a plate. Dredge both sides of the fish in the flour.
3. In a large nonstick skillet heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the fish and saute about 2-3 minutes on each side, until the fish flakes and is cooked through. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan, transferring to the warm plate.
4. Add the lemon-oil mixture and bring to a boil. Add the raisins, capers and nuts. Swirl the pan to blend and pour over the fish.
I served my fish over hashbrown patties, sort of a fancy fish'n chips combo. Recipe adapted from Seattle Times Company, 1995 recipe : 
Really liked the contrasts in this one . .. the raisins were a nice counterpoint to the bitterness of the capers, and toasted almonds are always a favorite. Nom nom. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

I'd never heard of this Calgary-based group before (which, of course, indicates that I don't listen to nearly enough CBC Radio--shame on me!) and I really, really like them. I generally like roots music, and rock is my definite musical genre of choice, and this group unites them in a gritty, authentic sound. Their Facebook page describes them as "clang-banging pre-WWII blues and country like they mean the hell out of it", and they really do.

So, for those of you who also don't listen to enough CBC radio, The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir:

Monday, 13 January 2014

Lithuanian Cabbage Soup

4 cups chicken soup stock
1 lg. chopped onion
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
pepper, salt to taste

Mix these ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.

Then Add: 1/2 cup chopped carrots,  3 cups chopped cabbage; 1/2 cup sauerkraut; 1 can whole tomatoes. Simmer for 1/2 hour.

Turned out pretty decent, but wish I'd had more time to simmer and draw out flavors more. I garnished with green onion and served with melba toast and cream cheese. Nom.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Lake Simcoe

Why yes, this does look very similar to the last "art" I posted. A sign that I need to find my creative spark again? Oh, probably.


Intricate implosion
my mental corrosion


Just thought I'd drop

a line


Yeah, I'm fine.
Except when I'm not.
Except I forgot
what part of me's mine.

Runs me out, runs me over.
Confusions, contusions.
Whirls round,
and I'm down
for the count
and I'm out.


Just thought I'd drop

a line.