Dec 6th Action

December 6, 2016 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Words matter.

“Women on one side, men on the other.”

“He told us [the men] to leave, and we did.” (p. 171)

From the book: The Montreal Massacre by Louise Malette & Marie Chalouh; translated by Marlene Wildeman. Charlottetown, PEI: gynergy books, 1991.

Do you know the new inclusive words for the Canadian anthem?

Why is it wrong if I need the words of my national anthem to include me through its language?

I am not a son. I am a daughter. I am not a man but I am a person. I am part of us.

Language matters.

Words matter.

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My Previous words of remembrance.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

 

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How Long?

December 6, 2015 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Lifetimes have passed since.

The length of a generation.

It’s been a life time – babies who were born that year are now young women as they were. They were women who never got to fulfill their destiny.

A Mother’s Grief.

A mother who will never hug her daughter’s daughter to her breast.

[We stand] crying before the coffins of strangers,
offering roses and tiger lilies to young women [we will] never know.

“O Lord, how long?” O Lord, how long?” cry those standing at a prayer vigil on another December day.

Family Bear

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Birthday Tribbles and Bits

April 5, 2015 at 8:15 am (Fun) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The stars in the sky were like candles on the birthday cake of a one-thousand-year-old man. (p. 318)

Easter Bunny

Cheers to:

1) Annual Traditions – every year, sometime around Good Friday, I watch Jesus Christ Superstar. This year I’ve already viewed the 1973 version 3.5 times. It is my favourite version. When it first came out my grandparents (my mother’s parents were strict Lutherans and argued with conviction that JC and the disciplines would not have had long hair and that the popular music was sacrilegious) were very much against us going to see the movie. Thankfully, mom let us go anyway and my younger brother and I spent many Saturday afternoons singing along to the LP. This Good friday, I watched a 2000 version of the play as it was produced in London (England) that is much darker than the 1970s movie.

2) New books that bring me joy and insight and remind me of old homes. Of all the cities I’ve lived in, I miss this city the most. I was English and there during the last referendum so reading about an honest recounting of the French point of view was enlightening.

After the 1980 referendum, everyone with prospects left the city. Everyone here now was a direct descendant of a dreamer. (p. 164)

Heather O’Neill, the author of this book set in Montreal, has a poet’s way with language and an unique way with similes and metaphors.

I looked in the closet for a warmer coat. … Moths flew everywhere around me, like I was in a little snowstorm. It was me. I let winter out of the box. (p. 207)

Arguments lasted longer. They hid behind couches and under the table. (p. 236)

Montreal is Canada’s New York City; it is a place for dreamers, actors, poets, and writers who have no choice but to also mingle with politicians and big business. It is a commercial city and a university town and a dreamer’s paradise as contradictory as that all sounds.

3) YouTube. Ah, but New York city has Broadway. I thank the stars for YouTube. I have been a Broadway Musical fan since forever. I search YouTube relentlessly for clips of past and present plays. It is the only place I have seen Alan Cumming in Cabaret. I so wish I could have seen Cabaret with him and Emma Stone as Sally. I settle instead for YouTube and memoirs. Alan’s new biography Not My Father’s Son is a must read for his fans! I finished it in a day and searched YouTube for clips of his vast acting credits. A very enjoyable day it was. If you’re a fan of Cabaret you must watch this documentary.

4) Memories of old loves. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night describes Montreal men perfectly divinely. Sigh! I miss him.

You could have a graduate class on him at Universite de Montreal. The prerequisites would have to be Russian Realism, The Death of the American Dream, The Bad Guy in Henry James, French Postwar Existentialism, and Seventies Independent Cinema.(p.284)

5) St. Trinian’s. I always wanted to be a St. Trinian’s girl and now to discover a new series of movies with Colin Firth in them. Ah happiness! Ah bliss! I know what I’m watching Saturday night. We (North America) need better access to movies from the UK, the good and the silly. I thank the stars that my library system is so diverse.

Happy Birthday Week to me (why celebrate just one day)!

More Tribbles and Bits here.

All quotes from:

The Girl Who was Saturday Night
by Heather O’Neill
Toronto, Ontario: HarperCollins, 2014

 

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Expendable

December 6, 2014 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I own a red shirt. I’ve worn it once. A red shirt. What’s the significance? Maybe you have to be a geek to get it. A certain sort of Star Trek geek in fact.

It has one word written on it.

That word is Expendable.

I wore the T-shirt, for the one and only time, on my last day of work in May. Sorta of an inside joke but I was the only one (geek) who got the joke.

I kept having to explain.

I kept trying to explain.

It got harder and harder to see the funny in it.

I work in a field that is 95% women.

You see, this also happened in May…UCSB May 2014 .

And again .

Yes, all women face these concerns and fears all the time.

And after a day of proclaiming myself as expendable, I didn’t like the joke anymore.

Nobody should be expendable.

YWCA Rose logo

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Dec 6th Remembrance

December 6, 2013 at 6:00 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

To the child alive and well

caught in her thoughts

obliquely

on this Monday with things to do

she heads toward the lot

where Sunday she’ll be laid to rest

… … …

To Tuesday’s student

massacred Wednesday

buried Thursday

… … …

To the young woman of the morning

who will be mowed down

at five in the evening

her place is marked already

under snow that flies up

behind her muted step

… … …

To the schoolgirl of late morning

quietly writing

who will die a violent death

that afternoon

reciting

her adulterated history lesson

… … …

You are in danger

in your classroom

as the setting sun glints

off your cheek

… … …

(parts of: The Ideal Site For The Crime by Louky Bersianik)

In the book: The Montreal Massacre by Louise Malette & Marie Chalouh; translated by Marlene Wildeman. Charlottetown, PEI: gynergy books, 1991.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

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Je me Souviens

December 2, 2012 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , )

This time of year, as the environment around me starts to get all bright & sparkly, I ruminate too much on death.

As I write this it is December 1st, World AIDS Day – a day set aside for education and awareness. I came of age when this epidemic was still a mystery. A recent read, set in 1987, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, took me right back there.

Thursday is December 6th, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Twenty-three years ago on Wednesday, December 6, 1989, 14 women were killed because they were women.

The YWCA’s Rose campaign has ideas for advocacy and commemoration.

23 years is – what – a quarter of a lifetime. These 14 young women would now be in their forties and fifties. What did we lose? What would they have contributed to society?

What did they not get to do? They never got to decide whether or not to have children. They’ll never feel the aches and pains of an aging heart or body.

Yellow Rose-Fall 2012

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Sometimes It Hurts

December 4, 2011 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , )

In order to talk to the dead
you have to choose words
that they recognize as easily
as their hands
recognized the fur of their dogs in the dark.

Words clear and calm
as water of the torrent tamed in the wineglass
or chairs the mother puts in order
after the guests have left.
Words that night shelters
as marshes do their ghostly fires

In order to talk to the dead
you have to know how to wait:
they are fearful
like the first steps of a child.

But if we are patient
one day they will answer us
with a poplar leaf trapped in a broken mirror,
with a flame that suddenly revives in the fireplace,
with a dark return of birds
before the glance of a girl
who waits motionless on the threshold.

‘In Order to Talk with the Dead’
by Jorge Teillier

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance.

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Moments

December 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm (Life) (, , , , , , )

Whistler: “Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”

Becoming, Part One

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season two; Episode 21

 

Women’s Lives Count.

14 actions you can take to help end violence against women.

My previous words of remembrance.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

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Cooking

June 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm (Memoir) (, , , , , )

I cook for no one. Not even myself.

I make food. I do the basics well. Meat, potatoes, vegetables. I make a mean chili. It’s my signature dish. I mean how can you go wrong with chili; throw in some meat, tomatoes, spices and whatever else you have kicking around the house. It’s a great clean the fridge type of meal!

raspberry 1

I eat. I know I have to eat. But nothing I make inspires me or tickles my taste buds.

I don’t care what anything tastes like right now. Except maybe raspberries.

When I was married, my husband cooked. This was during my brief Hollywood marriage. (We knew each other for five years and were married for two). I worked days, he worked nights. I loved not having to think about meals. I would come home to good, basic meals and would then be left with the clean-up. Which, honestly, I felt to be a fair trade. He was much more excited by food and meal prep than I ever was.

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He made a mean Farmer’s Breakfast. For those of you not familiar with this dish, you need a cast iron frying pan, eggs and leftovers. You beat up the eggs, pour them into the frying pan, slice up leftovers (potatoes, onions etc) into the mixture, fry it on the burner until the bottom is somewhat firm and then put the frying pan into a 350 degree oven until it is baked and firm. (I take no responsibility for if or how this turns out if you try to make it based on these directions. Remember, I don’t cook!) Bliss. And always different.

My boyfriend, in Montreal, F cooked about half the time. He lived at home and had never been responsible for meals on a regular basis so was quite excited to experiment with flavors and textures.

frying panI still remember him making a sauce, out of the leftover cherry wine that I had in my cupboard, for the pork chops. The wine came from his older sister, whom I never did meet,  as a housewarming gift for my new apartment. I had barely drank any of it so it sat in the cupboard for at least a year before F used it to enliven the pork chops.

Not something I would have thought of. Wine was not something my family cooked with. For one, we never had any sitting around the house as it was too expensive and two, booze was for drinking not cooking. Another reason it was not in my mother’s house as my father was an alcoholic and when he left the booze left also.

I started being responsible for meals as a young teen. We depended on our garden for most of our food. Thus, potatoes were plentiful as were vegetables. Meat came from the local farms, usually provided through the grandparents or barter, so usually consisted of beef or pork. Fish was constant, as well, because there were many lakes nearby and my mother’s father loved to fish.

I learnt that meals consisted of plenty of potatoes (boiled, fried, bland); vegetables (boiled, bland) and meat that got the heck fried or baked out of it. No rare meat ever sat on my childhood table. 🙂

So, I can throw a bland meal together in a matter of minutes and then cook the heck out of it. I always burnt the hamburgers and the fried potatoes. As the local delivery persons could attest to – the delivery schedule coincided with our supper schedule. I’m a book worm and would try to read and cook at the same time; oh alright, I still do this. Feeding my mind has always been more tempting then feeding my body.

I never really enjoyed food as a pleasure until I moved to Montreal. Good, cheap food was plentiful and easy to find. The local bakery provided over ten different breads and bagels and pastries. There was a Chinese grocery a block from my home. Montreal was the first time I shopped in a delicatessen, ate smoked meat, had bagels and lox and the first time I had to buy fish that someone I didn’t know caught.

In Montreal, I tried authentic Indian food and more varieties of Chinese then I could find at home. I grew up in a small Saskatchewan town so I already was familiar with authentic Mandarin as this was where our local Chinese family had immigrated from and she would cook us authentic meals as she and my mom were best friends both struggling to raise kids alone (she was widowed, Mom was divorced).

You will notice, however, that all this variety did not inspire me to experiment in cooking for myself. I like my food to come as prepared as possible. I am not a cook; I do not aspire to be a chef.

I do read food blogs. Such pretty, pretty pictures. I do have around ten recipes bookmarked that I like enough that I may try them some day. Some day when I not too busy reading or there is someone coming for a meal that I really, really want to impress. The Queen perhaps. 🙂

Queen Victoria

Here are the some links if you are interested:

Cheddar and Blueberry Pancakes, Chocolate Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Popsicle, Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, and Hot Toddy Pudding Cake. Enjoy 😉

A cook is the first person I will hire when I finally make enough money to have such disposable income or if I win the lottery. This is how I will know I am rich – I will have someone else making all my meals for me!

Chef

gigi (not necessarily)

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