Wednesday, February 25, 2009

comfort food (for the soul)

"The melon felt surprisingly heavy for its size, the skin freckled with beads of water, the stem end slightly soft. We inhaled and made admiring noises. The melon king smiled, his expression at odds with the eighteen-inch machete he had found in the corner. "Now you must see the flesh," he said, taking back the melon. A flick of the blade and it was in two halves, vivid orange, brimming with juice, a treat that he told us would "charm the throat and cool the belly." (I later found out that he had borrowed the line from a melon-fancier who was also a poet, but it was most impressive at the time.)
.... He let us buy a dozen, throwing in a handful of damp straw to line the shallow wooden box which he gave us to carry them away.
We stopped at a cafe before going back to the car, and found that we had another melon expert in our waiter. The thing to do he told us was to cut of the top, scoop out the seeds, pour a bottle of vodka into the hollow, and leave the melon in the fridge for twenty-four hours. The vodka is soaked up by the flesh of the melon, making a potent dessert of unimaginable delicacy.
Something to charm the throat and cool the belly?
"Voila" he said. "Exactement"
- Peter Mayle, from Encore Provence

I don't just have a repertoire of comfort foods, I also have a repertoire of comfort books, though I acknowledge, the common theme in those books seems to be total escapism (like in the sorcerer world of David Eddings) or homey comfortable books like Lucy Maude Montgomery.

I also have a penchant for books set in France, like the one above, or the swash buckling adventures of Alexandre Dumas. It's books in these three, very general categories, that I read over and over again.

The L. M. Montgomery books are very simple. Feminism is great, I love it, it serves me and I serve it. Equality is great. Technology is great. Modern day relationships are great. But at the end of the day they are also freakin' complicated. So L. M is my escape, along with Alcott and other books of that ilk. Anything Jane Austen is guaranteed to satisfy me.

Also, I just like really old books in general, vanity fair, and Charles Dickens, any book where I'm addressed as Dear Reader. Swiss Family Robinson and others. It's so detached from my world, it was before fiction played games and tried to shock and pain you (the way the Kite Runner or the God of Small things does. Those to books are NOT escapist literature), no those books serve to entertain, they detach you briefly from reality and its great.

Another genre, fantasy. Who doesn't want to move to Hogwarts? De-stressing escapism at its finest, Voldermort be damned.

The foodie books. You need books with good eating. If only to make your eating better. Flip through nigella or gourmet magazine before your super. The perfect prime, and it's wonderful to think about nothing but food for a bit.

And finally, the french culture books which I eat up. I devour them. Or really any book where they romanticize the 1600s and 1700s with swashbuckling musketeers and fainting ladies. I don't know what that says about me. No doubt some Freudian psychologist says it reflects my subconscious desire to be a weak willed sop of a woman.

Either way, these are the books I reread when I'm stressed and tired of my dry academic tomes. Sometimes I'm ashamed so I usually tote Machiavelli with me (or sometimes Aristotle) to make me feel better. Sometimes it works to.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

food is love

All the diet and exercise magazines are going to strongly recommend against what I'm about to say, but I don't care. Sometimes we need food to make us feel better. There! I've said it! Are you suprised?


Did I just go against every single fitness magazine that I've ever read that has said over and over, stop having an emotional relationship with food! It will make you fat! Food is fuel and nothing more!

Look people, the day food is nothing more then fuel, is the day that sex is nothing but a means of reproduction. It's the day that clothing, including silks, cashmeres, pretty dresses and hot jeans are nothing more then what we use to hide our nakedness and shelter our bodies from the elements. The day that food is nothing but fuel is the day that all the beauty in the world ceases to be important.

Am I being melodramatic? I don't think so. Every culture knows what I'm talking about. The preparation of a good meal is an act of love. Sitting together at a communal table, what is more elemental, what is more essential to what it means to be human, and alive, and AWARE. Food is love.

Ok, all that said, where am I going with this? This all started because, me being stressed out about exams and therefore procrastinating, what do you think I've been fantasizing about, day dreaming about, with a coy smile hovering around my lips like its some harlequin being written in my head? Not a man. Oh no. I don't think men are as satisfying as the things I was dreaming about (or at least no man I've met so far)

I've been dreaming about comfort food. My famous chocolate chip cookies, the delicious, incredible pasta carbonara I made for myself once, and only once since my parents frown on fatty pastas (living with home is a trial sometimes) nuts and bolts. This really divine burger that I haven't had since the summer. The stupendous pizza I had in the Dominican (I was surprised too). Its all been dancing through my head. I've been telling people about it too. They think I'm weird, or maybe they think the gym is finally getting to me. My sister took the opportunity to lecture me about my bad food choices (whatever miss Coolers and poutine! (ooooooh poutine... I just opened up another can of worms))

Anyways, where I'm REALLY going here is this: do not be ashamed to turn to food in comfort. Make yourself a home cooked meal, have a glass of wine, top it off with a cookie and some milk. That is healthy comfort food. An entire pint of Cherry Garcia, not so much.

Also, this is sort of my one and a half hours at the gym talking. I tried to satiate it with cheese but it's roaring for pasta, cookies, or nuts and bolts.

What Machiavelli forgot

There's something you should know about political science students. Actually, several things. 1) Yes, even we are occasionally bored by our own subject matter. I was lulled in to napping earlier on today reading about Chinese politics which, considering how volatile they are (in comparison to Canadian politics) was no mean feat.

2) We all plan to take over the world someday. It's kind of embarassing and cliched actually.

3) We have absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever. If you don't believe me look at parliament. If you don't believe them, contrast Hilary Clinton and her array of pantsuits (and her success) to Sarah Palin and her fashiongate (and her failure). Hell, I'm not even touching the men, caus we know they mix their plaids and polkadots.

4) We're argumentative by nature. We're sorry, we know its obnoxious, we can't help it.

5) All that said, we must be great in bed given the disproportionate number of cheating politicians.

Monday, February 23, 2009

the vacation anticlimax... in other words, the honeymoon is over.

urgh. I feel so disinclined to blog right now. I'm back from the DR. It is cold here. Very. Very. Cold. I also lost my glasses at some point, so I'm bummed. Im equally bummed about the fact that I'm very unfashionable apparently (I'm not even close to the weardrobe kids, or the lookbook ones in all their hipster glory), my credit debt may be insurmountable and H ave take home exams galore to get done. Take homes a great idea, unless you have 4.

Friday, February 13, 2009

had to share... And if you have food issues, DO NOT click on the link (yes you)

I'm serious. It's sick and delicious at the same time, it left me craving gravy covered pizza.
Alright so I was not going to blog again before I go, but I'm kind of excited because I lost a lot of weight in a relatively short amount of time. And I was healthy about it people. I didn't deny myself ANYTHING. All I did was drink more water, eat more salad and burn 500 cal 3 times a week.... roughly.

So yeah. That pretty much sums up my weight loss tips. It won't even matter that you had almost a whole day's worth of calories in OREOS alone one day because you were so tired after the gym your body was going "sugar, fat, sugar, fat"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

before I go

Ok, so I'm off to the Dominican on Saturday (I know!) and I have got SO much to do before then. But I thought I would stop by.

Things I hate:

Knee caps- They seem so vulnerable

Essays that are entirely to long

Getting a manicure

The calories in the starbucks Espresso Truffle

Things I love:

The way my nails look after a manicure

The Espresso Truffle

The short story I'm writing (yay!)

The people who read this

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dear White People

Hi white people (with emphasis on men)
Yes, I know, I'm white. Bear with me.

Listen white folks, I would love to say that this is an American problem. But its not. This is pretty much a world problem. Any place there are white people they're going to be saying shitty things and making assumptions. Now, I'm not saying that this is an exclusive white people thing, trust me, just about everyone can be and will be racist. But seriously people, the things you say. Really stupid Republican lady? You think this email is appropriate? Really lady working for Queen's Park who called the black guy that came in for an interview the "ghetto dude" because of his cornrows REALLY! Really stupid guy from a prairie province (who happens to also be a federal politician) who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Really Miley Cyrus? Asian eyes? (Sad story about the only asian girl in my class in elementary school who actually tried to fit in with our kiddie racism with a fake chinese accent and the odd asian joke is NOT to follow, but it did happen. The world is sick, I know.)

I mean, let's be real here. I make mistakes. I say things that I later regret. So does everyone. I pass judgement on people... pretty much all the time. We all do. So I could use a little cultural sensitivity myself, I think we all could. I mean, my black friends could including Miss "White Girls Can't Dance" (she may be right though) My asian friends could (Mr. Everyone knows White people aren't good at football... yeah that stereotype surprised me to)

So the question is this, what are we to do? Laugh it off? Get over it. Or get indignant (my personal hobby) and hypersensitive.

I'm going to warn you right now, if you ever use the phrase that's so gay I'm going to dye your hair purple in your sleep and tattoo gay hair stylists, I'm a homophobe on your forehead. Just TRY to get your hair fixed after that. (No I'm not implying all hairstylists are gay, I'm implying its a very accepting industry... jeeeeeeze)

So... are ya inadvertantly racist ever? How do you deal?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I want a simple life!

Ok so you know when I get these ridiculous headaches and I want to wrap my head in pillows and sleep for a week (except I would get really dehydrated) well thats pretty much my life right now. Thats right people, I'm blogging, going to class, going to work, studying, hitting the gym and talking to friends all while my head feels like my brains are being squeezed out my ears. All day every day. Did I mention its impervious to pain meds? Oh yes, thats right, does not respond to over the counter drugs in unhealthy quantities. Yes you see, this is what stress does to me. It's cruel and ironic and debillitating, because then I can't function with a headache and I get more stressed when I can't function which makes the headache worse, so nothing gets done which makes the headache worse. BAH!

But now I'm doing something.

I'm reading over an essay (surprisingly good) and I'm blogging.

I cannot wait for my vacation, the Dominican isn't gonna forget me baby!

Monday, February 2, 2009

goals and things

It's been a long time since I've written anything meaningful, for which I apologize. I've had a lot going on. I mean, between the resumption of school, the realization that I have a helluva lot of work to do, keeping up my two jobs and squeezing in gym time, I can barely think. (Clearly I need a blackberry and an itouch.) So even with all of this going on, I've been thinking of getting a little creative writing done on the side. Virtually all the bloggers who's blogs I read regularly are a) working on a book, b) have written a book or c) talk about how much they would like to write a book. I tend to fall in to the c category.

Maybe while I'm on vacation I will use it as an opportunity to write.

Anyways, I have some goals for myself this month, what about you guys? I mean first and foremost if I can make it through this month with some money in my bank account and relatively on top of my readings it would be a HUGE accomplishment, but I am going to set the bar a little higher then that. First, I would like to get my work done on time. Second I would like to exercise every day, with a serious workout 5 times a week. So when I say exercise every day I mean, take a walk, do some quick asanas whatever, but carve out some serious time 5 days a week to really exercise. I'm starting to slip in to the groove and I'm liking it, lets just hope I keep it up. I want to talk to some strangers, smile more, crack a few more jokes and make friends at my jobs. I want to feel motivated to make myself healthy food so I don't wind up buying fries at 3pm.

I want to meet people to. Maybe while I'm on vacation, but also at home. I can really never know enough people. ALSO, I need to start talking to potential future bosses (read: summer bosses) and seeing what I can get lined up. Come March I would like to be in a position where I can take some time, get my instructor's qualifications done and find another job. (BOTH my contracts expire in March but I'll be working a day camp thing for two weeks) Still, I NEED a regular source of income, or two.

I might just start leaving my credit and debit cards at home this month and paying in cash, so that when I AM out of work, I have enough to get by on for one or two months, but oooooh how I want that itouch and blackberry.

This whole want want want thing is getting a little tiresome, a little self-absorbed (more then usual anyways) I'm going to start thinking about other kinds of wants. Spiritual wants, other people's wants the wants of politics, feminism and all those other big things I try to understand.

One last thing: do you consider yourself to be a feminist? Or is it some awful label in your mind that calls up images of angry short haired women with unshaven legs and shrill demands?