Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Come Dine With Me Canada B’y: Gettin’ jiggy with provincial identity.

Wanda Sykes is a comedian, actor and writer with both African American and Caucasian racial ancestry. In her 2009 stand-up show, I’ma Be Me, she performs an excellent bit on African American race identity management where she draws upon an experience where her Mother tells her to stop dancing. Click here to view the bit.
Why is her Mother so concerned about her dancing?
The bit concludes with Mom’s answer, “White people are looking at you!”

On January 27, 2014 the television series, Come Dine With Me Canada aired an episode filmed in and starring participants from Newfoundland. I didn’t see it, but if the evening and post-evening’s Twitter activities @comedinewithmeC and #cdwmc are any measure, many Newfoundlanders did.
Jump to the following morning -- local radio call-in shows and mid-morning coffee breaks are abuzz, further confirming the relevance of the episode to Newfoundlanders across the country. Apparently, some of the participants (may have), without shame, (mis)represented Newfoundland provincial identity. The prospect of this has many a Newfoundlander concerned. Come whine with me Newfoundland? Sure b’y, go on den.

Actually, I’m not going to whine. I do not believe any Newfoundlander should take it upon themselves to advise another Newfoundlander how to behave, speak or ‘represent’ on the national stage. And no Newfoundlander should be made to feel, or take it upon themselves to feel, they are a walking, talking billboard for NL Tourism.
I wonder if the burden of provincial identity management is one that all participants of Come Dine With Me Canada (Alberta, Ontario, etc.) carry? I suspect not.

Newfoundlanders everywhere: do what you do! Speak how you speak! Find humorous whatever it is that brings laughter to you! And if that joy is found in something new, or an old tradition you’ve created or adopted from your ancestral homeland(s), stop caring that “Canadians are looking at you!”
Whether you’re keeping time with an ugly stick, or heading out to catch a recital of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra – you’re a Newfoundlander and dining with Canada should never change that.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas: It’s nice, if you like Christmas

I’m not immune to the “spirit” of the season; the collective effervescence one experiences in shopping mall parking lots, shopping mall check-out lines, etc.

I am not a Grinch, nor a Scrooge. I am an Atheist at Christmas. My partner is a skeptic with Christian leanings; lover of Christmas and eggnog. What to do? What to do?
Relationships require compromise and this year I will be the Queen of Compromise.
Part of me has given up the good Atheist fight this time of year. Like the useful life of our dying sun, my “Festive Lighting: How it Contributes to the Western Energy Crisis” diatribe grows shorter and shorter with each passing year.
But please, dear reader, please, don’t feel I’ve been defeated.
A trickle of blood, festive red, will ooze once more from the corner of my mouth as I express my excitement over the decorative snowmen and Santa Claus plastered around the house. Yes, I am going to buy a present or two, eat too many vegetables (bonus: I’m also a vegetarian), and complain about it for days. Then, on December 27th, I will return to the office and agree with everyone that we’re glad it’s finally over for another year.
Christmas: it’s great, if you are employed in Canada and get two statutory holidays in a row (Christmas Day and Boxing Day). When those two statutory holidays fall on a Thursday and Friday, one could even argue there has been just a little bit of heavenly intervention.
There’s no heaven this year. I’m going to take my Wednesday and Thursday statutory holidays and be the best Queen of Compromise I can be. Happy holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tuesday, Mid-morning: What you see. What you get.

My view is one to be envied; my horizon is a rolling, tree laced hill, topped with an expansive, cloudless sky. House tops attract birds of all colours and sizes and though my window doesn’t open, when they perch in nearby trees I can hear their song.

Even the bustle of passing traffic, the sounds of stopping and starting, the varying designs and colours of modern transport entertain--a moving picture across the frame of my windowed wall.

I am lucky to have my little office with a big window facing out into the world. I suppose I couldn’t have picked a better cage.

It’s probably best the window doesn’t open.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

From Deck to Table

My house jungle of seedlings has turned into a full grown deck jungle! I meant to start a ground level garden this year, but ended up growing from my back deck and it has turned out better than I could of imagined.

I've already harvested quite a bit of cilantro, butter crunch lettuce (and a variety of other types of lettuce), chives, green onions and green and red basil (yummy pesto). Fresh salads are guaranteed each day in August and the cherry tomatoes are well on their way.

Here are a few pictures of what's happening on the deck and a picture of a very fresh salsa I just made:


Butter crunch lettuce

Some of the Cilantro that survived the cats!
My first and budding Hot Pepper!
Salsa with many of my fresh garden ingredients!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

There is No Cilantro in A Jungle

My tiny home is currently a jungle of seedlings. The prowling miniature lion and tiger (read: cats) and giant, whip-tailed dogs are their enemy. Casualties are mounting. Funeral plans for the green onions and lettuce are in the works and we’ve said good-bye to two purple basil.

At first glance the cilantro may appear to be attempting suicide (daily), sprawled and splattered on the floor, though I’m quite sure further investigation will show attempted murder is the charge. Tiny, dirt paw prints tattoo the floor heading away from the scene . . .

I’ve recently added spinach, beans, cherry tomatoes and sweet basil to the mix. Lion and tiger were perched on the fridge top as I prepared to lay the seeds; they love to supervise the exchange of dirt from bag to pot. Their normal, gentle, purr-pattern echoed with a harsh, moderately melodic grumble as I worked . . .”Welcome to the jungle, baby! You’re gonna die!”

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Watercolour Painting Class: The Update


So. Ten weeks of watercolour painting classes have come and gone. Luckily I did not quit my day job. I enjoyed the classes, my paint-mates and our teacher, Gerald Vaandering. I’ve not completed any of the work I started in class to date, but I hope to post a few pieces of my attempts soon. If nothing else, I have developed a new appreciation for the watercolour medium. I’m convinced that if Van Gogh’s primary medium were watercolour, bigger body parts might have hit the floor than his ear.

I will practice watercolour painting. I enjoyed it enough to keep trying.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Holiday Math

Here's the "problem":

Partner (P) is very well travelled. Has lived or spent time in over 50 countries.

Me (M). My passport has expired but I have been around.

There are many places left we would both like to visit.

After months of "conversation" ("C") one would think a final destination would be the result (1D).

Here's the equation:

P + M x "C" = 1D


Insert variables for my idea of a holiday destination preference, not so much sun (NSMS) and partner destination preference shit load of sun (SLOS).

New equation:

(P x SLOS) + (M x NSMS) / "C" = Your holiday destination may not exist at this time please try again later.

Holiday math is hard. We're working on it. :)