bossymarmalade: man peeling sugarcane (this our native land)
I have recently started volunteering for a couple hours a week at a Jewish old folks' home, since they had an opening for somebody to arrange their digital music collection and create playlists for the residents and this sounded like stuff that I do for fun anyhow. I'm not Jewish but they don't mind that since there are non-Jewish people among the residents and staff as well, although so far the people I've interacted with have been surprised to find that as a gentile I have a rudimentary knowledge of Jewish culture. Which I found surprising in turn, because I assumed that this was the sort of information that people absorbed naturally? I mean, lots of what I know is from Jewish characters in tv shows and books, and some from documentaries, and some from reading about cooking all the time. I mentioned this to [personal profile] glockgal and she said no, I shouldn't think that people generally know anything about religions/cultures that aren't their own. Her theory is that since we grew up in Trinidad, where we get Hindu and Muslim and Christian holidays off, we thought it was normal and natural to learn about other people's religious observances, but in North America it's not. But anyhow.

I went in for an initial orientation and was fed grapefruit punch, chocolate chip macaroons, and egg matzoh (it was a couple days into Passover) and listened to the coordinator while the teenagers next to me texted under the table. On my first day of actual volunteer work, Lori and I used a groupon to go to La Piazza Dario's, where we split an antipasto plate, fettuccine al pistaccio, and a piece of gateau St. Honore. I had an Italian sour. My volunteer coordinator called to ask if I could, instead of getting started on the music project, come in at 1 to fill in for the volunteer who was supposed to accompany some of the residents to the grocery store, and did I have any wheelchair experience. "Marginal," I said, "and I'm at lunch, I won't be able to get there till 1:30 when I was supposed to come in."

"Oh, they'll wait for you then," the coordinator said, and that's how I found myself crammed in next to a powder-blue walker in the front seat of a private bus filled with seniors as it careened the four blocks to the supermarket and my Italian sour sloshed around in my stomach. The shopping trip itself was faintly nervewracking, as my charge kept standing up from her wheelchair and I drove it alternately too quickly, too slowly, and too close to the shelves in the aisles. But she was a nice lady when all was said and done and paid for, and we joined some of the other ladies at the Starbucks in the grocery.

The lady next to me, Sylvia, was 101 years old and ate a croissant as she showed me her scarf and told me that people kept asking her where she'd bought it, but she couldn't tell them, as it was a gift. Then she started speaking to me in Hindi. It took me a moment to understand what was happening -- she was white, and I only recognize Hindi by sound -- and I had to tell her that I don't speak or understand. "Oh," she said, "I speak fluent Hindustani, I speak it with the girls at the home. I was born in Calcutta, you know, my father worked for Lloyd's of London in the tea trade there." I think she said Lloyd's of London, I'm not sure. I doubt I could have said anything worthwhile in response anyways. She tried a little more Hindi with me and then politely dropped it.

In that entire experience, the most surreal part of it was sitting with somebody who knew India, could speak and understand Hindi, knew Indian culture, and whose family legacy was directly the reason why I, with my brown skin and Hindu family transplanted from the tea to the cane fields, don't have that language and that knowledge. The white daughter of a tea merchant and the brown daughter of indentured labourers, and only one of us had Hindi in her mouth. She was eating her croissant. I was drinking iced tea. Sixty years and the kala pani and our positions in the colonial hierarchy separating us until randomly because some other volunteer couldn't make it, our disparate lifepaths came face-to-face in a Safeway in Vancouver, one rainy Monday afternoon. Our diasporas make strange travelling companions of us all.
bossymarmalade: two cups of coffee from paris je t'aime (chocolate tea or coffee tea)
Upon rewatching Pulp Fiction, I realized during a scene with Esmeralda Villa Lobos drinking coffee in her car that when this movie came out and I was graduating high school, if you wanted to take coffee with you somewhere, you used a thermos and drank out of the cap. And how when coffee shops first started cropping up, it was confusing because we were all like, "Why would you ever go to one of those places and just sit there with coffee when you could go to an actual place with food?" We didn't have Tim Hortons out in Vancouver back then, heh.

And in other nostalgic coffee ruminations, we've been watching Family Ties on Netflix and in one episode Alex boldly stated (at age 16 or 17) that he would drink a cup of coffee with his uncle. And his mom told him, "Okay, but half milk, honey, because you haven't had coffee before," and I was like, fuuuuuuck. Remember those days? When you had to be OLD ENOUGH to drink coffee? My parents very occasionally allowed us weak half-milk instant coffee, full of sugar. That was it. When I was a teenager coffee was such an adult beverage, and now elementary school kids trot around with Starbucks. The world I growed up in is gone.
bossymarmalade: blue eye with lashes of red flower petals (Default)
I just cleaned out my entire room, including dusting vacuuming sorting sweeping and mopping, yay! This is a big deal since junk and dust have just been piling up since I had a hysteroscopy in January and had the post-operative depression reaction to it (I have never had any surgical procedures apart from getting wisdom teeth pulled and I'm almost forty, so). Also I have been dragging my feet on getting my results since I was supposed to call in two weeks afterwards and it is now two MONTHS afterwards, yikes.

Anyhow! Do any of you lovely people have a recommended method for sharing music these days? I used to just FTP songs to my webspace and then link them for download, but there's probably an even easier method around now. I've got a copy of "Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle" that I think many of you would enjoy and I wanna spread the love!
bossymarmalade: (pre-coital coffee)
So [personal profile] glockgal and I ended our tumblr DCU RP after three years, and we both feel good about it b/c we accomplished a lot of what we'd wanted to and wrote with a lot of incredible people and characters. But three years is a long time to mod something, and our entire energy stocks have been used up by shenanigans (the best example? One person flounced and then three months later snuck back into the game to try and take us down from the inside). So goodbye Justice Lounge, you were wonderful and productive.

Anyhoo! If any of you wonderful folks are on tumblr in the wilds of indie RPing, here's my Ollie Queen journal. I am not actively searching for non-DCU characters to write with but if it's any of you fine folks that's a different kettle of fish! Also I have some AU 'verses up, so if you ever wanted to write your character in a Deadwood or Boogie Nights (ish) AU then come on over. :)

A co-worker just gave me an olive that had been stuffed with lemon and I must say it was PHENOMENAL.
bossymarmalade: girl enjoying music (wine and get on bad)
 Work is horrifying! Okay, now I've gotten that out of the way.

It seems to be impossible to find good strawberries or peaches here anymore. I keep waiting for that magical moment in the summertime (the only thing I look forward to in summer, as I despise the heat and sunshine and hide in our hobbit hole cursing at the light for those months) where strawberries are those sweet fresh little ruby darlings that you can buy in green cartons off the side of the road in Richmond where it's still farmland, or big bursting nectar peaches whose fragrance lures you in from halfway across the produce aisle. Both have been sadly missing in the last few years. All we get are the big cottony tasteless strawberries, the hard dry flavourless peaches. I am so desolate! The last time I had good strawberries it was a tiny carton that I had to elbow hipsters out of the way for at the Farmers' Market and I paid an exorbitant amount for them. 

On the pop culture front, it's interesting now that Lori and I have been living without cable for a few years and just depending on Netflix. It's a constant surprise to see what new movies/shows/products exist in the world. I am sort of enjoying it, the novelty of having things sprung on me. I mean, I know this is the exact age where I start saying "kids these days" and tut-tutting over social media, and I try to resist that urge, but there really are things I miss.

We were watching Almost Famous the other night and the part where the kid is going through his sister's record collection, touching all the covers and opening them and exploring them so reverently, and shit, I remember that. First with records, the paper pages inside that sometimes had lyrics and illustrations, the actual paper sleeve of the record, and then with our Disney records the way they had an illustration from the movie in the actual wax. And then tape cassettes, unfolding out the cardboard insert to see if the lyrics were in there, playing that damn tape until it started unspooling, getting one of those dual-cassette machines so you could cut-record-pause-record and make your mixtapes, and how you'd always have a stock of very short songs to fill up that awkward last few minutes on each side. And even CDs, the process of flipping through them at the store and then bringing them home, peeling off the cellophane, doing the same liner notes ritual as you listen to the disc for the first time all the way through. I miss that. Music for me now is so intangible, it's just something out there up there in the atmosphere. There's no process and no ritual. I'm not saying music shouldn't develop, of course, just that I miss the visceral relationship I used to have with it.
bossymarmalade: blue eye with lashes of red flower petals (Default)
I was gonna make some sort of post about what's going on in my life right now, but then I got distracted reading all the comments in this old post of mine about people's strangest occupational hazards. People were wandering in off the network to leave comments, heh. I guess we all just need somewhere to vent about what work makes us endure.

Hey there, everybody. :)
bossymarmalade: chris kirkpatrick & justin timberlake conversing (like cartography in a way)
 I am going to eat coleslaw and half of a cheeseburger for breakfast. Then perhaps half a cantaloupe. [note: I wrote this post this morning, and did indeed eat the burger]

. Lori got a bunch of boxes from her work because she wants to build a temporary playhouse for the cat, filled with crinkly cellophane and toys and treats. I intend to do no work on this project and will merely sit back and watch the cat a) go bonkers and play with it endlessly or b) ignore it completely.

. Rumblings of a standard minimum wage are afoot, much like the Mincome of the 70s. I sincerely doubt that we will ever see anything like this in a Harper government, but one can still dream. Also the comments to that article are strangely not as loathsome as comments sections tend to be.

. Last time we were at a Fred Meyer's we picked up some Twinkies, and then realized that American Twinkies taste different from Canadian ones! They're slightly bigger and more pale, with a distinct citrus taste and a sweetness that hits the back of your throat. Canadian ones are browner and have a more caramelized, less sweet taste. We like the Canadian ones btw. The American ones also have these odd little ... cake clots in them.

. Also I just remembered I have a bunch of Def Jam Poetry up in my dropbox, for whoever's interested. Be warned that the topics covered in the poems can be very triggery. 


bossymarmalade: jc chasez's hair doing its thing  (my hair is fandom's lifeline)
 . In addition to visiting the folks today, I also have a hair appointment this afternoon!!  My making hair appointments is sporadic and vague, but this salon claims that the stylists will help you figure out what style will look best with your face shape, so I'm looking forward to that. Although I didn't care for the way that my co-worker kept congratulating me for making a hair appointment. Thanks so much, lady.

. Should you have the funds/inclination, please consider donating to my friend's drive to
get some technology into her elementary school classroom! The school is in a low-income area and she's doing a fund-matching project to get her Extended Foreign Language kids (from what I gather, it's like French Immersion in Canada -- they learn in Spanish along with English) a few classroom laptops to help with their retention and expression. She's good people and these tools would really make a difference for these kids and the classes that come after! Just enter the code INSPIRE on the payment page and you'll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).



 
bossymarmalade: niobe negotiates life in rome (you know how the gods hate nonsense!)
I got some peanut butter to keep at work today for breakfasts -- I generally have squirrely bread toast with avocado or cheese or egg or peanut butter -- and it has a recipe on the back for cookies. With no flour! Just peanut butter, sugar, and an egg. I am intrigued but also wary. Have any of you tried making cookies like that? 

I also tried poaching chicken breasts for the first time so I could make chicken salad and stuff like that. Normally I roast chicken if I want it for other applications, but I figured I'd try poaching and followed a Martha Stewart recipe where you bring the poaching liquid to a boil, put the chicken in, boil for about three minutes and then remove it from the heat. The residual heat in the liquid supposedly cooks the chicken over the next fifteen minutes. I feel like I should have boiled it a little longer, because although it wasn't pink in the middle it still had that ... texture that to me signals that it's not cooked enough. But apart from that, it was surprisingly tasty for poached chicken. I might try poaching some salmon too!

Tomorrow I am gonna visit the parents and pick up one of the 40lb sacks of pine pellets that Meera uses for litter. I think I'll take my dad with me, because he likes to feel as though his daughters need him to do masculine tasks once in a while, and I think he wants to be kind of involved in taking care of Meera, awww dad. He asks how she's doing every time he calls. Sometimes more than he asks how Lori's doing, lol.
bossymarmalade: abe simpson hating his party hat (give *me* a slice!!)
 Tumblr Phrases That I Will Be Happy To Never See Again:
  • ...and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now
  • ...is an outlier and should not have been counted
  • can we just talk about how ____
  • are we all gonna ignore how ____
  • i/he/she/my teacher whispered
  • am i the only one who ____
  • ___ is so important and must be protected at all costs
  • when did everybody on this website get so smooth
  • THIS.
bossymarmalade: west indies in command: rejects FAIL (yuh dotish or wha?)
 Also jesus christ people seem to get really goddamn upset that I hated the novel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Go home, y'all. Have some tea. It's okay.
bossymarmalade: siu mai (egg tarts too please)
 I've started reading Jessica Harris' book High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, and so far it's good. I haven't made it in far enough to see if a review I read that expresses slight disappointment with the incongruous lack of actual exploration of foodways in the writing is accurate, so we'll see. At the point I've reached, that reviewer's critique that it seemed more a general history of the Middle Passage and black people in America with some food mentioned here and there seems kinda true. 

This is fine, of course, since as a West Indian I have a vested interest in learning about the Middle Passage and diasporan life, but I do hope there's more foodish discussion later on!  For two books about African-American foodways that deliver more of that sumptuousness, I would recommend The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (there's a story in there about Hot Jalapeno Cornbread that tickles me every time, it's such an Aunty kind of recollection) and Maya Angelou's toothsome Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes, which I reread constantly and with great relish. The Harris book is much more scholarly, so they really aren't in the same style even if it's the same general topic.

Rather foolishly, I assumed when I was younger that since I understood black Caribbean food, I also understood black American soul food. It's been a pleasure learning how wrong I was, heh.

In other news there's a tuxedo cat that belongs to the neckbeard dude who lives in the basement next door and it's been meowing outside for Meera, who seems only vaguely interested. We shall see how long this meowing keeps up.
bossymarmalade: woman in pink sari (next: paratha and laddoo)
a black bombay cat standing on a bed and looking up

What better way to try and journal more frequently on DW than to post a picture of our new cat?

She's not NEW new, [personal profile] glockgal and I got her at the beginning of July, but sometimes we still look over at her and are like what have we done omg why is this living creature in our house. Her name is Meera (we wanted to match her cousin-dog upstairs, who is a black Portugese water hound named Mishka) and she is so so sweet, tiny and fast and shiny and she talks SO much. She does that thing where she runs between our bedrooms at four in the morning trying to wake us up, but we've started a method where if she's standing on our pillows meowing, we grab her and hug her. Then she objects and goes away to entertain herself pretty quickly, heh.

We did end up going with VOKRA rather than the BC SPCA, and we haven't regretted it, so thank you to the folks who recommended them! She came to us on a diet of Wellness grain-free that we mix with raw food, and she uses these super cheap pine stove pellets as litter -- we get a huge 40lb bag of it for about six dollars, and the sawdust that it breaks down into is compostable. Which is great since we have a big ol' compost bin in the backyard of our house. And speaking of the house that we're sharing with highschool pal Dasha and her fella, we renewed the lease for another year!!  Which is SUCH a relief, because we love it here and were dreading having to move so soon after moving in.

Also if anybody has advice for how to keep spiders out of the house, please share! We used to use chestnuts but I don't think they're being that effective and a spider the size of my goddamn palm scuttled across the living room floor the other night.

bossymarmalade: a bird with colours overflowing its cage (no cage can contain us)
So four years ago in October, [personal profile] skywardprodigal passed away. And a few days ago, [personal profile] delux_vivens passed. Both of these women had such vibrant, funny, challenging voices and taught me so much about not just ways of understanding being chromatic in this world, but also who *I* am in this world. It was a long time since Delux and I spoke, since I drifted away from DW, but god I'm so sad to know she's gone.

The other thing is -- I've been a supporter of OTW and AO3 in the past, like, moneywise. Because I believe in the whole "we own the servers" concept. But I won't be supporting them with my dollars anymore, and marina has an excellent summary of why in her post. The Abuse team at AO3 has been contacted by multiple people and give the same pat answer to all about how we who find it hostile can "just not look at it", which isn't a good enough response.

I keep wanting to come back to DW but finding it hard to switch back into text posting after the mindless, low-stress distance of reblogging on tumblr. So maybe I'll try just using it as a here's-what-i-did-today journal until I get back in the swing of things. We'll see.
bossymarmalade: bart simpson hopes for a prize in the cereal box (you gotta be lucky *sometime*)
The landlords have agreed to renew our rental lease in August instead of making us move out, yaaaay! The change came due to a death in the family on their part, which is sad, of course -- I would have preferred if they'd changed their minds due to less awful reasons -- but still, I'm happy we get to stay here for at least another year.

Other things going on with me:

[ this first section is mental health stuff, so skip down to the next if you'd prefer ]

- I've been suffering anxiety for a couple of years now, after getting out of a +20-yr friendship that had become toxic, getting in an accident that totalled my beloved car, moving twice, having my new car vandalized, losing my job, finding a job, and having our new place broken into and our laptops stolen. It's gotten down to a more manageable place, but my work offers employees free counselling and access to a CBT program (the employee program is acronymmed "EFAP" and the CBT thing is called "Beating the Blues" so I can't help but view it all as faintly masturbatory, heh), so we'll see how that goes. On the initial visit the counsellor told me to not get angry at my anxiety or frustrated with myself for still feeling it and not having "moved on" yet, so that in itself was a help because I hadn't seen it that way.

- CAT. [personal profile] glockgal is allergic and neither of us ever wanted to deal with a litterbox and all that before, but we have enough room and the energy/finances to own a cat now, so we've been getting the house ready for one. Lori ordered a Modkat, I bought a Litter Locker, we're sourcing out making the bulk of kitty's food, comparing reviews of litters, and making toys for her, and since we can't find a decent cat tree that's not covered in carpet, I'm gonna Ikea-hack one.

We do not actually have a cat yet of any sort, but we figure while we look, might as well get the house prepared. We've been trying to adopt one from the SPCA but man, those cats go fast! There's been about three so far that we've attempted to get but been cockblocked on, gdi.

- Midsommar! According to our Swedish friend Tobi who lives upstairs, Midsummer is the Swedenest thing ever and he insists that we celebrate it as a household. So tomorrow night we will be barbecuing, drinking, and apparently dancing around a maypole (we've been told the dancing is non-optional). I'm hoping that the people that Tobi and Dasha have invited will bring their dogs, a pocket beagle named Cooper and a shiba inu named Mochi, to hang out with our household Portugese water dog, Mishka. Last time Mochi was visiting, Lori'd opened the door of our suite and she just marched in and explored the place with Mishka trotting behind her, and then when she left Lori was like "THAT IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE", so.

Tobi has also promised that he's making mustard-pickled herring and gravlax, and since Tobi's gravlax made with our Pacific Northwest salmon is one of the most incredible foods I've ever tasted, I am very much looking forward to this!
bossymarmalade: agent dale cooper talking to diane (it is happening again)
 Today we went to the Winter Farmers' Market and bought absolutely no produce. But we DID get a slice of chocolate cake, a few chive and cheddar scones, gingersnaps, a mini apple pie, fresh baked pretzels and some vegan Montreal-style bagels that the lady assured us had been "boiled this morning", and three bottles of cordials to mix with club soda. Which is what we do for soda in our household, especially since I asked my parents for a Soda Stream last birthday (we got mango passionfruit, strawberry, and hibiscus lemon -- we were supposed to get blackcurrant instead of the strawberry, but I grabbed the wrong bottle at the stand, d'oh). [personal profile] thesurgeon brought us some Grace's kola champagne and Jamaican sorrel syrups when he was up here visiting, so considering that Lori and I have mostly soda in our soda-to-syrup ratios, we're set till like, December, heh.

We also spent all last night mainlining My Cat From Hell with [personal profile] 21freckles .  Now that I'm a dog auntie I am obsessed with looking at dogs on the street, and am considering a cat even though the idea of a litter box repulses me. Which brings me to my next thing: Lori, me, our friend Dasha and her fella Tobi all moved into this place together last September and we love it here and wanted it long-term, but circumstances for the landlords have changed and now they'll want to move back in September. Which, ugh, those are shitty circumstances for all involved, so if you've got the time and inclination, please send wishes or prayers out to the universe that they change their minds or that we find a really awesome new place! September's a whiles away, so who knows what can happen between now and then, right?

And finally, I am gonna be using my makeshift recs journal ([community profile] missmaggierecs ) as a more all-purpose recs journal now. So not just fic and art, but really anything else I try out in life that I feel like reviewing. Right now, I'm doing makeup!
bossymarmalade: crude drawing of abe simpson (hot diggity dog!)
Yesterday at work as I was leaving the lunchroom, I heard one of the doctors say that her husband was on "dog dick patrol" because their pet has "doggie priapism". DREAMWIDTH IS THIS A REAL THING?!?

Also, in the continuing saga of "that one piece of fanart that [personal profile] glockgal really should have signed properly":



In conclusion, Happy Gregorian New Year! We may end up celebrating with Fritou and mixed pupusas and possibly a donut or two, all of which we can get at the very awesome Duffin's Donuts, mmmm.
bossymarmalade: a rainbow over a pier (urban rainbows and fishing villages)






My friend said it was raining and beautiful in South Florida where he is, and I said it was sunny and windy in Vancouver where I am, and then we ended up taking pictures. So here are yard views from diagonally across the continent.
bossymarmalade: jean grey as drawn by glockgal (hope you survive)
Was reading and capping comics last night, and came across this:



Seriously, if Ollie had his business on the side with Hal (as we all know he did), Dinah definitely had hers with Babs. And I approve of all of it.
bossymarmalade: rachel berry is dubious (*side-eye*)
Thank you all for the good wishes, my darlings!!

AND THIS IS WHAT I DO TO REPAY YOU:



I think this is from the opening reels of Batman: Hush, but I cannot be sure because I reached this panel and my mind shut down from the screaming gibbons of confusion that immediately overwhelmed me. Every time I look at that image I spend so long trying to figure out how Harley's internal organs are supposed to be configured that I get exhausted and can't read the comic.

I mean, I KNEW what Jim Lee was all about due to having grown up with his helium-butt Rogue, but oh my god WHAT IS THAT

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bossymarmalade: blue eye with lashes of red flower petals (Default)
miss maggie

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