Almost-Fattoush Salad

Fattoush plate

Fattoush plate

It’s very environmentally unfriendly of me to crave summer salads in the winter, but I have to confess: I totally do. I feel like I’m cheating here, like I’m not practicing what I’m preaching, but sometimes I just need to suck it up and have Fattoush salad. Does it count in environmental heaven that I made it with stuff that I had on hand? Of course not. It would have counted more if it had been made with veggies from the farmers’ market. Alas, the only farmers’ market open in Edmonton in the dead of winter is far-far away from me (but not as far away as freakin’ California, mind you), and I’m lazy, and, ummm, did I mention environmentally unfriendly. Continue reading

Yoga

It’s good to be back. I’ve missed yoga even more than running. I used to go do Iyengar Yoga at the university, as they usually have good teachers and fair prices, wait, actually, really low prices. But that was back in the day I was actually at the university a lot. Those days are gone. Erm, for now, that is. Knowing me, they’ll come back, there’s just no telling when I’ll get bored with working at home. The point is yoga, so back to it: it was a complete revelation for me. I never thought I would actually get to know and understand how my own body works and operates and, more importantly, feel what’s going on with my body. Maybe you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done yoga: feeling that particular muscle stretch, knowing what to do to stretch it just a little bit more, and knowing what’s too much; knowing exactly when you’re pushing yourself and, more importantly, for how long before you do damage. Yoga has really offered me a knowledge of myself that I didn’t know was possible. Continue reading

The “lit” part

When I started the blog, I thought it would be a good tool to help me write my dissertation, a non-judgmental space in which I could free-write and develop my ideas. But, if reading other blogs has taught me something is that the internet is very far from non-judgmental. So, what did I do? I opened it up even more, and started talking about my private life, too. Smart, eh?

I’m finding myself back to work, back to writing, and I’ve chosen to start thinking about the literature part of my dissertation. I’m talking about novels that engage with corporations in any way. So, initially, I was thinking of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, Scarlett Thomas’ Popco, and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. Upon revision and rethinking, I began to doubt the value of keeping Pattern Recognition: yeah, it does talk about corporations, their increasing involvement in people’s lives, and the ubiquity of branding, but it offers no way out, only an escapist fantasy. My ambition, you see, is not only to critique, but to investigate solutions to the present corporatist situation. Continue reading

Child care

I decided I have to go back to work in January, because I’m a bad mom I actually want to finish my dissertation, get a degree (please?) and stop living in limbo (yeah, I want to move on, and you know what they say, academia is just like paradise). Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m living in limbo. When I started my PhD, I made the decision to consider myself a professional, and to take my studies as work. And that’s how I look at them. Four-five (and I really don’t want to think beyond that) years of doing a degree on top of another two post-secondary degrees no longer qualifies me as a student, but as a professional person. As Heather says, I’m a professional learner. Continue reading

What the… insomnia?

Right, o you’d think that an under-slept new parent would fall asleep *immediately* every chance she gets, no? At least that’s what I thought. Silly me! Eria’s been sleeping better for the past couple of nights, and last night I went to bed really early, to prepare myself for the daunting but impending back-to-work event that’s coming up in, oh, a few hours. What’s even more interesting is that Adi-the-man even came to bed at the same time as me. Yeah, you read it here and it’s a brand new first (I don’t have more redundancies up my sleeve, otherwise I’d use them, that’s just how emphatic I am). Continue reading

Banana Muffins

muffins

Please disregard the mutant Mikey Mouse figure above. These are my favourite muffins… uhmmm, and the only ones I make, really. Because I’m the only one in this house who eats floury stuff (so far; I’m hoping to draw Eria on my dark side once she’s old enough), I have to find ways to make them keep well. So banana bread (which the batter is originally for) doesn’t work for me. I’d have to slice it and wrap slices individually before freezing them. But muffins are perfect.Too perfect. Continue reading

New Year’s Menu

This just goes to show you my impeccable organizational skills of late. Of course I should have posted it before New Year’s, but I only devised it on the 30th, and I was absolutely sure it was way too ambitious to make. But, lo and behold, it wasn’t. I wasn’t even rushed, given the low (really low) pressure of our low-key celebration (can I use any more “low”s in this sentence? didn’t think so). The whole thing took me probably two hours hands-on throughout the day. Yeah, it’s not like Eria would sit still or nap for two whole hours while Mama does cookery stuff in the kitchen. And Tata was at work, of course, so no bonus there. She did spend parts of the process in her bumbo chair on the counter, busying herself with thoughts and trials of growing her hands longer so that she can reach the very enticing things Mama was manipulating. You know, things of the child-friendly variety: knives, forks, sauces, hot in temperature, and myriad other cool stuff from the point of view of a five-month-old who would like nothing more than to stuff the whole world into her mouth and chew on it. Oh, the dreams of babies…

So, it’s not pretentious, and it’s not difficult, and it certainly isn’t timely. But it’s tasty and easy. And that passes the mark in my book any day of the year.

Appetizers:

1. Smoked salmon and cream cheese tortilla rolls
2. Gougeres

Gougeres and salmon rolls

Continue reading