In Which I Bake Bread.

The most effective way to determine whether I am content is the frequency of my baking endeavours. The last several months (with a few exceptions) have seen a noticeable absence of a flour covered apron and a well-used mixing bowl in my life. This was mainly due to stress, an unsatisfied wanderlust, and general weltschmerz. But recently I’ve changed apartments, I’m pretty happy with the special people in my life, and the weltschmerz has been melted away by warm, endless summer days. Today I pulled out my mom’s old recipe for bread. She wrote it out for me years ago, along with all my old favourites, in a sketchbook that has become my hodge-podge, scrapbook style, collection of recipes. In a time when most people I know who bake bread create beautiful artisanal loaves, baked on stones and in Dutch ovens, and with carefully cultivated starters, my mom’s bread seems rather dull in comparison. But to me, it embodies a loving nostalgia and a comforting sense of home.

School was always hard for me, I was shy and never quite fit in so my days were often scored with an undercurrent of anxiety. In those moments when I walked through the back door to a warm house, smelling of freshly baked bread, my mouth would water in anticipation of the first slice and my anxiety would melt away, forgotten. Even today, the smell of fresh bread instills in me a sense of peace.

Later, bread baking became a time of meditation and reflection. On the occasions when my mother would let me help, she would always say that we had to be very quiet or the bread wouldn’t rise. Of course, in retrospect, I suspect this was a clever ploy to ensure at least two hours of peace and quiet, but this practice of baking bread as a quiet activity stayed with me. When I was living away from home and had the occasion and motivation to take out my mom’s recipe and do my own bread baking, I always made sure I was alone and, if I had the radio on, it would be turned down as low as possible. In these times, the mixing, the kneading, and the endless wait for the dough to rise, was accompanied by silence. I would allow my mind to settle, inhaling the yeasty smell. By the time the bread was in the oven, my mind would have sunk into a deep serenity, a feeling that would last for hours afterwards.

It has been a very long time since I baked my mother’s bread. Years. But today I pulled out the sketchbook and the mixing bowls, got out the yeast and the flour, scalded the milk and stirred in the salt and sugar. I kneaded the dough, my arms moving back and forth as my hands folded and shaped. I waited, quietly and patiently, whilst the bread rose, magically expanding and overtaking its space. I shaped the loaves and waited some more, silent all the while. Soon, my tiny apartment was filled with the smell of baking bread, taking me back to that child version of me, whose anxiety could be cured by a simple slice of my mother’s homemade bread




Facebook Does Not Get Me.

Over the last several months, the ads in my Facebook feed have been following a disturbing trend. Apparently, at my age, I need to be planning a wedding, melting my belly fat in weird ways, going to war with wrinkles, and having babies. Lots and lots of babies. Ew.

Allow me to address these ads, which have so offended my sensibilities.

Engagement rings and bridal conventions: Engagement ring? Pfft. Should I ever reach that stage, I don’t want some ostentatious glitter on my ring finger. $2.25 vending machine costume ring should do the trick. It’s quirky! It’s vintage! It’s easily replaceable should it be lost (and I totally would lose it)! And should I manage to tie the knot before the inevitable zombie apocalypse, do you really think I’m going to plan a wedding? Bitch, please. I’m far too lazy for that. City hall, in clean pyjamas.

Melt belly fat with this one weird tip: Here’s a tip for you: Drink lots of coffee. Be high strung. Fat will flee in terror.

Botox: My emerging laugh lines tell the story of my life. LET ME AGE GRACEFULLY!

Endless barrage of fertility ads, daycare ads, mommy blogger ads, etc: You are not doing your research, Facebook. I have cats. I am clearly a cat lady. Children are sticky and make too much noise.




In Which I Make Dinner

I had a brief moment of feeling motivated enough to make myself a healthy dinner this evening. I thought I would share the results with you, my dear readers. This is a tried and true recipe that always comes out satisfactorily.

Healthy Dinner:

You will need: The daily recommended serving of vegetables (your choice), brown rice, other healthy shit.

Step 1: Go to store, buy ingredients.

Step 2: Walk home feeling smug because your bag is filled with ALL the healthiness.

Step 3. Get home, stare at ingredients. Think of time it will take. Think of the dishes you will have to wash.

Step 4: Too much work. Eat chips, watch Netflix.

You’re welcome.


I Just Remembered I Have A Blog…

Nah, I didn’t forget. I’ve just been laz… BUSY! Busy with so many things. Like finishing my last semester of grad school, and having a sort of job. But now, school is over and I am adrift in the sea known as “real life.”

So what is life like for a 31 year old post-M.A.? Well, I work from home in my pajamas, of course;  I still live off ramen, spoonfuls of nutella for protein, and cubes of cheese when I’m feeling fancy; I’m 230948302984$ in debt; my cats are my only children, now and forever; and I can never go to a sophisticated dinner party and network because I will inevitably drink wine to hide my shyness and one glass will practically have me dancing naked on the tables.  Ah, life!

My thoughts exactly, Liz. My thoughts exactly.

On the plus side, I now have more time to do all the things that got set aside over the last several months. Like do all those Pinterest things, and read all the novels on the BBC book list, and update my blog, and write an erotic novel about cave ladies and dinosaurs and get a million dollars on Amazon, and spend more time with people I like.  Yay! I need to fuel up with poutine and get cracking! But first, I have to extricate myself from this blanket nest I’m in…

I Was In Love With A Girl on the Metro.

There are moments, in the midst of our individual scurryings, when someone pulls us from our inward selves, out and up and back to reality, reminding us that there is more going on than what is happening in the small bubble of our own lives.  Tonight, I was rapidly approaching the apex of a bout of extreme existential loneliness.  I was sure I wouldn’t make it home, sure I was going to lay down on the sidewalk and give up. And then, I got on the metro and sat across from a girl.  I didn’t know this girl, but we sat across from each other, mirror images. Heads held up by our hands, sad eyes looking into sad eyes.  Then we both smiled.  She got off at the next stop and the moment ended but it remained imprinted on my mind.  That few seconds of solidarity with a stranger allowed me to breathe and to make it home in one piece.  Sure I’m still going to listen to Elliott Smith and mope but it seems way less tragic now.  So thanks metro girl, you made me feel less alone in the universe.


“What Would I Say”

So the newest fad in procrastination aids is a super ridiculous yet fun website,  Basically, you log in via facebook and it generates a line of text based on words that you have written at some point on your timeline. So after playing with that for HOURS yesterday, I decided to string together some of them to make an entire poem. I think the results are interesting, a bit silly, a bit strange, and certainly surreal. So, voila, here is my poem, creatively titled: What Would I Say.

I was a time-traveling cyborg.

Ya, I came home to

his blasé attitude towards silent seas.

…part man, part comment.

I was rescued by a whole lot more.


I keep thinking of us,

of those who will breed, crowd, encroach,

sing hymns, build bombing airplanes;

make speeches, unveil statues,

issue bonds, parade; Convert again.


I’m just a nice ring,

A side note.

Lay down in a party dress?

I would like that. I am a little piggy,

for the word is flesh.

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur.


In Which I Write Silly Poetry

Very silly poetry. It is self-indulgent and ridiculous but I’m feeling petulant so I’m gonna share it and spread my bad poetry to the world. Poetic disease! I imagine there are some who will think these words are about them. Think what you will. (Also, formatting on wordpress sucks monkey balls)

My Favourite Days

My favourite days are grey with a chance of rain.

My body feels less prickled then: untorn by the fingers of irritation.

It is ok to stay in bed now, in a nest of twisted sheets and paper:

Pencils with teeth worried ends;

Books with creased covers and folded pages;

(Somewhere there is a cat that comes and goes).

From here I will write you a poem.

And I will leave love out of it.


I smile when I think of you:

Maybe not a smile, maybe more of a wince.

A twitch of muscle,

A slight curvature of the lips.

Around you, I choose my words carefully,

Checking them for bruises and flaws.

Around you, I keep my hands to myself

A task for they are wild creatures always wanting.


(To quote clichés,

I do not know what to make of you.

You have colonized me, an unknown and all-consuming presence.

My cells are forming battlefronts and my heart is in revolution.)


My favourite days are constructs of weather and wishful thinking

Of paper dreams and ephemeral lovers.

It is always here that I grow tired

Of my skin, of my expressions, of the landscape of my bed

A desert littered with the detritus of trying to:

Find meaning in words, in strings of sentences, in pencil markings in margins,

To write you a poem.

And leave love out of it.