I don't know how it happened but for me spring is Montreal. It's specifically my first spring at McGill. Despite the fact that January saw so much ice it closed down the city for over a week and people dealt with power outages for even longer, it was a beautiful spring. It came early and powerfully. It made me think that this is what all Montreal springs would be (that was a lie). Since then, there's been a moment each spring that makes me travel back in time. 

Spring is: 

  • Sitting on the Arts steps between classes to blow bubbles. 
  • Skipping Philosophy Ethics class to sit on the Stairs to Nowhere because hanging out with friends in the sunshine was more interesting than another euthanasia debate. 
  • Listening to David Usher's first solo album at night and watching him walk into the coffee shop where you are studying the next morning. 
  • Studying at a different 24-hour coffee shop at night while the staff played The Philosopher King's Famous, Rich, and Beautiful on repeat. 
  • It's the first day it's actually warm enough to wear a skirt, even though it actually isn't really warm enough to wear a skirt. 
  • It's the first spring walk on the mountain. 
  • It's the sound of tam-tams filtering in through your dorm window as you study on Sunday. 

Maybe at some point my spring will look different... But I kind of hope it doesn't. 

Friday Links March 13

I spent a lot of this week thinking. I've been thinking about our society and sexism. I've been thinking about yet another case of boys rallying behind a "Consent is Overrated" cry and wondering where that cry is coming from. Who is telling them that this is what it means to be men?

I've been thinking about how some men see women as unknowable beings. I've been thinking about how quick people are to try to quiet the women who speak out, loudly, in opposition of such thoughts.

I've been thinking of how rape threats are now considering to be part of "online bullying" and how I think they are waaaaaayyyy more than bullying.

I've been thinking about how all this is happening during Women's History Month. 

I've been thinking a lot. I don't have any answers. But I know women's lives matter, even though it sometimes seems the world is doing its best to silence us.  

The links below are all written by women. They are written by women questioning beauty and brokenness. They are written by women who are looking at the way we judge each other. They are written by women who feel they are measured by standards of how we look in the world, rather than by who we are

"I'm Beautifully Broken—Please Don't Fix Me," from The Elephant Journal. "My brokenness is stirred with unforgettable moments, bittersweet memories and a glimpse of perfection that cannot be erased.

"Kissing the Scale Goodbye," from Mr. Thomas and Me. "I am beautiful because beauty happens everywhere, especially inside of me. And that is a weight no scale is going to measure." I don't own a scale. (Unless you count the WiiFit.) I see no reason to own a scale. My worth is not measured by numbers that tell you absolutely nothing about the person I am. 

"Negativity Online," from Design Sponge.  "But what is “too” much? And who decides what’s “normal”? Here’s what I think: There is no normal and there is no perfect. Luxury and “dream lives” are all relative. What seems excessive to one person seems normal to another." This. So much this. What you see online, including right here, is a curated view. It not anyone's everything. Perfection is a myth. It's easy to see something and be snarky. But snark is about you, not about the other person. It can be much, much harder to be kind. To the person on the internet. To yourself. KINDNESS MATTERS

"Don't Read the Comments," from The Mary Sue. "Toxic commenting policies are a much greater enemy to true free speech than moderation policies. They shame into silence those who already have the least voice in society, and they terrify and intimidate those who do dare to speak." Imagine an online world where Terms of Service and Community Guidelines were enforced and you could actually read the comments. What would that look like? Oh wait, I don't have to imagine. It exists.  

Meal Plan Monday March 9

Do you ever do that thing where you have something simple on your to do list but you never really get around to it? It doesn't take long. It doesn't take much effort. You just don't DO it? If your answer is "all the time" you can sit beside me. 

Yesterday I finally got around to soaking the showerhead in vinegar. It's been on the bottom of my to do list for ages. I let it soak for more than 6 hours. And then I scrubbed it with a grout brush. You guys! YOU GUYS! It's like I have a whole new shower. After Lee's shower this morning I asked him how it was and he said it was like Montreal. (The shower in my last apartment in Montreal was practically a sandblaster.) I have to say I didn't quite find it to be at that level but it was pretty darned good. 

Note to self: Do the easy stuff on your to do list more often. 

On to the food! 


Sunday: Pork loin with wine and herb gravy. This was on the meal plan a few weeks back but we forgot to take the loin out of the freezer. Oops. 

Monday: Quick Thai basil beef and rice. Only we're using ground chicken because I'm all about using what's in the freezer this month. 

Tuesday: Portobello mushroom fajitas. It's supposed to be warm (6C! It's a heat wave!) so I'm making Lee grill. We've made these fajitas before and highly recommend them. 

Wednesday: Grilled steak. It's going to be almost as warm as Tuesday. 

Thursday: Sushi! 

Friday: Black Pepper Tofu from Plenty.

Saturday: Seafood chowder and biscuits. And blueberry crisp for dessert.