Pirate radio!

click for image source

Radio is Dead, a creative radio collective, is doing a low power fm broadcast in Parc de Portugais tomorrow, April 30th, from 1pm – 5pm. The broadcast is part of a one day festival called Lire MTL that celebrates literature, the literary imagination and inspiration. People will be reading writings about the Plateau and my friend Jess and I will be reading a piece about our time as teenagers hanging out in that neighborhood.

So come on over to the park (on St. Laurent Blvd., corner of Marie-Anne) to listen and watch while pirate radio is made! You can bring along a portable radio to tune in to the broadcast or you can surely share someone else’s radio on site. The weather looks like it’ll cooperate (high of 16 degrees and sunny) so the people watching alone will sure to be good cuz Montrealers like to bare skin at the first sign of fair weather.

AG

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Stuff I Like Today

Howdy! It’s been almost a week since my last post. Things have been a bit nuts up in our apartment because our roof started to leak and now the living room ceiling is all tarped up and an industrial fan and a dehumidifier have moved in and displaced our couch. The cats are the least impressed of the household as it’s all quite loud when everything is switched on! As soon as the weather dries up and stays dry for a few days, the roofers will come. In the meantime, we spend time outside and in our studios. I’m reorganizing and painting mine- more on that in a future post, surely. For now, how about a list of Stuff I Like Today?

1. The busy, long weekend: played a rock show, helped introduce a new dog to an older dog, lotsa visits with family, gobbled up a ton of dim sum, inhaled my Mum’s  first ever (delicious! successful!) attempt at pudding chomeur, watched a pick-up baseball game for a friend’s birthday and then caught Hanna with Mike (purty good action flick!). Pudding Chomeur reminded Mike and I of a divine sticky toffee pudding we had at an Edinburgh pub called Bailie Bar last May- the best dessert either of us has ever had! Must put that one on my list of recipes-to-try…

Not my Mom's. Click for source.

2. The Free Music Archive

3. This postcard…so collage-y and desert-like. I have a slow-blooming desire to get to desert. My fave place in Saskatchewan are the dry southern parts in between the Grasslands National Park and the badlands. I need more of that kinda landscape in my life this year.

4. Gentle reminders to mind my silly worries about aging. I found my first white hair a month ago and the lines around my eyes and across my forehead are deepening. I’ve gotta check this uncharacteristic part of myself especially since I know a great many excellent, curious and gorgeous people who are much older than me. This series of Patti Smith portraits (and Patti in general) help quell The Fear as does the sweet blog Advanced Style.

Christophe de Menil on Advanced Style. She designed her own jewelry, inspired by "Real things that have scary aspects, things that are insanely wonderful".

4. New CSA membership- local veggies all summer long! We’re joining a new CSA this year called Coop Les Jardins de la Résistance. A few of my friends are a part of it and it’s a bit more budget-friendly than the other (wonderful but slightly pricier) CSA we were a part of. The bi-weekly membership includes 10 deliveries of veggies for $270, so that’s like spending thirteen dollars and change on local and seasonal produce each week. I especially love the challenge of learning how to incorporate all the different items you get from a CSA share into one’s cuisine, cooking according to the region and crop yields. Supporting a CSA is good for one’s health, palate, creativity, the local economy and the environment. I encourage you to join one if you can! Find out more about Montreal-based CSAs on Midnight Poutine.

Coop les Jardins de la Résistance <<Le séchage de l'ail dans la grange.>>

5. Planning a trip to NYC this May! I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’ve never been even though Mike has been angling to get me there for a few years now. The time hadn’t ever been right or I’d been too busy publishing sexy zines, or, or…but now we’re gonna go and we’re pumped to visit places like the Anthology Film Archives, eat yummy food, visit the MOMA (to check out the Looking at Music 3.0 show featuring work by Joanie 4 Jackie, Kathleen Hanna and others), watch some rock shows maybe (recommendations welcome!), ride a ferry or two, walk across famous bridges, etc, etc. We’re going to take the train in and out of town, which will be lovely and leisurely complete with time to write postcards, watch laptop movies and sip drinks in the dining car. The trip coincides serendipitously with our eight year (!) anniversary, so do wish us some good weather! I’m planning a good-looking walking outfits- I might even buy low-profile sneakers for the occasion.

6. The Radio is Dead? broadcast coming up this Saturday from 1-5pm in Parc de Portugais, featuring “radio plays, interviews, music, poetry reading and radio art” about the plateau. A few zinesters are pulling together some writing for the occasion and I’m gonna try to contribute a piece as well. More info about the event is available here.

7. This 70s-era Missoni wrap skirt:

Available via Dronning on Etsy

8. Sunny morning walks in the park along the river with Mike here in Verdun. So cool to see the reeds and things starting to sprout up after the winter and to witness mallards flirting with ducks. Even though I’m usually more of an autumn fan, spring pretty much rules.

9. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Finally watched this film and loved it! I want a stuffed version of Mr. Fox! Actually, no, his underachieving son Ash in doll form (voiced by one of my boyfriends, Jason Schwartzman) would be even better- though creepier.

10. Starting to record a new record real soon!

Thanks for reading and all the best to you and yourn,

AG

Hey you: vote!

I was invited by Nathalie over at Apathy is Boring to write up a few words about why I’m going to vote in the upcoming federal election, but I think I’d rather stay mum and non-partisan on the subject…though if you read this blog often enough, it is obvious that I am left-leaning. So, whether you decide to vote with your heart and mind, or vote strategically, or plan to spoil your ballot, or whatev’s, I wish you the chutzpah to make it out on election day.

OK, one non-non-partisan thought: all I want for Easter/Passover is anything but a Conservative majority! For so many reasons.

NW this Friday for FMTM

My band Nightwood is playing the Four Minutes to Midnight magazine launch party this Friday. More details here on the Facebook event and below. The magazine publishers (rabble rousers!) being the design savvy folks they are made two posters, so do be sure to visit the Nightwood website to check out the other version.

Launch of Four Minutes to Midnight Issue 11: Happy Hour by FA Nettelbeck

Friday, April 22nd @ Cabaret Playhouse (5656 ave. du Parc)
Doors 9PM, $8 door/$15 with a copy of the issue

“…but what more could / you expect when you’re / the last of your kind / living amongst the / incompetent others / in the light they waste”

Kimchi

During a recent craft night TessaBrookeLara and I made kimchi. Erin showed up in time to witness my squid carving skills- video below! We followed this recipe but made a mistake and added way too much chili powder so in the kimchi soup recipe below I’ve added an instruction to accommodate very spicy kimchi. Apparently the heat subsides a little with fermentation. It’s delicious all the same!

Kimchi Soup

  • 1 package of kimchi (about 1 1/2 cups or 3/4 cup of extra spicy kimchi)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. of cooking oil + 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • Hot water or 2-3 cups of broth (I use veggie or chicken broth…even a bit of miso dissolved in hot water, but just a little)
  • Some thinly sliced green onion for garnish/extra awesome
  • Optional: toss in a fist full of chopped dark leafy greens, or a small chopped tomato, a beaten egg or two, some shrimp or chopped up cooked chicken.
  1. First warm up the oil in the bottom of a pot and add then garlic. It’s your choice as to whether to saute them until soft or to brown them a little bit.
  2. Toss in the kimchi and saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is all good and hot.
  3. Take your hot water/broth/miso or a bit of water and broth or miso and pour over the kimchi and garlic mix until just covered. Too much water can dilute a good thing. Think stew more than soup here.
  4. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes. Toss in shrimp and cook until done, if you’d like. Toss in the greens, tomato and egg and cook until egg is set (a couple of minutes).
  5. Sprinkle in the green onions and serve on its own or over some rice vermicelli noodles ( or whichever noodles you like best or have handy) or with a bowl of sticky rice on the side.

Photos and video by Tessa. I’m a bit of a newbie when cleaning the squid, and yes, those things that look like plastic are squid cartilage!


Late to the game.

A week or two ago I was recovering from a nasty stomach bug and wound up on the couch watching movies on TV. For some reason that I couldn’t figure out, there were lots of baseball-themed flicks on, including A League of Their Own (1992), Field of Dreams (1989), and Bull Durham (1988).

A League of Their Own

Maybe it was the illness-induced delirium, or the shiny all-American overtones in the movies or all the the baseball mysticism spouted by Susan Sarandon’s Annie Savoy, but I now think that of all sports baseball might be The One for me.

“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology.” – Annie Savoy, excerpt from the opening narration of Bull Durham

Field of Dreams

Soccer, hockey and football are alright, they make my friends happy and excited enough to participate in fantasy leagues and the like but none have truly captured my heart. Then these movies were on, some of them quite terrible (Field of Dreams for example), and I realized that there were a few elements in baseball that could make me a believer: players taking turns at the bat, the one-on-one nature of a batter staring down a pitcher on the mound within the context of a larger game, the tension of players waiting on the bases, the relationship between the pitcher and the catcher and the coded language they use, the individual psychology and stats of each player and then that of the whole team, the beauty of the baseball diamond which is so differently laid out than the previously mentioned team sports, the potential to read a book during the game while enjoying a beer and hot dog…

Bull Durham

I’m excited about my discovery but my spirits are dampened by another knowledge: the Montreal Expos are no more. I’d been to some of their games with my Dad and later with friends or with Mike and hadn’t ever truly appreciated the game and was only sad about their demise in a Montreal-wounded-pride kinda way. Now I find myself a bit blue that they won’t be my hometown introduction to the sport. My sense is that I could effectively slip into the baseball season by studying such a team, building a fan’s relationship to them by caring about the players and forming my own conclusions and expectations. Alas.

So, I’m not sure what’s quite next in my newfound appreciation of baseball. I’m sure I will be playing the role of the locker room nerd among the incredulous who question my non sportiness, defending myself and secretly amassing too much baseball trivia than could ever make me cool at school. But I think that will be the kind of game I’ll end up playing and that I might love baseball in a way that suits me best: a leisurely book-in-hand-beer-in-the-other approach not ever to be awarded MVP but perhaps, one day, Best Team Spirit.

Photo from The Star: Griffin: Best of the 00s: Expos unforgettable adieu

Stuff I Like Today

1. Mozart’s Sister (free e.p. bedroom paranoia)

2. In Defense of Keanu Reeves. Mike and I are always apologizing for Keanu and maintain that he’d be an awesome Hollywood friend.

3. Tree of Life website. Yesssss. In other movie news, WTF is happening to our boy David Gordon Green?

4. Making kimchi at the craft circle tonight! Using this recipe. Excited!

5. Road trip to visit friends in Ottawa and Toronto! It’ll be fun to practice driving and to listen to mix CDs with Mike (the band is probably getting tired of my top spins!). Let us know if you know of any good gallery shows/screenings/music shows we should check out.

6. Bill Callahan’s Apocalypse. Luuuurve my Billy Smog!

7. This photo of Bill Callahan. As I mentioned on Twitter a while back, this is his paperback romance novel look.

Your lyrics often reflect the natural world. Is it accurate to say that you find a good deal of inspiration through your observations of nature? As metaphor, yes. I’m not a biologist or nothin’. (click for interview)

8. Warmer weather.

9. Longer days, shorter nights.

10. Sleeping in.

AG

Thanks to Mike for all the cinema-related links. xo

Radical Employ

Some of you who read this blog are keen supporters of my former place of work, the wonderful non-profit youth org Head & Hands, and/or are big fans of accessible, non-judgmental, queer/trans/non-status-friendly healthcare. With that in mind, I’m sharing this job opening for the Health Services Coordinator position, responsibilities include coordinating the clinic, hormone treatment programs, conducting health animation & education in the community & at the office, and SO much more. Please help us get the word out there!

Short postings below, more details are available on the Head & Hands website:

Head & Hands / A deux mains, a community organization based in NDG for youth across Montreal, is hiring a Health Services Coordinator to oversee prevention & education services and our medical clinics. $15.32/hr, 34 hrs/week + benefits. Cv and cover letter to info@headandhands.ca by Apr. 26th, 10am (Attn. HS Hiring) See www.headandhands.cafor the complete posting or call 481-0277.

A deux mains / Head & Hands, un organisme communautaire à NDG pour les jeunes à Montréal est à la recherche d’unE Coordonnateur/TRICE des services de santé pour diriger nos services d’éducation & prévention et nos cliniques médicaux. $15.32/heure, 34h/semaine + avantages sociaux.  CV et lettre à info@headandhands.ca avant le 26 avril à 10h (Attn. HS Hiring).  Visitez www.headandhands.ca pour la poste complète ou appelez 481-0277.

Bride’s Pie

I’ve been leisurely flipping through a book called Seven Centuries of English Cooking: A Collection of Recipes by Maxime de la Falaise over the past few weeks as part of some casual research for a dinner party. The book reviews and reinterprets a variety of old English historical records about food preparation and recipes and updates them for the modern kitchen. It’s a fun and easy read chock full of delicious historical glimpses into the evolving habits and traditions of England, much influenced by trade and cultural fads*.

An image from the book. Scrumptious stockings and hats!

One neat example from the book describes medieval kitchens of the wealthy putting much care into making food as bright and flashy looking as possible, like glazing pies and baked goods with saffron and other bright seasonings for maximum visual impact. This makes me think of Stirling Castle in Stirling, Scotland which Mike and I visited last May. One of the oldest parts of the castle was the medieval structure (mainly a dining hall) that has recently been painted a pale yellow (limewashed) as it was in the medieval era. Originally this done to make the building appear to gleam like gold in the sun in a blatant display of wealth and status.

Stirling Castle, Scotland

A photo we took outside of the hall.

Apparently the locals in Stirling weren’t so into this historical update, but I think it’s pretty rad. I like being shaken out of my own tendency to imagine history through a nostalgic, soft focus lens. So medieval England liked colourful everything, better to fight back the rainy day gloom, I suppose.

One of the neat features of Stirling Castle were the medieval kitchens which had been excavated in the 20s and more recently done up with models and the like (see below) to illustrate medieval kitchen life. The kitchens were quite extensive, having to feed a huge staff of people as well as serve up elaborate feasts for the nobles.

Click for source and more photos. Green hats are bad luck, by the way.

Back to the book! One fun and over-the-top recipe that Mrs. de la Falaise reinterprets is the Robert May’s Bride’s Pie from his 1660 cookbook Accomplish’t Cook. The pie itself is actually several pies within one large pie (think a pastry version of turducken) and was served at special feasts like weddings, hence the name. Once of the interior pies was even reserved for live birds or snakes to burst forth from in order to further entertain the banquet guests. To review the original recipe in full, do check out this page on The Old Foodie. Here is an excerpt pertaining to the inclusion of live animals:

(…)if you set them several you may bake the middle one of flour, it being baked and cold, take out the flour in the bottom, and put in live birds, or a snake, which will seem strange to the beholders, which cut up the Pie at the table. This is onely for a Wedding to pass away time.

Maybe they should try this at the royal wedding later in the month, non? If you’re interested in giving Mrs. de la Falaise’s interpretation a go, I’ve scanned the recipe pages for you below. She suggests accessing a baker’s oven to accommodate the recipe’s baking requirements! I may come up with a much more scaled down version of the Bride’s Pie in my humble apartment-sized oven, and if I do, I’ll surely share the results here**.

AG

* That whole sentence sounded very much like copy, I know.

** Those who know me, know that I usually hate pie, but I must point out that savoury pies are usually an exception to this rule.

Lumber pie (linked source)

Bride's Pie recipe, part 1

Bride's Pie recipe, part 2