Au Lecteur

If I was a morning person

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on August 7, 2014

I would wake up at 5am. I would go out for a nice long bike ride. Maybe I would stop somewhere and read a chapter of my book. Or maybe I would read a chapter of my book once I returned from my bike ride, after a nice stretch and maybe a few sun salutations. And if I couldn’t bike, say it’s raining or winter, I would do a lot of sun salutations. I would wake slowly and do a gentle yoga routine while my cat sleeps on top of the back cushion of the couch, eventually waking up and walking around my upward dog.

Next I would jump in the shower for a quick rinse. Maybe I have to wash my hair, which will take more time, but it’s only about 6am now. Tons of time. While my hair dries, I make coffee and a bite to eat. Probably toast, maybe eggs. I have no idea actually. What do people eat for breakfast during the week that isn’t just coffee and and eventually half of their lunch around 10am?

I’d eat my breakfast and sip my coffee while reading the latest book I’m into. Or maybe I’ll find a good reliable news source to wade into or I’ll just watch an episode of something on Netflix – though I would rather not as it’s not a very good habit apparently, to zone out into TV first thing in the morning. I would be much better off engaging my brain with the written word. Or by writing words.

It’s worth noting that I’m blogging at work. It’s 9:30am and I got the itch to write about what I would do if I was a morning person. It’s entirely possible that if I was a morning person, I might also be a writer. Or at least a more consistent blogger.

If I was a morning person I would write morning pages – from Julie Cameron’s book The Artists Way. I actually forgot about that. I learned of morning pages a year or two ago. I tried it but three hand-written pages is a lot more than you think. My hand hurt after the first half page. But don’t type your morning pages. That’s not the point. The point is to empty your brain onto the pages. Do the brain dump in the morning and clear the way for productive creative thinking all day long.

If I was a morning person, I would be tired.

Can’t I do all this morning stuff at night? I really am more of a night owl. I would exercise and eat and write in the evening. And I do. Well, the eat part. But no, no that’s the thing. I don’t exercise at night. I don’t write at night. By the time I get home from work it’s the last thing I want to do (“it” being anything productive).  Mark Twain said to eat the frog. Exercise and consciousness are my frogs.

If I was a morning person.

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You’re tearing me apart

Posted in Quirks by aulecteur on March 14, 2014

You’re tearing me apart!

Couple of years ago this aired on The Simpsons which made someone on YouTube make the comparison to that campy movie The Room.

But I’m pretty sure both The Simpsons and The Room are paying homage to James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.

Nice.

AFI’s Top 100 (or “My movie to-do list”)

Posted in To Do List by aulecteur on January 16, 2014

This is the AFI’s list of the 100 best movies of the last 100 years, give or take. Actually, this is the 10th anniversary edition released in 2007 (I think they edited the list just so they could add Lord of the Rings…nerds. Whatever). I’m gonna go ahead and cross out the ones I’ve seen and will be left with an education of sorts. Practically all of the films on this list are pre-1980s — so pre-me. And since I’m pretty sure life imitates art, it’s important to see seminal works for yourself.

CITIZEN KANE

THE GODFATHER

CASABLANCA

RAGING BULL

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

GONE WITH THE WIND

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

SCHINDLER’S LIST

VERTIGO

THE WIZARD OF OZ

CITY LIGHTS

THE SEARCHERS

STAR WARS

PSYCHO

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

SUNSET BLVD.

THE GRADUATE

THE GENERAL

ON THE WATERFRONT

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

CHINATOWN

SOME LIKE IT HOT

THE GRAPES OF WRATH

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON

HIGH NOON

ALL ABOUT EVE

DOUBLE INDEMNITY

APOCALYPSE NOW

THE MALTESE FALCON

THE GODFATHER PART II

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

ANNIE HALL

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE

DR. STRANGELOVE

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

KING KONG

BONNIE AND CLYDE

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY

SHANE

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

REAR WINDOW

INTOLERANCE

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

WEST SIDE STORY

TAXI DRIVER

THE DEER HUNTER

M*A*S*H

NORTH BY NORTHWEST

JAWS

ROCKY

THE GOLD RUSH

NASHVILLE

DUCK SOUP

SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS

AMERICAN GRAFFITI

CABARET

NETWORK

THE AFRICAN QUEEN

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

UNFORGIVEN

TOOTSIE

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

FORREST GUMP

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN

MODERN TIMES

THE WILD BUNCH

THE APARTMENT

SPARTACUS

SUNRISE

TITANIC

EASY RIDER

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

PLATOON

12 ANGRY MEN

BRINGING UP BABY

THE SIXTH SENSE

SWING TIME

SOPHIE’S CHOICE

GOODFELLAS

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

PULP FICTION

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW

DO THE RIGHT THING

BLADE RUNNER

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

TOY STORY

BEN-HUR

Okay, now that I’m at the bottom of the list and have fully read and absorbed it, I’ll say there are a lot of movies missing from this list – and the Sixth Sense? Does this movie hold up over time? I’d have to rewatch it to find out, and I’m not going to do that. I’m just not.

Also, I should mention, this all started because I revealed recently that I’ve never seen Shawshank Redemption. I’ve heard it’s good but I assumed it was a horribly heavy movie like Shindler’s List – which is amazing and noticeably missing from the list…). But I’ve since learned that it has a happy ending and lumping it in with Shinder’s List isn’t logical.

My first movie will therefore be Shawshank Redemption. And then probably make it a Godfather night. Godfather I, Godfather II, and a repeat showing of Sophia dying from Godfather III.

(p.s. my count is 31 out of 100)

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2014 Reading List

Posted in To Do List by aulecteur on January 9, 2014

Buzzfeed’s 16 Books To Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year inspired this reading list for 2014.

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  •  This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Plus I decided after seeing Catching Fire that I wanted to read the Hunger Games trilogy – I need to know what happens next!

And, on her most recent visit, Stockdale bought me a book (Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger) and we’re gonna book club it.

So, I present the 2014 Reading List.

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January Cure Project List

Posted in January Cure by aulecteur on January 3, 2014

My January Cure Project List is as follows:

Living Room:

  • store blankets
  • get new pillow covers
  • sort books (keep + toss)
  • clean up desk
  • declutter (wtf stuff!)
  • get boot tray for jr’s throne
  • surfaces

Kitchen:

  • change light bulb
  • downsize plastic bags
  • clean off table
  • new large cutting board
  • figure out the baking sheet/racks situation

Entryway:

  • organize bags/purses
  • shoe rack (deep cuts)
  • clean up key ledge
  • do something with the closet door

Bathroom:

  • downsize products & move on deck items to storage area
  • organize under sink
  • clean up white shelves
  • clean bathtub and walls

Bedroom

  • clean off top of dresser
  • sally ann clothes and clear out random piles of stuff
  • organize top dresser drawer
  • what to do with the brown bookcase?
  • too many scarves! deep cuts!

The immense pressure of a new year

Posted in January Cure by aulecteur on January 2, 2014

New Year, New You.

This year I’ll be better. I’ll achieve more, be happier, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, learn to knit, fall in love, find myself, love myself, forgive the past, forgive my mother, find enlightenment, blah blah blah.

The pressure of a new year weighs on my chest like an elephant. Like a big-eyed adorable elephant whose “play” leaves me with broken ribs and internal bleeding. Yes it’s fun to make resolutions and try to stick with them but it’s also goddamn insane. If I could live like it was the first week of the year all 365 days, don’t you think I would?

I spent the last 2 weeks of 2013 surviving the holidays and getting ready for a fresh start. It’s a freshness that’s been waiting in the wings for a while. I often look around my life at the things and people I’ve collected and feel blessed. On a good day, when waking up on the right side of the bed, I have so many riches in my life I can’t help but feel ridiculously happy. But most of the time I look around at all my stuff and feel suffocated. Too many clothes to even fit in the closet and dressers, too many toiletries and products, too much expired pantry food, too many blankets and books and trinkets and knickknacks… So I spent the last 2 weeks trying to bring order to my “stuff.”

It didn’t go well.

Okay, no, it didn’t go that badly. I did manage to clean out my closet and get all of my clothing put away. I did finally put the doors on my Billy bookcase. I did finally hang my CanvasPop print. But there’s definitely more to do. And so with that, I thank the universe for turning me on to Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. The first step: Create a project list. So that’s what I’m going to do tonight. I’ll do a walk through, make a list, prioritize it and what I’ll have at the end of this exercise is a project map – a plan for my apartment therapy.

Also, this.

“Blow your MIND” Tomato Basil Pasta!

Posted in Food by aulecteur on September 5, 2013

My friend Crystal shared this on her Facebook. I save recipes by pinning so I have to blog this to pin it. It’s a complicated system but it works.

Pasta

“Blow your MIND” Tomato Basil Pasta! – No Straining, just Stirring

Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Olive Oil, and Seasonings (details below)

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! – Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta
Ingredients

12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .

Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

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My Staycation

Posted in To Do List by aulecteur on August 28, 2013

I started my staycation on Friday. I’m off from work for 10 glorious days. So far:

Friday night: Drinks with KO

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Saturday: Greekfest and fireworks with ED, JO-H, AW, PU

Greekfest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday: Art-Is-In and pride parade with LG, ZD, SF

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Monday: Terrible errands but got it all done and welcomed HA home

Tuesday: Nordik Spa and billiards with HA, BA, AW (a variety of pools today)

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That’s what she read – July 25, 2013

Posted in Feministing, That's what she read by aulecteur on July 25, 2013

I just started following the Good Men Project with an eye to widening my perspective on feminist issues and how gender stereotyping affects boys and men (and how it in turn affects women – vicious cycle). I’m disappointed GMP shared this letter, which I agree is apologist and normalizing.

I don’t know who the anonymous writer is but I sense that he’s just a seemingly nice guy who likes to have fun and maybe someone I’d hang out with. But he is a rapist. Rape defined as having sex with someone who does not or cannot consent. He’s not a monster lurking in dark alleyways or stalking women on their way to their cars. He’s a normal dude at a party and he’s a rapist. Because he has sex with women who do not or cannot consent.

So there it is. A rapist who is admitting to rape but because of rape culture (yes, it exists), he’s able to rationalize his behaviour and make non-consenting women culpable because we don’t punish perpetrators, we blame the victim and blame it on the a-a-a-a-a- al-co-hol.  The critique states: “I know that I talk a lot about rape culture, but you guys? This is rape culture right here. It’s articles like these that make men feel better about raping women. It’s articles like these that contribute to victim blaming (if a woman doesn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t drink so much, right?) It’s articles like these that normalize rape, that make rape seem like a by-product of enjoying oneself, that make rape seem inevitable and uncontrollable.”

I wonder what my man friends think of this article. Let me know!

The article on GMP I’d Rather Risk Rape Than Quit Partying, The Good Men Project, December 2012

The critique: “I’d Rather Risk Rape Than Quit Partying” – Rape Culture and The Good Men Project, The Belle Jar, December 2012

 

That’s what she read – June 4

Posted in That's what she read by aulecteur on June 4, 2013

So many interesting things to read. Here are a few of them. It’s a good mix covering rape jokes, Mad Men and Dove’s marketing bullshit.

 

What do rapists think about rape jokes?, XOjane.com, June 4, 2013

This article presents one of the best argument against rape jokes – the best being that they’re gross, you sick0. This article posits shame is the key to understanding why rape jokes are best left out of a comic’s set. It says basically, who’s side are you on, anyway? Would you rather be on the side of women (your mother, grandmother, sister, friends…) or rapists, in general as “rapists” or personally; men who are potentially, I hate to say it, your father, grandfather, brother, friends…? Rape jokes normalize sexual assault, sex without consent. It’s funny to take advantage or violate a woman who can’t, for whatever reason, object.

“My ex-girlfriend never made me wear a condom… She was on the pill: Ambien!”

This joke is funny. You know why? Because of the element of surprise. Perfectly timed, a pregnant pause after the set up, the joke lands with aplomb. You laugh because you get the joke, and it is clever. But when you think about it, don’t you just know it’s incredibly wrong to laugh about what is the reality of an unknowable number of women, and with every possibility, a woman in the comedy club, as the article states.

“Ultimately, the question of comedians making the sort of rape jokes that comfort rapists isn’t really a matter of can they make those jokes, or even a question of should they. It’s your mic, man, you can do whatever you want to do while you’re holding it. The question is, if you’ve got that mic in your hand, why do you want to use it to make rapists feel better?”

 

Is Megan Going To Be Murdered On “Mad Men”?, Buzzfeed.com, June 4, 2013

H/T to Reddit for this theory of murder most foul on Mad Men. I totally buy it and think it would be seriously excellent television. Is it wrong that I want this to happen? I do love a bit of ultra violence.

 

Dove’s Real Beauty is bogus, Canada.com, May 31, 2013

I knew this but in case you didn’t, check it out. Dove’s brand is all about “real beauty” and changing the perception of what is beautiful, right? Well, their parent company is Unilever which also owns AXE, which is notorious for using the sex appeal of your typical hottie to sell body spray. It’s all marketing, kids.