It Takes a Village

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If you’re wondering how this happened, you need to become well acquainted with the words “misogyny” and “white supremacy” – that’s a start.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you we live in some sort of post-racial/post-sexist world that’s “too PC,” because newsflash, we don’t. Don’t think that these sorts of things don’t matter – these issues are the building blocks of the problems that got America here. The most qualified candidate lost to an overcooked yam because he stoked the fire of the fears of The Other and he went unquestioned while she was crucified. Don’t ever worry about the straight white man – he will always be fine; they fail upwards. Nothing has EVER been taken from them to “take back” – it’s simply seeing others gain rights and strides being made that they fear. Straight white men are no minority; they are not, and have never been, “persecuted” – don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

It is truly shameful and disheartening to see that 52% of white women voted for Trump – women who decided their hatred of others mattered more than their own freedoms; woman who abandoned their POC & LGBTQ sisters. Many of these were Evangelical Christian women who decided even though Trump was obviously not “Christ-like,” their personal so-called “pro-life” stance was more important than the ACTUAL LIVES of others.

This was not a “anti-elite” protest; the wealthiest of America voted for Trump. Privileged people (who either have nothing to lose, or do not yet realise what they have to lose) chose their ideology as the hill they would die on to vote third party instead of voting for Hillary. I don’t know where these people have been, but pre-Obama, do you really think that the Democratic nominee was someone that spoke 100% to the left/women/POC/LGBTQ etc? NO, but they voted for those old white guys anyways, because that’s what had to be done.

The Hillary that ran in 2016 was actually MORE progressive than Obama in 2008 & 2012, but she was sidelined by blatant lies and distractions. Her qualifications, life-long public service, and all the good she has done, was undermined by the fact that she was an ambitious and imperfect woman. Yes, she was imperfect and has made mistakes and wrong decisions. See here kids, that is what 30 some years of public service will get you. You better rake every male candidate over the coals from now on like you did her, and demand “perfection” from them. I would like a list of your Perfect Past Presidents. I do not care if you did not “like” Hillary – but see, she’s not your Mommy or your girlfriend, so you don’t know what to do with her.

Do not be mistaken – America is paying for electing a black president for 8 years, because that is how deeply ingrained racism is in that country. President Obama has had to put up with so much till the very bitter end. And now the first black president has to hand over the presidency to a man who was endorsed by the KKK. And the VP? Mike Pence, who believes in electrocuting the gay out of people.

To paraphrase DJ Khaled: Congratulations, America. You played yourself.

The Return of The Mindy Project (& More Modern Rom-Coms)

Ahh, spring: love is in the air and everyone’s got spring fever. Well, we did for a few days – looks like snow is back in the forecast. While you may not have heart eyes for weather, there’s plenty of modern love on the small screen (whether that screen is your actual television, or your laptop).

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In honour of the return of the second half of The Mindy Project’s fourth season, and our rom-com loving heroine Mindy Lahari, I rounded up my top picks for shows reinventing the romantic comedy.  Face it – if what you’re watching a) makes you laugh and b) focuses on people dating – it’s a romantic comedy. Embrace the name! The genre, often maligned – sometimes with merit, though often unfairly, having more to do with fact they are enjoyed mostly by women – has seen a resurgence in the past decade. From the R-rated comedies of Apatow & Co, to these hilarious shows below, the foibles of looking for love in a big city is as appealing, ridiculous and relatable as ever.

The Mindy Project (New episodes: Tuesdays @ on Hulu; Citytv/Thursdays @ 8:30pm)

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Mindy Kaling’s personal love and appreciation for romantic comedies has been apparent throughout The Mindy Project’s four seasons, paying homage to many of the classic films of the genre, like when Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Beyond that, it has also consistently been one of the funniest shows on television (and online – let’s be real, these days television refers to the type of show, not the medium it’s viewed on), attracting a wide-range of hilarious guest stars. Jam-packed with jokes, pop culture references and charmingly ridiculous characters (including the celebrity-loving and extremely confident Mindy, resident curmudgeon Danny, and reformed car thief and current dog lover Morgan), this show has been a favourite of mine since its inception.

After a long winter hiatus, Mindy has returned for the second half of its fourth season. We left off with our favourite couple of doctors at a crossroads in their relationship, with Danny wanting Mindy to be a stay-at-home mom, and Mindy wanting to continue to pursue her work at the practice, along with growing her fertility clinic. Delivering on more than a typical rom-com arc, this season has delved into what happens after the “happily ever after”. While it’s a risky move to breakup Mindy and Danny, (and pains me so), I’m sure there’ll be a lot of laughs (and a few tears) as these two navigate their conscious uncoupling (and eventual reunion – I REFUSE to believe it’s anything but inevitable!).

 

Man Seeking Woman (FXX)

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There truly is nothing else on television like Man Seeking Woman. Often described as a “cartoon come to life” by its star Jay Baruchel, this comedy is a surreal journey into the world of modern dating. Anything goes in the universe of Josh (Jay Baruchel), his best friend Mike (Eric Andre) and his sister Liz (Britt Lower). What makes it work is that its madcap scenarios – as bizarre as they get – are not played as fantasy or as out of the ordinary to the characters. The show is a (very) heightened version of how dating feels, case in point:

The underrated comedy – which films in Toronto! –  has just been renewed for a third season.  It’s a truly unique comedy, with a lot of heart. In lesser hands it could be a heck of a mess, but with its sharp writing and talented cast, it can’t be missed.

 

Master of None (Netflix)

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I devoured this entire series in one weekend. Aziz Ansari has explored the current state of dating in his stand-up specials and his fantastic book Modern Romance: An Investigation (written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg), and Master of None integrates some of these anecdotes into its 10 episodes.

Another New York-centred take on navigating dating, friends, career & family, Aziz (and co-creater Alan Yang) created a truly modern and diverse show, confronting everything from how technology effects our interpersonal relationships, to what it’s like to be the child of immigrants, to the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) racism & sexism that’s still prevalent today – all while being whip-smart and charming.

 

You’re The Worst (FXX)

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This comedy is not for the faint of heart. You’re The Worst follows terrible people doing terrible things – and falling in love whether they like it or not. Gretchen and Jimmy are selfish, self-absorbed and keen on the casual.  Add in their respective best friends, and a dose of substance abuse and clinical depression, and you’ve got a unique, biting, yet surprisingly moving take on modern love.

 

Love (Netflix)

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The premise? An unlikely pair meet and eventually attempt to date. Messy, hilarious awkwardness ensures.  From Judd Apatow, a king of the awkward take on comedy and love, Lesley Arfin and Paul Rust (who also stars as Gus), Love plays with the ideas of the “nice” nerd (who actually has a mean streak) and the pretty girl who is a hot mess. While it’s not a perfect series, it’s another interesting at the look at the seemingly endless quirks of modern love.

Sunday Song: Surrender

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Nothing like a weekend of spring-like weather to inspire some spring cleaning – including dusting the cobwebs off my corner of the internet. Made a few updates & picked out a shiny new theme. Blog inspiration always seems to hit on Sunday evenings (and in the middle of the day, when I can’t update..therefore leading to ongoing blog droughts…).  I’ve resolved to make this space a priority to get the creative juices flowing. While I’ve got ideas for what I want to focus on,  this is just a quick post to get this blog feeling alive again.

In honour of my habit of returning after long hiatuses on Sunday nights, I’ve got a Sunday Song picked out. Even though we’ve had a bizarrely warm winter (one that I am 100% okay with, even if it means our collective deaths by global warming is fast approaching – what can I say, I hate winter), the temperatures got down right frigid recently, and this weekend’s warm up was so welcome. My mind has sprung ahead to spring: give me Easter, rompers, sunshine and patios. To me, certain songs evoke the feeling of spring: light, warm and hopeful. This lovely tune was featured in one of my current favourite shows, Jane the Virgin. Happy Sunday!

 

City of Wonder: Roncesvalles

This September will mark my 5th year in the Big Smoke. I hate to evoke cliches, but time sure flies. It’s a weird realization that I’ve been in Toronto longer than I was away at university, also longer than my high school experience.

Instead of lamenting my fading youth (Kidding. Sort of.), I thought I’d start focusing on some of my favourite neighbourhoods around the 416. There’s charm and culture (and especially good food) to be found all over the city. Having lived and worked in different hoods, as well as having friends around town, has given me a great appreciation for seeking out spots all Toronto. There’s a lot more to this great city than the downtown core – go east, west & up my friend!

The current strip of the city that has my heart is Roncesvalles. This west end street is a friendly neighbourhood perfect for eating, shopping & strolling. A brunch haven for sure! Here are a few of my favourite spots (note: there are many more places still on my list to try!):

La Cubana

La Cubana

I had never had Cuban food before going to La Cubana, and boy was I missing out! Always delicious, La Cubana is also always busy. Their brunch is (especially on the patio) is so delicious. I also love dinner here. They serve the best mojitos I have ever had. Keep in mind they are 2oz each when you’re pounding them back though!

 

The Ace

The Ace Roncy

One of the best meals I’ve had in this city was at The Ace. With ever-changing specials and seasonal menus, The Ace serves up creative and sensational dishes & drinks. I’ve yet to stop by for brunch, but you know it’s on my list.


Reunion Island Coffee

Reunion Island Coffee

A new addition to the Roncy strip, this adorable coffee shop has become a quick favourite of mine. In addition to the coffee shop standards, try their hibiscus iced tea or their cold brew & tonic for the hotter months!


Lit Espresso Bar

Lit Espresso Bar

There are so many cute places to get a cup of joe on the Roncy strip. Lit’s another great spot to get your caffeine fix and people watch out the window – or if you’re a pet-deprived person like myself, to keep an eye out for all the insanely cute dogs that call Roncy home!

 

Scout

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I swear Scout will be the death of me (and my wallet). I can’t walk into this adorable shop without purchasing something. From the cutest and cleverest cards, to a brunch map of the city, to gorgeous accessories, there’s always something new to covet at Scout. I’ve recently picked up the above ring, which is made by Foe & Dear.

 

Likely General

Likely General

In addition to being one cool store, Likely General also is a supporter of local craftsmanship and artistic endeavors. I have no shame in saying I love a good psychic and Likely General even hosts readings on Sunday’s by local jeweler/artist Mary Grisey.

 

This is just a taste of what awaits you on Roncy. I have many more spots on my list to check out. Show your ‘hood love! What are your local go-to spots?

 

 

 

“Official” Summer Days (and Nights)

Summer is a weird season. We’ve just officially come into it (hence the title), and it’s really just getting into the hot temperatures, but if you’re like me and are starved for the trappings of summer all year long, it feels like the season is already slipping away.

Next week is JULY. As someone who will hit up a park and patio at the first signs of spring in April (and I did), having May & June behind me makes me want to pump the breaks on summer. Many patio and park hangs, as well as concerts, festivals and the like have already occurred (as well as several ice cream excursions), but I’m far from ready for this season to slip by.

While the summer is supposed to be a slow season, this year is seems to be a peak time for having plans. The great thing about the city that is you can “get away” without getting away. A trip to the island, a day in one of its many parks, festivals celebrating every conceivable neighbourhood – if you’re like me and lacking in vacation time, evenings and weekends offer plenty of opportunities to get in a proper summer experience.

I’ve seriously lacked on the blogging front this year (I blame Instagram. And Netflix), but here’s the greatest hits of summer in TO so far including Bestival (Banks! Florence!), seeing Ed Sheeran for the third time, brunches galore, patios, parks & more:

Continue reading ““Official” Summer Days (and Nights)”

Here’s to 2015

New Year New Look New Paige

Wrapping up the Christmas holidays is always a downer. While we ruminate on the “new page” of the new year, it’s hard not to get bummed out by the end of festive cheer and the time off we’ve (hopefully) had, and the return to the daily grind. All this with the added bonus of dreary winter weather. While January is supposed to be a time of change and resolutions, I find it near impossible to maintain any sort of motivation while having the winter blues.

Sometimes change is inevitable and beyond our control, and that can be a catalyst for propelling you somewhere else (hopefully forward). While I’m not naive enough to think simply because the calendar says 2015 that I’ll be suddenly a ball of energy to work on all the elements I felt fell to the wayside at the end of the year, or suddenly be motivated to venture into the adventures I’ve had at the back of my mind, I do think that a return to a regular schedule will make it easier to say no to my own excuses. (Although the return of mid-season shows makes it pretty hard to be productive in the evenings, but that’s another post.)

Although it seems I say it every January, I want this blog to be a focus in 2015. Not carving out time to write about the happenings of living in the city as they happen has gotten me down this year. I enjoyed so many things this year – a ton of concerts, events, TIFF, Just for Laughs, to name a few– and also had a lot of thoughts about I’ve been reading, watching and listening to, but I never seemed to tap it out on my laptop in a timely manner. I’ve documented these things on Instagram and Twitter, but frankly my lack of blogging had me bummed, and that’s no one’s fault but my own. Prioritizing this blog and putting a focus on freelance writing and long-term career goals is a huge focus for 2015.

Getting yourself pretty things to help with organization and planning is a fun way to help set the motivation in motion. I finally picked up one of Avril Loreti’s tea towel calendars for 2015. This pretty thing is up on my wall for the year before it sees any dishes. For keeping on track of my day-to-day tasks (and my above mentioned 2015 goals), I’ve got these adorable Liberty print stationary items and an agenda from Indigo.

Since my blogging had some serious lapses this year, I’ve included some pictures from the goings-on about town from 2015.

 

Here’s to more adventures in 2015!

Sunday Required Reading

It’s been quite a week in the world. It can be a lot to digest but I urge to tap into the important conversations happening on Twitter and online. In the words of poet Elana Bell, “a village is always somewhere burning / and if you do not look because it is not your village / it is still your village.”

On Ferguson:

This Is Why We’re Mad About the Shooting of Mike Brown

Jesse Williams On the Depiction of Michael Brown:



On Robin Williams and Depression:

Robin Williams’ Death: A Reminder That Suicide and Depression Are Not Selfish

Why the Funniest People Are Sometimes the Saddest


On Thought Catalog (and it’s rampant transphobia & racism, etc)
:

Go Home Thought Catalog, You’re Drunk


On Women Against Feminism:

Entitlement and Apathy, The Case of Women Against Feminism

In Which I Get Very Excited About Astrology – Leo Horoscope for July 2014

Jupiter in Leo is here y'all
Jupiter in Leo is here y’all

Indulge my whackjobness for this post (and spare me the Miss Cleo jokes).

Today marks the beginning of a very special time for my astrological sign, Leo. As of today, July 16th, Jupiter enters into Leo (staying until August 2015). This sort of astrological goodness only happens every twelve years. What does this mean? Well, according to many an online astrologer, it’s a dynamo year for Leos to make their dreams come true and all that jazz. (Fact – I actually remember reading about it when it was last in my sign in 2002-2003. I ripped out a horoscope from a magazine and pinned it to my cork board for a long time. Don’t particularly remember that necessarily being my favourite year, however. Hoping for better astrologicalness this time.)

Anyways, you’re either eye-rolling at this information or Googling to see when Jupiter next enters your sign, be real.

Confession: I can’t help but eat up every horoscope calling for amazing opportunities, so what’s the harm in using it for a little motivation?

If you’re a Leo like me, have some fun and check out these links:

Susan Miller’s got a big breakdown of what it all means for Leos in her July forecast.

Leah Whitehorse has another analysis as well.

You read those and tell me you’re not excited for all the potential possibilities!😉

Are you a fellow Leo? Reader of astrology or horoscope denier?

 

Summer Songs: What I’m Listening to Now

Not only is summer a terrific time for concerts, it’s also a prime time for album releases – is there anything more powerful than the “song of the summer”?

I’ve complied some of the artists and albums I’ve had on repeat this summer, behind the cut!

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Continue reading “Summer Songs: What I’m Listening to Now”