you are the best food for me.


Photogenic Montreal
11 juin 2014, 22.04
Filed under: English

When Rosie visited I made map of places in Montreal for her to see. It was a map of beautiful things. Well. No. Not beautiful. Photogenic. Not beautiful in the « look at this building » sense. Not awe inspiring places. Out of the way odd but not odd maybe just unexpected. The criterion was : is this a place I’d go back to? The criterion was : is this a place I want to show somebody? The criterion was: is this place an unseen gem?

The map avoided tourist attractions but not because it was trying to just because the unexpected often comes hand in hand with beauty. Beautiful is when you don’t see it coming. Beautiful is when a treasure is found. The criterion for this map was : is this a treasure?

In a way, I made Rosie a treasure map.

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The first stop was a church. I like churches. A lot. Oh. Churches, good churches, are spirituality embodied in a building. They are experiences that go beyond the individual. Good churches make you want to whisper. The light in churches smells of candles. Of prayers.

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The second stop was the olympic stadium. At night, the place is empty. The darkness makes the great expanse of molded concrete even more dramatic. At night, walking around the stadium feels like being the sole survivor of an apocalypse. You find rincóns where splendid things are hidden. Endless gold coloured parking lots. And that tower.

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The third stop was a pole. On the corner of Jarry and St-Michel. Next to the McDonalds, the highway, the bus stop. Two large boulevards meeting. Cars, exhaust, even the pedestrians are car-coloured.

But that pole.

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The fourth stop was a view over rooftops. Long ago, in St-Michel, Italian immigrants built white and yellow brick houses next to a giant dump. The dump has now become a park. And from the bike path you can hear foreign languages.

The fifth stop was a baklava shop. The best. Honey and pistachios. We. Yum. Yes, we yum.

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The sixth stop was La Québécoise, home to the homiest poutine and burgers in town. A man who works there wears a mustache net. Right? Right.

Then we went home.

Publicités


j’pense que j’vais aller prendre ma douche chez nous
9 avril 2012, 22.15
Filed under: Français

avec les saucisses à déjeuner les walkie-talkies attachés aux prises électriques le rouge en déclinaisons. avec les rues et les souliers les cris bêtes d’être évidents les coeurs qui. avec la presse écrite les mots souillés les brisées. le moment avant le départ pieds à vos marques le fusil levé le dos droit c’est maintenant presque. avec les copies photocopiées les théories enfoncées dans les doigts une tête vide de vide pleine. graffiti. autocollants. tracts! grève.

un suçon offert à des lèvres avides retiré. va te coucher dit-il-elle. il est passé sept heures.

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tu l’sais pareil que toute ça c’est avec toi tsé que toute ça c’est pas une question de cennes pis de piasses c’est parce que toi j’veux vivre avec toi pas à côté j’trouve ça bizzare d’aller acheter le même pain blanc pis qu’on s’parle pas. on a tu vraiment besoin de se tenir côte à côte (sans se toucher c’est sûr) à regarder vers en arrière ensemble y’a le gros écran juste là pis dessus y’a une grosse face pis au lieu que toi pis moi on se regarde pis qu’on s’dise toute s’qui est important y faut qu’on regarde le gars dans tévé nous dire s’qu’on pense. mais y l’sait même pas! tsé j’ai beau y dire le grand t’as même pas idée j’ai comme l’impression qu’y s’en câlisse. qu’est-ce t’en pense qu’on aille jouer dehors à place. y s’est mis à faire beau le gazon y’é sec. mesemble. avec une bonne bière là. on aurait moins d’problèmes.



alambre
25 février 2012, 21.05
Filed under: Français

Sara m’apporte un bol fumant je lève les yeux. Gratitude distraite merci maman je lui lance mes yeux sont si lourds que je ne suis pas capable de dormir le bol oeufs omelette je me demande pourquoi je suis obnubilée par la fumée l’eau qui se transforme en vapeur évapore du bol. Épuisée est un drôle de mot on dit un livre est épuisé on dit un livre est fatigué mais c’est autre chose. Je suis trop fatiguée pour écrire. Mais. Je. Veux.

Écrire.

La même chanson joue depuis une demi-heure le divan est devenu mon île le divan la lampe dans un coin les fils qui émergent de mon ordinateur vont se brancher de l’autre côté de la pièce comme des solutés sur un patient à l’hôpital. Mes tempes se referment sur elles-mêmes mon corps lentement s’engourdit.

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Le lendemain, les métaphores mille fois entendues la ville se couvre d’un manteau de neige et tapis blanc, abruptement, prennent tout leur sens. Photos idyllique dans tous les angles la neige la tempête adoucit les couleurs se pose blanche la ville est comme si quelqu’un avait décidé d’effacer une bavure d’encre avec du liquide correcteur. La neige est lourde je me réfugie chez moi les rideaux ouverts je regarde les arbres courber sous le poids parfaite pour faire des boules de neige parfaite pour rentrer chez soi dégoulinant le sourire en melon d’eau.



it’s hairspray!
14 février 2012, 1.20
Filed under: English

I remember reading this article many many years ago (2008 it was) and since then I may have quoted it so many times that, had it been alive, its ears would have made noises like when you think you hear your name and again and again.

I want to read it another time. Maybe you want too?

(I found it on internet archive so I’m reposting it if you’re the author slap me on the hand)

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Hair or bare? A history of attitudes towards women’s hair in the United States

Judy Jarvis – April 25th, 2007

Women’s hair has long been a loaded concept. For the Victorians in particular, “it became an obsession. In painting and literature, as well as in their popular culture, they discovered in the image of women’s hair a variety of rich and complex meanings, ascribing to it powers both magical and symbolic,” explains historian Elizabeth Gitter. 1 Contemporary shampoo and conditioner ads feature women swinging their voluminous locks in the camera frame, the ads’ narratives congratulating the brand on its thickening and smoothing qualities. The hair featured is luxurious and never short. We are meant to gather that hair is a coveted good, to still accept the Victorian standard—but only if it exists on the head.

Hair on women’s armpits and legs, which has the same density as scalp hair, is not admired for its thickness or smoothness, nor its luxurious softness, despite growing from the same genes. Hair is lovely and “magical,” but with the strict stipulation that it is only so on female’s heads. But who’s stipulation is this? Historians respond, “the norm itself was initially fostered by depilatory marketers, who saw that money was to be made from convincing women that body hair was a flaw.”2 Through pervasive advertising and framing body hair removal as a necessity rather than a choice, razor companies have successfully make a physiologically arbitrary action a socially necessary habit: Approximately 85 percent to 90 percent of women have unwanted body hair.”3

One could easily argue that all beauty standards are, at their root, arbitrary. “’Beauty’ is a currency system like the gold standard,” writes Naomi Wolf in the The Beauty Myth. As evidenced from consumer culture, ‘beauty’ need not have an explicit reason to be classified as so. The reason shaving is significantly different from other American beauty standards, however, is that rather than requiring an additive action like applying make-up to one’s face, this beauty standard requires removing something natural from one’s body. It is thus one of the most problematic beauty aesthetics, in part because its derivatives are so overlooked. Christine Hope argues that hair removal is a subtle push to return women to a child-like body, “to consider women as less than adults.” This desire is “reflected in and reinforced by the custom of female hair removal and the advertising which accompanied its introduction.”4

American female body hair shaving was triggered by a “sustained marketing assault” that began first against armpit hair in 1915, when sleeveless dresses came into fashion 5. An ad in the May 1915 issue of the upper-class women’s magazine Harper’s Bazaar features a woman with her sleeveless arms flung into the air, exhibiting her hairless armpits. The ad reads: “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.”6 Seventy-two percent of the hair remover ads in Harper’s Bazaar from 1915 to 1919 specifically mention underarm hair 7, most mentioning only underarm hair. In 1918, ads began mentioning “limbs,” though legs were not mentioned by name until 1923.

Sears Roebuck stores began selling sheer-sleeved dresses in 1922 and not-so coincidentally, the first women’s razors showed up for sale in their fall 1922 catalogue8. Ads from the mid-20s typically put equal emphasis on underarm and leg hair removal. The World War II-era shortening of skirts further helped advertisers’ thrust for leg hair removal, and “[b]y the middle of the century, attention had been drawn to lower parts of the anatomy and a tanned, shapely, hairless leg was a thing of beauty,” Hope observes in her inventory of Harper’s and McCall’s magazines’ hair-removal ads . Body hair removal had become a norm, as well as a public discourse, as evidenced by the headline of one of the McCall’s ads in the early 1940s: “Let’s Look at Your Legs—Everyone Else Does.”10 Due to these marketing coups, female body hair removal has become a contemporary, largely unquestioned staple of fashion.

This hairless version of reality is so pervasive that it goes against evolutionary meaning, but we pay little attention to it because social norms of beauty are dependent on it, social norms derived directly from fiscal gain. Corporate gain is a direct result of classifying body hair as shameful. No matter how brightly colored the ads or how cheerily the model smile while holding a razor to their tanned leg, ads for razors at their most basic telling women there is something wrong with one of their natural functions: hair growth. “Advertising aimed at women works by lowering our self-esteem,” writes Wolf.11 The bottom line of razor marketing is selling women a product by which they may change themselves.

Like deodorant, razor marketing “arouses the psychological fear of unpopularity and exorcises it by showing how you may avoid embarrassment,” wrote early advertising experts Doris E. Fleischman and Howard Walden Cutler. And just as deodorant is marketed as a hygienic necessity, female leg and armpit hair is symbolically unhygienic. Were the argument of shaving for cleanliness and personal hygiene truly valid, it would follow that both genders would engage in obligatory hair removal, as did the ancient Egyptians. In the last few years, there has been a rise of a hairless male aesthetic, like Versace models with clean-shaven faces and chests; but, with such high percentages of women shaving, it is clear that the hairless beauty standard applies to women of all classes, whereas male body hairlessness seems to be predominantly at a haute couture level.

Advertising campaigns like the recent Schick Quattro assault, subtly but deftly assert the razor’s right over the woman’s body. The most expansive and inventive section of the company’s website is titled, “Quattro® Lingo.” The Lingo contains 24 made-up definitions of shaving-related terms, some of the more benign ones including, “Bathtub Tinsel, noun. The ring of itty-bitty hairs and soap film left in the tub after a serious shave.” Others are more loaded, like “Chastity Pelt, noun. What you have on your legs when you intentionally go without shaving before a date as a way of making yourself behave” and “Girlilla Warfare, noun. Temporarily suspending shaving as a way of punishing your mate for something. Could backfire if you end up uncovering a newfound fetish.” The humor in both is dependent on the reader’s assumption that body hair on a woman is disgusting and would thus be a ‘punishment’ for your mate if you didn’t shave, or an incentive not to engage in sexual activity. Not shaving your body hair is self-punishing in regards to your sex life, these two in plainly imply. (Unless, of course your man has a hair “fetish,” the second term concedes; for liking body hair on a woman could only be a deviant “fetish.”)

The marketing campaign underscores femininity as the most basic reason to shave, asserting that a woman is anachronistic and bestial if she does not shave. The cave-woman illustration and caption evidences this bluntly: “Tame the Cave Lady, verb. To shave out-of-the-way places such as the toes—where women aren’t shown by movies or magazines to have hair, yet almost all do.”

Others more subtly hit home that shaving is a hygienic necessity. “Jaybird, noun. A carefully executed, super-thorough shave to set your mind at ease before a checkup, massage or other appointment that calls for shedding your clothes in front of a total stranger.” Since hair removal is in no way hygienic (in fact, if blades are shared or not cleaned and changed appropriately, shaving itself could actually be unhygienic) the ads can only imply that uncleanliness results from not shaving.

The “voice of the herd”12 may indeed compel women to shave, but the hairless herd originated and is perpetuated by marketing interests, interests that American women have internalized as “beauty” and justify as a personal choice. “I shave because I like it” is a frequent assertion, but a historically inaccurate statement. Women shave because Harper’s Bazaar arbitrarily told them to in 1915. But razor companies are doing everything possible to make sure you forget it, because the simple origins of female body hair removal are enough to make us question this destructive, expensive, and unnecessary cultural habit.

1. Elisabeth G. Gitter, “The Power of Women’s Hair in the Victorian Imagination,” PMLA 99.5 (1984): 936.
2. Merran Toerien, Sue Wilkinson, and Precilla Y.L Choi, “Body Hair Removal: The ‘Mundane’ Production of Normative Femininity,” Sex Roles 52. 5/6 (2005): 404.
3.Marika Tiggerman and Sarah J. Kenyon, “The hairlessness norm: The removal of body hair in women” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 39.11-12 (1998): 873.
4. Christine Hope, “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture” Journal of American Culture, 5.1 (1982): 98.
5. Ibid 93.
6. Ibid 94.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid 95.
9. Hope 96.
10. Ibid 97.
11. Wolf 276.
12. Ewen 137.



why I am home
31 janvier 2012, 11.48
Filed under: Español, Français

À force de répétition les mots ont perdu tout leur sens sont devenus des masses informes coulantes comme du beurre trop mou du beurre filmé en gros plan du beurre un peu moisi. Les mots répétés chaque jour presque à chacune de ces personnes qui me le demande comment vas-tu comment s’est passée ton année wow tu as changé. Je répète inlassablement non je n’ai pas changé je suis seulement plus sûre de moi je suis moi-même exactement moi-même mais maintenant je n’ai plus honte de le montrer. Rhétoriquement parlant, honte honte c’est un peu fort peut-être gêne timidité manque de savoir-faire honte pas vraiment seulement maintenant quand je ne suis pas d’accord j’élève la voix et je dis non bien fort.

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Montréal n’a pas changé a changé certainement de mille façons infimes magnifiques je regarde Montréal sans envie sans désir je ne souhaite pas que Montréal soit la Californie je ne souhaite pas que Montréal soit l’Argentine je ne souhaite même pas que Montréal soit Montréal tout ce que je veux c’est (all I want is).

Mille projets j’en avais rêvé les projets construire mon propre vélo apprendre la photographie prendre des cours de danse mille projets pour mon corps et mon intelligence mille projets et pour une fois je les réalise peut-être que j’ai changé pour une fois je ne suis plus paresseuse.

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Estoy en casa porque no tenía más ganas de viajar no me gustaba más lo único que podía pensar estaba quiero mi casa quiero mi casa quiero mi cuarto en mi departamento mi vida privada mis proyectos y sobre todo quiero estar sola. Ahora estoy en casa la gente siempre se sorprenden de escuchar que volví a casa porque tenía ganas como si no se podía como si era imposible que yo yo yo no quiero viajar más. Pero ahora estoy acá estoy feliz.



aviones de carton
21 janvier 2012, 15.01
Filed under: English

Maybe you haven’t noticed but Emily and I have been doing the collaboration thing on this other blog we have it’s called aviones de carton it means cardboard planes. They’re heavier, imagine, cardboard planes, they don’t fly quite as well and you can’t really fold them either can you. Maybe you could use a laser cutter to get shapes and then maybe some glue unless you made them to fit perfectly together with the bright light of that laser it makes such a loud noise and the pieces come out sharp lines and they fit together as if they were made to be so and well, they were, weren’t they.

Maybe that’s a metaphor I don’t think so though I think what I’m trying to say is that I like laser cutters also our blog is really nice you should check it out Emily this lady she’s wildly talented.



California Zephyr
17 janvier 2012, 18.32
Filed under: Français

Quand j’ai réalisé que j’avais perdu mon passeport j’ai soudainement cessé de chercher dans mes poches et j’ai annoncé j’ai perdu mon passeport. Laurent et Brian ont levé la tête et j’ai répété j’ai perdu mon passeport. Je cherchais dans mon sac, frénétiquement, touchant les poches de mon manteau pour la millième fois j’ai répété j’ai perdu mon passeport parce qu’il n’y avait rien d’autre à dire. Laurent s’est mis à téléphonner à la police et je me suis assise sur le sofa le dos droit, non, probablement le dos un peu évaché les yeux humide le corps raide, raide de fatigue de stress de tristesse aussi d’être sur le point de partir l’esprit tournant en rond où est mon passeport.

Nous étions sur le point d’embarquer dans le train celui qui va de Emeryville, à côté d’Oakland à côté de la maison de Brian dans le train jusqu’à Chicago Illinois. Mon passeport était dans ma poche la veille je me souviens nous allions manquer l’autobus je m’étais mise à courir ma poche était ouverte mon lecteur mp3 était tombé dans le noir je l’ai ramassé j’ai continué à courrir nous sommes embarqués dans l’autobus j’étais stressée d’avoir dit au revoir à Ithaka pour la quatrième fois en un peu plus d’un an d’avoir le coeur brisé une fois de plus d’être sur le point de retourner à Montréal je n’ai pas remarqué que mon passeport avait disparu jusqu’au lendemain matin. J’étais assise sur le sofa chez Brian le sofa un peu mou qui s’enfonçait sous mon poids et je pensais à mon passeport pendant que Laurent appelait le BART. L’ironie était trop forte. Moi moi j’avais voyagé des mois et des mois en Amérique Latine m’étais mise dans des situations aussi stupides que dangereuses avait laissé mon foutu passeport traîner dans tous les coins et c’était la veille de mon départ la veille de mon retour que, à Oakland!, il tombait de ma poche, aussi simple que ça personne ne me l’avait volé il était tombé. De ma poche.

Il n’y avait pas grand chose d’autre à faire d’autre que de marcher jusqu’à la station de train. Récupérer nos billets. Dire au revoir à Brian. Embarquer dans le train. Et attendre d’arriver à Chicago.