Saturday, 3 October 2015

7 Things Vegans Won't Tell You

1. Trick! Vegans will probably tell you all these things because y'no how vegans like to tell you aaaaaaaallllllll about veganism lol lol lol.

Although I think part of the reason vegans get a bad rep for this is actually on meat eating folk. I have noticed that I am not able to decline a single food article without encountering a four hour intrusive Q & A sesh on the moral journey and complex ethics that lead me to not want a bite of your hamburger.

Maybe it's ironic that I'm writing a post about veganism after saying that but hey, you don't have to read it.

2. Daiya is vegan cheese and it is no coincidence that they named it Daiya.

BECAUSE IT IS DIRE. I may be pronouncing it wrong however.

If you know me, you know I love love love sparkle heart throbbing heart double heart rainbow emoji cheese.

I avoid it now so how is that going? Is my life ruined?

No, it's oooooook. It's not so tough because I don't eat as many things that require cheese to make them taste good. For example; where cheese and ketchup tastes great on a meaty burger, hummus and garlic veganaise is a black bean burgers best friend. And vegan pizza slices are usually so packed with the weirdest toppings the sprinkling of cheese is more for texture (plus HOT SPICE and you're good) - take a look at this behemoth from Apiecolypse now.

The Pig Destroyer 
Creamy garlic sauce, House hot sauce, Hickory BBQ soy curls, Seitanrizo crumbles, Secret spiced not chicken, Vegan bacon bits, Vegan pepperoni slices, Garlic artichokes, Vegan smoked gouda, Vegan mozzarella.

Also, there actually are some great less processed cheese alternatives such as cashew nut cheeses which taste delicious, they're just a bit harder to find (but it is a noble and worthy quest)! If you're lucky like me you have lots of great local stores like this vegetarian butchers to explore.

3. "Look! We managed to make something that looks a bit like what meat eater's eat (but it doesn't look/taste as good and is actually a bit weird)!" - Vegan Food

If you follow the Instagram accounts of your cities top vegan food places, you will see what I mean.

Through Being Cool Vegan
Mac N Cheese

However, nothing tastes better than the moral entitlement of not harming animals and the environment using industrialized intensive farming practices am I right??!!!

IMHO vegan food is delicious - there are millions of recipes from all different cultures that just don't include or require meat and dairy at all. When vegan food tries to imitate processed meat and cheese dishes the results can vary, but it's great to have these as options when you get all nostalgic (lol to like 3 months ago in my case).

Side note: vegans have the best puns. What you may lose in flavour, you sure will make up for in light humour, I'm looking at you Hail Seitan sammich!

4. It's cheap.

Vegan pizza slice ~ $4.50

Regular pizza slice ~ $4.50

And we all know that is the only metric we need to worry about right?

No seriously, a pack of tofu is $1.29 from my local convenience store and that one pack will make scrambled 'egg' and substitute for meat in a couple of meals. Also, I find that most recipes re-use the same ingredients way more, so one weekly shop will cover you for a week's worth of recipes without any wasted ingredients. 

I was surprised to find the same is true if you want to extend that to cruelty free toiletries; for example, animal product free shampoo from Whole Foods is $3.99 (the same price, if not cheaper, than shampoo in Shoppers). Whole Foods is expensive for meat and dairy by the way, because it's all free range, organic stuff which obviously costs more. If you're just buying veggie stuff it's super reasonable.

Finally, the best part I have found about buying vegan products is that my reliance on big supermarkets has completely been replaced with small, local grocery stores and health food shops. I have found that they tend to have way better alternative selections and fresher produce - plus I can just grab stuff on the way home from work!

5. In Toronto, most regular restaurants, pizza places and take-outs have great vegan options

You don't have to be super antisocial and drag your friends to vegan brunch spots every weekend.

I learned that lesson quick. I had never really looked for vegan stuff so I hadn't noticed, but check your menu next time and have a look. Restaurants like Sneaky Dees and Grapefruit Moon, chain pizza places like Pizziola, and burrito places like Burrito Boyz all have awesome vegan stuff!

6. "Vegan", "vegetarian", "pescatarian" are just handy labels

You don't get audited every year for claiming to be a vegan. You can totally cheat. Ok, so people might get annoyed if you call yourself vegan and start eating bacon wrapped tofu.

For example, when I first started this I decided I was OK with eating some sea fish like shrimp (what the hell do they know stupid little sea insects) and maybe goats cheese (I have no idea why, I just thought when have you ever seen an unhappy goat).

Now I have learnt a bit more about sea fishing and how it's just a big giant net that catches everything in the ocean (duh) I try not to eat sea fish either.

But the point is, it doesn't have to be all or nothing! Just because you can't commit 100% to something doesn't mean you should just give up and not bother.

I probably eat about 95-97% vegan. So sue me. If I'm in a restaurant and they don't have vegan options, I'll order whatever I think is the most ethically friendly thing on the menu.

By doing some research, finding out how meat, dairy and fish is farmed and produced (and having super knowledgeable friends in the farming and animal welfare industries) has allowed me to form opinions on this stuff and make conscious choices about what I am OK with consuming. And it feels awesome.

7. "There is no way of living in the modern world without doing morally reprehensible things on a daily basis."

I stole this from a great article I read a year ago which had a big impact on me. We all know the world is fucked up and it feels like we are pretty helpless when it comes to making any real change, and while that isn't necessarily true, simple decisions not to consume products that you are aware cause direct suffering just feels like an easy win.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Why Lena Dunham can go Suck a F****

Lena Dunham posted this Instagram pic last night:

As you can imagine, I was seething with anger. Here's why:

1. 'Deep thoughts'

2. 'I am concerned not enough of us realized she was rude'
Daria was not rude, she just was devoid of insincerity. This is an important difference. Being rude is easy, and being insincere gets you a lot of friends and allows you to avoid awkward situations completely unscathed. Being sincere means you actually have to say how you feel when people make ignorant, uninformed or incorrect judgements. It's the difference between nodding along with a racist comment to save face and actually putting social conventions aside for a moment to say how you really feel. So yeh, Daria was not rude, she just had a zero tolerance policy for bullshit. To effect any real social change we all need to learn from this.

3. 'almost definitely had clinical depression'
No, Daria was almost definitely miserable, not depressed. On paper you, Lena, and Daria had relatively similar upbringings; you both grew up in a wealthy white family with supportive parents willing to fund whatever life choices you eventually decided on. The difference being that you lack any self awareness whatsoever and do not seem to ever question your incredible privilege and the social constructs that are in place to allow you this platform to go around making broad pro-feminist statements without ever acknowledging the deeper issues that surround the profound inequalities within society. If you were to do this, then you would be miserable too. Anyone who spends too much time acknowledging this is destined to a life of misery, unless they are able to put this towards effecting change in some way, which isn't super easy if you're still in high school.

4. 'could have benefited from therapy and maybe some medication'
Why? So we can all shake of our drab critical thinking and conform to being self-obsessed, nonchalant, entitled Girls just to avoid bumming you out during a conversation? And medication?? I'm fairly sure Daria was T-Total, which is fairly impressive as a subversive high school student. I really don't think pushing drugs on a person against their will, 'medical' or otherwise, in order to modify their personality in order to conform to societies expectations is necessarily a good idea Lena. 

5.  'I really don't feel she, like, moved to New York and took the city by storm unless she got some help.'
WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING. Do you even realize how precocious this sounds? Is this a joke? Did I take all this way too seriously when really you were just being entirely ironic? 

I had previously reserved judgement on you, thinking that perhaps your complete lack of self awareness was, although still exhausting, based on a simple kind of naivety. But the way you use your platform to promote easy, lazy feminism is probably doing more harm than good when you seem to be entirely incapable of reflecting any deeper for fear of becoming any kind of real life, thoughtful and concerned human. When it comes to dimensional characters, I think you are the cartoon here Lena.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Stand-up mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel

I gots some opinions OK so listen up.

Everyone (Jezebel included) seemed to be really critical about Madonna's comedy debut. I mean like, I'm not concerned for Madonna's feelings here; she is a legend, an icon, MADONNA.

I'm not actually a huge fan btw, I grew up during her "Music... makes the people, come together..." ft. Ali G phase, which wasn't great (although I realized this after I purchased the album and listened to it like 100 times, so Madonna still came out on top).

Anyway, my opinion on Madonna is therefore relatively unbiased.

And I think that her stand-up debut was cool!

a. It was great to see a World Famous Icon Of Fame looking so natural and exposed. I think it really goes to show how intimate stand-up is; there's no filter to it. Even during interviews, thoughts/feelings/emotions are pretty premeditated or coerced. But stand-up is literally just stuff that naturally occurred to you walking around in your own head, that you decided to regurgitate in public. It's a weird form of entertainment when you think about it, and I think seeing someone so completely familiar to us, but in this setting, proves how strange a medium it really is. And I thought she was  funny!

b. I watch a lot of amateur comedy, but before I got into comedy I had only seen a couple of amateur shows. Unless you're a comedy nut, you probably base all of your comedic references on super established, super funny, famous comedians. Famous comedians have put 10 years worth of teeny iterations into their material to get it that reliably funny. That's not to say that amateur comedy isn't funny, it's hilarious and watching comedy live is always great as laughing is contagious and seeing people try stuff out can be exciting and there can be some really unique, spontaneous laughs. This went a bit off topic - point being that you can't expect someones first year or so in comedy to be like a Netflix special, but it can still be hilarious to go see live.

c. Most importantly; I think the reaction to this and her recent fall at the Brit awards plays nicely into the rhetoric that women over the age of 'conventionally sexy' can no longer be taken seriously/respected/celebrated unless they are Merryl Streep and just super demure.

So GO YOU MADONNA. You're paving the way for me to be a young living, kick ass-ing, comedian-ing woman for (fingers crossed) many years to come! And booooo to you Jezebel for not having her back here!

Friday, 10 April 2015

It's a low, low, low, low, happening

Hello youuuuuuu...

Just to remind you that come see this show on Saturday plllzzzzzz:

Really looking forward to it! 

I have been super busy recently and I am away next week but I am trying to keep going with the comedy stuff as it is lots of fun and I miss not doing it. 

This week I decided to swing by a workshop open mic night: 

WORKSHOP / Open mic @ The Central on Tuesday's @ 6.30pm

It was super helpful to get some feedback from a totally new group of comedians, and it's on my way home from work so it's pretty handy! 

It's probably been the longest I have gone without doing a show in a little while so I forget how nerve wracking it is going up in front of a bunch of skeptical strangers and just saying words you thought sounded funny in your head a little while ago. But the more times you do it the more you realize that even if not a single person laughs (hey, I have done this in front of an audience of 5 people), you go home in one piece and no one really remembers / gives a shit except you.

On that note, little tangent, I think that possibly, everyone just goes around in their  heads all day worrying about how they come across, what they said/shouldn't have said to their boss this morning... blah blah blah... but everyones so wrapped up in their own internal business that they're probably not thinking about you right now, ok.

I think that doing stand up and also going to a lot of comedy shows has helped my perspective a huge amount in 'real life'. 

The point being; what you take away from seeing a show is just an overall feeling of like, oh that was fun, kind of thing. No one really nit picks every little thing you do, except you. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sistering Success


I meant to do a blog post on what a success Kris Jenner's Komedy Kids was - thanks SO MUCH to everyone who came :) I had a lot of fun and we raised money for an awesome organization!

Yes - that's right - people actually came to an event that I put on. Crazy I know I was so surprised and happy!!

Thanks so much to all my comedy pals for performing also, they were hilarious as always :)

She's a brain with bouncy hair; I can't compete.

Lots of fun comedy goings on have been going on in the last few weeks as many of my Comedy Girl pals are taking part in a comedy festival called Empire Comedy Brawl, which runs over the spring/summer with the top prize being $1,000 (plus yay you won). 

Anyway,  there are +350 comedians competing this year so it's a long competition, but my Comedy Girl class mates have been doing awesome so far!

If you would like (please please please please please please x 1,094,239,843,984) to come vote for me in this competition, please (please... etc) come to this one:

Lucky for me, it's right next to my house so I get to go see (most) of my friend's awesome shows :D

In other news, the Comedy Girl classes taught by Dawn Whitwell at the Comedy Bar were featured in an awesome article in the Globe and Mail, you can read that here... It's such a great article. 

Plus my friend at work pointed out that I can now use this quote in 'promotional materials' hehe...

"Deadpanning Brit Theresa Ramirez... It ends up being a pretty funny bit." - Globe and Mail

The classes were a great way to get into the incredible comedy community surrounding the Comedy Bar.  Love that place (it's essentially my second home). And as I have said like a million times, Dawn is awesome. You know this, I know this, I say it all the time, duh.

FINALLY I am doing this show next week:

I have a bio for West End Girls which I am ridiculously excited about and keep showing people, sorry. Not that big of a deal but w/e.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

There is no moment in life that can't be improved by pizza

So Daria is my favourite show of all time, I loved it on Channel 5 as a teenager and then I binge watched every single episode at university and started accidentally talking like Quinn.

Anyway, I just bought the DVD of the complete series for $20!! And it's estimated shipping is just before my birthday aaaaarrgghhhh so birthday plans = SORTED.

I am actually planning on having a cheese & chocolate fondu BYODip party for my birthday so look out for a lame fb invite coming your way - Daria will be looping in the background the ENTIRE TIME. And we will listen to chillwave all night from my playlist only.

I made these FUN Daria and Jane Lane make-out shirts for girlongirl, which I will be selling on Sunday @ Kris Jenner's Comedy Kids!!!! SO EXCITED FOR THIS.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Kris Jenner's Komedy Kids

I am trying my hand at producing with my very own comedy stand up show this Sunday to raise funds for an awesome organization;

"Sistering is a women’s organization that offers practical and emotional support through programs which enable them to take greater control over their lives. Guided by the principles of Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression, Sistering works to change social conditions which endanger women’s welfare."

Click here for more info!

This will be a super fun show, and we will also be selling limited edition hand-printed girlongirl band tees for $10 (also all proceeds to Sistering)! girlongirl are an awesome band my friend plays in - check them out!

I am very excited about this - I hope we get plenty of peeps come and raise some $$ for a great cause :)

It also happens to be International Women's day! Cool!

So you gotta come!! If you don't live in Canada you get a pass but I'll tell ya all about here don't worry.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Kris Jenner's bad bitches

Last night's Bad Bitches was AWESOME. We had a really great turn out and everyone seemed to have a fun time.

Bad Bitches is a show put on by fellow Comedy Girl Courtney and features other Comedy Girl class mates, plus some amazing funny ladies - so it's a great way to meet other comedians. It's cool to be involved with putting on a show as we all get chance to be involved with poster making, organizing, promo etc.

I will be putting on my own show called Kris Jenner's Komedy Kids (already regretting the name choice it really makes no sense whatsoever), which will be a fundraiser for Sistering, which is a great women's charity just across from our venue, Bad Dog Theatre.

It will  be on March 8th, 2015 @ 8pm so put that in yo diary! Which just happens to be International Women's day also so bonus!

Also, it's pay what you can on the door so anyone can come :)

Will get cracking on the poster today and confirm the line-up - very excited!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

So no one told you we would overact this way...

My views on life by me.

There is an obscure 90's TV show called the Adam and Joe Show and in one show they do a Friends parody using toys called Furends, here is a video of it anyway..

Its starts with Mouse-Gunther describing Friends as "a bunch of self obsessed one dimensional characters". At the time I didn't really know what that meant, but now obviously I know that people are not like Friends characters - there isn't a stupid one, and funny one, a neurotic one etc., and any one person is likely all of those characters, and more, combined.

I think it is interesting that most people understand that their own personality is super complex; I have contradicting views, traits and feelings based on my own personal range of experiences, and I wouldn't expect any other persons understanding of the world to be quite like mine.

This is why I don't really understand why people have such a hard time with groups of people. It doesn't really help to stereotype a bunch of people as if they are one big group of Ross's or Rachel's.

I say that I am a feminist, and I'm happy to explain why; I think people should be treated equally as individuals, not by their gender, race, or any other factor. Obviously this encompasses more than just feminism, but the reason I say 'feminist' is because for some reason this 'ism' makes people wince. A lot of people say things like 'why don't you just say 'equality' or something instead? Well, the fact that a word, that basically just stands for equality, still has such negative connotations because it contains the word 'fem', shows there is still some way to go.

It feels like a waking limb

Why I started stand up comedy classes (Comedy Girl @ Comedy Bar);

a. I always kind of wanted to try stand up.

It felt weird to tell people this, especially at first, because it's like you are saying "hey, so I think I'm that funny", and that's embarrassing to admit. It's not like if you tell someone "I want to study math", because they don't already have an opinion on whether or not you suck at math.

b. I used to be super shy, but I cured my fear of public speaking by forcing myself to do lots of public speaking.

I joined my high school debating society (yes, I became a master-debater) and gradually became more and more comfortable speaking in front of larger groups of people. I ended up doing a speech I felt really passionate about in front of 200 people at a university and it went really well.

It's not like you can just leave it a that though, you have to keep at it or the fear comes back. So I like to keep putting myself in these situations in order to feel comfortable when I have to do public speaking at work (also why I auditioned for every TV show known to man while in university. Made it on the Weakest Link so yeah I'm pretty famous).

Anyway, one new thing I am learning at the moment is how I deal with self doubt. It's a really weird process, especially when it's something as subjective as 'whether or not this is actually funny' because really, there is no answer. It probably is (to me) and isn't (to you) at the same time and it really just depends. So it's hard to keep going with something that constantly makes you question yourself and wonder if you are just looking stupid and everyone is just being nice. It's super easy to just stop doing it, but I feel like in the end, it's a super rewarding exercise to keep pushing through those fears and thinking "ah f*** it, it's fun".

Lastly, please come see this show on Monday! It is incredibly exciting because it is Dawn Whitwell's weekly show with loads of awesome pro comedians who I have seen live and am super star struck to see in real life let alone perform on the same stage as (eeeeekkkk!)!!

Dawn Patrol @ Comedy Bar - 8.30pm 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Share in my chocolate pocket

This post may be super self absorbed... so I'm sorry. But it's my blog so that's basically all this is anyway.

I just wanted to write down this to remind me later on in life, because I think it's pretty cool.

This time last year, I signed up for a marathon clinic. I cannot believe I was running about 5 days a week in this weather. It is like -20 degrees fyi. Anyway, this madness lead to some pretty awesome motivation. I was literally so motivated. It was so awesome. 

I was doing a great course after work at U of T and taking on new stuff at work whenever I could. I was also making friends with some awesome peeps who were all adding to my buzz, and so it snowballed.

Anyway, then I spontaneously combusted and ruined everything and now everybody hates me.

Joke, nothing bad happened. It was just an awesome period of my life. 

The point of this is really just how great it is when one decision to do something different starts a chain of other awesome stuff happening. 

The interesting part was that not only did it feel like a chain reaction, but it actually did form a weird real life chain... like the people I met on my course ended up being my colleagues at my new job I landed the day after finishing the course at U of T... and to top it all off, my office is now next to Mel Lastman square. Which is where the marathon literally begins. 

Anyway, I hope I remember this if/when my life ever takes a shit dive, because "this too shall pass" don'tcha know.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

This weird collection of olive oil tins I have at the cottage

In other news... I was sent a recording of my Bad Bitches comedy performance. It was weeeiiirrrdddd to here my strange hodgepodge accent blah blah blahhhhhing to some nice giggly audience folk. But interestingly the more you listen to yourself speak the less repulsive it feels so that's good.

The peeps who did the recording for our show did an awesome job, so I now have a super high quality little memo for if I ever want to embarrass my future children with my poo jokes - hit up fellow funny lady Courtney if you want info!

If you would like to be one of the friendly audience folk that frequent these shows, I shall be performing Dawn Patrol on Monday, February 16th! (If I have your number then you will be getting harassed about coming to this don't worry.)

Here is Courtney on tonight's bill!!

Dawn is a comedy genius and has unlocked the secrets of comedy to the extent that her wisdom is now passed down in the AWESOME FUN TIMES Comedy Girl classes you can take @ the Comedy Bar. 

I will finally be getting back to Comedy Girrrrrl class on Wednesday CANNOT WAIT. 

In fact, here is an incredible vid of the lady the myth the legend and the Comedy Girl thang...

I have a joke to make about a phone conversation this guy on the streetcar was having: "I am just going to sell the weird collection of olive oil tins that I have at the cottage" - I'm not sure what I am going to do with this but there must be something there right?

Me llama llama ding dong Siminion

Hi again peeps!

I told you this would remain a knitting and crocheting ("and crying about how lonely I am" - according to my little brother) blog... so here ya go! 

I made my favouritest a minion. She likes minions. And it formed a nice pun with her name.

It was supposed to be for Christmas but LOL the entire Christmas period lasted one minute it was impossible to fit anything in. As if it even happened already.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I don't think you can handle this

My New Years resolutions, by the way, are as follows:

1. Write a novel
                        ...well finish at least one of my current masterpieces; 
  • 'A Krokodil Love Story' 
  • The story of a girl who gets heavily into the occult and persuades her cat to bite off her friends nipple in a fit of rage - no title as yet
  • A short story of a thing of indeterminate identity walking aimlessly along a roadside - no title as yet
As you can imagine, they all have film potential and I will probably be the next JK Rowling by 2016.

Let me know if there is one that takes your fancy and I will write it just for you.

Also, let me know if you know of a friendly disturbed writing group I could join :)

2. Finally complete my journey to meet Sum 41

Many people ask me, why did you move to Canada?

My 13 year old obsession with Sum 41, that's why.

I am here on an extended pilgrimage to meet my teenage heroes, and so far I have only gotten as far as working with someone who's friend in high school shared a hot tub with Dave Baksh.

I refuse to believe that after living this close to Ajax, the mecca itself, for the last four years, this is as far as I have come.

This year I will be stepping up my game. Let it be known! We will become best friends god dammit it's written in the stars...

(If you are interested to know my track record, last year I resoluted(?) to run a marathon and do stand up so I'm statistically 100% likely to succeed this year.)