It's been a year.
She has no scars per say... The marks have faded (75%, I'd say?) If you don't know, I'm not sure that you can really see it, because it's now quite small and faint. We are still freaks about protecting this area from the sun at all times, and so are the teachers at daycare (one time a replacement teacher wasn't sure, so in doubt, she sent her outside to play with a heavy cotton bib. It was pretty funny). The doctors told us it was the most important thing we could do for the next few years.
Have I forgiven myself? Not really. To tell you the truth, I mostly try not to think about it. Because when I do it still brings me to a very dark place.
Friday, June 22, 2012
It's been a year.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
- Lifestyle freelance writer (I know I’m doing that already, but I mean for realz, so that it’s enough to make a decent living)
- Magazine writer/editor/content coordinator
- Advertising/PR/Communications agency writer/language specialist
Monday, June 18, 2012
Where do you draw the line with over-propping? We have other collections, too, Coca-Cola things from the 40s and 50s, old radios, old juicers, old cameras (this one is also a cliché these days I believe). We love this stuff. It is meaningful to us. It's all either family heirlooms or things we trimphantly found during our many, many, mostly useless antiquing trips. They're just visually appealing objects, period. Usually much more so than the ones that are produced today.
The thing is, despite the obvious pitfall of going overboard, I'd still take "styled" over "unstyled" any day. Has "styled" automatically become synonymous with "fake"?
Whatever the mockery, the vintage typewriter is staying. :-)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
"We were in China, you, me, daddy and my sister. We had to save a princess who was in danger, because a dragon was threatening her.
In order to save her, we needed the find the root of a golden baobab.
Then we moved to the North of China, because the dragon was heading there.
And then we found the root and we killed the dragon and we saved her."
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Earlier this year, Sympatico, my great freelancing client, put together something really fun: a Survival Guide booklet, featuring little beauty tips from their collaborators. I am now blogging (and, as of this week, managing social media!) for their foodie website, but I've also worked for their sister fashion and beauty website on several occasions. I believe it was meant to be sent around for press?
I recently received the final product, and it is stunning. The illustrations by amazingly talented Géraldine Charette are just incredible!
I mean, would you look at fictional I-so-wish me???
Friday, June 8, 2012
...it's the fifth time my birthday comes around since I started this blog.
Where does the time go? No, really.
I think you all know what my wish is?!
Posted by Marie-Ève at 5:00 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
You have no idea how much I love it when you leave comments on my posts over at the food blog saying things like "I used to make these for my daughters when they were little". Not "for you", like you might think I would be embarrassed if you said that.
These little unstaged "winks" just between you and me fill me with more joy that you probably ever thought possible. It is adorable and I love you. Truth be told, they also fill me with sadness because I remember it so well, everything you used to make us back when we were little. And some days I still don't understand how and when it stopped being that way. How I became the mom.
I am so lucky I had you as a cooking teacher.
Monday, June 4, 2012
UPDATE: I've added a post which includes great pictures from a recent The Atlantic feature...
So. For over four months now, Quebec has been going through one of its darkest periods. Even describing it is not that easy. Absurdly short, lacking in nuance summary: the students (not all of them, depending on universities and faculties, but a majority) are striking after the government tried to impose a 77% hike in tuition fees over 5 years. Wikipedia provides OK info on the context.
There are protests in the streets every day and every night, which are sometimes peaceful, but sometimes erupt in extremely scary violence that has no place in this city or this country. There is a general unsettling atmosphere I've never experienced before. There have been numerous shock tactics, such as blocking main bridges or placing smoke bombs in the metro during peak times -effectively paralizing the city for hours on end.
There have been attempts from students who didn't want to strike to force colleges and universities to provide their classes anyway through multiple court orders. There have been very ugly situations, occurring at some schools when these students tried to obtain the education they claimed they had the right to receive despite the strike, with anti-riot police squads taking over, hordes of striking students blocking the entrance regardless of the court orders, full of rage towards these "traitors", and professors completely breaking down because this was no setting for working but if they left they were afraid of being accused of the extremely serious "petition for contempt" criminal offense.
What has been a divising topic from the start (which made me highly hesitate before posting this, because I'll likely get stoned for my opinion one way or another) has, over time, become extremely antagonizing. I keep hearing (and I am frankly hating) partial, reductory, borderline hateful arguments coming from both sides, without much consideration for the other. But really, nothing is ever black and white.
At first, I didn't have much sympathy for the strikers. It was easy to sort of dismiss their fight based on this widespead argument of the anti-strikers: even if in percentage it represents a lot, the tuition hikes are only $325 per year. And even with that hike, tuition fees will still remain very low, by far the lowest in North America. So this is what you usually hear against the movement: the students are just a bunch of "enfants-rois" (spoiled brats, a cliché -which, like most, probably has some truth to it- that is often used in our society to describe this generation of kids who "grew up with everything, don't realize how good they have it, and don't want to pay their dues". "Self-entitled" is the term that comes back, over and over again.
That discourse has never been mine, but I admit that I couldn't wholly side with the students, either, and I still can't. For various reasons. I don't think that ultimately, money determines access to higher education that much (there are exceptions, obviously). Countries where university is free (for instance Scotland, France, Finland) are not exactly role models that work extremely well, for different reasons. And in France, it has undermined the quality, while not resulting in better access (most people with degrees still come from wealthy, educated families). (Even though I'm not an expert I'd like to add that I completed my master's degree in France at this point).
Also, because I find the students' message to be a little contradictory and all over the place (some want a tuition freeze, some won't settle for anything less than free schooling). And finally, because I could never endorse the violence and the fact that they've taken the general population hostage several times: this has never been a good way of solving things, period. I do understand that the violence comes from a tiny group of people that may not even be involved in the strike itself, but I still can't understand how the student leaders did not vehemently and completely condone it.
I do believe in access to higher education, and as part of our "welfare state" I expect our government to do its part. But the thing I'm not entirely sure students fully grasp is that someone has to pay. Should it be the students out-of-pocket during their university years, or should it be the general population (and consequently, the students themselves in a couple of years once they graduate) out of their taxes? It's a legitimate debate to have as a society, and I certainly won't deny the students' right to bring it up. I know that they're acting like 20 year olds, I know that I was like that too, that if I were a student today I'd probably be there. But I still don't like the huge stress of not knowing if I can make it on time to pick my kids up at the end of the day, or make it to work, or being deeply scared, or feeling like we're on the verge of a civil war. Because of course I've become this person that I used to hate back then, this person with responsibilities who is a little chicken and whose life is more governed by practicalities now.
I am still not deaf to their position, I am willing to listen and the last time I checked, I was still capable of discerning judgment, so I don't like how my concerns are considered "selfish" and "less legitimate" than their fight is.
But despite all of this, I would like to make it clear that this doesn't mean I endorse the government's position regarding the situation. I never understood it, and this is a government I never voted for, don't trust for a second (corruption accusations have been flying for years), and believe is solely responsible for this situation that has degenerated so much it's become a national security issue. The government has shown nothing but despise, adopting an infuriating, very patronizing, downplaying stance. The premier didn't even get involved in the issue for weeks as the city was figuratively (and at times literally) burning down, except for publicly making an outrageously rude and inapropriate joke about it.
As time went by, I could only get madder and madder at the government, while I must say I became quite impressed by the students (and their leaders). They are extremely determined, for one thing. Far from dying out over time (which was most likely the bet of the government -it should be stated that it is impopular and standing for reelection soon), the movement only became stronger. They are very organized, and even image-conscious, which has become crucial in this media-savvy age. Their leaders are very eloquent and make super competent public figures for any age, never mind barely-not-teenagers-anymore.
They were the only ones who dared standing up to this government a majority of the population holds a lot of grudge against. They believed in this so much that they were willing to jeopardize their school year. A lot of them seemed truly driven by an ideal, which is much greater than the "friggin' $325" (a lot of these students won't have to pay it anyway because they will graduate shortly and are therefore involved for those who will come after them). It was about social justice. It was in the same league, part of the same zeitgeist as "Occupy" was. It was about the Quebec we ultimately want: with our history of such great "entitlements" (universal healthcare, generous mat leaves, subsized daycares), where do we stand now as a society? Do we still want our kids to have that, or do we want to deny it to them? I know M and I have often reflected about the baby-boomer generation, and how "they took everything", and left us without much. (In all honestly this is a (bit of a crass) generalization, and when I told this to my mom she very rightfully protested that she didn't have it easy at all, she started working very hard at 17, for not much money, and added that she deserves a decent retirement now). But do we want to be the person who then turns to the younger generation and does the exact same thing?
And then, the government hurridly passed Bill 78, which was the straw that broke the camel's back. Even if you're not 100% behind the students, this was entirely unaceptable, and changed the situation completely. This law undermines fundamental rights, and created situations I never could have imagined here (such as making it possible to arrest someone for wearing the red square symbol, or for talking about protests on Twitter -what is this, China???) The law, of course, which was supposed to "give back access to class to the other students", only made matters much worse. Protests became uncontrollable, a much larger chunk of the population became angry and mobilized, legal authorities condemned the bill, so did union leaders, and something never seen before happened: there was a silent, very solemn protest of lawyers wearing their legal robes (unlike in the UK, they almost never wear them here). Hundreds of lawyers in the street protesting the bill have to be on to something! It's about so much more than tuition hikes right now. It's about democracy, and the building blocks of our society. Unlike what the very yellow recent McLean's cover affirms, no society can be brought to its knees over $325. It has to be much deeper than that.
With a new round of negotiations that resulted in failure last week, this is where we are now. I'm still on the fence as to fully support the students (they have seemed rather uncompromising lately), but I do understand them better and I am voicing my discontempt toward the incompetence of the govemnent much more loudly. I want this to end, and that's all. For everyone's sake! There's got to be a way.
Friday, June 1, 2012
...I guarantee you will shed a tear. (Or two).
40 Of The Most Powerful Photographs Ever Taken.
Number 32. Caption: Harold Whittles hears for the first time ever after a doctor places an earpiece in his left ear.