I swear to God I did not want to laugh with this but I couldn’t help it. Actually it took me about 30 minutes to regain my composure and now I must share it with all of you. The music is genius, just genius. I love dlisted. It’s my guilty pleasure.
Archive for March, 2012
Located in Belgrano, Morgan Bar is the closest authentic English/Irish pub experience I’ve had in Buenos Aires. When I arrived, there was only one person working and she was having beer near the entrance with a male friend. She was very sweet and helpful. If you’re in town and want a beer in comforting surroundings, definitely check this place out. I loved it.
Belgrano, Amenabar 2363
Click here for more photos.
If you’re a bookworm like me and you live in a foreign country with limited English material, then KEL Books is where you need to be. With five locations in Buenos Aires, it’s the perfect place if you’re looking for Shakespeare, but there isn’t a comprehensive selection of contemporary works. KEL has been in operation for 25 years and it’s the largest English selling bookstore in Buenos Aires. The location in Belgrano is a little gem. The building is beautiful in blue and stands out amongst its neighbours. You can’t miss it. There’s a museo on the top floor with a lecture room for book clubs and English teacher training courses. This morning I wandered over to see if I could find something to pique my interest and had a washroom mishap. I will save that story for another time.
Kel English Books
Conde 1990 – 1428
Ramiro was born in the province of Santiago, a place where — if legend is true — no one wakes. It’s a running joke in Argentina that people from Santiago are always sleeping. When Ramiro was a teenager he and his family moved to the province of Tucumán where things are a little livelier.
I have never met a person more calm or serene than Ramiro. He’s an exceptionally quiet individual. He’s also very generous. He has allowed me to stay with him in his apartment for seven months now, in spite of the fact that I’ve broken or nearly tarnished every valuable possession he owns.
Sure he’s never here, and I’m basically the housekeeper, but I don’t complain. Ramiro has two sisters, one older and one younger. The oldest lives with her husband and three young daughters in Tucumán and the youngest lives in La Plata, Buenos Aires. His mother owns a clothing establishment, and his parents visit Capital Federal frequently to peruse the shops for clothes to sell in their store. Sometimes they sleep here in the apartment. Sometimes they don’t. But they visit. Often. If you catch my drift. Often.
None of them speak English. I don’t speak Spanish. It can get… interesting. I can never fault them on their kindness. When they visit they make lunch, or dinner, and are always observant that I don’t eat meat, and therefore make vegetarian meals. This is not something that I ask of them, and to their credit, in this meat eating country, they never complain. But then again, how would I know any better if I can’t understand a word that they say?
The whole brigade is in town this week and his mother brought over a food that I had never heard of before called humita en chala. Here is a little history lesson that I swiped form this blog. In 1879, the forces of Tucuman-born future president of Argentina General Roca wiped out most of the indigenous peoples that inhabited the Pampa, leaving the country with a predominantly European population. One of the few traditional recipes that survived from the native population was humita en chala and it was passed down from the Andean Incas and Mapuche tribes. Today it’s considered a national dish filled with hot corn pudding spiked with roasted piquillo peppers.
At first sight it just sat on my plate. I didn’t know what to do with it. Eventually I grabbed a pair of scissors, cut the string and carefully opened the contents to reveal a mushy substance in the centre. It was yummy and I helped myself to three servings.
It demonstrates that though a vegetarian diet in South America is more challenging, it isn’t impossible. Corn provides a lot of dietary fibre, and carbohydrates needed for energy. I am thankful to Ramiro’s parents for introducing me to this simple yet fabulous traditional culinary experience and for being remarkably generous while I’ve mooched off their son.
To finish this post I welcome you to listen to a song by the late Mercedes Sosa, an Argentine treasure.
The Argentine, as it is referred to in this 1932 MGM short movie, was a glorious place to be. Especially if you were a man living in Buenos Aires. There are some pretty fabulous shots of El Tigre, Plaza de Mayo and Calle Florida (when vehicles were permitted on the now pedestrian only strip).
I love the blatant justification of sexism. The Argentine women were not “troubled about the rights of their sex or any of the more virile notions that had stirred modern womenhood.” They were perfectly content with “the admiration so lavishly bestowed upon them.” Why would they want to have the same rights as men, such as the ability to vote?
Oh men. When will they learn?
Geese often return to the same spot each year to lay their eggs. They can be quite territorial and will attack if they feel that their babies are threatened.
This video of a Toronto man walking to work is funny, and I don’t know who to fear most, the man or the goose. In reality, I want the goose to win.
A handwritten letter Fiona Apple wrote in 2000 to a then 16-year-old high school student, who had asked her to write a note for his school’s gay-straight-alliance is making the rounds on the Internet. With much sincerity Apple writes, “A person who loves is a righteous person, and if someone has the ability and desire to show love to another — to someone willing to receive it, then for goodness’ sake, let them do it. Hate has no place in the equation; there is no function for it to perform. Love is love, and there will never be too much.”
Bill Magee described his experience with the musician on his blog. “Quite frankly, 16-year-old me was much more interested in interacting with a celebrity than building an alliance between gays and straights, but Fiona took me at my word and wrote me this really sweet letter,” he notes. “The show was on a Friday, and I got this via FedEx the following Tuesday, and she even apologizes for it taking so long. For much of the 12 years that have passed since these events transpired, this has been the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.”
He concludes: “I’ve met her a couple of times since, but I never got a chance to thank her for taking some time out and being so thoughtful, especially for a lonely weirdo like me.”
You can actually see her underwear. I always look forward to gay pride week in Toronto. The parade is the icing on the cake and takes place on the first Sunday in July. The woman in the picture is what we in Toronto often refer to as a 905er. Meaning that she lives in the suburbs of Toronto and ventures downtown once a year in the hopes of witnessing a freak show. She treats gay pride more like a spectator sport and gays exist only for her amusement. She’s not particularly gay friendly, and you may hear her say things like, “I have a cousin who is gay…” to which of course you have to roll your eyes. 905ers like the woman above are annoying. They always bring along their heterosexual male friends who say things like, “Alright, give ‘er…” and mistakenly believe that because they’re straight every gay man in sight will shower them with attention. I could go on. The main reason they’re annoying is because they dress like what you see in the photo above and call it good taste.
I memorized this passionate speech delivered by Emma Thompson at 1:15 by heart when I was a teenager. I love this movie.
I often struggle whether writing about subject matters that I’m passionately and personally involved with is a good idea. Like animal rights. There is so much cruelty towards animals in this world that it breaks my heart over and over again. But so many of us pay no attention, even though our hedonism is responsible for much of the injustices inflicted on animals. I don’t want to sit on top of my soap box, or be preachy or pretend that I am better than anyone else, but something has to be done.
Early this evening I was conducting some research on an independent feature-length film by CanazWest Picture Inc. about Asian elephants. They are hoping for a theatrical and television distribution but have to raise sufficient funds. I was going through their Twitter photos when I caught a glimpse of an elephant whose trunk was cut off of his face. He was left alive, and in agony. How could someone do such a thing?
I want to help but how can I? We live in a world where the majority believe that animals exist only for our entertainment and then nourishment. People proudly post photos on their blogs of the steak from their dinner the night before with no acknowledgement that it was once alive and probably suffered a great deal to end up on their plate. It sickens me. It really does. I know I should reserve judgment, but I can’t understand how we’re capable of ignoring cruelty. Our attitude is what we don’t know won’t hurt us.
Elephants are exceptionally intelligent creatures but that shouldn’t be reason enough to save them from harm. We should want to protect them not because they are smart but because it is the right thing to do. I don’t know where humans ever got the idea that they were more worthy of life than any other animal. Especially since it is humans who behave the most horrific.
I do what I can. I haven’t touched meat in seven years. I try to educate myself about where I buy my clothes and I frequently make my own dinner and buy local fruits and vegetables. But it isn’t enough.
Collectively we need to think differently and respect the rights of every creature on this planet to live their life free of violence and neglect. Including dogs. Including elephants. Including sharks. The list goes on.
I pray that by the end of my life that the Canadian seal hunt will have been abolished and those responsible will be brought to justice. The idea that it’s legal to club a seal to death is a stain on humanity, and it will always remain.
But what I find worse than such callous disregard for life, is our apathy about it. The simple belief that what lands on our plate, or what is used to make fashion is not our problem. It might not be our problem, because we are the problem.