Halloween Apples

Since it’s Halloween, I’ve decided to make a list of my all time favourite scary movies. I don’t really like gore but I love being creeped out. That kind of scared that gets under your skin and stays with you for a while.

The first movie that ever really, like really,  scared me out was the Exorcist. I was in grade 7 and I wanted to impress a few of the cool girls that were coming over for a sleepover. So I asked my mom if I could rent the Exorcist — because that’s how you impress people when you’re thirteen. She asked me if I could handle it and I was like yeah, obviously, nothing scares me anymore, I’m like totally thirteen and adult.

So we rented it and watched it. The cool girls laughed along with it and so did I because I wanted to fit in, but inside I was dying — especially when they decided to re-watch (not just once but at least three times) the scene where she crawls down the stairs in bridge position and vomits.

After that night I made my dad throw out my Ouija board. After that night I imagined Regan standing behind my door on the third-floor of an old creaky Wolseley house with a knife ready to kill me. After that night I was scared of going to bed for at least three years.

I hadn’t helped that my friend and I had ‘accidentally’ summoned the devil into the room across from mine earlier that month. Every night I was afraid. But I also couldn’t admit it to my mom because I had promised her that the movie wouldn’t affect me.

Even though I was really freaked out I still loved, and continue to love, scary movies. I’ve gotten over my fear of the Exorcist — well it kind of took moving out of my parent’s house over two years ago but I’m alright now.

Since it’s Halloween I thought I’d make a list of my favourite creepy movies of all time, in no particular order.

Rosemary’s Baby
First off Mia Farrow with a pixie cut and clothes. Second, Mia Farrow’s clothes. And lastly, it’s Mia Farrow’s acting.

The Blair Witch Project
The first time I watched this was by myself. The second time I watched it was in a trailer in the woods when I was fourteen years old with three of my friends. We were screaming so much her parent’s threatened to kick us out of the trailer and sleep in the tent they set up for us in the forest. Needless to say we shut up.

Scream
Great camp and its meta analysis of horror movie tropes is on point.

The Shining
I’ve read the book and seen the movie. I think the movie is better, well the ending anyways, and Jack Nicholason and Shelley Duvall are fantastic.

Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me
Twin Peaks is better than Fire Walk with Me, but Fire Walk with me has one of the creepiest moments I’ve ever seen. Also, it completes the story even though Donna isn’t even played by the real Donna.

Blue Velvet
More Lynch. This one’s all about Frank.

Three Women
Scary in a different way, a way that plays on identity. It was also a really strange movie for Robert Altman. I think he said it was inspired by a dream.

Heathers
Highschool cliques and murder. Not terrifying, just big fun.

No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem plays one of the scariest on-screen psychopaths I’ve ever seen in a film.

I told you mine, now you tell me yours.

Water me.

This week I cooked beans and they were very good. So good that my friend Margaret and I ate them cold while walking home from school.

You need: beans (refried, black, kidney, or whatever really), a red onion, a green pepper and the secret key ingredient — cumin.

Fry the onions in a pan with a little oil and cumin that you have already smushed up with a mortar and pestle. Add some chopped up green pepper. Stir it all up. Add a can of beans, or if you’re super organized the beans you soaked and cooked yourself the night before, and let them all sit witheach other up for awhile — remember to stir them so they don’t burn.

Serve them with cheese, in a burrito, in a bowl, or share them out of a tupperware container with friends while walking home on a cold(ish) fall day.

Enough about cheap eats. Let’s talk about FKA Twigs and an interview she did with Rookie. Her music is honest, expertly produced and very very interesting, interesting meaning very very good but in a way that means a bit more, and i’m not really sure what a bit more means.

She’s super cool, incredibly sexy and creative. She also produces all her own music and videos — she is a woman very in control of her own image and her work. The main thing I took away from the interview was this quote:

Last week, I bumped into a very famous music artist. She started talking to me about her nails and her hair extensions, and how getting this stuff done makes her feel like a woman, and she has to have so much money to get this stuff done because she’s a woman and that’s what being a woman is. I thought to myself, That’s very interesting, because what makes me a woman is when I know I’ve produced a song myself—when I’ve found an artist to work with, given him a beat to work on and told him what I wanted, and he’s given it back to me and it’s what I’d envisioned as a producer. Or when I’ve made a video and released it into the world. That’s what makes me feel like a woman. Like, fuck anything else—fuck how tall I am or how long my hair is!

— FKA Twigs

I thought this was a really refreshing statement on what it means to be a woman. Growing up and presenting myself to the world as a strong female is something I struggle with. While the term woman is empowering, it is also intimidating. For me being a woman is very different than being a girl. I feel like woman is a term I need to start to own and use when I am talking about myself and my friends who are growing up and contributing in meaningful ways to our communities. What makes you feel like a woman, or a man, or really maybe just an adult? Below are a few more videos so you can get your fix.

Last week vs. this week

Last week, it was was warm and muggy out and I cooked dinner for two beauties: my roommate Dre and my friend Rebecca. I made a simple Thai curry and guacamole because nothing goes together like Mexican and Thai food. We drank Half Pints Bulldog Amber Ale. We listened to Jonathan Richman sing about summer. It was really nice.

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But that was last week and right now I’m thinking about a 20 year-old girl and the male-dominated alt-lit scene. This weekend Sophia Katz, a young Toronto based and Winnipeg born writer, published an essay on Medium that chronicles a week-long trip to New York where she was repeatedly raped by Stephen Tully Dierks, the editor of Pop Serial.

It made me feel sick.

It made me feel sad.

It made me angry.

I am mad that the sources we look to (I’m not really saying that Pop Serial is great example but talking instead about the whole alternative literature social media whatever scene) for alternative voices are still so firmly planted in patriarchy. Especially the hipster media world.

I think it was last year Dov Charney, the creepy CEO of American Apparel, was finally fired after numerous allegations of sexual harassment. And you know who’s career is taking forever to die? Terry Richardson, the guy who started out with Vice and photographed every celebrity ever, from Madonna to Martha Stewart. Last year a swarm of sexual assault claims chased him out of the game a bit, but it still took forever for Vogue to release a statement that they would stop working with him. And he’s still working.

These sad weird men had (and in someways still have) so much cultural capital. People knew what they were doing but the people making accusations were very young women. And let’s get real, no one listens to young women. Especially the young women who are starting their careers and told that these are they guys to meet, these are the people with connections, if you don’t make them happy you’re done, you blew it.

” If Stan were a museum patron and I were a work of art, he would be asked to leave immediately. If women were different shades of lipstick at Sephora, Stan would be taken outside by the mall cop, and the mall cop would call his parents. If Stan were a 20-something man, and I were a 20-something woman, I would like to think I wouldn’t have let him claim my body as his own. But the reality is that I did. The reality is that this happened. The reality is I’m not the first person he has done this to, and if I say nothing, I have a feeling I won’t be the last.”

-Sophia Katz

I’m happy she said something. According to Gawker, Dierks has deleted his Twitter account and announced to the world via Facebook that he is leaving public life and resigning from the magazine. Good.

Smoothies and The Tipping Point

Dinner: a smoothie (I had a soccer game)
Drink: a glass of water
Company: my cat Zimmerman
Music: The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell (audiobook)

I know I said I would talk about the food I’m making and the people I’m hanging out with, but that’s been a bit hard this week. I haven’t really eaten anything other than a too-sugary sweet pecan pie from Superstore, smoothies, hard-boiled eggs and coffee. Last night was no exception. But, I have been listening to a great audiobook that connects to advertising and marketing, ‘cause that’s what I’ve been immersing myself in since last week.

This week I started listening to The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It came out in 2000 and explores how epidemics start and catch on like wildfire. Not just typical virus’s that spread but social cultural epidemics — he explores how things have been going viral since a time before computers and the internet. A lot has changed since 2000 but I see a lot of his theories and examples being played out today. The concept of trends hasn’t changed but the mediums have. So far, the most interesting part for me (I’m only about an hour in and I don’t really know how that translates into pages) has been his descriptions of three different archetypes that are essential to anything going viral.

1. The Connectors i.e the social glue

Connectors know a lot of people and all kinds of people. They occupy many different worlds, subcultures and niches. For a good understanding of how many degrees of separation there is between people just take a look around Winnipeg or play the Kevin Bacon Game (http://www.thekevinbacongame.com/). When it comes down to it, the majority of people are connected by only a few people. Gladwell uses Paul Revere and Kevin Bacon as examples.

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2. The Mavens i.e the ones who provide the message

These people keep the marketplace honest.They read more than most and are always on top of different trends. They are more than experts on many topics because they are socially motivated.

3. Salesman i.e. the persuaders

These guys are the ones that will package, price, and sell your idea. Their characteristics implicit in their name.

I’m not really sure where I sit in terms of the three but it’s been fun trying to figure out where my friends fit into these different categories.

First steps

Last year the blog I started for school was a mess. For starters, it was called Clara + Winnipeg (I know, plus sign names are soooo over and done with). It also lacked focus. I thought it would be fun and cool to write about gritty and weird Winnipeg, in what capacity I didn’t really know and never really figured out. So, I changed the blog title to Clara’s blog (so original) and waxed poetic about who knows what. It made me anxious and I hated it. This year I’m trying something a bit different …
I’ve decided to broadcast my eating habits to the world.

I survived school on a diet made up mostly of Tim Hortons bagels, hard-boiled eggs, and a weird amount of yam fries – which I only really ate because that meant I could eat mayonnaise. Gross.

This blog will be an attempt to curb my terrible stressed-out eating habits while in school. I’m trying to learn from past mistakes and move towards a healthier, happier me.

I’m done worrying about how I can write something beautiful about a writer who’s infinitely better than me. Gone are the days where I can’t figure out what to say about nothing. I’m going to write about food once a week, and I’m gonna like it (hopefully you do, too).

This year I have less money and less time for friends. I’m looking to make cheap eats and keep a bit of a social life going at the same time. My goal is to cook and write about one meal every week. I’ll let you know how to make it, if it was any good, who ate it with me, what music I listened to while cooking, and maybe, if I’m feeling fancy, a wine or beer pairing – things might get crazy.

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My old apartment. I’m now in a new apartment with a new kitchen, and the same horse skull on the mantel.