Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Oct 30, 2012

Hey Friends,

I'm a bad blogger.

I don't really have any excuses. Here's what's been going on with me.

Nothing is happening. I have no excuse. I love sandwiches.

Monday, 22 October 2012


So I went to Soupstock yesterday.

Writing about events after the fact is so unhelpful. But my blog is not here to help people. It's here to help fill the internet. The internet is hungry. Hungry for photos of food, kittens and celebrity bottoms.

Soupstock was an awareness-raising event about the environmental devastation that would be caused by the "Mega Quarry" proposed for an area north of Toronto. Loss of farmland and degradation of water supply are just two of the issues that event coordinators are hoping to highlight.

For more information on how much of a bummer is this Mega Quarry douchebaggery, check out this website:


The event was pretty packed - more than 200 professional chefs worked with tons of food donated from local Ontario farms.

There was a lot of sodium. No one was doling out Soups to Not Have a Stoke By.

I like salt.

There were musical acts, most notably Choir! Choir! Choir!, a Toronto based no-committment glee club. I am totally going to join.

But now, on to the soups. 

For $10 you got 3 bowls of the soup of your choice. 

There were only about 12 vegan options, so my choices were limited, but I was pretty pleased with my trio.

I started with an Autumnal Vegetable Soup topped with hemp seeds and pepitas, from the restaurant Fresh.

I followed up with a more brothy soup from LPK's Culinary Groove. It had bread (gluten free) in it. So I was happy.

And for dessert I had a raw spiced carrot soup with beet and kale chiffonade and cashew cream from Belmont Raw. Delightful.

I was so full of soup and sodium. I left a salt trail as I dragged my snail butt around the site.

It was a lovely fall day.

The perfect day to be a hippy.

i need to wear makeup sometimes.

I met this dog. His name is Zachary. He totally ignored me.

Soupstock, 2012. People were there and stuff.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

When I Go Out With Artists

I was at a social gathering recently (I know, I know. Weird, right?) where I didn’t know anyone except for the host. Although I am socially awkward at the best of times, now and then the stars align and I can be charming and also be amusing without having to spill food on myself.

While my friend was doing her hosting duties I had no choice but to be brave and make conversation with strangers. With each person I struck up with, I was secretly muttering in my head “Please find me interesting enough so that I can glom onto you all evening so that I’m not alone on the couch eating a baked potato looking like a total spaz”.

I didn’t need to worry. The flow of people moving between groups and conversations was seamless and people drew me into their circles in the most natural way. I don’t even think they pitied me. At least not that I could tell.

Many of the other guests were artists of note (I would have no idea they were known in the art world as, hell, unless they’re Tina Fey or Ted Nugent, I’m oblivious). Like their work has been in London’s National Portrait Gallery kind of note. Like they write books for artists on paint, kind of note.

The honest, unpretentious dialogue was so compelling it made me excited to know more about their work and process. And as you know, I never want to know about things I don't understand. So this was a major blow to the forces of apathy that currently guides my activities.

It also made me think about the joy of having a passion in one’s life.

These are people in perpetual creative motion. They were always creating, or doing things that would go toward facilitating their work. They were humble and self effacing and charming. Not a martini glass in sight nor reference to Dada.

Dada was an art movement in the early twentieth century. I’m not talking about their dads.

I really want to find one of these passion things.

And no, making poop jokes does not count, although I really am quite good at it.

 I do have things I like doing - like needlepoint and reading and making delicious soups. But there’s nothing that feels like fire in the belly, you know? 

I think the reason for that is that anything I would do, there would be a big chunk of me that would insist on it being the best thing ever and better than anyone elses and that it would have to make money and get a lot of praise.

Not a tall order. Not at all.

Of course everyone wants praise and acceptance. But for me, those things are the goal, not the completion of a project and the pride associated therein. 

This blog might be somewhat of an exception in that I know at the outset that there are a lot of blogs out there that are better and funnier, but still I persevere.

But I also know that there way, way more blogs that are worse.

So at least I can consider myself in good company, even if I am not the Queen Over All Blogs.

But, still,  it’s not a passion.

Where does one find that spark? How do you turn “I’d like to write a book” into finding an idea and writing a book about it without constant self sensor? How to put pretty colours onto a canvas and be happy with that, without the voice that says “seriously, Bitch?” How can sit down to write a song without considering criticism, trends and iTunes? For me, nothing is pure.

I don’t expect to ever be an artist of note, to be clear. But what I’d like to do is to give the inner critic a boot to the rear. 

A friend of mine who has no formal art training painted this.

by Charley Waters, 2012

No self hate. No expectations moving her brush. Just a desire to create. And it’s a piece of magic.

When we are kids, we just create because it’s fun. We’re not expected to produce a Pulitzer or a Picasso.

original Ellen Reid. Titled "Hotdog" Painted 1970.

 So how do we get back to that?

Where do you find the spark that lights the fire under one's ass of inertia?

 I am asking you, who among you has been able to lock up their ever unsatisfied inner High School french teacher and gone on to make something of value to themselves, and for no other purpose but to create? How did you do it? 

Words of wisdom greatly appreciated.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Farm Sanctuary Walk!

I just wanted to give a huge huge thank you to all of the people who donated in support of me walking in the Walk For The Animals for Farm Sanctuary this Saturday, Sept 29.

In all, I was able to raise $3225 thanks to so many generous folks, some of them donating twice!

You are the absolute best!

Thank you so much.

The walk itself was great. Bettina joined me, God bless her. Because I'd raised so much money, they asked me if I wanted to carry the banner at the front of the walk! Vegan princess for a day, me! If I'd known I would have chosen my outfit more carefully. I looked, well, lumpy. They didn't have a tiara for me to wear. But still, I felt honoured. 

Wow! My very first "march" of any kind and I get to lead the parade! I  was unsure so I practiced a bit before taking my place:

I was happy to do that, but I'm not much of a chanter, so I got a little shy with the chanting of slogans. I was ok with "Walk for animals! Walk for Hope!", which was cheesy, but reasonable. I was less comfortable with "Compassion is the reason! Go vegan!", as even though I think everyone in the whole world should go vegan, I don't think insinuating that people who aren't vegan are not compassionate is going to be the best way to entice people to the tofu-side. Gotta use a little honey and all that. Except I wouldn't use honey, but rather maple syrup or agave nectar. To be clear, and all.

But I kinda got caught up in it all and chanted away. 

Vegans and Everyone hates KFC, because it's, well, gross.

The walk was only 5k, but it took about an hour and a half and Bettina and I were tired at the end. Bettina said:  "Ellen if you do a fundraiser where there's booze and I can sit down, hell, I'll protest all night long".

Ellen and Bettina totally are protesting.

She's a trooper.

Anyway, we had a good time and I am so grateful to everyone who donated! It really is a great cause. If you want to know more about what Farm Sanctuary does, check out their website:


If you are interested in knowing just one reason why Farm Sanctuary does what it does, then check this out. 


Again, thank you so much. This cause means so much to me. Your support is wonderful!


PS - if you have a common name, scroll thru all the pics to make sure you see the one that is just for you! And Jeez, if I've forgotten you, lemme know!!

thank you Karen Ursel



thank you Carol Simard


thanks to Bill Spornitz

thanks to Angela van Amberg

thanks to Heather Podruchny

thanks to Kim Baker

thank you Lee Gagnon

serious huge thanks to Mary Bugnon

thanks Michelle Mark

thanks to Ruth Luff


thanks Morag Clark

thanks Ben Gott!

thanks James Kalyn

Thanks Juni Moon


thanks Robin Sundstrom



thanks Matt Crosbie

thank you Nina the dog whisperer


thank you Ruth Hooker


thank you Carolyn Janzen

thanks Leslie G.

Thank you Zoe Reid

thank you Jocelyn Oliver

thank you Rebecca Davis