Posted on December 12, 2012
Omelet: courgette, saucisse de Toulouse, onions, piment jalapeno + ail et herbes salées.
Aligot + pain 9 grains + Café + Jus d’orange
Posted on March 19, 2012
Posted on September 9, 2010
I started volunteering at the SPCA, taking pictures of pets who need some rescuing in order to help them get adopted. Here’s a few of them:
Posted on October 18, 2009
My new kitteh.
Posted on July 18, 2009
Lately I’ve been working on improving my “quality of living”. It’s been a long time coming actually. With the year I’ve had at grad school, I often felt that even though technically I have all the elements “on paper” to live a good life, I’ve been unable to actually make that happen. I’ve learned a great number of things over my recent trip to Europe, and the most important of them is that life gives you what you put into it. Give it passion and freedom and it boomerangs right back at you with happiness and adventure.
The major thing that I learned though, was in the South of France. The art of living slowly, eating well and making grand things out of the most understated elements. That actually all goes hand in hand. When I came back, I took the time to read Milan Kundera’s book, “La lenteur” (Slowness), in which he writes that speed is directly linked to the will of forgetting. He takes the example of a motorcyclist who, on the highway, with the speed of his bike, forgets everything about his life, for there is just him, the road, the wind… speed makes him forget about all of his life’s stresses and leaves him in an intense meditative state. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he talks about the slowness of medieval courting and how every calculated pause adds intensity to the experience of the lovers.
In most big cities around the world, slowness is almost nonexistent. Between the “Métro, boulot, dodo”, and the amount of up keeping required to make life go on (groceries, cleaning, laundry, etc.) there isn’t much time left for actual breathing or slowness. Every moment of our lives is so saturated with our “to do” lists that there isn’t any room left for any sort of poetry or for the ecstasy of simply living to creep up on us. Is this really living? I wonder. If so, why do such full lives actually end up feeling empty to most people?
Well, to make a long story short… eating is one of the things that we tend to do much too fast I think. Not only do we eat fast, but we don’t take the proper time to actually enjoy the experience of making real food happen. Not that this should be a complicated endeavor or that it should take hours at every meal… but I feel that a lot of the times, there’s absolutely no passion that goes into it.
Lately, I’ve been allowing myself to let go (meaning REALLY letting go of all the other things that should get done) and indulge into the experience of cooking. This, to me means forgetting all the work I have to do, forgetting about the cleaning that comes afterward, forgetting that what I’m doing is actually taking time. At that point, I stop thinking of food as something that I know. I don’t think about “meals” I’ve eaten in the past and things I’ve liked. I think of possibilities of food as a blank page. I take my reusable bag, my wallet, my keys and head to the grocery store. When I get there, I look at prices mainly. I go for the cheapest items (because I’m pretty poor these days) and imagine what good can come of them. Since it’s summer, there’s a lot of great deals to be had out there.
This morning, I looked into my fridge, and to my great delight, there was a lot of individual things left over from my week’s bargain shopping, just demanding to me eaten. A single potato, some zucchini, cherry tomatoes, eggs, garlic, spring onions… mmm… then add to that some breakfast sausages I had in the freezer and a piece of baguette… and there we go.
I honestly didn’t know where I was going with this, but as I was listening to CBC Radio 1, I let myself forget that time was going by and just let myself be creative with what I had. To my utter delight and excitement, I actually ended up creating one a great meal like I’ve been longing to make… As I saw the potatoes starting to brown in the pan, and the tomatoes mix in with the zucchini and green onions, I got overwhelmed with joy from all of those beautiful colors that started appearing in the said pan. Well, as it turns out, the food tasted just as wonderful as the experience of making it was. Ah, the joys of food. It takes time to make magic happen in the kitchen… or maybe it’s just a matter of forgetting about the existence everything else in the world for those moments and making a meditations out of it. Letting yourself be saturated with the slowness of the experience… The French, with their 2 hour lunch breaks, truly have one up on us, for they have actually realized that food isn’t only about fueling up the body and making hunger disappear, it’s about actually enjoying the experience of eating and allowing ourselves the necessary time to make that happen.
Vive la France!
Posted on June 16, 2009
I’m back home in Montreal and currently undergoing a serious battle against a monstruous case of jetlag… I promise to write a “bilan” of my trip as soon as I’ve gotten some serious sleep.
Posted on June 4, 2009
J’ai entendu ta voix dans les décombres de mes souvenirs.
J’ai vu ta main dans les vignes qui couvrent les arbres tendrement
qui y grimpent lentement
couvrent l’écorce de leurs caresses.
De la hauteur d’un tronc brisé, tu me tends ton bras, me montres le chemin.
Tu effleures mon poignet du bout des doigts.
Tu enfiles tes doigts entre les miens.
nos paumes se resserent
enlacent nos corps clandestins
à la sortie du sousbois
chuchotent des secrets
qui s’effacent comme les blessures sur mes pieds.
Posted on May 19, 2009
I’ve been in Cahors since Sunday morning now. If I haven’t written much over the last few days it’s because I’ve been busy falling in love with the Lot (that’s how they call this region). The way of life here is pretty much all about the food. I was welcomed at the Cahors train station Sunday morning by Alain’s grandmoth er, and from there we headed over to his gorgeous 18th century home. His mother had been busy cookin up some food since the early morning to welcome thy honoured Acadian guest. Now, I was planning to update you on a bunch of stuff that had made me fall in love with this place to the point where I never want to go home to Montreal again, but the magret is almost ready and my new friend Vince has just arrived. Yesterday, he took me for a ride around the lot to Douelle and Parnac where we visited the local vignobles (wineries). Today, after the food, we’re going rock climbing.I’ll try to describe other wonderful things in the next few days if I can manage to slow down the discoveries long enough to be around a computer to write. We’ll see I guess… Photo by Alain Astruc
Posted on April 30, 2009
This morning, I decided that I was sick of dealing with the microcosmic world of Facebook. After having decided to delete my account, I got to thinking about how tiring it is to have everyone know everything about you and be able to comment on everything you do.
Seriously… I do realize that I wilfully inscribe all of that information on the popular website, but really, which part of it is done out of compusion and what is really done in a desire to bring the world closer to our own? Truth is, I think a great number of us have become addicted to the interworld. It has become so easy to make ALL of our friends part of our daily life: we can change our status as often as we want to let them into our heads, post our pictures, invite them to events, message them, and we can even do live-chats with them as we “fake-work” at our desks.
In fact, it has become SO EASY to reach out to everyone, I think it’s starting to have a bit of the opposite effect on our social lives. Instead of calling our good friends to invite them for coffee, we message them or write on their walls. Instead of making private invites to our favorite concerts, we click a few times to share the happenings. Could it BE any less personal? Seriously. I can’t remember the last time a friend actually CALLED me. People don’t invite you to parties, they just expect you to come. Personally, if I get one of those invites to a private party, I’m not very likely to go for the simple reason that I don’t feel that the person inviting me really cares enough about my presence to incite me to go in person… so I figure it’s not really worth much more than a click to “maybe attending”, which usually doesn’t even deserve their bother to twist my arm and convince me to come.
Maybe I ask for too much out of my relationships. That’s actually quite possible and I’m willing to take the blame for that. But really, it’s got me wondering how much of my life is going on virtually. I’m virtually friends with 291 people who can’t even be bothered to call me every once in a while to hear the lovely tone of my voice. I pay a ridiculous amount of money every month just to keep that damn phone active, yet it rarely rings (save one person who actually does call every once in a while because she prefers a 2 minute phone conversation to 15 minutes on FB chat).
Another friend I’ve been trying to chase down for weeks, months even… all she ever does is “poke” me. We never see each other, we never have coffee or beers, we never talk or even so much as cross each other on the street. Are we really friends? Real life friends? Facebook friends? Is there a difference? Because these days I feel like I’m not actually living. I don’t feel lonely because Facebook proves to me every day that I’m not alone and that people actually care about me because they notice my thoughts by clicking that they “like” it, or ask for more info about my strange status updates. However, when I actually want to go out and have a good time, NOTHING. In fact, I think what Facebook really does is that it numbs the loneliness and isolation that we live in, but I don’t feel it actually does anything good to our actual lives because we forget too often that Facebook living is not ACTUALLY living, it’s only VIRTUALLY living.
Why don’t we try to ACTUALLY live anymore? If we’re only living and connecting virtually, we’re not actually living OR connecting with each other. Body language, actual appearance, glances, graciousness of the actual physical being, they’re all lost in that world. All we ever physically see each other for anymore is for sex and booze. Has our world really come to that? And if our worlds are merely words on computer screens anymore, why can’t we even be bothered to spell these words correctly and bless them with the full subtlety of their proper letters (but that’s another matter I won’t get into right now)?
My beef is that in our current “relationships” with the world right now, it has become WAY too easy to not reply, to ignore, to watch and not respond… it’s all so disgustingly passive. Would we really just sit there in front of a friend over a pint of beer and remain absolutely unresponsive to what they’re saying? No, because that would be rude. We need to engage a bit more in order to make these things work, and I think the same delicatesse is definitely required to actual living. I’m not saying that Facebook is wrong, but I AM saying that it’s not life. It lacks so much of all that is essential and delighful about it. And there’s only so much you can experience from the interweb. All I know is that I don’t want my life to be virtual anymore. I want it to be real, to feel real.
So, in an effort to make that happen, I’m saying goodbye to Facebook today. I just hope that the people who really care will still be bright and resourceful enough to find ways to get my phone number or email adress and that they won’t stay numb and limp to my sudden disappearance. After all, if they’re my Facebook friends, it’s because they’ve been my real friends at one point, and I don’t want to shortchange anyone in saying they’re unable to actually do that… I’m just telling them to work a little harder and to live a little before they die. I think I CAN do that, and I hope they will too and decide to join me in the human world.
Posted on December 25, 2008
To all my dear readers, I wish you joyous holidays surrounded with your loved ones!
See you in the new year!
Posted on October 28, 2008
This is my life these days… I apologize for the lack of posts and activity on my site these days. It’ll pick up again soon, I promise. Sorry.
Posted on August 1, 2008
It’s summer, so I hope you’ll forgive my unsteady flow of postings. I have a bunch of entries that have gone into Midnight Poutine, but that, despite my best efforts, weren’t really great enough to slip into here.
Coming up in the next week: Osheaga Music Festival and Radiohead.
Should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Posted on July 13, 2008
I have recently created a Facebook group called Sarah Brideau Photography. Members of this group will get memos when I update the photography section on this site. I also tell you in which sets to look for updates.
Any person on Facebook can sign up, so if you like my pictures, tell your friends and get them to sign up too.
Posted on June 24, 2008
Like most of us here at Midnight Poutine, I have a day job. I spend about 40 hours a week sitting in an office, answering phones. It’s a pretty boring job to tell you the truth, but the thing that really makes my job bearable is the fact that I’m in a position where I can listen to CBC Radio One all day. The highlight of my workday is Jian Gomeshi‘s show, Q. Well, this coming Thursday, Q is coming to Montreal covering a variety of events, and while they’re at it they’ll also be recording a show with a live audience.
Q is my personal “daily dose of arts, culture and entertainment” as the show’s tag line clearly states it. Along with Craig Norris, Amanda Putz, Sook Yin Lee and George Stroumboulopoulos, Jian is one of my favorite CBC hosts. In my dream-heaven projected picture, I’m sitting on a cloud, hanging out with all these guys.
Along with a variety of generally arts oriented guests, Gomeshi often has some pretty awesome musical guests on his show. In the past few weeks alone, he has welcomed great artists (who’s shows we also happened to cover here at Midnight Poutine) like Hey Rosetta!, Los Campesinos!, Martha Wainwright and so on. They often have some pretty pertinent things to say and I really love Jian’s interviewing style and the way it leads into interesting insights on the guests’ art and themselves as individuals.
Thursday, June 26th, the Q team will be setting up in The Société des Arts Technologiques at 1195 Saint-Laurent boulevard and welcoming fans like me into the “studio” for the recording of the show. The free tickets are already sold out, with hundreds still on the waiting list to attend, I was lucky enough to get a couple of them and will be reporting the outcome to you later on this week.
Photo provided by CBC.ca
Posted on June 22, 2008
You may be sick of reading about the Fringe Festival by now. I hope you’re not, because it’s with immense pleasure that I’ve been trotting all over town for the past ten days, working like a machine trying to bring you the most insight on as much of this festival as humanly possible. If you’re saturated with the Fringe, it’s almost over. I sincerely hope you’ve been pleased with the variety of events we’ve covered, but mainly I hope you had a chance to enjoy some of these shows yourselves. I’d love to hear your comments about the festival. What were your highlights? Did you see any really bad shows? Did some of them blow your minds? Did you laugh? Did you cry? I always love hearing what our readers have to say so please, comment away.
Before the Fringe Pop! portion of the evening got started yesterday, a very special even took place at Parc des Amériques: The Annual Drag Races. From the picture, you’ve probably figured out that we’re not talking cars here, but rather men dressed as women performing in a variety of challenges. There are two teams, one made up of the lovely shemales from Chez Mado against the (mostly) male actors of the Fringe.
The first challenge let the contestants pick a member of the audience to be quickly made up in drag. Then came the cocktail challenge (no euphemism intended) where the gals had to mix up a cocktail, balancing it on a tray while stepping through tires with their high-heels, and getting an audience member to taste them. And last but not least, the lasses showed off how well they could shake it with a dance challenge. The ordeal, hosted by the ever-so-fabulous Mado, was judged by “Queen Elizabeth” and “Lady Di”. It was an entertaining afternoon filled with fun, hilarity and good times were had by all (even the guy sitting in the front who got a drink spilled on him).
After a little over an hour of that, I hopped away for a short play I’d heard great things about, The Particulars. The one-man-show was put definitely well put together and very articulate to say the least. The text was extremely well written, though the vocabulary was not exactly what you’re used to hearing said out loud, as it is generally reserved for the written medium. The monologue was a bit verbally heavy and definitely required lots of focus and attention in order to follow what the actor was leading us through. Maybe I just had a hard time focusing on what the handsome gentleman was saying, being distracted by the view of the latter in his tighty-whities. His performance was great though and I think the fact that the text wasn’t dummed-down definitely has its merits and charm.
I got back to the park just in time to catch the end of the Drag Races and see the winners being announced, which was followed by the musical event reviewed in the previous post.
Today, I finished my last lap around the Fringe with Blastback Babyzap, which was also warmly reviewed by Paloma. Though I had a hard time dragging my tired self out of my apartment once again, I was rewarded by one heck of a show. I think if I had an award to give out for this Festival, in the handful of shows I’ve seen, the Montreal company would definitely win the trophy. I’m a big fan of nonsense, silly and unassuming humor like the kind featured in this play, though it’s often a hit-or-miss when you’re trying to pull that kind of stuff on a live audience. Showcasing a variety of skits that all run one into the other, the actors flip the characters in no time and do it all very skillfully. They were all outstanding comedians that made the hilarious script come to life with their awesome dynamics and charisma. I laughed and giggled uncontrollably. I literally couldn’t stop laughing in some parts. This is a play I’d actually see more than once and still laugh after having seen it two or three times.
It is on this great note that I tip my hat off to you all on the Fringe matter. It’s been an exhausting but amazingly fun week for me. Kudos to all the actors and staff behind the Festival, who have clearly given it their 100% to make it so great. Special thanks to Geoff for providing our team with the passes, without which you wouldn’t have been able to read all about it. Great job! I’ll be looking forward to it next year.
Please don’t forget to leave your comments.
Photos provided by SarahBrideau.com
Posted on June 21, 2008
I must be a mad person, because after having already seen seven plays since the beginning of the Fringe Festival (all the while juggling my full-time job) I actually went out to see three more plays last night. First, I set out to check out Barry Smith’s Baby Book: A Grown Up Comedy About Stuff over a the Geordie Space.
After having checked out his play Jesus In Montana last year (and enjoying it mildly), I wasn’t exactly sure I was going to love this one. Turns out it was pretty fun. I’ve always been somewhat of a memory keeper, but this guy has serious OCD behavior when it comes to holding on to keepsakes. While it was more like a good stand up comedy supported by a great slide show than an actual play, it was a pretty insightful presentation and I laughed a lot. Smith is funny and has a lovely way of looking at life and being able to laugh at himself. I strongly recommend this one.
After quickly fueling up with some food, I headed down to the Mainline Theater to meet fellow writer Paloma and see A Leave of Absynth. I’ll leave the actual reviewing to her, but I will say that the play would’ve been a lot more enjoyable if we were all high on Absynth as well.
After taking a short break, I actually managed to stay up long enough to finally see The 13th Hour. This free show is a special even that has been taking place all week for those of us who are still awake at 1AM. Apparently this show is different every night. It’s sort of like a talk-show featuring a bunch of Fringe actors in a free-for-all style, presenting a variety of skits. Last night, there was a zombie theme to the show, because the death of the fringe is upon us (it’s almost over for this year). The show started off with a lesbian-flavored zombie-burlesque act. It was strange but great. Then followed a bunch of great acts with skits and music by the cast of Die Roten Punkte. There was also some wheel spinning and a Thriller dance class. Between yawns (out of tiredness and nothing else), I managed to laugh some more. The room was completely full and the crowd was very into it, though sometimes their loudness interfered with the actual things that were being said on stage. If you haven’t seen this show yet, you can catch the last one tonight at 1AM, at Studio Juste Pour Rire.
Posted on June 20, 2008
Since I saw the girl walking around with a strap-on around her head at the Fringe Festival opening event, my curiosity was piqued and I had to see what this was all about. Last night, I went to see the burlesque show cleverly named Peg-Ass-Us. It’s a show about pegging. Wondering what pegging is? It’s when a woman straps one on and does a man up the (!). The show was presented at the Studio Juste Pour Rire by a company from New York, USA.
It was a very interesting, entertaining, funny and educative show. When I think burlesque, I always sort of imagined a stage lined with women in corsets and such (not like strippers, but you know what I mean). Apparently, my definition of burlesque was off the track; everybody’s gotta learn sometime. Though it did feature full on nudity, this show was more like the wikipedia definition of burlesque: it featured a variety of stage acts like song, music, dance, skits, demonstrations, etc. I learned a lot about the prostate and laughed a lot in the process.
The show also approached many of the moral issues that arise with the sexual practice along with the underlying history. While the girl is an easy-going bombshell open to many things, the guy plays the more conservative part, constantly trying to stop the loose discourse of his partner. It must be said that if you have virgin ears or get offended by things of an explicit sexual nature, you probably should stay away from this one. However, I tend to enjoy the free discourse and all the learning involved in such things. I especially like it when it’s presented in a variety of entertaining ways like this was.
It was definitely a fun and enjoyable show. Go see it and take your friends. You still have two chances to catch the show:
06/21/2008 – 14:15
06/22/2008 – 21:00
Photos provided by SarahBrideau.com
Posted on June 19, 2008
I’m always a little uneasy when it come to going to see anything that’s specifically geared towards a women audience. Maybe it’s the eternal cynic in me, but I usually have a pretty hard time really getting into those things. I find they easily fall into preachiness or unrealistic hopefulness, which is something I like to stay away from. However, when I asked my good friend Craig what I should go see, he told me I should balance acts I really want to see with other things I’d never EVER go see. So, in an effort to try new things, bring you readers a variety of play reviews, and to put my fantastic media pass to good use, I decided to experiment both sides of the fence. This was the dark side of the fence for me: I was stepping into something I was expecting to be boring and common. First Hand Woman took me by surprise and totally drew me in from all sides: emotional, performance, technically – it’s my highlight of the festival so far.
The actresses are amazing: very believable, and more gorgeous one than the other, their acting leaves nothing to be desired. Technically speaking, the play is extremely well put together. The lights and sound undergo smooth transitions that accommodate the mood without being too apparent. The blocking is original and offers interesting movement to a play that could easily sit still.
I don’t want to tell you what the play is about, but I will tell you that the five actresses portray the five stages of grief, which are personalized as five separate personalities of a single person. The idea is original and the writing makes it work in a way that seems effortless (but certainly isn’t – there’s clearly a lot of work that’s been put into this).
As far as the writing goes, playwright Sarah Michelle Brown (also acting in the play) shows tremendous talent. Using a formula not unlike Sex and the City, this play features five extremely different characters that all make up different parts ourselves, which I think inevitably connects us in some way or another to at least one of them. This formula also allows us to get deeper understanding different personaes by helping us focus on the different layers of a single extreme at the time. The relationships between the characters are special and interesting, as well as the actresses’ play amongst themselves.
Without being preachy, the play does have parts where it felt a little like a self-help book, however, it does have a certain something that strongly appeals to someone like me who despises the stuff. The play does lead you into reflection, but also knows how to make you laugh. Though the girls beside me were crying by the end :S – I didn’t find it sad as much as I felt so tall and great when I came out. The overall play breathes professionalism and is definitely one you should treat yourself to by the end of the Fringe. Arrive early: the room fills up quickly.
Playing at the Portugese Association (Venue 7):
19 Jun @ 17.30
21 Jun @ 12.45
22 Jun @ 21.00
Photo provided by Fire Up Productions
Posted on June 18, 2008
The Fringe madness continues and one of my favorite thing about this festival is that I get to check out unique acts that I probably wouldn’t get the chance to see otherwise. Last night I saw Shoshinz and Cherry Typhoon and their comedy act all the way from Japan. This is a short and slightly strange show featuring dancing, miming, singing and even a little burlesque.
Shoshinz is a dynamic duo that present an act that seems right out of the Charlie Chaplin era. They pull it off with flying colours. With their talent for connecting with the crowd and really great wordless expression, I’d stick a smiley face on their report card for sure. Something must be said for the wordless acts: truth is, it doesn’t always work and there’s an increased difficulty when you’re trying to connect with a foreign culture from the stage. Shoshinz actually do pull off the theatrical “tour de force”.
The act features two lovely mischievous girls dressed up in maid outfits and mime makeup along with their sidekick, Cherry Typhoon who constantly changes costumes. The show is pretty great, and it’s not exactly the kind of quirky humour you get to see every day. The acting is really great and the girls have a real knack for making you laugh with the oddest things.Their facial and body expressions are really great. Taking it from a friend who lives there at the moment, Japan’s a pretty strange place, and the cultural differences between here and there are a world away. One more reason why I think it’s so great that the crowd was really getting into it and laughing from beginning to end.
If you get a chance, you should definitely try to get out there and see those girls in action. Shoshinz and Cherry Typhoon is a spicy Japanese act that’s definitely worth seeing. They even have cute Japanese merch for sale.
Photo provided by SarahBrideau.com
Posted on June 14, 2008
As some of you probably know, the Montreal Fringe Festival is now underway and will be going on until June 22nd. It’s a pretty huge festival and the amount of stuff to see there is quite overwhelming to tell you the truth. The good thing about it is that unlike most music festivals, you get more than one chance to check out an act that you’re interested in seeing. Most of the plays run between two and six nights over the course of the festival. I love theater and it’s something that I don’t go and see nearly often enough. So, along with other writers, I’ll be bringing you reviews on lots of plays over the next ten days, and if it sounds interesting, you should take the opportunity to go see it for yourself.
So last night I began my Fringe journey by seeing The Tricky Part, which is a play brought to us from the far land of South Africa. It was an interesting and touching play. The narrative gaps threw me off and it took me a while to really find this interesting.
Next, I headed off to Theater Ste-Catherine for the highlight of my evening, Scènes de lits. A dynamic company from Brossard presents this play in French and did a fantastic job at portraying the various exuberant characters (sometimes more than one character per actor). The play starts off being extremely funny and vivacious before heading into the darker depths of sexual relationships. Whether it’s the teenage couple trying to get it on for the first time, the swingers, the one-night-stands, or the gay guy trying to convince a girl he’s straight, all shapes and sizes of relationships are represented in a well-done 90 minute wrap.
Finally, I went to see Trauma Kit, which was a dance-theater performance portraying an intense psychosis triggered by the erasing and insertion of memory experiment. The acting/theatrical part of the play didn’t really do it for me though. I’m not a big fan of psychoses in general and I didn’t really hook (pun intended) on the actress’ performance. The choreography however, was fantastic. I loved watching this beautiful girl twirling around in a harness tied to the ceiling. The light and shadow play were great, and I wish I would’ve gotten the “OK” to take pictures for this one, because it was stunningly beautiful to see.
Photos provided by SarahBrideau.com