Soup, soup, tasty soup

Well, boys and girls, it’s back to the sick bay for me.

If only I had a real-life Dr. Crusher.

She, in her fierce blue-black onesy, and camp-fire toned hair would not only cure me, but also immunize me from any other cough-flu-colds I may pick up in the future. (Somewhere around the rings of Saturn no doubt.)

Plus, on top of it all, Wil Wheaton was pretty darn cute as her son.

I like to refer to it as the Death Star's hipster little brother.

Side note about Mr. Wheaton: In one of our more, well, nerdy moves, in 2007 M and I went down to Seattle for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony, as M’s favourite author is Gene Wolfe who was being honoured that year. Gene Roddenbury was also being celebrated and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who was the man introducing him until I turned to the woman sitting next to me and stage whispered, “HOLY FRICK – IS THIS WESLEY CRUSHER?”

Little did I know that he’s now some prolific blogger and hugely popular figure in the nerdverse and highly celebrated as such. Seriously, the women seemed very off put that I was at an event at the Sci-Fi Hall of Fame and didn’t know this.

I actually got a photo with him after the celebration that ran on for an entire week.

Ah well, live and learn.

Last night on my way home from work my entire body seemed to go into shut-down mode. A thick fog swept its way over my brain, throughout my sinuses and down into my lungs.

My bones felt as they had been soaked in rubbing alcohol.

It was all I could do to pick up the necessary ingredients for a much needed cure-all: Jaime Oliver’s Mint Pea Soup.

I take all my cues from my little sister who is a rock star professional chef. No joke.


What I love so much about his recipes is just how easy they are – you make them once and it’s easy-peasy (pun intended) to memorize the ingredients and instructions – it takes absolutely no effort to put them together.

Mr. M likes to get involved.

Plus they taste so darn lovely.

The finished product.

I got home, unloaded my bags and turned on my favourite CBC radio program As it Happens.

Now, hands down, if I could have any job in the world, I’m pretty sure hosting this show would be it.

They interview the craziest, most irreverent, brilliant, interesting, heartbreaking individuals, and cover stories that can be described in pretty much the exact same way.

Last night they interviewed a city councillor from Louisiana that is working on banning pyjama pants from public places (having already passed a bylaw prohibiting the wearing of baggy pants.)

They also interviewed Michael Semple, a former EU envoy to Afghanistan, on negotiations with the Taliban, and read a story about how sheep shearers in New Zealand are trying to get their sport into the Olympics (albeit just for demonstration.)

To say that the show is scintillating and thought-provoking would be simplistic in the extreme.

It is, the best.

I think one of the biggest reasons behind why I enjoy it so much is the brilliant way in which it is structured: mixing in the odd with the important, the beautiful with the bad.

There is a very fine, very important balance to the program. No one emotion, and or sentiment is ever allowed to hold a monopoly over the stories they cover.

For one and a half hours, you get the happy, and you get the sad.

Because isn’t this how life itself, actually unfolds? From my experience, nothing is ever just good, and nothing is ever simply bad.

That’s why As it Happens is such a refreshing look at world events compared the overwhelmingly negative  emphasis that I find so pervasive in traditional news outlets. Turn on any news site – whether radio, television or online, and I promise you the focus will be on what bad thing happened, in what bad town, orchestrated by which bad individuals.

No wonder so many people chose to remain uniformed – the constant onslaught of depressing stories is enough make even the strongest individual weary of established (read: static) journalistic practices.

We already know bad things can happen. Need we be reminded every single day of this fact? I don’t even have the energy to get into how this is probably the number one reason why so many dangerous and harmful isms are so readily and easily reinforced and socially institutionalized.

There is a reason why brainwashing has remained en vogue for so long. It works.

I suppose this is also another reason why I really love CBC radio programming as a whole – the overwhelming diversity it brings to the table. And yes, I am fully aware of how nerdy this makes me (yo – Wheaton, are you hearing this? I’m encroaching on your crown so you better watch yourself!) but I really don’t care. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family that always had it on in the background, but the more I listen, the more I learn, and the more I am inspired.

Don't have CBC in your life? That, my friends, can change! Or, you know, an over-sized cat mug with pea soup also helps.

There is so much good work being done in the world, it’s just such a shame that so little of it remains unreported, and unnoticed.

But then, even just typing those words, immediately they rang false – because if these wonderful works actually went unnoticed, I have a hard time believing the world would even be running at the (somewhat limited) capacity that it is.

They may not be celebrated, but they are definitely making the world a better place.

And that makes me feel better, on the whole.

And I hope that, perhaps, just being aware of this will, like a real-life Ms. Crusher, make me just that little bit healthier.


Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

7 thoughts on “Soup, soup, tasty soup”

  1. This sounds a lot like my cooking rituals…Radio, Jamie Oliver…By the way, I make that pea mint soup all the time now. Amazing.
    I am partial to CBC also, but I’ve never really tuned in to As It Happens because I’m usually more of a morning CBC listener. But now I’ve added it to my podcast subscriptions so I’ll check it out when I’m not listening to This American Life, Radiolab, Planet Money, WireTap, The Age of Persuasion, etc. Radio is such a great medium and I’m happy it’s been revitalized with the popularity of podcasts.

    Meanwhile, I’m sorry to hear you’re sick again. Get well soon! xox

    1. Yes, this soup just might be the best thing in the world. I will have to live a few more years, and taste a few more things, but so far…

      I too am happy that radio is doing well. It was such a huge part of my childhood that I am happy that it is once again a big part of my life (that is of course now that the team1040 is no longer an option – though I do sometimes miss Jim Rome is Burning.)

  2. Thank for reminding me of “As It Happens”. Here we listen to NPR which also has a good balance between the good, bad, ugly and beautiful.

  3. I love the Age of Persuasion! I find Dispatches interesting as well. Yeah, I think the way the news is they seem to go for the worst stories even if they are far further afield than the upbeat things they could find to report on locally. I’d rather hear about something that might actually affect my life than something happening far away just because it’s a disaster that will get ratings.

    I’m going to check out As it Happens now!

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