I read the news today, oh boy

I try to live my life free of binaries.

That they exist I am sure – that our entire social (nay global?) make-up is dependent on them I am convinced.

They are malleable, overarching scapegoats, (or get-out-of-jail-free cards) that limit the scope arguments, constrain the parameters of research, and stop each and every one of us from ever diving into the very deepest depths of self-analysis.

And try as I might to do away with them, they are almost impossible to get away from, let along ignore.

Because boy do we love them:

Black-White; Good-Bad; East-West; Heaven-Hell; Rich-Poor; Madonna-Whore

Spring has sprung, but my spirits have sunk.

The reason that I am thinking about this, is because the events of the world have got be feeling pretty blue.

Seriously dudes, I am bummed out.

If I have to hear one more time about how Syria (or Somalia, or insert “disaster-prone war zone here”) is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis, I am going to go ballistamungus (my code word for BAT SHIT CRAZY.)

On the BRINK of crisis?

If these catastrophic situations are looked at (by zee experts) as teetering on the verge of collapse, well then, I think their rating system is just a tad out of whack with reality.

No joke, I really want to get on the blower with the UN and have the following exchange:

United Nations (UN): Hello, United Nations.

Ethel the Dean (EtD): [thinking to myself] Woah, that was easy.

UN: Hello?

EtD: Yes hello! I’ve noticed that lately, your organization has been reticent as-all-get-out about describing the situation in Syria as an actual humanitarian crisis. This whole “will-they-won’t-they” game you seem to be playing has got me awfully curious.

UN: Oh?

EtD: Yeah. You see, I’m wondering what actually has to go down in that country for you to determine that it is undergoing a legitimate crisis, you know, in your expert opinion.

UN: Erm…

EtD: Because you guys also have a pretty solid track record of not doing squat when it came to other emergency situations – most notably (off the top of my head) in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia – so I’m wondering what’s got to give, for the Syrian people to maybe receive a little love from either Ban Ki Moon, or if he’s too busy, maybe Navi Pillay.

UN: […]

EtD: I mean, isn’t it time that we all just come out and said it? That your organization, as a global actor, is basically impotent, incompetent and incontinent?

UN: […]


I assume that at this point I would be hung up on. But you get the picture.


(p.s. that’s a really long video, but it’s one of my all-time faves. Plus I’ve been feeling super Daffy-esque today.)

Adding to my overall malaise, is the overwhelming sense of unease I got from watching the film “Inside Job” last night with Mr. M.

If I wasn’t sure that Wall Street, government, and academia is dominated by a small, incestuous group (of heavily recycled) money-hungry sociopaths, well, I definitely am now!

Plus, I cannot even begin to describe how heartening it was to read this morning on the metro that Vancouver is getting its very own edition of The Real Housewives franchise.

That sound you’re hearing is me barfing in the CEO of Bravo television’s shoes. Oh, and my heart breaking.

Also, the hoof steps of the horses ridden by the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

What a swell crap-storm of cacophonous bile! Bring out the conductor and play on maestro!

To try and lift my spirits out of the giant dumpster of doom, when I arrived home from work today I decided to make my terrific, and tantalizing banana bread.

Bananas! In pyjamas! Are baked into this bread...

I have a couple of recipes that I would classify as old hat (but in a non-pejorative sense) – more so that I’ve made them so many times that I have committed them to memory.

When Mr. M and I first moved in together, I couldn’t cook for the life of me, and the only recipe book we had was “Loneyspoons” and The Joy of Cooking. Often times the only ingredients we had in our pantry fit the bill for the book’s banana bread, so I became an expert really quickly.

We never had anything for The Joy of Cooking. Seriously, who cooks squirrel?

(As an aside, M received the The J of C from his parents as a  high school graduation gift and he would like to reassure them that we have used it many, many times since its appearance of his bookshelf.)

Oh yes, we have no bananas...except we do and they will make something delicious!

Anywho, my banana bread is pretty healthy in comparison to other recipes, using yogurt instead of oil, and it doesn’t call for too much sugar and butter.

Plus it tastes bloody good.

Whip it! Whip it good.

Two summers ago, I got many of my work mates hooked on the stuff, and would often have to parcel out the goods a little at a time in order to ensure that everyone got a chance to have a piece, lest the greediest goons took all of it on the first go (or plating).

(In my opinion, it’s that little pinch of cinnamon I’ve added to the ingredient list that just might push it right over the edge.)

So coming home, I quickly assembled my ingredients and got to work.

Hard at work.

I was all excited to listen to some sweet, sweet CBC as I worked, but unfortunately the news proved to be far too depressing for me to make it longer than three minutes.

Instead, I settled (and by settle I mean happily took part in) a hilarious conversation with M that revolved around photographs, dish towels, cat food and sushi orders.

Bake me a cake as fast as you cake...

What proved even more delightful was that the outcome included some tasty, tasty treats from Okonomi sushi, just up the street from us.

Now we are sitting down to another night of Netflix documentaries – tonight we are watching “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”

I know that the subject matter will probably make me think, cringe, laugh, squirm – but hopefully not cry.

But even if I do, I just need to remember that it’ll be okay.

Because there’s always banana bread, sushi, and fake phone calls.

Breathe. Believe.

Not necessarily in that order.

And maybe, one day, not necessarily fake.

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

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

16 thoughts on “I read the news today, oh boy”

  1. I want to like banana bread. I just can’t do it. And I am also feeling beaten down by the world’s assholery, and I took everything out to bake cookies but instead I am sitting on my ass watching the travel channel. If I leave a list of phone numbers and grievances and all the ingredients on the counter, will you come take care of my needs?

    1. I feel like you should try mine (just a little piece) because it’s really, really different from most banana breads. Also, I will do all of those things because not only do I adore you, but it would probably be hilarious as heck.

      Let’s plan a tea + lemon bar date for next week?

      1. I dunno – it’s got bananas in it, which is banana bread’s critical flaw. But yes, a date! And lemon bars, which I’m happy to make! Maybe Wednesday?

  2. “Ballistamungus”….uh…is it okay with you if I steal that word? ‘Cause I feel the same way about it as I do about McDonalds…I’m lovin’ it.

    Awesome post, Ethel! :)

    1. It’s yours! Ba da ba ba daaaaaa <- that was supposed to be part of the McDonald's jingle…may or may not have translated well on paper (or the internet)

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Epic Daffy video!! Love it!

    And your banana bread sounds so good – wonder if I could make me a gluten-free version… Ah, temptation.

    I’m sorry you’ve been down lately. There are plenty of things out there that can do that. The Real Housewives, Somalia, and Iran not the least of them! But just think that by your wonderful rants you can be creating awareness and helping encourage new thought patterns for your readers. :) I know you certainly get me thinking and re-inspire the passion when I’m having an off day.

    Sounds like your evening ended fabulously though. I’m glad. Sushi makes everything better.

    1. “What a way to run a railroad” has become my go-to for when I’m frustrated. It totally cracks me up. I’ll send you the recipe! It’s totally easy and I get you could make it glutton free. I’ve made it with pretty much ever kind of flour under the sun and holds up to many, many kinds of interpretation.

      Thank you for your lovely words – they for sure help lift my spirits (sushi and a fire in the fireplace always does help too!)

  4. If we good people of New Jersey have to be associated with the gods damned Jersey Shore AND The Real Housewives of New Jersey AND Jerseylicious, the least you Vancouverites could do is host a season of Real Housewife awfulness. Maybe I am a naive American (is it weird to Canadians that people from The States have a monopoly on being called American?) but what are the obnoxious stereotypes about people from Vancouver?

    Much as we southerners (comparatively) would love to invade and conquer Canada; I think our only reason is that you say “about” a bit differently, at least as far as I can tell.

    1. Though speaking differently is actually a justifiable reason to invade a country for us. Its what our civil war was really about; economic and abolotionist reasons were merely collateral.

    2. Lol! Okay, FINE. But only one season!

      Vancouver stereotypes: Yoga, sushi, starbucks, unfriendly, Mountain Equipment Co-op, North Face, pot smokers…I think that’s it? But the first three should be on our bloody licence plates!

      It’s funny, I’ve never heard of anyone getting their rankles up about not being called “Americans” – I think we are just so focused on making sure people know that we’re Canadians with our own identity :)

      1. I just want people to call us United Statesmen. I guess…its (it’s? I will never get that right…) awkward. By the way (because of our previous comment conversation about our teen reading habits) Anne Rice was on tonight’s (technically last night’s but I don’t sleep) Colbert Report. Hopefully Canada imports some sweet comedy…

        1. Really!? Omg, that’s hilarious! I am definitely a little bit in love with Colbert, so I’m going to have to check that out. Thanks for the tip!

          Hmmm, “the United Statesmen” I never heard of thought of that before. I’ll work on it!

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