Chicken stock for soup (or really any kind of stock) tends t be super high in sodium when you get it at a grocery store. Of course, there are also low sodium and organic versions, which are great, but sometimes … Continue reading
Until We Are Free by Shirin Ebadi is about her fight to protect human rights in Iran. This is something she has continued to do even while living in exile. Iran is a theocracy, or more commonly known as an … Continue reading
Vinny’s Sandwich I always go to a deli where you can custom make a sandwich and this is what I put onto it: natural smoked maple turkey breast – about 80 g marble rye bread no cheese (on an account … Continue reading
The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín is so dark and more than a little twisted. I loved it. In a dystopian-future styled setting, the teenagers in The Call are in danger. A long time ago, the Sidhé, Irish fairies, were banished … Continue reading
Pasta is my go to dish and I’m gradually getting better at making up my own recipes. This is my stab at a recipe including fancy roasted red peppers, porcini mushrooms, kale, onion, chicken and tomato paste. I chose to … Continue reading
Me Before You is a novel written by Jojo Moyes and was published in 2012. Many of you might know about this book by now because it was recently turned into a movie and released in June 2016. I actually … Continue reading
Ingredients ⅓ cup / 75 ml plus 2 tsp extra -extra virgin olive oil, and more for the pan 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint 1 tbsp fresh orange juice 1 tsp balsamic vinager Kosher salt 12 oz / 340 g zucchini … Continue reading
The Boleyn Inheritance came recommended to me from The History Chicks, which is one of my favourite podcasts. In The Boleyn Inheritance, Katherine of Aragorn is dead (from neglect and heartbreak they say), Anne Boleyn has been executed, and Jane Seymour … Continue reading
I found this recipe on Ingrid Nilson’s YouTube channel and I have been dying to try this sandwich since then. I mean, come on, it’s fried chicken on a waffle. At first my thought was “no, this is just to absurd” … Continue reading
Three Sisters, Three Queens is Phillipa Gregory’s most recent historical fiction novel. Set during the Tudor era, Phillipa presents Mary in a much fairer light than history generally paints her, something she admits to doing on the basis that she … Continue reading
I was inspired to make a Mexican quinoa salad after my in-laws made some a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure mine is different, but I got the idea about what was supposed to go into it. The benefit is … Continue reading
*** Disclaimer: Spoilers! don’t read if you don’t want it ruined for yourself *** Also, this is one of my longer book reviews. Sorry in advance for the length, but it’s Harry Potter so I have to. Most people who … Continue reading
Can you imagine coming home one day only to find out your parents are gone because they were deported? What if you were only 14? In the Country We Love is an incredible and eyeopening memoir by Diane Geurrero, one … Continue reading
Bethany Hamilton promotes super awesome stuff and I am super stoked about it. I am not sure what sort of brand ambassador / sponsorship deal she has with these companies, but that’s not the important part. I like that she promotes everyday … Continue reading
Aaaaaaand this series that I am finding so much enjoyment in ended with a fabulous bang. Basically, the war is right on top of Percy and his friends. A few things happen beforehand, like the children of one god are fighting … Continue reading
Those of you who’ve already read the reviews for The Lightning Thief, The Seas of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse, know that I am absolutely loving the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, 15-year-old … Continue reading
Plum talent assessment Plum is a company that was founded and operates in Canada’s tech triangle. One of their services is this talent assessment for employees (or to-be employees). It’s actually pretty cool because it tells you about what some … Continue reading
Here Comes the Sun is Nicole Dennis-Benn’s debut novel that was released on July 5, 2016. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Nicole Dennis-Benn has an MPH an MFA from two American universities and teaches writing at the City University of New York. Here … Continue reading
I am addicted to this series, it’s so good and it’s such an easy read that it’s proving to be easy to just blow through the books at light speed. Ok so in Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Titan’s Curse … Continue reading
** This list is based on what I can access on the Canadian Netflix, sorry if you can’t access all the shows in your country (I for one am so disappointed that I can’t get Parks and Recreation here when … Continue reading
Wow, what a quick read that was, I read it within 24 hours. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Sea of Monsters is the second book in the five part series about a demigod (half-god, half-human) named Percy, … Continue reading
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a 5 book fantasy and young adult series that is written by Rick Riordan and begins with The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy who has never known his father and has … Continue reading
1 sentence summary: The end of the world is coming, an angel and a demon band together to stop it and hopefully the antichrist won’t be so evil. 1 sentence opinion: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is … Continue reading
Set during the reign of Queen Mary I (Mary Tudor) in the mid-1500’s, The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory melds history with Mary Tudor and her fool, Hannah Green. Hannah Green wasn’t technically a real person. She was based on … Continue reading
The Translation of Love by Lynn Kutsukake is a moving story set in post-war Japan. 13-year-old Aya, one of the the main POV characters, has recently moved from Canada to Japan with her father. After spending years in interment camps … Continue reading
Serious, why? It doesn’t happen on the other strings so I’m going to fix this. I found this blog post, How to STOP Your E String from Whistling, Squeaking or Scratching, which also comes with a video (below), so yay for … Continue reading
So much yay! I am really thrilled to have the violin in my possession. I have been hoping to learn for a little over a year. Now, I finally can. Getting the violin wasn’t without its hiccups though. The guy … Continue reading
After a year of thinking about it I am finally going to try to learn how to play the violin! I found a violin on Kijiji for a really reasonable price. For now, I am going to teach myself via YouTube … Continue reading
City of Bones is a book, for those of you who don’t know, either because you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t follow YA fantasy much, or don’t pay it any notice on Netflix (all are valid life choices!). … Continue reading
Working with You is Killing Me by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster is a wonderfully helpful about dealing with the emotional and political entanglements of the office / general workplace. According to the introduction of the book, Katherine Crowley is … Continue reading
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was published February 3, 2015. Two sisters in France who led very different lives up to the point of World War II and both ended up taking their parts in the woman’s resistance efforts in the … Continue reading
And the Mountains Echoed is Khaled Hosseini’s third novel, published May 21, 2013, and I loved it. As with his previous novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed is set in Afghanistan and focuses … Continue reading
I based this recipe on one I made a year or 2 ago. I didn’t know what went into the original, besides peanut butter, chocolate chips and oatmeal, so I made adjustments. I added a few super foods like chia … Continue reading
Big Little Lies had me hooked by the end of the first chapter. I could not put the book down and I read it within 3 days. The book was published in July 2014 by Liane Moriarty, who is the New … Continue reading
This is probably my favourite pie recipe because A) I finally got it to a point where the sugar isn’t so much that you’re going to be an instant diabetic and B) It is suuuper good and fruity (obviously lol). … Continue reading
I made up a chilli recipe, which is a remarkably easy recipe concept to bend to suit your needs once you get the hang of it. I’m not sure what exactly made me think of it, some how zucchini’s and … Continue reading
Leave Your Mark, written by Aliza Licht, is a great book for young people, or anyone from any walk of life, who would love a fresh perspective on career advice and personal branding. Divided into four parts, Leave Your Mark … Continue reading
Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium yellow/sweet onion, finely chopped 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 – 1/2 cup of white wine 1/2 – 3/4 cup basil, chopped 2 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 cup of … Continue reading
Making Oreo Macaron’s from Glitter Inc. Today, I am making Oreo Macarons from scratch. I found the recipe on Glitter Inc., a fashion/ lifestyle blog by a a woman who is a lawyer and blogger. Before I get started, the … Continue reading
A House in Fez was originally published in 2007 by Suzanna Clarke. Clarke is an Australian reporter who decided to buy a few-hundred-year-old riad (one of the traditional styled homes) in Fez and then restore it to it’s former glory. … Continue reading
INCREDIENTS Cake: 1 Cake Mix 1 Instant Pudding Mix ½ cup water ½ cup Rum ½ cup oil 4 eggs Glaze: ¼ cup butter 2 tbsp water ½ cup sugar ¼ cup rum DIRECTIONS Blend the cake stuff. Blend the … Continue reading
Coconut Water Fried Chicken is my second recipe that I am trying from the Lazy Mom Cooking blog. I picked it because it is so different from how I usually cook chicken. Fried chicken is amazing but the greasiness of it … Continue reading
I’m not sure how I originally learned about Lindsey Stirling or her memoir, The Only Pirate at the Party. It was sometime shortly after seeing this book that YouTube recommended her music videos, maybe because of all the videos I … Continue reading
The Harry Potter Alliance and the community I am a part of by volunteering with this most wonderful organization never ceases to amaze me. Friends of the Apparating Library 2016 is an Indiegogo-hosted fundraiser that will allow The Harry Potter Alliance to … Continue reading
Lasagna is surprisingly easy to make, especially because it is super flexible to suit your needs. In my recipe, there is marinara sauce, béchamel sauce and then whatever else you want to include with the layers of noodles. I’ve been … Continue reading
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is her most recent novel set in the Shadowhunter world, released March 8, 2016. * Most of what your about to read is what you’ll learn in the first chapter or the back of the … Continue reading
Granger Leadership Academy Its a week post-GLA now and I think that it is due time that I reflect a little on it. The Granger Leadership Academy is a leadership conference hosted by the Harry Potter Alliance. This year it … Continue reading
Soup or stew in the winter is always a good idea. There is nothing better than having a good stew full of meat and veggies and hot goodness on a cold day. Plus, most soups and stews freeze really well … Continue reading
This isn’t the first time that J.K. Rowling has had to answer for messing up matters of identity, race and culture. Over the years, fans such as myself have been able to use numerous positive social messages she did get right in advocating for social change. For that, I will be eternally thankful for the power of the Harry Potter series. In many ways, those books are life changing.
At the same time, we, as fans, have challenged issues we saw, such as the lack of diverse representation in minorities, such as the LGBTQ+ community or ethnic or cultural minorities. We wanted more representation. But, of course, we didn’t want it at the expense of having J.K. Rowling appropriating the other cultures.
For me, circumstances like this are really upsetting. The Harry Potter world has had such a huge impact on my life in a lot of positive ways. It can be hard to reconcile a series that has been so positive for me, and an author I admire a lot, to understandably very problematic and negative issues that I feel compelled to do something about.
As much as it might upset me on a personal level, it’s also not ok on a higher social level either. The greater social concern is by far the most important factor in the issue of JKR’s appropriation of Navajo culture.
I’ve been made aware that colonization and appropriation in the UK is not always understood as comprehensively as it is here in North America, but I’d be sad if that were JKR’s only excuse. And, of course, I’m in no way wanting to imply that that applies to everyone in the UK (I know for a fact that it does not). In addition, I would have thought (or idealistically hoped) that someone like J.K. Rowling would have been at the forefront of understanding those problems. At the very least, she is uniquely positioned to be able to inform on these issues and make a really positive impact through positive, reaffirming representation and diversity in her writing.
Responding to a question on Twitter, Rowling said that “in my wizarding world, there were no skinwalkers”, with the legend created by those without magic “to demonise wizards”. – JK Rowling under fire for writing about ‘Native American wizards’, Alison Flood, The Guardian
By talking about real-life cultures then saying it didn’t exist in her wizarding world / existed differently and, from there, using that as a reason to use a “cool” part of the Navajo nations culture to suit her purposes is basically a prime example of exactly what cultural appropriation is. I’m sure she meant to try to clarify her intent here, but all I’m seeing is that she doesn’t really understand what appropriation is. In addition, the author of the article (Alison Flood) is rightfully pointed out that there is no singular Native American culture. There are many indigenous nations in North America with diverse cultures that shouldn’t be lumped together as one any more than the same can or should be done to diverse Europeans ones.
I don’t want to get to far into the specifics because I prefer to defer to the knowledge and experiences of aboriginal people when it comes to their cultures and concerns. With that said, I would like all of my readers to consider reading the article if you didn’t read it prior to reading my post and going from there.
In the meantime, issues like this are understandably problematic and can reiterate trauma, racism and other awful things. As a fan activist, I want to do something about it and that’s why I am writing this post. I am hoping that J.K. Rowling will do the right thing and make amends.
What I think needs to happen is that JKR needs to issue a real and sincere apology with plans to correct her error. I think she needs to consult with the people who are from the nations that she’s writing about, starting with the Navajo nation. I am sure that there are many people in many nations who would practically donate a kidney (not literally of course) for the opportunity to collaborate with someone like JKR and they would be able to help her be more culturally aware and represent their cultures in the wizarding world better. She could also use this as an opportunity to lean about current issues like colonization and appropriation. The colonizer’s / Western cultures don’t get to decide when history doesn’t matter or is “truly in the past”, especially when it is still so relevant today and that’s something I think JKR needs to understand if she doesn’t already.
Representation and diversity is so important in popular media and I do believe that there are ways to do so that are culturally appropriate (not to be confused with appropriation). I would absolutely love to see aboriginal people represented in Harry Potter’s wizarding world but not in the way J.K. Rowling made a mistake with and not if it means the cultures have to be appropriated (because, seriously, they don’t need to be). Fortunately, what J.K. Rowling’s controversial bit of writing is currently published online, which means it can be fixed. She can learn what she needs to know (which, frankly, she should have taken the time to know to begin with) to understand and respect aboriginal cultures in her writing from the right people and make amends. I really hope that if she realizes how important this is to us, then she will listen.
A new trend of mine is to have 1 or 2 days of free time in a city and quickly do some research on places I’d like to see and do in that city. It’s so much fun to pick out … Continue reading