Archives For humour

internet-exploring-2b

Why did I say I would do this every week! Why did I say that IN PUBLIC! I invented a deadline for myself and then made myself the professor. Foolishness. (Professor Julie docs Student Julie 5 points. Student Julie breaks out her laundry list of excuses, which is long and varied and includes a literal laundry list. Professor Julie says just get on with the post already.

TO BE FAIR, I was actually on track for post #2. Except then I decided to write about Gord Downie’s last concert with the Hip and I got really introspective and full of feelings and never finished. But if you ever want to talk feelings and listen to The Hip gimme a ring! In the meantime, I’m purposely going to keep it a little lighter this time around, if only for the sake of actually getting something done.

To break with convention (can it be “convention” if I’ve only done it one time?), I’ll hit each of the usual categories (can it be “usual” if I’ve only done it one time?), but not necessarily in the order you’re accustomed to (can you be accustomed to something if I’ve only done it one ti—OK you get it).

This week on the internet, Julie Van…

 

Can Meme

Truth be told, this is reason I made sure to blog this week. I had to share my #describeyourselfwiththreecharacters while the iron was still hot (I assume that expression means “while Robert Downey Jr. is still considered handsome”). These are so fun! Fun to see from others. Fun to compile for yourself. For me, the first two came easily. The last one took some family-sourcing but is, I think, the perfect person to complete the trio:

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Let us break it down!

1) Liz Lemon. This one was a given. As Liz Lemon graced my screen wearing a snuggy cutting off slices of cheese while singing Working on My Night Cheese, it was the first time I truly experienced a pronouced  “IT ME” moment. It me, Liz Lemon. It me.

2) Britta Perry. I’d like to say Britta’s on the list because we can both achieve perfectly tousled waves with our flat irons, but that honour remains hers and hers alone. I see myself in Britta because we can both be painfully smug, self righteous and holier than thou when we think we’ve been wronged. But we just have a lot of FEELINGS ok? And we both like jackets make of denim or leather!

3) Kimmy Gibbler. This was texted to me, in capital letters, when I asked my sisters who else should round out this composite. I have to admit that it totally fits. But only the OG Gibbler! None of this “Fuller House” nonsense! We furrow our brows the same way, we both eat like garbage compactors (though I “compact” it less than I did when I was a gangly teen…) and we both can’t control ourselves around John Stamos.

 

Can Cook

Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

I am now realizing I also posted a sweet potato recipe last time. I swear I can cook more than sweet potatoes! I can also cook…regular potatoes! For real though, I made this at a family reunion that weekend, and it was a hit. But that’s not the reason I’m sharing it. I’m sharing it because I feel a duty as a citizen of the world to tell you that you DO NOT NEED THE TWO TWO CUPS OF SUGAR.

This is already very rich recipe. There’s butter. There’s brown sugar. There’s sweetened condensed milk. Heck, the potatoes have “sweet” right there in the name. It is the closest thing to a dessert that you can make with a vegetable. So I cannot fathom why the author of this recipe would advise you add another additional two cups of white sugar to it. I left both of them out, and they were not missed. You can trust me on this because I love sugar and still put it in my coffee every morning even though I know grown-ups are supposed to to drink it black.

 

Can Buy

Leesa Mattress + NUME Curling Wand

These past few weeks have brought some MAJOR, LIFE-DEFINING internet purchases into my home. The first, a mattress. The second, a curling wand. Sadly, neither have delivered on the completely-rational expectations I placed upon them. However, both these purchases (A Leesa mattress, and a Nume curling wand) did send me down insane internet rabbit holes and I learned two important things 1) There are people that identify as mattress bloggers. That’s all they blog about! And BOY do they blog about it in-depth! Like, breaking down the composition of a mattress inch by inch. It’s involved. 2) There are more hair youtubers than I ever dreamed possible, and every one of them has a hundreds of  video of themselves poised in front of a camera, breaking down the way their hair cascades, inch-by-inch.

However, there are no mattress AND hair bloggers. Which feels like a real missed opportunity. Imagine if these hair bloggers did their hair, then slept on a mattress for 12 hours, and THEN reviewed said curling wand? Now that’s a recommendation I’d heed.

 

Can Read

The Politics of Pockets 

This was fascinating. If you like fashion or history or pockets (what kind of monster doesn’t like pockets?) you’ll love this. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because the 1000 word count limit is looming.

 

Can Follow

Stacey May Fowles

This one will really only appeal to the fellow Jays fans among us, but if your heart beats for the boys in Blue, you really must follow Stacey May Fowles. During almost every game, she live-tweets corresponding gifs that only enhance the experience. It’s a treat when they’re ahead, and a comfort when they’re down. Examples!

You’ll never want to watch a game without her! She also gave us the term “Dirt Bag Boyfriend” to describe Josh Donaldson. Which is just perfection.

Alright. I’m tired. I’m calling it quits, two categories short. I didn’t tell you what to stream, or even give you something to laugh at, but all in all, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’ve been up to on the internet lately. As for tonight, follow me on snapchat while I watch the Presidential debate and I will laugh until I cry or cry until I laugh. Could go either way!

Until next time!*

*YES THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME, I SWEAR IT.

Internet Exploring #1

August 18, 2016 — 6 Comments

Internet Exploring #1 // Julie Van Can

Huzzah! Here we are, the official inaugural issue of Internet Exploring. Fun! AND, it’s on time. That doesn’t happen often. Just ask any one of my college professors, or high school teachers, or grade school teachers, or sunday scho–ahh you get it. Since I talked more than I needed to in my first post explaining this whole deal, I’ll get right to the goods.

This week, Julie Van…

Can Read

Monstrous Births 
This essay. Man. It hit really close for me. I don’t consign on all of it, but if you’ve read or heard my birth story, you’ll get why some parts really jive with me. Even if you’re not a woman or a parent, this is just a really interesting read about the way we moralize experiences and attach narratives to certain life events. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, read the last few lines. You’ll want to put them on a bumper sticker, and then go back and read the rest.


Can Laugh At

1977 JC Penny Catalogue 
This needn’t an explanation. The clothing speaks for itself. It speaks for itself so loudly that if the clothing were sharing an apartment with you, it would wake you up in the middle of the night with its insane, maniacal cackle. And no matter how many times you politely ask them to keep it down, it would REFUSE to be silenced.


Can Follow

Mari Andrew

This week’s “I DEMAND YOU FOLLOW” comes from my sister Laura, who has started the not-at-all unwelcome practice of texting me screenshots of Mari Andrew’s Instagram on a near-daily basis. She’s funny and clever and draws things are the so so TRUE. Follow her.

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Can Cook

Sweet Potato Hash

In case I didn’t make it clear in my intro, I am not culinarily inclined. I can follow a recipe, and I know what trendy foods to Instagram, but these recipes will best serve readers with a similar cooking ability – people just looking for simple, tasty weekday meals (because weekends are for delivery, and if you don’t believe that, we may not get along). And so! Here’s an easy favourite you can make tonight. It’s a hash. You literally just put everything together in a big messy pile, and it’s delicious. The real reason I like this one so much is because of the chorizo. A few years ago, I started making a cheesy onion dip with chorizo, and every time someone said “Yum! Is that bacon in there?” I’d get to smugly reply, “Oh no, that’s chorizo. It’s Mexican.” So, bring your messy-pile-game to a conceited new level with this recipe.


Can Stream

Reply All

Here’s another recommendation directly lifted from my Sisters’ K group text: Reply All. It’s a podcast about the Internet, but you’ll figure out pretty quickly that tagline does it no justice at all. It’s two very likable fellas talking through some seriously bizarre + interesting stories, and the common thread (or cable?) through every episode is technology. It’s insightful and engaging and sometimes a little silly. What more could you want! I’ve only listened to a small smattering of episodes, but I’ve got the On the Inside episodes queued up for tomorrow, and I can’t wait.


Can Buy

Eye Buy Direct

I bought glasses! Partly because I’ve finally accepted my eyes have aged out of the “contacts” bracket, and partly because of Kelly Oxford. It’s a little misleading to say I bought them this week, though. I bought them two weeks ago, and GOOFED UP MY PRESCRIPTION SO BADLY I LOOKED LIKE BUBBLES FROM TRAILER PARK BOYS. So, I returned them (for free!) and my proper frames + lenses arrived today  (if you wanna see what they actually look like, you’ll have to follow me on Snapchat, or see me in real life. Personally I think I’m funnier on Snapchat, but I’ll leave that up to YOU). So in conclusion, I made a really stupid mistake, and they footed the bill. All in all, an excellent experience in e-commerce and customer care.


Can Meme

Fav 7 Shows

Twitter is having a moment with these “Fave 7” lists. I love lists and I am OK with the number so this was obviously something I’d attempt. And I did attempt. And I failed. Because I simply watch TOO MUCH TV and love each show like its my child. I wrote an initial list, realized I forgot a bunch of favourites, revised it, revised it again, and gave up. But Coach Taylor wouldn’t be cool with that, and TV is the only sport I’ll ever play, so here is my FINAL TOP 7 LIST. With a bunch of honourable mentions because I cheat like that.

:
The Americans
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Mad Men
The Office
Parks and Recreation
Breaking Bad
Fringe

Honourable mentions: Fargo, Friday Night Lights, Enlightened, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. I have AT LEAST five more but I’ve got to stop somewhere.

…OK I’LL SNEAK IN THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF.


And that’s it for the inaugural edition of Internet Exploring! Please go ahead and share your comments on anything you read or watched here. Writing about pop culture is fun, but talking about it is even better. 🙂

One edition down, a LIFETIME to go (or maybe like…40?).

 

New Frontiers

August 16, 2016 — 1 Comment

Internet Exploring

Alright guys. I’m going to try something here. It’s bold. It’s brash. It’s!…not really any of those things, but should be a mighty good exercise. I’m going to post a weekly internet roundup. And call it Internet Exploring. (Get it? GET IT?) This really *is* exercise for me because I’m very bad at deadlines, and not much for routines, either.

Here’s the deal: every Wednesday, I’ll pop in here with a little summary post of some of my favourite things on the Internet. The world certainly doesn’t need another roundup post, but I really do want to get back into writing/blogging more regularly, and this seems an easy way to do just that. Plus, it means all the time I spend looking at my phone might just benefit somebody else! Every week, I’ll share links in the categories below.

So stop in once a week to see all the things Julie Van…

Can Read: This will usually be a long read of sorts. An article, essay, or reflection that was worth my time, and hopefully worth yours.

Can Laugh at: The internet is full of funnies! Who knew?

Can Follow: A person I think you should follow. Might be a snapchatter, might be a blogger, might be a writer (…is probably a snapchatter.)

Can Cook: I solemnly swear to share recipes I’ve actually made more than once. They will probably not be gluten free. They will probably involve cheese.

Can Stream: Really, this is when I’ll just pass along all the good podcast recommendations my sister Adele gives me.

Can Buy: I don’t online shop much, but when I do, I’ll blog about it!

Can Meme: This is where I will participate in whatever might be the internet fad of the week. Like when everyone made those dancing elf videos! Or posted no-makeup selfies! (Which, BTW, won’t ever happen here, because those high school acne scars are DEEP.)

Alright then! Heeeere we go! Well, not yet. But heeeeere we go tomorrrroooow!

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OH AND ONE MORE THING: I think I’m going to make segment this a Tiny Letter too. I don’t know entirely how they work, but it seems like all the people I like best on the Internet are doing it. This has been, so far, very good advice to follow, with the exception of those weird three weeks when people said Ello would be a thing. It definitely was not a thing. Although, ack, I don’t know if people reuse their blog content for their Tiny Letters…whatever. Sign up here and we will figure it out together!

Gray Gardens

March 16, 2016 — Leave a comment

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A few weeks ago, I finally made it to Florida.

I say finally because, growing up in cold cold Canada, Florida was like some mythical, magical utopia. The lucky kids in our class would take off a few days before March Break, and return with sunburns and t-shirts with neon boats on them. The really lucky ones would come back with burns, shirts, and stories about Disney World. Well, I never made it to Disney world. I didn’t even get close.

But on March 3, to Florida I went. And on March 9, I came home with a sunburn, a t-shirt, and something else: a whole bunch of gray hair.

That’s right: I went gray in Florida.

…DRAMATIC PAUSE…

Alright. That’s not technically true – but it makes for a good intro doesn’t it!

Now here’s the real deal: Of course I didn’t go gray in Florida. Old people aren’t contagious! Well, some of them are. But not like that. More accurately, a few weeks ago, under the blinding fluorescent lights in our Florida condo bathroom, I realized that I am no longer going gray: I’m gone gray.

It wasn’t really a surprise. The surprise came almost a year earlier, only a few weeks after Connor was born. There were only a few strands back then, but they were each of them undeniably silver. A quick trip to the Googleator revealed that sprouting a few gray hairs was a common occurrence after rough labour. A more involved Google search suggested a link between trauma and silvery streaks. Regular readers will recall I had both. Two points for Gryffindor!

rogueI developed a slight affection toward those colourless curls. I came to view them like the shock of gray Rogue gets at the end of the first X-Men movie: Hers, a result from being hooked up to a bunch of machines while some guy basically sucks years off her life. Mine, the same! Har har. But really, they were almost like visible representations of the battle my body fought to bring Connor into the world. And that’s kind of cool, right?

Anyways, despite the pride in my mutant locks, I eventually made my way to a drug store and picked up a box of the same colour dye I’d used for years: (Loreal Preference Medium Ash Blonde – 02!).

And that (as it was every year since my second year of university) was my routine. Every couple of months, right around the time my hair started to enter unruly-triangle-head phase, I bought a box of dye then went to get a cut, hoping my hairdresser wouldn’t scold me for being too cheap to dye it at the salon.

But this winter, for whatever reason, I got a little lazy. I let my very mousy roots crawl a little further down my head.

stormAnd that brings us right back to that fluorescent Florida bathroom. While the dull deceptive Ontario clouds let me believe my hair was still mostly just a dun-blonde, the bright beating lights of The Sunshine State allowed for no such denial about my roots: I’m not Rogue any more. I’m Storm. Well, I’m Storm on a cloudy day. But still.

The fact remains, my gray hairs are no longer a contained postpartum fluke. They’re the new normal. And you know what? I don’t care. Like, at all! I’m sure going gray before 30 would freak out a few of us. But I’m surprisingly chill about it – and I owe some of that to Florida.

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Here’s the thing about Florida: In Florida, everyone is gray. And yet, there is colour from corner to corner. There are blue skies and pink buildings, rainbow beach umbrellas and orange beach bods. There’s something kind of lovely about the idea of gray haired folk deciding that, while their hair is no longer polycromatic, there’s no reason their surroundings can’t be. They don’t need highlights in their hair anymore: the highlights that bounce off a shimmering ocean at sunset will do just fine.

Basically, looking over my photos from Florida: my conclusion is this: who the heck cares what colour is coming out of your head when you have a world that will always be bursting with rainbow brightness?

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Now, were I to give this post an equally …DRAMATIC… conclusion, I’d tell all of you that I’m fully embracing my lovely lacklustre locks, and will proudly hashtag all future selfies #grayhairdontcare! But that, too, wouldn’t be technically true. Technically, I’ve got gray hair. I know it, you know it. But as my Snapchat followers also know, (username is JulieVanCan. Follow me!) I’m still planning to ride the boxed blonde wave a little longer.

If, and when, I decide to go gray all the way, I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding colour somewhere else. Ideally, somewhere very near a heated pool.

Have a colourful day, friends!

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1.You will grab your lunch from the fridge, because you prepared it the night before. It will be delicious and well-balanced. It will hit every major food group. There will be a microwavable component. It will involve no less than three tupperware containers in varying sizes. It is the only lunch of this kind you will ever eat.

2. You will spend a long (too long) amount of time planning out your child’s outfit. He will, for the first time in his 11-month long life, be wearing matching socks.

3. You will wear a black blazer. It will be a black blazer you have scarcely worn before. It will make you feel very professional. You believe it will announce to all your colleagues that you are now very serious because you have a black blazer. If they have any questions, they should just ask the blazer. The blazer is in charge.

4. You will be early, so early, to drop your child off at daycare. You will smile too much at his caretakers to mask your intense panic and distress at the insane speed in which time passes. You will go to your car, and have a tiny cry.

5. You will get to work on time.

6. You will notice a run in your nylons. There will always be a run in your nylons.

7. You will walk right passed the coffee kiosk on the wall to your office. You will not buy a muffin because of your delicious, well-balanced lunch. You will notice, though, that they added new flavours since you’ve been gone. You will try to banish the words “Chocolate Raspberry” from your mind.

8. You will joke with all your colleagues about how your daycare has a webcam and WOULDN’T IT BE SO SILLY TO WATCH YOUR KID ON A WEBCAM ALL DAY WHO WOULD DO THAT NOT ME OBVIOUSLY.

9. You will try to login to the webcam.

10. You will unsuccessfully try login to the webcam.

11. You will demand that your husband, who has successfully logged into the webcam, text you screen shots of your child on the webcam.

12. You will do some work.

13. You will, at long last, log into the webcam.

14. You will see that your kiddo is smiling. You will smile, too.

15. You will log off the webcam.

16. You will do some more work.

17. You will reward yourself for all your hard work with a raspberry chocolate muffin.

18. You will do some more work.

19. You will pick up your child from daycare.

20. You will give him all the hugs. There is now a nation-wide hug shortage because of all the hugs that were given.

21. You will go home.

22. You will throw your nylons in the trash.

23. You will realize that you did it. That he did it. That we did it. And we’ll all be OK.

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