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Culture Shock 24/05/10

May 26, 2010

Another week has gone by, and here I am again, delivering my latest favourites. This time around I’ve got some good’uns in store for you all (yes, I did very nearly write y’all) and I hope you’ll enjoy them!

The Article

Fake Cheese @ Maclean’s Magazine!

Photo by Liz Sullivan @

Omg. So, as you may or may not know, I am a vegetarian. I am also on the path to veganism. This means that I’ve been replacing milk with soy milk, trying new products like vegan margarine (which is an almost identical product to real margarine, since they’re both primarily made from vegetable oils anyways) and testing out types of vegan cheese. But as this article will assure you, it’s not exactly easy to find a good vegan cheese. The texture is usually wrong, even if the taste is okay. But don’t worry, the article says, we have found a solution!! It’s a product called Daiya, and it’s a premium vegan cheese, designed by Canadians! Apparently it melts properly, tastes delicious and really makes you feel like you’re eating real cheese, which is the goal. The only downside is that it’s not available very readily in Canada yet, but I’m hoping to get my hands on it asap! Let me know if you’ve tried it, and what you think of the idea.

The Song

So Far Around the Bend – The National

Photo thanks to Megan Garcia

Okay, well I discovered this song quite a while ago, when it was featured on that colossal indie CD: Dark Was the Night. The CD is a collaboration of several artists (think Feist, Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, etc) for AIDS research. You can read more about the Red Hot Organization here. Anywho, I adored the song, and it was sort of my theme song of the last month of high school. The reason I am bringing it up now is that it’s about to get slightly uncool and more known! It was recently featured in the trailer for Charlie St. Cloud, the new Zac Efron movie. Typically, I would probably criticize Efron, but coincidentally I just found out from my British friend Emily that he’s apparently quite a nice guy: her boyfriend was in ‘Me and Orson Welles’ and met him several times. So, Efron is in my good books now! Anyways, for better or for worse, check out the song. I love it and it feels so summery!

The Website

Readers by Author

Photo thanks to hatchibombotar

Ah! I saw this a couple weeks back on Lauren Leto’s blog, and I must share it with all you literary types out there. From the girl who partially brought you TFLN, comes a wonderful foray into biblio-stereotyping (no, not a word). Please check out her fairly comprehensive list of ‘readers by author’ here, including, most notably:

  • David Foster Wallace: Confirmed 90’s literati.
  • Charles Dickens: Ninth graders who think they’re going to be authors someday but end up in marketing.
  • William Shakespeare: People who like bondage.
  • J.D. Salinger: Kids who don’t fit in (duh).

Anyways, if you like books and you like laughing, check out her list.

The Book

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres

Photo thanks to Reader Store

A truly great autobiography. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, despite being frequently horrified by it. It’s the story of one girl’s life growing up with a black brother in a religious family and an exceedingly un-black town. What was especially striking was the depiction of the Christian reform school she was sent to in the Dominican Republic. It demonstrates the horror and dangers that can arise when people become completely blinded by religion. I’m not religious, and I am quite indifferent to the ‘superiority’ of one religion to another (that’s complete rubbish, isn’t it?), but what I can’t condone is absurd and insane behaviour in the name of religion. Check out the book if you liked The Glass Castle, or are interested in learning more about people overcoming seriously huge obstacles. Terrific book.

The Movie

It’s Complicated

Photo thanks to Garden Drama

Verdict: too much middle-aged sex. Way too much. Alec, Meryl, I love you. But I don’t need to see that! It was a fun movie, I watched it with my mum and little sister over the weekend and we enjoyed it. Meryl, as always, is brilliant. She made me very sad, and I’m not even old like she is in the movie! My favourite bits were the locations: her home is stunning, especially her kitchen, and the restaurant/bakery where she works is so beautiful it looks like Whole Foods, but prettier! The whole time we were rooting for Steve Martin, who does a hilarious job of acting like he’s high on some seriously strong pot. It was clearly a movie made more for people in their mid-life crises, but since I’m in a bit of a early-life crisis, I’m always happy to relate in some small way. Anyways, it’s not a film I would see again (they never are, are they?) but it was enjoyable. Perhaps I’ll like it more when my kids move out. But by then we’ll be watching movies in our minds or something high-tech like that, and I probably won’t be able to figure out how to find it. I’ll be like my mom trying to figure out how to work the digital cable box. There’s a scary thought.

The Photo

Photo thanks to Cupcakes and Cashmere

Like my picture last week, this one just seems so reminiscent of summer! As summer is fast approaching, I’m getting more and more attracted to summery foods like Italian gelato, bruschetta and of course sinful onion rings, my fave! This photo from Cupcakes and Cashmere makes my mouth water, they look so yummy. I can’t wait to cook up some more delicious food as the summer months progress. This week I’ve made delicious asparagus & mushroom cream sauce pasta, sweet potato fry poutine and carrot cake with lime mascarpone icing (pictures to follow!). Om nom, indeed.

It’s a wrap.

Well, that’s all for this week, sorry it’s late by 40 minutes! Lots going on this week so I’ve had to write in the nighttime – we have our British family friends staying with us for this week before they head down to Turks and Caicos for two weeks (lucky things!). So we’ve been hanging out non-stop since I hardly get to see them ever, and we’re having loads of fun watching crap tv, gossiping, shopping and cooking. So I’m off to bed, who knows what’s in store for tomorrow!

xoxo, S.

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