All posts by Evelyn Ly

Love Songs Deconstructed: Take 3

When is Stalking OK?

We’ve all had crushes on people that we knew we could never be with… a hemsworthboy in an older grade, a girl out of your league, or even a celebrity! Passenger’s Night Vision Binoculars exposes some of the sad, lonely feelings that we experience and can so easily empathize with. The beginning starts off with some familiar thoughts:

I see you nearly every day.
I see you, but you don’t see me.
I wish I had something clever to say.
And I wish I had something better I could be.

So at this point, I’m thinking “Okay, I’m sure we’ve all felt that. Ignoring the ‘I see you, but you don’t see me’ line, I think it’s safe to say that we all wish we had something more witty to say in a given situation. Continuing, we have:

We touched hands by the coffee machine the other day.
I know you’ve forgotten already,
But I’m gonna take that moment to the grave.
To the grave.levine

It’s getting a little creepy and unsettling here. But if you think about it optimistically, it’s like being at a concert and the celebrity touches YOUR hand. BUT, I think there’s a fine line between flattery and being full-on-head-over-heels obsessed.  Passenger succeeds with flattery and goes to this line to pull you back in:

Cos I just wanna walk you home.
I just wanna walk you home.

This is kind of sweet. He just wants to spend a little time with you and have you get to know him better because you already mean so much to him for whatever reason. But then he drops this bomb on you:

I see you nearly every night.
I see you when you’re down in your house,
With my night vision binoculars.
I creep quiet as a mouse.

And I get jealous when I see you stroking his hair.
But it’s okay, I tell myself ’cause I know,
It’s only ’cause I’m not there.
I’m not there.
Cos I just wanna walk you home.
Well I just need some time alone.
I just need some time alone.

This is the part where Passenger really starts to freak you out. He watches you when you’re at home either alone or with your significant other! He’s a skilled and successful stalker since you have no idea that he’s doing this. He’s absolutely convinced that he would be the one that you would love and spend your night with if your boyfriend/husband wasn’t already in the picture. He starts to confess a few of his quirks:

eatingI’m the boy who watches the phone.
I’m the boy who eats lunch on his own.
I’m the boy with the monotone.
I’m the boy who still lives at home.

Now you’re feeling sorry for him and perhaps, he’s pulling you in again. If you didn’t know how he watches you at night, maybe you’d even give him a chance and sit with him for lunch one of these days. BUT, he doesn’t quite stop there; he  dives further into his obsession and embellishes this:

 

I’m the boy with the ironed shirt.
I’m the boy who watches you work.
I know where you keep your skirts.
I know where your secrets lurk.

I’m the boy that’s calling your house.
I’m the boy that’s freaking you out
With my thermal flask,
Up there in your neighbour’s tree.

OKAY. WOAH. He’s watching your every move at home AND at work. He’s definitely 100% obsessed. He likes making you feel uneasy as he calls your house from your neighbour’s tree and watches you freak out. He’s got a stalker kit ready – thermal flask and night vision binoculars. But again, he dives back into telling us a little bit more about himself and his past:

I’m the boy that’s crossing borders.
I’m the boy with social disorders.
I’m the boy with restraining orders.
I’m the boy, yeah.

So at this point, we can conclude that it’s definitely a pattern and that you weren’t his first obsession. He’s awkward and people may tend to avoid him just because he can’t socially mesh with others. So he withdraws into himself and his own thoughts and maybe starts daydreaming a little too much to the point where it’s a reality for me. For crying out loud, he has multiple restraining orders! But he closes off the song reminding us that he just wants to walk you home:

Cos I just wanna walk you home.
I just wanna walk you home.
And I know that it’s not right to creep,
But I just wanna watch you sleep alone.

Cos  I just wanna walk you home.
I just wanna walk you home.

stalking

I mean at this point, I’m wondering if we should just sit down and have a one-on-one to

sort things out, or I should just pack up and leave. But if I leave, he’s bound to find me! He sounds like a professional!

So all in all, Passenger is able to put into words some of the crazy, obsessive thoughts that we’ve all had about our crushes like wanting more time with the person, wanting to be noticed, or wanting to be able to think quickly on our feet so we could say clever things. However, Passenger clearly has a struggle with doing the right thing because he knows what he is doing is wrong.  It is NOT okay to stalk somebody, EVER!

Friday Find – Friday January 30th, 2015

Chicken Dump Recipes

Chicken-Dump-Recipes-10-meals-in-one-hour

Recommended By: Evelyn

Whether it’s completing school assignments and readings, attending classes, working, volunteering, or anything else you can think of… let’s face it, we’re all busy!

It’s tough to always have meals planned out, cooked, and ready to go when we’re hungry. Thankfully, I found this wonderful blog with “Chicken Dump” recipes. It’s simple: combine the ingredients in a re-sealable bag, freeze, defrost, and bake (or you can even toss it in the crock-pot). Yup, that’s it!  It’s been such a great way for me to have healthy and delicious meals at the end of the day! These recipes satisfy all spectrum of taste buds because they are so unique. You can find the recipes here!

 

Creative Corner – Monday, January 19th, 2015

DIY Body Butter

body

When temperatures dropped last month, I noticed how dry my skin became. It got to the point where my hands felt like they were throbbing and it really started to hurt! I needed to figure out some sort of remedy. I searched online and found products upon products that claimed to cure my dry and cracked hands within a week. I ended up landing on a page that turned to natural remedies rather than products that had chemicals in it that we couldn’t even pronounce! So, over the holidays, I experimented quite a bit and made a few batches. My dad, who has very deep cuts on his fingertips (from his skin cracking), was a very helpful guinea pig! He would give me feedback and now I have come up with my favourite combination. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 3/4 cups of unrefined shea butter
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa butter
  • 1 cup of beeswax
  • 1 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • optional: essential oil

Put all of your ingredients except your essential oil into a double boiler and let it melt. If you don’t have a double boiler, it is super easy to make. Add a few inches of water into saucepan, place a glass or metal bowl on top of the saucepan and voila! Just make sure that your bowl fits snugly on top of the saucepan. It should look similar to this:

temo

After everything is melted together, remove from heat and stir in your essential oil. This is entirely optional but if you would like to add it in, add in about 25 drops. This is just a suggestion as some may like their body butter more scented than others. Personally, I love the smell of the cocoa butter and it really dominates over the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise, you can add some lavender oil which is great for helping to soothe and relax.

weAfter you’ve added your essential oil, let the body butter cool down a bit. You can then pour it into the container that you want to use. If you want to speed up the process, you can put it in the fridge after at least 20 minutes. This will help the shea butter in your product maintain a smooth texture since a drastic drop in temperatures will result in a grainy texture. Your body butter will solidify and you’re ready to go!

This recipe is fun and versatile because you can switch out one butter for another. For example, if you don’t have cocoa butter, you can just use more shea butter! You can also mix it up and use different butters such as mango, avocado, or sweet almond butter. You can also opt to use a different type of oil such as grape seed oil or jojoba oil instead of olive oil. Also, if you find that this recipe is far too soft for you, you can add more beeswax! You can also take away some of the beeswax if you want a softer butter.

I personally like to use this body butter right before bed because it is a little greasier than store bought products. However, it is all natural and I know exactly what is going into it and it’s such a great feeling knowing that you made your own healthy product! Also, the skin heals the most overnight and while you’re sleeping, so this body butter will give it a bit of a push so that it can recover faster.

Tips:

You can buy shea and cocoa body butter in most health food stores, but you can also find great prices online. Wherever you decide to buy it, make sure you buy the unrefined butter. This means that the product has not gone through any transformations and therefore, holds all of its benefits. If you dislike the nutty scent of shea or the overwhelming chocolate scent of cocoa, you can just add essential oil. Usually, the refining process eliminates the scents and alters the colour of the butter to make it more aesthetically appealing but unfortunately, the consequences include a significant decline in the good stuff that you want to be using! Don’t forget that the colour of these butters vary so if it doesn’t look exactly like these photos, don’t worry! On the left is shea butter and on the right is cocoa butter.

shea cocco

China Doll

Two months ago, I graduated from my undergraduate degree and was very excited to go to convocation. The morning before my convocation, I woke up and felt the urge to splurge a little and treat myself by getting my nails done. Heading out, I threw on a pair of sweats, an oversized sweater, and my winter jacket  in preparation for the brisk morning cold.

indexnOn my way to the salon, I noticed a group of men standing outside and hanging out just down the street from my house (on the same side). I immediately got a knot in my stomach so I decided to cross the street. I spent a nice, peaceful hour at the salon and my mind was at ease again. But that was only until I saw them again on my way home. As soon as I rounded the corner to the street, the hollering began.

“AY CHINA DOLL! Girl let me get down wit’ chu.” I didn’t reply. I kept my head down, and pretended I was doing something on my phone.

“AW come on, girl! Why you gotta be so cold for? We just wana hang wit’ chu!” Nope, not looking up.

imagesMy mind jumps to the worst scenario: I’m going to get kidnapped and nobody’s going to have a clue where I am! My house is RIGHT THERE, I’m so close to home! But wait… what if they follow me home and push me through my door and lock us all up in my house! Then nobody would know for sure!

This went on for a few minutes, but it felt like forever. As I reached my house, the hollering became less frequent and less aggressive. I took a quick peek at them to check that they were not watching me and was relieved that they had resumed back to talking to each other.

women-harrasment-b-19-12-20201401291143001This was probably one of the most frightening experiences of my life! I wanted to say something so badly, but there were three of them and one of me! I woke up thinking that I would have an easy, relaxing day but instead, had a huge reality shock. I came to the realization that street harassment happens every single day and it is not okay. Sometimes, we are able to speak out and tell the harasser to leave us alone but under other circumstances, we can’t afford to take the risk. But why is it a risk that we speak out and tell them how we feel? If they can speak out and holler at us, we should be able to do the same. Nelson Mandela once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

My question is: Why are we still afraid in the first place?

The Interrogation

Mixed Race and CompleteTypically when I first meet somebody new I am asked about my ethnicity. For some odd reason, people seem to be very fascinated with my background. Most of the time, people guess that I am Chinese mixed Caucasian, and others, Chinese mixed Korean or Japanese. But after that whole awkward conversation of rejecting all of their guesses, we end up with a conversation that sounds a little like this:

Other person: So where are you from, originally?

Me: I was born in Canada actually, but I’m Chinese.

Other person: Oh that’s cool! So which part of China are your parents from?

Me: They were actually born and raised in Vietnam but they’re Chinese.

Other person: Born and raised there? Doesn’t that mean they’re Vietnamese then?

Me: No… they’re definitely Chinese…

I am very proud of my heritage and am always proud to tell others that I am Chinese, but there was a time when it was almost a crime to be anything but Vietnamese. My parents lived through some of Vietnam War but thankfully, eventually immigrated to Canada safely.  I have never thought about second guessing telling somebody my background because I have never felt a risk from doing so. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my parents.

_45145929_china_vietnam08My Mom grew up in a large family with three sisters and two brothers. Her family was well off at the time; Grandpa was a successful business man that everybody loved and Grandma was a respected teacher. The eldest sibling would help their Mom, my Grandma, take care of the rest of the kids since their Dad was always going off on business trips. When Dad finally settled down and opened a family restaurant, all of the kids naturally helped out there too. Between going to school and helping out at the restaurant, many of the siblings also took a liking to teaching the Cantonese and Mandarin dialect on the side.

One night, just as the restaurant was closing up, a bunch of Vietnamese soldiers rushed into the vicinity causing chaos and fear right into the hearts of my mom and her family. The leader, speaking in Vietnamese, questioned my Grandpa about his activities within the restaurant to see whether or not he was performing illegal activities. My Grandpa responded to all of his questions calmly, politely, and honestly. Just when everybody thought the fiasco was over with, the Vietnamese soldier spat out the question that made my grandpa catch his breath. “You and your family are Chinese. You must be doing something shady… are you teaching the Chinese language to youngsters?” Seconds, which seem like hours pass before my Grandpa answers: “No, of course not. We would never dare to.” A gun gets pulled out at point blank, aimed at my Grandpa’s face. “You want to try again?” Sobs escape from my Mom and her siblings’ throats. “No sir, we swear, we are just operating a restaurant.”

The soldier hesitates, laughs, and puts his gun away. “Carry along then, but don’t let us catch you doing anything shameful like that. We will catch you, you know.” They leave. My Grandma who was silent throughout the whole incident calms her sons and daughters. “It’s okay kids, they’re gone now, it’s okay.”

flagThese incidents happened more often than not, but my Mom and her family were able to finally leave the country. My Mom has good and bad stories from back when she was in Vietnam, and she is looking forward to visiting again sometime soon now that is it safer. However, this was the moment in time where she felt most connected to her Chinese heritage but equally in fear that it was the reason she would not see the next day of her life. After learning about the hardships experienced by my parents, I have learned to appreciate my background so much more.

 

Images courtesy of Google