Monday, February 28, 2011


November 12, 2010  - - - -  
Dear Pumpkin-Flavored Seasonal Treats,  
So you're back. You just come waltzing into town like nothing has happened, 
like  nothing has changed. Don't look at me like that. You're the one who left for a  
year with no explanation, no warning. No note. And I'm just supposed to be okay  with that?  
Well, I'm not. A lot has changed in the last year. I've moved on. I tried going  vegan, did 
you know that? Of course you didn't. You know why? Because you never  bothered to call and 
check in. I had a fling with peppermint in December, but  that didn't last long. 

I never really got over you.  Do you know what it was like for me after you disappeared? 
I was a wreck. I  couldn't get out of bed; there was nothing to look forward to. I started  
visiting the places we spent time together, on the off chance you might be  there. But no matter 
where I went, the fact was that you were gone. Worst of  all, it seems that I was the only one 
who noticed. Signs advertising your  presence remained up. Commercials encouraging me to consume 
you in mass  quantities flooded my television and haunted my dreams. You were everywhere and  
nowhere, all at the same time.  If I had realized how temporary your presence in my life 
would be, I would have  done things differently. I would have cherished the time we spent 
together more.  I would have taken more pictures. I would have told you I loved you each and  
every single day. If only I knew it was all going to end, I would have planned  ahead. 
I would have stocked up. If only.  But like I said, things are different now. I've changed. 
I'm strong now. I'm not  the same girl who needed you, yearned for you and cried when you 
weren't around.  I am an independent, self sufficient woman, who refuses to be tied down.  
Especially to something that can't handle hanging around for more than a three  month period 
of time. 

So screw you, you commitment phobic piece of crap.  You've got a lot of nerve coming 
back here. How dare you look me in the eye? Do  you think I'm dumb? Do you think I don't realize
that since you've come back,  you've flirted with every person you pass on the street, tempting
them with your  elusive charms and intoxicating scent? You jerk. You big jerk. I trusted you. 
I  thought we had something special. And now you've gone and thrown it all away.  

Again. God, I'm stupid. I'm so stupid. I hate you. I really, really do.  
Wait. I'm sorry. Maybe I'm being too hard on you. I don't know. I've put so much  
into this relationship already. Maybe it's better to just try again. A blank  slate, so to speak.
 It's still early in the season. We still have time; we can  still make it work. What do you say?
 How about a drink? For old time's sake? But  please, whatever you do. Don't ever leave me again.
 I love you, Ilana Abby Plen

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Read my friend khalid's interview- here at the mcgill daily-

-be the change you hope to see in the world...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!

My mum loves mysteries and thrillers! Give her the birthday gift of some titles! Post here!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guest Blogger: Cory Gillette

I am a voracious reader, and of all the books I have read recently, two stand out for me. They are The Help by Kathryn Stockett and A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. I would consider them must-reads like The Kite Runner, The Poisonwood Bible and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Before I start talking about the books I should let you know that I love to read narratives with an emphasis on relationships and well developed characters. The relationships in these books sat with me well past the final chapters. The characters came to life for me and l loved how the authors kept revealing new layers.

I began The Help this summer very reluctantly. I had heard the author interviewed on NPR and something about her comments turned me off. Race is hard to write about, especially as a white woman from the south. Her descriptions of the books and her apologetic comments made me feel the book would be the same, a storyteller who was tentative and apologetic in her narrative. I had run out of books on vacation so I had to give it a chance. I was totally wrong. From the first page I was hooked. I met Abilene and I fell in love. The book is told from several perspectives. There is Abilene and Minnie who were domestic servants and then there is Skeeter, a southern white woman who was ahead of her time. Beside the fact that the narrators are so well developed, the book makes you think about the big issues that we still face around race and hired help. It also made me think about the expected roles of all women. Even the white women were oppressed as they put down others. They were expected to get married and have kids and nothing else.

The Reliable Wife came to me through the podcast of the New York Times Book Review that discussed the best books of 2009. This was right around the new year. The Reliable Wife was not in the top 10 when it was in hardcover, but somehow by the time it came out in paperback it was number 2. I also loved this book from the beginning. The quality of the writing in the first few pages is so outstanding that I often refer to it when talking to teachers about teaching writing. Though I did not realize it at first, the book is a bit of a mystery thriller. It begins describing a wealthy widower waiting on a train platform for a reliable wife that he found through an advertisement in the newspaper. We meet Catherine, the wife to be, on the train as she changes into her plain clothes on the train and tosses out her fancy ones. We realize that she has lied to the widower when she gets off the train. She is beautiful. She is not the plain woman in the picture that he expected. The surprises continue from there. I could not put it down.

Happy Reading.

Here is the New York Times review of The Help

Here is the review of A Reliable Wife from a mom’s book blog. I liked hers better than the others.

Monday, February 14, 2011


"Home is where the Self dwells." -Toni Morrison

Monday, February 7, 2011

What are Egyptians Saying...

Our thoughts are with the people in Egypt. 13 days they have been protesting in the square.

We have been posting many links on facebook.

Nawal El Saadawi, one of the most important and famous women writers/novelists, has been interviewed recently on the square. She also spoke to the NYTimes as well. Article: with Kristoff