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Rachel McAdams

I have fallen in love with Rachel McAdams during the pandemic! A while back, I was starting to find out more about Canadian actors/actresses, singers and other popular artists. One thing I have found is that getting in touch with popular culture in a country is great for getting to know the county better. Plus, it can be a good conversation starter with a native! When I moved to London, the internet was not as common as it is now, so I had no way of knowing what was popular. Kids at school definitely “took the mick” as the Brits say. Now, I don’t intend to get caught out. I love Michael Buble too, but that’s a whole other post!

Here’s what I have seen Rachel McAdams in so far, and my personal thoughts on each of them. Overall, I have really enjoyed them and want to see more!

Warning: Contains spoilers!

CW: Number 7 contains violence against women and kidnapping.

Number 8 contains murder and military violence.

Number 9 contains sexual violence.

  1. Slings and Arrows:

I started my Rachel McAdams kick with this tv series! She plays Kate McNab, a 19-year-old acting apprentice, who you first see playing Moth in The Dream. A stroke of fortune has her playing Ophelia in Hamlet. Apparently, the series was supposed to be about Kate’s career progression in the New Burgage Theatre Festival. After the first season, Rachel McAdams’ career took off and she had to be written out of the series. I was sad that she wasn’t staying through the whole series, but they made it work. I’ve seen the series three times now and it keeps getting better!

  1. Mean Girls:

Rachel did Regina George around the same time as Slings and Arrows! No wonder she had to be written out of the series! I have seen this movie several times, but I had never really paid attention to the actress who played Regina George. I knew she was 30 when she did the role, which was totally amazing to me! When I saw the interviews with the actors in the special features a long time ago, I could see that Rachel McAdams loved the role of Regina George! She listed all the wonderful things about the role and you could just feel her excitement! Nowadays, there are so many memes for Mean Girls all over the place and it’s a timeless classic! Here’s my favorite meme at the moment.

Source: Face

Anyone who knows me knows I have a love-hate relationship with the movie. I went to a historically women’s college and at the best of times, it was amazing. At the worst of times, it was a scene right out of that movie. Some of the students still hadn’t grown up and it was like, really people? I think the thing that gets to me the most is that everyone remembers that October 3 is Mean Girls Day, but nobody remembers the line, “You have GOT to stop calling each other sluts and whores! It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores!” I get it that sometimes slurs can be reclaimed, but in this instance, I don’t believe in reclaiming slurs that degrade women because misogynistic men still get away with using them. I think women need to accept that slurs against them cannot be reclaimed. Full gender parity has not happened yet, and I fully believe it’s not going to happen if women keep using slurs against each other, but that’s another tangent. Rant over. Next.

  1. The Notebook:

I confess I had never seen The Notebook before this summer. I know there was a lot of hype behind it and it has produced that classic kiss in the rain scene. Other than that, I never had any interest in the movie. It wasn’t until I heard Rachel McAdams was in it that I thought, “Well, that makes a difference!” I ended up really enjoying it. Of course, there were things I found creepy, especially since I’m a modern woman and thanks to #MeToo, sexism in Hollywood is becoming apparent. Not to mention, it’s becoming clearer how Hollywood has influenced young men by normalizing creepy behaviour. Other than that, I do think it’s a special kind of romance movie. I especially like them showing Allie and Noah’s relationship when they are older because you don’t see many elderly couples being romantic in movies. It should be more common because there is something special about it.

  1. About Time:

Another sweet, romantic Rachel McAdams movie. She plays Mary, who is an American living in England. The English setting provides a real depth to the movie and there are no stereotypes of either the English or American cultures. Of course, the best part is the time travel and how it works with different life situations in the movie. I think it teaches us a lot about making the most of your life.

  1. Game Night:  

I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but this title was exciting! I like playing games myself, plus I took Game Theory in my last semester in college and really loved it. I figure any plot involving games is going to be great! The overall plot is that a game night turns into an actual mystery when one of the guests is kidnapped. It’s a comedy thriller, so it’s not too scary. Rachel McAdams (Annie) and her co-star Jason Bateman (Max) carry the movie! They play a married couple who live games, not just play them. The only thing that annoyed me about the movie was using the stereotype that English people are smart and also the actress who was supposed to be English had the PHONIEST accent!!

  1. Midnight in Paris:  

Rachel McAdams (Inez) stars alongside Owen Wilson (Gil). They are an engaged couple travelling to Paris, and Gil is clearly in love with Parisian culture. I love seeing movies with writers in them now that I’m blogging. As a Third Culture Kid, I can totally relate to falling in love with a culture and throwing yourself into it. I found myself cheering on Gil and facepalming whenever Inez or her parents did anything that makes all Americans look like an embarrassment overseas. I knew Inez and Gil were going to break up before it even happened. I realized that the term Karen can apply to Americans travelling overseas and acting in a way that makes US expats cringe. Rachel McAdams’ played a Karen and did it beautifully!

  1. Red Eye:

This movie should be shown in every women’s self-defence class! Rachel McAdams plays Lisa Reisert, a hotel manager who works in Florida. She’s flying back to Miami from Texas after her grandmother dies and meets Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) at the airport. At first, things seem innocent, but there are warning bells going off. It turns out that Jackson is from a domestic terrorist organization that wants to murder an important figure at Homeland Security, Charles Keefe, who is staying at Lisa’s hotel. Jackson kidnaps Lisa while she’s on the plane and makes her put Charles Keefe in a vulnerable room or he will get his hitman to kill her father. Lisa does everything she possibly can to get people on the plane to notice the situation. When she doesn’t succeed, she attacks back. She uses anything at her disposal as a weapon and doesn’t stop until she knows she’s safe. At the same time, she saves her father, Charles Keefe and his family.

  1. State of Play:  

Rachel McAdams plays blogger Della Frye at the fictional Washington Globe. When a congressional aide dies in a mysterious death, Della pairs up with reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) to investigate the shady circumstances. Congressman Collins (Ben Affleck) who the aide worked for is investigating PointCorp, a private defense contractor that has questionable practices using ex-military personnel. Della is nearly killed by a former soldier who works for PointCorp, and Cal is injured while they are doing the investigation. Cal’s impartiality is questioned because Collins is his friend and his wife was Cal’s former lover. Eventually, Collins is arrested for his involvement in PointCorp while also investigating them right when the Globe releases their story.

  1. Spotlight:  

I saw this movie when it first came out, but haven’t seen it since. Still, it’s a memorable movie about how the Boston Globe exposed the priest pedophilia within the Catholic Church. Rachel McAdams plays Sascha Pfieffer, one of the reporters working on the stories. Sascha is a lapsed Catholic who is torn between the ethics of her duty to expose the truth and her relationship with her Catholic grandmother.

I’m glad that Rachel McAdams has been in movies that talk about the importance of good reporting, especially today when it’s becoming clear the effects of fake news. I’m looking forward to seeing more Rachel McAdams movies and shows!

What I’m Doing While I Wait to Move

Yes, I have chores to do to prepare to move. However, this time, I have had a lot more free time than I did before. Maybe that’s due to the pandemic, but also I think it’s down to experience. I love that though! That means I get to do more Self Care because this pandemic is mentally draining.

I have been on lockdown for almost SIX months now and I’m reaching the point that I don’t want to have to stay at home so other people can be reckless about their safety. This isn’t just me complaining that life is unfair. This situation really IS unfair because people being reckless means the good ones have to lock down for even longer. I have to remind myself that if I don’t get COVID-19, it will all be worth it. I think my previous post Pain, Fire and Other Moving Upheavals summed it up pretty well. Also, since my last post, it is still smoky from the fires. I’m still safe though, thankfully. I got another couple photos of the sunset from last night, and the smoke still gives it a certain redness.

Another sunset during fire season

Life’s not all bad though. I have found some fun things to do, like games. Cards Against Humanity has been the most cathartic game during the pandemic because sometimes, I have been downright frustrated with the world! I have been playing some other games online, and they are Minesweeper, Mahjong, and Scrabble Go!

I have been on and off with reading right now because my books are packed. However, I will always love the feminist poetry of Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur, and I hope to take their books with me. I love that they write about immigration as part of their poetry. Women are affected by immigration in a different way than men. I will do a post about their work sometime and what it means to me.

I’m continuing to watch movies with French subtitles where possible to brush up on my French as well. I am also learning the differences between French French and Canadian French. Watch this space for a post about French dialects, because it’s not the first time I have had to contend with them! I’ll do another post about English English, American English, and Canadian English sometime soon too.

The best thing of all is I can pursue the things I have wanted to do. I have been wanting to write a book based on my life with immigration and growing up in different cultures. Now, I can start doing that. The pandemic has shown me that I really love writing and I want to pursue it wholeheartedly. I also want to turn my passions into my profession and have the money and freedom to be able to pursue my life goals and deal with any problems that arise. The Dalai Lama once said, “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” He has many great quotes, but this one resonates the most with me.

Additionally, certain things depress me about the world. For instance, I don’t want to work someplace I have a moral issue with. I have become more of a conscious buyer lately. I love to support businesses that have certain values I believe in. Whether they are green, black-owned, sustainable, feminist, LGBTQIA+, to name but a few, I love knowing that my money is going someplace with shared values. Also, as a woman myself, I am aware of the struggles women face in the workplace, mainly because I have experienced a lot of these myself. The idea of getting a job and facing these issues again feels like a drain of my resources. Don’t get me wrong, I know I will need to get a job at some point until I can finally be my own boss, but I intend to work part-time so I can put the time and effort into my own enterprise. Writing my book is a part of growing my own enterprise. I don’t want to give away too much about the rest of it, but watch this space!

Since I am looking to do my own enterprise someday, I wanted to learn more about leadership, particularly for women. So, while I am waiting to move, I am doing a course called Women’s Leadership: Inspiring Positive Change. It’s very informative and gives me a lot of hope. Women are typically subjected to a lot of double standards in this world, thanks to bias, both conscious and unconscious. This course has shown me there are ways around these double standards, and how you can make things work in your favor. There’s a long way to go to break the glass ceiling, particularly for women of different ethnic and racial groups. To all the women fighting these injustices, particularly those from different backgrounds, keep it up! I believe in all of you! A rising tide floats all boats and someday, I believe women will rule the world!

Just wanted to shout out to all my supporters and followers at this time! You are the people who make me feel like being my own boss someday is not only possible, but it will be worth it! Love you guys and big hugs!

I make a point of finding joy and/or hope in the most random things. Last weekend, I made a lemon chiffon cake with my Mum. I made some raspberry jam to go in the middle. The lemons and raspberries came from my Mum’s garden and they were to die for! My Mum decorated the top with rosemary flowers and our remaining raspberries.

Lemon Chiffon Cake with raspberry jam and Rosemary Flowers

When I look back on this time, I think what I will value most is my burst in curiosity. I have been exploring my TCK identity a lot more with writing for this blog, my column, and starting a book. Curiosity leads to creativity and I’m glad to see where that has taken me. Additionally, I need to be patient for moving because I really can’t wait to leave! I want to stay long enough so I can vote. Hopefully, it will be enough to change who is running the country! 

Let me make it clear though. I don’t believe in Biden or Harris. I think there could have been a better Democratic candidate. It’s hard to believe in the Democrats when they keep running the same old same old middle of the road candidates that kiss up to big businesses and screw the population. Okay, rant over! I just hope that there will be more public pressure to make lasting changes to the US. I especially hope more and more people pay attention to the Black Lives Matter movement!

How has the pandemic changed life for you? Feel free to share in the comments!

Pain, Fire and Other Moving Upheavals

When you’re moving overseas, there are going to be massive changes to your plans. That is inevitable. Something that seemed a solid plan one day will disappear by the next. Even upsets in your life can seem like a bigger deal when you’re moving overseas.

These days, with COVID-19, plans are even more unpredictable. I check border updates every day to see if there is a way that my Mom and I can enter Canada. I have chronic pain issues and I got treatment by a Canadian healthcare provider that worked better than anything I have ever had in the US. One thing I am hoping for is if I can get into Canada to get treatment for my pain. I had to stop getting treatment because of COVID-19, so I have struggled with pain through the lockdown. I manage it on my own as best as I can, but I am going to need to resume treatment soon. I might have found a way to get in for healthcare reasons though. I might have to give up my IEC visa and find another way to get a work permit once I’m inside Canada.

Thanks to the pandemic, I hear companies aren’t hiring people from overseas. That means I have to establish residence first and then find a job. I do have financial worries because of this, and I am thinking about starting my own sort of enterprise and exploring my options for that. Whether I can do it in Canada before I get permanent residence is another matter. COVID-19 has made me think about what I want to do with my life and where I want to be financially.

Wildfire season has started in California, and it’s freakishly early compared to other years! I couldn’t believe it a few days ago, when I found out there are a lot of fires going on nearby. I haven’t needed to evacuate, but the fires are closer to where I live than they were in previous years. In 2018, the Camp Fire in November gave me ten days off school because the Air Quality Index was ridiculously high. Last year, classes were cancelled for a couple days in October because of a potential fire risk.

Sunrise and sunset are different when there is a fire. It’s almost eerie! I took some photos of a sunset when the smoke was really bad. It’s getting better in my area now, though. It’s scary to think wildfires are happening during a global pandemic too, especially since prisoners are recruited to fight fires, but the prisons have been hit with COVID-19. The whole system is fucked frankly!

Sunset on August 20, 2020 in SF Bay Area, East Bay
Sunset and Evening Star are one clear call for thee (Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

I thought when I left for Canada, I would only be taking the things I really need. I will be coming back later to move things up in a van. Now, I am thinking, “What can I not bear to lose if there is a fire?” I am going to take the things that are valuable to me that I have collected on my travels. Also, people have given me meaningful gifts from their countries and travels over the years. I collect things from foreign countries and I would be devastated if they got destroyed by a fire.

We have just started our sixth month on lockdown in the US. I feel scared to go out sometimes because cases keep going up even though indoor activities are not allowed. I have been good and doing my part, and it feels really unfair that I still have to stay home while other people are being reckless. Mental health is my number one priority at least. I have been doing a lot of self-care, like what I mention in my Self Care post. I think Michael Rappaport said it best in his PSA to wear your mask.

I admit, it has been nice finding some content that makes fun of anti-maskers, or even just content that creatively reminds you to do your part. Here are some of my favorites:

Signs You’re a “Karen”

Everybody Must Stay Home – Bob Dylan Coronavirus Parody

Sarah Cooper is a gem that has emerged during the pandemic. Someone once said she doesn’t just mimic Trump. She exposes him. I think she’s been doing people in the US a service, especially those who are good and staying home.

I also love the John Oliver shows. My favorite is still the first one he did on COVID-19 when he talked about this handwashing informational video from Vietnam that featured a dance routine that went viral all over the world. It’s funny to talk about something going viral during the time of a global pandemic.

Even so, I find it hard to enjoy these things sometimes and keep up my motivation to stay on lockdown. Whenever someone in my family comes home from a high-risk area, we have to do a 2319 from Monsters Inc. Now, that joke is getting old unfortunately.

My Mom and I say every day how we can’t wait to leave the US. Sometimes, we get news that makes me say, “Oh no! We’ll never get there!” I have to remember though that I have a false sense of timing about moving. It has always been that I would be in a country a few months after my Dad got a job overseas. We had the company help us with the paperwork and stuff, but now that I have to do it on my own, it takes longer. I have to remind myself that where there’s a will, there’s a way and just keep going until I reach my goal.

How have you all been handling the coronavirus situation? Hope you are all hanging in there and staying healthy! Watch this space for more updates!

Fuel and fire: How a green recovery can save Alberta from itself

As COVID-19 put the world on pause, a decreased demand for oil sent prices plummeting, spelling disaster for the future of Alberta’s oil sands. The province continues to deal with a worsening economy and the impacts of climate change, and climate activists say a green transition might be the solution Albertans need.

Fuel and fire: How a green recovery can save Alberta from itself

I definitely believe Canada should transition to a green economy now, especially Alberta.

National Acadian Day represents culture, community, and a struggle for recognition

There are over 29,000 Acadians living in New Brunswick alone. But for some Acadians, it’s hard living in major cities like Fredericton. While New Brunswick prides itself on being Canada’s only bilingual province, with both French- and English-language inhabitants, behind the province’s dual history lies a story of deportation and alienation.

National Acadian Day represents culture, community, and a struggle for recognition

A great read about the history of Acadians!