Welcome to the official website of best-selling author Linda Kupecek.

HAPPY SPRING AND BUNNY TIME

For most people, Easter has religious meaning, but for me, it heralds spring, and with that, renewal and hope. I suppose this has a religious context, but I am so busy revelling in tulips, bunnies, and Easter eggs, that I don’t really examine the relationship between renewal and the religious aspects of Easter. Hey, I just want to hippity hop around with the bunnies, listen to the chirping of the birdies, and enjoy devilled eggs. (Gotta say, I made my last batch of devilled eggs for a family dinner on Good Friday. My swan song in this department. Way time consuming and the praise, however welcome, did not balance the work hours. Basically, to make all that work worthwhile, people would have to do a ten minute song and dance, while incorporating my name into the lyrics and maybe laying five dozen tulips at my doorstep.) People (mostly women) have been making devilled eggs for years, and I think we should all just stop it, right now, and write our family histories, or volunteer at a food bank, or take a cooking course at Cookbook Co. Cooks. Just forget about the devilled eggs.

Having ranted on that, I rejoice in the white hare who galumphs across my back yard whenever I open the back door. I know he isn’t the Easter bunny, but I am sure he is a distant relative. I love the Easter bunny, and the joy that little rabbit brings to so many generations.

I will never forget the Easter morning, many years ago, when I was already an adult, living in a little bungalow in a nice part of town, when my doorbell rang. By the time I got to the door, a small car was scooting away, and hanging from my mailbox, was an Easter basket of chocolate rabbits, coloured eggs and other treats. One of the sweetest moments in my life.

I have written extensively about the rituals of Easter, in magazines which might not even be in existence any more. And I suppose I will continue to do so. But in the meantime, I just want to say, in the spirit of joy and optimism, HAPPY EASTER!

Easter brings renewal, hope and delightful surprises.

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THE CLUELESS BUT WELL MEANING YOUNG

As often happens (with me, anyway) a satisfying rant is followed by a more compassionate view of the situation. In my last post, I emitted an aria on a clueless and annoying Kijiji customer, who had been inconsiderate in a major way.

But, now, a little while later, I realize that this young woman was not deliberately trying to ruin my evening or make our household ill with her germs, nor was she aware of her silliness. She was just clueless. As we all are, at time, especially when we are young.

Oh, good grief, if I tried to make a list of all the times I had done stupid or insensitive things, I would be up for weeks at a time. So, I realize now, that this young woman was, well, just, CLUELESS. And that twenty years from now, she may be a wonderful, evolved human being, doing great work for orphans in Africa, or the homeless in Saskatoon, or simply being a good and compassionate citizen.

So, for myself, more than for you, dear young lady, I wish you well. (Hey, I read Oprah Magazine, I know the benefits of forgiveness and evolvement – ONWARD!)

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OH, THE TRIALS OF KIJIJI

I love Kijiji. I have been clearing and decluttering my basement through Kijiji. I have met some truly wonderful people through Kijiji (Nick and Candace, are you listening?) and I have been tremendously heartened by the kindness and generosity of so many people (many of them younger than I am) who have graced my doorstep through Kijiji, and become tentative, or firm, friends.
The downside of Kijiji is that you also meet the truly awful people (e.g. the con man who works for the health services department who showed up with two toddlers, who he must have rented for the occasion, and proceeded to try to steal a number of items from my basement) and then, the simply clueless.

This last description applies to my experience today. A young woman emailed and asked to see jewellery, evening bags, compacts, clothing and much more. I obliged, hauling up stuff from the basement, to arrange in the hallway for her perusal. She was to come at 6 pm. At 6:30, she emailed that she was delayed in traffic. Fair enough. By 7:30, I had to feed my starving loved ones, and put dinner on the table. OF COURSE, the doorbell rang after the first bite.

The young woman had brought with her a boyfriend who looked as if he maybe knocked off 7-11s for a living, but then, a toque makes anybody look suspect, even if you are Canadian. She spewed germs indiscriminately into my foyer, despite my screams of “Don’t Breathe On Me! I AM A CAREGIVER!” And …… after all that ….. she foraged in her purse, saying she hadn’t had time to go to a bank machine, and pulled out a five dollar bill and few coins, and bought an eight dollar purse and a two dollar compact. Which totally justifies, right, her asking me to haul out three boxes of stuff for her to look at.

Hey, I want to buy stuff for a dollar, too. But, I like to think that I don’t ask people to display for my pleasure a huge pile of goods, when I know perfectly well that I have TWO CENTS to spend. I have been there. I know what it is to shop on the cheap. But please, young lady, don’t come back to my house!

I have met some great people through Kijiji. We chomp our way through Chinese food, we send loving emails, we exchange great links on collectibles. It is a great life when you can connect with kindred spirits.

This is what I must remember. OM. OM.

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CORNED BEEF, CABBAGE AND THE ARTIST

Today, I bought an unusual item (for me): corned beef. And a more mundane item, half a cabbage.
Anybody who has ever dined at my place knows one great truth. I am a great hostess, and a lousy cook. I particularly can’t cook anything that has ever walked on four legs i.e. red meat. I can at least communicate with a chicken and get it to cooperate and contribute to the evening. In my book, The Rebel Cook, I offer excruciating examples of my culinary disasters.

So why on earth would I, the greatest kitchen klutz of all time,especially with red meat, buy corned beef?

Because, reading the ubiquitous recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, which usually involve corned beef and cabbage, I was transported back to my youth, when I was a young artist attending what was then the Banff School of Fine Arts (and which is now the Banff Centre). Musicians, dancers, painters, actors ….. we were teenagers or young adults, and a combination of our age and the mountain air and the rigorous schedule of classes, made us hungry all the time! Relentlessly hungry!

We ate in a communal hall where huge platters of the daily offerings from the kitchen were passed from one end of the table to another. This was the first time I had ever tasted corned beef and cabbage. I can remember it now, forty years later. The incredibly tender corned beef, and the salt and pepper cabbage. We cleaned every platter. This was one of the favourite dishes in my circle of young artists (unlike the soggy chocolate pudding which one wag dubbed Beethoven’s Last Movement ……)

So, for some crazy reason, I am hoping to replicate or at least, remember, the gorgeous platters offered up by the kitchen of the Banff School of Fine Arts, not so much for the Irish, as for the artists of my youth.

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THE ACTOR’S LIFE

Many years ago, I was a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, in addition to being a member of ACTRA in Canada. One of the advantages of being a SAG member was the wonderful magazine which I received. I have never forgotten a profound article written by a female performer who was also a psychologist, in which she spoke of how actors must remember that in many ways, ours is a noble profession, and, as such, we should honour it, and not dismiss ourselves.

I was reminded of this when I watched the SAG Awards last night. I was so happy to see so many fine actors honoured. I especially loved Ben Affleck’s acceptance speech, in which he spoke of actors around the world showing up on set, delivering lines, doing their best, working for the good of a project, no matter what.

I mused on how this is so true. For many people in what would be considered the regular work force, a day off for the flu or a cold or a hangover is not a big deal. In the world of the actor, this is not an option, unless you are at death’s door. A theatre jammed with paying customers? You show up and try to reach the upper balconies no matter how horrific and tomblike your voice may sound. (This is why most actors, including MOI, have gone through major voice training.) A film set, with a crew of dozens, maybe a hundred, expensive equipment, and a tight schedule? You don’t put your hand to your forehead and fade away. You show up, no matter how much your maladies resemble the plague. (Huge stars excepted, of course.) Actors show up, say their lines, and go home and collapse afterward. Most of the time, they are quite wonderful in the role.

So last night, I was a little disappointed that in SAG Awards. Not for the awards themselves, but for the riffs from the actors, some of whom seemed somewhat apologetic about their chosen profession (“I get to be a kid” or “I have big boobs” and other self-deprecating one liners that got laughs. )

I didn’t laugh. I thought the SAG Awards were intended to honour actors and the acting profession. Where was the honour here?

I no longer work as a performer, but I still honour the life of the performer. I hope the producers and organizers, next year, try to infuse the evening with more respect and less apology for being an actor.

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