So hard to say goodbye to Anthony Bourdain

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

I’m in total shock.

I’m in this weird, very bad dream where Anthony Bourdain committed suicide.

Can I wake up out of this terrible dream and this horrendous week?

Wake up!

It’s not a nightmare. This is real.

I’m on my train ride into city and I’m just crying. The young lady next to me probably thinks I got dumped by a boyfriend, but it way worse than that.

Anthony was one of the people I looked to in order to set an example as a good communicator, a good citizen of the world and to be the “enfant terrible” of my generation.

He made me feel like it was okay to be an outsider, to be different and to be real without being obnoxious.

His TV show, “Parts Unknown”, is a ritual of mine and my hubby. Anthony was such a good guy. Not the most perfect one, but you could see that he had this gentle soul, even when he was looking like a real rock star with all his tattoos and his attitude.

I am speechless.

My thoughts are going to his family, to his love, to Éric Ripert and to all of his friends, including the fans.

I wish I could write his biography, but you know what, if you want to know who Tony was, please watch all of “Parts Unknown” and read his masterpiece book, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”.

I will write it until I’m dying, but for anyone that is struggling, please, reach out.

One of my favorite quotes from Anthony is:

“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal with him”

Thank you Chef!

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Kate Spade is still shining like a bright star

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Learning the news of Kate Spade’s death was unexpected and so sad.

Her name has been part of my repertoire since my “not so glamorous” teenage years in the nineties and into my early twenties.

I was always curious about the next handbag she would create, even as the minimalist kind of girl that I am.

But yesterday, when I learned the sad news of her death, I was reminded of when one of my high school classmates decided to end her life her first year in college. This classmate had everything going for her: beauty, perfect body, great hair, a sweet boyfriend and the status of one of the popular girls in school. At the same time, she was sometimes moody and seemed so sad.

Everyday, I would walk to school and our paths would cross. We walked the last 2 min to school together. She could sense that I was shy to talk to her. I would always give her my biggest smile, but then look down and walk faster. She would acknowledge my smile and my shyness.

There is not a day I don’t think of why I didn’t made the first step to being her friend.

She was my aunt’s neighbour. I still remember that dreadful February night when she called my home to talk to my mom who later told me that a young girl had died. She didn’t know I went to school with her.

By the time my mom was about to tell me the news, my best friend from high school had sent me an MSN message (yes, it was before Facebook messenger and texting).

I went to my room and picked up my high school yearbook, turning straight to the page her picture was on. I was numb. I cried.

I couldn’t go to the funeral because I felt so guilty about not reaching out to her. And I managed, with time, to face it but let me tell you, I struggled a lot afterwards.

Yesterday was a sad day.

But suicide is happening everyday. When someone is famous, we tend to be more aware because it is broadcasted across every form of media. But I would like to say, out loud, my thoughts about a specific thing I saw that made me so mad.

Why are outlets like TMZ, etc. are taking pictures of the body on a stretcher leaving the apartment building?!

I really get super mad about seeing a picture like this (by accident) because it is on the front page. Like when my classmate died, the local newspaper didn’t send a photographer to take a picture and put it on our Wednesday issue.

You get my point.

It’s a painful moment for the family and friends and everywhere you will go, this picture will be on every news outlet, tabloid and so on. It’s so awful and such a lack of respect.

For the young girl that lost her dear mom, for the husband that lost his wife and the mother of his child, to her family and to her friends, my thoughts are with you.

And to the tabloids, get the hell out and show some respect. Damn it!

In a way, she is still bringing lights into our life and she is forcing us having this really difficult conversations about depression and anxiety. Maybe this tragedy will save more lives.

For anyone that is struggling, please, please, please, we are here for you and there are some incredible organizations that are here for you. You are not alone.

We are not alone.

http://www.depressionarmy.com

https://www.nami.org

https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

Humbolt is on our mind

During the whole weekend, every hour, every minute and every second, I was thinking about the pain of the family members and friends must be living at this exact moment wondering if their son, their brother, their friend, their father are among the victims of the horrific accident that happened Friday late in the afternoon in Saskatchewan.

My heart is broken but when I saw this picture, my spirit regain some faith.

Brothers Broncos

The strong power of brotherhood.

They were all brothers. And that bond will never be broken.

Humboldt Broncos

https://www.gofundme.com/darcy-haugan-humboldt-broncos

https://ca.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos

Legacies are never lost

Do you ever get this feeling?

Sometimes, a certain movie gives you this sense of empowerment and you feel invincible because of one particular actor?

Brandon Lee was this actor in my youth. At home, when I was just a little tomboy, we watched a wrestling show and a Kung-Fu movie every Saturday. It was a serious ritual in our household. Bruce Lee was, in a way, a big part of our family. At that time in the 80s, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was starting to make some waves as an actor.

Brandon

He was gorgeous and in my five-year-old mind, I was convinced that I would marry him and we would fight the bad guys together (I wasn’t aware that movies are typically fictional… anyhow). He was my Romeo.

Brandon drawing

As I grew older and more aware, I became addicted to Entertainment Tonight. I remember looking forward to seeing the movie that would later be one of my favorites but was symbolic of my life at the time.

Brandon the Romantic

The Crow perfectly represented my state of mind during that period. So badly, I wanted to find a hero that would inspire me to be invincible. Despite being a feisty and sporty kid, I was facing some bullying at the time. Brandon was my hero.

His interview on the set was inspiring for me. He was so calm and philosophical.

Brandon Lee last interview video

I was looking forward to the movie, daydreaming about the script and everything. I felt I just needed wings to fly freely without fear.

Drawing by Eric Draven

In 2018, when you watch Brandon’s interviews, his poetic way of telling us a story and explaining the meaning of life is actually a beautiful legacy that he left for us.

The beauty of legacy is that it can go on and on, from generation to generation.

Brandon’s sister is one of the people that is making sure the legacy of her family will still go on. Like me, Shannon is the baby sister to her big brother.

Lee Family

She was close to him and probably got teased by him, as is the main criterion of having a big brother. We know the expression ”Brotherly love” but Bro and Sisterly love are the best one.

Shannon is proud of her father’s and brother’s legacies and of her own.

Shannon Lee 2

Shannon Lee Ted Talk Be An Action Hero video

Shannon is creative, dynamic and special. She is a very proud sister.

What is next for Shannon?

Shannon Lee

Actually, you should check out her podcast: The Bruce Lee Podcast. It’s insightful and really well-made.

https://nerdist.com/bruce-lee-podcast-91-brandon-lee/

When Brandon died, I felt lost. I would no longer experience his way of explaining something as he did in that interview with such grace.

But, years later, I read this quote from Brandon somewhere and it’s been one of my mantras ever since:

”Immortality is to live your life doing good things and leaving your mark behind”

 Brandon Lee quote

Legacies are never lost.

Brandon Lee Chronicle Collage

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://www.brucelee.com

 

What’s next for Stephanie McMahon?

When you can say that one of your childhood friend and hero was in the Princess Bride movie and he is one of the most legendary wrestling figures of all time?

Andre the Giant and Stephanie McMahon

In my book, you are one of the coolest people alive!

Princess Bride

This exact same kid that grew up to be one of the great leaders of our time. During my teenage years, as a wrestling fan, I couldn’t stand the sight of her.

Because of her onscreen character of course. She played the role of a spoiled, snobby daddy’s girl so well. At that point, I was still young and couldn’t differentiate between a fictional character and the person playing the role… Now that I have grown up (now almost 35), I asked myself this question: what made me change my perception of this woman, the perception I had over all those years?

Stephanie McMahon

Yes, I grew up, but over the years, I read some interviews and saw others and I realized, my oh my, I have more in common with her than I ever could have imagined.

This woman is Stephanie McMahon.

She is the COO of the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Stephanie McMahon Leadership

Stephanie couldn’t be more different than the character she is portraying, but she does have something in common with The Million Dollar Princess.

She is ambitious!

Even since she was small, she wanted to be part of the family business.

Young Stephanie

For myself, I never really wanted to be in the family business (entertainment manager of Haitian talent), but I knew I wanted to create something parallel or inspire my father dreams. I was the little helper at the house whenever we had some theatrical rehearsal in our living room (I was the bell girl). I would listen to every business phone call that my father had, I would sometimes even go to meetings with my father. In a way, Stephanie had a similar path.

McMahon

From a young age, she was learning all the different aspects of the empire her parents had created. She couldn’t deny that wrestling would be a big part of her life.

What I have admired Stephanie over the years is the fact that she has encouraged everyone to be a good leader. Not only that, she wanted to give back too. You could see it in her genuine nature; when she met young fans or whenever she spoke about the Connor’s Cure Foundation.

Connor's Cure

That, for me, is a real leader.

Connor, our hero

Honestly, when I saw her during the Attitude Era, my eyes were rolling. But now, when I read or I see an interview, my eyes are wide open and I’m listening.

When she says she was bullied and she finds it hard sometimes to read tweets on her Tweeter feed, we are seeing the real Stephanie McMahon. I learned all of it on the Lillian Garcia Podcast. It is a must!

NOH8

McMahon is a mom. She is a woman that wants to be part of the change in our society, contributing to a revolution, not only in the square circle but in the boardroom too.

We can witness her achievements by just watching the Women’s Revolution in the WWE.

The evolution of us

The fact that she is balancing being a boss lady, a wife, a mother and a leader all at once is admirable.

What can we expect from Stephanie McMahon in 2018?

I guess this question should be answered by the one and only Stephanie McMahon herself, but I will write about what I expect from her in 2018.

I expect Stephanie to continue to bring smiles to faces, especially children. I hope when Raw comes to Montreal in a few weeks, kids from Montreal Hospitals, like Sainte-Justine Hospital (I was born there in the 80s; they saved my life as a premature baby) could maybe have one of their wishes granted from one of the WWE Superstars.

Stephanie and children

I expect her to continue making waves as a woman in an executive role. She didn’t have it easy getting to where she is now, as some people may wonder. She works hard, or even harder, as the boss’s daughter. I can relate to that.

I love to end my post with a question, and I ask this one directly to Stephanie :

What does Stephanie McMahon expect from herself in 2018?

S. McMahon

Stephanie McMahon on Twitter

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/stephanie-mcmahon

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Fantastic Mr. Clooney! Mr. Nick Clooney

I have wanted to be a journalist (and soccer maven) since I was a little girl.

Trying to look cool

I wanted to be as smart as Christiane Amanpour, as sassy and curious as Ann Curry and (when I was a little older) as perspicacious as Nick Clooney.

A girl can still dream. Those people are my anchors and journalism mentors.

I have wanted to do a post about Nick Clooney for a long time.

img_0612

Yes, he is the father of some famous actor we may have seen on the big and small screens and we’ve drank his Tequila like there was no tomorrow ( I sure did) and still, didn’t have the worst hangover.

Bily the tequila connaisseur

Nicholas Clooney (the same given name as my father) is so fascinating. He was a well-known anchorman and television host for so many years.

Apollo 8 crew with Nick Clooney

He was a true leader in his field. But, he displays the definition of what it means to be a true leader with his actions.

He protested for the Sudanese with pride, even though he got arrested along with his son.

Clooneys

That shows you the man he is. Someone not afraid to fight the good fight. This is something that his son will probably pass down to his children.

In my eyes, this is the most beautiful legacy a man could leave to his descendants.

Nick Clooney Journalist

While watching David Letterman’s show last night on Netflix, I was so happy and touched by the generosity of all the Clooneys for sponsoring a very courageous Yazidi man named Hazim Avdal (and he is a good driver).

Hazim Avdal

There is goodness around us. We just need to open our eyes and our hearts.

If you have the chance to watch it on Netflix, please do!

Letterman and Clooney

Mr. Clooney. Thank you for being one of my inspirations and in a way, one of my mentors.

I salute you.

img_0618

Good Night and Good Luck!

Written by Sab Demosthenes

France, elle l’a!

Quand tu l’as, tu l’as!

Ella, elle l’a!

Ce je ne sais quoi.

Ce classique de France Gall est une de mes chansons cultes depuis l’âge de 4 ans. Je la chante une ou deux fois par jour dans ma douche, dans ma voiture, dans mon bureau.

Il y a quelques années, je chantais souvent avec une des personnes qui me faisait le plus rire. Une personne que je voyais comme une grande sœur dans ma vie. On se promenait au cimetière qui se trouvait en face de notre université. C’était notre chanson à nous deux.

Un petit moment de nostalgie…

Vous pouvez deviner que ce “Chronicle” est un hommage à France Gall.

Elle a, ce tout petit supplément d’âme…

Cet indéfinissable charme.

Étant un enfant digne des années 80, j’ai connu France Gall en entendant ce tube à la radio francophone à Montréal et en visionnant son vidéoclip sur Musique Plus. Je dansais, je chantais et je croyais à cette hymne même en tant qu’une petite gamine plein d’espoir et d’énergie.

La magie Gall et Berger (Michel Berger) était palpable et spéciale. La magie de la musique et de cet héritage si précieux est qu’elle sera éternellement toujours présente.

L’album Babacar est un incontournable pour moi et grâce à cet album, j’ai pu découvrir ses anciens albums qui sont des classiques comme Paris, France. Comment ne pas souligner son rôle dans Starmania de Luc Plamondon. 1979 fut une année de renaissance pour France et comme on dit en anglais“the rest is history”.

France est une artiste que je trouve qui dégage une énergie fracassante avec délicatesse. Ça peut sembler déconcertant mais je trouve ça captivant. Mais c’est son énergie pour ses causes humanitaires qui font que je l’admire tant.

En ce jeudi 14 décembre 2017, je dédie ce “Chronicle” à cette femme qui l’aura toujours cette étincelle.

France, tu l’as et tu l’auras pour toujours cette petite flamme.