June 24, 2016

We want to know your Top 5: what are your go-to things when you need to cheer yourself up? “Things” can be anything—a nail polish colour, a Vine, or a dog on the street (pics, please). If you (and or your friend) want to share what you love with us, pitch us at submit@gutsmagazine.ca.

Today, I LOVE THIS features Friends of GUTS Marcelle Kosman and Hannah McGregor, lady CanLit scholars and notorious co-hosts of the ubiquitously popular and extremely relevant media empire Witch Please, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world. They are playing an exciting version of I LOVE THIS, where people list not only THEIR favourite things, but also guess what their FRIEND’S favourite things are.  This is like the Newlywed Game, except better because it’s 100% less associated with the cis hetero wedding industrial complex.



Hannah’s Loves

The Maximum Fun podcasting network

At last count, I listen to seven shows on the MaxFun network on a regular basis. They’re not super over-produced shows, they’re not riveting true crime journalism, but they embody what I love most about the medium: the incredibly soothing experience of listening to two or more people who genuinely like each other chat about something they find interesting. I will talk to you about MaxFun podcasts for literal hours. (That’s a promise.)


This poem by Gwendolyn MacEwen

R said we couldn’t say “kitties” because it was too obvious but she didn’t say anything about poems about kitties. This poem is perfect because it’s a list and it’s about cats and it makes me laugh and cry. Gwendolyn MacEwen was the reason I decided to become a CanLit scholar—specifically the evenings my friend V and I spent reading MacEwen poems out loud to each other and just having feelings.


Fat femmes on Instagram

I never really understood the point of social media until I curated an Instagram feed that is 90% pictures of smoking hot fat ladies in amazing outfits just really digging their bodies. I was like, holy shit, I never have to read a fashion magazine again, I can actually opt out entirely and just replace my media consumption with happy fat people. Go follow @alternativecurves for a taste of what my InstaWorld looks like.


Les Misérables

Specifically the original cast recording, starring Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean. My mom took me to see it when I was 4 or 5, and she bought the cast album ON CASETTE, and it has been the soundtrack of my feelings ever since. I remember pitching a tent with her in the backyard and singing along to every song. Most people think “Bring Him Home” is Wilkinson’s masterpiece, but I prefer “Who Am I” because his accent is weirder.


Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Wonderchilde

Such an important part of my lipstick journey.

Marcelle on Hannah’s Loves

Her friends

Obviously we all love our friends, but Hannah LOVES her friends. Like she commits to her friendships over long distances and complex social arrangements because they are deeply important to her. She is supportive, encouraging, honest, and vulnerable in her friendships and has taught me a great deal about how to be a friend.


Canadian literature

Hannah once described her sexual orientation as Canadianist. She loves the nonsense that led to the forming of the canon and the works that make up the canon (e.g. Gwendolyn MacEwen); she loves the dismantling of the canon through radical literature and criticism; and she loves the CanLit that people actually read like magazines and books featured in Canada Reads competitions.


Bike riding


Earthly pleasures free from animal products

Hannah loves beautiful femme things like shoes, earrings, blazers, scarves, and she loves delicious food, and she succeeds in loving and luxuriating in these things without infringing on the rights of animals. She even taught me how to read the shoe materials indicator to buy vegan shoes not marketed as vegan shoes! Hint: leather looks like a flayed piece of skin. Gross.

A legend for discerning shoe construction materials.

The Maximum Fun network of podcasts

Hannah listens to lots of podcasts and, while she loves many of them, her favourites seem to come from Max Fun like My Broter, My Brother, and Me.

Marcelle’s Loves

Internet poetry

I don’t care what anyone says, these speech acts are genres of poetry and they are glorious. Here are three of my favourite examples:


Screenshot of a tweet by Julieanne Smolinski that says "Can't believe I just paid $67 for a parking ticket when there are still people running around calling it 'expresso' with no legal recourse"


A picture of Tom Hardy in the movie Mad Max Fury Road with the words "hey girl, I don't need to see the pain and humiliation you suffered as a sex slave, I believe you" on top in white sans serif font.


This Red Deer-based jewellery company

Because the makers are two lady friends and their druzy earrings are ????. Like, I just learned what druzy means that’s how much of an impact they’ve had on me.


The sound of my baby’s laugh

Which I can’t share with you because I don’t have an audio file of it but trust me it is literally the sound of joy.


These macarons

Even though Marcus is probably a man (show me a lady-run gluten-free macaron making enterprise and I will give it 100% of my money).


elektrik kidz

I found this company by accident when I very timidly began looking at baby clothes last summer. Their lines are imaginative and beautiful, largely resistant to oppressive gender norms, and made in Montreal using organic cotton, etc. CAVEAT: I have some serious reservations about this brand’s occasional and appropriative use of totem poles in its designs and I’d strongly encourage potential patrons not to buy any items featuring totem poles. For more information about totem poles see here.

Hannah on Marcelle’s Loves

This scene from The Two Towers

To celebrate her completion of her MA, Marcelle held a weekend-long marathon viewing of the extended versions of the whole trilogy, and to make sure that she wasn’t made at people when they talked through the movies, she watched all three of them in advance. That might be apocryphal, but it’s a story I hold close to my heart.


Glitter bath bombs

There’s a childbirth story involving a glitter bath bomb that I’m not sure I’m allowed to tell here. At a key moment in my life, Marcelle gifted me with a sparkly rainbow unicorn horn bath bomb that I interpreted as a physical manifestation of her friendship, which is both soothing and sparkly.


All My Friends Are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman

Writing this just prompted me to go look at my bookshelf and realize that my copy is missing. Who did I lend it to? Was it you? Anyway, Marcelle is also a CanLit scholar, that’s how we met/bonded, and this is one of her favourite novels. It’s a magic-realist/fairy-tale (she’d have a better term for it) love story about a normal man surrounded by superheroes like The Perfectionist and (my favourite) Mistress Clean-As-You-Go, who never leaves anything unsaid. Marcelle likes weird books. This is a weird book.


Little Northern Bakehouse brand gluten-free bread

Screenshot of a Facebook messenger conversation between the authors about bread.

elektrik kidz

This super high fashion, gender-neutral, Montreal-based children’s fashion boutique has been the source of many of wee baby Fox’s most iconic styles; it’s also a pretty great metonymic representation of Marcelle’s parenting style in general. Super cool, ethically charged, committed to working against the violent imposition of gender norms on children, contains a story about baby spit but only in French so you have to work for it. Sorry, I lost track of the metaphor there.

[Ed. note: great work team, you each got 1/5 so you love each other the same amount. Way to go.]