Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How the Expats Do It

When life gives you lemons, you slice them into wedges and use them to rim your margarita glass while you rock out to Justin Timberlake, put on your prettiest dress and dance til dawn with 20 of your closest friends!


Monday, October 15, 2007

In and Out

this is how it works
you're young until you're not
you love until you don't
you try until you can't
you laugh until you cry
you cry until you laugh
and everyone must breathe
until their dying breath

Regina Spektor

Things As Essential As Sex

You do it to make your soul grow. This would include singing in the shower, dancing to the radio by yourself, drawing a picture of your roommate or writing a poem or whatever. Please practice an art. Have the experience of becoming.... What's important is to have the experience of becoming, which is as necessary as food or sex. It's really quite a sensation — to become.

Kurt Vonnegut

Books & People

These days are pages,these years chapters. A plot emerges which is sometimes lost, often revised. Characters come and go, the people I have known, the limited cast of humans that one life can bear. Some I betray, some I love. Some I admire, some I pity. Some I teach, some teach me. Some I lust after, some are naked and I hope to clothe them. So fade to black and white now, roll the movie of my life inside of my head...

Linford Detweiler

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Throwing Turkey at Thanksgiving

This encounter between Norse explorers and Native hunters was a pivotal moment in world history. Spilling out of Africa, the human race had pushed north into Europe and East into Asia, through Mongolia and either across the sea or over the Bering Strait to the Americas. And now, on this windswept coast, the two sides had once again met. Humanity had come full circle. It was as much a reunion as it was "first contact."

Alas, as with many a family reunion, things were a little strained.

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My People

We look
like a geography but
just scratch us
and we bleed

Miriam Waddington, "Canadians"

And Who is the Storyteller?

How did I get here? I ascended. I ascended from Cape Breton coal mines and the Barnardo orphanage of Belfast, from nomadic Czech migrations and Australian penal colonies. These tales converge in men, and this is not unusual. From the first Vikings to the shattered displacement of the First Nations, from resistance to revival, from New France to the New West, from dreams of utopia to dreams of porperity, from Loyalist boat peope to modern-day refugess, Canada is more than just a country: it is a sum of its stories. We are all orphans, are all survivors of shipwrecks, and we carry these stories of exile and renewal within us, whether we are aware of it or not.

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw


Canada is more than a canoe route after all. Canada is a road trip. And like any road trip worthy of the name, it is ultimately about freedom in its purest form."

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

"Can you miss a place before you leave it? Can you feel homesick for a city that isn't your home?"

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw


"We have inherited an easy life in Canada. A life of calm. It is freedom of a lazy sort, a freedom so pervasive we barely notice it, and one that we claim by virtue of our citizenship. But it is also workth remembering that people--in the words of Bulgarian-born Canadian philanthropist Ignat Kaneff--'crawl across minefields to get here.'"

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

National Locomotion

"You get the feeling that God designed the canoe first and then set about creating a country in which it would flourish."

Bill Mason

"The CPR may have bound this nation together, but it is the canoe that first called it into being. The birchbark has been replaced, first by canvas and then by aluminum and fibreglass, but the symbolism remains. Paddling a canoe-why it's as Canadian as grilled cheese sandwhiches."

Will Ferguson

"What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hudnred on a bicycle and you remian basically bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature"

Pierre Trudeau

Sow's Ear into a Purse

Any city that turns a bank into a bookstore can't be all bad.

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

Finer Things

The best tobacconist in Canada. The best chocolate shop. The finest bookstore. All three located in Victoria, all within a single block.

This is leisure as an expression of status: arcane and elitist and deeply personal, all at the same time.

Will Ferguson, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw

Sunday, July 22, 2007


"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."

Terry Pratchett

The Power of the Written Word

"At first glance, reading is a waste of time, turning us all into versions of Don Quixote, too befuddled by our imaginations to tell windmills from giants. We would be better off spending the time mating and farming."

D.T. Max

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


"There are times when a feeling of expectancy comes to me, as if something is there, beneath the surface of my understanding, waiting for me to grasp it. It is the same tantalizing sensation when you almost remember a name, but don't quite reach it. I can feel it when I think of human beings, of the hints of evolution suggested by the removal of wisdom teeth, the narrowing of the jaw no longer needed to chew such roughage as it was accustomed to; the gradual disappearance of hair from the human body; the adjustment of the human eye to the fine print, the swift, colored motion of the twentieth century. The feeling comes, vague and nebulous, when I consider the prolonged adolesence of our species; the rites of birth, marriage and death; all the primitive, barbaric ceremonies streamlined to modern times. Almost, I think, the unreasoning, bestial purity was best. Oh, something is there, waiting for me. Perhaps someday the revelation will burst in upon me and I will see the other side of this monumental grotesque joke. And then I'll laugh. And then I'll know what life is."

Sylvia Plath

"The thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die."

Kierkegaard, 1845


Each day forces us
to totter on planks we hope
will become bridges.

Kevin Hart, Australian poet


"I cannot be me without you
and we cannot be us without them,
and together we have a future."

Philip Carter, Anglican priest, director of the Julian Centre in Adelaide, Australia.

"Common humanity and universal responsibility link us. But much of the time we act as if this is not the case -- we are in denial as individuals and societies."

Margaret Somerville, The Ethical Imagination, 2006.