Looks Can Be Deceiving

Looks Can Be Deceiving

My house is really, really small. I mean, tiny! It’s comically cramped and crooked. The building started as a timber shed for a coal mining company, but back then, in the late 1800s, it was just a single room made of rough-cut fir, hand-hewn from forests which had stood, unmolested, for millennia. Once ancient trees, then a timber shed, now my bathroom – from lovely to lumber to lavatory. Something to ponder while sitting on the toilet. The coal company…

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Carnal Delights: Sex, Food, Wolves & Women

Carnal Delights: Sex, Food, Wolves & Women

Last night, after a particularly busy day, I went outside to watch the stars. As I sat in the cool evening with only myself for company, I became aware of a distant sound, a haunting call that echoed faintly between the mountains. “Ah”, I thought with satisfaction, “The wolves have returned.” My small town, located on the west coast of British Columbia, is surrounded on all sides by vast rainforests. We’re used to living in close proximity with nature. Deer…

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Monster Monday: Rusalka

Monster Monday: Rusalka

It never ceases to amaze me how many monsters are portrayed as beautiful women, and their only goal is to bewitch young men and lure them to their deaths. Like women don’t have better things to do. Today’s entry in the ‘pretty girls are dangerous’ category is the Rusalka, a Slavic water nymph who swims up from the murky depths during the first week of June, to hang on the low branches of birch and willow trees and tempt young…

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Monster Monday: the Kraken

Monster Monday: the Kraken

If you were to create a Venn diagram of ‘where the humans live’ and ‘where the Pacific Octopus lives’, I would be sitting in the middle of the overlap, and yet I’ve never seen one in the wild. I’ve seen bears, and wolves, and even the famously-elusive cougar, but despite entire summers spent submerged in the ocean, I’ve never seen an octopus. I know the octopus is out there but I can’t see it, no matter how hard I try,…

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The Problem with Previews

The Problem with Previews

For a long time, I assumed that the quality of movies was on the downslide, and in a cynical, crotchety old-lady voice, I’d complain about the lack of substance in modern cinema. I’d shake my tiny fist and say, “Films aren’t what they used to be! Why, back in MY day, we had quality shows! Good, solid epics! Worth the price of admission!” But I’ve come to recognize that movies aren’t getting worse. On the contrary, movies are pretty much…

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Monster Monday: Kiyohime

Monster Monday: Kiyohime

I love Japanese folklore. They seem to have a monster for every occasion. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d chat about Kiyohime, a dragon-woman who was transformed by unrequited love. Long ago, a young priest named Anchin visited a village, and was offered lodging in the mayor’s house. Anchin fell in love with the mayor’s daughter, the beguiling and beautiful Kiyohime, and promised to return to her after his journey to a nearby temple. However, after professing his heart…

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Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

I grew up on the ocean, and spent a lot of time on the beach as a child, and strange remains would often wash ashore. I’d drag home these half-rotted corpses of aquatic beasts, and it was not uncommon for our property to be festooned with spines, fins, skulls, fleshy bits of things tossed up in winter storms… oh, my poor patient parents!  Thinking back, our yard probably smelled pretty bad. Most of what I found was so decomposed that…

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Hundred Thousand Billion Poems

Hundred Thousand Billion Poems

Where can one find Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliard des Poemes? Goodness, I must lay my hands upon it, even though I know I will never be able to read it! Created in such a way that one shuffles the poem lines to discover newer and richer poems with each combination, it has been designed to take more than a lifetime to digest. It’s an impossible book, and I can not possibly express how much that makes my heart sing! But where can I…

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Monster Monday: Grims

Monster Monday: Grims

There are some days (and I hope you have these sort of days, too) when I can’t believe how much I love my job, and I feel like wheeling around on an Austrian mountaintop, arms outstretched, singing at the top of my lungs like an idiot, proclaiming the hills to be alive. But not hills with eyes, of course; that’s a very different movie reference. Today is one of those days, because it’s Monday, and on Mondays, I research monsters,…

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Blustery Sunday

Blustery Sunday

It’s been stormy on the island lately, but the sun broke through the clouds on Sunday afternoon, which gave us just enough time to visit Goose Spit and run through the surf, filming the blue sky and the white waves. Goose Spit is a flexible sand spit, which means it shifts and changes as nearby Willemar Bluffs sheds its sandy interior. The spit is long and narrow like a crooked finger, and together with Gartley Point, marks the boundary of…

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