It all started with a kayak

It was a fateful day in April when I had my fitness epiphany (I considered cramming the two words together to be clever, but fitphany doesn’t really sound all that inspiring or motivating. Now that I think of it, maybe it’s a word better suited to my embarrassing ‘aha’ moment). It was sunny and warm, which depending on how temperamental the weather is being, is unusual for April in Canada because even though we have four seasons, the stereotype about Canada being a cold, barren wasteland of snow came from somewhere.

I was at a friend’s house for a nature day, which typically involves wandering in the woods, spending time on the water, delicious food and the annual Christmas tree burning bonfire to end the day. She lives on Dog Lake which is wonderfully picturesque and makes me feel like a mole living underground in my basement apartment. We spent some time kayaking on the lake, a minor miracle given my lackluster swimming abilities and my unbridled fear of flipping the kayak, getting stuck in it and drowning in that picturesque lake, which oddly enough reminds me of a Margaret Atwood poem, “This Is a Photograph of Me.”

The experience was surprisingly pleasant until we got back to the dock…

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Last Stop: Validation Station

I wish I could’ve told sixteen-year-old me, “if you thought feelings of anonymity were bad when you were an angsty teenager with a persecution complex, just wait until your 20s.”

I attended a large university here in Canada that I both loved and loathed for various reasons. We don’t have the ranking system that distinguishes Ivy League institutions from state schools like in the States, but like all post-secondary institutions, each one has a reputation. Continue reading

Return of the Long-Form Census

Today is epic for two reasons. The first: it’s Star Wars Day, folks. May the fourth be with you! The second: Canada broke the Internet. Okay, we broke the Statistics Canada website, but that’s still something!


The Liberal government’s majority win and their promise to bring back the long-form census is basically Return of the Jedi writ large against the backdrop of the Canadian wilderness, subzero temperatures, maple syrup, hockey and Tim Hortons. No doubt aboot it.

(I was going to say that the much-discussed return of the census in Canada is Anakin to the awesome conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi, but I thought that might be a little too punny and even more heavy-handed.)

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Death and Taxes

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

— Benjamin Franklin

I’m sure many people are familiar with this quote. Why? Because like most idioms, it is largely based in fact or speaks to a larger, maybe even universal, human experience.

For all you folks in North America, there is one season even more dreadful than the insanity between American Thanksgiving and Christmas (or just Christmas for us Canadians over here. Our Thanksgiving is in October) and that is tax season. Be it the IRS or the CRA collecting, tax season leaves most of us feeling a little rubbed raw. If we were sows, and the IRS and CRA were our greedy little piglets, our teats would be so dry and chapped from all the excessive suckling going on. Mercifully, we are not pigs.

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