Switching to Airplane Mode: what I got out of a 20 day digital detox

We’re in the Redwood Forest. “Did they name it after the song?” my four year old asks. We’d borrowed a remix of Woody Guthrie music from the library once and This Land is Your Land evidently made an impression. I come from a country where the indigenous people believe the world was sung into being….

How to get your professional headshot done: the non textbook version

Jordan Manley took my portrait. I was short on a recent bio pic. My face doesn’t sell my work, so having an up-to-date headshot, despite what the enterprising types say, has just not been a priority. In fact, it’s something I avoid. But Jordan Manley was shooting photos to accompany my feature story and it…

Amateur is not a dirty word

Epiphanies come when I’m feeding out slack. Don’t tell my climbing partner. Because when he’s leading his way up a strenuous pitch of rock, he likes to know that I am watching with rapt attention, feeding out the rope in perfect increments, absolutely focused on his every micro-move, so that, should he fall, I will…

The last flight of Dave “Lucas” McCord

The last time I saw Dave “Lucas” McCord alive, he pulled out his phone to show me his latest claim to fame. He’d made headlines in Iceland, where he was spending the summer, trading labour as a carpenter and driver for some paragliding friends in exchange for a place to stay. He’d been on the…

Reclaim your Pantry: 7 easy things to start making yourself

Hello convenience shoppers. I am talking to you. (That bag of pre-mixed-and-washed salad you are tossing in your cart? You’ll get no judgment from me.) But please, let me try to convince you, even if you’re an entry-level do-it-yourselfer, that it is possible to reclaim kitchencraft. All you need is a couple of mason jars,…

You don’t have time to volunteer, so maybe you should

What science, and Katrina Onstad, author of The Weekend Effect, claim to be the best way to hack time Katrina Onstad hates brunch. The Toronto-based journalist finds it to be a colossal time-waster, although she phrases it more delicately. “I’m a little ambivalent about it. I have had some really nice brunches. But the culture…

Future-proofing the world, one packet of loaner seeds at a time

On Wednesday, the first day of summer, I borrowed a packet of shelling peas from the library. I sifted through a box of seeds, picked out the peas, signed my name to the register and pledged to return my loan in, oh, about 5 months time – once I’ve planted and eaten its harvest, and…

Sorry to break this to you, introverts, but we need to get out more.

It’s the economy, relationships, stupid My spousally acquired health benefits expire when the ski season ends, so in April, I decided to make a last minute, literally down to the wire, effort at addressing a chronically neglected issue and its mysterious new sidekick, by booking a visit to a physiotherapist. Cue several lightbulb moments: this…