The Man in the Pictures

By Chelsea Mark “Hard to look at these, I miss him still.” My mother’s sad tone seeps through as I read these words in her e-mail, accompanied by photos of a man who wears the same smile that she often does. The build of his body is similar to that of my Aunt Joan – tall and lanky. The man sits surrounded by friends in the myriad of photos, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other. Family is a topic that sets off a range of emotions in individuals. When I ask my mother about her dad, … [Read more...]

Living Small, Thinking Big

By Jessie Zhang In 1999, Jay Shafer, an American house designer, and owner of a 96 sq. foot home, published his first article on the merits of simple, compact living. Since then, the tiny home movement has spread throughout North America. Kate Beddows and Nico Rhodes are two of its Vancouver Island proponents. Video produced by Jessie Zhang and Reid Eccles The couple have contracted Nanaimo's Rewild Homes to build their tiny house. Rewild specializes in custom-made, portable … [Read more...]

Not Everyone Can Do It

By Molly Barrieau “Bonnie and Clyde?” “Honey and Bunny,” adds the other, laughing. Two women sit across from me in a bustling joint downtown, contemplating pseudonyms for the purpose of this article. I tell them I’ll make something up. Jordyn, 19, sports a new purple lipstick, while Erin, 22, wears burgundy-framed glasses around her kind blue eyes. Both are dressed in mid-winter hooded coats and leggings; one leans in to the other and says something, then the two get up to order in … [Read more...]

AbOut Tier 3

by Natalie Gates Walking through the bustling hallways of Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS), Brett Hancock offers easy smiles and fist pumps to almost every student he passes. Smirks form on their faces as they greet him back. “I learned a lot traveling, but I sure as hell didn’t learn much in high school,” he says. “The goal with these programs is to let them learn valuable things — like the acceptance of others, empathy, and respect.” Hancock wears pointy leather shoes with an … [Read more...]

9/11 in Nanaimo

By Anja Hamerski Screams. Panic. Dust. Shrapnel. That was a Tuesday morning in New York when the two main towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed. September 11th claimed 2819 lives, of which 23 were police officers and 343 were fire fighters. In memory of those who died, and to honour the brave fire fighters who lost their lives trying to save the innocent, Nanaimo has erected a monument to 9/11 displaying a piece of the towers. The steel fragment traveled a long way from Hangar … [Read more...]

Good times in the Snoezelen room

By Leah Myers Almost everyone has a schedule they need to adhere to, whether for school, work, or otherwise. But during a busy week, who doesn’t want an hour to rock out to AC/DC or fall asleep in a large ball pit? Visitors to Nanaimo’s only Snoezelen room have the opportunity to do just that. The term “Snoezelen” comes from two Dutch words: “snuffelen,” meaning to seek out or explore, and “doezelen,” which means to relax. Snoezelen rooms are both recreational and therapeutic, appealing … [Read more...]

Prettynormal Activity

By Drew McLachlan “I could feel . . . something — like I was being watched.” Willow Friday opened Iron Oxide, an arts supply store in Nanaimo, on January 6th. It wasn’t her first business -- she has operated the House of Indigo Boutique since 2002 -- but she was nonetheless excited to see a second dream come true. So when she first received the keys to the building last May, she invited a group of friends to come see it and help her make plans. “One of my friends instantly had this untoward … [Read more...]

Serious Business

By Maggie Rich A lot more laughter has been spilling from Vancouver Island restaurants and bars lately, as business owners offer up their establishments to local comedians. It’s proven a win-win: Comedians' careers are launched, customers love the entertainment, and the bars and restaurants fill. Stand-up comedy on Vancouver Island has its roots in Victoria -- namely, the comedy bar Hecklers. But lately -- maybe it's all the rainy weather, maybe it's just the way laughter works -- it's … [Read more...]

Nothing Phony About Bronies

By Drew McLachlan In 2010, an epic war of good vs. evil was waged. You may have missed it. The battle was fought in the land of Equestria, where its denizens -- ponies, unicorns, and pegasuses with names like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie -- managed to stop the evil alicorn Nightmare Moon from casting their homeland into everlasting night. Their weapon: Friendship. And though the looming threat of eternal darkness has come and gone and been forgotten, the young unicorn and … [Read more...]

Seizure Salad

By Katelyn Ross Looking at the calendar, I’m reminded it’s been a stressful month. Many of the days when I should have been at school are marked with a yellow highlighter. The semester is ending and I’m under pressure and scrambling to catch up. I’ve missed my Creative Writing class almost every week. Today I don’t need my highlighter because it has been seizure free. The First One I was 8 years old, playing, laughing and showing off. I was attempting a backflip off the monkey bars … [Read more...]