Where in the world is Christine Nicole? Game 3

Last game: no one got it.

Was Christine ever really there?


Where in the world is Christine Nicole? Game 2

Yesterday’s answer: no one got it.

Was Christine ever really there?



The room was nice: #255, except they neglected to provide hand soap. Hopefully, this is not a reflection of their hand-washing policies. They didn’t really cook anything other than oatmeal for breakfast. Best thing about this hotel was the bed: excellent. Pretty good business services, too. Still feeling quite grumpy. Can’t wait to go swimming.

I see land below us now but it keeps getting hidden by clouds.

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When you’re on a journey like this, you’re forced to rely on the kindness of strangers. Refueling at Guayaquil. Doesn’t matter where you’re coming from or who you are, it’s not easy to get to this place.







Where in the world is Christine Nicole? Game 1

Plaza Hotel

-considering the price point for accommodation, you should be aware of the possibility that he

the the lower you go, the more likely it is there will be folks living in that hotel

I know, because I’ve lived in S.R.Os (also known as, Single Resident Occupancies) myself.

Is there anything wrong with living in a hotel


at the lower end of a financial scale?

There’s certainly a different atmosphere down there. Shared washrooms. Bags of garbage piled in a room off the hallway.

Decent butter chicken, good pizza.

Am I in Toronto, or Vancouver right now?

Big door in this room, #317

through which you can hear the bickering of guests next door.

There are pages torn out of my diary, here…


Shower hot and cold were reversed. Bathroom door didn’t lock. Flight is delayed after we board because of 70km winds, snow and ice, plus mechanical issues. Now we’ve missed our connecting flight… Bogota

probably have to spend the night in COLOMBIA, which could be cool as long as we don’t get lost.


sea bream

island paradise

pulp fiction

surf board


Day 2: Itinerary

Accompanying track: ‘Agua’ by Lido Pimienta, La Papessa

combined with PJ Harvey’s “Before Departure”

Bogota, amazing city. Would love to come back some day. You never hear about terrorist activity in South America. Do you?

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Sirens in the background. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s version of Summertime, followed by Nina Simone’s “Lass of the Low Country”. Except, it’s not…

Instead, we’ve got BossaNova covers of every rock and roll, rhythm and blues hit you can conceive: Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Queen’s Radio Ga-Ga, Pink Floyd, and Beyonce’s “Please don’t stop the music” . All the while, yesterday was a total poop show. Never want to fly with Avianca again BUT if I ever come back then I’ll probably have to. Anxious, stressful dreams. Wake to a beautiful sunrise


and a wonderful breakfast. Great dinner. Not sure if it’s just this hotel, or the Colombian way to be so health-conscious with the food? Excellent lunch, too.


Went to the Botero Museum in the Caballeria (any help with spelling for that one, WordPress?). Definitely a world-class collection of modern art.


Seems like the old part of town? The museum is built out of an old fort. A whole bunch of them, attached.


And what costume shall the poor girl wear


To all tomorrow’s parties?


And what costume shall the taxi (female) driver?

took the long route back to the hotel. For once, I didn’t mind at all. She was talking about her son at U. of T. Interesting tour of the city.



Tried to go looking round the hotel for a hat of some sort. Started pouring rain, and they would only take Colombian pesos of course, why not? No reason to bother with another country’s currency.

There are dogs everywhere.


One golden retriever in the back of a policia pickup truck. I wanted to get a picture but I was too slow. There was even a dog print in the sidewalk cement. Would’ve taken a photo but saw it during the downpour.

No dresser in the hotel room.


Next up?

Real northern Amazon women, the Arawek of Wayuu.

Most developed industry is textiles, followed by ceramics. These women are expert weavers. Operating in a complex, matrilineal  (really, WORDPRESS “matrilineal” is obviously not a word in your dictionary=sad) set of groups. There are approximately 30 clans. Each of these has its own territory, along with a totem animal. Specific form of administering justice.

“figures of the putchipu who are bearers of the word and also help to resolve conflicts between” clans.



‘Thanksgiving’? Sounds more like Thanks Taking…

Sorry, Alderville but does everyone know about this?



Pretty important date coming up.


Take notice that a right to possession of an interest in land located on the listed reserves shall be offered for sale by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

This sale will conclude on October 13, 2017. For an information package containing registration and survey information for the interest(s) in land to be sold, please contact Dana Piilo at Dana.Piilo@aandc‐aadnc.gc.ca or 519‐751‐2080.


You too, Chippewas of Georgina IslandOctober 16th!




If you require any application forms or have any issues with these instructions please contact Sylvia McCue or Elwin Earle as soon as possible.

705-437-3614 or sylvia.mccue@georginaisland.com or elwin.earle@georginaisland.com

The Williams Treaties were relatively late on the scene, when it comes to the history of the territory they encompass. Anishinabeg people have been living in area surrounding the Great Lakes for centuries. In 1783, when American independence began, thousands of United Empire Loyalists moved north and began occupying traditional Anishinabeg territory. Rather than enslaving, or killing these colonists, or forcing them to return to America, the Anishinabeg lived among them and helped them to survive. This kindness and compassion was forgotten when Loyalists began forming their own systems of governance. The Loyalists eventually divided the Anishinabeg people in this area, forcing them into smaller and smaller parcels of land.

One group of Mississauga (members of the Anishinabeg) was forced to inhabit Georgina Island instead of the land around Lake Simcoe which had been their traditional territory. Susan Hoeg shares the history of this transition. The following details come from her story. In the early 1800s, the Department of Upper Canada began separating ‘Indians’ from white settlements. Creating reserves was the way the government of Upper Canada chose to accomplish this form of segregation. In the late 1820s, the Indian Department of Upper Canada began to relocate Lake Simcoe ‘Indians’. The Mississauga around Lake Simcoe we pressured into farming Snake Island. Eventually, Mississauga families chose to inhabit Georgina Island because it was larger and more isolated. This is the land they were allowed to continue occupying when the Williams Treaties were signed in 1923.

All 7 of the nations involved in the Williams Treaties share stories that are very similar to Susan Hoeg’s. Our current government acknowledges the fact that the Williams Treaties ignored the pre-existing treaty harvesting rights of these nations. (I wonder what else was ignored by these treaties.) To this day, negotiations between the Canadian government and the Williams Treaties First Nations continue. If you’re interested in purchasing land near any of these nations, I’d advise you to get in contact with members of their community before continuing.

Alderville First Nation

Beausoleil First Nation

Chippewas of Georgina Island

Chippewas of Rama

Curve Lake First Nation

Hiawatha First Nation

Mississaugas of Scugog Island

If you’re eager to follow this series of articles, please continue at:



If I become a landowner, am I condoning colonialism?

In Canada, we like to believe that we’re forward thinking, progressive. Land ownership was a matter settled long ago by a bunch of European ”gentlemen”, right? They’re the ones who made decisions regarding land allotment that we still abide by. There’s something about land ownership in north and south america that doesn’t seem quite right…

Where did this idea of real estate even come from? These days, just about anyone with sufficient means can peruse the real estate section of their local periodical, pick out a preferred geo-location, find some property for sale there and buy it.

When the deal is fait accompli, you’ve got the most complete interest one can have in real property. Of course, this kind of ownership comes with a few strings attached, the biggest one being a legacy of colonialism. How did we get here?! Think about all of the areas in Canada with indigenous names. I’ll start with some of the biggest.

There’s “Toronto”, a name likely derived from the Iroquois word tkaronto, meaning “place where trees stand in the water”. “Ottawa” comes from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning “to trade”. We’ve got “Ontario”, like the Iroquois word “kanadario”, meaning “sparkling” water. Hell, apparently all of “Canada” might as well be a Huron-Iroquois village.At least someone, somewhere, had the good sense to preserve these names, though obviously not the original land rights… How did anyone come to actually own this land??

If you’re concerned about the legacy of colonialism, the least you can do is refuse to purchase land in disputed territory. For example, don’t even think of buying any land around Caledonia, Ontario. Development of the Douglas Creek Estates on disputed territory there went so well the first time, that the province of Ontario has decided to deny yet another land claim in this area. I drove through there just last night, and witnessed another stand-off between OPP and local First Nations residents on highway 6.
When I started writing this post, I thought that I could provide a list of all the areas in Ontario where land claims are still in dispute. I quickly discovered that this list is far too long. I also realized that it’s quite difficult to find out the status of these land claims. Huge areas of Ontario are still in dispute. It’s going to take some research on my part to offer a description of these disputes. If you have any information regarding your nation’s land claims, please contact me: christine.metamoment@gmail.com. In particular, I’m planning on writing my next post about First Nations involved with the Williams Treaties.

The Male Gaze, and Pedicures

Call me crazy, if you want, but I’ve never been comfortable with the thought of paying strangers to lay their hands on me. I make a few exceptions: doctors, dentists, hairdressers.

There was a brief period during my adolescence when I painted my nails. Now it almost seems like a rite of passage for girls. You must learn how to make your body more attractive and appealing. I remember pouring over my friend’s issues of Young & Modern. Does that magazine even exist anymore? What I really wanted: issues of Sassy.

Would either of those magazines actually help? I was looking for guidance on how to launch my body into adulthood. YM, like most of the other magazines I had access to, gave me plenty of tips: boys, makeup, and of course, nails. There were shows to be watched, moves to be accomplished, hair to do, the newest styles to order, gel to apply. All of it seemed so important, as though I’d somehow found the keys to success. I just had to continually change my outward appearance, keep up with trends, and decorate my body accordingly. If I could do that, I would get everything I wanted in life, right?

We’d always lived way out in the country. It seemed silly to go to the city just to pay someone to do my nails. Today, I live in the city but the idea still seems strange to me, though for entirely different reasons. Now, I no longer understand the pressure for women to change and decorate their bodies. What’s the big deal? I think we’re beautiful as-is. If make-up and paint is so attractive, then maybe men should wear it.

I generally don’t wear make-up, don’t really do my hair. (Most days, I’m lucky if I can get a comb through it.) My choice of clothing usually has more to do with what’s clean than what I believe will be most appealing. Furthermore, I never paint my nails. Why am I even getting a pedicure? I received a gift certificate, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.

When you go to a doctor or dentist, it’s because you recognize you need the aid of an expert to help you out with the care of your body. I can still reach my feet. I believe I’m quite capable of removing the dead skin from my feet, though I don’t really understand the point. It’s summer. Don’t people walk around bare-foot anymore? I need those calluses, and that build-up of skin. As I discovered, walking over stones without that extra cushioning hurts.

Do men have to worry about removing skin from their feet? I’ve lived in a number of large, cosmopolitan cities. I hardly ever see a man walking around in open-toed sandals with beautifully painted nails. I welcome the sight, but it hardly ever happens. No matter where I am, I see women doing this every summer. I don’t get it.

The argument could be made that women feel pampered when getting a manicure or a pedicure. Well, no wonder. On top of doing house-cleaning, and child-rearing, we’ve been tricked into feeling like we must do the work of decorating our bodies to make them more appealing. Then we go and pay someone to do this work for us. When I watch the pedicurist removing skin from my feet, I don’t feel pampered. I feel embarrassed.

I feel embarrassed for the woman doing the work. Yes it’s a job, and a difficult one at that. I know there are a lot of people who are less able to look after their feet. I feel embarrassed for myself, because I am able to look after my feet. They seem perfectly fine with all of their skin attached, right? Mostly, I feel embarrassed for a society in which women are made to feel that even their feet are not good enough as-is.

All that being said, I do enjoy looking at my sparkly purple toe-nails. Every time I see them, I’m reminded of the beauty myth I no longer believe in.


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My first, and last, pedicure…


The Good, the Bad, and “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

It’s unusual for any fictional t.v. show (let alone, a comedy) to explore the effects of violence and abuse. These effects are painful discussion matter, both on and off the screen. When watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it’s often easy to forget that we’re choosing to see the world through the eyes of a survivor. Afterall, her antics are hilarious. At the same time, we’re aware of the fact that every action she takes is influenced by the experience she survived. The audience sees Kimmy struggling to heal and put her life together, while coming to the aid of those around her. Her efforts are both laughable and heroic.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was recently renewed at Netflix for a fourth season. The folks writing for this show appear quite adept at the ancient art of weaving comedy and tragedy together. For a protagonist, we’re presented with the caricature of a woman who’s been subjected to 8 years of confinement in a bunker. The characters surrounding Kimmy in New York City also have somewhat tragic pasts. Her landlady, “Lillian Kaushtupper” shot her own husband. Her roommate “Titus Andromedon”, as Neesha Powell-Twagirumukiza from bitch magazine succinctly puts it, “fled the deep South for New York City after marrying a childhood friend and ditching her at their reception to stay true to his sexuality.” Her employer, “Jacqueline White” is a Lakota woman who “grew up hating her Native American heritage and wishing she were white” (quote courtesy of Wikipedia).

If their stories ring true then these characters must be suffering. How can we possibly laugh at them? They remind us of the absurdity of life’s struggles. Like most caricatures, this portrait exaggerates and oversimplifies the personal qualities of its subjects. It’s the authenticity of their unique characters that keeps us returning to this story. We identify with them. We understand something about their struggle. Most importantly, we want to keep watching to find out what they’ll do next. As soon as their voices cease to speak authentically about their experiences we care a lot less about them. Before you return to another season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, ask yourself, who are you returning for?

Many viewers find the most painful portrayal to be  that of “Jacqueline White”. She’s played by an actress who admits to having no indigenous ancestry. The entertainment industry has a long history of whitewashing. Granted, several factors must come into play during casting. It would be nice if one of the more important criteria was the authenticity of a character’s experience. If you want your story to feature a person of colour, please find someone of the same race to play this part (e.g., Karina Lombard). While you’re at it, why not seek out writers of that race, and help to share their experiences? If none of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s writers know what it’s like to be a Lakota woman, then find someone who does. Here’s a list for you, Tina Fey (in case you have trouble using Google):







Cultural Appropriation in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Dear Hal et. al.,

We’d like to assume you were attempting to write something as poignant as this piece in the Washington Post. Instead, you sounded much more like Lionel Shriver. Was this a sincere attempt to create a safe space where indigenous writers could be celebrated? Somehow we thought the Writers’ Union of Canada would contain members with some expertise regarding the creation of safe spaces.

We’re here to help.

Please copy and post where you can.

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

Joshua Whitehead

Richard Van Camp

Tanya Roach

Louise Bernice Halfe

Elaine J. Wagner

Gord Grisenthwaite

Alicia Elliott

Shannon Webb-Campbell

Cherie Dimaline

Rukhsana Khan

Drew Hayden Taylor

Helen Knott



space-making or celebration of the writers featured within the pages… it marks Write magazine as a space that is not safe for indigenous and racialized writers


We thought the Writers’ Union of Canada was helping to create a safe space where cultural exchange is fostered (as opposed to cultural appropriation). If we don’t provide spaces such as these, how could the content of our media ever serve as a reflection of our population? Our stories need to represent the true diversity of our people.

Where in the world is Christine Nicole? Game 0.5

Last game: no one got it. Was Christine ever really there?

sample silhouette

This interview is over…

Maxime Bernier addresses his political commitment to the people in an interview with ALLO POLICE:

“The unobserved state is a fog of probabilities, a window of and for error. The watcher observes. The fog collapses, an event resolves; a theory becomes a fact.”

“Illuminating sentiments, Maxime.”

“There can be no more secrets. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. I have nothing to hide. From now on I will hide nothing. Only an open society can be a just society.”

“Most revealing. Very impressive. You’ve made your point.”

“I have made the choice to continue my mission. In the entrepreneurial culture that is ours when you get hit hard, you roll up your sleeves and start working again. I am more convinced than ever that my political commitment as MP maintains its relevance.”

“I suppose that we mustn’t ask you how the leak was discovered.”


“Don’t you know that a record like that can be faked?!”

“It was word for word as 69300 wrote it. Almost like a scan of the actual document, so one might have thought that the leak was there if it weren’t for a few corrections and deletions. Inaccuracies which could only have been spotted by comparing the report with the files.”

“The importance of those briefing notes did not warrant tight security. They weren’t numbered. Their disappearance wasn’t meant to be noticed and tracked.”

“Why did you go to Italy, of all places, to seek asylum? Were you looking for a certain kind of protection?”

“Several of the missing documents were marked as restricted access. Two were marked ‘NATO restricted’. One of those documents was an invitation to the NATO summit in Bucharest. The other document was briefing material produced by the Canadian government to prepare you for the summit -”

“This interview is over.”