Like many freelancers, I’m curious about almost everything. So although I specialize in social history, travel and shopping, I’ve written about all sorts of other topics, from serious (urban planning, Vietnamese refugees) to light (dental veneers, mail-order bacon, home winemaking disasters). Here’s a sample.My Date With Alex
Being on Jeopardy! is a crazy idea, really. It’s like taking a pop quiz in front of millions of people, all of whom are sitting at home yelling, “You idiot! Everyone knows that the capital of Chad is N’Djamena!”
Cottage Real Estate
Published in Ottawa Magazine
What a difference four years make. Back in 2002, I wrote an article on the cottage real estate market for what was then Ottawa City Magazine. At that point, it was still possible to find a decent cottage for under $100,000. Sure, it might have been a fixer-upper, and it probably wouldn’t have been a four-season home, but it would have had lakefront. When I contacted cottage country realtors this year to get their take on how the market has changed, they laughed at the prices I’d quoted just 48 months ago.
Every audience member seems to take away a different image from a Cirque du Soleil performance. For some, it is the high-tech light show or the fantastical costumes. For others, it is the aerialists moving gracefully on ropes and wires high above the ring.
We fry it over backwoods campfires. We love it in sandwiches. We’ve even seen it on marquees as the title of a John Candy movie. But ask most Canucks what “Canadian bacon” is, and you’ll get a blank stare—until you explain that it’s just the American moniker for peameal bacon.
In this biweekly column, I’ve profiled a wide range of Ottawans, including a city councillor, a cop-turned-artist and a professor who has launched a partnership to send Canadian journalism teachers to Rwanda.