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Camo Newsp sun’s Stude n aper S ince 19 t 90

Read Nexus
New issues arrive every other week in blue Nexus newsboxes on Lansdowne and Interurban campuses, and select locations off campus, September through April.
Camosun’s Student Newspaper Since 1990

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discover student life

A seAsOnAl PuBlicAtiOn Of

camosun’s student newspaper since 1990

Address: location: Phone: email: Website:

3100 foul Bay rd., victoria, Bc, v8P 5J2 lansdowne richmond House 201 250-370-3591

Nexus Vol. 19, Issue 17 – Spring 2009
[a c t i v i s m] [ h u m o u r]

Publisher: nexus Publishing society

neXus PuBlisHinG sOciety student BOArd memBers Jeff Baldry Zan comerford Andrea moir Jason motz shane scott-travis mAnAGinG editOr Jason schreurs student editOr tessa cogman cOPy editOr Alan Piffer lAyOut editOr laila Brown stAff PHOtOGrAPHer courtney clarke AdvertisinG sAles Jason schreurs 250-370-3591 (local) campus Plus 1-800-265-5372 (national) distriButiOn Ashley moore Adrian Binakaj cOntriButOrs: Guy Alaimo Adrian Binakaj chris Burnett Breanna carey sarah dart donald Kennedy Brendan Kergin Keltie larter Kelly marion Alan Piffer Jenna sedmak shane scott-travis


Guerilla gardeners
By Alan Piffer instead of having garage sales, these gardeners turn junk into life.

17 spring is blooming
By shane scott-travis Before celebrating Bloomsday, you might want to know the facts...

[a r t s] [o u t d o o r s]


spring Games ‘09

18 comic crazy

By Brendan Kergin Okay, put down the books and take up some of these outside activities.

By shane scott-travis A look into the socially relevant world of comic books.

[f o o d ] [ l i f e]

20 Good, cheap grub

10 sex trade

By Keltie larter Would you like some oral with that? students who pay their way through school as escorts.

By Jenna sedmak the best spots in victoria for tasty, inexpensive eating.

21 look who’s eating too
By donald Kennedy and Guy Alaimo sans sombreros, our food critics hit up Orale tacos.

[s e x /a d v i c e]

12 A slice of variety

By Keltie larter and Breanna carey some ground rules for threesomes, and advice on kissing the same sex.

[c o l u m n]

22 Giving it up

[f e a t u r e]

By Kelly marion Our columnist forgoes all caffeine for two weeks and turns into ms. Hyde.

13 Weight loss empowerment
the views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, not of the nexus Publishing society. One copy of discover student life (nexus magazine) is available per issue, per person for free. nexus and discover student life are printed on recycled paper. Please recycle your copy. thanks!

[c o m i c s]

By chris Burnett A triumphant story of one student’s battle against the bulge.

23 the best of Binakaj

By Adrian Binakaj this comic artist has had us in awe from the very start. A collection of some of his work.

Spring 2009


Ac t i v ism

Guerilla gardeners reclaim the c
the philosophy of reclaiming our green spaces. “there’s two takes on it; one’s political— making a statement to your community, and to the government, on utilizing green spaces,” says Graham. “there are so many green spaces out there that are just barren, and the city or community’s doing nothing with them.” As is implied by their name, Guerilla Gardeners get out there and plant, regardless of the legalities. “it’s not about getting permission; you just do it,” explains Graham. “so you go out, day or night, it depends on the people. some people like the day because they like to interact with the community. some people like it at night; they just do it for themselves. But you can leave signs saying what it is.” Graham says the other aim of guerilla gardening is artistic expression. “it’s making a statement, but in an artistic way,” says Graham. “so just going up and putting planters up on poles, and leaving shoes with flowers around.” Graham was introduced to guerilla gardening through a book given to her as a gift, and was intrigued by reading about making “seed balls”—little balls of clay, mixed with seeds and compost, with the ability to selfgerminate when placed in soil. “i was given a book by a friend called the Guerilla Art Kit. the whole idea of making seed balls was in there, which is part of guerilla gardening,” says Graham. “it’s everything i love—political, artistic, gardening. so i just started that, put up flyers to get more people interested, and it’s slowly building.” Graham says Guerilla Gardening required a lot of research on her part, learning about the proper plants to use, and to avoid planting invasive species. she also explains there are many ways in which to make your surroundings greener, including planting seeds in sidewalk cracks. While a lot of this activity is technically illegal, Graham explains the authorities would be unlikely to crack down on such behaviour, citing the example of the efforts of two fernwood ladies utilizing a city lawn for gardening. “that green space there is technically city property; the city knows they’re doing it, they don’t really have permission, but the city’s letting them getting away with it.” But there is the potential for trouble;
discover student life

AlAn Piffer


stAff Writer

n canada’s urban centres many people feel a profound disconnect between themselves and nature. And much of what

nature is around us is a little sterile and artificial. But there’s a movement afoot aiming to change all that. sheena Graham, a local “guerilla gardener,” is trying to promote

e city
usually this would involve trespassing rather than the actual act of clandestine gardening. “say you go onto a vacant house property, or there’s lots of buildings that are vacant, and you started gardening on that land, they probably won’t do anything,” says Graham. “it’s just going to be a waste of taxpayer money. it really depends on where you live, too.” Graham feels guerilla gardening is a vital form of community activism. “more people are putting a foot down to their city and their community, saying, ‘Why aren’t we utilizing this space? there’s people that are hungry; why not make vegetable gardens?’ And it gets it out there,” says Graham. “so even if somebody were arrested, it would kind of be good. more people would know about it.” While victoria’s guerilla gardening scene isn’t as established as those of larger centres like vancouver, victoria is an ideal candidate

“There are so many green spaces out there that are just barren, and the city or community’s doing nothing with them.”
SheenA GrAhAm
GuerillA GArdener

for the movement. “Here, people have heard about it, but i don’t think anybody’s really taking action,” says Graham. “victoria’s the perfect area to do it, because of its green space—it’s just a good environment to do it in. there’s a lot of people who don’t have a lot of money to buy vegetables and fruits that you need to be healthy.” According to Graham, this, along with other movements re-connecting society with nature, is the way of the future. “i feel like society’s becoming more balanced, in the way of, yes, there’s technology, but we don’t have to rely on it, and we can rely on ourselves and be more self-sustainable,” says Graham. “so guerilla gardening is kind of being more self-sustainable. it’s taking your health and food into your own hands and going out and doing something about it. i think it’s going to be a big thing.” for more info, email urban_war_fare@

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Spring 2009 

Ou t dOOr s


pring Game


discover student life

mes ‘09: Getting active
is here. flowers have bloomed. Birds are chirping. Bees are making sweet, sweet bee love. it’s a beautiful time, and probably quite bountiful for those in the insect porn industry. But if gardening isn’t your thing, if you equate bird-watching to watching paint dry, and if you don’t enjoy watching invertebrates mate, then there are plenty of other outdoor spring activities out there, many of them legal. for those students looking for something a little different from endless jogging or the odd game of tennis, but still want to do it in public, we’ve come across a medley of urban or suburban pastimes. from the world’s biggest scavenger hunt, to the “ultimate” in disc-based games. from a super simple yet über-cool way to get from point A to point B, to schoolyard games gone street. from . . . well, it’s just the four activities today, but there are others out there.
Geocaching is the world’s biggest game, bar none. it has to be. it uses the entire globe. essentially orienteering mated with a scavenger hunt, and using the Global Positioning system (GPs) as a pirate map, participants hunt for booty wherever booty may be hid. Okay, it isn’t quite that haphazard, lists of geocaches can be found on the internet. checking out a website like will give you the locations of hundreds of thousands of tupperware containers around the world. But, one hinge, the locations are listed as coordinates. you could use a map, pen, calculator, and a couple other analogue instruments, which would be difficult, timeconsuming, and absolutely ludicrous. instead, geocachers use GPs receivers—small, cell phone-like devices that’ll tell you your location on earth and which direction to go to get to another location. if you have a GPs in your car, it’s similar, but that one probably won’t work. the best bet for a cheap GPs unit is the internet. eBay generally has second-hand units for under $50 us. Once you find the hidden containers, treasures are located inside them, usually some mcdonald’s toys or dollar store gifts. the idea is you trade an item of yours for an item you want and then sign the logbook. While it’s not necessary to trade an item every time, you are supposed to sign in once you
Spring 2009

By BrendAn KerGin
PHOtOs: cOurtney clArKe



find the geocache. then, once you’re successful in the wilds of, say, mt. doug, return home and log your find on the geocache’s home page, alerting the world that you are a truly amazing human being for finding a lunch container in a local park. Geocaching can provide endless hours of hiking, searching, and exploring. With about 1,000 hidden locations in the victoria area (including one at camosun college’s lansdowne campus), the capital region is a hotbed for this burgeoning activity. A wide variety of geocaches are out there for the absolute beginner, the super lazy nonoutdoorsy type, and even the “Grizzly Adams was a pussy compared to me.” the only costs associated are the GPs unit, batteries, and transportation. to get started you can check out, which is the main listing site, or for local geocachers.


One of the most buzz-worthy activities nowadays is parkour (or its flashy sibling, free running). After stints on the Bond flick Casino Royale and a madonna music video, parkour has receded a little, back into athletics and shoe company ads. despite this, it’s still a blast. i know, right, something that’s still a blast after it’s faded from the mainstream! this is a much more physically demand-

CONT. >>> 

Ou t dOOr s

ing pastime. it requires some athletic ability, good balance, and a willingness to fall down a couple times. A french invention, parkour has some of its basis in the philosophy of movement and strength. But to most beginners it just looks fucking awesome to have abilities just below the superheroes. While free running is based more on freedom of movement and expressing oneself through speed and agility, parkour is more pragmatic. Participants (traceurs) liken it more to a martial art, with no set rules or competition. so how is it different from a martial art?

instead of being combative, it’s transportation. if a gang attacks you in an alleyway, someone trained in kung fu might try to fight. A traceur will be able to run away, no matter what, in any direction. Originally, parkour developed out of the idea of training oneself physically to enable a person. if the big earthquake ever does hit this town, it’ll be the guys well versed in the art of parkour who will be able to get around the easiest. it’s very much like regular training, but with a creative edge. some basic moves are common, but each traceur is free to try and develop their

own abilities in to new moves for different situations. for those interested in trying it out, it’s super easy to get started. Plenty of videos are on youtube, including some instructional ones. Once you see it a couple of times, it’s much easier to grasp the concept of how it’s done. At full speed, it looks like the guy went through the wall, or fell directly from the top of the building, but after closer inspection he slid his feet over the wall, or purposefully bounced on a couple things on the way to the ground. those with poor natural ability need not
discover student life 

fear; even the best traceurs out there didn’t start out perfect. Balance and agility become heightened with practice. the only suggestion for parkour gear is some good shoes. Grip and shock absorption are important, so tuck away the Pumas or chuck taylors and pull out something a little more “gym class.”

“Jackasses need not sign up; Sean Avery would never make it as an Ultimate player.”

Once stopped, everyone starts counting off 10 seconds. you must throw it before people reach either zero or 10, depending on which way people count. Only one defender is allowed close to you, so at best they can block half the field. they aren’t allowed to touch you or the frisbee. then simply throw the damn thing and hope your team catches it. if it falls to the ground or the other team gets it, your opponents will get a shot at it. fouls are called when contact sufficient to arouse the ire of the player fouled occurs. that’s from the original rules, developed on a college campus in the eastern us. that’s right, it’s originally a college sport. students should be playing this! club names reflect quirky college humour, with teams such as the Knights of nee and GOAt. An ultimate frisbee organization is located in victoria, so check out for more info. Or at least buy a frisbee, get a few friends, and try out the basic rules.

Schoolyard on the street

Ultimate Frisbee

disc golf has long been popular on the lower island, with courses on the uvic campus, in colwood, and an awesome series of baskets on Pender island. But disc golf has a bigger, friendlier cousin. it’s bigger because it’s a bigger frisbee. it’s friendlier because it’s a team sport. ultimate frisbee has had a slow burn to popularity, though there are some small leagues and even a world cup. And there is an official set of rules, but the spirit of the game is still super chill. it has to be. frisbees are inherently chill. therefore, no refs. even in high-level games between two real clubs, it’s all self-officiated. Which means the true spirit of sport needs to be in all players. Jackasses need not sign up; sean Avery would never make it as an ultimate player. the basics of the game are pretty simple, and unless a league sprouts up in your social group overnight, the basics are all you need. A cross between european handball and football, the point is to get the frisbee from your zone to the other team’s end zone. there’s to be no running with the disc. As soon as it’s caught, you must make a valiant effort to stop. immediately!
Spring 2009

What games were popular in your elementary school? capture the flag? Hide and seek? now, do you want to relive your early school days? no? Well, how about just the good parts during recess? yeah, thought you might. victoria has a very active downtown core, and possibly more so than many students might imagine. Almost weekly manhunt games are going on, and other groups organize open, random games such as capture the flag and the odd flash mob. the manhunt is super easy to get involved with. there’s a facebook group and a blog at these guys go out for a couple of hours and play a version of tag, crossed with some hide and seek tactics, using urban green spaces as their general place of fun, though some games have taken place in indoor malls. capture the flag is much more difficult to discover. it’s somewhat similar to a flash mob, playing in public. Participants must be careful not to interrupt the public’s daily routine, but at the same time the mere presence of adults playing games out in a the city can be cause for pause. most people, especially tourists, don’t mind the strange distraction from the norm, as long as people are enjoying themselves. semi-organized, free drop-in games can usually be found online if you look around (try searching “victoria, Bc capture the flag”). like the drop-in sports at camosun, all

it takes are the balls to go out and be active instead of staying home, scared of a social group outside of your own. schoolyards are where people generally learn their basic social skills, so what better way to use those hopefully more developed skills than on a similar playing field? the biggest issue for most of these participatory team events is lack of those willing to be co-conspirators in random fun. Players should be aware of a few laws, mostly trespassing issues, which means reading signs. the rest of the land downtown is public. using it is our right, and using it in unique and new ways is super fun!

9 photo: chris shier

l if e

Working in the sex trade
Keltie lArter
he gets good grades, loves her dog, plays guitar, and jogs for half an hour every morning. Ashley (not her real name) transferred to uvic last fall after spending three years at camosun studying liberal arts. she looks like an average student; a little tired around the eyes, wearing jeans, and carrying a book bag and coffee mug. What her fellow students wouldn’t guess about Ashley is that at the end of the school day, when the rest of us go home to eat dinner and cram for exams, she trades in her binders and textbooks for stiletto high heels, fake eyelashes, and sexy lingerie. As a means to finance her journey through the hallowed halls of the young and clearihue buildings, Ashley works nights as a call girl for a local escort agency. now 28, Ashley has been working as an escort since she was 20. Before that, she worked as a cashier in a retail store, but had a hard time making ends meet. she heard trading sexual favours for money could be very lucrative. she didn’t feel uncomfortable with the idea, so she decided to check it out. Ashley looked up escort agencies in the phone book and set up interviews with each one to find out how it all worked. then she chose the agency that best suited her needs. On her first day Ashley was extremely nervous. “the first time [having sex with a client] was scary,” she says. But her coworkers helped to put her at ease. “the people there were really nice to me; after the first day it became pretty routine, like a normal job.” Ashley says her clients are respectful and kind, and in eight years she has never found herself in a position where she felt unsafe. Although Ashley’s situation is not unusual because she works indoors and not on the street, the dangers associated with working in the sex industry are very real. According to simon fraser university criminologist John lowman, women working as prostitutes are are at much greater risk of violent crime than the mainstream public. Also, the Public Health Agency of canada states that sex workers are especially vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.

A former Camosun College student bares a
cOntriButinG Writer


But therapists who work closely with women in the sex industry say emotional impact and social stigma can also have a lasting effect, even after exiting the profession. “there are many things that can be dangerous for workers,” says local therapist leah macinnes. “it can affect how you feel about yourself, but it’s different for different women. there’s a lot of judgment in society and hiding what they do can cause emotional stress.” despite Ashley’s initial fears her first time, the money was great. “i’d never made so much money in such a short period of time before, and i thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go back again,” she says.

Ashley has on more than one occasion provided sexual services for Camosun College professors.
But not everyone agrees being an escort is an ideal way to earn a living. camosun student Josh mcKinnis feels it’s a degrading way to make money. “i don’t think they should do it,” says mcKinnis. “i know it’s hard out there to find jobs, for men and women, but it’s something that is not appropriate.” fellow student fletcher evans agrees. “it should be illegal. it’s unsafe and demoralizing for a woman; she’s like an object. you pay to rent a car; you pay to have sex with a girl. you can try to justify the situation by paying to go to school, but there must be a better way to get money.” some women’s rights advocates, such as the camosun college Women’s centre, take a different stance on Ashley’s career choice, saying each person has a right to make a

living how they choose, as long as they are not harming anyone. “it’s not a route i would choose, but if you feel good in your body and you feel comfortable sharing it, then i don’t see any problem with that,” says natalie schlogl, Women’s centre support staffer. “Of course, being safe and using protection is important.” many wonder how escorts and escort agencies manage to operate in victoria without having to answer to the strong arm of the law. the answer is they operate within a legal grey area. technically, prostitution isn’t illegal in canada, and never has been. What is illegal is for a sex worker or her client to verbally discuss the exchange of sexual acts for money or other material possessions. so escorts can sell their bodies, but they can’t solicit customers or set a price for their services. it’s also illegal to operate a brothel (an establishment dedicated to prostitution), profit from someone else selling sexual services (commonly known as pimping), or tell someone where to find sex for money. But here’s the loophole—escorts don’t sell their bodies, they sell their time. And what goes on between two adults during that time is, well, nobody’s “business” but their own. As to what actually does go on between an escort and her client behind closed doors, there are different scenarios. the escort can either go to the client (out-call), or can be visited at their agency (in-call). some escorts will provide a Gfe (girlfriend experience), which means different things for different people, but often includes kissing on the lips, cuddling, or “dining at the y” (oral sex)—things usually done with a more emotionally intimate partner. some escorts do duos with other escorts (a very popular choice). there are also cBJs (condom blowjobs), nude massages, fetish scenarios (use your imagination, but it’ll cost more), and Greek (anal sex). And what about the “Johns” (the customers)? Who are the people whose hard-earned dollars fuel the growing sex industry in north America? lauren casey is a former sex worker who has been living in victoria for the past five years and is the former executive director of the Prostitute empowerment education and resource society (Peers). like Ashley, casey
discover student life


es all
also put herself through school working as an escort, earning a BA and later an mA. in casey’s experience, the men paying for the services of escorts or other sex workers are just normal guys, many of whom are married and have families. “they’re not little trenchcoat guys running around Johnson street, flashing people,” says casey. casey explains that because sex work sees a lot of turnover, it’s hard to say exactly how many workers are in the victoria area. she estimates at least five local escort agencies and somewhere around 1,500 sex workers working in agencies, as independents, or on the street. “society tends to cast the whole net on the workers and little attention is paid to the fact that [the sex industry] is not going to go away, because, well, there’s always the buyer,” says casey. speaking of the buyers, privacy is always a concern for those working in the sex trade, but Ashley is not really concerned with her two worlds colliding. she protects her secret well. Occasionally, she crosses paths with one of her clients in a public place. usually it’s understood that both parties behave very discretely, but she admits there have been unfortunate occasions where a client has approached her in public. Ashley says while she has never had a fellow student as a client, she has on more than one occasion provided sexual services for camosun college professors. she says, although they weren’t her professors at the time, they were aware she was a camosun student. “i’ve had profs from camosun come to the agency to see me; if it’s awkward, i always ask if they want to see someone else,” she says, “but usually they’re more than willing to hang out with me for that time.” And Ashley’s situation is not uncommon. she estimates about one-quarter of the girls she has worked with over the past eight years have been post-secondary students. “contrary to the image that society portrays, most of the girls are pretty normal, come from middle-class families, and choose to be working in this industry,” says Ashley. “We are not the victims that society makes us out to be.”
Spring 2009

PHOtO: cOurtney clArKe


se X & A dv ice

Three’s company
the most common sexual fantasy must be the threesome. there’s just something so tantalizing about throwing an extra person into the mix. But threesomes aren’t like regular sex, and if you plan on having one, or just hope like hell you might one day, you need to know what you’re getting into and following some basic rules will help to make sure your three-way is a success. Rule #1: there are no rules! Just kidding. you should definitely lay out some ground rules if possible beforehand. Although spontaneity is a key factor in a good threesome, everyone has different boundaries and needs. this rule is especially important if two of you are in a relationship. make sure you know how far everyone is willing to go. Are you all comfortable with penetration? Oral sex? Kissing? And if you’re in a two-men/one-woman or two-women/one-man threesome, are the two people of the same sex comfortable with engaging sexually with each other, or will they both focus on the member of the opposite sex? Rule #2: don’t fuck your friends! you can bend this rule if all three participants are single and very confident that the friendship can handle it, but i strongly recommend if you’re a couple looking for a third person, find someone you don’t have to be around all the time. seriously, it can get really messy, so try to avoid it. Rule #3: make sure no one feels left out. remember that when there are three people involved it’s less of a give and take situation and more of a share and share alike. if you’re having penetrative sex with one person, make

By Keltie lArter
sure to caress the other person, look them in the eyes, and talk to them. if the two other people are busy with each other, find a way to be involved. Kiss them, caress their necks or good bits, give oral sex to one person if the positioning is right, or maybe just masturbate while watching the other two go at it. Rule #4: Be safe! make sure to use separate condoms when penetrating different people and while giving a hummer. either use one hand for each person and keep it that way, or clean your hands with disinfecting gel between partners. using a dental dam while “dining at the y” is a good idea too. After all, the only thing you want to take away from a threesome is good memories! Rule #5: don’t get wasted! While alcohol is not a bad idea to loosen things up at first, keep your consumption to a minimum. too much booze will mess with your equipment and your judgment. Rule #6: spending the night is probably not a great idea. Having a threesome is mostly about fulfilling a fantasy, and waking up next to each other in the morning can be awkward. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a little post-coital cuddling, but then go your separate ways. this rule is especially important to follow if two of you are in a relationship. chances are you’ll need some alone time to process everything that’s happened and reaffirm your connection to each other. make sure to discuss this when laying down ground rules so no one is left feeling rejected.

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I’m probably not the only woman on the planet who ever does this, but on more than one occasion I have locked lips with one of my lovely lady friends. Now I’m all confused about it and not too sure if I want to keep playing it straight. You have to love the college years, hey? It’s when everyone gets their squirrelly behaviour out of their system before they settle down, right? You might be the type to accidentally fall into a situation you never expected would go further than a kiss. Ladies do this all the time for attention and free drinks. It can be really hot for the guys to see, and why not embrace your feminine power by making out with other girls? A few kisses typically aren’t enough to cause a switch, but it may challenge your demeanor. Be honest with what you want and, if you like, discreetly play both sides. You might surprise yourself or re-affirm your previous thoughts. Talk to someone you trust (who won’t think you’re hitting on them) and relax, you have your entire life to decide who you want to be. discover student life

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f e At ure
By chriS BUrnett
PHOtOs: cOurtney clArKe

osing the baggage

One student’s story of dropping 120 pounds and starting life over
looked up the definition of the word “fat” the other day. it was defined as “the ester of glycerol” and “one, two, or three fatty acids.” that’s not what fat really means. fat means being teased. it means you’re tired all the time. it means you wear enough clothes to cover up the “fatty acids” clinging to your body. it means you’re ashamed of what you’ve done to your body, and the realization you can’t do anything about it—you’re too fargone. you’re going to be a “fat-ass” for the rest of your life. no romantic relationships, no swimming with your shirt off. Pass the burger and fries; it’s game over. that was my thinking about two years ago. it was march of 2006, and i held three tickets in my hand to a stars on ice figure skating show at the save-on-foods memorial Arena. my grandmother was visiting from nova scotia, and my brother and i decided it would be a great idea to take her to the show. i put on my usual t-shirt with a flannel shirt on top, along with a hoodie and a puffy vest. i was a fashion nightmare. As my brother and grandmother took their seats, i discovered something that horrified me. i couldn’t fit into the seat. my “love handles” wedged themselves against the chair’s side arms and my 283-pound body was suspended in mid-air. this, needless to say, was fucking embarrassing. luckily, my brother was occupied trying to explain something to my grandma and never saw my cirque de soleil handles-oflove seat trick. i forced myself into the seat and sat there, bleeding on both sides for two and a half hours. there i was, in agonizing pain, watching men in spandex pants flying through the air. “it’s for Grammie,” i told myself, so i endured. i made it back home, went up to my room, and cried myself to sleep. i was a reasonably healthy kid in the first few years of my life. i started playing sports with my brothers and began playing in a soccer league. Around the age of six, i used to wake up really early every weekend and watch morning cartoons and sports. it was one of those weekends where it all began. i began to travel down a path i wouldn’t escape from for the next 15 years. i crawled up on top of the kitchen counter and grabbed
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Spring 2008


f e At ure
six cookies from the cookie tin on the top shelf. Why six? Because cookies are delicious, that’s why. so every weekend i ate my cookies and lived the life. i steadily gained more and more pounds as i grew older, and by high school i was classified as being a “morbidly obese” teenager. When you’re fat and in high school, you generally have a rough go of it. it was there i began covering myself up with clothes, trying to hide my very public secret. in gym class, when everyone was in shorts and a t-shirt, i was in shorts and a hoodie. i loved sports; i loved scoring goals and smacking a ball with a bat as hard as i could. But when it came to running around the bases, or trying to get open for a pass, my weight quickly became an issue. i was always completely out of breath before reaching first base. i couldn’t get past the halfway line of the soccer field without wanting to drop dead of exhaustion. everyone noticed my struggles and no one would pass me the soccer ball. And no matter how far i could hit a baseball, i couldn’t get past second base. my body wouldn’t allow it. my high school had a 2400-metre run once a month so students could show off their fitness to their teacher. fuck. the first person would finish in eight minutes. my average throughout high school was 40 minutes. Was i embarrassed? you bet, but people weren’t expecting anything different from me. think about it—how could someone that large run for a long distance without lagging behind? i ended up dreading going to my favourite class and it made high school almost impossible to deal with. When it came to the end of high school, i was labelled a fat, insecure redhead with seemingly no chance of a fair life without the excess pounds. As you might have guessed, i didn’t have a date to the school prom. i did ask one girl

Tips for shedding those extra pounds
Music was the key to my success and wanting to go out to exercise. Bands like Muse, Linkin Park, Coldplay, and Radiohead kept me going and rose my confidence while exercising. Music is also important for the gym. When you put in your ear-buds and turn up the music, it puts you into your own little world. You forget about everything and everyone. It’s just you and the beats.

Here are a few helpful tips for losing weight that I’ve discovered along the way.
A program you enjoy
Finding a form of exercise you enjoy is essential for successful weight loss. For me, it was hiking. When you find the right type of exercise, there’s no stopping you. The same goes for food. I’ve discovered a love for healthy foods; bananas, oranges, dried apricots, and raisins, to name a few. If I don’t feel like fruit, I’ll have a piece of 12-grain bread with a small amount of peanut butter and a thin slice of cheese on top. It’s a great mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein.

Old pictures and video

This is a great motivator. What I did halfway through my weight-loss program was print up a few pictures when I was at my heaviest. I put the pictures all around my room so I would see them. I would tape one to my door, on top of my alarm clock, beside my desk . . . It served as a reminder to me; if I decided to stop exercising and eating well, I would end up looking like the pictures.


What I found out the hard way was there’s a very fine line between pushing yourself and pushing yourself too hard. There’s no better killer of a diet and exercise program than an injury. Work hard and make sure you end up in a sweat, but don’t go as far as feeling dizzy or nauseous. It never ends well.


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out (via e-mail, of course), and she ended up making the excuse she was going to be in seattle that day. i ended up going with my parents (i was so cool) and only stayed for the free food. When the dancing started, i booked it out of there faster than a fat kid on a smartie. there was no way i was going to embarrass myself on the dance floor; i’d rather go home and have some Ben and Jerry’s. And that was the end of high school. no more judging the fat kid, no more 40-minute runs, and no more embarrassing moments with friends at sports events. i knew i couldn’t go straight to university; i needed a break from the education system. i decided to sign up for a trip to work abroad. i was assigned to work in an American international school in Genoa, italy. i was thrown together with five others my age from all around Bc who were handpicked for this trip. it was the first year the program was working in italy, so we all felt special and unique. this would be great, i thought. i’d be going to a country where no one would know me, and the only person i knew in europe lived in england. this would be my chance to fix things and become a better, mature person. i was supposed to be there for 11 months. But i didn’t last nearly that long. Genoa itself was a beautiful place to live; palm trees, the calming waves of the mediterranean, and the food are things i still crave to this day. it was the middle of October when i felt something inside me start to change. i was stressed from the work, becoming upset and irritated at very minor things, and my overall mood took a serious turn for the worse. After a long day at work, i would stop by the bakery, grab two pieces of cheese foccacia, and head up to my apartment. i would shut my door and close the curtains and windows so it was pitch black. looking back at it now,

this behaviour wasn’t normal. But for me, it was. my mind began to turn on me. then my friend came to visit me from his own trip in england. it was during this visit when he realized something was wrong with me. While he was entertaining my friends in the kitchen, i was sulking in the comfort of the dark in my room. in the pitch black, i couldn’t see where i was and what i looked like. i was alone with my negative thoughts. i had a serious case of clinical depression and needed help.

I took away the power the depression had over me by destroying its foundation.
i flew home early in december after being in italy for only three months and began my long road to recovery. it was during this time that the weight really started to pile on. the feeling i had during the worst months of my depression was the feeling of being completely and utterly numb. i couldn’t laugh, cry, be happy, or show any emotion. i was numb to everyone and everything around me. eating food was the only comfort i had in life. i ate the foods that had the best taste so i could get some enjoyment out of something. those foods ended up being fast food, choco-

Try and try again
This article would not be complete without mentioning my failed attempts at losing weight. The first time I really tried was in Grade . I started running around my neighbourhood for a few weeks and ended up losing 1 pounds. I figured that was enough; I thought I could keep it off for a while. That “while” lasted one month. That’s how long it took me to gain it all back. All other attempts to lose weight ended prematurely. On one try I pulled a hamstring; Spring 2009 on another I tore a ligament in my foot. I would lose all interest by the time I was better, and before I knew it I was memorizing the dollar menu at McDonalds. My best attempt came in the summer after Grade 12. I had received numerous tips from my PE teacher and really went hard at losing weight during the summer. By the time I took off for a trip to Italy, I had lost 0 pounds. I was giddy with pride. But, a few days into my trip, I contracted a serious infection on my big toes. I could barely walk, let alone exercise. No exercise plus foccacia, gelato, and pizza equals a fat Chris. It took exactly one-and-a-half months to gain back the weight I’d worked so hard to lose. Chalk it up as another failed attempt. It’s important to understand that my latest attempt wasn’t my only one. I’ve had eight years of failure to get to where I am today. The important thing is to persevere, to never give up on what you know you can do. I’m living proof of this idea.

late, timbits, and candy. Any food with more than 100 calories in a bite would be digesting in my stomach in a matter of seconds. in a year and a half i strengthened the main weapon of my depression—my weight. Anytime i would feel a little good about myself, my inner voice would show up and take me down. it would remind me i was wearing size 54 shorts. this was the way i was and it would never change, i thought. One of the later stages of my depression involved me having extreme mood swings. One minute i would be happy and on top of the world, the next i would be bombarded by a dark cloud with nothing to look forward to. it was during one of these episodes where i began having a discussion with myself. i was sick of feeling sorry for myself. i was sick of being fat. so i gave myself an ultimatum—keep eating and living the way i was and end up in the morgue after a fatal heart attack, or start working hard to shed the pounds and see what the rest of my years would be like as a healthy person. i knew i didn’t want to die a fat, depressed 20-year-old who never gave himself a chance. it was time to change for good. i set a date to start my own diet and exercise program. i immediately cut out all the junk food and started eating healthy. it was difficult, and my body began craving the calorie-heavy foods i was so accustomed to. But the change of food was nothing compared to the exercise. exercise hurt. i started walking on a trail by my house for 20 minutes every other day. i would be so out of breath at the beginning, middle, and end that i felt like if i fell over i wouldn’t be able to get back up. my lungs would hurt, my legs would burn, and my stomach turned into a sea of nausea. i had to remind myself every minute i was sick of being my depression’s bitch. this needed to be done; i had to win. during this excruciating work, i had a mental image of what i wanted to look like when i was finished. i knew i had to push through the pain to accomplish that image. i took it week by week and began shedding the pounds. eventually, the trail wasn’t enough of a challenge for me; i was becoming fitter and faster. throughout my program i discovered i loved hiking, so i began climbing mt. doug. i climbed it every week as much as i could. i loved the challenge and that i could see how high i climbed when i reached the aerial at the top. Weeks turned into months and i continued to lose weight. in January of 2008 i did something i never thought i would ever do. i joined a
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gym. i hated gyms because i always felt like everyone was watching my sad attempts at losing weight. But i had lost 50 pounds and knew if i wanted to lose more the gym would be the best place to do it. i worked on all the machines my body would allow and dropped the weight even faster. After 115 climbs up mt. doug, i discovered it wasn’t enough of a challenge, so i thought bigger. i started climbing mt. finlayson. to this day i climb “the fin” and love being in and around nature. it’s come to the point where i actually miss doing exercise if i don’t do it. i get a high off of it. i never thought i’d like exercising, but i know if i’m down and feeling stressed i’ll go for a hike or row a couple thousand meters at the gym. it’s amazing how different you feel after the endorphins do their thing. i took away the power the depression had over me by destroying its foundation. i changed my life and the way i live. All it took was a hunk of willpower and a lot of hard work and dedication. When all is said and done, i’ve dropped 120 pounds. i’ve gone from a size 54 waist to a size 32. i can wear any kind of clothes i want and have the freedom to play well and hard at any sport. While i’m only 21 years old and am by no means out of the woods yet, i have the confidence and support around me to continue this lifestyle for the rest of my life. When i set out to lose the weight, i wanted to be thin for the sake of looking thin. i wanted to fit in with everyone. What i’ve come to realize is my image is only a small portion of the good that came out of this experience. the fact i can move more freely is the most important thing to me now. i can get up off the floor with one hand. i can do push-ups. i can do sit-ups. i can jump like i’ve never jumped before! i’ve taken control of my life and my body. Game on.

Helpful tips for keeping in shape
Andy roBertS
cOntriButinG Writer

Looking to drop some extra pounds this summer? In 2000, I went from 20 pounds to a much leaner 160 pounds. Here’s a few tips I’d like to share with you. First, exercise is key. I made space in my schedule to visit the gym six days a week, with Sundays off. My average gym session was around 30–0 minutes, and I made each repetition count. As my trainer told me, if you’re going to blitz halfheartedly through a set of reps, you might as well not bother. Second, eat a balanced diet. I avoided fads, like protein excesses and carb restrictions. Instead I focused on the effects my favourite foods had on me. Soup became a staple, as it’s filling and low in fat. Sandwiches were also a godsend; more often than not, sandwich fillings tend to be pretty healthy. Above all else, I didn’t want a diet designed to help me lose weight—I wanted a balanced diet I could enjoy for the rest of my life. Third, drink plenty of water. Every hour, make sure you try and have at least one small glass of water, and always drink water after caffeine. If you get hunger pains, drinking water is a good idea as well; the body often confuses dehydration with hunger. Next, try the “good day/bad day” technique. Each week, assign yourself one “bad day” where you can eat anything you like. For example, on Monday you assign Sunday as your bad day, so you have to be good for the whole week. If you accidentally eat something bad on Wednesday, that becomes your bad day, and you must be good for the remainder of the week. As a psychological mechanism, this teaches you to control your cravings. By the time my bad day arrived, I often forgot about the things I was craving. Also, be deliberate and build up slowly. I gave myself 30 days to break my bad habits but, generally, a habit can be shrugged off within just a couple of weeks. If I fell off the wagon—the moment where most people tend to give up—I simply got right back on. You’ll want to avoid scales like the plague. Body weight fluctuates hourly, and there’s no bigger de-motivator than an increase in poundage. Instead, pick a size of clothing (within sensible limits) you want to aim for. Finally, encourage others. During the eight months it took to shed my weight, I began to learn more about diet, exercise, and habits, and was able to help others with their battle of the flab. discover student life



Hand it to Joyce this Bloomsday
ShAne Scott-trAviS
ach June, as the soft breath of summer readies its warm embrace, the honeyed words of James Joyce can be heard the world over. for June 16th is Bloomsday, named for leopold Bloom, one of many characters in Joyce’s playful and plucky masterpiece, ulysses. Bloomsday may just be the most secretly subversive fete of them all, with a punchline so sublime it makes Joyce ireland’s premier prankster. His final jest is a real knee-slapper and, at the very least, deserving of a big “hand.” so why did Joyce pick this particular day? When Joyce was a young lad, he and nora Barnacle (whom he would later marry) had their first sexual encounter on June 16, 1904. Joyce and Barnacle’s passionate escapades and their erotic letters to each other are both immortal and immoral. And to a very catholic and rather prudish country such as ireland, the less made of this the better. “[Barnacle] gave him a handjob. And, for Joyce, the handjob is the ultimate sexual experience,” says david Peacock, owner of the James Joyce Bistro in victoria. Peacock is a passionate admirer of Joyce and his establishment is an enamored shrine to him. “i deeply love Joyce and am incredibly moved by him,” he says. “i was in dublin in 2004 for the centennial on Bloomsday, and the celebrations were wonderful.” ulysses juts out, enormous, pulsing, and unashamedly aroused as Joyce’s chefd’oeuvre. When it was finally published, many thought it to be smut; after all, it was the first novel to ever print the word “cunt.” Also thought by many to be the first relativistic novel, ulysses stands proudly on a shortlist of the twentieth century’s greatest works. And the ol’ handjob is certainly a motif that reoccurs throughout Joyce’s work. But don’t tell ireland that! Bloomsday, for ireland, is a growth industry, great for tourism, but better to leave the masturbation aspect out of it. vancouver-based actress erica carrol (supernatural, the 4400) spent a year in dublin, retracing her irish heritage. “Joyce is well celebrated there, obviously. But i found the irish to be complex and confusing. they can entertain you while simultaneously tearing a sarcastic strip off you, without you
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even noticing,” says carrol. “in dublin i noticed how puritanical they still are,” says carrol. “i’d be surprised if they acknowledged the handjob. it’s like acknowledging the fact that you won’t go blind if you masturbate.” for what it’s worth, Joyce underwent many eye operations and eventually succumbed to blindness. surely his fondness for handjobs was merely coincidental?

Ulysses juts out, enormous, pulsing, and unashamedly aroused as James Joyce’s chefd’oeuvre

Canadian actress Erica Carrol beside “The Prick with a Stick” statue of James Joyce in Dublin, Ireland.

GrAPHic: sHAne scOtt-trAvis

that such a stuffy and prudish country can unknowingly celebrate annually the legacy of a handjob only heightens the humour and joyfulness that were so much a part of Joyce. “Joyce himself thought ireland was important because of him,” says Peacock. exactly 20 years after he’d finished ulysses, on June 16, 1924, it had still not found a publisher. Joyce was distraught and saddened. “He even questioned, ‘Will anyone remember this date?’“ says Peacock with a satisfied smirk. this June 16 in victoria you will find a lot of Bloomsday events going down, but those at the James Joyce Bistro will be amongst the most bona fide. you can expect readings, games, songs, Guinness extra stout, and, of course, laughter. And though Peacock and company won’t be encouraging any handjobs, it’s part and parcel of the Joycean mythos. “Why not?” laughs carrol. “Handjobs for everyone! throw them out like confetti at a wedding!”


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Considering the cutting edge of c
ShAne Scott-trAviS


cOntriButinG Writer

PHO tO: s


e sc Ott -t



Gareth Gaudin at his local shop, Legends Comics (top); artwork by Mike Rooth (left) and Gareth Gaudin (right).

ut of the scarred and barren earth of the dust Bowl of 1930s America came a unique and decidedly different type of art form—the comic book. depression-born and distinctly American (though later Britain and Japan would muscle in on the scene), comic books have often been regarded as absurd escapism, but they’ve been a part of our social strata for close to a century. many attest that comic books (often now referred to as graphic novels) are socially relevant artifacts. there’s a vibrant culture built around them, and a fan base growing stronger all the time. “Well, the great artwork has always had its appeal,” says mike rooth, a comic book illustrator currently working for rubicon Publishing. Based out of Oakville, Ontario, rooth creates graphic novels and mini-comics for the educational market. He’s been collecting comics since he was 10 years old. “i guess i’m a big kid at heart, because i still love comics, but more so these days for the great storytelling,” says rooth. Pia Guerra, co-creator of dc comics’ award-winning series Y: The Last Man, has also held a fascination with comics since her early childhood. “i’ve been reading them since i was 10,” enthuses Guerra. “my cousin left an issue of X-Men at our house and i was hooked.” local comic book scribe and illustrator Gareth Gaudin has been subverting the masses with his Magic Teeth Dailies since 1993. Gaudin also began collecting comics as a youngster. “i bought my first comic in October 1978; it was Godzilla #17 by Herb farm.” Gaudin speaks with great reverence of the sensory experience of comic books. “i love covers; they are the most important part of the book,” says Gaudin. “i also like the old pulp paper they used to use. i love the smell of them; they give me such a great feeling.” nostalgia certainly plays a part in what makes comics so appealing to fans and creators, but comics have also moved with the times and become far-reaching. “i love what you can do with the medium,” says Guerra. “storytelling is all about creating a reality; if that created reality can help visualize a better actual reality, then it can help change preset attitudes, misconceptions, and ignorance.” Gaudin agrees, particularly when considdiscover student life


f comics
ering comics outside of the mainstream. “With underground comics there are no censors,” says Gaudin. “it is just the artist directly relating to the audience, which doesn’t happen in too many mediums.”

“With underground comics there are no censors; it is just the artist directly relating to the audience, Best of the bunch: Comic book confidential which doesn’t happen in too many mediums.”
GAreth GAUdin
lOcAl cOmic creAtOr

Gaudin, who also owns legends, one of victoria’s finest comic book shops, notes these movies benefit comic book sales. “When a movie comes out like Batman or Spider-Man there has never been a spike in sales like you’d expect; but with Hellboy or Sin City—the ones nobody knows about—they sell through the roof!” rooth feels a sense of childlike glee about the recent glut of comic book film adaptations hitting the box office. “Personally, i think this is a great time to be alive!” roars rooth. “We’ve been battered by a tsunami of comic book movies for nearly a decade now, and it’s great to see.” the recent blockbuster Watchmen has many sharing in rooth’s justifiable joy. “Watchmen is in the collective unconscious,” says Gaudin. “i can’t wait to see the imAX version; dr. manhattan’s 15-foot blue penis . . . no

wonder it’s restricted!” Grins and guffaws aside, the ability of comic books to entertain, educate, and subvert aren’t just avant-garde. they possess a unique communicative character, blending words with pictures in ways unable to be expressed in any other art form. And that alone makes them a valuable commodity worthy of celebration and praise. “i honestly don’t know who or where i’d be if i didn’t have comics in my life,” says rooth in earnest. “i feel very privileged and fulfilled to be able to play a part in making them.” His love for comics is shared by millions of enthusiasts, and the potentialities of the medium are wondrous. According to Guerra, “you can’t change things for the better without imagining them first.”

rooth feels comics can draw strength from their appeal to a general audience. “[comics] can cover limitless topics and appeal to pretty well every social group, so there’s a little something for everyone,” reflects rooth. “the thrust of my work, for example, tackles the very real and pressing problem of illiteracy.” Guerra’s biggest success to date, Y: The Last Man, will soon be making the leap to the silver screen, but while movies can be an exciting medium, she doesn’t feel it’s an absolute improvement over the comic book experience. “comics work in a very different system from movies,” says Guerra. “film is great, but even with all the special effects in the world there are still limits to what you can do; limits that comics don’t have.” the recent rush of Hollywood films based off of popular comics is a trend no one in the industry can ignore. “i don’t mind them myself,” says Guerra. “some are very well done, some not, but in the end it brings people to the book and that’s a good thing for comics.”
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Maybe comic books can’t change the entire world, but they can at least change your world! For proof, look no further than the books on this list. A word of caution—reading these books will forever alter perceptions of the medium. You’ve been warned! Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel Set in a funeral home, this sexy, gothic memoir is funny, sad, and unforgettable. Louis Riel by Chester Brown This biography of Riel and the Métis Rebellion should be taught in our public schools. A tour de force from Brown—not to be missed. Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips A compendium of crime clichés that somehow transcends the genre.

Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson Ellis and Robertson are the Vladimir and Estragon of the postcyberpunk milieu. If you don’t know what that means, you will soon enough. Love and Rockets by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez Maggie, Hopie, and the other denizens of Palomar inhabit one of the most realized comic book cosmologies ever conceived. Super-F*ckers by James Kolchaka These crass, crime-fighting crusaders are sadistically singular and a devilish delight. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi This memoir brought Satrapi worldwide acclaim for good reason. Her history lesson, recently made into a film, is shattering and uplifting in equal measure.

Promethea by Alan Moore and JH Williams III Your typical metaphysical psychedelic superhero book that knocks down the fourth wall so completely you have to ask, was it ever really there? All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely Mainstream comics will probably never be as subversive, superlative, or as well drawn as this award-winning mindfuck. The Invisibles by Grant Morrison Morrison cares about comics so much, he’ll dissect them and elevate them to a form of art so pure nothing can touch it. It doesn’t get better than this. Maus by Art Spiegelman This WWII fable has the Nazis as cats, the Jews as mice, and showcases what only comic books can. It even won a Pulitzer.

Brazilian Waxing Specialist new client special $30 Krista at 250-661-1562
Iaso Bodyworks, downtown near Fort and Cook


f OOd

Cheap eats for broke students
Bubby Rose’s is so good, it’s located twice on Cook Street, one in the village and one near Fort Street.

PHOtO: sArAH dArt

JennA SedmAK
cOntriButinG Writer

Lotus Pond
A friend told me about this place and called it delicious vegan junk food. if you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, definitely check out lotus Pond. Although everything is vegan, a variety of mock meat dishes will satisfy most tastes (minus the msG and excess grease). different combo options are available, as well as a pay-by-weight buffet. cheaper menu items are available after 2 pm on weekdays. lotus Pond is located at 617 Johnson street (near Johnson and Broad).

you’ve just paid your rent and money’s tight. Groceries are already expensive, but eating out in the city can be outrageously priced for students. never fear—some great restaurants offer a wide variety of filling, tasty, and healthy food at a low cost. could you ask for anything more? the following eateries offer great bang for the buck, leaving you wanting more. even if you’re full.

langford locations), little thai place offers a delicious menu to suit vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters. the portions are large, scrumptious, and inexpensive. A favourite of mine, Pad thai, is $12 for a traditional and delicious, sweet and savoury meal. the serving is big enough to share or to have leftovers for another meal. Also, they have lunch specials for under $10. the real deal! Authentic latin American food, fresh as it comes. Hernandez is locally owned and operated, and the food is made from scratch with fresh (and sometimes local) ingredients. the menu has lots of variety and everything’s affordable. the staff speaks spanish and meals come served on brown paper. the best dish is five tacos for five dollars. Add a bowl of rice and a side of hot sauce and you’ve got a full meal for about eight bucks. Great for carnivores and herbivores alike. you may not have encountered this hidden gem, as it’s tucked away in a small mall on yates street right across from the Odeon theatre. Also, check out their new second location in fernwood at the corner of Bay and shakespeare.
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Bubby Rose’s
not just a bakery, a variety of foods are available here that are quick, delicious, fresh, and not too expensive. they offer an array of sandwiches, lasagnas, pizza, quiches, baked goods, and, of course, coffee and tea. vegetarian and wheat-free options are available as well. Grab a slice of lasagna, a fresh-baked cookie, and a cup of tea for about 10 bucks. And on mondays they offer great deals on their day-old, homemade bread. Bubby rose’s is so good, it’s located twice on cook street, one in the village and one near fort street.

Shiki Sushi
Here’s a place where students can afford a great sushi meal. shiki sushi, located on fort near Blanshard, has daily lunch bento box specials for under $7, as well as fairly priced sushi rolls and other options. everything is super fresh, and the service is quick. you can have a miso soup, garden salad, rice with peanut sauce, and a roll of your choice (with non-stop tea) for under $12.

Little Thai Place

conveniently located near camosun college’s lansdowne campus on shelbourne street (they also have cook street and


Look who’s eating too

By donAld Kennedy And GUy AlAimo
further as they were tiny, mostly dry, and not even close to being satisfying (except for the corn tacos, they were excellent), but the quesadillas were filled with different combinations of meat, and the cheese was fantastic. i don’t know what kind of cheese Orale uses, but it has left an indent in my memory as one of the best cheese moments i have ever experienced. they use that same cheese on the nachos, which were delectable, along with homemade guacamole. And if you like to experiment with soft drinks, Orale is like going for a walk on Jupiter without any protection to shield you from its intense atmospheric pressure. i had strawberry soda along with something that tasted like apple juice and coke mixed together. to cap it all off, i finished with the mega-highlight of the meal—angel food cake soaked and solidified in three different types of milk. When i come back to Orale, it’s going to be a nachos, out-of-this-world soda pops, and milk dessert free-for-all. if Orale starts playing chicano rap, i might not be able to handle myself.

Orale Taco Restaurant
1002 Johnson, 250–590–3370 Tacos, Quesadillas, Nachos, Pastel de Tres Leches, Mexican Pop
Donald: Allow me to paint you a picture. A young, would-be restaurant revolutionary is toiling away in a taquiera somewhere in mexico. dreaming of a life that allows simple pleasures like getting amped on counting flowers and bitching about the homeless, he spirits away to victoria. Whilst working his last shift at the taquiera he manages to abscond with its recipes as dreams of opening his own restaurant flutter through his head. Alright, so i’ve taken a few liberties with the Orale story, but that’s basically the gist of it. man is working at taquiera in mexico, man moves to victoria in hopes of replicating the menu in a small restaurant on Johnson street. in general, Orale does a pretty good job of providing authentic mexican cuisine. if the nachos were any better i’d probably be off falling in love with a revolutionary somewhere while the roof of Orale is engulfed in the flames of forbidden love (a la the plotline of Like Water for Chocolate). As far as my tastebuds can tell, these tasty triangles are pretty much the pinnacle of the tortilla chip world. follow the nachos with a bowl of Pastel de tres leches cake and you’ll end up in a pretty jim-dandy mood. unfortunately, the tacos here aren’t nearly as good as the nachos or dessert. the only taco filling that truly wowed me was the nopal—a mix of cactus paddles, tomato, and sweet chili that is easily one of the more unique food items you’ll find in victoria. that being said, i could
Spring 2009

easily get hooked on apple soda and nachos and find myself starting to resemble Pancho villa after a few more Orale trips. Guy: i like mexican food about as much as i like chicano rap. i’ll occasionally rock my head to a few seconds of “insane in the membrane” and i’ll rarely hit up Pluto’s for all-you-caneat-tacos. there’s just something about the mexican culture that hasn’t allowed me to embrace it as much as i embrace the chinese or the Japanese. As much as i’d like to attribute this fact to racism, the hard reality is i’ve never eaten at a mexican buffet that i would ever consider returning to. it’s also hard for me to shell out the Benjamins for flour tortillas, hot spice, refried beans, and ground meat. But after visiting Orale my opinion has changed. Alright, my theory on tacos was only solidified


Tacos, three for $5 plus tax; Quesadillas, three for $5 plus tax; Nachos, $5 plus tax. nachos at Orale may just capture the elusive government worker/drug addict/preteen private school market yet.

Verdict: The milky cake and handcrafted

Hey, check out our Victoria buffet and burger blogs at (Guy) and vicburgers. (Donald).


Mexican Tamales


8 typical Mexican taco llings Try any 3 for just $5
low low student prices every day

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Giving it up
caffeine The challenge
forego all forms of caffeine for two weeks. this includes coffee, tea, pop, and energy drinks.

By Kelly mArion

The research

research shows as little as one cup of coffee per day can cause an addiction. considering over 63 percent of adult canadians drink coffee on a daily basis, that makes for a lot of addicts. i am fully a caffeine addict. i love the taste and i need my fix. it’s time to break this dependency. unfortunately, withdrawal from caffeine causes physical symptoms and a disruption in daily life so severe that it’s considered a psychiatric disorder. As i begin my challenge, i hope my symptoms will be a little milder. Day 1: i wake up, stretch my legs, and head straight for the coffee pot before realizing, “shit! no coffee allowed.” no worries; i can do this. the day creeps by and i’m tempted (a lot) to sneak in some caffeine, but i restrain myself. the day ends a success! Only 13 more to go. Day 3: ughhh. i can’t even get my lazy sod of a butt out of bed. Just knowing what’s scribbled in my agenda and having to do it sans caffeine kills me. How do people find the energy? Day 5: i’m shockingly still caffeine-free. my head fucking throbs and my mom just called me a bitch, but i’m sticking to it. Day 9: the sweet aroma of fresh coffee brewing still gets to me, and that can of coke chilling in the fridge is calling my name, but i’m nine days caffeine-free. Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride. i’ve found a loophole though—they make caffeine-free coke! if you can’t indulge your cravings, trick them! Day 14: two hours and 14 minutes to go. that’s right, i’m counting down the minutes until i can order myself an Americano. i spent the last 14 days in sloth mode and i’ve had enough. i’m irritable enough as it is, and i thought these bloody withdrawal symptoms would pass, but to my despair, they haven’t. Day 15: the sweet, brown liquid called coffee effortlessly slides down my throat and a goofy grin spreads across my face.

The reason

The trial

PHOtO: cOurtney clArKe

The result
caffeine is a part of who i am. i need it... it needs me. Or so i’d like to think. A breath of fresh air can be invigorating, but it’s just
photo: chris shier

not as effective as a crisp full throttle or a steaming mug of columbian.

Next issue

see ya, iPod. i’m giving up music.
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