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The art of dance

Nude poetry

- PAGE 17

- PAGE 19


R 2009

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


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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 18 – Summer 2009
[a c t i v i s m] [a r t s]

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 Breanna carey Zan comerford christi Kay donald Kennedy Brendan Kergin Keltie larter melissa major Kelly marion Andrea moir chantelle mussell Alan Piffer shane scott-travis


critical mass

By Alan Piffer for those who thought there were already too many bikers on the road, think again!

17 evolution of dance

By Andrea moir victoria’s dance scene is stronger than ever, thanks in part to certain tv shows.

[f e a t u r e]

19 Poetry in the raw


tanzania mania

By chantelle mussell A camosun student shares her adventures during a summer co-op in Africa.

By Alan Piffer naked poetry readings, is there anything better? Just don’t invite Aunt sally cellulite.

[ l i f e]

[f o o d ]

10 How kinky!

21 look who’s eating too

By Keltie larter We dig deep to find a local kink group with all the gadgets and lingo you’ll ever need.

By Guy Alaimo and donald Kennedy Our food critic duo channels tom Green, then go to laurel Point for victoria’s best burger.

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

[c o l u m n]

12 fake Os, wet dreams

By Keltie larter and Breanna carey A look into the ol’ fake orgasm, and finding out if girls can have erotic dreams too.

22 Giving it up

By Kelly marion Our columnist gives up the beats of her iPod and any other music for a solid two weeks.

[f e a t u r e]

[c o m i c s]

13 taking a toke

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!

By Brendan Kergin team nexus goes on a pot-induced spirit walk with local activist ted smith.

22 the Phlegm alphabet
By shane scott-travis A modern-day, disturbia version of the ABcs, from an artist who constantly inspired us this year.

Summer 2009


Ac t i v ism

Victoria cyclists approach Critical Mass
should treat us with the same respect they would a car.” One thing perplexing major is the general inaction in victoria regarding cleaner modes of travel such as bicycling, even when the need is there. “even the Galloping Goose trail, in the wintertime, none of that’s maintained,” says major. “so there’s ice everywhere, there’s no salt ever put on it, the city pretty much ignores it. the city really does need to provide people with better options and not just cater to the car culture.” european cities, on the other hand, enjoy a more established bicycle and transit-based culture. One example major states is the carfree zones established in Holland’s cities. “there, if you do want to come into downtown during the weekend, you pay stupid amounts of money to get there, only so many cars are allowed into downtown core at a time, and it’s monitored,” explains major. “that’s a really good example of one way to reduce emissions—to give people the initiative to ride their bikes rather than drive.” major also believes that cycling, with the amount of exercise required and connection to the elements, is often a much more pleasant and rewarding experience than being cut off from the world inside a car. “People appreciate what’s around them far more when they’re on a bicycle,” says major. “But not only that, studies show that when you’re active, you’re a happier person. You have far more energy, you feel great because it’s human-powered—it’s all you.” And major says while many modern bikes can be very expensive, affordable options are available in victoria. “i bought a bike for $200; i’ve been using it for three years now,” says major. “it’s a total junker, but it’s a great ride and it gets me around. i’ve even toured on it.” for anyone who would like to participate in critical mass events, major points out it’s not just a political statement—it’s a lot of fun, too. “it’s a really good time for a lot of cyclists,” says major. “it’s free, and you feel so safe because you’re with so many other cyclists; you don’t feel intimidated by the cars anymore, and you really do feel like the road is your space.” for more info, contact gearsofrevolution@
discover student life

Photo: Melissa Major

AlAn Piffer
ven though riding a bicycle is good exercise, cheap, and environmentally friendly, and peak oil is always looming on the horizon, our society still favours automobiles over the needs of cyclists. But victoria’s beleaguered cyclists aren’t about to give up just yet. critical mass, a worldwide event happening on the last friday of every month, aims to bring awareness to bicycle riding, striving to overwhelm city streets with a parade of cyclists rather than pollution-belching vehicles. melissa major, a camosun sociology student who takes part in local critical mass events, finds that although reaction from onlookers and car drivers was generally positive, some drivers tend to view the bicycles as more of a nuisance than legitimate street vehicles. “We had a car behind us that was holding down on its horn, and it did that for a good five or seven minutes,” says major. “essentially, if we were cars there wouldn’t be a problem, but because we were bicycles, this vehicle saw us as a problem.” major feels an important part of these events is to create awareness and respect for bicyclists. “As a cyclist, you are very vulnerable on the road, and it’s important for us to bring awareness to that, and to remind drivers that we are also vehicles,” says major. “they


stAff Writer

“As a cyclist, you are very vulnerable on the road, and it’s important for us to bring awareness to that, and to remind drivers that we are also vehicles.”
MelissA MAjor
cAmOsun student 

t r Av el

West Coast summer travel tips
ZAn CoMerford


cOntriButinG Writer

he question of whether or not to travel, or just stay in school during the summer months, plagues many exhausted student brains. so why not just do both? those same starving student skills that kept you fed and clothed in past semesters can have you planning and saving for a vacation this summer. Afterwards, you’ll be rolling into fall semester as a worldlier, more tanned version of your former self. On the West coast we’re fortunate to have some of the world’s hippest, most progressive cities right at our fingertips. the first train out of vancouver arrives in Portland faster than you can say “choo, choo!” Quickly becoming known as north America’s culture capital, Portland is rich with diY communities, free public transit, and urban gardens galore. And if Portland doesn’t tickle your fancy, return fares to seattle and san francisco measure up at only $80 and $200 respectively. travelers can rejoice in the one legal advantage

The first train out of Vancouver arrives in Portland faster than you can say “choo, choo!”

the us has over canada—the happy hour. How about $1 pints of Budweiser from 2 to 4 pm? Yes, please! if you’d rather just hang out up here in the Great White north, sometimes getting off the rock for a weekend to vancouver can be just what the doctor ordered. Yes, it takes too long to get there by public transit, but where else can you see such a contrast of despairing poverty and million-dollar penthouses? Or, you can just keep it local to the extreme and hit up what the island has to offer. festivals like soundwave, which runs from July 10–12 in ucluelet, put the beauty of the Pacific northwest in a whole new, techno-driven light. running rampant with 5,000 strangers and sustaining yourself on pilfered beer and lsd will definitely give you that weary traveler look come september. still can’t seem to break out of the library for a weekend away? not to worry. should you find yourself buried under a mountain of books so heavy you can barely strain your neck to see the sun, just remember—camosun happens to be located on an island paradise.

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Summer 2009 


f e At ure

student’s c
By ChAntelle MUssell


[last summer, recent AcP graduate chantelle mussell did her coop in tanzania, Africa and wrote a journal about the experience.]

May 13, 2008

together we can make a difference. i am a roots & shoots volunteer from canada stationed in tanzania trying to spread this very motto. As my summer co-op placement for camosun’s Applied communication Program, and in an effort to contribute my knowledge of contemporary media and environmental conservation in a positive, global way, i decided to head halfway around the world and into the heart of darkest Africa. dar es salaam, tanzania, the Haven of Peace. i am doing some amazing work with roots & shoots and i would like to share that particular aspect of my tanzania adventure. the international volunteer program is a fantastic program with the best of intentions, but it has been led down the garden path a bit and needs ambitious volunteers to help make it something


discover student life

s contribution to tanzania
The offcial summer co-op journal of Ms. Chantelle Mussell


amazing again. it all started in 1991 with the lovely ms. Jane Goodall and 16 tanzanian volunteers on the porch of her dar es salaam home (now my dar es salaam home). the roots & shoots objective empowers youth on a global level. the objective? to inspire the next in line for making or breaking our planet earth and to recognize the need for all human beings to work together to save the environment, animals, and humanity. my role is to go to secondary schools and universities (because they speak english and my swahili knowledge is “kidogo, kidogo,” which means “little by little”) to make waste management presentations, sit in on roots & shoots meetings led by the students, and help facilitate and implement project ideas and positive participation. i also sing a lot and make people smile! i have 16 schools, eight of which have active roots & shoots members. the other eight are inactive, but i am going to put some fire under their asses, hakuna matata.
Summer 2009

One of the focuses of my project is going to be women. i strongly feel the generations before us came here and destroyed everything that is tanzanian culture. We need to offer help in an appropriate and useful way. encouraging the equality of women in developing countries is important, because the altruistic way of the lady is our only hope. so take it or leave it, i don’t really care. no one can say equal rights and education for every human being on the planet is a step in the wrong direction. i will leave you for now as i need to sweat profusely, whilst i fall into some African street juice and eat me some wicked rice and beans, or wali kwa marage. Open your eyes, minds, and hearts to the world around you. All we need is love. until next time, the peace, the love, and the happiness, - Chantelle
CONT. >>>


f e At ure

luck and fate have made their sneaky little ways into the life and times and ups and downs of ms. chantelle mussell. i should probably start with, “my God, where to begin?” as this is exactly the thought dancing around my crazy mind. to all of you who are near and dear and oh-so-far-away, this is the biggest understatement of my entire life. Yup, all 22 years. i have managed to pertain volunteering in the eastern bits of Africa, accomplishing the co-op portion of my Applied commication Program, in a number of fantastic ways. first, i have been filming various roots & shoots activities at Jane Goodall’s house, such as the may 31 Beach clean-up. this particular project was aimed for the government of dar es salaam to force them to implement better waste disposal systems in the city that would be accessible to everyone. myself and another volunteer, along with fellow staff members and 15 schools, planned a massive beach-cleaning project. We were crossing our fingers hoping that at least 50 students would show up; in the end we had almost 300. no big deal. except that it was huge. We had costumes, games, sing-a-longs, and biscuits. it was a great success and the beach was sparkling clean for about two days. dar es salaam has an unbelievable waste management problem, hence the importance of the beach clean. Our plan was to film the events in order to have a video pitch, have all the students sign a petition, write a letter concerning our objectives, and contact media in dar to publish our activity. As it stands, we have a 10-minute beach clean video (care of yours truly), a petition with over 250 names, a

june 9, 2008

well-written and stern letter to the government in both english and swahili, and a newspaper article in the dar es salaam Gazette. since that day, i have traveled to the southern bits of tanzania to film hippos, baboons, snakes, birds, villagers, mangrove forests, and dinosaur bones left unturned by generations of archaeologists. i have been offered a full-time position as the media monster for two massive eco-friendly safari business projects. i have decided to extend my stay here for another three weeks to film Jane Goodall in the jungle. this will encourage investors to help us with this dream of sustainable eco-safaris in tanzania. every day i wake up to the indian Ocean crashing over the sand on the beach just outside my bedroom window. the sun warms my cheeks and opens my eyes at the crack of dawn and, instantly, i am smiling and wide-awake. every second i’ve spent in tanzania has been an overwhelming explosion of sensations. not every sensation is fantastic, however. my fellow volunteer and i were mugged on the street and the thief took my passport, visa, debit card, cell phone, special bits of purse garbage, and my friend’s camera. in the end, it taught me a lesson. i am stronger and wiser because of it and it’s a really funny story to tell. Another time perhaps. up next for King tron, director of media management (this is the title we have all agreed to call me—i am so professional) is more dangling from trees over a hippo pool and not getting eaten by lions or large snakes. We are headed for two camping trips in the deep, dark jungle of tanzania in tents. i hope i don’t die. take care, keep well and smile into the sky for me, - Chantelle
discover student life 

august 26, 2008

now with two days to go, malaria dancing through my bloodstream, and the all-too-familiar sweat dripping forth from my brow, reflection is upon me. the time has come for the wide-eyed hopeful to return from whence she came and explain her less-than-conventional performance whilst abroad. unfortunately, this reflection might be a nasty one as the person staring back at me is unfamiliar, sun burnt, and scared shitless of this next huge step. in an attempt to explain my infatuation with this crazy place, i am going to list the things that hurt so good: 1. tanzanian smiles. Huge, white, perfect smiles, laughing with me. 2. the high-pitched and tiny “ah!” that escapes between the lips of tanzanians regularly in conversation to emphasize one’s point. 3. A baby on a mama’s back held snugly in place by a kitenge (colourful, oddly patterned cloth used to make snazzy tanzanian outfits). 4. my newly adopted family that lives next door—the van lawicks. they may or may not have wanted to adopt me but i forced them to because i love them. 5. the upside-down frisbee that serves as a cat dish in the house of Jane Goodall, and how it’s always full of disgusting, dead fish. 6. the stupid sign on my forehead that says, “Yes! i want
Summer 2009

a taxi. Yes i want to be mugged more than one time in two months. Yes, i want to marry you. Yes, i want a cheap deal on something that doesn’t even exist!” 7. everyone hates my hot-pink sunglasses. not one person likes them. 8. the 35 ways to say, “Hello, how are you and yours” in Kiswahili. 9. rebecca maria Koomen, my new hetero soulmate and conservation/media partner. 10. every single tear i have shed over someone i have met that used their beautiful tanzanian smile on me. they get me every time. i didn’t save any lives or change the world. i didn’t feed starving children or rescue an endangered species from extinction. i didn’t make promises that i had no intention of carrying out like so many before me. i facilitated and assisted students with roots & shoots projects. i filmed areas of land and animals that have been purchased for the purpose of conservation. i laughed, i cried, and i tried my best to make the most of each and every opportunity that was offered to me. Please consider the environment, people, and animals of our planet earth before you pull down your pants and shit on her, - Chantelle For more info about Roots & Shoots, go to 

photo: chris shier

l if e

Riding the whip Victoria’s Sagacity c
Keltie lArter


cOntriButinG Writer

hree decades ago, if a friend had jokingly included a pair of fur-lined handcuffs in your secret santa gift basket, well . . . it probably would have been really awkward. But these days, chances are most people already have some sort of kinky item tucked away at home. With unparalleled access to the internet, the information highway has allowed people from all walks of life to come together. such is the beginning of the story of victoria’s sagacity group, spearheaded by a woman named sam Quinn, known to most as ladyfish. Almost nine years ago, ladyfish, having recently moved to victoria from new York, met with a handful of other kinksters online and decided to form a group. the idea was to come together to talk about their interests, learn from each other, laugh, and network. they met for the first time at a local pub, and it wasn’t until a few months later the group decided to open up to all sorts of kink and change their name to sagacity, which is a french word meaning wisdom. And, in this case, it was the wisdom to choose what was right for them. so what is kink? the dictionary defines it as “bizarre or unconventional sexual preferences and/or behaviour,” but ladyfish believes every person has their own kink. “When you pull someone’s hair while you’re having sex; or restrain someone’s hands or arms; when you tie a cloth over someone’s eyes; when a partner playfully spanks his/her partner on the bum for saying something impudent; or when you dress up in sexy lingerie—all those things are kink,” says ladyfish. some of the more popular practices include bondage, sensory deprivation, needle play, fire play, flogging, whipping, spanking, punching, slapping, tickling, suspension, electrical play, and cutting and piercing, to name a very few. during the nine years since its inception, the sagacity group has grown so much they’ve had to find a new location for their weekly meetings, which are attended on average by 40 to 65 people. One active member of the group reflects on how it has grown. “[We’ve gone] from worrying about whether or not they’d be able to come up with the $300 for the hall rental, to putting on multi-thousand-dollar events. it just keeps growing,” says the man who wishes to remain anonymous.

On the upper level was a large play area roped off and set up with different stations for people to be tied up, strapped down, stretched out, and caged.

this past year the group celebrated their ninth birthday with a weekend-long series of events. the weekend kicked off with a meet-

and-greet evening coupled with an erotic art show, followed by a full day of workshops, which included things like burlesque dancing,
discover student life


Photo: www.rodhoodPhotograPhy.coM

y celebrates nine years of kink
cupping, flogging, how to find and keep a dominant, how to use the violet wand, mummification, spanking, and much more. the celebration climaxed at a late night play party, with a couple of hundred guests turned out in their finest leather and latex (and nothing more than birthday suits for some), laughing, drinking, tying each other up, strapping each other down, and loving every minute of it. A ballroom at a local hotel was transformed for the evening’s events. On the main floor were tables for socializing, snacks, and a bar. And on the upper level was a large play area roped off and set up with different stations for people to be tied up, strapped down, stretched out, and caged. On the outside of the play area were chairs set up for those whose kink is to be the voyeur. Although the majority of the party guests seemed to be about 35 and over, there were people from all age groups over 19, ethnic backgrounds, body types, and sexual orientations in attendance. the atmosphere wasn’t so much one of drunken revelry as it was of controlled enjoyment, anticipation, and respect; and attendants were friendly and at ease. melissa major, a camosun student who was a first-time attendee at one of sagacity’s play parties, says her reaction was one of surprise. “it’s very oriented towards open discussion and safety. i felt amazingly comfortable, nothing really struck me as being deviant or strange or any of the stereotypes most people think of,” says major. “it just seemed like a really chill atmosphere and everyone was just kind of doing their own thing.” A dungeon monitor controlled the play area, and there were fairly strict rules and norms that those within the play area and outside of it were expected to follow. for example, there was no genital-to genital or oral-to-genital contact allowed. it’s considered impolite to touch people or their equipment without their express permission. it’s also not advisable to interrupt someone while they are playing out a scene, and if you are planning on playing out a scene with another person or people, a series of negotiations must be discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved first. Participants need to decide who will play which role (usually top and bottom) and where each person’s boundaries lie in regards to sexual contact (if there will be any), psychological play (for example, humiliation, obedience, or verbal violation), and physical limits (such as pain, marks, and resistance to various influences). they also need to agree upon which types of play are allowed (bondage, role-playing, sensory deprivation, spanking, etc.), what sorts of gear will be used (materials, adult toys, restraints, fetish wear), how long the scene will last, and who will keep track of the time. Also, safety measures must be discussed, health concerns taken into consideration, and safe words agreed upon. Of course, these negotiations vary depending on partners and environments, but generally speaking there’s a lot of trust given and responsibility taken between players and it’s not something that’s taken lightly within the kink community. An anonymous camosun fine Arts student who is new to the kink scene calls it “topping from the bottom.” “You have to know what you’re doing; you have to be in touch with the person you’re doing it with,” she says. “if you go parachuting and you pack your partner’s parachute, they need to trust that you’re going to do it well, and you need to know what you’re doing really well!” the student says she has always felt a need for something different. “since i was five or so i can remember the same kinds of feelings that i’m looking for now. Having someone take control, and not wanting to be the leader. When you’re a kid you’re looking for security like that in a lot of ways, and there’s a certain security that comes from not being able to move. You’re just there and you’re safe and you don’t have to do anything. it’s something really reassuring,” she explains. An anonymous sagacity member enjoys playing a more dominant role with his partners. “it’s a consensual and powerful thing. When you have a really good exchange where a dominant is really aware of his submissive’s needs and is helping fulfill them and, in return, she is giving an awful lot of herself, it can be quite cathartic. You can feel quite dizzy and get head rushes and you can just get lost in what you’re doing,” he says. All in all, the sagacity birthday bash was a success. tickets were sold out, the workshops were interesting, and nobody was hurt that didn’t want to be. And, with a kink scene that’s flourishing in victoria, the city’s conservative British reputation might just be in for a little spanking.
inflicting pain on others safe word: A word agreed upon by those involved in BDSM play that means stop. submissive: A person who takes on a role of intentional powerlessness. switch: a person who enjoys playing the role of both dominant and submissive top: A person who gives physical stimulation in situations that exclude the exchange of power. They like to give spankings, but aren’t necessarily a dominant. Vanilla: A person who is not involved with BDSM and/or kink. Voyeur: A person who is aroused by watching others, especially in a sexual context.

The language of kink
BdsM: A composite acronym for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism. Bondage: Any activity that involves tying someone up, handcuffs, tying a person to something, etc. Bottom: A person who receives physical stimulation in situations that exclude the exchange of power. So you like to be spanked, but don’t necessarily want to be submissive. cupping: A type of sensation play using different sized glass or plastic cups. Plastic cups have a hand pump Summer 2009

that allows the operator to manually suck out the air, suctioning the cup to the skin. Glass cups are heated on the inside with cotton balls soaked in alcohol and then set on fire or blowtorches and then placed on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates suction. dominant or dom: A person who takes on a role of physical and/or psychological power or authority over another. Fire play: A number of different practices using live flame in sexual or BDSM play. Flogger: A tool used to strike another person that’s made up of a handle or grip with many lashes attached to it. Can be made of leather, plastic, rope,

and other materials. Masochist: A person who experiences sexual arousal or gratification from experiencing pain. Mummification: A kind of bondage play where a person is wrapped up tightly enough to be immobilized using, plastic wrap, tape, rope, material, or anything else which suits the purpose. electrical play: Various practices using an electrical current to stimulate different parts of the body. Violet wand: A device used for electrical play containing a gas that glows bright purple when stimulated by an electrical current. sadist: A person who experiences sexual arousal or gratification from


se x /A dv ice

Fake orgasms
Probably the most famous cinematic orgasms was a fake. i’m talking about that scene in When Harry Met Sally where meg ryan and Billy crystal’s characters are sitting in a diner and talking about one-night stands. When crystal’s character insists no woman has ever faked an orgasm with him and he would’ve been able to tell if they had, ryan’s character performs an earth-shattering orgasm right at the table to prove him wrong. Her climax is so convincing that an elderly woman in the booth next to them whispers to the waitress, “i’ll have what she’s having!” the sad fact is women fake a lot of orgasms. not that we like to admit it, mind you; at least not to men. i decided to pick a few unsuspecting brains about the matter. Aside from one asshole who said he “didn’t give a damn if a girl got off, as long as he did” (i pity whoever ends up in the sack with that loser!), all the other guys i asked said they would feel insulted and/or embarrassed if they knew a girl had faked it. And most of them were pretty sure no girl had ever faked it with them. Yeah, right. On the other side of this sad story, only one woman i spoke to said she had honestly never faked an orgasm in her life, and she was a lesbian! reasons for faking an orgasm vary. sometimes it’s to protect the ego of a partner, or sometimes the embarrassment of being un-

By Keltie lArter
able to achieve climax. Another reason is to simply speed things along. many of the women i spoke to said they were even able to fake orgasmic vaginal contractions. so women fake it to protect men, but men have no idea that women are faking it, and men wouldn’t want them to fake it if they knew. What a conundrum. solution? talk to your partner! even if it’s a one-night stand, you should at least be comfortable enough to tell the other person what you like and what you need to have in order to reach an orgasm. And if you’ve had a few too many and you’re pretty sure the little woman in the boat isn’t going to be as responsive as usual, just let your partner know. from the sounds of it, a man would be less insulted with honesty than with a fake orgasm. i’ll admit i’ve been guilty of faking it once or twice in my life, but i’m making a promise to myself that from now on if it’s not going to happen, i’m not going to lie about it anymore. Well, i’m going to try not to, at least.

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By BreAnnA CArey
I’ve been having dreams where I get really excited, but then I wake up before anything really good can happen. Can women actually have orgasms from erotic dreams? You may have been thinking about your sexy history teacher or that cute boy in the cafeteria before you went to bed and ended up with some naughty dreams. But they were so real, right? These are lucid dreams; this phenomenon can be erotic, and other times not, but you’re aware that you are dreaming and can control the subsequent chapters. Depending on your self-awareness, lucid dreams can be extremely real and vivid. Although it was previously believed only men could have “wet dreams,” women are also quite capable of having orgasmic episodes while they sleep. Typically, arousal can cause the dreamer to waken, sometimes before they reach actual orgasm. By staying still and attempting to remain in the dream state, you may be able to continue the erotic dream. Dreams can be a wake-initiated lucid dream (or, suitably enough, WILD) where the subject goes from conscious to dreaming without any apparent time lapse. If you have good dream recall, then you’re in a position to have lucid dreams. Keeping a dream journal will help you start where you left off. Often reading erotic material or thinking about a particularly arousing event right before you go to bed puts you in a position to have erotic dreams. Just hope that you don’t talk in your sleep during class. discover student life

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Nexus team talks pot with Ted Smith

Up in smoke

By BrendAn Kergin

no business like herb business. And by herb we mean marijuana. And by business we mean the illegal but accepted practice of selling weed for medicinal purposes. victoria’s ted smith has been involved in this arena of activist business for over 10 years. smith sparked up with fellow nexus staff writer Guy Alaimo and i. this fraternity of weed smokers also included Jimmy nguyen, giggle Buddha, and donald Kennedy, semi-pro cat-petter.


smith has walked the walk and toked the toke. He’s also spent time in court for his beliefs after raids in 2002 and 2003 of the cannabis Buyers club of canada (cBcoc). the cBcoc is a group smith runs selling “cannabis products to people with permanent physical disabilities or diseases since 1996,” according to their mandate. the cannabis activist and Hempology 101 instructor took the nexus team on a trip, literally and figuratively, as we rolled a few joints, hot-boxed my car, and visited a couple of smith’s favourite hangouts. What follows is a hazy recount of the afternoon’s events.
Spring 2008

Alaimo and the others pick up smith from his downtown cBcoc headquarters and return to a street near camosun’s lansdowne campus where they wait for me in the car. After class, i catch up to them already blazing, smoke filling the car. i meet smith through the window of the car, and can barely make out the giggling nguyen in the background. After packing my stuff into the trunk of the car, which is also filled with smoke, i squish into the back seat beside nguyen and formally introduce myself to the famous (or infamous) activist and ask him about our destination, sacred Herb.

“When i started all this i lived in a van, and the guy who owned and founded sacred Herb let people smoke pot upstairs, so i hung out there a lot,” says smith. We continue to spark up as the car fills up with smoke. Our camera won’t focus on anything anymore. there’s a logjam as one joint chases down another in our circle. “ted’s probably thinking, what a bunch of lightweights,” giggles nguyen. “this is kinda what i do. most people can’t keep up with me,” says smith. “it’s funny, even when [marijuana activist] marc emery came over here last year, he brags all the time, but at one point he said that he’d
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smoked more pot than anyone in the room, and he actually stopped and looked at me and goes, ‘Well, maybe except for ted.’ i was totally honoured, because usually he’d never give anyone else credit.” smith recalls going to high school in Ontario where he was a proponent of the school’s drug culture. After deciding to leave that scene and move out west in 1996, he began meeting sick people and decided to start up the buyer’s club. cBcoc now has 2,400 buyers and continues to go strong, despite being busted multiple times by police. technically, the cBcoc is illegal, but authorities now tolerate the club. A number of court cases have sided with cBcoc due to poorly structured medical marijuana legislation. Health canada’s own pot programs are inadequate, according to smith, so the group simply supplies what the official programs can’t. due to his business and the Hempology 101 lectures he runs at the university of victoria, he works over 50 hours a week, which keeps his schedule busy. At this point, we all decide to bus downtown and the fresh air snaps us back a bit. smith and i chat some more as nguyen spits up something nasty—something very, very nasty. i follow up that by asking smith how he got involved with the activism side of ganja. “it was, i guess, a progression. i realized in university i wanted to be a writer and help the world evolve, i guess you could say, through writing,” he says. “And so when i first came across Hempology 101 in vancouver it seemed a perfect place to put my skills. the theme ‘legalization by education’ seems totally feasible in many ways.” Kennedy, nguyen, and Alaimo start cracking up at this point, completely undermining the journalistic integrity of the piece. How are two stoned guys supposed to carry on a conversation while something possibly hilarious was occurring behind us? But smith is a trooper, he continues on about the moral obligation he felt to get hemp legal. He looked at his activism as a way to work for farmers who could make money and wares from cannabis products. Another point to his work is the help he’s able to provide to people using marijuana as a medical product. used as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever, marijuana products could be considered a pharmaceutical drug as much as an illicit one. We discuss his textbook, the Hempology 101 textbook. While it lacks a creative title, it’s a fairly non-traditional textbook. After describing the physical attributes of the book, such as hemp paper and a nonglossy cover, he moves onto what it contains information-wise. it’s mostly a history of the weed in different cultures and societies; the book is a continuing work for smith. By now we have reached the bus stop. After an awkward stutter-step by a passing student, trying not to get caught up in this smelly, loud group of guys, Alaimo almost

“At one point [marijuana activist] Marc Emery said that he’d smoked more pot than anyone in the room, and he actually stopped and looked at me and goes, ‘Well, maybe except for Ted.’”
ted sMith
cAnnABis BuYers cluB Of cAnAdA

Pot virgins: Nexus team reminisces about their first times
Guy Alaimo, Staff Writer
When I was 13 I smoked a nugget of weed without even busting it up, using a pop can that I poked holes into. I used the mouth of the can to suck in the smoke. It’s possible that I did some permanent brain damage after inhaling aluminum, but it’s a fun experience to think back on. My friend and I wandered around Cadboro Bay, stoned out of our minds, running into old people buying their groceries and stuff. tasted really fucking good, and I was too naive to realize I wasn’t eating normal cookies. Funnily enough, this wasn’t the only drug-loving party I naively showed up to in my early days in Victoria. I actually ended up going to an “E” party once because I thought the “E” stood for electronic. Little did I know I would spend the night drastically sober, having an unfortunate looking woman rub my shoulders and tell me how beautiful I am, as people snorted Ritalin in the other room. That party was enough to close any gateway that pot may have tried to open up for me. good proposition at the time and we passed the joint around. After awhile I figured I wasn’t doing it right, so I decided to go back to the hostel to grab something to drink and find the others in our group. As soon as I stood up I guess my heart decided to start pumping again, because it hit me. I meandered back to the hostel, enjoying the new shades of green the park suddenly had to offer. Once back at the hostel I realized I had forgotten my key and went to find the other room of friends. Their door was locked, but I could hear partying inside, so I banged my head against the door a couple of times and then sat down, leaning against the door. When my friend opened the door I promptly fell back and giggled maniacally at her. From that it goes blurry, I’m pretty sure I started drinking low grade vodka and referencing schnoz berries.

Donald Kennedy, Contributing Writer
The first time I smoked pot I was 1. I was at a party where I didn’t know anyone, and I felt like doing something to fit in. Coincidentally, I also ate pot cookies for the first (and only) time at this party. I ended up eating about 10 of them because they

Brendan Kergin, Staff Writer
When I was an exchange student in Germany we went to Strassbourg on a class trip. Sitting in the sun, one of my friends mixed tobacco and hash together. It seemed like a

Nexus’ fraternity of weed smokers with ted smith (top left). discover student life


pushes a cyclist into traffic. We would like to apologize to both, especially the poor biker. We never meant to let you fall onto the road. While on the very public #14 bus, the conversation continues. many passengers are obviously listening to us as we talk about our parents and drugs. smith wasn’t caught red-handed with weed; instead his mother found his stash, in which he had left a note for her asking if she wanted some. As we pull up to the downtown core, city hall looms above us. this brings us to smith’s 2002 run for mayor. it was more of a publicity move and chance to meet the likely city council than a serious shot at the seat. “it got me to talk about a bunch of issues i really had nothing to do with,” says smith, “where dogs can shit isn’t really something that should be taking a lot of time in civic politics.” “they got to see me in a shirt and a tie, talking responsibly, not being some pot activist coming up with all these flaky ideas,” reflects smith. the resulting election had a council much more aware of smith, a group who viewed him more conservatively than before, since he believes he’s not so radical. As we wander down Johnson street he talks about his activism with pride. this is a man who’s humbly proud of his work. He’s held conventions, game shows, and other events sponsored by many of the hemp-related shops. We finally make it down to the alley that leads to sacred Herb and the resident cat runs up to meet us, obviously a fan of smith’s as well. Walking into the store, smith greets the guy behind the counter with a friendly “Hey, what’s up?” the store carries a variety of hemp products, such as clothing and soap, as well as smoking paraphernalia like pipes and some enormously tall bongs. they also have some text on ganja, such as books with tips and advice, magazines with the latest news, and local publications, such as smith’s own cannabis digest journal. smith chats about his costume, an 11foot leaf, dubbed Herb, which he wears at local events. He also shows us some of the products from the store. Kennedy enjoys petting the alley cat, which is now warming on a light table. A product that should definitely be mentioned is the 420 soap. “One of the stupidest things the company did is call it 420 soap, because it’s amazing hemp seed soap,” says smith
CONT. >>>

Nexus writers guy alaimo (left) and Brendan Kergin (right) pose with a pound of weed.

Duuuude, got the munchies?
gUy AlAiMo
stAff Writer

Spending an entire afternoon and evening smoking marijuana can leave even the most hardcore chronic with an insatiable desire for a gluttonous feast. So right after the Nexus team said goodbye to local pot activist Ted Smith, it was no surprise volunteer writer Donald Kennedy came up with an idea as we were walking down Blanshard. “Should we hit up Yokohama’s all-you-caneat deal?” After a nanosecond of opposition from staff writer Brendan Kergin, the group quickly agreed on all-you-can-eat Japanese food. After entering the restaurant, it finally set in that we just smoked weed with motherfuckin’ Ted Smith, arguably the most hardcore weed smoker this city has ever seen. The all-you-can-eat menu at Yokohama

isn’t bad. There are numerous sushi and sashimi choices available, and plenty of traditional appetizers. And the price of $23. per person seems reasonable for all-you-can-eat Japanese food, until you realize a waitress has not graced you with her presence in over 0 minutes. Let’s just say our combined $3 tip was too much. But what does Ted Smith like to eat? Well, while we hung out with him he said his favorite place to dine in Victoria is Lotus Pond. And when he isn’t scarfing down the Pond’s gourmet vegetarian cuisine, he’s munching on any kind of nut mix he can get his hands on. As for favorite fast food place, Smith says he doesn’t support any major corporations, but if he had to eat fast food, he would choose Subway because they offer “vegetarian choices.”

Summer 2009


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“and the name makes a lot of stores not sell it.” “A lot of people don’t know about it,” calls the guy from behind the counter. “Partly because of the stupid name!” smith pushes his point. it is a stupid name. “People think it’s bong cleaner,” replies the shop-keep. smith goes on to list off all the things he’s cleaned with the hemp-seed soap. Apparently the biodegradable stuff works on hair and floors equally well. smith is active across all of victoria when it comes to cannabis, and it’s proven by the donations he can list off for reach for the Pot, the world’s only marijuana-based game show. this year the fourth annual reach for the Pot tournament was uploaded to Youtube where the winners picked up the award bong. ideally, smith would like to expand this concept to a travelling show of some sort. Alaimo wanders past at this point to buy an Adbusters magazine that he’ll never read. the conversation moves on to the legal issues smith has faced. As an activist, he’s had a lot of media coverage and some faceto-face time with the cops. they have made a number of visits to the cBcoc headquarters, where we head to next. Our visit is much more conspicuous than the undercover cops who have been turned away in the past, but it helps to have smith vouch for us on the way in. the cBcoc has around 35 full and parttime employees in a variety of roles. We meet a few of them as we get a grand tour of the site. A relatively large area for what it is, it’s as much a clubhouse or community gathering place as anything. A meeting will be taking place later, with discussions on the activities of international medical marijuana day. Before things get too hectic though, smith gives a grand tour. the first room we go to is a small, closet-sized box with a few posters covering the pasty walls. “the box,” announces smith, “the most popular closet in victoria. there’s people in here pretty much all day.” We move on to the little back room of the headquarters where the pot is. A man behind a counter looks a little concerned to see four young guys with a camera and digital recorders enter the room. smith had forgotten to tell him who was visiting this afternoon. We move on to a back storage room, another hideout to smoke out. Posters are on the ceiling for those moments of relaxation. it’s here smith mentions the cBcoc goes through about 40 pounds of weed a month, providing medicinal marijuana to approximately 2,400 people. “You’ve never seen a pound before?” smith asks us. “is it like a brick?” asks Alaimo. “i’ll show you,” replies smith that perks up all of our ears. We follow him over to his office, where his Herb costume sits. smith pulls out two large baggies. they’re light, despite their size—a half-pound each. We each pose with the bags, like they’re celebrities. Our time with the activist and this leafy topic are up though, as there is a meeting starting soon. With a friendly wave to smith, we take our leave. rumour has it there’s a Japanese buffet on tonight, and we just spent hours getting stoned with a pot activist with no food. Hi ho, munchies away!
discover student life

They’re light, despite their size— a half-pound each. We each pose with the bags, like they’re celebrities.


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The evolution of dance in Victoria
AndreA Moir


cOntriButinG Writer

o picture an ordinary night out for students, most would imagine alcohol, good friends, and dancing. And whether you’re cutting the dance floor like a pro, or keeping with the standard touch-step combination, you are taking part in a ritual that has gone on for centuries—the art of dance. But it’s not just the alcohol that forces people to perform “soulja Boy” dance routines in public. media influence has played a large role in dance popularity. shows like So You Think You Can Dance? highlight dancers skilled in anything from street styles to partner dancing.

“It’s not just about booty-shaking and grindin’ like in some music videos. It’s an art form.”
BrooKe Kilgore
viBestreet dAnce

“these shows help dance by bringing it onto the front-burner,” explains Karen clark, a local dance studio owner. “When they are on we tend to get calls at the studio, and people actually say they watch those shows. now they want to dance.” victoria studios have seen enrolment increase over the last two decades. Karen clark dance studio has been in victoria for 21 years and in its first decade increased enrolment by 20 percent. it has been close to full every year since 1998. in the last few years, one genre has exploded in victoria’s dance community. that is the art of hip-hop, a style that originated from traditional African dance. “Hip-hop never used to be popular, and
CONT. >>>

Photo: christi Kay

camosun graduate laura Blain is one of many students at Karen clark’s popular dance studio.

Summer 2009


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A tale of two dancers
stacy sanderson age: 20 danced for: 18 years
Profession: Camosun College student, dance instructor, and performer. types of dance: Ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, lyrical, contemporary, and theatre/stage. Favourite genre: “I don’t know if I have a favourite. I love lyrical/contemporary [a mix of ballet and jazz], I’d have to say that’s my baby!” why she dances: “I dance because I have to! Dancing is something that is so physically challenging, so artistically expressive, and so rewarding that once you start, it seems stupid to stop.” on balancing work, school, and dance: “Dance helps everything else. When I’m just going to school or just working, I get very restless and bored. But dancing stimulates the other parts of your brain, your expressive, emotional, and artistic sensors. I can concentrate better, feel more alive, and have more energy when I’m dancing.” dance in the future: “I’m planning on traveling to LA and training for a few weeks. Then I’m looking at performing arts universities! Ultimately, I would love to own and operate a dance company based in Victoria that performs internationally. I also want to finish a degree in kinesiology and open up a training centre for dancers, involving rehab, physical therapy, cross-training benefits, and nutritional advice.”

Photo: christi Kay

that has brought a great number of boys into the dance studio,” says clark. the increased interest in hip-hop is what led Brooke Kilgore to open her own local company, vibestreet dance, in 2006. As victoria’s only urban dance company, she’s also seen significant growth in her enrolment numbers. Kilgore believes hip-hop has become more popular due to society’s renewed attitude towards it. “People are finding that hip-hop dance actually has a culture behind it, and it is finally becoming more respected. it’s not just about booty shaking and grindin’ like in some music videos. it’s an art form,” explains Kilgore. Kilgore also agrees with clark that dance shows are allowing all styles of dance to be noticed by society. “dance as a whole is being seen more, and it is showing dancers of all ages and abilities dancing various styles. it’s very motivating and empowering,” says Kilgore. With dance styles like hip-hop becoming more popular, are the original dance genres vanishing? not so, says Gina sinclair, a dance teacher and former owner of sinclair Academy of Performing Arts. sinclair danced professionally in classical ballet and musical theatre.

“my ballet classes are full and i continue to have lots of amazing opportunities to guest teach, choreograph, and coach, so for me the ballet business is still as busy as ever,” says sinclair. classical ballet is one genre sinclair says will keep its place in society. most trained in dance would agree ballet is where the strength is found to increase abilities in all other dance genres. “Art will last forever. Art takes years of training and perfecting. the charleston came and went, so did the twist, and so will hip-hop in the form that it is now, but classical ballet will outlast them all because the training is core to all other forms of dance,” explains sinclair. Whether you take part in trained dance classes, or simply move to the beat because standing motionless in front of a live band is just awkward, it’s clear dance will continue to play a part in humanity for generations to come. “Passionate people will continue to be dedicated to their craft, forever learning what they can learn. We will continue to learn new sub-genres of each style of dance ,” says Kilgore. “Plus, who doesn’t want to learn how to dance?”

laura Blain age: 20 danced for: 17 years
Profession: Hotel Restaurant Management graduate from Camosun College, International Hotel Restaurant Management student at Royal Roads University, and server at Cordova Bay Golf Course. types of dance: Jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, theatre, and ballet. on balancing work, school, and dance: “I have definitely had to cut back on dance now that I’m out of high school. College was harder because I had co-op work terms, so I wasn’t in town to take the dance classes and be ready for the performances. Now in university I manage my time well and I only dance three hours a week. I manage to go to the gym still and work and get school done, so it depends on the person. I love being busy all the time.” dance in the future: “It would be a hard industry to get into and I want to make a lot of money when I’m older, so I have decided to take a different path. Now I just dance for fun and to stay active.” discover student life

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Poets reveal their feelings, bodies
AlAn Piffer
ost people would be terrified enough at the thought of having to do anything in front of an audience—but doing it naked? no way! But that’s just what happens at Poetry in the raw—reading poems in front of an audience, sans clothing, and apparently it’s not as much of a nightmare as one might think. According to missie Peters and danielle Ayotte, two of the performers, it’s actually a pretty cool, liberating thing to do. for Peters, the idea originated from watching a fellow poet read nude at a party. “i realized that, speaking this poem, his whole body was poetry,” says Peters. “And i wanted to do that; i wanted to have that experience. it changes how you perform the poem, and you become more aware, as a performer, of your body.” Originally, Peters only entertained the idea of doing the show with a bunch of her friends in her living room, but was persuaded to take the idea further.


stAff Writer

“Naked, it’s like you’re totally out there; there’s no hiding at all.”
dAnielle Ayotte

Photo: courtNey clarKe

“i thought it would be fun to get a bunch of folks together and each have the challenge of standing up and performing naked,” says Peters. “And it was like, ‘Well, why don’t you just do it as a show?’ and i was like, ‘Yeah, okay!’” the main thrust behind organizing their first event in 2007 was to make it a fundraiser to send the local poetry slam team to a national competition. it turned out to be a success beyond anyone’s expectations.
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Summer 2009


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Photo: courtNey clarKe

“When i talked to people, people said, ‘Wow, that would be really hard, but i’m down, i want to do it,’” says Peters. “so we put it on at solstice [cafe], and we sold out before we opened our doors. We had people lined up into market square, and we had to turn people away.” the group has since done more events in 2008 and 2009. According to Peters, the huge positive response from the first Poetry in the raw show was more than just the fact that people were nude. “i don’t think it was just because we were

naked; it was because of what we were saying when we were naked,” says Peters. “someone talked about having been a bully as a child, and how they come to terms with that now; someone talked about being a racist. i talked about my mother’s chronic illness and how i’m coming to terms with that.” for fellow participant and camosun creative Writing student danielle Ayotte, nudity creates a new dimension in creative expression. “i write because it’s very honest,” explains Ayotte. “i think with other writers, too, it’s hard to lie when you’re doing poetry. it’s always your


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own style, and naked, it’s like you’re totally out there; there’s no hiding at all.” Peters found it refreshing that audiences were able to get into the intended spirit of the events. “i was amazed last year at the incredible thankfulness of the audience,” says Peters. “they understood what was being done; they totally got it. And they were open to it.” Ayotte says Poetry in the raw allows people to see a sense of beauty not shown in mainstream media. “it’s so rare that we get to see real beauty and real people with freckles and pale skin and dark skin and stretch marks,” says Ayotte. “if you can speak beautifully and put your whole body into it; that’s perfect.” At Poetry in the raw, many audience members felt compelled to remove their clothes as well. “i think it’s because we created a respectful, safe environment: we are all in this together, this is a safe space,” says Peters. “And when an audience member decides they are going to take off their top, they suddenly have no shield for the words that are being said. And people cried. the audience will be invited again this year, in a respectful way, if they would like to participate.” if anyone wanted to try stepping outside of their comfort zone, they’d be hard pressed to do it more effectively than by performing at or attending a Poetry in the raw event. “You can do anything after that,” says Ayotte. “You’ll move mountains, i think.”
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f OOd

Worth the trip? The battle of on and off-campus eats
By donAld Kennedy And gUy AlAiMo

celery generals
doncaster road Price: $10 (for all supplies)

tossed salad

campus cafe, lansdowne Price: $5.79 plus tax

Presentation and service
donald: i’m a big fan of parking lot picnics; they make me feel rebellious (rebels don’t eat at tables—they’re too busy being rebellious). most people enjoy the sassy smile of a jailbait waitress and the convenience of a plate. i’m just as happy eating off asphalt and emulating canadian icon tom Green. guy: now this is more like it. taking something ordinary like a celery and cherry tomato salad, and turning it into a fun, action-packed, and potentially life-threatening activity. the asphalt was damp heading into action, so conditions were grimy, and it was lunch hour, so the road was busy. But, overall, celery Generals xxi was a success.

Presentation and service
d: somehow i can greedily gobble road tomato that looks like crushed squirrel cerebellum and nary an eyelash is batted, but eat salad at school and i start catching shit. it’s hard to enjoy a meal when girls walk by saying, “God, this place is disgusting!” my pants may be covered in chili stains, and lettuce may be shooting from my mouth like blast bits from ripple rock, but i’d still like to eat with dignity. Ps—Your face is disgusting! g: the dining area is a pigsty. i was noticing the overflowing garbage cans while my lungs filled with the aroma of red onion fermenting on the floor. maybe that was the reason why lettuce flies in a frenzy off my plate as i try to gobble down the uninspiring and downright boring dish that salad ultimately really is. Aramark sets a bad example for cleanliness, therefore why should i care? fuck you corporations, and fuck you accepted way to dine in public—Aramark sets the standard on the way i live my life.

d: After being walloped into the road, the generals slightly resemble the anal effluent you may find leaking out of a teenage alcoholic. tastebuds are retards though, and you can fool them pretty good by dousing your general in italian dressing. g: the chlorophyll from the fallen maple leaves on the pavement gives the casual diner a nice little head-rush, which is a nice touch to a dish that mainly looks like something you would eat while trying to commit suicide. i would also like to thank comedian tom Green for the inspiration behind this special activity.

d: if you’ve ever had a bag salad, you know what this campus cafe offering tastes like. fresh, but not too fresh, and not much different from celery Generals once you dump a little italian dressing on it. raw vegetables aren’t exactly dynamic balls of flavour. g: it’s fuckin’ salad, seriously. What do you expect? i guess the italian dressing made the cherry tomatoes taste sweeter.

and the winner is . . . tie! italian dressing—the great equalizer. Verdict: it’s worth the trip, but only because the ambience of the campus cafe nibbles on taint.

Look who’s eating too
aura (the inn at laurel Point) 680 Montreal street, 250–386– 8721 Point Burger
donald: Aura first peaked my curiosity when i discovered they had brought a Food Network muckity-muck and a bunch of his buddies from calgary into their fold. As if the news that a celebrity chef was making burgers in victoria wasn’t enough, the Aura menu also revealed the kitchen was using a house-made bun for its burger. does anyone else in victoria use a house-made bun? i fucking doubt it. the Point Burger’s pre-formed, premium Alberta beef patty retains a surprisingly bold flavour and is delightfully juicy. the texture and flavour of the mushrooms is magnificently subtle, and the house-made bun is—thankfully—light (if
Summer 2009

By donAld Kennedy And gUy AlAiMo
bucks gets you a dry and tasteless patty with a buttered bun. the inn at laurel Point does it right. every new bite is as savoury and delicious as the last—the good times never stop rolling. for a long time now, whenever i saw donald at school he would mention the burger at Aura, and how much we needed to go. i remember one week i couldn’t muster up the cash, and his reaction was like watching somebody find out they have cancer. Well, donald is one for building up hype around a burger and having it come through. Another visit to Aura is already long overdue.

not a little too small for the patty). the only condiment on the burger is a house mayonnaise, which appears to have been mixed with a smidgen of dijon. there’s just enough mayo to enhance the overall flavour of the burger, but not overpower the patty. despite a glut of toppings, you’re never brought too far away from what is a truly wonderful patty. i really wish this burger was offered on a dinner menu, because it pretty much blows away everything else in town. As if the burger isn’t enough, this place has an incredible hand dryer in the bathroom. When i stuck my hand in it i felt like Bill Paxton in Twister. guy: this is the best tasting burger i have ever eaten in my life. the juices are dripping like crazy, the mayo is expertly mixed with the bacon and mushrooms; it’s just fucking incredible. this is what $16 should get you. According to places like moxie’s and earls, 16

Price: $16 (lunch only, 11:30 am-2 pm) Verdict: we’re having a hard time thinking of a better burger in Victoria.


Giving it up

By Kelly MArion

Photo: courtNey clarKe

Music the challenge
Give up music.

the reason

music can be uplifting or soothing; it can set or break the mood. in many cultures it’s an essential part of who they are as people. But is there a point to which music can be overbearing? from mall music to tv shows, and now most ringtones, music is everywhere—in an almost irritatingly, unavoidable way.

the rationale

there’s nothing worse than sitting on the bus minding your own business while your neighbour blasts nine inch nails on his iPod. nothing against nin or iPods, i just feel that many people are so tuned out of their surroundings and into their music that they miss out on so much, like meeting new people . . . and eavesdropping on cool stories.

the trial

day 1: As expected, i ended up riding the bus today beside some 15-year-old punk blaring his tunes. thinking ahead, i stopped at the dollar store yesterday and picked up some earplugs, which did me good until i got to school and blatantly ignored my fellow classmates. if i had worn my hair up they would’ve seen the reason behind my silence and apparent snobbishness, but tomorrow i think i’ll be getting the cold shoulder.

day 3: i had to bribe my family into not playing any music for the next 11 days. unfortunately, i’m now stuck making dinner every night and i have to clean the bathroom. day 5: i went for a run today and only lasted about 10 minutes. despite having a scenic route, abundant with distractions, it’s apparently not stimulating enough and i ended up stopping due to boredom. i can’t help it if music pumps me up and missy elliot’s beats set my pace. studies even show that music can enhance endurance by up to 15 percent and make exercise more productive. day 7: today i participated in the annual earth Hour, a time to vote against global warming and minimize energy use. i lit some candles, turned off the tvs in my house, turned down the thermostat, and tucked away in my room to enjoy the true rarity of silence. i stretched for a while, did a few situps, brushed my hair, did a crossword, stared out at the open sky, and listened to the wind comb through the trees. it sounds boring but it was really quite soothing, and boy does every minute go accounted for when you’re that aware of your surroundings. day 9: i walked into the mall. then i walked out. i forgot my damn earplugs. You really can’t go anywhere these days without hearing music. At the movies, in restaurants, public bathrooms, the gym, on downtown
photo: chris shier

streets, even at my school! in the foyer they were protesting violence against women and chanting outside my classroom as a girl was strumming her guitar. Having only one option i did the unthinkable and built my lair in the library—one place where silence is truly appreciated. day 11: “da da deedum da shingy bowwow.” even though i can’t actually hear music it still seems to play in my head. i can’t escape it. day 13: normally i do my work while listening to music because it keeps me relaxed and focused. Yesterday i was forced to take a different approach. for two hours i sat at the computer accomplishing very little, constantly being interrupted by cells ringing, doors shutting, and people talking. music is a great way to shut off from the world; most of the time this is a bad thing, but sometimes it can actually be useful. i, like most of those in north America, have grown so accustomed to having music around me that it affects my efficiency and mood. the world seems so much more depressing without it and i don’t think i’ll be giving it up for good . . . ever. the thought alone gives me the willies. As nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

the result


i’m giving up school and this column. Peace camosun!
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cOmic s

Phlegm Alphabet
By shAne sCott-trAvis

Summer 2009


nexus returns to our blue boxes on Wednesday, sept. 9 with a new issue every two weeks
For more info on Nexus, or to volunteer for your student newspaper, email

or call 250-370-3591

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