Transforming Quadrupel

Tonight, it’s Le Capsule, a 50-brilliant-beers-on-tap bar, the sort which I’ll never find back home. S gave me the evening off because I keep having miniature panic attacks, and I really ought to be soul-searching, trying to divine the root cause of my anxiety. Instead, I’m getting blitzed on Le Trappe Quadrupel, a beer so…

Transforming the Green-Eyed Monster

Recently, I wrote about the Walterdale Playhouse’s decision to cancel Othello after receiving criticism, and possibly threats, because their director cast a white woman in the title role. Since then, I’ve seen a different production on a different continent, and it has reinforced my convictions that (a) non-traditional casting should not be off-limits, even when…

Transforming Mutants

In Lille, we have The Last Bar Before the End of the World – undoubtedly a play on Douglas Adams’s The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, because everything about it screams “esoteric geek,” from the glassed-in collection of animé figurines to the cocktail names (“Sith,” “Triforce,” and of course “Pangalactic Gargleblaster”) to the…

Transforming Trans

Today is International Women’s Day. My life is blessedly suffused with smart, fierce, creative, and innovative women, many of whom love me for reasons I’ll never fully fathom. I cannot do them all justice in 1,000 words, so I’m going to focus instead on women who face a particular challenge – asserting their status as…

Transforming Hostels

Clink78, one of London’s many youth hostels, is a converted courthouse, once stately and severe, now sporting a hip, neon vibe. The lobby’s arched ceiling bears quotations about travel: “A tourist doesn’t know where they’ve been,” reads one condescendingly, “A traveler doesn’t know where they’re going.” Another is an attempt at quoting Dickens, and ought…

Transforming Maps

One of my childhood haunts was Edmonton’s Woodcroft Library, a bright, open A-frame building with a mezzanine full of kids’ books and cushions. I liked how the chapter books had icons suggesting their genres – skull for horror, spyglass for mystery, atom for sci-fi. The spines of the adults’ books were less evocative, yet somehow…

Transforming Screentime

We worked hard, so hard, to keep our child away from screens in her early years. Current pediatric theory states that children under two years old who even spend time in the same room as an inactive television set are doomed. In many ways, our approach worked too well; now there are nights when, exhausted…