Rainbows are joyful, colouring the sky after a storm, and bringing the promise of a pot of gold at their metaphorical end. Rainbows represent pride and diversity, and unity within that diversity. Yet rainbows are also chaotic, with everything happening all at once. So much colour can be overwhelming and seem unfocused.


If you wear all the colours of the spectrum at once you’ll appear juvenile at best, unhinged at worst. Yet it can still be done artfully, though certainly one must maintain a playful spirit. A striped sweater is the obvious, safe choice, and rainbow suspenders can add panache to an otherwise monochromatic outfit, but why not take it a step further and bring in something more bold? Because you won’t be taken seriously, that’s why. And there’s nothing more important than the opinions of other people.


Barbie’s boot

barbie-boot“You’re a rootin-tootin’ cowgirl!” says the photographer.

“Yeehaw!” replies Barbie, with as much enthusiasm as she can muster.

Today is another photo shoot for Mattel, and Barbie, as usual, is the model. She’s been a veterinarian, a school teacher, a flight attendant, a business woman, a homemaker, an explorer, even an astronaut, but her most steady gig has been as fashion model. Because even when she’s a scientist, she must be pink, and pretty, and perfect.

She’s a cowgirl today, though she’s not sure any horses will be involved. She’s been a country-western singer before, but this assignment is somehow different, as evidenced by the checkered shirt and jeans, as opposed to a denim skirt and pleather jacket trimmed with fringe. Still boots though. Deeply uncomfortable white cowboy boots that angrily graze her calves and make her arches ache. If she were a real woman she’d be able to wear leather shoes, but she’s just a doll, and plastic is good enough for her. She was made with tiny feet and a huge bust and were she human she wouldn’t even be able to stand, let alone run.

But she’s not human and running is exactly what she yearns to do. She’s read enough feminist theory to know that no woman, no person is truly free; we are all prisoners in cages of one type or another. Everyone must fill out TPS reports regardless of what job they are doing. But for some reason, today, Barbie is breaking.

She’s line-dancing now, with Ken, who is supposedly her boyfriend, but feels more like a brother. They are arm in arm, even though his arms don’t bend, so she has to do all the bending for him as well as herself. They kick their legs up and her boot flies off and bumps into the camera. Everyone laughs and the boot is jammed back onto her leg, deepening the bruises that are already building. When the photographer takes a coffee break, she slowly inches away from the set (she is never permitted coffee, or breaks) until she’s reached wardrobe. The prop master eyes her and she pretends to be perusing the garments. When his back is turned, she bolts. Outside she goes, with the sun blasting into her unblinking eyes with unfriendly intensity. She takes a step, and then another, and she trips, because of those fucking boots. Off the left one comes and she pitches it as far as she can, which isn’t particularly far. She takes several more steps and then throws away the right one, letting it rest among the gravel underfoot. Running barefoot is even more painful than wearing those damned boots but Barbie doesn’t care. Barbie is finally free.

Yellow, Orange & Green


Yellow as an oppressively sunny day

Too hot to let the kids go out and play

Orange as a jungle gym at rest

Helicopter parents want the best

Green as the newly enlivened leaves

Bursting from the trees that make me sneeze

All together citrus mostly sour

The colours of the season that’s most dour



May 18, 1992

I just did these drawings and writings and I think they say it all.

                                      The drawings were at some point removed, but I put in a caption saying they were about my celebrity crush Sean Patrick Flannery.

May 22, 1992

God, it’s hot, I can’t wait ’till winter!!! I relaly, really love S.P.F. and can’t stop thinking about him. I’ve never like anyone so much (that is, someone I don’t even know). He has even made me for forget  about my Mr. Perfect. It’s not healthy for anyone to like someone they don’t even know so much. like him as much as I like Star Trek: The Next Generation! Hmmm, I sure hope he’s an atheist, I don’t know if I could handle it if he wasn’t. SIGH! I wish he were here!!!

                                    Then there’s another entry with more of the same, where I mention that I’m willing to put up posters and stickers about Star Trek, but not S.P.F. It’s sort of interesting that I was perfectly comfortable and open about my Star Trek obsession, but embarrassed about my celebrity crush, which is the opposite of how I suppose most teenage girls were at that time. I remember that New Kids on the Block were all the rage in those days and other girls were very open about their interest in the New Kids, while I just didn’t get it. I wonder if I had gotten it, if I’d been into Jordan or Joey instead of some obscure actor on a sci-fi/adventure show, I’d have been willing to openly express this interest. But then there is the question of who I would have expressed it to. I didn’t really have any friends at that age so it’s not like I was going to sleepovers and gossiping about anything, let alone boys.

June 10, 1992

At the beginning of this diary I said how I felt when about turning 15, and you know, I don’t feel at all 16. I don’t feel older physically, mentally, emotionally… anything. I still think of myself as a young teenager instead of an old teen (because 16 is the turning point). Maybe I’m not ready to be 16. Maybe I’m in denial. I don’t want to grow up. Except to be with S.P.F.

                                 Well, I certainly had some strong thoughts on the subject of adolescence and the wide gap between 15 and 16, didn’t I? This is a recurring theme in my life, always feeling like I have to play catch-up and act my age even though I feel younger. I’ve often gone through typical life stages about a decade behind others. For instance, I had my “sowing of wild-oats” phase in my 30s, rather than in my 20s, in college, like most people (or at least what popular culture tells us is typical of college kids). I still feel younger than I am. At 40, I feel like I should have accomplished much more than I actually have. But it’s probably common for people to feel like they haven’t done enough with their lives, or that they’ve missed out on things.

Nic, Nïk? Niek? Niec?

                               Here I was trying out alternate spellings of my name, as I was trying to figure out how to spell it so that people would pronounce it correctly. I’ve always disliked being called “Nick”, as I self-identify with the pronunciation “Neek”. In my IRC days (around 1996), I started spelling it Nique, thinking this would make the pronunciation clear (as in unique without the “u”), but still, very few people seem to understand the distinction. I should have gone with Neek.

Blue, Pink & Yellow

I’ve worn this blue, pink, and yellow outfit in the wild before and have been accused of dressing like a box of Crayolas. To that I say, jealous?!



As far as I’m concerned this outfit is cute and fun. Juvenile, yes, but to those who would accuse a 40-year-old woman of being too old to pull off something so playful and twee, I would say there’s no age limit to joy.


In conclusion: can I live?!

The Mailbox

mailboxMolly Perkins was a young woman of simple means and simpler character. She worked hard, but not that hard, at the Tim Horton’s near the university she’d once attended but from which she’d failed to graduate, and lived with three roommates in a two-bedroom apartment a mere ten minute walk from work.

It was a grey and drizzly Monday morning, only fifteen minutes into her shift, when a customer had told her “I hope you’re happy.” She was pretty sure he was being sarcastic because he’d angrily tossed a few pennies into the tip jar as he’d said it, and pennies weren’t even legal tender anymore. He’d been displeased because the cheese on his breakfast sandwich covered only half of his bagel. He’d unwrapped it at the cash, inspected it carefully, deemed it unworthy of his high standards, and rejected it, which was fairly unusual. Most people didn’t look at their breakfast sandwiches from Tim Horton’s. They probably brought them to work and then ate them at their desks at their fancy office jobs. This man had insisted on having another one made for him, which was pretty annoying during the morning rush. They made another one, and it still wasn’t what he wanted, but he said something about being late for an important meeting and took the sandwich anyway. Molly wondered if he always carried around obsolete pennies just for the purpose of flipping off fast-food workers. Regardless, his snarky remark had made her think.

“I hope you’re happy.” Was she happy? No, she most definitely was not. In fact, she’d only ever really been happy once in her life, and that was when she’d been about fourteen years old, and had spent a few weeks at her grandmother’s cottage in Victoria. It had been the best summer of her life, but not because there was anything so great about Victoria and not because she was especially close to her grandmother. Come to think of it, it was more her lack of a relationship with her gran that had made the vacation so good. She’d been completely left to her own devices for the first and only time in her life.

Molly was twenty-nine now, just a few months away from thirty, and she was quite convinced that her life was unbearable. Someone in their thirties should live in a house, with a husband, and a kid, or at least a dog. Not in a shitty apartment, sharing a tiny room with a large roommate. Every day was the same. She had to wake up extra early every morning to get enough time in the washroom, and then she had to spend all day being yelled at by her manager, and cleaning up after sloppy college kids. Then she’d get home and she’d have to clean up after her roommates, ’cause god knew they weren’t going to do it and she needed at least a bit of tidiness in her life. She’d eat leftover bagels and doughnuts for dinner and watch Big Brother Canada, and then everything would happen all over again the next day.

She needed to get back to Victoria. Not to be with her gran, just to be there. Just to start over. It was warmer there for one thing, and nicer. She remembered water, and lots of flowers. She’d been a kid when last she’d visited, so she’d spent most of her time at the beach. She wouldn’t be able to do that so much now, as an adult she’d need to get a job, but they probably had tons of Tim Hortons in Victoria.

When she got home that night she propped her laptop up on her knees and ate a stale muffin while researching airfare to B.C. Before she’d even finished her muffin she closed her laptop and tried to think of an alternate plan. Airfare to Victoria was insurmountably expensive. But she’d mailed her gran a package before, which had been pretty cheap. She rifled through the junk drawer, where she was pretty sure one of her roommates, the one who always left cracker boxes open so all the crackers go stale, kept stamps. She found a whole roll! It was probably best to use as many as possible, just in case.

The next morning, Molly looked up her grandmother’s address on her phone and then wrote it down on a large piece of paper, which she scotch taped to her chest. The tape wasn’t really sticking so she went to the store and got packing tape. Then she covered herself in stamps and marched over to the mailbox right outside the pharmacy. She opened the slot, hefted herself up, and crawled inside, but just her luck, her feet got stuck. Molly wiggled and strained and finally she simply kicked off her booties, which fell outside the mailbox, and dropped down to the bed of letters below. It was fine, she’d just get new shoes in Victoria.

Red, White & Blue


Red is power, dynamic. Blue is cool and controlled. White is innocent purity. The whole aims not to withhold.

A hand held in both strength and friendship. Seen on flags and logos alike.

Warmth and detachment in tension. Maintaining the boldness to strike.

Perfect for company picnics, where small talk will numb limbs and minds.

Dark thoughts erased with soft ice cream, in flavours to help you unwind.