The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


Born and raised under the Third Reich, my grandma lived at the centre of Nazi Germany. Even after marrying a British soldier, she still held allegiance to Hitler. And her conviction left me wondering, "Who was she really?"

Schroder-Family Edited HeadshotMy grandma loved Hitler.

You may never understand it.

I may never understand it.

"Center of the Universe" not a horrible place

western-look-toronto-tb As I descended the dank and narrow stairwell, two things ran through my mind, "If this is the end, I guess I had a good run." And, "Am I ever glad I'm thin, or I would have been stuck five steps ago." After reaching the bottom, I was glad to find it was indeed the underground clothing store I was lead to believe and not the drug den of my nightmares.

What I just described was one of many journeys into downtown Toronto. I spent just over two months living and working in and around "The Big Smoke." As I am sure you are aware, the city is just massive. Coming from Calgary, I had an idea as to what to expect, but like most experiences my expectations were nowhere near reality.

TAROTFACE2thumbI'm scheduled for a mammogram, I have an appointment with a cardiologist and apparently I have high cholesterol.

Why? Because I had my tarot cards read at Stampede.

I'll backtrack. My girlfriend has a Stampede tradition where every year she makes her way into the exhibition hall and has her tarot cards read. Celebrating this year's centennial with her, I was coerced into having my cards read as well. Why not? I thought.

Sure, I read my horoscope daily and I'll wish on a star here or there but do not for a moment think I go to psychics to diagnosis my medical conditions.

Trip to Asia leads to a new perspective on fitness and body image

india-bodyimage-tbWe leave behind the three young girls on the ghats at Varanasi. I'm examining the careful lines of drying henna they've drawn on my palm. I feel decorated, ornamental and finally a part of the place.

Between the heat and illness and an aversion to the food, I've lost 15 pounds over the month of travel in India. I feel confident and healthy. And when a group of young men walk by me and my pal Corinne, I feel friendly enough to smile.