Thursday, October 13, 2011


In the garden of Buckingham Palace sits a large circular glassed-in gazebo. It is home to Her Majesty's collection of souvenirs from a lifetime of world travels. Regularly, the Queen visits the building to inspect the state of her collection - most of the items gifts from flag-waving children in the far reaches of the Commonwealth. A particular favorite, a gift from the Inuit students at an elementary school in Nunavit, is a round hand-hooked rug, its central design the geometric maple-leaf logo from Canada's centennial in 1967. She often will let the corgis roll around on it, while she contemplates the turning of time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


In the swinging 60s, billionaire hotelier Rodney Glenville IV would don his red London cap before ordering an ice-cold martini (straight-up, olives) at the Solaris Plexis Polo Club. In those days, he'd usually be seen in the company of his live-in girlfriend - the bikini-clad, B-flick bombshell, Julietta Sangiovese. Fast-forward to 1984, to Trebbiano’s Ristorante on Rodeo Drive, where Julietta walked out on Rodney – for good. Earlier that evening they had gone to the premier of Purple Rain. Rodney, now older and all soft and philosophical, had questioned aloud: “Like, what is that purple rain?” Julietta, about to throw in the towel on a relationship long gone toxic, replied: “It’s not rain... it’s the way that tears - landing on a color photo - turn the surface a soft magenta.”


You won't find the Valley of Lost Souls on any map. It exists in limbo, a tract of land where souls wait in purgatory. Each afternoon, a train winds into the valley - crossing the frozen river - bringing with it another thousand spirits awaiting their destiny. Indeed, some have tried to escape: Jonny Winterbottom, the diabetic pop star (died of a sugar overdose); Michelle Omega, the trigger-happy shotgun repair expert (died while looking into a gun barrel); Edgar Chu, publisher of the Ever Daily newspaper that people pick up only to immediately throw away (died in parenthesis); Helen Hamer, the school bus driver (died while looking over her shoulder on a steep curve: "Remember it's a long weekend, kids!"), and; Raul Ortega, housekeeper/arsonist (died of internal combustion, after setting afire eight corporate executives' wastebins). Those that try to escape get rounded up by the league of henchmen. The escapees are returned to their icy pods where the constant hum of energy from the thousands of neighbouring spirits singes the air. Among today's new arrivals is Jessie Dumont, who is convinced he'll cross over to the high ground (spiritually speaking), once he admits his error of not wearing clean underwear while crossing the intersection at the moment when Susan Taylor's Mercury Zephyr pinned him into the pavement.

Friday, June 3, 2011


In the 70s, TV sex therapist, Dr. Paul Savage, always stuffed a tiki figurine in his hip pocket before an interview. It was his lucky talisman, giving him peace-of-mind before answering tough questions on life's libido. Once, while vacationing in Hawaii, Dr. Savage glimpsed an eruption of Kilauea Volcano. The molten lava drooling over the crater impressed him greatly. It represented, for him, a metaphor for life's energy. His 1979 best-selling guide, Lava Love, makes reference to his famous therapy sessions involving cane syrup, palm leaves - and loads of celebrities.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The village of Changeling Brook has an eerie silence. Where once the jolly, rosy-cheeked villagers chuckled and gossiped about their neighbours - "Remember how the milkman always makes a slow delivery at Rosalie Jones's cottage?" - now there are none. The village doctor, Adam Shynde, poured poison into the drinking water to avenge his patients. All gone! Today, the idyllic village, with its stream and cottages (all maintained with glee by Dr. Shynde - who prefers to drink his bottled water at the pick-any-seat-you-want Jest public house) looks picture-postcard perfect. Or, in this case, paint-by-number perfect...


Acclaimed psychoanalyst, Dr. Karin von Richter, author of the seminal 70s book, Blocking Out The Boogie-Man, used a simple - yet highly effective - technique incorporating scarves. The patient was asked to select a scarf of his or her choosing (preferably with a sheer, silky texture). Then, once naked, the patient was guided to drape the scarf over the groin area, and to visualize all painful childhood memories being absorbed - and released - through the fabric.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Each year, on the evening of the Academy Awards, Susan Harrigan takes a lengthy bath in her tropicana-themed bathroom before donning a new peach chiffon negligee and popping the cork on a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. A widow herself, Ms. Harrigan relishes her private time with the bubbles - in the bath and in the glass - while watching the winners make their acceptance speeches. When the ceremony ends, and the empty bottle clinks on the counter, she wanders to bed... hoping for Champagne dreams.