Young Geoffrey (ed_rex) wrote,
Young Geoffrey

Mosaiks and Perseids and Spiders (o! my!)

Raven and the Spiders of Bank Street

After a disappointing Perseid performance
the Glebe's arachnids come to a terrifying rescue!

Look, I love Raven (more every day; I know, I'm almost nauseating in my affection), but there are times when one simply has to engage in a little teasing even so. (Also, she said I could, so ah-a gonna before she changes her mind.)

Last night saw us step out to Parliament Hill. Raven wanted to see Mosaika and I had hoped that Parliament Hill might prove a decent vantage-point for having a look at mortal remains of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Mosaika is a sound and light show projected onto the front of Parliament's Centre Block. As a technical spectacle it was rather impressive (particularly for a minute or two near the end when it got very psychidelic), but the narrative was, first, the standard Ode to the Wonderful Natives followed by an equally fervent Ode to the Wonderful White (and Other) Immigrants who mostly replaced the Natives. How both manage to be paragons of virtue is an intellectual contortion that simply doesn't doesn't parse, like a book with a missing chapter.

But what the hell. As (semi) official national mythologies go, the one that says Canada is a pluralistic society of societies, of individuals and cultures keeping what they brought to the party while at the same time making something entirely new, is actually a pretty good one, and it even has the benefit of having a modicum of truth to it.

So, Mosaika is a pretty good sound-and-light show, if you like that sort of thing (though Raven, who does like that sort of thing, and so could compare it to last year's, said this edition failed by comparison, not telling enough of Canada's story, and not clearly enough.

Anyway, after the show, I led us to the back of the Parliament Buildings, only to remember (because I could see all the damned lights) that Hull Gatineau is a city not a little village.

The sky was far too bright for good meteor-watching, so we decided to go home, after snuggling for a bit on a picnic table.

And it was at Bank and First (or was it Bank and Glebe Avenue? Whatever) that we Discovered the Horrifying Truth.

Now, let me preface this by noting that Raven is a courageous woman. She came alone to Canada from the Far East when she was only 22 or 23 and made the decision to move to Ottawa rather than Toronto or Vancouver in large part so that she would not be tempted to stick with the large populations of Chinese in those cities. She has made a life for herself in a new and strange land and has done it largely on her own.

But some things do kind of scare her. For instance, moths. I have found myself become a Mighty Hunter, protecting my lady from the terrors of Moths and other non-chordate horrors.

And she has an especial problem with spiders.

Which is why her nails nearly pierced my skin as we passed by the local Shoppers Drug Mart last night. The store's big windows, brightly-lit from inside, showed a hitherto hidden, but extremely large population of (you guessed it!) spiders.

The upper portions of the plate glass were festooned with webs, and the webs were crawling with arachnids going about their binding, sucking and generally murderous business.

No, seriously, there really were a lot of them.

Raven nearly tugged us into an oncoming bus, but I managed to convince her that the far side of the sidewalk was a better place to be than in the midst of traffic.

And in fact, most of the stores along Bank Street in the Glebe had their own populations of spiders. Big spiders and little spiders, round spiders and long spiders, thin ones and fat ones, spinning and weaving and draining the precious bodily fluids of their victims.

I admit, I too felt a little creeped out, though Raven's vastly more dramatic disconcert made it easy for me to pretend to be non-chalant about it all. But in thinking about it, I found it a pleasant discovery; there is clearly a fairly healthy small-scale wild ecology extant in Ottawa's Glebe.

Which, come to think of it, we already knew — are have been reminded almost night for some weeks now, when the aroma of skunk wafts in from the back yard. But that's another story.

(Tomorrow I'll get back to that damned meme. Meanwhile, I've got work to do.) This entry was originally posted at Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.

Tags: canadian history, mosaika, public art, random gloats, raven, spiders, the glebe

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