All that is necessary for the survival of the fittest

is an interest in life, good, bad or peculiar--Grace Paley

Juliet Waters

Juliet Waters
Montreal, Canada
August 01
Montreal based writer, book critic, single mom. Currently working on a book about a year learning computer programming. Visit me, or


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2010 1:29PM

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of The Dreadfuls


Back in July, Open Salon readers were some of the first people to see the trailer for the Quirk Classic mash up, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. It’s since gone on to win Amazon’s best book video of 2009.  But to be honest, I had some misgivings… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 1, 2010 4:11PM

Olympics: Hey America, time to hug it out.

Hey Americans,

How are you doing today?  Apparently not so great, according to what I just read in Salon.  

Wow, Allen Barra, one of my favourite baseball writers, has a very unfavorable impression of my country.  Normally I thrill to Barra's intelligent,  subtle analysis of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 26, 2010 1:04PM

The New York Times has issues

Blue footed boobie

From the website of the Canadian Center for Childhood Disability research 


I've been hoping for too long for the New York Times to run an article about my son's under diagnosed learning disability.  So, wow, did my heart ever sink yesterday when I read "Watch How YouRead full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2010 9:04AM

The Smell

Photo 745

Ben, self-portrait


“Oh, Mommy, it smells. It smells.”

Ben rubbed his hand hard into his face, as though the smell would only go away if he wiped his entire nose off.  It was early spring in Montreal, and we were in the park, a thawing freezer… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 4, 2010 3:54PM

Breaking News: Baptist missionaries charged with kidnapping

It comes as no surprise anymore that the baptist independent travellers (I've decided not to call them missionaries anymore in deference to actual missionaries)  who were detained at the Dominican border were charged today with kidnapping.

 As I blogged yesterday, there's plenty of evidence… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 3, 2010 1:59PM

A Hotel for Haitian Orphans



 Cabarete, where the Haitian Orphans could have kitesurfed


I've been to Cabarete a few times as a travel journalist who used to specialize in The Dominican Republic.  It's a fun, thriving little resort town, about half an hour from Puerta Plata International Airport.&… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 27, 2010 9:23AM

Dear Tablet

unplugged commandment

Dear Apple Tablet,

This week, before your unveiling,  Open Salon asked us to write about what we hoped from you. My wish list is short but, I'd like to think, significant.

I don't need any nifty features for myself, and truth is it's probably going to be a… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2010 1:48PM

Dead Daemons

 Daemon3Courtesy of New Line Cinema


My son, Ben, and I are reading The Golden Compass.

In Phillip Pullman’s rich fantasy world every human being has a visible daemon, a spirit that takes an animal form, and serves as a lifetime companion. Daemons protect their humans, nudge them i… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 6, 2010 10:23AM

The Marginalized Muse

Hesiod and the Muse 

Hesiod and The Muse by Gustave Moreau 


There was a period right after I graduated from university when I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to start going about that.  To support myself I worked the Saturday shift at an old… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 22, 2009 1:34PM

Roman Polanski's Sort of Bad Day

As Kate Harding points out in Salon, there's good news and bad news in the recent California District Appeals Court decision to deny Roman Polanski's request to have his 30 year old rape case dismissed.

In a very unusual move the court actually gave Polanski some detailed advice on how to… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2009 4:11PM

Why Roman Polanski was really arrested

This week's New Yorker has a compelling feature on the Roman Polanski Case written by best selling legal journalist Jeffrey Toobin.  Almost everything you've ever wanted to know about the history of the case is in there, and Toobin does an admirable job of journalistic neutrality, showing how Po… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 7, 2009 8:52AM

La Fine Del Mundo



One September morning, on the way home from the dog park on edge of Montreal’s Little Italy, I stopped by  Boucherie Capitol to buy a chunk of pecorino.  Capitol is one of the city's busiest Italian food specialty shops, so I remember noticing it was unusually empty.

T… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 27, 2009 1:53PM

Thanksgiving Mulligatawny



I'm Canadian so we had our Thanksgiving back in October.  But Thursday morning my nine year old son let me know that he was decidedly meh about the Tofurkey slices I'd tried to slip into his lunch that week.   As I was staring at these thin,… Read full post »

November 25th  was the 10th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

I'm guessing many people here didn't know that.   At first I thought it was my Canadian browser, but this blog at The Village Voice confirms the lack of attention this day receives in the U.S… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 18, 2009 12:00PM

My 11th Sexiest Canuck



I wasn't going answer this Open Call.  For some reason there was just nobody  coming to mind this year.  But then Salon picked Levi Johnston as their 11th sexiest man of 2009.  And as I was cringeing watching Levi and Kathy Griffin flirting away on Larry King,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 13, 2009 3:56PM

The Charter For Compassion

There seems to be something in the air this week expressed best in two excellent posts by Stellaa and Jodi Kasten. So when I came across this today it just seemed very appropriate to post it.
The Ted Prize, awarded every year to three "exceptional individuals," includes… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 30, 2009 9:37AM

United We Lose

The  saga  of Canadian folk musician Dave Carroll just never seems to end. 

Three months ago Carroll became famous for the viral  hit song "United Breaks Guitars," a song he composed after United Airlines destroyed his beloved $3500 Taylor guitar on the runway, while he watched f… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 6, 2009 7:30AM

Ruth Reichl on David Foster Wallace and Magazines

ruth reichl2

Yesterday Condé Nast shocked the media world with the announcement it would be closing Gourmet Magazine.   In 2006 I  interviewed editor-in-chief, Ruth Reichl. While we were talking about “Consider The Lobster” the  famous essay she commissioned from DaRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 11:48AM

WTF Wisconsin

Poor Wisconsin.  In the last year its various tourism boards have really taken a beating in the schoolyard of the Internet.

First, there was This Is My Milwaukee,  an alternate reality game which hinged on this  hilarous parody of a tourism board video. 

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 8:28AM


  Rebus Charivariques

From Rebus Charivariques, A French Alphabet book published in 1840

Lately I’ve been experiencing a bout of blogger’s block. I went on vacation in early August, to a place where internet access involved fighting other family members for the one working computer.  I deci… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 9:24AM

Adventures in e-reading: Ipod vs. Sony Touch

PRS 600 adventure


A little over a month ago, on my birthday, I opened the New Yorker and found an intimate, in depth review by Nicholson Baker  of  e-readers currently on the market.  He hated his Kindle 2. Mostly he hated the e-ink, the technological “innovation” that is supp… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 6, 2009 10:05AM

So You Think You Can Dance Season Finale recap

If nothing else, season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance has been a fascinating mystery. All season I've been like Hugh Laurie on House, busting my snark addicted brain trying to decode the inexplicable symptom that just keeps returning week after week, no matter what my team of judges… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 23, 2009 9:41AM

So You Think You Can Dance--Top 8--99th show

Tonight's result show marks the 100th episode of So You Think You Can Dance. And it sounds like it’s going to be a great show. They’ll be repeating some of the favorite routines of the entire five seasons. Katie Holmes will dance, If I understood correctly, we’ll the see the incompa… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 21, 2009 3:19PM

The Write Mood

mood poster


In his book Emotion: The Science of Sentiment, British evolutionary psychologist Dylan Evans argues that one of the things that distinguishes us from animals is that we are the only species that has invented artificial technologies to alter our moods. The first of these was language. &… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2009 12:52PM

SYTYCD: One dance, two countries

One of the great things about being a Canadian fan of So You Think You Can Dance is that I get to see the same choreography performed on both the Canadian and American versions of the show.

Last season American choreographers Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin put together a Paso Doble… Read full post »