Placing Ourselves at Rogers


So this week on Tuesday, I got to do one of my favorite things ever—attend a live NHL hockey game. And it was even more exciting and special than usual because it was my first time seeing a game in Edmonton’s new premier arena, Rogers Place. I’d been there a couple times before—Steven and I went to the open house (and spent three hours wandering around!!), and I saw Dolly Parton there a few weeks back (what a fantastic experience that was!). But this was my first time experiencing it for its primary purpose: HOCKEY.

Steven is a huge fan of sports facilities (see our dining room table for dramatic proof), so we got there shortly after the doors opened. We wanted to experience as much of the festive, expectant atmosphere as possible before we settled down to watch the game. We had a lovely time wandering around the main concourse, and because I’m the best spouse ever, I took this terrifying picture:

This is our new mascot, Hunter the lynx. Really.

This is our new mascot, Hunter the lynx. Really.

We stopped at the 104 Ave Food Co. for a YEG Nacho Grande. We’d tried this on our first trip to the rink and liked it enough to get it a second time. Though I think probably not a third. I love the sour cream, green onions, and real shredded cheese. However, smoked brisket on nachos just didn’t work for me. Also the cheese sauce was very cloying and not very flavorful, and the salsa was almost ketchup-like. Next time I think I’ll go for the usual cheapie nachos from another stand. I know that basic nacho cheese sauce is about as artificial as it gets, but I really like it.

I was intimidated by the size of the nachos.

I was intimidated by the size of the nachos.

We also picked up an orange souvenir Oilers puck in one of the gift shops. New-hockey-superfan Deb gave us the idea of collecting pucks from each rink we visit. We have a few we’ll have to backfill, but it feels good to officially start the collection at home.

That, the nachos, and a Pepsi were the only things we bought in the rink. It’s a fantastic venue, but boy the prices at sporting events are painful. We kept the cup from the Pepsi and refilled it at a drinking fountain to keep hydrated through the rest of the game.

And what a game it was! You can read a dozen different write-ups of the game itself elsewhere, so I’ll just focus on my experience. IT WAS FUN. Our seats were high in the upper bowl, but we could see everything just fine. It was occasionally tough to see the numbers on the jerseys, but that can be a problem from any angle in any rink. Oh, and there was a very drunk bro in the seat in front of me who kept leaning forward, so I could only see the outlines of the Oilers’ attacking end during the first period. Happily, he switched seats with a friend for the second period, so that was better. This isn’t a knock on Rogers Place. That can also happen anywhere.


I do have a few complaints though.

#1) The speakers were too damn loud. One of my favorite things about seeing live sports in Canada is hearing the crowd singing the national anthem along with the official singer. Here, all I could hear was the almost-painfully-loud voice of the Oilers’ anthem singer. That made me sad. And then during stoppages in play, the music was blaring almost comically loud. I honestly thought about making myself makeshift earplugs from a napkin. I literally couldn’t talk to Steven right next to me.

Happily, the volume was fine during intermissions. I guess they just don’t want anyone to speak AT ALL except during intermission.

#2) The score announcements were late. This one bugged Steven more than me, but it was still kinda weird. The Oilers would score (YAY!), and then the excitement would die down a bit, and instead of popping in with the goal/assist announcement to bring the crowd back up, they let the fervor completely die before announcing the goal. It felt wrong. And by then, the applause and hooting was more subdued than it would have been if they’d gotten the timing right.

#3) The scantily-clad ice girls. At Rexall Place last year, the girls and guys who shoveled the ice during TV time outs all wore sensible track suits. The women’s ones were tailored differently, but were still sensible. Actually, different tailoring is sensible in and of itself—our bodies are generally differently shaped so it’s great to have clothes that fit correctly, especially when you have to move fast. This year, the guys all wore sensible track suits. The women wore low-cut midriff-bearing tops and tight pants. GROSS.

I was SO FREAKING HAPPY when they announced Octane wouldn’t be coming back this season. This was really disappointing. I love my adopted city and my favorite hockey team, and when they choose to objectify women like this it feels like an insulting kick in the gut. Do better Oilers. PLEASE.

But the night was full of great things too. We went down near the ice for warm-ups. I’d never done that before, and it was really exciting! I don’t like to watch games from too close to the ice because I’d rather be able to see where everyone is without depth-perception issues fooling me. But being down there for warm-ups was perfect.

My first time watching warm-ups!

My first time watching warm-ups!

This one gives a sense of the scale of the monstrous scoreboard.

This one gives a sense of the scale of that monstrous scoreboard.

The light/picture show on the ice before the game started was pretty magical too. It was (of course) synced with the music, and used optical illusion trickery to make it look like the ice was dropping down into the floor in places. I’m a sucker for a good light show, and this was definitely one. I also like that they now project pictures of the players onto the ice as they announce them. That’s pretty cool. The pictures were all upside down to us because of the side we were sitting on, so next time I’d like to swap sides. (Not sure how soon we can afford a “next time” with Steven out of work—he did scrape together enough to treat us to this game, but I think it’s belt-tightening time for us both now, alas.)

This wasn't during the light show, but you can see a few fun Oilers lights on the ice already well before the game.

This wasn’t during the light show, but you can see a few fun Oilers lights on the ice already well before the game.

After seeing the rink during the open house, I was convinced the scoreboard was too big. It was huge and intimidating and distracting. I was fully expecting to feel overwhelmed by its presence (as I did when I saw my first NHL game in Tampa). However, when I was there for an actual game, it didn’t bother me at all. It felt natural to have a screen that size in a rink that large.

It's really big, but it fits in a place this size.

It’s really big, but it fits in a place this size.

Another plus: I didn’t have to wait for a bathroom at all. I went before the game and after, and was able to walk right in and have many open stalls to choose from. We didn’t get up from our seats during intermission though, so I’m not sure what the rush was like at that time.

I also appreciated how cheerful and enthusiastic all the Rogers Place employees were. From the metal detector operator to the guy who served us our food to the ushers we spoke with, everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. It really felt like a city coming together to celebrate something we’re proud of.

And then when we left, the city felt alive. People were gathered outside celebrating and chatting and taking pictures with the Gretzky statue. The guy who plays several upside-down 5-gallon plastic drums as literal drums was there banging away. (He was always around after games at Rexall, so that was a nice bit of Edmonton continuity.) There was a busker with a guitar. We even got to watch a bit of coach Todd McLellan give his post-game press conference from outside. One wall of that press room is entirely glass, and it fronts on 104 Ave. We couldn’t hear anything, but it was cool to just watch it with a crowd of fellow fans.

So overall, I give Rogers Place and our Oilers experience a thumbs up! Hope I get to do it again before too long!


It’s Okay to Slow Down

As I said in the editor’s prologue for my last post, I’ve been working on finding balance lately—balance between work-work, play-work, and play…play. What I mean is, balancing the demands of my day job with the demands of all my not-day-job work (mostly podcasting, but also this blog). Then when you factor in the demands of my mental health, which demands a significant amount of brain-down-time, things get tricky. Especially when your calendar looks like mine on most weeks.


This is not unusual though there’s usually more podcasting and less hockey.

(I drafted this post on Sunday, & I admit not everything on the calendar has happened as planned, but *most* of it has, and some things got added that don’t appear in the picture!)

Clearly, I have some work to do to reach that point of balance. One new strategy is that I’ve been adding blocks of time on my calendar that just say “RESERVED FOR SANITY”. I suppose it’s too late to add that to this week. Maybe Saturday night. Though to be fair, the hockey games should be (mostly) relaxing fun (unless they go into overtime!) so it’s not quite as dire as it looks.

Anyway, I guess this is just one of my periodic updates to assure those who care that my near-silence here isn’t indicative of trouble—quite the opposite! It’s also a periodic reminder to myself that I need to be careful not to spread myself too thin. I can feel that I’m stretching to the point where I can feel my immune system crumbling, and that’s just no good. (It’s funny how you can be so in tune with your body’s normal rhythms that you can tell when you’re on the precipice of  illness.)

It’s also a periodic reminder to all of you of the same—it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to take a day and just do nothing. In fact, sometimes it’s better than okay. It’s downright necessary. It can be difficult—whether that’s because you have a lot you need to get done, or like in my case, you have a lot you want to get done.

I am so lucky that I have a kabillionty opportunities to do fun things with great people. I get to podcast about entertaining media properties and write about things that are important to me and have a ball with in-Edmonton friends and travel to make convention appearances (and spend time with more friends) and that is all unbelievably fantastictacular. I couldn’t be more pleased. And my slight disbelief that this is my life and the deep gratitude I feel for these opportunities make it extra tough to say no to pretty much anything.

So that’s what I’m reeeeealllly working hard on right now. I’ve never been good at saying no to opportunities, in part because I used to get so few that I never needed to say no and in part because I hate Hate HATE disappointing people. But as my dear sweet wise parents keep reminding me, I’m no good to anyone if I’m not good to myself first, because if I burn myself out I won’t have any ability to take care of other people. When it comes down to it, that’s the best way to get through to me. Point out how whatever you want me to do is the best thing for people other than myself. (Perhaps not the most healthy thing ever, but hey—it works.)

This has been a more rambly update than I intended, but it’s no less true or heartfelt. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS, even if The Things are good things, do try to take care of yourself. You deserve it. You need it. And the people around you probably need you to do it, even if they don’t realize it.

It just occurred to me that the tl;dr of this might be don’t expect regular blog updates for a while. LOL.

London Travel Diary – Day 8

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5Day 6, and Day 7 if you missed them.

And yes, I sure am taking my time getting through these. At this rate, I may not finish until the one-year anniversary of the trip! Life, as always, has been busy, but delightfully so, of late. My still-new job is so amaz-awesome-tastic that I’ve devoted a lot of mental energy to it. When writing all day, it’s hard to come home and write more. Working on that balancing act!

The impetus to get back on this particular horse is that Kat and Chris are headed off to the UK soon, and I am very jealous! (But also insanely happy for them!) So in addition to living vicariously through their social media, I’ll be re-living our fabulous trip through these diaries.

Day 8: Friday, November 6

Friday morning saw us having brekkie in our hotel. One of the best moves we made when planning this trip was getting that little studio. The kitchenette saved us so much money because we had groceries on hand and didn’t eat every meal out. We did, however, decide to wander off in search of coffee, in part because we just wanted to go out and be in London. I’m usually happy to laze around a hotel room, but when in that glorious city, I mostly preferred being out enjoying it.

Warren met us at Euston Station and came back to our place briefly to drop off his overnight bag so we could go to lunch unencumbered. He had his overnight bag with him because the big plan for the day involved trekking up to Derby via train for An Evening with Michael Pickwoad (Doctor Who production designer), courtesy of the Whoovers!

In one of many happily-timed coincidences, fellow Doctor Who fan and Gally attendee Sami Kelsh happened to be in London, and was relatively close by at Oxford Circus. We put off lunch for a few minutes so she could join us. (I’m not sure if I’d ever met Sami before, but I certainly hadn’t talked to her much. What an awesome opportunity to do so. She’s fab, and I can’t wait to hang out with her again!)

We decided to try the lunch buffet at Taste of India, which was one of the many Indian restaurants near our hotel (and our philosophy is there’s no such thing as too much Indian food). It was pretty decent fare, and this restaurant had meat! I love vegetarian food, but I do miss meat when it’s not available for several meals in a row. None of the food was stand-out, but it was all tasty and filling. We had saag aloo again, which we decided must just be a common dish in the UK (unlike here, where I’ve never seen it on a buffet). That made me happy because I love it. This buffet offered no naan or dessert, so that put it a notch below what we’re used to. And then when I tried to use a 20%-off coupon we’d been given on the street, they wouldn’t accept it because it was for “food only”. Apparently the buffet didn’t qualify. I think I understand what they meant, but they really should clarify that better on their coupons. We’d be happy to go back to lots of the places we tried while in London. I don’t think Taste of India is one of them.

Because we didn’t get any buffet-dessert, we walked to the bigger of the two Indian sweet shoppes on the next block and got some treats! There was a couple in line before us who had pre-ordered a HUGE, BEAUTIFUL display of spherical treats (ladoo maybe?) piled into a glorious, huge cone that was wrapped in pretty cellophane and ribbons. They also got several boxes of assorted treats. Must’ve been for a pretty swanky celebration. It gave us lots of time to look over the choices and decide what we’d get. We ended up with several little boxes of delight.

We wanted to eat them together so we popped over to the Crown and Anchor where we nabbed a table outside. I bought us all an assortment of ginger ales and ginger beers, and we chatted and nibbled. It was a bit brisk, but we’re all hearty Canadians, so we toughed it out just to enjoy the day and the company. The Indian treats were scrumptious, but the jaleebees were made with wheat flour. As I was eating gluten for vaca, that wasn’t a problem diet-wise, but it seems I vastly prefer jaleebees made with lentil flour only. The gluten in the wheat flour makes them weirdly chewy.

Then it was time for Sami to take her leave and for us to nab our overnight bags and head off to Euston Station. On the way, we stopped at Sainsbury’s to buy some snacks for the train trip. This included Jaffa Cakes, which, as it turns out, I Do Not Like. At All. (I gave them all to Steven and Warren.) Nutri-Grain bars, on the other hand, were a first-rate pick.

We had some difficulty figuring out how to use our tickets and where to go. We also briefly lost Warren when he came out of Starbucks and missed seeing us waiting for him. It was quite a busy place! We found both Warren and a friendly information booth attendant who explained how the trains worked. (Gosh we were such tourist n00bs!)

We waited a while for our platform number, and then managed to just barely find seats on the train to Tamworth. I say “seats”, but they were just little fold-downs right near the toilet in the last car. I had to move my knees every time the bathroom door opened. It was a Friday afternoon, so it was very crowded, hot, stuffy, and uncomfortable! But hey, at least we were sitting down. Plenty of people didn’t get to. (This was easily the low point in our trip, and really, it wasn’t terrible, so that says a lot for our time in the UK!)

When we disembarked at Tamworth, we figured out how to connect to our Derby train, again with help from someone who worked at the station. That train was less hot and stuffy, and Warren and I were able to find seats. It was fairly pleasant until we arrived at Derby. As the train approached the station, we heard singing/chanting. Then our train car pulled up in front of a big group of football fans who were drunkenly yelling and banging on the windows and doors of the train. When the doors opened, they didn’t let anyone out as they tried to push in. It was both annoying and a bit scary. We did physically push through and get out, where we found a significant police presence trying to keep things under control.

It was dark by this time, and cool, but pleasant, so we walked to a pub called The Crown Inn, where Adam (whom I hadn’t yet met, but who was putting us up for the night) was having a pint. We joined him for a drink before heading to the venue. The boys had lager, and I had the best cider I had on the entire trip. I wish I’d’ve taken note of what kind it was. It may have started with Th or an R? Yeah, I just don’t remember, but I do think of that cider often. If you ever happen into that pub, do let me know what kind of cider they serve!

After our drinks, we put our bags in Adam’s car and walked over to the event, which was in a building that had been a very old church. I spent an inordinate amount of the night staring lovingly at the brickwork. I did also watch the delightful Michael Pickwoad, as he was interviewed on stage. It was fantastic! And Steven was able to get a quick one-on-one with him for RFS after the main interview.

Michael Pickwoad being interviewed (w/special appearance by some gorgeous brickwork)

Michael Pickwoad being interviewed (w/special appearance by some gorgeous brickwork)

We sat with Adam and Twitter-pal Chris Fone (whom we’d also met at the College Arms event the night before). There were some Who-related goods for sale, including some David Tennant notes (fake money) that had been created for the filming of “The Runaway Bride”. I could not pass up an actual DW prop opportunity, so I bought some for my mom, my sister, and my fellow Verity (and unabashed David Tennant fangirl) Lynne. Steven bought some prints by the immensely-talented and ridiculously clever Andrew-Mark Thompson (as did Warren).



It was fairly late by the time things wrapped up, so Adam took our bags and headed home. We opted to stick around and go out for a late Chinese dinner with the Whoover crew, Michael Pickwoad, and his amazing and vivacious wife Vanessa. Steve Hatcher kindly offered to drive us to Adam’s place after dinner.

Dinner, by the way, was delightful! It was late, and we were about the only people in the Chinese restaurant. The staff clearly knew the Whoovers, and we all sat around a huge round table with a lazy Susan in the middle. It was great to chat with so many Doctor Who fans—such a sense of camaraderie and joy! And I sat right next to Mr. Pickwoad himself! He’s a fascinating guy with great stories about the film industry in Britain. And Vanessa worked with Verity Lambert at the BBC in the early 60s! She was tickled that we’d named our podcast after Verity.

When dinner was over, it was nearing midnight, and then we discovered that Adam’s address not only wasn’t right in Derby, it was about 50 minutes away—in the wrong direction for Steve! If we’d had our bags with us, we may have ended up just crashing at Steve’s place, but our bags were waiting for us at Adam’s place. Steve very Very VERY kindly agreed to drive us out there anyway. We all felt rather terrible about it at first (we’re all very much “we-don’t-want-to-be-a-bother” type Canadians).

BUT. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of the whole trip. It was a mini-road trip in the dark after a great night. Steve Hatcher is a lovely human being and excellent conversationalist. The talk on that ride was full of laughs and stories and capital-F Fun. By the time we arrived, we were all in very high spirits. We thanked Steve profusely for his kindness and sent him off on a very long trip home in the wee hours of the morning. (He lives on the *other* side of Derby quite a ways!)

I am so very very glad we didn’t end up crashing at Steve’s place because Adam and his wife Annie were consummate hosts! We arrived to find towels laid out on our guest bed, complete with bath gel, plus bottles of water, biscuits, and a lovely card welcoming us to their home and insisting we make ourselves comfortable. I have rarely felt so much warmth and kindness when invited into a(n almost) stranger’s home.

After the excitement of the long day, and the change to yet another unfamiliar bed, I admit we didn’t get the best sleep ever, but we were just so happy to be where we were it didn’t even matter. And it really REALLY didn’t matter when the next morning’s breakfast started our Saturday out on a glorious high note, but that’s a story for another blog post! Stay tuned for the next one….whenever that comes.

Photo credits: Steven Schapansky

An Apology and a Promise

Doctor Who notecard apology

When you talk on the internet, especially in a free-form conversational podcast like Verity!, sometimes you stick your foot so firmly down your own throat it’s a wonder the mic doesn’t pick up the sound of toenails scraping molars. I am not immune to this phenomenon.

A few months back, I made an insensitive comment about the 9th Doctor giving hugs. Taken out of context (which it literally was, as it was briefly one of the “pull quotes” in the cold open of the podcast), it sounded like I was saying all people who don’t like hugging are somehow emotionally damaged. YIKES. SO WRONG.

In the context of the podcast, the statement bore more resemblance to what I was thinking (that emotional damage can lead one to change their behavior and stop hugging, and the 9th Doctor wanted to prove that hadn’t happened to him in the course of the Time War). So I replaced the line in the cold open because, wow, was that shitty, and I explained and apologised in a series of tweets. (I appreciate all the folks who called me on that. Thank you!) And of course, I’ve tried to do better since.

Trying doesn’t always mean succeeding.

Welp. I’ve done it again. In today’s episode of Verity!, I talked about how I didn’t like the way series 1 of Doctor Who changed the Doctor from (what I’d always seen as) an asexual character to one who is pretty explicitly sexual. (We were talking about “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. Dances, you guys. It’s a metaphor!) I equated being a sexual creature with normality and humanity and ohmigod I want to go back in time and slap the mic away from my face.

But I can’t. Time doesn’t work that way (except occasionally in Doctor Who).

There are two parts to this. First, I didn’t properly express what I meant in part of that conversation. And second, I just plain screwed up and said something boneheaded and hurtful in another part of it. Let’s tackle the first part first.

BUT: Let me preface this by saying I realize that what I meant actually counts for very little if that’s not what came out of my mouth and was understood by people who are outside my own brain (which is most of you, I think). You know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Well the road to being an ass is paved with poorly-expressed thoughts. And yes, I am waving to you from down that road.

Anyway, to clarify what was in my head, I was thinking that asexuality is a part of life and of and human experience that gets very VERY short shrift on television (and in pretty much all media). I’d always seen the Doctor that way, and when I saw his characterization changed to something that’s more typically seen on television, I was disappointed—not just because it was a change from something I enjoyed, but because I felt like there was now less representation for a bunch of people who already have very little. That is a bummer to me. I wish I had said this better because I feel like it’s important.*

The part where I flat out got it wrong was when I equated having sexual desires with being “normal” and “human”. Whoa Nellie. There’s no excuse for that. I am just plain sorry. I have a distressing habit of using the words “normal” and “typical” interchangeably, and that’s Not Good. I’m trying to break myself of that.**

So let me state unequivocally that being asexual is a normal thing that does not make a person less human.

Sure, I could pedantically say that “hormonal” does mean human because humans all have hormones and maybe Time Lords don’t, but A) that’s total neepery-headcanon territory, and B) that’s not what I was trying to get at. It would be defensive and weaselly of me to retcon and pretend it was.*** I was simply stupid. And I wholeheartedly apologise.

I am very sorry for what I said on the podcast, because what I said and the way I said it was hurtful and wrong.

Once again, I want to thank the folks who called me out on my screw-up. Speaking up about this sort of thing takes time and energy, and I recognize and appreciate that effort. It must be exhausting to put up with crap like this all the time. So to take the extra step to say something is going above and beyond, and I admire, value, and welcome that act. I will do my best to see that it isn’t for naught.

ETA: For excellent info about this topic, I encourage you to listen to Episode 48 of The Web of Queer and this Episode 407 of Two-minute Time Lord. Mikayla knows whereof she speaks. You should listen!

I want to get better at talking about humanity. I think we should talk more about the oft-neglected aspects of our biology and culture. But by golly, it’s important to get it right.

So I’ll keep at it.

And I’ll probably keep getting it wrong from time to time.

And then I promise I’ll own it and apologise and try to do better. Because that’s how I learn.





*Please note: I’m not implying that all–or any–people who are asexual do or should feel this way about the Doctor or the perceived change to his character. This is just how it strikes me personally.

**I am on record as preferring a more “alien” Doctor (I do!), and I need to be careful not to put asexuality in the list of things that make him more alien. Because that’s a human thing.

***This is me trying to head off any “helpful” folks trying to reverse-engineer what I said into something acceptable. It wasn’t.

Let Me Be of Service


Just so I don’t bury the lede, it’s official, I am once again employed! But that’s only partially the point of this post.

I’ve been on the hunt for work for quite some time. If you’re like me, when you’re looking for a job, you do a lot of soul-searching. You spend a lot of time thinking about what you like to do, what you don’t like to do, what you’re good at, and what you struggle with. You spend a lot of brain-energy trying to encapsulate your good qualities in pithy little sound bites.

Eventually, if you’re lucky, you discover (or create or stumble upon) a personal motto — something that sums you up as a person, or at least sums up the way you interact with the world. For me, that motto is the title of this piece: Let me be of service.

If you follow me on social media or podcasts, you may know I’ve been temping for the government for a couple of months. Funnily enough, my motto didn’t come to me until after I had the temp job (which I very much enjoyed). Before that, I hadn’t really given much thought to the fact that government employees are civil servants. They work in the civil service. That word, service, is something I only started to emotionally interrogate after I’d started working for the government.

Somewhere along the line I realized that it elegantly sums up how I’ve felt about my interactions with other people throughout my entire life. In a general sense, I’ve always wanted to be of service, whether that meant making someone happy, making someone’s life better or easier, shouldering a burden for someone else, or even just making someone less unhappy.

My temp job is now over, but I was lucky enough to get another, similar, job in the government. And happily, I am finding that it is perfectly suited to my temperament and desires. I am performing a service. I’ve always gravitated to jobs where I felt my work was going toward helping someone, even if that help was somewhere far down the line from the work I performed (and here, it’s really not).

I chose to come here to Canada, to Alberta. It was a scary and momentous decision, but this province has welcomed me and made me feel like I belong here in a thorough and wonderful way I didn’t expect. Now I feel like I have the chance to repay that kindness, and it feels very good indeed.

Practically speaking, it’s also a weight off my mind when it comes to financial stability (though it’ll take a little while to dig out of my shallow debt-hole). And of course we still need to find some income for Steven! But bottom line: I’m deliriously happy to have landed where I did, and I feel fulfilled on a level I couldn’t have predicted.

So this weekend, after finishing my first week in this new position, I am feeling gratitude, giving thanks, and celebrating. I’ve spent what feels like a long time looking, hoping, and worrying, but now I finally have some measure of security.

Best of all, I know I can be of service.

2 Important Things

Uncanny Y3 Solicited Contributors

#1: Uncanny Magazine‘s Year Three Kickstarter is in its FINAL HOURS!

As I type this, my beloved Uncanny Magazine is only $90 away from the stretch goal that will add an additional story to each issue for Year Three! We are proud of the fact that we help introduce the world to new voices, and this is a great avenue to do that. The additional stories will come from unsolicited submissions, so if you care about diverse voices telling stories that make you feel (and if you haven’t already), I urge you to think about contributing to our Kickstarter.

As of right now you have 24 hours left to do so!

There are still plenty of fabulous backer rewards to choose from, including one in which you get to do a live video hangout with ME! (Plus Steven, Lynne, and Michael!) We’ll geek out about podcasts and help you plan/improve your own! We did this last year, and it was great fun!




#2: Radio Free Skaro Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary!

10 years is positively Methuselan for a podcast! I am so happy for/proud of these guys, and not only because one of them is my husband. He became that after I started listening to the podcast. In fact, all Three Who Rule were complete strangers to me when I discovered their podcast. Now I consider them all great friends.

A lot of celebratory tweets have been slung their way, and the thing that stands out to me the most is the number of times I’ve seen a variation on this one:

10 years of podcasting is nothing to sneeze at. 10 years of anything is impressive, and 10 years of something that’s a crapton of work and doesn’t pay (well) is a monumental achievement–one that is clearly born out of love for both the subject matter and what they do. But what’s truly amazing to me is the community (and communities) that sprang up around this group of Canadians. It’s a testament to who they are that so many people’s lives have been inexorably changed (for the better!) by listening to three geeks talk about the thing they love every week.

I know my life would be unrecognizably different if not for RFS. I wouldn’t be married. I wouldn’t be living in Canada. I wouldn’t have my own podcast. (I wouldn’t have half-a-dozen podcasts!) I wouldn’t be working for the aforementioned Uncanny Magazine. I wouldn’t be nominated for a freaking Hugo Award! (Also thanks to Uncanny Magazine!)

I know I’m nowhere near alone in thanking RFS for the life that I have now. Here’s to another 10 years!


Heritage Days and More!

Heritage Days 2016

Steven and I have now spent two glorious days outdoors watching dancers and martial arts demos and eating and drinking our way “around the world” of the Edmonton Heritage Festival. Yesterday we managed to leave at just the right time to avoid the thunderstorm that later closed down the festival. It did rain on us quite a bit during the walk home, but the heavens didn’t properly open up until we were in the car on the way to the grocery store. (That was another adventure — a very wet and occasionally scary one. Puddles on the road are no joke in Edmonton this year.*)

Today we were a little more targeted in our dining — we’d walked around and perused the menus yesterday, so we knew where we wanted to go. A real winner this year has been the Chile booth. The cheese empanada was so good we got it both days, and I’m pretty sure I’m getting another one when we go back tomorrow. It was THAT GOOD. Also, their ice cream was to die for.

I may do a write up of all of my favorites later, but for now, suffice it to say, this is still my favorite weekend of the whole year in Edmonton. And this year it was made even better by a delightful little soirée at our friends’ place last night. It still feels novel to have real-life friends in Edmonton (outside of the ones we regularly podcast with anyway). We were in good geek company, so we got to jabber on about lots of geeky media properties, and, one of my favorite topics, PODCASTING! Yeah, it was a great night.

Related—if you’re not listening to these podcasts, you might want to fix that:

  • Montreal Sauce – interviews with makers, creatives, and friends, plus strange quizzes about 80s actors
  • Film Frown – a podcast that frowns about bad movies so you don’t have to
  • Podcast! the Comics – the podcast of a blog about comics, run by Canadians
  • Doctor Whooch – a bi-weekly podcast dedicated to Doctor Who and drinking, sometimes in that order
  • Yegs & Bacon – the official (on-hiatus) podcast of my local comic shop, Variant Edmonton (which you should TOTALLY PATRONIZE if you’re in town!) They like your face.





*No, our car did not get swamped and stranded, but there were a few dicey moments when I thought we might.