Knitting – Back in the Game!

scarf LS 2016-05-04

I started this blog waaaaay back in 2011. My goal at the time was to watch geeky TV and work on knitting the season 18 Doctor Who scarf. If you read my posts regularly, you’ll know that plan didn’t exactly continue with any strength or regularity. In fact, until recently, I hadn’t even picked up the scarf since well before I moved to Canada. And I moved just over two years ago.

I just looked, and my most recent knitting post was in December of 2012. Yikes. I didn’t realize it had been that long. And that post wasn’t even about the scarf! You have to time travel all the way back to January of 2012 to find any record of that project. Bad Erika!

Well, no. Not really “bad Erika”. I’m trying not to beat myself up for…well, for anything. Certainly not for choosing to spend time on one pastime over another. (In this case, I suspect podcasting is what tugged my attention away from knitting. Considering how good podcasting has been to me, I have no regrets.)

Anyway, better late than never! Making myself feel bad would only make it harder to get back into the knitting game, and I am definitely back! I’ve worked on my scarf about half a dozen times over the past month, so I think it’s safe to say I’m in the groove again. And it’s been delightful! I’ve missed all that garter stitch!

scarf CU 2016-05-04

True to my original aim, I’ve been knitting in front of the TV—in front of properly geeky TV, in fact. Another little goal of mine is to catch up on Radio Free Skaro commentaries. I’m not a person who can listen to a commentary track without watching the media they’re commenting on, and I listen to podcasts while I’m doing things like cleaning or commuting. So I have quite a backlog of RFS episodes on my phone just waiting for some TV time. I’ve been killing two birds with one skein, and it’s been delightful.

Here’s hoping I can keep it up and finally finish this beast. I’m about a third of the way done, and it would be nice if it didn’t take me 10 more years to complete the project. Thank goodness there are all those RFS classic series commentaries for when I run out of series 8 and 9. That’s a lot of hours of knitting. And fun.

scarf LS 2 2016-05-04

Torrid Customer Service, a Hot Mess

I try not to get upset about material things if I can help it. I’m such an anti-stuff person it’s rare I get invested in anything that takes up space in the real world. My recent customer service fiasco with Torrid reminded me why: disappointment sucks.

Torrid TARDIS coat

Is it not gorgeous?

I have had my eye on the TARDIS coat from Hot Topic/Torrid ever since they first announced their line of Doctor Who clothing. And by “had my eye on” I mean “coveted the hell out of”. But I’ve been trying not to spend too much, so I’ve resisted.

A while back, Steven declared he’d buy the coat for me as a gift if it ever came back in stock. (It had gone out of stock almost immediately, which surprised no one who pays attention to Doctor Who fandom.) I was DELIGHTED. We did scour several Hot Topic stores to see if there was a rogue one left in a corner somewhere. Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 7

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

Day 7: Thursday, November 5

After the previous day’s excitement, what better than another long whirlwind of a day?

Simon and Warren headed to our place in the morning. We wanted to set off early to walk around London and shoot scenes for the RFS Gally intro video. At the time, the whole project was a big hush-hush secret, but now I can shout it from the rooftops! Rather than burying the lede, here’s the glorious finished product:

Warren’s plan was to check into a hotel later that day (after a few lovely nights at Simon’s pad), so he dropped his stuff off at our place first thing. We got our timing a bit wrong and we were out when he arrived. Whoops. We’d popped out to grab some groceries, and he had to wait outside for a few minutes. Luckily, those groceries included a box of Jammie Dodgers, so we placated Warren with some delicious Dalek-busting treats.

Erika proudly displays a package of Jammie Dodgers

I don’t usually like jam or fruity desserts. Jammie Dodgers are a delicious exception to this rule!

Meanwhile, Simon sat at Speedy’s, the cafe up the block. You may know it as the cafe outside Sherlock’s apartment on the BBC’s Sherlock. We found Simon having a cup of tea next to the great detective’s front door. (You can see this during a brief establishing shot in the video. It’s also the moment of my tiny cameo.) We brought Simon a Jammy Dodger too. Then Steven and Warren had some tea with him while we planned our attack! Continue reading

Navigating Nando’s

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Nando’s has come to Edmonton! Steven and I were pretty excited to learn this, as we quite enjoyed our experience eating at a Nando’s in London last November. So we headed down there yesterday to check it out.

Let me start by saying we will be back. As you’ll see, it wasn’t the smoothest experience, but nothing that happened was completely unexpected, given how recently the restaurant opened and how busy it was. Continue reading

Libraries & Librarians, a Personal History

I did not know this week was National Library Week until this morning. Synchronicity! I wrote the first draft of this post last week, when it was not library week, but when I was physically in the library. I didn’t have time to edit and post it right away, but I’m leaving the language as-is because writing about a library in a library is perfect. More perfect is releasing said writing during National Library Week!

Oh, and please see this previous post, where I explain why this one is so very very late in coming. And yes, this is a patron-inspired post. Many many thanks to patron Brandee, who requested I write about libraries/librarians!

Library Week Gaiman Quote

Today seems like a good day to tackle this topic. I’m sitting at the Edmonton Public Library right now. It’s not the first time I’ve been here by any means, but it’s the first time I’ve done more than grab a book and go. I brought my laptop and vowed to be more productive than I sometimes am at home, where I have the temptations of the TV and the couch.

Libraries

I love libraries. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom taking me to the Waukesha Public Library back in the 80s. The children’s section had some toys I could play with while Mom looked for grown-up books. My clearest memory is of a farm play-set with realistic animals. The image of that dark bay horse is burned into my mind forever. Continue reading

Post-crastination

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There’s a patron-inspired post I’ve been putting off writing. For a long time. A very long time. Why? Because it terrifies me. Okay, “terrifies” is a strong word. Maybe it just intimidates me. Yeah. That’s it.*

Brandee is one of my favorite people in the world. Like several other of my favorite people in the world, she’s a librarian, and when she started supporting me on Patreon, she requested a post on libraries or librarians. I love libraries. And librarians. So, in a way, it’s a match made in heaven. However, I’m far from the first person to write a blog post about the glory/importance of libraries.

That’s what’s so intimidating. Knowing what I write is following (and thus, may be compared to) the likes of Neil GaimanThe Bloggess, John Scalzi, and many many others? That gives me the impostor-syndrome shakes.** Which, I suppose, makes this post a bit of a two-in-one for me. Continue reading

A Different Kind of Vacation

Sedona sunset

Almost every vacation I’ve ever taken has been to do something. Go to a convention. See the touristy sights. Look at Doctor Who locations. Visit as many friends and family as I can squeeze into a few days. I come home feeling no more rested than when I left (and often far less so).

This last trip to Sedona, Arizona was something different. Finally. Okay, maybe Steven and I did manage to fill it up with going-and-doing-type-stuff more than was entirely necessary, but it was easily the most relaxed vacation I’ve taken in many many years. And it was great.

I didn’t de-stress quite as much as I would have liked, but the somewhat-enforced relaxation did make a difference that I can feel even now. I’m more clear-headed and ready to face the challenges of the day.

A big part of that was largely unplugging from social media. I didn’t even know where my phone was half the time, and I was 100% ok with that. I checked emails and incoming tweets a few times, but I didn’t check my feeds overall. I had next to no idea what was going on in the larger world and it was fantastic.

This was a family vacation, so I spent lots of quality time with my mom and dad, sister and brother, and my aunt (plus, the aforementioned Steven, of course). We played games (Pandemic! Catan! Apples to Apples!) and grilled our own food and soaked in the hot tub a LOT. There was a ton of just sitting around and talking or reading or staring at the views. (The pic above is a sunset as seen from one of our three patios.)

After experiencing something like this, I realize this is the kind of vacation I truly need every once in a while. I can remember only one beach vacation in Florida that left me feeling so recharged, like I’d gotten what I needed out of a vacation (and that one I spent almost entirely on the beach, reading). This is something I’m going to take into account the next time I start planning future trips.

The tricky thing is I’m not in a financial place to take vacations like this often. (Or at all, really. This one was planned so far in advance that it happened despite my current looking-for-work state.) Even when finances are firmly in the black, there are only so many trips I can take in a year. When I’ve got a day-to-day gig again, there’ll be a limited number of vacation days to take into account too. If I skip Doctor Who conventions (very much do-stuff kinds of trips) for a year that means I miss seeing most of my friends for that whole year. That’s no good for my mental health either! And when it comes to non-con trips, I’m married to a “do-er”, who wants to go see things and do things. So there’s that to consider.*

I guess for now I’m just incredibly thankful I got to take this particular trip at this particular time. It might not happen again soon, but it did happen. And I’m overjoyed that it did.

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*I absolutely recognize how lucky I am that this is a “problem” I have. There are many people for whom any kind of trip would be a dream, and I don’t take it for granted.