Thanks, Podcasts

International Podcast Day

Today is apparently International Podcast Day. I’ve got an awful lot to thank podcasts for. They changed my life so very much, and for the better.

It all started with The Nerdist. That led me to Radio Free Skaro. After that, nothing was the same. RFS led me to a passel of other great Doctor Who podcasts. And, of course, RFS also led me to my husband, Steven.  It led me to a whole, huge group of friends-who-feel-like-family, scattered over the entire globe. It led me to Doctor Who conventions. It led me to Canada. Yeah, I have a lot to thank podcasts for.

And now, I’m making them myself! I adore my fellow Verities, and while making Verity! takes a lot of work, it’s so incredibly worth it. Diving back into Babylon 5 after many years for The Audio Guide to Babylon 5 has been an even bigger treat than I anticipated! (And it means I get to talk to Chip and Shannon every-other-week, so that’s pretty fab too.) I can’t thank Jason enough for inviting me to become a panelist on The Incomparable. It’s broadened my horizions in a lot of great nerd ways! And it means I get to play Dungeons and Dragons again for Total Party Kill. SO FUN! Producing the Uncanny Magazine Podcast means I get to hear (and now, read!) amazing stories every month (plus catch up with Lynne and Michael) And Lazy Doctor Who means I get some quality time with my spouse watching our favorite show. Can’t beat that.

Thanks, podcasting!

I’ll close by listing (in no particular order) the podcasts that I listen to (pretty much) every episode of. Continue reading

Advertisements

Whooping it Update

That title is 100% ironic, I assure you. I try to focus on positivity here as much as possible, but boy oh boy is that hard when you’re sick and have been for a long time. Thus, I’ve been a bit quiet this month. I did watch The Philadelphia Story–several weeks ago now. At first I was putting off writing about it because I was intimidated–it’s a really good movie, you know? And then it was because I was just so danged tired I couldn’t make my brain form thoughtful sentences.

It’s amazing how much a simple (or not so simple) cough can take out of you. I’m now to the stage where I wake up multiple times a night unable to breathe, thinking I’m dying. So yeah, struggling a bit to find the positive. Still mostly managing to though. When I’m lying there next to my humidifier concentrating on breathing shallowly, I think about how glad I am to be lying there. Regardless what happens or how sick I get, I’m still constantly thrilled to be here in Edmonton with Steven.

We worked so hard to get me to Canada that even shitty stuff like being sick together has a little hint of sappy sweetness. We get to take care of each other instead of staring at each other over Skype, not being able to do anything to help. (We did plenty of that, and it was heartbreaking.)

So anyway, in another 4-8 weeks (sigh), I look forward to having some more energy and getting back to proper blog posts and podcasts. (Poor Lazy Doctor Who is on a bit of an illness-enforced hiatus.) Until then, things might remain a bit quiet here.

When Sickness Leads to (Mental) Health

lemon tea

I’m sick. I have whooping cough.* And it sucks. But as always, I’m looking for the bright side.** And there is one here. Because in my desperation to feel better, I stumbled onto something kinda neat. One of those minor eye-opening experiences that can brighten up an otherwise mucky day.

My throat’s rubbed raw from all the coughing, so I wanted something hot and soothing. I’m trying to avoid coffee because caffeine and I Do Not Get Along (and the decaf at work is rubbish).*** I’m not generally a big fan of tea/herbal infusions, but I needed something. One of the choices was lemon “tea”. Lemon is supposed to be good for throats, so I thought I’d try it, despite the fact I don’t like fruity teas.

So I brewed it up, and you know what? Continue reading

Stretching is Scary

Uncanny_Podcast

No, this is not a post about yoga. Though considering how long it’s been since I’ve done yoga regularly, that’s scary too. No, this is a post about trying something new–or at least trying something publicly that you haven’t done a whole lot (and never beyond the confines of your own home).

It’ll probably come as no surprise that this is podcast-related, so it’s not as scary as it could be. But despite the oodles of podcasting I’ve done over the last few years, new things can be intimidating–even new things you’ve really wanted to try.

I suppose I should get to it. I read a story for the Uncanny Magazine Podcast!* Continue reading

Bad News and Board Games

I got some bad news today. I’m not going into detail because it’s not my news, but it’s health-related and regarding someone close to me. That gives enough context for the kind of helpless fear that’s got a hold of me right now.

In a weird way, the timing was excellent.* You see, last night Steven and I did something we hadn’t done in probably well over a year–we played a board game together.

I’d been having a so-so weekend (due to factors unrelated to the lousy news), and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do on the eve of the work week. (That in itself was making me more anxious than I like.) I’d been listening to episode 24 of Unjustly Maligned, in which Cory Casoni defends the board game Monopoly. It made me nostalgic for the days when my siblings and I played board games all the time.

We played LOTS of board games. As a family with limited means, games were perfect. They were cheapish and provided hours of re-playable fun. When one of us was home sick from school, Mom often let one of the other kids stay home to keep the sickie company. And that always meant board games–endless rounds of Life, Sorry, Careers, Chutes and Ladders, and, of course, Monopoly.

So yeah, board games conjure up a sense of comfort and safety and being-cared-for. That’s a difficult feeling to capture these days. I’d forgotten just how good it felt. Last night I got a reminder.

Solarquest Continue reading

The Old Poems and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

A while back, I recorded an episode of The Incomparable in which we talked about assigned reading. Love it or hate it, most of us had to do it in school. That was a really fun episode with rather a lot of catharsis. Man, we hated some of the stuff we had to read! There’s love in there too—in a few cases, love for books others hated! I recommend the ep if it sounds even the littlest bit interesting to you.

As so often happens, one podcast led to another. If you aren’t aware, John McCoy has a new(ish) podcast called Sophomore Lit, in which he and a guest talk about the books assigned to students. Incomparable panelist John Siracusa pointed out the overlap between our assigned-reading episode and Sophomore Lit, and John (McCoy) was happy to invite folks on to delve more deeply into a single book. You know me. I have trouble passing up an opportunity to podcast!

I sent him a list of books I’d read and remembered, and he asked if I’d be willing to talk about one of the almost-universally assigned books—Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. And I was! If you’re interested in my thoughts on that slight volume, check out episode 10 of Sophomore Lit.

What I’ve got for you here is so much worse. Or better, depending on your perspective. Continue reading