Baseline: No

I suck at turning things down. Things are fun! Especially when those fun things involve fun people. And most of the people I know are fun people. And they do many fun things. Sometimes they invite me to do fun things along with them. I often say yes!

I say yes too much.

I also plan my own fun things. Sometimes too much.

For example, this past weekend was a super-fun thing! Steven and I went to Calgary for a couple of nights and watched the Oilers play the Flames (ok, so the fact that we lost was less-than-fun, but it was fun overall), did some shopping, drove through Alberta’s badlands, and went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller to look at dinosaurs. We even took time to watch some Doctor Who and record a podcast. All fun!

But hoo boy, does fun take its toll. Stress is stress whether it’s because of good things or bad things. When I planned that trip, I had no idea how wrecked I’d be at the end of last week. (Answer: Very Wrecked) So my fun weekend was less fun than it would have been and pretty much depleted even my reserve tanks of coherence and energy.

If I do my usual thing over the next couple weeks, those tanks will never refill. I know this, but I rarely act on it. I’m trying to treat myself better these days, so:

Dear world full of fun and interesting people,


No, I will not join you for your fun and interesting thing. (Not unless it can wait a couple of weeks.)




The one exception I did make was to schedule a short recording session for Beginner’s Puck because A) that probably should have been on the calendar anyway, so it’s pseudo-grandfathered in, and B) I have So Much hockey stuff to talk about! I went to an Oilers Game Day Live! And the Oilers game (in Calgary)! And holy buttons, that recent EBUG story! EBUGs are our thing!

So yeah. That’s a reasonable excuse, but for all other items, I’m gonna heed Nancy Reagan and “just say no.”

Go Oilers!

Hello from Rogers Place!

Hello from Rogers Place!

With all the awfulness going on in the world these days (and boy oh boy is there a lot of it), I’m trying to remind myself that it’s still ok to experience joy. In fact, it’s probably more crucial than ever.

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy lately on following the news of the world and doing my part to be heard and make sure my home country doesn’t continue down the road to fascism. (Though we’ve already hit every item on the list at the US Holocaust museum. Sigh.) This has been exhausting, both physically and mentally.

So I’m trying to reserve time for things I love. Things that just make me happy. Hockey is one of those things. Specifically, my now-home team, the Edmonton Oilers. And that’s what tonight is all about. Steven and I are taking in a game at the swanky new rink.

We even got here early and sat in the lower bowl to watch the warmup.

We even got here early and sat in the lower bowl to watch the warmup.

Sadly, we’re down by 2 going into the first intermission, but there are 40 minutes of hockey left, and that’s an eternity in hockey-time. Anything can happen. And the most important thing is to be out and having fun. Because it’s ok to have fun. It’s ok to recharge. I need it. I deserve it.

The view from our seats.

The view from our seats.

So if you’ve been working hard to defend the republic (or anything else), don’t forget to take some time for yourself. If you don’t care for yourself, you’ll run out of steam to care for others. The world needs you, so treat yourself well.

#LoveTrumpsHate #resist

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. Continue reading