Blog Posts

On being skeptical, politely

At lunch today I was talking with a colleague. She’s cool; I really respect her attitude towards pedagogy and also like her as a person. But our conversation on the environmental dangers of cows led us to talking about lab-grown meat, which then led to a discussion of whether food grown in a lab is any better or worse for someone than food grown in a farm. And my colleague mentioned that she thought the meat from a lab would not have the same “energy” as meat from a farm. I blinked.

When we tolerate intolerance, people die

So I came home tonight from a long night at work, only to see Twitter full up about the shooting at a Umpqua Community College in Oregon. My initial reaction was weariness—I was tired, already not in a great mood, and here there was yet another mass shooting. My second reaction was anger. I’m angry that a country where this happens would dare to utter the hypocrisy that it is the “greatest country on Earth” and then go around and impose its will on other countries unilaterally.

Lessons learned from knitting a blanket

So, recently I blogged about my friend Cassie getting married. I gave Cassie and Chris a knitted blanket for their wedding gift (I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t spoiling this fact before I wrote this blog post!). It’s my first full-size blanket, and I am so impressed with it I’m not even going to attempt false modesty, OK? Look at that. Gorgeous. Prior to this I knit a baby blanket, which was a much smaller and easier project.

An open response to the Snapfish account deletion email

Dear Snapfish, This is an open response to your email of September 14, 2015, in which you ask me to buy something from you to keep my account open: To keep our promise of unlimited, free photo sharing and storage, we ask our customers to make at least one purchase every 12 months. To keep your Snapfish account open, please place an order by October 14. You even helpfully include a link to “special offers” and a big, insistent “Shop now!” button.

These are the moments that mean something

As I write this, I’m very sore, because I spent several hours last night dancing. I had the privilege and honour of not just attending the wedding of my friend Cassie but of being in her bridal party. I’m starting to get the hang of this wedding thing, I think. Cassie is one of my oldest and bestest friends. Although there was a lapse during our childhood after I moved across town, we reconnected at the end of high school.

A knitting update

Mailing things overseas can be frustrating. Once you package everything up and send it away … you wait. And wait. And wait. And hope that your decision to go cheaper rather than faster doesn’t mean your package is now bobbing around the Atlantic Ocean, or stranded on a shipping pallet in Heathrow airport, soon to be rerouted to New Delhi instead of Norfolk. That’s how I felt when I sent two packages a month apart, and the second one arrived within a few weeks, while the first took months.

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Supernormal Step, Vol. 2: A Fine Ado cover image

In my previous review I talked in broad terms about why I enjoy Supernormal Step, because I just wanted to outline why it’s worth spending your precious time on a new webcomic/graphic novel.

In Volume 2 (Chapters 4–6 of the webcomic), Michael Lee Lunsford broadens our understanding of Fiona and the main cast, but not before Fiona temporarily leaves them behind in search of solitude. (Hint: That does not work out well for her.)

Despite this being a serious story in many respects, humour is replete in…

Supernormal Step, Vol. 1: Runaway cover image

Serial webcomics are hard. Pacing and scheduling are a must, and even we readers can have trouble keeping plotlines straight. I completely understand why some people don't follow a comic regularly but instead binge every few weeks after a chapter has finished.

Supernormal Step is one of my favourite webcomics and one of the few serial webcomics I read regularly. It's about Fiona Dae, a woman pulled into a strange parallel universe where magic exists and all sorts of non-human creatures co-exist ……

The Table of Less Valued Knights cover image

I'm always down for some historical/mythological fiction in a comedic style, so The Table of Less Valued Knights seemed like a good proposition. Marie Phillips delivers an Arthurian quest beset with archetypes, allusions, and anachronisms. Her characters quip like they're in a Christopher Moore novel (albeit slightly less self-aware) and her vision of Knights of Camelot is every bit as decadently absurd as Monty Python's.

There. Have I name-dropped enough comparisons yet? Good. Let's get on with it…


Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör cover image

So, this was bizarre.

Horrorstör is a wacky horror novel. It's set in an American knock-off of Ikea called Orsk. This particular Orsk store is haunted, however, and three employees stay overnight to get to the bottom of it. Grady Hendrix attempts to enhance the novel through a number of artistic gimmicks ranging from the chapter titles/descriptions to the entire design of the book.

As far as the design goes, it's a nifty idea. It would get annoying fast if every book did this, and to some extent I…

The Scream of the Butterfly (Lars Winkler #2) cover image

Lars Winkler is a detective’s detective: recently separated, semi-not-involved with a coworker, semi-involved with a nurse, and occasionally he solves mysteries on the side. Also he’s Danish. So there’s that.

Full disclosure: I received this as an ARC from House of Anansi Press in exchange for a review. You too can send me free books, and I will review them (even if you don’t want me to).

The Scream of the Butterfly is the second novel in the Lars Winkler series, but it’s easy to jump into this book…

Out of Time

David Laderoute

Out of Time cover image

So you’re fourteen years old, and you’re on a vision quest. It’ll be another hundred years or so before Europeans show up and tell your people that, actually, Turtle Island is going to be called “North America” and was empty before they showed up. But I digress. You want to get a vision so you can become a man, but this stupid turtle just won’t shut up … ohhhhh.

Meanwhile, you’re fourteen years old, and you’re walking along the train tracks, even though your dad told you not to, because who listens…