Curling During Covid

The only time I leave the house these days is to curl, and I’m very glad I get to do that still…Or got to. See, literally yesterday, I already had this post written and ready to go, but I got an email that my area is regressing back to a stricter lockdown and the curling club would be closed for a bit. My area isn’t as bad as big cities like Toronto, so I’m really hoping we’ll be back in action in a few weeks.

crossed fingers gif.

I registered for this season of curling way back in June with fingers crossed that Coronavirus numbers would be down enough to allow curling clubs to open, and luckily things worked out enough.

All throughout the summer, my family and I were very cautious about what we did and where we went. Any time I interacted with friends in person, I was, as per usual, the cop of the group, scolding those who disregarded social distancing and ensuring I was at least being safe. That’s why I’m glad that at curling, that work is done for me because my club has done a lot to protect us and comply with all rules from the province as well as from the larger curling organizations, so I really do feel safe there.

Curling is luckily a sport where there isn’t a lot of human contact to begin with, so gameplay hasn’t changed too much. Masks are mandatory, obviously. There’s only one sweeper allowed at a time, which is fine, though I’m not thrilled that skips can’t sweep any rocks in the house, no matter what. Now we gotta just, like, beckon the rocks further through the house the way you would a puppy, only rocks don’t have eyes. Curlers also have to stand at certain spots on the side of the sheets now. There’s apparently a whole process as to whose supposed to be standing on which spot when, but no one really knows it, so we just kind of all space out and stand at whatever spot is free.

Were Doing The Best That We Can gif.

As for off the ice, we’re only allowed to socialize with our own team at certain spread out tables, and we have to order drinks by texting the bar. Almost everyone at curling is super nice so I don’t mind the smaller groups and can handle whatever team I’m put on.

I know I’m lucky to even curl a little bit this year. A few clubs in other areas near me didn’t even open at all because of low numbers. One lady on the board told me we’re running at a loss, but at least there’s some income and the few employees can work. And I don’t blame the people who didn’t join this year as I know it’s scary to do group activities, and since a lot of curlers are a lot older than me, they’re more at risk. I hope next year things are better and we can play at full capacity again in peace.

to build a better future gif.

As I said, Covid numbers in my area have luckily been pretty low in the grand scheme of things, so I’m really hoping we can stay diligent and get through this winter. We’re ready to rearrange game schedules to accommodate changes and do whatever it takes to make sure it all works out. Having that social and physical activity will be more important than ever during the cold, dark months, and that goes for the hockey leagues my brother and father are (were?) in too.

This is me once again being very grateful that Canada and Ontario have responded pretty well to this pandemic and we’ve adjusted safely enough. I shudder to think about curling clubs in America.

It Could Be Worse GIF.

Curling may also be one of the few sports that will be on TV this winter. Keep an eye out for that if you’re desperate for something to watch. It’s never too late to get into curling!

That’s all for now!

 

 

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The Inexplicable Experience Of Being A Tumblr User

I’ve been a Tumblr user for years. I’ve had an account for seven years, but I experienced the site vicariously through my best friend’s account for several years before that, and the tags back when you were allowed to browse tags without an account.

I’m on a lot of social media, but Tumblr is very different. It’s large, but in a lot of ways, it’s a closed community. And because of this, it allowed me to kind of understand this whole select side of internet and fandoms and media because I saw it happen in a very odd space. Only those who did can really understand what I mean and understand the culture.

You Know What I Mean gif.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot for two reasons. One, because one of my friends from Quidditch is also a Tumblr user, and sometimes we have these bizarre conversations about really niche things and completely understand each other, while our other friend who is on the call really can’t comprehend. And I feel bad, but how do I even begin to explain the layers and dramatics of things like “the Avengers fandom in 2013” or “Dashcon” or “the Onceler.” Twitter and Instagram just don’t have that kind of history.

Its Just A Lot To Digest gif.

The other reason is because recently there was a big thing that happened on the long-running TV show Supernatural. I do not watch this show at all, but anyone who’s been on Tumblr knows that the show is wildly popular there and you can’t escape the info, so everyone ends up knowing at least a bit. When the big thing happened, Tumblr became a hubbub of excitement, discussion, memes, and engagement, with people who had been active in that fandom returning home to their Tumblrs to partake in it. I lay in bed, scrolling through at 2am, crying with laughter at some of the memes, but feeling weirdly lucky to even witness it and understand it. It was like all my years of absorbing things on that blue site was coming to fruition as I and many others could understand, in that moment, what a momentous thing that had happened for better or for worse, even though I genuinely do not care for the show or the characters or the fans.

Tumblr is very much a time-waster, a simple thing to scroll before bed, and I know this, but it’s been such a huge part of my understanding and interest in media and fandoms. I think it’s very underused and understudied as a place of fan interaction and a place of internet history. As I said, it’s kind of a closed community where people can express the weirdest parts of themselves and blissfully enjoy the media they choose, and I’ve always enjoyed that.

a tumblr post about unhinged acts of fandom.

Don’t get me wrong, Tumblr is also very flawed and is home to a lot of disturbing, bad things like any other social media platform, but I still appreciate it. Even this past year, I’ve seen a lot of posts from users say that Tumblr feels more and more like home and an escape from the chaos that is real life. We dunk on it and criticize the “hellsite” so much, but we choose to keep coming back and to grow up there in ways that other platforms can’t compete with.

might as well be a hot mess gif.

I don’t regret spending my formative teenage years on Tumblr, even if it means I’m forever haunted by things like “I like your shoelaces” and “Do you like the colours of the sky” and “My Immortal“.

Have you ever been on Tumblr? Do you feel a weird sense of connection to the site? If you are a long-time user, I recommend checking out Tumblr Heritage Posts to see some ‘fun’ and deep-sigh inducing throwbacks!

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: November 2020

We’re so close to the end of 2020. We can power through. November is here whether you like it or not, and this is what I’ve got going on this month. As always you’re more than welcome to make your own MLA post on your blogs!

monthly look ahead logo

  • The British band McFly is releasing an album called Young Dumb Thrills this month. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years, so I’m excited, even if I haven’t loved the singles released so far. It’s out on the 13th.
  • A Million Little Things and B Positive start this month, bringing the total number of TV shows I’m watching this fall to a measly five. But I’ll take what I can get!
  • There’s going to be an album starring the cast of Hadestown, primarily the Fates, coming out on the 20th, and all the music is Christmas music. This very much appeals to me as someone who loves Christmas music and Hadestown. And, if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be a mix of classic songs and new ones, which is exactly what I want from Christmas albums.
    Hadestown Holiday Album If the Fates Allow
  • Speaking of Christmas, November is the month where I, a Canadian, am allowed to begin the festivities. I always listen to far too much Christmas radio and watch far too many cheesy Christmas romance movies, so I’m looking forward to that starting. It’s always so pure.

 

I know with a certain country’s election coming up this month, people are bracing themselves for a lot, but this is a reminder to those who need it to take a break from the madness and the ‘doomscrolling’ and to do something fun and wholesome (but safely).

That’s all for now!

P.S. Happy Halloween! Peep my Instagram for pictures of this year’s pumpkin carving!

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Streaming Services At The Emmys

In recent years, there’s been some discussion about if streaming service movies should be allowed in contention for Oscar wins. It’s a large debate with even some big-name directors jumping in with their thoughts.

But no one batted an eye when streaming service shows made their way into the Emmys.

It’s no secret to anyone reading this blog that as much as I love TV and do use streaming services (and do enjoy many original shows and movies from them), I’m not thrilled with the general direction that TV is going. I’ve spoken before about how Netflix is on thin ice and how I feel that expectations are not met from streaming services, but today I really wanted to look at the Emmys in particular. I know this year’s Emmys were a month ago, so the nominees and results are not at the top of your mind, but I’d like to bring it back into focus a little.

Lets Chat Shall We gif.

In a normal non-pandemic year, I watch a lot of TV, but I won’t pretend I have superior taste and everything I watch deserves awards. I will also not pretend I know everything about how a show/actor gets nominated or voted for. But what I do know is that streaming shows are completely overtaking the awards, creating almost an elitist environment amongst the viewers, and I’d imagine between the actors and networks too.

I have only a little shame in admitting that I’ve seen Apple+ shows and HBO shows and Hulu shows despite not paying for those platforms (not that I could pay for Hulu anyway given how Canadian I am). I understand cable is expensive and people are moving away from that traditional means of TV, but I just simply don’t think it’s fair or reasonable that if people want to watch Emmy winning or even nominated shows, they likely have to subscribe to not just one or two but around six streaming services. Even if you do the math and say that all the services combined are still cheaper than cable (which I believe, again, given how Canadian I am), it’s still an inconvenience and I don’t like how that’s supposed to be an option. Broadcast channels are mostly free if you have an antenna or something, are they not?

How did it come to this? gif.

But that’s my opinion (shoutout to anyone who heard the Vine in their head) so I also wanted to show some numbers to get this point across. Here are screenshots of Emmy winners from 2006-2010 and 2016-2020 that I colour coded by platform. These are only the biggest awards, but I can assume that similar ratios are found if you looked at all the winners.

I count HBO as a streaming service—even though it wasn’t considered one a decade ago—because it was a premium add-on that you were paying extra for specifically. So, as you can see, in the span of a decade, streaming services really have taken over, going from 6% of the winners to 72%. Even if you combine broadcast and cable, it still doesn’t compete.

And before you say, “well, so streaming services won, but surely other broadcast/cable shows were nominated“…here are the 2020 nominees for the same seven categories.

Streaming takes up 58% of the nominees, which isn’t that bad, but still. Especially considering that it’s not like broadcast has been putting out less content since. There are still full lineups of shows, some of which I believe to be quality, that aren’t getting any recognition.

I will say, because I’m not a completely negative person, that it does seem that since there is so much more content in competition there are fewer repeat winners, and I do like that the success is spread around.

Perhaps there needs to be a separate award show for streaming content (which would solve the Oscar issue too) or separate categories for that kind of content.

Modern Problems gif.

Or maybe no one else but me cares about this.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, though, even if you don’t watch the Emmys.

Related but unrelated: what are your thoughts on ‘movie’ actors starring in a limited series or shorter streaming shows and winning over the people whose whole careers have been mostly in TV?

That’s all for now!

 

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Shoutout To These Bloggers

I’ve been blogging for many years, and I follow several hundred blogs. And I’ve really enjoyed reading such a wide variety of posts and being a part of this community. So this week I really wanted to just give a shoutout to some bloggers whose content and/or interactions I enjoy. Please check out their blogs if anything I say here interests you.

You get a shoutout Oprah meme.

Media Bloggers

Merlin’s Musings – I found him through his Agents Of SHIELD posts, but he also blogs about books, other TV shows, and every Sunday he writes about a cool quote.

I Am Geek – Kevin writes about a lot of geeky pop-culture things, and I love how his posts are always positive and excited about the media.

The Wordy Habitat – this is mostly a book blog, and even though I don’t read books that much these days, I do appreciate how passionate and in-depth Sumedha is in all her posts. And there are still a good variety of non-book posts that I like such as posts on her life or on the general blogging community.

The Invisible Moth – this blogger is a writer and book lover, so there’s a lot of posts about those subjects, as well as a lot of good book and story related discussion posts.

NerdyWordyBirdy – There’s a lot of great book and lifestyle posts on this blog. She’s also so sweet and often leaves such thought-provoking comments on my blog which I very much appreciate!

Things I’m Obsessed With – this blog is just 100% pop-culture reviews and critiques, and I like that.

Meg’s Magical Musings – Meg posts just about every day (which is quite a feat!) about writing, books, and most importantly, musicals! No one loves Les Mis as much as her.

Life And Other Disasters – there’s a fun mix of book and TV content here, plus her column of trailers we might have missed. She’s also a great artist and I enjoy seeing her art on Twitter.

that's talent gif.

Peace, Love, And Arts – I love when I find blogs from people whose ideas and tastes I really vibe with, and I certainly have a lot of similar interests as this fellow Canadian blogger who is a big pop-culture and musical fan.

Georgia’s Favourite Things – Georgia is so sweet and always down to talk TV with me. Her blog is full of great reviews of (mostly) TV shows.

Bizarre Brunette – this is a great blog full of geeky content. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the comic and gaming world.

Just Simply Me – this blog is primarily about TV and theater reviews, which is right up my alley, but recently she’s also been doing more posts about her life and how she’s feeling, which I also enjoy.

Another Dead Law Student’s Blog – Most of this content is pop-culture focused but once in a while there is some other stuff like a recipe. It’s all very casual but organized.

My respect for you is immense gif.

Lifestyle bloggers

Rosie Culture – she’s documenting the millennial experience. From relationships to jobs to just general life, I do appreciate this blog’s honesty and reliability.

All The Trinkets – there is some great advice and discussion posts on this blog. Kate is also a great artist and there’s often art-related content.

Jas Writes Stuff – this blog has a little bit of everything from reviews to recipes to travel. But my favourite posts of hers are her life posts where she gets deep and relatable.

The Curvacious Vegan – who doesn’t love a good listicle? There are plenty here and plenty of really real advice on this blog.

No Love For Fatties – She is a great storyteller. She’s a teacher so her Kids Say series always has me giggling.

My Mind Speaks Aloud – this blog is 50% book reviews and 50% lifestyle posts. Her lifestyle ones are usually about self-care and I enjoy reading them.

Tiani Angela – this is a fairly recent follow, but she’s got a good variety of content. Some are about being a mother, some are about life, and some are opinion pieces.

Biracial Booty – I think she is just so funny and so expressive, so I enjoy anything she posts.

That Is Good Stuff gif.

Thought bloggers

Whimsical90 – if you like random thoughts and rants, this is the blog for you.

Of Opinions – I love the theme of this blog as every post starts with ‘Of’ and they’re always so well written, no matter how deep the topic may be.

Musings Of A Whimsical Soul – there’s a lot of fun discussion posts on anything and everything (which is my favourite kind of blog post) as well as some cool Greek Mythology posts.

The Captain’s Speech – Paul’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing is so interesting. Plus he’s Canadian.

My Life Experiment – this blog is a cool expression of random thoughts and the documentation of trying new things.

Tyrone Pierre – I really enjoy his takes on some serious topics like toxic masculinity, beauty, and rejection.

The Confusing Middle – he posts every day and has some interactive topics (Question Of The Week, for example) as well as some standard opinion pieces.

The World’s Common Tater – from life reflections to stories from his past to analysing media, there’s always content in Tater Town.

Dj Khaled GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

To these bloggers, and to all the other blogs I follow, thank you for doing what you do and providing me quality content. If you’re anything like me, I know that sometimes you may feel like the only viewers are bots or friends, but know that I am here, enjoying your platform.

Yay blogging!

 

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