personal

Absolutely!

Just under one month ago, I moved to Toronto (or, well, the GTA) for a position with the Canadian Football League. This life change is best illustrated by the following screenshot from my phone’s mobile data useage:

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Yes, I burned through almost one month worth of data in the space of one week – that’s what happens when you get a job on a Thursday evening, move Sunday afternoon, and start work on a Wednesday. Thankfully I had a place to live, but it was going to take the Lovely WiFi People (as they are known) two weeks to set it up, and in the meantime I had to figure out how to navigate public transit in a new city, get my hockey scores, and stay in touch with people.

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Quidditch

#QCNationals

Quidditch Canada held our first-ever national championship on March 28th & 29th in Burnaby, BC! I made a Storify of some of my livetweets during the championship final.

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It was an amazing feeling to sit in the stands to cover a match and hear so many people – most of whom had never seen a quidditch game before – laughing at the snitch and cheering for goals. Can’t wait to get bigger and better!

Photo by Taehoon Kim

Photo by Taehoon Kim

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Quidditch

Red White Dynamite

We did it! Myself and the Quidditch Canada Events Director Megan Stacey just finished unloading the car from the Eastern Regional Championship in Kingston this past weekend. The event was a huge success – finished early(!), no major injuries, and everyone seems to have had an amazing time.

Our work isn’t quite over – there’s feedback to gather, follow-up media, photos to sort through, and of course a few bruises and scrapes to ice.

Cait Woolner and Zoe Mastellotto of Carleton University Quidditch. (Photo by Vivian Cheung)

Cait Woolner and Zoe Mastellotto of Carleton University Quidditch. (Photo by Vivian Cheung)

I livetweeted the finals match between McGill and Carleton, and man – livetweeting never gets old, especially in a sport as fast-paced as quidditch. Goals were happening faster than my fingers could move, but I’m glad that people who weren’t there were able to follow along and experience even a little of the excitement of the final match.

McGill emerged victorious, and will have a chance to defend their title at Nationals in Burnaby on March 27th-28th. I know I can’t wait to livetweet that game, and many more in between.

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Quidditch

Quidditch Canada Regionals & the importance of preparation

It’s been a busy time at Quidditch Canada, as we’re in the home stretch for not one but TWO regional championships, both landmark events. Western Regionals (February 1st in Moose Jaw, SK) will be the first time we’ve ever hosted an event west of Ontario, and Eastern Regionals (February 7th-8th in Kingston, ON) is set to be the largest ever quidditch tournament in Canada.

There’s a LOT of preparation that goes into these kind of events – all five of our directors have been working on them for months. Our Membership Director Jill has been hard at work helping players and teams register and prepare to come, and our Gameplay Director Chris & the rest of the gameplay staff have been coming up with ranking algorithms, training referees, and deciding on tournament formats. Our Director Tegan has been steering the planning and finances, and our Events Director Megan has been putting together the whole opera – venues, schedules, volunteers, social events, and everything under the sun. We’ve all been orchestrating rules for new teams to allow everyone who wants to attend to make it. And our staff, from assistant tournament directors to refs to graphic designers, have been putting in long hours.

As Comms Director I have to be up-to-date on what everyone else is doing, and I also have my own specific set of tasks. Our first priority is hosting safe, high-quality sporting events that encourages fair and competitive play, but I also have to think of ways we can grow the sport. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

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review

The Commander’s Study; review of Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Tonight I was fortunate enough to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet perform Lila York’s interpretation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I went with my lovelies Jocelyn & Jo, and we were all very curious as to how such a plot-driven, largely-internal narrative would translate to ballet. We were all at least vaguely familiar with the plot (I ended up being incredibly grateful for my Sparks skim on the bus on the way there, as I’d last read it in high school).

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hockey

#HockeyFightsDV Update

I’ve been taking part in #HockeyFightsDV (a fan-organized campaign to support survivors of domestic violence by turning hockey stats into donations) since early November, and figured it was high time for a check in!

I track the stats using the NHL’s boxscores and an (ugly) spreadsheet:

Nodding my head like yeah, Excel formulas like yeah

Nodding my head like yeah, Excel formulas like yeah

We’re only just past the midway point of the season, and I’ve got a low ceiling as far as donations are concerned, but I think we’re going to have to mix things up a little. The Stars have struggled and Seguin and Benn have seen some time apart (to their chagrin, I’m sure), so the $0.50 I had originally allotted per point they teamed up for is a bit low. I’m rather invested in the Stars’ offense as a whole, so I’m going to add something to this category. I’m going to keep it at $0.50 (call it a misguided effort to try to goad the Stars into getting more points) but will award it for any combination of two or more of the following players: Tyler Seguin (TSegs), Jamie Benn (Captain Mama Bear), Jason Spezza (duck sauce beat drops), and Ales Hemsky (who looks good in green, despite having struggled this season after a dazzling short run with Ottawa). Teamwork, boys. Make me proud.

Phil’s also had a bit of slumpery, but I’m a Smart Girl who refuses to get further invested in the Leafs (a childhood spent cheering for Toronto sports teams has informed this decision; if you have ever done this or considered doing so I advise against it). You keep on doing you, Phil.

EK65 has been playing quite well, but I want to up the Sens’ ante because I’m proud of them all (yes, you too, Jared). In honour of his (adorable) captaincy of Team Canada’s WJC team, I’m going to donate $5 to MWAG for every Curtis Lazar goal.

He was blowing a kiss to Joe Hicketts for a great stretch pass, but he’s also blowing it to all of you. Credit: quiksilfver.tumblr.com

If you’d like to join up, I highly recommend it – it’s a tangible way to turn our enthusiasm for our favourite players and teams into something that will help valuable services provide support to even more people. You can make donations as small or large as you like, and you can also convince other people to sign up – I’ve already persuaded two! If you’re looking for an organization in your area to support, Hockey Fights DV has a list of some of the charities participants are supporting as well as some of the pledges people have made, which you can browse for ideas. $10 for a Carey Price shutout, $5 for every penalty Nazem Kadri draws (or Corey Perry takes), $1 every time a team in your conference loses (thereby bringing your team further into the playoff picture) – whatever you like! And spread your support – tell people about the campaign, ask your chosen organization the best way to support them, and call out sexism and violence wherever possible in your own life.

Keep yer stick on the ice.

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hockey

Hej då, Alfie

I wrote another guest post at High Heels and High Sticks, this time about Daniel Alfredsson’s retirement.

The Senators don’t have Cups (or a long and storied history… or multiple conference finals…. or playoff wins against our closest rivals…). But we had a great player to call our own, and a good man to call us his. My eyes stayed remarkably dry throughout warmups, too caught up in the sheer pleasure of watching him take sure, steady strides across the ice and lead the whole team in a game of keep-away as though they were a Timbits soccer team. We were a frozen cornfield full of love for him last night, and he deserved every clapping breath of it.

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