Thursday, July 09, 2020
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Monday, July 06, 2020
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
I have a new book out today - sort of. It's releasing on Kobo today, so if epub and/or Kobo is your jam, you can pick it up now. It releases at the rest of the sites next week so you can go hit preorder.
Rafe has been using charm both in and out of work. Finding himself the only groomsman at a weather interrupted bachelor party isn't going to stop him from having fun. Felicia has made a living for herself helping out brides by posing as one of their bridesmaids. She's used to handling all sorts of unexpected hitches, but a solo groomsman who keeps showing up at all the bachelorette events is a new one for her. It doesn't matter if he's hot, Felicia's there to make the bride happy not herself. Not even if the bride decides a little matchmaking might make her happy.
1. This book is written to stand alone, but it is part of the City Complications series, so if you have read Aloha to You you will already know who Rafe's friend Seth is. In fact, you will have met Rafe too.
2. I don't always know exactly what inspired my stories, because my writer brain is often like a sticky ball, gathering up bits of things until it coalesces into something. For this one I know. I was listening to NPR's "Ask Me Another" and on that same show they had a woman who was for some time a professional bridesmaid, and a gentleman who had garnered internet fame for being the only member of his bachelor party. And I thought what if I stuck them together?
3. It is a particularly odd thing to have a book that involves travel to three different cities, and a number of non-socially distant gatherings amid a moment where essentially none of these things are really possible. I have friends trying to figure out if they should even get married right now.
4. I have watched a lot of TV shows about animal rescue. I myself have a cat from a shelter. The people who dedicate some or all of their time to animal rescue, are wonderful people who do a lot of work, and see a lot. This book contains many fictional dogs, who all survive and are happy. Let's not tell my cat that I have now written more fictional dogs than cats, mmkay?
5. This book starts in New Orleans, a city that called to me so much the first time I visited. I've been lucky enough to visit it several times since. With groups and on my own.
6. This book, in addition to DC and it's suburbs (because of course) also spends some time in New York City. New York City and New Orleans have been hard hit by both the COVID 19 pandemic, and police brutality. (DC also.) Here's hoping the world that we build going forward is better on all fronts.
7. There is a teeny Broadway reference in here. Let me know if you spot it.
Oh also, if you are playing Ripped Bodice Bingo, this works for I'm on a Boat and Secret Identity.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Monday, June 08, 2020
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Secret Identity - See also Nothing to Fear, Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Title is a pun - Unsung Heroine by Sarah Kuhn (see, there's karaoke. That's punny.)
Healthcare professional - See also He's Come Undone - Ruby Lang's story has a healthcare professional
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
4. In theory they are designed to be aimed at the thigh, since that's a fleshy part of the body to minimize damage.
Monday, June 01, 2020
1. Pepper spray is a weapons grade chemical agent. Pepper spray comes in multiple strengths, but what determines that strength is not regulated. It is designed to inflame any mucous membranes, so eyes, nose, throat, lungs. It generally causes burning, wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath. It can also cause bluish discoloration of the skin. If any of these also sound like the symptoms you have been told to watch out for with COVID 19, you are correct. It was terrible before we had a pandemic. It is especially terrible within one.
2. Repeated exposure can change your corneas.
3. If you have asthma, take certain medications (no I have not been able to find a clear list) or are otherwise experiencing breathing issues, the additional information caused by pepper spray can be lethal. Pepper spray has also been found to cause cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological toxicity.
Because it is based on a plant, it also possible for someone to be allergic to it.
4. When pepper spray or pepper balls are released into a public area, there is no way to contain the spray, or be certain no one there has a pre-existing condition.
5. When pepper spray is deployed by law enforcement they often use large amounts designed to target a large area. They train on being pepper sprayed because most of their methods are so widespread they know they will also be sprayed. Also, studies have shown that police often employ racial bias (which yes, is a fancy way to say racism) in determining who to spray.
Also, pepper spray - though often the balls or pellets used to deploy it, damages nearby buildings.
6. Pepper spray cannot be rinsed off. It cannot be removed from the respiratory system.
7. Pepper spray is banned for use in war by the Chemical Weapons Convention. It is currently only legal for use on your own citizens in the US. Oh and bears. It is legal to use on bears.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
I was talking to someone recently who had been advised to use up some of their accrued vacation time in the next few months. Since I've been working a freelance life of late, let me tell you I totally understand that it can be very hard to take a day when there is always stuff to be done. I wrote this post on a weekend which tells you how good I am at following my own advice.
And for many of us who have bought into the work more, get more, because we only rest when we're old mentality, the thing that got you away from your desk was the prospect of going somewhere new. Going to a new city, or just somewhere new in town, but something you couldn't do sitting at home. In places where stay/shelter/whatever we are calling it orders are in place, it seems silly to say, hey I need a day where I can sit in essentially the same place I'm sitting now, staring at the same four walls I'm staring at now.
You still need it. And probably not just for a day, probably two or three, or maybe even a week. I have essential workers in my life, and they are still taking vacation days, even if they can't travel to where they had hoped to travel.
You may feel super privileged to be doing your job at home. You may have lost your job or been furloughed. You still need breaks. Even if the break is from applying for jobs.
While culturally we have accepted the idea of mental health days, I think we tend to think a few things about them. You should only need one. And you should probably only need it if things are really bad for you.
Partially this is tied in with our thinking about mental health which is not great. But also, hi, things are really bad. I know sometimes we are asked to look at the bright side, to be grateful for all the things we do have. And hey, if your job and your health, and your loved ones are all doing great, then yes, things are good. But, that doesn't mean your life has not been altered by this global event. It doesn't mean that things aren't hard. And it really, truly doesn't mean that you never get to have a day off that isn't a regularly occurring weekend or holiday (assuming that's how your job is structured.)
To quote an ad slogan, you deserve a break. Even if it means you sit in the same chair and talk to the same people you've talked to, you deserve a break from emails, or phone calls, or video calls. Take the time. Not to make the corporate overlords happy that you aren't hoarding vacation time. Take the time because the corporate overlords gave you this time to make you a more productive human. They didn't do it to be nice. They did it because employees who burnout are less useful to them.
And speaking as your pocket friend*, burned out pocket friends are less fun. So do it for you, for them, and for me.
*pocket friends are friends you know through the internet and therefore they are friends who live in your pocket, since many internet devices are pocket sized.
Friday, May 22, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Monday, May 18, 2020
As best I can recall, I met Chantell about twenty years ago. We were working in a call center in Silver Spring. We were on different teams, but then a third team had a huge event that spiked their call volume through the roof and suddenly all of us were taking calls for that. At the time, when Chantell left for the day, she went to a second job where she handled a late night shift at another call center. Even at the time the idea exhausted me. I was impressed that she managed to ever be a functional human being in that situation.
Call center life is tough. Lots of folks cycled in and out. Eventually I moved into a role where taking two hundred calls a day would be unheard of. Chantell lasted longer than I did in the call center, although we ended up reunited on a client team later where we worked together for several years. After that team was eliminated I moved into a different role and Chantell moved to a different company where some of our other co-workers had gone.
We talked about TV shows, roommates, and religion. Our faiths were different and yet the questions she asked were respectful and came from a place of genuine interest.
Chantell and I joked about having fake kids, when co workers wanted to leave early when there was bad weather. (To be clear, we were both in favor of folks being safe. We just had some coworkers who were pretty sure we should hold down the fort while they went home.)
She never showed up at the unofficial workplace reunions we put together to gather folks up. So most of our contact after that was through social media. She was quiet at work, and she wasn't a big believer in being nice to people just for the sake of being nice. Polite yes, nice no. She had a wonderful sense of humor and an incredible moral center.
Chantell passed away last week as a result of COVID 19. Chantell had moved back to New Jersey to be closer to her family, so the logistics of attending her funeral would have been tough even in non-pandemic times. I say this to remind myself I would have had to find closure without that anyway. But the world was brighter with her in it.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020
Thursday, May 07, 2020
Monday, May 04, 2020
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Monday, April 20, 2020
I've been watching a lot of "Chopped" lately. "Chopped" differs slightly from other cooking competitions in that the format is very unchangeable. They have certainly done special episodes, but one of the challenges you find in some other cooking competitions is that a chef who watched 2-3 episodes to figure out what they were signing on for might see three challenges that end up being not applicable to their own experience. Of course, it does mean that when "Chopped" does break format - like everything is breakfast, use chocolate in every dish, I have even less sympathy with the contestants.
But I have - in addition to be a dude, which helps tremendously - https://theintersectionoffoodnetworkandgender.wordpress.com/about/ - I have come up with seven tips for contestants that my non-chef, just watching at home self has determined.
1. If you nicked yourself get it taken care of. The chef who gets blood on the plate goes home. Seriously, they will have more sympathy for your dish being unfinished and not bloody, than they will for bloody. There is more than one instance of a chef who did not think they were bleeding who got blood on the plate. The clock is your enemy but inedible is inedible.
3. Taste it. In fairness, a lot of these boil down (lol) to time. But if you haven't tasted all the things, then little things like two little or too much salt that you could have fixed will escape you. And if they asked you if you tasted it and you have to say no, it's bad. Not as bad as trying to pretend you meant to serve a salt lick.
5. Don't be a dick. I know the chef world prizes arrogance and boldness. I know the show is designed to constantly ask you why you think you're better than your competitors. I know my personal wishes and desires as a person who does not hire and fire chefs, probably matters little. But here's why I think you should avoid being a dick about it. Because the editors at "Chopped" get to pick and choose clips after the show has been decided. And sure, if you say things like, well, I was really proud of what I served but I'm up against some great competitors, you're right that they may never use that even if you end up the winner. (Although the winner always gets to say the last few words. Plus the winner gets money.) But if you say, at least my dish didn't look like trash the way Susie's did, and you get cut that round, they are definitely using you saying that. And you go out looking like a dick.
7. Putting a cold thing on a hot thing melts the cold thing. I know this seems self explanatory, but I have seen this come up multiple times. It's often a result of thinking of ingredients and not the whole plate. So if you baked something that you then want to put something cold on, you need to allow time for that baked thing to cool.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Sienna looked at the phone. He had texted her last night when they made it to DC, so it wasn't an idle question.
Sienna: Why? You gonna whisk me away somewhere? <winky smile>
The junior hockey league was getting ready for their finals - a time-crunched playoffs and finals all in four days. Sienna had offered to go, but it turned out there were limited seats on the team bus. Once she had realized the whole team plus coaching staff needed to travel by bus for nine hours together, well, Sienna was happy to watch their games on the livestream.
With a lot of the stuff for KeKi running well, it meant Sienna's schedule had normalized for a bit. Although it turned out paying attention to hockey was a real schedule eater.
But did she have some free time to offer a certain goalie? Perhaps she did.
Al was stopping off to do a quick appearance at the children's hospital after doing the media gauntlet.
Sienna: Way to brag.
Al: Lol. Yeah, there's no way to be like, oh I have to go smile a children and not sound like you are bragging or lying. At least not that I've found.
Al: But seriously, you pick anywhere you want. Preferably not too fancy, although I own suits.
Sienna: So all the pressure is on me. It's cool. I'm used to this.
Al: I believe in you.
Sienna felt a little fluttery something. But he was joking of course. Gosh. Sienna was so used to being taken somewhere. Her one Ex seemed to know people at all these places. And well, yes, in retrospect, they were mostly women that he knew in all these places. Sienna was more savvy now. Knew plenty of people said things just to say them. Getting caught up in thinking every single one was true was how you ended up sleeping on your brother's couch for a while.
But food. Sienna wished there was some place she had been secretly dying to go. She liked food, appreciated food, but didn't track the food scene, mostly just went where other people suggested. She could ask people of course. Raven or Marcus might know somewhere. But she had the whole of the internet available to her. Besides both Raven and Marcus would have questions she didn't want to answer.
But Kyran. Kyran wouldn't. Kyran worked as a concierge at the hotel where her brother worked. When things had gotten a little tense with Sienna staying with her brother, Kyran had let her stay with him for a bit.
Sienna: Hey, Kyran - gimme a good restaurant.
Kyran: Gonna need more info. Price range? Group size? Desired ambiance?
Sienna: Two people. Not noisy but not like Valentine's Day. And price is not no object, but less of a concern.
Sienna had googled hockey player salaries. Not because she wanted a piece of Al's money. But well, it seemed once you were on a long term contract, you were doing okay. And while this felt like a date, Sienna was not going to be the one who took a friendly dinner request and pushed it over the line into date territory all by herself. Nope.
Besides she had a focus on business not dating rule. If someone else broke it that was one thing. But she wasn't going to go out there making it happen.
Kyran helped her settle on something and Sienna made a reservation and texted Al all the details.
Now she just had to figure out what to wear. Fortunately she had tons of experience in crafting an image.
I can't remember quite how long I've know Cristina. The knit night at Looped is about nine years old, but over the years there have been regulars, irregulars, folks whose lives, jobs, kids, and/or school have caused them to cycle in and out.
At some point Cristina and I figured out we were the same age. I am a dedicated cat person. She was a dog person who had also had cats, but been too sad to find another when her previous one passed away. But then she took over a relative's and she shared the slow winning over process as the cat decided she might be an okay caretaker.
The nature of knit nights are that I can remember talking jobs, and bad bosses, and taxes, and condoms with Cristina. She was firm in what she wanted in so many ways. She went from knitting stockinette that she never quite finished (oh those seemingly easy projects) to amazing colorwork.
It is easy to assign battle terms to illness, as if the amount of fight in a person has some bearing in their eventual success. Cristina said they considered her young and healthy when she came in (which, being the same age, I heartily approve of this framing).
COVID-19 is a nasty germ. Cristina was added to the death totals in Maryland this week. Due to various social distancing policies, we obviously haven't done in person knit night for a few weeks now. It's heartbreaking to think I won't ever get to see her in person again.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Sienna: Good game.
Sienna: Are you on the plane?
Al: Bus now, then plane.
Sienna: Cool, text me when you're back in DC.
He pocketed his phone. Kunyk was looking at him. "Texting your sister?" he asked.
Al frowned. "What do you know about my sister?"
"So not her then. Parents?"
Spruce leaned over the back of his seat in front of them. "What are we talking about?"
"Stop is texting someone very intently."
"Really?" Spruce said. "Who is it? Is this why you're watching rom coms?"
"Rom coms are great." Mulvenna leaned over the back of his seat, so now Al had three sets of eyes trained on him. He'd honestly rather be back on the ice, if this was the grilling he'd get off of it.
"I was just texting a friend that I'd be home later tonight."
"Do you have friends that are not on this bus?" Mulvenna asked.
"Are you guys this lacking for entertainment that we are counting friends now?" Al asked.
"I was honestly just teasing you, dude," Kunyk said. "You looked so serious that I thought for sure you were texting your agent or something. But then you smiled and got all squirrelly when I asked you. But you can have secret friends if you want."
"Tell me the secret," Spruce chanted. "Tell me the secret."
"Has anyone got Nyquil? Some sort of sleeping pill. Chloroform maybe," Al asked.
"Hey," said coach who Al hadn't seen walking down the aisle until just then, oops. "No drugging your fellow teammates."
"So," Kunyk said, "other teammates are still on the table. Yes." He fistpumped.
"And I'm walking away so I have plausible deniability later," said Coach.
They all snickered.
"Are we gonna have time to play a game on the plane," Spruce asked. "Or are you fogies all going to sleep."
Mulvenna pillowed his hands under his cheek and made fake snoring sounds.
"Boo," Spruce said. "I need new friends."
"Hey," Kunyk said ruffling Spruce's hair. "Just remember fogies wake up early and know how to charm hotel staff."
"Ugh," Spruce said. "I hate you. It was bad enough I had Hrkac as my roommate all last year. This year I was supposed to have some privacy." Spruce had been drafted last year. First year players often had to share a room on road trips. This year he didn't.
"I don't know why you need privacy to dress up like a princess and sing Disney songs. That seems like the kind of thing that would go over better in groups," Kunyk said.
"It's called cosplay, duh," Spruce said. "And I do do it in groups. But only with people who like respect the characters. Not people who confuse Elsa and Merida."
"Those are completely different characters," Al said.
"I know!" Spruce said. "But this dude," Spruce pointed to Kunyk, "saw a red wig, a bow and arrow and somehow thought that was an ice queen." Spruce shook his head.
"Wait, why is this about me all of a sudden. Does everyone even know there is a Disney princess named Merida?"
Al and Mulvenna both nodded.
As the team filed off the bus, Al could hear Kunyk going up and asking the other players. Al was sure the other players were confused, but honestly, everyone had post game entertaining themselves while they travelled rituals.
"How complex is your cosplay?" Al asked. "And do you bring it to every trip? Is that why your bag is so huge?"
"We can't all be one suiters like you, Al," Mulvenna said.
"Wait," Spruce said. "You have one suit? I thought for sure you at least had two identical suits."
"I do," Al said. "Trust me, all it takes is one spill to learn to bring a spare."
"Okay. And no, I don't bring it to every game. Kunyk busted into my room to do whatever when we were playing Chicago at the same time C2E2 was happening."
"Wait it was?" Mulvenna asked. "That wasn't this year, right? I'm gonna be so bummed if that was this year."
"It was, dude, sorry. But if it coincides again, I'll let you know," Spruce said. "Usually C2E2, New York, and Seattle, are the ones I keep an eye out for when we get the schedule. A lot of the rest are in the off-season."
Spruce and Mulvenna started talking favorite conventions and Al slipped his phone back out of his pocket to text Sienna.
Al: Getting on the plane now.
He couldn't wait to get back to DC.
Monday, April 13, 2020
After the players all showered and were reminded what time they needed to be at the stadium for the game and were sent on their way.
"So," Spruce said, "I found like the best place to have lunch. We should all go."
Al knew the we was really just Kunyk and Mulvenna. Spruce would and had likely already texted the whole team about this place, but the players tended to stick to their sub groups on the road.
Mulvenna was right behind them and nodded when Al looked. "Did you already text Kunyk?' he asked.
They turned the corner in the hallway and Kunyk was standing right there, looking like a freaking hockey poster.
"I did," Spruce said.
"I'm so hungry," Kunyk said.
"Did you skip breakfast?" Mulvenna asked.
They walked outside. "Are we walking or driving?" Al asked.
"We can walk." Spruce said leading the way.
The restaurant Spruce had picked looked kind of like a sports bar. It was a good sign. Spruce sometimes went a little more esoteric with his picks. Nothing he'd ever selected had been terrible, other than the one place that turned out to only do raw food. They had all gotten a snack after that. The challenge was often finding something that was open, near enough to the stadium that they didn't have to worry about being too far away, but offering a wider selection than if they had just gone back to the hotel to eat.
They ate enough hotel food anyway. After tonight's game, they were going to check in at the next stop too late to have any other options.
After they made their orders, Kunyk and Spruce started sharing pictures they had taken with the team dog. Al looked over at Mulvenna. "I listened to that podcast. Just two episodes though. Not gonna make a habit of it, but you were right, it's pretty cool."
"Did you listen to my appearance?"
"I did. And well, I already knew you talked to your goal posts, but man dd you have to tell like everybody about that?"
"You talk to your goal posts?" Spruce asked.
"Oh," Kunyk said, "that's not even close to the weirdest goalie thing I've ever heard."
"Well," Mulvenna said, "I'm so glad that's what we're going to talk about today, and not say, weird habits of forwards and defensemen."
"What's the weirdest goalie thing you've heard? Was it the guy who puked before every game?" Spruce asked.
"No, although that one's odd too. Why make yourself feel gross right before a game?," Kunyk said. "But it's gotta be-"
"Here's your orders, gentleman," the waitress said, quickly sliding plates in front of each of them.
"Sorry, man," Al said quietly to Mulvenna. Raising his voice so the other guys could hear, he said, "Of course I heard there was this one hockey player who liked to eat raw food before every game."
"Oh come on, now," Spruce said. "I apologized for that one. I thought it was like the next level up from farm to table. Or like sushi or something, where some things are raw. I really didn't think they were going to give us like a plate of veggies and juice."
"How did we start talking about this anyway?" Kunyk asked.
Al was fully able to take the blame when something was actually his fault, despite some people's thoughts about goalies. "Mulvenna was on a podcast, and he mentioned talking to his posts."
"Thanks for clarifying that," Mulvenna said. "Who watched a good movie last night?"
"I did. I watched 'Then and Now'," Al said.
"You and your chick flicks," Kunyk said.
"It's pretty funny," Al said. "There's this one part where-"
"Nope!" Mulvenna held his hand near Al's face. "No reenactments in the restaurant. We all remember what happened in Boston."
Al nodded. "Fine, but it was funny. You all should watch it."
It was only as they left the restaurant, he heard Spruce lean over and ask Kunyk, "Okay, but what did happen in Boston?"
Social distancing is like Abstinence Only Education. Hear me out. So, in much abstinence only sex ed, the instructor shows up, says don't have sex until your married, and then blathers on about how violating this rule makes you bad and worthless.
So the folks in the audience who have children and are not married tune out.
The folks in the audience who are already having sex tune out.
The folks in the audience who can't imagine a scenario in which they would ever want to get married tune out.
Sure there are folks who keep listening. And some of them think, okay cool, I just won't have sex until I get married. And they don't ever engage in any sexual behavior until they get married.
Some of the folks still listening think, okay, I'll just skip sex, but surely they meant like married sex, right? So that's like a penis and a vagina together. There's tons of stuff I can do that's not that. No worries.
And I feel like we have arrive at this approximate place with social distancing. Some people are healthcare workers, construction workers, food workers, pharmacy workers, grocery store workers, security guards, landscapers, bus drivers, first responders, taxi driver, and other essential employees, and so they are still going to work. Some of them have been given PPE and some have not.
Some people have a job that is either currently cancelled, has transitioned to work from home, or was always work from home. Some of those people have fridges and pantries large enough that they can go weeks without leaving.
And they are either staying entirely inside, or going out with face coverings, exercising social distancing as they do so.
Some people have kids or dogs or tiny spaces that don't let them keep several weeks of food stored up. They are used to going outside every single day, multiple times. So going out once or twice a day, feels like a huge adjustment already.
Some people don't have homes, and while my city's current stay at home please order encourages you not to be homeless, I could hardly blame someone for deciding even now, especially now, that the street is safer than a shelter, where social distancing is near impossible. (See also, jails.)
And some people hate rules, and so they are going to do what they want to do, and if some stupid germ comes for them, so be it.
It isn't even that last group that's the most dangerous. They may be out there, mask and glove free, touching all the things and still spitting in the street, but they are clear dangers. As with so many things, the person who thinks they are social distancing well, and yet continues to go out and touch all the shiny things outside, they are, in my humble opinion, the one who's gonna be the big infection vector.
In the sex positive sex ed class that I teach we do an exercise with candies. Everyone gets a bag with an randomly assigned batch of candies and they can go and trade with their classmates or not. When we did this with adults in the training, one of the adults decided not to share with anyone. A couple of us went wild, sharing with anyone who asked.
At the end, we were told which colors represented disease, which represented condoms (ie PPE for sex), and which meant nothing. It's a silly exercise, and a great excuse to get the whole class hopped up on sugar. But in the end the idea is that the people who look just like your friends may be sick and not know it. They didn't mean to infect you. But the interactions you engage in without protection are the ones that don't only have risk to you.
And yes, there is a PPE shortage in this country, and medical professionals do not have enough. Do not use medical grade PPE unless you have been assigned it by your job or your medical professional.
But we have to think not only about our risk, but that of others. Maintaining equilibrium with those beings inside your house is important too. I am not trying to take that away, especially as we face what looks like a longer bout of this.
But so far we've been given a lot of don't go out unless it's essential. And it seems, based on my recent trip to get some food, folks definitions of essential is where we are seeing a lot of variance.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Monday, April 06, 2020
Today's prompt is offsides.
Note: The top of this post has been edited to reflect counting by prompts. Previous entries: Prompt one - which includes the what and who, prompt two, prompt three, prompt four, prompt five, prompt six, prompt seven, prompt eight, prompt nine, prompt ten, prompt eleven, prompt twelve, prompt thirteen.
She could buy a ticket of course. She checked online, and there were still tickets available. But maybe she would just watch it at home, the way she had for the away games.
She and Jay had met up at the coffee shop again and Raven had sent her home with a bunch of brownies. There were never brownies at the hockey arena so this was fine. She had grabbed takeout from a nearby Vietnamese place.
And she settled in with the game streaming, she kept her phone up. She had joined a chat for the fans and folks on the podcast. Her first appearance had gone well and they were having discussions about bringing her back on to do a regular feature.
Someone had helpfully explained what offsides meant because the announcers for the game just told her it had necessitated a stoppage in play and a face off.
SiennaClear: Appreciate it folks, I'm learning. Slowly but surely.
The Oaks scored and there was a bunch of ughs and boos let loose in the chat.
NumberOneDomeFan: Mulvenna sucks. They should put Stop in.
ATMPMod1: Hey, folks, just a reminder that we all love the Domes, but we want to critique specific player behavior on the ice, not make blanket statements.
There was more mumbling with folks declaring their love for Stop or Al or Tseu. Hockey players went by so many names, Sienna often found it was like reading a regency historical novel where the duke character would have a first name, a last name, a title, and different people called them some variation of each of those names.
Actually, that was a great idea for a KeKi post. Sienna grabbed a notebook. Everyone had lots of names, personas, especially folks who existed on social media.
There was something in the announcer's tones that made her look up at the screen again. An Oak player skated across the ice, the Domes player behind him looking way to far behind. The Oak player flicked his stick and Mulvenna dropped into a butterfly, but the red light behind him followed by the cheers of the Oaks players said it was too late. Sienna watched the slo-mo replay.
"Right through his five hole," the announcer said as the puck passed between the goalies skates while he was still dropping down.
That had to be so hard, Sienna thought.
Sienna thought about texting Al, but probably he didn't want to talk to anyone right now. Sienna had caught herself scanning the shots of the bench, for glimpses of him.
Sienna tugged her shirt and realized she had forgotten to put on her jersey. She usually only wore it when she went to a game in person. Of course that meant she'd worn it to the Blizzards game too. But what could it hurt right? And if it didn't work she just wouldn't ever tell anyone.
She went over to the closet and grabbed the jersey sliding it on. These things were so warm when you were sitting inside.
Sienna check on the chat again.
NumberOneDomesFan: I told you that Mulvenna sucks. They should put Stop in.
There was more agreement this time.
Keymaster: Folks, Stop gets a day on the bench like everyone else. Heerema's a top ten scorer in the league this year for a reason.
NumberOneDomesFan: Hey Sienna, tell us the truth, you wore Stop out didn't you?
Sienna read it twice before the text disappeared before her eyes.
Underneath a new message appeared.
ATMPMod1: Okay folks, we've got a user on timeout. Going forward, let's try to leave the penalties to the players.
An alert appeared that she had gotten a private message. "Hey, Sienna, we wanted you to know the user who commented on you has been moderated. We apologize, that's not the environment we're trying to create here. If there are additional concerns we can address, let us know."
Sienna appreciated it. She logged out of the chat anyway. It was just too much. Kunyk scored for the Domes next, and Sienna patted her jersey. In the end the Domes had a rocking third period and pulled ahead just before the buzzer.
Jay had been right though. Tangling with sports fans was a dangerous proposition.