Achariya: Mother of Bloggers

Here at Late to the Theater, you know Achariya from her in-depth and illuminating articles, such as the ones about her Asian heritage or her childhood spent exploring Hawaiian caves with her entomologist father, but did you know she’s also a sports journalist?

It’s true! 

Achariya
Some of her hockey blogger pals. Photo shamelessly stolen from the Raw Charge site. 

For several years, she was Site Manager for hockey site Raw Charge. She did such a great job whipping folks into shape that one of her proteges wrote her this splendid and heartfelt piece: Raw Charge Secret Santa:  Highlight Achariya, The Queen.

Here’s a list of all the articles she’s written for the site. Spend a bit of time clicking around, even if hockey is an unknown country for you (as it is for me) and you’ll see her enthusiasm, intelligence, and high standards shine through. She’s a great writer, a serious journalist, dedicated Mom, and somehow still manages to be a wonderful human.

Please join me in toasting her, and celebrating her work! Send some good vibes her way, and wish her a happy weekend at DragonCon!

 

My Most Recent Accident

I watched a movie. At some point during an intense scene, I reached for my wine glass. I grabbed it a bit too hard, and it basically popped in my hand.

Folks who know me or who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am somewhat accident-prone. Happily, these accidents tend to be minor and only mildly life-threatening, leaving me with increased safety awareness, entertaining stories, and cool scars. Also, for all the accidents I’ve had, I’ve never had to get stitches or a bone reset, so I’ve been very fortunate in that case as well.

Remember how in last week’s post I said I’d stay inside, away from the fireworks, so I’d be safe?

It didn’t turn out so well.

Read on for a fun story about a drunken accident, and some mildly upsetting photos of hand trauma.

If that’s not your thing, the tl;dr is I got a bad laceration Friday night and got my very first ambulance ride and seven stitches. 

Continue reading “My Most Recent Accident”

An Important Discussion That Is Not Happening

“But the internet is full of assholes,” people will say. “If she didn’t want negative attention she shouldn’t have put herself out there,” others say.

I need to tell you about my friend.

My friend is:

  • Employed full-time
  • A hockey blogger who has been blogging about hockey and covering games for almost two years, and only recently started receiving a tiny amount of money for all that work
  • Possessed of a Master’s degree
  • Half-Thai
  • An amazing parent who makes huge sacrifices every day
  • A woman

Here is a video that someone sent  her.

This is a very evocative video. It starts out kind of funny, and the men and the journalists laugh a little bit. But things devolve, as they do. The men start sweating. They can’t say the words out loud, and they can’t make eye contact with the journalists, all of whom  have already read the ugly words. Heck, they read them when they opened up their email a day or so after publishing a post. As bloggers, we all open our emails after a post wondering what kinds of comments we’ll get (if any), and who’ll stop by for a hello and offer some insight. It’s why we blog! Opening your inbox to find a big steaming mass of hate is not something I’ve ever experienced, but I’ve had a teaspoon’s worth now and then. I can only imagine what it’s like.

This video particularly struck my friend because she has received similar comments. These comments do not just call into question her journalistic ability or knowledge of the game; they call into question her intelligence, her dedication to the sport, her usefulness to the species in general, and go on to suggest that she should be raped and left for dead.

“But the internet is full of assholes,” people will say. “If she didn’t want negative attention she shouldn’t have put herself out there,” others say.

For Love Of the Game

She didn’t put herself out there. She writes about hockey because she loves it. She covers games because she is passionate. We went to see the hockey documentary Red Army last year, and afterward she lit up for an hour, describing play positions, strategies, and filling me in on some of the current controversies surrounding the game. She was radiant.

She has a press pass, and she talks and Tweets about hockey with thousands of other fans (she has a huge following on Twitter). And yet, she receives vitriol and scorn from a few unbalanced individuals who are unable to accept that she loves the game, that she has channeled that love into something productive that gets her to press conferences, into games, into locker rooms to meet players, and worst of all, that gets her attention. She has worked tirelessly for love of the game and no other reason, and in her wake she has left amazing and insightful articles, intelligent discourse, and insightful discussion. She didn’t set out to do this, but it happened and journalism is better for it.

My Hero!

In many ways, my friend is my hero. She has fought some personal battles unrelated to hockey in the past few years that leave me in awe of her strength, patience, and compassion. Escaping into hockey keeps her sane, she says.

It is ridiculous that people cannot write about what they love without those open forums being poisoned by shitbags. Sure, the Greek philosophers speaking in the agorae of old expected to be catcalled or made fun of. People speaking against the Emperor in China were banished to death. People speaking against Popes have been excommunicated, if not straight up burned for heresy. If they were speaking against the current political climate and threatening the status quo, they expected to be threatened, and maybe even killed. But are we saying that this is the same thing? That sports journalists should expect death threats from irate readers?  HOW IS THAT THE SAME THING? People are passionate about sports – I’ve seen my Dad lose his shit over the Miami Dolphins for going on 30 years, I know fans are passionate, it’s the root of the word ‘fanatic.’

Perhaps I am just being naive. I realize the world can be quite ugly, but it’s the only one we’ve got so we’re stuck with each other. 

Let’s Do Something About This

Anyway, some fuckstick made my friend feel bad about herself for being a female hockey journalist, so I am trying to cheer her up. He has apparently been following her for some time, and left some highly personal observations in the comments about her. He seems to live in Canada, which is fortunate for my friend as she doesn’t have to worry about some nutbag showing up on her doorstep with a weapon, and yet that is a thing that worries her. Gamergate showed exactly how shitty and dangerous things can get for female journalists, no matter what they’re writing about, and I worry about my friend’s safety sometimes. But I’m only one Jen – I can only do so much. This is where ❤ YOU ❤ come in!

PLEASE retweet the video to raise awareness about the anti-bullying initiative! 

Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tU-D-m2JY8

Hashtag: #MoreThanMean

Video URL: https://youtu.be/9tU-D-m2JY8

Website: Just Not Sports

Please help make the voices of support louder than the voices of detraction.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great day!

Say Hello To the Person In the Seat Next to You On the Burning Plane

So from me to you, I hope you’ll hear me and believe me when I say It’s going to be okay.

I’m still alive! Just busy.

I’ve been watching a lot of movies, but haven’t had time to blog about them. I’ve been working on fiction, and wrote up an entry on Mudder of Dragons about my trip to New York and I’m working on another one for tomorrow. Go check it out if you’re bored or stuck in traffic!

Patricksponaugle linked to an amazing Oatmeal comic on Twitter last night and reading it really gave me pause. Here it is:

It’s going to be okay.  

You need to read it. Right now. Don’t save it for later, don’t scroll past and think ‘Oh I’ll read that later’ like I almost did, because I am NOTORIOUS for such and then forgetting. Just read it. It takes less than five minutes.

–Yeah.

If we are alive and reading this, we’re all on that burning plane RIGHT NOW, and we all have the opportunity to tell someone ‘It’s going to be okay.‘ Half of the act is saying it out loud – the other half is believing it yourself once you’ve said it.

It’s easy to gloss over the nuance of human suffering with what seems like a platitude… but really, it’s true. Holding on to hope in times of desperation is one of the best things about humanity – maybe that sounds like bullshit off a greeting card, and people say it all the time in situations when things AREN’T going to be okay and bad things happen anyway… but that isn’t what life’s about.

It actually reminded me of something that happened to me, one of my life’s great regrets.

The rest of this entry is behind a cut because it deals with the death of a family member and a personal failing on the part of the writer. I invite you to read it, but please be warned, it’s depressing.

Continue reading “Say Hello To the Person In the Seat Next to You On the Burning Plane”