Monday, March 31, 2014

Ask James Anything Month: We Get Stacks and Stacks of Letters

Greetings from a motel in Yorkton, Saskatchewan!

It's been quite the whirlwind month for me since last we spoke; I've overseen the final episode of Winnipeg Internet Pundits, entrusted the physical Slurpees and Murder Record Club collection (there were a lot of records) to radiomaking sensation Christian Cassidy, bequeathed most of my vast fighting-game library to the fine folks at Chip Damage, guested on an episode of City Circus with Royal-Albert-saver Marty Gold, and done a lot of final-visiting and merrimaking with folks whenever I wasn't doing all that stuff I just mentioned above.

With very nearly all of my local -- well, 'local', now -- that'll take some getting used to -- (where was I) -- with very nearly all of my local loose ends tied up, I set out early this morning from Winnipeg with a car packed full of my remaining possessions. Sometime tomorrow evening I should be arriving in the wilds near La Ronge, Saskatchewan, or more specifically in a nearby Lac La Ronge subdivision that can only get internet by smartphone.

Not yet having a Saskatchewan smartphone, I'll be off the e-grid until I get that sorted out. So I'd better get this mailbag a-rolling!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

I Found a New Job and I'll Be Moving Far Away, so March is Ask James Anything Month

Hello, friends! It's been quite the week.

You may've wondered why I seemed to disappear into the internet ether after my most recent post. Those of you who also follow me on Twitter were aware by then that my cat was pretty gravely ill around that time; I spent my time before that post my the time after that post coaxing medications into her, nine times per day, ultimately taking her back to the vet's the next day when she still didn't show any improvement. (The details get a little grisly, so I'm trying to be concise about it.)

So I stuck next to the phone very closely those next few days, waiting for updates, and a rather different sort of call came in when I did; if you've encountered me any-elsewhere on the internet lately, you've already heard the big news. My favourite cat in the world passed away, and I found out that I'll be moving 1,100 kilometres northwest about a month from now. Those two life events were within 24 hours of each other. It's been quite the week.

Onward to adventure! I'm incredibly excited to become the Library Consultant for the Pahkisimon Nuye-ah Library System, based out of Air Ronge, Saskatchewan. And when I say 'based', I mean that my role with the organization will involve extensive travel; I'll be making trips all around to the member communities, driving to anywhere that has a road (I'm told the furthest drive will be the six hours to La Loche) and flying to anywhere that doesn't. So as someone who really loves librarianship and really loves exploration, I'm quite looking forward to this new opportunity.

If you've never been up there, it is beautiful scenery. I drove up there this past December (from Winnipeg, in one day -- get at me), and the route north from Prince Albert is two and a half hours through breathtaking boreal forest. And very early on in that drive, a great big sign beside the highway helpfully warns you that there won't be any gas stations for another 230 kilometres or so.

That's the other thing: if you're unfamiliar with the La Ronge / Air Ronge area, you may not appreciate how far north it is. It's about two and a half hours north of Prince Albert, as I'd said, or approximately six and a half hours north of Regina. Y'know how 90% of the Canadian population lives within 160 kilometres of the US border? Well, this isn't that. When I say I'm moving north, I mean a different biome north.

It's exciting! I'm really excited. (And if you've talked to me recently but before I landed the job, you knew how miserable I was feeling about a lot of things. Ah, but that was then.) But, alas, this means that I'll be leaving Winnipeg behind -- and with it, everything I've been doing around here.

So with the position starting in the first week of April, I have about a month remaining to tie up everything I'd had on the go. The other blog has now drawn to a close, and the radio show will run a few more episodes before officially concluding on March 19th. Here on Slurpees and Murder, I won't be around to finish ManLinkWeek, so I'll let that end where it stands -- and there're a couple more things I want to get onto the Slurpees and Murder Record Club before it's all said and done, so hopefully I'll get those out while they still make sense.

Having established all that, I'd thought to myself -- well, what can I do to play this site off, for the last month I'm still around? And then I remembered, oh yeah, I have a March feature, I did it all through March last year.

So let's give it one more spin, friends and faithful: March is Ask James Anything Month! If you've ever wondered or wanted my thoughts on something, well, now's the time, I'd say. Hit me up!