Geek Steep: A New Tea and Fandom Podcast!!

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This week has been a hectic work week – so apologies to the people I didn’t manage to reply back to!!

Thanks everyone for all the love and support – and Martin I’ll make a note to try and be a bit clearer in our speech and pacing; but no promises – it’s hard to monitor your voice like that when you get caught up a discussion, or even better yet a nerd rant – haha!

We officially launched on Thursday – and now have two episodes out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, as well as the Buzzsprout link that I included in the main topic! It would mean the world if you’d all check it out on the platform of your choosing and, if you enjoy it, subscribe, download, rate/like, and share – all of those things really impact how we’re ranked in the various platform algorithms, which are a huge part of reaching new listeners! :)

Below this, in a different comment, I’ll include a breakdown of our first two episodes as well as a sneak peak of the third episode! We’ll have new episodes weekly on Thursdays, from now on. Thanks again all! Much love from both myself and Marika!

Haha, I understand :)
But if that’s my only complain I think it is great job!

Episode One – Buffy The Vampire Slayer

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows us that this is the fandom we chose as the topic for our first episode. One of the only fandoms for which both Kelly and I have a more-than-healthy affinity for, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the perfect first sip for our show.

Funny, irreverent, female-led, deep and fluffy at the same time, this geek is an awesome example of how good fantasy has something for everyone, how not take oneself too seriously and gives the audience much food for thought long after the episodes have aired. 20 years after they have aired to be exact in our case.

Recording this episode was just as much fun as I was hoping we would have when we first came up with the idea for Geek Steep. It may seem ridiculous, but I think deep down we just wanted an excuse to talk about fandoms and drink tea together. Actually recording the conversations somehow legitimizes all the time we spend doing it, and hopefully, others will like what they hear and eventually we will find a way to grow and broaden the conversations we are having.

Slightly nervous to record our first episode, of our first podcast, it was probably a smart move on our part to choose a subject we know like the back of our hand. I hope you enjoy our analysis and if you are not a Buffy fan, hopefully this will intrigue you just enough to check it out!

Episodes watched:

S4E10 Hush
S5E16 The Body

Teas drunk while geeking:

Marika – Blood Orange Boost (DAVIDsTEA)
Kelly – Jasmine Silver Needle (Adagio Tea)

Teas drunk while recording:

Marika – Just Peachy (Acme Tea) & Competition Bai Hao (Camellia Sinensis)
Kelly – Campfires and Vampires (Bird and Blend Tea Co.)

Post written by Marika!

Episode Two – Homestuck

When I first started reading Homestuck, I was confused. I didn’t understand where in the world wide web I had found myself. The format, small, minimally draw animated vignettes was unlike anything I had read in the past, and I was unsure how this was a comic.

You see, I was born in 1982. Comics had been, for me, relegated to the small neighbourhood comic book shops of my youth. And young adulthood. And adulthood.

I love comics. I grew reading X Men, Batman, Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke and Silver Surfer. The smell of a comic book shop (it seems that no matter where you find yourself on this planet of ours, they all smell the same: slightly musty and full of adventure!!) seemed intrinsic to the experience of far-away worlds, alternate universes, superheroes and adventures beyond imagination. Reading a comic that had been digitized had always lacked the smell of the shop, the feel of a new, pristine comic between one’s fingers and the thrill of new issues freshly delivered. The magic of the shop was absent and lessened my experience. I tried a few and gave up almost immediately. Comics online were not my groove.

But…I trust Kelly. I really do. We may not have the same taste in fandoms or tea, but her pallet is inarguably refined, informed and open to everything. So, when she suggested we read Homestuck, I immediately agreed, keeping my long-standing disdain of digitized comics to myself.

Moral of the story: trust your friends.

Homestuck is completely out of its mind. A rambling, entertaining story that utilizes its chosen medium to perfectly convey a new experience. Having read it, I still feel inept in my abilities to describe what it is, so therefore, you only have your trust in us when we say it’s a good steep.

I cannot wait to delve deeper into this world, especially now knowing the awesome and massive following it has. I feel as though I have learned a secret handshake of sorts, and cannot wait to meet the weird and wonderful devotees of this fandom.

Pairing this to a tea should be a lot of fun should you try it yourself. I would recommend reading at least 20-30 panels before settling on your choice, just so you can get an idea of the tone, and what aspects of the comic you would like to enhance through your beverage. Pick out of few teas as the tone in this comic can sometimes change on a dime, and a few options may aid in making new brews with every act.

So grab yourself a cup of tea and read on my fellow Geek Steepers. This is a fun one!

Listen to our latest episode of Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Content read:

Act 1 – https://www.homestuck.com/story
[S] Cascade – https://www.homestuck.com/story/4109

Teas drunk while geeking:

Marika – Chamomile Lavender (The Tao of Tea)
Kelly – 8 Ball 2020 Banpen Raw Pu Erh (Bitterleaf Tea)

Teas drunk while recording:

Marika – Ginseng Oolong (Mandala Tea)
Kelly – Tea Short (Hella Tea)

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

We’ll be diving into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine & watching the following episodes: S4E2 “The Visitor”, S6E19 “In The Pale Moonlight”, and S6E13 “Far Beyond The Stars”.

Post written by Marika

Episode Three – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

It was going to happen. It was very nearly the very first episode of the podcast. You see, dear reader, my love for Star Trek is profound, long standing and slightly over the top.

I started watching Star Trek from a very early age, following the adventures of Spock and Captain Kirk on reruns. The Enterprise was filled with some of the most courageous, curious, respectful, adventurous and decent people I had ever seen. They listened to each other regardless of ethnic background. They respected each other’s perspectives. They were not greedy or vain or spiteful. They worked to gain knowledge for the betterment of the human race. They admired each other’s cultures. They worked together for the greater good. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one. You are nothing without your crew, and your loyalty towards them should never falter. If we work together, we can create a better future for everyone.

From these Starfleet officers I learned the value of cooperation, compassion and the pursuit of knowledge. I was taught to question and stand up to injustice, and to never dismiss anyone out of hand.

I saw that people of colour made it to the future and were respected peers. It gave me hope.

I know this is just a TV show. I know that these are just fictional characters. I know that maybe I should have spent hundreds of hours investing in something else.

But I didn’t. And I don’t regret it.

I usually try to keep things light, and I promise a return to that format next week. I just thought I would take this opportunity to give you a glimpse into the kind of arguments I made to Kelly while introducing her to the geek this week. And although not everything in the Star Trek universe is perfect, I do hope that I have convinced you to check out at least some of the better episodes, because I think, perhaps naively, that they can help to make us all better versions of ourselves.

Live Long and Prosper Geek Steep Peeps.

Episodes watched:

S4E2 The Visitor
S6E13 Far Beyond the Stars
S6E19 In the Pale Moonlight

Teas drunk while geeking:

Marika- Zi Ye Pu Erh (Épices de Cru)
Kelly- Chocolate Rocket (DAVIDsTEA)

Teas drunk while recording:

Marika- Plum Blossom Dan Cong (Tea Runners)
Kelly- La Cumbre Bitaco (Camellia Sinensis)

Listen to our latest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

We’re jumping into the ethereal feeling world of Studio Ghibli with a movie that neither of us have seen from the infamous studio – Pom Poko!

Post written by Marika

Episode Four – Studio Ghibli: Pom Poko

When Kelly and I decided to watch a Studio Ghibli movie neither of us had seen, I was expecting haunting imagery, gods and monsters just beyond imagination and animation that can bring one to tears.

Although Pom Poko has some of the elements one has come to expect from the world-renowned studio that has brought us such classics as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, the tone of this movie forced me into unknown and slightly uncomfortable territory: the prominence of testicle magic.

What began as life or death struggle for survival by the raccoon-like Tanuki in their native homeland, ended with a kamikazi testicle magic attack that I tried, so hard, not to giggle through. After much research, we discovered that the shape shifting abilities of the Tanuki are well documented in the folk tales of ancient japan, and that the power, girth and magic of their testicles were as famous as the legends themselves. This is serious stuff. Serious historical stuff. Serious, ancient, cultural stuff.

Not funny. Not funny at all.

Except come on! Tiny, cute and animated raccoons launching a deadly and fatal attack on their enemies armed with nothing but their perspicacity and their testicles??? It’s funny.

I struggled the entire length of the movie to find maturity within myself, to act like an adult, and to respect an integral and culturally important part of Japanese culture. I felt shame that I could hardly compose myself at times, and that a fit of giggles would overwhelm me in the movie’s most climatic battle scenes. My western culture has taught me that testicles are funny and I could not rise above that. I admit it. I want to watch Pom Poko again for many reasons, as stated in this week’s podcast, but one of them being I would like to confront this culturally immature prone to laughter side of myself.

What did everyone else think of the movie? What it ballsy enough for you in regards to it’s commentary regarding the fragility of the environment?

What?!?

Teas drunk while recording:

Kelly- 2017 Lumber Slut (White2Tea)
Marika- Tea Studio Nilgiri Kukicha (Camellia Sinensis)

Teas drunk while geeking:

Kelly- Houjicha (The Tea Pracitioner)
Marika- Genmaicha (DAVIDsTEA)

Listen to our latest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

Next week we dip our toes into the DC cinematic universe with a movie that we first saw together; Birds of Prey!

Post written by Marika

Episode Five – Birds of Prey

I’m gonna start with a tangent, something I know you will permit dear reader. Not only because you have little choice in the matter, but because I feel that this blog post, regarding Birds of Prey, would begin most fittingly with one. A cacophonous entry into the comic book movie genre, Birds of Prey starts, develops and ends quite on its own terms, and I intend to do the same here.

So… The success of Star Wars (see, I told you it was a tangent, wasn’t kidding), has as much to do with the story, one rooted in ancient myth and legend, but also with the time at which it was released. Think back to early to mid 1970’s : the Vietnam war had no end in sight, Nixon had betrayed the trust of a nation, and every other movie that came out was an art house contender for who could depress you more. Star Wars was a breath of fresh air, one the public widely embraced.

Things today are somewhat similar : I don’t know how many wars are raging right now exactly, but they all feel endless, Trunp hasn’t betrayed anyone’s trust because he never had it in the first place and movies… well, for now, light hearted blockbusters are a thing of the past as Covid-19 has all but done away with the movie going experience.

What I am getting to (and I promise I am getting to it), is that Birds of Prey may not be the movie we asked for, but it may in fact be the movie that we need. Flashing lights, a grit tinged with humour and all the gravitas of a bag of Cheeto’s.

As I remarked in the latest episode of Geek Steep, I do not recommend watching this movie while hungry or on a diet. The constant barrage of high calorie, no nutritious food on display would tempt the most ardent of Keto die hards. I find it to be a perfect symbol of what the movie as whole is at its heart : naughty fun to be taken with a pinch of salt. And I don’t know about you, but the harsh realities of 2020 is something I definitely need a break from.

Is Birds of Prey perfect? No. It doesn’t have to be. It is however, in my humble opinion, something in which we are collectively in dire need of : a mother fucking break.

So grab a tea cocktail and drink. If it feels like the end of the world, let’s go out with a bang worthy of Harley Quinn.

Geek Steeped:

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Teas drunk while recording:

Kelly- Queen of Tarts (DAVIDsTEA)
Marika- Pineapple Bacon Rooibos (52Teas)

Teas drunk while geeking:

Kelly- Root Beer Float (The NecessiTeas)
Marika- Red Velvet Cake (Bird & Blend)

Listen to our latest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

Next week we dive into a deeply personal fandom that left an impression on Kelly from a VERY early age – Spiderman: The Animated Series! We’ll be looking closely at the two part Hobgoblin special from season one as well as “Enter The Green Goblin” from season three!

Post written by Marika

Episode Six – Spiderman: The Animated Series

Lets talk about firsts.

We have many in our lifetime: First apartment, first real ‘adult’ job, first love… and first fandoms.

I believe the phrase “first fandom” has two primary meanings. The first is the earliest piece of fandom that you can recall as an infant or child. This is often introduced by a parental figure or sibling though occasionally it’s just something you happened upon out in the vast expanse of endless world – for whatever reason this first piece of geekdom (whatever it may be) imprinted on you and made a lasting impression. The second? The first fandom you seriously fell in love with. You didn’t know it at the time but until discovering this fandom your life had been a drought and this fandom was rain. It was seeing colour for the first time. It shaped you in a way no other piece of geekdom had before. If you’re lucky, and I mean really lucky, these two fandoms were one and the same.

For me that’s Spiderman.

I can’t tell you why I loved Spiderman but like a newly hatched duckling imprinting on their mother, the first time I watched Spiderman: The Animated Series I was connected to it for life – and I was only two years old! I grew up watching reruns – as many as I possibly could. I didn’t really know or understand comics but something about this show made me feel alive. It was bright and colourful, and the fast paced animation and clever dialogue was rich and engaging. The characters, even the craziest of the iconic villains, felt real. To this day, I still think that my blunt and sarcastic nature was shaped by Peter Parker’s iconic quips.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I began exploring Spiderman outside of the animated show that I had grown to know and love, and that was a whole new world. I read comics, watched the movies, read fanfiction – pretty much anything I had access to, and… I moved on.

For over a decade I didn’t revisit the animated series. My early exposure to the series and the impressions I took away from it, from Wilson Fisk having a British accent to Mary Jane Watson being the most annoying of Peter Parker’s love interests, continued to influence my take aways from the new Spiderman content I was engaging with but I began to forget about the episodes that had swept me up so deeply.

Then we started a podcast. When we were planning out this first season there were fandoms that I knew Marika would want to include, and likewise she knew that Spiderman would be on the top of my list. I thought really hard what elements I might want to introduce to her. It’s not like she didn’t know Spiderman but she definitely didn’t know Spiderman the way that I did, and whatever I picked was going to be her first.

It was clear – we were going back to The Animated Series.

When the theme song started I realized that once again (right under my nose!) I had been in a drought. The rainfall wasn’t as intense as that first time – I know more now and I can see inaccuracies from the comics, I have a deeper understanding of the context of the story lines, and the animation isn’t as shiny and new… but this was still rain and Spiderman: The Animated series is always going to be my first.

Episodes Watched:

S1E11 The Hobgoblin
S1E12: The Hobgoblin part 2
S3E4: Enter the Green Goblin

Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly- Currant Conversation (Plum Deluxe)
Marika- Fruit Bomb Lapsang (White2Tea)

Teas drunk while geeking:
Kelly- Ginger Lemon (Wize Monkey) and Peach Zing (DAVIDsTEA)
Marika- David’s Breakfast Blend (DAVIDsTEA)

Listen to our latest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

We’re back to a fandom of Marika’s choosing, with a closer look at X-Files! Can Marika convince Kelly (who HAS attempted to get into this fandom in the past) to take it more seriously!?

Post written by Kelly

Episode Seven – The X-Files

I am not entirely certain why re-watching The X-Files was quite so comforting. Of course, the nostalgic power of watching characters with 90’s era cell phones and haircuts cannot be under estimated, but there was something more to it. Something particular to watching it in 2020.

I kept thinking over and over what it could be, reminiscing about the main themes of this cultural phenomenon and why it was resonating so strangely in my mind. Trust no one. The truth is out there. Don’t trust the government. It felt like the conspiracy theories so central to the once outlandish storylines where things that I was now seeing on a daily basis in the current news cycle.

The X-Files came at a time where the population’s trust in the government was somewhat good. Yes, undeniably eroded by years of scandal, Watergate, Erron, Whitewater… but compared to what we are currently dealing with, these scandals now seem adorable in comparison.

The world of 2020 is not only dominated by a global pandemic, but also by fake news, QAnon conspiracy theorists and a complete and utter distrust in the information we find in trusted news sources. Major organisations make it hard to believe that the truth is in fact out there. We question the very nature of truth.

This being said, it gives the X-Files, once a show littered with the themes of distrust, a comforting appeal. For Mulder and Scully, there is a factual truth to be uncovered, and although it may be obscured for most of the show’s run, it is never in question that it does in fact exist.

I find that notion deeply comforting. There is a truth. We may not see it yet, but we will get to it, and hopefully we will not be distracted by “alternative facts” and baseless conspiracies that do nothing to benefit our quest to find it.

Conspiracy theorists in The X-Files were presented in stereotypical ways, just short of wearing tin foil hats. Today, they masquerade behind semi legitimate YouTube channels and dubious “news” organizations. I realized that as with a great many things, I prefer the old ways. So grab your tin foil hat, a cup of tea and enjoy the show.

Episodes Watched:

S1E1 “Pilot”
S3E17 “Pusher”
S5E12 “Bad Blood”

Teas drunk while recording:

Kelly- Know by Heart (August Uncommon)
Marika- Necronomicane (Pitch Black North)

Teas drunk while geeking:

Kelly- Hay Buddy (Grown & Gathered)
Marika- Lapsang Souchong (DAVIDsTEA)

Listen to our latest episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Want to get ahead of next week’s episode!?

We’ll be exploring 2018’s Tomb Raider movie and diving into some of the lore/background that extends past the movie and into the video games!

Post written by Marika

Inkling said

Listened to this episode on my way to an appointment this morning and really enjoyed it! I’m pretty clueless about most of the fandoms y’all have covered so far (except for Spider-Man), but have still been loving the podcast. :)

I’m really glad you’re enjoying them even if you don’t know the fandoms!

We’re working really hard at trying to get a good mix of different types of fandoms (movies/tv/comics and classic/modern/somewhere in the middle) so that eventually everyone will hopefully get to experience at least an episode or two with the first season where they know the fandom!

But, at the end of the day, we know most people don’t know all the fandoms – hell, even we don’t always know the fandoms! So the joy of discovering something new to you is a big part of it, and we’re trying our best to find that middle ground of super nerding out about the fandoms we love while still making it fun even if you have no clue what the fandom is XD

Inkling said

I’d say you’re definitely meeting that goal! You two have such great chemistry and you’re just FUN to listen to. :)

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