Geek Steep: A New Tea and Fandom Podcast!!

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Episode Ten – Squirrel Girl

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a typical superhero. You can probably see a physically strong, Greek god type body forming in your mind’s eye. Fierce determination set in the jaw, chest puffed out, piercing look in the eyes, fists clenched, muscles taught, head held high, sturdy legs at the ready to break out into a leap, bound or run at a moments notice. In the last century, these characteristics defined most superheroes, from Batman to Spider-Man, Black Widow to Black Panther. The superheroes listed above also a proclivity for borrowing their names from animals both scary and deadly.

It is for those reasons that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was such an original and satisfying read.

Unless you have walked into your storage space to find a family of squirrels nestled in your boxes (summer 2017, a girl doesn’t forget), these precociously adorable creatures do not evoke any terror into the hearts of a major super villain the likes of Thanos or Galactus. Cute and ubiquitous, they simply seem to co-exist with us, to the point that one may be forgiven for even noticing they are there.

Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, does not seek to strike heart into those that would seek the destruction of Earth. She simply knows that these Big Bads must be defeated. And if the Avengers are not available, well then, hell, she’ll just have to do it herself.

That confidence, gumption, earnestness, honesty and courage are the qualities we try to teach our kids, qualities that we appreciate in our friends, emotions that make up the great moments in life. Most superheroes are built like tanks and more brilliant than Steve Jobs. They have more in common with the gods of old than they do your average Joe. Squirrel Girl defeats the big bad by not only embodying these qualities, but also with an honesty about who she is and her capabilities. She is overt about them. She is earnest about what she can accomplish. And she has an unabashed optimism that in the end, she will be victorious.

Her fierce humour, her speedy intelligence and her loyalty to her friends completely eclipse any of her physical attributes, and for this reason above all else, I highly recommend further investigation. We can defeat evil with optimism and humour and honesty.

I don’t know where along the line in the world of superhero comics we forgot that the perfect body and mind do not make the best heroes, but I am grateful to Doreen for reminding us that at heart, any of us can be the hero we need in our lives. Just know that you can be.

Geek Steeped:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Issues 1-8

Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly & Marika- Huang Da Cha (Zhen Tea)

Teas drunk while geeking:
Kelly- Peanut Butter Cup (DAVIDsTEA)
Marika- Forever Nuts (DAVIDsTEA)

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

Is this the first fandom takeover!? We’ll be exploring the first season of She-Ra and The Princesses of Power – a fandom picked my Marika that ended up being more of Kelly’s fandom!?

Post written by Marika

Episode Eleven – Shera and The Princesses of Power

I usually like to use the platform that is this blog as an opportunity to discuss topics we did not have the time to cover in our podcast. But I find myself unable to discuss anything other than the refreshing representation of diversity found in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

I grew up with She-Ra, loved her strength, her loyalty and how she stood up for what she believed in. Yes, the original She-Ra was little more than an extended toy commercial, but 3 year old Marika did not know that, nor would she have cared to know. In a child’s world of Saturday morning cartoons, She-Ra was the only show to have a strong bad ass princess as the main protagonist. She was my hero. She had the power.

This new iteration of She-Ra however, is far more powerful than anything I experienced as a child. Aptly renamed She-Ra and The Princesses of Power, this Netflix/Dreamworks production has something seldom seen in children’s programming: a diverse group of women, from all racial and sexual backgrounds, working together to support the other and achieve greatness.

The stories are more fleshed out, the characters have more depth and although I am certain there is a line of toys out there waiting to be purchased, there is something more earnest about the world presented in She-Ra 2.0.

You see, She-Ra is not the only princess with power. Her queer, BIPOC, curious, adventurous, brave, intelligent, open hearted, open minded gang of cohorts offers a new vision to today’s children: it’s not about one person having power. It’s about the collective strength we find when that power is shared.

Much in the way that another beloved Geek Steep show ended (Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoilers ahead!), true power is the ability to recognize the strengths that lie in the diversity of our collective. Harnessing that power towards a cohesive outcome can make us all better. It’s not about the individual, it’s about all of us. Buffy ended her run by sharing the power of the Slayer with all the potential slayers on the planet. She-Ra unites all the princess from the far corners of Etheria to defeat the evil Hordak. Both are successful. Both recognize that supporting your fellow women not only empowers yourself, but brings balance and peace to us all.

I’m so happy that my daughters have this show to watch. They may not see the importance of the message it is trying to convey, but that does not matter. What they will see is the normalization of diversity. It’s strength. It’s beauty. It’s necessity. And hopefully, it’s inevitability.

We have the power. No one gave it to us, it was within us the whole time. Let’s take on the world.

Geek Steeped:
Season 1

Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly- Jasmine Rainbow Punch (Dessert by Deb)
Marika- Aniseed Balls (Bird & Blend)

Teas drunk while geeking:
Kelly- Cotton Candy (The Necessiteas) & Juniper Joy (DAVIDsTEA)
Marika- Aquamarine (Chroma Tea)

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

Our first anime! Join us as we talk about Attack on Titan, and how it get our adrenaline going and pushed our stress levels waaayyy through the roof!

Post written by Marika

Episode Twelve – Attack on Titan

I don’t like white tea. A delicate tea, often made from the buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant, this tea is simply dried (not oxidation process to speak of) and drunk. Low in caffeine, delicate on the palate, steeped at a low temperature…it has all the qualities I actively avoid in my tea time. If you have ever heard our podcast, you may have picked up on my almost constant intensity, a quality I have grown to tolerate in myself, and one that is greatly exacerbated by a good, strong, hot cup of tea. White tea is a more contemplative cup, best prepared with a patience and a sense of alignment with the universe I am all too aware may never truly be within my grasp.

But as a firm and famous member of the tea family, I accept white tea for what it is: delicious and simply not my cup of tea.

And that is exactly how I feel about this week’s geek, Attack on Titan.

Those who get it, love it. They can talk about it endlessly. The themes, the nuances, the creativity, the heartbreak, all on display in a highly choreographed analysis of what is left of the human experience when all we have left is our instinct for survival. Its value and contribution to the world of dystopian fantasy is undeniable. And I never, ever want to be subjected to it again.

On face value, white tea and Attack on Titan are as diametrically opposed as can be. One, and ancient tea once reserved for emperors and kings, the other, a violent and brutal anime with a tale told at such breakneck speed one may develop whiplash simply trying to keep up. Yet, both have one thing in common: I don’t really want to learn more about it.

I often take issue with the dismissal of any subject unless you have really steeped it (pun intended, I could not help myself) given it the good old college try, and have taken copious notes about why you like or don’t like it. But sometimes in life, you come across something that is so contrary to every cell in your being that really diving in would only leave you scarred.

The study of what is left of us when our homes, families and way of life are stripped away from us make for riveting story telling. The search for meaning after horrific loss is a quest I truly hope never to find myself on as it is one made for braver souls than mine. That type of deep introspection is exactly what happens to me when I drink white tea. I start really searching for the meaning behind it, for the notes and flavours that are not there, of what could have been, of potential lost and seemingly found.

It’s all a bit heavy for an afternoon cuppa, yeah?

Watch Attack on Titan at your own risk. Drink white tea and peer into the very depths of your soul. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Geek Steeped:
S1E1 To You in 2000 Years – The Fall of Shiganshina Pt1
S1E2 That Day – The Fall of Shiganshina Pt2
S1E25 Wall: Attack on Stohess Pt3

Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly- Gore of the Forest (White2Tea)
Marika- Ceylon Black Orange Pekoe with Cinnamon (Tea Plus Ceylon)

Teas drunk while geeking:
Kelly- Chai Apricot (Tea Desire)
Marika- Jin Jun Mei (Maison Chayi)

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

Winter is Coming, and so is an episode that might feature some of our heaviest conversation and most divisive opinions yet!

Post written by Marika

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