Doctor Whooch // Episode 089 // A Pterodactyl Wants A Sandwich

In which we end with Canadian Millennial Nightmare Fuel.

On this week’s show, it’s “The Wedding of River Song” as we continue to hop through the River Song timeline. Guess what? It’s complicated, and it’s only going to get more confusing as we go, because it’s about to loop in on itself. Funnnnnnnnnn. Also FUN FACT: did you know that this was the episode we watched when we first met each other? IT WAS. And so you get a sappy story alongside this one where Winston Churchill is Caesar. Yeah, shit gets bananas, and The Doctor ends up looking like a Hobo Matt Fraction.

Outro music is (to be experienced as a horrible nightmare)


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Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook 
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

March Madness (or) A Prelude

Wow, so I guess March is over? That is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. Though regardless, I think it’s time for a general progress report on how things have gone over the past month.


March was a very energizing month at Variant Edition. Not only did we head out to our first comics-related show, but we had a table at this year’s Edmonton Cat Show, as put on by the Edmonton Cat Fanciers, and both were rousing successes. At the Pop Culture Fair, we connected with folks within the comics community who didn’t know about the shop, and at the cat show, we helped people discover a love of comics they never knew they had through the power of cats. Turns out, cats are amazing and they can do anything. Except listen to direct instructions, I think. Anyway.

We were also featured on CBC Radio One twice – first during Edmonton AM’s trip to the Telus World of Science last Thursday where Danica and I talked about the shop and it’s everyone-friendly environment – and then on Monday, the Calgary morning show broadcast my sweet, sweet voice talking about how Gundams were primed to destroy our fair city. That… was a little surreal, and resulted in another batch of people discovering our store (and in some cases, rediscovering the wonders of comics!)

All of that has us charged up for the next round of things, which begins shortly. I don’t want to be too much a shill in this post, so if you want to know what’s coming up next, you can head over to the store’s event page for more info.


After a strong start of blowing through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Restaurant at the End of the Universe in two months, I stalled out at the start of the third book. I can’t remember why, exactly, because the second book ends on a bit of a dour cliffhanger, and I really want to see how that resolves itself. And yet.

When I was talking to a customer about this project a few weeks back, I had just finished up with book two, and he noted that I would definitely finish getting through all five books in the Adam’s penned Hitchhiker’s trilogy, but I warned him that my brain gets easily sidetracked – especially when amazing comics keep arriving at the shop each and every week, interrupting the reading flow. The trick will always be getting back on track. My aim is to get through book three by the end of April to give myself a good lead on the rest of the year.

Yes, I guess one of my problems right now is “having to read books that I know I will enjoy”. You probably feel absolutely terrible for me.


Of course I front loaded this with the good bits. Of course.

As many of you know, I have been dealing with some heavy lows as of late and I promised you all updates. So.

Things have been… a lot better. A lot better. There were another couple of really scary periods in the past month that hit me like a motherfucker. I think the worst of it is the fact that this all effects Danica too, who… while diligently making sure I remain all in one piece sometimes ends up neglecting herself. I know how that goes, because… well, we discovered a long time ago that we don’t think too highly of ourselves, but we’ll do absolutely anything for each other, and sometimes we end up being at odds in very strange ways. We’ve often had fights where we argue about which of us should be shouldering the burden of the other which is… far better than some of the alternatives. But we both recognize that we have to work to do internally, and we’re both trying. It’s hard, but we’re trying.

Posting here has helped. Hearing from all of you has been wonderful and uplifting. Without all of you, this road would be a lot harder to walk down and for helping us both move forward, we are forever grateful.


Next week, I have a personal goal of getting up something on this site each and every weekday. If all goes well, you’ll be hearing about the comics activism project in next week’s posts. With any luck, it will piss some people off.

That’s how we’ll know we’re onto something.

Closer To Free

I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve been even harder on myself lately. It took Brandon telling me how stretched thin I was to make me realize I couldn’t handle more right now. Every day is a rollercoaster. I’m both empowered and weak, close to financial freedom and so far away from any savings, confident and terrified – and I need to somehow come to terms with the fact that I am a bit of everything right now. Frankly, I’m sick of it, but realize this is a long, hard road I must walk down.

Oddly enough, a podcast has been helping. I discovered a show called “The Big Payoff” ( ) the other week. They were doing a 4-episode series on women and their relationship with money, and I found the whole thing full of captivating and valuable information. Topics ranged from women being the breadwinner’s in their respective relationships to your money history and fantasies (dreams of a financial future come from somewhere). I know now I must have a closer relationship with money, so will be listening to more of their episodes in the future.

I spent the last decade thinking I would always be in debt. Very glad at least that’s progressing to a point where I can breathe a bit easier. Right now, I’m thankful to have that One Thing I can focus on completely obliterating from my life. One Thing that is under my control. Thank you for keeping me going. Thank you for giving me motivation when I was weak, and keeping my eye on the future when I have achieved this goal.

My Shopping Ban: Creating a Plan

Since I last wrote about my ban and student loans, I’ve since acquired a job, both dealt with and removed stress from different areas of my life, and am in a better place emotionally.

I spent some time one evening plotting out a payment plan to squash my student loan once and for all. Since I am being paid weekly, I will be taking out $15 of each paycheque and put it towards the debt. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is over and above the $200 I already have going out at the end of the month, so it adds up over time. My final $200 will be taken out of my account at the end of May, and I will pay the remainder (I’m estimating it to be around $100) that week. My personal deadline will be Friday, June 10, to send off my final payment.

It feels unreal to be this close. I grow impatient and want to pay it all LIKE RIGHT NOW, but I don’t have the money like right now. This way, I can pay it off and still grow the cushion back in my main bank account. I’m hoping with this job, I can put a bit into savings as well.


I’m getting time before the busy season to catch up on some reading in my lunch hours, which has been a nice treat. In the last week, I’ve read Letter 44 Vol 3, Astro City Vol 1, and am currently halfway through Civil War.

Letter 44 has been amazing, and I’m crushed we’re sold out of the single issues in store because I really really want to keep reading, but will *hmph* patiently wait for the next collection.

Astro City is kind of interesting. I may check out volume 2 to see if it’s enough to keep my reading.

And Civil War is making a bunch of stories I know make a bit more sense, so while it’s not great, it’s filling in a bit more of the timeline for me.

Otherwise, I’m reading Watchmen for book club, and it’s to be expected. I find it offensive, and boring, so congrats on doing that, writer dude.

Borrowed The Best Laid Plans (which won Canada Reads a few years back) from my dad, and I’m enjoying it enough.

Generation X is on the bottom of my bedside table book pile. Does that book make sense to anyone else? I’m thinking it didn’t age well.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 087 // Gentlemanly Dickery

In which we turn down for butts.

This week’s episode follows along the River Song timeline with a little ditty called “Let’s Kill Hitler” from Series 6. FUN FACT! This was the first episode Brandon watched live, which would lead him down the path to meeting Danica. Doctor Who is the best, you guys.

Also on this week’s episode: a deadly game of murder chicken, and a lot of singing. And a special outdo song you don’t want to miss. Trust us on this one.

Outro music is “Turn Down For Butts” by DJ Snake, Lil Jon and ???


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Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook 
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Worth It

Let me unpack what’s been going on in the last week.

I have a job now. I have a job for two months and it is glorious. I love temp work because you get to try new things and learn new things and get paid really really well because you’re also not getting health benefits, but it’s alright because you are getting a Paycheque. And Paycheques feed your kitties and sometimes yourself. Frankly, I was more worried about the cats. That reminds me – I need to buy kibble this week.

But I digress.

So far, my schedule is working out well. I’ll be at the office week days and at the store on weekends. You may have noticed already if you’ve visted VE, but fear not, I will be there occasionally, shining my light on you and conversing on how to smash the patriarchy.

I also experienced some unnecessary stress, but because I am strong (I am woman, hear me roar), I didn’t put up with that bullshit. And I will continue not putting up with such bullshit in my life because I am above bullies. I will absolutely have my weak moments in the future, but I will remember to listen to Beyoncé or Fifth Harmony and know that I am Worth It.

Doctor Whooch // Episode 086 // We Like Your Stupid Faces

In which someone pulls a Phillip K Dick move.

On this week’s show: we head back to Series 7 and take a “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” with a spaceship full of assholes. We also see various rooms from the TARDIS. And The Doctor is weirdly sexist? Or I guess more overtly. There was a thing. Many things. And drunkeness.

Outro music is “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M.


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Brandon Schatz // Twitter // Facebook 
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

My Shopping Ban: Making Sacrifices

Why does feeling good never last?

As much as I’d like to continue celebrating my student loan getting smaller and smaller, my income is also getting smaller and smaller. I’m going to have to make some tough choices very, very soon, and I’m extremely stressed out by that (and everything else). Yes, once the debt is gone, I will have more freedom with my money, but I’m not making a lot right now and most days, it doesn’t feel like it will be enough to get by.

I’ve signed up with four different temp agencies, but am also starting to think I should be seeking a permanent position as well. The store is where I want to be, but it can’t offer me stable income and health benefits like a lot of other places. On top of that, Alberta’s unemployment rate is higher, so I feel as if I’m stealing a job from someone who needs it more because I, technically, already have a job. I hate everything about this situation, and even though I’ve sent out a bunch of resumes, I feel powerless.

Brandon and I are trying to figure out what we can cut from our expenses. Since we don’t go out much anyway, it will have to be things that we usually consider “necessities”. I’m going to look into downgrading our cell phone plan, and cutting even further back with groceries. Selling some of our things will probably be next. I will keep looking for a job. He is too, but I feel his focus should be the store. It’s his dream, and as far as I’m concerned, his store. He is the reason it exists. I hope I can get a job and support our family, so he can focus on making the store as wonderful as I know it can be.

Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

Doctor Whooch // Episode 085 // The Doctor Is A Dick In A Rocket

In which the title really speaks for itself.

This week on the show, Brandon and Danica are on to the next stop in the River Song timeline: “Day of the Moon”. And good news! Mark Shepard is still here. That was super nice of him to stick around and be handsome on a genre show. Beyond that, this one has a bit of everything. Singing! Weird phrasing! Dancing? Maybe. How would you even know? You wouldn’t. So there.

Outro music is “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.


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