ESports, cannabis, and me: welcome to the new normal

Four months ago, I was doing pretty much what I had been doing for the two decades leading up to that point. I was working in the editorial department of the Georgia Straight, editing copy and occasionally writing about music or graphic novels as space allowed.

Oh, sure, the paper was under new ownership, but so far that had not affected me much. Then something called COVID-19 happened. And within a few weeks I was no longer working out of Straight HQ, nor really working for the Straight at all.

Like pretty much everyone else with an office job, I now find myself working from home. More specifically, I am working at a little desk tucked underneath a child’s IKEA loft bed. It’s not so bad, actually. I have windows next to my desk, which is more than I can say for my last cubicle in the dungeon known as the Straight editorial floor.

Possibly the biggest difference in my working life, though, is that I’m not an associate editor at the Georgia Straight. I’m not a music journalist anymore, either. I am instead now the Editor (with an uppercase “E” and everything) of two websites: and Both sites are owned by Media Central Corporation, which also owns the Straight and NOW Toronto.

This is the part where I confess that, before I started this double-barreled new gig, my knowledge of both ESports and cannabis was minimal. Now, however, I find myself becoming something of an expert in the two completely unrelated topics.

Well, as much of an expert as one can be without being an active participant. I enjoy playing video games, but I’m never going to give Artour “Arteezy” Babaev anything to lose sleep over. As far as cannabis goes, let’s just say I’m not exactly Tommy Chong.

No matter. There’s no rule that says you have to do something in order to cover it effectively. If that were the case, only boxers could write about boxing, and no one wants to read that, do they? Admittedly, this is a different way of doing things for me. My main beat for the entirety of my career up until now has been music. I have also been active as a musician for roughly the same span of time. (Not a successful one, mind you, but I have fun with it.)

I’m grateful for my continued employment in the face of the weirdness of life in 2020. If you would like to help keep me employed, please visit the websites in question and click on as many links as you feel inclined to click.

At the very least, it will give me something to do until someone—anyone!—expresses interest in publishing this book I wrote.

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