One of the most surreal things to ever happen to us took place last week (and since we've started this business, it's been a pretty long list). The long and short of it is that on this Sunday morning, February 14th, between around 7:20-7:45 am (in Toronto on 99.1 fm), they're going to be playing a segment where you get to hear yours truly fumble around nervously while talking about letter writing. We were contacted a few weeks ago by Michael, who works with Fresh Air, a radio show on the CBC, to invite us to chat about letter writing and stationery and the art of hand written communication. Actually, as usual, I was a bit confused about the whole thing and didn't even realize what was going on. Michael first sent an email reading, 'we'd love to interview you and chat about letter writing and stationery...can I give you a call?' Amazing! Of course, how wonderful! I would love to talk to you on the phone. Michael called, and he had a list of questions and was just looking for some information, and I was all friendly and chatty and talked about how wonderful letter writing is, and wooed him with my charm, and after all of that he said, "Okay, so, for the real interview..." So...
Gotta love it when your kid is the most fashionable around - purple, blue, yellow, red, green and stripes all in one go.
So early one morning before the shop opened, we suited up the whole family, and made our way to the CBC building on Wellington. Let me tell you, I regularly take Caleb out on my own for classes or errands, but I cannot imagine all the mamas and papas out there who have to single-handedly get a baby or toddler ready and then hike them out to day care before work. Caleb nor I are at our best before 10:00 am. With winter, it's closer to lunch time. Actually, Caleb's pretty sprightly in the morning, so I guess it's just me. After some bleary-eyed sock grabbing, we made it there! It turns out it was a very short drive, only around ten minutes, because it's right in the city centre and we're just east of that. We must be pretty slow moving here in the shop, because as soon as we exited the car, we were swarmed by all the 9-5ers who were rushing around and picking up their coffee on their way to the office. It was like that scene from the Lion King where Simba is trapped in the throngs of wildebeests.
Wonder Pens Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
Wonder Pens Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
Wonder Pen Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
It was definitely a surreal experience coming into the studio. In the photo above was our recording studio, and just to the right, behind the red column, is the sound room. Like, the real deal kind of stuff. When Michael first said he wanted to bring me into the studio to record me, I guess I'm a bit bashful, so I said, uhh, I'm going to have to get back to you. I tried to convince Michael to take me for the real interview over the phone, and then I tried to say that we couldn't leave the shop unattended, and then I said we have a baby who is not exactly very docile but in fact a bit of a destructo-baby which I kind of thought was my trump card, but he said it was better to come into the studio. Michael then suggested it could be the husband-and-wife dynamic duo who opened up a stationery shop and who love letter writing. Jon agreed to do the interview with me, and between me and Jon, I would hold the baby for most of it. However, I somehow ended up getting tricked into doing the interview solo, while Jon laughed on from the sound room. I'm still not exactly sure how that happened, because I was all ready to throw Jon under the bus, but it was me, Susan McReynolds, and a CBC microphone 6 inches from my face. At the very least, I was still clutching onto the camera, so there are no pictures of me in action.
Wonder Pen Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
The sound room from where Jon watched me stutter and mumble and ramble on aimlessly.
It was great! I was pretty nervous at first because Susan McReynolds did her radio show intro spiel and sounded just like the radio sounds (I know, I know, what was I expecting), but then I warmed up into it. We talked about writing letters by hand, and the magical surprise of getting a letter in your mailbox, and more. To be honest, it's all a bit of a blur, so I could just be making most of that up.


On our way in, I took this picture of the giant picture of my long-time crush Peter Mansbridge, while Jon rolled his eyes. Also, I tried to get a picture of Anne-Marie Mediwake, who has triplets, and what mama can't respect that, but Jon said he had to draw the line somewhere, and apparently it's between taking one picture of a picture of a newscaster, and taking two pictures of pictures of newscasters.
Wonder Pen Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
Then, while Michael was walking us out, I mentioned Peter again (now that I'm a radio star, Peter and I are on a first name basis, obviously), and Michael offered to show us the National's doors!
Wonder Pen Visits the CBC to Talk Letter Writing
The security on the doors was a bit crazy (although, maybe not, since they let yahoos like us so close...), apparently you need some sort of pin key or something to get in, because it has the robotic cameras. I made a joke about how you wouldn't want anyone breaking in and broadcasting any nefarious messages across the nation, but Michael says it's more to do with how expensive the camera equipment is, and they don't want anyone messing around in there. Nice guy that he is, he very pointedly avoided looking directly at me while saying that. So, if you are up and about on Sunday morning, be sure to tune in to 99.1 FM, between 7:20 and 7:45 am ish. I think the time could still change, but it will be some time Sunday morning!  
On the way home...

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February 12, 2016 — wonderpens



Anonymous said:

I completely agree that next time we should have the whole family on!! Jon always feigns ignorance, and leaves me to the wolves, but next time, I think it’s going to be a family affair :)


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Carolyn said:

Such well deserved kudos to the Chan family and business!
You have conquered the airwaves and Jon has been in a video!…what’s next? Caleb and Super in a kids book???
Go Team Chan!


Anonymous said:

You are too kind! Thanks so much for taking the time to follow along with us and comment! Maybe one day I’ll write a story book with Caleb and Super ;)

Mickey Oberman

Mickey Oberman said:

I heard the interview.
I was very impressed by the professionalism of both parties.
Perhaps next time you could convince Jon, Caleb and Super to add their voices.

Gerard van den Wildenberg

Gerard van den Wildenberg said:

This is so amazing. I love the show and it is part of my usually weekend routine. It couldn’t happen to a nicer family! Well done!


Anonymous said:

Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment, and of course, your kind words! It was such an honour and a thrill to be invited to participate in this show, I can’t wait to hear it – although I’m guessing I’ll be cringing at all my fumbles! ;)

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