Stranger Things – A Review

20161201_stranger_things_node

Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Since July of last year people have been recommending to me a TV show called Stranger Things.

If I were to describe the show, I’d say it was an homage to 1980’s YA movies with more than a little supernatural horror thrown in. It has D&D, Monsters, Psychic/Magic abilities, Conspiracies, Eighties Rock, and lots of kids on bikes.

It’s eight episodes on Netflix and although the first episode is a little slow, it builds quickly. The special effects are amazing, the locations are great, the music is wonderful, but most of all the acting is fantastic. The actors in this each play stereotypes from eighties movies, but managed to pull those characters out of cliché and make them believable.20161201_stranger_things_node

The one thing that I found lacking in the show was complexity and surprise. After two episodes I could have given you an outline of the entire season. I wasn’t surprised and was actually a little underwhelmed by the story.

It was a fun watch and the acting alone made it worth it, but this show was too close to my own influences, likes, and writing style for comfort. Seriously, after the last episode, I went to IMDB to make sure I hadn’t written it. I’ll let you decide if that’s a compliment or a condemnation.

In short, if you like Horror, YA, Eighties movies, and/or my writing; you’ll enjoy Stranger Things.

I give it 85% or 4.25/5

Later Days,

Éric

Blush: Teen Vogue and Anal Sex

Teen Vogue

In case you weren’t aware, Teen Vogue has been stepping up on it’s hard-hitting, serious, and factual articles (seeing as the press, both print and video, is having difficulty with some of those concepts).

Teen Vogue

One of the things that Teen Vogue has started doing is de-stigmatizing and de-sensationalizing sex. They are doing this through education, something that I think is fantastic. Not to point fingers at specific magazines, but for the most part, they sensationalize (for the lack of a better word) heterosexual sex. Knowing how to “please a man” isn’t the sort of sexual education I would like for my daughter to experience.

Which is why I think Teen Vogue is doing a great job of providing educational articles.

Despite what some parents might think, teens have access to a lot of sexual content. Not all porn has to be paid for, and both video and photos are available through the internet. Literotica is also relatively easy to get access to.

To be clear: I have zero problem with the above. My problem is when teens ONLY have access to the above.

Porn and literotica are not usually the most educational of sources (there are exceptions, I’m sure). They go for flashy, titillating, and evocative. They don’t mention the mundane, like protection, safety, lubrication, stretching, or even the emotions that come through being intimate with another person.

So to have an accessible magazine write educational articles about sex is a really good thing, in my opinion.

Here is Teen Vogue’s most recent article about Anal Sex. It’s causing a lot of controversy among certain groups. Apparently they think that reading an article about how to have anal sex properly might give teens the idea to actually do it. Sure, it might. But I bet they probably already had the idea before they read it…and now they know how to do it safely.

I’ve read mysteries where they describe how the murderer killed someone and where their mistake was so that they ended up getting caught. It doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and kill. (I promise you, I will not kill anyone.) On a less serious note, I’ve also read a lot of articles on how to make cute kids crafts. I’m really not sure I’ll ever do them.

In other words, just because you’ve read something, doesn’t mean you’re going to do it!

Another reason why I think it’s a really good idea to have articles like this is because the sexual education that teens are getting (especially in the US) is abstinence only. This means that they have no idea how to protect themselves, or even safely have sex. Combine that with the outdated patriarchal idea of vaginal virginity, and you get kids who will try anything and everything but PiV intercourse. Cue crude but hilarious (and very much Not Safe For Work) Garfunkel and Oates video The Loophole.


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Trolls, Broflakes, and Troglodytes… Oh My!

the-comments-section

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The internet is a vile cesspool of intolerance, sexism, racism, hate, and many other horrible things. I’ve come to accept that in an almost Zen like fashion. (Except flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers; they still incite red hot rage.)

Once you accept that there are hateful people everywhere and that they seem to flock to the internet’s comment section, or Nazi Alt-Right politics; you can start feeling joy in their pseudo-righteous anger.

the-comments-section

**IMPORTANT** Some people are not beyond reason. There are some that are genuinely ignorant of the issue or misinformed.

This Sunday, the BBC announced Jodie Whittaker as The 13th Doctor. My first reaction was excitement that my daughter would be able to grow up with a Doctor that looked like her. My second was pure joy at the anger and frustration the internet’s comment sections would have. I may have cackled…

When the same feces-maelstrom erupted over John Boyega being a storm trooper, I was angry and frustrated and lost hope in humanity. Now I’ve seen the Ghostbusters hate, the Gunslinger hate, the Rey can’t be a Jedi hate, the Wrinkle in Time hate, the Wonder Woman hate… Etc Etc etc.

Humanity has some shining examples and some terrible troglodytes; I’ve accepted that.

Now down to business:

Dear Troglodytes,

Since Doctor Who has been utterly ruined a woman Doctor, violated beyond measure and so on… I in my infinite generosity will gladly help you dispose of your Doctor Who memorabilia. I won’t even charge you for the time and mental anguish of association with that horribly defiled pile of stuff.

Sincerely,
A Real Fan.

P.S. If you need help with your Star Trek items, I’ll make the same sacrifice.

Later Days,

Éric

Give Me a Gift for my 34th Birthday… please

This is my begging face...

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Monday I’ll be turning 34. It’s not old for our modern world but it’s kinda terrifying for someone who has had both parents die before they reached sixty. I’m considering a midlife crisis… maybe buying a couple of DVD boxsets or some more books.

Since I’m turning 34, I’d like you all to give me a gift. Please!

This is my begging face...
This is my begging face…

I’d like you to review my book! If you haven’t read it you can get it on Amazon Canada, Renaissance Press, or even from the public Library.

Once you’ve read it please go review it on Goodreads and/or Amazon (You can even copy paste your review from one to the other)

Reviews on those sites help bring the profile of the book up and have both sites recommend it to others. It helps with sales, name recognition, and building a readership.

I’m not asking you to give it a good review, be honest and write what you feel.

authors-are-small-businesses

Thank you!

Éric

Movie Park Germany

Image taken from Moviepark Germany's main website.

Nestled in Northwestern Germany is a major theme park that had not crossed my radar until recently, when they announced a new roller coaster based on Star Trek. Movie Park Germany‘s name speaks for itself.

Image taken from Moviepark Germany's main website.
Image taken from Movie Park Germany’s main website.

Of course I would notice Star Trek. Read more about the ride here.

There are lots of other rides based on other movies (I noticed Dora the Explorer, Ice Age, Indiana Jones, and Walking Dead, among others).

Based on reviews, this theme park would be good for people who like movies and thrill rides. Think Universal Studios, but with more rides.

Visiting Movie Park Germany would be a nice little add-on to your European vacation if you are already visiting Belgium, Netherlands, or Northern Germany (and that area).


Are you interested in travelling to Europe? You can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Dear Dragon – I Miss You!

Dragon-11-07-2017

Dragon-11-07-2017

Dear Little Dragon,

You still hate sleeping but you’re getting better at falling asleep… sometimes.

You are growing so fast in every way possible. Last week I watched you learn how to climb off the couch safely and Sunday you took your first shuffling steps. Just two little steps but they were steps. You’ll be running around soon enough.

I’ve been at work for over a month and I miss you a lot. It’s hard not being with you and watching you grow every day. I know I see you when I get home but it’s not the same.

I miss you and someday I hope I’ll be able to work from home permanently and see you every day. (You’ll probably be going to school by then.)

I miss seeing your smile when you wake up in the morning. I hope you never lose that easy smile, even if it’s just with family and close friends. Your joy is infectious and even when you’re being mischievous it makes us so happy.

I Love you little Dragon!

Your tired, sappy, and a little sad,
Papa