Health Update October

Hello Readers,

To catch up, here’s my first health update,  here’s my second health update, and here’s the one from September.

Now it’s the end of October. I’ve been doing physiotherapy for my arms and things are getting a little better. Last update, I mentioned I could do 20-30 minutes of typing before I was in too much pain. Well, now I can do about 45 with small breaks to rest my arms. The pain is always there, but after 45 I can’t handle anything more.

I talked to my doctor and my physio and they both agree that the numbness in my left hand, the clumsiness with small things, and the pain when I’m not using my muscles are all signs of something other than just muscle strain. The doctor recommends seeing a neurologist. I, and I think the doctor, have asked WSIB if they could get me an appointment.

The doctor has also said I should stay away from too much computer work and typing while we figure out what’s going on. Which means I should test my limits, but not enough to cause further harm. (That’s why I’m typing this instead of filming it.) I’m off work until the end of the year… I think.

WSIB has assigned me a “Return to Work” specialist. They’ll be assessing my capabilities based on the doctor’s recommendation and trying to find a way for me to go back to work in some capacity. Now, I work for a media and coms section. I can’t imagine there’s anything that I can do that doesn’t involve a computer. We have an appointment with my supervisor and manager on Monday to discuss it.


*Edit* I spoke with the “Return to Work” specialist and she is going to try really hard to find some sort of compromise. This will probably look like working 30 minutes and then taking a break to stretch and massage. She wants an ergonomic assessment of my work area and wants to know if there’s any way for me to do my job with voice to text. She says regardless of the results, WSIB will probably not approve me being off work past the end of November and possibly not that long.

I’m not going to lie. The fact that I still hurt and am having trouble controlling my hands is worrisome and I’m genuinely terrified about going back to work. I’m worried that things will get worse. What happens then?


That’s it for now. I’ll let you know what happens.

Thanks for reading,

Éric

Under Wraps (2021) – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Under Wraps.

Story

This is a cute Halloween story. There are a lot of errors in Egyptian history and I’m not sure what the point of the 3-day pass for the movie was. It seemed odd and without any reason. That being said, I liked the jab at grave robbing.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Although the characters were awesome and I really appreciated the diversity, I found there was a lack of depth. They just felt very YA written by someone who’s only seen kids in movies.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There were a lot of great wisecracks and gags. I really liked the play on words with the word Mummy.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Excellent makeup and good acting combined with some genre savvy camera angles make this a fun movie to watch. It uses the practical effects well and limits the cheesy digital effects.

The music was okay, but I would have liked to hear more of Thriii’s “Calling all Monsters”.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This was a nice throwback to the kids monster movies of my youth. I liked the nod to Zombies (the Disney channel movie series) with the costumes in the background, and the awesome dancing. The whole family liked it and now the kids are pretending to be mummies and zombies, so yay?

If I have one gripe… Honey doesn’t work that way. Also it felt a little disjointed at times and I had a hard time not checking my phone,, which isn’t a good thing.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun if shallow Halloween movie. It has some great scenes and fun moments.

Final Score: 3 stars out of 5

Dear Authors, you don’t get a choice

Hello Authors, Writers, and all those that stare at a screen willing words to appear,

I met a nice person in the elevators at Can-Con. They were so proud of their first book and said, “I’m an author!” then quickly followed up with, “Not a good one, but…”

I told him, “That’s not for you to decide.” He seemed taken aback and I feel bad if it came out more aggressive than I meant it.

Here’s the deal with writing; you either love your writing or hate it. With time, you might develop ambivalence, but as you’re writing and publishing, you will only have those two emotions.

Some authors always love their stuff, some always hate their stuff. I oscillate wildly like a fan being controlled by a toddler.

In the end though, it’s up to readers, critics, and historians to decide if you’re any good.

My goal when I’m writing is to make my reader feel something. If I did that, I’m a success.

I guess what I’m saying is that the quality of your work isn’t for you to judge. Just make the best damn story you can and share it with the world.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

P.S. Buy my new book wherever you like to buy books!

Hard Week

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a high pain week. I’ve had to fight back tears a bunch, both from pain and feeling useless. Pain this week has hovered at a 6 and spiked to 8 a few times.

I’m once again trying to reach my doctor. I have more forms for him to fill out. I constantly feel like I’m trying to bridge information between my doctor, my work, and WSIB. It’s a frustrating and painful process.

Anyway, I’m going to be making a bunch of phone calls today and hopefully have a proper health update for Monday.

Take care of yourselves!

Éric

Back to the Future – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1985 film Back to the Future.

Story

I’ve heard that some film schools use this movie as an example of the perfect film script. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it’s very well done. The setup and the parallels are excellent, the technobabble is limited and laced with important information, and everything is resolved fairly well.

There are some anachronisms and a few things that felt like Marty influenced from the original timeline that felt off. Some of the parallels are a little forced and hard to believe.

Score: 1

Characters

I love Marty, but his parents are very odd people. Despite having seen this movie a dozen times, I’m still weirded out by the dad’s peeping-tom antics and the mom’s forwardness and flightiness, neither of which were really addressed.

Doc Brown is fantastic and I like the secondary charactrers.

The relationship with Biff and Marty’s dad annoys me because it looks like they’re playing the same script over and over again. I get that it’s for the parallel structure, but it’s a little too specific.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie has some of the most gloriously cringy dialogue. “You are my density” is sheer genius. The banter and accents are great. I love Doc Brown’s frantic way of talking.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The special effects are at a minimum but used well, the sets are amazing, and the costumes great. The cinematography is beautiful.

The music is one of the most iconic from the time period and both Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis did amazing in their respective parts.

Score: 1

Fun

The whole family was glued to the screen the whole time. The 5yo almost died from second hand embarrassment several times and was very concerned with the changes in the timeline.

I’ve seen this movie a lot, especially as a kid, and it still holds the same excitement and wonder.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic 80’s movie with a fantastic cast and great story. You’ll be humming the music and loving every moment.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Quick Can-Con Report 2022

Hello Readers,

Jen and I were at Can-Con 2022 this weekend in downtown Ottawa. It was wonderful to see all those that could make it, and simultaneously felt like nothing had changed in two and a half years and like everything was a little off. That was probably because of the amount of wonderful people that were missing, either due to COVID or other circumstances.

However, we had a lot of fun and chatted with a lot of people. Jen had her first reading and her first pitch, both of which she handled admirably. No seriously, I think her part of the reading was way better than mine. Definitely better than my first readings.

We signed lots of books, and bought probably more.

It was a good time thanks to everyone who interacted with us.

Another big milestone; it was Dragon’s first event since lockdown. We felt comfortable bringing her since it was vaccine madnatory and masked at all times. She, somehow, remembered her Con manners and everybody loved her. She dialed up the cute to a near-painful level. It was great to see her being social and excited and just having fun with other people. She would walk around the vendor’s room by herself and come bouncing back to tell us about the random words she’d read on various book covers.

Dragon following and hiding from Derek Künsken, co-chair of Can-Con. This is a game the two of them have been playing for years and I’m not sure how she remembered it, but it was highly entertaining to watch. Hopefully Derek also thought so!

A lot of other things happened that I’m sure I’m forgetting right now. The big takeaway was that it was a wonderful convention with great people and one of the few times out of the house that I felt safe.

Thank you to everyone who was there, who bought, who volunteered and organized, and entertained Dragon. To those who couldn’t make it, I hope to see you next year.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

JenEric Can-Con Schedule

Hello Readers!

This weekend is the wonderful Can-Con: Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature.

Jen and I will be in the vendors room most of the time.

Here are the vendor’s room hours

  • Friday 5-8
  • Saturday 10-6
  • Sunday 10-4

I have a signing (in the vendors room) from 12-12:30 with awesome John Hass. (Although I’ll sign at any time you catch me.)

Jen has a reading at 1 on Sunday (In Salon D) with the wonderful Madona Skaff. (I’ll be there too and might read if Jen insists.)

Beyond that, I participated in the Digital version of the Con. I prerecorded a panel that will be at 2:30 on Saturday. The panel is called The Horror of Time Loops. I was on it with Gigi Ganguly and Ren Hutchings, both of whom were excellent panelists. Our moderator was Sean Dowie, who did an excellent job.

I’ll try to be in the discord during and after the panel.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

Clueless – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1995 film Clueless.

Story

The story is pretty faithful to what I vaguely remember of its inspiration (Emma by Jane Austen) with more slang and 90’s aesthetic than a you can shake a brick-sized cell phone at. It’s cringe and nostalgia all in one, but at its core, it’s sort of sweet.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are mostly nice to each other, which surprised me. I expected mean girls level fighting. So they’re not mean, but they really are clueless. Completely privileged and so very young.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a lot of iconic slang in this and lots that I think they invented, but there’s a lot of what was terrible about the 90’s. Diet culture and disordered eating is laced throughout, homophobia, classism, and more than a little racism. Some of which is shown to be bad, but a lot of it is shown as normal.

I did really enjoy how the characters said dumb things smartly and smart things in a valley accent.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

There’s a little weird shaky cam at the start and some strange angles, but overall it’s pretty well shot and each frame has a lot of information it in.

The music is pure nostalgia and I loved it.

Score: 1

Fun

I both enjoyed and cringed at this movie. I think I would have loved it when I was a young teen, but now I see all the problems and roll my eyes at the drama of youth. (Whippersnappers!)

I did like the overall story though, and despite my angst, it was fun.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This is a dated classic that encapsulates everything that was wrong with the 90’s and captures its innocence.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers Music Video

Hello,

Now that you’ve seen the Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers Book Trailer, check out the Music Video.

I’m super proud of Jen for composing this song and performing it. She rocks! (Literally)

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers is available everywhere books are sold. Find it in your local bookstore with 49th Shelf.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric