Introducing Brew 42

Due to the hateful position taken by a certain author, we at JenEric Designs can not morally support them or the world they created.

All Harry Potter crochet will be discontinued.

50% of all sales of remaining stock (including a beautiful Hufflepuff inspired scarf) will be donated to the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC).


Hello Coffee lovers!

I’m proud and excited to introduce our newest flavour: Brew 42. It’s a medium roast unflavoured coffee which which will make you a really hoopy frood.

Enjoy it soon on JenEric Coffee and Crochet!

Enjoy!

Éric

Consume Media Critically

Due to the hateful position taken by a certain author, we at JenEric Designs can not morally support them or the world they created.

All Harry Potter crochet and coffee will be discontinued.

50% of all sales of remaining stock (including a beautiful Hufflepuff inspired scarf) will be donated to the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC).

Use code BTLM for 15% off your entire order until Midnight June 14th.


Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Consuming media critically is something that I encourage everyone to do. You can love a story and still admit its faults.

I firmly believe that once a story is out in the world it not longer belongs (metaphorically and spiritually, not legally) to the creators. I wrote about this from a creator’s point of view in Your Stories and Characters don’t Belong to you. Get over it!

When you consume a story and love it, you take from it what you need. Once the story is out there and communities build around them, the entire world of it changes and grows. The fans fundamentally change the story, usually for the better.

That being said, it’s important to listen those who are hurt by the things we consume. To look at the negative aspects and accept that they can be hurtful. If someone says they are hurt by something, we must listen and learn from that.

Harry Potter is filled with racist, homophobic, classist, pro-slavery, colonialist, and antisemitic themes. I’m sure there are other things in there that I haven’t noticed. It’s also filled with messages about the power of love, found family, doing the right thing, and standing up against oppression. Nothing is perfect. It’s your responsibility to decide if the good outweighs the bad.

We plan on keeping our Harry Potter books and making sure we explain the faults to our kids. However, we gave away our Marion Zimmer Bradley books and I refuse to read Lovecraft. You need to decide on your own balance.

If the Harry Potter universe is important to you, if you have fond memories of waiting in line for the books, if you smile when you hear the words Mushroom and Badger close together, or if your life was influenced for the better by these book; those memories and events are still good and valid. As much as the creator influences the work, so do the consumers. Don’t allow the author’s misguided hateful views to dim the positive that the books have done.

If you still love the world and still want to consume things about it, I recommend looking into fan fiction, fan art, and other creators that have played with those worlds.

Art by the talented itsnucleicacid on DiviantArt.

Consume responsibly,

Éric

Magic Moments at Disney

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I believe that Disney is a magical place. An exhausting, expensive, and magical place.

On our most recent trip we had some great moments. Here are my top 5 Magic Moments at Disney.

5. Sleepy Adrien

Bringing a baby to Disney is fun. They get excited about random things and fall asleep everywhere. If you don’t mind lugging them and all their stuff and realize you’re doing it for yourself, you’ll have fun.

4. Keladry meeting Tigger

The first day we went to Magic Kingdom we asked Keladry what her favourite part was, without hesitation she said seeing Tigger. We were pretty surprised since she’d only seen him at a distance. So we made sure to go back. She loved meeting him.

3. Fireworks while Riding The Mine Train

The first real roller coaster that Keladry went on was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a fun little coaster that even my motion sick mother in-law can ride.

As we started going up the fireworks started. The ride designers must have expected this since they were right above us. We then rode through the ride with fireworks going off. It was awesome in every sense of the word.

2. Carousel of Progress Breakdown

The Carousel of Progress is a ride that needs updating. It’s four parts with the same family showing the evolution of technology. The last one is a vision of the future from the late 90’s or early 2000’s.

Each section ends with the same song. There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. It’s a catchy song and nice and upbeat. Very much the hopeful futurism of Disney.

When we went on the ride it broke down and repeated the last part. The first time it repeated no one reacted. The second time people tried to get out and a park person over a speaker told us to sit and wait for our safety. The third, people started heckling and quoting good naturedly.

The fourth time, the sound cut out and when we got to the part where they normally sang, the majority of the audience started to sing the song. It’s like everyone decided at the same time. It was really impressive and fun. It’s the kind of shared experience that Disney can’t manufacture but that makes going so much fun.

We were all given free fastpasses after our concert but I would have been happy just with the experience.

1. Grandparents’ Joy

People say that during a wedding you should always take a look at the groom because they look so happy to see the bride.

The same goes for grandparents at Disney. I love my son and daughter but I don’t always take the time to appreciate their joy and wonder. Their grandparents, however, always seem alert for those little moments.

From shows, to rides, passing by food, statues, and merchandise, whenever my daughter, or son, were excited or in awe; the look was mirrored and combined with joy in their grandparents.


Magic isn’t what you do, but how much you enjoy it with others. I think that’s important to remember.

Later days,

Éric

Top 10 Statements Guaranteed to Make Éric Rant (and Angry) Part 1

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Three years ago I made a list of my Top 5 Pet Peeves basically things people do that annoy me. Last year, in the same vein, I made a list of my Top 5 Workplace Pet Peeves.

Now here are topics and opinions that are absolutely guaranteed to make me rant and red faced angry.

If you’ve met me socially, you’ll know I’m pretty quiet unless I’m excited or annoyed. I apologize to anyone who’s had to sit through my rambling incoherent rants.

Top 10 Statements Guaranteed to Make Éric Rant (and Angry)

10. Technology is Bad

You’ve seen the memes and the articles. Cellphones are making us antisocial etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Skynet joke as much as the next nerd, but go too far and you start to sound like luddite.

The articles range from ‘WiFi scrambles our brains’ to ‘computers are killing our attention spans’ and they all have one thing in common. FEAR!

It’s easier to hate on new tech (Voice assistants, Cellphones, Self Driving Cars, Exercise trackers etc) than blame millennials for something. Hating tech has quite literally been trendy forever.

I will argue this with you. We are better off now than we’ve ever been as a society and a race.

9. We Were Better Off in the Past


Cavemen didn’t get cancer… BULLSHIT! They may have gotten it less often because they mostly died younger.

Infant mortality is at the lowest it’s ever been. There is less war now than in the past. The human race as a whole is better off than we’ve ever been.

We have a long way to go, but we’re actually moving… slowly.

8. Organic is Better


Organic produce still uses pesticides.

Organic produce still requires fertilizer.

Organic food isn’t any healthier.

Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides & fertilizers, antibiotics, or hormones.

In the end there are some positive aspects of organic food, but the advantages (requiring animals to live in fields, avoiding unnecessary hormones and antibiotics) should be standard practices.

Organic food is more expensive because it takes more space and resources to create the same yield of food.

7. Genetically Modified/Engineered Food is Inherently Bad


GMO’s are not inherently bad. Nor is anything else.

As long as humanity has been growing and herding food we’ve tried to make it better. We’ve used splicing, cross pollination, selective breeding, and many other methods.

Altering our food, crops, and methods is the only way we as a species can survive. Take the example of Golden Rice. It’s genetically engineered to include beta-carotene which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries is devastating and this rice can help fix that.

But for all those that are about less pesticides on your produce, GMOs have been developed to be resistant to pests and grow faster.

How you can see a negative in better food that grows easier, feeds more people, uses less resources, and is cheaper, is beyond me.

6. If You Like This You’re Wrong/Dumb

This might seem silly to some of you, but I have spent a long time being told I’m wrong because I like something.

It’s very trendy and common to hate on things that are popular. Just look at the hate pumpkin spice gets. There’s a certain joy in communally hating something that is popular. I’ve done it and I feel terrible. Sorry Nickelback and Nickelback fans.

It seems particularly bad towards things young women love.

I may have talked about this before

Like I said to Dragon on this letter:

Closing yourself down to the wonders of emotions and excitement lessens the experiences of life.

Anything you want to argue about?

Stay tuned for Points 5-1 on Thursday.

Later Days,

Éric

Dear Dragon – I Miss You!

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

Dear Dragon – Joy

Dear Dragon,

The other day I was changing you and you wriggled, as you always do, and smiled the entire time. You seemed to be having the time of your life, just being changed.

There was joy in your eyes I hadn’t seen yet. You’re starting to get more emotion, not just expression. It’s wonderful to see.

As I watched your joyful wriggling, I started to cry (Yeah I’ve been tearing up a lot lately). Your joy was pure and innocent and I know will be short lived. I’m not saying you won’t feel that pure happiness again, but right now and for a little while you’ll love, and joy recklessly.

Someday someone whose heart has been broken or has shriveled will tell you that you’re too innocent or that your enthusiasm is weakness. Let me be utterly clear: THEY ARE WRONG!

Enthusiasm and joy are our most wonderful emotions and they’re important. Joy, enthusiasm, and happiness are not always the wriggling bliss of an infant being changed. It can be found in a good cry, a tender moment, a beautiful view, a painful realization, or a moving experience.

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but be enthusiastic, never feel bad for your passions, love things people consider weird or childish, and most of all, enjoy and feel everything that happens.

Closing yourself down to the wonders of emotions and excitement lessens the experiences of life. I know that sounds trite, especially when it hurts.

Always try to keep a little of the child-like innocent joy. Trust me, it’s worth it. I spent years trying to be an adult and suppress those emotions. I count those as years lost.

Feel deeply, be enthusiastic, and know that I love you unconditionally.

Your Sappy Papa