Health Update September

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

No video update today. It’s a lot of set up and a lot of editing.

To catch up, here’s my first health update and here’s my second health update.

Good news is that I got an appointment with my doctor in mid-September… sort of. He called after my wonderful wife made him understand what was going on. (She was at an appointment with him for Dragon.) I thank every deity and afterlife for how awesome my wife is.

I do not have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendinitis. According the the specialist, I have a form of Myofascial Strain,, maybe Myofascial Pain Syndrome. (The treatment is the same, apparently.)

I have been cleared for a limited amount of typing. If it starts to hurt more I have to stop. It’s gone from extreme pain after 5-10 minutes in June to heavy pain after 20-30 minutes of typing. Position, equipment, and posture are a big factor.

Speaking of posture… there’s a mild numbness in my left pinky and arm. My doctor says its a low end of pain, but my physio worries that it’s something to do with my neck. I saw a massage therapist who agrees with her, but I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the pain after the massage.

As for pain, the intense physio is working. When I started in June, I was in so much pain I had trouble thinking or doing anything at all. Now I’m always aware of the pain but I can concentrate on other things and do stuff. It’s not great, but it’s better. I still have trouble sleeping and some days are worse than others. Thursday I had trouble not crying and I just wanted to curl into a ball.

So overall, I’m doing better, but I’m not going to be playing ukulele for a while or writing 1000 words a night. Sigh.

Thanks for reading,

Éric

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers – Recipes

Hello Readers,

As a special treat, we wrote up a few recipes from our latest book Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. They were published on the All Lit Up Blog,

The recipes are Moose Balls in Primavera sauce and Chocolate and Chilli Brownies.

Go check it out and enjoy.

Thank you, and if you make the recipes, let us know.

Jen and Éric

Thor: Love and Thunder – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Story

The actual story was fairly simple and straightforward. There was a lot of humour and a lot of emotion. Sometimes it felt like the flow between scenes was missing something and there were more than a few parts that could have been extended. It felt like they had 6 hours of story and only 2 hours made it to the final cut.

Score: 0

Characters

Somewhere along the way in the MCU, Thor went from slightly oblivious jock / rich kid to a dim-witted fool. Every movie, it feels like he has to relearn how to be worthy and honestly, it’s getting old.

The addition of the Mighty Thor made things more interesting, but I have to say the whole romance was a little meh for me.

I liked the relationship between Jane and Valkyrie and loved the cameos by Sif and Heimdall.

The villain stole the show, however. He was both relatable and if it wouldn’t have killed Thor, I would have been okay with his plan. His redemption at the end through the power of love felt earned and not like a cheap plot trick.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quips and dialogue were excellent, but the imbalance in tone made some scenes comical or just weird.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Visually this movie was a feast for the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

The music was clever and well placed.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got used to the fact that the movie would be all over the place in tone, I started to enjoy each piece like short films. The last scene with the kids was just so empowering. I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The tone is all over the place, the story feels disjointed, the love story was meh, but damn this movie was still a lot of fun. The dialogue and action are spectacular and Christian Bale makes a relatable and fantastic villain.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Dear Dragon – Welcome to Level 6

Dear Dragon,

In some ways, this has been an exciting year, and in others it’s been a lot of the same.

You finished senior kindergarden and were really sad to say goodbye to your teachers. You learned a lot of things this year.

  • You can count and recognize numbers in both languages.
  • You’re an (eggs)pert at cracking eggs.
  • You can recognize your letters in both languages with only a little trouble with U in French.
  • You learnt to read this summer. It was slow and you didn’t want to, but now you’re pretty good at it. Your French reading is also doing well.
  • You helped me garden.
  • We played all of Yoshi’s Crafted World together, and most of Kirby and the Forgotten Land before I hurt myself.
  • You learned to play multiple songs on the piano.

You’ve learned a lot more, but that’s what’s on the top of my head.

Excitingly, this past year has seen both you and your brother fully vaccinated against covid-19. It’s a big relief for evertyone.

We had planned on putting you into in person school once your brother was vaccinated, but we missed the deadline and you’re in digital school again this year. It has its advantages; mostly the class size and extra sleep. You have about 12 kids in your class which means you get a lot more attention and help.

You had your first playdate in almost 3 years and it went great. It was a friend from your digital class. We’re hoping to bring you for a day at Can-Con and it’ll be nice to do things with you out of the house.

You’ve grown so much this past year and I love who you are. Every day I get to spend with you and your brother makes me happy. I hope that when you look back on the past 3 years that you have happy memories of us being together as a family. I know I will.

Happy Birthday Little Dragon!

I love you,

Papa

ComicCon 2022 is Over :(

Hello Everyone,

As you know, we sold at Ottawa ComicCon last weekend. We even met Cary Elwes.

Our table at the start of day on Sunday at Ottawa Comic Con 2022

We bought a table back in 2019 and we didn’t want to lose our spot. deposit, or goodwil we’ve accrued over the past almost decade so we decided to do it.

Despite Éric’s injuries, he roasted slowly and made sure to be as safe as possible. The weekend itself was painful, but didn’t set him back in his recovery.

The weekend was a success and all of JenEric Designs and Coffee did well enough to make us want to return. So see you next year.

Here’s a few exciting moments from the Con.

Éric

Writing is a very solitary act most of the time and as an author its easy to think we’re just launching our stories into the aether and that they aren’t being read.

A woman this weekend asked about Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers and when I mentioned that I’d already written a few, she said, “Oh, I know. I’ve read your other books.”

Apparently Everdome was one of her favourites. That made my day.

There was another instance where when someone saw the coffee, they got so excited they screamed in happiness.

It’s nice to be liked.

Jen

Nine years ago, I was prepping to sell at my very first show. I made 4 Mike Wazowski mini balls, and 2 Sour Bill mini balls. This story involves both of those.

As I was setting up on Thursday, I kept pulling things out of the bin and being surprised because I honestly couldn’t remember what I had available.

When someone on Saturday saw my little Mike Wazowski and cooed over it, I offhandedly mentioned that it was the last one. They bought it on the spot.

I mentioned to Éric at this point that we should probably gift the 2 Sour Bills to our kids.

A few minutes later, I peek into the bin under my table, and lo and behold! A Mike Wazowski was staring up at me! :O Apparently, I had another one, and not a second Sour Bill! Colour me suprised. (He sold on Sunday, and when I said he was the last one, it was true this time. I apologize to the first people. I didn’t mean to mislead you, I promise!)

On Saturday evening, someone came up to our booth, exclaiming about the Sour Bill! I was impressed he knew who it was, because not many people do. He said he was going to cosplay as Fix-It Felix Jr next year, and I said flippantly “Well, you should have a Sour Bill with you!” and he replied, “You know what? You’re right.” And BOUGHT HIM!

I no longer have little green ball stuffies after NINE years.

It’s a relief, but also a little sad, because I liked finding ways of displaying him. No, I’m not making more; he was a pain in the butt to make and his pattern is who-knows-where.

Beyond that whole thing, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see my con family after two long years of missing them. It really didn’t feel like it had been so long; I fell into my usual banter about coffee (oh, your purchase is $16, did you want to add a small to that to round up to an even $20?) and FB helps keep people connected when you can’t see them in person.

A new exciting thing happened to me this weekend; I got to sign my first book for people when they bought it! I thought I’d be prepared for how exciting that would feel, but I really wasn’t. Every time someone brought our book to our table, I’d get that rush all over again. (And worry that I would mess up the signature, which I only did once and managed to play it off as intentional, thankfully!)

I want to thank all the people who came to see us, the other artists, the volunteers, and the organizers for making our first convention back such a good one.


Thank you to everyone who made it out, you reminded us after 2 years why we do all the things we do.

See some of you at Can-Con!

Éric and Jen

Sneakerella – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Sneakerella.

Story

This was a modern take on Cinderella and had a lot of throwbacks to the Disney Cinderella. The story was pretty standard, but included a nice, if awkward, Aladdin twist.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The two mains had a lot of chemistry and the rest of the cast was great. The acting was top notch, I particularly liked his best friend and fairy god-father.

I am a little peeved at the lack of development dedicated to the step-father. He didn’t earn his happy ending by being anything but obtuse. He was still a jerk, just not too big a jerk.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was excellent. It felt authentic to my ear and was quite witty. I liked the puns and plays on classic Disney.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The locations and cinematography were stunning. The dance numbers were cool and everything about it was beautifully colourful.

The music was solid. I won’t be humming the songs, but they were well done.

Score: 1

Fun

Maybe it was knowing how it ends or just not liking the angst, but the second half dragged a little for me. My 3yo was bored when there wasn’t any music and everyone else liked it okay.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun re-interpretation of Cinderella with great Disney Easter eggs and enjoyable songs. The movie doesn’t add much to the tried and true story, but doesn’t really need to.

Final Score: 3.5

Meeting Cary Elwes

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Friday we met Cary Elwes. Here’s Jen’s wonderful description of meeting the Dread Pirate himself:


We asked him his favourite picture of the bunch, and he said the one where he just rescued Buttercup, but we wanted one of him as himself, so we chose him in a suit.

Here’s the picture we chose to have him sign.

He asked our names, Jen and Éric, and then I said “we’re JenEric” and he paused and had a sensible chuckle (TM). He stumbled over the pronunciation of Dragon’s name, but got it right after I corrected him. He asked their ages.

Then while he was signing, I asked my question, which was “We really enjoyed you in ‘A Castle for Christmas’ and we’re wondering if you were going to do any more Christmas movies?” He said that he really enjoyed his two months in Scotland filming that, and that he liked taking challenging roles, from which I gathered that he is unlikely to do that again lol.

Then when we were about to leave, he asked to see a picture of the kids, and he said they were beautiful and that we’re very lucky.

Then we got fist bumps.

My cheeks still hurt from smiling.


He was sweet, patient, and really great to interact with. We only got the autograph and not a photo-op.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Zombies 3 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Zombies 3.

Story

Although following the same themes as the first two, it deviates more in story. The overall plot is utterly ridiculous, but in the best way possible. There are a few inconsistencies with the first one (specifically the ages of the characters) but it’s still a fun story. I particularly like how they used the three groups’ tech together.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I like the third movie in these sorts of series. The characters are developed and sure of themselves. Zed is a proud Zombie trailblazer and even without knowing her origins, Addison is a leader and welcomes everyone. The rest of the cast fit really well together.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are a lot of nice nods to classic sci-fi and monster movies. The dialogue leans into the cheesy and series nostalgia, which somehow works really well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

By far the best filmed of the series, but the special effects aren’t as great as they could be. I liked how much they managed in the first two with little to no budget, but with a massive budget it was a little disapointing.

The music was great, but still not extremely distinctive. I doubt I’ll hear the soundtrack and know right away what it’s from.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This is a an angst-free and fun movie. It has all the elements that made the first two fun and everyone in the family enjoyed it.

Score: 1

Overall

My favourite of the three, but mostly for the return to an awesome world. It was fun and had some great songs.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Ottawa ComicCon this Weekend

Hello!

JenEric DesignsJenEric CoffeeThe Travelling TARDIS, and Eric Desmarais will be at this weekend’s (Friday the 9th to the 11th) Ottawa Comiccon. at the EY Centre.

We’ll be at booths 2606-2608!

We will have a total of twelve coffe flavours along with our newest flavours Apple Pie and Bavarian Cream.

Hope to see you there!

Éric