Week 23 – Soul

I love the concept for this and there so much to do with this one.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (I hope this works…please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
blues and jazzWatch moviemeditateFlexpersonality zine

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano, learning guitar

Crochet

On break

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

Download material

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – (in download material)

Addition and pattern – worksheet

Storytime

Activity

Music blues and jazz
Learn to meditate
Make a personality zine

Next week: Zootopia

Week 21 – Turning Red Results

This movie has extremely fast dialogue. Even I had trouble following. But Pegasus was a trooper and stuck it out. He liked the music and LOVED the panda.

Dance

As per usual, I didn’t do anything specific for this.

Music

His scales are coming along nicely and he willingly practises both his scales and the pieces in the book.

Crochet

We haven’t started this yet.

Basic Information

We are working on the day before and the day after any given day. The months of the year is going well. All months have proper pronounciation now, and we’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

We practised the seasons, but he still needs help remembering them in French.

Printing words

He is working on leaving spaces between words (kerning). This is easier to do on the computer. 😉 I think he’s getting better though.

Counting objects/math-type activities

He still has no problems with counting these, and I feel like his numbers have improved.

Math worksheets. He REALLY likes these and had a lot of fun with the more challenging one. He did them both on Monday because he was so excited to do them.

Storytime

We got 4 French library books last week. We read 2.

Activity

Take pictures on a nature walk – We discovered that it’s a lot more difficult to go for a walk with boots on and when there are unplowed paths. Pegasus was really dragging on the way home. I felt bad, but it’s not like we could teleport home! He willingingly laid down and rested, but didn’t nap. My pictures of Pegasus taking pictures below:

Pegasus’s pictures: We’re going to work on him tucking his elbows against his body so that they’re not as blurry next time. He did a great job keeping his fingers out of the frame after that first one (difficult to do when wearing gloves that are too big). He had fun playing with the zoom.

Physics experiment – Floating Hearts Static Electricity Activity – The balloon was a big hit (and thankfully popped later than night). He was incredibly enthusiastic about rubbing the balloon on the carpet and then making the pieces of paper jump from the table to the balloon.

Make a concert set list – He had a lot of fun and had definite ideas about what he wanted in his set list. It ended up telling a story – starts out feeling trapped, leaving home, starting over, doing what feels right, and then feeling like it’s home. He typed out the names of the songs (I did the artists), and chose and placed all the pictures in Canva.

There was a PEBCAK error on Friday

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

I’ve prided myself on ensuring content every weekday for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, we had a major PEBCAK error last week.

PEBCAK stands for Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard.

Basically I messed up. Sorry.

I’ve been struggling to do updates. This new head cold I caught last week doesn’t help. Motivation has been hard to come by. I think it’s a combination of re-adjusting to the routine and wanting to do too many things. It’s leaving me unfocused.

I’ve been through it before; I just need to get excited about one thing and get it done.

How’s your 2024 going?

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

A Haunting in Venice – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film A Haunting in Venice.

Story

I haven’t read Hallowe’en Party and can’t speak to how faithful this is to the original plot.

That being said, this is the most fast paced of the three Branagh Poirot movies and definitely the darkest. The story is a fascinating mystery with a lot of ghostly dressing. The pace is slowed and story hurt by the humdrum attempts at integrating horror clichés into it.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There is a massive disparity in quality in acting. Branagh and Yeoh are absolutely fabulous and the kid is amazing. The rest of the cast is passable.

The characters are believable and act accordingly.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

There’s a near poetry to the banter and dialogue of the characters. Yeoh’s confrontation with Branagh is spectacular.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was filmed on location and it adds a level of authenticity. The sets are great. Despite the jump scares and a few odd angles, the cinematography is a wonderful mix of the mystery and horror styles.

Score: 1

Fun

I’m both proud and a little disappointed that I guessed the killer, method, and blackmailer way before I should have. It was, however, a fun movie to experience.

It being on the scarier side means I watched it on my own.

Score: 1

Overall

An excellent movie with a fun Halloween twist. The acting is a little uneven and the mystery watered down, but a worthy successor to the other two films and a fun watch. Branagh and Yeoh are fabulous as usual.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Week 22 – The Princess and the Frog

Back to the similar program that I taught to Dragon with The Princess and the Frog.

Here is the link for the downloadable materials. (I hope this works…please let me know if you have any problems so I can fix it!)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
rice bowlWatch movieBeignetsFlexlearn about frogs

Summary of the week

Daily details:

Dance

Ballet and martial arts on alternate days

Music

Singing, listening to different pieces, learning piano, learning guitar

Crochet

On break

Basic Information

We talk about the days of the week and play games with the cutouts of the names. We do the same thing with the names of the months of the year. You can find the print-outs here.

Printing words

Download material

Counting objects/math-type activities

Practice counting objects and writing how many of each type – (in download material)

Addition and pattern – worksheet

Storytime

Activity

Cooking rice bowl
Baking beignets
Learn about frogs

Next week: Soul

Week 20 – Over the Moon Results

Pegasus had not watched this movie yet (under 2yo doesn’t count), so I was excited to see his response to this. He was enthralled.

Dance

As per usual, I didn’t do anything specific for this.

Music

His scales are coming along nicely and he willingly practises both his scales and the pieces in the book.

Crochet

We haven’t started this yet.

Basic Information

We kept up with these throughout the break, so he was still able to repeat these quite well. We are working on the day before and the day after any given day. The months of the year is going well. All months have proper pronounciation now, and we’re working on the month before and after any given month. That’s coming slowly.

We practised the seasons, but he still needs help remembering them in French.

Printing words

He is working on leaving spaces between words (kerning). This is easier to do on the computer. 😉

Counting objects/math-type activities

He still has no problems with counting these, and I feel like his numbers have improved.

Math worksheets. He REALLY likes these and had a lot of fun with the more challenging one. He did them both on Monday because he was so excited to do them.

Storytime

We got 4 new French library books this week. We read 2.

Activity

Nebula jar – This was one of my favourites from Dragon’s lessons. Pegasus chose yellow, red, and green. If I could go back and encourage him to pick a different last colour, I would. It seems to be making the entire jar a bit murky. On the positive side, we can always do this again after washing out the jar…?

Magnet experiment – We took out two powerful magnets and tested different materials (coaster, magazine, pants, blanket, different plastics, board books, and stacking cups). He also tested how many cups he could nest inside each other before the magnets didn’t hold (the answer is 6 – the magnets held on 5. His hypothesis was that 3 would be the max.)

Make spring rolls – Pegasus enjoys adding flavours, but cooking is not something he enjoys. Baking, however, is another story. Moving forward, I’ll be removing most of the cooking and adding baking. He burned his finger slightly on the pan when stirring, and got very impatient when rolling the rice paper. Dragon took over and she was better at it than Éric was!

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story (Serial Story)

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 1: When all other negotiation tactics fail, scare the pants off them

Have you ever tried holding onto melting ice cream? No matter how hard you hold on or try to force it back into shape, it just keeps dripping. That’s what it felt like trying to convince the rulers of the solar system to listen to me.

There were members from all the systems empires: The Mercurial Guild, The Venusian Empire, The Martian Empire, The Free Peoples of Ceres, The Jupiter Protectorate, The Titan Federation, The United Moons of Uranus, the Neptunia Commonwealth, Pluto, the TNO Alliance, The Republic of Kuiper, and last but not least, the nomadic Psionic Clans.

That’s a lot of names, and frankly I wouldn’t remember them all either if I were you. Just picture a room with a lot of people who’ve hated each other for longer than anyone can remember why, and add a very tired Sun Speaker, that’s me, in the centre of the yelling. 

Let me recap what’s going on, just in case you haven’t been following. I am Hal, and when I was young I was chosen by the great god Sol, who lives in our sun, to speak for him. I am the Sun Speaker, and in millenia past, that has meant being the head of a massive system-spanning church.

Unfortunately for me, the church didn’t approve of my style of leadership and declared me a heretic. The church then appointed a jerk who would say whatever they wanted and I stole a spaceship and did my best to serve Sol and help people.

Real Sun Speakers are given special powers. We can heal the sick, summon great cleansing fire, and purify water. We also get glimpses into the future and vague orders from Sol themselves. The human body wasn’t made to channel such power and most die by thirty.

I am now almost fifty and still look thirty, thanks to the last known vial of an immortality serum given to me by my friend, doctor, and resident mad scientist.

Things were going pretty well for me until Sol started showing me visions of devastation on a system-wide level. Black ships filled with other Sun Speakers and endless soldiers. And here I thought I was unique… Unfortunately I’m not, and the other Suns are older and able to have more than one Speaker.

I had hoped I would have a few more decades before the attack arrived, but then I checked out a derelict ship and almost died fighting one Sun Speaker, and he said they were coming.

I’ve seen the fleet of ships covering everything inside the Kuiper Belt with death. They aren’t just coming for Sol, they’re coming for everything and everyone they protect.

The Grande Adjudicator of the Jupiter Protectorate screeched in frustration in the face of the Queen of Venus. She followed up with a comment about the faithfulness of his husband.

I should have interceded and stopped them from kicking off a system-wide war that would leave us weaker against the imminent threat. Instead, I left the room.

The air in the hall was cooler by several degrees. The royal palace of Mars wasn’t used to that many people in one room and was struggling to keep the temperature even. 

I put my back to the wall and slid down to the stone floor. I curled my legs up and debated crying, laughing, or locking the doors from the outside.

“Aren’t you supposed to be organizing them into a coherent defence plan?” Suzie said gently, kicking my foot. She looked like she was wearing a simple business suit, but I knew it was her light armour that projected a disguise. Her long curly black hair was pulled into a thick braid, which I knew held several spikes to dissuade anyone from pulling on it.

“Yeah. I’m not the right person for this. I’m a meddler, I pull small strings and help people. I don’t think I can do this.” I wouldn’t confide that to anyone else. Suzie and I had been together for four years now, four years of struggling to get to these negotiations.

She kicked me again. “Don’t do this. You’re the only one who can do this. You have allies in there, leverage that. Use some of that charm you keep saying you have. Do what you have to. Or would you rather I deal with them?”

“No!” I exclaimed, standing up. She was the love of my life, but as an ex-assassin, her way of dealing with people was a lot more violent than mine. I kissed her gently and added, “Thank you for believing in me.”

I turned to head toward the door and Sol chose to send me some interesting information. The worst visions can leave me crying on the floor in pain but most aren’t that bad; this was the equivalent of getting slapped behind the head.

I walked into the room and I’m not sure any of them even noticed me.

Into my comms earpiece, I said, “Adric, can you put our guests on the main viewscreen in the conference room.” The large screen had been used as a visual aid for explaining what was coming early in the conference. 

“How did you know? A ship just appeared outside Xanthus,” The asteroid past Pluto was populated by people who didn’t want to deal with groups like this. It was also home to the, arguably, best psychic in the system Caro, one of my good friends.

The screen flickered to life and a large saucer shaped ship came into view. The room fell silent for a second before they all started demanding answers at the same time.

They were cut off when Adric played the audio message that was coming from the ship. A loud deep mechanical voice said, “The Myrddin have arrived to protect Sol from the Council of Suns. Please do not resist the Myrddin, we will only harm you in self defence. The fleet shall arrive momentarily.”

Adric cut into the audio. With awe in his voice, he said, “Every trans-Neptunian outpost is reading ships. There’s tens of thousands… no, millions. The system is surrounded.”

Read Chapter 2 (February 2024)


While you wait for the next chapter, you can read some related stories:

Accidental Family – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Accidental Family.

Story

A twist on While You Were Sleeping without the creepy coma stuff. The movie does a great job at setting everything up, but tries too hard to include conventions from comedy, drama, and romance movies.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The main character is the standard nerdy/quirky, supposedly shy, leading lady. She’s sympathetic but a little generic. She is shown to be good at her job which is something I feel is often forgotten in rom-coms.

The rest of the cast is okay with some cringe scenes that could have been better acted.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

I found a lot of the dialogue heavy handed. Hearing the girlfriend admit over the phone that she’s just using him for his house was a convenient way to make us dislike her but it wasn’t needed.

The romantic banter is cute and only a little weird because they think they’re 3rd cousins.

The heartfelt moments were well done.

I loved the narrator/angel.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The camera work is good and the locations are well picked. I really appreciated the props for the chests.

The music did it’s job but was not memorable.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie was a calm-ish rom-com. I wasn’t expecting the death and it wasn’t a fun surprise. The rest was cute and enjoyable. The family enjoyed it.

I really hate puking scenes, especially played for laughs. I’m even less of a fan since my 4yo has been going around pretending to puke on people since we watched it.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A mostly inoffensive and mildly enjoyable romantic comedy that takes a dip too far into drama for my liking. Worth a watch if you like rom-coms or dramady films.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5