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    Comic Con 2022 Interlude

    Yes, we are taking a break from your regularly scheduled Florida TARDIS pictures (from 2020) to post the pictures I took at Ottawa Comic Con 2022.

    To start, here’s what our booth looked like this year! Can you spot the TARDIS? (Trick question…there are TWO!)

    Guitar Lessons Part 63

    July 9: Hybrid

    I’m really happy with my hybrid.

    I pulled it out quickly today when I had about ten minutes to play. It’s easy to tune using the electric part and it keeps its tune pretty well.

    I played the melody, the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the first half of the wedding song.

    I really need to memorize the rest of that song.

    July 10: More than I thought

    I practised the wedding song today without music, and I remembered all of the third verse! So that was exciting. Definitely more than I thought.

    I don’t remember the fourth though.

    It’s a WiP.

    I also played the melody, the walking song, and “Get to Know You.”

    July 11: Promo material

    I focussed mainly on the melody for Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. I also played the walking song.

    We’re going to be filming an amateur music video for our book this weekend, so I needed to practise the finger picking.

    It’s going to be fun.

    July 12: Filming, part 1

    Part 1 was filmed this afternoon. It involved me playing the melody multiple times with both guitars for three different sites… So six times.

    That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I assure you, it felt like it.

    I’m exhausted.

    July 13: Still a little sore

    My arm still hurts a bit from all the recordings we did yesterday, so I didn’t play very long today.

    I practised the melody (which, incidentally, I’ve been practising at a faster speed than I needed to), the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

    I did use the sheet music today. There weren’t any big surprises, which was nice lol!

    July 14: Walking song

    I played the concert ukulele today. It needed tuning because it hasn’t gotten played very much, poor thing.

    It’s not its fault. It was bought for my husband and he’s currently on sick leave for carpal tunnel and tendonitis, so he’s not playing anything at all.

    We think I might have a muscle strain in my upper arm.

    Ugh.

    I don’t want to lose all my progress, but if this keeps getting worse, I’m going to have to take a break.

    Anyway, I played the walking song on the ukulele today, twice. It’s hard to remember the different chords between the two instruments.

    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

    Guitar Lessons Part 62

    July 3: Pick

    I forgot to say why I chose the title of yesterday’s post, so I changed yesterday’s and used it again today.

    The pick!

    When I first started learning guitar, I didn’t use a pick. I found that it made me feel separate from the guitar. I had no idea what string I was on. I still kinda feel like that when I’m playing the learning app, but for songs like the melody line of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers, which I have memorized, I find it’s actually easier to use the pick (unless my fingernails are long, but that’s a whole other post).

    I also prefer to use the pick to strum because then the strings don’t file my fingernails.

    I prefer the sound without the pick, but feasibly, it’s just not sustainable.

    I’m a pick convert.

    I played my songs with the sheet music today. It almost feels weird doing that lol

    July 4: Satisfying

    I played today after lunch.

    First, the hybrid, upon which I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the ballad. (The latter because my daughter ran to get my music without me asking her because she wanted to hear it.)

    Then I tuned the new concert ukulele that my husband got for Father’s Day. It’s a hybrid as well. It still needs a lot of fiddly tuning. Very frustrating, but I know it’ll get better. I played the walking song on it.

    It is so satisfying to be able to pick up an instrument and be able to play something that I wrote on it.

    That sounds like bragging, but it really isn’t. It’s just really cool to me.

    July 5: Late night practising

    I didn’t play earlier today, despite having woken up earlier than usual. I spent most of the day in a bit of a brain fog.

    Right before we put the kids to bed, I played the walking song and “Get to Know You”.

    I like how easy it is to tune and then play my hybrid.

    July 6: Too fast

    If I’m practising a song that is faster than usual, I tense my strumming arm.

    Apparently.

    I really have to be more careful with that. I’m not fully recovered from whatever was wrong with my arm before this point.

    Anyway, I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” the wedding song, and “La Da Dee” by Cody Simpson today.

    July 7: Played

    I played today. No music, so I played the walking song and “Get to Know You”.

    Wanna know what song I can’t get enough of right now?

    Jann Arden’s “You Love Me Back”

    Lyric video of Jann Arden’s “You Love Me Back”

    July 8: Whoops

    Today was a strange day. Nothing got done because we, and just under half of the rest of Canada, had no internet!

    Thanks Rogers.

    (We’re not with Rogers, but use their infrastructure.)

    Anyway, I completely forgot about playing my guitar until after the kids were in bed.

    So I played the Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers melody and the walking song super quietly.

    Oh, and we have internet back again, so that’s good news. ??

    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

    Hocus Pocus 2?– JenEric Movie Review

    How This WorksRead Other Reviews

    Hello Cinephiles,

    Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Hocus Pocus 2.

    Story

    It felt like the first closed the book on the Sanderson Sisters, but the sequel uses a clever linguistic loophole (the best kind) to bring them back. The structure of the movie is close enough to the original to have callbacks, but different to be unique.

    I’m really impressed with the tighness of the story. There are elements that seem like they were meant as one of gags, but then come back later in a great way.

    Score: 1

    Characters

    The sisters, and Billy, are 29 years older and it show in little things like the timbre of their voices and the way they move. That being said, they are completely beleivable.

    The new characters are very much like the first set of kids, except instead of the awkward romance, we have the story of friends who’ve drifted apart. Much less secondhand awkward and more fun.

    I also enjoyed the clueless boyfriend who didn’t realize he was a bully.

    I liked the evolution of Book from a malevolent force to a loving friend.

    Score: 1

    Dialogue

    The dialogue was quipy and a lot of fun. I liked the self awareness of the film.

    Score: 1

    Visuals and Music

    The visuals were beautiful. They were sparing with the CGI and what little they used was well done. (Looking at you Book)

    The music was fantastic. I loved the musical numbers and the other music was great. I’m buying the soundtrack if I can.

    Score: 1

    Fun

    This had all the fun of the first with no angst, awkwardness, or child death.

    It was fun and spooky in all the right ways. The entire family loved it.

    Score: 1

    Overall

    A new Halloween tradition is here! With all the charm and fun of the first with more songs, more magic, and less awkwardness. In most ways, it’s just as good if not better than the original.

    Final Score: 5*


    *A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.