This Post is Not Fun


It’s been a really long time.

Like, really, really long.

I promised that I would post regularly last year – and I failed. 

I’m sorry.

But there are reasons… and those reasons mostly have to do with stress about medical bills.

Those of you who have been around for a long time know that I am cancer survivor (yay!). But now I am drowning in debt.

I could lose (my family could lose) almost everything. 

Can you help? If you can, please visit my fundraiser. HERE at Give Forward.

Sorry to come only to beg for things. 

Your time and consideration is deeply appreciated.




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PAX Prime 2013 Wrap-Up (Coming Soon!)

In the meantime here is a bad-ass video wrap-up of the amazing cosplay seen at the con this past weekend :)

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A Chicken Sincerely

If you haven’t listened to The Nerdist Podcast with Tig Notaro, please, take an hour and listen.

Beautiful, funny, inspiring.

Nerdist with Tig Notaro


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A Cute Thing to Distract You

I forgot to write a post for today, so here’s a cute thing to distract you:


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Flights of Fantasy

Last weekend my wife and I went to see the Fantasy Exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

The Experience Music Project (EMP) at Seattle Center

The Experience Music Project (EMP) at Seattle Center

What followed was an impressive display of media artifacts (read collector’s items) from some of my favorite fantasy projects including Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal!!

Maquette of a Mystic (Dark Crystal)

Maquette of a Mystic (Dark Crystal)

Map of the world of The Dark Crystal

Map of the world of The Dark Crystal

Jim's personal notes on The Dark Crystal

Jim’s personal notes on The Dark Crystal

And attracting a LOT of attention: David Bowie's Jareth costume from Labyrinth!

And attracting a LOT of attention: David Bowie’s Jareth costume from Labyrinth!

In addition to these Henson treasures, they also were showcasing some sweet items from another popular 80’s flick: The Princess Bride!

Inigo's, Buttercup's and Wesley's costumes

Inigo’s, Buttercup’s and Wesley’s costumes


The actual swords used in the famous "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya, etc" fight sequence!

The actual swords used in the famous “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya, etc” fight sequence!

After leaving the Fantasy exhibit, we wandering into the Horror Movie exhibit and found these gems:

It's got red on it!!! (from Shaun of the Dead)

It’s got red on it!!! (from Shaun of the Dead)

Stunt Stakes from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (TV Series)

Stunt Stakes from “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” (TV Series)

They actually had a LOT more cool stuff in this exhibit but it was really, really, dark in there (you know, for atmosphere) and none of the other photos I took turned out well-enough to share here.

After the Horror exhibit we wandered (again) to the SciFi exhibit and found more awesomeness:

Anakin Skywalker's cowl from Episodes 5 and 6.

Anakin Skywalker’s cowl from Episodes 5 and 6.

Yoda's walking stick and necklace from Ep 5

Yoda’s walking stick and necklace from Ep 5


A Dalek from Doctor Who, the original series! Exterminate!!

A Dalek from Doctor Who, the original series! Exterminate!!

After this, we started home again. But not before this happened:

Jen of Thrones!!!

Jen of Thrones!!!

An excellent way to spend a few weekend hours. If you’re in the Puget Sound area, or visiting soon, please visit our EMP and check out all of the insanely cool stuff (including things I didn’t show here, like the Nirvana exhibit, or the Jimi Hendrix exhibit, or the guitar gallery… just sweet).









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If Jane Austen Replied to a Customer Service Survey

Yesterday I was on the phone with customer servicefor one of the businesses my company works with. It was a pleasant interaction and, following the end of the call, I received a “How Are We Doing” survey request from the agent who had assisted me.


Most of the survey was your typical “On a Scale of 1 to 5 Rate your Experience” series of check boxes; but at the end was a place where a person could leave a free form comment.

I was about to write something like, “Excellent service, keep up the good work”, when it suddenly occurred to me that this was a window of opportunity to answer the question, “What if Jane Austen were to reply to a contemporary customer service survey?”


So I wrote this (please note, names have been changed for privacy):

Dear Sir or Madam or, indeed, Monkey (as ‘twere the case, this being a Survey after all),

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lighting rep in possession of a quality product must be in want of a reliable customer service agent.

 Behold me going to write you as handsome a letter of praise as I can.

 The day began with a dismaying cry of vexation as I was in the most piteous of states trying to discover the purpose and function of your device named simply “N80”.

 I was in want of a sheet of specification that would in detail reveal the secrets of the device, thus imbuing me of the knowledge wherein I might present the piece confidently to those so in need.

 Finding myself at a loss for such discovery I lept with eager haste to take in hand my telephonic communicator and, pressing the appropriate keys in sequence, found myself, as luck would have it, directly connected with your Mister Brzozowski. It is his name, though unpronounceable, of whom I sing the praises of this day.

 Quick to the task, Mister Brzozowski eloquently answered my questions, of which there were many, and politely directed me to the location of the document I sought. My brain so full with new knowledge and my chest swollen with sighs of relief, I thanked Mister Brzozowski heartily for his time and learned counsel and returned to my work so much the better for it.

 I endeavor here to remark how very grateful I was for his aide and thank you heartily for his employment as it benefits us all.

 Yours very truly,

Jen “Austen” Tidwell


I think I shall respond to survey inquiries in this manner from now on.

And this week’s edition to the Testimonial Gallery is:

Natalia Tena aka Tonks!

Natalia Tena aka Tonks!

Yes, there is a smudgey bit on the photo, she’d written my wife and I a personal message and I (badly) photoshopped it out to keep it personal. Hope ya’ll don’t mind :)

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It’s the First of May

And you know what that means!! (NSFW)

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