Going Bananas – Important PSA!!

So here’s the deal. There are monkeys and they have laser guns disguised as bananas. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know. It’s like just knowing that it’s going to rain, or just knowing that the weird guy who bags your groceries is probably a serial killer and no one has caught him yet, but you just smile and look the other way and shake your head while you mumble, “No, I don’t need help out with my bags, but thank you. Please let go of my rutabaga.”

How did I come to this conclusion about the monkeys, you ask (or probably would). Well, I can’t tell you, because if I told you then my cover would be blown and all hell would break loose. Just trust me when I say that they are out there and they are effin’ serious, man.

Right about now you’re probably thinking that I’m just being wacky, because the essence of this blog is basically stream-of-consciousness babble, usually to do with flan or something very much like flan. But listen to me when I say that the only defense against these terrifying, and terrifyingly cute, fruit-laser wielding primates is to join the resistance!

First, buy all the bananas you can (to keep them from modifying them into laser pistols and enlarging their weapons stock.) Second, eat the bananas (see first parenthetical for reasoning). Third, if you are in the zoo DO NOT tease the monkeys – it only emboldens their resolve. Finally, brush your teeth after every meal and wash your face before bedtime (because good hygiene seriously throws them off – I mean c’mon, they throw POO, people!).

To prove that I’m not kidding about the monkeys with laser bananas threat, I have included a photo that I took at incredible risk to my safety – that is NOT actually a picture of a plush monkey with a banana that has a laser pointer taped to it…

Vive La Resistance!!


I’ve decided that I’m going to spontaneously go to PAX Prime next weekend.


PAX Prime (for those who don’t know) is a HUGE gaming convention here in Seattle.

I’m not thinking of going because I’m a gamer. I’m not. I do play the classics: Mario, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, etc. But I’m not into online gaming. Not because I don’t think it’s cool, I just don’t have the time to spend on it.

I’m thinking about going to PAX because of one man – Wil Wheaton.

Last time Wil was here for a convention it was for the Emerald City Comic Con… which I missed. I attempted to entice him to come to my house for a personal meet-and-greet… and it failed. Probably because he didn’t see my tweet amid the MILLIONS of tweets he was surely receiving from fans.

I’m not a fan of his acting per se… but I am a fan of his first-adopter-ing, forward-thinking, techno-geekery. So there’s that.

I realized that when he unwillingly ignored my plea for his attention during the darkest hour of my battle with the Big C it left but one recourse – I must now stalk him.

Okay, not really. But I had you there for a moment, huh?

Also, Jonathan Coulton is going to be signing/performing as well as Paul and Storm. Don’t know who these people are? I could be all superior and say something like, “then get off my lawn!” But I believe in sharing the goodness. So here are links to their respective sites.

Jonathan Coulton

Paul and Storm

So, I’m still undecided as to whether or not to go. It would make for a great blog post though.

Or maybe not.

**Edited on 8/24/2011 to add – Sadly, I am NOT going to PAX because the damn thing is totally sold out. Hope all the 70,000 attendees have an awesome time… bastards….

What’s That There on Yer Noggin’?

Ok, so after I posted my THIS blog update, I received a flurry of emails (and by “flurry” I mean more than two) asking me where I was hiding the beanies.

For those of you not familiar with the beanie saga/quest/buying spree, I shall briefly ‘splain:

I knew the chemo was going to make me go bald, so I sent out a request to my readers (and also Epbot.com’s readers) to help me locate some awesome geeky beanies for to cover my pale, glistening, pate. I subsequently promised photos of myself wearing said hats of awesome once they had been acquired.

My readers (and Epbot’s) completed their end of the bargain. And now, so shall I.

If I come off as weirdly intense and/or oddly fuzzy in these pictures, I ask you to consider the follow facts:

1. They were taken at the height of chemo, and I felt like poop.
2. They are mirror self-portraits, and I was trying desperately to actually look into the camera, and not at the view screen on my camera-phone.
3. I felt like poop.

But here they are, in all their iPhone 3Gs camera-phone glory!

I decided I really needed an extra life – so I got one!

Not to be outdone, I followed up with this snazzy, two-sided Atari beanie!

And here I am trying to be all cultured and s**t. Yes, I got this beanie in NYC when I saw Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe in the West End to Broadway transfer. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, I saw Daniel’s winkie. No, that’s not why I went to see it. No, it doesn’t make watching HP movies weird now. Moving on…

It’s Inky! As knitted by the amazing Lorien! Thank you, Lorien! She also made me this terrific scarf to go with it!

Ain’t it AWESOME?!

For my fellow HTMLers out there, I had this beanie made with the code < header > < / header > (only without the spaces…) Get it? Get it?! Personally, I thought this was genius of me. #geekselflove

Jayne, the man they call Jayne / He robbed from the rich / And he gave to the poor / Stood up to the man / And gave him what for 

There are just not enough Muppet referencing beanies out there… so I had this one made. Meep.

‘Nuff Said.

The fabulous Kate knit this incredible R2D2 beanie for me!! Thank you, Kate!

And she also knit this terrific Space Invaders beanie! So cool!!

And finally… I sent out an extra special request for an able-handed knitter to take on the challenge of knitting me a custom Muppet Show beanie. The Muppetational Allie responded to the call! And here it is!

Check out the little Kermit in the “O” of Show! OMG! #nerdgasm #squealofglee

And that’s all of them, folks! Hope you enjoyed the fashion show.

Until next time!

Get in the Tub!!

Do you bathe? I know I do. Generally, in a shower-ly fashion. But occasionally, I get the yen for a good ol’ fashioned bath.  You know what the best thing about a bath is? Shutting the door and getting some quiet zen time to meditate and shit.

Now, I’m no bath-time aficionado. I realize there are tons of bath products out there that guarantee a mellow and relaxing experience- but let’s face it, most of the stuff on the shelves today was lovingly hand-crafted by machines.

So here is where I get snooty. I don’t take baths a lot, as you know, so when I do I want to really make it a special, even exclusive, experience – starting with lighting my Nintendo novelty Mario and Peach candles – right down to the locally-crafted by an actual human being soaps and aromatherapy salts.

Where do I go for such delightful suds and smells? I’m glad you asked. I go here:


Now you may be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute, is this like, an ad or something?” And to this I answer, yes. But not a paid one. The gal who owns, operates and creates the amazing stuff at The Epic Bath is a friend of mine – and I just HAD to share with you. Her soaps are the BOMB! Especially her bath bombs… which are… literally…bombs – though not the explode-y kind. Wow, if they were explode-y, that would be a real end to the “zen-sation”, huh?  I promise they won’t go kerblooey, so please just hop on over to The Epic Bath and take a look around.

Insomnia! Nature’s Defense!

So for the last several nights I’ve been dealing with various categories of insomnia. From the “why is it taking me so long to fall asleep, this is really annoying”, to “how nice to see the sunrise after I’ve spent the entire night staring out the window, watching movements of the stars, trying not to feel both insignificant and increasingly pissed off.” And I’ve come to a realization (and no, it’s not that sentences shouldn’t be started with the word “and”, I know that… but sometimes it just works, so back off grammar trolls); I’ve realized that insomnia is not a debilitating condition that causes you to go progressively nuts from lack of sleep – but it is, in fact, a cunning form of self-defense… against the zombies.

Seriously! Think about it! If you’re all snuggly and sleeping when the zombie apocalypse comes, how can you defend yourself against the undead hordes?! Exactly. Mother Nature has given us lucky few humans the built-in defensive tool of insomnia so that WHEN the zombies do attack – and they will eventually, it’s only a matter of time before an unpaid intern at a major pharmaceutical company mixes the wrong shit together and, next thing you know, Mormon housewives dutifully taking their next dose of anti-depressants, will suddenly begin eating their many, many, children and then it’s all over.

Where was I?

Right! Insomnia as defense!

Okay, so helping us to be awake at the time of the “ZomPocolypse” term (c)-2011 Jen Tidwell, is only one way that insomnia serves as a survival tool! If you suffer from insomnia long enough, you even begin to ACT like a zombie!! What with the dead expression, shuffling feet, pale complexion and groaning in lieu of speech you’d be able to “blend in” with the infected masses who will IGNORE YOU because they will think you’re one of them! Boo-yah!

The only downside is that once you’ve reached this stage of drooling incoherence, fellow survivalists may mistake you for an actual zombie and attempt to remove your brain via decapitation, bludgeoning, skilled archery or sniper rifle (possibly also a shovel or cricket bat). So it will be very important for you to remember to wear a sign around your neck reading, “Not a zombie, just an insomniac” as means to deter the well-meaning homicidal maniacs.

Remember to wear one of these.

So the next time you’re lying awake in bed for hours, growing increasingly agitated with the not-sleep, just remember, Mother Nature is just preparing you for the inevitable.

Thanks, Momma Nat.

In Which I Praise Bjork’s Hanging

I don’t understand why people say that Bjork’s film Dancer in the Dark is good let alone “brilliant”. To me, DitD is probably one of the worst pieces of cinema I have ever had to suffer through. In fact, I found it so horrible, that when I set out to write this, I didn’t even bother to re-watch it to take notes, despite the fact that I haven’t seen it since it first came out on DVD. Yes DVD. I didn’t see it in the theatre. Not because I was avoiding it, I just happened to miss it when it was on the big screen. I didn’t re-watch it because even the idea of watching it again made me more than a little ill.

Anyway, you might be wondering why out of the blue I’ve decided to write about a movie I haven’t seen in years. Well, I’ll tell you. I was perusing my favorite on-line mag Slate.com and saw an article perporting to discuss the “saddest movie scenes of the last 15 years”. You can find said article HERE. With my interest peaked, I dove in to reading the article and discovered that they’d identified the final scene of DitD as one the “saddest”.

On the contrary, I found the final scene to DitD to be the most gleefully wonderful because it was the scene where (SPOILER ALERT) Bjork’s character is hung. I was never a supporter of the death penalty until that moment.

I’d argue, that if you must choose a scene from DitD to be one of the “saddest of the last 15 years”, it would be the title card immediately following the final scene which reads “They say it’s the last song/They don’t know us, you see/It’s only the last song/If we let it be.” A phrase from the film’s “theme” song which basically means, “you may think it’s over, but it ain’t”, perhaps the most devastating thing you could possibly say to those of us who suffered through the last two and a half hours of filmic hell.

Why do I hate Dancer in the Dark so much?? Because it commits the cardinal sin of entertainment. Any entertainment. It is BORING. Not just in spots – but the WHOLE DAMN 2.5 HOURS. By the time it was finally over, I seriously thought it had been a 5 hour film!

When I tell folks I Hate (capital “H”) DitD, they (if they like it), generally respond with “Well, do you like Bjork?” Implying that if I don’t like Bjork, that must be the only reason I don’t like the movie. You know what? I like Bjork. She’s not first on my iPod playlist, and – let’s face it – she is kinda weird, but I don’t dislike her, or her music. So you can’t blame my dislike of the movie on any dislike of her. So there.

Besides finding DitD unbearably boring (there were moments when I contemplated gnawing my own arm off as a distraction), the claim that it’s a “musical” is an insult to genuine movie musicals. A musical should have at least one “hummable” tune that you can walk out of the theatre (or in my case the living room) humming jauntily to yourself and thinking, “for that song alone I shall buy the cast album”. The only way I can describe the music in DitD is “groanable”. As in, “I groaned in pain until the music finally stopped.”

Additionally, the hand-held digital camera cinematography made me want to puke, It worked fine for Breaking the Waves (which was also directed by DitD’s Lars von Trier) because it served as an allegory for how unbalanced the lives of the main characters had become and yadda-yadda, yackety-smackety… artistic merit, or something. In DitD it’s just annoying and sea-sick inducing. Some may argue that because Bjork’s character is (SPOILER) going blind the hand-held camera acts as a way of communicating how the world feels around her. To that I say, since when in heck-fire do blind people think the world “feels” bouncy?

Finally, the whole damn film is nothing but pointless, stupid, melodrama. Don’t get me wrong again, I happen to enjoy melodramas, especially ones that involve a man with a curled, black mustache and a knife in his boot, like this —

But the nice thing about melodramas, generally, is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They realize that the story they’re telling is preposterously silly, and they let you in on the joke. DitD was just the opposite. It was a dull, self-indulgent, over-the-top, silly mess of crap that takes itself far, FAR too seriously and did not let anyone in on anything. And there wasn’t even a guy with a black mustache!

I will say that those who I have come across who do like DitD are of a particularly artsy-fartsy ilk. They seem to feel that they recognize a deeper meaning behind all the hand-wringing and eye-glass-adjusting and pathos. I consider myself to be artsy-fartsy to a degree… but not so much that I can’t tell a piece of art from an obvious come on.

Silk Stockings, the 1957 MGM musical starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, and featuring the Cole Porter tune “Dancing in the Dark”, for which the movie I am discussing here is named = Art.

Dancer in the Dark? Come on.