C&DP DP crazy squint

Deadpool Movie Cancelled; Ryan Reynolds Auditions for Great Lakes Avengers

This evening your favorite ComicMix columnist (Me. That would be me. Yes? Good, I'm glad we're on the same page here) learned the devastating news that, despite the amazing Deadpool test footage that caused excited spontaneous combustion amongst fans, and Ryan Reynolds' many excited tweets about his role in the upcoming Deadpool movie and his official Deadpool costume, 20th Century FOX has decided to cancel the film.

A FOX executive, who asked not to be identified, explained the decision thusly: "Well, this morning while we were eating our gold dust-iced donuts and drinking our hand-ground artisan coffee, we started debating whether to make the movie PG-13 or R. Ryan [Reynolds] was in the room, and he's been advocating for an R film since the beginning; but he's just an actor and a Deadpool fan, so I mean, what does he know? Anyway, the debate got heated, and then it turned into a wrestling match on the conference table, and then before we knew it there was an all-out punch fest going on, because, I mean, Ryan gets very worked up about these things. And blood was flying everywhere, and it got on my new silk tie, and basically at that point I just had to put my foot down and tell everyone that if they couldn't play nice, they couldn't have nice things. So we're cancelling the Deadpool movie. People are too invested. And if my execs and actors are so invested, I can't even imagine what the fans will be like. I mean, we can't have FOX on the hook for riots in the street and stuff if we don't give them what they want. You saw how mad they were about our first Deadpool SNAFU. We can't risk another."

When asked if he didn't think fans would be more upset by cancellation of the movie, which had already been stuck in development hell for an incomprehensibly long time before being greenlit, the executive replied, "Huh. I hadn't really thought of that. I guess they'll get over it. I mean, they got over that Firefly thing eventually, right? ...Or did they? Oh well. Too late now. We already allocated the remaining Deadpool budget to Alvin and the Chipmunks 4."

After hearing this immensely depressing news, I reached out to Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick for comment. Reese returned my call. "We tried so hard to get the movie made!" he said, sniffling a little into the phone. "I can’t believe it’s not going to happen. February 12, 2016 will feel so empty now. But I’m on Ryan's side here. If you're going to do Deadpool, you have to either go hard [R] or go home." Reese then excused himself to go work on his current screenplay, which, he informed me, features zombies attacking a film studio and its head executives.

I also reached out to the Deadpool star himself, Ryan Reynolds. He agreed to a Skype video interview; which revealed that the usually dapper Reynolds was taking the cancellation news very hard; at least if his unshaven, unwashed, bathrobe-clad appearance was anything to go by. (Also, he was eating cookie dough ice cream straight out of the carton and looked suspiciously red around the eyes.) Reynolds appeared slightly unfocused and fairly distraught as I asked him how he was bearing up under the news.

“I’m trying to be positive,” he said, a stray tear running down his cheek and plopping into the ice cream. “We got so close to having a great canon Deadpool movie. So maybe that will happen again before I’m too old to play him. It could happen, right? Right??”

I agreed that it is always good to keep hope alive, but inquired as to what his plans might be now that he’s not slated to be the Merc with a Mouth anytime soon. “Well, I always like doing comic book movies and playing superheroes,” he said, “so I’ve auditioned for the newest Marvel movie; the Great Lakes Avengers film! You know, you wouldn’t think the GLA would be a top choice for a movie, given they’re not really stars of the Marvel universe; but then again, neither were the Guardians of the Galaxy, and look how that turned out! Plus,” he confided, “I think maybe Marvel is running out of characters to add to their movie schedule. Anyway, I’m super excited! Marvel wanted me to audition for Flatman, I guess because I look kind of like him, but I wanted to work outside the box on this one, so I opted for Squirrel Girl. I hope I get the part! She’s so badass. Plus, she gets to play with squirrels, and those little critters are just adorable.”

...Squirrel Girl? Hrm. I’m a great supporter of Reynolds’ work; but I think the announcement that the Deadpool movie has been cancelled may have sent him over the edge. Still, at least auditions will get him away from the ice cream and out of the house. Now if only I and the multitudes of other disappointed fans could figure out something that would do the same for us. I guess...I guess I’ll go off to work and try to live my life like a normal, non-sad-nerd person, huh? Yeah...that.

Just, please, nobody tell me any more bad news today, okay? I don’t think I can handle it right now. Even if it’s just a joke.
bunny! investigates

In Which We Contemplate Twitter Following Habits

@foresthouse: Wow, I follow a metric ton of people on here. How did that happen?

@foresthouse: (Adding some new folks to lists and stuff, trying to somehow manage the unmanageable that is Twitter. Hah.)

@foresthouse: Generally I don't follow without reason, so I don't unfollow without reason either...but I can't remember why I followed a few folks. Hah.

@foresthouse: Hm. Guess if I can't remember why I followed and someone doesn't follow me back, I shouldn't feel bad unfollowing. *online social guilt*

@foresthouse: It would be really interesting to see inside people's brains as they decide who to follow and why on Twitter, and all that.

@foresthouse: Srsly, in my head there are complex equations going on, w/ variables of if we've met, how much I <3 you (whether we've met or not), if you--

@foresthouse: --are a friend of a friend, if your tweets bring me news or make me laugh, if we talked a few times & I'd like to know you better... Heh.

@bicyclefish: @foresthouse I try to put pple i follow onto private lists so i remember why but i often forget to do that.

@foresthouse: @bicyclefish I have a lot of private lists but when I add people on the go, it's not as easy to put them on lists, & I forget to later.

@foresthouse: Also there's the whether you're following me too; and the whether you're not but it's okay because you're a news site or whatever.

@foresthouse: And then there's whether a bunch of ppl I follow are following you even if I can't remember why I did, because I must have had good reason.

@foresthouse: Or if you're a fellow Deadpool or Discworld or other fan; or if you follow one of my fictional character accounts & I like your feed.

@foresthouse: There's a big, "We chat on Twitter and you seem nice/fun to talk to" swath of people I follow, too.

@foresthouse: There's also the, "I know you from another community" group. Holla, Snarkers!

@ghostwritingcow: @foresthouse Seriously. I have no idea why some people are following me.

@foresthouse: @ghostwritingcow Totally. Sometimes w/ me ppl I've chatted w/ IRL don't follow me, even though they do on other media or I know they like me.

@foresthouse: @ghostwritingcow And then, like, a celeb I've never met or tweeted about follows me. Which is totally cool! I just wonder how they found me. Heh.

@foresthouse: @nsfinch @ghostwritingcow I'm always happy to see people have followed me; I never mind. I just get curious. :P

@nsfinch: @ghostwritingcow @foresthouse Theres some kind of activity or statement or someone you follow that triggers their algorithm.

@foresthouse: @nsfinch @ghostwritingcow Ohhh, I see what you're saying - so some people may have found us via that "you should follow" type thing.

@foresthouse: @nsfinch @ghostwritingcow And I'm sure there are people I follow who are like, "Who is this person and why does she follow me?"

@foresthouse: And then I'll admit there's a V small group of "I don't really like you but I want to keep an eye on what you're up to" ppl I follow. HAH.

@foresthouse: Should I call them my schadenfreude list? Like, they do idiot things publicly & I shake my head & am amused at their Dumb. Am I terrible? :P

@foresthouse: It's a very small list, I promise. #NotATerriblePerson #NotTotally #schadenfreude

@redheadedgirl: @foresthouse Oh thank god, it's not just me.

@foresthouse: There are also some people I follow who, if I WERE to make a list called "I adore your awesomeness," would be front & center.

@foresthouse: And you might or might not be surprised at who you are. <3

@nsfinch: @foresthouse @ghostwritingcow You know all those people whose bios say they're "social media consultants"? Some people really do hire them.

@foresthouse: @nsfinch @ghostwritingcow I know. It makes me feel slightly icky, when it's for Twitter. Twitter should be about real interactions.

@ghostwritingcow: @foresthouse @nsfinch I think Facebook should be about real interactions. Twitter is kind of a free-for-all.

@foresthouse: @ghostwritingcow @nsfinch Yeah, but I mean, you shouldn't follow somebody because you are a PR bot.

@ghostwritingcow: @foresthouse @nsfinch Also how can you think Twitter should be about real interactions? You run fictional character accounts!

@foresthouse: @ghostwritingcow @nsfinch I'M COMPLICATED, OKAY. SO IS DEADPOOL. SHUTUP.

RT @JuddLegum: The median active Twitter account has 61 followers. If you have 3000 followers, you are in the top 1%. pic.twitter.com/a345alCu3Q

MT @nsfinch: Tweets Loud And Quiet: http://j.mp/JTRQFT .

@foresthouse: @nsfinch @ghostwritingcow Oooh, I'm in the 96th percentile of "active Twitter users." SHINY. :P

@foresthouse: "just under one in every thousand Twitter accounts has a name that refers to Justin Bieber in some way;"

@foresthouse: "an additional one in every thousand refers to Bieber in its account description."

‏@foresthouse: And thus begins the fall of humanity.
Twilight this is fly

A Knight's Tale Livetweet

You know when you get a new electronic toy, and you just want to explore all of its features, and sometimes you get carried away? Well, that's what happened with me and my new DVR cable box. Which is how I ended up setting it to record a whole bunch of sort of random stuff just on a whim because it was there.

You know how sometimes you drink wine after a long day at work? Well, that happened too. Which is how I ended up watching A Knight's Tale on DVR last night... And livetweeting it.

And it was fun, and Twitter was good-natured enough to play along, and at least one person was sad to have missed it:

RT @SusanneWhite: One of those times I am sad about the time difference. I have woken to the amazing @foresthouse livetweeting A Knight's Tale.

@foresthouse: Yes, thanks to a combination of spontaneous wine and DVR, I did in fact #livetweet #AKnightsTale last night. And it was glorious? Maybe? :P

RT @ghostwritingcow: @foresthouse Definitely.

So as a public service for those of you who might have missed it, here is the livetweet in all its glory. Enjoy?

A Livefeed In One Act; Or, I May Regret This Tomorrow:

@foresthouse: A Knight's Tale is the most anachronistic movie in the entire universe.

@foresthouse: But we will rock you so it's all okay. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Plus there's @alan_tudyk (and Heath Ledger, RIP). #AKnightsTale

RT @redheadedgirl: @foresthouse By which you mean THE MOST AWESOME.

RT @MikeSHenderson: @foresthouse I love it because it never pretended not to be.

RT @brainwise: @foresthouse And it's SO MUCH FUN

RT @count_01: @foresthouse The boys are indeed, back in town.

RT @QuesterMark: @foresthouse That’s most of why it’s fun! But he picks the wrong girl. #shouldhavechosentheblacksmith

RT @curryalley: @foresthouse I love it like candy. Chaucer paired with David Bowie music? YES.

@foresthouse: I love how many of you love this movie. #AKnightsTale :P

RT @cue_face_palm: @foresthouse It is amazing, yes. :)

@foresthouse: LOW RIDER. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: OH AND HERE'S CHAUCER. #AKnightsTale He'll rock you for effin' sure.


@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm: @foresthouse He's honestly one of my favorite characters of the movie

YEP. RT @curryalley: @foresthouse This was also the movie everyone fell in love with Paul Bettany.

@foresthouse: PS @alan_tudyk is made of awesome. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: YOUR ENTRAILS WILL BECOME YOUR EXTRAILS. #AKnightsTale @alan_tudyk

@foresthouse: This movie is the most ridiculous thing ever.

RT @midgetinvasion: @foresthouse in all the right ways.

RT @cue_face_palm: @foresthouse ...not more ridiculous than 666 Park Ave...

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm In fairness, I've never seen that, But I have read upwards of 20 books on the era of knighthood. O_o

YEP. "@cue_face_palm: @foresthouse So you're like I am with the Ancien Regime/Grande Siecle of France. Gotcha. :)”

RT @LJmysticowl: @foresthouse are you watching it with commentary on? It's the best.

@foresthouse: @LJmysticowl Haha, sadly, no. TV.

@foresthouse: @LJmysticowl I need to experience the commentary, don't I? Is it stuff like, "And this medieval gown was designed by Dior."?

RT @LJmysticowl: @foresthouse No, it's Paul Bettany and Brian Helgeland being absolutely brilliant for 2 hours

@foresthouse: @LJmysticowl OMG!

@foresthouse: HELLO BLACKSMITH. #AKnightsTale

YES "@ghostwritingcow: @QuesterMark @foresthouse He totally should have chosen the blacksmith. She grows up to be a meth mogul, after all!”

RT @count_01: @foresthouse Smart, strong, good with her hands, pragmatic, and delicious. Only a man already in love would even look at another woman.

@foresthouse: @count_01 If I was a dude I'd go for her. :P

@foresthouse: HELLO RUFUS SEWELL.


@foresthouse: "The seeker of Serenity." Wait...Wash? Is that you? #AKnightsTale #Firefly

@foresthouse: Now I just want to watch #Firefly again. @alan_tudyk #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: "You may feel like a poet but you sound like an idiot." YEP. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Jocelyn's wearing the latest fashions from the 21st century. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Aaaaaand Rufus Sewell looks at his tiny metal fist.

RT @curryalley: @foresthouse is #livetweetingwaytoolate A Knight's Tale and that last RT was hilarious out of context.

@foresthouse: @curryalley Sorry. There may be wine involved. Um. :P

@foresthouse: @curryalley It was so DRAMATIC, you know. #tinymetalfist

@curryalley: @foresthouse Don't apologize! I loled hard! And wine? DON'T YOU HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW? :)

@foresthouse: @curryalley Weeeelllll yep. O_o

RT @curryalley: @foresthouse Heeee.

@foresthouse: @curryalley :P *hangs head* ... *a little*

@foresthouse: Don't they all do a synchronized dance at some point? I seem to remember that.

RT @midgetinvasion: @foresthouse it's the traditional dance from his home country. Lol.

@foresthouse: "Jocelyn! You look...a little bit punk?" #AppropriateFashions #AKnightsTale #anachronismswheeee!

@foresthouse: The native dance of wherever-the-hell-he's-from is groovetastic, and Rufus Sewell is piiiisssssed. #AKnightsTale

RT @cue_face_palm: @foresthouse He has bad taste, then, because who can hate anything to do with Bowie?

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm WORD. But I do love him in Dangerous Beauty.

@foresthouse: Awwww. He's all Nike and shit. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: "It's called a lance. Helloooooo." I <3 you, @alan_tudyk #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Ohhhhh, now they're getting all poetic and weepy. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: And @alan_tudyk is wearing a pink robe. And just kissed Heath Ledger. And now Heath's doing ballet leaps. #AKnightsTale

RT @Anicanyc: @foresthouse Love #AKnightsTale, it's one of my guilty pleasure movies!

@foresthouse: @Anicanyc It makes me laugh almost as much as #Equilibrium. :P

RT @Anicanyc: @foresthouse Ha, yes - good one! #AKnightsTale breakout into song + dance always cracks me up.

@foresthouse: @Anicanyc For real. I may even have slapped my knee, :P

@foresthouse: Let's not forget Jesus was English. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: They're about to make out in a cathedral, y'all! #score!

@foresthouse: What is wrong with me? I'm sorry for the live tweets. Maybe. It's the wine. Also, the movie. #AKnightsTale :P

@foresthouse: Jocelyn is so punk rock. It's outrageous. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: LOSE FOR ME, BABY. THAT'S TRUE LOVE. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: All the people betting on him are gonna be piiiiiiiissed. And probably take him out behind the shed after.

@foresthouse: She's totally getting off on this. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Seriously, you guys. Jocelyn's super annoying.

RT @lilyhandmaiden: @foresthouse Guinevere does this to Lancelot in a 12th-century romance. In the game of courtly love, you lose or you lose.

@foresthouse: @lilyhandmaiden It's hilariously awful.

@foresthouse: It's romancin' tiiiime. Oh wait, it's over pretty quick because Will is almost dead from losing. SEXY.

@foresthouse: Love how dude just sends his son off forever.

@foresthouse: "Follow your feet" LOOOOOL WTF. Oh hey, rock music and world championships. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN. Is there a sillier movie than this? Anywhere? No, really. #AKnightsTale

RT @count_01: @foresthouse Hilariously, London would never have been site of a "world championship" for jousting. Rouen, Poitiers maybe Brussels or Bruge

RT @Anicanyc: @foresthouse Is it on tv now? Cause now I need to see it again.

@foresthouse: @Anicanyc I confess I DVR'd it. Possibly in a moment of weakness. Which is also why I'm watching it. Haaaaaa. Well that and the wine. :P

@Anicanyc: @foresthouse Hey, I'm having a fun time remembering via your tweets :)” Haha yay.

@foresthouse: OMGGGG Rufus Sewell is awwwwwful. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Oooh, here comes the heroic walk. And @alan_tudyk is wearing hilarious chaps. Nice.

@foresthouse: The blacksmith's up there with her hammers, awwwwwww.

@foresthouse: Awwww, it's the prince! It was a bromance all along, you guys. Jocelyn was just there for the hairstyles. :P #AKnightsTale

@cue_face_palm: @foresthouse I'm totally cool with that” RIIIIGHT?

RT @midgetinvasion: @foresthouse I'll be in my bunk.

@foresthouse: YOU'RE A SIR NOW, WE CAN HANG OUT. #AKnightsTale #bromance


@foresthouse: Rufus Sewell's all, WHO'S DICK IS BIGGER *NOW*, SIR?


RT @Anicanyc: @foresthouse Let's start a band called "Tiny Fist"

@foresthouse: @Anicanyc I will play bass. :D

RT @Anicanyc: @foresthouse I'll play drums & dance!

@foresthouse: @Anicanyc Deal!

@foresthouse: GO KICK SOME ASS, DUDE. GO ON THEN. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Did he just shout his own name? #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: LOOOOOOOOL.


@foresthouse: @count_01 That would have been better. It was just WILLIAAAAAAM.

@foresthouse: And Jocelyn's got, like, ribbon highlights in her hair, or something. #winning?

@foresthouse: Aaaaand that's all they wrote, folks. I should probably, like, go to bed and stuff. ...After "we are the champions" finishes. #AKnightsTale

@foresthouse: Thanks for tweeting along, lovelies. I know I'm ridiculous. :D

@foresthouse: ...But so is this movie. #AKnightsTale :P


DP cyber sap

Family is Fun! (And Adorable)

Tonight I babysat for my adorable 3-year-old nephew Benji while my sister went to a work event. He was very good! We read 3 books, and ate dinner (mostly) neatly and without major mishap ("I dropped a piece of pasta on the floor but if it goes on the floor that's okay because we can clean it up, Auntie Em!" he said, repeating what I'd told him 5 minutes before). He's a very sharp little kid and gets more personality every time I see him. One of the books we read was from my & my sister's childhood, about the Fisher Price "Woodsey" family toys. The books were sold with little log or birch-tree looking houses made of cloth and plastic, with plastic furniture and the actual Woodsey characters (the main family being squirrels) to go along with them. You can move their little puppet arms with your fingers, and when you squeeze them they squeak. They're pretty cute. :) My parents gave Benji the two houses and the animals we had, along with 3 books, a while ago. Reading these particular books with Benji is hilarious, because Benji re-named the main characters after our family, so when you read them, you have to read them with the "proper" names (e.g. Milkweed the little squirrel boy becomes Benji). The best part of this is that since there's no aunt character in the book, I got named after the bluebird who delivers the mail. Amanda brought the bluebird book along with Benji's toys today; so I read a whole book about "Auntie Em" delivering mail to allllll the Woodseys. Hee.

We also played "catch" with balloons my sister had brought along, and watched my Mood Beam change colors in the dark. Entertaining Benji is pretty fun. :P

We also watched Izzy a lot. Benji is very enamored of Izzy. Last weekend at my parents' house I showed him a couple of videos and pictures of Izzy, so he really wanted to meet her. ("Mommy, we call her Izzy even though her name is Ysabell, because she's also Izzy like I'm Benjamin but also Benji. And Izzy isn't a boy. Izzy is a girl!" he proudly proclaimed to my sister after I explained this to him.) Even though Izzy was sleeping at first, I caved in to the little boy cuteness and took her out for Benji to see right away, and showed him how to pet her *very gently*. He was good at that (and slightly scared of her climbing on him even though he liked her a lot). At first he was very concerned that maybe she would bite him (or poop on him). I explained that she doesn't usually bite, but she might scratch her teeth on you a little, "tch tch tch" if she wants to get down. I explained this with a hand motion to show him what it would feel like, and then for the rest of the night on and off he would say, "And if she wants to get down, she will go 'tch tch tch'" while doing the accompanying hand motion. Haaaaa. Later when Izzy was more awake we put her in the ball and he had a great time watching her run all around. Amanda hadn't seen that before, so when she got back and Izzy was running around she laughed and laughed because it's so cute, and couldn't resist following Izzy around to move her when she (inevitably) got stuck somewhere. ("She's so tiny!" "I told you!") Hee. When it was time for them to leave, Benji gave me hugs and kisses and said, "I love you, Auntie Em!" That kid. <3

Speaking of Izzy, she really does get stuck a lot, and she looks SO SAD when she can't get the ball to move. I got a great picture of this, and couldn't resist making this macro:

Share photos on Twitpic


I took a hilarious video of Izzy being stuck after Amanda and Benji left. In the ball she can get over small bumps in the floor (like between the living room and the kitchen) if she gets momentum. But she's so small that if she doesn't have space to run up to things, she gets stuck.

It is so pathetically cute.

Heeeeee. I wanted to keep filming her adorableness, but I also felt bad for the poor wee stuck hamster, so I helped her out.

If you liked that video, by the way, there are several more here, and trust me, if you haven't seen the one where she eats a seed, you really should. IT'S SO CUTE.

...I love my hamster ridiculous much.

In other things I've been up to lately, my column over at ComicMix is still going strong - every Tuesday at 1 a new one goes up. So far I've covered the Avengers fragrances, a new comics marketing campaign I was unimpressed by, why Cable & Deadpool is a great buddy comic, a few thoughts about getting started in the comics industry, what I don't like about the way the comics industry markets to women, and why collaborations in comics are fun. This week's column is a review of Splitsville, a great indie comic by Ben Fisher and Kevin Stokes. It comes out at HeroesCon June 22, and y'all should definitely check it out. And next week, DEADPOOL is stopping by to answer questions - so if you leave one in the comments of the Splitsville review, you might hear from Deadpool personally next week. :P

Speaking of ComicMix, any comics subjects you'd particularly like to hear my thoughts on? I have plenty of column ideas already, but if anyone has a topic they'd really like me to write about, let me know!

Switching topics completely, another thing that's happened recently is that I GOT NEW CONTACTS. They are very scary looking GIANT hard contacts called scleral lenses, but aside from being a bit hard to put in, they are AWESOME (!!!!!). The way they work is that they sit on the white part of your eye instead of the cornea, and they have a "reservoir" in the middle which provides space for preservative-free eyedrops. Because of these things: a) I no longer get the unpredictable stabbing eye pain caused by the edges of the (smaller) lenses hitting my irregularly shaped corneas (the irregular shape being from the keratoconus). This used to happen to me at random times several times a day. No more!! b) I no longer have to use eyedrops at alllll hours of the day (I used to freak if I didn't have eyedrops with me because my eyes could get randomly, painfully or cloudily dry AT ANY MOMENT. Now, I use eyedrops MAYBE once or twice a day if I'm wearing the contacts a long time, but can survive without them if needed.) c) My vision is so much better. Seriously, y'all, I haven't seen this well in maybe 2-3 YEARS. YEARS. I CAN READ THINGS FROM VERY FAR AWAY. STUFF IS NOT BLURRY. STUFF IS SHARP. OMG.

I cannot fathom why nobody recommended these to me sooner, except that they aren't as commonly known or used; but for keratoconus sufferers, they are GREAT.

They *are* rather costly to use and tricky to put in, though. When you put them in, you have to fill each with special preservative free eye drops. These drops cost about $25 for 70 little individual packages that look like this:

One package = enough for one contact. About 35 cents per eye. Kind of pricey but not terrible. BUT the catch is, if you mess up while putting one in, you have to open another little package and re-fill the contact, because it has to be completely full when you put it in. I'm getting pretty good at putting them in (1-5 tries per eye, usually) but a few days ago it took me EIGHTEEN tries to put in just one contact. That's...six dollars and 43 cents to put in a contact. *siiiigh* But like I said, I'm getting better at it, and also: I DON'T CARE I CAN SEEEEEEE.

Anyway, to put the contact in, you put it on this crazy looking suction cup plunger thing, fill it with the drops, and then, while looking straight down at yourself in a mirror (i.e. face parallel to the floor/flat mirror), attempt to put the contact on the center of your eye without spilling any drops and then squeeze the little plunger to pop it off into your eye. (AIEE!) If you DO spill a bit, and you end up with an air bubble? You have to use a completely different little plunger to remove it, and start all over again. (This is why it gets expensive.) But hey: VISION.

Another benefit of these new contacts (along with providing me with new stories to completely squick cleolinda out) is that I can now, FINALLY, see well enough to do the fine detail needed for the tiny clay things I promised people who bought them from the "Foresthouse Eye Auction" and who won them on Twitter way back when. I have a lot to catch up on, but I started a couple of weekends ago, and made these:

(from this image reference)


I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Aaaand in my last bit of news, I've finally joined Pinterest. Here I am! I don't post all the time, but I did go through and try to upload a lot of my craft pictures, so I have some jewelry up, and some clay, and some sewing stuff, and some paintings/drawings. So, you know, if that stuff interests you, check it out! And add me! I don't have too many people I'm following on there yet.

Whew! So. That's what I've been up to. And now: BED. Good night, world!
doh! the actors


You guys (if any of you still read this?!) I am so terrible. I keep writing the beginnings of LJ entries, meaning to post things, running out of time, losing my notes about something I wanted to write, getting distracted by other things, not finishing drafts of posts, and...geez, I just haven't posted SO MANY things I've wanted to lately. Gah.

On the other hand, one reason I haven't posted here is that I've been writing some for other sites recently. So even though I'm totally planning to post more here VERY SOON, in the meantime if anyone wants to, I'd love for people to check out some of the things I've had up recently at other sites. I've had a lot of fun writing these!

First up, I was invited to do a guest post on the Tonner Doll Company blog (they make great Marvel and DC dolls, as well as other movie dolls and their own fashion dolls). Naturally I wrote about DEADPOOOOOOL. You can read it at the link:

The Man Who Rochambeau’d Captain America: A Post About Deadpool

Also for anyone who doesn't know, over the last couple of years artist Marc Vuletich and I have done a series of webcomics, the majority of which have been featured on movie and TV news site Reelzchannel.com (along with a couple of articles I wrote). If anyone feels like catching up on those comics or checking them out, they're all conveniently linked at my Ask Deadpool Wordpress blog.

Following on that, our most recent two webcomics, part of a three-part series about the Marvel Avengers movie that comes out next weekend, have just been featured on MTV Splash Page! Here are links to the first two, and the final part will be coming out on Splash Page this Wednesday. WOO! Please check 'em out!

The Avengers Take Hollywood, Part I: Marathon Survival Kit

The Avengers Take Hollywood, Part II: Superhero Musical Chairs

And please leave comments and things if you enjoy these posts, so the editors know you've enjoyed them and let me WRITE MOAR THINGS for them. :)

Finally, in writing things, beginning this week I will have a weekly column over on ComicMix, discussing comics and comics-related things. This is slated to go up every Tuesday at 1 p.m., so please check those out! This week I'll be chatting about a few different things, and next week will feature a review of the Avengers colognes and perfume from JADS International (tested on a Genuine Comic Book Artist!). I have lots of fun ideas for future columns over there, so if you like comics, please read!

And now...I have to go finish writing a column. More soon!!
i love books HP

Some questions about e-books and book events

At the National Press Club, we do one or more book events per month, where an author with a new book out will come and talk, answer questions, and sign books that are purchased there from Barnes & Noble, and that raise a bit of money per book for the non-profit journalism library. Lately there's been some discussion regarding how to adjust this event model to the growing popularity of e-books, and I wondered if you all have any thoughts on this (being, at least some of you, e-book readers). So, for the e-book readers here, here is a poll! Ta-daaaah! Also feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Poll #1813379 The Future is Bigger on the Inside!

Do you still buy regular books as well as e-books?

Yes. Boooksssss! Paper! WOO!
No. Silly heavy tomes are now obsolete.
Occasionally. I like variety.
Only for special books or authors, or a collection.

At an author event, would you still prefer to buy a paper book?

Maybe so.

Why would you buy a regular book at an author event?

To get it autographed. Scribble scribble!
Convenience! The book is sitting right in front of me.
That's part of the fun of the event experience.
I like to own some regular books, too.
The author or series is special to me.
I wouldn't buy the book.
Other (see comments)

Are there some authors or series' that you will always buy the paper book for? Who?

At a book event, would you prefer to buy an e-book if it was available on the spot?

No ma'am!
I might give it a try.

What would be the best way to set up e-book sales at an event?

Autographs: would you still want to get something signed even if you bought the e-book?

Yes, that's the best part!
Eh, it's not that crucial to me.
I'd get my e-book or cover signed.
Is there an app for digital signatures now? I want that!

What if a book is only in e-book format? Would you still attend the event?

Sure thing!
Eh, nah.
I might.
asskicking boots

SOPA and PIPA: What they are, why you should care, and what to do next

So, if you don't live in a cave, you've probably noticed that today, a bunch of websites, including Wikipedia, have "blacked out" in protest of "SOPA" and "PIPA," or are providing links to protest the bills (see Google), and they're being discussed all over the news and Twitter. Maybe you even know what these two bills are, and why they're a very bad idea.

But just in case you don't, here's a hopefully helpful little round-up of links and discussion of why these bills, very similar to each other and currently making their way through Congress, are important for every single one of us to know about, and why they should not be allowed to pass. Also: what you can do to help protest them.

What are SOPA and PIPA?

Look, a metric ton of people and entities have already summarized or explained this, so here are a couple of links to the sort-of short versions:

Here's the House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act, on Wikipedia.

And, just in case for some wacky reason you think that's biased or something, here's the bill's official summary, which is a bit harder to read (paragraphs would be helpful, guys!).

And here's the full text for SOPA.

Here's the similar Senate bill, PIPA, on Wikipedia.

And the bill's official summary.

And the full text.

And here's my tiny, not-at-all-detailed-but-true summary of why these bills are bad news:

Although the purpose (preventing infringement of intellectual property) is admirable, SOPA and PIPA are overbroad, and have a huge potential for abuse or misapplication. This is both my opinion and the general consensus of informed people and entities who are protesting the legislation. If enacted, either bill could change everything we know about how the internet works today, and negatively affect a lot of online activities that have nothing to do with copyright and trademark, or that would be defensible under Fair Use, etc. and are not currently targeted. Either could also have a serious chilling effect on web creativity, entrepreneurship, and speech.

What's currently going on?

At this time, there has been huge opposition to the bills by internet users and internet companies and websites, among others.  Examples include: blackouts by major sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, Wordpress, etc., partial blackouts by other sites like Google, Etsy, LiveJournal, etc. (sites still available but featuring info and links on how to protest the bills to Congress), 97% and 96% opposed on the polls linked to both bills on the govtrack.us site, and relevant opposition hashtags trending on Twitter. 

Primary supporters seem to be big entertainment companies, such as the MPAA (who spoke out against the blackouts as a publicity stunt, rather than the statement against government over-reaching that they are). Honestly, I haven't seen a ton of statements in support of the bills, but what has come through are from the big movie and music companies.

The White House has issued this statement recently, in which the Obama administration has indicated that he would veto the bill in its present form. This has sent legislators back to the drawing board to work on redrafting or amending the current bill in order to "reach a consensus."

This isn't the end of things, however - they are working on SOPA, which presumably will move forward soon, and PIPA is slated for a vote on January 24, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejecting requests for postponement and saying "this is an issue that is too important to delay."

I'd argue that it's also too important to rush through, Senator Reid.

Why you should care and what you can do:

One of the biggest problems with the current proposed legislation is that it's overbroad.  I'm seeing a lot of folks saying, "Would Etsy shut down? Flickr? How would my podcast be affected? What would happen to YouTube? Will Wikipedia go? What about open-source sites? And on and on and on. Major sites like Wikipedia have immediate concerns about the broad effects of the potential law. Tiny players like someone with a personal blog have the same concerns. And here's the key: these people are the Internet. We are all the Internet. And we will all be affected if this legislation passes.

From the biggest informational or search sites, through the news and humor sites, through the big stores and quirky craft shops, through the discussion forums and social networks, to your own little blog and Twitterfeed, and much, much more, we, as a whole, make up the Internet.  And so legislation that is meant to govern the internet has to consider and make clear the ways in which such legislation will affect us; all of us. And these bills, in all their vague glory, do not do that. This is why we must care about them, and protest them, and advocate better solutions. 

I'm not suggesting legislation addressing the effect on every little website; but I'm suggesting, at the very least, clear guidelines and perhaps protections for websites, as opposed to just the attacks on infringement that are currently proposed. And I'm suggesting legislation that targets the mosquito instead of the entire forest it lives in.  I'm an attorney, with an education and background that includes IP law, and I could not predict offhand all the myriad ways that these proposed laws might be applied with negative and unnecessary effects, or how Esty or your little blog, or numerous other things, might be affected.  But I can see how the legislation could be misapplied or abused, and change the internet as a whole.  And both of those things worry me. And they should worry you, too.  If they do, one good way to express those concerns, and your reservations about the bills, is to call your representative in Congress. Or email. Or tweet at them.  There are tons of ways to make your voice heard.

It's interesting to note that at a November House Judiciary Committee hearing, numerous observers noted that the set of speakers who testified regarding SOPA lacked technical expertise. Here's a choice quote: "the techno-ignorance of Congress was on full display. Member after member admitted that they really didn’t have any idea what impact SOPA’s regulatory provisions would have on the DNS, online security, or much of anything else." That is, well, just ridiculous, and is yet another reason to oppose the current bills.

That writer also makes a good point, which is, essentially, it's not enough to protest when you see a proposed law that is a bad idea (although that is one important act).  If we don't want Congress fumbling around with things they apparently know little about, and making bad laws, people who are more informed or see the problems inherent in the proposed legislation need to get into the action, with public comments and proposals that would target the relevant issues without the negative concerns we have here.  With raising specific concerns for Congress to look into.  With asking questions and trying to ensure Congress is on the right track.  With ensuring our concerns are represented well before the final draft of a bill.  Because even if SOPA and PIPA are defeated, Congress is going to keep trying: 2008, 2010, 2011 into 2012, they've been trying to get things like this passed; and really, it's not inherently evil of them to do that.  There's nothing wrong with protecting intellectual property, and to be against SOPA or PIPA is not to be for piracy. It's just to be for better solutions to it.

I realize that the status quo is such for a reason, and that people are not really motivated to do what is Congress's job, or what runs the risk of negatively impacting their current state of being - but maybe it's time for people who really care about how the Internet works and has benefitted our society to think of ways to improve IP protections online without infringing on everything else we value about it. Ways to do this include everything from thinking and talking about viable and fair solutions online, to participating in the public comment period that is available when proposed legistation is published in the Federal Register, to getting lobbyists to advocate for our concerns from start to finish, as this group is now raising money to do (feel free to donate!), to...whatever other brilliant ideas you have. I know you all have brilliant ideas, because after all - you're the Internet. Which is brilliant. I hope it stays that way.

Current information and links via Twitter today:

@foresthouse: Speaking of which, blacked-out sites: Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit, ICanHazCheeseburger, GW Patriot, Middlebury & Syracuse blogs... #stopSOPA

@foresthouse: Google & Wikipedia and others have info on how to easily contact your gov't rep & help #stopSOPA. It's simple & quick.

@foresthouse: If you don't do anything else re: #stopSOPA today: load @Wikipedia, stare at that grey page for a minute, & imagine it always being blank.

@foresthouse: I tell you it gave me an eerie, panicky, hollow feeling to look at it & imagine a world without @Wikipedia & other free resources. #wiki911

RT @stephenfry: Good for Wikipedia. Ashamed to work in an industry many of whose leaders have tried to push this revolting law through http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16590585

RT @Wikipedia: Read about how the decision for #wikipediablackout was made and why #SOPA #PIPA are bad for free knowledge http://ur1.ca/7j5mn

RT @neilhimself: I am patron of the @Openrightsgroup. This is why we are joining the protests against SOPA and PIPA: http://bit.ly/Aikzb3

RT @scalzi: Oh, and yeah, the only thing on my site today: SOPA/PIPA and why I oppose them. http://whatever.scalzi.com/

RT @cleolinda: #shitjustgotreal RT @BoingBoing: 4chan blacks out comments: http://4chan.org

RT @washingtonpost: PHOTOS: A look at website protests against #SOPA today: http://wapo.st/wf8rYC #aworldwithoutwiki

YES. RT @ikepigott: Dear @SenChrisDodd - Thank you for the MPAA letter on SOPA. I have proposed some edits | http://ike4.me/sopa

@foresthouse: Read this: The EEF explains why #SOPA and #PIPA are bad ideas and could easily be used to infringe on free speech: http://bit.ly/wnmaxS

RT @wilw: http://getyourcensoron.com/

RT @jamesmoran: Read. Absorb. RT @jonrog1: I link to the only two articles you really need to discuss SOPA/PIPA http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2012/01/post-i-wish-id-written-on-sopa.html

And see: An open letter to Washington from Artists and Creators, via Neil Gaiman.

And also see: http://www.stopthewall.us/ and http://arstechnica.com/
bunny! investigates

A leetle smidge of Twitter?

@foresthouse: Ladies and gentlemen: SNOW.

@foresthouse: But only a leetle.

@foresthouse: PS A "leetle" = a unit of measurement smaller than a "little" and like unto a "tad" or possibly a "dab," but cuter than any of those.

@Eviey: That's so adorable and awesome I need to lay down for a minute.

@foresthouse: @Eviey Of course, in proper usage, when saying "leetle," one may also illustrate w/ a wink & a hand-motion indicating a pinch, as in baking.

@cue_face_palm: @foresthouse Where would a "smidge" fall into this unit of measurement? These things are important.

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm A smidge is smaller than a leetle AND a tad, but only a smidge smaller than a dab. ;) 2 smidges = a dab.

cue_face_palm: @foresthouse I would have guessed that a smidge was smaller than a leetle and tad, but bigger than a dab. Shows what I know ;) #TheMoreUknow

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm Well, that's why you have me, font of all Ridiculously Subjective Measurement knowledge.

@cue_face_palm: @foresthouse Yes, that is true. So I ask the BIG question: which is bigger, a smidge, or a smidgen? O.O

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm The relationship between the smidge and smidgen is complex and storied. :)

@foresthouse: @cue_face_palm But contrary to what popular thought might dictate, the smidge is actually slightly smaller than the smidgen.

@particle_person: @foresthouse I think we are on the way to a new system of measures if you include @cleolinda's work on fucktonnes.

@particle_person: @foresthouse A leetle smidge, for example, is the amount a person on a diet wants of your sundae.

@particle_person: A leetle dab is the amount of chocolate sauce your grandma thinks is on the tip of your nose after eating the sundae.

@particle_person: A fucktonne is the amount of chocolate sauce you asked your server for when grandma was in the ladies' room.

trixie snow

Bzzzzt. Hello? Hello? Testing?

Hello, hello, to anyone still out there. :P For a number of reasons (busy? stressed? BUSY) I haven't really had time to blog in awhile. HOWEVER...I might try harder in the new year? I do miss it, I just never seem to have the time. Um. MAYBE SOON?

In the meantime, here's a short little hello and random update about my life in case anyone caaaaarrrrrreeeessss:

- Christmas was fantastic; celebrating with the family is always good, and was extra-fun this year with my sister and BiL's 2.5 year old boy and 6 month old girl. Kids. Presents. SO CUTE. :D My sis reports that Nephew loves the turtle nightlight I got him (it shows constellations on the ceiling, in 3 colors that you can select) and Baby Niece loves the snuggly seahorse (it plays lullabies and its tummy lights up, aw) as well. Yay! I got some very cool things, like an iPod speaker and a Kindle and (HAHAHAHAAAA!) a Deadpool bank. Heeee. Did you all get anything fun?

- The location for the next North American Discworld Convention has been announced. It will be in 2013 in Baltimore. Woo! Local! Although I have "retired" from being involved in planning, I am looking forward to attending!! WHO ELSE IS GOING TO GO?

- I seem to have been seeing a number of movies recently. I got to go to the advance screening of Sherlock Holmes in December (it was SUPER); I was fairly unimpressed with Immortals (although the cinematography was pretty good, it just draaaaagged); and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was intense, good, and DISTURBING. I had 3 nightmares in a row the night after I saw it (!!). ...Anyone else see anything good recently?

- Ummmm...yeah, that may be all for now. Maybe I haven't blogged recently because I'm BORING. Heh.

But I still love y'all. Happy New Year!!
C&amp;DP not amused

Let's Talk About Infringement on the Internet (Again)

The internet is a weird, wild place. One of the glorious things about it is the ease and immediacy with which we can communicate, share, create, sell, add and delete online content, and more.

This is also one of the most problematic things about it, when it comes to intellectual property law (And here's a discussion of some of the reasons why it's so problematic from the last time a friend had work infringed upon via the Internet). Today, yet again, a friend of mine had copyrighted work infringed upon via the Internet, and in this instance, not only was there infringement, but it was infringement for profit, and without acknowledgement. That's pretty much like stabbing a creator in the heart and then twisting the knife.

Here, I'm talking about the amazingly talented comic book and pulp artist Francesco Francavilla, who called out Teefury.com today for infringing on a work he created in 2006. The image is of H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft's creation Cthulu, and was based on an old photo of Lovecraft. Francavilla sells the image on t-shirts and other items himself.

Teefury.com's image strongly resembles Francavilla's original art, in ways that go beyond a possible shared photo reference, and that would hinder an argument that Teefury's work was sufficiently transformative (i.e. created a new work) and thus defensible under fair use (which is, as I constantly remind people when I post about copyright, only a defense, not a right). As the linked ComicsAlliance article states, and as I can also see plainly, there are several points of commonality that I believe would lead to a finding for Francavilla if such a case were to go to court; the most telling being the distinctive design of the left (or Lovecraft's right) eye, which Francavilla originated. It's clear that the Teefury "artist" MUST have seen Francavilla's work, since such a detail is extremely original and not the sort of design element anyone drawing Lovecraft would immediately include.

But the problem here is not just the infringement; it is also in the nature of the way the Internet functions, and the way the Teefury.com website is set up, which could appear to limit the benefit for an artist of pursuing the infringement by the most common method of recourse, a cease & desist letter. Because Teefury.com only sells each tee-shirt for one day, by the time a traditional cease & desist-type letter demanding the art be removed was to be sent out and responded to (assuming a response), the tee-shirt would already have been taken down anyway as part of the course of ordinary business at Teefury; thus allowing the infringer to "get away with" the infringement for a day, while depriving the original artist of at the very least the satisfaction of knowing that they had successfully caused the infringing work to be removed by the infringer. It's a frustrating position for an artist to be in, to say the least; and it makes it easier for the website to get away with being a repeat offender, since an artist doing a cost/benefit analysis might assume the cost of taking action would outweigh the minor benefit of removal a few hours early, if at all.

What makes it more frustrating is the attitude of the infringer in this case (who, incidentally, makes a bald-faced claim to being the "artist" of the Lovecraft piece). This guy, who is actually one of the employees of Teefury (the "art director," as opposed to being a member of the public who submitted a work) has clearly expressed his blatant misunderstanding of U.S. copyright law and his disregard for the rights of artists, in a post entitled "STFU Comparison Police! Advice to Artists. His idiocy about the way copyright and fair use works would be laughable if it wasn't actually causing harm to artists.

But cause harm it does; not only in the infringement itself, but in the possible lost profits, and in the propagation of an attitude of irreverence towards copyrights and ownership amongst internet know-it-alls who think they're in the right when they are not, and encourage others to follow their lead.* (Though I'd love to see their reactions were someone to treat their works the same way and profit from them; I daresay there'd be some general about-facing and a quick hue and cry would be raised if the tables were turned).

That's why I would encourage artists to follow up on infringement anytime they possibly can; and, more importantly in cases such as this, to keep in mind that asking for an infringing work to be removed is not the only recourse an artist might have; in the instances where an infringer is making a profit, always remember that a copyright owner can demand an accounting of any profits, and a remittance of any profits derived from the work.

I also encourage people like the infringer over at Teefury to read up on U.S. copyright law, in hopes that they will realize they are, in fact, breaking the law, and it might just come back to haunt them.

*ETA: And, as J. Robert Deans of Twitter points out, there is also the harm of a day of lost work and income due to this issue distracting the artist from his current project.