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Erik Jensen
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Resilience. Getting back up.

Let me tell you how TridentCon is going; there's an offer at the end.

It's a pretty exciting year for TridentCon - this is year three, so we aren't brand-spanking new, but everything is still small and difficult. I thought I was very clever in pursuing special guests that represented D&D organized play (DDAL), Pathfinder organized play (PFS) and "OSR/other" - representing the three groups that have thus-far provided the population for the con.

Anytime you find yourself praising yourself for being very clever, get ready. Life is itching to give you lemons.

Well, a couple weeks ago I found out that the DDAL guest who was planning on coming down, couldn't. Poop. Okay, try again, spam more people. Two 'maybe' responses. That's where that sits. Pursuing it.

Yesterday, a problem with the site. That's fixed now - I think - and I'll just replace that set of underwear and move on.

Today, news that the Pathfinder-flavored guest can't make it after all. Poop poop. I'm down to one special guest (who may or may not arrive in a squirrel fur-suit, but has been super-enthusiastic and awesome the entire time, so much love there).

Here's the lemonade:

If you're a North American industry yahoo, writer, artist, blogger, whatever, and you think you might like to come spend the weekend of October 8-9th in Maryland playing and running games, drop me a line tonight.

Seriously. Check your calendar. Bring something to my table and I'll facilitate you getting here Travel, hotel, etc. Let's talk. Make me an offer and I'll make you an offer. It's that simple.

(share as you please)

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Hey anyone in and around Annapolis, MD. This is a picture of me with my good buddy Robert Stewart (he's in a gray shirt on your left). No one has seen or heard from Robert since Thursday night. He was last seen in downtown. Robert works at Mills Wine and Spirits downtown on Main St.
We are all very concerned and we hope Rob is okay. If you could help spread the word among any of your friends in Annapolis, Roberts friends and family would appreciate it.
Robert is an alumnus of St Johns College in Annapolis and is friends with many of the faculty and present students. If you know any Johnnies please spread the word.
Thank you! 

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Bag swag for nice dice!
I like sending dice bags out into the world, and introducing them to new people.  So I thought I'd have another contest/giveaway to give everyone a chance to win another Greyed Out dice bag.  Here's how it'll work:

Greyed Out Dice Bag Giveaway

The rules:  

Share this original post for a chance to win a Greyed Out dice bag; your choice of either the Dungeon Map dice bag, or the Middle Earth dice bag.  The dice bag will be sewn from brown suede, but the winner will get to pick his/her drawstring color, to make it a little more unique.  

I'll have a drawing for the winner from everyone who has shared this original post once I hit 301 sales in my Etsy shop, which you can find here:  

A word on Greyed Out:

I've been gaming for about 15 years now, and always made do with an average dice bag.  When I was studying theatre/costume for my degree, I realized that I could try my hand at making my own dice bag.  After a long process I finally settled on the freestanding design in the picture below, and started an Etsy shop to bring high quality, handmade dice bags to the world.  

Each dice bag measures about 5" tall when open, with a 4" square base that lets the bag stand open on the tabletop for easy access to your dice - no more messy dice spills across the table during long gaming sessions.  They hold between 120-150 dice, depending on dice size, and close securely with a double drawstring.  

I sew my dice bags from various suedes, as well as Kona cotton in  a variety of colors.  I also do screen printed dice bags, and most of my dice bags are reversible, meaning you can turn them inside out depending on which fabric you want on the outside.  

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Do you like Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere ?
Do you love and support local theatre?

Then I have a project for you.

I minored in Theater.  My old college buddy Scott works at the Rorschach Theatre in Washington, DC, and they're staging Neverwhere later this summer.  As part of the marketing campaign, and possibly for use in-show somehow, they want photos of the linked "Have You Seen This Girl" poster taken all over the world, with local landmarks visible in the shot.  Here's the spiel:

Anyone and anywhere would be more than appreciated. We are looking for landmarks or obviously foreign and non-DC locals. Thanks again for this very solid favor.

Would you be able to print this flyer, cut the email addresses at the bottom into strips, tear off a couple strips and shoot some pics of the flyer stuck to something like a lamp post, telephone pole or bulletin board with a landmark or location which shows your home town? Either a landmark or shop or public transportation spot unique to your town. 

It's for Rorschach's production of Neverwhere in DC this summer and we appreciate your help immensely.

No rush we will be using them throughout the summer, but we would love to have photos by mid-June. Email your photos to with a picture of yourself and your name and location.

My guess is they'll plaster the volunteers' photos in the lobby in a "check out this awesome crowdsourcing" thank-you manner.

This could be a fun quick afternoon project.  Check out the theatre company itself at to learn more about the kinds of shows they do.

And if you do send Scott some photos, make sure you tell him I sent you!

(Like audiobooks?  Also check out where they do audiobook adaptations of comic books - including a Batman adventure called Dead White where Scott plays the lead villain!)

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A lot of great monsters in here - it's a gem.

Fundamentals YESSSSSS

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I have to share this and enter; I'd be doing my wife a disservice if I didn't give it a shot.

I do like the look of that bracelet; it's intricate-looking yet not HEY LOOK AT ME I'M CHAINMAIL, y'know?
Spring Bling Giveaway. (Did I really just say that?)

Share this post for a chance to win a custom, handmade byzantine bracelet.

The winner's bracelet will be constructed LIVE via Google Hangouts so that they can supervise construction!

And be sure to visit our shop:

+Verizon FiOS I wish we had you here in this accursed apartment complex, because your DSL constantly gives us trouble and we have to shift over to using our phones as a wireless hotspot - which is, of course, faster than Verizon DSL.  I'm this close to dumping you.

In related news, my online presence will be spotty tonight, most likely.  Tech coming tomorrow to disembowel a sheep and stare at the twisted-pair entrails.

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Baltimore-area peeps - Need Halloween plans?  Over at Collector's Corner (which I'm proud to say is my FLGS), +Howie Noel of Tara Normal will be doing zombie caricatures for free from 5-10pm on October 31st!  I can't wait to take my son to this; he's pretty excited, too.  Pretty cute to hear a seven-year-old plead "I wanna be a zombie, too!"

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+Ronica Jensen medical update: the probable kidney stones are just kidney stones, and that thing on the liver is just a benign hemangioma.  This is the good news we were waiting for, and we can stop doing that always-on-the-edge-of-weeping thing. ;)

Ronica's been a brave trooper throughout.  Now pass that rock, baby!

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I promised I would tell this (slightly long) story: The time I met John Waters.  For my foreign pals, if you aren't familiar with John Waters, pull him up on Wikipedia before reading the rest of the tale, as it will make more sense if you understand the director's reputation and work.

After college I worked at the Borders at the north end of Baltimore, and Waters was a semi-regular customer, likely because at the time our store was one of the better bookstores in the area when it came to depth of selection and knowledge of the staff.

One day we got a phone call from Waters' mother - a sweet lady who was always very kind to whoever assisted her; occasionally she'd call and have us hold something for her son to pick up for her, she almost never actually came to the store. (Feel free to take a moment to think about what it might be like to be John Waters' mother.)

Well, this day she called looking for something in particular, for her son's birthday.  We didn't have it in stock, but ordered it for her, ensuring it would arrive in plenty of time for the big day.  Mrs. Waters expressed great concern...apparently John hated surprises, especially birthday surprises, and Mrs. Waters believed strongly that he would attempt to weasel the nature of his surprise birthday present from our staff during his next visit.  Mrs. Waters was assured the secret was safe.

And safe it was!  Every employee was informed at every staff meeting for days that they were not to tell John Waters what he was getting from his dear old mother for his birthday.  Under no circumstances were we to breathe a word - every bookseller and java-slinger was in on the conspiracy.

A week or so passed, and finally John Waters came sauntering into the store and up to the information desk where I was on duty.  As I turned and saw him, I couldn't help but thing "Oh, crap."  I greeted him by name, as we did with all our regulars (even the non-famous ones) and asked him how I could assist him -- and then we had this conversation, pretty much verbatim:

"I believe my mother, [whatever her first name was] has put in a special order recently.  I'd like to inquire after it."

"She has indeed, Mr. Waters, but I can't tell you anything about it."

"Isn't it in the computer?"

"It is, sir.  But it's meant to be a surprise."

He scowled.  "Just look it up in your little machine."  (you have to imagine him tapping my monitor for this bit)

"That's not necessary, Mr. Waters, I know full well what the special order is, and I know it's a birthday present and a surprise.  I have been instructed not to share its nature with you by both Mrs. Waters and by my management.  I intend to keep my promise."

"What?  It's just a stupid book or whatever, just tell me what it is."  (getting a little angry here)

"I won't, sir.  Nor will any other staff member.  We've all been briefed on the matter."

"You're telling me there's no way anybody's going to tell me what I'm getting for my birthday?  Nobody in the store?"

"Not a one, Mr. Waters.  It's a widespread conspiracy."

"Just tell me."

"No, sir."

"Tell me."

"My lips are sealed."

"You're fucking smiling.  You're just watching me squirm and getting your rocks off doing it!"

"I must confess to a modicum of schadenfreude, sir."

"Oh, for fuck's sake.  You're a sick freak."

And with that, he flipped me the bird, donned his leopard-print sunglasses, and stormed out of the store.

Weeks later, Mrs. Waters called back to thank our managment for not ruining the birthday surprise.

The secret present?  "The Best of Kukla, Fran, & Ollie" on DVD, apparently a childhood favorite.

And that, my friends, is the story of the time John Waters called me a sick freak.
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