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Allow Myself to Introduce...Myself

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a red-letter day, guys; I recently did my first Epbot interview! Woohoo!

(Ok, this may be more "walaOOOOaagguu!!" than "woohoo!" Sorry.)

I'm going to share a little of it here because I want to add a comment/update on the 2nd question, but after that you should go read the whole thing; Jumble Mash asked some great questions, and I had a blast answering them.

JM: You are crafty. What is your favorite thing to create and how did you become so creative?

Jen: To be honest, my favorite thing is, simply, creating. Anything and everything. If I haven't produced something with my own two hands in more than a few days, I start to go insane. Even if it's just rearranging the bookshelves, or framing a new piece of art: I have to be physically *doing* something to be happy. This has always been the case, but now even more so with Cake Wrecks: working online is producing things in a way, but it's not tangible. I need to hold something and be able to say, "I did this."

Whatever creativity I do have stems from boredom, plain and simple. I bore extremely easily. I don't *think* I'm ADD, but I do plan 10 new projects for every one I finish. I could rattle off a dozen things I want to do for my next Epbot tutorial right now, so it's a little hard to stay on track. My office renovation, for example: I keep getting sidetracked with new art projects or pieces to go in the room, so the official finish date keeps getting pushed back! I also usually have 3 or 4 projects going at once, although I'm happy to say that I *do* finish them all. Eventually. Hehehe.

JM: You have called EPBot your “get-away-from-Cake-Wrecks-stress” blog. Why is Cake Wrecks so stressful?

Jen: Ooooh, how much time do you have? :D

In a nutshell, CW is stressful because it's online and it's popular. That means trying to please everyone all the time, which we all know is impossible. It seems like I'm always walking the razor thin line between humor and offense, as no matter what we do, someone, somewhere, will find a way to be offended by it. (And I'm not talking about the bakers!) Constantly worrying about who we may have inadvertently offended today is very, very wearing.

There are also a lot of demands on my time: besides writing posts there's mostly e-mail, but also everything from handling advertisers to site design, and then also writing the next CW book, organizing/designing calendars, that sort of thing.

[That update I mentioned: Seen today's post on CW? Or the balloon one from yesterday? Those both offended people, to the point that we apparently lost a few readers over it. I like to think we gained far more, of course, since the majority of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, but it's still a stress any time we upset someone. Or when someone e-mails to inform me I'm no longer funny. (Um...thanks?)

Some of the remarks made in the comment section about the
Polish flag post also stirred up controversy, to the point that we (and by 'we' I mean 'John') had to step in and sort things out. It really is never ending!]

JM: You speak of your hubby, John, often. How does he handle your internet fame?

Jen: John is truly the most supportive husband, ever. Even before Cake Wrecks, he unfailingly supported my every crazy idea, and was always telling me that I could succeed at anything I wanted to do. For a time I didn't do anything, and he was fine - happy, even - with that, too. When CW took off, John was more excited than I was. Then, when it became too much for me to handle alone, he stepped in and began shouldering the burden with me. I keep waiting for him to get tired of it all, but he never does. He tells me I was always famous to him - that now other people are just figuring it out, too. So, yeah, I have the best guy ever; I couldn't do any of this without him.

Head on over to Jumble Mash for the rest, which includes the secret to my Twitter following, some advice for new bloggers, and lots more.

Posted by Jen at 1:17 AM Labels: ,


  1. Ha! The very last picture/description on the balloon post had me in stitches.

    I hope you never censor yourselves too much, because I'm thinking the real you(s) is why I keep coming back to bot CW and EPBOT.


  2. You guys do a great job with CW!! Don't let a few party poopers ruin your fun and the fun of all of us who love to read your blog! Keep up the great work and focus on all the positive things people say..not the few whiners! :-)

  3. Just wanted to say I think you and john are funny and creative and I appreciate all your efforts in providing a few moments of humor into the otherwise blah work day for so many of us. And the tutorials (and procrastination stations, those are awesome!) are just superb. Love CW and EPBOT!

  4. ok i have to say that i think it is rediculous when people get offended or tell you your not funny anymore.... and all that stuff. maybe they take things a bit too seriously. you two are awesome! don't let "the man" take you down. " Damn the man, save the Empire" i sure hope you know what movie that is from.

  5. I think that those off-color or "inappropriate" commentaries are funny. Besides some of those cakes how can you NOT say something? Some of them are so obvious that it's hard to avoid.

  6. I adore you.

    you're witty and a joy to read so don't let those who are easily offended get ya down.

    best advice I ever received was from a writing teacher my first year of college: you can't please them all.

  7. I was expecting a photo *is less than pleased* ;)

    Hi, full time lurker to both your blogs. Thought I'd say hi. Hi. Did I say hi already?

    And as for the complainers/nasty emailers/lost followers

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." *nods*


  8. Naive me is always a bit stunned when I hear that you get such negative comments and mean, flouncy emails. Urgh. Rest assured, you're lovely and if I saw you I'd give you an inappropriately friendly hug. Xxx

  9. Your posts never offend me, not even when you do a dreadful English accent ;)

    I love both CW and Epbot, and you never fail to put a smile on my face.


  10. People that were offended by EITHER (or any) of those Cakewrecks posts are not worth trying to please! A comedy blog, which warns its readers if there is going to be anything even remotely racy cannot be categorised as "blue."

    Keep it up! Epbot is my favourite blog (if not for you, I would never have heard of Zooborns).

  11. I have been a CW and Epbot reader from the beginning of each, and I agree with Tal--please don't censor yourselves too much. I think that is when you will cease to be funny. Remember what made CW popular in the first place--your humor! You will never be able to please everyone, so don't try. If you pander to all audiences, then you will water down your humor to the point where it's not funny to anyone. If people think posts are inappropriate for their children, then they should step up and parent by reviewing the day's post and determine if they want their child to view it or not. /steps off soapbox

    That being said, keep up the great work, and know there are some of us that you will never offend! /waves

  12. Keep up the good work Jen & Jon. If someone can't take a joke, well, are they really work worrying about anyway? Offend away, offend away :)

  13. I get offended myself at a lot of what I see online--but usually it's because it's racist or sexist, not because it's a censored penis cake. Keep on doing what you're doing... Cake Wrecks is one of the funniest sites out there, yet it's still kind, cute, geeky, and appropriate for its audience. Other sites don't walk that line nearly so successfully (mean and twee seem to be the only options). But I'm glad you have EPBOT to keep you sane. :)

  14. I know Epbot grew out of stress but I'm so glad we have it! Even when you take on a project that seems an insane amount of work (I'm looking at you Ms Penny Table) it's still so fun and interesting to read.

    As for Cake Wrecks I hope that it never makes you truly unhappy. You make a lot of us out here happy even with your "offensive" posts. We'd like you to be happy since you make us smile all the time.

  15. Don't give in to pressure and censor yourself! You bring laughter to the days of many with both of your blogs. I found my way to Cake Wrecks through the Charm City Cakes website and then joined you on Epbot as you launched it. You have gotten me to revisit Monty Python and Princess Bride and a whole host of other things I used to enjoy before motherhood! I think you do an awesome job (and I have no idea how you have time for all of it!)

  16. Yay interview! That's awesome that others are discovering your awesome-ness. Heh. I hope CW gets less stressful for you. I've never found your posts offensive. If anything, the censoring bothers me. But if you didn't censor the frosting unmentionables you'd have a lot more stress I'm sure. Far too many people are far too easily offended. I do love EPBOT tons more than CW because I get to read more of your humor, see amazing and inspiring craftiness, and see adorable or lovely things to add to my wish lists. Thanks for both blogs and know that you are loved by many all the time!

  17. Ditto Tal... there are very very very few blogs that literally make me LOL, and Jen's writing gets me every time.

    Screw the wet blankets.. the vaguely offensive stuff is what's the funniest!

    (btw, I did just barf a little in my mouth from the gushing over John ;) )

  18. I read CW and, now, EPBOT every day, but I've never before left a comment. I suspect I'm one of the vast hordes who adore your work in silence. Your sense(s) of humor are silly and sly and spot-on. (And that penny tabletop...OMG!)

    Considering what passes for humor in the clubs...no one...NO ONE...should have any complaint about anything on CW. Sheesh! How pathetic is it for someone to go looking for trouble on a blog about cake!

    I case you never hear from me again I'll say it now...I love you guys!

  19. Jen, you're hilarious. Don't let the spoilsports get to you!!

  20. Jen, you still gots teh funnies! Not to be listenting to teh "you no funny no mo" crowd.

    They're just having a bad humor day.

    But here's some advice I've found myself giving bloggers a couple of times this week:

    "Eff 'em if they can't take a joke."

    You're a good person, Jen. You get stressed out because you really have a heart to make the world a better place by bringing in a bit of humor. Figure anyone who gives you crap is just having a bad day.

    And any readers you "lose" always come back later when they get out of their snit. No worries.

    Unless they're teh evil, who make it their mission in life to destroy you and everything you love. Cause you're popular. And they live in their mom's basement.

    Just don't think about them.

  21. I love Cake Wrecks so much! I'm looking forward to book #2! I'm sorry people are so easily offended and feel the need to make you feel bad. I, for one, am always impressed with the clever things you come up with. Thank you for writing your blogs! They're both bright spots in my (otherwise boring) day! :D

  22. I love your blogs and I always find myself laughing at random things and your blogs normally put me in a good mood if I hadn't already been in one. So thank you for being you and I hope that you never change.

    People are stupid and don't like the freedom of speech but when those same people that get offended want to say something that might be offensive to others they always argue for freedom of speech too. They are just idiots, especially Americans. (Eh, I'm American too but we're just really bad when it comes to speaking freely and not getting offended over things)

  23. I don't understand what people get offended over? Really? I can see maybe the baker of the cake being upset/embarrassed, but readers? Seriously??
    Don't they know humor when they see it? I don't think you're an offensive person. You just the humor and levity in a lot of things.
    Keep up the hilarious work!!
    You make my day better. :)

  24. We love you and your posts. Don't listen to those who would tell you that you are not funny or can not take a joke.

  25. i saw this yesterday (someone else linked me to it) and i thought of you. silly me.

    Centripetal Notions

  26. Please tell me you respond to the "you're not funny" emails with some kind of wicked burn, like, "Perhaps I'm not funny anymore, but at least I'm not rude enough to write insulting emails to complete strangers."

  27. I think CW is great and if people can't see humor in these things, they have very sad lives. You're posts are fantastic, and they're always funny. Keep doing what you're doing and don't worry about those uptight people!

  28. Jen - I don't comment a lot because I know you get like a bazillion comments. But I read every blog you post, both here and on CW, and I just want you to know that I hope you never change for anyone. I think you are perfect just the way you are. Perfectly funny.

  29. Holy moly, I love Jumble Mash, almost as much as I love you (in a strictly platonic, blog-loving only kind of way) and this is the most jealousy-inducing thing to ever happen to me! Congrats on the interview and the spotlight, you totally deserve it!

  30. Jen - (and John): it makes me so sad to think that you are taking every mean-spirited comment to heart. Of all the places on the internet to find offense with I find it hard to believe that people find offense with CW (AND keep coming back to continue to be offended!) For every reader you lose, you more than likely gain two. Keep your heads held high and keep up the great writing! (because without the writing, the cakes would just be - cakes...)

    and BTW - the Oompa Loompa cake?? SCARY!!

  31. PLEASE don't change a thing!! There are a few people in this world who just don't know how to have a good time.

    And I enjoy looking at all your creative projects. I live vicariously through you!

  32. I absolutely adored interviewing you. Thanks again. Oh and BTW...you taught me how to do this...

    ~~~> Jumble Mash

  33. Great interview Jen. I have to say that as much as I like Cake Wrecks, I like Epbot even more.

  34. I'm not a prude, but I am very careful about what I let my kids see, and I don't like mean-spirited humor. The best thing about cake-wrecks is how well you walk that line between funny and offensive--you have never ever done anything offensive in my opinion. If a cake has pink sperm on it, call it like it is! ; )

    In fact, your running commentary style of humor inspired one of my favorite posts (and probably one of the only funny) on my own blog. (I would never post my blog on cakewrecks, but hopefully your epbot readers are the ones who don't leave mean comments. : )

    I think you will get a chuckle out of it--but warning, NSFW!!!

  35. How exciting! I'm headed over to read your entire interview right after I leave this comment :)

    But you should know, I'm one of your more conservative readers and I've never been offended by anything you've put on CW. You put bars over cakes for heaven's sakes! I really appreciate the care you do put into what goes on your site and people who don't see that, shouldn't be reading your posts anyways - so definitely don't get broken up if they leave!

  36. Okay, so that last bit about John made me tear up. I could do with someone like that in my life.

  37. You have a natural wit and humor that has made cake wrecks so successful. I would not advise you to change anything. I am an extremely conservative christian mother of 3. We don't even have a television because I don't think all the garbage on there is healthy for myself or my family. That being said, When I visit cakewrecks I do not expect YOUR comments to reflect MY beliefs or convictions. Maybe because my husband and I are both in the medical field, it has never bothered me to see or read your posts about body parts. If something looks like a penis or boobs, then for the love of Pete, it looks like a penis or boobs! Why get upset? I also read your daily posts BEFORE I let my kids read them. But I'm not offended that I have to do that. It's my job as a mother. Keep up the good work and don't worry about anyone else's opinions. (sorry this was so long)

  38. I don't usually leave comments, but I check your blogs every day...because they are GREAT!

    I wanted to remind you that there will always be people out there who are ready to be offended at the drop of a hat. Please don't change your style for the nay-sayers. Be assured that most of us think you and your team are funny, entertaining people, and that is why we keep coming back every day. :)

  39. I have read CW for a long time and I have never, ever, EVER seen anything offensive on it. I think you do a superb job of letting people know up front if anything is going to be even the slightest bit suggestive (giving them the option to leave the site), and you are amazingly clever in your commentaries. You have brought so much joy to so many people, so please don't let the tiny percentage of people who get huffy over nothing ruin your enjoyment of providing Wrecks to the world. If you ever read "notalwaysright" you'll know that some people are unbelievably, um, dense. You will never make everyone happy so you'll just have to be happy with the millions you have delighted so far. Thanks.

  40. I read CW and EPBOT every day, and I have been visiting CW for what seems like forever, and let me tell you it has helped me through my most mopey days after my move from Texas to Canada...hell I still get those mopey days and you always make me smile! /shakes fist at the whiners! It is their loss not yours! You're the best, I'd totally squeeze you if I could <3 /wink (ok no I'm not really a stalker)

  41. I'm sorry to hear some people feel the need to tell you you're not funny or that you've offended them. Some people need to just change the channel if they don't want to read what you've written and get on with their lives. I love CW and as a (former) professional cake decorator, I find CW (and obviously, you) completely hilarious.

    One thing I have to admit, though.... I like Epbot better than CW. I live in a log house in rural Alaska far from the coolness of everyday life in the Lower 48, and the steampunker in my soul enjoys - nay, craves - your posts from the Cons and all things sci-fi.

    Keep up the good work, keep your chin up, too, and know you've got far more loyal fans than party poopers.

  42. How lousy that people got *offended* (horrors) by the balloon post, of all things! Wish you didn't have to deal with folks like that, but we all find trolls under the bridges sometimes.

    Your blogs are among my personal stress-relievers. I love 'em!

  43. Meh, you don't need those people anyway. We love you!!

    Thin skinned people, welcome to internets. XD

  44. I read EPBOT first. Yeah, right before I read Cake Wrecks!

  45. I've commented a couple of times on the Cake Wrecks fan page, but never on either blog, though I've been following Cake Wrecks for a long time and Epbot since the beginning. I just wanted to pipe in with everyone else and say that I have never been offended by anything on Cake Wrecks! And I am a person who can be offended by certain things, but I think your site is still pretty clean. I mean, at least you censor cakes when need be! But seriously, I love your writing, I love the wrecks, and I love your geekiness! Don't change a thing; the true fans will remain!


  46. Jen-- I read your WHOLE interview, and although I almost never comment, I look at both blogs basically every day. Not that I am into steampunk, or sci-fi, or a lot of the stuff you are into, but you are soooo REAL! And not to mention flippin' hilarious. Cake Wrecks is WONDERFUL, so is EPBOT. You inspire a lot of people, and your creativity is a real gift. John is really cool, too. And fortunately, you will never lose me as a reader, because I am not easily offended. Thanks for all the laughs and entertainment.

    Very Sincerely, Jojo

  47. Never worry about offending people! If they don't like your sense of humor, they don't have to visit your site! And for every one person you lose, you'll probably gain a new follower who appreciates you better! Personally, I love both of your blogs, even though I can't craft or bake to save my life!

  48. My goodness! People were offended by those posts? Really? Wow, those people are probably glad they don't work with me. Myself and a male colleague have a 'That's what she said' competition going on. hehehe

    Seriously, I take offense really easily if that offense is warranted and so far I've found everything extremely funny/entertaining/whimsical/nice on both blogs.


  49. I don't often read the comments (reader opinions make me kind of homicidal), but I did happen to catch one of the offended parties comments from the "dong cake" episode. I clicked over to her blog to determine why on earth she might be so offended, only to find the heading of "Ding-Dong" on her most recent post. And then I laughed. Because, clearly, there is nothing more offensive than an out of context dong. In the case of the wicked witch, however, dong away!

    I think you're equal parts fantastic and hysterical. Just keep in mind what Mitch Hedberg said, "You can't please all the people all of time - and last night all those people were at my show."

  50. Screw 'em if they can't take a joke. Your sense of humor is what keeps me coming back. I check CW and Epbot every morning to start my day off with a smile!

  51. Just stay as wonderful as you are. I love CW and am falling in love with Epbot. It is so nice to find a creative, geeky girl sharing her passions with the rest of us geeky girls.

  52. I know that you probably, especially now that's it popular and I'm going to assume profitable, worry about offending and losing readers but honestly please never try to censor yourself too much. I've read every single post on CakeWrecks and I've never once been offended by anything. You never stop being funny to me. The internet is a wonderful thing and you own a nice piece of it. Unfortunately the internet also harbors trolls and unfortunately they aren't of the rainbow colored hair variety.

    Rock on Jen, John and theotherJen, I appreciate all that you do!

  53. I always end my online searches with a trip to Cake Wrecks. CW is my favorite website. Some make me roll my eyes but mostly I get a good laugh to start my day or carry me through. I tell everyone about CW. Then i suppose Epbot is the cherry on the cake. (cheese-a-rama)

    Unfortunately Feed back pages create drama. Some think it is their personal soap box even if their comment is irrelevant to the actual post.

    SO don't let the up-tights get you down. You have a loyal if not vigilant following. (i'll slap anyone who says otherwise.)

    Thanks Jen and John for regularly making my day. Mel

  54. Like I've previously said, people who are easily offended by cake blogs soon wonder why no one tells them jokes anymore and why their lives are so bland and boring.

    We are not all the same. Great. Our opinions vary. Awesome. However, gently pointing out what you consider inappropriate is one thing, but huffy and mean spirited remarks just show gaps in your upbringing. (I'm talking to you, trolls.)


  55. Never change a thing! You wouldn't be who, or where, you are if you had done things differently!! It seems to me that you have an overwhelming amount of support! I'll definitely keep coming back...to BOTH of your fantastic blogs!

  56. Don't believe anyone who tells you that you aren't funny anymore! You make me laugh every time I read one of your posts. And people who are offended by what you write just need to get over themselves. You're awesome, Jen!

  57. I appreciate Cake Wrecks so much, I just wrote a whole blog post about how it helped me when I had to decorate an actual cake! But EPBOT is even better because of all the nerdcrafty goodness.

  58. Loved the interview, love the blogs. Keep up the good work :)

  59. dear jen;
    a) your posts didn't offend me in the slightest. i laughed a lot over the european cakes. who would have thought?
    b) i love epbot! it took me a very long time to come out as a geek and i am loving all of the geekery you find, attend and blog about. the pics are amazing! speaking of pics, i am meaning to send you a fountain pic that looks vaguely steampunk/ratchet and clank. we found it on holidays and i immediately thought of you.
    c) both your blogs have helped me smile or even laugh on really hard days. thank you for writing and sharing.
    sincerely, gracie. :)

  60. *please read the following with your tongue so far over to one side of your mouth that it is... you know... in your cheek*

    Dear Mrs. Epbot,
    My feelings are terribly hurt. How dare you NOT find a way to make fun of me? Seriously. Are you not creative enough? I'm a crafter - and there have got to be a dozen ways to make fun of crafters. You know, 'cuz hot glue gun burns are totally funny.
    Oh, and I'm Dutch. There is a whole book making fun of the Dutch - called "The UnDutchables." Yet you keep making fun of Canadians. Canadians are not funny. Um, except their cops on horses with funny hats... can you find a cake of that?

    So, because I spend a couple minutes every day or so reading your blog, I feel completely entitled to be made fun of. In cake form. With sprinkles. Because I want sprinkles.

    In all seriousness... keep doing what you're doing. And all the people who don't get it, we should pity them. Because although you have to deal with their stupidity for a couple minutes, they are going to be stupid their **entire lives.** So, they deserve pity. :P

  61. I've been reading it "E-P-Bot". Epbot (rhyming with Epcot) never even occurred to me.

  62. I believe JM stands for Jim Moriarty.


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