Saturday, October 26, 2013

Whedonopolis Halloween Charity Event

Today I attended the Whedonopolis Halloween Charity Event out in Hollywood. This is the 6th year they have done this and the last time I went was it's 2nd year. This event had grown over the years as the first year it was a special screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog and the latest season of The Guild. This year they went all out and planned an all day event. Starting at 1pm with Serenity, then Cabin in the Woods, Husbands first part of Season 3, The Guild Season Six and finally Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. And they had some special guest speakers in between the screenings.

Being out of work and poor I figured I would have to miss this year, though it sounded like a blast. But my buddy Steven from Canada sent me a paypal birthday gift and it was enough to cover the price of the full day ticket... woohoo.. thanks Steven.

There was a group of friends going as well to the all day event and some were coming just for the last half which was Husbands, The Guild and Dr. Horrible.

I got to the event around 12:15pm and my friends Jessica, Cait and Robert were already there so I jumped in line with them. This was the first time they were pulling off such a huge event so we knew things wouldn't go as planned but I have to say Marsia and her team did an incredible job. They started a half hour later then planned and there was a snag with the food trucks but overall it was a great experience.

They gave us our "line" place holder numbers. So instead of having to get in line each time we had numbers and I fortunately had 5 so I was very close to the front of the line each time. They gave us a "goodie" bag with lots of props for the Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, which we would use later in the evening. 

The theater was about a third full when we started the viewing of Serenity. I love this movie and it's always great to see it on the big screen, and speaking of the screen it's not huge, it's about half the size of a regular movie screen but still a lot larger then my 60" TV. Watching Serenity again really made me miss Firefly and I think I'll be doing a rewatch very soon.

We then had a short break before starting Cabin in the Woods. Again the theater was pretty empty. This was only my second time watching this movie. I enjoyed it when I saw it when it was released but I'm not a huge horror fan so I never watched it again. But it was still very enjoyable and so Joss Whedon.

It was now our dinner break and as I mentioned earlier there was a mix up with the food trucks so they were not showing up. Instead the event planners purchased a ton of pizzas and we were able to buy some slices for dinner. It wasn't ideal for everyone but it worked and was better then having nothing but snack foods all day.

Before we started screening of Husbands S3 we had a special guest come to stage and talk for a bit. Georges Jeanty who is a Comic Book Artist, he worked on Buffy Season 8 & 9 and did some work for The Guild comic book. But he was here tonight to talk about the upcoming Serenity comic book. It was a very interesting behind the scenes creating a comic book. He had some great stories and some great info about the Serenity comic book that wasn't out there yet. I so can't wait for this mini series.

After George there was a real short break before we started viewing Husbands S3. Now the theater was started to fill up. I knew folks were coming more for The Guild and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along blog.

But first we had a screening of Husbands. I had seen Husbands Season 1 but not season 2 it didn't really matter. I thought we were seeing the entire season but we only watched the first half of the season and was told if we wanted to see the rest go to the CW website.

Next was The Guild season six but before we started watching Felicia Day and Vince Caso came on stage and talked for a bit. It was great seeing these guys again. I haven't seen them in a while. Felicia was dressed in a Steampunk Robin Hood outfit that was pretty awesome. After the two of them banter for a few minutes they started the Guild season six. I have to admit that season six, in my opinion wasn't one of my favorites but after seeing it all together as one piece I enjoyed it much more then when it first aired in pieces.

After the Guild there was another break and they started to set up chairs on the stage. They had several guests come up, Kim Evey, Greg Benson, Vince Caso, Brian Kameoka, Georges Jeanty, Juliet Landau and Camden Toy. They talked about independent movies and webseries, the entertainment industry, fandom and fans and various other interesting things. And the fact that four of the panel guests were my friends was pretty awesome.

We then took another break and during this time I was able to catch up with Vince, Kim, Greg and Brian for a few minutes, and I got them to sign my Guild yearbook.

It was finally time for what most of the people were here for.. Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. We first watched a short video of how to use the props during the screening. We had a penny, curtains, bubbles, piece of shrubbery, a horse head and various other things. I have seen Dr. Horrible several times on the big screen but this was the first time I did the interactive version.

It was a blast, there is nothing better then sitting in a room full of excited people, singing along to the movie, blowing bubbles  and letting their geek flags fly. It was pretty EPIC!!!

After the screening it was time for the drawing. They have been selling tickets all day long $1 and $5 tickets for some cool prizes. I purchased 5 of the $1 tickets. They gave away about 50 or so items but alas I didn't win anything, but my friends did.. yay!!

It was an amazing event and I can't wait to do it again next year. Thanks to Robert, Cait, Jessica, Aaron T, Matt, Melissa, Aaron M, Sarah, Anne, Nicki and Doug for sharing this experience with me.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Painting and Podcasts

The painting continued today. Like yesterday I put in a long eight hours with only a few breaks in between. My goal was to finish the garage but alas I got 90% done before the sun started to set and I had to stop. I'm busy this weekend so I'm hoping to finish the garage on Monday and then start taping off the house trim and get the house painted next week.

I swear I'm getting painters elbow (kind of like tennis elbow). Towards the end of today's painting adventure I started to get sharp pain in my elbow area of my right arm. :(

While I was painting I managed to get a good amount of paint on my hand and the thought came to me; "I'll take a cool artsy kind of picture of my white paint splattered hand" and as I was thinking this 'The white hand of Saruman' popped into my head so of course I had to actually paint the palm of my hand and then slap it across my face like a Uruk Hai from Lord of the Rings movies. This is what happens after eight hours of painting.

During the evening I got started on editing the next MASH 4077 podcast. It's due on the 1st of November and I wanted to get a few hours under my belt before I called it night. By the time I went to bed I did manage to get my first pass done. Will have to come back to it at a later date and do my second and third pass before it will be ready to be uploaded.  I hope to get this podcast done by this weekend.

"Get Fit" Week 12

Well it's been three month and I'm not doing as well as I was hoping but I was super sick last week and I haven't fully recovered this week. I haven't started working out as I didn't want to put any wear and tear on my body and cause me to get sick again. It was bad enough with painting and I think I may have pushed myself to far then. But with all that said I was trying to eat a bit better so I wouldn't gain any weight since I'm not working out. Well I guess it worked as I weighted myself this morning and I came in at 200 lbs once again. So that's a lose of 0 but a gain of 0.

I'm hoping to get back into my routine and start losing weight again. I've only lost 10lbs in the last 3 months. That's only 3.3 lbs per month, I was really hoping for 5 lbs a month. I know I sound like a broke record but I'm still struggling with my eating, I just don't know how to get around that. Also I think the fact that I have been stuck at 200 lbs the past five weeks really has effected my motivation. I feel like even when I'm eating better and working out I'm not losing I'm just maintaining and it gets frustrating.

But I gotta check my chin up, I'm still down 10 lbs I just need that extra push to get me below that 200 mark. Maybe next week... fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Painting, Minions and Captain America

Today was all about painting the garage. I never would have guessed that it would take me so long to paint my house and garage. I have so much more respect for people who actually do this for a living. I paint for a few hours before my arm is killing me and I need to take a break. Even with painting for eight hours I only managed to do three sides of the garage. And that's just one pass, I'm sure everything is going to need a second coat. I'm hoping to get the garage done by tomorrow night.. but I'm not holding my breath.

In geeky news.. I came across this really cool video. I am a huge fan of the Minions from Despicable Me movies. So when I saw this I was surprised as I had never seen it before. So I investigated a bit more and found out that this is a "short" called "Puppy" and it's going to be on the soon to be released Despicable Me 2 DVD/Blu-ray (December 10th). This leaked out and has shown up on You Tube several times but keeps getting taken down. I managed to get a copy of it so if you want to check it out.. watch below.. it's extremely cute and I totally love it.

They also released a trailer for Captain America 2 - The Winter Soldier.  Captain is my favorite of the Avengers so I'm really looking forward to this movie. Loved the trailer, looks like this movie is going to go a bit darker then the previous ones. I can't wait to see it... well I'll have to wait until the Summer of 2014, but until then check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Babylon 5 Viewing Continues

Today's blog is all about Babylon 5 as today is Wednesday and that means TV night with my bestie Robert. We are continuing our first time viewing of B5. Tonight we watched from Season 2, Episodes 17 - 20

First up was S2 Ep 17 "Knives" He see strange visions, dreams strange dreams. Gradually, John Sheridan understands he's become host to an alien lifeform. Meanwhile, a friend of Londo Mollari reveals he is being singled out for treason and is seeking help to defeat the accusation.

I enjoyed this episode, we got to see the softer side of Londo. I miss that Londo. It was horrible that he had to kill his best friend, but he did it knowing that his friend had to die (sacrifice himself) so his family could survive. The Sheridan story was okay, I figured out what was going on about half way through the episode. I think the Londo story was much better and had more of an impart on me then the Sheridan story.

Then we watched S2 Ep 18 "Confessions and Lamentations" The disease: drafa. The motality rate: 100%. While Franklin seeks a cure and Delenn and Lennier risk their well-beings among the race most threatened by the illness - the Markab - other staton residents make the race a scapegoat.

Wow.. this was a dark episode. It was well done and I was suprirsed by the ending. I mean I expected the Doctor to find a "cure" but did not expect it to be "too late" and have every Markab be dead on the station, home planet and colonies.. millions and millions dead. This episode completley wiped out an entire race of beings.

Also this episode had the most blatant "hints" that Sheridan and Delenn like each other. I'm really like Delenn and Lennier's characters. They are true humanitarians, even risking their own lives.

The third episode of the night was S2 Ep 19 "Divided Loyalties" Lyta Alexander returns to the station, convinced there is a traitor on board, Ivanova makes a startling revelation.

Yay... Lyta is back. I always wondered why she never made it from the pilot to series (but I've read the bts of that situation) so it's good to see her back. What a shocker of an episode. First with Ivanova's revelation that she is a latent telepath. I knew something was up with her from the beginning as she's always hated telepaths because of her mother and what they did, but I always felt there was something more.

At the beginning of this episode I really thought Ivanova and Talia were going to hook up and become lovers. But instead they wind up making Talia a sleeper agent. Of all the characters I'm glad it was her as we really haven't gotten to know her that well. She's only been the focus of a few episodes. I don't know if this is it for her character or if will see her in future episodes.. guess I'll have to wait and see. Overall it was a very enjoyable episode.

And the final episode of the night was S2 Ep 20 "The Long Twilight Struggle" A final bloody battle determines the outcome of the Centauri/Narn conflict — and signals an even greater threat to all civilization.

What a way to end our night... WOW!!! My heart broke for G'Kar and my hatred towards Londo grew. Even with Londo having his doubts he still went through with everything and was just horrible at the counsel meeting. It's crazy that I loved Londo and hated G'Kar at the beginning of this series and now I love G'Kar and hate Londo. This is where the Alliance is formed and the battle looks like it's about to begin.

Four fantastic episodes tonight.. I'm so excited that I'm finally taking the time and watching is amazing series. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a while now. And to make it even more special I'm watching it and sharing this experience with one of my best friends in the world. Can't get any better then that.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

House Stuff & SHIELD Ep 5

Was up around 6:30am and ready to paint, unfortunately it was foggy outside so I couldn't get started right away. It cleared around 8am and I started painting the garage. About mid day I ran out of paint and had to head to Lowes for another 5 gallon bucket. I hope this will be enough to finish up everything.

Besides the painting which I did every other hour, had to take breaks every now and then I started to clean out my garage. I have so much crap and I mean crap, stuff that was left over from the previous owners of the house. I'm going to try and get rid of as much stuff as I can. When I move I know I'll be downsizing and I will defiantly not have room for all my stuff. Even with getting rid of stuff  I'm thinking I'm going to have to rent a storage unit for my overflow.

The crazy thing about selling the house is that I don't know how long it will take. I mean it could sell withing a month of putting it up or it could take a year or more to sell. All I know is once it's sold the average paperwork time takes about 30 days, some can take 60 days but I need to be ready to go and a moments notice.

I tend to keep everything, because you never know when you might need that thing but I can't have that mindset these days. I have to ask myself if I used said item with in the past year then I can keep it but if not it has to go, either trash or good will. 

Speaking of the whole house thing I checked out my property on Zillow. Zillow is an online real estate database. It's a pretty cool website but what I like about it is that it has what they call Zestimate which is an estimate of what your house is worth. It's debatable weather it's very accurate or not but I checked out my property and was pleasantly surprised that they have my house priced $100,000 over what we paid for it. That got me super excited to sell. I did go back to the day we purchased the house in 2009 to see what Zillow said it was worth, the zestimate was $40,000 more then what we paid for the house. So even if the house is $50,000 more then what we paid I'd be extremely happy. I have an appointment with my realtor in November and she'll do the more accurate research and come up with an appropriate price for the house. I really can't wait to sell this house and be done with this whole thing. I mean I'll miss the house but not the headache and worry about it.

And on a geeky note.. I watched the fifth episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Here's a synopsis: Chan Ho Yin is a Hong Kong street magician who dreams of becoming something more. He reveals his secret pyrokinetic ability to Raina, the titular "girl in the flower dress", who kidnaps him and then promises him fame in exchange for running a few tests on his powers. S.H.I.E.L.D. team attempts to trace his whereabouts but finds that it was the Rising Tide who leaked the information that lead to his capture and the blame falls to Skye. They head to Austin, Texas where it is revealed that Skye has a relationship with said hacker Miles. They are both led back to the Bus in handcuffs while the team flies to Hong Kong to rescue Chan. Chan discovers his captors that are associated with Project Centipede are injecting him with Extremis which increases the strength of his flame powers and he becomes Scorch. However, Raina turns on Chan and orders his blood platelets to be harvested for further experimentation by Project Centipede. Scorch kills Agent Quan, attacks Coulson and May, and incinerates Dr. Debbie while Raina escapes. Skye is later harshly questioned by Coulson and she tearfully reveals that the reason she is with the team and worked for Rising Tide is to find her missing parents who were connected to S.H.I.E.L.D. in some way. Coulson pledges to help her. In the final scene, Raina visits a mysterious man in prison to discuss the outcome of the experiment and asks him to contact the "Clairvoyant".

Like with the first four episodes I loved this episode. I like that this is really a continuation of the first episode with Centipede. I like that we got more back info on Skye and what she's up to (at least we think she's telling the truth). Still loving Ming Na's character Melinda May, she is by far my favorite character followed by Coulson of course and then Fitz and Simmons. Still not a fan of Ward or Skye but not disliking them either. This was the first person "Scorch" who actually had natural super powers and wasn't manufactured, too bad he had to die. The special effects were pretty awesome for a TV series and were on par with previous episodes. It was great seeing "the doctor" from episode one and watching her get incinerated. I liked the new "bad" girl (Raina) I'm sure this won't be the last we see her.  Can't wait for Episode six, only downside is we have to wait two weeks for a new episode. Luckily for me I have all five episodes on my DVR and will likely do a mini marathon one day next week... woohoo.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Paint Prep & Birthday Wishes (Markus)

Today I spent almost the entire day taping up the trim of my garage, preparing it for painting which I was hoping to get started today but it took me so long to do the taping off of everything that I ran out of time and couldn't paint. At least the place is ready to go so tomorrow I should get a good amount of it done.

I want to wish my buddy Markus a very Happy Birthday today. He's one of those people that enters your life and you just know you were meant to be good friends, there's an instant bond. But unlike many of my other good friends Markus lives in England. I've never met him in person, we became friends because he was a listener of my Knights of the Guild podcast. He use to send me comments about the podcast and we soon struck up a online friendship. We've talked a few times on skype but we communicate mostly via Facebook chat texting. It's pretty amazing that you can have this instant rapport with someone you've only talked and text to online. Our friendship means the world to me and one of these days will actually meet in person and there is only one word to describe that day... EPIC!!! Happy Birthday Buddy, I hope you had a good one.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

I just watched one of my most comprehensive looks at superheros, comic books and the entire fandom and pop culture. I learned so many amazing facts and information about this entire industry. They had a star studded cast of interviewees including Stan Lee and Lynda Carter. This has to be one of the best documentary I have ever seen. It's three incredible hours of geeky goodness. It's available for downlond on itunes or on the PBS website on DVD and Bluray. I purchased it right away.. this is definitely something I want to have in my library. Seriously if you're a geek and love comic book and/or superheroes you must pick up this documentary.. you will not be disappointed.

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. It's a 3 part documentary... here's a brief description: SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is the first documentary to examine the dawn of the comic book genre and its powerful legacy, as well as the evolution of the characters who leapt from the pages over the last 75 years and their ongoing worldwide cultural impact. It chronicles how these “disposable diversions” were subject to intense government scrutiny for their influence on American children and how they were created in large part by the children of immigrants whose fierce loyalty to a new homeland laid the foundation for a multi-billion-dollar industry that is an influential part of our national identity.

Part One “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” (1938 - 1958)

During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation. When the thrilling “Adventures of Superman” is broadcast on the new medium of television, America’s first and greatest superhero leads the entire comic book industry to renewed strength.

Part Two “Great Power, Great Responsibility” (1959 - 1977)

A new breed of superhero emerges in the 1960s, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring artists of the time. The pop art movement draws heavily on comic books, with superhero images appearing in the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Civil rights in America and other social issues make their way onto the page as black superheroes emerge with powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage. The pages of “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” address social issues in their relevant storylines, and comic books are forced to confront the reality of an increasingly complex world.

Part Three “A Hero Can Be Anyone” (1978 - Present)

This episode captures the enthusiasm for superheroes as they are embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic “Superman” movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen brings new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the burgeoning new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture with feature films, television shows and video games complementing a new generation of web-based comics that bring superhero adventures to every corner of the world.