Saturday, April 26, 2014

Loss of a Friend

I found out today that one of my friend passed away, Craig Sakacs.

Craig and I met over 18 years ago. I was volunteering at APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles) and I was assigned to be his "buddy". There is a program that clients can sign up for to get a volunteer to come over to their house to keep them company or take them out shopping and such. I was assigned to help Craig. Craig was one of the lucky ones as he was very mobile and able to get out of the house on his own. After a year in to the "buddy" program he pulled out as he really didn't need it. But we built a friendship so we continued our friendship. Over the years we'd hang out from time to time and our friendship continued to grow. Last November I got a call from Craig saying that he thinks he will be dying soon. For the past five years or so at Christmas time he'd get really sick and near death but he's always pulled through but this time he said it was different. He wanted to get together one last time. So mid December I went over to his place and I could tell he was in bad shape. He could barely move but he wanted to get out of the house so we went to Denny's and had some lunch. When I dropped him off I gave him a big hug as I had a feeling this was going to be the last time we saw each other. He told me that he loved me and that I have been a good friend over the years. I said the same to him. I got in my car and drove away as he waved goodbye.

Well he survived December and was on the upswing. It looked like he was getting better and we talked on the phone and he said that if he was well enough he wanted to do Universal Studio with me in January. I was all up for that but he never felt well enough for the trip. I texted him in February and asked if we could get together for lunch and never heard back from him. Something in my gut told me that things were not going well. I then went on my trip to Ireland and England. When I got home I texted him but again nothing. Today I got a call from his father informing me that he passed away on March 26th (while I was in England) but he just now found my phone number.  His funeral had already passed but his father wanted to send me his memorial card. I plan to visit his gravesite soon for one final goodbye.

Craig was a good man who lived 25 years with this horrible disease. He been there for me for over 18 years and will be missed dearly.. I'm sad that he is gone but happy that he's no longer in pain.. Rest in peace my friend.. rest in peace.

Friday, April 25, 2014

S.H.I.E.L.D., R2D2 & Fun Videos

Once again I didn't do much today, still feeling the effects of my vacation. Tried to blog a bit but didn't get very far. I uploaded some of my vacation pictures but not all of them. Just really wasn't in the mode to do anything but sit on the couch and watch TV.. which is exactly what I did.

Today I caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I had six episodes on my Tivo. I've been hearing great things about the recent run of episodes but I have loved every episode that has aired so far and these latest ones are no different. So many big changes, and I'm glad they are following the storyline of what happened in Captain America 2. S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more.. what does them mean for our gang. Also finding out that Ward is part of Hydra was spoiled for me on twitter but I have to say I didn't really care as he's my least favorite of all the characters. For a while I was afraid they were going to make May the bad person and then I would have been pissed but they didn't. I had a great time watching the six episodes.. only a few more left before the end of season one. We still don't know if the show has been picked up for a second season.. but it's looking good.

If you know me you know I'm a HUGE R2D2 fan, I mean I have him tattoo'd on me. So when I saw this I had to add it to my "must buy list, when I get a job". What's funny is minutes after I posted this on Facebook my brother replied with "just bought one..." Can't wait until I can purchase one myself. If you want to purchase one you can go HERE.

I came across several videos that I wanted to share with you guys.. first one was at the Oscars and involved Benedict Cumberbatch. A picture was released of him photo bombing U2, which I posted on my blog a few months back. When I first saw it, it made me laugh out loud. I liked Cumberbatch.. he was great in Star Trek, The Hobbit and as Sherlock but this pushed him up to a whole nother level. While I was in England my buddy Matt mentioned there was a video and showed it to me.. OMG... it's priceless.

The second video I wanted to share is all about Science bitches!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Relaxing & Fun Videos

Today was all about relaxing. As I mentioned previously in my blog I have about 60 hours of TV on my Tivo that I recorded while on vacation. So today I started with the half hour comedies. Figured I could fly through those.

Came across two videos that I just had to share on Facebook so I figured I'd share them here as well.

First one is such a simple thing but it's kind of mesmerizing to watch.

The second video I wanted to share is a son and dad video.. well it's a son doing things and a dad really good at visual effects. Some of them are pretty amazing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time to Decompress

My buddy Chris flies back to Montana today, but not until 2pm so we get to enjoy a few more hours of hang out time.

First up was breakfast, we had our traditional biscuits and gravy. While we ate we watched Frozen as Chris had never seen it before so it was fun being able to share it with him.

For lunch we meet up with our friend Jes over at The Habit and then we came back to my place, picked up his luggage and then went to Best Buy so he could turn in his broken iPad and get a replacement one sent to him.

When we were done there I took him to the Burbank airport and dropped him off.

I was sad that he was leaving and we had some fun times while he was here but honestly I am still exhausted from my vacation and now that he is gone I can officially start to decompress.

So that is exactly what I did. I came home and watched TV (I have about 60 hours of TV on my Tivo to watch). I don't think I moved from my couch.. maybe to get some dinner and go to the bathroom but there was very little moving involved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Noah - My Review

So I saw Noah... I'm sure I don't have to give a synopsis, yes it's based off the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. The film stars Russell Crowe as Noah along with Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins, and Douglas Booth. 

I had heard both good and bad things about this film. Most of the bad was coming from religious groups not agreeing with how Noah was represented in this film and how they changed things. These kinds of comments always makes me laugh as these are not direct interpretation of the stories.. they are adaptations. They are the version of the film maker. Anyways from the preview it looked good. Also it has Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, both actors I really enjoy. Even Jennifer Connolly is a plus for me. 

The acting was amazing, probably one of my favorite aspect of the film. The special effect were cool. The preview made it look action packed but it really wasn't... it really is a character driven movie. I enjoyed the representation of the fallen angels turned into these deformed rock creatures, kind of gave it a sci-fi feel.

I had a really difficult time liking the main character of Noah, not only is Russel Crowe not a favorite of mine but the last third of the film you were hoping he would die.. which of course we know he didn't. But overall it was an enjoyable movie. I don't think it's worthy of a Blu-ray purchase, at least not for me as I can't see myself watching this over and over again. I give Noah a solid B

A Great Day!!!

Today my buddy Chris was visiting a 5th grade class who wrote him while he was in Kuwait. Our friend Jennifer is the teacher and she got her entire class to write to him. He wanted to return the favor and visit the class to thank them. Because I was driving him Jennifer wanted me to talk about working in the entertainment industry as well as cosplaying as a Hobbit since they just finished reading the book.

Our friend Josh lives out in that area so we figured we'd pick him up and hang out with him, when Jennifer heard he was coming she asked him to speak to the class about going to collage and acting in stage plays. So what was suppose to be Chris talking to her class, she had an entire panel talking to her class.

We were up way to early, 5:30am and out the door. we stopped by 7-11 so I could have a Homer moment and grab me a pink frosted doughnut for breakfast. We then picked up Josh and got to her class room around 8am. When we got there she had her class along with three other classes sing for us. There choir is preforming in a few days and we got a private performance.. it was really sweet. All the songs were very pro America for Chris.

Once the performance was done we headed to Jennifer's class. She teaches an advanced class. All of the kids were very sweet, smart and kind to the three of us. One kid in particular, Dennis, was the sweetest kid ever, He introduced himself to Josh and I, he's also super geeky, kept asking Josh and I Harry Potter questions. He reminded me of myself when I was that age. 

Chris started off and talked for a good hour. The kids asked very good questions. Jennifer had the entire class make Thank you cards for Chris. She also had her class create/draw me card depicting their favorite scene/part of The Hobbit. I was extremely surprised and honored by this. As Chris talked to the class Josh and I read each amazing card.

Once Chris was done it was my turn, I first talked about my recent trip to Ireland and England. Showed them pictures from my travel. I then talked about my work and what I do. Again the kids had some great questions. And my final discussion was about The Hobbit and I even brought my Hobbit feet to share with them. Those were a big hit.  The kids then preformed on their recorders (flutes) the Lonely Mountain song which was amazing!!

They took a recess and when they got back Josh then took the stage and talked to the kids for a bit about collage and acting. When he was done it was snack time. While they ate their snacks I gave each kid the opportunity to put on my Hobbit feet and walk around in them. I took a picture of each kid and plan to print them out and give them to Jennifer to give to the kids.

It was a fun experience for Chris, Josh and I and I think the kids really enjoyed it.

We were having dinner at Jennifer's later tonight so we stayed in the area, we grabbed some lunch at Red Robin and then went to the movies to watch Noah. I'm going to post a review of the film in my next blog post. 

Once the movie was over we headed over to visit my family. I haven't seen them since before my vacation so I was looking forward to hanging with them for a few hours. My brother got to show off his Star Wars room to Josh and Chris as well as his numerous arcade games in the garage which we spent a half hour playing. 

We then headed to Jennifer and Matt's house for dinner. It was the first time visiting their place so we got a tour, chatted for a bit, had a very nice dinner and then played Cards Against Humanity for a few hours before calling it a night. 

We dropped off Josh and then an hour later were back at my place and crashed for the evening. It was a good day.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Disneyland with Friends

One thing that my buddy Chris wanted to do while he was here was visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventures. So we got up bright and early and headed out to the parks. When we got there our friend Brett joined us. It was the day after Easter to we knew it was going to be packed and it didn't disappoint.

We went to Disney California Adventures first since Chris has never been to Cars Land. We rode Radiator Spring Racers, then got on Screamin' and then Mickey's Fun Wheel. While in line for that ride our friend Doug joined us at the park.

The four of us went on Goofy's Sky School and then walked over to Bug's Life and noticed that the normal show that's usually there was replaced by a special event. A sneak preview of Disney's new movie Maleficent. So we had to check it out. OMG.. what an amazing experience. Not only is it interactive, with lights, wind, fog and such but the preview was amazing. They showed what I assume is the first few minutes of the movie and then it's clip after clip of amazing looking fantasy worlds. I was in heaven. We all agreed that all movies should be seen this way.

We then rode Soaring, it's not a favorite of mine but Chris really wanted to do it. We grabbed an ice cream afterwards and did the Maleficent preview one more time before heading over to Disneyland. Brett decided to head home (he wasn't feeling well).

I thought DCA was packed.. that was nothing compared to Disneyland. We had to pick and choose which rides we wanted to go on. We did Star Tours of course and wanted in a long line for the newly re-opened Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster. Afterwards we headed to the Indiana Jones ride but it is shut down for remodel or maintenance.. all I know is it's shut down.

At this time our friend Adam made it to the park and wanted to meet up with us so we waited for him to join us before we continued to walk around the park. We hit up the Mexican restaurant for dinner. We were all tired so we called it a night but on our way out friends Rupert and Luis messages us and said that they were over at DCA. So we decided to do the Maleficent experience one more time, but this time with Adam, Rupert and Luis joining us. It's the third time and it was still amazing..

Afterwards we said our goodbyes and headed home.

I have to say I was a bit moody today and my buddy Chris got the brunt of it. He likes to push my buttons, that's our relationship and I normally can take it.. but I think I'm just super exhausted from my vacation and not really having the time to properly relax afterwards made me extremely irritable. Sorry Chris you know I love ya and it wasn't anything personal. Hopefully it didn't take away your enjoyment of Disneyland/DCA. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wondercon... Again

We didn't get up as early as we did yesterday. Jes, Dallas, Chris and I were going back to Wondercon for the last day of the convention. Once again Chris was the only one who cosplayed.

We got to the con around noon and started to walk the floor. My goal for today was to pick up the latest Star Wars Pop figures (which I did) as well as take pictures of cosplayers as I really didn't take that many yesterday.

I was still feeling the effects of my month abroad and was tired after an hour of walking around but I tried my best to keep up with everyone. We ran into friends here and there and walked around taking pictures of cool cosplayers.

A group of us did manage to get together and go out to lunch at a local Tony Romas. Joining me for lunch was Rupert, Dallas, Luis, Chris, and Jes. Dallas made a joke to the hostess asking if there any table available as it was dead, she obviously didn't have a sense of humor and was kind of rude to us as she seated us. I was actually on the verge of asking for her manager. I don't know if it was because I was still exhausted from my trip or what but she rubbed me the wrong way and I was ready to call her out on it.

We went back to con for a few more hours before calling it a day and headed home. Once I dropped off Jes and Dallas, Chris and I went back to my place to hang out, watch some TV before calling it an night. Tomorrow we're going to Disneyland.. that should be fun.