Saturday, August 15, 2015

DanceStrong 2 Electric Boogaloo

Tonight a bunch of us from NerdStrong went out dancing for a second time.. hence the name DanceStrong 2. As with the first DanceStrong we went to a gay club called Oil Can Harry's out in Studio City. It's usually a country and western bar but on Saturdays they do Retro Disco.

I arrived with Anne, Naomi, Patty and Brett but soon more NerdStrongers showed up. From 8 to 10pm the drinks are half price so we took advantage of that. I bought a round of shots of Fireball Whiskey and before the hour was up I had already had 3 shots of Fireball Whiskey and 2 Malibu and Pineapples.... I was feeling pretty good. We danced from 8:30 to midnight with very little stoppage. Leo showed up with her adorable husband and a bunch a friends to celebrate completing their finals. We all danced the night away...

Around midnight everyone headed up stairs to karaoke. I stayed down stairs dancing with Brett when I ran into my buddy Martin who just happen to be there. Brett went upstairs to met up with the group and I soon followed. It was hot upstairs and I could only last so long. It was just after 12:30am and Derek mentioned that he was heading home. I asked if I could hitch a ride back to my place and he was more then happy to accommodate me. I got home, watched my new favorite short film "I don't want to go back alone" before calling it a night.

Thanks to all who showed up for DanceStrong 2 Electric Boogaloo.. I was going to attempt to write everyone's name down but I would enviably forget someone.. anyways they know who they are. I can't wait for DanceStrong The Third.

Exciting Star Wars News

Lots of amazing Star Wars news came out of D23 today... First Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger announced that the company is building two 14-acre expansions to its theme parks that will bring the Star Wars universe to life. One will live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida, and the other will reside within the Disneyland park in Anaheim, California.

Now this isn't shocking news as Star Wars has had a presence in Disneyland/Disney World for many years so when they acquired all of Star Wars it was only a matter of time that this would happen. What is a surprise is the scale of it. I figured it would be a few rides but it's actually going to be an additional "land" at Disneyland and the conceptional art looks amazing.

Here's some more information that was released.. The Star Wars-themed “land” will, according to Iger, represent “a whole new planet” in the Star Wars universe. “It’s a remote port, one of the last stops before wild space,” he said. The stores and restaurants will include its own cantina, and “will be operated by local inhabitants,” Iger continued, earning big cheers from the crowd.

The plan is to include two main attractions: One will be centered around the new movies and the second will put park-goers at the helm of the Millennium Falcon.

No time table was given on when these new parks might open but I'm sure will get more information as it get's closer. I for one am super excited for this news.

The second piece of Star Wars news that came out of D23 was the cast announcement for Star Wars: Rogue One. As previously announced, Felicity Jones stars in Rogue One as a member of the Rebel Alliance who takes part in a mission to steal the plans for the original Death Star. Joining Jones are her fellow rebels Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen.

Forest Whitaker and Ben Mendelsohn were also confirmed for the Rogue One cast with the surprising addition of Mads Mikkelsen, the star of NBC’s recently cancelled Hannibal. It was also announced that Firefly star Alan Tudyk will portray a performance-captured character in Rogue One.

New MASH 4077 Podcast

Today Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 110, covering S5 Ep 13 "Exorcism".

After Potter orders Radar to move a Korean spirit post believed to ward off evil spirits, things mysteriously begin to go wrong. When an old Korean man is brought into camp for medical attention, he refuses surgery unless the spirits in the camp are exorcised. A priestess is brought in, who exhibits her dance and her bells and chants. All is well, and Radar returns the spirit post to its original position.

You can Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or listen and get direct download from our main website

Don't forget new episodes are released on the 1st and 15th of every month.

NerdStrong Gym - It's All About The Core

Today's workout board looked alot different from all of the other boards as this one had a lot of words and very little exercises.

For today's workout we continue our handstand prep work, but first we had a pretty hefty warm up. We started with 25x Jumping Jacks, then Arm Circles, Wrist Stretches and 5x Inch Worm Inversions. We then moved on to the second half of the warm up with some Shoulder/Scapula work 3x :03 second hold on Elbows, Knees then full Push Ups. It was a good warm up and definitely got my heart pumping.

Now for the actual workout we did Handstand Drills. First was Hollow Hold Progressions, we did :30 drill then :30 second rest. We started with Knees Bent, Arms Only, then Feet Off Ground at 90 degrees, then Feet Off Ground at 45 degrees, then Feet Off Ground, Arms at side before finally doing a full Hollow Hold.

This took alot of core work and towards the end there is was getting tough. If you couldn't hold any one of those you were to stop there and keep practicing. I'm happy to say that I made it all the way through to the full hollow hold.

The next drill we did was Walking Lunge Progression. We started with Lunge, Arms Overhead, then Walking Lever to T, then Walking Lever, Hands Down to Ground and finally Walking Lever to a Split Kick.

This was more difficult for me as I already have my Handstand down so I had to hold back from actually doing a handstand. Coach Christy had to tell me to pull it back, that these are just drills and even though you can do the full handstand just go as far as the drill says. On the second round I did a much better job at controlling my movement.

And to finish off the drills we did a TABATA (:20 seconds of work, :10 seconds of rest) of Lemon Squeezers. These aren't difficult but can get tiring after a while but for me my biggest issue is when I pull my legs in to my chest I crush my testicles, which is not fun. So ever round I kept trying to readjust so I as crushing anything but no matter how I did them I crushed them. I had coach Seely and coach Christy telling me to keep my knees closer together when squeezing and I would try but I finally gestured to coach Christy that I couldn't do what she was asking as I was crushing things and she got the point and let me be. I finally gave up completely and just did butterfly sit ups and all was well with my junk.

I went to coach David afterwards and asked if this is common and he said, of course guys have to deal with things like this but it's basically the way your hips and anatomy are built. So I guess the next time we do Lemon Squeezers I'll just go right to sit up and above any actual squeezing.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fun Lunch, Twin Peaks Poster & Captain America Pocket Watch

I got to have lunch with my new friend John. We are both NerdStronger and since he and I are similar in height we tend to be paired up alot. Like with a handful of other people at NerdStrong Gym we instantly clicked. He's been thinking about changing careers into post audio and he knows I'm a post supervisor so he asked if he could take me out to lunch and pick my brain. We met up at the Sherman Oaks Galleria at 1pm and decided that we were going to eat some tasty burgers at Fuddruckers. This was the first time that John and I got to hang outside of the gym.

It was pretty awesome.. we talked about everything... It was really interesting to hear about his life, how he met his wife and what it is like being a new papa. I found out that he's a musician and plays quite a few instruments, including my favorites piano and violin. I got to share some fact about my life, the struggle and conflicts I had of coming out and just general geeky things. And yes we did talk about post production as well.

It was great getting to know him better, this is definitely the start a pretty awesome friendship.

In geeky news... Showtime released a teaser poster for the upcoming "limited-series" of the third season of Twin Peaks. It's not much but man it got me excited for it's return. I really need to do a re-watch as it's been a few years since I watched it last. It's not going to be out until late 2016 so that should give me plenty of time to watch the two seasons.

Just over a month ago I saw an ad on Facebook for this really cool looking Captain America pocket watch. When I read the ad it said you could get it for free for a limit time. Of course my first thought was "yeah right" nothing is free but I clicked on the link figuring it wouldn't hurt to investigate more. You actually did get it for free and all you had to do was pay for shipping. So I figured shipping would be crazy but it really wasn't. They wanted $9.99 to ship and that's it. As I was typing in my personal info I figured I'd wind up on a ton of junk mailings as I couldn't figure out how these people made any money offer this item for free, but this is just a draw for you to visit their website. So I went ahead and did it and I have to say I'm so glad I did, I got the pocket watch today and it's pretty fantastic!!! It nicely made and had a bit of weight to it. I don't plan on using it on a regular bases but I can see me carrying it around from time to time. You can grab one for yourself while supplies last HERE.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gun Shots, MASH, Ramen & Firefly

So around 1:30am I was woken up by gun shots coming literally from outside my bedroom window. My window was open because it's been hot here in SoCal but thankful I live on the second floor. The first pop woke me up got my heart racing and then their were three additional pops. My bed is under my window so my first though was look out the window and see if you can see anything but I hesitated for a minute to listened if there was any screaming, yelling, running or anything but there was silence. I slowly peaked out the window down into the next doors apartment parking lot but didn't see anything. About ten minutes later a police helicopter came flying overhead with the spot light shining down into my window. They circle for about five minutes but then left... Needless to say I had a hard time falling asleep after that.

Since I really couldn't sleep that well after the gun fire I decided to get  up and work on my next MASH podcast since it's due in a few days and I'm only about halfway done editing it. Just as it was time to get ready for work I managed to finished the podcast and get it uploaded and ready for release on the 15th.

After work I headed out for some Ramen with my friend Jes who I hadn't seen in quite a while. She's a busy, busy person so we scheduled a dinner so we could at least hang out for a bit. As always it was a nice visit. We got to catch up with each other and all the crazies that happen in our lives and we got to enjoy some tasty Ramen as well. Afterwards we headed back to her place and watched an episode of Firefly. What was funny is that she and I couldn't decide which episode we wanted to see since they are all amazing so we used a random number generator to choose the episode for us.. btw it was episode 10 (War Stories). We only had time for the one episode but watching made me want to do a Firefly rewatch.. maybe I'll pick a weekend in the near future and watch all 14 hours plus the movie Serenity.. that sounds like an awesome weekend to me.

NerdStrong Gym - Hang Cleans & More

Strength day today and we are continuing our Hang Clean lessons.

After the warm up we got right into proper form for a Hang Clean. It is a step by step process and we do each step about 10 or so times before moving onto the next one. We did this for 2 rounds before moving on to our practice exercise. Coach asked us to team up with a buddy (I teamed up with one of my usual partners John) and we had to do 6 rounds of 5 reps each with max weight of 95 lbs.

This was more about form then weight. John picked up on the form quickly while I continued to struggle. Of all the barbell workouts this is the most difficult and frustrating for me. There are so many moving parts and I always tend to forget one or two of them. I've disliked these since I started seven months ago but I know I have to practice until I get it right... but it doesn't help with me feeling inadequate. I'll give these a go next Thursday and hopefully one of these days everything will just click into place.

Since we got done a bit early they had a surprise workout waiting for us. This was lots of arm work. We had to do 3 rounds of 7x Dumbbell Curls, 7x Lying Triceps Extensions and 7x Dumbbell Shoulder Lats. It was a nice little kick in the butt workout to finish off the class.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

DC vs Marvel & New Who Trailer

I came across this video series called Super Power Beat Downs by Youtube channel BatintheSun. The one I actual saw was Joker & Harley Vs. Deadpool and Domino. I really enjoyed this, there is some violence but the action is awesome and the characters are well done. I only watched the one episode but there are quite a few more. Each episode starts off with talking heads and then about five minutes into the show the actually fight scene happens. You can check out their channel HERE.

BBC released a long trailer for the upcoming Doctor Who season nine series. I'm still not a huge fan of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor but I'm really loving what they are doing with Clara. This preview has me excited fro the new season.

NerdStrong Gym - The Odyssey

This morning CON class was a good one. They titled it The Odyssey Volume II and there was lots and lots of rowing involved.

After the warm up we had to do 20x :30 seconds Sprints on the Rowers. Now that doesn't sounds bad but how it worked was, you did a :30 second sprint then during your :90 second "rest" you had to do 15x Push Ups. Then back to your second :30 second sprint and try and keep the same pace, between 100 - 125m. I managed to get between 125m & 130m each time.

So we did 15x Push Ups between rows for rows 1 to 5. For rows 6 to 10 we had to do 5x Ring Rows. 11 to 15 we did 10x Goblet Squats and finally if you made it this far for rows 16 to 20 you did 10x Dumbbell Strict Press' inbetween.

I manged to make it to row 16 and do one set of 10x Dumbbell Strict Press' before time ran out.

In the end I rowed roughly 2,080 meters in a total of 8 minutes. I did 75x Push Ups, 25x Ring Rows, 50x Goblet Squats and 10x Dumbbell Strict Press.. yeah it was a good workout!!!

Thanks coach Andrew for your endless amount of support and encouragement.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Beautiful Piece of Music

Besides loving "The Way He Looks" (you can read my blog post HERE) there is this a piece of music that I fell in love with. It's played during two very touching scenes which I'm sure adds to my love of the piece. It was written in 1978 by Estonian composer Arvo Part, the title of the track is "Spiegel im Spiegel" which translates to "mirror(s) in the mirror". It's a very simple piece, meaning it's only preformed with piano and violin (two of my favorite instruments). While listening to it there is a range of emotions from sadness to melancholy to loneliness and heartache but also sweetness, courage, overcoming, strength and love. It runs almost ten minutes and is one of the most beautiful pieces I've heard in a long time. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. It's uplifting and inspirational yet reminds me of my loneliness and longingness for love. Like with the film I haven't been touched by a piece of music like this in a long time. Take a listen below and let me know what you think?

Reading Labels, My Hogwarts Letter & Finale of Becoming Us

After my workout I usual come home and have my "second" breakfast which consists of 1 egg, 1 piece of whole wheat toast and 2 slices of low sodium bacon. But I am out of bacon and eggs and haven't had a chance to go to the store to get more so I dug through my freezer and remembered that I had these Atkins Breakfast Bowls which are high in protein and now in sugar which is perfect for after a good workout. But after eating it I was looking at the packaging and noticed the crazy amount of sodium that is in this small portion of food. I just assumed since it was Atkins that it wasn't going to be that bad.. well I was wrong. Guess it goes to show that you really do need to read the labels before buying anything. I try and not buy those pre-packaged meals as I know they are full of bad things but somethings convenience wins.

My best bud Chris gave me this Hogwarts letter during comic con. He actually got letters for quite a few of his friends.. yeah he's pretty awesome. A few months ago he asked us where we were living and what room we were in when we were 11 years old. I instantly knew what he was doing and since I'm old an can't remember where I was living when I was 11 I went with Harry's address and room. What surprised me is the details of the letters. They are exact replicas from the movie. They even come with a Hogwart's Train ticket. Any 11 year old (or adult for that matter) would go crazy over this if your a Harry Potter fan. Thanks bud for this very cool and amazing gift.

I watched the finale of Becoming Us. You can read my initial thoughts about the series HERE.  Here's a quick synopsis: In this unscripted drama, a teenager named Ben learns to live with his dad becoming a woman. The series will follow Ben, his family and his friends as they support one another through this unexpected journey and navigate their new world with Charlie now living as Carly.

This was a 10 episodes first season and I have to say it was really good. I learned a lot of about transgender community. Since I work in TV I know how real "reality" shows can be but I hope there wasn't to much producing going on behind the scenes. There were some very heart wrenching moments and a few health scares along the way. Of course the main character is Ben (the 16 year old son) and within the year of filming he grew so much. I think that was my favorite part of the series. Watching him grieve over the loss of his father but finally accepting her new life and the part she will play in his life now. I don't know if there will be a second season or not but if it does come back I'll be there to watch it.

NerdStrong Gym - It's DEX Time!!!

Today's DEX class was a good one. There was a lot to do in an hour span. We started with what felt like a mini workout. After Banded Good Mornings and Shin Box we did 2 rounds of 4x Perfect Stretch, 6x Push Ups and 8x Sit Ups.

We then got into the actual workout which was broken down into four segments. The first segment was a 3 minute Jump Rope, we started off easy for a minute and then slowed down even more and did high jumps for a minute before doing the final minute as fast as possible. I'm usual good at jumping rope but today I was running into all sorts of problems. I think the rope I was using was a bit to long and kept tripping me up. I'll try a different rope next time.

The second segment was a 15 minute EMOM (Every Minute On The Minute). We had to do one 2 handed Kettlebell Get Up. I had done something similar a few months ago with but for that we did it with one arm. This time you had to hold the kettlebell close to your chest and try and sit up and then get to your knees and then finally stand all the way up while keeping the kettlebell close. The tricky part was doing the reverse and lying back down on the floor without falling over. Once you got he six movements down going up and back down it wasn't that bad. The hardest part was just sitting up with a 26 lbs weight on your chest.

The third segment was 3 rounds of 12x Ballistic Rows 7 10x Kettlebell Reverse Lunge with Forward Press. Ballistic Rows aren't that bad once you get into a rhythm. But the Reverse Lunges with Forward Press were killers. I was using a 26 lbs kettlebell and that was almost to much weight for me to press in front of me. But with some effort I managed to do the two rounds.

The final segment was :30 seconds on and :30 seconds of rest. We had to do 4 rounds of Clap Pick Ups and then 4 rounds of Flutter Kicks. I did 2 rounds of Clap Push Ups before moving down to just regular Push Ups. The Flutter Kicks were painful but I did mange to do them for the entire 4 rounds.

Overall it was a fantastic workout, perfect for a DEX workout.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shrinking Waist, Facebook Fun & Pop! Friends

So I haven't lost a single pound in the past two months, I'm still hovering at 189. It frustrates me to no end but I can't complain because I may not be losing weight but I am losing fat. This morning when I put on my jeans I realized that I have a bit of extra room in them. I originally was pushing 38 waist for pants, but a few months ago I went down to 36 waist.. but now those 36's are now lose and it look like I'm going to have to try on 34 waist and see if I'm comfortable in them. So though I'm not "losing" weight via the scale my body is changing.. so that's cool.

It's coach Andrew's birthday today and fellow NerdStronger Brent took a high school picture of Andrew and changed out his profile picture on Facebook.. so of course more of us did it and soon there were 16 profile pictures all the same. It made for some fun Facebooking because it looked as though Andrew was posting like crazy. Just another reason why I love my NerdStrong family.

Last thing I wanted to share was the announcement of Pop! Figures for the series Friends... how awesome are those!!! I'm trying to limit what I buy in the Pop! series because there are so many amazing Pop! Figures but these might be a must buys for me. I love Friends and have seen every single episode not once, not twice but multiple times. I must have little Monica, little Phoebe, little Rachel, little Chandler, little Joey and little Ross.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Why I Love This Movie

So after my workout and brunch I planned to do nothing. I had a few chores around the apartment but I was gonna watch some movies on Netflix like I did last weekend. So I sat down and connected Netflix and started to scroll through some of "My List" movies to see if anything peaked my interest. As I was clicking through the movies I came across "The Way He Looks". Of course I watched this last Saturday and loved it so much that I've been watching it and the short "I don't want to go home alone" on youtube for the past week. So with out even thinking I hit play and watched it not only once but twice in a row, back to back. You can read my initial blog post about it HERE.

There is just something about this movie that makes me happy. If I'm having a tough day at work all I have to do is think about a scene and my mood is instantly brighten. I can't recall a movie ever having that effect of me. Of course I love alot of movies and some will be with me for life but there is just something about this movie that speaks to me.

One possibility is that I identify with the main character Leo. I mean I'm not blind (thankfully) but when I was his age 15/16 all I wanted to do was find that special someone and have my first kiss...  unfortunately it never happened for me. I remember every year starting around age 15 I would tell myself that I would find that special someone this year (in my head it was a girl but in my heart it was a boy). And each year would pass and nothing would happen.. this went on years until around age 27 when I had had enough and came out. I wasn't brave enough to accept who I was when I was younger but Leo is. So the fact that Leo is so young and makes the choice to be who he is with no fear is probably one of the reasons why I love this movie so much.. He's me but with a better ending the ending I always wish I had.

NerdStrong Brunch

It's kind of become a tradition after our 10am Sunday workouts at NerdStrong Gym for a group of us to go out for some yummy brunch afterwards. Sometimes we have just four of us but today we got a group of 16 going. Depending on how many people join us determines where we go. If we have less then eight we walk to a local cafe called Hungry Fox. For larger groups like today we drive to a place called Corky's.

It's always a blast hanging out with NerdStrongers outside of the gym settings. At the gym we get to joke around and chat a bit but you really don't get to "know" someone that way. I actually see some of these folks more then anyone else in my life so it's always nice when you get a few hours to hang out and really get to know that person. It's also fun to see the various personalities that go to NerdStrong.

NerdStrong Gym - Temple of Doom

Today's workout was another Indiana Jones workout but this time Temple of Doom themed.

After a warm up we were broken up into teams of three. I was teamed up with John and Jen. We all had to take on one of the three personas; Indiana Jones, Willie and ShortRound. John was Indy, Jen was Willie and I was ShortRound. This comes into play later.

For the workout itself we had to do 99x Push Ups, 99x Goblet Squats, 99x One Arm Kettlebell Press' and then 99x Burpee's before we could escaped. Also inbetween each set we had to run with the Sankara Stone (Kettlebell) around the parking lot (230 meters) while the other two did Sit Ups until the person returned. The other fun thing that would happen is that coach Andrew would role a 20 sided die and if it landed on your team number you got crushed by the rock grinder which meant your team had to do x15 more of whatever workout you are on.

John, Jen and I lined up and got into our push up position. John did #1 push up, Jen did #2 push up then I did #3 push up and we'd started all over again with John and #4 push up and so on. We did this round robin type of thing for all 99 push ups. I had a great team and none of us stopped once to rest. We just kept going until we hit that magic number 99.

Since John was Indy he was first to run with the Sankara Stone while Jen and I did sit ups. It's only a few minutes run but it feels like forever when you're doing sit ups. During this time coach Andrew rolled the 20 sided die and our team was spared.

We then lined up and grabbed our Kettlebells for Goblet Squats. I'm sure it looked funny as one of us would drop down into a squat and awhile that person was coming back up the next would go down. Again like with the push ups my team didn't stop until we hit 99. And once again our team was spared the 20 sider so no extra squats for us.

Now it was Willie's (Jen) turn to run while John and I did sit ups. Every time someone got back from a run we'd all grab some water and take a minute of rest to prepare for the next workout.

Next was the 1 arm kettlebell press, for these we'd do about ten on one arm and then switch the kettlebell to the other arm. We were getting tired but we took these one at a time... John, Jen and Me over and over again until we finally hit 99. Unfortunately as we were finishing up the 20 sider die got us and we had to do 15 extra one arm kettlebell press' before we could move on to our next task.

Now it was my turn to run with the Sankara Stone and I used a 26 lbs kettlebell to carry around the parking lot. I tried to run as quickly as possible as I knew my team mates were back doing sit ups.

Once I was back we moved on to our final exercise, Burpees. The three of us were exhausted but we continued to move forward, a few times we lost count but quickly regained our numbers. There was no better feeling then when John did #97 Burpee, Jen did #98 Burpee and I got to do #99 Burpee and we were done.

We were actually the first team to finish but quickly after others were done as well. There was one final team left so we all rallied around them while they did their last 20 or so Burpees. This is one of many reasons why I love this gym.. we're all about team work and supporting each and every person.. it's pretty awesome.

Today's workout was fantastic, I love themed workouts and also team workouts and this was both. Thanks coach Andrew and everyone else for your continued support.. NerdStrong Gym Rocks!!!

Side note.. it's coach Andrews birthday tomorrow so at the end of the class I lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday to him and as you can see from the picture above we also gave him a group hug (fyi he hates hugs).