Saturday, January 2, 2016

Is Poe Gay?

Since Star Wars The Force Awakens opened people have been talking about one relationship in particular and it might be the one you are thinking of.. it's the one of Poe and Finn. When I first saw the movie I noticed the connection those two had. It was an instant bonding, a bromance if you will. But I wasn't the only one who thought that. The internet went crazy with people talking about that coupling and would Disney be so bold. I mean they have a woman, a black man and Latino as their leads. There is this great story you can read HERE about this exact topic.

Now do I think Finn and Poe are more then just friends... nope.. Do I wish it.. of course. But Finn pretty much was enamored with Rey (and rightfully so, she's adorable). So Finn is straight.. but Poe on the other hand is more ambiguous, maybe he will be the first "gay" character in Star Wars. I can see him being a gay character and if that's the case I think it would be amazing.

I would love to see his character continue the way he is now, I don't want to see him being gay.. I just want to know he is... does that make sense. All they have to do is throw out a line about a boyfriend or him checking out another dude. It doesn't have to be the focus of the scene and if you aren't paying close attention you just might miss it.

I think if Disney goes that route they might not get as much flack from the populaces, though there will always be those few who yell the loudest. But I think if any franchise can withstand some criticism it's Star Wars. I mean some people weren't happy about the leads in this episodes but it's going to be one of, if not the most successful film in the world.

So fingers crossed that when we see Poe again in Episode 8 the LGBT+ community get's a little nod from a galaxy far far away.

My The Force Be With You!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sherlock The Abominable Bride - My Thoughts

I watched the brand new episode of Sherlock tonight. It's called Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Here's a quick synopsis: Imagining himself back in the 1890s Sherlock is visited by Inspector Lestrade, after newly-wed Emelia Ricoletti, having apparently killed herself in public, murdered her husband Thomas the next night in front of witnesses before vanishing. Some months later Holmes is approached by Lady Carmichael, who tells him that her husband Sir Eustace has been threatened by Emelia, who then, seemingly does away with him. With an intrusive Moriarty crossing him Holmes attempts to solve the enigma, with unexpected help from Watson's wife Mary and evidence of a conspiracy involving half the population of the country.

When I saw the previews to this episodes I figured it was a one off special with Sherlock and company set during the Victorian era. But it's not and somehow they tie everything back in with the final scene of the last episode that aired a few years ago... I think it was pretty ingenious. 

I enjoyed the episode over all, it was fun seeing these guys in a different environment (and time). I enjoyed the story and how it evolved. It really did keep me guessing.. and when it went back to Sherlock on the plane and they started to explain that everything we saw up to that point was happening in his "mind palace" was an OMG moment.

After that started to go back and forth between the two worlds and the entire reason Sherlock was doing this was because he was trying to figure out if Moriarty could survive a gunshot to head. He was analyzing a previous case where the same thing happened.. this lady shot herself in the head and then rose the next day to kill her husband. In the end we find out that you can't rise again once you shot yourself in the head.. meaning Moriarty is dead but he will always be part of Sherlock's conscious.

I would say that only downside to this episode and the series as a whole is Sherlock's drug use. I know the Sherlock from the books was a drug users but they really played that down in the first few seasons and I liked it better that way, but that's just a minor grip.

It's been almost two years since we got the last episode of Sherlock season three but when watching this new episode it feels like no time has passed at all. Of course will have to wait a few more years for season four but we always have seasons 1 - 3 and this special to rewatch... and that's good enough for me.

Chaos on the Bridge & Back in Time Documentaries

I didn't celebrate New Years last night (though I did stay up and watch the ball drop), so I was up early. I started to de-Christmasfy my apartment. I usually put up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and remove them on New Years Day.  It took me all day to do this as I'd only work for an hour before at a time taking many breaks and watching some TV.

Speaking of TV I watched a few documentaries on Netflix.  The first one I had heard about from friends so when I saw it pop up on my "suggested to watch" list I had to stop what I was doing and watch it. It's called "Chaos on the Bridge"

Canadian acting legend William Shatner takes viewers inside the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the bold attempt in 1986 to recreate the success of the original television series, in which Shatner played Captain James T. Kirk. The documentary, directed, written and presented by Shatner reveals the drama, chaos and controversy behind the scenes as producers tried to make lighting strike twice. Not only were the beloved original characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy excluded from the new series, the studio also attempted to block the involvement of the creator of the original series - Gene Roddenberry. Few believed it would work including those closest to the production. Yet Star Trek: The Next Generation went on to enormous success lasting seven seasons and spawning the multi-billion dollar Star Trek franchise, which continues to the present day. Now, more than 25 years later, William Shatner brings together the cast, crew and fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation to present an intimate look inside the development of a television series that became a benchmark for many of the high profile science fiction series that we enjoy today.

I never knew there was so much turmoil in the first few seasons of TNG. I mean I had heard bits and piece of things that happened during the early years but never imagined how bad it really was. There was some great stories from those days. I think it was pretty well rounded, it painted some folks as the "villains" and rightfully so, but others were able to do interviews as well and defend themselves so we got to hear both sides of the story with the true being somewhere in the middle. Though I really enjoyed the program I kind of wish I didn't see it. It's never a good idea to peak behind the curtain of something that you just completely love. Regardless if you're a Star Trek The Next Generation fan you definitely have to check this doc out.

When this documentary was over one of the suggested moves was another documentary called Back in Time. I remember ready about this.. it started off as a Kickstarter project and did really really well so they doubled the length and got more guests including the main actors. So being a Back to the Future fan I had to watch that next.

Cast, crew, and fans explore the classic time-travel trilogy's resonance throughout our culture 30 years after Marty went Back in Time.

This documentary as was well made but definitely made by fans of the film series. Lot's a great interviews and stories. Not being a die hard fan of Back to the Future series I learned quite a bit. One of my favorite was seeing footage of Eric Stoltz in the lead role. It felt like a completely different movie.  This is definitely a must see if you're a fan of this movie series.

NerdStrong Gym - My Week

Another holiday week so I only got to workout for four days this week, CON Saturday, TEAM Sunday, DEX Tuesday and CON Wednesday.

First up was Saturdays CON class but coach Blair wanted to try something different so instead of going to he gym we went to a local high school and used their track and field. We had to run a mile around the track.. that's four times around. But of course it's not going to be that easy. We had to run bleachers, high knees up then run down eight times then do you lap, then bleachers again until you completed the mile run. Afterwards we did an AMRAP (As many rounds as possible) We teamed up.. my teammate was John (of course) and one rested while one ran to the 10 yard line and do 10 push ups and run back. Your partner would then run to the 10 yard line and do their push ups. When they got back you then ran to the 20 yard line and do 20 Squats, run back and your partner then does them. You then run to the 30 yard line and do 5 Burpees before running back and you partner doing it. Once you were done you would start all over again. John and I did about five or six rounds before time ran out. 

While I was finishing up my 2nd lap I went in for a drink of water and ran across some weird covering and took a tumble hard, on both wrists, knee and face.. Luckily only a few scratches (left knee and right forearm).. but that didn't stop me.. I got my drink and finished the workout. I really didn't realize how bad it was until I pulled up my pant leg and saw the blood and I didn't notice my forearm until I was done and felt a bit of pain (endorphins had warn off)

Though I got injured it was still alot of fun getting out of the gym to workout.. hope we do more of these in the future.  

For our Sunday TEAM workout we did the White Elephant workout. We were split up into two teams (Legends of the Guardians of the Stryder vs Raptors), one person from each team would go up to coach Andrew and pull a workout from a hat. The other person could either steal that workout or pull a new workout from the hat.. it may be better or worse. Once we had our workout built we spent half of the hour doing said workout. We then had the option of re-drawing workouts or just doing the other teams workout. We all opted to do the other teams workout, so in the end we wound up doing everything. They were both extremely tough workouts but we did get a full body workout with both.  

Tuesday was DEX day and of course we did a wide range of workouts..  Rowing, jumping jacks, band work, negative pull ups, kettlebell jump squats, kettlebell deadlifts, hand release push ups, knee to elbows, v ups, and superman holds. DEX days are feeling more and more like CON days. You get a really good workout with DEX days.

Wednesday's CON workout was an extremely small class and consisted only of dudes (four of us). We did the Speedster workout. That meant we did a 1 Mile Run (that's 7 times around the parking lot and it was freezing.. temps were in the low 40's), 1000 Meter Row and a finisher of 8 rounds of x15 Slamballs and x20 Kettlebell Swings. It was freezing outside and you figure once you've gone around the parking lot a few times you might start to warm up.. yeah that didn't happen.  Only thing that happened is that you sweat and then the cold air would hit the sweat and make you even colder. I was so happy to get back inside the gym though we next had to do a 1000 meter row (I'm not a fan of rowing). The finisher was rough because you were already exhausted from the 1000 meter row but you just had to suck it up and finish it.. which we did. 

Though it was a shorter week.. it was a good one. Thanks to all the coaches and to the amazing NerdStrong community 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

2015 was a great year for me. I took control of my health, I lost weight, gained muscle and found a whole new community to be part of with NerdStrong Gym.

I worked for 10 months out of the year taking a step down from my usual position but I was okay with that, feeling less stress was amazing.

Entertainment was fantastic.. from TV shows like Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Scorpion, Call the Midwife, Galavant, Arrow and The Flash to an amazing webseries called LARPs the Series. We saw the ending to a beloved series Downton Abbey.

We also has so many great movies this year but they all pale in comparison to Star Wars The Force Awakens.. I mean come on we finally got a seventh Star Wars movie... how AWESOME was that!!!

I turned 45 this year and had a fantastic birthday party with friends coming in from Oregon and even Ireland (that was a shocker.. Thomas you're the best).

I wasn't lucky in love in 2015 but I have started looking again... and that's a big step forward for me.

And speaking of dating.. when I do find that special someone I will now be able to marry him as the Supreme Court made marriage a right for everyone in the United States.

I attended some great cons this year.. Wondercon, Comikaze Con, Long Beach Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con and the really big one.. Star Wars Celebration.

Though not everything had been great in 2015 the good definitely outweighed the bad.

My hopes for 2016 is that I continue my new healthy and active lifestyle. I hope to travel more, visit with friends more and find the love of my life... no pressure 2016 :)

Hiking & The Universe

Since NerdStrong was closed today because it being New Years Eve a group of us took it upon ourselves to still get a good workout in so we went for a hike. We went to a trail up in the hills behind Burbank call Stough Canyon. I had never hiked there so I was excited to explore.

Joining me on this adventure was Aaron, Toni, Jami, Brett, Michael, Adam and two of his friends.

Michael is the one who organized this hike and also has hike this trail before. When we got there we started up the hill. About a third of the way we lost Toni, another third we lost one of Adam's friends. And when I say lost I just mean they turned around and headed back down the hill. We were heading to a specific outlook and Michael kept saying it was around the corner... we went around alot of corners before we finally got there.

We rested for a few before making the trek down the mountain and as always going down was much easier then going up. In all we hike just over six and a half miles. I think it's one of the longest hikes I have done. I know just a year ago that I would be huffing and puffing hiking for that long and though it was difficult at times I felt pretty good afterwards. Thanks Michael for introducing me to another fun hiking trail. Afterward we went out for some Ramon :)

I came across this picture and it just resonated with me. It amazes me that people still think we are the only creatures in this universe or beyond. Look how big the known universe is..and that's just want we know about. Life is amazing!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Call the Midwife Christmas Special 2015

My friend Lydia gave me her "older" Apple TV box and we hooked it up a few days ago and I noticed that there was a Call the Midwife 2015 Christmas Special that aired Christmas Day in the UK. I have no idea how I missed it but I corrected that today when I sat down to watch it.

As celebrations swing into action, Poplar readies itself for Christmas 1960; a festive bus trip to see the Regent Street lights and a visit from a BBC film crew promise to make it a Christmas to remember. But it’s a difficult time of year for grieving mother Iris; bringing back memories of her long departed baby daughter. An outbreak of measles hits Poplar and at Nonnatus, things are tense as Sister Monica Joan determines to bring the Christmas spirit early, despite Sister Evangelina’s disgust. As the community pull together to prepare for the televised carol concert, Nonnatus is rocked when Sister Monica Joan goes missing and a face from Patsy's past returns.

I love this series, it will now replace my Downton Abbey fix. I've watched and cried with every episode. It's crazy how involved you can get in these fictitious character's lives. I wasn't sure the show would be as good when the main character Jenny who also happens to be the narrator left after season three but I think it's gotten better and better. With Jenny gone they have focused more of the secondary characters and really fleshed some of them out.

This years Christmas special was, as always, fantastic. I actually thought they were going to kill of Sister Monica Joan. Her character really is at an end and there really isn't much more they can do with her so when she went missing I was sure she was dead. And then they found a body and my heart dropped.. thought I figured they would kill her off I didn't actually expect it to happen but moments later you find out that it wasn't her and she is found, sickly but safe.

I enjoyed the story of the mother who lost her daughter many, many years ago and of course you couldn't have a Christmas special without a miracle and the fact that she was pregnant and totally unaware of it was crazy, but I am happy that she get's a second chance at being a mother.

It was great seeing Pasty and her girlfriend Delia reconnect. I'm glad she fully recovered she just now has to grow a backbone and defy her mother's wishes.

I'm really looking forward to series/season five. As I said this is my fix for British drama, especially since Downton Abbey is now over. Of course I'll be watching the UK release of Call the Midwife which starts next month. It starts here in the US on April 3rd.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Job and The Circle

Last week I met up with a former boss of mine, we only chatted for a minute but the subject came up that I was on my last week at my current job. She said "are you serious? I'm looking for a Post super to start next Monday". Now I will admit that I loved being a post coordinator for the past year, it was decent money and hardly any stress. This job that Darla was talking about was a full Post Supervisor again, which means lots of stress. Honestly I was hoping to do another year as a post coordinator somewhere but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. So I said sure and she said we would talk next week. Well today I got a call to finalize my new job. As I said it is as a Post Production Supervisor (which I have done since 2004) I would start on Monday January 4th and I would be working on the second season of Jay Leno's Garage on CNBC. But that show doesn't go into post until the end of January so she wanted to put me on a yet announced TV show for the time being. It all sounded good, I'll be back at a Original Productions where I worked about five years ago on Biker Build Off, Monster Nation, America's Toughest Jobs and Deadliest Catch S5 & 6. So I know alot of people there so it was going to be like going home. Though I would have liked more time off I am looking forward to starting my next adventure.

I watched this movie called The Circle, I had never heard of it but found it on Netflix and it sounded interesting. This is a Swiss docudrama film, released in 2014. Her's a quick synopsis: Zurich, 1956. The young teacher Ernst Ostertag falls head over heels in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp and finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and his commitment to homosexuality. Ernst becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS and lives through the high point and the eventual decline of the organization, which in the whole of Europe is seen as the pioneer of gay emancipation.

I liked how this went back and forth between the movie and the original people who the movie were portraying. I couldn't even imagine what it was like to be a gay man in the 1950's. I love that we are there when Ernst find this organization and is just over the moon. I know that feeling as when I came out at age 27 and actually started going to gay clubs and hanging with other gay men you really felt this comradery and an instead feeling of belonging. We got a peek into this world and how gays were treated in the world of the 1950's. Most cities it was illegal to be gay but in Zurich there was no such law and things were okay for the gays.. well for a short amount of time.

Things take a turn for the worst and then the cops start a witchhunt for gay men and the organization starts to unravel. It was difficult to watch what these men had created come tumbling down. What I also liked about this movie is that we find out that the two main characters Ernst and Robi were the first gay couple to have their registered partnership legally recognized in Zurich in 2003.

Watching movies like these make me realized how lucky we are as gay people in 2016, yes the world isn't 100% accepting but we are in a far better place today then we were 60 years ago... heck even 30 years ago. If you get a chance check out The Circle. I give it a solid A.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Jupiter Ascending on Blu-Ray

I got Jupiter Ascending on Blu-Ray today. I know some of you are moaning but I love this movie. You can read my original blog post review HERE.  I still don't understand why the majority of people and friends I talk to hate this movie so much. I will agree that Eddie Redmayne's acting isn't the best and you can barely understand him but we know he's an amazing actor from (Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl) so it had to be bad directing. But everyone else was fine. I loved the story and special effect were amazing. I think one of the best things about the Wachowskis is that they know how to build a world and Jupiter Ascending had some amazing visuals. If you're looking for a great sci fi adventure then this is the movie for you. I can't wait to watch it again as I have only seen it the one time in the theater. I also can't wait to check out all the blu-ray extras.. that one reason why I still buy DVD's / Blu-rays.. I love extras. Maybe I'll blog about those when I watch them all.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Martian - My Thoughts

Just a quick note: This should come as no surprise but Star Wars The Force Awakens is the fastest movie it hit one billions dollars... It only took 12 Days. It continue to break records.

I watched my screener of "The Martian" today. This is a movie that I wanted to see when it was in the theaters. Everyone and I mean everyone told me how great it was. I was also told I should read the book first (well I knew that wasn't going to happen). If  you don't know about this movie here's a quick synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney, presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission.

I can see why folks said I should see this on the big screen.. I'm sure the visuals were stunning. I really enjoyed this movie. I kept thinking "how much of this is based in real science". I liked how they went back and forth from Mars to Earth to the Mars crew aboard the space ship. The acting was amazing and there was just the right amount of tension. I never once thought, "that's wouldn't really happen" everything seemed legit. Matt Damon did an amazing job, it takes a great actor to hold the attention of an audience when you're the only person on screen. This kind of reminded me of Gravity but Sandra Bullock was alone on screen much longer then Matt Damon. Not only was Matt's character courageous and brave but so were the other astronauts, there were on that ship for over a year heading home and then they decide to sling shot around the Earth and head back to get him. Talk about sacrificing their lives but the ones with family had to be even a harder decision. This was definitely one of my favorite movies of 2015. I give The Martian a solid A