Saturday, January 30, 2016

Call the Midwife S5 Ep2 - My Thoughts

After the museum I came home and watched the second episode of season five of Call the Midwife. Here's a brief description, Sister Evangelina's vocal opposition to mothers using formula milk causes a young woman who is unable to breastfeed to doubt her abilities as a mother and places her baby in danger through dehydration. In the aftermath of the incident Sister Evangelina asks to temporarily leave Nonnatus House to spend time with an enclosed order. Barbara is caught between an expectant mother and her husband, who is accused of being workshy. When it is discovered that he is actually terminally ill, his wife begs to have her baby induced before her husband dies. Phyllis develops feelings for a man she met at an evening class but is shocked to find that he has concealed from her that he has a wife with dementia.

Every episode of Call the Midwife brings me to tears here and there but this episode was particularity hard to watch. Sister Evangelina has been annoying me as of late. I understand she's older and set in her ways but she needs to bend a little with the times and she finally hits a wall when she almost kills a baby and I love that it's Cynthia how kind of tells her off. I liked Barbara's storyline and the man who everyone thought was lazy was in actuality terminally ill. The wife wanting to have her baby so he could meet his child before he dies was heartwrenching. I thought for a moment that he was going to die just as they brought the baby in but of course he got to hold his child before he passed. I liked the Phyllis storyline. We know so little about her but it was nice to see that she can indeed love. To bad the guy is married but his wife has dementia and doesn't even know who he is.. that's has to be hard. At first she's upset when she finds out but does befriend him again at the end. I don't know if a relationship will happen since the man is technically married. But a nice friendship was made.  Looking forward to episode three and shedding more tears for the lower class citizens of Poplar. 

Visiting the Natural History Museum

Today is Free Museum Day, that's when you can visit selected museums for free. Well I organized a group of friends from NerdStrong to go to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. I had never been there before or if I had it was extremely little.  Joining me for this adventure was Leo, Brent, Trevor, Shannon, Anne M, Anne W, Alex, Lauren, Jami, Brett and Naomi.

I met up with Lauren, Leo, Brent, Shannon, Alex, Anne W. and Naomi at the Red Line Station in North Hollywood, We got our tickets and then Brent remembered that he was suppose to get Brett so he, Alex and Leo stayed behind to wait for him while Lauren, Shannon, Anne W, Naomi and I grabbed the next train to downtown.

When we got there the place was packed and there was a line of at least 300 people waiting to get in. I thought there was no way we were going to get in today... There were other members of our party already there so we got in line (which moved pretty good) and gave them a call. They told us about this back entrance to the museum and there was no waiting. Of course we couldn't believe it as why would there be hundreds of people waiting in line to get in when you could just walk to the back and get in right away. Well Anne W and Naomi went to investigate and sure enough it was true so Lauren, Shannon and I headed to the backside. When we arrived, Anne M and Trevor where there with Naomi and Anne W... also Brett, Brent, Leo and Alex also just arrived. Only person we were missing was Jami and she came about an hour later.

We roamed from room to room checking out stuffed animals, history of Los Angeles before grabbing some lunch in the cafe. I have to say I was surprised by the reasonable prices of their food. I figured we'd have to pay and arm and a leg for good but it wasn't that bad. Once we were feed we went to the side of the museum that I was really looking forward to the most.. the Dinosaurs.

I think the highlight of the entire visit happened in the T-Rex room where I actually got to touch the toe bone of a T-Rex... how awesome is that. I'm sure millions of other people have touched this bone but I didn't care.. this was an actual T-Rex bone.. oh it was amazing.

We roamed around a few more rooms with more stuffed animals and birds before ending our tour in the Gems room. This was another awesome room.. who knew there were so many different gems and elements in this world. Once we were done with that room I think we were all tired and ready to call it a day. We said goodbye to Trevor, Anne M and Jami and the rest of us grabbed the Expo line to the Red line and back to North Hollywood. It was another fantastic Nerdstrong Adventure!!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Game Night at NerdStrong

During the evening I headed into NerdStrong for our monthly Game night. One of many reasons why I love my gym. Played a few rounds of Cat Tower where you stack paper cat cards on top of each other. It's a simple game but loads of fun. I did a few rounds of Love Letter which is always a blast and then I watched some people play Ticket to Ride for the first time, It's one of my favorites. I played a few more rounds of Love Letter before playing one more game and for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Anyways.. I always have a great time playing games with my fellow NerdStrongers.

Can't wait until next month!!!

NerdStrong Gym - My Weekly Recap

Got my full week of workouts done this week.  CON day on Saturday, TEAM day on Sunday, DEX day on Tuesday, CON day on Wednesday and STG day on Thursday.

I started with Saturday where we did our final mini boss battle before our big boss battle next week. This this mini boss we did 4 rounds of :30 second of Jumping Jacks, :30 seconds of Sprawls and :30 seconds of Rest. Then 4 rounds of :30 seconds of Sprawls, :30 seconds of Headcutters and then :30 seconds of Rest. Then 4 rounds of :30 seconds of Headcutters, :30 seconds of Slamballs and then :30 seconds of Rest. And then finally 4 rounds of :30 seconds of Slamballs :30 seconds of Kettlebell Swings and then :30 seconds of Rest. And for our finisher we did a ton of Planking.. all different kinds.

Our Sunday themed workout was all about X-Files. This was by far my favorite drawing they have done. As for the workout it was a killer. We did this in teams of two (Mulder and Scully), Mulder chased UFO's (230 meter run around the parking lot with a steel bell) while Scully worked at the six different stations. Station 1 was Bench Dumbbell Row, Station 2 was Jump Rope, Station 3 was Steel Club Banners, Station 4 was Frog Hops, Station 5 was Alt Toe Touch and finally Station 6 was Wall Sit.

This was a 40 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible), While one person ran the other did the workout and then switched. We did this for every station. So we both ran six times around the parking lot and did the station workout once each.. and that was just one round. You started over again until the time was up.

Tuesdays are DEX days and they are feeling more and more like CON days. We do a lot of different workouts within the hour. They are great workout just exhausting.  

For Wednesday's CON class we fought a resurrected big bad boss monster from October. 45 minute time cap and started with a 460 meter run, 50x Kettlebell Swings, 460 meter Run, 40x Push Ups, 230 meter Run, 30x Goblet Squats, 230 meter Run, 20x Burpees, 140 meter Run, 10x Nerdmakers, 140 meter Run, 10x Burpee Pull Ups, 230 meter Run, 20x Head Cutters, 230x meter Run, 30x Box Jumps, 460 meter Run, 40x Slamballs, 460 meter Run and finally 50x Sit Ups.

It was pretty horrible but what was awesome is that I actually finished with a few seconds to spare. This is the first time that I actually finished with workout. Back in October when we first did this I only got to Box Jumps and then we we did it again at the end of the month I got to Slamballs. But this time I got through it all.. that felt pretty great.

Thursday's Strength workout was all about Front Squats, lots and lots of Front Squats. We then did a battle with 1 minute of bicycles, then 3 rounds of :30 seconds of Jumping Jacks, :30 seconds of Dumbbell Press, :30 seconds of Dumbbell Overhead, :30 seconds of Dumbbell Tri Kick, :30 seconds of Dumbbell Bent Row and then :30 seconds of rest.

Tough week of workouts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Remembering Challenger & Revamping Classic Cartoons

It's been 30 years to the day of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster but it feels like it was yesterday. I remember being in class (9th grade, 15 years old) and watching this live. We were so excited as this was going to be the first teacher (civilian) going up in space but the excitement quickly turned in to shock and then fear as the shuttle exploded. There was this collective intake of breath before the teacher quickly came over and turned off the TV. I remember it being awkward afterwards as no one really knew what to say (as we were in shock) and the teacher just quietly went back to the lesson plan we were doing before the launch.

I have always been into NASA and the space shuttle program so this hit me hard, it's something from my childhood that I will never forget Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.

On a lighter note DC Comics are revamping some classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters. DC Comics will launch a new line of comics dedicated to the classic characters, featuring titles like "Scooby Apocalypse," "Future Quest," "Wacky Race Land," "The Flintstones," and possibly others. You can read more about the comics HERE.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Galavant S2 So Far...

I haven't blogged about Galavant S2 since the first two episodes.. so here are some of my thoughts on episodes 3 - 8.

S2 Ep 3 "Aw, Hell, the King" Richard discovers his former kingdom has been converted into a democracy using the resources of his former castle. Gareth has nightmares about betraying Richard, and Madalena forces Sid to help him. Sid makes Gareth realize he is feeling guilty over his decision. Isabella mourns her breakup and wants nothing to do with her upcoming wedding to Harry, but wedding planner Chester Wormwood has plans to take over Hortensia and has her wear an enchanted tiara, putting her under his control. Galavant asks the citizens to volunteer for his army to rescue Isabella, but the only volunteer is a lady named Roberta. Galavant, Richard, and Roberta set off to find more members for their army.

I liked the opening number "Build a New Tomorrow". Still not a fan of the Isabella believing that Galavant broke up with her. The introduced another good "bad" guy to the story. Still loving the Galavant and Richard storyline. Who's have though they would be such a great duo when we first saw them in episode one of season one. 

S2 Ep 4 "Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled" Richard realizes that Roberta is a former childhood playmate of his. Galavant wants to get rid of Richard, so he tries to set them up together with a romantic dinner, which works for Roberta but not for Richard. Chef and Gwynne celebrate their new status as upper lower class citizens, but Gwynne is unable to adjust to it, and she convinces Chef to leave with her and return to their former lifestyle. Madalena is invited to a party by two snobby sisters who used to shun her when she was poor, but it really turns out to be a roast of her and she is humiliated again. On her return to Valencia, she realizes that she is feeling hurt for the first time. But when Gareth takes revenge on the sisters, she kisses him and notices another new feeling.

I really like the addition of Roberta as Richards long lost playmate and love interest. Richard is so clueless, how did he ever manage to remain King for so many years. I enjoyed all the song in this episode, especially "Serenade (Maybe You Won't Die Alone). It was great to see Chef and Gwynne's story progress.. they are so use to be lower lower class that having decent things doesn't work for them. And a shocker but I felt bad for Madalena. This character is a bitch and has no redeeming qualities at all but I couldn't believe it by the end I actually felt something for her as she realized she too had feelings for Gareth, didn't think that would ever be possible. 

S2 Ep 5 "Giants vs. Dwarves" Richard trades the Jewel of Valencia for a lizard he believes is a dragon, causing Galavant to abandon him in anger. Galavant and Richard join opposite sides in a war between giants and dwarfs, who are actually all normal-sized men, before Roberta makes peace. Isabella visits wild Princess Jubilee who knocks her crown off and frees her from the curse; she returns to Hortensia to dispose of Wormwood. Gareth reveals that Sid had insulted Madalena, and Sid is forced to flee.

This episode had some of my favorite songs but also my least favorite. I loved "My Dragon Pal and Me" Richard and his "dragon" was hilarious. Though it did finally push Galavant over the edge (and you can't blame him). But is wasn't a big fan of "Different Kind of Princess". Maybe if they would have gotten a well known person it might be been funnier but then again the singing was fine it was just the song that I didn't like which is disappointing because I liked the idea behind it. The only good thing from that scene was that Isabella loses the tiara and is no longer under mind control. The bulk of this episode is about the Giants versus the Dwarves and what makes it funny is that all the men are exactly the same height so when they start to fight nobody knows who they are suppose to be fighting. 

S2 Ep 6 "About Last Knight" Madelena tries to get Gareth what he most wants for his birthday, a bar brawl, but everyone is too afraid to fight him. Wormwood, who has been banished from Hortensia, arrives in Valencia and convinces the royals to go to war. Isabella breaks her engagement with her cousin. Galavant seeks shelter with his estranged father, Arnold, who apologizes for being a distant parent. When Sid reunites with Galavant, he throws him his lost sword, but accidentally impales Galavant's chest.

Another great episode and I loved every song in this one. It was great meeting Galavants father. The Gareth wanting to fight for his birthday was funny and Madelena trying to make him happy was very sweet. Loved the Forrest of Coincidence and how many of our characters come together. And of course the ending when Sid accidentally stabs Galavant.

S2 Ep 7 "Love and Death" Richard, Sid, and Roberta bring Galavant to a healer, Neo of Sporin. Galavant briefly dies, but Neo makes a potion allowing Galvant to defeat Death and bring Galavant back to life. Neo then provides Galavant with an army of zombies. Wormwood plans for war with Madalena and Gareth, who realize they may be falling in love. Isabella readies Hortensia for war but finds they have no weapons. Richard and Roberta admit they have feelings for each other.

Neo of Sporin is the funniest name for a doctor. I like that Roberta and Richard finally get together. I liked Isabella rallying the troops for a fight. And Galavant gets him army... of Zombies.

S2 Ep 8 "Do the D'DEW" Isabella meets with Gareth and Madalena to discuss terms of surrender but Isabella leaves more determined to defeat them. Wormwood offers to teach them his dark magic which Gareth refuses, but Madalena later secretly agrees. Galavant has troubles controlling the zombies until he realizes they respond positively to his idea of fighting for love. Roberta, who had previously been intimate with Richard, breaks up with him, as she does not want to see him killed. Sid leaves to redeem himself.

Lot's of set up for the final "hour" of Season Two. I loved Madalena and Isabella sing off. Madalena goes evil.. like real evil and embraces dark magic. Just when you think Roberta and Richard are on the upswing she breaks it off as she can't watch Richard go to war as she knows he's an idiot and will probably die.

Can't wait until next week and the final two episodes.

The Magicians Ep 2 - My Thoughts

Today I watched the second episode of Syfy's The Magicians. S1 Ep2 "The Source of Magic". Pearl investigates the incident at Brakebills and Quentin, Alice, Penny, and Kady face disciplinary action for their role in the Beast's attack, but Eliza, who is called in as specialist, lets them go on probation. Julia meets Marina when she has to pass a test to join the Hedge Witches. Kady is secretly working for Marina.

I enjoyed episodes one but I didn't like several of the main characters and was hoping they would grow on me.. well I'm happy to report that they have. The pace continues to be a bit sluggish but for some reason I don't care. I think I'm enjoying the world and I know the story is going somewhere. There is a bigger picture here and they give me just enough that I'm excited to see what's next. This episode resolved the cliffhanger of episode 1 but they didn't really explain anything. I heard someone say that the main character "Quentin" reminds them of Charlie Brown and that's a good description of his personality. It's a hard character to get behind because of his woe is me attitude. What's funny is one of the characters that I wasn't feeling in episode one has made a 360 and is quickly becoming one of my favorites (Eliot). And my least favorite storyline (but I understand why it's there) is Julia's dealing with Magic outside of the school. To her magic is like a drug and she is definitely an addict.

I think one of the major reasons I'm enjoying this series is the way they preform their magic. It's all about hand movements and gestures. There is some chanting but most seems to be non-verbal and more of just the movement. It reminds me of real magicians and how they use slight of hand and such for their magic. I don't think I've ever seen "magic" preformed that way before on a TV show or movie and I think that's why I find it so fascinating.

This is quickly become "must see" TV for me. I look forward to new episodes each week and watching this fantastical yet based in reality storyline unfold.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Feeling Great & Jedi Boots

Most days I'm either sleep deprived or sore from working out or fighting my depression but some days you just wake up and you feel amazing.. well today was one of those days. I woke up at 5:30am and felt completely rested. I had my typical pre-gym breakfast, half a cup of oatmeal and my chocolate protein shake. Got dressed and left my place at 6:30am and headed to NerdStrong. I had a great workout with amazing people, it was tough but good. Got home around 8:30am and made my typical second breakfast of 2 slices of bacon & 2 eggs.

Took a shower and head out from my place at 9:15am and arrived at work at 9:30. I was as happy as I could be, I felt as though I could have done anything. Of course the euphoria wore off fairly quickly once work started.. but man was it an amazing four hours. Wish I could feel that way every morning.

When I got home from work a package was waiting for me. It was my Jedi boots.. well I'm using them for my Twi-lek Jedi cosplay. I found them on ebay and they were a bit pricey ($85) but they were prefect and once I tried them on I knew they would work out great. My Twi-lek cosplay is slowly coming together. Still have to get my lekku, make my jedi robes and tunic and purchase and learn to use a air brush machine. I'm hoping to have all this ready for Wondercon at the end of March but it's more then likely gonna happen for SDCC in July.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Getting Contacts

I have decided that I want to wear contacts. I've been wearing glasses for over 20 years now and I did try to use contact way back when but had the hardest time getting them in so I figured I'd never be able to wear them. Well now that I have been cosplaying I really want to try and get contacts as it's difficult to go to cons and not wear my glasses while cosplaying. Luckily I can see fairly decent without them so I can walk around without bumping into things but nothing is sharp and I can barely see peoples faces.. I feel like I miss so much while I cosplay. So I'm going to get prescription for contacts and will just have to learn how to put them in. I also want to get color contact (Green) to wear for my Samwise Hobbit cosplay and my Twi-lek Jedi cosplay. Hopefully I can get to an eye doctor soon as I'd love to have them before Wondercon at the end of March.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Another NerdStrong Video & X-Files Reopened Special

A new video was released promoting my gym NerdStrong. I really like this one, it would make a pretty good commercial. I actually was interviews for this piece and they used one of my lines. You can also see me working out in the background.

I also watched an X-Files special called X-Files Reopened. I'm super excited for the return of X-Files tonight and just happen to see that they were airing this at 7:30pm. I have seen every episode of the X-Files and the movies so I'm super happy that's it's coming back for a limited 6 episode run. Watching this special just got me super excited for the return of Mulder and Scully. I really don't know much about the storyline and this special does have a few spoilers but I don't think they will ruin anything. You can watch the entire thing below.