Saturday, April 2, 2016

Korean BBQ & Karaoke

Went out for Korean BBQ for the first time. My buddy Andrew gathered a group of friends to grab some food down in Downtown Los Angeles. Not only was this my first time eating Korean BBQ but also being to this part of Downtown (Korean Town). Luckily for me friends Derek and Lauren Ubered down with me and knew where they were going, if not I think I might have gotten lost. Now if you've never done Koren BBQ (like me), here's what it is.. Korean barbecue or Gogigui (meat roast) in Korean refers to the Korean method of roasting beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the table itself.

As I said I had no idea what I was in store for so when we got there we found our party and sure enough we were at tables with two large grills in the middle of them. Andrew did all the ordering and grilling which made it more enjoyable for me as all I had to do was eat all the tasty meats.. and man were some of the beef and pork amazing. We got a bunch of white rice as well and access to their "salad bar" type thing with some very unusual items. I tried to be a bit more adventurous and tried a few things that I didn't know what they were. Overall it was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again.

As the dinner wound down the majority of us were heading out to a Birthday Karaoke party for our friend Adam happening at a bar in the valley. I was able to catch a ride with friend Brent. When we got to the bar it was packed (95% were Adam's friends). Singing was happening and everyone was having a great time. I got a drink and sat with a group of friends from NerdStrong. The wait list to sing was a few hours long and I knew that I wasn't going to stay long so I just relaxed and enjoyed the karaoke. Around midnight I called it a night and got a lift back to my place. It was a super fun evening.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Star Trek 50th The Ultimate Voyage in Concert

Tonight after work I headed out to a concert.. but it's not you typical concert.. this was for Star Trek 50th The Ultimate Voyage in concert at the Pantages theater. I enjoyed this concert with my buddy Adam (who is a huge Star Trek fan as well)... It was two hours of awesome music set to The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise footage as well as the 12 movies. And for an added surprise Michael Dorn (Worf) was the narrator. 

It's the brainchild of conductor Justin Freer and his producing partner Brady Beaubien, whose CineConcerts company does live-to-picture concerts of complete films, including "The Godfather," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Gladiator." Paramount and CBS entrusted them with the idea of a 50th-anniversary musical tribute.

Freer will conduct an 85-piece orchestra in music by 13 composers, including themes by Oscar winners Jerry Goldsmith (who scored five of the movies, starting with "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"), James Horner ("Star Trek II" and "III"), Leonard Rosenman ("Star Trek IV") and Michael Giacchino (the recent "Trek" reboot) and Emmy winners Dennis McCarthy and Jay Chattaway, who together scored more than two-thirds of the four later "Trek" series ("The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager" and "Enterprise").

We were lucky enough to have several people who actually worked on Star Trek over the years in the audience including the wonderful Nichelle Nicoles who played Uhura in the original series and movies.  We also had three guest composer who came out and conducted their piece music of music. And for the life of me I can't remember who they were, but I think I have it written down somewhere so check back later and I'll edit this blog post and add the information.

Overall it was pretty amazing, the song selections were great, I like how they had short segments of each series. The lightening was amazing for example when the Borg music started everything went green on stage. Some of the narrated bits were a bit cheesy and they did repeat of few of the scenes. What was great is that the music would suck you in that you'd forget that it was live.

One stand out moment for me was when they played the flute song from "inner light". It's one of my favorite pieces of all the Star Trek music and the reason I want to learn to play the flute. Such a beautiful piece and I kept looking for the person playing flute but couldn't find him but I'm happy at the end they had him stand so we could applaud him for his amazing work.

I'm happy that I got my ticket to see this.. it was worth every penny. What a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of such an amazing franchise.

NerdStrong Gym - Weekly Recap

So I'm going to make these NerdStrong Recap blog posts quick.. at least until I catch up with my blog (currently a month behind). This past week I was able to do my full five days of workouts.. which was great. I started off with Saturday's CON class though I attended the 9am class which is an hour earlier then my usual 10am class but it was Wondercon and I wanted to get a workout in before I went to con. This was my first Saturday in two weeks so I got a taste of this months Boss Monster and it was pretty tough. For Sunday's TEAM workout I did my usual 9am class as it was the last day of Wondercon. We saw the return of the Uber Viking workout. It's one of the toughest but also one of the more enjoyable ones as well. Tuesday's DEX class was a fun one as we got to use the Wheel of Dexterity. Which meant we did a very random and customized workout. Wednesday's CON class was a classic Saturday Boss Monster workout.. and just like before it was a tough one but I did manage to finish the entire workout in the allotted time. Thursday's STG class was one of my favorite barbell workouts.. Bench Press. We actually did a bench press ladder which is tough but satisfying when you finish it. Overall it was another great workout week.. Thanks NerdStrong.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ahsoka Tano Novel

Here's some AMAZING Star Wars news... Disney-Lucasfilm Press just announced that they will be releasing a novel about Ahsoka Tano (btw she's one of my all time favorite SW characters). The character walked away from the Jedi Order at the end of season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and we know little about her life in the years following her decision to carve her own path. With this novel I hope we find out a little bit more about those missing years.

Here's the official press release: From Disney-Lucasfilm Press:

Ahsoka Tano, fan favorite character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, will be the star of her own young adult novel from Disney Lucasfilm Press this October 11, 2016! Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance…

“Ahsoka has a long history, and there is much more to it than the fans know,” says Dave Filoni, Executive Producer/Supervising Director [of Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars]. “I have always worked on her story, even parts that I know we will probably never see on screen. By broadening her story from the animated series to the written page, I feel we have a real opportunity to provide fans with details about her character that they would not know otherwise. We are also responding to the strong fan support that we have seen Ahsoka receive over the last eight years. The fans want more Ahsoka and we are going to give it to you, and since I’ve been there since the beginning I am dedicated to working with publishing to help make this book as authentic a part of her story as if we filmed it for the series.”

Acclaimed author and Star Wars fan E.K. Johnston has been tapped to pen the novel to bring Ahsoka’s untold story to the legions of fans who demanded it. “Writing for Ahsoka is tremendously exciting. She has a blank spot in her story that I know a lot of fans (including myself!) want to see filled in. And being able to help tell her story is a dream come true.”

Powerful PTSD Commercial

I came across this amazing commercial on Facebook and had to share it. Everytime I watch it, it gives me chills.. it's so well done.  I dug a little deeper and found out that it was the Winner of the Gouden Loeki 2014 (Dutch commercial award).. and it's well deserved. I have friends and family who suffer from PTSD and I think that's why this is such a powerful commercial.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Mud Run

I had so much fun doing the Warrior Dash last month that when my buddy Rob mentioned that he was talking his family into doing one similar to that while they are down here visiting I asked if I could join in and of course he said yes. So I just signed up to do the Rugged Maniac, It's being held in Temecula on June 18th. Only time that was available was 1:30pm which isn't ideal as it will be hot and the path will be well worn out by the time we run it. But it's another 5k Obstacle course run in the mud and I plan to make the most of it. I'm really looking forward to doing another one of these with friends.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - My Thoughts

After work I got to hang out with my friend Lauren. We had planned to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night with a few other friends but one by one they had to pull out so tonight Lauren and I decided that we would just go by ourselves. We started the night with dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (Lauren had never been there before).

Afterwards we headed to the AMC Burbank 16, we were seeing Batman v Superman in their Prime theaters. This is a theater that has nice large seats that recline and kind of vibrate with the sounds of the movie. Of course this theater cost more, about $22 a ticket and honestly it wasn't anything special, I mean the seats were amazing and it was cool but I don't know if it was worth the extra cost. But I'm not blogging about the theater I'm blogging about my thoughts on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Of course I was aware of all the negativity this film has gotten but it was the same with Man of Steel and I loved Man of Steel so I knew that I would enjoy this movie as well and sure enough I did. First let me say that I never understood why Batman would want to fight Superman, since they have always been on the same side but the story behind this movie was good and made sense to me. Yes the story is dark as well as the film itself. Would I prefer a happier go lucky Superman.. sure but that's not this Superman. He's still finding his way as Superman and dealing with human nature. I think that's why I don't mind the change in this character. I feel at his core he is still the same character but he's still learning his ways to become the Superman we all know and love. I feel this is the most realistic version of Superman.

I thought Batman was so narrow minded in this movie. He says if there was a 1% chance that Superman was going to turn on them they have to take that as an absolute... that's just crazy thinking. Because of this I couldn't really get behind Batman, I thought Ben Affleck did a great job, but I just wasn't a fan of his. loved Alfred, enjoyed Lois Lane and so happy they introduced Wonder Woman.. who was pretty fantastic and got me really excited for her solo film. I like that we get a quick glimpse at Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. I can't wait to see more of them in future films.

The special effect were amazing and the fight scenes were fantastic. I loved Batman's hand on hand fighting technique. I will admit that they gave away to much in the trailers for this movie, but it didn't take away the excitement. I was not happy with the ending but I know it's not really the end. Oh and one more thing I didn't think I would like this version of Lex but man he was a horrible man and so well done... I hated him with ever fiber of my being... that's good character writing.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie. Was it everything I was hoping for.. of course not. Did it have it's flaws.. yep. Will I buy it when it comes out on blu-ray.. for sure. Am I excited for Justice League.. oh yeah!! I give Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a solid B+

Showing Affection

I found this comment/picture on Facebook and reposted it to my timeline because I really believe in what it says.

I'm a hugger and always have been. I think physical touch is super important in all relationships. I enjoy touching a friends shoulder or back to show support. I hug hellos and goodbyes. When I sit next to you I usually like having our arms touch. Physical contact doesn't always have to be sexual. Of course I have different levels of intimacy with different friends. I'm closer to some then others or some of more comfortable with me then others. When meeting new people it can be tough to judge if they are receptive to getting a hug but if you're mine friend you should expect one from time to time. We need to love more in this world. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Buddy Bench and The Gift

Several videos I want to share with you guys.. first one is about a buddy bench. I never heard of these but I guess they have been around in schools for a while. If you don't know what the Buddy Bench is watch the video below. I wish they had these back in the day when I went to school.. would have saved me a lot of lonely school days.

The second video I saw on Facebook and thought it was well done. No words are said but so much is actually said. I like how the women didn't give her "heart" away but instead shared it with the man. When I went to find this video on You Tube to post here on my blog I found a much longer version of this video. The only part I saw was when the women leaves the guys and takes his "heart" with her and you kind of feel bad for the guy. But seeing this longer version of their relationship and why she leaves him it kind of makes sense. It kind of changed my view of their relationship. After watching the full video I kind of feel bad for the girl, no wonder she left him. But I still like the idea of not giving your heart completely away but instead share it with the one you love. Great video and as you can see it won lots of awards.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wondercon Day 2

After going to WonderCon yesterday and seeing all the amazing cosplayers I had to cosplay today. This morning I quickly prepped my wig and patched up my poor Hobbit feet for one last adventure. I got to try out my new Hobbit ears (these are official WETA Samwise ears that I got from SDCC last year). Like with yesterday a group of us were taking the subway to the Los Angeles Convention Center. But this time I'm dressed as a Hobbit (Frodo) and got lots of stares. Some folks would ask why we were dressed up but most just stared or took pictures.

Once at the con we hit the dealers floor and walked around for a bit. We grabbed some lunch mid day and then headed back into the main hall. The last few cons I haven't been getting as much attention in my Hobbit cosplay. Since there are no new Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies coming out the fandom has kind of died down a bit. But of course you still get the uber fans who think you look amazing and are so excited to take a picture with you.. those are the people that make cosplaying so much fun.  Towards the end of the day we went to the main entrance area where a bunch of cosplayers just hang out and take pictures. I got some of the best pictures there. I came across an Ariel and Prince Eric, they looked amazing and I was so excited to get a picture with them but what made it even better was that Prince Eric was super excited to take a picture with me. I love when cosplayers are excited for other cosplayers.

Had a great time this Wondercon, next year it will be back down in Anaheim which means I'll have to get a hotel room and drive down there. Next up is San Diego Comic Con in July.