Saturday, July 9, 2016

BeachStrong & Working On My Twi-lek Headband

Today started with trip to Santa Monica Beach, but this was a special trip because it was the first BeachStrong (meaning a NerdStrong event). We were taking the newly extended Expo line down to the beach for the first time. It's recently opened so we thought we'd give it a go. A group of us meet up at the NoHo Red Line station around noon and took that to downtown Los Angeles where we then transferred to the Expo Line. The Metro was extremely busy and from downtown to Santa Monica took a while (about two hours) but we made it and by the time we got down there we were all starving so we grabbed some lunch on the Santa Monica Pier before heading to the beach. By the time we got to the beach it was around 4pm, most people were only planning on staying until 5pm so we didn't get much beach time in but we did have some fun. Several of us actually swam out into the ocean including myself which I never do. Overall it was a fun time, I think it was more about the adventure of getting down there via public transit rather then actual beach time. I don't know if I'd take the metro again but its nice to have that option.

Once I was back from the beach I worked on my Jedi Twi-lek headband. I want to thank my friend Kimi for letting me use some of her leftover fabric. I couldn't find any cheap leather type material and when I told Kimi that I was considering faux suede she just happen to have some left over pieces that were the perfect color and style that I was looking for. So I cut out the various piece of fabric, hemmed the edges (this was tough), added eyelet holes (again not fun, used a hand machine to do it) and then took thin strips of leather and laced the pieces together. There was alot of trial and error but the end result is pretty cool. The headband itself is finished but I still have stripes of faux suede that I have to cut and sew that will be wrapped around and running down the lekku... so there is still more to do but it's coming along nicely. This is probably my favorite part of my cosplay so far because I created all of this from scratch, no pattern, no plans. I just had an image of what I wanted in my head and then had to figured out how to create it.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Amazing Video - Dear Brother

I came across this video and it just blew me away, it's so well done, beautifully shot, the music is perfect and the subject is sad and sweet at the same time.  I dug a little deeper to find out who made this and come to find out it's an ad for Johnnie Walker... yeah an ad, can you believe it. I thought it was this amazing short film but no it's just advertising alcohol. Still it's beautifully done and well made and touches my heart everytime I watch it. It's called Dear Brother.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sulu Gay & Dinner in Hogsmeade

Today it was announced that the character of Hikaru Sulu from the Star Trek series is gay and will have a brief scene with his husband and daughter in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond movie. It is said that this a tribute to the original actor George Takei who played Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and movies. I love this idea of having a character that we've all known and loved for over 50 years just happen to be gay. His sexuality was never addressed in the original TV series or movies. We knew he had a daughter as she's in Star Trek Generations but that doesn't contradict him being gay and they actually include his daughter in the next movie. I think it's pretty fantastic.

Well George wasn't amused and what shocked alot of people said "Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate." You can more of his thoughts on the topic HERE. I respect his opinion, and I see where he is coming from but I find it a bit disrespectful in how he responded to the news. Instead of saying thank you for the tribute and having this be a good thing for the gay community and Star Trek it's caused some negative press for the new movie and that's sad.

I for one am happy to hear that Sulu is gay and that there is a scene in the movie with his husband and daughter and that it's not really the focus of scene.. it normalized homosexuality.  Anyways I can't wait to see the new movie.

After work today my friend Lauren and I headed to Hogsmeade and to the Three Broomsticks to grab dinner and some butterbeer. It still amazes and excites me that I live so close to Universal Hollywood and can visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter almost any time I want to... so happy!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Make Up Test #1 - Jedi Twi-Lek Cosplay

Today my friend Shannon came over in the evening after work to help me do a make up test, she offered to do my make up during San Diego Comic Con. She's used an air brush machine before decorating cakes but never on a person and with actual make up. So this was her chance to get her hands dirty.. we started off simple and she started to spray my hands, getting the feel for the machine but soon we were having issues with the air brush machine. We fixed it and then decided to give it a go on my face. I still had my beard which would be shaved off when I actually cosplay but Shannon sprayed away. The air brush machine kept giving us issues through out the night and finally we just gave up. I got a decent amount on my face and it gave me an idea of what the process was like. Also it let me know how much paint is used during the process. Will attempt another make up test in the near future, might have to get a better air brush machine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

A new video came out from Pottermore with the introduction to the United States of America School for Witchcraft and Wizardry called Ilvermorny. I'm sure will find out more about this school in the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Finishing my Jedi Robes

I didn't have any plans for celebrating 4th of July, and the usual bbq/party that I got to every year didn't happen this year. It was kind of depressing not doing anything or watching fireworks but I kept busy by continuing my work on my Jedi Robes. Everything was done and all I had left was doing the hem on everything.. that was alot of hem. I probably spent a good three or four hours going from one side of that robe to the other. But when the night was over I had created from scratch my very own Jedi Robes. From the outside they looked great and for the most part 75% of the stitching looked good. I'm still extremely happy with the final results and the fact that this was my first ever sewing job is pretty cool. I am freaking out a bit as I only have a few weeks left and still have to create the tunic, shoulder armor and belts to complete my Twi-lek Jedi cosplay

Independence Day Workout at NerdStrong

Today is the Fourth of July so of course my gym had to have a special workout planned and what's better then an Independence Day themed workout. I usually don't workout on Mondays (it's one of my two days off) but because it was a special workout made just for today I opted to join in the fun.

It started off with an inspirational speech from the owner and creator of NerdStrong, Coach Andrew.. well it was actually the speech from President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) given in the movie but it was still pretty fantastic.

About 40 people showed up for this workout, I think it's one if not the largest classes NerdStrong has ever had. They grouped us into eight teams of 5 and there were eight different workout stations, we had to work at each station for five minutes with a 1 minute transition to the next station. Each team had to choose a name so we chose "Okun Five" as our team name. Dr. Okun was Brent Spiner's character in the movie. The team I was part of killed the workout and helped get each other get through the tough parts. This is one of the main reasons I love doing team workouts. It helps having someone there for you, pushing you and encouraging you along the way.

Coach Andrew went all out and drew pictures on the ground of each workout. Some where alien faces (so we could smash them in while doing the mace slams),  others were images of Will Smith pulling a dead alien behind him. Each station had a title, station 1: Welcome to Earth!, station 2: Release Me, station 3: Must Go Faster, station 4: Lock and Load, station 5: Desert Drag, station 6: Eagle One, station 7: Upload the Virus and finally station 8: Fireworks

This is how much everyone enjoyed each others company, after the workout about half of us hung around and chatted for a bit. Then a few of the guys gathered all the sandbags on ropes that we used for one of the workouts "Desert Drag" and instead of dragging one of the bags per the workout, the dragged all the bags. I don't know how much weight it was but it was alot. One person did it and then another and so on until almost ever buy had done it, including me. A few ladies did it as well and killed it. We probably could have hung out longer but coach Andrew and coach Marla has to be down in SD for a 4th of July event. 

It was a pretty great workout and a great way to celebrate out independence.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Warcraft Movie with Friends

Tonight I went and saw the movie Warcraft (based on the MMO game World of Warcraft). I don't play WOW but I have alot of friends who do so I'm familiar enough with this world and from the trailers this movie looked pretty good.

I was seeing it with friend Shannon, Lauren and Aaron and we were seeing at a local "cheap" theater. Sunday showings are $1.50 per movie. This is a great price but it also means will get a lesser polite crowd. This was the first time that Shannon, Lauren and Aaron had gone to this theater. I've been a few times so I knew what to expect.. they didn't. I think they will remember the experience more then the movie. We had people chatting, little kids talking at full volume, some gang banger sitting next to Shannon making her uncomfortable. We had homeless people with their dogs sitting in back and overall just alot of chatter.

I think because I had been there before the noise around me didn't distract me to much from the movie but I don't think the other three enjoyed the movie as much as they could because of all the distractions... I can say with certainty that they won't be seeing a movie at this theater again.

For me I enjoyed the movie, the story was simple and I never knew where it was going. Lots of twists and turns in this movie. Characters died that I didn't expect to and so of their stories when in a completely opposite direction then I thought. There is no happy ending and this was definitely set up to be a on going series. I enjoyed the special effects, especially the Mages powers. There were several completely CG characters and they worked will with the live actors. My only complaint about this movie is the pacing, it was very uneven. But overall I enjoyed this movie and I know I'll enjoy it more when I can watch it in the privacy of my own apartment without all the distractions.

I give Warcraft a solid B and will definitely be buying it when it comes out on Blu-ray.

Wise Little Girl & Homeless Showers

I want to share two video with you guys.. first on is a little girl wise beyond her years. She doesn't understand why little girls have to like pink and little boys have to like blue.. this is priceless.

The second one is one man making a difference in the life of Los Angles homeless people. I couldn't even imagine being homeless and to have this guy give them some sort of normality in their life is priceless.