San Diego Coverage

Happy Comic Con week, my lovely nerds.

Sorry to be absent from the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve been working on a little project. Hope to show it to you soon.

In the meantime, Comic Con is upon us. And sadly I will not be making it to Nerd HQ  this year, but some of my lovely nerd friends will be reporting back from the scene in San Diego. Specifically the happenings at Nerd HQ.

Meet the crew:

Thursday Coverage

 

Mels loves The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Firefly, Star Trek, Orphan Black and more!

Follow her on Twitter @MelsLien

Friday Coverage 

 

Taylor is a Disnerd who also loves Dr. Seuss, The Office, The Hunger Games and more!

Follow her on Twitter @tellerdee

Saturday Coverage 

Josh’s main love is Star Wars, but he also loves Indiana Jones, Battlestar Gallactica and the writings of C.S. Lewis.

Follow him on Twitter @Loud_Josh

Sunday Coverage

 

Jordan loves Harry Potter, all things Marvel, Doctor Who, Disney and more.

Follow her on Twitter @jjkeebs

Jenn can’t get enough Sherlock, Chuck, Lord of the Rings or The Princess Bride (and more of course.)

Follow her on Twitter @JennOC7

 

There may even be a few other nerds on the scene!

Be sure to follow all of these nerds as they work to support The Nerd Machine and their efforts on behalf of Operation Smile. And if you are in San Diego for SDCC make sure to head over to Petco Park and check out the HQ, you won’t be sorry!!

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Why Superman is the hero we need and Batman is the hero we want

The world is already a dark place. Have you watched the news lately? There was yet another school shooting yesterday… dark!! In light of the upcoming Batman v. Superman movie, there has been much debate about the 2 superheroes. And for some reason Batman seems to be winning the popularity contest.

Batvsupe

He has never been my favorite superhero. Call me the eternal optimist, but I’ve always been a Supes girl myself! He’s the superhero we need. He’s the best of us. The one who makes the right decisions in the most impossible situations. The one who sees the best in humanity even when it makes no sense at all!

Bats

 

Artwork on Etsy by RetroInc

Batman on the other hand is the physical representation of who we currently are, not who we could be. I like the Bat! He’s gritty and real and bad ass! But as cool as he often is, he isn’t the best of us. And we as a culture want to be told that it’s ok to be that way. It’s ok to not be the best version of yourself because it’s your choice and your life and somehow that makes it ok.

Supes

Artwork available on Society 6 by Pandreaa

Superman is the challenge. The ideal. The seemingly alien goodness that shines in the darkened world. We need that. We need the ideal. The hope. Because a world without hope is like a Gotham without Batman. And that’s not somewhere I ever want to live.

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Book Con and the Fun (Part 2)

So I make it to the Javits. Blood washed off my hands. And I pace outside deciding… should I go in? But in the end I decide to go and be distracted by books and reading and panels and fun. Cause when faced with the brevity of life it’s important to embrace what you have and the time you’re given and not wallow! So I didn’t wallow and I didn’t break down. I went to Book Con.

Book COn

Book Con… a place where words become novels and dreams become reality. People here are living the dream. As a writer myself, it’s a dream I too want to be apart of one day.

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I always start with the Con floor if I can. It’s over crowded and you feel like a sardine, but it’s fun to see all the booths and costumes and such. And I’m meandering the floor when I come across a booth for the Fairybirds. They are fraternal twins, Heidi and Heather and they started writing a book together about giving and what that looks like for kids. Hence Fairybirds was born. I started following them on Instagram months ago, not really knowing much about them, but just thinking how adorable their Insta was. And when I saw their banner I had to stop and chat. So I bought a copy of their book and was just inspired by the fact that they self published it. Self Publishing seems like such a big, bad, scary world of doing it yourself, but they encouraged me to give it a try. I left their booth inspired, happy and a little whimsical. Completely opposite of how I’d felt a mere 30 minutes before walking through the doors of the Con.

Guardian

Next, I attended the panel with Veronica Roth and Alex London in conversation about their news books. His book, Guardian, is a sequel to a book called Proxy about a dystopian society where the poor receive the punishments that the rich actually deserve. I haven’t read it, but after this panel it is definitely on my To Read list. (That’s a long list.)

Four

And Veronica Roth’s new book is a collection of 4 stories about Tobias, a character from her Divergent series. Listening to these two talk about cookies and romance and guilty pleasures (something Veronica Roth does not believe in – if you like something, you don’t need to feel guilty about it!) was a joy. What fun to hear two young writers discuss their work and see them fully living out the dreams that made them write in the first place.

CAry

I followed that up with the Cary Elwes panel. And talk about perfection. He came sweeping in the room just as you’d expect from the Dread Pirate Roberts himself. His new memoir is all about what went on behind the scenes of the filming of The Princess Bride. It’s called As You Wish: Tales from The Princess Bride. And what a mind blowingly awesome panel. They showed clips from the movie and Cary talked about his experiences with the like of Robin Wright, Andres the Giant, Billy Crystal, Fred Savage, Mandy Patinkin and Rob Reiner. I mean… we were essentially watching the movie with Westley!! What?? It doesn’t get much better than that!! And I can’t wait for this book to come out. The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite books!

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And finally I went to Jason Segal’s panel about his new children’s book, Nightmares. I already loved Jason from previous works such as Freaks and Geeks, How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Muppets. But this panel and the stories he told made me admire and love him even more. Stories about the nightmares he had when he was a child and how they inspired him to write a book. Stories about wearing a cape under his clothes when he was younger just in case he was ever called upon to spring to action. And about how he takes steps towards the things he’s afraid of in order to overcome them.

I talk a lot about dreams in regards to Book Con. I think that mainly has to do with me. And how much writing a book seems like a far away dream. Something that happens after many drafts and many rejection letters and editing and publishing and someone liking it in the first place. But this place… this is a place where it all seems possible. Where success stories are tangible and walking around and doing panels about their work.

At the end of the day, Book Con was exactly where I needed. And if you have a chance to go next year, writer or not, you should go. It’s place of fun and inspiration. A place where literature meets YA fan girl culture. Where The Fault in Our Stars author, John Green is a veritable rock star. A place that you have to see to believe and a perfect distraction from the harsh realities of our world. Yep… #ilovereading… a lot!

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Book Con and A Fight for Life (Part 1)

This past Saturday I was on my way to Book Con and I sent out a tweet “So excited for Book Con #Ilovereading.” I’m happy and minding my own business when a red truck hops the curb on 34th and 9th. He takes out 2 pedestrians standing on the curb and is mere feet away from me. The woman who gets hit lands directly at my feet and is obviously very hurt. So I take a beat to survey the situation and then I spring to action.

“You! Call 911.”

“You! Check that man over there.”

“Sir, back up.”

“Ma’am, calm down.”

I check her pulse. She has one! I check her breathing, I can’t feel her breath so I open her mouth and start thinking about the 7 or 8 CPR classes I’ve taken over the course of my life. What’s next? But once her mouth is open and her tongue is out of the way she starts breathing, very labored, but there’s breath. I try to call to her, but there is no response. All of a sudden blood starts coming out of her nose. People who are standing around start getting panicky. Someone hands me a sweatshirt because the 911 response person she is on the phone with told her we needed a dry towel.

So I’m gently wiping the blood from her nose holding her head and keeping one hand on her pulse to make sure she’s alive for when the ambulance gets here. I’m sending prayers up to God to keep her safe, keep me steady and calm, let the ambulance arrive quickly and I’m thinking, ‘Is this all I do? Just sit here, next to her, checking her vitals till help arrives?’

In the aftermath, my father assures me over the phone, yes I did all I could. I did the right things. (He taught CPR classes for years, in fact I took a few CPR classes with him as my instructor, so his assurance is valid and helpful.) But in the moment all you can think is ‘Is this right?’

In the moment of clear thinking that comes from just sitting there with my hands in her blood I tell someone to check the driver. But he has already gotten out of the car and is standing over me in a nervous manner. “I’m the driver, is she ok? IS SHE OK???”

I tell him to back up. And wait for the authorities, which he does not do. He walks away from the scene. He leaves. He scampers in that frightened manner that you expect from weasels and mice. Not from grown men, but fear is a powerful emotion that makes one man run with his tail between his legs and one woman spring to action and take charge of a scary situation. I am no better than this man. If I had been the one behind the wheel and not the one almost hit, would I have run as well? You can never know till you are presented with that situation. Till the choice is staring you in the face.

I’ve always wondered what I’d do in a crisis situation. And now I know. All my chaotic hurricane tendencies are silenced in the utter chaos of a circumstance like this. I am calm. I am steady and I can handle this!

The ambulance, a fire truck and two cop cars arrive and take over the situation. I tell them what I know. And the cop in charge takes me around the block to try and ID the driver who has fled. I suspect he is actually distracting me from the inevitable onslaught of post traumatic emotions that are bound to flood out of me once my adrenaline subsides. This is a brilliant idea! So we look. But we don’t find him. We do find a bathroom and he suggests I wash my hands. ‘Oh yes! They’re still covered in that woman’s blood. Excellent idea.’ So I wash up and we keep looking, but that day he is not found. The cop assures me “Don’t worry miss. We’ll get the guy.” I am assured!

I don’t know this woman. I’ll never know her name. Maybe I don’t want to. Because she was alive when she got in that ambulance and as long as I don’t know her name she will continue to be the woman who lived. But the news says she’s fighting for her life and is in critical condition. So if I do the research (a simple Google search will probably be fruitful in coming up with her identity) and find out who she is I may find out that she’s really Sally Jo Smith from Yonkers who died in a horrific car accident Saturday morning. The morning would be a terrible time to die. You have the whole day ahead of you in the morning. There is hope in the morning. So I let her be the nameless living, not the identified dead.

The cop has my info if he needs more from me. And he says I can go now. So I leave. What was I doing again? Oh yes. Book Con. The thing I was headed to before I saw a car become a weapon. Before I understood that this stuff doesn’t just happen on the news or in the movies. It’s real.

I continue on to the Javits Center. I paid to go to Book Con. Maybe I should go. But then I remember the woman’s knapsack. Filled with snacks and books and a map of New York, now covered in blood. And I have a feeling she was heading to Book Con herself. How can I go, knowing she won’t get to. I call mom and dad and Erin and Cristina and Elizabeth and Grace and Josh and no one is answering and I’m starting to panic. But then they call back and talk me down. They say it’s still ok to go. They say the distraction may be a good thing right now. So I go… cause #Ilovereading.

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Avenger’s S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

The brand new Discovery Times Square exhibit from Marvel is fun, interactive and just plain cool.

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Last Thursday I was invited to the sneak preview of this exhibit and let me say, it is worth it!

You start by walking into a pure white room. Then you’re treated to a little recap of the Avengers.

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Then it’s off to the debriefing room. Where your mission is explained to you.

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Next is a testing station where you can test your strength against Steve Rogers’ and see if you are fit for duty.

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There are costumes and props from the movies. As well as beautifully constructed sets that make you feel apart of the Avengers.

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There were still a few bugs being worked out when I was there, so I will absolutely pay to go back and see it fully functioning.

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Go check it out and let me know what you think!

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Check this out

You’ve no doubt heard of food porn, but are you aware of food art?

Samantha Lee, Instagrammer and Food artist, is someone you should be following. If for no other reason than to smile when you see her creations!

Take a look:

Instagram Foodie Samantha Lee (made to encourage her daughter to eat her food)

 

Samantha Lee food art - Nightmare Before Christmas!  http://www.ivillage.com/youve-gotta-see-moms-amazing-food-art/3-a-550288?cid=tw|10-23-13

 

Samantha Lee food art - Michael Jackson! http://www.ivillage.com/youve-gotta-see-moms-amazing-food-art/3-a-550288?cid=tw|10-23-13

 

Instagram Foodie Samantha Lee (made to encourage her daughter to eat her food)

 

Samantha Lee's incredibly fun foodscapes she creates for her daughters

 

Wish my food looked like this. Imagine how fun mealtime is at this house!!

Follow Samantha Lee and check out many more of her amazing creations here.

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DC vs. Marvel… I Choose Both!

I finally caught up on Arrow and Agents of Shield after giving up TV for Lent. And upon reading tons of recaps and reviews it seems to me as if people are trying to choose between the 2 shows. Just because they are both about superheroes is no reason to choose between them. It’s a reason to choose both!!!

Awww yeah. “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” promo photos

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – This show finally feels like it was always meant to. Like a Joss Whedon show in the Marvel Universe! The agency is in turmoil. Epic heroes are being name dropped on the regular and Agent Maria Hill is finally coming to play or save the day. The story lines are compelling, the characters are moving and the acting is tight!! It is an amazing show, not only because it is finally making use of it’s ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also because of the interpersonal relationships between Coulson’s team.

The introduction of Bill Paxton’s character John Garrett has brought a whole new level of fun and mystery and general bad-assery! This show went from fairly enjoyable to utterly unmissable overnight!! So now’s the time to catch up because it’s only gonna get better and better! (Also remember when Agent Ward finally became super hot!! Yeah that happened too!)

 

ARROW!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel an Obsession coming on xD

Arrow – Speaking of hot! (That bar hop thing he does… What??) This show has been good from the get go. But keeps managing to surprise me at every turn. Is Roy good or bad? When will Laurel take the mantel she was meant to wear? And what other epic DC characters will turn up? Greg Berlanti and Geoff Johns are setting the stage for amazing crossover tie ins once Flash hits the screens. And if DC would stop trying to play catch up to Marvel in the movie industry and just throw it’s weight behind the small screen, they could create something unique and amazing.

Marvel Logo DC Comics Logo

I’ve always been a fan of both Marvel and DC. I love Superman and Captain America. I want to watch Avengers and a Justice League movie. There is no choice to be made. And if these shows keep going the way they’re going, the only choice to be made will be which one to watch on Hulu Plus first. So keep it up Agents and vigilantes alike. In a world where DC versus Marvel… everybody wins when you don’t choose a side!!

 

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Live in the Now Zone

When I was a kid my uncle always used to tell us to “Live in the now zone!” Back then I never really understood what he was talking about. It always just seemed like something cool and a little snarky that he’d say when he didn’t want to talk about something.

But now I think it was about much, much more. I spend so much time thinking about the future. Planning out all my tomorrows. And I forget all about today. About the “now zone.”

So starting today I’m worrying less about tomorrow and focusing on what an amazing gift today is. What can I do with the day I’ve been given. The truth is we might not have as many tomorrows as we think, so why plan them all out. Focus on the Now Zone!!! And make every minute count!!

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Reunited and It Feels So Good!

Lent has ended. Easter has come and Christ has risen!! (That’s really the most important part of the whole thing and life.)

But in other news… I can watch TV again!! YAY!

Game of Thrones Season 4 - 31st March, 2014! I can't wait ... I'm such a big fan..;)

Kicking off my TV binge sessions is Game of Thrones. There were only 2 episodes to power through and one new one to watch. So that was the best choice to begin with. What a way to welcome my brain back to television viewing. The Purple Wedding, twincest and cannibalism. Game of Thrones (slow clap) well done.

I’m not about to go through a whole recap cause this guy does a way better job. So if you haven’t watched it yet, go watch. And if you have go read this recap cause it just helps put all things in place. There are lots of characters to keep up with and lots of juicy stuff happening. Sometimes you need the cliff notes!! I know I do!

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The Best and Brightest: Captain America 2

I know Captain America 2 is old news by now, but I went to see it for a second time this week and realized I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So here goes…

Captain America is my very favorite Avenger. He represents the best in all of us. He is also the Avenger with the most honest and true heart. And Marvel is at it’s best when it displays an equal amount of action and heart (infused with a seriously epic soundtrack! Provided here by Henry Jackman.) Cap has friends in high and low places and knows just when to call on each. He may be in the dark about what’s going on in the big picture but he doesn’t let that stop him from making the best decisions with knowledge he does have. And when put to the test, Cap always comes out on the side of truth, justice and… you know the rest!

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America,  in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Also, this was the first time I actually liked Black Widow for more than just her ability to kick serious ass. Scar-Jo generally comes off as slutty secretary (though a ass kicking one at that) to me, but when heroes go on the lam, there is a certain vulnerability that comes with it that was delightful to watch. Cap, Black Widow and Nick Fury all are “taken down” (we all know they’ll get back up again) by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sinister efforts of Hydra. They are each confronted with the realities of a world without restraint. Without checks and balances. An agency that believes it can make preemptive decisions with no consequences. What happens when that agency is one you are working for. What happens when that agency is the very thing that saved you. Which side do you choose? Great concepts to explore and deeper than bad guy vs good guy!

Natasha Romanoff

And don’t even get me started on Sebastian Stan!! His Winter Soldier presents the perfect dichotomy to offset Cap’s righteous do-good attitude. The Winter Soldier has also been told that he is fighting for the better side. He too has been lied to. Bucky Barnes is equal parts hard hitting assassin and tortured soldier just following orders. The best villains (in my opinion) are the ones that we wish we could save. The ones we still see that glimmer of good in. The ones who push that aside and end up becoming evil anyways. The Lex Luthors (Smallville style, just wants to be friends with Clark and know his secrets), the Loki’s (only wants to be loved and accepted by his father), the Darth Vaders (redemption comes when his son is put in mortal danger), The Walter White’s (trying to good for his family till he realizes he enjoys being bad and embraces it.) Villains with depth and with layers. And The Winter Soldier may as well be an onion. Cause layers… he’s got em!

First shot I've seen of the Winter Soldier from Captain America 2...he looks so badass!!

All the other players in the game brought it as well. Cobie Smulder’s Agent Maria Hill was back and in the thick of the secrets. Now that HIMYM has ended, there should be a place for her over at ABC on Agents of SHIELD, especially now that it is getting unmissable!! Because her character is a great addition to the Marvel Universe. And anytime you throw Emily VanCamp into the mix… you’ve made a good choice. She’s great at duplicity. Turn on Revenge and see just how good. VanCamp’s Sharon Carter is the niece of Cap’s first love, Peggy Carter. Can’t wait to see the progression of her character! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a great side kick for Cap. He stands on his own two feet and compliments Cap’s dynamic at the same time. He’s exactly what you want from a side kick. So much good to talk about. Robert Redford as the baddie at the helm of the Hydra revolution is pure logical evil and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nicholas J. Fury has never been better as the dead and revived secret keeping agent in charge of the good guys.

agent maria hill captain america 2 photos | alias es agent hill appeared in the avengers captain america the ...

Agent 13/Sharon Carter poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (So excited for another BAMF Marvel heroine - fingers-crossed that she's as amazing as her aunt, Peggy Carter.)

Movie poster Photoshop fails - Yahoo Celebrity Philippines

Spoilers…

Let’s discuss the easter eggs they threw our way. Anyone else get super excited when they mentioned Steven Strange? Or how about the tag in the middle of the credits with “the twins.” A.k.a… Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. Epic!! Cannot wait to see them debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While other franchises lose power as they continue to beat the proverbial dead horse of sequel after sequel, Marvel just gets better with age. And I would put Captain America 2 at the top of the stand alone Avengers films. Only eclipsed by Avengers itself (cause dude… all Avengers are better than just one. But in Caps case… only by a little.)

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