Mawage

The Impressive Clergyman: Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.

I’ll admit…when I was younger, I dreamed often and deeply of my one perfect, future wedding day. A day surrounded by friends and families and pretty colors. A day I’d have lost all the unwanted weight for. A day I’d driven all my bridesmaids crazy to get to. A day where my groom might reconsider the whole endeavor, but ultimately go through with it, cause no one calls off a wedding on the day of a wedding. It’s quite rude, you know! Ok, I didn’t actually dream of all that.

My dream wedding looked a lot more like this:

I’m not even joking! I had this “Doglass Fairbanks and Catrina Meowford” Lisa Frank design on a trapper keeper and I carried it around all the time and referenced it anytime the discussion of weddings came up. It was part of little Lizzie’s recipe for her perfect wedding day.

Ah yes…that one perfect day. Some say it’s the “happiest day of their lives.” Which used to make sense and now seems incredibly strange. I don’t think I have a “happiest day of my life.” Not because there haven’t been a plethora of happy days or because I am unmarried female. Only because I think that’s a statement best saved for the twilight of life. Lots of people get married at a young age. My parents were married when they were 22 and a lot can happen in 36+ years of marriage (including but not limited to, having a rather fantastic daughter. And also a son who is almost, but not quite as cool as said daughter. *wink!) Seeing as a wedding is only the starting point, isn’t it safe to say that a bride and groom might just be starting a life full of different sized happy days? Maybe I’m overthinking it.

But things like this lead me to think that there is too much hype about the wedding day and not enough hype about the marriage…Do you have that friend that just keeps posting her wedding photo over and over again, even though it’s, like…10 years later? And it isn’t even her anniversary or anything? We get it, JOAN! You’re unhappy and want to remember the good times! Find a recent picture of your happiness already or make a new memory. Cause…it’s getting sad!

Ok…cause all the “cool” kids are doing it. Here it is…the only living picture of me in a wedding dress…

From the years 2007 – 2012 I worked at Kleinfeld Bridal. You may not know the name of the store, but you might know the show that is filmed there, “Say Yes to the Dress.” After that I went on to work at Pronovias for a summer, another wedding atelier. I was in 14 weddings and I moonlighted as a wedding planner for a while. When you work with brides and plan their big days and hear their stories and peddle shiny, poufy, lacy concoctions…you dream of your own wedding. So little Lizzie wasn’t the only one who was planning ahead. It was as recent as 2012 when I could be caught in a wedding daydream. Goes to show how much a person can change in 5 years.

I guess I need to say this, cause there could be plenty of evidence to the contrary…but, I don’t hate weddings. I actually really enjoy them. Free food? Check! Free drinks? Check! All night dance party? CHECK!! All things I love! Add getting dressed up and great hair and you’ve got yourself a recipe for fun. And I have found enjoyment in every wedding I’ve ever been to/in. Whether I’ve been the wedding coordinator on purpose or by accident. Whether I’ve been the one lacing up the bride’s corset. Whether I’ve just gotten to sit back and watch one play out, like a holiday special of Boy Meets World. Or whether I’ve been standing right next to the bride in the dressing room, at the altar, in the bathroom 3 hours later. It’s all been a ride.

I’m just not entirely sure it’s a ride I want to take for myself. Does that get me a lot of strange looks from a lot of little old ladies…yep! Does that mean I never want to get married…nope! It just means that if I do it, it probably won’t be the “happiest day of my life.” It means that it will probably look nothing like I ever wanted it to look like when I was a kid, or when I was in my 20’s, or hell…5 years ago.

But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, gentle reader…I still think Lisa Frank designs a helluva wedding dress…

Fashionable

I love fashion. I have loved it my whole life. From when I was a little girl in the 80’s wearing 4 pairs of socks stacked on top of each other to the 90’s when I experimented with wearing my skirts over my pants to my college years when I studied Apparel Design and Technology at Florida State University to now where I can be found sharing my fashion sense here on my blog and on Instagram!

I used to dream of being a big time fashion designer living in New York City, dressing models, cutting fabrics, making the hard call about sleeve lengths. Or even transitioning over to print and working at a fashion magazine. My fashion design role models were Zac Posen, Norma Kamali, Vera Wang and Dolce & Gabbana.

When I graduated from college, I immediately headed off to the big city to make my dreams come true. I got an internship at LaROK, moved into the first apartment that came along in Brooklyn and started to live those big dreams!

The internship was 4 months long and in those 4 months, my love for fashion never died, but my interest in continuing to work in the industry started waning. I had a few friends at my internship that weren’t eager to rip my small town heart out of my chest and feed it to the gods of fashion, but they were the exception, not the rule.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is competitive, cutthroat and very much an industry where it pays to be out for number 1.

Does that sound like me to you, gentle reader? Guess how many people in the fashion industry count Star Wars as their favorite movie…let’s just say, I didn’t encounter any. And being a nerd? Well, that wasn’t exactly de rigueur, by industry standards at the time.

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I quickly adopted the tell-tale black wardrobe popular with the New York fashion scene. Something that still baffles me to this day. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, how is black their go to color? There’s a whole rainbow to work with, people! Find a new hue!!

All this to say that sometimes dreams are just that and they have no place in the real world. Causing a big shift in how I viewed my life once the dreams of being a fashion mogul faded.

I went on to work in the bridal industry, as a nanny, in a preschool, in social media and now I’m a worship leader at local church back in the smaller town I started out in. Somewhere in the midst of my life, this little blog was born.

I never thought I’d enjoy writing as much as I do (though the signs were always there…I always loved the essay portion of exams and doing book reports.) Life is a big twisty bobcat pretzel and if you fight to take the twists out, then you’re sort of missing the point.

I sometimes think about that alternate universe that spun off when I made the choice to move to New York and work in fashion. Somewhere out there, there’s a version of me that has dedicated herself to sleeve lengths and runway shows. She’s sacrificed Christmases at home, friendships with real people and eating a healthy diet for the more glamorous life of a famous fashion designer. She dresses Beyonce for the Met Gala and goes to fancy parties. But she doesn’t write and she doesn’t go to Star Wars conventions and she definitely doesn’t lose time thinking about her future mutant powers and what her superhero costume might look like.

I don’t say this lightly…alternative universe Liz is so basic!!

Used Cows and Crumpled Flowers

Let’s talk about sex.

A very personal topic, to be sure.

And I’ll be straight with you, internet. I’ve never had it. I didn’t have it on prom night or experiment in college. I didn’t have a Bradshaw-esque one night stand in New York City or make a really bad drunken decision. (Well, that’s not true. Bad decisions were made and alcohol was involved, but still…no sex.) I didn’t have a long term boyfriend who I wanted to share that with. And through a series of events, romantic missteps and my own personal choices I have kept my V-card. Sometimes not for lack of trying to change that status, to be even more honest with you (why stop now.)

Most of the time it’s been a decisive choice I’ve made not to share that with another person. But I have to tell you…the literature out there (Bible notwithstanding) is quite poor on reasons why a man or woman may choose to not have sex before they’re ready, interested, married, old enough, smart enough…the list of reasons goes on. And the advice about having it isn’t any better!

Let’s start with the worst advice out there and work our way through it!

“If he’s tastes the milk, he won’t buy the cow.”

Let’s keep being honest here…boys aren’t being told that they are cows that have to protect their milk. The double standard surrounding sex has been around for a very long time. Women wear white on their wedding day to signal the purity coming to the marriage bed…where’s that declaration from the groom? Not only is it nowhere to be found…it’s frowned upon for a young man to be sexually pure after a “certain age.” And women? Well, we cows have to protect our milk or no respectable man will want to…buy us? Who thought this was a healthy narrative regarding sexuality? I’m not sure when this phrase was born, but I know it’s long past time for this one to die out! And yep, I’ve had had someone tell me this before!!

“If you have sex your ‘flower’ will get crumpled.”

I think the TV show ‘Jane the Virgin’ handled this one really well. But for real…virginity is not a flower. It is not something that can be trampled or crumpled by consensual sex with another human being. There are plenty of ways that sex can go wrong. But deciding to have it is not the end of your world and you certainly shouldn’t be made to feel like a tossed gardenia after making such a choice. And what about people who didn’t make a choice to have sex…are they damaged goods too? Think about how harmful that phrase is to someone who has been raped!!

“You should wait because of the other person.”

This has always been one of my least favorite reasons to wait. Personally, I don’t want a pregnancy scare…I don’t want STD’s…and I don’t want the emotional attachment that comes with having sex (no matter what anyone says to the contrary) and all that has nothing to do with some imaginary future partner that I am definitely not waiting around to find. So the idea that a pivotal life decision should be made for anyone other than me, myself and I is just as absurd as the idea that I’m a prized cow with precious milk that needs protecting.

“Lady in the street, freak in the bed.”

Let’s not pretend that conservatives who believe in waiting for marriage are the only ones who’ve mishandled information about sex. The liberal side hasn’t done a great job either. The idea that a women should be one thing when you meet her and another thing when you sleep with her is ludicrous. And are men supposed to be gentlemen in streets, but turn into animals in the sack? This one is silly at best and dangerous at worst. If I’m a lady in the street, then you take me home and I Fatal Attraction you…is that supposed to be sexy? And what about those of us who are what you see? Yeah…I say no to this one!!

Look…sex is a messy topic. (This much we can all agree on.) And parents, pastors, teachers, politicians, news anchors, celebrities, liberals, conservatives…everyone has a hard time talking about it. I can’t blame them for that. I have a hard time talking about it too. Writing this post about sex on a blog that my friends and family read…uncomfortable. But it’s important and what I want to do is share with you what I wish had been shared with me when I was younger.

Here’s the really personal part…another reason I’ve never had sex is because it terrifies me. Can you blame me? I can’t let my flower wilt! I can’t let the milk spoil! I can’t lose my purity because that scares the “good guys” away! And even if I decided I wanted to have sex, I have to be one thing when a guy meets me and another thing when it gets intimate.

Here’s what I think…since you came all the way over here to my mind palace…Sex is good, great, exciting, WONDERFUL! I believe God made sex. I think it’s ok to want to have sex. The when, the why, the how… that changes from person to person. And if you are religious, then your beliefs may play a very important role in your decision making process (mine do!) One of the most important parts is that the people involved in the decision to have it are on the same page and should agree about having it. And above all else, we as a society should stop using phrases involving cows, flowers and freaks to describe it. Enough already!

For the love of all that is good…we have to change the way we talk about sex for future generations. We just have to!

Online Dating

It was my first foray back into the “wonderful world of online dating.” Actually, it was my re-introduction to dating after a very long time…period. And boy, was I rusty!

I flexed my dating muscles by downloading 2 of the most popular dating apps: Tinder and Bumble. Basically the same thing in different clothes. The Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of dating apps, if you will.

 

Bumble dating app nerd bloggerDr. Jekyl…the seemingly normal, mild-mannered better half, who promises some semblance of humanity, but is secretly cooking up serums to hide the evil within.

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Mr. Hyde…the maniacal other half, not even bothering to hide in the shadows while it’s “nice guy” exterior is shed to reveal the inner beast!

In truth, neither app is to be trusted. And if you’ve ever had a good experience on one of these apps…more power to you, but you are the exception, not the rule!

But out of all the recommendations I was getting for online dating (and there were plenty) these were the two I decided to try. There was very little commitment to jump in and the minimalistic profiles appealed to me.

One of the things I hate most about online dating sites is the lengthy amount of information you’re given to sift through about a person all before ever meeting them face to face. And let’s be honest, some people may not look great on paper, but have great personalities. And some may look stellar on paper, but are rubbish in person. It’s a crap shoot.

So I had high hopes that at the very least, it was going to be a worthy social experiment.

IT WAS NOT!

I got ghosted by 2 separate men. One of whom I’m still not sure if he stood me up or if I stood him up. The other who asked a question, which I attempted to answer, then dropped the mic and never followed up. Why ask in the first place??

But the pièce de résistance has to be Ben. Ben was a Hyde in Jekyl clothing. Seemingly nice, unassuming, had been hurt by love and was looking to move on.

This is how the whole thing went down with Ben…

-A couple texts back and forth

-Interest was piqued

-Ben suggests we go for a hike in the woods

-I suggest a less secluded location (I’m not about to get human trafficked!)

-Reluctantly Ben agrees

-We make plans to walk around Park Avenue and get some ice cream

-Ben asks what I’ll be wearing….then offers “helpful” suggestions as to what i might consider as an option…

“How about stilettos, teased hair and a leather studded jacket?”

Yep, you read that right. Ben suggested I dress as Sandy from Grease, but not Sandy as she normally dressed throughout the whole of the movie. Sandy at the end of the movie, when feeling as though she isn’t “bad girl” enough for Danny Zuko dresses in stilettos, teased hair and a leather studded jacket to make sure she doesn’t lose her man!

Grease Sandy online dating blog post

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the actual suggestion Ben made to me. Because who wouldn’t want to show up on a date looking like that. Wonder if he was planning to show up in a letterman’s jacket or T-birds jacket.

We’ll never know because that was the end of that. I texted back saying I was not interested in going on the date, wished him well and blocked his number. I don’t ghost people, but I also don’t go on dates I no longer want to go on!!

Maybe you think the reaction to his suggestion a bit extreme, but it says a lot about what he thinks about women. And…no thank you!

After a couple other missteps on these apps, I decided enough was enough and deleted both of them. What I thought was going to be a fun experience turned out to be more excruciating than I was willing to put up with.

I was under the misconception that these dating apps would take you out of the text conversation hell hole that other sites put you in. But it just ended up being question after question with no follow through. Not to mention the number of guys who wanted boob shots and extra photos of me. I can only imagine what they would have done with the pictures if I’d had a much lower self esteem and had sent them.

Faith in humanity was at an all time low after this experience. But it did teach me a valuable lesson about online dating, or specifically these apps that promote a culture of hooking up and one night stands…it’s not for me.

Fitness

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “fitness” I immediately think of physical fitness. Working out, doing yoga, going for a run, doing planks, going to spin class, eating quinoa and kale and flax seed paste. (Ok…ok, I never ate flax seed paste!) Even when you Google fitness, it’s pictures of gyms and weights and really well-muscled human beings that show up. But what about mental, emotional and spiritual fitness.

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We, as a culture, need to adjust how we think about a person’s fitness. If someone is overweight and looking to lose a few pounds, we know just what to recommend. We share our favorite recipes and the tricks and tips that worked for us. But try and talk about mental or emotional fitness and…crickets! Not a lot of people offering their favorite prayers or the therapist that really helped them through a crisis.

What a disconnect from how the human body functions. Again, I don’t know about you, but when my mind isn’t right it throws everything else into a tailspin. And not the good kind of Tailspin!

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Let me tell you about 2016. I was the heaviest I’d ever been. Weighing in at over 200 pounds, which for my body frame and height is not the worst I could be, but it was the worst I’d ever felt physically. Guess what was going on mentally…spoiler alert, it wasn’t rainbows and puppies!! It was a difficult year and there were times when I prayed God would just release me from my life. Yeah…you read that right.

My mind was not in a good place. My emotional and mental fitness took a toll and it was very apparent in my physical fitness as well. My smile had disappeared and there was no way I could get up and care about myself enough to go for a run or cook myself a healthy, balanced meal.

The people in my life tried the best they could. But I was embarrassed and thought I should be more “grown up” and able to handle the stress that seemed to be piling up on me. Guess what…I couldn’t. And no amount of “suck it up, kid” mentality could fix it! I was sinking and the world had little to offer in the way of help.

Ultimately, I am a woman of faith, so my reliance on God and His plan for me is what brought me back to who I truly am. Not everyone has that. And not everyone can see clearly in those moments. How are we working to make things easier for people struggling with the darker corners of their mind? How are we showing that we care just as much about mental health as we do about the physical?

I gotta say, I think we’re getting better as a society at “allowing” mental illness to be something important and something to not be ashamed of. But don’t get me wrong…we still have a long way to go!

If you feel like the stress of the world is piling up and the hope you have seems to be waning, reach out!! Reach out to me, your local church, a mentor or someone you trust or call this hotline: 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 to figure out some next steps you can take toward mental fitness! It’s important! And someone cares!!

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Starry Night

Starry Nights Web Series So...This Happened Nerd in the City blog post

Starry Nights Web Series So...This Happened Nerd in the City blog post

When I think of starry nights, I think of one in particular. There was a girl and a boy and a perfect date.

A date so memorable that I made an episode about it in my web series a few years ago. Take a look…

You know what’s funny? Well, maybe funny is the wrong word. Tragic may be more appropriate! Back then I used to blame everything that happened on dates on myself. How I acted, what I wore, what I said, if I was nice enough, if I smiled enough. Maybe we ended up “just friends” because I didn’t let him kiss me that night.

Or hey…maybe it wasn’t me at all. Maybe the circumstance of his life left him unable to move onto someone new and I came around at exactly the wrong moment. Or maybe it was bad timing all around. Maybe I did nothing wrong at all and it was exactly what it was!

The older I get the more I find myself exonerating…myself from past “sins.” I think that’s called getting wiser.

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PS, this is the first gif that comes up when you Google “wiser.”

No matter what I did in my past, I learned from it. I grew and became a better person. Hell, I love who I am today and I had to get here by going through ALL THAT SH*T!!! By doing stupid things like sharing starry nights with boys who just wanted to be friends with me. Starry nights are something very special. Don’t waste them!

Moral of the story is…don’t stop dreaming because of one “perfect” night under the stars. I did. I changed when that weird, non-lationship ended the way it was always going to end. I put romance and dating and boyfriends and falling in love in a little box marked “DO NOT OPEN.” And why? Because one boy wasn’t someone I had a future with. Silly, Lizzie!

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I don’t blame him. It wasn’t his fault. And now I finally know, in my heart, that it wasn’t mine either. Maybe now I can stop putting that night on a damned pedestal and move the hell on! It’s time!!

From now on, I’m saving my starry nights for someone who deserves them!

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Marvelous!

By now, you should know…if you’re looking for searing reviews and tough critiques…you have come to the wrong place. I like things and it’s pretty easy for me to find virtues in just about anything, even things I really don’t like (i.e. Man of Steel.)

With that in mind, let’s talk Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which I definitely, definitely LOVED!!! Beware matey…there be SPOILERS AHEAD!!

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Baby Groot

We can’t say one word about the Guardians of the Galaxy without first acknowledging Baby Groot and his cute Grootness. We knew it was coming from the look of the trailers, but it’s even better than we all dreamed. And everyone in the movie is aware of just how dang cute he is…even their enemies. Yep, go out and spend all your money on Baby Groot merchandise. No one blames you. In fact, hold that thought…I’ll be right back!

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Emotional Roller Coaster

Marvel is good at walking that line between plain, unadulterated fun (i.e. the new Thor Ragnarok trailer and the words “He’s a friend from work”) and deep cutting emotional moments (i.e. the death of Phil Coulson.) And Guardians is chock full of all of the above. Amazing space battles…blooming (almost) romance…heart-wrenching losses and hella bad ass slow motion walking scenes! Guardians has it all! The addition of Peter Quill’s father, Kurt Russell playing the part of Ego (a departure from the direction the comics took with Peter’s father. See…J’son) the Celestial being who impregnated Peter’s mother Meredith and was, in the end, quite the psychopathic demigod adds a layer of unexpected emotional turmoil. There’s more to Peter’s childhood then we ever knew!

Laughter

One of the things I love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and the comic book universe before it) is it’s ability to laugh at itself. It’s always been hyper aware that it’s characters are a bunch of weird, flawed beings in tights, capes, suits and leather. And the Guardians are the kookiest bunch of them all. But the one who stole every scene and made me really use my funny bone was Drax. His literalism and his booming and infectious laughter…every time he laughs, I dare you not to crack a smile! As I mentioned before…Baby Groot is so Groot that it just Groots me every time. Rocket and Peter have some growing pains to get through, but their oddball relationship continues to grow throughout the film. But let’s get back to Drax who I want to see so much more of. Dave Bautista deserves…what’s a funny version of an Oscar. He should get one of them. He should probably get all of those!!

I Love the 80’s

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As a child of the 80’s, I deeply appreciate the music and references peppered throughout both Guardians 1 and 2. James Gunn is obviously a kindred spirit!! From Footlooseand Kevin Bacon to Skeletor, Howard the Duck (again), Heather Locklear, Pac-man, Sam and Diane from Cheers, Knight Rider and the Hoff (who even makes a RAD guest appearance), Walkmans, Troll dolls…and on and on.

Do you love the 80’s much as James Gunn and I do???

Teamwork

If you loved what worked about Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax and Groot meeting each other and becoming a team in Guardians of the Galaxy, you’re gonna love the way the team has been working together while we’ve been away. They are a unit and working in cohesion. They are taking jobs, battling giant space monsters and, of course, letting it all fall apart again. Classic Guardians! Don’t worry…the team may still have a lot to learn about actually being part of team, but they have what it takes to save the Galaxy again and may add a few new members to their team in the meantime.

Family

Family is an overarching theme in Guardians 2, as it was in the first Guardians. In response to Nebula questioning why they all seem to stick their necks out for one another given that they’re always fighting with each other, Drax reminds them that they aren’t friends at all…they’re family.

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Speaking of family. An unlikely character from the first movie has a much more important role this time around. I’m talking about Yondu…the blue faced baddie from the first Guardians…no, not Ronan, the other one…no, not Nebula…the other one. Yeah, the one played by Michael Rooker. He comes swooping in with a deeper role, an unexpected role, a heart-wrenching role! And there are things about Yondu that we never knew before!! Sure, Peter’s father, Ego, is here in full force and trying to rule the galaxy with his son. But it’s not Ego that raised Peter. It’s not Ego that loves Peter. Well, I don’t want to give away the beauty of Yondu’s journey in GOTG 2, you’ll have to see for yourself! But be warned…you may want to have some tissues on hand! It gets emotional!

And finally Nebula. Daughter of Thanos. Sister of Gamora. Angry girl with an axe to grind. She and Gamora pick up where they left off in Guardians 1, as enemies. But after saving each other’s lives, delving into a tender heart to heart and yep, saving the galaxy together…they emerge as true sisters. Heart sufficiently warmed!

The lesson we walk away with is that you may not get to choose who you’re related to (i.e. Peter and Ego, Nebula and Thanos) but you can choose who you call your family. A message that will surely stand the test of time!

Easter Eggs

As always, there are plenty of easter eggs to spot in the film, if you know what to look for.  And I will I admit, I don’t always know what all of them mean. I have to go home and do homework to get excited about all the comic book threads that Marvel manages to weave in for super fans. I happen to be someone who didn’t grow up reading Marvel comics and I have a hard time keeping up with weekly serials. But I love to delve into the backgrounds of the MCU by reading the whole story on Wiki or watching a fan made recap of all the comic book threads I missed. It’s one of my favorite parts. So after you’ve seen the movie and have to ask yourself who that other team of super people was…do your homework. Don’t worry, you can copy off mine…

Ya’ll…Michelle Yeoh just landed in the MCU as Aleta Ogord. As did Vingh Rhames (Charlie-27), Michael Rosenbaum (Martinex), Miley Cyrus (voice of Mainframe) and the one and only Sylvester Stallone playing the role of Stakar Ogord aka Starhawk. Very interested in seeing how they are gonna set up Phase 4 with members of the original comic book team of Guardians in the mix now!

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Final Thoughts

I was really surprised that they didn’t weave more of the greater MCU storyline into the film. Especially since we’re entering Infinity War territory. Leads me to wonder what the Guardians will be up to in the lead up to the big Avengers/ Guardians crossover in Infinity War. Thanos comes up in reference to Gamora’s sister, Nebula, and her revenge mission to kill him. And while there’s mention of infinity stones, it’s only as a means to point Ego in Peter’s direction as his one true Celestial son. But given where we know the future of the MCU to be headed, a one way collision course to the wonderful world of Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet, in the aftermath of watching this movie I couldn’t help but wonder how they’ll be tying it all together.

None of those wonderings kept me from enjoying this movie. They’re just the nerdy ramblings of a super fan. This movie was a Marvel slam dunk…which is something that has been happening far more often than not lately.

I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as I did, nerds!!

Let me know in the comments below!!

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Dating and Star Wars

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It was a blind date…plain and simple. I walked into it with the lowest of expectations, because experience had taught me to be cautious and common sense had taught me to be sensible. I wasn’t bitter or jaded about the endeavor…not yet, at least. Just realistic, something I try very hard not to be on a regular basis.

I walked in head held higher than my hopes. Because I am a people person. Talking…I’m good at that. And after all, a blind date need only go on as long as you want it to. What’s the worst that could possibly have happened?

We sat down, ordered drinks and immediately dove for the basket of bread at the same time. Bread is a comfort food and clearly we were both feeling the kind of discomfort that can only come when a friend of a friend sets you up with a friend of a friend’s friend. Or however the hell fate had brought us together that night.

The first question he thought of was “what’s your favorite movie?” A seemingly innocuous question for anyone…anyone but me, that is.

Because I don’t just have a favorite movie…I have a favorite movement. I have a favorite fandom! I have something that dominates a lot of my brain space and most of my wardrobe!! I have…STAR WARS!!!

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Now, when it comes to dating, there are a lot of things…”skeletons”…that belong in a person’s closet until someone know’s you better than what is possible on a first date. My love of Star Wars turned out to be a skeleton that I should have left buried in my closet. But this was before I knew that I wasn’t supposed to tell boys on dates that I liked loved LIVED Star Wars.

Moments after the question came tumbling out of his mouth, I quickly responded with a short and sweet, “Star Wars!”

Intrigued, he opened Pandora’s box and asked, “Oh yeah, which one?”

I smiled to myself and said, “All of them.”

“No!” he said. “Which of the movies is your favorite one?”

“Well,” I said. “The Empire Strikes back is arguably the best of all of them. Though, we have to ask ourselves…where would we be without A New Hope? And yet, if I’m being honest…it’s Return of the Jedi that tugs hardest at my heart strings. Something about the Throne Room scene has always captivated me the most. As Luke wrestles with his darker nature, the Emperor slowly starts to lose his grip on his most prized apprentice. Which brings me to the prequels…I personally love all of them too. The overarching story of Anakin Skywalker’s descent into darkness and inevitable betrayal of the Jedi forces me to ask so many questions about the movie franchise I grew up with and love dearly. That’s so interesting to me. Sure…sure…they’re flawed movies. But that doesn’t diminish their value to the franchise overall, in my opinion. Does…does that answer your question?”

With a vaguely terrified look on his face, he responded, “I liked the first one.” As he rolled his eyes and ducked his head, I knew…this date was over.

Now, some may think my answer was a bit showy, possibly a display of nerd elitism…but I assure you, it was an answer that came from the purest place in my heart. A place that just wanted to find commonality in the midst of adversity. And yet, this man was immediately disinterested in me based on my lengthy answer to his simple question.

I’ve learned over the years that this question is best answered with much more care than I gave it on that date. Perhaps I should have said less and smiled more. But that’s just not who I am. And isn’t the point of a first date to get to know the other person and show them who you are? Wasn’t that what I was doing? Like a bull in a China shop, I had wrecked the whole damn thing.

I set my bread down on my napkin, thanked him for his time and I left. The look on his face told me all I needed to know. In his eyes…I was a freak. A Star Wars freak! Little did he know…that was perfectly fine with me!

I didn’t leave the date because Star Wars is a deal breaker…though now, it totally is! I didn’t leave because he seemed mildly intimidated and borderline afraid of me. I left because I may not have known him, but I know me! If he was turned off by my passion for Star Wars and couldn’t even understand it in the least, meaning he didn’t feel as passionately about anything as much as I do about that galaxy far, far away….then, what was the point of wasting an hour of small talk on him. Or of him wasting his time on me?

Some people just aren’t meant to be together. And we were a case in point.

I choose my words more carefully when on blind dates these days. I keep my skeleton in the closet longer than I used to, but not too long. I won’t hide who I am. And if they don’t like it, I ain’t interested. And, come on! There are way worse skeletons you could have in your closet than some handmade Padmé cosplay, a Darth Maul lightsaber, a wardrobe full of Star Wars t-shirts, a book case full of Star Wars novels (both Legends and new Disney canon) and the ability to recite from memory most, if not all, of the original trilogy.

Hell, a first date spent debating the evils and virtues of Jar Jar Binks would be a success in my book. Is that too high a bar to set? I think not!

Star Wars Day

Taking a little detour from #TheBradshawChallenge momentarily to talk about Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You…always!! But especially today!

Let’s talk about ways you can celebrate!

1. Star Wars Marathon

This is the most ideal way to celebrate the day. But since the 4th falls on a Thursday this year, staying home and binge-watching Star Wars movies while eating a box of Wookie Cookies can be a little hard to accomplish. So maybe just choose your most favorite Star Wars movie and watch that today. My favorite is Return of the Jedi, so I will be watching that when I have a moment after work tonight!

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2. Rep Your Fandom

Another great way to celebrate today is to wear your fandom gear all day long! Here are some of my favorite Star Wars outfits as well as what I decided to wear today!

Today’s outfit:

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Other favorite Star Wars outfits:

styled by Star Wars Beep Boop Beep Clothing fblogger

Styled by Star Wars fblogger Her Universe

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3. Get in a Debate

Do you have anyone at work, at home, at the grocery story that likes Star Wars? Get in a debate with them. Say something about how much you love the prequels or that you think Jar Jar Binks isn’t the antichrist! That will kick start a quick conversation with any super fans in the vicinity and maybe make a new friend (or enemy depending on what you say!!)

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4. Spread the Love

A great way to decipher if someone is a true fan and potential new friend is to offer them the official greeting that must be said on Star Wars Day “May the 4th Be With You.” If someone says this to you, make sure to respond properly and to listen for those that do as well which is, of course… “And also with you!”

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5. Star Wars Book Club

Star Wars book club on Goodreads nerd blogger

Shameless plug coming up. If you are interested in going deeper into the Star Wars Expanded Universe, then my Star Wars Book Club is exactly what you should discover today on Star Wars Day. Head over the Goodreads and see what we’ve already read and what we are planning to read and jump in as you’d like. This month’s book is Thrawn by the incomparable Timothy Zahn.

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6. Tweet, Like, Meme, Gif, Post, Gram, Tumble, etc.

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Today is a day to embrace the social media juggernaut. Jump in with all you have and get involved in the inevitable fan fest that happens across all social media platforms today. What’s your favorite Star Wars Movie, tell me on Twitter? Do you have a favorite meme, share it with me on Instagram? Looking for someone to engage in step 3 with, connect with me on Facebook…I can debate the virtues of Hayden Christensen all day long!!

Don’t fight it. Join me!!
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7. Go Shopping

Today is a great day to have a little Star Wars shopping spree. Plenty of shops are having specials today in honor of Star Wars Day. Here are some of my favorite places to procure Star Wars merch… Her Universe, Beep Boop Beep Clothing, Think Geek, my local Goodwill and Salvation Army, Disney Store, and Etsy.

There are so many other way to celebrate Star Wars Day too. What are you doing today??

And May the 4th Be With You!

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