Bun Challenge

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

Perhaps you’ve seen the popular Instagram account @willitbeard and if you haven’t, prepare to be delighted by Pierce Thiot and his beard. Pierce posed the question “Will it Beard?” And has set out to see exactly what kind of everyday objects, foods, toys, etc will fit in his beard and stay in his beard. Check it out:

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Pierce inspired me and gave me an idea for #12DaysofStarWars …

I call it the Bun Challenge and I’m asking you… #willitBUN

Here’s the gist: What can you strap to your head that will give you Princess Leia buns. Cinnamon buns (rather obvious), toy tires, buns made of Lego, buns made of cookie dough? Let your imagination take you away and make sure to post pictures to Instagram (@nerdinthesand) and Twitter (@nerdinthecity) with the hashtags #12DaysofStarWars and #WillitBun

I have an awesome giveaway and every picture you post and tag me in will get you an entry! Giveaway winner will be chosen on 12.8.16 at midnight! Happy Bunning!

Here’s the first one I came up with today…rather easy and obvious, but ya gotta start somewhere!

Star Wars Instagram Bun Challenge #WillitBun STarbucks bagels PRincess Leia

Bagel Buns (bagels fresh from Starbucks and yep…I bought 2 bagels just to pin to my hair! That really happened! It’s called dedication!)

Can’t wait to see what YOU come up with!

12 Days of Star Wars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

Nerds!! There are only 11 days left till our eyes behold the next installment in the Star Wars saga. (10 if you plan on going on Thursday night!) This Star Wars is going to have a decidedly different flavor than the 7 that have preceded it. There will be no scrawl at the beginning of the film. It’s going to take place in a timeline that we are familiar with but with a whole slew of new characters. And I, personally, am on the edge of my seat waiting for opening night!! I can barely contain my excitement!

I’m doing a Star Wars Challenge over on Instagram to give myself an outlet for all my Star Wars joy! Come play! @nerdinthesand #12DaysofStarWars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Rogue One? Brand new characters like Jyn Orso, Captain Cassian Andor, K-2SO and Director Orson Krennic? The return of familiar characters like Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Darth Vader himself? Perhaps you’re pumped to see how it’s going to set up the story to lead right into our beloved Original Trilogy? I can’t decide which part I’m most excited about.

I just know that every time a new Star Wars comes out I feel like I did in 1999 when The Phantom Menace came out and my friends, family and I waited in line for hours for that midnight showing.

I grew up with Star Wars (this you already know) so there was never a time when it wasn’t a part of my world. I don’t remember the first time I saw Episodes IV, V and VI. But I do remember when the news hit that George was finally going to give us a prequel trilogy. The impossible had become possible. There would be more Star Wars in our future!! I felt almost the same way in 2012 when Disney announced it’s acquisition of Star Wars and that  the purchase would mean that once again, the Star Wars universe would be expanding.

So yeah…I’m pumped! There is no fandom that hits me the way Star Wars does. No fandom has ever come close. And I think…no fandom ever will.

Get your tickets for Rogue One TODAY!

Channeling Your Inner Darryl Dixon

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There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to the best mode of transportation in a zombie apocalypse. Most agree that it’s gonna be boats that keep humanity alive. But unless you’re already living on the “True Love” or “Boaty McBoatface” then you’re gonna need to get around on land first. Here are some options:

  1. Personally, I like to stay on foot. No technology or mechanics to rely on, except the good old-fashioned, God-made mechanics. Easy to hide and easy to run. You are more exposed, but I really think I’d prefer to stay on foot for the majority of the apocalypse.
  2. Sometimes, you just need a little more horsepower though. If you’re toting a family around and can’t just go it alone, may I suggest an RV or a mini van. The problem with bigger, clunkier vehicles is the potential to get trapped in it on the road to freedom. But if you have littles to care for, this is really gonna be your best bet for keeping them safe till you can sail off into the sunset.
  3. Next up is your classic 4-wheel drive vehicles. Trucks and cars. They’re great for making supply runs to neighboring areas. In my opinion, food scarcity, personal safety, the safety of your designated apocalypse squad, wondering if there’s a cure for this hell on earth…there’s a lot to think about. I wouldn’t want to add worrying about a steady gas supply to my ever growing list of worries. But it really comes down to a personal choice.
  4. And finally, we have the trusty bike. Loved by the Darryl Dixon’s of the world. Whether you choose to motor or pedal, next to pedestrian life, I’d choose the bike. It’s easy to abandon if there’s a malfunction or if you’re happily biking down the street and encounter a hoard. Imagine trying to complete a 3-point turn in an RV with a zombie hoard approaching from the North. Never mind, don’t imagine it. It’s not a pretty picture. Of course if you choose motor bike or motorcycle, you will have to worry about that pesky gas issue again. But I’d take the chance on a bike.

Which brings us to Week 2’s Zombie Apocalypse Survival Challenge. Cycling. This is your week to get comfortable on a bike. Because, like the kids in Stranger Things, if you choose to ride a bike it’s gonna become part of your story of survival really fast.

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Photo from TheOdysseyOnline.com

Here are some great ways to get that heart rate going (once or twice a week to start):

-Good, old-fashioned bike

-Trendy Spin Class

-Stationary bike at a gym

Darryl would be proud of you!!

And remember…keep on staying alive, staying alive!!

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Zombies Don’t Care About Rain

A big deterrent to physical fitness is the weather. Mother Nature has her own ideas sometimes about when you’ll go for a run or a walk or a fitness class outside. But guess what…zombies don’t care about the rain.

That’s why it’s vital for you to continue training in all kinds of weather. Listen, I’m not encouraging you to go out in Hurricane Matthew and get a run in just to keep in peak physical condition. (Today’s hurricane threat is a real one…take it seriously.) I’m just saying that if you had to choose between a hurricane and a flesh eating monster, I think you might take your chances with the wind and the rain. (But don’t do that today!!!)

Yesterday, I did a little rainy day recon and I really enjoyed it. The rain was cool on this hot Florida day, making the distance not feel so far. I enjoyed my (non threatening) rainy day run. And now I feel pretty confident that the elements won’t slow me down. If I need to run in a torrential down pour to avoid getting my brains eaten, I’ll do it.

You have to decide for yourself, survivors. Are you willing to do what it takes? Maybe it’s a gorgeous sunny day, maybe it’s pouring out. Maybe you live in Siberia and there’s a freaking blizzard…actually you, Siberia guy…you’re probably pretty save from the zombies. Carry on!

Apocalypse Research

It seems as if America has been anticipating this zombie apocalypse for quite a while. The number of movies and TV shows about it is astounding. Almost as if someone out there knew it was coming….hmmmm.

While the electricity is still working, why not take some down time and do a little research for what is about to become your current reality…

Zombieland

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This is the perfect movie to refer to for zombie apocalypse survival. There are survival tips and everything and it’s funny. And let’s face it, now’s the time when funny is really gonna be the thing that gets you through. Laughter really is the best medicine!

The Walking Dead

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There are 6 seasons of The Walking Dead (season 7 is set to premier on October 23rd, but given that reality just started imitating art…who knows.) That’s a whole lot of field research to dissect. Season 1 is all about fighting zombies, learning to survive, the art of hand to hand combat and which weapons are the best ones to pick. By the time you get to season 6, the zombies are the least of everyone’s worries and people become the main threat.

While I do recommend going through the whole Walking Dead journey, you’re crunched for time. Who knows how many days are left till the power just runs out. So skip ahead to seasons 5 and 6. The group’s confidence and bad assery are just what you should be watching right now.

Fear the Walking Dead

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To watch a bunch of people who have no idea what to do against zombies, refer to Fear the Walking Dead. A great show. But because of the journey taken on The Walking Dead, watching these people not know what they’re doing is almost like take 12 steps backwards. Still plenty of great moments to use for research on your future zombie hunting endeavors. But I’d say to stick to the big boys and watch The Walking Dead instead.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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This one is fun, whimsical and totally bad ass! The perfect choice for anyone looking to train in hand to hand combat and get more proficient with a blade. Plus if the Bennett sisters can fight the hoards in Regency Era dresses, you can certainly fight in your Old Navy jeans and Forever 21 tops! You got this!

Dawn of the Dead

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I’ve actually never seen Dawn of the Dead. I don’t particularly like scary movies. But reality just became a whole lot scary than any movie. So now is the time to give it a look.

Shaun of the Dead

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And of course, if you’re going to watch Dawn of the Dead, you should follow it up with Shaun of the Dead. Because, again…laughter, humor, levity…these are the things that will remind you that life is worth fighting for. And Simon Pegg is a king of comedy!

28 Days Later

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Same argument here as for Dawn of the Dead. But make sure not to get it confused with 28 Days, which has absolutely nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse.

Warm Bodies

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And finally, the tender love story of a girl and her zombie. Love in the time of apocalypse…it’s harder than it looks on TV. So enjoy movies that remind you of romance, because dating in an apocalypse? Not really a thing. But more on that later!

Happy watching and remember…STAY ALIVE!

How to Train for the Zombie Apocalypse

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Yes, the worst has indeed happened and the evil undead are roaming our earth. Are you prepared to do what you must to survive? Chances are, most of you won’t make it to see next week. In a zombie apocalypse…like this one, there’s no time for sugar coating things.

I can tell you what it will take for you to survive, but ultimately it’s up to you to make it happen.

Let’s start with something simple, your diet. You’re probably used to a cushy diet of fast food, donuts and soda. Hey, you’re only human (at least, right now you are!) The truth is, the first week is pretty critical when it comes to perishable food items. So the rule of thumb for week one is “if you find it, eat it.” If, for example, you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of a Krispy Kreme donut, eat it! Chances are, it could be your last. But don’t overdo it. Eating poorly and too much will slow you down and that Krispy Kreme will be your last, but not because no one has time to make donuts anymore, get my drift?

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This first week of encountering zombies will be tough enough for you, without introducing a stringent training and eating schedule. My best advice in this turbulent time is to moderately enjoy yourself as much as you can and keep within a manageable caloric range for your height, weight and body type. Also keep in mind that you will be a lot more active this week and you may need some extra calories to keep your energy up. Calories from bad fats and sugars will make you feel sluggish and to be honest, that’s just what the zombies want!!

This week we’re gonna focus on cardio, so get moving (or the zombies will do it for you.) Hopefully you and your family made a plan before this apocalypse hit, an emergency strategy for what to do and where to meet. If you didn’t, well I hope you said your goodbyes before the apocalypse and enjoy my good advice while you can, this blog may be your last.

Ok…so you have some guidelines for getting your body moving and eating all the perishable items you can find, but not overdoing it. That’s a great place to start. Staying home in your locked house is going to seem like a great idea right now…it’s not. In all likelihood, at least one or more of your neighbors has been turned and soon they will be looking for delicious, juicy brains to eat. If you live, isolated, in the country, you may be able to last a little longer. The suburbs…not quite as long and if you live in the city…GET OUT OF THERE NOW!!!!

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It’s good, at this early stage in the apocalypse, to identify your weapons. Get comfortable with your baseball bats, your katana swords, your crossbows, your bowie knive. Guns are fine, but keep in mind that bullets will become scarce and hitting the brain with 1 or 2 shots is actually much harder than movies and TV shows portray. Make it easier on yourself and get comfortable with hand to hand combat using whatever is around you. But more on that later.

It’s crucial right now to get moving, like I mentioned before. Walking, running, practicing sprints…these are your focus. If you have a car, great. Stockpile as much fuel as you can and keep moving. But you’re still gonna want to get good at evading surprises and learning some simple parkour moves wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. But there will be lots more parkour in weeks 3 and 4. Right now…RUN! It’s the best way to stay physically fit and alert for what’s to come.

In this early stage of the apocalypse, the virus is pretty contained to large cities. This is the chance you need or rather, the chance you have to start getting prepared for the worst. Food isn’t scarce yet. That’s a good thing. You’re gonna want to start walking/ running twice a day for 30 mins each. If you can go longer, do it. The longer you keep that heart beating, the better off you’ll be. Challenge yourself, but don’t push yourself too far past your current limits.

This is the only chance you’ll get to take your time and get the lay of the land. These are called recon missions. Did you have a gym membership before the apocalypse hit? Money wasted. The world is now your gym and it is going to push you harder than any physical trainer ever did.

My final advice for your first week of training is to drink the cold beer, white wine, chilled juice, smoothies, etc. now because refrigerators will soon be as dead as the undead. Those finer enjoyments will be a thing of the past. But remember this…it’s wildly important…drunkenness will get you killed. So do not get sloppy!

This is a week of learning your limits, testing your strengths and being thankful for the little things. But don’t forget to watch your back. Once the virus hits the nearest metropolitan area, it will change your life and being thankful will be as hard to come by as that Krispy Kreme donut!

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Stay alive!

A House Divided

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No, I’m not talking about the current state of American politics. I’m talking about Star Wars.

I am an…avid lover of Star Wars, this you know. So is my cousin. But when it comes to The Force Awakens we have vastly differing opinions. Mine is one of love and effervescence, his of skepticism and tentative acceptance. My love of the Star Wars Universe is not more fervent or deep or borderline obsessive than his and yet, get us talking about The Force Awakens and Disney canon novels and we seem to be at odds.

He is not alone in his opinion and neither am I. And yet, he and I sat in the same living room when word came down the pipes that there were going to be more Star Wars in our near and extended future. The excitement, the childlike joy in both our eyes was the same. That nerdy, little twinkle lives in both of us. So what gives?

I recently came across a new Twitter friend who was as equally dismayed about The Force Awakens as my cousin, but unlike my cousin, who is very excited about the upcoming Rogue One, this friend was not at all excited about it.

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His Star Wars lives in a glass box. It’s incased in carbonite, in perfect hibernation, not to be touched or tainted by the outside world. Many fan people experience this when their favorite things get rebooted (i.e., Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, JEM, and most recently Ghostbusters.) Just like the mint condition toys that remain in their boxes with no scratches or scruff, so too should the movies remain. In some instances I agree and yet when it comes to Star Wars, I absolutely do not.

Star Wars is not the pristine tale of a perfect world. It doesn’t live high up on a shelf never to be touched by human hands. The Force is messy. The Jedi are flawed. The Dark Side is tempting. The stories of Star Wars are as scratched up as the humans who enjoy them.

Some poor sad soul out there might tell you that even the original trilogy is imperfect. Most fans will openly admit that the prequels are far from perfect. And there are some that call the new age of Star Wars an abomination, nothing more than a ploy by the House of Mouse to sell toys and keep us all tethered to consumerism.

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One could argue that all art, once it becomes popular, wrestles with that very dilemma. Make money and “sell out” or retain “freedom” by appealing only to the cult collective. Star Wars manages to walk the line between mainstream and absolutely nerdvana. No small feat.

Perhaps some of the fanboys and fangirls who aren’t excited about new stories from the Star Wars Universe are afraid. They’re afraid that what they love will be tainted by Muggles who don’t have the deep abiding love of that galaxy far, far away and are only in it for the pop culture references.

To be honest, I do have to bite my tongue when some poor little Muggle girl, who knows nothing, starts misquoting my beloved Star Wars.

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But it also opens the door for me to maybe make a new friend and to be a part of her story, even if it’s just to say “So, you like Star Wars, huh?”

Star Wars is and has always been about bringing people together. It’s a story of family and heroes and darkness and light. It’s all the best things put on a screen. And I count all Star Wars as my top favorite movies because they’re all connected for me. Sure, I have favorites. But the connecting story and the greater world of the Star Wars Universe is what I love. And if I get to see any part of that world, I find myself to be incandescently happy!!

After all, I am, at times, as poorly written as the love scenes in Episode II. I am, at times, as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks in Episode I. I, at times, obtain moments of triumph and victory like in the Throne Room in Episode IV. And I even, at times, experience heart break like with Han’s death in Episode VII.

We are human. And it’s easy for us to pick things apart. It’s easy to read into everything and see the bad and miss the good. I’m saying…be messy with me. You don’t have to love all Star Wars equally. But keep an open mind for what the future of the Star Wars Universe might hold for us. Allow it to play in the mud.

Don’t you think there were fans out there who were not eager for a sequel to Star Wars? People who thought it would suck? People who thought George was just out to capitalize on his success and make more money? Who cares if he was, we got The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi out of the deal. What would have happened if Star Wars had stayed in it’s glass box, high up on a shelf? Perish that thought!

Heartbeats

Stop what you’re doing. Just for a  moment…stop. Reach out your hand, doesn’t matter which one. Take the opposite hand and press two fingers to your wrist. Press hard till you can feel your pulse…your heartbeat. That gentle tick tock tick tock. If you can’t find it there, reach up to where your chin meets your neck and press in. Count the beats. Were you just waking from sleep? Did you go for a morning run? Is it slow, is it fast? How fast does your heart beat this morning?

Heartbeats blog post tragedies

Now let go. And think about the 2 men who’s hearts no longer beat today. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Think about the 5 cops in Dallas who lost their lives mere hours ago. They had heartbeats too.

Think of the victims who died in Baghdad days ago and in an Istanbul airport days before that and the victims of the Pulse shooting before that. Reach back into our too near past and count the heartbeats that have stopped. Ferguson, Paris, Sandy Hook, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine, 9/11 and on and on and on.

What do these events have in common? There are different evils at work in each case, but there is a common thread. Heartbeats. Hundreds of thousands of heartbeats. The light and healthy heartbeats of children and teenagers. The heavier heartbeats of young, middle-aged and older adults.

It’s true…we have a race problem.

We have a terrorism problem.

We have a gun problem and a bomb problem and a hate problem.

None of which will ever be fixed if we don’t stop and think that the people standing next to us have one thing in common with us….a heartbeat.

I have one…you have one. Alton does not. Philando does not. Stanley and Amanda and Oscar and Aracena and Rodolfo and Antonio and Darryl and Angel and Juan and Luis and Cory and Simon and Leroy and Mercedes and Peter and Juan and Paul and Frank and Miguel and Javier and Jason and Eddie and Anthony and Christopher and Alejandro and Brenda and Gilberto and Kimberly and Akyra and Luis and Geraldo and Eric and Joel and Jean and Enrique and Jean and Xavier and Christopher and Yilmary and Edward and Shane and Martin and Jonathan and Juan and Luis and Franky and Luis and Jerald do not. The cops in Dallas, who’s names haven’t been release yet because their deaths are that fresh, do not.

Pulse Victims names heartbeats blog post
Photo courtesy of CityofOrlando.net

Don’t become immune to this violence that is plaguing our country…our world. It would be easy to do. Terrible events like these are becoming more common and our news sources are flooding us with images and video footage and statistics and outrage. This is their job. And I think it’s all they know to do right now. They have heartbeats too remember!

As I’ve said before, I don’t know what to do to fix it. But I know I was given a voice. We all have that in common too. See how alike we are.

I didn’t forget that we’re different. I didn’t forget that you live there and I live here. That maybe you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat. That maybe you’re an Atheist and I’m a Christian. That maybe you’re gay and I’m straight. That maybe you’re black and I’m white. I didn’t forget.

I just don’t care about what makes us different. I care about what makes us the same. I’m asking you to care about that too.

It’s not enough. Change must happen, we must demand it. That is important. This is the time. But right now, reach your hand back and feel your heartbeat and thank God or whatever you believe in that you still have one today. Cause not everyone does this morning.

It’s sad and it hurts and it’s wrong. I hope you feel all those emotions that remind us we are alive. But more than that, I hope it makes you mad. I hope you get so mad that the demons know you’re coming for them.

And in the aftermath of death and death and death I hope we start preserving and protecting heartbeats. All heartbeats. Mine and yours and his and hers and theirs. They’re all the same.

Hey, we HAVE to start somewhere. Start now.

The Road to Civil War

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

We are on the verge of Civil War…no, not the North vs. South kind…no, not the Dems vs. GOP kind. The Marvel-ous kind!! The #TeamCap vs. #TeamIronMan kind!! The kind that will have grown men and women crying in the aisles come Thursday, May 5th (for the early birds) and Friday, May 6th for the rest of the viewing public.

There are those who have already laid eyes on this highly anticipated entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the word is GOOOOOOOD!!!

So get ready for it…if you can. You’ll probably need lots and lots of tissues. Marvel has probably purchased stock in Kleenex cause they know we’re gonna need them!

To prepare for this journey I am watching the entire MCU in order starting today, Wednesday, April 27th and going all the way till the premier of Captain America: Civil War.

Join me over on Twitter every night for live tweets. But be warned…my gif game is hella strong, so if you choose to join…you better be ready to bring it!

We know where Spiderman stands…and Black Widow and Hawkeye and Ant-Man and Rhodey and The Winter Soldier himself. But where do you stand, nerd?? WHERE!

My feet are firmly planted in the #TeamCap camp!! But there is room for everyone in my nerdy family. (Even those who make bad choices…looking at you #TeamIronMan *wink…just kidding…i love ya…but seriously!)

See schedule below…

Captain America: Civil War Marvel movies watching blog

UNITED WE STAND                                                                                                DIVIDED WE FALL