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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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!

Rogue One

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If I was any more excited I think my head might explode!! (I guess head exploding will come on December 16th, cause…DANG!)

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If you haven’t seen the Rogue One trailer, I feel bad for ya son, I got 99 problems, but not seeing that trailer ain’t one!! Watch below:

Things that I’m excited for besides all of it…

 

ALL OF IT!!!!

Freaking Excited Kristen wig gif Star Wars Rogue One Trailer blog post

 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Seth Grahame Smith books

If you are a die hard Jane Austen fan, like me, then perhaps you are or were skeptical about the merits of a book that adds blood, gore and the undead into the prim and proper world of Austen’s Regency Era story. Guess what…the resulting work is simply astoundingly fun! A match made in heaven or rather…hell!!

Let me assure you…the movie is no less awesome than the book! I was worried that the film adaptation might skimp on the story and go straight for the gory, but the sweeping romance of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet’s love story was not sacrificed.

The Highlights

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Mr. Darcy

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I was also skeptical about Sam Riley’s, Mr. Darcy. He does not have the countenance that I have come to expect from my Darcy’s. But I have to tell you on the scale from Colin Firth to David Rintoul…I’d place Riley above below Matthew Rhys, but above Elliot Cowan. If only because I’ve never met a Darcy I didn’t like and there are 10, in my estimation, that deserve ranking. Sam Riley definitely gave a solid Darcy performance and upon multiple viewings, I expect him to rise in esteem. The curious thing to me was the timber of his voice. It had a gravelly quality to it that at first I did not care for. But given the dark nature of the zombie apocalypse it started to fit in better than a more refined English accent. All in all, a very charming addition to the Darcy family.

Elizabeth Bennet

Lily James Elizabeth Bennet Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie blog

As high as my standards are for Mr. Darcy, they are even higher for the second oldest Bennet sister. Perhaps it’s because I identify so closely with her that I hold her in such high and lofty esteem. Lily James has everything that an Elizabeth Bennet should have. A love of longs walks, a ready wit and oh yeah, she kicks serious zombie ass…a quality I never knew I always wanted in Elizabeth Bennet. Her chemistry with Sam Riley is tangible. Especially in the famous proposal scene, where Mr. Darcy makes his love and his reservations about their match known. Let’s just say Elizabeth, a trained warrior, doesn’t take the insult of his proposal lightly and more than just verbal sparring ensues.

Mr. Collins

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It’s the first time I was ever rooting for Mr. Collins, even if just slightly. The incomparable Matt Smith enters the scene as the silly, ridiculous, irreverent Mr. Collins. But where his predecessors have played the role with nauseating smarm, Smith manages to make Collins seem charming (the only other Collins who achieved a level of charm is Maxwell Glick’s Ricky Collins from the You Tube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.) It probably helps that I’m incredibly biased towards loving all things Matt Smith, seeing as he is Doctor Who and all! He will always get my vote. I was happy that Charlotte Lucas got to have such a delightful match, though Charlotte herself in this film is quite forgettable.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Lena Headey Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie blog

I cannot go further without mentioning another powerhouse in the world of geeky fandom. Lena Headey, Cersei Lanister herself, rounds out this cast as Mr. Collin’s benevolent patroness, the Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Except once again, with delightful twists in store for the fan of this classic story. Lady Catherine is no mere aristocrat sitting on her laurels and passing judgement on the Misses Bennet. She is a hardened warrior who has slayed hoards of zombies and even has an eye patch to show for it (a patch used for necessity, not vanity.) When she confronts Elizabeth about whether or not Darcy has made her an offer of marriage, she does more than ask a few tough questions.

The rest of the players are aptly cast, though widely forgettable. Except for the nefarious Mr. George Wickham who is played by the very charming Jack Huston. So charming, in fact, that I was hoping Wickham would end up being as delightful as the man who played him. Alas, Wickham remains a scoundrel in this adaptation as with all the others.

The Walking unDead

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As a fan of all things zombie and all things Jane Austen…my standards on both sides are always very high. I equally expect my romance to be sweeping and my head shots to be brutal. So I am happy to say that I was as satisfied with the portrayal of these beloved characters as I was with the zombie effects. The shots were so resounding that I could feel them in my chest. The zombies were believable…the blood and guts visceral. And the action was fast paced and hard-hitting. It’s as much an action movie as it is a romance. What better way to get boys to appreciate the wonderful world of Austen…just add zombies!

All in all, a really fun movie. I watched the entire thing with a gigantic smile on my face. But, reader… I did not walk away unscathed…

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Thanks to Lootcrate for infecting me with the zombie virus!!

Now What Do You Do?

If you haven’t yet seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, then I’d venture to say it’s only a matter of time till you do.

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The biggest pop culture event of all time…even the Muggles want to be a part of this. There’s a lot of new people discovering the wonderful world of Star Wars. Maybe they just never devoted the time to watch all 6 movies before (or 3 if you’re a purist.) Maybe they thought it was kid’s stuff, but now are discovering the truth.

Inevitably they’re gonna reach a point where they’re going to wonder…”Now what?” It always happens after the excitement and fervor of a new movie dies down. It happens to me after binge-watching a show or reading a great book series or watching a new Star Wars movie. It’s hard because all you (I) want to do is immerse in the fictional world you’ve (I’ve) just been a part of. It recently happened to me after watching 4 straight seasons of Scandal. It happened after reading Harry Potter, but nowhere has it hit as hard as with the Star Wars Universe.

So…you’ve seen Star Wars. You’re in what Amazon likes to call a #Showhole. But there’s good news. This is where the fun begins. This is when you can start to discover what we die hard fans have been doing to stay in touch with that galaxy far, far away for years.

It’s called the Expanded Universe and it’s marvelous!

Here’s what you’re gonna do…If you’ve been living in a cave and have just emerged after 12 long years and haven’t had time to take a shower and get yourself to the movie theater quite yet…then Step 1 is pretty clear.

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And if you haven’t gone back and watched the 6 movies that came before then…actually scratch that other Step 1… this is Step 1.

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Next up is the television universe created by Cartoon Network and Disney XD in the form of Clone Wars (seasons 1-6 available on Netflix) and Rebels (season 1 available on Netflix, season 2 currently airing on Disney XD.)

New Expanded Universe Novels by Disney Story Group

After watching all that, go to your local book store and pick up the newest novels in the Expanded Universe: Dark Disciple, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, A New Dawn, Heir to the Jedi, Aftermath, Lost Stars, etc. These novels start to build the world around what you know and have seen on screen. They fill in the blanks and flesh out the questions. They also allow supporting characters to have rich story lines.

Star Wars Comic Books by Marvel

After you’ve read all that, head to your local comic book store and dive into the Expanded Universe created by Marvel Comics. The comic runs for Star Wars, Lando, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Kanan… The best thing about all this material is that is fits together like one giant puzzle. Each component working with the rest. It’s very impressive!

If you’ve done all that and are still thirsty for more. Go see Episode VII 2 or 3 or 12 more times so you know the dialogue by heart and then…

Go deep or go home.

Star Wars Legends Expanded Universe Timothy Zahn

The Star Wars Universe goes beyond Disney cannon. But I warn you, this step is not for the faint of heart. It involves heart break, misery and long hours reading amazing stories that are now considered mere Legend in the Star Wars Universe.

You wanted more and here it is! Silver platter not included!

The Star Wars Song (This is Star Wars)

Here is the final song in my Star Wars Christmas Song Trilogy. Episode VI: The Star Wars Song (This is Star Wars)

Star Wars Christmas Song Trilogy

So…I  wrote these 5 years ago. Just biding my time till the right opportunity came around to record and share. And about a week before I’m ready to release… James Corden of The Late Late Show and Chris Hardwick of Nerdist release this together…

Imagine my immediate palm in the face. But I promise…this was written so long ago! And hey…let’s be honest, James should probably hire me to be on his musical writing staff! I could help! 😉

I hope you enjoy both James Corden/Chris Hardwick and my version of The Star Wars Song…

Once again I gotta thank the team that helped me do this…

Kevin Porter from Flash Grove Music for recording, mixing, arranging and all manner of music magic!

Jeremy Twachtman from Hallelujah Productions for making my vid for me!

Jessica Eriksen from Blue Moon Photography for taking all my promo pictures!

If you missed the other episodes of my song trilogy make sure to check out Leia, It’s Cold Outside and God Rest Ye, Merry Stormtroopers!

Don’t forget to share and like and pass it on. But most of all…Have yourself a Nerdy Little Christmas!!!

Star Wars Christmas Song Trilogy

 

So…That Happened

Exactly 1 year ago, I debuted the first episode of my web series, So…This Happened on You Tube. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started that little adventure.
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The other day I was asked what I’m most proud of in my life and I’d have to say that my series is one of the coolest things I ever did. (With lots of wonderful help from lots of wonderful people, of course.)
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To tell you the truth, I’m a bit of a quitter. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s true. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less true, but it’s still there. Creeping up on me in weaker moments. Catching me unawares when I know better!!

In high school, I was in the marching band and I played the oboe and the flute. Summer after my junior year a couple of my closest friends moved away and so I quit the marching band…right before my senior year. It made no sense. Why quit something I had given years of my life to. And that I really enjoyed. But the prospect of finishing without those friends just didn’t seem appealing, so I skated through my senior year. A little like a ghost.

The same is true of my studies at the piano. I had been taking lessons since I was 5 years old. When I was 15 I had this teacher that was really hard on me. She was often belligerent and she would cut my nails down to the nub. Rather than tell my parents that I was unhappy, I just quit after my teacher threatened to cut my acrylic french manicure. The manicure I had spent $40 on for the homecoming dance. Some people might not consider dedicating 10 years of my life to something as quitting, but I loved and love playing piano. I could have switched teachers, I could have told my parents. But I just quit.

Quitter! That’s me. If I don’t want to do it…I won’t. I dream big and then get bored. So to not only start a project, but to see it all the way through to completion… that is a major accomplishment for me.
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The series is something that should never have happened and almost didn’t. But then came along a friend who believed in my vision and some strange amount of determination to continue on.

When I think about the new projects that I want to do, I remember that feeling of accomplishment and pride and I know that if adversity comes between me and my goal…it has no chance. I am a fortress, an albatross. A Patronus flying towards fears and saying “Bring it on!” I will see my goals through!! I may take the long road and I still have to fight to put in that extra elbow grease and also fight the desire to watch Netflix instead sometimes. But that’s because I’m human!! Maybe you can relate!
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If you missed out on my little web series…don’t worry, it’s all available on You Tube and I hope you like it! Here’s the trailer:

And don’t miss out on my newest series, Cross Country Nerds with author, Jonas Lee:

I’m always up to something. Make sure to subscribe or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc so you don’t miss a thing!

And as always…stay nerdy!

Cross Country Nerds

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A dear friend, who knows my propensity for nerdities emailed me, over a year ago, about a friend of hers that had just written a science fiction book and was looking for bloggers to read it and possibly blog about it. I always love discovering new books and authors and I really love to use my blog to highlight the great artistry and work that other people are accomplishing. So I eagerly started to read “A Time to Reap: The Legend of Carter Gabel” by Jonas Lee.  (check out my interview with Jonas and review of the book and then go forth and read!!) And I loved it! So I wrote a blog and connected with the author, Jonas.

Come to find out, we had much more than a love of science fiction in common. And we became instant social media friends! Tweeting the latest rumors about Star Wars and discussing shows like The Flash and Arrow.

It’s funny how these days you can become friends with someone and never see them in person. It’s a standard of our time period. I have countless friends on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook that I feel like I know well, but have never met and may never get the chance to meet. Or chat with face to face.

This is not the case with Jonas Lee. Tonight at 8pm est, we will be chatting live on Google Hangouts. Exploring topics like Star Wars, Marvel, DC, what it means to be a nerd in the 21st century, what it was like ‘growing up nerd,’ and anything else nerdy, geeky, dorky or otherwise! If you have something you want us to talk about, by all means tweet it to us at #CrossCountryNerds

He lives in South Dakota. I live in Florida. If not for the wonderful world of the world wide web, we might never have met. Watch what happens next and…

We hope to virtually see you lovely nerds there tonight!! Here’s the link: Cross Country Nerds

Brand New Episode

Previously on So…This Happened…

And now…

Episode 35: Boys vs. Girls

Starring:

Liz Tailor, Sheila Williams, Brianne Blessitt, Eriana Burdan & Patrick Cann

Ethical Closet (Click the links below):

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Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler

Check back every Tuesday for brand new episodes!!