Overachiever Much?

Back in high school, no one could accuse me of being an overachiever. I sat in the back of the class, half-assed my work and got bad grades to show for it. I graduated with zero honors and went to Community College because I didn’t get in to FSU on my first go around. All that to say, achieving wasn’t a high priority, not to mention over achieving.
Flash forward to 2015, 14 years after graduating high school and my life paints a very different picture. Thank goodness for that! If we just stand still then there’s no growth and what do we have to show for our experiences? What have we learned? But more importantly 14 years??? Where has the time gone?

I’m glad to have grown older and a little bit wiser. People who know me now are shocked to find out about my poor grades and mediocre commitment to learning back in high school. You know what? I’m proud that they’re shocked. I’m proud that they expect an A student on the honor roll with plenty of extracurriculars to impress the college folks. (Think Rory Gilmore, not Paris Gellar!)
Because nowadays I’m motivated. I love learning and yes…I would proudly raise my hand in overachievers anonymous and tell my story!
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For example: this month is #NaNoWriMo and for those of you not hip to the hashtag, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. For the next month I am committed to writing a minimum of 1600+ words a day. Not just any old words…novel words… story words. I’ve never written a novel in my life. I’ve dreamed of it. I’ve talked about it, but I’ve never taken actionable steps towards that goal. As of November 1st, that is no longer the case!

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Guess what, November is also #NaBloPoMo. Again, for those of you born before 1970, that’s National Blog Post Month. So on top of my pointed novel words, I’m adding a commitment to a month of blog posts. A blog post a day, to be precise. That’s more words. Clearly November should instead be called #NaLiHaWaTooManWoToWriMo which of course translates to National Liz Has Way Too Many Words To Write Month!!

Add onto that the countdown to the biggest event in nerd history (if I have to tell you…then this may not be the place for you.) An adjustment to moving back to Florida from my sojourn in sunny California. The impending holiday season (thanks for that reminder ABC Family and your already advertised 25 Days of Christmas programming…talk about overachievers.) And the prospect of being an aunt to infant babies. As well as the daily struggle to maintain some semblance of a prayer life, the potential dating career in my future, a desperate need to commit to that Title Boxing Membership that I’ve been trying to ignore, wanting to find time to volunteer, planning a potential mission trip and a million, zillion other things…yeah overachieving…it’s sorta my new thing.
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*Photo from Power of Positivity
But instead of lamenting my need for purpose and my drive for excellence, I’m diving in head first. I’m making commitments left and right. I am no longer intimidated by the label of being an “overachiever” I am wearing it like a badge of honor. And I was never a very good Girl Scout, but darn if I didn’t like the look of all those badges on that pretty, bright, yellow sash. (Side note, I also dropped out of Girl Scouts before we even got around to cookie selling season. Trust me…that was a girl who grossly undervalued her potential.)

If I could crawl into a Delorean, tap the Flux capacitor and go back in time…I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure good grades woulda been nice, but sitting in the back of the classroom taught me that I never want to be overlooked again. And that is a lesson that front row kids never get to learn.
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So the joke’s on you, time machine…cause I choose to go see Elvis’ last concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. (Yep, I Googled that, but it doesn’t make my desire to see the King on stage any less real!)

Ant Man

I’m currently on a blog hiatus for the month of July, but I just had to break it to talk about Ant Man! So many thoughts about it!! If you are into hard hitting criticism, this is not the review for you. This blogger LOVES Marvel and usually just takes time to sing it’s praises. This will be no different.

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I’ll keep this one SPOILER FREE. But I will have to go in depth later, cause the spoilers are really good ones and I wanna talk about them!! Here we go…

1. The Hype

I don’t usually listen to the hype or the critics or anyone, because I like to inform my own opinions about a movie. But the news was good from the early screenings and I have to say that it started to make me even more excited to see it. What’s more, the hype was well deserved!

2. The Cast

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Ah-Maze-Ing. Once again Marvel proves that it knows it’s properties and it’s fans very well. Paul Rudd did a wonderful job as Scott Lang’s Ant Man. He has a Tom Hanks charm about him that you just can’t help but love and root for. And I could literally go on and on about how amazing he is as Ant Man. He’s just one of those actors that is so dang likable. Add serious action moves and a surprising set of abs and he just belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perfect choice!!

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Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, the original Ant Man and mentor to Scott Lang. I forgot how much I love Michael Douglas! And whatever they did to make him look young again was really convincing! Really good makeup or CGI? I didn’t care. I believed that somehow they found a time machine and brought back a younger Michael Douglas to play a younger Hank Pym. Cause if anyone has a time machine it’s Disney/Marvel/Star Wars!

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Evangeline Lilly has already reached nerd royalty status with her roles as Kate in LOST and as Tauriel in The Hobbit Trilogy. Lilly plays Hope, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Rocking a serious bob and some majorly bad ass martial arts moves. No spoilers, like I said, but they take her character to a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see her future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!! Anyone who has been upset by the lack of ladies in the MCU will not be disappointed with what they do with Hope’s character!!

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Michael Pena, T.I. and David Dastmalchian play Luis, Dave and Kurt. A trio of crooks who are friends with Scott Lang and get roped into helping with Ant Man’s heist. Special shout out to Pena who is completely hilarious and delightful!! i hope they all have a future in the MCU cause they were really funny!

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Cory Stoll rounds it out as the villain of the movie, Darren Cross aka the Yellowjacket. I really enjoyed Stoll’s turn as the wounded baddie. All he wants is for Hank to show him his secrets and share his technology, but he doesn’t. So he has to make his own way and he kills a lot of lambs in the process. He will probably be compared to other bad guys in the MCU, but he doesn’t deserve the comparison. I think he’s a good villain and the antithesis to Ant Man in every way.

3. The Laughs

The entire theater was in stitches throughout the whole film! Every single joke landed and then punched you in the funny bone!

4. The Effects

The visual effects team should just go ahead and take some high fives for themselves. Ant Man requires heavy effects because of all the shrinking and getting big again stuff. The fights were so good!! Not only the parts when he is little and beating people up, which basically looks like they are mental. But also the parts where he is normal sized and fighting bad guys too. The action is really hard hitting!

5. The Cameos

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I promised I wouldn’t give any spoilers! And I won’t. But there is a spot on TV that does tell you that an Avenger does make an appearance. I won’t tell you which one. But it is awesome!! Epically awesome. Not only that, but there are some other familiar faces that make it into the movie, setting up some interesting plot points for Ant Man’s return in the future! Can Not Wait for that.

Ant Man’s release brings an end to Marvel’s Phase II. Now we have to wait till May 6, 2016 for the next installment. Captain America: Civil War will start Phase III.

I will definitely be seeing it at least 2 more times in the theaters. It’s that good! But don’t take my word on Ant Man… go see it for yourself! Give Marvel your money.