30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 25

30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post

Day 25: Rogue from X-Men comics

All of my green and yellow spandex was in the laundry today, so I chose my own mutant superhero colors. *wink*

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 25 Rogue from X-Men comic books blog post

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 25 Rogue from X-Men comic books blog post

Pink!

When I was a kid, I hated pink, with a vengeance. My deep and utter loathing extended into middle school and high school and even into college. I thought myself to be a cool-colors kinda girl, gravitating to blues, greens and purples instead of pinks, oranges and yellows.

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My insistence on the evils of a mere color were, to the modern me, a bit of a head-scratcher. Why did I hate it so much? As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always loved Disney Princesses and they are not above wearing pink. There was a time when I eschewed all things girlie in favor of all the toys and franchises that my brother liked. Power Rangers (hello! Pink and Yellow Rangers, anyone?), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rafael and Michaelangelo were always my favorite… red and orange), X-men (I loved Jubilee who wears…yellow) and then, of course, Star Wars.

Looking back, the signs were all there. I’m a warm-colors hurricane and there’s no getting around it. I’m not sure when I began to let the pinks and reds and yellows into my life. There was no turning point for me.

One day I hated pink, the next day…pink water bottle, pink yoga mat, pink notebook, pink skirt, pink dress, pink pillow, pink hair, etc. Pink had invaded and it was like I had finally accepted the real me. The pink-loving, Princess dreaming girlie girl who loves Star Wars and Marvel and Power Rangers, who has a sword collection and is way too prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse.

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The problem was that I thought the two were mutually exclusive. Because girls like pink and don’t love action movies and boys hate pink and only talk about GI Joe, right? Of course, that’s not right. I wasn’t right back then. I just didn’t know better or really realize that there is only about .5% of the world’s population (maybe a little more) that cares about those traditional gender assignments. They care about girls being in “their place” and boys being in “their place.” (Whatever the hell that means.)

These are the same geniuses that are upset that there’s a female lead in the new Star Wars movie (actually they’re pissed about The Force Awakens and Rogue One.) They hate the idea that there will be ladies busting the Ghosts on the big screen soon. And they probably really, really hate all things pink.

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The joke is on them because the world has changed and is changing everyday. Girls like whatever they want. Boys like whatever they want. We all share a planet, so fighting about it seems like a big waste of time, if you ask me!

So ladies…go bust those ghosts and kick ass in space and like pink if you want or if blue just butters your bread…like that! You do you.

Men…you do you too.

And to the .05% population of haters out there that just love to hate…you can do you too, cause no one else is gonna do ya with that attitude!

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#AvengerinTraining – Hulk Week

Hitting Stride

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

In Week 2 I really felt like I was in the zone. My morning runs were really strong. And coming out of Iron Man week I was ready for the next challenges. The foods I ate during Iron Man week really helped me reboot my eating habits and eat clean and healthier meals! Heading into week 2 it was time to up the ante. Check out the plan for Hulk Week below:

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Week 2: Hulk Week

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Artwork by Blule

The next Avenger to be introduced to the franchise was, The Hulk. After an accident in the lab and exposure to toxic amounts of Gamma radiation, mild-mannered scientist, Bruce Banner, was transformed into the green behemoth known as The Hulk. When angered Bruce goes green and starts smashing.

Originally played by Edward Norton, the role of the Hulk was recast for The Avengers. Mark Ruffalo took over the role. Obviously the muscle mass that The Hulk has onscreen is a creation of the magicians of the CGI department at Marvel. Ruffalo himself did do some training for the role, but maintained a scientists’ physique. He also reportedly gave up meat and dairy to prepare for the role of The Hulk. Read Mark’s interview with Paste Magazine here. And check out The Incredible Hulk fitness plan from MensFitness.com which is where I got some inspiration for this week’s plan.

Movies

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Again, Avengers and Age of Ultron are on the list for the obvious reasons. I also watched The Incredible Hulk for inspiration, which is the least successful movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I actually really like it. And I think Norton makes an excellent Hulk! (I tried to watch Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’… but that was a mistake. It’s a really terrible movie.) Besides the Avengers, there’s another group of super beings that might be able to relate to Hulk’s mutation…the X-Men. X-Men 1 and 2 are both great films and keep with the theme of being a little different than the average human. And then I added Fight Club to the list for good measure because 1: it has Edward Norton so…there’s that. and 2: it’s just a really phenomenal movie.

Music

This list is comprised of music from The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers as well as music that reminded me of the Hulk. Anything to get me in the mindset while pumping iron every morning. Hope you pump up the jam with this playlist!

Meals

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For Hulk week’s meal planning, I took a lot of suggestions from The Incredible Hulk fitness plan from MuscleandFitness.com and just tweaked it by removing dairy and meat from the list. A lot of greens (obviously) but mixed with some of the leftover items from Iron Man week, it made for a great week of eating!

Weekly Workout Challenge

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Day 1: Dumbbell Chest Presses and Flys (2 sets of 15)

Day 2: Dumbbell Chest Presses and Flys (2 sets of 25)

Day 3: Rest Day

Day 4: Standing Shoulder Presses and Arm Curls (2 sets of 15)

Day 5: Standing Shoulder Presses and Arm Curls (2 sets of 25)

Day 6: Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (15 reps)

Day 7: Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (25 reps)

Remember to add in Day 7 (2 sets of Full Front Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)) from Iron Man week before each day’s challenge in Hulk Week. We are building up to a full body workout by the time we hit the end of the 6 weeks.

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Extra Credit

Here are the extra classes I took for Hulk Week to keep thinking Hulk-y thoughts:

Cycling @ Monster Cycle

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Photo from Monster Cycle

This is a relatively new cycling studio in Manhattan. Right off the bat I was told that this was different than any cycling class I had previously took, but most specifically from Soul Cycle (which I told them I was used to doing.) Monster has great music, good energy and no tap backs. I have to be honest and tell you that Soul Cycle is my jam. But Monster was definitely my jelly!! I really enjoyed this class. And their first time rate is only $13, while their single class rate is $33. Definitely a class worth trying!

Yoga @ LuluLemon

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Photo from LuluLemon

I chose to do yoga for Hulk week because keeping the heart rate in check is one of the ways that Edward Norton’s Banner keeps from transforming into The Hulk. Every Sunday at stores around the country, Lululemon closes down it’s shop and makes room for the yoga mats. They offer free yoga in their stores and even provide mats if you need one. It’s a wonderful, free weekly workout and they feature different instructors from local yoga studios each week. So you can get a sneak preview of different studios in case you are looking for more than just once a week. The instructor I took from during Hulk week came from Jivamukti Yoga and it was a really amazing practice! I have never been able to do a full bridge, and the instructor really pulled me out of my comfort zone…literally!!

Stay tuned for the following Avengers: Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and Captain America. And check out Iron Man week if you missed it.

Make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you join my Avenger in training revolution. It is really transforming me and I hope it can do the same for you!

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

5 Fandom Friday

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Favorite Funko Figures

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To quote Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments… “Can a man choose from among the stars of the sky?” Choosing merely 5 Pop! figures seems mean. Someone is gonna be left out. Someone is gonna get their little plastic feelings hurt. But the rules are clear. 5 must be chosen, so here we go. Thank to The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick for making it “so easy” each week! 😉

#1 – Harley Quinn

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If you don’t know how much I love Harley Quinn by now, I wonder if you ever knew me at all! And incidentally this is the only Funko Figure I actually own. I got her for Christmas this year. So she is my 1st and favorite!! And I always preferred classic Harley over Arkham Asylum Harley, though she is awesome too! Pair her with the classic Joker Funko figure and you got yourself a DC party!!

#2 – Yoda

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Another thing you should know if you’ve been keeping track, my deep and abiding love for Star Wars. So next up has to be a Star Wars figure. And this Yoda is just about the cutest thing ever in life! Though you really couldn’t go wrong with any of the Star Wars Funko figures. Each one is special and I want them, need them, have to have them all!!

#3 – Genie

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Genie has long been my very favorite Disney character of all time. Not only because he is just awesome in general, but also because of the fabulous vocal stylings of the late Robin Williams. So many of the Funko figures are mouthless and that would just be wrong for the Genie. His smile holds the happiness of a thousand suns! And if you aren’t smiling just from the sight of this guy… I worry about you, I really do!

#4 – Professor X

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Ok I had never seen this one before today, but I love it! The eyebrows are everything. I don’t often have a hard time choosing a favorite X-Man (Gambit every time) but this figure brings out all the love I have for the Professor, leader of the misfit mutants. So… yeah… this one makes the list!

#5 – Marty McFly and the Delorean

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Ummm…. do I really need to explain why this one is just amazing and necessary to have on any nerd shelf? If you need it explained to you, then you are clearly in the wrong place. Go away and come back when you have learned your lesson! 😉

Honorable Mention – Jessica Rabbit

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Ok I’m cheating and picking a 6th figure. Because look at her! She’s awesome. I love J. Rabs. She’s sassy and way too sexy for a cartoon character and she just loves that Roger with all her heart. Gotta love and respect that. Plus that hair curtain is too fierce not to earn an honorable mention!

What’s your favorite? Do you have any? Do you want any? Do you know what I’m talking about? If not, go to your room and think about what you’ve done! (Love you… mean it)

Merry Christmas to All!

If you’ve seen this week’s episode of my web series, then you’d know that my family and I love traditions. And we have a lot of unique things we do to celebrate Christmas. (If you haven’t seen it yet, CLICK HERE.)

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Whenever I tell people what we do on Christmas, I get 1 of 2 reactions. People are either really confused and borderline appalled… “You do WHAT on Christmas? Well, I nevah!” Or else they want to join in the fun… “Is your family looking to adopt a 27 year old from Sacramento?” (PS, the answer is always yes. Everyone is welcome with our family.)

It all started 6 years ago when my brothers, my cousins and I wanted to take some photos for our family’s Christmas presents. And instead of going to a JCPenny’s and taking boring, “normal” family portraits, we decided to get dressed up in Victorian garb and take pictures in our Granny’s 143 year old historical home, Eastbank.

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When we took a look at the photos together we realized a few things. #1. How much fun we had. #2. How much fun we all could have if we did it again at Christmas. and #3. How much more fun it would be if we had a different theme every year. And why not start with Harry Potter.

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As often happens in our family, things spiraled from there. Next thing we knew, a green screen was put up, a costume contest was started and friends and neighbors started showing up at our door in costume to join the fun. And let me tell you… it’s a lot of fun!! The best part is that every member of my family gets it. We are all a bunch of nerds. Once one of us gets into something we start to share it and then it spreads like wildfire. My mom read the Harry Potter books and fell in love with them. Then she recommended them to me and my brother. Next we told our cousin and aunt that they had to read them as well. And by then it was all over. We were a family full of Potterheads. Which is why we picked Harry Potter as the theme for our first themed family Christmas.

And the rest is history, Narnia (2010), Star Wars (2011), Lord of the Rings (2012), Doctor Who (2013), Superheroes and Villains (2014) and next year we will have Star Trek Christmas.

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So if you’re in the greater Orlando area next year around Christmas time and you have a Star Trek uniform hanging in your closet just waiting to be worn, then come on over, take pics in front of our green screen and have a Christmas you will never forget!!  And to see the pictures from Christmas’ past head over to our family Facebook page: CLICK HERE

And check out the Buzzfeed post HERE.

The Good, The Bad and The Bigger Problem

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This weekend I went to see Marvel’s live show at the Barclay Center. And let me begin by saying that it was amazing! The costumes, the sets, the background CG work, the stunts, the pyrotechnics. It was a complete joy ride!

And with the partnership of characters that we can only dream of seeing in the MCU. The usual players were present: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Wido, Hawkeye, Ironman, Falcon, Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Add to that a few favorite mutants: Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm. And of course the web-slinger himself (and incidental crowd favorite) Spiderman. And let’s not forget the best addition of all… Captain freakin’ Marvel!! Talk about fangirl moment, I love me some Carol Danvers!

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And the good side wasn’t the only side peppered with the fairer sex. Black Cat and Madame Hydra joined villains like Red Skull, Loki and the rest of the Sinister Six: Green Goblin, Rhino, Lizard, Doc Ock and Electro. Along with Whiplash and a passel of Chitauri baddies.

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The entire show was entertaining from beginning to end. And it was epic to see so many favorite characters on stage together.

Here comes the ugly. Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy came out, women and girls everywhere have been asking #WheresGamora. Sadly the promotional product available in the lobby has left me asking the same question.

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Yes, I understand that in years past, the comic book world has been a predominantly male one. But times are a changing. And that doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen and more than that, it should happen!

It’s starting to feel as if Marvel doesn’t believe that boys will want toys and other products if a female appeared on it. Call me optimistic, but I can’t believe that’s true.

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I sat next to a lovely family of 3: mom, dad and son. And the son was trying to convince his mom to dress up with him for Halloween in Marvel Universe characters. In eager anticipation, this mom bought a tattoo sleeve in the lobby just to fuel her excitement about dressing up for Halloween for the first time as an adult. When she pulled the sleeve out, not a single female hero was to be found on it, to her and my dismay and yes, even her son’s dismay, “Mom, where’s Black Widow?”

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I have to ask a question, Marvel… you know boys like girls right? In fact, I believe that seeing strong representations of females in an embodiment they understand could only have a positive effect of our young men. Imagine young boys growing up knowing that women are just as strong and powerful as men are. And in Captain Marvel’s case, more powerful than some! (Chick can fly!)

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Listen, everybody understands that change is hard and takes time. The fact that there was more than just one female hero in the show was a great start. But time is up and now you need to step up your game!

Girls don’t just want girl toys. I want a Captain Marvel figure as much as I want a Captain America one. And I have a feeling that if treated correctly, you’d find boys don’t just want boy toys either!

#WheresGamora

#WheresBlackWidow

#WheresCaptainMarvel

#Wherearemyladies

Change is coming and I don’t know if you’ve heard yet but… Girls sort of Rule!!

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At the end of the day, it’s a great show worth seeing!! So if it comes near you, go! You won’t regret it.

The Hugh Jackman Effect

I saw The Wolverine yesterday. And may I just say ‘Ummmmm…!!!’ Wait I meant ‘Yum!’ I didn’t know a man could have so many abs!!
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Hugh Jackman has reportedly said that as long as Marvel wants to use him as Wolverine, he’s in. And I have to say, thank God! Cause he is goood.
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I’d pretty much see anything he is in. From Kate & Leopold to Les Miserables. From X-Men to more X-Men. The man is bankable. Obviously Hollywood has figured this out already. Good on them!

Now, listen, was the movie fairly predictable? Yes. Was it fully entertaining? Absolutely. Was Hugh Jackman ripped and shirtless? Duh! Plus there was a little surprise in the credits. Stay for the credits. For pete’s sake if you are watching a Marvel movie…STAY FOR THE CREDITS!!!
At this point, if you leave, you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s Marvel… sit back down.
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All in all very enjoyable entry in the franchise. Worth a watch.

The Wolverine -Trailer

This is a completely different Wolverine than we are used to seeing. And I am pumped!!!

Check it out here: The Wolverine official trailer

Mind… Blown!

This is pretty epic! A few days ago news broke that Ian McKellan would be the officiate at the wedding of Patrick Stewart to Sunny Ozell.

Forget the Royal Wedding… this is nerd royalty at it’s finest!!!

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Again… Magneto performing the wedding of Professor X!!

Wait… Gandalf is officiating Captain Picard’s wedding.

Anyway you slice it, it’s pretty nerdtastic!!!