Sunday, July 26, 2015

My sorta kinda late San Diego Comic-Con recap!

So, my dreams came true and I finally got to attend San Diego Comic-Con!  And it was EVERYTHING! Glorious, amazing, fun, overwhelming, tiring, exhausting, exciting, fantastic and a whole lot of other things I can’t think of right now because I still have con brain(even a couple of weeks later)  and my thoughts are all YIPPEECRAZYBALLSHUBBAHUBBALOOKATHIMOVERTHEREOWWYEAHWHEEEE when I try to think about how to explain it all!  Sooo, forgive this recap if it’s all over the place; I’m still recovering from my brain being splintered from joy! I will say that if you are a fan of tv, movies, comics, celebrities, books, sci fi, paranormal, cartoons and basically anything in popular culture, you should put Comic-Con on your radar.  There was something for everyone….many somethings for everyone and its was just such a good atmosphere.  It felt like everyone was just so happy to be at Comic-Con and just so happy for everyone else that was there with them.  I’ll be carrying all of my happy feelings from Comic-Con with me for a while; it was just one big ball of fun!

There’s no way I can recap it all; it’s mind-blowing how much stuff is going on for those few days, both in and around the convention center. My sister @QueenCityE and  I tried to do as much as we could, whether the events required a badge or not.  There was just so much to choose from.  I’m just going to hit the highlights and post some of my fave pictures.

-First, our hotel was fantastic!  Kudos to the Westgate Hotel for EVERYTHING!  The fanciness, the food, the turndown service, the top notch toiletries, the 24 hour room service, the scented air in the lobby…just everything was amazing!  And, being 10 blocks from the convention center meant we were close enough to walk if we wanted but far enough away from all of the hustle and bustle around the convention center to really get some quality rest each night.

-We got to meet Gini Koch and fellow members of her Hook Me Up! Gang.  Had dinner with them all twice and it was lovely!  The get together is an annual occurrence and I hope I’m able to attend again in the future.  Nice talking  cons, books, sci-fi, romance, pop culture and, of course, MARVEL MOVIES! :-)

-The only panel  that was a MUST for me was the This Week in Marvel podcast on Thursday; as long; as I got into that, anything else I was able to do was gonna be gravy.  I not only made it to the podcast but asked a question and got a Disney Infinity Cap figure for my trouble, I got to fist bump one of my Twitter faves, @AgentM and got to see special guest Tom DeLonge! YAY! Also, since the podcast was in the San Diego Library, which was also the place where the Art of Comic-Con Exhibit was, we took a look at that while we were there, as well. 

-I got to see the premiere of the animated movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters, an alternate universe story.  So good but so not for little kids; be warned!  But if you like your violence graphic and your language coarse…look this one up when it comes out later this month!

-I made it into the legendary Hall H for a couple of panels, my fave of which was the Heroes Reborn panel, partly because I’m so excited for the new show but also because Zach Levi (more on him later!) . The Scream Queens/American Horror Story joint panel was pretty good too;  Kathy Bates and Jamie Lee Curtis were hilarious and Matt Bomer was really, really attractive.  And Angela Bassett was, as usual, FLAWLESS.

-I spent time at the Nerdist Conival which was put on by the Nerdist, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Felicia Day’s Geek and Sundry at Petco Park.  It was free and FAB!  I got to see Chris Hardwick and Elijah Wood, hung out with the co-founder of Smart Girls, Meredith Walker and saw some pretty sweet cosplayers; my fave was the family Reno 911 cosplay! 

-By far, I had the most fun at Nerd HQ, another free event that didn’t require a badge.  Nerd HQ offers opportunities to drink, take pics with celebs and see panels with celebs (for a small fee) and dance, all in the name of charity. The lines are much shorter to see some of the same people you have no chance of seeing in Hall H unless you’re spending nights in line. Zach Levi is the brains behind Nerd HQ and also very visible at Nerd HQ, both on the panels, in the photo booths and on the dance floor.  And he’s really, really attractive, in case you didn’t know.  Just sayin.  I saw Dylan O’Brien at Nerd HQ but I didn’t get a pic…because fangirling.  I also saw Zach, Julie Plec (writer of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals), Gabe Sachs (writer of Freaks and Geeks), Retta, Yvette Nicole Brown and Scott Porter.  And met a bunch of fun folks, sat next to dancing dinosaurs, saw Chewbacca get twerked on on the dance floor, met a Twitter buddy and fangirled over one of my fave tweeters. Nerd HQ was nothing but good times; can’t wait to go back!

-Possibly my favorite part of the whole experience was the Nerdist live broadcast at the Balboa Theatre on Saturday with Tom Hiddleston, Gullermo del Toro and Maisie Williams, as well as the Nerdist regulars Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira and Jonah Ray.  I frequently listen to the Nerdist podcast at work and in my car and am a big fan but I loooooooooooooooooooooove Tom Hiddleston…like LOOOOOOOOOOVE and getting to see him in person was the PERFECT topper to a wonderful trip!  Honestly, the hold up on posting this recap has been my agonizing over which pictures of Tom to post.  Ummm, I took a buuuuuuuuunch of pictures of Tom!  Heh. And in one of them, he's looking RIGHT AT ME; you can't tell me he's not, dammit! 

My trip to Comic-Con ended up being everything I wanted it to be and more than I could’ve hoped it would be.  It’s two weeks later and I’m still floating from the experience.  It was once the number one item on my bucket list and now I’ve checked it off.  But, I’ll be going back!  Now that I’m a veteran SDCC-goer, I know that even if I don’t have tickets to the con itself, it’s still worth the trip to San Diego to just experience the atmosphere and everything else going on.  And I plan to do just that!  Big thanks to @Crazy4ComicCon, @SD_Comic_Con and @friendsofcci for all the tips and tricks and suggestions that helped me get my tickets and my hotel, keep my sanity and feel like I had some understanding going in; all of your help was much appreicated!  If you are interesting in attending Comic-Con in the future, I suggest you give them all a follow. And HUGE thanks to my buddies @jaymzangel, @EthiopianSiren, @mundungus42  (thanks for the introduction, @DawnaMaeWilson) , who are all Comic-Con vets who passed on advice to me that was invaluable! It’s lovely to have such great people in my life!

The pics below are just a sampling of it all; San Diego, the Convention Center, Nerd HQ, the panels, the people, the events, the everything!  Thanks for stopping by to take a look! (If you're on the computer, click on the "i" in the slideshow window to see my captions,)  Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Why you should see Guardians of the Galaxy. Like, NOW.

Hi all! Checking in with a recommendation for those of you that like to know what I’m currently pimping. Whatever you are doing right now, stop; it’s not as important as what I’m about to tell you. Immediately go to use whatever tool you use to look up movie times…find out when the next showing of Guardians of the Galaxy is at your local multiplex and get your happy little self on over to the movie theater, with a quickness! You’ll thank me! You need to see this movie; the sooner the better.

Here’s a little background so you can understand why I’m so confident that I know what’s best for you regarding this movie. The official premiere of the movie was this past Friday, 8/1/14. It’s Monday, 8/4/14. I’ve seen it three times. I’ve seen it in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. So we can go ahead and consider me an expert on the movie already, if you will. Trust me; you’ll LOVE it! It has something for everyone. If you like to laugh, if you like sexy men, if you like bad ass women, if you are a fan of 80’s pop culture, if you like 70’s soft rock, if you are a person, if you breathe, if you exist….you’re going to like this movie! If you’ve seen the trailers and previews, you may have seen the green skinned woman, the talking raccoon and the tree…with a face…that hangs out with people….and wondered if the movie was really for you. I’m here to tell you that not only is it totally for you, but you are probably going to leave the theater a little bit in love with that tree! Seriously! Regardless of what it may look like, at its core, the movie is about family and friendship, dealing with loss and thinking about the greater good, all themes most anyone can relate to. You’ll laugh and you might even cry but you’ll laugh more, I promise. You also might find yourself dancing in your seat and singing along with the soundtrack. Trust me; it’s a fun movie and you won’t regret going to see it! And…WHEN you do go see it, come tell me what you think! You know the only reason I have this blog is to pimp what I like so I can have more people to discuss my stuff with! For real though; go see it and ENJOY!

Also, if you missed Captain America: The Winter Soldier while it was in theaters earlier this year, you missed a fantastic action/spy thriller/superhero flick! No worries, though; its out on DVD and Blu Ray in the US on 9/9/14. Make sure you see it if you haven’t. I wrote a review of it for Heroes and Heartbreakers that you can find here .

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The hiatus is over! Kinda sorta.

Sorry about the lack of a post last week.  My work life has been so hectic lately that it was literally Saturday before I realized I'd never gotten around to posting on Thursday!)

Well, it's been a month since I went on social media hiatus!  It started on January 6th so, technically, I can re-enter the fray today, if I so choose.  Funny thing, though; I'm not sure if I'm ready to go back yet.  Or, at least, not in the way I used to be immersed in it.  This month has taught me a few surprising things:

1) I don't need social media as much as I thought I did.  Sure, I missed the daily interaction with a lot of my buddies BUT during this month I rediscovered that email, texting and phone calls can be just as effective as social media for staying in touch with folks. You don't get every detail of the lives of all the people you follow on the various networks but you can still have quality time that feeds the same need for social interaction.

2) I WILL absolutely find a way to waste time, even while I'm trying to be productive.  As such, I need to make an effort to limit my time wasting.  I mentioned how You Tube became a surrogate for Twitter, Tumblr, etc in a previous post.  So, I limited my You Tube time.  And then found myself checking out Instagram and Vine.  Basically, I'm THE WORST.  If there's a time suck out there, I'm going to let it suck some of my time; it's apparently WHAT. I. DO.  I just need to acknowledge that and actively work to rein in the time suckage, somehow.  

3) "Out of sight, out of mind" can be an accurate adage.  I removed the app icons for Words With Friends, Candy Crush, Twicca, Tweetcaster, Tumblr and Facebook from my phone and, by and large, did not miss them after a few days.  I was so used to picking up my phone and pressing one of the icons and then spending lots of time playing a game or surfing my timeline.  The first few days of my hiatus, I'd pick up my phone and look at it and realize there was nothing to play with so I'd put my phone down and do something else.  The apps were all still there on my phone (I wasn't about to lose all those levels in Candy Crush!) but without the constant reminder every time I picked up the phone, I didn't feel the need to open them.

4) Social media really is the place to get news these days.  I have felt completely out of the loop, news-wise, not having been on Twitter this past month.  I have actively sought out entertainment, sports and regular news stories but it's been exhausting to try to find out what I might be missing by not being on Twitter!  Twitter keeps me up to date on most everything, all in one place!

5) I miss Twitter most during big "events" and my favorite TV shows.  I've gotten used to watching awards show via Twitter, instead of actually watching the shows themselves; it's far more entertaining.  It's also great to have buddies to discuss my shows with as they are happening. I missed being on Twitter for the NFL playoffs, the Superbowl commercials (since the game was TRASH), the Grammys, the return of Justified and Archer, etc.  I may not return to having Twitter as a part of my all day, every day but I will definitely be there for my shows and events.  

Basically, I have found that I can get along just fine without social media but , even so, I still like it so I shall make my return very soon.  All good things, in moderation or some such something like that.  *wink*

TV show watching these past couple of weeks has been limited; been so busy with phone calls, texting, reading and brainstorming ideas for a novella. Also,  the Syracuse basketball team has been keeping my eyes busy on their way to the number one ranking in the country.  :-) LET'S GO ORANGE!

I will say, though, that Justified is EVERYTHING so far this season!  It has taken Sons of Anarchy's place as the show I will stay up to immediately re-watch as soon as it's over because one viewing just isn't enough.  It's exactly what I needed from FX after SOA broke me this season.  I can't wait to see what else this season has to offer!

Winter Olympics start tonight; EEEEEEE!!  I'm an Olympics junkie so that will probably be my television focus for the next couple of weeks.  I've been known to get up at 3:30am to watch Curling matches…that the United States wasn't even in!  Yeah, I LOOOOOVE the Olympics!  Looking forward to watching with my tweeps! :-)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hiatus Week 3 - What I'm Missing

It's week three of my social media hiatus.  And I'm still surviving!  YAY, ME!  That said, I mentioned last week the You Tube vortex that sucked up a bunch of my time.  This week I had to add You Tube to the hiatus.  It turns out, I WILL find ways to waste time,  even when I'm actively trying to avoid doing just that.  Sigh.  I'm going to have to find some balance, eventually, because I can't permanently ban myself from social media.  The hiatus is helping, though.  At this point, I think even when I go back to being engaged on social media that I might just allow myself the weekend and maybe a couple of days a week to be on it.  Or maybe just one particular platform a day.  I don't want to lose all of the increased productivity I've gained from the hiatus by just jumping back in with both feet once it's over.  I've still got a couple of weeks to mull it all over and decide how to proceed.  If nothing else, I'm glad I did this so that I know that I can do it.  I wasn't so sure, going in to it.  That's how dependent I'd become on social media.

Speaking of dependencies, I have discovered that I apparently get the bulk of my news from Twitter.  I did not realize it until I had to start actively looking for news once I stopped going on Twitter all day, every day.  Twitter is the place where I got all my breaking news, local news and sports and entertainment news, for the most part.  I do watch the local news on television but nothing seems to be as on top of everything going on everywhere as Twitter.  I miss my tweeps on Twitter, terribly, which I completely expected, but I also miss all my news sources which I had not anticipated.

Just a couple of TV notes this week.

Chozen - I cannot even express how wonderfully filthy this show is.  This week's line "well,  hello bitches...." is just about my favorite line of the week in all of television.

Sleepy Hollow- The two hour season finale did not disappoint!  Triumphs,  failures, big reveals,  heart tugging moments and an ending I did NOT see coming!  The wait until fall is going to be agonizing!

Justified - Flirty Raylan and Agitated Boyd make for fantastic television viewing!

That's it for this week!  Happy viewing in your world!  Catch you next week!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hiatus Week 2 & a You Tube Vortex

Well, this past week was not as productive as I wanted it to be.  I fell into a You Tube vortex that ate up a BUNCH of time.  I did not include You Tube as part of my social media hiatus because it doesn't usually trap me for hours at a time.  But, if you've ever gone down a rabbit hole on You Tube only to emerge to find out hours or even days have passed, you understand what happened to me last week.  It was a huge time suck. It was, however, time that I thoroughly enjoyed.  So, that's something.  I guess.

The book I've been reading is one I have tried to read more than once before in the past.  It's the first in a series that I really WANT to read but, once again, I have lost interest in the book.  I hate it because it's a long series, which I love, and I really like the author as a person.  I don't usually skip books in series but I may skip the first one and try the next one to see if it catches my fancy.  In the meantime, I'm going to switch to the next book I haven't read in one of my tried and true series.  The good news is that I have several books to choose from because I am behind in several series.  That, of course, is also the bad news because now I have to make a choice.  Sigh.  I think I'm just going to pick whatever's closest to my bed and start there.

As far as my hiatus from Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook goes, I think it's going surprisingly well!  I do miss my tweeps, especially, and the daily humor my timeline usually brings me.  But, it's bearable.  I've had other things to focus on and I've been enjoying that.  I've made it a point to reach out to a friend I haven't talked  to or corresponded with in a while every couple of days and it's been nice spending the time I'd usually be perusing my timeline catching up with friends.

TV this week has been fun…and filthy, in at least one case! Just the highlights, since I've watched a LOT.

NFL Football - we are approaching that HORRIBLE time of year when the NFL leaves us high and dry for months.  I'm already depressed.  Sigh.

Almost Human - SO in love with this show!  Karl Urban and Michael Ealy have such great chemistry!  Last week's episode is still the funniest but this week definitely gave it a run for it's money!

Sleepy Hollow - Ichabbie is back! Seeing Ichabod in skinny jeans was hilarious!  Creepy ep but I was happy to have it back.

Archer - I love this show SO hard! The writers apparently got bored with writing it as it was and decided to completely change the premise of the show this year.  After one ep, I am IN.  CANNOT WAIT to see how it goes.  

Chozen - This show was, by far, the filthiest cartoon I've EVER seen.  That said…I can't wait for next week!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Sigh.  I don't want to talk about it.  I had such high hopes for this show.  Ugh.

Justified - Raylan Givens is THAT. DUDE.  Such a bad ass.  If you don't know him…what the H are you waiting for?

Arrow - Glad it's back! I still have issues with most of the female characters (not you, Felicity!) but I like the male characters enough to get past it.  Plus…frequent shirtlessness.  I'm totally THAT shallow.

That's it for this week.  Hoping to have a more productive week this time around; you hear that, You Tube?  Hmph.  Happy reading, watching and writing this week, folks!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

On Hiatus and LOVING IT! (So far, at least!)

I’m on a social media and games hiatus for a month. I have known for a while that I've become far too reliant on my smartphone. It has become a distraction with all of its fun apps that allow me to keep in touch with friends and family without ever having to speak or even leave my bed, if I don’t want to! It’s also got all these fun time wasting games that are incredible time sucks. IF I had self-control, I would be able to manage my time effectively to allow myself to play games and be social but still get work, exercise, housework, reading and writing done. But I don’t have self-control. Like, none. I have that fangirl gene that makes me go to complete excess on anything I like. So, my phone had taken over my time and everything else was falling by the wayside. I’m not one to go halfway with much of anything so, it had to be a cold turkey, clean break for me to start the process to try to get my priorities in order and use my time more wisely.

The hiatus started Monday. I’m doing great, so far, I think. I have broken it twice but just briefly and with good reason. A friend needed some encouragement so I sent her a DM on Twitter and today is Founders Day and the Centennial for Phi Beta Sigma, a fraternity very dear to my heart, so I posted a message on FB. That’s it, though. Besides that, I've been out of touch and quite frankly, it has felt good! I've been reading in my spare time and I've been brainstorming about my book that I’m currently revising. I need to lighten the mood because my heroine is sad for a lot of the book and I've come up with a comic relief character that I’m already in love with and I've only written one line for her so far!

I also decided to add the wrinkle to turn my TV off if I don’t have something specific I plan to watch. I also find that I waste a lot of time watching things I've seen before, over and over, because there’s nothing else to watch. I could be using that time more effectively, as well. That said, I do have A LOT of things that I specifically plan to watch, so the TV probably won’t be off THAT much; let’s not get crazy! Heh. I want to keep these weekly blog posts to around 500-700 words max, so they aren't too tough to digest. Most weeks, I’ll talk about whatever books, shows, movies, etc. I feel like pimping or talk about my writing, since I definitely want to pimp that, at some point! I’m already nearing 500 for this week so just a couple of quick bites about returning shows I watched this week:

Almost Human – Mondays at 8pm on Fox – I think I’m ready to crown this my favorite new show of the latest batch of new shows. This past week’s episode was the funniest one so far!

Teen Wolf – Mondays at 10pm on MTV – I’m so glad this show is back! I have missed it! Yea, I’m in my 40’s and love Teen Wolf; WHAT OF IT? Does the frequent shirtlessness have anything to do with it, you ask? THAT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! But, yes. HEH.

Justified – Tuesdays at 10pm on FX – Raylan Givens and that cowboy hat GIVE. ME. FEVER! WHEW! So glad to have him and Art and Boyd and Wynn Duffy and his exquisite eyebrows and the rest of the crew back for another season.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Looking forward to more productivity during my hiatus this week and the return of more of my fave shows!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I'm Still Here!

Well.  It has been A MINUTE.  How have ya'll been?  Happy holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and whatnot for the last year and a half.  Hope you've all been spectacular!  Let's catch up with me, shall we?

I've been blogging this year...just not here.  Ahem.  Sorry about that.  I shall endeavor to do better for 2014.  I discovered in the last year that I CAN stick to a blogging schedule and blog on a regular basis.  I blogged mainly as an author last year but the blog I was on has taken a different direction so I won't be blogging there anymore.  I am, though, used to making a weekly blog post and plan to transfer that to this blog.  This will still be the place where I pimp my faves, whether they be movies, television shows, books, music, people...whatever.  I may do book reviews occasionally but only if I LOVE the book since this blog is about me getting others to love what I love.

Speaking of what I love, what have I been fangirling over since you last heard from me?  SO GLAD YOU ASKED!  (Technically you DIDN'T ask but this is my space so we'll do things how I like.  Thanks.) For this initial post for the year, I'm just going to list titles since I'll be getting into more information about each during my weekly posts.  Also, I've been doing some blogging for the Heroes and Heartbreakers blog. My posts, which involve some of my current faves, can be found here. Additionally, I have two Tumblr blogs that focus on some of my faves.  They can be found here and here. Expect to see lots of pictures of guys I think are hot if you go to my Tumblr blogs.  Because, essentially, that's all they are.  I'm very proud of them.

Since I last posted here, I......

...lost my mind over Marvel's The Avengers movie.  No.  Seriously.  I went to see it during its premiere weekend in May 2012 and then....I went to see it in the movie theater.....18 more times since that first time.  Ahem.

...fell in complete and utter love with actor Tom Hiddleston.  He was in the Avengers.  Those two things are definitely linked.

...binge watched the seasons of the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who (don't worry; I'll catch up on previous Doctors at some point) and Teen Wolf on MTV (don't care if you judge me; I LOVE that show!)

....gotten addicted to new shows Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human and Orphan Black the entire Jack Reacher series by Lee Child

....continued my ongoing love affair with Justified, Archer, Sons of Anarchy, Parks and Rec and Phineas and Ferb.  (yes, I AM a grown-up.  Most days.)

Ok, I think that pretty much covers the important stuff.  Mainly, just wanted to say hi and advise you that you'll be seeing more of me this year.  I promise.   Look for my posts on Thursdays, most weeks.

It's nice to be back.  :-)