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Friday, July 31

5 Fandom Friday | Five Fictional Pets I'd Like to Adopt

Friday, July 31

The Mister and I currently have two pet dogs who, although not fictional, are named for fictional individuals: Mrs. Mollie Weasley and Frigga. (Mollie's spelled differently on purpose ... I don't know what I was thinking.)

We're pretty content with just having the two of them right now—and our landlords already had to be talked into letting us rent with them both—but it was fun to think about which other pets I'd like to have if we could have more! And, you know, they were real ...

Five Fictional Pets I'd Like to Adopt

5 | Mogget, The Abhorsen series

Although he's only a cat in shape—and can be very dangerous when not confined in that form—Mogget is a hilarious sidekick, always ready with a sassy retort. He also isn't as horrible as he likes to think, and grows an eventual soft(ish) side.

4 | Nymeria, A Song of Ice and Fire series

Having a dog the size of a small horse would be—to put it plainly—awesome. I only read the first few books in the series, but Nymeria was always my favorite, in part because Arya was my favorite, and her Direwolf was obviously the best. And the prettiest.

3 | Pascal, Tangled

Disney is chock-full of awesome pet characters, but none made me smile more than Pascal. He's not only adorable, but also supremely loyal. Plus, he could change colors to coordinate with my outfits!

2 | Hedwig, Harry Potter

I like to pretend that a certain part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows didn't happen, and Harry found Hedwig a study boyfriend owl with whom she had many babies who all grew up to be nearly as awesome as she.

1 | Toothless, How to Train Your Dragon

Having a pet who is also a best friend is the best kind to have. If they're able to protect you, are a total badass, and can fly you through the clouds, well that's just a bonus. A really fantastic bonus.

Learn more about 5 Fandom Friday and check out the prompts for July.

Wednesday, July 29

Haiku Revieu | Ant-Man

Wednesday, July 29

Criminal turned good
R.I.P. dear [REDACTED]*
Let's fight with toy trains

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

I honestly didn't have high hopes for this movie. Yes, it's a Marvel film, and I have really liked or flat-out loved their recent movies. But ... Ant-Man? I knew very little about the character(s) or the comics, and the trailers really did this movie no favors. I also hate ants. Like with a fiery passion. (I once woke up with a mass of them crawling around on my ceiling and falling onto my face. I am scarred for life.)

Thankfully, I should have known better. If anyone can make a movie with a relatively unknown comic hero *cough*Guardians of the Galaxy*cough* and have it be really great, it's Marvel. Dare I say it—the movie even made me like ants? But only if they're obedient, helpful creatures like the ones in the movie. I still have a great dislike for the IRL creatures.

Ant-Man is the origin story of a unlikely hero that will certainly have a part to play in upcoming events in the Marvel 'verse. Paul Rudd does a fantastic job at bringing the snarky, reluctant hero to life. It's obvious that Scott Lang is a good guy at heart, and I can see him fitting right in with the rest of the Marvel heroes.

The actual plot of the movie was a little familiar, but I chalk that up to the fact that there are only so many ways someone can become a superhero that doesn't involve some sort of ooze or genetic mutations.

My favorite part, by far, was the way they filmed Luis' (Michael Peña) "stories." It took me a bit to realize that the characters in the "flashbacks" were saying exactly what Luis was saying—even though they would never say it like that—but when I did, I couldn't stop laughing. It's the little things like that make Marvel's movies stand above the rest for me.

On the whole, Ant-Man ranks in my second tier of Marvel movies. (The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy are in the top tier. Rankings get a little more muddied after that.) If you're a Marvel fan, you should definitely see this one in theaters. Unfortunately, it needs the help!

Check it out:

*Antony. Is still fits! (Highlight for spoilers.)

Friday, July 24

5 Fandom Friday | Five Fictional Vehicles I'd Love to Travel in

Friday, July 24

Considering that my tattoo features six spaceships* (and one other "method of travel,"), this prompt, seemingly, is right up my alley. But GUYS. There are so many awesome fictional vehicles. So many more than my six/seven.

Basically, what I'm saying is—this prompt was hard. I hate having to choose between the people vehicles I love. Four of the five I chose are included on my tattoo, however. I obviously picked them for a reason.

Five Fictional Vehicles I'd Love to Travel In

5 | Serenity, Firefly and Serenity

Although I occasionally might regret signing on to Captain Malcolm Reynold's crew when yet another something goes wrong with Serenity, I'd just have to think about the people I was working with to realize that I'd made a good decision.

4 | The Hogwarts Express, Harry Potter

There's definitely a theme to this list, and this pick stands out as the odd man in the bunch. But not only do I love traveling by train, I also would have loved to attend Hogwarts. I suppose I would have had to settle for visiting, being American and all. But perhaps there was some sort of study abroad program we just never read about?

3 | The Normandy, Mass Effect

In terms of space ships, the Normandy is a cut above the rest. But again, this is a ship I would love to travel on thanks mostly to the crew—or at least the crew that I collected as I played the Mass Effect series. But never, under any circumstance, would you have gotten me to go down to a planet's surface in the Mako. That thing is THE WORST.

2 | TARDIS, Doctor Who

Regardless of if you're a Whovian, I think the idea of having a vehicle that could take you to literally anywhere in all of time and space would be an appealing one. The fact that you get to hang out with the Doctor while doing so is just an added bonus.
*It's not exactly a spaceship, but it travels in space, so ...

1 | The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), Star Trek: The Next Generation

I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation during a time in my life that I was easily influenced and majorly affected by pop culture: from around age 4 to the year I turned 11. The show made a lasting impact on my brain, and my heart, and there's no place I'd rather be (fictionally speaking) than walking the corridors of the Enterprise.

Learn more about 5 Fandom Friday and check out the prompts for July.

Thursday, July 23

Paper Towns vs. the Manic Pixie Dream Girl | BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH.

Thursday, July 23

I've talked about writing for BIRTH. MOVIES. DEATH., the official magazine of the Alamo Drafthouse, previously, but I wrote another piece for the July issue.

It's an editorial on how John Green's Paper Towns subverts—or attempts to subvert—the "manic pixie dream girl" trope.

Although the article was originally published in the magazine, it went up online yesterday. You can check it out here!

The movie adaptation of the book opens this weekend. I enjoyed the book quite a bit—it's actually the only John Green book I've read; I've been avoiding The Fault in Our Stars so long that it's gotten kind of ridiculous.

Have you read the book? Will you be seeing the movie? What are your thoughts on Miss MPDG?

Friday, July 17

5 Fandom Friday | Five Things I Own That I Bought At Cons

Friday, July 17

For three years in a row, Colt and I attended San Diego Comic Con, but thanks to a work event shifting dates, we were forced to stop going. We've since tried to get tickets again, but the ticketing process is a total crapshoot. In 2012, we made it to New York Comic Con, and it was fun, but not quite the same.

Someday, we'll make it back to SDCC, but until then, we've got our fond memories—and some swag—to look back on.

Five Things I Own That I Bought At Cons

5 | Scott Pilgrim 1: Evil Edition

Excuse me while I digress a moment, but one of the best memories of any con experience ever was getting to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in San Diego before it was officially released. A majority of the cast was in attendance, along with Edgar Wright, and Metric played a short set after the credits rolled. It was spectacular. We didn't get this special edition that year, but picked it up later. It's completely in color, which is very cool (and also signed, what what).

4 | "Doubleplusgood" necklace

In the world of 1984, someone or something that's the best is "doubleplusgood." Not only do I love the story in 1984, but I love the sentiment behind this Newspeak word. Plus, the design is totally cute. (Full disclosure: I didn't actually buy this at a comic-con, but at BEA. But that's totally a con in my eyes, too.)

3 | Iron Man Mark VII cologne

This was one of those silly purchases that turned out to be less of a joke than expected. Mark VII smells quite nice, and Colt has worn it more than a few times on fancy nights out.

2 | A Yoda backpack

Although we already had a pretty large collection of Star Wars merch, I couldn't resist adding this dude to the mix when I saw him riding around on the shoulders of a fellow con-goer. He pretty much just hangs out (ha!) at home, rather than being used, but people never fail to comment on his coolness when they come over.

1 | "Neville would have done it in four books" T-shirt

When I saw this shirt at the TopatoCo booth, I knew I had to have it. Yes, I love the Harry Potter books as they were written, but I adore Neville Longbottom. And he totally proved his badassery in the end. (Bonus: The shirt's still available to buy if you want one of your own!)

Learn more about 5 Fandom Friday and check out the prompts for July.

Wednesday, July 15

Nerd News | SDCC trailers, clips, teasers, etc.

Wednesday, July 15

There's always SO MUCH STUFF announced/released/revealed/updated/etc. at San Diego Comic Con that it can be hard to keep up with it all.

I'm sure many of you have already read all about all of the things that you're interested in from the event, but I wanted to highlight a few videos that I thought were particularly of interest.

Doctor Who Season 9 teaser

Although I'm still annoyed that Clara's still around, this does look darkly enticing. And I love Twelve's bushier hair for some reason.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens sizzle reel

I've completely given up on being cautiously optimistic about this movie. THIS IS GONNA BE SO GOOD.

First look at the Sherlock special

I absolutely adore that they're having fun like this. I'm not sure how it'll tie into the larger (modern) storyline, but does it really need to?

Some of the boys also sent a special message to SDCC attendees.

The 100 highlight reel

Have I mentioned that I love this show? Because I love this show.

Suicide Squad trailer

This looks—dare I say it—pretty good. Although, it really seems like Will Smith (as in, the good guy he plays in every action movie he's ever been in) is just leading a bunch of crazies around.

Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow recap/teaser

Just keep doing what you're doing with these shows, CW.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer

I still don't quite get the whole Batman vs. Superman thing, but hey—Wonder Woman!

Did I miss anything spectacular? Let me know!

Monday, July 13

A little about Pants Design + a RedBubble sale!

Monday, July 13

I don't think I've mentioned it on this blog yet, aside from having a sidebar link, but I have a  side craft/design gig called Pants Design.

At the moment, all Pants Design amounts to is a small RedBubble shop where I sell a few Avengers-related designs on T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, throw pillows, baby onesies, etc. I haven't updated the shop with any new designs recently (I spend more time designing for the FYA Store these days), but I have ideas. Now, to just make the time.

Long story short, you can get 20% off everything—including items from the Pants Design store—on RedBubble for the next couple of days (until 11:59 p.m. PST July 15) using the coupon code LUCKYME.

I don't know about you, but I think Mondays definitely call for a little retail therapy.

Disclaimer: If you do buy something from the Pants Design store, I will make a little money off of it.

Friday, July 10

5 Fandom Friday | Five Spinoffs I'd Like to See Made

Friday, July 10

I struggled over this prompt, even though I'm positive that there are way more than five times in my life that I've wished for more from a certain character or characters. But I came up with five that I'm pretty pleased with.

Word of warning: This list is a little random, and pulls from TV, movies and books. (Are new book series in the same universe considered spinoffs? Let's just pretend like they are.)

Five Spinoffs I'd Like to See Made

5 | A new Star Trek or Stargate

I'm kind of cheating here, lumping these two shows together—and yes, I mean the TV versions rather than the movies—but I miss these shows something fierce. I liked the last iteration of Star Trek, Enterprise, (it filled a lot of plot holes from previous series in entertaining ways) but was really let down by Stargate: Universe (it was sorely lacking both silly humor and aliens). Both of these series mean a lot to me, and I'd be super happy if they just kept having new series made forever.

4 | Luna Potter and the [Blankety Blank]

Regardless of how you feel about the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, if you're a fan, there was a part of you that definitely broke inside when you realized that the books had come to an end. I'd love to learn more about Harry and Ginny as adults, and the rest of the gang we came to know and love, through the eyes of one of the Potter kids. I think having Luna be the main character—rather than James or Albus—would just be an interesting gender switch.

3 | The Paternoster Gang

Numerous spinoffs have already been made from Doctor Who, including The Sarah Jane Chronicles and Torchwood, but I'd love to see a show starring Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax. Particularly a Victorian-era steampunky one in which the three investigate mysterious incidents that have decidedly timey-wimey bents.

2 | Black Widow

I know this is a hot topic, and for a variety of reasons, but I don't understand the difficulty that surrounds making a female-led solo superhero movie. Most of the Avengers had their own movies long before they teamed up—why does Black Widow have to be relegated to secondary character land? (I'd be totally OK if Hawkeye or Winter Soldier joined her, too.)

1 | The Justin and Jimmy Variety Hour

I don't often watch Saturday Night Live, but I make sure to check in when Justin Timberlake is hosting. He's an amazing comedian, and particularly love when he and Jimmy Fallon are in a sketch together. I think a variety hour starring the two of them would be a huge hit. Or maybe, you know, when he's "bored," Justin could be like Andy Richter was on Conan O'Brien's show.

Learn more about 5 Fandom Friday and check out the prompts for July.

Wednesday, July 8

Nerd News | Ant Man viral marketing + Han Solo, Spider-Man, Fast & Furious 8 and Independence Day updates

Wednesday, July 8

I love a good bit of viral marketing. And this video and "news article" that popped up on Mashable yesterday—with nary an Ant-Man mention—is an example of great viral marketing.

Everyday hero or thief? Cyber criminal to address 2012 arrest

In 10 days, the doors of San Quentin prison will release one of its most memorable inmates.

Scott Lang, former systems engineer at VistaCorp, was arrested three years ago for stealing nearly $4 million from his employer and for a subsequent property damage rampage, which, among other things, claimed the prized Bentley of VistaCorp’s CEO.

Lang was given five years in San Quentin, but is being released two years early next week.

Since his arrest, Lang has remained adamant about his innocence. According to an official statement, he was only out to expose and correct corrupt activity within the upper echelons of VistaCorp; Lang believed the San Francisco cyber security conglomerate was knowingly overcharging its customers. Lang believed the San Francisco cyber security conglomerate was knowingly overcharging its customers.

The details of the heist at least superficially support Lang's claims. After allegedly reporting the scandal to the police and VistaCorp Human Resources, Lang took matters into his own hands, breaking into the CEO's house and using an encrypted hardline to siphon funds from VistaCorp servers. Surprisingly, though, instead of pocketing the whole $4 million, Lang used the money to "refund" numerous VistaCorp customers, only leaving himself a small severance package.

Shortly after Lang was taken into custody, the SEC launched an investigation of the Bay Area mega-corporation that yielded nothing of legal consequence, leaving the court to believe that Lang's story was purely a misguided and egocentric brand of vigilantism. Lang's outspoken legal camp criticized the investigation, stating it was "cursory at best" and failed to uncover "missing evidence," but ultimately failed to secure an appeal.

Also working against Lang's thin credibility was an extensive criminal rap sheet predating his brief VistaCorp tenure.

Now, three years later, the self-proclaimed whistle-blower has agreed to an exclusive interview with WHiH's Christine Everhart to air next week.

Is Lang a hero or a thief? Tune in next week for exclusive WHiH coverage!

Disclaimer: WHiH World News is a property of VistaCorp.

I love that they've brought Christine Everheart back, too. Good on you, Marvel.

Also of note:

1 Thanks, Colt!

Friday, July 3

5 Fandom Friday | Five Favorite Aliens

Friday, July 3

I've wanted to try The Nerdy Girlie's 5 Fandom Friday link-up for a while, but just haven't made the time. I thought it might be fun to make an effort to take part in July, so here's my first post!

It was definitely hard to narrow this list down to five, and it turned into more of a "five favorite alien loves" rather than just five favorite aliens, but I figure the prompts are open for interpretation, right?

Five Favorite Aliens

5 | Thane Krios, Mass Effect

I never cried at a video game until the moment came when my Commander Shepard had to say goodbye to her loyal friend. There's something beautiful about Thane's tortured past, and his quest to redeem himself, as much as he can. Plus, he's a badass assassin, and therefore a vital part of my ME team.

4 | Han Solo, Star Wars

I'm a fan of scruffy looking Nerf herders who might not tell you that they love you in so many words, but show their feelings in numerous other ways—from sticking around a questionable war to being willing to step aside when they think you prefer another guy. Han might not be the smartest tool in the shed (or the squeakiest, in a clean personal history sense), but he knows when to do what's right. And he's a damn good pilot ... or so we've been told.

3 | Max Evans, Roswell

From the very start of the TV show, when he saved Liv from an untimely death, I knew there was something special about the brooding and mysterious Max. His loyalty and drive to do what's right (even when that means being with Tess, UGH) are admirable. The fact that he's alien royalty—and digs Tabasco as much as I do—is just icing on the cake.

2 | Loki Laufeyson, Thor/Thor 2/The Avengers

I don't know what part of human brain chemistry makes us dig a bad boy, but no one has made me love one more than the troubled and psychopathic adopted son of Asgard. Even when he's unleashed an army on the people of Earth, one smirk and I'm ready to forgive all.

1 | The Doctor, Doctor Who

Regardless of the form he's in—although Ten is my Doctor—there's so much to love about the rogue Time Lord. He's cheeky and silly and grumpy and caring. He takes you on adventures, makes you feel all of the feels, causes you to reevaluate all that you know, and occasionally scares the crap out of you. He's not perfect, but he's amazing.

Thursday, July 2

Haiku Revieu | Jurassic World

Thursday, July 2
Jurassic World

#prattwrangling squad goals
For fans of Jurassic Park
Don't mess with nature

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead.

Although I didn't know—exactly—what to expect from the reboot of the movie franchise that began with Jurassic Park, I definitely left the theater satisfied at Jurassic World's place in the larger universe.

Twenty years after the first incident at Isla Nublar, humans have returned to the park and have opened a new theme park. They've also messed around with genetic engineering in order to create the biggest and baddest dino they can.

What could go wrong?1

Instead of Laura Dern and Sam Neill (and Jeff Goldblum, sadly), Jurassic World features Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. And instead of the highly skeptical, yet wide-eyed paleontologists of old, Jurassic World has brought the franchise into 2016 by making the main characters a business woman who'll stop at nearly nothing to make the new park a success and a snarky ex-Navy man with a gift for being a true Alpha. Bryce's character was a total stereotype, although still somewhat enjoyable, but Chris once again proved why he's become such a big star in recent years. (There were definitely shades of Star-Lord in the role.)

The dinosaurs were, unsurprisingly, the true stars. Particularly the raptors. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the movie, but they truly are clever girls.

Definitely check this one out if you're a fan of the previous movies in the franchise. (Minus Jurassic Park III. That one's terrible.)

Related SCIENCE!: "Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next 5 Years."2

Check it out:

1 If you've seen any of the Jurassic Park movies, you know that this is a highly rhetorical question.
2 Thanks, Colt!