This is where I point out the ridiculousness of titles and terms.Thanks for reading!
Sept. 12, 2014: Another Nerd Review
Transformers: Age of Extinction
This movie is sooooooooooooooooo long. I mean, it is an improvement over the other Transformers movies, but, God, 165 minutes? Why?
Anyway, here’s the review: This movie is good. Not the best of the summer, but it had more substance than GotG and less depth than Captain America: TWS. Thus making it a good movie.
Here’s the thing, every bad thing and every good thing about Transformers films is amplified in this movie. If you hate Transformers and every movie, you’ll hate this one. If you like good effects, a new lead that’s not annoying, John Goodman as a robot, then you’ll like this one.
It was made for fans of the franchise, and you’ll wonder where 3 hours of your time went if you’re not a fan. And there are some good characters in this movie: Mark Walberg as the dad from Gremlins; Bumblebee as a teenage robot; John Goodman as himself as a robot; Ken Watanabe as himself in The Last Samurai as a robot; Kelsey Grammer as Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2 and Stanley Tucci as evil Steve Jobs. Though there is one character I hated, Tessa. She’s Mark Walberg’s daughter in this, and she is there purely to be kidnapped and rescued. I think if they cut her scenes to pure gratuity, the movie would be much shorter. That would have been an improvement.
Rating: %78 (Good)
Sept. 2, 2014: NERD REVIEWS
NERD VS. “Guardians of The Galaxy”
“Guardians” is the follow up to every Marvel superhero film of the past 6 years, otherwise known as “Phase 1.”
If you have seen these movies, or specifically “The Avengers” or “Thor,” this movie was given some extra homework to fulfill. The homework, in fact, turned out to be “Show it for 5 minutes & then Go To Something Else” kind of material.
Thanos was teased at the end of “The Avengers” and he was in this movie for approximately what felt like ONE MINUTE. Since this is the only grounded-in-space Marvel movie for the next few years, we’ll have to wait another long time to see his face again.
The movie wasted The Collector (see “Thor 2” – end-credits scene) on exposition. It’s such an interesting character. I mean, how do you dumb down someone who collected the souls of the Avengers to something as minor as Exposition?
Even on its own, this movie, in my opinion, fails because Drax and Gamora were underdeveloped characters, thus losing my interest in them. The rest of the Guardian characters (Groot, Rocket, and Star Lord) were humorous and expressive in their points of view. So I ended up caring about them for the duration of this film.
THE VILLAIN … was generic. He was the run of the mill bad guy with a mean boss. I know villains can be generic, I get that. But coming from a Marvel movie is unacceptable since they have brought a reputation of strong character personalities and unique story arcs. Ronan the Accuser, however, did not have a story arc. And his personality was bland. Ronan the Accuser is a cool character in the comics and, once again, was reduced to a position of where he couldn’t show off his interesting personality. He was used as a plot device to start up the Infinity Gem saga. They should not have wasted a villain with so much potential on starting off that saga.
Overall rating: 52% out of 100%
NERD REVIEW: “City of Ember” – Summer reading For School
(all percentages out of a possible 100%)
I read this book thinking that it would be a bad book with a mediocre plot. And it was bad, but it had a great concept: A city that has been underground for roughly 300 years has a box that is passed down from mayor to mayor. The current mayor decided not to give the necessary information to the people, which would restore electricity to the dying generator that is running the light bulbs that light the city. That is a long concept to fit in two sentences. But it’s a very good one. As boring as the main characters were, I did not know what was going to happen next.
The concept had me guessing. The characters, however, did not. It’s like going on an amazing adventure with with a robot. No likeable personality and no feelings to be found. Just by-the-numbers storytelling. I love how I read this book for summer reading from the school that tells you that, in writing, characters need to be interesting. Not this book. They were the window into the journey. But to me, it was like walking down a blacked-out hallway with a match. If it goes out, you don’t care because you have a box with 100 possible replacements. I’m the guy in the hallway. The match represents the Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, and the box of matches represents anyone else in the city.
The twist ending was kind of disturbing. We find out that all the senior citizens in a city above the ground are given unnamed babies and torn from their families, forced to take care of the babies with people they just met. They are taken to an underground city (Ember) that needed to be tested. But the way it’s told is an old lady writing in a journal she leaves near the exit of Ember. Lina’s little sister, Poppy, finds it in a crevice on their journey out. It’s written like she expects to die any second. It’s really disturbing.
Overall Rating: %32 (Bad)
This book had boring imagery, bad delivery of a great plot and really uninteresting characters.
June 30, 2014 – now for a story that will make no sense
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Warriors from Planet X
PG-13 FOR GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS AND INTENSE VIOLENCE
“Come back here!”
Koom! Bang! Pak! Snap!
The masked gunman dropped dead in front of April O’ Neil.
“What are you?”
“Whatever you least expect.”
Koom! Krak! Swoosh!
April watched as a shadow jumped from the alley, off a dumpster, devastating it, onto a fire escape, off a wall, pulling bricks out at the force, and into the full moon. April thought she saw a large, tough backpack on the figure.
The shadow waded through the exhaust of the species above and crawled onto the platform in which he and his brothers lived. He passed broken arcade machines, and the one that looked like a gum ball with a mouth. He soon saw his lower-evolved reptile adoptee, then passed his just-as-evolved brother, who was working on a staff that shoots out boiling hot water to incapacitate enemies.
“Any sign of Shredder today, Raphael?” Asked Splinter, their master and father since birth, who was a mutated rat.
“One of those damn Foot soldiers. Attacking that reporter.”
“Watch your language, my son,” Splinter said, raising his voice. He understood his sons, especially Raphael, were teenagers. But he did not tolerate any one-sided or impulsive exclamations. He had taught them to be themselves but as peaceful as possible. To never throw that first punch. But always throw the last.
Donatello, who was working on the staff, trudged over, and checked the camera that Raphael had found in the sewer and was using to keep track of the Foot. He found a picture of a girl in a dark and abandoned alley-way, and the moon light reflecting off of something shiny. Something metal. A mask.
“Guys! It’s the Shredder! In the back!” he shouted out, as everyone came rushing over.
Except for Leonardo. He focused most on his ninja training. Since mutation, he has devoted much of his free time to training. He and Splinter were very close. If Leonardo ever lost Splinter, there was no holding back. Any one that looked or smelled (even though they live in a sewer) remotely evil was pretty much a carcass already. He’d only care about Shredder if he took over the city and all of the pizza places.
“Whoa, dude, that is Shredder,” Michelangelo was saying in his surfer/teen lingo.
“When did you take this picture, Raphael?” Splinter asked.
“Two days ago, on 81st street,” Raphael explained.
“Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Mikey’s here, yo,” Mikey was obviously trying to get Raphael to go crazy. That’s what brothers do. But that’s not what anyone should do when Raphael is around.
Raphael turned to his pet turtle, Spike.
“Spike, you’re going to love today’s show! It’s called ‘Does Mikey bend that way?’ Now for our first segment…” Mikey realized he was going for the fingers and immediately did what he thought he should do in these situations: Run Away.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
“What is that?” Raphael asked.
“Well, I think that’s our pizza,” Donatello replied.
“Let me check,” Leonardo ordered. He walked to the sewer lid. He sniffed. He lifted the lid with one hand and drew his sword with the other.
“Hi, it’s your pizza,” the pizza man explained cautiously.
“Mikey, it’s your pizza,” Donatello said.
Behind the body was a man in a metal suit with two dark eyeholes in the head. The one from the picture. But Leonardo didn’t see the picture.
“What are you?”
“Whatever you least expect.”
Punch! Krack! Snap! Crunch! Swoosh! Clang!
In approximately 13 seconds, all the turtles were on the ground, and Splinter was gone. He had been reduced to a mere rat. And he was bleeding.
“WHAT ARE YOU???????????????????????????????????????” Leonardo yelled into the night, the raining street, to his dying master, to the Shredder. “YOU CAN’T DO THIS!!!! HE WAS THE BEST OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL FIND YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’LL KILL YOU!!!!!”
“Oh my God,” Michelangelo whispered.
“WE’RE LOSING HIM!!!!!!” Donatello shrieked, trying to resuscitate the rat with everything they had.
“WHAT WAS THAT THING???!!!” Raphael yelled alongside his brothers.
“Leonardo,” Splinter whimpered, taking his last breathes.”Remember, there’s nothing stronger than family-yyyyyyyyyhhhhhgggggaaaaaaa” His voice trailed off into the silent night.
5 YEARS OF INTENSE TRAINING LATER….
“We will find this…thing, and KILL him!” said Leonardo, nearly breaking the table at how hard he smashed his fist down.
“But how, dude?” Michelangelo asked.
Donatello replied, “I know wwwwwsssssspppprrrewwssppppssss………..”
In the Technodrome, the base of Shredder and the alien race known as the Kraang was being built in an abandoned dump for 10 years. The Shredder was in the military area looking over his 60,000 soldiers when…CRACK!BOOM!KOOM!SPPPRRRSHHH!!!! Shredder yelled at two nearby troops to guard him. SNAP!POP!Shredder screeched, “Soldiers, TAKE THE CITY!!!!”
The Technodrome’s doors opened as 60,000 troops with masks, camouflage army vests, military weaponry and AK-47s, M16s and shotguns unloaded onto the streets. It was now midnight, but the silence was broken by battle cries and gunshots.
“Remember the plan?” Leonardo asked everybody in the lair. “And remember, we’re family. You can trust each other. To the end of the line.”
Raphael and Michelangelo both looked at each other expecting the other one to pull a pie out of nowhere and glop the other one. “Fine,” Raphael and Mikey said in unison.
They jumped past the soldiers, snapping necks, bashing skulls and breaking bones. Once many of them had fallen, the turtles were getting tired. Soon they were in the Technodrome, on the observatory platform.
The lights went out suddenly. The next thing he knew, Leonardo looked to his sides, one of his brothers on each side and on the ground, with guns to their heads. He was forced on to his knees from behind. He looked up and saw Shredder glaring down at him, “I have a remote that can self destruct any soldier in the city. I can set any perimeter of soldiers I want to.”
A crowd, surrounded by Foot soldiers, with about 1 million people in the middle, were standing below the deck. The soldiers were cheering, while the people were trembling in fear.
“These creatures believe that there is nothing stronger than family! There is nothing stronger than FEAR!!!!” Shredder said, holding up Leonardo by the shell, as the soldiers did with the others. “Any last words before I use the remote?”
“Is it this remote?” Michelangelo asked, holding up the remote.
“What?!” Shredder yelled.
“Fastest hands in the world!”
“Shredder, you know that thing about family? This one’s going to kick your ass!” Raphael said, the turtles breaking from their guards and surrounding Shredder. They all landed kicks and punches, Kracks and Snaps on Shredder.
Donatello soon saw that Shredder had a dent in his helmet and rushed over to him. He told everyone to keep Shredder’s head still. Donatello pulled the head up and -SSSNNNNAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPP!!!!! The suit fell to the ground. The body inside was destroyed. But there was no blood. ZZZEEEERRRRNNNNNKKKKKCCCCHHHHIIINNNGGGGPPOOOFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A compartment opened in the stomach and a 3-foot red alien brain popped out!
“What did this guy eat?!” Michelangelo asked.
The electromagnetic blast gained momentum as it went down from the spiral staircase, to the ground, and straight into Raphael’s shell. The shell managed to deflect most of the shot, but the microscopic bullet made it in, cratering the shell. Raphael felt it jolt through his insides. He fell to the ground, shattering the floor.
“Where’s the extra mutagen, Donnie?!” Mikey demanded, kicking and punching through the Foot soldiers.
“I was saving it for Master Splinter! He can’t stay frozen forever,” Donnie replied, kicking a Foot soldier. He took a lighter from a compartment in his vest and pulled out a spray-can of oil from his satchel. He then lit the lighter, screwed the lid off the bottle, dropping the lighter inside, and as fast as lightning, threw it to the top floor while spewing out oil on its way up. As soon as the fire hit the trail of oil, that led through all the floors and staircases, it lit up. To top it off, Donnie threw a canister of gunpowder to Leonardo, who jumped to the ceiling, gripping onto railings, people, stairs and the platforms that the Foot soldiers were standing on, and dropped the canister into the fire. He hung, shell-down, from the ceiling, sheltered from the explosions.
All the turtles ducked into their shells to dodge the explosion. Most of the Foot soldiers were down and the rest were being picked off by the local authorities. As the turtles were coming out of their shells, a Foot soldier in a skull-painted hockey mask walked over, eyeing the turtles worriedly.
“I don’t want to hurt you, but I will if you attack me!” the soldier said, trembling with his hand on the gun.
Raphael, who had healed while in his shell, walked over to the soldier, towering above him, took his gun and mashed it in between his reptilian palms, the gun reappearing as a ball of wasted metal and unused bullets.
“Tell everyone what happened when we’re done.”
“OK, man, just don’t hurt me!” He said and ran away, motioning for the door to open and let him out.
“Find Shredder, guys!” Leo commanded.
They jumped and clung to the remnants of the staircase, and soundlessly made it up to the top floor. That part of the staircase was made of titanium, so it was merely a dented surface. They pressed their hands against the wall, hoping for a secret room to open. Mikey was looking at the plain, flat and grey wall as he was looking for a distinction in the flat wall. He stepped back and looked for the shadow of anything that could be a button. He found a small square and pressed it.
A door spiraled open on the ceiling, revealing lights and statues. The turtles silently jumped and climbed in, the door closing once they were in. It appeared to be a huge room with statues of warriors.
“There you are. I was contemplating whether or not to kill you 5 years ago. I must say, you look bulkier and better-trained than the last time we met. I have been waiting for you to come…so I could kill you myself,” Shredder explained, sitting in a large velvet chair at the end of the hallway. He was simply a man in a business suit.
An extremely intelligent, ruthless, a won’t-regret-killing-you, martial arts trained evil man in a suit.
“You killed our master, you (CENSORED),” Raphael said angrily.
“Whoa, dude!” Michelangelo exclaimed as he heard the unsanitary profanity.
“Well, since you chose to be so informal,” as he said this, he pressed a button on his watch and stood in a red circle in the marble floor. A metal case came down on him, and after .15 seconds, went back up, leaving him a man in a metal exoskeleton, with swords and machetes protruding from the gauntlet covering his forearm.
He immediately pounced at the perplexed turtles, only to see them disappear behind various statues. He looked around, listening for something to break the silence.
“Oh, crap!!!!!” Michelangelo shrieked as the statue crumbled to the ground, on top of Shredder. He stood. The granite statue broke over his head, and he barely felt it. Raphael silently flipped and jumped over to Shredder and attempted to stab him with his sai. Shredder quickly caught the sai through his fingers, and pulled it out of Raph’s hand.
Donatello jumped, pushed off the wall with his bo staff and aimed his foot at Shredder. Shredder grabbed Donnie’s ankle and twisted it. He went zooming through statues and pillars until the force of the throw subsided.
Michelangelo came from behind with the head of the statue and slammed it down on Shredder’s head, denting the helmet. Mikey was punched through a pillar and slammed into another statue, which smashed onto the floor.
Leonardo jumped in front of Shredder and pulled out his swords. He swung at Shredder, who took a hit to the shoulder. The sword was stuck in the metal as Leo pulled at full force. Shredder, who seemed unharmed, slowly broke the handle off the rest of the blade and stabbed Leo in the back of the shell. Leo used his other sword to block the blows from the blades of Shredder’s gauntlets. Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello all attacked Shredder at once.
They kicked at the mask and punched the chest. Shredder was being punched and kicked an immeasurable amount of times. The suit was being dented beyond repair. Eventually, Leo had taken the shard out of his shell, threw it at Shredder, hitting him in the eye.
Next, Raphael pulled out the rest of Leo’s sword that was still in Shredder’s shoulder and stabbed him in the neck, guarded by a thick layer of rubber. Shredder punched Raphael into another pillar, indenting it. Michelangelo wrapped his nunchucks around Shredder’s neck, holding him in place as Donnie pulled out his brass knuckles with spikes on them, and repeatedly punched Shredder continuously until the spikes became dull. There was no blood gushing from all the holes, indentations or cracks in the suit. The suit got up from the large indentation in the floor. He dusted off the powder off the rocks in the floor.
“Oh my God, JUST FALL!!!!!!!” Donnie screamed at the suit.
Michelangelo picked up a shard of granite from the statue and pierced it through Shredder’s neck, until he could see the shard on the other side. Leo put his hand on the shard and pushed it completely through while Raph impaled Shredder’s abdomen with a spear from one of the fallen statues and finally, Donnie snapped the neck. The suit fell quickly to the ground.
They opened the suit to see the man they had seen before, Eric Sachs. But in a tear in the skin they saw a robotic face. They soon saw that the Kraang leader, inside the stomach, obviously controlling the suit, had been impaled by the spear.
“So…what now?” Donnie asked.
“Pizza?” Mikey suggested.
“Let’s resurrect Splinter with Donnie’s mumbo-jumbo and tell him the news,” Leonardo commanded.
“Guys, that is a great idea!” Raph replied. “But why didn’t we do that before?”
“Because the Foot had to be broken up, Shredder destroyed and the city made safe,” Leo answered.
“Well that’s that. So what do we do with this thing?” Donnie asked, pointing to the suit. “I could take it apart and try to figure it out.”
Later, in deep space…
“Shredder! Where are you? The second in command of the Kraang army asked through his communicator. Kraang turned to his army of mutants,
“Find the turtles from Planet X and destroy them!!!!!!”
COMMENT BELOW WITH ANY QUESTIONS, COMPLIMENTS, CRITICISMS OR COMMENTS
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April 24, 2014
Let’s start off with the camping trip:
I usually eat when I’m not worried about anything. If you’ve seen me in real life, you can see that I don’t get worried too often.
There are 50 pounds I could have gained if I wasn’t so worried about this camping trip. This camping trip was the muddiest and probably the least fun of any camping trip on my camping trip list.
One of my friends had decided not to go on this trip, but I did not have a choice. But a very good friend of mine DID go on the trip, and it was his first camping trip as a Boy Scout. I did have fun because we pretty much spent most of the time in a cabin, making up weird card games.
And that wraps up the preview for my next Nerd Versus story.
And now, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
This was the best superhero movie (and only) since Thor 2. And Marvel again succeeds to exceed my expectations. There were so many Easter eggs in this movie that they could make an entirely new Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This movie had action, suspense, and spandex. It had many nods to the comics (SPOILER ALERT!!):
– Doctor Zola putting his brain into a supercomputer as some kind of artificial intelligence
– An end of credit scene that teases “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” by showing the last living Nazi, Baron Von Strucker, Loki’s Sceptre and a couple of other surprises (which I will explain in a separate entry)
Spring Break – My grandparents came to visit during Spring Break and my sister visited. We participated in a couple of fun day trips. One of these included going to IKEA (my favorite and most awesome furniture store, ever, in the world). THEY FREAKIN’ SERVE SWEDISH MEATBALLS! It’s a furniture store that serves Swedish meatballs; there’s nothing more beautiful that I’ve seen in my life.
The other day trip was to Edison’s Lab. This proved to my NYer family (that loves going to movies) that the first movie ever made was made in NJ! And I got some quality time with my sister, watching one of our favorite TV shows. Then the next thing I know, spring break is over, and I’m back in the classroom.
Thank you for reading! I’ll try to put up something new soon. This was pretty much the Sears Catalog of my blog because it tells you what will be available to read and what currently is available to read here.
The Nerd Versus Series is the place where I rant about random stuff of life. Everyone needs to know the Nerd’s perspective of these situations. Some may find it extremely helpful!
NERD VS. WILD
Setting – NJ, October 2013
“Can I drive, Dad?” asked Malcolm jokingly.
“Mr. Shepherd, give him the wheel …right after I write a will,” I laughed.
I was driving up to Good’ol Penn state, with my friend Malcolm, to a Boy Scout camping trip. I had to get out of bed at 6:00 AM to make it to the camp by 8:00 AM. Being the biggest nerd on the face of the earth, I have boycotted all activities that require extensive movement. The other day, when our gym class ran the half-mile, I was as slow as a slug, and I sure felt like one when I realized how much I had sweat during my dramatic sprint to failure.
So once we got to the camp site, I was trying to put up the tent with one of the senior scouts while Malcolm was trying not to turn into Mr. Freeze in the skin numbing frost that felt like a December Snow-day. I’m not exactly the mayor of Winner-berg, but I think I did a good job setting it up considering that the scout that was helping us/me was yelling at the instructions for the tent. KRAK! went my spine and left shoulder when I had to carry a large rock to the fire place to surround it with rocks. It’s not fair how the adults had fire wood, hot-dogs and lighters, and we had to find wood, eat chili with almost no meat, and had to use fragile matches to light the fire.
After all that stuff which does not require a ton of enhanced details, we went on a gigantic hike down the steep mountain. Trudging through the titanic layer of sunset colored leaves, we were keeping from pin-wheeling to a bloody death by clinging to the uncountable amount of humongous trees. After a montage of rock climbing sequences and bloody palms, we made it to the top of the waterfall. With the raging water and gray slippery stone complimenting the heart- warming blue sky and the tangerine leaves blanketing the mossy forest. It was gorgeous. It was so freeing.
So with the sun blazing through all the frost on the stones and trees below, I bathed my dirty and cut hands in the smooth, wavy waters on the top of the 45 foot waterfall on the mountain. We hiked our way back up to the camp and talked to each other. I had bested nature and got an amazing visual feast in return. We had a nice night’s sleep and woke up to a lovely Sunday morning. We disposed of the body of a possum that had bashed its head in and left for home.
I had a lovely dinner with my family and grandparents. And here I am, writing this story. I will never forget the astonishing experience. I hope you enjoyed!
NERD VS. PANCAKES
Setting – NJ, November 2013
“Good morning. Happy Saturday. It’s 6:30,” said my mother.
I had yet another Scout thing to deal with. Working with scouts is like Monty Burns with affable volunteers that are fresh out of college. There was a risk of a detestable result.
After the death-defying hike a couple of weeks ago (see Nerd Vs. Wild), unfortunately, I have begun craving sleep. I don’t think the scouts got the memo.
So I put on my heavy uniform and went to church. Not really. That’s where the pancake breakfast was. Since it was at church, I couldn’t pull a fast one or slack off without having a lot of guilt on my shoulders.
To some extent, I had fun. It was nice. My friend M was there, so it wasn’t as bad. I was racing from table to table, delivering pancakes to random people. Frankly, I don’t think any of the other scouts (including me) wanted to be there. But the genuineness of all of the happy faces of the guests was awesome.
Sadly, I was there until 9:45 and I never even got breakfast. On the plus side, I had something to write a story about!
August 23, 2013 – september 1, 2013: hotel room at 70mph
Thanks for reading my new blog entry. Sorry about the delay but there was a bunch of crazy stuff going on. At the moment, I’m on the auto train on my way to Sanford, FL. In this entry, you will hear good news, bad news, and some pretty $%#@ ed up news. You will get some entries from me while I’m at Disney World and at my grandmother’s house.
It’s time for: What the $%#@ is the answer to that question!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Superhero Movie Edition.
The first question is: who will be cast as Batman in the upcoming blockbuster Batman vs Superman sequel to “Man of Steel?” (coming in 2015)
And the $%#@ ed up answer is: Ben Affleck, the man who detached me from being a Daredevil fan. This man is now going to play the warrior of the shadows as he faces off against the formidable extra-terrestrial centurion. That’s right, I said Batman fighting Superman.
The next question is: will Lex Luthor be involved? That’s a good question. The answer is: Probably. OK, that’s not confirmed yet.
Back to the train…
Who knew that a train could be so luxurious? With fine dining, family oriented movies, comfort kits, spacious seats and electrical outlets, you can’t help but notice that half of this isn’t in a regular hotel room. Not to mention the fact that it’s moving at 70 mph.
This was better than driving the whole way in the car because my parents were able to relax, and my dad didn’t lose his mind after driving for 17 hours. The food (dinner and breakfast – the available meals for this trip) tasted gourmet. We all had a nice time and the waiters, waitresses and attendants were really nice.
After an hour and a half of waiting to get our car back and then another 45 minutes to find and order lunch at a McDonald’s, we drove to my grandmother’s. It was 3 years since I was last here and the pets were just as cute. My grandmother lives on a canal where just about everyone owns a boat. And my grandmother and aunt told me some interesting stories about times they saw creatures in the canal that would not normally be seen here in NJ.
We went to the Big Cat Reserve where I saw some of my fat cat’s distant relatives that weren’t AS FAT. But they were certainly as cute. The place featured “lions, tigers and bears, oh my!” It really featured tigers, cougars, leopards, cheetahs, and panthers. There’s no such thing as a black panther, it’s really just a black leopard with very dark fur. They were all so cute and some of them were viciously treated and some declawed before they were rescued.
After that, I got to go swimming in my grandmother’s pool, and there were cute little lizards crawling all over the place. We also went to the sponge docks and the Greek neighborhood. I also got to go on a boat ride to the Gulf of Mexico. It was fun and every time we sped up, I thought the boat was going to capsize but it didn’t. That’s because the guy driving the boat was experienced.
Then it took us a while to get to the All Star Music resort at Disney World. Remember all that stuff I said that wasn’t in a regular hotel room? Well, this is not a regular hotel room. It is a family suite, complete with fine dining, a large TV, lots of room, and some really cool towel origami (that the hotel housekeeper would leave in our rooms). Now that’s fancy! We also had a mini kitchen and a itty-bitty fridge, which I quickly filled with deformed and melted chocolate bars that we bought in candy stores throughout Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
First of the many amazing things we did was to go to the Lego store in Downtown Disney. I bought a small but really incredibly cool Lord of the Rings Lego set.
After a nice night of sleeping in our comfortable beds, we went to Hollywood Studios to go on some of the legendary rides and to become a Jedi. It started off by waiting in line for 15 minutes to sign up for the Jedi Academy. We did the Star Tours ride with an animatronic C3PO. It was awesome considering that the bounty hunters were looking for the rebel spy, which was the other pin that I had on. I’ll explain where I got that pin later…
How I Beat the Bleep Out of the Empire
We went into the legendary gift shop in Tatooine, and I bought some pretty cool and unique stuff. I also built my own droid-Yoda (what Yoda would look like as a droid). My mom picked out an incredibly awesome looking Wookie t-shirt. The cashier saw my Birthday Pin, took another blank pin out of the drawer, and wrote “I am the Rebel Spy” in red Sharpie on it. Then she handed me the pin and I proudly put it on.
Next, we were all standing in line to go on the stage to use light saber training to defeat Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers. Evidently, all of the other kids were only able to fight Darth Vader but I, proudly wearing my Birthday Pin, got to fight Darth Vader, beat him and the push 2 Storm Troopers (who were looking kind of bored while Vader was fighting people) into a wall, using the Force.
That night we went for a Germany-sized dinner (as big as a German meal you’d find in Berlin) and it featured the best of foods: sausage, sausage, more sausage and mac & cheese. Nothing gets better in food form than that meal. The chocolate milk was even better than the diner-chocolate-milk.
The next day we went to Magic Kingdom and some magical stuff happened. We did the Tomorrow Land Speedway (a short wait), the Haunted Manson (no wait), and the Pirates of the Caribbean (no wait). We took a 15 minute journey into the Swiss Family Robinson’s lifestyle, it was pretty cool. The plastic trees look realistic.
That night I had pure Italian pizza for dinner in Italy. Mom got sushi in Japan and she and Dad got crepes in France. Everyone had their own little slice of the world.
We thoroughly enjoyed the futuristic computer stuff of Spaceship Earth (which I highly recommend). There was a lot of surprisingly cool interactive stuff in Epcot, which at first looks like something for the little kids but when you actually get in there, it’s really freakin’ cool!
Also in Ecpot, we went to the Seas. It was hilarious watching Crush the Turtle from “Finding Nemo” talk to the audience – Disney really invested in some good companies to design that kind of stuff.
My mother and I somehow became engineers in 4 minutes and designed our own bobsled ride. Once again, Disney invested in some good technology and companies to create this cool stuff. We went in a set of pilot seats and went through a simulation of our bobsled ride. It was freakin’ awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That night, we went back to Epcot and did Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. It was very humorous because you walked around looking for clues and listened to remarks and funny clips from the show. We did the adventure in the UK. We had dinner at the Rose and Crown Pub in the UK. I got really good service because of the Birthday Pin, including a light up Buzz Lightyear toy that’s phenomenal.
I also started my Agent P stamp rally that night, getting 8 out of 11 countries. I went from the Rockies of Canada to the ancient mythos of Japan in less than an hour. And after doing all that and buying some Pokemon graphic novels, we satisfyingly had gelato in Italy and stayed for fireworks. The gelato was probably the best thing ever.
We enjoyed a sweet slumber after I worked my way through 5 new graphic novels. The final morning, we went back to Epcot after discovering the disappointing fact that the hotel pool was closed for cleaning. We had breakfast in France, rode the Maelstorm Viking ride in Norway (which featured trolls, vikings and something that looked like Thor’s hammer), and went to the last remaining countries I had to get stamped: Morocco, America and France.
Then there was a long train ride home. I watched the “Transformers” movie on the train. And boom! Here I am, hugging my cat, at home.
July 28, 2013: SuperHeroes: Stupid weaknesses (DC Edition)
Let me just say that superheroes are what define our geekness. A lot of them are formidable, although for all of the good ones, their weaknesses are pretty stupid.
EXHIBIT A – Green Lantern can create anything with the power of his ring, generated by his will and imagination. As great as he is, though, his weakness is the color yellow. So if he’s facing an enemy who is wearing a yellow T-shirt, Green Lantern is rendered helpless. The Blue Lanterns, generated by hope, have to come and save his butt.
EXHIBIT B – Batman is the most modern detective in America. Batman has fought some pretty ridiculous stuff over the years, from a crazy guy in a hat (Mad Hatter) to a dangerous pyschopathic clown (the Joker). Batman’s parents were killed when he was a child, therefore giving him the curse of debilitating flashbacks whenever he sees something connected to them.
EXHIBIT C – Superman is an alien from a planet that no longer exists due to a fatal explosion at its core. Superman was sent as a baby, in a small capsule, to Earth. He’s not as haunted by the deaths of his birth parents and those of everyone else on Krypton as Batman is of his parents. The few other residents of Krypton who did survive the explosion had been exiled to another universe, thus avoiding destruction. Superman is weakened by small remnants of his home planet that plummeted to our solar system. It’s dumb that the thing that brought him to life (the essence of his home planet) could now weaken and kill him within minutes.
EXHIBIT D – Aquaman is pretty much useless on land, which is where the rest of the Justice League meets. As a member, he cannot use his powers the way the others can – he’s very limited. I don’t know why he’s a member if he’s basically useless. Although in the few water missions that the Justice League undergoes, he is their ticket to succeeding with the quest because he can now use his power and knowledge of the ocean. He can also summon sea creatures and oceanic armies when needed.
EXHIBIT E – The Wonder Twins are just stupid.
July 25, 2013: Middle Earth in the Making
Nothing is more beautiful than sleeping. But throwing a party makes you look even more like a zombie after a good, long, hard day of playing!
Let me tell you how this became the case for me.
It all started back in February, a good solid 5 months before my birthday. Thankfully, the internet pointed us in the right direction of what to do to make this party fun. It took some digging to find interesting Middle Earth-y things to do and make.
The first thing we thought of was giving everyone an archery set. We found that it was a lot cheaper to make our own than to buy the professional sets. My fine mother found some cool instructions and guidance from a blog through Google. We found all of our supplies easily at Lowe’s. Once again, it took some digging (and asking for help!) to get what we needed. And Mom was happy because she got some pretty cool tools out of it, like a $4 PVC pipe cutter!! It doesn’t get much better than that!
We knew we wanted backpacks for everyone but, as smart as I am, I turned them into quivers. Everyone got to decorate their own.
My mom’s blog has the details for the cake that we designed and other stuff… including the treasure hunt with maps of Middle Earth (our many times re-formed backyard!).
The final and biggest thing was making Gollum’s Cave out of 6 heavy garbage bags and a lot of duct tape. We tried it out in the den first and it was very cool. How did a bizarre, little man with a loin cloth make one if it took us a couple of hours? The world may never know…..
And it all ended with a campfire in Mordor (our fire pit, 6 times re-formed) and marshmallows. 9th party is a success!
Thanks for reading! Please comment.
July 9, 2013: Beauty sleep
Why is it called beauty sleep when you:
- Wake up looking like a deformed calf with eye-liner smeared all over its face
- For the people that snore (you know who you are), prevent anyone else from getting their beauty sleep
- In my case, have a confused cat looking down at me after I wake up. That’s not a beautiful thing to look at when you first wake up
I’d just like to know why it’s called beauty sleep when all that stuff happens.
Thanks for hearing me out.
July 7, 2013: The Mistakes of the Original Superman Movie
The Man of Rice Paper:
Does anyone else notice how ridiculous it is that Superman somehow turned back time to save his girlfriend and to put the world in danger in the process? I just think that’s not well thought out, even for a comic book movie – it makes no sense.
It’s not Christopher Reeve’s fault that this part of the movie made no sense. His good acting went to a bad cause. (As I speak, I’m becoming more of a movie critic)
Wouldn’t it have been easier for Lex Luthor to keep his money instead of spending so much of it to blow up the West Coast? And when he told Superman about his plan, couldn’t Superman have just flown around the world, super fast (like he ends up doing a little later on), to reverse time, grab the missiles and throw them into space? This worked pretty well for him in “Superman Returns.”
I don’t like the trend where the actresses playing Lois Lane are older than the actors playing Superman. This happened in both the original Superman trilogy and the recent “Man of Steel” (a movie that I highly recommend).
If you’re going to watch any of the Superman movies, I recommend “Man of Steel” (2013) and “Superman II” (1980). You could give “Superman Returns” a try but don’t expect anything great. It wasn’t a terrible movie – I’m looking at you, “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987)!!
Thanks for reading!