Entertainment, travel

My travels: Another California Adventure

I took my 2017 California trip back in March and it has only taken me six months to write about it! In between going to school and working, it has been hard to find the time. So here it is!

I love California. If I could, I would move in a heartbeat and try to be the entertainment journalist that I have always wanted to be. For now though, I am content with the times I get to visit, plus I am thankful for the cousin who lets me stay with her and goes on the adventures with me!

I still have a lot of California bucket list items and on this trip I got to tackle a bunch of them; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios,  the WB Studio Tour in Burbank, a visit to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and a day at WonderCon in Anaheim. Harry Potter was first on our agenda! The last time we were at Universal Studios in 2014, they were starting to build this so we were anxious to go! I had been looking at pictures and reading about all of the things to do so finally being able to see it in person was amazing. All of the details that they put into everything is super impressive; from the pygmy puffs at Zonkos, the pumpkin pasties at Honeydukes, the entertainment provided by the frog choir, to the Butterbeer that tastes just like you have always imagined it would. They don’t leave anything Harry Potter out! One of the main things to do there is to walk around and browse the shops; Ollivander’s Wand Shop, the Owl Post, Honeyduke’s and Zonko’s to name a few where you can get pretty cool merchandise. For food there is The Three Broomsticks, plus some beverage carts where you can get Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice. The Three Broomsticks serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with dishes like shepherd’s pie, roast chicken and ribs on the menu. I had the fish and chips at the restaurant and it was delicious. Plus if you want an adult beverage head over to the Hog’s Head Pub, which has beer and hard alcohol (if you want to add an extra kick to your Butterbeer, add a shot of fireball!)

For the rides in the area, there is The Forbidden Journey and the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster. The Forbidden Journey should be the first thing you get in line for when you get to the park as the lines can get over an hour long. The wait isn’t so bad though because you get to walk through Hogwarts and it is very cool! I won’t spoil the ride or what is inside, but both are worth waiting for! What isn’t worth waiting for is the roller coaster as it is only like a thirty-second ride. If there is no line for it then I would say go, just so you can at least see Hagrid’s Hut and Sirius’ motorbike.

Overall, Universal did such an amazing job with it and I can’t wait to go back. I definitely want to go to the Orlando Wizarding World one day as it also has Diagon Alley and more rides than Universal Hollywood. The rest of the park is pretty fun, Jurassic Park being one of my favorite rides, but we spent almost the whole day in Hogsmeade. We got a little time to walk around, but ended up going on just the Studio Tour and the new Walking Dead attraction. Our day ended with looking in shops at the CityWalk , which is a fun place to hang out at without having to have a ticket to the park, and having dinner at Margaritaville.

New Walking Deadattraction

We spent our next day at the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, taking their amazing tour.  After you check in, you join a group and hop in a cart to be driven around the studios by a guide, stopping at places along the way to see sound stages where TV shows and movies have been/are being filmed, the prop department and cool exhibits. We got to walk around their New York City set that they still use and have used for Annie, Friends, Gremlins, etc. and got to check out the set of the Freeform show, The Fosters. We stopped at cool exhibits featuring Harry Potter and DC movie’s costumes and props. You also got to make a stop at the prop department to check out the tons of items that have been used in many movies and TV shows and that they continue to use today. Anything with a tag on it was going to be used for a show later on! We also got to see inside the picture car vault that currently has some of the vehicles and props from the Batman movies. This was my definitely my favorite part of the tour and one prop that I thought was cool was the Gotham snow globe from Batman & Robin.

My favorite sets we got to see were the cafe that was featured in La La Land, which was only a limited time feature and after the tour, we were dropped off at Stage 48 to see the Central Perk set from Friends. This was so cool to see and you get to sit on the Friends couch to take a picture! My favorite show is Friends so it was so fun to see the set and we got to drive by the stage where they filmed the show. Stage 48 also features some cool interactive stations where you can sit on a Bat Pod or a Harry Potter broom in front of a green screen and take some pictures! The tour ended at the Central Perk Cafe where we got some coffee and we walked through the WB Studios Store. Being a TV/movie/pop culture buff, this was one of the best tours to take and one of the coolest things I have ever done. They change the exhibits from time to time and it is definitely something that I would consider doing again.

After our tour we decided to go to the Griffith Observatory where we met up with my sister who was on vacation with her family. We parked near the Greek Theater and caught a bus up to the observatory as it was only a few dollars and better than trying to park somewhere on the hill. There are no fees to get on the grounds, go into the building or check out the telescopes, but one to go to the planetarium. There were a lot of people and it was late in the day so we didn’t stay too long. Just enough to walk around the property and look inside for a few minutes. It is a pretty cool place and I definitely want to go back to see a show at the Planetarium.

We did go to Disneyland the next day to hang out with my family and it was crazy busy. But that was expected since it was Spring Break! There weren’t too many new things since I had been there last and they were still building the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. It was a fun day with getting to ride my favorite rides, eat all of my favorite things (dole whip, churros and Sprinkles cupcakes with a new Downtown Disney location) and have a great time with my family. It was my niece and nephew’s first time to the park so it was pretty cool to hear about all of their favorite things at the parks!


We spent my last day in California at WonderCon, which is why I went down in the first place! The convention is held at the Anaheim Convention Center, which is a pretty nice space. We mainly walked around the show floor and while I had hoped to see the Agents of Shield panel, the line was too long by the time we got to it so instead we got to see the WB panel which featured Annabelle Creation and Wonder Woman. We got to watch some clips of both movies and it was fun to listen to Patty Jenkins talk about Wonder Woman, which turned out to be my favorite summer movie. I did an entry a while back ranking my favorite conventions and I would put WonderCon in the middle of the pack. It had a good amount of exhibitors/artists, but I thought that there would be more TV show/movie panels. Overall it was a good first time there. It is nice that the convention center is withing walking distance of Disneyland and we finished the day at Downtown Disney, having drinks at the Jazz Kitchen and checking out the shops.

It was such a fun five days and I was glad to be able to cross some things off of my bucket list that had been on there for a while! I am hoping we will get back to SDCC again, plus hope to see more on my Cali list; Hearst Castle, San Francisco, the dinosaurs in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure which are near Palm Springs and Disneyland during Halloween to name a few! I always have so much fun on my trips to California and I can’t wait to plan the next.

Entertainment, life, travel

Con, Con, Everywhere a Con

In a few weeks my next adventure will be going back down to California to visit my cousin for four days, with one of them being spent at WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center. I am not sure what to expect from this convention as it will be my first time attending and all I know is that it is put on by Comic-Con International, who runs the huge San Diego show. I am really into pop culture and these conventions have become  favorite events to go to. Going to panels, walking the exhibit floor, sharing experiences with people and seeing all the art that people come up with are some of my favorite things about the conventions. I have been to many different ones on the west coast and it got me thinking about my favorite and my not so favorite. Here are the ones I have frequented and my thoughts on them.

San Diego Comic Con SDCC has definitely been the best con I have been to and it is a ‘you must go at least once in your life’ convention. It is pretty big and a lot of people attend. You definitely have to be ready to be surrounded by people almost the whole time, be ready to sleep outside in line to get into panels that are on your bucket list and be ready not to eat a decent meal for a couple of days because you are spending hours in Hall H to watch panels or hours in line. I know, this all sounds horrible, but I have honestly had the most amazing times in the years that I have gone. The con is four days, always held in July and registration for tickets is usually early in the year. It is a good idea to scope out hotel/airline prices right after you get tickets. My first time going was with my best friends in 2010 (you can read about my full experience here) and we were easily able to get four-day passes with preview night almost a year before the con (this was the only time going to SDCC that this happened for me). I got the idea of going from the coverage of it in Entertainment Weekly and pitched it to my friends the summer before.  We managed to see a lot of fun panels  and I got to attend a couple of fun parties. It was an awesome first experience.

I have been back twice with my cousin, scoring a Thursday ticket in 2013  and then somehow managing to get all four days in 2014. Even though we only went one day in 2013, we saw a few movie panels and got a lot of cool stuff from walking the floor. The 2014 trip was awesome because we saw almost all of the panels that were on our list. This was my first year of sleeping outside, which I had vowed I would not do, but if you have your heart set on seeing certain things then you have to make sacrifices! In two days we only got eight hours of sleep, but it had been totally worth it. We were able to see some pretty awesome movie panels like Marvel (Ant-Man and Avengers), The Hobbit, Mad Max and some cool TV panels; Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, the last Sons of Anarchy panel and a special WB panel of Gotham, The Flash and Arrow.


We have tried every year since to go back and have not had any luck getting tickets. This has become a huge downside to this con. It has become so popular that now it is difficult to go. They changed their ticketing soon after the first time I had gone to an open registration and you have to sign up for a member id through the SDCC website. The ticket site is now a randomized system where you log in, you get placed in a virtual line and you basically sit in front of your computer for an hour waiting to be picked to buy tickets or wait for the site to tell you it is sold out. It is a frustrating system! But, San Diego is still a fun place to go and even if you only get a one day ticket or nothing at all, there is still so much outside of the con and you never know what cool things you will get to see or the people you will meet. It is helpful to follow the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog for updates on the convention and when open registration will be.

Rose City Comic Con – It was exciting when this started in Portland and every year has been a good show. After more people showed up than anticipated in 2012, the first year it started, they wisely moved it from the Double Tree to the convention center which definitely provided more space. The convention center floor is very open and I never feel like I am too crowded when trying to navigate it. RCCC is slowly getting bigger and they have definitely improved the show over the years when it comes to guests. It is nice to have a local con and to support local artists and shops. It runs in September and this year has been expanded to three days.

Batmobile at RCCC

Emerald City Comic Con – ECCC happens in March and is a four day convention. I like going to Seattle and a lot of my friends go to this con too so having a group of people there makes it even more fun. I have gone a few times since 2011, but it has been getting more crowded and Seattle is becoming more expensive to stay the weekend. Usually it is who the guests are that help me decide on going. They do always have cool exhibits, like a Lego display or costumes from a movie, and they have a ton of vendors and artists in the exhibit hall. Plus, Seattle has so much to do in the city in case you need a break from the madness. One of the highlights from attending has been meeting John Noble and Jasika Nicole from Fringe. They were two of the nicest people and I got a photo with them, plus they were nice enough to sign it for me right before the convention closed for the day.



Wizard World Comic Con This may have been the con where I got to meet the Chris’, but I find the Wizard World ones over priced and unorganized. WW does events throughout the year in different US cities. My first WW was in 2015 in Portland and I went because of the guests. In 2016, they were adding people from the Marvel casts to almost every city but Portland. My best friend and I wanted nothing more than to take a picture with Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth so we ended up canceling all of our Emerald City Con plans (we had everything booked!) to go to Philadelphia. While touring the city and eating Philly cheesesteak was a lot of fun, the convention was frustrating. We decided to only go for one day since we had limited time and ended up spending most of the convention in line due to photo ops being so behind. There were so many people waiting for pictures and the lines were still huge after we had gotten done. The picture itself was so fast; being a hi,  get ready, snap the photo, out the door. The night before we had talked about how we wanted to pose, but when it came time for the picture we had no time to ask and both of us could not even say one word to either of the Chris’ anyway! At other cons, I have actually gotten a chance to talk to people who I was taking a picture with or getting an autograph from so it was a little disappointing.

Our Chris pic

Everything was running behind by almost two hours and there was barely time to see all of the exhibitors on the floor between my photo and autograph. Then by the time I had gotten done, the convention was closing. I read some stories online later on about how some people got turned away from the photo ops they paid for because the guests  were out of time and had to be somewhere else. The upside of the weekend was being in a new city. I did have a great time with my friends and had good chats with people I had met in line so not all of it was frustrating. I did not attend the show this year in Portland and if I do attend this con again, it will definitely depend on the guests because $50 for just one day is too much!

I have had a lot of fun at conventions and love going. What makes it even better is having friends who are just as nerdy as I am and love to go too. I am excited for WonderCon and will probably attend Rose City again this year. I hope to some day get back to San Diego and some day attend the New York City Comic Con.




My top 10 movies to see in 2011

2011 looks to be better then 2010 when it comes to movies and it is time to see which ones are worth spending that $10 on. Warning, these are the top ten films I am looking forward to this year and you might not agree on them!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

#1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, July 15

After watching part I in November of 2010, I wanted to continue onto part II right then. I couldn’t get enough of Deathly Hallows and it is going to be a long wait for July 15. This seventh Potter book is the best of the series and the first movie may have left out some things, but none of those things were too critical. Part I had emotion, action, suspense and heart and part II should be no disappointment if it keeps the same elements and stays as true to the book as it can.

Girl with Dragon Tattoo with Daniel Craig



#2.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, December 21

This movie has the potential to be either good or ruined by us Americans trying to copy the Swedish version. As I was reading the book, I could picture Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and wasn’t surprised when David Fincher cast him. It helps that it is being filmed in Sweden and the cast is good too with Stellan Skarsgard as Martin Vanger, Robin Wright as Erika Berger and Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger. The question mark belongs to Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. She will have some big shoes to fill since Noomi Rapace did so well in the Swedish movies. Love the book, like the Swedish films, hopefully this version will not disappoint.

Noomi Rapace, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law get into trouble

#3. Sherlock Holmes 2, December 16

Speaking of Noomi Rapace, she got so popular from Dragon Tattoo that many studios started to court her to star in their movies with Sherlock Holmes 2 coming out the winner. I loved the first one and Robert Downey Jr. will always bring me to the theatre. Jude Law is also back, but not sure of Rachel McAdams. The plot is being kept under wraps and all that is known is Holmes and Watson are after Professor Moriaty, the mysterious character from the first movie. The first one was fun, hoping this one will be too.

Cowboys and Aliens

#4. Cowboys and Aliens, July 29

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford with Jon Favreau as director, what more could you ask for? A western that involves aliens is intriguing and the trailer looks pretty good. Olivia Wilde is also in the cast and has broken out thanks to Tron and House.

Captain America

#5. Captain America: The First Avenger, July 22

This is just one of the many comic book movies of the year and I think it looks to be the most interesting of them. I like era movies and this one will be set during World War II with Captain America (Chris Evans) taking on Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

Captain Jack is back



#6. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, May 20

I am a sucker for these kinds of movies, the ones that you can sit back, relax and just have fun. On Stranger Tides got rid of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, replacing them with Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. Johnny Depp is awesome as Jack Sparrow and I think this fourth installment will be a lot different with the new cast and a new adventure.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

#7. Thor, May 6

I missed out on the panel at Comic-Con, but after watching the trailer for the first time I am more interested in the movie. Chris Hemsworth seems like he is going to make a good Thor and having Natalie Portman as the leading lady isn’t so bad either.

Natalie Portman, Danny McBride, James Franco and Zooey Deschanel in Your Highness

#8. Your Highness, April 8

R rated comedies are always better than PG 13 ones (see the Hangover, Wedding Crashers and Due Date) so this should be no exception. The cast is stellar with James Franco and Danny McBride at the lead with Natalie Portman (she is going to have a good year) and Zooey Deschanel as the women in their lives. The trailer looks funny and the fantasy element should make it a little more intriguing.

Jason Segal and the Muppets

#9. The Muppets, November 23

The kid in me is excited for this movie. It has been a long time since we have seen the Muppets and Kermit the Frog is not one to forget. Jason Segal and Amy Adams join the gang for their first film in a long time.

Jeremy Renner, Tom Cruise and Paula Patton of Mission Impossible 4


#10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, December 16

I am a fan of the Mission Impossible movies and am looking forward to this new one. I am one of the few that don’t really have a problem with Tom Cruise these days. The cast adds to the appeal of the movie with Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Simon Pegg and Michael Nyqvist (from the Swedish Dragon Tattoo) added to the mix. Having JJ Abrams as a writer doesn’t hurt either.

Other notable releases:

Scream 4, April 15: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette are back for the fourth installment of the series as the ghost face killer comes back to Woodsboro. Fans of the original will probably watch this new one with younger people being appealed by Kristen Bell and Emma Roberts.

Water for Elephants, April 15: This is Robert Pattinson’s role outside of Edward Cullen and I think he might have a chance to prove himself here. The movie is from the best-selling novel from Sara Gruen. With Reese Witherspooin and Christoph Waltz also in the cast I think this is going to be a hit.

The Hangover Part II, May 26: The Hangover was a success at the box office and was pretty darn funny. Hopefully this one can be as funny and has the potential with all the guys from the first one coming back.

X-Men First Class, June 3: This may be a chance for the X-Men franchise to have a good re-boot. X3 was terrible and the X-Men need to do something to erase it from out memories. James McAvoy leads as Professor Xavier.

The Green Lantern, June 17:  Ryan Reynolds is the lead with Blake Lively as his love in, once again, another comic book movie. I am not 100% sure about it, but most likely will watch.

Cars 2, June 24: Lightning McQueen and Mater are back in a race around the world. Cars was a huge success for Pixar and they are looking to repeat that success. Hopefully this one will be as charming as the first.
Edward gives Bella the business

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, November 18: As a reader of Twilight you would think this would be on my ten must see list. The problem is I loathed this book and am not really dying to see the movie. The plot was week and there is not enough source material to make two movies. It will be interesting to see what they come up with to fill the time. Plus, there is no way that they will show the supposedly mind blowing sex that Edward and Bella have. Damn these books for appealing to teenagers!

Chris Evans may win the battle of abs

It will definitely be an entertaining year for movies. It will be interesting to see what stars will break out and which comic book adaptation will rule. I think Thor and Captain America will duke it out with Chris Evan’s chest becoming the winner.



Entertainment: looking back on summer, looking ahead to fall

I love this time of year. Everything changes colors, various pumpkin foods can be found to eat, football starts, the new TV season is upon us and it means that the movie season is back. It definitely was a bummer summer for movies and the blockbusters didn’t really live up to their potential. Iron Man 2 was not as good as the first, Eclipse (just like the rest of the Twilight movies) was not as good as the book, MacGruber was terrible, Knight and Day was odd. My list of summer movies I liked isn’t very long with Inception, Robin Hood, the A-Team and the Other Guys making the cut.

Let down by season 3

Even summer TV was a let down. I waited nine months for True Blood and even though it started off good, it lost its spark. The storylines went everywhere, they took characters places that weren’t normal for those characters and there were some really pointless scenes in some of the episodes. I am a HUGE fan of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries series and even though it is hard to separate the books from the show, season 1 had the excitement of the novels. The characters were all involved in the same storyline and not going in different directions. This can not be said about season three. I will stay true and watch next summer, only because they are going to do one of my favorite storylines, but they better step it up.

Back to movies, after skimming the release calendar there are some fall and winter releases that look worthy enough for a $10 ticket.

The Town

September 17 – “The Town”

Starting off the fall movie season is “The Town” with Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively and Rebecca Hall. Adapted from the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan, the movie follows Doug (Ben Affleck), a thief from Charlestown, Massachusetts, the armored-car robbery capital of the world. Renner plays his friend Jem who is in on the heist, Hamm is the FBI agent trying to catch them, Hall plays a woman who they take hostage during a robbery and Lively is Krista, Jem’s sister, who is in love with Doug. This is a choice for the book club this month and after reading it, the plot was what I expected it to be. It reminded me a little of “The Departed”. I couldn’t get boston accents out of my head and could perfectly see Renner as Jem. With Affleck at the directors chair, “The Town” looks promising. His last movie “Gone Baby Gone” was a good movie and this one I don’t think will disappoint either.

The Social Network

October 1 – “The Social Network”

There is already some Oscar talk for the movie about the founding of Facebook.  The movie centers around the founder, Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg from “Zombieland”) and the controversy that surrounded the creation of Facebook. I think what I find this movie appealing is the story, mainly because I don’t know it. The trailer is pretty good, but then again it could turn out to be one of those movies that is bad, but the trailer is good.


October 15 – “Red”

Bruce Willis, Mary Louise-Parker, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Karl Urban and Morgan Freeman, this is the cast of “Red”. How could you not want to watch a movie with these people in it? I for one would definitely like to see a movie where Helen Mirren shoots stuff up. Karl Urban is not bad to look at either. “Red” looks like it could be a fun movie.

Due Date

November 5 – “Due Date”

Starring Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, “Due Date” follows Peter (Downey) a father to be that has to hitch a ride with Ethan (Galifianakis). Both actors are funny (Galifianakis was the best thing about “The Hangover”) and the movie comes from Todd Phillips, director of “Old School” and “The Hangover.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

November 19 – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”

This is a movie that I have been anticipated since I turned the last page in the book.  Being a faithful Potter reader, I have been very back and forth about the films. The first one I absolutely loved and it really captured the magic of the series. The biggest let down so far was “Goblet of Fire” due to the fact that it felt rushed and they couldn’t put some of the important parts in it since the book was pretty long. In “Half Blood Prince” they added a scene that was completely  unnecessary! I could write a whole blog about the movies, but I won’t because it won’t change them. I just have to cross my fingers that the two last Potter movies, and the most important ones, are going to be up to par. The one thing that I like already is that they have put this in two parts, the book has way too much detail to leave anything out and cram it into one movie. I am glad that the director decided to be faithful to the fans and is going to put everything into the movie that he can from the books. Just from the scenes shown at Comic-Con and from the trailer, the important parts are not going to be left out. Definitely hitting the midnight showing for this.

Tron: Legacy

December 17 – “Tron: Legacy”

I haven’t been too much into 3D films, but I feel that “Tron” is one that must be watched in 3D and the scenes at Comic-Con that were showed sold me on it. Jeff Bridges is back as Kevin Flynn and joining him this time is Garrett Hedlund as Flynn’s son Sam who gets zapped into the game, Olivia Wilde as Qurroa, a warrior and Michael Sheen as Castor, the villain of the movie who wants to stop Sam from leaving the game.

This isn’t really a big list, but these movies were the ones that stood out to me the most and are movies I would pay to go see. Find a complete theatrical release calendar here for the rest of the year. Anything else that should be added to the “must see” list?

Entertainment, life

Trying to get back in the saddle….

I know, its been a while. August has been a crappy month and I am trying to get my mojo back. It has been hard though, I definitely have a case of writer’s block, both here and on my Examiner page. There was an unfortunate death in my family this past month and it has been a little hard to go back to normal. It definitely has had me thinking about how anything can happen and we shouldn’t take life for granted. It has also made me think about what I want out of life and where I would like to end up. I am trying not to let things get to me as much and am trying to get the people that have done me wrong out of my head. This has been difficult to do, but I have come to realize that in the end I am the better person and I hope I wouldn’t treat people the way I have been treated. I am definitely not perfect and even though I wouldn’t admit it right away, I know that there are times where I have been wrong or acted stupid. I am grateful for the friends I do have and how much they have helped me during this difficult time in life.

Besides August, the summer was pretty good. I had two amazing vacations, Florida and Comic-Con. Both were places I had never been and I had a great time. I would definitely go back to both. Other than those trips, I didn’t do much these past few months, just been trying to enjoy my time off before I start school again. I have Maui to look forward to in November and as always I love the holidays. Halloween activities look promising, school starts again at the end of September and college football is starting this weekend so I have more than enough to keep me busy during the winter.

I definitely would like to keep my writing up though. Lost was my passion to write about and now that it is over, I need something new. Updates are nice, but I want to branch out. I need some ideas! So far one of my ideas is to write like a book report for each month, ie. what I read throughout the month and my thoughts. I like doing the TV recaps/thoughts, but need to find a new show/s. So I need some feedback from my readers. Is there anything you would like to read about? Are my ideas something you would want to read? Is there a show or shows that I should tackle? Please, give me some thoughts! I always appreciate them and always appreciate my blogs even being read!

Entertainment, travel

Final Comic-Con thoughts

My last thoughts on Comic-Con with my favorite/least favorite moments and some more pictures of the favorite/cool things I saw. Would I do it again? Most definitely! I think this was a learning year and I know now what to do/what not to do.


Meeting Nathan Fillion: I had a bummer of a day on Friday when I couldn’t get into True Blood autographs or the panel. It made my day seeing him and getting his autograph. He was one of the people who was on my list of “celebrities I would want to meet.”

Castle panel: Another Nathan Fillion choice! He was very entertaining and they gave out a cool Castle water bottle. They teased a little from season three and they made him and Stana Katic read out of “Heat Wave”. Probably was my favorite panel.

Thursday, Hall H: I really loved listening to everybody talk; alot of the celebrities on the panels had some interesting things to say. It was worth sitting there all day and the three hour line wait. Expendables was highly enjoyable with all the stories going around about filming; seeing Tron footage was cool too. Loved listening to JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon talk about their projects and their thoughts on movies, tv and each other.

EW/CBS Fandemonium party: This was the highlight of my evening festivities I participated in. Entertainment Weekly sure knows how to treat their fans. On top of free snacks and drinks they added the CBS celebrities to the mix and an awesome swag bag. I got to meet my favorite columnists and loved chatting with them about television. Also met some cool girls that I hung out with for the night (which added on to the fact that most people I met were really nice and liked to chat).

Vampire Diaries autographs: This surely was an accomplishment! I didn’t want to give up on this and even though the mob was atrocious, I ended up getting what I wanted. All you have to do is wait it out! Loved talking to Ian Somerhalder.

Least favorite things:

LINES: Some of these are terrible! There is a line for everything including going down the escalator and crossing the street. I always felt like there was a line to get into a line.

The WB booth: I loathed this booth the whole weekend. If I go back next year, I am going to skip autographs and go to the panels. I don’t know if it is worth it being squished for almost an hour. I know that both WB and the security tried their best but they really need to move this booth somewhere you can have an organized line. They need to designate a better time and place.

Not getting back into Hall H on Saturday: I had already been into the hall in the morning, but because of the stabbing incident I missed out on the biggest event later in the evening which was the assembling of the Avengers. Also missed out on Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. I think I have learned my lesson on leaving my Hall H seat when you know something big is going down later in the day.

Missing out on True Blood: The one thing that I was looking forward to the most and I didn’t get to see any of it. If I go back next year I will definitely need to prioritize better.

Here are some of my favorite things that I saw like props and costumes with the mix of celebrity sightings. 

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Entertainment, travel

My Travels: Comic-Con Adventures

Airport welcome

I decided to write about everything after the week was over because I didn’t have time to do it! There are a couple of things that I learned at my first Comic-Con. One, if you have a seat in Hall H and something awesome is coming up, then don’t leave. Two, no matter how perfect your schedule is and how many things there are that you would want to see, it can’t happen. There is a lot of decision making when it comes to Comic-Con; for me it involved TV vs. movies or panels vs. autographs. This is going to be a long one, so bear with me!

Finally aquired the bag I wanted!

Wednesday, preview night: For Wednesday it was basically our walk around the exhibit hall night. We got into San Diego in the afternoon and Addie and Anna were kind enough to let us store our bags in their room until our room was ready. We headed over to the convention center to check in and discovered a handy trolley system not far from our hotel that would drop us off in front of the convention center. We walked around the hall for the evening and checked out all of the vendors while being handed tons of swag. I had so much stuff by the end of the night I was already thinking about where I would store it on the way home. Including the ridiculous sized bags that we got, I ended up with four of them by the end of the weekend. It took me two hours to find the Vampire Diaries one I wanted and finally some guy traded me his bag. I got to try Pinkberry frozen yogurt for the first time and it was so good I went back again two nights later! We also had our needed In and Out burger for dinner. Overall it was a fun night.

Thursday: Big movie day. Dan, Mindy and I got to the Hall H line about seven and it was good that we got up early. Hall H is where all of the movie panels happen and there are ridiculous lines outside to get in. We waited almost three hours and actually scored decent seats and in between panels scored even better seats. On the agenda was some pretty good stuff. Megamind was first with the attendance of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and a life-size cardboard Brad Pitt. Will Ferrell and Tina Fey were pretty funny together and I loved it when Tina stroked the cardboard Brad while it was on her lap. She said it was “something I always wanted to do.”

Jeff Bridges in attendence

Tron was after and I really liked the panel. They showed eight minutes of footage and the new trailer in 3D. I am pretty excited for this movie and it looked amazing. Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen were all in attendance. Jeff Bridges gave us a lecture on recycling plastic water bottles, thought that was interesting. Battle: Los Angeles and Salt were next with Aaron Eckhart/Michelle Rodriguez for Battle and Angelina Jolie/Liev Schreiber for Salt.  Battle: Los Angeles reminded me of District 9 and it looked pretty cool. I don’t love Angelina, but it was interesting to hear her talk about all the stunt work she did for the movie. It was impressive.

Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and Mary Louise Parker showed up for Red. After seeing a better trailer, I am more interested in seeing the movie. All of the cast were entertaining during the panel. Bruce Willis seems like a leader and a chill guy. Karl Urban is awesome and he even yelled out “are you out of your Vulcan minds.” I can’t wait for another Star Trek. Love him! It is cool to see Helen Mirren in a bad-ass role when she normally plays, well, the queen of England! It should be an entertaining movie. After Red was the awesome JJ Abrams/Joss Whedon panel moderated by my favorite Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff “Doc” Jensen. It was cool to see them talk about movies, their work and how much they like and respect each other’s work. It was cool hearing about Lost from JJ Abrams and how much he loved the finale.

Expendables men

The Expendables was the last movie panel that I attended for the day. The moderator’s first thought about the movie was “it is an old school kick ass movie”. Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin and Sylvester Stallone were all there with Bruce Willis stopping by for a quick cameo. It was definitely a man’s panel! It was pretty entertaining though and they showed some cool fight scene footage. When Sylvester Stallone walked in everybody started chanting “Rocky”. It was pretty awesome. He also talked about how there was always a hospital trip for someone during shooting the film and that Steve Austin broke his neck in a fight scene! These guys are hard core. I had to leave the panel early and missed out on more footage but only because I was going to an Entertainment Weekly/CBS party.

Celebrities in attendence at the EW party

I was one of the lucky two hundred fans to get in thanks to EW writer Michael Ausiello and seeing his post on Twitter. I have to give props to EW and I like them even more now because they know how to treat their fans. They did free drinks and free food along with appearances from actors of Criminal Minds, NCIS, the Big Bang Theory and Hawaii Five-O. It was so cool seeing Daniel Dae Kim (Jin from Lost) in person. I didn’t get to get a picture with him but did snag one with Jerry O’Connell and he gave me a high five. I also met Jeff Jensen, Lost fanatic/writer for EW and Michael Ausiello. I told Doc Jensen how much I loved his writing and his passion for Lost. I also told him how much my sister Beth liked him too and he told me to say hi to her! She enjoyed that. Both of them signed my EW issue I brought with me and Michael Ausiello was fun to talk to. They gave out an awesome swag bag too complete with a Survivor buff. Overall the day was awesome and I was really happy that we made into Hall H for all of the cool panels.

Awesome True Blood outfits

Friday: This was True Blood day so Mindy and I dressed up in our gear. Our goal was to try to get autographs and/or get into the panel. This was the one thing I was looking forward to. I scouted out the WB booth for a while, but there was too much chaos. Nothing was organized and WB/Comic con security could not control the crowd. Too many women were hovering for the line.

Nathan Fillion!

Alas we were not successful so we decided to try to go to the panel. We got in line for the ballroom, but as I was checking Twitter I saw a tweet from Nathan Fillion that he was in the exhibit hall signing autographs. This was decision #1 so Mindy, Dan and I decided on Nathan Fillion. The line for the ballroom was heavy and we probably wouldn’t have gotten in so we left and booked it to the California Browncoats booth where he was. We bought the Serenity comic they were selling for charity and even though he had to be somewhere, Nathan Fillion still went along the line to sign autographs. We snapped a quick picture of him and he left. This was one of my favorite moments of the week!

Flynn’s Arcade

We went to the Tron arcade after and on our way we ran into Thomas Jane who snapped a pic with me. At the arcade they had this really cool setup of old school video games, including Tron. They gave out Flynn’s Arcade tokens and had a cool Tron bar area in the back complete with techno music and the trailer showing every couple minutes. Afterwards the three of us split up and I went to a Tweethouse get together on the USS Midway. William Shatner and other Star Trek actors were on hand and other celebrities including Tyrese Gibson and Mark Valley were hanging around. It was nice to get out for a while and the Midway was pretty cool.

Ryan Reynolds

Saturday: Started off in Hall H again and attended the Harry Potter/Green Lantern/Sucker Punch panel. The Green Lantern looks pretty cool and Ryan Reynolds is pretty easy on the eyes! There was the cutest little boy asking him about how it felt to recite the Green Lantern oath and he recited it for him then gave him an autographed Green Lantern comic. A lot of the celebrities I saw were nice and cool like that. They even gave a lucky audience member Green Lantern ring off of Ryan’s finger! Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) showed up to talk about Deathly Hallows and there was some awesome footage shown. I am very stoked about this movie after seeing more clips of the first part. Looks like they are going to include a lot of important stuff for the fans, was very happy about that. They gave some cool swag out at the panel along with a Comic-Con exclusive Green Lantern comic and a cool HP shirt.

Vampire Diaries cast signing autographs

I left after HP and went to the WB booth to see if I could score Vampire Diaries autographs. I encountered the same madness from the day before and debated staying. I didn’t want to give up so I endured being squished for forty-five minutes! It paid off though and they selected me to go in line! It was truly an awesome moments. I got to talk to Ian Somerhalder and he even gave me a fist bump! And yes ladies, he really is that sexy and smoldering in person! Most of the cast was in attendance and I got a cool signed poster. Couldn’t get pictures with them, but I took some of the jumbo tron. I decided to skip the TV panels to get back in line for Marvel.

I finally got to the front doors of the hall only to not be let in because of some crazy nerd stabbing another nerd with a pen near the eye over a seat! The whole hall was madness, along with cops and an ambulance and they wouldn’t let anybody else in. I was bummed out because Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig were there for Cowboys and Indians then the whole Avengers cast showed up during the Thor/Captain America panel. Dan and Mindy did get some cool footage and I was glad that they got to see the panel. We finished our night with some dinner and drinks and went back to pack. Cool side note: Mindy and Dan ran into Ryan Reynolds and Dan got to shake his hand!

Castle cast

Sunday: Last day at the con and it was pretty enjoyable. I went to the Castle panel and got to see Nathan Fillion again. They talked about season three and showed some clips of the new Richard Castle book along with a teaser of season three. Nathan Fillion is such a cool dude! When people went up to ask questions he signed stuff to give to them. He even signed a package of Oreos and his wristband from a party the night before! He was hilarious too. There was the cutest little boy in a Malcolm Reynolds outfit and Nathan was kind enough to shake his hand. I was glad to get into the panel; it is one of my favorite shows and definitely a highlight of the con. We walked the exhibit hall for the rest of the day and then made it to the airport.

One of the many cool costumes

Overall it was an awesome trip. Everybody was really friendly and besides the freaky pen fight, nothing else that was crazy happened. There were so many cool costumes too and I loved that everybody got into it as much as they did. It was fun being a nerd and talking to people about TV and movies. Everybody had their exciting moments with Addie meeting her favorite comic people and Dan and Mindy got their comics signed that they brought. I got to meet some cool people along the way and the celebrity sightings were awesome! You have to keep your eyes open every second because they are everywhere (I kept seeing Dennis Miller everywhere and I also saw Adam Corolla).  I might have only gotten to see a few things I wanted, but it is impossible to see everything on your list.  I think a trip for next year will be in order with a few days tacked on for San Diego. We didn’t have time to explore the city and I definitely want to next time. Until next year!


My Comic-Con Hopes – Part II

San Diego Convention Center

So last time, I laid out the events that I knew was going to be there and what I hoped was going to be there. Since then the site for Comic-Con has finally put out the four-day schedule and there has been massive planning amongst myself and Mindy, who has posted her thoughts on the schedule also. After mapping out my plan, there are a few days where it will be TV vs. Movies. I think though, no matter how much you plan everything out, this whole thing is not going to be what you expect it to be. I think it will come down to the day of and the things I will get to see will depend on the crowds. I did plan alternatives in case I can not get into a room that I want to be in. There are definitely going to be some late nights and early mornings, although hopefully not too many early mornings because I am going to be on vacation!

My schedule (or what I hope to see):

Awesome swag bag

Wednesday: Preview night, not sure what to expect here. I think we are planning on walking around and seeing what kind of SWAG we can get. Also, there supposedly will be movie screenings somewhere. Not sure what time or what movies yet though. They probably will let everyone know that night. Hope to get a good night sleep because Thursday is going to be big.

Thursday:  Hall H is hopefully going to be my home, will have to get there early in order to get in and get a good seat.  For my evening I am crossing my fingers that I get to go to the Ausiello/Doc Jensen Entertainment Weekly party. That would be amazing because the Lost writings of Doc Jensen was how I got started doing my blogs in the first place and it would be cool to meet him. If not I am looking at going to a “Serenity” screening put on by the California Brown Coats. Awesome schedule for the hall is:

-10:00-11:00 Megamind 

-11:15-12:45 Tron 

-2:15-3:15  RED 

-3:30-4:30  Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams

– 4:45-5:45 Expendables

– 6:00-7:00 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World 

Really looking forward to all of these, especially JJ Abrams. I love Lost, Fringe and Star Trek. Hope he talks about Star Trek 2. If we can get a good seat in Hall H the day is going to be amazing!

Yes please!

Friday: My ballroom 20 day. I might have to sit through a bunch of tv shows that I don’t watch in order to get into True Blood. This is a MUST for me. I didn’t buy my Merlotte’s waitress outfit for nothing! Also on the schedule is another Joss Whedon panel and the Entertainment Weekly: Girls Who Kick Ass panel. Have a few other panels I am looking at in case I don’t get into any of these. I also signed up to volunteer one day and I am hoping this could be it since the morning is pretty open.

Vampire Diaries

Saturday: Another big day. In the morning is Green Lantern and Deathly Hallows. Sad the cast of Deathly Hallows won’t be there, but looking forward to seeing more clips of the movie. Clips of Green Lantern would be cool too. In the afternoon is Fringe and Vampire Diaries. In the evening is Thor/Captain America and Kevin Smith. This is going to be the day where I will have to choose. If I leave Hall H for the tv panels I really want to see there is a chance I won’t be able to get back in for the Marvel and Kevin Smith panels. This is going to be a day to have extremely good luck. I do have a lot of back up stuff to go to if I don’t get into the things I absolutely want to see. I am aiming for the tv panels though so I can do some articles for my Examiner page.

Sunday: I definitely want to get into Castle. It is one of my favorite shows and I really like Nathan Fillion. Also hoping to make it to Glee but if I can’t then I will probably spend the day walking around the exhibit hall.

So only five more days until the big event. My planning is coming together and now there is just the last-minute shopping and the packing to do. I hope to get to see everything, but if I don’t at least I will still have gone. I am going to go in without expectiations and just have an amazing time. Also, it is going to be nice to be able to go to a place and let my nerdiness out into the open without judgement. I am really looking forward to meeting more people who have the same love for tv shows and movies that I do. Check back for updates and pics next week!







My Comic-Con Hopes


My desire to go to Comic-Con began when I became a LOST fan and I would follow the convention each year when it would happen to satisfy my need for LOST information while it was on hiatus. My desire was even more fueled by my friends Mindy and Dan last summer when we were just having dinner one night after watching, I believe, Wolverine. I told them about how I always wanted to go to Comic-Con and we got discussing how cool it would be to go see all of our favorite tv shows, new movies and meet our favorite celebrities. Finally we all said “okay let’s go.”   

So eight months after we bought our four day passes, it is now only twenty more days until Mindy, Dan, Addie, Anna and I go on our Comic-Con journey. I haven’t been this excited for something in a long time. Over the past couple of weeks Mindy has gathered videos and blogs to show us what the convention is going to be like and hopefully we can go in prepared. For you folks that don’t know what Comic-Con is, it is a four-day convention that showcases comics, sci-fi/fantasy movies and television. The con has been going on since 1970 and has grown to include video games, toys, anime and many popular tv shows. Basically it is a fest for all nerds to come together. The convention usually draws in over a hundred thousand people, there are long waits in lines to get into the panels or to get autographs, there will be celebrities everywhere and did I mention there will be over a hundred thousand people? For the past week I have been checking this handy blog for the convention schedule, which has been slowly coming together. Even though the full one won’t ready for another week, many times have already been released for a bunch of things. I am hoping that things don’t overlap too much and so far it is looking good. Things I am looking forward to are:  

True Blood

1. TV Shows: Although there will be no LOST, I am looking forward to the shows that will be there. On my definite list is True Blood. This is one of my favorite shows on TV right now and it would be awesome to get in to see this. Charlaine Harris will also be at the convention, but I had the pleasure of meeting her already at her book signing back in May at the Bagdad Theater. I have to say she is one amazing person and I even told her that! I love the Sookie Stackhouse books; I finished all nine of them in a month and the show has been amazing. I anticipate that I will have to stand in line for a very long time, but who wouldn’t for a glimpse of Alexander Skarsgard? Also on my list is Vampire Diaries, Fringe and Glee. I am missing out on the Community panel due to Fringe, but that and Diaries is a priority for me. Both casts have been confirmed to be in attendance. Might also have to hit up the Futurama panel since it is in the same ballroom on the same day as the other two

Deathly Hallows

2. Movies: Harry Potter is at the top of my movie panel list. There is word that the movie will be there, but no official cast list or information on the panel has been revealed. After watching the trailer for the movie, I definitely would like to be there for the panel. Twilight will probably have some kind of presence there, but  I am not sure if I want to take that scary adventure. Anyways, I am more of a fan of Harry Potter than I am Twilight  because JK Rowling is a far superior writer than Stephanie Meyer. Yeah there is the appeal of Edward, but Twilight lacks the character building and the compelling story that Harry Potter has to offer. Plus, the Harry Potter movies have been better. Also, Twilight fans are effing crazy. 

Tron banners already up in San Diego

Dan and I are going to go to the Tron panel and all of us are hoping there will be some presence of The Avengers, Thor and/or X-Men First Class.  Also in attendance will be the Green Hornet, Cowboys Vs. Aliens, Green Lantern and many more. I am anxious to see which ones they are going to screen. I am hoping for a Tron screening and it would be amazing if there was a Harry Potter screening, but I think that would be wishful thinking. 

3. Celebrity sightings:  There will be many autograph signings and they will be hard to get into, but I am going to try my best. On my wish list to meet would have to be anybody from the casts of True Blood, Glee and Vampire Diaries. 

4. SWAG: When I think of SWAG I always think of that Office episode when Michael names it “Stuff We All Get.” In fact, is that what it really stands for? Anyways, definitely going to take an extra bag with me so I can visit as many booths as possible and get awesome stuff. Have a feeling my suitcase is going to be overflowing by the time we get done and I already have requests from people of what they want too.  

Hoping for a trip to the zoo

5. Events/San Diego: I have never been to San Diego so I am hoping for a window to go out and explore and there will probably be a time where there isn’t something that I want to see at the convention. There are also alot of outside events that happen during the convention. There are parties that networks/businesses throw, there is a zombie walk, concerts, Joel McHale is doing stand up one night and of course there are the late night movie screenings. Also, an In and Out burger is always a must when going to California.  

Overall, I think that Comic-Con is going to turn out to be one of the coolest things I will ever do. I am anticipating the fact that I may not see everything I want to see, but I am going to try my hardest. I will be blogging while I am there so when the time comes check back for updates, stories and pictures!


Movies to See 2010

After watching Alice and Wonderland and the Oscars over the weekend, it got me thinking about the movies that I would like to see this year. I always like to make a list with the release dates so I know which ones that I don’t want to miss. Of course I have my chick flicks in the mix, but there seems to be a fair amount of genres to go around. There will be many movies released throughout the year, but here you will find the release dates of what looks to be theatre worthy, the maybe’s and the ones that are must see.  


March 12, 2010 Remember Me – I know this is a Robert Pattinson movie. I would like to see what he can do outside of Twilight.    

March 26, 2010 Hot Tub Time Machine – Looks pretty funny. I like John Cusack and Craig Robinson.    

April 02, 2010 Clash of the Titans – Looks decent. Has a good cast with Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington and Ralph Fiennes. Haven’t decided whether to watch it in 3D or not.    

April 09, 2010 Date Night – I have been waiting for Steve Carrell and Tina Fey to be in a movie together. I hate to say it, but there are a lot of comedy high hopes for this one.    

April 22, 2010 Oceans – This seems more exciting than Earth.    

May 14, 2010 Robin Hood – Can’t go wrong with Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe.    

May 28, 2010 Sex and the City 2 – Devoted fan, will not miss this.    

June 11, 2010 The A-Team – Another tv show to the big screen. Looks like it will be fun.   

July 16, 2010 Inception – Really like Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio. Not sure what the plot is, but it looks intriguing.    

August 13, 2010 Eat, Pray, Love – Loved the book, very interested to see how they will bring it to the big screen.    

September 10, 2010 The Town – A thriller directed by Ben Affleck. Gone Baby Gone was good so this might have some promise.  Stars Affleck, Jon Hamm, Chris Cooper and Jeremy Renner. 

November 24, 2010 Red Dawn – Probably will check out the remake. 

December 10, 2010 Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Have liked the Narnia movies so far. 

December 17, 2010 Tron: Legacy – Saw a preview for this the other day and it looks like it needs to be watched in 3D. 


My maybe’s: The Bounty Hunter, Death at a Funeral, Shrek Ever After, Repo Men, Jonah Hex.    

On My Must See List (so far): These are the can’t miss.    

Iron Man 2


Iron Man 2: I love Robert Downey Jr., I could watch him in anything. I really think his casting as Iron Man was perfect and the first film was great. This time I wish they hadn’t replaced Terrance Howard (I think it is stupid to replace someone for a sequel), but I like the addition of Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell. May 7, 2010  




Toy Story 3: Toy Story I and II are some of the best Disney/Pixar movies. Really looking forward to seeing where they take the story. Glad they got all of the original people to voice the characters again. June 18, 2010  

They're back!



Twilight Saga continues




Eclipse: Yes, the Twilight Saga. Only because Eclipse is the one with all the action. Should be more exciting than the first two. June 30, 2010 




Deathly Hallows


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I:  After watching The Half Blood Prince again, I realized how disappointed I was in that film. It is hard for a movie to live up to an extraordinary book. The first and second films really captured the magic of the books. The third seemed like it was getting better. The fourth was a complete letdown and felt rushed. The fifth was getting back on track. Then the sixth was also rushed and some of the storyline was cut.  It is hard being such a big fan of the books because the expectations are so high. From the photos that are out on the web and what the director has been saying in the press, there seems to be little room for disappointment this time around. I really look forward to the last leg of the journey on screen.  November 19, 2010  

Of course there are always movies that pop up out of nowhere later in the year, but this is a start. Have I missed any or are there ones that need to be on the must-see list?