Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Marvel Immersion Experiment


My husband and I LOVE Marvel. Even before we were together, my husband was really into Marvel. I didn't get to develop my secret penchant for geekdom until I started dating him, but it was always there. With the release of Sam Raimi's Spiderman movies, we were hooked into the Marvel universe again. I was learning the lore and backstories and all sorts of things.

See... when I was a kid... my mom told me only losers read comic books and to stay away from them. Only wanting to make my parents happy, I stayed away from the giant bin of comics in our basement that were given to my mom from my older cousin - clearly thinking my brother would like them (because seriously... girls were just not part of that scene back in the day... as much as we want to debate and argue that... it's a rough sell).

As Marvel grew in popularity and finally the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hatched into existence, we, too, found ourselves pulled into the vortex. I'm not going to get into the whole battle of the fandoms between Marvel and DC. DC has it's merits, but I've found the storytelling and foundational connections much richer in the Marvel Universe, whereas DC continues to go to the same stock characters in every reboot, just attempting to justify the changes that they make. My opinion, not really looking to start a thing.

Again, as I was saying, we were caught in the vortex. So much so that my husband got out his old Marvel (TSR) roleplaying game. He had gotten it out prior when I was working on an "Origin Stories" unit in my seventh grade Literacy class four years ago. We created a character for each student and they had to write an origin story for that character. The sky was the limit for how creative they could be. So I was familiar with the system before he brought it out. But this time... it was my turn to create a character.

From this my secret RPG alter-ego was born: Io Leda from the planet Edhyla - a genetically created being of her planet's species who flees her creator and arrives on Earth, hiding out and trying to fit in.

My god I love her so very much. No, seriously... I have written so much supplemental material on her it is insane! I've been talking to my husband about trying to turn some of our stories into a blog of fanfic, but the jury is still out on that one.

Digressions... I'm sorry. Bottom line... we love Marvel.

When the Infinity Wars trailer dropped, I started seeing .gif posts about watching every MCU movie that would lead you up to the release of Infinity Wars. I liked the sound of that, but then... I thought... maybe I should push it one step further. I like to do that, just to torture myself and then be disappointed when I don't keep up with it. (If you're reading this blog, you know I have a tendency to abandon the wagon when life starts to take up too much of... well... my geek life.)

A while ago, my husband and I were talking about all the ways to watch the movies, especially when we started watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AoS). Do we spread things out and watch the episodes intermingled with the movies.... do we watch the movies as their own entity.... what about the Netflix series?  My husband decided he wanted to watch the series in Phases, but that also means we don't technically get to watch Phase 3, because we don't own Phase 3, because Phase 3 is like... a million times bigger than Phase 1 and Phase 2! Absurdly so...

I, though, love getting into the hardcore nitty-gritty of things like this. I don't want to phase it and just leave the TV/Series out. Instead, I'd like to just really throw myself into the convoluted world of all the things. But that created it's own conundrum. I read one article that essentially said it broke up the AoS just to give people a break from AoS. Well... that seems incredibly irresponsible.  At the same time, I don't know if I really know where it belongs....

I am in agreement, though, with where to put things like Daredevil and Luke Cage... essentially The Defenders. I know there's a subtle hint here and there about some sort of larger universe connection, but they really are focused on The Hand and not the intergalactic side of it all. I will say, though, haters gonna hate on Iron Fist, but having no preconceived notions I found him to be endearing and NOTHING like all the other "billionaire" superheroes. After his initial phase of mansplaining wore off, I understood him for who he was and it is unique. So I, personally, appreciate his story. Is it my favorite? That's pushing it, but I enjoyed it.

Essentially, I'm not an expert. I've taken several different variations of lists and articles and other and generated one that felt right for me. So fingers crossed that this all goes well.

The Beginning

  1. Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (DVD: IM3) - And then retcon it… hehe.
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  3. Marvel's Agent Carter (S1 & 2)
  4. Iron Man (2008)
  5. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  6. Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer (DVD: CA:FA)
  7. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  8. Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant (DVD: Thor)
  9. Thor (2011)
  10. Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
  11. Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (DVD: Avengers)
  12. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  13. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S1, E1-7)
  14. Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King (DVD: T:DW)
  15. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  16. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S1, E8-15)
  17. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
  18. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S1, E16-22)
  19. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  20. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  21. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S2, E1-19)
  22. Marvel's Daredevil (S1)
  23. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  24. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S2, E20-22)
  25. Ant-Man (2015)
  26. Marvel's Jessica Jones (S1)
  27. Marvel's Daredevil (S2)
  28. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S31-19)
  29. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  30. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S3, E20-22)
  31. Marvel's Luke Cage (S1)
  32. Doctor Strange (2016)
  33. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S4)
  34. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  35. Marvel's Iron Fist (S1)
  36. Marvel's The Defenders (S1)
  37. Inhumans (S1)
  38. Marvel's The Punisher (S1)
  39. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  40. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S5, first half)


NOT YET RELEASED

  • Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S5, second half) - I’m sure exactly where this will fit in)
  • Black Panther (February, 2018)
  • Jessica Jones (S2) (March, 2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (May, 2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (July, 2018)
  • Luke Cage (S2) (2018?)
  • Cloak & Dagger (2018?)



Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2017 - December 16

Day 16
Director Orson Krennic's Shuttle (ST 149) - Rogue One

Apparently there was an error in my picture and I posted the wrong one. Replacement maybe coming eventually.





Advent Stockings - December 16

My daughter really enjoyed Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky and I saw this cosplay necklace online and knew she had to have it.

Day 16
Laputa Castle in the Sky Necklace





Friday, December 15, 2017

My Star Wars Birthday


I'll start with my normal digression of lamentation. Poor me has a December birthday. All the challenges of competing with the intense holiday season. Competing with the never-ending list of excuses for, well... how forgettable I am. If you ever want to really learn about people and excuse-making, please... have a birthday in December. Move the birthday. Celebrate another time. How absolutely inconvenient of you to have been born at this time of year. Oh... gee... sorry... I couldn't afford to get you a birthday present, so here's birthday and Christmas. Or... well... nothing at all. Man... sorry... I had so much going on I didn't even realize it was your birthday! Weather stopped me from coming to your get together. We have another party to go to. Why don't you celebrate in the New Year? Sucks even more when you have a sibling who has a birthday six months later and you realize they don't have these problems. (They have a whole different set of summer birthday problems.)

Told you it was all pathetic lamenting. But there it is. I cherish people's birthdays. Thank you so much world for bringing this person here and into the lives of those who need them. You matter so much to me. Your birthday is supposed to be that day when those who do appreciate you can at least remember, for that one day, that you mean something to them. They might forget the rest of the year, but well... man... I have some high standards. Ha!

Anyways... as my circle of friends and family dwindled and faded away, my birthday started to mean nothing. Add in my depression to that and I get why this time of year is so very dangerous for people. I finally just gave the whole thing a middle finger and decided I just have to make my own fun. Granted, I would much prefer to be surprised with something or someone planning something for me, but if something was something then we'd all be something. I don't know what to phrase is.

Now I've had some rough moments this year, but I've also found myself this year. Scared to death that all of a sudden people are being consistently nice to me. Feels like there was some huge meeting and everyone got together and said "It's time we kill her... with as much kindness as possible!" Bizarro world for sure. But I gotta embrace it, because it's amazing. Bottom line... things have changed in a huge way.

After last year being forgotten by so many people, I just kind of ignored everything. It was a rough December. This year I expected no less and decided to distract myself with the excitement of Star Wars coming out on my birthday. No one could ruin this and it was like my very own present from the universe. I would take my own happiness into my own hands. And I did. I got my tickets and I planned 30 days of dressing up in Star Wars clothing. Nothing was going to shake my resolve, because I was happy.

The countdown came to an end and my birthday was upon me. Reeling from the excitement of The Last Jedi from the night before, I reminded myself that I didn't care if anyone even remotely remembered me. I also knew it was Star Wars Day in December, so I gave two of my friends the Star Wars gifts I planned out so very long ago. But what I got in return on this day was more than I think I could have handled.

The amount of times I cried today is absolutely absurd. I'd accuse myself of something being wrong with me, but I can guarantee there is nothing.

I woke up to my thoughtful gifts from my family. I already knew my husband bought me a ticket to a Photo-Op with Steven Yuen at Walker Stalker Fest in Chicago this spring. I already cried about that. But it was a Star Wars morning! The Clone Wars on Blu-Ray, the Lego Han Solo in Carbonite set, and a Porg Funko! My husband and daughter planned that so well together. And after the excitement of the previous night seeing The Last Jedi, this was perfect.

Then, before I even got my free coffee from Starbucks, my coworker was calling me to see if I was at work yet. She needed help bringing in the dessert she made me. A coworker made ME a dessert! No one at work has ever made a birthday treat for me before. Cue tears.

As I pull in, my student teacher arrives with a bag of amazingly thoughtful gifts that really did just wring my heart and cue more tears. I mean we're talking a Star Wars Extravaganza in a bag! BB-9E Funko, R2D2 socks, a Star Wars T-shirt we saw at Target together, and this super awesome book. My other coworker gave me a gift of oils and a pencil pouch and Star Wars Post-Its and it was just so frickin' thoughtful! More tears.

Happy birthdays from my coworkers on my floor. Gushing about Star Wars with my coworker who also went last night. The kids then came in from outside and a girl who thought I was kinda mean at the beginning of the year (but who I've built a pretty sweet relationship with) gave me a birthday present for when I went to the movies again. A cup with candy. Honestly, so sweet. Not kidding... tears. Yells of "Happy Birthday" from my other kids. Talk of Star Wars. Good start to the day.

Then my first hour started and, out of nowhere, they sang Happy Birthday to me. Cue tears! Seriously... it was crazy. Sadly, after first hour, I got hit with another blip of parent drama. It never ends, by the way. But my next class came around and they ASKED my student teacher if they could sing when I walked in after the bell and oh my goodness.... the class that I thought hated me... sang to me. Honestly... tears that needed a Kleenex AND my student teacher put a dancing Vader birthday meme on the board. It was an amazing class. I told them such at the end of the class WITH TEARS and praised them for how far they'd come and how their effort is not going unnoticed.

Lunch time rolled around and my always amazing husband made his third trek up to my work this week to bring lunch for me and my sixth grade teachers. But unlike other lunches, my coworker bought the lunch for me... and CUE TEARS!!! My very first lunch bought by my team... for my birthday... and the dessert that my other coworker made... I... I'm finally part of the team. I felt "loved."

Of course, I have to run cake around to people and it was just busy-busy-busy. I felt bad, because I really wanted to talk to my Star-Wars-Buddy, but I had to deal with this Culture of Literacy Project and help my student teacher with grades and deal with a parent thing and work through my anxiety there and... well... life kept kicking me.

My last class of the day also asked to sing to me, which, again, sent me into tears. I'm telling you... I was a mess.  And then I wrapped things up at the end of the day and went down to meet my Linda-Bell. She was so excited to give me my present and I can't hide that it was incredible! She got me the exclusive Cloud City Duel Star Wars Funko. Um... holy crap! And then popped in my Star-Wars-Buddy. He... he got me a birthday present... and holy shit I have to hold in all the damn tears! A super sweet Star Wars gift bag, with Star Wars fruit snacks (don't tell my daughter) and the Cookie Crisp with the color changing spoon (again... don't tell my daughter... she'll take my spoon again). And then, at the bottom, was a Wookie clip - BUT WAIT it Wookie roars. Yeah, I think it was time for my heart to finally explode. And yeah and I briefly mentioned some Last Jedi stuff. But after he left, Linda-Bell gave me a hug and I broke down into tears.

Having felt for so long that no one cared about me... that I didn't matter... that I was so damn disliked... I didn't feel that way today. It wasn't about the gifts... it was about not being invisible. And as I walked to my car, I doubled over in tears as I arrived at the passenger door. By the time I was in the driver's seat I felt like my chest was going to explode with pain from my tears and when I called my husband, he thought something was wrong... that's how hard I was crying. I couldn't believe how loved I felt and it was not something I'd felt in a long time. It was the opposite of the horrific disturbance Obi-Wan felt when Alderaan was destroyed.

After quickly running into Target to get my daughter the Porg Pillow with blanket, I needed to get going. So with the roaring blue-eyed Wookie squeezed tightly in my hand, I rushed home to pick up my daughter and husband to go to the 5:10 showing of The Last Jedi! It's my birthday. I'll see it again if I want to.

Yes... I loved it even more this time, but I won't go into that here. Two years in a row I got to enjoy Star Wars on my birthday. I love this whole release Star Wars in December instead of in the summer.

As the car warmed up and my daughter went on one of her gushing rants, I texted with my Star-Wars-Buddy, since I feel like I jipped him a bit when we tried talking at the end of the day. 16 points of "how are you not seeing this right now!" My daughter dressed in her BB-8 matching pajamas and brought her Porg (with special Cookie Crisp Porg food) and it was fun! Then we went to Red Robin, where it started snowing. As I walked out into the snow, previously a hated thing on my birthday, I marveled at how beautiful it was. You could see the delicate designs of the flakes as they landed and it was the perfect kind of snowfall. I really had entered into some other life... and if this is what life is really like... I've been missing out for a very long time.

We made it home pretty late and sent my daughter immediately to bed, but I was left with one more surprise. A family friend who hadn't talked to me since August had remembered my birthday this year... and sent me a present. I... I don't know how to process that. But um... he remembered me... and, you guessed it, the gift was Star Wars! The Funko Luke Skywalker on the Speeder Bike from Return of the Jedi.

And now I try to wrap my head around it all. I'm not alone anymore. I don't know what I did to ever deserve feeling the way that I do right now, but this was the best birthday I've had in at least a decade... or since Scotland.  I have people who actually care in some way or another and that's really the gift that I take away. Whether an e-mail, a message, a verbal wish, a lunch, a smile, a dessert, a gift, a song, a graphic... I was killed with kindness to a point of complete dehydration.

I don't know what I did, but thank you, Universe, for today and all the wonderful people I've let into my life. Happy Star Wars Birthday to me.




0 Day to Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Apparel Challenge

I bought this shirt a while ago. I thought it was just gorgeous. Then my husband made his Christmas list and this shirt ended up on his list! Immediately bought it and, instead of waiting for Christmas, I gave it to him this morning! 

Now, I planned out my stuff in advance, except for a couple days, but this shirt landed on the perfect day. It, for me, so perfectly represents the ending of The Last Jedi that I knew it was fate to have it planned for today.

And, my husband being the beyond amazing guy that he is, did a twinsie picture with me! Woo!

So for my birthday, I get matching shirts of awesome! My last day of Star Wars Apparel. I made it! It was quite a journey and I have really enjoyed the journey. 




Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2017 - December 15

Day 15
Snow blower? Really?





Advent Stockings - December 15

My mom always says to my daughter, "I love you to the moon and back." Well... I love my daughter to the Death Star and back. A way more dangerous mission of love. haha!

Day 15
Lightsaber Death Star Key Chain





Thursday, December 14, 2017

1 Day to Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Apparel Challenge

My "1 Day" isn't actually 1 day... it's TODAY! 7PM! 

That's also why this entry is waaaay late! I'm just going to say... it was worth the hype and was really quite amazing. Can't wait to see it again tomorrow. Did I mention tomorrow is also my birthday? Kind of had all these little connections for why I was so excited to do this.

Here are mine and my daughter's outfits for today.


I had the ying and yang of R2D2 and BB-8... the young and the new. I also had my blue lightsaber Lego earrings and my R2D2 earrings. Finally I topped it all off with my homemade hooded poncho! I also wore BB-8 socks, but no one saw those. 



(I know it says DayS... just roll with it yo!)



Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2017 - December 14

Day 14
First Order Stormtrooper




Advent Stockings - December 14

Day 14
I found these incredible lip balms on etsy from FireGeekLabs and I had to have the BB8 one. It is all deliciously citrus. My daughter LOVED it!