Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School

What can I tell you that is fascinating about going back to school? Everyone I talk to dreads seeing back to school commercials on TV in the middle of July. We just want to enjoy our summer and here we are being painfully reminded that we can't have enough fun because it will all come to an end much sooner than we would like. This was particularly true for me this year because we have a High School Senior this year.

If you have gone through a Senior year before you know that this means alot of uncertainty.

Is Senior year going to be everything your Senior hoped it would be?
Will your Senior get into the college of their dreams?
Will your Senior get a scholarship or other funding source to make it not impossible for them to attend college without being buried in a mound of debt?
Will they go to Prom?

But most importantly...

What will happen the day after High School graduation?

Will you have one more summer with your graduate or will they head off for a summer adventure / move to their new school?

There are so many uncertainties.

When one faces such uncertainties it is good to focus on those things that are certain in your life. So, here is what I DO know:

1. 2015 is the year that Marty McFly went Back to the Future.  So this year will definitely be driven by the Power of Love.
2. The school colors are Purple and Gold. This means that I will be wearing purple most every day. New cowboy boots with purple tones from Country Outfitter will be the boot of choice for most of the year.
3. Everything is going to change! Even though we have plans for various events throughout the year we are going to have to be ready for things to go not quite as planned.  

For my Senior #3 is going to be the biggest challenge.  

  • Her team is going into the year without a coach.
  • A girl she knows from school just announced she is engaged.
  • The kids at school are complaining about the new rules particularly the new parking rules.
  • She is taking college classes this year which is awesome but also a little unpredictable.
  • What is going to happen to her group of friends as they also face all these uncertainties - will it bring them closer together are take them in different directions.

She is going into her Senior year with greater uncertainty than has ever been there before.  It can be exciting and self affirming when you face uncertainty and rise to the challenge.  But it can also be stressful.

One good thing is that she is taking Yoga as her PE credit this year which is offered through the local community college and so she also gets college credit for that class. 

I think I may have to get going with the Wii Yoga again too - not sure what to make of all of this.

SO, until next time... Namaste!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy captures the imagination old and young

This past week in San Diego at Comic-Con you could barely turn a corner without seeing some promotion for the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was everywhere. Signs could be seen on almost every lamp post within 6 blocks of the San Diego Convention Center.  People were talking about it too.  

Leading up to Comic-Con there was plenty of promotion for this movie but for those of us that may have not read any of the Guardian of the Galaxy comics before now this movie could look a little silly.  Bradley Cooper as a racoon? Vin Diesal as a Tree Monster? And, unless you watch the TV show Parks and Recreation, you may not even recognize the lead actor in this new summer Blockbuster.

Regardless of these concerns our crew set out this afternoon to go see the movie on opening day.  Our oldest son took our youngest.  There were some concerns for both of them as they are both Guardian fans going into the movie.  But along with being a Guarding fan our oldest is also a screaming child magnet.  So, going to a summer family movie during the matinee showing was kind of a risk. They like to go to a movie to watch the movie which can be tough on opening day with a theater filled with screaming kids.

But I didn't go to the movie today so I asked Matt to write down his impression of the movie.  Without further ado: 

Guardians of the Galaxy
Review by Matt Heston

Guardians of the Galaxy is good. It's so good, that it kept a theater full of kids, teenagers, and adults with cell phones engaged enough to all stay quiet when they were supposed to. I've come to expect a certain lack of theater etiquette for summer movies (doubly so on their opening weekends), so this was something of a small cinematic miracle to me.

It's story of a band of misfit adventurers stumbling into a conflict that threatens the safety of the universe moves by at a lightning fast pace, which works excellently by keeping the focus on the characters rather than the details. There is a whole lot of information for fans of the comic books in the background, but none of this needs to be decoded by the audience in order to keep up with the plot.

This focus on character is also what makes the action feel more intense without needing anything more visceral than laser guns, and the comedy that much more effective even when it gets a bit ruder than something a 15 year old could catch. Everything that made the Avengers work so well is here, but just a bit sharper and a bit louder. Go see Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Comic-Con: It's ON! Thursday

The town is buzzing and the news is all about people lining up in advance of Thursday big full day of activities and the first full day in Hall H.  Fortunately for us we were not planning on going to Hall H. Our plan was to go to Ballroom 20.  This room holds 2000 people or something like that while Hall H holds 6000.  That sounds like a lot of people but when you consider that there are 100,000 people attending Comic-Con the Odds are Not in your Favor.  So there are lines.

Somehow, we hit a pocket.  We timed it perfectly.  Beginners luck I suppose.  Today our mission was to get into the Teen Wolf panel in Ballroom 20.

This morning we:

1. woke up
2. got ready to go
3. had breakfast
4. walked a few blocks from our hotel to the convention center
5. went to the bathroom
6. Got in line for Ballroom 20

When we arrived at the convention center there was no line.  We just walked right in - later on we had heard that people who were standing near us in line for Ballroom 20 had been in line outside since 10pm the night before.  SO, not exactly sure how we did it but that is how I hope to be able to do this every year.

Waiting in line at Comic-Con is really not a bad thing.  People are friendly and they are all enthusiastic about the event you are about to attend. So, conversations with people you have never met before are not only easy but also very engaging.

Waiting in line is no guarantee that you will get into an event but it seems like the organizers are working at making the system better so that you are not waiting in line if it is completely futile.

There is one thing for sure.  No single person can do it all at Comic-Con.  The Thursday line-up was so jam packed with awesome panels all over the convention center that we had to make some tough choices.  Our choice was much easier because the MTV Teen Wolf panel was really THE one panel that we really wanted to see.  So we worked our schedule around how to ensure that we get in to that one.


We did get into the Teen Wolf panel and it was as much fun as we had hoped.  The lineup included several of the the stars from the show along with the creator and a moderator.  One of the great things about the Teen Wolf team is that they really know how to engage the audience sitting there.  Tyler Posey, the Teen Wolf, entered the stage doing cartwheels.  When he sat down he laughed about his ridiculously bad cartwheels and said "I think I broke my toe".  Later on in the day he tweeted out "Remember when I said I think I broke my toe.  Well I did actually break my toe".  But it didn't slow him down at all.

During the panels the celebrities sit behind a long table and answer questions.  Several of the panels we saw today were awesome but the celebrities just sat there answering questions and as long as you got one good picture you were set because there was really nothing else happening as far as a single picture goes.  But the Teen Wolf panel was different.  Tyler Posey would enthusiastically point out to the crowd and raise up his arms and was basically very animated which made for more fun pictures of the panel. And they all were cracking each other up so much that the pictures of them laughing and having fun were great.  Tyler Hoechlin was just as charming as you could want a wolfy to be and, really like all of the panel, was great about interacting with the audience.

The room was filled with Teen Wolf fans.  They had waited all day to spend just under an hour with these celebs and they were all hoping for an experience that would be just a little bit something more than watching an interview on TV.  They wanted to feel that connection with these actors.  The Teen Wolf panel delivered.  They gave everyone in the room a feeling of acknowledgement that the fans are important and that being a fan of the show is awesome.

Everything else from here on out is just a bonus for us at Comic-Con. That was our goal.  To get to #SDCC2014 and see the Teen Wolf panel.

Not sure what the rest of the weekend will bring but I'm sure it will continue to be awesome.