Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Witchy 10

October 1st hits us this week, and while I can’t comprehend how it is that time of the year already, it is time for me to do one of my favorite activities. Watching movies that appropriately fit right in with the Halloween theme. I love it! I am going to do a creature feature every week of 10 movies for you to maybe check out. The ten won’t necessarily be what I consider the top films of their category, but definitely a random selection. Let me know if you can think of something I should check out. I am always looking for new movies! This weeks feature is Witches.

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

It goes without saying that this should be the first movie mentioned. It doesn’t matter how evil they are supposed to be, everyone wants to be a Sanderson sister, so they can kick it with Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. I am half tempted to watch it now.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

ALL DAMN DAY! We are not going to separate them out, because really? Those books are jammed back with some of the most badass and inspiring witches of all time. Then we put those ladies on the silver screen, and this makes things that smell like genius.

Witches

The Witches

The Witches

I really enjoy this movie and still do. I love that the folklore is Scandinavian based in this movie. It is truly great fun, but what did you expect from a Roald Dahl story. I am not going to lie, but this movie used to terrify the crap out of me when I was a kid. When the witches took off their wigs and faces, I couldn’t handle it.

Witches of Eastwick

Witches of Eastwick

Witches of Eastwick

This is a fun and baffling movie at times, but I think it holds up great even today. The cast alone is enough to give the movie a chance. It is straight up 80’s, so count me in right there. I think Jack Nicholson has some of his best moments in this movie because he is just nuts, but that’s why we continue to watch him.

Teen Witch

Teen Witch

Teen Witch

This may be one of the unknowns for you. It is an obscure 80’s teen movie, and honestly terrible. I believe that is what makes it so damn charming. I also watched the mess out this when I was a kid, so I have the whole nostalgia thing working for me. I actually own the bad boy on DVD, meaning I physically searched it out on DVD. I know. It does have musical moments, and for those who have seen it and remember it, you can’t have someone say this title without thinking of the song, Popular Girl. Then there was I Like Boys, and Top That. That last song is probably the worst attempt at rapping ever made by man, and I freaking love it!

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Sandra Bullock was the big name on this movie when it originally came out, but it has a pretty well-known cast. Nicole Kidman was known, but this was still at beginning of her personal career where she was known as herself and not as Tom Cruise’s wife. We got the 90’s heartthrob manly man, Aiden Quinn. Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest costar as well. While I truly believe this was Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on the success of The Craft, it isn’t a terrible film. I am easily amused, so I am not the best of judges at times. I still enjoy this movie and probably will watch it when I’m done writing.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful-creatures-17178-1920x1080

Beautiful Creatures

A more modern movie, but still fun. I will admit that the books are way more detailed and altogether better, but I get what they did. I don’t think that there will be a sequel, so the movie makes sense. The cast is pretty stellar if not underused at times. I was a little sad that Amma was changed up from the book to big screen, because Viola Davis would have kicked ass at that. I like this series, because it featured a boy as the normal human that is entwined with the special girl, as opposed to the vice versa storylines that have been flooding YA. It was a breath of fresh air. The movie still gives life to the characters, and if I hadn’t read the books first, I wouldn’t have known any better. If you are interested in the books, I suggest the audio versions. The reader does great voice play which adds to southernisms.

Bewitched

Bewitched

Bewitched

So not the best movie in the world, but I still thought it was fun and entertaining. I love Will Ferrell, and I thought that Nicole Kidman’s aloofness was adorable. People put too much hope into this being like the original series, but that was show. The movie doesn’t have seasons to get a story down, so they went this route. It is good for a laugh.

The Craft

The Craft

The Craft

Sooooo if you were a teenage or tween girl when this movie came out, you watched it. You watched it a lot. It was one of those movies that I wasn't supposed to be watching, but my friends and I did religiously. I don't think there was a tween or teenage girl that didn't try to play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board because of this movie. We probably wouldn't have gotten Charmed, if it wasn’t for this movie. Needless to say, some of our youthful energies were spent obsessing over this movie. Solidarity with Bonnie and her scars. Nancy is crazy as hell. Well, Sarah has a fear of snakes, so me and her are on the level. Good times and memories from this little flick. It’s like I’m thirteen again! Wait, that’s not a good thing.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter

Before the shoes begin to fly at my head, please understand that I too heard this movie should have been left where it was long ago buried. Then Jeremy Renner had to go and get popular, and bam, somebody wants a little of the Renner money, too. It is a long honored tradition in Hollywood to jump on the band wagon in hopes to find riches, but I digress. Everyone, yes many mothers as well, said this movie was horrible. Me? I get seduced by the insane cheapness of the Blu-ray and make a purchase still fully aware of the crap I would find. You know what, all that preparation lowered my expectations so greatly, that it turned out to be a decent and entertaining film. I really liked the storyline and the twists around it. I think if you enjoyed The Brothers Grimm and Van Helsing, besides their obvious faults, you will probably end up liking this.

Wish List Friday

We are going to try a out a new post here at Geeky Girl's Guide to Life! Wish List Friday!

Now Les and myself are huge geeks, but unfortunately we can't always have everything we want. We can always wish for it! Every Friday we will feature something that we wish we could have and a brief reason for why. I invite you, the readers to send us some things that you would love to have, and we would love to feature them.

Today is my something from my wish list, and something that is slowly starting to grow into an obsession. I can't help it they are soooo cute. Then they had to go and do my all time favorite TV show. I just found out that the good people of Funko Pop have made a Buffy the Vampire Slayer line.

Funko Pop Buffy Line

Funko Pop Buffy Line

While I would love to have them all and am bummed that Xander didn't make the cut, I would settle for a Buffy and Angel. Yes, I am a Buffy/Angel shipper. I love Spike, but that's not her man.

My own current Funko Pop collection at the office has grown from my original She-Ra and Phoenix, but I think my boss would kill me if I brought in anymore. I will just have to buy shelves for the apartment like any other good nerd.

What are your thoughts? Do you want them also?

80’s Music Wednesday

I cannot help but think of the movie The Wizard whenever I hear this song by Real Life, Send Me an Angel. It is a seriously fantastic new wave synth track. If you don't get your head bopping around with this one, I don't know what will. This is further proof that it doesn't really matter what you looked like in the 80's as long as you could sing. Enjoy!

She-Ra Is Better Than Ever

She-Ra glimpse in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe # 5

She-Ra glimpse in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe # 5

If you are a Princess of Power fan, and have not been reading the recent He-Man and the Masters of the Universe­ comic series, you are sorely missing out.

DC Comics revived the Masters of the Universe story a few years back by placing readers in the middle of an Eternia completely under the spell of Skeletor. Everyone’s minds and existence were reshaped with the belief that Skeletor was their ruler. Only Skeletor and his faithful minions were exceptions to the spell and knew of the true reality. The Sorceress, who was being held captive by Skeletor, was also aware of the true reality being that her magic is too powerful to deceive. That played out to be very unfortunate for Skeletor and the Sorceress herself.

Prince Adam, who now believed he was a woodsman, lived a quiet life under Skeletor’s tyranny caring for his ill father, King Randor, unknowing that he and his father were the rightful rulers of Eternia. He began getting visitations form the Sorceress in her bird form, eventually compelling him with a feeling that he needed to be somewhere and do something. This will ultimately have him run into old friends, like Teela, along the way, though both believe the other a stranger. Eventually, Skeletor is defeated and his spell broken. King Randor and Prince Adam return to their rightful titles and all is well with the world that is until the next series started and a new more terrifying evil threatens Eternia. Not even the wise Sorceress could help out the royal of Eternia. Sadly, the Sorceress was killed by Skeletor during her imprisonment. This isn’t the Saturday Morning Cartoon world we all remember. This turn is grittier and way more realistic.

When the next series started as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it was a new ballgame. Hordak had sent his Horde to claim Eternia in his name, and he sent his best weapon, Despara. Decked out in armour, a mask that is a shout out to the old cartoon version of Hordak, and a quite a knack for maiming and killing, Despara is Eternia’s worst nightmare realized. She actually gets an introductory issue in Masters of the Universe #8, so that the new series could hit the ground running. In the first couple pages of that first book, you see Despara running Flutterina through with a sword. It gets real very quickly. Actually, all of the nine issues in that series are basically cleverly handle and reimagine origin stories for various characters. There’s a Cringer focused issue that is nicely done and the writers deserve an applause for making that character believable.

Despara and Shadow Weaver

Despara and Shadow Weaver

Once this masked villain takes off her mask and you realize that this wannabe Brigitte Nielsen is actually your beloved childhood Adora, you have to take a minute. At first you get upset set, then excitement quickly settles in. One, Adora was now hardcore and slightly crazy beans, but there is a moment shortly after she takes out our favorite humanoid butterfly. She notices one of the Horde troopers about to execute a woman and her child. She stops him stating they are to be slaves, but the hesitation becomes clear as does the fact that it bothers her. It is then as she seeks Shadow Weaver’s council that we discover that Hordak has been placing his beloved “daughter” under harsh brainwashing to get her to conform to his ruling. Honestly, this is what you would expect a woman that has been suffering forced Stockholm syndrome all her life to turn out to be when someone as crazy and sadistic as Hordak is “raising” you. Then you remember cartoon Adora and wonder how in the hell she turned out so damn sweet. See realism can be just as fun.

Despara and the Horde find their way to the castle and once she reveals her true face, Teela is the one who knows her, and Adora recognizes her as well. We find out that even though the Sorceress failed to keep Skeletor from stealing Adora as a baby, she has always kept an eye out for her. The Sorceress uses dreams to build a trusting, childhood friendship between Adora and Teela. It was an interesting twist and nice build to give Adora power to take her mind and life back, along with help of Shadow Weaver in a surprising yet slightly touching sacrifice.

Currently in the sixteenth issue, Adora is on the unknowing quest to becoming She-Ra. She is too concerned with redemption and making things right, yet is being pulled into a direction she couldn’t help but follow. She is happy to know that she has a brother and a father, but she doesn’t know them. Her life needs to be sorted and that’s what she is doing, until her brother found her and told her the news of their father’s passing. Adam was sent to her by Teela, who had recently taken the mantle of Sorceress….long story. Teela appears in the sky and tells her that she needs to complete her quest, but would need her brother at her side to do it. It was nice to see some sibling bonding between the two. They were good for each other. Adam was in desperate need of a true friend and family, because with his father’s death and Teela’s transformation, he felt he lost that. Adora needed someone to there to help her trust and follow her kinder instincts.

It really is a fantastic series that started as a whim for me, and turned out to be very engaging. I was pretty shocked about that as well. It is not what I expected. She-Ra should be popping up at any time in the next couple of issues. We are in a story arc about the origin of She-Ra. I thought we would finally see Adora become She-Ra in the last issue, but alas no. We have gotten a glimpse of Swiftwind. I am happy to see that they have decided to forego the Spirit/Swiftwind transition as we have a non-armored Unicorn/Pegasus hybrid bonding and helping Adora and Adam. Here’s to hoping our girl makes an appearance soon. Also if Hollywood is still trying to erase that 80’s movie with a more serious remake, they need to look no further than this comic series for a storyline.

Cover of Adora's origin story.

Cover of Adora's origin story.

80’s Music Wednesday

Nothing says 80's like a Heart video. They are seriously one of my all time favorite bands. It's on my bucket list to see them someday. Granted, I live in Las Vegas, so that shouldn't really be hard. I am still upset about missing the Heart and Def Leppard concert a few years back. I am feeling the pain as I type. I chose a lesser hit of the band, because Nancy Wilson actually takes lead vocals on this track. It's usually her sister, Ann, that fronts the tracks, but they both have pretty powerful voices. I have been know to say that Ann Wilson sings to my soul, but I can get dramatic at times. Please enjoy the big hair and fabulous lamé with There's the Girl by Heart.

Adulthood: College Edition

Being an adult is hard. We were all warned this in the many years between junior high and high school. Most of us weren’t exactly ready to listen thinking it was our key to independence, but that’s how it goes. Now there are many like me that are fully immersed in the ways of adults and the transition hasn’t been without some unseen and unprepared for obstacles.

There was this whole generation that was told to follow the path and go to college, and then you can solidify a good job once you graduate. I don’t know about anybody else, but my entire high school experience was built around crossing t’s and dotting i’s. I did this activity and joined that club all the while making sure my grades remained desirable. This all added up to one hell of a college application that I hoped would get me into any school I wanted.

I graduated from high school in 2002, a year after a terrorist organization destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York and our economy began a slow nose dive that even now is pretty questionable whether or not we as a country have begun to recover from. This played no role in my thoughts or dreams as I filled out an application to go to the University of Southern California. I wanted to be a screenwriter and I wanted to go to the best place that would help me achieve that dream. I was so confident that all my hard work and recipe for success would get me there that I didn’t think about anything else. The day I received my rejection letter would turn out to be my first true lesson in adulthood, but one I was not ready for.

I did what any kid who believed too literally in a system that failed me. I stopped caring. All that hard work and I had nothing outside of exhaustion to show for it. I did apply for a state school and spent four years following what I needed in order to get my degree. I wasn’t active and probably didn’t put forth my best efforts most of the time. I was tired and let a simple letter not only dictate my entire high school experience, but my college as well.

I never kidded myself about believing I would be walking out of college graduation with a writing contract at my feet. I at least had realistic beliefs where that was concerned. The unrealistic belief I had was being able to easily find a job amidst the ever present failing economy that I chose to ignore while off in my dorm room. I believed that the employers would get in line to hire me after seeing a college degree on my resume. It was actually I who would be getting into line among all the other recent graduates that had the same expectation. That is the one thing that I was not entirely realistic about, and I don’t think my fellow grads were either, except maybe the Econ majors. The world outside of campus changed dramatically in those four years, and no one within the walls of my higher learning establishment were exactly bringing it to our attention. It’s not their fault entirely, they had a business they had to sell. If we were the bright shiny stars we wanted to see ourselves as, we would have read the papers and listened to the news every once in a while.

A lot of us were give a tall cold drink of reality, a reality that we had no choice but to abide by in order to survive or fall hard if we ignored it. There was no time like that one to embrace adulthood. I ended up working through a temp agency which led to stable employment, but nothing that recognized my degree as an achievement. I had to start at the bottom like anyone graduating high school, because college didn’t separate me from anyone.

The employers do not have to chase us down, not with all of us flocking one right after another to get a position. Anymore, the only time an employer will actively seek anyone is for someone with skilled education for example like engineering or medical practicing. Those of us left in the world had to grow up fast and change everything we knew in order to make the employers notice us from all of the other eager candidates. We had to do something, because we all had massive education debt to pay off and probably various credit cards to pay off that were used to make ends meet.

I, like many of my fellow grads, didn’t move into my own secluded place to continue the independence that I gained in college. I had to move back in with my parents, because I didn’t make enough to live on my own. Even moving to Las Vegas for more opportunities had me living with my brother and sister-in-law, which I appreciated greatly. Now I’m finally in my own place, and trying to move up the company ladder so that I can have the hope of finding and having something to call my own someday.

It hasn’t been an easy transition, but it had to happen. Unfortunately, everything revolves around money, and you have to focus on some things over others to make sure the important things are going to be taken care. I don’t believe that my degree or time spent in college was a waste of time. I still have my dream of being a writer someday. I just had to put it aside for the more pressing matters at hand. I write when I’m able, and maybe someday things will happen.

While I can’t change anything in my past, I cannot discredit it for it has made me the person I am today. I have learned a hell of a lot of lessons.

Firstly, college.

This isn’t so much solely my own lesson, but something I have seen from friends as well. If you are graduating high school, it is okay to not know what to do with your life. If you are questioning your path and whether or not to go to college, then do yourself a favor and do not go until you are ready. College is a fantastic experience for education and growing up. Unfortunately, it is expensive. The worst thing you can do for yourself is waste the time and education spent there when it will be on your dime. You don’t want to screw around for a couple of years and end up having to stay around for another two to make up for it. It is not cheap. The same goes for going in and dropping out, because you weren’t either ready or realized you didn’t need it. It is an expensive lesson to learn. When you are ready to learn and do it, you will take it seriously and get the most out of it. Until then get an entry level job and get some real world experiences. At least you’ll be getting paid. Those experiences will help you figure out what matters to you.

Don’t discredit community colleges. They may not have all the pomp and circumstance, but sometimes don’t need that nor want to pay for it. I’m not saying the traditional schools don’t have merit. They do, but it really depends on what you want to learn. Unfortunately, they are running a business and have their own needs to look after, and sometimes your needs are not in their best interest. Community schools will give you the same accreditation at the end of the day. What really matters is what you and your experiences make of it. Employers only pay attention to where you got your degree when it involves a skilled education, again, as in engineering or law.

Be wary of trying to save a buck by doing the “core” classes at a community school and transferring to a larger school later. Unless that community school is directly affiliated with a larger university that you have every intention of finishing your education, you are most likely going to end up losing money. Transferring credits can be like a horrid Catfish scenario. The bigger schools may not “recognize” your credits and make you retake everything again which in turn will have you paying twice what you went in for. The community school will most likely be vague about this, but in their own way, tell you without telling you. This, sadly, happens all of the time.

Core classes and grading systems in college are another rant that I would rather not go into at the moment.

High school will be the last little gem I’ll hit for this round. I did practically everything in my high school days, and I was exhausted by the time I went to college, which also didn’t help with my lack of motivation where that was concerned. Do the things in high school that you want to do, not the things your think will look good on your college application. If you are bad ass at what you do, you will be able to show it. Don’t wear yourself out. There will be plenty of time for that later. Enjoy being a kid. It’s the only time you’ll get.

80’s Music Wednesday

I was feeling some Tom Petty and thought it would be great addition. The song is classic, and I personally love blaring it from my car when I'm on a long drive. The music video is the best because it features two Beatles members, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and Electric Light Orchestra front man, Jeff Lynne.  I can't express how much I love ELO. They will have their day on a future Wednesday, I promise.  I am proud to  present Tom Petty with I Won't Back Down.

80’s Music Wednesday

Icehouse is probably known better for the track, Electric Blue. It is a fantastic one, but I love this track, Great Southern Land, better. If you are a massive movie buff you may recognize this song from the movie Young Einstein, which was a staple in my house growing up. Not to mention the times my high school physics teacher would play this movie before breaks. It is stupid, but a good time none the less. Enjoy Great Southern Land by Icehouse.

The Las Vegas Transition

Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas Sign

I moved to Las Vegas about four years ago. Being a Midwestern girl, the City of Sin would probably seem pretty intimidating. While I wouldn’t consider myself a hardened and true resident of Nevada, I have definitely learned and adjusted to things out here. The biggest adjustment being that there is truly life outside of the Strip, a whole city as a matter of fact. Being a newbie in this big city, here a few things that I have learned.

Living in Las Vegas Does Not Mean Living on the Strip

This has happened several times when talking to friends and they find out I now live in Las Vegas. The statement, “You must go to the Strip all of the time,” comes out in some variation from every single one of them. The truth is, as a local, we don’t. Firstly, the Strip is expensive. It would be like asking someone who lived in Orlando, if they went to Disney World all of the time. You can go freely to the Strip, but you pay for. McDonald’s even charges an arm and a leg for a coke. Money may play a big part in keeping locals away, but the biggest reason is driving the Strip. I once spent forty-five minutes in a left turn lane trying to get to an Evil Dead musical. Yes, they make those. Needless to say, I have yet to see that show. Locals really only go down to the Strip when family and friends are visiting town, to see a show, or to check out a restaurant. Driving to get through the traffic and pedestrians is extremely stressful. It is much easier to stay and walk on the Strip.

Tips When On the Strip

Now we may not always go down to the Strip, but there are some things my friends should be aware of when visiting the Strip.

In the last few years a law was changed that no longer requires a permit to perform on the Strip. Since then, the Strip and Fremont Street for that matter have been flooded with “street performers.” I quoted that because there really isn’t a better term. I am not talking about the talented street performers who are truly trying to share their passion and talents with everyone else and maybe gets tips doing what they love. I am talking about the costumed, dressed up performers. These are the ones that look a little sketchy in their clearly dirty Elmo outfit. These people could be fantastic people, but they can also be bad people. My warning is to be careful. You can take pictures with them if you want, but you are not required to give them money. You are allowed to tip them, if you want to. They can be extremely pushing about taking a picture with you and asking for money. They are also very pushy with your children if they are dressed as a cartoon character. This is exactly what is going on in Times Square and at the Chinese Theater. You just have to be careful.

There are also people selling bottles of water. They actually can’t sell you water without a permit which is why you will see “Donate $2” or something of that variation. Most will get very upset if you do not donate, but you are not required to. Again while a good portion could be legit, there have been cases where some of these people have just filled up bottles from a tap and are handing them out. It is your choice to do as you please, but I would check the seals before you venture. It is always that 10% that are trying to take advantage that ruin it for the other people.

DO NOT JAY WALK!!! Whether you are sober or drunk, do not do this. They have reality shows filled with people that were arrested for Jay Walking on the Strip and sent to jail. You will be taken to jail! Las Vegas Blvd is way too congested for you to do this, and it is for your safety to use the appropriate crosswalks. There are even bridges at various points for you to use, so that you don’t have to wait on the crosswalks on the street. Ultimately, drivers in Las Vegas are shit, and it is not worth your life.

If you need a taxi on the Strip, you cannot hail for one on the street. Cab drivers will get cited for stopping on the street to pick you up, which will ultimately affect their job. Again this is due to the congestion of drivers and pedestrians. If you need a taxi, you have to go to the casino entrances to find one. You will have no problem finding them there. They will be clustered together waiting on someone to take them.

If you are brave and decide to drive the Strip, the major Strip casinos have free valet parking. The valets will expect tips, and honestly it is still cheaper to tip than to pay the valet at some of the casinos. In relation to that, parking is also free in the casino parking garages on the Strip. This is pretty much universal at all casinos in Las Vegas, except Fremont Street. Free parking on Fremont is hard to come by and fought over, Thunder Dome style. Just be prepared to hand over some cash.

Food is Fantastic

Being from small town, the height of exotic was driving to the closest larger town to eat at the Olive Garden. While Vegas has its own share of Olive Gardens, it caters to much more varieties of taste. Any kind of food, you can find it here. Hell if you want to cook it, we have and international grocery store. That was an interesting place. I took my parents there when they were visiting once so that my mum could raid the Swedish foods. I love all of the variety and mom and pop places here. There is this little Chicago hot dog place near my job that not only makes the best hot dogs, but seriously one of the best damn burgers I have ever had in my life. For what you pay, you get an amazing amount. Plus the family that owns it is from Chicago, so you get some of that Midwestern hospitality and customer service that the rest of the city horribly lacks. We even have a gourmet doughnut shop that will bring tears to my eyes. I love the food here. We also have crazy ass buffets, which is awesome when you want to try something new and worldly. They recently opened a buffet at Caesar’s Palace called the Bachanal. I will be honest, it is expensive. It can ranges anywhere between $30 to $60 per person depending on the day and time you go. It is soooooooooooo worth it.

Driving in Las Vegas Period

This has been the hardest transition for me, because people cannot drive worth shit out here. There was a joke on a list I read where someone said that driving in Las Vegas was like playing Mario Kart. She is absolutely right. I have never had to defensively drive so much in my whole life. People have said that driving in Los Angeles is crazy, but everyone drives the same. The same can be said about Chicago. That is not the case in Las Vegas, which is what makes it hard to predict A driver kills a pedestrian at least once a week. That is not an exaggeration. We have a big campaign about how to drive more safely going on in the city right now to stop the fatalities. Unfortunately, the locals also walk like they drive, which makes the probability of a fatality higher. I would hope as a pedestrian knowing the fatality rate, one would be more cautious when walking, because it is you vs. car. Nope. I have seen people drag their children across six lanes and a medium, because they didn’t want to walk the fifteen feet to the next crosswalk. It baffles the hell out of me.