August 13

Goodbye Indy

Hello Underdogs. I know that I have been absent recently. It’s with a heavy heart that I must say that my beloved dog, Indy has passed away. This by far has been one of the hardest things that I have gone through and I am broken. I have lost dogs before, but Indy was my best buddy in the whole world, and it hurt worse than I could ever imagine. For those who think I don’t know real loss, I know it all too well. I lost all my grandparents, my Dad, and some very good friends during the course of my life. It makes me upset when people say that you “just lost a dog.” I didn’t just lose my dog, I  lost my best friend. Grief isn’t measured in a person, or a pet, but by how much you loved. If you are lucky, your life will be filled with grief.

*Post contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer Page for details. 

I had Indy with me since he was a baby. We went through so much together. He literally saved my life twice, and it almost cost him his very own life both times. He slept with me every night. He traveled with me all over the USA. He moved with me in several places and several states. My one regret is that I could never afford a place to live that had a fence in yard where he could run and play as much as he wanted. He was by my side during the worst moments including the loss of his sister, Poe, and my Dad.

There has never been another soul as pure and as wonderful as Indy. He wasn’t the smartest crayon in the box, but he sure was pretty. He had a huge bark, but was a big snuggler. Indy would moo like a cow sometimes, loved his ears rubbed, and enjoyed cheeseburgers. He was a great brother, a wonderful friend, and part of my soul. Anyone who has lost a pet understands how hard it is to walk into your house, and feel so alone. Even though I do have another dog, my life feels so empty and alone now. I love Sunny so very much, but of course, she isn’t, and never has been a replacement for Indy.  You can never replace an animal, you can get another one, but it doesn’t take away the loss and pain of your beloved lost animal.

That’s all I want to say for now. I’m not taking this so well, and that is the truth of the matter. Each day hurts, and it gets further and further away from the last day I had him in my life. It gets worse. Grief is very real, and very hard. What I learned is that I need to take my own time. I can cry and hurt because it’s okay. I can also want to be alone because things have become too much. I can also be happy too. One day, I will be better, but today is not that day, and it may not be that day for a very long time. Indy was with me for 12 years, and I’m thankful for every moment. There are no words to express how much I loved my dog, and how much I miss him.

Goodbye my baby, Indy. I will miss you for the rest of my life. Thank you for letting me be your person.

 

***If you are able to help, please check out my go fund me page to donate to Indy’s Burial Fund:

http://gf.me/u/kirjzv

July 16

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Review

When the Hulu show, “A Handmaid’s Tale,” started two seasons ago, I wasn’t interested. I remember seeing bits and pieces of the movie from the 1980’s and it wasn’t very good. However, as time went on, I kept having friends tell me it is a show that I must watch. Being the faithful reader, I decided to read the book before watching the show. “A Handmaid’s Tale,” is a book that is written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood which came out in 1985. This book chilled me to the bone and I devoured it in one sitting. I decided to go ahead and try the series, which was up to its third episode at this point. I was truly struck by the sheer beauty of the lights, the color, and the camera work. Clearly the setting is as much of a character as the people involved in the story itself. The complex story and the amazing acting is what keeps me coming back again and again, even after I am truly shocked by what I have seen.

This post contains affiliate links. See the Disclaimer on Promotions Page for more info.

 

I have gone back and forth about doing a review about this series for two simple reasons. First, everyone else is doing it and it may be getting a bit old for some people. Second, this show is so raw, that it is painful. It is so hard to discuss the subject matters without seeing real life examples and realizing we may not be so far off from Gilead, which is what is left of America after the fall of, well, everything. The book and the series have some major differences, but for the most part, the heart of the story is the same. We hear about the world through a nameless Handmaid in the book, but for the series, they call her June. She is one of the many nameless women who are forced to become a vessel of human life. They say the revolution didn’t happen over night, but by the time they paid attention, it was too late and they had already lost.

While it is never clear at this point what happened, there was a revolt of a group of people who are extremely religious. They were able to overtake the government, killing everyone in their path and setting up their own agenda which is their interpretation of the Old Testament in the Bible. The root cause of this take over how terrible the fertility rates are around the world. They blame many things on this including food, environment, and even lifestyle. Soon, women are forced to be stripped of everything that they are outside of a man. This means they can’t work, use money, shop, or do anything without a man. The laws are strict and many pay with their lives. Women are divided into certain classes and they are expected to perform that role in society for the rest of their lives. The Handmaid is a woman who has given birth to a live child at some point, and is still fertile. A Maratha is a woman who can’t have children and become maids. Wives range from lower class to high officials. An Aunt is a woman who oversees the Handmaids, and is one of the only women legally allowed to be able to read and write. It is forbidden otherwise. Men have less of a class system, but it is still there. They have guards, drivers, lower class men, and high officials that are self proclaimed Commanders. A Handmaid only goes to the high ranking Commanders, and their wives.


One may be asking what a Handmaid does? Sadly, she is forced to live in the home of a Commander and his wife where they have a ceremony once a month. The Handmaid is  rapped by the Commander, while his wife holds her down. They are trying as a group to get pregnant, and then if there is a resulting baby, they keep it and kick the Handmaid out. They not only rape her, but then they steal her baby if she gives birth to a living child. When I said before that they strip everything away from women, this includes their name. Their real names are forbidden and while they are serving as a Handmaid they are known and addressed as part of the Commanders name. For example, June’s Commander is named Fred, so she is Offred. (Of-Fred) These women also have other roles such as shopping for groceries for the household, and the occasional stoning to death of a person who broke the law. They also are shown off, and of course treated as objects instead of humans. They have a certain amount of time to stay with a family and get preggo. If they fail to many times, then they are sent off to the Colonies. That is a place that will kill anyone who works there slowly and painfully. This is a bunch of land full of toxic waste.  These  “bad” women strip the layers of soil until they get to a point where they can use the land to plant food. But they are given nothing to protect them, so their skin, teeth, and nails fall off and the eventually die of cancer or other issues related to this job.

In this world, there is no trust and no friends. Or it least it seems that way. Every move they make is watched by  armed guards. If you have stepped one toe out of line, or seem like you did, then you are subjected to either being hung, shot, sent to the Colonies, or they disappear and no one truly knows what happened. People are taught to snitch on one another, which makes is hard for anyone to form a bond to revolt. However, the need to survive and fight is deep and is enough for underground networks to be born. There are many people who escape to Canada, which is a safe haven for anyone in this terrible world. Many people are killed trying to escape, but there are those who make it out including June’s husband Luke, and her best friend, Moria. However, both June and her young daughter, Hannah were taken. In the books, we never find out what happens to Hannah, but in the series we find that she has been adopted in a home,  and will be a handmaid when she is old enough.

In the book, we hear this tale through a recorder many years in the future. This whole story is part of a discussion from people around the world, trying to understand this terrible stain of the past. They are trying to keep from repeating the same mistakes.  One may point out that June is an unreliable narrator since we only hear her story. However, there are countless recordings from other people who can back several things up. They just can’t find records of June or her family ever existing. That doesn’t mean anything, but can we trust everything that June says to be true?  I think the readers and the viewers fell a connection with June and tend to take her at her word. We get small clues in the series that this is also a story that is being told from a future point in time.

There are so many ups and downs involved in this story that it is almost hard to keep watching. However, it brings up so many themes that we need to discuss as a society. It’s so hard because it’s holding a mirror up to our world and seeing that we don’t like what we see, and what could be. For the next post, I will be going into more details and thoughts about specific issues, but I think it’s important to really understand the material before going into the issues of the terrible things brought up in this story. It’s not a story for many women, it’s real life, and that is horrific.

 

What do you think? Leave your comments  with #hmt

 

June 25

Mental Health

Underdogs, this blog may contain some information that may be triggering since the topic I am going to cover is about mental health. I am going to be including my personal Facebook post about the suicide of Antony Bourdain. If this will be a trigger for you about discussing this topic, then no problem at all. I will see you on another post. By the way, you are amazing, loved, and needed in this world.  Thank you for being here today, and each and every day. The world is better for you being in it! For those of you who want to continue reading, take a good look at the people in your lives and always check on them. Part of mental illness is understanding it. We know so little, and people are too ashamed to get the help that they need. It’s time to address this subject head on, and be strong enough as a society to stand up and say that this isn’t alright. That we need to stop the stigma around mental health, or we all lose. Every single one of us.

21505-custom-ribbon-magnet-sticker-National+Suicide+Prevention+Lifeline+++1-800-273-....png (455×350)

“All day I have been thinking about Antony Bourdain’s death. It has made me angry, hurt, and shocked. It ignited a response like I clearly didn’t expect and I had to talk myself down several times. Why? I didn’t know him. I was a fan of his career. He reminded me of those rare, raw people who lived hard in the 60’s and suffered for their art for the remainder of their lives. Sometimes a prisoner of this art. Is his suicide a surprise? Sadly, not really. Bright lights can’t shine forever, but when they fade on their own, it leaves such a hole for those left behind. My fury come from the basic fact that even in 2018, mental illness still is shunned and laughed at. It’s misunderstood. While people can point the finger and say he could have done so and so, and he would still be here, or the fact that he had loved ones should have been enough. I hate to tell you, but mental illness does not work that way. Some days, the illness wins, and it will cost you your life. What hurts the most is reading comment after comment saying that Anthony had enough money to get help, and if he didn’t get it, then how in the world can someone dirt poor like me get it? First, illness should never be about money, but it is in the United States. It’s heartbreaking that people can’t get the help they need due to dollar signs. If you need help, go to an ER. They have to treat you! Then ask for low cost or free program. Just because you are poor does not mean that you can’t or don’t deserve help. We don’t know each other’s demons, so let’s not stand in a place of judgment and instead reach out a helping hand. Advocate for more mental health funding and education. Teach your children about it, because you won’t find it being taught it most schools. It’s okay to be hurt, and angry over someone passing that you have never met because they made and impact. And guess what, those feeling a make you human. For those who are suffering, I’m here. For those who don’t want to admit their illness due to stigma, your health is more important than an image. A hand is always outstretched to help, look, ask, or cry out for one. There is no shame. Give yourself a chance because more people than your realize are living with mental illness. I am, and sometimes the battle is too hard. But I keep going, and so should you. The world deserves your impact, don’t rob it of your light because of fear and shame. You deserve help. You deserve life. There will be bad days , but there will be good days as well. Take a hand. Reach out.”

Mental Illness is not to be taken lightly, however it is still laughed at, mocked, or shoved aside like it isn’t real. The longer we take on this attitude, the more lives we will lose to this terrible disease. This is a global issue that people refuse to see. For far too long, we have equated emotion with depression. We have confused a bad day with an illness. We have made it seem like real symptoms and issues are not anything more than sadness and anger. To continue with this line of though is to continue undercutting a real illness. We are doing ourselves a disservice by not speaking out and getting the help that we need. Let’s get this straight once and for all. An illness is not an emotion. Let’s start treating Mental Illness for what it really is, an illness! Nothing less than that.

screen696x696.jpeg (392×696)

Sadly, there isn’t enough money to get all the people the help that the need. Going to therapy is not cheap and many people can’t afford to do this. While going to an ER is an option, the rules vary from state to state. But every ER will have to treat you if you are in medical danger. There are programs out there for you to try out. Start with The United Way and then ask people in your community. If you have health insurance, call the number on the back of the card to help you get started in the right direction to get any help that you may need. Some work, schools, and churches have programs within them, or resources that you don’t even know about. While it may take some work, there is help out there for you.

I don’t want you to feel alone. I suffer from anxiety and depression, as well as other disorders. There are days I can’t get out of bed. There are days that I feel so down that I can’t function. There are days where I am so overwhelmed that I can’t feel a thing. I have voices in my head telling me how horrible that I am, and how no one loves me. Part of mental health is knowing when those voices are just noise, and when you need to seek help. I have been in both positions where it’s just been some terrible noises, and when I needed help because I was fearful for my life.

I have had different kinds of help for the last 10 years of my life. I can tell you that it is a lot better than not having any help at all. Even when I think nothing is helping, I still am here and still make it through another day. It may seem like a terrible thing to only accomplish getting out of bed, but it is an accomplishment. On those days where I can’t, it doesn’t mean that I failed, was lazy, or a bad person. All it means is that the illness was a bit much for me that day. The thing is, symptoms of mental illness are as real as other health issues. They can be small, or they can be life threatening. We need to take it seriously.

This is a long battle that will not be won in a simple blog. However, it starts with you. I hope that each of you will read this and see that mental health is a real problem. Together, we can reach out to one another, but we can also help educate the public. This is something that is very important and we need to help get over the block that is put up by so many who fear and mock the reality of this illness. It’s hard enough being sick, but it’s even harder to feel like you have to justify it to everyone including yourself. In the meantime, you are all loved and needed. I am thankful for all of you and hope that you will take the time to do your own research on the topic, and reach out to the sources above if you need it. Thank you!

June 18

Tag: The Review

Underdogs, if you haven’t seen the new movie, “Tag,” please be aware that this post will have SPOILERS! If you don’t want the movie spoiled, then please don’t read past this paragraph. If you must, then at least check out my affiliate links and know if you have any questions you can check out the Disclaimer on the Promotions page!

 

Tag_(2018_film).png (220×326)

This week, a new movie called, “Tag,” came out staring Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, and Jon Hamm. Isla Fisher and Rashida Jones also have parts in this movie making this a pretty nice rounded cast. I actually didn’t hear about this movie until I went to see Deadpool 2 and saw the trailer before the movie started. I recall hearing about this true story years ago on the radio. Tag is about a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 years. For the entire month of May, it is a free for all for this group who is doing their best to not get tagged. Each member of the group has been it, except one who is rumored to quit after this season so he wouldn’t end his 30 year winning streak.

When we begin, May has started and the last person who was it, Hoagie(Ed Helms) is pretending to want a job at Callahan’s (Jon Hamm) work. Callahan is giving an interview to the Wall Street Journal about the insurance company that he works for, and in the middle of his interview, Hoagie tags Callahan, thus starting the journalist, Rebecca, following this group of friends around and chasing this very unusual story. They find out that Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is getting married and didn’t tell them. Since he is the one who has never been tagged, and there is a rumor that he will retire this year, the whole team decides to go crash his wedding and get Jerry.

What follows next is a hilarious adventure of the group of male friends trying to get Jerry before the clock strikes midnight on the last day of May! We find that there rules that they follow to the letter. The reason the group was not told about the wedding was so the day would go off without a problem, and the bride could have a nice day. For example, since they started this adventure at the age of 9, no girls are allowed. However, that doesn’t stop the support of the women in their lives. They also make a rule that they won’t do anything during the rehearsal, the photos, or the actual wedding itself.

It is really fun to see what lengths this group will go to in order to tag the next person. There is only one winner who has bragging rights for the entire year. The next year, the game starts all over again. They have disguises, dresses, and even take some serious classes to keep one upping each other! While it’s a simple story, it is a story that is funny and kind. The heart of it all is this group of people who keep connected because of a silly child’s game. Is it really that silly, because this group seems to have kept a part of themselves alive that many of us lost as we got older. What is wrong playing a game like this for the rest of your life with people that you love? There are a lot of funny and some surprising dramatic and tough moments in this movie. There is a lot of laughable moments, but this movie may not be for everyone. I think if you show up to this movie in the mood for some light-hearted fun, then you will have a good time. While it’s predictable, it is a fun journey. I would give this move a 4 out of 5 stars just because of the sad part that kind of took us out of the magic a bit. Stay around for the end credits to not only see real life footage of the people who inspired this story, but also to see the cast sing Crash Test Dummies! It is worth it!

 

Have you seen Tag? What do you think? Leave your comments down below!

June 11

1990’s Foods you can Buy on Ebay!

Please be advised that none of the foods represented in this blog post should ever been consumed by any human being, at any point! This is all expired food! “1990’s Foods you can Buy on Ebay,” contains affiliate links. For more information, make sure that you check out the disclaimer on the promotions page. 

 

Underdogs, I have been spending a lot of time in the hospital in the last two months. Sometimes, I entertain myself by searching  for some strange things that I can find on Ebay. Last week, I looked up items that were labeled haunted. If you missed that, please go check that blog post out!  This time, I decided to find something from my childhood. These are things that I honestly didn’t think I would find, but there are foods people are selling from the 1990’s. I had a vision of a Superman Hot Chocolate that I recall when I was little. This sent me down a rabbit hole and here are some real foods that you can purchase on Ebay right now that came from the 1990’s! Now, this should go without saying, but if you follow the link and decide to purchase, please don’t consume any of it! There is no way in the world that food is safe to eat at this point, so only get the item if you want to display it.

 

8811049dbb6f19a1f0f5fec1603d6115.jpg (235×450)

 

4 Vintage 1990’s Penguin Pepsi Cans:

Pepsi Penguin Can Collection: 1990’s

Let’s start with something simple and not dangerous at all. Here is an adorable collection of 4 Penguin Pepsi cans from the 1990’s. These are just cans, so no soda is involved at all. I sort of recall these being popular as a child, but there have been lots of fun characters in soda campaigns for the last several years. Either way, these are cute cans, and if you are someone who wants these to add to your collection, it’s only $9.99.

 

VINTAGE-RARE-Sealed-1990-ORBITZ-Pineapple-Banana-Cherry-Coconut-FULL-1014oz.jpg (300×400)

 

Orbitz: Pineapple Coconut Banana Cherry:

Orbits

This is an actual unopened bottle of Orbitz. If you have never had this drink, you may want to consider yourself lucky. This is a clear liquid with fruit flavoring. However, it also includes these little gel fruit flavor gel bubbles are also included. This makes the whole thing seem like a lava lamp. I remember these well, and I recall that it was expensive, tasted gross, and it was very easy to choke on. This little ditty from the 1990’s is only $29.99. Judging by the photo provided, this drink has seen better days and you should never try it! If you are worried, there are 2 small dents in the cap, but otherwise, I think it looks as good as it can considering the age. I believe back in the day, these drinks were around $3.00 each.

 

merry-mix-555-900x496.jpg (900×496)

Runtz Merry Mix:

Runtz Merry Mix

While I remember Runtz, I don’t recall seeing this at all. The seller lets us know that this vintage 1990’s treat was very rare. In fact, they have only seen this one! It was only made during one Christmas season, so this is pretty rare. This is an unopened package, but again, don’t ever eat these! I thought this was pretty cool since I’ve never seen them before and Runtz today don’t taste like they used to. Are they ever around anymore? I’m not even sure!

 

 

92_5427_ucp.jpg (520×350)

 

Corn Chex Cereal with Snoopy Bank:

Corn Chex Cereal 1990

This sealed, pre-owned Corn Chex Cereal has the really cool addition of a Snoopy Bank! This item is from the 1990’s, and is selling for $34.95. I did have these around as a child, but it didn’t leave a huge impact on me. Just like I did when I was a child, I picked this out based on the cool toy that is coming with the box!

 

kool-aid-man.jpg (500×523)

Kool-Aid Island Twist Kicking Key Lime:

Kool Aid Island Kicking Key Lime

This was one of my favorite flavors growing up in the 1990’s. When you grow up poor, 29 cents is too much for a packaged drink like these when you could get the store brand for about a dime. So if we got to have Kool-Aid, it was a treat! Now, for only $34.99, you can get not one, but two sealed packages! These were found by the seller after cleaning out their Grandma’s kitchen, so this makes me feel way too old! I can’t say that I could keep from trying these if I bought them. That’s why I won’t!

 

There were a few items from Ebay that you can purchase right now that came from the 1990’s. While this took me down memory lane, it makes me worry what in the world we all used to put into our bodies. There were a lot of bright and colorful images that did most of the drive for what we wanted to eat. I’m sure that those of us who grew up during this time will pay for it later on in our health. It’s nice to look at some of the fun things, but it also gives me paranoia on what we all used to eat!

What’s a past snack item that you miss and wish that were still around today? Leave your comments down below.

June 4

Solo: A Review

“Solo: A Review” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions Page. 

 

AudiobooksNow - Digital Audiobooks for Less

 

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY! STOP READING TO AVOID ANY SPOILERS! 

 

 

Underdogs, while I am a Star Wars fan, I am not one of those people who can name stray characters, names of ships, or non cannon plot points. I want to say upfront that there is no wrong type of fan of anything. Just because you like something does not mean you have to know all the ins and outs or you are not a true fan. We don’t do that here, so all types of fans are welcome. I am just setting up my level of experience in Star Wars to let you know that while I love these movies, grew up with them, and have read some of the books and comics, I missed a lot of references and Easter Eggs in Solo. That also being said, I can see how this film would be difficult to make just due to the sheer fact that most of us played Star Wars as a child and made up our own adventures. Solo may never live up to our own imaginations and our own creativity.  I don’t think Solo was as bad as everyone is making it out to be. However, I see one glaring thing that the movie missed that really needed to expand upon. That is who is Han Solo?

Here is a short recap of Solo. The movie starts with Han and his girlfriend Qi’ra trying to escape this strange planet that seems to have lots of children and young adults stealing and working for a fish gangster. It seems like they are all afraid of her, but no one is standing up. Han steals a ship and tries to escape, but Qi’ra gets left behind.  Han promises that he will find her someday, and promptly joins the Empire to escape. Three years later, he is fighting in a war with people who are not part of the Empire, and finds a way to join their team. This isn’t before Han makes friends with an awesome Wookie named Chewy! They eventually get into some trouble,with several of the team getting killed.  They also lose the shipment that team was in debt to for Vos, who is part of the Crimson Dawn. Who happens to be Vos’ number one? Why it’s Qi’ra of course! Let’s just say the reunion was strange at the very least.

Han, Beckett, and Chewy along with Qi’ra who was ordered to join them, go seek out a way to get more of the original shipment that was lost. Basically, it’s fuel that they need. Qi’ra introduces Han Solo to Lando, and they set off to get the fuel. Eventually, they get it, but with lots of double crossing, Beckett ends up dead, and Vos is ready to kill everyone! Qi’ra kills Vos and encourages Han Solo to go ahead of her. Instead, she leaves him behind after talking to Darth Maul and we know that she is truly gone. The story ends with Han getting the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a bet during a card game. We also get an idea that the next person Han is going to go see is Jabba the Hut.

 

So, what did we learn about Han Solo? What happened to his parents? Did he have brothers and sisters? What planet did he come from? How did he learn how to speak Wookie? He says briefly that his Father was a pilot, and they weren’t close.  He gets the name Solo from the recruiter for the Empire after he asked who Han’s people were, and he said he was alone. Why is he alone? Did his parents sell him? Was he actually close with his family but had to put it all behind him to survive? Of course, I couldn’t help but to think of Rey in these moments and how close their stories are, because we still know nothing. I still think Han is Rey’s father, but that’s another debate. Here, I am let down because I know just about as much about Han Solo’s life as I did before walking into the movie. Was it a nice adventure? Sure, but seriously, can you actually tell me much about Solo’s life outside of the very few details that I mentioned above?

I have heard people accuse Disney of watering down the Star Wars stories, and having a lot of problems with the line of Star Wars stories coming out. I actually loved “Rouge One” more than “The Last Jedi.” Solo was a nice story, and I don’t blame Disney for not hitting the plot points that I wanted to see. They are keeping this story going so many others can grow up with it just as many of us have done. It was not a bad movie. I was so excited to see some of Jim Henson’s creations and having the main female character be called Qi’ra was pretty cool. That was going to be Rey’s name at one point, but this is a throwback to other Jim Henson’s characters from many years ago. It was pretty cool.

 

I did have an issue with Darth Maul showing up and then having to have it explained to me how in the world he could still be alive. If he was alive, it would have ruined the entire time line. I don’t watch the Clone Wars, so I had no clue that they brought him back to life and he would have been alive and well during this time. While it’s a nice nod to the Clone War series, many Star Wars fans, like myself, have never seen it. I feel it makes things more complicated. Then it goes back to the questions of how much are you taking from this series for the newer Star War Stories? There is a lot of source material out there, so if we don’t know when we walk into the theater if they are borrowing from the comics or a book written in 1988, are we going to be lost. I’m saying don’t make a huge plot point something that people have to go search for in order to make sense of the situation. The amount of knowledge that I have about the Star Wars universe should have been enough to not wonder what in the Hell just happened. If someone was a fan and knew even less Star Wars knowledge (which is fine!) I believe they would be even more lost!  I  think this is an issue that Disney will need to address going forward.

What is my final verdict on “Solo: A Star Wars Story?” It was okay. It wasn’t the best movie that I have ever seen, but it wasn’t the worst. I did enjoy it, but I was let down because I thought that we were actually going to learn more about Han’s past. I still don’t know much about his backstory. I really want to see a Princess Leia movie because she totally deserves her own story! I will give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It was fun, but not what was expected. I think there was too far of a reach to understand the plot if you don’t know Clone Wars.  I also think they left out too much about the background of Han Solo for us as the audience to know much more about him.

 

What do you think? What was your reactions to Solo? Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

May 21

Marvel Moments That Don’t Make Sense

The post “Marvel Moments that don’t make Sense,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Underdogs, you all know how much I love Marvel Movies. However, even the best has some story lines that either can be considered a plot hole, strange or just a plain mistake. It’s hard to keep things super straight when you have a huge universe that are working with and around. If you are a fan of a huge multiverse like this, then you can see how hard it can be to keep track of every single thing. Sometimes, things really stick out and make you wonder if they will ever figure this out, or explain away a certain path that was taken. Until then, let’s take a look at some of the things from Marvel that don’t make any sense.

 

Black Widow knew what Bucky Did:

The other day I was re-watching one of my favorite movies “The Winter Solider.”  This is by far one of the best written Marvel movies in my opinion. However, one thing really stuck out to me watching it this time. One of the last moments in the movie, Natasha hands Steve a folder about The Winter Solider, AKA Bucky. She tells him to be very careful about pulling that string and he may not like what he finds. Essential, we get confirmation that Natasha knew what was in the folder that she handed to Steve. This included the fact that one of his missions was to kill Tony’s parents. This knowledge ripped the Avengers apart, because Tony couldn’t handle the fact that Steve knew Bucky had been the one who killed his parents and never told him. I know that I am over simplifying the matter but the fact that Natasha knew all of this made her just as “guilty” as Steve. Natasha had the power to explain to Tony the contents in the file. Instead, she let Tony and Steve fight, and eventually lead several of the group becoming outlaws. Would it made a difference of the outcome? I think it would have because it could have been one more person who understood the delicate situation between Steve and Tony. As of now, their relationship is still damaged badly. I just don’t understand why Steve had to be punished for keeping the knowledge of what Bucky did to himself when Natasha did the same thing. Maybe it had to do with the fact that she had a very long relationship with Bucky herself.

Why is Coulson Still Dead?

Phil Coulson is the heart of Marvel Universe and the Avengers. If it weren’t for his death, the Avengers never would have come together. In the meantime, he has his own show called, Agents of Shield. He has been alive and sort of well for the past several years. He has been in the background, working hard and even cleaning up the messes of Thor. He was heartbroken when Peggy died,and couldn’t take it when Captain America became a fugitive. While other people have come and gone, I can’t seem to figure out why they are still keeping Coulson’s death a reality. Even the Lady Sith knows that Coulson is still alive but Thor does not. I can’t imagine it’s to save face. Shield has been destroyed.  Nick Fury faked his own death, but they all know he is still alive. What is a good reason to keep him dead to the Avengers? They already know that they have been manipulated and lied to in order to get results. Why would you keep this secret for so long for no good reason?


Why didn’t they use any of  the Infinity Stones?

The Avengers had 2 Infinity Stones available to them. One was the stones was inside of Vision, and the second was the Time stone that Dr Strange and Wong protected. While they may not have been able to do much with one or the other, why didn’t they at least try to do something? Once they knew there was an issue why did they at least try to use the Time Stone? They had used it before in Dr. Strange to create the time loop. Why would they try to use it against Thanos? It’s possible that they use of the Time Stone could have created another ripple. But why didn’t they at least try? I guess the Time Stone was used for the possible outcomes, but why could they not use it to go back in time and prevent Thanos from ever getting any stones in the first place?

Those are just a few big questions that I have about Marvel movies that don’t make any sense. I know there are several more but these seem to be pretty big gaping holes. They could have changed the outcome of both the movies and the TV series. What do you think? Which Marvel movie moments don’t make any sense to you?

 

April 23

Disney Travel Tips: Part 2

The post, “Disney Travel Tips: Part 2” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Traveling to Disney can be stressful, but it can also be fun if you find yourself prepared with some very basis ideas and tips! For many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so you want to do your research as much as possible before you start your trip. I recommend taking advantage of free things like YouTube videos and get some tips from people who go to Disney all of the time. Also read blogs like this one! For this blog, I am going to include some tips that are about traveling with someone with a medical disability, as well as give you some other helpful tips. Disney is actually amazing at being accessible to almost anyone, on almost any ride. They are far better than any other theme park I have ever been to, so it is important to be prepared to make their day as magical as possible. The cast members at Disney are excellent at helping this happen! If you want to read the first part of this blog, Disney Travel Tips: Part 1 take a look at the following link! http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/disney-travel-tips-part-1/

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

1. Traveling with a person who has a medical disability:

There are many types of different disabilities that can produce a challenge for traveling. While many parks aren’t equipped to handle this, Disney is excellent at making this experience magical for the entire party. Your first stop into the park should be at Disney Customer Service before you venture into the park. Talk to someone behind the desk and let them know your situation because you may qualify for something called a Disability Pass. This is only for certain circumstances so you will need to be prepared to ask about the pass, and honestly tell them about the circumstances. If you qualify, they will link the pass on your magic band. This will help with wait times, and will help with getting on and off rides as easily as possible. This is on a case per case basis so don’t expect this to happen with any situation. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but you will need to Magic Pass to make this happen. This price is small compared to the amount of ease and help that the pass will give you if you qualify for it. Again, major disclaimer: not all cases will qualify for this pass so you may or may not receive one for your trip. Have medical proof, such as a doctor’s note, with you just in case it’s needed for any reason.

2. Renting Scooters and Wheelchairs:

If you don’t have your own wheelchair or scooter, you may want to think about renting these items at the park. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to renting these items at the park. First, they will be costly, but you get a portion back at the end of the day after bringing the items back at the end of the day. Beside the cost, the biggest issue is that these items are a first come, first serve basis. While they are well equipped in most of the parks, it is an issue to get anything at Magic Kingdom. You may be stuck waiting for hours, or not get one at all, and you may accidentally waste your day. That is hard especially since you are limited to your time at the park and you want to experience it as much as possible! One great thing about renting at the park is if that anything happens to the item that you are renting, you simply need to talk to a cast member. For example, the battery runs out on the scooter, you talk to a cast member and they will bring you a new battery. If the item stops working for some reason, they will replace it so you can go along your day. If you are a park hopper, then your items will be there for you at the next park if available. Of course, if they are sold out at the other park then you may be out of luck. You may want to look into rental companies and weigh the costs and pros and cons of renting yourself verses renting at the park. Of course, if you rent elsewhere, you have to take into consideration transportation of that item to and from the park. There are places that will deliver, but you will need to do your research and see if you should do one over the other.

3. Renting a Baby Stroller:

Another item that you can rent is a baby carriage, or stroller. This has the same situation as scooters and wheelchairs such as a first come, first come basis, and a deposit that you will get back at the end of the day. While this is a nice thing to have at the park, it is so much better to find a cheap stroller and take it with you. You can find many choices on Amazon prime, and depending on where you are staying, you can have that item delivered to your resort or your hotel which will be waiting for you when you arrive! If your kid can fit into a stroller, then I recommend that you have one. First, your child will not be able to walk around all day. This can help with exhaustion and keep the adults from having to carry a child in the heat. Second, you can use the stroller as a place to keep bags and drinks. Keep this trip as easy as possible and don’t worry about a kid being too old for being in a stroller. If they fit, let them sit! I saw kids who were at least 10 years old in a stroller, which was so much easier for everyone involved!

4. FREE PINS!Image may contain: 1 person

If you think there isn’t anything free in Disney you are wrong! While you won’t find a lot of free stuff, you can get free pins every single day if you want! There are 4 available that  I know of for sure, however, there may be more. The first one says, “First Visit to Disney,” the second is “Celebration,”  the third is a wedding or anniversary pin, and the fourth is a birthday pin. You are able to get these in several places including the chamber of commerce on Main Street at Magic Kingdom, any customer service area at any of the parks, or even some regular shops like where you get the Mickey Mouse Ears personalized. There is a space on most of these pins that you can use a sharpie pen and personalize them. You can celebrate anything you want and you can get a new pin each day that shows whatever you are celebrating! PS: These free pins may get your other free items at Disney. You may get some free samples or even a free cupcake! Those are never promised, but take advantage of the Pins for everyone in your group! If you can’t find them, then ask a cast member to help you out!

5. Popcorn!

 

While most things are the park are price pretty high, investing in popcorn buckets or ones with ears like this one is an excellent idea. These are $10.00 each but they are worth it! I wish I would have known about these earlier or I would have taken advantage of this every single day we were at the park! I suggest buying one the day you get there and then you can bring it back each day, at every single park. Then, you an get a refill for only $2.00 as many times as you want! They can’t refill the bucket due to sanity reasons, but if you bring it, they will give you the refill price and a whole fresh box of popcorn. Those boxes actually carry more than what is in these buckets so it is an excellent deal. This is like movie theater popcorn so it’s very tasty. You will just need to pay attention to places that sell popcorn and see if they have a refill price listed. The other cool thing about this bucket is that it hooks to a stroller, or bag so it’s easy to get around with. They close tight, so you don’t have to worry about spilling the contents. It also makes a great souvenir when you get back home! We bought 2 for our party of 7 and it worked out great!

 

 

6. Order food with your Mobile App:

Image may contain: food

 

I can’t stress the importance of the Disney Experience App!! Seriously, take the time to download this free app because it is worth it! While there are several places that you can sit down and eat at, unless you have a reservation, you won’t get in them. If you want to try these places out, use your app to make your reservations up to 30 days in advance. What many people fail to realize is that every single place to eat at the parks have an online menu on this app, and the ability to do a mobile order. This allows you to get a place to sit, such as at Paco’s Bills, and look at the menu with your group. You can then order online, and pay right on the app. Then comes the best part! You will get a pick up time and will go pick up your food at the mobile order window which will be clearly marked. There is hardly ever a line at this window, since they are very efficient at speed. Most of the time, it is ready even before your scheduled time. This typically is a very quick process, but depending on how busy the spot is, the time can very. This is the only way to order food at Disney, and saves you from waiting in line for a very long time. It’s a waste when you can do everything from your app. Less wait time means more park time! You can do this with almost any place in the parks, however some of the smaller places like stands don’t take part in the mobile ordering at this time.

 

 

7. Gift Cards:

There are a few reasons to use gift cards when you go to Disney. First, it is a great way to put a certain budgeted amount on the card for a specific reason. For example, you want to purchase a few souvenirs at the park, but you want to make sure that you don’t get swept up in the magic of Disney and pay for things that are out of your range. If you have a gift card with a set amount, then you may be able to stand a bit more firm and only spend what you brought on that card. Second, if you like Starbucks, they have a few locations at the park. While they don’t honor the rewards, they will take the gift cards, and your purchases will still get you the stars if you are part of their program. I suggest purchasing your gift cards before hand at Target. (NOT A SPONSOR) The reason for this is they have the red card, and you may be able to save up to 5% because of their program. This may be a small amount of money, but save where you can! I am not sure if the red card program is available in all areas, so do your research. Even if it’s not, I still suggest purchasing gift cards before you go to Disney. This will help out a lot on your trip. You can also purchase gift cards to restaurants that you plan on eating at while you are at Disney.

 

Bonus Tip:

As I state in my previous post, you should bring your own refillable water bottles with you to the park. While there are lots of areas that have water fountains to fill up your bottle, there are a few places that are very hard to find anything. For example, if you are on Main Street, you will find drinking fountains by the bathrooms. However, if you are where most of the items for Aladdin are, you won’t find a water anywhere. I ran around that place 3 or 4 times until I asked and was told the nearest water was a ways away. Keep this in mind when you are walking around the park. Fill up your bottles whenever you have a chance. Stay away from as much soda as possible because this will only cause dehydration. Drink lots of water, and of course, use sunscreen!!

There were a few more tips to help plan your adventure at Disney!  I hope these will help you out and if I think of any more, I will make another posting. I had so much fun, and the tips I got before I left were a huge help! I hope that a few of those tips will help make your experience a tiny bit more magical! If you have any tips, feel free to share them below.

 

March 26

20 Questions

The post, “20 Questions,” contains affiliate links. For more information, check out the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

 

Underdogs, there are always more questions out there than answers. Sometimes the best way to learn about a person is to answer some deep questions. I have done this around a year ago, so I thought I would try this again. If you haven’t seen that, take a look at the post here. http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/surprise-saturday-25-questions/ These questions were picked at random via social media, Pinterest, and emails that people want answered! I hope that when you come to this blog, that you are entertained and enjoy what you are reading. Sometimes, you want to know a little more about me, so this is a start. If you have questions that you would like answered, email or comment below and enjoy this session of 20 Questions.

1. Marvel or DC?

This is not an easy answer because I love both.  However, I can say that I was a DC kid, and a Marvel adult. While I love both of them, I have just a bit more love for Marvel because of Spiderman.

2.Favorite Doctor?

Again, all of them, but here is my preference list. Keep in mind this is being written before Jodie Whittaker starts as the 13th Doctor. Here is my current order: David Tennant, Peter Capaldi, Tom Baker, Matt Smith, Sylvester McCoy, and an honorable mention to the War Doctor himself, John Hurt.

3.What is a fact about yourself that you hardly share?

That I am a functioning dyslexic and wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18 years old. I slipped through the cracks of my school and I was convinced that I was stupid until I got some help. I excelled at college once I finally got the help that I needed..

4.What fictional character would you most like to be?

Wow, that’s like asking what my favorite limb is on my body. I can’t pick one.

5. Name 3 hobbies that you have:

Reading, Writing, Making Bath Bombs

6.What are some of your favorite places?

Hands down to travel is London, Paris, Chicago, Savannah, and more. Otherwise, my favorite places is with the people that I love.

7. What is your current favorite movies?

Right now, I absolutely loved, “Thor: Ragnarok.” I want to watch it right now!

8.Why did I start my blog?

It was after my friend, Laurie asked me to start writing one. She always enjoyed hearing my conspiracy theories, and my love of literature. She said it would be an excellent idea to try, and she finally talked me into trying it out!

9.What are my favorite blog posts?

I love all of them for various reasons because it records time, and who I was at the moment. However, I am most proud of my “Saved by the Bell: Illuminati”  http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/saved-bell-illuminate/

Plus my series on Tupac: http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/tupac-lies-part-3/

10. What do you think of Marvel TV series Vs. Marvel Movies?

I think there is room for all of them. I loved Agents of Shield, but I got so busy, I couldn’t watch it. I’m working on catching up on Netflix. I LOVE Jessica Jones and I’m one of the few people who really enjoyed Iron Fist. As much as I like Daredevil, it is hard to watch due to the excess violence. I thought the Defenders was excellent and I’m looking forward to the next season. Now, the not official part of Marvel TV, I have not seen the X Men TV show yet, but I will eventually try it out. I think these are just as good as the movies, just different.

11.What advice to you have for bloggers?

I don’t have much since I don’t consider myself a success yet. However, stay true to yourself. Get your own domain and invest in a good host. If you can, invest in an good email address as well. Don’t rely on free email address because they look less professional. . Realize that your first, or even fifth blog may not be enough to start making you money, or gain you an audience, but you have to be willing to try! Blogging changes every day so keep up on all social media platforms and learn how to use them!

12. Who is your greatest influence?

This is hard because I have 2. First is my Mom. She survived through some very horrible things, yet she still is here and fighting! The second is my best friend who is battling cancer for the 6th time in less than 4 years. She is my hero. There is literally no one else who can be as brave as her, facing all that she had to, with such grace and dignity.

13 What is the most frustrating part of blogging?

Tech issues are the big one since I’m by no means an expert. The second is working really hard for each and every blog but maybe not getting any audience interaction, shares, or comments.

14. What is a place you always try to avoid?

The Grocery Store, I seriously hate it and have gotten my shopping down as fast as possible down to an art.

15. Name one thing you like about your age right now.

I have honestly gotten to the point where I understand who is important in my life, and who is toxic. Those people have been let go. While there are moments that it is hard, I am a much better person without the weight of their hands around my neck.

16. What blogging equipment do use?

I have a very old and tiny HP laptop that hardly does the job. One of my goals is to get a new laptop in the next year. I have my Samsung Cell phone that I use for all my photos. I also use a good old fashioned note book and pens for most of my ideas. Always have a notebook and a pen!

17. What is on your playlist right now?

Great question. I’m about ready to do a detailed 90’s playlist. Right now, I’m listening to Pink.

18.What are 3 things that you want to change about your life?

I would love to get better quality sleep. I would like to be more healthy. I would also like to find that special someone.

19. If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I would go to Greenwich Village in the 1960’s.

20. Favorite Conspiracy Theory?

It’s hard to pick one, but the ones that started it all for me are Amelia Earhart (part of the reason my dog’s middle name is Amelia) and the Bermuda Triangle.

 

Alright friends, that was 20 questions. I hope that you enjoyed these questions and the answers. If you have any that you want me to answer, please submit them via  the comments, email,  or social media! We can do another 20 questions at another time if you like! Thanks and have a great one!

March 19

My Favorite YouTube Shows

The post, “My Favorite YouTuber Shows,” contains affiliate links. For more information, check out the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

Free Shipping at FragranceX.com
Underdogs, I know I have a YouTube problem! I love it, and it is truly my guilty pleasure. However, the more I watch, the more impressed I am that normal people are putting their thoughts, feelings, and voices out there. They are all not crazy people who are doing stunts to get views. Many of them have taken control of their own creative destiny and produced high quality shows. This is entertainment in a pure form,and another medium that people who are very talented take advantage of every single day. You also can learn a lot. I keep joking that I could have saved paying for a college degree because you can literally find anything on YouTube. Seriously! As you know, I am a caregiver. A few years ago, I was working with someone that had a drain placed in their abdominal wall. I had to inject medicine into the drain. While I saw it done in the hospital, they had put the drain on backwards, and I couldn’t seem to get it figure it out. I decided to try searching the drain,  placed backwards on Youtube, and sure enough, I found it and was instructed how to put the meds in the drain. Here are my favorite YouTube shows! Check them out and support them if you wish! Most of these people do their shows out of their homes, while some have a whole creative team. It’s pretty cool and these are the ones I recommend.

See the source image

1.Good Mythical Morning:

This was the show that started it all for me, and the most positive and uplifting show you can watch called, Good Mythical Morning! This shows stars life long best friends Rhett and Link who, along with their crew bring us classics like the “Will It?” series, and such signature songs like “Turkey in a Trash Can.” This is a family friendly show that has so much fun stuff! I have borrowed many game ideas from this show and incorporated them into activities for my girls. This show has been going for around 10 years and I have been a Mythical Beast for several years now! Seriously, if you are having a bad day, just watch one episode of Good Mythical Morning and it will help tremendously. There have been times when my depression is pretty bad, but watching this show is so happy and uplifting, it makes things good, even for a few minutes. There is a lot of food, a lot of games, a lot of laughs, and a whole lot of heart! Take a look at one of the most famous shows where they try a Carolina Reaper. BONUS! Check out Good Mythical More for the show after the show! https://youtu.be/Mb-QVfwCmYg

 

See the source image

2.Mathew Santoro:

Another super positive person on YouTube is bringing us lots of information. Known for his series and books called, “50 Facts to Blow your Mind, ” his channel is full of lots of interesting knowledge nuggets. Almost every day he puts out a top 10 list of a focused topic, like “10 Terrifying Origins Stories of Children’s Songs,” and “10 Scariest Animals.” 50 facts comes out about once a month, since it is a long list. However, you always learn some interesting things. Matthew is a great host, who is very happy, funny, and uplifting. He also have a great story, and his journey to get to where is now.  The knowledge whale is ready to say hello! Check him out here!  https://youtu.be/q8kLoRnzgLQ

 

 

See the source image

3. Emmy Made in Japan:

This is another fun show. I started watching this by accident, but I am glad that I stumbled upon it! Emmy is an American who lived in Japan for several years, but now is back in the USA. When she was in Japan, she admitted she was very lonely and depressed. To help fight that, she started making videos of herself making the amazing Japanese candy making kits. These are pretty awesome and very detailed. This helped grow her show into what is is today, including taste tests, vintage gadgets, and one of my favorites, which is “You Made What?” This is where Emmy makes some pretty strange older recipes like Ketchup Cake and Spaghetti-O-Jello. Seriously, check Emmy out because she is funny, and is all about educating people on the world through food. Here is a tip, watch through to the very end of the credits because she always does something silly at the end. Check her out here: https://youtu.be/zbR50n9ax-c

 

See the source image

4.Shane:

Shane Dawson is one of the old school YouTubers who has been doing this for over 10 years. Shane may be a controversial figure but he has improved with age. He started off doing more of a comedic show, then has become more of a life style show with lots of interesting things. One of my favorite things about his channel is the conspiracy theories. As a conspiracy theorist, I love seeing what other people think and feel about some of these amazing and interesting stories. While some people may not like his approach, I applaud him for his humor and his openness which has helped a lot of people through many issues. https://youtu.be/FCPDcIQstr8

 

 

See the source image

5. Talking Thrones/Azorah Ahype/Grey Area:

While there are 3 here, they are all known for their love and devotion to one of the greatest shows ever made, “Game of Thrones.” Each takes a very interesting take on the show, and provide in depth conversation and theories about both the book and the series. I love how they all interact with their audience and have some wonderful theories based in mythology and other classic literature works. Since I’m providing 3 great people, please look each one up. They are all worthy of your audience. They all work very hard to bring some great theories to life.

 

 

See the source image

6. Buzz Feed:

There are a lot of series associated with Buzz Feed. My favorites are, “Unsolved,” where two people host a show of cases that are not solved. It could be mystery, or the paranormal. They also host a Q and A session after the show airs to give the audience a chance to voice their own thoughts and theories. Another great series is called “Worth It,” where a team goes around and tries 3 different price points of a certain food item. For example, they try a cheap pizza, a more expensive pizza, and a highly expensive pizza and compare them. There are also many other topics covered by Buzz Feed that include Tasty and other cooking shows. It’s a lot of fun, so check them out.

 

 

7. Emergency Awesome/New Rockstars/ Screen Rant/Nerd Soup:

Guys, I’m a big old nerd, and each one of these YouTube channels are well versed in the world of nerdy and geeky things. They are great with Marvel, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and so much more. I really enjoy the angel that each one of these shows come from. They all are very passionate about their nerdiness and it shows. Look each of these up for a lot of nerd fun!

 

Those were a few of my favorite Youtube shows! Take a look and support them by giving them a like. They are a lot like me and have started in the home and worked super hard to get where they are now. Each one is different and you can’t find them anywhere else. What are some of your favorites?

Free Shipping at FragranceX.com