July 26

Way out Wednesday: The Madeleine McCann Case Part 1

Hello Underdogs,

The 10th anniversary of the Madeleine McCann case has just recently happened, and there has been no new news on what actually happened to this poor child. I honestly did not follow this case at all. I did know the general story, but not any real details.  I have some issues with big cases like this because there are thousands of missing children who disappear each year. They don’t get any attention, and these big cases seem more like a circus than people trying to find these children. It is heartbreaking to know that while this one family is being paraded in public, there are many more suffering in silence, while trying to get the same attention to find their children. Sadly, these families don’t have the funds, the pull, or the headline grabbing stories as those who get thrust into the spotlight. All cases of missing children are important and deserve attention. Please take a look at this website to be educated, and see the faces of the missing: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

In the last few months, I have become interested in the case because of the fact that so much went wrong, so much money has been spent, and there are no real leads! I want to say that I am very sorry for all of the innocent people involved in this case that have to live with this horror day in and day out. Madeleine’s twin siblings were babies, and they never got to know their big sister. I know she is deeply missed by her loved ones. While I don’t think she will ever come home, I do think that she, like all of the other missing and exploited children, deserve justice, and their story told.   It can happen to anyone, so maybe people can at least learn from what was done wrong, and take precautions for their own loved ones.

For those of you who haven’t followed this story, here is a brief recap. Back in 2007, the McCann family, with several other friends, went on holiday in Portugal. They stayed in a place that can be compared here in the United States to a vacation resort. Each and every night, the kids were put to bed, and all of the adults would go to eat at a reserved table at a restaurant. Every half hour, one of the adults would go and check on the children.  During one of the routine checks, Kate McCann went to check on her children and found her that her daughter, Madeleine was gone, and her twins were still there. Everything after this moment is strange. Instead of taking her children and fleeing out of fear, or calling out and trying to find her child, Doctor Kate McCann leaves and goes back to the other adults. She tells them, “They’ve taken her.” The police were contacted, but things went downhill very fast.

First, the police didn’t do the normal things that would happen in a missing children’s case. They didn’t go door to door, or set up any road blocks. This is normal in missing children’s cases there, so the fact that it didn’t happen was strange. Boarder police were not advised that there was a missing child either, which could have meant that Madeleine slipped through their fingers. There were search dogs brought in, but by 8 AM, the search was called off for some reason. People at the resort, including people who worked there, were not interviewed. The room that the children were in, and where Madeleine went missing from, was never closed off so many people were coming and going and messing up a crime scene. Kate, for some reason, took down the curtains, and took Madeleine’s favorite toy and washed them! Both of her parents, Doctor Kate, and Doctor Gerry McCann, refused to answer police questions. Even things that were logical to ask such as, did you check the other rooms, did you look in around to see if she had been hiding, did anyone hear her crying, is anything missing besides your child?

Here are the other facts of this case that are known. First, the kids were on the second floor apartment which had an blocked view from where the parents were. Meaning they could not just look up and see if anyone had walked into their apartment or not. The patio door was left unlocked which was admitted by both parents. The reason behind this was to not to wake children on their checks. The children were all given sleeping pills so they wouldn’t wake up during the checks. Kate admitted that her daughter asked her the night before why her parents didn’t come when she was crying. Pills were given to the children to keep them asleep. The last 3 checks of the children happened like this: Dad went to check at 9PM, a family friend who changed his story 3 times, checked at 9:30 and never saw Madeleine. Kate check on the kids at 10PM, and she found the twins, but not her daughter. She also felt a draft from an open window that they claim they never opened. She says she didn’t check around the house to see if she was hiding, instead, she left her children. The police arrived 15 minutes after being called, and all photos of the crime scene show that the bed that Madeline slept in look undisturbed . This case became full of missteps and confusion from then up until today. No other case has been fueled with more money than this one.

The parents rented a car after Madeleine went missing, but somehow they found traces of her blood in the trunk of the car. The photos of Madeleine had been digitally altered. Her lips, teeth, and eyes had all been changed more than once. They didn’t use recent photos for her poster, and what was released to the media. The only photo that was not altered was a picture that was digitally dated 3 days after she disappeared. All of a sudden, Madeleine’s  had an eye affliction that she never had before. In fact, if it were real, it would be a very rare marker that would make this child stand out. Her right eye’s iris seemed to have “leaked” into the rest of her eye. This is very rare, but this is something that she would have been born with, something that would have showed up in all of her photos, and all live videos of her. There is only 1 photo of Madeleine that has this defect in her eye, and something her parents didn’t even think about making public until 6 to 9 weeks after she went missing. Doctors agree that this birth defect is not something that will ever go away, even with surgery to help correct eye sight. She would have been born with it, and it would have always been with her. It would have showed up in every single picture. There is no other example of the defect save for one.

So what happened to this poor child and why all the strange events in the aftermath? No one knows for sure but there is plenty of speculation as to what happened to Madeline and none of it is good. First, is the most obvious. She could have been kidnapped. Her parents, and all the adults who were on vacation were playing a very dangerous game. They had a routine, and it was well known. They went to dinner each night at the same time. A reserved sign was on the table for them, so they never sat in another spot. They were seen making their nightly checks. If someone was truly watching them and wanted to take a child, they had a lot of chances to watch, learn the adult’s movements, and steal a child without anyone noticing. It was very stupid for the adults to not take into account that them doing the same thing over and over didn’t gain some attention. This was a huge error in judgment, and if someone took this child, they gave them all the knowledge that they needed because they knew those children would be left alone! It’s almost like posting your vacation plans on Facebook, and then getting robbed because the information that was given away freely.

If this is the case, then why this child? There were many children left unattended so why would they take Madeleine? It is a very sobering thought, but there were two babies in the same room as Maddie, who was 3 years old at the time. Her twin brother and sister were babies. What kind of logical would go into taking a sleeping 3 year old and not a baby. A baby, especially a white baby, is worth a lot of money. There were two for the taking so why take a toddler? I guess that you can point out there isn’t any logic when it comes to a tragedy such as this, however, there is method to this madness. Children are bought and sold every day and if they can be taken, they will be sold. There was a lot of chances for any of the children to be taken, but why did they take Maddie and not her siblings, or even one of the many other children left unattended? This would not just be a random grab and go no matter how much someone wants to spin it that way. There had to be planning because people just don’t get that lucky to break into a house and have 3 sleeping, unattended children without anyone to stop them.

One of the parent’s friends named Jane Tanner said that she saw a man carrying a child in pink PJ’s walking down the road. She said the child seemed like she was sleeping, and she didn’t pay any attention to this. However, the police did not believe that this was a lead, or even real. The PJ’s that she described were identical to what her own daughter was wearing to bed that night. The description of the man was very general. The police also say that there is no way that Jane Tanner could have seen the man and the child from where she was standing. The child being carried away can’t really be part of the evidence given that even the police didn’t think that Jane was telling the truth. There was a child being carried away by a man but Jane Tanner did not witness this, nor did describe the situation. It was reported by another staff member, but after investigation, it was found that it was a father carrying his sleeping daughter from the car, into their room. One had nothing to do with the other. People wonder if this was something Jane overheard someone else seeing and decided to report the event as if she say it. Nothing is adding up. None of it is helping Madeleine.

It is very possible that she was kidnapped, but if she was, it wasn’t a lucky break. Someone had to be watching what was going on. There are many other theories that I will touch upon in part 2 on Thursday. People are obsessed with this case and there are thousands of hours of speculation and investigations. There are many moving parts to this whole ordeal. Again, no leads on to what happened to this child, so all we have is theories. It is easy to get mixed up in the drama and forget that there is a real child that is gone.  It is heartbreaking that the likely hood of her being alive today is very low. There are too many families that go through this, and no one should ever have to know what it is like to have their child go missing, and never be seen again. What is strange about this case is it seems like everyone is covering up something. There is little to no truth being told, and a child is still gone. Even though there is nothing but speculation, many of the people making these videos and researching are doing so for free, and asking people to use their findings for free. People want to find the truth, even if it ends up costing them. I will touch on more theories on Thursday, the truth is out there. Maybe, just maybe if people put as much attention on this case as they do to other missing children, then maybe more will be found, or at least have their very important story told.

July 25

Try it Tuesday: Face Mask

Hello Underdogs,

It’s try it Tuesday! I am excited to try a brand new face mask which I found at Walgreen’s for $2.49 before taxes. The mask is from Garnier called Skin Active Moister Bomb. This is a mask that you place on your face and leave on for 15 minutes. It was quite an experience. This came in a big pink, foil package that was bigger than my hand. When I opened the package, which was very easy, I was met was a light floral smell. I am a bit uneasy about putting anything perfumed on my skin, but it didn’t smell overwhelming. I am assuming it was natural so I went ahead and tried it. The second big thing I noticed is how sticky this mask is. They aren’t kidding in the least when they call it a Moister Bomb! It is actually very moist and considering what the product is for, that makes a lot of sense, but wow! It was pretty excessive.The following is a photo journal of what went on, and my thoughts on this Garnier product.

 

  1. This is the back of the product. It is a 4 step process to place the mask on your face. I had to look at this a few times because it said to make sure that you put the blue part facing up. That was understandable. Then it asks you to peel away the blue part. Let me tell you, that was almost impossible! You are supposed to smooth over your face, then peel the blue part off. That was so much easier said than done. I tried 3 times to peel it off my face before giving up and then taking it off of my face take off the blue part, and placed the white back on my face. I was then able to smooth it out. I instantly wondered if I should have taken out my nose ring.

2. This is the blue part of the mask. I literally have no clue what the purpose of this part. I understand it was so sort of barrier or protection, but it wasn’t like this was the part that was going on my pretty face. The blue part is peeled from the outside. Personally, I am annoyed with the waste of this blue part, and wonder if it is something that I can use later if I put it in a zip lock bag.  I also felt as though I was in Silence of the Lambs or something like that. I put the blue part aside and tried to think of what to do with it so it wouldn’t go to waste, while I attempted to smooth the mask on my face so I could still breath.

 

 

3. After several attempts, here is the mask on my face! It feels as strange as it looks. Again, I have visions of Silence of the Lambs running through my head. I found that it didn’t matter if I kept my nose ring on or not, so if you have a nose ring, you don’t really need to worry about it with this kind of mask off because it does not harden. If you feel better, by all means, take it off, but you don’t have to to get the full effect. I smoothed it out, washed my hands, and set my alarm clock for 15 minutes as the package instructs. I went and watched TV while I waited to see what would happen. The first thing I noticed was the itching around my eyebrows, and the middle of my forehead. I do have very sensitive skin and it sometimes does not take a lot to have any sort of reaction.

I also noticed that this face mask was very cool. Meaning that it was cooling, which is very nice. That never stopped, so the entire time that I had the mask on, my face was cool. I am a huge fan of  a mask that cools the skin! My face also felt tighter in my cheeks, and my forehead. The itching also didn’t stop, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to take the mask off. I decided to keep it on and see what would happen next.

 

4. After my alarm went off, I quickly went to take this off. Normally, I am not so strict about the amount of time that I leave a mask on. If it goes for a few more minutes, it’s not that big of a deal. However, since I had itching and it didn’t stop, I wanted to go ahead and take it off at the recommended time. The directions say to peel off the mask, and then rub in the excess mask stuff into the skin. Then, you do not rinse your face. I took off the mask with ease, but there was lots of excess left on my face. I ended up massaging it into my face, neck, and top of the check because there was so much. I mean the whole neck too, both front and back. I look shiny for a reason, and to tell the truth, I kind of felt gross. There was a lot of goo on my face and it was just too much!

5. After several minutes, I got over my gross feeling and I really concentrated on what I felt went right, and what I thought that could use some improvement. The back of the package gave a list of things that say what women feel after one use, and then after one week after use. The first thing that the package suggest that the user will notice is skin looks fresher. Well, I think anytime you wash your face, it looks fresher than it did before you started. That isn’t a real big surprise that your face would look a bit fresher. I can say that I think mine did, but again, it’s not a leap. The second point is skin seemed softer and more comfortable. It did feel more comfortable after getting the mask off because it was itching! It was hard to say right away if it felt softer because my skin was goo filled for a long time. It took awhile to absorb. The final thing it says that you will notice right away is that your skin will seem soothed. That I can agree on! The cooling effect was very soothing, and I really enjoyed that part!

 

 

6. About an hour later, I revisited my face and took another photo. I noticed the following things. First, my skin still felt cool. It also still felt kind of sticky and when I brushed my hand across my cheek. I did see that there was a reduction of blackheads on my nose, but the itching on the eyebrows hadn’t gone away. I guess this may have had an ingredient that disagreed with me. I also had a few red bumps appear around my chin and my cheek. I know this can happen and normally those bumps will go away after the skin calms down after a day or so. I can say that there was not any spot on my face that felt dry, or that was rough. My skin has dry patches, and I didn’t see any after using this mask.

My final thoughts on this face mask:

I thought it was worth the price of $2.49, but I wouldn’t pay much more for it. The smell was nice, but not overwhelming. The application was not easy and I thought the blue section was just a waste. That actually was very annoying. The goo went everywhere and it made me feel gross at times. Like I really wanted to wash my face even though the instructions advise you not to. I can’t say much about the itching because I already know I have skin conditions that could give me issues. I think the average person would not have a problem using this mask. If you do have a skin condition, however, I would advise you to use with caution. Maybe try a test patch to see how you will react. I love the cooling part of the mask! I would buy it again just for that! The cooling last for at least an hour after use, which is pretty nice. I think this mask could come in handy if I was running a fever. I could see the cooling part being very soothing if I wasn’t feeling well. I did see a s some difference with my skin in the blackheads being reduced and the dry patches gone. My face does feel soft and cool to the touch. I do have a few bumps, but it isn’t a huge concern because it isn’t abnormal to have a few bumps after using a mask.

I give this product a 4 out of 5 stars. I didn’t give it a 5 because peeling off the blue part was awful! It took forever, and it was not easy! I had to take it off of my face, peel it, then put it back on my face which was annoying! However, the price point was fine, and I love, love, love the cooling effect!  I would recommend trying this mask out at least once.

 

Have you ever tried a face mask before? What is your favorite kind, and one that I should try?

 

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July 24

My Monday: Top 5 Exciting Moments from Comic Con

Comic Con went on this weekend, and there was so much that happened! If you are a nerd, this is one of the biggest highlights of the year!  Although I couldn’t be there, I have been watching on YouTube! Someday, I will go to Comic Con, but in the meantime, I have to get my fix via the web. There are so many interesting things that have been going on and it is a great weekend to be a nerd! Comic Con is a very big time to celebrate the nerdy things in life, and get to see many trailers for upcoming movies and events. Here are my top 5 favorite things that we have been able to learn so far!

  1. Doctor Who:

Doctor Who had a very powerful and emotional panel. It shows why Peter Capaldi is the Doctor, and how they have never made a wrong casting choice when it comes to that role. Peter Capaldi got a standing ovation, and just like the classy person that he is, he turned it around and praised the entire cast and crew. The other best part of the panel was Steven Moffat setting the record straight about the casting of Jodie Whittaker. The response for her casting has been overwhelmingly positive, and the reporters are only focusing on internet trolls. We also got a very exciting trailer for Christmas that has both the 1st and 12th Doctor, along with Bill! This is like a mini 50th anniversary to send off both Peter and Steven, and introduce Jodie. It’s bitter sweet because we are losing one of the best Doctors to ever grace our screens, but we will carry on to the next. Comic Con also has many Doctor Who cast members there for other projects such as David Tennat, Karen Gillian, and John Borrowman. Take a look at the trailer and get excited for Christmas! Doctor Who Christmas Special 2017

2. Thor Ragnarock:

We also got to see a brand new trailer for the new Thor movie that comes out in November. This is something I am really looking forward to. I am a huge fan of the stand alone Thor movies, and I love to see what they are doing. It looks very exciting! We get to see more of Thor and the Hulk, as well as more Loki. You can never go wrong with Loki! This movie will take place right before the events of Infinity War. There is a rumor that Doctor Strange will make a cameo as he did in the comics. I love how this whole movie looks like an 80’s video game on steroids. I can’t wait to see this movie! Here is the 2nd trailer! Thor Ragnarok 2nd Trailer

3. Justice League and DC Comics:

Nothing like a little bit of Superhero mega team to get you hyped. Following off the footsteps of the best DC movie ever made, Wonder Woman, Justice League looks like it is going to be bad ass! I mean, when Aqua Man looks like he can kick Batman’s butt, you know it’s going to be a great movie! One of the biggest things that we have learned during their Comic Con panel is that Ben Afflack is not going to step down as Batman even though that has been reported that he will. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we will enjoy what we get to see. They have pushed back the move, The Batman, and are going forward with a few other movies instead. No official word as of now if we are going to get a Harley Quin Movie. Aqua man’s stand alone film will not be out until 2018, but this looks like it could be the most interesting take of this character to date. Here is the extended sneak peak of the Justice League: Justice League: Comic Con Trailer

4. The Defenders:

Comic Con gave us a second, longer trailer for The Defenders, which will be on Netflix. We get to see a lot more of the team of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil forming a team and fighting. We also see Electra has been brought back to life, and is being trained to fight against The Defenders. The reason I am very excited for this show, is because it is a gritter version of The Avengers. Plus, I am one of the few people who was a fan of the Iron Fist show on Netflix, and am excited that they announced a second season. We see that many of the characters from each of these shows, will also being making a cameo in the series, which is nice to see there them living and interacting in the same universe. There will also be a second season of Jessica Jones, but it is unknown if Luke Cage will be back for a second season. Daredevil is wildly popular, and I am sure a new season will be announced soon. Take a look at the trailer from Comic Con: The Defenders

5. Round Ups:

Here are a few round ups of several other things that happened during Comic Con that I am very excited about.  I couldn’t pick just one, so here is a recap. Wonder Woman will have a sequel. This isn’t  a surprise, but it is nice to get real confirmation that a second movie is coming. Supernatural starts it’s 13th season this year, and it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Cas or Crowly. There will also have a spin-off. River Dale released a blooper reel which I haven’t seen yet, and some teasers about season 2. Black Panther released an extend trailer.Game of Thrones had an extended trailer that had a few more unseen footage added on to things we have seen already. The new X-Men show called The Fifted had a second trailer released. That will be on FX The Inhumans also released a trailer, which will be on ABC. There was also some poster art released for Antman and The Wasp.

I was heartbroken to find out that Nerd HQ was not able to make it to Comic Con this year.  If you aren’t sure what Nerd HQ is, it is a company ran by Zack Levi and a whole bunch of amazing and nerdy, crew. Every year they have the fan based panels after Comic Con. It’s like the very fun after party with a huge mixture of panels that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. They have mystery guests, mystery panels, and they are the only place that does, The Bad Ass Women panels that feature women from Film, TV, Writing, and other jobs in Entertainment.  All the proceeds from the tickets sales and SWAG goes to Operation Smile! I remain hopeful for the next year because it just isn’t the same without Nerd HQ!

 

 

Here is one honorable mention that I didn’t put in the Top 5 list for a very good reason. Since they didn’t release anything official, there was a trailer for Infinity War. There were some people who filmed it on their phone, and posted on their page. Now, I don’t condone this sort of thing, but I get why people do this. Plus, I as a fan really wanted to see this stuff!! Since it was not an official release, I didn’t include it on the countdown. However, if you are curious, it is out there. I just won’t lead you on how to get there to see it. This would be in the number one slot if it was a public released trailer.

What do you think? What  are you most excited about that is coming up in the world of comic pop culture? What’s your favorite trailer or news that came out of Comic Con so far this year? Leave your comments down below!

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July 23

Supernatural Sunday: My Top 3 Scary Movies

Hello Underdogs,

I hope that you are having a wonderful Sunday! Do you like scary movies, because I do! However, there are some that are so spooky, that I can only watch them if the light is on. Also, someone has to be in the room with me. And, I need my dogs to be beside me. Plus, I need a flashlight just in case. People enjoy scary movies for a variety of reasons, but most of it is a rush that you get after the fear. Sometimes, people laugh, and sometimes, people hide! The following movies are ones that I have only seen once, or maybe twice. These are the ones that are not my favorites, but they are worth mentioning and giving high remarks to since they are so scary to me. I recommend watching them at least one time with a friend, and in the day time.

 

  1. The Strangers:

The Strangers is a movie that came out in 2008, which I have seen exactly one time. It was in a movie theater and I did actually go out in buy it while there was a sale at Blockbuster. Yes, I am dating myself a bit, but the truth is that I never opened the package and watched the movie again beside the first time in the theater. A young couple goes to spend a romantic weekend at a cabin. It’s not super secluded, but it isn’t near lots of population either. The boyfriend, James, asks his girlfriend, Kristen(Liv Tyler) to marry him. Her answer is no, and it is very upsetting to both of them. James ends up leaving to take a breather while Kristen tries to calm down at the cabin. She takes a bath, and thinks about her life. At some point, a woman knocks on the door and asks if someone is home. The person they are asking for is not there, but this leads to a nightmare fueled spree.

Three people in masks break into the house, in a very silent way. In fact, Kristen was in the kitchen smoking, while one of them comes right up behind her, steals her phone, and throws it into the fire. She never notices that they are there! What follows is a night filled with fear, violence, and torture for both James, Kristen, and their friend Mike who was unlucky enough to come to pick up James after the couple had their fight. When they asked the people who broke in, why were they doing this to them, they answered, “because you were home.” This movie is based off several aspects of true stories, which makes it even worse. First, was a series of robbers who knocked on doors and asked if someone was home. If they were, they would ask for a random person. That way, they knew if someone was in the house or not. If no one answered, they would rob the house. The second part was based on the Mason killings from the very early days.

2. The Grudge:

This is another movie that I have only seen one time. This movie is a remake of a Japanese movie that is even scarier, called Ju-On. This movie came out in 2004 and stars Sarah Michelle Geller. The Grudge can be considered a curse for someone who has died in a very violent manner. This rage, or sorrow steaming from this violent death personifies into a paranormal being, and passed from person to person, to destroy anything that they believe wronged them. An American nurse named Karen , takes a home health aid assignment in Tokyo. The older woman is unable to speak and the house seems very strange and mournful. As time goes by, Karen notices lots of strange things such as scratching noises, and things out of the corner of her eye. Eventually, she is faced with the family in the house that was murdered, including a child and a cat. There is this horrible creepy noise that indicates that the cursed being is near. The curse starts to claim more and more victims, and Karen isn’t lucky enough to escape it without a dire outcome. It is actually a very heartbreaking story when you realize that a child, his mother, and their cat was murdered by their husband and father. There doesn’t seem to be any way to appease this grudge because it spawn two sequels.

3. 1408

This is the movie that I have seen the most out of this list, but it still is very hard to watch. This is a movie based off a Steven King short story. Actually, 1408, didn’t even start off as a short story, but was an example of a writing assignment that Steven King was using for a book about how to write. This became a short story, and eventually became a movie that came out in 2007. I highly recommend reading the short story if you get a chance, because it gives such another deep level to this story. Mike is a writer who travels from town to town writing stories about the paranormal. While, he doesn’t actually believe in any of this, he does make his living pretending to be a believer. He gets a note to book a room, The Dolphin, in New York, and ask for room 1408. He is met with refusal to book that particular room, so much so that he had to get a lawyer involved to get the room. The staff tried to bribe his way into another room and pretend that he actually spent time in 1408, but Mike refused.

Mike spends his time in this room, a prisoner, trapped in time loop of ghost and paranoia. The worst part was that Mike had just lost his child, Katie, and she comes back to him and dies in his arms over and over again. Mike slowly loses his mind and does whatever he can to get out of that room, including contacting his estranged wife, Lilly. What he experiences in that room ranges from seeing ghosts, to having the room change shapes, to phantom cries of babies in the hallway. We think that Mike has finally gotten out of the room of hell, but then we find that he has just been trapped in another section of the madness of the room. The worst part is, we never actually know if any of this is real, or if this is all in Mike’s head. He is either in extreme grief, is battling mental illness, or he really is being tortured by a room that is cursed. There are many legends of cursed hotel rooms, and they are all present in this story. This is truly a story that is a decent into madness.

So, those are my top 3 scariest movies that I can’t watch over and over again. The ones that really get to me are the stories that I can see actually happening. I am not a fan of gore for the sake of being gross, so many of the traditional horror movies are shows that I stay away from. These are truly scary for me, and I can’t pretend they are the ones that I like watching to get that thrill of a spooky movie.

What are your favorite spooky movies? Do you have ones that you can only watch one time, or only with the lights on? Leave your comments below!

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July 22

Surprise Saturday: The Hard Things to Say

Hello Underdogs,

I hope that you are having a wonderful Saturday. I want to start off this blog post with a very clear disclaimer. Since there has been so much suicide in the news lately, I feel this is something that needs to be addressed. It is a very difficult thing, and if you are sensitive to this subject at all, then please stop reading. I know this isn’t like my normal posts, but there are many people hurting and confused. This subject is everywhere, and it should not be ignored. My normal blogs will return on Sunday, but today we are going to talk about this. Again, if you are not comfortable, then do not read or, nor leave rude comments. I am going to address this was as much grace as possible.

The world was rocked once again when Chester Bennington took his own life yesterday.  This was just a very short time after singer Chris Cornell also ended his own life. Chester and Chris were friends and worked with one another. Chester choose to end his life on Chris’ birthday. Both of these men were very talented and had a thriving career. Both were middle aged, were married, and had children who they left behind. This was a huge shock to many, and it really hit the fans hard. These voices gave people hope, and the fact that they took their own lives have left many in a downward tailspin. Not to mention that this is the anniversary of the death of Robin Williams, who hung himself last year after battling a long illness.

Suicide is a public health issue, and people are not getting the help that they need. It is very clear that each of these men suffered from depression, and addition. Even though they had the means to get help, it doesn’t seem like they did. Or, they weren’t getting the right kind of help. Mental Health has been ignored too long, and there is such a horrible stigma attached, that people are dying from this very real, and very dangerous disease. It is so difficult because mental illness is not given attention unless it’s too late. We hear people suffering from it, and we hear about people who lost their lives because they didn’t get the proper treatment. But, we are still so afraid to talk about the real, every-day, face of mental illness. More people are suffering from mental illness than are getting treated. There are a several reasons for this including cost, and fear. People are still afraid to this day to admit that they have a problem because depression seems like it’s an emotion and something that people can control. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the worst things we have done to ourselves is equate Mental Illness with an emotion. An emotion is something very temporary. Depression is life altering chemical imbalance that can kill someone if they don’t get the proper treatment. We would not treat someone with cancer the way we do with someone battling mental illness. People don’t tell someone who has diabetes to just get over it, or try not to be sick. We don’t laugh at people who have liver issues getting their pills and going to treatments. We don’t question a person getting PT after an accident. Why is it so hard to believe that someone who is mentally ill  is actually just as sick? There are so many different sections of mental illness and none of them are the person who is suffering’s fault.They did not wake up one day and ask for this, or just felt really sad. It is both highs and lows, and many things in between. It is a sickness, and no, it can not be something that they can just get over one day. They need treatment, which may mean medication and therapy. It may take years to find the right combo that will help.

I am not condoning what these men did to themselves, or to their families, but I do understand that they were sick. Very, sick and they didn’t know how to reach out and get the help that they needed to keep moving forward. I know people have a huge range of emotions from anger, to sadness, to fear. You hare every right to these emotions. I keep hearing how  angry people are at Chester and Chris for being so selfish and leave their families. I urge you to look at this way. These men were so sick, that even the thought of their loved ones wasn’t enough to keep them from going through with it. Many times, people who are already this far gone honestly feel that the world is better off without them. That is the reality of someone who is very mentally ill. We all know that the world is not a better place without them, or without any of us!  Death is hard enough, and even if your loved one lived a long and happy life, the hole from their loss never goes away. You eventually learn how to live with it, and some days will be better than others. That does not make you weak. It means you were lucky enough to have a person who made an impact on your life.

I encourage people who are hurt by this weeks events, to please talk about it. Do not hold this in. If that means you need a friend, call someone. If you need to get it all out, write it down, or blog about it. There are many people hurting, but you are not alone! I want to tell you that I have been there. I have been to the point where I wanted to end it all, and not even the thought of my loved ones that I was going to leave behind was good enough to stop me. I’m glad someone did. I struggle with Depression and Anxiety every single day. Some days I am fine, others are okay, and some are terrible. It is a very scary thing, and I understand that I am sick. I work each day to try to function, and it is a struggle. There is no magic cure, just like there isn’t a magic cure for anything. Like any other illness, you need to treat your symptoms. Sometimes they are okay, and other times, you need to try new things to get to a better place. But it can be done with love, support, and a good medical team.

In closing, I am going to leave you with a few places that you can reach out to if you need help. There is never a bad time to get help. If you don’t know where to get started, just ask. Call a hotline, or call your family doctor. Go to the ER if things are bad. Get yourself healthy, maintain your treatment, and spread the word about how mental illness is very real, and nothing to be ashamed of! I love all of my underdogs, and I’m sorry if this subject upset anyone. But I feel it is too important to stay silent about how had this has all been, and how we all need to embrace a change in the the world views mental health. Remember, you are all amazing and beautiful, and important. The world needs each and every single one of you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1800-273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx

Beyond Blue: Immediate Help with Depression: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support

Crisis Chat 24/7: http://remedylive.com/

July 21

Fan Friday: Top 5 Favorite Comic Book Characters

Hello Underdogs, and I hope you are having a wonderful Friday! If you are one of the lucky ones, you are currently at Comic Con in San Diego, California right now. If you aren’t, then you are like me and are reading and streaming about the whole event and all the panels. Comic Con is a huge convention where both geeks and nerds gather to buy new products, and learn more about their favorite franchise.  Many cities have similar events, but not to this scale. This is where all the studios spend money and send their very biggest stars to get everyone hyped about what is coming next! You will see people from Marvel and DC as well as TV shows like Family Guy, The Simpsons, and Doctor Who. Normally, there is very exclusive promos that are only played at Comic Con, and you may never see them anywhere else. For example, for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, there was a trailer played that was never released to the public. It included things that never made it into the actual show. It’s a big deal, and one day I would like to be able to make it there. In the meantime, here are my top 5 favorite characters based off a comic book to keep us all hyped!

  1. Image result for Free Avengers WallpaperCaptain America: Captain America is the best ideals of America jammed packed in a man named Steve Rogers. Steve begged to get drafted into the war even though he was very sickly. He volunteered for a project and became as Super Solider. All of this because he believed in the cause, and loved his country. Steve Rogers as Captain America is story telling at it’s best. It’s a young boy from Brooklyn who grew up and fought for what was right. His fall into becoming No Man was hard, and thankfully, short lived. Today, it seems like Cap was a Hydra sleeper agent this entire time, but I am hopeful that we will find out this is all misdirection. I love Captain America so much because he is willing to do the right thing, and die for it. He is a true hero from the inside out. His drive and ethics remind me so much of my Dad. That, and of course Cap punching Hitler is one of the reasons he is my all time favorite super hero.
  2. Iron Man:Image result for Free Avengers Wallpaper A billionaire philanthropist, Tony Stark is Iron Man! Marvel Studios is where it is today because of Iron Man. He is a man with many, many faults but still tries to fight his demons and do the right thing. He battles his addition with alcohol in the comics, and PTSD in the movies. His visions are for a world without having to have the Avengers, but still have a safety net in place.  He brings the money, and the controversy but he understands the need to have a team. What I like most about Iron Man besides his charm and his sarcasm is his big flaws. He is suffering, and you can tell. He doesn’t deal with his demons in a very effective manner, but that makes him more human. It makes us want to see him to better.We still root for Iron Man, even when we are angry with him.
  3. Wonder Woman:Image result for free images of wonder woman I grew up with Wonder Woman. She was on TV in reruns, and on many different cartoons. I wasn’t that excited about her until this movie. I didn’t even like her on screen on Batman Vs. Superman, but that movie was terrible! That should have never been such an amazing character’s debut! I understand that it was a set up for The Justice League, but her character was wasted. It wasn’t until her stand alone movie where I saw how amazing Wonder Woman  really was. Not that I didn’t enjoy Linda Carter back in the day, but it was more campy than a very kick ass super hero. This Wonder Woman was amazing! I loved her background. I loved her boldness and her willingness to fight. I loved that she followed her mission and still fights for the little person for hundreds of years. Wonder Woman is going in an amazing direction, and I can not wait to see where she goes next! I will be sure to follow.
  4. The Joker:Image result for free images of the joker A villain so  complex had to make a list of favorites! The Joker has many different stories, which makes him so very complex. He started off as thief and morphed into a a sadistic murderer. He is capable of manipulating anyone, but is also very needy. He needs Batman in order to survive. It’s a very love hate relationship but they are too co-dependent. In the movies, The Joker killed Batman’s parents thus starting a lifelong obsession. In the comics, some random person killed the Wayne family, but in some versions, it becomes The Joker. The thing about the Joker is, you never know the truth about him because he changes it at will. Nothing is sacred to him except his love and hate for Batman.
  5. Batman:Image result for free images of the batman Where would I be without Batman? I watched the campy TV series all of the time, including the movie! Batman had such a tragic backstory. By witnessing his parent’s death, he became crazed and turned into Batman, a man who took the law into his own hand. Batman lives by a golden rule of not killing anyone. (However, he is really bad at that.) But he has saved countless people, and lives by working with the police and by going where no one else would go. He is a genius, billionaire, who has no limit on what he would do to fight crime. The movies are all very different versions of the caped crusader, but his heart is always the same. He wants to make his city safe and get rid of crime. Batman is the reason comic books exist, and the reason things are still going today.

The comic book world is full of amazing characters. The best ones are the ones with the most flaws. They stand the test of time and we root for them for a reason. It is very hard to narrow this down to only 5, and there are many reasons that I could list why these are my favorites. What about you? Who are your favorite comic book characters? Leave your comments below!

 

 

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July 20

Theory Thursday: The 27 Club

Hello Underdogs, and I hope you are a wonderful Thursday! If you are a music lover, then you have heard of the famous 27 club. If you haven’t, then this is a club that you never want to gain access to. The 27 club is a term to describe the insane amount of people in the music industry who died at the age of 27 years old. While people credit Kurt Cobain’s Mother as the person who coined the term, it has actually been around for years. Many writers and journalists have been using the phrase, “27 Club,” since the 1970’s. Their manner of death  for these musicians are hardly ever natural. They include, murder, homicide, addiction, drowning, and even killing themselves. The whole thing is very sad, and a bit unnerving. Some think that there is a real live curse that is killing these great stars. There is no science to back any of this up, but the list of the dead makes an compelling argument.

The generally agreed upon start of the 27 Club was with Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hindrix. These people died between the years 1969-1970 and were all 27 years old. It was such a huge loss to the music world, that it never really recovered. Each of their deaths could be considered strange. Brian Jones,who was part of the Rolling Stones, died by drowning in a pool. Jim Morrison’s whole case is insane. He apparently died in a bath tub after suffering a heart attack, but no one knows for sure because his death was kept quiet for hours! Janis Joplin died of an overdoes, and Jimi Hindrix, well again, no one knows the real story behind his death. They say he died of chocking on his own vomit, or trying a drill a hole in his head. No one knows for sure. The mystery shrouded in these cases still have people shaking their heads in confusion to this day. But that’s not where it stops, there are more examples of strange instances of death at the age of 27 through each decade!

In the 1970’s, guitarist Leslie Harvey, was shocked while picking up a microphone that wasn’t grounded. Singer Chris Bell, from the band Big Star, was killed in a car accident, as well singer Jacob Miller. Ron Mckeran, from the Greatful Dead, died from a hemorrhage. Roger Lee Durham, singer from Bloodstone, died after he was thrown from a horse. Pat Ham, from Badfinger, hanged himself.

In the 1980’s, Jacob Miller from the band Inner Circle, died from a car accident. Alex Basquait from the band, Gary died of an overdoes from a speed ball. Pete de Fretias from Echo and the Bunnyman died in a bike accident. In the 1990’s, Chris Austin who worked with Reba, died in a plane crash. Rappers Stretch, Fat Pat, and Freaky Tah were all murdered. Rickey Edwards from the band, Manic Street Preachers vanished at the age of 27 without a trace and presumed dead. One of the saddest cases was Mia Zapata from the band, The Gits. Mia was beaten and killed while walking home. She was in the wrong place, and the wrong time. Her case was cold for years, and fellow grunge artists raised money to hire a P.I. to help find her killer. He was found in 2002 and was tried and found guilty. Kurt Cobain from Nirvana was murdered in 1994. (That’s right, I said murdered!) Kristen Praff from the band Hole, died of an apparent overdoes.

Continuing on with this club up until the present day, here are a few more sad examples. Mexican singer, Valentin Elizadale, was gunned down after his concert along with his assistant and manager. Amy Winehouse, sadly died of her addiction to alcohol. Richard Turner, from Friendly Fire, died of a heart attack. Singer Orich Grinstead, died of kidney failure. Bryan Ottoson, from American Head Changed died of an overdose. Achick Spin from the band, Spin, died in a traffic accident. James Larwance, from Friendzone, died of an unknown reason in 2017.

This is just a small example of a very long list that can be traced back to 1938, of people working in the music industry who died at the age of 27. It is very hard to ignore the staggering numbers of people who have died! It really does seem like some sort of curse. However, everyone dies. I am not sure if this number really is that staggering considering you are only looking at a small percentage of people. For example, would this number be just as high for office workers? The lifestyle of a musician seems to be a contributing factor in their deaths. Many people are addicted to several substances, and have the means to buy whatever they want. Creative people are famous for having issues with self-esteem and depression. Mental illness is still a very taboo topic, but would have been even worse 40 or 50 years ago.  There are some very sad examples of illness and murder that can happen to anyone, at any age. These people just happened to be 27 and work in the music world.

I don’t think that there is any sort of real club, nor is it anyone’s goal to be part of it. The life of a rock star can be short, depending on how they decided to live their life. It’s not always glamour and glitz, but can be a very dark world. I don’t think there is a curse, like some people have suggested, because we are only looking at a small part of the population. Now, it is strange that this small part of the population is passing away at the age of 27, but I don’t think people are having their lives end just because their 26th year is up. There are some very tragic cases, and some very real cover-ups that have gone on with many of these people and their deaths. Maybe that is why people are fixated on the curse of the 27 club.  In the end, none of us are safe from the same fate, it only matters what we do with the time we have been given. They have been remembered for their contribution to the world of music. What will you be remembered for?

 

What do you think? Do you believe that there is the curse of the 27 Club? Leave your comments below.

 

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July 18

Video: Blogging, Thank you, and Contests

Hello Underdogs!

 

 

And The Underdog Wins Video

I hope you are having a wonderful day! Here is a video as a thank you for following me and being part of the underdog family! I also have some product reveals, and some information about a contest!

 

Please follow the link above and take a look at what this blogger looks like, and how I feel about this wonderful page!

 

 

July 18

Try it Tuesday: Cinnamon Pebbles

Hello Underdogs, and a very happy Tuesday to you! I was at the store last week looking for cereal for my Mom. To say my Mom is a cereal fan is an understatement! She loves the stuff, so I try to hit as many sales as possible. I don’t really care for it, but my cousin said there was some new Pebbles cereal out that we should try. That was a throw back to my childhood, so I was interested! We did a quick scan and then saw the box for Cinnamon Pebbles! 

Pebbles cereal has a very famous mascot in The Flintstones. They have at least 2 other cereals which are Fruity Pebbles, and Coco Pebbles. I am not sure if there are any others, but these are the ones that I see the most when I go to the grocery store.  I was pretty excited to try this out. It was only $2.50 cents for the box, but it is a smaller size than what you would normally see. I was okay paying this price because if it was terrible, at least I didn’t spend an arm and a leg on it!

When I opened the box, I was thankfully not overwhelmed by the smell of cinnamon. It was a light smell that was comparable to any other cereal that has cinnamon in it. The little pebbles are just like I recall, but instead of being colorful, or brown, they are lighter in color and you can see the coating on it. The bag inside the box was pretty full and it was easy to pull open, so I wasn’t worried I was going to throw cereal all around the room due to the fact that the bag was giving me trouble! That’s the last thing I needed!

The facts are these…

I am one of those strange people that don’t eat my cereal with milk. I eat it more like a toddler, and that is by either putting it in a snack bag, or a bowl and just eating it by hand. I much rather have cereal as a snack during the day. I hardly ever eat it for breakfast. I put the cereal in my little snack baggie, and went to work for a bit before trying it out. The first taste was a moment that I almost regretted not having any liquid with my cereal. It was very dry, and I almost went back to the kitchen to get some milk. I gave it another chance a few minutes later and it was fine. The pebbles are not ideal for snacking like I want to do, but much better for a bowl and milk situation.

I really do like this cereal, but I wouldn’t eat a whole bunch of it. I am glad it’s in a small box, because you just don’t need much. If you are worried about sugar, then you need to either eat a very small portion, or just stay away from this in general. I don’t think it suits my snack needs, but I might break down one day and try this with milk. There is some dryness to this cereal, more than others that I have come into contact with, so keep that in mind if you are a cereal snacker. I am glad I have a roommate who may like this cereal, because I think it will take me a long time to get through this box.

I give Cinnamon Pebbles a 3 out of 5 Stars. The price was pretty good, the size of the box is smaller but I am glad it’s no bigger than what it is. It is not great for snacking, but good for your cereal. It is pretty sweet, so I would be aware of that if you need to watch your sugar intake.

 

What do you think? Have you tried Cinnamon Pebbles? What is your favorite childhood cereal? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

July 17

My Monday: No Hate Space!

Hello Underdogs,

This weekend has been so amazing that I couldn’t do my normal Supernatural Sunday! I can’t begin to describe how profound and history the last 24 hours have been. It might just be a TV show, but it is so groundbreaking. That’s right, I am talking about Game of Thrones! That will come later, because this weekend was a great weekend to be a nerd. It was an even better weekend to be a female nerd. We got a lot of amazing materials to work with, and it seems like the possibilities are now endless. We are now starting to be on an even playing field, and women are really coming into their own!

Like I said yesterday in my blog, Jodie Whittaker is The Doctor we have a brand new Doctor, who is female. What I was concerned about is happening in spades. People are coming from all sorts of dark, dank, corners to shame this woman, the BBC, and the people in charge of Doctor Who for their casting choice. People are entitled to their thoughts, but there is no reason to became abusive, or cruel. There is nothing about this that will ruin your life, or your childhood. As someone said, “The Doctor is not human, so he isn’t limited by human law.” People have been saying that there is no way a Time Lord can switch genders. That is actually something that has been going on through the whole genesis of the series, both on screen and in audio books, so try again! The creator of the series wanted to have a female doctor, and that was back in the 1960’s! Why were we more progressive in such a subversive time?

It is so very hurtful to see such a historic event overshadowed by cruelness. Doctor Who has always been it’s best when it pushes the envelope, so why should this be any different? If it doesn’t work out, they have an out with regeneration. It truly makes me sad to see people trashing this woman for an acting role. I almost fear for her safety. There are just some cruel and crazy people out there. Jodie Whittaker is the first female Doctor, and always will be. This opens up so many doors for both actors and actresses from this day forward. However, the one to take the plunge gets the most poop. I admire Jodie for putting her neck out on the line, but it shouldn’t be that way! Yes, people are always going to be unhappy about a casting choice, but I have never seen it on this level before.  People are becoming livid. I was actually very taken aback by some reactions of some bloggers that I have respected. If you dislike the choice, fine, but there is no reason to start abuse or threats! Why does a woman who is cast as The Doctor make you have that sort of reaction? I think that says more about the person, than the show itself.

I am team Jodie, and I will continue to spread the love of this happy and historic occasion! The world changed in an instant, and Doctor Who said it is time right now! Millions of us agree, and welcome this change with open arms. I want to have people remember, when Peter Capalidi was cast as The Doctor, many people were angry and swore off the show! I was taken aback by people’s reaction 3 years ago, but I was so happy! Peter Capaldi was the number one choice I had after Matt Smith, and literally the best prepared person to play the role. How quickly people forget when something new happens. Then they focus all of their hate for the change into the new actor. Doctor Who was built on change. It thrives on it, and it does not stand still. If you can’t adapt to change, then you will die. Doctor Who will be around longer than most of us will walk the Earth, and happen to be alive the same time that the first female took over the role. Embrace the change, and give Jodie Whittaker a chance! You saw her on screen for 31 seconds and you made up your minds to hate her because she is female! That is the only reason at this point because you aren’t judging her on her acting abilities. Right now, take a deep breath because you are judging a book by it’s cover.

Don’t forget it’s the safe software, just a different case.