Friday, 22 August 2014

I've Been Sick...

One of the things I really don't like doing is sitting and doing nothing. And, this term, I've been forced to do more of that than I would like. For some time I've been having issues with my insides - not to go into too much detail but I've had issues with bowel movements and all that fun stuff. Topping off that I have been having the occasional feelings of dizziness and nausea. I basically haven't been feeling my jovial, quirky, bouncy self.

After finally realising (and being told off by numerous people) that I wasn't actually getting any better I finally made an appointment to see the doctor. For those of you who know me I absolutely hate going to the doctor. I have nothing against doctors nor nurses but having 18 surgeries before you're 18 can make you want to avoid the medical world for a long time. I also had one doctor who blamed everything on my weight. If I had a migraine it was because of my weight. If I had an infection it was because of my weight. If I needed stitches it was because of my weight...

To give a little history on that I've never been what you could call thin. At my heaviest I got up to about 125kgs (275lbs for those non kg people.) But, with a lot of determination and a few silly mistakes I got down to 78/80 kgs (174lbs). I run, I dance, I workout and I eat very healthy. So I am a lot more happy in my body that I have ever been in my whole life. Though I am determined to get down to about 65kgs. For me, I feel that is a good weight. But this will take time and I've always told myself that I didn't get to the heaviest weight in the space of a year so it will take time to get to my goal weight. (I even hate the term goal weight.)

So, I went to the doctor and went through a series of tests. There were traces of blood in my urine on three separate occasions and my iron levels were too high so I have to go back for tests about that. The only thing that came of this is that the doctor is pretty sure that I have IBS. Now, I knew next to nothing about this so I did my own research and I'm still not sure if I am convinced but I have started to change my diet again by reducing a lot of sugars and fructose etc. I'm slowly trying things to see if I have a reaction to them. I'm also on anti spasmodic medication to help with my stomach upsets. So far this has made me feel a little bit more in control of my stomach but time will tell.

Then, yesterday, I woke up sounding worse than Alpha from Up. I have a cough and a runny nose but don't feel sick. Still...

So - I was asked (told) not to come into school to work today. Thus, I'm writing all this down in a way to vent some of my frustrations. I've never liked being sick but I tend to keep going until my immune system tells me off. I realise that I am no good to my students if I keep getting worse because I don't allow myself to get better. However, I don't like not being able to work as I constantly feel the need to be moving. Somewhere along the line I got it into my head that being sick is being lazy...but this only applies to me. Or, maybe I'm just scared that people will judge me and accuse me of faking or being lazy or just not being the best that I can be...and in my rational mind I know this is just me being silly but - well, yeah.

Anyway, this is probably one of the more honest posts that I have done...meaning that I don't like talking to much about myself but maybe this may help me in some way. Now, I'm going to curl up on the couch with my Harry Potter snuggie, a cup of tea and either some Doctor Who  or Batman Arkham City. 

Peace and Pancakes

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Weekend Round Up #21 - the SDCC Edition

San Diego Comic Con...ah, the nerds, the geeks, the cosplay, the lines...I missed it this year and my feelings on this are mixed. You see, the year I turned thirty I bought myself tickets to go there as a present to myself. And last year I went again (all four days this time). However, this year I had conflicting schedules. First, my school break did not line up. And, more importantly, I have senior classes and this term is the busiest academic wise. So, I made an important decision to forego SDCC this year but next year - San Diego I will be in you... (fingers crossed.)

So, since I couldn't be there I was following tweets, tumbles, Facebook pages and more just to keep up to date with all the new stuff in the world of nerds, geeks and general awesome people. Since there is so much stuff I'm just going to pop up some of the first things that I saw.

The new cast line up for Game of Thrones.

The GoT panels are always great to get into and the free stuff is always good. And, the videos as well. I love how they are introduce themselves and talk about how excited they are (though some just look scared). Kesha Castle Hughes is also a kiwi so, yay New Zealand.

Then there was the first reveal of Gal Godot as Wonder Woman for the new Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Still not sure how I feel about that title and, also, not sure about the costume but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Another great thing about SDCC is the off site stuff for those who couldn't get badges or those who need a break from the crowds. Nerd HQ, which is run by Zachary Levi, always has a site set up where they raise money for Operation Smile. (Since I was born with a cleft lip and palate I support this group!)

The lovely people over at The Mary Sue  have a series of links and embedded clips from there if you want to see some click on the link above.

Oh the Horns trailer dropped:

Other news included Maisie Williams possibly being cast as Ellie for The Last of Us film.

I love the game and I love her as an actress but I'm not sure whether the game needs to be made into a film. Though, if I'm honest, I'm still going to see it.

There was so much more that shown and dropped and I think there is still one day left. (Bloody confusing these time zone things.) I did hear that the TMNT clips did not go down well. At first I still thought I would go and see it but, from the images I've, I'm sorry but Megan Fox is not April O'Neil. Just no.

So - what did you see that was interesting? Any cosplayers stand out?

Peace and pancakes,
(Speaking of pancakes, I've just finished baking Apple and Cinnamon Muffins...yum.)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Weekend Round Up #20

It's back to school tomorrow so I thought I would restart my weekend round up series...I promise I'll get better at this...

Okay - first up is come DC news. Mainly the redesign of Batgirl. I'm really excited by the new design. Check it out.

Can I just get a slow clap for the detachable, short cape and boots. Not heels, stilettos or anything silly like that. This just looks a lot more practicable. It could just be me but I really like this design. I also feel like it would be great to cosplay. (Note to self - find yellow boots.)

Next we have a youtube series called Spooked. You can find the other episodes on Felicia Day's great channel Geek & Sundry. Basically, it follows a group of adults and a young "Carol Anne" type girl as they go ghost hunting and so on. It's actually really well done and has some familiar faces.

Watch the first episode and enjoy. There are currently four episodes up and I'm really enjoying it. There is a great mix of comedy and a hint of drama. Plus, anything Felicia Day does I'll watch. She's a bit of an idol - well, role model more than idol cause that word scares me a little.

If you've been away from the internet for a while you may not realise that the brilliance that is Weird Al Yankovic has been releasing a song/music video everyday for the last few days. He's releasing eight in total and we are up to six if I remember correctly. I posted the clip to "Word Crimes" yesterday but I thought I'd post another one on here and I've been tossing up between "Foil" which is a parody of New Zealand's own "Royals" by Lorde or "Handy" which is his take on "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea.

I went with "Foil" - and, at the end, you may see why. I've been a fan of Weird Al since I was a wee sprog. My dad was the person who introduce him to me and I've been buying his albums ever since. He is a very talented man with a great sense of humour.

Now I must admit, I'm a little sad this year because I'm normally over in California at this time and gearing up to go to the one and only San Diego Comic Con but due to school commitments and bad timing I am unable to go so I'm going to be relying heavily on twitter and all the great geeky themed websites to keep me up to date. This leads into my next round up and I'm sure many of you have seen this picture of SDCC from 1983.

(Source Tuckerpete)

But look at that queue. Oh for the days when this was the crowd...well, I would have only just turned one in 1983. I truly love SDCC and wish I could be there but I also wish I could have seen it from the start. Ah my mum always says, "dreams are free."

And finally, here is another clip from the new series Gotham which is supposed to start in September in the US. I don't know when it will start in New Zealand but it has my interest at the moment...It looks dark, gritty and it may, actually, be good...

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm about to settle in and watch some episodes of Supernatural or maybe play a little Portal 2

Peace and Pancakes,

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Always With The Excuses - and why video games are a great resource!

Insert any excuse that you'd like me to have right here for not updating for ages.

I can honestly say that this last term was crazy. I don't want to make this into a blog about teaching because, as much as I love teaching, I want to have this outlet that is something more than teaching. I hope that makes sense because sometimes words get super excited in my head and they get jumbled. Anyway, that is neither here nor there.

But, at the recent Myth & Magic NZATE Conference (New Zealand Association For/Of Teachers of English) I actually presented a workshop on using video games in the classroom. Basically, I spent an hour talking about BioShock, The Last of Us, Portal, Mass Effect and so on. And, more excitedly, there were actual people who were in there to listen to me. Actual teachers and fellow game nerds. As well as people who were just curious. (I kept telling myself "baby steps" because there is still a stigma surrounding video games.)

My PPT  This is the Keynote that I had with it. It lost some of the formatting when I had to move it into the google drive shared folder but hopefully it gives you a view of what I talked about.

So, I spoke about my passion for video games and not just the idea of playing the games but the richness of the worlds that are being created and how we can reach some students through this new medium. I explained that by watching cut scenes from games you can delve into creative writing, film techniques, computer science, social media, social commentary, gender studies and much more.

I hope that people took away some positive ideas from my presentation and I left my email address on there incase they wanted to contact me regarding my thoughts.

Anyway, I have time on my hands again and I want to get back into my weekend round ups. (Baby steps).

I also have to admit that I learned a lot about my ability to handle stress during the conference. I normally run on a high amount of stress and sugar and a butt load of coffee. But during the conference I pushed myself too far and, hopefully, I have learned from this mistake and will endeavour to take more time out for myself.

Enough of that though - I have a couple of questions:

1. What game do you think is worthy of study in a high school class?
2. Would you have liked to learn about video games in school?
3. What would you like to see in my blog?

I will leave you with this lovely ditty from the ever awesome Weird Al. I hate the original with a passion but I can handle (just) this parody. Might even use it in my class...

Peace and pancakes,

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Weekend Round Up #19

My apologies for missing last week. I had family up and by the time I got home the last thing I could think of doing was writing... (that sounds horrible, right? I was just really tired...)

So, let's dive into the geeky world I live in.

First up - exciting dinosaur news. The world's largest dinosaur has been found in Patagonia. According to estimates it would have stood twenty metres tall and forty metres long. I was so excited to hear about this and it even made our nightly news. Plus, when I told my students they were just as interested as I was.


Next we have the first teaser for series 8 of the amazing Doctor Who.

I mean, it's not showing us much but I can't wait for August. And the iconic music is enough to get me all excited. The countdown is definitely on. 

And, although this might not be 'geeky' per se, it's freaking amazing. 

I appreciate a good dance crew and The Company, as they are known, are just amazing. I can't believe they only got second place. They have amazing body control and the music they chose was perfect. 

Then there was this little video:

The University of Delaware recreated the iconic Friends opening. It's pretty awesome even if Friends has been re-run a billion times... I guess I will always have a soft spot for this show the same way I have a soft spot for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. They are so iconic to my childhood. 

Then we have tumblr user Ask the Derpvengers  amusing cartoon of how Fury wakes the Avengers. It's dreadfully cute. 

Bonus: I bet you thought I hadn't seen it or had forgotten about the fact that JJ Abrams released this little snippet. 

Well I didn't...and it's awesome. Practical effects rather than CGI wins my heart anyway. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Weekend Round Up #18

Wow, the numbers are getting up there...basically means that I have done this regularly for 18 weeks. This also tells me that this year is going incredibly fast and I'm not sure how I feel about that at present. Ask me again in a few months.

Anyway, I saw this trailer this week and I'm very intrigued...

It's following along the trend of all the popular Dystopian themed texts at the moment...though the setting has me very intrigued. Plus, the cast line up looks pretty fancy: Chris Evans, John Hurt and the ever amazing Tilda Swinton.
Edit: Apparently this was released last year...I am sad that I didn't see it...

Then there is this funny piece of lip syncing...

I really enjoy these little skits Jimmy Fallon does plus - Emma Stone is kind of my idol.

Now this isn't really a new site but I love going there and seeing what this artist has done next. Gavin Aung Than aka ZenPencils takes inspirational quotes form inspirational folks and makes them into great pieces of graphic novel type art.

Check out this amazing piece and then go to his site and check out the rest.

Now, those of you who know me IRL know that I love me some dinosaurs...and then I found this when I was perusing Think Geek.

Dinosaur skulls in a tube...ahem...toob. ThinkGeek are awesome...when is payday...


I want this so badly to happen. I remember the first time I watched Akira. It was amazing and this fan made trailer is almost Hollywood overkill...more focus on the story than anything else. In fact, I might go and watch it again...

Actually - I need to get back to marking...

Hope you have had an amazing weekend all.

Peace and pancakes,

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Weekend Round Up #17 The May the Fourth Be With You Edition

May the Fourth be with you, Padawans. Today, in honour of one of my favourite series ever, this round up is dedicated to Star Wars.

First up, news that hit the stands (are there still news stands?) revolved around the first photo of the 'official' cast. Watch the folks from IGN talk about the casting...

Read more here . It's a piece from the New Zealand Herald.

So - my first thought was 'yay - original cast members are back'. My second thought was - where are the other female characters? And this relates directly with my next point...

Apparently, the extended universe is no longer canon...Read Me
This can be seen as a good or bad thing. When I first read this I was shocked because I wanted Mara Jade to show up in the new film but, after reading some carefully considered thoughts about it I'm okay with it. Creativity knows no bound so I am happy to see where Abrams takes us...(but please, for the love of the force, have some strong female characters...please)

Now, for all you nerds and geeks who like to have some nerd fashion on hand you have to check out Her Universe for all things awesome. I have purchased some Battlestar Galactica stuff from the stall at SDCC a couple of years ago. (I'm still a little sad that I can't make it this year...) But the creator of the store, Ashley Eckstein, has geek credit. She voices Ahsoka in the Clone Wars series among other things. 

Seriously, these are just some of the awesome things that you can find there. Go...scurry along and spend up. I'll be here waiting...

This isn't new but it's freaking awesome:

This is stuck in my head...yes. 

And, to finish up, some amazing Star Wars Cosplay...just cause...

This is one of the few reasons why I'd want to have kids... Aw...

It could be a trap...
All of the cosplay images have come from Fuck Yeah Star Wars Cosplay ... check it out... :)

Happy May the Fourth all...