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Space Coast Nerd Fest 2015

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On May 23rd I got to go to the to the Second Annual Space Coast Nerd Fest. I missed the first year due to my schedule, but this year did not disappoint! It was a great time reconnecting with some old friends and making new ones!

There were attendees from all corners of nerd-dom – from the casual costume to the most intricate cosplays, From bobble heads to machine heads, from pirates to renaissance jousters, from artists to actors – you could find it all at one place, AND IT’S ON THE SPACE COAST!!! In most of the conversations I had with the people I met the most common thing I hared from people was “It’s so great to have something like this so close to home.” The highlights for this attendee were The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Dare Devil, The BEST BATMAN EVER, Harley Quinn (as always), FINALLY meeting Jennifer Sangalang from Florida Today (the space coasts very own nerd writer extraordinaire!), and getting to shake Micheal Winsolow’s hand and telling him how much I’ve enjoyed his work! (See the photo gallery below.)

For those of us residing on the Space Coast we generally have had to rely on MegaCon in Orlando to get our nerdy convention fix. For the Die Hard convention enthusiasts we have had to make the trek to Atlanta, Ga to experience Dragon*Con. For the elite few who have the means and the availability there is always the 2500 mile journey to the Mecca of nerd conventions – San Diego Comic Con!

But this is no longer the case – The Space Coast now has it’s very own convention to attend – and the future seems bright, as in my opinion the event has already out grown it’s venue in only it’s second year! If you missed yesterdays activities, you still have time! The event is going on today as well from noon until 5 pm. So if you’re looking for some fun, hop in the car and head to the Melbourne Auditorium and GET YOUR NERD ON!!!!

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Life Imitates Art – I Forgot What It Was Like To Have A Family

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  • March 22, 2015
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proposal-2“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” – Oscar Wilde: The Decay Of Lying (1889).

It is a phrase that we’ve heard many times (in part anyway), but I am always amazed when I find an example of it that hits close to home. It comes as a greater surprise when the example comes from something that I would not exactly consider meaningful. My latest run in with this feeling is one such example.

I love movies. Not all movies are what I would consider good, but I believe most movies have something good within them. I recently watched a movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock called The Proposal.” There did not seem to be anything special about this movie, but as I am a fan of the actors in it and I had some time to kill so I gave it a shot. It is what one would call a typically formulaic romantic comedy. The two lead characters initially hate each other but through a series of wacky events find that they not only misunderstood the other person, but actually love them. It’s a trope we’ve seen time and time again, and was used in a rather unimaginative way. Then about three quarters of the way through the movie there is the following exchange that hit me out of nowhere:

MARGARET: I forgot, OK?

ANDREW: You forgot what?

MARGARET: I forgot what it was like to have a family! I’ve been on my own since I was 16 and I forgot what it felt like to have people love you, and make you breakfast and say, “Hey! We’d love to come down for the holidays.” And I say, “Well, why don’t we come up and see you instead?”

The scene is intended to be the moment that the unlikeable character is humanized and becomes someone the audience can sympathize with – but for me, it ripped a page right out of my life. I have been on my own for a very long time, but unlike Sandra Bullock’s character in the film it’s not because my family died – were are simply estranged. I almost think it unfair to use the words “simply” and “estranged” back to back as estrangement is never something that comes simply – but that’s a topic for another time.

What I allowed to happen in my case was that I took the estrangement of my wildly dysfunctional immediate family and inadvertently applied it to my extended family as well. And they were the ones who loved me, and made me breakfast, and inquired as to when I was going to come see them. It was a terrible thing I did to them, but it was also a terrible thing to have done to myself. In my life I created surrogate families with the friends I surrounded myself with – and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my friends and I do consider them to be a family. But there is something about blood relations that makes one feel that you must innately put up with them. Whereas friendships, well – they grow apart. Try as one may to keep it from happening, life just has a way of taking us in different directions.

I recently had occasion to be exposed to that part of my family again, albeit not under the greatest of circumstances. And even after years apart, after the neglect I showed them, even in the midst of this terrible situation – they were still my family. And the words of Margaret’s character in The Proposal succinctly and completely summed up my situation – I forgot. I forgot what it was like to have a family. But more than that, I fear I may have forgotten what it is like to be PART of a family. The moments of exposure come and I recognize that I miss the feeling that family provides – but then the moments pass and I go right back to being my insular self. Not meaning to be estranged, but being so any way. I see this manner of being taking its toll on my surrogate families as well and I have to wonder, have I truly forgotten what it is like to be part of something? Have I lost the ability to be part of a family? Did I simply forget? Or did I make a choice and now I am reaping the fruits of those decisions?

Then I remember that it was an unremarkable piece of writing in a film that was mediocre at best, that made me think of something that really reaches into the core of who I am.

I love movies, and that Life Imitates Art. And that something so simple can bring to mind something so deep and complex.

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Week In Geek Recap #6 – FoxCatcher, Selma, The Woman In Black 2 & More!

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  • January 5, 2015
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Intro_Image This is your Week In Geek Recap for week ending 01/04/2015!

In Theaters This Week

The Woman In Black 2
When a group of orphaned children are forced to move from their home in London, caretakers Eve and Jean bring everyone to the desolate and eerie British countryside. 40 years after Arthur Kipps left, this supernatural horror film introduces this new group to the now abandoned Eel Marsh House; an odd but seemingly safe location. It isn’t long before Eve starts to sense that this house is not what it appears to be as the children in her care begin to disappear. As their house of safety becomes a house of horrors, Eve enlists the help of a handsome pilot to help investigate what is happening. She soon discovers that it may not be a coincidence that she has come to reside in the house inhabited by the Woman in Black.

Starring Pheobe Fox, Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCrory this film is rated PG-13 for Disturbing imagery.


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Movies – Slider’s 2014 Theatrical Screenings


The year 2014 has been a great year for movies! While there are far to many to have seen them all, below is a list of movies I was able to get to in the theaters and my ratings. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below.


1. Robocop:2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)
2. The Lego Movie:2 Stars (2 / 5)
3. Pompeii:2 Stars (2 / 5)
4. Captain America-Winter Soldier:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
5. Veronica Mars:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

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Week In Geek Recap #4


This is your Week In Geek recap for week ending December 21, 2014!

In Theaters This Week

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
In the third part of Peter Jackson extended rendition of one of Tolkens earlier works, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies completes the epic tale of Bilbo Baggins, as played by Martin Freeman. Along with Bilbo are the cast of characters including Gandalf, Legolas, Bard, Tauriel, Thorin, Thandrul, and the dreadful menace of Smaug. We follow the middle earth tale which culminates in a battle against the forces of darkness. With a run time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, this movie is rated PG-13 for violence and potential bladder injury.
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Week In Geek Recap #3

Week in Geek 3This is your week in geek re-cap for week ending December 14, 2014.

In Theaters This Week

Exodus: Gods and Kings 
Ridley Scott has thrown his hat into the Biblical epic ring with Exodus: Gods and Kings. Staring Christian Bale as Moses who fights alongside his brother Ramses (Joel Edgerton), to help defend Egypt. During battle, Moses saves Ramses life, causing Ramses to fear that his brother will one day be King because it fits with a prophecy handed down by one of King Seti’s (played by John Tuturro) spiritualists. Soon after Seti’s death, Moses, who is actually Jewish and not Egyptian, is banished. However, he becomes the leader of the Jewish people and leads a rebellion, with the help of a wrathful God, against the Egyptians. Rate PG-13, This version of Moses’ story is apparently not friendly to the young ones.
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New Week In Geek!

Check out our new video feature – Week in Geek! A review of movie news and geekery for week ending 12/07/2014!


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Week in Geek!

Check out our new video feature – Week in Geek! A review of movie news and geekery for week ending 11/30/2014!

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer is out & Like the Force, is permeating the internet

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  • November 30, 2014
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Much to no one’s surprise, the long awaited Star Wars Teaser Trailer is quickly heating up the internet. Although the reception is mostly positive, not everyone is loving the trailer. One commentator on Google+ said “The Cross Saber was enough for me to lose hope. So lame. ” Another says “Could not be any less excited after seeing this.” Other examples of those who were less than ecstatic can be seen below:


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An Open Letter To Marti Noxon Regarding Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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  • October 12, 2014
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marti-noxonDear Ms Noxon,

I am currently reading Joss Whedon’s biography and I read the following excerpt, which made me want to reach out to you.

“Fans knew that Joss was spending much of his time developing his new Fox series, so they laid much of the blame for the failings of the season at the feet of Marti Noxon. “There are websites devoted to how I ruined Buffy in season six,” she says. She had been a strong advocate of darker story-lines— including the Spike/ Buffy relationship— and she had become more involved in the production aspects of the series that Joss no longer had time for.” (Pascale, Amy (2014-08-01). Joss Whedon: The Biography (p. 192). Chicago Review Press. Kindle Edition.)

So there is something I would like to address about season six of the show: I LOVE THIS SEASON.

Make no mistake I loved the show before then, but this season really solidified it for me. The fact the the tone of the show was darker, that the Slayer made poor decisions, that – in the words of Buffy’s alter ego herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar – “she felt that Buffy was losing her “hero-ness” and losing her way. “It wasn’t who Buffy was, or why people loved her.” (Pascale, Amy (2014-08-01). Joss Whedon: The Biography (p. 192). Chicago Review Press. Kindle Edition.)

Everything she said was true, and it was killing me that you put this beloved character through such a horedous time. This is why I loved this season, BECAUSE it was killing me. It showed me that I really cared about this character. It showed me I was really invested in this story. It showed me that this show was supurbly crafted and when she finally rose above the darkness it made her that much more of an inspiration. It’s themes tested. strained and in some instances broke the notions of friendship and one’s chosen family. Buffy was real – that is to say as real a vampire slaying/loving teen aged girl with superpowers could be.

My point is you reached me, you reached us – the audience, in perhaps a way that we were unprepared for. Everyone who complained, or was concerned or felt that you were “ruining Buffy” – they cared. And they cared because the show really reached them. They complained because they were affected. They complained because they loved her and the show.

Even today, 11 years after Buffy last aired, the show remains a big part of my life. So I guess what I really wanted to say to you is Thank You. I hope you wear the backlash that was received from this season, not as a blemish, but as a badge of honor. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A devoted fan,

Jose Santiago

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