Relationship Goals

This video makes me happy. The relationship that these guys have makes me happy.

#relationshipgoals

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Importance of Buying Silver Age Comics

I would really like to buy these comic book from someone. But I am broke.

avengers silver age comicThe popularity and circulation of comic books about superheroes declined following World War II, and comic books about horror, crime and romance took larger shares of the market. However, controversy arose over alleged links between comic books and juvenile delinquency, focusing in particular on crime and horror titles. In 1954, publishers implemented the Comics Code Authority to regulate comic content. In the wake of these changes, publishers began introducing superhero stories again, a change that began with the introduction of a new version of DC ComicsThe Flash in Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956). In response to strong demand, DC began publishing more superhero titles including Justice League of America, which prompted Marvel Comics to follow suit beginning with Fantastic Four #1. Silver Age comics have become collectible, with a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962), the debut of Spider-Man, selling for $1.1 million in 2011.

First appearance of Spiderman
First appearance of Spiderman

I hope that if anyone sees this post that they realize that I did this as a joke.

X-Men Number 1
X-Men Number 1

The creme de la creme of Marvel comic collecting is the first appearance of the X-men. This issue is The X-Men #1.

Geek Chic: The Revenge of the Nerds

Geek Chic: The Revenge of the Nerds

When I was little, it wasn’t cool to be a ‘nerd’. I have never claimed to be a ‘nerd’ or gone by any other stereotype, but after spending 5 minutes with me you would change your mind. My obsession with He-Man, my love of Doctor Who or my comic book collection definitely push the boundaries of nerdom. I guess my reluctance to call or consider myself a ‘nerd’ is because of the negative stigma that has always been attached to the term. I have a problem with anyone being categorized or put into a box because of something that differentiates them from other people. But a study last year has recently categorized the “Nerdiest States in America”. This formulated breakdown of the American “Nerdom’ disturbs me because of what it lists as the criteria of being a ‘nerd/geek’.

The researchers used 12 areas of interest to build their master list. To do this, they analyzed Facebook data for every U.S. state (including the District of Columbia) to determine the percentage of users who fell under these categories. The categories were:

Star Trek: the Next Generation

Cosplay

Harry Potter

Star Wars

Anime Movies

Dungeons and Dragons

LARPing (Live Action Role-Playing)

Doctor Who

Fantasy Lit

Lord of the Rings

Magic: The Gathering

Comic Books

This list makes me out to be a HUGE nerd. I love 9 out of 12 of the items listed. I would like to think that I have grown into an extremely eclectic person but should I pigeonhole myself because I am a fan of almost all of these items on this list? I truly hate being categorized. I hate it because of the years that I spent being being bullied as a child and an adolescent. I DO NOT like discrimination of any kind and Webster’s Dictionary defines “Discrimination” as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people”. So wouldn’t a kid in elementary school being bullied for reading comic books be bullying? Wouldn’t a teenager who is picked on by his classmates for liking Dungeons and Dragons a form of discrimination? The answer is pure and simple: yes.

I do not like this overt categorization for ‘nerdism’ because of my avert hatred of bullying. I fear the ostracization of the younger generation of kids, like my own son, who is into a lot of things on this list (and some things that aren’t). I don’t want my son growing up scared to admit that he likes comic books because they are too nerdy nor do I want him to stop reading and watching Harry Potter because someone thinks that those people are nerds. Does the fact that I like Doctor Who and collect comic books make me any less of a person? Do my He-Man figures and collectibles make me any less of a man? Does the fact that we watched a comic book based movie last night make me and my wife bad parents? Should I be placed in a category which for many years been been the ‘shunned’ part of the populous. If kids hear their parents talking about ‘nerd stuff’ or older brothers and sisters referring to a boy playing with Pokemon cards as ‘nerdy’ then that will become something that that child could be picked on about? I don’t want my child or any other child for that matter to be bullied. I don’t think that any child should be judged when he decides to wear a Star Wars shirt or wants to participate in LARPing after school.

My home state of North Carolina comes in 45th on the list of Nerdiest states. So does that mean that my children will be ostracized for not fitting in with the populous around them? Does that mean that because we or I don’t fit the standard deviation of what is ‘normal’ so much that there should be some kind of special category for me/us? Or is it something else?

With Comic and Pop culture conventions are popping up all over the place and ‘nerdy’ things are all over popular culture…why are the ‘normal’ ones scared to admit that its okay to be nerdy? On TV, geek-chic is the new cool. One of the most popular TV sitcoms is Big Bang Theory, who’s characters showcase a love for every item on that ‘ner’d list. Comic book based movies are #1 at the box office. Doctor Who is a world wide phenomena. The four day event in San Diego known as Comic-Con boasted over 130,000 attendants in 2012 (an is showing exponential growth every year). So why must the geek be ashamed? Why must the nerds run and hide? if I must categorize myself, I guess am proud to say that I am a nerd. I will proudly watch Doctor Who, read my comic books and continue with my somewhat strange obsession with He-Man. I will continue to buy Pokemon cards for my son, with whom I will not stop playing Pokemon cards while watching Guardians of the Galaxy while he is wearing his Hogwarts shirt.

Show Respect to General Tso when eating at a Chinese Buffet

Show Respect to General Tso when eating at a Chinese Buffet

Every day, from lunch to suppertime, dare I infer that millions of gastro-influenced Americans drift into Chinese Restaurants across this fair land. As you, I, or they stare through the plexiglass of the water heated display and fight the steam that blisters our fore arms as we reach to get our deep fried crab rangoons? Do you make room on your plate beside of your egg roll and ham fried rice for the General Tso’s chicken? On every occasion I find myself wondering to whom do I owe tribute for this delicious spicy chicken dish that I am eating? Did you ever think about who the real General Tso actually was? Was he real or was he just a name that popped into the head of a Chinese-American line cook? Well, you might not but I wanted to know.

I can bet that 1 in a 1,000 of you well educated people know the man whom General Tso’s Chicken is in reference to was actually a Chinese military leader from the Qing Dynasty named Zuo Zongtang. He was born in 1812 to a poor family in the Hunan province of China. In his youth he failed his court exams multiple times which was a terrible disgrace to him and his family. So he returned home with wife and devoted himself to his studies. He took up silkworm and tea farming of all things. All things changed in 1850 when he was 38 years old. During the Taiping Rebellion, the gentle farmer decided that he would lay down his garden spade for a sword. Silkworm farmer Zuo Zongtang became…..General Tso. Well not literally. His name was still Zuo Zongtang and he started out as the secretary for the governor but never-the-less he was on his way. There is an old saying that says that ‘war makes a man’…well war didn’t make Tso, Tso made war. He got 5,000 soldiers to come forth to fight. SO in all actuality I guess you really could say that Tso made war and war made Tso. For the rest of his life, he would wield a sword, becoming one of the most important military commanders in Chinese history and respected Generals in combat.

So knowing that, you are probably wondering, how did a great war veteran who became the Viceroy of Liangjang (one of China’s highest titles) before deciding to take one more commission as General. Well as many of you that grew up in America in the 50s, 60s and 70s can acclimate, Chinese restaurants were popping up all over the country. They even had a Chinese restaurant on the Andy Griffith show. Supposedly here is how it happened: two men from the Hunan province opened up a Chinese restaurant in New York city back in 1972 and one of the 4 ‘main attractions’ that they had on their menu was…yep you guessed it…’General Tso’s Chicken. This deliciously sweet, yet slightly spicy deep fried chicken party in your mouth was born. And even though the dish may bear his name, the General never got to taste the dish. The great warrior of the Qing dynasty who killed thousands upon thousands. The man who subdued thousands of rebels and up-risers while carving his name into Chinese history by the point of a sword never knew that his name would be misspelled upon Americanized Chinese buffets and take out joints all across North America….for our culinary delight. I am forever thankful for the inventive expatriate Chinese chef who awarded him with his culinary name to fame. I will salute you next time I pick up my chop sticks General Tso.

“I am what I am” says Popeye the Sailor Man

“I am what I am” says Popeye the Sailor Man

Toot toot! 

In today’s society, we are all basically very full of ourselves. We all have varied opinions and most of us love to let our opinions be known to everyone around us; whether they like it or not. So all aspects of socially interactive media (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube) allows us to get on our proverbial soap box and preach our selected gospel to the masses. Whether that gospel is the sharing of your grandmother’s lasagna recipe, your political grievances or if you are just as narcissistic as I am (and love to hear/see yourself talk).

So, why should you start a blog? The reasons delve way beyond our yearning to see our glorious words in print or on the interwebs:

Supercharge

It is a good idea to blog so we can supercharge your writing skills. Remember when you were learning to ride your bike; despite the blood gushing from your knee, you kept hearing someone yell “practice makes perfect”. Well despite the aggravation that we felt at that moment; they were right. The more you write the better of a writer you become. You will start producing skills at the same pace that you learned to ride that bike after the training wheels were relinquished. This newly acquired skill is very useful in the workplace and most sales are done through email while advertisement is mostly done through social media and the internet.

Soap Box Preacher

If you have Facebook, we all know that one person who gets on their proverbial soap box and preaches to all of we unwilling readers. Ten years ago a soap box on the street, a chair in a hair salon or a fence post between yards would have been enough for gossip gollies BUT now we have social media and blogging is just the tool to utilize.

Free Your Mind

Freeing your mind isn’t just what En Vogue said to do in their 1992 classic hit, freeing your mind is what blogging can do for you. Blogging allows you to be able to create a forum for you to share a conscious thought. Whether 1 or 1,000,000 people read it, you have shared your thoughts. Also a blog can act as your own personal journal where you can experience and see your own personal growth throughout your words. We can disperse information to the masses in our own personal well versed way.

Express Yourself 

Man another song name. Guess music and blogging are both truly art forms. I don’t think Charles Wright would mind me borrowing his song name to tell you that blogging is a FANTASTIC place to express yourself. The internet has allowed us to network with people from all around the world. So whatever your blog is actually saying, you are sharing a part of yourself with the world.

Inspire

Think about all of the people who have found the best Sushi restaurants in Raleigh, gotten completely pissed off during a political debate, gotten the recipe for a healthy meatloaf or read about how much money an NFL quarterback makes, thanks to a blog. We inspire people with our words.

ITS FREE

I mean seriously…who doesn’t love something free. Most blogging websites offer you the ability to blog for free. How great is that!

Its FUN!!!!

Now if you have Facebook and you something really clever…you wait to see how many people like your status. DON’T LIE! We love positive reinforcement. We love the comments. And heck, some of us like to argue!

And last but not least, some people have made a lot of money off of it. Some people have turned their food blogs into a full time job. Bloggers are the new food critic of choice. A bad review on a blog site can ruin a restaurant’s reputation. Depending on the topic, you can market your blog to advertisers. Doing this will cause you to make money. Easy peasey lemon squeezy.

🙂