Monthly Archives: April 2016

SDCC 2016: Take Public Transport!

So in my earlier post, I have shown you how to avoid being homeless in San Diego during one of the biggest comic-cons in the country. Now that you have a place to stay, the next crucial element will be getting around. Traffic during San Diego Comic-Con is a beast. You have 130,000 nerds, geeks, and cosplayers converging on one place at the same time. It’s chaotic. Not intimidating chaotic but chaotic none the less. There are so many amazing events located around the con so reliable transportation is a must.
Renting A Car is A Blessing and A Curse
Now this would be the obvious option for you. You will have dedicated transportation throughout your trip and the ability to see all the sights of San Diego. Again, we are back to that untamable beast that is traffic. You will be spending a lot of time sitting in traffic during this visit. In addition to horrible traffic, parking is extremely limited. Now, you can take your chances with Ace Parking Lottery sponsored through SDCC. As if the lottery to get badges or a lower (but still) high-cost hotel wasn’t enough, you can now take part in a chance to buy a parking spot in a, hopefully, close location. If luck is not a lady and backhands you out of the lottery, you have to take your chances with overpriced parking garages and lots. See where I am going here?
Public Transport: Your New Best Friend
While planning my trip to SDCC in 2015, I found out all this info about the car rental situation and was immediately discouraged. I knew my primary focus would be the con activities so I didn’t need to rent a car. I did, however, learn more about San Diego’s excellent public transportation system. I am not from a large metropolitan city so I have never known the usefulness of public transport. However, the San Diego MTS is pretty sweet. Their system includes buses, trolleys, and high-speed trains. Both the trolley and buses run to Downtown San Diego with the trolley having a specific “Convention Center” stop. You can even estimate your travel and costs using the MTS app, mTicket (Available in Google Play and the Apple App Store) or Google Maps. All lines of service are seamlessly integrated into the app and you can conveniently find the nearest and latest stops.

Paying for your ride is quite simple. You can either: provide exact change for your ride (for buses only), buy a single ride pass, or buy a single day or multi-day pass on a Compass Card. MTS offers special reduced rates for Comic Con as well. Passes can be purchased at designated stations, ticketing booths, and trolley ticketing vending machines. Since I knew I would need to take both the bus and trolley, I opted to purchase a Compass Card (for $2) and add a 4-day pass. This guaranteed unlimited rides on all buses and trolleys during my stay.

For everything else, Take Uber or Lyft
The only limitation with using the MTS is the run times. If you plan on partying late into the evenings, you will have to find another for your transportation. My personal go-to is always Uber. I keep the app on my phone at all times and set up with my payment options. I used it after standing in the Hall H line until 2:30 am (and yes, I did get my wristband) and safely returned to my vacation rental. Lyft is also a great option that is steadily expanding its markets across the country. The best feature of both services is the ability to contact your driver and track their arrival. No need for exact change or credit cards. Proactively set up your account and save your payment info if your plan on a heavy night of drinking. Believe me, it helps! You can also save your hotel info as a favorite, saving you the trouble of trying to remember it later. Be aware that during holidays and large scale events, their rates can double. 

Here are a few links to some of the services described above including your first free ride with Lyft or Uber on me:

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Website: http://www.sdmts.com/

Lyft: Your First Ride Is Free…On Me!

Uber: Your First Ride Is Free…On Me!

Winter Is Coming

FYI: This article will contain season 5 spoilers as well as some book. If you’ve not completed Season 5, or read the books you may want to turn back now! 

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One of the shows I’m simply obsessed with is Game of Thrones. Its one of those obsessions that have lead me to read every single book in its entirety in a span of 15 days, even the long drawn book 4 which is the book equivalent to watching paint dry, spend too many hours to count on countless tumbler pages and YouTube channels reading and watching fan theories and testing out just how likely they are. With all the books being completed up to last season and having some idea of how the show was going to play out has been amazing. In my opinion HBO has done a gorgeous job of the story lines they’ve chosen to follow and the synchronicity between the show and the books. Going in to season 6 without having a guide is a mixture of feelings for me, most of it is anxiousness. So much Anxiousness!  So a quick recap of the cliffhangers they left us with at the end of of season 5.

Arya: Arya is embarking on a journey to become a Faceless Man; an assassin if you will, sent on a mission to prove herself worthy of the title she’s sent on her first assassination to kill a fraudulent insurance agent. Instead of killing him she sees an old familiar face,  Meryn Trant, and takes the opportunity to kill him, resulting in her becoming blind.<Insert huge panic OMG face here> I adore Arya she is by far my favorite character of all. All of her attributes of fierceness, bravery, angst and a deep seeded need for revenge has shaped her in to remarkable character that you cannot help but cheer on and hope the she survives the carnage that George R.R. Martin is legendary for creating. In the books we know that the blindness is temporary she survives and continues along her Faceless Man pilgrimage; but what consequence will the murder of Trant create? Will Arya have the opportunity to check mark more names of her list?

Jon Snow: I Love Jon Snow! (I’m seriously thinking of having buttons made that express this). Jon Snow is what many consider the last great hope for the Stark Family, Winterfell and The North. However, last time we saw Jon, in both the book and the show, he was being stabbed repeatedly and left lying in a pool of his own blood in the snow. Heartbreaking. Gut wrenching. Tear inducing end scene. I was absolutely gutted in that moment. So many emotions and questions flooded through me. Is this the end? This cannot be the end?! Who’s going save Jon?! Where is Ghost?! OMG I cannot believe this is happening?! Help!!!! Yeah, needless to say all the feels for Jon Snow. He hasn’t had an easy time at all and he’s done everything in his power to do what he think is the best decision for The Night’s Watch, The Wildlings, and the Realm as whole. Will his final scenes of him laying in the snow be all of what’s left of Jon Snow or will he find someway to survive his wounds, triumph, and punish those who sought to end his days?

Sansa: Let me be clear; I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of Sansa. 100% of the calamity that has happened started with her. Had she only told the truth about Joffrey being a vicious little worm, and kept her mouth shut instead of telling Cersei that they were leaving Kings Landing and going back to Winterfell, Ned might still be alive, Katherine and her children would have more than likely made back home. With all that being said however, the brutality and rape which she suffered this past season, I wish that for no woman, real or fictional. I’ll fully admit I was somewhat okay with the harshness she received from Joffrey because again that’s what she wanted, and as far as I was concerned she made the bed and now she has to lie in it. Ramsey Bolten on the other hand, is a whole different type of beast. Ramsey is the hallmark of what it means to be cruel, cold, unfeeling, and utterly despicable and spiteful. He has raped, beaten, humiliated and brutalized Sansa. So much to the point where she decided that the possibility of dying by jumping from on of the walls of Winterfell with Reek (formally known as Theon Greyjoy) was better than living. Does the pair survive the fall?  What consequences wait for them on the other side?

Bran Stark: Many may have forgotten about Bra. The last we saw him, He, And Hoader had finally made their way to the 3 Eyed Raven, who turns out is even more bizarre than it sounds. The 3 Eyed Raven is also a man who’s vowed to train Bran so that he can fully tap into and control his abilities that he’s discovering. So far these abilities have  manifested as glimpse in to the past, present, and future.  We also know that he has warg abilities, or the skill to possess any animal or human use them. So far we have seen Bran inhabit his direwolf Summer, Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, and of course Hoader. We are all curious to see what other abilities Bran will unlock and of course learn more about the 3 Eyed Raven

Kahleesi Daenerys: Last time we saw our shero, she was being carried away by Drogon the the dragon and dropped off somewhere in the plains surrounded by a group of Dothraki. Now this could be an exceptionally dangerous situation for Daenerys to be in, in Dothraki culture with the Khal dies, typically their wives are removed from the tribe and sent to live off in the Dothraki city.  Tales have been told about Kahleesi, will she be greeted as friend or foe by this new tribe?!

Tyrion: Living in exile Tyrion made his way to Mereen where Daenerys has been ruling, promising to be an ally in the future fight for Kingslanding, he’s agreed to stay in the city while Jorah and Dario go in search of Daenerys; suddenly a familiar face makes an appearance. Varys the Spider is in Meeren and offering his network of spies once again to Tyrion.

Cersie: Last we saw our second favorite one to hate, she had been stripped naked, head shaved and force to walk naked through the streets of Fleabottom up to the Red Keep. During her journey she is tormented by the subjects she loved to rule over. Once at the doors of the keep she is swept up by a giant figure clad in armor. Fans of the show know there is only one possible person who that could be. but he’s dead isn’t he?!

Jamie: Former King Slayer and incest enthusiast Jamie was last seen on a rescue mission of sorts to Dorne to reclaim his daughter/niece Mycella after Tyrion sent her away. Being seen as unwelcome guest Jamie and Bron did their best to sneak in the country, unfortunately they were captured by the Sand Snakes, aka the daughters of the recently deceased Red Viper, Oberyn Martell, who are being led by his paramour and mother of one of the Sand Snakes, Ellaria. Ellaria is poised for revenge for the death of beloved; enraged that  Doran Martell, the ruler of Dorne, will not take action she decided to takes matters in her own hands. Convinced by Doran that Jamie and crew should be freed, we see Ellaria give Mycella a good bye kiss as they board a ship towards Kings Landing. Once in the middle of the sea, we see Mycella with a nosebleed before collasping in Jamie’s arms. We then learn that Ellaria’s kiss was poisonous.

With so much that happened in this final episode the first episode of season 6 will be epic! Will we have answers to all these open questions or will it take an episode or two? Several possible spoilers have been leaked just this week as to the fate of two characters. I won’t comment on them at this time. I would rather wait to those episodes actually air to confirm as to rather or not I need to go in to mourning for one of my favorites. Please feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section. The new season premiers on April 24th at 9p.m. on HBO. Be sure to check the back here BlackNerdSQquad.com  during the week after the episode for my recap and thoughts on the episode!