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My Comic Book Origin Story by Craig Kerbrat

Once upon a time, I was a baby nerd just figuring out that I didn’t really care if people knew I loved all things sci-fi and fantasy. It was about 15 years ago and my last year of high school was coming to an end. The first X-Men movie had come out, I was obsessed with the X-Men: Evolution cartoon, and I wanted more. And that’s when I discovered Marvel comic books for the first time.

One of the first titles I ever picked up was Exiles, a series about a ragtag group of X-Men-related characters from different universes pulled together to save the multiverse from destruction. I remember picking up a few random issues at first, simply because the cover art looked cool. I took them home, read them, fell in love, and immediately went about finding all of the back issues. I read every issue until the series ended in 2009, and I’ve been waiting for more ever since.

This week, Exiles has finally returned.

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I literally could not wait to read this one today. I bought and downloaded it and read it on my lunch at work. I might have run out of time and finished it when I was supposed to be working right after lunch. Oops.

The book is different, of course. The new writer even specifically mentioned that it won’t be the same old Exiles. But I loved the first issue.

They brought back Blink, one of the main characters of the original series, who lasted almost the entire run. To bring back a series like this, you’ve got to bring back a classic character, and she’s the obvious choice.

The other return from the original is the Tallus, a bracelet-like device used to jump between universes. Interestingly, in the original series it was basically just a tool, whereas now it seems like it’s got a mind of its own. One of the mysteries of the new series.

Everything else about the series, apart from the jumping between universes, feels new. There’s a new threat. New characters. New mysteries. I need to read more so I can get a better understanding of where the book is going.

One of my favourite things about Exiles classic and new is the characters. Every characters is an alternate version of a character you know. Even Blink is the Age of Apocalypse version of a less famous version of herself. This series so far has introduced Khan, an old grizzled version of Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and a seemingly less heroic version of Iron Lad, who is already a young Kang the Conqueror.

Getting confused? Don’t worry. Those details aren’t important, but they’re fun for a giant nerd like me.

Next issue looks to be a good one. We get the introduction of a version of Valkyrie based on the character seen in Thor: Ragnarok, who is very different from the usual comics version. I’m definitely excited to see Tessa Thompson’s likeness running around the Marvel multiverse. We’ve also got an X-babies version of Wolverine set to join the team. ‘Cause why not?

I'm really curious if there will be more to the team, and what kind of turnover we might see with the team members  the original series saw quite a few changes in the roster  no one was ever safe, and characters often died on missions, only to be replaced shortly after by another strange alternate version of a familiar character.

I'm also really curious if we’ll find out what happened to the rest of the surviving characters from the original series. Nocturne and Morph are two of my favourite Marvel characters, and neither has been seen since Exiles ended. I’d love to see them again at some point in the future.

Overall, it seems like it’s going to be a weird and awesome ride. I can’t wait. Comic books are one of my nerdy passions, and I love that Marvel is constantly renewing my excitement to read them. Fifteen plus years, and I’m still as excited about an Exiles comic as I was way back then.

New Start by Craig Kerbrat

Oh, hey long-ignored blog. How's it going? 

Not so great? Feeling abandoned?

I'm sorry about that.

I am not entirely sure what happened, but somehow I became entirely discouraged and unmotivated to post anything here, and every time I thought about posting something, I just kind of... didn't. So this is my first attempt at rectifying that. It's not a super exciting post, just me talking. But it's something!

A while ago I started to think that I had nothing "interesting" to say here, and my blog just kind of devolved into me posting about my fitness failures. And it just made me feel kind of bad about myself. So I stopped posting. 

But I've just read a really great book by an awesome internet lady, Felicia Day. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Here's some info about it. Go read it. It's cool. I laughed. I cried. While on an airplane surrounded by strangers. But most importantly, I was also inspired. 

I have creative ideas in my head that often get crushed down with "it's not good enough" thoughts, and reading Felicia's book has made me decide to try anyway. 

So I think for the time being, I'm going to chronicle my attempts to be creative here. And maybe post other nerdy stuff too. But I have this story idea I've been kicking around for a while, and I think it might finally be time to get to work on it properly. And then I can post my progress here. Remember that whole "being accountable" thing I use to talk about with my failed attempts at getting fit? Maybe it'll work better here.

In any case, this is a new starting point. So let's do this! 

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

I started this post yesterday, but decided I wasn't really in the mood, so I saved it and left it for later. Today I'm still not feeling it, but that's not what this is about, so I'm just going to have to suck it up and do it. So here it is.

August 23-29

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 0
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 46
  • Top Steps: 19126
  • Starting Weight: 78.1 kg
  • Ending Weight: 77.8 kg
  • Change: -0.3 kg
  • Total Change: -0.6 kg

Another week, another disappointing update. I really don't feel like talking about it, so I'm just not going to. I swear I'll get my groove back. Just not today.

I'm going to try to post some other things this week that I've been dragging my feet on, so hopefully that will make up for this sad little post. Anyway, it's late on Monday night and I need to get to bed. G'night! 

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

Hello! Welcome to my weekly fitness blog post where I recap the previous week's achievements and failures when it comes to my fitness plans. This was my week. 

August 16-22

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 0
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 39
  • Top Steps: 13939
  • Starting Weight: 77.8 kg
  • Ending Weight: 78.1 kg
  • Change: +0.3 kg
  • Total Change: -0.3 kg

So, this week went pretty much exactly how I didn't want it to go.  I basically entirely forgot about all things fitness. I totally forgot about my push-up challenge, I still didn't make it to the gym, and I didn't end up making it out for a run even once. It was a disappointing week for me fitness-wise.

My first week back at work after a week of vacation time was busy and exhausting, so by the time I got home every evening, I was pretty much just ready to eat, veg, and go to bed. And I had a hard enough time just getting up in time for work that getting up earlier to fit in some exercise really wasn't an option.

So where do I go from here? This summer, I've really gone off course. Almost every week it's another "I was lazy again" post. I'm really not sure how to fix things. I do think it will get easier once the summer heat starts to die down as we head into fall, and at the same time work should get less crazy, so that should mean I'm less exhausted after work. It's what I'm hoping for, anyway. I'll try to fit it in where I can and get back on track ahead of that, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it either.

Anyway, that's my fitness post for the week. I'm pretty excited 'cause I've got my sister visiting and staying with me, so it's sure to be a fun week. I hope you have a great week too!

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

Hey! It's Sunday, so it's time for my weekly fitness update. And I actually did something fitness-y this week! So that's fun! Check it out below! 

August 9-15

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 2
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 32
  • Top Steps: 13939
  • Starting Weight: 77.1 kg
  • Ending Weight: 77.8 kg
  • Change: +0.7 kg
  • Total Change: -0.6 kg

So I didn't get in any gym workouts, but I did go running twice. It was actually pretty nice to get out running again. And I improved my pace a lot between the two. There was still a lot of walking involved, but I didn't feel nearly as out of shape as I thought I would after not running for so long.

I also did a little better with my challenge this week. I did my ten push-ups 6 out of the 7 days. I forgot on Monday when I went for my first run. Interesting fact: the push-ups have still not gotten any easier for me. I'm going to continue with just the ten per day for now, and maybe increase it later. 

The only thing I'm mildly concerned about after a good week, is that I was off work all week so it was easy to just go for a run when I felt like it. Now that I'm back to work, am I going to feel like doing anything athletic before or after work? I'd like to think yes, but I'm worried. I know me. I know I have been struggling to get up early, and after a long day of work and transit, I'm usually feeling pretty tired when I get home. So I need to figure out how I'm going to motivate myself to keep up the momentum. I guess that will be my project for the week.

Anyway, that's what I've got for the week. Thanks for reading, and have an awesome Sunday! 

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

It's a new week, so that means it's time for my weekly fitness update! There's not a lot to say again, so let's get right to it.

August 2-8

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 0
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 25
  • Top Steps: 14804
  • Starting Weight: 77.8 kg
  • Ending Weight: 77.1 kg
  • Change: -0.7 kg
  • Total Change: -1.3 kg

I'm going to start with the challenge I set for myself last week. I decided I was going to do 10 push-ups every day, and then look at increasing the goal each week. I sort of forgot about the challenge barely into the week... I did fine on Sunday and Monday, but totally forgot on Tuesday, so I did double on Wednesday to make up for it. But then I completely forgot for the rest of the week. So this week I'm going to try again with the 10. I'm setting myself a reminder in my phone to hopefully help make it happen. 

I have kept up both my steps streak, and my streak of no other exercise outside of that. I'm off work this week, I took a week of vacation time so I can relax and recharge. I'm thinking this might finally be the week I get back into the groove of things. If I want to go to the gym or go for a run, I can do it anytime. I don't have to get up ridiculously early, so it seems like a good week to get the feel for things again.

And that's my weekly update! Here's hoping I've got something more exciting to say next week! 

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

Alrighty. These Sunday Fitness Updates have basically become updates on what I'm not doing to keep fit. I know I'll turn it around eventually, but so far, I'm keeping with the trend. 

July 26-August 1

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 0
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 18
  • Top Steps: 20992
  • Starting Weight: 78.7 kg
  • Ending Weight: 77.8 kg
  • Change: -0.9 kg
  • Total Change: -0.6 kg

I didn't run, I didn't work out. It's been so hot and it just saps any motivation I might have. I need to figure out a way to get over it and stay active even when it's warm, but I haven't figured it out yet. I did keep up my steps, and my streak is almost at three weeks. That's something.

I've been thinking about ways to push myself to be active throughout the week. I was thinking about starting small with a push-up challenge. Doing ten push-ups a day for a week, and then slowly increasing it. It's an idea to challenge myself and get me back into the mindset of getting fit, even if it's just a small push to start with. I've started with today, and I'll continue through the week and see how it goes! 

And I think that's all I've got to say for this week. I started this post this morning and nearly 12 hours later I'm finally finishing it. Anyway, have a great week! 

Sunday Fitness Update by Craig Kerbrat

Yaaaaay it's fitness update time. I'm in bed, still half asleep, but let's do this! (Before I drift back into dreamland.)

July 19-25

  • Workouts: 0
  • Run Training: 1
  • 10000 Steps: 7
  • Steps Streak: 11
  • Top Steps: 13228
  • Starting Weight: 77.5 kg
  • Ending Weight: 78.7 kg
  • Change: +1.2 kg
  • Total Change: +0.3 kg

So, I've got my steps streak going again. After breaking it on Tuesday of the week before last, I'm up to 11 days in a row. I got the 10-day streak notification in the UP app on Friday and I was pretty excited about it. We'll see how long I can keep it going this time. 

I still haven't been back to the gym, but I did go for a little bit of a run yesterday. I didn't really intend to, I was going for a walk to get my steps for the day, and I decided I wanted to try out my new Nike running shoes that I bought in San Diego, and the next thing I knew I was running. I will probably need to start up the Zombies, Run! 5k Training app again, but it was nice to get in a little bit of running again. 

Other than that, I have nothing to report. It's rainy this weekend so perhaps I'll feel more into going to the gym again, but it's also supposed to get really hot again this week, so that might just make me want to sleep in all week instead. I guess we'll just have to see how the week goes when I'm back here next week. 

Have a great Sunday!