Tag Archive | dorkitude

Momentary: Star Wars VII Edition

Vintage TV WatchingThis weekend, Mom and I watched The Force Awakens. She hadn’t seen it before, which is not unusual because I have to preview most things so I can tell her everything is going to be okay. Sort of like her personal Does The Dog Die. It’s a good system for us. I can reassure her, and I get at least one uninterrupted viewing.

Because Mom usually has a lot to say.

Speaking of SPOILERS (which I will be; this is your warning)…

As the opening crawl appears, I’m debating how much to tell her. This is my job, after all. I figure, I’ll get the basics out of the way, and let the details unfold.

Me: So, you should know, a major character gets killed.

Mom: What??

Me: You know it has to happen. Obi Wan had to die in the first one so Luke could do his Hero’s Journey thing.

lightsaber handoff

Probably Important

Mom: Luke dies??????

Me: No.

Mom: Is it Leia?

Me: No.

Mom: Chewbacca?

Me: No.

Mom: *thinks*  Is it Han?

Me: Yes. *watches warily for reaction*

Mom: Oh, well. He’s gotten really old anyway.

[I would have called that a burn, but it was too cold.]

Finn gets shot at, nearly blasted. Entire planets blow up. Cantina Castle implodes. 

Mom: DON’T LOSE LUKE’S LIGHTSABER.

Me: Jeez, Mom. Priorities.

Mom: If that lady with the glasses kept it in a box all this time, it must be important. Does she die? I really like her. Get on the Internet and find out.

Kylo Ren gets emo while the Darth Vader music plays. Cut to reveal Darth Vader Mask. 

Mom: Wait. So he’s Luke’s son?

Me: No, Mom. He’s Han’s kid.

Mom: How… but how is Vader his grandfather then?

Me: He’s Han and Leia’s kid.

Mom: Really?  Huh. I can’t picture them as good parents.

Me: Apparently they weren’t.

Luke and Kenobi Star Wars

Also could have used a haircut.

Mom: *pause*  He really needs a haircut.

Finn and Kylo Ren fight at the end. 

Mom: Does he (meaning Finn) die?

Me: No.

Mom: Does she (meaning Rey) die?

Me: No.

Mom: Does the bad guy (meaning Kylo Ren)  die?

Me: No.

Mom: *pause* Well, that’s disappointing.

Big awesome fight between Ren and Rey. 

Mom: (re: Kylo Ren and Rey)  They’re brother and sister.

Me: We don’t know yet.

Mom: No, I’m saying, I bet they’re brother and sister.

Me: They won’t do that. They already did that with Luke and Leia.

Mom: I don’t know. They keep rebuilding the Death Star with an access tunnel.

The credits roll.

Mom: Well, I’m glad the Hilter guy died.

Me: He didn’t die, Mom. The Supreme Leader Gollum told him to take a ship and get Kylo Ren and meet him.

Mom: *sigh* What I want to know is why are there so many people who want to be the supreme ruler. Sauron, and Voldemort, and the Emperor, now this guy. Why do all these guys want to be in charge? Where do they come from?

Me: Trump Tower, I think.

Mom: That’s not funny. She notices I’ve been taking notes. You’re not going to Tweet this, are you?

Me: I think I’m going to start a blog thing. I’ll call it a “Mom-entary.” What do you think?

Mom: I think that’s too much pressure on me. Just make me seem funny and nice.

Me: Not a problem. [Note: I didn’t make any of this stuff up.]

Mom: And don’t tell them that I called Han Solo old. I think he’s younger than me.

Me: Actually, I think he’s older.

Mom: Well, that’s a relief.

Be nice in the comments, she may read this to keep me honest.

 

 

Five-Layer Cake of Brain Food

 

I passed the 1k pin mark on my Pinterest board (link). Not that many in the grand scheme of things, but considering I started just to have a few boards for my most recent books. Spirit and Dust, for example. (link) Then I pinned some inspiration for my next project, and then I just started adding stuff I liked, and now it’s sort of all over the place. Just like my brain.

 

I’m pretty sure this makes me less cool than Tumblr, but I like the pinboard concept and also to pretend I’m going to do one of those IKEA hacks to turn two bookcases and a shower rod into a bunkbed fort. (No, I don’t have kids. Why do you ask?)

So what’s on my mind right now? Judging by the majority of my pins, I must be writing a book about a spinster dog-lady who solves crime while knitting, during a yacht race at a Rennaisance Faire (or possibly a costume party), in Cornwall, keeping her notes in a DIY planner, all while her house is being redecorated in cottage-shabby-post-hipster style. Oh, and she thinks she’s going to do workouts to flatten her abs and tone her tush, but probably won’t, juding by how many recipes for cheesecake she’s collected.

Okay, this isn’t really a clue to what I’m working on. This is just stuff I like—knights and dragons, historical clothes, ships, books, Jane Austen, fan stuff… There are also a lot of pins on the writing board and so. much. knitting.

But UNLIKE all the medical supply ads that pop up in adsense ever since I looked up the Hurry-cane for my grandmother, I’d say my Pinterest board is pretty on target with the major things that free associate in my brain.

The top five (not counting books or wrting, because obviously):

  1. Journals, books, and pens
  2. Knights, armor, archers, and general badassery
  3. Gorgeous historical fairy tale looking clothes
  4. Yachting
  5. So. Much. Yarn.
  6. Cheesecake recipies

Man. That is a fraction of what’s in my brain.

SO what would be on your mental pinboard? Any hobbys or current obsessions?

The (Cookie) Monster in All of Us (Movie Monday: Blooper Reel Edition)

The only thing that makes pop culture iconography better is when it involves Cookie Monster. Like the Siri/iPhone commercial where CM is waiting impatiently for Siri to count down the timer for his cookies in the oven. I have this theory that as adults we love CM as much as (or more than) we did as kids, because we’re all a little bit Cookie Monster, really, deep inside.

Apple just released the outtakes from the filming of that commercial. I have a bad feeling this is exactly how I’d be on set. Or in real life. Or all the time. So, enjoy.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Back in the days I had an allowance and few financial responsiblities, I briefly became a collector of things. The seeds, I suppose, were planted by my childhood collection of Star Wars action figures (which met a tragic end in an alluminum storage building one blistering Texas summer), and the all star cast of Barbie and friends who acted out my early storytelling efforts, before being relegated to the attic where a family of squirrels nested in their Interstellar Luxury Cruiser, aka Barbie Dream Mobile Home.

Funko Pop Boromir.jpgBut in general, I collected things to use, not things to put on a shelf. (Books, obviously, being the exception.) But like many youngsters with money and time on their hands, I fell into bad company. By which I mean the best company, but a company of enablers.

There were four of us, who met in a fan fiction chat room, as one does when you’re in school and procrastinating that term paper. Two were already master hunters and gatherers of collectibles, and they soon showed CM and me the ways of the Force.

See, it wasn’t just about owning the thing. It was the stalking of the prey and the tireless pursuit once started. Trips to every Toys R Us in Birmingham, crawling under independent toy store shelves to see if just maybe they had that one Breyer Arabian way back behind the others. And eBay. Good God, eBay. You never saw someone so good at the Gamesmanship of the Snipe as my friend S.

At first I was content to come along for the ride. But I’m a nerd, which means there is a larger than average world of things for me to collect. First there was that Eowyn action figure…and so I had to get Aragorn. And Legolas came with a horse. And speaking of horses, there are Breyers, where the only grooming required is a bit of dusting now and then.

Obviously you couldn’t have a Rogue action figure without a Magneto Gambit action figure, and that Victorian Christmas Barbie’s green velvet bustled gown is exactly what you would wear if you were a Victorian lady at Christmas. Other people gamble. I played to find a gem at a price that fit in my grad student budget.

But collecting takes time and money and space, and when you chuck everything to become a starving artist, you don’t really have any of those. You have way better things—but you have to clear out temporal, financial, and emotional space for them.

And let’s face it. Keeping things Mint in Box takes up a lot of room.

Long story long, my toys collectibles now have a size and monetary limit. Because I’m an adult that way.

So, back to eBay, in the circular way of things. I’ve just gotten back from the post office where I said a nostalgic farewell to 1998 Portrait Edition Princess Leia in the Medal Ceremony Gown from the end of Star Wars.

In the end it was less painful than immediately saying farewell to the money she brought me, as I sent it off to pay my taxes.

In the immortal words of Sir Paul McCartney: “Hello Goodbye.”

And Texas is slang for “crazy.”

So, in Norway, when something is completely nuts, it’s Texas. As in, “der var helt texas,” or, “that’s totally texas.” (Yes, lower case. Because it’s an adjective. Duh.)

I don't know what's in this picture, but apparently it's pretty awesomely out of control.

I don’t know what’s in this picture, but apparently it’s pretty awesomely out of control.

Now, mind you, a situation can be totally texas, but not a person. Which is an interesting (and oddly logical) distinction. Here’s the tumbler post that brought this to the attention of Texas Monthly:

texas-norway

Clearly someone in Norway has once been to a meeting of our state legislature.

I’ll just cite the Texas Monthly article that cites and example of a fisherman telling the local news about the rare sverdfisk he caught in Northern Norway. (Oh hey! THAT’S what that picture is about) “I heard a loud noise from the bay, but I did not know where it came from right away. Thirty seconds to a minute later it jumped out in the fjord. I got to see some of it before I took up the camera,” he says and continues: “It was totally texas!”

Maybe this isn’t as funny to people who aren’t from Texas. It’s just so random and yet so utterly perfect. The logic goes “Texas” (the state) = “the Wild West” = “totally bonkers.” Which about sums things up, from Austin hipsters to big trucks to Texas Longhorn football games, and yes, even blowhards. Everything is bigger (and nuttier) in Texas.

det var helt texas gothic

Leonardo’s To Do List and Michelangelo’s Groceries

I really like lists.

Leonardo da Vinci's To Do List circa 1490 (direct translation, amendments in brackets by Robert Krulwich). Illustration by Wendy Macnaughton for NPR. Original Article here.

Leonardo da Vinci’s To Do List circa 1490 (direct translation, amendments in brackets by Robert Krulwich). Illustration by Wendy Macnaughton for NPR. Original Article here.

Lists, timelines, graphs, charts…not because I’m the most methodical of people, but precisely because I’m not. There’s always a lot going on in noggin, and it’s not terribly orderly in there. The big ideas are kind of wibbly wobbly all over time and space, and the little idea are sort of this gnat like cloud around my head.

I’ve always kept a sort of catchall journal. My packing list for World Con will be right next to my character notes for Splendor Falls and a (terrible) sketch of the layout of Bluestone Hill.  A reminder to get dog food is on the back of the page that has the Goodnight family tree which is next to my notes about who I’m going to vote for in the next election. It’s a little willy nilly, but it’s the way I’ve done it for ten years, and the notebooks are lined up on my shelf.

Recently, as part of an ongoing quest not to forget so many things, I’ve been on a quest to find The Perfect System that works with my system. The smartphone is great, because there’s nothing like something that will ding at you. But there’s also nothing like paper for permanence. In college, I used to study by rewriting my class notes into a neat outline. By the time I was done, I knew the material. I am much more likely to remember something I write by hand than enter in my phone. (Which is not to say I’ll remember it, just that I’m more likely.)

There’s the idea of physical permanence, too. When I look through a previous year’s notebook, it’s interested to see where my head was at a particular moment, or what I was dealing with while I wrote X book, or what I thought was important to remember from Y conference. I’ve found ideas jotted down on paper napkins, and business cards from people I’ve met (sometimes I’ll even remember who they were). Sometimes I’m impressed with my brilliance. Sometimes I wonder why on earth I though I needed to pack three sweaters to go to Alabama in October.

I remember finding a stack of letters that a great-great-aunt wrote in the early 19th century. Genealogy is great, but reading Audrey describe her train trip to Palacios and ask if Rosemary (!!) has recovered yet from her cold, made her a real person.

Da Vinci's packing list.

Da Vinci’s packing list. “Get hold of a skull.” (Image from an article in The Daily Mail)

The illustration at the top is a direct translation of a recently discovered (well, recent in 2011) “to do list” jotted down by Leonardo da Vinci. I mean, that guy wrote everything down. But It makes me happy to know sometimes he wrote it down just for himself.

Da Vinci’s notebooks are a record of his genius and all, but this packing list sketches a more personal picture. No pun intended. (Okay, yeah, pun totally intended.) “Spectacles with Case. Human skull. Nutmeg.” I’m sorry, but how awesome is it that “nutmeg” seems like the oddest thing on this list.

Michelangelo's Shopping List (image credit: Casa Buonarroti)

Michelangelo’s Shopping List (image credit: Casa Buonarroti)

Then there’s Michelangelo’s grocery list, which he had to illustrate because his servant couldn’t read. Let’s just think about that for a sec. This is a grocery list illustrated by the painter of the Sistine Chapel. And we know he liked herring and anchovies. Yum.

Not that I’m comparing myself to Leonardo or Michelangelo (even in a Mutant Ninja Turtle sense). I’m not jotting things down for posterity… just to remember them after I’ve slept and cleared the data banks.

I mean, I have to do something so I can get on with the business of being a genius!

Edited to add: I came across this in my quest for the Perfect System. (Pinterest, incidentally, was so helpful that it was not helpful.) Twelve types of journals you can keep. 

Are you a lister? Is yours one of those planners covered in colored pen and washi tape? What kinds of things do you like to write down? (Typing counts, too!)

No Penguins Were Harmed Making This Post

Today is my two month new house anniversary. I still love my little townhouse. I thought that having neighbors in such close proximity would take getting used to, but really? I lived in the land of the big house and small yard, so this isn’t that much different.

In fact, it’s kind of quiet. But this morning when I let the dogs out, the neighbors were having an argument. (These are the neighbors who have a cat that likes to come over and taunt my dogs by prancing in front of the window.)  Of course, as soon as the dogs are done, Mom and I are pressed up against the porch door, shamelessly eavesdropping. I haven’t had any neighbor drama since the pot-dealing teenagers across the street from the old house got sent off to military school.  I’ve really missed it.

“I think someone is getting kicked out,” says Mom.

“She’s not going to kick him out,” I whisper back. “She’s pregnant.”

“She might,” says Mom sagely. “It’s the twenty-first century, not the nineteen fifties.”

“I hope he takes the cat,” I say.

It’s at this point that I realize that Mom and I have become characters in a Monty Python sketch.

Not really, of course. I have a flat screen TV. A penguin couldn’t sit on top.

*rimshot*

Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

Actually, mom and I each have a TV, so exploding penguins aren’t as much of a problem as dueling explosion movies  from the 90’s. She likes Independence Day.  I like The Rock. (The movie with Ed Harris, not the actor Dwayne Johnson. Not that I have a problem with him, either.)

Also, is it weird that Independence Day is almost 20 years old? It’s older than a lot of you. Will Smith was the hot young guy who punched aliens in the face. But it’s weird now, because the crushes of my youth are now playing Somebody’s Dad. I mean, still hot, but I’m just putting that in perspective for you.

The nineties movies aren’t on purpose, by the way. It just happens that 1) they are a particular kind of awesome (case in point, The Fifth Element) before filmmakers had the need to be all brooding and dark and stuff, or even make sense, really and 2) they are on TV all the time.

Also, no penguins are harmed in those explosions.

rimshot gif photo: drum GIF Rimshot_zps53c00dd7.gif