Got Summer?

So, what's in store now that the line is done and Episode III and Serenity have been seen?

Well, it's back to my more prosaic life. I end Maymester tomorrow at 5pm--yippee!--to start Summer Semester on Monday--sigh. No, really, I'm actually always glad to take a course--and let me tell you, now I'm glad to have ten weeks to take it in, instead of three! I'm also starting a new job on Thursday, working at the Digital Projects Lab of the UNT Library, transcribing letters that date to the 1830's Republic of Texas days and creating metadata records about them. In addition, I will continue my position at UNT's Center for Distributed Learning, acting as research assistant and jack-of-all-trades.

Oh, and I have my own mural-painting business, have I mentioned that? Monday, I begin an undersea-themed nursery that will feature--I'm pretty proud of this--a six-foot-long blue whale. I spent about ten hours one day online getting reference photographs of coral, fish, and the like--I think I ended up with twenty pages of coral photos alone!

So, yeah. Between school, two jobs, and my business, it's not like I expect to have anything to do this summer... sounds kind of boring, yaknow?

Another thing I'm excited about right now is an art project for New Braunfels (where I grew up). The Art League is calling for artist submissions of concepts for four-foot tall beer steins that will be decorated and then placed on display next year during tourist season. My mom and dad, both members of the Art League, Alex, and myself are submitting separate concepts for steins. We won't hear about acceptance until sometime in August-November, but I can't help being excited about it. It's very similar to the Cows on Parade project that has been held in various cities, that I always wished I had been a part of.

So that's my update! (Yes, yes, photos still forthcoming for the patient. School and work manage to suck up a lot of my time right now, but I am strongly thinking about the photos!)


Can't Stop the Signal

(100% organic and spoiler-free)


Now I will try to compose myself enough to write a blog post.

Trey Stokes: you wanted a movie with smugglers and spaceships, this is it. No rules, deep characters, and great lines. This is the movie we waited for.

To a beat the dead horse of a worn-out cliche, this movie blew me away. It was grainy and the color-timing wasn't properly balanced (oh, what words you learn at an advance screening), and apparently the soundtrack wasn't there for 75% of the movie--I wouldn't know, because my husband had to inform me afterward. I was too busy looking at all the pretties.

And about "can't stop the signal" itself, which had no meaning for me prior to the movie except "that Firefly-related website where we can find info on advance screenings," just know this. You will know. And in the meantime, it is a metaphor, and it means: go and tell your friends, because come September you will see box office records crumble as this non-star-driven movie amazes an entire nation of people used to formulaic films. This movie could fly on its own--but it won't have to, because everyone who has seen Firefly and now everyone who has seen Serenity will come out, impassioned by this story, and will bring their friends, and we will show everyone that this is the most successfully cancelled show, the most incredible movie--I can't even say so many good things about this movie that it would later come as a let-down to you. No disappointments here.

Let me clarify:
ROTS is great. It is the movie I waited for--years, then weeks in line. It did not disappoint.

Serenity is a different film altogether. It is the unasked-for gift--or rather, the gift we all desperately wanted after Firefly was torn from us in its genius infancy, but that we knew we would never receive. And miraculously, here it is, and it's something incredible that we couldn't have even imagined.

And I must say, I doubted. Not once the trailer was released--!!!--but when rumors circulated that Joss was re-visiting the earlier story to bring in an audience that had not watched the series. I thought, that's ridiculous. He can't re-tell the series in one movie, and it will be all boring re-hash, and we'll have to sit through short versions of key show scenes.

Do not doubt. Believe.
I know this resounds with those of you who have seen Serenity.)

Oh, and bring ten other friends with you to the theater in September, okay? It shouldn't be hard--show them the trailer, and if you're really a good friend, you'll kidnap them for an entire weekend--don't worry, you'll only have to convince them to watch the first episode, and then they'll watch the entire rest of the series on their own, that weekend. But those that you can't kidnap, bring to the theater anyway. They can watch the series while they wait for this movie to come to DVD--what, a freakin' year from now?!!

Sigh. Sometimes the incredible parts of life make the other parts--and the waiting parts--really suck.

Okay, that's it, who's lining up for the September showing?


I Have a Good Feeling About This...

So: the review. (warning: spoilers ahead for those of you who haven't been able to see ROTS yet.)

I've heard a lot of people--SW and non-SW fans alike--saying that ROTS is their third-favorite Star Wars movie, ahead of ROTJ. I can't imagine that--personally, I think if Lucas even made a movie that was so spectacular that it was "better" than the OT, I still wouldn't like it so well. There's that nostalgia factor, for one. And I personally like Ewoks and Yub-Nub (no hate mail, please).

But I will say that ROTS is above and beyond the best movie of the prequels, as we had all hoped. There's darker action, better action, and in particular a shining opening act with the space battle/rescuing of Palpatine. It's action, it's humor, and it just feels more like classic Star Wars. The acting is better all around--no, not perfect, in all likelyhood due mostly to directing and dialogue, which we should all expect by now. But it's a good Star Wars film, and I think Lucas did a good job of showing Anakin's transformation and motivations.

Some specific comments... Less CG, particularly with the Clone Troopers--and did we have to see their faces so much?--would have been nice. I was so glad that Darth Plaugus has been at least implicated as the power that created Anakin from the Force. It's much better than a) having Anakin as the Virgin Birth, or b) my personal belief that his mom got knocked up at a party and was too embarrassed to mention this to Qui-Gonn. I'm still not satisfied that no real reason was given as to why the Jedi Council didn't notice Palpatine's Sithness--or even his Force capabilities--for so long, and I can't tell you if I am satisfied or not with the mention of Qui-Gonn finding the secret to immortality as reasons for the diappearing/not disappearing death acts scattered throughout the septology. There were questions that weren't even addressed, such as: who the HECK was Siphodius? (If this was explained in a book somewhere, please email me. I'm super curious!) But overall, a good movie. Some answers, more questions, but nicely done--again, particularly due to that rockin' beginning.

Quick answers:
Favorite moment: Dang it, don't ask me such hard questions.
Least favorite moment: Darth Vader's Young-Frankenstein-stiff "No!" as he learns of Padme's death. Arg, that one hurt.
Most nostalgic moment: Oddly makeup-ed as Tarkin was, I loved the Death Star construction at the end. I loved feeling completely tied into A New Hope.

The photos from the line... the photos are coming. No, really. I forgot that I had company over this weekend and that Maymester class to attend to, so the rest of the pictures are coming more slowly. Let me recover, get a chance to clean my house, finish my homework, and hopefully in the next week or so I can get those and the C3 pics completed and linked here.


Say Cheese

Here is the "Best Of" Album--photos from all days leading up the the big day, but NOT including the 19th. More complete photos to come later, as well as "day of" photos. Also, check out the Frozen One video.

Be patent, there's more to come!

Life After the Line

Well, the big night has come and gone. Right now, I am madly trying to catch up on work and school, so I won't be posting anything of note today. I'll try to get all the line and night-of photos compiled into an album by this weekend and post the link here. I had one or two people requesting a review of the movie posted on the blog, but I won't post that until I've seen the movie again on Friday (and my brain recovers from all the excitement and finds it easier to absorb the entirety of the movie). In the meantime, see my friend Kodiak's blog for a brief review.

The media has been asking us for days; now what? Aren't your little geek lives over without anything to wait for? To which I reply...
Serenity, Narnia, Batman Begins, Hobbit (I can hope, can't I?)--not to mention all the rest of the great movies we have to look forward to, and Star Wars TV--I'm personally iffy on the live-action idea, but I dearly wish for more Clone Wars animation action.

And did I mention Serenity? May 26th is now less than a week away... and if you think that means I won't go see it again when it's released in September... then you've never watched Firefly and therefore don't understand.


The End of the Line

Hey, look--text in a blog--what a novel idea! THis blog has really become picture-heavy during my time in the line. I thought I'd take some time to ponder for a bit as the line draws toa close.

I've quoted him on this too many times already, but Jerome compares the end of the line to high school graduation (although I'd have to go with college; I was so ready to leave high school when it was over that there was little regret). There's the same excitement--finally seeing the movie is graduation--yet also the same sadness--leaving friends that we've lived with daily. We've endured moonings, eggings, teenagers threatening to beat us up (or telling us that Star Trek rocks--tell us something we don't alreay know), and fireworks taped to a tent. Together, we've made fast food runs at every restaurant in the surrounding twenty miles, and we've given tips on which Burger Kings were giving out the toys and which ones became bitter as soon as they saw a customer in a Star Wars shirt. We've smiled for the media until our cheeks became rubberized, and we've hung a stuffed Jar-Jar from the main tent. This is the end of the line.

We were offered sneak preview tickets to ROTS last night--first for $40, then for free. But these people don't understand the spirit of the line, the whole point that we're here. Or the fact that, having waited three weeks, I certainly won't pay $40 when I can wait one more day.

But the real point is the community. I want to see it with my friends, with the hardcore fans that will truly appreciate the movie and fully understand it. I want to be a part of the same community that when we watched AOTC together at midnight three years ago, everyone laughed at Palpatine's clasic line, "I love democracy." I went again to AOTC the next morning to a packed-out theater and after that line, you could hear crickets chirping; the atmosphere was gone. That is why I am here. To see this movie that we've waited three weeks, three years, twenty-eight years, our lives, for, and to see it with these people who have also been waiting this long.

One guy, Brian, commented in an email that he's trying to use me to inspire his girlfriend that there *are* female geeks out there. And I never thought that was unusual! We have a large group of ladies in our fan club, which is great. I grew up loving Star Wars--I didn't have any of the toys--man, was I jealous of girls with brothers--but in high school, my two (female) best friends were both into Star Wars as much as I was. It wasn't until college that I found out that that was kind of unusual! You just can't beat the mix of adventure, imagination, romance, and humor in the SW saga, particularly in the original Trilogy.

That's all the thoughts from Pink Seven this morning...


A New Hope...

...for geeks everywhere: there are women who enjoy Star Wars!

Just a few of the Lovely Ladies of DFW Fanforce!

We've had at least seven others come out, as well. Our club shall be the envy of geeks everywhere!!

Good Morning, Ewok Village: Part Deux

And more tents join the fun--sixteen now!

(That's my husband Alex holding up our DFW Fanforce banner.)

We're getting media out here pretty regularly now. It's a little hard to concentrate on my schoolwork with all this hoopla! We've all been talking about how excited and yet how sad we are that this is almost over. Jerome put it well when he said it was like graduating high school--looking forward to the movie, but going to miss hanging out with everyone.

Nuggets of Truth:
* You know you're a true geek when...
...the only time you've ever tanned has been in line for Star Wars.
* The Skywalker Whine Theory: the whining gene is carried in the right hand; as soon as Anakin and Luke lose their right hands, they snap out of it.

See more Tales from the Line at the DFW Fanforce forum... including fireworks attacks and mooning incidents.


Yoda, You Seek Yoda

Anaka and her cuddly Star Wars friends:

And proof that I am actually at the theater: our Grand Prize Yoda protecting me from hecklers.

I'll be uploading further entertaining photos of our time in line later this week. I'm currently working on title-ing the existing photos and compiling them into a web album. Also, our C3 photos are coming along--we have two out of (seven or nine?) albums completed so far. It takes awhile to title all these things!!

Just three days left... and now I can't even leave when I need to, since my vehicle is overheating. Guess I'll be sticking it out here for good!


Snuggly, Yoda Is

Jerome and Yoda share some quality time.



The lovely Helen enchants us with her sinuous curves as she undulates to Star Wars music--with a lightsaber, no less! Today we were enthralled by her performance twice, and the GameStop crew came by with game consoles and Star Wars swag.

Now the evening's off to a normal weekend pace with plenty of teenage hecklers gawking at us--all in a night's work for us geeks. They tend to ask, with disdain, what on earth we do out here. What do we do? Why, we're teaching Jerome how to juggle. Heck, why not? We have hours and hours on our hands...


I Shall Call it... Mini-Tie

Yet more evidence that life in line is great--a guy from Lego stopped by this afternoon to give us free Lego Star Wars Mini Tie Fighters! Yippee! Use the brick, Luke...

Jeff also stopped by to bring our spiffy-keen Line-Up Shirts. You want this... don't you?


Now That's Podcasting

We had a podcast from the line last night--check it out! The guys from SwitchedOn came and blathered about Star Wars with us, despite heinous wind in the mikes. They're talking about coming out again and having another mike for we line-geeks.

Afterward, there was much dueling with Force FX lightsabers. One duel between Brian and Brandon was particularly funny... Check out the video. Here's Norman and Brian with their sabers:

I've just turned in my final assignment for the semester--whew! No more school! ...until Monday, when Maymester begins. Right--why did I sign up for that again? I finished everything here form my laptop in line--I've now logged 218 hours and am still first, woohoo! Still having a blast, hanging out with friends, and making new ones.

Alex and I are super excited about the 26th now--we have tickets to see an advance screening of Serenity--that won't come out until September! I know, you're drooling. We can't wait!!

(shout out to Brian for coming up with the title for this post..)


The View From the Front

As of yesterday's total hours, I have 129 logged and am officially first in line! I'm excited; I thought I'd be about tenth, so this is pretty neat. Of course, admitting that I'm geeking out on that fact makes me look even more hopelessly geeky than I already did... but probably most of the people reading this blog are either geeks themselves, or know me well enough that my reputation for insanity is well-established.

In any case, cheerio from the Front of the Line!

Our nice new meeting pavilions at the front of the theater:

Our previous meeting tent, that was demolished by weather and vandals:


Geeks' Natural Habitat

And now we present: the lovely Cinemark Legacy on a gorgeous May evening:

We've had some questions about what it's like waiting in line. Well, in-between duct-taping tarps in the rain during storms, we enjoy ourselves quite a bit. We've got a modded X-box and a TV, so we watch a fair amount of shows and movies, as well as play games. A few of us have laptops, from which we work, do schoolwork, and surf the internet (which mainly consists of checking weather reports to know when the rain will return). We've played dominos, go fish, poker, yahtzee, and the Lego Star Wars game. A TV has broken, a Dr. Pepper has exploded, and teenagers and a storm conspired to demolish our first meeting tent. We've been on the local news and radio stations, and a few DFW FanForce members were drawn into a comic in the local newspaper (I'm jealous).

Did I mention the rain? The cold, freezing rain?

But most of the time, we just sit around socializing. Yesterday, a reporter asked me why on earth we would do such a ridiculous thing for a movie. But this isn't, for me, about Revenge of the Sith--okay, it's about 10% about ROTS. About 20% more of that is for the entire Star Wars saga, the larger story and the fantastic universe that Lucas created for our imaginations to roam within. But when you come down to it, I spend time in this line because of these people. We don't just share Star Wars--we share a love of sci-fi in general, of great story-telling, of adventurous films and great villains in capes. We share laughter, blankets, and stories.

And here are some geeks in their natural habitat:


Good Morning, Ewok Village!

Ah, the relaxing sound of the freeway that lulls us to sleep, the refreshing sound of the sprinklers that ease us awake at 2 am... Such is the life of the few, the proud, that call Ewok Village their home.


Life in Line

Well, this is Day Four of the line. We're lining up with the DFW FanForce group to support Rainbow Days, a Dallas charity, and to get good seats! We've had tickets since the 15th, so this is purely for good works, geek companionship, and a good seat.

We pitched our tent at the Cinemark Legacy lot on Saturday and have been camping there ever since. Most asked questions (by the press, passers-by, and scoffing teenagers) include:

Where do you go to the bathroom?
How long have you been out here?
How long will you be here?
Do you still go to work?
Do you have a life?
Why would you do such an incredibly weird thing?
How on earth does this support charity?

I long to answer such questions with the age-old universal answer "42," but in fact the answers are...

1) Cinemark lets us in until about an hour after closing, then from about midnight until around 10am, we use the RaceTrack gas station nearby.
2) Four days. With the weather, it feels like fifteen.
3) Fifteen (until May 18th/19th at midnight).
4) Yes, we work. We sign in and out each day in a logbook that tracks our total hours, and some people bring laptops to finish work in the line. We don't just sit there for three weeks straight doing nothing!
5) Yes. If you're rude enough to ask such a question, you obviously have no strange passions in your life and I feel sorry for you.
6) Because it's the last of a series of movies that, for our group of friends, has been a big part of our lives. We don't worship the Force or name our kids Darth Vader (although I could tell you stories...), we just share a common interest that brings us together.

And the important question, #7: How does this support charity? Well, in a couple of ways. Our line tends to bring a lot of media attention, which in turn brings a lot of people walking by to gape at the people weird enough to sit in freezing, rainy wind outside. We tell these people about the charity we support, and enough of them donate pocket change or donate toward raffle tickets that we end up raising money. The raffle offers second place in the line (with no waiting!) and a variety of Star Wars-themed prizes. Also, a number of us are seeking support from family, friends, and amiable strangers who will pledge a certain amount of money per hour we spend in line, rather like a Walk- or Jog-a-thon. If you are interested in supporting any of us, please email me. More updates, and photos of our in-line shenanigans, to come!