Weekend O' Fun

It's hard to describe how awesome it was, but I'll try. (I should have allllll the photos up on Flickr at some point this coming weekend.)

Jared drove in from Abilene Friday night, and for once we all went immediately to bed. This is how you can tell how important Star Wars is to us--we all went to bed shortly after midnight on a Friday, voluntarily!

We got up early-ish Saturday and picked up Claire, another friend who just happens to be my GovDocs student assistant, at her home. We all sang along--loudly, if not well--to oldies, thanks to the glories of the Siruis Satellite radio in my Awesome New Ride. (Which, btw, I've named Dreamsicle. It doesn't fit in with my previous car-naming scheme, but sometimes things find their own names, y'know?)

We arrived in Ft. Worth at the Museum of Science and History for their Star Wars exhibit... only to find that the adjacent Will Rodgers Auditorium was hosting a gun show the same day. No parking. Less than no parking. We ended up parking on the grass, crossing our fingers that we wouldn't get a ticket.

Inside, we found... a huge, long line. Because, really, that's what Star Wars geekery is all about. Fans may tell you it's about the imagination or the effects or the really hilariously bad dialog--but when you come down to it, Star Wars is about two things: merchandising, and lines.

Luckily, though, the line moved quickly, and soon we were near the front, where we discovered that the "Special Effects" move at the IMAX was already sold out--primarily because "Harry Potter" had been contracted for four time slots that day, and there weren't enough seats to go around. We groused about it, quickly recovered, got our tickets, and made our way to the exhibit--but we had fifteen minutes before they opened it to our time-slot.

We wandered through an exhibit of the last hundred years or so of the museum's artifacts. Some were neat, some were silly, and some were just plain disturbing. Like the huge display of odd-things-preserved-in-jars. Or the bureau that had a drawer full of neatly-lined-up rodents (aka, my mother-in-law's worst nightmare, neatly encased in the same kind of place that she keeps her socks). We all made appropriately-grossed-out noises and took photos to prove just how inhumane, disgusting, and creepy it all was. I was nostalgically thrilled to see they had a case of phosphorescent rocks with a lightswitch, so you can view them in the dark (well, under blacklight) or the light. When I was five years old, a similar phosphorescent rock exhibit was my favorite thing in the entire San Diego Museum of Natural History. I mean, even more than dino bones, and that says something. (It says something about how extremely nerdy I was as a kid.)

Then, it was the magical time to enter the Star Wars exhibit. It was, all told, a really nice exhibit. It was so gorgeously lit that I hardly used my flash, which made for a few blurry photos, but the atmosphere was worth it. The exhibit blended current/upcoming technologies with the Star Wars equivalents that "inspired" them. They were very hands-on (and therefore fun): build your own levitating Lego car, build/program your own R2-like droid, and this fantastic RTS-like (real-time-strategy game, for those of you who don't Speak Geek--think of Age of Empires) interface. The RTS-like thing had an optical sensor that recognized patterns on cards that you laid out in a table, which represented portions of a city (sanitation unit, water plant, housing, eatery, etc.), which you then laid out to make the citizens "happier" in areas like social, health, etc.

The Star Wars paraphenalia was incredible. There were lots of original costumes, props, and--most fantastic of all--the original models of the vehicles. For all intents and purposes, the "real" Star Destroyer, X-Wing, Millennium Falcon. All four of us had this mouths-open, eyes-wide kind of moment when we saw them. They are simply huge, and so detailed, and... just wow. If you're a Star Wars geek, then you went to this exhibit and therefore you understand. If you're not a Star Wars geek, you wouldn't understand anyway, so I won't bother describing it.

Hours later, we finally pulled ourselves out of the exhibit--and then another hour later, pulled ourselves out of the gift shop. (Remember that second facet of Star Wars culture I mentioned--merchandising?) Alex and I managed to come out only one t-shirt, one bib, and one onesie poorer, which is a tad bit of a miracle (I was sorely tempted by the entire "Infinities" trilogy of comics, though--that is sooo on my wishlist).

We drove back and grabbed some Taco Bell, being starved after all that geeking about. We stopped in downtown McKinney, where we'd planned to attend the Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off... but sadly, they'd already ran out of ice cream and were shutting down. No jalapeno ice cream for us.

Claire and I headed off to Walmart to procure some more traditional ice cream, and other snacky foods to sustain us through the planned Firefly marathon. We all made it through half of the season, but by the end of "Jaynestown" sometime after midnight we had to crash. Claire, the Firefly newbie, was just as enthralled as I'd hoped she would be--the first thing she said after the pilot episode was "Next!" --always a good sign. Then on Monday at work, she informed me she'd already ordered the DVD and soundtrack on Amazon--another browncoat recruited!

And thus was our grand weekend. Rather less ice cream was consumed than was planned, but all in all it was a tremendously geeky good time.


Jayne Would be Proud

You know you want to go read this entire week's arc in Unshelved. Just go. Now.

Unless, of course, the strip above made no sense at all. In which case, I pity you. Greatly. Here's some help.


I'm Now Thinking in Thought Ballooons

I won't reveal it here, but the reveal (and then the smaller reveal on nearly the last page) in Marvel 1602 was... just wow. No other words, really. That whole book was fantastic! Good art, great story, cool setting for us history-nerds... yeah, I don't think there's a way to improve on that.

It's Comics Bonanza week. The library-IT-comics-guy that lent me Planetary a few weeks back dropped off the Authority with me yesterday. I've got the last three volumes of Sandman at home, but never manage to get to them because I've been busy every evening. I usually read comics while I cook (which may explain why my cooking isn't spectacular), but for some reason Sandman never made it to the kitchen. I'm reading volume 1 of All-Star Superman instead, which is ridiculously gorgeous and fun. I love the classic look/feel of it. Giant lizards! Insane arch-nemeses! Jimmy Olsen's annoying Superman-signal watch!! Superman robots in a variety of colors!!!

And yesterday, we got a package from SciFi Book Club--Alex ordered a Star Wars book, and while he was at it, added Trinity and The Dark Knight Returns for his spoiled geeky wife. I read DK almost two years ago, and things like Planetary keep me wanting to refer back to it--that, and the awesome page with Superman (aka Super-Goody-Two-Shoes, according to Mr. Frank Miller) against the backdrop of butterflies and horses, with Ronald Reagan talking about patriotism. That, contrasted against Miller's huge, scary Batman whose sole purpose seems to be to mete out violence upon the wicked. Good times. (And also appropriate timing, since we just watched Miller's bloody-good The 300 on Sunday. Finally, a movie that makes decent use of Gerard Butler.)

And I just had a conversation with another work-geek, who's now going to lend me a Fantastic Four story that follows 1602. Oh, the goodness. And how the geeks do come out of the woodwork at the library... this makes four comic book geeks and... well, I lost count of the scifi tv/movie geeks at about six.

There is work to be done, and more work to be done, and classes to register for, and personal affairs to be taken care of... but I'm really just looking forward to this weekend, when Alex and I and two friends will be geeking out over the Star Wars exhibit, eating odd flavors of homemade ice-cream, and watching the entire season of Firefly. Ah, the good things in life--they're not free, but they are... er... good.



Things that Suck About Being An Adult
  • Filing auto insurance claims.
  • Filing taxes.
  • Filing work paperwork.
  • Generally, anything that has the word "filing" in it.
  • Bills.
  • Student loans.
  • Generally, anything that deals with finances.
  • Missing your parents, because you no longer live with them.
  • Yardwork. Housework. Other forms of "work."
  • Calories showing up in physical form on your body.
Things that Don't Suck About Being An Adult
  • Staying up as late as you want.
  • Watching any movies or TV shows that you please. Even The Simpsons.
  • Eating cake for breakfast. (Except for the last point in the first section.)
  • Living with a member of the opposite sex. Who isn't your parent.
  • Being friends with your parents--not because you have to, or you live with them, but because you love them and they are genuinely interesting, fun people.
  • The fact that bills and housework signify that you are independent and master of your own home. (Even if you do have to pay for it and upkeep it.)
  • Having the choice to go to school, or not.
  • Being able to enter things like "awesome new games for the Wii" into the budget.
  • Having a great job that I love, that is what I was trained to do, instead of all the wondering and worrying and preparing for my future. Dude, I am living my future.



  • Want to get paid for blogging? Check out these opportunities.
  • What have I been tagging recently, that I've been to busy to link here? Check out my bookmarks on del.icio.us.
  • No, I still haven't uploaded my over 3GB worth of photos to my flickr account yet, but check out the amazing photos all my contacts have been taking!
  • Movie Mini-Review: Hot Fuzz is fantastic--loaded with dry humor instead of predictable pratfalls, this movie does not stint on the action (or gore) one bit. You can tell that the creators (incidentally, the minds/actors behind the also-fantastic Shaun of the Dead) just made the perfect cop-comedy-action movie they'd always wanted to see. So see it.
  • Planetary was glorious. There should have been more of it--I almost feel cheated.
  • Almost finished with Marvel 1602 (put it down briefly to finish Planetary). Also fantastic--but then, it's Neil Gaiman. And the 1600's. And painted images. What's not to love there?
  • Shocking, but true: I'm not borrowing audiobooks, I'm hardly listening to NPR at the moment--I've become obsessed with my six-month Sirius subscription. I, who complained to high heaven that paying for the gloriously free service of radio is ridiculous--I love it. (Then again, I'm not paying for it.) And it's not the extra NPR stations, or Broadway, or Sinatra that I listen to--the only merit I previously saw in subscription radio. No, the real glory of Sirius is that it has an awesome 80's station.

I'd hang my head in shame, but I'm too busy dancing to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."


Punk Librarian

  • Reading audiobooks is not cheating. Read more here. (I know Auntie K's going to back me up on this one.)
  • We all knew that Joss Whedon is genius. Yet here he goes, proving it again, and this time in a freely-available-online comic!! Robots! Aliens! Snappy dialogue! Chick bands!!! The glory of it!
  • Wait a minute.... scientists can be wrong? Gasp!
  • Airplane rides... purple lighting... USB charging stations... mp3 playlists that stick with your travel account--nope, there's nothing I don't like the sound of on Virgin America's new airline.
  • I know you all read this already--most of you sent it to me. But just in case you don't read Penny Arcade, here it is ("guybrarian" episode). (And for once, I actually don't have to put a profane warning on this comic.)
  • I know you don't really care, but my left wrist hurts. Not five days after I told my dad that my chronic wrist problem from 1998 - 2004 had finally left after surgery. Dangit.
Oh right, the title of this post. The reason for it is that today, I am wearing (from head to toe):
  • my usual spiky-hair edgy haircut
  • my cool librarian glasses
  • funky triangle/circle earrings
  • lavendar button-down 3/4 sleeve shirt
  • black "Book Club" t-shirt over that
  • Vertigo and Batman logo buttons
  • banned books bracelet
  • "librarian" skirt (funk-i-fied by myself with librarian-themed appliques and some lace)
  • awesome tall tall boots (similar to these, without the funky stitching)
The reason why I am wearing all this is three-fold (warning! another needless bulleted list ahead):
  1. We're in another round of Gilmore-Girls-obsession, which always makes me want to dress like Lane (post-Mrs.-Kim) and listen to the Ramones.
  2. I have been listening to too much 1980's punk on my sirius radio subscription in My New Awesome Ride (aka the Dreamsicle).
  3. We're really, really low on work clothes at the moment. Our dryer is, well, not. (Drying, that is.)
I may post some punk-ish librarian photos, at that undefined future moment in time when I spend a full 24 hours uploading images from My Awesome Camera. Sigh.


How Did It Get to Be August?

Wednesday, I got a happy little letter detailing my promotion and raise next month--w00t! Alex and I celebrated at a great Greek place in Plano, Zorba's, with our pals Josh and Stacey, then played Hearts at their place. I cheerfully lost, having completely combined Hearts, Spades, and Pinochle together in my brain for all time.

This weekend, we drove done to ol' San Antone to visit my parents. We had a grand time--Mom and I lost to Alex and Dad at Canasta (quite shamefully, too). We enjoyed key lime pie, some fantastic pecan praline ice cream, and the best brisket I've ever had, hands-down (thanks to Buck & Ozie's Last Chance). We exchanged gifts for my birthday, my dad's birthday, and Father's Day, then watched the end of "Gladiator" and the beginning of "Amistad."

Mom and I had a really great visit with my pal Cherie, who I went to high school with and then roomed with my first year at HSU. She is currently in her fourth battle with cancer in the past five years. She's recently been put on steroids, so she looked great and felt much better, but it always blows my mind to realize that Cherie, of all people, has been chronically ill for so long. She was the sarcastic, sardonic one in high school and here she is with a husband, two kids, and an incredible strength and optimism in the midst of a long illness.

Mom took us both to the Alamo Cafe for lunch, a longtime favorite of us all. We had fantastic food and a lot of laughing--sometimes it's hard to believe the things we did in high school. We reminisced about how Saturdays at Cherie's house, she and I would always eat frozen pizza (Tony's, I think), Dr. Pepper, and make brownies. Every single time. And we wrote a story together with the most fantastic title ever, by passing the paper back and forth line by line. And despite the fact that we've been reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series since our junior year, thirteen years ago, he still hasn't published the last book.

I also got to visit with Cherie's family for the first time in years. Isn't there some song about how everything changes, but everything's the same? Yeah, it was that.

As usual, I have many many photos of the weekend, and yet no time to upload them. Ah well, watch my flickr account periodically and you'll find them in time.