Archive | January, 2014

Lucas Resolutions for 2014

28 Jan

I know it is a few weeks into the new year and many of us have already ditched our resolutions so I thought I might put a different spin on things. I was recently watching my semi annual marathon of Star Wars episodes IV, V and VI and reflecting on how timeless they are. The dialogue, newly created worlds, creatures and characters have been with me my whole life and I still remember my older sister getting the complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and thinking it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Last year I started off 2013 with Tolkien Resolutions in two parts: the first for the heroes and second for the villains. To start a new tradition I will begin 2014 with the valuable lessons learned from the mind of George Lucas in two parts.

Why hang with this guy when you know your buddies are chilling in Cloud City?!

Why carry around this little guy when you know your buddies are chilling in Cloud City?!

Of course I must begin with Luke Skywalker who has taught me so many things like, if I want to get my point across I should yell, even if I am in enemy territory and there are thousands of Stormtroopers looking for me. The main goal is being heard by my peers and nothing says, “I mean business and I know I’m right” like shouting. Another large takeaway from our baby faced protagonist is that patience is crap. Why sweat with a short wrinkly know-it-all in a swampy mess when you could be vacationing in Cloud City and meeting your dad for the first time? He was studying with Yoda for a few days at least and he learned everything he needed, I know this because he yelled it and I take that very seriously. Ghost Obi-Wan and Yoda lost that back and forth because they were using their inside voices; super ineffective.

Speaking of Obi-Wan–  this great Jedi Master inspired me to take on my battles in the new year with a whole new outlook. Go into a fight knowing you aren’t going to win and while you are battling you won’t have to put in very much effort. In the light saber duel between Obi Wan and Darth Vader, Master Kenobi is resolved in his losing so he sort of casually flails his weapon around waiting for the inevitable. Maybe he just didn’t want to hang out with Luke anymore and listen to his whining or I guess you could say he was sacrificing himself to save the others; either way he was off the hook with putting in too much strenuous fighting. I think especially if someone knows they will come back as a fully formed communicating Ghost Jedi, they can put in little to no effort in their remaining days. He did shut down the Death Star tractor beams, so he played his part. It’s like some days I get up, go for a run and cook a nice breakfast, after that maybe I can sit on the couch watching Law & Order SVU because I was productive already. Plus, if I submit to the addictive crime series I am sacrificing myself for the sake of others, my being home is distracting my Sith Lord cat Pooter from attacking my dog Piper and young kitty Ninja Squee.

Princess Leia is one of the only women we see in the entire trilogy (admittedly I cannot tell male from female for certain species, but I digress) and she uses her feminine charm wisely. First lesson: if the guy you like is being a jerk, make out with your brother to play hard to get and stir up jealousy.

"Thinking a bikini made me helpless was your first mistake. Your second was using a chain you kept attached to yourself to keep me hostage."

“Thinking a bikini made me helpless was your first mistake. Your second was using a chain you kept attached to yourself to keep me hostage.”

Second lesson: when strangers come to rescue you from death, yell at them (the trait must run in the family), call their plan stupid  and make demands. When these people later become your friends and they try to rescue you, be sure to treat them no better; she wouldn’t want to set the bar too high for how nice she is capable of being. Third lesson: you can fight bad guys no matter what outfit you are wearing, so you might as well look super hot in a skimpy bikini. Lesson four: Ewoks are friendly but grabby. I’m not sure how this translates to a resolution on this planet, but it’s a good fact to know.

Chewbacca is probably the wisest in the group. He knows he can skip shaving and if someone makes a rude comment he doesn’t have to put up with it. This year, if a guy makes a remark about my looks I’m going to let out a deep rumble/gurgle/moan and flail my arms with rage. I guarantee he will think twice before talking to me again.

Oh Han, you know I melt when you look at me like that.

Oh Han, you know I melt when you look at me like that.

I’ve been putting off talking about Han Solo because I get all giddy thinking about that sexy space pilot. I don’t know if I can create any resolutions based on his actions because he is not the most cerebral character, but he does inspire me to try and meet a feisty man with an incredible physique and fabulous hair.

Yoda is the most powerful living Jedi in the Universe but that doesn’t stop him from having a laugh now and again. If some punk kid thinks he is going to fly in and rush a process which usually takes years of practice and patience why not mess with him first? Yoda has it good; he convinces guys to carry him and cook for him even after he shows them up by using the force to levitate a spacecraft. Showcasing power when someone thinks you look weak is a great way to get people to do your bidding. So I think that means I should resolve to learn to use the force…? I’m on it.

We all know the lesson to learn from C-3PO and R2-D2 is about friendship. I’ll just say it, C-3PO is smart but super annoying and R2-D2 knows how to keep him in line. Sometimes it is important to stick to your mission and let your friends act crazy, they will come around. At the very least a fleet of Jawas are usually good for reuniting lost friends so it is vital that you find a way to deal with others blathering on. At the end of it all, your friends are the ones who will reassemble you when you’ve been dismantled so learn to love their unique brand of odd.

I need to take more walks with my friends.

I need to take more walks with my friends.

Ode To A Father

27 Jan

Today is my stepdad Andy’s birthday and I have never seen him more clearly than I do now. I write this post having just left dinner with him to celebrate the occasion and nobody in this world makes me feel more cared for than he does. Let me share some of the wonderful qualities that make him the very best.

The most telling occurance I can think of to describe Andy is the story of his patched shirt from when I was 8 or 9 years old. Our dog, Dogberry had a habit of eating odd things and one day in the woods he found the scrap of an old cloth (a delicacy amongst pups I hear). A few hours later Dogberry proceeded to barf up said fabric in our house. A few hours after that, a wash cycle and some sewing, Andy had used the scrap to patch up an old shirt of his. We made jokes about it for years and may have even embarrassed him a few times, but it truly represented everything our little family unit cared about. My mother lived by conservation, so marrying a man who reused materials that had gone through a canines digestive track and back was a perfect fit.

Andy with my Piper when she was a puppy.

Andy with my Piper when she was a puppy.

Andy is quiet, humble, brilliant and kind. He is masterful in the art of origami, sitting quietly for hours in his office creating new folds and studying pages and pages from books of old ones. He gardens, spending months planning out which seeds he will need for the year and exploring new produce for the yard. He walks the dogs for hours a day and cooks fresh dog food each week from ingredients procured at the weekend Farmer’s Market. He bikes to and from his job at the Brown University Special Collections Library and if asked for a tour he will talk through the dozens of hidden historical gems housed there. He loves Tolkein, the Beatles, Harry Potter and recently called me to say he had discovered my CD of Buffy The Vampire Slayer The Musical and adores it. I think Andy might actually be the original hipster, but in the most genuine, effortless and cool way possible.

Andy showing off his garden.

Andy showing off his garden.

More than the fact that his lifestyle tastes and hobbies are awesome, Andy is pure kindness. I think I spent years seeing him as my mothers husband who I thought was great and loved, but through her somehow. Recently I have realized he is a father. Since my mothers passing he and I have engaged in more than a few long, deep talks and I have seen him quietly take care of me. In my life, most of the people who have done things to care for me have done so in a grand fashion or in a way that demanded recognition. I think I am that way too; I do a lot for other people but always need to hear that they noticed. Andy has been watching out for my well being for years without ever needing praise or attention.

He is quiet, but when he says something it is everything. A majority of the wisest and most helpful things ever uttered to me have come from him in times when I needed it most. When I was ill a few years ago and had to cut off all my long hair to keep up with how quickly it was falling out, nobody could convince me that I was still beautiful. Everyone told me all day that I pulled it off and that I had a great shaped head or that I had a face for short hair and I’m sure they meant it, but I wasn’t buying. Andy came over to walk my dog for me and as he was about to leave my apartment he stopped and looked at me for a long second. He said, “you look really great with that haircut… you look like a girl from the Mickey Mouse Club that I always thought was the most beautiful girl in the world.”

I just felt how much he meant it, and it made everything okay.

Pet wrangling at home

Pet wrangling at home

That is one instance out of an endless number of interactions that saved me in a moment. I am so blessed to finally see Andy for the parent he has been for the past 21 years. I love him for never needing credit and for always doing what was best for me even to his own peril at times. That is what being a father really is and thanks to him I feel like I have someone left in this world as my parent to teach me. He has taught me about having hobbies, nature, composting, oldies music, woodwork, patience and a million other dynamic things that have enriched my life. I no longer love him because my mother loved him, although that was a powerful reason for many years. I love him for the relationship we now have because of and in spite of the loss of my mom and even though he asks for no recognition, he deserves it more than anyone I have ever known.

Happy birthday Andy.

Our little family Thanksgiving 2007

Our little family Thanksgiving 2007

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