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Thankful Thursdays 11/15/12

The back on time edition!

This week I’m thankful for:

1. Not living among total bat-crap crazy folk who want to secede, have state police arrest Federal officers, live nostalgically in the 1950’s, or ponder the existence and/or “sudden” emergence of non-white voters.

2. Chilling with friends and having good conversations.

3.  Finding a trove of V: Dark Ages source books.

4. A daughter who likes playing board and card games at the venerable age of 3!

5. A daughter who has amazing art skills!


Thankful Thursdays 11/9/12

Er, apparently I’m having trouble navigating the space-time continuum as this is another belated TT post.  I blame Adam  (see below).

This week I’m thankful that:

1. President Obama was re-elected and, more importantly, that the campaign season is over and he can get focus on the job we elected him (and others) to do.

2. V was very excited about daddy-daughter date night and we had some great food and fun!

3. Great conversations with my friend Adam about the universe, dreamscapes, Goodreads, and snarky mesostomatics.

4. I don’t have to pay $50 for grapes.

How about you?

V’s Fireside Chats 8

Snarky edition.

A little sass brought to you by our favorite little girl:

(Mom): “Honey, we have to get ready and be efficient; I need you to do more than one thing at once.”

(V): “Chill down mommy, I’m just one person!”

and part two–

(Mom and V struggling over a teeth brushing session)

(Mom): “Girlfriend…”

(V): [with hands on hips] “I’m done with this!”    (apparently a recent saying of mom’s)


Have a great weekend and may the sass be with you (or someone close to you)!

Those are insurance forms I think…

This week I’m thankful that:

1. We (family and friends) weathered Frankenstorm relatively intact.

2. My daughter decided to spice up her Little Mermaid costume by being a “skeleton mermaid” (because her parents were painting their faces).

3. The start of National Novel Writing Month–here’s to hoping for some continual motivation!

4. That my latest Coursera class is almost finished. They’ve been fun, but definitely get in the way of other reading and writing I’d like to do.

5. I got to dress up for Halloween, too! (And try my hand at face painting).


Assuming Disney does the Thrawn Trilogy, I got to thinking who would fill in the roles of our beloved heroes and villains.  Setting aside the idea that they could inject Ford, Hamilton, Williams, and Fisher with a shot from the fountain of youth known as CGI, I compiled a list of potential candidates to fill their shoes (and some new characters). I welcome feedback, dissent, and additional actors I probably overlooked.

Luke Skywalker:

Chris Pine, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig

(I think Chris Pine could pull off the youngish and struggling Luke, though Matt or Daniel would bring a certain edge to him that could work).

Han Solo:

Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson

(Bradley from Limitless, not the Hangover; and Liam has taken on that action hero vibe lately, but could still bring some whimsy to the role).

Lando Calrissian:

Idris Elba, Lance Gross, Denzel Washington

(I think Idris would be ideal, though Lance has a certain suave look that is all Lando; Denzel needs to be considered for his depth and gravitas).

Admiral Thrawn:

Jeff Bridges, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Day Lewis

(Bridges could be hard-edged, Fassbender looks like the artwork, and watching Daniel transform would be pretty amazing).

Talon Karrde:

Hiroyuki Sanada, Robert Downey Jr., Ken Watanabe, Laurence Fishburne

(As a smuggler kingpin, I think Hiroyuki could bring something new to the role, Robert could have a lighter edge, Ken would be pretty spot on, and Laurence might bring that Morpheus thing to it with some success).

Mara Jade:

Angela Bassett, Anne Hathaway, Maggie Cheung, Danai Gurira; (2nd row) Michelle Yeoh, Mila Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale

(In the role of a well-rounded operative, all of these women have proved their chops in action roles; Angela might be a titch “mature” for the role, Anne might be too soft, Maggie or Michelle could work well, Danai is untested in dialogue as of yet, Mila and Kate both fit the bill pretty well but don’t round the cast out particularly well from a diversity stand point).

First a shout out to Tyler for the suggestion of Michael Fassbender for Admiral Thrawn.

Secondly, you’ll notice I left out Leia–I had quite some trouble casting her, so have at it.

Thirdly, while some of the actors are quite well-known, I think they could pull it off.  Some may be better suited for other roles (Robert Downey Jr. as Han?).  Several actors are not particularly well-known here in the U.S., but I think the cast needs some diversity given the non-white talent out there.

Anyhow, this was a bit of fun, and I hope Disney doesn’t screw it up (though given the most recent trilogy, they probably will do alright).


Somehow I forgot about Edward Norton!

Thrawn? Karrde? Solo?

Late again, but…

This week I’m thankful for:

1. My folks fun and varied visit for the last 2 weeks; and they made it home safe.

2. Having a fun time at the MD Renaissance Faire where we all dressed up.

3. Rediscovering some old school music.

4. Having a good meal with some friends last night.

How about you?

This week I’m thankful for:

1. A promotion at work (Woot!).

2. The USDA’ super tracker to help me monitor my nutrient and caloric intake.

3. The Walking Dead and Dexter are back on!

4. Date night with my wife thanks to the grandfolks babysitting!

How about you?

The “debates.”

I normally refrain from watching the presidential “debates” since they aren’t really debates at all.  Instead, they’re more like “soap boxes to repeat your attacks and soundbites in a televised medium.”  But that clearly isn’t a very catchy title.

But, having seen highlights of the last debate where President Obama looked less than impressive, I was curious to see how his expert advisers had coached him and what changes they would make, so I tuned in a bit after 9 pm.  I was greeted with a belligerent Romney telling the President to “sit down” because he wasn’t finished and he had not directed a question at the incumbent.  Then, when it was finally Obama’s turn to talk, Romney kept pestering and interrupting him with the refrain “have you looked at your pension Mr. President?”  It reminded me of my 3 year old daughter saying “daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy.”  Only 10 fold more disrespectful.

It was at this point I turned the debates off.  I quickly came to the conclusion that watching them would tempt the Loki of the bodhisattva pantheon to disrupt my inner Zen which I normally have rocking. (Note to wife: stop snickering).

A while later (about 45 minutes, coincidentally the length of an episode of Castle), I turned back to the debates to see how things were shaping up.  I was greeted with Romney bullying the moderator, ignoring her directions, and smirking his smarmy smile.  Feeling a resurgent ulcer creeping up, I turned it off again for the final time.

Now, from the reports I’ve read and highlight reels I’ve seen, I know there was some aggressiveness on both their parts, and, as usual, fact distortion from both sides (plenty of sources confirm this).  My two happenstance viewings were probably just some skewing of random chance that zeroed in on Romney’s moments.  But I can’t help but think that my views of these “debates” have been reinforced.  They entrench our candidate preferences, and if you’re undecided, they might not do much to sway you if both participants spew half-truths, ignore the rules and some modicum of civility, or dance around the questions asked.

Especially this guy.

Oh, and when entertainment celebrities weigh in, I still don’t care what they think.

I do find it sad that our political discourse has devolved into name calling, alpha-male posturing, pandering, and a confusion about what is true.  I’m glad President Obama stepped up and called Romney out, and I think it is appropriate for Romney to challenge the President on policies where he has been weak.  But the polemic style of our polarized politics needs to change, and the people need to demand it.  Until we do, Washington (all the branches) will continue to deliver the same lackluster performance it has for many years.

P.S. I owe a big thank you to Mr. Romney and President Obama for providing me with enough angst to get out of my recent hiatus from my more meaty blogging.

Thankful Thursdays 10/11/12

As my attentive readers may have noticed, I missed last week’s Thankful Thursday post.  There was a variety of reasons for this oversight, none of which include not being thankful for things that week, so…

This week I’m thankful that:

1. My folks made the journey down safely from MI and are enjoying spending time with their granddaughter; they even remember we’re here sometimes…

2. My wife and I attended the Master Class session of the Appalachian Writer in Residence Program; though I didn’t get to read, my wife’s poem generated the most discussion among the group and she was asked to submit it to the next Anthology!

3. Finding the coolest family stickers that people can put on their car. Though we would normally never do that, we just might make an exception for these.

4. A positive meeting with the campus dietitian who gave me the advice to eat more. So I celebrated with Mezzaluna and a big chocolate chip cookie (I’m not sure that’s what she meant).

5. Finishing my Science Fiction/Fantasy class on Coursera; I celebrated by reading a couple of entertaining books from Black Library (easy Sci Fi stuff).

6. Getting a great comment from the professor in our Modern American Poetry class (given that I’m not that into poetry, I consider it quite the accomplishment).

How about you? (Ya got 2 weeks’ worth).


V’s Fireside Chats 7

So it’s Halloween season in our household, and we’ve had some interesting conversations:

“Maybe when I grow up I can be a Jedi.”  (V trying to decide what she wants to be for Halloween…it’s a mermaid this year).

“Ooooo. It’s so dark and spookable!”  (V’s obsessed with things being spooky…including our jack-o-lanterns in the house).

“Tag, you’re it! [Touches us] I got you in the phone tag!” (V is slightly confused with the game tag and hearing mom talk about playing phone tag with her friends).

“I want to read my book at the play place so the big kids can see me.”  (Wanting to show off her reading skills of…C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity).

“That’s hilarious!” (Anything she finds funny, particularly some parts of her shows).