04. October 2013 · Comments Off on Happy Star Wars Reads Day — With Shakespeare? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
It's the Original Star Wars -- with a twist!

It’s the Original Star Wars — with a twist!

October 5th is “Star Wars Reads Day“. This initiative partners with several publishing companies and involves events throughout the country celebrating Star Wars and literacy. My fellow GeekMom colleague Kay Moore is getting to attend an event at the San Diego Central Library where Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will be read along with a silent viewing of the original (what some of you may call “A New Hope”). That sounds super cool, although I have plans today already.

If you aren’t near one of the events, might I recommend stopping by your favorite bookstore and picking up a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars to enjoy.

I’m not going to cover the plot of this story. If you’re a fan of my blog, you should know I’m a huge Star Wars fan, especially the originals. The latter three (Episodes I-III) don’t appeal to me quite so much.

So I will assume you know the plot of the original Star Wars movie. ‘Nuf said.

But what you probably have yet to realize is Doescher’s ability to convert the story into iambic pentameter and illustrate the book with dozens of woodcut-style scenes from the story. It’s magical how he combines old world and modern storytelling.

The book is set up like a Shakespeare play, complete with a list of characters, settings, and stage directions. The language pays excellent homage to The Bard’s style, with plenty of “hast”s, “doth”s, and “prithee”s.

I read much of Act I aloud to Jacob and Timmy (and our sponsor cadet). I’m afraid their eyes rolled to the back of their heads listening to my overdramatic style of reading, but I was able to introduce a discussion about Shakespeare and iambic pentameter with my boys. I warned them that Shakespeare is coming to an English class near them very very soon and it wouldn’t hurt to study his style with a familiar story.

While I don’t have permission to reproduce the text, you can read the first 20 pages through this excerpt at Boing Boing.

If you get the book, be sure to pay attention to the afterword which explains the special connection between Shakespeare and George Lucas. A fun history.

I had a good time reading William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. The book retails for $14.95 and will make a great gift this holiday season. It’s available at most bookstores and through online retailers such as Amazon.

Disclosure: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

08. January 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

Because I haven’t posted too much lately.

Clerks. This is one of my favorite movies. Actually, I enjoy all Kevin Smith films and Clerks. — IMDB seems to think you need to include that period there — was his first.

Much of the movie isn’t for children, but this is a more family-friendly conversation that goes on about which Star Wars movie is better: The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. I love this scene. Geekiness at its best! What makes this scene even more awesome is the music that starts playing in the background. It’s called “Chewbacca” by a band called Supernova.


03. February 2011 · Comments Off on We’re Rooting for You Leia! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
“I was a Geek Pinup Girl!”

Who out there has seen the recent Jenny Craig ads?

My husband saw one of them this past weekend — I think it was a “targeted” online ad on a health website — and he couldn’t believe it was Carrie Fisher!  We didn’t recognize her!  Seriously.

Then this morning during the Rachel Ray Show I saw my first television ad featuring Carrie Fisher.  The commercial, which was a simple interview with Carrie (similar to the video below), was actually kind of dark, but it got me inspired to root for her.  She’s brutally honest!

Today, I found a video on YouTube’s Jenny Craig channel, and it’s worth sharing.  She talks about how she was the Geek Pinup girl of the mid-80s, and has declared that she’s going to fit back into that gold metal bikini with Jenny’s help!

So who’s with me!  Go Carrie! Go Carrie!

This week my youngest son is celebrating his 6th Birthday. I won’t be specific about which day, but with family in town this weekend, I made some pre-birthday cupcakes to serve as dessert.

Last weekend we were at our local mall-like-shopping-location. It isn’t really a mall, since it doesn’t have that old-school enclosed building thing going on. It’s of those open-air places, where you walk outside between the pretty-people stores.  Each of the past 4 locations we’ve lived has had one nearby.  Most of you who live in suburban America know what I’m talking about, right?

We ventured into Williams-Sonoma — the lure of free samples usually attracts my boys. The thought of one day having a kitchen like what’s in their catalogs attracts me. There was a lovely display of Star Wars-themed kitchen supplies. Of course we were attracted to the display like white on rice!  There in the middle among the cookie cutters and pancake molds were these “cupcake decorating kits”.

My kids begged “Please? Please? Please?” for one of the kits, so I caved in and let my youngest son choose the kit.   I’m so glad he picked the Rebel Alliance kit instead of the Galactic Empire one.  I thought the set was pretty cute, and at the time I didn’t think anything of paying $12 + Northwest Florida tax for it.  How could I turn down classic Star Wars???

Tonight my mom and I made some cupcakes for dessert, using 1/2 of the baking cups and toothpicks.

That’s what this kit is: baking cups and toothpicks.  Probably about $1 worth of product, to be honest.

We devoured the cupcakes and the used baking cups went right into the trash, but I made a point to insist that no one lick the toothpicks and make sure to recycle them.  The pictures on the toothpicks are made of a slightly-waxed paper.  Not quite cardstock, but a little heavier than just plain paper.

My opinion?  $12 for this kit is a considerable indulgence.  My kids were smiling all evening from the cute toothpicks, and one could argue that doesn’t make this all a waste.  If you aren’t picky about the baking cups — considering R2, C3PO and Chewie were all on the bottom of the finished cupcake where no one will really see them — you might be able to get away with making the toothpicks on your own.

Consider how many different characters you could glue to toothpicks and stick in cupcakes!  Maybe this is what I’ll do for next weekend’s Mario Brothers cake that’s been requested for the party next weekend.

01. November 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

Hello friends…enjoy some pictures from our fun Halloween today. It was a nice balance of fun and not being overwhelmed! Too bad it was in the mid-70s this afternoon and I had purposefully designed all of our costumes for temperatures about 15-25 degrees cooler!

After Jake went off to school, Timmy and I went to the Bellevue Early Childhood Center for a trick or treating experience at their building. Timmy made his debut in his R2D2 costume and it was a big hit…not just with the folks who admired it, but also with Timmy. He seemed comfortable and happy wearing it. Unfortunately, he can’t sit down, but at least it was easy for him to put on and take off…so if he wanted to sit, it wasn’t traumatic for him. Check out Yoda — Yoda’s Mom and I made sure to try to pose the boys together for a cute photo!

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

Timmy and I went to lunch, then the BX and commissary after the trick or treat event…Timmy looked fine in his white sweats, but I still had on my costume and got quite a few comments.

After errands, Timmy went to Alissa’s for about 1 1/2 hours while I went to Jake’s school to see the Halloween parade and help with his class Halloween party. I’m very glad Jake’s school recognizes Halloween and allows the kids to express themselves through their costumes. It was awesome to see the sea of children in their costumes…

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

Jake is Mace Windu, from Star Wars Episodes I-III (Samuel L. Jackson). Since Mace is bald, Jake and I discussed how to be bald. Our choices: shave his head or come up with a pretend way to be bald, such as a headpiece from a costume store, or else some pantyhose. Jake chose to shave his head…I didn’t shave it all the way, but it was pretty close:

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

Jake had a good time at his party, and after school, since it was officially the start of the weekend, I set up the Wii again (it had been put away for a while) and Jake and I knocked out 3 Lego Star Wars chapters this afternoon before dinner! Whoo hoo!

After Dave came home and we had a quick dinner, it was time to suit up again for trick or treating in our neighborhood. It was Dave’s turn to take the boys…and this year, no stroller or wagon! I put my costume back on and stayed home to hand out the candy! I really enjoyed seeing how creative the kids can be…we had so many children come by!

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

From 2008 10 31 Halloween2008

Enjoy our pictures and Happy Halloween!

29. October 2008 · Comments Off on The R2D2 Helmet Solution! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

So we figured out how to keep that wide trashcan lid on Timmy’s head for his R2D2 costume. Thanks to Dave’s Mom (Grammy Vollmer) for the idea:

“As far as Timmy’s helmet–can you take one of his hats, cut off the peak and glue it to the inside of the helmet? Don’t know if this would work or even if it would stay on.”

I searched the house for an old baseball cap that we didn’t mind sacrificing to the hot glue gun, and found a chintzy Las Vegas hat Dave and I won through some geeky hotel promotion.

Instead of cutting off the brim, I simply turned it around and glued it in place. Timmy was thrilled with how comfy his R2 helmet fits him now.

As for pictures, you’ll just have to wait till Halloween 😉

27. October 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

So today we just about finished with Timmy’s Halloween costume. You can see the shots of pre-construction from earlier this week here.

Yesterday I painted the top of the trash can chrome-silver and it turned out pretty nice.

From 2008 10 20 R2D2_Costume_Construction

Today ended up VERY windy! Gusts exceeding 50 mph! We ended up having to do the rest of the paint work in the closed garage, and then setting it outside briefly to dry. But the dewpoints were in the single digits today, so it dried in no time at all! Dave took over the masking for the rest of the helmet and he did a really nice job:

From 2008 10 20 R2D2_Costume_Construction
From 2008 10 20 R2D2_Costume_Construction

Meanwhile, I grabbed a pile of multi-colored Sharpies from my craft stash and got to work on the body details. I used this picture of R2D2 as the guide.

From 2008 10 20 R2D2_Costume_Construction

So here’s Timmy modeling what we have so far. I recycled Jacob’s white sweats from his 2006 astronaut costume. The red light on the right side of the helmet is a red safety blinker.

From 2008 10 20 R2D2_Costume_Construction

Help! If anyone knows how I can make Timmy’s helmet look better, please speak now! I’m using a rolled up t-shirt to set it properly on his head, but otherwise it’s just balancing there like a bobble head…

20. October 2008 · Comments Off on A Work in Progress — Timmy’s Halloween Costume! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

I can’t remember if I’d mentioned it before, but Timmy declared around Labor Day that he wants to be R2-D2 for Halloween.

And of course I agreed.

I already finished Jake’s costume, which is described here. I’m still trying to convince Jake to shave his head like Mace Windu. We’ll see…

After some discussion with Maryann about materials — her son Joey also wanted to be an R2 unit for Halloween, I figured a small bullet trashcan would be our best bet to fit onto Timmy. Maryann investigated those large cylindrical soda receptacles that you see at convenient stores, but ended up going with the bullet garbage can, too.

At our local Home Depot, we came across this Rubbbermaid small bullet can — perfect!

So we’re off! We also picked up some assorted R2-D2 colored spray paints (blue, chrome, white) and here we go!

First things first, Timmy’s going to wear the trash can as a tube, so we had to cut the bottom out of the can.

So first I used a drill to put holes along the sides of the bottom edge.

A close up of the holes.

So with a couple slices with a keyhole saw, the bottom popped right off. But we were left with all this debris. I started with some 100 grit sandpaper, but that was futile…

But a box-cutter was perfect! I was able to shave off the excess plastic, then used the 100 grit sandpaper to fine-tune the edge.

Next task, painting the wastebaskets. We could only find that silver/coppery colored can, so it had to be painted white…

I wanted low humidity and not much wind, but in Nebraska in the fall, forget it! Today is the last dry day for a while, but it was quite breezy so I just made sure to remain upwind of the spray and we did okay.

Presenting, the white-painted trash can! Coming soon, masking and painting R2’s…uh…accoutrements?