Ollie’s Darth Vader Drawing: A Critical Perspective

Ollie drew this picture of Darth Vader the other day, and I have to share it with you:


So, here we have Darth Vader, beset on all sides by light sabers (the red and blue things coming in from the sides; “light savers” as Ollie calls them). Kiiind of a lot of light sabers for the historical period in which Darth Vader would have been wearing his mask, but I’ll allow it. Things look grim for our hero.

You can see the red ball down in the right corner is actually a blaster bolt coming from Han Solo’s gun. I appreciate this detail, because it does feel like Han is one of the few “main” characters who 1) is involved in a lot of combat, and 2) is not a jedi. I like it.

Even better is that one of the light sabers is being blocked by a lightning bolt out of what is depicted as a clear blue sky; an obvious reference to the powers of the dark side.

Unfortunately, Darth is clearly holding Kylo Ren’s light saber, which is historically inaccurate, and completely unforgivable.

F double minus.

Me and my Wookiee Suit

So, since I got my new wookiee pajamas, I’ve pretty much worn them non-stop. And by “pretty much” I mean “absolutely and unequivocally.” The only time I have NOT worn my wookiee pajamas is when I went to California for a few days for work, and Sara snuck in and washed them while I was gone JUST WHEN THEY WERE STARTING TO SMELL AUTHENTIC.

In fact, Sara has had a bee in her bonnet about washing them pretty much the whole time. “You know, you used to wash your pajamas like once a week,” she says pretty much every day.

Jeez, quit harshing my buzz, mom.

chewbacca is my copilot“Moooooooom! Don’t come in my room! Han said we were going to do the kessel run!!”

One downside of the wookiee suit is that it is warm. Like really, really warm. That’s great when it’s freezing outside and you just want to cuddle up with some tea or snuggle your new baby and sing, “In the aaaarms of a wookiee, fly awaaaaaaay from here!”* but pretty much any other time it’s a little too warm. I’ve learned to moderate my temperature with judicious raisings of sleeves and legs (two bare arms and one leg is pretty comfortable around the house), but still, gets a little warm sometimes.

(*actual recording of song that happens quite frequently in our house, ask Sara)

Another downside is that I am very committed to putting my pjs on as soon as I get home. Previously that wasn’t really a problem, but the thing is that sometimes you have to run some trash out to the dumpster, or get something out of the car. And when you’re doing that, there’s a good chance you’re going to bump into someone. Consider that where we live there are a *lot* of people stacked up on top of each other, so the population density kind of guarantees that if a giant wookiee is shambling about in the parking lot, someone is going to see him. So far I have managed to avoid anybody (this is assuming nobody is monitoring the security camera footage).

There are other difficulties as well, as anyone older than the age of 10 needing to go to the bathroom while wearing a full body suit will tell you.

I finally agreed to let Sara wash my wookiee suit, and I didn’t wear it for a FULL TWO DAYS. Except last night we came home from ice skating and I was sooo cold and there was my wookiee suit just crooning to me…


My New Star Wars Pajamas

For the past few years, my mother-in-law has made me pajamas for Christmas. It’s a pretty simple thing, but I don’t know, I get pretty excited about them. I think by now you all know me enough to know how much I appreciate a homemade gift. I love the fact that something homemade is unique: nobody else has a pair quite exactly like them.

The first year it was Packer pants, and I wore them until they basically shredded off of my body. The next year it was fuzzy fleece pants that matched the pajamas she made for Evie and Ollie. They are super fuzzy and warm, and I’m still wearing those, but they have started to develop holes as well.

Well, this year she cooked up something special: a full body, fleece, wookiee suit.

chewbacca is my copilot

(Sometimes Han gets scared on takeoff, so he has to hold my hand)

Aside from being THE MOST AWESOME PAJAMAS EVER, they are super soft, and also very warm. These things could keep you warm on Hoth, if you know what I’m saying.

me on hoth

But it didn’t stop there! Barb also made matching pjs for Alex, so we can celebrate Life Day or whatever it is daddy wookiees do with their baby wookiees.

wookie daddy and baby

Sara said I could use them for Halloween, but as much as I’m going to wear them I’m not sure they will still be intact all the way until October…

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

This post will be spoiler free.

So, I didn’t buy tickets to see Star Wars, because this baby had the unfortunate timing to be due opening weekend (kids — not even born, and already inconsiderate!).

But a friend of mine bought me a ticket and said, “Hey, if the baby’s not born you can come and see it, and if you can’t make it I’ll eat the price of the ticket and call it a baby gift.”


First off, let me start by saying that I’m a little confused by all the Star Wars love these days. I’m now dubbing this the “nerd’s dilemma”: on one hand I’m excited that everybody is excited about this thing that I am excited about (Yes! Star Wars IS awesome!), but on the other hand, why do all these people now get to appropriate my fandom?

These days everybody loves Star Wars, but where were you when I was wearing Star Wars shirts in high school? Respecting how cool I was, probably. And when I slept outside in line overnight to get tickets to Episode I, you were just thinking how awesome and mainstream and not-nerdy I was, right? Since you’ve always been this huge Star Wars fan?

I mean, either you’re lying now – secretly hating Star Wars but pretending you like it to fit in – or else you were lying then, and desperately wishing you had the chutzpah to spend Friday night staging Star Wars miniature battles with us in my friend Eric’s basement.

::Whew:: Okay, got that out of my system. On to the movie.

OMG you guys it was so good!!! It was exactly what I thought Star Wars would be under the iron boot of Disney: fan service, and exactly what I wanted to see. Say what you want about Disney, but this is what they know how to do. They’ve created the perfectly consumable piece of Star Wars: delicious and sugary, fully reminiscent of your childhood while also leaving you full and satisfied at the end.

It does everything: establishes great new characters, revives great old characters (in both senses of the word old), makes you laugh, tugs on your heartstrings, sets up further movies without leaving you hanging, epic in scope, but full of small moments…

It is a masterpiece of setting out to do something, and then fully and completely doing that thing.

I could absolutely see myself watching this over and over, the way I did with the original trilogy (and the way I didn’t with the “new” trilogy). This is a must see (as if you didn’t know that already), and honestly feels like it will mean the same to the current generation of children that the originals meant to me.

In short, I loved it.

Star Wars in the blood

Evie’s regular piano teacher is busy for the summer, so she started with a temporary teacher. In the first lesson, the teacher was just trying to see where Evie was at, skill level-wise, so mostly Evie was just playing old stuff.

I have to admit, I’m kind of amazed at how far Evie’s come in the 5 months she’s been taking piano. I mean, it’s really amazing; she’s really good! It seems like it must have been longer than 5 months. Obviously the fact that she likes to play piano, and often practices more than she needs to just because she enjoys it so much, really helps. She cannot walk by the piano without playing something.

So finally, at the end of the lesson, the teacher assigned her a few new things that she hadn’t played yet. She had Evie play the first song, which she played with no trouble at all. “That’s too easy for you,” the teacher said, “let’s try another one.”

The next song was the theme from Star Wars. “This one is a bit more tricky,” said her teacher. “Have you ever played it?” “No,” said Evie, “I think I’d like to try it.” She looked at it for a minute, and then played it through perfectly. Not a single mistake.

Both the teacher and I were SO IMPRESSED. She even got the crossover note, no problem. I mean, I was really stunned; she played it better the first time out than she had some of the old pieces she has practiced so many times.

The whole way home I was so excited. “Oh, Evie, you don’t know how happy it makes me to hear you play the Star Wars song!” I mean, of all the songs to be a natural at! I went on to tell her how I used to play the John Williams scores from the original Star Wars movies for her when she was a baby to help her sleep.

Obviously, the songs had subconsciously made neural pathways in her brain, predisposing her to play this piece of music. Best. Father. Ever.  I was so pleased with myself.



My Star Wars parenting was involved, though not how I first thought.

I turns out that we accidentally hoodwinked the piano teacher. See, Evie has been secretly practicing the Star Wars theme as a surprise for me for Father’s Day. We were out of town that weekend, and she forgot her piano book, so she never got a chance to play it for me. Naturally, with me sitting right there during her lesson, she didn’t want to admit that she had practiced the song many times, so she said she had never played it before.

The good news is, the song had the desired effect of getting me pretty excited, even if it didn’t play out the way she had imagined it. And, as nice of a surprise as having a Star Wars virtuoso in the family would be, it was even nicer to know she had spent time preparing a good surprise for me. One way or the other, I have managed to implant Star Wars thoughts into her head.

Maybe the Force has influenced her after all.