Star Wars Weekends 2012 - Photo Blog

It wouldn't be May or June in Orlando without Star Wars Weekends! (Here are our pictures from last year. Kind of a time capsule of a blog entry too.)

I had already been to the event to produce a shoot for work. You can see the results in the June episode of "Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show". I can't say it enough, I really love my job!

And if you follow me on Twitter @BornForGeekdom, then you've already seen a couple of these photos.

But my husband and I wanted to set aside a special day just to attend the event to have fun, not to attend as media.

This year's special focus was "The Phantom Menace". Which meant that Queen Amidala made a special appearance, so we headed to her photo op first.

We had a long chat that went something like this, "Hey, I know I'm way too old for this and it's super dorky, but will you let me pose like I'm protecting you?"

To which she replied without hesitation, "You must be the Jedi the council sent to protect me." There is no play or pretend at Star Wars weekends. It's all real. *huge grin*


I'm Not Special and Neither Are You

Remember this?
Maybe it's because my parents allowed me to choose my own clothing as a kid, which resulted in lots of weird mismatched outfits. Maybe it's the fact that I learned that nobody appreciated my interpretive dance skills after my "Xanadu" dance solo in the first grad talent show. (To this song, if you were curious. But you probably weren't.) Maybe it's the fact that I cut my own hair in high school until my senior year. Whatever the reason, I learned from an early age to march to the beat of my own drummer.

I'm almost thirty and I've been weird my whole life. (Hence the name of this blog.) I am well accustomed to people not appreciating the things that make me "special". I wish I could say the same for everyone else on the planet.

Whatever the reason, I absolutely LOVE this graduation speech that's gone viral. I used to try to explain this to my creative writing students, with a lot less eloquence. This man should be given a congressional medal of honor. Then again...maybe Congress needs to hear this too...

Now, of course, we know people are quite special. No two of them are alike. Special talents and gifts abound. What I take away from this is the idea that the world doesn't owe you anything, despite the ways in which you are special. You want money? Go out there and earn it. You want to feel fulfilled creatively? Go make it happen. Have a good idea? Act on it. A good idea is never, repeat NEVER enough. You have to then follow through on that idea. And that sometimes involves hard work. 

Now, Thomas Edison was kind of a jerk. Just Google "Topsy the Elephant" to see what I mean. (Credit to the writer Cole Farrell who educated me on this matter with his stunning essay on elephants that made me cry buckets in the middle of a classroom one day during grad school.)

But he did say this and it does seem to be truth. 

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Then again, Michael Scott said Wayne Gretzky said this...

In general, just stop making excuses and do whatever it is that you feel that you have to do. I believe you that you're special. I really do. I think you have gifts and talents and a calling and something to give to the world. Now go do something about it. 

You ever notice how bloggers are usually just talking to themselves in one way or another? Hmmm...perhaps I am trying to tell myself something...


Why Kara "Starbuck" Thrace Still Matters

The hard-living fighter pilot Kara Thrace.
I recently finished Battlestar Galactica. I missed everything about the show when it was airing. It just wasn't in my consciousness. I didn't have cable at the time, I didn't know anyone who watched it.

So I watched with a completely fresh perspective recently on Netflix. And it seems like many other critics in the world felt what I felt when the show was said and done, that Katee Sackoff's "Starbuck" character was the (hopefully) true beginning of the end for outdated gender bias on TV.

Check out the Casting and Critical Response sections of her Wikipedia page to be lead down the rabbit hole on some of the important discussions that happened about her character when the show was airing.

The original Starbuck was a male. When the reboot of the show cast a woman in his place, there was (I'm sorry to have to use this qualifier, but "as usual"...) the initial outrage that a woman was cast in a "man's" role. But Sackoff's performance proved that the gender of that character didn't necessitate innate masculinity. What mattered was the performance, not whether she was a man or a woman.

If anything, being a woman added interesting layers of complexity to her interactions with the other characters on the show. But what a refreshing difference it made! It proved something. That toughness doesn't have to be masculine. It's the day after mother's day as I write this after all, and if anyone has to be tough in this world, it's a mother. And I don't say that in a patronizing or anecdotal way. I mean it.