Friday, September 9, 2011

Blogging Is Hard (Or "Why I Hate Brian")

I started this blog a long time ago. I had aspirations. I had dreams. I was going to be the best blogger the world had ever seen. But the bottom line is: blogging is hard. Sure, I always have crap to say, most of it unintelligible garbage or fart noises, but the problem is finding time to share it with the world. I have two kids, two dogs, an overzealous passion for accumulating Star Wars memorabilia, comic books, and now even freaking G.I. Joes (don't know how that happened), and lots and lots of excuses for why I don't write here very often.

So here's the deal. I will give this a go again, and try so desperately to undo decades of perfecting laziness, in order to make my reader (singular) happy.  I will ultimately fail. In about a week, I will no longer give two shits and a handshake about this blog, and will return to my normal routine of taking pictures of Darth Vader toys I acquire, try to get caught up on comic reading, try to find socially acceptable ways in which to dunk fried mozzarella sticks into nacho cheese sauce,  and peruse action figure forums on my laptop whilst taking a dump. That's just how it's going to be. I'm not proud of it. Well, kind of. You should see some of the sweet Vader stuff I've gotten in recently.

So here's to a great....ehhhh...3, maybe 4 blog entries, tops.  Just enough so that Brian will quit riding me like an old Huffy bicycle with a banana seat and a sissy bar.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V: The Recap

Well, I'm back. Barely. Long flights, longer walks, even longer lines, all followed by long flights again. That is the best summation of my Celebration V experience.  As I stated before, this was my first Con of any kind, and I have a lot to learn. You see, your typical nerd fest isn't something you can just fall into haphazardly and expect to get maximum benefit from.  You need a plan. And I had one. A freaking great one. And then I found the art gallery.

Before I had boarded any plane, I had made a list of what I really wanted to find at the convention. Things I could only get there. And things that would surely sell out before the weekend was over. It was a short list. The top of that list was a Gentle Giant 12" Vintage Boba Fett Statue. More on that later. The second item on my very short list were a handful of art prints that were only going to be available at CV, and only a maximum of 250 were to be offered of each print.  To top that off, each print would be hand numbered and signed by the artist himself! No brainer. Gotta get some. So I went into the art gallery. I meticulously selected the prints I wanted. Then each artist handed me a slip I was to take to the register, and bring back a receipt from in order to pick up my print. Notice I said register. Singular. 35,000 nerds, 250 prints available, and one register. Really? Yes, really. So I got my tickets, and I got in line. And so help me God that's all I did on day one.  I was in line at 10:30. I was walking out of the gallery at 4:30. And then I cried. So much had I missed! So much splendor! So many panels! So many other exclusives! I was violated. And the dirt wasn't coming off.

On a lighter side, I scored some KILLER prints from Chris Trevas and Brian Rood.  Outstanding. If you don't know who they are, Google them. Or get the hell outta my blog.

I didn't see one Ewok. Not one.

I did, however, see shitloads of R2 units. And I'm not talking some crappy paper mache crap, either. I'm talking beeping, walking, spinning, smart assing, full-on R2 units. Big kudos to the R2 Builders. You guys are nuts. But in a good way.  Not in a "kill your dog and wear it like a hat" kinda way.

I met a ton of actors from the movies.  I did meet Mark Hamill. Although I wasn't able to even ask if he could sing "Luke, Be A Jedi Tonight." But still cool nonetheless.

I met Carrie Fisher, and I did discuss  The 'Burbs with her while she signed a picture of herself in a gold bikini. And it wasn't awkward. Score. She actually said that they had a blast making that movie.  And then she asked for my digits. And then I woke up.

I met Anthony Daniels, aka C-3PO, too. Umm....douchebag.  Here was our conversation.

Me: "....."

A.D.: "Take your arm off the table." (In the snootiest British accent you can think of.)

Me: "....."

Did I miss something here? Is he really that big of a star to act like a diva? I paid $50 for that guy to scold me and sign a picture.  Last time I checked, his schedule consisted of the following: Nothing. He's lucky that nerds like me clamor for an autograph from a guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and skinny enough to fit in a freaking shiny metal costume. It doesn't take years of training to pull that off. All you need to do is get out of wardrobe, and walk like you shat your gold plating. Next.

My friend behind me was given a dirty look by him because he literally hadn't moved the picture he wanted signed close enough to him.  That was the most awkward 6" picture slide in history.  And I've seen some whoppers.

Other actors, hella cool. Chris Muncke, who played Captain Khurgee, was rad. He asked us our names and commented on our tattoos. He gave a shit. And was thankful that thousands of nerds still know who he is, and what part he played.

I wasn't able to meet anyone nerdier than me.  Remember, I was in the art line.

I didn't buy anything I had never heard of before. Although I did score a mound of awesome crap at a wicked price.

I did see four kaffilion 501 troopers as well. And not just Stormtroopers. I saw the Emperor, and Darth Vader, and Boba Fett, and Bossk, and Chewbacca.  Oh, and a Darth Maul that was wearing Napolean Dynamite glasses and had a profile like Barney from The Simpsons. I don't think he was 501st, though. He may or may not have been mentally retarded. I also rather enjoyed the 60 year old half-shirted Padme, that looked like the cover of the Megadeth album Countdown to Extinction, only with visible granny-panty lines.

I didn't get to see George Lucas. Or Jon Stewart.  But I imagine it was good.

I walked alot. And Orlando is the most wretched, humid place I have ever been to. I have more mosquito bites than a Survivor contestant. I also now have cankles, because my ankles have swollen into my calves from the marathon walking.

Did I mention the art line?

But all said and done, I can't freaking wait until Celebration 6.

No more here.


Friday, August 6, 2010

e-Bay Nutjob of the Week!

Welcome to the first ever "A Tad Much: e-Bay Nutjob of the Week!"  I love e-Bay, you love e-Bay. Let's skip the pleasantries and get right to the dirty dirty.   I found this today.  Don't ask how.


Why would somebody want this? Why would somebody make this? It's exactly what it says.  Earrings made out of moose crap.  No metaphors. No analogies. Just moose crap, rhinestones, and a dream.

It's easy to speculate how someone would make this.  The description actually spells it out nicely. It's moose poop that has been collected, dried, and polyurethaned.  They even guarantee no smell.  Which is awesome. I don't know about you, but I, for one, am sick and tired of buying pair after pair of moose shit earrings for the special ladies in my life, only to find out that they smell like moose shit.  What does moose shit smell like, you ask? It smells like wet trash and broken dreams.

I'm not sure why they need rhinestones, either.  Is there any stone, really, that can improve upon such an impressive mammalian defecation? No. There isn't.

And for the record, someone has bought these. They wouldn't make them otherwise. Every Christmas some idiot tries desperately to find a funny gift for their obligatory Secret Santa Party.  And after an awkward chuckle, at the end of the night some poor bastard climbs into his frost covered car with a pair of freaking moose shit earrings and a feeling of resentment.

And I'll bet someone has actually bought these thinking they would be a beautiful gift for their wife or girlfriend. And that someone is functionally retarded. And now divorced.

But get 'em while they're hot, folks!

Moose poop earrings: The World's Most Effective Cock-Blocker.

Did I mention the free shipping?

No more here.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm 30 Going On 7.

Here's a typical scenario in my life.  My wife and I have someone over to the house for the first time.  The obligatory tour is given. "Oh, I like that couch," "Those cabinets really look good," "I really like how you painted that." (For the record the voice I had in my head while I was typing that last sentence was that of Fran Drescher.)

As we come to the end of the tour, someone inevitably asks, "What's in there?"  Then,  half proud,  half mortified, I look at our guests and say, "Prepare to never think of me the same way again." Then I open the door. As the lights go on in my Wonka-Factory-Like Star Wars room, their eyes widen, give a cursory glance around the perimeter, and say "Why do you have all this stuff?"

Truth is, I have no idea.

I have collected Star Wars toys since 1995.  I was a Sophomore in High School, and I was immediately enthralled by a new line of Star Wars toys called "The Power of the Force." They were bright, and red, and orange, and shiny, and Luke, and Vader and I had to have them.  All of them.  But why?

I have gone back and forth on this many a time.  And I have come to the conclusion that there is no rhyme nor reason to a collection such as mine. In a certain way it recaptures my youth, and actually greatly expands upon it. When I was growing up, everyone wanted every Star Wars toy imaginable.  My brother and I had 5. Total.  Between the two of us.  So maybe somehow having all this stuff allows me to fulfill a childhood fantasy.

Or maybe the more accurate answer is much simpler. I'm freakin' insane.

I am well aware that it is not normal to stalk a Wal-Mart toy department at 2:00 AM, waiting for them to get down the Star Wars toy cases located on the bottom of a pallet, so that I may hope to find a Darth Vader, Green Card, .01, Micro Saber, Shiny Hilt.  (Right now someone is reading this and knows exactly what I'm talking about.)

I know that it is unhealthy to wait for a 7 year old kid to put down the action figure he is parading around with, begging his mother to buy.  We all know he isn't gonna get it.  And I really need that R2-D2.

I further know that most "normal" adults do not dedicate significant portions of their time researching, cataloguing, bidding on, or trading 3 3/4" pieces of plastic shaped like characters from a 30 year old movie franchise.

But I do. And I love it.

There is nothing more satisfying than finding the one item you've been searching for, abandoned on a Target toy shelf, marked down for clearance.  There is nothing more rewarding than helping a fellow collector track down an item they have been unsuccessful at finding. There is nothing more exhilarating than finally getting the last piece to complete a series.

Truth be told, the awkward look of bewilderment on the faces of my guests is pretty damn rewarding, too.

All in all, I don't know why I obsessively collect Star Wars merchandise. And I don't have to.

No more for now.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Star Wars Celebration V

Let's get one thing straight. I'm a Star Wars nerd. And proud of it. I love the movies...all of them. I collect the toys. I am obsessed.

For all the years I have loved and collected Star Wars, I have never attended a convention, or a trade show, or anything remotely close to one. Until now. This year, a friend and I are actually flying to Orlando for Star Wars Celebration V.  You know it's important when they use a Roman numeral.

For all of you non-nerds that have no idea what I'm talking about, Star Wars Celebration is an event put on every few years by Lucasfilm itself to celebrate everything Star Wars.  There's panels, and stuff to buy, and parties, and more stuff to buy, and celebrities signing autographs, and even more stuff to buy.  And I, for one, cannot wait.

It's hard to know what to expect, being that I've never been to one. I bought a four-day pass.  Some that know me have told me I can not possibly find four days worth of stuff to do at a Star Wars festival.  I think they're wrong.  They may be unrealistic, but I have pretty damn high expectations for this thing.

Like what, you ask?

Like Ewoks. Shitloads of them. I want to be surrounded by Ewoks.  I want to feel intimidated by them. Like they could drop a battalion of Stormtroopers with twigs and rocks. And they better smell like they live and crap in the woods.

And I want to meet Mark Hamill. And I want him to sing selections from his appearance on The Simpsons.  "Luke, be a Jedi tonight...."

I want to see R2-D2. No 3PO.

I want to buy stuff I've never even heard of before.  And then show it off.  I'm not leaving there without Darth Vader's movie worn jock strap.  Or Lando Calrissian's authentic pimp boots.

I want to meet Star Wars artists. No, really. There are some hella talented artists there that I would love to chat with.

I want to see the hundreds of 501st Stormtroopers walking around like a family reunion.  I want to talk with them. Find out their dreams.  Learn their ancient ways.

I want to meet collectors that far exceed my nerdom.  They will be there. And I will buy something they don't have. And I will enjoy it.

I want to talk to Carrie Fisher about her role in The 'Burbs while she's signing a photo of her in her golden bikini. And I don't want it to be awkward.

I want to meet some of the many people I have chatted with online about Star Wars collecting. I hope they've showered.

And lastly, I want to see George Lucas being interviewed by Jon Stewart. It will happen there. It has been written.  But what is being said is that one will have to wait in line the night before in order to gain access to this event.  And this saddens me.  Of all the thousands of Star Wars devotees that will be traveling from across the globe, and spending thousands of dollars, all in order to celebrate Star Wars, only a small percentage will actually get to "Meet the Maker." Why? Why couldn't it be held in a multi-thousand seat auditorium in order to accommodate any and all that want to see?  I will never know. And I probably won't get to see him.  But I won't let it ruin my time.

Most of all, I am looking forward to good times with good friends.  Star Wars or not, it will be memorable.

But I'll be sure to let you all know if I get what I want.

No more here.



Hey. It's me. Tad. So I created a web log, or "blog" for all you tech nerds.  I've decided I have something just as, if not more, important than most of the bloggers I've read.  Who cares about politics? Or fashion? Or "news." I wanted a blog about really important stuff. Like Star Wars toys. Or sports. Or even funny stuff that happens in my daily life.

And since no one else was writing about me and what I care about, I guess I'll have to.

So I guess this will be kind of the "get to know me" blog.  Hmmm. Well, I'm 30. I'm married with two kids. I'm what you would call a "King Sized" kind of guy. I freaking love Star Wars. So much so, in fact, that I have an entire room in my house devoted to the metric tons of toys and other memorabilia I've accumulated of Star Wars over the years.  I also like sports. No, not soccer. I said sports.

I live in a smallish town in Arizona called Flagstaff. No it is not hot here. No there aren't any cacti in my yard. No I do not belong to a cult or militia group.  Flagstaff shouldn't even be part of Arizona. It's at 7,000 feet elevation (suck it Denver), is surrounded by mountains and pine trees, and is one of the most Liberal college towns you'll ever see.  I was born and raised here.  It's kind of like the Mafia; the only way out is death or prison.

Well, I think that gives you an idea of where I'm coming from.  So stay tuned as I awkwardly belly-flop into the kiddie pool of blogging.  Again and again.

No more here.