The Family That Nerds Together

Nerd runs deep in my family. My father has it, my brother has it, my mother has it, my uncle has it, my cousin has it and of course… I have it.

Nerdy things were not cool at school. But they sure were cool at home!
My parents are huge Trekkies, saw Star Wars in the theaters and are always watching whatever superhero, fairytale, castaway TV show comes on. The nerd runs even deeper than my immediate family. My aunt and uncle, my cousin and her husband…we’re all a bunch of nerds.

So I come by my nerd pretty naturally. You could say I was destined for nerdom! And in the wake of a new Star Wars movie, I wondered what my family members felt about Star Wars. What it’s meant to them. And here’s what they said…

Linton (Uncle):

“I can remember thinking ‘STAR WARS?’ How could anything be better than STAR TREK? Not possible!! But then I went to see it, it was just AMAZING! From the scroll in the beginning to the very end. Star Trek, take a back seat!”

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Barbara (Mom):

“It’s hard to believe that I have such a vivid picture of watching the first Star Wars movie in 1977 since I don’t have a great memory about other events in my past. I remember not really knowing much about what I was going to be seeing. I went with some friends from college. I always liked Sci-Fi, Star Trek was a favorite, but I didn’t really know much about Star Wars.

That day in the theater when it came on the big screen was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Bigger than life, exciting, fantastic, amazing! Coming out of the theater we couldn’t talk about anything else, but what we had just experienced. And when we learned that there was going to be another movie made, we were ecstatic.

Each subsequent movie has been the same, bigger than life and amazing. I know the upcoming one will be awesome and I can’t wait!”

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Sterling (Cousin):

“Well it was you and Jeremy who introduced me to Star Wars (along with Power Rangers, the Rosie O’Donnell Show and Gone with the Wind, those were the only things ever on TV at your house.) And my first memory was actually not watching Star Wars together, but dressing up for Halloween as Star Wars characters together. My Ewok costume wasn’t staying together so I remember my father stapling me into it.”

my first memory was actually not watching Star Wars together, but dressing up for Halloween as Star Wars characters

Jeremy (Brother): 

“Star Wars. I must say it has been quite a ride for me. I cannot pinpoint when I first watched it or when I first became a superfan, mainly because it’s been with me for as long as I can remember. My sister likes to think that she introduced me to it, I tend to think the other way around. Whatever the case, it has been a huge part of my life. There was a time post-prequels when my enthusiasm waned. Why? Who knows. It could have been my post-college adulthood trying to push out all of the things I liked as a kid. Whatever the reason, Star Wars was put on the back burner for several years.

What brought it back (and in a big way?) I think it must have been watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. It gave me new stories and characters to love as well as reminding me of all of the other aspects of Star Wars I loved.

Now, I’m back to being that superfan I was as a kid (so much so, I have a Star Wars room and even contemplated naming my soon-to-be baby girl Leia…or Rey.) And how, if you are a living breathing human (or non-human) can you not be excited about The Force Awakens? I mean…Episode VII!!! Who ever thought that this day would come! (*contented sigh)

I LOVE STAR WARS!”

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Eric (Dad): 

“I saw Episode IV then I was a counselor at Salvation Army summer camp.. The rest of the time at camp we college age counselors (at least the cool ones) discussed the various aspects of the movie. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of my involvement with a whole new universe – or at least a galaxy!”

The rest of the time at camp we college age counselors (at least the cool ones) discussed the various aspects of the movie.

 
What does Star Wars mean to you? Comment below or send me an email at liztailor481@gmail.com

Star Wars Re-Watch (Episode III)

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Out of all the prequel films, this truly is the gem. I’m not saying there aren’t glaring mistakes…the love scenes still induce gagging. And the way Anakin flips sides so casually…yes, it could have been done better. But that doesn’t take away from the overall strength of the film and the beautiful and tragic story it tells.

I can’t stress the importance of watching the Cartoon Network series, Clone Wars. It really adds so much to the narrative and strengthens the weak points. If you haven’t done that…please do yourself a favor and check it out (all 6 seasons are available on Netflix.)

Ok…here’s my stream of consciousness as I re-watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. You’re welcome, nerds!! 😉

-“There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.” Ok but what heroes are on the bad side??

-Great start to this movie with the sweeping space shots and Battle of the Heroes playing majestically!

-Definitely the best of the prequels.

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-Anakin looks like he’s seen serious action in the Clone Wars and has weathered life.

-“Set S-foils in attack position!”

-Obi-Wan is such a cranky old man… “Flying is for droids!”

-Poor R4. Maybe that’s why Obi-Wan didn’t form an attachment to R2, He’s lost too many droids.

-R2D2 dueling a buzz droid!

-“I have a bad feeling about this!”

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-General Grevious is so unnecessary. But his theme music is super bad ass!! That cough though…what were they thinking?

-R2 hiding the communicator is so cute!

-I want to hear all those loose wire jokes, Obi-Wan!

-CGI’d Christopher Lee jumping off the balcony is just trying way too hard!! (I hate how they try so hard to show you that even though Christopher Lee is older he can still fly around like a Jedi bat. And why. Because older Obi-Wan was a boss and didn’t need to do CGI backflips to prove his skills!!)

-“Sith Lords are our speciality.” I wish they’d stop giving Ewan those stupid one liners. He’s so much better than that!

-This lightsaber battle between Anakin and Dooku is much better than the one in Episode II. But Lee’s stunt double is still way too spry!

-Emperor Palpatine showing his teeth in this scene!

-Also… as I said, if you aren’t watching Clone Wars, then you are missing out on all kinds of Dooku goodness!

-Anakin holding both the red and blue lightsaber as he kills Dooku…major foreshadowing…and I love it!

-Wilhelm scream!

-Why do all he Nemoidians on Grevious’ ships sound like surfers?

-That whole “I say patience” conversation is dumb. “Wait a minute…we’re smarter than this.” Cause it doesn’t sound like you are.

-Major smack talk between Grevious and Anakin!

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In this photo provided by Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Fox, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor, left) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) launch a daring rescue attempt aboard an enemy ship, in “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.” (AP Photo/ Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Fox)

-Ani and Obi fighting side by side brings warm feelings to my heart!

-How can Grevious fly in outer space without needing air, but has that nasty cough??? And does having an organic heart mean he needs oxygen to breath? And how did he catch that cold? And does he have lungs? And if he has lungs and a heart, wouldn’t they explode in outer space????

-Why do they give Sam Jackson the dumbest most static lines in these movies??

-There’s Jar-Jar’s only line in this movie. “Excuse me.”

-Ok…do Ani and Palme think that no one can seem them there? It’s not that dark!

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-“The happiest moment of my life.” Awwww…the heartbreak of this moment.  And of Anakin’s happiness about the pregnancy. Hayden really hit this scene home and makes you feel it!

-Were they trying to go for some pre-Vader heavy breathing with Grevious? Cause it just comes off as a bit of a head scratcher!

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-Que the terrible love scene… “No, it’s cause I’m so in love with you!” “So love has blinded you then?” Yep, blinded by love has to be the only explanation for this stupid dialogue!

-Awww Japor Snippets of love!

-“You die in childbirth” Clearly they didn’t teach Anakin about hope and faith and changing your destiny. Come on!!

-Yes, of course Obi-Wan would be able and willing to help you both. Of course he would! And you should have trusted that instinct.

-“Fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.” But Yoda, I think actual loss can do that too sometimes if not properly dealt with!

-“Attachment leads to jealousy.” Yeah, but if taught correctly it wouldn’t have to! Friendship is attachment…and the Jedi have friendships.

-“Be careful of your friend Palpatine!” They’re all warning Anakin and all but pushing him in that direction. Of course Anakin easily trusts him. He is a loyal man who is hungry for a father figure. And when you separate him from Obi-Wan, the only father/brother he’s ever known, then Anakin finds that relationship in Palpatine who uses it and twists it. All Anakin wants is to love and be loved.

-Palpatine showing faith in him is exactly what he’s always wanted.

-I want to hear more about Yoda’s back story with the Wookie’s.

-Then don’t put him in that situation, Obi-Wan. You know what’s best for him. You are his family. Protect him from Palpatine and from the council!

-I just wish Qui-Gonn was still around right now!

-“A prophesy which misread, it could have been.”

-War always represents a failure to listen. This is a serious truth bomb from Padme!

-Just when Padme is getting to the good stuff and calling Anakin out on his stuff she goes all mushy, “Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo.” YUCK!! I want more of the fierce politician!

-Space Opera is cool!

-Bring on the tales of Darth Plagueis!

-“All who gain power are afraid to lose it.” Yep and that’s why power should be given to those who don’t want it.

-“The Jedi are selfless, they only care about others.” In an ideal world, of course. But sadly this isn’t true.

-What are some other Sith Legends, Palpatine? He’s such a good story teller!!

-“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some would consider to be unnatural.” He just hits those dark lines so well!!

-This is Ian McDiarmid at his best! He really nails this scene.

-Utapau is cool!

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-WOOKIE ARMY!!!

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-Anakin and Obi-Wan saying goodbye. The last time they see each other before it all goes down. I’m not crying…you’re crying!!

-Jealousy doesn’t look good on you, Ani. Knock it off!!

-Padme looks so pretty with her curly hair.

-They don’t make it very clear whether or not Obi knows about Ani and Padme at this point.

-A rose gold R unit for Obi-Wan. That goes with everything this season! Obi has major droid style!

-“Oh…a volcanic planet. Why didn’t you say so? Definitely send us there cause it sounds super safe!”

-And now we find Dooku was training his evil half organic droid with the croup in the Jedi arts…but what for? That doesn’t make any sense! He was also training Asajj Ventress at this time. That seems to go against the rule of 2!

-Half wheel/half animal droid vehicle thing.

-How are we not about to have holographic conference calls yet? Someone get on that!

-“I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi” Slow clap and a cookie for Mace Windu…

-At least Anakin knows something is wrong here. Now if only Mace didn’t screw the pooch with this one and basically hand Ani over to Palpatine on a silver platter.

-Buh-Bye General Grevious!

-I wish Anakin had gone to anyone besides Mace Windu! Bad idea.

-This staring out the window thing is weird. Are Ani and Padme having a Force moment? Did it work? Did it help?

-Awwwww… Poor Kit Fisto! I liked him!

-Palpatine’s CGI stunt double is also pretty unbelievable! Too much CGI!

-Palpatine is seriously the most brilliantly evil mind. The way he manipulates situations for his outcome.

-This part is too quick. Anakin sees Palpatine kill Mace after asking Mace not to kill Palpatine. Then all of a sudden he’s swearing fealty to the Sith. It’s too fast. The progression isn’t there and that is the biggest failing of this film. That’s the most important part of the story and it gets rushed.

-Do you think Palpatine had the name Vader all picked out and embroidered on all the towels. He thinks of it really fast.

-How can Anakin possibly become so evil so quick??? It’s too fast. Ani is still in there somewhere.

-ORDER 66 😦

-No one takes down Yoda, bitches!! BEST!!!

-Without the Clone Wars series to give you the shading and characterization of the Clones as individuals, you really lose something in this scene where they turn after having fought side by side with the Jedi for years and years. It’s so powerful when you add that layer in there.

-NOT THE YOUNGLINGS, ANAKIN!!!!! Think of your own child!

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-I really love Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa.

-There goes George Lucas’ Jedi son kicking serious Clone ass!

-Anakin really jumps on the evil bandwagon and lies to himself so easily.

“Oh, by the way, Padme. It’s Darth Vader now. I know…totally confusing. And sure it sounds evil. It’s cool. You’ll get used to it!”

-Bail, Obi-Wan and Yoda make a killer team!

-“So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”

-I think we really get robbed of seeing Padme as her best self. She is a fierce politician with a very clear picture of how things are going down and she’s not afraid to say what needs to be said. Her political career should have been much brighter after stepping down as Queen.

-Search your feelings, Obi-Wan. you know exactly who killed the younglings. 😦 The pain of the reality doesn’t change the reality.

-Obi-Wan’s heartbreak over Anakin is…well…heart breaking!!!

-Oh look, Padme can easily lie to herself too.

-Qui-Gonn could have fixed this. Maybe not all of it. But we really need him right now!

-This movie is so sad!

-Here comes more heartbreak!

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-Padme’s hair is cool in this Mustafar scene!

-You’re darn right Obi-Wan was right! You should have gone to him earlier, Padme!

-Don’t fight your brother, Anakin!!! That’s your family. Come back!

-“Only a Sith deals in absolute.” That’s an absolute, Obi-Wan! Was George high when he wrote some of these lines???

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-This is the lightsaber battle we deserve!!! It’s so freaking epic!!

-Yoda walks in and throws the red guards around like a freaking BOSS!!!

-“Not if anything to say about it, I have.” Trying too hard to Yoda-tize every line of his.

-This whole part is EPIC!!!

-And just when you think it can’t get any better, Duel of the Fates starts playing and takes the emotion up 100 notches!!

-The way they intertwine Duel of the Fates and Battle of the Heroes into each other…John Williams is the Master!!!

-Yoda looks so small after his fight with Palpatine. As he goes into exile and fully realizes the defeat of his oversight.

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-Ok, when Anakin and Obi-Wan start jumping on the lava droids…it loses the magic.

-Even as Jedi, standing on those droids is just distracting and stupid.

-Yes, he is lost. And he needs you now more than ever, Obi-Wan!!!

-“You were the chose one…” I’m not crying again…it’s still you that’s crying, you big baby!!!

-Also…he is still the chosen one. That never changed!

-“Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness.” It actually never specifies how he will bring about the balance, does it. Obi-Wan? Just says that he does.

-Can we talk about how Obi-Wan’s last vision of Anakin is him burning on a lava bank with no legs and no arm. Then he goes on to talk to Luke about him like he was the best guy. Obi-Wan can sure bend the truth and hide his feelings.

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-I’d like to see Bail Organa: The Early Years, with Jimmy Smits raising Leis amidst what I can only imagine is a rather fascinating political landscape in the early days of the Rebellion on Alderaan!

-“Isita Orido…Oooba…Oooba…Oooba… isista Orida.”

-Oooba has got to be the calmest way of saying push in the whole galaxy!!!

-Padme hopes there’s good in him. But she is no Jedi. She believes. She has faith and that is so powerful!

-Vader breathing his first as Padme breathes her last is everything!! And then….NOOOOOOO happens. Ooops!

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-FRANKEN-VADER!!!

-Leia’s theme is beautiful here!

-Tarkin’s look alike is on fleek for those .2 seconds that he’s on screen!

-The last 4 minutes as a set up for A New Hope is very solid. Really sets up the world to come, the world we already know!

-Oh, John Williams. You magical beast!!! He makes the credits worth sitting through every time. He taught me to stay through the credits and listen to the beautiful music!!

I Pitch My Tent in the Valley

I had a revelation about dating. It’s not ground breaking information or anything. Just a thought about me. The person I know the most and spend the most time with. And maybe you’ve felt or feel like this and that is why we share. To find connection. To say, “Hey, you’re there right now? Me too.”
So…I don’t like dating. It’s no secret. And I recently went on a date with a really nice guy. He was socially well adjusted and he liked nerdy things and he loved Jesus. He was quite possibly a unicorn. But I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t wanna go. And when he asked me out for a second date (something I’ve never been on with anyone) I dragged my feet about it. And turned into a whiner. I whined about it. “Do I have to go?” I asked my friends and family. The same friends and family who have heard me complain time and again that I don’t get asked out by decent guys and have heard me complain that I’ve never even been on a second date with anyone…ever.
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What was wrong with me? What have I been saying??? “Unicorn!” “Where are all the unicorns?” “If only I could find a unicorn then maybe my relationship stuff would be over.” But here was a unicorn sitting in front of me and I couldn’t be bothered.
It wasn’t adding up.

There’s an element that I have not shared with you beautiful nerds. I’ve kept it close. It was too private to share. But…here goes everything.
I accidentally fell in love somewhere in the 8 years I was living in New York. And yes…accidentally falling in love is as stupid as it sounds. And it doesn’t produce the happy outcome that you readers and viewers and family and friends so graciously hope for my life.

I’m only giving the highlights because of anonymity and because if he ever reads this (highly unlikely), he knows all he needs to about it and doesn’t need to know any more than what I’ve chosen to share. And because there is way more to it than this, but this is the important stuff.

The bullet points are as follows:
-He’s a boy
-I’m a girl
-We were friends
-Then we were roommates
-I moved out
-I missed him
-I started to feel more
-But knew it was not a possibility
-So I tried to get over it
-And failed miserably
-I told him I was in love with him
-But nothing happened
-Then I moved to Florida (not because of!! Important note.)

Now as I mentioned, this unicorn guy came along after the bullet points. And the bullet points, of course, have a lot to do with a lack of enthusiasm about the unicorn.

Here’s what it boils down to. I’m 32 now. I’m not getting any younger. But hey!! I am getting way…way better!!
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I’m about to be an aunt. And almost all my friends and family are married. It’s natural. It’s what happens. But maybe that’s not what “happens” to me.

See…dating comes with a price tag. The price is that there are a set of expectations in a dating situation that for a hurricane like me, are unavoidable and undesirable. Expectations like…do I like him? Would I kiss him? Do I want to have sex one day with him? Would I marry him? (I’m drastically over simplifying but you get it.) All the while society and well-meaning church folks ask the dreaded questions…”When will you be getting married?” “Should I set you up on a blind date since you’re still single?” “Don’t you want to be happy?”

So instead of turning to a unicorn who I know there is potential with, I turn to and fixate on the bullet points. Cause there is no future there. There is no expectation of more. And that is ok with me right now.

But “NO!” you say. You’re shaking your head that it isn’t better. I know what you mean and I know why you shake, but I currently disagree… because I’m not looking for ‘The One’ I’m looking for a friend. Friendship is what you hope to end up with at the end of a long married day. A friend. Who gets you and loves you and sure…wants to have some sexy time with ya. But who is ultimately…your FRIEND.

If the only expectation on a date was getting a friend out of it, maybe then it wouldn’t fill me with the crippling fear that it does now. I don’t let fear get in the way for me usually. But with this dating stuff, for some reason, I listen. I don’t want to worry about whether or not some guy is gonna hold my hand or try to kiss me and will I be too polite to tell him I’m not really feeling anything but friendship for him. And why has it become such a crime or an emotional wrecking ball to have that conversation.

I want amazing. I want exciting and I want it with some one who knows me the way the bullet points knew me. But who also loves me back.
And it’s a Catch 22 that won’t happen if I avoid dating. I know that, mom! (She’s pretty smart!) This blog has no answer. It has no solution.

But then again, this blog has never been about having it figured out. Or about teaching how life works. It’s always been about the journey and the figuring and the valley moments. Cause that’s where I find my tent pitched 89% of the time. I’ll let someone else write about the mountain top.
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5 Fandom Friday

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Today’s 5 Fandom Friday topic is 5 Songs That Have Changed Your Life. This is a hard one, only because 5 seems like such a small number. I’m a singer/ songwriter and music is such an integral part of my life. It’s difficult to narrow all the music I love and listen to down to 5 important songs. But The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick get what they want. So here goes…

#1 – American Honey by Lady Antebellum

Country music is my one true love! And this song holds a very special place in my heart. I went through a very rough time a couple years back. I sort of lost myself and was doing things that weren’t representative of me. People tried to talk to me and tell me, but I couldn’t hear them. Until my friend Jared sat down and told me that I was like American Honey. And that I needed to get back to the person he knew me to be.

He really saw me in a moment when I couldn’t see myself. And this song really anchored me back to the person I truly am. Someone who isn’t jaded or influenced by the world. It’s not a song that is particularly inspirational or life changing by any means, but it has become a favorite and will always hold a very special place in my heart!!

#2 – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Country music may be my one true love, but Christian music is the cry of my heart. Christ is at the center of everything I do. And I don’t take a lot of time on my blog to express that. But it is so true. Some music expresses that longing for a Savior so beautifully and this is one of those songs. It’s a relatively new song, but it is one that makes me lift my hands and brings me to my knees. “Where feet may fail and fear surround me. Your sovereign hand will be my guide.” That’s such a powerful statement that I try to remind myself of each and everyday.

#3 – Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2

U2 has long been one of my favorite bands. The Edge is my imaginary boyfriend!! Music is a powerful medium to tell stories and elicit emotions at the same time. It has the power to challenge and convict and still be really, really catchy. This song was written about the “Bloody Sunday” conflict that happened in Northern Ireland on Jan. 30 1972. What a powerful use of music. U2 is a very political music group and they take the opportunity to be involved with projects and topics that they feel passionately about. I imagine this conflict was keenly felt as they are a group of talented Irishmen. I love when a song is about more than just music.

#4 – Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty

People always fight me on this one. Look, I love me some Tom Petty. But it’s the John Mayer cover of Free Fallin’ that really gets me. It’s my go-to karaoke song these days. And it’s a song that just feels like home to me. It’s perfect for road trips. It’s perfect for weddings. It’s perfect to listen to on a crowded subway. It’s basically the perfect song! And I stand behind my love of the John Mayer version. It’s a little more soulful, a little more hipster. If I was stranded on a desert island, it’s one of the songs I’d have on my playlist because I can listen to it on repeat and never get bored!!

#5 – Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen

I’m not one to cry very much. But when I need to let the tears go, I put this song on.The lyrics of this song feel like they were written about me. And I love when a song hits you between the eyes like that. I first heard it years ago around the time when Jerry McGuire came out (makes sense since it’s the theme song to that movie!) And I think I bawled for a good 2 hours. I can’t really listen to it on repeat because it does have such gravity in it’s lyrics, but it’s gorgeous. And Bruce is The Boss of course. So you really can’t go wrong with one of his songs on your list!!

What songs have hit you between the eyes? Lately or in the past. Let me know!!