science fiction

Star Wars

A long time ago (last week), in a galaxy far, far away (Madison, Wisconsin)…I stitched my first tablecloth and napkin set.

I started with a vintage set my parents picked up for me at Brass Armadillo in Des Moines. Have you been to this place? It’s 36,000 square feet of visual crack for the nostalgic at heart. Some people might find this place overwhelming, but my parents?…They got more shopping stamina than Picasso got paint.

Star Wars was a colossal subject for me to tackle. It’s intimidating, mostly because of all of the nerds out there who love it. I kept thinking, “Don’t screw this up or you will get trolled!”

I re-watched Episodes IV, V and VI, just to make sure I did not make any mistakes. For example, I stupidly thought I could include Yoda on a napkin, but he does not appear until Empire, which made Obi Wan the more logical choice. My hat model also schooled me on the order of the spacecrafts approaching the Death Star. Han is in the Millennium Falcon, chasing Darth who is in the Tie Fighter (not to be confused with a regular Tie Fighter with flat wings), chasing Luke who is in the X Wing, all headed toward the Death Star. I probably would have slapped them all on there willy nilly, but NO, it must be logical, he said. And he’s right, as usual, and I’m forever grateful for his advice.

I have two more tablecloths waiting to be stitched upon. One is lime neon green, and the other is sunshine yellow with a killer lace edging. Unfortunately, there aren’t matching napkins for either of these, which means I’ve got some thrift store hunting to do. I’m in no rush to stitch another tablecloth though, as I need time to bask in the magnificence of this Star Wars project for a while. Because, I’m telling you, that Death Star was a real pain in the ass. However, I do look forward to stitching Jabba the Hutt when the opportunity arises. That whole post will be in Huttese. Chuba doompa, dopa-maskey kung!

The X-Files – Mulder and Scully

xfilesI’m currently re-watching The X-Files, and I’m nearing the end of the third season. I’m glad to say that while it was dangerously close to jumping the shark all through season two, it has come back enough for me to keep watching. There is a formula – alien, murderer, monster, animal. But in the end, Fox Mulder is staring into my soul, making a subtle wisecrack, and I cannot forsake him. As for Scully, I don’t hate her, which is really something for me. In fact, I enjoy her earth-toned pant suits and inflated shoulder pads.

One thing the show has made me consider is what it must be like to genuinely believe in something. I believe in thrift store clothes and expensive shoes, what the Big 10 football tradition used to be, and that most people are full of shit (including myself). Aliens? Not so much. But wouldn’t it be nice to feel that you know something that no one else knows? To feel so goddamn right that you can scoff at naysayers without a second thought?

I don’t know. Maybe that’s too much responsibility. Maybe I’m better off admiring Mulder’s conviction while laughing at his quest. I mean, aliens? Come on.

Yoda – Free Stuff!

YodaI’m giving away this little Yoda mug rug. Just head over to Facebook and share the post pinned at the top of my page, and you’ll be entered in a drawing. Your chances of winning will probably be pretty good since about four people actually pay attention to the nonsense I post over there. Good luck!

Doctor Who

TardisHave I mentioned that I love custom orders? This was my second request from my pal over at Dinner is Served 1972.

Now, I have to shamefully admit that I have only watched one episode of “Dr Who” in my life. I can’t remember what happened. I wanted to love it. Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything about it – loving it, or hating it. Maybe that means I need to try it again.

In any case, this TARDIS stitch is going to be sewn into a pillow (that’s Time and Relative Dimension in Space – thank you, Wikipedia). I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Star Trek

Picture 046I am not a Trekkie. Because of this, I cannot nerd out on you and preach the complexity and wisdom of the show.

However, I have been to a Star Trek convention. You heard me correctly, my friends, and it was an experience I will never forget.

With it being so unforgettable, I should remember the year, but I don’t. I can only pinpoint it to my time in New Jersey, which was 2002 – 2006. I can further deduce, based on my haircut and the clothes I wore (yes, I can remember these things, but not the date), it was likely 2004. The weather was hot, and I was stubbornly dressed for autumn, which makes me think it was probably September.

None of that really matters. What matters is that I went to a Star Trek convention in Cherry Hill, NJ with the sole purpose of seeing William Shatner. Up to this point, I thought Shatner was intriguing because everyone seems to ridicule him, yet he seems to also be in on the joke somehow. He appears to be just aware enough to laugh with everyone and not look like a complete tool. Also, I discovered his recording “Has Been”, featuring a song with Henry Rollins, that further proved to me there was something to Shatner besides a huge ego and a bad toupee.

As it happens, there is something more to Shatner – it’s an extra ego because one is not enough for him, as well as a steaming side dish of assholery.

The convention was held in the lobby, hallways, and various ballrooms of some mediocre hotel off of the turnpike. It was weird, to say the least. There were tables and booths full of Star Trek shit, people milling about in costume, men gingerly caressing action figures and plush toys – basically the peculiarity you’d expect at such an event. While waiting for Shatner’s appearance, it was entertaining enough to watch people, which is a favorite pastime annually at the Iowa State Fair. This wasn’t all that different from the fair, actually. Instead of obese Midwesterners eating fried food on a stick and farmers commenting on the testicle size of the blue ribbon boar, there were copious yet differing geeks wearing plastic Spock ears and there was an exciting buzz over Shatner being in the building.

Cue Shatner. In he comes, taking his place behind the podium. He’s funny, he’s charming, and he quickly launches into a story about Riverside, Iowa – the birthplace of his character Captain Kirk. This might not seem unusual for those who are familiar with Kirk’s character. However, I was/am not a Trekkie. I was a somewhat newly transplanted Iowan living in New Jersey. I did not expect to hear Shatner mention my homeland, let alone dedicate his time slot entirely to the small town of Riverside.

It didn’t take long for my surprise to morph into apprehension, then into downright rage. Shatner went into splendid detail of how he punked the entire town and filmed it for national viewing pleasure. In true East Coast fashion, he stood before me, mocking my heritage, my people, my fucking birthright.

I was not amused.

In retrospect, I realize I was being hypersensitive. One thing I quickly learned upon leaving Iowa is that many people really do believe and adhere to stereotypes. Conversely, upon returning to the Midwest a few years ago, I realized my rose-colored view of my aforementioned birthright was 75% bullshit and 25% sentimentality.

In the end, Shatner was an incredible asshole and I was a naive fool. I guess we both fulfilled our own prescribed stereotypes, as expected.