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Posts Tagged ‘family’

I’m getting back to a more regular writing schedule after this summer (ok, year) of nuttiness, but that’s not all I’m doing. Last week’s project was to make a fleece shawl.


The shawl works as a wrap, blanket or pillow. It’s reversible, washable and nigh-on indestructible. It’s good for foggy mornings or chilly hospital rooms. It also has custom embroidery with what could be the motto for this crazy year. I made it for my aunt, a wonderful, free-wheeling, tough-as-nails woman who carved her own path to San Francisco decades ago and never left.

In related news, cancer sucks.

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I had a post in mind for today that I thought would be cool but, sadly, it’s not ready. Rather than go with something that’s not right, I’m setting it aside until I can do a good job or come up with something better. So in the end, what did I choose as Today’s Thing I Like? Popcorn:)

Here’s an excerpt from the family cookbook to tell you why.

Popcorn
My whole family can make this with their eyes closed, but Dad really deserves credit for setting new and higher standards for butter and salt consumption. He is blessed with a genetic tolerance for such unhealthy behavior; his blood pressure and cholesterol levels are lower than mine.

For years he’d head to the kitchen after dinner, and a few minutes later I’d hear pop pop! as hot oil turned the first kernels inside out. A few minutes more and we’d be piled on the couch with huge bowls of popcorn and masses of paper towels.

There was no television in the house growing up but at some point we acquired a copy of Star Wars and a video monitor. This was back before Blockbusters popped up down the street (or closed down, for that matter), and there were certainly no DVD players.

The tape was black and white and we watched it on a Beta machine. (Don’t remember Beta? That’s funny, no one else does either.) My brother and I watched that tape until it died, literally came apart from use. To this day I can still reel off an annoying amount of dialog and get excited when I see Star Wars in color. What could be better than a cold drink, a hot bowl of popcorn, and reciting C3PO’s lines with people you love?

 

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For my mother and anyone else facing a challenge today:

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
― Confucius

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I came across my In Case of Emergency folder the other day. You know, the one where you list your contacts and funeral preferences and the user names for all those Gmail accounts. Yeah, that folder. I also found a note, written ages ago, and decided it was stupid to wait until my own demise (or the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first) to say it, because You Just Never Know.

Here at the end of another year seems like a good time to share.

To My Family,

I probably haven’t said this often enough, certainly not as often as you all deserve.

I love you. Always have, always will. You are all so interesting and complicated and heart-achingly wonderful.

So… there:)

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens has premiered and the hype it is a-ramping! I’m excited. Really excited, like Fanboys excited, but I can’t see the movie just yet. Why not? Why am I not suited up in a Han Solo outfit (complete with super cool hip holster) and posting this from the ticket line at my local theatre? Because Star Wars isn’t just my thing, it’s a family thing.

See, I grew up without a television. My father had a minor (read major) TV problem and realized that having one meant watching one. All the time. So no TV. What we did have was a black and white lab monitor and a tape of Star Wars. On Betamax:)

We watched that tape a lot. Until the video track died, actually, and for a while after that. Most nights after dinner, Dad would make giant bowls of popcorn spackled together with butter and salt and we’d settle on the couch for the movie.

The. Movie.

Yeah, I was that kid, the geeky one who could quote the whole thing. (Droid dialog included, of course. I can’t tell you what it means to have your mostly secret childhood obsession become the new cultural darling, but I may not have to. Maybe you were that geeky kid too. Awesome, right?)

The original Star Wars was a great movie but it was also an anchor in turbulent times. My parents split up around then, my mother had health issues, I moved to a new school. The usual kinds of transitions children go through, and need a foundation to weather well.

Star Wars, and the bond that formed with my brother and father around science fiction and fantasy, was a big part of that anchor. It’s also a big part of why I write speculative fiction. In the way only fiction can, the movie proved that the good guys can win, that wrongs can be righted, and that a scrappy band of rag-tag rebels can change the course of history. (Also that parsecs are a measure of time, support garments aren’t necessary in space, and that no matter what Obi-Wan says, stormtroopers can’t shoot worth a damn. Hey, nothing’s perfect;)

My father also read us Tolkien, and when the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies came out we all went together. Now those movies are done but we have a new hope (see what I did there?;). This year I’m going home for Christmas, and for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

But, that means I won’t be able to see the movie for ten days. In the meantime? There’s time for a bit of fun:

So have a great time at the movie whenever you can get there, but #nospoilers please!

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For all those in or of the United States, Happy Thanksgiving:)

For the first time I can remember I’m not back at my familial homestead partaking in traditional Thanksgiving Day festivities. The decision not to travel makes sense but it’s still a little weird, not least because I’m in a country where they celebrated the holiday last month (now that’s weird;).

So I’m a little sad with the missing of the family (not too sad, though, as I’ll see them in a few weeks) but feeling thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. I hope you are too.

Let me leave you with a link to John Scalzi’s science fictional Thanksgiving Day grace, which he wrote as a handy guide for those who may be called on to lead their tables in thanks. This timeless classic includes such gems as:

We also thank you for once again not allowing our technology to gain sentience, to launch our own missiles at us, to send a robot back in time to kill the mother of the human resistance, to enslave us all, and finally to use our bodies as batteries. That doesn’t even make sense from an energy-management point of view, Lord, and you’d think the robots would know that. But in your wisdom, you haven’t made it an issue yet, so thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Is it just me or do those family car decals everyone’s suddenly sporting seem like a stalker’s dream? True, some of those stickers (check out the Star Wars version) are super cool. I still wouldn’t use them, though, and not just because my cat might object to being depicted as an Ewok. With all the discussion around privacy issues related to social media and other online activity, I’ve been surprised not to see more reaction to this sort of off-line behavior.

Perhaps I’m oversuspicious but ask yourself this: would you broadcast your partnership status and number of children to physically proximate strangers under other circumstances? Wear a T-shirt with that information on it, for example, or add a sign to your front door? Probably not. Imagine yourself alone at home, when you hear a creak from the darkness outside and realize that anyone with eyes to see your car knows that you are a single mother with one small child and no pets.

Of course, you could always line your car window with the whole Clone Army.

Clones

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