Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Southern Superlatives

When I was in high school, they had goofy awards called "Senior Superlatives."
You know them.....awards voted on by your classmates.  There was"Best Dressed" (I didn't win that--surprised?  :) ), "Best Hair" (I didn't win that either--I mean I should have....I have had the same hair since 3rd grade so it must be working), and "Best Couple" who of course broke up not too long after marriage and have remarried other people.  I did have a serious boyfriend so I technically could have won that one with him, but ends up that he was really gay and it can neither be confirmed that I was his "beard" for the time.  Apparently my classmates knew we weren't the best couple...which a good friend should have pointed it out.  Thanks Sheri.

Man, sure miss high school.  Not.

Mr. Fun should have won "Best 501s" (seriously), and "Best Dressed" but he was beat out by the one dress outfit the winner wore often.  I voted for him in both categories.  He should have won "Smartest" too....I mean after all, he did marry me.  :)  (In case you don't know, we went to high school together which is fun when we hear girly gossip about our hometown we can equally enjoy it).

I did actually win some superlatives.  "Most Spirited," "Everybody's Buddy," and "Most Unforgettable."  Nothing to do with clothing or hair.  :)

So, having just spent basically a month in a moving vehicle, traveling 5,909 miles in the last 30 days, it gives you time to think. 

I noticed that I had an overabundance of leg hair.  Which wasn't my fault since I hadn't had a hot shower in three days in our hotel in Florida. 

I noticed that the back seat is more spacious than the front.

And it gave me time make up my own "senior superlatives."  Southern style.
And the winners are....in no particular order:
~Southern Superlatives~
Smelliest state:  Louisana (until the end when it smelled like potato salad with pickles)
Worst city to drive in:  Nashville, Tennessee
Unexpected surprise of beauty:  Eufuana, Alabama
Coolest trees:  a tie     Cemetery in Florida
                                    Driveway of plantation in Charleston, SC
Biggest chain:  Not Wal-Mart.  Cracker Barrel
Prettiest temple grounds:  St. Louis, Missouri
Biggest Sassafras tree:  As the sign said, "probably" Owensboro, Kentucky
Smellest mildew hotel room:  Little Rock, Arkansas
Missed opportunity:  Vicksburg, Louisana
Longest duration we were lost:  Sulphur Well, Kentucky for one hour
Best recycling of a fort:  Fort Moultrie (for five wars) Charleston, SC
I can't stop staring:  Star Wars Convention, Orlando Florida
Something Sheri missed out on:  Willie Nelson Gift Shop, Nashville, TN
Total states driven through:  12
Peaches from the side of the road:  South Carolina
Best chinese food:  Orlando, Florida
Biggest invocation of "white man" guilt:  Slave cabins of Boone Plantation Charleston, SC
What were they thinking?  Stone Mountain  Atlanta, Georgia
Strangest things we heard on the radio:  tie:  gospel tent revivals (Alabama)
                                                                       Kasey Kasem Countdown from 1971 (Florida)
Sisters doing it for themselves:  Sweetgrass baskets of Highway 17, Charleston, SC 
Looks like Missouri:  Northern Arkansas
Worst drought:  Missouri
2nd smelliest state:  Alabama
Coolest "Gone with the Wind" southern staircase:  Bowling Green, Kentucky
Boiled peanuts on the side of the road:  Georgia
Best hosts:  tie  Andersons:  antiquing, Shark Week, fried green tomatos --Georgia
                         Phillips: Cuban, beach, Star Wars Dave--Florida
You might go to jail if you take a rock from the ground:  Fort Sumter, SC
Speedy drivers:  the entire South
No hot water in the hotel:  Orlando, Florida
Best dead ancestors:  Exie, Kentucky
Rudest guests:  tie:  Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
                                Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida
Marketing snafoo:  Hurricane Isaac report followed by the "Come visit the Gulf" campaign
Best Marilyn Monroe impersonation:  The Girl in her Sunday dress in front of the chip delivery guy
Best meditative moment/God is Amazing:  Daytona Beach, Florida at night
Safari vacation location sign:  Peru  Arkansas
Most admired "genuine Mormon":  Daniel Logan
Looking out for my best interest:  John Tesh and his helpful tips Lousiana
Almost vomit your Mexican dinner on the space ride:  Epcot, Orlando Florida
Makes me want to march:  Selma, Alabama
Hooary!:  Boyfriend emails the address Atlanta, Georgia
Darkest black:  Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Bug Holocaust:  Louisana
You are kidding me: Kingdom City, Missouri (the air conditioning stopped working three hours into the 17 day trip....nice)
Holy Ghost moment:  Charleston, South Carolina
Opps!:  Missed three birthdays
You are kidding me Part 2:  Hurrican Isaac interrupts the convention and no New Orleans on the trip
Nicest homeless man:  Burger King, Daytona Beach, Florida
No hot water in public restrooms:  the entire South
Largest speedway:  Daytona, Florida
Best town name:  Jane, Missouri
Probably not again:  Disneyworld Orlando, Florida
No paper towels in restrooms:  entire South
Eaten alive by mosquitos:  Charleston, South Carolina
Best Henna tattoo:  Epcot Orlando, Florida
Best handbar moustache on a monk:   Mepkin Abbey, Monks Corner, S Carolina
"We almost died":  Freeway, Jacksonville, Florida rush hour in the rainstorm
It is really red dirt like on Tara Plantation:  Georgia
You know you're in the south:  4 windows in a trailer covered with Confederate flags Kentucky
New found loves:  tie--not cooking for 17 days
                                     watching tv in bed
Should have left it at home:  Tolkein book, DAR application
Stangest stowaway in the car:  Dave's church suit
Is there somewhere to pull off for a picture:  the entire South
Irony:  "Trees for the future."  Next to a grove of dead trees  Arkansas
Weird to see:  going to the beach with friends you never seen in swimsuits  Florida
Third smelliest state:  South Carolina
The most argumentative member of our group:  The TomTom (Garmin).  Named Leia.
Walmarts on the side of the road:  28 (The Girl had guessed 27)
"You've been talking in your sleep:"  The Girl  entire south
Best religious song I have ever heard:  1st song by the monks
Smoothest reflective water:  Florida
Best car snacks:  melted clumpy snackwells
Favorite t-shirt slogan I saw:  "I had friends on that Death Star."  Florida
Prettiest views:  Arkansas and Tennessee
Best gas station:  White Oak Rogers, Arkansas
Movie star interaction: Seth Green Orlando, Florida
Pharmacy of the South:  Walgreens.  CVS?  Forget about it.  Entire South
Odd couple:  bacon lollipop  Arkansas
Temples seen:  5
Boringest landscape:  Missouri
Best Salad:  Orlando, Florida
Most humbling moment:  Precious treasures of slaves South Carolina
Cheapest Meal:  Rich Hill, Missouri
Most states covered in one day:  6
Best imitation of a baked potato:  Stone Mountain, Georgia
Rick Springfield's "best work":  Jessie's Girl  Arkansas
Most new buildings:  Joplin, Missouri
Best guest driver:  Dave  Florida
Favorite unexpected stop:  the abbey  South Carolina
Party like a rock star:  The Girl....hair stylist, costume mistress, chef, drivers, and handlers
Priceless:  Time with my daughter and great friend Carol :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"If you are not a Sith Lord, wait to be called."

Tonight ends the fun and games of life in a galaxy far, far away.

Fortunately for you, we had one last day full of trooping, costume handling, and lots of mostly naked women.

In no particular order:
*Aubrey attended some super bash last night and got to meet some famous people I have never heard of.  :)
*48 "Slave Leia" costumed chicks
*12 folks in kilts
*Count Dokou and OB1 Kenobi had to run and catch the bus.  Why didn't they just use the Force to stop us from moving?
*No hot water in our hotel room
*Class called "Ladies of the Legion."j
*The jedis on the bus got so excited to get to the conference that they shoved their way off before everyone else.
*Jesus was there again today.  This time he was in a volunteer shirt and modeling service to others.
*I wore my "It's A Von Trapp" t shirt.
*"I didn't join to be awesome.  It just happened."  Aubrey
*Met a guy named Ted (from Tampa) who hung out with us for a while.
*Stormtroppers had chapped thighs.
*There was a Royal Red Guard Flash Mob with Darth and the Emperor.
*Talk about a photo frenzy.
*"You should put your spanks on before you put on that costume." Ouch.
*"If you are not a Sith Lord, wait to be called."
*"Bounty hunters to the left.  Sith Lords to the right."
*Near fist fight between Padme in her travel outfit and some foreign woman.
*Beaker Stormtrooper checked his head in coat check.
*There was a wedding performed on the stairs after the bad guy photograph.
*We ate lunch with a Jawa.
*One of the Boba Fetts was carrying a cowboy gun and holster.
*A Jedi Robe set costs $800
*Carol and I did a lot of people watching.  And mocking.  Good thing Service Jesus wasn't around us.
*There was a Darth Vadar with a garbage bag cape.
*There was a Han Solo with a pig head.
*T shirt that said "I am kind of a big deal in Wisconsin."
*Grandma with knitted buns for her hair.
*There was a Leia with fishnet stockings.
*Tiny baby Wookee
*Joker was there
*Spare tires on a body are not good.  Spare tires painted blue are even worse.
*There was a sign that said "Jason loves boobies."  Maybe he should meet those Boobie Fetts.
*Last but not least, two Boba Fetts in leisure suits.

This is my second convention. It was fun to be with Aubrey and Carol.  It was fun to have a costumed member of our party so that we can learn the inside secrets of the convention.  I am glad I came.

Pictures today:

Since the hurricane is coming tomorrow, we are going home a day early.
Hope you have enjoyed the convention.

Friday, August 24, 2012

CVI Day 2: "Chewy Envy"

Steller day today.

20 Slave Leias.  One with a Batman tattoo.  Duh.

I went early with the girl to be her handler (translation:  carry her junk around) while she was with the other troopers so regular folks can get their pictures with her.

I took notes for you, "non geeks" as I learned I was today so you could enjoy the day, too.

In no particular order:
*Everyone went through a weapons check today.  Apparently others thought they should be checking the plastics guns yesterday too.
*A little Darth Vader was told by his mom today when he was by R2D2 that he should have "nice touches" on the robot.
*It is amazing the impromptu photo shoots that go on here.
*When the Slave Leias showed up at the photo shoot, one guy said to his buddy "I must have."
* There was a very "interested" Tuskin Raider.  He had no camera.  Took his helmet off.  Obviously taking pictures with his heart.  Duh.
*Men ran up to see the Leias.  "That is a SWEEET line up.  Delicious!"
*Saw 13 kilters today
*Bigger Boobie Fett today (I don't name them)
*"I had to put my hand in my pee."
*Daniel Logan, the little boy who was Boba Fett:  genuine Mormon!
*Love was in the air at the "Plan your Star Wars wedding" class.
*Miss Australian United Nations, fully in sash and crown, was at the celebration.  ?
*"Mixed fan-dom marriages can work." (translation:  star wars fan/lord of the rings)
*"those people"....(regular non star wars fans) (us)
*I gave away a free dinner coupon to a nerdy man that came to the conference alone.
*"It's raining men" sung by a man in a bowling shirt
*A little happy surprise: hotel shuttle to the center
*"My high heels make me tall and awesome."
*A Chewbacca guy we were with said he had "Chewy envy" because he had left his chewy stilts at home in Wisconsin and the other Chewys had theirs here.  Epic fail.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

CVI Day One: "The Dark Side of Sushi"

I didn't know.

And I bet you didn't either....that Sushi had a "dark side."  But it is true.

How do I know?  Learned it in Star Wars Japanese Vegetable Carving Class today. :)

As you can imagine, the day was filled with such delicious little morsels of fun that I kept notes just to share with you.  Why?   Because I love you...just like Mr. Rogers.

And in no particular order:
* I felt snobby, being the owner of a four day pass compared to those losers with just a single day.
*We saw that person of short stature that played the main Ewok, Wicket.  He was also in Willow.  He was riding a segway while we were walking our almost 12,000 steps today.  Learned his name is Warwick Davis.
*There is some serious fictional world cross pollination.  For example, the Burger King king was wearing storm trooper costume.  And doing naughty things with his hips and plastic hamburger.
*We saw seven "Slave Leias."  And a "Boobie Fett."
*The Dark Side has it's own clubhouse.
*I saw a 70 year old grandma dressed in matching Jedi robes with her tiny grandson.
*There was a woman who shaved her head.
*In the conference brochure, after the question if flash photography was allowed, was the burning question on whether the Death Star could be destroyed by one single ship.  It was funny.
*Lots and lots of little girls.  Move over Disney Princesses, Amidala in the house.
*There were fake guns everywhere and not a single screening machine.  At least we were hoping they were fake.
*Saw 8 men in kilts.
*There were Sith cheerleaders.  Aubrey says it is so they have an excuse to dress like "skanks."
*Jack Sparrow was dressed in some storm trooper pieces with his pirate costume.
*We went to the "Fettastic" class about the actors who played Boba Fett.
*Boba Fett was married.
*There was some crazy groupie girl at the Fett lecture.  For real.   And she had some panties to fling up to the stage.  For reals.
*Carol said the groupie was certainly "determined" to get the attention of the Boba buddies.  True that.
*There was a bald man wearing Princess Leia bun hair.
*The Japanese vegetable carver was a humble kind man, who also does samurai Jedi meditation.
*We saw Jesus in a Dark Side bowling shirt.  He had a girlfriend and a tattoo.
*Cool t-shirt that says "I am the rebel spy"
*Carol almost won a free t-shirt that was thrown into the crowd, but some grabby woman behind ripped it out of her hands, causing us to find a chiropractor for her dislocated back (jk--mostly).
*A wookie puppet cat-called Aubrey.

Here are the pictures from today.

CVI Eve pics

Got the Facebook working.  Will be adding the link to see pictures on the blog so you can enjoy the photographic "proof" as my favorite Englishman Dave said.  :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Embedded in the Star Wars Convention--CVI Eve

Tonight, at dinner, we heard the following comment from the neighboring table:

"Be careful.  Yoda is easily excitable at parties."

That is when I knew that I had to borrow Aubrey's notebook and officially "embed" myself (along with Carol Tallant, the world's greatest sport this week) to share with you a day-by-day report of what it is like to attend the Star Wars Convention this week in Orlando.

It is actually known as C VI (Convention Celebration 6).  Just to be sure everyone in the greater Orlando area knows why the residents in room 3203 (us) are here, The Girl taped notebook paper into those giant shapes on our windows.

I would like to show you some pictures, but as it is in war, sometimes those "luxuries" will have to be put aside (translation:  we have had Internet problems in this hotel since we arrived).

So tonight there was a pre-celebration party at the local Uno restaurant.  The entire building was filled with members of the 501st (official club of costumers for Star Wars) members, including the world president who came to our table to say hello.  He was probably disappointed at our reception (Him:  Hi, I am Kris and I am the 501st LCO.  Me while shaking his hand:  Hi.  Sorry, I have no idea what that means or who you are.)  I knew that he must have been SOMEBODY because the table before us the woman about hyperventilated and kept saying "you are so famous."  And she meant it.

I kept some notes that I wanted to share with you:

We saw 5 men in kilts

People were already wearing their conference badges even though it hasn't started yet

Tshirts "Darth Vadar lives" and "I always wear a helmet"

Aubrey said she would date Han Solo, Captain Moroni, Ammon and her current man Jon.  In that order.

Members of the costumers from Australia were wearing matching SW bowling shirts

Our server's name was Greg.  He was cute but kept calling us "girls."  Of course I corrected him.

There was a guy in a giant rabbit costume wandering around.  I don't think he was with the troopers, but one can never be sure.

A hurricane is slated to hit Orlando by Monday afternoon.

Last but not least, we saw the man who played R2D2 having drinks at the hotel bar.  No doubt feeling jealous that the giant rabbit is so much bigger than him.

See you tomorrow.  :)  Valsy

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bob the Builder Award: Clean Hands Bakery

They (whoever "they" is) say that more kids in this 20-something generation are starting non-profit charities more than any generation of people before them.

They haven't said what it is called when a 10 year old does it.

Yep, Alex Wood was 10 years old when he started his non-profit "Clean Hands Bakery."

"You have to have clean hands to bake," says Alex of the name.

Recently highlighted in Heifer International's international magazine, imagine my surprise when it is a local boy from right down the street in a local Kansas City suburb.

He bakes and then sells his products.  All the money he gets he donates to Heifer International to help end world hunger.

And he began doing it when he was ripe old age of .....9 years old.

Alex set a goal of raising $5,000 dollars for Heifer.  His parents purchase all the ingredients and Alex and his little brother Josh do all the baking.

They recently met their goal.  :)  Alex is now 13.

Sure, he has won awards and been recognized for his work.  But when you read about him, it is about his mission. 

As service should be.  :)