Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

The Empire Strikes Back (at Lakeside Lincoln-Mercury Sales Ltd!)

Oh, Dear Gawd this is GREAT: Glen Mullaly, who encouraged me with some kind words soon after I finished "Collect All 21," has dug up his personal tale of a truly horrific Star Wars-themed promotion at a local car dealership. No-show droids (probably for the best), a Bigfoot/ape/wookieething, and arguably the worstworstWORST Stormtrooper. Costume. Evar.


October 15, 2008 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Fiction, Food and Drink, geek | Leave a comment

Collect All 21! – snapshots and feedback

Lately I’ve been posting some of the photos from the Collect All 21
cover – along with some others I dug up while creating it –  in a great Flickr group: "Growing Up Star
Wars: 1977-1985

One of the group’s co-founders is artist Glen Mullaly, whose
art’s got a very cool throwback feel to it. He’s sent me some very nice words
about Collect All 21 and has embedded a picture of my 1977 birthday cake on
his blog post about the photo group
, so this is a public thanks for that
support. One of the things Glen mentioned was that reading the book brought up some of his own memories that he hadn’t thought of in awhile, and it’s good to hear that, because it’s a big part of why I started the project in the first place. (Along with the fact that it was a ridiculous amount of fun, of course.)

I also received an INCREDIBLY kind note from Simon, a reader
in the UK
who caught my posts on Rebelscum and ordered a copy, and he gave me permission
to share his thoughts here:
Got the book yesterday, and I got hooked instantly. I had to read it
thru til the end last night, way past my bedtime.

Really enjoyed it, and there was lots I could relate to from my own
growing up as a Star Wars fan (I’m a tad younger, born in ’72). Very brave of
you to share so much of your personal history in the book (I doubt I’d be that
brave), and it made for much more than just another Star Wars fan book. It
added great depth, and I felt like I’d begun to know your family and friends.
In fact in places I wanted more about your family and personal life and less
Star Wars, but I guess that shows you’ve just not written a good Star Wars
book, but a bloody good book full stop.

Thank you very much for sharing, it was a rewarding read. As good as
"The Elfish Gene" by Mark Barrowcliffe, an English chap who grew up
in the 70s as a D&D fan, and also a good read.

Wow, Simon. Seriously –
(Of course, this also sent
me on a multi-library quest for The Elfish Gene, only to find it’s not due
stateside until November – though I did find this excerpt online, and though I
was never the gamer I wanted to be, it seems like an awfully good read…)
These are just the moral
boosts I need heading to Sunday’s Buckeye Comic Con in Columbus! (Bonus: A belated birthday gift for my Irish-to-the-core wife when we go down on Saturday night…)

July 29, 2008 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, Food and Drink, Games, geek, Music, Ohio | Leave a comment

More Awesome than Meets the Eye

Jenn & I were in Rhode Island last weekend for >counting on fingers< 39 hours, give or take.

We packed in enough fun and even some unwinding time around Aaron & Jessica’s wedding that when we got home Sunday night, it felt like coming back from a vacation.

Friday night: Bowling – in my case, horribly –  with 80-plus people, seeing folks I hadn’t seen in years – like Aaron’s younger brothers, who almost paralleled me and my brothers in age range – full-on 80s pop and rock blaring throughout the alley (“Just a city boy/Born and raised in South Detroi-ooooit…”), and platefuls of wings, potato skins and pizza. Afterwards, running into two of the Spider Monkey guys (more of Aaron’s old pals) back at the hotel, then walking to a nearby bar to hang with my brothers and our wives – I discover Newport Storm‘s got some pretty good stuff, Maynard.

100_1892Saturday morning: Walk along the shore with Jenn, sit on the rocks and B.S. with my brother Adam and his wife, eat a mediocre, way over-priced lunch that’s worth it anyway because we’re sitting over the ocean in sun and a nice breeze, then chilling a little before the wedding.

The Wedding: Officiant’s remarks include “Love is ‘More than Meets the Eye.’” Vows cover loving, honoring, protecting, and fighting alongside one another against giant robots and the impending zombie invasion. Aaron & Jessica look like they’re having a ball. So are those of us lucky enough to be there.

Reception: Transformers on the cake. Surreal moment where I realize that my mom is having a chat100_1907 with one of
the original Takara Transformers designers from back when my brothers were filling their toy shelves in our basement with the things. The DJ unloads a night of more eighties rock, with one significant throwback: Dude plays “Hang on Sloopy.” I don’t know if he realized what he was doing, but within about
three seconds of the song’s start, a dozen or so of us Buckeye Staters are on the floor and there’s no pre-planning at all when we launch into the “O-H-I-O” chorus at the top of our lungs. Heck, we even got a few New Englanders caught up in the fun.

There is “Blister in the Sun” and there is “Let’s Go Crazy” and there is Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” for which nobody is on the floor except Jenn and me, and can it possibly be 12 years since we walked down the aisle to that song and got married on her uncle’s back patio?

It is a night of Awesome.

I wake up at 5:30 on Sunday, a half hour before my alarm is set to go off. I decide to go for a short run partly because I’m wide awake, partly because I haven’t run in a week and partly because I want to prove to Jenn that packing my running shoes was not pointless after all.

It’s humid and a little foggy and already pretty warm, and I do about 2.3 miles up and down the coast.

After a shower and breakfast, Jenn & I walk on the beach and pick up small shells, stones, and a piece of sea
glass. The ocean water is numbingly cold, but we stand in it anyway, and its sting still feels fresh in my memory.

June 10, 2008 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Food and Drink, geek, Ohio, Travel | 1 Comment

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