Oh I am brave alright…just ask mom #yavin #starwars

When I was 10, Star Wars appeared at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Edmonton. Most Sunday afternoons, my mom would take my brother and I to the movies. We had seen every Disney Flick from AristoCats to Escape to Witch Mountain. Any movie that held zero chance of reality instantly captivated my imagination and I would fantasize about those scenarios.

The Paramount was one of those new-old style theatres. Huge red velvet curtains opened when the movie was about to start, there were 2 entrances, left and right. The box office was a single person sitting in a glass booth outside the theatre. One movie showed at a time. This particular afternoon it was Star Wars A New Hope in bold black letters on the outside marquis.

Mom bought the tickets and then we stood in line for the popcorn and drinks. well, a single drink because we always shared. As I scan my memories for crowds, all I can remember is the theatre being so full, my brother, 8 years old, had to sit on my mom’s lap for the movie. We had to sit too close to the screen and off to the side aisle.

We sat in the dark.

The red velvet drapes opened and this large and strange space ship was flying over our heads. I knew it was real because I could HEAR THE SOUNDS behind me, over head and all around me. This was the first time hearing a movie made such an epic response from the entire audience I was apart of.

It was an unbelievable experience.

All you Star Wars fans know how the story continues, but the ending of the movie was by far the most fun for me.

They got a medal mom, A MEDAL FOR BRAVERY MOM! Did you see it MOM? MOOOOOOOM!!!!! Can we go again? I wan that medal MOM! I am brave, I can jump off the shed and pretend to fly, I can skip school for a week and then march in there like nothing happened with you in tow, I can build a raft and play in the pond even though you said its too dangerous. I am BRAVE ENOUGH for that medal MOM!! MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

Medals

As I grew older, I saw the injustice of Chewy not getting the medal because he was a Wookie. Hello? Leia? HE WAS THE CO-PILOT and was a HERO TOO. Blatant discrimination if you ask me. Han asked Leia to give him one in a private ceremony…I call *Cough *cough…

At any rate, the time has finally come for  ME to earn that Yavin Medal for bravery.

I am going to run a 10km on May the Fourth – because that is the best Star Wars holiday EVER. (I will be celebrating it on May the 3rd – my long run day).

This is a virtual race, meaning you can run it anywhere/anytime/anyplace. You get a nifty Yavin bib and the coveted YAVIN MEDAL!  THE YAVIN MEDAL MOM! I FINALLY GET THE YAVIN MEDAL!!! All for $30.

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The proceeds of the virtual are going to the Do Away With SMA Foundation, a charity that supports research and families in search of a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can visit the Charity web site here: DAWS

Now here is the best part:

As a reader of my Edmonton Tourist Chronicles, you get a special coupon code if you want to earn this medal as well (I will let you in on a secret – if you wan the medal just buy it, I am sure you did something brave in your life too. You don’t need to be a runner, just a Star Wars fan/geek!)

Sign up here: Yavin Virtual Race and use the coupon code YEG (its the airport code for Edmonton) to get 10% off!

Here is the art work for the medal – its pretty cool!IMG_7598

Step out of your comfort zone because “Travelling through hyperspace ain’t like dustin’ crops, boy!”.

A Long Time Ago…It seems like a Galaxy Far Far Away

Facebook this week has people tagging each other to post their original profile pic. I dug mine up and laughed my head off. I do not even look like that girl anymore. 10805809_10153052104311337_3776625163417669245_n Let’s examine this closely, shall we? Round face: check! Short curly hair dyed mouse brown to be inconspicuous and asexual: check! Hiding behind children to block the fat view: check! Extra large boobs resting on the belly for comfort: check! This is me 8 years later: 1937498_10152992100491337_432840494231829037_n Round face: yes but more oval, cheeks are still mine but I can no longer see them when I smile. Short curly hair dyed mouse brown to be inconspicuous and asexual: Nope! Letting the grey show through highlights and low lights. Not afraid to be proud of the age. I’m pushing 50 and earned all those greys. The highlights make the hair shiny. Grew out the hair to have more options. Running with long hair is easy and not as hot. Hiding behind children to block the fat view: Nope! I am not skinny, but I am sure happy with how my body has changed! Here is me and Coach at Disney Studios, sure I am still on the cuddly side, but I’m cool with that. I am a work in progress. I don’t feel the need to hide anymore. 10835140_10153038437086337_6177125536509154145_o Extra large boobs resting on the belly for comfort: NOPE! Those babies are gone and so is all that extra skin up top. Next on tap the extra skin on the belly. I am pretty motivated to keep moving forward in the progress. It’s always a great idea to see where you have come from, so you don’t beat yourself up in the now. I want to run the 10km at the Star Wars Weekend in Disneyland next year. I also want to dress up for it. Never before have I had the desire to wear a costume in a race, but COME ON people! This is STAR WARS! I have been a huge fan since I was a kid! I waited in line at the paramount with my little brother to see it, not once but 3 times! That took a lot of convincing my mom. The last time we didn’t even tell, we just took the bus into Edmonton and saw it ourselves. We had the action figures, well, my brother did. I was allowed to be Leia and the Sand People. Leia was the first time I saw a strong woman who didn’t need a guy to save her. She was kick ass from the word go. This is what I want to wear: Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.04.37 PM This gal wore this for the Princess Half Marathon in WDW. Things I love, the sleeves, the length and the slit in the skirt. Things I will add will be a hood because SERIOUSLY look at that hood! Its awesome! Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.07.27 PM I will likely wear shorts instead of leggings, white leggings are just…well…no. White compression socks and some sort of white gator over my running shoe. The belt will have my firearm and hidden pockets for running stuff. I will use a sock buns for hair. But that HOOD! That is the best part! One whole year to wait! Meanwhile I need to:

  1. Fix my knee
  2. Speed Work
  3. Get my sewing machine back from my friend
  4. Keep losing weight
  5. Post a photo of Leia on my dream board

CAN’T WAIT!

Queue Epic Sound Track

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I just finished watching the new X-Men Trail and the music was inspiring. John Murphy- The Surface of the Sun.It fit for me as the new new soundtrack for my life.

I’ve been a wee bit busy doing awesome.

Or Epic…whatever.

Have a listen:

The Surface of the Sun

Are you listening? So the past…I don’t know, 4 months, I discovered that I missed University. It was such a big part of my life so I filled that part with something else. A few friends and I co-founded a new Foundation, Do away with SMA. We built a web site, started some virtual races, planned a 10k trail race through Edmonton’s River Valley (by the way, if you are in Edmonton August 17, I expect you to do one of the following: Register for the race OR volunteer for the race. I am not giving a 3rd option for family and friends. YOU HAVE TO BE THERE.)

We are pretty busy will all kids of EPIC shit… true story. DAWS has become my third child. And she needs a lot of attention. Luckily my eldest turned 18 and is a legal adult who asked me to sign a permission for for him to go on a field trip….Kid, you can vote and drink and move out. Why am I still giving permission to go to the church for a graduation retreat?

Sometimes you have to be told you are an adult because you never ever quite feel like one.

The daughter informed me she is moving to Vancouver to become a star. Then I saw her perform in her rock band… yep, I believe her.

My kids are growing up and I wanted a new kid… so I helped create DAWS.

Our mission is to help fund research to find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  To do that, we are doing a bunch for crazy things, like running from San Francisco to Anaheim in 20 days…that is 500 miles. that is a marathon a DAY. A DAY!

However, we are doing other stuff too, like celebrating the Star Wars Fan Day, May the Fourth Be with you…because truth be told, we are a major bunch of geeks. The kind that quote movies in appropriate moments in life  – or not so appropriate… The kind that wear shirts that say “I know” or “who you calling scruffy?” (Obviously I am the Han Solo fan). We are the kind of geeks who have collections – not stamps or coins – but action figures or race medals.

(I once ended a resignation letter with “May the Force be with You”. Ya….the ex-boss didn’t appreciate it like I thought she might. For a young padawan, she had lots to learn.)

We are the kind of geeks that enter a race for the medal – the prestige of the medal – the kind of medal that says “You are such a geekdom fan!”

To celebrate that geeky side, we are hosting a May the Fourth Be with You Virtual run.

Listen to this now:

 

This is the medal:

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For those of you that are non Star Wars fans, or not as big a geek as me, this is the Rebel Alliance crest. Rebel forces worked against the Evil Empire to destroy the Death Star….and piss off Darth Vader aka Anaken Skywalker the father of Luke and Leia (sorry for the spoiler but GEEZE it was from the 70’s you should have heard by now)

When I was a kid, my brother and I played on the stairs of our home, recreating epic battle scenes from Star Wars. We had every star wars action figure known to mankind. Lucas was a marketing genius! I was only allowed to be the sand people or jawas…never cool figures like Chewy or Han. We used a kleenx box for the sand speeder and made ‘pew pew’ sounds all day long. We saw the movie 3 times and this was before vcrs and dvd players.  WE stood in line at the Paramount (a single movie theatre – not a multiplex – the line wrapped around the block. We shared a seat. It was epic.

I still make “pew pew’ sounds and have downloaded all the John Williams sound track for my epic May the Fourth Run.

 

I got side tracked…

I get like that with geeky stuff.

So this virtual run is something you do on your own or with other geeky friends. Or regular friends. It really doesn’t matter.

First you visit here: May the Fourth Be With You 

Register for the race and pay $30 on our secure e-commerece paypal site.

You run/walk/roll 5k, 10k or farther. It’s your choice. we email you an EPIC bib like this one – only yours will be personalize  and have a unique number.

This one is mine:

Robyn

Star Wars font is cool, too bad my University Profs didn’t appreciate it like I do.

When you are done, take a photo of you and your pals, just you and your bib or your watch or your running shoes….quite frankly it doesn’t matter, as long as you send us confirmation that you participated and are ready for your medal to be mailed to you!

Once you get your medal in the mail, it would be swell if you took a photo of you WITH your medal like all racers do at the finish line. Wear it proudly! Why?

1)you completed a race

2) the proceeds go to the Do Away With SMA Foundation – did you know Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease. The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common “rare disorder”: approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

3) it is the Jedi way.

 

If you do not want to participate, think about sponsoring me. You can find my donation page HERE.

 

 

Childhood Revisited: Burn the evidence or use spray paint

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We all had that friend/sibling/pet (insert someone here) as a child who gave you a plethora of humorous stories to tell while you are sitting around a table/campfire/car trip with friends. They left you with the kind of stories that bring tears to your eyes or left an inside joke to tell for years. WordPress has offered up the Daily Prompt called Childhood Revisited to share the story.

Last week I was talking to someone who had asked me about my childhood. I revealed that I had moved 13 times before I was in grade 3. They asked me if I thought I had an awful childhood. Are you kidding me? I had an AWESOME childhood! I had Aunties that treated me like a princess, Grannies that spoiled me rotten, parents who took me to Disneyland…a LOT, and a brother who was my pal, my minion and a terrorist.

You may think having a terrorist for a brother was a bad thing. Not necessarily. It’s not like he killed anyone (that he would admit to) nor was he evil. He was the sort of fellow that thought everything bad was a good idea, as in LETS TRY IT OUT! If it was tame, he always replied with “Pffffff, I can do that but it’s too easy.” When we watched Ripley’s believe it or not or In Search of.. He usually said “That is so fake”. But he believed in Aliens and the Supernatural. Scientific stuff, not so much.

He is 1.5 years younger than me. We like the same things and got into the same trouble. We spent 99% of our childhood grounded. He was the best blackmailer on the planet and more stubborn than anyone I know. My kids often ask for Uncle stories. Now that they are old enough to know better, I will share this one.

My brother had the coolest room EVER. It had Star Wars wallpaper on every wall, his bed sported matching sheets and comforter. He had all the best toys from Star Wars action figures to Steve Austin the Bionic Man. THe best part about his room was the bed. It was a Captian’s Bed. the mattress was on a raised platform high above the floor with 3 drawers and 2 shelves underneath. Often we would play under his bed. Behind the drawers was space. It seemed huge, I think back now and it must have been only  a small narrow space, but to us it was a fort. Large enough for any adventure either with or without the action figures. We usually wore a cape and rubber boots for obvious reasons.

I sometimes had a sleep-over in his room on a Friday night. We would squish together and sleep under his bed. Sometimes we told ghost stories and he would share his experiences with The Hand or The Blue lady, ghosts that visited him regularly. One night, I said out loud, “I wish we could have a campfire.” My brother looked at me and ran out of the room. I figured he was going to ‘tell on’ me, like the snitch he usually was. But he didn’t. He went outside to the side of the house and brought in wood chips. He placed them on his carpet in a pile. I looked at him questionably, and he said “I took dad’s lighter.” I said wait until I get back.

I ran up stairs to the kitchen and grabbed a pie tin, the lysol can and a glass of water – you know Safety First! Then I returned. I suggested we put the wood chips in the pie tin so the carpet doesn’t get wrecked. “You know how mom gets” then he tried lighting the wood chips. The chips wouldn’t burn. So, me being the brainiac of the bunch, I suggested we use the lysol as a torch. I sprayed the can and he ignited the spray with the lighter. Before long we had those wood chips burning – under the bed. We sang a few songs and told a story but the smoke was really bad. I was scared mom would smell it so I said we should put it out before she gets mad. Luckily I thought ahead and brought water!

Well…the water didn’t work so my brother ran to get more. 5 cups later the room was FILLED with smoke and we were in danger of being grounded AGAIN. I opened up the window – of course it was the middle of a Canadian Winter and the window was FROZEN shut. My brother thought we should use the lysol torch to thaw it. It worked like a charm except we noticed scorch marks on the window frame. MOM WAS GOING TO KILL US! We finally rid the room of smoke. I tried washing the scorch marks but it was no use. We needed to paint. Luckily for us my brother had a closet full of model spray paint but the labels were messed up with different colours. It was hard to tell which colour was in each can. We needed white.

My brother grabbed a can and sprayed it in the air – black. Wrong colour. The next can he sprayed in the air – white, SCORE! We carefully painted the window sill and cleaned up our mess. I sprayed the room with the remains of the lysol so no one would be the wiser. We noticed the time and quickly jumped into bed – dad was about to check on us for the night.

Moments later, Dad opened the door and said, “Lights out, good night.” Phew…we made it.

In the morning we were up watching Saturday morning cartoons when my mom called us. We looked sheepishly at each other and wandered into my brother’s room where she stood in the middle of the floor looking at the ceiling. “What is that black mark on the ceiling?” CRAP it was a black spot from spraying the paint in the air to see what colour it was. We both shrugged our shoulders and said in unison, “I don’t know” and we slunk away back to the family room to finish watching The Justice League.

I look back on that adventure and sometimes think “WOW we could have DIED.” But sometimes I think, “There is NOTHING my kids could do that I have not done.” But mostly I think, “I am thankful to have gone through my childhood with my brother.”

Love you lots Dumbdumbuglyandsmell

Throw Back Thursday: The 8 Track

While stuck in the snowstorm traffic jam at rush hour with my son, we started chatting about things he would be telling his kids. “When I was a kid, we paid for stuff with PAPER printed money”, “We listened to DIGITAL MUSIC”.

Then we laughed and he was telling me about seeing a Beatles album for sale in California when he was there on a band trip. He said it was expensive, $40!!!! I laughed and told him my $5 allowance would pay for a movie – $1.25 for Star Wars, lunch at A&W, and a record.

He asked if the record was vinyl.

umm…yes then I laughed. Records were vinyl and the needle was sharp. But sometimes you needed to put a penny on the arm to weigh it down to get the sound to work. He laughed and asked how I would take music with me in the car if this was before cassettes.

I thought about the time I received THIS for Christmas:

Orange and portable – ish. It took a billion D batteries or you could use the cord. I also received a selection of 8 track tapes for my enjoyment. I had The Carpenters, ABBA, and Shaun Cassidy – that’s right Da Doo Run Run.

I would crank my music and sing in front my mirror with my hair brush as the microphone. Over and over I would play my music until I would hear “THUMP THUMP THUMP” on the floor above me. My dad would yell “Turn it DOWN please” (we are Canadian – it never hurts to be polite) so I would turn it down. Then it didn’t look like I was singing so I would do something else while listening to it. Dad said he never minded the loud music it was the repetitious nature of my musical choices.

I still listen to music over and over until I know all the lyrics. Which is likely why I am AWESOME at music trivia or name that tune type games. Thinking back, 8 tracks sucked and I am glad Sony never made a 8track walkman.

The Top 8 reasons 8 tracks were stupid

  1. They were the size of a large sandwich. You needed a suitcase to haul them around.
  2. You couldn’t rewind them – or at least I couldn’t. I could only replay the entire track and not all the tunes on the track were good.
  3. If the tape pulled out – you were screwed.
  4. If you were lucky enough to have a player in your car, you had to have a suitcase full of music for your friends to choose from.
  5. Record stores would clear out old crappy 8 tracks for $1. My dad would buy these up and re-record over them. What my dad thought was crap, I thought was awesome. I would see a tape of some disco I wanted to listen to and he would have put the Limelighters or Glenn Yarbrough over top. Not cool when you are out with your friends.
  6. They never fit into your pocket.
  7. You needed a Head Cleaning tape and run it through your machine occasionally
  8. If you left your tape in the player for storage, you ran the risk of wow or flutter – it made the music slow in spots.

May the Forth Be with You: International Star Wars Day

When I was wee… okay not that wee, I was 10. Star Wars was showing at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Edmonton. My mom thought my brother and I would like to go see it. We had no idea what it was about. Since it was just released the line up was down the block, it hadn’t reached the around the block 4 miles yet – that would be a week later. It was still a sell out show. We couldn’t find enough seats together, so my brother (8) and I took turns sitting on mom’s lap while she napped through the movie. My brother and I were gobsmacked! We had never seen anything so amazing and we were Jedi fans from the start.

We saved all our money, bought the action figures – RIPPED them out of their package and played with them endlessly. This was the beginning of a very long and very geeky Star Wars love affair. The brother has since switched to the Dark Side and loves Star Trek more. I have room in my heart for both, but love Star Wars, Empire and Jedi the most. With honourable mention of Chris Pine – Holy Hotness Batman!

May 4th is International Star Wars Day – May the fourth be with you…get it? With that I am celebrating my geekness with my favorite Star Wars picture laughs.

This time next week I will be on the Star Tours ride in Disneyland riding it endlessly in an attempt to see every possible scenario – doubt it that will happen – but I will try! Happy Fourth!