Star Wars Day, Barbecues, Phone Tag, Emma, and a Volcano

 

Happy Star Wars day, everyone! Today, May 4th (as in, May the Fourth be with you), is the day that Star Wars fans all over (well, I imagine at least in places that use the month/day/year date format) celebrate George Lucas’ (and now Disney’s) franchise that is now over forty years old. Today Daddy bought The Last Jedi on Amazon in HD with bonus features, and the plan today is for us to watch it with popcorn; I’m pretty excited, especially since I don’t think I’ve watched it since the second time I saw it in the theater, on the day after Christmas. While we’re on Star Wars, here’s something that I’ve thought about for a while: Fans of Star Trek are called Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on who you talk to), Firefly fans call themselves Browncoats, and so on; but most fans of Star Wars just call themselves Star Wars fans. I’m not sure why we haven’t really come up with a fun term to use; perhaps it’s because Star Wars is pretty ubiquitous in the culture at large, whereas other science fiction franchises—such as Star Trek, Dr. Who, and so on—are usually (at least comparatively) more niche things. Anyway, I think Star Wars fans should still have a fun term to describe themselves with; so, a couple of months ago, I thought of one that I think we could adopt: Star Warriors. In my opinion, it’s not too long, is way easier to say than more linguistically awkward formations (such as Warzian, which I honestly don’t think I have ever heard anyone actually say); and a more broad term than something like Jedi or Rebels, while still descriptive enough of the franchise. What do you think?

 

Today is also the one-year anniversary of Tami bringing home her cat, Rowan. He’s grown a lot in the last year, but he’s still really cute, and I’m glad that he has been around to be a cat friend for Tami.

 

This past month has been relatively calm for me. Papa and Grandma came out to stay at a motel in the town we live in for their anniversary on the 19th, and until the 21st, during which time we were able to visit with them a lot. We walked on the beach, watched movies Papa had brought (Thor: Ragnarok and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, both of which were funny; we also watched a new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which we used to do all the time together the last time we lived at their house, as well as a new episode of Young Sheldon), listened to some of Papa’s stories, and had a great time visiting and talking with each other. Papa put together a gas grill Daddy had ordered online, and showed us how to barbecue on it; we actually had two barbecues while they were visiting: One on the 20th, and a big one on the 21st that the Tevebaughs came out for as well. It felt really quiet when everyone left after the barbecue, and I feel sad that I don’t get to see the rest of the family as often as I’d like, but I’m glad that we still live close enough to them that day visits are still practical.

 

I was kind of playing “phone tag” for a little less than two weeks last month, which was pretty unnerving for me, since I’m not very good on the phone; I tend to have a hard time understanding what people are saying if I can’t see their lips move, I find it more difficult than usual to know when it’s my turn to speak, and so on. I had sent an email to my state senator about an idea I had for a labour reform bill, since I’d found out that Oregon’s labour laws are pretty sucky (it’s theoretically possible for most employers to schedule their workers to seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day; although that particular scenario is really really unlikely, I think it kind of illustrates how poor our current regulations are); and, to my pleasant surprise, she actually called my phone and left a message within an hour or so after I sent it (I wasn’t able to answer it at the time, because I was in the bathroom)—on a Sunday, no less. I had to call her office a few times during the following days to get a hold of her (the first time, someone else was on the line; another time, I called after she had left the office), but the last time, I was put on hold, then told it would be a while, so I left my number; and she called me back a little while later. I had notes on my computer about what to say (to make sure I hit all the main points of the bill, and so on), I had practiced with and gotten advice from other people, and I tried my best to match her tempo as I spoke (I usually talk pretty quickly, so some people have a hard time understanding me). It seems like the conversation went pretty well; she asked a few questions to clarify some things, explained some of the legislative process, and she seemed to understand everything I said. She also seemed to like my ideas for the bill (which won’t realistically end up in the state senate until next year), although she said that she thought it would have a lot of opposition—which honestly came as a surprise to me, but I guess I can be kind of naïve—but it’s not like what I’m proposing is super radical or anything, since it’s at least similar to current Californian law; all it would do is ensure workers are entitled to at least one day of rest in seven (forbidding employers from forcing their employees to work more than six days in a row), and limit the amount of overtime employees can be forced to work in a twenty-four hour period. I’ll probably have to testify in Salem a couple of times; hopefully, my head injury will have recovered enough by then that it won’t be that big of a deal (at least I hope so; I’m more worried about my head than I have been in a while, because I read that people diagnosed with Post-concussive Syndrome who still experience symptoms after three years usually have permanent damage—for me, it’s been almost two years, and my symptoms still affect my daily life, although some days are better than others). I’m hoping that, if I present the scientific evidence that demonstrates that people are actually more productive when they are well-rested, it will show that both workers and businesses will actually benefit from the bill, and not some kind of zero-sum game.

On a tangential note, I heard back from a helpful woman who works for the Oregon Elections Division; and I found out that, to form a local party in my county, I would only need to gather 158 valid signatures, which I was pretty excited to learn. I think, if I ever made a political party, I’d try really hard to build it from the ground-up; running people for county elections, then state elections, and only running candidates for the presidency after there was more widespread support. I think one mistake some third parties can make—especially in the Internet era, when you can find people who share your views, but may live on the other side of the country (or the world)—is seeking out supporters from around the country, at the expense of developing strong support in your local communities, with the result being that—although you may technically have thousands of members in your party—your actual voting power is actually quite small. Plenty of people say that the system itself is “rigged” against third parties to begin with; which I think is at least partially true, with things like the spoiler effect in play, but I still think another party might have a chance if it actually offered something different, but still viable, and was unique enough from both the Republicans and the Democrats.

 

Last week, as I’m sure most people reading this already know, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the demilitarized zone, and met with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. I was able to watch part of the broadcast of the event online (and, on an unimportant note, I thought that some of the English-speaking Korean newscasters sounded kind of like they had British accents, which I thought was interesting), and I’m happy that both leaders have emphasized their efforts on diplomacy.

 

 

 

 

Last Wednesday, my cat, Emma (as well as her brother, Timmy, who is the only cat who is still lives outside at Grandma and Papa’s house), turned fifteen—which is supposed to be about seventy-six in cat years. It seems so crazy that she’s been in my family for so long; I was only five years old when she came to live with us in Montana as a kitten, and I’m really glad that she’s still a part of my life. On Emma’s birthday, we also celebrate Levi’s cat, Dante; we don’t really know what day he was born on exactly, but we’re pretty sure it was sometime during May of 2006.

 

 

Yesterday, new vents of the Kīlauea volcano opened up near a residential area, following some earthquakes. Over a thousand people have had to be evacuated, and today there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake on top of all of that. So, definitely keep Hawaii in your prayers.

 

In good news, our parish priest (the one who was in the accident) will be coming back, and much sooner than we’d even hoped for; it looks like we’ll get to see him tomorrow, at the Vigil Mass. This Sunday, Levi will be running his first game of Dungeons and Dragons; with Tami, Katie, and I getting to be the players (I’m pretty excited). This Mother’s Day, the plan is for us to go and visit to Grandma and Papa at their house; and, on the 15th (which is also Election Day, here in Oregon) Katie, who I’ve been friends with since we were literally infants, will turn twenty.

 

 

 

My head isn’t doing super well right now, so thank you for sticking with me through this blog post, and May the Fourth be with you!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Question: What’s your favourite Star Wars movie?

 

 

 

 

Today’s Joke: A guy walks into a bookstore, and asks, “Can I have a book by Shakespeare?”

The guy at the desk goes,”Of course, sir, which one?”

“William.”

 

 

 

 

 

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