Leggo my Lego!

This just in for the 2 people that might read my blog before reading my wife’s, don’t follow either of us on Twitter, and aren’t our friends on Facebook: she is pregnant and we are expecting our second child in January.

Oh, and the Novel is almost finished-finished, like 2nd draft I’m excited to start showing it finished, which is also kind of cool.

In other news, Sam had his 3rd birthday on Tuesday and celebrated it for damn near a week. The biggest day of the festivities was on Saturday, wherein a number of his friends of varying sizes and ages came and played with him for an afternoon of pizza, wings, soda and beers, and a delicious ice-cream cake shaped like a giant Oreo cookie that his mom made for him…

Sam likes Star Wars. When he was an infant, I remember a Thursday night wherein Annika was going off to her knitting group, leaving me and the baby at home. Sam lay on a blanket in front of the TV and fell asleep while I had the Clone Wars cartoon on- it was the OG Genndy Tarakovsky one, I enjoyed it, he fell asleep smiling.

As the years have passed, Sam has continued to enjoy the Tarakovsky “bridge” stories, the actual “Clone Wars” that Lucas neglected to show much of during the Prequel Trilogy. I say he “enjoys” but only a parent can understand what that actually means, so for those of you who don’t have or haven’t had a small person, it means Obsesses. The kid wants to watch their favorite story once a day- at least- they start noticing things that are related to it, toys or books or art- things that didn’t interest them before begin to, because they resemble the story… you get where I’m at.

Sam likes Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (a lot). When he was little, he’d ask us to play it for him. Now he plays it on the PS2, badly. We need to get it for the Wii for him, because he totally understands the Wii’s control system and doesn’t like the PS2’s in comparison.

Anyways, about 2 months or so ago Sam and I were at Target looking for something, and we wandered down the Lego isle- Sam likes Legos, having mostly outgrown his Duplos and whatnot- and he saw a Star Wars Lego set for Annakin’s space-ship (the one he flies off in towards the end of Episode 3, not the dog-fight one from the opening)- and most importantly, it came with a lego mini-fig of R2-D2.

Sam also likes R2-D2, a Lot. Once, after finishing the Clone Wars discs for the umpteenth time, Annika slapped in The Revenge of the Sith- figuring that since the movie started right where the Clone Wars episodes ended (with Griveous wheezing and having captured Palpatine, Annakin and Obi-Wan flying to rescue him through the space battle over Coruscant), that he wouldn’t really mind the transition from animation to live-action (mostly). And she was right.

What we didn’t count on was Sam falling in love with R2-D2. Majorly. To the point of reaching out and trying to catch the plucky little droid when he falls down the length of the hanger during an action set-piece.

When Sam saw the R2-D2 Lego mini-fig (he already had appropriated a trio of SW themed mini-figs the McQs had given me for Xmas some years ago), he grabbed the box and dragged it to me. He asked for it, I told him maybe sometime soon- a $20 dollar set is cheap, but we is po.

Well, for his Birthday we got him the set- and a pair of lightsabres, and a sticker book, and his mother made him an AWESOME Jedi robe as well as an R2-D2 knit hat.

His R2 love seems to have cooled a little since it’s halcyon days, but he is still a Star Wars kid. The lightsabres excited him to no end. But the real joy I got was the look of total glee and recognition on his face when he unwrapped the Lego Star Wars set with Annakin’s star-fighter and the R2-D2 minifig.

At the end of the day, with everyone full of food and good cheer and happy, Sam was quietly playing over by my computer while Annika and I cleaned up. Ignoring the starfighter, the lightsabres, his blaster pistol (it makes noise, and is a much beloved gift from one of his guests) Sam had taken his R2-D2 mini-fig as and his 3/4 inch R2 (the standard Hasbro action figure, an early gift from his gramma) and was playing with the two of them.

Sam got a lot of love and a lot of great toys and presents at his Birthday Party and on his actual birthday- a lot of non-SW stuff as well. But for me the stand-out moment was the two R2’s of varying scale and style, sliding back and forth next to each other, under the watchful eye of the Happy Birthday banner (complete with Darth Vadar, Yoda, and some Storm Troopers).

The Midnight Alphabet – C

C is for C’Thulu. Well, actually C’Thulu has no letters in any human language that spell it, but it is as close as we can approximate without our tongues turning to salt.
C is for Corpse filled Cenotes and Curiously Calm Covens.
C is for Chaos and its various Cults.
C is for Cunning Crypto-zoologists and Conniving Cabals.
For Joseph Curwen, and Captain Clegg.
It is for Cappadocia and Constantine. And Carthage.

Count di Cagliostro was born Giuseppe Balsamo, but he was known in his life as the Count Cagliostro (which is why his entry is here instead of in the previous). A Mystic, alchemist, occultist, failed seminarian, vagabond, thief, murderer, profiteer, Freemason, international instigator, agent provocateur, Charlatan and Convict.

Cagliostro’s disputed but likely involvement in the so-called “Affair of the Necklace” undoubtedly led to the French Revolution. It is interesting that of the Musketeers who claimed loyalty to Anne of Austria, only Aramis ever suspected Cagliostro’s shadow intermingling with that of Richelieu. The latter, of course, held title of Cardinal.

The Spanish Inquisition attempted to carry out a death sentence on Cagliostro, but the Pope intervened… why?

When Cagliostro died in 1795, the reports were not believed throughout Europe and only after a report commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte did the Royal Families accept his demise as fact.

Some claim that Cagliostro re-appeared on the European royal-political map under a different name about a hundred years later. Whether those reports are true or not, there are some disturbing comparisons between Cagliostro’s affect on Western Europe in the late 1700s, and how another “holy” man affected Eastern Europe in the early 1900s… See R for this entry.

The Bloodstained Glassman

All storms pass with time. Sometimes you need a stiff drink, or a hot bath, or a long walk or a slice of pizza to shake off a mood. Sometimes you just need to wait until the wind shifts. Sometimes your son hugs you and kisses you on the cheek and you just start smiling again.

Regardless, can I command a round of applause for Nova? One of the most talented people I’ve known in my adventures, and also one of the most kind and generous. And all that good humor and hard work has paid off, because she is in a very good place right now and I am just thrilled grinning for her.

Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe having a dear friend experience a wonderful surge of positive momentum kickstarted me out of my funk, but this weekend just rocked. Last weekend or so, last couple weeks, I’ve been treading water & going through the motions.

Saturday Morning I got up pre-dawn and slammed through some edits and re-writes that I’ve been scared to tackle (see below) and then the Family just had a damn fine weekend. We stayed busy, we stayed laughing, we all smiled a lot.

We hiked up the big ridge at Vasquez, followed a dry creek bed for a quarter mile through the back country, and Annika surprised (and vice versa) a big-ass snake nearly five feet long. We watched Charro’s spin and leap through twirling lariats at the Autrey. We ate and drank and slept and played and did it all again.

Monday always rears its head, and this one has a lot of extra work dangling from it- we have a busy week ahead of us. But I’m not concerned. I think I got a big enough charge from this weekend to burn of the fog of work.

Anyway, I have a goddamn kickass novel to edit, so y’all will just have to excuse me.