Parenting: Star Wars Toys for Baby

Back in May, we attended Star Wars Galactic Nights.  The Nola Nerd Baby was three months old and did a fantastic job.  She didn’t complain and slept through most of it.

On the first meeting of her great-grandfather, he slipped her twenty dollars.  We want to make sure we bought something for her.  We settled on a two sets of toys.  There were squeezable Star Wars and Princesses.  We held up both in front of her.  She raised her hand closest to the Star Wars set.  We then switched hands and she held up that hand.  We know she really didn’t pick Star Wars but we acted as if she did anyway!

Over the summer, this became her favorite set of toys.  They were too big to fit into her mouth but small enough for her to grab.  If you squeeze them they will squeak.

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Over time, one of the toys became her favorite.  In fact, when you give it to her, her face lights up.  Surprisingly, it was C3PO. She also loves R2 and Vader.  Boba and the Storm troop pick up the rear with Chewie trailing behind.

We can’t wait to share more Star Wars toys with her in the future.  We really can’t wait to shop for her at Star Wars Celebration.  Hopefully, she keeps enjoying them!

ComicCon-ing: Wizard World New Orleans Annouces More Guests.

Wizard World New Orleans is starting to announce a lot of guests for their show coming the first weekend in January.  There first wave of guests was mainly from Outlander.   As always, they are planning a great show and have now announced guests from more fandoms!

Even though it has been canceled, Luke Cage will be well represented.  Series Stars Mike Colter and Simone Missick will be at the convention. For iZombie fans, Rose McIver and Malcolm Goodwin have been announced.  The Vampire Diaires will be represented by David Alpay, Zach Roerig, and Daniel Gillies.

Joining these stars will be:

  • Jason David Frank (Might Morphin Power Rangers)
  • Daniel Cudmore (X-Men)
  • Matt Ryan (Constantine)
  • Erin Cahil (Power Rangers: Time Force)
  • Thomas Ian Nicholas (Rookie of the Year)

Wizard World New Orleans will take place from January 4-6 at the Earnest N. Morial Center at 900 Convention Center Boulevard in New Orleans.

Also, appearing will be Mads Mikkelsen.  Right now, we probably will get three items signed by him!

The have also announced a slew of artists, who will dedicate a blog to when we get closer to the show.

Star Wars-ing: No Boba Fett Movie But a Late Thank You to Jeremy Bulloch

A movie about Boba Fett will not be made. Weirdly, the announcement saying it was not going to be made was made before any announcement that it would be made. At Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters, we would have went to see it, but it wasn’t a film we were asking for.  Personally, for me, he was perfect in the original trilogy.  A man with no backstory that just wants to get paid is needed in films like Star Wars.  While I know he has his diehard fans, I can’t help but think he is a character that is best left up to the imagination.  The more we know about him the less mysterious he is.  The charm, for me anyway, has always been that we didn’t know much.  Yes, the prequels give him an origin story, but that to me changed him in a way I didn’t like. When it comes to villains, I often like a lack of an origin story.

While Boba Fett has never been one of my favorite characters, one of the actors that played him is.  Jeremy Bulloch announced his retirement in early August.  Mr. Bulloch portrayed Boba Fett in both Empire Strikes Back (where he also had a second role as an Imperial Officer) and Return of the Jedi. Along the convention circuit, he has always been a fan favorite with long lines waiting to meet.

Meeting Jeremy Bulloch at Star Wars Weekends in 2009

The Three Fetts

Mr. Bulloch at Mississippi Comic Con in 2017

Mr. Bulloch at Mississippi Comic Con in 2017

Since we became serious collectors, it seems that we have met him at least once a year at conventions. While Mrs. Nola Nerd is the true Star Wars autograph collector, it was people like Mr. Bulloch who got me hooked on collecting autographs as well.  Meeting him was always a joy, and he, often accompanied by his wife, made sure everyone felt the magic that the love of Star Wars creates. He would always honor autograph collectors requests (certain color ink is often what we ask for) and would share a story if he could.

It will be weird not being able to meet him again, especially at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Yet, after giving back so much to the Star Wars fans over the last couple of decades, he has more than earned his rest and retirement.

May the force be with him!

Fandom-ing: Meeting my Rock’n’Roll Heroes

On December 27, 1990, at approximately 8:47 pm, I purchased a record that would change my life.  The Replacements’ All Shook Down was coming home with me. I was immediately obsessed.  I listened to them every single day until probably fall of 1997 when I had my first real job, and I probably came home too late and too tired to listen to anything. Yet, I have never traveled far without the Mats.

(You can read previous posts about how much I love the Replacements here, here, here. here, here, and  here)

Luckily, I’ve gotten to meet two of the members of the band.

Paul Westerberg was the lead singer and songwriter of the Replacements.  If you like rock biographies, I highly encourage you to read Trouble Boys by Bob Mehr.  Paul is a strange, captivating figure.  His songs made the strange kid who never felt like he belonged, even when he was with his friends, belong.  He wrote songs about teenage boys struggling with sexual identity, something I identified with since I never had luck in my younger days with girls.  Looking back it was I had a shyness that crippled me, but I really didn’t know if it was something more than that.  He wrote songs about loudmouths and the guys that aren’t.  In college, most of my close friends dropped out, and since it was a commuter school, I only made a one close friend during that time.  Westerberg’s music filled in the gap that my friends left.  In 2005, Westerberg played at the House of Blues in New Orleans. He hurt his leg earlier on tour, so he was in pain, but he stayed and met the fans who wanted to meet him.  He made chit-chat, and luckily, a guy in front had a camera.  He also signed my shirt which Mrs. Nola Nerd framed years later and now is the centerpiece of our artwork leading up our staircase.

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

My wife has been very supportive of my obsession with the band. When they were playing in Hollywood, we were in Anaheim due to Star Wars Celebration 2015. Now, my wife is a huge Star Wars fan (bigger than me), and Celebration is the biggest fan event for Star Wars.  She was ok with us leaving early and going see them.

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

 

In March of this year, she sent me a Facebook post from one of our favorite record stores in Orlando, Park Ave CDs.  Tommy Stinson, the bass player and, arguably, the soul of the Replacements, would be playing there.  I almost sent my brother in law to tape it. She decided to look up his tour dates, and that day a show was added to Siberia Lounge in New Orleans…and there was a meet and greet! She said spend the money! Only two other people did the meet and greet.  It was the most surreal experience of my life. Here is a guy who’s life’s work has meant so much to me, coming to shake my hand and saying thanks for coming (the bar owner told I was one of the VIPs).  We went to hang out in the restaurant part and talked about life and other things like a bunch of friends having a drink.  Remember that line I wrote earlier, about the Replacements filling in the gaps of friends I didn’t hang out as much with….here we were hanging out!

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Tommy at Siberia New Orleans.

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Signed Bash & Pop by Tommy

After the show, he signed a poster for me and recorded a message for the Nola Nerd Baby who wasn’t even a month old yet.

I won’t ever post that on here or social media.

That’s just for us.

 

Parenting: Smiles and Pouts

Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s grandfather passed away last week.  He lived a long, productive life full of good works.  Today, we put him to rest.

The Nola Nerd Baby spent a couple of afternoons with him.  On the first one, she was all smiles and totally enthralled with her great-grandfather.

On the second trip, she was not having a good day.  She threw one of her few tantrums that day.  Still, she was cute and her great-grandfather new it. The more she bouded (cajun for being upset…not sure if the spelling is right), the bigger her bahbin (cajun for pout…again, not sure of spelling…I did check the internet and got 3 different spellings), the larger his laugh.

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These photos, and this blog, in particular, will be shared with her when she gets older.  You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been.

ComicCon-ing: New Orleans Now Has Two Major Conventions

Wizard World New Orleans has been a mainstay of the Gulf Coast convention scene for the most of the last decade.  It is always one of the first cons of the year, and they always put on a great show.  Last year, it was one of the few weekends that the Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple felt good enough to enjoy, so we had a blast at the con.

They started announcing some guests, and for fans of the show Outlander, it will be a fantastic time.  The author of the series, Diana Gabaldon will appear as well as series regulars, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, and Graham McTavish.  The con is January 4, 5, and 6 at the Ernest N. Morial Center.  You can purchase tickets here.

In June, New Orleans will have its second major level convention also at the Ernest N. Morial Center. Big Easy Con will be making it’s appearance June 1 & 2.  This con is run by LeftField Media that has runs Awesome Con in DC, which by all accounts lives up to its name. (Seriously, my sister in law lives in the area and their family went and had a great time!) Tickets just went on sale Tuesday along with two guests announcements. Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner, both of Star Trek: The Next Generation, will be attending the new convention. Tickets can be purchased here, and they are quite a bargain now if you buy!

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Links!

New Book Showcases the Incredible Women of ‘Star Wars‘: Amy Ratcliffe has a new book coming out called Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy.  The book will look at the female characters of the saga.  Ms. Ratcliffe, who has already been announced as a Celebration stage host, provides biographies of the characters which will also have great new artwork by a diverse set of artists. I personally can’t wait to have this on the shelf of my daughter’s bookcase.  After I read it first, of course.

George Lucas visits set of Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian: The Maker visits the new guard. Of course, people are fawning over detail in the background, but it doesn’t take much to realize that Mr. Lucas wouldn’t show up on set unless he likes what is happening with Star Wars, particularly the live-action show that Mr. Favreau is showrunning.  While he is probably interesting in what they are doing with his brainchild, the fact that it was publicized means that Lucas is subtly endorsing Disney’s efforts.

How a Star Wars writer’s tweets got him fired by Marvel; Read the article first. I am a fan of Mr. Wendig’s writing.  He writes in a style that I enjoy – one that feels very cinematic. I don’t think Marvel should have fired him, However, they do have the right. In our day jobs, we have a clause about morality.  My mother is a banker and can’t even have a social media account much less post anything controversial.  The problem is that we can’t separate ourselves from our jobs.  To the public, we are teachers.  Even in summer. However, this does make Marvel look bad if they didn’t warn him or put this in his contract.  I knew, from the moment I signed my contract, that writing certain things on this or any other website or on social media can put me in a bad light with my bosses. Mr. Wendig deserved the same.  It wasn’t like he was holding his tongue before Marvel hired him.

Also, autograph seekers, don’t forget to check out Star Wars Actor Current Appearances to see what actors from the saga are going to shows.  Since it is listed by actor, I highly recommend you use Find (ctrl+f) and search for the weekends dates or the name of a con that is near you.  Also, if finding out what is going on in the making of all Star Wars projects, check out MakingStarWars.net.