?

Log in

jedipartner1967
The most coveted toy in the 1978-1986 Kenner Star Wars range was the Death Star Space Station playset. The second most coveted toy was the Millennium Falcon Spaceship. I was the proud owner of both-- getting the Falcon after months of saving money from doing chores and the Death Star as a Christmas present. The playset was mentioned in an earlier post counting down the days to Celebration VI and my 45th birthday.


Let's just start by saying that I was not one of those kids who always got what he wanted. Neither was one of those kids who felt comfortable asking for special gifts. When I saw this playset in the toy catalogues, I immediately needed to have one-- in some fashion.

I was visiting with my father the other day and he was relating a story to my stepmother and my partner about how I used to make all of my own toys if I didn't have them. He remembered how I used to save cardboard boxes and those clear sheets of plastic that served as "windows" on various packages. He talked about how he used to see me carefully measuring things out and then cutting and taping or gluing these structures together before painting them with tempra paints. I would use the plastic sheets as windows for the canopies of my assorted X-Wings, TIE Fighters and even the Millennum Falcon.

Dad also spoke of how I made my own action figures out of wood by using an "inherited" jigsaw from one of our neighbours. He said that he marveled at the painstaking detail I would put into things that I saw from the various pictures of the toys that were advertised.

I remember doing these things, but I was amazed that my father recalled them with such fondness and enthusiasm.


My Death Star was entirely based on all of the parts that were described on the catalogue pages and I even had working parts, like the light-bridge, the elevator, the trash compactor and even the exploding cannon. Oh, the cannon was made using the connecting pieces from model kits since those were long and cylindrical and worked well as the barrels. I made my trash out of a couple sponges my mother let me have. While it was not the most amazing piece of construction, it served its purpose, gave me something to do and provided me with hours of fun.

I vaguely remember asking my parents for the Death Star Space Station for Christmas and didn't fully expect to get it. I was content playing with my friend Tim's X-Wing and Allen's Landspeeder, so I didn't really need the actual toys since I had already built my own. I think that my folks probably took note of how little I asked for and saw how much time I spent with my homemade playset and that's how the actual toy ended up underneath the Christmas tree on the morning of 25 December 1978. Needless to say, I was completely gobsmacked. I was so overwhelmed by this gift that I still have it today and it remains the centerpiece of my collection-- all pieces intact and accounted for... except for the "trash" foam, which disintegrated a couple decades ago.

I thought I would revisit this part of my past because it really meant a lot to me that my father remembered so much about this time in my life and in such great detail. He spoke of my little kid accomplishments with such pride and enthusiasm that I had to write it down here for myself-- even if no one else cares or reads about it. These were the humble beginnings of my passion to make my little display boxes which house my playsets or even serve as complete scenes for my action figures. I'm glad that my parents let me save all of those pieces of cardboard and plastic and let me have the chance to imagine, create and build.
 
 
Current Location: Lakewood, OH
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
jedipartner1967
30 December 2015 @ 07:55 pm
I'm going to try to keep this brief and to the point. It's been a really intense year and I am not going to complain about it. For those of you who followed my exploits through diagnosis to radiation to chemo to stem cell transplant and recovery, you know know what I went through for the last 12 months and change. Again, I want to thank you for lending an ear or support in some way, shape or form.

At the moment, I am on my maintenance chemo plan, which is expected to last the next two years. After that, I guess we'll see what happens.

The holidays were good, but I managed to get the flu on Christmas Day. My fledgling immune system just couldn't ward off the bug and I went from feeling great to having aches and chills within 30 minutes. I'm still tired, but am feeling better, thank you.

My Aunt Linda, who happens to be a nurse, came up to me on Christmas Eve and told me that I was the bravest person she knows, having faced down Multiple Myeloma with a sense of humour, a smile and never losing myself to sadness, worry or having pity parties. I continued to support my friends as they needed it and continued to work and I kept things "normal". Anyhow, Aunt Linda's words made me blush and I felt a bit embarrassed because I don't feel that I did anything spectacular or brave. This is just... me.

Maybe I was able to get through this the way I did because of the one thing that I have always believed: No one made me any promises as I was being pushed out of my mother's womb and because of this, I never feel like anyone has taken anything away from me.

No one promised me 30, 40, 50-- 90 years of perfect health. No one promised me that my life would be easy. On the flip side, no one promised me that I would have such amazing people in my life, but I am fortunate that I do. You get the things you get and you incorporate them into your life and keep moving forward. As I said sometime in the last year: "Don't let the bad things win... ever."

I hope that the people I see on Facebook and Twitter who more often than not say they are feeling sad, depressed, brokenhearted or hopeless about their lives can take a moment to see the things that they do have. Now, I'm not talking about the folks who are medically diagnosed with depression or bipolar or anything; I'm talking about the folks who seem to linger in self pity for whatever reason. At the very least, I have more than enough friends and their love to let me know that I matter and that is more than I could ask for. No amount of illness, debt or even a thankless job should stop you from knowing that there is love. Your newsfeeds and walls are filled with it every day. Just look and you will find a friend who cares about you. The modern world has made it really easy to shut you off if they didn't-- and they haven't. If you still don't believe it, know that I care. I care about what happens to each and every wonderful life on this planet and I wish all of you happiness and the ability for you to recognise the love in your lives each day in the coming year. We all stand together. We are not alone.

HAPPY NEW YEAR... EVERYONE.
 
 
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
 
 
jedipartner1967
25 October 2015 @ 08:47 pm



part.

This Improvised Life - Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lakewood Library



I laid there in one of the beds in the Apheresis unit at Cleveland Clinic on a Tuesday morning. Ugh, it was too early. Just too, too early! There were five other people with me, but not all of us were having our stem cells harvested. Some of the people were there for plasma infusions and other exciting procedures that looked like, but were not oil changes. One of the people who was there with me was Gina, the lady from Toledo who would be admitted for stem cell transplantation at the same time as I the following week.


It was pretty quiet in that room and it was freezing, too. Some people slept while others occupied their time with books or the televisions that were part of their bed rigs. I chose to pass my time with my Chomebook and Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please! on Audible. On occasion, I might’ve laughed a little too loudly and for those around me, that probably sucked. This is supposed to be a somber zone, right? I mean, it is a hospital after all. Oh, I guess I could’ve been a little more sensitive to everyone else’s needs, but, by God, I think they should’ve been a little more sensitive to mine as well! I mean, I wanted it to seem more like a party and not something so completely sad or frightening. I wanted it to be like a day at summer camp, but with beds, and tubes, and sick people, and arctic temperatures.


Welcome to “Camp Frigiwanda”!


In some ways, I guess I probably made it fun. The nurses and the techs who were working in the unit all seemed to have a good time with me. And I’m pretty sure the adorable Asian toddler in the bed across from mine appreciated someone else who was playing and keeping things light. Gina was certainly having a great time as we rolled our eyes at each other or communicated silently in a game of hospital charades while the quiet, boring and chilly hours passed in that room. It probably helped that I engratiated myself to the staff because, as it turned out, I had to use the bathroom a number of times while I was there.


Let me explain: “using the bathroom” wasn’t just a matter of letting me get up and go use the bathroom, which was actually only about 12 feet away from me. I was hooked up to a machine and couldn’t be uncoupled from it for the entire duration of the process; a process which lasted almost seven hours. What happened was that they needed to bring me a jug to pee into and then they had to position me just right or the flow of blood going into the filtering machine would be interrupted and it would make an annoying beeping sound until someone came by to shut it off. Honestly, it didn’t matter if I was in or out of the bed, that machine just kept sounding its alarm that whole morning. I was special, apparently. Anyhow, after they gave me the jug and positioned me, they would have to close the wraparound curtain so I could go ahead and relieve myself. Looking back on that, it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue listening to Amy Poehler when all that was happening because I am pretty sure the giggling coming from behind the curtain caused people to wonder what was really going on back there while I was obviously touching myself.


After I completed my personal duties, I’d have to yell for a nurse and tell her I was finished. This is not something I have had to do since I was about three years old-- you know, yell for someone more responsible to let them know I had finished going to the bathroom. I digress-- the nurse would come by, open the curtain, smile politely and take the pee jug away. For some reason, my body felt the need to repeat this process about once an hour even though I barely had anything to drink in the morning or while I was there. I was like some sort of human dehumidifier that was pulling all the moisture out of the air and filtering it through my kidneys. It was a little embarrassing, but we all lived.


Before I realised, it was 2:30. It was the magical moment they determined the bag of pulpy orange stuff that had come from my blood was full enough for the day and told me it was time to go home. Great! I have to go to the bathroom again. This time I could wait until they unhooked me from the apheresis machine and sent me on my way with or without a lollipop.


When the nurse started to detach the tubes that were connected to the ones in my chest, she happened to look down at the floor. She screwed up her face, which made me look at the floor. Beneath the machine were little pools of red liquid that sort of looked like blood or something like blood. The nurse could tell that I knew something wasn’t quite right, so she just decided to open up the front hatch on the machine to have a look. What the two of us saw resembled a crime scene. The first words out of her mouth were, “This isn’t normal.”


We looked at each other, looked at the blood-splattered innards of the filtering device and looked at each other again. Her eyes grew wide and she said, “this has never happened before. I’m going to have to go get someone.” Of course this has never happened before-- these things only happen when I’m a part of the equation!!


I had to wait for a tech to come by and it was taking quite a while. By this time, I really had to pee again. Thankfully, I was unhooked from the machine so I could make it to the actual bathroom at long last. Relief for all parties involved! Waiting for the tech to arrive felt like waiting for the principal to arrive. I felt like I was going to get a stern talking-to for breaking the expensive device and my punishment would be that my insurance would be billed for it. Go ahead, I’ve already paid my deductible and met the out-of-pocket maximum, so I wasn’t responsible for anything else! The tech arrived about 10 minutes later and she just stared at the machine, not knowing what to make of it. Gina was still on her leash and silently kept gesticulating at me, asking what was going on. All I could do was shrug.


The tech got up from the machine. “This isn’t normal. This has never happened before.”


Is there a specific script for what to say when a machine blows up? Apparently, this actually hadn’t happened before. I was hooked up to a relatively new apheresis module and it shouldn’t have failed. My superhuman alien blood broke a part on the unit and they needed to notify the manufacturer. OK, that was pretty neat.


They sent me on my way and told me to wait for a call from the nurse who was assigned to me. She would tell me whether or not they were able to get the five million cells needed to perform the stem cell transplant. I was really hoping that they did because that would mean I wouldn’t have to go back. Well, I never got that call because this malfunction was such a big deal that the head of the department herself phoned me. I was told that they had collected well over the five million cells that they needed to perform my stem cell transplant. This was good news. I was then informed that they would need to run tests to see if the the draw had been compromised with bacteria. That was bad news. They tried to spin it by saying they didn’t think that it would be contaminated and that everything was probably alright, but just to be safe, they wanted me to come back the next day for another collection.


Are you freaking kidding me?! We have to do this again tomorrow? Is anyone really looking forward to this? If nothing else, I’m sure these folks will forever remember me as that giggling guy who peed a lot and broke their new apheresis machine.


Well honey, pack my bags-- I’m heading back to “Camp Frigiwanda”!

 
 
Current Location: Lakewood, Ohio USA
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
jedipartner1967

Things have been going great the last couple months! I came through the stem cell transplant and all of the mess with flying colours. Lou got through his colon cancer ordeal at great speed and has mostly recovered from the surgery. At the moment, I am recovering at home and getting a balance of rest and exercise to make sure things keep moving forward.

I have to say that the outpouring of generosity from folks over the last several months has been astounding. I have to thank my stepsister, Rachel, and our friends, Adrianne and Debbie, for doing such a great job with the fundraiser. Also on the fundraising front, my mother, her band of oldsters from the Solon Community Centre and the members of the Solon United Methodist Church really helped in ways that I cannot believe. Of course, there is you-- all of you who have contributed to the funds that filled what we have marked as the "Medical Funds Account". Thank you also to all of the friends who tweeted about this on Twitter or shared it on Facebook. Even that act helped out so very much.

We also want to thank the friends who brought us meals that filled our fridge and freezer over the summer. This bounty aided us on the days where we just couldn't possibly find the energy to get to the store or prepare a meal at the end of a long day.

Between all of the fundraisers, we managed to raise over $13K to help pay for not only my medical expenses, but also Lou's expenses. Yes, it's been a huge year for us both and we would ultimately be in the poorhouse if it were not for your generosity. I know it is so cliche to say that "words cannot express the gratitude we feel", but I am going to stand by that cliche: Words cannot express the gratitude we feel because we know that money doesn't come easy to any of us and knowing the circumstances some of the known contributors are in makes their donations even more stunning and appreciated.

The funds will not be spent frivolously-- in fact, they are only being withdrawn as the bills come in. This will help us out over the next few months as I begin to start seeking new employment and it will allow us to cover monthly utilities like heat, water and electricity, and help me to not feel the pressure to just take any job out of desperation. I've learnt to be uber-frugal over the last few months, so this will assist us to not be quite so spendy. As a matter of fact, we are on payment plans with the Cleveland Clinic and while we could pay everything off at this time, we are choosing to make sure we have something in the bank in the event of a dire emergency.

I have felt that it was important to excerise transparency from the moment I was told something was wrong, all the way through the process, to when Lou was diagnosed and through his treatment, and I thought it necessary to let you know how much we raised from fundraising alone. Our families contributed a bit more to the take, independently of the fundraising, so that gave us a little extra cushion.

Please know that none of this is lost on us. We owe each of you our lives and we thank you for your friendship and your charitable hearts.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

- Dale and Lou

 
 
Current Location: Lakewood, Ohio USA
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
 
 
jedipartner1967
Yesterday was non-stop consultations with nurses, social workers and insurance specialists and then a chest x-ray and bone marrow biopsy. Everything went smoothly, but it was a really long day. We arrived at hospital at 8:00am and didn't finish up until about 4:30pm. The two Percocets and Ativan helped during the biopsy. LOL The drill site on my pelvis hurts a little today. Oh, well.

The bone scan folks took me early this morning, as did the EKG people. My dad and I spent the long gap just hanging out and enjoying the midday. My afternoon appointments included some lung capacity tests and an echo cardiogram. I'd never experienced any of these previously, so dare I say that they were somewhat "fun".
 
 
Current Location: Lakewood, Ohio
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
jedipartner1967

I admit that I've done and said some pretty stupid things in my lifetime, but I pride myself on having a pretty healthy stash of common sense. At my last job, there were all sorts of stupid people who were either just completely stupid or just had no common sense. Now, I don't have a degree, but I can figure things out pretty quickly and can recognise that life has provided enough lessons and examples that I should've learnt something from. Like not ending a sentence with a dangling participle, which I just did.

It was a daily occurrence for any one of us to drop into the middle of a completely inane conversation inb the lunchroom. It just so happened that on this particular day when I was making a pot of coffee, I was privvy to one of the most incredibly dopey interactions I ever had at this job. To protect the identities of the ignorant, I will refrain from using their names give them new monikers for the point of storytelling.

Gary Coleman: Oh, my God, gurl... I. Love. Love. Love that Chinese buffet up the street. I think I'm-a go get take out from them today. You wanna go?

Princess Glitterbomb: Maybe-- but wait-- I thought you said this was a buffet!

Gary Coleman: It is!

Princess Glitterbomb: Well, okaaaaaaaaaay... but how do you do take out from a buffet??

Gary Coleman: You get a styrofoam container and just put the food into it from the buffet and then you weigh it before you pay.

Princess Glitterbomb: Why do you have to weigh it?

Gary Coleman: Because they price it by the pound.

Princess Glitterbomb: Oh. But what happens if you get more than a pound?!!! Do you have to put the food back?

Me: Seriously?


Princess Glitterbomb: WHAAAAAAT??!!!

Me: If it is $4.99 per pound and you get more than a pound, the scale does the math and you pay whatever that little bit more costs. Haven't you ever bought anything at the supermarket deli counter or from the produce section??!!

Princess Glitterbomb: Well, yeah! But when I go, I just tell them to give me a pound and I get a pound!!

Me: Exactly? Every time? Never under or over?

Princess Glitterbomb: I dunno! I never pay attention!!

Me: Hmmmmm... well, it looks like the coffee is done brewing. Talk to you guys later and have a great lunch. Bye!

One final note: "Princess Glitterbomb" is proud of herself and loved talking about how she has a degree and I don't. Sure, kid. Well, at least I understand the concept of how pricing by the pound works. Yikes.

 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
 
 
jedipartner1967
22 May 2015 @ 11:54 am


Hello there! I'm coming to you from my little chemo room down at the Taussig Cancer Centre at Cleveland Clinic's sprawling main campus.

There's not a whole lot to report today other than: I'm doing fine for the most part. The "most part" component is due to the fact that my white blood count is low. What does this mean? Well, this week it means that I probably shouldn't be around sick people (or groups of people,for that matter) and that my hobby of licking things should be put on hold for the time being.

The doctor said this drop in white blood counts is pretty much normal, but they thought they would see this much earlier in the process. They are going to look at the lab results of my blood draw next week to see if they will need to adjust my Revlimid dosage. If that's the case, they may need to alter my cycle a little. I'm hoping that they don't 'cos I'd like to just get on with the stem cell harvest.

The crazy thing about all this is that none of my other blood data has changed. As a matter of fact, they say that my blood is still crazy healthy except for that one thing.

The doctor was very encouraged that I walked between 4 to 6 miles every day when I was on vacation and that I started back at the gym. He did not oppose my 45 minutes on the crosstrainer or that I was doing moderate lifting again. He told me that he is happy to know that I am doing these things because he wants to make sure I am fit as I go into the transplant. Well, yes, that's the goal!

Check back in next week to see if my white blood count has gone back up or if I will need to have my Revlimid routine altered in any way.
 
 
Current Location: Cleveland, OH
Current Mood: chipperchipper
 
 
jedipartner1967
19 April 2015 @ 06:20 pm
I sit here feeling a little lost at the moment-- one part of me is joyful that I got to make this journey and see all these people, but the other part knows that this time is over and it will no longer be the focus of my plans or my future. I am grateful that to know that I am loved and supported by my friends and that Celebration is not just an event that happens every so often for us. No, in fact Celebration is something that I carry inside me every day that I live. These people-- my friends, are not ones that I leave behind as we scatter back to our lives in various parts of the world, but rather ones that I hold in my heart when I am feeling lost or scared and even when I am feeling happiness and excitement over something they would appreciate.

Celebration is a time of old friends and new friends and not just about being fans of a particular film franchaise even though that is what brought us all together. I am happy that these friendships are strengthened with each party and locked into place when we share other important moments in our lives. I believe that we all feel the same way and understand that these are important days and ties that will help us get through whatever life throws at us.

I thank my old friends for loving and stalwart and steady. I thank my new friends for being so brilliantly wonderful and allowing me to weave them into the fabric of my existence. I truly love you all and I am having a difficult time allowing myself to say the "inner goodbye" so that the one I speak later this evening is easier to say.

Who am I kidding? It never is easy. I'm sure I will cry at some point.

I already cried once as I hugged my friend Marjorie goodbye as I left the collectors' lounge area.

We shall all be together at some point again. Even if we are not, my only hope is that my friends know how much I appreciate every little thing they've brought into my life.

Thank you-- and love to you all!!
 
 
Current Location: Anaheim, CA
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: "Ahsoka Leaves" - Kevin Kiner and The City of Prague Orchestra
 
 
jedipartner1967
19 April 2015 @ 06:03 pm
Today was an emotion-filled day; we all knew that this had to come to an end, but we weren't ready for it to happen. It's never an easy thing to face the final day of a convention when you know that it is the last day you'll get to see your friends for a while.

As I finished up my breakfast this morning, I was approached by two ladies who were looking to fill a cab to the convention centre. I told them I would be more than glad to share the ride there. I recall their names to be Karen and Judy. Karen's husband and son were already in the queue and, as it turns out, they were in the medical badge line as well. So, we got to hang out for a while.

I spotted my friends Brian and Daniel in the next queue over and said "good morning". They were staying out of the immediate area, so we didn't get to hang out, which saddened me, but I am glad I got to see them from time to time during the days of the convention.

The Celebration Store line was quite short and the items for sale were few, but I managed to get the t-shirt with the Japanese poster for "The Empire Strikes Back". It was really the only one I wanted, so it worked out well. I also picked up a shirt for a friend's son-- I can't wait to get it to him!

A new friend, Ed, informed me that there would be a good panel this morning. It was one that I had overlooked and so I changed my plans and ditched the Kenner figure panel for the Kathleen Kennedy / Kiri Hart panel. They spoke about the future standalone films that will be referred to as "Anthology" films. They introduced Gareth Edwards and he spoke a bit about the upcoming Rogue One film that will start filming this summer. There was no footage to be shown, but some art was revealed and a teaser that they put together at ILM was screened for us. This film will take place before Episode IV and will be a war film based around the Rebels stealing the Death Star plans. This should be exciting!

I got to share this morning with Jim and Annabelle and we had a load of fun. We suspect a female attendee thought we were a couple and said "oh, you two are so wonderful with (Annabelle)." I'm sorry, I'm just silly old Uncle Dale.

I stopped by the show floor again to say "goodbye" to Jeff Carlisle and his wife before heading into the Billy Dee Williams interview with James Arnold Taylor. Billy Dee was a good interview and I am glad that I got to see him. Over the course of the conventions, I have been fortunate to sit in on panels with Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and finally Billy Dee Williams. I think I've done pretty well and I thank them for doing this for us long-timers!

The last thing that I got into was the Closing Ceremony. James Arnold Taylor trotted out all the hosts of the various stages at the con and showed footage culled over the span of the last few days. I met up with some of the Sir Steve's Guide crew (Barry Benecke and Josh "Tycho" Weiselberg) for this one. It was wonderful sharing that time with them and getting to end this convention as I had ended my first one in 2005.

It looks like some of the SWANlings are heading out to dinner at 6:30 and I planning on joining them. I need to wrap this up, but I think a proper epilogue would be more appropriate.

So with that...
 
 
Current Location: Anaheim, CA
Current Mood: wistful
Current Music: "Luke and Leia" - John WIlliams and The London Symphony Orchestra
 
 
jedipartner1967
19 April 2015 @ 02:45 am
Changed things up a bit this morning and met up with a couple of friends from the Sir Steve's Guide days. I met up with John Lindquist and Richard Beal (who had his wonderful kids, Julian and Charlotte, with him) and had breakfast at IHOP before heading to the convention. We spent some time catching up, laughing and enjoying the silliness provided by Richard's children. We even collabourated on a "dragon giraffe" picture on the back of Charlotte's kids' menu!!

We walked over to the convention centre and parted company. Richard didn't have tickets for the con, so he and his kids wandered the grounds and had pictures taken with the cosplayers. As I split off from them, I discovered I was walking alongside the legendary character actor, Deep Roy. I said "good morning" to him as we proceeded into the convention hall. Once I was inside, I was told all people with medical badges could go right inside.

I wandered the show floor for about 20 minutes before the general pass holders were allowed in. I found it nice to be able to wander the convention floor before it was jammed full of people. I still haven't gotten into the Celebration store due to the long lines that never end.

My first panel this morning was for the Heroes of Rebels and that was held in the arena on the Celebration Stage. James Arnold Taylor hosted the cast of Rebels (Vanessa Marshall, Freddie Prinze Jr., Steve Blum, Tiya Sicar, Taylor Gray) along with Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni. I had been slowly warming up to the show, but the trailer for the second season really got me excited and is giving me a lot of good feelings about what is to come. Ashley Eckstein and Dee Bradley Baker were added to the panel as Ahsoka will return in season two and Captain Rex will make an appearance in this series. EXCITING!!!

The next panel explored the incredible music of Clone Wars as well as Rebels. Pablo Hidalgo interviewed Kevin and Sean Kiner. It was interesting to learn of his process and to hear some of the music cues playing against the scenes, but without the dialogue and sound effects.

It was a toss up whether I would attend the season two premiere of Rebels or if I would return to the Celebration Stage. The queue for the first had filled up whilst I was in the previous panel, so that made my decision for me. I ran into Jim and Annabelle again and he was trying to get Annabelle into the premiere (even the medical queue was full!). It must've been "the will of the Force" that we ran into our friend Berent Lawton and he gave us the bathroom break password to get back into the room. Our scheme worked and they were soon in the queue to see the premiere! It was unfair that any child would have to wait 4 hours in a queue to see a cartoon.

I headed down to the Celebration Stage queue and was soon met by Margo. We had an absolute blast hanging out together. She is a lovely lady! James Arnold Taylor's "Talking with Myself" performance was enlighting and entertaining. He is such an incredible voice talent and just a great guy. He revealed at the end of his show that he almost lost the ability to use his voice in early 2005 due to illness. His words of encouragement to those with struggles caused quite a number of us to tear up. I even felt moved to send him a Tweet and thank him for his words and talent. I woke up to discover that he had acknowledged it and I felt even more emboldened in my fight to get well.

After James' amazing show, he remained on-stage to interview Mark Hamill. Mark was funny and told some great stories. Many were familiar, but many were not. I was just feeling like such a fanboy as I sat in the same room as he. Mark told us that he had gone into Bad Robot the week before to record his lines for the second teaser trailer, but that J.J. Abrams used the original dialogue from "Return of the Jedi" and blended the newly recorded parts as a vocal double.

Yes, kids-- this is why the line goes "my father has it". This has nothing to do with Vader being alive in the new film.

I closed out the evening with the Lehanes and a nice light dinner at Mix at the Hilton. I love these folks!!! Little Annabelle was so exhausted that she fell asleep as soon as her food arrived. It was a long and exciting day for all of us.

Spotted on the convention floor: Taylor Gray, Dave Filoni and Deep Roy
 
 
Current Location: Anaheim, CA
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful