May 12, 2005

Day 4 - So dedicated, it's ridiculous

Well, after sitting in almost two hours of traffic on the 55 South, I was finally able to relieve Emperor Wandrey from the night shift at around 8:45 AM. I thought I'd try to be as productive as possible, so I brought down a bottle of 409 to clean up after everyone (seriously, did you guys all throw up on the T.V. and refrigerator, or is it just my imagination) and my research paper, which is due this Friday, so I could work on it down there.

The paper was going well until some retard thought it would be a swell idea to blast "(I Hate) Everything About You" by Three Days Grace, over and over, as loud as possible until his speakers sounded like they were about to explode. Now, don't get me wrong... I like my music as loud as the next guy, but not at 9 in the freaking morning when people are still trying to sleep. However, if you insist on blasting your music so the whole world can hear it, at least change up the song for crying out loud.

But I digress.

Met one of our tent-neighbors, Ralph, and talked with him about life, his job, the campout, and people who play their music too loud, before he had to go to work up in Seal Beach. Now that's a fun drive. Ryan stopped by for a quick visit, since he was in the neighborhood for work. After he left, I met my friend Stan, who works nearby, over at Hard Rock for lunch, where our waitress appeared to have been sniffing glue just prior to serving us.

Meanwhile, back at the campsite, a camper whose name I can't remember for the life of me was diligently working to correct our collective power situation. Amazingly enough, it seems that rigging up dozens of televisions, stereos, fridges, lights, space heaters and video game consoles, all on the same circuit breaker, will result in certain undesirable things like oh, I don't know, a blackout to the movie theater in the middle of a business day. Thankfully, this intrepid camper took it upon himself to re-route everyone's power strips so that they were allocated to several different power sources. This way, Big Newport doesn't have any more blackouts, and we get to avoid spending our last week reading books while shivering in the dark. Whoever you are, resident camper electrician guy, I salute you.

I was soon joined by the Emperor, Novi Wan, and later Chewdumma (that would be Nate), who despite my best attempts to lead him to the Dark Side, remained strong in the Force and refused to watch any of the movie spoilers contained in the Episode III Playstation 2 game. Novi Wan's girlfriend's kid brother and Padawan Learner, Jamey, came down to check out the action at the campout. Jamey proceeded to take on Nate at the video game, and gave Nate what can only be described as the mother of all shellackings. Nate then cried himself to sleep on his huge pillow.

As day turned into night, more and more moviegoers and looky-loo's wandered past our campsite, reading our FAQ's and asking us questions. One old man with a cane mumbled that he respected our dedication, "even for something totally immature, ridiculous, and asinine." I smiled and said "thanks... I think" as he then hobbled away.

Just as I was about to leave, two girls asked to interview us on video for a news service that Sprint PCS is doing. Should be interesting. I am especially looking forward to the part where Renee (Ryan's pregnant wife) berates him for saving his childhood Star Wars toys, and calls him a nerd on film for saying that he would go to the Star Wars Convention were he not married. This is interview gold, people. We'll keep you posted on when and how you can see that interview (they said it might be syndicated, so who knows), and whether or not Ryan and Renee's child ultimately turns out to be a Star Wars fan.

Helpful Hints from the Admiral- #1

When I was a child, I would go to Toy City every weekend with my allowance and buy a Star Wars action figure. By the time they went off the market, I had amassed a large assortment of all the main characters, and had bought several stormtroopers because how could I fight an intergalactic battle, the Empire against the Rebellion, with only one stormtrooper? I mean, come on. It doesn't make sense. But, the imagination is only so powerful, and there comes a time for change to add a little more tangibility to playtime.

For all you kids who are tired of recreating battles between the forces of good and evil on the floral pattern of your mother's couch, or running around on the grass, losing figures in the process, the time has come to be dazzled by a wonderfully new terrain where "The Empire Strikes Back" can come to life.

Have you ever thrown away the styrofoam protectors that come with electronic equipment? Of course you have... we all have. Stop right this instant, friend. What that white protective substance can do for your imagination is beyond belief! With the different grooves, openings, and holes, you have the ability to recreate the epic battle for Hoth. Live in the moment as you position your characters in the control room, trying to decode the Imperial probe droid's message; watch Han and the Princess defy their love again and again in the cold hallways of the base; hear the agony of the blasters and the fateful scream: "Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have..."

Now, I know this kind of information is priceless, but today, I give it freely to you. Just promise that you will go out and buy a large appliance or electronic gadget, so you too can have the magic of Hoth come to life in your living room.

The Return of the Dorks, er... Jedi?!?!?

So, here I am last night around 7:30, taking my girlfriend's brother James (my "padawan" learner) down to Big Newport because we were informed of a "light saber class/demonstration" that was to be graciously put on by the Orange County Star Wars society. When we arrived our crew was inside the tent playing the Episode III game. The Star Wars society wasn't there yet, so James sat down to learn how to play the games. After a few seconds of instruction from Jarhead Binks (Alex), Nate, and others, James set about to obliterate all takers. Nate soon was getting frustrated for losing repeatedly to an eleven year old.

But still no Star Wars society.

Jarhead Binks and myself were interviewed for about half an hour by some people for Sprint and a new cell phone news service they have going on, so that was cool. Still, 9:00 came and went, and still no Star Wars society! So, with a heavy heart, James left Big Newport with his dad to get ready for another day of school.

Finally, around 10:00 (over 2 hours late!) the first of the dorks, er... Jedi... showed up! After taking a couple of laps around the camp to announce their presence, the 8 Jedi lined up in front of Big Newport to show us how it's done! I'm not sure if it was disappointment or the look of "what the heck are these people doing?!?!" on the faces of the people at the campout. I guess when you hear the term "class" you expect some sort of information, instruction, or at least a vein display of skill. What we saw were four sets of Jedi slapping their $150-$180 dollar (they made a point to tell all of us how much their CUSTOM light sabers cost!) at each other for about ten or fifteen seconds, then they had to take a ten minute water break because they were winded!! I can't tell you how thankful I was that James was not there to see that! I'm not saying that either him or myself are masters at this stuff, but we fight, come up with moves with the $10 dollar plastic sabers and have a good time. These people can't fight (if that's what you want to call it) for more than a minute without having to be toweled off or hosed down!

But from out of the ashes, a hope arose.

Now normally, you don't pray for a Sith to come out of hiding to lay waste to some "Jedi", but we did, and we were not disappointed!! Anakin Scottwalker, without regard for his own safety, took one for the team. As the Jedi "fights" (sissy slapping) continued, Scottwalker casually strolled around the corner of the tent, unhooked the Dark Lord of the Sith from his perch, grabbed a red light saber, and with Darth Vader providing cover, ScottWalker steeled his resolve and charged into the frey with a hellacious battle cry! When it was all over, the Jedi were winded...big surprise, and ScottWalker emerged victorious with only minor wounds to his Saber hand. So, a special thanks goes out to ScottWalker for ending the evening on a good note. Aside from that, that was one of the quietest nights I have ever experienced at Big Newport. No eggs, no honking, nothing. Thank you Anakin Scottwalker for making the evening a success!!!