Everything Is Awesome


This past weekend, I took my six-year-old daughter to see The Lego Movie. I intentionally avoided watching any previews or reading review because I didn’t want to go in with any expectations. Of course, because I’ve watched  other Lego cartoons like Ninjago and The Adventures of Clutch Powers, I couldn’t help but have a some preconceived notions about the animation and script quality.

As it turns out, everything about this movie is awesome.

Anyone who knows me personally probably suspects the truth: I’m a Lego Fanboy. My Star Wars Lego collection might be a hint, or that when my six-year-old daughter and I play Legos together, I’m usually still at it three hours after she moves on to her next activity. We have a thirty gallon plastic bin of Legos that I collected over more than thirty years, and while my daughter has contributed at least two gallons since shew as old enough to know she’s supposed to connect the bricks, not eat them, I can still remember the original sets from which those mish-mashed pieces originated. I instructions for many of the sets I bought as an adult, and, for the rest, I know I can download original Lego instruction manuals.

So The Lego Movie is pretty much a mirror of playing Lego’s with my daugher: it’s a mash-up of themes and characters, with Princess Leia rescuing Ninjago’s Nya from the clutches of the evil Hello Kitty (yes, our Legos are contaminated with other “interlocking block systems”) from the undead hoard
in her Intergalactic Battle Cruiser/Pet Salon.

(To clarify, the whole Hello Kitty/Undead/Battlecruiser thing is my daughter and I playing, not the plot of The Lego Movie – but it could be!)

The Lego Movie has awesome special effects that seem at times to blend old-school stop-motion animation with bleeding edge CGI. It’s rife with adult humor that will goes way over the heads of the kids (my daughter couldn’t understand why I and every other adult in the theater were belly-laughing after Batman found out Chewbacca’s a dude). And you know a movie is super classy when Billy Dee Williams makes an appearance.

And don’t get me started on Uni-Kitty, who is apparently my daughter’s favorite character from The Lego Movie.

I see family counseling in our future.

Or maybe we’ll just play with our Legos more often, because when we do, everything is awesome.

There Is No Try

For those non-Fanboys out there, this past Friday, May 4, 2012, was Star Wars Day. The date for this annual celebration was chosen due to its phonetic similarity to the Jedi blessing: “May the Force be with you.” So, “May the Fourth be with you!” Thanks to my daughter and very indulgent wife, we watched Episode IV Friday evening. I tried to make time to walk during the day, but I chose the easy path instead and just geeked out in front of the TV.

On Saturday, I tried to motivate myself again, but my allergies were killing me in the morning, and I decided to put off the walk until evening. My wife Julia need to pick up some fabric for a dress she’s making for our daughter, and since Walmart seems to be the only store within ten miles to carry fabric, we hopped in the RAV4 and made our run on the retail equivalent of the Death Star.

I don’t know what it is about Walmart the attracts the freaks (us included), but they were out in force. The family of six in the toy section was actually fun to watch, since the mom and dad were WAY more excited about the new Avengers action figures than the kids were. The psycho who latched onto Julia in the fabric department and started yammering about how she used to make dresses for her kids but they never call anymore since her husband left her and her car broke down but she doesn’t know why since she changes her oil once a year herself but uses vegetable oil because its cheaper except canola because Obama ordered the SEC to artificially inflate the price of corn so more would be available to use by Big Oil for ethanol to but in gasoline which is probably what made her car break down and her husband leave her and her kids hate her … was a little annoying, especially when I walked up to rescue Julia, and the lady looked me up and down and said: “You should try Weight Watchers.”

I found her lack of manners … disturbing.

We eventually made it out of Walmart with the fabric and one very unexpected surprise that had the potential to make it all worth it: the new XBox 360 Kinect Star Wars game. On Friday, I stopped by both Best Buy and Toys-R-Us to find this game. In both cases, they were sold out. Walmart, however, had dozens in stock on Saturday.

We had dinner plans with friends, so my steady slide to the Darkside continued through Saturday night with no walk.

Sunday, I was determined to redeem myself, but I still felt a bit under the weather. My wife had taken my daughter to a birthday party and were going to the ballet in the afternoon, so I had most of the day to myself.

I tried to get out to do my walk, but I just couldn’t seem to drum up the motivation. Instead I read some, watched a little Netflix streaming, and basically lazed about.

Around noon, I decided to try and fix my bad motivator and do something active. So, I popped in Kinect Star Wars. Two hours later, I was a tired, sweaty mess. Despite mediocre reviews from critics, Kinect Star Wars is awesome, and I’ve only played the first two missions! I was pretty exhausted, but I kept telling myself I’d try to go walking later in the day.

After watching some more Netflix, I realized it was already late afternoon, so I started on dinner so it would be ready when my girls got home. When they arrived, my dear daughter looked at me and asked “can we watch the next Star Wars, the one with Yoda?” My wife (did I mention how amazing she is) agreed to bend the rules and have dinner in front of the TV watching Episode V (aka Empire Strikes Back).

When they reach the point in the film where Luke is training with Yoda, I realize I’m identifying too well with Luke’s frustration over the difficulty of his tasks (levitating boulders while standing on one arm must be a challenge). I also recognize he’s getting a bit whiney, telling Master Yoda he’ll “try.”

In response, Master Yoda whips out this nugget of Jedi wisdom:

“Don’t try. Do. Or Do Not. There is no try.”

It’s amazing how much wisdom I’ve learned from Muppets.

After we finished Empire and sent my daughter up to bed, I decided to stop trying.

I walked over to the gym, still sore from my bout with Kinect Star Wars, and I DID.

It took me sixty-four minutes to walk five miles on the elliptical, but I finished it. Thank you, Master Yoda.

The count: 47 miles down, 953 to go.

It’s time to engage the hyperdrive.