Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015

I guess I am about to enter the busiest month ever - December 2015.  In addition to the usual Christmas preparations and restoration workdays, there is this thing called Star Wars Episode 7-The Force Awakens.  Where I had hoped to get the new X-Wing costume done, it does not appear that will happen.  There are snags with fitting the flightsuit and so many details that need working on.  With everything else going on, there simply isn't enough time to dedicate to doing it right.  I did get all of the additional pieces that had to be ordered in through the mail.  The only thing really missing is the leg flares and holder and a few minor trim pieces.

Thanksgiving was very nice again this year.  I began the day with the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade down State Street.  The weather was really iffy.  It was pouring rain when I left the house and the forecast was for intermittent rain.  Thankfully, the rain stopped while I was waiting in the parking lot for the others to arrive to suit up.  We got downtown and the usual "stand around and wait" time went really fast as we were in the front of the parade this year...unit #13.  It was also on the warm side so no standing around freezing either.  The Rebels led off the group this year and our entire unit got a lot of screen time on the TV broadcast.  

After the parade was over, I made my way over to Joan's for Thanksgiving dinner.  Stef was in town this year and it was great to visit with her.  We had a lot of laughs and went over current events.  As usual, I had to leave early because I had to get up for work the next morning.  I am the only one in my family that had to work the next day.  I will be glad when I can stay in bed the day after Thanksgiving.  Stef also paid me a visit at the house on Sunday morning on her way to Bev's.  I finally got the Christmas tree up and pulled a whole bunch of muscles getting the box with the tree upstairs.  But, fortunately, since I kept moving through the pain, I think it lessened the recoup time and I was feeling better by later in the evening.

The Sunday before the parade (11-22-15), I trooped the Chicago Wolves Star Wars night at the Allstate Arena.  I had never been to that venue before and always approach these big events with some logistics concerns.  The Allstate Arena turned out to be very user friendly and we all got in, suited up, and wandered the Concourse in the hour before the game and for the first two periods.  Again, since I had to get up for work the next morning, I didn't stay late and made my way home during the second intermission.  It was a really nice event and I wore my Rebel Fleet Trooper for the first time in a long time.  The pants were getting really tight because I had gained some weight and wearing them was uncomfortable.  I have lost some weight so the costume was once again comfortable to wear.  I would still like to lose a little more...but isn't that always the way it is.

On December 1st, we did a special event down at Lurie Children's Hospital.  We had been contacted by Lucasfilm/Disney about doing the event for a new program that the company is doing with Children's hospitals called "Master Your Force".  Groups of costumers are going into Children's Hospitals across the country with help from Lucasfilm and doing a "Jedi Training" program and distributing toys.  I was asked to wear my Jedi costume, so that is what I wore.  I did NOT want to drive downtown because this event was on Tuesday when all of the usual commuter nightmares are going on.  I decided to get fully suited up and take the train downtown.  I also had to take a bus as the LaSalle Street Station is quite a long way away from Lurie's.  There was the usual last minute snafu's with people running a bit behind schedule, people getting sick, people without transportation, but finally everyone got there.  We didn't have a huge number of kids partake in the activities, but those who did seemed to really enjoy the event.  The trip home was pretty funny.  In full costume, I walked back to Dearborn Street which was the street I hopped the bus on to head north.  As I hit Dearborn I walked a few blocks looking for a bus to take back to the LaSalle Street Rock Island station and it occured to me that there would be no southbound bus as Dearborn is one way north.  So, I didn't plan for that and stood at the corner of Dearborn and something and wondered which way to go.  I ended up heading west to Clark Street and walked a few blocks south and finally found a bus stop and hoped that it went to Jackson.  When I got on the bus, I tried putting my fare into the farebox - I had 3 one dollar bills in one hand and my lightsaber in the other and tried to jam the dollars into the farebox.  I was so "in another world" that I didn't hear the bus driver telling me that the dollar bill machine was broken and "thank you"  After he said that a second time, I just stood there with the dollar bills and look dazed (I'm sure) and finally got the "thank you" to mean "go sit down".  So, long, long day but everything turned out ok.

Also, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was the annual "Work Off the Turkey" workday at my restoration site.  A couple weeks ago, Linda and I went out and got some brush piles started and ready to light off.  It was a little tight getting going, but we finally got a larger area cleared around the brush piles and at the end of the workday, we had removed another ton of autumn olive and honeysuckle and expanded the open area between the trail and the tracks quite a bit.  Slowly but surely, we are getting that project done.  I would say another 2 years and that will be completed.  There was also a reporter from the New Lenox Patriot out there and she took a few photos (one ended up on the cover of the paper) and tried to interview us, but as usual, the volunteers were all moving pretty fast so she didn't get

Yesterday was "Wear Star Wars/Share Star Wars" so I brought some of my helmets to work with me and got photos of my fellow employees doing there job with a helmet on.  It was a lot of fun, something we don't have much of at work and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

The next few weeks will be insane....I hope I have enough energy.  I at least have a few Christmas lights up and am starting on my Christmas cookies/candy.  I tried to make a batch a day the last few days.  I have nothing purchased for our Christmas grab bag yet.  I need to get to that this week because it is all downhilll (timewise) after this week.

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