(new here? read this first.)

I’m Daniel. And I’m kind of a nerd.

This picture has always reminded me of the Millenium Falcon. Like a lot of kids my age, Star Wars played a big role in my upbringing. I can still see Han Solo and Chewbacca engaging hyper drive. That’s what this image means to me – 6 years old, watching in complete wonderment as I discovered space, robots, the force, Princess Leia and bounty hunters. It’s a miracle I didn’t break the VCR back in those days.

I’ve had plenty of time to process the first three Star Wars films (I refuse to discuss the new one’s). I do a mean Chewy impression. I’m known to slip in a “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” during conversations, and I attend Gen Con annually, there’s more…I honestly think R2-D2 could beat a T-Rex in a fight. It pains me that C-3PO is so insecure. I really don’t get it. He’s shiny, gold and can communicate in over 6 million forms of communication. What’s the problem?

Let’s just say I reference Star Wars a lot.

A few years ago, I bought two orange trees. I named them R2-D2 and C-3PO. I still have R2. Unfortunately, Threepio died. I’ve killed a lot of plants. I ordered a new orange tree earlier this year and considered the name for some time.

I’m thrilled to say that Boba Fett the Orange Tree is flourishing. I keep him on the balcony, usually by himself (bounty hunter style). The Boba Fett character was probably the coolest in all of the Star Wars films. Amazing armor, quiet, traveled frequently, made his own hours, AND, a rocket back pack. What a life.

He died a ridiculous and unflattering death in The Empire Strikes Back – it’s almost like someone played a prank on him. It still really irritates me today. But I’m coping.

All I can do now, is make sure that when Boba Fett the Orange Tree dies, it happens with a little more dignity.

4th of July

how casey sees it…

I once had a stepdad who was a mortician. I could say funeral director, but for the sake of this story he was a mortician, he did mortician stuff, he just happened to direct funerals as well.

I learned a lot a lot from him over the years, such as certain chemicals used on someone who had died from an overdose would cause them to turn Kermit the Frog green. When reconstructing a face for a viewing glass marbles are used where eyeballs used to be. A dead body left in a hot car for weeks will turn black and bloat. There are certain religions that approach death differently, and the feelings towards it are palpable among the different sects.

But there is one story he told me about a teenage girl riding down a narrow two lane canyon in the back of a friends car. They had been drinking and she had stuck her head out the car window for whatever reason teenagers stick their heads out of car windows. They came around a bend at the same time as a truck traveling in the opposite direction.

It hit her.

It tore her in half.

Many times my friends and I had been that girl, hanging out car windows while riding down steep and curvy canyons. Sometimes I was drunk, sometimes I was not. But from the moment I heard that story I was changed. I could visualize it too easily. The breeze in her face, the curve in the canyon, the headlights, the honking, that sound, the screaming…

…the phone call to her parents.

Even 13 years later I still tense up driving down winding canyon roads, especially at night.

I’m not sure if it was his intention to scare me with this story, but it worked. And while I still lived the rest of my teenage years with fairly reckless abandon, I also lived with a new fear, the fear of death.