Monday, January 12, 2009


Three (hopefully) cute anecdotes, and a concern.

1) Tabbatha turns thirty this week. I mention this only because when we first met, still in the exchange-of-personal-information mode, and she told me she was born in 1979, literally the first thought that popped into my head was, "Gee, that means she was only a year old when The Empire Strikes Back opened."

In a rare instance of self-restraint, I did not say that out loud.

2) Hanging out with Paul this weekend, he mentioned his proficiency playing Lego Star Wars. "I just bought my own thermal detonator!" he said proudly.

"Thermal detonator?" I asked. "What's that, like a bomb?"

"Thermal detonator! You know, like Leia uses in Return Of The Jedi when she's trying to rescue Han."

"Oh, right. I forgot what it was called."

"Well, it's a thermal detonator."

"Ah," I said, then continued. "You know, at this point, I think you know more about Star Wars than I do. The apprentice has become the master."

Paul paused for a moment, then cried in mock indignation, "Are you saying I'm a geek?"

3) After finishing lunch at a fake Mexican restaurant, I asked Paul to please not drag his new sweatshirt on the snow-encrusted floor as he started to put it on. "This isn't a sweatshirt," he said, "it's a jacket."

"No, it's a sweatshirt. It has a hood, it's made of some sort of cottony-wooly-fleecey material--definitely a sweatshirt."

Paul turned to a kid in the booth behind us, a total stranger. "Is this a jacket or a sweatshirt?"

"Definitely a jacket," the kid said.

Paul laughed, pointing at me. "He says it's a sweatshirt. Also, he doesn't like the Ewoks."

The kid looked at me. "Who were the Ewoks?"

"The little furry guys in Return Of The Jedi."

"Oh, yeah. No, the Ewoks rock. They beat the stormtroopers. They were the heroes."

"He also hates Jar-Jar," Paul explained.

"Jar-Jar was kind of stupid."

"But he was funny," Paul said.

"Yeah, he was funny," the kid agreed. "Jar-Jar's okay."

"No," I said firmly. "I'm sorry, but no. Everyone hates Jar-Jar. It's a fact."

"We don't hate him."

It kind of continued that way for awhile, until, as we walked out the door, the kid jumped up and pointed an accusing finger at me. "The Force definitely isn't with you!"

"Well, it's not with anyone who likes Jar-Jar, either," I said, realizing I'd lost an argument to two pre-adolescents. I gotta work on my debating skills.

4) Those little tales are all well and good, but here's my concern: Do they have any meaning if you're not a regular reader of this site?

In other words, I'd like to expand my readership--theoretically, I mean; it's not like it's actually happening--and if a new visitor came here and read these pieces cold, would he or she be asking, "Who the hell is this Tabbatha person? Who is Paul? Why should I care?" True, said reader could plow through my back pages in hopes of finding an answer, but why should they have to? Is this site too insular? Is my writing clear enough for a newbie to understand? Are my concerns misplaced? Are my anxieties unfounded? Should I vow to never again use the word "newbie"?

For that last question, at least, I already know the answer.