One of my most resent regrets is not having enough time to post articles as much as I want too (and feel I need too). Summer is a very busy time for me due to work and balancing that with family time. At my most busy, I can’t help but think of those golden school years when summers meant freedom, discovery, and general laziness. Luckily for me my birthday is in the summer, so I have an excuse to slow down for one day at least.
This year was a milestone, I turned 40. I won’t get into the dire feeling that comes over me when I realize that there is more time behind me than in front of me now (scary shit). No, I’m going to talk about how awesome my wife is and how she really made this a perfect birthday for me. I’m very lucky to have her and my kids and at the end of the day they are the greatest birthday gifts I could ever ask for.
1. Mandalorian Krybes Tattoo
It had been ten years since my last tattoo, so when my wife asked what big 4-0 gift I wanted I jumped at the chance to get another. On my 30th birthday I got the Arashikage Clan tattoo on my right forearm to commemorate my childhood love of G.I. Joe and the characters of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. So what better way to show my undying love of Star Wars and Boba Fett then with the Mandalorian Krybes symbol on the opposite forearm. There are a couple different thoughts on what this symbol means and how it relates to the people of Mandalore. The three tales I’ve heard the most over the years are that it’s a Bantha skull (dumb), the symbol of an ancient Mandalorian training master (backed by a Star Wars Insider article), or the skull of a giant beast called the Mythosaurs, a creature that populated the planet of Mandalore before the Taung species arrived (theory I like the best). Whichever theory is right isn’t the point, the point is to honor the myths of my youth regarding Star Wars and the most bad ass bounty hunter of them all, Boba Fett.
2. No Mans Sky
The biggest surprise I received from my wife and kids was the pre-order of No Mans Sky. It blew me away that somewhere within my torrent of dork speak, my wife picked up how awesome I thought this game was gonna be. A space game with endless possibilities of exploration is my cup of tea. Nowadays I don’t really care about games with kill counts or bloody finishers like I did back in the day. Now I like to just chill and walk around taking in the scenery. Even in my most favorite game of all time Witcher 3, I sometimes just walk around on a moonlit night and listen to the crickets and watch the breeze sway the trees. Now that doesn’t mean I ain’t down with a little hack and slash or run and gun action when it arises. I’m so excited to jump into this game, sadly it comes out in August and we’ll be on vacation when it arrives. Stupid beach, I want my PS4.
3. 18″ Boba Fett
The 18″ Boba Fett from Jakks is nothing more than a giant version of the action figures of yesteryear, but it’s super awesome nonetheless. Boasting a whole seven points of articulation, signature jet pack, and a real cloth cape, this Fett is all business. The only problem is with all of these exclusive and authentic features, they forgot his blaster.I can’t leave my man defenseless, so for the time being he is armed with Lando’s blaster from the from the 1996 12″collectors line. The blaster may be small, but it’s all in how you use it.
4. Stranger Things
At the time of this writing I am only on episode 6 and I’m loving the crap out of this show. The show plays like a missing Stephen King novel from the ’80s and for some reason the episode title cards really place this somewhere around Silver Bullet for me. Everything from the opening credits to the John Carpenter music has a whole Friday Night Frights feel too me, and I love it. Nostalgia aside, it is a solid show with great acting from the whole cast. The major nod to AD&D and all the minor nods to He-Man, Star Wars, and Lazy Boy chairs takes me back to the simpler days of my childhood. All of the children in peril aspects have moved up to a new level with me though. Before it was cool to place yourself in those situations but now I get more frightened thinking of my children being in those situations. Bravo to the Duffer Brothers and to Netflix. I can’t wait how this season ends and I hope there is room for more in the future. (Note: I really don’t get the whole E.T. comparisons I read online, have these kids ever seen E.T. or Goonies? This show has nothing in common with them other than having kids taking on the action alone. I’ll chalk this up to the kids not even being alive in the ’80s reviewing this show or ever reading a classic King novel. Please remove my soapbox until next time, thank you)
5. Timeline Arcade
Timeline arcade has been in town for a few years now. When they were at the mall I frequented them all the time. Since the moved to their location downtown, I haven’t had a chance to pop in. My wife had the brilliant idea of inviting our best friends to join us on a small jaunt to the arcade and across the street to the brew pub. Another epic win for the wife because it ended up being one of the best evenings we had in a while. She thought the arcade would be a great way to celebrate because it would take me back to my childhood, and boy did it ever. Timeline Arcade specializes in vintage games, from Pac Man to Spy Hunter and Street Fighter II to Operation Wolf. Ever inch of the arcade took me back in time. They even had a couple old, big, wood paneled floor TVs to play Atari and NES on. The place was a great time for both families and both kids and adults are ready to go back. (Also as an adults only night we’re heading back for one of their B.Y.O.B. nights). The only problem I had in Timeline Arcade was that it’s pay by the hour, which is awesome but half my time was just walking around and letting the wave of nostalgia overtake me. Can’t wait to go back!
6. Star Wars Battlefront
My best friend and his family hooked me up with this awesome game. I’ve been wanting it for awhile but I never got around to getting it. After months of hearing how great it was from him and his son, I can now say I agree. Haven’t had too much time to play around with it but I’ve had a blast with what time I have had. Can’t wait to team up with my buddies and lay some waste to the empire and the rebels alike. Maybe one day I’ll get around to the DLC, but for now it’s been great without it.
7. Force Awakens Decorations
When I returned home from getting my tattoo on Thursday morning, I was greeted by this sign. There were also spiral streamers with X-Wings and Tie Fighters dangling around the house. Also large cardboard pictures of some of the characters from the movie. Some of these are going to be hung On My Side Of The Laundry Room and some in my office at work, so awesome bonus. Another great job my wife and kids did to make me feel special and very loved on my birthday. Like with EVERYTHING, they are the best.
8.This Awesome Banner
Out of all the gifts I received for my birthday, this one means the most. I know my wife agonized over it, hoping it was “good”. Well, it’s perfect. Can’t wait to get it framed. Oh, and the critters at the bottom are not part of the picture. I added them to cover my kids names because I like to be mysterious and shit. Just joking, but the internet can be a scary place…ugh.