January 1: Let's see. I had my first "kiss at midnight"...very nice. Ahem. Jason and I were together all day, and we rang in the new year by watching all of the original Star Wars trilogy. I had seen the movies before, but this was my first time watching them back-to-back, and the first time with a rabid Star Wars fan. I feel like I understand the story a lot better now. Also, I knew Jason did an excellent Palpatine voice, but until I re-watched Return of the Jedi I never realized how uncanny it is. Jason's Palpatine costume for the 501st is coming along, and I can't wait to see it when it's all finished. Especially because his friend Pat is in the 501st as well...as Darth Vader. Also does an uncannily good voice. The two of them are hilarious together.
January 2: We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, and for the first time I saw their U-boat exhibit. Very interesting; before you actually get to the submarine they have a whole exhibit of WWII history, showing the importance of the U-boats to the war, and how everything depended on the Allies being able to capture one. My favorite part of that was all of the posters: encouraging men to join the Navy, encouraging women to join the Waves (my grandma did!), reminding everyone that "Loose lips sink ships!" Then you get to the submarine itself. You can get tickets to tour the actual submarine (which we decided not to; we already had tickets for the Jim Henson exhibit) and there were more displays around the outside of the ship. My brother Johnny's favorite part was an interactive display of an Enigma, a German code computer that encrypted messages. Johnny sent himself an encrypted message, with the decryption code "NARF." The message? "HOWAREYOUGENTLEMEN" (the Enigma did not have a space bar). Yes, we're dorks. No, we don't care.
The Jim Henson exhibit was probably my favorite part of the trip. I love the Muppets, from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show to Fraggle Rock...I am disappointed that Sesame Street has been hijacked by Elmo in recent years, but that is another rant for another time. Henson was a creative genius. They had a video playing with some of his early work, including some excellent commercials with pre-Muppet puppets that he created. My favorite was for a laundry finish called Linit which stars a spray-can puppet named "Sir Linit". I love how he speaketh like he cometh from a Shakespearean play.
The La Choy dragon is pretty good, too.
There were some really interactive exhibits, like a puppet show stage and a wall with, essentially, paper doll Muppets (except they were made from fabric and cardboard instead of paper). Those were, not surprisingly, flooded with little kids. They had some of Henson's original sketches for the puppets, along with a few of the Muppets themselves. Including Ernie and Bert (with Rubber Ducky, naturally) and Rowlf. The Muppets are awesome. Jason's favorite part was right at the end of the exhibit, where they displayed some of the costumes and props from The Dark Crystal. I must see that movie again sometime.
This year is getting off to a good start. More new things coming soon!