Goodbye 2015!

It’s been a great year but I’m excited for 2016. 2015 was a year filled with growth and change.

In April, I asked the woman I love to marry me.
In June, I moved to Tallahassee and in with my newly minted fiancée.
In July, I said goodbye to Gainesville for one last time.
In September, I returned to Atlanta for our now yearly pilgrimage to DragonCon.
In October, I helped two of my dearest friends get married.
In December, I built my third video game for 2015.

There were many more events. Seven weddings in total. Numerous holidays. Travel throughout the Southeast US. And a decent showing at the gym.

I haven’t yet discussed my love of Science Fiction but trust me it’s there. For me, Star Trek is my first love but Star Wars has it’s place too. I generally just find the exploration and technology of the Star Trek universe far more appealing. But the Star Wars trilogies are a wonderful epic.1 The Jedi and the Sith are great and the video games have generally been superior than their Star Trek counterparts in every measure.

One of the things Disney has done to push attendance numbers in certain parts of the year is to have themed days or nights, weekends or weeks. Disney gets the benefit of increased attendance, while attendees get to meet people with similar interests. One example that most people are familiar with is Grad Nites, where high school seniors invade the park in the late afternoon/evening and stay in until early morning. Another is Night of Joy, an event much like Grad Nite but focused on Christian youth and music.

One of their best events, in my not-so-humble opinion, is Star Wars Weekends. They put on a great show at their Hollywood Studios park in Orlando with parades, special guests, themed shows and performers and a giant pavilion of Star Wars and Star Wars-themed Disney merchandise.2 The first time I went was in 2011 with my fraternity little brother and little sister and my mom.3 They managed to get me on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster and I picked up a sketch of Stitch as a jedi. I didn’t make it last year but I was determined to go again.4

This year, the timing was perfect in a lot of ways. My girlfriend’s birthday is May 17th and we had planned on seeing Star Trek Into Darkness in IMAX 3D and that was the opening weekend for Star Wars Weekends. Also, I was flying out of Orlando on May 19th to travel to Portland, Oregon for DrupalCon. So we spent Saturday at Hollywood Studios. We arrived a little later than we had planned but we managed to see the 501st Legion part of the parade. Then we quickly darted towards Star Tours to pick up our fast passes and run on the ride quickly.

Star Tours continues to be a great ride no matter how many times you’ve been on it. The droids are funny, the multiple choice paths offer a lot of diversity, and the movie itself is good and uses recent 3D tech. All important considering I tend to get migraines from 3D and movies. As we got out, we ran into one of our friends and her siblings getting ready to go to one of the major shows of the afternoon. The show was about the voice actors from the Clone Wars and was well done and funny.5 In the end it was one long, but very good, advertisement for the final season of Clone Wars.

We ate lunch at the 50’s Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater and it was easily the best dining experience I’ve had at a Disney park as an adult. The atmosphere was perfect, dimly lit by the tables and with the big movie screen projector. I’m not sure what it was but Disney seems to have improved on their food selection without raising prices too much. The only complaint I have is that the tables are a bit small in the two person booths.

We wrapped up the day by watch the Beauty and the Beast show and visiting Darth’s Mall. I picked up one of the Disney/Star Wars action figures, Stitch as General Greivous. All in all a great day. I followed this up by visiting a few weeks later with my mom. We had a great time and hit up several of my favorite rides and shows.[^6] We went to the Voices Behind the Force show again and this time got to meet the current voice of Yoda and the narrator of the Clone Wars series.

If you’re a Star Wars fan and you have the ability to go, you should definitely visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a weekend in late May/early June. It’s a great event. So much so that even when I leave Florida, I’ve been planning on making a trip to Hollywood Studios every year for Star Wars weekends as a way to meet up with some of my closest friends.


  1. Excluding Episode 1 of course. Speaking of which, a good friend of mine introduced me to the <IV, V, II, III, VI> watching order. While I haven’t had the chance to watch them in that order, after reading the post and thinking it over, I agree with the premise and wouldn’t be surprised if that is truly the best way to watch the movies. 
  2. It took a round of editing to change this to Hollywood Studios. It’ll always being MGM to me. 
  3. I know, I was 26 and still hanging out with my mom. But that’s the thing about Disney, to me it’s always about fun times with family and friends regardless of age. 
  4. Especially now that my fraternity little brother had relocated back to Gainesville. Of course, we didn’t end up being able to time it for both of us to go at the same time. 
  5. Though I was very confused by Ashley Eckstein’s wardrobe selections. 

2010-09-14 - New Frat Fam

My frat little brother got his own little brother last night! I’m sure he’s gonna do great.

(L-R: Me, Kevin, Rachel)

Day Four:

2009-01-05 - P365D4

Today the AFC East Champion Miami Dolphins took to the field for the last time this season. Nic and I went to Kim Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill. Unfortunately, we arrived a little bit late and the place was packed full. However, we lucked out when one of the managers stopped by and asked how many people were in our party. It turned out there was another couple that had a booth but their friends had never showed. So we got to sit with them. The girl was sweet, the guy was a bit drunk. We ordered food and enjoyed the game. At halftime we decided to head to Nic’s place to finish up the game and it just lucked out that the couple’s friends showed up. It was a good time and we had a great talk while we were at her place. Unfortunately the Dolphins lost but we spent a good five plus hours together talking and having fun.

I went to my best friend’s graduation today. It was quick and painless. Afterwards I packed up and headed home. I got to surprise my family as they were expecting me tomorrow.

I’m gonna have a busy time while I’m here. Going to be working remotely a lot. Also, doctors appointments and visiting friends.

Tomorrow might go to church. Then brunch with the family. Then wash my car and vacuum the inside. Then hopefully visit Nicole.

Well I’m about to wrap things up at work and go pick up some stuff for tonight.

Pledge Bowl – Our chapter has an annual football game between the brothers. The last two classes and their trainer line up on one side and the rest of the brotherhood lines up on the other. I didn’t get to play last year but I’m excited for this year even if my little brother is on the other team.

Christmas Party – We don’t have an official formal for our frat and our joint banquet is in the Spring semester. So this is our formal event for the Fall. It’s a classy affair with egg nog and apple cider, cookies, sodas and other fun stuff. I just need to get home right after Pledge Bowl and clean up and get some stuff.

After the disasters that were Wednesday and Thursday, this Friday is shaping up very nicely.

Man I’m just ready for it to be next Wednesday. There’s just so much to do.

1) DLC Bids
As an elected officer on the SED Council for KKPsi, I was asked to review the bids for our annual District Leadership Conference and cast a vote. I need to finish my write-up and submit my vote tonight.

2) Jazz Band Concert
The UF Jazz Bands are performing tonight and my frat little brother is the lead trombone. So I’m going to see him play. He always inspires me to work harder as a musician even if it’s not my career. And one of my little sisters is running the reception so I’m going to help her out after I get off work.

3) Websites
I really need to do a lot of work on a variety of websites I’m in charge of. I need to setup sand box sites using the latests software for our chapter and district websites. I need to actually put some more stuff on my professional site and I really should re-theme my tumblr. It’s kind of bland.

4) Christmas presents for littles
I need to go put orders in so that they’re ready in time for our Christmas Party.

5) CFR Visit
Our frat sends around field reps to check on chapters every couple years. Our last one was Fall 2006 (before I joined) so that makes us due this year. He’s coming by next Monday and Tuesday. I’m hoping to meet with him, he’s been taking a tour of our district and I want to get some opinions from him on how the chapters are doing.

More to come later…

Friday two good friends (and former roommates) of mine got married. I’ve had a lot of fun times with these two great people and I wish them the very best. They had a costumed wedding and reception so here are some pictures.

First kiss as a married couple

First kiss as a married couple

Catherine and I

Catherine and I

The Groom and His Best Man

The Groom and His Best Man

The Bride and Groom

The Bride and Groom

My best friend as the Green Arrow

My best friend as the Green Arrow

My other very good friend as The Riddler

My other very good friend as The Riddler

One of the bridesmaids as Supergirl

One of the bridesmaids as Supergirl

One of the Groomsmen and his wife as Bane and Poison Ivy

One of the Groomsmen and his wife as Bane and Poison Ivy

The Bride and Groom as Wonder Woman and Batman

The Bride and Groom as Wonder Woman and Batman

My Matrix obsessed friend and me as Trinity and a 1920’s Gangster

My Matrix obsessed friend and me as Trinity and a 1920’s Gangster