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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Holy Rusted Metal Batman!


I have a confession to make. I’m a little bit of a geek. Okay. I AM a geek, and I always have been. 1939 was a very good year in geek history, because it was a great year for comic books. It’s the year Marvel launched. It’s the year the rest of the industry caught onto Superman’s rising success. It’s the year DC introduced Flash and The Sandman. It’s the year a host of other characters ranging from Blue Beetle to the Ray, to Captain Marvel made their first appearance too. It’s also the year The Bat Man (as he was called then) made his debut, 75 years ago this week in Detective Comics #27.
Batman’s rise was almost as swift as Superman’s. Within a year he was starring in his own monthly series, and pop culture has never been the same. I think almost anyone can tell you something about The Caped Crusader. People who have never even touched a comic book know who Bruce Wayne is, and they can tell you that he decided to devote his life to fighting crime when his parents were killed in a dark alley. People who have never seen a Batman movie can still work Batmobile or Joker references into casual conversation. How many characters are instantly identifiable from their silhouettes alone? Mickey Mouse. Batman. And maybe Godzilla if you’re in the right crowd. 

So why is Batman still so popular after all these years when other superheroes have fallen by the wayside? Other writers have tackled this subject before. Many have discussed the idea of Batman as a "power fantasy". Lots of people may secretly fantasize about the idea of having unlimited resources to build cool gadgets, drive awesome cars, and punch bad guys in the face. Some writers credit his popularity to his versatility. You don’t like the brooding, realistic, warrior of the night Batman? That’s fine. There’s a wisecracking, time-travelling, scientist Batman out there. If you don't like the darkness and despair of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight", there are the "Silver Age" comics, with their absurd plots and silly characters.  For others, Batman's appeal may be that he's character with a specific goal and mission. He’s got his sh*t together (most of the time), and to a young geek like myself who liked to get lost in the world of superheroes and super-villians (and still do, sometimes) when I first discovered Batman -  I liked that about him.

I have another confession. I like comic books. After the last few paragraphs, I'm sure you're all shocked by that revelation. I’m more Marvel, than DC - but Batman is my favorite Superhero. And I’m not talking about Christian Bale’s "The Dark Knight", or Adam West’s Batman (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those interpretations).  It's probably a function of my age - but I love the classic Super Friends Batman, and especially, Michael Keaton’s Batman. He’s the one I think of when I see the Bat-signal.
I’ve loved Batman almost as long as I can remember… I still do. For lots of reasons. I’ve learned from him too over the years. Since he's celebrating his 75th birthday this week, and I've had Batman on the brain a lot lately anyway, I figured now was as good a time as any to write about some of the things he's taught me.

Actions Matter

“It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.” – Batman Begins

We often go through life with the best of intentions. One day, we might decide to start going        to the gym. Or we might talk about sitting down to write that book we’ve always wanted to write. But for whatever reason, we get distracted by the present and lose our focus. We never make it to the gym. We never write that book. Nobody is going to remember what you meant to do. They’re only going to remember what you do. So do it. 



 Understand that you are human

“We ordinary people might lack your great speed or your x-ray vision, Superman. But never underestimate the power of the human mind. We carry the most dangeroud weapon on Earth inside these thick skulls of ours” – Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son, DC Comics

Batman is one of the few Superheroes who has no super powers. Sometimes, he has to remind himself of these limitations. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves too. Because it's okay to be human and have feelings. We can use them to motivate, to inspire, and to accomplish amazing things. 

Be Prepared
Four words: Bat Shark Repellant. Enough Said.


You need to be willing to risk failure in order to succeed
"All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine."      - Knightfall, DC Comics

     Humans are naturally risk-averse. There are lots of studies out there that show this. In fact, some people are more comfortable going through life trying to minimize risk rather chase a reward. Sometimes you have to take risks in order to reach your goals. Even if that means jumping without a net. 

       When you do fail, don't let it define you
"Why do we fall, Bruce? So we might learn how to pick ourselves up." - Batman Begins
  
No matter how hard you try, its inevitable that you're going to experience failure at some point in life. You're probably going to experience failure many times. That's just life. The real test comes in how you handle that failure. Are you going to make excuses? Blame others? Keep making the same mistakes over and over again? True greatness comes with owning and embracing those failures. Because that's the only way you can learn from them, pick yourself up, and come back stronger than you were before. That's what Bruce Wayne does. You can too.  

Yes. I love Batman. Always have. Always will. I love that he doesn't have superpowers. He's not a mutant. Or from another world. I could never be Superman, or The Incredible Hulk and who would want to be, anyway? But anyone can be like Batman. So maybe you'd have to inherit a couple billion dollars to have all those wonderful toys. But it's possible if you tried hard enough, worked hard enough, trained hard enough. Right?!? 
So maybe it was just for a few hours... But it was still pretty sweet. :-) Happy 75th Birthday, Batman. I'm better for knowing you. 








Monday, March 24, 2014

A few things I've learned as a "Grown-up"


Sometimes it’s hard to breathe.
Breathing has been on my mind a lot lately, because it’s been hard for me to do - literally. It's a LONG story. Trust me when I say rib injuries. NOT an experience you want to have.
So I went to have some body work done today, to try to make breathing a little easier...the literal kind of breathing anyway. As I gingerly tried to lower myself down onto the table and find a comfortable way to “rest”, I looked up. Someone had written “BREATHE” in a black sharpie on the ceiling. I wish I had my camera with me so I could've taken a picture. I laughed even though that hurts too. Since I've already been thinking about breathing so much lately, I figured this was just another sign from the Universe to put down some other thoughts about what I've learned as a "grown-up":  

  • Breathing can be difficult – literally and figuratively.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment in an argument you realize you're wrong.  
  • If you like the outfit on a mannequin, BUY the outfit on the mannequin. Don't try to create the same look yourself. You won't. 
  • Kay Jewelers is WRONG. On any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lite than Kay.
  • There is a great need for a sarcasm font.
  • Eight hours of continuous,
  • unmedicated sleep is one of life’s simple pleasures. Actually... eight hours of medicated sleep is pretty sweet too.
  • You never know when the moment will hit you. But inevitably, there is a moment each day at work that you aren’t going to do anything else productive in the day.
  • If you worry less about what people think of you, you can learn a lot about them. You won't leave as many conversations wondering what just happened. 
  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means you will never wash it. EVER.
  • Even under ideal conditions you may still have a hard time finding your car keys, or your cell phone, or be able to pin the tail on a donkey. But you can
  • always find the snooze button - in the dark, from three feet away… in a little over a second.
  • soul mate is an earned title... earned over time.
  • You will miss out on some soul mates. This also goes for friendships. There will be unforgettable people you cross paths with. You may share an amazing conversation...a magical evening... or a few days... or a few weeks with them. Now they live half-way across the world, and you will never see or talk to them again. That's just how life works sometimes. That really sucks. 
  • Never buy those too-small jeans on the expectation that you will soon lose weight.
  • The top five amazing foods that fight aging are all fruits and vegetables so just eat more fruits and vegetables already.
  • There is no magical list of eight new ab moves coming out next month, or a list of 10 things you can do that is going to make your life perfect even though the magazines and websites will publish them over-and-over again and I will probably write more of these kind of lists FOR the same publications too... because paychecks. 
  • There ARE no grown-ups. Everyone is winging it… some just do it more confidently than others. 



So you might as well laugh for a few minutes... even when it hurts. Forget all those "grown-up" worries from time-to-time... go outside. And breathe. 
You'll feel better. 



Monday, March 17, 2014

Why do we fall?


I walked down to the beach yesterday…
It’s something I don’t do nearly enough given my close proximity to it. I spread out my towel, plopped myself down, and let the sun start warming up my skin. I could hear the waves of the Pacific Ocean rolling in. I could smell the salt air. I looked out on what is truly, a spectacular view…
And I started cry.
Really?!?
This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve had so many opportunities. Opportunities that many people never get to experience. I live in a town that looks like it could be on a Hollywood back lot… with a beach. I should be feeling pretty good. Because life is good. Instead, I felt empty and cold. I let feelings of negativity fill my mind. I have no idea what I want to do next professionally and it’s starting to freak me out. Another article I’d written… rejected. I put myself out there again for someone and I’m really confused.
I felt alone and very vulnerable.
I thought about how many more failures I would have to experience before I started to feel “more enlightened” like all the self-help books say. How many more times I’m going to be willing risk letting myself be seen by someone.
You get the idea. I had a pretty spectacular pity party.  And then went home, opened a bottle of wine, and beat myself up FOR feeling sorry for myself. Because I should be better than that. Right?!?
Not so much. And I know that… most days, when I’m not having a pity party, on a beautiful Southern California beach on a sunny day in a town that looks like a Hollywood back lot.
But this is the world we live in. The one in which we pretend everything is always okay. We broadcast idealized images of ourselves, and then compare ourselves with the idealized images of other people and feel like we don’t measure up. We let ourselves believe it’s not okay to admit our failures and our passions. Instead, we act invincible…like nothing can ever hurt us. We hide by getting lost in work, our families, or our friends. We distract ourselves with Facebook and Twitter. I get it. I’ve done it too. They can all be nice shields to hide behind.
Being honest about everything you feel is tough, and sometimes it hurts. A LOT. Still, I think its more painful to hide your pain inside – to watch the person you love, or the place you want to be from a distance...because you’re trapped. Trapped by your fears about the possibilities of heartbreak and pain.
I rediscovered a quote the other day by Theodore Roosevelt from a famous speech he gave in 1910. I’m glad I did, because I needed a little smack in the face yesterday and today as I kept my pity party going.
Anyone who enters The Arena of life is going to get their ass kicked. That’s just the way it is. Life will take whatever it can from you if you let it. It’ll steal your dreams, it’ll change your priorities, it’ll crush your ideas of romance. But if you decide to numb all of your anxieties and pretend to feel nothing… you’ll miss out on what makes us human. And I think that’s vulnerability.
There are a lot of definitions of vulnerability out there. But this is what I think it is. Vulnerability isn’t about being cool. It’s not about Facebook likes and making everything seem okay. It’s about telling the truth – YOUR truth… from the bottom of your heart, because you want to do it. It means saying and doing exactly what you feel, even if you potentially leave yourself with nothing. It’s about doing things with your heart and with honesty. It’s about celebrating those fleeting moments in time, loving someone fiercely, and fully engaging in a life that doesn’t come with any guarantees. It’s about letting yourself be seen, and that can be terrifying… because there are a lot of risks involved when you do that, and often pain too. But is it as terrifying as getting to the end of your life only to realize you’ve never bothered to show up?
Too many people today are afraid of real feelings and that makes me sad. Connection is why we are here. We’re hardwired for it. It gives meaning and purpose to life. Too many people don’t chase love or passion anymore, probably out of fear – fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, fear of rejection.  I know a lot of people who are miserable because they aren’t being true to themselves. I’ve been there.
Be vulnerable. Tell someone the truth. Say how you feel. Chase your dream. Don’t just be an observer in your own life. Show up. Be seen. It takes a lot of guts to do that… but each time you do, it gets a little easier. That’s what I’m starting to figure out, anyway.
Why do we fall?
Day by day. Step by step. I become a little more unbroken. And even though I still fall. I fall a lot… I fall forward. Then I pick myself up. I’m in The Arena. Join me.








Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall...


I wish I could take credit for that sentence, but I can’t. Ray Bradbury wrote it. 
So brilliant. 
So simple. 
So true. 
Why is it so easy to lose sight of some of the things that should be so simple in this whirlwind we call life?
I know it’s only February, but 2014 hasn’t exactly gotten off to the start I was hoping for – and not just because I’ve been sick. I feel like I haven’t been focused. I’ve been spending too much time in my head (not a place you want to be – trust me). I've been frustrated. Making excuses for why things aren’t the way I want them to be.
I’ve been drifting... 
But spending time with my nephew Chaz last week reminded me of one of the simple truths in life I've managed to let slip through the cracks.
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall…
Chaz was teaching me how to play Flying Gecko Football. Yes. You read that right. Flying Gecko Football. In Chaz’s world, gecko’s have wings and can fly. Of course they can… because why not?!?
The game is pretty simple. To play, you climb up on the arm of your couch holding your football that is actually an egg with special powers like spinning webs, and then you jump with the special football/egg as far as you can.
Flying Gecko Football!!!
I warned Chaz to be careful, because sometimes landing can be a little bumpy – even with a football/egg that can spin webs… but he wasn’t afraid. He took the starting position, and jumped.

I’m sure you can guess what came next. Let’s just say it was a bumpy landing. Flying Gecko was down. And yes… there were tears.
Aunt Marena – aka Lego Spider (apparently, that’s the other player in Flying Gecko Football) picked up the injured lizard to make sure there wasn’t any serious damage. As I was rocking Chaz back and forth (because he’s still little enough barely to let me) he looked up at me and through his tears said, “Sometimes it hurts to land, doesn’t it? My wings went back into my body too soon. Let’s do it again.”
So brilliant. 
So simple. 
So true.
Thank you, Chaz. I’ve been spending so much time in my head, I lost sight of that for awhile.
We all hunt for advice on a daily basis, constantly asking friends, colleagues, family members - even strangers - what they think we should do about this, that or the other. We hope they might enlighten us by offering up some fantastic motto or unique insight that will change our perspectives and attitudes for the better. But let’s be honest, that rarely ever happens.
Instead, the advice we usually get encourages us to play it safe. We’re told not to wander too far off the beaten path. We’re encouraged to steer clear of impulsive decisions, not to take chances until we’re ready.
Is anyone ever ready?
It can be scary to make decisions confidently, to choose your own path and to commit to your own judgment. I think the reason we receive the advice we do at times is that the purveyor of advice wants to be right just as much as you don’t want to fail. So, when you tell someone to play it safe, maybe it seems that nobody loses, but in truth, nobody wins.
Maybe you’ve already taken that big step to do something you want to do, something you’re passionate about. It’s ambitious, which is the best part about it. You know it won’t be easy, but you can’t wait to get started and try and make something of it… and more importantly, of yourself. Then, out of the blue, come the people (quite often your friends), who wish they had the determination and willpower to do what you're attempting, and who try to plant those seeds of doubt in your mind. It’s probably not out of spite or jealousy… but out of their own self-appeasement.
I like words… but can’t is NOT a word I’m fond of. So I say don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do something. They’re just afraid you might actually do it.
The only thing standing in the way of everything you want in life is yourself. If you don’t like something… change it. It’s really as simple as that. So go with your gut. If you feel it’s right, it probably is. And if it isn’t… it’s not the end of the world.
Learn.
Then jump again.
And again.
Your wings will unfold as you fall.  
Thank you for reminding me, Chaz.

A little Chazzle Dazzle makes EVERYTHING better!





Monday, January 13, 2014

Not another New Year's Resolution List...


It’s a New Year! With each new year brings another opportunity to set new goals, to redefine yourself, to start with a clean slate, to... wait for it... write another chapter on those blank pages of the “next year of your life”. 
Blah. Blah. Blah. 
I wanted my first blog post of 2014 be something uplifting and inspiring...Something I could use to motivate myself to write a kick ass chapter on those “blank pages” in the book of my life. But I changed my mind. I'm all about setting goals. But New Year's "resolutions"?!? Not so much. They never work. At least, not for me. 
Instead, I'd like to explore another topic. A topic inspired by conversations I had with several friends while catching up over the holidays. Before I get started, I feel I need to make this disclaimer now... I was on heavy cold meds for pretty much ALL of December - especially during the holidays season when many of these conversations took place. So Nyquil may have inspired some of this too.
Are you ready? Here is goes…
Why don’t men today have any balls?
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, or have just watched too many Audrey Hepburn movies. But I believe men should go after what they want. The more I look around, the less I see men treating women the way I know most of them were raised to treat us. What happened to those romantic gestures and bold moves? What happened to pulling out chairs and holding doors? What happened to walking on the outside of the sidewalk, closest to the street? When did it become acceptable to just text a woman, inviting her to “hang out”? (translation - come over and let's bang). 
I know what some of you are thinking. I’ve read the studies on why chivalry is dead too. Men are apparently "afraid" of offending women when they exhibit old-fashioned manners and offer up their seat on a subway, or ask if they can carry those heavy bags up the stairs. In the name of feminism, I believe it’s fine for women to ask men out if they feel comfortable with that. I'm not... but to each their own. I'm capable of carrying my own bags, but what can I say… part of me is still “girly”.  It's nice when someone asks if I need a hand. I’m not ashamed of it. And that girly part of me can’t help but want to be courted. What happened to a guy going after a girl until she agrees to give him a chance?
I can feel some of your eyes rolling right now. You're thinking about that scene in The Notebook. You know the scene I’m talking about… 

Corny? Maybe. But it’s only corny if we make it corny. Personally, I think it’s heroic to put yourself out there, even if that means getting turned down. I know it’s not easy, guys. Over the years most of my good friends have been men. I’ve heard their stories about the different ways they’ve gotten shot down. I've watched it happen. It can be brutal. 
But guys… Not all women are bitches. Some of us understand it shows masculinity and bravery to put yourself out there and fight for something you want.
Seems like a lot of men these days are waiting for women to come to them. When did men stop caring about love and start caring so much about their egos? Don’t they understand they are just denying themselves that slim possibility of finding real happiness? They’re letting their pride get in the way before they even have a chance to fall.
After hearing some of the adventures - and in some cases, misadventure of friends while embracing my Nyquil high over the holidays, I decided to conduct my own informal, and not very scientific study. So I polled some friends (women and men - with an impressive sample size of 11) to try to find out some of the possible reason men have LOST their balls:

They don’t know what they want:
Which is okay... because that's where they are. They may just want to have meaningless sex for the rest of their lives. Because marriage is outdated, stupid, and a real man never settles for just one woman. Right? That’s it, marriage is outdated, marriage is stupid and real men never settle for one woman. But just because you don’t want to marry her doesn’t mean you can’t date her. We understand that marriage is becoming an outdated institution, but shouldn’t that just be more reason for grand gestures?
They think they’re going to get another chance: 
They think that connections will keep happening. They think that meeting girls they're interested in will be a reoccurring theme throughout their lives. Newsflash, guys. It doesn't work that way. Finding someone worth liking doesn’t happen every day. You could be throwing away your one chance to find that special someone because you think you might run into her again or there are plenty of others out there just like her. But when you're 40-something and still chasing the bottle service bimbos at the bars hoping to find her again it might not be that easy to find her. Because she'll be off with the guy who had the balls to go after her. And you'll just be THAT guy. The weird old guy at the bar. Don't be THAT guy.

Social Media:
Men have become desensitized to women because they are everywhere now. Why work hard when you can just Tweet or Facebook message the next hottie that posts a selfie? In an ever-changing landscape of communication between 140 character tweets, LOLs and ROTFLs, it sometimes feels like we've lost our ability to communicate altogether. Doesn't anyone talk anymore? Text talking. NOT the same. Talking can actually be useful when you're trying to get to know someone new. Smartphones. They're not just good for texting and internet-surfing, guys. You can actually use them to make telephone calls. 
Mother Issues:
Enough said.
They Bruise Easily:
Men are actually fragile creatures. Their egos bruise easily. When women get a broken heart they cry about it, drive their girlfriends crazy analyzing what happened, do some retail therapy, and try to move on. With men, once a girl breaks their heart they are tainted forever. They lose trust in all women and are afraid to put themselves out there again. But that's not how you live life, guys. Yes... putting yourself out there can be scary. It can make you vulnerable, and that can lead to getting hurt. But without the risk, where is the reward? 
So there you have it... The results of my Nyquil-fueled non-scientific study into why men today have no balls. But before I close, I have a few things to say to the ladies out there. What is the biggest reason men today have no balls?  
The real problem here is that women, for one reason or another, have become complacent and allowed men to get away with putting in the minimum effort. We've let them think its okay not to have to put in the effort of romantic gestures, dates, flowers, etc... and if they do - we talk about them like they're stage-five clingers. Ladies... if a guy wants to take you out to dinner, it might actually be because he's a nice guy and he wants to spend some time with you. I know?!? But it makes sense. Think about it. 
Maybe this year women should make a resolution/goal/whatever New Year self-motivation mantra that works for them and wise up and start asking for what they deserve. You know, the things that used to be automatic - like holding a door, pulling out a chair, paying for dinners. Until then, men are going to keep getting away with putting up with the bare minimum and still getting what they ultimately want, anyway.
S-E-X 
We own the cards, ladies. When we start acting like it... maybe we'll finally start getting dinner from places that don't deliver. A tractor chicken race would be cool too. Actually, maybe not THAT cool. This scene always cracks me up, though. Sometimes, it's the little things... ;-) 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Save me, Bea Arthur... You're my only hope.



I’ve heard about it for years. Turned down invitations to Cosplay Wookiee Life Day parties just trying to stay away from it. I thought I would have the strength to continue along my path of blissful ignorance forever. Stay pure. But this year, I couldn’t resist it’s power.

The power… of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

I know!!!
WHY?!?!?!?!?
What can I say. I was weak. (And baking surrounded by booze).

I thought I was prepared. My expectations were low. That’s where I went wrong. WAY wrong. I shouldn’t have had ANY expectations. I was hoping it would be bad in a “so bad it’s good kinda way” – you know, like a Nicholas Cage movie. It's Star Wars!!! Some people who know me would say I'm a little bit of a fan. 

I mean... how bad could it be? The stories can't all be true. 

Let me just say… WOW! 

Now I understand why it has never been re-broadcast since it first aired in 1978 or released for sale. I understand why one writer wrote, "I'm not convinced the special wasn't ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine". (That was a fun sentence for me to type, by the way). Why George Lucas himself has reportedly said, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." Granted, the bootleg version (which is the only kind you can get) wasn't the best quality... but I don't think seeing it in HD would have helped. 

Trust me.

I found myself staring at the screen with my mouth open. Nothing made any sense. We're on Kashyyyk...Chewbacca's home planet where his family is scurrying around a treehouse with astroturf carpet. The first 10 minutes are spoken in Wookiee without subtitles, and I can't understand what they're trying to say with they're hand gestures. I'm so confused! 

We meet Chewie's wife, who is wearing an apron and watching a weird cooking show where a 4-legged humanoid played by Harvey Korman is cooking Bantha Surprise. Chewie's son, Lumpy, is playing with a holographic table that shows acrobats in neon. Chewie's grandpa, Itchy, has what I'm going to call a special moment watching a hologram of a discoed-out Diahann Cannon and we find out he likes his ladies shaved.

No. I'm not making this up. 

And that's when things got REALLY weird... 

Two words: 
Jefferson Starship

I'll just leave that there for you to ponder in case some of you want to experience the joy, that IS the Star Wars Holiday Special yourself. I don't want to ruin all the surprises. I will tell you that Chewbacca and Han are trying to get back to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, which is like Thanksgiving for Wookiees, but the Empire keeps getting in the way. I thought it would get better when Luke, Leia, and some of the other characters from the original trilogy showed. Not so much.

Luke Skywalker. 
Wearing guyliner. 

Princess Leia. 
Singing. 
And obviously high from inhaling some of that white powder on Hoth. 

Boba Fett made his debut in animated form.
I liked that. He was kind of pastel and had a Loch Ness Monster for a side-kick... 
But he was still BOBA FREAKING FETT!

I wanted to stick around for Bea Arthur, I really did...because Bea Arthur as a Wookiee would be pretty sweet! But I knew she wasn't playing a Wookiee. And after an hour, I'd had about as much of the Star Wars Holiday Special as I could take. 

What can I say. I was alone. And I used all the booze is for the cookies.

Thank you, George Lucas. During the holiday season everyone is doing their part to spread cheer. But the Universe demands balance, as you know. Because THE FORCE! All the sadness and cruelty in the world have to go somewhere. Thanks to you, all that negative energy has just gone into my computer and exited as the Star Wars Holiday Special. 

While I'm giving thanks to George I feel I should apologize to him too. So here it is: 

I'm sorry, George Lucas. You really aren't all about the money. Because if you were, you would release the Star Wars Holiday Special on Blue Ray for those fans who MUST have a complete collection of EVERYTHING Star Wars - even all the versions you changed when you didn't really need to. You could even release multiple versions of the Holiday Special if you wanted to... with different special features each time: like what guyliner is Mark Hamill's personal fave; Harrison Ford's commentary on what he really thought of getting stuck participating; and whatever it was Carrie Fisher was doing to prepare before the direction called "action". But you didn't. So I was wrong about you, George Lucas. You aren't ALL about the money. 

But....
HAN SHOT FIRST!!!!!!! 

If any of you would like a little taste, or experience the crazy all over again... here you go. 
Happy Holidays! And may the Force be with You... Always... 
:-)