I have become a Whovian. Well... most true Whovians might say I'm a Julia-come-lately and that I'm not a true Who Fan because I only started with the 9th Doctor, not the entire show from the 60's. That's fair. But I had to start somewhere!
Honestly, I couldn't stand not knowing what all the wacky references were on the internets. I kept seeing things about Daleks (costumes, birthday cakes, silly hats, people saying "exterminate!" in funny voices) but didn't know what they meant. Same for the Tardis. And Sonic Screwdrivers and Weeping Angels and Cassandra. And on and on. I thought I knew a thing or two about some pop culture sci-fi stuff, but I had missed this whole side of the world and felt it was time to get on board. Thanks to Netflix, it was easy to drink the kool-aid and step into the Tardis.
And now I'm hooked!
Bingeing Vs. Real Time
In the precious few moments between Harper going to bed and me going to bed (it's a very small window as I'm such an early to be/early to rise kind of person) I like to watch a bit of mindless tv. And Doctor Who has filled that bill for me over the last few months. I understood going in that there is a giant machine of fandom behind this show and that I couldn't hope to grasp it all in just a few weeks or months. I also understood that Doctor Who is mainly a show for a younger audience. It's on during family time on Saturday nights. It's a bit goofy. It can be scary but not bloody or violent. I think it's wonderful.
The hard part about bingeing a show like this (or any show that really strikes your fancy I guess) is twofold:
1) Once you catch up to where the actual show is in real time, you have to WAIT for more episodes! (or sadly if it is a show with no more episodes, it ENDS!!!) I just finished the last episode of Matt Smith's era. I have all the new episodes waiting on my DVR, but I can't bring myself to start them yet. I need a bit of mourning for the loss of that bow-tied goof. And I don't want this binge ride to end. Of course it's not like the show is over, I will just have to wait like everyone else for the next season. (Christmas Special notwithstanding.)
2) With bingeing you don't get that deep investment of time that comes with "from the start" fandom. I love Star Wars and I had to wait YEARS! before I got to see what happened to our intrepid rebels after they (spoilers) blew up the Death Star and Darth Vader got away. Then I had to wait MORE YEARS to see what happened to Han when he got frozen in carbonite! (I love you. I know.)
(And when you are such a deep fan of something, words like carbonite are so much a part of you that when I typed it just now, I wasn't sure if it was the right word because it is a real word to me. "Kurt, can you pick more carbonite at Trader Joe's?"))
Oh and the kids today! They can just watch all the movies at once if they like. (I'm not really talking about the prequels, mmmmkay?) Don't even get me started on Harry Potter and again, waiting YEARS before the next book came out. The anticipation was fantastic! (And yes, I was in my 30s, waiting with bated breath for the next book to come, always rereading the previous book just before the new one was published so that I was PRIMED! I think I read the last two almost straight through...)
Yes, there are new books and movies and series coming out now that people are huge fans of and they do get the experience of the waiting, the anticipation. These are good things. The waiting is what creates the deep fan experience. But with bingeing, there is the loss of that experience. Or it is squeezed into days (or hours in some cases) and can't, therefore, be as rich.
When you watch something from the start, there is time to talk/argue/reflect/defend while waiting for the next. The next episode, The next season, the next Doctor. But maybe that is a plus for bingeing -- not so much argument. I have Whovian friends who go RABID when discussing Matt Smith and Steven Moffat. I loved David Tennant but was frankly ready for something new when he was done. (Though I would have happily had another year of him and Donna together and I will argue that while she got married and got rich, she should have gotten to remember all she had done and experienced so that she knew what an incredible person she really was.)
The beauty of today, 2014, is that a) we can binge on shows and b) there is so much to read out there online. While I don't have the years of investment in Who that others have, I can certainly read and watch and enjoy all kinds of Who related things and feel a part of this community right away. There will be those in the community who might think me a Doctor Who Dilettante (A Wholettante?) but that's okay, there are always those kinds... I have enough respect for the show, the world of Doctore Who to at least not be this.
In Part Two, I will explore the curiosity factor and how it should never stop being a part of your life. Oh and Nerds. And also letting your freak flag fly!
As Harper grows, her language skills improve. But for now I enjoy her inability to pronounce things. Especially this one thing. She has a hard time saying the "w" in "woman." Instead it comes out sounding like "yeoman." And EVERY SINGLE TIME she says it, I think of Yeoman Janice Rand.
My god, look at that hair! I hope there were robots in the future to do all that weaving. Or is it just a fancy, hairy hat?
"Mama, what's that yeoman doing?"
"Why I think she's fending off a drugged, horny Captain Kirk, sweetheart."
Other funny things she says are conversations like "Mama, do you want to have some juice?" "Yes Harper, I do." "Well then, have some!"
And she calls me Mama (most of the time) and calls Kurt Papa. But in the last week she has started calling him "Pops." As in "I want a treat, Pops!" I feel like I'm in a 1920's movie sometimes with a scene stealing moppet who looks suspiciously like Shirley Temple.
I love every minute of it and I love every new thing she comes up with!
Kids change your life, blah blah, you've heard it all before. The one part that I didn't anticipate was how my blog writing life would suffer. I mainly default to pictures of Harper simply because that's quick and easy. Okay okay I admit she's pretty cute too so I know it's not toooo horrible for you. (It's not, right??)
But I sometimes miss my really bloggy life. Writing about my time in Belfast on Game of Thrones - OMG that was five years ago this month. I miss writing about LA, events, music, food, wacky stuff. Remember when I walked the entirety of Western Ave in the Fall of 2008? That was amazing.
Even just random LA things "ICME" = It Caught My Eye stuff. Like this one:
Saw on a car during one of my morning Constitutionals. Awesome.
You know what I'm obsessed with lately? Serial Podcast. From the amazing people who do This American Life. I first heard about Serial no TAL, and thought - really? One Story for hours and hours? Now I am HOOKED! I wrote them fan mail. I can't wait to listen to today's episode! I can't wait to see what comes of it all and I can't wait to know what their next Serial story will be! How can they top this? It makes for great exercise listening as you don't want to STOP until the whole hour is done.
I like to garden, not a ton, but planting tomatoes and beans is fun every spring. Harper liked picking beans and eating them right off the shrub. For fall I planted a whole bunch of kale. It was doing great and I was excited to pick some to eat. Then Harper got sick, I got sick, Halloween, etc. So I went out to look and...uh...WTF!?
Caterpillars!! Well, I hope there are lots and lots of beautifully healthy butterflies out there somewhere soon. Silver lining is, there are tiny sprouts of new leaves coming in the middle so maybe they got the first crop and there will be a second one coming along soon?
Fall seemed to arrive in late October. (Though today it's going to be 90 so whatever.) In the few moments we had cool weather, I introduced Harper to tea. (Plus I think it was nice for her cough roughened throat.) Chamomile and honey. I think she really liked the whole process including the teapot. Child sized Monkey teacups also helped.
And then of course there was Halloween.
Kurt carved a pumpkin under Harper's watchful eye.
She seemed to then -- what's that phrase? -- look askance at it. But can you ever really trust a Jack-o-Lantern?
At Harper's Preschool they had dress up day on the 30th. Harper had two costume choices and chose Princess Leia for that School Day. Of course she didn't want to put it on after all. But being wiser than I ever expected myself to be, I took it to school and, well, what do you know? She wanted to wear her costume after seeing everyone else dressed up!
Big Ups to Uncle Tom Ford for the costume. Best Princess Costume Ever! (Elsa who?)
And the big night itself. We had a hand-me-down Tinkerbell costume that Harper also liked, but she was still being fussy about wearing it or the Leia costume for the actual night. I told her no trick or treating and especially, NO CANDY unless she put one of them on. She picked Tinkerbell and I just jammed it on her and we left.
We met up with the Other Harper and had two blocks of fun candy gathering. These first two pictures were taken by Other Harper's mom, Mercie. She is a fantastic photographer!
This was just me with my iphone...
Harper enjoyed herself quite a bit. And when we got home, I knew that she was going to love Halloween a lot from now on.
I quote Harper: "THIS IS ALL MINE!" while wrapping her arms around her haul. That's my girl!
It's been a busy fall. It's been a HOT fall. God I hate Fall in LA. TOO HOT! Temps in the 100s day after day? No thanks.
We've stuck close to home, focusing on writing and getting used to the preschool routine. Harper seemed to adjust pretty quickly, but I've been waiting for a crash of sorts. I think it has come last week and this. She hasn't been napping as regularly at preschool and comes home TIRED. Makes sense. Last night she came home and didn't want dinner. Then we turned around and there she was. So sleepy.
To beat the aforementioned heat, luckily there is the beach. We went early on Saturday and our little Beach Bunny enjoyed it very much.
I think Harper is now a STAR in China. A tour group came through and they were crazy for her. They saw her on the beach and wanted to talk to her and take pictures with her. They weren't weird or creepy, honestly, just very enthusiastic. We saw them again in the parking lot and they took more pics! Yes, I stood close and made sure Harper was fine, she seemed to enjoy it though also seemed a bit confused. "Who are these people again?" A funny LA moment. If you go to China and see her picture anywhere, let me know...
Harper has mad Hide N Seek skills. I love hearing her at home "Papa, you go hide. I count. ONE! TWO! SEBEN! NATEY!" She would also let Kurt count and then "hide" by laying face down on the bed. "Papa, you count. I hide right here." Here you can see her outdoor H&S style. Where's Harper?
The artwork collection has started. I know it will pile up as time goes on, but these first ones are soooo fun to put up. She was quite pleased to put the wreath up in her room. Her Self Portrait is still on display at Happyland.
Speaking of artwork.
One day, Harper didn't really seem too interested in napping. She usually plays in her room, chills out, whathaveyou if she doesn't sleep. I didn't hear anything too alarming on this day. But when it was time to get up...oh boy. You can't see the walls in this picture.
Thankfully those pens are true to their word: "Washable". Notice the arm though. Mmm hmmm.
Well at least if you were wondering, this was a good exercise to confirm that Harper is mostly right handed...
And as for the youngest in the family...Willoughby is enjoying having Harper be at Preschool. She now has many more places to nap.
She's also keeping the changing table warm, as Harper barely uses it anymore.
But the "kids" get along great.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures ever in the whole history of the world.
This ALWAYS makes me think of Grandma Jane (who died 22 years ago) and Jen (6 years ago). Any time Jen and I reminisced about GrandmaJane, Chicken in a Biskit would inevitably come up. When GJ was married to Grandpa O, there was an open kitchen shelf that had clear containers of crackers. Grandpa O always had Diamond Brand Soda Crackers (Gawd I love those!) and then that blue box. We loved those salty chickeny crackers. They were like a special treat because mom didn't buy them.
Now, anytime in the last 22 years I've seen that box, I would call Jen or email her or something. And she would do the same to me. If she were still here, I would have simply texted her a picture with "GRANDMA JANE!" as the message and moved along.
What makes it so sad is that Jen is simply the ONLY Person on this planet that I shared this with. It's one little thing of many that we shared, of course, but one of those things that makes me miss the goofy fun stuff you have with a sibling, whether your politics or religion or whatever aligns or not. We could have disagreed about something in the news and not talked for a day but we could always, ALWAYS laugh or at least smile about Chicken in a Biskit.
It made me happy and sad to see that box on Saturday. Plus I was at Target with Harper staying cool and buying ingredients to make these cute cookie sandwiches:
(From this website-can't wait to try the pizza crescents!) (And also big ups to Melissa for pointing me to that website in the first place.) (And no, that is not my picture of the finished product, ours were not so perfect.)
Harper loves sprinkles, BTW.
I wanted to tell Jen all about how fun it was to try these things now that I have a daughter. She did it all when Grace and Matthew were little and It was fun to be at their parties and eat the sunflower cake made out of twinkies. (I did kinda tease her about making a cake with TWINKIES!) But I can't. Yes, there are plenty of friends and family to talk about all this with. But it's not the same.
For example, I found this while doing research on a script I'm working on:
I would have instantly texted or emailed this to Jen and said "REMEMBER THESE???" (I did post on facebook and tagged Betsy and Sloane, cuz I knew they would know.) But then Jen would have picked up the phone (probably) and we would have talked about life on Oahu before we moved to Maui. Where was that machine? Longs Drugs in Kahala Mall across from the Yum Yum tree? Remember the Yum Yum Tree? And on and on and on.
But I don't get to and it makes me really sad. Not all the time, mind you, but when I have a chance encounter in the cracker aisle to a touchstone of my childhood and the one person I can talk to about it is no longer there, that is a deep dark bummer.
Household maintenance, always fun. Last weekend it was Tree Trimming Day! Though it might have come a week early as now there is much less shade on our house and it is HOT HOT HOT in LA this week. Oh well. I'm hoping in two weeks it will all be a distant memory and Fall will truly be upon us. Though "Fall" in LA will simply mean it's 80, not 90.
After it was all over, I saw a squirrel on one of those power lines behind the pine tree. I swear it was giving me major stink eye. Sorry dude.
Well, nursery school.*
Next year it will be "Back to School"!
Harper started her first day at Happyland yesterday, a sweet preschool highly recommended by three friends. The report from the teachers were that she cried just a little at nap time and when she woke up (makes senes, waking up in a strange place) but otherwise, they said, it was like she'd been going there for ages. Wonderful!
Mama was excited and I actually didn't cry. (I cried when we had our visit two weeks ago and saw her name on her cubby.)
Thus begins a whole new chapter in our lives! Only 16 more years and it will be off to college! [sob]
*phrases you rarely, if ever hear any more: Nursery school, service station, old folks home.
Kurt had to come back to LA early so Harper and Gamma and I had a lovely time, just us girls.
One of the main reasons I was there was to attend the 50th anniversary of Seabury Hall. There was a gala event Friday, July 4th. There were old friends to see and catch up with and new friends to make. All of us part of that amazing place, Seabury Hall. Charlotte Melrose was there, one of the most important women in my life! Of course I burst into tears seeing her, that's how I roll. Harper got to see Seabury too though I wasn't able to introduce her to Charlotte.
Sitting in the same spot I spent many a study hall, out on the bench, under the jacarandas, waiting for the next bell to ring. Harper got to spend the gala evening with the childcare gang in Cooper House (the building behind her). She had a GOOD time! "Had Pizza!" That's my girl.
The next day, Sandi asked us to come pick apples at her place in Kula. Perfect weather for picking! Harper picked away like a pro.
Then I baked them all into a crisp for dessert! And yes, even though I forgot to take them out of the oven, half an hour after the timer went off, it was still yummy!
Sandi also had dahlias to pick. We love dahlias.
One morning we met a friend for brunch in Makawao. On the way home we stopped at the Hui to see mom's photo in the Paniolo Country Exhibition. There is a stick house/art piece outside by entry that Harper had a good time exploring.
Mostly it was just low key stuff. A lunch trip to Zippy's (OMG the Korean fried chicken is my fave!)
Morning chit chats on the lanai.
Some backyard "pool" time.
Indoctrination into the world of crackseed. "Harper try this (shredded mango)." [she takes one bite] "Not good." Hmmmmm. I wonder if that's how my first try went all those years ago...
It was a nice visit. Harper LOVES the beach! She talks about it a lot. I guess we have beaches here in LA. I've heard stories.
The rest of summer is full of potty training and music class and looking forward to the wonders that will be nursery school in September!
Dear Auntie Martha died a few weeks ago. She was my grandmother's sister and the last of her siblings (and siblings-in-law). She had a wonderful life and I'm so happy I got to be a small part of it, especially in these last fifteen years or so. She was a gracious and warm hostess, always, at her beautiful ranch house (a house I would emulate if ever I got the chance to build my own). I loved her sharing of family history with me when I was full of questions. And so much more. I'm so sad and will miss her dearly. But she will always be near, especially at Christmas, when I put her ornaments on our tree.
Aloha Auntie Martha!
Here's an awesome (read: "goofy") picture from the flight over. We both have similar expressions and it just makes me laugh!
(I should add a big "DERP!" to it...)
At the airport, Harper helped Kurt with the luggage.
After the luggage was opened and shorts applied to our sharkbait white bodies, we headed down to Baby Beach and Harper was SO excited about the ocean she would have just stayed there all night. She was really peeved that we had to leave without going in all the way.
But the next morning, we packed our beach bag and headed down. The tides were perfect and Harper was fearless! She really loved being in the water and we kinda had to keep a close eye on her as her swimming skills are not as strong as her enthusiasm.
But sand castles were also a lot of fun. We'd make towers and she would Godzilla right through each and every one.
Ultimately, swimming with Big Papi (no, not David Ortiz) was the most fun.
After the beach, we got to go to Star Noodle in Lahaina! I was so excited about this after hearing only great things and also cheering for Sheldon Simeon on Top Chef. The place did NOT disappoint. The best was the Ahi Avo - chunks of raw ahi and avocado in a chile-spiked dressing. DAMN. Okay the noodles were awesome as well. I wish I could order in from there every day! If you go to Maui, go to Star Noodle and get there early!
Gamma kindly bought some toys for Harper, a golf set and a bowling set. We created a new game called "Bolfing" and got a few good rounds in.
Later in the trip, Harper created an alternate version I like to call "Water Bolfing." She excels at it.
Soon Papi had to return to LA LA land and Harper, Gamma and I had our own adventures. More to come...
Willoughby is growing into a fine young cat. She is frisky and sweet and cuddly, all the things you want in an almost one year old cat. She sleeps on the bed and likes to lay on my chest when I'm waking up. So sweet to wake up to that. She also likes to hang in the bathroom when I (or Kurt) are showering. It always cracks me up to see this:
She is FASCINATED by the refrigerator. On a hot day she especially likes it.
Of course a nice pile of dirt is also fun. Look at that expression, pure bliss.
Today Harper and I harvested our first batch of green beans. Harper picked and then we washed and ate the beans immediately. Yummy! Later we cooked then for dinner with a touch of butter. Still yummy! I love Harper having this little garden/food experience. Tomatoes will be ripening soon as well.
I'm not sure where June went. Seems like it was March about two days ago. But that's what happens when a) there is a 2.5 year old in the house and b) your new mantra is MAKE CONTENT!
I'm making content in a variety of ways. One is a movie we've been developing for a while, but the burner has been turned up a bit on it, yay. Another is an original tv series idea I've been working on in the wee small hours of the morning. A third is a new site I'm prepping. I'm going to say adios to Safety Graphic Fun after 5 1/2 years and move onto this new thing. You'll see something later this summer. Lastly, there is a podcast I'm going to do with a friend. Not sure if it will work out as it is a wacky concept, but life is short and I have to try.
So June is gone in a haze of life and fun and awesomeness. We are off to Maui for a week to visit "Gamma-Jane". That will be an adventure!
Hopefully I'll be checking back before August...
Someday we will spend July in France, following Le Tour! Harper and I practiced waving at cyclists yesterday when we took a short walk along Ballona Creek on the bike path in Culver City. She got good at the waving and the cyclists were so nice, all of them waved back and smiled big! Who could resist this face?
Afterward we went to the park and she played, then we sat down for a snack. She really enjoyed the pick nick time. This skill will also come in handy for the Tour!
Harper went to the movie theater and saw her first feature film last Saturday! We chose the Disney Nature movie "Bears" and it went great. I wasn't worried that she'd be scared or upset (I went knowing that only fish were killed in the movie) but I did think she might get bored. She stuck with it the whole way, sitting in my lap once or twice. We were the only poeple in the theater so I wonder if she'll be distracted by others the next time. I'm just glad her first movie experience was a good one. We plan on raising a movie lover!