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November 2014

The Joy Of Joining A New Community - Doctor Who Edition - Part 2

I love pop culture. I LOVE IT!

I don't have religion, I have the movies and tv. Sunday morning movies are the best. 10am popcorn? Yes please! Trailers that last for fifteen minutes before the movie? Why not twenty? I could watch two hours of trailers. And these days with Television? OMG don't get me started on the amazing stories being told out there.

NERD! Total Nerd

So I'm a Nerd. I always have been. Is it a birth-order thing? I don't feel like any of my siblings were nerds. Dor might have gotten close, she introduced me to Monty Python after all, but skewed more toward msuic. She was a Yes-head. Is that a musical nerd? (I don't know anything about music. It is the one part of pop-culture I'm pretty clueless about. As proof to this I will tell you that I've heard OF the song "All About The Bass" but I have not actually heard the song. But if you want to talk about Serial Podcast, I'M IN!)

Doctor-Who-logoWhere was I? oh yes, Nerd. I love joining up with the Who Universe to feel connected, to be part of a larger group. I think I had a bit of disconnect from the "larger group" when I was a kid and am always looking for it. I was the youngest and my next oldest sibling was five years older. We did plenty of stuff together, but there was also lots of earlier bedtimes and "maybe when you are older."

And growing up haole in Hawaii creates an intense disconnect. It's challenging as I feel 100% connected to Hawaii, yet at the same time could never quite fit in. In my K-8 elementary school, I was one of about 15 haoles out of 650 students. I had friends, but they were just school friends as I got on a bus every day to go home. And on that bus I read.

LIWFreak Flag

I was a reader from an early age and my mom indulged me with books all the time. (Yay Mom! I do and will continue to do the same with Harper.) Someone gave me the first two Little House books when I was eight and I got HOOKED. Here was a story about a girl my age and her family in a world that was totally alien to me. Prairie? Snow? Churning butter? I didn't know anyone else who had read these books. Or who was obsessed with the way I was.

I asked mom to make me a sunbonnet. And she did. AND I WORE IT! I didn't wear it on my head. No no. I wore it hanging down my back, as Laura had. Haven't you read the books?? (and yes, I still have it.) I was a community of one, and I let my freak flag fly, even though I'm sure 100% of the people who saw me were like "what is that thing around your neck?"

Prairieskirt82Side note: prairie fashions were IN in the early 80's. I wore an outfit regularly that was not dissimilar to this one, complete with the sunbonnet accessory. I loved my denim skirt. Mom also made me a petticoat to go with it. LOVED LOVED LOVED.

Where was I? Oh yes, dearth of Laura fans on Maui. Now you can connect with other Laura Fans, read more about her life, see pictures of her and even visit some of the little houses. Or you can have a Doctor Who ring tone on your phone (guilty!), or a tiny tardis necklace and people will nod and smile, knowingly. Or they'll argue with you about Russel T Davis vs. Steven Moffat. (or Tennant vs. Smith). It's wonderful to make those tiny yet meaningful connections in any group. We are a community!

I'm not a church goer but I made a pilgrimage in 1998 to worship at the Church of Laura. I have stood in line to receive the good word of Obi Wan Kenobi multiple times (before and after the re releases). I've gotten to live long enough to be obsessed with BOTH versions of Battlestar Galactica and have loved them equally.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiosity makes all the difference. Learning about new things, new ideas, new characters, history, art, language, that is all amazing to me. I've always loved reading and writing stories. If you are open to new things, willing to give something a try (not just one episode, come on!) then the world will always be rich and full. People might say pop-culture is just junk. But oh I disagree. There can be so much commentary, so much reflection on the bigger things in the world, all hidden within that "junk." When our BSG heroes landed on New Caprica, rebuilt their lives, then (spoilers) the Cylons came and took over, there was a lot of excellent commentary on the Iraq war. They made you really look at both sides of a conflict and sympathize with those you might think are the bad guys. Powerful stuff.

OriginaltardisAnd when things are well written, well created, there can be such delightful surprises. You watch a show thinking, Oh this and that will happen and NOTHING CLOSE to it happens. The Good Wife is excellent at this. So is Justified. (OMG Justified, you guys, please watch that show it's amazeballs.) Did you read Gone Girl? That point in the middle where it all went in a TOTALLY different direction? Awesome. I aspire to write that well. I aspire every day and mostly fail, but dammit, I keep trying.

Why did I start this conversation? Because I'm a newly minted Whovian at age 47 and I'm wearing my fandom on my sleeve. I want a Tardis in my backyard. (Or in my house were the house big enough.) In a weird way I'm proud of myself for diving into something new and going whole hog. I always want to try new things. I hope I'm bingeing on something cool when I'm 87.

Full costumeOh and if I could afford a bespoke version of this I would totally wear it.

Or this:

RT shoot white











I'm a goner, people, do you understand? Done. I have fully succumbed to Doctor Who and can't wait to see where it goes from here.

You might have zero interest in pop-culture. Fine. But go out and be curious! Read, travel, explore, taste, try! And don't be afraid to let it show.

The Joy Of Joining A New Community - Doctor Who Edition Part 1

4doctorsI 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

DoctorLineupIn 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.

1339533769-donnaWhen 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!




Harper And Yeoman Rand


GraceLeeWhitney_as_RandAs 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!

Halloween Round Up And A Bit More

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.

Tea1 Tea2


















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!