On the Occasion of Doctor Who’s 50th Birthday

CMMRB Doctor Who

doctorwhologo-cropped

Dear Internet,
I’ve long acknowledge I’m a late bloomer since I’ve never done anything in the usual linear pace of time for anything. In the realm of life events, I didn’t graduate high school on time, I got my GED when I was 19; I finished my undergrad when I was 32, and I got married when I was almost 40. Hell, the first time I ever saw Star Wars was on laserdisc in 1994! But it goes much farther back than that – I was even born late by nearly a month.
My introduction to a lot of things I’m into now were also not via the usual methods of self-discovery or influence. My interests in the last decade have begun to deepen to reveal what my true self is: A very nerdy girl. So much so, TheHusband is often found mumbling that he married a 12 year old boy when a new toy arrives at the house, the DVR is stocked with cartoons, or my wish list contains mainly video games and comics.
My interest in Doctor Who came about on a very haphazard road that did not fully take shape until 2005. Though my family were PBS aficionados while I was growing up, where the original Doctor Who series was shown on late at night, my introduction to science fiction or fantasy was hazy at best. I remember watching the original Star Trek and Lost in Space on Saturday afternoons as they were in syndication when I was a young lass, but I grew up in a house mainly of women, with nearly zero male presence, who were into the stereotypical womanly things and whose interests were definitely not into the galaxy shoot outs, alien races, and interplanet travel variety.
[iframe class=”alignleft” src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/h5YA0Uq2wXM?rel=0″ height=”263″ width=”350″ allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″] Fast forward a decade plus and my first introduction to Doctor Who was not through the show itself, but through the song Doctorin’ The TARDIS by The TimeLords (aka The KLF) that was released in the late ’80s and was a mainstay on college radio and in clubs. I remember dancing in my bedroom to this tune a lot in high school, but the references were falling on deaf ears. There is a hazy memory of someone explaining to me it was a tribute to a beloved sci-fi show from the ’60s and ’70s, but during the mid to late ’80s, I was going through a horror film / metal music phase so I just filed it away for future reference.
By the time I was in my 20s, I thought I had some very definite tastes figured out. I was very much keen on telling people that I had no interest in science fiction OR fantasy OR mythology until someone finally said look, a lot of those movies/show you watch you like or books you read ARE tinged with fantastical or science fiction elements. Just because you’re not buying them in the SFF aisles doesn’t mean they are any less of that genre then the ones that are stocked on those shelves. I’m not terribly sure who said this to me, and I’m also fairly certain it was more than one person, but whatever stigma I thought was attached to liking SFF crashed and I started gorging on as much as humanly possible. It was around this same time I finally gave in and became a Terry Pratchett fan, which anyone who was an existing fan at the time and met me was convinced I would flail for PTerry to the end of my days, turned out to be absolutely right.
As the Internet became more prevalent, and information widely spread, Doctor Who and its related fandoms were one of those cultures that still eluded me. There was Just. So. Much. And it was not just with the main show, but the spinoffs, the books, the games, the fanfiction, and everything else related. I had no idea on where to begin and it was especially hard when much of the original shows were haphazardly around the web or a library may have some on VHS/DVD, but nothing close to completion.
When Sci Fi (now SyFy) channel announced that in 2005 it was going to start showing the newly rebooted Doctor Who, I was ecstatic. FINALLY, I can see what the fuss is all about. While there were missed chances to get into the series before, now with the reboot and its full intent on introducing a whole new generation to become Whovians, I could. In the spring of 2006, I set my TiVo to record and waited.
The entire first season of the reboot, in which we’re introduced to the Ninth Doctor, sat on my DVR for weeks after the season ended. At some point I got a mutant version of the plague and was on the couch for days, in which I mainlined the entire first season in one go.
I fell in love. Hard. Almost painfully so.

CMMRB Doctor Who
L-R: 11, 4, 10, Donna Noble, Rose, Captain Jack, 9
Cosplaying at C2E2, 2013

They say your first Doctor is your favorite Doctor and that is most definitely true of me. Christopher Eccleston, as the brusque northerner (all planets have a north!), regenerated as the Ninth doctor stole Rose’s heart and my own. From that point on, I became a fan for life.
You can unpack Doctor Who, regardless of where you come into the series, in a whole manner of different ways and dissertations have been written on the subject doing just that. To me, the Ninth Doctor and following, are all represented pieces of myself that were either hidden or realised by being unveiled for the first time as each episode. I saw in each episode something I could relate to on a very deeply personal level, whether it was the hard choices I had to make in my own life or how the show somehow explained a complex thought or action into something much more simple.
The show is not marketed as a philosophical treatise on the human condition, it was and still is marketed as a kid’s show. But if you strip away all the fun and fluff bits, but it is at its core that very ideologie of presenting complex and very human situations in a manner that makes easily accessible and understandable. And at least in the reboot, the show is also very much a feminist show where all characters are given equal footing AND tasks.
I may not be able to tell you which episode Cyberman appeared or the catchphrase of the Third Doctor, but I don’t think that makes me any less of a fan of the show or series. And after all, as the madman in the blue box will tell you, I have all of time and space to find out.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2010, 1998

Librarians as Doctor Who: A Wrap Up of C2E2

Dear Internet,
A coulpe of weeks ago, after many months of planning, myself and nearly a dozen of my closest friends met up in Chicago to hook up for C2E2 to present on best practices, programming, and more for graphic novels in libraries, have karaoke good times, and other fun shenanigans.
Overall, as a conference, C2E2 rocks the fuck out of all the other conferences I usually attend. The registration price is super inexpensive, it’s close by, we get work with great people like Toby who acted as our liaison to ALA, we get to meet new people from the Internet, and we get to have a lot of fun while doing our jobs. THIS Is what makes being a librarian awesome. From a comics and pop culture experience,  I also love C2E2 because everything is easily accessible, the guests are approachable, and the panels are excellent. This conference is a win-win situation all around. And the city itself ain’t too shabby either.
The cherry on cake this year? Several of us cosplayed as Doctor Who.

CMMRB Doctor Who
L-R: 11 (Kristin), 4 (Julie), 10 (Carolyn), Donna Noble (Sarah), Rose (Val), Captain Jack (Beth), 9 (me)

Hilights from C2E2, including vines and more:

x0x0,
Lisa
Credits: Me (Instgram, Vine), Kristin (Instagram, Vine), Val (Instagram, Vine), Carolyn (InstagramTumblr), Beth (Instagram), Julie (Instagram), and Rob (Instagram, Vine).
 

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003, 2012

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: April 6, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,
I’m going to stop saying this week was, $insertdramaticadjective here, every week and just accept the farce of my life. But at some point, I think I would settle for just a week where everything is stable in some capacity or form.
This week, I am trying a new ADHD drug called Focalin, which isn’t too bad actually. It’s way more potent than Concerta, which is awesome, and it’s not filled with crazy producing side effects like Adderall, which is even better. My mood has been pretty stable so emotionally I’m feeling pretty good.
Outside of that scope, however, things have been slightly, “Jesus fucking christ!” producing. My Macbook Air, Bawdy Wench, died last weekend and after two trips to the Genius Bar, hours spent attempting to fix it by TheHusband and myself, a host of unicorn blood spilled – nothing worked. I specifically name what type of laptop not because I’m being a pretentious douche (well – you got me.) but for those who are tech centric will know that the diagnosis is either the hard drive (which is a SSD) or the logic board. But it is not clear if it is one or the other. If you buy a replacement logic board for $300 or so bucks — which are only available used or refurbed — and that doesn’t fix it, then you spend another $300 or so bucks getting a new drive and hope that fixes if it. If you’ve bought both and it’s not fixed, not only are you out of about $750, but you have a dead Mac still and by  that point, you might as well have sucked it up and bought a new Mac.
All of this happens a month after the warranty had expired and as such, I could not buy AppleCare to get it covered. So we had two choices: We can spend a flat rate $280 and send it to the Apple Depot where they would fix whatever was broken (so if it’s the logic board AND the drive, both would get fixed for $280) OR I can buy a new Mac. We went with the $280 fix.
TheHusband and I talked about selling the dead Air and the held together by string Macbook Pro that I use for my desktop to Gazelle and using the cash to fund a new, better machine but we opted against it. Medical bills from all my surgeries hit us harder than anticipated and I’m just thankful we had the $280 to fix my laptop.
Since the discussion of Macs brings out STRONG FEELINGS in people, you can at least acknowledge TimeMachine is a most glorious invention. My drive was backed up to the minute before it died and everything is safe.
The lack of laptop hit harder than anticipated – namely that in the early evenings, I usually start needing to elevate my foot and the only way to do that in some form comfortably is in bed, with my laptop on my lap. No laptop means that a lot of the work I was planning on doing this week didn’t get done. I have an iPad, with a Bluetooth keyboard, but that does not have the same power or options as my Air.  Less browsing and working on writing projects, more TV watching. I’ve been spending the nights mainlining Veronica Mars and attempting to keep a Zen attitude about everything (it mostly working).
You may notice I’ve started appending “This day in Lisa-Universe in:” at the end of posts with dates (sometimes) after it – as I start adding the back content, I’m now linking to that content in current posts. That has been entertaining to read.

Writing

The Lisa Chronicles

Watching

  • Doctor Who
    Second half of season 7 has started. Fantastic!
  • Game of Thrones
    Season 3 has begun.
  • Veronica Mars
    Recently I mentioned there was a Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter in progress that I think I may have hyperventilated when the goal was reached in a scant 11 hours after launch. Since that day, I’ve been humming the theme song in my head almost non-stop, which moved me to discover Netflix no longer had the show available on streaming, NOR was it available on Hulu or Amazon streaming services. So I did what anyone else in their right mind would do: I bought the DVDs. Now you may say to yourself, “But Lisa! You said you were not going to spend extra money this year!” I’ve been 86% keeping that promise – except for red lipsticks and Veronica Mars.

Weekly watching: Formula 1Vikings, The Vampire Diaries, House of LiesElementarySpartacusThe AmericansArcher, and Project Runway.

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Cross-stitch is not for the weak

While I was in Chicago recently for a few work conferences that were back to back, conversations with girlfriends and boyfriends often turned to DIY and the crafting movement. All the cool kids are doing it, it seems. Now I’m no stranger to the DIY/crafting world as I’ve been dabbling on and off for a few years, including but not limited to the following:

But the one that seems to be all the rage in my circles is cross-stitch. I can name half a dozen people off the top of my head who currently count this as their number one crafting past-time. Their constant yammering about their projects, and since it seems you really don’t need to know how to do much other then thread a needle and sew, appealed to me. I like the idea that it is essentially paint by numbers, but with thread. (I will also admit TheHusband has asked me to put the knitting needles down as my hats keep getting more and more interesting. The latest one ended up shaped like a used condom.)
Since having an instant support group for any kind of activity appealed to me, I took myself off to Hobby Lobby tonight after work to get supplies. Since I was not fond of getting a pattern that was “of the lord” or of a fruit basket, I bought a bag of 150 colors of floss, rolled up tube of cross-stich fabric, a hoop, needles, and other accouterments as seen in the picture above. I figured I come home, have dinner, find a pattern, and go. And if I hated it, I would pawn the lot off to Kristin.
No. Not that simple.
The cross-stitch world is complicated. The surge for wanting things handmade has increased the amount of information on the topic, which makes sense since there are thousands nay millions of pages on just about any topic in the universe, according ye olde googles. But I’m a librarian! I should be able to find stuff easily. No, not quite true either. Bad taxonomy and tag stuffing also thwarted my plans. After an hour of looking for patterns, for an easy one I could do in a few hours, turned out to be horribly wrong. I had thought of coughing up a few bucks to Subversive Cross Stitch, whom I long amired, only to find as I was going through their patterns, nothing appealed.
Kristin suggested creating my own pattern, using something like MyPhotoStitch to generate the colors and patterns for me. But the problem is that I wanted to do something BIG AND FLASHY vroom vroom, when I still need training wheels. So instead of creating something that requires 44 different flavors of floss, I need something that has say, eight. Tomorrow when I’m not feeling so emotionally drained, I’ll probably create a TARDIS or something Doctor Who related.
And hopefully this time, nothing will come out shaped like a used condom.

1. The proof that I broke even on my investment with Excessively Diverting proved to me that I could make and sell something of my own creation, which is a huge confidence boost. Now only if could apply that to other things in my life.

The Sign of the Four

A Wordle I recently made of the entirety of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Posted to Tumblr AND Pinterest, natch.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly vivid and that may have to do with the following in no particular order:
Battlestar Galactica
TheHusband and I began watching Battle Star Galactica several weeks ago and we’re almost finished with S3. He has remarked BSG is “…like Downton Abbey, except in space,” which I can totally get behind. When I almost accused a student recently of treason when they asked for books on Cicero AND I had been mildly hallucinating the parking lot elevators are Cyclons, I told TheHusband we needed to take a break from the action, though for the last few BSG-free nights he’s been a titch antsy in not getting his fix.
Continue reading “The Sign of the Four”

To: Make: Knitting – iTardis, an iPod cozy (v1.0)

iPod, iTardis, iPhone
iPod, iTardis, iPhone

Roughly about 18 months ago, Lindsay sent me a link to an Etsy page of a seller showcasing their knitted Tardis iPod/iPhone cozy. Lindsay, in her infinite cuteness, said, ” Make me this!”
The design and concept of the Etsy version was pretty poor: The person essentially knitted (with acrylic yarn no less) a tube, unseamed, and then cross-stitched Xs in for the white/shadow on the doors. I was more appalled that the seller wanted $20 for the thing, even though essentially it was wrist cuff, just slightly longer. I knew I could do a lot better version that would also be much cheaper.
When Lindsay came to visit a few weeks later, I had constructed the pattern (more or less) and all we just needed to get needles and yarn. I also guessed, based upon my knitting speed, it shouldn\’t take more than a few hours to turn out. Since Lindsay was going to be in town for a few days, I figured we could leisurely get this going and have it done at a later time.
Little did I know that it would be fits/starts spanning 18 fucking months, not a few hours as intended. The design, implementation,needles, yarn weight and colors: Everything was frogged and ignored by me for months only to beredone and then frogged again!
With all that being said, here is the iTardis (FINALLY), HUGE thanks to Krazy Kate, this really only took me a few hours from start to finish as I had predicted all those months ago. Krazy Kate showed me the path of how to streamline and design the cozy, and yet there are improvements to the design and construction to already be made and thus, this is a prototype. Lindsay was so excited about this being finished before she left today, that she left with the prototype on her iPod. This version fits my iPhone (seen above) better than the classic iPod above (it’s slightly longer).
If someone can give me measurements to their iPad, I would adore that as I want to knit up a prototype for it.
Whomever helps me out with the iPad version, will get the prototype for free when I’m done (shipping will also be on me).
Leave contact information via comments or the usual locations.
Pattern for all versions, with tweaks, coming soon-ish. Image above, however, will take you to the Flickr set showing the entire thing in-progress.