Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doctor Who Confidential Cancellation - Can YOU complain?

So most Doctor Who fans have heard the news that they are canceling Doctor Who Confidential. After next week it will be done and won't be released anymore. They're citing budgetary reasons.

I'm not entirely sure I believe this, because it seems like the cost of producing DWC would be a lot lower than any other show. Possibly they just haven't had very good viewing numbers. I don't know.

What's bothering me is the number of fans protesting this and demanding it be brought back. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I want to make a point.

Producing a TV show isn't free. It takes money, and the money has to come from somewhere.

The BBC gets no money when you watch any of their shows illegally.

If you don't get BBC America, you can buy the season pretty inexpensively on iTunes or Amazon.

I get that a lot of you are broke. I totally am to. This isn't a post about illegal downloads.

My point is simply this. If you're going to protest the cancellation of DWC, first check and see whether you're giving the BBC any source of revenue. If you're not, then you're not a customer and you can't complain about the cancellation of one of their shows.

If you are? By all means. Write the BBC and let them know your wrath. It's totally your prerogative to do so.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terra Nova - The Pilot

At the beginning of the 22nd century, Earth has used up its resources. Mankind's only hope is to escape through a timecrack to colonize the prehistoric earth.

Sound like an interesting set-up? I thought so. Then was surprised and thrilled to learn just how much more there is to the show.

The story revolves around the Shannon family. In the present, dad Jim is a cop and mom Elisabeth is a doctor. They had two kids, Josh and Maddy, then decided to ignore population laws to have a third child, little Zoe. At the beginning of the show they're caught, which puts them on the wrong side of the law and makes escaping to a brighter future in Terra Nova a lot harder than just walking through a time crack.

Once in Terra Nova they learn that the bright past has problems of its own. Like rebel teens, killer dinosaurs and a splinter group not afraid to use guns to prove their point.

There's a lot of fun elements here that will help it appeal to a wide demographic. However there is enough dinosaur violence and high intensity that will keep at least part of this show from being appropriate for the younger kids. Still, there's no language or sex so far, which gets this show off to a pretty good start.

We still have to wait and see whether the show can pull off everything it promises, but it's got a really good start and I have high hopes for it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Parenthood in Doctor Who Season 6

Does anyone else feel surprised by fall? I feel like I was just lugging books around in 85 degree weather, and now I'm shivering and bundling up against the cold.

I spent the weekend out at my grandparent's cabin which was a really lovely treat. I don't often get to go out there without my entire family coming along, so this was a rare chance to have a bit of peace and quiet out there. It's the most beautiful time of year too, with the leaves just changing, yet the flowers still in bloom.

Who else enjoyed this week's "Doctor Who" episode? Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All! I laughed so hard... Matt Smith is brilliant with babies.

It's interesting that this season has such a strong theme of parenthood. I was thinking through, and really the only episodes I could come up with that didn't have a strong subplot of parenthood were "The Girl who Waited" and 'The God Complex.'

Think about it.

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon - Amy deals with possibly being pregnant and the discovery of what may be her child

The Curse of the Black Spot - All about the Captain and his son

The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People - the father and his ganger, both who loved their son and how that affected their acceptance of the reality of the flesh's identity.

A Good Man Goes to War - MelodyMelodyMelody

Let's Kill Hitler - More MelodyMelodyMelody

Night Terrors - A father's love saves the day

The Girl who Waited (and) The God Complex - there are not overt parental themes here, yet at the same time there is this theme of the Doctor being responsible for Amy in a very fatherly way.

Closing Time - STORMAGEDDON. And Craig. and Craig being the Doctor's baby, lol.

I'll be very, very surprised if "The Wedding of River Song" doesn't have some pretty strong themes of the safety in a parent's love. OR, moving beyond parental love, to romantic love. But I think it would make a lot of sense for the Doctor to accept his responsibility for his companions and stop running away from his mistakes with them. We need to see this. I think, in a way, the Doctor walking up to his death could be a way of doing this. He did fail with River because he didn't rescue her in time. So he doesn't run from her, but faces down the doom that he engineered himself by taking Amy Pond onto the Tardis.

Thoughts? Conjunctures? Theories?

Friday, September 23, 2011

9 Days

It's been 9 days since I last posted. Wow. That's quite a long time.

It's been hard to think of things to write because I spend a lot of time these days trying not to think too deeply about things. With my health as problematic as it is, overdwelling on real life problems can be problematic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's a sickness, not a maze. And while it certainly is an interesting name, it's also a real pain because it's basically constant dizzyness. Which is pretty difficult to cope with.

But. At least I've got a name and it's a cool one.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And Then I was Hufflepuff: A Sneak Peek at Pottermore

Yesterday I finally opened up my e-mail to see that I'd been allowed into Pottermore. I quickly logged in and started navigating my way through the story. While there wasn't quite as much new information as I would have liked, I will say that the graphics are gorgeous and I am looking forwards to playing the games that they have.

The wand sorting was pretty fantastic. My wand is Maple, with Phoenix feather core, 13 and a half inches long, and surprisingly swishy.

You'll have to join Pottermore to get your own wand and learn about all the woods and cores, however, I will give you a sneak peek by sharing the information about my wand wood and core! :)

(Image not from Pottermore, merely illustrative)


This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike.

Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalise, and their allegiance is usually hard won.

Pretty neat, yeah?

The woods are even more particular:


I have often found that those chosen by maple wands are by nature travellers and explorers; they are not stay-at-home wands, and prefer ambition in their witch or wizard, otherwise their magic grows heavy and lacklustre. Fresh challenges and regular changes of scene cause this wand to literally shine, burnishing itself as it grows, with its partner, in ability and status. This is a beautiful and desirable wood, and wand quality maple has been among the most costly for centuries. Possession of a maple wand has long been a mark of status, because of its reputation as the wand of high achievers.

And there are many more woods than cores, so you have a lot of exploration and reading ahead of you! Plus I haven't said a word about length... it's not just based on how tall you are!

But of course, what I was really looking forwards to was the sorting! The questions were rather different than I expected, but they made sense. On some of them I could have gone either way, but I must have ended up choosing fairly consistently. I expected that I'd be a hatstall, since I have qualities that would fit me into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, OR Slytherin.

The Sorting Hat, however, had other ideas because it triumphantly placed me in Hufflepuff.


I was stunned. I had not for a minute considered the possibility that I would end up in Hufflepuff. What on earth happened?

Then I started to read about the house, and the new information from JK really shed new light. It's not that Hufflepuff House is stupid, or unachieving, it's that they are very modest and they don't go bragging about their achievements all over the place (Gryffindor, I'm looking at you).

I thought about the way I'd answered the Sorting Hat questions, and realized that I'd consistently placed the welfare of people and a love of nature above ambition, glory, and knowledge. And it's true that I have a very strong moral sense that really becomes apparent when you ask me the hard questions.

And, as I thought about it, I realized that being in Hufflepuff House really was a compliment. Would I really want to be in another house, where there would be indications that I consistently chose to put other things above people? Or where I had a love of human creations above that of God's?

This isn't a reflection against the other houses because I would have been happy in any of them. It's just my own personal journey towards appreciating -- really appreciating my inner Hufflepuff.

To help spread the word of truth about my new house, I'm sharing the Welcome Letter with you all below. I've put some of my favorite bits in bold...

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Gabriel Truman, and I’m delighted to welcome you to HUFFLEPUFF HOUSE. Our emblem is the badger, an animal that is often underestimated, because it lives quietly until attacked, but which, when provoked, can fight off animals much larger than itself, including wolves. Our house colors are yellow and black, and our common room lies one floor below the ground, on the same corridor as the kitchens.

Now, there are a few things you should know about Hufflepuff house. First of all, let’s deal with a perennial myth about the place, which is that we’re the least clever house. WRONG. Hufflepuff is certainly the least boastful house, but we’ve produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other. Want proof? Look up Grogan Stump, one of the most popular Ministers for Magic of all time. He was a Hufflepuff – as were the successful Ministers Artemesia and Dugald McPhail. Then there’s the world authority on magical creatures, Newt Scamander; Bridget Wenlock, the famous thirteenth-century Arithmancer who first discovered the magical properties of the number seven, and Hengist of Woodcroft, who founded the all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade, which lies very near Hogwarts School. Hufflepuffs all.

So, as you can see, we’ve produced more than our fair share of powerful, brilliant and daring witches and wizards, but, just because we don’t shout about it, we don’t get the credit we deserve. Ravenclaws, in particular, assume that any outstanding achiever must have come from their house. I got into big trouble during my third year for duelling a Ravenclaw prefect who insisted that Bridget Wenlock had come from his house, not mine. I should have got a week of detentions, but Professor Sprout let me off with a warning and a box of coconut ice.

Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and loyal. We don’t shoot our mouths off, but cross us at your peril; like our emblem, the badger, we will protect ourselves, our friends and our families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates us.

However, it’s true that Hufflepuff is a bit lacking in one area. We’ve produced the fewest Dark wizards of any house in this school. Of course, you’d expect Slytherin to churn out evil-doers, seeing as they’ve never heard of fair play and prefer cheating over hard work any day, but even Gryffindor (the house we get on best with) has produced a few dodgy characters.

What else do you need to know? Oh yes, the entrance to the common room is concealed in a stack of large barrels in a nook on the right hand side of the kitchen corridor. Tap the barrel two from the bottom, middle of the second row, in the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’, and the lid will swing open. We are the only house at Hogwarts that also has a repelling device for would-be intruders. If the wrong lid is tapped, or if the rhythm of the tapping is wrong, the illegal entrant is doused in vinegar.

You will hear other houses boast of their security arrangements, but it so happens that in more than a thousand years, the Hufflepuff common room and dormitories have never been seen by outsiders. Like badgers, we know exactly how to lie low – and how to defend ourselves.

Once you’ve opened the barrel, crawl inside and along the passageway behind it, and you will emerge into the coziest common room of them all. It is round and earthy and low-ceilinged; it always feels sunny, and its circular windows have a view of rippling grass and dandelions.

There is a lot of burnished copper about the place, and many plants, which either hang from the ceiling or sit on the windowsills. Our Head of house, Professor Pomona Sprout, is Head of Herbology, and she brings the most interesting specimens (some of which dance and talk) to decorate our room – one reason why Hufflepuffs are often very good at Herbology. Our overstuffed sofas and chairs are upholstered in yellow and black, and our dormitories are reached through round doors in the walls of the common room. Copper lamps cast a warm light over our four-posters, all of which are covered in patchwork quilts, and copper bed warmers hang on the walls, should you have cold feet.

Our house ghost is the friendliest of them all: the Fat Friar. You’ll recognize him easily enough; he’s plump and wears monk’s robes, and he’s very helpful if you get lost or are in any kind of trouble.

I think that’s nearly everything. I must say, I hope some of you are good Quidditch players. Hufflepuff hasn’t done as well as I’d like in the Quidditch tournament lately.

You should sleep comfortably. We’re protected from storms and wind down in our dormitories; we never have the disturbed nights those in the towers sometimes experience.

And once again: congratulations on becoming a member of the friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apartment Tour 2.0

Part of what got me through this last week was reminding myself how much I love my apartment. It's hard to be sick, but I'd still rather be here than in my old room. Here I've got my own kitchen and bathroom and I adore them...

Below is one of my computer set-ups (preferred is sitting on my bed, but when I'm feeling better this is pretty good too). The adjustable laptop tray was $20 and is great for a variety of purposes. I also like using it for my wacom tablet, especially as the surface is tiltable.
This is the shelving units by my door. It's kind of weird not having doors on this shelf, but it saves so much time when I'm prepping a meal!
Gotta keep those hotpads handy!
The books!
I also got my favorite curtains from my parent's house, my windchimes, and my lights and got them properly situated around my window. I looooooove it so much! I also got a $4 mirror from Walmart and attached it to the wall with 3M removable velcro. Which rocks!
Then there are the lovely dishes I've been cooking. This is gluten free, sugar free lemon poppyseed cake.
And this is my beautiful eggbake!
Thanks for popping in for the tour, friends!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Doctor and Donna make Much Ado About Nothing

If you can't make it to Europe yourself, the next best thing is to send your little sister.

My sister, the brave adventurous missionary girl, was walking down the street in London when she saw this sign. Immediately she stopped and stared so hard that her group asked her what was the matter.

Now SHE claims that she only reacted so hard because she knew what a big deal this production was for me (two of my favorite actors in my favorite Shakespeare play!!!!). I, however, insist that she would have reacted to seeing the Doctor and Donna in a Shakespeare play regardless of me.

Anyhow, she took this picture for me and I majorly geeked out over it. Now just to track down my own TARDIS so that I can go back in time and move through space and see the actual production...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fish Fingers and Custard

It is Doctor Who Saturday! Who is ready to watch episode 6.9???

If you're tv-less like me, you'll be watching it tomorrow after websites like iTunes and Amazon upload it for us. So to tide you over, I've got a fun clip for you.

Doctor 11 has a favorite food -- Fish Fingers and Custard. Have you ever wondered whether that combination is actually yummy --- or flat out disgusting? Some friends of mine decided to test it out... and filmed their reactions!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Being a Heroine in Disguise

One way to help get through tough times is to imagine you're a hero/heroine in a story. It doesn't usually work during the toughest times, but it can be encouraging at certain moments.
For instance, sometimes it can be really hard for me to accept that I'm deaf --- that I have this really fundamental difference from most of the rest of the world and that nothing will probably ever change that. This is part of why the X-Men have become so important to me. The whole theme of the X-Men comics is that there are these people who are given a trait/ability that separates them from the world... and unlike other superheroes, the X-Men are feared, hated and misunderstood by the rest of the world. I may not be able to fly or teleport, but my hearing loss is a genetic change that has drastically changed my life -- and not always in bad ways (I'm a super fast reader because I rely so much on my eyes).
This week I've decided I'm Sleeping Beauty. Laying no claims to the beauty part, but I do seem to struggle with the need to sleep all. the. time. I also grew up surrounded by needles and spinning wheels so the getting pricked part seems kind of a given. Plus my prince hasn't shown up, so maybe he's waiting for that hundred years sleep?
As you can tell, the first example is a pretty serious deep issue for me... the second one is more of a fun 'look at life this way' Rose-Brierish exercise. But they're both theraputic and help me understand, reevaluate and accept my limitations, differences and struggles.
Have you ever identified with a fictional character in a way that has helped you get through a difficult period?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strength and Weakness

Very quick note to assure you all that I'm still alive. It's been one of the hardest weeks of my life and I've only gotten through it with a lot of support and encouragement -- most of all from my mom who dropped her life back home to come help me out for five days (and my dad for supporting her in that).

I'm actually dropping two classes now (psychology and microcomputers). We are fairly certain that, in addition to a lot of other things, I have an auto immune disease (I'm not naming it here because I like my privacy, not because we don't know specifically what it probably is). Which, if you know anything about them in general, you'll know that that's a pretty heavy burden to carry. So yeah, that's a significant piece of why I struggle with health problems so much.

I already knew this year was going to be a challenge, but this week we really had to come face to face with exactly how hard that was and how much it was going to take to get through the semester intact. I've been blessed with really amazing professors though who have expressed their understanding and support. With their encouragement I am motivated to keep on going...

But it's not easy and it is pretty scary. I'm fighting a constant battle here.

I'm sharing this partially because a lot of you have been really devoted readers for a long time and I think you deserve to know (and want to) what is going on and why I'm not posting.

But there is also a fact of admitting that life is hard. It's really hard. And you've got to be strong enough to ask for help or you really are going to fail. Because the worst thing you can do is hide your problems away and think that you're strong enough to deal with them alone.