Day of the Doctor

K&T–stop reading. Now.

I am a fan of Doctor Who. That is no surprise.

And when the 50th Anniversary special was announced, I was majorly excited. When it was announced the special would be screening in select theaters, I was even more excited.

Now, if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading here, because I will spoil it for you–and as someone who spent nearly three days off Facebook, Twitter, and any other news feed story to avoid any details, I know you don’t want that to happen.

(Seriously, to those of my friends who haven’t seen it yet, stop reading. Now. Go catch up, go find the special, and then I don’t even mind if you don’t come back to read my summaries.)

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Did you navigate away? Good.

Let me just start by saying, OF COURSE, I’m upset Christopher Eccleston didn’t film anything new for this special. He’s my favorite Doctor! But–he is also a professional, and he is in every way entitled to turn down roles. He doesn’t reprise roles, and in some way, that leaves his story perfectly intact. The Ninth Doctor has my heart forever and ever with his darkness and his angst. He may be a reflection of my own soul, and maybe I don’t want anyone to tinker with that now. However, the tip-of-the-hat to Nine was fine enough, and Hurt’s line right before regeneration made me smile. We know who The War Doctor becomes.

Now… where was I?

David Tennant and Matt Smith were, for a lack of better words, amazing. To see both characters side-by-side–and with John Hurt’s Doctor–was a thrill ride. Tennant is my next favorite Doctor after Eccleston’s, for his portrayal and for Tennant’s own enthusiasm for the Doctor. Tennant is an actor that has mastered subtlety. As Hurt’s War Doctor exclaims, “Thank you, Bad Wolf Girl!” And Tennant’s wild-eyed response was heart-breaking. But it was so good, even if it was just a second long. There are plenty more reviews out there, many of which are more eloquent, more well-rounded and critical. I just happen to be one happy fan.

The thing is–there were so many predictable ways this could have gone. And in not satisfying all of those, it leaves me wanting more. It leaves the stories open. It leaves the imagination the possibility of running wild.

Isn’t that the beauty of this fantasy world? That anything and everything is possible?

Ten/Rose. We could have seen Eleven/Rose. We could have seen War, Nine, Ten, Eleven. Donna. Jack. River. But we didn’t–and for that, I’ll always be free to entertain the “what-ifs.”

A few months ago, I had a dream that I was the new Doctor in an American reboot. I had to have a heart-to-heart with David Tennant to discuss how to pull of such an enormous task. In the end, everything was okay. I knew I would be perfect as the Doctor. I would write that story perfectly.

I can’t live in a fantasy world, though–but I do know that I live in a world where dreams are to be followed. Like the Doctor says, he dreams, too. Dreams don’t always come true, but without dreaming, without wondering, you’ll never know how far you can get.

That, my friends, is the joy of living–whether it is for hundreds of years or only a handful. Dream on; it’s a wild ride.

Femme!Nine reappears.

Femme!Nine reappears.

I don’t want to go.

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Hey You

For Friday, I just wanted you to know: you’re fantastic.

And also, I just wanted an excuse to post something related to the Ninth Doctor.

Absolutely fantastic.

Absolutely fantastic.

Don’t Rush Through It

I’ve been seeing posts here and there about a guide that will make transitions easier. Part of it is self-esteem, part of it is tackling demons that hold one back, and overall, it’s a nice little motivating package. And of course, the author is making money because it’s life coaching.

Here I am, blogging away about all the transitions that I experience, and it’s all at a monetary loss (e.g., paying for the domain, custom fonts, etc.). Granted, I’m not really giving anyone any advice on what to do with a transition. I’m letting anyone who happens across this come up with his or her own conclusions on how to best tackle life.

All in all, though, I’m not going to trade in my catharsis to give young adults advice on how to be sparkly and wonderful through all of life’s transitions. I’m not going to hand you a seven-step guidebook to tackling your fears. It’s not my niche. I’m going to keep on blogging about my misadventures in dating, my wanderlust, my CrossFit forays, and higher education. If I never author an official autobiography, at least I’ll have my blog.

Anyway.

You’ve probably noticed that the past two weeks have been spotty in terms of blog posts. Even today’s post isn’t on the correct day. Well, here’s what’s up:

– I went to Georgia for an awesome work conference/institute.- I came home and was very productive at work.
– Then, I hurried from work on Thursday night to catch a flight to LA. As much as I hate the Pacific Northwest’s rain, I will have to say that sacrificing leaving work at 6PM, driving 20 minutes to the international airport, and being through security by 6:35PM will be hard to leave if I ever choose to.
– I got a free mixed drink because Southwest knows how to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
– Once at LAX, I waited nearly an hour for the dumb hotel shuttle to come pick me up. I’m really sorry, hotel front desk guy, that you had to hear me in full tired hysterics more than once.
– Why was I in California? Good question. I was there to attend Gallifrey One, the annual North American celebration of Doctor Who. In a nutshell, it was awesome.
– I also had the chance to meet up with one of my best friends in the world for his birthday, in which we took a limo around town. We stopped by his old stand-by sports bar, an urban taco restaurant, the Hollywood Bowl Overlook, and House of Blues on Sunset. I unfortunately took some Advil on an empty stomach and felt terrible for awhile, but I powered through. Also got to meet up with my former director and one of my colleagues for a mini-reunion!
– Sometime on Saturday, I started to catch a cold (I also powered through that on Saturday night, but even with all the Vitamin C, it managed to turn into a full-blown cold). I’m still sitting around in my jammies because it–combined with air travel–has knocked me out.

Let’s go back to Gallifrey One, though! I can talk about how awesome it was for just a second.

My friend and I attended the convention. There were right around 3,600 attendees this year, many of which were cosplaying (e.g., wearing Doctor Who-themed fancy dress). I only cosplayed on Saturday, and I have great ideas for upcoming costumes. The convention featured actors and supporting players from all realms of Doctor Who (classic series, new series, audio series, etc. and so forth) in panels. There were fan tables and autograph halls, live action DW improv, and just all sorts of nerdy goodness.

Highlights from the convention included random conversations. For example, there was meeting two of the directors, Saul Metzstein and Douglas MacKinnon, while waiting for table at the bar, and discussing how the life of a director has so many transferable lessons to the world of higher education administration. Then, we went on our merry ways and enjoyed some beers and hockey.

We also happened to literally run into Shaun Dingwall as we were waiting for the escalator. We had a quick exchange about cosplaying and how I “must be melting!” wearing a pleather jacket. Genuinely nice, funny guy.

Oh, and the Inspector Spacetime (a.k.a., Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time) crew were hilarious. There’s something wonderfully nerdy about meeting the minds behind a web series based on a 15-second clip of a TV show which is clearly a reference to Doctor Who and then got its own internet fame as fans latched on and ran with the alternate universe (phew).

The panels were, to borrow a phrase, fantastic. There was insight into what it’s like to be a part of Doctor Who, as well as some academically-minded panels on female companions and their depictions, as well as Shakespeare (a good number of actors in DW are also very experienced in the world of Shakespeare productions). Many of the panels were just full of good laughs, like when Nicholas Briggs and Nicholas Pegg (the voice of the Daleks and one of the Dalek operators, respectively) discussed what it’s like doing a run-through of Dalek scenes. Or when Dan Starkey (a.k.a., Strax) was asked if he makes it a pastime to hurl insults at people and if he remembered any of the Sontaran Christmas carols. Or whenever Ian McNeice got a hold of the microphone. It was lovely. And listening to British and Scottish accents all day isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a lady.

Throughout all types of transitions, one must remember to never lose that sense of wonder. As I stood atop the Overlook this past weekend, I felt grateful for the life I live. It may be a life in which The Doctor isn’t real and that little blue box is just a story, but it’s a life that can be just as fantastical and wonderful as long as I allow it to be.

Two Doctors and the TARDIS

Ten and Nine, respectively.

Allons-y!

The TARDISIt was bound to happen.

(What was, Ardith?)

My conversion into a full-blown Doctor Who nerd. That’s what was bound to happen. I had watched one or two episodes here and there, but out of sequence, the British sci-fi did not quite grab my attention fully.

Then there was New Year’s, and with a home-cooked Southern-style meal came several hours of Whovian goodness. After that came the reactivation of my Netflix account and lots of personal balance in the form of watching episodes of the revived Doctor Who series.

(Okay, but what does this have to do with anything about anything?)

I’m getting to that.

Here are a few thing I’ve come to realize after watching three full seasons (I had to set a fitness goal before embarking on Season 4 and beyond because… well, watching sci-fi is not very conducive to getting back in shape):

  • The Doctor > Prince Charming
  • I am more cut out to be a time traveler than a simple housewife
  • Imagining all that could be is wonderful, and taking care to pay attention to details in the present will affect how things progress

One of my friends and classmates observed awhile back that all his female friends seem to be infatuated with The Doctor. Now, of course, part of that can be attributed to the way the actors portray him, but a good portion of it comes from his complexity as a character. Mystery surrounds him; he is alien, of another world. Not only is he well-traveled, he has learned from his travels–a journey that has taken him hundreds of years and to the beginning and the end of the universe. He is adept at rescuing people in need, but not in the Prince Charming way. He is known to some as a bringer of destruction and death. And often, his “damsels in distress” have their own strength. Let’s just say that Bella Swan would not be cut out to make it in The Doctor’s world(s).

That brings me to my second point. The Doctor believes in his companions. He believes in the strength and talents they have. They trust him, too. He sends them off on impossible missions, and even when he tries to protect them, sometimes they find their own way back into action. I’m not saying that I need to have alien races attacking me from all angles to figure out that I am capable of so much. What I am saying, however, is that any partner I have will have to understand that I am stronger and smarter than I may actually think I am. I want to be with someone I trust, someone who I know will not just move mountains but bend galaxies and the very fabric of time to find me. And just maybe, we’ll be completely unconventional, jetting off from here to there on important business. Maybe no one else will ever understand us, and maybe that is just fine.

One of the premises of the Whoniverse is that time is not linear, and that it is more of a “big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey… stuff.” (Here’s where I tie it back to my professional life!) I have touched on this notion a few times, indicating that events that happened in junior year of high school directly influenced my choice of pathways in graduate school. Additionally, I realized after meeting Dr. West from the University of Sheffield that our Hall Council president from last year is now studying at the same university. I do not want to say that it’s a small world, but it definitely is a small world. These “inconsequential” meetings may very well influence how I tailor my career. Another example: I now have a contact in Australia, and currently, there is nothing stopping me from building my career in such a way that I could eventually partner with folks in another country or even work abroad in the future. All these intersecting timelines will take me on a fantastic journey that is unfolding before my eyes, even though the big picture remains hidden for now.

The way The Doctor challenges his companions to take charge and initiative is especially important in the work that I do. I will have to find a way to be a trustworthy professional to my students. The way I set up my office space, the way I greet people, and the way in which I provide them assistance will be one way to do this. I will also have to empower my students to believe in themselves, especially in difficult situations. I know one way to do this is to acknowledge our very human existence, understanding that we are imperfect but that we are perfectly capable. Yes, it may be a hurdle that a student’s necessary core classes are all full, but I will be the person that can help them find options they may not have seen before. I will be the person that connects them with others than can help, too.

Challenging? Sure. Impossible? Never.

Allons-y!

(Just… just imagine the TARDIS noise here, okay?)