Saturday, June 29, 2013


So the other day I was watching another great season four episode, "The Sword of Kahless" when I thought to myself, "Why, who's that handsom devil?" in reference to this guy:

Then it dawned on me. That's Kor. THE KOR. As in... this guy:

And I don't just mean it's the same character--though it is--it's the same actor. John Colicos played Kor, the first major Klingon in all of Star Trek, way back in in the very first season of TOS in 1967. He was being a total jerk in "Errand of Mercy" when he led a bunch of Klingons as they took over peaceful and (apparently) primitive Organia. He said things like, "I don't trust men who smile too much," and was subsequently defeated by this guy: 

Actually that's not entirely true. Kirk and Kor are just about to have at it when the Organians reveal their true power and Kor, disappointed, says their fight, "would have been glorious." I agree. 

Kor makes a return in TAS, wearing a nifty pinkish-purple uniform but is voiced by James Doohan (who basically voiced every single alien they encountered because he was amazing like that) and we don't catch wind of Kor again until years later (actually in the DS9 episode "Blood Oath" wherein I got too distracted by Dax's storyline to pick-up on who he was) when he's apparently had his turtle head surgically installed so no one can tell his grandpa had the augment virus (ie- the flat head, thanks to some crap Data's grandpa pulled in Enterprise) and he looks totally awesome when he recruits Worf for a legendary quest to find the sword of Kahless. 

Worf is like... crazy pleased:
"OMG it's Kor and he's TALKING to me. Just play it cool. I can't even...
Did he just ask me to accompany him on a quest?!!! Squee! We'll be BFF FOREVER!" 
He's basically in full-on fanboy mode and ends up hanging out with Kor all night long drinking and singing songs about how awesome Kor is. (BTW- The same thing recently happened to me) Worf, Dax, and Kor head out on their epic quest of epicness, fight some jerks, eat some cave critters, and Worf soon realizes why there's an old human saying about not meeting your heroes.

Even though Kor might not be everything Worf had hoped, he's still an amazing character and the fact that he faced down Kirk on more than one occasion and lived to sing songs about it is basically the best thing ever. It was thirty years between Colicos' appearances as Kor--six months in blog-time--and I'm SO glad he came back to Star Trek. This show spans generations so when an old friend shows up, after such a long time, I can't help but be happy to see him.

Friday, June 28, 2013

DS9: Little Green Men

Ever wonder what really happened at Roswell in 1947? Well, according to DS9 it was a whole lot of Ferengi hijinks--which, by the way, is pretty much my favorite kind of hijinks. Here's some of what makes Little Green Men great:

-Nog, being a Ferengi, is selling most of his childhood bits and bobs to raise capital for his journey into his new life as a Starfleet cadet. Everyone's chipping in, Rom's all choked up and even Worf is interested in a little trinket:
Yep. That's Nog's old tooth sharpener. Priceless.
-Jake and Nog have a moment and it's pretty much the best thing ever. It's a perfect balance of funny and sweet.

-I love Rom's continuing evolution throughout the series but season four is where he really takes off and finds his own way. In this one, he totally calls Quark on the dangerous cargo he's smuggled aboard and negotiates a hefty cut of the profits. Nice job, Rom!

-As the Ferengis make their way to Earth, everything goes wrong (surprise!) and they crash into what is basically a 1950's B movie. 
Wait... is that Ed Wood? 
-There's a joke about the "Bell Riots" which happened in a previous episode (one I planned to write about but haven't yet) 

-Quark, in an effort to prove that he's a hostile alien spy who's been watching Earth for ages, cites everything he knows about Earth culture: "Root beer. Baseball. Darts!" 

-When they crash, their universal translators go offline which means no one can understand each other. This leads to lots of screwball antics. 
Silly Hew-mons

-Smoking. Lots and lots of smoking. And jokes about smoking. And jokes about pollution. And jokes about the A-bomb. Basically lots of commentary on all the stupid crap humans tend to get up to. 

Basically Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe wrote the hell out of this episode. It's PACKED with really, truly great jokes and references to past episodes of Trek and human history. Additionally, it's perfectly acted and directed. Little Green Men is one of the very best funny episodes of Star Trek and harkens back to the humorous episodes of TOS like The Trouble With Tribbles. It's pretty much perfect. 

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

DS9: Rejoined

One of the odd quirks of the Trill is that because of their peculiar longevity they tend to go around with a lot of emotional baggage from past relationships dragging behind them. In "Rejoined" we get to meet Dax's kind-of-ex-wife, Kahn, who travels around in the gut of this pretty lady:

Her name is Lenara and she's actually a super scientist. 
There's a lot of talk in this episode about how there's a big taboo in Trill culture about not getting back together with your symbiont's old flame (consequences include being excommunicated from Trill and letting the symbiont die with its current host) but because Jadzia is the Riker of this series and thus pretty much constantly ready to give up her entire way of life for a slice of some romantic action, she's all in with Lenara.

This episode doesn't annoy me quite as much as that one where Jadzia falls for that dude from Brigadoon but it still doesn't reach me like I think it's supposed to. Jadzia's teary-eyed pleas don't even strike a chord with Sisko who's forced to lecture her about her own principles.

There was a big deal made when this episode aired that it contained a (what at the time was both super trendy and controversial) lesbian kiss. People wrote into the show to complain. People called, apparently scandalized by two ladies smooching. Apparently they were unaware of Star Trek's long history of social wave-making and its questioning of the status quo. This episode is much like "Plato's Stepchildren" in that it contains a controversial kiss and also that it's not at all about the kiss. "Rejoined" isn't about homosexuality but about Trill culture. No one aboard DS9 is shocked or otherwise wigged out by the fact that Jadzia is having a relationship with a woman. In that way, more than anything else, this episode is extremely, quietly progressive. If not for the kiss, this one probably would've just flown under the radar as a less memorable episode than the ones it sits close to in the season (The Visitor, Little Green Men, The Sword of Kahless) My favorite of part of this episode is actually Jadzia performing magic tricks and completely baffling Quark. Now that's some good stuff:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DS9: The Visitor

Ok so I should've watched "The Visitor" yesterday but after "The Way Of The Warrior" I just couldn't do it. It was TOO MUCH. My emotions couldn't handle it. And here's why...

As much as I love "The Inner Light" and I have very personal memories tied to it, I sort of think "The Visitor" is better. It's intense. Like "The Inner Light" this one involves an alternate timeline that follows an entire lifetime of a main character but this one just really rips my heart out. Every. Single. Time.

Basically, Jake and Benjamin are growing apart a bit. Jake's becoming an adult and he's absorbed in his own life but he goes along with his dad to view a rare wormhole inversion. Things quickly go awry. In an effort to save the day, Benjamin ends up disappearing in a puff of vapor right before Jake's eyes.

Jake goes along with his life and tries his best to recover after the death of his father. Then, one night, Benjamin appears to him. Jake assumes it's a dream. But then it happens again. It continues to happen throughout Jake's lifetime. Benjamin appears for seconds or minutes, never experiencing the passage of time while Jake spends many long years trying to help him return to regular spacetime and this quest becomes an obsession.

So much of what I love about this episode is what I already love about DS9--the Jake/Benjamin relationship. Where TNG didn't really know what to do with Wesley, DS9 rarely missed and opportunity with Jake. (What can you do though? Wesley was the first child or practice kid.) Not only is Jake a great character but his relationship with Benjamin is believable and sweet. Commander Sisko is an exceptional father who truly cares about his son and he often shows his affection. In "The Visitor" Benjamin's attitude toward Jake, his compassion, his pride in his son, his doting, his sweet fatherlyness (I made that word up) never changes--no matter how much Jake might. Even when Jake is an old man, the way Benjamin watches him sleep is beautiful. The love shown in this episode is that between a parent and child. It's an everlasting, raw, precious kind of love.  And it's beautifully portrayed here.  "The Visitor" is wonderfully written, performed, and directed. I think it's a perfect episode of DS9 and Star Trek in general. Go watch it! Get your own heart ripped out. And then come back here when you're done crying.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DS9: The Way Of The Warrior

Today I watched the Season Four opener, "The Way Of The Warrior." This one is actually a two-parter and both parts are just filled to the brim with ridiculously epic craziness:

#1- Sisko shaved his head:
Hell yes. 
Basically this means that, according to my own seemingly random "hotness criteria," Sisko just became like 300% more attractive. 

#2- Worf shows up. Finally!
For real though: Hell Yes. 
#3- Lots of intrigue
When we start out in season four, the Dominion has basically declared full-on war with our quadrant of space and the Cardassians have suspiciously closed their borders. There's a very "trust no one" vibe going around. 

#4- Tons of Klingons
General Martok and loads of other Klingons show up at DS9 ready to do some super-secret, super-serious war mongering. It's up to our favorite Klingon to figure out what's the what. He's none to happy about it but that's ok because while we wait for him to figure everything out there are plenty of rowdy Klingons hilariously wreaking havoc on Quark's. 

#5- The "I need a new suit" scene
Basically the DS9 crew needs to get some secret info to the Cardassians but can't tell anyone about it outright. It's a good thing they just happen to know a tailor who's extra good at spying. 

#6- Kira and Dax Playing Pretend
Kira has always HATED holosuites but Dax finally talks her into to messing around in fake Camelot. I spent several tense moments in this one wishing Worf would say, "I am NOT a merry man."

#7- Dax and Worf Chilling Out Together
Of course, when I say "chilling out" what I mean is hacking wildly at each other with bat'leths while Dax teases Worf about how she'll take it easy on him. This is good stuff. 

#8- Crazy Time! 
This two-parter contains what's probably the most epic hand-to-hand battle in all the Star Trek TV series. The Klingon/Starfleet/Bajoran/Cardassian skirmish which takes place aboard the freaking space station is AMAZING! I mean it's basically Helm's Deep in there. 

I cannot wait for the rest of Season Four. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

DS9: Facets

In high school a friend and I tried to do past life regression on ourselves. This is not even the most ridiculous part of the story. That would be the fact that we attempted to do this with the aid of a cassette tape! (Google if you are unfamiliar with this ancient technology.) It didn't work out. We lay on my second-hand waterbed in my unventilated basement bedroom, closed our eyes, and dreamed up the most ridiculous, lavish, absurd past lives (I'm talking pyramids in ancient Egypt) then sat up, drank cokes and shared our "experiences" between X-Files commercial breaks.

This brings me round to the DS9 bottle episode, "Facets" in which Jadzia undergoes a special Trill ritual whereby she gets to meet and talk to all of Dax's past hosts. Oh and they all inhabit the bodies of her friends. Kira is a sassy old lady. O'Brien is a fidgety mathematician. Quark is someone's mom and Leeta is a super-bendy gymnast. It's fun and all seeing the people we know get to mess around as different characters but eventually you start to wonder where the story is. Finally Sisko is possessed by Jadzia's Hannibal Lector-ish past self and you think, "Oh here we go." But no, that only lasts about five minutes. Finally we get to Odo as Curzon. That's where the actual story is. And, while the last scene between Jadzia and Odo is VERY charming and sweet, I left this plotline feeling very much I like did upon leaving my own phoney-baloney-past-life-regression experience: a mixture of mild amusement and disappointment.

My favorite thing about this episode is actually the Nog runner. He spends the whole episode trying to pass the Starfleet entrance exam while Quark attempts to thwart his efforts. For Rom especially, it's a brilliant story. Things are starting to turn in a new direction for my favorite Ferengis and I love it!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eyes On The Stars

A few days ago, my friend Lauren shared the following video with me. It's amazing. That's all I'm gonna say.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

DS9: Family Business

Ok so just in case you're wondering-- I went ahead with the dental work. I started the process of getting a thing that's caused me pain and grief for twenty years fixed. In about two weeks, I'll update you and tell you the whole story!

Actually, the day I had my work done, I came home and watched the Ferengi-heavy episode of DS9, "Family Business" in which we meet Moogie (Quark/Rom's mom) who's in a lot of trouble with the Ferengi Commerce Authority. Her offense? Earning profit while female. Crazy ass Ferengis.

Anyway, Moogie is fantastic and all the stuff that comes out about Quark's family dynamic and his late father is surprising, sweet, and satisfying. Additionally, Jeffrey Combs makes a return as Liquidator Brunt and he is especially smarmy:

Basically the Ferengi version of the world's most dogged IRS agent

This episode became especially pertinent when Moogie offered to sharpen Rom's teeth just like she used to do when he was a kid:

I watched Rom relish his dental treatment while my mouth was still sore and my gums were puffy and red. I felt hopeful about my own problems being put to rest. Then, I pretty much rolled over on the couch and fell asleep.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DS9: Visionary

Today I had to go to the dentist. It's possible that a problem that's been plaguing me for over twenty years might soon be remedied! That's exciting. Also pretty nerve-wracking. Thanks to years and years of serious dental problems and dental work, I'm a little cagey about sitting in the chair. Thinking about all this, I could barely even focus on the TV today and thus, only watched two episodes. Actually, I watched one episode twice because I realized I hadn't paid attention well enough the first time. Then I watched the next one. Anyway, today's post is actually about an episode I watched yesterday. I don't want to go on without writing about it.

In "Visionary," O'Brien finds himself jumping around in time, observing himself taking part in events which occur hours in the future--including his own death.
I love this one for the following reasons:
-Any time O'Brien is the star of the episode, I typically find myself immediately buying into it. I love this character, I'm so glad he was rescued from TNG and brought over to DS9.
-ROMULANS! Remember how I super love Romulans but I'm not sure why? That infatuation without explanation is carried on with this one.
-This is basically a mystery story--a whodunit where the dead guy solves his own murder from the past--kind of.
-There's a Klingon/Romulan/Ferengi/Human bar fight!
-The line, "There is no careful way to question a Klingon."

Basically this is an all-around great example of DS9 done well. It's not one of the stand-out, make you cry, add to the list of Top 10. It's just a great episode. You should check it out!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Catching Up

So today I finished Episode 63 (Visionary) of DS9. That's great because it means I'm right on schedule. The problem is that I feel like I've written too few posts about DS9. While I was traveling, I managed to watch quite a few episodes but didn't have much opportunity to write about them. Here's hoping I can remedy that in coming posts. Also, I haven't been doing Weekend Roundup lately. Do you miss those posts? Would you like me to bring them back?

Anyway, here are my thoughts about a few recent episodes:

Episode 51: Second Skin
-In this one, Kira is kidnapped by Cardassians and surgically altered to look like one of them. She's told that she was never a Bajoran but the daughter of a high ranking Cardassian official and an operative in the Obsidian Order tasked with infiltrating the Bajoran underground.
-I love this one. Kira has some really great stuff here, including actually bonding with her "father." She is faced with the possibility that she might actually be the thing she's always most hated. It's interesting from top to bottom.
-Garak's involvement at the end of the story is great.
-Kira may hate Spoonheads but she certainly looks lovely in their skin:
For real though, let's keep her this way for a few episodes. 

Episode 52: The Abandoned
-Quark accidentally buys a baby. Woops! 
-Actually, that baby is a freaking Jem'Hadar and its growth-rate is turned up to 11. 
-Its inborn hatred of all things human is also turned up to 11. Quark bought a jerk. 
-Odo, also a foundling from a dark part of space, takes the Jem'Hadar under his gooey wing and because it's Star Trek we all assume everything'll be coming up roses within 45 minutes. Then you remember, this may be Star Trek, but it's also Deep Space Nine. 
"You know if we were on the Enterprise, we could be BFF at the end of all this."

Episode 53: Civil Defense
-This is one of my very favorite episode of DS9. It's nonstop fun. 
-Thanks to some O'Brien/Jake shenanigans, the entire station goes into a ridiculous Cardassian lockdown protocol and various members of the crew are trapped all around the station--basically a kickass bottle episode. 
-There's a literal ticking clock with stakes that continually rise to things like, you know, self destruction.
-Oh, and Gul Dukat shows up and totally flirts with Kira. It's a beautiful thing. 
-Also, this sequence is awesome: 
Allow me to drink this tea while my counter-insurgency program shoots death lasers at you.  

Huh. I actually had no intention of writing about three sequential episodes. These are the first three I thought of. We'll see what comes next! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

So while I was away (meeting people who don't live in my house) I ended up fielding a lot of questions about this blog. It occurred to me that I ought to create a page for the most common questions I'm asked.

1- When you say you're watching all of Star Trek, how much Star Trek do you mean?
-When I say "all," I mean ALL. Every episode of every Star Trek series and every film.

2- How many episodes is that?
-There are 726 episodes of Star Trek across 30 seasons of varying series and 12 films.

3- What about the cartoon?
-Yep. I watched all of the Animated Series in January/February.

4- How many do you have to watch a day?
-About three. Sometimes I get behind and then have to catch up.

5- Do you actually watch them all or are they just on?
-For the most part I actually watch them and take notes. I've seen most of these many, many, many times so occasionally I'll work on an illustration project or something while I'm watching but I never leave the room while it's on. If it's a rare episode that I have never seen (this happened once in TOS) or one that I haven't seen in a very long time, I watch it closely--sometimes more than once.

6- What's with all the art?
-I'm a writer and artist so sometimes I feel more inspired to make art about an episode or element of the show. The Young Naturalist series is an example of this.

7- So you did a contest where you illustrated your readers as their preferred Star Trek species? Are you going to do that again?
-I'm not sure if I'll be doing the exact same thing again but I will have another art-focused contest.

8- How long have you been a Star Trek fan?
-Basically since before I was born. My parents were both Trekkies and I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't watch it.

9- I'd like to do a guest post. Is that ok?
-If you're interested in doing a guest post or some guest art, let me know. While I haven't done many of those before, it's certainly something I'm open to.

Do you have a question that I haven't answered? Leave it in the comments! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Week With Frakes

When I was a little kid, just learning to read, I used to sound out the names of the actors in Star Trek: The Next Generation as the opening credits rolled. This was before the internet and my parents weren't about to spend money on things like TV Guide so I put in a lot of time trying to suss out who played who. Eventually I got it all together and I went on with my life with the actors' names as familiar to me as the characters'.

But here's the thing, even though I've spent a lifetime enjoying the rather one-sided company of my TV friends, I never had much interest in meeting the actors behind them. I didn't really want to go to conventions and have them sign things or stand in a line only to tell them the same thing a million other fans had inevitably said. I've always understood that the actor isn't the character and no one should expect them to be. I knew that if I was ever going to meet any of the Trek actors, (the people who'd worked on something that was so astoundingly important in my life) I'd want it to be a more authentic introduction. Not with me as an anonymous fan and them as a star. I'd want to meet and actually talk to the actors as humans. As I do with my closest friends, I'd want to just hang out, get to know them better, have a drink and be appreciative of the fact that they exist.

I never thought this would actually happen and I was 100% ok with that. But then, in spite of the odds, it did happen.

My husband is a TV writer and, through some kind of ridiculous first, best destiny bit of fortune, Jonathan Frakes is directing Scott's latest episode. Last Friday I was on planes/in airports for twelve hours, going from North Carolina to Vancouver, and when I got to my husband's hotel room, I wanted nothing more than to settle in, watch some DS9 and fall asleep while I waited for Scott to get back from shooting. And that's exactly what I did--for about twenty minutes. That's when Scott came in and said, "Hey you wanna get a drink with Jonathan?" I rubbed my eyes, yawned, and replied, "Uh...wait, what? Yeah. Ok."

Frakes’ first words to me: “Hey, nice NASA shirt!”

What do you say to that? “Hey, way to be a guy whose name I learned to read off the TV screen!” I was pretty loopy on Dramamine but I’m pretty sure I just said, “Thanks, man!” And we settled into our chairs and talked for a while.

As it turns out, Frakes is a great guy. Aside from being an efficient, smart director, who really seems to care about making a great show, he's also hilarious, sharp as hell, and sweet. I spent a week in Vancouver and a lot of that time around the set. I ended up seeing him quite a lot. We traded stories about life, growing up in different parts of the country, sports, movies--you know, basic human stuff. It was pretty cool.

I spent February through May hanging out with Riker but I spent the last week hanging out with Frakes. Occasionally it was a little surreal but mostly I was just glad to have gotten to know such an awesome human being. Sitting next to Jonathan yesterday, as he told Scott and me a story between takes, I thought, "Man, I sure am glad you exist."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DS9: Meridian

In the third season episode, "Meridian" Jadzia Dax falls in love with... well, actually it doesn't matter. The whole point is that she falls in love with some schmuck and is willing to give her whole way of life up for him. Basically, until Dax and Worf get together, she is DS9's Riker. She's bold, boisterous, up for anything and about once a season she gets all googly-eyed and mushy over some romance that's doomed to fail from the outset.

In "Meridian" she loses her biz over this guy:
"It's not the heat, it's the humanity."
His planet is in a constant state of flux. Every sixty years it disappears and becomes completely incorporeal. Each time the planet returns, it's there for an even shorter span. Dax and this chucklehead work on a way to fix it and eventually come up with a solution. But it won't be sorted before the planet goes into flux again. That means that to stay together these lovebirds will have to make a choice. One will have to leave behind their culture, their people, their whole life, to be with the other and there's no going back for sixty years. Of course Dax decides to stay with him but we all know it can't work out.

I think the problem with these one-episode romances is that we all know what's going to happen. We knew it on TOS and we knew it on Next Gen. Like Kirk and Riker, Dax is sincere in her outpouring of affection but the show is so episodic that no matter how deeply our regular crew member loves their day player, they usually seem like chumps. A few times it works. But then (City on the Edge of Forever, The Outcast) the story is more about the character than the romance. I care about Edith Keeler's crusade. I care about Soren's plight. I love Dax. Unfortunately, I just can't get into Dax's Brigadoon-esque boyfriend of the day.

The high point of this episode for me has always been Jeffrey Combs' first appearance in a Trek series. This dude went on to creep out members of Starfleet in various characters for several years but it all started here, with Combs' playing a pompous ginger sporting a super pervy crush on Kira:
Kira-"Money isn't everything."
Tiron- "No, but it can BUY everything."
The Quark, Kira, Tiron stuff in this one is awesome so even if you can't get into Dax's love story, "Meridian" is still totally worth watching.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Young Naturalist #6

In the last ten days I've been in Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Vancouver or, to put it in terms more familiar to me: Star Trek, American Gothic, and The X-Files. It was sunny, warm, and dry in LA when I left and storming when I got to my mom's house. Vancouver is misty, cool, and beautiful. We even got to take a walk through Vancouver's huge Stanley Park:

But the traveling seems to have caught up with me today. Not only do I have a mountain of work to catch up on, but I have a weird sore throat and a runny nose. All I really want to do right this moment is sit at the hotel desk, watch Star Trek, and eat soup. So that's what I'm doing.

While watching Season 3 of DS9, I FINALLY managed to got finished with another Young Naturalist post. This one features the Corvan Gilvo--a lizard species which, like phasmatodea, possess a naturally occurring camouflage which makes them indistinguishable from trees and foliage. The Corvan Gilvo can be first seen in the TNG episode, "New Ground." Remember? When Alexander gets himself stuck in the biolab and Worf saves him and then Riker saves the lizard because it's super endangered? Quark can also be seen stroking one in "The Nagus" because the best way to show your new status/wealth is to let everyone know about your new, super endangered pet.  Anyway, here's my vintage naturalist rendition of the Corvan Gilvo:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Away Mission: Part 2

I get pretty bad motion sickness. Yes, I've actually used those little white paper bags they keep in the seat pockets. To remedy this problem, I take dramamine but it makes me super drowsy/loopy. On the way to North Carolina from Los Angeles, on a 1AM flight, I was pretty out of it. Falling in and out of sleep, I saw something playing on the overhead screens. I saw Star Trek uniforms and the Vasquez Rocks but everything was a little weird. Finally I realized--it was The Big Bang Theory's Star Trek episode:
I made it to North Carolina, spent time with my family, and told them about the experience. It seemed really awesome that I'd seen almost Star Trek on my flight. Then, a few days later, it was time to go. I hugged and kissed my family goodbye. The second part of my away mission--joining my husband in Vancouver where he was spending the week working--was about to begin. But it would mean two flights and about twelve hours of travel and I was already exhausted by the time I got to my second flight. Then the TV came on and this is what I saw:
Yep. Not only was Star Trek: The Next Generation playing on my teensy airplane TV, but it was my favorite episode. It's a pretty great start to the second half of my away mission. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Into Darkness: A Family Affair

Check out my new tattoo:

Just kidding--it'll wash off. Today I took my mom, sister and little brother to see Star Trek: Into Darkness and it was great! Not only were we the only people there (Thursday at noon in a small town) but the chain had a ton of giveaway stuff. We each got a poster, trading cards and temporary tattoos.

My family loved the movie. My sister was way into the baddie and my mom even started crying at some Spock stuff. The movie was just as amazing the second time around. I caught some stuff I didn't get the first time--like where they get the ship that they take to Qo'noS. It was a truly great experience. Of course here's the real reason I was so thrilled about it:

My brother loved it and when we got home he asked if we could watch an episode of TOS. So if you need me, that's where I'll be--watching a TV show from 1966 with my mom who watched the original run as a little girl, my eighteen-year-old sister, and my nine-year-old brother.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Watching DS9 With My Sister

I'm still in the middle of my away mission. Does it still count as an away mission when it's a trip to your home planet? My legs are covered in mosquito bites and we had ham, collard greens, sweet potatoes and biscuits for dinner last night--all signs I've returned to the mountain South. Actually, it's pretty nice.

Last night I even introduced my sister to DS9. Not with the pilot or anything--I don't have time for that; I have a schedule to keep. Anyway "Tribunal" was next up in my queue so that's what we watched.

Some key quotes from the viewing:
Ayla- Who's that?
Me- Chief Obrien. He's the chief engineer.
Ayla-Cool. He reminds me of Mrs. Patmore...who are those ladies?
Me-(long explanation of Kira and Dax)
Ayla- Ok. So they're engineers too.
Me- Ummm...
Ayla-That's cool. I like that.

After a while she settled down. I couldn't tell if she was into it or just falling asleep but this morning she came in and asked me of we could watch another one. So I think that's a pretty good sign.

Anyway, my away mission continues. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Away Mission: Part 1

Like Picard and the rest of the Star Trek captains/commanders, I have a hard time taking a vacation.  I don't like leaving home. I don't like being around people. I don't like the process of traveling. If I could just beam somewhere then maybe--maybe--I'd be better about it. But not if it involves being away from my husband. In these cases, I resist. I book as late as I possibly can. I sit around hoping things will get cancelled. Then, reluctantly, I resign myself to my fate and just decide to accept the away mission.

Since Scott and I started dating we've been virtually inseparable. We're lucky enough that we have almost everything in common and we've spent months at a time together, seeing each other pretty much 24-7 without ever growing tired of one another. We're two introverts who just happened to find each other and were smart enough to never let go. That's great.

It's not so great, though, when we have to be apart. Scott's working out of town this week so I thought I'd take the opportunity to visit some family and get back to the mountains for a few days. It's not a long trip but it sucks to be apart. I booked my flight so I could go to the airport and gate with him--even though I would have to wait over three hours before my own flight in another terminal after he left .I blew him a kiss. I watched him board the plane and then I even watched it take off. It was the kind of thing that just never happens anymore.

Walking to my own gate, I pretended I was in an old movie and the muzak piping in was some legit Henry Mancini and everything was in black and white. Then I saw this:

Yes, even pictures of this movie's poster have lens flairs.
And I felt a little better. I know I'll see Scott again in a few days. Till then, I'm just going to try and enjoy my away mission. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013


My little sister is a special kid. She's super smart and she just graduated from her high school with honors and basically a huge sack of money for college. She's interested in journalism and humanitarian work. I always figured she would end up working for a non-profit somewhere or making a career out of writing news stories about far away places and people. I guess I'd had it all figured out. We both come from an artistic family, I figured she'd follow a path not unlike the one I'd chosen.

In a lot of ways, she's been reminding me of Jake Sisko lately. And I've realized that I'm more like Benjamin than I want to realize. Ben had similar expectations about his son. He subtly pushes Jake toward the sciences while Jake's off secretly writing poetry. Ben sets Jake up with a mentorship with Obrien so he can have an early start on the Starfleet entrance exams. Then, all the sudden, Jake says he's actually not going into Starfleet. He's going to be a writer. Benjamin's reaction is pretty much, "Ummm. No."

So when my sister let me know that she had been offered two options: a full scholarship to a prestigious liberal arts college or a full scholarship through the Navy's ROTC program and that she was leaning toward the latter, I pretty much had the exact same reaction as Jake's dad, "Ummm. No."

To be clear, I have absolutely nothing against the military or our service members. I do, however, think that committing oneself to years of military service takes a certain personality which I didn't (and still don't) believe my sister has. I think the military can be an amazing way to put oneself on a specific career trajectory but I couldn't see the link between my sister's ambition and that of the Navy. I spent weeks trying to understand her motivation. I worried. I cried. I worried some more. I saw a Navy ROTC girl working out at the local college gym and cried again. I pictured my sister on the other side of the world, unable to come home when she needed to. I pictured her dead.

Of course I realize that she could die commuting to college, she could get stuck on a study abroad semester and be unable to come home, she could hate every minute of a private liberal arts education. The point is, I'd spent years preparing for those worst case scenarios but I never spent time considering that she might go into the Navy. Suddenly I was bombarded by new and terrible scenarios, by things I remembered from my childhood, by things that made me sad and angry and scared. In the end, though, I had to let her go. I had to let her make her own choices. Like Jake, she's got to figure out her own path and all I can do, like Benjamin, is try to be there for her.

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