Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday Rendezvous With Doctor Who

The Doctor Who page on Tumblr asked for people to post about their introduction to Doctor Who, so i posted the following:

I was about 8 when I started watching Doctor Who, which I hate to say happened in the late 70's. Where I grew up in America, it aired on Saturday nights at ten p.m. on PBS.  We didn't get the individual episodes, but an edited 90 minute (give or take) movie that those episodes comprised. I had to work hard to convince my mom to let me stay up, since we had church the next morning. At that church was the family who introduced me to The Doctor. We are still in contact after all these years, and marvel at the surreal journey we have taken with this uniquely tenacious show. 

You have to have imagination to appreciate Doctor Who, but in classic form it takes on a whole different meaning than today. With typically no budget to work with, the sets and effects of the classic series turn away the viewers who can't get past it. But I had enough imagination to see past any of that and focus on the story, the characters, and the mythology, a mythology that has only deepened with time. For many years Saturday night was THE night. It was the night I was able to escape with The Doctor and his companions to the far reaches of time and the universe. 

Technically, the first episode I saw was "Underworld", with Tom Baker as The Doctor. I understood nothing, but was fascinated by these people and their situation. It wasn't until the last of the fourth Doctor's adventures, Logoplis, that I began regularly watching. When The Doctor regenerated at the end of the episode, I learned early on the frustration many feel when one actor leaves and another takes on the role, but I also learned how thrilling it is to begin anew, yet continue on from the same point in the story. Our local PBS station did not air any episodes previous to Tom Baker, but I saw the other Doctors at viewings at monthly fan club meetings I attended with the friends I mentioned. 

And so for a number of years it went with fan club meetings and cons, which in the early 80's were intimate affairs. The panel with Jon Pertwee at my first con only had about 150 people in the room. I met companions and Doctors and bought merchandise like the TARDIS key, sonic screwdriver, novels and magazine back issues. I even begged my mother to crochet me a scarf, fashioned more on the one Tom Baker wore in his last series. A scarf i still have today.

After the show went off the air and I lost my video tapes, I almost forgot about Doctor Who. Every once in a while I would encounter someone with a tape of episodes and I would insist on watching. I never, at the time, had an opportunity to see the tv movie, but was leery of it anyway.

Then I heard it was coming back. I was dumbstruck and I was elated. A very familiar and welcome part of my childhood was returning, but would it pick up on what was already done or be a complete reboot? Thankfully it continued on from the original, more than less. I couldn't be more pleased with the direction it's taken. My favorite part about it's return has been in introducing new people to The Doctor. It's a given they will like it, because like The Doctor I choose my friends well, but the excitement I get from watching them discovering the show is a rush.

Typically I have a hard time with favorites. I don't even have a favorite color. I prefer to find favorite things about each Doctor or episode or writer. But I will say that I am most endeared towards Steven Moffat's way of doing things and hope he is in control for many years to come. And when it comes to Doctors, I prefer to pick a favorite from both new and old. Matt Smith is my pick for the new era of Who. He sucked me in early on and along with the excellent dialog he is given it's a hands down choice for me. For the classic series there is also no hard decision to make. Tom Baker, my first Doctor. His ability to be both man and alien at the same time is seconded only by Matt.

I have gone back and watched the Paul Mcgann movie, ordered merchandise I had lost long ago, ordered new merchandise and listened to the licensed audioplays. I wore out those video tapes I had, and not much has changed except for now they're in dvd and bluray formats. I still get the greatest pleasure from watching episodes multiple times, with my 30+ years of memories flooding back each and every time. Doctor Who is back with a vengeance, though it feels like it was never gone, and I think that's fantastic.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lap Dance To Go

This and more personal posts can now be found above on the "My Blog" page or here...

While I'm working on a posting about guilty pleasures, like soap operas (mine) and WWE wrestling (not mine), I thought I'd share with you what our neighbor has been up to. In order to get a good mental picture without using the thousand words, I've included a horrible drawing I did that you can reference.

Our apartments are pretty standard buildings from the 90's and 00's, with 3 floors and two breezeways. The buildings are the things in the drawing that look like brown envelopes. The green is obviously landscaping, and the white areas are the sidewalks. You can see where they enter the building at each breezeway. The gray is the asphalt parking and driving area.

At the entrance of our breezeway you also find the gated entrance to the patio by the pool. There's a red 'X' there which I will get back to later. In the lower left corner you can see where the gated entrance to the community lies, in front of the purple 'X'.

Now that I've laid that foundation I can tell you about our neighbor. We have a diverse little group of neighbors, but oddly have about 4 or 5 Mexicans in wheelchairs. Not that I find anything wrong with that, it just strikes me as odd that they all ended up living near each other. But they're all friendly with each other, so that could have been the plan. I can't stress enough how much that doesn't matter. But it is essential to the story so I have to describe it, but I would be telling this no matter who did it.

So there are different degrees of handicap with our neighbors. The neighbor I am talking about seems to be the most severe, or possibly he has suffered the longest. He's young, like 19-22 young. His arms are thin, but strong, and his hands have drawn up some. I think his chair is motorized. None of them have shown any propensity towards knowing english. Their home health workers that come quite often are latina. And I gave up long ago on nodding and smiling, since even eye contact is avoided. Que sera sera, I say. Live and let live. For the most part.

We live in that first breezeway above the red 'X'. There is a coke machine by the pool on the other side of the patio. One day we decided we would get some cans of coke so we didn't have to walk to the convenience store. When we came down our stairs, our neighbor was sitting in his chair at that red 'X', blocking the entrance to the patio. He was not sitting there alone, though, for there was a young latina with him, but in casual clothes, so not one of his home health workers. And they were making out. I mean they were fucking going to town on each other. Hands wandering and hair whipping and honestly I can't remember if at this point she got on his lap yet or not. but WTF, why would you sit right there blocking the way? Were you suddenly overcome and couldn't control yourselves. I don't think so, because of where we next saw them.

We went the other way out the gate and went to the convenience store anyway. I really don't think anything less than a garden hose would've parted them. At some point they did move, though. You see that purple 'X'? This is on the road, off the grass or sidewalk, right by a parking spot, about 30 feet from the gate. When we came back from the store and first caught a glimpse through the gate I couldn't believe it. Sitting there, FACING the gate was his wheelchair. She was on his lap, with her back turned to him, writhing, and her head was turned kissing him furiously as he groped the front of her body. It was like two kids home from the club just as their ecstasy was kicking in.

My boyfriend says she was a hooker, and while she surely looked like she could have been a hooker, I'm not going to jump to that conclusion because it just doesn't matter. I will say that it was a tad bit creepy. Kind of like they were doing it for us, even though I know it was just coincidence. But I don't think that would be so far-fetched. They were obviously doing it as a display, which is sad. If being smack-dab in the middle of the entrance to the patio didn't tell me then "parking" in the middle of the road did. It was a trashy low-class display that I'm glad he isn't in the habit of doing. I don't care who you are, if you want the neighborhood to know you're seconds away from intercourse, "accidentally" leave your blinds open, don't shove it all up in everyone's business.