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Doctor Who

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I've recently begun watching Doctor Who. I am not sure why I have been so reluctant about this for so long. Well, actually I do know why. I remember seeing parts of episodes of the show when I was a kid, and I remember being terribly frightened for one reason or another. That fright was switched to derision as I got older, because though I remembered the fear, I also remembered the infantile special effects and that silly robotic dog. So, I rejected the idea of the show. Until now.

And now, I find myself still rejecting. Not the show, which I love, but the changes that the show tries to make me accept. I love Eccleston as The Doctor. When he regenerates, I rejected Tennant as the new Doctor. But then, I grew to love him, too. And then the show had to go and break my heart by ripping The Doctor and Rose apart.



When I say it broke my heart, I may be slightly exaggerating, but I did have a strong visceral reaction to the final episode of season 2. There was shouting and tears involved. What can you do. I realized I should just get on with it, so I immediately started with episode 1 of season 3. But, my emotions said, "Not so fast, chickaby" because when Catherine Tate's character grabs Rose's shirt (or jacket?) and The Doctor's face shows such loss and grief, I clicked off my Netflix. Too much.

But, now I'm sitting here wondering at my reaction. Is the show just that good? Or do I relate to it on a different level? I tend to think that I handle change quite well, but I have not been open to change in this show, at least not immediately.

When Rose leaves the show, I feel crestfallen for The Doctor. He lives a life in which he can't really become attached to anyone, because they will always part from him. His is a lonely existence. The reason I bring this up is because it has been so difficult for me to make friends in my "new" place. (After living somewhere for two years, can I still consider it new?) I'm not quite lonely. My daughter is excellent company, and I've become friendly with a few people, though I don't really consider any of them "real" friends, the type that I could call to chat or make plans with without much effort. This does cause me to worry that I will become lonely if I stay where I'm living for much longer. I wonder if The Doctor's situation brings up these fears that I don't really address too often, because I can't move until I find a job, so I figure, why dwell on something that is a concern, in my opinion, only if I remain where I am living. It is a small, isolating place. With a population of about 5000, people who live there know each other their entire lives and do not tend to make new friends, so that leaves me on the outside, something that I am currently okay with because I view it as a temporary situation. I do occasionally think, though, about the (hopefully slight) possibility that I may not find a job elsewhere and will be stuck in this situation, which would indeed be lonely. Maybe this is why I focus so much on The Doctor's situation and feel for him in his isolation.

As for love, the love between The Doctor and Rose is never fully explained nor is it made obvious, but it's there, and it's something that I love about the show. You see an evolution in the characters due to their relationship. One gains heart (I would say humanity, but that would only be in one definition of the word --compassion-- and not the other, because so many of the humans on the show are so not worthy of that definition.) and the other gains a real reason for living, and they both learn how to live with joy. It is gut-wrenching when The Doctor misses out on his chance to tell Rose that he loves her. That said, I'm not entirely certain that I entirely believe in love, though I did many years ago, and watching Doctor Who has made me question if I miss believing in it...

Another year older...

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You know how they say another year older, another year wiser? Yeah, well, let's think for a moment about what I have learned (or not learned) this year. You know, to show how much wiser I now am, having turned 37 and all.

1) Okay, I've learned that going to a theme park the next state over is much, much cheaper than going to one that is a 12 hour drive away. Then again, for some, there's no replacement for mice, is there?

Goin' Country vs The Mouse

2) I've learned that new friends are extremely difficult to make in small towns, but as always, I hold my old friends dear.

3) Regardless of years of teasing me about my favorite band, my sister and niece are great concertmates:

4) My five boyfriends smell great after putting on a show: me and Joe

5) The ocean may be a large, unknown place, but sometimes you've just got to get in, regardless of what it does to your hair: DSC00432

No, I'm not all that wiser, but I am enjoying the ride...

the ghost of a memory

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Lately I've been thinking about memories and the past.  Specifically, I've been thinking how memories can be, though are not always, like photos.  Only bits of pieces of a person or event can be the focus, and the reality is not necessarily any part of the memory. Or, reality could be entirely what the memory is made up of, but it captures only a fraction of time and space, and therefore does not make up the entirety of reality, if that makes sense. 

I have an old friend... a friend who used to be much more than that. We were married for every so briefly, something that I know nearly all of you who know me and who read this will likely be surprised to hear. We were young. I was just out of college, and he was just about to start his final year of college, or as he would call it, uni. It was a short-lived marriage. I moved to the UK for just two months or so, and then returned to the States to start my graduate program. We decided sometime during that first year of the program that we'd made a mistake. No big argument, mostly a heartbreaking understanding. It is the one break up that left me gutted and empty.

Anyway, that was over a decade ago, and he and I have managed to become friends again. It took years before we could talk (or, in this case given our geographical locations, e-mail). One e-mail a year for many years became a couple of e-mails, and over many years, this was increased to a few e-mails a year, and now, is a weekly if not daily exchange. Though very gradual, we've managed to build back, not what had, that's for sure, but a friendship that is reassuring. I think it's helped both of us realize that neither one of us was rejected. It was just the wrong time, we were young, first loves, and we rushed things and pushed them further than we should have.

That said, at times, I have to remind myself to remember that he is a different person than the one I knew, the one I loved. But, I love my friends, those I hold near and dear to my heart. Because of this, yes, I love him, but in a different way, but sometimes my mind plays tricks on me and I start confusing this new love with the old. It doesn't help, though, that when I first discovered that I was pregnant, one of my best friends went to my apartment to help me think things through. I told her that if I had a baby, I wouldn't date. I did make an exception, though. I said that if I were to date anyone, it'd be him, the ex of all exes. This was when our e-mail exchanges were every few months or so, so nothing like now. Still, he obviously never fell off the charts of my mind, and at that point at least, I equated him with that old love, the love I've never really let anyone have with me since. Not to that extent, anyway.

So, I treasure our friendship. It's been extremely healing to me. But, I hope I don't let that ghost of the memory of him get in the way of who he is now and what we've built after all of these years. And, I hope the same goes for him, because at times I notice that he needs to realize we're not the old us either. It's a new us. Although we'd always been friends, we'd never been just that. It's new territory, like making a new friend but having ideas about that person already, and sometimes being surprised by what you learn and telling yourself to not be disappointed with those things, because it is, in a sense, a new person, a new friend you are making, rather than meeting up with an old memory, a ghost of a person that likely was not really that person anyway...

It's been awhile...

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Hello, LJ. Sorry if it seems I have shunned you the past few months. I've just been busy, that's all.

Anyway, my parents left after a 6-week long visit. It was nice having them here. Wintress definitely enjoyed it. One day, she asked, "Do I live with my Grandma and Papa now?" :) They were here for her third birthday. She wanted, and was granted, a My Little Pony party. She had lots of fun, and today she asked me, "For my next number four birthday, will I have a pinata again?" I told her she could if she wanted to and she said that she did. I'm glad she had fun. I had fun. There were a few kids, but not so many to make it overwhelming.

I received the nicest e-mail today, one that I will read again because it makes me feel good about myself and glad that I've kept friendships and memories alive. This will be my incentive to keep in better touch with my friends, or, if that fails, to let them know what they mean to me. If you're reading this, it is likely that we are friends IRL, so please know that you are important to me and I cherish all my friendships even if I do not call or e-mail as often as I should...

Snow days

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The hurricane that has caused such havoc on the east coast pushed in a cold front to my area. Fortunately, we live in a valley, which means that the surrounding areas get the brunt of most exteme weather. My students have told me that on Monday they got about a foot of snow in their town, which is just ten minutes away. On Monday, we had a very light sprinkle of rain. On Tuesday morning, I awoke to a text alert that campus was closed; it was a snow day. I looked out my window and saw a light dusting of snow, but not enough to even hide the grass. I realize how lucky we are. I saw videos of the northeast. That was quite the damage. A friend of mine moved to Boston this summer and since then, has already experienced an earthquake and the hurricane. Yikes!

Because it was only cold outside, Wintress and I went trick-or-treating last night. Oh my goodness! She was like the Energizer bunny. There was no stopping her. She wanted more and more candy, regardless of how heavy her pumpkin bucket got. There were loads of people out. I apparently live in a popular area for trick-or-treating. My neighbor had told me that they get about 400 kids each year. That's a lot of candy! Granted, we were out for the night, so we didn't give out candy. My neighbor said that she tells her husband every year that they do not need to buy chocolate because it is too expensive. He agrees with her... and then returns from the store with about $75 worth of chocolate candy. Theirs was the first house we stopped by. Guess what they had? Yep! Chocolate. :)

Wintress if fairly reluctant when it comes to talking to new people. However, if you mention that she will get candy if she knocks on people's doors? Nothing can stop her from doing so. A few houses did not have their lights on, so I would tell her that I didn't think they were giving candy. By the end of the night, each house we arrived at, she would ask, "Do they have candy? Should we check?" She even asked that at the final house. Instead of saying "Trick or treat!" she asked the woman who answered the door, "Do you have any candy?" Well, fair enough, as that is what the whole "Trick or treat" thing means at its core anyway, right? But, yes, I did ask her to say "Trick or treat," which she did do and yes, got her candy.

Joining the masses

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It seems that the majority of my friends have recently gone on health kicks, or to be more precise, have decided to become more healthy through small yet significant steps. I'm always doing short resolutions of sorts. Take last month, for example. I decided I'd go for walks nearly everyday and do 30 push-ups and 50-100 crunches everyday. (Well, my initial intention was 100 per day, but when I realized that wasn't going to happen, I switched it to that final number.) I don't stress or feel bad about myself when I don't stick to my intended goal; I just continue until the time I've allotted for myself.

This month, though, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try real workouts for a month. For 30 days, I'll be doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I just finished my Day 1, and let me tell you: The woman kicked my butt! This should be a sign to me. I finished her Level ONE out of three, and I was beat. I must be totally out of shape of level one nearly finished me. It was the first few minutes that did me in. My arms have always been weak, and push-ups are my nemesis. Yes, they were included in last month's self-challenge, I broke that 30 up into three sets of ten that I did at three different times of the day. Manageable... though I did do them the knees-on-the-floor-cheating sort of way.

JM's workout started with lots of push-ups, and I was tired out for the rest of the workout by that alone. I kept to it, though, and by the end, I felt good and like I could go on, minus all the strength training. (Arms, weak, remember?)

Anyway, I might keep updating here to keep track of how the 30 days is going. I'm traveling on Friday and Monday, so I'm not sure I'll be able to do the video on those days, so the 30 days will be extended a bit.

We'll see how this goes...

SW Virginia

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I moved to southwest Virginia in January. I really like it so far. I've moved to a small town, and I am renting a house in a really nice area, just down the street from the main park in town, which is perfect for my daugher.

What's surprised me, though, is how different some views are here. They're different from anything I've ever really been around. I think it's largely due to the influence of being in the Bible belt.

To be more specific, I've found that people are much more politically conservative than people that I've generally been around in the past. For some, this is taken to the extreme.

I have told my students that I am going to start an LGBTA club on campus. That is a particular group of students who do not have much support, not just on campus, but in the community in general. I explained that the 'A' on that means that one does not need to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to be a member of the club. They can be an Ally, one who can support and be friendly to all of those in the club. I told my students to please contact me if they're interested in joining, and if any of their friends are interested, to please pass on my contact info to them. While most of my students did not really respond to this, I was surprised by those who did.

One student stated, "I mean no disrespect here, but this is southwest Virginia. You're not going to get much support for a club like that here." I replied that this might be exactly why we need this club. Those students don't get much support here. In another section, I told the students, and one student seemed to think it was a good idea, but no one really said much about it, except for one student who wanted to share a negative transgender story he had. At the end of that class, a few students stayed behind to talk about various things, as usual ("Can I know my grade for...") and when it was down to two students, one told the other, and older man, to go ahead, but the older man declined and waited until the other student had finished and left. After he made sure it was just the two of us in the classroom, he asked if I'd received much support for the club so far. I said that I hadn't, and he said that he thought it was a great idea and that it was much needed. He then told me that his son is gay and that his son was often bullied. After leaving, though, I was a bit sad that in order to tell me this, he made sure no on else was around. Perhaps telling this while the rest of the class was there would have shown his classmates why this club is necessary.

As a final paper, I had my students write a 1-2 page reflection paper, primarily meant for them to reflect on their writing throughout the semester. One student, the one who had said I wouldn't get much support for the club, used the majority of his paper to tell me to leave it be. He said to "Forget about the homosexuals." He claimed that if I sponsored such a club, my students would lose respect for me, and it's not my job to try to change people or their opinions. I guess he didn't hear when I stated that the club is not meant to change people's views or opinions, but rather, to give support to a portion of the student population that does not currently have that. Ah, well.

On the positive side, I've had great feedback from other faculty members about this. Many have volunteered to be of any help that they can in getting the club off the ground. Also, a student of mine e-mailed me to tell me that she would like to join the club. Hurrah to baby steps.

Hello

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Yes, it has been awhile. The move across the country and the time adjusting to a new place and job has taken much of my time. I thought I would return to say, "Hello."

Hello from ant1mat3rie on Vimeo.

What's up, LJ???

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Livejournal was really screwy for about a week, and I was not able to log on. What's with that, LJ? Ah, well.

Went to Tahoe on Friday. I usually go to Sand Harbor, but we arrived too late and there was no parking available. We drove on and found an excellent new (to us) spot. It was about 10-15 minutes past Sand Harbor, which is a bit further than I'd have like to drive (well, for Lara to drive, as I was sitting in the back with an adorable baby who unfortunately gets carsick...), but there were very few people there, the view was gorgeous (this is a given almost anywhere along the lake, though), and there was plenty of room to bbq, so it ended up being worth the extra drive. Not surprisingly, the water was just above freezing, as per usual, but we still swam/waded. This is the first time that Wintress enjoyed the water at Tahoe. Even when we decided to dry off on our towels, she kept pointing, saying, "Water!!!" in the hopes that I would take her back. I eventually gave in, but only after Cassie decided we were all wasting precious water time if we didn't hit the water again. :)

Saw a couple of movies today: Captain America and Crazy, Stupid Love. The former was awesome. Not quite on par with Ironman, but almost. It had a teaser trailer for next summer's Avenger's flick --> Can't wait; looks awesome!!! CSL was... okay. It was what you'd expect of it.

Later this week, I'll be watching Friends With Benefits (I know, I know, but Justin Timberlake is just too pretty to pass up...), Cowboys and Aliens (who could resist that?!), and for this weekend, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It's a bit of a movie marathon week, but my parents are visiting, so I'm fully taking advantage of the chance to go to the cinema without guilt of having a small movie-goer by my side who likes to chat away, regardless of the circumstances. We usually go to the drive-in, where that chatting isn't a problem, but this week, Wintress will be playing with Grandma and Papa while I'm out.

Speaking of the drive-in, though, one time Cassie and I were there, chatting away throughout the movie, as usual, and the guy in the car next to us shouted, "Are you ever going to shut up?!" Um, hello! He was chatting with the girl in his car, too. Maybe not as much as we were, but it's not like they were silent. What's the point of going to the drive-in, if not to take advantage of the alternative setting of the movie? (Okay, some people might go to have a little "private" time with each other, unless that's just a cliche...) We didn't stop talking. I mean, he had the option of closing his window, right? Sheesh.

Summer, summer, summertime

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Ah, summer! While I always love you, this time around, you are marked by my worry. When you end, what will become of me? I will possibly be unemployed with no idea of what to do or where to live. Fortunately, that worry has not kept me from enjoying the many freedoms of this sunny season. (And, definitely more importantly, I have finally gotten an interview, so I have the chance at a job for the next year... Keeping my fingers crossed!)

The summer has been highlighted primarily with NKOTB outings. I've managed to chat with all five of the guys and to get all five of their autographs. The teenaged me is squealing with joy and jumping up and down for that. Okay, who am I fooling? The adult me is doing the same thing. :)

Although not all the photos were taken this summer, here is a collection of my photos by each of the guys, except Donnie. I'm sure that will happen at some point, too.

I've posted this one before, but it's me with Joe:


This one is my prized photo. Me with Jordan:


With Danny:


And with Jon: