“Is Star Trek Still Relevant?”

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This question came up in a Star Trek: Voyager forum of which I’ve been a part nearly since it opened in 2007.  The most recent poster had mentioned that because she didn’t watch or read as much Star Trek as she once had, she felt like she was losing her fandom and letting the franchise down.  I decided my response was worth sharing here.


I also sometimes feel as if I’m letting the franchise down.  It’s not that I don’t like Star Trek anymore… I’m just an adult with more –dare I say it– important things to do.  And there’s so much more of which to be a fan, too.  Stuff that’s happening now instead of re-watching shows that ended eight or more years ago (and which we’ve seen eight or more times, haha).  Once I got into the new Doctor Who it slowly started to outshine Star Trek as a main definition of my geekiness.  It took a few years, but I finally realised it sometime recently.

Yes, I do still admire Star Trek as a part of who I am (even right now I’m drinking out of a Star Trek tumbler I was given for Christmas).  I would even consider Star Trek as the foundation of my geekiness.

–Star Trek got me interested in astronomy, which in turn got me interested in other sciences such as quantum mechanics/physics.

–Star Trek is where my story writing ability really improved.  Even though, for personal reasons, I’m not allowed to write fictional stories anymore, I wouldn’t be as well off to be able to write for blogs and newsletters without it.

–I’ve learned a lot of my favourite “fancy” words from science fiction.  Most of them were from Star Trek, but one was from Stargate Atlantis.  If it hadn’t been for seeing Robert Picardo in an episode of Stargate SG-1 I would never have started watching Stargate Atlantis!

–Star Trek got me interested in science fiction, which is a huge part of my life whether I watch it, read it, write about it, talk about it, make music videos about it, or… I just exist :o).

So, no, I may not watch it very often or even think a lot about it anymore, but it still flows through my blood, empowering the geek I am to do whatever it is that I do best.  Whether it’s what I enjoy, what I do, who I befriend, or just being a geek and watching every season of some show in a week, I know that it’s all thanks to Star Trek.

But even the foundation needs a bit of maintenance every now and then :o).

Viggle Understands My Fandom!

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Have you heard of Viggle?  I know I just provided a link to the website, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway!

Viggle is an app for iOS or Android that allows you to earn points just for watching TV!  It’s brilliant!  You may have heard of Shazam, the app that lets your phone listen to a song and then give you information about it.  There have been so many times in my life when I could have benefited from Shazam.  The radio plays a song of which I really want to know the name or the artist, but the darn DJ doesn’t say!  (I’m thinking of a time before radio stations had live online streaming or feeds of what songs have just been played.)

Viggle uses about the same technology.  Turn on your TV, tap the big “V” check-in button, and Viggle will listen to your TV to detect what programme you’re watching.  (Don’t worry, if it can’t detect it for some reason after two tries it allows you to do a search and find it by name, keyword, or channel.)  It’s one point per minute, so watch an hour of TV and get 60 points!  Plus, in the “What’s On” tab under “Featured,” there is a list of upcoming shows that will give extra points for watching.  (Example: Comic Book Men was on last night listed as +100.  I received 30 points for each minute of the programme, plus an extra 100 points!)

This next part may sound discouraging, but honestly it’s not that difficult.  10,000 points will usually get you a $5 reward.  Don’t freak out on me!  It’s really not that hard!  I currently have over 130,000 points.  That’s after cashing in for some rewards, including a Viggle T-shirt for 37,000.  Yes, I watch a lot of TV, but part of my secret is to check in with a sports game before I go to bed.  It being the end of basketball season, I’ve been checking in at the beginning of any basketball game before going to bed.  I earn at least 120 points in my sleep that way!

Why did I finally decide to tell you about this?  Well, because Viggle recently excited my geek side.  Sometimes with featured programmes there is trivia available after checking in; an opportunity for more points!  As I was playing the trivia for Touch the other day, this question came up:

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I screeched with geeky excitement as I selected the correct answer, took screenshots for a blog, and revelled in the happenstance of my fandom.

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Of course I got it right! Shame on the 8% who completely missed that! ;oP

An Unexpected Fandom

I have only very recently become a fan of something that’s considered a staple for geeks.  (I won’t get into the reasons why I had never seen any of the movies nor read any of the books before now.)

Are you ready?  Wait for it…  I’m a new fan of the world of The Lord of the Rings!

What finally opened my eyes to the awesomeness of Tolkien?  The new movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I saw it and I enjoyed it, sure.  Then, the theatre on base was shutting down and had a Customer Appreciation Day on their last day open.  One of the free showings was this new The Hobbit.  So, I saw it again… and was enthralled!  My entire life I hadn’t been too excited about the fantasy genre (minus The Elder Scrolls and Fable video games, if they’re considered fantasy), but suddenly I was captivated.  I wanted to be in this world with the Dwarves and this lovable Hobbit, and I wanted to know more.

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A few nights later, I finally watched the first LOTR movie.  I was thoroughly enjoying it until about two hours in.  There had already been a few parts where I felt like the movie was soon to end, but at this point there was still a whole hour left!  I bore through the rest of the movie, but knew this wasn’t going to ruin the story for me in the long run.

The following Saturday, I watched the other two.  It was brilliant!  I haven’t yet watched them again, but I have seen The Hobbit a few more times :o) (which is a bit ironic since Hubby owns the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit is still in theatres).

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About a week after I think I can say I truly became a fan, I found a book called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Visual Companion.”  I didn’t see a price, and I always sleep on purchase decisions, so I decided to wait until the next pay day to buy it.  Before I left the store, I read the foreword by Martin Freeman.  I found it so precious (no pun intended) and that’s when I realised that I wouldn’t change my mind about it.  Still, I waited.

Less than a couple of weeks later, a family emergency sent me away from home for nine days.  (I planned on buying the book the next day, but the trip took precedence.)  The day after I returned, I did some shopping with friends, but since we didn’t go into that store I forgot about the book.  Four days later (this past Tuesday), I went there and remembered.  I went to the section of books — and it was gone.  There wasn’t a single copy on the shelves.  Oh, the disappointment!

So, I missed my chance at the movie companion, but I am reading The Hobbit.  It brings joy to my heart and giggles to my face.  I’m in love. n_n

The Three Musketeers

The book?

Nope. Sorry.

The 2011 movie?!

Haha, definitely not!

Err… The 1993 movie?

Yeah, baby!

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Sure, I was only six when this movie was released (actually, a bit over a month until I was seven), and I never saw it until a year or two later, but I still love it! It’s a great little piece of my childhood that continues to be an interest.

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Oy… Tim Curry is creepy enough as a *good* guy… o.O

When we first saw it, there were only two people Bro and I recognised. Porthos (Oliver Platt) was “that guy from Beethoven,” and we’ve just always known about Tim Curry, who played Cardinal Richelieu. (I’m pretty sure this movie was the first time we’d seen Charlie Sheen, who played Aramis.) Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-star cast! Paul McGann, who played two characters: Girard –the ginger in a duel with d’Artagnan in the beginning– and Jussac –the Cardinal’s guard who comes to arrest the musketeers twice–, went on to play the 8th Doctor! When 24 came out, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is Athos. Hubby started watching Burn Notice and Fiona is Queen Anne (Gabrielle Anwar). Then, NCIS: LA comes along and we find d’Artagnan (Chris O’Donnell). Sorry, King Louis (Hugh O’Conor), I personally have not seen you anywhere else…

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Girard / The Doctor

No, you’re right. This movie doesn’t follow the book. Isn’t it rare, though, to find such a movie? And when we do find one, it’s usually not so great. (Frankly, there are a few things that I didn’t so much care for in the book that are excluded in this movie… but we won’t get into those.) No, this movie is a comedy based on the book. The very existence of the minor character Girard alone shows that it’s a comedy from the beginning. Charlie Sheen plays a priest-like character, which is so ironic it’ll bring anyone a giggle. Finally, the hilarity that Porthos brings is the best of all.

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“NOW we are prepared to resist you!” -Porthos

For those who were hoping for action, don’t worry — there’s plenty of it. This was the age of swords and duels, after all. There’s also a bit of romance for the chick flick lover in you. (Come on… everyone has seen at least one Meg Ryan movie.)

Comedy, action, a bit of romance, and a lot of familiar actors. Sounds like a great movie for which I would cuddle up and relax. I think I’m going to go watch it again…

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Those clothes make me miss the Renaissance Festival… :o(

 

Perfume

I apologise ahead of time… When I started writing this post, which favours Japan, I didn’t think about the fact that I’d be posting it on Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attacking America during World War II! LOL my bad.


I’m not talking about the oils or artificial scents that one sprays on themselves to cover up whatever it is they think they smell like. Nor am I talking about the UK band from the 1990s. I am talking about my favourite J-pop group. (J-pop is short for “Japanese pop,” though the group’s technical genre is techno-pop. This is not to be confused with K-pop –Korean pop– or C-pop –Chinese pop.–)

I know what you might be thinking… that Asian music is strange. The lyrics don’t make sense, and the videos are even worse. (My thoughts go to the recently famed “Gangnam Style,” which I actually had yet to see until I started writing this post.) For the most part, I would agree with you. I admit, I myself still don’t really understand Japanese poetry or figures of speech. (I figure as I continue to learn the culture and language –and I need to be more devoted to taking my lessons as I should be fluent by now– I’ll eventually figure things out.) I get the gist of some songs, fully understand very few, and probably most of them I like purely for how it sounds.

This group Perfume currently consists of three girls (all around the age of Hubby): Ayano Oumoto (“Nocchi” – the one who seems to be the “tomboy”), Yuka Kashino (“Kashiyuka” – the adorable one that looks the youngest, but is actually the oldest), and Ayaka Nashiwaki (“A-chan” – the pretty one, my favourite — not to say the others aren’t pretty, but I’m not sure what other word to use to describe her as separate from the others). Originally, the band had Yuuka Kawashima (“Kawayuka”), who was quickly replaced by Nocchi. (Kawayuka withdrew because she wanted to pursue her studies.) The group got its name because the three original girls had the Japanese character (香) for fragrance in their names.

Left-to-right: Kashiyuka, Nocchi, A-chan.
A very basic history, these girls attended the Actors School in Hiroshima, in its charter year of 1999, beginning in sixth grade. They released their first single, “Omajinai Perori” (or “OMAJINAI★ペロリ” as it appears on my iPod), in Hiroshima in March 2002, and their next single “Kareshi Boshuuchuu” (translation: “Looking for a Boyfriend”) later that year.

I’m not going to go on with facts and leave no room for why I like this band or how I came to know of them. Back in 2007, I randomly came across a J-pop video on YouTube called “Super Jet Shoes.” I don’t remember what group it was, it wasn’t Perfume, and the video has since been removed. I was strangely intrigued by it, and there were related links to more J-pop videos by a group called Perfume. I watched maybe ten of their videos before I realised that I really liked how they sounded and I had to own some of their music.

After listening to them for about a week, I started looking online to find the lyrics. I came across Perfume City, an unofficial fansite but my number one Perfume resource, and they have the lyrics to their songs in Kanji (the more famously known written form of Japanese), Romaji (Japanese transliterated into English letters), and also in English! I picked some of my favourite songs at the time to learn. I printed the Romaji lyrics for “Computer City,” “Electro World,” and a couple others (but I only got around to learning those two at the time), read them aloud several times to myself, and even typed them until I finally could sing along with them. The lyrics in English are what helped me find out if the words were actually the kind of things I wanted to be singing, and simply to understand what the songs are saying.

My personal favourite song, “Dream Fighter,” is amazing. It actually makes sense, LOL! The poetry is understandable, it sounds great, and it’s encouraging enough to have gotten me through many tough days at work. This song is about keeping your dreams in sight and no matter how tough it gets, no matter how many times you get knocked down, never let go — get back up and keep fighting for your dreams!

They finally made a music video after months of me returning to YouTube in hopes of finding it. The video is a bit strange for the song, but it’s very classy compared to most of their stranger earlier ones.

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Have you seen the movie Cars 2? Then you’ve already heard Perfume! Their song “Polyrhythm” plays in the scene when Lightning McQueen and Mater arrive in the Japanese club. (See that clip again by clicking here.)

With the recent popularity of “Gangnam Style,” I know that the general (or at least younger) populace of America can understand that songs (or at least music videos) can be enjoyable even if you don’t fully understand it. (Although, the song “Gangnam Style” is about making fun of the lifestyle in the region of Gangnam in Seoul, Korea. You can read more about that here.)

I’ll finish up with two music videos. First, “Dream Fighter,” because it’s my favourite song:

Second, “Nee” (translation: “Hey”), because it’s actually a really cool video. It’s my sister’s favourite song. And I really want A-chan’s black-and-white striped jacket! (Also, the random cat cracks me up.)

Some Enchanted Evening

Plays are amazing — musicals the best, obviously. I prefer seeing them in person to recorded, but sometimes a movie version will capture my attention. Never will a recorded stage play pique my interest.

Except for South Pacific. Specifically, the one recorded live from Carnegie Hall in 2005. It stars Reba McEntire, Alec Baldwin, Brian Stokes Mitchell (Trevor from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!), Broadway actor Jason Danieley, and others.

I happened to catch it on PBS one day and I fell in love quickly. As soon as I had the chance (I didn’t have the Internet at that time) I found the DVD online and ordered it without hesitation.

Why it stood out over other versions of the play, I don’t know. I mean, the stars are even reading the script as they play their parts! (Don’t worry — the actors are so good it doesn’t distract from the play itself at all — except for the one hilarious time that Alec loses his place!) But I adore Reba McEntire as an actress. And she’s so cute with her red hair, southern American accent, and adorable smile!

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Nellie and Emile singing “Some Enchanted Evening”

The story takes place during World War II, and centers on a “hick” US Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, Nellie Forbush (Reba McEntire), and the Frenchman she’s fallen for, Emile de Becque (Brian Stokes Mitchell). Apart from most others’ worries about the war, the two of them are sure that everything will turn out alright (cue song “Cockeyed Optimist”). When Nellie meets Emile’s two children, she discovers that he is the widower of a Polynesian woman. With this new-found knowledge, Nellie is faced with the struggle to decide between love and prejudice.

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Nellie and Luther Billis entertaining their fellow seamen with the song “Honey Bun”

The secondary love story involves US Marine Lieutenant Joseph Cable (Jason Danieley).  (When Bloody Mary meets him, she misunderstands and calls him “Lootellan.”)  It’s another choice between love and prejudice when Lt. Cable falls for Bloody Mary’s daughter Liat.  I have to let you know (sort-of-a-spoiler) that, despite odds, Liat eventually refuses to marry anyone but Lt. Cable.  But can you blame her?  Look at the hottie that plays him! ;oP

Don’t worry — the play isn’t all lovey-dovey, tear-jerking fun.  There is actually a war plot to the whole thing.  In fact, it’s the reason that a Marine enters the story among all the sailors.  Even Emile is in the story for more than love.

It’s a wonderful play filled with romance, comedy, and tragedy.  Happy endings and sad endings.

There you have it — my usual “cheerleading” review (thanks, Pisces Muse!) of something I geek out about.  There may be things wrong with it, but I refuse to try and look for them (or focus on and write about the ones I do know about).

Now, what kind of review would this be if I didn’t include links to help you find the DVD to buy online if you wanted to?  Because surely, you will want to buy the best live recorded stage play ever! ;o)

Amazon.com

ShopPBS.org (probably where I bought it because I didn’t yet know better than to buy something at full price without shopping around first!)

Thursday?

Nope!

Happy Thor’s Day!

And this epic illustration of his father, Odin, just because it’s epic:

–THOR 2 SPOILERS!!–

I got so excited one day when I was exploring IMDb, to find out that in Thor 2 (Thor: The Dark World) Christopher Eccleston will be playing Malekith! (Bad guy.) I’m so looking forward to it! Not because of Malekith, but because of Eccleston, of course! WHOO!!

Fandom Dreams

I woke up normally today and made Hubby his lunch before he left for work. After reading in bed for about 45 minutes, I was in a curl-up-in-a-ball mood. Naturally, I fell back asleep doing so completely under the covers. I woke up again at 11.30 (about four hours later), but not before having one of the best dreams I’ve had in a long time. It involved the video game Skyrim, the TV show Eureka, a bit of Thor, and of course real life.

I wasn’t actually *me* for most of the dream; just the real life and parade parts.


It started with me playing Skyrim, but I was my character instead of actually me playing. I came across an awesome half-sunken building (I don’t remember what the inside looked like, but the outside seemed Dwemer) in a huge pond that was waist deep. (This ended up being my house.) There was a male Nord character there with shoulder-length hair and a braid and when I spoke with him he mentioned my Amulet of Mara and I thought, “Finally! Someone who seems worthy to marry my character!” So they got married, and I had her tell him she wanted to be a mother, so they took care of that in the pond; this part was all completely hidden and more implied, like The Sims or even Fable without the noises. (What was weird was you needed four people to be able to get pregnant, but I just completely ignored those random characters that showed up.)

In the next part, I (still my Skyrim character) was in a Suburban-type vehicle with Allison, Fargo, and two other people (I think Henry and a mix of Carter and some old guy) from Eureka, and Allison and I were both very pregnant. We’d just stopped at a gas station and everyone got out while the driver (Carter) got the vehicle situated at the pump (big vehicle pulling a large trailer and pushing a small car). When he was finally done, I went to the pump since there were a lot of large surrounding objects, because for some reason part of me wanted to hide my pregnancy. Henry was closest to me and some kind of short conversation occurred, then my pregnancy came up and he asked what happened. It came out then. Apparently, I (still my Skyrim character) had had a boyfriend in Eureka and when he went missing (the word used in my dream, but he had died) I ran away to Skyrim and it was the next day that I’d found a husband there.

Another part of the dream, sadly forgotten, happened here that involving some guy being after me for some reason, I think involving the baby. I want to say the way he looked physically was most like a Dark Elf, but I’m not sure that he was a Skyrim character.

In the next part, still pregnant, I was at the top of a short cliff (about 50 feet or so), and a battle was going on below involving Nords. There was a lot of brush and trees at the bottom of the cliff and one dead, but hearty, branch lead up to the top. Suddenly, I saw my Nord husband climbing up, seemingly wounded but maybe just needing rescue. He could almost make it to the top, but he stopped and reached up his hand; the expression on his face was like he was going to die if he didn’t make it to the top. I reached back, when suddenly Thor was next to me, also reaching back and shouting, “Father!!” (It’s so funny thinking about that part because it’s like a cheesy movie where a guy is in agony because he can’t save his dad from drowning in an obviously shallow pool of water. It also wasn’t Odin; he just happened to be Thor’s dad.) Then, my thought was, “OMG, I married a king?!”

Next, it was fairly dark outside and a parade was going on. I (finally actually starting to be real me; it was like a short morphing process at this point) was just coming up to it and saw a couple advertising floats (I remember the giant inflatable Lowe’s logo). Then, I was part of the crowd, but we were moving and couldn’t even see the parade (or maybe I just didn’t care) and it seemed more like we were inside a blimp-like float. Hubby and I were sitting, talking to Fargo and someone else in front of us, there was a camera guy standing to my left, and Joe* (main sound man at our church back home) was walking around overseeing things. (Hmm… So maybe I was in the control room instead of the crowd.) In the conversation, something came up where we said we weren’t having kids. Not long afterwards, Hubby referred to Mark* and Steph* (our favourite couple friends) as something like “the keepers of our children” and Fargo was all confused and said, “I thought you guys didn’t want kids.” We laughed and I explained who Mark* and Steph* were and that we call their girls our kids. He didn’t get it, and you could tell by the goofy expression on his face.

*Real life names have been changed for protection purposes.


Sadly, that was the end of my awesome dream. If you didn’t think it was awesome, that doesn’t matter to me; I frickin’ loved it! Any dream that involves a lot of Skyrim… plus a Marvel character andthe TV programme I’m into at the moment… is alright with me!

Oh, and needless to say, but I’m going to anyway, I was really in the mood to play Skyrim today, which I did for maybe five hours. I didn’t find a suitable spouse for my character, but I bought land for a second build-able house and my daughter (Dorthe) brought home a pet fox. And I also defeated the Imperials… you know, in my spare time… ;o)

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This is not actually my character — just a picture I googled.