Please Stand By

I’m too busy with my upcoming move, which becomes wackier each day (Seriously, I think this is how the Muppets would move, if there were a Muppet movie about moving from the suburbs to a nearby college town.), and other life stuff, like my dad going into the hospital again (He’s doing OK. Just waiting for the surgeons to figure out what to do with him.) to really post anything.

So instead, please enjoy the official trailer for the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel, The Legend of Korra. It’s ZOMFG SO PRETTY! I’m really excited for this show.

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Lend Me Your Ears

I learned something new about myself today. Which is pretty cool.

I posted something on Twitter and Google+ this morning. (Note to self: write a blog post about Google+.) I was just venting about being especially sleepy this morning, but on Google+, I suddenly found a lot of comments with suggestions of how I could pep myself up. My friend Brendan then asked a pretty simple question that I had honestly never really considered before: “When you share your problems on the internet, are you seeking sympathy or solutions?”

I thought about it and realized that when I’m looking for advice and solutions to problems, I generally state that pretty clearly. “I need some help here!” “I’ve got a question…” Things like that. When I don’t say something specifically about wanting advice, I’m really just looking for sympathy. And, to be honest, attention. (But doesn’t everyone who posts on the internet want some attention?)

The line “If I want your advice, I’ll ask for it”? Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is with me. Most of the time, I’m not looking for–or even really wanting–advice, solutions, answers. I want a pat on the shoulder and a hug (virtual or physical), a kind word, even a “You think you’ve got it bad? Wait ’til you hear what I’m going through!” But to be blunt, if I don’t specifically ask for advice, I’m not really going to be open to it. In all likelihood, I’m going to ignore it or (if I’m not feeling particularly patient) lash out at it.

So if you see me post something that amounts to “oh woe is me!” and I’m not directly asking for advice, answers, solutions, help…it’s probably for the best if you just offer me your sympathy. Or ignore me. (Not every cry for attention needs to be answered, AMIRITE?) And I’ll do my best to be clear about what my intentions and expectations are. Open, honest communication is always the best way.

Now piss off and go do something for you.

The Rose & Donna Dilemma

I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who, both the classic and current TV shows. I love the show more than almost anything. But I’m not blind to its faults, and there’s one thing that’s been eating away at me for a while now.

I really hate the way Rose Tyler and Donna Noble left the TARDIS.

Early in the second season of the original Doctor Who program, Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter and very first companion, left because she was growing up, had fallen in love and wanted to help rebuild Earth after a Dalek invasion. One of the Doctor’s longest running companions, Jo Grant, left the Doctor’s side because she’d found a new purpose in life, a calling of her own. She left to travel with Professor Clifford Jones up the Amazon river in search of new ways to counter pollution and food shortages. Romana, one of the more popular companions, also left the Doctor when she found a path of her own, helping to lead the Tharil race to a peaceful coexistence with its former slaves. Another long-running companion, Tegan, left when she felt she’d witnessed enough violence, death and destruction while traveling with the Doctor. The Doctor has had companions who you couldn’t imagine ever leaving, but they eventually did, and the writers of the show found interesting ways of having them leave.

In the current show, the Doctor has had two companions, Rose Tyler and Donna Noble, who were engaging and inspirational. Both started as “nobodies”–women stuck in dead-end jobs, living with their parents, not quite sure what they wanted to do with their lives–and grew to be adventurous women who showed themselves and the people around them just how clever, caring and strong they really were. Both Rose and Donna told the Doctor they never wanted to stop traveling with him. But of course, they did stop.

Rose was literally snatched away from death and taken to a parallel Earth that she could never leave, pining away for the Doctor, who it was clear she was in love with. Eventually, she was able to come back to our dimension, and when she returned to the parallel Earth, it was with a duplicate of the Doctor who was as human and mortal as Rose., so that she could live out her days with her true love. Yes, we had a woman who grew strong and independent but ended up basing her entire existence on being in love with a man. The only reason she left the Doctor was because she was forced to and the only reason she could be happy away from him was with a duplicate of him.

Donna helped save the universe, in part because of her own cleverness and tenacity and in part because she was magically made part-Time Lord from the Doctor’s DNA. But apparently humans aren’t meant to be part-Time Lord and her brain was on the verge of total collapse–until the Doctor removed all memory of himself and of Donna’s adventures from her brain, leaving her exactly as she was before she met him. And the trick was, she could never see him again or be reminded of her adventures or she would die. We were given a woman who became bold and self-assured and then we got to watch it all taken away from her.

Really? It’s now the 21st century and television drama has generally gotten more sophisticated, but the best we could do with two female characters was forcibly remove them from their adventures in the most ludicrous and insulting way possible? Rose couldn’t have decided to leave the Doctor by choice to have her own adventures? Donna couldn’t have chosen to find her own way by helping people in need? They couldn’t have done like another strong woman companion from the current show, Martha Jones, and simply decided, “I’ve had enough for now. I need to be on my own and do my own thing.”?

It bothers me to no end that the writers and producers of Doctor Who didn’t come up with better exits for two great characters. It bothers me to no end that in an otherwise brilliant TV show, two interesting, engaging and potentially inspiring female characters were given the shaft.

My Sordid Past

I’ve posted this story online before, but never on this blog. So for posterity’s sake (if nothing else), I’ll post this now. Are you ready? Read on for the story of…

My Night as a Male Stripper!

When I was an undergrad at the University of Iowa, my friend James lived with two friends in one half of a duplex. A group of young women lived on the other side. James loved to throw parties and was an excellent host. He was having a party one night, and on a whim, I decided to get a little dressed up: button-down shirt, bow tie, suspenders and suit coat. I showed up as some friends were just arriving. It was early, and the party hadn’t really started yet. A couple of the girls from next door showed up. They were having a bachelorette party for one of their friends, and had told her they had hired a male stripper. They thing was, they really hadn’t, it was all a joke, and they were wondering if one of us guys would come over and pretend to be the male stripper. My friends all pushed me towards the door, yelling, “JOSH! GO!” I shrugged. Why not? When would an opportunity like this come up for me again?

I shuffled into the girls’ place, to be greeted by a small group of very drunk, hooting young women. “WOOOOOOOO!” I waved cheerfully. Someone hit play on a boombox and some funky music started playing. I started doing my slinkiest (that is, dorkiest) dance moves. I smoothly took off my coat and threw it to one of the girls. To my amazement, they beamed and cheered. So I undid my tie, undid my top shirt button, and threw the tie to another girl. More whooping and cheering. At that point, I stopped dancing, gave a bashful smile, and said, “Hi! I’m the Low Self-Esteem Stripper. Tell all of your friends!” They cheered even more loudly. I grabbed my things and hustled out the door.

And that, my friends, is how I was a male stripper for one night.

Shake Dog Shake

I’ve had some blog posts floating around in my head, but I’ve honestly been too mentally and physically tired and distracted to post anything lately. So in lieu of deep thoughts or comical attempts at deep thoughts, I offer you some videos I took of Brooke’s mutt, Dicken. I originally posted these to Flickr.

Wild Dicken

Good Boy, Dicken!

Good Boy, Dicken! 2

He can be a brat sometimes, but I love the little guy a lot.