Sunday, December 22, 2013

New 10 Commandments

My New 10 Commandments For Myself

The Ten Commandments
1. Be your true authentic self.
2. Make time for those you love.
3. Treat others people as you’d like them to treat you.
4. If it hurts you, let it go.
5. Change your thoughts - and that will help change your feelings
6. Don’t put it off till another day. If it is important, then do it today.
7. Enjoy the journey – it’s not just about goals.
8. You only have one life – so make it meaningful for you.
9. Be kind to others.
10. Always find a reason to laugh and smile.




In consideration of how I'd like to start off the new year, I will post this on my refrigerator and hope to live up to it as my goal.  

2013 was a pretty decent year, all things considered.  My son and I, we were poor, but had enough.  We were housed and not homeless.  We were successful with weekly counseling and support services.  We had fun, despite having very limited resources.  We still have our cat, though her tumor is growing bigger monthly.  We were able to reconnect with old friends through social media, which previously I was reluctant to use.  We enjoyed spending time with friends and family.  Ian and I read dozens of books, some of them together, when I read to him nightly.  I started my blogs which give me a platform to share my thoughts and dreams and memories, and which allows me to contribute positive energy out into the world, which is of great importance to me.  We both took some risks that paid off emotionally.  I like all three of my jobs very much, and gain a lot of satisfaction from the work - from the kids, their families, my coworkers and supervisors - I enjoy them all.  In small ways, I get to make a difference.  Yeah, all in all, a good year.  Nothing spectacular, nothing mind blowing, but... good.  And "good" is good.  :)  For a change, I'm looking forward to 2014.  Bring it!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just Keep Moving - Johnny Depp





This is a lovely philosophy.  Most of us, however, worry far too much about what others think.  I know I do. However, the older I get, the better I manage to follow my heart and not be dependent upon what others think.  Since dear Johnny is less than a decade older than me, I have time to get there.  A test of my resiliency will happen in the new  year, when I post my personal ad online, looking to get back into the dating arena.  It’s already screwing with my head, worrying about what potential suitors might think.  Unfortunately for me, it takes a while for people to see beyond the shields I erect and I know that sometimes come across as aloof and disinterested.  In truth, I am just considering what words to use to convey the stampede of thoughts running through my mind at any one time.   Maybe caring less about what other people think about me and striving to continue to be true to myself will be one of my New Year’s Resolutions (though I should resolve never to make them, in truth). 


Happy holidays to all of you, whatever you celebrate!  And happy winter solstice today!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Deep Space Nine - Rejoined

In this episode Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dax meets Lenara Kahn, the new host of the wife of Dax's former host Torias, and they are not allowed to renew their relationship.  This episode was DS9's way of pointing out that love is love, regardless of gender.  In 1995, this was news. When we shot this episode; it was a closed set and very hush-hush. Kudos to Terry for being one of the people to start breaking down our own societal taboos!  I was in the closet in 1995, and this episode encouraged me to come out within a year and a half of leaving DS9.  Thank goodness things have changed for the better in the last nearly 20 years. 

I also admit I had a crush on Terry because 1) she's a brunette with blue eyes and that's my thing, and 2) she had an extensive vocabulary of profanity and knew how to use it!  Last I heard of Terry, she showed up at the big Las Vegas Star Trek convention in full costume to help recapture the Guinness World Record for most Trek costumes in one location - and the fans loved it.  So, a shout out to Terry Farrell, who has retired from film & television production - I'm not even sure where she lives these days, either Pennsylvania or New York.  Wherever you are, Terry, I wish you joy!  You rock.

Here's what writer Ron Moore had to say about the episode.

“To the audience, you’re playing out this metaphor of a taboo that you’re not supposed to be involved with somebody, and the audience sees these two women who are in love together, but the show will never ever comment on it, because it’s really about this Trill taboo, this completely other issue. But the idea of homosexual love is staring the audience in the face no matter what they do, but we never have to mention it in the show. It just became this lovely tale about these two forbidden lovers that just couldn’t get over that one had died and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, and here they come together in these two other bodies, but what they once felt for one another is still there, but the societal taboo was so strong that one of them had to back out, one of them wasn’t willing to take it all the way. It was just a lovely bit of Star Trek because it really was an allegory for our society, and that’s ultimately what Trek does best.”


— Ronald D. Moore, Writer & Producer, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S4E05: "Rejoined" (via inamirrordorkly at Tumblr)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Duplicate Blog on Tumblr

I have decided to do a duplicate "Star Trek Into Relevance" blog over at Tumblr.

I initially chose blogger/blogspot because I like how the websites look, it's a beautiful thing with many great options. I really do like the platform here at blogspot better than at Tumblr, but I'm frustrated with it also.  It will no longer allow me to post pictures, which makes for a rather boring blog, frankly.  EVERY single time I try to post one, it freezes up and I have to start over.  I've tried emailing blogger repeatedly and have gotten no response.  So, I will do both for a while and see how it goes.

In addition, I have so many ADS that I cannot get rid of here, that I cannot see what I'm writing most of the time.  I am hoping I don't forget to use the spell check button before I post, because I KNOW there are typos!

Over at Tumblr, I can add any photo I want, bookend a post with photos and it's FASTER.  You can visit the monthy archive and see everything I've blogged for that month.  Plus, after two days I have two dozen followers, which means more people are reading my stuff. ...which is one of the two reasons I blog - for others and for myself.  While blogger/blogspot LOOKS so much better and more professional, if it won't let me POST what I want then it's pretty useless to me!

You can find me at www.startrekintorelevance.tumblr.com.






Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jimmy Doohan & the Engineer

I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Doohan several times – a few times at conventions back in the day when I attended such things plus once for breakfast with a couple other people involved with Star Trek TOS.  He was a nice man, and I wish I had used my time more wisely in our meetings and had more memories.  I also had an acquaintance who used to housesit for Jimmy and Wende and my other memory of the Doohans is of going to water house plants and take care of the house – and they had one of those upside-down boot racks that stretched out your spine while it held you securely upside down, and we took turns using it at his house.  Not all my memories of Star Trek are inspiring or meaningful.  This one is a weird memory.   J  


This story, however, is fairly fabulous.  As Jimmy tells the story:

"I got a fan letter from a young lady. It was a suicide note.
So I called her, and I said, "Hey, this is Jimmy Doohan. Scotty, from Star Trek." I said,"I’m doing a convention in Indianapolis. I wanna see you there."
I saw her — boy, I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was definitely suicide.Somebody had to help her, somehow. And obviously she wasn’t going to the right people.

I said to her, "I’m doing a convention two weeks from now in St. Louis." And two weeks from then, in somewhere else, you know? She also came to New York - she was able to afford to got to these places. That went on for two or three years, maybe eighteen times. And all I did was talk positive things to her.
And then all of the sudden — nothing. I didn’t hear anything. I had no idea what had happened to her because I never really saved her address.
Eight years later, I get a letter saying, "I do want to thank you so much for what you did for me, because I just got my Master’s degree in electronic engineering.”
That’s…to me, the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Well done, Mr. Doohan, well done.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sir Ian McKellen - Actor, Activist and Awesome

One of my favorite all-time actors is Sir Ian McKellen.  I love him as Magneto (X-Men), as Gandalf (LOTR/The Hobbit), as Leigh Tebing (the DiVinci Code) and pretty much anything else I've ever seen him in.  I really wish I had money to head to New York City and see him in the plays he is doing right now (with Sir Patrick Stewart, another of my favorite men), Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land.  Maybe he will do something in Los Angeles again and I can get down for it.  Right.  If wishes were horses, we would all ride like kings.






I guess I will have to be content with  having spoken to him once.

I worked on the season of the previous “ellen” show (with Ellen DeGeneres) during the year that she (and her character) “came out”, in 1998.  It was a wonderful time  and a great experience.  One of my jobs as the Set Production Assistant was to babysit the stage phone, and at lunch one day, I received a call from a gentleman who identified himself as Ian McKellen. It was not an altogether uncommon occurrence to receive phone calls from “close personal friends of Ellen” on the set from overzealous fans… but, there was that British accent that gave me pause.  I found Ellen smoking out on the patio and told her who was on the phone.  Her response surprised me.  She leaped to her feet and said, “Oh my god, really?  Do you know who that IS?”  I replied no.  She rolled her eyes, grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and dragged me behind her to the set phone and ordered me to stand there quietly.  She hastily picked up the phone.  I could, of course, only hear Ellen’s end of the conversation, but I was surprised to listen to her say “yes, sir” and “thank you, sir” and “of course, sir”.  Who on EARTH was Ellen yes-sir-ing?

She hung up the phone and her happy, silly grin turned to a frown as she turned to me.  “Kerry, you are the worst lesbian EVER*, “she said.  “Go find out who Ian McKellen is, please.”   

I did.  I named my son Ian after him.

Thank you, Sir Ian, for all who you are and have done!  If I had a hat worth tipping, I would tip it for you.  


http://www.mckellen.com/activism/   Check out Sir Ian’s website, it has all kinds of interesting information!


(*I identified as lesbian back then for lack of a better label; now I identify as pansexual.  I guess Ellen was right after all – I *was* a rotten lesbian because of the men, but I obviously was not straight because of the women, LOL… ah, well.  Glad I got that “ figured out finally, better late than never.  And yes, one of my claims to fame is that the QBIC - Queen Bitch In Charge - called me the worse lesbian ever, LOL, gotta love that).

((P.S. I am having problems inserting photographs onto my blog for some reason, so while I figure this out with much cussing and hair pulling, we won't have pretty pictures to look at.  Bummer, I know.))

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letters of Note - the book, addendum

It appears that I did not see a little link over on the side of the Letters of Note website regarding how to order the book.  It appears that my US-centric thinking took over and I assumed that since it is not available in the US until May, that it was unavailable everywhere.  It turns out that our lucky UK friends can already buy the book!  Now I understand why the actor who shall not be named had one - since he was in England, it all makes sense now.  I am suitably chastised.

Here is more information -   http://www.lettersofnote.com/p/the-book.html

Well, time to run.  I am off to Trader Joes, the bookstore (to make my Christmas list!), and the movies.  Sounds like a nearly perfect night. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be if I were going with someone special - in a not-hanging-out-with-my-kid-on-a-Saturday-night kind of way :)



Letters of Note - Star Trek casting

I discovered the website "Letters of Note" this past summer, when I was off work and had a lot of time for reading.  It is intriguing.  It calls itself an "attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegraphs, faxes and memos" - a compilation of correspondence from a wide variety of political figures, actors, authors, average Joe's with something important to say, and other people of interest.  Many of the letters are heartbreaking, some are funny, others poignant.  All make for a good read.  

It has come to my attention that it is being compiled in book-form and won't be available until May (and will contain only 100 letters instead of the 900+ on the website).  [I would sure like to know how a certain Star Trek actor got what apparently must be an advance copy - I guess having connections helps!  I am sooo jealous.]  Apparently, I got all excited for nothing seeing a hard copy in someones hands.  I will have to take the book off my Christmas wish list and put it on my May birthday wish list instead.  < sigh >   Not that there is anything wrong with reading online.  I do a lot of online reading.  I am just in love with the feel of a book in my hands. I love the smell of paper and the sound of a page being turned. I enjoy seeing stacks of books pushed up against my walls where my son and I have run out of bookshelf space. I love having a pile of books-in-progress on the coffee table.  I love being able to get lost in a story, tucked into a blanket on my couch with a cup of coffee I have forgotten completely about.  Patience is a virtue I reluctantly possess, so I shall try to curb my enthusiasm until May.  That doesn't mean I have to like it.

In keeping with many things Trek related on my site, the first letter I will post from the website is a memo on the casting process for The Next Generation.  Read it, and smile :)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Regarding Suicide

A friend's son attempted suicide two days ago.  I feel so sad for both of them - for my friend who is heartbroken and scared, and for her son, a good person who cannot see his own worth.  Having been there myself many moons ago as a teen, I empathize with the hapless, helpless and hopeless feelings.  It's horrible feeling trapped and thinking nothing will change, that the pain will remain or can only get worse.  As the mother of a son with mental health disorders, I hope I am never in my friends' shoes.



If you, any of my readers, are considering suicide as an option, please... stay.  Suicide is not a great solution - the pain you cause your loved ones is heart wrenching and I think there must be consequences of some sort on the Other Side.  There is always a solution to your problem that doesn't involve killing yourself.  Just because you haven't thought of it yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  If you know someone who is depressed, ask them about it.  You won't give them "ideas" - you will give them hope.  If you know someone with some of the risk factors above, call for advice.  If you want to end it all, reach out for help since you have 'nothing to lose', because on the other hand, you do have everything to gain.  If you are in despair, if you are trapped by abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism or drug abuse, being closeted, being bullied - please make one more effort.

If you need encouragement to make that call, email me at intrepid.infj@yahoo.com (but I check it only every few days).  If you can't find someone local who will listen and refer you to trained people who can help, then call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-237-TALK (8255).  Please... stay.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What Do You Fear? (Chris Pine quote)


Last week I had the crap scared out of me by a bureaucratic snafu.  With one letter in the mail, I found myself thrust in a deep well of panic and fear.  Tunnel vision narrowed my focus to the people and things that mattered most, and that I could count on one hand.  Fortunately, the issue appears to be resolved and equilibrium has been restored.  What shocked me in hindsight from the incident is is how fast I went from “everything is fine” to “holy shit, it’s the End of the World As I Know It – Again.”  It was a shockingly fast trip.

Since then, I have been considering the role of fear in my life.  How it has shaped my choices and how it has impacted my decision making process, and how it continues to do so.  How it has molded my life.  I have also been pondering those instances where I pushed through fear regardless of those feelings, for better or worse.  

My readers should know by now that I like to link my blog posts back to articles or quotes from actors associated with Star Trek, and here’s a nice one to start off today’s blog post.  It’s short and sweet, thank you, Chris Pine.

“Fear runs our lives a lot of the time.  You can face it head-on, or you can hide in your bunker.” ~ CP

What do you fear?

I can think of numerous common fears off the top of my head.  Typical fears, like the fear of spiders or public speaking and of being mugged in a dark alley.  Then there are deeper fears.  Fear of poverty and losing what you have worked for.  Fear of getting sick and being incapacitated.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.  Fear of intimacy and of being known.  Fear of being taken advantage of.  Fear of betrayal.  Fear of imperfection and feeling unworthy.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of missed opportunities.  Fear of not living an authentic life.  Fear of not living up to your potential.  Fear of living a lie.  Then there are true phobias and disordered thinking, but that is not what I am addressing here.  What do you fear?  What keeps you up at night?  What makes you weak in the knees or sick to your stomach when you consider it?

Why should we look at our fears?  Because they impact our actions and our emotions.  And those impact other people, in addition to keeping us from our greatest potential.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light not our darkness, that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson

My greatest fear is probably peculiar sounding to many people.   I fear not living before I die.  I fear not having the courage to embrace the heights and depths of human experience.  I fear getting to the end of my days and having regrets for the things I did not do, for the times I allowed fear to dictate my actions. I fear not using my own inherent power as a loving human being in the best way possible.  I fear not making a difference.

What are your fears?  Consider them.  Examine, deconstruct and tear them apart.  Shine light into their depths.  And don’t let your fears keep you from your best destiny.


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes – you’re free.” ~ Jim Morrison


Friday, November 22, 2013

Tchaikovsky Flashwaltz

Tchaikovsky always gets me into a holiday mood.  And since I'm cooking for 20 people next week, I need a large amount of holiday cheer.  And maybe vodka, but I will start with cheer.

I love these random acts of culture :D

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Mysterious Zoe Saldana

I am having difficulties reading Zoe Saldana.  The interviews I have read just are not “meaty” enough to satisfy me.  Who is this talented actress who starred in the highest grossing film of all time (Avatar)?  Who is the new Uhura?  Hopefully someday she will have the good fortune to run into an interviewer who can actually interview and we will find out.  In the meantime, we will have to survive on bits and pieces of real information and hints of depth.  

What’s most immediately obvious is the obvious – she is seriously beautiful.  Duh.  Allure Magazine let the world know that she weighs 115 lbs. (as if that’s the most interesting and important thing anyone could possibly want to know about someone).  Thanks so much for putting that on the cover of your magazine, Allure, I don’t know how I would have managed to sit through my lunch break in the staff room without reading about it!  But who is she?  What are her dreams?  How does she feel about starring in Avatar or Star Trek?  What are her career goals?  What’s up next on her agenda? I have read numerous interviews and its still all rather a mystery to me.


There was one article I liked where her Star Trek co-star Zachary Quinto interviewed her.  Zach is so very eloquent, he is a joy to read or listen to in nearly any context.  Unfortunately, the interview was about the world of fashion, which they are both interested in but I am not.  I have to put faith in the fact that if Zach has glowing things to say about her – and he does – we may find out eventually, also.  We can hope.

Zoe grew up in Queens, NY, and in the Dominican Republic.  She moved to New York City at 17 years old to study acting, and her careers – acting and modeling - just took off into the stratosphere from there.  I admit that I have not seen many of her movies, although along with the entire world, I was impressed with her acting in Avatar and Star Trek

I do like the one quote I have found that was not relate to weight, being beautiful or making movies, though it was about age.  “I’m very accepting with my age.  It’s like notches on your belt: experience, wisdom and a different kind of beauty.  There comes a day when you’ve become comfortable in your skin”.  Being comfortable in your own skin is a good thing, it’s true.  The evil side of me, however would like to say - “darlin’, when you turn 40, then we’ll talk.”  You are still a baby at 30. J  However, I have no doubt that Zoe Saldana will still be relevant, beautiful and making movies at 40, and 50 and 70 years old.  If we are lucky!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Anthony Hopkins' Philosophy


I like it.  I need to go think on this for a few days.  Good stuff.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Los Angeles




I feel
alive in the city
sunshine, busy pretty people, farmers markets
taking the curves of Mulholland Drive
scarlet bougainvillea and orange blossoms
beautiful queers on Santa Monica Boulevard
sunset over the left coast
the Melrose gate
impossible dreams, cinema ghosts, too much traffic
Santa Ana winds and palm trees
my lost city
Los Angeles


~ kerry vill 11/10/13


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Alone

the darkness inside me is howling, threatening to swallow me whole
the depths of my heart resemble a fucking black hole
people skim the surface and think that they see
the total sum of the parts that  make up what they call 'me'
but those visible instances, evidences and realities
are absurd, simplistic, existential anomalies
you don't know me.  I walk alone.

~ kerry vill 11/9/13

Happy birthday to Robbie McNeill!

A happy birthday shout out to Robbie McNeill (Robert Duncan McNeill) who played "Lt. Tom Paris" on Star Trek: Voyager. Once upon a time, I helped Robbie answer fan mail for a season.  What a disaster, lol. :D  Cheers to a good, decent human being.  Hope you and your family have a great day, Robbie!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy Birthday to Armin Shimerman!

Happy Birthday, Armin!  I miss the days when Gayle and I would go see you in whatever play you were doing and then go to dinner afterwards with whomever we wrangled up, with you and Kitty.  I hope you have a fantastic birthday!  

For those of you unfamiliar with the fabulous Mr. Armin Shimerman, he portrayed Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and is one of the most talented actors on the planet.  He also had reoccurring roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, my favorite cartoon of all time!  These days Armin can be found at the Antaeus Company, a not-for-profit theater company in Los Angeles, when he's not working elsewhere.


I found an incredible interview while doing a bit of research.  If you are interested in Armin or in the art of acting, you should read this!  I will be doing a longer post when my computer is not acting like a jerk.  http://asitecalledfred.com/2013/06/30/armin-shimerman-ken-plume-interview/

His imdb link is incredible http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001734/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 . Again, happy birthday!




Teens Abduct Lama and Party!

I wanted to do something significant for my 50th post - my personal ad, perhaps?  But I cannot, just cannot resist this story and I simply MUST tell you about it because I laughed my ass off and it's too good NOT to repost.

Some French teenagers abducted a lama from a local circus and hit the town with the beast in tow.  How awesome is that?!  His name is Serge and now he's famous.  The teens are NOT in trouble, LOL.  I can't beat that.  I've got nothing.  Thanks for the laugh, Serge, and you saucy teenagers, you rock my world!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/drunken-french-teenagers-abduct-a-circus-llama-and-take-him-on-a-tram-ride-8920524.html

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Ringwraith & "Shaun of the Dead"

What does a Ringwraith from The Lord of the Rings and Shaun from Shaun of the Dead have in common?  They both live in my apartment!   :D

Took my son out trick-or-treating (him as a Ringwraith who has found the One Ring) as Shaun... I was wearing so many layers I felt like a sausage... and my food coloring "blood" ran in the rain. I came home wearing a lot more pink than I've worn in years!  It was cold, foggy and drizzling wet, but fun nonetheless!



Of course my shirt reads: "Take car.  Go to Mums.  Kill Phil (sorry).  Get Liz.  Go to the Winchester.  Have a cold pint.  Wait for it all to blow over."

All hail the genius of Simon Pegg!




Saturday, November 2, 2013

Twisted Fairy Tales by William Shatner

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" as you've NEVER heard it before, as read by the fabulous William Shatner.  I love this man!  Not "G" rated :D  Almost as much fun as "Go the Fuck To Sleep" read by Sam Jackson.  Maybe I'll find that next!  Come on, people, get a life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3Dlhs1lch4

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alice Eve - Women and New Trek

While playing on Tumblr the other day, I ran across a wonderful quote from Alice Eve, who portrays the character Dr. Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness.  During an interview, the interviewer had the nerve to ask her - “Aren’t you a little bit too beautiful to be a science officer?”  To which Alice replied, “That’s very kind of you.  I’m very flattered.  But I didn’t know those things were mutually exclusive.”

There really is not much else to be said here, because Alice succinctly laid out the truth.  This culture of ours equates beauty with stupidity.  The flip side, with which I am more intimately familiar, is that intelligence might be the only redeeming quality of a woman who is not traditionally beautiful.  Both assumptions are insulting and misogynistic.  Truth is much, much more complicated.


When I went searching for pix of Alice on Google for this post, it took quite a while to find a few that I considered adequate – though there were plenty of pictures from the gratuitous underwear scene.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Alice is beautiful and should rightly enjoy it, and she can do whatever the hell she wants to do.  Much has been made of this scene.  Defenders of this scene then site the Kirk underwear scene as equal opportunity nudity.  But in comparing the two scenes, what did they bring to the table?  Kirk’s scene said something about his character, it built on something established in the last film, that Kirk likes women of all kinds, and it actually stands in contrast to the later beginnings of a relationship with Carol Marcus.  What did the Marcus underwear scene bring to the table? It did not clarify anything or present any new information; it didn't make sense that the character would need to undress right then.  Just to set things straight - I am no prude and nudity is just fine, but use it to move the story forward, shall we?  I know that the writers learned their lesson from the flack they have received...Damon Lindelof went on Twitter and set things straight, which I appreciate (and will post).  Let's hope it holds true. 


Star Trek Into Darkness had wonderful acting by an incredibly talented cast, a decent story line, incredible special effects, beautiful music.  However, I was hoping this film would get back to Classic Trek’s roots – showing diversity, equality, in treating crewmen as crewmen, regardless of gender.  I find it rather sad that a show created in the 1960’s portrayed more diversity and sexual equality than a movie made in 2011.  When I initially saw Aisha Hinds in the Navigator’s Chair sitting in for Chekov, I had momentary hopes that she was transgender.  For a few days I thought maybe JJ Abrams had really gone where no one had gone before in Star Trek and created a queer character as part of the bridge crew.  Since I do not watch television, I had no idea initially that she is “just” a big, beautiful black woman, as I had never seen her other television work.  (More on Aisha Hinds in another post dedicated only to this actress; I discovered many interesting things while investigating her).  My hopes were dashed...to a degree, because just having her there as an additional Navigator is fantastic.  

While no one would ever question Zoe Saldana portraying Uhura’s commanding presence on the bridge like “they” did in the 60’s (thank you, Nichelle Nichols!), not are any eyebrows raised at interracial/interspecies kisses between Spock and Uhura, there is much work still to be done.  I did take note that around half of the commanding officers and first officers in the scene where Khan opens fire at Star Fleet headquarters are women, and I also noted specific camera work establishing/re-establishing female characters on the bridge and elsewhere on the ship, specifically when Kirk had a channel open to the entire ship.  Those shots could only have been executed by JJ Abrams, so not all is lost.  However, we also lost a beloved Classic Trek character, Christine Chapel, in a throwaway one-sentence establishing how much Kirk had hurt her feelings that she fled to the outer edges of space.  So much for one of the most visible female roles from Classic Trek (maybe we can hope that Chapel reconsidered, and was assigned to the Enterprise in the year gap between the events of STID and the beginning of the five year mission.  Oh, dear.  My geek is really showing now).  I hope in the last (?) Trek film to be made, they do move honorably towards treating characters with integrity, regardless of gender or gender identity or orientation.   That would be nice to see.

Thank you to Alice Eve for this wonderful quote and having the courage to stick up for your character, and by extension, yourself.  It sounds like you were much more gracious than I would have been!  My only wish is that I had been able to find the interview that this quote came from, and I failed to find it. 

There is so much more to be said.  More posts to be written.  More stereotypes to be called out.  Maybe the next Trek movie can have queer characters, fully developed female characters and men who don’t have to be macho and fearless – oh, wait, STID did that.  And did it well.  The male characters were very well written and portrayed, with beautiful character development - Kirk, Spock, and Scotty especially.  This cast is so mesmerizing to watch, I really regret that there may be only one more film.  Ah, well, that’s why we must incorporate these values into our everyday lives and make it happen in reality, not just in fantasy and mythology.  Fantasy and mythology are worthless unless we learn the lessons inherent within the stories.  Use today, for it will never come again.  If you identify as female, do something against type.  If you identify as male, use your male privilege to stick up for women.  Boldly go.  

Damon Lindelof's Comments

To be fair, here is what Damon Lindelof had to say regarding Alice Eve's gratuitous underwear scene in STID.  We all learn. This is appreciated, and was a good, honest thing to do.  Thank you!



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy birthday to Bob Picardo!

Happy birthday wishes go out to Bob Picardo, the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.  My son, however, prefers him as the Principle on Ben Ten, the movie!  Check out his extensive film and television resume on the imdb.

When I worked on DS9, I also did a lot of work for Voyager, and got to speak with him occasionally.  He's a nice guy.  Hope you have a great day, Bob!

His website is www.robertpicardo.net    :D

Gravity (a poem)


I believe Newton was wrong 
Gravity is in constant flux 

For I,
Like many others 
Was crushed by a gravity unimaginable 
While others merely floated
Gravity is cruel and unfair 
For it is heavier on others 
Leaving victims helpless,
Without the hope to climb out of bed
We are tied to this earth with an invisible force 

Science would argue that we are all pushed down the same
All life below the hemisphere 
With an equal weight resting above
But I know 
Newton was wrong



Off Tumblr – INFJ blog ponderbox

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Paul Newman's Letter To His Wife

Here is Paul Newman's letter to his wife, Joanne Woodward, on their wedding day.  It's beautiful.  Now, no relationship is perfect, this one included, but the sentiments expressed here seem true to me, nonetheless.  I would love to find someone who thinks like this; who thinks like I do.  Maybe I will put up a personal ad here someday, LOL.  It's my blog, I'll do whatever I want!   :D


 "Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.  A good marriage must be created.  In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things.  It is never being too hold to hold hands.  It is remembering to say 'I love you' at least once a day.  It is never going to sleep angry.  It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years.  It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.  It is standing together facing the world. 




 It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.  It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.  It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel.  It is not looking for perfection in each other.  It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.  It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.  It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.  It is finding room for things of the spirit.  It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.  It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal.  It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."






Friday, October 25, 2013

Josh Hutcherson - Straight But Not Narrow

I love reading various websites and blogs and trying to keep up on things, because occasionally I come across a jewel like this one, something totally unexpected.  I love finding depth where I expected to find frivolity and superficiality.  Take this guy as an example.  Josh Hutcherson, "Peeta" of Hunger Games fame.  I liked the books and the movie and I'm looking forward to the next one, Catching Fire.  Normally, I follow some Jennifer Lawrence sites because she's hot and I have a little celeb crush thing going on (insert sheepish grin here).  I ran into this nice article on Josh and read it because it was a slow day.  Lo and behold!  Depth!

 The article is titled "Josh Hutcherson, Straight Talker" and the subtitle is "Josh Hutcherson on fame, is gay uncles' legacy and how the best thing for his 'Hunger Games' character might be a threesome".  OK, with those titles, I couldn't resist.  Oh, and it's in OUT Magazine.  Sweet.  Here's the link:


Here's the first paragraph that peaked my interest:

"He (Josh) definitely doesn’t understand judgmental attitudes toward gay people, which is why he cofounded Straight But Not Narrow, a youth organization that focuses on arming allied kids with the confidence and tools they need to speak out against homophobia. “Sometimes it’s frustrating to comprehend how people are not OK with it. If you can try to tell me how it’s hurting you, you’re crazy. You’re absolutely crazy. Like, what do you mean it’s not natural? Even if—even if, which, I disagree, but even if—why the fuck do you care?”

And here's the second paragraph:

"Hutcherson’s ready to pay it forward. “I have this dream that one day, my kid’s gonna come home from school and be like, ‘Dad, there’s this girl that I like, and there’s this guy that I like, and I don’t know which one I like more, and I don’t know what to do.’ And it’d just be a non-issue, like, ‘Which one is a good person? Which one makes you laugh more?’ ”  


OK!  I like the guy.  Here's the link to Straight But Not Narrow. 

http://www.straightbutnotnarrow.org

Every bit of ally support helps.  Thank you for being rather fantastic, Josh!










Envious of Chris Pine Today

I find that I am totally envious of Chris Pine today.  He must have been born under a lucky star.  Just a music video with Paul McCartney.  Damn!  That's awesome.  Way to go, Chris!   :D

 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Daring Greatly" - Book Review

As my first book review, I am choosing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.  The amazing author is Brene Brown, who speaks on shame, vulnerability, courage and connection.

The book title comes from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those who cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” 

I love that quote.  It’s one of my all time favorites, definitely in the top five.  This book also ranks in my top five favorite books of all time – what I’d pick if I had to live the rest of my life on a deserted island (not that I could limit myself to only five books!  Perish the thought. Though I might pick "How To Build A Raft" first - thanks, Tumblr, for that bit of wisdom).


 

I first ran across this concept of ‘daring greatly’ while browsing online – Ms. Brown has a wonderful video up on her website link - http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html.  I am not exaggerating when I say that the concepts in this book and video changed my life in ways that I will be exploring deeper.

On page 2 of the book, she states “When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.” 

She continues on. “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.  We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be – a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation – with courage and the willingness to engage.  Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.  This is vulnerability.  This is daring greatly.”

These concepts line up remarkably well with the content of another book I am reading - If the Buddha Dated: Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl, PhD.  It is all about integrity, being honest, honoring another person without needing to change or own them.  I love the synchronicity that continues to happen in my life lately.  As I am considering heading back out into the cruel world of dating, these things will be good to keep in mind, especially as I have not done this in ten years and am scared out of my mind at the very thought.  But I am NOT a "cold and timid" soul, and so fear will not stop me.


I invite you all to read Ms. Brown's amazing book.  It just might be the best $20 I'have ever spent.  It can be found online at http://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Courage-Vulnerable-Transforms/dp/1592407331/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376612067&sr=8-1&keywords=daring+greatly+brene+brown

 I also have a link to her blog in my blogroll on the right side of my blog.  Happy reading!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Smoking and Driving with LeVar Burton

I was privledged to work with LeVar Burton on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine prior to working with him on the movie Star Trek: First Contact when he directed one of our episodes.  It was a wonderful meeting!  I was a Production Assistant on the show and was hard at work delivering script pages to the stage one day.  LeVar was standing outside of the stage taking a break and smoking a cigar.  I commented how wonderful the cigar smelled, and he said that he'd give me one on my way back out.  So, after delivering my pages, I came back out and, true to his word, he gave me a cigar.  Very patiently, he taught me how to cut it, light it and make a nice cone out of the center to keep it burning down evenly.  Long story short, he and I spent a lovely twenty minutes smoking quite companionably outside the stage.



All good things must end.  Eventually my boss, our Unit Production Manager (UPM) Bobby della Santina rode up on his bicycle and did a double-take to see his Production Assistant smoking cigars with his Director!  He growled and I hurriedly handed the cigar back to LeVar (who was doubled over laughing) and ran away back to work.  It is a great memory.  A bad habit, an expensive habit, but a great memory!  I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy a good Montecristo or Cohiba or Punch nowadays, but every once in while my enabling step-father buys me one (to my mother's dismay) and we smoke on the patio when we are back home visiting  :)

While watching videos online, I came across this YouTube video and it made me sad and angry at the same time.  LeVar made a video and he explains how he gets pulled over by the police due to racial profiling.  It makes angry that such a wonderful person should have to put up with such crap simply because of the pigment of his skin.  My son's best friend is a black boy and when we are out and about together, I hear the same type of crap directed towards us occasionally.  It is simply unacceptable and I do everything I can to stand against this type of racism. I am white, and it is imperative that people like myself take a stand against discrimination whenever and wherever I can.  What I can do is use that "white privilege" to make a difference.  As a person of a non-straight orientation, it is doubly important that I do so personally, especially since I can "pass" quite easily.  Our differences are what make us strong.  Diversity is the natural order of the world!

Anyway, here is LeVar's video.  I hope it makes you think as much as it did for me.  And thank you, LeVar, for teaching me to smoke, being an awesome director and a good person who is making a difference in this world of ours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ckDJ3xTaE

You can follow LeVar on Twitter at @levarburton - https://twitter.com/levarburton.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Plutocractic Corporatocracy


My computer is being a complete jerk.  It is being incredibly slow and crashes all the time.  Dang it.  In addition, when I load in my Tumblr account, I can only get the first five or six posts to show up.  It's extremely frustrating, because a few days ago, in Tumblr-speak, "My dashboard did a thing".

I was following what I believe was a budding conversation between Wil Wheaton (who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation) and author Diane Duane - which could only happen on Tumblr or maybe Twitter.  Now, I cannot get back to it, nor can I find it!  I can't load in any other posts beside those first half dozen.  Grrr....  The conversation was on whether our government was a plutocracy or a corporatocracy.  WHAT?  What did you say?  You haven't heard those terms?  And you can't imagine why these two particular people would be having this conversation?  Well, perhaps it's a conversation we ALL should be having.

Plutocracy: a country ruled by it's richest citizens, the rule of wealth; the rule of power provided by wealth.

Corporatocracy: An economic and political system controlled by corporations.

I admit I am not as interested in politics as I probably should be.  It's just not an arena that I resonate to nor understand.  I prefer to make a difference in different ways in the world.  However, since politics rules the world we live in and makes the rules we all have to follow, it's relevant.  I have heard these terms bandied about before (on a homesteading/patriot bulletin board I am also on elsewhere) but have not paid a lot of attention.  Now that our dear government has decided to shut down (WTF!), these terms are catching my attention a lot more these days.  So, I would like to encourage all of you to look into this yourself.  I don't know enough to educate you.  Wish I did.  When I find who I can throw my support behind who knows more about this than I do, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, please do some of your own research.  We do not (and never have) lived in a direct democracy.  And now it appears it has morphed into whole different animal; as a bloodless coup, a silent cancerous growth, rewriting the story of our lives.

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor or private interests of any one man, family or class of men." ~ John Adams

"We, the people, are not free.  Our democracy is but a name.  We vote.  What does that mean?  It means we choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  We elect expensive masters to do our work for us, and then blame them because they work for themselves and for their class." ~ Helen Keller

And finally, consider this quote:

"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreiciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightening; they want the ocean without the roar of it's many waters.  The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both.  But it must be a struggle.  Power concedes nothing without a demand and it never will." ~ Frederick Douglass

Think on things.  Who are we as a people?  Who are we as citizens? What do we need?  Where do we go from here?  What is the next step?

You can follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter at @wilw and on Tumblr (but I can't access Tumblr right now to get the addie! Sorry!)






Saturday, October 5, 2013

Gates McFadden, Television and Fall Projects

Maybe it’s ironic that a television actress provides a great quote about the negatives of television, but there it is! “Life is so fast these days, and we’re exposed to so much information.  Television makes us a witness to such misery.” ~ Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation).

We are a television-free household.  I say this with some guilt, since I worked in television production for quite a few years and on several good shows that made a difference in the world (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and ellen) and know that the media CAN do good things.  However, for us, it just causes undue stress.  One of the diagnoses my son struggles with is Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  I found that when we watched television when he was younger, he became agitated.  Not only that, but he always got a bad case of the “gimmes” – gimme this, gimme that!  We get our news online from various sources, watch videos on YouTube, and we watch movies I have approved.  However, our television broke two nights ago.  So now, we are watching them on the portable DVD player.
  
The time we could be spending watching television goes to more important things.  We read lots of books, play online (well, not THAT much more important, though it IS more interactive), play outside and have friends over.  Ian also uses his time to write and illustrate comics and to make Lego stop-motion movies on his 3DS.  Much more productive!  I am taking up creating mosaics again, which I love making… when I have some projects completed, I will post pictures.  Now that fall is here (or is it winter already, sure feels like it) I am busy putting up food – canning, dehydrating and pickling. I just find that having a television–free life makes life better.  Our friends and family think we are weird, but they like us anyway, even if we have no clue what is on the tube.  We have time for what matters to us, and that is what matters.

I read somewhere that Gates McFadden is an INFJ.  When I worked on Star Trek: First Contact, I only worked with her for three days, and so I did not get to know her at all.  I wonder if she has a television-free household?

You can follow her on Twitter at @gates_mcfadden.