Anatomy of a Fangirl

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“Space… The final frontier..
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds…To seek out new life; new civilizations…
To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered on September 28th,  1987 and Patrick Stewart first uttered those words as Jean Luc Picard, I was 3 weeks old. The show has been in my life since before I could walk or talk, so it’s no surprise that I spent the next 25 years of my life latching on to any fandom that struck my fancy.

While most little girls spend their time playing with Barbie dolls and dresses, I was watching Power Rangers and crushing on Wil Wheaton. I didn’t know it then, but this would be the start of a future of decisions outside the norm.

Now a days it is much easier to be a self proclaimed “nerd” or “geek” but when I was growing up you didn’t talk about these things. In the community I grew up in, during the 90’s and early 2000’s conformity was the “in” thing. Everyone wanted to keep up with the Jones’ and if you weren’t one of the elite (aka popular crowd) then you practically didn’t matter. Even though I seemingly blended into the background and went unnoticed for basically all of my adolescent life, it was for these reasons that I chose to keep my true passions a secret.

When I was 9 years old my cousin and I fell in love with a TV show you may have heard of. Buffy the Vampire Slayer captivated our young imaginations and gave us a heroine that we could idolize. Every time we had a family gathering we would huddle in her Aunt’s room and watch Buffy marathons. I’m going to assume that this is where my love of all things occult comes from.

That same year I can distinctly remember being in fourth grade and loving the Animorph book series. There were one or two of my classmates who liked them as well and we would talk to each other about them and pretend to be the characters. Looking back, I can also recall us being the outcasts in our classroom.

Since then, pop culture has rearranged itself. Everything present day seems to scream “Embrace the geek!” With Super Hero movies as far as the eye can see and even a sitcom about the nerdy Trek-loving Physicists of our generation, its as if the powers at be finally realized that a slightly awkward boy or girl who loves to cosplay and can tell you the name of Lt. Commander Data’s cat (its Spot by the way) can bring in many more dollars in retail than your typical jock or cheerleader.

That brings me to my conclusion, which inevitably ends up at Doctor Who. Some may say that because I am a late in life Whovian, (I didn’t stumble upon it until I was in my 20s) that I do not understand or respect the iconic BBC tale of a timelord and his companions. These people completely underestimate me in the worst possible way. I discovered Doctor Who while pregnant with my son in 2010 and it has been a love affair ever since. I may have not seen every episode, but I know the history. I know each Doctor through and through. Some days, I’d even pick Peter Davison’s 5th Doctor over all the others. But this, is just the latest in a long line of fandoms for me.

I felt that with the premier of Star Trek Into Darkness this past weekend (two enthusiastic thumbs up from this girl) that it would be poignant to start my first official blog post off with a bang. I really wanted to show you a big part of what I’m about from the start, and this was the best way to do that.

Now I’m going to leave you with a list of all the fandoms I have enjoyed over the years. I am still in love with all of these as much as I was the first time I discovered them, so if you ever feel like striking up a conversation with me, one of these would be the way to do it.

  • Star Trek (all series, mostly TOS, TNG, Enterprise and the JJ Abrams movies)
  • Star Wars
  • Power Rangers
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Doctor Who
  • Sherlock
  • Being Human
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Batman
  • The Green Arrow
  • The Green Lantern
  • Thor
  • IronMan
  • Captain America
  •  The Mortal Instruments (Shadowhunter Chronicles)
  • The Eternity Series
  • Lost Girl
  • Firefly
  • Farscape
  • Red Dwarf
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • The Walking Dead
  • Game of Thrones (the book series & television show)
  • True Blood

And probably many others that I can’t think of at the current moment.

Thanks for reading.

Peace and Long life, and also…Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

So, I’m pretty basically an X-Man

I recently discovered that I have a super power!
I always knew I was special…
Not really. What I recently discovered is that I have is a rare neurological condition. This is a weird story, so stay with me.

I was stuck in Wikipedia sink hole a couple of weeks ago during some down time at work when I stumbled upon the Matilda wiki page. Matilda was one of my favorite stories when I was a kid. I loved the book, and I loved the movie. It, ironically enough, is about a little girl who discovers she has super powers. The Matilda wiki page lead me to the page of Mara Wilson, the grown adult who once played my most favorite character in the movie version; which lead me to Ms. Wilson’s personal blog.

Her most recent post had been a tribute to her sister and was full of many random facts about her. One of these random facts was that she had a rare neurological condition called Synaesthesia. Image my surprise… she was describing symptoms that I have- that I have always had- that I never knew were actually symptoms at all.

Here’s a brief on what Synaesthesia actually is:

Synaesthesia “is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway… In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored, while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be “farther away” than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Yet another recently identified type, visual motion → sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker.” (wikipedia)

I have the grapheme color synesthesia and the ordinal linguistic personification.
I couldn’t believe that this actually a thing. Seriously! I never knew that not everybody had colors for their alphabet. I didn’t know that people didn’t assign a sex to objects and ideas. I just assumed this was inherent in all people.

The first thing I did after spending hours reading up on the condition was call my older sister Katie. The only time I ever really discussed my “colors” before was with Katie when we were children. I remembered talking about her “colors” too. Surprise world! Katie also has super powers! According to my research this isn’t unusual. Synaesthesia is hereditary and usually pops up in women. My other sister, Emily, has the grapheme symptoms, but not the ordinal linguistic personification like me and Kate. My mother says she has never heard of such a thing before (actually, I kind of got the impression she thought I was making the whole thing up). I haven’t gotten a chance yet to ask my other siblings Ed, Maggie or Danny if they have it.

You might be wondering what in the heck I am even talking about- what is it like to have Synaesthesia? I’ll try to describe it as best I can.

When I hear, read or think of a letter or number (or person, place or thing) I also “see” a corresponding color and sometimes I perceive a sex and/or personality. I don’t actually see this with my eyes; rather I “know” a color. I would

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My First Mother’s Day

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On Friday night, after my sister Maggie’s prom Grand March, my mom and her fiance, Chris, took Robert, my daughter Eloise and I out for dinner. It was the first time we had taken the baby out amongst the general public for an extended period of time.

I was nervous to go out to a restaurant with her. She usually is a really happy, adorable baby… but she defiantly has her moments. These moments that I speak of are the very reason we have gone so long without really taking her anywhere public. I was picturing my screaming kid throwing a fit in front of a ton of judging strangers and ruining dinner for everyone in the restaurant. They would all look at me, unable to calm my child down, and know that I was a new mom, had no idea what I was doing, and that my baby was brat.

She did so well during the Grand March, I figured we could press our luck and go out to eat. She slept for a the first part of dinner. When she woke up she was in great mood. She was flirting with the old guy sitting behind us and laughing and eating her fist and just generally being her adorable self. Everyone kept coming up to me to tell me how cute she was, how chunky she is and how vocal she was. I can listen to people complement me all day long- but hearing awesome complements about my kid is way way better!

We got all the way through drinks, dinner and dessert with no problems what so ever. I was beginning to think I had been depriving myself of grown up adult social time these past four months for nothing! The check came and Chris offered to pay (yay!). My mom was holding Eloise while we were waiting for the change to come back when Chris notice that little Miss Eloise had some poop running down her leg…

At first me and Robert were actually really excited about the poop. She had been very constipated the last two weeks and hadn’t pooped in four days.

I very quickly realized that this was not something to be excited about when it was already DRIPPING in the time it took me to get out of my chair and around the table to get her.

That old guy who just told me fifteen minutes earlier that she truly was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen avoided making eye contact with me. Some kid behind us was seriously yelling for his mommy to look and see how gross my child was. I was pretty sure everyone in the place was staring at us. It was worse then my worst nightmare! Eloise, meanwhile, was as happy as a clam. She kept grabbing herself and smearing poop all over. It only got worse from there.

I wrapped her in her burp rag, grabbed the diaper bag and ran to the bathroom. For such a big restaurant they only had a one man bathroom. I had to wait in line behind two other women, all the while with baby poop flowing from Eloise. When I finally got into the bathroom I discovered they had no baby changing table. Yeah. No baby changing table table. Just perfect.

I tried to set up her changing mat on the floor, which kind of worked. She has recently mastered the art of rolling over, which was something I temporarily forgot. As soon as I set her on the mat she rolled right off. On to a public bathroom floor.

Yeah.

The poop was everywhere by this point.

Her beautiful new dress was ruined.

I resisted the urge to cry.

In the end I stripped her down and gave her a full blow bath in the sink of this restaurant. At first I kind of felt bad, but then I was like, “Should have had a freaking baby changing table! Serves you right!” I threw out her stinky poopy diaper and burp rag right in their garbage can without wrapping them in a plastic baggie (I want to sound bad ass and revenge-y, but actually I ran out).

The whole ordeal in the bathroom took almost fifteen minutes. As I walked out of the bathroom, past the line of angry looking women, I held my head high. The bizarre twist of fate and lack of changing table had made me indignant. Let them scoff at me. I am a mother. With the cutest baby in the world (who, by the way, never once cried).

Today is my first Mother’s Day.

Its not just a greeting card holiday. It takes a lot to be a mom- a lot more then I had ever realized. I sure as heck appreciate my own mother much more now.