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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favorite Things: Doctor Who

In this installment, I show some love to one of my favorite TV shows.

So I first remember watching when Tom Baker was The Doctor. His run lasted from 1974-1981. I recall this one as early as me being five years old.



Now being so young, I don't quite remember the adventures he had, or who his companions were. I just remember the guy with the big hair and the scarf. I also remember the TARDIS.

Let's fast-forward to 2005, shall we?

Sci-Fi Channel announces a new Doctor Who series. I'm intrigued as it stirs up memories of my youth (well, this and Godzilla movies) so I decided to watch. In this version, we're introduced to Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. Some of you playing along at home will also recognize him from 28 Days Later...(an amazing film. Expect an entry about my love for zombie flicks later on.)



This is also where I was introduced to Rose Tyler, his companion. She seemed pretty cool, and they worked well together.

But when The Doctor regenerated (which I think is defined in this series as 'The Doc either has wants out of his contract or the writers are bored with the guy'), it truly brought about the beginning of an era.

It introduced the world to The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.



Rose stuck around during Tennant's first season as our favorite Time Lord. But eventually Rose's adventures with the fan favorite Doctor drew to a close with a tearful goodbye.

Season Three rolls around and Tennant is still The Doctor. His companion this time around is Martha Jones.



Personally, Martha was my favorite companion. She had the spunk and attitude where it counted, like Rose. But she was also hella (yeah, I said it) smart. After all, this woman was training to be a doctor, but not of the Time Lord variety. Martha left us at the close of Season Three...but neither she or Rose stayed out of the picture.

When we get into Season Four, Tennant's still rocking the brown overcoat and Chuck Taylors. His companion this time around is Donna Noble (who we met during the Christmas special in season three 'The Runaway Bride').



Donna struck me as a little too common. But I also came to realize that the ladies The Doctor chose as his companions were missing something in their normal lives. Whether it was adventure, a stable family life, the recognition of family, these ladies had something that for whatever reason, stepping into that Police Box filled.

The end of season four came with the announcement that Tennant would be moving on to pursue other interests. The fans began to mourn as we all wondered who was going to fill the shoes Tennant had managed to with this manic quirkiness along with a touch of sadness.

Rose, Martha, Sarah Jane, all made appearances at the end of this season. It was wonderful to see all of the friends he'd made.

There were some specials, and Tennant's run came to a close with 'The End of Time', which brought back an old enemy and was a very emotional goodbye when Tennant hung up that overcoat for good. (I'm going to admit here I cried like a baby when he regenerated.)

Currently, we have Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor, along with his companion, Amy Pond.



Now I'll be honest here. I'm not sure I like Matt Smith as The Doctor. I really adored Tennant's version (I'd compare it to how I feel about Egon Spengler.) so I walked into this one with great reluctance. I love Amy, she's got some major spunk. I am hoping for the possibility of some reunions with previous companions. But truth be told, Matt seems to be still growing into this role. Maybe he hasn't decided how he's going to roll with it yet, but I suppose I shall have to really just park my ass down and watch it.

But the revamp of the series has left a mark on me that will never go away. I dream sometimes of The Doctor (it's always Tennant in my dreams) coming to whisk me away in that Police box to worlds far away. We could watch the end of the world from aboard a spaceship, meet Madame du Pompadour, witness Shakespeare write 'Love's Labour Won' and of course battle some Cybermen and Daleks along the way. But if the Sontarans show up, I won't complain.

When the husband and I got married, we got custom made Chucks to honor our favorite Doctor. I carried a Sonic Screwdriver in my bouquet. This series made such an impact on our relationship that we had to pay homage.

And in about a month, I will be donning that long brown overcoat and pinstriped suit Tennant did during his run. I will do it with love, respect and adoration for one of the best damn characters I've ever seen on TV within the last five years.

I can't wait to see the fellow Con-goers asking me for pictures. But for the time being, I have quotes to learn and facial expressions to practice!

As always, if you've got something to say, please let me know!

Be Well,

-Jen

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Favorite things: Ghostbusters

I figured I'd start off with short essays of specific things I love and why I do. This way you guys can get to know your happy blogger and I can share a little too.

So we're going to start off with my absolute favorite movie of all time and how it affected a very creative 8 year old girl.

Ghostbusters was released in 1984 and from the moment I heard about it, I was intrigued. I remembered Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd from Saturday Night Live sketches I'd heard on a cassette my folks had.

For Halloween that year, I had a very crude Ghostbuster costume, which was a GB T-shirt, and my proton pack was a foil covered box with a light in it that blinked. The particle thrower was a squirt machine gun attached with some hose. My dad helped me make it. It certainly wasn't screen accurate, but I'd helped make this and was pretty damn proud of it.

I finally saw the film on cable the following year, and always watched it when it aired. At age 9, my parents got me my own copy on VHS, which I probably watched more times than I can count. My mother hated watching this with me, for I was memorizing the lines and would nearly repeat the movie verbatim.

When we entered the DVD age, it was the first DVD I purchased, and also snagged it when we finally went Blu-Ray earlier this year. I could watch this movie any time and be transported back to being an impressionable eight year old who had an infatuation with Egon Spengler, but was too young to know what those feelings were.

I'd always loved Egon. He was the straight man to Venkman's charismatic jokes or Stantz's childlike view of the world. Even when Janine kept trying to throw herself at him, he was always more interested in building things and eating junk food.

I'd learned a very short time later that I was actually related to Annie Potts, who'd played Janine. Due to my former residence in New York, I'd managed to nail down a pretty authentic impression of her.

When my husband and I started dating, I offered him the Litmus test of this film. If he loved it as much as I did, he was a keeper. After that first viewing together, we decided that his personality was most like Peter Venkman. It's been my pet name for him ever since. Some people ask why, but I always reply with a smile, 'Venkman got the girl at the end.'

Twenty-Five years after the release of the film, we got a video game, which was pretty much a wet dream for anyone who'd ever dreamed of strapping on a proton pack and saving New York City from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This was also the year that I got to make a costume that would win a prize.

Thanks to the help of my buddy Jeff (who will always be my Stantz), we built a proton pack. I toiled for some time to sew patches onto three jumpsuits (Spengler, Venkman and Zeddemore. Stantz had moved by then) and gathering the little details for my suit. I was determined that twenty five years after the first time I'd donned a backpack, I was going to do it again, and I was going to do it right. My Inner Child treated this like Christmas morning. Halloween arrived, and my work was holding a costume contest. I knew I'd have to bring my A-Game if I even wanted a shot at winning. So I slipped into my suit and pretended I was Egon Spengler. I discussed the Twinkies, talked about how print was dead and for a few moments, felt like the love and adoration I'd had for this film was coming full circle.

For my efforts, I walked away from that contest with a new iPod, which I thank that Proton Pack for every day (which is in my bedroom as I can't lock that baby up in my storage unit. She's too pretty!).

When Venkman and I got married this year, we knew we wanted to wear Chuck Taylors (Due to Doctor Who, which will be another essay) in our wedding colors. The nicknames we chose for the back were Venkman and Spengler.

If there is room in the GB3 script, I'd like to ask that I be cast as the love child of Janine and Egon. Granted, I will be a pierced and tattooed punkass, but I think my inner child would be fully satisfied.

I will proudly hang my Ecto-1 license plate up in my home, rattle off lines from the film, and even have the occasional fantasy of getting under Egon's jumpsuit and making him all hot and bothered. I'll even make sure my figures stay Mint In Box and keep the cat away from them.

But to those four guys who, after getting kicked out of Columbia University, went into business for themselves, I salute you. Your blend of scares and laughs, the wonderful characters, and setting it all in my home state have endeared this film to me, even 26 years later.

And I even liked Ghostbusters II. I can't help but smile anytime I hear Jackie Wilson singing 'Higher and Higher'.

Got anything to say? Let's hear it!

Be Well,

-Jen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E3 Madness, Part One

Due to some paperwork SNAFU, I was unable to attend, but the beauty of the internet means I can sit in my comfy chair, my cat batting at my ankles with his teeth and a can of Pepsi while I watched press presentations from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. (Note to self: GO NEXT YEAR!!)

The press things are where each of the companies reveal new games, announcements regarding their consoles and you usually get the scoop on all the goodness coming to the console of your choice.

Can I say right now that it wasn't Killzone 3 or Medal of Honor that had me having geekgasms all over myself?

No, they did not. I did not feel the slightest bit tingly in my neither regions.

But here is a list of the things that DID result in passionate moans, gripping my chair and even had me knock over a soda!

-Kinect for XBOX360. Kinectimals sold me with the little girl and her pet tiger, Skittles. I am enamored with having a cute virtual animal because this means he will not require a commode for me to scoop assorted lumps out of, I will not have to deal with him racing around my house at 4AM, and he will not cough up hairballs on the clean clothes I lay out right before I go take a shower. I also believe that this pet will also actually listen to me and not bite me when I try to touch him, unlike the feline we currently have, who does all of this AND also has a penchant for tearing posters off the walls.

-PlayStation Move. Support for Heavy Rain made me happy. Games like Heroes on the Move had me cheering. (Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank AND Sly Cooper in one game? Yes please!) This might remove my need for a Wii altogether.

-Metal Gear Solid: RISING. Fuck guns. You get a SWORD. You can Ginsu all the bad guys and obstacles into julienne French Fries! Blades don't need reloading.

-Portal 2. 'I hope we can put our differences behind us...for Science. You MONSTER.' GLaDoS's voice seriously made me spill a can of Pepsi in my lap. I have been trying to get my mother to play the first one. I think everyone should try Portal if they haven't yet.

I'm awaiting some announcement from BioWare regarding Mass Effect 3. I demand some naked Shepard, and would request that the voice actor for everyone's favorite Spectre call and read me Green Eggs and Ham. The voice gives me epic goosebumps...the good kind. It is likely Jason Statham will be removed from my Bench and replaced with Commander Shepard.



Yes. Way hotter than Jason Statham IMO.

I'm gonna go take a cold shower. More later!

Be Well,

-Jen

The Introduction

So I'm choosing to add my voice to the thousands of other blogs out there. What would make this better than the others? Time will tell.

I intend on discussing my favorite things, from comic books, video gaming, LARPing, TV shows, movies, books and pretty much anything that comes to mind. It is probable I will post on a variety of different topics, and I'll be sure to not spoil anything for you.

This is a girl who likes Sci-Fi and Horror. She is just as comfortable watching Gossip Girl as she is with Doctor Who. She can't choose between Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark.

I do have to credit my husband for the push to do this. He knows I like to write. He knows I am passionate about the geeky things I love. After all, the best way to a man's heart is with a melee weapon.

I hope to touch on the many different facets of being a girl, but also a huge geek. Maybe share my love for the things I do. I also hope that by doing this, I can encourage other ladies to say it loud and say it proud: We're geeks and we're proud, dammit!

Be Well,

Jen