The Old Regeneration

So a few days ago Matt Smith ended his run as The Doctor. While I did love his version, there is a certain set of emotions that you go through as a Doctor Who fan when a new Doctor comes along that you never quite get used to over the years. For me it often involves declarations like “Who does this asshole think he is coming into this role like he owns the place.”

That goes through stages and variations for a while. Then, in recent years we have been able to get glimpses on the internet to ease us in. Still, until a Doctor has a chance to prove himself we often give him sideways looks and very little trust. Then eventually, I will grow to like the new Doctor. (Except Colin Baker. His Doctor was kind of a douchebag.)

That is why as an, experienced fan, I can now sit back with some comfort of “I have been through this before. Things will be ok.” But for those having a separation anxiety, I understand. Except all of these people going on about how Peter Capaldi (our newest Doctor) is too old. Now I am never one to have the attitude of “Oh, you just discovered this 50 year old show? That’s adorable.” I welcome new fans. I haven’t been alive as long as the show has been on, so I was new at one point too, but coming in with that attitude just shows not only are you new, but have no understanding or respect for the show’s history. The latter being a problem.

All over the internet, I have beer reading lamentations for Smith going on about how Capaldi is too old. So apparently, to them, the show is about being young and pretty. How do you determine if a the actor is too old? WIlliam Hartnell, the first Doctor was 55 when he first stepped into the TARDIS. Patrick Troughton was 45. John Pertwee, 51. In fact, if you were to list the actors with their ages at the time they took over the role, you would see… well… here.

William Hartnell – 55
Patrick Troughton – 45
John Pertwee – 51
Tom Baker – 40
Peter Davison – 30
Colin Baker – 41
Sylvester Mccoy – 44
Paul Mcgann – 37
Christopher Eccleston – 41
John Hurt – 73
David Tennant – 35
Matt Smith – 27
Peter Capaldi – 55

Peter Capaldi, from this perspective, is actually more in line with the majority of past incarnations than with the more recent. But even that isn’t the point here. Part of what makes the show so wonderful is over the years we have been able to experience so many different versions of The Doctor. Older versions and younger. Romantics and warriors. Cold intellectuals and  passionate protectors. That is what The Doctor is. An ever changing part of our lives.

But I could be wrong. Maybe this is just their way of saying “Who does this asshole think he is?” Because we have seen so little of him, the only criticism they can give is “I don’t like him… because… um… he’s old! Yeah, that’s it. That’s why I don’t like him.” But never fear new generation of fans, we all go through it when we lose a Doctor. And it always hurts. But, when it is all over, and the next actor comes along, that one we were calling too young (as many did Smith), too old, or too “Not The Doctor”, we always find ourselves defending as an old friend that left us all too soon. Even Colin Baker.

My hero! Faith Restored.

For whatever reason, when I was a kid my mom took on a job as a home health care provider and was assigned a young man named Eddie. Stricken with cerebral palsy at birth,  Eddie was confined to a wheelchair, had no use of one arm twisted tightly up to his chest and limited use of his other. At first his jerky movements along with cognitive setbacks made me a bit nervous.  This was all so new to me and a bit scary as a kid.

It took me a while, but I eventually learned to understand his slurred and jerky speech and we became friends. He would tell me silly jokes and I would show him Batman comics (that Eddie’s dad introduced me to, so I can blame him for a life-long obsession) after mom finished working with him and would sit chatting with his parents Ed and Pat.

What struck me most was his enduring happiness and smile that he had waiting for me every time I would go with my mom to work. One day on the ride home I told my mom “I wish Eddie wasn’t handicapped. He is the nicest guy in the world, he has so much love and goodness in him. He deserves better.” It struck me hard when she replied “If it werent for his condition he would probably be just as selfish and mean as the rest of the world.”

At first I was hurt that she would say that about my friend, but soon realized she was right. His disability had shown him weakness first hand, and somehow that made him strong. He would often tell me how his awesome, manual, one hand operated wheelchair was black like a sports car to show how fast he was. His ability was to overcome greed, selfishness and generally being like the vast majority of people I knew. Eddie was my first real life superhero. Over time mom moved on to another patient, and I became too consumed with girls and other selfish teenage pursuits and lost touch with him, but I still think about Eddie and what he taught me. Last I heard he was living in a group home and aside from a recent bout of pneumonia, is doing well.

Over the years I have met many more superheroes. People who turned what most would call a disadvantage into a source of strength that they shared with others. Today, I learned about my latest. A five year old named Anthony Smith.

Anthony is an adorable little boy who is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, and thanks to the folks at Marvel comics, he learned about his super power. A fan of superheroes himself, Anthony refused to wear his blue hearing aid saying “Superheroes don’t wear hearing aids.” In an attempt to help her son, his mom (Christina D’Allesandro) reached out to Marvel via their general email, telling her son’s story and asking if there were any hearing impaired superheroes, but not expecting a response. It turned out we were all about to discover there really is one, and his name is Anthony.

What happened next was as important as Peter Parker discovering what he could do for others with his powers. A few weeks after emailing Marvel a surprise came in the mail. Two comic book covers (drawn by Manny Mederos and Nelson Ribeiro) depicting a new superhero named The Blue Ear (one showing a little kid Blue Ear, and another, the full grown hero), who, with the help of his blue listening device could hear a pin drop from across the state, and the pleas of those in need of his help.

The Blue Ear

Thanks to KDVR for the pic

Anthony saw the art and declared “That’s me!” Anthony aka The Blue Ear (now an honorary Avenger) really is a superhero who now embraces who and what he is. With his new found powers, he has been invited to help other kids.

Teamed up with Phonak (the company that makes Anthony’s device) posters of The Blue Ear will be distributed to doctors across the country to help de-stigmatize kids with hearing aids. It will be unveiled at a special event where Anthony, in his new persona, will appear live teamed up with another technology enhanced hero, Iron Man (who also uses artificial devices to turn his own physical condition to his advantage and be a superhero) to spread the message.

With his new found powers of courage and self esteem, Anthony now has the ability to wear his hearing aid with pride and talk about it. He has even made new friends. Anthony now proudly tells other kids “Hey, I have a little ear and a blue ear. Do you want to play?” He went from refusing his hearing aid to wearing it with pride as a badge of honor.  Not only has Anthony found strength within himself, in true super hero fashion, he is sharing that strength with others and teaching other kids like himself that having a hearing aid isn’t a disability, but a power. To me, nothing says hero more than that.

My sincere thanks go out to Anthony, who is making the world better with his inner strength, and his mom for doing what it took to make that happen while showing us all what humanity can truly be when we try. And to Eddie along with his family, for being my first real super heroes.

Geeks Are Sexy via KDVR

Lessons regarding wine

This weekend the girlfriend and I took a weekend getaway to the Texas Hill Country. If you have never been to this part of the country, I recommended it. It wasn’t a big adventure in the sense that this is the region we grew up in, but the rolling hills and unique landscape are still never disappointing for us.

One of the newer aspects of this beautiful section of my world that has changed since our more youthful days is the introduction of a quickly growing wine industry, and our vacation quickly evolved into a wine tour of the region. I have a special relationship with wine. Not in the snobby discussion of undertones and aromas sense, not in the far more simplified “I really like drinking wine” arena. It is with that in mind that I give you my personal guide to wine.

Me and a crapload of wine

Me and a crapload of wine

Rule One – Screw It

My best advice to the newly adventurous wine drinker is to get all that crap about what wine should be, according to the wine elitist, out of your head. If you go into the world of wine looking to agree with the critics and professionals you are going to miss out on half the fun. Who gives a damn what me or anyone else thinks of what you like?

The fun of wine is exploring a world of variety and finding what you like. Who exactly are you trying to impress, and why should their opinion matter to you? I take the same approach to wine that I do with beer. I like what I like and screw what anyone else thinks. Their opinions don’t change if I like it. If I drink a rare vintage that is lauded by others, but I don’t enjoy drinking it, what is the point? So step one is to go in with the mindset that you will drink what you like and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it.

Step Two – Learn The Language

With step one out of the way it is time to realize there is still value in learning the language of wine. This isn’t so you can impress others with the range of your pallet, but rather to help you save some cash and trouble on your adventure.

Reviews are full of bold and often pretentious descriptions of a wine’s flavors and nose. If you can start to get a handle on what these descriptions mean in correspondence with your own taste, you can avoid spending your hard earned cash on wines that don’t fit into your tastes.

Step Three – Set A Budget

Wines can range in price wildly. There are “good wines” and “bad wines” in ever facet of price vs. quality. Personally my usual range is somewhere around $10 – $15. Set a price range and explore. I have a rule of thumb that I took from my rules when choosing books and movies.

Any time the author or directors name is printed larger on an advertisement than the actual title, it is a good bet the producers are banking on the name of that person selling the product rather than the quality of the actual thing you are paying for. This has carried over to wine for me. Any time someone touts how they spent a ridiculous amount of money on a bottle of wine, they just told me their priority is not if the wine is any good, but that they are just tossing around money to impress.

Set a budget and expect equal amounts of enjoyment and letdowns. Find a price range that you will be happy you got a bargain on a good wine you enjoy, but not so much you will have buyers remorse if it turns out it isn’t a wine you love. This will serve you well in the long run.

Start at the low end until you have a good idea of what types of wines you enjoy. Once you have that down, read reviews and find wines that fit into that character and maybe splurge here and there, but not before.

Step Four – Drink Whatever The Hell You Like

While I am by no means saying ignore things like suggested pairings (this wine goes well with this food) it is important that you drink what you like and eat what you like. It is true I have a favorite Pinot Grigio to drink with grilled salmon, the rule of whites with fish and reds with red meat is a load of garbage. Some wines go damn well with macaroni and cheese.

It is all about enjoyment. Drink what you enjoy and eat whatever you want with it. Find your own preferences. In the end that is all that matters. Impressing others with your knowledge of wine can be fun if that is your style, but at the end of the day, drinking a wine you like is a lot more fun. Life is far too short to be spent on what others like.

I have had wines that have been called some of the best in reviews that I would classify, in the words of my grandmother, as “a good grade of vinegar gone bad.” And other times I have had those that have won no rewards that I would call my favorites. Wine is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Do that, and you can have the adventure of a lifetime.

Been away

So it seems I wasn’t a zombie, it was just a bit of indigestion. Lactose intolerance is a bitch. So I went away on a bit of a retreat to the Texas Hill Country to recuperate and I am back to normal. Thanks for all the support and check back now and again to see the wonders of the interwebs vomited all over this site.

To thank you for your patience, I give you “Princess Costumes Done Right”. You are welcome.

PSA: Baby Names

I have request. People stop naming kids stupid things. You are fan of movie/book/author/city/object, good for you. Don’t use kid for outlet. Stop naming with stupid because you fan of something. They are ones have to live with name, not you. You think stupid name is cute? Go to courthouse, and change yours. Then at least kids only have to be embarrassed of your name, not own.

You say you love offspring, why you give them name so they get beat up? Because you think name is cute, funny or homage? Stop madness. Stop naming brood nouns, adjectives, verbs, names of cities, states, sports teams, etc. It cruel and you deserve bad things happen. You want unique child? Teach them how. Naming them stupid name not make kids unique, creative, artistic or whatever. It just make them target of ridicule and humiliation. You like stupid name so much, you be called Halo Godzilla Whizzpop. Not make other human being live with stupid name.

“Why the hell would you do this to me?! I thought you loved me!”

Hate Group Makes Fun Toys

Even hate group get it right sometimes. Anti-zombie hate group AMC have propaganda show/weekly snuff film Walking Dead, and teach people fear of zombies. But now they make zombie army men! This cool, but confusing. AMC, why you hate zombies but make cool toys?!

Now can make own zombie miniature community where live in peace. Or good for mini Christmas village. Or diorama that show zombies do community service. Your choose.

If have BRAAAAAAAAAINS you click for more information.

HELP!!!

News get worse and worse every day. Now I see mask wearing oppressors attack innocent zombies. London, why you let this happen?! Attackers claim to be good guys. If you good guy, why you wear mask?

Prep for attack.

Innocent victims not know doom coming. They offer hugs to colorful masked people.

Continue reading

New Perspective

Since joining undead community I learn things. Intolerance.  Anger. Hatred. Racism. These what zombie deal with. Anti-zombie propaganda tells lies. Says zombies evil and must defend. This not true. Zombies just want same freedom as you. Live (un)life. Find happiness. Eat brains.

Now media want to oppress zombies. Tell you kill zombies. Look at evil anti-zombie propaganda. After-life not fair. Zombies want equal rights. Not second class citizen!

Got some news today…

Been feeling bad. Been sick. Went to clinic. Saw doctor and doctor said can no help. Incurable.  Doctor say it bad. He say I zombie. Guess bite was bad. That explain brain want. Good news… zombie in time for Halloween!

World is different place now. Want brains. Can’t run fast. Still upsides. Stronger. Don’t need sleep. Brains low in saturated fat and losing weight… and body parts. Decided look on bright side. Life as zombie not so bad. Fire bad. FIRE BAD! Thank readers for support. Keep reading zombie blog for update on what it like to be zombie and usual internet silly. Now time for baking!

Still not getting any better

So just when I am ready to give in and go to the doctor, I am just too weak to get out of bed. Not having a car sucks on so many levels. I can’t drive myself to the doctor and am just too weak to do the bus thing.

I can’t keep food down (as if i have any sort of inclination to eat) and am starting to get worried. I haven’t been able to eat, I am stuck in bed, and I feel like hell. Now on top of that the headaches are becoming unbearable. I am sleeping constantly and I think the fever is causing all of the crazy dreams that wake me up every hour or so. Plus I think this bite on my arm has gotten infected. I can no longer make a fist with my left hand. Good thing i am right handed. I was going to put up a picture but honestly, you guys don’t need to see the icky grossness. Be glad you cant see or smell this folks. Ok, too much information. Moving on.

But there is an upside to all of this. It seems to be the best weight loss program I have ever found! Also all the time off has let me catch up on some blogging and movies. Is it bad that the only time I have felt hungry lately is when I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom during the monkey brains scene. Actually that seems to be a theme. Netflix recently added Clue to instant streaming (I love that movie!) and they mentioned monkey brains there too. Mmmmmmmm… BRAAAAAAINS!

Maybe I am becoming a zombie! Just in time for Halloween  I could totally win a costume contest! Not much of a silver lining, but I will take what I can get. So, hoping this will pass soon, and sorry about any typos. Feeling to crappy to care at the moment.