Anne Agnes
New2Who: In Days Of Yore

I was a teenaged in the northeast US. We lived in the middle of nowhere - they put this housing development in the pine woods near a Boy Scout Camp, and there was nothing nearby except some old brick apartment buildings, loads of trees, and a graveyard from the 1700’s. No swimming pool but I could hike a couple miles to a pond and swim there; they’d set it up with some sand for a beach, so sometimes in summer we’d hang out. I spent a lot of time in the graveyard and the woods though because they were nearest, there was literally no place else for miles, and I didn’t have a car. The graves were gorgeous, all hand-carved and weathered. 

But when I couldn’t go out - it was too late, or raining, or something - I’d stay home and read or watch TV and escape that way.  We only had 4 or 5 channels on TV, because we didn’t get cable (cable was for rich people, in the 80’s and 90’s.) Most TV’s still didn’t have remote controls. We had a spare black and white TV too, from the 60’s or 70’s, that still worked perfectly well so we didn’t want to get rid of it. 

Anyways I was a big old sci-fi nerd back when this was a really bad thing, before the internet existed. Girl nerd in jeans and sweaters and no make-up, the first girl in the strategic games club where we played Risk and D&D. With broken glasses, if you can believe it, really cliche, but we couldn’t afford to get them fixed so I used scotch tape. I watched Star Trek: Next Generation, and stayed up late to watch Forever Knight back when this was a big risky thing for a network to show on TV. Knight Rider and Airwolf, Quantum Leap and Alien Nation. 

And I watched PBS. Mystery, and Masterpiece Theater - PBS got away with a lot of stuff back then that a regular network would never have managed. I saw a naked guy, full frontal, in a British movie and couldn’t believe it was on TV. This was a big deal (I feel so old saying this.) I was afraid PBS would get in trouble, but PBS was an Art channel and everything is classy with a British accent, so they likely didn’t get fined. Not like anyone would have reported them anyways.

So I’m watching all this stuff, very indiscriminately consuming everything out there, and sometimes PBS had Doctor Who. Mostly then the 4th Doctor was playing. So I caught a few episodes here and there, and wasn’t quite sure what was going on or anything, but it was fun, so whenever it was on (and there wasn’t much of a real set schedule) I’d watch it.

The effects were terrible, like most stuff back then, but it was like watching a play - you ignore the set dressing because the story and the acting are wonderful. The Daleks never scared me. None of it ever scared me - it was a wonderful crazy sci-fi box of mixed up stuff, with monsters and robots and that wheezing TARDIS. I loved that the Doctor was this hodgepodge, this mad uncle, a magician. And that everything about him was broken down and only worked half-right but he still somehow always won because he could put all the bits together. 

And then it went away and I grew up, and I got my own house and my own TV with a remote and everything, and the new Doctor Who came on. I watched the first episodes and it was so different - but that was ok, because it was always different, every Doctor is different. Every Doctor is a new thing, a new time and place, all tied to the same grand long story. 

This is one of the best poems I’ve ever seen. 

This is one of the best poems I’ve ever seen. 

It’s a bit of a rant but there are parts I want to turn into posters and slap all over the walls of the world. 

Being a teenage anything is awful, but being a teenage girl is like having a special cultural target slapped on your back. Not only do you have to make sense of the big, squishy, scary mess that is your own rapidly changing body, you have to do it while seeing everything you love be devalued on a daily basis.”

Things I learned in the Army which apply to everyday life:

1) be on time

2) wear the appropriate clothing for the situation you will be in

3) use the appropriate tool for the job you’re doing

4) get enough sleep

5) make exercise a part of your everyday life

6) when you’re injured, get medical care

7) take the time to eat decent food when it’s available

8) how to appreciate and work effectively with people from other cultures and places (Ok, I knew this one beforehand but the military teaches it too)

9) when you don’t have decent food, enough sleep, or appropriate clothing and tools, you can still get the job done

10) how to appreciate the freedom to make my own decisions. :)

…Oh mmmmmyyy. Emphasis on the Mmmmm. 

Did some woodburning today with the new razertip tool. So much fun. These shall soon be on the etsy shop.

Playing with a geometric drawing app.

Women in Film: it wasn’t a feminist wasteland then, either.

Here are five films made from 1951 to 1991, which showcase some amazing female characters. 

  1. Helen Benson in The Day The Earth Stood still: a single mother in the early 50’s living in a boarding house and, it is strongly implied, sleeping with a man whom she hasn’t yet married.                                                                                                  
  2. Susan from Bringing Up Baby keeps a pet leopard and makes a poor, scatterbrained paleontologist fall for her.                                                                                                   
  3. Nora Charles in The Thin Man movies is filthy rich, completely brilliant, and married to a dirt poor detective. She’s also drunk most of the time and has no objections to getting into loads of trouble.                                                                      
  4. Ripley from Alien in 1979 was a role originally written for a man. Her best qualities are her easy comradeship with the crew of her ship and her fierce will to life and inventiveness in fighting the alien.                                            
  5. Idgie Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes. Wears pants and suspenders. Servers up justice with delicious barbecue sauce. 

Carved Aspen Bark.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, June 2014. 

Rex Stout: Watson was a Woman

Apparently Rex Stout, the American writer of the Nero Wolfe detective books, shipped Sherlock and Watson long before there were TV and movie adaptations to ship. His version of the canon goes that Watson was a woman (and married Sherlock, among other things.) He was a true fan; he goes into far greater and more entertaining detail about his theory than a casual reader would - some of his “proof” is *extremely* thin, to the point of nonexistence, but it required a great deal of effort on his part to concoct it and the whole essay is worth reading for his style. 

I’ve never spoken to her, but Miss Roylott is a wonderful person for hosting such an entertaining thing to read; the link to Rex Stout’s full argument is below.