Friday, October 4, 2013

My Later Years

When I graduated high school, my very first decision was not to go to college, if you know me now, the perpetually in school, this is very ironic. But I didn't want anything further to do with education. What ended up happening is I took a gap year, I know, how very British for this little Midwestern teenager right? During my gap year I did many far ranging things. I took to grocery shopping and embroidery and watching daytime talk shows... yes, in essence, I became a little old lady, sitting at home with my cats talking to the tv, or to the cats, because to the day he died Spike never justified why he wouldn't watch Dallas beyond the death of Jock Ewing. That seems a very specific thing to take against and totally disrupted my three o'clock ritual.

Well, during this year I was also spending more time with my new friends. Well, I shouldn't really call them new. We knew each other all through high school, but it really wasn't till senior year we became good friends, and since then, well, they are the best friends anyone could ask for. No seriously, my best friends have been my best friends since the 90s! Anyway, as is the way, our interests all started to come together and blend. Therefore I started to learn about tv shows I'd never heard of, like Red Dwarf. Because I was not regularly employed, I would seriously do small jobs around the house for Red Dwarf VHS tapes from Suncoast video (cheers to you and a high five if you remember Suncoast). At this time I also started picking up Jane Austen and other British authors, in fact anything British became like crack to me. This expanded to The Avengers and Monty Python and yes, it all came back to Doctor Who.

There was a thrill in rediscovering The Doctor. I had always viewed him as kind of the goofy guy running around trying to escape the stuff of my nightmares, mainly Cybermen. Doctor Who had fallen off my radar since I was little. There was a blip in 1996 when one of my friends in Art Metal dressed up in honor of the 8th Doctor's movie, but that was about it. As it happened, my friend Sara, who also does "Art Metal" (aka is a kick ass metalsmith) was a Doctor Who addict because of her brother Paul. Now Paul quite literally had every episode you could get at that time on VHS. And we'd watch them at any chance we could get. We'd bring tapes with us when we'd go over to our other friends shitty student apartments in downtown Madison. Sure, we'd get together to watch this documentary on Nefertiti and there's even a themed cake, but now that it's over, how about a little "The Trial of a Time Lord?" The teenager in me started to have a real crush on the 5th Doctor, because seriously, until the new series, Peter Davidson was the "hot doctor." So, I tended to lean in that direction, because I hadn't ever seen those episode before being a 4th Doctor girl. Plus, I always had a soft spot for redheads, and well, there's Turlough. But there's also Adric. Oh, how I hate Adric. It has become a custom now, whenever we gather, to once again watch Adric's final episode to watch him die, and to laugh with tears of joy. In fact "Earthshock" might be the one episode of Doctor Who I've watched more then any other.

Of course, with this new found obsession, well, I realized I really liked hanging out with people with similar interests. Seriously, if you think about it, could you be friends with someone who didn't like Doctor Who in this day and age? It is the age of Who! In fact, my convention bug was started because of Doctor Who. Back in 1998 I went to my first science fiction and fantasy convention in Chicago, At Her Majesty's Pleasure. Oh, the dealer's room, the guests, the people dressed up as Tom Baker, and look, there's K-9! Thankfully I didn't have much money so I didn't go crazy. The aforementioned Paul, let's put it this way, he was down $1000 after about thirty minutes in the dealers room*, at least it wasn't all for him, he was purchasing for others as well.

*Photographic evidence of said spending spree, so many books and ephemera, they couldn't be stacked in one pile, try as he might. The T-Shirt over his face is a parody of the Fed-Ex Logo and the TARDIS, just saying cause I think it's cool, not as cool as my tin banks at the top of this post, but still wicked cool.

We spent the weekend in little dark rooms watching reconstructed episodes of Doctor Who, as well as The Vicar of Dibley, The Young Ones, Father Ted (Spider Baby!), all these glorious shows and all these glorious people! The 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy was there! As was my crush Mark Strickson, aka Turlough. But I think that's when I realized I loved Turlough and not Mark, much as I feel about David Tennant and the 10th. But this convention marked a turning point. There was no going back, I was truly a Whovian for life.

Stupid camera and stupid guys head... I swear that Slyvester McCoy, Mark Strickson, and Louise Jameson are in this picture!


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