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Feminism and Star Trek

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Those of you who know me, know that I’m kind of a raging feminist.

When did this happen, you might ask? I can trace it back to when I was 5 years old and my dad told me I couldn’t be a cub scout. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how a feminist is born.

But I digress.

So, Star Trek portrays a future in which humanity has transcended all the things that divide us and it’s just all a happy joy fest.

Or … does it?

It’s been 30 years since Star Trek TNG, and the actors seem much more willing to talk about the dirt.

Like, why did Beverly Crusher leave after the first season? Because Gates McFadden wouldn’t shut up and stay out of the writers’ room. She kept pointing out that Beverly Crusher is a doctor, a research scientist, no less. With a genius son. Which surely means that she would have intellectual discussions with her genius son. And would it kill them to put some of those intellectual discussions on screen?

Yes. Yes it would. One writer in particular issued an ultimatum to the show runners: she goes or I go. And so she went.

But the fans! The fans would not have it. She came back for season 3. And lo and behold, that writer was no longer there.

That is a principled feminist. She lost her job over it. This story has a happy-ish ending in that she did get her job back, but she had no reason to think that would be the case when she was fighting her fight.

Enter Marina Sirtis. Now, I know when actors get on stage in front of thousands of people, they put on a show. And at a Trek convention, it’s reasonable to expect representation in the crowd from the Red Pill community. So I won’t hold her to all of her words, but based on the things she said on stage … she sure didn’t sound like a friend to woman-kind. She very much sounded like she is fighting no fight, and is quite content to watch others duke it out.

Statement 1: She admitted that the TNG crew is quite clique-ish, and they don’t let new people in. Except for Karl Urban and Nathan Fillion. Because new, good-looking men are always welcome – but not new ladies.

On the surface, that does sound very feminist. Men have harems, right? So we ladies should have harems, too!

But, lets couple that with …

Statement 2: Women producers are not helping women! They rise to power, and then they aren’t any better than the men! They aren’t hiring more women.

Well, consider this: If a woman has risen to power, but has only ever surrounded herself with men in the process (which, may have even been instrumental in her success, even) then how will she hire more women? She doesn’t know any.

Feminism means different things to different people, I get that. We all have different ideas as to how we all get a seat at the table, and whose responsibility it is to make sure everyone gets an invite. And there’s certainly something to be said for not turning every moment into something combative.

But as for me, I’m tired of waiting. I’ll take a fighter. I’m happy to know there are others out there making a difference, and I’ll keep fighting my fight in my own tiny bubble of the world.

 

Viva Las Vegas!

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Engage!

San Antonio reached an unheard of 105 degrees, so the husband and I decided to find someplace even hotter to spend a few days. You know, to make San Antonio seem downright tolerable.

 

Or maybe it was the 30th anniversary of Star Trek TNG and we bought tickets months in advance to the big Star Trek convention?

Either way, Vegas in August is hot, y’all. Do not go outside. You may spontaneously combust.

Luckily, there was not much venturing outside for us as we stayed at the Rio, where the massive Trek party was held. That’s right, 5 days of insane introvert fun! We met no people and made no new friends, despite the fact that we spent 5 days with thousands of likeminded people! Introvert mission accomplished!

5 days of Trek is … a lot of Trek. The casual fan may wonder, what can you possibly do for 5 days?

Well, there’s panels! Panels with TOS actors. And with TNG actors. And with DS9 actors. And with Voyager actors. And with Enterprise actors. And with Discovery actors. And with the movie actors. And with the NEW movie actors. And with writers.

So … that’s a lot of panels.

And then there’s the autographs! Which means lots of waiting in line for autographs.

And then there’s the photo ops! Which means lots of waiting in line for photo ops.

And then there’s all the people that are dressed up! Which means a lot of people watching.

And then there’s the vendors room! With that one toy you wanted when you were a kid but couldn’t afford because, well, you were a kid. Still in the package, even.

And then there’s the trivia challenges and auctions and tv and movie prop displays.

It’s a little hard to believe, but … we didn’t even do all the things. Turns out maybe 5 days isn’t quite enough, after all.

 

The Maryland Renaissance Festival is always a much anticipated event in our household, so we were delighted when the BFF and her gang invited us to go with them this year. The parents were up for the adventure, even if they didn’t quite know what they were getting into.

We met the 495 on-ramp at a dead stop, so after a few minutes, we decided to try a different route. The husband asked Siri for a non-495 way to the festival, and soon we were on our way – through – the dreaded city.

We took some wrong turns in the city, but the husband managed to find a route that got us to the festival. We were still nice and early, so we got half-decent parking, and we got to enjoy a few hours at the faire before it got too crowded.

We met up with the BFF and her 2 and a half boys (husband+baby+about-to-be-a-baby), and got started on the festivities. And by ‘festivities’, I mean food! Because that’s what the ren fest is all about! Turkey legs and sausage on a stick and fried stuff and cheesecake on a stick and more fried stuff and ice cream cannolis and some more fried stuff!

And then we got busy with the shopping festivities! There is so much stuff to buy! From chain mail bikinis to hand-carved wooden goblets, and wooden swords to blown glass ornaments, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

And of course, through the whole time, there is always the costume watching! Some costumes are impressive, some are confusing, and a few even have something to do with the renaissance. There seemed to be an influx of ladies with weird baby-hands in their overflowing bosoms, I’m not quite sure what that’s all about. Who wants to think about suffocating babies?

We watched some shows – a comedic, 30 minute version of Henry the V, and the parents watched the first 2 acts of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The BFF and crew tried a go at the sword swallowing show, but didn’t stick around long. Which is about what I did the first time I watched the sword-swallowing show. It’s not for the faint of heart – it sounds cool in theory, but it’s mostly just disturbing to actually watch.

After the festival, we hurried to Leesburg to shop at the Virginia store downtown. The parents wanted some Virginia-y souvenirs, and that’s the perfect place to find them.

After a day of eating junk, we topped it all off with a stop at Windy City Red Hots for dinner. It’s a small place, but luckily it was pretty empty when we stopped by, so we were able to snag one of their 2 tables. And we got hot dogs! Not just any hot dogs, they definitely have a superior dog. And it comes with a pickle! What could be better than that?

The sister had one day of fun before she had to head back home, so we went downtown to see the Alamo and the River Walk. She wanted to see the Alamo because, come on! It’s the Alamo! And the River Walk because of something about Cloak and Dagger. Which makes me wonder, why has she even seen that movie?? She was born in 1990. I’ve seen the movie about a thousand times because it was somebody’s favorite (maybe b2?), but I don’t even remember anything about it.

Even though my new home is in the boonies, we made it downtown and found a place to park in less than 30 minutes. Yay for 70 mile an hour speed limits through the heart of a city! Unless you don’t know where you’re going, then good luck to you. Just keep moving!

We wandered through the Alamo, and I recounted the story as best as I could remember. William B. Travis! Santa Anna! All the women and children hiding in one room! Nobody came to help! Everybody died! But, they slowed the Mexicans down long enough for Sam Houston to get into place and then he wiped out Santa Anna! Texas independence!!

It was early, so the river walk was pretty dead, but we found a place to eat lunch. The sister doesn’t like Mexican food, but I doubt whether she’s ever had Tex-mex. The parents were raised on Arizonan-mex, which is not the same kind of food you find in Texas at all. For one thing, Tex-mex isn’t ever a man-vs-food style heat challenge like Sonoran food often is. And another thing, Tex-mex includes chili! As someone who grew up with Sonoran-mex, that’s just blasphemous and silly. But, it is what it is. And, it’s yummy!

So, suffice it to say, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Because what says San Antonio like the Rainforest Cafe?! We were seated by the animatronic pandas, and decided to split the chicken parmesan. Which worked out well, as we are both tiny people with tiny appetites. Ok, so she’s a tiny person, I’m just a small one. 🙂 And I never get to split anything!

Given the fact that the Rainforest Cafe isn’t an Italian place, the chicken parmesan was surprisingly good. And we still didn’t clean our split plates! I was closer than the sister, as I’ve got 6 inches and 40 pounds on her, but it was still more food than I could eat. And I can put down an 8″ Deli like nobody’s business, so it was definitely a generous portion. No wonder America is fat.

After lunch, we hit the mall to do some shopping, and caught Batman at the IMAX theater. I had already seen it (duh), but the sister hadn’t, and she doesn’t live near any IMAX screens. So Batman it was! She liked it better than the husband did, but she, too, was bothered by the Ra’s al Ghul story not adding up. Because she reads comics. All of them. While I am conversant with many of the major characters in the major comics, she actually reads the things. It sure does make a geek girl proud. /sniff

We grabbed some Yummi Japanese on the way home, and the sister introduced me to Ramune. Which is just soda in a glass bottle. With a marble in it. And also tamago. Not only does my sister out-nerd me, she out-japaneses me, despite the fact that I have the Japanese name. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

After our gyoza and sushi, we slept in the new house on air mattresses that Amazon left on the front porch for us. Despite the fact that they are 4-in-1 mattresses, they clearly only have 3 configurations: 2 twins, 1 twin, or 1 king. I guess maybe math isn’t a requirement for marketing majors?

The husband and I have been planning a trip to Phoenix for months. We’ve carefully planned out our itinerary: a Star Trek Convention, an Easter Pageant, some theater (Nine), a Cowboy show, the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix Zoo,  the Arizona Science Center, and the Pueblo Grande Museum.  Do we know how to party or what?

We purchased the Star Trek tickets ages ago (priorities!), but I hadn’t booked the theater tickets or the cowboy dinner.  It was on the to-do list, but I just kept putting it off.

I signed up for the Phoenix Groupon and Living Social emails when I knew we were going to be in the area, as that strategy paid off for our trip to Vegas last year.  (Half-price Gameworks day passes and Atomic Museum tickets!)

So, what should appear in my email inbox but a Groupon for the Cowboy show!  Followed shortly by a Nine deal.  I’m still holding out for Grand Canyon, Zoo and Science center deals.  Here’s hoping I get lucky!

I took the husband to our local comic book store the other night, and I picked out a comic before he did.

The husband was content to leave empty-handed, but when he saw me holding an issue of Spin Angels, he quickly ran and grabbed a few Batgirls he was eyeing but was too afraid to go to the checkout counter with.  So I did his dirty work – who cares if a girl buys batgirl, right? – and we went home to read our comics.

Mine was better than his.  Even he thinks so.  🙂

pictures!

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I finally broke out the camera to take pics of my knitting.  Enjoy!

Jayne models    jayne hats    pirate socks closeup    pirate socks

serenity stranded

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The husband is turning 30 next month, which means he gets to have the best. party. ever.  And I’m in charge!  <gulp>

He has requested a firefly-themed murder mystery, and so that means I have my work cut out for me.  <double gulp>

In preparation for the event, I knitted a couple of Jayne hats.  One for the birthday boy, and one for a party prize.  They really are quite cunning, someone is going to leave the party in style!

So now that THAT’S out of the way, time to get down to the story-writing.  And character assignment.  And invitations.  And menu-planning.  (Moldy-protein-chocolate-cake, anyone?)

I have decided on the title of this year’s story, and that’s ‘Serenity Stranded.’  As can be guessed from the title, Serenity is stuck … somewhere (still working on that part) … and it is up to the party-goers to figure out who’s the culprit!  I just couldn’t bear offing someone in the firefly ‘verse, (even though Joss doesn’t mind it) so this year’s murder mystery will be short on murder.  But hopefully not mystery!

Now to get busy writing …

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