Fandom-ing: Thirteen and History

Note: We have only watched up to episode 7 of season 11. 

Two of the episodes of the eleventh season of Doctor Who have focused on historical events.  One was quite a big event that involved the person at the epicenter of it.  The other was a big event but looked at how it affected the people history often forgets.

Rosa, about Rosa Parks, did a good job but I wish it could have been better. Having time travelers, especially ones that are not US citizens, look at how segregation was enforced could have given the writers a lot chances to look at the absurdities and horrors of racism.  It came close especially in the scenes with Ryan, but it never truly reached the realm of terrifying. Having Graham being the cause of the protest also was problematic, but luckily they didn’t focus on it as much.

The Demons of the Punjab fared a lot better in that it decided to get really small. The event was about the partition of India, but it was really about four people living in the area. For an hour show, it handled the radicalization of one of the characters really well.  Also, making the characters part of Yasmin’s family gave us a personal window into the world. The aliens were indeed scary until we found out more about them. This hour is everything Doctor Who can and should be.

Parenting: I Want to Be Well For Her

To say this year has exciting would be an understatement. It has been the best year ever, but it nearly was the worse year as well. The struggles my wife had in pregnancy didn’t end with delivery. She had to be rushed to the ER three times during the baby’s first week of life, had her gallbladder removed in October, and now has more issues in the abdomen region (none are life-threatening but they are life changing).

Well, with the exception of a case of food poisoning (or a bad drug interaction), this year has been pretty good for me physically.  My palindromic rheumatism has reared its head a few times, but while extremely painful, not debilitating. Except…

My mental health ran into a roadblock. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time.  I used to see a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with mild (later severe) depression and social anxiety disorder. Funny how the things I love require me to be social, yet they are so exhausting. The medicine I was prescribed, sertraline, agreed with me. I changed jobs (this was 2003) and the co-pay for the medicine didn’t fit into my budget.  Since this is America, I quit taking it.

I really didn’t need it for a long time. I had read the anxiety and phobia workbook and learned how to cope with it. The mental exercises I learned from that book and my doctor served me well for about a decade (which included Katrina).

Yet, this year proved to be too much. I became overwhelmed. Not with the baby, but with everything. Luckily, the Mrs. understood because I have always been upfront with her about my condition. She has mentally and emotionally been my rock, as I have been there for her physically. And the baby is both of our grace.

I don’t want to put all my fear, complexes, and doubts onto my daughter.  She is very social. She loves to be carried facing forward so she can see people. She loves looking at people at the park and will interact with anyone we introduce to her. She’s damn near perfect.

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Our grace!

I’m not weak.  I’m not crazy.  I’m just not well. The important thing is I want to be well.  That’s why I returned to seeing a psychiatrist. I’m sure I could have told my GP I had anxiety and depression (mine does ask every time).  However, that’s not what he specializes in.  I needed to make sure I wasn’t wrong in my self-assessment that I needed help. My new doctor immediately realized how overwhelmed I was.

Even at my worse, when it was impossible for me to smile, I made sure I didn’t lose the ability to make her smile. If that meant tickling her, pretending to eat her toes, or giving her raspberries, I worked to make sure she knew she was loved and that I was fighting for her.

I wrote a post similar to this on Facebook a few days ago. I’ve already received a few messages about brave I was for posting.  I received lots of thoughts and prayers (don’t read sarcasm into that…I’m thankful). A couple of people privately messaged me saying that for the first time in a while, they didn’t feel alone. A few thanked me for fighting the stigma.

I’m beyond caring about the stigma.  So people know that I suffer from depression and anxiety now.

Now, they also know I’m doing something about it.

StarWars-ing: Star Wars Celebration Announces More Authors

Star Wars Celebration Chicago added to their lineup of Star Wars authors that will be appearing at the convention! This was already a super strong author lineup, and Celebration just beefed it up some more.

EK Johnston: Ms. Johnston is primarily a young author writer, and has previously published the novel, Ahsoka, for Star Wars.  Her upcoming novel is the Queen’s Shadow, which comes out on March 9, 2019. The story follows Padme as she steps down from being queen and joins the senate.

Justina Ireland: Ms. Ireland has written Lando’s Luck, a story geared toward younger readers.

Zoraida Cordova: Ms. Cordova is a novelist and short story writer.  Her foray in the Star Wars galaxy was a contribution on the short story collection entitled From a Certain Point of View.

StarWars-ing: The Podcast Stage

Well, we applied for the Star Wars Celebration Podcast stage, but we weren’t selected. It wasn’t a surprise.  We haven’t recorded in a while due to some health issues. Well, that and the fact that there are so many great podcasts that cover all the facets of Star Wars.  I try to listen to as many as I can and quite a few of those made the podcast stage in Chicago.

The Skytalkers Podcast is quickly becoming one of my favorite podcasts in general, not just a Star Wars podcast. The hosts are smart and literate.  They bring a fresh look at the franchise and often discuss things that other people overlook.  For instance, they have an entire episode on the crawls and I learned quite a bit from it.

Coffee with Kenobi is another podcast that I listen to frequently. One of the reasons why I like this show is that a few of the hosts are educators. They also look at the saga in an in-depth manner. They have recently done a set of shows about “5 Things We Love About…” the different installments of the saga.  It was surprising and a refreshing look.  The Coffee with Kenobi is an entire network of podcasts and you should really check them out.

Between now and Star Wars Celebration I will be listening to a lot of the podcasts that made the stage and highlighting them here.  So stay tuned!

Oh, and may the force be with you!

StarWars-ing: Star Wars News Roundup

One of our favorite Star Wars authors is back writing one of our favorite characters in the Star Wars Universe.  Timothy Zahn is writing a third Star Wars Thrawn novel!  Thrawn is the perfect character to explore in the written word due to his methodical approach to everything.  He is the kind of character that you want to savor which makes him perfect for books. Mr. Zahn will be at Pensacon in 2019 and will be appearing at Star Wars Celebration as well.  We are looking forward to meeting him again in Florida, and attending any panels he is on at Celebration. It should be released next summer.

Darth Vader has been a wonderful character to explore in comics.  Charles Soule and Kieron Gillen have done excellent work with the character for Marvel. Now, writer Dennis Hopeless and artists Paolo Villanelli and Brian Level will bring us Vader – Dark Visions.  It will be a limited series run.  Thge comic should be out in March 2019.

Also, since Christmas is coming up, you may want to buy this for the Star Wars fan in your life. This keyboard is coded in Aurebesh!