Fandoming: Let People Have Their Fandoms

Social media is a strange, fascinating place. It allows for access to people which we would never have.  This isn’t just actors, musicians, authors, and directors.  It allows us to make friends with people we wouldn’t normally meet.

This should be a good thing, and for the most part, it is.  Most people let others enjoy what they enjoy.  Some enter in healthy debate. This is fantastic.  I’ve learned more about Star Wars, Tolkien, Buffy, etc, from reading message boards, twitter, and facebook than I would have if I majored in them.

However, we all have our reasons for our fandoms. For example, I love Buffy because I identified with Giles, not the Scooby Gang or Angel.  I’m certain that the people like me are much smaller than the other groups that like Buffy.

Everyone has their reasons for their fandom.  It might not make sense to us, but as long as it doesn’t hurt people, let them have it.  If people want to ship Rey and Kylo, then let them.  If people like She-Ra for feminist reasons, then let them.

If it doesn’t affect you and if it doesn’t hurt you, then let it be.

 

Fandoming: Slowing Down

We used to consume lots of content. We would watch the Arrowverse, Agents of Shield, Riverdale, and Once Upon a Time. Every week.

Not anymore. Belonging to fandoms has slowed down for us.

We slowed down mainly because of the pregnancy. Now, we prefer spending time with the baby. This makes writing a nerd blog slightly harder. Let’s face it, we have to consume content and have experiences to be able to produce content. It’s a cycle.

We will eventually catch up. Sooner or later, we will be able to not interject “no spoilers” in conversations with people who have similar interests.

Worse, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple is still having some issues and still has more tests to run. This makes providing content even harder, especially when it comes to doing podcasts.

However, slowing down doesn’t mean stopping anymore. It means we will have to get more inventive with keeping NolaNerdCouple.com alive. If you haven’t followed us on social media, please do so. If you are a loyal reader and love to write but don’t want to have a full-time blog, write for us. When you think about it, everything has a fandom, and everything has its nerds.

Stick with us, we will bounce back.

We always do.

Fandom-ing: Goodbye Stan Lee

Both my wife and I got into comic books late. Local comic shops didn’t exist where I grew up. However, for as long as I can remember I knew who Stan Lee was. His creations, well co-creations, are part of the consciousnesses of our country.  Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, and a large number of Marvel characters came from him and his cohorts at Marvel.

If you notice, I keep using the term co-creators. Lee’s myth has grown over the years and people (and sometimes Mr. Lee himself) forget that he created a lot of these characters with other people. By doing so we are not taking away from his legacy.  He was at the epicenter of the Marvel universe.

He was the Creator Supreme.

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Sorry for the poor picture quality, we were far away and this was with my phone. 

We were fortunate to meet him quite a few times. He was always joyful to be around, even if you could see the decline from year to year. He was at the comic con we attended in London in 2014 and he had to be housed in his own building just to accommodate all the people. The best interaction we had with him was at Comicpalooza in Houston.  We didn’t plan on meeting him but it was the end of the day and the line was short. We were elated that he was still taking people. Even though it was the end of the day he was energetic and made small talk with us. We also got a picture with him and the Nola Nerd Baby…sorta. He attended last year’s Wizard World New Orleans, and a very pregnant Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple and I took a picture with him.

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A picture of our picture with Mr. Lee

I really can’t wait to do bedtime reading of comics with our little one. There are so many comics stories I haven’t read and so it will be great to share them with her. And we will have Mr. Lee and his co-creators to thank for a large number of them.

 

Fandom-ing: Yes, We Still Play PokeMon Go

Remember 2016 when Pokemon Go was all the craze?  Remember going to parks and people were actually there (in south Louisiana during the summer this borders on an insane idea).  Well, it seemed like a fad that quickly went away.

Well, not for us.  We might not have played all the time in the last two years, but we never gave it up.

Note: These are not my best Pokemon, just the ones I hadn’t deleted the screen shots from!

This is has been especially true the last couple of weeks. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has had a rough time lately.  She has had her gallbladder removed and still felt bad for a couple a weeks after.  She is now on the upswing. Surprisingly, Pokemon Go has helped.  Getting out of the house and going to gyms or walking at parks has helped heal her.  It has reduced my anxiety that comes with being a caretaker (remember my wife really hasn’t felt well since conception).  The Nola Nerd Baby loves that we play because she loves being in her stroller in 60 and 70 degree weather.  The breezier the day, the happier she is.

We aren’t fanatical about the game, but we do obsess over it a little bit.  We enter in our Pokemon in Poke Genie and enjoy doing the research tasks.

But, again, the most important thing it does is that it gives us active family time.  We have been to most of the parks in the area enjoying the outdoors and each other.  Now, if a game can do that, it’s not bad.

Fandom-ing: Meeting my Rock’n’Roll Heroes

On December 27, 1990, at approximately 8:47 pm, I purchased a record that would change my life.  The Replacements’ All Shook Down was coming home with me. I was immediately obsessed.  I listened to them every single day until probably fall of 1997 when I had my first real job, and I probably came home too late and too tired to listen to anything. Yet, I have never traveled far without the Mats.

(You can read previous posts about how much I love the Replacements here, here, here. here, here, and  here)

Luckily, I’ve gotten to meet two of the members of the band.

Paul Westerberg was the lead singer and songwriter of the Replacements.  If you like rock biographies, I highly encourage you to read Trouble Boys by Bob Mehr.  Paul is a strange, captivating figure.  His songs made the strange kid who never felt like he belonged, even when he was with his friends, belong.  He wrote songs about teenage boys struggling with sexual identity, something I identified with since I never had luck in my younger days with girls.  Looking back it was I had a shyness that crippled me, but I really didn’t know if it was something more than that.  He wrote songs about loudmouths and the guys that aren’t.  In college, most of my close friends dropped out, and since it was a commuter school, I only made a one close friend during that time.  Westerberg’s music filled in the gap that my friends left.  In 2005, Westerberg played at the House of Blues in New Orleans. He hurt his leg earlier on tour, so he was in pain, but he stayed and met the fans who wanted to meet him.  He made chit-chat, and luckily, a guy in front had a camera.  He also signed my shirt which Mrs. Nola Nerd framed years later and now is the centerpiece of our artwork leading up our staircase.

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

My wife has been very supportive of my obsession with the band. When they were playing in Hollywood, we were in Anaheim due to Star Wars Celebration 2015. Now, my wife is a huge Star Wars fan (bigger than me), and Celebration is the biggest fan event for Star Wars.  She was ok with us leaving early and going see them.

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

The Replacements at the Hollywood Palladium

 

In March of this year, she sent me a Facebook post from one of our favorite record stores in Orlando, Park Ave CDs.  Tommy Stinson, the bass player and, arguably, the soul of the Replacements, would be playing there.  I almost sent my brother in law to tape it. She decided to look up his tour dates, and that day a show was added to Siberia Lounge in New Orleans…and there was a meet and greet! She said spend the money! Only two other people did the meet and greet.  It was the most surreal experience of my life. Here is a guy who’s life’s work has meant so much to me, coming to shake my hand and saying thanks for coming (the bar owner told I was one of the VIPs).  We went to hang out in the restaurant part and talked about life and other things like a bunch of friends having a drink.  Remember that line I wrote earlier, about the Replacements filling in the gaps of friends I didn’t hang out as much with….here we were hanging out!

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Tommy at Siberia New Orleans.

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Signed Bash & Pop by Tommy

After the show, he signed a poster for me and recorded a message for the Nola Nerd Baby who wasn’t even a month old yet.

I won’t ever post that on here or social media.

That’s just for us.

 

Fandom-ing: First Thoughts on Doctor Who

This was written before watching Rosa.

I love LOVE, the thirteenth Doctor.

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I figured I get that out of the way first.

Our daughter is only 8 months, so she doesn’t understand anything she is seeing, but I find her smiling and laughing when we watch.  And it’s always when the Doctor is onscreen.

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We never saw Classic Who, but I don’t really find her like any other Doctor.  There is the accent that echoes the 9th, but that’s about it.  There is a positivity to Jodie Whittaker’s performance that is new and refreshing.  The Doctor finally seems free from the events of the War Doctor.  Of course, she is just remembering who she is and that can change. Also, her Doctor has a confidence that doesn’t fall into arrogance.  She engineers the problem in a way that is new and exciting.

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Also, I’m really like the companions.  Mandip Gill brings an empathy to her character that instantly connects her with the viewer and the other people in the episode.  Bradley Walsh’s Graham serves as the audience in the first two episodes. This is a great tool for the show, especially for new viewers.  The 12th doctor didn’t have this type of character until his last season and it really hurt the season. Mr. Walsh’s character is our window into the Doctor’s world.  However, it’s Tosin Cole’s Ryan Sinclair that has quickly become the emotional center of the show.  Losing his grandmother and rejecting Graham as a father figure, gives him a complexity that almost makes him as interesting as the Doctor. Also, his coordination problem makes for an interesting disability in the Doctor’s universe.

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Also, the Stenza appear to be a great villain species.  “Tim Shaw” was scary in his space suit, and downright terrifying when we get to see his face with his collection of teeth from his trophy hunts.  The fact that they were the phantom menace behind the planet’s demise in episode two, lets us know that we will continue to see this race.

The only thing I was slightly disappointed on was the interior look of the Tardis, but this happens to me with every Doctor.  I know the Tardis needs to update with each doctor but it would be nice to have one thing be constant. Of course, this is the smallest thing to have an issue with the show.

I really am looking forward to seeing where all three of these characters go.

 

DoctorWho-ing: We Never Really Knew Who the Twelfth Doctor Was

We love Peter Capaldi.  He is a fantastic actor, and he did a fantastic job as the Twelfth Doctor.  However, we are not fans of number 12.

Again, this is isn’t a criticism of Capaldi at all.  He was great in every scene, always bringing his A game.  He made some bold choices, and they all worked.  It just felt to us that the showrunners didn’t really know where they wanted to take his doctor.

The ninth and tenth doctors had to deal with the war doctor.  Eleven started fresh, effectively rebooting the series, and reminded us why the Doctor needs others.  However, when he left, he also left his current companion.  Clara (not Jenna Coleman, who we also adore) was a massive problem for the twelfth doctor.

Clara’s story was actually over when the eleven regenerates.  Yet, instead of starting fresh, Stephen Moffat decided to make her focus be that she was a companion to a man who wasn’t the eleventh doctor.  He tried to tidy it up in the first episode, but, for us, it left a huge shadow over the first season.  The idea of the twelfth doctor exploring his past and wondering if he was a good “person” was a brilliant premise and made us excited when his trailers come out.   However, it always felt as if he was being held back by having to deal with Clara.  The second season with Clara, the year of the two doctors, was even more disappointing in our books. We never really got to feel as if we knew who the Twelfth Doctor really was. It wasn’t until his second season episode “Heaven Sent” that we felt we got to know to realize what this doctor could be.

This Doctor really came alive for us in his last season (and “The Husbands of River Song”).  The Doctor was freed from the baggage of the past, well as much as he could be, and allowed to explore who he was.  It also helped that he had a new companion in Bill. Bill’s journey in getting to know the Doctor on who he was as number 12 allowed us to do the same.  For the first time, we got to feel what made up 12 instead of trying to figure out how he was different from 11.

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That doesn’t mean there were not great episodes during his run.  There were, and the addition of Missy was a godsend for his character.

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Now, I’m basing this over one viewing of Capaldi’s Doctor. Maybe, a rewatch will allow us to catch things we miss.

Maybe we will become emotionally invested in his stories like we did with 9, 10, and 11.  The work Capaldi put into it deserves that.