September 25, 1992

I hate school! I thought it would be a great year, what a joke. It doesn’t matter what courses I’m taking I’m still me.

                                      The eternal problem.

And the fact that I feel nauseous every day doesn’t help. I think I’m seriously sick… let’s not speak of such unpleasantries. Excuse me while I go cry and fantasize my way to sleep.

                                    I’m not sure what this nausea was about, unless it was menstrual. Before I started taking birth control pills I got my period about every three weeks and it was brutal. I’ve been known to throw up in public places more than once because of this problem. The nausea could have also been anxiety though. When I was a child I had chronic stomach aches and when I complained about it to my mother she brought me to a doctor who told me there was nothing wrong. That was one of the first times I learned not to trust/listen to doctors (that deserves a rant of its own which I’ll save for another day). In any case, it was only thirty years later that the medical community finally acknowledged the connection between stomach pain and anxiety, especially in children. When I read a few of the articles referring to these studies the lightbulb clicked and I realized this was what I’d been suffering from my entire childhood.

October 11, 1992

Since Michelle (my sister’s friend) came over for Thanksgiving supper she had us say all the stuff we were thankful for. All I said was that I was thankful Star Trek TNG plays everyday and has a new season and that the Young Indianna Jones Chronicles plays. Pretty sad, eh?

                                    Yeah, sad. Fictional characters were, at that time, my only friends. Today I’m happy to report that I also have one or two IRL friends, so… progress!

fictional-characters-need-our-emotions-more-than-real-life-people

August 19, 1992

I did finally clean my room the other day. Last Sunday I think. It’s a great feeling knowing my room is clean. And it wasn’t such a drag doing it. I think I’ll survive.

                                      Survive what? The next 25 years of your life? Yeah, you will.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles are playing again. I’m pretty Star Trek-asized these days too. Life isn’t that bad for me now. I’m pretty into it. Pretty content. I have my dreams… I’m not dreading back to school, although I can’t say I’m looking forward to it either.

                                      Ahh to be young again, when summer vacation lasted two whole months, rather than just two weeks.

August 21, 1992

Today I found out that school stars the 27th! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Less than a week! What a shock! And due to budget cuts there is a time change. School now begins at 7:45 – this means I have to wake up at like 6:30, or 6:45. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I don’t know how I’m going to handle it! Last year I could hardly crawl out at 7:00. It could maybe zombie my way through the morning waking at 7:10. So I’ve decided to devise a plan. As soon as I get home from school, straight away I do my homework (Keith and I will force each other to do it). Then take a nap. Then wake up, have supper, watch TV, and go to bed. I think I’ll be able to manage waking so early if I stick to the plan and get that nap. I must stick to the plan. And I have to start waking earlier this week to get accustomed to it.

                                         early-riser   It was ridiculous then, and remains ridiculous now, that teenagers must wake up so freakin’ early to get to school. Plenty of studies have confirmed that adolescents  are natural night-owls and do better in school if they are allowed to start at a later time. Yet our society is not structured for families, or children. Our society is structured for rich old men. Why should any office have start and end times? Why can’t people just work when it’s convenient for them? 

 

                                           In any case, my plan half worked. I did take naps every afternoon but only because I was constantly exhausted. I was an insomniac at this age and never managed to fall asleep at a decent hour, regardless of when I went to bed, so I was sleep deprived for most of my adolescence. I think this contributed to my depression at that time.

This has got to be the ultimate year.

                                      It was not the ultimate year.

I’m not taking any math courses. I think I might gt gas permeable contacts some time this year.

                                       I tried gas permeable and they were incredibly painful. My mom was pissed that I refused to wear them.

I’m 16. As long as I do things to make myself near happy (because you realize happiness is impossible for me) I’ll be alright. I’ve gotten to my last year of high school, it’s gotta be great.

                                     It was not great.

I’ve got to start making things happen for myself.

                                 I did not make things happen for myself.

Maybe without math I’ll like school this year.

                                 I did not like school that year.

You know it’s weird this intimate connection with body and mind. When I think of going back to school i feel a weight in my stomach holding me down, making me sad. When I think of vacation the weight is gone and it’s the opposite. I’m lifted somehow. This definitely makes one like the prospect of vacation.

                                Yes, definitely.

I guess I gotta go. This entry was too concrete.

                              Indeed.

Painting

Everyone knows that in order to be a true artist, one must appear starving at all times. A simple white tee, ratty jeans, and messy hair will help achieve this effect, but most essential are bare feet. Nothing says “my art represents my soul” better than the appearance of not giving a shit while actually giving all the shits that could possibly be given.

For bonus points you can adopt the paleo diet. The disgustingness of this diet will keep you slim, further adding to your starving appearance but most importantly, it’ll boost up your pretentiousness points.

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Shout out to my artist friend, Caro, for posing for this shot.

I will always love you

On September 28, 1987 something monumental happened. Something that would change the world, and would begin one of the most profound love affairs in my entire life. Star Trek: The Next Generation aired its premiere episode.

I was only eleven years old, but I was instantly hooked. TNG aired for seven seasons which means I was eighteen when it ended but by then Deep Space Nine had begun and soon, Voyager would come onto the scene. These three shows carried be into my twenty-fifth year, so Star Trek was a part of my life during my pre-teen years, my entire adolescence, and the formative years of my young adulthood. It is not hyperbole to say this franchise had a huge effect on me, and helped to shape me into the woman I am today. I would even say these shows were partially responsible for raising me. That’s a scary thought when you rewatch the early seasons of TNG today, and realize how racist and sexist they were (I’m looking at you,  Code of Honor), but for the time, the show was revolutionary and the ’80s version of woke.

I’ve already written about how TNG came into my life at the exact right time; I was lonely and looking for something to believe in. Even though I didn’t have many friends in real life, the crew of the Enterprise D became my new friends – my surrogate family. They were a group of people who cared about each other, and all supported one another. They were the dream team and I wanted nothing more than to be part of that team. From the first moment I was instantly enamoured with Deanna Troi because she was empathic – the premiere episode even implied that she was telepathic – and at the time I was so insecure and fearful of people that I wanted nothing more than to be able to read their minds, just so I could get an idea of how I was supposed to behave. In time I developed a crush on Data and I realize now that this is because he represented something safe. As someone incapable of emotions, he’d also be incapable of hating me, as I hated myself.

I also felt a deep admiration for the Vulcans, and endeavored to emulate them in my own life. Now that I’m in my forties and have gone through a lot of soul searching and a little therapy, I know that my life long obsession with being emotionless was rooted in my laissez-faire and somewhat emotionally neglectful upbringing. I am only now beginning to reverse this programming and learning how to embrace every facet of my personality, but for most of my life, looking to the Vulcans for guidance provided much needed comfort. “I am Vulcan” was a mantra I used to get me through many a difficult time.

For young me, TNG was a beacon of hope, something for me to rely on as my life got increasingly difficult to deal with. As I fell into a depression during my adolescence, TNG was often the only thing getting me through the week, and cliffhangers like The Best of Both Worlds got me through entire summers. Looking for more of the same, I attempted to watch the original Star Trek series, hoping it would hold some of that magic I longed for. Unfortunately it didn’t, and I was sadly disappointed. Just as the spin offs don’t always hold up when viewed through a modern lens, teenaged me from the ‘90s couldn’t handle the overt sexism of the ‘60s series.

Still, I remained profoundly protective of the franchise, and deeply in love. Even as, throughout all the shows’ runs, I was often annoyed, (mostly with the lack of gender parity and meaningful stories for its rare female characters), I was also consistently moved, and watching the shows mostly remained a joyful experience.

As time has gone on, I’ve come to accept other shortcomings of the franchise, like its spotty understanding of science, and inconsistent ideas about future technologies. Writers from the 20th century can’t be blamed for guessing wrong about the future, and how our species would evolve, but watching the show now isn’t so much nostalgic as it is hilarious. And that’s fine. It’s still fun to watch, even if every episode needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and a gigantic helping of suspension of disbelief. And when watched within the context of the time it was made, the show can still hold valuable lessons, and serve as a teaching tool. Star Trek, as with all good science fiction, has always been its best when the storytelling was allegory, and not simply shoot-em-up space battles.

So I can’t blame fans for wanting to revive the franchise but I would argue that the modern reboot absolutely did NOT recapture that old Star Trek magic. They’re passable movies in their own right, but they are not Star Trek movies. They actually hold more in common with Star Wars, in that they are more action oriented than allegorical. Again, that’s fine for people who are into that sort of thing, but for me it’s not enough. What I’ve realized though, is that it’ll never be enough, that the old Trek magic simply cannot be recaptured because modern audiences are now too smart.

Ok, maybe not everyone is too smart, but generally speaking, as a culture, or at least for those of us who follow advancements in science, we’ve come to see that the tech as shown in Star Trek makes no sense. Some of it is way too advanced and some is not advanced enough. Today, in 2017, we have smart phones that seem more advanced than the PADDs the crew of the Enterprise walked around with. Why are crew members constantly seen walking around to deliver information when even today a simple email will do? And you’re telling me that in the 24th century people still only live into their hundreds? And genetic engineering is banned? There’s no cure for blindness? And nanotechnology is seen as novel? And women are still expected to take their husband’s names?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Again, a lot of this comes down to the time in which the series was made, but that’s exactly why it can’t still be made today. We know better. Handcuffing writers with the limitations of the established Trek tech seems like a particularly cruel form of torture. I would actually argue that writing any sci-fi today is similarly difficult, and current space-faring shows like Dark Matter and Killjoys are also laughably unrealistic, but at least they aren’t also hampered by decades of highly limiting (and sometimes internally inconsistent) cannon.

The only wise, and merciful, thing to do is to let Star Trek die. Let it rest in dignity as much-loved franchise that was good for its time. Leave it the hell alone! But no, much as there was coffee in that nebula, there is money to be made, so of course they’re taking another kick at the can.

Which brings us to my ultimate purpose in writing this blog post. I am deeply apprehensive about the new Trek series set to premiere this year, Star Trek: Discovery. We all know it’ll be a shit show because how can it not be? The producers have already admitted that they are redesigning the Klingons yet again, because hey, if the Klingons need anything it’s even more confusion regarding their turtle heads, or lack thereof.

I am hopeful about the black woman lead but disappointed by the continued lack of gender and racial parity. A bit of intertronning reveals that the show is still 69% white and only 30% female. *sigh* I also think back to the most recent disaster of a Trek show: Enterprise, which was often offensively stupid and could only be viewed through rage-filled tears of bitterness.

I’m not reading up too much about Discovery in order to avoid spoilers, so I can’t say much about it yet except to say that yes, I will of course be watching it. I’ve even started rewatching TNG in an effort to get back into that Trek mood, and so far it’s working. The early episodes are so amusing that I’ve started recapping them, which I will start posting here soon. And I might as well recap Discovery as well. Hopefully it won’t be too painful, but only time will tell. I’m very much worried about what Discovery will do to a franchise that has already taken way too many hits, but two things are certain: I will absolutely love it and absolutely hate it.

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Staring out the window

Feeling oppressed by the confines of your office on a beautiful day? The solution is simply to stare out the window longingly, dreaming of the weekend, which will come and go too soon, without having been fully enjoyed, as you were still stressed out about that big project that’s due on Monday. All of this longing and regret is best done in a floral pattern, as it will further emphasize how far away from nature you are, in your office on the 23rd floor. Unless of course your office is in the basement, or in a cubicle somewhere, and you don’t even have a window to stare out of, in which case, maybe an animal print will serve you best, to remind you that truly, you are caged, and will never again be free.

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