Interstellar News: We’ve been working on the Great Basement Remodel and have gone back to work – so life is back to being bananas. I’m coming up on some even busier days ahead, including being back in the classroom this semester. At least there are only 80 students this time.
TL;DR: Enterprise finds the remnants of a spacecraft with a dead humanoid inside. The Suliban and Tholians come after them, wanting the vessel, while Reed and Tucker find themselves in a time loop. T’Pol and Archer argue about getting involved in the Temporal Cold War – and then stuff starts disappearing. Archer believes the folks from the future saved them and muses about procreation.
Archer: I wonder if they’ll believe that humans and Vulcans will be swapping chromosomes one day?
T’Pol: They’re more likely to believe in time travel.
Har har har – we get it, Spock hasn’t been born yet.
“How can a ship be bigger on the inside than the outside?”: Part of the problem with me watching episodes and then not writing about them for a while, is they begin to fade. I always take notes when I watch, but my notes are all absolute nonsense on this one – likely because of the time travel shenanigans. I love that Tucker things the vessel they found is basically a TARDIS, and him and Reed getting stuck in a time loop was fun. I didn’t hate this episode, but I also didn’t love it because I don’t remember it all that well. I think Porthos would rather be sleeping in front of a fireplace than watch this episode, but who can blame him? Move over Porthos, I need some snuggles.
Interstellar News: Another year has come and gone. 2022 had a lot of changes for me both personally and professionally.
Professionally – We finally got another advisor on the team as well as a student services specialist and two graduate student interns. This means we’re going into 2023 fully staffed, as well as our largest number of undergraduate students ever… yay? I co-chaired a committee on professional development and put on a successful half-day symposium. Everyone who is more important than I am at work seems to think I’m doing a good job, so I’ll just keep trucking along.
Personally – I got to do a lot more travel, which made me extremely happy: Virginia (twice), New York (five times), Indianapolis (IN – for a convention), Charlotte (NC – to see Billy Joel in concert), Red Lodge (MT – for a wedding), Atlanta (GA – Dragon Con!), NJ, Salt Lake City (UT – for a convention), Maderia Beach (FL – to perform my best friend’s wedding), and St. Louis (MO). I also started to take my physical and mental health a bit more seriously, something I plan to double down on in 2023.
The husband person finished the built in bookshelves in the living room (they are gorgeous and just need some finishing touches), we hired someone to build us an amazing back deck (complete with stairs for us and Zoom), and we started the GREAT DOWNSTAIRS REMODEL. 2023 is going to be hella expensive – but absolutely worth it when it’s all said and done.
I’ve watched a lot of Trek I haven’t written about – so that’s up first. I may do more Marvel MCU movies, or perhaps some TV reviews here and there. I also may be doing more PA work for one of my author friends, so I might have to muster up some “free time” first. I’m also back to teaching this semester, which I am not looking forward to for some reason.
Remember to be excellent to each other, party on dudes, live long and prosper, and may the Force be with us all. Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2023.
Interstellar News: This is my 9th post of the year, and that’s just awful. It’s also telling what a bat-shit year this has been. I want to devote more time to writing in 2023, but there are a lot of things planned and I’m not sure how many spoons I’ll have left for things like this. It’s often relaxing to write – but after a day of composing emails, sometimes I just want out from behind the keyboard. I also need to work out more, spend more time organizing, and taking time to be present with my loved ones. I’m going to try to finish the year strong… but we’ll see.
Anyway, please enjoy this very belated post from when we were doing a chronological re-watch of the MCU. I haven’t decided if I’ll do a round-up posts of all of the movies after this, but rest assured you’ll find out if I do.
Avengers: Infinity War(2018)
“Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards.”: This move escalates things quite quickly, as Thanos goes from one power stone to completing the set in a relatively short span of time. Our heroes are outgunned and outmatched from the get-go, but prove they are heroes by never giving up. I love watching the main characters all meeting each other for the first time and trying to work together with their mismatched styles. There is, of course, the Big Ass Battle in Wakanda, which is epic to watch for so many reasons. Thanos telling Thor that Thor should have “gone for the head” is the biggest burn and one of the best bad guy lines ever… it’s completely devastating.
There is a lot of death and destruction in this movie and it always makes me ugly cry. The sacrifice Gamora never wanted to make, the defiance of both Loki and Heimdall, the heartbreaking decision of Wanda and Vision, the bravery and foolishness of Thor, and the vanishing of half the world are all packed into one movie – and it’s absolutely gut-wrenching. Having had to wait a whole fucking year before knowing how it was all going to turn out was a special kind of torture… so it’s a good thing we watched these in one weekend.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
“And I am Iron Man. snap“: The sequel picks up and we’re right in the action. There’s a rescue, a fight, a meeting of the minds, and even a beheading! Then we fast forward 5 years and my heart sinks every time. 5 years is a long fucking time. Maybe not in the grand scheme of things – but think about all of the things a human typically accomplishes in their first 5 years of life… it’s a lot. Then out pops Ant-Man and we have ourselves a time heist.
The time heist is a lot of fun and also sometimes stressful and awful, like when Black Widow sacrifices herself for Hawkeye. Thor seeing his mother again and Steve catching a glimpse of Peggy tug at the heartstrings while other moments, like watching Quill be an idiot through other people’s eyes, is fabulous. Professor Hulk gets to be a hero, the Avengers get more than they bargained for, and Tony Stark makes the ultimate sacrifice in the most Iron Man way ever. This sets up several of the Disney+ TV shows, which I have now actually watched all of, though I still have to catch up on the Netflix era shows (which I will watch even if they aren’t canon, thank you very much).
Overall, these two were an epic conclusion to a story that had been building for a long time. There was a lot to pack in and, while they are no means perfect, they are good to rewatch as a set and a satisfying conclusion to the power stone saga.
Season 2, Episodes: 14, “Stigma” and 15, “Cease Fire”
Music Video of the Day:
Interstellar News: My life has been unusually hectic lately. I’ve been watching Trek, but it’s been hard to have the time to sit down and write the words when I am stuck behind the keyboard for my day job. First Year Fred has been keeping me on my toes and I’ve been able to do a bit more travel recently. I had a wonderful trip to Florida where I officiated my best friend’s wedding, I got to see Clerks III and listed to Kevin Smith after, and I’m super stoked for my upcoming trip to St. Louis in a few days.
As today is Veteran’s Day, I’ll thank all for their service – it’s not a happy day, but one for reflection on the sacrifice of others.
Episode 14 – “Stigma”
“And because you find them undesirable they’re not entitled to medical care?”: T’Pol has contracted an illness because of the mind meld she was forced to endure. The Vulcans are prejudiced bastards and Archer is gobsmacked at their behavior and intolerance. Phlox’s second wife, Fezal, comes aboard and hits on Tucker – who is too vanilla to consider polyamory a valid lifestyle choice.
This is clearly the “AIDS episode” and you couldn’t miss the symbolism if it river-danced on your couch. There are a lot of things this episode gets right, and it’s hard to watch because it’s still so damn prevalent today. People are fearful of what they don’t understand, almost always find a way to blame the victim, and think a man needs to save the day. T’Pol, being the only adult on board ever, knows she should be entitled to medical treatment NO MATTER how she was infected. Archer is doing his best to dress down the Vulcans about their intolerance, but he does his usual ineffective pontificating.
My favorite bits, though, were Phlox and Fezal. They are so fucking adorable AND it was a positive display of polyamory/polygamy. I will note that everyone does polyamory differently, and because marriage is involved that becomes more polygamy – but they were respectful of their time together, gossiped about family, and encouraged each other to pursue their own passions. Tucker, bless his heart, is working on the wrong damn ship. The whole point is to explore other cultures. You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t have to understand them, you don’t have to participate in them – but you DO have to respect that people have other views that can be just as valid. Now that I’m done with my rant – I’m giving this episode 5 borks from Porthos… bork bork bork bork bork.
Episode 15 – “Cease Fire”
“And my underwear is flame-retardant. That doesn’t mean I’m going to light myself on fire to prove it.”: The Andorians are battling Vulcans, when Shran calls for Archer to mediate the conflict. Archer wings it, Shran is betrayed, and Soval is not a total dick.
I actually enjoyed this episode a lot, and not just because Suzie Plaxson was in it! Archer gets to savor the Vulcans asking him for help and he thinks about what the future will look like (ahem, the Federation, cough cough). Shran seems more amenable to peaceful negotiation with Archer around and Soval does his typical Vulcan stoic bit. While I hate the “pink skin” moniker, Shran says it with admiration. This is different than how Tarah says it, almost with disdain. It’s also telling about how little humans really thought about space travel, since Archer was the closest thing they had to an ambassador… sigh. 8 treat-os for Porthos!
Interstellar News: I’ve been doing a lot of traveling. We went to a concert, caught Covid, got better, went to Galaxy Con, then some other stuff happened, then there was Dragon Con, and then a surprise birthday party for my dad, and finally I’m heading to SLC for FanX this weekend – wheeeeeee. Today, I hope to tackle 7 loads of laundry and write up this long overdue post.
Episode 12 – “The Catwalk”
“It’s hard to tell them apart in those ridiculous hats.”: Enterprise and three members of another ship weather a class-5 neutronic storm in the catwalk for a week. The three aliens are actually fugitives, the crew of the Enterprise saves the day, and T’Pol even joins the crew for movie night after they all survive the storm.
I write notes while I watch an episode because I don’t always remember everything, or lately it’s because I write about them way after I’ve watched it. I wrote down “Porthos was a good fucking boy”, but now I don’t remember why – likely because he was good in a crisis situation and gave Archer lots of love and attention in the several scenes he was in. It takes a special pupper to deal with turbulence and other people’s stank for a week, so kudos to Porthos. This was a pretty standard Trek episode, though with an industrial engineering twist. They were able to come up with a plan in very little time, that likely became some sort of standard protocol in the event of another similar emergency. 5 hours of pets for Porthos, who is the only quadruped on board.
Also, fun story about this episode. According to the Captain’s Log – this episode took place on September 18, 2152.
Episode 13 – “Dawn”
“Unfortunately, your first word is something you wouldn’t want to use in polite company.”: Tucker has a run in with a hostile alien, an Arkonian named Zho’Kaan, while in a shuttlepod. They encounter each other again on a desert planet but eventually come to an understanding and work together. Enterprise reaches the planet first, but Zho’Kaan would die – so Tucker waits for another option. They both get saved at the last minute and come to an even better understanding of each other before parting ways.
This episode is very much like “Darmok“, but not quite as good or meme-able. There’s a part where Zho’Kaan uses something like velociraptor spit and I laughed a lot. When Tucker was trying to help Zho’Kaan to understand him, there was a bit of “who’s on first” going on, which was also quite humorous. Tucker is the quintessential Starfleet officer, leaving no man behind and doing his best to work well with others – especially under the circumstances and limited resources. I really enjoyed this episode, and it gets 7 bowls of water for Porthos.