Dr. Thunderlizard’s Great Gray Moles

Three posts and four years ago (!!!) I wrote about my dear ol’ Professor’s book of poems.

Here is Dr. Thunderlizard* himself, reading one of them.

It’s been too long,

-Rachelcreeter

*Dr. Thunderlizard is one of Johnny Wink’s numerous nicknames.

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You Know, Her Life Was Saved By Rock & Roll

Lou Reed passed away today. He had a liver transplant earlier in the year, and I was so relieved to read an article where his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, said he was recovering nicely. Not only was I worried about Lou Reed’s own health, but the thought of the two of them being separated broke my heart.

Lou and Laurie

Lou and Laurie had been an influence on me with their individual careers, long before I even knew about their long-term relationship. But since their marriage in 2008, when I learned that they had been together since the 1990s, I have always been filled with immense love and hope just thinking about the fact that they were a couple. Two amazingly talented and perceptive people, who may not go by other people’s standards of “normal,” but are beautifully intertwined by their confidence in and respect for themselves and each other.

While I am saddened by this great loss, I am encouraged by the thought that there even existed an artist and human being who could be such a profound influence on the world, and this very Creeter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna start dancing to that fine, fine music.

-Rachel Creeter

Oh Hi, Neighbor!

Well, now, it’s been a little over two years since one of us Creeters has clicked on that “Publish” button. I have a draft in here that has been sitting since December 2010. It was about the (then) recent passing of artist and musician Don Van Vliet, known as Captain Beefheart. I suppose it isn’t relevant anymore. But since I never did get to put up a fitting tribute, I’ll go ahead and set this video right here:

I don’t even remember how to format these posts. Not to mention WordPress has changed a bit since a couple years ago.

I’d like to say that I’ll be posting every week again, and my other Creeters will join me so that we can have an update almost every day, but let’s not go chasing waterfalls. Amiright, TLC? You know.

This is just a check-in post, to see if this thing is still running. I miss writing. So much has gone on since I last wrote on here, I almost don’t know where to begin.

I’m engaged to be married. There’s a start. The last post by any of us was dear Sara Creeter simply glowing about her upcoming wedding (which has of course come and gone and been anniversaried already). I suppose it’s only fitting that the return of the prodigal post should announce my impending nuptials.

My fiancé is a sharp chap, and I’m very happy to have found him. To put it more accurately, I’m very happy to have had Erin Creeter introduce me to him. That’s right, it was a match made in Creeter heaven. He’s a writer too, which is lovely on so many levels. We talk about writing, he writes and I feel deep pride in him, then he laments that I don’t write much anymore. I lament, too, I just wish I would do something about it. Well, this isn’t much, but it is at least a start. You can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t, you know, write. I’ve had snippets of ideas or inspiration; fat lot of good they do if they stay on a sticky note on your bedstand.

Been trying to give it that good ol’ Writing Down the Bones push, keeping a journal to just get in the habit of writing something–anything–every day. Yeah, let’s not tell anyone I haven’t been keeping up with that. I have, however, been studying to get a license for my first-ever fulltime job (I’m an adult!). I’ve had the job for a year, now, and soon it will be time to take on more responsibility, to which I say, “Bring it on!” It’s a great job, too, and I’m very happy to have found it, as well. To put it more accurately, I’m very happy to have had my fiancé send me their job posting. It seems I thrive on recommendations.

Well, it’s back to studying for me, then off to work. If I don’t see you next Wednesday, don’t send out a search party. I’m probably just watching Doctor Who.

Signing off,

Rachel Creeter

P.S. I now contribute as a guest writer on my friends’ film blog, This Cinematic Life. (It was originally called The Cinema Nerds, but apparently someone claimed that name as theirs, so the title has changed although the domain is the same). We are currently hosting a poll of people’s Top 10 Movies released in the 1980s. You still have a chance to submit your list, until 10pm Sunday July 7th! I highly recommend both their blog as a whole and participating in the polls. It’s so fun seeing how different and how similar people’s lists are.

They go together like a horse and a carriage.

When you have to go back into your secret email archives to find your username, you know it’s been too long since your last post.

Little has changed, in some respects, since my last post – I’m still at the same job, with the same degree, with the same chum at my side and the same cat on my lap. I still think I’m too short, my back still hurts inexplicably, and I still sing to myself when I’m looking for things or running late.

But creeter-readers, in other respects, everything, everything, has changed.

My mom got married last summer. In 2007, my mom, alone and bored and feeling sorry for herself, did what every bored-alone-self-pitying creature does: started Facebook-creeping old friends to see if she could find someone more boring and less pretty than she was. Instead, she found her old high school boyfriend (whose heart she broke when she ran away from their relationship). 6 months later, I came home from Rome to find her ami in our kitchen.

“Hello,” said jet-lagged, freaked-out moi.

“Hello,” said OhnoI’mmeetingthehostileyoungestdaughter! him.

1 year later, I spent many an evening waiting impatiently for my mom to get off the phone with her boyfriend so that I could use the phone to call mine. Another year after that, I sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” at their wedding, the song standing next to my mom’s extravagant happiness.

My mom is one of my very best friends (oh, go ahead and boo my clichédness, it’s true). We’ve shared so many ridiculous life moments together, but one I never anticipated sharing was the awkward giddiness of a first date. My chum and I have known each other since 2003, been best friends since 2006, and dating since 2008. Simplified version. I’m missing out on whole lifetimes of one-sided obsessions and non-break-ups and time spent together in the backseat and time spent alone in Mexico. But the point is, my first “boyfriend” (ha! I find that word ridiculous) coincided with my Mom’s (reunion with her) first boyfriend, and it made our relationship into something more than mom & daughter, more than friend & friend. For the first time, I realized my mom was a woman just like I was, and it has forever, beautifully changed us.

When I told my mom that le chum and I were dating, that after 2 years of being friends and awkward friends and then not friends at all, I had realised I didn’t want to live without him, she turned to me and said, “I’m so glad you were braver than I was.”

Braver? I don’t know. I suppose it did only take me 2 years, compared to 35, to realize I was willing to risk changing my known life for one that included le chum. But then again, I didn’t have 4 kids and 30 years of assorted relationship history to take responsibility for, which takes a kind of courage that is only watched on a screen, not witnessed in your own home.

Every relationship takes extraordinary courage. Relationships are about trust, which is about risk, which requires an unusual confidence in both you and in the other party involved; a confidence that is a choice, an exercise, a perspective, and sometimes, an act of faith. Always, an act of humility.

Wish me luck, wish me grace, wish me supernatural courage and stamina. August 13 2011, five years to the day that we became best friends, le chum and I are getting married.

And I’ve never been so excited about where life is going next.

“I Can’t Stop Thinking / Always in the Past”

-Tears for Fears

You’ve probably heard of Joss Whedon. I mean, c’mon. Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse (only half of which I’ve seen, by the by, but all of which I’ve heard good things). The guy’s done some creative shows in his time. And he’s done a lot of it with the help of his family. It’s only right he should be the one to interview his brother Jed Whedon upon the release of Jed’s new album, History of Forgotten Things.

So I direct you to the interview, which is both incredibly entertaining and surprisingly insightful.

Even with all of the witty banter between the brothers, my favorite part of the interview is one of the few serious moments. Jed was asked about the title of the album, and this part of his answer served as a kind of epiphany for me:

The title comes from a few things — the terrifying feeling that we are forgetting our life as it rolls along. My obsession with all the history that was never documented (though in the digital age, that may be over). As well as the sensation that history can give you. A feeling that is indescribable. That feeling of connection through the ages. It is related to nostalgia. Sometimes, when I pass through a town I have never seen before, I long to not only live there, but to have lived there my whole life; to be nostalgic for it. I get the same feeling from history. I yearn to have lived during all those times. And, of course, in the future.

This so accurately pinpoints why I have a fascination with history, with traveling, and with pop culture (and especially why much of my favorite pop culture is from an era other than my own).

I am a very nostalgic person. Even the mere suggestion of a connection with history brings a thrill of happiness and comfort to me. I often think about what life would have been like — more personally, how I would have thought and felt — if I grew up in a different place, different time. I like to consider primary sources as though I were there when they were recorded.

Jed Whedon’s answer also reminded me of an interview answer Sufjan Stevens gave, concerning the subject of his song “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!” (Illinois, 2005). He described the song as a “litany of ghost towns” in Illinois:

I’m interested in the cycle of civilizations, because where we live, it’s city upon city, and civilization upon civilization. Even the apartment you live in, there were residents there before you, and they had maybe their own language, their own habits and culture, and before them, the previous generation. I feel like we’re constantly compounding culture upon culture and society upon society; sometimes societies don’t last, or they move on or get wiped out.

Oh, to be witness to all of these cultures! Part of why I find the television series Doctor Who so compelling is because of its deep connection with forever evolving history. Even without the time-travel aspect of the plot, the fact that it has been going since 1963 makes it a unique showcase of both the constant and the variable sensibilities of British culture over the past several decades.

One of the first things I would do if I had a TARDIS (the Doctor’s mode of travel through time and the universe) is visit Disneyland several times in each decade. I have lived across the street from Disneyland my whole life (my last three years of college excluded), and have grown up seeing the changes over the past 23 years firsthand. As a fan of the place, I have also seen a lot of footage from the Disneyland before my time. But I want to be able to go to each of them, at will, as I please. To not just look at a picture of the chickens in Frontierland, or just watch a home movie of the 1987 State Fair themed parade — to actually walk through the House of the Future, or once more ride the People Mover.

Sure, I could run from aliens and save planets, too. But how could I not experience every stage of something as historical and as close to my heart as Disneyland? It’s a perfect example of a forever-changing microcosm, a cultural progression in miniature.

And, who knows, maybe one time I’d run into Walt.

-Rachel

Edit: Because all of this talk about Doctor Who and history has got me all aflutter, I thought I’d do a little picspam (there’s a word I just discovered yesterday) of my favorite Doctor Who companions from throughout the series. So I’m a bit of a sci-fi fangirl, but BEAR WITH ME.

Jamie and Two

The Second Doctor (played by the magical Patrick Troughton…in a woolhat, no less!) with 18th-century Scottish companion Jamie McCrimmon (played by the forever charming Frazer Hines).

If I could travel with any combination of Team TARDIS, the Second Doctor and Jamie would be at the top of the list. They were so great together, because even though the Doctor was far more advanced than this bagpiper from the highlands, the two of them were best friends. And, thanks to Frazer Hines being extremely touchy-feely (seriously, the guy would cling to anyone he shared the screen with), some people say even more than that. I’m keeping Jamie for myself, though, thank you very much. Hahaha.

Jamie and Ben

Here’s Jamie again, this time with fellow companion Ben Jackson (Michael Craze). In wet suits! Meow! Ben was a fabulous companion, too, in that he had a great relationship with fellow companion Polly (a beautiful girl in go-go boots and a miniskirt). Ben and Polly were the first to witness the Doctor’s death and subsequent regeneration into a new man, so I’d say they went through a lot together.

Martha and Ten

The completely awesome and tragically underrated Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant, the most popular Doctor of the current series…and with red Converse and a suit, you can see why).

Martha

Martha was a very capable companion who deserved to travel with the Doctor a lot more than some other companions I could mention (take that, Rose shippers!), plus she always looked gorgeous while doing it.

Martha and Ten

My only regret is that the writers totally gave Martha‘s character the shaft by giving her the “unrequited love” storyline with the Doctor, and especially right after getting rid of Rose “I’m the only girl in the universe for the Doctor!” Tyler. Ugh. (In case you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of pairing the Doctor with Rose…or any of his companions, for that matter, except Romana II. Which brings me to my next set of pictures.)

Romana was a Time Lord, the same alien race as the Doctor. That makes her the only companion that was actually on even footing with him, who could match him intellectually, culturally, and — since she also had two hearts and could regenerate — biologically. Here she is in her second (my favorite) incarnation, played exquisitely by Lalla Ward, with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

In Romana II‘s first outing with the Doctor, she decided to be cheeky and dress to match his trademark mile-long scarf and long coat. Friggin’. Adorable. There was so much chemistry between them, each of their episodes together are like tagging along on a date with two of the most witty people you’ve ever met. Most of this is because the actors actually fell in love and got married soon after working together (it was the trip to Paris that did it). Unfortunately the real-life couple had a short-lived romance that ended badly (and in the departure of Romana’s character from the series).

In my mind, though, Romana somehow comes back and she and the Doctor live happily ever after, making little Time Babies and starting their now almost-extinct race all over again. Hahaha. All while still repeatedly saving the universe, of course.

And one more picture of Romana and Four. Because they’re just too lovely not to:

So those are some pictures of my favorite companions with my favorite Doctors. See how they span from different eras? Two and Jamie from 1966-1969, Four and Romana II from 1979-1981, Ten and Martha from 2007-2008. I love me some comprehensive pop culture history.

In case anyone’s familiar with the show, I’d like to give a shoutout to runners-up Three and Liz, Seven and Ace. It breaks my heart to have to leave them out, but I promised myself I’d only do my top three.