Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shanah Tova!

Tonight is Erev Rosh Hashanah! Which means that at sunset it becomes Rosh Hashanah! Which is the Jewish New Year for those of you who were wondering. Now, in high school and earlier, this would mean a day off from classes so the Jewish students (such as myself) could go to temple and pray and all the gentiles (or goyim or non-jews or whatever you want to call them) had a day off from school to spend merrily. But that's okay because we got apples and honey.

Anyway so it turns out that at university (or my university anyway) Rosh Hashanah is just another day. I mean, there are services and dinners and lunches. But there are still classes. And labs. So there's a lot of emailing professors to be done. Or a lot of energy drink drinking to be done.

Obviously, this happens every year, so the professors are prepared for it. Also, my schedule is such that I only have two classes this Thursday. That's the good news. The bad news is that my morning class is doing an online lab, at the same time as the morning service. And while I can attend my afternoon class and the following 2 1/2 hour lab without a problem, there is Tashlik an hour later. And a dinner two hours later I'd like to attend so I can get some more cultural fun in. Not to mention the lab report due within 24 hours.

At first I was panicking a bit at all this. Currently, I'm cautiously optimistic. My morning class teacher still hasn't told me when I can do the online lab, but those tend to not take very long and I can probably do it on Friday afternoon (here's hoping I don't have to squeeze it in later on Thursday, I may be able to but I'd rather not be held to that). The chem lab I'm also getting hopeful about, since I will have time at night (a little) not to mention 2 1/2 hours after class gets out on Friday to finish the lab.

Of course, I also just spent 15 minutes writing this post instead of doing chem problems so maybe I should be a little more worried.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Closing Time

This episode was a fun experience, both in terms of what happened in it, and my experience in watching it. I watched with two friends, one of whom is a fan of the show, and one of whom had never seen it before. So there was a lot of explaining of certain things/making references that were followed by "we'll explain later".

First off, I loved seeing the Doctor's ability to speak baby being showcased again. "He prefers Stormageddon Dark Lord of All." "Not mum. I'm 'also not mum' and everyone else is 'peasants'". Also "shh". That baby was adorable by the way.

Anyway, I liked the Doctor trying to resist investigating, especially since he seemed to realize last episode how much he put people in danger, having him trying to resist that, especially with Craig was good to see. Of course, he's been traveling around for two hundred years, and has presumably been having adventures with River (at least Jim the fish), and he may have even had another companion in the meantime who we will meet in novels and audio adventures.

I liked the little Amy/Rory cameo. Honestly, when the girl asked for her autograph and then pointed at the Doctor I thought it was going to turn out that Amy had written children's books about the Doctor not that she was a model, though considering she was a kiss-o-gram modeling probably fits in. Anyone else wondering if she signed it as Amy Pond or Amy Williams?

Overall I liked the episode, though I thought the whole "defeating the Cybermen with love was very reminiscent of Night Terrors when the Dad just had to tell the kid they wouldn't send him away. Or last week where it was the breaking of faith that saved the day. Or the gas mask zombie episode where the mum had to hug her kid and say she's his mum. It's a good ending, I just feel it's a little overdone.

That being said the ending with River was amazing! Just wow. I am very excited for next week and really want the ending to amaze me. (Oh, let's not forget last season when Amy brought the Doctor back by remembering and believing!) (Sorry I just couldn't resist.) (Also, at least Doctor Who is creative with how they get to the ending unlike every crime show which follows the same plot structure for every episode.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So I've been thinking lately about the way we define ourselves versus how we actually are. For years I was able to read in the car without a problem, even though others in my family couldn't. Recently I've become aware that I might not have this ability anymore. Mostly because I got sick after the drive to the airport to come to school after reading in the car. Yet, because I define myself as someone who can read in the car without a problem I still don't think of myself as someone who gets carsick. Currently I'm blaming the fact that the road leading up to the airport was very bumpy, and have therefore amended my definition of myself to someone who can read in the car as long as it's not bumpy.

A more positive proof of definition failure is that for years I got really puffy and red whenever I cried so that people could tell I'd been crying literally hours after the fact. I still think of myself as someone who gets this way even though I've noticed that it isn't really true anymore (YAY).

The point of all this is that I'm starting university now. I've always thought of myself as a good student, particularly when it comes to math and science. I don't know if this definition is going to hold true for university, but I hope it does. There are somethings about ourselves that must change and somethings we pray never do.

Update: I went to my first class in the middle of writing this and it was awesome! Obviously the first class will be very different in terms of difficulty from say, the final, but so far I'm feeling pretty good.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The God Complex

This episode was amazing, both emotionally and visually.

The opening set up the episode very well, in terms of the plot and the overall tone. When the Doctor first arrived at the hotel there was the obligatory description of the world they meant to go to. I liked how the other characters were introduced (for a moment I wondered if Lucy would be one of them and we'd been started at the end but the picture on the wall showed that this was wrong).

I like how much of this episode was in the details. The Doctor miming "Call me" to Rita after fake firing Amy, Joe's cufflinks, the Rubix cube (when did he learn to solve those? He couldn't do it in Night Terrors), Howie's stutter, the goldfish Gibbis ate, the duality of who the creature's last words applied to and the Doctor having room 11.

I just wanted to say that the way they did the "Praise him" snippets was amazing. I loved the quick cuts to the different faces and the interspersing of the written words. The shots of the hotel were amazing.

One thing that bothered me was that once again we had the Doctor "figuring out" what was happening only to realize his advice is wrong and may have made things worse. I understand that it would be annoying if he was always right the first time this is also getting a little annoying.

That being said when he realized what he had to do to Amy to get the Beast to stop made me so sad. That scene was heartbreaking, as was the scene where the beast died. The ending was wonderful and sad all at the same time. Something I missed upon my first viewing was Amy telling the Doctor "If you bump into my daughter, tell her to visit her old Mum sometimes." That line is interesting to me because obviously River is he daughter and she's her mother, but at the same time she isn't. If Amy and Rory have more children it's going to be interesting since technically they aren't first time parents but they never did the whole raising a child thing (I know they sort of raised Mels and acted as sort of parents to her but it doesn't quite count).

I just want to take this moment to discuss how much I love Rory as a character. I've seen websites that have compared the development of Rory to that of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce on Buffy/Angel because they both start as somewhat goofy characters and developed into BAMFs but I think a better Buffy comparison is Xander. On Buffy Xander was "the one who saw things" and the heart of the group. He noticed things about the other characters and wasn't afraid to speak up when they got out of hand. Similarly, Rory sees people more clearly than others. In Vampires of Venice he tells the Doctor "you make people want to impress you" and points out how dangerous the Doctor's actions are to those around him. Last week he chewed out the Doctor for turning him (Rory) into him (The Doctor). He asked if the people in the time stream facility were happy, something the Doctor recognized as a very Rory thing to do. And then this week he was the one who knew that Howie had just overcome his stutter and he reminded the Doctor that not all victories were big and grand. I love Rory. He can be a BAMF when he's dressed as a Roman and he can also be the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful person ever. He waited 2000 years for the woman he loved, was relatively calm when he learned that she ran off before they're wedding and his relationship with River Song both before and after the big reveal was quite sweet.

Finally, some favorite lines.
"Our high school motto was 'resistance is exhausting'."
"I want to go home and be conquered and oppressed."
"I plant trees so the conquering armies can invade in the shade."
Howie: I've worked out where we are.
Rory: Hmm?
Howie: Norway.
Rory: ...Norway?!
Howie: See, the US government has entire cities hidden in the Norwegian mountains. You see, Earth is on a collision course with this other planet. And this is where they're going to send all the rich people when it kicks off.
Rory: Amazing.
Howie: It's all there on the internet!
Rory: No, it's amazing that you've come up with a theory even more insane than what's actually happening.
"Don't talk to the clown."

Next week looks really good!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Read it First

So there's this new website called that's all about the idea that it's better to read the book before the movie version comes out. Now I support this idea, although I don't always follow it. There are plenty of times where, because the movie is coming out a lot of people check out the book from the library so they can read it first. Again, I support this. However, it means that I don't get to read the book first unless I go on a reserve list, which I think takes the fun out of it a little (Not that I won't use reserve lists, I just think it's less fun than scanning the shelves). That's why I like that the pledge is to read the book first when possible, not always (There's also an alternative pledge about just reading the book whenever).

I think this pledge to read the book at some point, though not necessarily first is what's most vital about this website. So many people don't read who should and some people miss out of watching great movies because they were waiting to read the book. Speaking as someone who's read the book before and after it's an interesting experience.

When I saw the Harry Potter movies I spent a lot of time criticizing what was done wrong (like here). It's hard to not look at what's missing when you see an adaptation of your favorite books. But at the same time, I've also had the experience of seeing the movie first and then reading the book. For someone like me who is quick to criticize a movie for being "wrong" (though I've gotten better at differentiating between good movie and good adaptation), sometimes it's more enjoyable to see the movie first. Since books tend to be more in depth rather than complaining about how much was left out, I can enjoy the movie and then afterwords learn how much more was under the surface. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I'll read a book and start getting mad that things were left out of the movie, but in general if I read the book second I'm more accepting of changes in the story.

I still try to read the book first when possible, but I don't want that to dictate my enjoyment of the movie.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Girl Who Waited

Okay, so this is clearly an episode that's better to watch all in one go rather than piece meal. I however watched it bit by bit so I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I will once I get the chance to see it all the way through. That being said, this episode was very good through I feel it could have been better.

I liked the opening dialogue about Apalapocheer (or however it's spelled) as well as the planet of the coffee shops. I thought the way Amy got left behind was a little contrived. Rory obviously saw there were two buttons, he didn't think to say push the green button instead of just push the button? Really?

Anyway, so I still like seeing the relationship between Amy and Rory. I liked the comparison that Rory waited 2000 years for Amy and still loved her but Amy waits for 36 years and gets all angry and bitter at them. That being said I think there's a difference between the two situations in that Rory knew where Amy was when he waited and he also had to protect her, while Amy was waiting to be saved, so it makes sense to me that her reaction would be different. Also in The Doctor's Wife when Rory was left behind by Amy he turned bitter (although that wasn't really him but I think House messing with Amy's mind).

Older Amy was amazingly awesome. I loved Robot Rory. I thought he was adorable. The glasses were amazing. They made me think of nerdfighters and I think they were cool.

I really like seeing how older Amy and Rory interacted. I loved his comment "I don't mind that you grew old. I mind that we didn't grow old together." (Might not be the exact quote but it's close enough.)

The conversation between the two Amy's was lovely. I liked how Amy was just convincing herself. I also loved the little Rory story (he told everyone he was in a band).

The ending was heartbreaking. I've seen some people say this episode should have been called Rory's Choice and while I agree that would be a fitting title, I think it would have sort of given away the ending.

One little note, the Doctor says there can't be two Amy's in the TARDIS but what about Space/Time? I'm just saying.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Almost There

You know what's not fun? Being the last of your friends to leave for university. (I realize it's probably worse if all your friends are leaving and you aren't but that's not my situation here.) Every time I go on facebook I see another of my friends posting about their classes or their crazy college shenanigans. Meanwhile, I'm sitting at home, wishing I was at school having my own crazy college shenanigans. It's really eliciting some weird emotions because on the one hand they're my friends and I love them, and on the other hand I hate them all on principle for having started already.

Now this past week has been a little better mostly because I've finally been close enough to leaving to justify packing. Which makes me feel like I'm closer to being there. Which I am since I leave for school on Saturday and move in on Monday. That's right I'm less than a week away from university!

Starting late has some advantages and disadvantages. One the one hand, it meant I was able to go to a family gathering last weekend and see my family before I leave. This nice advantage is sort of canceled out however by the two family gatherings I'll be missing next month because I can't just come home for the weekend, however missing those has nothing to do with my school's start time and everything to do with its location. So it counts differently.

Also, due to my school's schedule I'm not only the last to leave, but I'll also be the last to come back home in the spring/summer. But no worries. I'm sure my friends will wait to have a "we're home" party until I get back. Right guys?!?!?!?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Night Terrors

I didn't love this week's episode of Doctor Who. I liked it, I just didn't love it.

I liked that after last week's very arc heavy storyline (I've seen some reviews criticize the episode as one that could have taken place anywhere and therefore wasting what could have been a great Hitler episode. I see their point but I still loved the episode) this week was more of a standalone story.

I liked the Doctor receiving the message on his psychic paper asking for help. While I did question the fact that he could track the kid to the apartment complex but not the specific apartment, I loved the little scene with all the different apartments. Also it was a way to explain why Amy and Rory weren't at the apartment with the Doctor when he found the kid as well as why he wasn't worried that they were taking so long or something.

Maybe it's because I saw the creepy dolls in the preview but I figured out pretty quickly that Rory and Amy were in a dollhouse.

I liked the bit with the Doctor and the Rubix Cube. I liked the Doctor turning all the toys on for George and his sonicing the cupboard. "It's off the charts!"

The Dad's reaction to the Doctor freaking out about the cupboard was great. I also liked the Doctor just making himself at home in the kitchen and the Dad (I guess I can call him Alex) reacting to the Doctor's speech.

The Doctor: Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire; empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought — and a whole terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They're old eyes — and one thing I can tell you, Alex: monsters are real.
Alex: You're not from Social Services, are you?
(I also loved the Doctor going back and forth about opening the cupboard)
When Amy and Rory were trapped in the room and Amy suggested opening the door my thought was "Idiot". Then they opened the door and it appeared to work so I thought "maybe not." Then Amy got turned into a doll and I thought "nope I was right". I loved the effects on the transformations by the way.

I had some problems with the reveal about George. I normally like monsters as physical manifestations of emotional problems (see most episodes of Buffy) but in this case I'd rather have had an actual monster. Also while I liked the message that it's important to love adopted kids just as much as biological kids I had some issues with the idea that the kid is just going to be whatever his parents what him to be.

Also I'm pretty sure this is another everybody lives episode though it was done somewhat differently the parent just needing to hug the kid was a direct rip off from The Doctor Dances ending with the gas mask zombie and his mummy.