July 30, 2013

And Now...Here's a Britcom for the Misfit in all of Us!

Salve Omni!

So I thought I would start out the week by posting something a little more light-hearted today, and talk comedy. To be exact, some comedy from across the pond. I am fortunate that my local PBS station broadcasts some truly great and diverse Britcoms each weekend, which is great, because it makes my looking forward to the start of the week a little easier to bear...especially on Sunday nights. I do love my Britcoms, and there is one thing I have found to be true...the British seem to have their comedy down to an art form. I own a lot of Britcom series on VHS and DVD, and love to watch them, when time allows. No matter what, when I start watching, I feel better. I laugh, and am able to forget about this crappy world for just a bit.

As a thirty year-old female, I have found that my TV viewing tastes have changed. I don't know about you, but I tire of all of the cutesy little TV shows with the "perfect" girl who always looks great, dresses impeccably, and has to deal with the misfits and misunderstood and unpopular individuals who turn her seemingly "perfect" world upside down. BORING! Where is the reality in that? I, myself, like to see things shaken up a bit...I like my leading ladies flawed, with the unapologetic ability to poke fun at themselves because, hey - they're human! It seems that the British do it best when it comes to really bringing these sort of characters to life. I am immediately reminded of one of my absolute favorite Britcoms, Miranda.

Oh Miranda, where do I begin? Written by and starring Comedian, Miranda Hart, the semi-autobiographical show is comedic gold, with a dose of reality and an extra helping of ridiculousness all rolled into one bundle of goodness. The main character, Miranda, (don't worry, I won't include too many spoilers for those who haven't seen the show) is a thirty-something woman living in England, and trying to do what most thirty-something women seek to do - find "Mr. Right", and have a successful career. We see her trying to sort herself out, and believe me, she is one hot mess!

We find out in the very beginning of the show that Miranda has used the inheritance given to her by an uncle, to buy a joke/gift shop, in which she lives in a little flat upstairs. She hires her childhood friend, Stevie, to manage the store, which makes for hilarious viewing as they often clash on priorities and ideas regarding how to run the shop, but mostly on how Miranda should approach and handle various day-to-day situations. I know this might not sound too funny, but I'm getting there! Patience, Dear Reader!

The character, Miranda, is 6 foot-something, not considered very graceful or feminine, likes to eat, and just downright clashes with the norms of her upper middle-class upbringing and friends and family. She is rather childlike and awkward, often annoying those around her with her constant joking and laughing. She is constantly reminded by her mother and closest friends and acquaintances of her lack of success in dating, and always seems to embarrass herself during social gatherings, especially around men. Miranda lives partially in a dream world, (well she does own a joke shop) where her preference for fun and frolicking hinder her from capably managing her own business. Her friend, Stevie, concerns herself with the shop, while Miranda tends to direct her energy towards evading her mother, Penny's, unceasing attempts to marry her off to anyone willing, and the constant chiding and uncomfortable boarding school reminiscing from Tilly, the annoying school friend. Everyone else is seemingly successful and mature and content with their lives, however, we find Miranda still trying to break free from the control of her disapproving mother and find her own voice.

In other words...when you add an upper middle-class and disapproving mother, a goal-oriented and organized to the point of annoyance childhood friend, a successful upper middle-class school friend who has more in common with your mother than you, and the obvious pining for the handsome chef who works in the restaurant down the street, hilarity ensues! However, Miranda always steals the show; not intentionally, but through her increasing social awkwardness and often inappropriate antics.

Miranda personally greets the viewer at the start of each "a day in the life" - type episode, giving them a brief indication of what's in store. Constantly breaking the fourth wall, Miranda will frequently address her audience throughout an episode, inviting them to witness day-to-day life and events from her own perspective. Often a victim of verbal diarrhea, she constantly speaks her mind without fully thinking about the consequences. And her actions -- well, here, they definitely speak louder than words can express! Miranda will often burst into un-encouraged singing at random and inappropriate moments; such as job interviews and funerals. She will often behave in a childlike manner, hanging out in her apartment and conversing with "fruit friends", created from drawing eyes on whatever fruit she has at the moment. She gets stuck in chairs, falls off of bar stools, farts, gets caught in her underwear, gets chucked out of many social events, and has many other misadventures that, well, make her seem downright human and flawed, or just plain odd (depending on your perception). But, Miranda remains true to herself; not apologizing for who she is. And I find it refreshing.

This social misfit is in no way "perfect". She doesn't fit in, but yet she remains positive and hopeful that her life will improve for the better. The show, through the clever blend of female character-types presented, becomes relatable to every woman, but the show is also enjoyed by male viewers (my husband enjoys watching the show just as much as I do). Miranda never comes across as being too condescending or preachy; offering its viewers just the right amount of insanity to keep it fun. Comedian, Miranda Hart, truly follows in the footsteps of female comedians like Lucille Ball, through her use of physical comedy mixed with everyday situations and interactions; reminding us that we can't always take life so seriously.

Watching Miranda will make you forget your troubles, well, at least until you get to the end of season 3.

Okay, BBC...we need the filming of season 4 to commence...stat!

In the words of Miranda's mother, Penny, "Such fun!"

Click on the link below to see a clip from Miranda (uploaded to YouTube from the BBC):

July 24, 2013

Eat, Sleep and Play Nintendo...Now, Skyrim, It's Your Turn!

Salve Omni!

I fear the worst!!! Well, it's not that bad, but bad in the sense that I bet it will become a brand-new distraction in my geek world. Last night, my husband, who is most often found playing Skyrim on one of our PCs, convinced me to give the game a try. And so, I did. I didn't mind, at all. I will often watch my husband play Skyrim, while I sit, marveling at the beauty of the landscapes and music. Despite my usual affinity for first person shooter video games and games that don't take me a series of days to conquer (very short attention span), I'll admit that I like the fact that Skyrim allows you to run around and explore its worlds, with a vast majority of options and adventures available.

I spent about forty minutes solely working on my character's facial features. I know, I know, forty minutes may be quite a long time to spend on this, but there are two things one must understand about me: 1) I work on things obsessively until I feel they are as perfect as possible (in other words, everything gets my 150%), 2) I like to look good! I admit it, I rarely leave the house without wearing makeup, and I get my hair professionally done at least monthly, so it's only natural that my Skyrim character is going to look good too! Does this make me any less of a geek girl? Heck No! If I am going to invest many hours of adventures in the lands of Skyrim, you bet I am going to create a character that I won't tire of quickly!

So, after forty minutes of "serious deliberation", and countless robotic, "that looks fine!", responses from my husband regarding what he thought of my eyeshadow and eyeliner choices for my character, my character was finally finished! I made her a Redguard (all my Redguards represent!), and yes, she is a badass warrior! Didn't get too far with the game play last night (okay, really it was 3 am), but tonight should be fun! I can see this game becoming really addictive, real soon!

For some strange reason, while scrolling through the many facial feature options and hairstyle and color choices, I kept humming a familiar, and extremely-unrelated tune:

"Da-da, da-da, da-da...da-da, da-da, da-da"

You are probably wondering what in the world I am referring to. No, I haven't been drinking! I am humming, my friends, the beginning of the underground music from the beloved Super Mario Bros. video games. Now, you can argue with me all you like, but this is intended to be my visual interpretation of the song! Not convinced? Let me provide you with some more visuals to set the scene: There is Mario, he jumps up on a pipe. There he goes, down the pipe, and goes underground! And then, the music starts:

"Da-da, da-da, da-da...da-da, da-da, da-da..."

Ah, it all becomes clearer now...doesn't it? I don't know why I started humming this very tune, as I haven't played any Super Mario Bros. video games in months...but I do know one thing - I was hungry...and I wanted cereal...and then, I started humming...and thinking...of a time long ago. (Harp music plays to indicate time travel)

Does anyone remember the Nintendo Cereal System? I do! I remember seeing the commercial for the breakfast cereal, which began with that familiar 8-bit tune I was just humming, and then running into the other room to make sure that my mom had that box of geeky goodness added to her next grocery list. One half of the cereal box contained shapes and characters from Super Mario Bros., while the other half of the box contained shapes and characters from The Legend of Zelda. Both video games were created for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). So awesome!!! Here I was, an avid NES gamer, and now, here was this cereal for fans of this gaming system! As a young girl, growing up, I was not considered very "cool" at all by my peers (although I thought I was). All of the gamers I knew at the time were boys. If a girl did play a little, it was because her brother owned a gaming system. Boys that I would play against often had the perception that I could and would easily lose because I was a girl and therefore could not be taken seriously. I just knew that I would be beyond "cool" and taken seriously if I ate that cereal!

I went with my mom to the store, and picked up a box. Now, back at home, I couldn't wait for breakfast the next morning...I just had to eat it!!! So, I did what any other 7-8 year-old would do...I opened the box and ate some anyway. The anticipation was like unwrapping a great Christmas present; you unwrap part of the wrapping paper to see the shape and can roughly guess what is inside, knowing that it is going to be incredibly awesome. And that is how I felt...by merely possessing that box, I felt as if I had truly validated my position as a NES gamer, and by eating the cereal, I would be associated with the other "cool" kids who enjoyed this very thing too.

From the time I unwrapped my NES one Christmas morning, I lived, breathed, and even dreamed Nintendo. I played every waking hour that I could, and even slept on Super Mario Bros. bedsheets! And there I was, holding the inaugural pieces of my new breakfast identity, in-hand. I lifted the cereal to my mouth, and, crunch! Okay, I can now admit that the Super Mario Bros. cereal didn't taste that great, but I will never forget this moment in the history of Trijan Maddux, either. My mom made me eat the rest of the cereal, despite my protests, before she would buy me something different, but by then, Dear Reader, I had learned a valuable lesson.

No matter how cool you think you are, you are nothing until your geeky passion has been immortalized in a breakfast cereal...and you can truly say that you eat it gladly...no matter how bad it tastes!!!

Now, if only they would develop a Skyrim cereal...which should only be eaten from a cast-iron pot!



July 22, 2013

Hey! These Vigilante Bikini Bottoms Are Really Giving Me A Wedgie!!!

Salve Omni!

The San Diego Comic Con has come yet again, and sadly, my husband and I were unable to go. Instead, I have been keeping informed of the con goings-on via the Internet. I especially like to see the photos of cosplayers in attendance - dressing the part is always cool! It is especially interesting and awesome to see the varying costumes worn by the female cosplayers, and I must say, it is very refreshing to see so many women attending this event. See fellas, women can geek out just as hard!

There is one thing I have noticed however, regarding the art of female cosplay...the choices tend to get shorter and skimpier! No, I am not referring to the choices available, but I am referring to the costumes worn. Yes, it is great to totally geek out while representing your favorites through cosplay, but Ladies...does everything have to be short, tight, skimpy and damn-near non-existent? Often, there is nothing left to the imagination! I get it, there's the famous gold bikini worn by Princess Leia, and many other iconic skimpy and sexy outfits worn by famous female Science Fiction and Fantasy characters, but it makes you wonder - is this all there is to our female super heroines, vigilantes, and video game and TV/movie characters? True, those who fight crime and evildoers for a living don't need to be hindered with layers and layers of clothing and loose-fitting garments that could be easily grabbed or get in the way of an awesome karate kick, but...really?

Not everything should leave little to the imagination. Just imagine...you're a vigilante or super heroine, fighting your nemesis in a battle to the death, wearing bikini bottoms (I don't mean the boy shorts) and a tight corset top. You go to deliver a life-saving death kick, and the next thing you know, your "panties" are riding up, or, worse, they are giving you quite the wedgie! Your mind is now focused on discomfort, which will make the remainder of your battle an interesting one. I don't think your opponent will want to stop and wait for you to shift things...he or she will be counting on any sort of distraction to throw you off your game. I am a woman, and I understand completely the desire for women to want to look and feel sexy and awesome as well as being badasses in battle, but, in my opinion, we can't be expected to dress this way at all times.

I am reminded of one of my favorite video games, Mortal Kombat, 2011 edition. Though I love playing this game with my husband, I always get to thinking about the female fighters. Most of them have Barbie doll-like proportions - huge boobs and tiny waist. Most also wear very little clothing. Even Sonya Blade, who is supposed to be part of the military, and who does wears pants, can barely keep her bosom from popping out as she fights in some sort of skimpy black vest with no bra. Now, if you're a woman, you know that unless you are wearing an extremely-restrictive bra, the moment you do so much as a cartwheel, the girls are coming out to say hello. Especially in a low-cut top. So when Ms. Sonya Blade does that famous upside-down leg grab kick move, well, I am amazed how well "the girls" defy gravity and stay in place! It's amazing, by the end of a bloody match, just about any of the lovely ladies of Mortal Kombat will barely have a strip of cloth left to cover their "girls" at all. Because women fight mostly from the chest...right? Eye candy? Yes! Practical? Not in any way, shape or form! If you don't believe me, play the game.

For female characters such as Mileena, Wonder Woman, Miss Marvel, Power Girl, and many, many others, I often wonder, where do they get all this time to "spruce up"? Ladies, you know that wearing a swimsuit alone requires a good deal of personal maintenance. It is just unrealistic and unbelievable to me to think that these women choose to wear this revealing crap all of the time. When do they schedule time for a bikini/underarm wax? When do they have time to shave their legs? And when it's "that time-of-the-month", well, I know I wouldn't be very comfortable fighting, flying (and doing super-high kicks) constantly in super high-cut bottoms with little coverage. And come on - have we forgotten about the bloating??? Spandex or no, who wants to wear such body-skimming garments during this "special time"? Suppose they eat and drink a bit too much at Thanksgiving dinner - well, I bet you it won't be as much fun trying to squeeze back into that costume! Midriff or stomach-baring garments - not unless they want the dreaded after-a-heavy-meal pudge to show!

I'm waiting for the adventures of the moderately-comfy badass! A more true to life woman, she'd still be sexy...hey, there's nothing wrong with bearing a little cleavage, but her outfit of choice would be form-fitting workout pants or leggings and tank top or fitted T-shirt when she's kicking butt. And on those "special days", sweatpants and a hoodie. And why not sport some wedge-heeled boots or sneakers rather than stilettos? Still awesome, and she won't be hobbling around in agony after a couple of hours of fighting on a rooftop or patrolling the "mean" streets. She'll be outfitted in comfort, which means she can spend more time out protecting the city, than in some salon, getting her bikini area waxed before making an appearance. Oh no!!! An evil villain is destroying the city, and she hasn't had time to shave her legs! Never fear - she'll simply throw on some cute pants and a T-shirt and she'll save the day anyway!

I like to get my geek on just as much as the next girl, but when it comes to cosplay, I think, sometimes, that more is more. No wonder men think that if a woman is blessed with super powers or roams around with superior fighting abilities, that her first outfit of choice must be body-hugging and suggestive, and that she has to have the perfect tiny body of a goddess. What about her skills? Well, I guess no one is looking at that! Just another observation further confirming my theory that we are way too focused on the visual. Sure Ladies, let's look good at what we do because we are good at what we do. But there is much more to the life of a super heroine, warrior and vigilante than running around wearing next to nothing!


July 21, 2013

Check It Out...I Am Now On Facebook!!!

Salve Omni!

Dear Readers...Wonderful News!  I now have a Facebook page!!!  

If you are on Facebook, be sure to follow me to receive notifications of new (and awesome) blog posts to trijanmaddux.blogspot.com, and be the first to know when new jewelry pieces are added to my Designs by EHL online shops.  Just look for the Facebook badge here on the site.

New blog coming very soon!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


July 19, 2013

A Thought on How to Properly Reboot Star Trek The Original Series

Salve Omni!

The fact that it has been raining cats, dogs, frogs and tribbles over the past few days, has left my husband and I mainly stranded indoors. So, we've been writing a lot (I, myself, on some ideas for future blogs and working a bit on my new Steam punk novel, while my husband has been writing away on his awesome new novel). I typically associate rainy days and nights with being "good sleeping weather"; however, for a couple of nights this week, we found ourselves wide awake and unable to fall asleep. Well...you guessed it! Or maybe you didn't -- so maybe I should just tell you already before you realize that I'm really referring to the fact that we have almost finished piecing together that monster from old body parts in our garage/secret laboratory. Hah! I wish we had a secret laboratory! I think, then, the correct response would be, "so, that's why all of the stray neighborhood cats have gone missing!" Anywhoo, fully-embracing the vampire hours, we decided to break out the DVDs and watch, Star Trek The Original Series!!!

As a Trekkie, I am ashamed to admit that it has been a while. Not since I've watched Star Trek, but since I have watched The Original Series episodes. Usually, my husband and I will watch one of the movies - not that new-fangled reboot, but I'm talking classics like, The Voyage Home and, my favorite, The Undiscovered Country. Halfway through watching our third episode of the early AM, my husband said something that really got me thinking. He said, "You know, instead of focusing on the new movies to re-introduce the Original Series and its characters, why not redo all of the old episodes?"

Now before anyone takes to my comments page in protest, kindly let me clarify. You first must understand that my husband is in no way saying that the old episodes need to be altered and re-written in someone else's vision. He is merely suggesting a visual update of the scenery, alien species, creatures, etc., as well as bringing in the younger versions of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and the rest of the Enterprise crew from the JJ Abrams films. And I agree. As far as the script, CHANGE NOTHING, EVER!!! Sure, even I will agree that William Shatner's Captain Kirk can be a bit over dramatic at times in the series, but if you look past all of that and actually sit down and take the time to listen to the dialogue, you will notice that the writing is brilliant! The stories are unique, exceptional, adaptive and timeless. JJ Abrams gave us a shiny new Enterprise (complete with lens flares, but I'll save this for another blog), so why not use our modern-day advances in cinematic techniques to "update" the sets and planets and lifeforms and alien species to their visual glory? With a bit of believable CGI and special effects, the series of old could be as visually stunning as it is moving. A feast for the senses - brilliant writing already set in place as imagined by the original writers, and beautiful landscapes and sets to compliment it all.

Think about it, Dear Readers - Star Trek The Original Series has already been digitally-remastered; what if they went a step further and gave it a "visual face lift"? I have spoken with many newbies who either grew up watching The Next Generation, or one of the later series, or none. They saw the first of the new movie reboots, and loved it. This further intrigued them to watch some of The Original Series episodes, only to find it difficult or boring to watch because "it was too cheesy and outdated". True stories, I'm afraid!

Despite the brilliantly-written episodes, it is clearly not enough to peak the interest of a large majority of this generation. Sadly, we as a culture, have become dependent on the visual - if it is not updated or visually-appealing, something can easily lose the interest of its audience. A clever dialogue must be accompanied with pretty images, awesome sets and landscapes, and sound effects and music so extraordinary, it would make the angels weep. So why not; let's re-introduce The Original Series to the awaiting world the proper way - just as it was written, but with a brand shiny new updated look!

Create a guaranteed formula - original script, a new, younger cast to play The Original Series characters, and a visual face lift. The result, a hybrid gem of the old and the new that will bring Gene Roddenberry's vision not only to our present generation, but will branch out through future generations as a series that will continue to serve as a source of inspiration and growth as we look to the future.

And then I dare someone to tell me that this TV series wasn't years ahead of its time!


July 16, 2013

Had a Rather Crappy Day? Here's a Couple of Stress Relievers that I Highly-Recommend!

Salve Omni!

I don't know about the rest of you, but lately, stress has been a permanent part of my daily routine. I have a motto..."When in doubt, consult your favorite things." Unless some of your "favorite things" include serial killing and maiming small neighborhood animals. NOT GOOD!

Most of the time, I will pop in a Britcom, sitcom or movie to lift my spirits, but there are those days when TV shows just won't do. In these extreme cases, I recommend, Ladies and Gentlemen, that you break out your gaming devices!!!!

Though I love my modern gaming systems, I also find it necessary to keep it old-school. Through childhood, and semi-adulthood, I have managed to hold on to my beloved Nintendo Entertainment System, which I still play regularly. One of my favorite forms of stress relief, is the game, Super Dodge Ball. Created by CSG Imagesoft, Inc. in 1989, and licensed by Nintendo of America, this old-school, 8-bit bundle-of-fun is awesome!

The object of the game -- you have a team and you select your players. You can play the following as a single player: world cup play (I highly recommend this one!!!) or bean ball. Or, you can play the following with two players: versus play, or bean ball (a free-for-all type of game). As you can tell from the bolded letters, the world cup play is the best option for stress relief. Your team plays dodge ball against eight rival teams from around the world. When you win a match, you travel to the next country to play the rival team on their turf, and so on, without losing a match, until you win the game. It's pretty cool to hear the 8-bit music and see the scenery change as you move from country to country (I will admit, some of the foreign team member's names do seem a little stereotypical). Oh, and when you, your teammate(s), and your opponent(s) run out of "life" (which is gauged by bars) from being hit too many times with the ball...you die!!! The first team to eliminate all of their rival teammates wins the match! It can be a bit frustrating, though; if you lose a match, there is no save function, so you have to start the entire game over from the very beginning. However, the game is straightforward and fairly easy to play, and it gives you a chance to really release your pent-up aggressions while feeling like a badass when you've killed everyone on the rival teams and won the world cup.

One suggestion...play the game, Super Dodge Ball while listening to tracks from the album, Super Dodge Ball: Around the World, which was written as a project by a group of OC Remix artists. I tend to mute out the original 8-bit music while playing through the world cup play, kicking butt while listening to tracks from this album. You can check it out at http://atw.ocremix.org/bios.php.

There is yet another gem that I play on my Xbox 360 (OK, it's technically my husband's Xbox 360, but what's his is mine!) I am referring to the 2011 Mortal Kombat videogame. This is the go-
to videogame for us here at home to play together. It is best to play the two-player versus, because you and your opponent get to choose a character (or the same character, if you're bold), and fight to the death. I usually rock at playing as my favorite character Jade (why, oh why was Tanya left out of this one?), but lately, I've been mixing it up a bit to keep it fresh...and hilarious! In my last post, I mentioned that robots give me the creeps. Well, they do! But for some strange reason, I find it funny, and creepy to play as the robot characters. My favorite robot character is Sektor. He is made of red metal, with little wire dreadlocks growing out of the back of his robot cranium. I think the creep factor is lessened here by the hilarity of his character. The way he talks and moves, especially his kicking style, is too funny. You will just have to play the game as Sektor to see what I am talking about. And make sure you've had a few glasses of wine too. I won't spoil the game for you, but this is a must-have in your gaming collection for stress relief! What is not awesome about this game? You get to fight others in a very gory and bloody survival of the fittest (or whoever's best at memorizing all of the different fight codes and fatalities). Once these are mastered, the possibilities are endless...depending on your choice of character, you can bite, stomp, rip the head off of your opponent, stab, throw fireballs, freeze...you name it! And it's all bloody good fun!

There are many more videogames that I like to play, but Super Dodge Ball and Mortal Kombat are what I recommend to get you through the worst of times. Both games take about 15 minutes maximum to complete a game or match, which make them both ideal to get in a "quick game" before or after work, or before going to that annoying social gathering where you know the lovely individuals who tend to get under your skin will be present.

My advice...for extreme cases of stress, play two rounds or more.

July 10, 2013

This Future Enthusiast Wants Out If I Am Forced To Have A Robot Butler!

Salve Omni!

I consider myself a future enthusiast, a geek girl with her eyes fixed towards the future...fingers crossed that it looks a lot like Star Trek!! I love my Science Fiction, and try to get my fill every which way I can. These days, it has been mainly in the form of movies, TV shows and DVDs revisited. You see, I've got lots of time on my hands, and it proves to be such a wonderful escape from the sucky reality of everyday living (I think I've now stared at and analyzed every inch of the walls in my TV room!)

With that being said, I have to wonder...why, oh why, do robots creep the crap out of me? Oh the irony! And, of course, if we take a cue from a lot of the present Science Fiction stories and movies, the future will be littered with them! Science Fiction Author, Isaac Asimov, created the Three Laws of Robotics; pertaining to the idea that humanoid robots may someday work and exist in close proximity to human beings. These laws, written as a moral code for our mechanical friends, would be uploaded into their programming at the time of assembly, and must be followed at all times in order to exist in our human world...because they would have some degree of free will.

One of my favorite TV series is Red Dwarf. If you haven't seen it, you must immediately! IT IS THAT GOOD! But I digress...In the show, one of the main characters is an android named Kryten. Though he is such an asset to the crew, and although I love the way his character is written into the show, no matter how many times I watch the show, and no matter how many times I laugh while watching his silly antics, he still creeps me out. Not just Kryten, but ALL robots. Yes, even WALL-E.

Oh, the bitter irony! Yes I am teased constantly by everyone who knows me well, and knows how passionate I am about my Sci-Fi.

"How can someone so obsessed with Science Fiction be so afraid of robots?" I hear that a lot! The answer is...Easily my friends, because I am always over-thinking the situation.

I blame the movie, Short Circuit (okay, I realllly feel old now). My parents and I used to watch the first film together, and, from an early age, I realized that I analyze things far too much. Must be the result of my crazy scientific brain! Here is this cute, clunky and lovable (hah!) robot, simply named, Number 5, who is created as a military experiment. Number 5 becomes self-aware after a power surge, wandering out into the real world. He would later reject his military programming as he evades re-capture. As my parents laughed at this comedy, I remember wondering, what if he malfunctions? The tank rollers for feet that he uses to maneuver around--what if he goes crazy and uses them to run over Ally Sheedy? Not to mention the scary metal limbs - does anyone else think about the possibility of being strangled to death? Robots are made of metal and weigh considerably more than humans do. That's enough to frighten the hell out of me!

Cut to present day. New technological advances have taught us one thing...that scientists are working on creating artificial intelligence with the hope that one day it will be fully capable of independent thought. A very scary thought! I am immediately reminded of our computers and smart phones. It seems as if the smarter our software and apps and devices become, the greater the viruses and hacking and errors become. I am certain that even a smart home, controlled by a sentient computer, would be capable of getting a virus; or could be hacked. And then...it all shuts down...or malfunctions...and if you're lucky...it won't kill you.

I'm all for the future of technology, but if society dictates that my home comes equipped with a robot butler, I think I'll just have to spend most of my waking hours at the local bar, telling my troubles to the trusty old robot bartender. I'm sure he'll understand.

July 9, 2013

How Do We Write the Woman of the Future Into Geek Culture?

Salve Omni!

Greetings all! Please bear with me, as this is my first blog post, EVER! But I figured it was time!

As an author (my husband and I are currently writing a Science Fiction series, and I a Steam-Punk novel), a poet, movie lover, Science Fiction fanatic, Trekkie, comic book collector, gamer, geek and African-American woman, I thought I would write about the things I love...from my own warped perspective, of course!

Now I'm not saying that I have all of the answers to everything, but I will definitely make it entertaining...in my own geeky way...with a bit of wisdom thrown into the mix.

I read an article the other day that got me to thinking more than usual. It basically sums up what I, and I'm sure many feminists and females everywhere, have been thinking since Science Fiction and Fantasy took the world by storm...that the world needs more women writers of Science Fiction!

I agree completely, but let us not stop at Science Fiction; let us cover the entire geek spectrum! Let us encompass it all--Fantasy, gaming, comic books, and the lot! The world needs a better version of the future from a woman's perspective. Most important, there is an immediate need, ladies and gentlemen, for the evolution of strong, female characters!!! I love, love, love all things geek, and while there are many admirable female characters who have graced us with their presence via the movie screen, television, novels, videogames, and countless comic books, I feel as if the future of womankind is still left wanting.

We presently live in the age of Science Fiction, where technological and scientific advances are continuously evolving Our human advancements seem to progress on a weekly basis! Just as the real world is readily evolving, so should the societal norms in the world of literature. Especially the way that women are factored into the future. They must be ready to evolve just as fast.

Being a woman (still rather a minority in the genre), and as a minority myself, when I look to the future, it looks bleak. By no means am I saying that strong, admirable female characters do not already exist. Many strong female characters have paved the way for womankind; however, I am saying that the number is still few in comparison to the countless captains and adventurers and heroes who have been imagined and immortalized by predominately male authors and visionaries throughout the years. In the past, it was an easier path for men to traverse. In the present, it is just as easy for women to traverse the same path and steer our future in the way we would see it unfold...in a world, in a universe where women are just as crucial to all aspects of life.

There are many, many strong female characters who have inspired me and renewed my love for these genres. If I listed them all, it might take you all day to read this blog, thus making my first post very unpopular for being way too wordy. In order to save time, I will just list a few:

  • Nyota Uhura from Star Trek OS
  • Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
  • Xena Warrior Princess
  • Wonder Woman
  • Cat Woman (particularly Anne Hathaway's version from the Dark Knight Rises)
  • Dana Scully from the X- Files
  • Several characters from the television series Defiance:
    • Amanda Rosewater
    •  Kenya Rosewater
    • Irisa Nyira
    • Stahma Tarr
    • Doc Yewll
  • Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
  • Rebecca, also known as Tank Girl from the film of the same name.
After revisiting one of my favorite films, Tank Girl, late last night, I thought to myself, "now this hot mess is truly a woman of the future!" My readers may agree or disagree, but kidding aside, she's a great candidate. I've always admired her character. I admire her punk style, her warped sense of humor (well, you've got to laugh when the times turn to crap), and her strong will and bravery. This is one chick who doesn't back down, and she certainly is not one to apologize. She's a badass who drives a tank! It doesn't get much better than that! Unconventionally pretty and foul-mouthed, she embodies what I would like to see (of course, in varying degrees) in more female character development. She is street smart, not sheltered, and she uses it to her advantage to survive. To sum it up, Rebecca is a strong, stubborn and extremely independent free spirit. Sure, she has friends and companions and love interests, but when she finds herself alone, she never shuts down. Not solely relying on her looks or merely her intellect to get by in her future world, she takes the world head-on. Clearly capable of maintaining her femininity, we see that she is definitely aware and not ashamed of her sexuality; however, she does not use these elements to solely define her. Rebecca is just as tough as the boys she's up against. This ain't no damsel-in-distress waiting to be rescued! She plots and reacts and fights, using everything she has...and staying strong throughout.

And strong must the new evolution of female characters be. And even stronger, the female authors who write them. And to countless numbers must the female circle of authors, and dreamers grow. And as diverse as the universe must the ethnicities and species of these characters become. The future, dear reader, especially the future of women, will be diverse; not merely ranging from the diverse peoples of Earth, but expanding outward to encompass the faraway civilizations dreamed of by many a creative mind.

These female characters will have so many stories to tell, will wear many different hats, and will have many different faces...and I can't wait!