Day of the Doctor: Boxes (and, the obligatory River Song, “Spoilers”)

There’s something very quantum about this episode, and rather boxy (but not clumsy in the least, my only criticism would be that I need more John Hurt as the Doctor in my life forever — a spin off?  Can that happen?  Everything that led up to him popping over and talking to himself?)

I want to take a moment to think about all the boxes in this episode of Doctor Who.  There’s, of course, the TARDIS, the biggest box of them all.  There’s the fact that we view the Doctor and his exploits within a box (any sort of screen, really).  There’s this, the first thing I thought of when I saw the Moment– and I pray that I’m the only one who’s made this joke so far:


There’s the little clear box that makes Gallifreyan paintings.  The paintings themselves are boxes, three-dimensional and housed within a square frame.  And, here’s where the quantum comes in, the whole episode was an exploration of Schrodinger’s cat.  Is Gallifrey alive or dead?  It’s in the box– the picture frame.  It’s fate is in the box, the Moment.  But what is it, truly?  Alive or dead?  Gallifrey Falls, or No More?  Box, box, box!

And beyond this episode there’s the Pandorica, a box.  There’s the ring box in Amy’s pocket. There are the heads in boxes, the mysterious little black cubes that appeared all over the world, the Hello Sweetie written on the home box of the Byzantium! Containers, everywhere you look.  And why would that be?  Could it be the one structure that’s permeated all of Whoville?  What ties the first Doctor to the Eleventh?  It’s his devilish good looks, for sure, but it’s the big blue box.

While I’ve got your attention, I want to deviate from boxes for a moment– Moment, ha– and talk about the translation circuit.

Surely the Doctor didn’t shoot NO MORE onto the wall in English.  Certainly not.  But it would have taken so many more gunshots to write it out in Gallifreyan.  So, let’s talk about how motions and movements can be translated by the translation circuit.  If we watch someone write in Greek while we’re in Athens with the Doctor, the man’s hand will seem to move to write English words.  Isn’t that fantastic?  And if we visit an alien species who can only talk through smells, we seem to emit those smells.  And if we talk to someone who only speaks sign language, they see our hands move as they should be moving.  Some might argue that it’s simply translated in our heads, but we see their mouths move as they should move… when they’ve got mouths to move, and it only stands to reason that it goes much, much further than that.


I Did Not Skin my Knee Today: A Story of Victory

I did not skin my knee today.  I rode my bike to the elementary school to pick up the kid I was going to be looking after.  Within the first two minutes I noticed five things.

One: I do not like this.

Two: If I take one hand off the handlebars I am going to die.

Three: If I turn my head in any direction other than straight I am going to die.

Four: If I think about anything besides pedaling forward I am going to die.

Five: I am going to die.

Last week I skinned my knee by making bad decisions.  Namely: I figured the amount of air my tire had was a formality and really it was okay to ride it like that if I really need to get somewhere.  This is false.  If someone tells you this, they are lying to you and trying to get your knee scraped up or maybe trying to get you to die.  I’m very good at not dying, on the plus side.  Twenty-five years straight!  Today I beat my own personal record for living!

Twelve Things You Don’t Know About Me

12:  I take a 150 milligram dose of Zoloft to help get a chokehold around my anxiety, and I don’t regret it at all.  I don’t feel like it affects my creativity, though other medications have in the past.  Just like how we treat chronic coughs so that we don’t walk around hacking globs of our lungs out, there’s no shame in seeking medication if you have a chemical imbalance. 

11: I almost didn’t post number twelve because of fear of being judged.

10: I love people.  This might seem counterintuitive when you think about just how nervous people can make me, but I really, truly love them.  I’ll take care of people who need taking care of and I’ll be an ear when someone needs me.  Nothing makes me happier than making someone else’s life a little easier, a little better.

9: I have a secret off switch in most discussions: I will automatically assume I’m wrong if someone disagrees with me on a fact (within reason).  Whether I stick with that initial impulse is another story. 

8:  I love the outdoors.  I have secret dreams of living in a treehouse, making my own paints out of berry paste and smudged charcoal.  I’d need wi-fi, of course, but other than that I think I could be perfectly happy that way.

7:  There are two things I want to be when I grow up: a writer, and a superhero.  I have the writer thing down pat, but I’m dying to be a superhero, too.  One day I’ll figure out how to do both.  I’m probably being serious about this.

6: Before I even come up with the concept for a book or story I go into a research binge. That’s not unusual.  What’s unusual is that I don’t consciously make the decision to learn the stuff that I’m learning, and it stems from something I already have an interest in.   And the interests don’t go away once the project is done.  It’s like when I write, what I write is also writing me.

5:  The reason I walked with a cane for a while wasn’t for artistic interest.  My psoas muscle (yes, I do have at least one muscle) had tightened to the point where my spine was spiraling just like a staircase.  My hips are aged at different rates now.  I did physical therapy, spent some time with a chiropractor, and now I’m mostly pain free, except on very bad days.

4:  I’m not super… feelings-y.  I love my family, I love my friends, I love babies, I love people who could use love, I love the disenfranchised and the lonely and the sick and I’m vocal about it, but I’ve only been in love once or twice.  I don’t do sappy.  Romantic movies make me roll my eyes.  Love songs leave me making faces, and lovelorn clichés make me throw fits.  

3:  I’m an avid gardener, but I don’t prune, and I don’t really listen to rules about special planty things I need to do.  I just plant what I plant and then let it go wild.  If you want to ingratiate yourself toward me, get me something green and alive (and not a lizard).  If you really want to ingratiate yourself with me, get me a tree.

2:  I have ten or so mega crushes at any given time, and I’ll probably never tell the guys.

1:  This commercial, yes, the one with the cute kid and the zombies in suburbia, stresses me out so much.  I can’t even.  I just keep thinking about how they’re going to survive.

Two Things I Am No Longer Allowed to Do Without My Glasses

Thingy numero uno: Shave my legs.   I made a pretty massive accidental blood sacrifice to the shower drain today. 

Thingy numero dos:  Anything else.

I usually know better.  If I have anything sharp in my hands, I’m wearing my glasses.  Actually, if I’m conscious I’m wearing my glasses, which is why this particular act of stupidity is so staggering.  Sans glasses my legs are beige blobs like loaves of French bread.  Sans glasses the world around me blurs like watercolors in a rainstorm. 

I can’t imagine seeing my life that way, always, but I know that people did and people do.  In that way, I’m infinitely lucky.