Sunday, March 30, 2014

Three bits of three

Mabel joins me for a second season episode of DS9 entitled, "The Wire"

Since I last posted, I've busted into the third season of DS9.  We've got Jem'Hadar, we've got Founders, we've got the Defiant, but still no facial hair on Sisko.  I'm beginning to wonder if I imagined it.

I'm seven episodes in and so far the following has happened:
  • Quark becomes embroiled in Klingon drama in "The House of Quark." This is a really great Quark episode (once again, god bless Armin Shimerman), and female Klingons are always fun to watch.  This is also the first appearance of Gowron (Chancellor of the High Council) on DS9.  It's not a very important episode for Gowron, but I know he becomes more important in the series later on.
  • Kira is surgically altered to look like a Cardassian in "Second Skin." Along with the alternate universe trope, I love it when characters are surgically altered to look like alien races.  It's such an easy yet surefire way to entertain me.  The best use I can think of is the TNG episode "Face of the Enemy" in which Troi is kidnapped and made to look like a Romulan.  Anyway, "Second Skin" is a good ep, although (without getting spoilery), it seemed a little convenient, and I would have expected more skepticism from the father (comment if you want to discuss).
  • Dukat gets instant comeuppance in "Civil Defense." An old Cardassian security procedure is accidentally triggered and DS9 goes into lockdown, and eventually an auto-self-destruct sequence.  The crew can't figure out how to stop it, and Dukat drops by to gloat and offer help under terms that the crew can't accept.  He delivers a "have it your way" speech and then attempts to beam away, but the automated security procedure stops him and verbally disgraces him, assuming he is abandoning the ship (and that he is still in charge of the station).
I have to wait until season four for Worf, but I see that season three has appearances by Riker, Lwaxana, and Grand Nagus Zek, plus the introduction of Sisko's girlfriend Kasidy, and more time travel, telepathy, and that alternate universe Kira and Bashir visited last season.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I just watched the Deep Space Nine episode "Crossover" in which Kira and Bashir find themselves in an alternate universe.  Alternate universe episodes are great, and this one was no exception.  Kira meets her surlier counterpart.  In fact, everyone's surlier in this reality.  It's just a surly universe.  O'Brien is an exception, and I have to say I really enjoyed Colm Meaney's portrayal of a humbler version of his character.

My favorite part in this episode was the cold open in which Bashir tries to strike up a friendly conversation with Kira.  The Major is all business so she keeps her answers short and curt.  Finally, Bashir invites her to dinner.  She rebuffs him and he tries to save face by insisting that he only intended the invitation as platonic.  This is adorable because in the near future (or possibly concurrently) the actors playing these characters would be romantically involved.  The episode aired in 1994 and the actors married in 1997.  They're no longer together, but it's a cute snapshot.

I'm close to the end of the second season, and I'm looking forward to the Defiant, the Dominion, and Sisko's facial hair.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunset Parking

I recently moved to the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, and brought my car with me.  Before that I lived in Long Island City, Queens for eight years, seven of which in the same apartment.  Then and now, my parking ritual is to first search in the immediate area around my apartment and then, if that's fruitless, head in to the less desirable area.  In both neighborhoods, I knew that there was guaranteed parking in places farther than I ever wanted to walk and it was just a matter of how long I felt like looking before giving up.

After living here for only two months, I discovered a secret special bonus parking area.  I'm not going to tell you where, in fact telling you I live in Sunset Park may have even narrowed it down too much.  What I will tell you is that, somewhere near my apartment, there is a block which is one-half bus stop and one-half total parking anarchy.  There are no signs or curb markings defining any sort of parking regulation.  No alternate side, no 1- or 2- hour parking, no school days bullshit.  It is the half-block that the DOT forgot.

What's more, there's always a spot available.  It fits about four cars, and I can always fit my big ass minivan in to one of them.  Drivers must just not trust it, like it's a parking oasis or something.  I don't blame them.  When I don't see a sign, I walk up and down the block until I find one.  I break out the tape measure if I'm near a hydrant (15 feet is the rule, FYI).  I've been towed and fined enough times to know know that taking the chance is never worth it, so I empathize with the drivers who see this parking anomaly and just drive by.

I may have just jinxed it, but hopefully I will have this secret parking bliss for many more years, unmarred by discovery either by fellow motorists or the DOT.

This plant has nothing to do with Star Trek

While it's true that watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the impetus for starting this blog, and it's the only thing I've written about so far, I never intended it to be the subject of this blog.  I made sure that the title, "about me" section, and theme were all general.  The idea was to just create a space outside my Livejournal where I could do some more focused, less ranty, less stream-of-consciousness writing.  Previous blogging attempts (exhibits A and B) have failed because their subject matter was too specific, so I decided to try something more broad.

In the interest of diversifying this blog, I present to you this plant:

Last June, I visited my sister's father-in-law's art studio in Saugerties, NY.  He had this wonderful plant with the most peculiar blossoms that secreted a nectar that tasted like maple syrup.  He gave me a clipping which consisted of two leaves and a stem.  I put it in water and let it root.

Six months later, after enduring an apartment renovation and move against all odds, it had formed a spool of roots in the bottom of the small dish I'd put it in.  I transferred it into a pot and put it in my shower so it would get watered effortlessly.  I wasn't sure if this would work, and I was starting to get frustrated by the progress it appeared not to be making.

This morning, I noticed that there was a third leaf about half the size of the other two!  It's not at all surprising that I failed to notice this leaf until now, which has clearly been growing for at least a few weeks (I actually have no idea how quickly leaves grow, but I'll admit to being a little creeped out if this leaf wasn't there a few days ago, and I guess we'll never know).  I was thrilled.  I've had plants before, but in the past they've only shrunk, not grown.

My thumb is a little greener today and I just wanted to share this small amount of joy with all of you.  (Incidentally, this blog has no followers, so I have no idea of know how many "all of you" is.  Also, I have no idea how one "follows" a blog on Blogger, as I see no link, but if you can figure it out, please go ahead!)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Gul Putin

They all have five-letter names.

Actually, it's Jadzia now.

I'm really enjoying seeing Dax handle what essentially is sexual reassignment with badassness and grace. For the uninitiated, Dax is a symbiotic life form that moves from humanoid body to humanoid body as the hosts die.  Jadzia Dax, pictured below, is the latest Dax host, and at the beginning of the series she has only recently been "joined" to the symbiont following the death of the previous, male host.  Read more here

There's a lot written about this on the internet already, and from what I read, the series explores transgender issues via Dax plenty more as it progresses, so I won't elaborate now.  I'll just say that Jadzia, with the benefit of Dax's seven lifetimes of experience, is extremely well equipped to deal with the "yeah, I'm a woman now, deal with it" encounters that she is still facing at the end of the second season, and it's fun to watch.