TARDIS Doors (part 1)

Somewhere along the way I planned to respond to the prompt below, thought about it, then promptly abandoned it in my draft folder for months and months, only to rediscover it today.

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story.

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

At first glance the safe sitting amid the ruins reminds me of the TARDIS from the BBC’s Doctor Who.  In fact, I didn’t even realize it was a safe until I reread the prompt’s caption.

The TARDIS makes an appearance at the Toronto Comic Con.
The TARDIS makes an appearance at the Toronto Comic Con. Photo taken by my good friend Wayne Abat

Doctor Who’s TARDIS never changes from a Police Box into other shapes because because of a malfunction in the 1963 pilot episode, An Unearthly Child. Since then, for whatever reason, The Doctor just hasn’t been focused on getting it fixed–it being the Camouflage Unit, the Chameleon Circuit, or the Cloaking Device (depending upon the show’s episode or writer).  And not that the Doctor didn’t try to fix it, because eventually the malfunction does get solved, (sort of, but by then The Doctor is fond of the TARDIS’ Police Box appearance) yet no efforts are televised repairing it between the 1963 and 1981 seasons.  That seems like a long time for a crucial security feature to be offline.  Mind you, it was the 60s & 70s, and security was generally lax prior to the 911 terror attacks.

Besides, keeping track of a different shaped TARDIS during each new adventure might prove annoying (and even challenging) for a time traveling fellow and his companions (especially considering just how old the Doctor was rumored to be).  I equate it to keeping track of where I last parked my car at the mall, but with the added complexity of it changing color and model upon each new visit.

On the other hand, I think that a chameleon circuit might be an excellent feature on my aged minivan.  With it being nearly 14 years old, there’s many times I would prefer it look different than what it does.  I image myself saying to the grocery cart delivery kid, “Sure, just leave the bags by the base of that palm tree.  I can get them from there.”

The yellow highlighted doors on the left don't match the shape of doors seen on a Police Box.
The yellow highlighted doors on the left don’t match the shape of doors seen on a Police Box.

The doors of Doctor Who’s Police Box is one aspect of the TARDIS that has always bothered me.  On the outside, the Police Box doors are rectangular, but on the interior of the TARDIS the outer doors have a jagged cut on each hinged side.  My logical mind justifies it with idea of there being a lobby, mud room, airlock, or transitional area to accommodate the differing door shapes.  I’m sure some expert “Whovian” will be able to explain it all away, but in my imagination, a scene like this plays out prior to the show’s pilot episode…

 (Somewhere on the BBC studios in 1962)

Nigel:  Hey, what the hell is this?!
Garth:  What’s the matter?
Nigel:  The doors.  You’ve made them all wrong!
Garth:  What you mean?  I built the spaceship’s interior just like the script says.
Nigel:  Yes, but the doors aren’t rectangles!  You’ve got these angled cuts on the hinged sides.
Garth:  Why? What do your doors look like on the outside?
Nigel:  They’re tall rectangles, just like a Police Box.
Garth:  That’s stupid.  What kind of spaceship has doors that look like a Police Box?
Nigel:  No, you don’t understand. “It is a Police Box.”
Garth:  I thought it was a space ship?  Are you sure we’re working on the same set?
Nigel: Yes!  The Police Box “is” the spaceship.
Garth:  You’re telling me, the spaceship is a Police Box?
Nigel:   Yes.
Garth:  Well, how is all this supposed to fit inside a Police Box?
Nigel:  The spaceship is bigger on the inside than on the outside?
Garth:  You mean to tell me, the TV viewer is supposed to believe this room fits into a space the size of a Police Box?  TV viewers are daft, but this is just plain unbelievable.
Nigel:  Don’t worry. The Doctor explains it to the viewers in the story.
Garth: The doctor?
Nigel:  Yes, Doctor Who.
Garth: Exactly.  I have no clue who the doctor is.
Nigel:  No, The Doctor is the main character in the show.
Garth: What does a doctor have to do with space travel?  Is one of the astronauts sick?
Nigel:  No, the Doctor is the space traveler.
Garth: Really?  Is that because only doctors can actually afford space travel?
Nigel:   No, and he’s not a doctor of medicine.  He’s a scientist from another world.
Garth:  And he builds spaceships that look like Police Boxes?
Nigel:   No, Doctor Who flies the spaceship.
Garth:  I have no idea which doctor flies this ridiculous spacecraft.
Nigel:  No, no. The Doctor’s name is Who.
Garth:  How do you spell it?
Nigel:   W-H-O
Garth:  That’s an odd name for a doctor, even for a Police Box spaceship-building scientist doctor.
Nigel:   Yes, but your interior doors still don’t match my Police Box doors.  These have got to be fixed.
Garth:  Listen, long before any TV viewers ever notice the inconsistency between the inner and outer doors, they’ll have to reconcile that they’re watching a crazy TV show where a scientist doctor, named Who, that flies around space inside a Police Box, which itself defies the laws of physics and spatial relations.  Our doors are the least of the problem here.
Nigel:   Well… alright, but I still don’t like it.
Garth:  Relax.  This show won’t even last a season, if that.

If a TARDIS with a functioning Chameleon Circuit arrived in our westernized culture today, what shape or object would it mimic?

(To be cont’d in Part 2)

Final Departure

hurtling heavenward
armrests clung tight
g-force pins bodies
propulsion burns bright

ignorant Houston
oblivious crew
awestruck observers
all wait for stage two

water had frozen
ring breach failure
exploding disaster
numb, silence, vapor

——————————————————————————————————————

This is my response to Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven where I was given the three words below and asked to give back thirty of my own, making a grand total of thirty-three words.

ring
water
stage

Admittedly, I’m not normally poetic (by any stretch of the imagination, nor by education), but was inspired to make my earlier work in progress into the poem above…

The astronauts hurtled heavenward with armrests gripped and g-force imprisoned bodies.  The crew-members eagerly anticipated stage two.  Oblivious to Houston, Challenger, and observers alike, a ring had failed.  The Challenger disaster was imminent.

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are encouraged!

Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven
Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven

Lost Translations

I’d run across this photo a long time ago, but do not recall ever seeing this sign when I visited Leningrad in 1987 (now called St. Petersburg).

I especially like the stick figure art.  It’s clever, humorous, sarcastic, and not what I’d expect from screeners in the former USSR.
Untitled

Untitled by the Real Janelle

The Real Janelle (whoever you really are) posted this to her Flickr account back in 2007 with these very witty English translations.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Sign01

1) No riding into the fortress on armored tanks saluting Hitler.

Sign02

2) No samples at the deli

Sign03
3) No miniature rocking horses

Sign04
4) No suicides, please, this is not the Brooklyn bridge

Sign05
5) No smooth jazz

Sign06
6) No underpants

Sign07
7) No ski-jumping

Sign08
8) No loss of depth perception

Sign09
9) No Don King hairstyles

Sign10
10) No drinking whilst holding a lamppost, lest you become electrocuted

Sign11

11) No flying bicycles, with or without extra terrestrial

Sign12

12) No supermodels, they break like sticks

May the former KGB never hunt you down for creating laughter against the former Soviet Union.  Stay safe the Real Janelle!

She Pondered

“What if I topple your paradigm?”

Her finger played nervously with a loop underneath long black curls.  She pondered his words.  Was this honey sweet flirtation or just wearing on her last nerve?

——————————

This is my first second  Trifextra submission to  Trifecta.  To my delight, my last entry received some positive feedback from nice folks (isn’t everyone nice… until they get to know me).  As an added bonus, my writing didn’t get me run out of town.

This weekend’s assignment asks for exactly 33 words, 30 of my own and three of the following:

topple   paradigm   underneath   nerve   honey   loop

My imagination helped me to squeeze them all in, so hopefully it doesn’t fault my entry.  Time will tell.

The Farewell

Jim&Pam_2

Leave it to me to get all sappy about the ending of a TV show…  As you may or may not know, this was the last season for NBC’s The Office.  Eight and something-something seasons later, the show’s finale aired last night.  It didn’t disappoint.

Seinfeld is the last significant television finale still etched in my memory.  Nearly everyone I ever know who watched Seinfeld felt the same annoyance I felt towards its final episode.  How could such an epic Thursday night tradition have ended so poorly?  It still turns my stomach to think about it.

Conversely, The Office couldn’t have ended better.  It left me smiling, laughing, saddened, but most importantly, it resolved the story(and unlike Seinfeld, didn’t leave you wondering if the show you’d watched for so-long might have only been half as good as you remember).  I was one of those few people who followed the show from season one.  Over the last week, I’ve been asking my peers, mostly co-workers, if they happen to watch The Office.  Once again, I’m one of the few.  So nine seasons later, what’s changed?   Now at least everyone knows of or about the show, even if they don’t watch it.

Back in spring 2005, the concept of The Office was new and novel.  It immediately peaked my interest with its documentary feel and character camera interviews (like soliloquies or confessions caught on tape).  And it was about work, and those were the days when I actually felt passion and worth just going to work.

The Office made a second season, and its fandom at my own workplace grew (likely because I was avidly promoting it).  Using my VCR, I would faithfully record the show on Thursdays, and during Fridays’ lunch break, my co-workers and I would bust-a-gut laughing out loud while watching the recording.  Like Miami Vice (Friday nights of my youth), Saturday Night Live (Saturday nights of my youth), and Simpsons (I can’t recall what night of my youth), watching The Office with a group of people makes the experience that much better.  Maybe like in a theatre or cinema, viewers feed off of each other’s emotions and reactions.

TheOfficeUKI’ve watched and appreciate the BBC’s The Office, but not nearly as much as States-side recreation.  Looking at each adaptation of The Office TV show, they differ so much as to practically exist on different planets (not just continents).  The intro scene into the BBC version seems sad, nearly dismal if not depressing, and the intro cinematography makes the show almost look more industrial than about an office.  But credit indeed goes to Ricky Gervais for creating the concept and for getting the whole idea rolling.

So what made The Office different from other television sitcoms?  It was the characters and the setting.  The personalities on the show were both believable and yet over-the-top funny.  So often, the show’s characters could seem so real, down-to-earth, and relatable, while other times you knew the story writers were taking you on some wild goose chase.  And their stories played out in an office space where just about anyone might relate.  Other times, the first person filming of scenes left the viewer actually feeling like part of the cast.Quad_Desk

What will I miss most about The Office?

I’ll miss the emotion that Michael Scott could awake in me–at times I just couldn’t help but root for him because he was the ultimate underdog.  Other times, he would leave me cringing or bubble up with anger.

The cast, while looking more like average folks, rather than Hollywood supermodels, had the ability to capture the viewer’s attention (and often their heart).  At different points in the story, substance rather than superficial made me appreciate each personality for who they were (or developed into).

Watching The Office often ended up being therapeutic… helping me appreciate the quirky nature of working with others, and to realize that the craziest day at my work seldom matched the madness portrayed on the TV show.

A few of my favorite scenes from The Office:

Megadesk
Quad Desk
Booze Cruise
Lip Dub Intro
Princess Unicorn
Finer Things Club
Dwight’s Concussion
Jim playing Call of Duty
Holly doing Yoda Impression
Michael Scott Paper Company
Death Bus (actually called Work Bus)
Michael Scott’s wearing a Woman’s Suit
Creed coloring his hair black to look younger
Identity Theft — When Jim steels Dwight’s look.
Holly, the new HR person, thinks Kevin is retarded
Andy sings to Angela with backing from the friends on phones
Dropping a water melon from  atop of the building onto the trampoline
Dwight reading the speech Jim wrote for him at the Paper Sales Conference

(and too many more to list)

So after spending nine years tagging along, thanks  for the smiles, stories, and laughs!

Do you have a favorite scene or storyline you related to in The Office?  Leave me a comment 🙂

Summertime

“I want to!”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, just like Julian!”

“Okay, but be careful.”

Slap, slap, slap go little feet.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Bump. Bump.

SPLOOSH!

Tweet!  “Jump straight; Not to the side!”

——————————————————————

The above is writing I submitted as part of something new to me called Trifecta.  I discovered Trifecta while reading a submission by another writer on Raursaur’s blog (seen here).

As part of the weekend assignment, I had to limit my writing to thirty-three words and had to incorporate the use of onomatopoeia.

Usually I like to include a photo or video link in my posts, but in this case, I’m hoping the words and examples of onomatopoeia help build mental images instead.

Brave

Brave

Sara Bareilles has an album releasing in the not too distant future.  It sounds like it will be titled The Blessed Unrest.  A new single entitled Brave releases to the world on April 23rd.  Hear it here…

It’s quickly growing on me.   Sara’s last EP, Once Upon A Time, really sparked my imagination, left me day-dreaming, and brought me many smiles.  I’m not a vocalist nor musician by any stretch of the imagination.  If I was, I’m left wondering  how I would name my albums.  Here’s a fun insight into Sara’s thought process for naming her next album:

I love the classic gas station “dinging” sound for each album name.  I’ll have to make something similar for my smart phone notifications.

I don’t really know anything about Martha Graham.  I gather she has something important to do with dance (or dance ideology).  I also dance very seldom  and infrequently in public (Elaine’s dance from Seinfeld immediately comes to mind), but I was intrigued by the quote Sara mentions in the video clip.  Martha Graham is quoted as saying…

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
~ As quoted in The Life and Work of Martha Graham (1991) by Agnes de Mille, p. 264, ISBN 0-394-55643-7.

At first glance, I’m sceptical.  What’s she really saying… a life force?  I agree, we all have a God-given soul, but I’m not sure if I’d call it a life force?  I’m reading the part about unique expression and equating to creativity (or creative spirit).  I agree.  I think God has enriched each person with unique talents and gifts, most of which too easily get dismissed or squandered away.  And it seems true, that when people suppress their gifts and talents (for whatever reason), people around them, their community, society as a whole, everyone loses out on that individual’s God-given abilities.

I would caution people to “keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”  I think I get her context, but certainly would NOT suggest that a person be open to urges that drive him to overeat or to drink in excess (or even worse things I’m now imagining as I type this).

“…No artist is pleased.”

This is such an understatement about perfectionism.  I wrestle with this in my work, my writing, my photography, my drawings, my painting, and almost every part of my life.  Just trying to write a blog just about kills me at times (maybe because I’m such a newbie).  I can relate to a consistent state of dissatisfaction with many things, creative things, and various parts of my life.  The unrest… it bugs me.   I’ve never thought of it as a blessed unrest, but it’s eerily familiar.

I find some inspiration and encouragement in the Brave song lyrics…

Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave