Intergalactic Paintbrushes and What it Means to be a Nerd

Is Wren *gasp* posting something that doesn’t include Doctor Who? Er, no. Not exactly. But unlike my tendency of late, this post will not revolve solely around Doctor Who. You’ll see.

A question that has been on my mind a lot recently is “What exactly does it mean to be a nerd?” Actually, it’s been on my mind for the past few years, but more so these past few months. So what is a nerd? Well, according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary a nerd is “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.” While this may be a fairly okay textbook definition, to be a nerd is so much more than such a simple sentence can hold, now more than ever, I think.

But then what exactly is it to be a nerd? Different people at different points in their life would answer differently. Some might say being bullied as a child, being a social outcast, an introvert, poor social skills, loves computers, watches this or that TV show, plays this or that game. Is that what being nerdy is? These days it seems, with nerdy being the new “cool”, there are ever more rigid criteria for nerddom. Certain fandoms such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, or even My Little Pony might mark someone as a nerd, or those strange “hipster” nerd glasses that have become so popular these days, or being able to quote the right pop culture reference at the right time. When in the past to be nerdy may have just meant someone who watches obscure sci-fi shows, doesn’t talk to people much, and spends thirteen hours a day on the computer, now it seems there is an art to it. Or perhaps there was always an art to it, and I just missed it. The point is, being a “true nerd” seems to be so much work these days.

I have been a nerd my whole life. I grew up in a crazy, silly, loveably nerdy family doing nerdy things like watching Star Trek and Star Wars and listening to my dad’s rock’n roll music. I have always felt reasonably comfortable calling myself a nerd, and now I wear that term with pride. Yet nowadays I feel more and more like I don’t have what it takes to be a “true nerd”. I’m awful with all kinds of technology, I have a difficult time quoting certain references in conversation, I don’t watch a lot of the more recent movies and television programmes considered to be nerdy, I don’t know very much obscure information about my fandoms that would mark me as a “true nerd”, I read the wrong books, and I am most definitely not a gamer. I feel more and more like I have to prove myself as a nerd and am falling short.

I don’t think being a nerd means liking or doing certain things or acting a certain way or being good at certain things or having no friends, and I think the definition of nerdy may vary from person. I am a fiction-loving good-naturedly insane socially and technologically inept fiction-loving nerd. Maybe someone else is a nerd who plays Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft or an MMO RPG twelve hours a day but has never read more than a handful of chapter books. Or maybe another nerd loves to read more than anything but doesn’t watch TV shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock because they give her nightmares. Or another nerd can quote references like no one else and has loads of friends because of it. We are all nerds so long as we do that title honor and wear it with pride. Maybe I am different from other nerds, but isn’t that the point? As nerds we celebrate our differences from each other and society and appreciate each other because of it. I am a nerd. I am an individual. And I am proud of it.

John Green, one of my favorite authors and vloggers, says it best in one of his videos : “Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff…Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, basically what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ ” Although the video was posted close to four years ago, that statement holds true today. A larger part of being a nerd is simply the freedom to be unironically, unabashedly enthusiastic about something, which is completely wonderful. So no matter if it’s Doctor Who or Dowton Abbey, a new book or movie or game, if you are incredibly enthusiastic about something you have the right to call yourself a nerd. Really, you could call yourself a nerd anyway, but I think the truly awesome thing about being a nerd is the excitement, as John Green mentions. I cannot think of anything to be that is more amazing than a nerd, despite the outcastedness and the negative stereotypes. Being a nerd is awesome, and I am happy to call myself one.

Oh yes, before I close: I have thought of a new nickname for myself. As this post’s title would suggest, it is “The Intergalactic Paintbrush”. That is all. Hope the rest of your day is happy and nerdy.

Two Poems About Doctor Who

I know, I know. Yet another post revolving around Doctor Who. I do apologize if you’ve never seen the show and are finding these posts quite boring, but I enjoy posting about it. I plan on posting some of my sketches soon, and even though some of them are Doctor Who related, I think you’ll still enjoy them. I’m not saying they’re any good, mind, but I like to sketch. I digress.

The subject of today’s post is two poems I have written about Doctor Who, as is evident in the title. I promised I’d show them to you in my last post, so here they are. A warning: these are not the best examples of my poetry skills. I like them enough to post them here, but don’t judge my overall abilities with poetry based on these two poems alone.

My first poem, currently lacking a title, is an abecedarian poem, meaning that each line starts with a letter in alphabetical order. I’m rather proud of being able to find something for x. Here it is:

A mad man with a
Blue box, that’s me.
Companions, always remember:
Don’t wander off. And if you hear
‘Exterminate!’ Run
For your lives.
Girls may love me, but
Harkness does too.
I don’t want to go.
Just know that time travel only makes things more complicated.
K-9 and my other companions are gone.
Last of the Time Lords, that’s me. Although the
Master could still be at large.
Now, how to become a companion of mine?
One.
Prepare yourself.
Quietly I’ll whisper
Run.
Stay close to me and the
TARDIS
Unless you’d like to die a painful death.
Very well. Now learn about the daleks,
Warriors of hate and
Xenophobes of the galaxy
Yes, I think you’re ready.
Zebra fish! Allons-y, geronimo.

Poem #2 is also untitled. I wrote it when I was still on season four and daydreaming about traveling in the TARDIS. Which is absurd, because most people, myself included, wouldn’t last a day traveling with the Doctor. But nearly every fangirl (and fanboy) dreams about it anyway, so here is my tribute to that dream:

I’ve been converted to the fandom
I’m in the middle of season four
I have a long way yet to go
But I long for something more

The temptation of the TARDIS
The whole of time and space
The dream I have inside me
Is more than I can face

I long to travel the universe
The Doctor at my side
But there is fear within me
My fears, they won’t abide

Doctor, take me with you
Grab my hand and whisper “run!”
Adventures will be had
Battles will be won

But then my fears come back to me
The peril of painful death
I’m afraid that with the Doctor
I will draw my final breath

The universe is calling
And the song goes on and on
Will I be strong and face my fears?
Or let them linger on?

I know I’m just another fangirl
No more special than all the rest
Maybe I’d be a lousy companion
But maybe I’d be the best

So Doctor, I’ll be waiting
Every day I’ll search the sky
Because with you in your blue box
I’ll have the chance to fly.

There you are. Two poems about Doctor Who, as promised. I hope you liked them. Au revoir!

More Random Quotes of Awesomeness

Hello! It’s Friday, and that means…random quotes from the quote book day! If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, click here. Now then. Let’s begin.

“Math teacher fun is the only kind of fun.”
As one might expect, my math teacher said this. Okay, from now on I’m not making any contextual annotations. I will leave you to muddle through the sea of strange quotes yourself.

“There’s a stampede of little squirrels in my head. I don’t like squirrels.”

“I don’t want them to get my pudding. It’s my pudding. Wait, can I be the pudding queen?”

“Pudding and gatorade go together like pizza and shoelaces.”

“I just choked on an orange and you want me to feel your neck?!”

“I remember everything. What day is it?”

“Become the chair!”

“This is a sonic popsicle…I’m eating my weapon? That’s not a good idea. But it tastes good.”

And that is the conclusion of my quotes for today. Next up, poems about Doctor Who! Seriously.

In Which I Fangirl Over the Brilliant Music of Doctor Who

Hey all! Sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I was on vacation. I’ve been planning this post for a really long time now, and if you can’t guess from the title, it’s me rambling on about the musical score for my latest obsession, Doctor Who. Not only is the TV show wonderful, but the music is absolutely brilliant. I have just begun season five and I have already encountered many tracks that I am now thoroughly attached to. Here is a list of ten of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Rose’s Theme

I love this song for several reasons. First of all, it fit’s Rose’s character perfectly. It’s very beautiful and sweet, but very sad too. Beautifully tragic songs are always my favorites, and you’ll be seeing a lot of those in this post. I also really like this song because I think the string instruments and the piano work so marvelously well together.

2. The Doctor’s Theme

I kept hearing this throughout season one, and the eerie beauty of it always gave me chills. Part of the reason why I love this one so much is because when it’s played softly during moments of dramatic realization (such as a certain scene in “The Parting of Ways”) it creates the perfect striking effect. Also, it’s simple, yet strange and mysterious and wonderful, like the Doctor.

3. Doomsday

I listened to this before I saw the actual episode, and even then it made me cry, as only a piece of powerful music can. And then I watched the episode and cried even more. This is the absolute perfect song of parting for Rose. It fit the scene wonderfully well, and it just added to the emotional weight of the song. Another one of those “beautifully tragic” pieces I mentioned. Basically, to me anyway, it sounds like someone ripped my heart out, squeezed all the sadness out, and turned that sadness into an indescribable harmonious masterpiece.

4. Martha’s Theme

Although Martha isn’t my favorite companion, her theme is one of my favorites out of the pieces I have selected. I kept hearing it played during various episodes of season three and wondering what it was because I loved it so much. Martha’s theme is a bit reminiscent of Rose’s (which cannonically makes sense), but not quite as sad at some parts. It has slow and thoughtful moments, but also parts that seem almost magical and heavy with gladness.

5. The Doctor Forever

This is another song I just can’t get enough of. To me this song is the Tenth Doctor. It’s slow and sorrowful at some moments, grand and heroic at others, bursting with energy at some points, yet with an underlayer of darkness creeping in at times. Parts of this song appear throughout the season, and like with “Martha’s Theme”, I desperately wanted to find out what song it was. In addition to being Ten perfectly represented in music, this song has a little bit of nearly all the best musical moments in season three.

6. Blink (Suite)

I love this song because it is beautifully creepy. For a little over the first half of the song several string instruments and a piano work in counterpoint to form a simple melody that is very pretty but gives off an irresistible urge to look behind you. Later on it gets very dramatic, and the last thirty seconds or so are downright scary when the song is listened to at night in a dark room. I find this part creepy even when it’s not dark, really, but it’s part of why I like the song.

7. The Doctor’s Theme (Series Four)

Just as with this song’s previous regeneration, I get chills when listening to it. I love how it uses some of the same melody as the first theme but is also a wonderful new take on it. Whereas the first theme is only sung by one vocalist, this one uses a chorus, which starts softly, barely able to be heard over the instruments, filling the song with excitement and building tension. Then the sound explodes and the tune carries off in new ways and everything is very majestic, then there’s more dramatic tension, and then the original theme comes back, grander than ever before. Just as I love the eerie simplicity of the former theme, I think the majesty of this later version is wonderful as well, and especially perfect for Ten’s last season.

8. Turn Left

I really like the way this song starts out, mystical and strange, but my favorite part of this song is definitely 1:10 and onwards. When the bit at 1:18 played during the episode, I got chills (which seems to be a recurring theme here), but that was partially because of the content of the episode. Needless to say I now try to avoid turning right. I love how this song adds in elements of The Doctor’s Theme, but with a new take.

9. Songs of Captivity and Freedom

The violin at the beginning of this piece is absolutely gorgeous, and then when the soprano vocals join in…no wonder it nearly reduced Donna to tears. Around halfway through this song the transition is made from slow and sad to joyful, but I like the first half better, though both are very beautiful. I mainly like the first half because of the violin, but the second half is great too because it feels wonderfully hopeful, which is unusual in Doctor Who music.

10. The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble

Like with “Doomsday”, I listened to this song before I saw it used in the show, and it had as similar effect on me as the former song. Just as “Doomsday” was the perfect departure song for Rose, this piece is perfect for Donna’s fate (which I will not mention because of spoilers). It’s so very Donna-y, a bit overdramatic at the beginning but still very sad, which is another reason why I love it. And again, it’s a beautifully tragic song. Gotta love those beautifully tragic songs.

So, those are ten of my favorite songs from Doctor Who. I will most definitely be doing this again, because I’m bound to encounter more songs I love. And I haven’t even begun to mention my series five favorites so far yet, like “Amy’s Theme” and “I Am the Doctor”. I don’t know how to end this post, but I wish you a very timey-wimey day, whatever that my mean.