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PSA

This is my new favorite icon.

Everything is smiley Tosh and nothing hurts.
The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw all the way through was "School Reunion."

Actually, that's not quite true. I saw at least two other episodes around that same time - "The Age of Steel" and "The Satan Pit" - and my memory is hazy enough that I might have seen them first. Also, I didn't see "School Reunion" all the way through that first time; I turned it on just after Mickey discovers the cupboard full of frozen rats, by which time they'd finished setting up the premise of the episode, so I should have been pretty lost.

But I wasn't, and I loved it, and it made me want to watch more. I saw "School Reunion" and that same day I went on Wikipedia to get an episode guide, and then I found "Rose" on YouTube, and by the time that was over any illusion I'd had of not being a massive sci-fi geek was long gone, because I was in love.

Except that's too long a story for most people when I'm trying to explain why I love Sarah Jane Smith so much - as if anyone ever needed a reason!

So: The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw all the way through was "School Reunion."

And I knew who the Doctor was, of course, and I knew who Rose was, and I may or may not have known who Mickey was - again, depending on whether or not I'd seen "The Age of Steel" first - but Sarah Jane was new to me.

So I was a bit surprised when I got to this scene and started crying:



"My Sarah Jane," indeed.

I hadn't realized how much of Doctor Who was about loss and moving on. I loved that. I still do.

And I could never pick a favorite companion, but if you forced me? I might have to say Sarah Jane.

She was a journalist and a feminist and yeah, sometimes she screamed and needed to be saved, but she was also clever and tough and didn't take shit from people. She didn't quite know what to do with herself after the Doctor left her in Aberdeen, but she went on and had a fantastic life anyway.

I've never met a Doctor Who fan who didn't like her, at least a little bit. Do you know what a big deal that is? Doctor Who fans can't agree on anything.

From every account I've ever heard, Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane, was an utter sweetheart.

Elisabeth Sladen died today.

It's been a long time since I've been this sad about the death of somebody I'd never met. I don't really know what else to say, except that the universe was a much cooler place with her in it.

Goodbye, my Sarah Jane.

My life no longer has any meaning.

I am an avid player of the Great Name For A Band Game. You know how it works: You're out with a friend - or maybe you're alone, but it's always more fun with someone else, I think - and you come across an odd phrase, or perhaps a vandalized sign, or one with half its letters missing, and you go, "Cop Fondle/Starfucks/Diptheria would totally be a great name for a band!"

"I am definitely going to start a band and name it that!" your friend agrees. And you both chuckle for a minute, and then forget the entire thing and return to your conversation.

(Incidentally, torchbaby and I really are going to start a band called Glitteroo. We have Plans and everything; they involve dressing up like large animals and busking. AWWW YEAH.)

I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. My dad and I used to come up with big long lists of them; one of us would choose a name for the headlining band, and the other had to think up two related names for the openers, and sometimes a name for the tour based around the same theme as the band names. A lot of them were cheesy metal bands named after grotesque-sounding diseases.

Anyway, I was looking up...something, just now, I don't remember what - and I had the following realization:

Somewhere, there is a band called Great Name For A Band.

And you just know they're a bunch of douchey frat boys, or trustafarians, or bro-types of some other sort. Maybe they're giant hipsters.

It goes without saying that they're terrible.

And now every time I come across the right sort of ridiculous band name, this is all I'm going to be able to think about.

...I feel like I'm caught in an endless loop of losing The Game, or maybe like I've reached the end of the internet.

I WANT MY GAME BACK, YOU GUYS. SOMEBODY HOLD ME.

THIS IS SPRÏNG BREÄK

NOOOOO WHY IS IT SNOWING

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The White Stripes announced they were breaking up today.

Some of you will know why this matters to me. For those who don't, I don't even know where to begin, except: they're one of those bands.

They were the first favorite band I ever had. I was twelve years old and obsessed with Top 40 radio, and one day I saw this video on MTV. Not long after, I sneaked my mom's copy of White Blood Cells into my CD player and listened to "I'm Finding it Harder to be a Gentleman" and fell deeply, madly in love.

They were creative and sexy and soulful and strange. They gave me the courage to embrace my nerdiness in middle school, a time when I was lonely and isolated and needed that pretty damn badly. They were the reason I began playing guitar and collecting records (my 45 of "The Big 3 Killed My Baby" is still one of my most prized possessions). They led me to discover more bands than I could ever name, both directly (the Von Bondies, the Dirtbombs, Blanche) and indirectly (Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Pixies).

Maybe more importantly here, they were one of the first things I was really, properly fannish about - and while I was already online somewhat at that point, White Stripes forum the Little Room was the first place I ever made friends on the internet (and also the place where I learned just how wanky fandom could get, but that's another story). I'm still friends with most of those people today, people of all ages from all around the world. They were the reason I joined LJ, back in 2003.

They were my life for pretty much all of my teenage years. I saw them twice, traveling to Portland the second time, where I met up with people from the Little Room - still the only time I've met online friends in person. I was supposed to see them again, in 2007, but they canceled that tour due to Meg's anxiety. The band places great significance on the number three, and I always hoped I'd get a chance to see them live for a third time, even as Jack took on new project after new project and another White Stripes tour began to seem less and less likely.

The White Stripes haven't released a new album in almost four years, and aren't in my thoughts nearly as constantly as they were before then. That's at least partly why I'm not as devastated by this news as I was when I found out that my other favorite band, Sleater-Kinney, were breaking up. Still, I'm the person I am today because of them, and I couldn't let news like this pass by without comment.

A few of my favorite Stripey thingsCollapse )

So: thanks for everything, Jack n' Meg.

Sharing is caring.

Rachel Maddow's high school graduation speech. I have all sorts of amused and flaily feelings about this, but my favorite part (other than her classy socks-and-sandals combo, naturally) might be the very end, when you can hear the voices in the crowd:

"She's going on to Stanford."

"Someday she's going to do something memorable."

Aww.

Oh, yeah...

And if you go look at this link to The Stranger's blog, they mention how I was involved in Miranda July's awesome presentation at Bumbershoot last night.

I showed up around forty minutes early, but a sizable crowd had already gathered outside. If we could just convince everyone to start lining up later, everything wouldn't be so ridiculous...but no, there will always be someone around who has to try to get ahead and ruin it. Anyway. I had been waiting in line for some time when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned and realized I was staring right at Miranda July. I blinked. "Hi," she said, "I was wondering if you had anything in your backpack that you wouldn't mind giving away. You know, permanently?"
"Oh!" I said. I could feel this insane grin spreading slowly across my face and had the strongest urge to start giggling. "Um...." I rifled through my bag for a few moments before coming up with a pair of shitty kindergarten scissors. "I have these scissors that don't work very well."
"Let me see those." She held out her hand. "Yeah, those would work. Those are great. Okay, thank you!" She walked away, leaving me scissors-less and unable to stop smiling. I made eye contact with the guy in front of me, who said, "She stole your scissors!"
"I know! I let her steal my scissors!"
"I'd let her steal my scissors..."

And she did. And then, at one point, I found myself onstage, talking about them. I still wanted to start giggling quite badly, which is what I do when I'm nervous, but I managed to refrain from doing so for the most part. For the record, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do "when I grow up," but she made me choose. "What if you had no time to think about it? What if you had to decide what you were going to do for the rest of your life, right now?"
"Well...that would be unfortunate, wouldn't it?"

Ahahahahaha Miranda July asked me what I want to be when I grow up. Ahahahahahahahahaaaa.

And since I was the only one onstage who gave her name, I spent the rest of the night walking around Seattle Center hearing complete strangers call out "FERN!" every so often. It was odd.
However, since it meant I'd gotten to meet Miranda July, I'm really finding it hard to complain.
♥ Fern