TEN TUESDAY: Ten Reasons Why Gates McFadden is Cool (and should be verified on Twitter)

Three mornings a week I go babysit a kindergartner  One morning he brought up “Crusher”  and my mind immediately went to the Doctor of the Enterprise-D, Dr. Beverly Crusher.  Of course they didn’t mean the Star Trek character, they meant the Skylander. And because the Skylander is made up of rocks it sparked a ten minute debate as to whether or not she’s evil. (Later, he confessed that he was just trying to see if he could get me mad. Well played, kid! Well played!)

Yes, this is Crusher, but it is the wrong Crusher.

Anyway, they keep asking me why I like Dr. Crusher and I kept giving them the same answer, which is that she just rocks. If any of your Star Trek: The Next Generation fans have been living under a rock, Gates McFadden, the woman behind Dr. Crusher, recently got a Twitter account (@gates_mcfadden), and even though it is still yet to be verified, it is her and while she’s trudging around going from “tweet shelter to tweet shelter” as she puts it. I thought it was time for an early edition of Ten Tuesday. So I give you ten reasons why Gates McFadden is awesome/cool/(insert other synonym here).

This is the person who comes to mind when someone says Crusher. Dr.Crusher played by Gates McFadden.

Here it goes:

1. Dr. Crusher had more brains than Data and Picard put together!  

I liked Crusher from the moment I first started watching TNG but one of my all-time favorite moments is in Season 1’s “Arsenal of Freedom” when she falls down a hole with Picard and there’s an alien weapon threatening to wipe out the away team and Enterprise in orbit. Even thought she has a broken arm and leg, when Data arrives and they try to figure out how to stop the device, she says “Why don’t you just shut it off?”  Even injured, after having to talk the Captain through her own first aid she managed to give the Captain and an android the solution to a problem that could have resulted in their own destruction.

2. She takes pictures of her own action figure.

If you’re on tumblr you might see pictures of a Beverly Crusher action figure in some odd situations. Well, that’s Gates. She does that. She comes up with the scenes and she take her own photos.  The Adventures of 1/8th Bev, PezBev, and BarBev, are often the highlight of my day.

1/8th Bev misses Jean Luc.

3. She’s a cat person.

She has two cats, but her black and white cat named Rudi makes frequent appearances alongside 1/8th, being both her drinking buddy and a taxi cab. (Just don’t take away his catnip or he might get violent.)

After a night at Gates’ theater, this was 1/8th’s ride home.

4. She’s “The Dancing Doctor”

Among my other favorite Dr. Crusher moments is Season 4’s “Data’s Day” where Data asks Dr. Crusher to teach him to dance. Of course, he fails to mention that this is for a wedding and so Dr. Crusher teaches him how to tap dance.  (This is another big hit when I was trying to convince the child in the opening paragraph that I wasn’t completely nuts.  A doctor teaching an android how to tap dance? Who can resist that?)

But in real life, Gates took dance lessons from the age of four.  So that’s her dancing in the scene.  Imagine how much fun that must have been to choreograph.

5. You might remember a movie called Labyrinth. 

Any David Bowie fans reading this? Yea, you remember that ballroom scene in Labyrinth? Well, Gates choreographed that. Anyone who has ever been envious of Sarah in that scene has Gates to thank for that trance-like choreography.

6.  She’s a feminist.

During Season 2 of TNG, Dr. Crusher went off to head up Starfleet Medical. In real life, Gates McFadden got let go because she was a feminist.  At the 2012 Austin Comic Con, she stated that she talked about how she disagreed with a writer, telling him that if Beverly Crusher has raised this kid on his own and he has saved the ship six time in a row, why are the male characters giving him all the guidance and wisdom. She wanted to be more than just the loving mother because it hadn’t been portrayed on television.

The writer’s disagreed and she was asked to leave, but then the character was asked to come back, to head up some more great episodes like “Cause and Effect” where she got to get out sickbay and solve why they were in a time loop. (She also successfully called Riker’s bluff in a poker game in that episode!)

7.  She’s on YouTube every chance she gets.

Gates loves YouTube, because as she said in Austin “It’s such a world out there. It’s unbelievable.” Not entirely sure what she watches on YouTube, but considering what a time suck it can be for some people, nice to know celebrities have the same weakness. (See the full version of the panel above.)

8.  She has a sense of humor. 

You didn’t get to see her be very funny during her time on TNG. In fact her audition was the one funny scene she had during the whole seven years (see this scene from “The Naked Now”). When she went into her audition she asked which of the three female characters: Yar, Troi, or Crusher was the funniest. They pointed her to Crusher. She has since referred to it as the bait and hook, but in her subsequent role and in real life, Gates is really funny. Search her on YouTube and watch some of her convention panels or just read some of her tweets. You will laugh. If you don’t laugh, you might need to get your head examined.

9. She teaches about her field.

One of things that I found invaluable as an undergraduate  was having teachers who were doing work in the field they were teaching.  Gates has taught in several places and continues to teach at the University of Southern California where she currently teaches BFA students physical theatre classes.

10. She’s the artistic director of a non-profit theater

Gates is the artistic director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in LA (EST/LA). If it sounds familiar, that is probably because it’s the name under which she posts her 1/8th pics. Gates loves new ideas and that is what she gets with this theater. They perform only new plays and have had some really interesting past seasons. How many theaters do you know that actually stage a “Sex Farce with Sea Creatures?”

That’s Gates McFadden, in a nutshell and if you are on Twitter and do not follow her, I suggest you do so, because you will not regret it and if you happen to be in LA during her theater’s season, go see something there.  And if you are following her on Twitter, please join us in trying to get her a verified account, because there are no guidelines and it seems impossible. If none of this convinces you that Gates is awesome, start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix instant queue.

BONUS: She rides a unicycle?


Messy Rebirth

art by DorottyaS 

Trying to revive things can sometimes be a messy business. Of course in this case it isn’t so much messy as long overdue.  Since the last update I have been trying to adjust to life outside of college. I filled my days with four different part time jobs and now that I have managed to get back down to only two I think I can safely dedicate some time to my blog.  I have been trying to do research for a novel and I have taken photography up as a hobby again.  So I have lots of angles that I am hoping to explore in the coming weeks. To try to keep this blog on a regular schedule I am putting two weekly columns in place.

TEN TUESDAY || This will be a list post on Tuesday. Sometimes with a theme, sometimes with just some interesting things.  This will start next Tuesday with a list I am very excited about.

(NON) FICTION FRIDAY || Too many books and no ambition. If I don’t have to write a paper on it, it seems like I am not in a rush to finish it. So now I am giving you guys (Non) Fiction Friday. Each Friday I will post a book review, it can be any genre, but will probably stay in the realm of novels for the most part.  This is what I originally set this blog up to do, but when my junior year started I found that I wasn’t able to review as much as I would like because I wasn’t reading for fun. This will be an attempt to get back at that, and this should start on Friday

SHUTTERBUG SATURDAY || In conjunction with my attempt at Project 365 and Photo-a-Day I will make one post with the best picture from each day.  That will start, tomorrow.

That covers most of the revamp. Hopefully I will be able to post more here and there regarding other projects and interesting things I find on the internet. You can also find my in the links on the sidebar for other social media tools.

New Semester, New Projects

Every so often someone reminds me of this blog and how neglectful I have been of it. My immediate reaction is, “Don’t worry I plan to start it up again.” Then of course months go by and I forget again: usually because I am busy writing papers and my thesis, interning, and doing other things that college students do. 

Well today I am back and I am back for good. I am hoping to post a new book review in a couple of days and expect to update you guys more frequently. (Maybe that will also keep me on track with some of the research I’ve been doing.)

In the meantime sit tight and I am sure posts will come spewing out soon. This is thanks to my new iPad who I will be calling Magnus after the Sanctuary character.  Now I don’t have the excuse of not being near a computer because my iPad is portable. Hold me to it readers.

The Resurection of Tea and Literature

I’ve been away for a while and I feel like I have some explaining to do. It wasn’t just that life got too hectic or I got bored with this blog, it was that I ran into a very obvious fork in the road.

To blog or not to blog? That is the question.

In the past year I’ve heard two different sides of the same coin and that alone drove me to neglect this lovely blog here.

On one side, people were saying that blogging was a good thing, that it got your name out there and you never knew who could see it. On the other side I had a couple of teachers telling me that if I planned on making money by writing that it was stupid to start giving my product away for free. (Well maybe not in those terms.)

So here I am now, my senior year is starting and once again I am faced with the decision, do I start this blog up again or not?

In the back of my head I decided that I was going to start this blog up again no matter what.  It would be a way to keep myself sane and slowly start to categorize the many thoughts that spiral through my head every second. That is not to say that every single thought in my head is going to end up on this blog, just a god number of them.

In the meantime, some of you may like to know where I have been. That answer is simple.

I’ve been writing!

Not only have I been writing but I managed to get two op-eds published in the Hartford Courant. The first in July on the appeal of villains in Harry Potter and the second, a reflection of my impending future as a college graduate brought on by the movie One Day, published on Wednesday.

As my journalism teacher and thesis advisor told me “You’re building up excellent ‘street cred.'”

So perhaps you will see more pieces from me in there soon.

What can you expect from me this year?

More writing. More reading. More reviews (maybe even some movie reviews) and perhaps some fun articles about musings around town and Manhattan.

So stick around, its sure to be a great year.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 25 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 28 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was July 29th with 80 views. The most popular post that day was REVIEW: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, community.livejournal.com, bareadingchallenges.blogspot.com, callapidderdays.com, and healthfitnesstherapy.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the book of lost things, book of lost things, the book of lost things review, john connolly the book of lost things, and pics of the book of lost things.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


REVIEW: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger July 2010


REVIEW: The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly August 2010


REVIEW: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger July 2010
6 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


REVIEW: The Magicians by Lev Grossman July 2010


POLL: What should I read next? July 2010

The Inevitable: The New Years Resolution

Sorry for the gap between updates but as NaNoWriMo came to a close I found myself in an editing frenzy for the end of the semester.  My final paper for “Hail Wedded Love: Marriage and Courtship from Milton to Austen” ended up being forty-four pages and edited about three to four times.  Also within those last couple weeks I had an op-ed that needed editing, articles for the school paper that had to be turned in, and another smaller paper for my history lecture.

Many all-nighters during this time meant that I was exhausted and had very little time to read for fun. However, since the year is almost over, I feel it is about time to address a resolutions I have made for myself.

I have read quite a few articles over the years on how to make a proper New Years resolution that you can stick to, and overall they suggest sticking to positive things. For example: “I will jog a mile each morning” is better then “I won’t eat so much fast food.” That is the mentality I tried to stick to in making these resolutions that I should (hopefully stick to). My hope is to look back at this post a year from now and see which resolutions I kept and which one I failed at. My hope is tracking my progress on my blog will also help me stick to them.

1. Read, Write, Read, Write: Improve my Writing One Chapter at a Time

Christmas dinner lead me to the revelation that an elementary school teacher who is a good friend of the family thought I was a good writer in fifth grade. That’s great and made me feel really good about myself, but there is always room for improvement. One of my many mantras when it comes to writing is that nothing is ever complete.

In the bookstore near school I found a copy of The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante. It has fourteen chapters detailing different aspects of writing. The book has 677 pages of instruction and details on how to write. The reviews on Amazon have been generally positive which led me to believe this book could be useful.

My goal with this book is to read a chapter a month and continuously edit my previous NaNoWriMo novel before I attempt another next November.

2.  Off The Shelf Challenge

As pointed out to me many times by my mother, my room is full of books. (I shall take photos before the new year.) This challenge is supposed to help me eradicate some of this pile.

The challenge is hosted by BA Reading Challenges and is done in levels. I myself have decided that I would aim for level four or five which would put my reading at about 50-75 books from my shelf. This would translate to roughly a book a week, which would of course be reviewed here.

My post for this challenge can be found here.

3. Knit, Knit, Knit

This summer my knitting went on a steady decline, which is why this blog has not featured any finished objects (FOs) since its creation.  However, I recently made a list of things I wanted to make and things that people have commissioned me to make and it currently totals about nine items, plus a few pairs of socks I am currently working on for myself.

For Christmas I received a copy of Cookie A.’s Knit. Sock. Love from my mother and I want to set the goal of eventually knitting all the patterns in the book at least once. I also have her first book Sock Innovation which I have only made a couple patterns from but still want to work with.

Along with the goal comes one of my latest obsessions Hogwarts at Ravelry. I signed up for this term and was sorted into Slytherin House, also currently I’m the prefect of Slytherin house. Currently the three courses they are teaching are: Astronomy, Herbology, and History of Magic. This term ends January 17th, same as my semester vacation, which leaves me with lots of time to knit away.

4.  Journaling is Might

A couple years ago I discovered Embodiment and had good intentions in sticking to their initiative. They encourage writing at least a little bit a day and I thought the practice would be a good one, but I fell off the wagon pretty quickly. So I’ve decided to make it my goal to keep my eyes open and write down anything that inspires me. At least one sentence every day for 2010 in my journal.

5. Project 365, Photos that is

Much of what I have written about so far involve lifestyle changes and commitment.  Well, this one is no different.

Project 365, is a photography project where participants commit to taking one photo a day.  Years ago I was an intern with Laurie Klein Photography where I got to experiment with my own style of photographs. It was a great experience and when I met with her a year and a half later to do a show with the other girls she mentored she suggested committed to something similar. As I am somewhat out of practice with my use of a camera I think this would be a really good option for me to try to get back into the swing of things.

I used to be really good at capturing people in portraits and I want to do that again as well as photograph things like still lives.  My SLR camera needs to be repaired because the shutter is sticking and eventually I want to buy a digital SLR for myself, but a $500 camera seems pointless at the moment when I have not been actively taking pictures.

Benefits of Project 365

While these plans all involve a bit of a time commitment I also have other monthly plans such as ScriptFrenzy and NaNoEdMo to occupy my time as well.  In addition to some current projects that are going to carry into the Ne Year. Currently I am reading all of Kate Morton’s books for a review essay I am writing for a class. (Perhaps even sending to a couple places in hopes of seeing it in print.)

Mission Accomplished: 50,109 Words in 29 Days

I am proud to say that on November 29th I accomplished my goal of writing 50,000 words in one month.  Considering I got off to a pretty late start on November 1st, and was about to lose my will to embark on this journey I am very proud of myself for writing as much as I did.

At the end of this month I have some reflections about the way in which I handled NaNoWriMo and that is most telling if we look at my NaNoWriMo graph:

The purple line represents the suggested word count from the organizers of NaNoWriMo (about 1,667 words per day to finish on time). The first day I wrote 3,000 words and from there tried to write at least the minimum if not more to stay above the purple line, just in case some of those days the words wouldn’t come.   In about the third week I really needed it, there were three days when I was forcing the minimum out until inspiration struck again so that I could finish up the month.

The Process

Overall what I learned from this that when I get stuck on a writing project I should push forward and see where it goes.   I am not sure how much of this original plot I will end up keeping but I do know that I think this story is worth saving and I want to spend some time editing and revising it.  The most important thing that NaNoWriMo taught me was that I should write something everyday. On the days that I didn’t write I was working on school papers and articles for the school newspaper. More then likely I was working on them during the days I was writing as well, but the fact that I had a story and an outside project to escape to when working on term papers became to tedious was a real comfort.

The Plot?

Regarding the plot of my book. I still feel a bit odd discussing it, but I imagine one word to describe it would be “steampunk.” I haven’t quite built the world that its in to the fullest but it’s on my list of things to do when I revise. My character on the other hand are three sisters: Maud, Cassandra, and Adelle and centers around the exploration of their relationships and their marriages. Particularly it focuses on Maud.  I’ll release more details when the plot gets to be a bit richer in the editing process.

I am very happy with my characters but I feel that there might be certain aspects that could be changed about them to give them more depth and  more interest and I think that is part of what the editing process is about. I managed to turn off “active editor” mode but I did not manage to turn off my mind to what I was writing.  As I wrote I made notes on things that I wanted to include things that would make the story more effective as I was writing that didn’t quite factor in. I plan on pulling those out of the box when I revise this manuscript.

What’s next?

NaNoWriMo has several official and unofficial challenges put up by various sites. They’re listed on the “Now What?” page of the official site. As far as I am concerned.  I am planning to commit 50 hours of editing this novel in the month of March for National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo) and then partaking in ScriptFrenzy again in April. Maybe even working on Write A Damn Novel in June (WriDaNoJu).