Doctor Who?

“Duh-duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh….”
“Doo-wee-oooooo, doo, doo-doo!!!!”
The movie theater bursts out in cheers and laughter, audience members high-fiving and bouncing in their seats with anticipation after joining together to “sing” the Doctor Who theme. Squeals of excitement can be heard as the lights dim and I sit back to enjoy the long awaited 50th anniversary episode of my favorite sci-fi show.

You may have heard me mention a few times that I’m a bit of a Doctor Who fan. I mean, you’ve seen my wall with the giant TARDIS poster on it, and if you’ve ever hung out with me I’ve probably worn at least one of my Whovian shirts in your presence. To say that I was excited to see the live simulcast of The Day of the Doctor with my friends would be a huge understatement.

I was thrilled. Jubilant. Ecstatic.The list of adjectives goes on. It also didn’t help that the week before Erin, two other friends and I went to Cardiff to see the Doctor Who Experience.

Yeah, that’s right. An entire exhibit exists to showcase the wonders of the longest running sci-fi show in the world (yes, it even beats Star Trek).

If you’re a Whovian (or nerdy/geeky in general), you totally understand how exciting it is to step foot onto the sets used by the BBC and see the costumes, props, and planning material used for the show. But for those of you who aren’t of that leaning, think of it like this:

Imagine you’ve just met your favorite author, poet, musician, or role model. You start up a witty conversation and they invite you to have coffee at their studio or place where they make what you love. As you step over the threshold, you become part of their world. You see what makes them tick, what brings inspiration, who they are, how they identify with themselves; you get it.

Being part of any fandom and seeing materials used in shows is like that. It’s no longer on a screen. You’re within touching distance and suddenly everything takes on a whole new meaning. Whatever memories and feelings you have of watching the show with others, or yourself, become amplified.

Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I hope you understand a little more why I was so excited and happy at these two events.

Now, for Whovians and non-Whovians alike, here are some of the highlights of my day in Cardiff, which also include some beautiful twilight photos of the Christmas Market!

Time And Relative Dimension In Space - Looks like the Doctor could have parked better!

 

A beautiful bay!

 

A lego Dalek!!! (Daleks are bad guys)

 

Oh man, I wish I could operate this thing!

 

All of the Doctors!

 

My friends are (so convincingly) scared of the monsters!

 

Daleks through the years

 

Rory Williams (and me!)

 

Time Lord apparel - very fashionable

 

Model of a previous TARDIS interior.

 

The 3rd Doctor's car

 

I really love how Cardiff is a wonderful mix of old and new architecture.

 

Christmas Market by the church

 

Erin perusing the market

 

Beautiful, beautiful view to end the adventure :)

 

(Insert London Reference Here)

This morning I amused my roommate to no end by trying to speak. And by trying to speak, I mean croak out an explanation of the communications project I was working on, only to have my voice break half way through a sentence and cause Julia to chortle into her coffee.

Yes, it is indeed that time of year again. The common cold creeps upon unsuspecting victims whose weary immune systems are vulnerable after weeks of personal stress, upcoming final papers, and a weekend excursion to London.

I think it was really that last bit that brought me down with the sniffles, but I don’t regret it one bit! London was…London was beautiful. London was filled with adventures, from strolling through Hyde Park and Baker Street to seeing the Crown Jewels in the Tower. London doesn’t feel like home, as Ireland does, but it fills me with possibility and wonder and joy and great expectations.

I’m afraid I have to say that London beats Paris. Because let’s face it, the following experiences I’m about to share with you will always bring a smile to my face.

As previously mentioned, Hyde Park and Baker Street were our first stops in the city, after quickly figuring out the London Underground of course (it actually isn’t that difficult – it’s way more straightforward than NYC). A brisk stroll through the park brought us to the construction of a winter carnival, which my friends and I got super excited about until we realized they wouldn’t be opening till next week. Bummer. But, we did manage to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Serpentine!

Our quest for 221B Baker Street proved to be unfruitful, however, as the actual set where productions of Sherlock Holmes is elsewhere in the city. But, we did come across a Beatles paraphernalia shop which was oddly appropriate for the next day’s adventure to Abbey Road.

After witnessing an undercover cop chase down a man in handcuffs, we decided to head over to the Tower, eating a breakfast of baguette sandwiches along the way.

As you can see, we couldn’t have asked for better weather, the sun gracing us with warmth and beautiful lighting for shots of Tower Bridge.

It was really cool to walk around in a place filled with so much history. Just think of all the kings, visitors, and yes, prisoners, who came there through the centuries! We saw so much: the Crown Jewels, the armory, the minting process, the King Edward I’s bed chambers, gargoyles galore, and of course the ravens! (btw, I had no idea they were so big)

Our day continued to follow a historical theme as we made our way to the Globe Theater after winding our way through the London streets. This, I think, was Erin’s favorite part of the trip. I mean, walking past this:

to get to this:

had her jumping with joy. I know, I know, the Globe actually burned down centuries ago, but the theater that stands there today is historically accurate, even down to the method of construction! Our guide even told us that audiences still stand to see the plays, and participation (within reason) is allowed, just like during Shakespeare’s day. I would love to be a part of that someday, to be such an active viewer of one of his works.

I seriously thought my day couldn’t get much better, I mean, seeing historical places, right? Well, being the foodie I am, my evening rocked compared to the daytime activities. Rocked as in That was one of the best meals of my life ever. Hunger may be the best sauce, but add a little wine, good friends, and a delicious desert, and you’ve got the makings of a feast. I ate what was possibly the best fish n chips of my life, followed by sharing a desert platter of chocolatey goodness and raspberry peach cobbler (with apple sorbet!). Looking around the table at my friends, sharing in their laughter and good spirits is a memory I will always cherish.

To top off the evening (and walk off desert), we set off to view Big Ben, the Eye, and the Houses of Parliament in all their lighted glory. We also came across a telephone booth, and yes, we took the obligatory tourist pictures!


Despite coming down with a cold, London was truly an amazing experience and I sincerely hope I can return someday.

*Stay tuned next week for my day adventure in Cardiff!

Give New A Chance

Ba-bum Ba-bum Ba-bum
Heart pounding, eyes wandering, ears straining
Shuffle feet, adjust shirt, smile nervously
“You wanna go in?”
“Yeah, I mean, I think so. I’ll just be…following you around. You know this better than I do. This is your world more than mine….I have no idea what to do.”
“Oh honey. You’ll be fine.”

And with that reassurance, I step over the border of General Nerdery and join the ranks of Table-Top, Role Play, and Comic-Con Enthusiasts.

Also known as The Awesomeness Of Meeting New People Who Have More In Common With You Than You Think.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I’m a bit on the nerdy side, but I contain my fan-girling and rants about certain shows and hobbies for the most part. You know I love to read, cook, listen to not-your-typical-pop-music, and knit. The posters on my wall range from painted dinosaurs to Monty Python, and you don’t want to know how many postcards I’ve amassed at this point. I’d like to think of myself as an intellectual, or at least someone who enjoys learning for the sake of learning, not just for getting a passing grade.

But when people think of “nerd” or “geek” I generally don’t fit the physical description, and until Thursday night I was sorely lacking in the social experience of gaming. That has since changed.

Now, you’re probably wondering how this has anything to do with Loyola or studying abroad, or some other reason you’d be reading this post. Well. Let’s just say I’m practicing what I preach:

1. Get Involved!

and

2. Try Something New!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually ok with trying out new things – as long as I’ve seen someone else go first, or it’s absolutely necessary for me to move on with my life (Like adopting the local customs in Ireland because it makes the transition process easier).

But sometimes trying a new activity can be kind of intimidating. Maybe the people who are involved are so good at it that you think they’ll scoff at you. Or what if they don’t accept you because you aren’t One Of Them (yet)? What happens if you aren’t good/nerdy enough for the group?

I know those sound like ridiculous questions, but they were what I was thinking as I stood outside the meeting room of WARPS (UCC’s Wargames And Role Playing Society) this past Thursday.

And even though I was internally freaking out as I followed Erin into the room full of people playing board games, and even as I stuttered when introduced to the guys who run the group, and even when I lost Settlers of Catan because I totally could have made a smarter first move, I am so happy I chose to go.

Between the people I met, the conversations at the pub afterwards, and the plans that are being discussed for the future (Gaelcon!?!), I don’t know what I loved the most. I just hope it continues.

So if this is your third week of class, or even your third year of college, and maybe you missed that first meeting for a club or sport or any interest group in your area, or maybe something caught your eye but you have no idea what it entails, don’t be afraid to get involved.

Put yourself out there, try something new, and just have fun with it. You never know who you might meet, or what new adventures lie ahead if you don’t expose yourself to new ideas and experiences.

Thumbs Up For Fun