Star Trek prequel


There’s a scene in the new Star Trek movie that has Kirk and Sulu space-jumping from a shuttle onto a drilling platform in an attempt to disable it and save the planet Vulcan. Jumping along with them is a crew member named Olson. Because there are several characters who crop up with names from the old series, Rob wondered who Olson was.

“He’s wearing red, honey,” I whispered, “so it doesn’t matter.”

Aficionados of the original television show can attest to the fact that unidentified crew members wearing red shirts were regularly sacrificed to the harsh realities of space travel in the place of established characters like Kirk and Sulu. Red shirting equaled dead.

It’s interesting how we come to associate certain conditions with predictable outcomes.

We were sitting in a packed theatre in The Park after having braved an overcrowded lobby for tickets and popcorn. Rob and I divided and conquered to achieve our ends as quickly as possible. He hopped into the ticket line and I got in the shortest of the concession lines, which meant nothing. Length of queue is no indication that the person running the till is fast or slow. Canadians just don’t get the whole “service” idea and incompetent workers are aided by the overall Canadian “too polite to complain” thing.

I won. It took twenty minutes for me to achieve Nirvana/service while Rob had only made the middle of his line. As I waited, I noticed that many others used our strategy and the number of people in front of me changed frequently. The young man behind the counter had a deer in the headlight expression but it didn’t keep him from functioning at a level one doesn’t often see – efficient – and this aura of knowing what the fuck he was doing had attracted him some assistance in the form of a more frightened looking young man who scurried around behind him helping to fill orders.

There were a number of families, who I will assume were there to see UP but since Drag Me To Hell seemed to be the movie most people were nattering about, I can’t be sure. One couple nitpicked at the Competent Worker while their two little boys hung on the counter and licked the ice in the container next to the soda dispenser. It should go without saying that we had bottled water for our beverage.

We found seats easily. Annoyed the woman seating on the end as we took turns visiting the washroom before the show began. And I will note here that there were far too many tinkled on toilet seat lids for my liking in the washroom and if toilet seats are great germ transmitters (they are not sinks and door handles are) in public restrooms, it is the fault of idiotic women dangling their bums about toilet seats.

Despite the lack of seating by preview time, Rob and I selfishly maintained a barrier of a vacant seat on either side of us. I really prefer not to literally rub elbows. There was one woman to our left who texted until the film began and some geezers behind us who had to comment on every little homage to the original series the movie paid (I know that Rob and I are old too but we were not teens or even preteens when the show originally aired. In fact, I was in pre-school and didn’t see it until it began its run in syndication when I was about 11.) These minor things aside, it was an enjoyable  outing .

One thing horrified me as we were leaving – the last ones because we watched nearly all the credits – was the fact that no one took their garbage out with them. I looked up and saw that nearly every seat had an abandoned soda cup. Popcorn bags carpeted the floor or were left perched on seats. And there we were, toting our empty bags and water bottles out.

Not that there was a trash can to put things in. The one at the exit was overflowing, but c’mon –  raised in a barn much?

Oh, the movie? The stereo-type thing cropped up in the form of death and widowhood – again. When Kirk’s father dies just seconds after his birth and he and his wife are saying their goodbyes – I was on the verge of tears. But I found the melodrama a bit hackneyed and unrealistic. Death is not normally so poetic and purposeful. George Kirk dies by choice to save his crew, wife and newborn son. If only we all could have such a meaningful end.

Kirk’s “poor me my dad is dead” rebellion rated an eye-roll even though I completely agreed with another character’s dismissal of his behavior as a waste of time that should be put to better use. And Spock’s dramatic break over his mother’s death played into the idea that grief renders people incapable grated a bit. Probably it was the link to temporary insanity. I still don’t believe that the grieving are hothouse vegetation who can’t think clearly enough to take care of business and think about the future. Grief can be allowed a debilitating mis-step here and there, and some people let it swamp them, but most people carry on more or less without any need to abdicate. Grief is not a mental illness. It’s not a breakdown. It’s normal. One deals.

The alternate timeline thing was brilliant though scientifically flawed. I liked Spock and Uhura together. I loved Scotty and Kirk was better than expected although I am not entirely convinced he will grow up to be William Shatner someday.

The best thing about the movie was talking Trek with Rob afterwards. There is nothing like snuggling up and musing on the geekier gulity pleasures in life with one’s life-mate.


During my downtime this week, I ran across the new trailer for the upcoming Star Trek prequel. Very cool. The dry and dustbowly Iowa landscape seems to indicate the “reimagined” landscape of Kirk’s boyhood did not escape the whole global warming thing, and I am having a bit of trouble with Winona Ryder as Spock’s mother. Otherwise, I am totally there in May 2009.

I ordered up John Updike’s sequel to the Witches of Eastwick, which I will have to read as well because I don’t think I did. I just saw the movie – which is dated now. The sequel is about old widowed witches. Hmmm. Are there any other kind?

My week did not go precisely as planned. I started off with high hopes but was felled by infection coupled with a reaction to the medication the doctor prescribed. I had to visit the walk-in clinic. An experience that is probably on par with the kind of medicine uninsured, or crappily insured, Americans receive. I was not one of those people. I had really good insurance and a regular doctor. I never had to sit for three hours to see a doctor for as many minutes.

We have a doctor here but he was at a convention and gone for the week. He has no partner in his practice and given the medical profession shortage up here, there is no one who he can find to back him up. Another hunt for a regular family doctor is necessary but might prove fruitless. Canadians all have access but sometimes there is nothing to access and we have to queue up for what there is.

The Walk-In Clinic has a very small waiting area that holds about thirty people and on a Monday it is wall to wall. One of the Doctors on call that day was Shelley’s old doctor and though she agreed to take BabyD and I as patients, I have never once seen her. She keeps very limited hours and seems to have a roster of people who take precedence over others. On Monday, her patients were jumping the queue all over the place and the rest of us had to wait for Dr. A. He is a nice young man who still looks 19 or so and I usually see him when I am forced to use the clinic. He at least speaks English I can understand which can’t be said of all of the practitioners there.

The worst thing about the wait were two women who talked non-stop, and loudly, about things no one should casually be blithering in a waiting room full of sick strangers. They started with a lengthy discussion about their educational backgrounds and as it turned out – neither of them have an education. In their late twenties to early thirties, they were both still working on high school equivalencies, but they had a lot to say about the high school program for drop outs and most of it focused on the fact that there were just too many losers clogging up the works for the rest of them to get through. From there we were treated to a far too detailed stroll down pregnancy lane.

“I had this pain. Like round ligament but worse and it felt like a bladder infection but Dr. C told me, after I pee’d in the cup, that I didn’t have one.”

“So what was it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. It just went away after a couple of days and then I went into labor.”

“Vaginally or c-section? I wanted a c-section but they wouldn’t give me one even though it took hours and hours to push that kid out.”

“Oh, I wanted vaginal, but my first was a c and so you can rupture you know if you try to go vag.”

And on and on. Eventually I knew that one of the women was raising a step-child who was sitting right next to her when she confided – to the whole room,

“You can raise them up from scratch properly but when you get them older, there is so much damage to correct.”

They were both married to men capable of knocking them up from a distance of several feet using only their penetrating eyesight. Perhaps they were closet super heroes?

Mercifully one of them was called into the back exam rooms after nearly 45 minutes of far more information than even a blogger like me wanted to be privy to. If only I had a device to knock out obnoxious conversations like Unbearable’s cell phone jammer. I think they are called “ice-picks” and it’s probably illegal to lobotomize total strangers in a waiting room although I doubt anyone would have lifted a finger to stop me. The whole room let out a collective sigh of relief when that air pollution ceased.

I fell behind one day on the memoir, but I was already over 30,000 words and confident I could make it up. I am at the place where I am writing about meeting Rob and our developing friendship. It’s funny to think that we have known each other for two years now. The time has gone by so quickly.

In some ways the memoir just flows like rain water down the eaves until I stop and remember I am referencing real people, most of whom are still alive and might read what I am writing. Did I mention that DNOS is reading my blog now? It’s a good thing my need to write takes precedence over my sense of decorum is all I can say.

And so another week is at an end and you, dear readers, are updated.