Take Five
Holodeck Musings, part eleventy-one

The Holodeck: A Review

The most pertinent posts are missing. But I'm going to do a new one later, anyway, that is like those. Only better-written.

And I was 37 when I started these! Such a baby. Two notes: A) For a few years, I had this computer with a wonky shift key so I used to just not capitalize i most of the time. Sorry. B) I was an okay writer then. But I'm much better now. Makes you wonder...


Holodeck List #1

March 10

i love making lists, but then they seem so unsatisfying afterwards. they're exciting and inspiring while i'm making them, then all i can think of is who or what i left out, how i could get more out of the experience, is it inspiring to someone else, or only me?

so, yes, a one night stand on the holodeck, as opposed to anything approaching, say, a meaningful relationship based on reality. totally different vibe, totally different set of blokes. men i'd pretend to have something ongoing with would have more stringent requirements, in a whole range of categories.

here's my top ten. wait, does that seem sorta skanky? like i chose just a few out of this whole crowd of fictional sex partners i'm clammering for? cause, hello, fiction. that really is the point. i'd never be jaded or whatever people are when they do this sort of thing for real. and some of these men are actually figments of the imagination, so, pretty safe there.

as far as these one-night stands are concerned, i didn't go too far back in time, because it somehow felt unclean. so that makes me think there should be a historical one-night stand list as well, separate from the other one. maybe a list should have more consistency: i mixed both real and fictional, dead and still living. on the other hand, that is why it is the top ten. a sort of K-Tel compilation of men.

Mer's Current Top Ten List of "I Brought Him Home From the Holodeck Bar" one-night stands:

10. Dean Martin
9. Fox Mulder
8. Agent Dale Cooper
7. Bobby Darin
6. Bruce Wayne, as portrayed by Michael Keaton
5. Mark Darcy, from Bridget Jones' Diary (book, not movie. Colin Firth characters themselves would probably belong on the 'other' list. )
4. Steve Martin
3. John Cusack
2. James Bond (as played by Sean Connery, not the book character, and not any other actor.)
1. Robert Smith, of the Cure

okay, it's been pointed out to me that a number of these men smoke. well, duh, 24th century holodeck; no longer a concern. plus, this is why they are on the one-time only list, as opposed to the more long-term kind of thing.


Taking The Long View 

sometimes it's said that "the more things change, the more they stay the same." i'll go along with that.

well my life does go on, pretty much in this patternish thing, even when the world seems to be visiting hell at any given point. and so here i am, in the throes of another "i love men" week, which happens with an odd sort of regularity about once a month. usually i'm focused on some celebrity love or other at this time; i have this whole stable of pretend lovers, and this week it's Jim Kerr. now i bring that up only because i was realizing he's on the Short List, and i've never discussed that here in the ol' blogaroo. see, usually i like one certain type of man, and that is all. that type has very specific characteristics, which i'll share in a moment. but then there's the Short List, and that's a whole other country i just visit from time to time.

actually, you can pretty much divide everyone i like into three groups. there's the Holograph Date list, comprised of men i'd spend the night with if we were in a Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck. those men are witty, intelligent, often a bit quirky, but also have a flaw or two that would keep me from loving them in reality, should reality ever arise, which, no, of course. some of them can be seen here.

then there's the list of men i just adore, who don't seem to have any of the flaws that would make them suitable only for a holodeck love affair. they have to be at least 5' 10", with dark brown or black hair, lean figure, defined jaw and chin, strong nose, plus, of course, be smart and witty and it helps if they have one of the more intelligible British accents, but that is not a requirement, because they must not smoke or I will have an asthma attack and that would just mess it all up, and apparently many British people still think that's a normal thing to do. and they have to be no more than three years younger or seven years older than me.

finally, there's the Short List. it's named that for two reasons. first, there are not very many names on it. second, the men on the list are all slightly height-challenged. they are not shorter than me, because that doesn't interest. (and don't be all boo-hoo about that, because about 75% of the women of earth are shorter than me, so it's not like those guys don't have a lot to choose from.) currently, the short list is comprised of Bobby Darin, Dave Gahan, and Jim Kerr, all singers. here's why:

Bobby Darin, well, he was a mess. he wore a toupee and he smoked and he could be a bully to some people, though i wouldn't have been one of them, plus, he died when i was eight years old. also, not real tall. however, no voice has ever done to me what his voice does to me, and i mean that to such an extreme degree that he could break all the other rules and still be special to me.

Dave Gahan, the shorter Jeremy Northam. (no way this guy is 5'11", internet. but whatever.) also a smoker, but we forgive him that, in the Short List rules only, cause i figure anyone who sunk to the depths of heroin addiction and pulled himself out of it is allowed some other bad habits. he has this deep, low resonant voice and moves on stage so well that you have to bring a change of clothes to see him sing live.

and that brings us back to Jim Kerr. he breaks most of the rules of the other lists, and he was even married to the horrifying Chrissy Hynde for a little while, plus, he has opinions about stuff, and that can be really annoying. on the other hand, definitely has the "je ne sais quoi" thing. geez, what can you say besides "i don't know what?" i love listening to him sing, and the band Simple Minds is one i can listen to all day, which in itself is odd, since they don't really fit into any category of music i ordinarily enjoy. here are lyrics to the song i'm listening to endlessly at the mo, not brilliant but nice, and i love how he sounds. no, i mean **love** how he sounds:

(this is a different link than I had here originally)  


More Stuff That Needs Relinking

September 12, 2003

i forgot to mention the really great way Jim Kerr pronounces 'r.' it's the Scottish thing, i imagine. it makes me happy.

here are some book characters i've fallen in love with at various points in my life, and what's so special about them:

Calvin O'Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time and subsequent stories by Madeline L'Engle. he was a poor kid with a talent for basketball and math. and i loved him from the first time i read his description, when i was eight years old.

Archie Goodwin from Nero Wolfe stories by Rex Stout. i first read Nero Wolfe stories at about age ten, and Archie is still dreamy to me. he's Wolfe's right-hand man, a man-about-town, and has a way with words that could melt any smart girl's heart. the descriptions of him in the early books are not of my dream man, but that's okay, because Archie's inner qualities transcend the faults of light-colored hair and not-enough nose. plus, now that there's been a TV show of the stories, i can just picture him looking like Timothy Hutton, and that's a happy thing.

Mr. Knightley from Emma, by Jane Austen. he's just perfect. really. i first read Emma at the age of seventeen, and i thought how perfect the world would be if only Mr. Knightley would appear when i jumped down from the tree i was reading in at Loose Park in Kansas City. he'd be, interestingly enough, about the age i am now, but that would have done my precocious heart good then, i think. he owned land but was kind to those who worked it for him, and he was well-educated and refined, yet down-to-earth. when i learned he was going to be portrayed by Jeremy Northam i probably fainted. The Gwyneth Paltrow Emma is not perfect otherwise, but that's okay.

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. this love followed on the heels of the previous one. he's not quite as perfect as Mr. Knightley, but he comes close. he has an inner passion that speaks to my soul, and a quiet spirit that belies the fire burning beneath the gentlemanly surface. Colin Firth was as nearly perfect to play Mr. Darcy as Mr. Darcy is for me. poor guy, i guess he's never lived that part down.

Harry Dresden from Storm Front and others in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Harry is my latest book love, as i only discovered him this summer, but i'm sure we're soul mates. Harry is a tall, lanky wizard who uses his magic for good, yet finds himself in trouble with dark forces on a regular basis. he lives in Chicago and has trouble making ends meet. if i lived in the fictional world of the Dresden Files i would sell articles, run a catering business or manage a bar if i had to, so that Harry could go on fighting the forces of darkness with no financial woes, and whenever we both had time off we'd spend it cuddled up before the fire in his basement apartment.

finally, i should put in a word for Lord Peter Wimsey, of stories by Dorothy L. Sayers. i'm not really in love with him, but holodeck possibilities definitely come to mind.


Craig Ferguson/9-11/Blather

This is part of an ongoing conversation I've been having with my best online mate. Later, I'll talk about the camping trip, share some pictures, and start the process of putting every blog entry I've ever done, backdated, into this one. That will be a long-term project, but I feel good about it.

Me: Craig Ferguson is this year's top entry for a holodeck weekend. Discuss.

Chickengrrl: His monologue is truly a thing of beauty, a work of art. My only complaint (and granted, it is beyond minor) is that it's an eensy bit too long. I think I've gotten overused to Letterman's too-short one, so Ferg's seems extra long by comparison. I think somewhere in between (but closer to the length of Craig's) is more right.

The man, he is a genius. Maybe not my free pass, but a genius. ;-)

Me: I could listen to him talk for an hour. I am not very interested in the guests, unless they can really hold their own.

Chickengrrl: Yes - I think his one flaw as a host is that he's not a very good interviewer. Yet. I think he's improving, but he sort of turns everything around to talk about himself, or he obsesses about something silly (like Toni Collette saying she was menstruating). But he's better than a lot of people in that sort of position. And I think part of the problem with his guests is that he's on so late, he tends to get quasi-lame ones a lot of the time.

Chickengrrl: OK, I've found another minor flaw, and I hate to be critical of the little darling, but he does the "gay" thing way too much. Honestly, it's starting to get old.

Me: I'd probably have to agree with that. I wonder why it's so?

Chickengrrl: Please tell me you were watching last night, and saw Craig kiss Steve Carell on the mouth. I don't know what led up to it, as I was actually on the phone with P before then, but it was awesome.

Me: I didn't see it last night, but I saw it the first time it was on. It was awesome. (For those who don't watch Craig, and are now wondering at the possible hypocrisy of this conversation, let me point out that the "gay thing" we're tired of is frequent allusions to his sexuality being in question. Since it isn't, that can get old. However, watching him kiss Carell was another thing entirely, even though I have no credible way of explaining it. He's funny when he just does the gay thing, instead of talking about it, maybe.)


Ramping Up

Here is the thing about my holodeck. It's not a "free pass," or "freebie five," or any of that other stuff.

It's better.

Because, it's like having a real experience that is not real. Therefore, there are no rules. You could do anything you like there, any way you like, with anyone you like. And it doesn't count in real life.

Now, you have your rules and I have mine regarding correct real life behavior. But if you are only simulating real life, you don't need to follow your rules, do you? And I don't, either. :-)

On top of that, you can make a virtual reality with someone who doesn't even exist in your real life, like someone from the past, or a fictional character, although I can't pretend it will necessarily be as satisfying.

Maybe you have to enjoy making up stories in order to truly enjoy the idea. Stories are my life though, pretty much, at least the one I live inside my head. So it works for me much better than just a list of relief players. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


TV Boyfriend

He's tall, with dark unruly hair and a kindly sincere expression which belies his inability to take much of anything seriously. The kindness and sincerity are real. They just refuse to go in very deep this early in the game. Fine by me.

I'm counting the freckles across his long, long nose as he talks. There are too many to actually enumerate; I'm just counting so I won't notice him noticing me staring at his face. He's talking, I'm listening, not really hearing, because it doesn't matter what he says as long as he keeps saying it in such a delectable way. It's not just the accent, because even if he were merely humming right now, it would burn straight through me.

He stops suddenly; leaning forward and lifting his left eyebrow a fraction of an inch, looking at me a bit sideways, a bit amused, and then he chuckles slightly, mostly under his breath, before setting to work at the food on his plate.

I rest my chin on my fist, and keep on staring.



The Holodeck: An Update

You know I do this once or twice a year or all of the time in my mind; decide who I'd like to keep company with in a holodeck. There's the live version, the dead version, and the never was alive or dead version. 

I'm pretty sure that after last night's episode of House, Hugh Laurie tops the one list this week or month or something. But anyway, this isn't about that. I mean, well, yes, it is, but also. 
Here's my current Top Five on the dead guy list, in semi-random order:
A. François-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire
Voltaire was a happening guy. He wasn't just part of the Enlightenment, he kind of was the enlightenment. He used a jillion pen names, and seems to have come up with them in much the same way I think of mine, meaningful yet slightly tangential. Anyway, I'm aware there's an ongoing view of how much French people didn't used to bathe, but a man who says plain truth like this to me, en francais, is worth the price of a bar of soap.  
Put two men on the globe, and they will only call good, right, just, what will be good for them both. Put four, and they will only consider virtuous what suits them all: and if one of the four eats his neighbour's supper, or fights or kills him, he will certainly raise the others against him. And what is true of these four men is true of the universe. 

(Mettez deux hommes sur la terre, ils n'appelleront bon, vertueux et juste, que ce qui sera bon pour eux deux. Mettez-en quatre, il n'y aura de vertueux que co qui conviendra à tous les quatre ; et si l'un des quatre mange le souper de son compagnon, ou lo bat, ou le tue, il soulève sûrement les autres. Ce que je dis de ces quatre hommes, il lo faut dire do tout l'univers.)
 Being French means examining society, its contracts and your role in them. He understood that, too, pointing out that each society chooses its rules based on who its people are. What tastes good to the French does not necessarily taste good to the Germans. I've been thinking a lot about that lately, so I'd let him pour me some wine and tell me these things, and then whatever. 
B. Thomas Jefferson

I'm not really into the ginger thing, like the lost dwarf, but Jefferson has to be an exception. I think it's pretty clear he knew what it was all about, when it came to women. Also, nature, liberty, and the cultivation and preparation of good food. That's sexy, my friend. 
I bet Jefferson and Voltaire would have an interesting holodeck discussion of this statement:
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. 

And these two, as well:

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

 A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned—this is the sum of good government. 

C. Dean Martin
Dean Martin - One For My Baby...
D. Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension
You can see more of that at YouTube, here
E. James Clerk Maxwell
I know you're thinking Michael Faraday was a hotter-looking 19th century physicist, but it's my contention that Maxwell had a lot more going on where it counts. I mean, I don't even know what I mean by that, but anyway. Maxwell was Scottish. At some point in his career he started growing this manky beard and just let the thing go, all willy-nilly, but before that, he was a handsome young man. 
I'd happily bore you with actual facts, but I won't, so if you are interested, you can start here for a light overview.
Basically, he invented what became modern physics. Maxwell led to Einstein, Planck, and the fictional invention of the holodeck, which is not 100% fiction anymore. 
Plus, he was Scottish. 



Middle-Aged Middle Ground

The ten or so of you who've followed my blogs off and on over the whatever know that I go through a period of time each month in which I…experience a heightened degree of…tractability, let's call it. At this point in my life, it's about 3 of every 4 weeks.

"I do seem somewhat soaked in nature's fecund blessing." (Yes, Mybug was speaking of rain, but whatever.)

Anyway. I was thinking lately that over the past few years I've expanded my imaginary boyfriend horizons to include a few candidates outside my "composite male" profile that I developed about29yearsago. It's originally why I came up with the Holodeck idea, well, not only for ones who are very short or dead, but also those British ones who still smoke cigarettes, and things like that. I can either manipulate reality or just ignore bits of it. 

Where was I? 

Oh, yes. 

A couple nights ago, I was at Petsmart buying the obnoxiously expensive food I feed these two cats who live at our house, and I saw him. The Composite Male. Don't get me wrong, I've seen most of him before, once in a great while, but I mean, there he was. 100%. Okay, 99% because originally, the Composite Male was 6'-6' 2" and this man was about 5' 10" with extremely nice shoes on. However, I am not 17 anymore. And those were awfully nice shoes. 100%.

He was in line and I was behind him, and then a cashier called him to a new line, and so I just followed. I had to, and never mind the small child with him and the fact that he was holding a bag of crickets. 

He had black or nearly black hair, short and sharp, with bits of grey flecked through it, and just the perfect face that stays in my head, I mean, perfect to me, not necessarily anyone else, a little lined, a nicely carved mouth and intelligent eyes, and he was wearing a very nice dark suit and a black overcoat. And he was quite slim, but not skinny. 

When I was a Young Person, I was more attracted to the baseball physique than the football one. Remember how baseball players used to trend kinda slim? Maybe you aren't that old…but only some of the pitchers and catchers were ever on the larger side of the scale. Well, I was a very skinny young person, so large men sort of alarmed me. Plus they seemed to my childish mind to be accompanied by cans of cheap beer or voices that were too loud, or referred to themselves as themselves. Forgive me, internet stranger who might wander by, but we're all really only as deep as we pretend to be, most of the time. 

I like a man who looks (and hopefully actually is) active and fit. At my age, this is probably an important consideration in an imaginary mate, because there'd be, like, heart issues and things to contend with. But on the other hand, unless I know he's active and fit, one who is too thin probably isn't a good idea, either. There's a reason most of us put on a few more pounds as we age. Sure, we might be less active, but also, one good flu will carry off an old person if they don't have any fat reserve to draw on. 

So as I'm watching the cheesy Christmas movies this season, I'm noticing that many of the males (the ones who don't seem too gay to be very believable in the role, which is an unfortunate truth with some of the ION entries, but of course they're often inexperienced in movies and also with girls, but at least the movie experience can bring improvement,) are very attractive even though they aren't all thin, and that while I'm never going to be attracted to those men in firefighter calendars with all their pectoral bulges and whatnot, there's a lot more good stuff in the middle than I had previously bothered to notice. 

As well, I mean, consider Simon Baker. Not only is he a rather small person (the internet lies,) but he has light-colored hair.Yet he is very attractive

I figured out that it's all because one side of my brain has worked out I no longer need to find the correct physical match for continuing the family line, while another side has decided I still need to find as many matches as possible, on a much broader scale. 

And that is why I have so many more imaginary boyfriends these days, and why William Holden zoomed to the top of the dead celebrity list over the past year. The "father of my children" part of the deal is no longer the most important part. 

Still, I wonder if that man goes into Petsmart for crickets every week…he drove a Hyundai Tiberon…I don't know, I mean, in 1982, the Composite Male drove a cooler car than that, but times have changed.