Firefly

It was a little challenging yesterday explaining to my psychologist why Twitter is essential to people who love a certain TV show and no one else around them in real life understands. Why is a dark heartrending scifi show like Stargate Universe so important?

 photo sgutwin1640.jpg

A TV show can represent something big and important inside of us that just can’t be shared without the context of the story bringing those feelings to the forefront. Take Firefly, for instance, a show that “explores the lives of a group of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system”. The story runs like a futuristic thought experiment- what could happen if human population keeps booming? What could happen if the government superpowers merged? How do we solve our daily problems and survive?

 photo firefly_series_main.jpg

My fave spaceship show is Lexx, one of the biggest thought experiments ever in a scifi space show. What if humans had become enslaved by an alien race for thousands of years, how does that change how we think and behave and survive? Can humanity retain their humanity?

 photo battle794640.jpg

Science fiction has almost completely replaced the action drama of westerns, and television viewers who prefer different kinds of shows don’t understand how prolifically our society is saturated with spaceship shows. ULTIMATE SCIENCE FICTION WEB GUIDE  Scifi and the supernatural make up at least half the list of top shows watched in the United States in the last decade. IMDb: Top 20 TV Shows 2000 – 2010 – a list by renardramon Still, some of us find ourselves in lonely geographical pockets, surrounded by loved ones and coworkers who prefer reality shows or chick flicks and guy cry kinds of stories. I think the difference is that my friends and I deeply need for our shows to contain spaceships, explosions, sometimes aliens, and usually a dire problem solving situation tinged with feely stuff.

My psychologist was more concerned with the ‘dangerous’ emotional connections made in quickie social media meeting places like twitter, which can become more important to us than our real life relationships. Maybe he’s seen the dark side of twitter fails come through his office, I dunno. I’m not on twitter to find gender fulfillment in any shape or form, I’m there for brain fulfillment, for that rush of *finally* somebody understands the feelings I have for a TV show. I’m not sure how to verbalize how sad and empty a real life relationship sometimes feels when the one thing you find soul fulfilling in entertainment is something other people around you just don’t get. I find it almost akin to religious or political conflicts. If your best friend or spouse or favorite coworker has you parking your deepest feelings at their door, you walk through your day alone inside. It’s nobody’s fault, and I think this is very common, but I think as long as we don’t mistake that emotional connection over twitter for infatuation of some kind everything will be fine.

I see a lot of people on twitter saying they have better friends on twitter than they do in real life. I think it’s because twitter cuts out all the extraneous stuff and goes straight to the simple from the heart statements. There’s no room for anything else. There is no dragging around through paragraphs, and full conversations are hilariously impossible, so it’s like simple thoughts going straight in and out of our heads to each others’ heads while we watch TV. Funny, moving, sarcastic, silly, kind, supportive thoughts. Unless you’re a dweeb and haven’t figured twitter out yet, or a troll looking for sport.

The lives we live right now were built on the indomitable human spirit and our love of new and different things, of exploration and progress, of curiosity and that great big feeling inside of us that there must be more out there somewhere. We are very lucky when we find other people that ‘get’ what we’re feeling.

Thousands of miles apart, yet in each others’ heads every day out in space. :edit: Some content removed due to conflict of interest. 3-27-16

 

Lexx fans video chats

Originally posted on my Lexx hangout page on G+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110417780608225452135/110417780608225452135/posts

Hi guys, getting a couple of hop ons so I know this is getting checked out from my links hither & yon. There are several places around the world where Lexx fans sorta still gather online, but they are scattered & the traffic is pretty scant. And no wonder, is Lexx even getting any air time? Netflix ran it here in the U.S. for a short while & then dropped it. At least it turns up at Target now, used to couldn’t find it scavenging through gamer shops, much less regular retail.

Lexx doesn’t have fan representation in the form of podcasting or video chatting that I know of, possibly because most of the Lexx fans out there have never posted their real pictures or talked about their real lives. We all have our reasons, and I’m cool with that. But wouldn’t it be neato if we could yap our little Lexx hearts out together in real time LIVE? And other fans could watch and interact LIVE if they wanted to via twitter hashtag or G+ chat or whatevs.

I’ve got Lexx friends in several countries who have expressed interest in seeing this happen, whether or not they’ll come out in the open is up to them. Being a fansite webmaster, I’ve been able to talk a little tech with other fansite owners/builders, but only in emails & forums. I would love to sit down with a few Lexx salvage fans who have become icons themselves about what it takes to maintain a fansite and produce content for fans to find.

I’d also love to have fan chats, just yap about the shows, no particular agenda, just have fun talking about the show we love that no one else gets. To this day I run into fans across the internet who are so surprised there are other fans out there, they thought they were alone. I know where I live there is only one other Lexx fan that I’m aware of, but apparently there are more underground because some of the Lexx DVDs were never returned to the Springfield library and the fines are maxing out. Got a phone shot of the CoolCat screen displaying the status, ha. I was like YEAH we got Lexx fans here BOOYA!

Anyway, I’m slowly picking up how we can make this happen. If you’d like a sample, here you go, I am in this video & these guys are asplainin The Walking Dead to me because up to this point I’d seen only one show, which was this latest cliffhanger. If we get together for Lexx chats it’ll be like this, easy peasy G+ video hangout that we can stream to a youtube acct. If you’re interested throw something at me & drag my attention over here, I’m usually up to my eyeballs in ten other things. I’m good with comments nowadays, if you want to leave feedback, if not, I understand. This is a tough fandom, but it’s all good, & I think we can have fun with this.

 

The Nerdist Score- ‘aspie spoonie Lexx fan on a mission’ assessment

It’s been a little over a year since I came out about my real life and wrote my article about how Chris Hardwick’s The Nerdist Way got me started down the right path to evil villain success, following that up through the winter and spring with a couple of assessments about the progress I was making. Over the summer I got scattered in the impending Xanga relaunch wind, but now it’s time to see where I’m at.

Last year around this time I had come through eight weeks of physical therapy for severe lower back pain and extensive nerve involvement affecting various functions and was starting to regularly visit a fitness center to build core strength. I started out on a NuStep barely pulling about ten minutes at work level 2 or 3. Seriously, that was all I could do, but after several years of severe illness and consequent weakness and immobility, that was actually pretty good. Over the winter and spring I managed to increase my workload and workout length and add a couple of machines, even through a lupus flare up. I did another eight weeks of physical therapy through the spring and added more workout machines, and then sixteen more weeks through end of summer and early fall where we were able to identify how I trigger waves of severe fibro lasting several days using certain machines, even at the lightest workloads and a handful of reps, so I was told NOT to use those machines (my muscle tone is quite excellent, thanks to the continual kinetic working out the fibromyalgia puts me through, so I’ve been commanded to stay focused on core strength, flexibility, and mobility). At present I am able to pull 20 minutes on a NuStep at workload 5 or 6 (depending on how I’m feeling) doing 20 more steps per minute than I could several months ago, and afterward tool around town running errands, carry in groceries, and then work on easy chores through the rest of my day. I never dreamed I’d be this capable again. I still have a time limit with the chronic fatigue before I hit my wall, so I’m still pretty limited to driving only as necessary. Once I hit my wall, my brain falls out and I make very poor decisions in traffic (any aspie and spoonie would know that driving in inclement weather or in the darkness decreases the time I have left till I splat all over that wall). On days I stay home I can easily brisk walk for about 30 minutes now, which is sweet since 4 years ago I was having to use a motor cart to get my shopping done because I could barely walk at all.

In the meantime, I’ve been perplexing several doctors with an all new thing going on, which I finally talked about at spaz: Agrajag. It’s still going on, very weird, but I’m hoping that the ‘numbness’ I feel nearly all over my body sometimes now (starts with my head) is just my nervous system going through a sort of shock from my pain level being so drastically lowered, because all anyone can agree on at present is dysesthesia, which I try not to think about as terrifying, given CNS lupus (but I have to keep in mind all the occipital, trigeminal, and cervical nerve damage I’ve been through, so this might actually be ‘normal’. I honestly haven’t known what normal feels like since I rolled the car when I was 19.) I still get pretty good pain levels that some people would probably think is a ten on the pain scale (the pain scale is objective and relative, this isn’t a contest!), but it’s so much nicer than my nervous system continuously screaming at me that I’m almost happy about it and don’t mind much. Still, it’s very ‘unnerving’.

The problem with this new sensation stuff is that I can trigger these numby sensations a little too easily by working out too much without enough rest in between. I hit a big wall this week, so I’ve got to back off again and let it all settle back down, because the last thing I want is an inflammation flare up in my brain (vasculitis caused by lupus flare, the brain is Nerve Central, as it were). I may be in the best health of my adult life now as a 30 year lupus survivor, but that doesn’t mean I can do whatever I please and get away with it, and I sure don’t want to find out the hard way! Now that I’m having more energy, it’s hard reigning myself in on days I feel more fantastic than usual.

So right now I’m staying focused on plenty of rest and water, good nutrition, yes I take vitamins and a magnesium supplement (no herbal supplements, I have allergic reactions to too many things, sorry), and staying busy with fun stuff so I won’t feel depressed with thinking about this weird numby stuff. There’s no reason right now to think this is a bad thing (it’s been going on for months with nothing getting worse), and I’m actually very thrilled I passed a treadmill stress test with flying colors earlier this month. Even the cardiologist couldn’t believe it given my age and medical history, so THANK YOU CHRIS HARDWICK.

In other assessment, my Lexx blogging has come to a standstill while I wait to see where the Xanga dust settles (as they call it) before I put more work into it, and my first book launch timetable has undergone a schedule revamp because the blogs are a mess, and with holidays coming and cold weather spiking a few problems for me, I’m just rolling with what comes. It’s helping a great deal that SnarkAlec Radio is keeping me on a schedule of sorts. I’m the kind of person who needs a schedule from an outside source to keep my own stuff on track better, helps me pace myself mentally and physically. It’s also helping a LOT to have twitter buddies so I don’t sink into an emotional lethargy being a hermit. If you’re struggling with disability and feeling a little lost, I really recommend getting a twitter account so you can feel like you’re part of the world in real time.

I still have really big plans. I’m contracted for two books to start with, have several more in the queue, have discussed a podcast idea with several people, and of course I still intend to build the largest Lexx film study on the internet. Takes time. As you can imagine I really don’t watch a lot of TV, but my fave shows right now are It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Continuum, Once Upon a Time, Key and Peele, Strangest Weather On Earth, The Big Bang Theory, Tosh.0, and I’m waiting for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary. Scott watches all the rest- The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, Revolution, Arrow, Grimm, Defiance, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.The Tomorrow People, Sleepy Hollow, and I’m sure I missed a couple. We both watch Person of Interest, Falling Skies, and Under The Dome. Scott’s shows are stacking up in the DVR because he works around the clock and watches only an hour of TV on weeknights most of the time. I’m sure we’ll catch up over the holidays, unless he gets lost in Legend of Zelda again. And through it all I’m still filling up my stack of spirals.

Oh yeah, one more assessment. I haven’t been able to read very well since 2004 when a virus first hit my brain and screwed up more nerve stuff with my eyes, but this month I flew through a novel in about 3 days flat for the first time in years without getting eye strain, and last night I drove home in the dark without getting nasty shooting pains through my eyes every time light hit them. I’ve noticed I’m more easily reading black and white on my monitor, too, so this is icing on my assessment cake. There was a time I thought I’d be going blind (not that uncommon with lupus) and even prayed to if only the pain would go away.

So in spite of how this all looks, I’m having a truly fabulous year, I’m enjoying so much more than I use to be able to, and I’m looking forward (pleasepleaseplease) to more improvement over the coming year. I think the key to it all is holistic health and psychoneuroimmunology, which I’ve been working real hard on. Years on pills never made me better, it only jacked me up enough to keep me working till I crashed completely. I think the question is How badly do I want to feel better? What am I willing to do to feel better? What kind of commitment am I willing to make? This year has been a real grind, 32 weeks of vigorous deep tissue therapy, getting my workouts in at the very least once a week but usually 3 times a week no matter how rough I feel or what the weather is like (I have to commute to a fitness center, I’m way out of town), keeping my shopping done so I’ll have good food to eat instead of junk, and definitely making myself do something nice or useful every single day for someone else. Feeling good about being here on this earth is crucial, and I have to work at it every day, it doesn’t come easily to me.

So where will I be this time next year? I’m *hoping* I’ve got the publishing ball rolling and my blogs all fixed by then. I have no idea if I’ll make any money, but who cares! Main thing is I’ll be splatting my brain all over you guys, a sport I truly love and get joy from. My long term goal is to make it to Ireland someday. Need the money and need the health. Working on it.  

I love this guy.  This song cracks me up because I used to be so medicated I was as wasted as anybody can get all the time. I’m clean now, no meds. At all. I’m biwinning!

And for the MerLexxians, thanx for stopping by!  Everybody knows when my twitter feed fills up with Bradley I’m getting through a rough day, may as well enjoy it!

This continues at The Nerdist Wayfarer.

Why myke at syfydesigns is the bomb & this is the best internet birthday EVER, plus Henry Winkler

This is a copy of today’s blurb at syfydesigns.com

We celebrate birthday week around here, already a big deal.

 photo IMAG4765.jpg

 photo IMAG4813.jpg

But I want to say by far the best internet birthday EVER is here on SyfyDesigns looking at my stats.

http://www.syfydesigns.com/entry.php…n-on-JJ-Abrams This is your brain on JJ Abrams 6000+ views

http://www.syfydesigns.com/entry.php…eview-SPOILERS Star Trek Into Darkness movie review- SPOILERS 2300+ views

http://www.syfydesigns.com/entry.php?31-Coffee-Nerd-II Coffee Nerd II 1600+ views

http://www.syfydesigns.com/entry.php?28-Coffee-Nerd Coffee Nerd 2300+ views

http://www.syfydesigns.com/entry.php…ashing-fandoms smashing fandoms 2000+ views

See more Pinky blog posts at http://www.syfydesigns.com/blog.php?251-Pinky

Pinky Stuff blurbs http://www.syfydesigns.com/showthrea…70-Pinky-Stuff 7400+ views

http://www.syfydesigns.com/showthrea…-LEXX-what-one Watch an Episode of Lexx 4300+ views

Lexx- The Dark Zone Stories http://www.syfydesigns.com/showthrea…k-Zone-Stories 2000+ views

I’ve done my best not to whine about my blog host moving to new servers and shredding my launch timetable, and the best support I’ve had getting through it has been coming over here and playing around. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate myke letting me in here to splat myself all over his website, it really saved my year.

This one goes out to all my special tweeps, MerLexxians, SnarkAlecs, aspies, my watchdogs list, and what the heck Henry Winkler for tweeting with me last month.  http://www.syfydesigns.com/showthread.php?370-Pinky-Stuff&p=904&viewfull=1#post904 Everybody go follow Henry Winkler on twitter and tell him Pinky sent you. https://twitter.com/hwinkler4real

SnarkAlecs, Syfy, and Twitter, oh my

I have never fit into a group in my whole life. I’m the sore thumb sticking out in every get together, club, class, and forum. Even when I think I’m being subtle I glow like neon. Sooner or later I suck at being friends, too, as lightly detailed in my Fun Myspace Survey on my Bluejacky blog (the Menudo part to the End of the World part), but I’m too busy being busy to wallow longer than two minutes at a time in weepy black depressions. My tagline on Bluejacky since 2008 has been “I am the cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me. -Rudyard Kipling”.

Twitter changed all that. I was working on my plan to reconstruct my internet empire from my old evil villain days (I now accept that a few people found me a profoundly annoying boat rocker), quietly tweeting to a seemingly unnoticing world and politely swapping links with a few other scifi webmasters last winter when I suddenly found myself being swooped on by a little twitter gang telling me “good morning” and “happy hump day” and “TGIF” and many other yappy little niceties through the week, week after week after week….

The other webmasters’ sites in case you’re interested-
SF Series and Movies
Nerd Movie
SyFyDesigns

Insert context here- The reason I suck at being friends is because I have Asperger’s and I’ve spent most of my life not getting what the social dance in conversations is all about until recently, so I couldn’t imagine why in the world this little gang persistently kept tweeting hello to me. I pulled one aside to ask why, he said “Because it’s nice.” Ok, so it wasn’t anything weird or suspicious, but just people being nice to me out of the blue for no reason I could discern, which flummoxed me. (The unspoken ‘gossip’ in the survey link above runs pretty deep, I felt used and jaded like never before in my life, all because I obsessively built a fan site to a scifi TV show). About two months into it I finally got the hang of the happy hello yap, but it took another two months to keep their names straight, along with where they live in the world, if they have kids and pets, and the sorts of things they find interesting. We’re talking a little group of 6 people with a few extended contacts. Yes, I suck that badly at being friends. I’m better at telling identical white chickens apart than I am remembering this person has a cat and that person lives up north. But after what happened in 2007, I decided this was my chance to try again, and if it doesn’t work out this time that’s it, I’m done trying to have friends.

I noticed over several more weeks as I adapted to more and more bits of random personal information tweeting at me in sudden flurries of howdies that our common theme seemed to be particular TV shows. Call me slow, but it finally dawned on me that every one of us had a thing for the Syfy channel, or what fills in for that in some other countries, like the Space channel. I myself followed Sliders from NBC to Syfy in the late 90’s, then followed Stargate SG-1 and Lexx from Showtime back to Syfy, and I’ve hung in through schedule changes ever since. No one else in my family outside my marriage cares for scifi, and coming from the extremely religious family history that I did, that made me a black sheep. My dad was very concerned that I watched TV shows challenging my faith, actually chock full of false gods like Q, Ra, and Thor. If anything, I found my faith in humanity and pursuing right over wrong strengthened by shows like Star Wars and Star Trek more than sitting in church ever did. Unfortunately, growing up aspie and more intensely isolated than most kids (my dad is a Mennonite), and then rarely running into adults who watched these things, I had no one to talk to for decades. I have quietly cherished memories of the original Lost in Space series from my childhood like some people might cherish memories of family holidays. I see now how remarkably sad I was that I would never be able to talk to my parents like Will and Penny could talk to their parents. I guess it was kind of like The Brady Bunch, except with spaceships, aliens, a robot, and a mad scientist. Interestingly, I ‘got’ the social stuff just fine when it was embedded into scifi stuff, but as an aspie I can’t stand shows focusing only on relationships. The clincher for me is the problem solving that the group does together for the sake of survival, or for science. Love stories and parenting sitcoms and crime shows bore me silly.

So yeah, after decades of never being consistently socialized with or validated by people who were supposed to love me, I found it confusing and then amusing and then very comforting that a gang of scifi watchers wanted to say hi to me nearly every day for going on nine months now.

One of the people in my little gang was not only a content writer for a TV show and movie review global website family but is also part of another twitter gang called the SnarkAlecs, who like to live tweet what they’re watching on TV, mostly based around Syfy original movies but also including new shows on Syfy and other networks. The SnarkAlecsboss and his own little gang put together a weekly podcast show for radio talking about the TV shows they watch, and create their own Snarktistics such as ratings for movie of the week, coming in mostly from live tweet watch parties. What’s impressive is that the SnarkAlecs pull in some cool guests from Syfy movies and other podcast and music projects, and now they are branching into spinoffs called Dylan Knows and Snarkaholics. Like me, they create because they love this stuff and pay out of pocket to do it, like I do with my blogs, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve found some kindred spirits. I’ve started a SnarkAlecs pinterest board if you’re interested in seeing these guys, and the pins link to the shows for easy access. (I’m a groupie.)

I went through some pretty rough stuff at the end of summer, not least of which was my blog host of nine years suddenly pulling up roots to move to new servers for a ‘relaunch’ and building an all new blog hosting site with all the old archives. You’ve never been through internet hell like your blog host ripping your blogs up right before a book launch you had planned for an entire year based heavily on two of your blogs and it taking not just weeks but months to get everything back into a readable format with navigation. Which I’m still waiting on. If I had been free floating on my own through all that and had never been picked up by my twitter gang and then sucked joyfully into the SnarkAlecs, I think I would have just folded up shop and said forget it. The depression has been incredible. I watched people freaking out earlier this week because Facebook was glitchy for a few hours, imagine your host site being mangled for a couple of MONTHS and your content being shredded. Yeah, *that*. Suddenly everything I’d been linking and building a launch platform over was just gone *poof* and then when it came back it looked like a third grader made it and the navigation was still *poof*, and over the last 7 weeks is finally coming back enough to be able to read a little, but now it’s not making much sense because my wholeness was obliterated. You can’t survive like that on the internet any more. Everything is real time dependent if you are tying together your social media. For great chunks of it to disappear is devastating.

The joke is actually on me, I originally made all my stuff go *poof* a few years ago and then decided to resurrect it, so the irony is not lost on me at all. I did the unthinkable | GrandFortuna’s League of 20,000 Planets

A lot of flak goes to people who can’t stop texting through dinner dates or who are so addicted to facebook that they go into depressions when their computers go down, and since I had spent several years using social media to distract myself from my own depressions through building fan sites and blogging, I decided to shut it all down and take a break. I had no public interaction whatsoever for about a year. It was glorious. I figured out who I really am and what I really want are what I’ve been all along- being a public figure using social media to create things I enjoy as a way to relax and escape my own doldrums. But this time I have a plan and goals and a timetable, and it’s way more fun than it was the first time around. As before, I wasn’t on the internet to find friends, but to amuse myself and others as a distraction from whatever miseries our lives pile on us, because that’s what fandoms are all about- escapism. Except this time the key is to be a real person without a mask. That’s a scary thing in fandoms. I’ve been stalked a few times to the point of someone bringing a gun into my house (pre-Lexx), so this decision wasn’t made lightly. If I’m going to interact with fans, I’m going to be a real person, not an avatar, not a mysterious webmaster, not one icon for this activity and another icon for that. My whole entire real self is here now, my personas gathered into purpose, and you know what? It’s a relief! I’m so tired of playing the fan behind the mask game. If haters want a piece of me, I’m right here, and I don’t care any more.

I made that decision about 15 months ago. I made a new twitter account and slowly started linking my various medias. My plan’s timetable had 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month projections, like so much traffic here or there by a certain date. I studied other successful media personalities and worked hard at creating new content to support a more professional writing career.

What I didn’t expect was friends. I wasn’t back to make friends. My history with friendship is dismal. I now understand that it’s my fault, because my glaring social deficit sooner or later tries people’s souls like chaff in the fire. Once I realized this, sadly not soon enough for the 2007 debacle, I worked on communication problems with a psychologist for several years and practiced on my poor family, with some pretty good results. Not all our problems are solved, but I no longer burn bridges over communication problems. I also practice the social niceties dance every day so that my new skills remain fresh and rooted in positive habit. I still have the same old personal feelings about it all, but now I choose which carries more weight- the necessity of airing my trivial grievances versus the good feeling I get that some people actually enjoy seeing me enter a room.

I enjoy being a loner, but I really like the feeling that I’m part of the world, too. This is important.

I’m part of the SyFySnarkAlecs twitter list now. I’ve got a built in group of friends who like the same TV shows I like, and I can check that list any time and see what everyone’s up to. The very best part of that list, for me, is watching parents proactively and very positively raise their kids with full blown scifi in their houses, something I never had and only dreamed of. It’s real, and I get to see it. *feels*

Before I got on twitter I never group watched a scifi show (movie theaters don’t count). How many of us have looked on longingly during Friends and Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory wishing we had a solid group of people to come back to every little bit? I discovered live hashtag tweeting after I got my first iphone last Thanksgiving (black Friday sale!) and had an awesome time watching the Superbowl blackout happen live, and watching the Triple Crown races with other fans on twitter in real time. That’s the thing- real time. You can hang out with people from all over the world watching the same live events and seeing what they’re saying. I discovered the joyful camaraderie of watching witty people joking together and found myself literally laughing out loud just checking my phone, a sort of fun I haven’t felt in a long time.

If you like live hashtag tweeting, you might see me (Pinky) jumping in once in awhile. You can follow me at PinkyGuerrero on Twitter.

edit 10-30-13 Click this thumbnail to see comments left on the contact form, which comes to me privately and doesn’t display for the public.

 photo feedbacksnarkalecs345.jpg