Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodbye Redheads! We'll Miss You... Not!

A week or so ago, a friend of mine posted on her blog that her son said that redheads were going extinct. She’s a redhead and was very saddened by this news. I told her in a comment, that I was thrilled by the prospect that there will come a day when no child will suffer like we did. I think that I kind of ticked her off a bit, because she asked for an explanation… and here it is…

I’m a redhead.

I’m a red head with everything that goes with it… Freckles, pasty white skin, sensitivity to sunlight, very high IQ… yep, the whole nine yards. But, it would seem, unlike others of my kind, I hold no allegiance to my accursed hue… or even to its very existence.
The Oxford Hair Foundation (I had no idea that there is such a place) figures that since only about 4% of the world’s population exhibits the trait given by a recessive “Red Head” gene (MC1R), that red hair will be gone or very rare by the year 2100.

-Happy Dance-

I, like many Redheads, didn’t go to school as a child… I endured it. Kids are mean; all redheads have their tormenters, mine was named Mark (I shouldn't tell you his last name because he’s a total waste of skin and would track me down…) Tolbert. Yep, not a day went by from Kindergarten through to High School where Mark wasn’t calling me something, laughing at my hair color and freckles, or stuffing me into garbage cans, girls bathrooms, lockers, or -insert small container here-
And he wasn’t the only one; I didn’t have a name in elementary school… I had a color. “Hey Red!” that was what most people called me. I was red, except in summer.
Many redheads will go this beautiful strawberry blond color in summer… not me. I “bleach” into a bright florescent orange that lasts from late June until the end of August. I can’t tell you how many times people come up to me to inform me of my hair color. “Hey you’ve got orange hair!”
“Really!?! You don’t say.”

Wow, I’m sounding really bitter here.

I can’t tell you how badly I would love to shake off this pasty hue of mine and… tan. I, and most redheads, fear the sun. I’ve been trained to hide from the sun by a sense of self-preservation. As a child, I spent summer after summer in a state of constant sunburn. I hate the feeling of sunscreen, and it only partly works for me, so I wear long sleeves and hats with wide brims in summer just so I won’t die of sunburn and skin cancer. I’d love to be able to wear baseball caps, I have some great ones, but the tops of my ears burn. If (when) I die of skin cancer, it will originate on the tops of my ears.
Sitting at this moment, typing on my keyboard, I can look down at the freckled tops of my hands with the almost translucent skin beneath, and think that it is most likely the traits I gained from the redhead gene that will someday lead to my death, and people wonder why the eventual extinction of red hair fills me joy and gladness. And I can’t tell you how happy I am that all 4 of my children don’t have red hair.

I’m sorry, I was going to try to make this a funny -ish entry… but the more I type, the more the truth seems to come to the surface. And the truth, for me, about having red hair is this… everyone, deep down, hates red hair, except old women who seem to think that it’s beautiful; it’s probably because they are loosing their eyesight and bright colors stand out.

Just for your amusement, here are some facts I found about red hair.

Harvard dermatologist Madhu Rathak calls redheads “Three-time losers” because their red pigment is an inadequate filter of sunlight, thus their skin is more susceptible to sunburn, skin cancer, and wrinkling with age.
There are two kinds of redhead, according to Mary Spillane, managing director of British image consultants “Colour Me Beautiful.” There’s the “Autumn” type with hazel eyes, and the “Celtic” type with translucent skin, light eyes, and carrot tops… the so called “Leprechaun redness” with which so many people have trouble.
Redheads have always been though untrustworthy. As a 17th century Frenchman observed, “Judas, it is said, was red haired.”
Superstitions: Having red hair is unlucky; it’s lucky to rub a redhead’s head; bee’s sting redheads more often. The Egyptians regarded redheads as being so unlucky that they had a ceremony in which they burned redheaded maidens alive to wipe out the tint, according to author Claudie De Lys.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Barack the Second Coming?

Look, I don’t want to be sacrilegious or anything, especially this close to Christmas, but…
I was walking though a book store last night… because that’s what I do, and I came across the “Obama is God” section, which was filled to capacity with books that spell out the specific god-like qualities that Obama currently has, and all that he will one day possess, i.e. he can’t currently walk on water, but I hear that he’s working on that.

I wonder… when he fails to live up to all the hype, what will happen? Because, I hate to break it to you folks… he may be a child of God… but he isn’t the second coming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gypsy on the Bus

The other morning, I was sitting on the bus, and there was a woman singing. She had her iPod going, and was singing along… not well… she was very falsetto and out of tune, but I somehow was able to make out the song… through the laughter of the other passengers around me.
When I got to work I realized that despite the fact that I love Fleetwood Mac, especially those songs sung by Stevie Nicks, I had not heard this song for many, many moons.
So here it is… enjoy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bone Marrow Drive

I just found out that there is going to be a Bone Marrow drive on Saturday at RioTinto Stadium. All of the info can be found at http://soccerunitesutah.com/
It appears that Marcia Williams, who is the wife of Andy Williams, who plays for Real Salt Lake, has Leukemia. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how this cancer has touched my life and the lives of my family.
I joined the Marrow Donor registry… a long time ago, and was lucky enough to be matched with a 5-year-old little boy (for whom my son, Christian, was named). I gave Bone Marrow on my birthday in 1993.
If you are not on the Marrow Donor registry… here is a great opportunity to get on it.


Monday, December 08, 2008

The Knights of Mayhem

These guys joust at the Utah Renaissance Faire every year... looks like their coming back for more this May. You should go... it's lot's o' fun.

Plus... my younger sister and her family won't be there, because they thinks it's dorky... so no one will be there to make fun of you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Will the real geek please stand up?

Like I said in my last post, I’m participating in a “Cult TV” Fandom Panel for a class up at the U of U. (ENGL 2070).
I’m really excited to do this, but also nervous that we’re about to be fed to the wolves. I don’t think that will happen because the instructor is a Browncoat, but you never know.
So yesterday, we were forwarded a couple of pages of questions from the class to contemplate, so I thought that I would address some of the questions here.

What makes Serenity/Firefly fans different from other popular TV fans?
We’re freaking awesome! That’s what makes us different… Duh! No, really, I became aware of the awesomeness of the Browncoats when I drove down to Vegas for the Serenity prescreening. I was expecting a group of typical comic book geeks but what I found were intelligent folk from every nationality and age group you could name. Their commonality? They like shows that don’t suck.

Would you discuss the show only within the fan community or also with people who didn’t have a prior interest?
I would discuss this show in a car or in a bar, in a house or with a mouse, I would talk it here or there, I would talk it anywhere…

Do you force other people to watch Firefly to recruit more Browncoats?
We don’t use the Force… that’s a totally different show… dummy!

What drew you to your fandom?
My little sister… Damn you, Mei Mei!

Fans—are they crazy?
Fan… is just short for Fanatic. Yes… crazy is a good word.

Could fandom resurrect the Firefly series, or any canceled show?
Sadly… no. I think that the Browncoats did do a bit of the impossible by getting the BDM (Big Damn Movie), but I’m afraid that Firefly has seen it’s day in the sun.

What is it about TV that makes you involve yourself in fandom?
It’s not just Television. It’s GOOD television. Television is just another form of story telling, just like reading a book, or listening to the radio, or going to the theater. If the show has a bad story, or (in Firefly’s case) is to intelligent for the brain dead American public, that show is going to go away because the medium is driven by viewership. You become a fan when you find a story that moves you in a positive way. It’s simply that.

Why do you think it is worthwhile to spend so much time talking about your TV show?
Why do you find it worthwhile to discuss books? Come on… just two different forms of entertainment.

Why do fans always dress up for conventions?
This… just so happens to be the question I’ve been mulling over for the last few weeks.
And my conclusion is this… we don’t ALWAYS dress up for conventions. Many do, but not all. And as for those who do choose to dress up… so what!
Ask yourself this… are you a fan of a sports team? And if so, have you ever gone to a sporting event wearing a replica jersey? Painted your face? Donned a Cheese Head or foam finger? What makes that cool or acceptable?
Wearing… say… a Starfleet uniform to Comicon is no different from wearing a sports team jersey to a game. The only difference is the stigma that society has placed upon them.
Wearing a team jersey, painting your face the team colors, chanting, and yelling “Charge” when the sounder sounds… as dorky as all that is… is acceptable to the majority in society, while wearing a Starfleet uniform, walking around a convention center, meeting some of the actors, artists, & writers of your favorite shows, books, & comics, and such… is somehow… outside of societies accepted norms. Who made up these rules?
Probably the Jocks…

Why do TV companies quit airing shows even when they have millions of devoted fans?
Ratings, ratings, ratings.

How does your fandom mix with the rest of your life? Is it the driving factor? Is it like a side hobby?
This is a good one. Firefly affects all parts of my habits, language, what I buy, what we name the goldfish. The nice thing about being a browncoat is that you can fly under the radar. Not a lot of people know about the show, so it’s easy to wear a BlueSun shirt or some such and most people think that it’s just some corporate tee shirt… really only another browncoat will understand the message.

Do you find yourself becoming a “die-hard” fan of only one type of genre or is it possible to be a fan (on the level of “fandom”) of different types of television shows?
I love SciFi… I love To Kill a Mockingbird… I love Bogart films… I’m currently watching a lot of Scrubs and MASH reruns. I’m a person… I have many interests.

What is it, do you suppose, that causes Joss Whedon to attract fandom groups? Buffy, Dr Horrible, Firefly, Angel all have huge fan bases that aren’t necessarily the same people. What is it about Joss that causes this?
The guy’s freakin’ awesome! I don’t know. I like Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible… but I think that Angel needed to be staked long before he ever got his own show. It has to do more with the character than it does the writer.

How much time per week do you spend participating in fandom activities?
3.14 seconds per week… hey that’s the same as PI… I wonder if that means anything.

So there you go…
I’ll let you know how it went.

Monday, December 01, 2008


The last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of “wondering” about things; mostly about where I am professionally. I’ve gone about as far as I can in my profession. Really all I can do at this point is try to expand my knowledge base, which may translate to a couple of more bucks in my pocket… maybe. But since I just got passed over for learning a new CAD program… I’ve been kinda down on myself as of late.
It’s probably just because I’m on the eve of turning 40 and I can’t afford to go back to school for a Master’s degree.


I do have distractions, however. Thursday morning I’m heading up to the U to take part in a panel of Browncoats (fans of Firefly/Serenity) for an English class built around Pop Culture as literature. It should be fun and serve as a welcome diversion from life for a while.

If you happen to be in that class… Watch out! The Geeks are coming! You will be assimilated… resistance is futile…
Oh… that’s the wrong show… Gorram it!
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