Category Archives: Doctor Who

Bryson and the Doctor

bryson2

For those of you not following me on Twitter, I’ve had an amazing time during April (and part of May) which explains the radio silence here and elsewhere.  Here’s my attempt to explain it all in one fell swoop though I suspect more news will come out as time goes on.

First, and honestly the most wonderful and exciting, after two months of being lost, Bryson Bear was returned to me twice over this past month.

He first returned via eBay where, once we had identified him as of the Wuzzy clan (many thanks to Doug of Doug’s Bears for his help in communicating with GUND to identify him), an identical “new” Bryson was located in Glasgow, Scotland (as some of you pointed out — many thanks to all of you too!).

My mom purchased him for me since it was important that Bryson came from her as you probably guessed from the LOST post, The new Bryson flew across the ocean, braving volcanic ash and the U.S. Postal Service to arrive with much fan fair and packing in a large-ish cardboard box.

excellent-defense
I was naturally very glad to see him — he was clearly the right bear with the right intelligent expression.  But as my Doctor Who friends will know, like the new incarnations of the Doctor, while I knew the bear I was looking at was Bryson, because he very much felt like Bryson, he also very much wasn’t Bryson. There was, however a difference.  I could hardly remember Bryson ever looking so new.  Bryson yes, but not yet my Bryson.

Still, he snuggled close in the night and talked to me in a comforting fashion as Bryson always has.  And I needed Bryson and a great deal of comforting because my life had become insanely stressful — more so than I’d ever experienced.  You see, I found out in mid April I had to finish and defend my dissertation before the term ended the second week in May.  If I didn’t, there was a good chance I might not get to finish at all.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it (in fact, I was pretty sure I couldn’t) but after ten-plus years of graduate school, I couldn’t quit without giving it a try.

bryson1

So, I dropped out of life in order to cope and do what needed to be done — Paul handled all things social, phone, email and Twitter related.  I just worked.  I worked at my university job and I worked on my dissertation, ultimately writing more than one hundred pages in less than four weeks.  Given that ten pages a week is my normal “working very productively” speed this is pretty amazing.  It was actually liberating though, as said, very stressful.  I don’t ever want to experience it again.
Less than two weeks ago, five days before my defense, I was writing my final chapter (or “coda” as my chair called i)t and I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.  Though I hadn’t been taking calls from anyone, I took this one for some reason.  The call was from LAX Marriott’s housekeeping supervisor.  She believed had found my bear.

The picture I had sent to everyone at Marriott (or so it seemed) had worked.  He had been recognized, even though, as I was told, his “timeline” was off.  More than two months after he had been lost, my original Bryson had been found at another hotel, having been sent there from the laundry.

both-brysons
Or that was the story that made sense to the hotel housekeepers.  I had my own which involved travel across both time and space, but either way, his being found and returned was a very good omen.  Someone a week from her defense is looking for omens.

Anyway, Paul went and claimed the Bryson the next day as I prepared to print out my dissertation and give it to my committee. The distraction of knowing he was coming home kept me calm enough to compile the document (well, almost). So Paul brought him home, leaving me so overwhelmed I couldn’t stop crying.

Part of me was a bit worried about new Bryson.  Naturally he was insecure, because still having his tags his tags on some 15 years after he was made, he seemed a bit worried he was about to be put up on the shelf again now that Bryson 1 was returned.  I reassured him that there was always room in the bed for another bear and he and Bryson 1 shared a Coke and seemed to become friends.  That said, Paul did point out that the Doctor never gets along very well with his other selves.

What I Think Happened

It seems clear to me that somehow, during Gallifrey, Bryson did have the opportunity to travel in the Tardis.  It being a time machine, I’m sure he figured he’d be back in literally no time and never be missed from the bed.  In the manner of time travel though, the Tardis brought him back a month late. By then, the sheets had been through the laundry many times and were far from our room.  He ended up at the wrong hotel and it took him a while to both figure out what happened and make his presence known.

Thank goodness Maria recognized him from the picture.  Of course he felt terrible for having abandoned and worried me.  Just make sure you always take pictures of the ones you love best.

He’s back now, living a quiet life among The Animals of the Bed.  But there’s an extra twinkle in his eyes.  You can tell he’s had an adventure.

Oh, and my defense went well.  A few revisions and I’ll be a Dr. Mija.  Imagine that.

LOST: Bryson Bear

bryson-closeupIntroduction
The blog has been a bit quiet lately even though I’ve been having some great adventures, including going to Gallifrey with kink friends and meeting up with lovely people in San Francisco at SF-CP, the first of hopefully many San Francisco spanking parties.  I’ve been working on my calligraphy (yes, caligráfica has also been quiet) and have been pretty active on Twitter (I helped with live-tweeting SF-CP until Twitter crashed that night). There’s a reason and it’s not that I’ve been too busy to blog. Rather, it’s been that while we were at GallifreyOne (the Doctor Who convention at LAX) the day after we’d heard the sad news about Alex, my long time companion Bryson Bear vanished from our room. Despite a great many phone calls, meetings with hotel security and housekeeping, he has not been found. A month later, I have to admit he’s unlikely to be returned.

This blog entry, were it a Usenet post, would be labeled COREDUMP. It’ll be my way of letting go and saying goodbye. Those of you who have followed the saga of Bryson on Twitter, well, I’m sorry for dragging it out and give much thanks to the many of you (especially Barrister) who were happy to talk bears with me when I needed it.  Your kind thoughts were much appreciated.

Bryson’s History
Bryson is the oldest of my stuffed animals, though he is only 12 or 13. There’s a reason for this — when I married the first time I was quite young (21) and married someone significantly older than me. Though he was the sort of person who was attracted to teenagers — I had just turned 18 when we met — he was uncomfortable with reminders of our age difference. When we started living together he convinced me to stop sleeping with and eventually to give away my few plushy animals.

My parents, especially my mother, didn’t understand why I had to leave my ex-husband. It wasn’t until later that his drinking problem and abuse were revealed to them. I had been too ashamed to talk about it and didn’t think anyone knew. When I left him in May of 1997, my parents didn’t exactly shun me, but they were distant, so much so that they didn’t make contact with me for six months, even on my 30th birthday (Paul’s gift was the only one I opened that day), though they did talk to me whenever I made the effort to contact them. It was, except for daily calls from Paul, a lonely time.

Unknown to me when she lived with us, my sister had actually seen and heard a great deal so she understood the problems in my marriage. She told my parents what had been going on and why my leaving was a good thing, perhaps the only thing I could do. When I saw my family at Thanksgiving, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, her way of reaching out. Normally I can never think of anything when people ask me that, but at that moment I knew. I told her I wanted a bear. She was surprised, but she told me in retrospect she was touched. I’d never really been the sort of child who was into dolls or animals. This was the first time she remembered me asking for either.

shaun-and-brysonAt Christmas I unwrapped the bear. I named him “Bryson” after the author Bill Bryson, whose books Paul had given me for my birthday that past July. It immediately felt like I’d had him all my life. From that night on, I slept with him every night and within a month found that I woke up whenever he fell out of the bed. When Paul came to visit the following May, I introduced them, and, in something of a test, asked him if it bothered him to sleep with me if I kept my bear.

Paul passed of course, so much so that from then on when he’d call me at bedtime he’d ask if Bryson was there too. When he wrote the glossary for the The Treehouse, he made an entry for Bryson so people would, if they liked, understand how important he was to us.

Bryson traveled with me pretty much always. This means he went to England and Scotland a large number of times. He went with me to Chris and sparkle’s wedding, to numerous Shadow Lane (among other) parties, to Oregon where I cared for and said goodbye to my nana and grandpa. I held him and passed him over when bookbabe and I talked about dying, when Paul and I broke up and when we got back together. Bryson was on the bed while I played with Alex and other dear friends. I wept on him, talked out loud to him and, well, just played with him — he was well balanced and with little effort could tumble and adopt an amazing number of yoga poses. Sometimes when Paul spanked me, he’d make sure I had Bryson somewhere within reach. Bryson posed with Shaun under our first Christmas tree, when Paul moved to the US. Bryson was always comforting, with just the right amount of soft squishy-ness.

In fact, I cried on Bryson his last night at the Marriott LAX as Paul and I talked about Alex and how much we’d miss him.

What Happened to Bryson?
The answer to that is we don’t know.

Here’s what we do know:

On Friday morning I woke up early, went for a swim and then came back to the room. After showering, I got back into bed for a bit, played with Bryson and mapped out the day using the Gallifrey program. Finally, I posed him on top of the pillows, next to the still-sleeping Paul, got up and went down to the Marriott LAX lobby to use my computer. Paul met me there and we went out to a late breakfast or early lunch at the local IHoP.

When we came back to our room it had been made up — bed made, bathroom cleaned, floors swept. Bryson, almost always placed in the center of the bed by housekeeping at any hotel we visit, was nowhere to be seen. At first I wasn’t too worried — sometimes in the past he’d been placed in chairs. Then I started searching under the bed, in drawers, in corners and finally in our luggage. Paul started looking too. I even looked in the room’s safe. Within a half an hour it was clear, barring secret panels, there was no way he was in our room. Somehow he must have been swept up by the cleaners.

I made my first call to Marriott housekeeping, asking them to check the laundry. Housekeeping took a description of Bryson but then stated that the sheets hadn’t been changed so there was no way a 16 inch tan bear would have been picked up with the linens. I got off the phone, re-searched the room, again with Paul, and then checked the sheets which sure looked and smelled like fresh sheets. I called again, got connected with lost and found and then re-connected with housekeeping. After a few minutes of discussion, I started getting more and mo
re upset and they decided they should send up security to search the room. Security wasn’t able to find Bryson in our room (I think they assumed we hadn’t searched) and promised the laundry would be checked and they’d get back to us.

At this point, it never occurred to me Bryson was gone for good.

I’m not sure how well Marriott searched housekeeping or the laundry (which is subcontracted off-site) but we’ve been pestering them every few days for the past month. Last weekend someone from housekeeping gave me contact information for someone from the laundry service. They did a detailed search of their lost and found, finding one bear from the weekend in question. Sadly though, when a photo was sent, the bear found was very much not Bryson.

Unable to stop myself, I’ve searched all my luggage over and over, as if he’ll somehow appear. But he hasn’t.

Bryson is gone and I can’t find him.

zille-and-tardisDespite all this searching, is Bryson sitting on a shelf somewhere waiting to be found? (It doesn’t seem likely at this point, but maybe.) Did he get thrown away by someone who just saw an old be and didn’t realize how important he is? (A terrible thought, and the one that bothers me most.) Did he get taken home and given to someone’s child who’ll love him at least as much as I did?  (The best thought of all as he deserves love and appreciation.) Or, being as how this was a Doctor Who convention after all, did he take off in Tara’s TARDIS? He was a bear full of adventure, always up for a trip. Had Bryson met the Doctor, perhaps he wouldn’t have been able to resist, especially if he thought, given that the TARDIS is a time-machine, that I’d never realize he’d gone, if he believed he’d be back before he was missed.

I understand that, I would have said yes too.

What now?
This morning I got a phone call from Marriott claims telling me that, though this in no way accepts that they have any responsibility for his loss, they are sending me (well, actually Paul since the room was in his name) a check for $20 as a gesture of goodwill. I bit my tongue, thanked them and restrained my real thoughts. They’re sending the check, though I suspect we won’t cash it, silly though that sounds. And for sure, I’ll never leave another animal on a hotel bed.

animals-of-the-bedMeanwhile, Doug, an expert on teddybears is helping me track information on the sort of GUND bear Bryson is. I’m not sure it would be right, but I think I’m going to try and get another like him. My mom is planning on searching again for just the right bear. And as this last rather bad picture (taken the week before we went to the LAX Marriott) shows, there are plenty of animals in on our bed — Milton (a manatee) came with us to San Francisco. Bryson was my first animal, but isn’t the only one by a long shot.

I’m not going to forget about Bryson. Nor will Paul, though I don’t think much more can be done with either the hotel or laundry.  If you find him out there, let us know. We’ll make sure to come get him and bring him home.

Meanwhile, fare thee well, beloved faithful old friend.  Come back if and when you can.

How many days ’til Gallifrey?

 A Man in a Blue Box

Getting together with Paul brought a lot of great things into my life (or, as in the case of gaming, back into my life).  One of those things was Doctor Who.

I did watch re-runs of Doctor Who on KCET when I was growing up.  Not consistently or in any order (though my memory is that most were Tom Baker episodes) but enough so that 6 years ago or so when Paul told me the series was being restarted I at least knew what show he meant and remembered that there was a space ship that looked like a blue box. I confess I was slightly less excited than he was, but remember being pleased he’d be able to download the show and watch episodes the same day (or nearly) the day they were broadcast in Britain.  For a number of reasons he could speak to better than me, TV, specifically British TV, is very important to Paul and one of the things he misses most living here in the US.

Suffice to say I loved the new series from the moment it aired. It captured me completely and I watched and re-watched each episode from “Rose” forward with great enthusiasm. I can’t ever remember feeling that way about anything on television.

O Doctor, My Doctor

ecclestonThis was, of course, 2005 —  Christopher Eccleston’s first and only series. I fell in love with his tall, dark, awkward northern-ness. For the first time after years of watching random episodes of Doctor Who, rather than thinking about “a” doctor or even “The” Doctor, I began to think of “My Doctor.” There are those who fault his performances as dark or his comedy as clumsy but though I hear them, I see none of it.  For him I was, for the first time probably in my life, a true fangirl.

I didn’t follow the news however and, though Paul tried to warn me, couldn’t really believe the lead actor in a show was going to leave after only 13 episodes (I say again, my experience was largely with US tv and not much of that).  How could such a thing be allowed to happen? When he regenerated in “Parting of the Ways,” my heart broke and I wept with disbelief.  So much so that I’ve only recently re-watched that final episode.

I watched the second series like a pouting child. This new Doctor was a usurper, could never be anything to me other than a new body into which my Doctor had somehow been forced. Paul tried to explain (and more than once) that part of what the show is about is the notion that everything changes.  He also said (more than once) that your first Doctor is always special.  But even so, even through Rose’s final heart-rending episode, I still didn’t fully take David Tennant on board. I would spend part of each viewing imagining how that episode could have, would have, been better with Eccleston in the role.

It was only in series three, “Family of Blood,” that I took to the 10th Doctor.  Some might say it was the Edwardian school setting (complete with school cane prop)  that won me over.  That’s probably partly true — it was made for me in that sense. But I think it also showed up Tennant’s acting.  More importantly, it was a version of the Doctor that I couldn’t imagine Eccleston (or anyone else for that matter) doing better. I enjoyed the rest of Tennant’s episodes and was sorry to see him go.

I’d become a Doctor Who fangirl.

Gallifrey 2009

In recognition of my new found fangirl status, last year Paul suggested we spend Valentine’s weekend at Gallifrey One (the Los Angeles Doctor Who convention, the oldest and largest in the United States).  I was nervous, but agreed with great excitement.  It was amazing good fun with amazing good people.  The high point for me was getting to see the first US performance of Toby Hadoke’s amazing “Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf” which we’d been unable to see the previous summer when at the Edinburgh Festival.  We really only attended Gallifrey one day — Saturday — but it was enough to convince me that this wasn’t an event I wanted to miss the following year.

The following year is almost here. GallifreyOne, number 21, starts February 26th.  Not very many days from now.

Squee!

Perving on the Good Doctor

The “Good Doctor” is, of course, Doctor Who.  If you don’t know who that is, you’re missing out and should get thee to a dvd rental place.  Or onto the SciFi channel.  (Or the BBC if you’re lucky enough to live in the UK.)  Currently in its third series of this incarnation (the series and the Doctor date back to the 1960s), Doctor Who is wonderful television, even in weeks it isn’t set at a boy’s boarding school in 1913.

But oh, this week it was.  And I’ve been having fantasies about it ever since Saturday night.

First off, I’m not alone in this spanking fantasy perving — the always adorable Haron over at The Spanking Writers has been blogging about this for days [and a quick look just now shows that Abel’s now gotten in on the act].  She posted a BBC picture of David Tennant (he’s the Doctor) in Edwardian schoolmaster garb holding a crook handled cane.

It’s a nice picture, full of moody shadows and I can see why she chose it, but I’ll opt for this one (thank you BBC for providing this and other lovely shots).

family-of-blood

I love seeing Mr. Tennant in his schoolish garb, but also seeing the desks and the backs of the boys heads.  With the perspective, I can easily imagine myself sitting in a back row, trying to concentrate on the history lesson, eyes drawn constantly to the cane / pointer held like a drawn sword by my teacher.

Have I imaged myself bent over one of those desks, struggling to be brave?  Of course.  But in my fantasies, Christopher Eccleston is still the Doctor.  What can I say?  He’ll always be my first.