Surprised by memories

by Radio Somewhere

Lately I’ve been busy working on job applications and preparing for interviews. Like homework when you’re in school, this can eat up all the time you have — because you never feel you’re really finished.

Anyway, I was seeing light at the end of the tunnel for this morning. Not sure I’ve got a job yet — but at least I have nothing else to prepare for right now. So while I was the library yesterday evening to pick up a book I’d reserved, I browsed the DVDs with the idea of doing something radical — just coming home from work, pouring a glass of wine, and watching a movie, documentary, or something.

I got the Ken Burns documentary about the Dust Bowl to indulge my dry academic geography/history side. Then, as I was looking through the movies etc., I spotted a volume of Doctor Who I have not seen. It’s the Matt Smith Doctor — and I’ve seen nothing of him whatsoever! Nothing against him. It’s just that his regeneration occurred around the time an old laptop died in early 2010, leaving me with nothing to play DVDs on. (I didn’t have a TV either.) At the time, I was just discovering the big, big world of podcasts, and so the void left in the Doctor’s place was quickly filled.

Anyway, shortly after my interview this morning, I got an email from the hiring manager asking for a list of references (which I hope is a good sign.) I took a quick look through it before emailing — and the name of the person on the very bottom triggered some memories that have been amusing me all day.

She was a co-worker at an early retail job. And for a while, we opened the store together on Saturday morning. She is a sci-fi nut — and also a bit of a TV junkie in general. And she had just discovered Doctor Who, which she watched every Friday night on the SciFi Channel.

Now I was born in England in 1962 and literally grew up with Doctor Who. Later on in the US, my husband and I watched whatever Doctor Who was being served up on the local PBS channel. But by this time, I hadn’t seen it for more than a decade, although I was aware that it had been resurrected by BBC Wales — so I was a bit blasé about it.

However, once my coworker realized how much I knew of classic Doctor Who, she started badgering me with questions, in an attempt to fill in missing pieces of important history — especially when Sarah Jane Smith and K9 showed up! I enjoyed telling her that Sarah Jane had driven a MG Midget identical to mine, except with the steering wheel on the other side of the car, of course! This became a regular Saturday morning pastime as we went through the opening routine.

Then she put Season 1 on a VHS tape for me (she records everything) and got to watch it on an old combo TV-VCR I had. And I was no longer so blasé. Wow. It was good! My now ex-husband sent me the DVD set of that season for my birthday that summer, and then I got to enjoy the full-length episodes with good video and sound. When I told my coworker, she almost died with excitement, because the copies at the library had a long, long hold list. Of course, I lent it to her:)

I changed jobs shortly afterwards, but we have kept in touch, kind of — mainly via Twitter DMs. She is now in a much better job and owns her own condo. I am hoping to be a better job one day — then perhaps I’ll buy a condo. In the meantime, I find myself feeling a little nostalgic for those days working together at the store.

From what I’ve read online, the story arcs of Matt Smith’s Doctor are mind-boggling to comprehend: has he met the wife yet, or hasn’t he? And I am going to be jumping it on Series 6, Part 2 — which is the equivalent of a 1980s American jumping in halfway through Tom Baker with Leela. But people managed, as I recall….

If I get confused, I’ll just badger my friend by tweeting a stream of questions at her:)

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