5 reasons why I heart Deep Space Nine

Hey guys, what are ya talking about? Huh? Oh, Tribbles? That's cool.

Right now my brother is halfway around the world serving his country.

Right now I am sitting comfortably in my house in sunny San Diego.

He is a better man than I, it’s true.

But there’s one thing we have in common right now.  We are both rewatching that great soap opera in space, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

DS9 is the red headed step-child of the Star Trek universe.  A little too dark, a little too stationary, a little too outside the norm compared to the other series.  It started off with Commander Sisko showing obvious disdain for Captain Picard, one of the most beloved characters in the entire franchise and it continued to take the road less traveled.  You either loved it or you hated it.  I remember when the The Next Generation cast spoke of Nemesis being their last movie there was talk that Sisko’s batch of oddballs would be skipped over in favor of the Starfleet-full Voyager crew.  Obviously neither was selected and JJ Abrams took the franchise in a completely different direction.  But the message was clear, you’ve had your fun now don’t expect anything more.

In my opinion DS9 was the most poetic of the series.  It wasn’t clean and bright.  Instead of just adventure it had intrigue.  Instead of a story of the week it had story arcs that spanned all seven years.  It marked the first killing of a major character since Tasha Yar back in the first season of TNG.

It brought imperfection to a previously perfect universe.

I loved it for that.

Here are 5 more reasons why I heart DS9:

1. The Women

Y’all know I love strong women and Star Trek is full of them.  In Star Trek women are equal to men.  Period.  It’s what our mama’s fought for.  But one strong woman stands in a class all her own and that’s Colonel Kira Nerys.  A battle-hardened freedom fighter, Kira struggled with her new role as part of the status quo, often picking battles with her superiors and searching for a new cause to believe in.  If she lost a fight it wasn’t for lack of trying. Fiercely stubborn, she could quickly change gears and be extremely kind.

And on the other end of the spectrum you have the Dabo girls.  Submissive, obedient, scantily clad but strong in their own way as they fought to find a place for themselves in the universe.  Leeta, for example, started off as a Dabo girl, formed a labor union, joined the resistance against the Dominion and ended up the wife of the Grand Nagus.

All in a days work Leeta

However, the honor of my favorite female Star Trek character ever goes to Jadzia Dax.  I’m pretty sure that we would be BFF’s if she was a real person.  I was way into RPGing in High School and College and I was almost always a Trill joined with the Dax symbiont….usually Tra’cia Dax.  I know, super original, right?  What can I say?  I have no excuse other than the fact that I love Jadzia so much.  A friend and I used to promise each other that we’d name our daughters Jadzia.  And while I don’t see that happening if and when I ever have a kid, I still totally love that name.  I named my pet rats Jadzia Maria Dax and Ezri Ann Dax.  Don’t ask me where the middle names came from; I totally pulled them out of my butt.  I even painstakingly drew Trill spots down each side of my face when I wore my TNG uniform once.  I cried the ugly cry when Jadzia died.  Not when the possessed Gul Dukat went all Pah-wraith on her, but when she and Worf said their goodbyes. Ugh.

Sucks to be me!

2. The Religion

The other four series dabbled in alien religions occasionally, namely Klingon rituals, but DS9 is the only series to have it be a major plot point.  Some would probably argue that this made Gene Roddenberry turn over in his grave.  Gene was famously agnostic and had a strict no-religion rule that was stretched occasionally but rarely broken. DS9 portrayed religion as a complicated and tenuous thing.  It wasn’t always good, it wasn’t always bad.  Politics got in the way.  But even Sisko accepted it in the end.  The powers that be got away with this because it was the Bajorans who were religious, not the Starfleet officers.  Deep Space Nine itself acted as a gateway to the celestial temple and was therefore the location of many heated debates.  Bajoran piety affected everyone on board, especially Quark. He not only lost a crapload of income during the Time of Cleansing, but got bitch slapped by a brand spankin’ new union when he tried to cut his employee’s wages.  Because religion is such a hot topic in the world today, what with wars being fought and elections being influenced by them, it’s easy to see why Star Trek would want to discuss religion.  Star Trek has always taken current events and explored them in such a way that it becomes clear when we’re getting it right and when we’re frakking it up.  It took guts for the producers of DS9 to make it such a large part of the show and for that I applaud them.

3. The War

I’ve never been in a war.  I don’t know what it’s like to fight for a cause or to fight merely for survival.  I really hope that I never have to.  I come from a military family and I hear the stories they are willing to share.  I have stood by proudly and watched as my Dad retired and my brother graduated from boot camp.  I’ve cried when they left and cried when they returned half a year later.  I’ve never been in a war myself but I can tell you that it is not easy to send someone you love to one.  Naturally, anything with a war in it has a bit of an impact on me.

War in space can seem remote when you’re watching it on TV or in a movie.  You watch as spaceships get destroyed but you don’t see much about the people inside them getting hurt.  Deep Space Nine took the battle to the ground.  We didn’t just see the starships battling it out with phasers and photon torpedoes, we saw the soldiers in the trenches.

Including my favorite Ferengi

“The Siege of AR-558” is one of the greatest hours of television ever produced.  I will freely admit that I cried like a baby the first time I saw it and every time I’ve seen it since.  It showed war for the messy, confusing, exhausting thing that it is. It didn’t sugar coat it and it didn’t try to make it seem glamorous.  Our loved ones fight for us so that we won’t have to think about these things but it’s something that people need to be reminded of every once in a while lest we forget to be grateful for their sacrifice.

4. The Money

In general Star Trek avoids the topic of money like the plague.  They acknowledge its existence only long enough to balk at it and proclaim that they have no use for it, that the betterment of mankind is payment enough for their service.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that.  The idea of a world without greed is especially appealing in these perilous economic times.  But there’s something very amusing about watching Quark scheme and plot for gold-pressed latinum.  Or watching Jadzia Dax throw it down as she spanks all the Ferengi guys at tongo.  Or having to pay to use the holodecks instead of just walking in, never knowing what dirty program had been played just a few minutes before.

As much as I would like for it to be true, I just can’t imagine a life without some kind of currency.  They never satisfactorily explain how normal people within the Federation purchase clothing or food without money.  I would argue that they simply replicate everything but I’ve seen too many shops and markets and bottles of Chateau Picard wine for that to be the case.  So how does that work?  Someone walks in and they just give him bottles of wine?  Why doesn’t everyone have huge swaths of land to do with as they please?  I know that World War III wiped out much of the population but it’s recovered enough that there’s not enough land on Earth for everyone to do whatever they want with it.  I seem to remember that the DS9 crew gets some kind of allowance so that they can partake in Quark’s Bar and the holodeck for recreation, etc. etc.  But if the Federation doesn’t have money, where are they getting the funds for the allowance?  I’ve heard the term “credits” thrown around a few times but then a producer will say that credits don’t exist in Star Trek.  I finally looked it up here but it only confirmed my suspicion that no one really knows.

At any rate, the presence of gold-pressed latinum on the station has made for some very amusing episodes and I’m glad that it’s there.

5. The End

I’m one of those people who likes things to be all wrapped up.  I don’t like loose ends.  Maybe it’s the list maker perfectionista in me.  As much as I love Star Trek and The Next Generation, they didn’t have proper conclusions imho.  Star Trek was cancelled before they could write one (although it was wrapped up nicely in the movies) and TNG’s left me unsatisfied (both on TV and in the movies).  DS9 has a real, honest to God ending.  Yes, it left on a cliff hanger with Sisko but it gave you the feeling that this was truly the end, the last time you were ever going to see your friends together in one place, that there would never be a moment like this again so you’d better savor it.  I wept like a baby during that final episode.

In short, I love DS9 for all the ways in which it ISN’T like Star Trek.  Which is kind of weird because I really REALLY love Star Trek.

Whatcha talking about? Huh? Huh? Oh, still Tribbles. Ok cool.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Quark, quoting Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, last spoken line of the series

7 Nerdy Things From Hot Nerd Girl’s Office

A while back (maybe September?) I posted on the Hot Nerd Girl facebook page that I was having a hard time figuring out how to organize all of my Star Trek stuff in my office.  The fans

a) thought it was a really great problem to have

and

b) demanded pictures. 

I promised I would take some once it was all done.  I’m still searching for a few of my smaller posters but it’s done for the most part.  Just in time for Christmas and all of the relatives coming to town 🙂

So here are the pictures I promised as well as some background on some of the items.  Sadly, about half of my collection is in storage in Idaho (had to put in somewhere when I went to college) so hopefully someday I can run up there and bring it all back down to SoCal.

This is my whole office area aka my little slice of heaven aka where all the magic happens.  I infiltrated the area above the TV as well.  Because I could.

Yes, I interrupted my game of God of War III for you.

1. The Posters

Regarding the posters: the one on the right you’ve probably seen me gushing about on the facebook page because my picture (and some of yours as well!) is part of the mosaic.  I finally got it framed and hung up which was no easy task since it had to hang over the giant monstrosity that is the entertainment center.  The Spock poster I’ve had since middle school and I literally took it with me everywhere I moved. That’s 13 moves and 13 walls it has hung on.  He’s been one of the few constant companions I’ve had and I find his presence very comforting. 

No matter what I did I couldn't prevent the reflections on the glass. Sorry.

2. The lifesize Worf

I got my lifesize cardboard cut out of Worf from my step-uncle.  He used to keep it in the coat closet. When visitors would come over and hang up their coats they’d get startled by Worf and usually scream at which point my step-uncle would laugh and laugh and laugh.  It was my kind of prank.  When he retired and moved he passed Worf down to me.

My own personal Chief of Security

3. The Autographs

I’ve got quite a few autographs, including several in a Star Trek: The Next Generation book.  Of these four I got three of them in person: Nichelle Nichols, Michael Dorn, and Marina Sirtis.  The Majel Barrett one I got while she was alive but was no longer appearing at conventions.  I heart her so much that I bought it anyways.  I wish I had met her.  I did meet her son, Eugene “Rod” Rodenberry Jr. at a convention in 2002.  He was a nice guy. 

Super awesomesauce

I came upon my World Premier of Voyager cast autographs via my cousins best friend.  She worked on the series and knew I was a big fan so she gave me her Voyager cast photo some years back (did I mention that she’s now one of my fave peeps on the planet?)  It’s kind of hidden behind my Tribbles because I have so many damn stuffed animals. 

If you don’t know their name, just call them “Robert” and chances are you’ll be right

4. Data and the Holograms

My Data bust was a High School graduation present.  In the past he sat on my bookshelf with all of my Star Trek books…of which there are way more than I care to admit….but he now has a place of honor on top of the entertainment center.  I have an insane love for this bust and I’m not really sure why.  I guess I was seduced by how ridiculously awesome it is.  The picture on the left is a hologram (see below) and the picture on the right is of me, my brother and my nephew at the Star Trek Exhibition in Riverside (California, not Iowa).

 

Spinerfems ftw!

For my birthday a few years ago my friend Hayden took me to Star Trek: The Tour down in Long Beach and bought me a hologram picture of us being “beamed.”  I wish I had access to this technology because I would take SO MANY holographic pictures.

Hey Scotty? How about throwing in a couple of Romulan Ales when we reach the surface? Cool?

5. The Mousepad

This may seem like just a mousepad BUT it actually holds a lot of significance for me.  I got it when I went away to college.  Why is that important?  Well, because I went to school in San Francisco because it’s the future location of Starfleet Academy and I wanted to be as close to Starfleet Academy as possible. And yes, I am completely serious. In addition to my university diploma, I also have a Starfleet Academy diploma and a Kobayashi Maru certificate (signed by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy no less).  This is a prime example of why I consider myself a Nerd/Geek/Dork combo.

Yes, I'm THAT big of a nerd.

6. The Ships

My Dad is a total perfectionist and I adore him for it even though it meant I couldn’t leave my homework out as a kid.  When he does something, he does it perfectly.  When we were kids he bought 3 Star Trek models and painted them.  The two smaller ones have been lost for years but the largest one, the Enterprise NCC-1701-D is alive and kicking.

Thank God for invisible thread

 I have another NCC-1701-D that is 2 feet long but it’s one of the items up in storage.

My Dad also gave me my Star Trek mobile.  It’s a little faded after all these years but it glows in the dark and I love it.

If I ever have kids this is what they have to look forward to

7. The Scripts

I am very lucky in that I’ve been surrounded by amazing people my whole life. I also refuse to put up with a-holes so maybe that has something to do with it too.  One of the areas in which I’ve been very blessed is my parental units.  Through divorce and random circumstances I’ve ended up with six parents.  One of them is Dean Minnerly aka “Popi.” (Literally) one of the most kick ass dudes I’ve ever known.  He works in the technical side of the entertainment industry and, as a side job, was a contributing writer on The Next Generation for the first two seasons.  One of his biggest contributions?  Helping to kill off Tasha Yar.

What’s that?  You want proof?  Ok.  Go to Netflix and turn on “Skin of Evil” (you know, the episode with the giant tar monster that kills her).  At the very beginning of the episode Tasha and Worf are talking about Yar’s upcoming martial arts competion.  Worf asks who she is competing against.  He dismisses her first competitor, saying that she will defeat him easily.  Then she mentions that she’ll be fighting Lt. Minnerly next and Worf gets worried.  That’s right folks, Dean (who is a martial artist in real life) wrote himself into the episode.

Epic win.

Sadly, he did all of this just before he came into my life so I never got to participate in the TNG awesomeness, but he did give me an extremely rare cast jacket, several scripts, and some HI-larious stories.

Ok, time to go back in the safe.

Aaaaaaand on that note, I think I’ll stop there.  There’s more I could show you but that would make for a VERY long post.  Don’t worry all you non-Trekkies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Thor, Transformers, etc. etc. are also represented here albeit in a much smaller capacity. 

What can I say?  I’m a good little Trekkie 🙂