Birthday Presents to Myself

For my birthday I decided to give myself some presents.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I was very little and the show first aired. I’ve been a science-fiction and fantasy fan since I was born. One of my strong connections to life and this world is through science-fiction and fantasy. I’ll write more about that connection in a future post.

My first present was to buy the book The Star Trek Concordance. I used to have a copy of this book years ago but had sold it to a used store during one of my desperately poor periods when I would routinely sell off my books. Normally I wouldn’t sell off a reference book like that, but it had been a Christmas present years ago by one of my sexual offenders and I didn’t want that connection to be with that book. Before my birthday I bought it used through amazon for $6. I had started watching the original series on netflix once again. I’ve missed it a  lot. I’m also pinning a lot of Star Trek photos onto my Pinterest account.

For my birthday I also gave myself the gift of commitment to find some inexpensive exercise equipment. I decided to go at least once a week to one or both of the closest used stores looking for something to buy that I can exercise with. I’ve seen some really good deals for older models for under $20. It is hard to find someone to help me transport items I may buy, but I have to try. I am proud to report that I have already found one machine. It is a manual treadmill. That means that basically the action of walking makes the belt move. It looks something like this. Pretty good deal. I use it every day. I am continuing to look for older model stationary bike and other exercise equipment.

I also took my bike in for a tune-up and necessary fixes. I deserve to have a bike that works properly so that I can travel safer and easier and more comfortably. This was something that I have put off for a long time. I am so glad that my bike rides will be so much smoother and more enjoyable. I’ve been averaging two to six miles or more on days that I am well enough to ride my bike. About a week ago I rode about fourteen miles, my top daily mileage ever.

I am also getting my Gyn exam and a mammogram done this month. My Gyn exam will be this Thursday, June 14th. My mammogram the following Tuesday, June 19th. Again, happy birthday to me.

I used to be a member of two museums and go to them. I loved that. I would be in a lot of pain to walk, but I still wanted to do it. Then I injured my hip while preparing to move three years ago.  I couldn’t go for visits any more. The often bemoaned how the city I lived in when I was in the warmer state did not have a museum. Since moving back to my home state over two years agoI haven’t been to a museum. So I decided to give myself the birthday presents of memberships to the two museums again.

So for my birthday, I bought the membership to the Minneapolis Institute of Art this month. I love this museum. I’ve been going there since a school field trip as a child. For the membership I get a free ticket each time I visit for exhibitions. Which is particularly wonderful since there is a new exhibition opening this month, Rembrandt in America. I’m really looking forward to it. There are also some of my favorite art pieces that I have got to see each time I go. I am so looking forward to that, I’ve missed them.

For my birthday, next month I am going to get a membership to The Walker Art Center. The Walker has more modern art. It takes a lot more work to appreciate and understand modern art. I remember going there once in my twenties and totally being clueless about a lot of the art installations. I just didn’t get it, not at all. I took a short class three years ago through the downtown library by a professor of a great art college nearby and it really opened up my mind and my eyes. So I love going to the Walker now. I particularly loved going to the Picasso and Frida Kahlo exhibits. And there are several rooms in the permanent collection that I love communing with.

I also have plans to go to some book club meetings. One meeting in August is on the first book in the Game of Thrones series. I am reading that book right now. I love it and I love the series on HBO as well. There is a downtown library book club and I keep hoping they pick a book soon that I want to read so I can go to one of their meetings. Guess I have to keep watching their posted choices.

Another gift that I want to give to myself is a wider social groups for interactions. There are several other groups that I want to join; one a science-fiction club, one a gluten intolerance group, and the last a large social group that gets together to play board games. I want to make my life happier and fuller and with more support around some of my favorite interests. Good gifts that keep on giving.

12 thoughts on “Birthday Presents to Myself

  1. Wow, go you! Your ability to love and care for yourself is reflected in the birthday gifts you have given yourself. I also like the wide-range of interests the gifts reflected.

    And I, of course, had to chime in about Star Trek. The book is my favorite present you gave to yourself. Netflix has all of Star Trek on instant-watch right now. TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. I’ve been watching them for months. I’ve worked my way up to DS9.

    Although you only briefly referenced it, I totally get the strong interest in sci-fi/fantasy. I would love to hear your thoughts on that when you blog it.

    Be safe and Happy Birthday!



    • Hi Nel,

      Thanks. I’d love to talk with you more about Star Trek. I love it. What are your favorite episodes, characters, and moments. I have so many.

      I had plans on watching them all the way through, but I started watching Enterprise and start according to stardates instead of airdates, and I couldn’t get through more than ten episodes, I can’t stand the character of the security guy, he shows such little courage and is a whiny crybaby instead. At least that is what we think. So I got stalled and then decided to start back on The Original Series. That is going much better.

      Trying to articulate about science fiction is tough, so much so that I did not write about it when doing my series on connectedness. But I did want to and kept planning on it. I thought that this post was a good time to bring it up.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



  2. We used to listen to Star Trek episodes on the radio before we had a TV! Talk about old! But somehow Star Trek never goes out of style. Hubby and I still love it after more than 40 years.
    So glad to see you are being so good to yourselves. Keep up the love!

    Live long and prosper,


    • Hello dear Granny,

      Well when someone tells me they are Star Trek fans I always think, well that explains that. I really think the nicest people love Star Trek!

      Good and healing thoughts to you too.



  3. You had a very good birthday. You’re taking excellent care of yourself.

    I love Star Trek too. I found a couple of the original shows on video at Goodwill. There is something about that show that I have always found engaging and soothing at the same time

    This is off the subject. You probably already know Stanley Tucci was in The Hunger Games doing his usually excellent job. I loved his false teeth and blue hair.


    • Hi Hope,

      Oh my god, I freaking love Stanley Tucci! I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet and haven’t seen the movie. I don’t go to movie theaters much, that is another thing that I am trying to do more often. Unfortunately the seats cause me a lot of back pain, so it is something I have not done much of recently.

      Engaging and soothing at the same time, that is how I feel too.

      I think there is something magical about being able to watch Star Trek whenever I want to. But of course I was a fan long before vcrs, so it does seem like the best thing to be able to see them and to pick out which ones to watch whenever I want. I love netflix now that they have all of the Star Treks. I am trying to get through season one through three in order, as I have never done that. Yikes. Usually I break down and watch some of my all-time favorites in a row. I think I might be able to do it this time. I am in the middle of season one right now.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



      • Tucci is in the next movie in the series Catching Fire too. He is the talk show host for the Hunger Games in Panem. His performance matches well with the book. When I first saw him I couldn’t believe he was in the movie. I didn’t know ahead of time. Woody Harrelson is very good too. If there aren’t any Oscar nominations those actors will be ripped off.

        It must be so cool to watch Star Trek all the way through. My favorite episode in the originals is when Spock falls in love. In the Next Generation is when a probe takes over Picard’s mind and he lives a life on a planet that no longer exists. I’m not sure about Deep Space and Enterprise. I think Avery Brooks is beautiful. Have you ever seen Scott Bakula in a pair of shorts from the back? Giggle. I didn’t look at Voyager much and I haven’t seen the most recent movie because the actress who played Uhura didn’t look like the original, but I’ve seen everything else. My favorites are The Wrath of Khan and Generations. I would like Nemesis but I’m angry that my Data was killed and there was never another movie made so they could bring my Data back alive. I think I’ll stop here because I could talk about Star Trek all day.


      • Hi Hope,

        I first fell in love with Kirk, in the episode where he falls in love again with his old love, on the paradise planet. Then I fell in love with Doctor McCoy and then Spock. I always loved the other characters. They are all so special. The fact that all these different kinds of people could work together, enjoy life together, and be friends together was magical to me, from where I came from and what family I grew up in.

        With the Next Generation I didn’t watch the first two seasons. I was just too upset they weren’t making more movies of the original series. But when I started watching, especially in season three and four, I think is the very best episodes ever. At the time they were also re-playing a lot of the first two seasons in the evenings and so I was catching up with them all. First I loved Data, I cannot imagine the universe without him, so we imagine that he downloaded himself into the ship and that he is there just waiting for them all to get him out. They are doing something like that right now on Eureka on syfy channel, only with a person caught in a computer system.

        Next I fell in love with Worf, seasons three and four were great with Klingon episodes. Then I fell in love with the Captain. Geordi is our least favorite, because he yells and that is upsetting to us. But he is Data’s best friend so there must be something good about him, but I don’t think they wrote the character as good as they could have. We love that episode where the Captain is living that other life, it was so cool. I loved the reason that the people did it too. It seemed to touch him deeply and change parts of his life. We liked that.

        Avery Brooks, oh my god, I love him. I loved him for years when he was in the Spencer tv show. Did you ever see that? His character, Hawk, used to scare me so bad, what a great acting job. What a great actor and what a great man. I absolutely loved what he did in the series in his healing from his wife’s death and the loss to himself and his son. And what a good example he was as a father in that character.

        With the reboot movie, and Uhura, it is possible that the changes in the timeline for 25 years of disruption effected her physically as well as emotionally and psychologically and I think that was the point the movie was trying to make, not that they couldn’t have found someone who was shorter. Though finding someone as talented as Nichelle Nichols is another matter. Let me just say that I loved this movie. I have seen identical twins separated at birth on tv, one who is shorter and chubby and another who is taller by about five inches and thin, explained due to lifestyle, food, exercise, etc. Not that I think of Nichelle Nichols as short and chubby, hardly.

        Nothing can replace them making another movie with TNG and DS9, but we don’t get what we want in that respect, which is very hard to cope with and accept. I absolutely loved all the other replacement actors in the parts and there are many little flourishes that prove the scriptwriters knew the original series characters down to a t. It was love for me. I saw it like seven times in the first month or so of release. I usually ask for animated films for Christmas presents from my brothers, but I made a point of asking for Star Trek that Christmas I was living in the warmer state.

        I saw some clips of Woody Harrelson. What a great actor he has turned out to be. I am amazed. I never would have thought it from some of his earliest works. Well Stanley Tucci, my god, I was watching a bit of something last night on tv and I would totally throw myself at that man, I love him so much. My current favorite work of his is Julie and Julia. Now I really want to go see Hunger Games, if only there was a theater it was playing that was nearby me.



  4. Hawk and Spenser were favorites of mine. I would watch the show ignoring the plot and story and salivate at the two of them. I miss Robert Urich. I have some old episodes of Soap. He was so handsome.

    I didn’t like that Uhura was replaced with a lighter skinned actor. I think Zoe Saldana is good actor, popular, a box office draw and the public is more receptive to lighter women,so I understand why she was cast. I would have liked to seen a brown woman play her part. The original Uhura is so pretty and classy. I haven’t seen Reboot and probably never will because I’m offended by their choice of Saldana.

    I like the Generations movie because of the awesome crash of the Enterprise. I like to watch it over and over again. I forgot that I love the The Voyage Home. Spock was so funny in the long robe and trying to cuss. I also like the Undiscovered Country when Bones and Kirk are imprisoned on that frozen asteroid. I guess I’m a bit of a Trekkie. I would love to dress up like a Klingon and go to a convention.

    I like Scotty and Sulu’s deep manly voice. Scotty seemed to always get the job done. I have a crush on Captain Picard too. I loved it when he shaved his head and he’s so strong and masculine, but not conceited.

    Patrick Stewart is speaking out against Domestic Violence. Not too many men do. He says he watched his father beat his mother and it was devastating.

    I never was attracted to Geordi. I still think of Levar Burton in Roots when he was in chains and when he was whipped when he wouldn’t take his slave name Toby. Those images are branded into my brain.

    Also it irritated me that Geordi, Scotty, McCoy, Sulu, etc rarely had a woman. Uhura didn’t have anyone either. Did you have to be a celibate to travel in space? In real life that ship would be full of lovers. Just think about it: Cold space and lonely nights. Oh my. 🙂 Maybe we were to assume they did have relationships.

    I’m going to the library tomorrow and get some Star Trek Dvds. You made me want see some of them too.


    • Hi Hope,

      Robert Urich, I love him, hot and a great sense of humor. I recall seeing him several times on Oprah when he was going through his cancer struggles, so sad that he is no longer here.

      I understand what you are saying about her being lighter skinned. Personally that tends to go over my head, and I understand how and why it would be an issue. For me I saw how it seemed like they had expanded Uhura’s role and making her instrumental in one part of the film and I appreciated that quality to the film. I really appreciated that, as well as giving her a love interest. I also loved how Kirk was hound dogging after her as well, it was funny, and she was well capable of putting him in his place.

      Oh, okay I just got to say that anytime the Enterprise gets hit, in any of the movies, we start crying hysterically. It is so upsetting. I didn’t realize it, but we love Enterprise so much. The crash was exceptionally well done in that movie.

      Voyage Home and Undiscovered Country are my favorite movies of the six original cast.

      Did I ever mention that I met James Doohan, Scotty, at a convention after Undiscovered Country was released and got his autograph and he gave me a hug? It’s true! God I fell in love in like five seconds. While getting another autograph I told George Takei that Undiscovered Country was my favorite of all the Star Treks because Sulu was finally a Captain. He smiled and said, “Me too and for the same reason.” God what a smile. I will never forget those interactions. I first met Walter Koenig when he did the first Star Trek movie and wrote a paperback book on his experiences on the movie. He really is dynamite. Back then I was too shy to ask for a hug. I saw everyone at conventions from the original series, except DeForrest Kelly and still am so sad about that. I fear that I might have latched onto him and never wanted to let go.

      Yes I’ve seen the commercial he made on domestic violence and I think I used it in a survivor quote. I have two photos of him that I pinned to my Pinterest account, one is of him with a sign that says stop violence against women and the other one is of him wearing a t-shirt that says, this is what a feminist looks like.

      Yeah they totally got the relationship stuff wrong on the original series. Statistics show that people meet their partner more often at work rather than any other method. And that is with people who can freely come and go anywhere, not on a starship.

      When I think of Roots I think of when the young man was out running, such a beautiful image. It was the most powerful image for me as a teenager when I first saw the mini-series. Though I have never been able to watch the show again, it was just too tragic for me to watch again.

      I have seen Levar Burton on talk shows and it pains me to admit, I really just don’t like him, not one little bit; he has these odd ways of acting and doing things. I find him incredibly self-obsessed, ego-based. Perhaps that is a redundant thing to say when talking about an actor, but I find he really irritates me.

      I have a bunch of Star Trek episodes on vhs. Let me know if you would like them, as I have been wanting to give them to another Star Trek fan. I can mail them.



  5. Just a few more things about Star Trek. I can’t bear to watch that episode when Picard is captured by the Borg. At the same time I love First Contact especially when Data is captured by that weird Borg chick who kept saying she was the Borg. I’m still not sure what she was talking about. Picard showed that he was human when he wanted to get back at the Borg for what they did to him. He’s usually so calm and competent. That movie made me like him even more. I’m done.


    • Hi Hope,

      Yeah me neither. The two episode on the Borg are incredibly one, a real work of art. My god, just thinking of the music in those episodes gives me chills.

      Showing other facets to Picard were always cause for me to celebrate. This was a very deep and complex human being.



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