“My” Doctor

Posted in English Living with tags , on June 8, 2013 by cmerritt42

Matt Smith is “my” Doctor.

I know, I know, he’s one of several men to play “the” Doctor, but he is “my” Doctor.  Like Tom Baker might be “your” Doctor, or David Tenant.

I can admit that I never got Doctor Who.  I knew about it, vaguely.  There was a police box (which never existed in the USA… kind of like the Ford Prefect it was something lost on me…) There was also lots of trippy music, and it was all shot so poorly.  British television really shoots poorly, in my opinion.  So, unless it was Monty Python I wasn’t interested.

Until one day, shortly after moving to the UK, I got sick.  That sort of sick where you can’t really sleep, but you don’t want to move, so you start looking for things to watch.  I had heard that there was this “new” Doctor.

Here was the thing, there was all sorts of news on this guy, this “Matt Smith.”  And how he, he was taking over from that guy who played Barty Crouch in the Harry Potter films.  People were really, truly upset about it.  “What nutters,” I thought.

I saw that several episodes of the show had already been on.  I thought, “What the heck, I’ll learn about Doctor Who.  See what all the fuss is about.”

Suddenly my husband was in the doorway checking on me.

Here’s the thing, as far as I could remember he had just left for work… and now… he was home.

In one day I was converted.  I was so converted I immediately demanded my husband watch the two-part series which was my first encounter with the Weeping Angels.

He then became so converted we got a hold of every episode of Doctor Who from relaunch forward. (I know, I know, I still haven’t experienced Tom Baker…)  We watched every one.

We were so entranced we managed to convince my best friend from college and his wife to dress up as Doctor Who and River Song for Halloween (I was Amy Pond and my husband was a Dalek).  We spent an entire Halloween finding and taking pictures in front of dilapidated police boxes. He now watches it, and this man doesn’t own a television.

I own a sonic screwdriver, a police box mug, a Doctor Who mug, and a board game.

And so when Matt Smith announced his departure I felt this pang, this grief, this sorrow.  “My” Doctor was leaving.  And when they announced (and then I think renounced) that the “new” Doctor was going to be revealed I thought, “They can’t.”

“They can’t just replace ‘my’ Doctor.  They can’t just roll out some new guy, who I won’t like by the way.  Because Matt is mine and you need to let me mourn here!  He technically hasn’t even regenerated yet!”

And then I realised, I’m kicking up a fuss.  I’m kicking up such a fuss that I’m writing a blog about it.  I’m one of “those” people.  I’m a nutter.

I know that Matt Smith is an actor, and that he can’t play one role forever and ever.  He’s gotta stretch and grow and be whoever Matt Smith is.  He’s a cool dude, I’ll definitely watch his movies and cheer him on.

But he’s “my” Doctor.  He’s a part of me getting this whole British thing.  So thanks, Matt.  And also, thanks for bringing back the bow tie and fez.  ‘Cause fezzes are cool.



How to Run the London Marathon

Posted in Fundraising, Marathon Training with tags on April 23, 2013 by cmerritt42


Look at me, am I not the picture of radiance?  That’s because:

  1. I met my fundraising target. 
  2. I finished the stupid thing.

It’s important to note what runners actually call a marathon when you are participating in it.  The “stupid thing” is the nicest words I’ve known that were used to describe it whilst on the course.  The other words I shall leave out, as they will most likely make your ears bleed.

So, how does one run the London Marathon?  Before I begin I need to reiterate that I am a slow poke.  I have a personal goal of one day finishing in 6 hours, so my guide is for people who are built for endurance over speed.  This is what I have learned:

Get in Early.

The start is, in the best of descriptions, FREAKING HUGE.  So it pays to be early rather than late.  They put up massive screens so you can take your mind of things.  Grab a patch of grass, sip your fluids, eat a nibble or two (now isn’t the time to pile it in), and chill out.  You may want to meander over to your pin in the start line up a bit early too.  And, if you can, play some chilled out music and then, gradually, pump it up for the start.

Then, take out your head phones.

The reason people run London, other than flat course and a few amazing sites, is the people.  When my knee gave way (don’t worry, it just got weak no serious injury to report) those people carried me through.  The chanting, the screaming, and then… oddly… those moments of silence which sort of break up the crazy in this sort of blissful way… that’s what carries you.

Give some high fives.

Try to, seriously.  Those little kids?  You may have just inspired a future marathon runner… heck… maybe even a marathon winner.  I know that when it hurts you are less likely to high five, so I tried super hard to say “Thank you” a lot.  And don’t fret about germs, you’re going to be filthy anyway.

Definitely run for charity.

The National Autistic Society was AMAZING.  There was a cheer point full of people yelling and taking photos, and then the after race party… oh man.  Leg and lower back massage!  Shower!  Food!  Oh, and when I arrived… me… the SLOW POKE… I had cheers and clapping and whistling.  On the course I came across a few of “my people” and it lifted me up.  I tried super hard to tell them how great they all were, because we were all in it together.

Keep going.

When my knee gave my dream of 6 hours* vanished, but I kept going.  To me, amongst all the others who were limping, stretching, crying… we kept going because of sheer will and determination.  When you finish a marathon you are a marathoner.  There isn’t anyone who will take that away from you, no matter what your time.*

Entries for 2014 open up April 29th – And if you want in, be there to put your name in the draw as soon as possible, it fills up FAST!

Good luck to everyone, I sincerely enjoyed this race.

* Finished in 6:22:09 – And according to my infograph there was 1,498 finishers behind me and I passed 65 runners!  WOO HOO!

** Small disclaimer: I have to admit, I’m the kind of person who would’ve crawled over the finish line and died.  Please don’t take that advice!  If you ever feel like you are super crazy ill, hurt, or otherwise seek medical attention at the nearest spot.

Double or Something… The Results!

Posted in Fundraising with tags , on April 3, 2013 by cmerritt42

I am pleased to announce that the PayPal Good Friday Campaign worked in my favor!

(insert crowd cheering)

That’s right, out of all the amazing and wonderful donations I managed to get three of my donations matched for a total of…

147.16 raised for NAS!

(insert patriotic music from country of choice)

That’s right, for hording spare change and badgering individuals like yourselves I am now only £230.00 away from my goal!

(more cheering, witty signage from crowd optional)

I honestly and truthfully want to thank everyone who has donated to my campaign.  Specifically all the anonymous people who drive me nuts with your not revealing who you actually are.  Naughty people with your mystery ways.

Hugs all around.  We’re going to do some awesome work for those living with autism!

Double or Something

Posted in Fundraising, Marathon Training with tags , on March 28, 2013 by cmerritt42

Right, so in about an hour (aka midnight GMT) this happens: PayPal Good Friday

In short, PayPal is going to match any donations that come in after midnight will be matched up until they reach their limit of £25,000.00.

So, here’s the deal:

  1. At midnight GMT/8:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Central/5:00 PM Pacific… go here: THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNDRAISING PAGE, EVER.
  2. Donate through PayPal.  (If you don’t have a PayPal account you can set one up during the process or beforehand.)
  3. On April 3rd, I’ll find out if any of the donations got a x2 upgrade.

Thank you very muchness.

The Marathon Team name is announced!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2013 by cmerritt42

The wonderful friend who got me into running lost her most awesome dog today.  He lived an incredible and long life, and I will truly miss his light in this world.  In honor of his passing, I have officially decided to call my “marathon team” Team Moxie.

Because you gotta have moxie to run a marathon.

Rest in peace super dog!


Help the team! Donate!

I had one of “those” runs…

Posted in Marathon Training, Running with tags , , , , on February 11, 2013 by cmerritt42

You know what I’m talking about… it was one of “those” runs.

The one where I end up in some weird argument with myself for the first 3 or 4 miles.  I’ve got things that I normally have put neatly away (gels, water, MP3) popping out, getting lost, getting tangled.

I got too hot.  I got too cold.  I took off my jacket and tied and retied and then tucked it into my water belt.

It rained that gloppy rain.  It was stupid cold.  It was supposed to snow, but it didn’t.  I had teenagers think it was funny to yell in my face as they passed.

I got lost even though I knew where I was going.  This was due to the fact that my gear was all over the place and I looked up and didn’t realise the street I was on.

The little hour-long meditation track I listen to to get me outside of myself, the repetitive chanting and peaceful drumming… the music which usually settles me into a comfortable run and doesn’t allow me to walk…

It was really pissing me off.

I couldn’t warm up, couldn’t calm down, and couldn’t keep my stuff on me.

When I bent over to pick up the water bottle for the sixth time I realised I couldn’t feel part of my hand.

When I ran through Christ Church Meadow with gusts of wind and really freezing rain pelting me in the face I felt my energy being zapped from me.

But when I had to stop running and tuck my hands underneath my armpits because I couldn’t feel them anymore I knew officially:


And when I sat in the bath, feeling like knives were stabbing me as I had gone 12.68 miles in freezing rain and was warming up…

I remember why you have to train for a marathon.

Because if I hadn’t, and if I hadn’t run in other equally crap conditions in the past I wouldn’t have gone 12.68 miles in freezing rain.

I wouldn’t have made it past the threshold of my home.

The reason I went so far, fought through the emotional and physical difficulties is to train myself to push through.  That, and all the people who have been so kind to support me in my quest for marathon #2.

So when you see that the weather is crap.

When people are being crap.

When your gear is acting like it is not only intelligent, but very angry.

Keep going.

One foot in front of the other, for as far as you can go.

You’re having one of “those” runs.

And you’ll only be stronger for it.

What I think about when I run.

Posted in Marathon Training, Running with tags , on February 8, 2013 by cmerritt42

Mile One:

Wow, I hurt.  I should stretch more.  Should I try to run the first full one?  No, run walk, then run the next one.  I’m happy I can run a mile or two comfortably now.  Did I bring enough gel?  I think so.  I did I download my podcasts?  I think I need at least three “Wait. Wait. Don’t Tell Me.” ones.  Maybe I should listen to my meditation music to start with because I need to zone out, this will be long.  Crap, I forgot to send that email out.  Did I pester enough people to donate to my marathon?  Did I tell Tom I needed more bananas?

Mile Three:

Finally, past all the crappy parts of stretching.  I’m in it now, then.  Yes, definitely needed to download three.  Mmm… brownie gel on the first break.  I’m clearing through the water.  Should I bring sports drink on the next go around?

Mile Six:

Wow, I can’t feel my legs anymore.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Mile Nine:

Waffles.  Like, those ones that are thick with the cinnamon and sugar baked in.

Mile Twelve:

la la la la la…. la…

Mile Fifteen:

(white noise)

Anything past mile fifteen:

(vastness of space)

And that, my friends, is why putting your name on the front of your jersey is a good thing, because when you finish a long run you may not remember who you are.


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