Category: Shore Leave

Shore Leave #05: Kind of a Big Dill

Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday.


Through the good graces of a father with an extra ticket, I went to my first Texas Rangers game in years a few Fridays ago. I grew up in a baseball family, but distanced myself from extreme fandom and emotional investment after the 2011 World Series ended in disaster. (“Nelson Cruz” is still a dirty word in my house.) Since they’re pretty much already out of playoff contention this year, I saved my excitement for Globe Life Park’s newest testament to deep-fried American excess, the Dilly Dog.

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Shore Leave #04: Burning Love

Image result for hot sauce nationThere aren’t many roads to my heart faster than spicy food. I’ve been a spice fiend since I was a teenager, and I managed to turn my nephew into one while he was still in diapers. So when I saw Hot Sauce Nation: America’s Burning Obsession reviewed on my local library’s website, I knew I’d get a thrill from it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Shore Leave #03: Choke on My Rage

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For five months in 2016, I had an office job, and though I felt little of the kind of simmering negativity or existential dread one often sees in pop culture portrayals toward it while I was in it, in retrospect I can plainly see it was one of the worst jobs I ever had. I didn’t fully comprehend what I was doing or accomplishing, no one had time to break it down for me in a way that made sense to me, and I never figured out how to navigate the murky waters of office politics. Getting let go a week after Christmas turned out to be a huge relief, even as it meant job hunting again. I worked at Target for eight years prior to the office gig, and I would gladly return to retail at the drop of a hat before I tried to figure out office dynamics ever again.

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Shore Leave #02: Ladies’ Night

Image result for s.j. clarksonI’m aware this is supposed to be the space where I talk about non-Trek culture, but I don’t know where or when else it will be relevant to revel in my delight that a woman, S.J. Clarkson, will direct the fourth Kelvin-timeline Trek film. Television and film Trek‘s track record of hiring female directors is, not to put too fine a point on it, abysmal: only six women have directed 35 episodes across all six live-action series, and Clarkson is the first female Trek film director period. But in the novelverse, as we know, it’s a different story. So far, the overwhelming majority of the books I’ve covered on this site have been written by women, and of the handful written by men, only one wasn’t hot garbage. As a matter of fact, thanks to doing Deep Space Spines, the majority of the books I’ve read in the last six months were written by women, and the influence is affecting my non-Trek reading as well. We all know women can do just fine with big-budget tentpole genre films, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Clarkson does with the franchise with her turn in the chair. (Now to actually get around to watching Beyond…)

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Shore Leave #01: Switch-Sitting

Related imageI’ve wanted a Switch since they launched, and while I haven’t yet reached a place to where I can justify getting one for myself, I do get to take care of someone else’s for almost two months. My brother is moving, and since it’s going to be a protracted transition, he let me borrow it. Now I finally get to catch up on some of the great stuff everyone was hyped about six months to a year ago.

Things I’ve realized after playing for one day:

1) Hunting moons in Super Mario Odyssey is the craziest time sink I’ve let myself indulge in in a long time. I’d think to myself, Okay, that’s good for now, just another minute and I’ll turn it off and go do some other stuff, and then the next time I looked at the clock, thirty minutes had gone by. This happened four times. As of this writing, I have 51 moons, and I hope to have roughly half the moons in the game by the next Shore Leave.

2) I still don’t like Sonic Mania. I’m sorry, I don’t. There aren’t enough original zones, there are still too many cheap shots, I still feel like I’m missing 90 percent of any given level, and I HATE the Blue Sphere stages. I wasn’t good at them in 1994 and I’m no better at them now. It’s flippin’ gorgeous though, and the Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine boss battle is great.

I predict my brother’s Switch will have Stardew Valley and Golf Story on it by the time he gets it back.


When I’m in the mood to watch an anime, I’m typically very fussy about my choice, and it takes me a long time to make the leap on one even when I’m confident I want to watch it. That said, I’m tentatively checking out My Hero Academia. I don’t have much to say about it yet, as I’ve only seen the first episode, but I’ll get further into my feelings about it if I watch any more.

Image result for nypd blueAlso, I’m not sure how I’m going to fit this in between the aforementioned anime and of course brushing up on all the Star Treks, but NYPD Blue was recently added to Hulu. (NYPD Blulu? NYPD Hublue?) My interest in NYPD Blue began when I was a teenager for what I confess are prurient reasons—if you didn’t have cable or an internet connection in the late 90s, it was a reliable place to see an unscrambled butt—but I found myself frequently getting sucked into the non-naked bits too, and until now there haven’t been many easy ways to watch it (unless you want to hunt down the Audience channel on DirecTV). Time to see if it still holds up.


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