June 5, 2014

Special Feature Intermew with Wendy Archer: a Fossicking Trekker


Yay! After a whole month of dogging (sorry Thomas) Wendy Archer to wrap up her Special Feature Intermew... It is with great pleasure to tell you that I was able to pounce on her, and get this wonderpurr intermew finished.

It was well worth the wait.

For those of you who are clueless about who Wendy Archer is... She is also known as Thomas @PuppyNumber7 's 'Nan.' She lives in Australia, has an embarrassing crush on William Shatner, and has this fascination with rocks that Thomas tells me runs deep throughout her family history.

Please welcome my favorite fossicking trekker, Wendy Archer!

A-paws! A-paws!

Herman: You are one of the graphic designers for the Anipal Wedding Planners, along with Dana Moody @DanaPixie and my mom, @KimberleyKoz. You recently completed work on Marie and Ryker’s wedding. Please talk about what it takes to put an Anipal wedding together.

Wendy: Yes, it is an awesome honour to be part of the AWP. We have a great team working behind the scenes on every aspect of the wedding. And like a “real” wedding, twitter weddings take a lot of planning and work. Picture-making is the part that takes the longest to complete. Finding the perfect outfits can take hours of searching on the web, keeping in mind that not only do the clothes have to be the right colour and style, but also the models/bodies must be in the correct stance for the occasion. We prefer short-haired models too, so their hair doesn’t mess up the collar or shoulders of the clothes.

To give you an idea of the time involved, I recently inserted 29 pals into a vehicle. It took me 4 hours just to collect a pic of the pal, cut them out and insert them into the vehicle. There was no searching for clothing or backgrounds; the only search was in each pals’ picture album to find a nice picture of them, and that process took the longest to complete. But the whole job was a very simple request and the work was straightforward, and still it took 4 hours.

Anyway, once we have found and cut out the models/clothing, we can cut and fit the anipal head to it. When the entire wedding party including attendants, greeters, ushers and the officiant have been outfitted, we can put them into the backgrounds. Finding the right chapel and reception backgrounds can be a challenge too. We usually have to cut and paste to get them just right, layering the background, wedding party and guests as we build the pictures. This is very time consuming and requires imagination and organisation to make sure you create all the pictures a modern bride would want to show off in her wedding album.

While all that picture-making is going on, other parts of the team are creating the invitations, organising the food and music and writing the timeline. All of these aspects take time to complete properly – from designing an imaginative invitation, to liaising with the bride about her taste in music and entrée, to making sure everyone looks stunning.

Once all the pictures are made, we upload them to the web and insert them into the timeline, ready for the Big Day. I must say here too that while the work can be difficult and take up a whole lot of your time, it is extremely satisfying and we all get a kick out of it and for the most part enjoy it – we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t. It’s a labour of love.

How is your routine life impacted when you work on an Anipal wedding?

I haven’t had a lot of time over the past year or so but I do especially love making the wedding pictures and writing the timelines. All the creativity behind the scenes does take many hours spent at the computer though. When I’m working on a wedding, sometimes my household has to tick around me, especially if a deadline is looming. Fortunately for the dogs my human family are happy to take up the slack. And fortunately for us humans, my husband is the main cook so no matter how busy I am, we don’t starve.

The creator of Star Trek, Gene Rodenberry, referred to fans as trekkies. Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock, prefers fans to be known as "trekkers". Do you fit into either category?

I describe myself as a “trekker” because the term sounds more grown-up and serious to me than “trekkies.” Trekkers have often been the subject of fun and ridicule (thinking of Noel Shempsky). But most of us are pretty normal-ish. Of course that’s just my opinion, and I wouldn’t like to be quoted as going against our Leader (Gene Rodenberry) so perhaps I should just say “no comment.”

Do you own a copy of The Star Trek Encyclopaedia, considered The Star Trek “bible” by fully fledged Trek fans?

I must ‘fess up that I do not have a copy of the Encyclopaedia in my Star Trek collection. I think some of my attraction to Star Trek is simply lust for William Shatner, as I haven’t actually got a lot of fan paraphernalia. To prove that I’m not a complete trekker fraud though, I do have some required reading including The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and the Klingon Dictionary. But one of my favourite books is Star Trek: A History in Pictures (because I can oogle the pictures of James T Kirk).

Do you have a Trek themed username? Like … Klingonscienceofficer77777?

I haven’t thought of a Trek twitter name but surely Thomas would have to be the male version of Seven? @Seven_Of_Eight (For those who aren’t aware, Thomas was the seventh born in a litter of 8 pups.) Either that or @MajorTom.

Have you ever peppered your conversations with Trek-talk key phrases like..."Beam me up Scotty!" "Live long and prosper." "That is illogical."

I’m not quite that far gone (yet) but I can say “Activate the transport beam” in Klingon. I can’t wait for the day I can actually use it and be understood.

Please put the below characters in order of your preference: James T. Kirk, T. J. Hooker, Denny Crane, or the Priceline Negotiator.

As they are all William Shatner, they are equally scrumptious. *licks lips* But if I could choose one to take home with me, it would have to be Captain Kirk. Read my answer to the following question for the reasons why.

Do you have a copy of The Transformed Man?

No, I don’t own a copy and I don’t think I particularly want to. I think that’s because it’s all about lust with me – the attraction is Bill’s body, not his voice. It’s purely physical. *laughs* Is that shocking? Is this intermew supposed to be G-rated? *covers Thomas’ ears*

Did you read Up Till Now: The Autobiography?

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t, but your question has prompted me to include it in my list of books to read this year. Bill has had a varied career and he has led an interesting life. I should think his autobiography would be well worth the read, especially if there are lots of pictures of him.

What is your opinion of William Shatner’s performance of the Elton John song "Rocket Man" during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards?

The first time I heard this, I thought what rubbish it was and wondered why he would make such a fool of himself. I was embarrassed for him. And the more I listened to it, the worse it sounded – but after a while, I realised that its awfulness was its attraction. Bill took “Rocket Man” and he reworked it, made it unmistakably his own. I now believe that his rendition of is one of his most powerful performances and is a masterpiece. But that doesn’t mean I want to hear it again. Ever.

In regard to fossicking… Is it the thrill of the hunt, like a clearance sale at Macy’s?

There is as much excitement is in the anticipation of what I might find as there is in what I do find. It’s great to think that you are fossicking in a likely spot and can’t be too sure what you might find – the tiniest speck of a specimen or the find of the century.

When you’re sitting in a stream waiting for gems and gold to float by…do you think deep thoughts? Maybe about Captain James T. Kirk? Hmmm?

Boy, do I wish gems and gold would float by! But nope, no daydreaming or deep thoughts when I’m fossicking. I’m totally focussed on what I’m doing except for the occasional thought about how hot (Australia) or how cold (New Zealand) it is.

Did your Dad and Grandpa find anything amazing while fossicking?

My Dad used to say that he found my Mum while he was fossicking. He was beachcombing when they met. For me, I was lucky enough to find an old style diamond ring when I was a kid, buried in a sand dune, which was a real thrill. Dad sold it for me and I got $100, an even bigger thrill for me! Nowadays I can say that the best find for me so far has been a piece of rock that I found here in Australia. What makes it so amazing to me is that the crystals inside the rock have formed into the rough shape of Australia. How cool is that?!

In the first part of your May 5th Intermew, your quote regarding Chloe Rhiannon Archer touched me deeply. You said, “I consider myself lucky to have had a small taste of a different life - not a better life, but a different life.” I’ve read that we are all born for a reason in life. Even those who come in for a brief flicker before they return to heaven, have a purpose. Perhaps they are meant to inspire change in the person affected by their birth. Or inspire them for a greater purpose. Or teach them something. Clearly by naming Thomas’ daughter Chloe, your angel is never far from your thoughts.

Only a tremendous upheaval could have sent me running away from the coast and onto country acreage. Had we not lost Chloe, we would not have been living here at the right time when Sammy turned up, pregnant with Thomas and the other pups. Chloe’s loss was the push we needed to head inland. And I firmly believe that when the time came, Chloe led Sammy up our gravel road, past our neighbours’ gates to us.

Chloe definitely had purpose in her short life, and I spend every day grateful for the lessons she taught me and the wonderful changes in my life that she brought about. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the person I am or have the life I have now.

As for Tom’s littlest one, she arrived at a time when she was so desperately needed. Another life with a purpose. And when her mother Lorraine asked if she could name her Chloe, I was proud and tremendously touched. Little Chloe is truly heaven-sent. And like Tom says, we are lucky dogs.

Herman: Wendy, thank you from my bottom of my heart for agreeing to do this intermew, and fitting it into your busy schedule. Pals, please take a moment to thank Thomas's Nan by leaving a comment. As always I appreciate your support, and wish you all a sincerely Wonderpurr day!

Herman!!!

Don't Mess Wif Me!