The Japanese have a word, “natsukashii”, for which there is no English equivalent although I suppose “nostalgia” would come close.  But whereas “nostalgia” suggests a feeling of longing, a certain wistfulness, maybe even a sense of loss that is closer to the fatalistic tone of the Portugese “saudade”, the term “natsukashii” possesses an almost evanescent quality suggestive of fond memories and feelings recaptured, a sort of magical journey back to a pleasant instant in one’s past, triggered by a sight, sound, smell, or flavor.  So, while “nostalgia” is probably the easiest way for Westerners to grasp the concept, I prefer “this takes me back” as a truer definition of the term.

Whether it’s a certain food, a t.v. show, maybe even a particular scent, you’ve all experienced this sense of natsukashii.  I have – as recently as the other day when I was driving home with the window down and had those fond remembrances triggered by, of all things, the smell of skunk.

Oh, yeah. This takes me back...

Yes, believe it or not, the smell of skunk is one of my natsukashii triggers.  It takes me back to my childhood growing up in the Montreal suburbs, where skunks were plentiful and their wafting aroma was as much a part of our family evening patio sit-downs as the chirrup of crickets and bzzzzAP of the bug zapper. And that got me to thinking about the otherwise unremarkable elements of every day life that serve as personal and particular catalysts, awakening my sense of natsukashii.

Hate the stuff, but it does bring back happy memories.

In addition to skunk, it’s the smell of mint – which is somewhat strange given that it’s an herb I don’t particularly enjoy and generally tend to avoid, but the scent takes me back to my childhood days spent running my fingers through the mint my parents used to grow in their backyard.

Needless to say I picked up all six seasons on dvd. Anyone up for a marathon?

60’s t.v. is a huge trigger, especially The Flintstones, a show my sister and I would watch every day when we’d come home for lunch.  We’d head downstairs and eat smoked meat sandwhiches or, on those special occasions, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Bubble Up, delighting in Fred and Barney’s antics while, upstairs, dad played cribbage with his boss, the both of them trading bizarre, unfathomable phrases throughout like “Fifteen four and the rest won’t score” or “Fifteen two and the rest won’t do” as if communicating in code.  Get Smart, Batman, and Hogan’s Heroes are also on the list along with the psychedelic Spiderman animated (well, sort of) series.  On the movie front, it’s the original Star Wars which I must have seen a good two dozen times in the first year of its release.  Also, the entire run of Planet of the Apes movies, which explains why I have so much hate for Tim Burton’s re-imagined version.  Well, that and the fact it was a piece of crap.

Oh, yeah, that's the stuff!

When it comes to flavors, one takes me back more than any other: the rich, hazelnutty taste of nutella.  Hey, I’m Italian, and if you grew up Italian, chances are you ate a lot nutella sandwiches.  And, if you were like me, you also slathered it on powdered doughnuts and ate it with vanilla ice cream.  Or, occasionally, straight out of the jar.

Man, just the sight of this cover makes me want to go back and re-read my collection.

Comic books!  Which no doubt explains my life-long love of the medium.  And even though I do appreciate new titles like Scalped and DMZ, certain titles remain near and dear to my heart: 70’s Avengers and Spiderman, and 60’s Batman.

Planet of the Apes action figures (Not dolls, mind you.  There’s a big difference.)!

These are just the few that come readily to mind, but I’m sure there are countless others I’ve forgotten – and that I’ll no doubt be reminded of when I least expect it.

And you?  What makes you natsukashii?

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday boy Major D. Davis.

82 thoughts on “July 2, 2010: Natsukashii!

  1. Ah smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal, also reminds me of my childhood in DDO Montreal 😀

  2. Great topic but I’m so busy working that I can only give one natsukashii.. lamb roast.

    As a child my mother REFUSED to have any lamb product in the house.. she hated it and so we weren’t allowed to have any – up until the age of 18 I never knew what it tasted like. (trust me when I moved out I gorged myself on its luscious flesh).

    The neighbours at the back of us always cooked it on a Sunday.. I could smell the aroma of lamb roast, the much used lard it cooked in.. and would visit often through the gap in our fence in the hope that I’d just get a tiiiiny morsel.. but they were so poor they never offered.

    I loved their sense of family with seven kids and always sitting around the table eating their traditional meals. I was really envious because I never felt that with my dysfunctional mess of a family..

    So yeah, roast lamb – is my most powerful natsukashii…

  3. Living in Australia for a time, we were able to buy generic “Chocolate Hazelnut Spread” for $1.99 at Woolworths. Nutella is just too d@mn expensive in the US. My kids lived on this stuff. It wasn’t just a pleasant memory. It was a way of life.

  4. Hey Joe – I may have experienced Natsukashii with the breakup with my first girlfriend when I was a teenager. She loved string cheese, and after we broke up, cheese would remind of her. I would eat pizza to remember her, which did no favors to my waistline. Does this count? 🙂

  5. When they redid the cafeteria at the University Center at my school I immediately noticed a very specific smell.

    I was about three or four and my mother made the mistake of thinking generic spaghetti-o’s would be as good as the real deal. After one bite I went into the kitchen and stuck the bowl in the lower oven which we really only used during the holidays. A few weeks later, the bowl was fairly ripened, and the smell at opening…

    I guess that’s not quite the same, but my association with what passed for that smell garunteed I did not eat there very often again.

  6. Freshly baked brownies!! My dad was stationed in Australia when I was 8 and they didn’t have boxed brownie mix… so my mom had to make them from scratch and were rare. The same goes with Pop-Tarts (we could put in a limited request for items from the States.). They don’t have the Vanilla Cream anymore… that with a little butter on top and I’m in heaven (no, I’m not as big as a barn, but if I ate everything my heart desired…)

    I still can barely show restraint around a pan of brownies.

    Also – Nutella is awesome. I can’t keep it in the house or I’ll just open it up and eat it.

    On a non-food level, a good thunderstorm, the kind with tornadoes and the sky turning black (or green).

  7. Thanks Joe for the dedication!

    Wow. Nutella.. soooo good yet so bad for you. 🙂 Love that stuff!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  8. Good Lord, can’t help myself…
    Watching reruns of SGA on Syfy brings me that kind of feeling!
    As does spaghetti sauce simmering on the oven. 🙂

  9. Hey Joe. Not sure I’ve ever had that happen. Sure, certain smells and I’ll remember where I was when I’ve smelled them before, but I get no emotion from it. Some smells I just love, strange chemical smells that don’t bring back any memories just feelings. Ah well, I’m strange.


  10. My mother made all my clothes up until I was about 25. She was the greatest seamstress. Just the other day, I caught myself mesmerized and staring at someone’s dress. The fabric she had on reminded me of something my mom had made me long ago. It is usually from the 70’s and I try to remember the exact dress and style. This has been happening a lot lately.

    Also, the smell of my grandma’s basement. Every so often, something will have that same old, dark, quiet, damp smell and it will immediately take me back to playing in her basement, exploring every nook and cranny. All the cool things we found down there…like a pair of old crutches. I remember using them out in her front yard, wanting her neighbors to see me and say “that poor child, she has a broken leg”.

    Now I have tears in my eyes…you’ve made me cry.

  11. Super bubble bubble gum. Brings back some of my earliest memories. Once a week I’d get a quarter for an allowance. A short bike ride to the nearby p.x. annex, and the quarter would convert into a comic book (Dell Tarzan, Korak, Turok son of Stone, or one of the Marvel titles), an orange sherbert push up, and a piece of super bubble. With a penny change. I’d sit outside and eat the sherbert while reading the comic, then enjoy the gum on the ride home.
    Otherwise I’m usually caught offguard by scents and the memories they evoke. It’s astonishing how strong such memories can be.
    Thanks for sharing your natsukashii. I’m glad you brought up the topic, and am eager to see what some of the other regulars come up with.

    @anyone going to Shore Leave. So, how about a roll call? Perhaps a get-together one evening? Or we invade one of the panels and turn it to Stargate talk?

  12. Okay, no lie – but right *now* sitting in front of me, I have this little 18g sample packet of NUTELLA that I got last week at Costco, that I *just* took out of my fridge to snack on!!

    And thankfully, *NO* skunk smell – tonight! Actually, it’s been pretty good lately with the lack of such, so, I shouldn’t say anything to jinx things up!

  13. The smell of Honeysuckle and cut grass.

    The two go together because I grew up in a small town in a house on 2-acres were I was the “slave-labor, push-mower, grass-cutter” for most of my teen years.

    Now whenever I happen to run across cut grass and sweet flower scents, I think of fighting that cantankerous pull-start mower.

    And Happy Birthday Major D. Davis! 🙂

  14. Oh, this takes me back. 😉

    Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” never fails to conjure up an image in my head of us cresting a hill as we drove the Crowsnest Highway and seeing the morning sunlight blanketting the distant, desolate flanks of the Rocky Mountains.

    This was during our very first road trip when we went to Banff, in 1997. On the way there and back, we only had about a dozen or so Glen Campbell songs to listen to over and over again, but since I was a kid with a short attention span, I didn’t care. In fact, every time I listen to one of these songs now, I get a “Banff vibe”, but “Wichita Lineman” is definitely more significant than the others, especially near the end when the trumpets(?) become more prominent. Also, his “Rhinestone Cowboy” reminds me of my mom and my Uncle teaching me the lyrics to that song in my dimly-lit bedroom back when I first arrived in Canada and had to learn English.

    Every time we go on trips we’d have a soundtrack, so a lot of my songs give me a sense of “natsukashii” when I listen to them again. John Denver’s “Calypso” reminds me of Mt. Rainier; Ray Price’s “Please Release Me” reminds me of us driving through Bakersfield, CA in the dark of night; John Denver’s “For Baby” reminds me of driving through the pouring rain at one of the Redwoods parks in California; Merle Haggard’s “Mamma Tried” reminds me of driving Highway 99 up north towards Prince George; Man Wen Jun’s “Dong Ni” (a Chinese song) reminds me of driving through a patch of highway in Prince George that was being fixed; the track “Lugia’s Song” from the Pokemon 2000 movie soundtrack reminds me of driving through the magnificent desolation of northern Nevada, where the undulating landscape pretty much matched the tempo of the track; The Carpenter’s “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Bless the Beast and the Children” reminds me of driving through central Vancouver Island and stopping to eat lunch at a Rest Area on the highway; Alan Jackson’s “Sissy’s Song” reminds me of driving through the lower Olympic penninsula when our CD player broke and we had to rely on the radio, and Uncle specifically wanted us to wait until this song played on a local country music station because he loved it; Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” reminds me of driving through the green plains of Wyoming in our motorhome when my mom wanted me to sing along to this song because I sounded like Elton John, apparently; the track “Round Up” from the I, Robot movie soundtrack reminds me of a moment when the revealing of a mountain vista as we were driving the Crowsnest highway almost exactly 12 years after the Banff trip coincided with the crecendo of the track – it was a perfect combination of sight and sound; and ABBA’s “The Winner Takes it All” reminds me of driving the northern Oregon Coast Highway at dusk, where the orange sunlight stained the grassy landscape. It’s kinda like your colognes, Joe, except it’s auditory instead of olfactory. 😀

    But I do have some olfactory-induced natsukashii’s as well. Every time I go to the T&T Supermarket or smell a particular type of incense (or is it mothballs? I never found out what that smell was), I am reminded of my childhood in China. The furnature in my Grandparents’ house all smell liked that. Just yesterday, I caught a whiff of it in a Chinese restaurant. It was pretty cool.

    Hearing the theme song to the old Doraemon cartoons reminds me of me and my mom and dad eating rice in front of the TV at our old house in China, needing to cring our necks up to see the TV because it placed above a cupboard. I still own most of my original Doraemon comics, and some of them has milldew on them due to my Grandpa hiding them on the balcony because he thought I was too young for them at the time, and now the smell of the mildew reminds me of my Grandparents house.

    Hearing “Wiseman” by James Blunt reminds me of the last trip to China because that was the only song I remember listening to on the plane trip there. Basically, I had no other forms of entertainment, so I plugged into the plane’s “radio station” (or whatever) and they just played 10 or so songs, over and over again, and Wiseman was the only one I liked. I ended up listening to Wiseman every half-hour as the radio looped through the 10 songs for 11 hours straight.

    And finally, hearing Alexi Murdoch’s “Breathe” and “All My Days”; Flogging Molly’s “The Worst Day Since Yesterday”; The Jam’s “English Rose”; and Julian Plenti’s “Only If You Run” all reminds me of the good times I had watching SGU. 😉

  15. It might seem strange, but the vague chemical smell (and the weird reflected light) from swimming pools always bring me back to my youth. My dad used to take my sister and me with him on business trips (mostly around California) when we were kids. While dad was out at meetings, my sister and I would spend entire afternoons (and sometimes evenings) playing around and in the hotel pools, having elevator races, eating junk food from the vending machines (or, if we had extra cash, ordering room service), and generally enjoying kid heaven. Even walking by my apartment building’s pool just now, I felt suddenly like I was 10 years old again. Ahhhhhh.
    – KB

  16. The smell of my face washing stuff, it takes me right back to Miami Beach and my mother when I was little. The smell of new clothes (much shopping), the ocean, even the wet bathing suits hanging in the shower. I can almost taste the sweet rolls and blintzes from Wolfie’s, the burgers and club sandwiches from Jordan Marsh and the Ice Princess from Burdine’s (a mountain of merengue and ice cream for the “skirt” of the princess and a little plastic princess on top). The wonderful thing is that I get to do it every day and “be” with my mom who has been gone for 30 years. 🙂

  17. Wonderful topic and reading your and others comments flooding my consciousness with memories.
    PG15 comments immediately – brought the fragrance or aroma of an oil used on Chinese swords to keep them from rusting and for some reason I loved and still do love that smell. And, even though I have nothing close to that near me, I can smell it.

    For a long while, I refused to listen to oldies and goodies music because some of the tunes brought back painful memories. Then a very good and wise friend said, I was also cheating myself of very good memories which do in fact outnumber the painful ones.

    Memories, Memories…..Thanks, Joe!

  18. Skunk??? Ick! :p Got a lotta skunks where I live. I never see ’em but I can smell ’em. Everytime…I drive home from work at night…I’m always smellin’ a skunk. I like gag. Ick.

    What makes me natsukashii? When I hear 80s music on the radio. Or…when I watch an old TV show from the 80s. That was my childhood. And…I loved my childhood. I love to reminisce back to my childhood days. My mom was always with me as a child. And…I guess that’s how I like to remember her. My mom passed away 7 years ago and I still miss her so. My mommy took very good care me as a child.

  19. I think I live in a constant state of natsukashii. Through out the year, the different seasons and days are always bringing up memories and feelings.

    Every September, late in the month, when the summer heat finally starts to break, the days turn absolutely beautiful. There is always a day where there is a deep blue sky and the temperature is perfect. And I remember a very young co-worker, who one Sunday evening decided to take her own life. Every year that beautiful September day rolls around and I think of her and wonder why would anyone want to kill themselves on such a beautiful day.

    I guess some natsukashii can be haunting.

  20. Here’s my true “natsukashii”: Stangl pottery from my home region in New Jersey. The”Farm Life” design was our everyday dinnerware. My sis has the set now, but I have several other pieces, including two teapots. I’ve found the odd piece in antiques stores from NJ to Texas; even browsed for Stangl last week in an Irish antiques mall.

  21. For me, a lot of it is music. I have a “70’s” song playlist in my Itunes that have songs that bring me back to those days, including songs from The Chi-Lites, the Stylistics, Al Green, The Bay City Rollers, The Jackson 5, etc. Then I have the songs from the 80’s that bring me back to fond memories of my teenage years. The smell of salt water reminds me of our visitation with my dad when he would take us down to Asbury Park or Point Pleasant in NJ. Tasting Dannon Fruit on the Bottom yogurt is associated with pleasant memories of trips with my dad, especially the cherry and coffee flavors. Every time I go visit my sister in NJ, I have to be certain to treat myself to things I cannot get in Texas — a decent Italian ice, a real cannoli, raspberry jelly chocolates. I always have to go to the boardwalk (this time at Seaside Heights) as my sister lives in Toms River. Also soft serve ice cream. All you have down here is that Dairy Queen crap. Having crab brings me back to the times we would visit my uncle’s house down the street after they went out crabbing and all the family would gather around and have a feast. As far as what I was watching, definitely The Flintstones was one of them. For me Lost In Space was another big epic event. I recently purchased the DVDs, however, and it has lost its magic for me. The Ed Sullivan Show. Star Trek. The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man. But the TV shows that bring me the warm fuzzies were the Christmas classics like Rudolph and The Year Without A Santa Clause. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, they stopped showing them on TV and I was able to find a company who had them on VHS tape (before they became popular again). I paid quite the price to get these and I would watch them whenever I was feeling down and lonely. Star Wars was epic and it was the first time I was in love with two men at the same time — Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. I just could not choose. Then there was Tiger Beat and Leif Garrett, Ralph Macchio, Shawn Cassidy. The Brady Bunch, the Partridge Family. Love American Style. The Saturday morning classics of H.R. Puf-in-Stuf, and Lidsville and Land of the Lost. And for all the great memories those brings, there are equally strong things that take me back to a scary place — fire, rats, dark places with scary dogs. I eventually got over my fear of dogs and pigeons and boats. I remember vividly being on a boat that was going around the Statue of Liberty when I was age 5 or younger. There were stormy seas and when we were pulling back into port the boat almost capsized; it was listing heavily away from the dock. We were told to run to the other side of the boat and I remember in the rush of people that I couldn’t find my mother. Powerful memories associated with all of my senses. When my father wanted to take us out on a boat, when I was 8 or 9, I had an absolute panic attack. I was screaming. I don’t think he understood the fear came from the prior experience and he picked me up kicking and screaming and put me in the boat where I stayed in the middle of the boat and did not move the entire time, frightened to death. Finally conquered the fear when my foster parents told me I would be living on a boat the entire summer which they docked at Davis Park on Fire Island. Did not have much of a choice (I was 14 by then).

  22. At this time of year, a late-afternoon sun (with some lazy, puffy white clouds) shimmering on either ocean or lake water. Beach-salty and sunscreen scents, or the smell of warm wood on freshwater boat docks. The sound of surf-reverb guitar, Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer,” or any of quantity-unknown awesome/cool songs that have stayed with me over the years. Being pleasantly worn out from swimming, walking at water’s edge, etc., all day, and anticipating an alfresco dinner with friends or just on my own. “Beach hair” and slightly rumpled, summery clothes. Comfy sandals. The fragrance of ripe strawberries.

    Love reading your and everyone else’s natsukashii recollections. Excellent topic; thanks. . .

  23. Ack! Joe! you stole my childhood! I watched The Flintstones at lunch as well, but we usually had soup and sandwiches or Kraft Dinner. I loved that crap when I was a kid. We used to also watch Get Smart, Spiderman and Hogan’s Heroes. But there was also Hercules and Rocket Robin Hood. What did I see in those shows? Any time I smell Kraft Dinner, all of that comes back.

    Nat King Cole’s “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” brings back the sweltering summers I experienced when I lived in Longueil on the South Shore of Montreal. My dad would be sitting in the back yard BBQ’ing and drinking his favorite beer “Black Label” from Molson. I don’t think it’s even available anymore. But the song was so appropriate at the time with all that heat and humidity. The Montreal Expos always seemed to be playing baseball on the radio. It was just awesome. Who’d a thought I’d actually miss that.

    We had a pile of 12 cent comic books as well. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Archie, and my favorite, Weird Tales. I was thinking Sci-Fi before Sci-Fi was cool!

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Have a great weekend, everybody. And Happy Fourth of July to all you Americans.


  24. OMG I can sure relate to a couple of yours.

    We had a bug zapper on the farm, so yes, that bzzt also takes me back to warm sultry summer evenings (we had at LEAST three every year), and then when a particularly large and juicy insect would hit the zapper, and it would go BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT BZZZ SAA-NAAAP. We would laugh and go “Holy Crap how big was THAT sucker!! It must have been a MONSTER!!”

    We had a playhouse that my Dad built and one summer, my sister found a batch of baby skunks under it. So she had some pet skunks for awhile, until they started to ‘dribble’.

    My Dad and maternal Grandma would play a mean game of good natured cribbage. Joe, you forgot the line “YOU GOT SKUNKED Bwahh ha ha ha ha!!!” They’re both gone now…..and no one plays cribbage anymore.

    Father’s Day…… I was born on Father’s Day and I was the baby of the family and spoiled. He always called me his “Little Blessing” and I would follow him around like a little puppy. Father’s Day is always difficult…..

    Flintstones at noon – TOTALLY and Spiderman on Saturday Mornings….and we had records, yes, vinyl records. Puffy D, or you may know the story as Puff the Magic Dragon, and also Thumbelina. When I was telling Otros Ojos my Hockey Night in Canada story, it had brought back memories of when I was around four, I would want to listen to my records but, as a four year old I would get overruled, and viola the start of my hockey education.

    Just looking at a pint of strawberries, in the fruit section of Safeway, is a big inner dialogue, as to whether I will pick some up or not. People must think I’m nuts, standing there, staring at the strawberries. But growing up on the farm we would put up a lot of preserves, canned items and do a lot of freezing etc. We actually had a fair amount of land and we had the ‘front’ garden and the ‘back’ garden. The front garden was big, but the back garden was about an acre, so when it was time to hull the strawberries, it would literally take us ALL day. Mom would pick and us three kids would hull and hull and hulllllllll. Another day would be snapping the ends off of the green beans or podding peas, ohhh man, and peas were the WORST. (and it’s not like you would only harvest the fruit/veg once a year, it seemed like summer was a never ending cycle of ‘prep’ work). Once I left the farm, to this day, I have never podded another single solitary pea. I will eat sugar peas, but you eat the pod.

    Do NOT even ask me about yard work. It brings PTSD memories of edging the lawn and flower gardens. Dad would mow the three lawns with a riding mower. There was no fancy weed whackers back then, think pair of scissors, a reallllly long front fence, plus all of the sidewalks and trees. Enough said!!!! And the scissors weren’t even SHARP. I have, however, since then figured out that it was a make-work project to keep us out of Mom’s hair for half a day. *nightmares*

    Someone called SusieKew left a comment a couple of days ago. I laughed as soon as I saw her name. My mom has called every one of her cars SuzieQ. Yes, we name our vehicles. It brings back memories of cold winter mornings. We’ve scraped the car, and Mom is trying to start it, it’s going rrrrr rrrrr rrrr, it’s juuuuuust about catching but it won’t turn over, and Mom’s giving SuzieQ the call, “come on Suzie, come on girl”, and she’s pumping the gas pedal, then she get would get mad, and yell at the car “SUZIEQQQQQQQQ”, and then because she (the car) would know what was good for her, she would start and we would be on our merry way…

    A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of comfort food I had as a child and I recalled something that I haven’t had in a LONG time. I actually looked for it at the store. Does anyone remember eating Roger’s Golden Syrup? Ohhhh we would eat it on toast, first you would slather on the crunchy peanut butter and then you would drizzle a couple of large spoonfuls of syrup on top of that. Back when we used to buy it, it used to come in a can, like a paint tin, you would have to pry the lid off, it would eventually get soooo sticky that it was hard getting the lid off and on, you would literally have to pry it off with a butter knife and then pound it back on with the butt of the knife when you were done with it and ready to put it away. You would get so sticky just making the snack, and it would drip all over you. I actually found it at Safeway, and now it comes in a plastic squeeze bottle. *sigh* Now how much fun can that be?

    I could go on and on. This has been a lot of fun, sad, but fun……

    Have a good one!!

  25. Anne McCaffrey’s novels are always good for “natsukashii”. I always go back in time while reading them, transported to where and when I first read them, in addition to entering the scenario she created.

    Just a week ago today, I spent a lovely hour at Anne’s Irish home, chatting over tea and cookies. If you’d told me 40 years ago I’d ever have that privilege…!

  26. When I was visiting family in Montreal about 5 years ago. Me and my uncle were driving back to his place and he ran right over a skunk at about 80km. Everytime I go into Vancouver and smell a skunk, it always brings back that memory of leaving the van parked out of the garage with all the doors and windows open.

    I missed your World Cup post a couple days back. It’s too bad for Carl that Germany won’t make it past Argentina. But I have to agree that soccer has the worst moral integrity of any sport. Don’t believe me? Check it out, viva italia;

  27. For the holidays a few years back I got all three seasons of Land of the Lost – Marshall, Will & Holly in all their glory. The roar of grumpy at the beginning of every episode takes me back to wintry Saturday mornings, sitting in the living room of our 160 year old farmhouse in rural Illinois … criss cross applesauce on the braided blue rug with my little sister, our backs dangerously close to the old space heater in an effort to keep warm.

    This memory is almost as beautiful as the taste of mulberries – which will always remind me of long walks down the dirt road from our house to a rickety old bridge over a winding creek – we would stop at the mulberry bush and eat as many as we could – all summer long our feet would be stained purple from stepping on mulberries.

    Boy – it seems like I had an idyllic childhood, huh?

    Now, question. I’ve been thinking about the production process for an episode. I know you write and produce. As a writer/producer, do you storyboard your episodes? I’ve recently been producing videos for work, and the storyboarding process (at least for me) seems more difficult than the writing or editing. If you do storyboard – do you agree?

  28. Natsukashii…
    Really good Nintendo games… from the NES, Super NES, N64, and the Game Cube. Especially video game music. It’ll take me back directly to whatever specific time that game correlates to. (I know… nerdy/geeky huh?)

    Though lots of other things too… Like Big Stick Popsicles. They’d sell them once a week at my grade school.

    There are lots of other things though that trigger nostalgia though, mostly about friends, a specific girl who I miss a lot, family, et cetera.

    As an aside my grandma used to have a planter box of mint leaves outside of her backyard kitchen window. Occasionally I’d go back there and chew a leaf just because the idea of picking a leaf off of a plant and chewing on it was interesting to me.

  29. Hi Joe,

    I love the salty, seaweedy smell of the sea, particularly Puget Sound – when I was a girl my family would visit Whidbey Is. and I would spend all day on the beach. Similarly, the sound of waves rolling onto the beach and shhusshhhing over the sand as it retreats back into the next incoming wave lulls me into vacant smiling dreaminess. You know that fresh dirt smell you get during the first Spring rain? That takes me back to childhood games with all the neighborhood kids, back when if it was light out, so were we and rain just gave us a reason to make tree forts for awhile. *sigh*

    Thanks for the memories, Joe! 🙂

    Smiles, Julie

  30. I have been going through a lot of nostalgia type moments lately. The things that come to mind that take me back are:

    Atari games (new PS3 and xbox games are great, but nothing compared to the joy of playing Asteroids, Yar’s Revenge or Tank Pong)
    Commodore 64
    GI JOE action figures
    Transformers action figures
    Prince Valiant comic strips
    ROM Spaceknight comic books
    watching Star Wars on VHS.

  31. Mmmm, Nutella. I eat that straight from the jar more often than I actually had my first taste of Nutella in French class. Didn’t have it again until I lived in England two years ago. There, I ate it all the time. And now it’s a regular in my apartment cupboards back here in America, too.

    Things that take me back? Cinnamon and fresh cut lawns, seeing mothers arguing or shopping (or arguing while shopping) with their daughters, movies I watched as a kid (like you and the Flintstones), walking into a stage theatre (since I grew up in one, practically), walking into an ice arena (the other most common place you could find me until I was 18 or so), the smell of a lake (the ones that actually smell like fish and dirt), the smell of burgers on a grill in a neighborhood, incense, the smell of cedar wood and mothballs, The X-Files…I’m sure I have hundreds more. But those are definitely ones more natsukashii than nostalgia.

    Great post, Joe!

  32. Oh, Joe…I have many of these!

    For one, and like you…skunk. I think I may have mentioned it here before. Growing up, we had skunks galore around our house, and I came to find the aroma rather appealing. It is certainly a smell that takes me right back to those days.

    The smell of cigarettes extinguished in stale beer reminds me of the summer days when my visiting uncles and cousins joined my dad out on the front, playing – of all things – cribbage. 🙂 I would hear their laughter as I drifted off to sleep, then smell the cigarettes and beer in the morning when I came down for breakfast. Just brings back fond memories of happier, carefree days.

    Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain will always take me back to my early twenties and the Oceanic Bar in Wildwood, where I spent many a summer night listening to a local band and this song, while the sounds from the boardwalk nearby drifted in through the door between sets. “You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain”…oh, don’t I know it! I would say that 19 was the best year of my life – ever – and if I could only go back, I would…but I can’t. I can’t go back to my ‘Sugar Mountain’, and the freedom and innocence of my youth. I REALLY hated growing up. I get very melancholy and nostalgic whenever I hear that song, but I can’t stop torturing myself with it. 😛

    The Flintstones. Well…that doesn’t quite do it for me, since my dad is an amalgam of Fred/Ralph Kramden and Archie Bunker. REALLY. 🙄 I mean, just try living with that. HOWEVER…there IS DANGER ISLAND!! “Uh-oh, CHONGO!!” I found the DVDs of this show that once aired on the Banana Splits show, and it took me right back to those Saturday mornings when my sister and I would fight over who got which fella. She, being 5 years older, wanted both Link (Jan Michael Vincent), AND Chongo (Kim Kahana). Greedy ol’ bint. She ‘gave’ me the old man, the pirate captain, and Morgan. I, of course, stole Chongo back secretly in my mind, and he remained ‘mine’, no matter what she said. 😀

    Wait. What? You don’t know what I’m talking about?? Here’s a taste of my childhood fantasy:


    GUH!!! I’m like…6, again! (I didn’t know this before, but the director of that show later directed Goonies 😀 )

    Okay – it’s been a big day for me. Better get some sleep. Just want to say before I go that my dinner was EXCELLENT! I started with black mission figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped with prosciutto, moved on to roasted duck with sour cherry demi-glace and a surprisingly delicious polenta (it was like…butter, or something… just fabulous!), and finished up with a very decadent flourless chocolate cake. After dinner we strolled the [outdoor] mall, visited a few shops, listened briefly to a rather good band, and totally enjoyed our day of playing ‘tourist’.


  33. I just wanted to say thanks for this entry. It’s nice to think about things that take us back. I confess, I never heard of nutella until coming to Australia. I still have yet to try it, but it does sound delicious.

    Here’s some of my “natsukashii” type memories.

    1 – Lilac. I love the smell of lilac from fresh flowers as it reminds me of the lilac bushes that we had. I remember feeding my rabbit the leaves and my mom sending me to school with lilac bouquets for my teachers.

    2 – The smell of impending rain right before a thunderstorm. I loved sitting on the porch watching the thunderstorms with my dad.

    3 – I love the floating white seed balls that would carry on the breeze before a storm. I loved to try to catch them before it rained.

    4 – The smell of strong cinnamon and fresh pine at Christmas is another favorite. My mom would put out these pine cones for potpourri that were scented with hot cinnamon. I also miss having a live tree. Oh yes, and I can’t forget my favorite old record… Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy.

    I know that sounds weird, right? I loved it as a kid. My dad would sing along and we’d all laugh. It was tradition to play that record when decorating the tree. My family here in Australia looks at me weirdly if I play it. They find it rather offensive. lol.

    5 – The smell of freshly carved pumpkins. I love to carve fancy pumpkins. If we had pumpkins here for Halloween, then I’d make a Stargate one. I’m pretty dang good with it. I did a pirate ship on the open seas 2 years ago. 😀

    6 – The smell of dried leaves when they fall off the tree in October. Yep, you guessed it October and November are my 2 favorite months out of the year in the US. I love autumn. My dad would make his chili soup and apple cider with apples from our tree.

    My mom, sis, and I would always celebrate Halloween. We would go all out. Gravestones in the yard. Caution fresh graves tape all around. We’d have a fog machine going as well as a fake casket on the front porch. There would be scary music echoing in the valley and cobwebs decorating the house. Mom would dress up as a zombie and lay in the coffin. We would place the good candy in the bucket on top of the coffin forcing the older kids to walk past us and onto the foggy porch. Then, they could retrieve the candy from the coffin. As the kids moved away, mom would sit up and reach out for them. This tactic ensured that the best candy would be left for us. 😛 I know it’s evil. We did give out candy to little ones without them going on to the porch. Hey, what’s a teenager supposed to do when they are too old to trick or treat? Scare the kids away so the good candy stays in the bucket. 😉

    Ah, good times and good memories.

  34. Natsukashii – I think I have a new favorite word. It’s so perfect! I had just such a moment a couple of weeks ago when I caught a whiff of the laundry detergent that my Oma always used; it felt like I was transferred back in time to visiting my grandparents during a happy summer.
    The smell of wet leaves on the ground of the woods, fresh cut grass, pine trees in the winter all remind me of growing up in Michigan. A certain musty smell – not just any musty smell, but a specific one, reminds me of my grandparents’ camp in the U.P..
    Natasukashii is really a great concept, thanks for the introduction to it.

  35. For me … Land of the Lost & Space: 1999. Those two shows just literally remind me of what it was like to be 6 years old (same age as my son is now). All the magic and imagination they brought. I mean don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of shows that I dug as a kid … but it’s those two that still take me back. And thanks to DVD sets I get to share that magic and imagination with my kids. My son’s been watching Land of the Lost for about 2 years now (off and on) and my daughter (who’s just 2 and a half) only goes “RAWR” when Grumpy or Dopey show up on screen. But she’s getting the idea.

    And now my son’s been expressing interest in Space: 1999. So I feel giddy about getting to watch him see something new.

    The other thing that takes me back big time? Anything that reminds me of the gum that they used to put in the trading card packages. I have some fond memories of my dad buying me a whole box of trading cards for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and opening them with me to see if I ended up with the whole collection. 🙂

  36. Too many bad memories for me to fondly think of my past. I do however use the same deodorant as my dad did, Which at times takes me back to when he was still around. Don’t know if thats natsukashii but it’s a form of “this takes me back” I guess.

    Other then that, I can’t think of anything.

  37. One more “natsukashii”: SG1, S6, “Descent”. The finest Mallozzi /Mullie /DeLuise collaboration of the entire series…and oh, BTW, that Nemec guy happened to be an experienced swimmer…!

    Yes, it just replayed on Syfy/USA at 0100 CT Sat., reminding me why I became an SG fan eight summers ago.

    Going to bed happy. Domo arigato.

  38. C’est drôle que vous parliez de Nutella Joseph, parceque en ce moment même, pendant que je lis votre blog, je mange un sandwish de Nutella d’une taille inimaginable (ennorme lol ^^). J’aime bien ce genre d’article où vous nous parlez de vous, c’est toujours agréable d’en savoir plus sur celui qui nous fait réver de voyage galactique (même si vous ne faites pas que ça dans votre vie^^).

  39. @Kymm
    Yes – fun, sad in part, and all of that again when reading others’ memories. I can relate to so many of them, even though the settings and particulars vary.

    I can imagine it being very hard on you to be the youngest, “Daddy’s Blessing,” especially since you were born on Father’s Day. It’s painful to recall having been “daddy’s little girl,” following him like his shadow during childhood, then later losing him. My dad is still alive, but my mom’s very premature death made him a different person. But I’m tip-toeing around trying to tell you that I relate, and that I hurt for you. It seems many of us have much more in common than we could have guessed.

    — Moving on, I’m giggling over your memories of garden chores – on a farm, yet, with literally so much ground to cover. My maternal grandmother was and remains a strict taskmistress in the garden. Dad turned my brother and me over to her on a regular basis to give my mom (and himself) a well-deserved break. With you having more siblings, I’ll bet your mom was *very* appreciative of her time to herself, and must have been immensely grateful to your dad for making that possible. So good to read about parents getting each other’s backs.

    We had honey with our crunchy peanut butter on toast, but our maple syrup came in a tin when we bought it at the source. If my bro and I hadn’t gotten the lid off by the time our dad had cooked the pancakes or waffles, he’d fake being mad (but actually smile) while saying to us, “Can’t you two yahoos git anythang right?!!” (He’s from Georgia/northern Florida, still talks kinda suthen’.)

    Thanks lots for sharing. Your funny but poignant stories are a treat. A bonus for me: they’re helping me work through some difficult emotional issues. – Sending a virtual hug. (If you pretend you’re an electromagnetic particle, you’ll feel it. *w*) – Take care.

  40. Your cribbage reference brought back the parties my parents would have and my dad would play cribbage with his Air Force buddies using that strange scoring system and moving those little pegs in the wooden board. Thank you. 🙂

  41. Hey mr. M

    I think I found ATLANTIS!!!….well maybe a part of it =D

    I was browsing Google earth and found these interesting pictures in LUANDA Angola… dont ask how I ended up there!

    Aside from being in Portugese, doesnt this resemble the central tower of the Atlantis city to you???

    Please share with all our other stargate firends

    P.S Thanks a mill for all the years of great Stargate & may there be lots more!


  42. Gosh Joe,

    you did it for me with mentioning the Flintstones and Bubble Up. The smell of freshly baked bread does it for me too. We lived downwind from a commercial bakery that made Wonder Bread. If the wind was just right you could smell it strongly. I remember I’d be out riding my bicycle and would catch a whiff and just stop and smell the air for a while.

    I hadn’t thought about that for a long time. Thanks for giving me my natsukashii. Its made me smile.

  43. The smell of fresh home-made bread baking. My mom used to always make fresh bread and every time I smell it I think of those days back when I was a kid when she was still with us, and how comforted and happy I felt. Plus, the taste of the bread, with butter melting on it because it was still really too hot to eat! Great memories.

    I do remember LOVING the Flintstones as a kid, but I have to admit to hating them now for some reason. Finding this on Youtube topped it off! 🙂

    Just different times, I guess.

  44. Natsukashii – can we have Japanese Word of the Day while you prepare for the big Tokyo trip (which I like to call “How Many Times Will You Get Mistaken as a Gay Couple” trip)

    So what are my natsukashii moments?

    Fruit Tingles – do you guys get them over there? They remind me of my Nana (mum’s side). She would always bring a packet with her when visiting when I was a kid. I loved that. She died when I was about 7…its making me cry just to even type this.

    In the same way Chocolate Royals always make me think of my Grandpa (Dad’s side). They were my fave when I was a kid and he would ALWAYS have them when we visited. He passed away when I was about 13. 🙁

    Greyhounds – seeing them brings back great memories of the fun times visiting Dad when he worked at the Greyhound racing track.

    Smell of hot chocolate – makes me think of the times my mum would make it for me when I was a kid – I loved it! Well I never liked the skin on top – Mum would always take that off for me.

    Sometimes seeing the sibling dynamic between my niece and nephew takes me back to when my sister and I were kids. If she ever wanted something she would always get me to ask for it. She was very protective of me and was my best friend when I was a kid…probably still is, although I have other friends now.

    Warner Bros cartoons takes me back to afternoons watching them on TV after school….I <3 Bugs Bunny.

    Goatees takes me back to university and a certain guy….haha…I <3 goatees & designer stubble.

    I'm sure there's heaps more but I'll stop now….glad I wasn't typing this in public.

    Cheers, Chev

  45. Hi…

    Yeah Nutella is great.

    Did you know, there are different recipes for that stuff?
    For example the italy one is different to our german ones.

    From time to time it’s not so expensive here.
    Last week I got one glas (400 gramm) for….YEAH 😀 1.11 € (1,39 $).

    For this price you can bathe in it 😛

    But normaly it costs 1.79 €.

    Well…I love our german chocolate an nutella.

  46. I’ve been a bit busy this week so sorry I haven’t commented much or read the comments.

    SGU fans may like my latest Photoshop Project – Dr Jones meets Dr Volker. I’m really happy with the results…took a while to put it together…Patrick loves it, that’s the main thing.

    Cheers, Chev

  47. Coucou Joseph!!!

    Waaou!!! Super ce Nastukashii!! Moi j’appelle ça un “flash back” =) !
    C’est sûr que c’est beaucoup de souvenir tout ça!!!

    Moufette, j’aime bien ce mot^^, ici il n’y en à pas, juste des Poutois^^.

    Moi non plus, je ne suis pas très fan de la menthe.. Tiens les Flintstones!! j’avais des jouets sur eux, mais je n’ai jamais vu un de leurs dessin animé.

    Héhéh Nutella!! Biensure!!! 🙂 humm Miame!!!
    Lol à l’époque vous aviez dèjà des figurines^^!

    Si je devrai ressortir une chose qui m’a marqué le plus, lc’est l’odeur et le bruit du pain sorti du four, car pendant 12 ans j’ai vécu dans une boulangerie 🙂

    Passez une bonne journée! gros bisou!!

  48. A serious summer storm. The sky deep purple and the smell of ozone in the air. Then the rain begins to fall, big plops of h2o hitting the slate patio with soft hisses. The distant roar of thunder and seeing the lightening jump from cloud to cloud all around the horizon. The ozone smell dissipating, to be replaced with an earthy grass smell as the rain gets heavier.

    Man, I miss those Johannesburg storms. Unlike there where it only rains in summer, Cape Town gets its rain in winter.

    Very rarely, when get a sudden summer storm it takes me right back to a time when I was young and innocent.

  49. Wow, I thought I was the only one that felt that way about skunks! I feel weird even having said that, but yeah, that first thing in the morning skunk smell.

    What else does it for me? The smell of the air first thing in the morning, if there’s been rain the night before. The smell of the clothes dryer. MASH. Buying looseleaf paper. It’s strange the things that do it 🙂

    Happy birthday, Major D. Davis!


  50. My natsukashii is cold fried chicken (I am a southerner), potato sald and baked beans. They remind me of cookouts/picnics.

    Major Davis: Happy B-day!

    Gilder: I hope you feel better. Love the dishes! I like Blue Ridge dishes. They are simple, but practical works of art:

    Great stories Everyone!

  51. Ah, Rocket Robin Hood and Hercules, now there were two staples of my day. Hung on every word as I watched. Try watching them now. 🙂
    Anyone remember Land of the Giants? I once made the little pin and rope they used and stuck it on my brothers bottom drawer and ate his Hallowe’en candy.


  52. Just read some more of the comments – oh my, don’t even get me started on Saturday morning cartoons! Every Sunday morning I would commandeer the weekly TV guide, remove Saturday morning’s listings and begin planning for the end of the week – this was when there were at least four stations vying for children’s attention and you sometimes had to make (comparatively) agonizing decisions between favorite shows. I loved the Bugs Bunny Tweety hour (which was an hour and a half), but because it cut into Scooby Doo I only watched the first half hour. Other favs: The Super Friends and the Legion of Justice, Mighty Orbots, Captain Caveman, ThunderCats, The Sid & Marty Krofft Supershow, The Littles, ABC SchoolHouse Rock, Sabrina and the Groovy Ghoulies, H.R. Pufnstuf, Wonderwoman and Isis, The Monkees, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, American Bandstand, Space Academy, The Pink Panther, The Ark II, Hong Kong Fooey, Josie and the Pussycats, The Smurfs, Yogi Bear, Mr. Magoo, Batman and Tarzan Lord of the Jungle, and Fat Albert. You could watch cartoons and children’s programming from 6:00am-1:00pm, and you had to sit at arms length from the TV because you had to turn the dial between commercials to catch up with other channels, ah, the days of no remote. Then there were the weekday shows: Gilligan’s Island, Penelope Pitstop and the Wacky Racers, The Little Rascals or Our Gang, Hogan’s Heroes, M*A*S*H, J.P. Patches, Sesame Street, The Electric Co., The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver, The Muppet Show, The Banana Splits, StarBlazers, Marine Boy, What”s Happening!!, Different Strokes, Donny and Marie, Sonny and Cher, and so many more – can you tell I was a TV-aholic? Funny now to think I haven’t even owned a TV for over ten years.

  53. Ooops Joe, I re-read your blog entry and I apparently got stuck more on the ‘nostalgia’ and ‘saudade’ definitions and was a real Debbie Downer, when you were looking for more happy, happy, joy, joy. Sorry about that!! Great topic by the way!!

    I also totally missed the fact that you use to play with dolls, now how the hell did I miss that? *snicker* Hey, at least I didn’t ask about the Kung-Fu Gr…*skip that*… You know you are soooo much fun to give the gears too…. I always mean it in good fun….

    All types of food, candy and drink is natsukashii to me. Ohh and Flintstones would not be complete without soup (either home-made chicken noodle with extra noodles or Campbell’s tomato with masses of saltines) and a grilled cheese sandwich, and dessert (can’t forget the dessert).

    @ Otros Ojos – as per your comment to me yesterday, I literally did laugh out loud at your chipmunk mutterings. Yes, I always seem to be late. Meaning I didn’t start watching them from the first either….. I was late to the Crazy Canucks (too young), the Tour (I was home sick for a couple of weeks one July and there was nothing else on and I got hooked but it was Lance’s fourth tour, so I missed the first ones) etc. etc. I was late to this blog. So it seems like a common thread running through my life. *giggle* Which is kinda funny because I am such a freak about punctuality, I am always at least 15 minutes early to EVERYTHING, I get heart palpitations if I think I’m going to be late for anything.
    I’ll have to add Futurama to my list of TV shows to watch. I’ll definitely start from the beginning; I’m quite methodical like that, when I read a book series, I always want to read them in order, same with TV shows. I think I’ll like Bender, by your description of him; he sounds French (like me). *smiles*

    Have a good 4th of July tomorrow Otros Ojos and to all of our other American neighbors (and look I even deliberately misspelled neighbours in honour of the occasion). Have fun!! Stay safe!!….and have a cocktail (or two) for me!!


    P.S. Le Tour de France pre-race has just started. It’s the Clash of the Titans. Ohhh it is going to be so good!! …Wooohoooo

  54. I have natsukashii every time I think about summer of 2007. That year I caught up with all 10 seasons of SG-1 in one month. Long story, but I had seen two seasons of SG-1 back in 2000-ish. After that the Estonian channel stopped showing the show. Seven years later I discovered that my all time fav show lasted for 10 seasons!! Oh my. My friend lent me 10 seasons she had. All I can say that nights were looong. 😀 It was the last summer, when I had nothing to worry about (job, school, health). Good times. I wish I could watch SGU like that right now. Waiting for new episodes and seasons is killing me. 😛

    Of course I could dwell about times I spent by the lake – shoulders badly burnt, still refused to leave; lived with grandma; ate seven ice creams in a row, but there’s something different about those times. Maybe I was too young at that time. But, man, summer of 2007 was awesome.

    Trying to keep in mind that natsukashii is more ‘this takes me back’ and less ‘nostalgic’… Yeah. That time takes me back.

  55. hey,you posted a pic of a guy in a grey suit,well thanks to my detective-esque abilities and the special features on sgu season 1 dvd i know that you used grey suit guy to help make the blue aliens. . .so does this mean that we’ll see the blue aliens again or is it some new cgi alien?

  56. Maybe I should have listed mine, then read the other comments. So many of the things you guys posted had me going, “Oh yeah! That needs to be on my list, too!” especially the Saturday morning shows. That was back when cartoons only came on Saturdays except for The Flintstones and the Jetsons, which our local station showed back to back. I mean, weren’t Sid and Marty Kroft the greatest? Other TV shows for us included the Archies, Looney Tunes and Pink Panther (cartoon). “The Waltons” and “Kung Fu” also had major impacts on my life.

    I’m surprised at how popular skunk is! I have skunk-smell memories too. Guess it comes from growing up in the “country.” Other smells that bring strong memories back for me are honeysuckle, rain, pine trees and yeast bread (rising and baking.)

    And mothballs. When I was young, my aunt (who is more like my grandma) kept us. She didn’t live far away and it was one of the places we were allowed to go on our own that was out of sight of our house. I also took every opportunity to stay the night with her and my uncle. She believed in mothballs. Her closets and sheets always smelled like mothballs.

    Music has always been a strong natsukashii trigger for me especially songs I haven’t heard for quite a while. Songs like “It’s Magic,” “Ballroom Blitz” and “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero” trigger a lot of vivid memories. And old songs always trigger a remembrance of my hand-held transistor radio and “Jet-FLY”, the slogan for the top pop station in our area.


    Joe, in response to July 1st’s post – What about Happy Punctuation Day!

    I’ll have a greeting card posted for that shortly. Seriously, the greeting card biz is competitive, you’d be surprised what’s out there. If anyone is interested,let me know.

  58. natsukashii, you were right with your original definition Joe, Nostalgic, brings back memories, same thing really.

    For me it would have to be places I’ve been too a long time ago or things I’ve experienced recently that I haven’t done in a long time.

  59. Oh, dasNDanger!! I remember Danger Island so well! “uh-oh, Chon-go! It’s Danger Island next!!” Wow, what flashbacks.

    I was a big fan of Space: 1999 as well as the series “UFO”. I can say one thing, the future certainly promised to be a lot cooler than it turned out to be. Well, other than the losing the moon part, of course.

    Question is, does anyone remember “Starlost”. Possibly the best worst Canadian sci-fi ever.

  60. Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes….

    Saw Knight and Day for my B-day. SUCH A GOOD MOVIE! You all should go and see it, its great! You won’t regret it!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  61. @gforce – I remember Starlost.
    No need to be gentle – It was the worst Sci Fi *ANYWHERE*


  62. I think I understand natsukashii from your explanation of it, and you’re right, it’s not exactly the same thing as nostalgia. Nostalgia lingers, it’s an ongoing wish, whereas natsukashii is a momentary, involuntary flash of powerful memory. My “skunk natsukashii” would be the smell of wet dog.

    I grow mint, several varieties in fact, because I love the different smells of the various types. My favorite is lemon mint which, when dried and crushed, morphs into a kind of vanilla smell with vaguely lemon undertones. Excellent, sprinkled on pork chops or adobo chicken. Not a smell I associate with childhood, however, as my childhood part of Texas was too dry for much lush wild growth. Likewise Nutella, since I only tasted that in recent years – a spoonful from the jar is a rare treat, since I’m forbidden chocolate (except in its darkest, least sugary form, another rarity).

    Besides the wet dog smell, my natsukashii is triggered by barnyards, really dry sand, juniper branches cut and crushed, or peeled juniper bark (remind me to tell you about my childhood forays into the Texas brush country with my parents to cut a cedar [juniper] tree for Christmas), old lady perfume like lavendar or gardenia, naptha, and moth balls (I spent a lot of time with my pioneer grandmother).

  63. Hi Joe, has Luis Ferreira been giving you Portuguese lessons?
    I’d say that although saudade is like you say a feeling of longing for something that is no more, there is a part of saudade that is less nostalgic and more a recollection of feelings and experiences, places or events that once brought excitement or pleasure. So when I crush sented geranium leaves I have saudades of the summers spent at my grandmothers farm as a child and gin and tonic gives me saudades of university days

  64. Joe – this was posted on the Bendis forum. Not sure how serious it is, but I thought you might find it interesting – or not – regarding a idea for a new sci fi channel:

    Of course, ‘Syzygy’ is even worse than SyFy…and the whole thing might just be someone’s pipe dream – or just totally bogus – but thought I’d share it with you anyway.


  65. @das, Major D, and the Canadians: Best wishes, belated in the latter two cases. Das, I hope that PT and rest are an option…or did I miss that report?

    @Tammy D, thanks! Still a bit stuffy, am trying X-strength Mucinex D and comfort food in hopes of avoiding Dr. visit next week. Hope the ears clear up enough to hold the second Independence Day Front-Yard Drum Circle. Tight eardrums and percussion don’t play well together.

  66. Happy Birthday Major D….sorry I didn’t know yesterday on chat…hope you had a gr8 day.

    Cheers, Chev

  67. Nutella – never had it…*Joe gasps*

    Actually there’s a pizza place near my parents advertising pizzas w/ a nutella or vegemite base.

    I’m scared…Joe should I try the nutella pizza?

    Cheers, Chev

  68. The sound of raindrops on canvas…suddenly I’m a kid again, I’m camping with my family in our pop-up camper, and it’s raining gently late at night. The camper somehow affords a feeling of being protected from nature and yet out in the middle of it, too. Tomorrow, we’ll be out on the beach, or hiking the trails, or maybe driving into town to visit the little ice cream parlor where they make their own ice cream. (Still do, by the way. I’ve checked.)

    Instant coffee, too. Not the kind that you dunk like a tea bag, I mean the granules you spoon into hot water. It’s one more thing that takes me straight back to camping. Suddenly I’m sitting by a fire early in the morning and listening to the silence. There have been a few times in recent years when I’ve deliberately bought instant coffee, even though it isn’t very good, just so I can have that moment of natsukashii.

    What’s rather funny about the whole thing is that while I have so many good memories about camping, I’m in no hurry to go out and do it. Not at this point in my life. I like my space. I like hotel rooms. Even a cabin or cottage, so long at it’s comfortable. I guess I’m more fond of the idea of camping, these days, than of the reality.

  69. I stumbled on a photo on Flickr of a Vancouver bench – so weird that the arms are shaped like Stargates – the designer must be a fan….so I photoshopped it.

    The Vancouver Stargate – with Ivon of course.

    Cheers, Chev

  70. The next step is to make one of the arms the SGA gate and one the SG1 gate….cool!!

    Cheers, Chev

  71. Hello Joe,

    Since I am at my local ballpark waiting for th fireworks to start, I had a quick question, are you going to do a Season 1.5 DVD contest again for the July 27th release?

    Best wishes,


  72. Dude, I have that very issue of Avengers tucked away in my collection somewhere. That particular cover is actually very special to me because me and little brother used to hold it up on a window pane, put drawing paper over it, and trace the figures. Then we could draw in the details of other heroes and villains, and have all-new fights! I even remember adding DC characters to the battle (which was strangely easy, using the Squadron Sinister as templates, LOL)
    Some modern folks might think we had too much time on our hands back then, but in the age before the Internet, we had to make our own fun a little bit more, don’t you think?

  73. Thanks for sharing that. I have those experiences frequently enough, but never knew what to call it… as nostalgia has the wrong undertones, as you pointed out.

    Expanded vocabulary is fun. Maybe you mentioned this in an earlier post, but how is it properly pronounced?

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