Alexander writes: “Hi Joe! In an earlier post I posted the question to you about your involvement with SGULIVESON and the SGU season 3 that has now been given airing dates on Justin.Tv. The claims have been made that yourself, MGM, and the SyFy channel are involved in this endeavor. Can you please tell me if you are involved in this and if there is any truth to this individual’s fantastical claims?”

Answer: “Hi Joe! In an earlier post I posted the question to you about your involvement with SGULIVESON and the SGU season 3 that has now been given airing dates on Justin.Tv. The claims have been made that yourself, MGM, and the SyFy channel are involved in this endeavor. Can you please tell me if you are involved in this and if there is any truth to this individual’s fantastical claims?”

Answer: Never heard of them and I’m quite certain that nobody who was involved in the actual Stargate franchise (producers, MGM, or SyFY) has heard of them either.  File this one under “bullshit”.  Interestingly, their website not only claims that I’m a consultant and co-writer on their little playhouse production, but Paul Mullie as well.  Heh.  Right.  The day my writing partner takes time off from his family to write fan fiction is the day I trade in my suits for tie-dye t-shirts and the vegan lifestyle.  Hopefully, these guys are more convincing writers than they are liars.

Anyway, thought I’d kick off today’s entry by answering that question and putting the matter to rest.

So, Akemi was in the mood to watch a movie last night and, among the DVD’s we rustled out of the library was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, one of my favorite movies!  At first she was a little leery watching a forty year old movie, but that initial skepticism quickly faded and, in no time, she was singing along in her broken English, enjoying it immensely.  Enjoying it so much, in fact, that she also ended up watching the 2005 version starring Johnny Depp as Michael Jackson Willy Wonka.  “Why can’t I remember any of the songs from the new movie?”she wondered aloud. “Probably because the songs from the first movie were good,”was, I thought, the obvious answer.  She’s had her laptop cued up, replaying the Pure Imagination sequence all day.  I ended up buying her the album on iTunes.

Emboldened by my success, I’m considering introducing her to some of my other all-time old favorites: A Christmas Story, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and, of course, Reservoir Dogs.

In the news…

Middle school football coach relives his glory days by proving even the most committed 13 year old player can’t take him down: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_rally/post/Coach-breaks-13-year-old-8217-s-collarbone-with?urn=highschool-wp8230. Kind of reminds me of one of my old high school gym teachers who would always assume the quarterback position whenever the class played football.  I remember one game, breaking free of the kid covering me and running up the middle of the field – only to have the pass clang off my stone hands, incomplete.  My teacher’s response: “Nice catch, Ramesh!”  A double zinger, not only zinging me but my buddy Ramesh who’d had nothing to do with the play.

Ah, high school.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Dungeons and Dragons, it was the age of between 13 to 17, it was the epoch of disco, it was the epoch of Adam and the Ants, it was the season of (You) Light (Up My Life), it was the season of Dark (Side of the Moon)ness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had home computers and The Simpsons before us, we had mood rings and Tony Orlando and Dawn behind us, we were all going direct to the Book Market for deals on X-Men comics, we were all going direct the other way (home to watch Gilligan’s Island) – in short, the period was so far unlike the present period, that some of its nosiest authorities insist on its being reviled, for good and for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

So, what was high school like for you guys?  Inspiring highlights?  Crushing lowlights?  Do tell!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog reader Sparrow_hawk!

58 thoughts on “November 8, 2011: Today’s Blog Entry? (What else?)

  1. Thanks for clearing that up. I suspected that was the case, and with answer in hand I’m going about the business of getting the word out.

    The original Willy Wonka was a great movie! The second, not so much. Maybe introduce her to Gremlins?

    Have a great night Joe, and thanks!

  2. LOL. Well, what can you expect from something apparently originating on fanfiction.net? That place is full of delusional children who think they came up with the idea of fanfic all on their own and their story’s the only and next best thing to the show/book/movie itself. (Not that that particular attitude is limited to either that site or kids, but it seems to be especially bad there.)

  3. Willy Wonka is such a wonderful movie! Anyone who hasn’t seen it is surely missing out.
    With Thanksgiving coming up, my despair is mounting again, because, living in Germany, I will be missing out on the family feast. However, this year I decided not to just moan and groan about it, but to at least try and recreate the food part. Alas, now that I have made the decision, I am at a loss of how to go about it. Any suggestions for college-student friendly way to cook a Thanksgiving meal (without an oven)?

  4. I second Steph’s request for university-friendly Thanksgiving when abroad (I’m at uni in Vancouver as opposed to home in California). Although I do have an oven and am a decent cook given final exams aren’t in progress. As for high school, for me it was boring and a bit crap, but it’s over and I don’t wax poetically about the suffering I endured. High school is like a boot camp for life. It teaches you people are shit and you will have to put up with a certain amount of that shit, and that life is about putting yourself in a position that minimizes how much of other people’s shit you have to deal with.

  5. “THAT 70s SHOW” may have been based on mine.. ;-D A semester or two late… I learned how to drive with one of those Oceanliner-Station-Wagons..a Mercury…

    ah… APOLLO… TheSTONES… Dining by the nightly reports of VIETNAM…

  6. Book Market! That’s where I used to go to get my cheap comics as well. (Teen Titans though, not X-Men) Unfortunately, they’ve just about completely closed down here in Ottawa =(

    Talking about movies, those are some of my favorites as well. Maybe add Ferris Bueler and the Back to the Future trilogy though to that list if she hasn’t seen either of those.

  7. Gene Wilder is fantastic as Willy Wonka, portraying a real trickster of a character who you feel could truly do anything. The scene of the boat as it careers down the chocolate river is both thrilling and nightmarish. A truly magical film.

    The Tim Burton version, like all of his films that I have seen, was all spectacle and no substance. Or do I mean, no soul? And Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka was just creepy.

    I also have fond memories of ‘The Muppet Movie.’ I haven’t seen it in years, but the memory of Kermit in his swamp singing ‘Rainbow Connection’ makes me tear up to this day. 🙂

    Two fantasy films I like are ‘Excalibur’ and ‘Ladyhawke’ (even though the latter has a cheesy 80s soundtrack), I enjoyed the first two Narnia remakes and am looking forward to ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, and I thought ‘The Golden Compass’ was pretty good. It’s been a while since I read ‘Northen Lights’ (the Philip Pullman book on which it was based) so I was watching it more as a film in its own right rather than an adaptation.
    I love love love ‘Spirited Away’ and really enjoyed ‘Castle in the Sky’ but I was disappointed with ‘Howl’s Moving Castle.’ It was not an adaptation of the book (by Diana Wynne Jones) so much as ‘loosely based on’, as the film did away with most of the themes of the book and changed characters beyond recognition, making the story formless and aimless.
    I want to see ‘Ponyo’, and ‘My Neighbour Totaro’, if only for the catbus! 😀 Such beautiful animation and story-telling.

    Hope Maximus is doing better.
    Thanks for the blog, Mr. M., a particularly amusing one today, made me grin! 😀

  8. Agreed, not only that the original Willy Wonka movie is fantastic, but the second one was just not good. The music, in particular, was terrible. Not only was it not good music, but it was mixed so poorly that, even for people without broken English, it was difficult understanding what they were saying most of the time.

    I also didn’t like the decision to use a single Oompa-Loompa and clone him digitally. It completely took away the magic of the Oompa-Loompas since it ceased to be a whole world of little people and something much more fabricated and mechanical, in a sense. Lame-o.

    High school. I hated high school. My high school was all about sports. If you played, you were golden. If you didn’t, you were dirt. I guess then I was dirt. Plus I was shy. I pretty much wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as the bell rang.

    That said, in general, I loved both the ’70s and ’80s.

    The toys were great. Movies were…jeez, movies were everything. The original Star Wars trilogy, the first two Alien movies, Raiders, Close Encounters, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, all the John Hughes movies, Animal House, Die Hard…the list goes on.

    TV was still pretty cheesy, but we loved it anyway.

    And I think some of the best pop / rock music of all time was written during those two decades, full of happiness, hope, forward-looking enthusiasm and, most of all, fantastic melodies that are memorable and timeless. Like the music from the first Willy Wonka.

  9. “A Christmas Story” is probably the best Christmas movie ever made!!

    As for as high school goes, junior high was pretty bad, as it is for most geeks. Senior high was not that bad. By that time I guess you’re starting to find your niche.

  10. 1. I absolutely HATE Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, especially the songs. And Wilder. Only thing I really liked him in was Young Frankenstein, and Silver Streak. Wilder gives me the creeps – like pervy old uncle creeps – big time.

    2. I absolutely LOVE Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, especially the songs. I have the soundtrack – it’s a trip to listen to. Danny Elfman is a genius, and Johnny Depp – who was channeling his buddy, Marilyn Manson, btw – was a hoot!

    3. I absolutely HATED school. Yes, I was a good student, graduated 4th in my class, without even applying myself. Why didn’t I apply myself? Because I HATED school. I hated gym (getting undressed in front of other people??!! ACK!), I hated pep rallies, I hated the bus…REALLY hated the bus… I hated public speaking, I hated tests, I hated reports, I hated the cheerleaders, I hated the jocks, I hated everything except art class, and lunch. We had really good pizza. 🙂 I liked a couple teachers, too. I liked the teachers much better than my fellow students. I just didn’t get the whole social interaction thing. My mind wasn’t where everyone else’s was. I wasn’t into dating, or make-up, or fashion, or dances, or sports, or hanging out, or achievement. I just wanted to do my time and get the hell out of there. It was horrible. In school I mostly I hung out with the gay guys (because they were non-threatening), and the fat kids, and the weirdos. I wanted to hang out with the greasers because they were really hawt, but I was too shy. But even that was only in school. I didn’t socialize with any of them after school. Mom used to worry about that. I wasn’t. School was enough social interaction for me!

    I was always so relieved to come home. I spent my after school hours exploring the woods with my dog – sometimes alone – just lost in my own thoughts. Sometimes I’d walk to the beach, but mostly I hung around the farmlands. I daydreamed a lot. We live in a low area, lots of wetlands around, so one of my favorite things to do was keep the mosquito commission ditches open so that the water would flow away from our property. I liked playing in the mud. 🙂 I also would build things, like lean-tos, and scavange for stuff, like old bottles, old bones, old…anything. I always wanted to be an archaeologist or anthropologist, or some kind of ‘gist’. Never to be, though. 🙁

    In middle school/junior high I had a friend who moved two doors down from me. His family were squatters, and they moved into a vacant house that had no electricity, and huge holes in the roof. The mother was very overweight, and the three kids protected her. There was an older boy, a girl in the middle, and the youngest – another boy – who was my friend. They dressed in well-used clothes, had bad teeth…but were nice kids. Robbie and I would play after school with my dog, talk…just sorta hang out. Then they moved away and I never saw them again. I missed Robbie a lot. Then I watched What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and saw the family again…albeit in a different form. That movie will always hold a very special place in my heart – it takes me right back to my childhood, and the family two houses down.

    Back to why I hated school. For about 4 months one year (8th grade), the kids wouldn’t let me sit on the bus, and neither would the bus driver. Why? Because I complained that they were all smoking on the bus. I learned that you don’t do that. I never told my parents about it until just a couple years ago. Needless to say, a lot of really bad thoughts went through my head while I stood as I rode that bus to school…ones I won’t repeat here because…well…let’s just say I totally understand those kids who flip out and do bad things to their fellow classmates. That pretty much soured me for the next four years, and made me hate the whole idea of school.

    That’s why I never went to college. Just the thought of it made me ill. That’s why I graduated, and went right to work at the school library, so that I could be right there in hell to help any kid who felt alone, or disliked, or bullied, or just weird. Those were the best four years of my life, and I regret every day that I quit that job to work for family. I am such an idiot. Great, now I’m miserable.

    There. Glad you asked, Joe? 😛

    Throughout most of my school years I was really into Native American history, and lore. I still am, but not quite as obsessively as I was in school. Indians ‘saved’ me during those years. I made my own women’s (high top) moccasins, and other clothing and jewlery. I studied their history, their cultures (did you know that most plains Indians, and some others, plucked out all facial hair – including their eyebrows – because they found it unattractive?), their real way of life (not the hokey-pokey magical Indian shit that became popular with New Age). I drew a lot of pictures, too…my art teacher finally asked me to draw something NOT Indian-related…so I drew a cat. 😛

    I was about the only kid in my school who listened to good music. I HATED disco. I liked funk, though. 😀 We only had crap music stations, playing crap, outdated music – over, and over, and over… (needless to say, I’m not a fan of the Beatles). Instead, I managed to aluminium foil my room so I could pick up WYSP in Philadelphia. So, while everyone else was listening to the Bee Gees, I was listening to classics like Cream, Yardbirds, Youngbloods, Stones, The Who, Led Zep and Sabbath (Paranoid was – and still is – my theme song), but also country rock like Skynyrd, and new music…something called ‘punk’ and ‘alternative’, like the Sex Pistols, and Cheap Trick. Heard my first R.E.M. song on WYSP, too – Radio Free Europe – still love that one to this day. After MTV came out things changed, and everyone was listening to the same stuff I had been listening to…but by then I had graduated and was now working in the school, so things were changing all the way round.

    TV-wise, I loved the Tonight Show, the news, All in the Family, and whatever else was popular at the time…oh! Yeah…I watched that show with the car, the General Lee…why can’t I remember the name? Dukes of something. Anyway, I watched that stuff, but I lived for repeats of Star Trek, and anything Monty Python. Also, Scooby Doo, Danger Island, Bugs Bunny, the Bowery Boys, Charlie Chan, and Sherlock Holmes…and Kung Fu Theater. Master Killer/The 36th Chamber of Shaolin remains my all-time favorite martial arts movie of all time. Movie-wise, it was all about Star Wars – the good ones. Book-wise…I didn’t read much, but did read a sci fi book called Earthblood, and Agatha Christie books. I also read The Old Man and the Sea, and that one with Lenny and George and the dead mouse in the pocket…but those were for school and not for ‘me’.

    Sports? I was totally into the Philadelphia Flyers…almost as obsessively as I was into Indians…but then they went and started screwing up the game and changing the rules and I don’t like hockey anymore. What the hell is a shootout anyway? Just stupid. And helmets? Even stupid…er. It’s a wussy game now.

    I could go on, but Mr. Das has just informed me that I am ignoring him. I better go. I’ve probably already said too much, and now I sound even weirder than before. At least I didn’t mention my crush or Tiny Tim or anything…DOH!!

    😛

    das

  11. Please let us know what Akemi thinks of “A Christmas Story”. Coincidentally, over the weekend my husband and I were discussing its timelessness and universality. We place it firmly in the top 100 English language movies of all time. It seems to me that in every culture there is the equivalent of “A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time” after which every child yearns with a desire and passion unbound. Every culture has its holiday with the weight and importance of Christmas with accompanying traditions and food. And every family has faced their version of the Bumpus Hounds. I’d love to have her Eastern take on our very Western high holiday.

  12. High School for me was completely awesome. Some of the happiest memories of my life. It was the late 80’s, (I graduated in ’87) and I was a long haired fella in a heavy metal band.

    For me it was the era of Iron Maiden, Metallica (when they were good), Slayer and Anthrax. Great gigs, great parties, great girls with great big hair, and great friends. It was a fully decadent and indecent lifestyle and I remember it with great fondness. And I’m glad I made it out alive…

  13. A few more books I meant to include in my recommendations for Ben, but forgot:

    C.J. Cherryh: ‘Heavy Time’ and its sequel, ‘Hellburner.’ (Space opera.)

    Samuel R. Delany: ‘Babel-17.’ (Hard SF.)

    Ursula Le Guin: ‘The Telling’, ‘The Birthday of the World & Other Stories’, ‘The Dispossessed’, ‘The Left Hand of Darkness.’ (SF.)

    China Mieville: ‘Iron Council.’ (SF)

    Joe Abercrombie: ‘The Blade Itself’, ‘Before They Are Hanged’, ‘The Last Argument of Kings.’ (Gritty fantasy.)

    Richard Morgan: ‘The Steel Remains.’ (Gritty fantasy.)

    Terry Pratchett: Discworld series, can be read in any order really, but, ‘The Colour of Magic’ & ‘The Light Fantastic’ are good places to start. (Comic fantasy.)

    Jasper Fforde: ‘The Eyre Affair.’ (Comic fantasy.)

    Happy reading! 😀

  14. Overseas for Thanksgiving? Are you anywhere near an American military base? Get a family to adopt yo for the day.

    High school. Ah. I was a Navy brat, I attended 14 schools.

    9th grade: American School in Shiraz. Yes, Iran. The dozen American kids were the cool kids, I was the best friend of the coolest kid in school. A year older, I became the funny sidekick. In reality, I was the evil mastermind or pranks and tricks. I never, ever got caught, my foolish friends did. My biology teacher is a professor from the university, he speaks no English, our anatomy lessons are in French, Farsi and Latin.

    10th grade: Back in Utah, living with my aunt and her brood. From cool kid to weird outsider, missing quarter credits and being stuffed into whatever classes weren’t full. I hated Home Arts, we sat and did needlepoint.

    11th grade, mom and dad return from overseas, I transfer to a rival high school. Get stuffed into elective courses and remedial classes because no one has the sense to see I can perform high above grade level although I’m a wreck on paper because we moved so much. I run with a bad crowd. Discover I’m allergic to pot smoke. And so on.

    I DROP OUT. Then I take the GED that summer, and rather than go to a senior year of high school, I attend the university up the street. My peers are high school seniors, I am a college freshman.

    There’s a “Rest of the Story” too …. involving the Navy, my degrees, and finally “suceeding” at high school.

  15. High school experience? In a word…painful. My high school was a 70’s social experiment gone wrong; wrapped up in the shape of a giant toilet bowl (literally…it was a round building with a square gym on the back…you get the idea):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilde_Lake_High_School

    After I graduated, they finally admitted (some) of the failure and tore it down in ’94.

    Life after high school has been pretty rewarding though, and now I’m making sure my kids have a better high school experience (at least in their academics).

    @Steph:

    Don’t know if you have the funds or space for this, but I have done Turkey in a small electric roaster. It doesn’t brown the same way, but it was good enough for just myself. I don’t think microwave would work very well but I haven’t tried it. Good luck though! I’ve done ex-pat Thanksgivings and they can be fun in their own right; especially if you can involve any of the locals…cultural exchange and all that.

  16. @ steph, I made my first t-giving for my little sis; I decided to get a tiny turkey because it was just the two of us, but the bird was actually too tiny, like a baby chicken. Cooking it was a snap tho so I suggest going tiny to cut down on hastle and mess. When my sis did made a turkey at college all the international students who were stuck in dorms came a runnin’, they didn’t realize just how passionate Americans are about t-giving. We grew up overseas courtesy of the DoDDS so t-giving wasn’t a country wide thing where tumbleweeds blow down empty streets, so to me it’s still a weird holiday.

  17. High school—well, I went to three high schools in four years so that wasn’t a lot of fun. But, your cultural memories of that time are the same as mine. My brother actually still has some of those X-Men comics.

    Hope you have a good day!!!

  18. Whilst you’re in a reminiscing mood, CrapFromThePast.com!
    A weekly radio show with a complete online archive of downloadables (nearly 20 years worth of his shows!), full of songs that no other radio shows would ever bother to play anymore..

    I’ve recently been going through the archive, and.. well. .it’s going a lot quicker than I thought!
    My original “one per night” plan seems to have rocketed to “just leave it going all day!”

    Can’t complain, it’s great stuff!

  19. I found the second Willy Wonka kind of creepy. There was just one cloned little person playing the Oompa-Loompas. Creepy.
    The first Willy Wonka is definitely a classic! I loved Gene Wilder’s performance. Just with the lift of his eyebrow, he could convey his thoughts/emotions.

    I know this movie is a different genre but has Akemi seen Jumanj? That movie surprised me too.

    Has anyone watched Case Histories on Masterpiece Theater? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/casehistories/index.html
    I love that show but are only showing three episodes!

    High School was not the best time for me. We lived so far out of town, that I never got to do any afterschool activities. (Even if we could have afforded it.) Just as well, seems like the main after school activity was getting pregnant.
    I made some lasting friendships though. The comic book/SciFi click kept in touch longer (since the early 80’s). We still trade books, and email each other.

    You doing ok Sparrow hawk?

  20. Joe I’m glad you cleared that up just goes to show you what a great producer you are hopefully sgu will go the way firefly did and we will eventually get a movie to close things up. And on the movie front if akemi has never seen it I would highly recomend national lampoons christmas vacation I lmao every time I watch it enjoy.

  21. High school wasn’t as bad as middle school because there was new stuff to learn (I was just taking up space in middle school after Xfering from a church school to public) and either the kids matured some or I had more freedom to remove myself from the presence of the worst behavior.

    I hate what the concept of compulsory schooling has done to our society in that it’s considered a virtue to stay and put up with abuse and people who do the natural thing, not put up with it, are looked down on as quitters. The world would be such a better place if quitting was more expected and the ones who want to take advantage of people would find their potential victims are all moving targets.

    You know what would have been better? If I had just been able to get a job at any age, instead of being warehoused outside the workforce for so many years. Then, I could have made learning into leisure and it would have been so much more enjoyable and productive.

  22. I actually own an original Willy Wonka DVD too, and that means it’s pretty high on my like list. LOL kids loved it when they were little, as did I.

    High school, I’m laughing again, it was one big party which was very stupid on my part, I can only plead youth, and I couldn’t wait to get to college to actually study things I liked and to come and go as I pleased with my own schedule. Alas, in the end that didn’t work out too well either, but not because of partying. I only have my stubbornness & stupidity to blame, and years later I made sure my son didn’t make my mistakes. I think- I hope- his life path will be much better.

    Good, I needed to rip open old wounds at this crossroad.
    DD

  23. I just noticed you have The Belgariad listed as being read, just my opinion, the women got a little tedious throughout but I thought the story overall was fantastic, as were following series. Mr. Eddings handling of religion is pretty fascinating. The entire collection is still on my shelf (I now have ebooks too), and Sparrowhawk is still one of my all-time fave fantasy characters.

  24. Awww. Thanks for the dedication, Joe. You’ll be pleased to know that the dog is de-skunked and the 1.5 inches of rain pretty well cleaned the yard and house.

    High school? It was great. Well, except for the race riots in the late 60’s (yeah, I’m old). We had police in the halls bedecked in helmets, flac jackets and billy clubs. We were not allowed to “congregate”, so we could ate lunch in the classrooms for most of my freshman year. But aside from that, I loved it. I was on our “It’s Academic” team, had great art teachers, hung out with my nerdy friends playing endless rounds of pinochle, canasta, hearts, monopoly, etc. Good times! College was fun, too. But a lot more work.

    I have a soft spot in my heart for Willie Wonka. I love Gene Wilder. I love Johnny Depp, too, but he made a really creepy Willie Wonka.

  25. Akemi needs to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Justin.tv is reporting that it is your favorite movie of all time!!

    Hey Joe, my friend has entered her dog, Gnarly, in the Fido Casting Call, care to vote (once every 24 hours) and help spread the word, Thanks a bunch!
    http://www.fidocastingcall.ca/dogs/21522

  26. Joe — did we go to high school together? 😉 Cause that’s about the way I remember it, too. Except I also had band, drama and choir rehearsals. Back in the Dark Ages of the 80s, one could be in all three. Now, with my own daughters enduring the teen years, you choose one and it consumes your entire life. (They both chose band.)

  27. High school sucks, for those who didn’t know, though I get the feeling that there isn’t anyone who doesn’t really know.
    In my particular case, from the end of elementary right until a mere year or two before finishing the high school pre-uni years, I wished I was 30 years old to have my own car, my own job, my own home, my own family, and was old enough to laugh at all the assholes at school when comparing their crap lives of school bullies with my cool life of a productive member of society.
    I’m almost 25, I lost my job as a programmer 10 months ago (still looking), who I thought to be my best friends left me to rot for a money-related problem after 6 months of hell and agony (and depression), my car has like half a dozen stupid problems to fix (still moves, though), I’m running low on money, I still live with my parents, and I’m still single. The only thing good in my life are the new buddies I met after losing the other ones, and my brother’s girlfriend, who is a total sweetheart and one of my newest best friends… and even then, I don’t hold my hopes high knowing how people say “forever”, but it never lasts nowhere as long. Add to that the fact that I live in Spain, hard hit with the economical crisis and all that stuff, and you can bet negativity is all settled here.

    Cheers

  28. I’m not going to slam the coach who broke the kid’s collarbone. The kid was 189 lbs. This isn’t him deciding to pick on the smallest kid for his jollies.

    I saw the coach running, expecting to be intercepted by three very large kids.

    It was an accident. I save my ire for if the coach was serious in accusing the kid of faking.

    Yes, it’s better judgment to realize if an accident’s going to happen, it would be better if it happened by ordering two 13 year olds to run at each other instead of being involved yourself, but demonstrating techniques is part of coaching. Ultimately, accidents happen and the coach wouldn’t have been preventing one to leave all the demonstrations to the kids.

    —————–

    I think back to when I was a taekowndo instructor and there were oversized kids in some of my classes. I would sometimes take over the job of sparring them because putting a less skilled fighter against them of a similar size could have got them hurt and they were too big to put against kids their own age. I was taking the risk of one of those one in a million injuries getting me put on youtube (if it existed then), but, ultimately, I was reducing the risk of injury by teaching those kids to recognize techniques I didn’t want them to see for the first time under less-controlled circumstances.

  29. @Zed of Earth

    Have you seen Edward Scissorhands? I would actually agree with you for the most part on Burton films, but I think ES is one of the sweetest modern – and original – fairy tales I can remember.

    I kinda love that movie.

    @Das

    Definitely agree that Danny Elfman is fantastic. Again I’ll cite Edward Scissorhands and I love what he did for Midnight Run, too…kind of atypical for Elfman, but perfect for the movie.

    But, yeah, I hated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on almost every level, including (maybe even especially) the music. The only thing about that movie that I liked was the scene when Willy Wonka went back to his old house and it was gone, heh.

  30. Whew. Okay. I guess I’m safe…for now.

    You know what you should show Akemi? Sayonara. I would be interested in her take on it.

    After that, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 🙂

    das

  31. i didn’t like willy wonka (either version) i don’t like johnny depp either. 2 unpopular opinions for the price of one!

    i’ve tried to block out my high school experiences (all my school experiences actually).
    i do recall there was at least one fight per week, the football players acted like big shots even though they rarely won more than 3 games per year & the teacher i had for home-ec sophomore year pissed me off so much that i never signed up for the class again because i was afraid i’d get her.

  32. High school for me was tough. I loved the learning component, just the social end of it I had difficulties. Oh and it didn’t help that the first high school I went to sucked and taught me Year 7 work for 3 years.

    It started out great, was in a great group of friends, who after a while decided they didn’t want to be friends with me anymore and on a pre-arranged signal would run..literally…weird behaviour…I didn’t get it at all….anyhoo I became a bit of a loner…flitted between people until I changed schools in Year 10. That was when I discovered those fantastic grades I was getting were all a lie ‘cos I wasn’t being given proper work.

    The new high school was very challenging. I went from a straight A student to failing..I hung out on my own a bit, catching up with homework etc. I worked very hard, had to repeat a year though and passed Year 12 and got into university etc. I’ve never really bothered going to reunions ‘cos I’m not really interested in high school people…I wish them well but I couldn’t care less what they’re doing now.

    I was always into sport, played netball and was a pretty quiet student…always got conscientious on my reports, never got in trouble.

    So that’s me!

    Cheers, Chev

  33. @das: You had greasers, too? I had to explain to my kids that they were real, not just something writers made up for movies. I was made an honorary greaser my senior year. Your autobiography was excellent, by the way. Johnny channeling Marilyn Manson? Now it makes sense.

    @Joe: Has Akemi seen Princess Bride yet?

  34. G’day Joe

    High school was just plain awful, apart from a few friends. Everyone bullied me and the teachers hated me. No wonder I am a recluse now. My 25 year reunion is coming up next year and they wonder why I am not going, thick as… Just lucky I now live 3500 KLMs (2200 miles) away.

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is awesome and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is awful.

    I agree with Alexander, put on Gremlins for Akemi, such a cool movie.

  35. Hey, Joe. How did it go at the vet with Maximus today? Been worried about the little cutie all day.

  36. I pretty much hate both Chocolate Factories and the music always drove me nuts. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a candy over eater and thus didn’t need the lessons it taught me? Or maybe just because both versions were really creepy with their Oompa Loompas and that dream sequence in the first and Depp’s bizarre interpretation in the second.

    Oh, high school. I’m really beginning to think I was blessed…or exceedingly privileged. I went to public school in suburbs or large towns (with one year of private Catholic school…by far the worst year of schooling) but I grew up with actual sex ed (no abstinence only BS), the one mention of creationism I ever got was when my teacher said “I’m required to tell you all that evolution is only a theory and other theories exist out there. Some people believe in Creationism. Okay, back to work,” America’s history of slavery was never glamorized, and we had civics classes (these last two I only just discovered are apparently unusual). Along with this, I actually liked high school. I’ve always been a geek so it’s not like I was the pretty popular girl type who loves high school. But where as now I’m a sci-fi, comic, politics nerd getting a PhD (because I need to be super dorky), back then I was a theatre geek who excelled in classes, and at my school, that was just fine. Our prom queen was a valedictorian, our prom king a speech and theatre geek who was also in AP classes. Of course, this isn’t to say every day of high school was great or that I never got teased or left out, but over all, I never had the horrible experiences some did (well, my mother was really embarrassing and I had no car so unless I could hitch a ride, senior year I was still riding the bus; that was horrifying!!).

  37. I just want to say to Steph and Anne, try to get together your roommates/flatmates/neighbors/fellow Americans together, first. Do a potluck! I spent a year abroad and my flatmates were great about wanting to participate in Thanksgiving. We did have an oven, though so that made it a little easier. As for not having an oven…do a “deconstructed” Thanksgiving dinner? Turkey sandwich with cranberry chutney and potato chips?

  38. Hey Joe

    How ’bout the movie ‘The Goonies’ for Akemi?

    I went to high school in the dark ages in Ontario, there were 5 years to it. I managed 4.5 then called bullshit and got on with my life. And I managed to be a honour student 2 of those years. All came down to playing the rules in grade 13. As far as I was concerned, if the final exam was worth 75% of my mark than so be it, the vice-principal had the idea that I should show up for classes too. I wrote the first term exams, and passed with flying colours, but was ‘caught’ by the vice-principal on the way out from the last one, words were exchanged ending with me telling him which orifice he could place his school and I left and never looked back.

    Elminster

  39. Strongly agreeing with BoltBait. You have got to show Akemi The Sound of Music. Talking about singing some songs after the movie is over… The Sound of Music will do it.

    High School was okay. I was very quiet and shy. Had the same group of friends all through it. What I remember the most are the disturbing parts of school. Like in the 8th grade a pervert of a math teacher obviously really liked me. He was always looking at me and smiling. I remember handing him a paper and he made sure his hand touched mine. Can’t really explain it, but I could demonstrate it. You’d probably get chills. If I knew then what I know now, he would have a couple of cracked chestnuts! He was real ugly and all the other kids noticed the way he looked at me. I think he is the reason I don’t like math and can’t do math today. Pervert!

    Once when I was a sophmore in High School, one of my friends called me one night and said let’s go to the Drive-In. (I had a car) Remember the Drive-In? I didn’t want to go but she did and had no one else to go with. After we got there, a guy she liked showed up at my car. She said she was going to walk with him and get something to drink and would be right back. She did not come back. I sat at the Drive-In by myself, getting pretty mad. She knew he and a couple of his friends were going to be there and just used me as the transportation. I sat there trying to decide if I should just leave her there. But, being the nice person I am, I waited for her to come back. It just wasn’t a nice thing to do to a “friend”, but that is the kind of person she was. “I often said, with her as a freind, who needs enemies. My other friends were all great. High School was okay. I have probably deleted out all the bad stuff that goes on. But can’t really remember any good stuff either.

    My favorite groups were Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Foreigner, The Bee Gees. Pink Floyd, ELO. My favorite movies were (I was watching the oldies even back then) It’s A Wonderful Like, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Miricle Worker (with Anne Bancroft), and Rebecca, Sound of Music.

  40. @Lou Zucaro

    Well, things don’t look too bright right now, since I need employment, badly, but morale has certainly had a spike since a few months back, when I was more troubled, so, “looking up” could be a way to define it, yeah.

    My use of “cheers” is for another reason though. In Spain, we use a “goodbye” expression for most messages, and back when I started to visit forums and blogs in English, I didn’t have any expression that did it for me, as they all looked to me like writting a business letter, so I went with “Cheers”, and now, it has stuck all the way hehe.

    Cheers! 😀

  41. I love A Christmas Story and definitely think you should get Akemi to watch that. ‘Tis the season!

    My high school years were okay, a bit boring maybe. I don’t really remember that much about them, except that we had a smoking lounge for students. Sounds unbelievable now, but this was the early 70s and I think the school was hoping we’d all stick to just nicotine if they made it legal at school. That plan didn’t really work, but I can tell you we all made good use of the smoking lounge! Seems like nearly everyone ended up there at least a few times, even us “good girls.”

  42. Willie Wonka is a favorite of mine – I still show clips of it to my economics classes to illustrate the factors of production (Oompaloompas are labor you know and Willie is an entrepreneur). Couldn’t stand the Depp version. Liked him better as Sweeny Todd – the creepiness was better suited.

    High school – there were 42 people in my graduating class. Big school. Someone mentioned having dinner to stories of Vietnam on television – that was me too. My heroes were Joe Namath and Henry Kissinger. Weird combination I know. We lived way out in the country, so there was very little social life. I hung out most of the time in the teacher’s lounge having coffee when I was a senior. I didn’t hate high school but I didn’t love it either. It just was what it was. Odd now that I teach in high school…

  43. Ah, high school. I’ll say this: It was better than junior high. 13-year-old girls can be horrible horrible people.
    My high school experience was fairly typical I guess, Think “Freaks and Geeks”. And thank God no one ever tried to physically bully me after junior high. It can be advantageous to live in the same town throughout your school years — Give one bully a black eye and you might just be safe for awhile. If you’re lucky.
    I don’t envy teenagers today who have all the crap of high school plus an entire online universe in which they can be bullied. (Then again, I suppose they might also have more online resources to turn to.)
    BTW, “Freaks and Geeks” was the best show ever done about high school. I’m just sayin’.
    – KB

  44. @dasndanger
    Calm blue ocean…calm blue ocean…
    I’m sorry you had a horrible and scarring time at high school, but I can’t understand your understanding of kids who take out their pain by hurting others. ‘An eye for an eye ends in making everybody blind.’- Gandhi. Where does the infliction of pain end?
    I applaud you for returning to high school to offer support to kids who suffered as you did. I think you said more about who you are with your actions than with your angry thoughts. I am sure there were many kids who were thankful to have an ally on staff. A sympathetic ear is a valuable thing. 🙂
    I don’t mean to pry, but do you work with kids now? You seemed to find your time at the library very fulfilling, and with your own crappy experiences and empathy, you have alot to offer teenagers.

    Now I think you should go and have a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. 🙂

    @Mirth Mistress
    I have never seen or even heard of the film ‘A Christmas Story’, but to me the idea of a child desperately wanting a gun is just icky. ‘Let’s celebrate the season of peace and goodwill by giving weaponry to small children.’ As I said, I have never seen the film, so I hope by the end of it the child has a different wish, such as world peace or kittens. 🙂

    @Mix-martes86
    You have my sympathy; unemployment sucks! Literally – it sucks the life, confidence and energy out of you. 🙁

    Bright side, you have somewhere to live, even if it’s not ideal, and you’re not alone in living with your parents; it’s a growing trend in the Western world for adult children to live with their parents, either because financial circumstances have left them with no other option, or because they are saving up for their own home, holiday, etc. Some people would say it’s a perfectly sensible thing to do, financially speaking.

    I’m sorry about your friends, that is really hurtful what they did. But it’s great that you have made new friends, and you know that these friends are not fairweather friends like those others.

    And, you know, you are only 24! Plenty of time for good stuff to happen. Being young, you have a better chance of employment than an older person. And even just from this one post of yours, I can tell that you have alot going for you:
    You are literate in at least 2 languages,
    You can drive,
    You have a car,
    You are a qualified computer programmer.

    If you don’t mind some advice, try and keep some structure in your life while you are unemployed. Get up at a regular time, set yourself tasks during the day, go to bed at a regular time, eat healthily, all that stuff. I know it’s easier said than done. Maybe do a course, not necessarily in your field, just something for fun – it will lift your morale. Or volunteer work, it will not only keep you busy and not thinking about your woes, but being needed is a great confidence boost – and it will impress prospective employers!

    Try not to pay too much attention to the negativity in the media; bad news is more of a story than good news, and while I’m sure things are bad, maybe they’re not as gloomy as they’re being painted.

    And don’t forget, depression can be treated. A psychologist can give you the mental tools to help yourself. You’re not alone, you know.

    Didn’t mean to preach at ya – hope things improve for you soon. 🙂

    @Quade
    ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,’ yeah! Did you know that Ian Fleming wrote the book on which the film is based? I would have loved a car like that, and also those flutey sweets, what were they called?

    Oh, and what about ‘Mary Poppins’?

    @Lou Zucaro
    I have seen ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and I didn’t like that film either! I’m just not a fit with Tim Burton, I guess. Maybe it’s a cultural thing.
    I did like Johnny Depp in the non-Tim Burton directed ‘Chocolat’ though. 🙂

    @Quade
    Toot Sweets! That’s what they were called. 😀

    @dasndanger
    ‘Monty Python & The Holy Grail’, yeah! In fact, Monty Python generally. 😀

    And, das, didn’t mean to preach at you, either… 🙂

  45. Dear Joe, I’m curious and I really need some kind of straight answer: have you officially given up and left the Stargate Franchise on the shelf for good? Have you and the other creators ever considered taking your amazing creative writing skills to make a form of some continuation like novels?
    I’m very disappointed in the fact that you and so many of the writers of the show have not communicated this possible endeavor. Sure it won’t be as profitable as it would be on film but better something then nothing at all. It seems like you guys have thrown in the towel too early, come on guys get creative!
    Please give me a straight forward blunt answer don’t bs me.In other words, I’m looking for a real answer like “Yes, I or we have considered novels but….” or “No, I or we never thought of that because we….” etc. I’m getting very sick of vague answers or no news at all about Stargate. I want to know that someone is willing to try something.

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