Neverending Story memories

If you were on the Internet today, you probably saw the the Google Doodle was a celebration of the anniversary of the publication of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

For many children of the 80s, this book and the movie adaptation conjure up fond memories. I am no different.

I remember my Mom reading this book aloud to me as a bedtime story. The thing that fascinated me the most was that the hardcover edition she had checked out from the library had text in two different colors – one for our world, and one for Fantasia. It was the first “adult” book I had seen with any kind of color inside beyond black and white. It just felt magical seeing the words in green and red. I remember a certain excitement once I was old enough to read it, to be able to read those colorful words on my own and enter Fantasia, but at the same time it was kind of sad because I really liked going there with my Mom.

If you’ve never read the book, I suggest finding a hardcover copy so you can experience the magic too. The movie is only half the story.

#MusicMonday Betterman — Pearl Jam (and memories)

I was driving around the other day listening to the radio (which I don’t usually do, I usually have my iPod plugged in because ever since I worked in radio for a year and I can’t really stand listening to it…but I was nice and lent my iPod to my boyfriend for his 12 hour drive to Wisconsin) and this song came on.

And as soon as I heard the opening strums of the guitar, I was hit by a wave of memories.

Peal Jam and Nirvana were super big when I was in middle school. I wasn’t into them at all. My musical tastes were still mostly focused on Disney soundtracks and whatever my Mom was listening to at the time (so, ya know, Phil Collins and Sting). Hearing the term “grunge”, I assumed that the music would be loud and screamy and not my thing. So I kind of avoided them somehow.

But there was this really nice kid in my class, his name was Alec Miller. He *loved* these bands. He sensed my resistance and after we sat and discussed music for awhile (yeah, I’m sorta shocked that we were able to have an intelligent discussion about what we liked and disliked in music when we were only 13…). Anyway, Alec was a good listener and he returned the next week with a mix tape of hand-picked Pearl Jam songs that he thought I would like. Betterman was on that tape, I think it might have been the first song actually.

It’s weird how the mind works because this song triggered this memory which lead to another memory of Alec, a memory that changed my young adult life. I can’t really remember all the details, all I know is that Alec was being bullied by some other kids in the school. I think they decided that since he wore grunge style clothes, he was some kind of punk. One day, it escalated to the point where they flat out told him they were going to beat him up that day. I have a memory of Alec being a total wreck, his eyes bloodshot from crying and we convinced him to tell a teacher, that the thing you were supposed to do was tell and adult and they would fix it.

Unfortunately, the adults had the same biases based on Alec’s look – he told them he had been threatened and they said nothing would happen and told him to go to class.

And then he got jumped by three guys on his way to class.

I’m not even sure I ever saw him after that. His mother yanked him out of our school and transferred him to another school. But I remember that day as the day I realized that you can just trust people in authority to do the right thing. If those teachers had taken him seriously, it could have been avoided.

So these are the things that go through my head when any of the low-key Pearl Jam songs come on the radio…

Do you have any songs with powerful memories attached to them? Write your own post or share in the comments!

May the 4th be with You.

So, the only thing I did Star Wars related today was post a few photos on Instagram of my Star Wars toys. Honestly, I know those movies so well, I can just close my eyes and watch them in my head LOL.

Star Wars has long been a part of the Definition of Me. I watched the movies non-stop when I was a kid. I have fond memories of putting in the VHS of Return of the Jedi, sitting through the entire Jabba’s Palace sequence, then after the gang escaped Tattooine, running into my toy room to grab my box of Star Wars figures and dragging them out to play with in front of the TV while the “boring” parts of the movie went on (oh you know what I mean, all the talking bits and the sad bits). I think my favorite toy was probably the Rancor because his mouth opened and closed, rawr rawr rawr. Usually I would spend a lot of time setting up all the figures, then the shuttle would land on Endor and I would be back into movie watching.

As I got older, Star Wars was always there but it floated into the background until the early 90s. I signed up for the Lucasfilm Fan Club. I think this was actually a result of Young Indiana Jones Chronicles merchandise that I picked up at a school book fair. Getting that magazine reminded me how much I loved those movies and sent me into obsession mode. My middle school folders and notebooks were COVERED in Star Wars doodles. I know my blue folder for social studies had the ENTIRE main cast list written out on the front. And around this same time the Timothy Zahn novels were published and I was sucked back into the universe.

I’ve never been too deep into the online fandom but I do attend meetings with the DCSWCC, a awesome group of folks that love the movies, for better or for worse. I may not watch the movies every year, but when someone asks me to name my favorite thing, Star Wars will always been on that list.

For me Star Wars is like that teddy bear you’ve had since you were born. You don’t remember who gave it to you. You may know because you have been told, but otherwise it has always been a part of your life. And when times get tough or you’re feeling a little out of it, just holding it close gives you a calm feeling. Rewatching Star Wars just makes me happy. The original trilogy is so closely linked to everything in my life, I just feel at home in front of the TV watching Luke, Han, and Leia run around fighting baddies.

So tonight I raise a glass to the original trilogy, the classic movies that started this whole crazy franchise. You made me the geek girl I am today, and for that, I say thank you.

You scruffy looking nerfherder.

X Files – my first fandom

So, apparently today is the 20th Anniversary of the premiere of X-Files. Which means I have many feels. And apart from feeling old, I’m feeling nostalgic because this show was really my first fandom.

Technically, I shouldn’t really celebrate MY anniversary of the show until April 22 of 2014 because the first episode I ever saw was “Tooms“. I remember it well. I was home with my little brother, babysitting while my parents were out running errands or some such. We were both enjoying The Adventure of Brisco County Jr and we knew that the show after it was supposed to be really scary. Vincent was sitting next to me as the credits rolled for Brisco and we both made an unspoken agreement to see what the scary show was like. I remember sitting on the couch, both of us sorta bracing ourselves. The show appeared to be starting…the little FOX logo had popped up in the corner. It was really dark…I pressed the volume button up a few notches but didn’t really hear anything…it appeared to be some kind of hallway, maybe a prison…volume up a little more…then SCARY EYES!!!!!!!!!! And, BLARING OUT OF THE SPEAKERS CAME:

I screamed, pressed the volume button down as quickly as I could…but it was too late. I was hooked.

I spent the rest of the summer, tuning in every Friday night. I learned how to program the VHS player to record episodes when I wasn’t home and soon mastered the art of recording on SLP mode, editing out commercials, getting 7 episdoes on a 6 hour VHS. I even transferred the Pilot and E.B.E. to cassette and listened to them on my walkman while sitting in the backyard and with my walkman on the school bus in the morning and they were soon committed to memory.

Yeah, I was hardcore.

Soon, I was on the Prodigy message boards, reading tame fanfic (like reworkings of the Cinderella story with Scully as the heroine) and finding early filk lyrics. I had a poster of David Duchovny on the wall and I printed out DDEB (David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade) cards to carry in my tween wallet. I even wrote a script, my own fanfic, which I passed around to my 8th grade class, getting feedback. Everyone knew it was my show, they knew trying to contact me on a Friday after 9pm was hopeless. I signed up for an unofficial fan club when the show was truly just a cult show, getting a photocopied ‘zine sent to my house every few months (whenever the person in charge had time to get it all together).

I wrote fan mail to the actors and got my first autograph + photo back. Not sure if pen ever actually met paper, but it was a big step for me. Later on I wrote a letter to the composer, Mark Snow, asking him about how one would play the song on a flute (my high school instrument) and he actually sent me back some sheet music, which he autographed for me. My fangirl heart new the rush of getting that personalized autograph – life would never be the same!

X Files fan mail Autographed X-Files sheet music

And should I even mention the story where I managed to track down the copy of Playgirl that had the interview with David Duchovny? I’m sure the person I was talking with on the online forum didn’t realize how young I was, but I needed that magazine. When it arrived for me (thank god my Mom didn’t go through my mail, not sure what would have happened then!) I was SO EMBARRASSED, I closed my eyes, ripped out the pages I needed and GLUED THEM TO CONSTRUCTION PAPER! I didn’t want to see the random naked men, I just wanted to read about Dreamy David.

LOL'd when I found this

Like all good fandoms, it helped me make new friend, particularly bittertwee. She was already a family friend, but the show made the two of us become life long pals and to this day we still bitch about the show and then wax nostalgic about the characters and plots. And, yes, we even went to see the second movie, which was laughably bad but at least we were together.

Yes, eventually X-Files let me down. Carter never seemed to have a plan for where it was all going and the explanation of the conspiracy never came. He promised that all the questions would be answered in the movie but instead decided to drag the show out until Duchovny left and even dared to continue after Anderson was done with her role. MISTAKE!

I had left long before that, the episode with the “Butt Genie” pushed me over the edge and soon I found myself in the comforting arms of Joss Whedon and that long term relationship. But X-Files will always be my first. I look back on it with mixed emotions. I’m always surprised when I see younger users on tumblr reblogging posts, but I guess Mulder/Scully was the original ‘ship (even though I NEVER shipped them. never EVER). I’m still a little bitter about it all – when you devote that much time to a fandom, it’s hard not to feel hurt when it ends poorly. But it was one of the first. It was the first show to really deal with The Internet and probably the most involved I have ever been with a single fandom.

Happy Anniversary X-Files.

I want to believe.

Trust No One.

Believe the Lie.

This is all your fault.

movies and memories: “He can live with us, mom!”

Old friends, new friends

So this is how the story goes:

When I was little, my parents took me to see E.T. in the theater. I liked the movie, but like any child, I was very upset to see E.T. leave. My mom tells me I left the theater with tears in my eyes, telling her that E.T. could have lived with us. At some point, maybe later that day or later in the week, I was given my very own E.T. plush to love and squeeze and take care of.

A few years ago when E.T. celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary and Universal released a whole new set of toys, my parents got me the life-size doll in this photo.

And this year, I played Bioshock:Infinite. I adored the game and especially “my” relationship with Elizabeth. As the credits rolled, all I could think was how much I was going to miss her, that I didn’t want it to be over, that maybe there were more adventures to be had.

So last week, in a moment of retail therapy, I stumbled across the Hot Topic 25% off sale and there was the Elizabeth action figure, just calling to me. I had to have her!

Now Elizabeth and E.T. can live here in my apartment of misfit toys and continue having adventures here…

and they will. đŸ™‚

The bird or the cage? #colorcap Elizabeth meets a fellow time & space traveler... #doctorwho #bioshock Elizabeth and the Time Lord #doctorwho #bioshock