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Joey G
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I was a sophomore in a Catholic all-boys high school, and we had an all-school mass in the gym that day, when after Communion, the religious ministry director took the mic and said the space shuttle had exploded. The school turned on the TVs in the little theater next to the cafeteria, and during lunch I stopped in to watch the news and see the explosion for the first time. I got home late that day after track practice, and came through the bus/train station where they were selling an extra edition of the Chicago Tribune. I still have that edition to this day. In Chicago, it was a oddly surreal week -- the Bears had just won the Super Bowl a couple days earlier and the city had gone crazy, but the disaster effectively brought everyone back to reality.
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Awesome post, Wil. I remember my first Basic game, which was the red book right before your edition, and I remember B2, as a player and a DM, quite well :) In a nice coincidence, a D&D commercial with the 1983 Basic edition was posted to YouTube yesterday. The poster also operates a Web site of classic Chicago television and puts up plenty of old commercials; I wonder if he read your blog and dug this up. And yes, I think that is Jami Gertz ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz24ByUiXWA
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Not just concerts and movies ā€” I was at a friend's wedding in a big, old, Catholic church, the kind where you can hear everything. Confessions were scheduled for the church after the wedding was over, but some older parishioners were filing in near the confessionals, and one of them a few pews behind us started a conversation with another rather loudly during the wedding Mass! I almost turned around and said, "Sorry, is this wedding interrupting your conversation?" There's no excuse for blatant rudeness, but are there times we just don't realize how loud we at such events? I know I've been guilty of this once, where I didn't realize how loud I was talking and was asked to be quieter (at a Sting concert long ago, no less). I want to believe at least I was talking about the concert I was attending, and I had lost my virginity the night before ā€” I'm sure I was talking overexuberantly the whole day :)
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Thanks for posting this Wil, it was an awesome trip back to eighth grade :) The first two videos on part one are a great example how much music video changed in about nine months in 1983. You could tell "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" was just thrown together quickly on cheap film and pretty much. Compare that to "Heart and Soul," where production values were at an obviously much higher level and there was an actual plot. Not that having a plot is important, but even "Little Red Corvette" looked better than "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" in terms of being a performance video. In early 1983, "Billie Jean," "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Let's Dance" changed everything. The Sessions commercial for the soft rock collection is a blast. Forgot what a big deal those compilation albums were :)
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2008 on three hours of MTV from 1983 at WWdN: In Exile
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Wil, I don't remember all your scenes from this episode, but I do remember (I hope I'm remembering this right :) Wesley seemingly reaching out to the holodeck dad as it was ending and saying "bye dad." As soon as you mentioned the episode on the entry, that was the first thing I thought of, and though I have no acting expertise whatsoever, I thought you conveyed Wesley's reaction at that one moment well. Your self-critiquing is good -- without it, you wouldn't have grown as an actor or a person. Yes, you were a professional, but still just 18, you were still learning about yourself at the time. I'm a journalist, and I sometimes can be haunted at the times when I was 18-23 when I didn't do a very good job, either, when I froze during an interview or didn't thoroughly report something, or was just a punk to the good people who were mentoring me. (And at least for a couple years there, I was working for a big-city newspaper, not my college paper.) Even though I wish I could have done better then, those experiences are there and they're not going away. The best I can do is remember them and realize what I've learned from them and apply it to my career and my life today. It sounds like you are doing that too, but it's not easy, because there's always a part of all of us that wishes we could get a do-over. I'm sure I'm rambling now, but I guess what I'm saying is that it's OK to have the regrets, but to never lose sight that those regrets can be, and have been, constructive, too. JG
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Hope it went well, Wil! Your recommendation on Galactica a few months back spurred me to buy the miniseries, then the first season, then 2.0, then caught up with the rest of the second season -- and now I have to wait until October for the next season. I'm very hooked :) JG
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2006 on there are many copies at WWdN: In Exile
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Wil, are you just daring us to counter with our videogame memories from the '80s. I'll keep mine short, because I could probably type for hours ... -- Centipede at the tavern my dad's friends owned. And this was right after Centipede came out, too, and it was unlike any shooter up to that point (this was a few months before Galaga). The tavern sponsored a bus ride to the Cubs game, then returned to the bar. My dad, having had a few beers at the game, switched to water at the tavern and gave me a few bucks to play. -- Galaga, Galaxian, Turbo, Tomahawk Missile, Radarscope and Eagle at Holiday Bowl in Norridge, Ill. A huge bowling alley now long gone; my mom was in a league there one morning a week, and we'd tag along during the summer. The trick was not wasting all our quarters before she bowled three games. Radarscope was an old Nintendo shooter which came out before Donkey Kong. -- Astro Invader, Super Cobra, Wizard of Wor, Armor Attack at an arcade called Just Games in Chicago. Astro Invader, btw, is the game pushed over in the Tom Petty video "You Got Lucky." -- Way too many games to remember at the Aladdin's Castle by us, but mostly seeing Gorf for the first time. -- Chexx at the arcade at the roller rink that was also open to non-skaters. -- Finally (well sort of, again, I could go on for hours), playing Dig Dug and Kangaroo at ChicagoFest at Navy Pier in 1982. Also saw Willie Tyler and Lester that night, The Association and a couple songs by Tito Puente and Ricky Skaggs (couldn't convince my parents to go over and see Joan Jett, though :) I love Games of Our Lives, especially some games I've never heard of, I suppose there were a lot of games that never got east of California. Keep up the good work :) JG
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2006 on insert coin at WWdN: In Exile
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I laughed out loud when you saw the U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,Select,Start bumper sticker. I just installed an NES emulator and have been playing Contra for the first time since the first Bush administration, and as soon as you read off the bumper sticker, I knew exactly what it referenced: the most famous NES cheat code (along with A,B,B,A for Ikari Warriors, but the only place you'll see a bumper sticker for that is Sweden :) I've really enjoyed the two podcasts, looking forward to the next one! Thanks -- JG
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2005 on Radio Free Burrito Episode One at WWdN: In Exile
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