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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
FEB
07

The X-Files Reboot

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It's such a dirty trick, really. How TV shows get us hooked and then go off the air. I've pined after the ends of Sex and the City (luckily the two post-show movies helped me cope), Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights, and others, but no show have I ever missed more than The X-Files.

I was raised in a home that observed the sabbath day, such that my parents strove to have it be a day truly set apart from all others. Meaning if it was something we did during the week (like go over to friends' houses or watch TV), we didn't do it on Sunday. The TV thing was really a killer, because that's when The X-Files was on. So I would record each episode on a video cassette and watch it Monday morning before school. And considering that I had not one but TWO earlybird classes in high school (meaning I left the house by 6 AM), this meant I was waking up at 4 AM just to watch that week's episode. True, unadulterated dedication if I ever heard it, especially for a teenager.

What made it so good? You could say the conspiracy theories were interesting, the monster episodes spooky, but really it came down to Scully and Mulder. Their personalities were so different, Scully so rational and Mulder so into the paranormal. Some say their lack of romance was what kept the show so good, but all I ever wanted was for the two of them to get together. So I hung on every touch (that New Years kiss!), every line of flirty banter. That Fox has temporarily brought back the X-Files has made my 2016 such a treat so far. A decade and a half older, and it's not like they don't look it, but Scully and Mulder are still the same (so is the opening song/credits), and this reboot seems so much like the original series that I'm wondering why they ever took it away. Here's hoping we can convince Fox to make this a permanent thing...and not just because I'd like to see them get together for real.

FEB
11

Unified

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I attended a high school basketball game last week that just may have restored my faith in the youth of America. See, I'd never heard of a "unified" basketball league, but they are essentially composed of a mix of kids with special needs and kids without them. The kids without special needs, many of them quite athletically talented, are the ones who primarily rebound, get the ball down the court and into the hands of a shooter, but they themselves are not allowed to shoot. Only the special needs kids can shoot the ball.

When the concept was explained to me prior to the game, it's the sort of thing you hear about and then worry you might cry when you see it in action. "Oh no," I was assured. "It's not like that." But it is like that. And I'm here to tell you that I could have cried at almost every moment of that game. Every time a girl in a wheelchair or boy with down syndrome put their arms up in celebration after making a shot. Every time the audience cheered at full volume when either team made a basket.

But what perhaps touched me the most was that these kids--the ones without special needs--were choosing to spend their time this way; to be on this team as opposed to one where they could have played to their full potential, showed no (or at least less) mercy, and perhaps gained some amount of notoriety around campus. Being on a high school campus at all reminded me of my own high school days, which, whether or not this fully came across in Schooled, I feel like I experienced in an almost constant state of selfishness. It's just the way teenagers are, I've rationalized. Only these kids weren't. And I was so impressed by their selflessness as they pushed wheelchairs and walked step for step with their more challenged teammates. I left feeling moved and inspired, and how many times do your interactions with teenagers have that effect? It's why I believe everyone who attends a unified league game knows instinctively that he has witnessed something truly special.

JUN
05

The Teens

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Last weekend marked the 16th anniversary of the little driving mishap that's chronicled in Schooled. It's hard to believe that much time has gone by. It's hard to believe I was ever that young. When looking at teenagers today, in many ways they seem less mature and more lazy. Sometimes I'm sure I was in better shape (in terms of overall head-on-shoulders-ness), but when I really think back to those years, my attitude was far from where it should have been. Wish I would have been less selfish and more appreciative of my parents, for instance. That's teenagers for you, some might say, but I know a few who are making it through those years seemingly unscathed by selfishness and attitude, and I guess what I'm saying is I wish I could have been one of them.

It's also an interesting experience to reacquaint yourself with things you swore by in those days. Daiquiri Ice by Baskin Robbins, for example, which I used to think was heavenly. The. Best. Kind. Of ice cream. At BR just last night, I ordered Daiquiri Ice for old times' sake, and I didn't think it was all that great. It could have been the word 'daiquiri' that had me so enchanted as a youngster, or maybe the frosty green color that  made it stand out from the other flavors. Or maybe my tastes are simply different now. I remember my parents showing me and my sister a movie they had loved when they were teenagers. When it turned out to be much more crude than they remembered it being, they were embarrassed and apologized profusely.

So, see. We change. We improve. Yes, we also regress, but I bet improvement holds the lion's share as we grow older, gain perspective, and hone in on the kind of people we want to be. The kind of people we are. And, in my case, the kind of people we wish we would have been. Shoulda, coulda, woulda is not a productive train of thought, but sometimes I can't help it.

PS - Who knew daiquiri was spelled that way?