Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Must Be Thursday

It's Thanksgiving in the USA today. Even though I'm Canadian, I still have fond memories of celebrating an American Thanksgiving in Japan.

I never realized how much emotional attachment Americans put into their Thanksgiving until I was in Japan, and working alongside two Americans. When Thanskgiving rolled around, they were almost crippled by homesickness. They were wandering the halls of the school, always on the verge of tears. One almost lost it when he admitted that his turkey dinner was a turkey sandwich at Starbuck's. Then they turned to me and said, "Well, they've got Thanksgiving in Canada, right Mark? How come you're not sad today?" And that's when I told them that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving at the start of October, and that I went through my homesickness a month and a half ago, and then they started feeling even worse because they ignored me when I was going what they were going through. It was just a bad day at work.

So if you've got an American friend, and he or she is feeling a little down today, I ask that you take them down to the local sandwich shop, buy them a turkey sandwich, and follow the old addage, "If you can't be with the ones you love, then love the ones you're with."

And if you're a non-Canadian with a Canadian friend, I hope you remember this story when they're feeling all down and despondent at the start of October.

It's that time of year again! I'm getting deluged with e-mail requests for a copy of A Mouse, A Mystery, and Me.

Remember this great ol' Christmas special? Two teenagers and their talking mouse friend solve the mystery of a missing department store Santa (played by the legendary actor Dick Van Patten). It was a blend of animation and live-action, with the mouse being animated. It got heavy airplay on Edmonton's ITV in the late-80s/early-90s, because it was filmed in Edmonton.

But anyway, a few years back, I created a catalogue of all the holiday specials I taped off TV, and posted the catalogue to my website. A Mouse, A Mystery, and Me is on that catalogue, and every year around this time, I get a half-a-dozen e-mails requesting a copy.

I'm hoping to get a new computer early next year sometime. My new machine has to have a video capture card, so I can rip that thing off of VHS and sell bootleg DVDs on eBay. There's got to be some money in that.

The Husky here in Athabasca just added a vending machine that rents DVDs. I want to rent a DVD from it, just so I can say, "Yo yo yo! I rented this DVD from a vending machine!"

Wanna know how it handles late fees? Like this. You pay for it by swiping your credit card...no coins, bills, or debit at this machine. And if the DVD's not back in 24 hours, you get billed for it! You buy it! I tempted to do that, too, just so I can say, "Yo yo yo! I bought this DVD from a vending machine!"

This isn't a new idea...I remember Safeway having a vending machine that rented video tapes in the late-1980s. I wonder how many people back them were going, "Yo yo yo! I rented this video from a vending machine!"

When I was in Japan, I was in the change room at this swimming pool one time, and in the change room was a vending machine that sold clean underwear. I still regret not buying underwear from that machine...I'd be parading around to this very day..."Yo yo yo! I bought this underwear from a vending machine!"

I love vending machines.

And today's random bit of movie trivia....

Steven Spielberg, who produces the Shrek films through his company Dreamworks Animation, had been trying to get a Shrek movie off the ground for a long time.

The earliest recorded attempt was in 1991. Spielberg was talking to Don Bluth, with which Spielberg had made An American Tale and The Land Before Time, about doing Shrek as a traditional animated film. Back then, Spielberg was picturing Bill Murray as the voice of Shrek and Steve Martin as Donkey.

Plans were abadoned when Spielberg went on record as saying that Bluth's An American Tale 2: Fivel Goes West was inferior to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Their professional relationship soured after that.

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