Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Super Stale Ninja Steel

Super Ninja Steel began just as bad as the end of the first-half, on par with Super Megaforce for bad anniversary seasons. First I gotta say, they really put together a great intro this year, I feel like one of the best since the original classic era. The presentation and flow of the clips is just perfect to me.

I liked how they tied directly into the end of Dino Super Charge with Sledge & crew coming out of the wormhole and taking the asteroid after Odius had it stripped. Things did get a bit sloppy, saying both "super ninja steel" and "ninja super steel," as well as Badonna switching groups, when we obviously never saw her before this. Once we returned to Summer Cove High School, things just went downhill. A new school year? Really? We're supposed to believe Odius waited about 9 months?! I do like having her as the main villain this year and never have I rooted for the enemy so much.

The Rangers fighting without their powers was good and I wish had gone on longer but instead getting new Ninja Power Stars was rushed and badly executed. And sure, a lot of exposition is nothing new, but it felt like they were really pushing it, trying too hard to make it clear what was going on. One of the worst midseason premieres of the Super halves. If only they could be two parts like the first premiere.

From there it didn't get much better with episodes continuing to be bogged down by lame plots. Calvin forgetting his anniversary with Hayley, thinking she was cheating on him with Preston, the Summer Cove students & Rangers becoming addicted to a handheld video game... We did get a good Levi episode mixed in (easily the best this year) and Sarah's mom & Hayley's dad kind of getting together was alright too. I like the Galactic Ninjas and Odius taking the power medallions, as well as having another episode with Sarah & her hoverboard. We barely get midseason cliffhangers anymore and ending the spring episodes with Odius defeating the Lion Fire Megazord & burning out the zord stars was pretty good. The bar is set so low now though and it's looking like we'll be back to lame fillers after "OUTFOXED" & "DIMENSIONS IN DANGER." Plus I enjoy how the BGM switched to a full on MMPR ripoff, but they're kind of crossing the line using a very similar Bulk & Skull theme for Victor & Monty.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Senior Year and Beyond: 20 Years Later

I've reminisced about 1998 and my time at Roosevelt you can still find here and here via LiveJournal. Now here we are again, celebrating '98 with the 20th anniversary of graduation and a nice visit back at the school, part of reunion day.

Simply put, high school was mostly pretty well for me and Senior Year was the cumulation of it all . I can't say much for Freshmen Year, just that it started out slow not really knowing anyone, except for rejoining Ting (who was a year ahead of me), after 7th grade at Eckstein. I had a Home Ec class I never did much work in and I was probably pretty happy to quickly get out of P.E. entirely (which I did have 6th - 8th grade).

Sophomore Year I joined the school store (Teddy's Corner) which moved to a bigger space (after basically being the space of broom closet) and we started selling balloons. Ting and I had a ceramics class and all I did were small bowls (which I still have!) The teacher had a radio and Real McCoy's "Another Night" would often come on, which I'd say pretty much introduced me to the entire genre of dance music. We also had a radio on sometimes in 5th period and at some point I got introduced to C89.5 FM "Seattle's Hottest Music" (now "Seattle Home For Dance"). I then did a work training program over the summer of 1997, helping out the custodians at Nathan Hale High School (where C89 is located). Right around my last day, I got a quick tour of the old second floor studios. I still have fond memories of listening to the station during my walk home from Nathan Hale, as well as a keepsake binder covered in C89 stickers I found one day in the recycling room, in addition to the photos from my visit.

Junior Year pretty much continued the Ting and I duo, helping out with Teddy's Corner and then having 5th & 6th periods at Nathan Hale's Print Shop, as part of the VOTIS program. Ms. Fernandez (who was in charge of the store), was a very nice lady who took a group of us on a field trip to the Space Needle for lunch one day. Senior Year I didn't continue with the store and Ting had graduated. Though it was fun having one school year with my sister Sarah, who I'd occasionally see with friends in the hall. Also I liked getting to sleep a bit later having no first period, but it took awhile to figure out a second period for me. And once we did I ended up not even liking it because it was just too advanced (It was Advanced Drawing & Painting after all). To this day, I still remember successfully getting one of the art projects done and then watching the teacher roll her eyes as I handed it in. Of course, Senior Projects were the big thing, which I've talked about. In some awful timing, I was late for school the day we needed to turn in the big presentation boards. The night before, as I was getting all set for the morning, the police forced a neighborhood evacuation due to a standoff involving someone with a gun up the driveway from us. I remember pretty much just sleeping in the car with Sarah, mom and dad at the top of the street until probably 2 or 3 am. Also, I was still in the VOTIS program (again taking up the last two periods), with one more semester at the Print Shop and then working at the downtown A&S Center second semester.

Finally, the end of high school came and I made sure to get a bunch of photos and as many yearbook signatures as I could, great to look back on today. And as I've talked about, a fitting end with a wonderful Senior Spree. Not real sure where I'd be the following year, I then enjoyed a very long, lazy summer, often up, chatting on AOL and listening to C89 until 3 or 4 am, consistently starting the day in the afternoon. A lot of time to watch MTV and a lot was on... The original Real World Seattle, Road Rules All-Stars - the very beginning of what would become The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, plus the debut of Total Request in a new primetime block, which soon became the TRL afternoon countdown. Earlier in the year, Road Rules Northern Trail did a Seattle episode featuring Third Eye Blind which I thought was the coolest thing. The TV landscape was of course very different, unlike today with Netflix Originals, reboots and The CW's Superhero TV. Besides MTV, my favorite show was definitely Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I immediately loved That '70s Show when it premiered in August. This was also when I really started to catch up on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers afternoon reruns, while the current season (Power Rangers in Space) would end the first six years with a truly morphinominal finale in November.

Meanwhile, October 4 was my first day in a work program at Seattle Central Community College, mostly doing recycling, mail delivery and some shipping/receiving, lasting until winter break mid-December. I also had meetings with a job coach there who helped get me a job at a printing place, which I started at mid-January. I'd go on to spend 4 years at MasterPress, which ultimately suffered from the economy and major staff cuts but is still open to this day. And besides my first real job, it was my first real experience having friends at a workplace, long before Whole Foods and QFC.

Unlike a lot of my classmate friends who I'd say moved on after graduation and never really looked back (not interested in any reunions either if this year is any indication), I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to Roosevelt so fast. In June, I went with mom & dad to see the '99 spring musical ("Oklahoma!") and once in awhile, I'd see someone I knew while I'd be on the bus or about to catch one. Went to a Roosevelt football game in October and the following June, went back once more to see the '00 musical ("Brigadoon.") Also, Ms. Shintaffer & her husband had a boat and would take a small group of her students out sailing. We went once every June between '97 - '00. I enjoyed getting the chance to see the '99, '00 and '01 yearbooks as well whenever Sarah or one of her friends had left one around. She used to host parties, and July 26, 1999 was the biggest one of them all with what felt like almost the entire Roosevelt student body at the house, along with some graduates and other friends of Sarah's friends. It also became a sort of after party for a bunch of girls who had attended the Britney Spears show downtown and was finally broken up late in the night when the police arrived. These are the moments I can't ever forget.

So here's to Roosevelt High School, my 4 years and all the celeb alumni who have walked the halls. 96 years (with a major facelift) has never looked so good.