Tag Archives: awkward

Star Trek S1E02 – Charlie X

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgI have a very refreshing feeling watching Star Trek again. It doesn’t matter what the episode is, I’m having fun going through the episodes, noticing little details, and thankful that I can pause the video whenever I want. I continue The Star Trek Project with the second episode of the original series. Keep in mind that I include spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 2: Charlie X

Original Air Date: September 15, 1966

Stardate 1533.6

Planet: None. En route to Colony Alpha V.

Featured Alien: Thasians

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Rand

Main Guest Characters: Charlie Evans

Things I Noticed

This is the first time we get to see Kirk’s alternate green uniform. Picard also had an alternate uniform. Maybe Captains can use them?

This is also the first time we get to see another Starfleet ship. It’s a small ship, but thanks to the CGI used in the remastered version, it looks good. In the original series, every ship had its own insignia. The Enterprise insignia that we’re used to is used in all other later series as the Starfleet insignia.

After Charlie beamed on board, everyone seems to act strangely around him. He hasn’t exhibited any unusual behaviour to make them do that, so why do they act so unnaturally? Either bad acting or bad writing.

Sexism pops up again. Charlie slapped Rand on the butt, and she had a hard time explaining why it was wrong. She told him to ask McCoy or Kirk. Later on, he asked Kirk, and he had a hard time explaining, as if he were embarrassed. You know what? Picard probably wouldn’t be able to explain well, either. I’m not even sure if Sisko or Archer could do it, but I’m sure Janeway could’ve. She would’ve said it well. Other characters, like Riker, might have had a good explanation.

There’s more Uhura and Spock interaction here. This time, it’s teasing. Uhura has a way with making people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed it seems. Spock played his harp (a first in the series) while Uhura sang (also the first time in the series). She teased him about his appearance, saying he looked a bit like the devil. When Charlie came in, it became extremely awkward. She teased him about liking Rand. That’s when we start seeing Charlie’s revenge escalating. One more thing about this scene is that Spock smiled. Still a bit more emotional than the rest of the series.

This is the first time UESPA is mentioned. It’s the United Earth Space Probe Agency. It will be mentioned several times in various series, and is kind of a predecessor of Starfleet, though they merge before the Enterprise series begins. It seems they work together for some time before eventually just being called Starfleet.

I was curious about the actor who played Charlie. Robert walker was 26 years old at the time this episode was made. Charlie was 17.

Notable absences are Scott, Sulu, and Chapel.

My Impressions

My main feelings about this episode is that it was incredibly awkward. We introduce a teenager who hasn’t lived around humans for most of his life, and has god-like powers. He doesn’t know how to control his anger. Charlie isn’t the awkward thing about this episode. It’s everyone else. They’re all acting as if they’d never been around a teenager before. They don’t seem to know how to talk to him. And Kirk’s reluctance to even say a word with him for half the episode was strange. And everyone was trying to get him to talk to Charlie. Stop acting like that!

For a second episode, it was still lacklustre. Two episodes in and we don’t have a strong episode yet. I’ve seen discussions online where people are wondering why they didn’t just start with the third episode (which I’ll do next), as it was a strong one. The main cast are still getting into their characters. Spock isn’t quite totally in control of his emotions. Uhura’s time singing was just plain awkward. And Kirk being flustered and unable to explain to a 17 year old why you can’t slap a woman on the ass was painful to watch. You know who was the star of this episode? I thought Robert Walker’s portrayal of Charlie was quite good. He made this episode.

It was moderately enjoyable, but still weak.

Verdict

★★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below. Also, coming soon is The Star Trek Project page, where you’ll see all blog and video reviews linked.

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Foreigners Behaving Strangely in Japan

In Canada, it’s quite normal for people to nod or say hello to complete strangers on the street. In general, Canadians are a friendly and polite bunch of people. And it’s genuine friendliness.

In Japan, it’s normal for people to stare straight ahead and ignore everyone around them. Whenever there is eye contact, there is a friendliness and politeness. People will help others out, especially if they’re foreigners or elderly. But in general, it’s not genuine friendliness. It’s a way to maintain the harmony of Japanese society.

When foreigners meet each other on the street and they don’t know each other, that’s when things become awkward. A more normal behaviour is usually just brief eye contact and a nod. That’s nothing unusual. However, what happened to me last night was very awkward.

Because of the tendency to avoid eye contact in public, many long time residents of Japan from other countries start conforming to public behaviour norms. But looking at people is a normal thing in Canada, so I often take a quick glance. Well, as I got off the bus, a white woman walked down the sidewalk in the opposite direction as me, so we were bound to face each other. I looked at her out of the corner of my eye, and she did the exact same thing with me. We both realised what we were doing, and maintained an awkward silence as we passed each other. Both of us noticed that there was another white person and tried to discreetly see if we recognised each other. The result was a very strange and kind of creepy eye contact, our faces forward, our eyes looking sideways, locked on to each other.

After that, I realised how ridiculous we must have looked, and my initial feeling was that I wanted to tell her how silly we were. However, I didn’t know if she was an English speaker. She could’ve been Russian or Polish or Romanian, and may not have been able to speak English. So, I just carried on going home.

In the country you live in, how do strangers behave toward each other in public? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 57 – Stop Asking Me That Question!

Authors are asked a lot of questions. They may have interviews, they may talk at conventions or book signings, or they may talk with friends and family. Well, sometimes, we get questions we keep hearing over and over again, or are too complex to answer briefly.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 57 – What is one question you hate answering about your writing that acquaintances ask you?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are just SO MANY questions that people ask that make writers writhe with rage. I could probably make one hell of a list if given the time. That said, I can honestly say that the one question that enrages me the most is the one people inevitably ask when they find out I have a written, published book: “Is it, like, in book stores?”

I always bite my tongue and try to answer as politely and honestly as possible, but this question makes me so mad every time I hear it because it implies that the act of writing, editing, revising, cover-designing, formatting, and self-editing is somehow less because you can’t find the book at your local Coles or Barnes and Noble. Never mind the fact that you can purchase it on literally any version of Amazon, hard copy or e-book…if it’s not on a shelf in a physical store people don’t think of it as being a “real” book, in the same way that lots of people don’t consider a self-published book to be a “real” book (i.e. “If it was really any good, a real publisher would have taken it.”) And that can be an extremely frustrating conversation to have because writer’s have a hard enough time convincing people that writing is “real” work to begin with.

Jean Davis

Why does it take you so long to finish a novel if you can write it in 30 days? Really? You want to read the crap I write during NaNoWriMo? That’s the roughest of drafts. No one wants to read that. No one.

S. R. Carrillo

“How did you get published?” Because, to anyone who isn’t a writer, the fact that I self-published it usually met with an unenthusiastic “Oh, okay. That’s pretty neat.” -_-

Elizabeth Rhodes

“What’s your book about?”  Not that it isn’t a valid question, and I’m glad people take enough of an interest to ask.  But I’m terrible at summarizing things on the spot.  I want to include every character interaction and motivation as I’m relating the plot, and next thing you know my “elevator pitch” is taking five minutes.  There’s also part of me that is still afraid of being judged, whether it’s “what, you can’t even tell me what it’s about?” or “why would you write about that?  Weirdo.

Eric Wood

So far I haven’t had to field any questions about my writing. I just write and people just read. They leave/make comments when they feel inspired to. Having not yet been published, my audience is rather small (but important).

H. Anthe Davis

I don’t really have a problem with any questions, though ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ is a bit annoying.  But I enjoy talking about my worldbuilding and writing process probably more than people appreciate hearing about it, so I immediately override any obnoxious question with my obsessively detailed answer.  Take that, person who dared be interested in my work!  Seriously though, I can’t think of any questions I’d consider ‘bad’ unless someone was purposefully trying to be offensive.

Allen Tiffany

Honestly, I don’t bring my writing up with very many people. In fact, it’s a closely guarded secret from my co-workers. It is not that I’m embarrassed about it. Rather, it would be an unneeded distraction in my workplace. As to family and friends…I’m pretty private about it. When I publish I let them know. Other than that, not sure there is much to talk about. If I need feedback and discussion about theory and technique, it is via the online workshop, CritiqueCircle.

Caren Rich

Until recently, I was a closet writer. I didn’t tell acquaintances that I was a writer. My close friends and family knew, but that’s it. So I have no funny answers to share!

Paul B. Spence

I hate to answer THIS question the way everyone does, but honestly, one of the worst has to be “Where do you come up with your ideas?” Most people don’t like it when I answer, “In the shower.” Or, if you want the Scott Pilgrim answer, “From my brain!”

Gregory S. Close

It’s always frustrating to answer the very innocent question of “how’s the book going?” if it’s not going so well.  When things are moving along, the questioning and curiosity is less awkward because I feel like things are working and I know what I’m doing.  When things aren’t going so well, the question feels like an indictment and I want to hide in a cave.

The other one that’s hard is the “when will the book be done?” question.  For most of the writing process, I have no idea when it will be done, because the story and characters are evolving around me as I write, and the plot is adapting to those new realities as well.  It’s sort of like Monty Python’s Sir Lancelot running toward the castle, over and over again, almost there, then back to the beginning, then almost there, then back, then – suddenly there’s a flashing sword and it’s all over, and I’m standing there confused saying “hey!”

Either way, the problem is really with me and not the person asking the question.  It’s my insecurities that make the answer difficult. The questions themselves are pretty innocent.

D. T. Nova

“What’s it about?”

I am terrible at summarizing, especially when I have to do it quickly.

Jay Dee Archer

I don’t really get many questions about my writing from friends and family, but the one question I find difficult to answer is “What’s your book about?” I think that’s pretty common, actually. It’s too difficult to describe a book briefly without it sounding kind of silly. I’m always worried they’ll ask more questions, like “Why are you writing about that?” or “Do you think it’ll be a bestseller?” Those are also difficult to answer.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what question do you hate to be asked? If you’re not an author, but a reader, what questions do you like to ask authors?

The Awkwardness of Speaking on Video

It’s strange. I can speak perfectly fine in conversation. I have no trouble speaking on the phone smoothly, having worked in a call centre. I don’t have any trouble speaking while teaching. But put a camera in front of me, and the words don’t come out very smoothly.

Why? Maybe I’m too self-conscious about how I look on camera. Maybe I feel strange about talking to an electronic device that won’t react to me. Whatever it is, I think I need to write scripts.

On the other hand, whenever I’ve gone back to Canada, people say I speak more slowly. Well, years of having to adjust my pace for my students has affected how I speak. It’s that way on camera, too.

How are you on camera? Are you reluctant? Or do you thrive?

Give Some Love to the Oxford Comma

The Oxford comma, such a controversial little punctuation mark. Why do people hate you so much? You’re very important. You help avoid awkward situations.

I love my two sons, baseball and TV.

I’d like you to meet my parents, Justin Bieber and Carrot Top.

I really like to eat sandwiches, octopus and chocolate.

I’d like to thank my sisters, Kanye West and Bob Saget.

I couldn’t have graduated high school without the help of my teachers, my dog and Robin Williams.

I went golfing with my dad, a sumo wrestler and a drag queen.

I had dinner with the Harlem Globetrotter members, Colin Mochrie and Lady Gaga.

So please, use the Oxford comma, so that I don’t have sons named baseball and TV. So that my parents are not Justin Bieber and Carrot Top. So that I’m not eating octopus and chocolate sandwiches. So that Kanye West and Bob Saget haven’t had a sex change so that they’re my sisters. So that my dog and Robin Williams weren’t my teachers. So that my dad isn’t a sumo wrestler and drag queen. So that Colin Mochrie and Lady Gaga didn’t join the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s just awkward.