December, 2006 It has been fifteen years since my last and final marathon. That was the London Marathon back in 1991. Since that punishing run, I have become a steadfast follower of, what is called, the Law of Nature. It decrees that as time passes, the mind is supposed to grow with insights as the body gives up its strength. It didn't take my mind to inform my body that the latter is true. I can't run 26.2 miles anymore. My days of running marathons are over.
However, I still savor the good memories of those days strategizing with other runners on the long distance runs, going on long, sweaty training runs with them, and sharing what we learned with each other after each run. One of the things we often talked about was the "second wind" - that burst of renewed energy that runners seem to get at some point in the run, when we are feeling totally spent, straining to lift the feet, and dog-tired but determined to keep staggering forward. Suddenly, the feet inexplicably regain their easy stride, the breathing becomes relaxed and steady, and the pace picks up. This usually happens at about the two-third point in the run for most runners.
That notion of the "second wind" seems to be holding true for my career as well this past year. My work schedule seemed to suddenly pick up renewed energy. As the months passed, the pace has ramped up to warp speed. And, I find my intensifying work schedule as invigorating as being back at the helm of the Starship Enterprise going at warp ten.
2006 began with a jump-start on the second day of the new year. A call from Gary Dell'Abate, the producer of the Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio, inviting me to come aboard the show as its "official" announcer was the shot from the starting gun. And I was off and running. As I've written in my blog at the beginning of the year, I agreed to join the show and be with the Howard Stern team as often as my schedule would allow. A year has passed and the team has now become family. I have a hilarious good time with Howard, who I consider the "great truth teller," my "cuddly muffin" Artie Lange, the classy lady Robin Quivers, Fred, Benjy, and the two "boy friends," Sal and Richard. And, occasionally, I drag out my soapbox and speechify on issues to boot. It seems I am now identified, not only with Star Trek but with the Howard Stern Show as well.
Howard Stern has heated up my career. Streams of offers for episodic television began coming into my agent's office. "Malcolm in the Middle," "Freddie," "Will and Grace," - alas, all these shows were canceled shortly after my appearance. I hope I wasn't the one that jinxed them. Happily, "Psych," and "Cory in the House" are alive and thriving after my guest appearance. I hope I've brought them some long life and prosperity.
The pace of conventions also has taken off by the amazing fact that the year 2006 is Star Trek's 40th birthday. This is truly a remarkable event. A show that was so low rated back in the '60s that it was canceled after only three seasons has lived so incredibly long and prospered in so many unimagined ways. This is unprecedented. I celebrated this happy event throughout the year with fans at conventions all over the world from Europe to North America to Asia. At 9 p.m. on September 8, 2006 - exactly forty years since Star Trek was first aired on NBC back in 1966 - Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, a crowded bevy of fans, many from overseas, and I toasted this propitious moment with sparkling champagne up in the landmark Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. How cool was that! It's a memory I'll never forget.
One amazing thing followed another. I filmed a new Star Trek episode - in, of all places, the lush, verdant wilds of the Adirondacks! It was put together by - of all people, devoted Star Trek fans! The show will be accessed - of all things, by the internet! Forty years can produce such undreamed of wonders. This series of Star Trek episodes called "Star Trek: New Voyages" was created by people who discovered Star Trek on television as youngsters in high school or college and today are successful people each in their respective professions. Led by James Cawley, they remain committed Star Trek fans to this day; so committed that they have pooled their money, energies, and passion to produce the "New Voyages" series.
My participation in it began with director/filmmaker Marc Zicree, who found a story developed by Hollywood science fiction writer, Michael Reaves, for a contemplated revival of Star Trek as a television series in the '70s. The series revival was not to be but the story remained glowing in Marc's mind. He came over to my home and shared his enthusiasm for the script and the idea of doing it as part of the "New Voyages" series. I read the script. It was a terrific Sulu story. In it, he ages thirty years, and during those years, he falls in love, they have a daughter, and tragically, he loses his wife. It turns out, however, that those thirty years were just three minutes to the crew of the Enterprise. It is a moving drama -and I didn't have to endure the aging make up for it. The power of my acting, I'd like to think - but more accurately the years that have passed since the TV series, made age make up unnecessary.
The experience of filming this project was as arduous as it was wonderful. The hours were tough and long but I loved the dedication of the hardworking cast and crew. The role was challenging and at the same time, enormously fulfilling. Marc Zicree is a passionate and utterly committed director. I think we have an extraordinary Star Trek episode. I can't wait for it to be web cast in March next year.
There was another Star Trek landmark. Paramount Studios decided to clear out its warehouse of all its vast collection of Star Trek props, costumes, spacecraft models, and other memorabilia and put them up for sale at the prestigious Christy's auction house. That many of these collectibles sold for as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars is another measure of the economic success of the fans who discovered the show so long ago. Like Star Trek, the fans too have lived long and prospered.
The feature film part of my "second wind" included "The Great Buck Howard" with John Malkovitch and Tom Hanks and "Finishing the Game" directed by hot young director Justin Lin, about martial artist, Bruce Lee's last, uncompleted Hong Kong film. Both films will be released next year.
The topper of the year came like an early Christmas gift in late November. I was cast in the highest-rated new television series of this season, NBC-TV's "Heroes." I will play the powerful and wealthy industrialist father of the time traveling Star Trek fan Hiro Nakamura, wonderfully acted by Masi Oka. Is this déjà vu all over again? And, so auspiciously, in the 40th anniversary year. My first episode will air on Monday night, January 29, 2007. So next year, you will be seeing a lot of the results of my "second wind."
2006 has been a richly engaging and exciting year. Like in marathon running, I know that a tremendous stimulant to the "second wind" comes from the cheering and the support of the people on the sidelines. As we briskly stride into the next year, my heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have been such an integral part of this fantastic run that I have enjoyed this past year. May I extend to all, my heartiest cheers for a happy holiday season.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.