My 20-year high school reunion: Better than expected. “Homeland” thoughts. And a very cool moonwalk video

Commack93

Like 90 percent of the people I’ve met in my adult life, I didn’t particularly enjoy high school.
I wasn’t a jock (being on the tennis team doesn’t really qualify), I wasn’t a cheerleader, and I was much closer to being classified as a “nerd” than anything else.

Oh, I had plenty of friends in high school and had lots of good times, but there were also quite a few bullies who picked on me and made my life miserable, and quite a few girls who wouldn’t give a short, bushy-haired, glasses-wearing kid the time of day, and all the typical stuff 90 percent of us go through in high school.

So when the calls went out a decade ago that Commack High School Class of ’93 was having a 10-year reunion, I ignored them. I wasn’t really interested in seeing those people again; the ones who I wanted to keep in touch with, I already was. And I don’t know, I just felt like 10 years was … too soon.

This year was different. Maybe I’m more settled in my life now, maybe 20 years is enough distance that I didn’t care how I appeared to those people.

Anyway, I actively sought out information about our 20th reunion, and was thrilled to find out a classmate named Stacey Taylor (who had always been nice to me) was organizing it.  As it turned out, despite her herculean efforts, we only got about 60 of the 420 graduating seniors from ’93 to attend Saturday night’s party on Long Island.

I was excited and actually a little nervous Saturday before the party. But once inside, I had a fantastic time. It was such a strange vibe, hugging and high-fiving people you hadn’t seen since before the Internet became popular.

It also felt a little like a speed-dating event, because you were thrilled to talk to Person X for 5-10 minutes, find out what’s going on in their life, but after that you wanted to find someone else you hadn’t seen in 20 years, and talk to them. So I had a ton of short conversations.

Many of the attendees had really nice things to say to me, and said some really sweet things to my wife (who, bless her heart, came with me and had a good time), which they didn’t have to do.
A few of my old “bullies” were there, but I mostly ignored them, and they, me.
I talked to quite a few of the pretty girls who I was scared of in 1993, so that was fun (the women in our class aged MUCH better than the men, let me tell you.)

And basically, I learned that it’s OK to embrace a time in your life that wasn’t so wonderful, because all of our experiences and tribulations make us who we are. If I hadn’t gone through what I did in high school, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I am grateful that I had the chance to go back in time, for one night. I highly recommend it to all of you.

**You might remember the Ohio State marching band doing an awesome tribute to video games last year at halftime of a football game; it’s racked up 15 million YouTube views.

Last weekend the Buckeyes took it to another level, doing this fantastic tribute to Michael Jackson, including, starting at the 4:15 mark, an entire band “moonwalk.”

So, so cool.

Epidode 304

**And finally, “Homeland.” Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT HERE. SERIOUSLY, YOU WANT TO STOP READING IF YOU DIDN’T SEE SUNDAY’S EPISODE).

OK, everyone still with us? Man, that was some sensational episode, capped off by the audience being clued in that Saul and Carrie have been in cahoots for quite a while, pretending to be enemies as Carrie spiraled downward in the psych ward, apparently angry at all her old CIA friends, feeling abandoned, alone, and totally crazy.
And just when it looks like she’s got nowhere else to turn, and lawyer-man Bennett gives her every reason in the world why she should cooperate with him and his client, the Iranian “banker,” we get the reveal that it’s all been a set-up.

I have to say, I’ve read some online criticisms of the episode and people I normally agree with, like HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall, seem to have hated the plot twist.
I loved it. It gets Carrie and Saul back on the same team and working together, at some point going to Caracas and finding Brody there, we feel better about Saul that he wasn’t totally betraying a lifetime of friendship with Carrie, and we get to see what I think is a realistic look at Carrie, off her meds and suffering, which even with being in on the plot twist, still had to take a huge toll on her.

I also don’t hate the Dana storyline as much as everyone else seems to; she’s a great actress and yeah maybe they spent too much time on her, but I’m still interested in her character (her mother still bores the hell out of me.)

I feel like “Homeland” is back to being great, consistently; three out of four episodes this season have been terrific. Can’t wait till next Sunday night.

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