Site Columns By Michelle
February 18, 2005 - 5:44 PM

Hello World!

This week I had to ask myself: When did Valentine's Day turn into Halloween? I got an inkling of what was to come when my younger son informed me that, in addition to cards, he would need to be giving out chocolate, so we got some little bags as well as the traditional folded cardboard school Valentines and dutifully addressed them to every child in the class, plus the teachers. He came home with a bag bigger than the one from the school Halloween party, decorated in hearts and filled with everything from boxes of Sponge Bob chocolate hearts to colored pencils, a gift from a student whose parents apparently (and intelligently) concluded that the kids didn't need any more sugar than they were already getting in the class party.

My kids went to nursery school in our synagogue, so they celebrated neither Halloween (a nominally pagan holiday) nor St. Valentine's Day (a nominally Catholic holiday) for their first several years. They were very excited upon entering public school to have class holidays for these parties, plus St. Patrick's Day and the Chinese New Year, and I can't say I blame them: we always celebrated them when I was in elementary school as secular American holidays, an excuse to dress up in costume or in green or exchange cards. But Halloween has become big business in the US, catching up on Christmas in terms of dollars spent, and Valentine's Day shows every sign of following.

My husband and I had a low-key celebration on a day traditionally reserved for sweethearts: since we knew that going out to dinner would be impossible even if we could afford it, which we can't, given our plans to go to England next month, we went out for Indian buffet for lunch instead, and exchanged gifts that cost less than $10 (including of course the ubiquitous boxes of chocolate). Our kids spent more money than we did and came home with far more loot. I'm not sure whether they are absorbing messages about the connection between romance, dating and money, but they get enough messages about love and sex being commodities from television. I think I miss the days of the cardboard cards with personal messages.

Trek BBS Today

Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:

-What were Star Trek's best and worst seasons, including all the series?

-Why doesn't Earth have its own president, the way Bajor has a First Minister and the Klingons have a Chancellor, even if it is a member of the Federation?

-Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith?

More topics can be found at the Trek BBS!

Trek Two Years Ago

These were some of the major news items from February 2003:

More news can be found in the archives.

Poll Results

Below are the results of the most recent TrekToday poll:

How would you rate 'The Aenar'?
9-10 60.2% - (1137 Votes)
7-8 23.5% - (445 Votes)
Wasn't able to see it 5.4% - (103 Votes)
5-6 4.8% - (91 Votes)
Didn't want to see it 3.8% - (72 Votes)
1-2 1.2% - (23 Votes)
3-4 0.8% - (16 Votes)

Total Votes: 1887

Please vote in our new poll after you have seen "Affliction" and rate the episode!

Happy Birthday!

It's a busy week for Star Trek celebrations! Today is the birthday of Michelle Forbes, who played Ro Laren on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Monday the 21st is a triple-header: Gary Lockwood, the original series' Gary Mitchell; Kelsey Grammer, Next Gen's Morgan Bateson; and Martha Hackett, Star Trek: Voyager's Seska. Tuesday, February 22nd is the birthday of Seven of Nine, aka Jeri Ryan of Voyager, and Wednesday, the 23rd, is the birthday of Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who has been Nurse Chapel, Lieutenant M'Ress, Lwaxana Troi and the voice of various electronic devices among her roles.

Today's Television Listings

Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, UPN will show a new Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Affliction". Here's the official synopsis of the episode:

While Enterprise visits Earth for the launch of Columbia, Phlox is kidnapped and forced to help the Klingons deal with a grave threat toward their species.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.