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Author Topic: PC108: The Goats Are Going Places  (Read 8136 times)
Heradel
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« on: June 16, 2010, 08:17:48 AM »

PodCastle 108: The Goats Are Going Places

by Tina Connolly
read by Melissa Bugaj of the Night Light Stories podcast
Original published in Shiny

Once in the most boring lunchroom of the most boring junior high
school in the world, there sat a girl who refused to be bored for one
more minute.  Renee Ryder cut P.E. and found some interesting girls
who liked to hang behind the shop building and get artistic with spray
paint.  She decided to be their leader.  With Renee in charge, the
girls got very good with spray paint.  In the amount of time it took a
red light to change, they could paint an entire ocean on a car, with
goldfish and seahorses and two dolphins doing it.  But then they got
busted for tagging the vice-principal’s minivan, and then Renee was
snarky and got expelled, which was fine with her because she’d
mastered both the graffiti and the girls by now and it was all so
boring.

Renee’s parents shrieked, which was also boring, but then Renee’s aunt
Simone stepped in and said Renee could come live with her and go to
the very best junior high in the City.  Renee’s mother, who often
called her sister something rhyming with witch, cackled.  ”Whatever
happens to you, you’ll deserve it,” she said.

“Six bedrooms, a hot tub, my own flatscreen the size of a bed?  You
bet I deserve it,” said Renee.  She packed her ripped jeans and her
cans of spray paint, her old teddy bear and her lighters, and went to
live on 1313 Strega Place with her aunt.

Rated PG for School Spirit, Goats, and Life in the J.H.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 12:42:03 PM by Heradel » Logged

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kibitzer
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 05:40:28 PM »

Ha! Much fun! Enjoyed this one. Nicely drawn, nicely executed. We don't have "junior high" as such in Aus but the angst remains the same. (Or is that the song?)

I suspect Dave may cop some flak for his outro, to which I say: lighten up, dudes!
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Talia
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 10:55:05 PM »

Fun story, though it took a bit to appreciate it, because for a while I was too busy hating all the characters. Tongue
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ElectricPaladin
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 08:21:32 AM »

Fun story, though it took a bit to appreciate it, because for a while I was too busy hating all the characters. Tongue

Me, too! My relief was enormous when I realized that I was supposed to hate her. And I wish she hadn't given up painting, because if a bunch of kids could paint an ocean scene (sans dolphin sex) on my car, I'd rock that look.

Anyway, I'm a real life middle school teacher - though in a very different setting - and I thought the story was brilliant, clever, charming, and apt. Go Goats!
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 03:36:40 PM »

Dave, ya gotta lay off the coke.  I'm seriously.  I'm worried about ya, man.

I enjoyed the story, even though it was a little too "after-school special" for my liking.
[edit] Oh, and the obvious telegraphing in the "1313 Strega" address. [/edit]

And to provide my own data point: Matt Groening was spot-on when he called junior high school "the deepest pit of hell".  (High school as "the second-deepest pit of hell", not so much.  But middle school was the most fucked-up and hateful time of my life.)

Anyway, now I don't feel quite so bad about not donating to EA, if my money would be feeding DKT's coke habit  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 03:59:02 PM »

It's cool, dude. I didn't inhale. Okay, well, I mean I don't inhale - at least not when we're using donor money.

Disclaimer: In truth, I've never been high. I'm what we used to call "straight-edge" back in high school Wink

(In other words, stePH should feel VERY guilty Tongue )
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stePH
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 04:50:32 PM »

Disclaimer: In truth, I've never been high. I'm what we used to call "straight-edge" back in high school Wink

While I, by contrast, was among those who put the "high" in "high school"  Grin  But I'm pretty "straight-edge" now; the only recreational drug I take these days is alcohol, and that rarely (drink is a luxury that my current budget doesn't really have room for.)
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 04:55:45 PM »

I thoroughly enjoyed this story even though the "moral" was...shall we say, a bit heavy-handed.

Like, you know, the ocean is a bit wet. Or space is a bit large.

FanTAStic reading by Melissa Bugaj. Just absolutely the right tone for this story and the character(s).
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 08:25:06 AM »

Great little story. The telegraphing was heavy-handed, I agree, but the current trend in YA stories (at least the ones I read) is that parts of them are heavily telegraphed, but there's a twist at the end you didn't expect. In this case, it was that Hunt stood up for Rider and forced the group to keep her at her current standing.

I did expect the story to go in a "magical high school" direction once Aunt Simone went off to the pointy hats section, but it didn't. I don't remember Hunt making a face or otherwise reacting to Simone's little joke, especially since Simone DID turn her into an emu the previous summer, but that would've been cool too.

I laughed a lot at parts of this story as well.

Good reading, although the sound quality seemed to shift in places, getting more or less hollow, as if certain lines were re-recorded (which is entirely possible).
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 08:37:34 AM »

I think that DKT's coke problem is just a cover for a much more insidious problem, an addiction that is rooted in the very foundations of Podcastle itself.  What, you ask?  Goats!  Podcastle, you have a problem.  Thinking about goats every minute of the day is not healthy.  I'm not trying to piss you off, I'm just trying to help.  We've tried to talk to you about this before and every time you tell us you can quit any time you want to.  But, you can't, Podcastle, you can't!  I think you should really consider checking yourself into Rehab.  Pseudopod said they would for their apple addiction--I'm not sure if Escape Pod has a problem yet, but they're probably just better at hiding it.

Ahem, anyhoo, now to talk about the actual story.   Grin  It took me a while to get into this simply because the protagonist annoyed me so much at the beginning.  It got more interesting when she joined the new group and I totally wasn't expecting the aunt to be magical.  And while the ending was definitely afterschool special, I didn't mind it so much for some reason.  I think part of the reason was that it was clear that she wasn't magically going to turn into a perfectly well behaved straight-laced goody two-shoes.  She'd still be the way she had been, but now she was starting to understand the value of friends.
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 08:42:27 AM »

Oh, and even deeper and darker than DKT's coke habit, or PC's goats, is the fact that DKT's a fan of Veronica Mars.  I tried watching a few episodes but in my opinion that Kristen Bell has the least acting talent of anyone in Hollywood.  Her acting reminds me of "Scooby-Doo Acting".  You know, on Scooby Doo episodes when Shaggy and Scooby are acting as bait trying to lure a monster, and so they're acting out a little scene to lure them out, but their acting voices are always very unnatural and scripted-sounding compared to their normal dialogue.  Scooby has an excuse because he's a dog.  Shaggy has an excuse because he's baked out of his mind and in any case is not supposed to be a professional actor.
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ElectricPaladin
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 08:51:28 AM »

Oh, and even deeper and darker than DKT's coke habit, or PC's goats, is the fact that DKT's a fan of Veronica Mars.  I tried watching a few episodes but in my opinion that Kristen Bell has the least acting talent of anyone in Hollywood.  Her acting reminds me of "Scooby-Doo Acting".  You know, on Scooby Doo episodes when Shaggy and Scooby are acting as bait trying to lure a monster, and so they're acting out a little scene to lure them out, but their acting voices are always very unnatural and scripted-sounding compared to their normal dialogue.  Scooby has an excuse because he's a dog.  Shaggy has an excuse because he's baked out of his mind and in any case is not supposed to be a professional actor.

Blasphemy! Veronica Mars was awesome!

Oh, wait, this is a polite and civilized forum. I thought Veronica Mars was awesome! Tongue. My opinion of Kristen Bell's action has always been that she was adequate to the role. Sure, she was a little wooden, but I thought she did a good job portraying her character. Veronica Mars was a little wooden. Most noir heroes are.

Now that we've totally derailed this thread...
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 09:05:11 AM »

Pseudopod said they would for their apple addiction--I'm not sure if Escape Pod has a problem yet, but they're probably just better at hiding it.


I must have missed the bit about PP's apple addiction.  Is that a Death Note reference?
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 09:49:27 AM »

Oh, and even deeper and darker than DKT's coke habit, or PC's goats, is the fact that DKT's a fan of Veronica Mars.  I tried watching a few episodes but in my opinion that Kristen Bell has the least acting talent of anyone in Hollywood.  Her acting reminds me of "Scooby-Doo Acting".  You know, on Scooby Doo episodes when Shaggy and Scooby are acting as bait trying to lure a monster, and so they're acting out a little scene to lure them out, but their acting voices are always very unnatural and scripted-sounding compared to their normal dialogue.  Scooby has an excuse because he's a dog.  Shaggy has an excuse because he's baked out of his mind and in any case is not supposed to be a professional actor.

Speaking of Scooby Doo, I read that there's a new full-cast SD animated series coming to Cartoon Network this summer, featuring the five original characters (all new actors, although Matthew Lillard is reprising his role as Shaggy). I'll be DVRing that, I think.

And hey, I liked VM too.
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 10:46:08 AM »

Oh, and even deeper and darker than DKT's coke habit, or PC's goats, is the fact that DKT's a fan of Veronica Mars.  I tried watching a few episodes but in my opinion that Kristen Bell has the least acting talent of anyone in Hollywood.  Her acting reminds me of "Scooby-Doo Acting".  You know, on Scooby Doo episodes when Shaggy and Scooby are acting as bait trying to lure a monster, and so they're acting out a little scene to lure them out, but their acting voices are always very unnatural and scripted-sounding compared to their normal dialogue.  Scooby has an excuse because he's a dog.  Shaggy has an excuse because he's baked out of his mind and in any case is not supposed to be a professional actor.

Blasphemy! Veronica Mars was awesome!

Oh, wait, this is a polite and civilized forum. I thought Veronica Mars was awesome!

Nah, it's cool. People who bag on VM deserve personal attacks!  Angry

KIDDING.

Mostly.

Unblinking: you need to sit your ass down and watch the first season of VM from the beginning. Just the first disc. Get it, and watch it in order. And if you still don't like it, all I can say is: GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!

Ahem.

Seriously, I thought Kristin Bell was really good in the role. Although I've yet to see her do something really good post-VM (Heroes, I'm looking at you!)

Okaaaaaaaaaay, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Goats programming. M-heh-eh.
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Talia
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2010, 10:55:09 AM »

I liked her role on 'Heroes.' :p
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kibitzer
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2010, 07:45:54 PM »

Pseudopod said they would for their apple addiction--I'm not sure if Escape Pod has a problem yet, but they're probably just better at hiding it.


I must have missed the bit about PP's apple addiction.  Is that a Death Note reference?

Offhand, there's also "Turning The Apples" and that creepy one about the killer apple grove... what was it? (checks forum) "The Copse"
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 12:48:19 PM »

Unblinking: you need to sit your ass down and watch the first season of VM from the beginning. Just the first disc. Get it, and watch it in order. And if you still don't like it, all I can say is: GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!

Hmm, I can't say I'm eager to spend money on it.  Party at DKT's house?  Smiley

Seriously, I thought Kristin Bell was really good in the role. Although I've yet to see her do something really good post-VM (Heroes, I'm looking at you!)

It reassures me to know that you thought the same of her role on Heroes as I did.  I considered that reinforcement of her lack of acting, but if you didn't like it either than maybe I'm reading too much into it.  I'm still retconning out every season of Heroes except season 1, which was amazing.  The girl they added to Heroes that same season that could run really fast was a terrible actress too.  I kind of liked Arthur Petrelli, both the actor himself and the role, but it was the only redeemable thing post season 1 (at least up until mid-season 3 when I stopped watching)
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 12:51:21 PM »


I must have missed the bit about PP's apple addiction.  Is that a Death Note reference?

There have just been several Pseudopod episodes that have apple in the title or as a major element.  Some of them (perhaps not all):
Turning the Apples
Crab Apple
The Apple Tree Man

Also, there's a story in the Pseudopod flash fiction contest semifinals which is far in the lead for 1st place in that poll.  The title:  The Apple of My Eye.  Whoever wrote that saw the apple association and decided to capitalize on it!  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2010, 02:36:34 PM »


FanTAStic reading by Melissa Bugaj. Just absolutely the right tone for this story and the character(s).

Thanks for the compliment Kaa, I had fun with this one!
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