September 30th, 2011

Star Wars - Fly away...

I scared myself.

Briefly, but I scared myself.

I got tired on the road yesterday. As in "eyes briefly closed" tired. Bad to do at 70 miles an hour. Thank goodness I knew to do something about it. Took the next exit, which had a Taco Bell. Had a caffeinated drink (plus some food, including a Volcano Taco, because hey, I actually like that).

I've known to be careful when driving. In the late 90s when I drove a few times a year between Portland and Hermiston, OR -- my job and my apartment was in Hermiston, family and big-city things I wanted to do were in Portland -- I got into the habit of pausing on the road. Pull off at an interchange, find a spot, stop, rest for a bit. At a dedicated rest stop, a parking lot, a quiet stretch of side road, whatever is safe: the point is to take a break from making thousands of pounds of vehicle move. This habit really helped one particular late-night drive in mid-2001. I needed to drive in the middle of the night from Seattle to Portland, and with usual levels of traffic -- or at the relatively low level of traffic for the middle of the night -- that's three-and-a-half hours on the road. I added an extra hour to that. I needed that hour. Thank everything I could spare that hour.

And thank everything that yesterday I didn't get hung up on thinking I'm on a work errand, I need to get back to the office: no, I saw a problem, saw a way to address it, did it, and felt more ready to tackle the rest of the drive. It was a moment when I wasn't worried about the schedule, beyond thinking people in the office might say "We were going to send out a search party for you!" or something. (Good thing I was more rested, because traffic right near Portland got to be maddening and I had to be more on my toes.)

I don't want to do anything like what's in the old joke "I want to die like my grandfather, peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming, like the people in his car."

Let's be careful out there.
I listen

From Another World

Time, a week from now, for something different:

'The Thing' (1982)
'The Thing' (1982)

This will be my first time seeing The Thing. Except for when I shouldn't have.

In 1983 or '84, after The Thing hit theaters, I saw a documentary on cable. This documentary, if I remember correctly, played during the day, when I'm pretty sure night would've been more appropriate...because it was about the special effects in The Thing and also the special effects in the part of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life where Mr. Creosote explodes.

So I've seen some of the insane body-damage special effects that Rob Bottin and Stan Winston commited for the sake of horror films.

I saw them at age NINE. Maybe age 10.

I saw them wide-eyed, because yep, I was pretty sheltered and not seeking out horror stuff back then. I was already a science fiction fan, though around then I saw and was confused by the miniseries version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (it took me three tries to get into Douglas Adams. For many, many reasons, I'm glad I kept trying), but my mind? Blown. Twenty-seven years later and I still remember it. I wonder how well I remembered it; because, finally, I GET TO SEE THE THING. On the Bagdad Theater big screen for three bucks next Friday. Hell yeah.