I have an unhealthy obsession with Apollo 13. As in, the movie. I could watch it once a day, every day for the rest of my life and still not get enough of it. (I suppose I could remedy that by watching it twice a day every day for the rest of my life, but then people might think I'm weird.)
I'm not sure what it is about that movie that draws me to it like a bug to a bug zapper (thankfully my fate is not the same as that of those stupid insects; although sometimes I think my mental capacity is on par with theirs).
Perhaps it is the cast:
Bill Paxton? Yes, please.
Tom Hanks? Yes, please.
Gary Sinise? Yes, please.
Kevin Bacon? Did someone say BACON?!!!!!! Please sir, can I have some more?
Ed Harris? Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Maybe it's because it's not just a story but a story that really happened. It's truly a miracle that we (you know, cuz I had a lot to do with the success of the mission 12 years before my conception) were able to bring those guys home.
I don't doubt those things play a part in by obsession. But honestly? I think I'm turned on by all the intelligence. I'm not trying to suggest that I get all hot and bothered (yes I do) when they create a filter for the carbon dioxide scrubbers from the Command Module to work with the ones on the LM (and with that statement, everyone just stopped reading). I'm just saying that I appreciate a man with a big, huge brain who knows how to use it.
If I was in the command room when all that mess was going down, I would have thrown my arms in the air, shaken them wildly about while running from one end of the room to the other screaming, "What are we going to do! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DOOOOOO!" until I exhausted myself and collapsed in a heap on the floor and peed my pants (clearly I'm good to have around in a crisis).
As soon as I finish watching the movie, I think when am I going to get to watch it again? Sometimes the answer is, right now! And I start it over again.
This is embarrassing. Why am I telling you guys this?
Lately, the urge it watch has been overwhelming. Last night, even though I was very, very tired, I just couldn't take it anymore and decided I had to watch. There was one small problem...I couldn't find the DVD.
I looked in the cabinet under the T.V.
I looked in the DVD stand in our bedroom upstairs.
The panic that had started in my stomach began to spread throughout my whole body. Where could the DVD be? Did someone steal it? Did the dogs eat it? In a fit of cleaning frenzy did I accidentally throw it away? (This possibility was quickly rejected due to my lack of cleaning frenzies ever.)
The husband was already in bed and asked me if I could turn off the light on the fan.
"I'm sorry but I cannot help you. I am dealing with a crisis right now. Much like the astronauts on Apollo 13."
Suddenly, I knew exactly how Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert felt when that Master Alarm went off. The only difference in our situations was that they had a room full of engineers and rocket scientists helping them work the problem and I had two dogs (who took advantage of my absence in bed by laying on my pillow) and the husband who was more concerned with the bright overhead light impeding his ability to drift into dreamland than my state of duress.
Thankfully, he's smart enough to know that sleep would forever elude him if I didn't locate my beloved movie so he offered a helpful, "When was the last time you watched it?"
"I don't know! I don't know, I don't know, I don't know."
Finally, I decided to check the DVD player (which is actually a Playstation 2) and there it was, Apollo 13. My precious.
My relief was short-lived. I pressed play and there was no sound.
The husband, realizing the only way to fix this very traumatic situation was by taking a more active role, got out of bed and began fiddling with cords.
This is what the astronauts must have felt like when they realized they'd lost two of their fuel cells.
I, very helpfully, assisted the husband's efforts by unplugging the red, yellow, and white cables and very forcefully shoving the boy parts back into the girl parts (not recommended with humans, by the way) to ensure a proper connection. It didn't fix the problem, but thanks to the husband's big, huge, smart brain (or maybe just basic knowledge of cable connecting) the sound was restored.
Just like the astronauts, I couldn't catch a break. Now the controller wasn't working. Instead of the solid red line indicating a properly functioning instrument that would allow me to press play, there was a flashing red line. Just like the Master Alarm!
My breaths started to come faster and were more shallow. My vision became cloudy and I started to feel dizzy.
This is what the astronauts must have felt like when the level of carbon dioxide started to rise.
This time, unplugging and forcefully re-plugging the cord worked and the sweet taste of victory was mine! I could finally watch my dearly beloved Apollo 13.
I pressed play, moved the dogs off my pillow, settled into bed and thought I'm going to enjoy this even more because I had to work so hard for it. I'm going to be filled with so much more tension now that I know exactly the fear they experienced. This is going to be THE BEST VIEWING OF APOLLO 13 EVAH!
Fifteen minutes later, I was a sleep.