Monday, October 26, 2015

(First encounter with) The Martian

Even though at times it would be difficult The Martian makes the idea of being the only human on an entire planet look like paradise to someone who is not a fan of people and crowds.

Mark Watney played by Matt Damon is a botanist who gets left behind when his commander and fellow astronauts have to quickly abandon Mars. Now completely isolated from the rest of the universe he must find a way back to Earth. He works with what he knows about the planet and the objects they brought with them to develop new techniques to survive. Some of the things he has to do are disgusting and unusual and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do what he did, but it is amazing to watch.

Directed by Ridley Scott the film itself is beautiful to watch. From beginning to end the viewer is taken on a dangerous trip. When Mark goes outside we see just how desolate the planet is and at times become frighten for his life. When he has to travel cross the taren there is nothing but sand and empty space. Back on Earth we watch and hold our breathes as NASA scrambles to help their lost man.

Without giving anything away there is a scene near the end that is like a stunning ribbon dance among the stars.

Although he is alone most of the time Matt Damon isn’t the only actor in this movie. Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Benedict Wong, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena and Kate Mara also star and the Screenplay was written by Drew Goddard based on the book by Andy Weir.

After seeing what life on Mars might be like I don't think I want to live there but if they ever find a way to get there quicker it seems like a good place to visit and I would love to be a "space pirate"

Much like the 1995 film Apollo 13, The Martian is an epic and heroic sci-fi adventure (with specks of humor) for all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

True life flash fiction-An Occurrence at Dippikill

There was a long cabin camp in the middle of a popular mountain range in Northern New York. A beautiful place surrounded by a forest full of wildlife. It was 30 years ago this past summer when the head of the company my father worked for decided to take those who worked for him and their families on a trip as a thank you for good work. I was 5 or 6 and my memory is a little iffy but when my parents, older sister and I got to the cabin you knew you were someplace special. All the beds were upstairs and there was a large kitchen and living space down. During the day the men would chop wood and the term “spaghetti arms “was born. It was yelled by spectators at the men who couldn’t quite spilt straight or missed the logs all together. At night there was a bonfire, it was at this time that the younger me discovered the beauty of fire the way the smell stayed on your clothes as you went to bed and how if you set the end of a poking stick on fire and quickly blew it out you could write your name with the smoke in the night sky. All were having a great time, that is until later that night when suddenly my dad and a couple of his fellow co-workers came running out of the woods. The story goes they took a couple of canoes to a nearby river to do some fishing, well you know when a group of men fish they also drink and lost track of time. Unexpectedly they heard a noise in the darkness a “Woo Woo” sound. These men lived and worked in a city and this was not a sound they ever heard. They jumped out of the boats as quickly as possible and ran for their lives. They were wet, cold and out of breathe when they returned with no idea about what they left back in the dark woods.

A few months later I was lying in a hospital bed recovering from open heart surgery when my grandmother came for a visit. Like all who came to cheer me up she brought a present. It was a grey, fuzzy looking stuffed animal with big feet, short arms held up in the air and with two double A batteries it made a mechanical unrecognizable noise and tiny lights blinked for eyes. I named him Charlie Woo Woo, he got his very own hospital bracelet and to this day sits in my childhood room as a reminder of the trip in which my dad was chased out of the woods by an unknown creature of the night.