Monday, June 30, 2008

sci-fi is my cherry garcia

My most sincere apologies for the recent lack of updates. There's been a lot going on in my life, and I had to let a tiny machine fall by the wayside for a few days. But I'm back with a vengeance.

I want to avoid getting too personal, but I've spent the last couple of days holed up with friends, self-medicating with boxed wine and marathons of Alias and Doctor Who. What I've realized is that although science fiction and fantasy are always a part of my life, in times of trouble, I'm even more likely to spend my days furiously reading comics books and re-watching my favorite episodes of Firefly. These things are my comfort food. This is partially because these interests help satisfy my escapism complex. However, they also comfort me because they remind me of my dad.

My dad was a huge pulp, fantasy and science fiction buff. I was so young the first time I watched Star Wars, that I can't even remember my life before Han Solo became a part of it. My dad and I would watch old Star Trek movies together, and I was a devoted The Next Generation fan by the time I was in fourth grade. Watching anything with him always meant that he'd pepper my viewing experience with fun facts and bits of trivia (a habit that he passed down to me, for better of for worse). Every night, he'd lie down on the floor of my bedroom and read me chapters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It was our little bedtime ritual. We were halfway through The Two Towers when he died unexpectedly. It was a few years before I was ready to open that book again, but when I did, his bookmark was right where he'd left it. I picked up where we left off and finished the remaining book and a half in a couple of days.

As silly as it sounds, it breaks my heart that my dad didn't live to see The Lord of the Rings adapted into feature films, that he missed the reincarnation of Battlestar Galactica, and that he never got to read Hellboy. But I'm so grateful that I had a dad who was excited to share his interests with me. He was so involved in my life and eager to nurture my imagination. And because of him, these stories hold a special place in my heart. And when things get dark, I can always crack open a book or pop in a movie, and it feels like he's right there next to me. And I am so glad that I have that.

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