Tempus Keeps on Fugiting

I've been taking Chantix for several weeks now.  One of the most bizarre and frequent side-effects is "abnormal (vivid, unusual, or strange) dreams."

This is a fun side-effect for me.  My dreams, many of which I've bored you with here, are sometimes pretty entertaining.  Occasionally, a medication (NyQuil, ftw!) will kick them up into Cinemascope. 

Chantix is IMAX 3-D.

These things have plots, villains, a huge cast of characters, excellent locations, and action out the wazoo.  Last night, I had one that sort of mixed The Thomas Crowne Affair (sadly, without a naked Renee Russo) and The Bourne Identity. 

What I like best of all is that I'm not some sort of SuperTom.  I'm just plain old uncoordinated Hagridian me.  When we got to the end of this last one, the bad guy had sailed away in a yacht.  The good guy and his kid got into a jet-powered boat, and roared away, sounding like an F-15 on full afterburners.  The jetboat shot away across the harbor, went around a corner, and then there was a massive explosion.  I could see yacht debris raining down from the fireball.  Then, as the credits began rolling, the good guy and his kid appeared, kicking back toward the wharf on purple floats.

CREDITS!! I had CREDITS!! Unfortunately, Wind decided to climb onto my chest before we got to the end–I really wanted to see if I had the Globe and the Bug, showing it was filmed in America using Union labor.  Maybe I'd filmed in Vancouver, like The X-FIles used to do (it definitely wasn't anywhere in Florida).

There was all kinds of detailed action in this dream–driving, going through toll plazas, walking in and out of buildings–but the dream didn't take a couple days to unfold.  In reality, my brain was probably racing at top speed for 15 minutes.  The activity felt like much longer, an eventful, enjoyable day.

Compare to that the slowness of time passing in a hospital waiting room, or when you can't sleep, or in A.P. U.S. History class.

Good Lord, that was the worst.  The clock in our classroom was one of those that was tied to the main clock in the school office.  There was no second hand, and the minute hand made an audible "THUNK" when it advanced, effectively interrupting sleep.  I remember one day, the teacher was lecturing about something just horrifically boring–the Hawley-Smoot Tarriff, or something–and the clock violated the laws of both decency and physics: it clunked backward one minute.

In the second before the minute hand reversed and went forward two minutes, fully half the class said, "NOOO!"

It's funny how the same minutes can change speed as life changes.  When I was a little kid, I remember Christmas morning minutes being interminable, as I watched the clock move toward 7:00, when it was safe to wake up my parents and open presents.  YAY!

Now, my parents end up knocking on my door about 9, begging me to get out of bed, so we can start Christmas.

I'm writing this diatribe at work.  We're reasonably slow tonight, and time is passing slowly.  Last night, it was a firestorm, and the time zoomed past.  Because I enjoy writing (and love each of my dozen readers 😉 ), time moves along quite pleasantly while in this mode.  Once I finish, it will slooooooooow dooooooooooooooooooown. It's the last day of my work-week, too.  Come 0330, I'm off for three days! Hooray! Time will race through a Fourth of July cookout at my parents' house tomorrow, and then before I know it, it will be 5pm Wednesday, and I'll be trudging back to my desk here.

A month or two ago, I wrote a piece on perspective, featuring one of my favorite, non-Little-Odd-Me-photographed images: two of Saturn's moons, with the rings, and the massive Saturnian gasball proper in the background.  Here's another picture I like:


This is two galaxies (NGC 5216 and NGC 5218) connected by a string.  Okay, it's not really a string, but it's a trail of gas, dust, and stars (kinda like the cast of "Grumpy Old Men").  The "string" between these two galaxies is 22,000 light years long.  Imagine going 100 miles an hour nonstop for 77.5 days–no gas stops, bathroom breaks, or quick jaunts through a McDonald's drive-thru.  That's how far light travels in one second.  One year is 31,556,926 seconds.  So multiply 77.5 days times 31.5 million, and that's one light year.  Now multiply that times 22,000…

Now assume the average road-weary little kid asks "Are we there yet?" every 4 minutes…

Makes A.P. U.S. History feel like the car chase in "Bullitt."

Anyway, I hope you have a safe and happy Independence Day, and that your fun moments with family and friends seem long, your travel time short, and that your fireworks don't blow off any fingers.

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11 Responses to “Tempus Keeps on Fugiting”

  1. I have vivid and crazy dreams when I have a fever. Enjoy the ride!

  2. You dreams sound very exciting, like the suspense shows I watch. Maybe you should write them down and publish a book of short stories!!!

  3. You're blogs are awesome!Sadly I know that Christmas morning change. I remember "accidently" bumping into things repeatedly on Christmas morning trying to give my parents gentle reminders that they have a young child in the house who desprately needed to open some presents. Now, they give me until 10a to get up on my own before they come in to drag me out of bed. Vivid dreams are the best. As long as they're not vividly scary. 🙂 I hope you have a great holiday.

  4. I think we've all done the Christmas reverse.When I was on a very strong prescription anti-inflammatory drug (it's not on the market any more; turns out it's kinda fatal), I had the vivid dreams with credits. I'm sure you had union labor in whichever country you dreamed in. Bet you'd have tried to quit smoking sooner had you known that epics awaited.Those clocks were the worst. I was always certain they weren't going to CLUNK back ahead.

  5. Fever+NyQuil=blockbuster!

  6. I've never had night terrors. I had some pretty nasty nightmares when I was first on antidepressants years ago. I learned always to carry a gun stuck in the waistband of my pants. Even if I was ONLY wearing a waistband, I had my gun. It was a form of coping through lucid dreaming. Now, I just take my meds and roll. 🙂

  7. Thanks, ABMP. Yeah. I remember getting a nasty cough or sneezing fit around 0630. It's funny how that changes. I hope you have a great holiday as well. 🙂

  8. LOL I've had some wonderful dreams on NSAIDs that are no longer on the market. Still, the best dream I can remember was in black & white, where I was hanging with Marcello Mastroiani, who got into a fevered argument with Anita Eckberg…in Italian…with SUBTITLES! Hooray, Tom! lol
    Have a happy and safe Independence Day, LT

  9. That would explain quite a few of the blocbusters I've seen in my lifetime.

  10. Maybe that is what caused my night terrors as well because I don't really have them anymore.

  11. My son is switching over in the christmas thing… I have to wake him up now. So sad… And usually the only dreams I vividly remember are sex dreams. Wishful thinking perhaps. 😉

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