Tag Archives: astronauts

Don’t hit the wall

Whenever I hear someone use the phrase “hit the wall,” I get immediately pissed off. Who’s hitting what wall? Nobody. There is no wall. And I know, I get it, it’s a figure of speech right? Yeah, well it’s a stupid figure of speech. If I’m running, and I see a wall coming up in the distance, I’m either going to go around it, or I’m going to start running backwards. That’s it. I’m not going to hit it.

hit the wall

Or, and I’m just thinking about this now, I could go left or right of the wall, find a way to run around it, except, I guess maybe if I’m in an alleyway, I don’t know if I’ll necessarily be able to go anywhere, really. Nowhere but backwards. Yes, I think the important thing to remember, if you get to that wall, in an alleyway, just run backwards without stopping to think about where you’re at. You’ve obviously made a wrong turn, and you’re not going to make any progress standing there pensively rubbing your chin.

No, the more time you spend looking at the wall, the greater the chance that you’re eventually going to hit it. Do not hit that wall. See if you can climb it. That’s not a solution you hear often when people talk about hitting walls. “Man, everything was going so great, but then I just hit the wall.” I want to be like, well, did you try climbing it? Did you?

Did you try burrowing a tunnel underneath the wall? Stop talking to me about figures of speech. I’m talking about you either burrowing or not burrowing underneath that wall. It’s been done. Sure, you might lose a lot of time, like if you’re actually racing somebody, assuming they also haven’t confronted this wall. In this case, I might suggest a team-up, because that tunnel’s not going to burrow itself, and there’s no sense in you each burrowing two separate tunnels.

Maybe a tunnel isn’t the answer. In fact, it probably isn’t. I just didn’t want the possibility of a tunnel to be totally discounted, especially not if your only other viable option is to hit the wall. Nobody wants to see anybody hitting any walls. When the Berlin Wall came crashing down in 1989, everybody was so happy. Not me. Even though I was only like four at the time, I didn’t get it. Why hit the wall? Why can’t they just move it somewhere else? Like there aren’t any other spots without walls that could’ve used that wall?

Question: What if you’re running a race and you take a wrong turn and it turns out that you’re in China and all of the sudden you come face to face with the Great Wall? And you think, OK, I’ll just backpedal a little here, but the organizers of the race are right on your heels, and seeing as how it’s China and everything, there are all sorts of Labor Ministers and Party Officials and they’ve got their guns trained right at your head and they’re like, “No backwards. Only forward. Hit that wall.”

Answer: I’ll answer with another question. What if you’re taking part in a different race, this one’s on the Great Wall of China, and it’s the entire length of the wall? It’s like a hundred miles long, at least, I’m totally making it up, but it’s big enough, obviously everybody knows this already, but you can see it from space. I remember reading an interview with some astronaut and he was like, “Actually, that’s not entirely true,” and all I kept thinking was, shut up you stupid astronaut, trying to hog all of the space glory for yourself, staring down at the earth, right at the great wall, you’re thinking, “This is great! I’m going to make up some lie about not actually being able to see it from space so that way I can keep this experience all to myself!”

That made less and less sense as I wrote it out. I think the astronaut was actually talking about other manmade stuff that you can see from space, or common space misconceptions, I don’t know, my mind must have taken a little detour. I got off topic, but back to that race on top of the Great Wall. How can you hit the wall if you’re already on the wall? That’s what I meant to say. That’s what this whole thing has been leading up to, that sentence: how can you hit the wall if you’re already on the wall?

So for all of you endurance athletes out there, if you’re worried about hitting the wall, just remember: only race on top of other walls. Problem solved. And yeah, I get it, it’s a figure of speech, I’m listening, OK? I’m not stupid. I know it’s just a saying. But what I’m saying is, come up with a new saying, on top of other walls, because you can’t hit a wall on top of a wall. There’s got to be something else, a little clearer, something a little less confusing.

A life of total leisure

Man, I just want a life of total leisure, is that really too much to ask for? I don’t want a job, I don’t want to have to go to work, I don’t want to have to do my laundry or fold any clothes. Just a life of relaxation and contemplation. Sure, maybe once in a while I’ll do something, I’ll go outside and water the plants, maybe, I’ll cook a big meal and I’ll think to myself, OK, that was useful. But really I don’t want any of that stuff. No chores, no responsibilities. I just want to always be able to go outside to my backyard and sprawl out on the grass looking up at the sky, always perfect weather, the perfect breeze, just the right amount of sunshine.

My kitchen always stocked with all of the best snacks and foods. Like if I want a Fruit Roll-up, bam, there it is, Fruit Roll-up. And I’m not talking about those yellow and blue multi-color ones, I’m talking the good flavors, only the best flavors, strawberry, like you can see the strawberry seeds smashed into the roll-up if you hold it up to the light, or watermelon, which, let’s be honest, it doesn’t taste anything like a real watermelon, neither do watermelon Jolly Ranchers, but that’s OK, it’s still a really cool taste, a really interesting flavor. One time I found this bottle of watermelon Gatorade, and yeah, I was skeptical, but it actually tasted just like watermelon. Funny enough, I didn’t like it. I wound up dumping the rest down the drain and heading back to the store for a yellow.

Just yellow Gatorade, or orange, I’d love for my fridge to be stocked with only my favorite drinks, Arizona Green Tea, even though I don’t really like it anymore, like I got sick of it from drinking way too much. I want that old feeling, that refreshed satisfaction that I got just by looking at one of those giant ninety-nine cent cans, and I’d buy like three or four of them, a whole plastic bag filled with Arizona Green Tea. Sometimes I’ll buy an Honest Tea Green Tea, because, I don’t know, what am I trying to find? What itch am I thinking that I’ll scratch? Because it doesn’t quite do it. It comes close, but yeah, it’s like Arizona is too sweet but Honest Tea is too boring.

I just want a job where I only have to go in like once a week, maybe four hours at a time, nothing big, nothing too strenuous. Or just a little strenuous, but only strenuous for like twenty minute intervals. I’d go in, or I wouldn’t go in, that would be the beauty of this job, because, you know what? Forgot the whole once a week business. I want a job where I just go in whenever I feel like it, if I ever wind up feeling like it at all. I’d go in batteries fully charged, I’d hit the ground running, it would be like I had never left in the first place. We’d all run around, getting a ton of work done but then, all right, let’s take a break. I want one of those cool bosses that orders everybody pizzas, like he’s looking out at all of us busting our asses and he thinks to himself, you know what would be awesome? If I order the crew a whole bunch of pizzas.

And he doesn’t come out to take an order, no, it’s a total surprise. And he nails it, he nails the order, he gets the perfect mix of different varieties, a plain pie, a buffalo chicken pie, some cool new pie that the pizza place is experimenting with, something I personally wouldn’t have thought to have ordered, but now that I’m trying it out, I’m like, damn, this is delicious, I’m definitely going to make it a point to order this kind of pizza in the future.

After work everybody goes out for drinks, the bar has Big Buck Hunter, and it’s only a dollar. You put in a dollar and the game lasts for like ten, fifteen minutes, and that’s not even including bonus rounds or extended firing if you get ten out of ten big bucks. I wind up playing against some old timer, this crazy looking regular, and we’re having a blast, I keep throwing dollars into the machine, he keeps making a motion like he’s going to leave, like he’s bothering me, but I insist, I’m like, “No way man, you’re not bothering me. The more the merrier! Let’s keep playing!”

And after like two hours of video games, I say to that guy, “You want a drink?” and he surprises me, it turns out he’s the owner of the bar, that this is exactly why he opened a bar in the first place, for that life of leisure, it’s a business, yeah, but it’s about something more, it’s about friendship and fun, it’s about Big Buck Hunter and making new acquaintances. He picks up the tab for the whole group and he sends out for chicken wings.

Man, is it too much to ask for? This life of leisure? We’d all head home and I’d be like, “See you when I see you!” and I’d go home, take my dog for a little walk, I’d head out to the backyard and lie down in the grass, staring up at the night sky, I can see the Milky Way, I can see the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, all of the constellations, it doesn’t matter if you’re not supposed to see them at the same time in the same season, because there they are, right there, and just when I think my life can’t get any better, I see a shooting star, and then a comet, and then a whole meteor shower, and then Northern Lights, and the International Space Station passes by, slowly, and even though I can’t see the astronauts and cosmonauts, I know they’re looking down, they’re waving at me, they’re like, “Hey Rob! Greetings from outer space!”

astronauts ISS leisure

I want to be a space waiter

I want to go on a space adventure. I should go on one. It just sucks that they only pick physicists, scientists and military people to be astronauts. That’s not fair at all. Why can’t they just pick regular guys to go up space? There’s got to be something I’m good for up there. Like, what, astronauts don’t need waiters? Hey NASA, don’t you think maybe your scientists might be able to do all of their space experiments a little better if they weren’t too busy rehydrating their own space food?


That could be me, Rob the space waiter. I’d be your go-to cosmic server. Actually, you’d probably need to send up a kitchen guy also. Because look, I’ll gladly serve you guys whatever you want. Do you need anything else? A Diet Coke? How is everything going over here? But cooking? Space cooking? Yeah, you’re definitely going to need to hire a space cook. Trust me, I’m a good enough waiter, but you don’t want to see me behind the line.

That’s restaurant jargon. Like how you guys have space jargon, like “roger that,” and “Houston we have a problem,” and “Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Blastoff.” In a restaurant, the line, that’s where the cooks make the food. One time I was like, “Boss, put me behind the line, I can do it,” and I just kept bugging him, over and over again, month after month until he was like, “All right, if you’re really that interested in pursuing a culinary career, I guess we could have you shadow the salad guy one day a week, you could learn the basics.” I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, the whole lemon that wound up in the deep fryer, the globs of boiling oil splattering everywhere, just, seriously, me and the space cook. We’d be a team.

As long as you guys aren’t paying me in space tips. Haha. That was a joke. No, I’ll go to space for free. Come on. But wait, while we’re at it, do you think it would be too much to bring up a space busboy? Just one guy, I usually have two busboys, but I’ll manage, I’ll help him out, help pick up his slack. I’m not above bussing my own tables, OK, but I think it would be fair to give me at least one extra pair of hands. And it’ll wind up being another pair of hands for you and the crew if you think about it.

Because if it were just me up there, just one service member taking care of the staff, I mean, if you think about it, we’d be up there for months, who knows how long, eventually you guys would get to liking me, I’m very personable, and so we’d be joking around, who knows, maybe you’d start letting me do some space experiments, nothing big, you know I’d start small, I’d work my way up, you’d be like, wow, are you sure you haven’t had any career astronaut training? I’d be a natural.

And then as you guys would all be taking turns complimenting me, talking about what a great job I did on my first spacewalk, you’d interrupt to be like, hey Rob, can I get another Diet Coke? Because for all of my supplementary achievements in the field, my primary task would still be that of a space waiter. And I’d say sure thing, one second, here you go sir, but it would gnaw at me, the resentment, the bitterness festering inside.

Just one space busboy, as a barrier between my mission and my ambition. You guys won’t feel as inclined to break down those professional barriers because you won’t have time to. I’ll be constantly on the space busboy’s ass, making sure that you all have fresh linen, that your water glass is always full. Well, what is it, not a glass, right, because of the zero G? Never mind, we’ll figure out the logistics.

I just, it’s not my fault I’m only a waiter. That’s what I did in high school, waited tables, and I did it while I was in college. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to go on a space mission? There shouldn’t be any reason why my career path hinders me from the types of scientific advancements I’d really like to pursue. Surely there has to be a way to apply my talents to outer space. Honestly, if you could rate your last experience in space, from a purely customer service oriented point of view, in what ways were you happy? In what areas do you feel like the service lacked? Where were there opportunities for improvement? I’ll constantly be asking you those questions. How is everything? Can I get you anything else? You need me, come on guys, space needs me. I need space. I seriously need to go to outer space. Please.

Blast off

Send me on a spaceship to the nearest star. Let me be the emissary for the people of Earth, the bearer of good will, the one who will foster relations, build bridges towards our neighbors in space. Put me in a deep sleep, pack me in that rocket ship, bound for the heavens, on a course towards the nearest inhabitable solar system. I’ll take everything with me, everything that represents us, the planet Earth, the human race, all of our flags from every nation. Even the crazy nations. Even North Korea and Zimbabwe and Bahrain. Get me out there.

Just shoot me out there and schedule my cryogenic pod to wake me up every hundred years or so. If I get to a planet and there’s no sign of life, I’ll have a snack. Send me with snacks. Send me with enough snacks that if I get to a thousands stellar systems and there’s no sign of life, I’ll at least get to have something good to eat until the ship’s on board computer shuts off life support and forces me to go back into my frozen slumber. Try to send something good. Try to send the McRib. Try to get McDonald’s to freeze dry a thousand McRib sandwiches. If I can’t find alien life, at least let me have a McRib.

Launch me up there with a care package fit for representing the entire Earth’s population. Make a giant Earth flag. Take one square out of every country’s flag and sew them all together to make one giant flag. And then take that giant flag and make that the blue part of an even more giant American flag. Because I’m assuming that the United States is going to be the only country capable of getting me out there, out to the stars, out to our neighboring planets.

I’ll say something like, “We mean you no harm!” I’ll proclaim, “We seek peaceful coexistence!”  Send me to Mars first. Get me to Mars and I’ll walk around that red ball of rust and I’ll pretend like I’ve reached somewhere habitable. Make me a spacesuit that looks like I’m not actually wearing a space suit. This will be my trial run. It’ll be one last chance for the people of Earth to see me before I blast out of our solar system for good.

Send me with a dog. A pet. We’ll name him Astro, not after the Jetsons’ dog, although they had a dog named Astro too, but we’ll be naming him after space, after astronomy and astrophysics and astronauts the Astros and the astral plane. Go back into the vaults of cartoon TV history. Go find all old episodes of the Jetsons. Edit all existing footage to change Astro the cartoon dog’s name to something else, like Spacely. But the boss’s name was Spacely also, wasn’t it? So go back and change his name to something else too, like Johnson, or Richards. Something else. My dog Astro probably wouldn’t be able to be woken up as much as I would be, because dogs only live like thirteen years, and then even though our lives will have been extended with all of the stasis induced slumber, still, I’ll outlive him, and he being my only companion, I’ll be devastated to see him die before we’ve reached any destination worthy of our journey. Actually, I kind of like the name Spacely also. OK, so yeah, now I’m probably just ripping off the Jetsons outright, but whatever, we’ve got the resources to send me to space, to send a dog to space, go back to the footage, change Spacely’s name to something else, like some other dog name, or whatever, just get rid of the Jetsons entirely, because it’s a bullshit show that didn’t even come close to predicting how the future would turn out. Send me with two dogs. Three or four dogs. Two Spacelys and two Astros. Just in case some die. Or even better, alternate how they get woken up, so that way they’ll all last longer.

Don’t forget the guns. Don’t forget my space weaponry. I’m not one to back down from a space fight. What if I get boarded? What if some aliens deactivate my ship while I’m in stasis? Make some sort of a decoy stasis machine. Get a duplicate, not a duplicate, another person, a patsy, somebody to come along for the ride, but never to be woken up. Design the ship so that way if we get boarded, the aliens will see this guy’s pod first, and make it so if his pod is tampered with, mine will automatically wake me up. Also, put me to sleep with a space gun in each hand, that way I’ll sneak up behind the alien and I’ll tell him something like, “Friend! Relax! I come in peace. I seek peaceful coexistence,” and as the alien lowers his weapon I’ll raise mine and fire without hesitation.

Get me off of this planet. Let me be the first to travel out there, past the moon, past Mars, I’ll take pictures of that Methane moon off of Saturn and that other frozen moon off of Jupiter, not in that order, obviously, that would be a little counter productive. I’m the man for the job. I’ve got what it takes. Blast me off. I’ll sit back and count back from ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, all the way, blast me off, seriously, do it, come on.