The Experiment Prototype Community of Tomorrow (a.k.a. Epcot) lives up to its reputation, I'm
|not my picture of Spaceship Earth|
Next, I toured a "green" home with many energy saving features including, counterintuitively, a toilet that plays your favorite music. It's programmable from a smart phone or tablet so that you don't actually have to wait until you get to the toilet to hear your favorite jams. I'm not sure how that saves energy exactly, but who cares. It is square, no really. It's a square shaped toilet! You know how I love squares.
I hadn't eaten breakfast, so I was pretty hungry by then. So many choices! I wound up at a place called the Electric Umbrella. I ordered a burger and fries. By the time I walked the five feet to the pick up counter, it was ready. Panama should give that a try.
|not my picture of space module inside Mission: Space|
Finally, I made it to the pre-launch area where Gary Sinise ran me and the other members of my crew through our pre-flight briefing and where his assistant provided one last reminder that it was still not to late to opt out and sign up for ground control training instead. You know how stubborn I am. All their warnings only had the effect of making me more determined to do this thing. Bring it! Our crew consisted of four members: a pilot, navigator, commander, and engineer, each with a set of responsibilities and each determined by the order in which we were queued up to file into the capsule. Sure enough, the role of engineer fell to me. These poor, unsuspecting people, I thought. They have no idea how doomed this mission is with me as the crew member responsible for repairs. I had a sudden, almost uncontrollable urge to confess all. It's only a simulation, I reminded myself. I can't really screw it up.
We took our places and at Cmdr. Sinise's order, pulled the restraints down over our heads. I wondered how I was to perform my duties when my instrument panel was more than an arm's length away. As if on cue, it lurched forward to within 6 inches of my nose entirely eliminating the problem. Unhelpfully, the thought floated past my consciousness that unlike this capsule, I have the freedom to climb out of my engine rooms whenever I please and this struck me as highly significant. While pondering this, our rocket swung into place on the launch pad and through the portlight I could see the top of the tower. Oh, I get it now. I've seen this on TV. Our rocket is going to "rocket" straight up very, very fast. Huh...OH MY GOD! WHAT WAS I THINKING!! I never even go on rollercoasters because they terrify me. Abort! ABORT! Too late. I had only enough time to verify that the air sickness bag was where Sinise said it would be and to note, with alarm, that it seemed to be shared between me and the pilot.
It's only a simulation. Breathe. It's only a simulaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! I screamed inwardly as my
|not my picture of not me (but might|
as well have been)
After a few harrowing moments of near-disaster, we landed safe and sound. Air sickness bag unnecessary, check. I decided that after my brief but brilliant career as an astronaut, I should probably take early retirement. So rest assured, honey. Wherever I am on earth at least I will be on Earth.
Speaking of being back on Earth (I still can't remember the flight back, must be a side effect of hypersleep), I opted for some more sedate types of amusement. Honey, did you know that while we've been at sea Michael Jackson has been brought back to life? Not only that, he's been restored to his 1986 incarnation. In probably his only acting gig, Jackson stars as Captain Eo, who along with his motley muppet crew, saves the Earth by singing and dancing (how else?).
|not my picture of Ellen with Albert to her immediate left.|
A full day, I know, but it wasn't over yet. After Ellen, I listened to a lecture by Simba in an exhibit called--what else--"The Circle of Life." All about being more conscious of the environment. Now here was something curious. During Ellen's dream lesson on energy, the Hoover Dam was presented as a shining example of technology. During Simba's lecture, it was presented as a screwer up of the ecosystem surrounding it. Leave it to Disney to problematize the concepts of good and evil in a postmodern, post-industrial society.
|not my picture of nearly colliding with hang gliders (not me in it, either)|
And that was just day one.
Day two was less eventful.
|not my picture of Epcot's World Showcase|
China featured a 360 degree movie with highlights from many parts of the country. We are SO going there. I know you've been. I'll go myself on my next vacation if I have to. (How do they shoot 360 degree video, anyway?)
|nope, not mine|
It was all taking much longer than I thought and I realized I wouldn't be able to get to every country.
But I didn't want to miss Morocco. You know how much I love Moroccan art. Morocco had a small
|not this one either|
Watching France's presentation (so going there, too) almost made me too late to get a good spot to watch Illluminations: Reflections of Earth.
|no, but see the little movie?|
This is the last thing I did before leaving. So, girlfriend, in case we ever decide to stop trotting around the globe and settle down somewhere... Just sayin'
(Whoops! That's supposed to be "Earth." Yes, this is mine. BTW, the background music which I can best describe as a cross between a fight song and a lullaby plays all day long from hidden speakers.)