time warped


I seem to be having trouble accurately perceiving the passage of time lately. Just a couple of weeks ago (or perhaps it was months), I was in a meeting at work. We were discussing the agenda for the day, and various upcoming scheduled events of the day. I looked at my watch. (A normal thing to do when talking about times.) However, my watch did not have the answers I sought. While it is quite a nice watch, with hands and numbers and well-crafted internal mechanisms, it had not been wound, nor the time changed, since some time in February. It was, in fact, the first time I had managed to wear my watch in many months. It seemed like a great accomplishment, a step towards recapturing the structure of my previous life. When I grabbed my watch, in a fit of inspiration, I figured I would “get around” to setting the time before heading to work. Well, hours passed (I presume), and there I was, sitting in a meeting looking at watch that reflected the time of some moment from my past. A metaphor perhaps?

Time has been racing by like you would not believe. (Just now, since writing that first paragraph, I’m pretty sure I lost at least half a day.) There have been a number of times when I’ve thought “I should respond to that email from [insert name here] that I received a couple days ago.” When I actually then dig up said email in my inbox, it is often weeks or even months since I received it. Yes, send me an email, and I will get back to you right away. Within the year.

And then there was this whole bizarre time warp I experienced shortly after my daughter was born. The first few weeks absolutely crawled by. Every day felt like a week. It was a haze of feeding and comforting (lots of bouncing) with not much sleep or much of anything else. And then at some point, vroom, time took off. The first 6 weeks and the subsequent 6 months seem of approximately equal duration in my mind.

So now, in spite of looming deadlines (the damn Incomplete is due next week), I am compelled to put together a small collection of stories (TV episodes, movies and more) reflecting my sense of the world passing me by.

Movies, shows and other stories of warped time:

These further seem to group into 3 main chunks.

1. I overslept.
Comas and long naps. In the tradition of Rip Van Winkle and Sleeping Beauty. (Wikipedia has some great lists of other takes on these tales.)

  • Dead Zone (book, movie, TV show)
    A guy wakes up from a coma. Has special powers. (Where are my special powers?)
  • Kill Bill, volume 1 (2003)
    Woman wakes up from a coma. Pissed off.
  • Bear Snores On
    This is a book I read to my daughter. Bear in hibernation misses out on a party.

2. I was a popsicle.
Things in the tradition of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

  • Forever Young (1992)
    I’m not actually sure I saw this whole movie. Mel freezes, Mel melts.
  • Late for Dinner (1991)
    Only vaguely remember this one, too. I seem to remember it was cute. Had Peter Gallagher. (Strange, he was in another coma movie.)
  • Futurama (1999-??)
    The whole premise of the show. Fry freezes, unfreezes.
  • Austin Powers (1997)
    You know this one.

3. I lost track of time.
Miscellaneous time warps.

  • Blast from the past (1999)
    Brendan Fraser grows up in a bomb shelter, and emerges decades later in complete ignorance of the progress of time.
  • Buffy, season 6 “Smashed” (2001)
    Having been a rat for several years, Amy comments: “I felt like I was in that cage for weeks.”
  • Buffy, season 6 “Life Serial” (2001)
    I’m thinking of the part of the episode where Buffy is taken out of time, and what seem like seconds to her translate to hours for the rest of the world.
  • Stargate, season 2 “A Matter of Time” (1999)
    A black hole messes up the passage of time.
  • She’s had a baby (2006) A grad student suffers from baby-induced time warping, and falls even further behind in her school and work obligations by blogging rather than doing things she’s supposed to be doing.

3 thoughts on “time warped

  1. blast from the past: how could you forget that other brendan frasier masterpiece, encino man?

    ooh. what about memento, for the “i lost track of time”?

    but i must say, your inclusion of the SG-1 episode is masterful. it’s one of my favorites (much, MUCH better than the ST:TNG episode where they kept playing poker). especially when jack and tial’c are hitting golf balls through the stargate.

  2. Oo, ooh, yeah. Memento is a great one. Hadn’t categorized it that way, but it totally works.

    And sadly, much as I would like to consider myself masterful, I was actually thinking of a different SG-1 episode. Namely the one where everyone inside the big hole-in-the-ground whosiwhatsit seems to move in slow-mo while days pass on the outside. But the one you mention with the golf balls (also juggling and fruti loops) is probably my all-time favorite from that show. I’ll probably make a loop list.

    Hmm. Encino Man. Never saw. Just looked it up. Definitely looks to be in the popsicle tradition. But the 4.9 star imdb rating suggests that it is perhaps a movie best left forgotten…

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