Saturday, January 2, 2010

The longest day

I am about three hours away from "beginning" The Longest Day.

Naturally, I'm getting no sleep. We're supposed to be leaving for the airport around 6, which is why it's 3:03 and I am wide awake.

So I'm technically already three hours in to a day that will be 43 hours long before all is said and done. After flying from Melbourne to Sydney, I'll catch an 11-something flight to Los Angeles. And will arrive there a little before 7 a.m. local time -- the same day.

It won't surprise you to know that instead of worrying about the fact that I'm not asleep -- it never hurts to be over-tired when 16-hour flights are involved -- I'm wondering how my lack of sleep will affect my ability to watch a record number of movies on Saturday, January 2, 2010, a day on which I have nearly twice the usual number of available viewing hours.

In fact, I'm even sort of wishing I hadn't left my personal DVD player in the room where my wife is currently sleeping. I could be getting a head start on trying to set a record, whiling away a couple hours of insomnia watching one of the two movies I brought with me, which were emergency backups in case of a problem with my seat-back viewing system on the plane. Then again, I may still need them so it's just as well. (While I'm mentioning them, they are Waltz with Bashir and Quigley Down Under. I have to review Quigley, and thought it would be hilariously ironic to watch it in Australia. What was even funnier was that this movie from 1990 was actually available on my Delta flight here, under a "get to know Australia" category).

Informally, my record is something like five movies in a day. I could look it up if I had my materials in front of me.

I should be able to get 80 percent of the way there on the flight alone. I watched four movies on the way over, but that was over the course of three days. That's right, I watched Last Chance Harvey on my departure day, Friday, December 18th. Then I assigned Ghosts of Girlfriends Past to Saturday, December 19th, a day I would spend exactly zero minutes on terra firma. Who knows whether I had actually passed the international date line or not, but it seemed fair that that day should "exist" in some shape or form. A Christmas Tale and Post Grad more obviously belonged on my arrival day, Sunday, December 20th.

On the way back, it'll be all one day. I've already got a couple films targeted: He's Just Not That Into You, The Proposal and The Time Traveler's Wife, to name a few. Yeah, it's gonna be chick flick city.
Of course, the record is won or lost in how I spend my time after getting back to my apartment. It'll be tough to fight off sleep as it is, and watching movies won't really help. In fact, I'm not sure if I watched any on my return day in March of 2007, the last time I traveled east in such a radical, all-daylight-for-16-hours-and-many-more-after-you-land way. I watched Babel, Dreamgirls, Employee of the Month and all but the last five minutes of Blood Diamond on the plane, but may have been tapped with the full day still ahead of me back in the States.
What'll happen this time? All I can say is I won't be starting down under with Quigley Down Under. Blew that chance.
And in order to keep my other chances more intact, I think I'll go hit that sofa and see if I can't stockpile two hours of sleep in order to make my record push.
Talk to you on L.A. time to let you know how I did ...

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