January 1st, 2011

blah (artist: Alma-Tadema)

Lolling about, coughing and watching Billy Mumy on the TV

I've been a big baby the past few days, welcoming the new year with a helluva cold. I've slept some 20 hours/day, drunk lots of orange juice, used up lots of tissues, and taken lots of Nyquil. Intellectually, I feel a bit drunk, as if -- when I turn my head -- my brain doesn't move as quickly as my skull does. Physically, I feel as if someone has been rather thoroughly beating me with a cudgel but leaving no bruises. Last night, I slept terribly, woken every couple minutes by coughing.

The one convenient thing is that the ridiculously named SyFy Channel has been running a "Twilight Zone" marathon the last couple days, so I got to watch Billy Mumy (long before his Babylon 5 days) banish folks to the cornfield, talk to his dead grandmother on a toy phone, and run around a carnival with Jack Klugman as his father.

Billy Mumy
in The Twilight Zone's
"It's A Good Life" (1961)
Billy Mumy
as Lennier
in "Babylon 5" (1994-1998)
Billy Mumy in The Twilight Zone episode Its A Good Life Billy Mumy as Lennier in Babylon 5

I've always been a big "Twilight Zone" fan (and a big Billy Mumy fan, actually), and often felt terribly deprived that my mom expected me to go to those darn family gatherings instead of staying home and watching the TZ marathons on holidays when I was a kid. Rod Serling's oevre was perhaps my earliest introduction to the pleasures of irony. I always loved that kick in the last couple minutes of each episode, when everything gets turned on its head. I must admit, though, that when I watch more than one or two episodes of TZ in a sitting at this point, I start to feel a bit like I'm winding up a jack-in-the-box over and over, always knowing that it's going to pop out at the end. It starts to feel tired and routine. I think "Twilight Zone" episodes are best enjoyed like poems: one at a time, with plenty of breathing space in between.

Anyway, I'm not planning on doing a lot tomorrow, though I'm hoping I'll have more energy. If so, laundry awaits. And I'd like to read my book (currently: Patricia A. McKillip's Solstice Wood) if I can keep my eyes open long enough!