Monday, December 13, 2010

"Houston, We Have A Problem!"

This short, perhaps nervous, communication between the astronaut  and NASA gave you the eerie feeling of an impending disaster.

"Houston, we have a problem" has been my catch phrase since that Bruce Willis film Armageddon (or was it Tom Hank's Apollo 13?). You have to jog my memory here.

In any case 'Bruce Willis film' is not strictly correct, as even though he was the main actor, the film was not directed by him. I think it was a Michael Bay film.

I find it rather strange, in fact a bit disturbing, that I can't remember other details. The movie was screened not so long ago, and yet apart from that particular dialog I can't recall much else. I can't even remember from which film it was.

A sign of aging, perhaps?

They say three things happen to you when you grow old:

  1. You lose all drives - I certainly have plenty of drive in me yet
  2. Your memory will fail you
  3. Alamak!* I can't remember what No. 3 is!   (*also referred to as "Blimey!", or "Heck!", or "Crap!")

The only reason I have been able to remember that particular phrase is because I use it often, normally when I come face to face with a near-disaster situation.  I'll say "Houston, we have a problem" when:

  • The boat sprang a leak
  • I am very hungry and I only realise I have run out of spaghetti or penne  after I have cooked the pasta sauce. The nearest provision shop is ten miles away, and the shopkeeper has absolutely no clue what pasta is
  • Grandma is flying off to somewhere and I have to send her to the airport forty miles away. Since I'm lazy to drive she takes to the steering. On arrival at the airport we hug and kiss good-bye. I walk back to the car, only to realise that Grandma had taken the car key along with her to Florida or somewhere. (In this instance blimey!,or heck!, or even crap! will apply just as well)

Of course I still remember "I don't want to miss a thing". Who can forget that, bad memory or not. I'll leave you to enjoy it and reminisce...


Akelamalu said...

I think the phrase if from Apollo 13 but don't hold me to it.

I have memory lapses too - age I guess. ;)

Joanna St. James said...

Ha ha Grandpa i would not call that getting old. Anything that happens outside of 5 minutes ago is yesterdays news so my brain forgets it too.
And yep Houston we have a problem seems rather apt if Grandma is flying to Florida with your car keys (I could not stop laughing at that one)

secret agent woman said...

I think Apollo 13, too.

But who doesn't have memory lapses? At least, I can' remember a time when I didn't...

Faith said...

Ack! I hate finding out I have no pasta. LOL

I'll usually substitute toast or something underneath. But best to have a permanent stash of pasts in many shapes. I never get tired of the differing shapes. I know they taste the same, but I think my mind and taste buds must be easily fooled by textures.

I looked up the quote. Things like that always make me curious. The original statement was made by Apollo 13 in April of 1970, but it was, "Houston, we've had a problem." They had recovered and did eventually land safely.

The movie altered it slightly and became the catch phrase we all use just about all the time.

You'd think I'd win at Trivial Pursuit but I don't seem to retain anything for very long. :oP


the wanderer said...

i needed that, grandpa. we need more of it are the holiday season. help me laugh more!

by the way, "i'd like to spend my life in this sweet surrender"-" i don't want to close my eyes, i don't want to fall asleep... cuz i don't want to miss a thing!"
michelle, the wanderer

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

Sorry, could you give me those 3 signs of old age again? I’ve forgotten them.

Like Joanna, I love the bit about grandma flying off with the car keys. Probably funnier to us than to you though :)
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Melissa said...

I have a pretty good memory but I tend to zone out and lose hours of my life... I don't know how that happens.

klahanie said...

Hi Grandpa,
I was going to leave a comment, but forgot what I was going to say:-)
Oh yeah, that quote if from the movie Apollo 13.
In the film, Armageddon, starring Bruce Willis, the female star actress, was of course, Liv Tyler, the daughter of the lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler...and the music throughout Armageddon...hmmm lol

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Grandpa, it was Apollo 13.
You are right, with age our memory goes blank or become forgetful.
I have sticky memo pads in the kitchen, bedroom, living room, in my car.
I have learned the moment I think of something or want to remember, I quickly jot it down, and later put that memo next to my fridge as I open that fridge many times a day get my iced coffee. Sure to see it.

And if I had not noted my old days experiences in my diaries and note books as far back as the '50s, today my blog will not exist.
Cannot remember, especially details.
But for work schedules it was in plain English.

For ahemmm, my nocturnal social activities it was in morse code mixed alphanumeric wordings.
This way nobody can read, except me.
Thus it takes me 2 days to decode my cheritas, ha ha.

Nasib baik now ada computer....I program my Apple to remind me of things too.
Have a nice day, the way, can remember grandchildren's names? Ha ha, Lee.

Wan Sharif said...

mm.. sound familiar..

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Grandpa! we've really had our hands full lately.. but i just had to pop in and enjoy a good laugh with you. and i was just thinking about this song!

-sending warm regards from a cold land

Grandpa said...

Akelamalu, thanks. I'm hoping the answer will bear out if all my dear friends visit me with their thoughts, as they normally do

Grandpa said...

Hi Joanna, I can't help feeling that sometimes. I can smile now but I certainly didn't laugh then

secret agent woman, thanks. And if you can't find that sunglass of yours, it may be on your forehead... :)

Faith, that's an idea, provided I have some bread left. I sometimes cook penne with tuna, garnished with basil

The Wanderer, glad that cheered you up. And I could stay lost in this moment forever...for every moment I spent with you is a moment I treasure...

Masked blogger, it'll take a long while before that happens to you right?
It was certainly not funny then...

Melissa, that could be a case of being lost in your dreams, or living in the moment, as some prefer to call it

klahanie, Hi Gary, must be the flu, you are nowhere near that yet, are you?
I love the movie, and the soundtracks, wholesale contract by Aerosmith not withstanding

Grandpa said...

Uncle Lee, yes, Lee I have my share of headaches trying to decode my own clever codes too.
Fortunately I only have two grandchildren, but I'm wondering now how my aunt with sixteen children cope with that

Wan, they are familiar, but like distant bells ringing... a bit blur

Hi OFG, good to see you - I thought you would be slumped on the couch or by the wall after tucking in all those yummy parts

Listen to the song again while thinking about me, ok

Jennifer said...

I have not seen the movie Apollo 13 but Armageddon is one of my favorite movies though. Thanks for posting the music video, love that song!

Tara said...

*whispers* Apollo 13.

But, I loved Armageddon. Would have loved that song more had they not played it once an hour for months on end!

Grandpa said...

Jennifer, I will watch Apollo 13 again if I have the chance. Or any Tom Hanks movie for that matter. You are welcome.

Tara, Hi! Welcome to The Farm.

I thought they did that only over here!

I'm not tired of listening to it though - I think it's very well composed, and the music, that piano and violin solo amidst full orchestral backing -mesmerizing

Maria Zannini said...

The phrase was said in both movies.

In Apollo 13 as a recreation of the actual words said during the real mission and by Bruce Willis in Armageddon when the manure hit the fan--referencing the original event.

Ref: I walk back to the car, only to realise that Grandma had taken the car key along with her to Florida or somewhere.

That'll teach you not to do your own driving. LOL.