That profile picture…

Nobody’s even asked yet, but I know you’re all thinking it: What in the world is going on in that picture in the “about me” section of the right column? And why did I choose it?

I LOVE that picture. I only asked for one thing this past Christmas. The thing is, I asked for it about a kazillion times. “Hey, Hayley, have I mentioned Ms. Pacman and Galaga?” Yeah, dad, like every 5 minutes.

I spent my fair share of time during puberty in the dimly lit “Electric Palace” at the Clackamas Town Center. Bob Utterback and I would play all kinds of games: Burgertime, Tempest, Missile Command, you know, all the greats back in the golden age of video games. But the king of all kings, the pinnacle of all pinnacles, the Indy 500 and the World Series and the Super Bowl of video games was GALAGA! It was a revolution in its time, the culmination of a line that began with Space Invaders. Space Invaders had these simple, white lines of little ghosty machines, moving back and forth, slowly crawling down the screen to try and kill you at the bottom if you couldn’t kill them first. Then came Galaxian, where the villain turned into colorful little bug space ships, marching side to side and shooting at you at the bottom. Same idea, just cooler graphics with color.

But that first time we played Galaga, it was like the Coperincan revolution, like the day Sputnik was launched; it was a day when all your previous assumptions about life went away, and new possibilities were on the horizon. Galaga looked just like Galaxian, colorful little bug space ships marching side to side and shooting until, unbelievably, miraculously…ONE OF THEM PEELED OUT OF FORMATION, SWOOPED DOWN AND DIVE BOMBED US AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN. Oh. My. Gosh. “Did you see that, Bob? THEY CAN COME DOWN AND ATTACK US!”

Well, I was beyond addicted. Can’t even begin to tell you how many quarters I shoved in the slot of that game. Things got better in college when Steve Fawver had the key to the Galaga game in the Sub, and we could play for FREE. For FREE!!! Till 3 in the morning! We’ve often fantasized about owning our own Galaga machine, and for the first time in my life, reality is now better than fantasy. I am seriously not making this up.

Last year, this wonderful company made a little joystick, stuck in 5 classic arcade games, and hooked on a little cord that connects to your tv. You can have Galaga in your home and play anytime you want!!!! Not only that, but it includes Pole Position, another game I loved, Ms. Pacman, and Mappy (a mouse looking for treasure in a house with trampolines with cats chasing you!!!) I’m telling you, this is heaven on earth. Because I did get it for Christmas. Ok…truthfully…I bought it myself to make sure I would get it for Christmas (it was on sale at Target! $15!).

What I love about the picture is it’s me playing Galaga, and Aubrey looking totally amazed at my skillful maneuvering around the onslaught of attacking killer bug space ships. At least, that’s how I interpret her expression! And that’s why the picture is there in my profile.

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