Ah, Saturday. ‘Twas nice. Went to the Astros game, where a 21-year-old named Carlos Hernandez struck out 7 and walked only one on his way to pitching 7 shut-out innings. Then on to Freebirds for a huge burrito, Amy’s for some mmm mmm good ice cream, back to Freebirds to make a space shuttle out of tin foil. Came home. “Waiting for guffman” was on TV, ironic because Courtney and I just watched “Best in Show” (same director and cast) last night. Thought of Kent and laughed at all the funny parts for him, and was almost inspired by Parker Posey to go to the dairy queen for a blizzard, or “just a coke.” Checked my fantasy baseball team and went up 1.5 points today on the strength of my pitching. Wished my team could remember how to hit though. Now getting ready to go running, since the sun has finally gone down and Houston is only as hot as hell, instead of the usual 5 degrees hotter than hell. Ha — Edgar said that this afternoon and made me laugh. Anyway. Off i go.
The boys flew on the Vomit Comet yesterday. I told Daniel I’d be there at 11:30 when the plane landed, and so I left work around 10:45, thinking I’d watch the last couple parabolas on the downlink and then see the plane come in. Well, as I’m sitting at a stoplight about a mile and a half from Ellington, I glance in the rear view mirror and see the plane on its approach to the runway! Crap, it’s half an hour early! So I speed down Highway 3, seeing the plane touch down and begin braking, then I turn into Ellington and whiz down the road that runs along the fence while the plane is moving down the taxiway parallel to me. I park my car, jump out, run through the hangar and find Alisa and Courtney literally a minute before the door opens up and the fly boys climb out.
They had a great time. No one on the entire plane threw up — only the third time there’s ever been a “no kill” flight. I wanna go again. Today the girls fly, and I’ll make sure I don’t cut it so close again when I go to meet them.
I just realized yesterday that I only have three and a half weeks of work left, and I have SO much to do in that time. I am gonna be working really hard to finish my project, since all the background work has taken longer than expected.
Becca’s going to Egypt and Morocco in October. I’m so envious. I want to go too!
So this guy in my group named Matt has put me on his email list, and sends out emails in the mornings with links to news in the TWA 800 crash, or the Oklahoma City bombing, or basically anything that has to do with government coverups. Since we’re both federal government employees, I find it sort of ironic that he is so distrusting of the very entity that employs him. Anyway, today he sent this link, which contains the statement that “science is nothing more than a long series of corrected mistakes.” I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of that idea, but it just reminds me of the heated debate Carter and Kent and I had in a train station in…Switzerland? I think it was in Switzerland. Anyway. Random memory.
And then, this side note from the article makes me laugh: “Would that [anthropologists] could be as succinct as astronomers. The beginning of everything? The Big Bang. A big red star? A red giant. A small white star? A white dwarf. And so on.” Yeah! Go astronomers!
Ugh. I despise arguments and disagreements. The one I am currently having is making me ill. But I think maybe it is over. I have been listening to Counting Crows, “Have You Seen Me Lately” a lot. The version from the unplugged CD. I do that when I feel badly about hurting someone’s feelings. I don’t know why, but the song just seems to fit, or something weird like that.
I think we will be ok though. I hope so, because I will really need the friendly face in California.
Daniel (and Robbie) fly on the Vomit Comet today. The boy says he got a haircut, but I won’t believe it until I see him. I told him I’d be there at 11:30 when the plane lands, and I’d take him out to the tradition post-flight lunch at Pe-te’s. If he really did get his hair cut, I even offered to pay. Boy needs a hair cut! We went swimming the other day and when wet, his hair in the back was as long as mine.
Last night was fun. I didn’t really do anything special. After work I went to Target and got a bunch of random things, then I came home and packed it all in a box and this morning, I shipped it. Away it goes. Then I sat around and worked on my knitting. Phil says he keeps hoping to see me just clicking the needles and having yarn fall away like water, like you see in the cartoons when an old grandma is knitting at light speed. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The other night I got really frustrated, and ended up just starting over, because the yarn started to get all frayed and I kept on missing stitches. And Jen is gone and can’t help me anymore. Poop.
I read stories like this one and it just makes me sad. 99 percent of the people in the continental United States and Europe can’t look up and see a truly dark sky. They can’t see the Milky Way, because it’s too damn light outside.
I remember when my dad and I used to bundle up in our warmest clothes and go down to the tennis courts behind our house in the winter to lie on the ground and look at the stars. I saw the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Orion Nebula, and memorized many of the winter constellations. I learned star names like Rigel, Betelguese, Castor, Pollux, Capella, Aldebaran, Sirius, and Procyon, and knew where to find them all. I could spot Orion’s belt in a heartbeat. In the summers when we visited the farm where it was darker, I could spot the milky way stretching from horizon to horizon. I watched the Big Dipper and Casseopeia rotate around Polaris, saw the great square, picked out Vega, Deneb, and Antares, and discovered my favorite constellation of all — Scorpio.
Granted, one of the reasons I was so interested in learning all this astronomy was because I loved the stars, and space. Still, I wish everyone knew where to find the Big Dipper, or how to pick out the bright shoulders, feet, and belt of Orion. I think most people were capable of doing that years ago; today, we’ve become accustomed to the fact that the night sky has a permanent orange tint from the streetlights and neon signs that cover our cities and highways.
I just think it’s sad.