An Entirely New Awesome
I have a lucky streak going, and I know exactly what’s – rather who’s – responsible. Precisely, it is the tiny woman I’m married to, who has said, “I prefer getting experiences to getting things.” Fucking Awesome… and not just because that saves me more money than Geico.
To build this post up, you may recall my totally awesome visit to the D.C. Awesomecon well over a year ago. There, I got to wander around and browse the geekdom and peruse the nerdspace stuff for sale. Yes, and by the way, I got to fist-bump William “Captain Motherfucking Kirk” Shatner and get his autograph. Check that shit out here.
As if that weren’t enough, a few months later, I stood in line for several hours at a local Army base for another experience of a lifetime. Some of you readers may not be old enough to remember all of the Apollo Program. I can recall only the last flight, but the major awesomesauce happened while I have been alive. In short, I got to shake the hand of the second member of our species to set foot on somewhere other than Earth. Read about that awesome shit here.
My Little One (the tiny spouse referenced above) and I do lots and lots of awesome every day. Often, this is whether we want to or not, but some shit is completely out of our control. Suffice it so say, we’re a good team. An awesome team. The beauty of a great relationship is knowing what the other half of that relationship is thinking and wanting. So guess what?
I’ll just go and put up the photo here and now:
Yes, Little One surprised me with a date and tickets to hear Dr. Tyson speak with a meet-and-greet. Dr. Neil talked about space, of course, and science. The topic was, ‘Things that are scientifically right and wrong in movies.’ He ran through probably about fifty different movies and pointed out the sweet and shitty aspects of them all.
I’ll tell you that Dr. Tyson knows how to work a crowd. He’s a gifted speaker who is in tune with current topics. He’s also the heir apparent to Carl Sagan, with whom he studied at an early age. Dr. Tyson has a way of communicating that is amazing. He makes science accessible and made a point of calling out and engaging the kids in the audience while he spoke. I was more than impressed, from my front row seat. Thank you, baby!
Carl Sagan created ‘Cosmos,’ a show that made science easy to understand and interesting. That show, which I watched as a 12-year-old (or so), together with high school football got me where I am today. I owe Sagan that statement. With the Cosmos reboot, I’m happy to say the legacy is in great hands with Dr. Tyson. He took off his shoes while onstage to speak. I did the same in the audience, because fuck shoes.
What I don’t have are photos of are me and Dr. Tyson talking. In these ticketed meet-and-greets, you don’t get any time to talk or shoot the shit. No selfies was the rule of the night. Of course, I broke the rules. I told him I appreciated his work in making science interesting to young kids like Dr. Sagan did. I added that his work is every bit as important as my 23 years of Army service. He blinked and nodded, then said, “I met the Secretary of Defense recently.”
My reply was, “Oh, Ash Carter? Be careful, he’s scary smart.” I’d met the SecDef in Afghanistan. Dr. Tyson said, “Wha… yeah… what you said. ‘Scary smart,’ is right.” We bullshat for a few more moments, then I got to shake his hand again, all while the handlers and others were eye-daggering me for my networking skills. But I ask you, how the fuck do you NOT network Neil Degrasse Tyson?
Thank you, Little One, for another unparalleled experience.