Jim Irwin on the moon, Apollo 15, 1971
For about 20 years now, space has been my obsession, with a specialty in the history of manned space flight. Let's call it...Michelle's college.
So while I was going to real college and studying my way through every boring philosopher on the planet;
I was also going to Michelle's college and studying my way through every available book on the space program that had ever been printed.
I can be obsessive.
To understand half of these books I had to take physics as an elective. I voluntarily signed up for physics...that's how obsessed I was with becoming an expert on this stuff.
I went to see NASA people speak, I saw monuments and astronaut's childhood homes, visited the museums where their spacecraft are, read not only the history books and the tech books, but also all the biographies.
I even read the books on the Soviets and their space program - they had one, too, you know - Sputnik, Soyuz, and a poor little doggy named Laika, and a hero named Yuri Gagarin, and also the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova.
And then I got to the point where I actually already knew everything in the new books I was getting.
BUMMER. It's like when you get to the end of a TV series. What now?
So I started trying to teach.
You know, some people just don't appreciate the value of having a true expert in their midst.
Take Chelsea, for instance.
I'll say, hey Chels, you know, your birthday, July 21, is also the date that the Apollo astronauts--
But I can't even finish saying the word 'astronauts' before she shouts 'NO' and leaves the room.
What's up with that?
Or, sometime at work when we're desperately trying NOT to work, I'll bring up my favorite subject, the Saturn V rocket, and my dear co-workers suddenly develop a pressing need for smoke break/potty break/uh, I'll go with one of you break.
What's up with THAT?
The very worst was last year when my nephew's homework assignment was a report on one of the Apollo missions.
It was the most exciting thing ever!
For the whole two minutes it took to get to my brother's house, get inside, and try to talk about my favorite subject in the whole world to an 11-year old who's intent on playing his DS thing.
He did not care about the Apollo missions, at all.
WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
So, to bring a very long, boring story to an end (sorry), I no longer try to talk about my favorite thing.
(Except for that one time when we were watching Big Bang Theory and Howard was going up in the Soyuz and I was telling Dwayne about the Soyuz landing, and then they said exactly what I had just said on the TV. That was cool.)
Okay, all joking aside, it makes me sad that no one wants to know about our incredible feat to get to the moon, or how and why it happened.
Or why the program stopped at 17, and why the Saturn V - the rocket that took us to the moon - cannot be made today.
I did it again, didn't I?
Me, sort of yelling (I'm very softspoken, actually, I never get loud): Everyone who left the room for smoke break/potty break/uh, I'll go with one of you break, you can come back now, thanks!
It's time for a whole new obsession...I'll take any and all suggestions!
(Make sure to take into account my way diminished mental capacity, though. No driving. No sharp objects. No math. Other than that, we're good.)