Behold, the Supermoon
The one we’ve been waiting for
Years in the making
A shiny bulb on the shore
Now closer than ever
You can clearly see
That this moon is special
Shining, big and bright
Like a lighthouse across the sea
I was crudely disappointed
That the Supermoon they had hyped
Was nothing more than the usual
A tiny dot in the night
Might as take pictures from before
And call them the Supermoon
Because there’s nothing really new
The old bore since June
I wished I would have taken a class on how to draw. Maybe I still can. I can say that I am only good at doodling and drawing random sketches. I’ve always wanted to draw characters like on The Simpsons.
What’s your favorite comic figure and why?
I don’t really read comics but I would say that my favorite is Batman just because he’s the only superhero that doesn’t have any actual superpowers but relies on his smarts and wit, like I do…because I’m Batman.
Name something you wish you could like.
Tell me about your first crush / first date / first kiss.
My first crush was one of unrequited love. No matter how hard I tried to get her attention she just wouldn’t notice me. Now my first kiss reminded me of Doritos.
Who was your best friend when you were 10?
I had about three good friends that I invited to my birthday party once. Out of those three friends, one of them I used to constantly chase on the playground.
What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?
Well, I was once a Virgo but after NASA recently changed the signs of the Zodiac, adding a 13th to appropriately match the number of constellations in the sky, I am now a Leo. But after reading another article, I found this was just a misunderstanding. NASA didn’t change the signs, they just did the math and found the Babylonians got it all wrong 3,000 years ago, publishing their findings in a blog post. I don’t really believe in astrology but think it is a fascinating topic to explore.
David Bowie’s signature song, and the one he takes to his resting place, is “Space Oddity”, and somewhere deep in space, the soundwaves that long ago emitted from a radio station on Earth will reach a distant world. Will there be anyone on that world to hear the ballad of Major Tom and how he surrendered to the unpredictable and unknown nature of outer space? Will they send back a response song to Earth that may or may not still be there thousands of years from now?
That of course is one of my top favorite songs of all time because it was written just before the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. Houston control decided not to play the song over the speakers until the mission was proven successful, which of course it was. David Bowie wrote the lyrics to the song predicting what would happen when men flew to the moon. It was predicted as ending in tragedy. Before it was released, critics of Bowie worried that the song would be seen as a promotional stunt for the mission.
I find it a bit ironic (or maybe it’s a just a coincidence) that Bowie died at the age of 69, a number obviously symbolic with space travel as if the universe knew all along.
Chris Hadfield’s cover of it aboard the ISS is simply beautiful. It was recorded in 2013 and was the very first music video shot in space. The shots of the Earth and the space station outside are unbelievable. The lyrics were updated to change the ending from the astronaut dying to a heroic mission.
I see Earth! It is so beautiful!
I could have gone on flying through space forever.
– quote by Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space
If I were stuck in space and had nowhere to go and my ending was inevitable, I’d think of Earth and so much that I’d miss. All the animals and plants, the air that I freely breath, the joy of seeing the sun rise over the trees every morning, the comfort of the moonlight. Of course, there are things I’d not miss like all of the greedy people and violence happening all the time.
If it were a trip to Mars, and there was no return to the home planet, I would feel a disconnect and vulnerability but after living on the Red Planet for a while and getting used to the environment, the homesick feeling wouldn’t be so bad. Seeing the blue marble disappear slowly into the background would have a way of making me feel how small we all are in general. For there is so much more to see beyond our shallow borders of ignorance.
The biggest question of my young life so far has finally been answered: there is water on Mars.
Liquid water and at least ten swimming pools of it, someone said, not just puny ice caps. The next big question is if there is enough water and if it’s usuable. It seems a bit anticlimactic, as if scientists knew it all along but finally decided to let out the big secret. I sort of knew it all along, since there can’t possibly be just one planet in the entire universe that supports life. Actually, noone is still quite sure if there is life in those water pools. If there is, there are brand new theories to be discussed and new openings for the fantastic realm of science (sorry, 6,000 year Earth believers). Life may have come from Mars on gigantic pieces of the planet that got broken off during collisions, lifeforms being encased in tiny water droplets and deposited on the once hot and rocky sphere. But if it’s true that life started on Mars, how did it get there? Did it come from yet another planet? It’s the whole “what happened before the Big Bang complexity” How can anything suddenly come from nothing?
Now that the big water question has been solved, it’s time to get going on going to Mars. The Mars One project is in the process of selecting 4 individuals who will take an estimated 4 month journey to the Red Planet and will set up the first colony bases as well as finding a way to grow food and sustain life.
The greatest achievement in human history, other than landing on the moon, will be creating a viable civilization on Mars. To have a place to be once the inevitable ending comes for our earth would be monumental. If I ever got the chance to live on Mars (this is permanent) I probably would gracefully die on the red iron hills, just to have it of record that I’ve one of only so many to have perished on a different planet. But before that my daily life would be within a transparent tubing house, seeing the orange-reddish sky and the dust storms swirling around outside. Eating genetically grown plants that surprisingly don’t taste like rubber. Eating the meat from genetically grown animals stored in an artificial zoo environment. Sleeping on a bed that may have anti-aging powers.
But there’s a million to one chance that will never happen. There’s a slight chance that no human will ever set foot on Mars, something going wrong with the spaceship or the length of the mission pushing the limits of any person on board. I have faith in humanity. I have faith that we can do anything. We are the smartest things in the universe. We were given super intelligent brains to solve and achieve things. If one can solve a Rubik’s cube in as little as 3 moves, one can find a way to land on Mars.
But we still can’t figure out how to stop it from raining or not raining. I suppose we are more adept to figuring out the bigger things in life, some of us at least.
Anyway, that’s my life ending statue: a dusty and rugged suited astronaut holding onto the American flag (or whoever gets there first) on the surface of Mars.
The message on the base of the statue: There’s no going back. Only forward.
My journey to the cosmos
Was full of wonder and awe
Floated weightlessly through a vacuum
Saw burning comet in freefall
Passing by the dark side
The moon’s eerie loneliness
Looking back at the blue marble
What great home it is
Electric star dust,
Saturn’s icy rings,
Mars red crust
All of Jupiter’s moons were visible
By the red eye light
A swirling vortex of a storm
That provokes neither fight nor flight
My ship of imagination had no limitations
Could reach the speed of light,
Pass through black holes,
Go through rocky storms
Find things no one yet knows
This sea of dark matter
Undetected, stealthy, dangerous
For no sound comes from
The wild unknown frontier
A tiny pinpoint of it
Being lit by a burning crimson
Year after mythical year
Inspired by the show “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” that was hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson back in 2014. I deeply loved the show and was so enchanted by the realism of the space scenes and “the ship of the imagination” that Degrasse Tyson flew around in during the episodes. The show really did the original that was hosted by Carl Sagan justice and likely improved upon it though I have never seen it to really get an honest opinion.
And of course Neil is known for another thing, other than being a superstar astrophysicist:
I may not have known you personally or even gotten a real chance to get to know you, but I have to say your “going away party” was the best thing that I had ever witnessed in my life, a real honor and privilege to have been apart of, even more adding to the fact that it happened to fall on my sister Emily’s 19th birthday, the symbolic celebration of life advancing and life ending hard to ignore.
You were a great man, who accomplished many things in your lifetime, notably being a teacher of many and inspiring others to learn, and serving in the Michigan National Guard, taking an important part in defending this great nation. All of the family still living were in attendance, many of them I had never met, saying their goodbyes, paying their respects, telling marshmallowy stories of you and how you made certain family members lives better with your joyful presence, and how you graciously helped out individuals, including my father when he was going through his first hip replacement back in 2001 – you were willing to put aside your own schedule to help a friend or relative in need, and that shows how unselfish a person you were.
I especially enjoyed the story of how you, when you were a young lad, used to sit in the back of the church, the very same one you were laid in today, and always make noise, such as tapping your Kiwanis Club ring on the pew or talking loudly with a friend, until your mother supposedly whispered, “Quiet, Dwight!” I would have never known it before, but you were quite a humorous individual, who loved to make others laugh, and could brighten up anyone’s day in an instant, just because you were so free spirited and full of happiness. You were quite the life of the party when you were living, and I can only imagine that you will continue to be that way while living within the pearly gates.
“And I will raise you up on eagle’s wings” – Singing those hymnal songs was one of the best moments of your funeral service, the togetherness really coming alive, the serious matter of the moment in the air being cut through like a knife, cheerfulness instantly spreading to everyone in the church. I hadn’t sung church songs in so long, I forgot how wonderful it sounded to have my voice ring out, to feel my vocal cords vibrating, joining the the warm chorus of spiritually invigorating music, only this time it didn’t seem empty, had a definite purpose – I and everyone else were singing to you; this was your time to shine, your victory celebration, celebrating a good long life and how it touched many other people’s lives in truly amazing ways. One of your favorite church hymns, “Amazing Grace”, was the final to be sung, and there are not enough words to describe how special a moment it was singing with everyone, young and old.
Reverend Elias Murbiro from Zimbabwe did an incredible preaching about your life and how you have gone from a “physical body to a spiritual body”, repeating those words a number of times during the sermon, each time with a daring burst of soul in his voice. His words were packed with power and ultimate enthusiasm, really uplifting the spirits of all who mourned in the small church on a chilly February afternoon in Saginaw, your’s and the Chisholms’ home for many years. His voice was so booming, I could literally feel my hymnal book vibrating.
80 years. That’s a good long life. Nice round number. Eight decades worth of events, many of them historical. When you were born in 1934, Iran was Persia, The Three Stooges had just been introduced, and Adolf Hitler had just taken over as the head power, or Fuhrer, of Germany, and 90% of the population actually approved of his presidential power – that percentage supposedly went down over time. The price of gas in ’34 was a mere 10 cents. The Great Depression was ending.
So here’s to an incredible life worth living every day, and how you never let one moment slip away while you were in your prime; from enjoying some of your favorite hobbies such as hunting, fishing, and writing music, to doing the thing you loved the most – teaching, going from educating high school kids to continuing to spread the gift of knowledge in retirement.
Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).
The Bug, the Silence, and the Comfort spoke to me about my October destiny as I was sitting down at the little tea table in the dark and dusty wine cellar. The guardian of the 13th Zodiac, sitting opposite me and wearing rich robes of deep scarlet, gazed into a crystal ball and foretold my apparent future.
“Tabbybug sees new pathways in your future. You will expand your horizons this fair October”, he said in a mysterious drawl, with a bit of a French accent.
I shifted in my seat excitedly; this was good news!
More revelations were revealed as the guardian seemed to magically shift the white smoke to and fro without actually touching the glass.
“On October 1, a new beginning will offer another chance to shine at something that you love, to break free from the shadows of mediocrity and be heard for miles around. Around October 15, there will be a growing comfort in yourself and you will start to feel your interests going towards something good. Tabbybug predicts a large community gathering around you, sharing similar interests and aiming for new go —
“Ah”, I responded, “That sounds like WordPress —
“Do not interrupt Tabbybug while he tries to excruciatingly concentrate on predicting pointless events in your future!”
“Sorry, sir. Come again? Did you say pointless?”
But there was a sudden grey clouding of the sphere.
“Oh dear…there will be a time when good luck will fall out and you will be left feeling alone and vulnerable. You will soon realize, around October 20, that your skills are not quite refined and cannot run with the veteran pack. Old Tabby sees your normal routines continuing on as usual, but there will be a desperate need to escape the everyday clutches of mundane tasks and explore the wild blue yonder.”
“Great, are we done yet?”, I said impatiently, getting up to leave.
“Hold on, young wise one! Tabbybug sees you longing for the love and companionship of another living thing, not necessarily a person, on the 29th of October. On that same day, your future self will be incessantly calling, waiting for you to answer his call and either follow or not follow the tattered gold carpet laid out by him.”
After all was said and done, I was about to thank the great Tabbybug and leave, but I had one question that needed answering:
“Mr. Tabbybug, sir, what do you think my costume for Halloween will be, because I still have not decided on one.”
This made old Tabby raise his mystical eyebrows, shift the white smoke around with one long bony finger, and remain silent for a long while until he responded to my question:
“Tabbybug does not know about this Halloween you talk about. He has just been recently appointed to the Zodiac board and the other divine figures have not informed him of anything, choosing to not quite accept him as part of their historical group because they think he’s some sort of unneeded wheel. Tabbybug wishes he could answer your demanding question but the Zodiac does not allow him access to such small mattered details until he have proven himself worthy enough.”
“Oh, I see…sorry, Mr. Tabbybug, sir, I did not know. I guess I’ll find out for myself. But I have just one more question to ask you – how much are you getting paid for this job?”
This question caused Tabby to look even more confused. “Paid? Paid? You think Tabbybug is getting paid for this job! Zodiac guardians do not get paid! They are divine figurative beings who have no use for such trivial stuff. But on the other hand, those bastards could have at least given friendly Tabby a better place to fortune tell than someone’s old wine cellar! Everyone else gets cloud palaces for Orion’s sake!”
And with that, he knocked the sphere off the table and stormed off into the shadows with a whoosh of his cloak. My first meeting with my horoscope master was over.