shoot for the moon

Image via the NASA Goddard Photo and Video Flickr stream under a Creative Commons license.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

OK, it’s a lame quote. And it doesn’t make any real sense, because the moon is like, millions of miles closer to us than the nearest star, the sun, so, if we shot for the moon and missed we’d be…somewhere between the earth and the moon, and nowhere near a star.

Still, it reminded me of when I literally wanted to shoot for the moon. For a few years of my childhood, I really wanted to be an astronaut. REALLY. I read all kinds of books about space. I even read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time over and over again, until it stopped feeling like it was melting my brain and I started understanding it (I was in middle school). I begged my parents to let me go to NASA Space Camp.

But it turns out real space camp is friggin’ expensive.

Instead, one summer, I got sent to some science daycamp at a local elementary school. We made space suits out of tinfoil and Saran Wrap and learned about planets and space shuttles.

But we did not get to pull any G forces or play in any simulators. There was no freeze-dried astronaut ice cream. They might have served us TANG.

What a letdown.

Next time my science-loving dad gives me grief about being a grad student in English Literature, I’m going to say: “Maybe if you let me go to real space camp, I’d be an astrophysicist or something right about now.”

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my first rodeo

Image via Flicker user chispita_666.

Image via Flicker user chispita_666.

When I woke up this morning, I remembered the strangest snippet of a dream I had last night.  Jon and I were at a rodeo, walking around “backstage,” petting horses and meeting cowboys.  And one cowboy would just not stop making fun of me because I was wearing flip flops.

Now, I spent many years of my girlhood riding horses, and though I tended more toward equestrian than cowgirl, I know enough not to wear flip flops to a rodeo.  My husband even teases me because I kind of like the smell of horse manure because it reminds me of the smell of a barn: grassy and leathery and dusty with hay.

If I were to get all psycoanalysis-y on my dream, I’d say it’s really about an upcoming trip we’re taking.  My husband is about to turn 30, and as part of the celebration, we’re taking a weekend trip to NYC with our two best friends.  I’ve never been before, and I guess you could say it’s sorta like going to my first rodeo.

I’ve been to London, where I was mistaken as a local several times by fellow tourists.  I’ve been to Washington D.C.  But I’ve never been to the city that never sleeps. Mostly, I’m a girl who grew up in a small town who has not-too-often traveled out of the South.

I do not want to be a lame tourist.  So, I’m counting on anyone who reads this blog to help me figure out what the “flip flops” would be concerning this rodeo.  I mean, I know not to wear a fanny pack, a scrunchi (thanks SATC!), or mom jeans.  My friend who is going with us said she was planning to pack skinny jeans, tees, and scarves, but I don’t want to be balls hot, so I was thinking I’d stick with my usual summer uniform of solid jersey dresses with ballet flats.  Will this get me made fun of by “cowboys”?

Not to mention, beyond figuring out what to wear, I have to figure out what we’re gonna DO!  I want to really plan ahead so as not to waste a MINUTE of this trip, so I need suggestions of what to do!  Our group will include two girls and two guys.  I’m a literature nerd.  My friend is a design nerd and music buff and tends toward the hipster end of the spectrum.  My husband thinks he wants to go to a Yankees game, which shocked me considering he’s a Rockies fan and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard him rant some variation on the theme “teams like the Red Sox and Yankees buy all their wins and they don’t have to nurture talent from the ground up and they’re everything that’s wrong with baseball.”  Anyway, suggestions are much appreciated.