Friday, February 22, 2013

My Stars!

I'm a girl who knows how to have a good time.

Which my husband was reminded of again last weekend as I tried to pass off "an evening lecture at the George Mason University observatory" as a birthday gift.

I have other good qualities. (psst...I really don't.)

Actually, this event followed the GMU homecoming basketball game on Saturday night, the tickets to which were yet another birthday gift. (Or would have qualified as one had the Patriots not lost by 20 points.) The spectacular loss was followed by a spectacular fireworks show over the lake on campus -- so the evening turned around a bit at that point. And continued to get even better as we made our way across campus to the observatory and joined about 12 other cools who considered this a hip and happenin' way to spend a Saturday night.

The lecture was really interesting -- and we got to see the new half million dollar (said with pinkie touching corner of mouth) telescope and the dome in which it is ensconced -- all very sci-fi and cool. We learned something, we asked questions, it was all great fun. Until...the professor pronounced "Uranus" in a way I'd never heard before -- as "YUR-a-nuss." We immediately assumed this was a defense mechanism borne from teaching college students who probably snickered every time he said the name of that particular planet.

And I'll be honest...that is why I'm so glad not to be in college anymore, with people mocking and giggling at things that sound dirty and being sidetracked from real learning by focusing on the nonsense.  

Now we wait until we are in the car to ask each other the questions we dreamed of asking the Prof with a straight face. Those being:

1. Do you really think it's appropriate to show us so many pictures of Uranus?
2. Has Uranus been erupting?
3. Are there alien life forms on Uranus?
4. How big is Uranus?
5. Do you find that gay men, in particular, tend to focus their area of study on Uranus?
6. Can I point this telescope at Uranus?
7. What is the temperature of Uranus?

Each question was followed by hysterical laughter. From my husband and me, that is. My 7-year-old daughter (who didn't quite get the joke) gave us an eye roll after each question and admonished us with a "That's enough."

She's a pain in Uranus,


Jane S. said...

And for those of us who are Star Trek fans, "Do Klingons circle Uranus?" heehee

Barb Schanel said...

Has there ever been poison ivy on Uranus?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love the little one keeping it classy. Though I must admit, I'd probably fall asleep during an evening lecture on planets and stars. Sleeping under the stars is a thing, right?

Brutalism said...

Jane - I don't get it.
Barb - That's so immature.
Kate - The little one is the adult. Now if only we could get her to pay the mortgage...

Trout Almondine said...

"I have always dreamed of space travel. Do you think one day in my lifetime, it will be possible for me to see Uranus?"

"Given that humanity has already polluted the environment on Earth, I'm concerned that if we ever achieve travel in our galaxy, we'll just we make the same mistakes again. How would you keep Uranus clean?"

"What is the environment like? Are there noxious gases around Uranus?"

"As an astronomy buff, I know some bodies in our galaxy have icy rings, and one has a large angry red spot. Are there distinctive features like an angry red spot on Uranus? Is so, shouldn't a team of professionals investigate Uranus?"

"I understand that some astronomers have had more success viewing Uranus while in tropical countries. Is there somewhere I can view Uranus during my upcoming vacation to Lake Titicaca?"

Brutalism said...

"Now I'm off to my vacation at Lake Titicaca. Let's see you make a joke out of THAT, smart guy!"

How come my commenters are always funnier than I?