Friday, August 10, 2007

Good Morning, Sunshine

Very early this morning my husband found me on the floor of my office, hands wrapped around my knees and alternating between sobbing and staring at the far wall. Fortunately I have married a person who, upon finding his spouse of three weeks alternating between sobbing and staring at the far wall, does not do the logical American thing and email Oprah. Instead he gently uncoiled me and said, "Don't do this in your office" and led me to another, far more appropriate part of the house to conduct the onset of a large to medium-sized depression, like the kitchen, where at least there are Cheez-Its.

upping the meds at:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


This is Barbara Morgan. Twenty years ago, she didn't get a job she applied for.

Christa McAuliffe got it instead.

I've seen footage of the Teacher In Space announcement ceremony; Barbara and Christa both in sensible pastel Diane Chambers Wear, Christa's hands going to her mouth as she walked forward, Barbara applauding and smiling politely. It'll freeze your vertebrae if you think too hard about the implications of that moment; one got a death sentence, the other became, at the age of 55, a weightless symbol of patience and second chances. Hardly what either of them imagined when they heard on the news that NASA calling for education volunteers.

Barbara hung around the job market. In December of 2002, she was at last named to the crew of STS-118, scheduled to fly in late 2003.

STS-118 was assigned to Columbia.

Today, after one to-be lost on launch and another on the landing, was Barbara Morgan's first day at work. This is what it looked like. It is far different, far different from what I stared at from a parochial school classroom twenty-one years ago.

She rode on Endeavor, which didn't even exist when Barbara first applied as a Teacher in Space. This vehicle is Challenger's replacement.

I missed the launch today. I never miss launches. I missed this one; my husband and I were loading a moving van with Pile O' Castoffs from various family members. We snapped at each other via cell phone this afternoon when he pulled off an on-ramp in the truck after he lost me in the BrideMobile at a traffic light. There were no professional photographers present, as this aspect of marriage is rarely mentioned in the little wedding scrapbook kits available in the "Making Memories" aisle: "First time we nearly hung up on one another in mutual fits of rage." Little stickers of frowny brides and grooms and a sagging top cake tier.

It would be easy to twist the diamonds from my finger and announce that I didn't apply for this; I applied for new towels and a set of highball glasses and every woman I know sighing, "You look like a princess."

But marriage doesn't end with the wedding, and this is what I chose, far later than I thought I would. "I've only been married nine days," my husband pointed out when I tearfully confronted him on some sort of already-forgotten husband offense. It will take us time. It took Barbara Morgan time, and this isn't the way, I am sure, she would have preferred to become a teacher in space.

It's not at all what she expected.

She put on her helmet anyway.

strapping in at:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Advice To the Newlywed

Read, as I am, The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Your husband, no matter how many pieces of the non-dishwasher-safe Farberware he proceeds to put directly in the dishwasher, is going to seem awesome.

forsooth at:

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Have Found Me a Home

The DNA tests are in, and it seems that Lost, Confused Brass Plaque has been claimed. Nick The NASA Poobah has admitted paternity. Let us all applaud Nick for his maturity and refreshing insistence upon acting as a man of honor. I am merely grateful we did not have to involve Maury Povich.

Nick is normally not the type of person to leave large, heavy wedding gifts in a thank you noteless state, but the man has been busy with his usual Poobah lifestyle. Last week he went on a 15-parabola microgravity plane ride, of the type the astronauts use to train in the Vomit Comet, and conducted several on-board experiments of the highest scientific order, including, quote, "releas(ing) my fistful of M&M's, only to have them jet off in every direction."

Upset Cereal Bowl, however? Still rootless. I've got Alex Haley on Line 1 and two calls in to Dannielynn Hope, however. Although I fear some sort of multiple The Reader gift-claiming scandal, there will be no bastard wedding gifts in my townhouse.

men from earth at:

Previous Tastings