Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Cheshire Sun

I hope you found a way to watch at least a little bit of the solar eclipse tonight. It was very cool!

A lot of people were out catching a glimpse, but there were also people out washing their cars or walking their dogs, seemingly oblivious. can you be oblivious when you walk your dog past a decrepit old man in a collapsible wheelchair out on the sidewalk with a funny blinder held up in front of his eyes? How can you not ask yourself, huh? Or ask him, Hey old man, what are you doing out here on the sidewalk in that wheelchair that looks like it's about to dump you on the sidewalk holding that funny blinder in front of your eyes?

Obviously dog walking is a priority for some, living long enough to see a solar eclipse a priority for others.

Anyway! We were on our way down to the park to get a great view from the rocky perch where people around her go to catch the fireworks on the 4th of July. (Or poison oak, depending on where you walk.)

And this was truly great fireworks!

Well, firework.

My favorite part about it was actually noticing my shadow as we were walking. First, I noticed the fuzziness, then I noticed that I could make my hands look like Edward Scissorhands' hands!

Or at least, Barnabas Collins's hands.

The point it, the shadow thing was fun and unexpected and I snipped away at Mark's shadow (which seemed impervious, but whatever).

But the eclipse was interesting.  Mark had fashioned some "lenses" out of an old black Mylar drumhead--seven layers taped together--which made viewing easy. and the sun crimson. My favorite stage was when the sun looked like the grinning mouth of the Cheshire Cat.


(And shoot. There's Johnny Depp again.)

On our walk home, our neighbor was washing the third of his family's four cars, and the decrepit old guy (whom I'd never ever seen out of his house before tonight) was still watching the eclipse. And  it struck me that while the sun and the moon were sneaking around up in the sky, half of us were fascinated, and the other half either didn't know or didn't care.

So, I have two questions: One--were you lucky enough to see the eclipse (because it wasn't visible everywhere), and Two--what in your life do you find fascinating that other people seem to walk right by?

Looking forward to your comments! (And  no you don't have to tell me how Big Bang my homemade drum lenses look, okay? I already know!)


gabrielle said...

Awwww!! I didn't even know ther was a eclipse! And I'm not sure if you could see it from where I was....

Anonymous said...

YES. Me and my friend were in my room (watching New Girl, and Bones, love the Deschanel sisters) when suddenly from my sky-light thingy it was all pink.
So I went down to the 3rd floor landing and we have this really stalker-friendly giant floor-to-ceiling glass wall in the landing between the 4th and 3rd floor so we were just staring at it through there. My neighborhood looked GORGEOUS, it looked like a pink filter had encased the world. Literally, the white driveways were PINK.
Also it was like 8:30 so it should have been dark out but everyone was like, "OOH AHH ITS PINK!" And bright.
Then it began to storm like a jerk so we went to our basement for maximum protection.
Tornado season here we come.
Ha, Johnny Depp. :)

gabrielle said...

Lucky! I didn't get to see it! I've actually have never seen a solar eclipse. It sounds really cool!

Kylie said...

Yes I saw it! It was awesome! Where I live we were in the 90% area. (I think that is what my sister said...). We used my brother welding mask to see it. Do you know it will be 72 years until there will be another solar eclipse that is viewable for us?

And we had my whole family over today for my nephews birthday, and while half of us were really interested by it, the other were not. I found that weird. It will be 72 years until they could see from here again and they didn't care? I just didn't understand.

And the things that I find fascinating are interactions among people. Like when I go to the park I like to watch how others interact with another and with the wildlife. I am also find pattern fascinating. I love to find patterns in anything that I can. Well my whole family does. And I like to count if we are sitting somewhere I tell my sister that there are 22 rails on that deck and she will tell me how many screws were used. But other people just look at that as a railing, my family (except my mom) counts them.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Pink! Neat! And then a storm? Wow.

The old guy down the street couldn't have handled that.

But he knew it would be 72 years (I've heard that, too!) before the next one, which I'm sure is why he was out in his collapse-ready chair, looking now.

We were in the 80-something zone--I bet 90 + was stunning. Glad you got to see it (and sorry, Gabrielle) that you didn't.

Counting things like posts and screws. Interesting! I can actually see that--a way of looking for order.

Optimistic4ever said...

I missed it! I was so excited, but I had a test the whole day and it was indoors and I'm not sure if it was visible from here! :(

Anyways, I like watching spiders spin webs, but when my friends see spiders, they like to scream and stomp on them. Also, I really like watching the seconds hand on a clock, which makes other people think I'm a little off my rocker.

Yusa said...

I saw part of it, but i had to go somewhere. I was only in a part way zone and was in the car as the moon started to shift, but i saw a circle appear over the sun and it seemed like the sun was setting at like 6:30. It was so cool how everything seemed to grow darker gradually!
They kept telling me not to look at the sun without the glasses, but i couldn't help it!
Also, some guys in this cool car in front of us had cool glasses (though not as cool as your Wendelin) and kept trying to see it. I don't think i saw it full blast, as i was indoors for a friends college graduation party.
I heard that the next ones going to be like 30 years later, but who knows?

Ryan said...

Amanda and I headed to a site just outside of Red Bluff, CA, to watch the eclipse along the centerline. Totally awesome! =) We brought my telescope and camera along so should have some REALLY awesome photos of it, but I probably won't get them online for a couple days until after we get back to Seattle.

As for walking by and not noticing.... letterboxes, of course! =)

-- Ryan

Shaina said...

I live in a town with at least 300 cloudless, sunny days per year. Guess when the clouds decided to roll in. Yep, just in time for the eclipse and they're STILL HERE, mocking me. It actually RAINED yesterday for at least an hour! (a rarity in central Washington) So no I didn't get to see the eclipse. Taking care of my two little kids (age 3 and 1) makes me think that I'M the one walking by not noticing anything. When we go outside, they stop and examine the smallest little pebble or bug or piece of trash or discarded fragment of someone's old lunch. It's fascinating to see how fascinated they are with such tiny, common things. :)

bookworm said...

I had no idea that an eclispe was happening! Shoot! :(

Well, as to things that are ignored by others: books. Seriously, not that many people see the value in them; that you can escape to another world with them and meet new friends/people, that you can travel the WORLD without leaving from your seat.

Another thing is education. Where I live, we are offered so many wonderful opportunities to go to college practically for free, amongst other eductional opps, and the kids around me throw it away with both hands. So sad.

And for me, also, is to be a journalist. People think I'm REALLY crazy to want to go to the Middle East and report there, or to a war zone and write there, but I just find it so....... appealing. Not that I crave war, but there is something in writing, photography, travelling, talking to people and helping those in need is what draws me to it..... or something like that.

The final thing are tall ships. People think I'm crazy to be sort of obsessed with them, but they're so graceful and timeless........ it's fascinating, how gorgeous they are, and the fact that so many survuved on the high seas and through hurricanes and whatnot.

Kinda long post for me. Whoops. :P

Yusa said...

Yeah i agree. They let so many wonderful things slip past.
Long posts give me more to read :)

gabrielle said...

I never really thought about stuff like that much,but now that you say that I agree to.

Amanda from Seattle said...

And in addition to the Cheshire Sun, Venus is also a crescent right now and will soon be moving across the Sun on June 5th! So hold onto those funky eclipse glasses for a while yet!!!

AbaGayleb said...

I was begging my parents to take me somewhere so that I could see it, but no. No one let me see it. ): I find pretty much everything that has to do with astronomy fascinating. But everyone in my family just looks at me when I say,"How awesome would it be to see an aurora borealis?!" it's frustrating when they find something I love unusual.

But these things are life experiences! Maybe it could only come once-in-a-lifetime, you never know. My addiction to astronomy started when I read a book by Wendy Mass called "Every Soul a Star."

Great book--you should check it out. Anyway, that is what I find wonderfully amazing but people walk around it like it's nothing.

gabrielle said...

I love astronomy! Something about it is really interesting. And I would love to see aurora borealis!

Jessica said...

The eclipse was supposed to *start* (as in moon just brushing sun) in Atlanta 7 minutes before sunset, which was probably already below the trees, but we had such a wicked thunderstorm we couldn't see anything.

I'm fascinated by anything natural or unusual. And since my dad is an engineer, I notice the structures that support things (sort of like the patterns Kylie mentioned).

Animals crack me up -- I once saw a squirrel on a power line lift its tail, and passersby shot me a quizzical look, but how was I going to explain the humor of a pooping squirrel? Watching a shamrock turn its leaves to face the sun, or pull them in after sunset to conserve water, is fascinating. My favorite seashells are the partially broken ones that let you see how they can be so strong and yet provide a nice-sized home. And the sky is awesome: clouds, sun, moon, stars... I will see the Northern Lights one day!

In cities, I love to observe all the little details someone took the time to place on buildings, even though they're not really at anyone's eye level to see. I tend to people-watch a bit, too, especially children, who are so unguarded. In stores, I guess I tend to be the person rushing by -- I just want to get out ASAP, while others window-shop.

Jessica said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, I totally made an oatmeal cake for my Sunday School class's last day. The junior high kids loved it, though it was a bit too sweet for me. It reminded me of a coffee cake.

Yusa said...

I've seen every soul a star, though i haven't read it yet. I mean to.

Anonymous said...

I thought I might mention I boight The Fault in Our Stars today. I've only read the first chapter because I have finals this week, but so far its great. And the lady at the B&N counter got into this whole conversation with me about how she cried and cried reading it, I was like "Oh no, I'm going to cry too!"
I'm a big crier. If something gets even remotely sad I get overemotional.
I cry while watching Dexter, a show about a serial killer (but he only kills serial killers because he's a good serial killer).
And when I watch The Vampire Diaries and she chooses Stefan over Damon.
And when I read Runaway.
And once I read this book in the 4th grade from my teachers classroom about a "slam book" and a fat girl who slit her wrists in her bathtub and died--I was so disturbed I stole the book from her shelf and SHOVED IT AT THE BOTTOM OF MY GARBAGE CAN.
Then in the 8th grade I ran into her and apologized for throwing awsy her TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE AND DISTURBING book. But she just laughed and laughed and said she had no idea how it got there in her class.
But it seriously scarred me. I was 10!!
TFIOS = really sad, apparently.
This means the little mice in my eyes are bringing their buckets of water and coming out to play once again

Yusa said...

Why would that book be in a 4th grade classroom. I remember reading books that i was way to young for.

Jessica said...

Steph, you just reminded me to request TFIOS at my library -- except I'm #49 on the waiting list, so it'll be a while before I get to it. I'm not a big crier for myself, but I'm a huge crier for others. I think I've cried in every single WvD book I've read (all the Sammy Keyes, Runaway, Flipped, and the Running Dream).

The only book that really scarred me was the Diary of Anne Frank, because it was real. The first time I read it, I was probably too young, and halfway through I just had to know if she survived. I flipped to the back to find out she died in the concentration camp (what really got to me is that she endured the camp for so long and then died shortly before it was liberated), threw the book across the room, and didn't read it again for 3 or 4 years. I made it through okay the second time. I think the Hunger Games trilogy would have been awful to read as a child; it put me in a terrible funk for days as it was, reading it as an adult.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to read 12 new-to-me "classics" in 2012. The last two months I read 3 ancient Chinese philosophy books, so I'm going to take a break and read something fun. Any other recommendations besides TFIOS (maybe something that won't require a whole box of tissues)?

Anonymous said...

Haha well one that WILL require tissues is It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vezzini (something like that). About a boy in an asylum. It's similar to Perks of Being a Wallflower in some ways. I recently bought Water for Elephants and am planning on reading it...and then that total BS memoir, A Million Little Pieces. If you ignore the fact that the author is a lying piece of fraudulent crap, it's a really cool read.
Its so hard to explain but if Tory met Sammy they'd be best friends.
If Hi met Billy they'd be best friends.
If Ben met Casey they'd be best friends.
If Maddie met Heather they'd be best friends.
Mystery solving teenager who sounds JUST LIKE SAMMY and has a group of verrry similar friends.
I'm sure Kathy Reichs didn't mean to COPY Sammy Keyes. She's written a million other books and the tv show BONES was inspired by her Temperance Brennan books. VIRALS is about Tory Brennan, Temperance's grand-neice but Tory is JUST LIKE SAMMY. TRUST ME. 100%.
There's 2 books in the series so far, Virals, and Seizure.

Kylie said...

I loved Virals and I am waiting to get Seizure. I really loved Virals! And I can't wait to read the new one when it is released as well!


Anonymous said...

Wait you seriously read it after I was recommending it like crazy before? :D Sorry if I'm pushy but SAMMY KEYES FANS GO READ IT NOW. NO EXCUSES NO EXCEOTIONS GOGO

Yusa said...

I will as soon as i get it.
Seems good.

Anonymous said...
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Wendelin Van Draanen said...
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Yusa said...
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Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I know that was a terrible spoiler. Steph, you should probably edit.

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

So I just deleted the 3 of them because I couldn't just edit out the spoiler. Sorry Steph.

Jessica said...

Okay, Virals and Seizure are winging their way to my library (I love living in the future). I probably won't get them until Tuesday or Wednesday because of the holiday.

Optimistic4ever said...

I'm currently reading Virals. And The Fault in Our Stars. They're both really good!

Emsie said...
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Anonymous said...

OOPS I used my book reviewing account man. AND last night I was planning on deleting it because I felt like a spoiling jerk SO its all goodd in my hooodd. :)
sorry folks i have some emotion-controlling business to learn :P