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Hey Wil, Coming in at the end of a bunch of good, really insightful comments from readers who "get it." I'm another fan who would give you your space and simply wave hi. Although, I DID wait in an insanely long line in Boston just for the chance to meet you and thank you for your writing. You were so worried about not having many people show up for your showing there, I couldn't NOT go, right? I knew we'd come through for you, and we did. And, I have to admit, I wasn't so much interested in the autograph as I was to take that chance to connect with a fellow writer, whose work I enjoy and say "Thanks -- you do good work!" I've seen this dickish behavior you describe at Cons (I often give science talks at StarFest in Denver), and it really makes me cringe when I see a celebrity treated as a mental fuck toy by some of the more entitled-feeling and clueless fans. I mean, come on -- standing there and playing pocket pool with yourself practically in front of a female celebrity? Creepy as all get-out. Last month I was at the Kennedy Space Center filming the last shuttle launch evar. As it happens, Seth Green and Clare Grant were there and in the press area (I was accredited as a newsie). We'd met at the Endeavour launch (which scrubbed) the previous month, and I had a great, long conversation with Claire while we waited for a pre-launch event to happen. Seth was running around energetically taking pics and being space fanboy, (Claire is a space fan, too), and I thought that was totally great. Anyway, at the Atlantis launch, we ran into each other again, and no sooner than we had begun to exchange "Hey, how ya doin?" greetings, than a group of squealing fan girls ran up and circled Seth (what they were doing in the press room, which was supposed to be accessible to accredited press only), was beyond me. But, he handled it really well and I admired his grace in giving them a little something, but not giving in completely. They didn't mob him the way you were mobbed by those cretins with issues, but I could see where experiences like his and yours could cause a celeb to want to travel with big backup. ;) Anyway, good on ya for standing up to the toD'sah douchebags who mobbed you and your son. Such behavior should not be encouraged, evar! Stay happy and thanks again for all you do. Spacewriter
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2011 on if you cut me, i will bleed at WWdN: In Exile
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Bob, Freeman: I'm with you in the "older than dirt" category; Apollo 1 happened when I was in junior high, Challenger when I was a science reporter just heading back to graduate school to study more space and astronomy, and Columbia occurred after I'd finished that schooling. You, me, all of us who remember all three -- we were the ones who were going to be on the Moon and Mars in the future. We were the cool, space-generation punks who were going to do it. And, in the middle of all that came Star Trek, which seemed to show us the human adventure that awaited us. We still have Star Trek, in a way. But, that future where we were going to be exploring the planets ourselves? Where is it? I don't want to think that the Apollo 3, the Challenger and Columbia astronauts gave their lives so that we wouldn't continue our trek to space. We'll get there... they paved the way and we shouldn't forget them. But, we need to face facts: some in today's generations maybe aren't as giddy about it as we were -- it's not new to them anymore. And, certainly there are politicians who couldn't care less about space because they or their "owners" (lobbyists, fundies, teabaggers, science deniers, etc.) don't want to see scientific advances or humans venturing out to the space from which we all originally came. But, I know that there still burns inside somebody's breast the need to go out there and git 'er done. That's the least the Apollo, Challenger, and Columbia folks would expect from us. We can do it.
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Wil, Thank you for writing about this. I blogged about all the lost astronauts on my blog, thespacewriter.com yesterday, but the Challenger loss will always stand out in my mind because it was so mind-numbing. I was at NASA JPL that day 25 years ago, as part of the coverage of the Voyager 2/Uranus flyby. We were scheduled to have the last flyby press conference that morning, as soon as the shuttle launched. So, there were probably a couple of hundred of us: press, scientists, NASA honchos, etc. all standing in the von Karman auditorium watching the launch. As it happened, we were simply speechless. We didn't know what to do. We all turned to each other and everyone held on to someone else for a few minutes as it sank in what we were seeing. I will NEVER forget that day. Ever. Like you, I hold my breath every time there's a launch. And in the years since then, I've gotten to know some of the astronauts as friends and colleagues, and knowing that THEY are onboard has always made it ever so much more difficult to watch a launch. Thankfully those folks have made it up and back... and they have my thanks and praise for their bravery and determination to do the job they were hired to do. CC Petersen aka TheSpacewriter.
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Hey there Wil, good to see the young men at last! You are right to be proud of them. And, you all look awesome in teh staches! Love the fez look... you may be starting a trend there. ;) Keep looking up!
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2011 on In which I am a proud father at WWdN: In Exile
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Hi Wil, I was just in Pasadena Wed and Thur for meetings at JPL. One of the nights we had dinner at Louise's and then walked around "old town" for a while to help digest the wonderful food. I'm always struck by how things start to look "older" once you move away from the main drag. Like your insights about the scene there on Highland.
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Hi Wil, I had a similar experience and feeling as you describe at Seth's party -- when I attended some opening parties in LA for the Griffith a few years ago. Mind you, I'd worked on the project, but I wasn't prepared for the *scale* of the parties. Or the over-the-top stuff that was presented (can we say Stolichnaya vodka fountains?). Nor the red carpet walk. All of us who worked on the project were asked to do the red carpet "perp walk" but the press was (of course) only interested in the celebs. It felt weird, funny, fake, and exhilirating all at once... and SO not my usual everyday experience. But, I wouldn't have passed it up for the world, mostly because of the project and how proud I was of the work we all did to bring it to life. Still... those experiences have lessons...and supply cool memories. Great entry!
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Aw, Wil, that's really sad news. We lost a loved pet some years ago and it still brings a twinge to my heart thinking about it. She'll be with you always -- even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Spacewriter
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