The Neil deGrasse Tyson Event, Part 2: Exodus

Finally, and after an interminable wait of several days, Thursday arrives. Everything was set. My morning meeting was cancelled, and Dillon had come to the office with me, so we were ready to go any time. I’d had a brilliant stroke of inspiration when considering what I might want to get signed… Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. With Dr. Tyson resurrecting Dr. Sagan’s old show, and having been referred to as “the new Carl Sagan,” I thought it would be awesome to get this book signed by Dr. Tyson, and so that was packed in my bag.

As we were waiting for the rest of our group to arrive, Molly suggested that I have Dillon come up with some questions to ask Dr. Tyson, just in case he got a chance to talk to the man in the course of getting his book signed. First question: WTF is up w/ pluto, man? I redirected him to some less obvious/more interesting information online. Dillon came up with 3 solid questions, and the pluto question. Not bad.

Jared and Ben (also taking some time away from the traditional educational environment… where is TABS when you need it?!) arrived around 12:30, with Mike making it in just as we were finishing up a quick lunch of Qdoba on the patio. Bellies full, and coffee in the cup holders, and we were off toward Madison! In Jared’s lame-assed minivan.

To cut the tense silence of five nerds driving for 90 minutes, Jared suggested I play some music, claiming that he has some good stuff on his phone. I pulled out my iPod, suggesting that Jared’s taste in music may come close to the near-complete vacuum of space itself (read: sucks). This charitable offer to provide delight to the occupants of the vehicle in the form of They Might Be Giants (specifically, the Here Comes Science album) was met with somewhat less enthusiasm than expected. To be specific, it was Jared’s opinion that TMBG has one good song, are generally lame, and what the hell do I have an iPod for when my phone can play music?! As you might expect, this lead to a heated debate about the generally awesomeness of TMBG, followed by a similarly heated debate over the merits of a separate music device over using ones phone. Two things to note here:

  1. “Heated debate” here refers to increasingly inappropriate insults with next to no relevance to the specific contentious idea, and often relating on ones parentage
  2. Mike did not weigh in on the TMBG issue, but was with me on the separate music device… Advantage Collins!
With those points resolved (as well as having identified my annoying habit of skipping the last part of songs in my impatience to get to the next track… because we all know how the song ends!) we settled in for a good long listen to some classic Dr. Demento. All was well, after that. At some point we remembered that we had the boys in the car, and should probably consider our language… ahh, f##k it!
We rolled into Madison with plenty of time to spare, parked, and wandered over to the Union, where both of the boys decided that they needed a refreshing beverage. This was when I realized that I’d forgotten my wallet and had a grand total of about $20 for Dillon and I… and that I’d somehow forgotten my copy of Cosmos (This is actually still missing). D’oh! No big deal, we roll with it.
It is about the same time that I had to laugh out loud at the spectacle we must be; We must look like the most non-traditional family evar: Three dads and two sons. We take our little family onto the Memorial Union Terrace, and settle in to wait for the show to start. At some point, Jemiah called, and we able to bring him in by phone. While we’re waiting, an a capella group performs, and Dillon gets out his book. At one point I try getting Dillon interested in the music:
Me: Dill, check out these guys, there singing with no instruments
Dillon: cool…
Me: Hey, I want you to pay attention this afternoon… this is a really cool thing that not all kids get to do. There are no other kids here other than you and Ben. Pay attention!
Dillon: I will dad… I’m just not really into Rock ‘n Roll shows
The beauty in that? First, yes he is… he just wanted to read his book. Second, a capella group.

2 Replies to “The Neil deGrasse Tyson Event, Part 2: Exodus”

  1. Ah, my son… who loves all music, particularly live, but loves books best.

    And get on with the story, ALREADY. The best part is the next/end part.

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