I learned a very special lesson tonight. There has been talk, you may have noticed, about a lunar eclipse this evening. This talk had indicated that the event would probably reach its climactic state of "no moon" around 8:30. The windows in my living room afforded a good view of the rapidly waning Moon when I checked on it at around 8:00. I don't know; for something that was supposed to be all red-tinted and disappearing before my eyes, it just looked like a bunch of white Moon in the sky.
So I watched some American Idol. And okay, I'll admit it: I totally agree with Simon most of the time. I mean, the contestants this year have been very cruise-shippy, and--wait, wasn't I doing something else? What was it? Anyway, this competition is about star quality, and when you're talking about--wait. Star quality. Stars...stars...moon....Moon! Holy crap! I forgot to check on the Moon.
It was 8:45, and as I shuffled quickly to the front of my apartment, I had the odd experience of hoping the Moon, that old dependable rock in the sky, wouldn't be there when I got to the living room window. I looked up, and...nothing, just black sky.
"Hey," I said to myself, "lunar eclipse."
But then I realized that I just had a bad angle. I had to take one more step forward to make my eye line clear the building next door.
I took my step, and... "Nope, there it is." Stupid Moon.
Sure, it was a little smokier than it usually appears, but, well, I could see it, and that's sort of the way it usually is with me and the Moon; nothing particularly special about this Wednesday night.
I think Simon would say the Moon's performance tonight was forgettable. It was pretty much what you'd expect of the Moon, and American audiences are looking for something with more of a modern edge, something exciting and new. And maybe he'd be right. But you know what? I learned something from my experience. There's probably an element of the downfall of modern society, you know, where reality TV and over-orchestrated multimedia platforms for quasi-stardom trump the act of gazing at real stars. Whatever. Here's the more specific lesson and what I'll really take away from my Wednesday night: if you approach a living room window expecting to see a lunar eclipse, you might just mistake an empty part of the sky for a celestial event.