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Had an unexpectedly fangirl-ish reaction tonight. Actually really surprised me. Especially considering the folks I've met in the past and *not* had this kind of reaction to...and these were people most of you would know (as opposed to tonight's individual who, if I were to guess, I'd say 3 of you might know, possibly a few others).

I mean, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Joss Whedon...all people whose work I adore. All people I've seen talk and/or met/had sign books. For each of them it was a general feeling of appreciation, a pleasure at getting to see them in person, but that was about it.

Tonight I saw Chet Raymo...like I said, probably very few of you know him. He's a local physics professor that used to write the science column for the Boston Globe. He's also written several phenomenal books including my favorite, Honey from Stone.

I discovered Honey from Stone my junior year of college. It's a collection of essays that my dad recommended while I was taking an essay class taught by Roger Rosenblatt.

I absolutely fell in love with that book.

This was my kind of writing. It was this perfect blend of science and naturalism and philosophy and history and literature and just...I really can't describe how much I love/d this book.

And icing on the cake it was all set in Dingle, Ireland.

In a lot of ways, I think this book is what started to steer me away from pure science and more toward science writing.

I've read many of his others (if you were to know of him--and are from outside the Boston area--my guess is you know either The Path, Skeptics and True Believers, or The Dork of Cork, which was the basis of the movie Frankie Starlight) but Honey from Stone is the book I always turn back to.

Anyway, last night I found out Chet Raymo was giving a talk on his latest book When God is Gone, Everything is Holy. Well...I had to go to that.

The talk was good--just a discussion about the book, how it follows his 50+ year path from devout Catholicism to his current state (which he refers to as Catholic agnosticism or religious naturalism). And then there was a signing.

And that's when it happened...

I'm standing in line, with my newly purchased copy of When God is Gone, Everything is Holy and my battered copy of Honey from Stone (appropriately purchased in Dingle, Ireland) and all of a sudden I'm tearing up. I take a few deep breaths as the people ahead of me move on and then I'm there. A little shaky...but I thank him for the books and tell him that Honey from Stone is one of my favs. I tell him how to spell my name (for the inscription) and then realize I really have to get out of there or I'm going to start gushing all over the place and I don't think he's quite prepared for a total fangirl reaction like that.

On the ride home I was grinning and tearing up at the same time. And I've been on a general "glee" high the rest of the evening. Totally unexpected fangirl squee...I think I might have a bit more understanding now for those people who lose it at conventions and the like. And yet, I can't explain where it came from and definitely didn't see it coming.
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July 2011

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