Roll over and die tonight...
Singing out loud like continuous thunder...

Girl you gotta fly, fly to the angels...

I hate when bad news catches you off guard. And this is one such bit of bad news. Mostly because I had no idea she was having health problems.

After a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut in space, died at the age of 61.

This is significant for me because, when I was a kid, I always wanted to be an astronaut. To help give me that thrill of space flight, my parents and grandparents took my brother and I down to Cape Canaveral to watch a space shuttle launch. The date was June 18, 1983 and the shuttle being launched was Challenger (STS-7) and aboard was Sally Kristen Ride, the first American female astronaut in history.

Although we were miles away from the launchpad, it was a pretty significant moment for a dreamer like me and a pretty significant moment in space flight history.

Rest in peace, Ms. Ride.

Have you ever, for no apparent reason whatsoever, thought about a person you hadn't thought about in years?

That happened to me last week. All of a sudden, the name "Etienne" popped in my head.

He and I were in grad school together at Northern Illinois University. He came to the U.S. from France specifically because he wanted to study film (not that NIU is renowned as a film school; we didn't even have a film study program, per se, just a communications department with a track in media studies). He was a movie junkie and could always be seen wearing a beat-up New York Yankees cap, a team and sport he adored religiously. He was a good guy and always really friendly. We often griped about HTML in our entry-level coding class.

I do remember his last name, too. I think I may have to Google him or see if he's on Facebook and find out what's what on his side of the pond.