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What Happened At The UC Riverside Solar Eclipse Viewing: 9:33 a.m. to 11:04 a.m.


I felt it in my heart and The Black Sheep’s wallet to check out the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse at the Bell Tower with my fellow Highlanders rather than spending another Monday milking the family goat, Sallie Jean.

TBS sent me a survival kit of (1) solar-eclipse-viewing-lens contraption made of two pieces of broken welder’s glass taped together, along with (1) kit of Victoria’s Secret sunglasses. After a full breakfast and half a bottle of “Hot Lust,” I made my way to UCR. Here’s the account of that morning:

9:33 a.m.: Fifteen minutes driving around Falkirk until I finally found free street parking. The funds I could spend on a parking permit can feed me for the day. I pocketed the $5 to spend on wieners later and faced the requisite fifteen additional minutes it would take to walk to campus.

9:49a.m.: Mother-eff. It actually took 16 minutes! 

9:56a.m.: Bell Tower’s looking real cute as usual. At the base are a myriad of students, families, and homeless people. Could easily get the first and third mixed up.

10:00a.m.: Official start time.

10:01a.m.: Place is crowded with long lines to peer through a limited number of telescopes. TBS hooked it up with the lens, but I also brought a tricked-out Cocoa Puffs box. Not familiar with solar lexicon, so I will be describing the look of the sun according to shapes of foods.

10:03a.m.: Bowl of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup viewed from the top.

10:04a.m.: Several eclipse-viewing glasses are circulating through the crowds.

10:08a.m.: This girl wants to get closer to the sun. Or God.

10:11a.m.: Lovely couple looking at the sun with 3-D glasses. Should’ve invested stock in the leading seller of canes for the blind.

10:13a.m.: We will rebuild!

10:15a.m.: Either this man wants to show me the eclipse or he wants to sell me some microbrew made with the finest malt and hops and shit.

10:22a.m.: Peeped through my lens. Cream cheese rangoon? No, deviled egg cut in half.  

10:27a.m.: ALMOST getting into S-C makes all the difference!

10:32a.m.: Bearded man who has probably seen Aliens too many times asks if I want to see the eclipse through his bombastic, heavy-duty telescope. I flashed my personal lens and thanked him. Sir, you’re going to need a bigger telescope to find my manhood …*sigh*

10:35a.m.: Calling it: the next Elon Musk.

10:41a.m: Heard a bystander ask, “Isn’t it supposed to be dark out?” Probably a UC Davis student.

10:46a.m.: Croissant.

10:50a.m.: Barely noticing the abundance of Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise. Have these people never heard of Firefly?

10:51a.m.: Forgive me, Sallie Jean. 🙁

10:53a.m.:“Can I borrow your Prime account?”

10:57a.m.: Fully devoured sandwich, but the person who ate it hates the crust.

10:58a.m.: The event has turned into pure camaraderie and rubbing of the eyes. I feel a strain on my corneas and begin to panic.

10:59a.m.: Full eclipse! Blueberry.

11:00a.m.: “Wes Anderson’s my favorite director working today.”

11:04a.m.: Safe to call the event over. People begin to stare directly into the sun as if the rules do not apply now that there’s been an eclipse.

The one big takeaway from the bona fide fun event is the mystery behind how many people managed to request Monday off work. Regardless, the event was certainly worth visiting and hopefully the next time an eclipse makes its way back, I’ll have my student loans paid off.

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