Yesterday Chris Hadfield was his charming self at a book signing in downtown Toronto.
So obviously I showed up 3 hours early to get in line!
Earlier I had called the bookstore to get a rundown on how these things work, as I'd never been to a book signing before. People were already lined up! So I made my way slowly to the bookstore from the aquarium (as I decided to take a day off and have fun downtown. As one does before a book signing) and walked approx 50 million blocks (ok, 4 km). And yes, there was already a line!
Luckily I was still pretty close to the front, maybe 25 people? So I parked myself and started reading Jezebel's new book (I don't know what I think of it yet) and made friends with people in line. My sister met me a little while later, all while the place just got busier and busier and busier.
At around 6 they herded us into the seated area. Since my obsessive nature had made me arrive so early, we got to be part of the seated audience. YEAH.
This was the crowd close to 7:
(Note: all blurry photos were taken by sister's phone. I take no responsibility for those!)
There were people everywhere! Just crammed into every which way they possibly could. Lots of adorable kids, too. A total of about 700, they announced.
Then, he arrived.
They had a toy rocket beside him.
He is an amazing speaker. I could listen to him all day. The interviewer was Heather Resiman, the CEO of Indigo Books. She is by all accounts a very smart woman (the company is wicked successful - essentially owns 99% of the book market in Canada) but she is an awful interviewer. She got facts wrong and asked, in my opinion, really dumb questions. But Chris is such a good public speaker he made her look really good.
So I was dumb and didn't think to start recording until a little bit into it, but here is part 1:
Then I video recorded his "how to to go to the bathroom in space" speech because it was adorable as hell:
Then part two of the audio:
Some highlights of his speeches because I don't have transcripts (all paraphrased and summarized. You should listen, I can't do it justice):
How did you get into the space program?
Well, in 1992 the Canadian Space Agency put a want ad in newspapers across the country: 'WANTED: ASTRONAUTS'. About 5100 people applied. I went through panels and interviews and psychiatric tests and whatnot, until the end when they said they would start calling on Tuesday at 1 pm to let us know if we made it. At around 1:05 pm I got a call: 'Hey, it's Greg from the CSA. Do you still want to be an astronaut?' 'Yes, yes I would.'
How does it feel to get launched into space?
The pressure is intense. It feels like a progressively fatter person is laying on top of you, and slapping you around. You have to pull yourself up so your eyeballs stop vibrating enough to see the gauges and controls.
At the end, Heather made a real push to tell him to run for politics. Now, he is very personable and absolutely intelligent but don't force him into politics! I don't want him ruined. Besides, he got a teaching position over at the University of Waterloo (very prestigious engineering program. Not as good as University of Toronto's, but I'm biased ;) ).
And meeeee! My sister's phone made me look like an evil witch. This is incorrect. I am an evil sorceress.
I also did my nails all special-like for the occasion, too (sorry for the gigantic-ness):
And then my signed book:
So finished one of my Chris Hadfield's adventures! On December 8th I will be attending a brunch featuring him and another author at the King Edward Hotel. You'll hear all about that one, too ;)