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Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Astronaut Friend 

I had lunch with NASA astronaut Sunita Williams recently. She came to the school where I teach in order to inspire the kids to explore space and fight the bugs who attacked Buenos Aires. (Wait, I think that part is from Starship Troopers. We never tried pulling out of the insects' territory, Garrett.)

The school had an essay competition to allow students to eat lunch with her, and I was the first person to turn one in. (Even though I'm not technically a student.) I read up on her life and some of the wacky experiences she's had, including squirting wasabi paste all over the International Space Station. My essay was called 3.. 2.. 1.. Lunch: Why I Should Be Invited to Have Lunch with Sunita Williams. To my joy, it was selected as one of the very best, and I was invited to join the special event.

So when the Big Day came, I brought a tube of wasabi paste to replace the one she lost in space. It was a lovely lunch (even though I was seated at the kids' tables, away from the central table where she ate with all the grownups like the mayor and superintendent). (TPCQ: "Hi, Principal Skinner. Hi, Supernintendo Chalmers!")

I tried to get the Colbert SEG down, but I wasn't able to really get the grin or the lean right. Still, it's a cool picture, even if the camera does add thirty pounds. Oh, wait. That's my constant inhalation of snack cakes and Taco Bell. Whatever; I'm not going into space. And she said my tie was cool.


Here's a video of Suni speaking to Earth from space and giving a tour of the space station. I wasn't able to see the wasabi floating around, but you can see India from space.

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