I continue to have a mad, mad crush on Gene Wolfe.
Last night was lovely. I ended up walking to DePaul, since it was so nice out (62° when I left my apartment at quarter of 5! I couldn't believe it. I actually had to change out of my heavy sweater and wear a lighter jacket, and 20 blocks later, actually have to get a frozen coffee thingie to cool down) and I got there about 6pm. They only had tickets for sale for the first programme of the evening, and that ran over, so in the end, they ended up just doing a headcount and I got the second programme for free. Serendipitous, sez I.
The Usual Suspects got together for the first time in a year, and a grand time was had by all, even if our leave-taking was staggered due to the event being held on a week-night. DebbieandChris had to take off first due to deb having to work in the morning. I also met Maureen Who Has A Car Named The Great Pumpkin on account of its Very Orangeness, who came with maure (who managed to avoid having to do schtick with unca neil, due to having to leave early to get stuff done for Fiddler's Green). Maureen gives excellent backrubs, and shares my love of The Monkees. I may have to adopt her. I am bringing maure a tiara to wear at the con. No, really. It's a magic tiara that will make all her headaches go away, from the Quincineara store. It is of course made with real fake diamonds, as opposed to imaginary fake diamonds.
I've mentioned how much I adore Gene Wolfe, right? He was utterly faboo, and took incredible delight in publically embarssing unca neil by announcing to all assembled that it was unca neil's birthday, and giving him a nifty keen card smack in the middle of the interview. he also singled out his daughter, who was hiding waaaaaay in the back, and was a very good sport about it. He and Rosemary are honest to God the cutest couple in the 'verse.
unca neil read bits of Anansi Boys, which is very, very, very funny, and seems to be the story of what happens when Tricksters have sons. Poor Fat Charlie, is all I'm gonna say. You all have to wait for the novel to be a finished novel, and read it yourself. But the tone was delightful, the reading was hysterical (unca neil does all the voices. there's something deeply bizarre about unca neil doing a spot-on 70 year old Jamacian lady), and a good time was had by all. Anne, who is a fabulous minder, was there, along with her husband who juggled and made balloon animals. Anne was very clever, marrying a man with the potential (now realised) to make balloon animals. I left mine (Spike) guarding the vegan brownies at Pick Me Up where I got supper after the signing finished and a very, very, very sleepy author was bundled into a taxi.
I did have a bizarre moment when I realised I am almost the exact same age now as he was when we first met. "I thought you were so wise, and so aged, and you were a BABY!" I believe were my exact words. But it's just so deeply, deeply bizarre to think that it'll be 13 years this April. That's just... wrong. I have decided that if I'm going to be 18 forever in neil-land, then he's going to have to stay 32 forever, as revenge. Only not a 32 year old who'd stay up all night smoking and emailing insane 18 year olds like me weird poetry at 3am. I like the part where he doesn't smoke any longer--it means we get to keep him longer. That is a Very Good Thing. And yes, I know I ought to quit. I'm working on it. Also, I have no pictures (because I am dumb) but he has the beard and goatee still. It's like he's his own evil twin from that universe where Uhura has the skimpy costume and the wicked cool knife. Only, you know, still huggy and slightly rumpled. I was a jackass, and left his pressie at home, but I'll bring it this week-end, and all will be well.
Afterwards, hung out at Pick Me Up with Michelle and Catherine and Jessie (New Girl), and had a moment of worry when Crazy Red Faced Man started shouting obscenities at Michelle, but tho she is little, she's fierce, and chased him off. They need a giant book of mug shots of all the people banned from the restaurant. Apparently one new server accidently seated him once, and Michelle had to kick him out. He was very, very, very drunk, and his face was indeed red, and he acted quite crazy. But luckily not dangerous crazy. Just annoying crazy. I had an omlette with bacon, mushroom, and bacon, and it was very good and bacon-y and now my tummy is growling just thinking about it.