Uh, Canada

Been asked a couple times now if I had any thoughts about what’s going on with the political situation up north there in Canada, and I have to say: Honestly, I don’t know what the hell’s going on up there. They had an election, and the Prime Minister said “nyah,” and then the other political parties said, “Oh, no you DIN’T” and then exploding space monkeys swarmed Ottawa and the Queen had to fly over to beat people and monkeys with her scepter and at the end of it all Quebec was put on the block? And traded for a fish? Or something? It’s all really confusing to us simple folks down here in the US, with our uncomplicated election process that never goes wrong, ever. All I know is at the end of it, Canada will still have national health care and we won’t. So there’s that.

December Whateveresque Registration

Today’s the day to register for Whateveresque, the Whatever reader forum for the month of December: Registration is open until 10pm. Remember that you’ll be approved faster if I don’t think you’re a spambot; here’s how to avoid looking like one of those. And be sure to introduce yourself to others in the “All About You” topic thread.

Zoe Buttons

Here’s a cool note from reader Dave Larkins, about the buttons you see on the young lady here:

My wife and I are big fans and are also collaborators with fashion designer Jay McCarroll (he won season one of the Bravo TV series Project Runway).  So, while thinking about a name for these somewhat alienish buttons, Zoe came to mind.  And there you have it!

Well, that’s pretty nifty, I think. Of course, Zoe’s a name that’s cropped up elsewhere in science fiction, so it’s not a bad name for science fictiony buttons in a general sense. But it’s nice my Zoe was the one they thought of.

So if you’re looking for groovy buttons with a tangential relationship to me, well, there you go. I like ’em.

Mother & Daughter

My two favorite people:

Photos by Doselle Young, via that handy-dandy iPhone thingie.

LosCon, in Brief

Some quick, very loosely organized thoughts on LosCon 35:

* First, the bottom line: One of my best convention experiences ever. And in no small part that is due to the LosCon con committee, which went out of its way to make sure I was happy and taken care of. Now, admittedly, I’m a cheap date — give me Double-Doubles and Coke Zero and I’m a happy boy — but on the other hand, even a cheap date likes to feel special, and the LosCon folks really did an excellent job of that. If you ever get a chance to be a LosCon guest of honor, take them up on the offer. These are good folks.

* The Double-Double thing, incidentally, was a kick. I really was joking when I suggested they provide me with an In-N-Out caddy, but the con folks took the ball and ran with it, not just getting me burgers but incorporating the getting of the burgers into the convention itself, up to and including me theatrically swooning because I was faint from hunger whilst on the panel, followed by a caddy bursting into the room, burgers in a special briefcase, to deliver my food in front of the crowd. And the final burger delivery, courtesy of a very hot woman in a very slinky cat suit — well. Presentation was a factor in my enjoyment.

* That said, I came perilously close to reaching an actual limit on Double-Doubles. By the end of the con, I think I was actually sweating cheese.

* My panels went very well, which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise, but if you go to cons you know how panels can go horribly wrong at the drop of a hat. None of mine did, and all of them were pretty substantive. Good co-panelists helped quite a lot. There was one on which I ended up being the dude that just wouldn’t shut up (the “Movies 2008” panel, which I was on with Lee Whiteside and Gary Westfahl), but my co-panelists were patient with me, for which I thank them. Note to self: Send Lee Whiteside and Gary Westfahl each a nice fruit basket.

* The best panel, naturally enough, was the Wil and Scalzi Super Happy Fun Hour, in which Wil Wheaton and I basically stood in front of a crowd for an hour and just wouldn’t stop talking. It was a kick, and the best part of it was that Wil brought The Velvet Wesley, which was the first time I had seen it live and in person. We got more than 20 minutes of schtick out of the Velvet Wesley story, but then again, why wouldn’t we get 20 minutes of the Velvet Wesley? That’s what the Velvet Wesley is for. The good news about all of that was that Wil and I didn’t plan anything (other than him bringing the painting, which I didn’t know about), so we didn’t know how it would all come off. But people seemed to enjoy it, and we had fun, in any event.

* One of the great things about conventions is getting to see folks that you might not otherwise get to see, and LosCon was no exception. I met Larry Niven for the first time and had a very nice quick chat with him; I also got to see Jane Espenson again after having briefly met her at the 2006 Worldcon, joked about with David Gerrold (and bought two Tribbles from him, much to my daughter’s delight), congratulated J. Michael Straczynski on his Changling script, and got to spend a little time talking to Tim Powers, who was very cool. I joked about with Chris Garica and his fandom crew, and subscribed to John Hertz’s fanzine. And I spent a bunch of time hanging out with Doselle and Janine Young, Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, Diana Sherman and David Anthony Durham, to name just a few, and here I beg off naming more on the usual excuse that naming everyone would have me here all day. Suffice to say I stocked up on good conversation all weekend long.

* Finally, I still can’t get over the fact that someone actually dressed up as my cat, complete with taped bacon. That’s just crazy. But what’s even crazier is that if my cat actually was a human, I suspect she’s look almost exactly like the person who was dressed up as her. Seriously, when I first saw this young lady, I thought to myself, “huh, she kinda looks like my cat,” and then I saw the bacon scarf and realized she was supposed to be my cat. At which point I realized that I (and, to be fair, my cat) had crossed over into some sort of strange zone of fame that I can’t quite yet comprehend, and am not entirely sure I want to comprehend. That said, yeah, it’s kind of cool. So thank you, Bacon Cat Girl, whoever you are (her badge said “Fluffy,” which I am quite sure is not her real name). You’re adorable.

(Photo of me, Bacon Cat Girl, and Wil Wheaton by Lee Whiteside, who has other LosCon photos here.)