Kage Baker, as I have noted, grew to quite enjoy science fiction conventions. So did I, and was very much looking forward to BayCon when I left Martinez yestreday afternoon.
I’d been attending the finalization of two dear friends (whom I married, even!) adopting their much longed-for son. The enchanting Alexander Kage Paladini is now legally, morally, ethically theirs! Which means he’s ours – red hair, amazing two-toned blue eyes and darling 4-toothed smile and all. The Man of the Hour wore a snappy linen suit and bow tie to the event, and was unfazed even when all of us hangers-on cheered like maniacs at the end.
And yes, he’s named for his Auntie Kage. If he doesn’t like it when he grows up, he can tell people it’s Japanese for shadow and his nanny was a ninja …
Anyway, I departed from family felicity and headed for duty at BayCon. Along the way I found myself driving through thunder, lightning and hail – on the 680, usually a totally boring road – and then taking a wrong turn somewhere past Sunol. I realized I had somehow missed Santa Clara when I started seeing signs advising me of roads to Vallejo and Martinez – from which I had just left. I was clearly nowhere near Santa Clara.
But a charming Indian gentleman gave me corrected directions(after an interesting discussion with his son in Pakrit, and much patting of a bronze Ganesha) and I ultimately found my way down out of the hills and all the way to the Hyatt Regency.
Along the way, I saw miniature horses, full-sized llamas, a selection of sheep, and a veritable horde of kamikazi squirrels waiting to throw themselves under my wheels and make me feel guilty for miles. Ha! I do not brake nor swerve for squirrels – Nature will make more, and I’m pretty sure it’s a doomsday cult anyway.
When I finally made it to BayCon, Neassa – my volunteer entourage – was coincidentally right behind me. Which was nice, because she has the group brain this weekend. She is cheerfully being my keeper while I wander about forgetting things back in the room and requiring her to go fetch them … she crocheted us necklaces out of a nice rainbow yarn on which to hang our Con passes, too. And since I cannot find any room we want to get to, Neassa is being my seeing-eye friend as well.
So I’ve been dashing about being, as Kage used to describe it, ostentatiously visible. It may help that my badge reads KAGE BAKER’S SISTER. But lots of her fans have been delighted to seem me; lots of both our old friends from Northern and Dickens Faires (all whom seem to be either Con Staff or security) are likewise pleased; and I have even met a couple of fans of this blog.
It’s a weird feeling, to be here without Kage. A year ago, I couldn’t have stood it. Now, though, it’s clearly time to get back into the swing of things, and I am glad to be here.
Even though we had to evacuate the hotel last night due to some young idiot sneaking a cigarette under a smoke detector. Do not believe that the younger generation is more tech-wise: apparently, unless it has a screen and apps, machinery is just as mysterious to them as it is to their grandparents. Luckily nothing turned out to be actually on fire, and Neassa and I resumed Regency Dancing with no ill-effects.
Then we sat up gabbing and giggling until 2 AM (!) and finally fell asleep to the merry sounds of lost conventioneers wandering outside trying to find their rooms.
Some things don’t change. Thank God.