...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

Honey, I'm Home - Bcon wrap
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No that's "Bcon wrap" NOT bacon wrap. Stop drooling.

So let's see, we've tried to name drop and evaluate, tried to remember (already forgetting names, dammit) but there are still things to note, or things I glossed over so I'm going to offer "what went right" and "what went wrong" at my Bouchercon this year.

I got to have lunch with one of my favorite people. Favorite in the mystery community and possibly in the world, and that's Stephen White. I have known Stephen since about 1993, when we met at an LCC in Anaheim and he showed me incredible kindness. As he's continued to do over the years. And we have some things in common and I just simply am nuts about him. And ok, I like his books; this is a good thing because it's certainly possible to keep a friendship going when you don't like someone's books, (which just came out "ooks", but enough from the orangutan in the corner) but this is better. And no, you might not have seen Stephen, he wasn't around for too long. But the book he has coming out in 2006 is on-beyond-amazing to me.

I got to sit down with Gayle Lynds and talk about Dennis, and Left Coast and just talk. Gayle, as you may know, along with her husband are the guests of honor for the LCC I'm doing in 2007 and Dennis died a few weeks ago. And Gayle, as we had all hoped, as agreed to continue as guest of honor. We're working on other issues as time goes on, but it was really important to talk with her. The memorial held for Den at Bouchercon on Thursday was old home week for some of us and just what you'd expect, tears and laughter. The breakfast date had been set some weeks ago when the three of us - Den and Gayle and I had made this date some weeks ago so I could just chat about what they'd want to do at the convention and just get some time with two of our guests of honor (and if Gary and Kara and Diane had been there, it would have been a really BIG breakfast), and I'm so indebted to Gayle for sticking with us and for her support of Left Coast and of OUR Left Coast in particular.

Doing the virtual happy hedgehog hop (really virtual is the only possible way I can do it) on hearing that Elaine won the Barry and Harley picked up the Macavity AND the Anthony. Elsewhere I've discussed my classy, tasteful and totally decorous response to getting the news that she'd gotten the Anthony. I R Classy. Aiyiyiyi….

I got to spend some time with one of the best people I know, Bill Pronzini. I've known Bill as long as I've known just about anyone in mystery fandom; we met when I moved to the Bay Area in 1976, probably within a year or so of my getting there. And I'm just SO grateful he had some time - we talked about a lot of old times and old friends and caught up with each other. Marcia and Bill were staying in Chicago a couple of days and I SO hope they got to the Art Institute because the permanent exhibit I wanted to see, which of course I never got to, I SO hope Marcia saw because it involves a passion of both of ours, dollhouse miniatures.

I can't DO early mornings and I am grateful to any of you who can; in case you're wondering, Bouchercon is really important to me yes, but in order to attend a 7:30 am meeting - as the biz meeting was this year (dear gods) - I basically would have had to get up at something like 5:30 in the morning in order to take the Vicodin and have it be working. I don't DO 5:30 am and was simply not willing to do so at Bouchercon. I know many of you were, and felt not only well represented but grateful to you all for caring. I know this is not always interesting stuff to people; you just want to GO and have a good time. That is how it should be, seriously. If you want to do/know more, thank you. Keep in mind that all those people - Gary and Dina and Liz, most especially the at-large folks - they're all volunteers who've RUN or will RUN a Bouchercon. Or not, and are still willing to serve and work. Remember they're all unpaid [leave room for aside here - fill in aside of your choice. Ahem.]. And yes, I've considered asking to be a m-a-l but I can't make a lot of the Bouchercons (like the east coast ones) and often have a conflict. It seems throughout recent years EITHER the biz meeting was opposite a panel I was on OR when I was active in Sisters in Crime, was opposite the SinC thingy - the breakfast, the lunch. I don't know anymore if it would be a good thing for me to do.

Forgive the gushing but I owe SO many people for looking out for me, taking care of me, doing me favors and making my life easy that I have to mention some of them. Most especially my bandmates Louise Ure and Cornelia Read. Cornelia and I roomed together and without her, I think I would still be in the room, trying to pack. She was so supportive, and did all this physical stuff for me that just was overwhelming at times. I'd had a little crisis the night before I left, realizing that the disability stuff was keeping me from things I used to manage to do - packing, for one - and it was incredibly dismaying. Without Stu, I would have arrived probably with nothing but a change of underwear (I know, it's a good start). It seems so minor but when you want so to be independent and I can do anything - thump, thump - realizing that you need help packing your suitcase for 4 days is really distressing. Poor Stu, who didn't even get to COME to Chicago (but yes ,who spent a good part of the weekend at NASFic, where I wanted to be too. Dammit.) We spent a lot of time Sunday night trading "oh, and So and So sends her love" and "X and Y asked after you" for several hours.

Might I also add that not every roommate wakes up with you early in the morning when you're a mess and in pain and stays awake and keeps you company and fetches tissues and um….well sniff….

Then there's the Amazing Louise. If not for her, I'd still be in the lobby waiting for my ride. Chicago Paratransit REALLY SCREWED ME OVER and Louise took charge. Without her help we would have missed out flight to Oakland, and I don't know when I would have gotten home. I owe her SO much for her help - and I know she'll blow me off when I say that because that's the way she is, but I felt rescued. I really did do the right things, planned in advance, confirmed things…god, this disability stuff simply sucks SO bad sometimes because it complicates things so much. I'm so grateful that there were people out there awake and alert and competent, which I was clearly NOT by that point.

And speaking of which, thank you to Margaret Maron who also pitched in to help me. Man, I'm lucky.

And I have to start figuring out what to do when my brain does not cooperate at a convention; I still don't seem to deal well with the concept that I get tired and stupid as the days wear on, nor do I seem to remember that I'm not able to do/be what I was. So I forget things, no matter how clever I think I'm being. This time. Oh, I'm SO beyond angry with myself; I seem to have left the iPod on the plane. Yes we called the next morning and reported it. I was, I thought being SO careful and put it in my bag, so I thought, as the plane landed, but I might have moved it to get something. An hour and a half later as I'm waiting for the van home, I reach for it to drown out the recording I'm listening to about parking that runs every 20 seconds and ….gone.

I won the damn thing. I WON the damn iPod, it's not something i can justify spending money on but I WON it and oh....I put 888 songs on it and then screwed up and deleted almost all of them then spend ours pre-Bcon loading 700 more BACK on it. It's been a lifesaver and a godsend and I bought a case for it and everything and got cd's out of the library to load onto it and I apparently left it on the airplane. I had it like 2 damn months, adored how handy it was, and it has not been returned by an airline staffer who found it in the little bag on the back of the seat on my Oakland/Seattle flight so someone found it and kept it. And I just don't know how I can bring myself to buy a replacement since I just was so lucky to have WON the damn thing to begin with. NOT something we can justify buying right now; they retail at $300 and my own stupidity, at not tracking it apparently made me lose it. It's why I've taken to not brining my nicest stuff to wear to a con - leaving the really groovy necklaces and bracelets - like the gorgeous glass one from Anchorage - home because I've lost stuff in the past. My silver necklace - disappeared. Now the damn iPod. And I just can't get over how awful it feels.

It's NOT the meds; I'm on the same damn stuff I've been on for years, albeit I take more than I used to; the dread is that if it's not my pain meds it's age and 'scuse me but I don't like EITHER of those solutions. Some of it is simply too much to take in, distraction, and being tired, no question but it's massively upsetting to realize I've managed to screw up and lose something valuable.

A few weeks ago I lost my bag with my wallet and checkbook etc. in it and it was recovered in 20 minutes, basically; found on the sidewalk by a customer at a local store who brought it in. The sales person looked in the wallet and found my info an called me; I came home after a hysterical search to her message. I guess I only get one of those, huh? I keep thinking I'm fine and then I do this MAJOR MAJOR DUH.

So like um, if you know anyone who's getting rid of an iPod, maybe I dunno tired of it or upgrading or something, tell me? I'm still in total denial that it's lost, keep waiting for the airline to call but I'm SO mad at myself. It is SUCH a help to carry around and I just can't believe that I messed up so badly. Sniff. DAMN.

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