Sometimes the universe offers interesting opportunities. No doubt it’s all just coincidence as filtered through the forebrains of some slightly evolved apes who have a knack for pattern recognition and not some higher power trying to guide us. But still…
Last Thursday, John Scalzi was in Los Angeles on his latest book tour. (“The Consuming Fire” just came out last week and I finished it on the plane today – it’s very, VERY good, I enjoyed it tremendously, FYI.) I’ve gone to see him on his last four or five book tours and I highly recommend catching him if you ever can.
But last Thursday I couldn’t, or didn’t, make it out to see him on tour this time around. Too many priorities, a location that I would have loved to see but is harder to get to during rush hour, etc. Lots of reasons to not go and not enough excuses to make it happen. I was disappointed, but not devastated.
Then I noticed in his schedule that tonight he was going to be in Raleigh, NC, on the other side of the continent. By sheer coincidence, I’m in Raleigh, NC tonight, for a family wedding this weekend.
Coincidence? Or message from the gods??!!
Right. Coincidence. Still…
There’s one opportunity. While we were travelling all day to get here and had to be getting to our hotel and meeting family for dinner and so on when we did get into town, it might be possible to boogie out of the family events by 7:00 PM. Maybe. The signing tour site isn’t that far from our hotel, and by LA standards (where “across town” can be 120 miles and six hours at rush hour) it’s literally almost walking distance. (Granted, I’ve run marathons and enjoy walking, so two miles might mean something different to me than it does to others.)
That’s one opportunity.
On the other hand, at dinner I got to meet my new grand-niece-in-law (?!) for the first time. She’s a two-year-old sweetie and I need to get started early on being a bad influence for this next generation. I am, after all, the “funcle” in the family. (A certain amount of exhaustion and some challenges in getting a two-year-old dressed to go down to dinner led me to being labeled “Funcle Pants” at one point, but that’s a story for another day.
That’s another opportunity.
In the end I chose to spend time with my new future co-conspirator, which earned me both hugs and the pride and joy of hearing her learn the phrase “Funcle Paul.” I’ve seen Scalzi before, and will no doubt see him again many times in the future. But there’s only one chance to become Funcle Paul.