Rick’s on the right in the loud Hawaiian shirt and Panama hat. I’m on Rick’s left, but not really visible in the pic.
For those of you who don’t know what JayWake is about, Jay Lake got his terminal cancer diagnosis recently and decided to hold a wake while he was still able to attend. Here’s his blog post about the event.
I’m not big on writing con reports generally, but I’ve certainly attended smaller conventions than JayWake turned out to be (attendance was around 200 people).
Before the formal event started, Jay said he’d planned to donate his body to medical school and had considered getting a tattoo that said, “Hello, I’ll be your cadaver this semester.”
As one might expect, Jay entered the event in a coffin, then popped out.
Kelly Buehler and Daniel Spector prepared a video from New Zealand, and the ending was a rickroll. I said to Rick, “You know, that’s actually the first time I’ve been rickrolled in a non-professional context.” Job hazard.
The rest of the quotes are mostly hilariously out of context:
“Would all the women who haven’t slept with Jay please raise your hands?” (surveys raised hands) “Well, Jay, you can’t die yet.”
About Jay’s polyamory: “Jay’s seen more holes than two families of gophers.”
About cancer — and Joan of Arc (!) — “They’re all dead, but they had hope.”
When asked the true story of how he knew Jay, one response included the following: “Now, ordinarily you wouldn’t read a book in a brothel….”
There was actually a funnier line that followed this, but my limited prose buffer only kept: “The morning after his surgery, he tried to break out of the hospital like a ninja. As you do.”
“He’s kinda like a corpulent, emo, Jiminy Cricket.”
“He’s famous for being a tumor-ridden love machine.”
About Jay’s “ass cancer” winding up in the wrong places in his body: “How about for your next fundraiser, we get your cancer a fucking GPS?”
In his wrapup, Jay said: “I have become medically interesting in two different ways, which is not really something you should aspire to.”
This could have become a maudlin hand-wringing event. This is the kind of event that relies — a ton — on not only the honored guest, but also his or her friends. Everyone kept it interesting and different. And it was interesting and different, even the parts that were painful.
Anyhow, it turned out to be a lot of fun, though emotionally exhausting. I spent most of Sunday sleeping it off, but that’s probably also partly residual jet lag.