Pennsic 2007 Diary: Thursday, August 9

3.00 — phone charging
30.35 — gas
6.25 — tolls
7.20 — supper
= 46.80
+ 574.90
= 621.70

morning — my tent

Of course the only morning this War where I woke up to rain is the morning I need to pack up. And of course my cloak is in the main pavilion, meaning that my tunic is going to get wet. Gaia is obviously testing my resolve. I want breakfast, and I really should get out of bed, but my bed is warm and dry and everywhere else… isn’t.

And here I was hoping we’d seen the last of rain for a while.

after breakfast — Marauders

Well, the rain has stopped. Hopefully it will stay stopped long enough for me to pack up everything. My phone is charging at Mystic Mail and I need to change my travellers’ checks to cash, so it’ll be a little while before I leave anyway.

So. My last night at Pennsic was actually pretty good. Caera’s concert was pretty, the Teafort / Whiskey Bards were fun and funny, and the Heather and Friends concert was full of old favourites.

After, Grim and I went off a-wandering. We passed by Enchanted Ground and Bardicci, but no one was home. Instead, I heard the unmistakable sounds of Michael Kelly from across the street at Hedgehog. So I went to listen for a half-hour. Michael was lovely as always, I performed “Wild Eastman Spam” (“it’s so bad but so delightful all at the same time,” said one audience member), and Grim did a Norse-style version of Green Eggs and Ham that was hilarious. I asked Michael for a final request of “Homecoming Song,” and I harmonized along with him. Then I hugged him goodbye and went across the street to Harpwood Hall.

There, I met Marian (Heather) and Simonetta. It was so good to see Marian again. We chatted and chatted, and I was on the verge of leaving when Garraed, Eleanor, Silence, and Vincenzo showed up. So I stayed. And chatted. And chatted some more. Sooner or later I went home and crawled into bed.

I have now been told that I’ve got a request for a story to explain Osidax’s injury that makes him look good (as opposed to clumsy). It might give me something to do tonight in the hotel. Now I’m going to take advantage of the sun to start packing up a bit.

late morning — same place

I am packed. All my stuff is in my car, including my tent (which will, alas, need to be set up when I get home). The weather was mostly dry — only a bit of drizzle. My phone is charged and my money is converted. All I need to do now is get changed, say my goodbyes, and head out. I’m just trying to decide if I want to stay until 2:30-ish for scones. Or, rather, I know I want to, but I don’t know if I should.

Two further tidbits: the bad news is that my overtunic (the one I’ve worn every night this War) has rips at the top of both gores, which will need to be mended before I wash it. The good news is that John bought me a mug! It’s a great big ceramic mug with “Evil Overlord” written across the brim.

So, the final spoils count for Pennsic is:

  • 2 armbands
  • 1 finger-ring
  • 4 pieces of Bardicci silver
  • 1 silver Bardicci performers’ token
  • an “evil overlord” mug
  • a leather-bound book
  • 4 coifs
  • 1 game of “shut the box”
  • a t-shirt
  • 19 CDs (!)

Yay for spoils!

So now the question is whether to wait 3 hours for scones. I want something bready and dessert-like, and scones would definitely fit the bill. Also, I wasn’t really planning on driving more than 5 hours or so today anyway. So I really would like to stay, and that would probably put me back home sometime tomorrow afternoon (assuming I drive from 3:30 to 7:30 today and 9-4 tomorrow). I’m not sure if that’s early enough, mind you, but I don’t picture myself getting back significantly before that, anyway.

So… yeah. Decisions must be made eventually.

early afternoon — same place

I have napped. Or, more closely to the truth, I have attempted to nap and found myself tossing and turning for an hour and a half until the rain hit. Thank goodness my stuff is all in my car. With a little luck, my car is even where I left it.

Scones in an hour or so.

9:20 pm — Friendy’s, Geneva, NY

I’ll write more about the ending of my day later, but suffice to say I’ve got the “Not At Pennsic Blues” (aka the “Con Bends”), and I’ve got them bad. I didn’t make it as far as I’d wanted on the drive (I’m an hour before Syracuse), but I got really tired around 8. It didn’t help that early on in the drive I was stuck in construction for about 40 minutes. Now I’m staying at an overpriced Motel 6 far too far from the highway (about 8 miles, but it feels longer). I’m having culture shock in my own culture. For the first time since last Tuesday, I’m not surrounded by people, let alone friendly people who all share the Dream.

If all goes well, I should be back in Montreal sometime between 1:30 and 3:00. I don’t know if it’s good enough, but I can’t do any better without cutting corners in my own mental and physical well-being. Sigh. Time to eat.

11 pm — Motel 6, Geneva, NY

Okay, I lied. I’m not going to talk about the rest of my day. It involved a lot of driving and was otherwise quite boring. I got a pang of deep emotion as I pulled onto the I-79 away from site and saw the cars in the parking lot — the only part of Pennsic I could see from my vantage point. A few blinks, and even that was gone. I knew I was leaving Pennsic for good (or at least until next year), and that thought depressed me.

So instead of dwelling on my day after that point, I’m going to do my usual post-Pennsic brain dump. Here we go:

Though I was, of course, out and about this Pennsic, it seemed less full than other, previous ones. Whereas in previous years I considered it a poor evening if I didn’t make it to at least two major events, this year I rarely made it to more than two. I blame this on two things: 1. I didn’t walk much in the afternoons, and 2. I generally went to bed early, at least by Pennsic standards. (ie: 12-1 am)

The astute reader may realize both these points are related to the weather. This War, the weather varied between hot and muggy and rainy. This made it too hot (or too wet) to go wandering from around noon to 5, and it was also very draining, thus causing me to fall asleep earlier than normal. I don’t think there was a single night when I was still energetic after 2 am.

The weather was just plain weird, I think. I’ve never seen that many thunderstorms in such a short period of time. And as I was leaving, apparently there was a hail-storm about 2-3 hours away. Hail! At Pennsic, in the middle of August! I’ll definitely need to check with people who stayed on site to see whether it materialized.

The flip-side to the weather, though, is that it often reveals peoples’ dedication to Pennsic. When the upteenth thunder-shower of the week started rolling in, I’m sure a few people left site to find a hotel. But most stayed, battened down the hatches, and helped their neighbours do the same. Yes, there was grumbling, but people really pulled together in adversity, which I think is great.

Changing tracks a bit, I really liked camping with the Marauders. Aside from the amazing central location (I can roll out of my tent and into the Performing Arts Pavilion) and the stellar and abundant food (courtesy of Seraphina), the Marauders are just really nice people. The attitude around camp was, for me, the perfect mix of responsible and casual. If things needed to be done, someone got up and did them: no fuss, not much nagging, no hassle. Food was served at 7, and people knew to be there, lest they be left with only leftovers. On the other hand, no one complained if you missed a meal (I didn’t, but that’s beside the point), and no one forced their campmates to be around at a particular time. But everyone was helpful and friendly. I’ll definitely be camping with the Marauders next year.

Speaking of food, this has been my best-fed Pennsic to date. I ate so much. Between Seraphina’s cooking, Marion’s scones, and the copious amount of sweets people plied me with, I’ll be surprised if I haven’t gained weight over the last week and a half. It was worth it, though.

Continuing on the “camp” theme, I am going to need to give some definitely consideration to my tent. It leaked last year, and it leaked this year despite my water-proofing job after last Pennsic. On the one hand, it seems somewhat foolish to buy a new tent that I’ll only use 2 weeks (and maybe 1-3 weekends) a year, especially when most of the days I’ll be camping in it will theoretically not be rainy. On the other, it gets really uncomfortable when it gets wet. I’ll have to think on this one.

Though I met a whole bunch of new people from camp, I didn’t meet that many people outside it, especially compared to previous years. I met a few (it’s hard not to), but nowhere near the scale of my first 3 Pennsics. I did, however, deepen many of the friendships I already had, especially among the Bardicci and the bardic community. I’ve decided Pennsics are cumulative that way: any new friendships tack on to existing ones. I can honestly say I have friends whom I only see 2 weeks (or less) a year, and that we just pick up where we left off.

In terms of bardic, it’s been an interesting War. I took part in fewer formal circles, but the ones I attended tended to be of quite high quality: Enchanted Ground, Fiana and Morgana’s party, De Londres, Haakon’s, etc. On the other hand, I did a fair bit more of performing for audiences: for the Bardicci (eg: low party and Oma’s tea), for the Marauders, with Michael Kelly, and at certain “circles” (I’m thinking of things like Calontir, where I swooped in, did 1 piece, and swooped out again). I was pleased with my performances, and I have the gifts to prove that at least a few others were as well. I wish I’d had another chance to hit Enchanted Ground, but I’m glad to have gone at least once (and, of course, to get my arm-band).

I didn’t flirt very much this War. A few people even pointed it out to me. But in all honesty, I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t enter War thinking I’d keep the flirting low-key and tame (in fact, I thought I’d be back to my usual cavorting, and Marc had given his OK), but now that I’ve got Marc my heart just wasn’t into anything but the most tame of flirts. This fact also contributed to making it an odd War.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t volunteer at all. I usually try to get at least a shift or two at A&S point, but for some reason, this year I didn’t do anything. I feel guilty about that, frankly.

So I suppose all that’s left is to give a short run-down of some of my favourite moments from this year’s War:

  • receiving an armband from Cariadoc for my performance at Enchanted Ground
  • writing a poem for the Bardicci and performing it at the low party
  • performing at Oma’s tea party for the Bardicci, the Seven Leaves, and Linda Cooper
  • playing with baby Joy
  • performing Rathflaed’s “Beowulf” — it’s one of my favourites
  • singing along with Michael Kelly
  • getting a chance to chat with Heather and the others from Harpwood Hall
  • playing the game with Erwillian and Seamus
  • discovering Shut the Box, and playing it
  • teaching my persona classes
  • watching some great shows, especially i Sebastiani
  • surprising Liam and Alethea with their wedding poem
  • making glass beads for the first time
  • reading from the Luttrell Psalter and pretending I knew more Latin than I really do.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s a pretty decent list, I think.

That said, I’m going to close this entry. If I think of anything else, I’ll write more. If not, it’s been another great Pennsic and I look forward to having lots more to write about next year.

Back to Wednesday, August 8
Return to the Pennsic diaries


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