Pennsic 2008 Diary: Sunday, August 3

334.31 +
+11.00 — bardic
40.00 — shopping (gifts)
5.00 — lunch
5.00 — YIV
= $373.31

morning — Marauders

Last night seemed to be the night of adjusting my energy to match the circle. The Efenwealt concert was, as always, quite funny, though perhaps a bit heavy on the Harry Potter filk. Also, there was a very tenacious commentator in the front row who, once she got started, would not stop. It was distracting. On the other hand, I got to see Silence. Yay! [Editor’s note: Silence is Efenwealt’s apprentice.]

When I got to the EK teaching circle, I admit I wasn’t really in the mood for it. I would have rather been at the open mic storytelling. But after we’d done a few songs (mostly from Sing for the East), I started to warm up to it. I learned a bunch of new songs, though I doubt I’ll remember most of them. Someone actually had a handout of Born on the List Field, to which Grim had the same reaction I did: “Huh? That’s just not right.” Apparently the teacher got permission, but I still felt it was wrong. [Editor’s note: “Born on the List Field” is supposed to be passed along solely by oral tradition — no bard should have it in their written song-book. Admittedly, the handout did say to destroy the paper once we had learned the song, but still…]

At the EK circle, the girl who did “Greensleeves” on Wednesday at Haakon’s asked me for a copy of “Beowulf,” which I’ll give her today at the song swap.

Then I went to open mic storytelling. The first few stories, I just wasn’t in the mood. From the high energy of four-part choral rhymes to single storytellers was a huge energy slowdown. I was antsy. It didn’t help that the first few storytellers either weren’t particularly good or were telling somewhat downbeat tales. Things picked up eventually as I lowered my energy and the stories got better. I waited for quite a few stories before I went myself. Toki performed before me with a relatively gruesome tale of revenge, but it had a somewhat downturn ending. So when I stood up, Morgana said, “something cheerful, please.” I could have done “Beowulf” but chose instead to do “The Unhappy King.” People laughed in all the right places and I got genuine applause after. One thing I’ve been ruminating on yesterday is how, after performing a while, you start to learn the difference between real applause and polite-but-we-didn’t-really-care-for-it applause. So I was happy.

After me, Darian told a tale about “A good day’s wage,” all about a man who was given his pay in a different form each day, to often hilarious results. Line of the night: “I promised to give him half of my possessions. And not in the King Solomon destroy-everything-I-care-about way, but in the let-me-help-you-and-make-you-rich way.” It was precious.

Afterwards I swung by Eoforwic and got some fresh bread, but no one was really around that I knew. The fire at Cariadoc’s was over by that point as well, so I just went home.

I called Marc and went to bed around quarter to one: an early night for me. It was actually pretty chilly when I woke up today: the sun was clouded and the fog was thick. It’s heating up now, though.

So. Plan for today: maybe a class or two this morning, maybe some shopping, be back at camp by two. The song swap starts at three, but I accidentally told one class that it was at two, so I’ll be here just in case. I suspect that it will go on until dinner, and then it’s the night of “dear God, I’ve got too much to do.” I need to get my Bardicci medallion this morning or threaten not to show up at the low party tonight. I’ll deal with that later, though.

Time for sunscreen.

shortly after — same place

Cool sight of the morning: steam rising from a chair as the first morning light hits it.

midmorning — Marauders

Barely past 10 and the shtick is fast and furious. I stopped by the Tudor House and kibitzed with Erwilian until I got my medallion. Then Guiseppi came in and told me I still had a duty to perform, and I’d get a beautiful wooden box he made if I did it. It turns out that a merchant across the street had taken a Bardicci medallion, so I was enlisted to go perform “A Warning to Thieves” for her. I actually made $11 in tips! How cool is that? She had me bring a purple (plastic) rose back to Erwilian. I, for my part, am happy to be the agent of chaos.

I had barely walked back into camp with Sisuila came up to me and said, “I’m going to go sing. Wanna come?” What a foolish question! So I followed her. To Calontir muster. At Midrealm Royal. Oops. I stayed for a while but left before anyone could accuse me of being a traitor to my native East.

I came back to camp and restrung my necklace (I don’t like the position of some of the medallions, but it’s good enough for now) while drinking chai (not Eleanor’s, alas) and listening to Wolgemut rehearse. There are advantages to living down the street from the Performing Arts pavilion.

Now John tells me if I leave a tunic for him, he’ll put together a yellow one for me. Yay! Then, to read the Independent and maybe do some window-shopping.

early afternoon — Marauders

I was expecting to only window-shop, but I actually bought something: a designer doll for Marc’s mom, because it was the last one they had in stock. I figured out where I’m going to buy Marc’s horn — Ian Grove House — because it’s cheap and FDA approved. I’m still waffling on what to get Ian, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

I’m back at camp now, waiting to see if any of the people I accidentally told to show up at 2 will arrive, but there’s bardic going on in Ansteorra. I’m wavering on going over there. On the upside, Marian’s making scones for the song swap Yay!

late night — Your Inner Vagabond

I normally would wait until tomorrow to journal, but I have so many things to write about that I decided to come down to the Vagabond and journal with some hot beverage.

So. Just after I last wrote, I went over to Ansteorra next door and jammed with Cynric and a man named Iohn. We did a lot of songs I knew and some I didn’t. Shortly after 3, I convinced everyone to move back to the Marauders so I wouldn’t be half-distracted. The bards started to trickle in just as the scones came out of the oven. Yum! I only got one, but it was worth it.

I hereby declare the song swap a success: at its height we had about a dozen bards, and the songs ranged from period to horribly modern filk. It was lots and lots of fun. Things started winding down around 5:15, so I decided to bow out of my own circle to take a shower. There were only 4 people left anyway, all perfectly capable of entertaining themselves without me. When I got out of the shower, I discovered Adelaide and her husband (Lisa and Ken Theriot) had joined us, so I finally got to meet them. Very nice people.

Eleanor and Garraed came by so Garraed could play on Cynric’s new drum. It was good to have them around.

Dinner was chicken-fried steak. Marc approves.

After dinner, I got into my wench garb (John helped) and headed over to Toki’s bardic workshop. The idea behind it, “fighter practice for bards,” was actually pretty cool. I performed almost as soon as I arrived and learned a lot from the commentary. My chief takeaway: when telling stories, shift eye contact after phrases or sentences, and progress slowly around the circle.

I watched a few other people perform, offering advice when I could (odd moment: someone performing “Mordred’s Lullaby,” never having heard Heather’s version). At some point, Master John Littleton arrived. Toward the end of the evening, we had some time left, so I performed my “Judah and Tamar” piece. My chief fear — that I’d condensed it so much it would be incomprehensible — seems unfounded. Master John offered me some good advice about punctuating key moments with pauses or breaking “meter reciting” and pointed out one area that was confusing. Otherwise, it seems to have gone well.

From there, I went down to Bardicci. The low party was just picking up. I said hi to the people I knew and performed a few songs, but the acoustics in the main hall are horrid, especially with a lot of people talking in the background. I knew if I continued, I’d blow out my voice, and I’ve still got five and a half days of War left (my God, is that it?). So I stopped.

I had some nice conversation with Leonardo, was invited to be on Seamus’ arm during the high party (I accepted), and met someone who invited me to perform tomorrow at tea. It’s nice to be recognised.

I stopped by Ajax’s, but it was pretty quiet. Eoforwic, on the other hand, had about a half-dozen people around the fire. Since I was there anyway, I offered some bardic, two of my staples (“Ancient and Old Irish Condom” and “Fairy Story”) that none of the audience had heard before. I like performing for small audiences; I get to kibitz. They also really liked my taster mug.

On my way up from Eoforwic, I had a Pennsic moment: about 20 people, all dressed in white, came up a side-path, accompanied by violins. They were dancing, a weaving, processing dance. The men had horns that they held to their heads. Another onlooker told me it was a “Blackmoors” dance, apparently very old. It was magical. I may have to write something about it. [Editor’s note: I still have no idea what the dance was. If you know anything about this, please contact me.]

Speaking of writing, I may have promised something very foolish: I told Alethea that if she let me know what was happening over her reign, I’d write it up as verse. She mentioned that it would be really cool if I did that for the battles at War, too, and I agreed. My God, what have I let myself in for?

Anyway. I went back to camp, called Marc, and decided I wanted to get my thoughts onto paper before I lost the nuances. So I came here. Now it’s 1:30 and I should really get back to camp so I’m not sleep-deprived tomorrow.

I’d forgotten how cold my wench garb is compared to my normal linen-and-wool tunics.

Mmm… sahlep. How I missed you.

Okay, time to go home.

Back to Saturday, August 2
Forward to Monday, August 4

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