Pennsic 2009 Diary: Saturday, August 8

2.00 — PI
3.00 — tea
5.71 — lunch
1.30 — toll
1.60 — tea
23.50 — gas
1.75 — toll
5.90 — toll
0.30 — toll
56.22 — hotel
13.00 — supper
= $114.28
+ 737.69
= $851.97

morning — Marauders

The bardic amoeba last night was somewhat delayed by the twin forces of “Much Ado About Nothing” running long and one of my campmates baking chocolate chip cookies. Have I mentioned how much I love my camp?

In the end, I rolled down the hill with Cerian, Dahrien, Owen, Lucia, and Grim to Eoforwic. Bardic there was already underway, and someone (didn’t get a good look at him, but it wasn’t Morgana) was telling the story of Tyr’s hand. [Editor’s note: Cerian tells me that it was Morgana’s apprentice Anneas Oakhammer.] Then we had a few downbeat songs and I really didn’t feel I had anything in my repertoire to contribute. But the mood turned and Dahrien asked me to perform, so I did “The Scottish Champion,” with some backup sound effects by Grim and Lucia. I was getting very sleepy, though, so after a few more songs, I stood up to go. But before I could leave, Dahrien asked if I had another silly song. I didn’t feel like pulling out my song sheet, so I asked for requests, and Cerian requested “The Wild Eastman Spam.” We had a few “Spam” virgins, so I did the whole thing with 4-part harmony and feeling, and it went quite well. As I was pulling on my cloak, Grim said, “I actually have something to follow that.” To which I replied, a la Garraed, “Bad Laurel!” I left to Grim’s recitation of “Lutefisk and Yams” and made my way up the hill.

There were still cookies when I got home (foolish campmates! What’s wrong with you?), so I ate one and then went to bed in John’s tent. My air mattress is much softer this morning than when I filled it, and I hope I didn’t puncture it when setting it up. Otherwise, I slept fine. It was much milder last night than Thursday night. I didn’t even need the wool socks.

I told Jeanne I was planning on staying until at least noon, so that she can put any extras in my car. I’ll probably help tear down camp in the meantime. If I can, I’m going to try to get as far as Rochester today, but we’ll see what happens.

somewhat later — same place

My body seems to have decided that now that War is almost over, the immune system can start slacking off. I’m super-congested and sneezy this morning. The other explanation is that all the tents coming down have exposed some new allergen that wasn’t prevalent for the last two weeks. Either way, I’m not pleased and hope it stops once I leave site.

slightly later — same place

Took an antihistamine on the theory that the new allergen is mold. My sinuses hate me.

8:30 p.m. — Dennys just north of Syracuse, NY

All told, today was mostly boring sprinkled with episodes of intense frustration. After writing last, I realized that my sinuses and sneezing were getting worse every time I came back to camp and that I absolutely needed to leave site. I changed, drove the car over to Jeanne’s, filled it up just as Angus got there for her and the rest of her stuff, and left. I offer many apologies to John, not only for being absolutely useless during tear-down, but also for leaving before he got back from storage and thus not giving him good-bye hugs. I just really, really needed to leave.

My sneezing and congestion continued for hours in the car. I’m not sure if that’s because whatever allergen it was was all over my gear or because the reaction, once started, needed to taper off on its own. I’m almost better now, but it was a rough ride.

I left site almost exactly at noon and reached the hotel I thought I’d be staying at, just before Syracuse, at about 7:00. The problem: they only had smoking rooms left. No dice. They gave me directions to another branch that had rooms, but these involved going east on a north-south highway. After getting thoroughly lost, I decided to just get back on the through-way and go to another hotel in the coupon book, the Red Carpet Inn just north of Syracuse. Oddly enough, I think I’ve been here before. I remember the exit and that the motel entrance was oddly located.

Anyway. I have my room for the night, so I’m set. Decided to get dinner before showering because I’m super-hungry. I’ll do my traditional brain dump after dinner and showering.

I didn’t really mind the solo drive, since it meant I could stop when I wanted and listen to the same song over and over. It was kind of lonely, though.

Anyway. Food’s here. More later.

9:40 p.m. — Red Carpet Inn, Syracuse, NY

I’m back in my room, showered and fed, which means it must be time for the ever traditional…

Post-Pennsic Brain Dump

First and foremost, this was a really low-key War for me. It felt like it didn’t truly get started until about Tuesday of War Week. My first day or two were just setting up and getting acclimatized, Wednesday to Friday Peace Week it rained, and then Friday I stepped on the bee, and that put me out of commission until Monday or Tuesday. And given that everything starts coming down on Friday War Week, that didn’t give me a lot of time to enjoy War in the full swing.

More than that, though, it’s been a more quiet War than normal for me. I was going to bed generally earlier than usual (12:30 to 1:30 was typical), and doing less with my days. When I did my wanders, it would be to merchants I knew and nearby camps, as opposed to the Bog or Shackpit. I’d generally only go to 1 or 2 circles (or parties) a night, as opposed to circle-hopping as much as I could. Maybe I’ve mellowed. Maybe I’ve just learned that if it’s really good where I am, I shouldn’t be so hasty to get somewhere else.

Speaking of where I am now, I continue to love the Marauders and am so happy they still want me camping with them. It’s got everything: amenities, Seraphina’s cooking, awesome location, truly generous and helpful campmates… I’m definitely staying put.

I find it entertaining that people are now addressing me as “Pocket Bard” instead of Katherine. Some people only know me as Pocket Bard. Even people outside of camp. I find it even more entertaining that I’ll actually answer to it.

I suppose, bard that I am, I should do some sort of bardic wrap-up. I wrote one song and have a commission to do another, both for Dione Sidhe. I also theoretically have a commission to write something for Erwillian, but it’ll have to wait until next year. I got a handful of bardic-related gifts this year: a few Bardini and coins, the Bardicci party token, the red glass beads from Arlaine of Flamingo Bluff, the bookmark from Margarita of Aethelmearc. It’s a nice little collection.

I found I went to fewer formal circles and more informal ones, like the jam session at Harpwood Hall (among my favourite War moments) and Emer’s CD release (also a highlight). Looking back, I realize I spent a lot of evenings either in camp or just talking with people. In terms of favourite formal circles, Haakon’s is up there as always. Heather’s concert was wonderful, though I wasn’t actually performing. I got to sing for my supper, which was a new and exciting experience.

I realize I need to advertize the song swap better next year. I really didn’t plug it at all at War itself (again, that obnoxious injury). I’ll have to do better next year.

On the other hand, my classes went very well. I know the persona class is a perennial winner, but I was pleased to see how the budget Pennsic class went. I really should update the persona class notes (at least the websites) for next year.

The weather this year was decent, at lesat once we got into War Week. (First week was pretty rainy.) It just sucks that there was rain today (it started in the afternoon). Packing in the rain sucks.

Speaking of stuff that sucks, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my injury. Getting injured at Pennsic sucks. All told, I got off easy. Yes, I was knocked off my feet (literally) for 3 or 4 days, but it’s almost entirely healed and was entirely handled on-site. Derhilde wasn’t so lucky. I can only imagine what she’s going through and thank God it didn’t happen to me.

I’m inspired to do some stuff for next year, the two chief things among them being add more saint stuff to my bardic and develop out my new persona. In terms of the first, I’m going to order the new translation of The Golden Legend when I get home, and read it when it arrives. I want (ambitiously) at least 10 mini-stories, 90 seconds or less, I can use as bardic filler or at Cariadoc’s, and I want at least 4-6 new stories or poems. We’ll see whether I can follow through.

In terms of the new persona, I need to do research, I need to sew the apron dresses, and I need to make the bead strings. That’ll keep me busy for a while.

Also, I should work on that new class about building a group’s “persona.”

I suppose I should also point out a few of my favourite non-bardic moments at War. The memorial service for Ternon was unique and I’m happy I got a chance to witness it. Taking Katrusha to the Bardicci Hoity Toity was also a lot of fun. I love those guys. The Boreal Master Symposium was hilarious, as always, and I’m glad my paper went over so well. I think I spent a lot of this War just talking to people, and that was really nice too. And, of course, playing with all the babies.

Wonderful as Pennsic has been, it’s going to be really hard to go back to work on Monday. I’ve never done such a fast War / work turnaround, and I’m sort of dreading it. But there’s nothing for it. What must be done, must be done.

So that’s it for this year, I think unless I decide to write something tomorrow. War was wonderful, as always, and now it’s back home for my 50-week town run.

Back to Friday, August 7
Return to the Pennsic diaries



  1. Rhodri said,

    August 16, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Thanks for all the nice mentions 🙂

    • pocketbard said,

      August 16, 2009 at 8:41 am

      Whoops! I see I did, in fact, spell your name wrong. I’ll go fix that now.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Rhodri said,

        August 18, 2009 at 1:38 pm

        No worries, just glad you thought well of my performing 🙂

        You have my email now, keep in touch 🙂

  2. Abigail said,

    August 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    One of the enticements Christian used to cheer me back into a good enough mood for barding before the circle on Friday night was actually “Pocket Bard will be there!”

    • pocketbard said,

      August 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

      That’s very cute. And I’m happy I have that effect on people. Far better than the alternatives. *grin*

      • Abigail said,

        August 24, 2009 at 11:05 pm

        Yes. That was the night I fell in love with the Wild Eastman Spam song.

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