Pennsic 2011 Diary: Monday, August 1

after breakfast – Marauders

Finally, a proper wander. John and I finally got to our town run and came back just in time for a tasty supper of fajitas. (Thanks, Seraphina!)

I’d picked up some juice for Ernst on the town run and decided to drop it off for him. No one was home, so I kept wandering. I went over to the behind-the-barn merchants to give hugs to Rolant and see if Torvaldr had arrived yet. He hadn’t (current ETA: Wednesday), but one of the girls at the Pillaged Village asked for me to perform Rathflaed’s “Beowulf.” It was kind of odd performing while everyone was still working on set-up, but they applauded at the end and I got into a bardic conversation with one of the young men there, Bjorn, aka Odd the Shirtless. I promised him I’d stop in occasionally to tell him about relevant circles.

Efenwealt wasn’t in (or maybe he was, but his tent was closed), so I continued rolling down the hill to Eoforwic. Oh, Eoforwic. They’ve currently got seven kids under the age of 3, which will increase to eight before the end of War. They’re doing a “kinder bardic” every day at 3 p.m. Little children and bardic? Eoforwic is definitely high on the list of my favorite camps! I stayed for a while, chatting with Emer and reading stories to the kids. Eventually most of the kids went to bed, and I moved on.

Charles and Unnr weren’t home (though they’re apparently at War), Shauna’s Camp wasn’t quite ready for visitors, and Harpwood Hall was dark, so I stopped in to the Regnesfolk to say hi to Harvey. He kindly walked me back to Bardicci, which I couldn’t find in the dark and so early in War there’s no structure set up yet. Seamus, obviously, is not here this year, but I met Ernesto (aka Benvolio) and Gaston and a few others, and performed “Megan is Baking,” which apparently they hadn’t heard before. Then I headed up the hill. The area between the Bog and the ‘Ghetti, next to the highway, is dark. I admit, I felt a bit uncomfortable. No so much that I wouldn’t walk it again, but enough that I’d probably bring a flashlight next time.

I ended the evening at High Rafters, listening to stories from the early-20s Pennsics. There are some great stories, and someone should really write them down sometime. Maybe me.

I got back to camp, said hello, and was in bed at the ridiculously early hour of 11:15. Maybe if I save up sleep now, I’ll need less later in War. (Ha, ha.) In any case, I slept through to about 6:45, and then fell asleep again for another hour and a half. Glorious sleep! I don’t expect any more of that for the next two weeks.

And now it’s morning. I brought out my teas for Sisuile, had a tasty breakfast burrito (thanks, Seraphina!), and listened to Eduardo tell more stories.

I don’t have too much scheduled today. The common area still needs to be set up, and the East Kingdom wind walls are going up at noon. The merchants are also allowed to start selling today, so maybe I’ll browse a bit. I need to try on the braes for John to see if they fit, and then sign up for Troll shifts. I also need to sign in at A&S Point. Tonight is Rhodri’s bardic, and I’d really like to take a shower if it’s set up. So that’s it for now. More later when I’ve actually done stuff.

somewhat later – same place

Signed up for two shifts at Troll (Tuesday and Saturday) and one at the Watch (Thursday). I get to drive a golf cart! Yay! I’ll get all my volunteering out of the way during Peace Week, I think. I’m just too busy War Week.

late morning – Marauders

I met Simonetta as I was leaving camp, and we walked through the northern merchants together. I got to introduce her to Erwillian and Dunstable, who were having breakfast. I like introducing people I think will like each other.

We wandered the merchants, but no one was really open, so I came back to camp. I helped set up a few shelves, using the power drill to drive screws. (Be afraid, be very afraid.) But some of the brackets were brocken, so John and the strong manly-men went off to set up J’s merchanting tent while I unloaded the last few things from my car and drove it up to parking. Got an awesome spot in row 7, ran into Dolan on the way back, and got back to camp. John and the men are not back yet, so I have no idea what to do. I don’t want to wander too far, in case I’m needed, but I likewise don’t really want to sit here. At least it’s overcast and consequently cooler than the last two days. (Admittedly, “cooler” is a relative term.)

The East Kingdom walls go up in an hour or so, and I plan to be there. I’m sure if I’m not here, John will find people to help him.

early afternoon – Marauders

Sadly, I didn’t help set up the East Kingdom gate and walls. I meant to, but Freya had just arrived, so I spent some time in her tent, sewing the first seam of my apron dress and chatting. Freya’s got an awesome tent. It’s nylon, but there are huge doors on all four sides, making it extremely nice in the heat.

I met Mhari on the way to check in to University Point, checked in, and invited her back to camp to sit down a while. Lunch was a bagel and a few sugar cookies. That’s about all I’ve got the appetite for. Set-up is still happening, but not much of it is stuff I can be helpful with. Maybe I’ll go see if Efenwealt is open and check out kinder-bardic at Eoforwic.

late afternoon – my tent

The pace of the afternoon has been somewhat lurching, moving in fits and starts. I checked in with Efenwealt, but he was busy setting up and not in a state to sit and chit-chat. Charles and Unnr were at Enchanted Ground, but Morley was sleeping. [Editor’s note: Morley is Charles’ and Unnr’s 2-year-old son.] I spent a little time there before crossing the street and sitting with Emer, her husband, and Lorelei for a while. (Morgana was sleeping). [Editor’s note: Lorlei turned one at Pennsic, and Morgana — not to be confused with Mistress Morgana — is two.] I sewed another seam on my new apron-dress before coming up the hill and reading my new Boreal Master piece for High Rafters, who liked it quite a bit.

All through this, meanwhile, I was coming back to camp to see if they needed my help. Sadly, much of the work I couldn’t really help with: either it required technical knowledge I don’t have, or heavy lifting, which I’m not very good at. I did a bit, but not much. So I’d come back, hang out a bit, maybe spend five minutes helping, and then move on. This is why I like the chore list: it lets me know when I’m needed in camp and when I can safely give in to my wanderlust. I’ll be happy when everything’s set up.

It’s interesting seeing the states of various camps. Some are completely set up, at least the common areas (like High Rafters). Some are partway there, and some really aren’t there at all. It’ll all even out, of course. It’s just interesting. Anyway, time to go back and see whether I can help again.

after dinner – Marauders

I am pink. And clean.

Dinner was extremely tasty: bigos and perogies. (Thanks, Seraphina!) I decided after eating that I really should take a shower. It’s been three days, and I wouldn’t be making any friends by waiting a fourth. Sadly, our shower still isn’t set up yet (it’s in the process of going up as I write). So for the first time in years, I gathered up my stuff to face the communal showers. The solar showers are closer, and I aimed for them first, but they’re being cleaned from 7:00 to 9:00, which is highly inconvenient for my purposes. So I went over to the ones under the flush toilets. They, too, were being cleaned, but the clean-up guys finished mere moments after I got there.

The floor was… kinda disgusting, really. Next year: shower shoes. Otherwise, though, it was a decent shower. Lots of hot water, so much so that I had to turn on the cold, and no line. The water pressure wasn’t great, but I wasn’t expecting it to be.

Tomorrow is new tunic day, so I opted to wear a fresh one early, and now I am very pink. I don’t remember the last time I wore pink. Maybe the cotehardie Leonete leant me a few years ago. The last time I owned something pink? Maybe high school. So it’s a bit of an adjustment. Sadly, I’ve got to wear the same boxers (braes) for another day or two. Next year: buy more. The boys’ boxers actually work pretty well as braes, and at $4 each, the price is right.

Rhodri’s bardic at Calontir tonight. I wonder if anyone wants to go with me to Your Inner Vagabond first or if I’ll just stay in camp until it starts.

Speaking of evening plans, I had an odd discussion today. I’d asked around the dinner table about people’s plans for the evening, and a guy at the table said that he planned to take a shower, and that was pretty much it “because I’m not sociable.” That strikes me as just… odd. I mean, he did a ton of work today. He was definitely an immense help to camp set-up and I imagine he’s pretty tired. To want to stay in camp because you’re tired, I suppose I’d understand. But because you don’t have anyone you want to see? I don’t get that. I’m double-booked most nights of War Week, and even if I weren’t, there are over a dozen camps I’d love to visit. I don’t understand people who are homebodies at Pennsic. I appreciate it, because they’re the people who cook my food and maintain my camp, but I don’t understand.

slightly later – same place

Just back from entertaining Aaron for a while so Elaine could clean up the tent a bit and deal with Aaron’s spilled juice in his playpen. It’s the type of babysitting I like best: taking care of the kid while the parent is still in eyesight.

I’m hugely impressed by parents who take their young children to Pennsic. I’m tired enough myself without needing to deal with an over-stimulated, hot kid whose routine has been shot to hell. I know parents feel guilty about kids crying, but I really don’t mind. My first instinct is to ask if I can help, which I suppose makes me kind of weird, but the parents generally appreciate it.

Thank God it’s cooling off. I don’t know if it’ll be cold enough for an apron-dress tonight, but we’ll see.

shortly later – same place

It looks like the camp shower is now, in fact, ready for use. Oh, the angst! It just means I won’t need to go down to the communals for the rest of War.

Back to Sunday, July 31
Forward to Tuesday, August 2

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