Pennsic 2011 Diary: Wednesday, August 10

after breakfast – Marauders

An extremely enjoyable night last night, that ended quite late. I went over to Zsof’s vigil first. Her camp had two gate guards in “tuxedo” garb. It was awesome. They were totally upper-class bouncers… in garb.

The line to get in to actually see Zsof was quite long, so I waited in the shorter-but-still-long line to sign her vigil book, chatting with Magnus and a few others. People I knew were just showing up, but I knew Harpwood Hall was starting, so I left to head down there.

The Harpwood Hall jam session was awesome, as always. And, as always, I left with a long list of songs I want to learn. Some were new to me, some I’d heard before but had forgotten. Eleanor Fairchild did the angry bride song, which always gives me shivers, and also a great, funny song berating the audience. (“You’re a bloody rotten audience, but I am very good…”) Vince did his “speeding-up song,” and got so fast I was having trouble even beating out the quarter-notes. Emer showed up with Morgana, who started dancing to one of the songs. It was absolutely hilarious, in the way only 2-year-old dancing can be.

I was perfectly content to sit in the back with Cerian, playing the quarter-notes on my bead-bag shaker and singing the melodies when I knew them. We had quite a bit of rain at one point, but I was under the common area roof and didn’t mind. It stopped by the time the circle did, sometime around 1:00 a.m.

From there, Lorelei gave Lucia and I a lift to Runestone Park for Dahrien’s vigil circle. I got there just in time to see a huge chorus of little muppet-like puppets who sing in harmony with each other. Mistress Morgana had one in each hand; there were probably a dozen of them altogether. They were very, very wrong, but also hilarious at 1:30 a.m. There were quite a few people at the vigil circle, surprisingly. I have to admit I didn’t stay long, maybe enough to listen to one song and one song, say my hellos and goodbyes, and give hugs. I’d have liked to see Dahrien, but I didn’t want to deal with the sleep deprivation the wait would incur. I knew my tent would wake me up before 8:00, and indeed it did, even though I only got to bed at 2:15. I got five and a half hours of sleep; it’s kind of like old times.

The big plans for today, obviously, involve performing in Lorelei’s and Marian’s shows. Before that, there are one or two classes I want to take, and maybe some wandering to do. And I need to try on the sleeves of my new dress. So the daytime at least should be pretty chill, I hope.

mid-afternoon – Marauders

A remarkably relaxing, pleasant day so far. I started off by wandering down to Harpwood Hall to see if I could get lyrics from Eleanor, Garraed, and Michael. I arrived to find everyone relaxing at breakfast and hung out there for most of the morning. Eventually Eleanor broke out a song book and taught me the melody to “The Housewives’ Lament.” It was nice being able to just sit and chat with all the Harpwood people when they weren’t performing. I don’t get to do that nearly enough.

Then I walked a few camps over to visit the Bardicci and sat down with Dunstable for a while. That was also quite pleasant.

Then around the lake to Shauna’s Camp to relax on couches and chat with Grim and Isabel. Isabel was prettying herself up to be in a photo shoot this afternoon, and indeed she was quite pretty. Shauna’s Camp is having a tea today at 4:00, but sadly I’ll be busy.

I walked up the hill to Eoforwic to play with the children and in the process managed to scavenge lunch. First Corrig (sp?) offered me the bone from his pork chop, which still had lots of meat on it. Then Emer offered me some Greek salad. Then Sarah revealed some fresh-baked loaves of bread stuffed with various leftovers: butter-chicken bread, pineapple-chicken-fajita bread, curry-cheese bread… All of it was so good. I left well and truly stuffed, and got to play with the kids.

I got back to camp just in time to attend Liam’s “SCA Songs” class. He played quite a few songs I either didn’t know or barely knew. I must get my hands on a Calontir teaching CD one of these days.

And now it’s now. I think I’ll go to the first half of today’s bardic collegium, come home to change, and then go to Lorelei’s concert. On the docket: “The Wild Eastman Spam” (video performance here) and Rathflaed’s “Beowulf.” Then back to camp to eat, back across the street to the Inchingham concert, and then Marian’s concert. Fiana asked if I was going Enchanted Ground tonight, and I’d love to, but I don’t think I’ll be finished at Performing Arts in time. Maybe Friday.

It amazes me, incidentally, that it’s only Wednesday War Week and there are already people pre-packing their cars. I mean, I know a lot of people leave on Saturday or even Friday, but today’s Wednesday! If you’re only here for War Week, Pennsic is barely half-over!

Meanwhile, I should go deliver my daily song to Erwillian.

after dinner – my tent

I did not, in fact, go to visit Erwillian. Instead, I helped Lorelei deal with a minor catastrophe: her bardic binder exploded when she was trying to rearrange the pages for tonight’s show, and she had a half-hour to fix it and get up to Dahrien’s elevation. So I helped her put the pages in the order of her set list, and then it was time for the bardic collegium. Today’s topic, taught by Marian and Fleeg, was “Working the Room,” a topic I find deeply interesting and relevant. Sadly, I could only stay for the first hour. There was some discussion of evaluating acoustics and how to gauge an audience, and the discussion was just getting to how to choose pieces appropriate to the venue/audience when I had to leave.

I came back to camp and got myself Vikinged up: blue tunic, burgundy apron dress, turtle-broaches and beads, embroidered coif, even the shoes I haven’t been wearing much this War because they have no arch support. I hung out with Lorelei while she tuned her dulcimer, then we headed across the street to Performing Arts.

They show was pretty well attended for a show time so early. I’d say maybe half or two-thirds of the seats were filled. I think my parts went pretty well. I caught people laughing during “Wild Eastman Spam” and had people chanting along with “Beowulf.” My only flub was that I was nervous enough that I didn’t wait for applause after the latter and had to backtrack a bit. I know that I broke at least one woman in the front row, though, so I consider that a success.

Then back to camp for supper. It’s chili night tonight and while the Marauders get first dibs, I wasn’t going to be back until the line was open to the general populace, so I got Ki Lin to set aside a plate for me. There was chili (obviously), beans, corn bread, salad, and grilled cheese sandwiches. I stuffed myself on the food Ki Lin had set aside for me. (Yes, I stuffed myself on excellent food at Pennsic. What a surprise.)

And now I’m in my tent taking a breather. I’ve got about 45 minutes before I need to be back at Performing Arts. I think I’ll catch the last half of the Cerian/Inchingham show. It’s a grand plan. And, like all my grand plans, I don’t expect it’ll survived the encounter with the camp’s common area.

Back to Tuesday, August 9
Forward to Thursday, August 11


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