Pennsic 2016 Diary: Wednesday, August 3

After breakfast – Marauders

Last night was actually lovely. After lying down for a half-hour I felt a little better and decided to go down to the Bog for the first time. Wore my sneakers because there was no way I’d get down there in the flats I’ve been wearing so far. The walk down was… more difficult than I remembered. I mean, I’ll still do it, but I’ll do it at a rate that makes snails look like racing cars.

Ran into Michael Kelly, who’s now camping with the Gypsies next to Ravenspittle. Looks like a fun camp. They’ve got a “hydration station” and apparently the head of the camp makes grilled cheese sandwiches at midnight and hands them out to passers-by. Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to camp in the Bog, but I think I’d never make it up the hill.

Headed over to Wild Rose and managed to find Marian and Pierro still in camp – yay! Got to sit down with Marian for an hour, catching up, comparing schedules, trading stories with her campmates, etc. I love having time with her. We’re both so busy that it doesn’t always happen, so I cherish it when it does. I know some people have very close relationships with their peers, but for Marian and I, while we both love spending time with each other, it really is more a “catch as catch can” relationship.

Went over afterward to Bardicci. I had been there less than five minutes when Dunstable introduced me as the person who wrote a great poem about the Bardicci and I should absolutely perform it right now. So I did. (Obviously.) By the time I was done, pretty much all the Bardicci had come out to watch me. It was a command performance. It was awesome – I love the Bardicci. They’re such a great audience.

Spent a while chatting with Erwillian and Alaric. Heard some great stories about what happened over the last few years. Not translatable into bardic performances for a variety of reasons, but very funny.

Dunstable was very generous and offered to drive me up the hill since he was dropping his car off at parking anyway. Thank you, Dunstable!

Got to bed around midnight, which is relatively early, and what I wanted. Had to go to the bathroom around 3:30 but otherwise slept through to about 8:00. Breakfast was surprisingly not ready yet, so I got first run. Yay!

And now I’m journaling while Sisuile is sewing and some other campmates are discussing the logistics of the chore list for next year. (We’re doing a sign-up sheet on an experimental basis this year.) So camp is slowly getting into full swing.

Katriona, who’s visiting our camp, let me know about a tai chi instructor who might be willing to work with me. It’s not that far away, either. Maybe I’ll check that out.

There’s a class I may want to take in a half-hour if I get ready by then, and then I’ve got a Troll shift at noon. John Lyttleton’s bardic coaching class is at 3:00, Haakon’s circle is at o’dark, and otherwise I’m free today. Lots of little 1-2 hour breakfast, so probably not getting to the Bog. But maybe to the merchants. We’ll see.


Early afternoon – Troll

Class was quite good! Mostly focused on the lives of Dominic and Francis and the very early days of their two mendicant orders.

Finished that, dropped by Erwillian’s and Torvaldr’s just long enough to say hi, and to Efenwealt’s long enough to check out the CD selection. I’m already seeing 15 I want – it’s good I budgeted for 25. I’m gonna need it.

And now I’m on my first Troll shift. They’ve got a new electronic system that’s taking a bit of getting used to, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now. Things are pretty quiet. We’ve had a few trickles of people coming through, enough that I’m not too bored. I checked in a family with three utterly adorable toddlers, so I got some of my kid fix in. Weirdly, I don’t know any camp with large numbers of small children this year. A number of older children, but not too many little ones. (Though I did see a stupendous cart today, built to look like a paddy wagon with the kid in the wood caged enclosure. Amazing!)

Random aside from camp this morning: when a blacksmith hands you a baked potato, don’t take it with your bare hands. (The same also applies to forest fire fighters, I can say from personal experience.)

They have charging stations at Troll. It’s a shame that this morning I took all the electronics out of my bag. Oops. Ah, well. My phone will last until this evening and then I can charge it in camp. Also take a shower because the shower is now working. Yay!

Got another hour or so here but I think I’ve exhausted my journaling topics for now. More later.


Late afternoon – Marauders

John Lyttleton’s “Bardic Coaching” class was excellent as always. I asked specifically for advice on projecting and voice control, and he gave me some exercises to practice. The operative word there being “practice.” If I only perform at Pennsic, it’s hard to keep up the practice during the year.

Blisters are making me walk super-slow. That and the flats with no ankle support. I think I may need to switch over to sneakers. That, and I really need to wash my feet. They’re so disgusting.

After class (admittedly I left after an hour and a half), I wanted a better lunch than the cheese plate I bought before my Troll shift and instead wound up with a massive lemonade from Delights of Cathay. Probably the equivalent of 2-3 of my mugs.

So now I’m back at camp trying to figure out what to do with myself for the next few hours. On the one hand, I want to go visiting. On the other hand, my feet don’t want to walk. I think my feet may win this battle. Especially since John’s bed is ready and several people are already stretching the strings. Don’t know if I’ll join them but it’s definitely a possibility.


Before dinner – My tent

I think this may be the first time I’ve been “done” with Pennsic so early in the War. I mean, we’re only Wednesday of Peace Week and I’m just… done. Not to say I haven’t had good moments: I have. I’ve loved performing and seeing people I haven’t seen in three years, but I’m so tired. I want to walk without pain. I want to walk at a faster rate than a slow trudge. I want to not be overheating. I want to have good sleep.

Maybe it’s just the hormones talking. Maybe I’ll feel better when I’m no longer on my period and Pennsic really picks up into full swing, tomorrow or the day after. But I don’t usually feel this way until Wednesday of War Week – it’s coming a full week early. I haven’t felt that “Pennsic euphoria” yet. Maybe it’s because I got blisters and shin splints early and haven’t been able to visit as much as I want. Maybe it’s because people are still setting up – everything got delayed with the set-up weekend rains – so it doesn’t feel quite like full-blown Pennsic yet. I don’t know.

I tried lying down with my phone for a while but it doesn’t seem to have helped. Even with clean feet (Ki Lin lent me a scrub she made from coffee grounds, sugar crystals, and coconut oil – it’s lovely), I’m still worried about walking. The blister on my right foot is callusing somewhat, but the one on my left is bigger and meaner than ever. Just once I’d like to have a Pennsic where I don’t injure my feet and can do all the walking I want at normal speed. But this is not that year.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying myself – I am. I just… wonder if it’s worth the effort anymore. What’s the old phrase? “Only Pennsic is worth the inconvenience that only Pennsic causes”? I’m not sure it is anymore. It used to be that I wouldn’t hear anything from my Pennsic buddies during the “50-week town run.” Now we’re all on Facebook. I communicate with many of them on a regular basis. Yes, it’s great to see them in person, but…


It all comes down to that “but”, doesn’t it? I get hyped for Pennsic for months beforehand and now that I’m here I’m just cranky and in pain and wondering if this is how I want to spend the next week and a half.

It’ll pass, of course. Something will happen to restore my faith, as it always does. But for now I’m just meh and don’t want to interact with anyone.


Sunset – Marauders

So after my little self-pity party in my tent, I came out for tasty Mexican supper (soft tacos with all the trimmings) because Seraphina is awesome, as are all her helpers.

Emer showed up and she, Lorelei, and I retired to outside my tent to try to develop the set list for the show on Friday. We got a lot of chatting done but only a little set-list developing. We were just hitting our stride when someone looked up and realized the clouds to the south were looking… ominous. We weren’t getting any storming yet, but it certainly looked threatening. And it wasn’t moving, just getting bigger. So we broke up the brainstorming session so people could batten.

I’ve been hanging out in the common area as Edith and Sisuile break out their homemade cordials and meads, and we’re having a tasting. I wasn’t sure if Haakon’s bardic was happening, but apparently they just started up. My crocs are treating me quite well, but I’m worried about going to a circle in them. Then again, I’m sure no one will say anything. Silently judge, perhaps, but not say. Maybe I’ll change to my period shoes, though.

Back to Tuesday, August 2
Forward to Thursday, August 4

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