Pennsic 2016 Diary: Wednesday, August 10

Morning – Marauders

Night was hot and sticky. Started the evening with only my sheets, though at some point it was cool enough that I put the covers back on. But it never really cooled off. Stupid heat and humidity. We got another rainstorm come through at some point. It turns out I didn’t escape entirely unscathed – the puddle is back, but it’s only on plastic and all my gear is dry, so I still count that as a win.

This morning’s town cry is brought to you by the Order of the Rose. “The Order of the Rose: beautiful and terrible as the morning! All shall love them and despair!”

I wrote most of my end-of-day update yesterday so there’s not all that much to write this morning. I guess more later.


Early afternoon – EK Hospitality

A pretty chill day so far, at least in terms of temperament if not in terms of weather. Headed over to EK Royal (Heralds2) to wait for Aethelflaed. Thence off to do some shopping: fleece and a spindle for her, some impulse Auntie Arwen smoked salt for both of us, and CDs and a gift for my niece for me. And then, because it was hot, we went to Kafe Merhaba for beverages and a light lunch. The only syrups left were espresso and chocolate, which was sad. So Aethelflaed had a frozen sahlep and I had a frozen drinking chocolate (both of them creamy and lovely, but not terribly refreshing) and we shared some stuffed grape leaves and a humus plate.

Then back to camp to drop off my stuff and drink water. It was 39.5 degrees and 50% humidity in my tent. OMG so melting. Stopped just long enough to dump things off and then come to EK Hospitality, and now I’m here. Got the 25-cent tour and soon I’ll be nominally in charge.

We’re getting a tiny drizzle now and it looks like there will be a thunderstorm soon. I hope it’ll cool things down but my heart says it won’t. Bother.


Somewhat later – Same place

Shift so far has consisted of chatting with the gate guards and other hospitality people, telling saint stories, and making sure the food stays topped up. All in all, pretty chill. But now everyone else has left and I’m alone. We’re hearing thunder off to the west and my radar tracker shows a pretty big storm moving in. I suspect that means my 5 pm class won’t be very well attended, but we’ll see.

While I’m alone, my job at hospitality seems to consist of the occasional person asking me questions, me saying, “Great question! No idea! Let me go check!”, and then walking to the back to find out if anyone knows the answer. I mean, it’s happened once, but that still makes it part of the job. That, and entertaining myself by journaling.

It is very hot today, especially in tents where there is no breeze. I’m drinking water pretty much constantly because otherwise I’d dehydrate from all the sweating I’m doing. Also, I appear to have “phantom string syndrome” whenever I hate off my hat now. Oops. I really hope it cools down a bit before Heather’s show. I want to get blinged up, but I also don’t want to pass out from heat stroke.

I’ve got an hour or so of downtime. But I’m a bard, damnit! If I can’t entertain myself for an hour by practicing my material, I’m a bad bard indeed.


After dinner – My tent

After writing last I came back to camp with a “second lunch” from the Penn Market: devilled eggs and a banana. Chilled out in camp for a while and caught 10 minutes of today’s bardic symposium (topic: authenticity). Then it was time to teach. Because of the rain (both actual and impending), the class was very small. We started with three students and ended with five plus one auditor. So instead of running it as a normal class, I did it as a more unstructured workshop. Hopefully my students found it useful. We had two super-new people, so I did a bit of overview and a reminder of “you don’t need a persona – no one will bop you on the head if you don’t.” I think it went well, despite the small number of students. I do love teaching in the SCA, especially at Pennsic, because you know that your students really want to hear what you’re teaching. Of all the myriad things they could be doing with their time, they’ve chosen to take your class. That’s a level of enthusiasm you don’t find in normal academia.

After class I came back to camp for Ansteorra chili night. At my request, Erikr had kindly set aside a plate for me so I wouldn’t need to wait in line with all the Ansteorrans. Thanks, Erikr!

And now it’s now. I’ve got about an hour and a half until Marian’s show, but it’s hot and disgusting out, even still. My tent thermometer reads 26 degrees and “high” humidity. At some point I’ll need to get changed and blinged up for the show, but right now I just want to be a slug. So a slug I shall be! No one can tell me otherwise!

As I’m getting older (and, yes, I realize 34 is barely a child compared to some people at Pennsic), I’m starting to more and more understand people who rent hotel rooms to sleep in or who take a day mid-War to go off-site. I’m hot, sweaty, and tired, and ready to go home. If Pennsic could be somewhere with real beds, real showers, and better weather, I could probably stay forever. But it isn’t, and I’m ready to be done with the heat and the weird body issues.

In any case, tomorrow the only thing I want to get to is the mini bardic madness. Otherwise my schedule is open, except for converting my traveller’s cheques and packing. I want to leave mid-day Friday. Hopefully my allergies will let me last that long.

I think I will spend the next half-hour playing on my phone and not moving.


Sunset – Marauders

Benefits of being me: audience to a private Marian of Heatherdale rehearsal. Life is aggressively failing to suck.

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

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