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OVFF... lots of riding in car with little girls interspersed with OMGPegasusOMG! (Wild Mercy tied for Best Performer with the fabulous Betsy Tinney), music, hugs, more music, more hugs, not enough conversation (or music) with some people who I seemed to mostly pass in the halls all weekend, but that's kinda how OVFF goes, so it's okay.

Wild Mercy was only scheduled for two songs during the weekend... One Small Boat in the Pegasus concert and Morning Song in the Cath Benefit CD concert. Both are pretty, but after the awards announcements, we rather felt the need to rock. :-D Since there was a theme filk Saturday evening of Cover Filk, where you played songs written by other people in the room, we made sure [livejournal.com profile] vixyish came down to the room for a few minutes and we finally got to perform our arrangement of Thirteen for her. I think she liked it. I know we love it and have fun playing it. Later that night, as the remnants of two filks converged in the hall outside the con suite and went from hallway conversation to hall filk, a fellow I hadn't met yet wandered up and chatted for a bit, then sang us a wonderfully funny song about Lady Liberty. He'd mentioned in passing that it was on his CD, so after a couple more songs, I prompted him to tell us about the CD, and several of us bought it on the spot. If you didn't get to hear him this weekend, check out Glen Raphael.

Frankenstorm's fringes were making Columbus cold and blustery, but the worst of it held off 'til we left on Sunday, meaning most of it hit while we were on the road rather than while we were walking back and forth between hotels (we stayed nextdoor at the Sheraton Suites, which is imminently dog-friendly). I did bring Nicky over to the con for a snuggle on Sunday afternoon, having had several people in his fan club request a visitation. He's a fabulous ambassador for the breed (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, for all the people who asked) and had a good time being loved on. After that it was time to pack up and leave.

All of Wild Mercy is safely home, and I'm watching the Twitter/Facebook/LJ feeds to make sure all the East Coast filkers manage the same (or stay safely ensconced west of the storm). Please, all of my friends in the affected areas... stay safe!
First... photos... at least the ones I've gotten processed so far, are over on Flickr, so go take a look! I'll eventually get through the rest. Maybe even this week, 'cause by next weekend there will be more photos (more on that in another post).

Duckon, part 2, is back here... )

Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and I had a long drive ahead of me, so I headed out a little after midnight. I discovered that Chicago is full of batshit crazy motorcyclists who like to race on the interstate in the middle of the night, and then I got stuck in construction and spent almost an hour going three miles while trying to keep my truck from overheating (note to self... refill the water bottle and have the radiator checked for leaks). Once I escaped the gravitational well which is the Chicago interstate system, it was an easy drive home, and I rolled into the driveway about 4:30 a.m.

Duckon and WindyCon have both been on about a once-every-two-or-three-years schedule for me, but I will definitely be back at Duckon next year because Talis Kimberley is the Filk GOH and I love love love her music and have never had the opportunity to hear her in person. Yay!

And that's it for the Duckon '09 wrap-up. More pictures will be coming (hopefully) later this week. And now, I'm off to bed...
Haven't written Duckon, Part Two yet... I've been going through photos instead. First batch is going up now. Folks in them will get the first opportunity to say "Eek! No, not that one!" or to add comments and heckle, then I'll post the URL. :-)
Short version... Duckon rocked like a rocking thing... Cats survived three days home alone, and missed me but forgave me... Dogs were sprung from boarding today and also forgave me... Next year's Duckon will also rock.

Long version is back here... )

And good grief... it's 2 a.m. and I have to work tomorrow, so the rest of the recap, including Saturday's open filk and all of Sunday, will have to wait 'til tomorrow!
Sally (winoLJ) is an evil woman.

When we were in Columbus in May for Marcon, she introduced me (I'd say "drug me" but that would be a stretch) to the Columbus Percussion Center, which may well be one of the better drum stores in the known universe.

I bought several small bits of percussion Stuff, and two highly entertaining pieces from Hammerax... a small Boomywhang and a Dustbowl. I wasn't sure how much I'd use them, but they amused me, so I bought them.

Well, I've used them now for three Women's Chorus gigs, and wished several times for something w/ a compatible sound to the Dustbowl but in a different pitch. Conveniently, we're back in Columbus this weekend for Context, so we left room in today's schedule for another pilgrimage to CPC (conveniently only five minutes from the hotel).

For actual percussion items, I didn't do too badly... I brought home the Glass, which I was expecting to buy, and the Culebra which I hadn't really planned on. (Of course, I brought the Boomywhang and the Dustbowl with me so I could see how they all go together, which led to me wandering the store w/ all these bronze things hanging off me and my pockets bristling with stick, brush and mallet.)

The problem, though, is that now I have more things to play than I have any way to mount/suspend. Hmph.

Last time Sally and I went to CPC, I bought a stick bag, which I thought was fairly bizarre considering that I primarily play hand percussion, but I'd acquired enough sticks/brushes/mallets that they needed organizing.

This time, I wound up with a trap case and a bunch of hardware. I'm now the proud owner of a cymbal stand, three multipurpose brackets and three cymbal boom arms, which I'm assured can be stuck together in ways that will allow me to hang all four of the Hammeraxes in one nice Wall Of Sound.

After dinner, Sally and I are going to actually put it all together and then I may frighten people by taking the whole assemblage down to the filk room tonight. Bwaahahah!

But first... dinner at the Mexican restaurant across the road, with author GOH [livejournal.com profile] andpuff and the Wild Mercyites!
I got to open the Internet Cafe concert lineup at Cap this year, with a one-hour set on Friday afternoon. In prepping, I realized that while I've got plenty of stuff to fill an hour, there's no way my fingers can stand up to an hour of guitar. Hmmm...

Since the keyboard had to be at Cap for the Wild Mercy concert, and since [livejournal.com profile] janmagic always asks for Hallelujah and I always turn her down 'cause I can't do it without the keyboard, I decided to do a mix of guitar, keyboard, a cappella and even spoken word pieces. Yay for diversity! Speaking of diversity... [livejournal.com profile] sweetmusic_27 joined in on fiddle on several songs... I'm so glad that she's within reasonable commuting range of the Chicago cons now, 'cause I love making music with her!

The set seemed well-received, and I was pretty happy with the order and general flow of things, but I need to get better at between-song patter, especially when I have to move from guitar to keyboard (with the attendant moving of music stand, etc.).

Here's the set list in its final incarnation, with authors and accompaniment notes. I had a few other things prepared and actually ran out of time. This made me happy, because I'd much rather have too much material than too little!

Since I was in the internet cafe, it seemed appropriate to open with a song about another cafe...

Archetype Cafe -- Talis Kimberley -- guitar
Modern Mystic -- Seanan McGuire -- guitar
Hey Ho -- Dave Carter -- guitar
Mal's Song -- Michelle Dockery -- guitar
Their Music -- Martha Coady-Fabish -- a cappella
Queen of All Argyll -- Andy Stewart -- keyboard, plus Amy on fiddle
Sea Foam -- Seanan McGuire -- spoken, plus Amy on plaintive fiddle
Gentle Arms of Eden -- Dave Carter -- guitar
Hallelujah -- Leonard Cohen -- keyboard
The Gates -- DaVinci's Notebook -- a cappella
Kingdom of the Mice -- SJ Tucker -- spoken
Holy Now -- Peter Mayer -- guitar

I'm pretty sure Amy played on more than just those two, but I'm not positive... "Gentle Arms of Eden" and/or "Hallelujah," maybe?

This left me with [livejournal.com profile] cadhla's "I Am" and Dave Carter's "Phantom Doll" that got cut from the set. I did "I Am" during open filk and never did get a good opening to do "Phantom Doll." Oh well... I sang plenty of other things, and "Phantom Doll" will come out again. :-)
So... I came off to Capricon in Chicago, with the youngsters in boarding and Chase (who loves to travel) with me.

Thursday afternoon, things were fine, but by late Thursday night it was obvious that Chase was distressed about something, but I couldn't figure out what. He kept [livejournal.com profile] sweetmusic_27 and I awake most of the night, pacing and fussing and pacing and fussing. I'd take him outside, and we'd come back up and he'd drink more water and in awhile we'd go outside again. He finally let me get a little sleep about 5:30 a.m., but I never got more than about an hour at a stretch without him waking me up again.

During the day on Friday, he seemed to be doing okay, 'til afternoon when he started having trouble standing up (he'd been having trouble on the slippery tile in the bathroom all weekend, but that wasn't terribly surprising). I called my vet and they had me go get a thermometer since I'd forgotten to pack one. He didn't have a fever, which was actually scarier than if he did, since he has a history of not wanting to walk if he's feverish. Called the vet back and got the prompt response of "get him to a vet".

The first trip to the vet, and a concert... )

So now it's the end of the concert, I'm in brown pseudo-leather bodice, black harem pants with a black handkerchief skirt over them, and black cavalier hat with requisite jaunty black feather. And we need to go pick up meds and take them to the clinic... where they'd jokingly said I should come back in garb. You saw this one coming, right?

To the drugstore and clinic... avast, ye mateys! )

Word today is that he's feeling better... when I called this morning he was standing up and barking at them. This is a good sign. This afternoon, they said he's eaten and been outside and he's seeming pretty recovered from yesterday's muscle weakness. I'm hoping this means he's going to be responsive to the meds and this thing will be manageable. We shall see. In the meantime, he's spending another night at the vet, and I'm back to running sound in the Internet Cafe.

survived!

Feb. 15th, 2008 04:39 pm
tollermom: (Default)
Yay!

I actually went into my hour Internet Cafe set with too much music. Whee! I didn't know I had more than an hour's worth of stuff that I could do w/out the rest of the band.

I finished my time with three songs to spare, so I actually have things I can do in open filk w/out repeating. Life is good.

More later... running sound for Roper's set now and can't get to my set list.
I basically treated WindyCon as a relaxacon... I needed to relax more than I needed to rush around attending a zillion panels (though there were several interesting-looking ones that I thought about going to), so I did a little shopping on Sunday, spent Friday night and Saturday night in the filkroom, and basically spent the rest of the weekend being a vegetable. (And I still didn't make it to the pool... [livejournal.com profile] catalana and I have brought swimsuits and planned to swim at the last couple of cons and so far we haven't even gotten close enough to smell the chlorine.)

Highlights of the weekend...

Hanging out 'til the wee hours of Sunday morning with [livejournal.com profile] andpuff, [livejournal.com profile] mofilker, [livejournal.com profile] janmagic and [livejournal.com profile] almeda... the music was fun and the company was fabulous.

Being awed, all over again, by how quickly both [livejournal.com profile] mofilker and [livejournal.com profile] sweetmusic_27 can pick up on what someone is singing (especially when it starts a capella so they don't get a clue for key from guitar chords, etc.) and jump in to contribute just the right backing instrumentation.

Sleeping 'til after noon on Saturday, and indulging in room service both nights so that I could have some concentrated lazy time. (Side benefit... room service brought extra french fries for Chase both times, resulting in a very happy dog.)

Wandering the hotel on Sunday afternoon with Chase in his borrowed Radio Flyer wagon. He got lots of attention and I had some lovely conversations with folks who I might not have met otherwise.

Stocking up on CDs that fill some holes in my collection... in no particular order... Rob Balder, Bramblebush, Dandelion Wine (how had I managed to go this long without buying their CD??), John Wiseman (who I think I first heard at Windy last year), Julia Ecklar, Urban Tapestry and Bob Kanefsky.

Stocking up on books, including iSFiC Press's new short story collection from [livejournal.com profile] andpuff, who autographed it for me after first spending a moment petting Mr. Chase.

Just generally visiting with and listening to folks who I don't see often.
Got home around four this afternoon and promptly crashed for a nap.

Lovely lovely nap.

Now I'm going to walk the dogs and go to bed for real.

Tomorrow there will be con report.

(Short version... had fun... made new friends... spent time with old friends... didn't sleep much.)
Conclave was my first Michigan con and it turned out to be lots of fun... it will definitely go on my list of Cons To Go Back To. Our concert was scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m., just before SpaceTime Theatre and we had no other programming responsibilities, so it was a nice relaxing little con full of old and new friends.

This got much longer than expected, so I'll stow the details back here behind the cut... )

I stopped at the Meijer in Ann Arbor for biodiesel on the way home, then let the GPS guide me down the scenic route home, which got me off the interstate and took me through some really pretty farm country across southern Michigan. A perfectly lovely end to a fun weekend, and I was home (and surrounded by dogs and cats) by shortly after 8 p.m.

Now I get a whole weekend off (yippee!!!) before OVFF the following weekend.
Oy... gear was schlepped... gear was set up (sneakily, behind panel discussions and Richard Hatch's Q&A session going on in front of the stage)... [livejournal.com profile] filkertom rocked the house (I love following Tom, 'cause it means I get to hear his whole concert!)... we rocked the house (although w/ slightly lowered energy levels... damn it's hot and sticky here)... gear was stripped off stage so fast that we could hear the vacuum collapse behind us... gear was untangled and packed... gear was schlepped again. Now we're off to hang out in Artist's Alley, hopefully sell some CDs, and play some Munchkin.

More later...
Wild Mercy has had a busy day and a half at NASFIC, and we're having a blast!

We just finished our first concert of the weekend, and have another tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. (following [livejournal.com profile] filkertom, so people should come for his concert and stay for ours!). We were mostly tearing down during [livejournal.com profile] lukeski's concert tonight, but he opened with the very funny "Fanboy" and also did "I Love You Tivo" (for which I have a new appreciation now that I have a DVR).

[livejournal.com profile] mofilker got us up and running in record time for tonight's show, for which I thank him profusely since I'm all too aware that four people who all play multiple instruments are something of an anomaly in a venue which mostly contains solo or duo singer/songwriters. Gary... thanks for everything!

The Bardic Concert this afternoon was wonderful, with [livejournal.com profile] filkertom, [livejournal.com profile] quadrivium and [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine keeping us all highly entertained for two hours. Mary even did "Bad Man Go Good" for me by request.

Now I'm off to open filk for awhile... it's fun to be (once again) out of our normal midwestern corner of the world, 'cause I get to hear lots of new-to-me filkers.

More tomorrow night...
The Wild Mercy contingent made it safely to the Conterpoint hotel in time to meet up with the ConCom and [livejournal.com profile] cadhla for dinner last night, then we all turned into pumpkins and crashed to recover from the trip. Got up in time for breakfast this morning, then acquired Seanan and Sally for a provisioning run to Whole Foods.

We have fruit and nuts and veggies and kefir ... life can be sustained. Yay!

After the run to Whole Foods, the van and I were at the disposal of our sound engineer for the weekend, ducking over to Beltsomething (Beltville?) to retrieve the PA gear. Thankfully, sturdy helpers were found to get said gear from van to function space, which is why I'm now being lazy in the room and typing this. :-)

I'm currently looking up the missing chords for "John's Garden" since I promised [livejournal.com profile] vixyish that I'd try to do it in the filk room at some point. Given the fact that I don't know half the chords (I have them written down... they're just chords/shapes that my fingers don't know yet... yay for strange keys and songs that modulate), I may have to draft [livejournal.com profile] min0taur or [livejournal.com profile] tfabris to play for me. I've got a couple more days to sort something out though!

Everybody else should be trickling in over the course of the day... [livejournal.com profile] unkbar should be here soon, after being delayed by a day when his flight was cancelled yesterday after his plane developed mechanical problems.

All in all, it's been a wonderfully relaxing start to the weekend... it was nice to not get thrown immediately into a bunch of programming after arriving from the long drive.

More as the weekend progresses!
Yesterday was my day trip to Marcon, and I had such a good time that I spent most of today talking myself out of going back for a second evening tonight. Realistically, though, I need to stay home, get more stuff done, and not put my poor truck through another six-hour round-trip to Columbus and back (it was making some really weird noises on the way home last night... which you just really don't want to hear at 3 a.m. on the interstate!).

My day at the con... with set list! )

As it's now 6:40 and it would take me three hours to get back to Columbus, I think I've safely passed the danger point wherein my social self would be able to drag my rational self into the car and onto the road. *sigh* I really wanted more time to visit... but alas, I must Do Stuff so that I'm all prepped for Conterpoint, and that doesn't leave me with a lot of time for flitting off to filks between now and then. I didn't get to spend nearly as much time just visiting with folks as I would have liked, but I'm glad that I got the time that I did! (Thanks, Trace, for inviting me to concertize, 'cause that gave me the "excuse" to leave behind all the Stuff needing to be done and escape to Marcon for the day!)

Next up for me... Conterpoint! (Well, okay, maybe a day trip to Duckon, but that's not a sure thing yet.) Conterpoint in June, Archon/NASFIC in August, and Conclave and OVFF in October. Whee!
Oof... I'm tired.

Thing was a blast, but the hotel being w/out air-conditioning (one of those old "either the boiler or the chiller" systems and it hadn't been switched to chill yet) meant I didn't sleep as well as could have been desired.

So I'm gonna nap a bit, and will post Thing things later...
A brief con report, before the weekend completely disappears into the blur of The Dreaded Work Week...

Friday: Or, how to lose an interstate )

Saturday: Music, music and more music )

Sunday: A day of much driving and little sleep )

Monday was a day off. Yay for days off. I should have done laundry and vacuumed. I didn't. Mostly I slept. And caught up on LJ and email reading.

My general feeling about WindyCon is that the hotel is pretty marginal and it's right in the middle of my personal busiest month of the year (budget season at work). It was a good con, and I knew enough people that it was fun to visit and hang out, but there's nothing really compelling to make it go on my "Must Go" list for next year. If it happens to be a weekend that I'm not swamped (and I have money), I might go back. If it happens to be a weekend that I am swamped, I won't feel too bad about missing it. Given a finite puddle of money to spend on cons, I'd rather put my Chicago con-going money into Capricon and Duckon, I think (though it's entirely possible I'll change my mind by next November).

And now I go sleep again...
Because I hijacked Sally's new field recorder for the weekend to act as a stand-in for the memory that I don't have, I now present random sound bites from [livejournal.com profile] cadhla's improv workshop at OVFF...

while talking about playing the game of "Questions"... "It's also the concept on which most speech simulators on the internet are built, so if you get good enough at it, you can make Eliza explode."

on visualizing your audience... "You can try picturing people naked. I've heard people say that that's a great technique... I don't think so. ... Because the trouble is that if you've really got a vivid imagination you start picturing people naked, and it's all okay because we're all people, and that's good and then you stop and think... 'What if Maureen is actually from Mars?' and suddenly I'm looking at Maureen and not only is she naked but there are tentacles involved... and I am no longer happy in this conversation."

on patter... "You'll find that most of the good patter in filk... is very very fast and makes very little sense. We're not big on sense here!"

on developing facial expressions (specifically, sad face)... "You're not sad enough. Why aren't you sad? I JUST SHOT YOUR PUPPY!"

which led to a comment by me that now we have a room full of Zombie Puppies from Ohio, which was determined to be a very good name for a band. Now I need a logo for buttons...

And, just because we promised not to let her live it down (and as an example of things that you try not to be embarrassed by when they come out of your mouth), during the discussion of our just-completed animal improv, there was this gem...

"If you're trying to get something across real fast, crack open the clamshell... lick yourself." *room laughs* "I'm going to pretend that I didn't just say those two things together..."
I thought I'd jot some thoughts down before OVFF finishes running together in a blur (I'm already losing track of what happened which day...).

This way to random OVFF ramblings... )

There are a million more, but those are the ones currently coming to mind. I'm not even going to try to list all the people who I heard or spent time with, 'cause I'd miss somebody and then I'd feel bad. Suffice it to say that it was a great weekend full of good music and good conversations and I just wish it could have been longer!

I can't finish this without thanking [livejournal.com profile] min0taur and Sally for introducing me to this whole "filk thing"... who knew, when we started our little Celtic band, that Jen and I would end up getting introduced to a whole new world! I love that we're all friends first and bandmates second, and I'm amazed (and a little awed) at the number of truly wonderful friends I've made in the last two years that I'd've never met if it hadn't been for Barry and Sally.
InConJunction was fun this weekend. Tony did a great job of running sound for us on Friday night (it's always nice when you get the con chair as your sound guy :-) ) and I loved our schedule. We took a Friday concert slot 'cause Jen had weddings all day Saturday. Now, arguably, Friday isn't the "optimal" concert time since some people haven't arrived by then, but the thing I liked about it was that I got my "healthy voice required" singing out of the way early in the weekend. This meant I could stay up as late as I wanted in the filk room for the rest of the weekend without having to worry about saving my voice for a concert!

Anyway, more later, including who all I saw, the Saturday night filking (I missed most of Friday night's filk), the Wild Mercy concert, the Too Much Money spent in the dealer's room, etc.

But first... I sleep...