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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 [ 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!
I spent a great portion of 2011 in a state of near-panic about financial issues, which tended to overshadow other things on a day-to-day basis, but when I look back at the year, it was really a pretty good year (especially when compared to 2010, which definitely overstayed its welcome).

So, what did I do with my year?? )

So yeah... eventful year, and one that I could look back on and find a lot of negatives, but instead I look back and realize that I have amazing friends (both new and old), I have challenging volunteer opportunities that I enjoy and which get me out of my house and interacting with people, I've got four healthy dogs (counting the visiting Nick) and four healthy cats, and I got to spend the year making really incredible music with Wild Mercy. So I'll count 2011 as a win for me and challenge 2012 to be even better for all of us!
Confluence was fun... introduced some new people to our music and heard several people who I'd not heard/met before (Andina & Rich, Patricia Wake, and Pete Grubbs). Also had a good time hanging w/ the Dorsai. I do love working the dealer's room door, 'cause it means I actually see and talk to more than just filkers during the con! (Not that there's anything wrong w/ filkers, mind you... just that I sometimes need incentive to remember that there's more to the con than the filk room(s).)

Thanks to [ profile] mrgoodwraith for giving us concert slot and the all-important setup time, and thanks to [ profile] fuzzyvanman and [ profile] rms_butterfly for hauling sound equipment over to Pittsburgh so we'd have enough channels, and to [ profile] judifilksign for signing our concert! (I especially enjoyed "Fly Little Bird" 'cause I got to stand where I could watch her while I was singing.)

Tired... sleepy... back at work. More later, maybe, when coherent.

(What is wrong w/ LJ today? I've been trying to post this all day, both from my iJournal app and directly through the web interface, and as of 3:40 p.m., it hasn't posted yet!)
Just a brief note since I haven't updated here recently...

Tonight was our UUI (Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis) Winter Solstice Celebration, which is a wonderful public ritual full of singing and chant and drumming and readings. I think we had the best group of readers that we've ever had this year, and they and the narrator set the tone beautifully for the service. The choir was totally on, the drumming was rockin', and we had a packed house as we started in the dark, progressed to the lighting of candles (it's amazing how much a room brightens up when 300 people hold lit candles) and on to the singing/dancing/energy-raising portion of the evening, then we chilled out a bit to bring everybody back to earth before we shared a feast and sent everyone back out into the cold to make their way home. It was fabulous. I absolutely love this ritual, and it's the kickstart that I needed to get out of my BahHumbugs and start really appreciating the Yule season.

Best of all... we get to do it again tomorrow! We have permission to take the whole ritual out to the Indiana Women's Prison tomorrow. A couple of the folks who volunteer out there have already been teaching the women some of the chants and singalong tunes, and I think it's going to be a blast to take this ritual, which is an old friend now that we've done it seven (eight?) years in a row, and translate it into a completely new environment.

We rocked tonight. We'll rock again tomorrow. Then there will be a total lunar eclipse of a full moon on the actual night of the solstice. Spring has no choice now... We Have Spoken!

C'mon back, sun!! :-)
So... originally I had scheduled gallbladder surgery for the day before Thanksgiving, because the surgeon thought it would keep getting worse and therefore shouldn't be put off. But, you know, he's a surgeon and it's his job to cut. Me... I haven't had even the slightest twinge from the gallbladder since the first week in September (when it landed me in the emergency room for an evening), and I'm just not sure I really want to go through surgery for something that may or may not continue to be a problem. So I cancelled the surgery. In hindsight, this was a good thing, 'cause that freed me up to take a Semi-Feral Mercy gig this coming Wednesday, so Jen and I will be playing from 7-10pm at the Plainfield Claddagh. W00t!

Three hours. Damn. That's a lot of music. That's a lot of music without being able to rely on Barry's guitar chops or Sally's percussion. Hmmm... So there's been a lot of guitar practice in my week (and I have the ouchy fingertips to prove it!). Tomorrow, I drum for church in the morning, then Jen and I rehearse in the afternoon. Wednesday is the gig. Thursday, Thanksgiving at [ profile] textdeviant's, for which I promised to make chocolate pastry cake. This could be complicated, since I won't get home 'til late on Wednesday, and the cake needs to set up overnight before being served. Meh. I'll figure it out. Sleep is overrated, right? :-)

Tuesday, I had a guy out to quote swapping my (existing, brought from prior house) heat pump and thermostat in to replace the plain A/C currently in the house. I'd have to have a new heater coil too, and the price turned out to be totally reasonable. Not something I can afford right now, but definitely something that can be planned for, and it will get me closer to not needing the blasted propane, since the heat pump can provide heat until temps are down to about freezing. I also acquired a Comfort Furnace freestanding ceramic heater which is currently heating the entire upstairs, and Thursday I came home early and met the chimney sweep, who gave the chimney and Buck Stove a thorough cleaning and pronounced them safe for use. So even w/out swapping out the heat pump, I may be able to get through this winter w/out paying for propane (I spent $1600 on propane last winter... I can't do that again!!). Haven't had a fire yet, but I did bring a good selection of damp firewood onto the back porch so it can dry out.

I've scheduled several shifts to work Christmas at the Zoo. Unfortunately, shortly after scheduling, I got an invitation to a drum event on one of the same evenings, so I may try to shift my schedule around. Currently scheduled for four shifts... Saturday, Dec. 4, Saturday, Dec 11 (this is the one I may reschedule), Tuesday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 30. Working as fire pit monitor all shifts, 4:30-9pm, so come warm up and hang out w/ me if you come to the zoo on any of those evenings! :-)

I'll also be drumming for the UUI Winter Solstice again, which will be on Saturday, Dec. 18, this year, with a repeat performance on Sunday afternoon at the women's prison. Then I leave on either the 22nd or 23rd for a few days in Mississippi w/ the family for the holidays.

For now, I think I'll practice some more guitar. Learning [ profile] cadhla's "Wicked Girls" for the gig. Yay!

ovff plans...

Oct. 18th, 2010 11:15 am
tollermom: (Default)
I've changed my reservation so I arrive Friday instead of Thursday for OVFF. I had the opportunity to pick up a volunteer shift at the zoo on Thursday evening, plus it will save me one night of points for the hotel.

I'm planning to leave Indy fairly early on Friday, as soon as the petsitter arrives so I can give her a key and introduce her to the crew, so I'll hopefully see y'all by early afternoon!
Quick question... I've currently got reservations for Thursday through Sunday nights but I'm trying to decide whether to cancel Thursday and just drive over on Friday.

Who's arriving when?
So... fast catching-up stuff... last weekend at StrowlerFest was absolutely fabulous. It was a joy to get to hear DreamTrybe again, as well as Sooj and Ginger and Bekah and Betsy and Alec in various combinations (GB Mojo, Tricky Pixie, Travelling Fates) and Heather and Ben. I really need to post something more coherent about this before I forget what all happened, but that will be a post for another day.

Today was full of entertaining music of another sort... our local Unitarian church hosted "HUUsier PalUUza"... basically, an all-day gathering and tent revival, UU style. During the afternoon, there was an open mic session hosted by Barry, and I (conveniently) had stuck my guitar in the truck at the last minute, so I did "Dumb Dumb Dorothy," "Archetype Cafe" and "Thirteen," all of which got good responses. Even had folks singing along on "Dumb Dumb Dorothy," which was fun. There was also a drum circle, which I didn't actually make it too, so my poor djembe spent the entire day in the bag and never got to come out and play.

After a break for dinner, we had the main event of the evening, anchored by the "OMG Gospel Choir," made up of members of all the local UU churches and a few folks from out of town and even out of state. I hadn't made it to any rehearsals, so I wasn't going to sing, but wound up drafted to play tambourine. Lots of fun... good music (including two sets by the visiting Meg Barnhouse and Kiya Heartwood, who were wonderful!), good energy and even a bit of brief but inspiring preaching. (I'll admit, having grown up Southern Baptist, that the whole tent revival thing isn't usually my scene, but this was fun. Kinda nice to have a tent revival with _no_ hellfire and brimstone. :-P)

Tomorrow, Meg and Kiya are doing the morning service at UUI... I've set my alarm clock... we'll see if I can drag myself out and back into town for the morning. Then I spend the rest of the day cleaning house and getting ready for guests... Sooj and K will be in town for a concert on Wednesday (Wednesday night, 8 pm at UUI! W00t!) and I've been forced to admit that the Housecleaning Fairy isn't going to put in an appearance between now and then, so I'm going to be forced to do it myself.

That's it for news from my world... I hope y'all are having a fabulous weekend!
From [ profile] exapno, most recently...

* Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
* List five songs that start with that letter.
* Post them to your journal with these instructions.

She gave me "M" and now I'm tasked with narrowing down 317 songs starting w/ "M" in my iTunes to just one list of five (well, okay, two lists)...

Songs by People I Know...
Magnus Retail (Mary Crowell)
Mask (Ginger Doss)
Medusa (Heather Dale)
Modern Mystic (Seanan McGuire)
Monster in my Head (Michael Longcor)

Songs by People I Don't Know...
Mad World (Gary Jules version from Donnie Darko)
Make Believe Town (Peter, Paul & Mary)
Mandelbrot Set (Jonathan Coulton)
Miss You So Badly (Jimmy Buffett)
Mother, I Climbed (Tracy Grammer)
Last-minute car troubles have grounded me in Indy for the weekend. On the way home from the GB Mojo concert last night, the truck started acting odd, and my mechanic confirmed it as alternator problems this morning. He's going to work me in today, but there's no way he'll have it fixed in time for me to get there for enough of the con to make it worth the trip so, sadly, I've cancelled my room and my dogsitter and I'll be staying home.

On the plus side, this means I get a little more time hanging out w/ Ginger and Bekah before they have to leave for their next gig!
Since people keep asking and I keep forgetting to post... here's where I'll be for the next few months...

Duckon... I'll miss Friday and am hoping to arrive in time for the Lady Mondegreen concert (if lucky, even in time for the Dandelion Wine concert!) on Saturday. Not sure when I'm leaving. Probably before the Dead Dog on Sunday... possibly after open filk on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

InConJunction... Wild Mercy is (are?) the Filk GOH(s) for InCon over 4th of July weekend. There will be a concert, and a drum workshop, and lots of open filking.

WindyCon... I'll be at Windy this year to see Tricky Pixie, making this the first year I've managed to hit the three main Chicago cons all in the same year. Thank the powers-that-be for a new paid-time-off policy at work that effectively gives me more vacation days than in the past. :-) Membership is bought and room reservation made, so I'll be there all weekend.
May and June are turning into very musical months...

Tomorrow, I can has a [ profile] s00j and K! Yay! For Sooj fans in driving distance of Indy, the concert is tomorrow (Friday) night at 8 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (615 W. 43rd St.).

Memorial Day weekend will find me at Marcon, where [ profile] cadhla is the Music GoH and where the con will be filled with many many filkers... so many that I ran out of willingness to code in all those usernames so just trust me that there are lots! :-)

Right after that, on Tuesday, June 1, Marian Call, singer-songwriter of geek songs and Browncoat songs and just generally cool stuff will be in Indy at Lazy Daze Coffee House from 7-8:30 pm. She's doing a self-managed tour of the entire continental US, and she's just playing for tips at the coffee house, so I hope we can get a great turnout for her and make it worth her while to want to come back to Indy someday! :-)

Then on June 18th, Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso, aka GBMojo (and two-thirds of the Travelling Fates) will be in concert in Indy. Yes, that's the Friday of Duckon. I know. But it's when they could be here. So for folks who won't be at Duckon, you can plan to come to the GBMojo concert! It's tentatively scheduled for 8 pm at UUI, pending confirmation of the space reservation w/ the church office!

The plan is to then drive up to Duckon on Saturday morning, arriving at least in time for the Lady Mondegreen concert at 3 pm. Duck will have another long list of filkers, including [ profile] talis_kimberley who I'm very excited about meeting!

That gets us through June and then we head into July, which starts off w/ a bang with Wild Mercy being the Filk GoHs at InConJunction over Fourth of July weekend, then another local gig on July 10 (info to come, as I don't have specifics yet).

Since the FilKONtario website has announced it, I can squee here now... Wild Mercy is thrilled to announce that we'll be the Guests of Honor at FilKONtario 21, April 1-3, 2011! We'll be joined by Interfilk guest Ghost of a Rose, from Houston, TX, and Filk Waif Karen Linsley.

I'm insanely excited about this! Not only do we get to go spend a weekend making music with friends in Toronto, but we'll be there for April Fool's Day. I wonder how much silliness that will cause?? :-)


Are we there yet??
[ profile] s00j and Betsy will be in Indianapolis tomorrow night for a concert from 8-10 pm at UUI (the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis) at 615 W. 43rd St. Suggested donation is $10-15. It will rock and you'll be sad if you miss it.

Also, this has once again reminded me that there are an awful lot of good people in this strange community we call the internet. A guy named Dave, who's a friend of friends but who I've never met, was in a tight spot and about to lose his house and land. An auction got created, a bunch of people signal-boosted, and 10 days later, there's video of him getting the first installment of close to $8k that's been raised. In 10 days. I love this chosen community of web-dwellers... we make magic happen through the sheer power of size and volume.

Lastly... OVFF was amazing. Had a lovely time hanging out and visiting, and even have pictures somewhere. Eventually I'll post the pics. Don't hold your breath for anything more coherent in the way of a con rep. :-)
Greetings, all!

I've posted this on Facebook, but just realized that I hadn't actually posted it here recently...

The Traveling Fates, comprised of [ profile] s00j, Ginger Doss (of Velvet Hammer and DreamTrybe fame) and Bekah Kelso (who has an excellent solo CD in addition to her work with the Fates) will grace us with their presence at a house concert at my house on October 9th.

As a group, they are more than just the sum of the individuals, as they draw strength and inspiration from each other to create amazing harmonies. So mark your calendar and come join us! My house is near Frankton, IN, just north of Anderson and about equidistant from the Indy northside or from Muncie. Weather permitting, the concert will be outside. If it's too chilly for that, the concert will be downstairs, and if we have too many people to fit in the room, we can spill over onto the back porch. I have a ton of wood that needs burning, so there will be a bonfire unless it's pouring rain. :-)

$10-$15 suggested donation for these traveling grrlz
House has cats and dogs which will be elsewhere for the show.
Supervised minors welcome.

Directions and parking info will be sent out closer to time, so please RSVP here or to so I know who to send directions to! :-)

For the out-of-towners, I don't have extra crash space indoors, but there's plenty of room to pitch a tent if you want to camp for the night!
I'm finding, more and more frequently, that the music of my filky friends doesn't have to be relegated to traditional filk venues. Many of the songs make the transition to more mainstream venues without missing a beat, and it's fun to watch audiences hook into the stories in the songs.

I love playing for fannish audiences because they listen and they're interested in the lyrics, and they sing along and show obvious enjoyment in the words... not just the music. But if you get out of smoky bars (where bands are frequently just background noise for the drunken conversations), mainstream audiences can also turn out to be very appreciative of songs with cutting wit and good storylines (or just a great beat, even with semi-incomprehensible lyrics).

Yesterday was a good case in point. Wild Mercy played a picnic gig at a local winery. People (several hundred people!) brought chairs or blankets and hung out on the winery's beautiful lawn, enjoying pizza and wine and the company of friends, kids and dogs (I must do a blog post over on about this being a dog-friendly event... I know lots of the local dog-loving crowd would be thrilled to have another place that they can take their furry friends), while we did three sets and enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather.

First Set )

During the set break, I went out to spend some quality snuggle time with a gorgeous Newfoundland (who can resist a giant black fuzzy dog, after all???) and visited with several clusters of people as I made my way across the lawn and then back to the patio, and several people commented on how much they were enjoying the variety of the songs. Yay! We like introducing new people to the music of our friends!

Sets Two and Three )

So, out of 32 songs, 14 were filk. For a non-fannish audience, who pretty much just ate it all up. That's pretty cool. (We also got great reactions to Naked Highwayman and the Christine Lavin and DaVinci's Notebook songs, all of which are certainly very filk-compatible, while not technically filk.)

My point (yes, there really is one) in all of this is that there are many audiences who love a good song, and filk has generated a lot of good songs. Now we just all need to get out there and share them with the rest of the world! Don't sell audiences short by thinking that they "won't get it"... heck, people were rockin' along to "Come to the Party"... even as they looked puzzled by the word salad sections! :-)

So for those filkers who also gig in mundane venues... go through your filk book and see what you can add to your repertoire for those gigs. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised by the audience's response!
Woohoo!! Details have been worked out and it's decided! The Traveling Fates ([ profile] s00j, Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso) will be in concert at my house (I love my life!) on October 9, 2009.

From Sooj's website...

Friday October 09, 2009 — 8-10pm
Traveling Fates House Concert
at RedDog North, hosted by Debbie G.
RSVP to house @
Frankton, IN 46044
$10-$15 suggested donation for these traveling grrlz
House has cats and dogs which will be elsewhere for the show.
Supervised minors welcome.
with Sooj, Ginger, and Bekah's music woven together!

So there you have it. :-) Plan now, mark your calendars, and come join us for the evening! Weather permitting, the show will be on the back porch. If weather doesn't allow for that, we'll be in the downstairs den. Some of you have been here before, and I'll provide the address via email to anybody who RSVPs (I'll also probably put it up in a friends-locked post closer to the time of the show).

For those of you who've heard Sooj... think about her music and then imagine three equally strong and wonderful women, weaving amazing harmonies and raising boundless energy... that's the Fates. From their website... "The Traveling Fates - a genre-hopping musical ride skirting the edges of Alt-Rock, Americana, Jazz, Folk-Hop, and Mythpunk: three women take control of their destiny, to pursue their dreams, and to live them. Three songwriters take the stage together, to share their voices, their muses, and their stories. Three powers come together in perfect harmony, to inspire many others to follow. Ginger Doss, Bekah Kelso, and S. J. Tucker are the Traveling Fates."

Plan now... you know you want to be here!
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...
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!
We're fast coming up on time for Cap, which is one of my favorite cons for a whole lot of reasons.

I get to see lots of people who I know and like and don't see often enough.

[ profile] billroper puts me to "work" in the Internet Cafe, where I get to feel useful and have fun all at the same time (running sound and recording).

I get to room with [ profile] sweetmusic_27, who's one of the bestest roomies evar.

Wild Mercy gets to do the whooooooole Dream of a Far Light concert again. Only the second time we've ever performed the whole darn thing in one place (well, other than Barry and Sally's basement, but that hardly counts!).

I get an Internet Cafe set all of my very own (though I may draft afore-mentioned roomie, 'cause everything's better w/ fiddle!), which will force me to actually, oh, practice between now and the con.

I can take a dog if I want, 'cause all Starwood properties are dog-friendly. This year it might be Mr. Spotty Dog, since it's his birthday that weekend. (Hmmm... I need a Thunder icon, don't I?)

It's not only at a Starwood hotel (I collect Starwood points... it's the only hotel reward program in which I ever acquire useful quantities of points)... but this year it's moving from the Sheraton to the Westin. I'm a hotel snob... I admit it... and I loves me some Westin. (I may even get upgraded to a Junior Suite... still waiting to hear back from the reservations dude on whether they managed to swing that or if I waited too late to ask for the upgrade.)

Capricon feels like home to me... or like a good family reunion. And after a long winter of lack-of-cons (nothing since OVFF? That doesn't seem right, but I missed Windy, so I think it is...), it'll be really really nice to go hang w/ my musical family for a few days.

Who's gonna be there? Chime in!