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Oh, right -- I like to sing...
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jducoeur
So this past weekend was Arisia, which I did pretty full-immersion. (It's not Kate's cup of tea -- too big and crowded -- so I was on my own for it.)


Overall, it was a good time. Three of my four panels were great, which is a perfectly fine track record. (The "Hellboy's 20th Anniversary" panel was kind of doomed from the start -- having that geeky a panel at 10pm Friday is an uphill battle -- but was pleasant enough.) The SCA Ball was a blast as always, with 50-75 people up and dancing, and AFAIK having fun.

The food trucks (this year's new idea) weren't a complete success, but better than not having them. (I failed to get lunch at them both times I tried -- they were out of food by the time I got there the first time, and the line has half an hour long out in the cold the second time.)

The Masquerade was good, and the half-time show better than usual -- it turned out to be the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers doing a tour of historical dance styles, using a Doctor Who framing story as the excuse. Lots of fun to watch -- I hadn't realized that Antonia had become so much the headliner for the troupe, but she's become a truly excellent performer.


But above all, this Arisia reminded me of just how much I enjoy good, hearty folk singing, and how much I've missed it. Mind, I grew up musical -- I've been going to folk festivals since I was 3, and was singing on stage in elementary school. I don't do it a lot in the SCA because I'm not deeply into period music, but I do always enjoy a good bardic circle.

This past weekend, I was wandering the hallways late Saturday evening, when I heard some music coming from the elevator lobby, of all places. It turned out that a bunch of folks (a mix of Sassafrass, Stranger Ways and friends) had sat down and simply started to have fun; they waved me over and I mostly listened, since I didn't know most of what they were singing. Then they decided to wander over to the filksing, so I tagged along.

The filksing reminded me of several things:
First, at a filk I can turn off my Laurel brain entirely, and sing more or less anything I like.
Second, I have a fairly large songbook. (Which turns out to be hard to access via Google Drive, but I managed.)
Third, I'm a better-than-average singer. Not great by any means, but I've had more training and practice than most filkers.

So that was a hoot, and I sought out the filk room again Sunday night. This time around wasn't quite as much of a success -- it was unmoderated, and I quickly began to realize that, in that environment, the people who aren't quite as good *and* don't realize it wind up dominating the time. But I still had a decent time for a while.

(The award for "Demented Filk of the Weekend" was introduced by asking the audience, "Who here likes the Muppets? Okay, who likes Babylon 5? Great -- who likes both?" And then he launched into a rendition of "Rainbow Connection", replacing the word "rainbow" with "Vorlon" throughout. The result is wrongity-wrong-wrong.)

Anyway, after I couldn't cope with any more of everybody jumping over everyone else (around 1am), I wandered outside -- only to discover that a bunch of folks had preceded me out to the lobby, and set up a jam session instead. *That* was a complete blast. There were half a dozen instruments or so, and a dozen-plus singers; the consensus rule was that we would mostly focus on stuff that at least much of the crowd knew and could join in on. I wound up spending about an hour and a half going, "I really should go to bed now, but this is *way* too much fun" -- I knew most of the songs, and this was an environment where I could just jump in and belt them out.


So the upshot of this is to remind me that I need to make more of an effort to find the bardic circles, filks and jams, and join it. As mentioned above, Google Drive has proven to be a problematic way for me to maintain my songbook (which was a single long text file, much of it 20+ years old), so -- me being me -- I am in the process of transcribing it into a new Querki Space. I'm about halfway through that now, and expect that I'll begin to put more effort into collecting again once it's done. In the long run, it may turn out to be a decent candidate for Querki's crowdsourcing features, when I get around to those...
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That does bring back memories--good and bad. I had heard about the food truck situation, and "I failed to get lunch at them both times I tried" sounds to me more like "Complete Failure" than "Better than nothing." I had intended to bring my own food, but had hoped to go out to dinner.That wasn't going to be possible because of the weather and peoples' schedules, so that was a factor in my deciding to stay away. But as you have demonstrated, the best filksinging happens "around 1am" in the lobby or other non-official space. Once upon a time--in the 70s!--I would have been there: it's been many years since I could enjoy staying up so late! Good to hear that you still can.

It was better than nothing, in that it was a path to a solution, but I'd say that Saturday it -was- a complete failure -- the trucks sold out by like 1pm, left, and didn't come back, so people who had planned to use them were out of luck, plus the hotel food facilities didn't open up until after lunch. Not good.

Sunday wasn't as bad; I think one truck ran out of crepe batter some time after 3, but the other still seemed to be going strong when we got our crepes, so people who had counted on the food trucks to get dinner got dinner from food trucks. And the trucks would happily take your order and a cell phone number and page you when your food was ready (at least, the crepery did, and I'm guessing the other one would do that too). It didn't work for Justin because he wasn't up to waiting, but it worked well enough for a lot of people.

Hopefully, next year there will be more trucks, or they'll rotate them on 2 hour blocks so there isn't as much of an issue of them running out of food. Also, our discovery this time was that less than a block from the bus station [as non-Bostonians] is that less than a block from the bus station is Hei La Moon, a solid Dim Sum place; close enough, in theory, to go out, grab dim sum lunch, and head back (particularly if you're willing to grab the silver line, but even if not it's only a 15 minute walk); might try that for Boskone.

And the trucks would happily take your order and a cell phone number and page you when your food was ready (at least, the crepery did, and I'm guessing the other one would do that too).

Possible, but largely beside the point: the line to *order* (at the burger truck) was half an hour long, and I just plain wasn't dressed for that. Could have been worked around, but not what I'd been hoping for...

"I failed to get lunch at them both times I tried" sounds to me more like "Complete Failure" than "Better than nothing."

Well, I like to think about the system as a whole. The trucks probably took a bit of pressure off of the hotel restaurant, which meant that the line *there* was only half an hour. (But was inside.)

Ahhh!! Earworm, earworm!!!

So, my chorus is doing a free voice lessons thing starting tomorrow... want the info?

Fergus did it last year...

Yes: we do it, in part, as a recruitment thing and No: I understand you lack the time for another activity.

But the teacher is somewhere between phenomenal and OMG, and the price is right.

I don't need the voice lessons, but I'm willing to receive recruitment information...

http://goldsquare.livejournal.com/986210.html

Even if you sing well, as we do, I'd recommend that you consider the voice lessons. I have to say that Debra took our contest-winning chorus, and within 20 little minutes, made us sound substantially better and more cohesive.

She's truly amazing.

Absent that, we rehearse every Thursday, 7:30-10:15 at 9 Piper Road, Lexington MA (Temple Emunah) and you can find us (and about us) at vocalrevolution.org

I got all "SQUEE!" when I saw free voice lessons and then I realized it was only for men.

Check out the Liberty Belles. They may also do occasional free voice lessons

And then he launched into a rendition of "Rainbow Connection", replacing the word "rainbow" with "Vorlon" throughout.


That would be Ben. His mashups are -great-.

You should come down to Contata! One of the lovely things at a filk con is that there's usually more than one room--so if a room is dominated by the "jumping over one another" style [not one I enjoy], it's easy enough to pack up and move to another room that's more relaxed and less filkhoggy. Plus, I'm running it.

My filkbook, of all things, I tend to maintain in local files that get copied over to new machines. The problem is, while I -usually- have an Internet connection, I don't -always- have an Internet connection, so it's really useful to have my most useful library very close to hand. I suppose I should probably dropbox it, though; it's not like I'm not running dropbox on all devices in question anyway.


You should come down to Contata!

Time is limited, but where/when?

The problem is, while I -usually- have an Internet connection, I don't -always- have an Internet connection, so it's really useful to have my most useful library very close to hand.

Yeah, that's fair. In the long run, Querki's going to have *some* sort of solution to that (by necessity), but I don't yet know what it's going to look like, and it's certainly a ways off...

Contata: http://www.contata.org -- June 20-22nd, Morristown, NJ.

re Querki: I suspect you can integrate with one of the shared drive vendors (box, dropbox, etc) -- not sure whether you're better off with that or building your own.

Contata: http://www.contata.org -- June 20-22nd, Morristown, NJ.

Ah -- home. I actually know Headquarters Plaza fairly well: my Dad and his wife lived in Morris Plains for much of my life, and she was at AT&T back in the days when they owned that patch of land. In fact, I think that's the same hotel where we had the original run of Arabian Nights. (Which I still consider the most important single LARP of all time.)

Don't know if I can make it, but I'll pencil it in on my calendar.

I suspect you can integrate with one of the shared drive vendors (box, dropbox, etc) -- not sure whether you're better off with that or building your own.

I've thought about that, but I suspect it's a non-sequiteur -- Querki is, at heart, a database system instead of a file store, and its requirements are quite a bit more complicated for anything beyond a trivial application...

That sounds like a great time for you. Yay!

I was just thinking of Muppalon 5 the other day. 4000 pounds of spinning nerf all alone in the night.

Vorlon Connection? I laughed so hard at the notion that it made my eyes water.

Con management consistently says, "You'll run out of food." And they never believe us. The one that kept serving did. Now they know for next year.

Yaas. Hopefully word will get around that this is a great opportunity to make a *lot* of money in a single day...

I gather there weren't more food trucks because some of them wanted substantial money up front and a guaranteed minimum, either not realizing this event was an untapped gold mine waiting for someone with a pick and shovel to come by; or perhaps they get that in other places and thought they were in a position of strength. :) Anyway, I hope next year there are more of them, even though I didn't have occasion to use them - Arisia is my chance to get to No Name and Ginza, restaurants that I don't generally manage to hit the rest of the year.

As this was the first year of having food trucks, having them sell out early with long lines still waiting is great news for the con (if frustrating for those wanting the food). I would think that next year Arisia should have no problems getting more trucks with more food.

Yaas. I'm hoping that word gets around, and that we can attract a third truck per slot, which would help with congestion...

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