Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Diary: Nearing the Home Stretch

Let's see -- last update was a week ago Wednesday.

Last Wednesday: Dance practice was a little smaller than I'd hoped: in particular, I was disappointed that none of the new MITgaardi showed. I'm mildly concerned, and may need to talk to the borough a bit, but I'm trying not to mother-hen them too much. On the plus side, we got a couple of new members of Greenwood Isle who seem definitely interested (they came back this week). And I drove in a new Fenmeri, adespota, who seemed to have a good time and is interested in coming more.

Saturday: Jen and Matt's wedding. Unfortunately, Ivan decided to crash the party, so the original plans to have it outside in the gazebo became inoperative. (Marshfield got 4 inches of rain, according to the news reports.) But the ceremony was small, so it worked reasonably well moving it inside. There were only about 30 people there -- msmemory and I were slightly startled to find that we were the only SCAdians present who weren't connected to the ceremony. (Counting Steve as connected by bringing matildalucet, who was Matron of Honor, and jjjjack connected because he brought richenza's beautiful cake.) In total, there were only nine SCA folks at the ceremony, IIRC; I gather that pretty much all the rest were family.

Lunch was a pretty impressive spread from the Mar-Vista folks. We wound up sitting with jjjjack, and with Jen's Grandpa Fred, who is a nice guy but tended to take all of msmemory's attention. (He reminds me rather a lot of my Grandpa Waks.) richenza showed up to join us after work, and lunch didn't finish until about 4pm.

The "party" part of the evening started at 5pm. The SCA crowd arrived, as did the band, which turned out to be Einstein's Little Homunculus, who I'm quite fond of. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't do any of their songs (which are a lot of fun), but they turn out to be quite good as a contra band. And Jen had found (after much searching) a good contra caller, who patiently taught everyone the rudiments of the form and called a good variety of dances. The result was not unlike a typical SCA ball: quickly taught by a good teacher, covering a broad but shallow selection of dances.

There was a buffet dinner served during the dancing, which I pretty much completely ignored, having just finished lunch. But the cake was delicious, as expected: I got a slice of apple spice cake with buttercream frosting, and I'm still kicking myself for not also trying the orange-cream layer.

Monday: Auditions for Silicon Theater, metahacker's radio play project. This was silly but fun: we were a little short on men to read the parts, but that just meant I was quite busy. It was a fine excuse to play around with silly voices, although my Chicago accent came out rather Yiddish and my Yiddish one rather Chicagan -- I need to work on consistency. elizabear and dsrtao brought far too many brownies, and I dutifully ate far too many of them. (Two supermocha brownies at that hour was unwise, but they were yummy.)

Tuesday: First real Accademia session of the season -- we were scheduled to meet two weeks ago, but in the wake of Worldcon we all decided to punt. This week was mainly a review session, reminding ourselves of some of the dances that we've reconstructed from Ballarino. It looks like the performance sessions are on hold for the time being (due to rampant apathy), so Accademia is officially first and third Tuesdays for the time being. Phelan wants to work some English dances into the study mix: Harald wants to work on Nonesuch, and Phelan wants to work on the Lansdowne MS. We're talking about whether we're going to alternate sessions, or have each session be half Italian and half English. (I lean towards the latter, but we'll see.)

Wednesday: A pleasant middle-of-the-road dance practice. Got back the ladies from Greenwood Isle and one other new lady. Time to recruit some more guys to come dance, to balance it out. Also, jarising showed up, startling everyone with his beard and generally getting welcomed back. With luck, he'll be able to get some of the folks from Olin to join him soon.

Thursday: The Colleges of the Fenway Block Party was 4-7pm yesterday, in the middle of Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT). The CoF are essentially a loose consortium of six schools in that neighborhood -- since Simmons is a member, we're trying to get some of the other schools involved. hfcougar got us a table at the Block Party, which had an activity fair-ish component.

I was the first SCAdian there -- no surprise, I was being paranoid about traffic and got there nearly an hour before it was supposed to start. I found the guy in charge, who pointed me to our table, and I spent a while arranging and rearranging until I got a table layout that I liked. As activity fairs go, this one was precious, with only about a dozen club tables. (Plus a commercial ghetto off in the back.) hfcougar's guess was that only clubs that thought of themselves as inter-campus came, which seemed to fit what I was seeing. The Simmons Environmental Club on one side of us was a no-show, but NOW had a fairly busy table all evening. The upside of the small number of clubs was that we weren't crammed in cheek-by-jowl as in most fairs: we had lots of space around our table.

It was a pretty good mix of people running the table. new_man and I did the core of the talking, with ladysprite doing most of the rest -- no real surprise, since we're the people with the most activity-fair experience. hfcougar spread the word around a bit and kept us all hydrated, and Yaacov (Peter the Red's yeoman) showed up in a full chain hauberk and coif, which attracted lots of good attention. umbran also did a good job on the attention front: he mainly sat and worked on chainmail, which got a lot of interest. Rounding it out later in the session we got rufinia and one of the new Islanders (whose name I need to remember).

Overall, it went about as I expected. The schools have a somewhat lower percentage of geekly types than some, so we didn't get *tons* of interest, but I think we did a good job of getting some awareness out there, and a page of potentially interested folk scattered around the various schools. (For the moment, I'm considering GI to be the umbrella for all of the Fenway schools, until and unless others of them get solid enough to be worth splitting off.) We got a couple of folks who I think are likely, including one girl who had the classic Geek Nation moment of revelation, spending about twenty minutes at the table going, "this is so cool!". My guess is that we'll get about a half-dozen of them showing up at the Greenwood Isle picnic on Saturday, and we can talk to them in more depth there.

After the demo ended, the eight of us wandered out for dinner -- since new_man claimed to know the area relatively well (being near Symphony Hall), he was assigned the task of finding us a restaurant. We wound up at Qdoba, the new Mexican chain, which filled the desired criteria of being close, quick and cheap: it turned out to be surprisingly good for what amounts to fast food. If one of those open up nearer home, I could see winding up there relatively often.

Upcoming Events:

Saturday: The Greenwood Isle Picnic is in the afternoon; I'm hoping we can be just a *little* more structured than we've been tending towards, so that we're more interesting for the newbies. In the evening is the organizational meeting for Duncharloch -- I'm praying that the long interlude between activity fair and first meeting doesn't hurt us too badly.

Sunday: Second audition for Silicon Theater.

And then a week that is *not* insanely busy. Yay! While Demo Season this year has been both fun and rewarding, I definitely need to put my feet up for a short while, rest a bit, and begin to contemplate all the other Magisterium projects I have sitting in the to-do pile...

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