Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

What I Did On My Summer Vacation: General Short Takes

Some final, less-chronological thoughts on Pennsic:

We were wildly outnumbered in the War itself this year. The exact ratio depends on who you asked and which battle you're talking about, but it seemed to range between 2 and 4 to 1. We lost 26 to 1 in points, which wasn't terribly surprising. Overall, I think the skew was unfortunate for both sides: it meant that the folks fighting for the Mid didn't get to see as much action as they might have wished, and while the East got *plenty* of action, it would have been more fun to think we had a chance. Oh, well -- I suspect things will be better-balanced next year.

The weather was about average for Pennsic, at least the second week. (I gather that the first week was horrifically hot.) While I was there it was hot (but not horribly) and humid (but not horribly), with some rain (but not lots). Not the best weather I've seen at Pennsic, but far from the worst.

Did more walking this year than I can recall ever doing before. Being down on Hangover Hill, and hanging out heavily with various folks in the B's, meant lots of trips clear across Pennsic. Good for me, but it drove home that I'm not in terribly good shape at the moment.

Lots of saris this year. Not sure precisely why, but even Isabella of York (the famously Elizabethan Force of Nature) was eastern-clad.

Having gotten to Pennsic 34, we've finally caught up to the beginning of the There We Were series, Yosef's famous projective parody of Pennsic. I'll have to find my old copies, and see how much he got right. (There We Were is largely a mathematical projection of what Pennsic would become, based on the trends of 20 years ago, originally published in the Predawn Leftist. I'm sure that not all of them are correct, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of them are.)

Private showers, a rarity before we took our Pennsic hiatus, are almost de rigeur now. I was particularly struck by the wood-fired showers in Tagmata and Carolingia -- it had never occurred to me that you could get a decent hot shower with just a fire and an oil drum for heating, but it's a very clever design.

My lunch habit this year was pierogies from The Lemon Shake Place. Not quite period, but less egregiously wrong than some options, and tasty.

I need to work up some material suitable for bardery at Pennsic. I'm a halfway-competent singer, but I don't really have anything memorized that's appropriate for a bardic circle. On two different occasions, I found myself really wishing I had something appropriate to hand.

This Pennsic was surprisingly subdued. The proportions of noise from place to place were consistent with previous years, but everywhere seemed quieter than I expected. Towards midnight, the B's were practically silent, the Serengeti was fairly quiet, and even the Bog tended to not be very loud. I actually found myself missing the presence of Wolgemut at 1am -- I'd gotten into the habit of falling asleep to that, last time I was there.

Finally, the most practical note for next time: smaller vehicle. The E250 van is total overkill for our purposes, and fairly unpleasant to drive. When they were decently cheap to rent, they made a good alternative for Pennsic, but they've gotten much more expensive over the years -- this year cost almost twice what it used to cost me, and it's not worth it. I suspect that a large minivan, divested of its seats, would suit us well, and would leave me less tense at the end of the trip...
Tags: diary, pennsic
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