autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

I’ll write more about Gafilk a bit later, but I wanted to share this with you.  Every year, I write a short introduction for the front of the program book.  This is what I wrote for this year.

Sixteen years ago, Gafilk was born.

Stop and ponder that for just a moment.  Sixteen years ago was the last century.  Sixteen years ago was the last millennium.

Children born the same weekend as Gafilk I are now in high school and able to get drivers licenses.

The first Gafilk banquet wouldn’t be for another 3 years.  Nor would the first Super Secret Guest.  The My Filk game show wouldn’t début until the following year.   A number of people we could not today imagine Gafilk without we hadn’t even met yet.  Some of the people we could not then imagine doing Gafilk without are no longer with us.

The best things about Gafilk as we know it today, the traditions we honour every year, didn’t come about because of careful planning and deliberation.  They were happy accidents.  “That was fun,” we’d say.  “Let’s do it again next year!”  And next year, and next year, and on and on until today.  As our first Super Secret Guest, Lois McMaster Bujold once remarked, “It only looks inevitable in hindsight.”

But there’s one thing we had at that first Gafilk, sixteen years ago, that we still have today.  It’s the same thing they had at the first filk con, and at filks dating back to before most of us can remember:

Put the chairs in a circle.  Gather your musical family to sit in the chairs.

Make magic.

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

For Larissa and me, 2012 was the year of stasis.  We had big plans, and we worked towards them diligently, but a great deal of it felt like marking time until we could pull the lever that would propel everything into motion.1

A year ago, we threw that lever and began the adventure.  Leaving our jobs, packing the car, and driving west to Seattle was a carefully orchestrated gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

2013 was the year of transitions.  We moved across the country and set up house with a dear friend who needed roommates.  Six months later, we introduced her to another dear friend, with whom she promptly fell in love and moved to Boston.  We left our landing spot in the suburbs and moved into the heart of the city, in the shadow of the Space Needle and just blocks from the scenic waterfront of Elliot Bay.

I found a new job.  Larissa found an old one.

One romantic relationship came to an abrupt end, to my dismay.  Another unexpectedly came into being, to my delight.

I left one podcast, and began the work of reviving another.

I wrote several new songs.  I performed a concert at OryCon.2  Just recently, I started taking guitar instruction for the first time in over 15 years.3

Darling, I’ve always tried to find the road not taken
From Monterey to Macon, two lanes have been my friends
Coastal highway, bayou byway, out and back again
But if you say you’re lonely, you know there’s only 40, 80, or 10
–Tanya Savory, “40, 80, or 10″

I drove the entire length of the country, from Georgia to California and up to Washington.4 I saw the Grand Canyon in all its glory, and traversed the Great Divide.  I travelled to destinations old and new:  Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Columbus, OH.  I explored my new city and it’s surrounding lakes and mountains, the place I had chosen at long last, to call home.

Over the course of this year, I’ve not done some things as well as I would have liked.  I have been a terrible correspondent, relying much too heavily on social media to keep in touch.  I’ve done an even worse job reaching out to newly local friends.5 For various reasons, I’ve done very little podcast recording this past year, though that was almost entirely not by my choice.  This blog has been too too neglected, though I made a couple of efforts to remedy that, and I hope to do a better job in the coming year.  And it will probably take most of the next year for our finances to adequately recover from moving all the mountains we had to shift in order to make it to where we are.

But where we are, I have to say, is pretty damn good.  As the year draws to a close, we are finding a new equilibrium, and settling into new habits and routines.  There will always be change; the wheel will always turn.  But I feel as though the great transition we set in motion a year ago is complete.

We are home.

This is my ghost, this is my home — millions of miles my mind can’t own
No one’s seen it all; no one will
But I want to memorize it, every inch, want to remember where I’ve been
I bless these waves, I bless this wind, bless this grace & all my sins
–Marian Call, “Highway Five”


  1. I remarked to Kathleen Sloan in July of that year that I felt like we were turning our entire world upside down in slow motion. 

  2. Where I also was a program participant on a wide variety of panels. 

  3. Aside from a 12 week introductory group class in 1998, I’m entirely self taught.  Many of you are now nodding and thinking “Ah, that explains it…” 

  4. I’ve now driven pretty much the entire length of I-40, most of it on this one trip. 

  5. Social anxiety is awkward. I really do want to spend time with all of you.  I’m just really really bad at actually saying that. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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The final day of OryCon had come at last, and with it my concert.

Before that, though, we packed up the room and lugged the suitcase out to the car. and then went to the main stage room to see Alexander James Adams’s set.  He was in great form, and it was a treat to see him play twice in 3 weeks1, and a great time was had by all.  His Sleepy Hollow song (whose title I forget) was especially electric.

At noon, it was time for the Band Scramble.  This is an event that seems to be really big here in the Northwest…everyone’s name goes into a hat, and bands are formed by pulling them out at random.  The new group then has 24 hours to decide on a song to perform together and knock it out.  Due to this that and the other thing, our band2 (consisting of myself, Andrew Ross, Cecilia Eng, and Amanda Morris) never did get together to rehearse, so we very quickly convened in the hallway for half a dry-run of Andrew’s song “Can’t Stop The Signal”, which is to the tune of “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray, and works well for this because each person can take a verse.  Cecilia elected just to play the guitar, as the song wasn’t in her range in the key we were doing it, but that still gave each of the others a turn at the mic.  It started out a bit ragged, but we threw ourselves into the “Hello, SHOWTUNES” energy of it and it came together all right in the end.  The second band up featured Char McKay, Alexander James Adams, Steve Dixon, and Callie Hills, and it was really lovely.  The final band3 featured Debs & Errol and Danica Dixon, and they went the extra mile and apparently, not understanding the rules of the contest, went and *wrote* a song to perform the night before.  It was a lovely piece about Howl’s Moving Castle, and I hope that it might resurface because it was really lovely.

The next event was to be the song-writing contest, which I was one of the judges for, but since only one person had submitted a song, we let him sing his song and then awarded him the prize.

Next up was my concert.  This was my first concert here in the Northwest, and the first one I’d done in over a year, and I’ll admit I felt a bit rusty at the start.  I also made the last minute decision to sit rather than stand, which I regret now because I wasn’t really comfortable.  Oddly enough, the songs at the top of the set list were ones I’d been specifically practising, and they were shaky, where as the back half of the set list was mostly songs I do often enough I hadn’t been specifically rehearsing them, and those went much better.  The set list was:

Party of Four
Accept No Substitutes
Son Of A Son Of A Vor Lord
Ceci N’est Pas Un Chanson (Dave Rood)
Guinevere (Robin Batteau)
You Stay Here (Richard Shindell)
One Trick Pony (Paul Simon)
Ozymandias (Dave Weingart)4
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Stars)
Year of the Cat (Al Stewart)5
Space (Ben Wakeman)

Someone who was in the audience will have to judge how well it went over all.  Like Mr. Tanner, I only hear the flaws.  But I think it went reasonably well once I got past the first couple of songs.

Once I was done with my concert, I did what I usually do after a concert.  I went to the bar and ordered a stiff drink.  I had an hour to kill before my final panel, which was titled “PC vs Mac vs Linux vs Unix”, which we spent very little talking about because it’s not a fundamentally interested thing to talk about for an hour.  Both myself and my co-panellist agreed that computers are tools and you select the tool that’s best for the job at hand, and then went on to talk about the history of the personal computer6, and what’s on the cutting edge of development for user interface design7.  Despite the fact that we spent very little time on the topic at hand, we had a lot of audience engagement and everyone seemed to like the conversation, so I’ll call it a success.

At this point it was 4pm and we both have to work tomorrow, so we reluctantly begged off a dinner invitation and hit the road.  Three hours later, we were home, ordered pizza and watched a couple of episodes of Pawn Stars, which was about precisely what we had enough brain power to process.

I had an absolutely magical weekend.  Much thanks to the concom, and particularly Daniel Reitman and Andrew Ross, for inviting me and giving me so much to do across a broad spectrum.  I made some new friends, had some interesting conversation, and quite honestly had the time of my life.  I’m already looking forward to coming again next year.


  1. since we’d just seen him at OVFF 

  2. Which was inadvertently named “Only Here For The Flowers” 

  3. The Band of Awesome 

  4. Requested from the audience 

  5. One day, I want to do this with a proper band so we can do the extended outro 

  6. How did we get into this mess? 

  7. How are we going to get out of this mess? 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Default)

Whew! Another long fun day at OryCon.

Last night at 11pm was the Polyamory panel, which was in a smallish room absolutely packed with people.  There was a lot of discussion about different ways to approach non-monogamy, and a couple of people there were dealing with particular issues in their own relationships that they asked the room for advice on.  There was a great deal of advice handed out both generally and specifically.  I got a good laugh when I noted that 95% of relationship advice for how to have a good poly relationship also applies as to how to have a good monogamous relationship, “and the 5% that doesn’t mostly involves calendars”.

I had hoped to make it to open filk last night, but after this panel was over, I was exhausted so I went back to the room and went to sleep instead.

We got up and out in time to get breakfast at the hotel buffet before I had to be at an 11am panel titled “Social Media:  Revolution or Time Sink”.  It was a spirited discussion about the various ways not only that we all use social media, but the way that marketers use the information they collect from our engagement on social media for various purposes.1  We got a lot of good questions from the audience, and it was thought provoking.

I had a couple of hours off after that before moderating three panels in a row.  The first was titled “Putting the Play Back Into Role-Playing”, and had a neat group of RPG vets.  We talked a great deal about storytelling, collaboration, and how role-paying is ultimately what you bring to the table as a player more than the mechanics of the given game you are playing.  I was left at the end of it with a desire to get into a really crunchy character-driven RPG again.2

Immediately afterwards3, we convened a packed, standing-room-only hour titled “Fifty Years With the Doctor”, celebrating everyone’s favourite Time Lord.  The audience (and the panel) was a pretty even split between old-time fans of the show like myself and folks who had only gotten into Doctor Who with the new series.  Two of the panelists even said that they got into the show because of their kids, which was a neat sort of reverse-generational story that you don’t run across too often.  After a few opening remarks, we pretty much threw this one open to the audience, and had a rollicking good time rockin’ the TARDIS.4

The third panel of the afternoon was titled “The Positive Influence of Video Games”, and was just me and one other panelist.  He had a lot of notes on scientific studies on the topic, and some background as a developer, so there was a lot of interesting data.  But aside from those studies, we also talked about the aesthetics of gaming and whether or not video games could be art, the sorts of skills and social connections that gaming can help develop, and stories about games that had changed our thoughts about things or made a positive impact on our lives.  We got a lot of good audience participation on this one, too, and I felt pretty good about it.

I met up with kitanzi in time to hear the very tail end of Callie Hills’s concert, which was unfortunately scheduled against my panel, and then we went back up to the room and ordered some food for dinner, after which I took a short nap before my final event of the day, which was being part of a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” game.  If you’ve never seen the TV show, it’s improv theatre games, with the twist here being that a lot of the topics and scenarios were tailored towards a science-fiction con crowd.  My favourite game was one where we each took on the persona of a fameous author, and then discussed our approach to a book.  The topic was “Romance Self-Help book”, and the authors were HP Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Dr. Suess, and George RR Martin.  The lady who had Dr. Suess went on a sad monologue about trying to gain the affections of Sam-I-Am, turning to me at the end and saying “He won’t try my green eggs and ham.  What should I do?” and I, as GRR Martin, stepped forward and said “It was at this point in the story that Sam-I-Am suddenly and tragically died.”, which good a good laugh.  When it died down, I said “But love must go on, so I am introducing 743 new characters in the next chapter.” which got an even bigger laugh. We also had a lot of fun with traditional bits like Party Guests and Dating Game.

Once again, I find myself too tired for open filk.  But I have my concert tomorrow at 1pm, so i’ll get to do at least a little bit of filking at this con.   But for now….sleep.


  1. Which is ultimately, in my view, not really as sinister as we tend to treat it.  95% of the people collecting data are doing it to more efficiently sell us things we might actually want, which means less time wadding through advertisements that you don’t care about.  Since they’re going to put ads in front of us anyway, they may as well be for things we want to see. 

  2. Aside to the old Defensive Perimeter folks:  I miss you all so much. 

  3. luckily, all three of these were in the same room 

  4. If the TARDIS is a’rockin’, don’t bother clockin. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Default)

Whew.  It’s been a long time since I was at a gencon, but I’ve been having a great time at this one.

After getting up and getting a shower, we wandered over to the nearby mall for a late breakfast/early lunch.  We ended up getting reasonably tasty teriyaki chicken from the food court, and had a great time watching the skaters on the ice rink in the middle of the mall while we ate.

Between panels I was on and things I wanted to attend, I had a pretty full day.  First up was “Can Movies Capture The Joy of Comics”, which was a lively panel.  We talked about the many various successful and unsuccessful attempts to adapt comics to the screen, and got a lot of input from the audience.

Immediately following was a panel called “Books to Movies to Comics to Movies to Books”, which was all about adaptation.  While some of it focused on similar topics to the first panel, we were a bit broader in the discussion, and got in several examples of cross-medium adaptation, including movie novelisations, TV series continuing as comics, and even the recent trend of taking a bunch of disparate iconic concepts and blending them into a new series, such as “Once Upon A Time” and “Grimm” have been doing.1

We had a brief break before a 6pm panel on “Developing Convention Policies”, which was attended by my wife and the husband of one of my co-panelists.2 After 10 minutes of no one being there, the panel and audience decided that we ought to continue our conversation on convention policy over dinner, and adjourned as a group to the restaurant.

After dinner, we got to the filk room in time to hear most of Frank Hayes’s concert.  I had arranged with the filk track to present Frank with his Pegasus Award for Best Alien Song,3 and as luck would have it, he played it in his set.  We interrupted the concert in order to present the award, which was great fun, since he hadn’t been warned this was going to happen.

Next up was the Filk Guest of Honour concert performance from Debs and Errol.  I was already quite familiar with their work via recording, but it was great to finally see them perform live.4 I hope to spend more time with them as the weekend progresses, but after the concert they had the usual press of folks wanting to meet them, so I briefly introduced myself and figured I’d see them again as the weekend progressed.  Tremendous fun duo.  Do *not* miss them if you get the chance.

As I’m writing this, I have one more duty, which is to be part of the Polyamory panel at 11pm.  After which I think I will sleep soundly.  Tomorrow has another full day in store!


  1. I mentioned and was surprised no one in the audience had heard of “Welcome to Night Vale“. 

  2. My opening remark:  ”We outnumber them.  I think that means we win!” 

  3. Which was awarded two weeks ago at OVFF 

  4. During the concert, I tweeted “I really want to fold up @debsanderrol and put them in my luggage. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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I fully intended to write this entry last night, but by the time we got here I was pretty brain dead.

Seattle rush hour traffic is awful at the best of times, but last night for whatever reason it was particularly bad.  You wouldn’t think an area as generally wet as the Pacific Northwest would produce a lot of people with water-soluble driving skills,1 but there you have it.  Our immediate neighbourhood was a parking lot in all directions, and as a result it took us well over an hour just to get from Lower Queen Anne to south of the airport.  Once we did, though things smoothed out and we made pretty good time from that point on.

We stopped at a Burger King outside of Mount Saint Helens,2 because we didn’t know what the late night food situation would be once we got to Portland.3 It’s been years since I ate at a Burger King, and I took a moment to scan the menu before ordering, which led me to ask a question I’d never asked before.

“What on earth,” I asked the lovely counter girl, “is an *angry* Whopper?”

It turns out that the Angry Whopper has jalapeños, onion rings, and pepper-jack cheese, along with bacon and “angry sauce”.  It was quite tasty, and their new crinkle-cut fries are a winner.

We got a bit turned around coming into the hotel area and ended up back on the Interstate, but our GPS helpfully navigated us back around, bringing us through an old downtownish area.  A pet store with a big neon sign declared its name as “Pets On Broadway”, leading me to imagine a chorus line of puppies and kittens.  We finally got to the hotel, checked in, and parked the car, and then collapsed into slumber.


  1. Thanks to France Andrews Zeve for this phrase. 

  2. “Home of the Volcano Burger” their sign entirely failed to say. 

  3. Note to future self:  southwest Washington is full of nothing.  Pack a lunch. 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Default)

This whole first year that we’ve been in Seattle, I’ve managed to attend the local filk convention within days of arriving,1 and I’ve been to a couple of conventions out of state2, but I really haven’t attended any of the local or regional conventions.  So next weekend will be my grand entrance onto the local fannish scene when I am at OryCon 35 in Portland, Oregon.

I was pleased and flattered to be asked to participate in the programming, and I have quite a busy weekend lined up, including a concert on Sunday afternoon, so if you’re going to be there, I hope you’ll come and see me.

Here’s what I’ve got lined up:

Friday, November 8

3:00pm

4:00pm

6:00pm

11:00pm

Saturday, November 9

11:00am

2:00pm

3:00pm

4:00pm

9:00pm

Sunday, November 10

12:00pm

12:30pm

1:00pm

3:00pm

I hope I’ll see you there!

  1. Like, literally, we arrived on Wednesday and unpacked the car, and went down to the con hotel on Thursday. 

  2. Nerdtacular, in Salt Lake City, and OVFF in Columbus, Ohio 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

autographedcat: (Dayna Larger)

So, where was I?

The last time I wrote here, I was on the road between Atlanta and Seattle.  I had actually intended to live blog the trip, but then I didn’t, and once I got here I was caught up in the whole process of settling in and finding a job and all those other mundane things that take up all your time and attention, and the next thing you know, four months have gone by.

We’re pretty well settled in, at this point.  Both kitanzi and I found jobs fairly quickly; she has a temp gig in Bellevue with dumb hours, and I found a permanent posting at a company in Seattle, so we’re doing okay there.  Both of us are enjoying living in an area where transit is actually useful, and as a result we’re only driving the car on the weekends most of the time, and ended up selling the second car that we’d left behind in Atlanta.  Housemate situation with runnerwolf is also going well; the apartment is a bit cramped for our liking, but we expected that, and when the lease is up we can look for something with a bit more space if we wish to continue sharing quarters.

I’m at the point where i’m ready to start being more social again, now that my routines are starting to coalesce.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on redesigning my personal website for the first time since 2001.  The old page was aesthetically antique, and it was time for a refresh, so I set up a brand new WordPress installation and have rehomed my blog there.  I will still be cross-posting entries on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, and I encourage people to comment in whatever place is most useful and convenient to them.  I’m hoping to do more long-form blogging in the future, and also be more active about promoting my various projects.

As of right now, I expect to be at the following conventions, if you’d like to see me:

July 5-6, Nerdtacular 2013, Salt Lake City, UT
October 25-27, OVFF, Columbus, OH
November 8-10, OryCon, Portland, OR

I’ll add more if and when plans are made.

So, that’s what’s been going on.  What’s going on with you?

 

Mirrored from Home of the Autographed Cat.

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The last week really has been a blur. Between getting ready for Gafilk, actually putting on Gafilk, and then immediately packing the car to start driving west for our move to Seattle, I haven't had a lot of time for posting. But there's a few thing I wanted to get down from the weekend.

An incomplete list of GaFilk highlights:

  • Visiting Atlanta's new International Terminal
    When I went to pick up Susan from the airport (Sam's flight having been delayed by bureaucracy), I left the hotel in what would normally be plenty of time...except that I forgot that all international flights were now landing at the new terminal. I also realised that I didn't actually know where that was. Fortunately, there were signs, but it's such a long way that I kept thinking I must have missed a turn until I'd see another sign directing me to continue. By the time I got there, I wasn't entirely sure that the terminal wasn't actually *in* Canada. Still, I got there just in time to meet Susan (and Morva and Alan) at the baggage claim.

  • Bill Sutton's "sound workshop".
    Since a lot of the people who normally help us out with sound didn't make it to the con this year, we decided to make a virtue out of the need for volunteers and announced that anyone who wanted to learn a bit about running sound was welcome to come and learn it from Bill. Several people volunteered, so the sound went off without a hitch.

  • Tim Griffin
    I'd actually heard (though not really met) Tim Griffin at a previous convention on the west coast, but I'd only heard him do a couple of songs. He was our choice to do the Friday night concert, and he was amazing. He does educational music that is both informational and funny (or, sometimes, poignant), and has a great audience rapport. He also is just a really fun guy to hang out with and talk to, and he was always pitching in here and there where an extra pair of hands was needed. Great guy, and I was so pleased to meet him.

  • George and Teresa as toastmasters
    Two great people who are such a big part of Gafilk since the early days; they did a fantastic job both MCing and on their concert. Since most of the time you see them as part of larger bands, it was really nice to see them do some stuff with just the two of them.

  • Fiana
    I didn't get to hear as much of them as I would have liked, but everything I heard was delightful. Thanks to Interfilk again for another wonderful guest. I did get to hang with Thom and Christina a bit during the weekend, and they were a lot of fun to talk to.

  • Sam Baardman and Susan Israel
    I already knew they were awesome musicians (that is, after all, why we invited them), but they are also just extraordinarily nice people. Their concert on Saturday was a delight. I'm often in and out of concerts at Gafilk because I'm always keeping an eye on what's going on elsewhere, but I usually have one that I just allow myself to sit and take in without interruption, and I'm glad I did for this one, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss a moment of it.

  • Play It With Moxie's banquet performance
    If you've been to a Gafilk banquet before, you know what this was like. Moxie just gets better and better every year, and I danced and danced and danced. Thanks to everyone who endured my inexpert steps; I have far more enthusiasm than skill, but I never don't have a good time.

  • Larry Niven
    Larry's hour was spent between a reading and telling entertaining fandom stories, and it was a great time. He seemed to have a good time listening to all the music, and I'm so glad he could make it out as our SSG this year.

  • Stray Dog jam
    A hallway filk broke out during (and after) the stray dog party, which started when the two fiddlers in residence wanted to trade some licks and ended up with a huge crowd. (I had a conversation with one person over the weekend about "sing-y" vs. "jam-y" circles, and this was definitely the latter.) I was only around for a part of it, but everything I heard was amazing.

As usual at Gafilk, I really didn't get a chance to play, because by the time open filk starts I'm usually ready to fall over. I never even took my guitar down from my room this year. But I did get to play one song, and it's my personal best moment of the weekend:

  • Getting to play my Talis Kimberley cover for Talis Kimberley
    Just having Talis there was a treat for me, because she really is one of my favourite people in the world and I don't get to spend nearly enough time with her. But one thing I wanted to do if I had the chance is play for her the one song of hers that I cover. So when i spotted her in a little circle near the registration table shortly after closing ceremonies, I stopped to listen for a bit, and then asked to borrow a guitar so i could play it for her. Amy was on hand to add Amyness, which honestly makes everything sound better than it would otherwise, and Talis liked what I did with her song.

    (The song in question is "Harbouring Hopes", which is the final track on her album Archetype Cafe. As I commented when I played it, "I'm sorry to say the song first came to my attention at a time I desperately needed it, and I'm happy to say that I haven't needed it for a very long time.")


There were some more personal non-music related highlights as well, but they all come down to "getting to spend time with people who are dear to me", and if I started to list them I'd leave someone out. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed every single moment of every single conversation, every single hug and cuddle, and every single story.

And so another year is kicked off in grand fashion with a successful Gafilk. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen (I have the best concom ever), and thanks to everyone who came up to me and wished me and Larissa luck on our upcoming move. Gafilk has always been and will always be a family gathering, and I always feel blessed to be in the middle of it every year.
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Author Larry Niven has won Hugos (five of them) and a Nebula, and various other awards for his stories, including Ringworld and 50 other books. He co-authored The Mote in God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer, and edited the Man-Kzin War series. He also loves filk music. He goes out of his way to attend filk conventions on the west coast, not seeking any attention, not asking for any of the perks that authors usually expect like readings and signings. He goes to filk cons because he wants to hear this music.

Misty Lackey even created a game around Larry’s love of filk called “Make Larry Cry”. It’s not very hard to do. You just write a beautiful melody and fill it with poignant, compelling lyrics…and make sure that the science is at the very least plausible, and sing it to Larry. (Ask Bill Sutton about his humbling attempt to win the contest with Pilot’s Eyes.)

Mendel’s Rules do apply, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are other filkers in the Niven closet. In fact, you'll be enjoying the song styling of Larry's filking nephew, Tim Griffin, at the ConCom's Choice concert. (Who knew!?!) Larry Niven is very approachable, enjoys a good conversation, and contributes to the circle in his own delightful ways. We’re extremely happy to have him as Super Secret Guest for GAFilk 2013.

You can get more information (and buy your membership!) at http://www.gafilk.org/
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Between 2005 and 2009, I didn't play a lot of music in public. It wasn't a decision I made to withdraw from the stage. It started because of struggles with depression that caused me to withdraw from a lot of social spheres, and then after I came out the other side of that particular emotional valley, I just...didn't. No one was asking me if I wanted to, and I wasn't volunteering, and the longer it went on, the more it just became...normal. This wasn't just not doing concert sets or one shots; many have noted that I absented myself from open filk, preferring instead to spend my con time socialising or lurking around the edges.

The last couple of years, I've been making an effort to get back to playing public, because...I enjoy it. So I've made an effort at cons to make itto at least a little bit of open filk, if only to justify having brought my guitar. And when [livejournal.com profile] mrgoodwraith asked me at OVFF a couple of yearsago if I'd like to come play a short set at Confluence in 2011, I eagerly agreed. Unfortunately, just before I was to book my flight, [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi unexpectedly lost her job, and I couldn't justify the expense. Randy understood, and extended an invitation to come up in 2012 instead.

The part where I talk about Confluence )

Not much more than a month later was Dragon*Con, a convention I've largely avoided for the last several years. Not that DragonCon isn't a good convention, but it's a lot more than I typically want to deal with. This year, however, I'd decided to go, in part because a lot of my podcasting friends were goign to be there, but also because the folks running the filk track at Dragon*Con have been doing a stellar job the last few years, and they've been really supportive of Gafilk, so I wanted to give them some support in return.

The part where I talk about Dragon*Con )

And those are the summer conventions. I hope to spend some time actually playing some music at OVFF in October. See you there!
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Our Super Secret Guest is...



Elise Matthesen



by Brenda Sutton


Elise MathesonSo let me 'splain...

We're not superstitious, no...but the thriteenth GAFilk experienced a series of unsettling circumstances, starting with Seanan McGuire losing her origianal backup band, and culminating with a wallapalooza of an ice storm that kept many at the con for two extra days. In the middle there, our Super Secret Guest, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and and his wife Teresa found themselves unable to attend, and therein lives our tale.

Not only was GAFilk going to be Patrick and Teresa's first filk con, but it was going to be their friend Elise’s first filk con, too. We all met "for real" in Australia at the WorldCon. (I say “for real” because I’d been communicating with and following Elise’s Live Journal since the tragic and untimely death of her dearest dear, John “Mike” Ford in 2006. Elise wrote a hauntingly beautiful love poem about their relationship that she graciously allowed me to publish in the Mythic Passages e-magazine. I urge you to go read it here, but take a box of tissues when you do. Since then, I’d been lurking over her website, watching her bravely wrestling with grief and gracefully getting on with life.) When GAFilk chose Patrick as our Super Secret Guest, he mentioned that Elise might be coming along, too. I was over the moon!

We were all looking forward to a bang-up GAFilk, hearing Patrick's music with The Deaftones, Teresa and Elise, backing him up. Elise flew out from Minneapolis to NYC, and the three of them planned to travel down to Georgia together. Then on Wednesday night Elise suffered a stroke. Fortunately, Teresa recognised the symptoms and they rushed her to a hospital, spending the weekend and then-some at her bedside until she was well enough to travel home. Naturally, we were all worried sick, and so very sad that they weren't coming to GAFilk, but grateful that Patrick and Teresa had been there to help. We were also very glad to learn that, because of their swift efforts, Elise suffered no lasting side affects from the stroke, and recovered swiftly. We were even happier when Patrick volunteered to come to GAFilk this year.

SO...when we started hunting for this year's Super Secret Guest, it seemed to us that Elise was the perfect choice. The Deaftones will ride again, and you'll finally get to meet the charming and talented Elise Matthesen. She is an exceptional jewelry artist. (Elise designed the famous tiara that graces the heads of John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award winners, including our own Seanan McGuire.) (Digression: She brought all her jewelry-making equipment Down Under for the Worldcon in Australia but, because of Customs restrictions, was not allowed to sell any of her beautiful pieces. So...she gave them away. This speaks miles to the character of this lovely woman. Not only was she just handing out her exquisite work, but, as is her custom, she was also naming each piece. At this year's GAFilk banquet I'll be wearing a lovely pair of amethyst crystals with silver full moons named “That Second Drink With the Man in the Moon”.)

Not only is Elise an accomplished artist, but she's also a talented poet who writes quite a bit of parody filk, too. Check out Elise's Live Journal for many delightful examples. She's a fine singer, as you'll all soon find out. When we asked her what she'd like to do at GAFilk, Elise suggested group a capella singing, and started right in compiling a songbook for us all to enjoy. What can we say...perfect fit.
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As is my custom, I've collected all the con reports from OVFF that I can locate in my memories, for both my own benefit and for the community.

A couple of caveats, since this has come up in the past:


  1. I find these by perusing my own friends list. Contrary to popular myth, I don't actually know every single person in filk (There must be at least 4 people I'm unacquainted with. I'm sure of it. *grin*), and also I'm doing it by hand and it's easy to miss one. If you know of a report that is not contained on my index, please point me to it.
  2. If an entry I link to is friends-locked such that you cannot see it, you'll need to discuss that with the journal's author, not me. I have no control over the locks other people put on their spaces.
That aside, here's the list so far. I'll add to it as people point me to more or I see new ones posted.

OVFF 2011 Con Reports
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[livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I have made it home with all of Gafilk's sound equipment and other assorted gear. [livejournal.com profile] museinred and [livejournal.com profile] decadentdave drove up in [livejournal.com profile] hawklady's truck, and are now heading back to the hotel, with hopes of heading out tomorrow to AL. Several people who couldn't get away on Monday got out today.

The ATL roads are still very uneven, even with a day above freezing for stuff to start melting. The worst driving I saw was when we'd hit a clear patch of pavement and everyone would suddenly assume that it was okay to zoom up to highway speeds, only to have to slow back to a crawl at the next icy sections.

The GA400 ramp looked like a ski jump from down the highway. Going over it was a slow affair, since there were basically a couple of tread-width patches clear up the centre of it, and the rest was still covered.

I don't think we got over 40mph the entire trip, and spent most of it between 15-25. But we're home safe, and home is nice.

I'm still running a check-in thread for people to let us know they got home safely. Sign in if you haven't.

Hope to see everyone next year. We'll make an effort to have less weather. :)
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I've seen some folks posting that they got home okay, but since I'm still at the convention hotel and haven't had a chance to thoroughly look through LJ yet, I figured I'd just post a general request here for people to leave a comment and let me know they got home okay.

More on the con later. I hope everyone had a wonderful time, despite the weather!
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Our Super Secret Guest is...

Patrick Nielsen Hayden!


Collage of Patrick Nielsen Hayden holding Hugos, editing, playing the guitar, lounging with wife TeresaPatrick Nielsen Hayden is a World Fantasy and Hugo Award-winning fiction editor at TOR Books. He's brought to our shelves amazing books by Emma Bull, John Scalzi, Charles de Lint, Ben Bova, George Alec Effinger, Cory Doctorow, Jo Walton, Susanna Clarke, Christopher Priest, Adam Stemple, Glen Cook, David Weber, David Langford, John Barnes, Robert Holdstock, George R. R. Martin, and Arthur C. Clarke. He's also an essayist and reviewer who teaches workshops in places like Viable Paradise and both Clarions.

And...he's also a very talented musician. Patrick plays two guitars. A Taylor acoustic ("I'm much more of a lifelong acoustic guitar player than electric.") and a year-2000 Fender-made reproduction of a classic 1952 Telecaster. ("Faithful to a fault, it's a commemorative edition that I bought used. The varnish on the body is nitro-cellulose, not acetylene; it's all 1952 ingredients. The pickups are wrapped in waxed string. The biggest downside to this is the authentic 1952 sucky tuning mechanism. Otherwise it's a gorgeous guitar, and it has that great authentic American twangy sound that all Telecasters have — in spades. The first time I played that guitar it had opinions about what kind of music it should be playing.") He plays the electric with the Americana rock quartet, Whisperado. If we're lucky he'll be playing both of them here at GAFilk, and singing along with his wife, the talented editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

When considering GAFilk's criteria of characteristics that make for a good Super Secret Guest, Patrick really stands out. He's genial, personable, and musical. He has interesting opinions about the stories we read and the world we share, and he loves to talk about them. Plus, he's contributed to the sf and fantasy community in ways that some people may never appreciate...but we all should. We think GAFilk will be an eye- (and ear) opener for all of us.


  • Read Making Light, the Nielsen Hayden's weblog, with contributions from James D. Macdonald, Avram Grumer, and Abi Sutherland.

  • Check out his band Whisperado.


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It's the Georgia Filk Convention, happening 7-9 January 2011 at the Crown Plaza Airport in Atlanta, GA.

Guest Of Honour: Seanan McGuire
Toastmaster: Matt Leger
Interfilk Guest: Howard Scrimgeour
PLUS another Super Secret Guest!

Come celebrate the fannish New Year with three days of fun, music, and friendship! We'll have great concerts, the annual dinner dance banquet featuring Play It With Moxie, and, of course, singing until the early hours.

Membership is only $40 through November 30, 2010. (That's tomorrow, so send in your registration today! We will announce the Super Secret Guest on Wednesday!

You can get more information about Gafilk, including online registration, at :

http://www.gafilk.org/

Hope to see you there!

(Please feel free to repost this to other appropriate communities and lists you think might be interested.)
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[livejournal.com profile] kitanzi and I are sitting at our gate at the Columbus airport, waiting for our slightly delayed flight to board. We had a fantastic weekend, and I will likely post a more complete report later.

Meanwhile, I've been scanning back to try and catch con reports that were made during the convention (laptops and smartphones have made this a much harder process than it was when I started doing it eight years ago!) and will continue to collect them going forward, as I see them. If you know of a report I don't have on hand, please drop me a note in comments.

Here's the complete list of reports that I have found.

If you're inclined towards Twitter, there are a number of entries from the last few days with the hashtag #ovff.

[NB. Due to the nature of friends-locking posts, some entries on this list may not be visible to all persons. Please contact any person whose entry you cannot see directly if you want to find out what they had to say. I apologise in advance for any inconvenience.]
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(As is my custom, I'm collecting Conterpoint con reports. Please alert me to any I've missed!)

Some while ago, I noticed that the floating East Coast filkcon fell on my birthday this year. And Conterpoint is one of the iterations of that entity I'd not yet attended, so what better time than to check it off my list? (It sure didn't hurt that [livejournal.com profile] folkmew and [livejournal.com profile] edstauff were GOHs and Char McKay was Interfilk Guest.) After some discussion back and forth, [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi decided she would stay home for this one, and so I prepared to go it alone into the wilds of Maryland.

Friday
Friday morning, I got up at the crack of stupid and Kitanzi drove me down to the North Springs station so I could catch the train to the airport. I got checked in, through security, and down to the gate in plenty of time, so I set up my laptop and bought a cup of wi-fi to tide me over until it was time to board.

On the plane, I was seated next to a very nice lady returning home from a work conference. She apparently works for one of the pipeline companies (not owned by BP, she stressed), and we chatted a bit about the Gulf situation, and then the conversation turned towards books. Having asked her if she liked urban fantasy, I recommended [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's Toby Daye books to her, and then said, offhand, "She also has a science-fiction/horror/political thriller about zombies and blogging.' 'Wow, that sounds really interesting!' my seatmate replied. So when the seat belt signs were off, I fetched my copy of Feed from my laptop bag and gave it to her. "You can keep that,' I said. 'I'll grab another copy when I pass a bookstore.' She put the book she had been reading away and spent the rest of the flight reading it instead, and declared herself well and truly hooked by the story when we landed. I gave her my email address and told her to write me and tell me how she liked it when she finished it.

Of course, having given my book away, I decided to occupy myself by trying out the in-flight wi-fi. The actual connection was amazing, but now I really seriously am jonesing for an iPad. The problem is that I'm very tall, and there's just no place to put a laptop where I can simultaneously see the screen well and type on it. My co-worker [livejournal.com profile] eloren brought hers into work today and let me play with it. Want. Wantwantwant. But, I digress...

Got my luggage and went to wait for the bus to the rental car station. and waited. and waited. Then a bus came by, full of people and didn't stop. And waited. And waited. And then another full bus came by without stopping. And waited. Finally, an empty bus arrived. Honestly, I was getting tired and cranky by this point. The line at the Hertz counter was awful, and then when I finally got to the front, they didn't have the car I'd actually asked for, gave me a reasonable alternative, and then told me to hike 4 miles to where it was parked to drive off. (Ok, it was likely more like 400 yards. But it felt like 4 miles. At this point, I'm *not* impressed with BWI's rental car facilities.)

Having acquired car with GPS, I punched in the destination and set out. The drive down to Rockville was pleasant and uneventful, and I imm3ediately ran into [livejournal.com profile] gorgeousgary and MEW at the registration desk. I got checked in and went to take a shower, since I had not gotten one in the morning, and it was hot as a sauna outside.

Suitably refreshed I met up with [livejournal.com profile] museinred and we went out for a late lunch/early dinner, ending up at a Burmese place nearby, where I had a delightful Orange Beef and an intriguing Ginger Salad that I wished I could have brought home to Kitanzi, because I know how much she loves ginger. We returned to the hotel and chatted a bit, and then I let France take a nap while I vegged and read email, before meeting up with MEW and Ed and Steven Joel for chat. I poked my head briefly into the filkroom afterwards, and then headed for bed.

Saturday

I went down for breakfast, since the buffet was included. There wasn't much of it, but it was reasonably filling, and I got sit and talk with [livejournal.com profile] kyttn and a couple of other folks, which was lovely. Collected hugs from some people, then went to enjoy the pool.

Which was closed. At nearly 10am. Pout.

I inquired to the front desk, who informed me that by county ordinance, the pool could not be open without a paid lifeguard, who would be on duty at 11am. I made noises as to my feelings about this, but being unable to charm the desk clerk into illegally opening the pool early, I went and changed back into normal clothes and then met up with France to shop for provisions and doughnuts. It appears that Rockville is home to one of the two remaining Krispy Kreme franchises in all of Maryland, and we got us some. I bought a bunch of fruit, some yoghurt, and a couple of two litres of Pepsi One from Safeway, and stashed them away in the full sized fridge my room was equipped with. I have to say, while there were issues with the hotel here and there, it's a very plush way to spend a weekend, with a full kitchen, including provided pots and pans and silverware.

Well stocked, I finally got down to the pool for a while, and enjoyed soaking in the whirlpool. I had woken up with a terrible pain in my neck and shoulders, which I can't quite figure out, but by the time I went from the whirlpool to the pool and back a couple of times, I felt well relaxed. I changed back into dry clothes and wandered to the con suite, where I sat and chatted for a while about the sorts of things one chats about in con suites. (I also got to buff my Boy Scout credentials, when the consuitista bemoaned the lack of salt and pepper for the veggies she was roasting. "I have a container of kosher salt in my room. Would you like some?' It's good to be prepared.)

Music was being piped up from the main room during this, so I was able to hear some of the 2x10s as I chatted. (As an aside, of all the things I invented for Gafilk programming over the years, the one I've been most pleased to see stolen by other cons is the 2x10s. It really warms my heart.)

I got rumour of a dinner run to a nearby sandwich place that was famous for its incredible variety. Turns out there were a couple of parties heading over there for the dinner break, because we all met up with each other in the parking lot. The restaurant certainly lived up to its billing...hundreds of sandwiches, all with colourful, punny menus. I had something with hot pastrami and cole slaw and Russian dressing which was delicious, and I had a great time chatting with Char and Randy and Stephen Joel and France, all of whom I knew of old, and with Marty Gear, who I think 'd met in passing but had never spent any time with, and who is a delightful storyteller. The only thing better than dinner with old friends is dinner with old friends and new friends. My only regret from dinner is forgetting to purchase a souvenir menu to bring home to Kitanzi, who would have found the whole thing delightful.

We returned to the hotel and encamped to the main room to hear Interfilk guest Char McKay's concert. Char had been nervous about her set, but she killed from start to finish. I"m still giggling over the Twinkie song, which I had not heard before. Char was followed by GOHs Ed and Mew, who were as superb as always. I still have "The Return" bouncing around in my head days later, because yo that song is made of awesome. And perhaps this concert set will be best known for the Lizardhawk incident, but that's a story for another day.

I decided to skip the Interfilk auction for reasons of economy and returned to my room to tune my guitar and gather my materials. For a variety of reasons, some good and some bad, I've largely not been making it to open filk in recent years, spending my time either socializing or (as often as not) hermitting and re-energizing after a long social day. I was determined that this con would be different, so I set out for the Jefferson Room, which was designated as the alternate room and already contained people I wanted to be in a room with (notably Ed & MEW and Paul Estin). Over the course of the evening, i still did more listening and singing along than playing, but I did perform three songs: "Arrowhead" (by Richard Shindell), "Ozymandias" by [livejournal.com profile] filkerdave (who was in Texas at Apollocon and thus needed proxy representation), and "Long Distance Love" (a poem by Seanan McGuire that I set to music). I flubbed up a couple of places on Ozymandias, but I blame the excellent scotch that [livejournal.com profile] osewalrus was sharing. My story and I'm sticking to it.

((I played 'Ozymandias' in part because someone did a song which they admitted afterwards they'd sort of lost the tune on, and that it didn't go quite how she sang it. We all pointed out that since we didn't know the song she was singing, it sounded perfectly fine to us, and then I told the story about how I turned Dave's Shelly-inspired folk ballad into a rock song, which in turn prompted [livejournal.com profile] ladymondegreen to remind me of how we first met: I was playing that song in an open circle at GaFilk, and she heard it from the hallway, ran in to stand behind me and started singing harmonies. Startled the heck out of me, since no one else in the south knew the song but me at the time. *grin*))

Around 3am, the circle started to thin out and I fell into bed for a short slumber.

Sunday

Got up reasonably early given the time I'd gone to bed and headed down for breakfast with Stephen Joel, France, Char, Randy, and Marty. Afterwards I hung out and chatted a bit with the other early birds, and at some point went to the room to check in with Kitanzi, who had told me she wasn't feeling well. Apparently, my body decided this was a good time to whack me on the back of the head and suggest that I needed more sleep. France came by sometime later to see if she could catch a couple of hours napping on my couch again, since they'd already checked out of their hotel room. Eventually slightly refreshed, we went and collected her son Alex and went looking for food. I have to tell you that at 9pm on a Sunday night, Rockville doesn't offer a robust night-life. We eventually found a reasonably serviceable pizza joint located in a hole in the wall in the back of a shopping centre, got something warm and filling to bring back to the hotel, which we ate while listening to the beginnings of the dead dog. At some point, Alex was offered the chance to earn a bit of spare pocket looking after MEW and Ed's kids, allowing them to come down to the Dead Dog and stay as long as they wanted. I spent the evening in listener mode, mostly because I was just too wiped out to actually go fetch my guitar, but there was a lot of great music to sing along to. Eventually, we all went to bed, and that was the end of Conterpoint.

Monday

Travelling home. I got out of the hotel and on the road in my rented Chevy Impala by 8am, and was back at BWI by 9am, which was right on target. I had a minor mishap returning the car; I was apparently tired enough that I got all the way to the shuttle bus that would take me to the terminal before realizing I was missing one of my bags. I realized it when I tried to put it into the luggage rack and I didn't have it, requiring me to pull both of my other bags out and trudge all the way back to where I'd parked the car at the return queue. The bag was sitting patiently next to it, right where I'd set it down after removing the trunk. Even with this detour, I made it to my gate in plenty of time, grabbed some breakfast, a pair of cheap earbuds for my iPod, and a copy of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time for plane reading. (I have no idea what they mean by "500 Greatest Songs", plus I doubt it, but it made for an entertaining diversion during the flight.)

Down and safe in Atlanta, I collected my luggage and headed for the MARTA station, where we waited for a train. And waited. And waited. After what must have been 20 minutes, the Doraville train arrived, so I got on it, no wanting to trust how long the North Springs one might be. Changed trains at Lindburgh, got to North Springs, where I was picked up by my darling Kitanzi who took me home and poured me into bed, where I slept until 10pm. Got up just long enough to eat something and then went back to sleep and slept until morning.

All in all, an absolutely fabulous way to spend a birthday. Great friends, great food, great music, and great conversation. If I had a time-turner, I'd be awfully tempted to go back and have that weekend again.
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So, some more random thoughts from Gafilk weekend.

Thursday:

Since I had actually taken Wednesday off to get some last minute stuff done, Thursday was remarkably unstressful; a first for me. I had to go drop my car at the shop in the morning to get the side mirrors fixed (long story), but aside from that, we had everything pretty much ready to go. [livejournal.com profile] hawklady showed up around lunchtime with her pickup truck, we got the sound equipment and other bulky stuff loaded in, and then she and [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi headed down to the hotel, with me behind in the car. We got checked in, settled, and started checking on flights. The weather forecast was for winter weather, so we were naturally concerned about people's travel. Several people had their original flights cancelled and had to reboot earlier or later, including [livejournal.com profile] bedlamhouse & [livejournal.com profile] ladyat's flight, which was early, and Ellen and Delia's flight, which was delayed. Poor Alexander James Adams had his flight cancelled entirely, and ended up flying in on a crack-of-stupid morning flight on Friday instead. Poor guy. I let other folks have the perk of meeting the guests at the airport this year, which left me free to go and take [livejournal.com profile] museinred to get a new cell phone, as she'd lost hers somewhere in the wilds of Manitoba. After stopping for dinner, I got back to the hotel, peeked in briefly on Play It With Moxie, who were rehearsing in the main room, and then went off to relax before the big day.

Friday:

Friday morning started out pretty normal. We got the dealers room open so the hucksters could go ahead and start setting up, made sure registration was good to go (which, being run by Myra, it was), and then headed off with [livejournal.com profile] bedlamhouse to pick up some of the last bits we needed for the sound gear. Last year, we had to hire sound equipment, which is frightfully expensive, so this year we'd started buying our own kit, but we still didn't have everything we needed for the weekend, so a bit of shopping was in order. We got most of what we needed at Guitar Centre, and then set off to look for a Radio Shack....

...and found ourself trapped in an episode of the Truman Show.

The first Radio Shack my GPS directed us to turned out to be a newly constructed block of apartments, which wasn't terribly useful, so I looked up another one that was nearer the hotel and we set off again. As we got close to where the place was, we were directed to turn down a particular street, but were thwarted by a cop parked behind a set of orange cones. Undaunted, we began plotting an alternate route, which brought us out and around down a side street, then told us to turn......down a short connecting street that was being dug up by a construction crew, who forced us to turn around. We were starting to get the feeling we were stuck on the set and couldn't get to the store, but finally we made our way around all the obstacles to get the last few things we needed. We stopped at the Chinese restaurant near the hotel for lunch (Note to self: your first meal of the day should not be at 3:30pm)

Back at the hotel, it was time to do the usual "bounce around and make sure everyone has the things they need", before going up to the room and finalising the questions for the My Filk panel. I had gotten questions from both our SSGs and our Toastmaster this year, but the Second Line category I always write myself. Once that was done, there was nothing to do but get dressed up and prepare for opening ceremonies.

Friday night is always "showtime" for me at Gafilk. I almost never have anything to do on stage during Saturday, but Friday night is opening ceremonies, meeting the guests, and then hosting My Filk. Sunday afternoon is closing ceremonies. In between, most of my duties lie behind the curtains. But we got everything kicked off, introduced the guests, and sang Auld Lang Syne. I only got some of the events out of order. (Next year: lists!)

Once the party was underway, Bill and I began trawling the audience for panellists. we managed to find a good cross-section of people, but this year's question set apparently was brutal, though I can think of people who might have had an easier time with it. ([livejournal.com profile] telynor would have aced the folklore section, for instance.) The insta topics this year were "poker and escalators" and "nuclear hot sauce and snakes" The judges had a spirited consultation afterwards, and then declared they were a hung jury, and appealed to the audience to clap for their favourite. The sound board declared that Team 1 eked out a victory over Team B.

The Friday Night concert this year was the very talented Dene Foye. I've enjoyed Dene's music for a few years (and besides, he covers *two* of my songs. How can I not like him?), so it was lovely to hear him do an entire set. (I grinned madly when he did "Naked Ambition" in his set.) The concert was well received, and after it was over, open filk started. I found myself wandering about a bit, spending some time in the bar, and then heading to bed reasonably early.

And this is getting long, so I'll finish up the rest of it later.

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