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GaFilk report, part 2 - Phil's Rambling Rants
January 13th, 2005
09:32 pm

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GaFilk report, part 2
I'll try to pick up my blow-by-blow account of GaFilk where I left off.

The filk in the alternate room Saturday night broke up a bit early, in that by the time I was hauling my stuff out of the room, the filk was over and a few people were just conversing.  I was sort of on the edge of a conversation in which zencuppa was talking about the problem of finding a job.  My fuzzy memory can't place who else was involved in this conversation.  There was discussion of how it's not good form to come before your prospective employer telling them how you will need time off for various things; someone mentioned how it's important to first prove yourself to your employer and then start asking for favors in the form of time off for things like conventions.  I was not very happy to hear this, because I need more flexibility in my schedule than the standard issue corporate drone is supposed to get.  I know my limits, and the kind of work schedule that seems to be regarded as normal in the computer industry is outside of them.  I also know that I am neither good at nor comfortable about lying, and I want to tell someone who is going to hire me the truth about what I need from a job up front, rather than letting him think I will happily put in 8 hours every day, 5 days every week, with overtime on a regular basis, and only take two weeks of vacation in a year.  I know I'm smart and I have skills that can be valuable; I only hope that they're valuable enough that someone will be willing to make a square hole for me, because I won't survive being pounded into the standard issue round hole.

Sunday morning I wandered in to breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  I sat with ladyat and bedlamhouse.  I ate and wandered off; I can't remember what we talked about.  The restaurant was understaffed; annoyingly so since they'd been told in advance to expect people from our convention to be wanting breakfast.

I went up to my room and fetched Tiger and wandered down to the Ecumenifilk, which was rather poorly attended.  I did Brian "Tinker" Leo's "Solstice Song" early on, and had someone I didn't really know (and just who it was has faded) ask for the lyrics.  That was the only song I had really intended to contribute, but there were too few singers there.  I did Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol" at a point when it seemed appropriate to do a song commemorating the real spiritual energy of present-day America, to wit the worship of Mammon.  I remember msminlr doing "Hymn of Breaking Strain".  I have a fancy calligraphy piece of that poem on the wall above my computer, but I haven't actually sung the song except in the car for quite a long time.  I remember Matt Leger doing something wonderful, but I can't remember what it was, and his girlfriend demonstrating a really lovely voice, and Mac Carson doing "Brother Michael's Song", and ladyat doing "Draw Down the Moon" with weirdsister playing bass and of course everyone singing along, and Teri and Hannah and sdorn were there and did things, but I don't really remember them, and about the time poltr1 got his mini-Moog set up, it was time for closing ceremonies.  Tanya, Teri, and Steve seemed duly happy with their official GaFilk baseball caps, and Kathleen cried.  jsolve announced the total receipts from Interfilk, which were just a hair under $2000, which prompted several people to pull out their wallets and make additional contributions on the spot to get the total over $2000.  "Strangers No More" was sung, and the concom ritually removed their badges.

I made plans to meet in the lobby with janmagic, andpuff, and others at 5 to wander down the street to Steak and Ale, and then wandered to my room to rest a bit.  Unfortunately, by the time I got out of the closing ceremonies, there wasn't really time to sleep before the appointed dinner time, but it helped me to relax and read for a bit.

We had a little snafu about dinner; several of us were standing around in the lobby waiting for ladyat to appear; after a while I was feeling quite hungry and commented on this, and a few of us walked over to the restaurant, to discover that ladyat had been waiting at the restaurant wondering where the heck we all were.  What with the crossed signals and people arriving at different times, we did not all end up seated together, but the restaurant was not dreadfully crowded; our group actually had a couple of extra spaces, and a fairly steady stream of people rotated through our table's "guest chair" through the meal.  The food was good, though by the time I had finished my appetizer and salad, I didn't really need my prime rib, and by the time ohiblather was trying to get me to finish her French Silk pie, I was too full to be able to do it.  (Why is it that restaurants that provide salad bars where you pig out before your entree arrives, and respectable sized entrees, also provide dessert portions suitable for 2-4 people?)  I recall discussion of Turtles (as in, Are You a Turtle?), but little else that was talked about, other than ohiblather's disillusionment that khaosworks did not have much of a sweet tooth and wasn't interested in dessert.

Since no one volunteered to roll me back to the hotel after dinner, I managed to waddle there on my own.  I recall saying something to the effect of "and we're supposed to SING now?".  I made it to my room, and decided that I was not going to juggle two guitars at the dead dog filk, and since I'd had Tiger out for the Ecumeniflk, I would just bring the 12.  I joined the people who were set up in the designated function room, and we filked for a while, and things broke up pretty early, 10ish I guess, which I put down to people being tired after a long weekend, only to discover that bedlamhouse and many others were filking in the hall.  The filk in the hall, in fact, proved to be the better dead dog filk.  I did "Swing the Cat", "The Only Son", and "Dandelion Wine", and got some very positive comments from bedlamhouse and others on how good my playing was that I hope weren't just the beer talking.  There was considerable hilarity concerning Green Eggs and Lembas, and later concerning the words of the Canadian national anthem (bedlamhouse saying that the words Americans know are just "da da da" after the first line, and andpuff confirming that those are the words Canadians know too).  Some schtick was plotted for the songbook for GaFilk Eh?...t, next year's convention featuring Canadian content.  The filk was still going strong, but when I started feeling my burst of energy recede around midnight, I thought of how far I needed to drive the next day and packed it in.

Monday morning, bedlamhouse and ladyat declared that the convention was over and it was their prerogative to monopolize the guests, so the 6 of them had one table, and pretty much everyone else (I know  that included filker0, spiritdance, ohiblather, Jodi (whose LJ handle I don't remember for sure), janmagic, and John Hall; there were others but it's very blurry) were at another big table.  Breakfast took an hour, but the conversation and fellowship were worth the time.  Then I finished dragging my stuff to the car, and we headed out.  I wasn't sure how much driving I would be able to handle, but I ended up driving the whole way home; the one time I was feeling sleepy, The Mollyhawkes revived me with The Great Sun.

Overall, GaFilk was a great time, in spite of many people who should have been there who didn't make it. bedlamhouse says that he budgets conservatively, so the drop in attendance is not a financial disaster for the con, and with Dandelion Wine as guests of honor next year, attendance should be back up. Thanks for all your efforts, everyone.

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