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Millennium Philcon

Or- The Too Short Con

I arrived at the con at about 2pm on Friday. I need to learn to pack lighter. Or carry fewer tshirts on a two con tour.

I took the subway from the airport to the city center; and the convention center literally sits right over the subway stop. But it's like FIVE FLOORS over the the subway stop- I was pretty dragged out by the time I got up to the con.

It's really strange. All the subways have escalators going up- but none going down. So, getting the luggage on the subway was a real challenge- but getting stuff off wasn't quite so bad (other than trying to find the way upstairs).

I made it into the main hallway; just as Todd found me (I stayed with Todd and Becca during the con). We got me registered, then went to find the filk area and find out when/where WorlDream programming was going to be. And we went with the luggage- cuz I was carrying stuph for people and I was darned well not going to carry it farther than I had to by this point...

On our way to the filk room, I caught Todd and Becca up on the travel carnival I'd just recently completed.

I met up with Dave Weingart; UberFilkenProgrammeister (can you tell I'm getting ready to go to Germany?:)). He told me to relax, the WorlDream rehearsal wasn't until later that evening, and the recording was at 4:30pm the next day.

Went to find the consuite, I needed tea. Talked with Valerie Housden for a bit- noting that she's just as daft as I am (she was at HarmUni last weekend, too). Becca and I made our way back to the filk room to catch concerts by Valerie, Daniel and Melissa Glasser, and Bill and Brenda Sutton. Todd showed up from the Art stuff; and we went to dinner.

You know, I never realized that Philadelphia was a seaport. It never seemed like it to me- but they have restaurants like they're a seaport. I had sea scallops grilled in garlic... MMMM!!! Todd had... shark. You know, I never thought that shark would be that edible, but WOW! :) A great time was had! :)

We made our way back to the convention center; and I made it back to the filk room just in time to find that... it wasn't a filk room any more. And my stuph what I had left there wasn't there no more, either... and I had a rehearsal to run in an hour...

A quick walk down to ops fixed that. I was a bit early for the rehearsal, and there was an open circle starting; so I planted in the circle with every intention of returning later.

After playing a song or two, and tuning (yes, in that order), I gathered copies of MHOV, and made my way over to the room where we would rehearse.

The rehearsal itself was rather unusual. Normally, about 10 to 15 show up, and we have a good time for a half hour or 45 minutes going through the various tortures of scansion that I inflict on everyone. I try to make the rehearsals entertaining, and I've noticed over the last month or so that people who already *well* know the song have been coming to the rehearsals as well.

Well, this time, we started with about 5. Not a problem- I figured that most of the folkx who were at Worldcon have done the song enough to be comfortable at the recording. But people kept trickling in throughout the hour. More people... and more... we ended with about 30. The highlight of the session was the last time through the song; we circled round and sang it to each other. *shivver!* :) It looked like we were going to have another good chorus. :)

So, after the rehearsal; I went back to the room where the open circle was; only to discover that it was no longer an open circle. Three Wierd Sisters had moved into another room; and since I'm a shameless fan and camp follower of them; I figured I would move, too.

However, this also involved moving the Mountain Of Luggage(tm). And since I hadn't had sleep in far, far, far too long (going on 44 hours, now...) I figured that I would get my Stuff up to the room and come back down and filk later. Melissa Glasser and Erica Neely helped me get the Luggage to the room, then practiced their weasely wiles on me and made me sit on my bed to talk to them.

I didn't get back to the filk Friday night. I slept instead. dammit. I probably fell over like the Colossus of Rhodes did when it got hamstrung.

I woke up at 8am on Saturday morning, just in time to shower and clean up to meet with Steve and Dorotha Biernesser and their boys for breakfast. We found a busy cafe at the Reading marketplace; and had a good time over pancakes, syrup, and sausage.

We spent a couple hours together, then Steve and Dorotha took off for programming. I went to find the Art show and Dealer's room.

I went to the Art show at about 10:30, got a good look at everything, then wandered into the dealer's room. wow. Lotsa stuff to spend money on. Tempting... but I passed. :)

(When I wrote the first draft of this, I had completely blanked on what I did next. Normally, I depend upon my photographs to nudge my memory; but I didn't have 'em back yet. Merav Hoffman read this, and poked me about what I did after the dealer's room...)

I made a point of getting over to the filk room for a REAL special treat. Peter Blood and Annie Patterson gave a concert! (WHO? you ask...) These are the folks responsible for providing us with Rise Up Singing (in certain circles, simply referred to as "The Hymnal"). This was their first SF con; and their first direct contact with Filkers. They were very suprised at how well we knew Stan Rogers; and we had to sing 'Old Time Religion'.

I was able to cadge a moment with Annie afterwards; she was very interested to hear about the natural environment of filkers (bardic vs chaos circles, where/when we hang out, what gets performed, etc). Hope to see them again some time; they're *very* good! :)

And the next thing I remember is meeting back up with Steve Biernesser, and he and I went out for a late lunch at the Corner Cafe across the street at 3pm.

I made it into the filk room at about 4:15, and general chaos was ensuing getting ready for the recording. At 4:30 (when we were supposed to start) things looked a bit thin, but there was a line signing the contract book (before the fact! wow!); and Melissa Glasser was doing a wonderful job displaying the WorlDream Quilt and selling tshirts for me.

I concentrated on tuning, and working with Scott Dorsey figuring out where people should stand for the best effect; placing my chair, and general hustle and bustle greeting friends, fast hugs, not enoughtimetotalktoeveryonebutdamniwannaspendtime...

Then I looked up. There were a lot of people here. whoah.

Old faces. New faces. Folks who've done this crazy dream more than three times. People who aren't quite sure what we're up to; but they want to be here. Old friends I never expected to see here. New friends I've made through the year.

Since it was a very dead room (lotsa carpet, and softstuff in the ceiling to stop sound) we warmed up a bit, then waited.

And then we Sang.

The song itself means nothing. The tune is nice- the words carry some meaning. The harmonies drift in and out of being locked; but it all is nothing compared to the mass realization that hundreds of people have raised their voices in Song, and in celebration of community. Our community. Your community.

Community. Common Unity.

We belong together...
Many hearts, One Voice.

Strangers no more, we sing... and sing and sing and sing.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The Pegasus Awards concert was a perfect cap to the recording. We got to hear Gary McGath, Frank Parker, Mark Mandel, the Three Weird Sisters, Bill Sutton, Erica Neely, Gary Ehrlich, Dave Wiengart, Terence Chua, Matt Leger, Jordin Kare, Leslie Fish, and a couple others I know I'm forgetting in my stream of consciousness... The concert was wonderful, and gave many folks a good idea what was up for awards this year.

After the concert, I went out for chinese with Daniel and Melissa Glasser and Terence Chua. Which, according to Terence, was suprisingly good chinese for America... :) We were supposed to have Gwen Knighton (of 3WS) with us as well, but we missed meeting her. *sigh*

After dinner, we went up to my room and I packed away all the excess baggage. Daniel works in Ann Arbor fairly frequently, and stays with me when he does. So, all my Luggage (except for one small bag and a guitar) went back to Daniel and Melissa's room to make their way home to me overland. Have I mentioned before that Daniel and Melissa are just plain wonderful folks? :)

We went back to the conference center, and went looking for a filk room to hang out in. I stuck my head into a room; just as Bill Sutton was halfway through the first verse of When I Was A Boy... so, I had to help him finish it *grin*. After that, we made our way to the Ose Room; and I ended up hanging out there and filking all night. Filking all night with Bill and Gretchen Roper, Dorotha Biernesser, Daniel and Melissa Glasser, Erica Neely, the Three Weird Sisters, Lee and Barry Gold, Harold Feld, and others.

ALL night. :) Until about 5am. When I went to get on the subway and head to the airport for my 7am flight back to Chicago to be with Alyse for her birthday. (Only I discovered after I got to the airport that my "7am" flight was actually a "10am" flight... *sigh* Sleep deprivation does such wonderful things to a guy...).

Yep- another night of no sleep. :) And I loved Every Single Second Of It!

 

 

 

Copyright © 2001 Steve Macdonald