Tags: filk

The Social Event of the Season 2015

To put it mildly, it was wonderful. We had about 16 people show, including two (to me) new people as well. The food was good. The funky ice cream was funky. The interaction between people was wonderful. The music was great. I ended up bringing two guitars (the Larrivee and the Seagull 12). They both got used. A good time was had by all.

The social event of the season!

We have a date. December 5, starting at 6:00 PM at the home of Signe and David Wegener. Our hosts will have a main course and everyone is asked to bring a side dish, a dessert, a beverage, whatever (but let's not have like we did a few years back with 22 desserts, OK?). If you need address, directions, RSVP information, drop me a note.

GaFilk 2015 day 1

After having several leg cramp attacks at too dark 30 in the morning, I awoke at 5:15 AM, went to the office to take care of what needed to be done there, and came back home. After taking care of the last administrivia at home, I went back to the hotel, not realizing that I didn't have the CD racks, which were in their box in the living room, so I ended up going back home AGAIN and getting them, finishing setup between 1:00 and 2:00. This afternoon was slow in the dealer's room. Hopefully it'll improve on the morrow.

When I got to the hotel the first time, the room for the vendors was nowhere near ready, with an indication there was to be some sort of lunch for another group at noon (which turned out to be wrong). Several people asked me to sell CDs for them as well, but the toastmasters wanted to sell their own (that's fine). Seems they're not used to having others selling their CDs for . As they put it, they're their own roadies, etc. We'll see what happens come Sunday.

My roommate for the convention came in late. He was flying in from London Heathrow and I don't know who came up with the idea, but instead of sending the flight along the east coast, it was sent through Ontario to Ottawa, then down through Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama before crossing into Georgia. We've hooked up now, and will be doing Awful Waffle in the morning.

After the beginning of the fannish new year and the singing of Auld Lang Syne came "My Filk," with ringers put on both teams this time. Sort of a surprise to me. What was even more surprising was that when it came to round 4, the judges (all the guests) decided to award half the points to each team (give or take a point). Marc Gunn was concom's choice and did just over an hour of stuff on his autoharp. He's a very lively performer, getting the crowd to participate more than once and getting a lot of hoots and hollers from the audience. As of right now, open filking is going on, but I'll be taking a shower and heading to bed after taking my evening insulin shot. Tomorrow is the long day, and after breakfast, it'll be sitting at the table for 8 hours, then the bbq place the street, then back to the convention. I just hope that I do well this weekend. Any positive vibes would be appreciated.

It's being reported that

Joe Bethancourt, a filk/folk/Celtic musician, has died. It's been reported on Facebook and in rec.music.filk

While he and I disagreed on some political things, I was still fortunate to have known him and to be able to call him friend. One short story:

Less than 20 years ago, I had a free ticket to use on American Airlines, so I decided to do an overnight trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles to attend a housefilk being put on by the Creaseys. When I arrived at the Creaseys' home, Mary asked me to give a knock on one of the upstairs bedrooms and let Joe know it was time to get up (mid-afternoon). I did so, pulling out a nasal accent (a la Ernestine). He opened the door, took a look at me, and asked what the heck I was doing there. I told him: I came for the filksing.

RIP, Joe.

GaFilk 2014 - day 2

It turns out I was unable to get the duck eggs due to the deluge I found when I stepped out of my apartment, so I headed to the convention.

I can tell you that it was easier listening to the concerts yesterday for whatever reason. The sound coming out of the remote speaker was far superior to what it had been in years past. It was nice to hear Gwen Knighton, our esteemed guest of honor, though I still can't figure out the name of the person who was performing with her (that part didn't make it through the speaker - I just know it was a male voice).

Thank goodness the con suite had cheese! I ended up probably overdosing on cheese yesterday, since I had only had breakfast and hadn't made plans regarding lunch and dinner. I ended up grazing for lunch and going to Barbecue Kitchen (right down the street) for dinner. Now, Barbecue Kitchen is a high-Zagat-rated eatery (in the mid 30's) which, up until sometime in 2013, would only take cash, but for the cash they took, you got a fantastic meal. And it was very inexpensive.

The only concert I actually got to see live was Brad Denton, the Super Secret Guest, who was discovered by bedlamhouse at a convention in Texas? He did a good job of entertaining, especially as his alter ego, whose name I don't recall right now.

The Interfilk auction didn't do as well as I had thought it would. What surprised me more than anything else was that the Xenofilkia DVD (with all 150 issues in PDF and DOC format along with MIDI files of a lot of the songs) went for only about $100.00. Right now, it costs $225.00, and it's well worth it!. It's 25 years of Xeno in a small enough format that I can carry it without having to carry a whole lot of binders. The Dr. Who stamps I'd bought went for $100.00. The Interfilk Quilt raised a bit over $200.00, and it was won by Atlanta's own Dawn Benton. Congratulations!

I got home a bit after midnight and was in bed by 1:00 AM. I really fell asleep because the next thing I knew, it was 7:57 AM. Time to get up and get ready to go back to the convention for Day 3. More after I get home.

GaFilk 2014 - Friday

With all the madness at work - are we going to trial, are we not going to trial - the case settled literally the night before the trial started, which meant I was able to go to GaFilk for day 1. However, since I'd not taken the time to pack up sport cute due to not knowing, I waited until Wednesday and did most of it in 2 evenings (with the weather slightly improving to help the cause).

After going into the office on Friday morning to do the few things which needed to be done, I stopped at the bank for the extra cash box money, and then to Office Depot for extra receipt books, seeing that the flood at the Ringgold show last September had ruined the rest of the ones I had the.

Traffic on The Connector was bad, so I stayed on city streets until further into town, then the fire engines blocked part of Spring Street, almost making connecting onto The Connector more than just a bit difficult. When I arrived at the hotel, who should I see but the people from Larry Smith Booksellers, who had just driven up as well. We both unpacked (them taking longer than me) and after finding a wonderful parking space, I sat down and waited. The person I expected from Spiral Rhythm did not show up - she had the flu. Her minion Jon did (and several hours later, I found her Facebook message to me). Then Lee Billings and Russ Ault showed up and the dealer's room began to take final form for the weekend.

I ran into people slowly while the other dealers were setting up. The big surprise, I guess, was Terrence Chua, all the way from Singapore. Then I looked in the program book and found that he was going to be the "super secret second concom choice conert." Funny, I don't remember there being a discussion of the first concom choice concert participants, no less that there was going to be a second one. Not that I minded the concerts, mind you, but you know, I would've liked to have known? Granted, autographedcat didn't know either, but someone did and never made mention to this concom member in order to keep it secret? Plus, in the program book, it did say the concom was asked to keep it a secret. Uh, what secret?

Of the three items I'd bought over the last few years to donate to Interfilk, the Dr. Who Stamps and the Xenofilkia DVD (with the first 150 issues on it) were marked to immediately go to voice bid. I'll talk about that in a later entry. The concom choice concerts went well. I'm thinking that the first performer, who had come to the table earlier in the day, sort of sounded familiar. Susan Hickey, did you get married or something? Terrence, as always, was his usual self-effacing self. It's nice to see you again.

As far as the silent auction, I've bid on some chocolate, a belt, a few other things as well. I don't know what I'll end up with, but am not concerned.

The only difference this year is that I'm commuting to the convention. By doing so, I save 75% of the costs. It also meant, last night, that a little before midnight, the door to my apartment got knocked upon. When I opened it, there was this DeKalb Police Officer who was asking questions. Now mind you, I was only in sweatpants (having taken off my clothing and getting ready for bed), but this young officer asked me if I had called DeKalb Police Department about a strange vehicle and strange individuals around the complex. When I responded that I had gotten home about 20 minutes ago and had been gone all day, he understood, then I asked for the phone number to see who made the call. It turns out it was a cell phone with a Connecticut area code. When the officer tried calling it, the call went to voice mail. He then realized that I couldn't have made the call. It also turns out that the strange individuals were the guards who walk around the complexes owned by the realtor who owns this apartment complex several times a night. What was even stranger is that they described the vehicle said people were in as a Nissan when in fact it was a Kia. Go figure.

I'll be heading back to GaFilk in about 50 minutes after going and getting another dozen duck eggs.

Truly an intercontinental filk

The third-quarter GaFiA meeting took place tonight. As with the second quarter housefilk, a laptop was used to bring someone in from out of town. Last time, it was catsittingstill in Tennessee. This time it was thatcrazycajun calling in from Mbabane, Swaziland, where his beloved wife is a high-level person for the CDC. Granted, the bandwidth was better on this end than on that end, but there were not that many problems as you would think would have occurred due to the bandwidth. Yes, there was a slight delay from over 6000 miles away, but it still made for a lot of fun and some good singing across the ethernet. Many thanks to our hostesses for hosting for the second time. Many thanks to those who showed up. The only downside was that by evening's end, my left eye was swollen, due to felis catus. I'm just glad I was able to last as long as I did.

The social event of the season will take place on December 14 at the usual location. Details will go out about a month in advance.

GaFilk 2013, day 2, part 1

I'm listening to the 2x10s right now. The day has been maddening. I finally fell asleep around 2, woke up at 3:30, fell back asleep, woke up at 5:00-something and finally stayed up. Went back home to turn OFF the alarm TV and set it to record McLaughlin Group tomorrow. The last dealer, who showed up way too late last night, wanted to get into the room before I was ready to open. I'm suffering from a lack of sleep, so I informed the power that be that the dealers' room wouldn't be open to dealers until 10AM. I've been sitting in the dealers room all day and dealing with The Square, which needs to have access to WiFi, which I apparently lost a few hours ago without knowing, causing me to go into a panic. It took about 20 minutes to figure it out, which caused me to get the last 3 charges I'd done redone into Square. Now all I need do is figure out how to transfer the funds to my checking account.

I've been listening to the program, and have found that some of our guests sound really really good. Sam Baardman is a pro folksinger from Canada, and as most of us filkers know, the pro folkies are fantastic filkers as well - beyond belief. I'm so jealous. Decadent Dave Clement did "Merlin" and "Lies," and I tell you, I am so more than jealous, but I also realize that he's a pro and so he's going to be better than I'll ever be.

The dealer's room is going to close at 5:30. I then go to take pictures of the banquet attendees, change, take pill, take insulin, take MAC Carson to Barbecue Kitchen up the street (he has problems with the noise at the banquet and is visually impaired, so I drive him the 250 yards to the restaurant). It's Zagat rated in the 30's. When we return, the Super Secret Guest, Larry Niven has his time, and then the Interfilk auction. While I have the money, I'm not sure if I'll be spending a whole lot in the auction, especially considering that the items I've bid upon I've been outbid upon. However, I did spend $100 on books, including Debbie Ridpath Ohi's I'm Bored, and have been taking pictures of people reading it to send to Ms. Ohi, and I got a group of 4 people who are singing the lyrics of the book on a music stand. Wait'll she sees that one.

I will report later on the rest of the day.

GaFilk 2012, part 2

As usual, some of the bidding at Interfilk went overboard, especially when it came to raw data CDs of the concerts from the con. I didn't hear the total amount raised, but I'll check and see. I ended up buying 3 items - a CD from another convention, a corkscrew that looks like a D7 Klingon battlecruiser, and a box of "Elise" brand cookies from Japan, which were hyped by our Super Secret Guest, first name Elise.

At the hotel was a convention of motorcycle riders. One of them wandered into the con suite around midnight and asked what we were doing at the hotel. We explained. She asked for a sample of what we do. At that point, catsittingstill walked into the con suite. I asked her if she'd do "I Meant to Do That," which she did, with the rest of us there (about 6?) doing do-wop and backup to her. Talk about blowing someone's mind. I then explained that here in the Atlanta area, we get together once a quarter to sing and catch up with one another and stuff. I then launched into the chorus of "Strangers No More," with people joining in at proper points. The lady was paying attention to our con suit ghoddess when she came in and indicated that she thought our ghoddess's voice was fantastic.

Sunday morning, after only about 4 hours of sleep, I woke up and went home as I'd originally planned on doing, got some of what I needed and went back to the hotel after checking a few things on the old laptop (which is sitting where my desktop would be used on my desk). After getting back, I opened the dealer's room at 10:30 and put out the registration forms for 2013 for the dealers. As of now, the 3 of the 4 dealers (including me) have signed up for memberships and tables. The fourth one has signed up for tables, but not membership yet. It's a case of wait and see what happens, but she wanted to at least reserve the tables.

The Sunday morning rush of sales didn't really come, but all of the dealers realize that it's the economy still. That said, yes, I made my costs, but I didn't do as well as last year. Still, I'll keep going.

As to the concerts, the wireless speaker didn't work as well as we'd hoped, so I only got to really hear our Super Secret Guest's one, along with Patrick Neilsen Hayden's (as mentioned before). I realize I'd miss stuff by being a huckster, and I do.

As mentioned last year, except for Auld Lang Syne and the incident in the con suite, I didn't sing at all. Granted, I can now bring a guitar in the car thanks to the Really Useful Boxes, but with my almost always getting up too danged early, it doesn't seem like I'd really get the opportunity to sing.

One thing I did notice this weekend is that there's a larger preponderance of laptops, notebooks and tablets in use. I know, for instance, that autographedcat has put quite a bit of his lyrics onto an iPad 2 (IIRC). For the CD release party, the CD was played through a tablet connected to 2 external speakers. I'm wondering if this will be the wave of the future - where people will end up putting most of their filk books onto a tablet or a laptop and bring that instead of books (except for things like the Kipling's Definitive Edition).

Another thing I noticed is that while there were some new people at the con, we are still in need of more younger people to join in the fray so that this genre will continue well into the 21st century.

There was one piece of very bad news. thatcrazycajun who, along with his songbird has had an extremely bad December, found out that his mother's brother died yesterday and that the funeral was today in Louisiana. May G-D comfort him, his songbird, and their combined families as He would all mourners in Zion and Jerusalem.

Next year's con is set for 11-13 January.

GaFilk 2012, part 1

I got to the hotel around 11:30 AM on Friday and unloaded the car relatively quickly. At the last minute, the last 2 tables were sold, meaning that we had 11 tables in the dealer's room this year, as I'd hoped but didn't dream of after last year. The largest concern this year was due to the fact that at the end of GaFilk 2011 we got hit by a major snowstorm. I don't think I have to worry, though. The weather this weekend is with highs in the 60's, even though the low yesterday morning was in the mid-30's when I got up (after a bad night of sleep). Once the tables got set up, the dealers started coming in, with the last one (who just got added a week ago) arriving third in line after myself and Larry Smith Books.

The only thing I got to experience last night was the concom choice concert, which featured our 2010 Super Secret Guest, Patrick Neilsen Hayden. He has a muscality of which I'm jealous. However, let me hasten to add that he practices more than I will ever.

My Filk was good, with the word combinations "Joss" and "monkey" for Team 1 and "Larry Niven" and "measles" for Team B, which not only overwhelmed Team 1 during the first three rounds, but did a pretty good job in the song, though I thought Team 1's was better. After this, since I had not eaten dinner Bobby G. Pierce, who's staying with me in my room, and I went to the Waffle House for a nice cheap dinner.

Play it with Moxie had its CD release party Friday night. I hope they sold a lot of CDs. I did pick up some this afternoon so I could sell them to those who couldn't pay cash last night. I now have them available at Southern Fried Filk.

I ended up heading to the room at about 12:30 AM, but it took a while to fall asleep because getting cramps. I finally fell asleep at I don't know what time, but rather than getting up at 5:30 AM, I awoke at 7:15 AM. Bobby Pierce got awakened after I got out of the shower. We went to Waffle House for breakfast (again, cheap and filling). Once I opened the dealer's room to the dealers at 10:30, we opened up to all at 11AM and stayed open until 5:30PM. bedlamhouse plugged a wireless speaker in so that we could hopefully hear the concerts in the dealer's room. The speaker worked part of the time. I was able to hear some people singing, though I couldn't tell you who sang what, except for Vixy and Tony for one song ("Mal's Song").

Since one of the attendees is unable to go to the banquet because of the high volume factor of the band and stuff, I took him over to the Zagat-rated hole in the wall bbq place down the street. As always, the food was great. They added a new type of a corn muffin (Mexican, which they didn't have there last year) to the menu choices with the combinations.

Because of the scheduling this year, the GoH concert was this afternoon instead of this evening. The Super Secret Guest concert, which was in the afternoon last year, was this evening, so I'm presently listening to Elise Matthesen. She's a good storyteller and good singer. She's a contralto, I think.

After this, there'll be the Interfilk auction. Then open singing. I may stay down for a while, but I'll try to get to bed early. I'm going to try to get back to the apartment for something, but I'm not sure I'll be up early enough to do that, get back, shower, breakfast, and get to the dealer's room to open for the 5-hour shift tomorrow.