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L. David Wheeler's Live Journal, The World's Most Boring Blog
1st-Nov-2011 03:28 am
ShaveDave, jar
I should probably make the annual The OVFF That Was, Ldwheeler Edition post, since the con's a week gone now. As usual, these are just the scattered highlights that burble to the surface of my brain tonight; as usual, I'll use LJ tags when I know 'em or can easily find 'em ...

... And as usual, a weekend among filkers is among the highlights of the year for me, a weekend of decompression and merriment and music and time spent among friends I hardly see, as we get together to create this strange and diverse stream of the Folk Tradition (meant in its most all-encompassing and general sense). It was just sheer fun. And it's my swansong for fannish events until FKO in the spring, as I can't really swing more than three or four cons a year financially these days, certainly not cons with the associated travel expenses that GaFilk or Conflikt would mean. Sigh. Someday I want to get to GaFilk, and hear Moxie live, and dance with a number of the amazing women among my filk friends. And it Will Happen -- just not this time around.

So: My OVFF weekend, in somewhat chronological order:

* Actually managed to get on the road before 11 a.m., as I'd always threatened but hardly ever accomplished, which means I met my goal of hitting Cleveland before Friday rush hour and avoiding a 45-minute-or-such delay. This time around, the whole trip contained only five slow-to-crawls due to construction or road-convergence issues, compared to last year's eight or nine. I was making good enough time that, not realizing how close I was to the hotel and that I'd make the Mad Hatter reception, I stopped for a quasi-dinner: I saw a White Castle, and I'd never eaten at one. Always wanted to try it -- and I can now add that to the list of things that, yes, I tried once; and no, I'll probably not do that again.

* Got to the hotel at the same time as my roommates for the weekend, mrgoodwraith and his Partner in K'Rhyme, Kira Heston. (Here's how awesome and/or insane Kira is: She brought M&M's for our snacking pleasure that she color-coordinated to her outfits for the weekend.

PIC: Peter Alway's Lego Filkroom. That's my Bricky Avatar in the back corner with the beard, I think. Really, the whole thing needs to be seen to be believed.

* Made it to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and plunked myself down at a table with erinwrites, Rand, markbernstein and a few others. Rand and Mark were amid a spirited conversation of DC Comics' new rebooted line; since I don't follow much of DC, I ambled over to an adjoining table where peteralway was holding court with his ever-expanding Lego Filkroom ... and he pointed out that he had added a character in one corner that looks suspiciously Ldwheelery. This makes me very happy and inordinately proud, as if I had actually accomplished something. It's like I made it onto a personal Filk Hall of Fame, or something. Seriously, this kind of thing is one of a dozen of so reasons that I'm very happy Peter and I tend to frequent many of the same cons.

* The Pegasus nominees concert was its usually 20-song set of amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect this year -- a number of the songs on the ballot this year had been unfamiliar to me or at least hadn't jumped out as obvious ballot choices, so I wasn't sure the concert would be as compelling as in previous years. Needn't have worried; catalana lined up a stellar group of performers to deliver their own and others' material. Listing highlights is difficult, because there are arguably 20 highlights, but here goes: The concert opener, Andrew Ross' "Crispy Danish," was hilarious, one of the best alternate takes of the Bard evah ... I'd never seen or heard him before, and last weekend I finally realized that oh yeah, he's the guy who friended me on Facebook a year or two ago using a certain Bujold handle. Sassafrass' rendition of Ada Palmer's "Somebody Will" is one of the few things that manages to get me misty (like that other community anthem "Sam's Song"), and I love the idea of committing to being a link in the chain that advances us as a people, even if -- maybe especially if -- our contribution is in providing inspiration, or contributing to the providing of inspiration. Toyboat did unspeakable things to Frank Hayes' "Little Fuzzy Animals," of course, and billroper gave a wonderful rendition of Eva Van Daele-Hunt's "Die Puppen" that carried the wonder, drama, horror and pathos of the song, which needs to win a Pegasus for something someday. And ladymondegreen, with maybe an hour (if that) to prepare, pulled off an excellent rendition of Talis Kimberley's "Paper Worlds." A common thread throughout the evening was, of course, judifilksign (and a concert like this, with so many different moods, displayed her versatility).

PIC: Andrew Ross, with instrumental assistance by filkertom. Much better performance shots exist online, most notably from phillip2637 on Flickr, but meh, I had the camera.

* Big congratulations to all the winners. I was particularly happy to see Julia Ecklar's "The Phoenix" take the Classic Filk Song category; it's long been one of my favorite filk songs, but one that's always meant Doom (and not the Tower-Of-Flame kind) when I've tried to sing it. I had no doubt that seanan_mcguire's "Wicked Girls" would win the Filk Song category, judging by how beloved it's become throughout the community; what a chord it has struck. Someday I should make a post about how my thoughts about "Wicked Girls" have evolved: I dearly love the song, and think it's an important and necessary song, but I used to have a minor issue with parts of it, specifically the implications raised about various character choices: It seemed like Dorothy and Wendy's decisions to return home were presented as inherently regressive, limiting and born of convention and fear ... which ignored the element that they had family back home that they dearly loved and didn't want to abandon to hang with their cool new friends. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, well, yeah, but Seanan is using those stories as cultural touchstones that we all recognize while addressing the issue that yes, many women -- and in fact, men as well -- do make choices dictated by fear and convention and a sense of what's "nice" and "proper" and never truly live life on their own terms, never realize that yes, they can fly (for whatever that means for them), and live their lives in the air. That's the point of the song, so I realized I was just being difficult and pedantic and probably bringing in a slight whiff of male privilege. So now I love the song with no reservations -- and in point of fact, I loved it anyway even when I had reservations. (And now it appears I've made that post after all, so I don't need to again. I would be curious as to whether anyone else had a similar dialogue with the song. And it's a fine song indeed that can make one wrestle with it and argue with oneself about it ... while singing along because it's just So Dang Great.

And it is late, so I'm going to have to continue this in installments, as usual. More to Come ...
8th-Nov-2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing such a detailed report, for those of us unable to make it!
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