Well, I’d been meaning to post since this time last week, but I’ve just been busy at work and neglecting the journal. Also, it seems that the reason I never seem to get around to trip reports and convention reports is that it’s just too much bother pulling what amount to a lot of random thoughts into coherent paragraphs, so I’m going to steal a page from sdorn and just post some random thoughts.

  • Having dinner at Maggiano’s Italian restaurant on Thursday night before the con. For those of you who are wondering, no, you can’t eat there easily while on a low-carb diet. We made a more or less conscious decision to just go “off-plan” for the duration of the weekend. And boy was it good! We can only afford to eat there about once a year anyway, so it’s not a HUGE temptation to stray…
  • The Friday afternoon adventure of driving jhitchin up to a Japanese bookstore which turned out to be more complex than we’d realized. See, when he first asked about it, and we looked at where it was, I said “Oh, I know exactly where that is, no problem!” When we arrived at the shopping centre, though, it was nowhere to be found. They still had a sign on the big sign out front, but they weren’t in the centre directory, and no one had heard of them. So I called directory assistance, got their phone number, and called. “Oh, no, we’ve moved”, they said. Now, I can understand a Yellow Pages entry being out of date, but a website? Good grief! Luckily, their new location was only about 15-20 minutes away, so we still made it there, but the delay meant we had to drive back down to the con hotel in rush hour traffic.
  • The Great Con Suite Migration of 2003 — Friday evening, it suddenly occurred to the hotel that when we said we were going to be up making noise all night, what we actually meant was that we would be up all night, making noise. The problem was that the consuite was located in a place where it was not entirely surrounded by con attendees, but partially by airline pilots who weren’t going to be happy about loud conversation and laughter at one in the morning. In all fairness, the hotel handled it very well, apologized profusely, and after a bit of checking, offered to move our con suite to the suite around the corner, on the same floor, which *was* totally surrounded by our people,and even gave us a giant tray of fruit on Saturday morning for free. I’m sure the dealers were a bit unhappy about not having the consuite right next to them, but at least it was still on the same floor.
  • The “My Filk” game was especially good this year. Lots of laughs, especially when one of the teams was actually outscored by the audience. Everyone was a good sport about the whole thing.
  • bardiclug‘s concert. We don’t do a lot of concerts at GaFilk. Only four are scheduled every year: The GoH, the Toastmaster, the Interfilk guests, and one special performer that we choose. This year, we chose Scott, and he was incredible. I especially loved his cycle of D&D songs.
  • Talking in the consuite with S & P and their daughter T.
  • I got to hear about half of jhitchin‘s concert, whilst running around doing other things. Quite a lot of fun.
  • The 2×10’s are perhaps my favourite part of GaFilk. The format is essentially 2 shots, with a maximum of 10 minutes total for each performer. We schedule three hours of these on Saturday afternoon, and it’s always fun to see a whole bunch of people get stage time. (Note to my British readers: yeah, we did sorta steal this from you. Thanks. <G>). We did try an experiment this year, though. Rather than doing the list in the order they were signed, we drew the names randomly, about 3 performers in advance. There were varied reasons for this, most of which had to do with too many people stressing over not just getting a slot, but wanting a particular slot in the order. I think next year, we’ll modify this a bit, but it didn’t work out horribly. Despite a long set up for one performer, and another performer going over time by a bit, we still finished the entire set of 18 performers only 5 minutes over schedule.
  • The banquet was a ton of fun, in large part because of The Mary Crowell Trio (consisting of quadrivium on the piano, weirdsister‘s husband G. on the standup bass, and local percussionist B. on the drums.) doing the entertainment. It was, if anything, more impressive than last year, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
  • GoH Bob Asprin’s concert. Wow. Just…..wow. Bob was very nervous, he told me later, because he hadn’t performed music in public in at least 15 years. It didn’t show. He did a tremendous set, all off-book, including a cycle of Kipling songs that he hadn’t planned to do but which were requested from the audience.
  • Pulling off a conspiracy. nrivkis had mentioned some days before that it was her birthday just after GaFilk, and expressed the desire to do something at the con to commemorate it. Well, it just so happened that we were serving cake for our Saturday evening social. I made sure to have our con suite crew pick me up some birthday candles when they did the shopping. As soon as I was able to get hold of one and find out where N. was sitting, I selected a piece of cake (with the aid of mnemex ), lit the candle I’d stuck in it, and then presented it to her. The entire room joined in a chorus of Happy Birthday, followed immediately by the Birthday Dirge. The look on N’s face was worth any effort I may have expended to do this small thing.
  • Hearing Diana Gallagher play and sing at the dead dog. I had asked Diana if she wanted a performance slot on the program, and she had replied that it had been so long since she picked up a guitar that she wouldn’t be able to do any performing. Well, a weekend at GaFilk changed her mind, and she borrowed a guitar from someone and did several songs. Diana G. was one of my favourite filk artists Back When, and getting to meet her and her husband Marty, who was also a fine performer before his tragic illness, was not just a highpoint of this weekend, but of the last year — and the last year has had a lot more highpoints than low points for me! They are both wonderful people, and if you get a chance to meet them, take it!
  • Seeing all my friends and family who are much too far away. There’s just too many of you to name and too great a chance I’ll leave someone out if I do, but it was just wonderful to see all of you. Yes, even you. And *especially* you!
  • Of course, the biggest highlight of all was getting to spend the weekend at a filkcon among all those friends and family and around all that music with my sweetie, kitanzi She really does make everything just that much more fun.

    Next year is going to be a LOT of fun!

    GaFilk 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    January 9-11, 2004

    Guest of Honor: Mich Sampson (callylevy)
    Toastmaster: Mary Crowell (quadrivium)
    Interfilk Guests: Rand Bellavia and Adam English

    And of course, another Super Secret Guest, plus more fun than you can shake a stick at. Y’all come…