In which we actually make it to some of the convention, plus venturing out to Harvard Square to see a really good concert.
One of the difficulties of doing the things I traditionally did at cons when I was younger is that I’m no longer a night owl by practice. I tend to be ready for bed by midnight, and wake up early in the morning, even when I don’t have to. So we were bright-eyed and bushy tailed by 8am, with showers taken care of, and nothing to do until 10am. So we went in search of breakfast.
Now, the Sheraton in Boston where Boskone was being held is attached to a rather large mall. We figured that surely we would be able to find suitable breakfast in the mall area. We hadn’t counted on two factors: a) a huge number of people having the same idea, and b) there being absolutely nothing to eat there! Basically, there were about four choices:
- Dunkin Donuts (I’d rather not, and besides there was a line out the door)
- Au Bon Pain (would have been acceptable, except the line out THEIR door was getting tangled up in the line out of Dunkin Donuts. Which is impressive, as they are across the rather wide thoroughfare from one another)
- Some sort of Market which was serving some amount of food (so crowded and narrow that I had a mild panic attack and had to leave before I broke down)
- A couple of small coffee stands with pastries (not substantial)
After walking around the entire area of the mall and finding nothing that suited, we went to the concierge desk and asked for a suggestion. They pointed us down the street to Thorton’s Diner, which was perfect. A small place, but bright and airy, the prices were good, and the food was superb. I had a half a cantaloupe, a short stack of pancakes, a side of sausage, and an English muffin. I was quite sated by the time we left, and happy that we had conquered the morning food problem.
Having eaten, we decided to investigate the Barnes and Noble, and made a few small purchases, including Dan Savage’s Savage Love, and Nerve.com’s Guide to Sexual Etiquette. Oh, and a copy of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, just to round out the romance department. 🙂
It was now after 10am, and we made our first official stop at the convention….the dealers room, a sure sign that somewhere we had failed our wisdom saving roll. All things considered, we didn’t do badly. We picked up a copy of the short story collection which contains the new Bujold story, and four 4XL T-shirts for me. I then wandered over towards the NESFA table while kitanzi went to look at the art show.
A nice lady at the NESFA table saw me browsing over their selection and said, jokingly, “I can make this easy for you. You want one of everything.” I smiled and said “Technically, that is not an untrue statement. My budget, however, will not always bear my wants.” I did end up making three purchases: Neil Gaiman’s Adventures in the Dream Trade, Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s Making Book, and the new NESFA edition of Silverlock, with a full concordance and several musical scores in the back. I also got to chat with Timothy Szczesuil, who edited the CM Kornbluth collection that NESFA published a few years ago, which has been one of the treasures of my library, and one of the few books I demanded to keep when my ex and I split up.
As it turned out, the next thing we wanted to see was a panel on Silverlock, which included Dave Grubbs, who edited the new edition, Fred Lerner, who assembled the concordance, and Karen Anderson, who has a long association with the book.The panel ended up mostly being about the creation of the new edition and the concordance, but it was still quite interesting.
Afterwards, the lack of sleep was getting to kitanzi, so she decided to head back to the hotel for a nap. I walked her to the room, then set out to meet up with tigerbright. By the time I found her, I wanted fluids and she wanted lunch, so we headed back over to Thorton’s for lunch. Lunch wasn’t quite as good as breakfast, but it was still tasty and not expensive (for the area). Somewhere in the process of this all happening, we lost about an hour, and by the time we got back to the convention, we’d missed most of the mini-concerts. We got to hear the last couple of songs by joecoustic and that was it. Oh well. The next panel that was going to be in that room sounded interesting: “The Tipping Point and Other New Truths”, which was a rather interesting discussion of new theories in social dynamics. The room was rather crowded, and when I got up to step out of the room at one point because my cellphone rang, I ended up losing my seat and having to sit in the corner of the room behind the panel, which made it hard to hear (leading to an unfortunate faux pas on my part when I didn’t realize someone else was talking when I said something), but overall a lot of fun.
Being as it was now 4pm, and we needed to get dinner before our concert, kitanzi, tigerbright, teddywolf, and I left the convention and hopped on the T to Harvard Square, where we ended up eating at John Harvard’s Brewhouse. The meal was very good, with everyone getting something different and lots of sharing around the table. The only downside to the experience was that when we gave them our credit card, they promptly disappeared. For nearly 20 minutes. And we had Somewhere To Be. After lots of pestering, they finally brought it back to us, and I made a notation on the cheque that it shouldn’t take that long to get a credit card processed, no matter how busy the place is. (teddywolf and kitanzi did leave some cash on the table for a tip, but it was smaller than it would have otherwise been if they hadn’t managed to be so completely incapable of getting us checked out promptly.
We walked around the corner and down the street to Club Passim, which was packed to the rafters. We were the last to arrive for the sold out show, and as a result, the four of us couldn’t sit together. Kit and I found a spot down near the front, and TL&TW ended up sitting towards the back. In addition, our seats partially blocked the path to the front tables along the side, which meant every time the poor server came by, either we had to stand up or she had to climb over us. We stood up a lot. 🙂
DaVinci’s Notebook. Wow. I’ve been hearing about these guys for a long time. I’ve heard some of their recordings. I’ve heard their songs being performed by others. But nothing prepared me for the sheer wonderment that is a DVN live show. These are four guys who are quite obviously used to performing together, who are fast friends, and have the kinds of senses of humour that would probably make them fit right into our social circles. I cannot remember the last time I laughed SO hard. It’s obvious that these are spontaneous shows, as well, since the band quite routinely managed to crack each *other* up in the course of their banter. The show included a medley of songs requested by the audience (for which the three rules were 1) it can’t be a DVN song, 2) you can’t intentionally confuse the band, and 3) It can’t be “Bohemian Rhapsody”) which included songs from The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Dyvinals, They Might Be Giants, Moxy Furvious, and others I can’t now recall. I think my favourite numbers of the evening were “Internet Porn” (stop looking at me like that…) and “Magic Kingdom In The Sky. I amused the band by asking, after they did their song “Fuck You” if it was available on any recordings, because I wanted to use it for hold music on the phone system at work.
There were CDs and T-shirts for sale, but we ended up passing, since they are still available by mail order, and we were starting to worry that we might be overspending just a little. So we left the club and went around to Harrel’s for ice cream, and then hopped on the T and back to the hotel. TWolf went off to gaming, and eventually Kit went off to the Hymnal sing, leaving TLily and myself to spend some alone time snuggling and talking. We eventually decided that we wanted to actually go to the filk, so we wandered down to find the open filkroom. I dropped my guitar and songbooks next to drsnark and went to find the con suite, so I could get some caffeinated fluids. I then returned and settled down for a while. Kit came in from the hymnal a bit later.
At one point a Tolkien thread broke out, which set my mind in motion. See, Kit and I had just written a Tolkien filk, which we had planned on debuting at this con. (In fact, we’d planned on debuting it at the Tolkien theme circle Friday night, but we were having too much fun on our date with maedbh7, so we missed it). Unfortunately, I had left the printout of the lyrics on the printer when we packed, so I didn’t have them with me. I was pretty sure I could remember them, but I wasn’t sure I could remember them WHILE trying to perform it. So I got out a sheet of paper, borrowed a pen from Dr. Snark, and proceeded to hastily scribble the words back out from memory. (And a good thing I did, as I would have stumbled on the last verse, based on the 30 seconds it took me to recall it.) The amusing thing about this is that Snark didn’t realize I was remembering a song….he thought I was composing it, and was being very impressed with my songwriting abilities. Heh, as if. (Though if I’d known, I might not have disillusioned him….But I digress). Anyway, I managed to get it all on paper before the Tolkien thread went away, and performed it to much appreciation. Thanks to ladyat for bodhran accompaniment, which really made the song work. (I will post the lyrics soon. I still don’t have a title I like for the darn thing).
At some late point in the evening, the circle turned nicely bawdy, which allowed me to do my song We Will All Sin Together When We Sin. A lot of other lovely risqué material was also performed as well, and much laughter ensued. At some point, when LadyAT was leaving, i got up and went out into the hall to chat with her, and never really got back into the circle. TLily and I sat out in the hall and cuddled and talked some more while listening to the music drift out from the room, and eventually we both realized it was 4am and sleep was going to be on order if we were going to do anything at all. So she went off to find TWolf and I went back to the Hilton where I crashed and promptly surrendered to Oblivion.
Next: Sunday: Birthday Celebrations, Dead Dog parties, and Taking the Con Home
I always seem to pumpkin out before the really good strings of bawdy stuff come around, which I bitterly regret. Oh well…. it was still a hell of a good weekend!
DVN are amazing performers! There were a number of people at the later show who’d also been to the first show, just to pack in as much DVN as possible 🙂
Do you also have an older edition of Silverlock? I have a 1966 printing, and I’d be curious to hear how they compare (I hadn’t realized it had such a following; I picked it up rather randomly some years ago).