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11 August 2013 @ 01:18 am
A Pleasant Pennsic  
I long to be out in the sun with no work to be done
- Irving Berlin, featured quote of the day July 26

This year, Pennsic was a delight, in large part due to my companions and in part due to maintaining my commitment not to do anything I didn't actually want to do.

I had originally wanted to go out for the full two weeks, but with WW the previous weekend, that would have meant getting back from site late on Sunday and leaving Thursday night for War. While this sounded entirely do-able in my head, this was a plan made of crack and insanity. :P Luckily, whymc could not leave until Tuesday, so I had a week to do laundry, repack, work a few more days and otherwise better prepare myself for a successful war.

The drive out was mostly uneventful - I had some trouble getting to Chicago because of asshattery on Highway 14, but the rest of the drive went smoothly. I picked up whymc in Chicago, we did some minor carpentry to improve my tent, packed the car and hit the road by just after dark and pulled into site around 8AM on Wednesday morning, neatly avoiding the early-week rains. It was awesome to see O and F again - I had not seen them since India and they had a surprise! F is pregnant and staying stateside after War, O to join her in the next month or so! Squee! More spawn! Set up went incredibly well - the temperature was reasonable so I didn't hate myself, others, and the world by the time I was done. We even got done quickly enough that we were able to go on the town run and grab lunch before I had to be back for my first class!

The week itself was, as usual, filled with a lot of classes. However, as part of my only doing what I actually wanted to do, I didn't force myself to go to classes I "should" go to or that filled a hole in my schedule - I wandered merchants or went back to camp for relaxation or napping. Having Northshield populace in E01 made that option so much easier to take - Pennsic University was essentially across the street from where I lived, so it was easy to pop back and forth as I wanted or if I forgot something. Super handy. Classes were of average quality, but I'll address those separately, if I get a chance. I only taught one class, a night time powerpoint tour of Pictland - it was fun, but it ran until later than most people were game for and it got REALLY cold by the end. On the other hand, I got pointed out as "that Eithni" in at least three classes, so I'm apparently notorious. :P

I spent a lot more time down in the bog this year, mostly because of my camp mates - we had a really excellent crew this year. We all got on so well that the plan is to work on communal camp goods for next year and we have already started a facebook planning group for out little nerdy Norse enclave. :) whymc, Denis, and I are also investigating buying a trailer to store on site to make it more feasible to just keep those items there. We hope to have a more comfortable, more period camp next year. I am pleased. Anyway, the crew were of the partying people, so I got to tromp along for at least some of the forays into the bog, which was pleasant. (I even went to Fizzball this year, after not going for something like a decade! Although there I REALLY felt out of place in my perfect Norse among the T-Shirts and utilikilts. I was much more in my element when I bailed on that to go to Preachain's Early Period A&S day. :P) Having a posse for the bog-going is really key for me. It's not really fun to go down there on one's own as the parties are not really good places to meet people - I'm not tall, skinny, and scantily dressed, so if I don't already know someone, it is hard to get them to give me the time of day. :P Granted, I have some trouble meeting people topside too... I guess I'm just a little less outgoing at War. I'd always chalked it up to the heat, but there was no such excuse this year. I think I just fall into my pattern of classes and sewing and am content. Still, it was nice to get out of the usual rut a bit.

I had a sort of hit-or-miss war as far as visiting with friends go. I got to see albreda a few times in passing and in some of her classes. I didn't see nearly enough of gflower and zarhooie despite being camped near them. I didn't see a whole lot of mightyjesse, but her hot beverages saved me from freezing my ass off on several nights at Vlad's. I saw thatpotteryguy and katrionans and her family several times as I wandered the merchants. judithsewstoo was apparently on site, but I didn't know about it until I got home and never ran into her, which made me a sad panda. I caught ursule and her hubbin at least once, but just in passing, unfortunately. I should have made more of an effort to track them down to geek. ragnvaeig was her usual wonderful self and her classes excellent as always. I was pleasantly surprised at how often and how much time I got to spend with raventhourne and her hubbin - I had anticipated only getting to pop in on them and maybe sit through her class, but I guess the shiny hats just made them that much more visible and happily I caught them at less-busy moments when that had some time to chat. :) I was less successful with jtdiii - I popped in several times but never successfully caught him until the very end of war - once while on security and once as I was packing out and he saved my bacon. And them of course, there was plenty of time with non-LJers, but mostly just my campmates and apprenti. I was able to almost entirely avoid the people I didn't want to look at and spent a lot of time with people I value, so in all it was a major win.

The weather all week was a delight - 70's and 80's during the day, which made for some cold nights, but I am NOT complaining! There were only a few days where the class tents were too warm and more than a few times that I found myself swathed in wool at midday! :) Happy little Pict! There also was a very limited amount of precipitation and none of it that interfered with my plans, so I was content.

We packed out on Friday, a day before site close, but whymc needed to get home and this allowed us to miss the rain forecast for Friday night that would have made packing up wet canvas a pain. We did hit a snag on the way out - the tire that had acted up on the way to WW and that I had taken to be fixed had apparently been "fixed" and had gone COMPLETELY flat over the two weeks. Bother and damn. No one in Northshield had a portable air compressor, so we were thinking we would have to put on the spare. However, on the way walking to where the car had been pulled over, I realized we were passing jtdiii's camp and he is, well, nothing it not well-prepared. On a hunch, I stopped in, was lucky enough to find him in, and he was kind enough to take a break from breaking down his camp to pull out his air compressor for me! The battery quit with the tire about 2/3 inflated, but that was enough to creep along to where we could get the tire properly inflated.

Happily, that was the last of our adventures. We made pretty good time back to Chicago, but with breaks for a real dinner and a short nap. whymc pulled over and surrendered driving before trying to kill us all this year, so that was good. I pulled into Madison about 4:30 AM and so was pretty worthless last weekend as I slept off the War and Washed All The Things. :)

All in all, an excellent War. My only real regret is that it is 11.5 months until I can go back!
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