mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week. Even a con, with a concert that came off well, didn't help all that much. My anxiety--or whatever it is, because alexithymia--levels are through the roof, even after cutting back on coffee and Facebook time.

Getting through the concert did reduce my stress quite a bit; that effect lasted through the rest of the weekend. A couple of great conversations; the one we had Sunday evening/night reminded me a lot of the conversation I had with Naomi all those years ago at OVFF, which arguably led to a lot of what's happened since. So, yeah. Friendship is good. Making new friends is wonderful.

I'd originally planned to leave Sunday afternoon. I'm incredibly grateful to Naomi for giving me an excuse to stay on the extra day. I wouldn't have missed that conversation for anything. (That's assuming, of course, that I'd known about it ahead of time. One can't exactly schedule such things. One can, however, be open to them when they happen. I seem to be moderately good at that; it's just getting started that's so rare.)

The concert. Well. Of course, being totally frazzled leading into it, I neglected to record it. I'm hoping that the woman who recorded it on her cell phone gets back to me -- of course I neglected to get her contact info, too. The set list was drastically revised after the election; what we ended up with was:

  • Kitchen Heroes
  • Quiet Victories
  • Windward
  • Nemesis
  • Mary Ellen Carter
  • Bells of Norwich
  • The Times, They Are A Changin'
  • Gentle Arms of Eden
  • The Dreamer
  • Ship of Stone
  • Millennium's Dawn
  • Most of them had new arrangements--N has started composing harmony lines. Millennium's Dawn, with her harmony and the new last verse, worked particularly well. Bells of Norwich was new to me, as was the guitar part for Nemesis. You know things are going to be different when QV is the second song in the set.

    Oh, yeah: the bad stuff. Colleen's stairlift finally broke past my ability to jury-rig it. Much cursing, while I set up the sofabed in the Rainbow Room. (Although that was another good reason to stay the extra day at the con -- the sofabed is horribly uncomfortable.)

    ...Aaaaand the ... ugly? Maybe. N handed me a card that said "YOU MATTER". Which is something Colleen says to me quite frequently, also. That started a train of thought, because it reminded me of an article that had come by earlier in the week and that I felt... odd... about. Some initial reactions below in the notes. I know it's meant to be encouraging; to make me feel good about myself or something like that. It doesn't, though, and I can't figure out why.

    I really hate important stuff I can't figure out. If it was a server I'd be busy analyzing logs and cursing the lack of comments in the code. Come to think of it,...

    Notes & links, as usual )

    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    So, last weekend was Westercon. It was the first we'd been to for a while -- Portland is close enough to drive to in less than 3 hours, so we were able to do it without my having to take any time off.

    My concert Saturday evening went ok: Bigger on the Inside, The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of, Millennium's Dawn, Riverheart, The Toolmakers, The Bears (A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear, A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear), The Travelers (Where the Heart Is, Windward), Rambling Silver Rose, QV, Ship of Stone.

    There were a couple of flubs, but nothing serious -- not bad for next to no prep, but I'll have to get more serious about practicing. I had taken Plink, the little Vagabond travel guitar; that was almost certainly the right choice. Though I think the battery was dead; we ended up micing it for the concert, which got me off to a bit of a late start. Putting my phone, in clock mode, on the music stand turned out to work very well.

    I didn't go to any panels -- just hung out in the filk room or the lobby with my laptop. (I'd also brought my work laptop, but never used it.) As usual, I enjoyed it more than I expected to beforehand: I've learned the hard way that it's better -- and I'm less likely -- to regret having done something than to regret not having done it. (Does that construction make sense? Probably, though it's less clear than I'd like.)

    Great conversations over dinner with [personal profile] alatefeline on Saturday (or was that Sunday lunch?), and Roy and Joan Sunday. On the whole a good, fairly relaxed con.

    Notes & links, as usual )

    At Sasquan

    Aug. 21st, 2015 07:16 am
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    We arrived at Sasquan, or rather at our hotel, around 3:30pm. after having left at 10:15, only 15 minutes behind schedule. Not too bad a drive; would probably have been close to the 4 hours Google said it would be if we hadn't run into bad traffic in Seattle and road work in the middle of nowhere.

    Several good conversations.

    My only program item is my half-hour concert today (Friday) at 2:30pm. I'll be doing mostly songs from the album I need to get (re)started on Real Soon Now(TM), Amethyst Rose.

    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    When we left our intrepid, if somewhat reluctant, adventurer he was in the process of moving in to his new apartment in Lake Forest Park. (When the rest of the family arrived on Tuesday it somewhat inevitably acquired the name North Starport; the only other serious contender was Starport North, but that doesn't have the built-in pun that justifies the new URL.)

    Tuesday the 3rd was busy. I had an interview at Facebook (that resulted in a rejection, and a severely dented passenger-side front door thanks to a concrete post in the parking garage) in the morning, came back to Shoreline for some badly-needed rehearsal time, then down to Seatac to pick up Colleen and the YD at the airport.

    That's when I found out that Colleen was en route to the ER, having gashed her leg on a closing fire-door coming out of the jetway. GLEEP! (And someone dinged the front bumper of my car in the Lowes parking lot.) By the time we finally got everybody back to the apartment and got settled in, I was pretty thoroughly frazzled.

    Internet turned on sometime Tuesday as well; it was supposed to have been the previous Thursday, but I'd given them the street number of the office rather than of the building. Oops. But at least I could be frazzled with a live net connection.

    I'd brought up quite a lot of stuff in the van, but there were still some omissions. Like, a phone cable and a computer power cord. Minor -- I made do quite well with the netbook, though stuff like posting on DW went by the wayside. Oh, and pillows. I borrowed a set from the Wolfling, who stayed with us in the apartment Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

    Tuesday evening we had dinner with Chaos and her new BF, Rabbit (James).

    Wednesday we made our expedition to Central Market. Thursday we had dinner with Naomi and her kids, then made our way to the Seatac Doubletree for Westercon.

    Saturday was my concert. Formal setlist and recordings later, one hopes; for now, the set was The Fox, As You See, Wheelin, The River, Riverheart, Boom Gone To Bust, Kitchen Heroes, and Inherit the Earth. The first half was something of a minor trainwreck, but I felt good about the second half.

    A few good conversations at the con; nothing very deep, but people are glad to see us moving up to the area.

    Monday was a full day of interviews at Google's Seattle office. I really hope I get that one.

    Yesterday noonish we set out for finally set out for home. Old home? The apartment -- and the PNW -- is already starting to feel a lot like home. There's nothing like a couple of drives through the desert to make one long for a place where it's cool and moist a lot of the time.

    raw notes )
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    Hmm. A pretty good day, I guess. Maybe? 2.3mi walk. Worked seriously on the Consonance concert set, and got in some practice. Put in a request for a concert at Westercon.

    I realized, during my walk, that I don't know how to smile on demand. Never have. I smile when it's... induced?... by the situation, but I can't do it deliberately. Supposedly, if one smiles, one becomes happier. The best I can do now seems to be some kind of grimace. I'm guessing it's a skill worth learning. Wonder how much time looking stupid in front of a mirror it's going to take...

    I spent quite a lot of time reading The Language of Emotions; my bullshit meter pegged at a couple of points, especially in a section where she groups various drugs and practices into categories by their effects. Other parts seem to make sense, but how much of it can really be trusted? I don't know enough about the subject to tell.

    About 10:30 pm I started drifting off. As I'm starting to do now.

    raw notes )
    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    So, to make up for having missed a couple of weeks worth of Saturdays, you're getting a bonus this week.

    After talking it over, Naomi and I decided that it'll be better -- or at least simpler -- to ask for forgiveness than permission, so the entire recording of Lookingglass Folk at Conflikt 2012 is now up on the web.

    I don't like the way the guitar came out -- sorry about that; if I have time I'll try to process the other recording I got from [ profile] hms42. But the performance? Yeah. That worked.

    Please enjoy.

    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    The concert was divided into two sections: a journey through time and space; and myths, legends, and current events. I think it came off reasonably well modulo a couple of major flubs where I lost my concentration. Have to work on that.

    1 [ogg] [mp3] Keep the Dream Alive (Savitzky)
    2 [ogg] [mp3] Millennium's Dawn (Savitzky)
    3 [ogg] [mp3] Where the Heart Is (Rivkis/Hills)
    4 [ogg] [mp3] Ship of Stone (Simpson)
    5 [ogg] [mp3] Cicero in the 21st Century (Savitzky)
    6 [ogg] [mp3] Daddy's World (Savitzky)
    7 [ogg] [mp3] Quiet Victories (Savitzky)

    on the web: Steve Savitzky at Westercon 2011

    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    The setlist and audio for my concert at Baycon a week ago are on the web at

    ... and also here, for those who prefer not to leave LJ )

    That only leaves about a year's worth of catching up to do...

    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
    1 The World Inside the Crystal
    2 Inherit the Earth
    3 Keep the Dream Alive
    4 The Rambling Silver Rose
    5 Ship of Stone
    6 A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear
    7 A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear
    8 Riverheart
    9 Wheelin'
    10 The River
    11 Quiet Victories

    The only thing that went seriously wrong was forgetting to turn on my recorder; fortunately Harold Groot was recording video. That and the week-long series of screw-ups over the time. (Side note to non filk-con filk-track planners: if the FGOH is a filker, make their concert a separately-scheduled event so that it can go on the program as a single item rather than being lumped into a two-hour block with the other filkers.) (Side note to convention planners in general: if there are two people sharing a guest slot, don't schedule them for separate program items at the same time unless they specifically request it. Which they shouldn't and almost certainly won't)

    The timing worked out perfectly; I'd had "Millennium's Dawn" in reserve, but didn't need it; the rest fit the "adventure" theme pretty well, at least using Bilbo's definition of stuff that's uncomfortable, dangerous, and makes you late for dinner. It was all stuff I know well, so I was even able to look at the audience a little. There were a couple of people there who obviously hadn't heard my stuff before, or at least my new material; I think I did well.

    I was told later in the circle that the intro I gave for Rambling Silver Rose would have fit "Bound for Hacker's Heaven" even better. Kinda wish I'd thought of it.

    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    Just a very quick note from Loscon. We arrived safely; my concert was this evening at 5:30. Set list: Riverheart, Inherit the Earth, the two Bears, Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of, and QV. I recorded it; that will be up eventually, but not until after I get back to a reasonably fast computer with gigabit access to my fileserver.

    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
    raw notes )

    My half-hour concert came off without trainwrecks (and only a couple of glitches, which hopefully weren't too noticable to most of the audience. I got a couple of positive comments afterwards, including from the sound guy and GOH. I got the setlist keyed in and an unsplit ogg up on the web in record time, largely because I had nothing better to do while the laundry was running. Some good conversation, though. Not much singing outside the concert. A couple of songs by request in the con suite.

    It was a very small con; well under 100 people. They don't have a date, a hotel, or guests for next year; it may well not happen. Sadness.

    (ETA: Nick says that it will happen next year; we'll see.)

    A good phone call to Callie, who I think needed a friendly voice about then.

    It was a good day, and a good weekend.

    mdlbear: (audacity)

    The Tres Gique concert from last Friday at Baycon can be found, in a rather unsatisfactory and preliminary form, here. It has ogg and mp3 files, but essentially nothing else. More this evening after I've had a few more hours to jump up and down on it.

    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    Here's the setlist for last night's Tres Gique concert:

    1. The World Inside the Crystal
    2. Bugs
    3. Daddy's World
    4. Keep the Dream Alive
    5. The Mushroom Song
    6. I Wanna Be a Webmaster
    7. Guilty Pleasures
    8. The Rambling Silver Rose
    9. The Owl and the Pussycat
    10. Ship of Stone

    It was after AJA's concert, which ran late: I don't think we started until 11:15 or so. Bailed on "TEOTW" and "Stuff that Dreams are Made Of" when it started getting late, and wrapped up a few minutes before midnight. Sold two album preorders after the concert, which was good.

    For this concert Tres Gique consisted of me, Joyce, Jordan, and [ profile] chaoswolf, so I picked songs that Kat knew the choruses for, and that didn't require [ profile] cflute's voice. Kathy Mar told me later that Kat has the makings of a great singing voice: good breathing and volume, and plenty of enthusiasm. All she needs is little ear training to help her sing exactly what she's hearing. She's about where I was at that age, in other words. I still can't carry a tune in a paper bag without an instrument to back it up.

    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    Took the household out to Alexander James's concert in Palo Alto last night. Wow!

    He has a few of Heather's mannerisms, like the lopsided grin, and uses a couple of the same guitar and fiddle riffs, but he's definitely his own person. More mellow, quieter, and seemingly a lot more comfortable in his skin than Heather was in hers.

    And his version of "Creature of the Wood" is just plain awesome.

    mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

    So, due to someone else dropping out, I now have a concert at Baycon. I was offered the slot on Friday at 7:00pm, which is immediately before [ profile] cflute's. Naturally, I took it. (Waves to [ profile] cflute) Since there are five songs we do together, it will make a great transition. Hmm.

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