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28 February 2005 @ 11:55 am
Arizona Renn Fest  
As many of you know, I've been sent to Phoenix for two weeks to spend time on site with one of our major customers, trying to beat various problems into submission before they release their product to their own customers.

There have been long hours (though, with one day that actually was only 10 hours I kept it to just over 60 hours in the week - and took 5 days instead of 3 to do it! Woohoo!) and little time to do much more than work, eat, and sleep.

However, since they did not have people on site over the weekend there wasn't much work I could do while here. That left the weekend free for other activities, as I had hoped.

A very good friend of ladyat and I was scheduled to play at the Renn Fest here, which happened to be about 30 miles from where I was to be staying. I brought my throw-together Sport Kilt, floppy peasant shirt, and boots. With no work on the schedule for Saturday (huzzah!) I sallied forth.

I caught up with Susan as she was playing next to one of the eateries, and received the expected expression of amazement and "what the heck are you doing here!" I was also handed the guitar and requested - nay, ordered - to play a couple of songs she thought would go particularly well. They went so well, in fact, that she invited me to sit in on some of her sets that day.

I had brought my Copeland whistle with me but had been forced to take it back to the car. There is a strict rule - weapons can be brought on site if peace-bonded, but outside instruments are not allowed at all. "Someone might play them, y'see." In my initial wanderings, I found a music store that was selling little black Waltons for $6, which isn't a bad price at all for a fine little whistle, so I bought one. Therefore, I was whistled and ready to go.

Susan performs as "Rosie Peaseblossom" and was doing a lot of her singing at this fair with one of the cast members, "Pirate Molly" because her persona generally prefers rowdy drinking sea songs. Our styles seemed to fit together well (what, me sing rowdy drinking songs? Ha!) and we were off.

Suffice it to say that I ended up playing rather a lot of music, especially once Susan had her mandolin fetched and we were able to play some of the songs we had "stolen in common" from various friends around the Atlanta area.

The security at this site is very strict so there was no real "hang around" time after the festival closed for the day. Susan and I went out to dinner and caught up (ladyat has seen her more recently and often than I have) and then I headed back to the hotel.

Back to the festival on Sunday, this time cunningly concealing the deadly whistle within the folds of my kilt. By the end of day Sunday the three of us were feeling like a real band, having progressed on a couple of songs from the "let's jam" to the "we've played this enough we are approaching a real arrangement" phase. Added to the practicing I've been doing to prepare for upcoming St. Pat's gigs, this is the most music I've played in a long time (including filk cons). It has gone a long way to restoring my personal wa.

It turns out that I will be back here between the last two weekends of the faire. Hopefully I can arrange my schedule to be at the faire one of those days. In fact, Susan offered to get me an audition with the entertainment folks because - as the faire was extended an extra weekend - there are a lot of openings on the last weekend. Unfortunately,I do have to be home the weekend of April 2nd, so this was not an option. It was flattering to be asked, though.

And so, sunburned (forgot sunscreen on Saturday and had forgotten to bring a hat) but feeling creative, I'm ready to face the week.
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: "Bump the Harper"
Marybraider on February 28th, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC)
So, are Twisted Sisters the braiders at the Arizona Faire?

Yeah, I'm braid-geeking.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on February 28th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
Actually, I had meant to mention that I thought of you when I saw the Twisted Sisters booth.

They seemed to be doing a very constant amount of business.
Marybraider on February 28th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
*beam* If you go again, stop by and tell them Mary from Dreamweaver Braiding says hello. Some of them might know who I am, Cindy and I have emailed back and forth.
Amanda Snyderpafuts on February 28th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, it's been alot of years since we went to Arizon Faire.

Last time we went we were the only non-employees in garb and we got out photo taken about a million times, which was quite fun. I understand we made the paper that week but we were back in L.A. by then. :)

madfilkentistmadfilkentist on February 28th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
There is a strict rule - weapons can be brought on site if peace-bonded, but outside instruments are not allowed at all.

Does that mean you could have brought bagpipes in, if peace-bonded?
Scott Snyderbardiclug on February 28th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking to myself - how would you peacebond a Banjo?

Jim: Marcus catpoltr1 on February 28th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Or tin whistles? How does one peacebond a tin whistle?

(Yeah, I know -- modern woodwinds like flytes, saxophones, and clarinets are Not Period.)
madfilkentistmadfilkentist on March 1st, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)
Bagpipes are definitely weapons, banjos arguably so, but I think you'd have a hard time passing a tin whistle off as a weapon, even if it's peace-bonded.
Jim: Marcus catpoltr1 on March 1st, 2005 03:01 am (UTC)
Clarinets are definitely weapons, at least in my hands. Ambrose Bierce was right! Now excuse me while I hit this altissimo C.