I walked over about 10:30, to help out if needed and to make sure we were set up for the alumni table. oidhche and I taped our giant poster to a tree, but I didn't think to take a picture of it.
If you missed this year, here's the one-paragraph version: Next year will be the 25th annual Medfest. To celebrate the quarter century/silver anniversary, there will be an alumni event of some sort following the festival. As always, "alumni" in the context of Medfest includes people who participated in the organization or events, even if they never graduated from Drew, and people who were part of the social group (e.g. eating at the Medfest table), even if they didn't participate in the activities. The goal is to get as many alumni as possible to show up for next year. The date is not yet fixed, but will mostly likely be April 9, 2011. We should have a firm date withing the next week or so. The nature of the alumni event is yet to be determined. Input is welcomed. As information becomes available over the course of the next year, it will be posted to the website. I encourage you to 1) plan to attend; 2) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information so we can keep you updated; and 3) spread the word to those you know who I'm not in contact with.
Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious from context: oidhche and I are the ones who are coordinating the planning. We didn't have enough cats to herd.
So, I spent the first couple of hours at the table, pestering everyone to leave their information and take a Save-the-Unconfirmed-Date card. Right in front of me was a copy of the schedule:
I was conveniently located to be able to watch the whip show:
and the belly dancers - although from behind:
Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to take video of either performance.
Eventually I took my turn in the almost-an-hour-long food line, which gave me a chance to watch part of a play and listen to a Pubsingers set. I brought my food back uphill and settled at a table near the chessboard, where I spent most of the rest of the afternoon.
It was about this time that I had one of those weird experiences that I need to get used to, which wouldn't have happened to me six months ago. daeron introduced me to his friend Loretta, with the information that both of us had been at Wicked Faire. So she said, "Hi, I'm Jeff Mach's vanilla friend. The only one, as far as I know."
And promptly my brain switched out of I'm-at-Medfest-and-this-is-my-place and into Oh-my-god-scary-person-talking-to-me. And, you know, I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Because what I thought was something between "That's nice, did you want a cookie for that?" and "Why on earth is a stranger telling me this?" What I actually said was something along the lines of "Um... er..."
Then she told me a story about being mistaken for a dominatrix in the hallway. And I said, "Oh. I didn't really see much of Wicked Faire. I was only there one afternoon, and I spent most of it in the lobby." Thus, I established myself as a total dork. I have mad skillz. Did I think to mention that I was there following Hugh, who undoubtedly knows her, since he knows everyone (and Facebook confirms it)? I did not. Did I manage to have any sort of meaningful conversation? I did not. FAIL.
Ah well. It was a great day for seeing lots of people I did know. Clans Kogan, Driks and Rosenthal were there. It's great to watch the kids of Medfesters, ten and under, wandering around on their own. It's a completely safe environment for them, and it lets them get their first taste of independence. Mostly, they were in and out of the jail:
As of course was oidhche. He was arrested on a number of charges, but the best was when Jim Hala had him arrested for wearing socks.
Neil and family came, which was likely my doing. (I can talk anyone into anything, right?) His older son was picked at random to be the token audience kid on the chessboard. The students, of course, had no way of knowing that his first appearance in the chess game had been ten years earlier, as an infant.
Speaking of the chess game, that was when it did occur to me that my camera takes video. The audio is not so great. There's a lot of crowd noise, particularly the Mikes who were standing behind me chatting the whole time. However, I'm finally entering the 21st century, and providing the best of what I got.
Most audible and moderately entertaining dialogue:
Best actual combat:
And a reasonably entertaining fight, including an unintended broken staff:
Overall, though, it's very clear that the current group needs some help with combat training. I mean, I was never much of a combat person, and I'm appalled by some of what they were doing - and not just the speed and choreography, I mean safety and weapons care. However, since I don't have the necessary skills to volunteer to help, I'll just be keeping my mouth shut, and hoping no one gets hurt.
However, they may have actually managed a new and different ending to the chess game. They broke the fourth wall. The final fight was related to the plot. It was nicely dramatic and tense. One of the fighters said, "We've both lost so much! What's the point of all this?" Then the king stepped forward and said, "Well, actually, we do it every year, just for entertainment. But the day's almost over. You should join us over at the pavilion for the closing ceremonies in ten minutes." And everyone wandered away. And there was a cluster of alumni, standing around shaking our heads and trying to figure out what just happened, and whether we'd ever seen it before.
After everything wrapped up, the fun moved back to my place. It ended up being me, John and Richard, palingyuan, daeron, oidhche, and swimpaddlz, who couldn't make it for Medfest but came to hang out afterward anyway. I didn't feel like making the store run, so instead of grilling we just ordered pizza. And a good time was had by all, I think. Certainly a good time was had by me.
And that's basically all the Medfest news. I didn't make a trip through the vendors, so I can't report on what was there this year, but there were a number of tents. Oh, and I got thanked in the program! That hasn't happened since before I stopped helping with costuming.
It was a good day. I missed everyone who didn't make it, of course. Please, plan to come next year!