Pennsic XXX Recollections (or "Men- Can't Live with Them, Can't Kill Them Much")

Updated 8/23/01 (this page is under construction until I say it is not)

A Few Precautionary Notes

By reading this, you may very well learn more about me than you would ever wish to know. If you're not comfortable with that idea, by all means, leave now. If you do read on, remember that I included this warning. What follows isn't designed to make me sound like a happy, wonderful person. It's here because people I care about have asked me how my Pennsic went, and because I believe in being truthful with my friends, and not hiding myself from them. You may or may not find yourself mentioned in this text, and you may or may not be mentioned in a flattering context. I'm sorry if any of what I say offends you, but I have recorded my observations, not facts per se. Again, if you aren't sure you want to know, don't look.

Also, this stuff is originally taken from 2 diary entries that I made. It's not chronological, it's not necessarily in order of importance. In short, I ramble a lot. Deal. :)

Also, obviously I think, don't go passing out this URL without my explicit permission.

Monday, August 20, 2001

Iím back from Pennsic as of 1 this morning. What a trip. And I donít just mean the car drive.

In brief, Iím scoring Pennsic between 65-75%, subject to my mood and what Iím remembering at the time. While there were a lot of good times, there were no great times, there was at least one really bad time, one moderately bad time, and several minor annoyances.

The trip down and back was probably the smoothest Iíve ever had. No incidents to mention, and having A/C in the car was a godsend. In addition, having my cellphone was fun just because I was able to call people from wherever I wished. On the way down Ghislane and I visited Towanda and her new husband (another John). It was great to see her again after so long, and I really think weíve stabilized our friendship again. Their apartment was ratherÖwell, plain, but I think theyíll be okay. Iím not really sure. Her husband didnít impress me too much, but he probably didnít know what to make of me. Could be shy, too. Most importantly, she seems happy with how things are going. Iíve missed her. The only downside of visiting her was that it made the remainder of the trip seem a lot longer. Maybe because of anticipation.

On the way back we saw Niagara Falls for at least my first time. I feel horrible for saying this, but I think I was actually a little disappointed. I suspect that I was suffering from post-Pennsic shock. I definitely want to go again with friends, and under less stressful conditions, especially since itís so close to the Pennsic route anyway. It may be telling that I took more pictures there than I took at Pennsic itself. <sigh>

I canít figure out how to break down this Pennsic, so Iíll see what hits me as Iím writing.

Jason- About the only things I have left to say to him are ĎYou made your priorities pretty clearí and ĎSure we can talk, but weíre not friends.í Iím not sure that thereís anything he could do to become my friend again, but I do think that he wouldnít do whatever it would be (example- last time we weren't getting along the value of a phonecall apparently never occurred to him). Heís labeled himself as too passive in my eyes. I really think that in the long term itís going to get him into a hell of a lot of trouble. In the short term, itís cost him my friendship. And the best part? He did it in under 5 mins. One minute weíre talking and Iím beginning to think hanging out with him is cool, the next minute he and Carson are making out as if theyíre in some kind of relationship and Iíve become invisible or something. For the second time in my life I got to watch someone I cared about make out with another less than 5í away from me while completely ignoring my presence. I wouldnít have thought it possible. Again, I vow that I will never, NEVER place sex above my friends.

I think the most damming aspect of this war was that I had virtually no support network. Portia, Amanda, Towanda were all absent. Marieke, Cenwulf, Sharon, Allison, Rowan, and almost everyone else I saw at war seemed swamped with things to do. Angel had to leave early after Iíd only been able to see her once. Claudine, who it was good to see again, was dreadfully busy. I donít quite understand how I ended up having so much alone time when everyone else had so many things going on, but thatís how the chips fell. Iím not sure I could deal with another war like that.

Bluefeather- I might camp with them next year. I honestly, honestly donít know. I was so close to thinking about it. I mean, when I hung out with them at Pennsic 27 I remember having a great time, and this year was good most of the time. Thereís a horrible question that needs to be thought about though- is it worse to be in a camp where you canít find companionship, or to be in a camp where you can but donít find companionship? To be fair, most of the guys in the camp didnít interest me that much. Unfortunately, the one who I seemed to get along with the most claimed that he shared the same interests I did, which perversely made us probably incompatible. He also said, and for one such as myself this was baffling, that he was too interested in sex to deal with the idea of mere cuddling. By that point in the War I donít even know if I wanted sex, but someone to just be with would have done me a world of good. Itís a distinct source of distress that I never found someone like that.

Well, there was Troy. (rolling eyes) Troy, one of the first guys I ever slept with. Troy, who I hadn't seen since he visited me at the Gabrandon's all those years ago after Pennsic 25, and barely talked to (not by intent). Troy, who was interested in me the first night we saw each other this year. Troy, who I slept with that night. Troy, who proceeded to barely talk to me for the rest of war, and who I know slept with a different guy for at least the next 3 nights. Troy, who may have wanted me more as a trophy than anything else. Troy, whose contact info I didn't try to get before leaving war this year. Troy...what ever. He still knows how to find me if he wants to chat with me, but...yeah, okay.

I kind of wonder what motivated him, a little bit. I kind of wonder if his abrupt lack of interest was due to the fact that things physically didn't exactly go...um...well. Or whether he was just put off because he didn't get to do, to put it metaphorically, the one thing that nobody has ever done with me yet, and which I strongly suspect won't occur unless I'm in a relationship at the time. Whatever it was, yet another case of someone choosing to not communicate at a time when they perhaps should have.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Iím still not as conscious as Iíd like.

More on Bluefeather- So anyway, I was mostly thinking about camping with Bluefeather in future years. If nothing else, they are a hell of a lot closer to most everything than Freehold. They also may or may not be more entertaining to hang around than Freehold. Somewhat sadly, I didnít spend an evening at Freehold this year. I guess you could say Iíve figured out my loyalties. Or I just got stuck in an evening loop of 'go to Bluefeather, strike out, come home.' Oy. And can I just say that walking that far home alone late at night is depressing. Anyway, there is something to be said for hanging around people who can relate to me on levels that others just canít (or maybe choose not to?). And the fact is, while Freehold is really cool, there arenít any other gays except for David, and I donít even know of anyone who would go to the Cotillion with me. <sigh> Iíd probably pay money for a gay 20-30 year old to spontaneously appear. Youíd think that wouldnít be so tough in the land of civil unions. Oh well.

Oh, Freehold did however have a heated propane shower. That was nice. And while I was decidedly unhappy with the meal plan, it was still better than no meal plan...I think.

Anyway, there is unfortunately one possibly massive impediment to my camping with Bluefeather. You know how a group of people youíre friendly with can sometimes become completely alien to you? Well, BF managed to do that at one point. Rather, specific people managed to do that. Typical night of sitting around fire turned into watching them behave in a vulture-esque fashion when 2 inebriated Scotsmen showed up. They may or may not have been minors, but they did claim to be straight. The verbal teasing didnít bother me much. The repeated attempts to get them naked and/or take pictures of them that way, the handing of alcohol to them knowing full-well that they were drunk, and other assorted behaviors like that howeverÖick. Iím sorry, but thatís real line-crossing to me. I have to admit that I donít know how much of it, if any, was intended to be taken seriously, but I donít know these people, and it came across as genuine to me. At least genuine enough that it wigged me out, and if that kind of thing does occur in BF, Iíll camp most anywhere else.

My grammar sucks today. Call it a side-effect of being semi-conscious.

Anyway, I might as well talk about my 2 psychodramas (initiate Psychodrama Containment Field, Eject the Queen! (sorry, quotes from Bluefeather)) for this war and get it over with-

Ricky/Glitch-Jason/Krahnos-Gabran/Dumbass- This all occurred on Sunday night. So I went to a party with a partially inebriated guy named Ricky. He was kind of cute, but ultimately became a bit non-interesting to me over the week. Anyway, first we went to a party at Von Draken, Kyrinís household. That was pretty cool. It was called the VD party, and all of the fruity-concoction-type drinks were named after STDs, and tasted pretty decent. I got Crabs myself, and abstained after that. Then we went to a party at a camp called Pandoraís Box. This party wasÖwell, big. Seriously, thatís most of what I remember. There was stuff going on, but getting a decent view was mostly-impossible. Anyway, rather predictably at the time, Ricky and I began making out a bit. And then, between rounds, Krahnos shows up, which would have been awkward enough. Of course, to make things more Ďinterestingí, he showed up in tow with Brandon and Gabran. My God. Anyway, it was slightly embarassing for me, but nobody really seemed to care, and I at least stopped doing things with Ricky at that point. Ricky was being cuddly with me still, but I donít consider that the same thing as me making the moves. At this point I kind of figured that this whole thing might make an amusing story in the future. Wait for it.

Eventually we relocated to the VD party again, and Brandon and Gary disappeared at some point. Worked for me. Ricky then did probably the first thing that might have squicked me, which was that heíd alternate between talking with me and whoever was nearby, and wandering off to talk to who-knows-who. It seemed a bit flaky, and definitely made me wonder a bit, but wasnít a big deal. What was a big deal was when he came back to where Jason and I were and said that he was going to help a couple bring their child back to their camp. How he was going to do this while intoxicated was a matter of academic interest to me, but I didnít really bother to ask for clarification. Ultimately, I figured if he was telling the truthÖwhateverÖand if he was lying and saying that rather than being blunt enough to say he was off to get laid, more power to him for coming up with a decent excuse. So suddenly itís just Jason and myself. But hey, weíre cool again, right?

Enter Carson.

I do not know what Jason was thinking, and I do not want to know what Jason was thinking. What I do know was that 5 mins. later Carson shows up and he and Jason begin to talk while basically stonewalling me. 5 mins. after that theyíre making out and Iím beginning to wonder whether Iíve become invisible. 5 mins after that Carsonís in Jasonís lap (consider, for a moment of amusement, that Carson is probably 2-3x Jason's mass) and Iím making my exit. And may I just say that Iíve never seen so perfect a recreation of what Brandon did to me with Tom? Iíd say it was impressive, but I donít believe thatís an appropriate term. Just to verify matters to myself, I did go back to Bluefeather, and sure enough they walked to Carsonís tent. For about a day or so I wanted to kill Jason. Then I wanted to have a long talk with him. Then I remembered that he wasnít worth the trouble anymore. Like I said, the only two things I would voluntarily say to him at this point are ĎYou made your priorities pretty clearí and ĎWe can talk if you want, but I should tell you, weíre not friends.í And if he canít understand why Iím displeased with him, I really donít care.

Naturally, the few times Jason did run into me after this he made no actual effort to start a conversation. I donít think I was doing the ĎBlack Cloud of Deathí at that point. He just never asked me how I was doing (at least not in detail), and wouldnít talk about anything that interested me in the least. This naturally cut down on the length of our conversation. I don't consider this a matter of me being hostile, since I've certainly been in situations where others were able to start conversations with me without me having to prod them. Oh well. Like I said, one day his complete unwillingness to take initiative is going to get him into all kinds of trouble. Or it will get him a boyfriend.

Speaking of idiots, the icing on the cake of that evening was going to the barn in hopes of finding Thadeus only to run into my two favorite morons. To my moderate surprise, Gary asked me how I was, and then asked what was wrong when I made it clear I was not okay. Iím not entirely sure what I was thinking, but I told him. I did have a fleeting moment of amusement bordering on fury when he confusedly remarked that Jason could do better than Carson, and on pure, unrestrainted instinct I snarled 'Yeah, he could be doing me!' And he asked whether Jason might have thought Ricky and I were going to hook up again (not likely at the time and Jason knew it). And then he asked whether I was planning to sleep with Jason until Carson intervened, and I told him that that wasnít the point at all (Gary missing a point? How unlikely!). And then he may have reminded me that Jason wasnít mine (well no shit Sherlock). Then he told me that he didnít really see where I was having a problem, and I told him that was because he was a slut who wouldnít understand real committment or friendship if he tripped over it. At least, thatís what I said in an alternate reality. In the real one I told him that whether or not I was going to sleep with Jason and/or Ricky wasnít the point, the point was that friends donít treat each other like that. Then, proving that he didnít know me at all, he asked if I might not have done the same thing if I thought I had found someone. NO I WOULD NOT DO THAT IF I THOUGHT I HAD FOUND SOMEONE. I HAVE NOT, DO NOT, AND WILL NOT IGNORE MY FRIENDS IN FAVOR OF A GUY. Dumbass. And if I was going to bail on friends that way, Iíd at least have shown some discretion. I also freely admitted that my reactions were being colored by emotion, but that didnít necessarily make them wrong. I donít think he was prepared for that. He then, in a real show of Gary at his best, advised me to not bitch Jason out in public if I decided to bitch him out at all, since that would probably damage my reputation. Oh. My. God. As if I gave a damn about my reputation. And you know what? Anyone with half a wit who cared would ask what that was all about, and anyone whoíd draw conclusions based on one public bitching-out isnít someone I care about anyway. Idiot.

Oh, Gary did volunteer the fact that apparently Ricky had been somewhere for mental/emotional problems. Funny, I don't remember asking. I also don't really know why he told me, since a) I'd kind of guessed from Ricky's conduct, and b) it seemed pretty irrelevant to me. If I ultimately did something to hurt Ricky (I consider this highly doubtful) I'll resolve it when I can.

One more 'amusing' Gabran moment would be when Argos, Rowan and I were doing shoppies and run into Gabrandon and they proceed to talk, in front of us, about how Argos, their housemate, is apparently getting them into trouble with their landlord. I understand this could be a pressing matter, but I know _I_ wouldn't have brought it up in front of others. Discretion, guys?

Honestly, I think this was one of my best years for drawing lines between public and private forums and altering my conversation accordingly. Others may disagree, but if so I haven't heard any complaints. And in case you weren't paying attention, this is not public.

I think itís time to write about some good things- The BF party was okay. I did win two raffle prizes (but oh, how much cooler would category prizes have been?)- a vanilla/almond candle, and a bluefeather fan. Well, in my heart of hearts I know those were won with othersí raffle tickets, but goddammit, after the way my week mostly went Iím not above a little negligible creativity to improve my mood. I also met a few pretty decent guys at BF, and also at the Urso fetish party a few days earlier. Annoyingly, almost all of the cute guys I met showed a real penchant for disappearing without warning. 4 at one time at Bluefeather. <sigh> Well, at least in the end I was able to get contact information for most of them.

Robin- In a combination of cute guy and what-the-hell-were-you-thinking name, I met a guy named Robin Goodfellow. Initially he was hanging out with Jason, which predictably squicked me badly. However, there apparently wasnít a great deal of attachment there, and in fact he and I spent most of the next day together, and things were good. And by good, I mean that was the best time I'd been having all war.

And then came the Bluefeather party.

Robin and I went down there together. And then Robin and I went apart, and I got to watch all of my Ďfriendsí decide he was cute too. And behave as gay guys are so apt to do, it seems. <rolling eyes> Especially Gabran. Of course. It would be Gabran. It would have to be Gabran. And of course, because Iím just so lucky a guy, Robin completely went for it. After Iíd run out of people to talk to except for Robin, I told him I was heading out. He said, perversely to me, that heíd find me, although all I told him was that he might have a long walk. Naturally, he did not in fact turn up at Freehold that night. I didnít expect it. You can call this psychodrama #2. I saw him briefly the next day, and we ended up spending the last night of Pennsic together in Bluefeather, but I donít think Iíll ever be able to get over what occurred at the party, because that was just soÖwell, Iíd love to give Gary a big speech on respecting othersí interests. Brandon too. And Kyran and Ogre, although I donít think they were nearly as bad. But goddammit, to have other single people, much less married people, going after the people I wantÖfucking annoying, especially when Iím the one who introduced them. It happened with Ricky too. I wonder if the moral is that I just shouldnít introduce my BF friends anymore.

At least when I went back to Freehold I spent some decent time talking to (to my surprise) Conor and Kedil(?), who seemed pretty tolerant of my non-ranting. Conor even thanked me for absorbing his bad karma so that heíd have good karma.

Oh, so that this doesn't end on an almost-entirely depressing note, I did use Pennsic as a chance to figure out how many servants I really need-

  1. Physical Baggage
  2. Emotional Baggage
  3. Entertainment
  4. A Venting Post
  5. A Timepiece
  6. Someone who can judge my fashion along the way (especially while shopping)

Anyway, as I said in the beginning, I give Pennsic a 65-75%. Things were often good, but never great, and sometimes absolutely horrific (thank you Jason). I hope Iíve learned some things for next year. This still wasnít as bad as Anthrocon last year, but this time I still had places I could go to.

Some other good moments- walking with Corey and Joshua during Midnight Madness. Okay, Corey and I became awkward eventually, but nothing nearly as bad as Robin and I or Jason and I. Joshua and I had good conversation, and when he's not being a total poof he's a really good person. So sure, anyone who will listen to me talk about my problems achieves 'most favored person' status. But then, so few do these days. Hanging out with Robin the Gypsy (not the aforementioned Robin) who I hadn't seen since I visited him in Cleveland, and hadn't talked to much. We didn't hang out a lot, but he was willing to listen to me. Hanging out with anyone I hadn't seen in a long time who didn't screw me over. Anytime I didn't feel the loss of people. Meeting Jacob, and Cat, and some other people. Getting to see Emer and Corrig again after so long. Getting some more Marieke and Cenwulf time (not nearly as much as I would have liked, but I take what I can get). Spending time with Idhunna and Allie. Seeing Angel again. Maybe, realizing that I'd rather not have sex than have sex with 2 guys I don't feel any emotional attachment to anymore, even just to regulate my hormone levels. Seeing Towanda and Niagara Falls.