austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

If you're listening to this song you may think the chords are going wrong

So: having met with bunny_hugger in Lansing and only two hours late, we got ready to drive to Columbus, Ohio, and Morphicon.

We started by learning that the Biggby Coffee in the airport didn't have the fancy kind of coffee she likes (I'm a coffee agnostic), so, shame for that. After a stop back at her house to load her luggage and realize that I didn't really have anything sensibly left home for the weekend we stopped at a Quality Dairy to get modest snacks and drinks and set off to driving. And driving. And a lot of driving.

That isn't to say there weren't interesting things to spot, although several of those were small brush fires. We also passed a town bunny_hugger eagerly described because of --- well, I'll save just what for for the Monday part of the trip report, unless I forget --- and I told my outlandish tale of woe and misery which was neither, considering it ended up with me in her arms. And we spotted Sandusky, yet again, just encouraging my slightly oppressive joking about ``Entering Sandusky County'' signs being everywhere in the Old Northwest.

We did have one slight miscalculation in not stopping in a relatively big-sized town for dinner. She's a late eater, and I'm comfortable eating late too, and with our late start we just figured we could surely find something the next town over. Except there's this big stretch of Ohio where there isn't a next town over. And even where there was, we were getting onward past 8:00 pm, when what towns do exist curl up for the night and sulk about those big cities where you can get Arby's until 9:30 pm. Maybe I'm exaggerating a slight disdain for the outer provinces here. But we figured to stop for gas and whatever food we could find at the next opportunity and trust we could find something.

What we found was a Subway shop, where I introduced bunny_hugger to the new omelette sandwiches they've been offering, which if you get without bacon or sausage are respectably vegetarian and really tasty despite the industrial-grade omelettes used at their core. And she realized that this Subway shop in a tiny town in the vast open spaces of Ohio was a place she'd eaten before, on the way to Morphicon last year when she also got started relatively late and didn't think to eat in the big town and pulled off at the first promising place before everything might close. This is a wonderful world that it offers coincidence like that.

We eventually got to the hotel and checked in. bunny_hugger was surprised when I mentioned needing to get toothpaste from the front desk, because I wasn't clear enough that I had to get some new or she'd have stopped at a convenience store. She worried we'd have to buy from the hotel store at exorbitant prices. I was sure the'd have sample-size toothpaste tubes available at the desk (if they didn't come with the soaps and shampoos in the room bath already), and happily they did. Of course, last year I learned from her that the hotel will let you hold your luggage with the concierge for hours after you've checked out, so you can take in a last day of sightseeing, which I think puts her up on me in knowing stuff about hotels.

After checking in to the con and establishing our sense of the layout of events and places we were at slightly loose ends. There was the con suite for snacking, sure, and we gravitated toward an activity bunny_hugger looked forward to eagerly and I looked forward to as terrifying but maybe worth trying: the karaoke room. I was surprised more people weren't performing or at least listening (and would be consistently through the week), even if it is terrifying to plunge into this kind of public performance.

In-between performances of Meat Loaf's ``Bat Out Of Hell'' I wondered what songs I might sing. This required careful calculation on my part as I figured I needed songs which (a) I knew, (b) were in the catalogue, (c) required no great range because my voice is wholly untrained apart from changing ``om'' at yoga classes, (d) involved few of those tricky key changes or tempo shifts because I knew if I got my voice into any key it was going to stay there, and (e) did not have any long instrumental segments. If there's anything more awkward than public performance it's public non-performance and many people had picked songs they forgot had instrumental segments lasting up to 90 minutes, with them holding the microphone and looking for which way to dash off.

My pick, at least for the first song, then: The Beatles' ``Listen (Do You Want To Know A Secret)''. bluerain later told me this song was specifically composed to accomodate George Harrison's then-quite-limited singing range, so, the most important criteria there I actually hit very well. Despite a mishap starting up --- somebody turned the microphone off, which was all right because I wasn't sure just when the song was starting; I feel that karaoke cues are poorly designed from a systems engineering view --- I got going and acquitted myself not ear-bleedingly horribly.

We kept bubbling up around the performances, and listening to other performers, and even when the hotel came around to close the doors so we'd be more quiet we were having a great time and finished karaoke that first night no later than about 2:15 in the afternoon the following Wednesday. It still didn't really go on long enough, but we needed to sleep.

Trivia: In 1481 a building on the London Bridge, ``the common siege'' --- a public privy --- collapsed, killing five. The Bridge House's workers were not punished. In a collapse in 1499 of several houses on on Paris's Pont Notre Dame those maintaining the buildings were given life imprisonments. Source: Old London Bridge: The Story Of The Longest Inhabited Bridge In Europe, Patricia Pierce.

Currently Reading: Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between The World's Greatest Chocolate Makers, Deborah Cadbury.


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