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Jordin coded yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. From what I can gather, he'd had heart valve replacement surgery and never woke up from it.

This was a shocker. I didn't know about the heart surgery, and I was shocked to hear he'd died. Other than the valve, Jordin was in pretty good shape.

I am still reeling. He was kind of a mentor to me in the filk community. He showed me how to deal with difficult situations with grace and dignity. He was also a gentleman, a gentle soul, and had a terrific sense of humor.

My sympathy goes out to Mary Kay Kare and to the rest of his family.
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I just learned about the sudden death of [livejournal.com profile] keristor a few hours ago. I am in shock.

I first met Chris Croughton at my first full Worldcon, Magicon, in Orlando in '91. I enjoyed hanging with him at cons where we were both in attendance. He was friendly, fun, and someone I always looked forward to seeing. I also chatted quite a bit with him online (the two of us both being tech-geeks and around the same age). I remember how he beamed when he accepted his Filk Hall of Fame award when he was at FKO with the N'Early Music Consort. He later told me about how hard it was not to "burst out" to anyone about it.

I enjoyed his cheerfulness, his knowledge, and most of all, his sense of humor.

Damn.
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Those of you who speculated that I'd already come up with a parody were right.

I performed it several times at Fiestacon and got laughs. Trying to moonwalk on carpeting while wearing rubber-soled shoes isn't easy.

Anyhow, for those of you who are curious...the parody is behind this cut-tag to hide it from those who might squick out at the thought. )
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Is it too soon to perform a Michael Jackson parody?
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My boss at Omneon and I have a running half-joke about how she has relaxing weekends while mine always either involve "death or taxes." My first three weekends involved Warren's parents' taxes; the weekend after that I attended a mass for Warren's late brother. Last weekend I signed my e-mail to her saying "FINALLY...a weekend without death or taxes."

The next day I learned otherwise. Michael Moore, the DJ on our sister station, KRTY, asked me "Are you going to Maria's funeral?"

"Maria WHO?" I replied.

"Maria Carrillo -- in Traffic."

"She DIED???!?"

Maria Carrillo, KRTY's Traffic Manager, had collapsed while playing bingo the prior weekend. Turns out she'd had a heart attack, then a stroke, then another heart attack, and was finally taken off life support earlier that week. There were no notices around the station, which shocked me, because she performed a vital role for the organization. Even though she officially was in charge of KRTY's logs she often worked on ours at KLIV. One of her sons had even worked in sales at the station, so I especially felt obligated to pay my respects since I knew one of the principal mourners. I went to her viewing last Sunday. It was really sad. I chatted with her older daughter, Maria, and with Jose, her son. Jose had to excuse himself to help his grandmother to the casket. Yee-ouch. Warren couldn't bear to go in. "I've had more death than I can handle." I didn't blame him.

This Friday my boss was in the Sunnyvale office. "Let's keep our fingers crossed," she said.

Then [livejournal.com profile] drfilk died. Yeouch. John wasn't at all on my "people I'd expect to die early" radar. It sounded like he was healing well, then kaboom. When I first saw [livejournal.com profile] pondside's post I couldn't believe it. I'd hoped I was misinterpreting something. I wish that were the case.

I don't know what I could say about [livejournal.com profile] drfilk that hasn't been said. I'm in shock.

I don't know how many years I've known John, but I can't remember not knowing him from the time I started getting active in filking. I remember him being a regular at Musicon and an occasional Worldcon attendee. One year he even rode his motorcycle out to Los Angeles to attend Westercon.

John was always fun to talk with, friendly, warm, and just plain interesting. When he and [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah started doing music together I got to see what he could do musically in a brighter light. He was a fantastic musician, not just because he played well, but because he made others around him sound good by just being with them. I was ecstatic to hear he and [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah were Interfilk Guests at Concertino. John provided Brooke with a foundation she could relax upon to do her music, and Brooke returned the favor by causing folks to notice John as a musician.

My heart goes out to Brooke, John's family and closest friends, and to anyone who knew him. Those of you who didn't know him missed out on a great experience.
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For those of you who weren't at Conflikt (or weren't at the "scramble band" concert), here are the lyrics to the song my band did.

Let’s Get Miserable Together
Copyright © 2009 Lynn Gold

Right now I’m in a lousy mood
My muscles that smile are sore
But if I do the opposite
I’ll overwork the other sixty-four
I can’t stand cheerful people
Not that I should complain
But since misery loves company
I thought perhaps you’d like to do the same

[Chorus]
Let’s get miserable together
Spend our time bringing each other down
Let’s get miserable together
A frown is just a smile turned upside down
Let’s get miserable together
Moan and whine and kvetch the whole day long
Let’s get miserable together
‘Cause that explains the purpose of this song

I hate it when the sun is bright
Especially when I’m asleep
I hate it when the rain falls down
Precipitation’s nasty when it leaks
Children who scream in airplanes
While kicking in my seat
Airlines nickel-ing and diming us
Yet never serving plastic food to eat

[insert Chorus]

[Bridge]
Why must the cat hork on my brand new carpet?
Why did the dog use my floor?
They weren’t even my dog or cat
Come here and take them; they’re yours!
Why must someone take the seat in front
Who’s taller than six-foot-three?
Why must there always be someone else
Who’s better at something than me?

[Instrumental solo with me giving dirty looks at the soloist]

When someone takes two parking spots
And I can’t find any place
Why won’t someone design a thing
That lets me blast slow drivers into space?
Why is it no machine breaks
While under warranty?
And why must I have to write a song
To make you just as miserable as me?

[insert Chorus]
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I am soooo glad I went! I don't feel like doing a fine-grained detailed report, but here's the summary:
  • My fever broke over the weekend.
  • The side effects of the prednisone continued. This morning I felt like crying for no reason. Luckily, I had food next to me (a cup of yogurt) to help counteract this.
  • All weekend I kept forgetting lyrics I can normally remember in my sleep (thank you prednisone!). OTOH, with Frank Hayes as TM, I had lots of fun "blaming" him every time I screwed up.
  • [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah delivered a nice-sized bag of the extra strength sugar-free Fisherman's Friend (yaay!!!).
  • I got to see lots of folks I haven't seen in a long time, and I got to know some other folks better. This is always A Good Thing.
  • The guests were all fantastic, too. (Did I mention I'd never heard Frank Hayes perform live before?)
  • Tess's service dog, Dandy, is incredibly adorable and a total charmer. If I can, I'd like to introduce him to a "single white female" next year. ;-)
  • The con suite was short on diet soda, but [livejournal.com profile] shaddyr's chili made up for it.
  • I wrote a new song this weekend! I even got to perform it with a really great "scramble" band (Mark Osier and [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine). I'll post the lyrics in another message when I'm feeling more energetic.
  • I didn't make it to Cash and Carry for my DaVinci Gourmet Sugar-Free Syrup pilgrimage -- which was a shame 'cuz they're on sale.
While my plane was on the ground and taxiing this afternoon, I checked my cell phone messages and got the results of Thursday's CT scan of my head. It turns out my maxillary sinuses (the ones on the cheeks) are blocked and the solution to this involves surgery.

Update

Aug. 8th, 2008 11:57 am
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Tuesday night I had my first "solid" meal -- gnocchi in tomato sauce. It was ideal because I could use my tongue to flatten the little pasta pillows, then swallow them whole. I savored every one of them. Mmmmm....

Wednesday afternoon the stitches came out of my chin, although the doctor did put some kind of goo and tape on the suture because it still had scabbing. "Do not take this off," he warned, "and don't pick at it." If the tape falls off I'm to start applying Neosporin to the gash.

Yesterday morning I saw the dentist. He did some stuff to help correct my bite (which is still way off). He also took a full-mouth x-ray (my first since I was 19 and Dad's friend, the orthodontist, teased, "I think I can see some wisdom teeth buds in there!") He explained that the gash across my chin isn't just a gash -- it's where the fracture happened. He also advised me to take lots of Ibuprofen to cut down the swelling. The wires don't come off till Tuesday at the earliest.

My flight out of SJC was delayed several hours. I didn't get to the hotel till after midnight, and then there was confusion about finding the filking and my roommate (I eventually found both). Right now I'm in my hotel room working out subtle details for my concert. I need to go down to the hotel's Business Center and print stuff out. I also need to go through real registration and do my site voting while I still can (today's the last day).
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I could use help in the form of extra vocalists, especially those of you who can read music and hold a part. ([livejournal.com profile] capplor, I'm especially hoping for help, of corpse, and yes, that's a hint!)
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In case you hadn't heard, she passed away over the weekend.

Lois was an integral and vibrant part of the New England filk community. She was also a fun person to be around. When I think of her, that's the first thing that comes to mind. I can still picture her, always cheerful and smiling, having a good time and exuding fun. I wish I'd had more time around her, but alas, geography sometimes gets in the way of that kind of thing.

Now I won't get that chance. Damn.
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This is one of those rare moments where I get to merge aspects of my live that don't normally have anything to do with one another.

I am part of a team documenting the upcoming release of a well-known database product. As part of getting up to speed and testing features on the product, I need to create some kind of database. As many of you know, I've been in the process of recording a CD over the last few years, and it's getting closer and closer to being done.

What I need is for folks to e-mail me their contact info to "figmo @ rahul.net" (remove the spaces; I stuck them in to foil spambots) if they want to be on the mailings for CDs, appearances, and such for me. Specifically:

Name:
Mailing address:
Phone:
E-mail address:
Favorite song or routine (if applicable):
Why you're on my list (select all that apply): CD info? Appearances at cons in your area? Comedy appearances?

Thanks in advance!
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Due to my new day job requiring most of my energy, this is going to be relatively short compared to what I'd like to say.

First of all, [livejournal.com profile] chirosinger and [livejournal.com profile] musicmutt were delightful guests. Their friends Chas and Bonnie were also delightful. I've known both [livejournal.com profile] chirosinger and [livejournal.com profile] musicmutt separately for a bunch of years, watching as they went in and out of relationships, but this is the first time I'd seen them together. They are soooo right for each other. Chas and Bonnie are also a wonderfully tight couple. I got to bask in the combined chemistry that comes from them as I drove them around Thursday and Friday and we did the backstage tour of the Winchester Mystery House. [livejournal.com profile] chirosinger presented me with a lovely thank-you note and a scarf she'd made for me that even went with one of the outfits I'd brought for the weekend! Had I had more time with them there were a couple of hobby shops I'd have taken them to for things like yarn and model railroad gear.

Summer and Fall and SOs were wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed Summer and Fall's concert, complete with huge amounts of musical instrument changes. Even more fun for me was the Harmony Workshop which culminated in choral singing of two pieces. I can sight sing and always jump at the opportunity to do so. When I found out they read music I drafted Summer, Fall, and "Winter" (Eva's husband Rafael) for a couple of songs in my concert. They were very fast learners. Kristoph Klover already knew the tenor parts, so I had a quartet with me for "Winter on My System" and "Gonna Buy Me a Whale." Had I had more time I'd have bought them a copy of "Color Me Beautiful" because they had no idea they had picked out their "seasons" according to that book.

What can I say about [livejournal.com profile] quadrivium? The woman amazes me. She was a first-rate toastmaster, putting on a good show the whole con (not "just" during her concert) and keeping the energy level up. I regret I didn't get to spend much time with her.

[livejournal.com profile] judifilksign was a lot of fun. I had asked her in advance of the con about signing my set. I did make sure she got to see whatever lyrics I could rustle up in advance. This wasn't a "stump the signer" but a "let's put the signer through her paces" concert. I was bummed out that Harold Groot wasn't there with his video camera because he missed some choice moments. Her interpretations of "Road Kill Cafe" and "Grandma's Training Bra" were YouTube-worthy. I hope to get to perform with her again sometime, preferably sooner than later.

Our Interfilk guest, Carl Thiel amazed me most of all by asking me to join him in his concert for two numbers. I was ecstatic. I'm usually so busy running things there are folks who don't know I can even sing, let alone sing with others, or that I like to! He writes wonderful songs, made "El Kabong" (my spare guitar) sound gorgeous, and I got to help him sound even better by singing harmony with him. W00t!!!
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It was a success. By now everyone who cares has read all the reports about how good the concerts were and all that, so I'm not going to reiterate.

I knew the northwest had a strong filk community years ago when I got drafted to run filking at Westercon in Seattle years ago because the "usual suspects" didn't want to run it. Here are some of the things nobody else mentioned:
  • This is the first filk con other than the one in the UK where I've been consistently up before 11am. The Saturday morning brunch was worth the price, especially with the CD. The bacon at the brunch was especially good -- it was nice and thick and went way more quickly than the hotel had expected it to.
  • The concert room was packed.
  • The "scramble bands" (at other cons they've been called "instabands") were a success. I was lucky enough to be lined up with [livejournal.com profile] mnemex and two girls (Jovanie and Anne) who were referred to as "The Tardis Girls" because they were wearing coordinated Dr. Who t-shirts all weekend. All four of us could carry a tune and stay on pitch, so we did the obvious and sang a cappella (to rave reviews!). The girls were amazingly quick at learning "Rebel Queen." It didn't hurt that I had the right kind of USB cable on me to go from [livejournal.com profile] mnemex's MP3 player to the girls' laptop unit.
  • I got to spend lots of time hanging around with [livejournal.com profile] filkferengi, who I've known for years from going to GAFilk and other cons.
  • The con suite was excellent. A bigger variety of soda (especially sugar-free) would have been nice, but if that's my only "complaint," that's pretty good.
  • The songbook sing-along worked, too. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be leading a sing-along of "L. Ron Ron."
Most of all, this convention had a really nice "vibe" to it. People who I'd have expected to snip at each other were very social and friendly. Heck, everybody was friendly.

Even though it was the first Conflikt, this convention had a "personality," complete with mascot (the Vixy frog) and an "official" color (green, esp. emerald green).

The criticism I have is really tweaky stuff:
  • The hotel restaurant does have sugar-free pancake and waffle syrup; it'd be nice if they had some of the packets of it at the brunch next year.
  • The font for the names on the badges was too small.
  • It'd be nice if there was an alternative to clip-on badges. I would rather wear mine around my neck than have to deal with a clip because clips frequently come off of me.
In the end, I already bought a membership for next year, which says it all.
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As many of you who read my posts know, [livejournal.com profile] filkergem died this weekend in a house fire. His wife, [livejournal.com profile] kyttn and stepdaughter [livejournal.com profile] lovensong87 are without a home or anything in it.

If you can afford to donate, click this link:

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We just got the news at Conflikt about Greg McMullan perishing in a house fire. My heart goes out to [livejournal.com profile] kyttn and the rest of their family.

I've always viewed Greg ([livejournal.com profile] filkergem) as a bastion of sanity with his posts about things like exercise and dealing with his parents' illnesses. I'm in shock right now; I suspect it'll hit me harder later.

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