I left work at 5:00 and took 2 hours to drive straight to Dover. That somehow seems the standard time whether I'm driving on a weekend or fighting rush hour to get out of the city.
I skip the opening ceremonies. In fact, I tend to regularly skip the ceremonies and dancing. One, I'm not into ceremony at all. Two, I don't dance. And three, all those people packed into the room is loud, hot and smoky. I tend to spend more of my time in the hallways.
In said hallway, Kuuriis walks up to me and asks if I'd been approached yet by the "Priestesses of the Order of the Staff of Kahless" or some such name. No, I hadn't. He's pretty obtuse about the whole thing but I get the impression that these women are "gunning" for me in some way.
Later, Twisty walks up to me and asks if I'd been approached by the Priestesses yet. I'm beginning to suspect something of a conspiracy. In talking to him I deduce what this is all about. These Priestesses have chosen several male warriors (a very selective and discriminating process, I am assured) to "immortalize" by making a plaster cast of their manhood. I have thus been singled out as worthy of this honor.
Finally, one of the Priestesses approaches me. (I know her but won't identify her, I would think she would want this sort of behavior to be anonymous, or at least, kept to a small group of good friends). As she hangs on my arm she asks me what I think about it, clearly knowing that I had been forewarned. Errrrr, ummmmm. I tell her I'm not sure, that I'm going to need a lot of convincing. She says that's what they intend. (I figure there are at least three Priestesses but probably not more than 5). I spend the rest of the evening looking over my shoulder, expecting to be accosted by these women but Friday night ends uneventfully. At least, not that sort of event.
On a down note, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer serve aboard the Dark Justice. My captain's actions, details of which I will not go into here, have dishonored us all and, through my silence, I have been an accomplice to his dishonor for far too long.
On Saturday I taught a Klin Zha class and I think it went very well. I had about a dozen attendees and I felt that I breezed through the basics in about 20 minutes. I then opened it up to questions. There were some good questions, things I hadn't thought of before. When they came up to look at my Klin Zha sets, I mentioned that I was thinking of a three-dimensional version, a full 9-level tetrahedron as was played in the klin zha kinta in "The Final Reflection." Two attending klin looked at each other with the "are you thinking what I'm thinking" look. I hope to see their work. I look forward to seeing anybody's Klin Zha work.
I took my oar. I had taken the oar that Steve had bought me at last year's Dover, painted it and wrapped the handle to make it look more like a Klingon weapon. Actually, it looks more like a paddle. On Friday night (to go back a moment) a ship of Klin came to my room to buy some of the last vestiges of my metal things and some pins that Jeff had made. They saw the oar and got the story. Then, their eyes lit up with the same "are you thinking what I'm thinking" look and decided that they were going to make oars as well and use them for future Rites of Ascension. No fake pain sticks, just a few solid whacks on the behind. "Get the oar!"
On Sunday as things were winding down and I was preparing to leave, I was approached by one of the Priestesses who expressed regret at not being able to corner me. It was perhaps a mistake but I informed her that she would have another chance in two weeks when I attend Marcon. She brightened considerably at that.
The Nebula Awards, one of Science Fiction's most prestigious literary awards, were presented here in Pittsburgh and while the organizers absolutely panicked at the thought of a Klingon presence at the hotel, I was invited to a Nebula party at Metropol, a local techno club.
The first thing was that I forgot to bring liquid latex. My bottle had dried up at Dover and I forgot to fix up another one for my make-up kit. I ended up laying on the rubber mask grease paint a lot thicker than I usually do. No one noticed as the club was pretty dark.
Lawrence Schoen was there. He's the director of the Klingon Language Institute. He twisted my arm some more about going to a Qep'a' sometime, just as he did at Dover a few years back. He also said he had a few copies of "Hamlet" with him. I've debated going down to the Nebula awards hotel to get a second copy but I'm really quite broke right now and don't have the $30 to outlay for it.
I received an invitation to another party in the middle of May. They want Klingons there because the band is S.P.O.C.K., a techno-pop band from Sweeden. But, the real reason for this party is, well, a fetish party. Leather and spankings, stuff like that. I suppose they figure a Klingon would fit right in.
Marcon was actually fairly uneventful. I was part of a Klingon/Scottish wedding party and so got a discount on tickets and participated in the wedding banquet. I had someone get really flipped off at me because I was recruited to keep people off the elevator so that the wedding dress, a huge and expensive affair with real peacock feathers. These people took it personally that I made them wait for the next elevator and later, during the confrontation that they initiated, didn't understand why I got suddenly serious when they attempted to take my betleH from me to demonstrate how rude they though I was.
The betleH is a weapon. Sure, mine is made out of aluminum and it couldn't cut anyone, but it's still hefty and has those points. Because of that potential, it is my responsibility. If it's in my hands and someone gets hurt, it's my fault. If I give it to someone else and someone gets hurt, it's still my fault. I am not going to let anyone, especially someone who's mad at me, take it from my control and put people at risk because, in the end, it's my responsibility.
I'll say this right off, I would not have attended this event if I hadn't been given a handful of free tickets. Sure, my line name of Tasighor means "that guy with the whip" and I own several of them but it's not the kind of thing I would use on someone I like.
Which is what this event is all about. Bondage, domination, piercings, discipline, spankings, fetishes, leather, vinyl and all sorts of toys. There's also loud music and a press of people. And standing around in a full Klingon uniform with the makeup and all. . . it's a bit much.
And, of course, the feature band, S.P.O.C.K., a techno band from Sweeden, is the last item on the ticket. I had trouble hearing what they were singing, even when I took the earplugs out, but the last song, for which they pulled me up on stage, was clear enough; "Never trust a Klingon."
I knew I should have brought the oar.
The drive is nearly 5 hours but I arrive at the campground only 15 minutes later than I expected to. Not bad but it was a long drive. My Dark Justice comrade SIS Hegh (Steve Murtaugh) tells me that he is now Executive Officer but, when the Captain finally leaves (as is expected when he finishes school) I am more than welcome to return and assume command of the ship.
I do better than I did last year in the mace battle. I actually make it to the second round. My daughter, K'tar, on the other hand, takes first place in the kids division. I'm really glad for her because next year she'll be old enough that she'll have to be in the adult division and medals will be more difficult to win.
She also took second in Shields, a game in which you stand arms length from your opponent and with your feet together. Palm to palm you attempt to force your opponent to move their feet. I was out in the first round.
Then came the water sports. The Cry of the Warrior involves making a statement in Klingon, as loud and as long as you can with one breath. You then hurl yourself into the pool in an attempt to make as large a splash as possible. I sang the second part of taHjaj wo', about 15 seconds long. If I wasn't loud enough (and I did project fairly well) I was wearing a horrific green tiki head aloha shirt. That was certainly loud enough. (The shirt is a leftover from last year's Warrior's Weekend where, in addition to the more traditional pirate costume, I did a contemporary pirate. Miami Vice, pirate radio, that sort of thing) With my consort's hydrodynamic assistance, we took second.
As preparations were being made for the Romulan Raid, around 5pm, it began to sprinkle. There was some thunder and the rain came down a little heavier so it was decided to delay the Raid. So, instead of sitting down by the pond waiting for it to clear up, I decided to go back to my tent and pick up my Super Soaker. In this years Raid the runners were going to go armed so I figured it might as well be with my own weapon. By the time I got back to the tent, it was getting pretty heavy. A few minutes later, it became a deluge. High winds, torrential rains, very heavy weather. Most of the people who were caught out were directed to hard shelter, the bathrooms. We didn't hear that call and stayed in the tent. Two campsites down a tree branch broke loose and crushed a tent. Fortunately, no one was inside.
The Eternal Flame, lit during the opening ceremonies and kept going throughout the games, was kept alight by a brave but foolish warrior who stood in the maelstrom, dousing the flames in lighter fluid and directing others to seek safety.
It turns out to have been a very isolated storm cell. Travel half a mile and any direction and there was no rain at all. It sounds like a Feddie plot to me, using their Orbital Weather Control Satellites.
This year I didn't much participate in the Great Lies of Battle. For one, all of my good stories were told last year. And, this year the actually was a Klin Zha tournament. I took third. Third?!?! Yea, I know. Sure, I'm the webmaster of the Authorized Klin Zha Homepage and the guy who wrote the game lives just down the street. Yea, I have 8 different Klin Zha sets. But I'm only an average player. Most of the time I'm playing, I'm teaching someone else. That sort of thing does not make me a better player. That's ok. At least this year there was a tournament.
After that, came the politics. Most of the people had called it a night while us die-hards stayed up around the campfire talking and, in such situations, the conversation invariably leads to politics.
The skinny dipping was at around 3 am. Because it had rained and after that it was partly cloudy, the water was quite cold. Last year, the water was pretty warm and I was in the pool for nearly three hours. This time, half an hour tops. After that, some more talking around the campfire. To bed at about 5. Up again at about 7.
Next year, the owner of the campground says he's going to have a pig roast. His treat. He also wants to buy a hot tub.
Now, here's an oddity. All weekend, various people were complaining about the mosquitos. Me, not a single bite. But, Monday morning, after returning to civilization and sleeping in my own bed, I got nailed. All over my legs. There was an orderly line of bites down across my ankle and across the top of my foot as the little monster tried one spot, didn't like the taste, took a few steps and tried another. Half a dozen all in a neat line.
|http://www.tasigh.org/kordite/events-1999.html -- Revised: 18 May 2002
Copyright © 2002 Kevin A. Geiselman