How do I explain what I have just gone through?
It was three years since my last Twangfest. You have to understand that I am old school at Twangfest. I was at Twangfest 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. Talk about having a history with people! I have known these folks for nearly a decade. I count many of them as my best friends in the world. The ones I have only just met seem to have that kind of potential, too.
One of my roommates was also at Twangfest 1 and 2, but we hadn't known each other very well back then and hadn't seen each other since. She came out of the bathroom one morning wearing a shirt that looked oddly familiar and said she'd won it in a Twangfest auction many years ago. I asked her to describe the other clothes in the lot and it turned out they were all mine. Great minds, etc.
I made pies for everyone on Friday night instead of going to see Big Sandy and the Fly-rite Boys. (I'd seen the band before and my legs were starting to hurt from too much standing around on concrete.) I knew I was among My People because when I mentioned rhubarb, they didn't say "Eh?" like most people do. They said "RHUBARB! I LOVE RHUBARB!"
Inevitably, we are less wild than we were nine years ago. (I personally don't tend to party till dawn anymore; I'm more likely to hit the wall at, say, 3:30 AM, and quietly disappear to my room.) But that doesn't mean the Howard Johnson's doesn't have a lot to put up with. The after-hours parties are legendary. The Twangfest committee always reserves a conference room for that purpose, but the participants spill out into the pool/courtyard area anyway and raise a ruckus all night.
I had trouble sleeping. No matter how late I went to bed, I'd snap awake at 7:30 or 8:30 in the morning. I'd come out and sit by the pool so as not to wake the roomies, and I'd see these poor benighted hotel workers cleaning up beer cans from the pool, the bushes, the roof.
I returned home to find that I'd caught a cold (not a nasty one--just your garden-variety sneeze-o-rama that you catch when you usually don't come in contact with people and then suddenly come in contact with hundreds of them) and that I'd lost two or three pounds. I feel as though I ate constantly while I was in St. Louis, but then again many calories at Twangfest tend to come from drinking, which is something I don't really do anymore. I did eat some jello shots and have a couple of glasses of champagne, though. Not on the same night.
I'm not explaining this very well. There was music and talking and hugging and...well, it was just great. I danced to the Supersuckers (which is really saying something because I DO NOT DANCE) and I loved Brent Best's new material. I thought I'd seen the Bottlerockets so many times that I'd be bored by them, but I wasn't bored at all.
I am going to Twangfest 10 next year and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys music and has a sense of fun. And now I am going to fire up my e-mail and see what horrors await...