melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
My not-quite-whirlwind trip to Pennsic was a blast! Yes, we melted into puddles of goo on Friday and Saturday. Yes, the heavens opened Saturday night and drowned us through Sunday night. But my spirits were not dampened (ha ha) by sweat or rain. And the glorious weather on Monday just about made up for the miserable temperatures and humidity of the weekend.

I visited with far- (and near-) flung friends all over the site. I got my yearly pulled pork sandwich from Beast & Boar, my yearly frozen milk sharbats (five of them, one of which was purchased by a handsome gent and sent my way) from Your Inner Vagabond, and a chocolate milk from the Cooper's store. I also marched with Atlantia for opening ceremonies. Her Majesty saw the Ponte Alto Palio Flag Corps at Ponte Alto's twentieth anniversary event and asked that we march with a routine. Cassie, [ profile] pirategirleee, and I were placed at the head of the line just behind the pikemen (and women) of Gardiner's Company and ahead of Their Majesties. Despite the rain and mud during our journey from Atlantian Royal to the Barn, we spun our flags and provided a bit of extra pomp to the occasion. (The SCA paparazzi were out in force, but I have yet to see photos...)

I also shopped like my life depended upon it.

The Haul
  • Blue linen gown, thin linen smock, and brown leather shoes for me and a Longsword DVD for Scott from Revival Clothing
  • Blue linen thread with which to tailor the back of the above-mentioned gown before Opening Ceremonies
  • Fuschia wool hose and black silk hose from Vitha
  • Lotion bar from Beatriz
  • Parti-color purse in blue & yellow linen and a "swoopy" brooch with blue and yellow stones from Billy & Charlie
  • Two linen coifs for me and a pair of 15th century briefs for Scott from Historic Enterprises
  • Red felted wool "Robin Hood" hat from somebody...
  • Normal pattens and raised pattens from Armlann
  • Lots of fabric from 96 District: brown cotton tapestry, super thin white linen, medium-weight black linen, and tropical-weight black wool

There were no forced marches around the lake, but there were many laps through the merchants with my fellow campmates, delicious dinners, impromptu -- and sometimes inappropriate -- songs, and lots of laughter. I am so grateful to Duchess Simone for letting me bunk in her pavilion for the weekend. My interest in the SCA is renewed and I am looking forward to going to Coronation in October. Perhaps I'll even use some of my recently-acquired fabric for a new ensemble... And I'm actually looking forward to going back for a full week next year.

Ye Olde Mead Hovel (not my camp)
melaniesuzanne: (device)
I spent the day at Ponte Alto's Twentieth (or fifth, depending upon how you look at it) Anniversary. The barony was founded February 29, 1992, so we can almost legally drink or we're just about ready for kindergarten. Oh, wait, this is the SCA: both are applicable!

Anyway, my main activities for the day included being co-captain of the Palio flag team, leading the parade of horses around the Palio course, retaining for Her Highness Princess Briana, and singing with Alle Psallite as part of the pre-court entertainment. The flag routine (link is video of our practice) was well-received. It's a lot harder than it may look to work a flag in Italian ren clothes: the first time I did a double-right-shoulder, I flipped one side of my giornea over my head. The Palio races were hysterical: the children were so earnest in the competition and the adults were silly beyond measure. Her Highness is an absolute delight and one of the most grounded people I've met; I look forward to retaining for her in the future. Alle Psallite's performance was pretty darn good and we were complimented on our precise pronunciation of our Italian songs. I also got to experience first-hand the complete grace and courtesy that our Queen Padraigin embodies and how memorable she made the day for certain people.

I spent the remainder of the day schmoozing with some of my favorite people, purchasing pottery from my favorite merchant, and dining on some of my newly favorite food. I think our table of single and flying-solo-for-the-night ladies mortified the token male with our unladylike discussions of Spartans with washboard abs, "fox" races at this year's Pennsic, and which male stars were most deserving of tongue baths. I'm sure medieval women held similar conversations. Heh.

My enjoyment of the SCA has been at an all time low for a year or so and this event renewed my enthusiasm for this particular hobby. I'm not saying I'm going to be attending scads of events, but I'm actually looking forward to them again. Three days ago I would have said that I was giving Pennsic a pass, but now I can't wait to go and have fun with my buddies and work Troll and retain for Her Majesty and continue to fall back in love with the Society. I mean, here I am freezing to death while holding up a banner so it doesn't bean a kid running the course and I'm having a blast. (Yes, that is my "blast" face when I'm freezing to death.)

Photos courtesy of [ profile] belfebe. Video courtesy of [ profile] pirategirleee.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
KASF happened. I worked Troll, perused gorgeous displays, and visited with people I adore. Geeked about Early Period reenactment, bikes and trikes, Downton Abbey, the 1%, and exchequer stuff. SCA arts & sciences event: I'm doing it mostly wrong.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
I'm not feeling the love for the SCA. I don't think I'm burned out, but I definitely not interested in participating much anymore. I've been to three events this year -- Ponte Alto Investiture, Pennsic, and Atlantian Thirty Year -- and I have only one other event -- Holiday Faire in November -- on my calendar for the rest of the year. For next year, I'm obligated to go to Ponte Alto's Twenty Year and Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival. I've been talking up Gulf Wars to a bunch of friends, but my desire to attend that is even flagging. I was all gung-ho about learning how to fight with rattan and practicing and becoming awesome but now I'm no longer interested. Some of it could be the seasonal change and most of it might be my cycle addiction.

Oh shoot. I just remembered that I'm obligated to attend Unevent in December since my officer position has been upgraded to "Officer of State". I'm supposed to attend Curia at Crown Tournament but Hubbyfink and I have tickets to a concert that evening, so no.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Hubbyfink and I zipped down to Atlantian 30-Year on Saturday. The only things on my agenda were sing with Alle Psallite and go to court. [ profile] carthew graciously let us camp out under the fly she attached to the front of her tent and I repaid her generosity by poking at her tent roof when water began to pool during the afternoon's torrential downpour. After the storm, Hubbyfink pulled out his swords and talked with a few people about western martial arts. I sang with the choir then wandered about looking at A&S displays, the history display, the merchants, and finally settled in next to [ profile] flonzy and talked projects, upcoming events, and horror movies. Court held a few wonderful surprises and some eye-rolling moments. Dinner with friends at The Light Well was probably the highlight of the entire day.

On Sunday, Hubbyfink took off for the LaBelle meeting and I did several loads of laundry, finally put away all the Pennsic gear (we'd planned on camping at 30 Year and had left lots of gear in the dining room), unloaded the truck, vacuumed, and put away laundry. I spent the rest of the day vegging with movies.

Yesterday was my bike fitting at Spokes, Etc. I've had wrist and hand pain, including numbness in my fingers, as well as back pain when cycling for more than 15 miles. The guy gave me pointers for improving my bike posture and assured me that most of my issues are novice cyclist problems and will eventually work themselves out. Hubbyfink had suggested a ride before I left, and when I got home he added his bike to the carrier. I didn't want to deal with the Rte 28 overpass and did want to go further west than ridden to date. We jumped on the W&OD at Smiths Switch and rode to a park in the middle of Leesburg (8.61 miles) where we stopped to gulp Gatorade and rest our legs. My body is used to riding for five miles and then stopping for a break mostly because my commute to work is about five miles. My legs and lungs were fussing at me to stop around mile five, but I pushed on through. I was pretty tired by the time we took our break, though.

Once we caught our breaths, I was ready to keep on going west but the weather had other plans and the rainstorm started. We raced over to a gazebo and tried to wait out the storm but Hubbyfink saw a huge band of intense storms coming our way. I suggested we ride hard towards Smiths Switch.

Now, everyone who reads my journal knows that I'm incredibly accident prone. Part of the reason I didn't want to deal with Rte 28 was in case it was damp from an earlier shower. I figured me + bike + wet trail = spectacular crash. Happily, despite the pounding -- and at times blinding -- rain we made it through the storm unscathed by asphalt. I was grateful for the deep brim on my new helmet because it did a fairly good job of keeping the worst of the rain drops off my glasses. I was also grateful for the light jacket I stow in my seat bag; it did not keep me dry, but it did keep me warm. We exited the rain just before Belmont Ridge Road and rode a little easier (and a little more slowly) back to the truck. Hubbyfink suggested we go to his gym and let the hot tub work out our sore muscles, but I was simply too tired. Plus, I just wanted to be dry.

I'm a little concerned about the thirty mile ride. My longest ride to date is just over twenty miles. I may have to drop down to the 25 miler, but I want to aim for 30. Two weeks to go...
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
The Ponte Alto Newcomers' Meeting was a smashing success. We had six newcomers attend and a veritable slew of SCA members. Hubbyfink and I have decided that we shouldn't host any more parties until we finish the basement remodel. We definitely need the extra space. On the other hand, the cats were completely worn out from all the attention they got during the gatherings and slept soundly until fairly late Saturday morning. Win! Another win was in meeting a fairly new lady who also lives in Sterling and is interested in making late 15th century Venetian clothing. She was very bubbly and enthusiastic.

Saturday was chilly, breezy, and sunny. After cleaning up from the party, Hubbyfink and I donned warm clothes for walking over to a friend's home to feed their cats and then walked back home via the bike trail. We didn't stay home for long, though, as I had a bag of canned goods to drop off at the food bank and Hubbyfink was ready to buy an HDTV at Costco. We got back home and pretty much the last productive thing Hubbyfink did this past weekend was assemble the TV and hook up all the connections to the other A/V equipment. I'm so happy to have fully joined the 21st century with our pretty, pretty TV picture. We christened the Blu-ray player with "How to Train Your Dragon". Sooooo pretty.

Saturday night was a trip out to the wilds of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah for Darkwood Manor in Luray and Devil's Den in Winchester. Darkwood Manor was just as pretty as last year but had a lot more actors this year. Lots of fun! Devil's Den had a hayride and haunted trail that had a lot of potential. The haunted house part of the attraction, however, was complete fail. The smoke machines were on overdrive and everyone in our group was hacking and coughing their way through the house. We couldn't see the vignettes and most of the actors because of the smoke. Very disappointing. Plus, all that smoke set off [ profile] psalite's asthma. Not cool. I'm so glad we opted for the Cut-in-Line passes instead of standing in line for two hours for that. We celebrated surviving the haunts with a victory midnight meal at the Winchester IHOP.

Sunday completely spoiled us with more beautiful weather. I raced out to Bluemount Nursery and picked up mums, corn stalks, and more pumpkins. After futzing with items for half an hour, I was happy with the arrangement for our front stoop. Autumn cheer! )
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I bit off most of my nails Wednesday night. I really needed to trim them down and I did so with a nail clipper. But that left them jagged. To smooth them, I wound up filing them nearly to the quick to get the edges smooth. And then they were so short I couldn't help but continue nibbling them off.


Oh well. I still have my right thumb nail in all its glory and the others will grow back. It's weird being able to feel things with my fingertips again and it's definitely a lot easier to type without the talons.

In other news, tonight is the baronial newcomers' meeting at my house. I won't have my typical huge spread of yummy food -- so that I'm not tempted to gorge myself on sweets -- but there will be plenty of healthy nibblies to tide us over as we get acquainted with new folks.

Tomorrow evening, I'll be roaming the country-side with girlfriends as we begin the 2010 Halloween Haunts tour. Must pack a couple of lozenges to soothe my throat after all the screaming.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
1. Where are you camping?
Ravenstreet - E05

2. When are you arriving?
Technically Land Grab Weekend, but then I go back home Sunday night. I'm up for good on Wednesday, August 4.

3. What cool stuff are you doing?
Working Troll, hanging out in camp, shopping, sipping cold drinks at YIV, completely ignoring my carefully developed and color-coded schedule.

4. What's your SCA name?
Signora Pippa Morosini.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I brought Hannah and Dave a Chinese feast for lunch on Friday and then hung out with them at the hospital until Dave was ready to be transported to hospice. I'm glad I was there to assist with packing up their belongings and with getting everything in Hannah's car. I wanted to go to the hospice with Hannah, but I would have gotten there just in time to turn around and fight rush hour traffic to be home in time for the Ponte Alto Newcomers' meeting Hubbyfink and I were hosting.

Wow, was it a good thing I came on home. We had three newcomers show up thirty minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start. Thankfully, [ profile] psalite and [ profile] pirategirleee arrived at the scheduled start time just as a couple of ladies from Black Diamond (recent Tech grads who have moved to the area) came in. We had a full house with lively conversations and digging through books and munching on the numerous noms. The meeting wound down around midnight-thirty. Hubbyfink and I quickly cleaned up and dropped into bed.

On Saturday, we behaved like normal people. We did a little light house cleaning, a little laundry, floated in the pool for an hour or so, went to Amphora for a very late lunch (mmm... calamari goodness), a stop by Kohl's for Hubbyfink clothes, and home again home again jiggety jog. I nodded off during the E3 coverage on G4 and headed upstairs to nap while Hubbyfink played "Knights of the Old Republic". When I returned to the land of the awake, we caught up on home improvement shows and Doctor Who. Hubbyfink headed to bed during the Graham Norton show and I stayed up to watch "Cats" on Ovation until I couldn't keep my eyes open.

We headed up to Annapolis on Sunday morning for Father's Day lunch at Stony River with Hubbyfink's dad and mom. I do like my sister-law's family, but it's so nice when we can get one-on-one time with Hubbyfink's parents without kids running around. The food was wooonderful (much more crab to filler in the crab cake sandwich and the truffle fries are To. Die. For.) and the conversation lively. We eventually said our good-byes and headed towards Arlington to see Dave and Hannah again.

Happily, Dave was awake and alert and held a Pookie-cat on his lap. (Calmest cat ever, by the way.) We were there at the same time as [ profile] recalcitranttoy and [ profile] vvalkyri. We watched the NASCAR race and talked about home improvement shows, movies, and the delicious-smelling hospice meal. Dave was nodded off a few times, but he was doing sooo much better than when Hubbyfink had last seen him on Tuesday. It was a very good visit.


Dec. 15th, 2009 12:49 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The last day of the semester is this coming Saturday and it can't come soon enough. I'm so thankful that I cut back my hours and am taking only two classes a semester; I'm sure I would've had more breakdowns by now. Hubbyfink's probably thankful too, even if he doesn't know it.

During the winter break, I'm going to tackle any and all outstanding Virginia exchequer issues and make sure that my ducks are in a row before the fourth quarter/year-end reporting panic starts in January. I'm also going to work up a class for Atlantia's February University (I'll have an email to you by the end of the week, [ profile] pinkleader). And I'm going to get into the hard-core research for my new C15 Venetian ensemble.

Or maybe I'll just kick back with "Arkham Asylum", "Bioshock", and/or "Dead Space" and rot my brain with video games.

Work is being especially hellacious this week and it's only Monday. Bossman is taking the brunt of the ugliness, bless him. On the other paw, we're going to meet the 18 December deadline for getting orders in to a vendor and that's a tick mark in the positive column. One day at a time.

Hubbyfink and I are putting a plan into place so that we can spend our seventh anniversary (May 1, 2011) in Venice. I wanted so desperately to go to Venice this coming April and attend the Renaissance Society of America's yearly meeting but we simply can't swing the cost. With a year to prepare and save, though, we'll be able to do Venezia in style.

Aside from last week's unfortunate episode after filing a nail too thin, I haven't bitten my nails since November 13. I haven't had nails since senior prom (which I then bit off when I broke up with my boyfriend). I love my nails. Basilmonster LOVES my nails and constantly wants scritches. Alright, I've kicked the nail-biting habit. Now to get my weight under control, huh.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
Hi local SCAdians! [ profile] penguininarmor and I (SKA Edward de Clare and Pippa Morosini) are hosting Ponte Alto's Newcomers' Night at 7pm tomorrow evening in Sterling, VA. You don't have to be newcomer to attend; you don't even have to live in Ponte Alto! We don't. :)

If you're curious about western martial arts, historical clothing, medieval and renaissance music, or history, you'll be in the right place!

We do have three cats -- although, you'll probably see only two -- so allergy-sufferers should take appropriate action. We'll have beverages and snacky bits and lots of fun conversations. Drop me a line if you need our address or directions.
melaniesuzanne: (Venice)
So. I was all excited about my persona name change. Well, I was excited about the first name portion anyway. I wasn't in love with Martelli but it was the best M-name I located to match the Florentine Pippa. But all the while I've been pining for Morosini.


I finally got a big enough bee in my bonnet to ask some heralds about mixing names from different Italian states. Unbeknownst to me, until last night, the College of Heralds treats the Italian states as one country. Whoo hoo!

I have now potentially annoyed one herald by asking her to withdraw my name submission and potentially annoyed another by asking her to draw up new name paperwork. Hopefully I've mitigated some of the annoyance by providing all the documentation she'll need for the paperwork. I should probably bake them some brownies as a peace offering as well... And I've promised that this will be my last name submission. For this year, anyway.
melaniesuzanne: (Tacuinum Sanitatis: roses)
My bliss, I mean. The [noun] which is my SCA passion. And that [noun] is fifteenth century Venice. I've followed my friends into Hundred Years' War-era England and France and I've enjoyed dabbling with the clothing, accoutrements, and culture of medieval northern Europe. But my interest is now drawn further south to that Queen of the Adriatic: Venice.

I spent a lot of time this weekend reading about the city's history. I purchased some art books so I can educate myself as to what looks correct. I'm excited about the close ties to the Middle East and the effect that contact had upon Venetian culture and clothing. There are so many things and places I've been curious about which were outside of my friends' interests and now I'm finally getting out of my shell and exploring something new.

I do need a little bit of help, though, since I know NOTHING about Italian clothing, aside from lots of it is "weird" when viewed with a northern European eye. I'm interested specifically in early 15th century Venetian women's clothing. The 16th century dresses are stunning, but I want to stay earlier. I'm not sure where to start looking for good clothing resources beyond the collective Tacuina, which according to my copy of The Medieval Health Handbook were illustrated in northern Italy. Now I need to find out if Venetian fashion was comparable to Veronese and Milanese. Probably yes to Verona since the two cities were linked together so much.

Once I nail down what to wear, I can start looking for music resources. Yay, new-to-me music!
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I realize that my posts have become about only two things -- work and gaming -- recently. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all I'm doing these days. I get wound up at work and then go home and decompress with games. The upside is that we'll have lots and lots of unlocked Rock Band songs the next time someone wants to come over and play.

I have nothing prepared for KASF. No new clothes, no new music, no new artifacts. I'll be singing with Alle Psallite and jamming with the Ravenstreet Singers, of course, but nothing solo. I feel rather meh about the SCA right now. I love my office, but I don't really want to go to events and think about all the nasty politics going on. Honestly? I think my next SCA event after this weekend will be Pennsic.
melaniesuzanne: (Spooky trees by valo_queen)
The October newcomers' meeting for Ponte Alto is at my house this Friday evening at 7pm. If you're local and either interested in the SCA or already in the SCA, come on over and enjoy good company and good snacks. Let me know if you need directions.

This Saturday's spooktacular event is the Manassas Haunted Trail at 9505 Dean Park Drive, Manassas, VA. I haven't decided yet if folks should meet at my place or at [ profile] pirategirleee's (because the haunt is closer to her place). I'll post time and location after careful negotiations with herself.

Or maybe not. The site states that this attraction has been closed this year due to the death of a local teen. Leesburg Cornfield MAiZE, instead perhaps? There's also the Mystery in Liberia Mansion tour in Manassas. Tours run from 5:30pm to 9pm and are about an hour long.

There are several decant circles going for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils over on [ profile] sca_bpal including Wind in the Willows, Marchen, and the Yule 2008 scents. These circles are a great way to start (or beef up) one's collection without dropping a whole lotta green on untested scents. Come and join the (fairly low-traffic) community.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
Friday was the perfect day for skulking through the woods and shooting paintballs at coworkers (and Hubbyfinks; we wound up on opposing teams, heh heh heh). I was much more aggressive tihs year and am now sporting some fairly spectacular bruises on my hip, collarbone, ribs and back. Yes, someone shot me in the back. And the worst part of that attack is that the balls didn't break so I didn't have to leave the game, but it hurt so badly that I very happily trotted back to the dead zone with my hands in the air so I wouldn't get shot again.

Also? Thank heavens I've been running on the elliptical for a few weeks. I might've dropped dead out there, otherwise.

Got a call from the vet saying that all three kitties are in good health. Some TMI. )

Hubbyfink and I roused ourselves early on Saturday so we could head down to Front Royal for Atlantian University. I'd planned on wearing my red kirtle, but decided to go with my now-loose Norse ensemble so there wouldn't be anything pressing in on the afore-mentioned bruises. [ profile] duchesssimone completed Reviews of Books for Stierbach and Sudentorre as I watched from the side (except for when [ profile] tattycat and I had a quick BPAL swap; she took my unloved Carpathian Mountains and I walked away with Mechanical Phoenix). My class (Exchequer 101) went fairly well: people asked lots of questions which I was mostly able to answer and I covered all of the information on the handout. W00t. Afterwards, [ profile] rwday and I worked on the Marinus reports and finally got them to balance. Whoo hoo!

Hubbyfink went to a WMA practice on Sunday and I finally prepped the front garden for winter. I love my new hedge clippers. I felt a bit like Edward Scissorhands while attacking the bushes out front. Sadly, I am nowhere near as talented so the boxwoods and whatever-the-other-two-bushes-are are not in whimsical shapes. I put mums and pumpkins on the front steps and replaced the blossom wreath with the indian corn and broom. The pots the mums are in got rather funky during the past year, but a coat of black spray paint made them look so good that Hubbyfink thought I had purchased new pots.

After dinner and a hot bath, I attacked the craft room and got it looking mostly decent. Clothing and accessories are in their proper homes; that made a HUGE impact on the state of the room. I also finally got this year's regional exchequer files under control and in the right places. Now I'm all ready for the third quarter reports to come rolling in.


Aug. 25th, 2008 02:01 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I <3 websites with bibliographies.

My bank account does not <3 websites with bibliographies.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
It's back on, baby! I mean, the event didn't cease to be but my planned participation flagged when I got hit with additional work duties and a whole slew of conference calls which ate up my evenings (they're slowly creeping towards eating my early mornings; let me tell you how THRILLED I am about that).

But! I found it. THE picture I want to step out of. And not only that, it includes a musical instrument. Aaaaand, I've found the exact color of wool I need for a portion of the ensemble (the other color of wool is already in my stash, having aged nicely in anticipation of a project such as this). Thank you, [ profile] strawberrykaren, for again being a muse. Who knew that browsing through pictures of candleholders would lead to such costuming inspiration? (Okay, so it wasn't the candleholders themselves. It was the link marked "Musicians" which made me go hmmmm.)

Now comes the scary actually-making-the-ensemble part of the project. Eek.

Zee peekture. )


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
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