melaniesuzanne: (Me at SPWF2014 (by John T Riley))
January: In a surprise move, I attended an SCA event. Kingdom 12th Night was held in D.C., and I carpooled with Kevin and Courtney for a few hours of hobnobbing with SCAdian friends.

In retrospect, I really should've worn a wimple. However, I'm quite pleased with how the hat turned out.

I also saw "The Hobbit: Denial of Service" and nerd-raged A LOT. However, seeing my second film at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema made that theater my movie-going venue of choice and I've been to only one other cinema since.

My lack of personal insulation due to weight loss was problematic especially since this was one of the coldest winters I've personally experienced.
    12th Night 2014
February: We got a fair amount of snow in January and February. One of the superficial things I'd panicked about after the separation was how I'd get everything dug out after a significant snowfall since that task had always fallen upon the ex. I managed just fine, especially since my burly neighbor was especially kind and shoveled my walk for me a few times. He even came out once and took my shovel away while I was digging out the car. I baked him brownies in thanks.     snowcar
I tortured [ profile] pirategirleee by taking her to the Baltimore Aquarium for her birthday. "How is that torture?" I hear you ask. Well, PG is TERRIFIED of sharks while I find the critters fascinating. We spent a lot of quality time in the shark pen. And then we played in the gift shop.

Virginia struck down its ban on same-sex marriage and I celebrated a fairly low-key Valentine's Day with the beau. These are completely unrelated events. I completed my last regional Doomsday (year-end financial report) for the Kingdom of Atlantia and my reign of terror as the Virginia Regional Exchequer ended.
March: I had a marvelous time at the DC stop "Welcome to Night Vale" tour, winter continued being a bitch on wheels, and I officially filed for divorce.
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: (Exchequer)
Saturday was a long, long day spent at Unevent in Southern Maryland. For those not in the mid-Atlantic region of the SCA, this is an SCA officers' event where we spend a full day training, reviewing, and talking about our offices. The event usually includes order meetings as well, but this year it was all about officers. My passenger Cassie and I avoided the congestion on 210 and took the faster-paced 5 to 301. We arrived two cars ahead of friends who left NoVa an hour before us (and had gotten caught in the backup on 210).

Anyway, I did a review of books for one of my local treasurers and then helped another treasurer trouble-shoot her third quarter report. Two hours later... the report didn't balance and we found inconsistencies in her second quarter report. [ profile] psallite kindly fetched lunch for me which I was able to wolf down during the Seneschals & Exchequers meeting. I tried trouble-shooting another third quarter report during the three-hour training session for exchequers. Unfortunately, I didn't have all her paperwork to effectively review her report and find the sticking points. I had a broken report from yet another group, but I did not have the brain cycles left to work my way through that one.

At the end of the day, I passed a couple of people who exclaimed, "I had no idea you were here!" Yeah, that happens when one spends all day in a classroom or a meeting room and doesn't get out to socialize. Ah well. At least I got a review of books completed.

Dinner with friends afterwards was pretty fantastic. Much laughter, tasty drinks, and rejuvenating food. Bless. If you ever get the chance to listen to Ceridwen South's bus stories, don't pass that up.

Cassie and I sang along with Weird Al on the trip home and made pretty good time despite my being so tired that I took the wrong exit off the Toll Road. Oops. It did give us more time to sing with Al.


Dec. 1st, 2011 10:14 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
What a week. Bossman is on vacation and I'm his back-up and most of Hades has broken loose. He called to check in yesterday and I told him that I had picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.* Things are finally sort of calming down and most everything that our team is responsible for is under control, thank goodness.

I've been biking to work this week. Yes, it's been cold, but the sunshine on my back, my scarf, and my helmuffs are keeping me warm -- a little too warm, in fact -- on the morning ride. Let's just say that the hair dryer in my desk drawer has been getting a lot of use.** For the evening ride, I swap my cardigan and scarf for the fluorescent jacket and am fairly toasty with that arrangement.

The worst part of the evening ride is the darkness; my little 2 watt lights can illuminate the trail directly in front of my tire and reflective items along the trail, but they're not sufficient for cutting through the gloom. In fact, I almost hit a ninja jogger last night (not even his SHOES had reflective bits). A 600 lumen MiNewt and a more robust tail light should be on my doorstep when I get home tonight. I do think that 600 lumens is overkill and I don't want to sear the eyeballs of oncoming cyclists (or motorists, for that matter), but I like the option of having that much candlepower on my handlebar. I'll probably keep the light at 250 in traffic and then bump it up to 400 when I'm in inky blackness. And I'll keep the less sufficient lights in my pannier as emergency back-ups if something goes awry.

Lessee, what else? Oh, Unevent is this Saturday and, for me, it'll be a day full of exchequery goodness. I have a bunch of reports to troubleshoot for local exchequers this weekend as well. November was pretty much a wash with getting that work done. I figure that if I can figure out what's wrong with the reports before the end of this month, we'll be good.

*We tell each other that line a LOT.
**Although, I worry that the woman who keeps using the restroom while I'm changing my base layer and drying my hair may think I'm homeless.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
My teeth hurt. My jaw hurts. My inside lip hurts. Obviously, I went to the orthodontist on Friday. My upper teeth are moving nicely, he said, and now it's time to focus on the bottom teeth again. He's got an activator chain on the tooth next to the tooth which needs to move and the entire bottom right side of my mouth is howling in pain. I also have to wear a rubber band between upper and lower teeth on that side to add to the chorus of misery. I haven't been popping Advil like candy, but I'm getting close to that.


Saturday was good, though. Hubbyfink was pitifully sick and I made him stay home from Holiday Faire. I am a big, strong girl and I was able to set up my booth (The Ermine Mouse) by my lonesome and have open spaces on the table and shelves ready for [ profile] psalite's and [ profile] reasdream's items when they arrived. I had items priced to MOVE (maybe priced too well, but I was more interested in clearing out space than making money) and clothes and fabric flew out of my shop. Hooray! I didn't make quite as much money as I did five years ago when I was able to pay for movers AND the speeding ticket I got en route to the event, but it was pretty close. I did a bit of shopping as well and came home with lovely Thai silk, an adorable white mouse puppet, nommy potpourri, earrings, and a few other trinkets. Dinner with friends at the Japanese steakhouse afterward was the cherry on top of a pretty fantastic day.

For Sunday, Hubbyfink and I ventured into DC to see a revival of Cirque du Soliel's "Quidam" at the Verizon Center. Quidam was my first experience with Cirque twelve or thirteen years ago. I think I've become jaded since then because the acts weren't as spectacular, but I suppose that Cirque and I have both grown. I'm glad that we left home pretty early because my phone's navigation system did NOT want us to take I-66 in and then it didn't want us to take Constitution through town. I did drive I-66, but I couldn't get into the lane for Constitution and wound up taking E to a numbered street and made a series of left and right turns until we happened upon Gallery Place. Leaving the event was just as exploratory since construction on Constitution had it closed down to one lane. Yeah, no. We cruised around the mall, passed the recently renovated DC war memorial, found the recently opened Martin Luther King, Jr memorial, made a (probably illegal U-turn) after being passed by an ambulance and seeing traffic stacked up ahead, and finally escaped from DC via the 14th Street Bridge.

Hubbyfink spent the evening glued to "House Hunters International" (dear Lord, what hath I wrought??) while I organized the craft room within an inch of its anthropomorphic life. The reduction in SCA clothing, accessories, and fabric allowed me to reorg the fabric shelves and I can, for the first time in nearly five years, see exactly what I own. It turns out that I have no plain brown wool, but I'm mostly okay with that right now. I have lots and lots and LOTS of grey wool. Huh.

Tonight there will be a manicure and packing and then a mad frenzy of house cleaning before we hit the road at oh-dark-thirty to go over the mountains and through the woods to Aunt Trisha's cabin in the Smokies.
melaniesuzanne: (Embroidered M & mouse by strawberrykaren)
Dental appointment on Wednesday. Teeth look good, but I could be doing a better job of flossing. Well, sure I could except for the braces getting in the way. The hygienist showed me how to work around the wires and porcelain. I'm having some sensitivity to sweet on a back, and luckily non-braced, tooth. I go back in early December to have my filling replaced. Good times.

Last night I finally kept an appointment with my hairdresser after cancelling appointments for the past two months. My roots and ends and everything in between was in DIRE need of attention. She applied highlights and lowlights and I'm back to attractively blonde rather than a horrific combo of brassy and mousy. Thank goodness. The also took two inches off the front and three off the back. My cute little asymmetrical bob which isn't quite a pixie cut is back. I was a little alarmed when she started styling my hair and had curled up and pulled out the sides. I looked like a freaking cartoon character. After the teasing and flipping, she tamed my hair into something fairly attractive. Hubbyfink liked it a lot. I'm grateful he wasn't home when I got out of bed this morning and discovered my hair going in every direction like it was trying to escape my head. That look would put most people off their morning coffee.

I also pulled clothes and hats and accessories out of the garb closet and stuck price tags on everything that's going to Holiday Faire with me tomorrow. I think I have everything priced to fly off the clothing rack and tables. I hope so anyway. It's not that I need the money; I want the space! Seriously, I've got 1/2 to 2/3 of my dresses that are up for grab. I couldn't bear to go through my stocking/sock drawer although that could use a good weeding, too. Long story, short: If you're going to Holiday Faire in Stierbach on Saturday, stop by The Ermine Mouse for gently (and not so gently) used hats and plus size dresses and ~stuff~. A couple other ladies are adding their items to my emporium and you should check out their offerings as well!

My teeth get tightened by the orthodontist in a little over an hour from now. I may stop by the nail place for a quick manicure before loading the truck tonight. We shall see.

Tomorrow is Holiday Faire, as I mentioned above, and Sunday is Cirque du Soliel's "Quidam" at the Verizon Center. That was my first Cirque show and Hubbyfink's never seen it. We're both looking forward to the show.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
February: I was thinking about attending a couple of SCA events this month, but home improvements are slooooowly commencing. I do believe that homework will take precedence over SCA.

3/5: University is a big ol' maybe at this point.
3/12: Cleaning the house from top to bottom in preparation for Mom's visit.
3/19: Mom's visit.
3/26: Defending the Gate, Spotsylvania, VA. The 'fink and I plan to bring the dayshade.
4/2: Home improvement/cleaning.
4/9: Night on the Town, Annapolis, MD. Thinking about taking the dayshade.
4/16: Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion, MD. Spectator. Hopefully [ profile] zipmeister and boyfriend will be in town then.
4/23: Home improvement/cleaning.
4/30: Ft Frederick Market Fair, Big Pool, MD. Day visitor/shopper.
5/7: Crown Tournament, Doswell, VA. Depends if a friend is fighting. Although, it's fairly close and I do love Crown Tourney...

That's enough for now, I think.
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
2010 Daily Ornament Report - 1 down; located behind the comfy chair.

I've finished decorating. The trees are trimmed, the banister is bedecked with garland, and the stockings are hung with care. Now I just need to wrap gifts and stash them beneath the boughs (and hope like the dickens that Oreo will leave the presents alone!).

Yesterday was full of social engagements. I spent the afternoon in the company of SCAdian friends at Ponte Alto's "Meet Us Under the Bridge" event. It was a laid back affair with various musicians providing backdrop instrumental and vocal music as friends visited, played games, shopped the silent auction offerings, and noshed on the yummy dayboard offerings. I won the chess tournament. Of course, there were only two entrants and we were pretty evenly matched in skill, or lack thereof. [ profile] ballistabob said that we both showed flashes of brilliance, but neither Sian nor I recognized our flashes enough to follow through with any of our set ups. We decided to play best-two-out-of-three and the final game was a blood bath. I had my queen, a bishop, a rook, four pawns and my king against Sian's king. I told folks that I like to play with my food. :)

After racing home and dolling up, I headed over to Kerry and Jill's new home for their annual Christmas party. I love their house. Lakefront, three fireplaces, lots and lots of windows, it's so beautiful! Met some great people and did a fairly good job of sticking to the veggie tray. I did give in to a couple of coconut meringue cookies, though.

Hubbyfink was sadly unable to attend anything yesterday as he woke up with laryngitis. He sounds better today but isn't 100%. I'm feeling kind of warm, myself, but I'm not sure if I'm coming down with something or if my face is still inflamed from the microdermabrasion facial I had this morning. It wasn't a relaxing treatment by any stretch of the imagination. I'm hopeful that I'll see some improvement in my skin over the next few days. My complexion has been looking its worst since my teenage years over the past month or so. It may be time to make an appointment with an actual dermatologist.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
The original plan for Lochmere Investiture to was arrive sometime after noon and hang out with friends until it was time for Alle Psallite to sing before evening court. What actually happened is that Hubbyfink decided to attempt an authorization in Cut & Thrust which meant we needed to be on site around 10am. We were a little late, but it turned out that authorizations would be after the morning court at 11am. No big. I camped out in [ profile] thatpotteryguy's shop during court and watched Hubbyfink adeptly pass his authorization. Hooray!

Funny clothing note: I decided to wear Norse clothes which confused a LOT of people. Several folks didn't recognize me because I wasn't in my typical "uniform". Hee! Other funny clothing note: Hubbyfink and I wound up being totally matchy-matchy for court with my green underdress/red apron dress combo and his green hose/red cote combo. Hee hee!

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the company of our household. Our choir wound up not singing because court was moved up half an hour. Okie dokes. Our band of merry makers camped out under [ profile] duchesssimone's pavilion to watch court. And then I was called to appear before Her Majesty. Hubbyfink took my hand and escorted me as my mind whirled. Honestly, there was only one thing that I could be called up for and the necessary people for such a thing were present, so maybe...

Her Majesty praised my long and continued service to Kingdom and Barony. The herald, [ profile] herveus, called in the Order of the Golden Dolphin. YAY!!! [ profile] shalandara gave the Ravenstreet medallion to Her Majesty and recited the long, long, looooong lineage of the medallion. I was afraid there might be a quiz before I was given the medallion! Thankfully, there wasn't, and Her Majesty slipped the chain over my head. I rose to greet the Order and hugged all the Ravenstreeters congregated right there. Then I turned around and realized there was a whole other pod of Golden Dolphins on the other side of the pavilion. Oops. Raced over and hugged them, too, then skedaddled back to Simone's pavilion when I realized that the baronial court was still open. The household folks asked if I was going to sleep in the medallion. Oh, no. I'm going to be like [ profile] shalandara and put that sucker into its box; I don't want to the person who loses the household medallion. I pointed out, however, that when I get a Laurel medallion, I'll be wearing that sucker EVERYWHERE for at least a month. ;)
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
The quick-n-dirty shade fly I'd crafted from a Wal-Mart painters tarp was The Place To Be in our camp on Saturday and that pleased me to no end. I guess most folks haven't seen the pavilion since I painted it last summer: it got lots of oohs and aahs and that also pleased me to no end. The baronial potluck on Saturday night was one of the finest meals I've ever had while camping. Roasting marshmallows and then staying up way too late telling tales around the fire was pretty darn awesome, too.

Friday afternoon traffic on I-95. Setting up in the rain. No sleep Friday night. The oppressive heat during take-down on Sunday.

I was happy that [ profile] pirategirleee and I were able to get all our gear in the truck and nothing -- not even tent poles -- was on the roof. Still need to experiment with the packing configuration, but I feel confident that I'll be able to get nearly all the Pennsic gear in the truck. Hubbyfink thinks we may have to put the poles on the roof to make room for the bed, but we'll see.

The Incredible's nav system did a great job! The "Where" app was great in that it found the Cracker Barrel we wanted to go to for dinner on Friday. I <3 my phone.

In addition to making new smocks, I need to make some loose-fitting hanging-around-camp clothes. I think I'm going to break down and make a banded stola or two for when I don't feel like being all laced up.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Firstly: I'm going camping this weekend! *squee* And, the weather guessers are predicting a GORGEOUS weekend for outdoor activities. Of course, it's only Tuesday and we've got a couple of stormy days between now and then, but I'm hopeful that they are correct.

Secondly: I think I may have figured out how to make a cioppa (the Italian overdress which isn't the tabard-like giornea). Making that sharp v-neckline work with huge tracts of land has been problematic for me in the past. I've been studying period artwork for months trying to figure out the lines, but I think I've finally got it. Will put theory into practice tomorrow night (tonight is choir) and see if it works. If so, yee-haw!

Thirdly: The fifteen yards of 2.8oz white linen from arrived this past weekend. Before being washed, it was like cheesecloth. Since being laundered, it has tightened up a little bit, but it's still very, very sheer. I'm so excited about the camicie I'll make from this.

Fourthly: Margie and Oreo were snuggled forehead to forehead at the foot of the bed this morning. What a peaceful change from the yowling and yelling between the two of them last night.

Fifthly: I need to get my nose back on the grindstone. Laters.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The two days of rain has made me morose. Everything is really and truly peachy keen in my little corner of the world, but all I want to do is curl up in a ball and eat doughnuts.

The continuous discussion about ticks and tick-borne illnesses makes me reconsider my desire to attend Sapphire Joust. I haven't been bothered by ticks the two (three?) times I've attended the event -- in fact, I haven't had a tick on me since childhood -- but I'm pretty skeeved out by tales of "I was covered in ticks!", "I have Lyme disease because of the Sapphire site!", and other tales of terror. I should simply visit my local lawn & garden center and pick up the vaunted tick repellent and camp with abandon. I know I'll have a good time, ticks or no (preferably "no").

I've been practicing the soprano line of some of the pieces Alle Psallite is working on so that [ profile] psalite doesn't have to sing all by her lonesome. She's a fantastic soloist, of course, but sometimes it's nice to have backup. We had a decent number of altos regularly turning up for practices so I shouldn't be missed on that part. We shall see what Psalite and [ profile] carthew think.

I'm moving to a new cube in a month and I am soooooooo excited. I don't have a firm move date, but I'm slightly more happy about coming in to work every day.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Our house has curb appeal. The purple peony bush is in full bloom and the white one is ready to put on a show at any moment. The star roses are also blooming and add a wonderful punch of color amidst the two boxwoods and two other shrubs. The clematis is taking a bloom break at the moment, but has just about covered the trellis. The poor gardenia is hanging in there. It's not blooming, but it's not dead either. I'm pleased as can be about how pretty the front of the house looks right now.

It's going to a cool weekend, temperature-wise, which means I have no excuse for not tidying up the craft room and getting it ready for sewing marathons. I'm sure the long black&white thing will keep me company since he considers the craft room his room. The small black thing should also keep me company since she's my furry shadow. While the organizing part of cleaning is fun, I'm most looking forward to that sense of peace which washes over me when I am in a tidy space. Aaaaaaahhh. :)

[ profile] dmn4nr, his Missus, and I went out for sushi last night. Yummy food and even better company. We almost ordered the right number of rolls; H has a delicious lunch of leftovers today. They came over for a bit to meet Mr. Oreo and were amazed by his proportions. Good times, and I mean that in a positive vein for once.

Let's see, what else? Oh yes. I have joined the twenty-first century by ordering my first smart phone. I went weak-kneed while reading a review of the Droid Incredible and then scurried over to my Verizon Wireless account to see when I'm eligible to upgrade. Turns out it was two and half weeks ago. Score! And, sold! Thank goodness for online discounts and whatnot. So, my fancy-schmancy new phone which is probably smarter than I am will arrive sometime before the 21st. (Hey, I like instant gratification as much as the next GenXer, but I have NO patience for the VzW stores.) Anyway, SO EXCITED!

And last, but not necessarily least, I've decided to go to Sapphire Joust over Memorial Day weekend. [ profile] pirategirleee and I are going to share my tent for the weekend. We can have our own little bedrooms in the rounded ends and move the walls around to use the section between the uprights as a breezeway and living space with chairs and table. I was on the fence about not going, but the I WANT TO CAMP urge and PG's saying that she was thinking about going pushed me over the edge. So, yay!
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
Friday was our last full day of Gulf Wars goodness. I felt a small twinge of sadness that the event was almost over, but I was also looking forward to sleeping warm, not wearing shoes in the shower, and snuggling mah kittehs. Hubbyfink and I did a little bit of tent clean-up so I could start packing a few things away and then he was gone for the rest of the day in classes. I eventually got dolled up in full-on Italian mode (because the temps finally hit the lower 70s and I could wear linen without shivering). My paycheck cleared in the wee hours of the morning so it was time to make my debit card squeak again.

First stop was Kass-n-Bob for the Safavid Persian Woman pattern. I'd studied both it and the Ottoman Turkish Woman pattern during my stay during Midnight Madness and I was torn about which one to get. (I think I may have to either order the Ottoman pattern or pick it up at Pennsic, just to be safe.) I wandered next door to the 96 District Mercer and completed my collection of their cotton damasks plus a goodly amount of the gold silk damask. Later that afternoon, I ran into [ profile] baronessadriana and Ella shopping with Her Majesty. I joined their little entourage and carried some of Her Majesty's fabric as we shopped our way back to her encampment. Hubbyfink finally came home, but changed into warmer clothes to go back out to Merchants' Row. My feet were DONE so I declined joining him and instead continued packing down personal effects. He returned an hour or so later with [ profile] wombatgirl and [ profile] rhino_boy and their delicious boozy offerings. We four stayed up very late (for us) drinking and laughing and trying to stave off the evening chill.

Hubbyfink was up with the chickens on Saturday and picked up our new bed from Egill (we'd picked up the Glastonbury chair when we drove onto site Thursday evening). Our goal was to leave site by noon; we almost made it. Thank goodness we started packing at 9am! I am also thankful that we bought the soft-side roof container thingie. All the dirty clothes (sorted into bags of "white linens: wash hot and dry", "street clothes and other things that can wash cold and dry", and "wash cold and hang dry" [OMG, this made laundry after the event SO MUCH easier!]) went up on the roof and we managed to get all our new purchases into the van with a little bit of room to spare. Of course, I did leave behind the folding bookshelf which was falling apart and the feather beds which had stayed constantly damp for the trash gods. WG and RB pulled up just as were finishing up and we were able to leave the site together and head back up to Mom's. We did manage to lose them before even getting to Hattiesburg, though.

We got to Mom's an agonizing short six hours later and showered off the camping grime and whatnot and sat down to a humongous BBQ feast with all the fixings and both Banana Pudding (with 'Nilla Wafers) and Lemon Icebox Pie from the Germantown Commissary. NOM! [ profile] zipmeister dropped by again to see all of us. We managed not to stay up until the wee hours, but only barely.

Mom and Pete fixed a delicious breakfast for us on Sunday. We left an hour later than planned, but it was worth it. Hubbyfink was actually more sad than me as we rolled out; he didn't get enough of a Suzanne-n-Pete fix, he said. Awww. We rolled into our home parking lot at 10pm.

So. Long story, short: Loved the vibe of Gulf Wars. I got lonesome because I didn't have my usual posse and, besides the ever-present cold, that was pretty much the only downside of the event. Hubbyfink had a blast and we both can't wait to go back. Honestly, if we weren't planning our Venice trip for next April or May, we'd go back to GW in 2011.

Oh, and honorable mentions: I got to meet Mistress Katrei of Calontir. She is a hoot and a half. She says "hi", [ profile] tattycat. I also got to put name to [ profile] loosecannon's face. We've seen each other for years at events and have been doing that I-know-you-but-I-don't-know-who-you-are thing for far too long. We finally said hi in Kass' shop during Midnight Madness and the word got even smaller. Hee!
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
Wednesday was cold and overcast. Hubbyfink spent the morning in Early Period Life doing Norse things that didn't actually involve going a-viking (the site was much too dry for rowing a longship despite the rain the previous evening). I slept in and tried to stay warm until my retainer shift. While minding our lovely Queen, I caught the end of the Diamond & Rose Tourney (Atlantia won), watched a bit of the joust (and was completely disillusioned as to the majesty of horses), and shopped with Her Majesty. When Hubbyfink and I both eventually convened upon home, I asked if we could get a motel room for the night because I was too freaking cold. Yes, Wednesday is the big party night, but neither of us are partiers especially when we're freezing. We grabbed our overnight bags and spent a warm night with hot showers that stayed hot through their duration in Hattiesburg.

On Thursday, we hit the road for New Orleans and a much-anticipated visit with [ profile] thisoldgrouse and [ profile] cold_spaghetti. Firstly, they both look fantastic. Secondly, they have the most adorable children. Thirdly, I love their house (even if it tries to kill them on a regular basis) and neighborhood. While the kidlets were still in school, we adults zipped down to Mahony's Po-Boy shop for lunch. We stuffed ourselves on the world's best onion rings and the best shrimp po-boy I've ever eaten (they, unfortunately, did not have soft shell crab). Happily stuffed, we piled back into the car for a tour of the Garden District, a walk-through of (I think) Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and a short stop at The Fly to watch tugboats and barges on the Mighty Mississippi. Back to the house for tour through the remodels and oohing and aahing. Paul retrieved the kidlets from school and we all piled back into the car. Poor Holly was squished into the very back of the wagon. The kidlets entertained us with French songs as we made our way through town towards the French Quarter for beignets at Cafe du Monde. Mmmmm... everything about the Quarter was better than I'd remembered. The music, the street artists, the vibe, the smell. Even the beignets were thicker than those in my memory.

Eventually, it was time to head back to the woods. We bade our farewells and Hubbyfink and I bargained back and forth about whether or not we should go back to site or get another motel room. Hubbyfink finally agreed to go back to site and we donned our warmest clothes again to hit the merchant area for Midnight Madness. MM at Gulf Wars seems a calmer affair the MM at Pennsic, but the difference could simply be due to the number of people on site. I was still waiting for my paycheck to kick in so I couldn't buy anything, but we had fun strolling about, watching Wolgemut and Owain Phyfe perform, and visiting with [ profile] kass_rants and [ profile] nq3x and all the lovely people in their shop. Bob even shared some of his creme brulee from the Gode Bakery with me. We love Bob. We got back to camp very late and donned even more clothes before bed to stave off the bitter chill of the night air.
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
Monday was a super-lazy day aside from organizing and decorating our home for the week. We'd brought our lean-to dayshade, but I decided that it wouldn't do the job I'd wanted it to do. I purchased a canvas drop cloth the previous evening and sat under Their Highnesses' shade fly while sewing grommet holes into the fabric that would become our shade fly. By early afternoon, the pavilion and shaded area was set up to my liking, including an indoor/outdoor rug so that I could have outside barefoot time. (Spiky vegetation and the threat of bitey insects put a damper on my usual running about sans shoes.) I can't remember if I ever actually left camp on Monday. Oh wait, yes! We made our first foray into the marketplace in the late afternoon and I bought a lightweight mug peppered with rounded spikes. We also stopped by Egill's shop and I bought a walnut Glastonbury chair. I suggested Hubbyfink take a look at Egill's bed to get some ideas for how to construct a frame for us. Sian's bedframe was nice, but a little bit too tall and heavy for us. Egill said he had a couple of beds for sale. Plus, since I'd just bought a chair, he'd give me a discount. I looked at Hubbyfink. He looked back at me. Sold!

One good thing about camping in the back of beyond is that the privies stay fairly decent throughout the week; however, Hubbyfink and I were quite dismayed to discover that toilet paper disappeared pretty quickly. Thank goodness I always pack my own. We also learned that [ profile] akgnome was not embellishing her description of the shower/flushy trailer as being frightening. Hubbyfink thought it could be something out of "Left 4 Dead". I got more of a "Friday the 13th" vibe. [ profile] wombatgirl dubbed it the Bates Motel. Brrrr. The shower house, once the rightmost shower stalls quit backing up, was muuuuuch better. Plus, it had functional sinks and lighting.

Tuesday was Opening Ceremonies. I meant to take pictures of the procession but somehow I wound up in the Atlantian contingent (walking with [ profile] kass_rants and [ profile] mselspet and [ profile] baronessadriana) processing to the fort. Their Majesties were resplendent in their Russian finery and Her Majesty's smile went to eleven. I waved to Hubbyfink and [ profile] rhino_boy who were wise enough to have found a spot on the side of the road to watch the procession. I got a couple of photos of banners and people once we got to the fort, but we were standing off to the side, so the photos aren't great.

After Opening Ceremonies, WG, RB, Hubbyfink and I wandered off to check out the merchants. WG was an evil, horrible person and dragged me (kicking and screaming) to the most wonderful fabric merchant (District 96 Mercer). They had patterned wools and those patterns weren't paisleys! They had silk damask! They had REAL silk velvet! I made my debit card squeak for mercy and promised to return on Friday when my next paycheck went through. WG also directed us down the street to the Gode Bakery which is operated by the folks who run OMG, applewood sausage and raspberry muffin and minty sekanjabin for the yummeh win!

That evening, Hubbyfink and I donned our warmest clothes (because it was really freaking cold in Mississippi this year!) and strolled about the site. We stuck our heads in the Green Dragon tavern, took a look at Al-Mahala, and finally stopped by Calontir and visited with WG and RB until the not-so-wee hours.
melaniesuzanne: (pavilion)
Eleven days ago Hubbyfink and I hit the road to spend seven glorious days in my old stomping grounds. We overnighted at Mom's house where we celebrated [ profile] beaznuts' birthday (and I finally got to meet my newest nephew Jonathan). [ profile] wombatgirl and [ profile] rhino_boy rolled in a couple of hours after us and we all stayed up much too late considering how long our respective Saturdays had been and how long the following Sunday would be.

I was a bundle of nerves most of the way through Mississippi. I was excited (and scared) about seeing Hattiesburg and my University. The sororities have moved out of Panhellenic Hall and most have their own houses now. It was weird not seeing the Greek letters and sorority mascots on the balconies of the dorm. I was disappointed to see there was no anchor in front of the Delta Gamma house, but maybe that's university policy or something. Anyway, after my quick tour down memory lane, we got back on the interstate and found the site another thirty miles or so down the road.

Check-in was not what I had expected. In my experience, Pennsic Troll is a fairly well-oiled machine and we're able to process people in and out as quickly as the Coopers' credit card readers run. Gulf Wars Troll was much more laid back. There was no spiel about not losing (or even simply wearing) the medallion. There was no explanation of where to find one's camp. It was "Here's a medallion. String is over there. Books are on that table if you want them. If you have a car, get a hang tag off the table by the door." Oookay. Oh, wait a minute. There's no number on the medallion. "Yeah, we quit numbering them." Ooookay. Oh, hey, [ profile] wombatgirl and [ profile] rhino_boy caught up to us and are in the line for Troll. We waved to them and set off in search of Atlantia's camp.

We should have stopped at the land tent and asked for directions to Atlantia. On the other hand, driving around the entire site twice did give us a fairly good idea of the lay of the land. The various security people who flagged us down were all just as polite as can be -- which sort of freaked out Hubbyfink who isn't used to Southerners beyond my family -- and we FINALLY found the correct street to turn down.

Now, I'm not sure if it was fresh air, sunshine, warm temps, six hours in the van following thirteen hours in the van the previous day or what, but both Hubbyfink and I were pretty much brain dead for set-up. We managed to get the pavilion set up pretty quickly, but unloading gear and building the bed took for-freaking-ever. With Sir Tascius' assistance, Hubbyfink was finally able to complete the bed frame assembly. We got the air mattress and bedding arranged well after dark and then headed back up to Hattiesburg for dinner and a run through Walmart for various bits and pieces. I think we got back around 11 and both promptly passed out.

Thus endeth Day 1 of Gulf Wars XIX.
melaniesuzanne: (device)
In the midst of homework and exchequer reports, I took a break and attended Ponte Alto's Tournament of Love and Beauty on Saturday. I was the royal liaison and after making sure that the royals were taken care of, I wandered off until my stint at retaining began. I got to hang out and visit with [ profile] courtney_d_h which is something we haven't been able to do in far too long. We geeked about music and books and her recent trips to Oslo. Huh. Topics medieval people could have discussed, I suppose. I shopped a bit and purchased a gorgeous salt cellar and a corked bottle from [ profile] thatpotteryguy. I met a new friend (hi, [ profile] snarlingbadger!) and got to see Oh Laurel, My Laurel ([ profile] carthew) for a few minutes.

At one point during the afternoon, [ profile] belfebe stated that she hoped someone would stalk Their Excellencies and shake their booty at them so that she could retire as Baronial Bard. That comment struck my funnybone and I ran right over to Baroness [ profile] azpapillion, told her what Bel had said, and promptly turned around and shook my booty at her. She laughed and looked expectant. I told her I didn't actually have a song prepared for the bardic portion of the competition; I wanted to make sure she'd been shaken at. I then scurried back over to Bel and the fellow retainers who were rolling with laughter.

An hour or so later and it was time for court. Their Excellencies call up Bel to discuss the results of the various A&S competitions. "For Baronial Bard, we have chosen Lady Pippa Morosini." There may have been a comment about an inspired interpretive dance, I can't remember. What I do remember is that I, and everyone who knew the booty-shaking story, howled with laughter. Lady Sian, the court herald, asked if there could be a repeat performance. I really shouldn't have, but I obliged and made Their Majesties laugh. I guess I have that "entertaining" part of being a bard down, huh. I am happy to report that after all that silliness, Sian was made a companion of the Order of the Garland.

During Royal court, [ profile] dawnhutchings and [ profile] smiep were made Companions of the Opal (service order), Cassie was given an Award of the Fountain (service award), and Her Majesty gave [ profile] psalite and me Undines (an award for excellence in service to the Queen) and gorgeous tokens. I was VERY honored (and tickled pink) by the Undine.

Hubbyfink had finished loading up Jeepfink during court (because he is not a court junkie), and we booked it for home because I was about to fall over. Do expect more inspired interpretive dances from the Official Booty-shaker of Ponte Alto. (My Laurel will be so pleased. *snrk*)

Whoo hoo

Jan. 12th, 2010 10:01 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
My class (Venice Beyond Courtesans and Carnavale) was accepted for Atlantia's February University. Whoo hoo! Guess I need to buckle down and compile class notes, huh?

I was concerned about being able to balance prepping and teaching a class while working on my actual school work. I have a project due the same day as University (as well as two days prior), but I think I can make it all work.

No workout this morning as I had an 8am call. I will, however, be in the gym this afternoon to make up for lost time.

That's pretty much all that's going on: work, school, workouts. It's tiring being this fabulous.


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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