luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
Good grief, how the time does fly....

So I have had a couple of great weekends in a row.

Saturday, May 27: Daytripped to Balticon in downtown Baltimore. Second year that the con has been held in the city where one must pay to park. That wasn't the only reason why I limited my con attendance to Saturday, though (more on that in a bit). I enjoyed the things I wanted to enjoy: the medieval dance, Maugorn's concert, and the masquerade. I saw some folks I don't get to see too often, although I did miss CZ and Alex/Phoenix. Moving the con suite from the 12th floor to the fifth-floor common level was a HUGE improvement.

Sunday, May 28: I really wanted to attend church in the morning, because that was our first glimpse of the ministerial candidate. She made a very big positive impression right from the get-go. After the service, there was a pizza luncheon and the candidate stayed to answer our questions. She has an interesting life story -- she worked as a civil engineer for many years before feeling called to the ministry. She and her husband have three grown sons.

Afterward, it was kind of a drizzly day, so the boy toy and I went on a drive through Anne Arundel County and ended up at an idiosyncratic joint called Crabtowne USA. Hey, the fish tacos were good.

Monday, May 29: The "money committees" of the church met with the ministerial candidate for a couple of hours. More positive impressions. Afterward, the boy toy cooked up shrimp and scallops at home.

Saturday, June 3: Storvik Novice Tourney, our barony's signature event. Once again we held it at the College Park Knights of Columbus, which has plenty of room, though no camping. That's OK -- it's the next town over from me, so why would I need to camp? I taught a "heraldry 101" class, although a couple of heralds who know much more than I do sat in and geeked out. Many, many of my friends received well-deserved awards from Their Majesties and Their Excellencies. Exposure to bright sunlight all day long made my brain go into "instant sleep" mode after sunset, so I went to bed a couple of hours earlier than I usually do.

Sunday, June 4: Another excellent service by our ministerial candidate, followed by our annual congregational meeting, at which we voted to call her as our settled minister with 98 percent of the vote. Yay! We finally have a permanent minister again! After the meeting, we had a brief party with champagne and cake, and there was much rejoicing.

We shall see whether this coming weekend's Baltimore Lithuanian Festival will live up to its outstanding predecessors.

And oh, yeah, after midnight it will be June 9 and the FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY of my high school graduation. It's a couple of weeks before the boy toy's 40th. Birthday, not anniversary. Why do you *think* I call him the "boy toy" here??
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
So, I had a great time at Holiday Faire. I picked up a few bargains and saw a few people, and, oh yeah, I heralded Royal Court all by myself!

Well, OK, I did have an excellent support staff. Mistress Sunniva, Lady Alexandria and Lady Daniela worked hard behind the scenes to get the court docket ready and lined up in the proper order with all the pretty scrolls in order. At about an hour before court was scheduled to start, I went to sit in the royal room in order to get off my feet (I am sooooo heavy) and review the docket.

I noticed that, as soon as I was there and getting ready, people started to look to me for answers to questions of protocol. Like Master Ii, who was going to be the herald for the B&B of Stierbach, asked me if the chairs/thrones were in the right places, that sort of thing. Wow.

I was a little nervous, but I don't think it affected my performance. I tried to keep a slight smile on my face when I thought of it, because in some Facebook photos of my past appearances in baronial court, I look as if I'm crying, sneezing or sneering. At least I didn't make any major bloopers, and Her Majesty Queen Lynette gave me a little hug of friendship when I said goodbye for the evening!

You can read my court report here. Their Majesties chose to give out a lot of Opals, which is the main Kingdom-level service award. Someone commented that we had "a necklace of Opals," which is a nice image, I think.

I spent quite a bit of time typing up the two versions of the court report -- the flowery one for public consumption and the plain one (without the legal names redacted) for the people who maintain the database of Kingdom awards. But I wanted to get it over with so I wouldn't be accused of dilly-dallying. Especially with the holiday, Darkover, and freelance article deadlines coming up.
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
Just catching up here...

Last Friday I took Julia to the vet for a summer shave. I had to get up early, before the cats were fed according to Pumpkin's diabetes schedule. Julia tried to claw her way out of the carrier on the way up. I think she figured she was going to That Place. :-P

Fortunately, she behaved well enough during the actual shave that she didn't need to be sedated, which would have been a lot more expense for me.

Now Julia looks like two separate cats stuck together. Her head and her neck ruff are the same, but she has a really skinny little body. She has little white booties around her ankles and a big poof at the end of her gray tail. She looks like some sort of fantastic heraldic beast. Maybe I ought to post a photo of her to the Atlantian heralds' list and ask folks to blazon it. :-D

Julia hasn't changed her behavior much since the shave. I think she was just glad to come home the same day.

Surprisingly, Pumpkin didn't seem to gloat over the fact that he was the only cat in the house for a few hours. He mostly slept except for his medication and feeding.

I know that two people on my friends' list have seen their cats cross the Rainbow Bridge this past week, and a third person has a cat who seems to be quite ill. I'm sorry for imposing these mundane details of cathood on you.
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
Every year the Barony of Bhakail in the East Kingdom holds a heraldry-and-music event called Noisemakers. Last night I did it all by myself!

I have been planning for a while to make myself (as the baronial herald) more available to the Storvik populace. Thus, I announced on the listserve that I would be bringing my books and such to the third Monday night fighter practice of the month. So that people could figure out more easily what I was doing with my table, chair and book crate, I wore the plain (non-baronial) heraldic tabard and did an "oyez, oyez" vocal advertisement before the sword-thwacking really got going. :-)

And I actually did something. Our baronial chronicler was reminded that the device that Master Herveus conflict-checked for her about a year ago was never submitted, so I said I'd take another look at it and see if it is still free of conflicts after another year of heraldic submissions. Then a new fighter named John asked me about SCA names and devices, so I told him about the basic rules. He is thinking about a Serbian name ... yeah, this is going to be interesting, as there are so few resources available on SCA heraldry websites. I jotted down the URLs of the Academy of St. Gabriel and Slavic Interest Group websites on a slip of paper and gave them to him for further consideration. A third person asked me some questions, too, so she may come back in future weeks.

Then I got word that Maugorn was too exhausted from his hard work on the MD Faerie Festival to drop by practice, and none of the other musicians showed up. So I was, for the second time in three days, the entire band. I played as many non-bransle songs as I could muster, and then once the birthday cheesecake for Jen came out, the gathering turned to conversation with no more dancing.

Now, of course, I have bransle and English country dance tunes running nonstop through my brain. Once tomorrow's short-freelance-deadline article is over with, I should blast these earworms out of my head with "Quadrophenia" or Midnight Oil or something.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
So ... after the events of the previous entry, I wandered around the outdoor tents, found Fabric Dragon, and bought a couple of strands of pearls from her.

Then Baron William asked me if I would explain heraldry to his 14-year-old daughter. She has been going by Rachel Williamsdottir during her youth-fighting career, but now she is thinking of something else. Her father explained that she would like something 14th-century English to go with his persona and that she would like to use the cross patonce in her device because that's one of the charges in his arms. Of course, while he was telling me this, Rachel had this look on her face that just read, "Oh, Dad is being so embarrassing again." Then Baroness Bess called him away for something, so I had about half an hour to talk to her. I didn't have any of my books, of course, but I think I managed to go over most of the important principles of names and devices. Certainly it's a lot to absorb all in one shot. Then William came back and suggested that we continue the conversation later, so Rachel whipped out her cell phone and put my number into it. Such a modern teenager, after all. :-)

I also heard something going on behind the sheet wall marking off a portion of the hall for the Queen and the Baronage. Through the doorway I could see that it had something to do with Watkyn of Kent, who is a musician from the Marinus/Tir-y-don area (sorry, I always get those two baronies mixed up). I got to the doorway just in time to see Watkyn made a Court Baron, with Baron Talorgen (one of the senior heralds) giving him the leather coronet off his own head. Vivat!

Back to shopping. I didn't want to spend too much, but I bought a couple of used paperbacks (one on Byzantine women, the other on the modern topic of distraction). I did an awful lot of browsing, too, and salivated over a couple of patterns from Reconstructing History. Eventually I decided on a couple of Italian Renn sleeves. I've been saying for years that I need to make tie-on sleeves for my Italian Renn dresses, but I've never done it, so I figured I might as well buy a pair for $15. Finally, I found a guy who was selling copies of the brand-new Known World Handbook, and I bought the last copy in his stock. Hey, I know I'm going to want it, so why not avoid the shipping charges? [personal profile] pearl might be especially interested to know that the gentleman I bought the book from has the mundane surname Lucas. :-)

Finally, I sat with Baron Watkyn and his lady during evening court (I'd already attended an afternoon court on the archery field). When the winners of the A&S competition were announced, I was delighted to win third prize. House Corvus had made nice, soft blue pouches for the winners, plus I got 50 gold dollar coins in mine. :-) Of course I look forward to putting that money back into circulation among the SCA merchant community. :-)

(Photos of the turkey will be happening soon...)
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
After my Wednesday writing deadline, the boy toy and I went to his parents' house in Calvert County. They are vacationing in Italy, and we took the opportunity to catch up on laundry without putting coins in the washing machine. We must have done about 10 loads, including three comforters. That saved us a lot of quarters

We stayed overnight (I had a lot of weird dreams, mainly about my mother's 1983 Plymouth Horizon, for some strange reason), and we came home today at dinnertime once the rain stopped.

My new-to-me laptop seems to be ready, so I'll pick it up in the morning and then I can *finally* finish the September-October heraldic newsletter. *sigh*

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