luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
I had a great Pennsic, right up until the end, when Draco the Honda Accord wouldn't start after not running for almost a week. And then I got him started and drove home, only to have him die again Sunday morning when I was driving the boy toy over to our local IHOP for breakfast.

Now I'm waiting for a new radiator and a new alternator. Those fixes will cost me almost as much as the car originally did (and I still haven't even *begun* to pay off the friend who lent me the money to buy it). I guess it's still cheaper than trying to buy yet another car. But I can obviously cancel any hope I have of getting anywhere near the path of totality next Monday.

Ah, well, at least I made it home before the car conked out. I have AAA Plus for 100 miles of free towing, but Pennsic is 300 or so miles from my residence, so I would have had to pay $800 for towing it back to my part of Greenbelt.

And what is it about my Pennsic attendance and violence? Three years ago, the last time I went to Pennsic, we had the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This year I drove home to greet the news of the white-supremacist rally and ensuing deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia. What is it with me and Pennsic and violence in the streets? Or is this just a sad coincidence? Certainly I deplore the alt-right white-supremacist neo-Nazi crap.
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Once again ... when you have to log into LJ/DW, you know you've been gone a while. But, hey, I've been living my life.

I didn't go to Pennsic again this year. Still not enough money. However, this might have been a good year to miss, as the weather turned out to be brutally hot and humid. Even the King of Atlantia said on Facebook that the weather was the real enemy this Pennsic, not the opposing alliance of SCA kingdoms. Both among my Facebook friends and the denizens of the Pennsic War group on FB, person after person reported that her feet and ankles were all swollen up from the heat. Lots of people packed up and left early. A full day of martial activities was canceled because of the heat -- who wants to risk heat stroke under several layers of metal and padding?

In other news ... I've been having a blast with my Lithuanian dance peeps. On Sunday the 14th we drove up to Frackville, deep in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, to perform in the town's annual "Lithuanian Days" celebration. It was held in a nearly empty shopping mall that was built in 1980 and hasn't been updated since. I mean, I could imagine myself going with there with both my parents ... and my Dad has been dead since 1982. Both the younger and older dance groups (obviously I'm in the older one!) performed two sets, and then we went for pizza and beer in between them. The (mostly elderly) audience really appreciated our performances. And then on Saturday the 20th, we had a crab feast alongside the Severn River. Let's just say you know it's been an EPIC party when you come home and have to wash the sand off your butt!!! :-)

P.S. Tall Dancer phoned me last Monday and again tonight. In lieu of Internet chatting, he tends to call me while he's driving home from his Monday night dance group.
luscious_purple: The scribal demon made me do it! (Titivillius)
Since Pennsic, I've made a couple of updates to my Lady Patricia of Trakai blog. Go have a look at it, sign up for the RSS feed, etc.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
Yep, once again we have reached the anniversary of my father's death. Now it's been 32 years since he walked the face of the Earth.

However, instead of dwelling on his death, I'd like to imagine seeing him again. Granted, if he had been alive all this time he would be two days short of his 97th birthday. But in my mind he will always be 64.

Dad died long before I had any notion of joining the SCA or even doing other remotely "fannish" things. Also, he did not seem particularly interested in history other than World War II history, and I doubt he knew much about the Middle Ages. However, he was a welder by trade, and he knew enough carpentry to build his own house. So he would be able to appreciate many of the handcrafted items we use in the SCA. His service in the China-Burma-India theater of World War II -- he was based in India -- greatly increased his tolerance for summer heat and humidity, compared with most people who lived their entire lives in Massachusetts.

So, if I were to take Dad to Pennsic for a day, I'd get him dressed in a pair of floppy pants if he wanted to go shirtless, or I'd get him a knee-length men's tunic that he could wear over his swim trunks or shorts if he wanted to. I'd put a straw hat on his head -- or wrap it in a turban -- and we'd go exploring the merchant area. I'd show Dad all the armor and medieval furniture for sale. I'd point out the workmanship and I'm sure he would want to talk to the craftspeople about how they made that stuff.

Then we could go to the battlefield and I'd show him what people REALLY do with all that metal stuff. It's not quite like watching football or baseball, but he would probably pick up on the excitement. In time, perhaps he would learn enough about the function of armor to make himself useful on the sidelines by doing some quick on-the-spot armor repairs. Or he would be a great waterbearer, as long as he remembered to drink enough water himself.

Later on I'd introduce Dad to Baron Rorik and other cribbage-playing friends for some good, relaxing card games and some cool drinks. Since Dad was always a volunteer bartender at the Lithuanian club -- and at home I think he took more pleasure in mixing fancy concoctions for guests than actually consuming them -- I'm sure he would love to try some of the meads, beers, ales, cysers, and other goodies that SCAdians brew up. He might not ever want to drink a Schaefer again!

Finally, since Dad would choose 1970s-style variety shows over the cop dramas that Mom liked, he probably would like to spend his evenings listening to the bards around the campfire. Or maybe dancing in the Pennsic dance tent -- the steps would be unlike the foxtrot and polka of his youth, but I bet he would learn quickly. Mosquitoes would not be a problem -- he always said that they didn't like to bite him.

Ah, if I could only spend a day with my Dad the way I am now...

A nice day

Jul. 29th, 2012 08:52 pm
luscious_purple: Snagged on LJ (great news)
Happy Birthday, [personal profile] wookiemonster!!!

Today I'm feeling much better. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, a crepe filled with cheese and veggies for lunch, and non-soup leftover Chinese food for dinner. The boy toy and I did some laundry and cleaning. Now I will go through another pile of things for Pennsic.

I think I did the right thing in getting these bum teeth out of my mouth sooner rather than later, even if it did cost me some money.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
For some reason, today I want to type "JL" instead of "LJ." I guess it's just that effed up. Well, once again, I'm not even going to try to cross-post this to LJ.

It's frustrating that I randomly/occasionally get glimpses of my LJ friends-list, but I can't stay connected to the site long enough to comment on anybody's post.

Getting a bit anxious about this feature article I'm working on, getting way anxious about finances too. I know, I know, I should be biting off little bitties of this project and focus on doing one step at a time until the project is done. But then I toss and turn at night and wonder about the big picture. How much longer will I be able to live like this, will I have to rent out my spare bedroom somehow, who would want to pay to live in this filthy condo anyway, how will I survive if my car dies, yadda yadda yadda.

I can hardly believe that I am supposed to be leaving for Pennsic a week from tomorrow. Hell, it still seems like a million years in the future. I am not sewing any new garb for Pennsic. That dress I was working on at Marilyn's house a couple of Sundays ago will be for the 30-Year event.

I just noticed today that I'm not listed as cooking on ANY of the nights on the Pennsic meal plan. Our meal plan is pretty simple -- every night, two or three people take their turn buying food and feeding everybody else in the camp dinner (except for the one family that keeps strictly kosher). I'm listed in the tent database -- what happened to the food? Oy.
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Today I got a nice message from one of my Atlantian heraldic peeps. The subject line said, "From my German family to your Lithuanian one..." And in the message he wrote: "Congratulations on a battle well fought." Yes, today is the 601st (601th?) anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald, and after last year, I would be remiss if I didn't mention it. :-)

This year, BTW, I didn't sign up to teach any classes at Pennsic. I just still don't know how long I will stay there. I want to travel there on Friday, August 5, when the $40 premium for getting there during the first week goes away. I have a big feature article (freelance) that is due on Monday, August 1, so there will be no land-grab weekend stuff for me, that's for sure.

I checked on the standard DC-to-Pennsic route online. Tolls have gone up slightly on the Pennsylvania Turnpike since last year. The "standard route," Exit 161 (Breezewood) to Exit 28 (Cranberry), will cost $11.35 if you're paying by cash or $10.61 if you have E-ZPass (as I do). Last year it was $10 flat.

For the heck of it I put my address and Pennsic's into Google Maps and found an alternate route that is supposedly a couple of miles shorter and a couple of minutes faster, with less time on the PA Turnpike. It goes something like this: Exit 161 (Breezewood) -> Exit 146 (Bedford) -> north on I-99/U.S. Route 220 -> Exit 28 (just south of Altoona) to U.S. Route 22 west -> that becomes U.S. Route 422 west of a town called Ebensburg -> through Butler -> turn right onto Currie Road.

Has anybody gone that way? I'm thinking that there might be fewer trucks to dodge on that route. I'm no fan of the PA Turnpike -- I appreciate its historic significance, but it's full of trucks and construction zones and too often, when the slow-uphill lane is supposed to end, the left-hand lane ends instead, making the slow-uphill lane into the normal right lane and the normal right lane into the left/passing lane, where I suddenly have speeders up my butt. At age 15 years and 151K miles, my car isn't as peppy under a full load as it used to be, and I hate to do a number on the engine or transmission.

(A possibly little-known fact: On the trip from my place in the DC 'burbs to Pennsic, there is a net gain of about 1,000 feet in elevation. So the trip to Pennsic really does seem to be uphill.)

In other SCA news ... the dance group is having a sewing afternoon on Sunday, so I will probably go to that, now that I've found my sewing machine's "missing" foot pedal (it wasn't really missing, I just didn't look in the tote bag that was hanging on the back of the bedroom door). I have some light blue IKEA linen that I bought in 2004, and slowly I'm making it into a short-sleeved T-tunic dress. Not terribly historic, but something to wear in soupy-hot weather besides a chiton or "bog dress." I'll trim the sleeves with that "Spike" ribbon that Baroness Janina gave me years ago, and I could wear it to Atlantian 30-Year in September.
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
This was the weekend of Marching Through Time (MTT), a two-day gathering of all kinds of military reenactors, from Romans to the Marines in Vietnam. It's at a county-owned site a few miles from my residence, and Three Left Feet participates every year.

Thing was, yesterday's weather sucked rotten eggs. Chill, rain, wind. We didn't have the tornadoes of North Carolina and southern Virginia, thank goodness, but there was dampness and mud everywhere. Some of the reenactment groups bailed, and hardly any "members of the public" or "civilians" or whatever you want to call them showed up. We played two sets, but ended the second one early when it became obvious that no one was paying attention to the dancing.

That was just as well, because I had to drive up to Owings Mills, northwest of Baltimore, for a Southwind Camp party. These are the people with whom I camp at Pennsic. Our friend Cameron had come from Oregon for a long-weekend visit around here, especially so that we could meet her new significant other, a guy named Steve. Deirdre and Llewellyn, our hostess and host, managed to grill the burgers and hot dogs outside, but the rain and wind picked up, so it wasn't much fun to sit outside. But it *was* a lot of fun to see everyone again. I left around 10 p.m. and reached home an hour later.

I repeated the Three Left Feet experience today under sunnier skies. This time we played three sets, although the final one of the day was pretty low-energy, at least in terms of us musicians, who sat on the damp ground. In between sets I walked around and took pictures of some of the encampments. Every year I admire the detail that some of the non-SCA groups put into their clothing and kits. It makes me feel so inauthentic. Anyhow, I was on my feet for a good part of the day, then came home and had a snack before going to barony meeting, where I had to take the minutes and thus pay attention to every detail.

Now I'm wiped out, and I don't feel like working on my taxes. Maybe I should just go to bed and finish them tomorrow, or file for an extension or something. Le sigh.
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
No, it's not too hot.

However, it started raining hard overnight and continued to do so this morning. Reminded me of late Saturday afternoon after we got the common-area tent all packed up.

Fortunately, my tent had finished drying on my patio and was safely stowed away by the time the rain came.

Also this morning ... not only is the one-year-old shower spigot leaking, but I got a COLD shower. Geez, even the non-solar bathhouse across from the Coopers' store had reasonably warm water when I washed up there on Sunday before my drive home. At least the hot-water system is the condo association's responsibility to fix. I hope the crew is on it already.
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
Here is a quick summary -- I'll expound on the details in later entries.

* Arrived Saturday, Aug. 7, at 1 a.m. Got crash space on the floor of Dame Roxanne's tent, which was set up for my arrival. I'm assuming it got delivered to where it was supposed to go after it was taken down.

* Taught two sessions of my Battle of Grunwald class and one session of "Survey of Medieval Lithuania."

* Forgot one of my horizontal tent poles and had to spend the war with a 10-foot length of PVC pipe supporting one end of my tent. Thanks, Bumba!!

* Took a heraldry class to fulfill my annual requirement.

* Played in the bands for the Beginners' Ball and the Grand Ball.

* Was a kitchen helper for Lady Tirzah when we cooked for the encampment.

* Took Sfandra's class on Ukrainian bead netting, a.k.a. gerdany. Ooh, another way to make shiny, pretty necklaces!!

* Did not buy a single book this year. The Haunted Bookshop has carried a tome on Lithuanian goldsmithing, but given my current situation, it's hard to justify spending $100 on a book that's written in Lithuanian.

* Placed an ad in the Pennsic Independent to give Maugorn's career a boost -- and they spelled it "Maugron." Oops.

* Brought home a damp tent because of rainstorms around the end of War Week.

When I got home on Sunday night, I also had piles of soggy laundry because I had used my already-dirty laundry to mop up the puddles on the vinyl floor of my tent. So I spread the laundry out as best I could so that it wouldn't stink. The boy toy said he was going to do laundry yesterday, and so he did ... but he washed only the mundane clothes that were already in the laundry baskets, NOT the Pennsic stuff. And when I pointed out the urgency of cleaning the garb and towels and whatnot before mildew sets in, he said, "Hey, that stuff wasn't in the baskets!" Well, YEAH, I was trying to spread it out and prevent mildew, and the baskets were already filled to the brim! Grrr. Anyhow, this morning I refilled the now-empty baskets with dirty Pennsic stuff, and I hope he takes the hint.

Baroness Martelle made an excellent post about her to-do list for next year; perhaps I shall do the same.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
I have discovered that the SCA Inc. Board of Directors is having a "Meet the Board" session at exactly the same time as the second of my two Grunwald classes. Gaah, what are the chances that everyone will want to go vent their various frustrations on how the SCA is run instead of listening to my spiel about a magnificent battle 600 years ago?

* * * *

Since I'm cross-posting this to both LJ and Dreamwidth, I would just like to say to DW people that I'm sorry for neglecting you for more than a week. I was following last week's Pennsic University storm, which was raging on LJ and a few other places. Go to the SCA community on LJ if you are curious.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
One quick bit of ranting here: I itch. Mostly on my legs, especially the ankles; a bit on the hands and arms. Damn mosquitoes! Damn all the skeeters!

Why is it that I *never* get bitten by mosquitoes at Pennsic? Granted, I camp on the north side of the Serengeti, but there's a small stream nearby (or at least a ditch that can hold water). Do the Coopers soak the site with pesticides just before War begins, or what?

Question: Would Benadryl pills (or their generic equivalent) help me stop itching at night? I can't take Benadryl during the day because I would fall asleep at my desk (literally). But I don't want to keep waking up in the middle of the night to scratch and to slather myself with more anti-itch gel. *sigh*

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