luscious_purple: Snagged on LJ (great news)
A *very* busy weekend!!!

Battle on the Bay was a completely awesome event!! My friend Teleri was recognized as a Companion of the Laurel, and of course she was Well-Prepared for it as always, even though it still was somewhat of a surprise. Lots of other most worthy friends received awards too! We had 535 people in attendance -- that might be a record for that site!! (Granted, it was Lochmere's turn to host the event, but it's Storvik's land. Next year Storvik will host it.)

And then the boy toy and I went for a Sunday drive to the Eastern Shore. And I want to write more and upload more pictures, but I am getting really tired. Maybe this f.lux app I installed to stop the computer from keeping me awake at night is working too well???
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
On Monday, Labor Day, I posted the following tribute on Facebook. I *meant* to copy it here too, but I got tired later in the day.

One hundred years ago TODAY, my Uncle Rene was born. Yes, my father and one of my uncles were born just four days apart in the same year. Uncle Rene was my *maternal* uncle, just so you're not totally confused.

Most people pronounce "Rene" as "reh-NAY," same as "Renee," but my family of French Canadian Americans always pronounced my uncle's name as "RAY-nee." At any rate, my Uncle Rene was the third of six children born to a couple of residents of a heavily French Canadian neighborhood in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Rene grew up to be the tallest of his siblings and was always a big high-strung. His hair stood up straight on top of his head, and he wore thick glasses. He left school after the eighth grade because by then it was the Depression. At some point he lost the tip of his right middle finger to some sort of tool or machine. He had only the tiniest stump of nail on that finger.

As you can see from the
[Facebook] photo, Uncle Rene joined the service during World War II, but I don't think he stayed on the front lines long. My mother always said he had "shellshock." I think he was shipped home to recuperate. I have a little satin pillow that is printed with the words "For Mom from Fort Belvoir."

Rene never married or had kids, but lived with his mother (my grandmother) and took care of her as she aged. She signed the house over to him before she died, so he would always have a place to live. He worked as a janitor at Fitchburg State College (as Diane N***
[a former member of my church who attended Fitchburg State] can attest) until he retired.

My Dad and Uncle Rene were good friends and were in a bowling league together. One Sunday afternoon they scared my Mom -- they went down to the local airport and convinced someone to take them up on his small plane for a cruise around southern New Hampshire. Better to seek forgiveness afterward than to try to get permission beforehand....

By 1987 Uncle Rene and my mother were the last of their siblings left alive. They were the third and fourth kids in the family, and I think my mother was closer to him than to her other siblings. He died at age 79, and my Mom died four weeks later.

Happy 100th Birthday, Uncle Rene.


* * * * *


On Monday I had gotten up early to march in the Labor Day parade as a member (really, president) of the local Toastmasters Club. I should really start a DW/LJ tag for Toastmasters, as that's probably going to be a bigger part of my life for the rest of the "club year" (i.e., until next June 30). The town where I live was built as a New Deal project 80 years ago, so yeah, we love our Labor Day festivities. It's traditional for marchers to toss candy to the children on the sidelines, and some of them bring bags, almost like Halloween trick-or-treating.

This is the third year I marched in the parade with the Toastmasters. It's really quite fun, and it's not a lengthy parade at all. This year's event had a TON of entries for local politicians. The area is so heavily Democratic that next year's primary (I think it will be in June) is tantamount to election. So, yeah, everybody wanted to "press the flesh."

At the elementary school book sale at the Labor Day festival, I scored three books, including The Civilization of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas -- list price $60 when it came out. I think I paid $8 for the three books and the reusable tote bag to carry them in. Deal!

At the parade I scored coupons for a free Mission BBQ sandwich and a free slice of Three Brothers pizza. So I think I came out even, more or less.

* * * * *


I was supposed to have a small surgical procedure today (to remove a small BENIGN lump), but the hospital arbitrarily rescheduled it to next Tuesday, without bothering to TELL me until I made inquiries late yesterday afternoon. *grumble*

I had explicitly made no commitments to anything for the coming weekend, because I figured I was going to spend the weekend loafing around and sleeping off the painkillers. Now, however, what to do? In addition, money is a bit tight again, since I paid off some crucial bills.

Although I've been invited to attend no less than three different SCA events in three different states, I think I'll stick closer to home this weekend. Maybe I'll catch up on some projects here. I really hadn't planned on going to an event until Battle on the Bay, which is the weekend of Sept. 22-24.

* * * * *


I haven't been in touch with Tall Dancer a lot lately, but he called twice this afternoon. Apparently he is on a long drive from Georgia to Tennessee for a small relax-a-con with friends. And he just got back from Florida to celebrate his grandmother's 95th birthday. I do hope his relatives are safe during Hurricane Irma.
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: Snagged on LJ (great news)
Soooo much stuff going on here...

The Known World Dance and Music Symposium (KWDMS) was a SMASHING success!!!!!!! Patches did a fantastic job of organizing the event!!! We had 245 people there; it was the biggest attendance ever in the KWDMS series (and this was the 12th such symposium). My class on Lithuanian polyphonic music went OK, I guess, and I received a couple of compliments afterward. I certainly didn't feel as prepared as I should have, but if the customer is satisfied....

Last night I went with Patches and "weatherman2111" (as he used to be known on LJ) and a couple of other folks to the U2 concert at FedEx Field. I believe this is my fifth U2 concert ever -- 1997, 2005, 2009, and one other time at the Baltimore Ravens' arena. Will write more about it later....
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
1. Lately, my LJ layout seems to be completely broken on the Chrome browser, but it looks normal on Firefox. Has anyone else (or, anyone else who still does LJ/DW, that is) experienced this problem?

2. After a year and a half, I finally updated my "Lady Patricia of Trakai" blog. Check it out.

3. Today I spent some time working on my class for next week's Known World Dance and Music Symposium. Teaching a class on a subject on which there is exactly *one* extant English-language book will be ... interesting.

4. Today has also been the 40th anniversary of my high school graduation. I think the boy toy is officially tired of the subject. :-)

5. Little by little, I'm going through my files on both my computer's hard drive and my external hard drive to weed out duplicates. Especially on the external hard drive ... I've found five or six copies of some of the files on the external drive, thanks to various backup efforts. I had been really close to running out of room on both drives. Now I'm a little less close.
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: Snagged on LJ (great news)
Great goodness, I keep *meaning* to post here and then I don't. I read more than I post. Honest, I do.

Anyhow.

The last weekend in April was Revenge of the Stitch, a "garb wars" type of SCA event. This was the fourth year and I've been on Johanna's team for three of them. Teams are given 24 hours to create an entire period outfit from the skin out. This year it was her grown daughter's turn to get an outfit, so she chose a woman's outfit from the Tang dynasty of China (Lady Tatsume is interested in both Japan and China). Johanna bought a bunch of silk in the NYC garment district while visiting her son, who lives up there now, so we were well prepared. We made seven different pieces of clothing, and I did a lot of hand-stitching, which, as it turns out, is much more tedious on silk than on linen. Tatsume's girlfriend, who was not on the team, seemed rather bored and petulant until she realized she could get some studying done for her classes. But the finished outfit looked fabulous on Tatsume, and we ended up getting second place out of five teams. The King and Queen were so impressed that they awarded all the competitors a Silver Nautilus.

Tent issues: This was the first time I'd camped in my tent since last year's Revenge of the Stitch, which was rainy. (This year's event was dry, thank goodness!) I got the tent out of the Rubbermaid storage tub and it smelled a little musty and looked a little more stained on the roof (despite the presence of dessicant in the tub -- several handfuls of that crystal-type cat litter). It really, really needs new poles and new ties for the side windows. The metal teeth on the screen-door zipper were just rotting off -- they were literally falling off the cloth part of the zipper. Fortunately, the canvas-door zipper still holds, but for how much longer?

I bought some Flex-Seal stuff on clearance at Target, so I can patch any tiny holes on the vinyl floor. But I really should ask Sonya and Maugorn if I could set the tent up in their backyard for a couple of days and get some serious work done on that poor thing.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Got my long and short articles "done," for some value of "done." I still have to add some stuff to the long article, but I wanted to rush the payment through because I have spent most of this month being flat broke, if not overdrawn, and I do NOT want the condo to go into foreclosure proceedings.

I had to wait until tonight to renew a couple of memberships in things important to me, such as the SCA and local science writers' group.

I had a WONDERFUL time at the SCA event this weekend, but I'm also running on severe lack of sleep, so I will have to go on about it at a future date -- less than two weeks from now, I hope.
luscious_purple: The middle class is too big to fail! (middle class)
So, February. Poor little short month, robbed of its extra days (in most years) by those greedy Roman emperors.

In general, life is still good, except for the "lack of steady income" thing. Last week (two Mondays ago) I actually had a phone interview for an editing job at a software company in Beltsville. One of the other dancers in the Lithuanian dance group works there and said I should use her name. I *thought* it went well, but then late Friday afternoon I got one of those emails that said "thanks but no thanks, we went in a different direction." Wanna bet that that "direction" involves someone 20 years younger than yours truly?

What else happened this month? The boy toy and I checked out downtown Ellicott City to see how it is recovering from last year's disastrous flood, and we also went to Mount Vernon on Feb. 22, when admission was free. I even saw General Washington posing with kids and families. He looked pretty good for a 285-year-old. :-D :-D

Last week the boy toy and I finally got to see Rogue One. Probably we were among the last Americans to see it on the silver screen. But, hey, money had been tight for a while. And it will be again. It's amazing how fast I can blow through a big freelance paycheck -- when that involves catching up on the mortgage, utilities, and other bills.

Perhaps most wonderfully, I went to *two* SCA events: Bright Hills Baronial Birthday and Storvik Performers' Revel. I did some things that I haven't done for a while: at the former I shot three arrows (with borrowed equipment) and at the latter I played my bowed psaltery for a bit. Both events featured scrumptious feasts. I feel "back in the SCA" again, even though I obviously never left.

Speaking of the SCA, today I bought a twin bed -- for camping use -- at IKEA. I just happened to notice that today was the last day of a bed sale, and the cheapest, simplest wood bed frame was 15 percent off. Even with the slats, it's still cheaper than most of the heavyweight-capacity cots I've seen (yes, I am heavy). And it will fit inside Draco (the new-to-me car) if I put the back seat down and lay the side rails on the diagonal. FINALLY I will be up off the ground at long camping events!!!

Holy Hell

Sep. 1st, 2016 11:52 pm
luscious_purple: The scribal demon made me do it! (Titivillius)
Tonight I watched the documentary Holy Hell on CNN. The group described in the film wasn't the worst cult on planet Earth, but it still did its share of damage to the people who thought they'd found a second family of total love. Worth a watch. Definitely thought-provoking.

Tomorrow morning I'll figure out what I'm doing for this weekend's Battle on the Bay and pack the car accordingly. I don't even know what the Baron and Baroness are doing for heraldic support. Guess I'd better check that out....

Oh NO.

Aug. 31st, 2016 10:14 pm
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
Don't worry, I'm perfectly fine. Even got my driver's license renewed today, which would have been my father's 99th birthday. (99!)

BUT ... today the weather forecast changed, and what had been the prospect of a perfectly sunny and clear Labor Day weekend was replaced by the prospect of having a tropical storm roar over the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday evening -- right when Storvik is hosting Battle on the Bay. (It's our turn to host this SCA event; in odd-numbered years, the Barony of Lochmere runs it.)

Longtime readers of this journal may recall the vicious June 2012 storm that resulted in the cancellation of that year's Storvik Novice Tourney. That was NOT a happy weekend. One of our fencers took refuge under the permanent pavilion just before a tree crashed down on top of her tent. She's convinced that she would have been killed if she'd stayed in her tent. Other tents were destroyed or damaged, and the access road was blocked with downed trees and wires.

I have been hoping that I could camp at the event (Friday and Saturday nights) because I'm helping out with troll (entrance gate; where we collect the money) and the Battle on the Bay site is a 45-minute drive from my home. However, I really don't want to bring home wet canvas. I did that after the spring SCA "garb wars" event on the Eastern Shore, when it rained all weekend, and spreading out the tent to dry in the living room was a giant PITA. (And that one I *had* to camp at because of the distance.) I guess I'll just keep an eye on the weather forecasts. I happen to know that the National Weather Service runs another one of its giant "operational" supercomputer models every six hours.
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Why, yes, I *know* I haven't written for a few weeks. Because ... Svente! That's the Lithuanian word for "festival." Last weekend was the big Lithuanian folk dance festival up in Baltimore, also known as Šokių Šventė 2016. I haven't been writing much about my participation in the Lithuanian folk dance group since last October, but it's been building to a crescendo ... and, finally, an awesome festival.

Oh, gosh, I could go on and on about how wonderful that festival was, even though it took me a day to get over it (I am getting so OLD). Truly awful national news this week, though, and I need to get up early in the morning for Storvik Novice Tourney and Baronial Investiture -- only my third SCA event of 2016. I feel so out of practice....
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
It's just after midnight, so that day that was the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster is over now. Of course it weighed heavily on my mind.

I believe I've written about it on LJ in past years. I just said this on FB:

That morning I was between jobs (story of my life) and watching the live coverage on the Manchester (NH) ABC affiliate, which sometimes came in better for me than the Boston station, which wasn't covering the launch anyway. When I realized what had happened, ice went through my veins. Nine months earlier, I had watched a Challenger launch in person from the press area at KSC, and I had decided that Challenger would always be my favorite shuttle. Once the crew was confirmed gone, I felt as if I would never be happy again. RIP.

Other than that, I had a decent day. I talked with my editor about my next feature article. The boy toy and I went to the Riverdale Park farmers' market, which is indoors during the winter. Then I went to water aerobics, which I'd been missing for a bit (can't go swimming when the pool is closed due to Snowzilla).

Tomorrow (or today, since it's after midnight) I'm going to see Bruce Springsteen again at the Verizon Center. Go me! Then on Saturday I am finally going to an SCA event again. I haven't been to a single one since War of the Wings last October.
luscious_purple: Ganked from many people (damn not given)
Several weekends every year, I feel torn because I have multiple events demanding my attention. They're all good choices ... so it's hard to choose. Often, these weekends occur around a holiday.

So ... guess what... this weekend I have no less than four things I could attend:
Those events aren't always on the same weekend. In some years, Philcon and the church auction have been held on the second Saturday of November. I'm also fairly new to Toastmasters, just starting my second year, so that hasn't been a factor in the past.

But when there's a conflict, it's just so hard to choose. I'm sentimental about Philcon because it was my "first" SF con back in the '80s when I was so much younger. Even though I can't afford to buy expensive stuff, I still enjoy shopping at Holiday Faire and socializing with folks from all over northern Atlantia. My congregation is my spiritual home and the auction is its second biggest fundraiser of the year (only the annual pledge drive is bigger, naturally). I've never been to a Toastmasters conference before.

So, which one did I choose this year, and why? Please feel free to guess in the comments. Answer tomorrow....

*grumble*

Nov. 9th, 2015 11:40 pm
luscious_purple: Ganked from many people (damn not given)
Another day of trying to get this #nablopomo entry in just under the deadline. Well, I am once again trying to get this for-pay article finished. Guess which is more important to me right now.

I've had a decent day and an enjoyable dance practice -- we even had a visitor from the far-off Kingdom of Ansteorra, in town for a conference of systems administrators at the Marriott Wardman Park. That's one thing I love about the SCA -- wherever you go, through the SCA you can always find good people.

Gaah, my writing sucks at the moment. Trying to save my good turns of phrase for the paying article, I guess....
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
In case anybody was wondering: War of the Wings was COLD! Well, not during the day. Daytimes were quite pleasant, actually; sunny except for one cloudy morning, but not a drop of rain. But at night ... the penetrating chill signaling a change of season to which we are not yet accustomed.

The cold made sitting up close to the fire bowl pleasant. But not so much playing in the dance band -- it's hard to play well when your fingers are feeling increasingly stiff. On the last evening of the event, we musicians played until 10 p.m., when the ball was supposed to end, and then when Master Stefan begged for more, we told him that he could use his magic boom box, thank you very much. We also recommended that next year's band should be allowed to use a space heater. (This is never a problem at Pennsic.)

My major purchase at WoW was a Mongolian/Russian/Viking hat from The Amber Lady (a merchant). It was a bit on the expensive side ($55), but wonderfully constructed: double layers of upholstery fabric and fleece, surrounded by a fat brim of maroon-dyed sheepskin, snug around my head. All the other women in my encampment were sporting them, so, yeah, I had to get one too. It is definitely warmer than any of my other SCA hats, even the felted-wool brimmed hat.

Southwind Camp was a bit small at this event: besides me, we were Cameron and her daughter Susan, all the way from the Oregon part of An Tir; Conni and Mel (Roise and Annora); and Deirdre, Llewellyn and whatever their 19-year-old son is calling himself these days. We didn't have a meal plan, but we managed to pool our food supplies and we ate well.

Sorry I haven't yet uploaded pictures to my Flickr account. I have been taking so many lately that I'm way behind. I'm *trying* to organize them properly as I go along....
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
So many things going around in my head, I hardly know where to begin. I guess I'll just do some free-association.

Got through my second Sunday of Lithuanian dance rehearsal -- had a blast; people there are friendly. Monday the 5th we (the Three Left Feet dance group at Storvik practice) had six dancers, so we were able to dance actually, not like Monday the 28th when we had only two dancers show up. (Most SCA-type dances require at least four participants.)

Funny thing ... on Monday the 5th, after dance practice, I came home and started poking around on Facebook, trying to figure out whether one of the guys I was talking to on Sunday night is married or divorced, and Tall Dancer phoned me to talk. That was ... interesting. We chatted about our respective dance practices and about how he bought a new refrigerator this past weekend, plus his proposal (in Meridies) that local groups consider reimbursing folks who travel from out of town to teach classes.

In other musical news ... the good music news is that I really enjoyed Wolgemut's performance at the New Deal Cafe. Sonya and Maugorn weren't able to attend -- last year, the situation was reversed; they were there and I was in Ohio. Still, I saw Kender, whom I hadn't seen in person in a while, so we had a nice visit together. The bad music news is that, while I was enthusiastically clapping away, my camera had a close encounter with the concrete floor, and now the lens doesn't retract all the way. :-( I should really take a couple of photos in daylight to test the focus.

(If anybody wants to know what Wolgemut is all about, type that word into YouTube. Be prepared for a great blast of sound.)

Yesterday afternoon the boy toy and I went out to run a couple of early-afternoon errands, came home with a couple of bags of groceries, and found ... no electricity in my condo. As it turned out, Pepco had to work on some sort of junction box (or whatever you call it) and needed to turn off the power to two of the buildings in the complex. So I brought my laptop to the New Deal Cafe and had coffee there, and I spotted Jane, the younger sister of my friend Devora, who moved to Iowa City after her husband, Pedro, died. (Pedro and Devora are SCA names, for those of you new to this journal.) So Jane and I had a great conversation. (Why, yes, the New Deal *is* like this town's public "living room.")

So now I have a ton of things to do before leaving for War of the Wings in a week. And I just got a lead on another freelance project -- a referral from my usual editor. SCORE!!
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
I think I've caught up with everybody from the friending meme, so it's about time that I started explaining myself to my new friends (and this may be a refresher course for longtime friends as well).

I'm Patty, Pat, or Patricia (not Trish). Born and raised in Massachusetts, I still identify with that state, even though I have lived in Maryland for 23 years now. I am simultaneously an only child and the youngest of at least five -- my mother had a whole string of miscarriages before I came along. When I was growing up, I thought *everyone* waited 11 years after their wedding to become parents. Ha ha ha. So, yeah, my parents were "old" parents. In fact, today would have been my mother's 96th birthday.

So, yeah, I've been "on my own" since my mother died when I was 37. My father died shortly before my 23rd birthday. At least he got to see me graduate from college ... the first time around.

I have bachelor's degrees in both journalism and physics (different universities, different decades) and a master's degree in astronomy. Didn't get to my doctorate; the master's degree is worth about as much as a postage stamp in the job market. I did a lot of writing for trade magazines you've never heard of. For the past five years I've been freelancing, which means that I still write for some of those obscure publications, but for far less money. Sometimes I get really depressed and wonder why the hell I bothered to be the first in my family to go to college.

Anyhow, as you may have noticed from looking at my tags, I've been in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) almost as long as I've been on LJ. (See this for an explanation if you're unfamiliar.) Sometimes I wish I had joined the SCA much earlier in my life -- who knows what my life might look like by now -- but one can't turn the clock back. I just might as well make the best of whatever life I've got left.

Some other dramatis personae in this journal:

* Julia -- my beautiful gray and white cat. She came to live with me on July 14, 2009. (Don't worry, I love dogs too, I just don't have one in my life at the moment.)

* The boy toy -- this guy who has been living here in my condo (without a job) for some years now. I tend not to call him my boyfriend. More like the Doctor Who companion. I have no plans to marry him. People think I should throw him out, but I worry that I will be incapacitated with loneliness.

* Tall Dancer -- An unattached male SCAdian who lives 650 miles away. He was invited to our barony to teach some dances back in January and I ended up getting a wicked bad crush on him. Various things happened online. I guess we're just friends now. I have been unable to convince him to go to War of the Wings, a fairly large SCA event that is roughly equidistant from the two of us. But I'm going there anyway.

* R. -- A platonic male friend of mine for 30-plus years. Lives in northern Virginia. Politically conservative, so I try not to bring up the subject of politics. Huge LOTR fan. He has many, um, quirks, but he is part of a small group of friends who helped pull me out of a dark place when I was in my 20s, thus earning my lifelong thanks.

* T.H. -- A friend who has invited me to her house for Thanksgiving for many, many years. I mean, when I first started going, her nephew was in middle school, and he's now in his mid-20s. By now I know her entire family.

* Maugorn and Patches, CZ and Alex/Phoenix -- people I know both in real life and in LJ.

Other people to be explained when necessary.

Another fairly recent introductory post.

I think that's it for now. Feel free to ask questions.

Hello!

Sep. 11th, 2015 11:31 pm
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
Hello to the new folks around here! (Well, to my longtime friends too.)

Tonight I'm getting ready to go to my first SCA event since mid-May (mostly due to my roller-coaster income levels). I honestly feel a bit out of practice. But I hope it turns out all right.

I'll write a bit more about myself in the next few days. I don't want to be up too much later so that I can wake up in the morning and help Johanna set up the Storvik yard-sale booth. Since I helped collect and price the goods, I might as well help sell them, too.

In the meantime, please feel free to browse the archives, the memories, etc.
luscious_purple: Ganked from many people (damn not given)
So I've been reading various blog posts, and Facebook links to blog posts, about the Sad/Rabid Puppies slates and how they gamed the Hugo Awards nomination process this year. I hate to start posting links, because I'm sure I'll miss some, and frankly I don't have time. If you don't already know what I'm talking about, Google something like "sad puppies hugo" and wade through the results.

However, I just had a thought: This whole fiasco, on the heels of GamerGate, makes me really glad I don't define myself through science fiction fandom. I don't depend on fandom for my friends and my social networks.

Yes, I like reading science fiction, though not a steady diet of it, and I like watching some SF/F movies, though not all. But I don't define who I am through it, and most of my core friends of associates have other interests in common with me, even if we met through SF or have attended cons together.

"But what about the SCA?" you say. "It's got loads of politics too!" Well, yeah. Every human organization of more than two people has politics. Hell, two-person couples have power struggles that can turn mighty damned vicious too. Been there, done that, got the restraining order to prove it. (Don't panic, folks, that was long ago.)

But I can't recall that the SCA has ever, in its history, gamed its own system in a *national* or *international* way in the manner of the Sad Puppies. And certainly I've never heard of SCA members pulling "swatting" or "doxxing" stunts on their so-called enemies. Anyone who *tried* such things on other members would be thrown out of the organization before you could say "membership revoked."

Also ... it's hard to put this into words, but as science fiction has gotten more mainstream and WAY more commercial, the SCA has not. Yeah, there are a few folks on the periphery who got into the SCA because of Tolkien or other high fantasy, but once they figure out that we don't want them to wear elf ears or satyr horns at our events or to call themselves Tauriel Skywalker, they either get with the historical aspects of the program or go find themselves a LARP.

And we don't have stars from Hollywood blockbuster movies and TV shows, and we don't have huge, multinational entertainment companies controlling our intellectual property. We're small-time artisans and craftspeople, we mostly trust each other, and we like it that way, thank you very much.

So, yeah, I'll continue to enjoy science fiction and fantasy on my own terms, and will occasionally attend a con or two. But to get all emotionally involved in fandom politics? Naaah.

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