gurdymonkey: (book)
So I had to hear about this as part of some oblique references to something that went on in the East Kingdom, the details of which I am still not quite certain of. However, it appears that the King and Queen of Northshield have decreed that the film of The Princess Bride be considered a period work for the term of their reign.  Yes. Really. Do try not to wince at the lack of proof-reading that went into the web version of said decree.

The thoughts that ran through my head after the initial "WTF?"

In six months someone else will be on the thrones and can decree something else. Whether it is silly or not is entirely up to them. When I lived back east, it was common for one or both of the incoming royalty to declare a list of Royal Whims, which got published in the Kingdom newsletter. The West Kingdom gets a great deal of silly (but I assure you, not all of it) out of its system with an event called Ducal Prize.

Not my kingdom, Monkey Boy. Seriously. The one I live in has its own issues to be lived with.

I live less than 20 miles from A Certain Hallowed Backyard. I know (or at least have met) some of the participants. The game has changed in 40 plus years, but knowing the history of that game gives perspective on who we as a Society are and where we came from and why we're The Big Tent and why someone would want to make a favorite movie part of the memories of their reign.

I can only be responsible for how I play this game. Someone might be moved to follow my example. Or not. Regardless, I can only be responsible for what I do, whether or not someone ever is crazy enough to fight for me and good enough to win. 
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
The good: 
The drive to Woodland was less awful than expected, possibly because a significant percentage of the people who would normally have been heading east to Reno or Tahoe were still trying to find their way out of San Francisco due to the Bay Bridge closure.

The not so good: 
Got over to Mari's vigil lateish so Gwenhwyfaer and I got our names on the visitation list late. This meant doing the polite avoidance dance several times during the wait with someone with whom I get along just peachy with as long as we pretend the other is invisible. There was also a considerable amount of silent teeth gnashing through the bardic. I don't care if I ever raise my voice in front of an audience again, quite honestly, and all it did was irritate the everloving shit out of me just to have to sit through it. I managed to get in on a vastly more entertaining conversation with Ximon and Wilhelm and several other people in which we were asked to pick three historical figures we would like to spend time with. (I envisioned a dinner party with John Adams, Sei Shonagon and Oscar Wilde.)

The good: 
Finally got a few moments to see Mari and congratulate her. She asked all her visitors to hold the chain she was going to receive as we spoke. I told her that what I was about to say had become something of a mantra over the past two years, then glanced upward and said, "As usual, you're missing the good stuff." Gaius would have been terribly pleased to know of her elevation. She and Gemini were among the first people I met when I moved out here, they were the Prince and Princess of Cynagua who presented me with my Rose Leaf and the accolade is well and truly earned.

The not so good: 
At least I got to hear her knighting. I got to watch the bobbing of the backs of several jack-in-the-box photographer heads and stare into the lenses of a battery of cameras on the opposite side of the aisle. (What do you want to bet the vast majority of photos that get posted publicly suck?)

The good :
Several people expressed interest in sampling sake.

The not so good: I had to move the tasting to Gwenhwyfaer's sunshade because she didn't want me to be left alone with Creepy Loser Guy. CLG appears to be harmless and I only ever run into him at events in that part of the kingdom. In the past he has bent my ear about all sorts of grandiose plans he had for building instruments and researching this and that just as soon as he no longer has to live out of his car.  I saw him in the morning, he said he was looking forward to coming by later for the sake tasting. I was sitting up front in the sunshade with G and got up to get a drink when I glanced toward the back of the camp and noticed that CLG had staked out a fairground bench beside my tent. In the middle of the afternoon. He sat there for about a good 40 minutes before he finally gave up. He came by TWICE while we were still all eating dinner and had to be told to come back later.  I grabbed the bottles and cups and set up on a bench by the firepit and served from there, with G and Edward and Johann around me, and a couple of the young people from the autocrat staff. CLG made an idiot of himself by calling it sahkee and acting like he knew more than he did. He finally went away when he realized he'd tasted everything I had. Including the girly sparkling stuff.

The good: Rolf and Aurora (more Gaius friends) are the new Lord and Lady of the Swan.

The good: the food in camp. Saturday breakfast was pancakes with homemade plum sauce and bacon, dinner was chicken and veggies in the dutch oven with rice and Edward's yummy chard soup. Sunday breakfast was dutch oven blueberry muffins, bacon and sausage (and we were nibbling on the leftovers most of the morning). I also bought  two cups of chai from the Page School fundraiser. It was chai from a mix, but it was pretty good and Louise said she'd got it at Smart and Final. I should probably NOT buy a can, it's too tempting.....

The good: none of the trick or treaters fell into our firepit.

The good: Stopped by Gilbert's Pelican party, made some more of the Jinyu go away, met some folks I'd seen around but never traded names with.

The good: I'd been helping Owen put up and take down the front wall of the heraldic consulting pavilion - he needs to be careful of lifting just now. This morning I asked him to take a look at the O&A and see how common fans are as charges and discussed some ideas I had for a possible device with him. I need to double check the online version in case there's anything more recent, but it looks like there was only one device using three fans and I can easily come up with enough points of difference in a three-fan design that it should have a good shot at passing. I now have no excuse not to register my Japanese name.

The good: I spotted a teenager taking cell phone pictures of my tent as I was packing down. I said he should've seen it BEFORE I'd started tearing down, we get talking and he wants to do Japanese. I gave him my card, told him to shoot me an email and remind me who he is and I'd be happy to point him at resources.

The good: Had time after teardown to detour to the Vacaville outlets and pick up a new pair of chinos at the Gap, 60% off. 
gurdymonkey: (Default)
"What is your preferred way to experience learning?" asks [profile] moira_ramsay

I figured I'd answer here because this is going to be lengthy. The short answer is: "It depends."

Nattering about learning and teaching )

I must thank James for mentioning a book title about shooting pictures with an iPhone. Truly, the best camera IS the one that's with you. Camera Karma )
gurdymonkey: (mysca)
Rumor - and it IS rumor until it gets announced somewhere more official than someone's LJ - has it that next year the West will only have one kingdom Collegium, in the fall.

For those who are already embroiled in the wailing and gnashing of teeth, all I can say is "welcome to my world." The world where you're damned lucky if one person shows up to the class you've offered to teach and no fair whining that you drove X number of hours and spent Y on the trip or class materials or whatever, because your passion just happens to be the narrow niche.

The world where you teach where you can, when you can, official kingdom schedule be damned.

The world where I used to eat the cost of handouts in the vain hope (and it WAS vain) that people would actually use said handouts to sing medieval songs at events without me.

The world where I announced that I would be available at the convenience of ANY student at the A&S Tourney to help them put together kosode for the Fettburg Midsummer Feast? I got one taker, she got garb she could wear.  Compare that to the teeming droves who showed up for the 14th c. cooking project at Mists Coronet. Feel better?

The world where 98% of the teaching I do is over the internet.

The world with students who aren't even IN the SCA. The cosplayers. The reenactors in Moscow. The fellow in Milan.

If you really, REALLY want to teach, you will. 

gurdymonkey: (pretties)

Not long after he burst onto the Tousando board in 2005, Fujiwara no Nagamochi (aka [ profile] gcmadtown81 ) decided quite unilaterally that I was his "big sister." In the summer of 2008, on a whim, he got on a Greyhound and came out for our A&S Tourney, where some of you may remember having met him.

I feel like even more of a slacker after seeing the results of this team project.

Nice work, Otouto-chan.

gurdymonkey: (mysca)

Evidently tonight is being brought to us by the letter V.  One can only wonder whether the broadcast is going out to the right places.

The following is a little something one of my friends wrote awhile ago. I try to return to it whenever I need it: 

It has been said by some that the warriors of the Heavenly Kingdom do not belong on the Field of Honor.
(Samurai do not belong in the lists)

     The Three Vows of Honor
      I vow to honor my foe and call his blows fairly and trust that he is fair in turn
     I vow to honor my chosen ancestors, to learn well their weapons and the manner in which they wield them.
     I vow to honor my hosts, to learn well their weapons and the manner in which they wield them.

It has been said by some that the warriors of the Orient do not act like guests among us and upset the tranquility of the Kingdom.
(Samurai do not act like guests)
(Samurai mar my medieval groove)

     The Three Vows of Harmony
      I vow to remember that I am a guest within this society and show gratitude for the hospice.
     I vow to keep my arms, armour, and dress suitable to my station.
     I vow to show respect to the King, the Peers of the Realm, the Nobles and Barons, and all the populace of the Kingdom.

        The Three Vows of Knowledge
     I vow to learn deeply of the ways and customs of my chosen ancestors
            - to honor, cherish, and emulate them.
     I vow to learn deeply of the ways and customs of my hosts
            - to honor, cherish, and emulate them.
     I vow to share what I learn to those who wish to know but never preach to.   
                -  The Honorable Lord Otagiri Tatsuzou, Outlands, October 25, 2005.*

Otagiri-dono wrote as a fighter, but you don't need to be a fighter to apply these precepts, or have a non-Western persona. Honor the people around you. Create harmony with respect. Learn from anyone you can, share what you know in turn.

(Damn. Now I need to practice these three kanji in large scale and put 'em on a banner. They need to be on a banner. )
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
As ever, the most painful part of any road trip involving I-5 is the bit from I-880 until you get to the downhill side of the Altamont Pass and exit 580 to I-5.

Achmere saved me a spot fronting on the road because he saw my post to SCA-West about the sake tasting. For some reason, much of the West Kingdom allocation never really filled in. I was up on the road next to a Caidan group called the Myrmidons and there was no one behind me until much farther down the slope. Dun Tyr, also Caidan, was directly across the road from me.

Did the cotehardie and hurdy gurdy patrol on Friday. As a result of my cacophonous perambulations at various events, it seems like I spend an awful lot of time visiting friends who merchant: [info]acanthusleaf and the Reannag Teine ladies and Aurelia and Bennett  and Eirny and Henry and the guy from Redwolf and Uncle Aziz who sells the baskets and of course Cristobal and [personal profile] sasha_khan and the rest of the Cok Guzel crew. This is no bad thing as I am always offered shade, I can guard the store if someone needs a dash for the privy, admire the latest products and even score a slice of Eirny's birthday cake.  The gurdy is also a good locator device - if folks who know me hear it, they'll come find me and say hi. Lastly, it's a total people magnet, for adults and kids alike, so I get to meet plenty of new people, distract small children while their mom is trying to buy a soft drink and so on.

Cristobal had my new Mongolian boots, ordered back at Estrella and well worth the wait. Green shafts, black curly trim on the insteps, traditional turquoise piping, they are gorgeous and an excellent fit. While I hadn't really planned on much shopping, Pastiche had a remnant of a red geometric jacquard of Dubious Fiber Content that I think I can get a nice pair of hakama out of. And I fell for a piece of Mercy's raku pottery. Not food safe in the slightest, the lovely little bowl ended up with a votive candle in it for the sake party. (Her period-style European potteries ARE foodsafe, it's just the raku fired pieces that aren't.)

Saturday was Japanese day. Not surprisingly, the A&S collegium appeared to continue to resemble a cat rodeo in real time as it had during my pre-event correspondence with them. I checked in with a rather harried Mouren, was informed that the memorial for Duchess Kolfinna was supposed to be at 2PM and would I be interested in teaching in a different time slot so people could actually attend? I agreed to bump to 4 PM. I was shown a spot beneath a tree, down the row a  bit from the rest of the A&S area (and an easy walk on the same road where I was camped) and pronounced it perfect. Of course, when I returned a couple hours later with my wagonful of drums, the Queen of the West and her entourage had had the nerve to be sitting under my tree!!!!  Harumph. I moved to another tree closer to the playground and set up there.

Taiko ended up just being me and Katayama-dono, who had taken it at Collegium Caidis. Mouren turned up about fifteen minutes into the session with a six pack of bottled water and a couple of bags of Sun Chips for us, which was really nice to have.  I ran him through "Renshu" and most of  Three Line Drill, then taught him the "Don, Don, Don, ka-ra ka-ra" for "Matsuri Daiko." I was rather gratified when one of the guys from Far West (Vail never DID tell me his friend's name!) came off the battlefield in his gorgeous samurai kit and pronounced our rather rough assault on "Matsuri Daiko" as"very good." Katayama-dono, his lady Jane and a gentleman named Dafydd (?) who apparently has just moved to the West from Aethelmearc took the pre-17th c. Japanese clothing class at 4, which was pretty free-form. 

Next year, I think the HOCM will move the sake tasting to Friday - all the people I actually know who intended to come and made a point of finding my location in broad daylight so they could find it at night didn't make it for one reason or another. (I know there were a bunch of vigils and all sorts of other things going on Saturday evening.)  However, I did get a manageable number of walk-ins in response to the posters I'd placed at a couple of the rest rooms: given limits on entertaining space and my budget, I only posted announcements in a few places. I got people who were genuinely interested, ranging from sake fans who wanted to see what I had to complete neophytes who wanted to find out what sake was like. Johann von Drachenfels came by for a bit as well and he and I had a nice visit. There are some leftovers (Jinyu, some Choya plum liqueur, some of the nigori and almost a whole bottle of the Hana Awaka) which will probably come to Mists and/or Cynagua Coronet to be made to go away one way or another.  I also got a lot of oohing and ahhing from passers by througout the weekend about my set-up, particularly when the lanterns were lit at night. (I need to drag a tripod out and get some better night shots at a future event.)

Did a last lap of Merchant's Row with the gurdy this morning, collected some farewell hugs and tore down and headed home.

gurdymonkey: (pissed)
From the SCA Governing Documents.
B. Requirements for Participants at Society events
Anyone may attend Society events provided he or she wears an attempt at pre-17th century clothing,
conforms to the provisions in Corpora, and complies with any other requirements (such as site fees or
waivers) which may be imposed. At business meetings and informal classes, the requirement to wear pre-17th century dress may be waived. All participants are expected to behave as ladies or gentlemen. (Emphasis mine)

So enough with the gossip-mongering and speculation already, people!

EDIT: for those not in this kingdom (or even in the SCA), evidently it was announced last week that a member of this kingdom has been exiled. Procedures are in place for this sort of thing and what that member allegedly did or did not do is privileged information, for the protection of ALL parties involved. 

gurdymonkey: (mysca)
Because I might as well answer it here.

Why do you do what you do in the SCA?
1. Because it's fun. If it's not fun, I should not be doing it. I did any number of things in the SCA that were Not Fun and I learned my lesson. I hold no offices, I don't autocrat events, I don't volunteer for anything anymore except for teaching.
(Oh, and helping people put up tents, or carry stuff....) I hated having something enjoyable turn into a loathesome chore. I got burned, not burned out, but burned, and, no, you do not get to hear details about who did what to whom for how many cookies, because it is over and done and I am never putting myself in that position again over a hobby. Ever.

2. Because it's fascinating. Those of you who have heard my occasional mantra, "Oh, goodie, more homework!" know I love learning new things. I keep stumbling over tantalizing nuggets that require more research, new details in a painting I hadn't noticed the last time. I can even look at a source from a time and culture I'm not necessarily interested in and say, "Wow, I didn't know that, this is great information for X," because I'm sure I know someone who will be interested in it and can point them at it. I love the scholarship, I love the stuff making. I love thinking about the person I would have been had I lived in a particular time/place.

3. Because while the SCA is NOT my family, it is a social outlet. It contains a mercifully small number of people with whom I get along just fine with as long as they stay the $^#% away from me, a much larger number of people with whom I share common interests and a respectable number of people of whom I am extremely fond.

How do you measure success in the things you do in the SCA?
Is this the part where I'm supposed to confess that I have always wanted to Hold Unattained Title Of Your Choice?

We Don' Need No Steenkeen Badges. Sure, awards are nice, but I have fans. Total strangers come up to me at events and say "You're HER!" or write to me and thank me for what I do in my interest niche. I can get people who will never, ever adopt a Japanese persona to say, "Wow, that IS cool," and try banging on a drum, or tasting a strange food or beverage, or resist-dyeing. It is awesome - and humbling, and it's why I will answer the same questions over and over and over again because it's all new to someone, and it's why I will give serious consideration to traveling a bit further afield to teach. In my narrow little interest niche, I am a rock star. It still boggles the mind.
EDIT: Mind boggle for the morning of September 23: Go admire.

Is there a difference between being successful and finding satisfaction in the things you do in the SCA?
Being successful IS finding satisfaction in what I do.

What brings about contentment... success or satisfaction or a combination of both?

Do what you love, love what you do, share what you know.
Be true to yourself, particularly that Saturday self that's larger than life, chivalrous and honorable, because that self should be out and about the rest of the week too.
Be a loyal friend and an implacable enemy: people are less likely to fuck with you that way. Just don't be an asshole about the implacable enemy part.
Be audacious. Set the bar high enough to crash into.
Blow your lunch money on books.
Know that "I don't know," is a valid answer.
Remember it's a game and have fun.
gurdymonkey: (brain cramp)
1. The "We Promise Not To Suck This Year" committee still cannot get it into their collective hive mind that they have listed my class in two different places with two different TIMES. Must write yet another email that nobody will read correctly, using really small words.

2. Someone just popped up on SCA-JML who wants to host a Japanese themed party at Estrella because she's some sort of youth minister and kids these days are All Interested In Japanese Culture 'Cos They Love Anime and I Don't Know Anything About What To Serve And Could You Help Oh It Has To Be Friday Night Because I Will Be Heralding For My Queen All War And We Can't Have Sake 'Cos Kids'll Be There.

Hello? Rising Sun, been living off the kindness of one of your neighboring baronies for two years and counting and throwing a Lunar New Year Party on THURSDAY night because the entire war throws parties on Friday night and doing Cool Asian Stuff (TM)? Did you not hear the taiko drums last year?

I described what we do. I suggested that a youth oriented gathering should be separate from what we do, because I like our party as it is, thank you, and I do not have to worry about minors and proximity to alcohol. I also hinted that we might be able to help with it (I sure as hell am not doing it FOR her and she can come up with her own party budget) and left her dangling with a "Let's talk" offer. Never mind the sake, the Little Darlings will pick up bad habits from the Great Hero Of China. Little Kidnapped By Ninja Vikings who wandered into our party two years ago was enough to convince me that kids probably should not be turned loose at adult parties unless their parents are in attendance and paying attention to what their offspring are doing. That said, I would not be averse to telling some ghost stories or doing a taiko performance for them. I'll help, I'm not going to do it for her.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
...specifically the one to our south, which gave me a delightfully warm welcome. I had a blast, reacquainted myself with some folks I've met before and met lots of new ones. I confess not a lot of the names are quite sticking yet, but I expect to see some of these folks at GWW in a couple weeks.

Evidently Google's head onmyoji decided the omens were not auspicious for me to take surface roads to site, so I was diverted north back up 405, then south down, guess what, surface roads! It got me there and I duly noted the location of a World Dominating Coffee Joint for the purposes of reconnoitering some of their more-or-less-palatable chai latte, a supermarket, and gas stations where I could fuel up after the day's festivities.

Collected a most un-Japanese but affectionate hug on arrival and another on departure from Katayama-dono, who, along with his lady and his son, I have not seen since Estrella 2008 during Rising Sun's first incarnation. It was great to see them.

I had more people show up for taiko class on Saturday than I actually had drums for(!!!!! holy freakin' wow!!!!), so I had two guys on one drum and Katayama-dono and Tanagawa-hime (a lovely young lady from the San Diego area, newly returned from the East Kingdom) ended up having to take turns. About an hour into class (classes were slotted at 1:50), a neighbor hung over the fence and begged us to cease and desist: the event organizers had us on a patio with a shaded overhang which (a) was rather echo-ey and (b) about 50" from said homeowner's back fence. I told everyone to grab their drums and we marched the entire class out onto the big athletic field and found a tree to continue beneath. Everyone seemed to have a good time, including a very sweet young lady from Isles who was having a very hard time sorting hands and rhythms, but tried very hard and did manage at least some of it. Given more time and practice, I think she's eminently teachable.  Enough of them expressed interest in trying to catch the taiko class at GWW that I should probably pick up a few more 5 gallon buckets and cut some dowels into bachi.

I never managed to make it to any classes on Saturday. I ended up spending much of it hanging out with Tanagawa-hime, who could not attend Sunday, so I dragged out the assorted textile books I'd brought for my Sunday class and there was Much Geekage. Also got some face time with [profile] takadai_no_tora and a few on-the-fly sightings of the extremely busy Chief Collegium Cat Herder, [ profile] gottasing .  After a brief mixup about how many people in how many cars were going, Tanagawa-hime and her lord, Avenel, Tora-hime and another young lady whose name I cannot remember had dinner at a Mongolian barbecue joint not far from the event site: reasonably priced, tasty, filled the empty very nicely.

Checked out of the hotel this morning and decided to attempt surface roads based on the map printouts I had. Found the site just fine and worked on the sleeves for the linen kosode during first period while visiting with a lady who was merchanting some fiber arts and brewing supplies because it was a shady spot to do so. [ profile] aeddie and I checked out the costumer's roundtable class, which turned out to be two or three relative newbies and a good half dozen hardcore SCA costuming types. I sat stitching sleeves and tried to keep any comments I had to a minimum and not hijack things. Got to visit with [ profile] aeddie and [ profile] marymont at lunch a bit, which was nice.

Had a half dozen folks show up for the Japanese clothing overview class, including Tora-hime and the Katayamas. I can't imagine that any of them could actually SEE the powerpoint slides on my laptop screen from where they were sitting and I hope I made some sense, but they did seem to enjoy it and there was some scribbling of book titles and ISBNs on my handout when I passed the textile books around.

The girls from Isles mentioned a local collegium-type event they do in their area, which sounded sufficiently fun and interesting I gave them my card and told them to keep me posted. If logistically feasible, I could be induced to teach 'em taiko.

Drive home was uneventful and I made good time, but a two hour taiko session and six hours in the truck make for aching quadriceps. I'm beat and about ready to become horizontal, but I had a great time and I'm really glad I went.
gurdymonkey: (thought)
Someone thoughtfully uploaded a PDF of the gate book to SCA West.

"Trespassing is against the law and is a punishable offense. Gate crashing or sneaking onto the site using false or expired tokens is trespassing. [And you would do that how, given that there are new site tokens each year and the gate attendant ought to know what the valid ones look like?]
This is an act without honor; a sense of honor is what our Society is built upon. There is no honor in committing the act of trespassing or in aiding the commission of the act. [Duh and verily.]
Do you really think the sort of people likely to scam their way onsite are going to read the gate book?

My class proposals made it onto the schedule. However, half of the description for Beginner Taiko is missing. Not a word about wearing loose clothing (I am not responsible if someone rips the armpit out of their cotehardie) or the fact that attendance is limited to four participants. It's listed at 12 to 1 PM on the class description page and 1 - 2 PM pm on the schedule grid, where it may - or may not - be double booked with Persian Dance - which isn't on the class description pages anywhere as far as I can see, so who knows?  Time to write a note to the nice people who claimed to have lost my class descriptions on the first go-round then fessed up they didn't actually open them, even though GWW makes you use their forms for class proposals, which are, surprise, email attachments.

Oh, and it's being held in the Open Arms Bardic Hall. Never mind the so-cutesy-I-wanna-puke-name, clearly it occurred to no one that putting beginner ANYTHING in a public stage area means you've just put said beginners on the spot. Because Bardic In The SCA Clearly Means Never Ever Having Performance Anxiety. Except me and that poor bastard who ran out of the hall in a blind panic at that Bardic Champions up in Albany in the dead of winter. Frankly, it's a relief not to be beating my head against that brick wall any longer.

Can I throw a sake tasting without overdoing it on the snacky bits? I never can tell if people are going to eat them or not and it's gone both ways.....
gurdymonkey: (thought)
Oil change and once-over by Bruce's Tire. CHECK.
Laundry. CHECK.
Re-tape drum-head. CHECK.
Handouts for garb class copied. CHECK.
Print maps: to motel, motel-to-site, site to I-5. CHECK.
Pack textile books. One canvas shopping bag's worth is plenty! CHECK.
Print business cards.CHECK.
Scorch rice, get too sloppy with the rice vinegar. Try out onigiri molds. OK, they are easier than hand rolling my own, but that feels like cheating somehow. (Trying something new, canned salmon mixed with teriyaki sauce.) CHECK.

Pack clothes and toiletries. CHECK
Load truck, swearing optional. (I'm taking a wagon to move drums with. Swearing is more than likely.) CHECK. The new folding wagon is a lot easier to deal with than the Gaius Auklandus Memorial Little Red Wagon!

Pack laptop and mouse!  CHECK.
Pack bento with onigiri in lunch cooler.  CHECK.

ATM run.

(Pack something lunch-like for Saturday? I didn't see anything about a day-board....)
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Despite construction in several spots of I-80, I made it to the site north of Reno some time after 9 PM. One of the first things I did was ask the autocrat if she had any idea which the prevailing winds for the area were likely to blow, then set up my tent in wedge (instead of HOCM lean-to) mode side-to-the-wind.

Saturday dawned pleasantly cool and overcast, revealing the site to be a scrubby pasture in a valley surrounded by high desert hills.

Hami melon for breakfast, then waited for day-trippers to show up to our rather intimately populated event site.

Ran out of silk for the mokume-shibori class (my package from Dharma showed up yesterday, which did me no good!) so a couple of us ended up working on some coarse scrap linen that took the silk dye rather interestingly, but was too coarse to get good results with the stitched resist. Note to self, the good Gutterman thread breaks just as easily as the Coats & Clark. Must try some tests with quilting thread and buttonhole thread. However, everyone seemed to enjoy giving it a try and listen to me natter about things Japanese while we stitched patterns into our fabric. Had a minor dye spatter on my shibori kosode (because someone took it off the stool I'd set it on and put it on the ground near the dye bucket), but the good news is the indigo flecks landed on the right side which is hidden when it's worn tied shut.

Siobhan's class on travel in the Middle Ages was interesting - she'd found a translation of a guide to pilgrims going to Compostela at the UNR library and read some sections of it: bad food in many places, thieving ferrymen and the odd customs of the denizens of various towns along the route.

I managed to win Connor's convoluted and sometimes obscure trivia contest. What can I say? I was a history major and I have a trivia brain. It also helps that he allowed everyone to pass and take a new question if one didn't know the answer.

Taiko never happened. The sky got rather dramatic to our east and the winds got bad enough that we ended up dropping most of the pavilions as quickly as we could.  At least one had a rope shear apart in the process. My wedge stood up quite well, thanks to prior planning, but Cyneburgh helped me walk the poles down and drop the canvas on the contents just to be safe.

It didn't rain, but the high winds persisted, so I brought my truck in, packed down and accepted the invitation of [personal profile] allison_is to crash at her parents' place in Reno. We did get a few fat raindrops on the drive down from Red Rock into town, but that was about it rain-wise. Grabbed a shower, praised the kami of hot water and shampoo, then A & I went to Jazmine, a pleasant Asian fusion kind of place with a fairly impressive all-you-can-eat sushi menu. A picked a couple of their specialty maki (both very good), and a metric crapload of salmon nigiri which they serve here with wafer thin triangles of lemon on top, a non traditional, but tasty touch. I added an order of tobiko with quail egg (MINE ALL MINE MWAHAHAHAHAH) and some yellowtail (MINE ALL MINE I TELL YOU!) and we managed to eat most of it.

Stuffed to the tonsils, we made a run over to Vigdis and Hrothgar's place in Sparks to drop off some of their stuff A had grabbed out of their pavilion while they were tearing down, and hung out for a few minutes. I was offered something rather terrifying called "Ty Ku." I sniffed cautiously, recapped it and cried, "Product of CHINA????" and opted for a nice single malt instead. (The shampoo-bottle looking packaging didn't help Ty Ku's case either.)

I slept like the dead, but woke up a little headachy, probably from the altitude. Blessed, blessed be the coffee maker, A's Mom, who gave me the nickel tour of her gorgeous flower and vegetable garden ane filled up a bag with tomatoes, zucchini and fresh basil for me. Breakfast was an EBIL AND PERNISHUS CONKOKSHUN known as a Dutch Baby. Put a hunk of butter into a pan and stick it in the oven to melt. Whisk eggs, milk and flour into a thin batter. Pour ontop of the melted butter and return to the oven until it looks like a golden brown thunderhead climbing out of the pan. Slice and serve with something sweet ontop. We had sour cream and homemade strawberry preserves, but you could put powdered sugar on it. Or honey, or pretty much anything.

A & I had a  nice visit geeking over some of her Dutch and German costuming source stuff and I showed her some stuff from the Kyoto Costume Museum and the Genre Scenes screen from the Tokyo National Museum. We got onto the subject of European contact with Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries and I showed her some examples of namban art. Voila, I now have a new topic to research for a future class!

The drive back was relatively uneventful, though I did actually hit rain in Berkeley and I can hear it rattling through the downspouts outside right now.

Despite the weather, I managed to have a very good time for what there was of the event, the Silver Desert folks being a fun bunch to spend time with. The drive up and back was pretty, even with the occasional construction zones to deal with. Special thanks to [personal profile] allison_is and her family for their hospitality. I'm gonna use her mom's tomatoes and stuff to make some scratch spaghetti sauce tomorrow night

gurdymonkey: (Default)
Need to put together some cooler food and finish packing for Silver Desert Collegium. Just checked the weather report, should expect temps in the 90's during the day, down around 60 at night - and I've offered to teach taiko. It'll just have to involve frequent water breaks, that's all.

Cool foods are the plan. I'm going to cook up some soba tonight and chill it in a zip lock. I've got an entire hami melon which I can happily eat for brekkies both days. Rice with some canned tuna for dinner, maybe? Need to think about a light, easy camp dinner.... Oh, and I have the organic nama sake. I'll take that to share, it's nice and light chilled.

Should be fun. Except for that demo last month, this is the first event I've been to since A&S.

And next week I invade CAID!
gurdymonkey: (thought)
The SCA is not "family."

That is all.

gurdymonkey: (mysca)

[ profile] maredudd1066  in his gorgeous new kit - at Raglan Castle, Wales. Congratulations, tomodachi, you and your big nodachi and Samurai Bunny Slippers have Created a most excellent Anachronism!

Look at the breastplate - he did a Niô dô!!!! In a Zen reversal of the rippling Greco-Roman sixpack, nio do imitate the emaciated physique of ascetic monks.

And this is Katherine from Far West, who came home from Pennsic and got better pictures for me than the ones she offered me last week.

The Thingy

Aug. 23rd, 2009 04:23 pm
gurdymonkey: (thought)
From the West Kindom Arts Thingy FAQ: "We want to know who you are, so we have a name to go with that lovely dress, scroll, or cabinet... Please use your full SCA name-without titles - for the community. Here, we are all artists."

Added to the West Kingdom Arts Thingy this week: "We've added a new field in everyone's profile. You can now add a list of all of your awards. To add them, just click on settings bellow your name on the right top corner of the screen."

Added to my West Kingdom Arts Thingy Profile this morning: "Now now. If "here we're all artists" I am not filling this thing out."

The initial announcement of the creation of The Thingy included the statement "There has also been some remarks made that people wish that there was a database of Laurels and what they can do and how to contact them." I guess they're is still wishing. We've got a self-billed "social network" in which one cannot tell who is a Laurel or what a person is interested in unless one opens every single member profile. And as this participant has just proven, profile contents are entirely at the discretion of the profile owner.

Given past experiences this writer has had with people who have flaunted their Leaves to teach subjects in which they have not done any homework whatsoever, I'm 100% in favor of the "We're all artists" approach. However, for people who are looking for a mentor in a particular subject, they still have a hunt ahead of them.

Plus: People are joining. Minus: Not a whole lot of people are starting discussions. You have to join each interest group you want to post things to, instead of it being an open forum-type set up. I'm going to guess it's structured that way so that membership in certain sections (e.g., Laurel, Royal Artisan, etc. ) is limited to those members. Fine, that's not unreasonable, but is it more cumbersome than it needs to be? Are people not posting because they can't figure out how? I don't know. I posted something I thought would be a nice, general, get things going sort of post on whether anyone was reading anything interesting and discovered the reason nobody wrote back was because it's on my "wall," not in a general discussion forum. What is this, freaking Facebook? 

I prefer the Tousando/Armor Archive forum set-up. It's not profile driven. People just post stuff and comment. Nobody has to friend or unfriend anyone. Even I can use it.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Newly updated to rat out the well dressed in public. Thanks to all our Samurai Eye participants! You know who you are.

I think it's time for some lunch!

In semi related news, I have been home enough consecutive Saturday evenings to figure out what the hell is going on in "Tenchijin," an NHK historical soap that's been airing on Channel 26. Yummy costumes, and an appealing, mostly young, mostly photogenic cast, which probably explains a lot about the "history girl" trend in Japan right now. 

gurdymonkey: (brain cramp)
What's in a name? )

A classical Japanese Poo Joke )

The arts thingy )

Please go admire this.  [ profile] erink did a beautiful job.

Please go admire these. I knew Katherine was awesome when I met her at Pennsic two years ago, but now she's doing JAPANESE!!!! I am extremely jealous. At least she's letting me snag photos for Samurai Eye.


gurdymonkey: (Default)

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