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ENTRY EDITED as I remember things to add to the chronology.

Photos are up HERE    
I regret I did not take more - but then I would've had to enjoy more of my war through a viewfinder.

My last Pennsic was eight years ago, when I still lived in the East. This was my first Pennsic doing Japanese, though my friend and bodyguard, Fujimaki did invite me to several of Yumi's kyudo demonstrations and one of Effingham-sensei's class at P-28, so that's sort of where the infection began. I pretty much alternated days between "Jehanne" and "Saionji" for the duration.

I arrived onsite Friday evening (8/3) after a quick Walmart run with Rosario and settled in at West Royal. It felt a bit odd to be in a "high rent" district of Royal encampments, surrounded by Outlands, Midrealm and Lochac. On the other hand, we were extremely close to the battlefield and "downtown."

The West had two campers from our Barony of the Far West (Tokyo area). Baroness Katherine d'Aquitaine brought all sorts of little goodies with her as gifts and was passing out uchiwa (paper paddle fans), chopsticks and so forth to all and sundry, myself included.
I
mostly spent Saturday busking as Jehanne in the merchant areas and prompting people to leap out of pavilions or rush down the street crying, "What are YOU doing here?" because they hadn't gotten my emails warning that I would be in attendance.

I think it was also Saturday that I ran into Ana and Wilhelm and got asked by not one but two film crews if I would consent to be filmed for their respective productions. George and I will probably end up on the cutting room floor, but why not?

I was playing at Claus the Toymaker's place on Saturday when I met [personal profile] minstrlmummr. We got to talking and she asked if I would be interested in busking for the Wakefield Cycle Plays on Wednesday. I said yes, she contacted the person organizing the buskers via cellular witchcraft and told me to be at the meeting on Sunday.

I discovered that the man organizing buskers for the Wakefield project was Kuji Kaoni Musashi of Tengusanji, a yamabushi with a talent for illusion and sleight of hand. My appearance in wafuku threw him slightly because he was expecting a hurdy gurdy player. I explained Multiple Persona Disorder.

Went to a bardic at Enchanted Ground. Too crispy to do anything more than one song, but Cariadoc's stories are always enjoyable and it was enough to sit and listen.
Sunday I donned my summery white linen kosode and wore the Tosenin over it. As the West gathered to process out to the battlefield for Opening Ceremonies, I bowed to His Highness of the Mists, causing my hat and kazuki-kosode to slide right off my head. His Highness cracked up and assured me that this field test meant I would have no further mishaps. It being one of those "Order of Precedence" kind of things, I stayed to the rear with Staffan, bowing deeply as the royalty of other kingdoms passed us.  Lots of Kings go blah. West declared for the East.

I attended Solveig-sensei's class on Japanese festival dance in the afternoon, learning "Ina Bushi" and "Kasugayama Bushi." It got warm fairly quickly and I mystified my fellow classmates for a moment or two of vehement squirming until I'd shrugged off both sleeves of the Tosenin so that it was now on
koshimaki-fashion. As we dancers rotated around the courtyard at Yama Kaminari, I spotted Our Most Honorable Moderator sitting on the floor at the far end of the clan "living room" busily working on something. The new kusazuri, as it turns out. Saiako-hime got up from wrapping the kato no kesa on her helmet to give me a very big hug and accept the bottle of sake I had brought for the clan. Yumi did a kyudo demonstration before I headed off to find dinner. Thanks to Fujimaki, I had seen this demo a number of times at Pennsic 28, but it's still beautiful to watch.

A few weeks earlier, Kurokamakiri-hime had suggested a sake and moon viewing party for that evening and told me to invite a friend or two. Although it was raining by that evening, I did not wish to disappoint my hostess, so Otagiri-dono, Honda-dono and I set off into the darkness in search of the House of Seven Leaves somewhere down in Block E23. As we reached a section of road that sloped sharply, I stopped, stepped out of my slippery lacquered geta and began padding barefoot down the asphalt. Accordingly, my two escorts tried to warn me of puddles. I cannot help thinking that any illusions Honda-dono previously had of my elegant comportment have been completely destroyed by the reality of my inner three-year-old seizing the upper hand and barefootin' it merrily through a downpour. I got scolded for wandering off to try to read a road sign at a turnoff without my escort. But surely any self respecting bandit, tengu or kitsune would've been holed up somewhere warm and dry!

We never found Kuro-hime or her party, so we went back up to Y.K. to Otagiri's brand new "hut." (
I am kicking myself that I did not obtain pictures. I am particularly kicking myself that I did not obtain pictures of my clothes hanging to dry on his veranda. See below.) Otagiri-dono, in gasa and mino, wasn't in terrible shape, but Honda -dono and I resembled water rats. I was ordered to take off the sodden Tosenin kosode as Our Host ducked in the back and came out with something dry for me. A chorus of "uh-ohs" in the dim glare of the flashlight revealed that brown dye had run onto the linen kosode I'd worn under the silk. I gratefully thrust my arm through a layer of flannel lined sleeve and shuddered as I saw the plastic gleam of dull red snakeskin. "Oh no." "Oh, yes." It was The Komodo Kimono, and yes, my dear friends, your favorite wafuku snob wore it in front of the Kami and All The Neighbors. Quite possibly the ugliest bit of gag garb I have seen in my short time on earth, warm and dry trumps wet and muddy.

A cup of tea, a bottle of Mike's Lemonade, some good conversation and the patter of rain on the thatch made for a very pleasant evening. My Host and I, running on Mountain and Pacific time respectively, noticed that Honda-dono was starting to nod, so as soon as the rain slowed sufficiently, I made my apologies and Honda-dono escorted me back to West Royal.
Waking the following morning, to the sight of the Komodo Kimono hanging in all its hideous glory from my lantern hook, I wrote:

Summer storms cannot dampen
These kindred spirits
Gathered in the rain.
Friendly hospitality
Lends new meaning to shared robes.

Threatening skies. I checked my watch as I ate an apple for breakfast, hoping the weather would hold. Catherine, making string into bigger string and cutting tassels, says, "Are you planning on attending the Ladies of the Rose tourney today?" Me: "Honestly hadn't thought about it, why?"
Catherine: "There are a couple of fighters who still need sponsors." Me: (Mystified) "And?"
Catherine: (Confused) "You mean you've never reigned?" Me: "Armigerous Pondscum!" Something about my bearing, she said. Go figure.

Monday started wet, but cleared enough for me to attend the Hurdy Gurdy gathering hosted by the lovely and talented Melissa the Loud. She plays a magnificent Hungarian gurdy that makes my little symphonie look like a cardboard box with a stick rammed through the end. Master Robyyan from the Midrealm was playing a very pretty Gotchy Phoenix in tiger maple, but offered me some very useful tips in getting my Minnesinger to cooperate under Pennsic conditions. Being self-taught is NOT all it's cracked up to be and I was grateful for the advice.

More busking. More old friends bumped into, more internet friends met face to face.

The afternoon got a little nicer than the morning had been and I thought it was reasonable to assume I could retrieve my poor kosode. I carefully folded up the Komodo, inserted the poem posted earlier into its folds and wrapped it in a furoshiki.

Knowing that Kuro-hime would be running a meeting at one of the A&S tents at a certain time, I staked the location out several minutes beforehand so that I could make our apologies for missing her Sake and Cloudburst-watching party. "You were out in that? Are you NUTS?" she exclaimed. As if she did not know I was nuts before this......

From there I went over to YK to trade kosode with Otagiri-dono. Mine were dry. The Tosenin was mud spattered to the waist. (No worries. It all rinsed out without damage to the paint or silk.) He found the poem, and set it with great care at the foot of his armor stand "for later," so I did not get to see his reaction, the stinker.

Otagiri-dono was still working on his kusazuri. Lacing was being slowed because the pre-punched holes had been gummed up by the wood hardener. Figuring I could either be decorative (which is not my strong point when wearing veil and cotehardie) or useful while we sat and chatted, I offered to ream them out with an awl while he did the lacing. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly has Officially Worked On An Armor Project.

Had dinner in the food court with Staffan again. Maybe it's the lowlife armigerous pondscum thing, maybe it's because we're both smartasses, but we seemed to spend a fair bit of the war hanging around together. Ran into Torashi-dono and all three of us sat talking in one of the food tents long after closing time.
Tuesday I wore the flea market re-tread (white with a stippled maple leaf motif in sage, blue and brown) with the Shoot Me kosode worn koshimaki.
Went out, watched some of the Wall Battle from too far away to really see very much. Yama Kaminari's sashimono were easy to spot but I never did see where the West was. Lots and lots of holds called. Wandered over to the eastern end of the battlefield, watched the taiko drummers a bit, met Darter, then booked on back to camp after hearing threatening weather was on the way.

It rained for a bit. Stopped eventually. Staffan and Vampirie agreed to come with me for Solveig-sensei's tea class. We got there a little early and I asked if there was anything I could do to help with set-up. Trying to slice red bean jelly into neat, attractive shapes and arrange them carefully in a bowl on a sticky, humid day without a cutting board or mat resulted in gooey hands and the appearance of a number of ants on the tatami. "No, little brothers, none for you," I admonished.

I had the honor to be head guest. Unfortunately for me, I've got a bunion making its presence known on my right foot and I just could not sit correctly in seiza for most of the proceedings because it hurt too much. Staffan as "Last Guest" served the others and mugged at me from the corner, trying to make me laugh. This is what I get for trying to bring culture to the namban.

Viking Luau at West Kingdom Royal. I'm not a loud'n'crowded party sort of person. Crowds make me twitchy, hearing loss in my right ear reduces me to smiling stupidly and lip reading sooner than the average partygoer, but I figured I'd put in an appearance for a little while. Honda-dono and one of his friends came by for awhile. He asked me about a certain young lady fighter in the Western camp and what his chances were, but I confessed I did not know her well enough to give him any clues and said he would have to take his chances. (I will say, however, that several other of the ladies in camp wanted to know who he was. I took a load off my sore foot and chatted with Duchess Eliana for a bit, then retired to the "family room" sunshade behind the Royal with a couple of the others before going to lie down and listen to the party in my tent because I knew I wasn't going to fall asleep any time soon. It started raining and they kept partying. His Majesty reported that they saw off the last guests and doused the torches at 4:30 AM.

Date: 2007-08-13 02:59 am (UTC)
ext_51796: (inariflute)
From: [identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Those pics from the Wakefield Cycle Plays looked really interesting! Glad you got home safely.

Date: 2007-08-13 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gurdymonkey.livejournal.com
More on the Wakefield Marathon in Part II. ;-D

Date: 2007-08-13 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamapduck.livejournal.com
If I had money, I'd pay money for pictures of you in the Komodo Kimono.

Earplugs have become a staple of my camping gear. Too many events either with rowdy parties or neighbors who snore.

Date: 2007-08-13 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gurdymonkey.livejournal.com
No pictures were taken, which is probably a good thing. It's pretty hideous.

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