meirwen_1988: (embroider)
Way behind on the books list. I have Echoes of Betrayal to review, and two novellas (including a Matthew Pearl), and am nearly done with the first volume of the Obsidian Trilogy. Soon, I hope.

The Spring semester is almost over--so what's with the below freezing temperatures? Sheesh. Students are panicked, I'm in pain. What else is new.

Dramah has reared its ugly head. Partially self-inflicted, but realizing that doesn't fix anything. Armoring up, checking weapons, hoping I can pull it off. There will be bruises--I'd just like to end the fight something other than crippled.

Event tomorrow. Here's hoping it goes well (as in fun--attendance is virtually guaranteed to be low). Best stop typing--those twinges in my upper arms shouldn't be ignored.
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
For years I've griped about the documentation required for A&S competitions. With the exception of major competitions like Northern Lights, Ice Dragon, and Kingdom Champions, I think we often set the bar far too high (thus discouraging entrants), and when it isn't set there, it is too low/absent (leaving the judges and populace with little or no information).

The Shire of Coppertree's event this weekend has an A&S competition, which I was asked to coordinate. So I came up with a form I think addresses most of my concerns.

The form gets torn in half, and the side with the entrant's name gets kept for tallying the votes and announcing the winner/s, and the other half goes with the entry.

I'm not convinced there will be any entries, but if there are we'll see how it works out. This is me, putting my money where my mouth is.
meirwen_1988: (alter ego)
This weekend was full of...everything.

We had an event in Coppertree this weekend that promised to be the kind of event I love--lots of people doing things about which they are very enthusiastic, with an incredibly flexible schedule since there was no court, or performance, etc. that people had to structure around. And our house was going to be full of family and friends (old and new), something I was very much looking forward to.

Also this weekend was La Duchezz's Homecoming for Eastern Star as her year as District Deputy Grand Matron [closest analogous position in the SCA is Territorial Baroness] is over and she gets to step down. It is also the "Reception" for her "Baron," Keith, who is a good friend, and was a good friend of John's [Morguhn], who is staying in for a second year and will be serving with a lovely woman we're very fond of in Rowan's former position. It was also the reception for his wife, Joanne, who we adore, who is a new Grand Officer.

And, inevitably, I had a mountain of school work to get through, exacerbated by the fact that my computer was out of commission for three days last week, and that when I checked my mailbox Friday afternoon the slot that had been empty in the morning was stuffed full with 75 placement tests I had to evaluate. By Monday.

So, I had to choose--miss the event or miss the reception.

I chose to miss the event, even though that meant missing my Lady-in-Waiting and many other folks I see too seldom, and go to the reception today. I consoled myself that I'd be able to get "some" of the event vicariously. When folks got home at 8 (they left at 10) I was still grading (halfway through the Placement tests, but all the rest of the grading was done). So I got to hang out and talk to folks for a few hours before I collapsed into bed.

The reception was today, and it was wonderful--lots of really nice people. The Past Grand Patron and his wife even came down from Watertown! Duchezz got some prezzies, there was some silly, and most importantly we got to see friends in a fun, relaxed setting.

The Homecoming/Reception was in Amsterdam, which is about 50 miles east of Utica. Duchezz decided not to take the Thruway and instead we went out Route 5. I don't think I've ever been on 5 east of Little Falls before. As we were going through we passed some beautiful old houses (clearly built with old river profits), and one that I'm sure was there during the French and Indian War, based on the architecture. I added a number of places to the "Saturday-bored-lets go for a day-trip" list.

Now I'm going to finish watching the NY v. NE game, then grade the rest of the placement tests, and then write the test for my English 2 class.

For all the crazy, and all the tired, it was a great weekend. But, damn, I really could have used a Tardis--one just a bit more reliable about time targeting than the Dr.'s, please.
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
Well, I've read the "famed" (or is that "defamed") article. The book has to go back Friday, so I think I'll see if they've finally fixed the photocopiers and make a copy of it. Yes, it has problems, but I need to re-read it to make sure my problems with it are actually organic and not just inattention on my part.

In other news, Friday I head off to Cleveland for the National Gymanfa Ganu, which should be fun. I will have terrific company, and there is a film series, so I can even justify it to the people who cut me a paycheck (not enough to get them to pay for it, but enough they aren't giving me grief about cancelling some classes).

Irene spared us for the most part. Our power flickered on and off, with some sporadic fairly short term outages. The yellow delicious apple tree is now horizontal, but the roots are still below ground, so we're hoping we can do some radical pruning and save the tree. The big pine in back is another story.

We have christened it the "Tree of Damocles" because, well, that's how it feels. The tree is appallingly tall, the trunk is snapped 3/4 of the way through about 4 feet up from the ground, and what's holding it up is a moderately sized maple. If that shifts at all, Damocles is going to come down on the carriage house attached to the house proper. It is a very real danger, and something we want to avoid. So we called in the tree guys. Who blanched when they saw it. Taking it down is both very necessary (they agree with us), and very dangerous. The kind of dangerous where if something goes wrong it could very easily result in "very bad things" happening to one or more members of the tree crew (and we had more than our share of "very bad things" happening in an around the house 3 years ago, so, to be avoided please). And they estimate that there are 1000s of pounds of tree to deal with. They said they'd throw in the the maple in front (that is threatening to come down on the residential part of the house) for $300 off their usual price for a tree that big (it towers over our 19th century Victorian), because that really needs to come down before the next big storm. So they quoted us a price. We blanched.

And this is on top of the sedan dying two weeks ago. We cashed out one of the retirement funds to get the money to get a new used car (something just above the classification "beater"). It now appears that $$ is going to go for the trees.

Our insurance company said if it had actually come down on the house and damaged it, we could apply for government $$ to cover part of it (we're in one of the hammered counties), but because it didn't we are completely on our own.

And since the oil bill went up this year to the tune of an additional car payment (actually, more than my car payment--making the total monthly oil bill more than double my car payment), life is not so happy at the white house in the valley.

On the other hand, the roof no longer leaks, and I have a job. I'll try to count my blessings. It's just a little tough right now.
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
This week has been a strange one. There has been vehicle drama (sing with me now "Dead car in the middle of the road/Dead car in the middle of the road..."), followed by less than successful rescue/salvage attempts, mechanic magic, and the final pronouncement "it could die on you in two days or go five's a crapshoot." Then there was the nice collection man at the door today for one of the household bills NOT my responsibility (I do food, oil, car insurance on all three vehicles, cell phones, and the satellite TV). Since I like to bathe, and electricity is necessary to run the pump...

And then there's the packing for the yearly exercise in living in misery in order to "have fun," using some definition of "fun." There is one thing I really like to do there, now that watching the battles and tournaments is basically an exercise in enduring insult in order to experience misery, with very brief moments of actually seeing fighting. What I really enjoy is singing in the Pennsic Choir. But I haven't been able to do that lately because I haven't been able to be there for the concert dates, let alone rehearse enough. Classes can be fun, but lately the heat and humidity have really wiped me out to the point that the last thing I want to do is be trapped in a hot, humid tent, whose walls have clearly been mildewed (hello asthma!), with 20-40 other hot, sweaty people, at least half of whom seem to spend their time trying to one-up the instructor. Look, I'm the first to admit that sometimes the teacher doesn't really know what he or she is talking about. In that case, be polite, ask questions, and don't be a smart ass. And, frankly, if the "one-uppers" would shut up long enough, they'd find that most of the teachers, even if they get some things wrong, really have things of value to share. But, no, there's this real tendency for some people to use the classes as a way to try to prove that they should have more letters after their names than they do, and this is their venue to prove it. Look--we all know that the average IQ in the SCA is way above "norm" (someone even did the research). But it is also true that the social IQ quotient is probably below. One of our claims to fame is that we can "socialize" people so that they are no longer shunned as rude and boorish. Please, stop proving both stereotypes.

So tomorrow I leave for Pennsic. Gear is packed, food prepped (oops--need to make my lunch for the 8 hours on the road). Time to go to bed.

All of which is my long way of saying I'll be gone for a bit. I'm taking an Elizabeth Chadwick novel with me (though I may cheat and continue reading A Dance With Dragons on my iPhone). I'll be back with tales of handfastings, and 50th birthday parties, and well-deserved peerages, and probably a bit too much alcohol, and the inevitable fat-laden food.

As Garrison Keeler would say, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
One of the Elton John songs I don't immediately throw up upon hearing has the repeated line "sorry seems to be the hardest word." Well, he's wrong, at least sometimes. Sometimes it's "Thank you." This is particularly true when what wants to come blasting from your throat at 90 decibels is "There's been a horrible mistake!"

That was sort of how I felt Saturday. For those of you not familiar with the conventions of the Society for Creative Anachronism, this may come out sounding like some sort of hallucinogenic dream, but bear with me for a moment or two.

Saturday I went to an event, specifically Pax Interuptus in the Barony of Thescorre. I have been to many PIs, and usually am happy to go. This weekend there were multiple reasons why I wasn't looking forward to it, but I went anyway, if for no other reason than to finally meet my god-dog, Charlotte (long story, which I'll save for another time). And there would be chosen family there, and a lovely lady was getting an award and I thought it would be nice to be there to see that. So I bundled up the pugs and went.

The trip out (in glorious weather) was more problematic than I'd hoped, took longer than anticipated, and got me to the site trying to be good humored, but on the verge of grumpy. There was predictable foo with parking, but that got sorted, I had lots of lovely help getting things out of the car and to our little setup, which was quite nicely done (there is more about that if you care to read it at 'dicea's post about the same event). Really, it was no one's fault that the density of persons to the square inch exceeded my tolerance levels by orders of magnitude. And it didn't help that one of our number had gotten exactly 1.5 hours of sleep the night before helping the person in charge of lunch get that ready (though it might have been helpful if that information had been shared so people could have attempted to make life easier--but I digress). And it was hot, and that is never wonderful. But all in all, it was a pleasant time. And then there was court.

Now, I hadn't intended to actually "attend" court. I thought I'd wander over when I saw the lovely lady getting the award get called in. But, then, a half an hour before the scheduled start I was asked to speak in support of her award during the ceremony. I really hadn't brought "court clothes," but sometimes plain tailored attire will suffice, and this was going to have to be one of those times. I went and put on appropriate headgear (see photo above), and my best belt, and that was that. And since I didn't want to be late to speak, I came in partway through court and actually took a seat.

About 5 awards went by, and I was thinking we were close to the peerage awards when I was called into court. Well--first response is panic. Then, well, "maybe it's schtick" because of the letter I sent them [the Crown] about a decision they had made I didn't agree with. So I bowed, came and knelt on the pillow between the thrones, and said "Your Majesties, how may I serve you?" His aside to Her Majesty, "I love when they give Us straight lines like this." And He smiled, shyly, as is His wont, and started talking, but didn't make eye contact. And she was looking at me with that beautiful smile she has (really, she should pose for Medieval portraiture of queens and Madonnas--she's devastating). And he talked about counsel, and advice, and diplomacy, and I really thought he was setting me up for a request of service that I was going to have to find a way to fulfill--some diplomatic envoy, or camp counselor at Pennsic, or something, and I was trying to figure out how to afford it, how to schedule it, how to logistics whatever it was.

And then they called in the Millrinds (the name of our Grant Level service order). I was...poleaxed. And my first impulse was that there was a mistake. To be honest, that is still, on some level, how I feel. I think of the service others did, that earned them a place in the Order, and I don't see how I stand in the same field. I can see how most of them, even with the incredible variety of service, stand together, but I'm having trouble with how I fit there. As I continued kneeling (because of the reaction of surprise now sitting on my heels instead of the posture I had first assumed with the straight thighs, hips, and back I was taught all those years ago in dance classes), I tried to wrap my head around it, but all I could think was "this is wrong, there's been a mistake." To be honest, I don't think I was the only one thinking that based on what I heard behind me. But it was done. And these were a Crowned Pair that I trust absolutely to not do "the wrong thing," and it's a polling order. I couldn't believe they would have gone against the will of the order, which meant at least some of them thought I should stand with them.

And so, I said "thank you" to Their Majesties, and to the order members as they came and embraced me and said kind words. I said totally unambiguous "thank you"s to Sophie and Katie, and later Danny--their work on my behalf was beautiful and I have no hesitancy, no difficulty, in thanking them. But for the rest....

You see, based on the Crown's words, and the scroll I was given, this wasn't primarily for my work as an autocrat, or a Mistress of the Lists, or a class organizer (though I have done all those things). Sometimes. Not often, and not exceedingly well--certainly not at a level appropriate for inclusion in this order. It was for counsel.

Since I am on the faculty at a school where we have degrees in "Counseling," where I have friends who are professional "counselors," I suppose I should be able to wrap my head around this. Perhaps it is too new, both for our organization, and for my brain, to fully come to grips with it. I will try.

What I must do, in the meantime, is treat this as grace, as in something bestowed which comes not necessarily because we deserve it, but because we can deserve it, if we will but put ourselves to the right thinking and conduct.

That, or it's the Crown's sneaky way of getting back at me for that letter by making me go to more order meetings. ;-)


Dec. 6th, 2010 02:28 pm
meirwen_1988: (Christmas House Mouse)
Just got the 2000 word papers from my 63 person film class. *sigh* Just shoot me now.

The weekend involved some Christmas-fying of the house. More requires thinking about it and actually caring. Meh. See "caring."

I love my students this semester. It happens that way sometimes. I really hope next semester isn't too much of a let-down. :-(

I hate driving in the snow. So, there is an upside to the future. Yeah. Clinging to that.

This buying 8 presents for Hanukkah was not planned for this year. My bad. Still--timing sucks, not having money and all.

Oh, right, and the embroidery thing. Yeah. Not happening this week. Just sayin.'
meirwen_1988: (Emblazon)
1. Where are you camping?
EO1, Caer Cinniuint, on the corner of Chandlers and The Strand.

2. When are you arriving?
Middle Friday, leaving site Saturday AM, back Sunday PM. Staying until I get bored, wet, or run out of clothes.

3. What cool stuff are you doing?
Going to a cool thing off site. Probably some classes. A vigil for a lovely lady. Some volunteering (for me, that counts as "cool stuff"). Hanging out with my friends.

4. What's your SCA name?
Meirwen uerch Owein
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
Okay, here is all I have to say on the subject.

At the 3 day music festival where I volunteer the week before Pennsic there is half an hour between acts. Getting the musicians' merchandise in and out, things sold, etc., in that half an hour so that one band could get its stuff gone and the next could get its stuff in was a nightmare. And it meant if you didn't get it right then, you couldn't get it, since it disappeared when the band left.

So they set up a booth that sold all and only merchandise for the bands. It is staffed by volunteers. The event makes no money from it, it all goes to the artists. The bookkeeping is a bit of a pain, but otherwise it works fine--the artists get their money, the patrons get their music, and logistics in the venues are better.

Just a thought.
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
Everyone has breakfasted.
Duchezz and [ profile] baronessekat are headed for the site.
[ profile] dicea , [ profile] bakestondone , and I are getting ready to leave.

Then it's just standing around in the incredibly cold and damp delivery room waiting for the baby. ;-)
meirwen_1988: (Default)
Dear LJ world:

Does someone have an email or phone numbe3er (email preferred) for Felice and Miriam (Tom and Mary Spellicy). I need to let them know I won't be crashing there this weekend. :-(
meirwen_1988: (happy duke)
Please feel free to cross-post:

Duchesses Rowan de la Garnison and Meirwen uerch Owein happily announce that the Duke Morguhn Sheridan Memorial Tournament will be held Saturday, September 12, at Summer's End in the Canton of Beau Fleuve.

The tournament will be a weapons proficiency tournament, with individual winners for each form list (sword and shield, single weapon, pole arm/long weapon, and two weapon) and an overall champion. Every entrant is required to bear the favor of his or her inspiration in the tournament and to show the favor to the Mistress of the Lists to register. You do not have to identify the giver of the favor.

The tournament will be held, rain or shine. Come! "Fight for the honor, and fight for the glory...Fight with your heart...."

Why, some might ask, in Beau Fleuve. There are many reasons. He was crowned there, he stepped down there, he received his Pelican there. And Summer's End, 2008, was the last event he attended. He had a wonderful day of fighting and friendship. Let us do the same, this year.

meirwen_1988: (tired)
Got home last night around 8 PM.
At 11 AM today I was on campus, doing my "thang" for "New Commuter Student Orientation." Duchezz collected our little men, who were wildly happy to get home. But they had fun at camp.

We've caught up on our summer obsessions (although America is clearly stupid and got So You Think You Can Dance rankings totally wrong--Jeanine? Are you kidding me? Well, at least "Lovely" has finally left Hell's Kitchen), and now we're digesting dinner and getting ready for an early night and enjoying watching Gibbs slap Tony.

Best of all--injury reports from the NFL mean that soon there will be actual sports worth watching.


Number 6

Jul. 26th, 2009 09:36 pm
meirwen_1988: (tired)
GAIF VI (Great American Irish Festival 2009) is done, we are home, exhausted but happy.

Tomorrow is errands and personal packing. Vehicles get packed on Tuesday, dogs go to camp, and we enjoy a last evening at home. If the weather doesn't look to be too sucky, we will head down Wednesday. If Thursday looks to be better, we'll go down then.
meirwen_1988: (Inquiring minds)
I present for your consideration the following--we're taken seriously at Kalamazoo: why not here?
meirwen_1988: (Default)
So, she is keeping it together--mostly.
So, she is resigned to acceding to the call of Crown and Order--mostly.
So, she is ready to go--mostly.

We'll see you all tomorrow.

Brain full

Apr. 5th, 2009 08:40 pm
meirwen_1988: (embroider)
So, yesterday, after exactly 35 minutes of sleep (3 weeks of spending a lot of time working at my desk finally caught up with my spine. Not good.), I got up at 4 AM to get ready to go to NYC.

Duchezz and I got to the Thruway lot to meet the Gage-mobile, and inadvertantly played "Fool the Earl" by bringing a car other than the one he was expecting. But soon Her Excellency and Her Ladyship were safely ensconced in the car and we headed for Albany.

The bus was prompt, our "Cruise Director" his usual charming self, and only some of the people on the trip were annoying. We had a lovely, smooth drive down, and the bus dropped us off right in front of the Bard Graduate Center on 86th Street.

For the record, I'm not a big stumpwork* fan, and some of the more spectacular pieces in the exhibit (English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700:
'Twixt Art and Nature
)were definitely in that style. And, well, my tastes running as they do, the amazing embroidered woman's jacket didn't fill me with the urge to instantly pick up my needle and try to recreate one of the motifs on a bag or glove.

But, that said

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The exhibit is closing this week, but if you love embroidery, BUY THE BOOK!!!

My mind is still trying to wrap itself around what I saw, given what I know of period tools. Between the precision of the stitches, and tightness of the ground (I didn't have a measure with me, but some of it looked like at least 100ct evenweave, because I have some 50 ct., and some of it looked to have twice as many threads per sq. in.). Brain hurt.

And then we got back on the bus, after an hour and a half (too short to really see everything, but just in time to stop some of us from attacking the upscale senior citizens with their little LED flashlights shining in on the 500 year old textiles. Grrrrrrrrr).

Then the bus took us to The Cloisters. For some, this was another trip to familiar territory. For the two girls raised in lower middle class (Duchezz) or barely above poverty level (moi) households in Central New York, this was the sort of thing we'd only read about.

Brain full. Brain very full. Full. Full. Full. Brain so full it almost hurts. Now, in part it may have been because I was at that point functioning on 36 hours with no sleep, but when we came up the stairs from the level where The Treasury is, I cried--not break down sobbing, more the silent stream of tears. As you come up around the curve of the stairs, in front of you you can see through an open arch into one of the exhibit rooms. If no one is standing in the doorway (and no one was), the only thing you can see, filling the entirety of the archway, is part of one of the Unicorn Tapestries. And I cried. They aren't even my favorite tapestries. But it was suddenly overwhelming. I'd just spent 10 minutes focusing on 9th century ivory carvings, thinking about the detail, and the tools they'd used. Thinking about the conditions under which they were created. The bread with the bits of stone in it they ate for lunch. The light they worked with. The abuse their feet took, just getting to work....

And there was a piece I've read about. Hell, I even taught about it...and there it was, less than 50 feet away.

People who live in great urban centers, who grew up with means, in school districts that took junior trips, or senior trips to places like Washington or Los Angeles, New York or Boston, Dallas or Chicago, Philadelphia or San Francisco, may not be able to understand the effect at 46 or 52 of going to somewhere like The Cloisters at that age, for the first time.

Our brains are full. We were there for nearly 4 hours, and I never even got into the gardens (nothing really up yet, and, frankly, it was too friggin' cold). I wanted to sit in the cloister and just...sit. And I wanted a telephoto lens, a high resolution camera, and someone who can actually take good pictures to whom I can say "I need a picture of that corner of that statue." "Okay, now come over here and can you get me that upper right hand corner of that triptych?" Well, you get the idea.

Brain full. And it's too damn far away. Sigh. Maybe next year Duchezz and I can go again. We certainly have friends who'd love to see us. And maybe we can time it so the gardens are in bloom. The Lenten Roses were lovely, but, really, that's hardly enough. ;-)

We made great time home (yes, Jess, you were right--we drove right through Paramus), and we got to scritch the Callie-dog when we dropped the ladies off, and were still home before 11.

I finally wound down enough to sleep by 1:30, then up at 7 for Mass. I'd forgotten how long Palm Sunday service is (I always do). Then breakfast with the Bridgewater firemen, errands, and home. The office mate loaned us Quantum of Solace, which Duchezz is paying more attention to than I (I think I'm in the wrong frame of mind). I'm for bed. And a new week.

BTW, if you are reasonably local to Concordia--it was a great trip, well-organized, really inexpensive. They're planning to do this again (probably Boston next time, and after that maybe another trip to NYC, maybe the Met downtown), and if you have the least interest, try to go. Really--you won't be sorry.

*using the term most people recognize, though not, in fact, the term used on the museum notations, which are far more precise, as they should be.
meirwen_1988: (small but mighty)
1) Drop boys off at "camp"
2) Hold office hours
3) Write film test for Monday (Cinematography and Acting, if you care)
4) Make "Learning Unit 3" live on Blackboard class
5) Meet up with Jane and Skip at Cedarville Fish Fry
6) Go to bed early
7) Pick up [profile] wyz_azz  and [profile] drd_pyrat  at Thruway at 5:20 AM
8) Drive to Crossgates
9) Go to NYC with Concordia

You wish you were me--admit it. No one will think less of you for it (though they might question you sanity, but that's a totally different issue).

P.S.--Dear Universe: If you thought giving one of my friends a nice big promotion was compensation for laying off multiples of them in the last 2 months, well,


meirwen_1988: (Strong)
...too little me.

But I'll manage, somehow.
meirwen_1988: (Duchess)
The event yesterday was hard in all the ways anticipated--in some ways also unanticipated. But, there was a metric planet-load of good as well.

We saw old friends, including [ profile] artisticphoenix, [ profile] gwendolynbasing,[ profile] hawkyns, [ profile] liamstliam, Katherine, Emerson, eLeri, Pierre, and of course our hosts Mathgamain and Dresden. [ profile] svan_1004 and [ profile] emt_hawk made it out, as did the entire German Squire family. Morguhn's portrait, done by [ profile] edana_haukyns,  sat behind the MoL table, and his gear bag rested beside the wall.

After the event the Ruby Tuesday's in Saratoga Springs was able, after a short wait, to accomodate our 10 adult, 1 teenager, and 2 child party. The wait was fortuitous as young Michael had had an adventure involving the tailgate of their truck, his trousers, and the pavement. The young one was fine--not a scratch, much to everyone's amazement and relief--but his trousers were split from cuff hem to elastic waist. More importantly, he was very distressed at the idea of going into the restaurant wearing only his cowboy boots, braes, and a tunic. So while we waited for our tables, the parents took him to Penney's, and he emerged resplendent in a full set of 21st century clothing.

As to the tournament, a Case of Case for His Grace, it was full of laughter, good fencing, and fun as it celebrated the many shades of Morguhn. After the winners were announced, Math had Dalwhinnie and small shot glasses for everyone for a toast (the truly brave took Mt. Dew instead of Scotch). As he stood there, he said that his lady had reminded him that if he really meant there to be a toast, he would have to say something.

"So," he said, "I thought about it, and I realized it really came down to two things--
He was my friend....and I will miss him."


meirwen_1988: (Default)

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