Sunday, December 25, 2016

Incarnation #3: Political Revolution

Wow. It's been nearly 18 months since I last posted.
So, to recap: this blog started as a real estate bust blog. Then it morphed into a SCA blog.
Just to clarify, we're still in the SCA, but not really "in" any longer if that makes sense. And unlike my emotional and spiritual state when I wrote the last post, I truly don't care and it's a hassle to go to events now. All dressed up and for what? I also actually don't miss most people. And I dislike immensely that constant self-editing that one does when talking with people in the SCA. It's much worse than the routine polite and occasionally truly PC stuff one does in mundane conversation.
But one must have a hobby, otherwise known as a reason for living.
It is unrealistic to expect that our life partners and children provide this motivation, although they do provide MOST of it.
My avocation has now become Democratic Socialism and movement politics. Ironically, this all started about a year ago via one of our SCA contacts who was a Berner.  She encouraged me to show up at a couple of political action, very ineffectual sign-waving events, and that was all it took. Bernie Sanders has always been a hero to me, and when he decided to run I knew I'd vote for him, but I had no clue at the time just how meaningful this would be. I didn't know that my son, James, and a whole generation of young people had decided that "socialist" was no longer a dirty word. I didn't realize that nearly half the Left (really we're the only "Left" as the Liberal Left is more center Right, but I digress) was as disheartened and angry about the way we had been abandoned as I was. And I certainly never believed that my country would elect a bombastic, crude, vulgar, sexist, racist billionaire to the Presidency.
No matter, really, for ME because I was planning on activism under a Clinton presidency. This just makes it more vital and likely, in my opinion, also makes it more likely that a true Left will emerge in the next 2 years and possibly will prevail in 2020. However, it is a tremendously horribly bad situation for vast numbers of my fellow citizens and that worries me. It empowers the racism and sexism that was always there, and I believe that is why some of the worst of these incidents are happening in the areas of the U.S. that voted for Clinton. Because racist/sexist/nativist people live EVERYWHERE, but they're a lot less likely to act out when they think they're a minority. Currently, they don't think that, even though they still ARE. And in areas of the country where they feel most aggrieved by minorities or immigrants or differently-gendered folks, they now feel that they have the right to be the assholes in action that they've always been in their hearts.
Another very odd thing is that the spirituality of my childhood has come back into my life. Some of this is very likely due to the strong Catholic presence in socialist politics, especially with Pope Francis. The Christianity that I was raised with was a very liberal, socialist Christianity and unfortunately that type all but disappeared in the last 40 years. But being around people who believe in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus has brought that tendency back into my life, after an entire adulthood in which my spiritual expression went all the way back to paganism because modern religion was so cold and hard.
So maybe I'll end up writing posts here more often, and maybe not, but as this is the closest thing I have to a journal of my life, it seemed appropriate to at least toss this one up for the future.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

No more Medieval Bullshit

So, SCA...
When the alternate reality is actually worse than mundanity, it's time to go. When I can no longer rejoice for people that are truly good people being honored, and can only feel the knife twisting in my chest for the truly good people that have once again been passed over, it's time to go.

I will miss some folks. And as long as Mike continues to compete, I'll day-trip Coronets and Crowns. But I'm not putting any more of my limited time and energy into the game as a whole, only into the man who once made me a Princess.

My name is Sarah.
It's 2015. Let's rock.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

In Which Our Heroine Relives the End of the Reign and This So Awful Year

So, I just wrote a zillion words to try to encapsulate the end of our reign from the last post, and all that's transpired in the past year, and it is just full of bitterness and negativity. 
That's not me. I'm the sane, mature, low-key, stable and perennially upbeat Scadian. 
So, here's the condensed version:
We had a Coronet, there was low-level drama and we managed it without a problem.
We had some minor differences in style with King Mark and Queen Patricia, that may have influenced Miach's chances of Knighthood - and then again, maybe totally not. 
We went to Twelfth Night, and it was fine.
We went to Oertha, and had a great time. Yay Oertha!
We stepped down. That's us, getting our Viscounties, up there.
We continued to serve, as cooks for Royals at Estrella. We almost lost Monty there.
There was Kingdom-wide bullshit involving Violante, which made me incredibly sad. There was personal bullshit involving Gunther, Juliana, Miach and me which made me angry and paranoid. 
Miach was NOT offered a white belt. Three or four other people have been offered since we stepped down. Again - nothing about our personal bullshit has been in any way negative towards the Kingdom or the populace, and we have not done anything remotely un-worthy of decent human beings - much less of Royal Peers. We're golden. 
Miach declares he will train to win Crown, with a goal of 2015.
And aside from the emotional and interpersonal Knight/Squire bullshit:
Miach was hit in the mouth during a Pas d'Arms after the tournament was officially over, while playing a game to 'entertain the gallery' in which helms were removed and fighters were using what they thought were boffer swords. Turns out, not so much. About 3K of dental work, and two months not fighting, and he's still unable to bite well. 
We continued to cook for King Conor and Queen Isa, and Prince Walerich and Princess Catriona, only at this point they began to reimburse us at the King's insistence. Yay King Conor!! (but really - we would have done it anyway, and we have always fed people at events - not Royals, true, just regular hungry people). 
We go to June Crown, cook for Royals, and due to proximity of our Celtic roundhouse and kitchen to the Royal Pav, we overhear one of the Knights in Knight's Counsel saying that Miach doesn't use advanced techniques, and that if HE had been fighting in the Coronet that Miach won - well, maybe Miach wouldn't have won. This is actually not news to us, as he has said it often. It's very uncomfortable to have to listen to it, and pretend you didn't hear it being said in Council, though. Again: not shocking, because we know who supports us and who doesn't. Just aggravating. 
We went to West/An Tir War, We almost lost Monty again. Miach won the Squire's Tourney in a field of 72 fighters, possibly proving that he actually DOES use advanced techniques (just in case winning Coronet was not already evidence of that),  more loose talk by Peers of possible offers of white belt. No offers.
Miach re-iterates his declaration of winning Crown in 2015.
We were given the Cynaguan Crusader honor by the Prince and Princess (we created that honor) for our service. It's weird how much that honor means to me, how very much that touched me. 
Miach stepped up as Deputy Sable Swan Herald. 
We cooked Investiture Feast. Other than a last-minute problem with servers, it seemed to go well. Food was served hot, people were done and out of the hall before 9 pm, and there was Court towards the end of it - so, fairly typical so far as I could tell, and the food was reported to be good, and plentiful. 
More bullshit ensued, likely aggravated if not instigated by Juliana, in an ambush by two Pelicans, 1 Laurel, two Knights (and an innocent bystander spouse who kept his head low and his mouth closed) that was presented as an invitation to dinner with ONE couple. Instead, it was a surprise Peerage critique of Investiture Feast, and we were totally taken aback and unprepared to discuss it. The only inkling that we had of this was a remark made to me by Roz, that Juliana had been seeking information from her on the Feast and that she seemed to want to hear things that had been bad. At the time, her remark barely registered, as it is no great secret that Julian likes to stir up shit. Only in retrospect did I see how significant it was. 
Reassurances given by non-involved Peers that we sought counsel from, and other populace, that there was nothing wrong with Investiture Feast and they are flabbergasted that anyone thought there was or would presume to actually plan such "help" without giving us the memo.  
Again: Miach decides that the only solution to this aggravation is to win Crown in 2015, and for the third time since March he and I discuss issues we're having with trust and fealty, and whether he needs to give back his Squire's belt. 
Miach attended Purgatorio, and was a court Herald; I stayed home with dogs and went to Roz's to visit. We were given the Queen's Cypher award by Isa for our service at Purgatorio; I am positive that I would have teared up at that, too, but I was home with the dogs. Miach was there on his own.
No offers.
We attended Ducal. One Knight attended. So few fighters that there were no heavy events on Sunday. My grandson, Connor, went and had a great time. Miach helped set up and tear down the Cynaguan Pav, and was Court Herald. He tore down Gwenifer's camp for her, and tore down our three pav's. 
Miach became ill, still coughing but will likely survive. 
Tomorrow is Kingdom Championships for EQ, archery and rapier. Miach is insisting we go, and I'm sure that I will go, but my heart is just not in it. It could be burn-out: we kept on ticking, going to two Wars, two Crowns, Coronet in Mists and in Cynagua, and countless small events after we stepped down. We wanted to show that we weren't going to do the typical thing and disappear for months, or years. Maybe we tried too hard to persevere. Because that's the only thing: perseverance. Decency and honor, chivalry and fealty, service and support - if we show up, that stuff is not hard. That's who we are (no, I am NOT this angry, bitter, paranoid creature that has shown up lately, that is NOT me!!) So you keep going, keep going, keep going. You concentrate on the people you love. You concentrate on the skills you've been given and that which fascinates you and enriches you. You keep going, and hope that it isn't too late, that you're not too old, that there is still time. That maybe - just maybe - this community will finally see you for what you are. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Great Western War and this time I HAVE THE HAT

Two of the big October events are now behind us: Crown, and Great Western War. I had a very good time at War, as usual was a Bad Princess and didn't bring my parasol onto the field. By the end of War, Newt was holding his Mongol hat over me for shade.
We stayed in the same area as the Barony of Fettburg, and Raven and Brenna graciously offered us the use of their Barony sunshade. I bitched a lot about where West Royal encampment was, 'cause it was on low ground right next to the horse arena. Meanwhile, Darkclaw and various other groups got the land above us on a plateau with a view of the lake and islands. The only positive thing about our area was we had a dumpster about 100 feet away, which made cleaning up a breeze. 
We used a small propane tank every night to keep warm, which was wonderful. I took several outfits, including underdresses, and didn't wear them. Yet I wore a new outfit every day. 
Gwendwyn the Silent, Corina/Karen, Rachel/Adaran, Don Tiberius and his Lady Sikuna, Newt, Shishio, and Thalen attended me. Baroness Brenna took over water-bearing duties for our group. 
I got to shop, and bought a new thin leather belt and several items from Raymond's Quiet Press, and also told the gentles at Raymond's how much I appreciated their work and their reasonable prices. I went to the Princess' Tea, and hung out with Violante, who is now Crown Princess. I also went to the EQ championship, and hung out with the Royals. I schmoozed with Else Hungrovogt. 
We went to the Royal Reception and passed out and received gifts. We processed into Court (that's the picture above) but we just walked through and didn't stay. We hosted the Oerthans for dinner in the Barony pavilion one night. 
And on the very last night, we went to the Starkhafn leftover food and booze party and spoke with Count Sir Kevin Perigrynne and Countess Patrice, who used to be Baron and Baroness of Golden Rivers back when it was a Barony. And their stories were very illuminating; plus, Kevin was asking me questions that seemed to be aimed at whether Miach was a worthy Chiv candidate and at one point in time they both announced that we had PLQs which is very very nice. Because we try. 
Miach stayed until 3 am, but Newt escorted me back to camp, then he went back to find out more about shield walls from some fighters there. And Miach got some very good advice from Duke Tamuki, one of only two black Dukes in the SCA: Never pick your friends to fill important roles on Court, because they don't think of you as Royalty. Have to say I totally agree with that! 
All that's left now for October is Coronet. The roses are ordered, and plans have been made. 
Next month is mostly easy: little feasts, GRAB, Collegium. All one day and very low stress events that we're looking forward to. December is also easy, with Yule feasts. January is going to be the next big month, with Twelfth Night, Oertha Coronet, and Winter Investiture.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Almost at The Halfway Point

We've been kind of busy, and I haven't been able to chronicle Our Reign as often as I would have liked. 
I'm feeling good now...really good. Physically and spiritually. But that wasn't true a couple weeks ago. A couple weeks ago, I LOST IT. And here's why:
  • My Guard is largely absent from events. The same two or three gentlepeople seem to be doing ALL the work. 
  • My Head of Court is largely absent from events. I was thinking, for some crazy reason, that she'd be organizing our appearances and coordinating with other Heads of Court. 
  • The Principality Seneschal is unable, due to time and finances, to perform the duties of that office in a timely fashion. We nearly didn't have a Coronet site. The Kingdom Seneschal and the Deputy Principality Seneschal nearly had to take over. 
All of the above coalesced to form a perfect storm of paranoia and doubt. 
We talked to the Captain of the Guard over dinner at his home, and he swore to get the Guard into shape.
We duked it out with the Head of Court, but there's no winning that game. So we followed the advice of some Peers, and we're just carrying on smartly and accepting whatever she wishes to do, and honestly - I'd rather just do it and save the hassle. An interesting side note on this is that I now truly no longer care, am not offended or hurt, and actually feel somewhat relieved and more warmly towards our Knight and his Lady than I have for some time. 
I discussed the whole matter with our Artisan Wrangler and her hubby, who has been on several Guards, and they assured me that this is an ongoing issue with the Cynagua Guard that has been happening over the last several reigns. They assured me that we are actually loved and respected by the Populace. 
One thing the HoC DID do was to get the ball rolling with the Garb Wrangler. Since we actually needed garb, we had each had three tunics made by Auntie or E'taine of Silver Desert. In addition, I purchased 3 undertunics (one of which has walked off, somehow..), two apron dresses, two early period gowns, a sideless surcoat, and two tunic/trewes black basic garb outfits for our Samhain costume bases. Currently, the goal is to wrangle two more outfits from our Court and to have some of the Silver Desert peeps embellish a couple tunics. Oh, and also wrangle peeps into making two woolen coats: one Rus for Himself and probably another Ionar style coat for me -- or a Viking, they're very similar. 
Now, this is what our GOAL is. What actually happens may be wildly different. 
In fact, our experience so far is that people will only accomplish a fraction of what they commit to. Except the Artisans. They're freaking awesome. 
I FINALLY received the Harp tokens that were supposed to be given out at Investiture. What I received wasn't what we agreed on, but at this point I'm going with the flow. Himself has yet to receive his Prince's token rings, other than Uther's. I'm seriously debating with myself on taking up jewelry and metal casting, and the only thing keeping me from it is the cost of a kiln. 
We're down to our last available 2 K in fundage, and I'm considering taking out a small loan on my 403(b) plan to get us through January, when we're going to Oertha and we have Twelfth Night to deal with. 

On the upside, we really are having fun. We're giving away a LOT of beautiful work on the part of our Artisans. We're getting excited about archery again, and we're promoting a Cynagua Archery Championship for the first time in years. We've gotten to know some admirable and awesome people: Master Edward le Kevere, Mistress Michaela McCollum, Robear de Percival, E'teen and E'taine, Elizabeth Margarete, Mum, Angus, Eibhear, Farleigh, Treasach, Rachel (I always forget her SCA name), Don Tiberius, Don Coronado, Aradonn, Sir Vincenzo....some of whom have been supportive of us for years, but many of whom were not on my radar at all and have surprised and overwhelmed us with their service and support.
It more than makes up for the people who we thought we could count on that dropped the ball, or never had any intention of carrying the ball, or didn't even realize there was a ball in play. 
Morgan and Siobhann have been very helpful, both as confidants and also in that they have given us a lot of largesse over the years and we've finally been able to give it out. And it's very remarkable largesse: circlets of leather, bracers, jewelry, games, wooden wasters in a variety of styles. Petra has supplied us with jars and jars of jellies, and Stephen of Burgundy has supplied us with excellent cordials. 
Gregory of St Albans has taken on the Chirurgeon position, despite being active duty and overseas frequently. 
The current Prince Heinrich and Princess Inara of The Mists are wonderful, wonderful people and have been a blast to work with. 
Argos West, the household led by Viscount Sir Loclan  and Viscountess Vigdis, was a wonderful asset during the Cyn/Mists War. 
The Incipient Canton of Fitzraufia (Miles and Alfar and their squires and ladies) was also a great boon to us, did us great honor and provided much entertainment that was sorely needed at the War. 

When this is all said and done, Miach will be offered Knighthood, I'm fairly certain of that. And we'll start our own household, and it will probably be much more like Chataeu de Camville than we would ever have thought prior to this reign. There will be rules, and expectations, and standards and protocols. 

We've seen what happens when there aren't clear expectations, and we have thanked the Gods and Ancestors many times since stepping up, that Miach is a Herald and that Miach was the perennial Guard member for so many reigns. We've both come to appreciate the work that we have done. I have realized that I'm actually not a crappy Court member, I'm an average Court member. And while we always knew that Miach was a good Captain, we now know that Miach was so far beyond the norm for a Guard member and a Captain that he was truly excellent. 

Sir Geoffrey Scott and Catherine of Wessex are the Lord and Lady of The Mists as of today's Coronet. We will work well with them, as we enjoy their company already. 

It's almost October, we're going to Crown, we're going to Great Western War, and we have our Coronet - all in a whirlwind month. And then we can ease up for the last two months of the Reign, do some feasting and save some time off and some money up. October is the Big Month. Bring it on.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Princess of Cynagua

The Investiture went great! It's amazing what you miss when you're waiting to process in. I had to run up and listen outside the door while Miach was swearing his Oath. I totally missed Uther's introduction of Miach, which evidently was awesome. I missed Geoffrey of Clan Fergus' poem.
Kitty and Treasioch braided my hair, and people thought it was awesome. Discovered today, while trying to take out the braids, that my hair is getting very thin on top, which is upsetting but really there's nothing I can do about it. I'm taking supplements and drinking protein drinks. If it continues, I may have to just cut it all off, which would make me sad, but I could start over from scratch and try to keep it from breaking. Right now, it's got lots of split ends and broken ends.
The garb was great, and everyone pulled together for Investiture so very well. We DID wear woad!! Juliana painted our faces. I "stained my nails with berry juice" (food coloring) then washed them and buffed them and that was interesting.
Arnold decided he wants to join the SCA, and he came out this morning wanting to shoot archery....
We have so much largesse that we had to put up a storage shelf unit in the family room.
And the REALLY hard part is now over -- No more lines to memorize!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


3 more days to Investiture. We ran through the ceremony several times last night, just the two of us, the dogs and Norman the parakeet. I am having a real hard time remembering the funky verbiage. It doesn't flow.
Tonight, it will be baked beans and pork, some protein drink, and sewing pearls on Miach's fabric belt.
Tomorrow, likely meeting the Prince and Princess, and I'll try to find out what their plans are for their Court on Investiture day, so I know whether to tell Morgan and Siobhann to come early or not and ditto for my family. The kids' garb still hasn't arrived. I'm so spoiled by two super-speedy deliveries that I really expected it by Friday or Saturday!
We also have been debriding necrotic tissue out of a bad joint wound that T.Rex Rooster sustained, and then re-dressing the wound, the past two days.