More detail about Pennsic itself for the SCAdian folks later - the short version goes like this: new tent = good, weather = schizophrenic, vacation = relaxing. I'm in recovery mode right now, need to do Phase 2 Pennsic Funk Removal and go run a bunch of errands and stuff. M & TRex will be back around bedtime tonight.
There's pictures (including the skull-carved ballista that lived next door to us) and OAG coverage of some of the battles (bridge and field).
If you want to listen to their coverage either find out when your local NPR station carries the show, or listen via Real Audio; the story begins at roughly 40:00 (ie, 40 minutes into the show) and is pretty good. Plus it features the Calontir Army singing. Plus it includes the "loser gets Pittsburgh" mythology. Plus there's press time for the Tuchux and SCA reactions thereto. Hee. Plus, WOLGEMUT! Yay!
Meeting Odo was definitely the foremost thing in my mind when I finally sat down to write about Pennsic. But I feel lik a more general report is in order. So here goes. In general: the East won the war pretty handily - it was over before Rapier Champs and Field Battle or the archery populace points. Nobody died to my knowledge, there weren’t too many fighting injuries that I heard about. The East got the vast majority of the allies, including Calontir (which we knew about), Aethelmarc, and the South (Trimaris, Meridies, Ansteorra).
[Cribbing from my Pennsic journal] I went 0-for-3 in the East Kingdom tourney (in a triple-elim advancing weapons forms setup) - just didn't have my head in the game until way too late, at which point it was too late. The first loss was to an Aethelmartian named Catherine, which is the one where I really wasn't ready to be in the tourney - I hadn't warmed up and she just came out really aggressive (very similar to my normal style, actually) and I wasn't prepared for it. That bumped me up to buckler, and I drew redfishie in the second round. She beat me, too, by taking first my buckler arm and then my other one. In the third round, I drew Gerard and apparently really telegraphed my attack which allowed him to finish me off pretty quickly.
The only other tournament I fenced in was the Ansteorran tourney where I went 4 rounds in, which I felt pretty good about. I won 2 bouts and lost 2 bouts, which I do pretty rarely in that sort of format. I don't remember all of them in detail, unfortunately, but I know I lost to an Atlantian woman, then beat a guy from Aethelmarc, then beat Kai Tseng, who was on the Midrealm Champions team, and had beaten Kayleigh in the round before that one. He's at least 6', maybe as much as 6'4" tall. We went out rapier and dagger, though he took a 40" blade to my 35". I worked on doing some of the stuff that Arioch told me about when we were getting ready for last King and Queen's, but I don't think it really helped me that much in the bout. Somehow my instincts told me to shoot for his legs, and I managed to take his right leg with a shot right on the knee. Once I had him legged, he was trying to take swings at my legs, but I managed to void out of all of them. Eventually, I managed to get my dagger under his bladce and force it up and while doing so closed on him for a head shot that landed - just barely. I actually didn't think it had until he called it. While I'm pretty damn sure he wasn't playing at full speed & such with me, I still take it as a moral victory that I beat him. My second lost was to a fellow who I'd been chatting with before the tournament named Coronado. He was the West's choice of ally when the Champions tourney rolled around on Thursday. We played heavy and dagger; he took out a Hanwei blade, the first one I'd ever faced. He got insanely strong beats with it - I learned after the bout when I commented on it to him that he did that no matter what blade he used - he uses a classical beat-and-lunge foil style (being a collegiately trained fencer). I was able to dance out of the way of a lot of those attacks & didn't let him try to get control of my blade very much. Eventually, and I don't exactly remember how, I took his right arm. I felt out his left hand work a little bit and determined that I thought I'd be able to get his left arm as well, and was making progress on that when he launched a wide outside attack that landed as a funny sideways groin shot, thus giving me my second loss. Kayleigh drew him in the next round, though, so I was able to giver her at least some idea of what to expect, and she beat him (she actually went pretty deep into the tourney - she was in the top 4 or so). And I played some pickups and did a lot of inspections and I think only one authorizaztion. After Sunday it was really hot & humid (the heat index was 106 degrees at 5 pm on Wednesday) so the motivation to spend the whole day up on the fencing field wasn't real high, to say nothing of having a billion other things to do.
The heat of course didn't prevent Matthew didn't spend a good proportion of the week up there, to the point that his feet & legs were really feeling it. He went really deep into the EK tourney - I wrote down in my Pennsic sketch book that he was in the top 8, but I don't remember who his losses were to. He also did really well in Ansteorran - he was in the top 6! His 2 losses were to Niccolo (who insisted that they fence epee when M had been fencing schlaeger all day and also ended up winning the tourney) and Avery from Ansteorra whose name I'd definitely heard before. As usual, the Queen of Ansteorra was very gracious to everyone - that tourney is definitely something that I see as evidence for Queen-centered rapier activities. After Matthew's bout with Avery, she asked him to come forward and presented him with a rose in honor of his performance and courtesy. Because he's a wonderful husband, he turned around and gave it to me.
Rapier Champs ended up being... interesting. They couldn't figure out if they needed to activate one or two alternates; in the end they only activated one and that one was Christian Woolf, who also got his OGR at Pennsic. The format was practically the same last year - heroic, although this year the Queens of each Kingdom drew the pairings randomly. Don't remember many of the pairings - Kayleigh lost to Cecil, Id o remember that. The end counts were 13 wins for the Mid, 12 for the East, and 5 double kills. The conduct was ... pretty good. There were a couple of really hard shots - Mercedes got THUGGED, and there was one bout that resulted from a long enough discussion that Darius came over to see what the discussion was all about. During that time I was sitting there muttering "Just take the @#$%@!##$ double kill!" at the Eastern fencer. The end result was that they agreed to refight it and the bout ended up as a double-kill anyway. Other than that... I was very impressed that Darius came over and spoke to each fencer individually after their bouts, congratulating those who won and asking those who lost if they had given 110%, because that was all he asked of them. As opposed to Pieter, who wasn't even there (although Nan Astrid and Gunievre were).
Oh, and I finally got my own fencing bag. I had to stagger back to camp Sunday afternoon in the pouring rain leaving the albatross (Matthew's buckler) up at the field because it was all I could do to drag the masks and the big bag with me. So Matthew was convinced (finally) that maybe I did need my own bag.
The A&S display was smaller than last year, but still pretty damn impressive. The East took up two whole rows of tables all unto ourselves; I spent the morning hanging out with Morwenna, and we amused ourselves by being moderately snarky at the world (I'd had a very snark-worthy moment that fortunately stayed remained in my inside voice earlier in the morning). Brynn and Rainillt and a bunch of other folks were there as well, and I helped Kayleigh out by attaching the lace to her cuffs. I'm still not converted to the dark side of late period clothes; it's just a pain in the ass. I got some great comments on my cyclas and on the Nicolette had asked Matthew about me and made a point of seeking me out - she also suggested that I teach a class on the seam finish that I used on the cyclas, which I'm seriously considering. I got really good at explaining how to do it with hand motions (fingers folded in on themselves as the raw edges, etc) and I got so excited about showing this off that I was halfway through the explanation before I realized that I was talking to Her Majesty Nan Astrid. Didn't help that she came to the display well before she was scheduled to - it was like 9:30 and she was supposed to be there at 10. It was very entertaining that at about the point that I realized who she was, she started elbowing her lady in waiting and attempting to palm a favor subtly. It didn't work. :^D
Favors were one of the things Morwenna and I talked about during the A&S exhibition - she just commissioned some coins to use as favors from Rozi and we were discussing giving them, receiving them, etc. In that conversation I mentioned that what was more important to me were the words that come with the token - I used as an example the conversation I had with one of the ladies in waiting to last year's Midrealm Queen (Ailis? Alice? I don't remember how she spelled it). In any case, she's the one who gave me the small glass leaf and said "here's the first leaf for your Laurel." And as I was talking to Morwenna I realized one thing that I want if/when I get elevated. I want that leaf to be incorporated into my garments somehow - I don't care if it's inside the garment or what, but I do want to have it there, and I think that the reason that it's one of the one's that's most important to me and the most memorable is precisely because it was given to me as part of an interaction.
I went to a bunch of classes this year, too.
There was a Burgundian Costume class which helped me to really understand the development of the style and therefore really start to figure out how I'm going to make my outfit. The teacher was the same woman whose article on Burgundian costume I already have. I also promised Pagan copies of the handout and my notes from the class, too.
I also went to a class on "Travelling Dysshes" about making more peri-oid lunches to take with you to events (which Matthew has been wanting to do and I'm in favor of as well). I sort of wanted there to be more differentiation between what was period and what wasn't in terms of the food, and a lot of her suggestions were sort of common-sense, but the ideas definitely are a place to get started. And she told us lots of stuff about food safety that I didn't know.
And there was the class called "Beyond Basic Lucet" which was a bit chaotic. It covered flat braid, two-color flat braid, and using the double lucet, but I had to leave before she got to the double-lucet part. I've been having a helluva lot of trouble with the flat braid - you have to keep it REALLY loose or it won't slide and no matter how loose I think I'm leaving it, it always ends up not moving the way it needs to. Also, you don't turn the lucet for a flat braid, which is really screwing me up. There were a couple of times when I'd put it down & then when I picked it up again, I couldn't tell which side I'd been working on, so now there's a small ballpoint dot on the side of my lucet that should be facing me when I'm working a flat braid.
Hrm, what else. The "From Portrait to Garment" class was a 2-hour thing that I only went to the first hour of, but it was really interesting. The ladies teaching it are members of Ariana & Peregrine's household, and apparently are the ones who make all of Ariana's clothes. They brought up some really interesting stuff to think about, ways to look at images, and so on. There was a second similar class called "Whatcha Lookin' At?" that was scheduled for Thursday morning that I wanted to go to but it was cancelled.
Instead of "Whatcha Lookin' At?" I went to Aenor d'Anjou's class entitled Men's Braies c. 1250. I'm still processing what she had to say a bit, but my initial inclination is that I don't entirely agree with her method of making them. But they will be another data point on the grand adventure that is "getting braies right, dammit!". The big gripes I have with her method so far are that she's got seams where it REALLY doesn't look like there are seams in the drawings (based on the way the garments flow in the originals), like down the front of the leg. Also, the crotch of hers are nowhere near as baggy as they usually appear in the contemporary illustrations. She also leaves a slit to allow for ... access for bathroom necessities. I'm more inclined to think that the assertion I've seen that a fellow can just pull the fabric of the leg out of the way in order to pee just makes a bit more sense. Also, her pattern takes FOUR YARDS of material. That's just crazy. One thing that she does do that I think I want to really mess around with is that she cuts her pieces on a slight bias (probably at about a 23 degree angle to the grain). I can definitely see how this makes the garments fall in a manner that looks more like what you see in the drawings. And of course since we were talking about underwear the question of women's undergarments came up and with it the argument "they had to wear something at least once a month." I did NOT point out that our association of "underwear" with feminine protection IS A MODERN ONE - so modern that we're talking the latter half of the 20th century! *shakes head* I had a long conversation with Martin & Kayleigh about the class later and they seemed inclined to agree with me.
My first Maunche meeting was an interesting experience. I really had no idea what to expect. A bunch of names had come up, I'd made a point of checking out the work of one candidate when the opportunity arose earlier in the week, and I actually was able to contribute something. A name came up as one to watch, and I got asked to write a blurb about that person, so I have to do that when I get home.
All sorts of good court stuff. Wednesday afternoon, Kayleigh came up to me and said "I want to ask you a favor. I'm going to try to borrow the pikes from Jehan, and I'd like you and Matatias to accompany me into court tonight." BOGGLE So we did, and it was very cool. She also had Jost carrying her banner and a bunch of Ansteorran folks in her guard as well. It was really cool. Her writ was ENORMOUS and WORDY in typical Adhemar style. And the dress was FABULOUS and DONE. We went shopping for accessories on Wednesday afternoon (I'm really good at spending other people's money).
Worm got her Queen's Order of Courtesy, which rocks. They were going to do it in court Wednesday night, but she wasn't there, so there was a big chorus of "shhhhhhh......." and she got it before Rapier Champs Thursday afternoon. Christian Woolf also got his OGR on the field before champs as well, which was very cool. And he was introduced throughout as "Christian Woolf, newest companion of the Order of the Golden Rapier" while Kayleigh was "Newest companion of the Order of the Laurel." Made me chuckle.
There was all sorts of confusion about what exactly we were going to do with Anne's whole AoA thing, since it totally depended on whether or not Their Majesties of the Mid got to her first. So we had all osrts of contingency plans worked out with Alan and Cosntance. And then eitehr Monday or Tuesday night someone walks up behind Matthew and me as we're sitting around the fire in camp and smacks each of us on the back of the head. It's Anne, and she's wearing a circlet. Apparently Pieter had stopped by their camp on another errand and they'd nabbed him to give it to her while he was there. We had a good chuckle at her expense. In the end the whole Fairfax clan came to Bergental court Thursday night, and we did the AoA again there, with Kai giving her the circlet and Fairfax "reading" the nonexistent scroll (one advantage of standard scroll text, I suppose). We also thanked the Fairfaxes for taking care of our daughter over the past year. She really appreciated that Kai was involved and said so to him, which was really cool.
OK, I think I've blathered on about Pennsic enough. I'm ready to not be at the ASAs anymore, and I think I'm going to start trudging towards the airport. I'll be there way early, but that's ok. I can find me a bookstore and settle my tail in a chair to read and maybe update the world on what's happened since I left Pennsic.
( The more interesting bits of our conversation )
- the towels
- the blankets
- the pumps for the air mattress
- the plastic shoebox of toiletries
- two lanterns
- a batch of biscuits, yet to be made
The next question becomes, why do things that need relatively immediate attention always come up right before I'm going to leave? I have to check on how much work a student in the class I TAd for last fall did (IIRC, the answer is none, but I can't just tell the dean that without checking). But I don't have a printout of the records, which means that they're in a zip file on X, who is at home. A friend also e-mailed me asking for a syllabus I developed a couple of years ago, which I believe is living in the same location as the records for last fall. It's not that I don't know where these files are, it's just that it's one more thing to do before we leave.
Addendum: James gets a hard copy of the syllabus. One less thing to do on my list that way.
So anyway, if I'm too busy to write anything tomorrow, everyone have a good week and a half - and I'll tell Pennsic and ASA stories when I get back!
And on top of all of that, I have to get ready to go straight to the ASAs from Pennsic. And have everything ready for a meeting there. ACK!