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20 March 2011 @ 08:41 pm
Gulf Wars Adventures  
So, I decided to go to Gulf Wars after all on pretty short notice. I had been worried about some work commitments, but between work and political stressors, I just really needed a chance to unplug and unwind. The universe decided to reward my bad decision by finally announcing that the the file from the Feds for my major spring project would not be released until March 21 - AFTER Gulf Wars. Win! A very, very last minute addition to the war was teffan, who decided to come on Friday, and it was awesome to have her there too.

Some friends were renting a large van and driving down together and they had room for my person and a small amount of baggage. My tent had already gone down with Michael and Sibyl (to be used as a gear tent if I was not able to attend) and the rest of my gear was divided between the the rest of my friends who were going so I only needed to ask each person to transport a smallish bag or two and hopefully did not overburden anyone. Thanks to the crew on the van, cass_lee, devikat, grnjenny, fencingkitty, Michael, Sibyl, Demona, and Tomas for making this possible!

Friday night, Constanza andiarroganti  drove down from MSP and stayed with me, while Felix, Lucius, and Bear stayed at shavasue's. Saturday morning we were joined by Ambrose and Toki and hit the road as soon as the (very, very full) van was packed. The drive down was relatively uneventful, other than some windy conditions in Illinois. We got to site early Sunday morning and much of the day was spent setting up, greeting people, and making the town run. Best find in town - there are now pre-mixed margaritas in a pouch - think adult CapriSuns. Genius! I also have a new plan for bedding, whenever possible - I brought my bed and a futon mattress cover, bought a bale of hay on site and made myself a lovely straw mattress, topped with a featherbed topper. It was warm and comfy and absolutely wonderful to fall into at the end of each long day.

The war was the predictable blur of classes, shopping, retaining, waterbearing, and partying. I, as usual, did not get to all the classes I had intended to, but the first one, how to make neat corners on leather covered book covers was particularly helpful. I also spent a fair bit of time on cooking and dyeing classes - Tuesday was my "messy" day, being almost entirely consumed with cooking and casting classes at the Early Period encampment, a visit to the Diamond Tourney, and then dyeing classes in the afternoon. Thursday afternoon, the dyers played with woad/indigo (different plants, chemically identical dye and indigo is much cheaper), so I finally have dyed my little fringed linen headscarf a delightful light blue. I also went to a pretty good class on the Bog Coats, but ceded my spot to one of the other people and just observed, since there were too many students and, really, I have plenty of wool at home. :P Sorcha and I attended the A&S Competition together on Thursday, where I judged and she shadowed me to get an idea of the process. It was probably just as well that I did not complete my entry, since this allowed us to do some training and discussion of what we would like to see happen in Northshield's A&S.

There was, of course, some time for socialization... I got to re-connect with some of the dyers I've worked with in previous years, and the Early Period Encampment geeks (<3 them!) as well as some of my friends from the Midrealm who have participated in Golden Seamstress and Griffin Needle Challenges with me in years past. Hurray for quality geekage! I also got to spend a morning with my apprentice Katlyn - she's just in Milwaukee, but we are both so very busy it is rare that we don't have obligations that interfere with our discussion of A&S related activities. We did not have as long as I'd like, of course, but we'll take what time we can get... Hee. I also got to horrify her - she'd never seen me in late period Elizabethan and I snuck up on her during Midnight Madness and appropriately surprised her.

I also got an opportunity to directly address the relapse of an old issue I've been having. Last time this came up, a few years ago, I was all shy about it and that ended in epic fail. This time, I addressed it directly... and did not have any better results, which was expected, but not what was hoped for. Eh. It is a Sadness, but I imagine I'll get over it again. On the other hand, this meant that I implemented His Highness' Plan B - Kill it with Fire(water). ;P I spent many of my evenings in a foolish tipsy state, hanging out at the Green Dragon or on Michael's porch. His Highness came up with a Plan C to distract me, but it was not successful - he's a busy man and I'm a picky girl, so nothing came of his excellent-on-paper Plan.

The martial highlights of the war I saw mainly as a waterbearer and not-a-chiurgeon (I keep a decent first aid kit and render aid as requested, but am not warranted). Both the rapier Field Battle and Ravine Battle were scheduled for Wednesday, which was a little taxing. The field battles went quickly, as they often do, but it was hot so we ran through a prodigious amount of water in obtaining our victory. During the break, folks munched on snackies and I made a platter of thick-cut bacon (nummy) to sustain them for the afternoon. The ravine was exciting, confusing, and brutal as always. I stayed near the resurrection point and worked as a waterbearer/not-a-chiurgeon/retainer/technical assistance throughout the battle, depending on what was needed. Thankfully, mostly I was helping people doff and don armor or make minor repairs (go duct tape!), offer assistance to HrRM and HsRH as needed, and I think I only handed out a few bandaids and one ice pack. (Note to self - make ice pack in advance - it will mean you don't actually need it during the crazy parts of the battle. :) Every time I fail to have one ready to go, it's needed at the very worst time.)

Thursday brought the heavy ravine battle, though, and that was another story. I showed up a little late due to playing with the stinky water on Artisan's Row, and asked Owen where to help. He requested more water bottles, so I went to fetch them. On the way to Waterbearer's Point, a marshal told me I needed glasses or sunglasses or similar, since there was combat archery. I asked around and obtained a pair of glasses from Athena and headed back to WP. There, iarroganti told me that no, I actually needed safety glasses, not just eye coverings. Well, poo. Foiled again, I went to go tell Owen that I'd not be returning to the front. As it turned out, I was more urgently needed as a not-a-chiurgeon anyway, so I spent most of the battle addressing a Northshielder's heat issues, tending to some of the other fallen in the shade of WP, and helping with the water supply, since the WP wagon had gone away. After the battle, I ended up scurrying all over site handing out Emergen-Cs to the fighters and getting the damaged Northshielders settled and comfortable, since of course they were scattered between different encampments. Happily, nothing was too serious and none of the issues required formal medical attention. The same could not be said about our King - poor Hrodir had been thrown from his horse at Opening Ceremonies, spent the night in the hospital, and was not able to fight for the War. Queen Anne was also thrown from her horse, but was less seriously injured and was able to fight through her injuries.

One of the major reasons I decided to go to war was supposed to occur at the Rapier Ravine battle. However, since Hrodir was still off-site that that time,  it was rescheduled to the Green Dragon on Thursday night. In the middle of one of Mateo's songs, Their Majesties broke in and presented Sibyl Sevenoaks with her White Scarf. Yay! Hurray for the newest Dona! I was working on the scroll, but did not quite complete it (bad Laurel, no biscuit). As with many projects, it ended up taking much longer than planned, and between delays to get the official go-ahead, to have the text delivered (thanks grnjenny!). and to get the research material from the V&A, I had been working on a very tight window. I'll post pictures of the exemplar and the finished scroll when it is completed...

So, yeah! A good war! I'm exhausted, but mostly caught up with my email and LJ. (I'm considering FB an utter loss - y'all talk too much over there.) Tomorrow, I'll have to address laundry and unpacking and such, but I'm thinking a nice, long, hot shower (without a half inch of muck on the floor!) and my lovely linen-covered bed are exactly what I need before I have to go to work to attack the mess I know I have waiting like some fell, rabid beast that will require all my skills to slay...
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Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
 
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on March 21st, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
Booo! To plan A results! BOO! Although, yay for courage! Sexy sexy courage!

That being said, I'm so glad you had a good time! You sound so energized- I hope that's not just the effect of being stuck in a van with 8 people for 16 hours.

I'm glad the bed worked out for you- after hearing your results I've got some musing to do. I mean, just having to pack a futon cover sounds pretty darn awesome. :)
eithni: backliteithni on March 21st, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
Energized is not quite the word for it at the moment... Exhausted is closer. I am really itching to get the bookbinding materials out, though. Must finish the current pile of projects FIRST. At minimum, I need to finish the scroll, ruff, and Victorian undergarments.

Speaking of the cover - can I just buy that one off you? It worked well and I'd like one to use until I have time to make one out of a linen canvas, which is admittedly a low priority.
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on March 21st, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
Why, yes, you can buy it off of me!

For $Zero. Seriously, Jean. I ripped it off a hobo mattress during Hippie Christmas. I'm not risking Saint Joe's wrath by reselling it.
eithni: excellenteithni on March 21st, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
You're right - it is hard to gain the graces of St Joe the Hobo and he has showered his blessings upon you. *laughs* I guess it's like a hippy tithe, eh?

Thanks!
Eliane/Jennifer: child reader bookgflower on March 21st, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm sorry the thing you confronted directly did not work out in your favor. *tsk* Bad decision-making on the other party's part.

It sounds like you had a wonderful time, and got tons done. Now I am feeling like I could not go to GW: I would see how much you are getting done and feel inadequate. Which is ridiculous! Maybe you and co-GW-attendees can work out a convincing argument to make GW my spring vacation next year! (Or just kidnap me or something. Wait, no, I would be really mad, don't kidnap me. But there's got to be a way to convince me...)
eithni: backliteithni on March 21st, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
Eh, it's not like I'm a particularly mild-mannered woman. I'm an acquired taste, at best. ;P

You really should come to GW. Think Pennsic with more deep geekery, lower temperatures, and many, many more trees. I don't know about the Bardic Circle scene, but there's excellent bardic performances in the Green Dragon every night. (Speaking of which, Dolan has a Stupid Peer Trick - if you forget a lyric, you can slap him and you'll remember. ;) Apparently several of the bards tried this out on him with great success.) The drive is brutal and the facilities are beyond scary (just use the portas - the flushies are completely not worth it), but it is a really good time.

Edited at 2011-03-21 02:35 am (UTC)
teffanteffan on March 21st, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
Don't worry about feeling inadequate - Eithni makes us ALL look like slackers so you would seem normal :)
eithni: snapeeithni on March 21st, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
I dunno about normal. I don't know that any of y'all are "normal." Typical, perhaps. :P
Jonya 'Sorcha'spot1111 on March 21st, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for the shadowing at the Thursday A&S competition! I spent part of Friday morning reading the documentation at the open display A&S, applying the lessons so learned. Been thinking about that a LOT and considering Haire Affaire just to attend your class. And sounds like I should have shadowed you more and met these dye-geeks. That would ahve been awesome.
raventhourneraventhourne on March 21st, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh poor hrodir! I hope he is okay?!

I had too much fun teaching and hanging with the fiber tent at Gulf last year.
Next year might be a plan. We shall have to see. The drive is a doozy from Tucson.

I'm glad u got a recharge and I think it will be good for u. BTW seeing your grandkids step up as B&B is weird.
teffanteffan on March 21st, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
He seems to have suffered no major/long-term damage, and within an hour of being admitted to the hospital was sitting up and hitting on the nurses so he should be just fine :)
eithni: Baronesseithni on March 22nd, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
Well, if you make it, let me know! I like spawn and would be happy to play nanny while you pay with string. :)

I know it has been weird enough to have "kids" - one year in, I still occasionally feel indignant when I see pictures of them wearing "my" hat - I imagine grandkids is even a little more surreal.
grnjenny / Jennifer Carlsongrnjenny on March 23rd, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
His Maj did break five ribs and bruised a lung. Also, the crown apparently saved him from a concussion. :-o

He was/is in a lot of pain... Also, he has no insurance.
aztecknightaztecknight on March 21st, 2011 05:27 am (UTC)
Sounds like a great war!
Albredaalbreda on March 21st, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a wonderful time, and sorry to hear about your King and Queen getting thrown. Yowzers!

Go slay that beastie at work!!
marwen42marwen42 on March 21st, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
I did the straw mattress thing for a few years. It was super comfy! I just got tired of having to do the stuffing prior to going to sleep the first night -- it can be a hot and dirty job. We found a good foam mattress in the As-Is section at IKEA, bulky to transport, but MUCH more comfortable than an air mattress.
mightyjessemightyjesse on March 21st, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Glad you're re-charged and home safe!