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12 August 2012 @ 11:14 pm
A reasonably spontaneous Pennsic  
I love Pennsic and had been hating the idea or not going this year, but I am planning a three week trip to India in October, so it just didn't seem wise to blow all my vacation at once. Then announced changes to the PTO policy and increasing instability at work made it seem more of a use-it-or-lose-it sort of proposition, so the week before War, I took the plunge and committed. The situation was complicated by my sister's late arrival in town - they were supposed to be moving to Madison from Bozeman, MT early in the week, but delays meant that my brother-in-law and dad did not arrive until late on Wednesday and my sister and the niblings on Thursday. I felt bad about not staying to help them unpack, but considering last year I cut Pennsic short by four days to see my sister who then spent TWO hours at my house before going to my dad's place... yeah. I left Thursday right after work. I've been in sort of a funk and not really in the Pennsic mindframe, so I still had a ton of packing to do after work, but I managed to go from 20% packed to packed in about 90 minutes and hit the road at 7:30PM. Unfortunately, I did not get far - just south of Madison I hit a HUGE traffic jam - apparently caused by 8 miles of barrels and 100 yards of roadwork. *facepalm* After a pretty serious delay of going 3mph on the interstate, I finally arrive in Chicago to pick up whymc. I had told him I was bringing my little A frame, but I lied and brought the big pavilion AND the sun shade after I was pretty well convinced that it all would fit. Happily I was right and all of our stuff - both the essential and the optional piles - got piled into the Magical Fit or it's little back pack and then we were off! The trip out went perfectly. Stops were limited to fuel and fluid exchanges and the conversation was interesting and lively, whether serious or frivolous.

We pulled into Pennsic early the next morning, paid troll, and went to go set up. I was a bad, unregistered monkey, but due to some cancellations, Owen was able to get me next to Miss Khadijah so we could hang out and be Bad Baronesses all weekend. Unfortunately, in the late-morning set up, I managed to give myself a heat injury and gave up on finishing the shade fly. Tarrach was my hero and finished setting it up for me, since all the others in our groups were similarly quanked by that point. Friday was a mostly quiet day - rounded out by a town run, lunch, a nap, lots of water, and a few hellos.

Saturday the War really got underway. I woke up with a SCREAMING headache, despite all the water I slugged the night before. I meant to go to dicea's class, but somehow managed to forget where AEthelmark was and gave up and went to the Period sugarpaste class instead. Of course, I re-found AEthelmark later in the day - I'd been looking on the wrong end of A&S. :P Saturday evening I agreed to take Miss Em, since Vlad's on Slave Auction night is no place for a two year old, so I picked her up at 5ish and took her back to my place to play and sew for awhile. She was adorkable - I was sewing and so she plopped down next to me and asked where her 'ject (project) was. I cut her a piece of linen and gave her a needle and yarn - first she was "sewing pants", then it was a kite, then she needed it as a "bandage for the owie on my femur." Gotta love creative play! She also spent some time deconstructing and re-constructing my three legged stools - a task that took her about 15 minutes, about an eighth of the time spent by certain teenagers I know... Once it started to get cooler, the child became ravenous - her momma said she had not been eating and so the bebe was authorized to eat anything she wanted. Holy moley, that kid can put it away - several sippy glasses of water, 1/3 tube of crackers, a juice box, pickles (and their juice), 1/2 a spicy V8, apple sauce, dried pears, half an order of pierogies, 3/4 of a peach, 1/3 of a pepper, 1 pint of milk, and more and more water! I went to Murdoch's vigil up at the Fort with Denis, Anna, Kyriel, and Miss Em - we spent some time wandering and chatting before the skies suddenly opened up. It had looked like the storm had passed us by, but no such luck. Miss Em was out cold, so I wrapped her up in my wool cloak and ran like the dickens. By the time we got back to N19, we were all soaked except for the bebe who was just soggy, I stripped her down, changed her, and then tucked her in with a sippy cup and a sheepie and she was back out cold in five minutes. The rest of us spent the evening on my porch just chatting and being social.

Sunday I again woke with a screaming headache, despite having only had ONE Scotch the night before. Apparently that was too much after the heat injury and for the rest of the war, moderation was my buzz word. My "heavy drinkin'" night I had two ciders and a Scotch toward the end of War. I came back with almost all my hard liquor and fully half of my cider... shameful! 

Highlights for the rest of the war were:
Sunday - Murdoch's Knighting - it was a lovely and touching ceremony, particularly Katie's gift for him. I was honored to speak as his Laurel, though I was thrown a little off by some confusion regarding who was speaking that part. It all got sorted and I think it went reasonably well. :) Despite the various hiccoughs about location and speakers and such, he was a knight at the end of the day and his abbreviated vigil will be completed at an event sometime soon. Also exciting - a Pictish class taught by Not Me! (Class reviews to follow shortly)
Monday - I went to the A&S display at the Barn, which as usual had some really stunning pieces, but nothing that really rocked my world. I really need to decide on a Plan and a Project for next year. hmmm... I got to hook up with raventhourne and Ivan in the evening, which was splendid. We juse spent some time chatting and nerding - an entirely pleasant way to while away the evening.
Tuesday - Kyriel attached herself to me all day, which was mostly fun. We went to a bunch of classes, shopped, had lunch, etc, but at the eight hour mark, I cut her loose. :P I went to a few more classes, then to the Knowne World Auction where I met albreda! Woot! So nice to actually put a face with a name. I won two items (a tunic from albreda and a pin for albreda) and while I bid on a truly fabulous shawl up to 110% of my "maximum" and it looked for a moment like I would get it, in the end I was outbid. :( Good for the bank account, sad for me. I rounded out the evening being social down at Vlad's and hanging with some of the Northshield folk down there.
Wednesday - I had to work via conference call in the morning but then the rest of the day passed in a blur - Classes! classes! classes! Court! Midnight Madness! Kay and I had a really awful experience at the Inner Vagabond, but I picked up a really lovely pendant from Viking U Like at the end of the night,s o it was a net win, I think.
Thursday - whymc floated the idea of leaving early due to storms that were forecast for Thurs-Fri-Sat, so I hit some classes in the morning and early afternoon (including "accidentally" teaching one), did another conference call, and then we packed up as quick as we could once the temperature started to drop. I probably should have started sooner, since even with the help of many folks, I literally jumped into the car mere seconds before the storm began. Many thanks to Denis, Anna, whymc, world_rim_walke, and anyone else I'm forgetting.
Friday - The westward trip went pretty well, but there were a lot of storms to fight through and there was a lot more sleeping on the way back then there had been on the way out, since we were both pretty beat. Still, it was an enjoyable drive and we made decent time - we hit Chicago at about 3:30AM and got to our first destination about 4:30AM. whymc tried to kill us once and I was pretty sleepy too, so we stopped at his place and made exactly zero attempt to unpack. We crashed for a few hours, THEN unpacked, and then I headed back to Madison. Even with the snooze, I was pretty worthless all day on Friday and there were a lot of naps.

Weirdest Pennsic injury I discovered (in addition to the mandatory mystery bruises and odd blisters)? A scrape on my left EYELID. No, I have no idea how I did that.

Now, at the end of the weekend, the laundry is done, the car is unpacked, and I am mostly caught up on sleep. I still have things to sort out in the garage, but that's a never ending project. :P For a largely-unplanned Pennsic, it was a lovely time!

For my own reference: Proposed plans for next year:
* Try to get out for both weeks.
* Schedule an evening class - "A Tour of Pictland" - a pictoral tour of various stones/sites I have visited.
* Enter something awesome in A&S
* Schedule an evening Open Porch and invite all my friends to drop by some evening. I adore entertaining at home, I may as well do it in N19.
* Cook - I didn't this year and I missed it. Even just doing bread would have been nice and not taken up much space in the car.
* Schedule a Pennsic Panic sewing night at the Barn or the A&S tents - I think it would be fun to have a late night stitch and bitch for those of us who either don't want to party hard every night or who have a project that desperately needs finishing.  

Eleven months and two weeks to plan... GO!
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
diceadicea on August 13th, 2012 05:56 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed you. If you'd like to play with dirt next year just let me know and I'd be happy to make time for you. next Pennsic I'm thinking about doing a bit of a walking class to go dig up our own dirt and make paint from it. This year I brought a bucket of dirt from Serengeti camps on my way to class.

Glad you had a good war this year!
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 13th, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)
Playing with dirt would have been fun, but I was mostly hoping to put a face with the name. :D

I'm still not entirely sure how I lost AEthelmark - I'm blaming the heat injury. :P Oh well, there's always next year!