I spent most of my spare time last week frantically trying to get my armor together. Having finally grokked that this was my last chance to authorize before Pennsic, it was time to apply the spit and baling-wire approach, focusing mostly on getting my helm to the point of no longer being repulsive and making some vambraces. Spent a pleasant evening over at Luke's, cutting arrow tubes and seeing a bit of Peter instructing how to make bowstrings.
msmemory and I both took Friday off, for a couple of reasons. In theory, we were trying to get to the event early enough for me to authorize Friday afternoon. And we really wanted to beat the traffic -- in past years, we've sometimes gotten stuck in real messes on the way to this event. The drive up went smoothly; msmemory asked me to read Memory to her in the car, thus finally getting me to start the book.
In practice, we ran later than we wanted, getting there around 5ish. I dashed over to the field, and was told that authorizations would continue after the Pas that was starting up; that giving us some time, we went and played harbingers for Moomba, who we were camping with. We wound up in between the Baronial Encampment and Bree, forming a sort of Carolingian Co-prosperity Circle.
After setting up the pavilion, we got me into armor, which was a somewhat frustrating experience -- while it is more or less functional, it's not pleasant to use yet. But we got me encumbered and Luke and I went down to the field and hung out for a while watching the Pas, only to discover that they didn't have any loaner bows around for combat archery authorization. Strike one; try again tomorrow. But at least the Pas was amusing, if a bit cute. (They were using The Wheel of Combat, which had various twists that were applied to the bouts.)
After that, we decided that we should go have our traditional Friday date, and wandered offsite, eventually fetching up at a Pizza Hut in Norway. (For some reason, that stretch of Maine has this international thing going on, with Norway next to Paris next to Poland.) Not elegant, but it nicely evoked the Pennsic-in-miniature flavor we were cultivating.
Saturday was the loony day for me. It started with my class, Some Spanish Games Within the Tables, which was a dry run for Pennsic. It was lightly attended: Gwendolyn showed up for the whole thing, and a couple of other ladies wandered through for a while. But it gave me a chance to play at least one of the games: she and I had a match of Re-encounter, which proves to be one of the bloodiest versions of Tables I've seen to date. Well worth adding to my standard pile of options. (But I need to think about the reconstruction: as it stands, it's possible to get completely screwed, unable to move or re-enter your blots. That seems like an issue, although plausible.)
That did cause one problem, though: the morning authorizations ran almost exactly during my scheduled class slot. Strike two. I wandered back to camp, got myself armored up again, and wandered back with Luke to wait for the next chance. This was, if nothing else, probably excellent practice for Pennsic: we sat there baking for a couple of hours, waiting for the battles to finish, giving me a pretty nice sunburn on my forehead. But patience paid off. In between a couple of battles, Trent arranged for Valerian and Morbrin to do me a sword-and-board authorization -- while I'm not exactly good at it, I still automatically fall into the stance Sebastian taught me, and I still remember how to swing the sword. And following the battles, Julien ran a combat archery authorization for myself and Luke. (Note to self: even a light bow stings pretty impressively on unprotected skin. Luke and I each accidentally found holes in the other's protection. Karma suggests I should aim for the chest.)
So I'm now legal on the field (modulo possible paperwork snafus below).
Following that, I came back, mellowed out for a little while, and went shopping with msmemory. Main finds were a leather shop with good strapping and buckles for armor, and a lady selling drawstring bags decorated with Minchiate cards, of all things. (Minchiate is a relatively rare variant Tarot deck from Florence. She found a batch of fabric decorated with it, bought up the lot, and turned them into bags. I had to have some.)
Dinner was Fernando Stew -- msmemory had done the planning and shopping, so I did the cooking. It's a bit challenging on a camp stove, but kind of fun for all that -- lots of juggling and assembling things in the right order. This was slightly complicated by the need for a version that tpau could deal with (since prok and carrots are both significant ingredients), but that didn't make things much harder since we had planned for it. (Note to self: be careful to remember salt when cooking at events. Most people thought the stew was fine, but I thought it needed some.)
In the evening, we went for a wander. This mostly turned into hanging at two gatherings: an opulent birthday for Katherine Stanhope (Randy appears to enjoy hosting parties almost as much as I do), and a lazy sit with the folks next door in Bree. Thence to bed, but we both slept poorly due to the rising temperature and humidity.
We didn't do anything much at the event on Sunday, but I needed to finish with paperwork. Trent had tracked down paperwork for me, and getting Valerian's signature was easy, but I spent quite a while tracking down Morbrin. Fortunately, I did eventually find him and get his signature -- only to have both of them point out that this wasn't the right form. Sigh. I need to write to the MoL tonight, and figure out what to do about it.
Anyway, we packed up and headed out after a breakfast of "The Best Pancake". Got home and discovered that my hair had gotten positively Gorgonesque, but a shower cured that nicely. Finally, after a quick dinner, I joined most of the Moomba crew at the Loews on the Common for a showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (msmemory was exhausted, and opted to stay home.) Full review to come, but suffice it to say that I thought it was a lot of fun, despite Depp's rather idiosyncratic take on Willy Wonka.
Coming Up: not very much, actually. It's quiet season for the Barony, and early in the release cycle at work -- tomorrow is an offsite design session for the Architects and myself, being held on the QA head's boat. (Which on the one hand is semi-hooky, and on the other may actually be pretty productive, having the five of us closeted for the day.) Main project for the evenings (once I finish Memory) is working on my armor, to get it to the point where it no longer sucks...