Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mooneschadowe Provincial Games, and a quiet, but warm welcome.

On so many levels, Mooneschadowe Provencal Games was a nice little reintroduction to the SCA for me. Sort of like coming in from a long walk in the cold, where you’ve been in the wind so long its kind of hard to remember what the warmth feels like. That’s what it was like showing up on Friday night to help set up, and that’s what it was like Saturday being at the event.
Setting up with Mooneschadowe is always a social event. We’ve worked hard to both create and maintain that dynamic. It’s not just “everyone help”, its “everyone come here, help everyone else, and when we’re done we all go out to dinner and find out more about how cool everyone else is.”  I know there are a couple of ways of reading that, (and believe me, not everyone reads it the say way), but in large part, there is a groups consensus that we all have a lot to offer, and the best way to bring that out is to encourage the best in each other. Friday was a lot of. A lot of people showed up, worked hard, and within the space of about minty minutes turned over some thirty man-hours worth of work before heading off to Rib Crib top eat dinner and gab. 
Dinner, it turns out, was important for me. I got to meat two people I really hadn't had a chance to before. (Names left out, because this is public and they don’t need more publicity than they asked for). But suffice it to say that one of them said she liked horses, and the next thing I know my wife and I are trading animal stories for close to an hour and a half.  It was the type of idle chatter that helps build up friendships, and helps make Mooneschadowe what it is. 
Saturday was… low key. At least for me. Watching His Excellency, Count Jean Paul de Sens “Beta test” his  “the king must escape” melee scenario was amusing. It was kind of like watching an armored cross between capture the flag and Football, but set in a rat maze all at the same time. I’ll post photos as soon as I get them pulled off the camera.
There was a wreath’s meeting there as well, run by Mistress Emma de Featherstan, and I was in-and-out of that all morning. As much as I wanted to stay for the whole thing, it was a several-hours long process, and I’m still not terribly enthralled with name and device heraldry. I’m sorry, but people like Mistress Emma and HL Reis ap Tudor actually enjoy the mechanics of names and devices and all that. For me, its very interesting, and very good, but not something I want to spend hours doing when provided with alternatives.
I got to spend a good portion of the day talking with Rose the O (as in Rose the obnoxious, who religiously believes in truth in advertising). It was good seeing her again, and good talking with her. She’s taken up the mantle of regional scribe, and taken to it very well it seems. She set out to make 20 hand-painted “thank-you” cards as gifts for the Calontir crown at Gulf Wars (part of the Gift Basket that the kingdoms give each other). She evidently bested 20 a while ago, and I helped finish one and got about 80% of the way through another one when I was called away. 
The other thing that happened yesterday was that I was reminded what two years out of practice in anything will do to you. It’s been two years since I called a court of any type, and when I was asked to cry the royal court (held by his highness), I was rustier than a beached ship. Between mispronouncing the name of the queen, forgetting the opening and closings of the royal court, and then blanking of the Princess name WHILE I am looking at him, It was, frankly, amateur hour up there and I am just grateful beyond all measure that the audience was in good spirits, and that I had the character to roll with the well-deserved ribbing that came with. But at the same time, I did get to cry three Awards of arms, including one for someone I had just really gotten to know the night before. And another for a guy who I met in the Anime community, and was sort of cross-trained into the SCA. The third was for someone I only know of. But after hearing the Prince detail his exploits so far, I think he’s the type of person that I now want to get to know more about. All told, the event was more of a learning experience for me than anything else, but a good one, and one where friends abounded, new and old. I think the take away from this, for me, was manifold. First of all, the game, and I have both changed, so I need to change with it. As much as I love voice heraldry, I can’t let it be the only pillar upon which I build my SCA career. From a simple strategic standpoint, it’s not wise to be a one-trick-pony when you have a yellow-belt on your waist. Number two, as marketable and wide spread as Heraldry is, it’s not universal, and as I have seen, there is a lot of dead-time between needs for heralds.
So, the first thing I am going to do is get back into scroll painting. I loved it when I painted award scrolls before, and I think it’s time I got back into it. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and it’s something lasting that others can take home and enjoy. Painting those awards charters with Rose reminded me of that, and I think that I’m at a time in my life when charter painting is something I now want to embrace for a bunch of personal reasons.
Secondly, I’m going to brush up on my heraldry. I can’t count how many mistakes I made yesterday before I even opened my mouth. I preach constantly that preparation is everything, and yesterday I totally forgot my own lesson.
Way to go, moron!
Anyway, moving on.
Third in line, while there wasn’t a kitchen there yesterday, I think Its time I start making myself proactively available in the kitchen to help clean. I say this because I’ve noticed that so long as I wasn’t the one cooking, I tend to be able to hit an SCA kitchen with a good head of steam and am more or less not intimidated by the volume of work. That’s going to get me in trouble ome times, I’m sure. But all told, I do want to reconnect with the service roots that I had a long time ago, and I think kitchen work is the best day to do that. 
Lastly, I think it’s time I reconnect with my Pelican. Two years is a long time, and that’s a friendship that needs to be maintained.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"