Small steps. Thatís the way itís been as I slowly ease myself back in to the day-to-day of the SCA. Itís not atypical for my enthusiasm for all things Societal to wane a bit whenever we have an especially corrupt Crown. A Logan reign, however, isnít the emotional assassin it used to be though. You get used to the flagrant nepotism and various abuses of authority. Sadly, itís never the bad reigns you notice anymore, but the really good ones. With the vast majority of Atlantian monarchs I simply go, ďOh, them again... yawn.Ē And, rather than pay too much attention to whatever new dishonor stains the Crown, I tend to focus on my various responsibilities and reflect on those people who made (and make) Atlantia shine so brightly.
Prior to this last lull, however, I was especially preoccupied with serving as TRM Galmr and Aryannaís herald. Thank you for allowing me the time and freedom to indulge that years old commitment. I had a great time in that role, but, thereís no denying, it took a lot of time away from House Corvus and other things Iíd been pursuing both within and outside of the SCA. Once done, and given the then upcoming reign, it was all too simple to withdrawal and put the SCA on hold for a bit.
The danger of stepping back from the SCA, however, is that you very quickly find that there are many other things to occupy your time and attention. It didnít take long for me to get caught up in occupational diversions. This summer brought me a variety of distractions, from producing my own musical play in downtown Charleston to making a CD. And, of course, now that Fall has arrived, my work on the 23rd Annual LFCC Awards in England will kick in to high gear.
Between your constant companionship conveyed on the House Corvus list and seeing you at the few events I did manage to attend over the past few months, I never lacked for the special camaraderie endemic to being a member of House Corvus.
Still, I wonder if this is how it feels for our more distant Corvus family. Thereís a warm feeling of being a part of something special, yet thereís also a slight tang of being far removed. Without constant and steady communication, my own home of Charleston might as well have been Caid, Trimaris, An Tir, or the Midrealm. Indeed, without the communications venues we so take for granted, the distance between Hawkwood and Crois Brigte can be an ocean.
The Roundtable has always been my preferred method of chronicling my thoughts about House Corvus, as you well know. Still, when I take such a huge publishing hiatus, I worry that I lose touch with some members of the household. While it may be true that I actually see Medb Renata as often as many members of the Household, it still feels like itís less because of the literal distance. Thereís a comfort in knowing that, even if I havenít actually seen them in months, Oshi and Sine are only a few hours away. Case in point, tonight at dinner, I mentioned how much I miss being able to call up Michael Oí and Krystyne and getting together spontaneously.
This distance can be countered with our online activities. And I do feel that the Roundtable plays a significant role in ameliorating any sense of isolation. Still, nothing beats the time spent together at events. The only thing I missed about not going to Pennsic this year, and I do mean the only thing, was not getting to spend time with the people in our camp.
Take Golden Moon this past weekend. As it happened, I could only make it to the event for an hour! But in that one hour, I got to spend time with the people who mean the most to me in the SCA. I left with such a feeling of satisfaction and well-being that it reminded me of what a fool I had been over the past few months in not making every effort I could to spend time with my housemates.
Suffice it to say, if Iím not at an event where other House Corvus members will be, it truly is because I canít possibly make it and never because I simply donít feel like going!
We have a few special events going on in House Corvus this Fall. Of course, thereís the Household trip to Ireland in November. Iím really looking forward to spending the week in both company and environment magical. Before that, however, I look forward to seeing as many Corvites as possible at Hidden Mountainís Silver Chalice event the last weekend in October. Iím cooking the feast and basing it on the twelve labors of Hercules. While I can only strive towards the culinary heights exampled by Thorgrimr at Golden Moon, Iíll do my best to pick up the epicurean gauntlet hurled! I heard the Midasí Burial Feast at Golden Moon was nothing less than spectacular.
At Golden Moon we, at long last, inducted Lord Helfdane of Hawkwood in to House Corvus. Most non-Hawkwood Corvites probably know Helfdane from the good times weíve all spent together at Gulf Wars whereat heís always fought in our household livery. It has always been an honor to us that heís chosen to do so, just as it is now our honor to call him brother in fact, as he always has been in deed. --BRAN
Weíve discussed our handling of the FYC list online extensively and decided to keep a better handle on it. Initial commentary can come from any source but will always be printed here in the Roundtable. Once commentary is printed here, we can easily move the discussion (if we opt to continue it) online. If we can get photographs of FYC candidates, weíll post them in the photo section of the House Corvus Yahoo group. Should we feel induction is beneficial to both House Corvus and the candidate, we can then approach the person and extend an invitation to join the Household. Should they accept, we can then decide on just when and where the induction should take place. Inductions will also be announced ahead of time so, that way, everyone can either participate or send well-wishes.
Something to keep in mind, of course... Just because I am or am not at an event, doesnít mean we cannot do an induction. Isabella was inducted without my being there, so itís definitely been done. I say this because it worried me, while driving up to Golden Moon from Atlanta that, ďWhat if I miss it?Ē I didnít think it was fair to keep Helfdane waiting, especially since we had all planned on his induction there. It was the same case for Isabella. We simply didnít want to keep her waiting any longer! The Birds were also inducted sans-Bran.
Since we now plan all of our inductions ahead of time, itís obviously my intention to do Household inductions personally. Still, donít let my presence or, more specifically, lack thereof, throw off plans we think are time sensitive.
Candidate 1 - Comments omitted from online version.
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5th - Atlantian University in Raleigh, NC.
6th - Alrekrís birthday.
8th - 12th - Bran in London.
10th - Siobhanís birthday.
16th - Isabellaís birthday.
23rd - Signy's birthday.
25th - Michael's birthday.
26th - Hidden Mountainís Silver Chalice.
26th - Florida Medbís birthday.
27th - Rhiannon's birthday.
1st - Samhain.
2nd - Atlantiaís Crown Tourney.
9th - Falcon Creeís Passage East.
11th - 18th - House Corvus in Ireland.
24th - MacKenzie's birthday.
26th - 30th - Bran in London.
26th - 30th - William and Alys in Paris.
30th - Saint Andrewís Day.
I started a new series of medieval poems with corresponding covers for Hidden Mountainís baronial newsletter, The Mountain Mayhem again this year. I really enjoyed doing last yearís Journal of Andrew Scotus but had planned on not committing myself to another such undertaking. Of course, I got my Laurel for medieval poetry towards the end of 2001, just when I was wrapping up the Andrew Scotus poems.
Not wanting to be one of ďthose peopleĒ who get their Laurels then never do a damned thing again, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. I could continue to serve my Barony even while continuing to produce the very art that garnered me such positive recognition. So, I thought about something that meshed with the number twelve (newsletter issues in a year) that I could use as an inspiration for both new poems and new cover art. The Labors of Hercules seemed an obvious choice. Of course, it didnít hurt that I received a copy of ďA Tainted Mantle: Medieval Interpretations of HerculesĒ for my birthday!
So, each month, Iíve been trying to write fifteenth-century Italian sonnets in the same style as Michelangelo. That is, sonnets with a more unusual rhyme-scheme of abba/abba/cde/cde. Iíll admit that neither the poems nor the art are as demanding as the Andrew Scotus material was, but itís still a lot of fun and I get to include an article regarding each labor and itís medieval relevance with each poem and cover. Tell me if youíre not interested, otherwise, Iíll start including the poems and artwork here in the Roundtable as well since most of you donít get The Mountain Mayhem.
THE FIRST LABOR by Bran Trefonnen
Murder roars through the temple of Zeus,
Unholy seed of Typhon's wicked thread,
Nemean hilla secrete unburied dead;
Ignoble ends from aberrant abuse.
The sting of Diana once, twice let loose;
Unbreakable hide dulls impotent head,
More weeks spent tracing its hideous tread,
Steering maned neck towards sinewy noose.
Some call me the Lion of Olympus,
If so, the crime of Cain overhwlems me,
My hands dyed red in that fraternal flood.
One half divine, though still mortal man be,
Condemned I am to obey God's decree,
And cleanse my own crime with Nemean blood.
THE SECOND LABOR by Bran Trefonnen
Great goddess, guide us through swamps serpentine,
Towards poisonous lair that lies down below,
Two men lost on paths where none dare follow,
Joined in quest against this creature obscene.
Seven tongues lash out with poison unseen,
And for every head smashed, two more grow,
ĎTil cauterized by Prometheusí glow,
With only the last remaining unclean.
Iíll bury it deep under Peterís rock,
The crossroad from which all journeyís proceed,
As castigation for mutilation.
Let petty princes discount this daring deed,
Reject all honor while other men bleed,
Their barren souls destined for damnation.
THE THIRD LABOR by Bran Trefonnen
Run! Resist! Refuse to give in to him!
Ruthless warrior, stalking night and day,
Can I escape your unrelenting way,
Evading lusty grasp and arrow slim?
Treacherous terrain and foot-tripping limb,
Fast, heavy breathing drops me where I lay,
Great Mother! Iím pierced! My life flows away,
Purity falls to foul hunterís whim.
How do we best our original sin,
When desire flows in every vein,
And even Your laws cannot protect me?
Dead eyes fall shut as he tries to explain,
Pitiable mercy he hopes to gain,
At least I know You will not reject me.
THE FOURTH LABOR by Bran Trefonnen
Too great for so mundane a place as this,
Erymanthian hills canít contain thee,
Come forth and greet thy woven destiny,
Let go this world and face thy nemesis.
Proud giant, I take on no prejudice,
Vicious appetite is thy felony,
Though each day heralds new catastrophe,
To slay such as you is hardly Justice.
What irony is this that I am sent?
Killing as atonement for killing done,
Two monsters damned to contest terrible.
Let net replace mace for softer intent,
Eurystheusí murderous fun undone,
Mercy shall render this labor bearable.
The weekend before last was more entertaining than usual. My roommate, Rae, who works from home most of the year, decided she needed a break from "the office" and booked a nice little hotel room down at Laguna Beach to relax and get away from it all. But vacations alone can be boring, so she invited me to join her. It was nice, but the hotel was not as convenient to the beach as they advertised. Yes, they are directly across the street from the ocean, but that street is Pacific Coast Highway and traffic is generally running at about 60 MPH (at least in the 50 MPH zone). While you can cross the street at the light, the only way to actually get to the sand and surf is to walk down PCH (No, there isn't a sidewalk, you really have to walk on PCH) almost 3/4 mile to the beach access.
The first night we did just that after dinner at a Greek restaurant further up the coast (we had to drive there, too, and pay for parking). We walked down the road and made it to the beach just in time to watch the last of the sun set into the ocean. Very nice! Then we had to walk back, and it was uphill all the way. I had blisters from my sandals before we were halfway back. We decided to spend some time in the jacuzzi instead of going out again, and also found a neat sauna made out of an old wine barrel tipped on its side.
Saturday we slept late, had breakfast out by the pool, then napped until 11 or so, when the fog started to lift. We spent another hour or so lounging by the pool reading (Rae was writing stories for fun), then had lunch before heading back to the car to drive up to a nicer beach about 3-4 miles up the coast. She found it too cold to swim, but I had a good time playing in the waves once I got used to the temperature. We stayed until sunset, then had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant with a view of the ocean. We made plans to get out early and go snorkeling at a little cove further up the coast where we could park for free if Squat was on our side and we got there early enough. Squat is the Goddess of Parking, in case you wondered.
Sunday was totally fogged in so rather than go to the distant cove to snorkel, we went back to the close beach which had fire rings. We took a couple bundles of wood, had a nice crackling fire and sat on the sand watching the fog and the waves. It was great - very relaxing. The fog finally lifted about 2 pm, and by then we had run out of quarters to feed the parking meter and I really wanted to see that diving cove so we drove up there and amazingly found a place to park. Squat is truly a Goddess.
I went in swimming, and after coming out and going back in 3 times I finally adjusted to the cold. I then tried to don snorkeling gear while balancing on my toes in the surf. I didn't want to try putting on fins while on dry land then walking backwards into the waves, but that might have been easier in retrospect. Never having been snorkeling, it took a while to get used to wearing the mask and breathing through a tube. I was rewarded with the sight of some interesting underwater life. I saw a few Garibaldi - a bright orange fish, a huge star fish, and schools of anchovies. I stayed out about an hour, and only came in when Rae waved me in because the tide was all the way up the beach and had soaked our towels. I was tired, but didn't realize it until I no longer had that salt water buoyancy helping me out. We had a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant next to the hotel then crashed early.
I didn't even go home that weekend - went directly from work to the beach on Friday, then on Monday went from the beach back to work. I missed the kitties, but I can't wait to go snorkeling again!
We watched movies every night, so I have more movie reviews to offer. I decided to revise my rating to make a little more sense, so I switched to a grading system. (Just for reference, Lord of the Rings would be A+) Reign of Fire (B+) dark and action packed. I saw this a while back and enjoyed it more than I expected. It would be just as good on the rental as on the big screen, which is good because I don't think you will find it in the theaters anywhere now.
Possession (A-) pretty good, exactly what I expected, plus a bit more complex. I really should have read the book first, though, I think it would have made more sense to me.
Bridget Jones' Diary (B) fun, but I'm glad it was a rental. It was a bit hard to understand her speech to begin with, but it was harder to follow the plot. I had trouble believing a lot of the story line and frankly, Hugh Grant just needs to get over himself. Can he play any role other than a spoiled rich pig? I know, I know, ... rhetorical question.
Chocolat (A-) mmm, chocolate! Made me hungry just watching it. Charming story, like a fable, which made the film more enjoyable, but not as solid a movie as, say, Like Water for Chocolate, which had a similar format. Definitely worth seeing, small screen or large.
Original Sin (C) - Other than the obvious charm of seeing Antonia Banderas nekkid, there wasn't much of interest in this film. I kept trying to like it because it has all the elements I normally like: a period piece, nice scenery (landscape and architecture), nice costumes, and a plot with at least a couple twists, but it just didn't work. The plot was unlikely and misleading, but not in a way that made you celebrate in the end when it all comes together. I guess there is good reason that this one dropped off the big screen without a murmur.
That is all for now. Hope you are all doing well and had a great summer. --MEDB RENATA
The House Corvus trip to Ireland takes off from Charlotte on Monday, November 11th and returns on Monday, November 18th. For everyone who couldnít make it in the Fall, we could probably put another jaunt together for late February or early March. Let me know if thereís an interest.
Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008|
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