yay!

Feb. 20th, 2011 09:05 pm
luciab: (lucia)
 OMG, I am tired. Especially since I already had this entry done once and LJ ate it. Let's see how much of it I can recontstruct.

Yesterday was pretty much Teh Fabulous-- just about perfect, as far as I could tell. The lovely woman who her friends teasingly say should have been called "Lady Oblivia" shall now be called "Maestra"-- she was well and truly surprised. We got Max sneaked into court and hid him behind Solvarr. When TRMs called her into court, They told her They were arranging to have teams of children tow her in a wagon as she attended Their Excellencies during the day, because Her  Excellency is known to run all over site, and Livia figured she would get pretty damn tired running up and down that hill at Ymir this year, being five months preggers and all. When They then told her They would like to put her on vigil instead, she burst into tears, showing that she really WAS surprised.

Things continued to go as planned the rest of the day. I had asked a wonderful, organized group of people to help me, and they did a fantastic job. Rowan created a vigil tent and provided a table to display a large number of Livia's scrolls, as well as a draft of her upcoming Compleat Anachronist issue on period pigments for the modern artist. Aneira's handmade heart-shaped guest book was to die for, with its painted frontispiece and its own velvet pillow, and we aggressively chased guests around to make sure they signed it, since we were afraid they'd be to scared to touch it otherwise.  Ysolt was in charge of hospitality, and when she came down with a virus, Clare de Crecy volunteered to step in if necessary (Ysolt recovered in time, but Clare brought treats, too.)  Believe me when I say we had a gracious plenty of handmade goodies to serve our guests. Whenever things got overwhelming inside, Max and I snuck outside so he could smoke and we could gossip. It was altogether lovely.


I should leave the rest of it for the Maestra herself to talk about. I was pretty damn glad I wasn't coming home last night and could just collapse in the cabin after we got back from eating. I was so wound up I had to take an extra Xanax to get to sleep, even if I was exhausted.(Shhhhh. These are EXTREMELY light weight, I found out when one of my doctors voice rose when he repeated where the decimal point was on the dosage. I feel very safe taking an extra one if I need to. And I'm still here, aren't I? Pbthpbth.)


And to the new Maestra-- congratulations!! It has always been an absolute joy having you in Casa Bellini, and you will forever hold a place of highest esteem in my heart and my household. I have learned at least as much from you as I have taught you, and I thank you for that. There has never been a moment's regret. Vivat! 

mmmmmm

Nov. 19th, 2008 01:20 pm
luciab: (Default)
Fruit cobbler with ice cream for breakfast... yum. It's really easy to make, too. I will say, though (and this was a 'duh' moment) if you use frozen fruit you really should thaw it out before adding it to the batter. It works fine, mind you, but it nearly doubles the cooking time. Like I said, duh.

I'm also posting a link to an entry I wrote a few days ago but originally had friends-locked. [livejournal.com profile] mstra_margarita and I talked about it last night at the potluck and decided that it really didn't need to be locked. I thought, given that there's a Baronial polling coming up, it might be of some interest.

Since it was written days ago, however, I don't think it would show up where anyone would see it, so here's a new link to it. Sorry if this seems puffed-up of me.
luciab: (Default)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about roles, and the responsibilities and privileges that come with them. The most extreme example of it hit me on election night when I looked at the Obama family and thought, “Oh, your lives are never going to be the same.” I know that the evolution began as soon as he started winning primaries, but the change in January will be unimaginable.
playing the game )
luciab: (Default)
I have almost finished the prize cape I'm making for the Most Valorous rapier fighter competition this weekend at Assessment. Oh, you didn't know about it? My bad. I should have written an announcement for the Merry Rose but didn't think about it till last night. Today I'm fairly incoherent, so have asked my valorous apprentice [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell to put some text together. Of course she's at work today so may have other things to do. (Pah, work!) Anyway, the cape-sewing went very quickly and it looks good. The cape, BTW, is designed for use in rapier fighting-- not a fancy-shmancy one. It is, however, large enough that it can be worn, unlike the ceremonial one that designates the WH Baronial Rapier Champion.

Miranda and even Molly helped me with the cape-- Molly helped with the cutting and Miranda was in on both cutting and sewing. I have such good kitties. Miranda has been especially lovey this laast week. I have clearly been gone from home far too much recently, and she's making up for all the petting she didn't get while I was gone. She's in my lap when I get on the computer, in my lap when I read, and plastered to my side all night while I sleep. She's also been walking through the house crying at random times-- she manages to sound really pitiful. She's going to be most unhappy with my being gone for a week again. At least I'll be home a little longer before I head out yet again for a week at Pennsic.

I have the History Channel on this afternoon and am watching "American Eats," including hot dogs. The descriptions of the creation of Nathan's makes me want a hot dog, and it's midafternoon and I've had lunch pretty recently. Crap-- now they're talking about pizza. I dunno if I can watch this whole hour.

I have gotten several minor errands done today, thank heavens. Still a few left to do but I'm generally in good shape. Now I think I need to go grocery shopping. Maybe some hot dogs.....

what EVAR.

Mar. 11th, 2007 08:19 pm
luciab: (Default)
I'm working on homework. On a Sunday night, a week and a half ahead of its due date. The world must really be coming to an end. Consider yourselves warned. It's more Humanities Resources questions, but at least this week it's good stuff-- Visual Arts! Yay! Amazing how much easier it is to find answers when you have a clue. I am still amused, however. One of the questions this time is about Fiestaware. I gotta say, I googled that sucker. I can't help thinking of the scene in Indiana Jones when he gets tired of all the fancy stuff with the whip and just pulls out his gun and shoots the guy. Yeah, there are lots of things I can do to find info about Fiestaware, including books galore, but when the question is "Where is Fiestaware made and what makes it so collectible to some people?" well, really. Do I really need fancy reference books for that? What can I say, besides what a dumb question. I have no doubt that there are people in the world who collect gum wrappers, and who can ever know why? I doubt that there's any book in the world that can adequately address the issue of why anyone collects anything, except psychologically maybe. I'm pretty sure she doesn't want psych theory. So half the question can be answered in about 30 seconds on Google, and the other half may never be adequately answered. I say we don't need a book for this. I'll give her a book, anyway, but geez. I'm putting my metaphorical whip away.

I have had further cause to be amused and dismayed-- this time at myself-- this weekend. We got out of class early yesterday and I wasn't in the mood to start homework just yet. I decided I'd look through some books and see if I could find something to do for the addendum to [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell's Scroll Blank Competition (see comments for the addendum) and promptly got bogged down in all sorts of competitive considerations. It took me years to figure out that I am so damn competitive that I basically just don't play a lot of things because I know I won't do them well and thus have no chance of winning. Is that pitiful or what? So at least part of what I ran into yesterday is that if I'm going to do an entry for a competition I start looking for something with some flash to it; something eyecatching, maybe not what looks most fun to me to do right now. Utterly ridiculous. Because I have so much to prove, you know. As much as I theoretically know that, my mind gets all twitchy like a thoroughbred horse with a starting gate in sight. Lord, I do make life more difficult than it needs to be.

One thing I'm relaxing and enjoying tonight, though, is the Bourne Identity, which is on TV. I saw the Bourne Supremacy last weekend, but it's been a while since I saw the first one. Sweet.
luciab: (Default)
Saturday was a great event. If I hadn't been so exhausted I could have used another hour or two to shop and look around the displays more than I did. I pretty much focused on C&I and judging.

I was most particularly pleased with the display table by [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell and [livejournal.com profile] zihuatenejo. I don't even have to specify which half of zihuatenejo because both of 'em displayed stuff. Wistric surprised me by arranging a galliard in my name and then humming it for me-- the tune sounds an awfully lot like "My Old Kentucky Home," in fact. This is his first calligraphy, and I found it pretty impressive for a first shot.

Needless to say, I was also exceptionally happy with the works displayed by my apprentices. They each displayed their most recent works-- Livia's Court Baronetcy scroll for Maddalena and Geoffrey, and Sunneva's GoA scroll for Letia.

It was just generally a fun day-- I got some serious snark time in with some old friends (for some reason I seemed to have been in a seriously snarky mood) enjoyed the displays and the excellent lunch. There was also an illuminating discussion (Ha! I crack myself up!) on period painting materials, that now has Sunneva and me wanting to do research. And lord, when Sunneva does research, just stand back. (Heh. I can't wait to see what she finds; maybe I should just stand back, too.)

The drive was fun, too-- the household went up together and we thus had plenty of time to solve the ills of the world, or at least to snark about them. (Again with the snark.) Talent, discretion, AND snark: I have chosen SO well.

Sunday..... sigh. I think I'm taking a cold. I first chalked up Saturday's sore throat to allergies, since I forgot to take my pill in the morning. And I have sneezing fits about once a week, so yesterday morning's wasn't unusual. But the fact that I took an allergy pill and my throat is still sore, and my eyes watery and my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton (including the thinking ability part, not just the pressure thing) fills me with dread. And dismay. Ick! The dreaded dismay!

Back to positive news, though.... I've booked my flight to see [livejournal.com profile] anonamys graduate in June in Seattle. My daughter, the Doctor of Physical Therapy. Yay! I'll be out there for six days; we're going to see the EMP and the new public library among other things. Oh, and the Japanese garden, and probably the Fremont Troll, too. And maybe Gas Works Park; as I recall it's pretty close to the Troll. Damn, I'd better quit planning this or I'll have a month's worth of stuff to do in six days. But for some reason, I've wanted to review pics of the sundial at Gas Works several times and can't find the photos I took ten years ago. Yes, I'm a librarian and we're supposed to organize things, but (a) I wasn't a librarian then and (b) I've always been better at being organized at work than I am at home. I'm sure there are about 8 rolls of excellent pictures of Seattle and environs around here, in a very safe place.

I am close to concluding that I'm not going to have a really bad, miserable sort of cold; not a winter but something more closely akin to a cold snap.... still stuffy and watery, but not too god-awful. The fact that I have about half a migraine means that the two things add up to one viable call-in-sick-day for the volunteer gig, I think. Not a good idea to spread the contagious part all over the public library. I may be able to drag myself out to the grocery and drug store (I'm completely out of some basic things like milk and soup; hard to feel like I'm taking care of myself when sick if I don't have soup.)

I do need to do some research, though, so I'm not sure how to best accomplish that. Go be contagious all over the little design students at State? Oops. I'm oozing evil again.
luciab: (Default)
I found out Wed AM before I went to the book repair workshop for the day that I was to be able to make a scroll in honor of my lovely apprentice [livejournal.com profile] harlenquinzell receiving a Coral Branch on Sat at Ymir. Eek. I rummaged through my books and found one with a good selection of artwork that might work, and slammed it into my bag as I ran out the door. Sunneva and I conferred over lunch and decided which piece to use. Wed night I cleaned off my drafting table and played with scroll texts a bit. I was having absolutely no luck with fine motor skills that night so I took the wussy way out and retired to bed with a book. Thurs AM I hit the callig boards, so to speak.

I had no idea how much I rely on being able to print out everything on my trusty printer. I've been having trouble with it for a month or two, and in trying to fix the original problem (won't scan) I "fixed" it so it won't even print at all now. In fact, the computer doesn't even know I have a printer now. Damn, I'm good. The immediate effect was that I couldn't print out the final text and I couldn't scan and reverse the image from the book. Off to Kinko's.

I had sort of forgotten how long it's been since I did any callig, too. Sigh. I am SO not happy with the callig. Spacing issues, mainly, and spacing is always a problem for me. Sigh.

So, Thurs night I was going to Livia's to help her with final touches on the two scrolls she did for Ymir. In a stroke of good fortune or good planning, Sunneva lives one door down from Livia. Convenient, eh? I just went over a few hours earlier than I told Livia I'd be there, parked my thoroughly unremarkable beige car several spots farther away from her house, and took the callig'ed piece to Sunneva's for her to transfer the drawing and start painting. At the appointed hour, I showed up on Livia's doorstep, and we took care of our business as planned. When I left, instead of getting in my car, I sashayed back down to Sunneva's where we worked a bit longer before I took the (half done?) scroll back home. All I can say is, Sunneva and I must be the world's slowest combat scribes. Heh. I worked on it all day Friday, and took it BACK over Fri night. I had Sunneva call me when Livia left for site Fri night so she wouldn't see me come in. We took turns painting till I had to come home and get some sleep so I could be at least remotely coherent in class on Sat. (Which was only mildly successful, BTW. The sleep was good, but the coherent part... not so much.) I have progress pics here; the ones that say "Thursday" show work that was done by quitting time Thursday night. The Friday ones were what was done when I took it back to Sunneva's Friday evening. She finished it after I left. We are both very pleased with it. Livia seems happy, too. We'll have to get her to post pics of the finished piece.

Ymir was good. Weather was about as good as it gets for the second weekend in February. During the day, it was damn near perfect, but I admit that my toes were small round lumps of ice by the time court was over. I have no idea what the temp was by then; it got down to mid twenties during the night but it was surely nowhere near that at 7 PM. I helped in the kitchen during feast, and damn, Daemon and Emma put out a fine feast. The pork loin was particularly succulent, moist, tender, and garlicky. Does it get any better than that? I think not. There was also a chicken course and a leg of lamb course, but I was stuffed just from nibbling. I can't imagine whole servings of each dish.

All in all, a fine weekend. Now to do homework.

Oh, and you can also see a picture of poor Miss Molly with a nekkid neck, after the small tumor was removed. I swear, the vet took out a huge divot. And nekkid cat necks don't appear to be pretty even without chunks missing. Poor kitty.

lovely

Feb. 4th, 2007 09:40 am
luciab: (Default)
It's been a nice weekend. Friday night I crashed at [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell's house so we could get an early start Sat AM for University. She made cookies and printed handouts, I consulted on one of her scrolls, and we ate OMG good Cuba Libre cupcakes at [livejournal.com profile] zihuatenjo's house. It's starting to seem like Casa Bellini is going to be known for a very specific type of hospitality-- sweets with a high alcohol content. [livejournal.com profile] harleenquinzell makes a bourbon chocolate milkshake that is completely wicked, I make rum or bourbon balls that'll knock your socks off, and now we have Cuba Libre cupcakes. Dayum. We'll make you happy.

Sat dawned bright and way too early. Still, we did a reasonable job of getting going on time (hey, it's Casa Bellini. We're not morning people. We're happy, not early) and got to site in time to find out that Julianna's vigil didn't start till after Noon court; we had time to get stuff out of the van and where we needed to be in plenty of time for class.

I attended the first half of Livia's class on vinework, and was proud. She did a good job. Most of the other classes I took were also good-- only one didn't cover what I hoped it would. The bookbinding class was good and provided lots of good bibliography and links stuff-- that could have lasted all day, for us to all get to do the steps. Still, I know a lot more now than when I started, which is the important thing. And the Paleography was a very good class-- I'm finding myself more and more fascinated with what I used to consider peripheral.

Julianna's vigil site was... well, okay, she's in House Corvus. Of course it was well done. That's kinda like saying there's this tower in Italy that isn't perfectly vertical. If you can't count on House Corvus to provide floof, what's the world coming to? Geez. Her Laureling ceremony was really nice, too.... I don't recall ever seeing one of the Royals get so choked up about any award. Sweet. And well deserved.

In kitty news, the lab work on Molly's little tumor came back negative-- nothing in the blood at all. Which makes me tempted to delay the surgery-- I mean, geez, I'm not exactly flush with cash here-- in fact, I have no current source of income. Put that way, it seems like a no-brainer. I'm not saying I want to cancel it forever, but I might wait till I at least have a source of income again, which should be within a couple of months. Surely it won't be critical before then.

Well, I think it's about time to start homework. If I can get this cat off my arms, that is. God forbid I should disturb a cat. She's twitching her tail at me for just thinking about it.

heraldry

Oct. 5th, 2006 10:43 am
luciab: (Default)
My household name (Casa Bellini) and badge have passed Kingdom and been submitted to the College of Arms. The change to my arms passed, too. I'll give you all this in English rather than herald-ese: The household badge is a black background with white brush and a quill pen crossed, and a gold bell at the center top. My arms will be a black background with a white cat rampant and three white bells across the top, and a gold border around the whole thing. Whee!

In less exciting news, I'm reading for my mid-term tonight. To be specific, I'm re-reading an araticle he said we should be familiar with. It was written in 1944, and I don't know if we've gotten dumber since then or what, but I"m having a hell of a time with this thing. Some of the sentences are 100 words long. To give you an easy comparison, that first paragraph up top is only 86 words long, and it's four sentences and an exclamation. Sigh.
luciab: (Default)
I'm going camping this weekend to Sapphire Joust/Atlantian 25th B'day in Virginia. Whee! Lordamercy, every time I do this I forget how much trouble it is. I was originally planning to take my pavilion but realized that I have no way to get the poles up there-- a dozen+ poles, mostly 6' long with metal rods sticking out one end; the others even longer with metal rods sticking out. Oops. At that point I decided to take my modern oh-so-tacky dome tent, which goes up in a flash, and I can do it all by myself if I have to; no eyelash-batting required, no apprentice-whipping needed. Ya know, there's a lot to be said for that. (Surprisingly, my apprentice was encouraging me to take the pavilion. Huh?)

Livia and I are doing a food plan with Beatrice, which is the best of all worlds. She likes to cook, we like to eat. Not the least of the consideration is that not only does she like to cook, she's GOOD at it. Can't beat that with a stick. (Got any plans for Pennsic this year, B?)

The cats are all aflutter because they know when I get all this crap out, things are going to be lonesome for a while. I pulled the camping stuff out last night so they had lots of time to explore all the smells left over from last time. And when I was carrying stuff to the car, on one trip I didn't get the apartment door pulled shut, and every one of them stayed inside the apartment! That was a big relief. Maybe they've all been traumatized by getting out before and want no part of it; lord knows they had plenty of time to escape if they'd decided to.

Except for the one week back in April that was so hot our Canadian buddy wanted to flee home, it's been quite a cool spring. There have only been a couple of nights that I didn't want a blanket. And the 16" thick masonry walls of the apartment have helped keep it from getting hot, too. Well, today it warmed up. I mean, really. I haven't had time to get all the windows open from the top, which helps a lot, and the place is rather toasty. All the hair I've been growing out is pinned up off my neck in a most unflattering style. Nobody here but us chickens....

Gotta go finish packing. I'm supposed to pick up Livia at 7 AM tomorrow and if you know me you'll understand how thrilled I am to be planning to do something that early. Thank all that is sacred that she doesn't wake up quickly or chiripily, either. (Suuuure, that's a word. You know what it means.)
luciab: (Default)
Last night we had a planning meeting (gosh, doesn't that sound so formal!) to work on the apprenticing ceremony coming up at Midsummer's Twilight Tourney. I don't know how much actually got done, but it was great fun. I fixed breakfast for dinner, and it was quite a hit. I swear we hit that food like we hadn't been fed in weeks. We devoured a pound of sausage (Neese's-- it fries up so crispy!) 3/4 pound of bacon, 2 eggs each, and uncounted pancakes with syrup made from 2 quarts of strawberries, and banana boats for dessert, all in about 10 minutes. Well, okay, it wasn't QUITE that bad, but it was still pretty funny.

Owen was kind enough to carry out the old TV that's been dead for a year or two, but was too heavy for me to get to the dumpster. Yay!

I pulled stuff out of one of my closets yesterday AM, getting ready to give it away. Anyone need khakis or jeans? I have a kitchen garbage bag full. All in good condition, mostly size 16 but a few 18's thrown in. Believe me, the pounds between those and the 10's and 12's didn't go easy.

I've got just enough of a migraine today to wipe out whatever energy I was going to devote to making garb. I just feel drained. Much, much better than being in severe pain, but I'm still not getting anything done. Sigh.

I'm currently reading an Edna Buchanan, which is about all I'm good for. It takes me a while, usually, but sometimes I become aware of the author as being very good or not-so-good. Poor Edna. I would never have noticed this if she hadn't gotten more ambitious; the books she writes with Britt Montero as the protagonist are pleasant and lightweight. Not usually either particularly challenging or so cute that I want to hit her. The one I'm reading now, though, has branched out. She's writing about a group of the people that Britt usually works with, which can be a really cool concept. Lisa Scottoline, for example, has a series about an all-woman legal office in Philly, and different books feature different members of the firm. Each woman has a distinct voice and personality. Edna hasn't quite managed to pull that off; all the characters in this book sound pretty much like Britt. Sigh.

I've also (when sans headache, anyway) started reading the text for one of my classes this summer. It is dry as the Sahara, but I'm hoping that an early start on the reading will give me time to at least figure it out.

Okay, that's it for me. Later, taters.
luciab: (Default)
The weather we've been having in this part of the country is most unusual. Sometimes it seems like people say that every year, but if so they're usually complaining about it getting hot so early. This year we're already at mid May and it's still in the 50's every night and has been in the low to mid 70's during the days. There was one hot week in April that nearly fried poor Max (just moved here from Canada) but other than that it's been way cool. I'm not complaining, but damn, it's weird. I'm still wearing heavy socks around the house at night.

I'm looking forward to Friday night-- I'm having a planning session with my apprentice and soon-to-be-apprentice for the ceremony where we'll formalize the relationship. It's going to be at Midsummer's Twilight Tourney in June, exactly a year after I took Livia as an apprentice. We had only decided at Sapphire Joust last year, so it was put together in quite a rush. We're planning a bit further in advance this time!

I don't have any Italian Ren that fits me now, and I'd like to have something appropriate to my persona, so I'm hoping I'll get to make a new dress before Midsummer's. Even I am getting embarrassed about wearing the comfy tunics all the time. They aren't even embroidered with cool stuff, just plain old generic tunics made from cheap Wally World cotton (yes, I know. I haven't bought anything from them for months now, and I felt guilty when I did. And yes (no?), I know that I don't get brownie points for guilt. Too bad, I'd be rich. Or at least covered in brownies.) Anyway, I'm trying to find suitable fabric in my stash of stuff-- surely there's something.

Nia said the other night she'd like to learn enough calligraphy to do cards for herself, so she bought a set of cartridge pens and asked me to help her get started. Her handwriting is already good, so I figured she had a good basis. That woman could be really good if she ever seriously turned her mind to it; the first couple of words she did were shaky but nearly as good as a few scribes who have been working for years. Sad, but true. I gave her the "15 minutes a day" pep talk and can't wait to see what evolves. She has expressed great surprise that there is an SCA art form that she might actually be good at.

Despite all my assertions about not liking calligraphy as much as painting, I think the callig has snuck up on me and got me addicted. When I was helping her get started I did a few letters and started getting to the Zen stage immediately. She had to practically pry the pen from my fingers. How did that happen? So in addition to making myself new garb, I also need to find time to do callig. Maybe it'd help soothe the soul.

Of more pressing concern, however, is clearing out stuff from the apartment. I have lots of fabric (totally NON period) kitchen gear and cookware, an old computer, and more that I need to get rid of. My current thinking is to make a list of what I want to part with, and then post it, maybe to the Windmasters' list, saying if you want it, come get it. Maybe post in the journal(s) first, then on the list. I like that idea better than Freecycle or Craig's list; I'm just more comfortable having SCAdians come to my house than I am with total strangers. Anyway, when the SCAdians are done picking over it, I'll put the rest out on the street for the curb elves or take it to Goodwill or equivalent.

I think that's all the news that's fit to print right now. Ta ta!

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Susan Arthur

February 2011

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