giantsloth: (Default)
Beertender, really. And meadtender, I guess. The past couple Saturdays I have poured fine fermented booze products for the patrons and performers of the NC Renaissance Faire. It was pretty fun, given that we were never in the weeds. Which means that attendance is probably not quite at its historic peak, if you catch my drift. The Captain is dearly missed as the informal emcee of the pub, but everyone soldiers on. Drinks are drunk, songs are sung, comedy is committed. Gossip flows a bit more freely before the gates open and after they close. But the really swell folks in this milieu are still quite swell indeed: Silent Lion continue to play some of the most interesting music I've ever heard. Emrys Fleet, aka Jim Greene, is a really funny and personable fellow. New acts come along, like the Sisters of Steel, with pretty decent ideas and execution. It is a strange little pocket universe, with plenty of upsides and downsides, but I sure hope it keeps on existing. I'll be back there next Saturday pouring more beer. I recommend the Belgian Stout or the Wee Heavy, but really, they're all good, y'know?
giantsloth: (Default)
Last weekend was the fourth year in a row where we spent some time with friends (and several thousand other people) at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. So at this point, it's a tradition. [livejournal.com profile] barbmg  and I did a quick sprint through some DC area tourist attractions first. Arlington National Cemetery, I hadn't been there since I was a kid, and had never been up the hill to Arlington House, which is undergoing renovation but you can still walk through several rooms, and under the arch where Mary Custis and Robert E. Lee were married. Took the metro into DC for a sprint through the National Museum of Natural History, then a more leisurely stroll through the Hirschhorn Sculpture Garden.

In mostly unrelated news (although I did have a delicious mojito at one point during our sojourn to Crownsville), I was surprised to find that I've only had 57 of the 100 drinks on the Anvil bar bucket list: dirtykitchenadventures.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/anvils-list/. I plan to remedy that, and to make plenty of the 57 cocktails I've already had. Tonight, a Brandy Alexander (one of the 57 I've already had so far in this life). Creamy, dessert-y, no point in having more than one, no point in making them if you don't have fresh whole nutmeg to grate on top. For those folks playing at home, the proportions I used are from Paul Harrington's excellent COCKTAIL book: 3/4 oz. brandy, 3/4 oz. creme de cacao, 1/2 oz. cream.

One down, ninety-nine to go.

41 Hours

Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:52 pm
giantsloth: (Default)
That's how long we spent in Maryland. (Note: this post contains no nut jokes.) The only two bummers of our weekend in Maryland were a) it was too brief and b) some jerk stole the Obama '08 magnet off of my car in the parking lot at the Maryland You-know-what Festival. It was, of course, wonderful to be in the sixteenth century and to see BeerPam, the Captain, [livejournal.com profile] pyratelady, [livejournal.com profile] skivee, [livejournal.com profile] terribleturnip[livejournal.com profile] thatliardiego, and all the rest of the fine folks there. We caught a lot of Pyrates sets, watched the end-of-day London Broil show, went to the pubsing that Dinty emceed with aplomb, and spent the rest of the time eating and shopping and talking to people. One pleasant surprise was seeing Lady Merilee Effingham there. We asked her to tell us a gruesome story and what did she choose to relate but "The Juniper Tree," which coincidentally is the same fairytale that my unindicted co-conspirator John Kessel used as the basis for his story (of the same name) set on the moon.

Other high points: supper at a great Mexican/Spanish restaurant in Annapolis, Jalapeno's (no, I don't know how to put a tilde in here and I'm not going to waste time trying to figure it out). And hearing a preview of "White Squall" from Dinty on Monday.

Senior Citizens' Day is known by other appellations at the festival, but the audiences I saw were (mostly) not duds, and it was pretty heartwarming to see a big crowd of older folks getting into the spirit of things, laughing at the jokes and having fun. (And when the pub crowd was less than enthusiastic, it was also pretty heartwarming to see Skivee's brother down front, exhorting them to sing along.) [livejournal.com profile] barbmg and I overheard a little old man outside the gate, talking in a heavy accent on his cellphone, carefully explaining to someone that he was at "that festival where people dress up." Good times.

giantsloth: (Default)
OK, really just five days in between VARF and WisCon 32. And soon enough I'll be in Madison. But I want to be there NOW. Tonight's big excitement includes packing, and doing some final proofing before printing out the 3,000 words of fragmentary somethingness that I'm going to read.

Virginia was a nice getaway, especially with the weather being pleasant instead of sunstroke-inducing. We went to Pyrates sets, caught a few of [personal profile] thatliardiego's shows, looked at stuff for sale but bought nothing. Hummed at the alpacas. Managed to get [personal profile] terribleturnip and the Captain and Brian and Hemloche out with us for Mexican dinner that was not half shabby. Tamales, yum.

VARF's reputation as the Little Fair That Can is well-deserved. I was always surrounded by friendly folks to chat with, including all of the aforementioned plus the talented and charming [profile] pyratelady and all the folks at the greyhound tent. [profile] skivee exhorted us to check out Mike Oldfield's "Five Miles Out." [personal profile] thatliardiego exhorted me to buy a SportKilt. There were other exhortations, mostly about heaving away and hauling away.

I am so, so, so ready to be in the Governor's Club at the Concourse. See some of y'all there.
giantsloth: (Default)
The North Carolina Renaissance Faire 2008. I was there a bunch. It rained a bunch. But there are still lots of good memories:
 
giantsloth: (Default)
Those are the directions I traveled in the past few weekends.

Some trips )
giantsloth: (Default)
This will be hopelessly geeky for some of you and completely normal for others. So it goes.

Maryland trip 2007 )
giantsloth: (Default)
The me of March 2005 would be extremely shocked to learn that the me of now wrote an article about renaissance fair performers. The original draft was twice as long and included more of a first-person account of me being surprised by how interesting the renfair world is. Also more pseudo-Ballardian sociological observations, and more details about the various performers I interviewed. But I'm fairly pleased with this streamlined version too.

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