Thursday, December 30, 2004

Yule at the Boar's Head Inn

We joined my sister and bro-in-law at the Boar's Head Inn in Camlann Medieval Village near Carnation, WA for a nice "Yule Feast" last Sunday night. Since we're up here visiting my folks and they have the dreaded dialup, I'm slow updating my blog, but here's the bare bones report: great site, cool inn, good Medieval-style food (not just "ye turkey leg" Renn Faire caca). For the menu etc. go here. Yum. The above pic is my sister in some olde stuffe of mine, and Todd in some of Gordon's "darkie"(Dark Ages) stuff that I'm making him for Hastings '06. He doesn't normally go back past about 1500, so it's kind of a struggle for him...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

House Hunting

Today we started the search for property/land up here in Washington by actually speaking to a real estate agent. This is a big deal for me, because I've never done something like this before, something as monumentally adult as actually going through the process of searching for and buying a house or land. It's a big deal for Mr. G as well, because it's going to mean moving away from California for the first time in his life. Luckily, we seem to have found a guy who understands what is meant by "horse property" (eg. they can't be standing in the mud all winter long). He's going to hunt around and see what he can come up with. Our fingers are crossed...

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

...and a Happy New Year! It's green and lovely up here in the Puget Sound area. Not cold enough for snow (poo) but still brisk. Going to Camlann Medieval Village tomorrow for a Yule Feast, report to follow. Very much looking forward to sampling a bit of the 14th century...

Monday, December 20, 2004

Anti Snowbirds

It is terribly foggy, drippy, cold and damp right now here in the Central Valley area of California. This would be normal for, say, the Hoh River Valley on the Olympic Peninsula (Washington's coastal rain forest), but for here it's just annoying. I find it highly ironic that my reasons for looking forward to spending Christmas/New Years up in Kitsap County, WA include weather-related ones! Yeah, let's go North for the Winter, where the weather makes some sense! Plus, there's a remote chance of snow, which is always a plus.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hero Tales

Two more movies; this time both excellent examples of the filmmaker's craft, I'm happy to say. I'll admit that I am totally biased when it comes to certain genres. For instance, I'll take a pretty good war/buddy picture over a bad comedy any day. Bad comedy is not funny, it's a crime against aesthetic sensibilities (see Carrot Top). A so-so war movie at least has gripping action and heroics. Of all my favorite genres (historical drama, war, sci-fi, romantic comedy, etc.) the "hero tale" is way up at the top. At its worst you have some drek like Deathstalker & the Warriors From Hell, which is only watchable in the MST3k version, at its best you have, say, Lord of the Rings. (read entire entry...)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sarah over at Going Jesus is on a roll with her "scary Christmas" theme. It started with goofy nativity scenes but has branched out into a creepy "Jesus doll" as well (am I right? Huh?). If you've been burning the midnight oil wondering how to remove the last remaining vestiges of meaning and dignity from this blessed holiday, look no further. You'll need kleenex if you're a weepy laugher. My favorite (?) so far is the "Chicken Family Creche": gack.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bangers & Mash (& scones)

Drove up to Sacramento a few days ago to pick up some pike poles from a buddy of hubby's. We met at a cool pub called "Streets of London". If you live anywhere near Sacto and ever have a hankering for solid pub food, go there immediately! The mashed potatoes alone are worth the drive. Yellow, creamy, skins left in, heaps of dark gravy, "Practically their own food group!", to quote a favorite movie character of mine. Hard cider on tap. Did I mention the spuds? On Thursday we had to drive up again for another appointment, and the man decided we must have more spuds. I agreed. It's a good thing this place is an hour away.

Today, another anglophile pal (who just returned from the UK and brought us a spiffy tea towel from the V&A) paid us a visit, and I was inspired to make scones. I love scones. Tea is better with scones. Made with butter, almond meal in place of some of the flour, and eggs from our two goofy chickens, Henrietta & Iris. Raspberry jam from Trader Joe's (I've run out of the blackberry stuff I put up last Summer :-( ). Cool weather makes me hungry, can you tell?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Dickensian Fun and One Daughter Married Off!

On Friday Gordon's oldest Daughter, Liz, tied the knot with her nifty fiance, Jeremiah. They'll be having a nice wedding ceremony next Spring, but it turned out to be a wise financial move to go ahead and get married before the end of the year (some tax thing). Gordon is very happy: he now has a very cool son-in-law! Liz's sister was able to make it down from Arcata, so Gordon & Liz's mom had a nice time seeing their grandson. For Gordon it was the first time, so especially nice for him as we probably won't be seeing the baby again for awhile (Humbolt County being a bit off the beaten path for us these days among other things).

Saturday we went in to San Francisco for the Dickens Fair at the Cow Palace. I figured I'd better go this year, as we'll probably be moving north sometime before the next one. It was really nice! I was pleasantly surprised. Gordon went as a sailor (I went as a fishwife; first time I've had 19th century clothes on since Gordon and I and a former friend used to model for the San Francisco Academy of Art College about six years ago...). We ran into some soldier friends, and also Col. Wm. "Buffalo Bill" Cody AND the singer Jenny Lind! Score! We actually had tea with Cody & Lind (our friends Patrick & Julie) at a very nice tea shop.

The Dickens Fair had about the same ratio of flakes & nuts to quality re-enactors as the Ren Faire, but for some reason the goofiness factor seems a lot lower. It probably has something to do with the fact that it's easier to throw together 19th century clothing than 16th century clothing if you don't have much of a clue. A shabby attempt at 19th century women's wear just becomes "streetwalker", whereas a lame attempt at 16th century clothing runs the gamut from "fairytale fantasy" to "Victorian bondagewear" to "Celtic knightmare". It just seemed as though it was a lot easier to absorb the atmosphere and play "let's pretend" than at the Ren Faire, where your bubble is popped every time you turn around, whether by some guy in a Conan costume or the fact that for some reason it's 95 f in Merrye Olde Englande. I'd go again for sure!