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September 25, 2001

And still, there is not much to tell. I feel fine for the most part, but I have this lingering bronchial thing that sometimes sends me into coughing fits. I'm hoping it will all be gone by this weekend. 'Cause you know... there are plots afoot! *g* So many plots that I just remembered two of them that I had forgotten! Ack! I think I need one of those fancy-schmancy PDA thingys just to keep track of all this stuff.

Naturally, I would call it the "PalmPlot".

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FAITHYMOO!!

(Brought to you in LusciousMango technicolor!)

*plot, plot, plot* Bwahahaha!

~ 9 coins donated



Plague Update

September 20, 2001

Thank you everyone for your words of concern, but contrary to popular rumors I'm not dead yet. The plague has settled down into a nice little bronchial infection which has in turn caused me to have a voice some where between a prepubescent boy and Kermit the frog. I actually tried to go into work this morning and as soon as my boss heard me talk... she sent me home. I'll wait until tomorrow morning to decide if I want to attempt going in again.

The good news is that I've gotten to watch lots of movies on my new DVD player and television! Yay! Finally, seeing movies with some semblence of color and without having to whack the side of the t.v. with a hammer to get the sound to work. Now I get to collect all my favorite movies again. *sigh*

By now you've all seen the pictures from the Fourth Weekend of MDRF. I had planned on writing a nice little review but when I sat down and tried, there wasn't much to write about. Some of you may have noticed that Keltik's sister, Jennifer, and I were doing a bit of the kissy-face thing on Saturday. While that is true, I've since learned that it's not going to morph into anything more than a day of Faire flirting. For some reason certain people have made it their life purpose to get me settled down. I know it's done of love, so what can I do but go along? *g* I'm not planning on going to Faire this Saturday, but maybe on Sunday I will stop by. Afterall, it is Pirate Weekend and I want to see the Corsairs.

~ 1 coin donated



Plague

September 17, 2001

This is just a quick note to let you, my faithful readers, know that your mighty Clanchief has been laid low by a nasty little bug. I'm currently sporting a temperature around 101 but I'm bundled and drinking lots of water... well, except while typing this. And no Lisa, I still don't have any magic slippers. *G* While I go back and watch some movies and sleep, I thought my faithful six might like to peruse the pictures from MDRF Weekend the Fourth. Enjoy and I'll fill you in on the details later in the week.

Okay, so not all of the details. *eg* And Keltik? We sooooo need to talk. *g*

~ 5 coins donated



Plotting...

September 14, 2001

I've decided not to do an update of the third weekend of MDRF. Instead I threw up a few pictures. Hopefully, I'll be able to start all nice and fresh on Monday with an update for the fourth week of MDRF. 'Tis Scottish weekend, doncha'know laddie! For now though, I have entirely too much plotting to do tonight... hehehehe.

~ 1 coin donated



Birthdays and Rememberances

September 13, 2001

Join me in sending good wishes to Ray "MacDobhran" Idleman on this anniversary of his hatch... um, birth. *g* Ray, as you may remember, is hitched to Sharon (Wench 3-6-9!) and they are the parents of my god-son, Bubba. Okay, so they insist on calling him "Raymond" despite my petitions to the contrary. I would even be happy with "Mini-Ray", but you know how parents can be.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAY!

Today is also my father's birthday. Although that sounds strange since I never called him "Father". He was always "Daddy". He would have been 70 today. However, he lost his battle with Leukemia 19 years and 358 days ago. Maybe one day I'll tell you about him... but not today.

With the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Tuesday (God, has it only been 48 hours?!), there has been enough sadness, indignation, diatribes, racism on the internet and in our lives. I don't think I need to contribute to any of it. Yes, I work about two miles away (I thought it was less than that until I checked a map) from the Pentagon. While we could see the smoke, we didn't hear or feel anything when the plane hit. My co-worker was talking to his father, who works across the street from the Pentagon on Army-Navy Drive, and saw the explosion. The phone suddenly went dead, as well as all cellular and land lines, and my co-worker bolted. I don't blame him, but someone had to stay because even though I'm not a Federal employee, the Helpdesk is considered essential. Besides, I knew that all of my family was well away from the area. I also knew that I wasn't very close to any military or political targets. So I stayed about another half hour until they closed all the Federal offices.

I had been talking to Lisa and Alison in AIM during all of this. I knew there would be several "Rennie headcount" type calls going out to make sure everyone was okay. That's one of the reasons I love the Faire family... everyone looks out for one another. I knew one of them would through my name out as being alright. The streets were packed worse than I've ever seen them, but everyone was going out of their way to be courteous and helpful. (That lasted until the next morning when I got cut off on the way to work. *sigh*)

I went straight to the school, signed out the Clanlad and took him home. I tried to explain what was going on, but I don't think he really got it. I'm not saying I do, except on some superficial level, but I found myself not even being able to explain what a "terrorist" is in terms a 6 year old could understand. We settled on "very, very bad people". It's not like I really wanted to try and explain things like terror, mass deaths and destruction to my child. But then again, I don't want him thinking it was all a movie either. Too many people expressed that feeling already. Even though he had never been to NY or seen the WTC in person, I want him to remember what happened this week.

So hug your kids, kiss someone special, tell those you love that how you feel and may you be safe from all the very, very bad people.

~ What's your 2 pence?



MDRF Weekend the Second (Part II in a Series of 2)

September 11, 2001

*A list of links to the pictures from the various weeks of MDRF can be found here. The pictures associated with this update and the previous one can be found here.*

SUNDAY
My normal routine on Sundays is to bring the Clanlad with me to Faire and this Sunday was no exception. I was so exhausted from Saturday (all the running around, then dinner, then dropping Sunni off and finally getting home) that I didn't set the alarm because I knew the Lad would wake me up as soon as he got up. I probably could have slept until 11:00 a.m. or so but I was awaked around 8:00 a.m. with "Daddy.... DADDY! You have to get UP! You have to take me to Faire today!" I keep trying to remember that it was my idea to nurture his interest in Faire.

After a minimal of fussing, two fairly presentable Scottish lads piled into the car and headed for Faire. We arrived just after gate and still got a halfway decent parking space. Minutes later we're through the gate and making a bee-line for the BIG slide. (Don't think I've forgotten about my spinal surgery either...)The Clanlad flings himself down the slide a couple times and then it's off to the pirate ship slide, which is also a slide but much smaller. The only thing is that when we get there, the pirate ship slide is gone! Ack! In it's place is some kind of bird exhibit and a woman spinning wool on a spinning wheel. Not that I don't think that both of those aren't very informative booths, but the pirate ship slide was nice because it came with a covered bench area where you could sit and relax for an hour while the children played.

From there we decided to head over to the Dragon Inn... or rather, I decided to head over to the Dragon Inn. This of course meant another trip down the BIG slide and made my pouch another dollar lighter. In order to arrive at the Dragon Inn, we of course had to pass the pony ride and therefore had to stop so the Lad could ride a pony. Blessed be the deities of MDRF for keeping at least one kid's ride free. That's right, say it loud -- say it proud, the pony rides are FREE. Huzzah!

Before we actually went into the Dragon Inn, we walked down the hill to the Dragon's Tail area and found that where a booth called White Wizard had been was now a child size Test-of-Strength game and four big pinball tables. The pinball games are kinda neat. There is one that looks like a chessboard, one with ships on it, one with a castle and one with picture of Henry VIII and his wives, if I remember correctly. Naturally though the Clanlad can't just play one game. No, he has to play everyone of them in the row and some of them twice. My wallet was getting so light I thought I might float away!

In order to distract him from the games, I suggested food. We went back over the hill and got a hot dog and some fries then finally made it into the Dragon Inn to sit down. While we were sitting there, Josh and Nikki joined us. Soon after that it was time for the Rogues to play a set. The area filled up fairly quickly so we stayed to listen. I was actually surprised that the Clanlad was paying attention to the music and at one point he was even clapping along with everyone else! As soon as The Rogues were done though, he dragged me down to the Gypsy Stage (near the hairsticks booth) to watch the fire juggler. From there we went over to catch the last of Whipflash. While we were waiting for Josh to come back with his ice cream, Anvil (Ken) and Jerry came up. A couple of kids wanted to see Ken's griffon so he bent down to show them. We left soon after in order to beat the traffic... tired and poor. *g*

MONDAY
Huzzah for the three day weekend during Faire season! I know most of the Faire workers are worn out, and frankly I was also, but three days of Faire is grand. I arrived before gate and was scanning the crowd looking for someone I knew when the woman standing three feet to my left turned and said my name. It was Elizabeth Jane. I didn't recognize her with her straw hat on. We chatted (admittedly nervously) for a while until we were joined by LynneD, Randy, Ken and Patricia. Once the cannon sounded we all headed for Middleton's for oyster shooters. Well, they had oyster shooters, I had a grape soda. *g*

Eventually everyone else wandered off and left EJ and I alone. She asked if I had any plans or anything I wanted to see. Since I wasn't "shepherding" anyone or with the Clanlad I told her that I was at her immediate disposal. Okay, so I probably wasn't quite that fair spoken. I'm sure I said something though, most likely beginning with "Uh" and ending with... "Uh".

Since I was wearing my tights I suggested going over to see Kate Cox and inquire about a chainmail codpiece. Having gained the knowledge that I sought, we then went over to the Dragon Inn. There we met up with some of the otters as well as Josh and Nicole.

From there we went in search of food and eventually ended up at the White Hart. We ran into Dante who was understandably was curious since EJ and I were holding hands and walking arm in arm. I assurred her that no, we are not back together or even thinking of getting back together. We were trying very hard to let the past be the past. Admittedly there were some snarky comments. There's still a lot of pain there but also a lot of love. I can only speak for myself here. I was having a grand time and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I have always truly enjoyed EJ's company and been proud to escort her around a faire site. She is a very beautiful woman... and I am afterall, a Rogue. *g*

Josh and I watched Desmond Deveraux (I think that's his name) perform a street gig involving slight of hand while EJ and Nicole went to Bullseye to buy skirts. After that we swung back through the White Hart where we ran into White Dragon. No matter what he says, he's the one that put on EJ's straw hat and held still long enough for me to take a photo. He's much too cheap to pay my standard bribe so I posted the picture. *eg* Did I mention that I was Evil?

None of us felt any time restraints so we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around and going into various shops at random. At some point Josh and Nicole went off to do some shopping, leaving EJ and I to continue on our own. We ran into Queen Maggie cleverly disguised as the Mayor's wife. She was muchly sunburned from the day before. It was getting late and EJ had a long drive ahead of her so we headed for the front gate. Just before leaving though she got "Handsomed" since they (the Handsomes) were doing Goodbye duty. Even though there isn't a picture of me, I know that my smile echoed hers. It had been a long time since I had a day like that one.

Perfect.

~ 3 coins donated



MDRF Weekend the Second (Part I in a Series of 2)

September 5, 2001

Saturday
Wow. A three day weekend at faire. I haven't had that since... well, last year. *g* Of course last year I didn't have the opportunity, nay the privilege, to escort the lovely Sunni about my home shire. Cause y'know... I am the shepherd. I gathered up Sunni from her place of residence at approximately 8:30 a.m. (puh-lenty of time to make gate...) and proceeded up Interstate 95 through DC.

Now I know what you're thinking... "Our beloved clanchief went back into our Nation's Capital after what happened the last time?!" *sigh* Yes, dear reader, I did. Everything was going along swimmingly until just before the "D" Street exit. Suddenly a four lane interstate turned into a big ole parking lot. Thankfully my quick thinking and lightening reflexes saved us from enduring that transportation nightmare. We made it to New York Avenue and turned east in order to get to Rte 50. It should be noted here that New York Avenue ends by splitting into Rte 50 and the Balt-Washington Parkway. Well, the last time I came this way was while going to Blob's Park and I remember bearing left for the Balt-Washington Parkway. I saw the split in the road and I remember thinking that I need to bear right... however I did not. I could tell you about how the vehicle's passenger was distracting the driver, but I won't get into all that. *g* Let's just say that when all was said and done, we had crossed the Anacostia river five times. Two hours later though, we finally made it to Faire.

We saw Nicole and Josh as we were finishing garbing up. Nicole presented me with a belated birthday present.... a kilted sheep! Not just any kilted sheep though, a Serta sheep (y'know, from the T.V. commercials?) in a kilt and matching bonnet with little clanchief feathers! After oohing and aahing we marched up straight onto site and found the One True Faith working at Catskill's. I chatted with her for a few minutes... mainly just so I could oogle her in her Turks. *eg* Then we moved on for food and libations.

Having satiated ourselves, we started to wander about the shire. On the way I purchased my first two roses of the day. When we reached the Dragon Inn, near the back of the Faire, we found a small group of otters sitting and talking. I presented my first rose of the day to Ani. While I was standing there talking to her and Jim, I felt the soft caress of fingernails along my neck. I hesitated for a long time before finally turning to face Elizabeth Jane. It was the first time we had seen each other or spoken in over a year. I remember that she told me I could stop shaking but I don't think I was solely responsible for all the trembling. What we spoke of isn't as important as the fact that we did speak. I gave her the other rose just before being pulled away because I had promised The Sunni One that we would see some shows.

And see some shows we did! Well, we tried to anyway. We did manage to see Hack & Slash. I laughed uproariously however I think Sunni was less than impressed. What can ya do though? I think she's been spoiled by all that high-brow comedy she watches. *g* If I remember correctly, we wandered over to the White Heart and listened to the Rogues. There was some talk of Jacob's Ladder once again, but thankfully no one was subjected to the chance of a mooning by me. Nikki, Sunni, Josh and I then all proceeded to just walk around and shop. I bought four more roses and gave them all out. I even received a rose myself! *g*

We had planned on seeing The Renaissance Man but on the way we ran into Kim (RumbleKitty) and her friend Kim. I know. It confused me too for awhile. We probably stood there for an hour talking to them. At one point Queen Maggie stopped by to chat. It was getting close to the time for Final Pub Sing when we decided to walk back to the White Hart. It was already crowded so we sat up the hill under a tree and listened to the music. The funniest thing was the drunk guy with the high boots. Security finally found him though and told him it was time to go. Once the cannon sounded, we made our way back to the car and headed for VA.

We only crossed the Anacostia River once this time.

~ 3 coins donated



The Clanchief's Birthday @ MDRF

September 4, 2001

*The pictures from the first weekend of MDRF can be found here. If you click on the paragraph titles below ("Birthday Rose Hit the...") you can read the birthday poems yourself!*

Well, I guess you've all waited long enough, so let's jump right in, shall we?

Sunday, August 26th
I arrived at the MD Renaissance Faire in time for gate. As I was putting on my final touches (i.e. strapping on the Ren Utility Belt) in the parking lot, I spied Jim and Keltique a couple cars down from me, and a few more cars from them were Russ and Ani. The latter couple (Russell and Ani) surprised me with a couple of little gifties (a pen that looks like a scantily clad blonde and a dancing ass... ya think they're trying to tell me something?!?!) and a card. We all headed to gate where we met up with many Otters and waited for the cannon to sound.

I hooked up with The Marcy, Lisa, John and the Spawn. We all headed over to Victor's booth for coffee and the hair braiding booth for the girls. I ran off to get some clam chowder in a bread bowl and sat down beneath a tree to eat. I had just finished eating and was changing the batteries in my camera when...

Birthday Rose Hit the First
John walks around in front of me, throws his brand new leather cavilier hat to the ground and proceeds to kneel in front of me with a rose and a rolled up piece of paper. What could I do? I had to cross my legs and assume a coquettish look. The dashing Rogue read aloud from the scroll (a couple of older women walked past and said, "Oh look, he's proposing!" I almost lost it completely at that point), handed me the rose and kissed my hand. Naturally I swooned. I am glad he was the first though because it put me in the right frame of mind to enjoy the rest of the day.

Once the laughter died down, we all decided to go see the Pyrates. Just prior to the show, there was raspberry wine from the Wine Garden. I think it must have been a little too strong for some of the ladies in our group because somehow they managed to get it into their heads that it would be a wonderful idea for me to go down the Big Slide. Me. In a kilt. For some reason, no matter how much I protested, they just couldn't let it go. Luckily they were distracted by the approach of...

Birthday Rose Hit the Second
Jim! The delicate Keltik's better half marched up to me while I was standing next to the White Hart. He also knelt and presented me with a rose and scroll. He didn't want to read it so I did. I almost cried right there. That had to the one of worst pieces of poetry I've ever seen. *g* I don't remember if he kissed my hand or not, but while I was standing there shaking my head in disbelief...

Birthday Rose Hit the Third
Anvil (of Anvil and MacGuire fame) snuck up on me. He started by seductively trailing the rose across my cheek and around my neck. I graciously offered my hand allowed him to kiss it after he handed me the rose and poem. I read the poem aloud much to the amusement of the assembled onlookers.

Soon after that, Ray and Sharon finally showed up... Ray announcing his presence by flipping up the back of my kilt. After the hugs and kisses (mostly with Sharon... not so much Ray) the subject of the Big Slide was brought up again. Protesting didn't work as well this time though. Marcy said she would go first and she did, so I caved and went too. All I can say is some people had better start saving their pennies to pay for my spinal decompression surgery. Humphff. After I flatly refused to scale the climbing castle (in a KILT!!) we all wandered around for awhile. Eventually we made it back to around to the White Hart in time for the performance we'd all been waiting for -- that talented trio known as In Our Cups! Being the good little Official Groupie #1, I had to be there. I even got to buy Serendipity (aka Sherry) a tankard of ale! *le swoon!* The lasses were spectacular as usual. John and I stood near the front like star-struck paparazzi.

Birthday Rose Hit the Fourth
While I was sitting in the White Hart, someone tapped my shoulder and imagine my surprise when I saw it was the Lady Dawntreader come to wish me a happy birthday! Now nobody could ever mistake her for a Rogue so I was even more surprised when she handed me a rose and another rolled up poem. I barely managed to finish reading that one when...

Birthday Rose Hit the Fifth
the velvety smooth petals of a rose caressed my cheek. Godling proceeded to rogue me as only the Godling can. *g* I must have lost conciousness at some point because the next thing I knew there was a rolled up poem sticking out of my shirt! How does he do that?!? Anyway, I read the poem outloud and then Keltik was ready for the finale.

Birthday Rose Hit the Finale
But first, John, Lisa and the Offspring gifted me with my very first Piland piece! A gorgeous silver kilt brooch with two black stones in it. :-) I'm still speechless about that. I quickly found my voice though when Keltique gave me her prezzie! A see-through lacy thong... with a bow on the front of it. Now she swears that they are men's, but for some reason I am not believing her. But she made this old man proud with her sneaky display of evilness *sniffle*... it's so sad when they grow up.

It was at some point after this (and another trip back to the Dragon Inn for more alcohol) that the subject of Jacob's Ladder came up. It had been mentioned before but once again certain lasses couldn't seem to take "No freakin' way!" for an answer. Of course my brother Rogues were no help whatsoever and seemed to enjoy inciting the ladies to even greater efforts in their quest. Because I am mush, I caved again. I think that the pictures pretty much speak for themselves so I don't think there's much that I could add here.

I'm sure I forgot some details and left some things out. That's my fault for waiting so long to write this. Because of all of the well wishes and silliness from friends and loved ones I will always remember this as one of the most excellent birthday weekends ever. Thank you all.

~ 5 coins donated