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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2002

~ 1 coin donated

Skum and Phyfe

October 30, 2002

Wow, a whole week has managed to slip by. I don't know where the time goes. Let's get you caught up with the happenings about the castle, shall we?

Two weekends ago (October 19th and 20th), Celly came up form NC in order to attend the last weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival with me. On Saturday, the weather threatened rain all day but never produced. The humidity finally left our area which made for some lovely cloak wearing weather. We got there a little after the gates opened and made our way down to the Dragon Inn to greet everyone. While we were down there, Keltik got one of the more interesting Rose Tag hits from Ani. Celly and I left there and went over to listen to Owain Phyfe. Since it was the last weekend we went back two or three more times.

We also caught the last half hour of Shakespeare's Skum. They were playing to a full house so we ended up in the cheap seats on the hill but we could easily hear all the dialogue. Very funny stuff, I'm going to have to remember to catch their full show next year. After that we mostly wandered around and ate. Occassionally we sat and listened to music. Mostly we just enjoyed the last weekend of our favorite faire.

Sunday was the "Day of Wrong" wherein garbed patron's come dressed in even stranger garb than usual. Celly and I didn't do anything this year for DoW because of money and time but we are tossing around a couple of ideas for next year. You can see what other people did though by clicking here.

This past weekend was spent cleaning and working around the house. I mowed the lawn hopefully for the last time this year. I also took the Lad shopping for a pumpkin. Being the good dad that I am, I told him to go look and pick out which pumpkin he wanted. Naturally he picks one of the biggest ones there -- 38lbs. Guess who got to carry it?

The Lad drew out a Jack-O-Lantern face on a piece of paper and I carved the pumpkin. I thought about trying to carve something crafty but I'm not very good at reliefs and the Lad wanted the traditional triangle eyes and a mouth with two teeth on the top and three on the bottom. He was very specific about that part. Next year I think I'll have to get a couple of pumpkins.

I'll put a picture of it up for tomorrow's entry.

~ What's your 2 pence?

Hi Mom and Dad!

October 17, 2002

Last night I was talking to Celly and she told me that while doing a search in Google her cousin found my website. "Okay, that's cool." I think to myself. Then she says that her cousin sent it to her dad.

Once Celly talked me out of jumping from my window (it's a ground floor window... but I could have really scraped my knee!) I tried to remember what exactly is on this site. Well, I couldn't. I mean, this place has grown to literally hundreds of pages over the years. It's probably in major need of an overhaul because who knows how many links don't work anymore. I plan on getting another domain name for non-faire related things, but I shudder to even think of the work inherent in redoing this website much less creating a new one from scratch.

Don't get me wrong, I don't really have anything to hide from my soon-to-be in-laws and I'm proud of this site. It's not like this is a hotbed of foul language and porn. My friend Lisa's kids read this site. It's just that I don't want to do or say anything that might embarrass Celly. I must still have her fooled because she still goes out with me in public without wearing dark glasses and a hat pulled low.

So everyone play nice and say lots of good things about me. Yeah, I mean lie.

~ 1 coin donated


October 14, 2002

Yes, this past weekend was Oktoberfest at MDRF. Accordians and brass bands were much in evidence. Personally I don't mind the music that much. I'm not crazy about it but then I'm not crazy about bagpipes either. You see, I lived in Germany for three years when I was in elementary school. I really miss weinersnitzel and some of the European candy. Some day I'd like to go back as an adult but I wonder if it would be as much fun.

Anyway, here are the pictures from this past weekend. Enjoy!

~ What's your 2 pence?

The Proposal Weekend: Part III

October 11, 2002

I wasn't quite the "crack-addled hampster" (to borrow a phrase) Sunday morning that I was on Saturday. We still made gate, but there wasn't the same sense of urgency involved. For one thing, I wore tights on Sunday which made getting dressed in the morning infinitely easier. The other reason was that with the Big Event behind me, I wasn't under quite as much stress.

First thing in the morning was of course the mighty Wench Slide. This has become a tradition for the Sunday morning of Invasion weekend. As usual, I was standing at the bottom with my Wench's basket (Please note the possessive case of the noun. Thank you.) taking pictures.

After Wench Slide happened, everyone headed over to the Dragon Inn to prepare for a mass wenching of Fred, who plays King Henry. Since Fred isn't required to be "on stage" as the King until the afternoon, he has taken to wandering the shire in the mornings dressed as a peasant named Signore Pantelone. Someone told me that the real King Henry actually did something like this on occasion.

Well, since it was Invasion and HeadWench Keltik (more on how she earned THAT title later) had all these lovely Wenches in one place, she decided our new king need a thorough wenching. As you can tell from the pictures, these are some thorough women! First they covered the front of his face and then when they had run out of room, they attacked the back of his neck.

From the Dragon Inn, several of us hurried over to O'Shucks to witness Christophe the Insulter ply his trade upon an unsuspecting White Dragon. You see, on Saturday WD had organized and lead a tribute to the Medieval Baebes who were performing at MDRF that weekend. Well, despite all of his enthusiastic instructions of how NOT to stare or babble or drool, it seems our young hero did all three. At once. So Ralph decided he needed some chastisement. As you can tell from the pictures at the bottom of this page, there was quite a crowd there to witness the spectacle.

We went around to the other side of O'Shucks to listen to some Pyrate chick bang on her Bonky-Thing. Celly bought her CD (I already have it.) and you should too! (Shameless plug sponsored by Kat Fairbanks who better pay me or I'll call her by her Christian name.) We stood there talking with Kat for a while and then went over to listen to the Women of Whimsey's triumphant farewell tour.

Then it was time to head back to the Dragon for the 2:40 PM show of "The Italian Wedding". Lance got pulled up to the "Best Man" which is kind of unusual because performers rarely pick garbed patrons to participate on stage. He was pretty good at acting drunk and hungover. Do you think he might have been in that condition before? *g*

After Teatro's show we walked around for a while until it was time to assemble for the combined wenching/rogueing of the King and Queen. Basically we formed up two lines in front of the King and Queen as they sat on their thrones and two by two we presented them with roses. At the end, the Queen gave a lovely speech about how much she appreciated the Rogues and Wenches of the shire. It was good PR if nothing else. Y'know, while she's a wonderful queen, I can't help but think that she'd really like to wear something lowcut and bawdy sometimes.

By then it was almost time for Pub Sing, so Celly and I went over to the White Hart. We squeezed in across from Kate, Eveyln and Lance near the stage. Soon King Henry came up on stage and called out for our very own Keltik! Somehow the king had gotten word that Keltik (the Madame of Wench Local 42) was responsible for his wenching and the roses. After making a little speech he placed a paper Burger King crown on her head and proclaimed her the official "HeadWench" of Revel Grove. (Insert your own joke here)

The only other thing of note is that I did manage to catch a good picture of Nimblewyck's fireball. After which we headed over to Fuddrucker's for some beef. Well, beef for me and a veggie burger for my fianceé. Heh. I still can't get used to that. I'm betrothed.


~ 1 coin donated

The Proposal Weekend: Part II

October 10, 2002

Celly and I woke early, showered and headed off to breakfast so that our room guests could sleep a bit longer. When we came back upstairs only one of them had stirred. I pleated my kilt and Celly's arisaid. Soon enough we were heading out the door towards MDRF. We managed to get a decent parking space. After I put on my belt, jerkin and hat I led my lady over to greet the other early arrivals.

Even while greeting people that I haven't seen in almost a year, I'm counting noses. You see, I picked eleven other Rogues to join me in rogueing Celly, at the end of which I would propose. I find Ani and she tells me the roses she got (Thank you Ani!) are pink and hidden in the Wench Hostel. Then Celly runs off to help someone with a gig (they let her sing so she was off like a shot). Ray and Sharon show up while I'm still outside the gates so we all go in and head for the Dragon Inn. The Inn is already crowded with people. I introduce Celly to some people that she hadn't met yet and then we run off to get soup in a bread bowl. Having finally accounted for all my Rogues, I relax with some clam chowder for a few minutes while MrWhizzr runs off to buy a white rose for me to present.

All too soon, it's time. I know it's time because I keep getting faintly hidden signals from people making the not-too-obvious gesture of pointing at their wrists and raising their eyebrows questioningly. I started shooing people over towards the chapel and when all my Rogues are accounted for, I delivered some quick instructions. I walk back to the Dragon Inn (about 30 feet away) and look for Celly. I tell her we're going to do a rogueing of Capi (one of the visitors from California) and she needs to hurry if she wants to see it.

Little did I know that my own actions had given me away. Well, that and her suspicious nature. Apparently she had already told her sister that she thought I was going to propose that weekend. Damn, it's gonna be harder than I thought to get away with stuff around her. *eg*

There were at least 50 people gathered to witness the event. I dragged her through the crowd and made some pretense at searching for Capi. Then I turned to her and said, "Oh well, I guess we'll just have to do you.".

She froze and proclaimed, "But you already did me!".

"I didn't." I replied.

I guess it's true that knowing about something and experiencing it can be completely different. I led her to the center and then took my place in the rogue circle. Andre went first. Then Mark the English Rogue, Josh, and Cronnacht approached my beloved and said either sweet or naughty things to her -- sometimes both! The Dread Pirate Russell stole a page from Cronnacht by approaching with the rose sticking out of his belt. Seamus was sweet and I'm pretty sure Lance was naughty. Angus McCastor was probably naughtier though. Drake recited a poem about tobacco (you have to know him to really understand it.) and MrWhizzr kissed her. Raymond was the last one to present her with a pink rose and he also kissed her.

I stood in my spot and said, "Well, finally! It's about time." You see, I told the Rogues that the only limits were what her body language told them. Maybe she just didn't start to relax until that late, but when MrWhizzr kissed her, Cronnacht started complaining and suggesting more roses and a second go-round. I told him, "I can't help it if you dinna follow instructions, lad!".

Ani said that since everyone knew what I was planning it was "like putting her up there in her wedding dress" so nobody was going to get too risque with her. I guess she was right. I just wanted Celly to have the best possible rogueing -- one of legends.

Now it was my turn. I didn't have a cemented plan, but I had run several scenarios through my head in preparation for this day. Bowing, removing my hat, what to say, how to move... naturally they all leaked right out at that very moment.

I went forward, handed her the white rose and then took all of the roses from her. These I handed off to my official FlowerGrrl, Ani. Then I took Celly's hand and raised it up over our heads. Slowly I walked her around in a circle -- so that everyone could see her -- keeping my eyes on hers the whole time. When we came back to our original starting positions, I stepped close to her and said, "I love you so very much." Then I started tearing up and losing it. I managed to keep myself under control, but the strength of all that emotion surprised me. I realized that I had better get to the question before I completely forgot how to speak English.

The change to her face when I said, "I talked to your parents yesterday." was like night and day. Her mouth came open, her eyes went wide and she almost burst into tears right then. Thankfully she didn't because I didn't have any plan at all for dealing with THAT. Somehow I managed to spit out that her parents had given us their blessing. I was quickly degenerating into grunts and animal noises at this point.

While I fumbled in my pouch for the ringbox, I said "So I have just one question to ask you now." I knelt down on my left knee. I lifted her left hand to my eye level and whispered, "Will you marry me and be my wife?" (At least that what I think I said. I was concentrating on breathing so much that the details are a little fuzzy at this point.) Celly choked out a small "Yes." Thinking I might not have heard her, she added "Yes, I will." in a just barely discernible voice. But I heard it.

I stood up, hugged her and the crowd shouted out three "Hip-hip-huzzahs!" I heard that we stopped a show on a stage about 200 feet away. Oops. I guess nobody else heard her answer because while I was hugging my new fianceé there was a shout from the crowd, "Is that a yes?!?" Celly cried out a resounding "YES!" which set off a whole new round of cheering from those assembled.

Then many hugs and congratulations happened. Eventually we wandered off with MrWhizzr, Lisa, Todd, Marcy, Ray and Sharon to the wine garden. Todd bought us congratulatory drinks. Well, actually what he said was, "Put your fucking money away!". Heh, who am I to argue with my hot highway lover.

We ended up leaving a little early because it was so crowded and we didn't want to get caught in the parking lot traffic. After going back to the hotel and taking a quick nap, we headed over to a local Italian restaurant to meet up with about a dozen friends. I had made a reservation the weekend before but somehow it got canceled. The manager however was very apologetic and got us a group of tables in a side room away from the regular customers. I think that may have been for his piece of mind more than our comfort though. Dinner was wonderful and the company even better. Soon enough we were all bursting at the seams and ready to retire for the day.

~ What's your 2 pence?

The Proposal Weekend: Part I

October 9, 2002

I arrived at Hotel Otter and immediately see some of the NC crew outside. I hug Maeven and wave to everyone else. Once I find out which room Celly and I are in, I head upstairs for a long overdue (four WEEKS!) reunion with my honey. A little while later (not THAT little though!) we head down to the lobby to see who else has arrived.

Kate Montgomery rushes up and gives us hugs. I proceed outside to the porch area and chat with the NC contingent: Maeven, Melissa, Rose, John B., Angus and Chris. (ed note: I don't have any decent pics of any of them. I'll try to take some at CRF.) Everyone is talking about dinner so a plan is hit upon. Dave Lister, Maeven, Rose, Kate, Celly and I all decide to head to Mr. Wang's for some Chinese food. Of course we had to wait while Angus and Chris double fiended Celly. I guess they were warming up for the Faire day or something. If I had been thinking about anything but food, I would have taken advantage of the fact that there were four other women standing there whose necks were not occupied. Damnit.

I hadn't been to Mr. Wang's in a couple years. It had changed quite a bit. Tablecloths, new chairs and I think they redecorated the walls too. The food was plentiful but the stories and laughs were even moreso. We all had a good time relaxing and getting to know each other better.

A Mr. Wang's Snippet or How to make Kate believe anything:
Kate: I love the Cathy cartoon strip! She's so in touch with how women feel.
Gareth: Um, you know that strip is written by a man, right?
Kate: Really?
Dave: Yeah, it is.
Kate: Wow. He's really in touch with his feminine side then.
Gareth and Dave: BWAHAHAHAHA!
Kate: *THWAP!*

After dinner, Celly and Maeven got together in our room to finish hemming Celly's new Irish dress. I decided to pass on such domestic tranquility and go sit outside with a nice afer dinner cigar. While enjoying the summer evening, Todd and The Marcy drive up. Much rejoicing is had. That is until they try to check in. It seems somehow their reservation got changed from three nights to one. Needless to say, with the Army/Navy game and boat show in Annapolis the same weekend, there were no available rooms at the inn. Since Celly and I had a suite, I offered them the luxurious accommodations of our pullout couch. Apparantly I am the official pimp for The Homeless Marcy. (Marcy stayed with me for a few days when she first moved from Texas to Virginia three years ago.) I also took the opportunity to let her sneak a peak at the engagment ring that I was presenting to Celly the next day.

To Be Continued...

~ What's your 2 pence?

MDRF Invasion Pictures

October 3, 2002

I finally got through all the pictures on my camera and they are now available for your perusal over here. Hopefully my brain will become unfried soon and I can make a coherent story out of the weekend for your amusement.

~ 1 coin donated


October 2, 2002

I love this picture. I think it's one of the better ones I've ever taken although most of that is probably due more to the subjects than any photography skill I might claim. Obviously this is from Pirate Weekend at MDRF. Somehow I managed to only take about four pictures that weekend. However, fear not gentle reader, for I have just gone through the pictures from the AFR Invasion weekend and managed to whittle them down to a mere 88 pictures. I'm writing the code for the display pages now so be patient.

And yes, Patricia, I have the original picture without the word balloons if you want it.

~ 2 coins donated