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Weekend update part one: Ren Faire

Dialogue of the weekend:

Person wearing skull on head: "Wait, the girl that puts her breasts on fire is your cousin?"

Me: "Well, one of them is."

Person with skull on head: "That's so awesome." Pause. "Well. Of course. This is coming from someone with a skull on his head."

In related news, I am commanded to pass along various and sundry friendly greetings to all members of Phoenix Swords, which would be even cooler if I remembered who had commanded me to do so.

********************

So as some of you might have gathered from the above, I returned to the Florida Renaissance Festival for the first time in, um, awhile, heading there with athenakt, her husband, and about four people from FIU who are not getting named here since they chose the uncoolness of Myspace accounts who wended their way north so that they could argue about leather hats. Well, that and take pictures of me stroking and caressing an entirely different skull than the one above, a skull attached to a limb of a green demon. Green demons are not precisely technically part of the glamourous court of Henry VIII, but I'm always up for stroking skulls when need be, and I figured that a few demons had danced their way into Henry's masquerades here and there, so all good. Pictures were also taken by swntcute2, who was so surprised to see me there that she felt it was necessary to take actual pictures of me to prove that I was really there. I felt I had to have a few cups of mead and several handfuls of kettle corn to prove I was really there.

(As a recovering historian I am well aware that kettle corn did not form a large part of the dietary staples of any Renaissance court, but this was the same Ren Faire selling arepas and funnel cakes, so, as traditional food goes, it lacked something.)

I have to say that I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would, and it was good to run into certain people again and reconnect with old friends and people I barely remembered from Alabama. But like wolfblade noted a few years back, I felt an odd disconnect with the Faire; I could hardly believe I'd been part of it once, perhaps especially when I chatted with old friends from the time. (Realizing I'd seen pretty much all the acts, though, at one Faire or another, was a helpful reminder.) The Faire seemed somewhat more organized than it's been in times past, although perhaps that's only because I spent limited time there, and the day was cool enough to draw in crowds – but it didn't quite feel overcrowded. (wolfblade -- the only street performers I saw were the above mentioned demons and some tumblers on stilts promoting their own show. ) This Faire doesn't have a permanent site, unlike others, and has pretty much given up all pretense to authenticity – but it does have glassblowing and gorgeous metal worked objects, including a bronzed rose water garden that immediately made me think of norda.

We snuck out just before the pub sing, to avoid the traffic. Oddly, I thought I'd miss that – pub sing was always my favorite part of the Faire – but I found that I didn't feel like persuading my group to stay. I did feel like indulging in more kettle corn.

Sunday's tale coming up.

The trip, part two.

So the rest of the weekend was spent with my cousins and new friends at the Mobile Renaissance Festival, which partly explains why I spent part of Saturday running across a dirt field frantically waving a finger puppet of a cute little squirrel. (I say, partly, because, really, can you ever have a complete and satisfactory explanation of this? I think not.) Tidbits:

1. When somebody announces that he's a former member of the IRA and that his friends have headed down to South America to train guerillas because revolution has to be kept alive….even in Alabama, this is a conversation stopper.

2. But when the same guy says that he makes more money by letting women look under his kilt than through his street improv comedy act, this is totally believable.

3. In the Miami is finally improving its reputation department: Apparently, when people from Ohio say the word "Miami" they think this is a code word for "Moon." Who knew? Personally, I've never been able to associate Miami with any such positive image, but then again, I work in Miami.

4. Dinner conversation at one part of the table: Breasts. Dinner conversation at my end of the table: the status and trade restrictions on the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and its potential for continued survival. Statement about my social abilities: Hardly needs to be made, now, does it?

5. In the "It can only happen to me" department: yes, yes, it's true: I injured my knee by standing on it. Yes, it's also true that this later resulted in my gaining, yet again, a personal knowledge of the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport's Passenger Courtesy Wheelchair Transportation System, which, let me say right here and now, sucks. The wheelchair rolls in the train, for one thing. But they did let me stop for a sandwich.

6. The fire show. So, the performers I was with do a historical show in the morning, a couple of fighting and melee shows in the later morning and early afternoon, and wrap things up with fire, baby, except that they don't use the word baby. To have fire, you need fuel, and breasts. I held the fuel.

7. The flaming fans that flew towards the audience? That was meant to happen, like, totally. Me tripping over the sign in the back? Not so much.

8. Homemade root beer is De Bomb.

9. I-10 has a lot of traffic. I'm just saying. It created a small question of whether or not I would reach the airport on time. Which then created the not very small question of whether or not I would willingly board Delta again. I was in pain, so, yes, I did.

10. And for those of you who actually e-mailed me asking what, precisely, is kinky about lighting a woman's breasts on fire, does it help if I point out that malterre is my cousin? And that we had a large audience?

Fire, incest, exhibitionism. We didn't throw in a chicken, but honestly, did we need to?

Kinky alert:

I helped set malterre's boobs on fire!*

More later, including the Delta horror story, when I return.

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