We were supposed to meet up with my coworker, Rob, and his fiancee, Lynn as well as members of Roho's D&D group and troop around the renfaire for the majority of the day on Saturday. I had $50 in my pocket and a great determination not to spend it all, so we drove up to the border looking for signs. The only directions we had were 'Drive to the Ill/Wis border, turn west, follow signs'. Yeah, real specific. Anyway, north of Racine we start getting the feeling that we've gone too far, so we start making phone calls... one of Bren's friends was already there and let us know that we did in fact go too far, so we turned around and hoofed it back south, calling Rob to let him know that we were detained.
We met up in front of the gates, and I must say that I really like the parking arrangements for the Faire. With the amount of people that must be going in and out every day, the parking was reasonably priced ($3 for all day), and they were arranging the vehicles so that no one really had a tremendously far walk to get to the gate.
Anyway. Lynn had two '2 tickets for the price of 1' coupons, so we got in for half price and proceeded to look around like lost little lambs. None of us had ever been to the Bristol Faire before, I had never been to one PERIOD, so this was... both what I expected, and a bit more than I expected. We snagged maps and programs and began wandering. We had been informed via cell that the D&D crowd was going to be at the Dirk and Guido show, so we proceeded to try and find them by following the map. After a couple of misstarts, and a lot of wandering and chatting, we finally find the show and spot our friends. After the show (which was very silly and quite amusing), introductions are made and we decide to split off into smaller groups and go find lunch.
The four of us (Myself, roho, Rob, and Lynn split up to the various eateries in search of sustenance. I was tempted to go after a plate of ribs (since I know what it is and figured it was safe) but ended up deciding on sausage calzone at another tavern. Stood in line for food, stood in another line for drink, found Rob and Lynn again at the Whistling Pig tavern, and sat down to eat. Roho shared a bit of his shepherd's pie with me, and I shared the calzone, as it was nearly too large for me to finish. While we were eating, we were treated to a parade of staff in costume. Representatives from all the various craft shops were parading around in full garb, with the "Queen" and her guardsmen. I especially enjoyed a scottish contingent, complete with kilts, tartans, and bagpipes. (The fellow working at the shop we bought drinks at throughout the day was a Mel Gibson lookalike. Kilt, tartan, long hair, same squarish, weathered face.... mmm. purrrrr. ;9)
After lunch we spent the rest of the day wandering around. A few things I remember sticking out in my mind- It was incredibly dusty. Horribly so, and very very hot. However, there was an abundance of seating available throughout the faire, and usually someone nearby playing a period instrument; harp, reed flute, ect., so you had entertainment even while resting. I liked the fact that there were a lot of trees, creating wonderfully shaded places to enjoy the afternoon.
Something else that struck me was that all the craftsmen were more than happy to stop what they were doing and talk about their craft. They weren't cool or distant if you showed no interest in buying things, and seemed to enjoy having people stop and talk to them. We got to watch a glassblower work his magic, creating a glass unicorn out of a thin rod about the size of my pinky finger, which was amazing. We also got to chat with a goldsmith that did the most beautiful jewelery I've ever seen in my life. I really coveted one of the rings he had for sale; it was a simple band of twisted gold (it was twisted into a rope shape), with a single diamond shaped diamond with three other tiny ones alongside it. I have never seen something so beautiful in its simplicity. I showed it to Roho. I figure there's no harm in him knowing what kind of jewelery I like. ;) Unfortunately the ring was on sale for $400... and normally went for $500. We joked with the craftsman about how I could write him a postdated check for the year 2024. He told me to come see him when I won the lottery. I think next year, I want to take enough money to buy something from him. :)
Other things that stuck out in my mind were two of the feature events we went to see. A falconry exhibition, and the joust. I love horses. My parents bought me a pony for my 10th birthday, and I miss them very very much. Ever since I was a child, I've been horsecrazy. When I found out there was a joust, wild horses couldn't have kept me away. Er... well... hrm. Bad turn of phrase. ;) ANYWAY. We decided that we were going to go pick up some contact juggling balls that we had seen when we first came in for Roho, then come back and watch the jousting with Rob and Lynn. They were going to run back and order a piece of jewelery from the goldsmith and meet us at the arena. By the time we got back with the balls and drinks, there was literally no seating. We managed to find some of the D&D group, who crowded up enough for two of us, but Rob and Lynn had to sit on the ground. :/
The joust was incredible. The MC was a master horseman, and his horse was impeccably trained. They moved about as one creature, and it was awe inspiring to watch. The joust was, as I rather expected, silliness and plain showmanship. Whenever one of the "knights" was unhorsed, he dramatically threw his arms out and kicked his feet out of the stirrups. They were all dressed partially at least in plate armour, so sawdust notwithstanding, I imagine those falls took a good bit out of them. It was all quite entertaining, and we sent the men off for drinks again afterward while we waited 30 minutes for the Falconry.
The gentleman that was running the falconry show gave a bit of background on the Sport of Kings and told us a bit about his birds. He had an American Goshawk and a Peregrine/Gyrfalcon hybrid. Watching the birds fly, then go after the lure was... an incredible experience. After the show, we put some money in his basket. Both Roho and myself wished lanakila could have seen it. Ah well, maybe next year. :)
After the falconry, we wandered around some more and started thinking about heading home. Roho had gotten to shoot at the pitifully inadequate archery range earlier, so that particular itch had been scratched, and he had his new juggling balls. The one thing that both of the guys wanted that we hadn't found was tankards, so we decided we'd wander around and look a bit for some nice pewter ones before we left. I found some gorgeous goblets and mugs... one of which had a wolf for the handle (I thought of aureth on that one, until I looked at the price tag), and there were several dragon themed pieces. We also stumbled on this stunningly lovely egyptian themed chess set that we drooled on.
Finally, we stopped at a wood shop, where they had drums, bowls, goblets, and tankards made of every form of wood imaginable, including two 32oz mugs carved of ebony (with $200 price tags attached). While Roho and myself browsed the selection of tankards, Lynn and Rob went next door to the printing shop and looked at sealing wax and seals. Bren finally made his choice, and we looked at the seals a bit. I need to get the company name from Rob, since Roho had the idea that if I had a fairly simple design, I could get them to make a seal for me. Definately want to pay them a visit next year.
We finished off the day with Roho buying a beer in his new tankard and picking up packets of cinnamon-sugar pecans and cashews. We've decided that next year, we're going to attempt to go in garb.. which means that I've got some sewing in my future. We had a blast, and stayed from 11am to 5:30pm, which was much much longer than I expected. I have no idea what kind of milage we walked, but my legs are definately letting me know that they got a good workout.
We came home, ate baked potatoes for dinner, and promptly crashed. It was a wonderfully satisfying day.
We slept a bit late on Sunday, being lazy after an extremely active day. We knew we had a MFF meeting in the afternoon, and were expecting lunch afterwards, so we ate a light breakfast and then played a bit of EverQuest together. Left for the meeting a bit early, and I got my first look at the hotel that the con will be held at. It is *nice*. Very posh. I felt quite out of place in sneakers and shorts, but oh well. The meeting took longer than I expected, which I suppose, is to be expected. As someone mentioned, furries love to hear themselves talk. After the meeting ended, we lurked about, then went to the lobby to request a tour of the available rooms. We went upstairs and got to see what the different suites and rooms looked like (they are quite nice) and discussed what kind of rooms we want to reserve. An arrangement was discussed, but depends on whether or not the hotel can be talked down on the price they want. We did decide that we (myself and roho, at least) are taking that Monday off of work and staying on Sunday night. I volunteered to help, and knowing Aureth, he'll definately put me to work.
We ended up going to dinner at Spring Garden, which was delicious... especially as it was close to 6pm and we hadn't eaten since 9 that morning. I got to meet Neowolf and Kitfox, both folks I had not met previous. I don't know Kitfox at all... but Neo was about like what I expected.. quiet and courteous, and a lot of fun to talk to. I did see Tremaine and Mistletoe as they were leaving (took me that long to figure out who they were), but didn't get to say hello or introduce myself. Oh well.
Came home after the meeting and... well.. I was feeling very icky, which left me a bit grumpy... And since my moods transfer to Bren rather easily, he was a bit grumpy and moody as well. So we went to bed... and I had another night where I was afraid to touch him. I hate those. Wish my subconscious could reason. :p
Monday was the start of my new shift, so I had less time in the morning than what I wanted.. Came tootling in to work, and had a fairly uneventful morning. Discussed a few issues that I think had been..not festering, but.. Roho and I weren't on the same page on them. He was stressed, I think, because he thought I was thinking something I wasn't, and it took me a few weeks to figure out a way to phrase it so that he knew what I was thinking. Once he knew that, everything was all hunky dory, and I felt like I could go ahead with my plottings without stressing him out. This was a Good Thing.
The Bad Thing about yesterday is that RB is still being a dumbfuck. She isn't doing what she needs to do, she won't ask questions when she's not sure, (or she just doesn't care), and from the discussion I had with Judy on Friday, if she doesn't shape up, she's going to be let go. Judy said that she was giving her every opportunity possible to straighten herself out so that if it came to her being fired, she couldn't say we didn't work with her. Personally, she's been here less than 90 days, that's a standard trial period, just inform her that it's not working out and boot her ass. But.. .I'm not in charge.
I brought the discrepancies to Judy's attention as well as RB's... in an email that was obviously cc'd to Judy. Judy emailed me back with a Thank you and said it was well worded (*preen*), and RB.... has said nothing. I'm not sure if she even read it, even though I told her to. Next time I catch her screwing up, I'll put delivery confirmation and make her sign a hardcopy to say she read it.
I did go ahead and get an appointment made with a doctor, for today, in fact. I have to leave in about 15 minutes so I can get there on time. I wrote out a list of symptoms and the medications tried to give to him. Judy mentioned Friday that she had been on Depo herself, and that the first 6 months for her was hell. So I'm going to discuss it with the doctor. The only thing strong enough to stop the bleeding may be another injection. Gr.
Something else to talk to the doc about is Atkins. I've heard several success stories, Rob is on it... and.. well.. Now I think I have the willpower necessary to do it. I just want to make sure that in going on Atkins, I won't damage my thyroid further.
And now.. going to close so I can get ready to scoot. Will post an update after I get back from the doctor!