allasondrea and I carpooled on Friday to NC for the Golden Rose Tourney. We decided to take her Toyota Prius since it has better mileage than my Matrix, and it has almost as much room. What a wonderful little car! Everything fit in there with room to spare, and we were carrying two wooden chairs (one of them a Savonarola style with a back), our luggage, all of her scribal gear, and my fencing equipment among other things.
I think I'm in love with a car.
Just don't tell the Matrix.
Not that there is any danger that the Silver Bullet will be replaced any time soon. It's a great little car, fuel efficient, has got room like gangbusters, I adore her, and it's paid for so she's staying with me. But if I were to get another car in the near future, it would definitely be a Prius.
At any rate, our trip was uneventful except for the fact that we had a close encounter of the Falwell Effect kind, which delayed our arrival to the hotel due to our getting lost over and over. We encountered the same problem the next morning on our way to the site, until Allasondrea decided to try the GPS in her new smart phone, which took care of the problem at once.
Jerry Falwell, eat your heart out!
For those who are not familiar with the Falwell Effect, it's an old story dating from when the man was alive and his radio station highjacked my XM Radio during a road trip to Coronation. The fact that we hit snow, fog, hot flashes, and what appeared to be a rain of frogs during that fateful trip, made greta_k and I suspect that it was all Falwell's fault. The fact that he is dead now doesn't change anything. It only means that his ghost can haunt your car any time he wants, but apparently GPS can banish him as long as the weather is good.
You can find the original story here.
Oh, well, at least it didn't rain fish
The Golden Rose Tournament was terrific, and I do hope that they bring it back next year. I had the honor to take the rapier field for Her Grace duchess_simone, and it was a wonderful experience. I loved that the whole event was dedicated to the Ladies of the Rose, and that even the order of precedence was based on the date in which they joined the Order. Also, because it is team-based, it lends itself to great comraderie and sprit de corps.
Our team was comprised by Sir Theron Andronikos as our Knight, Lord Kollack von Zweckel and Baron Erwin Bloodaxe as our unbelted fighters, Lady Gwenhwyvar Ywain as our archer, myself on the rapier field, and Maestra Cassandra Arabella Giordani as our herald. We also had our very own team photographer, the one and only psalite, who I am sure will be posting pics soon. (Hint, hint.)
The fighting itself was a lot of fun, but the best part was that you could aid your team to stay in the competition. It was a double elimination format, but it did not depend on any one individual. First, the archers had a shoot in which the order of the pairings was determined. Then there were three fields, one for the knights, one for the unbelted, and one for the rapiers. In order to advance, two of the three had to win their respective bouts. So in the end, if the rest of your team had won, they could carry you on even if you had lost your own bout. On the other hand, if the rest of your team had lost, the whole team would lose that round even if you had won your bout. The fact that the point of the tourney was to show courtesy on the list field, as you were representing your Lady of the Rose, as opposed to just winning a bout, lent a whole new dimension to the tournament.
In the end, we did our best, we had great fun, and we do hope that we made our Rose proud. She certainly seemed very happy, and I loved the nifty presents that she had for her team. A lovely Spike medallion for all and, in my case, a toy pirate with a braided beard, a hook, and a monkey. What more can I ask for! I was in heaven. :-)
Court was short, and I was really happy to see some very worthy folks recognized. Stephen got his White Scarf, much to everyone's rejoice. (And he's not allowed to stage a realistic death on the field again, lest the rest of his comrades in arms kill him for real!). Kollack, our team mate, got inducted into the Order of the Kraken, and Marion got an Opal. I am sure I am missing someone else, but those are the ones I remember right now. It was very cool.
After the event we had a nifty BBQ at the abode of the lovely Vitha. It was very much appreciated, especially after a very hot day (90+F and 90% humidity) of fighting and pageantry (loved the procession!).
Friday's road trip home was uneventful and Rev. Falwell surrendered to the might of the GPS. I went home, and was greeted by my ballistabob, who informed me that he had missed me very much. Which is a very good thing since I missed him sorely too.
After that, my sweetie and I went to the Nissan Pavillion and to see No Doubt in concert. We had acquired really good tickets back when they first announced that they were coming to the DC area, and it was soooooooo worth it! This has to be one of the best shows ever! And I have seen very many good ones. Best of all? No lip synching for any of them! At a time when many performers resort to that trick, No Doubt does everything live. And good gravy! All of them, including Gwen Stefani, must be in tip-top shape! I can't believe how can you prance around the stage with that amount of energy and still be able to sing!
But sing and dance and play they did, and we rocked and jumped and danced to the music. There were 23,000 people in there! That was a record for them, particularly in this economy. And one of the things that I love so much about No Doubt is that they decided that they were not going through Ticket Master, but they sold their tickets directly from their site, which allowed them to give their fans a break. Plus if you purchase a ticket priced greater than $42.50 before applicable ticketing related fees, you get to dowload their entire catalog for free, which is exactly what we did. It was awesome!
Anywhoo, this has ended up being a much longer entry than I anticipated. I don't usually post that much, but much happened this weekend.
Hasta la vista, and see you around.