The Storm of Summer’s End

Or, “All of the non-SCA stuff I crammed into a 1-month period.”

summersend2014-2FaerieWorlds 2014

High Notes

summersend2014-11

  • This FaerieWorlds was my first big mixed folk festival. I’ve been to small concerts and I’ve been to conventions, but never the two mixed together, and not on such a large scale.
  • The array of colors seen not only in the art and decor by on the people was delightfully uplifting.
    • I also loved seeing all the creativity and freedom of choice in the costumes. Not all were to my own taste, but that was OK!
    • I wore at least 3 different outfits (and it very well could have been 4 or 5).
  • summersend2014-13Music oft filled the air, and not always from the main stage. There was an additional Neverland stage, a little workshop area, and sometimes people brought out their own instruments about the walkways and camp. As with the colors, there were a plethora of sounds.
  • There was a huge variety of vendors, with artists and musicians mixed amongst clothiers, crystal merchants and accessory-makers.
  • AHMAHGAWDS, they had MERMAIDS!!! As in, people who actually had merfolk tails and swimming in a pool. And the pod as diverse: young, old, feminine, masculine, single-fluke, octopi-esque– it made my heart twirl with joy!
    • One day, I will get a tail of my own. The near-ish future may find a blue one in my closet once I take care of a few, sadly less-fanciful matters.
  • I had a great bunch of people to camp with. Even with disagreements, we pretty much all acted like respectful adults to one another and would quickly move on to something more positive.

Sticking Pointssummersend2014-3

  • Even with the breaks and switching drivers, I’m pretty sure the long drive to Eugene set me up to partially dislocate my hip. Thank goodness we had a medic type in camp.
    • Unfortunately, even a year later, I’m still having problems with it. I’ll probably never walk without some discomfort ever again.
  • Somehow, we managed to camp right next to a bunch of drug dealers (who had somehow managed to slip in with the volunteer crews).
    • As can be assumed, they were pretty rude; they were often loud and chose obnoxious things to be loud about. I don’t even think they went into the actual festival.
  • summersend2014-1I personally found Omnia not as awesome in person as when listened to on CD. I’m very glad I got to see them play live, though.
    • On one hand, a bit bummed that they didn’t carry as much impact. Perhaps it was the open-air stage setting?
    • On the other hand, I’m now not nearly as put-out about missing their first performance at the prior FarieWorlds.
  • The classes and work shops were fairly minimal and most came across as based more on “personal gnosis” rather than research or such.
    • They were free, though, and appeared to make a lot of people happy, so kudos to all the teachers!

summersend2014-4Lessons Learned

  • summersend2014-12SCAdians are everywhere– I had at least 3 in my camp.
  • Having an inflatable mattress while camping is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
    • I haven’t camped without one since.
  • Always triple-check traffic before leaving on either I-5 or I-405, for neither are truly predictable.
  • Drug dealers apparently don’t like Portland because it has a lot of “hipsters” or “squares” or something. At least those that peddle acid or similar varieties.
    • Just one of the lovely, loud things I got to hear out of them.

summersend2014-5Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire

summersend2014-10High Notes

  • The WMRF is my developing tradition of three weekends in fantastic medieval revelry.
    • It’s also close to home. At least in my mind; some people might debate whether Bonney Lake is close to Snohomish or not. I look it through the eyes of a Washingtonian: if you want to do fun stuff, be prepared to drive.
  • summersend2014-8As in years past, the marketplace was full of wonders, both on the shelves and wandering about.
    • I don’t think I bought a lot this year. Granted, there’s a reason I take a lot of photos– I don’t remember a lot on my own!
  • On the third weekend, I camped with the lovely Holmes family. Waking up to the sunrise over the field and fog was glorious.
  • I volunteered at two different locations this year.
    • I normally assist the volunteer gate, which I did most of the weekends.
    • On the last weekend, I helped out at the Info Booth. The lead at that location was super kind, giving us all little, practical goody baskets at the end of it.
    • summersend2014-7Last year I got to hear all of his showers, but this year I finally sat down and watched Broon!
  • On on of my day-trips, Gracie joined my side. She was pleasant at the volunteer gate and just happy as could be when we walked about.
    • I finished sewing the border for her barding while volunteering.
    • Despite being fed properly and getting plenty of water, she seems completely against the idea of going potty in public. She did that at June Faire, too. Guess she really is a “princess”.

Sticking Points

  • summersend2014-6I don’t deal well with people that are antagonistic to the faire.
    • If you think the event is stupid, don’t come. Don’t call. Don’t volunteer. There are many other ways to find a good time and to get around. Don’t subject others to your laziness and self-victimization.
  • Unfortunately, I just didn’t get around to see all the shows I wanted to this year.
  • summersend2014-15I understand that the group goes for a certain aesthetic amongst the volunteers and staff manning areas. However, I found it really agitating that someone actually wrote something along the lines of, “you won’t find fairies cleaning bathrooms.”
    • Newsflash: ‘brownies’ aren’t just some cute (and in this context, racist) name you give to the dark-skinned kids in the fairy troupe! House sprites of all types can be found in a variety of folklore!

Lessons Learned

  • summersend2014-16Walking around in heels all day on rough ground is not a good idea. Especially if you have a bum hip and are wearing a ton of fabric.
    • I managed to not get sunburned, though!
  • Certain events I can do back-to-back. FaerieWorlds and all 3 weekends of WMRF pushed it, but it was doable and definitely better than everything I tried to cram in earlier in the year.
  • As with my public-speaking, I need to continue to work on my improvisation with characters. It’s really easy to either blank out or slip into using cheap gimmicks.
    • And posing. Oy, do I need to work on posing…

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