Monday, January 27, 2003

I missed out on a lot of stuff I wanted to do this weekend because I was sick AGAIN. I did the obligatory Khafif stuff that I had to do yesterday, and then settled on the couch under five blankets to watch the Superbowl commercials. I was not actually interested in the Superbowl itself, but the commercials were worth sitting through it. My SO was in convulsions of joy when the trailer for the Hulk movie came on.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Another picture of the hafla feast, more of a "giraffes" view of the hall here.

Brrr. Is it cold here in da 'Burgh!!! It is currently 10 F (-12 C) as I'm writing. The rivers have started to freeze up, but you can see in the photo how the barges continue to cut a path down the center. THIS WEEKEND: is a special Ceremony (goth night, Saturday, at the Upstage). If you only go occasionally, as I do, this Saturday would be the night to go. Wherever you are, stay warm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

More pix from hafla here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Review of Winter al-Hafla, Part 2

Scenes from the feast hall:

Much dancing...many beautiful dancers...

Much music...many wonderful musicians...

Monday, January 20, 2003

Review of Winter al-Hafla, Part 1

I say part 1 because I hope to post pictures from the event very soon. It was wonderful. I had a great time, and it is getting good reviews from everyone else. It is one of the best SCA events that you can go to in my opinion. The fact that the venue was moved did not make that much of a difference in the quality of the event. Much of the usual crowd was able to attend this year, and proved that we can transform any hall into an Ottoman/Persian feast for the senses. Here's how it goes: the host provides the space and food, the guests provide entertainment. Attendees brought their own carpets, cushions, and hangings to decorate the hall. There was a "meze" table or "day board" of snacks supplied throughout the day, and then a huge feast of two courses (first a stuffed chicken, and then a stuffed leg of lamb) and a dessert table were provided in the evening. The feast was held in a "Persian" fashion, whereby guests were seated at several long rows of low tables upon cushions on the floor. I liked this because it encouraged more chumminess with your neighbor, but it forced the merchants to pack up and leave early. Speaking of which, there were several merchants selling everything from middle-eastern inspired garb to drums. I couldn't get away without purchasing some henna supplies: some oils and kimia henna from this vendor.

Music, Sweet Music...

But the biggest part of this event for me was the music. It was one of the rare opportunities for me to play with some of my favorite musicians and learn from them. This time, I had the rare privilege of playing with Paul Ash, aka "the hurdy-gurdy guy." I remember the first time I saw him playing at Pennsic. He came to one of the parties at our camp and played his unusual cello-sized hurdy gurdy. I never saw or heard anything like it before and I was captivated by the sound. I bought his CD and it quickly became a favorite. It was the highlight of my day to be able to sit down next to him and play along with him. We (the entire ensemble, which included percussion, an oud, a flute, a clarinet, and myself on violin) played one of the songs from his album to a packed dance floor. It was also my privilege to play alongside Sadika, who together with her friend Mimi Spencer, were very important influences. Mimi has published several books and recordings, without which we probably wouldn't be where we are, musicwise, today.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003


Going to a hafla (celebration) this weekend in Bethlehem, PA. Details Here.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Ramblings, du jour...

Finally accepted realities of life and joined Weight Watchers, but hang in of dieting bores me to death, so I will spare you any further detail beyond this initial declaration. I have been haunted by some other demons this week...

Lately I've been wrestling with number Three in the Eightfold Path: right speech. Buddha explained right speech as follows:

  • to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully,
  • to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others,
  • to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and
  • to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.

This is a tough one, especially if you spend a lot of time with a group of women. My brother has a theory that if you put three women in a room, then send one away, the remaining two women will talk about the one who is not there. He is absolutely right. And, eventhough I am constantly reminding myself of "Right Speech," resisting the tempation to gossip with everyone else is very hard for me.

And, of course, I have my usual "work" demons to contend with: I am going nowhere in this company. Sometimes it bothers me and sometimes I just don't give a darn. This week it's bothering me. While at work, I am haunted by thoughts of other things I could be doing with my life, and it deepens my feeling of being "trapped." I have to remind myself that I choose to stay here. It's so easy to forget that little bit.

Monday, January 06, 2003

New Stuff in my Store!

I have been a busy little bee lately. I recently published a "Plus Size Stretch Choli Pattern Package" that includes my criss-cross backlacing choli plus two other styles in sizes 1x-3x, AND I came up with a new item that I don't know what to call!:

It looks like a dress from the front, but from the back it looks like a choli! Excellent belly coverage. This is also listed in my store (link at left).

Thursday, January 02, 2003

NYE 2002

The New Year's Eve party was a success. Nothing was broken (that I'm aware of). Lots of fun was had by all.

When I finally awoke the morning afterwards, the cleaning fairies had already begun their work, and coffee and donuts were waiting.

Some folks left lots of nice expensive booze. I am still living off the leftovers from the pork loin roasts. This time, the SO and cousins pitched in a lot more to help with preparations and it was a good thing because last Friday, I slipped on some ice and injured both knees and spent two days on the couch. I was not supposed to lift a finger for this anyway--that was the deal. If that was not Karma forcing the issue...

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