Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Who are these People?!"

My Dearest Corwynne,

You have, in fact, out done every geek I have ever met, and since we are in the SCA, that is really saying something. I did a little looking around on Mr. Bagby’s site and the section on how his harp was modeled after one found in a grave reminded me of the class we always said we were going to teach. I am sure you remember, the "Who are these People" class. Who would make a harp out of a breastbone of a body they found lying on the road? Who would do that? At least it was a harp based on a harp found in a grave, not made from the leg bone of the nobleman entombed there….I guess there is something to be said for the passage of time. What was so much an accepted behavior it managed to be put in several period songs, is now frowned upon, probably.

Anyway, in other news, I closed on the Yellow Monster yesterday. I should get the keys next week. I am a homeowner now. I feel like I should become boring and adult-like with this new endeavor, but so far it doesn’t seem to be sticking. Every time I try to be serious, I find myself giggling. I am sure, however, that the seriousness need to be an owner of property will come in time. Probably right around the time I have to pay the tax bill or something. I guess we shall see.

It has been a big week for me. Not only did I buy a house, but today I put my old cell phone out to pasture after nine years of faithful service. I thought of calling in the fellmonger, like they do on All Creatures Great and Small, but in the end, decided that it had been a good and loyal phone and deserved to carry on in what ever way it wanted to spend the rest of it’s life. The children are pleased that it seems to have decided to become a toy for them. I think they all will be happy together.

My new phone is a lovely Razr 3v. The benefits of this phone is that it is very slim and can slide into my pocket without the unsightly bulge the old one let. I think I can take it to the settlement with me without risking anyone noticing it. It has a camera as well, so if all goes well, I may be able to send some photos to you of the settlement and all the progress that has been made in it’s construction, since it has been a while since we have had you visit.

Well, I think that is all I have to report. Hope all is well with you and give my best to the King.

Your affectionate friend,

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Enjoy Beng a Nerd

My Dearest Kendrah,

Just when I thought I had reached the zenith of Geekdom, I outdid myself once again.
Saturday night, Kathryn, Andrew, Sam (my brother, not the Hobbit) and I went to see Ben Bagby’s performance of the first thousand or so lines Beowulf. In Old English. With harp accompaniment.

I’ve been trying to see this guy for three years. He’s been in town twice before and I kept missing him. (Stupid theater job making me work on Saturday nights!). I bought my tickets in September and checked on them every few weeks to make sure they were still there (safe in my wooden mirror box.). Sam and Aragorn were having a few beers before the show and the king decided he wanted to tag along. Even though he didn’t have a ticket. He and Sam reminded me that he can remain unseen when he chooses and that no one would notice if he stood quietly in the back. Now it makes me wonder how many invisible people are sneaking into MY theater without tickets, but I digress. Sam and the King picked me up after I worked the matinee and we met K&A at the theater. Of course we went early to hear the professor of Medieval Literature lecture on the poem!

The performance was everything I hoped it would be and more. Dr. Bagby is amazing! I kept getting distracted by his performance and forgetting to read the supertitles. Every once in a while I’d realize I’d lost track of the narrative thread and have to remind myself to read where we were. My OE verbal comprehension skills still suck (even with Eowyn tutoring me), but I was able to recognize the proper names and assorted nouns. And I made a point to listen for the alliterative patterns in the lines even if I didn’t understand the words and I’m getting better at that. A good time was had by all. My brother was chanting “Bagby, Bagby” during the standing ovation. Aragorn kept calling for an encore, but I told him Dr. Bagby probably didn’t know “Lament for Theoden”. Andrew and I are hoping Bagby’s DVD becomes available soon. Check him out at

So, there you have it. I’ve out-geeked myself yet again. My one consolation-I did not arrive at the theater in garb. The same could not be said for others in the audience. At least it was GOOD garb...

Well, I’m off to watch more Dr. Who. Stones of Blood arrived today…there are druids in it!

Your Affectionate Friend,

PS-I would gladly lend you my OED book, but I think we might be too busy dealing with Harry Potter in July for you to read it!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Death of a Word-smith

My Dearest Corwynne,
Don’t ever let Leggs know that I said this, but it really does appear that some things were better before the Dark Lord Sauron was vanquished. It was warmer and those riders never knew if the letters they carried were related to the evil he brought fourth, so they never balked at a winter ride. But I guess you have to give some things up to have peace. I am sure that "W" would agree with me on that one.
Luckily , it seems to be warming up without an additional evil lurking around the corner. We got all the way up to 12 degrees today. It’s put me in mind of Pennsic and the unruly heat we sometimes get while there. Which reminded me that this Sunday will mark the halfway point between The. Best. Pennsic. Eva! And the even better one yet to come.
So it looks like it is time to bust out the packing lists and make sure the garb still fits. It is too bad one can not put extra sleep in reserve for times of need. Six months from now I plan to be very awake and yet very sleepy. Perhaps I could borrow that OED book and read it in the weeks just before Pennsic, I am sure that would allow me to get tons of extra sleep.
In sadder news, with the death of Anna Nicole Smith earlier today, we will need to get a new presenter for the MEMAs (Middle Earth Music Awards)(not to be confused with MEEMA) next month. I am very sad about this because I was totally looking forward to her always new and exciting ways of destroying the English language. And since Enya is the only artist nominated (again) for any awards I was hoping she would mispronounce it differently over and over again. Oh, well, maybe now that "W" and I see eye to eye on an issue he might be willing to pop over and butcher a few words for us.
I guess we will have to wait and see how it turns out. Hope to hear from you soon.
Your affectionate friend,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weather sucks

My Dearest Kendrah,

I have made several attempts to write to you over the past several days, but it seems my missives have gone amiss. My riders are terribly unamused by the weather conditions and keep finding reasons not to…well…ride! You should hear the talk in the Tower Guard locker room

“Remember when Sauron dwelt on our Southern border. It was MUCH warmer then”
“Yeah…Mithrandir says that the noxious fumes of Orodruin caused some weird atmospheric condition that raised the temperature of Gondor significantly. “
“Right! Arda-warming! Radagast has been muttering about the environmental toll for years...Denethor thought it was a bunch of New Age hippie nonsense”
“But it WAS warmer then...”
“Well, yes. But darker…more oppressive…and evil of course.”
“Of course…evil…but you can’t have everything…and it was warmer…”

In any case I hope my letter finds you warm and reasonably well.

I think it would be entirely appropriate to teach the Hobbits the “Hi Ho, Hi Ho” song. They’d love it! I can see them now, little lunch pails in one hand, paint brushes in the other, trotting along, singing merrily! And when work has ended for the day, down the hill they come, silhouetted by the sun as she sinks into the West, tired but happy, singing the “Ho Ho Ho to the bottle I Go” song as they head for the pub. (I don’t know if there IS a hill for them to come down, but I needed it for the whole silhouette thing to work in my head…)

And yes, the awful, awful rumors you’ve heard about Screwtape appear to be true. Apparently the rights have been obtained by Walden Media, the folks who brought us “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and the latest “Bridge to Terabithia”. I’ve raised my concerns to the king, but he’s too deeply embroiled in the whole “Hobbit” affair at the moment to take on another film studio. Maybe it will all work itself out, and the powers that be will realize that it’s just a bad idea. We’ll see (or not, as the case may be!) CS is probably spinning in his grave! I’d hate to think that JRR and CS are spending their afterlife bemoaning the fact that they sold off film rights to their books…

Well, I have to brave the basement chill and get my laundry out of the washer. Stay warm!

Your Affectionate Friend,

PS-The Geekiest Book Ever is amazing! I can't wait to get to work tomorrow and start looking up some new words in the OED!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Doom solved, only not so much.

My Dearest Corwynne,

I am so excited to be considered for the Habitat for Hobbits program. Just the thought of all the wee folk from the Shire work to and fro in my house like the seven dwarves makes me giddy. Do you think it would be wrong for me to teach them the Hi Ho song?

I have to agree that you are reading what could be the geekiest book ever. I had hoped that along with being the funny one I could also be the geekier one, but alas you have bested me. I weep for my loss, but am jubilant at your success….either that or I am bi-polar.

In other news, I just returned from parent teacher conferences. The unveiling of the report card was a bit traumatic for me. All of his grades were perfectly acceptable if they did not have the last grading period’s grades right next to them. He has drop a letter grade in several subjects and only raise one grade up a letter. He has had a long discussion with his teacher and agreed that he is simply being lazy and has promised that he will work harder in future. Once the initial shock of the grades had worn off I was actually relieved. I thought that this certainly must be the doom of which Leggs has been muttering. On the ride home I asked him and he simply and sadly shook his head. At that point I was at my wits end and demanded that he tell me what was going on but he pulled out his “for me the grief is still too near” schtick and popped away.
I can only imagine that whatever it is is going to turn out to be a much bigger deal than Brennan dropping from an A to a B in math. And I find my self wishing that what ever it is would have already happened and I will only be filled in when it has come to a conclusion, but again I fear that that may be too much to hope for.
Other than that, all is well here. The house buying should be concluded soon and the painting will commence shortly thereafter. With the whining about the painting to run concurrently. Hope all is well in the Steel City and the White City and I look forward to hearing more about the geekiest book ever written.

Your affectionate friend,

PS. Did I hear something about The Screwtape Letters being made into a movie….that can’t be right can it?