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    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Newcomers and a 30th birthday bash

    As I mentioned a few days ago, I wanted to go up to Unser Hafen for Newcomers. Well, I got myself all double booked with another party that I swore I'd be at, so I had to bail from Newcomers right before court.

    I got there around 11:00, and parking was atrocious, but the weather was perfect. Why can't we have weather like this when we're camping? I walk up to troll and sign in. Forgot my blue card (again) so I'm stuck signing the waiver and paying the extra $3. I guess this means I won't be fencing, either.

    I find some friends who have set up their beautiful pavilion for shade. I am invited to avail myself of their hospitality. I go back to my van, get dressed in my loungey Indian clothes, grab my Outlands map, documentation and reference book, and proceed to the hall where many such scrolls, jewelry and artsy things are displayed for the Newcomers to gawk at. Back to the pavilion, where I am afforded about 2 minutes of rest before my Don (Talan) shows up, and asks if I'm entering the tourney.

    "I'll have to just do pickups, because I forgot my blue card and my green card is expired. It's just for Newcomers anyway, though, right?" Great cadet I am, eh?

    "They are doing day authorizations. And anyone can enter. Besides, Kamadevi is fighting." Talan says.

    "Ok. But after I eat?" I say.

    I think he just wants to see his student (me) and his girlfriend (Kamadevi) duke it out. Not that I mind, at all. I just think it's funny. She's a good fight.

    Anyway, lunch was a selection of pasta salads, breads, vegetables and cheeses. Thanks Cailean, I know you were cooking for days. The meat pasties were awesome. But the stew was the best. Though I'm not too sure what kind of meat was in it. Oh, probably best not to ask.

    After lunch, I went back to my van to change into fencing garb. For those of you who are wondering, I have gotten quite good at changing clothes in my van. I do it all the time. That handy sunshade blocks out the whole windshield, to keep prying eyes away.

    So back to the event. It was a double-elimination tourney, and I stayed in for three rounds. Lost first, won second and lost third. But I only won the second by dirty fighting. Is it MY fault that the Baroness shot a foam arrow onto the field? Is it MY fault that my opponent was distracted by it? It landed right in front of my foot, so I kicked it at him. And then, he just stood there, so I stuck him in the belly. He looked shocked and blinked a couple times, and then fell down, like he couldn't believe he fell for it. Little did I know that another arrow had hit him in the rear end at the same time the other landed at my foot. I guess some of the spectators had a idea of how they wanted the fight to go.

    Anyway, the next round I got taken out by Louis, and that was the end of me. Back to relaxing under the pavilion. I'm much better at that, anyway. Damn, I wished that this wasn't a dry site. I could sure use a beer after all that swashbuckling.

    It occurred to me that I should be moving on to my next social engagement, as people were bringing their things inside for court. I've never been one of those SCA'ers who lives for court, but occasionally it's fun. Seeing that I was already about two hours late for the birthday party, I decided it would be best if I bailed.
    Gather up the map, swords, say my goodbayes and back to the van, to change again. That's what, only three times so far? I MUST be slipping.

    So I drove the hour into north Denver, and got lost in the industrial section off 58th. Damn detours. After about 20 minutes of this I finally find the right street. This party is for a few of my friends who are all turning 30 and it's a Fiesta! Pinantas, mexican food, sombreros, luminarias, and many of the partygoers were dressed in panchos and those silly flat hats with the dingle balls hanging off the brim. Boy, am I in the wrong time period.

    There was a cooking contest, and I'm happy to say that Torin's "Inferno Verde" green chili won the prize of $100. Sweet! My mouth is still numb from the experience. I love hot food. But for days after something like this I won't be able to taste things correctly. Such a small price to pay...

    There was Karaoke, which I did NOT get involved in. I always want to see my friends make complete idiots of themselves (cough...Brent...cough) but if you stick a Karaoke microphone in my face you better be wearing body armor.

    I missed out on the pinata beating, as I was socializing indoors at the time, but I'm sure the whole neighborhood could hear the screaming. I'm actually really, really surprised that the police never showed up.

    All in all it was a great Saturday. Today I'm hennaing my hair and going to do some more fencing down in Boulder. Probably about time I step away from my blog and get this goop out of my hair.

    UPDATE: Photos from the bash>>>>


    1. A wonderful telling of a fun weekend! Say hi to Greg (your Don) for me. It has been too long since he and I tilted a glass together.


    2. As you are I'm sure there is a BIG SCA following in Albuquerque NM. Which is where I lived for about 8 or so years. Although I'm all about fun and like'n the time period stuff. Instead of TV as a kid I lived and breathed Dungeons & Dragons. So II ce4rtainly didn’t need to be sold on the SCA idea. Despite that I have to say I couldn’t make the SCA leap because of lack or realism. When it comes to my sword work I took it far too seriously to be bonked over the head by some klutz with a taped up broom handle. Instead I dove into Japanese arts. Kendo for one. A fencing style used by samurai much like Japanese do today. It certainly has authenticity particularly when the entire nation recognizes it and can be traced back centuries and is virtually unchanged today. I found it an honor to be able to be a part of the tradition. I felt certain I could kick the crap out of any SCA'r with his lil broom stick using my shinai or boken. “No buddy, I don’t need armor, and don’t hold back either. Are you sure that helmet will protect you?” I used to see them practicing outside the gym on campus at UNM. After all, I had centuries of instruction and tradition behind me as opposed to a couple guys in poorly made armor whacking each other.

      I also took up Iaido, which is Japanese sword drawing. Basically you draw your sword and kill your opponents(s), shake off the blood from the sword, and put it back (noto) in it's saya (scabard). More advanced students (and with the funds) use live blades that could be centuries old. Ok prior to that I did fence. I still have my stuff...and yea it is all pre-electronic. Don't get me wrong I certainly recognize the traditions behind fencing and I do recognize that as a "school" of a combat art (martial art). However I found more interested at the time n Japaese styles…and let’s be honest…I was better at that than Western Fencing. I even took up Kyudo. Which is Japanese archery. It is really “meditation in motion” now. Of course you don't want to be down range when I am in"meditation" I have the honor to own a bow (yumi) created by Kanjiro Shibata who is both a Japanese Living Treasure (a title given to certain artisans) and the personal bow maker to the Emperor of Japan. He lived in Boulder, of all places, at the time.
      However despite all my budo/swordsman/combat art SNOBBEY I still regret not doing any SCA fun. A couple people going at it with taped up broomsticks beating the snot out of eachother would have been fun. My loss.


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