A New Friend Thursday, May 28 2009 

A New Friend

23 May 2009

(edited on 29 May) ūüôā

I actually know people who believe that one can have too many friends. I don’t.

Granted, the word “friend” is used far too loosely. Most of the people that most of us call “friends” probably would be better described as “acquaintances.” Social network sites like MySpace and Facebook do much to muddy those waters. I, for one, am very picky about who I add as a “friend” on such sites. And, I don’t know many of even those people, as well as I’d like. But, to really have “too many friends?” I don’t think it’s possible!

On that note, Kyle and I have a brand new friend, effective today! She made my day, and so I introduced her to Kyle and snapped their photo. Her name is Terry . . . although, I realize now that I didn’t find out the correct spelling of her name, so I may have it wrong.¬† (addendum: just found out it should be “Teri.”) She is charming and effervescent, witty and engaging. She is a playtron at the faire, and a talented seamstress (she showed me her husband’s doublet that she’d recently made!) and obviously we have much in common! ūüėČ

The story of our meeting, is what is so special to me . . . I was sitting at the table in our Pendragon Costumes shoppe, finishing up a discussion with a special order customer. As I was bidding those folks farewell, I heard one of my girls telling someone, “she’s right over here . . .” and I knew I was about to be asked a question of some kind. As my worker spoke to introduce the scenario: “MaritaBeth . . . ” the customer interrupted: “You’re MaritaBeth! Hi!”

I didn’t recognize the face, so I cheerfully but curiously replied with “Hi. Do we know each other?” She immediately, but only briefly got rather shy, and quietly said, “Um, no. I follow your blog.”

That was my introduction to Teri. I was, of course, rather floored, and incredibly flattered. How? Why? I wanted to know. Her interests in faire and in costuming and sewing are the logical connection. We chatted for quite a while, and before she left Kyle came in and more conversation ensued, and photos happened.¬†¬† She told us she had followed intently, our travels in the UK this winter!¬† And, she said even on the regular days we are entertaining to her.¬† I was so surprised to think that somebody we had never met was following the KRuMB. We know that we have friends (and acquaintances) who read the KRuMB and rarely, if ever, make a comment, and thereby stay pretty much under our radar. But, I hadn’t really stopped to consider that there might be people out there following our daily adventures, that we hadn’t even met, yet! It still actually rather boggles my mind.

Well, now we know one more reader! And I’m glad to call her a friend. (Now, I just hope she’ll write us a comment and tell me how to spell her name!) ūüėČ

~MB

(tee hee: she linked to me on Flickr! I guess she doesn’t have to give up her stalker status here on the KRuMB! Hi, Teri! :-P)

Happy Hogmanay! Thursday, Jan 1 2009 

31 December 2008
Happy Hogmanay! & a Happy New Year!
My goodness what a day. I don’t know how to begin to describe the emotions, the feelings, the sights, sounds, smells & noises. Overwhelming in a word, but comfortable in a sense. There was an absolute vibration that permeated every aspect of every physical being throughout the city.

We walked the length of Princes Street nearly to Calton Hill before deciding we were famished. We had done some shopping along the way, picking up last little oddbits we’d promised people but were well and truly peckish by the time we’d settled into a beautiful little pub called the Guildford Arms just off Princes street tucked away in a little corner of Register Street. As it turns out, this was another pub on my list of “must visit” pubs that I’d simply forgotten about. But, the selection of Real Ales here was, to put it plainly, astounding. We stayed here people-watching, pint-drinking & postcard-writing for a number of hours.

By the time we were ready to leave, Princes Street had been closed off, evacuated and re-opened for the Party in the Streets: The largest New Year’s Eve Party in the world (or so it’s billed). With our wrist bands (the street party ticket) on and our Concert tickets in hand we walked into a smallish, but vibrant throng of people. The true crowd (in fact, the largest crowd ever for a Hogmanay event in Scotland) was still on its way.
Ferris Wheel
(This is one of many carnival rides set up for the event. This ferris wheel dominates Princes Street right next to the Walter Scott Memorial Tower. I had a very difficult time settling on which photo to use for the day but finally chose this one.)
We walked the length of Princes Street before deciding on some more food before taking our place in the Garden Enclosure. We ate our Scottish Beef Burger (with mustard and brown sauce) on the way into the Gardens, stopped at the beer trailer for a Red Stripe (the only beer available) and took our place against a centuries old Oak tree where we could see crowd, castle & concert. What an extraordinary event. The castle sent fireworks up once an hour to mark the hourly countdown; the bands on the stage played shortish sets in between firework displays; the crowd grew larger & larger and drunker & drunker as time went by (outside Bourbon Street in New Orleans, I’ve never seen so many stumblers in one place). Groove Armada, the headliners for our stage, began their performance at approximately 2320. They played right until 2357, when they went silent, the stage went dark and a Master of Ceremonies came forward to kick off the countdown. At exactly midnight, the Castle simply erupted in a three minute fireworks barrage the likes of which I have never seen before. Immediately following, the largest Auld Lang Syne choir (all the ticket holders) ever assembled began the singing of the traditional song belting it out in pure raw, beautiful emotions that even as I’m writing this many hours later brings a tear to my eye and bumps to my flesh. As the final refrain ended, a lone piper emerged on stage and piped “Flower of Scotland” – the crowd went rabid crazy and sung louder and more fiercely than ever before. Groove Armada joined the piper on stage in the dying skirl and renewed the concert in a furious flurry of sound and emotion. I cannot do justice to the power of the event with mere words, it simply must be experienced. Now, some hours later, I’m awake and still trembling with exhaustion from the sheer emotional toll of the event. This has truly been one of the most brilliant events of my life.
Slainte Mhath!

Cheers.

~KR (Written on 1 January 2009)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.3 sec (3/10)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 14.3 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 4/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Three Handsome Gentlemen Tuesday, Dec 9 2008 

DOTS 08 - Three Handsome Gentlemen

7 December 2008

Sunday gave us another beautiful weather day in¬†Galveston.¬† The only thing that could really have made my day better, was if the streets were paved in playground rubber!¬† I really wish I could find a pair of period-looking shoes that would be comfortable for two long days on concrete . . . but I don’t think they exist!¬†

We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, with an excellent server—our first good experience in that restaurant.¬† ‘Bout time, I guess.¬† Kyle and I got to the downtown zone just in time to get a phone call from our friend BJ telling us she was on the island, too!¬† Her company was a wonderful surprise, and we have to remember to make sure she joins us again next year.¬†

We did a lot of sitting still today; I’m not the only one who’s feet hurt! ūüôā¬† While we were occupying one particular curb, we managed to pass off a couple of our cameras to a trustworthy passerby, and get this photo.¬†¬†¬† He also promised to email us the photo he took, so we’ll see . . . I’m very pleased with the photo I chose for the KRuMB today.¬† Kyle and Rod and George all three looked marvelous (despite the fact that Rod was really pretty sick all weekend) and they stood in one place all together for long enough for me to remember I had my camera!¬†

Our day ended a little earlier today—we really were tired and sore¬† . . . but we were happy.¬† Back to the hotel and a quick change of clothes, and out to dinner at Willie G’s!¬† Yep!¬† They re-opened on Friday, completely remodeled and re-menued and re-staffed.¬† The place is modern-looking now, and even though I preferred the old world feel from before Ike, the new look is lovely.¬† And, it’s symbolic of the changes that Galveston has to face in it’s post-Ike existence.¬† It’s a new world.

Our weekend draws to a close.  Sunday night means packing to go home.  <sigh>

~MB

Dancer in a Spin Wednesday, Nov 26 2008 

Dancer in a Spin

23 November 2008

I took a break from the shoppe today!¬† My first time out of the booth during the faire day in three weeks.¬† I had intended to walk the areas of the faire I hadn’t seen¬†yet, this year, but instead, I spent a lot of my time at the nearest stage to our booth, watching Wine and Alchemy.¬† Formerly E-Muzeki (with a different mix of members), the amount of enjoyment I got from this show was a surprise to me!¬† Some dancing, some singing, lots of fun instrumentation, and perhaps the highlight—an incredibly talented male dancer!¬† This guy¬†completely commanded my attention when he danced.¬† I was so impressed.¬†

It was another average day for us in sales, although up until¬†the last sale of the day, I was a little worried.¬† The crowd was very light—kept small by the weatherman who had foretold rain that never really came.¬† We felt a few little drops at one point, but anything wetter must have happened somewhere else.¬†¬†¬†But, at least the small crowd allowed me to see a show!

~MB

“Antique Rogues Show” at TRF Tuesday, Nov 18 2008 

Antique Rogues Show 10

16 November 2008

After a Saturday at TRF that finally rocked and rolled for us at Pendragon—there was even better music on Sunday!¬† The Rogues, formerly known as the Scottish Rogues, and more recently, disbanded, reunited on Sunday for four amazing performances during the faire day.¬† How wonderful to have Bryan, Randy, Jimmy and Lars all in one place, and playing together again!¬† (Even EJ joined in for a couple of songs.)

I was lucky enough to be able to get out of the booth with Kyle for long enough to catch the third show of the day.¬† It was almost like old times—except that we’re all so much older!¬† The original “Rogue Rat”, Erin French, was there with Bobby and Paige!¬† She’s sixteen, now and her little sisters were the ones dancing in Daddy’s arms and running around.¬† Bryan had his two pre-teen boys collecting tips!¬† And, sadly, there wasn’t a lot of lilting going on.¬† But, the music and the spirit and the fun was certainly not lacking!¬† What happy memories—what a great performance in the “now.”

Thanks, guys!  We miss you!

~MB

Our German Friends Tuesday, Oct 28 2008 

Our German Couple

25 October 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the wonderful experience we’d had at the Pendragon Costumes booth at Texas Renaissance Festival, working with a couple who had come all the way from Germany to order our product.¬† Two weeks later, after Nicole rushed to get part of their order done before they left the country, here are our new friends in their new finery!

When they were done at our shoppe, Mary walked them to Guild of Toledo (an Excalibur Leather shoppe) for new boots and a hat for him.¬† Perhaps she’ll link a photo of them after that shopping spree, when she sees this post!?

~MB

My First Off-Campus House is Now A Parking Lot—and Dickens is a Go! Saturday, Sep 20 2008 

My First Off-Campus House is Now A Parking Lot

19 September 2008

That’s right.¬† The house I moved into when I moved out of the dorm, is gone.¬† And the good news of the day is that we got official confirmation that the 2008 Dickens on the Strand Festival in Galveston, will go on!

I had an interesting morning involving an ice chest I’d forgotten to properly deal with upon arriving home.¬† Suffice it to say, it was unpleasant.¬† And it made me late to my breakfast date with Ronnie.¬† Fortunately, he was flexible, and after dealing with the business end of our meeting, we had lunch instead.¬† When I left his house, I got a wild hair to run through the TCU area.¬† I’d been thinking a good bit lately, about the little house on Frazier Avenue where Roger and I lived for so long.¬† I wanted to see if it was still standing, and I was curious about all the recent construction at TCU.¬† I enjoyed driving around, and the little house IS still there, as is the big tree in the front yard.¬† It looks a bit different—but behind the fence and the new hedge you can still see all the charm of the little 1911 railroad worker house.

The surprise came when I decided to look at the house I’d moved out of to move into that one.¬† Sadly, I don’t even remember the exact address of the house¬†. . . three thousand-something, Cockrell Avenue.¬† I shared the house with a girlfriend and her fiance.¬† The year was 1983.¬† I had just taken my first full-time job, was taking eighteen hours at TCU and dancing on the drill team,¬†and my daddy, 1500 miles away, had just had the first in a series of surgeries related to the cancer that took his life a few months later.¬† Oh, and my ex-boyfriend moved in two houses down the road! (That house is gone, too.)¬† I was crazy.¬† Any one of those things would have been enough stress to stop most people in their tracks.¬†¬†I somehow managed to come through that period in my life with only a few scars.¬† However, I did withdraw from one class and take an incomplete in another, if I recall correctly.¬†

I guess the craziness was offset by the good times.¬† Independence.¬† A steady paycheck.¬† A place to live that allowed for owning a cat (I got away with it in the dorm for an entire semester!).¬† The beautiful, old, drafty house where my bedroom had two whole walls of windows.¬†¬†The smell of Maria’s freshly baked bread every Saturday morning, and the sound of Andy picking at his guitar.¬†

What’s weird is that I hadn’t driven by there in years—I don’t know when the house went away.¬† But, I know¬†that a parking lot exists now,¬†where once stood an old house full of fun.¬† <sigh>¬† All in the name of progress.

About Dickens . . . In the past, I’ve spoken on the telephone with Molly Dannenmaier, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Galveston Historical Foundation.¬†¬†She’s a delightful lady and I decided yesterday to send her an email. Within 24 hours she responded.¬† And I quote:

“Thank you so much for your message of concern. We have determined that we will hold Dickens on the Strand this year, even if it won’t be exactly the same as it would have been had Hurricane Ike not ripped through Galveston. We hope that you and your group will be able to participate as always.”

My email to her indicated that Kyle and I would like to help somehow.  This seems to be the time, I told her, when we should finally make our donation, and join the Galveston Historical Society.  Her response to that was:

” . . . there has been substantial damage to hundreds of properties in Galveston, including all our historic downtown properties and museums. We hope you might be able to make an online donation and encourage your friends to do so as well at www.galvestonhistory.org.”

So, we’ll be sending in our membership stuff, and I figured what better forum to encourage our friends to do the same, than The Daily KRuMB!

And Kelly . . . you were right to keep on sewing! ūüėČ

~MB

Four Friends and a Baby Monday, Sep 15 2008 

Four Friends and a Baby

13 September 2008

Despite the weather forecast, and a sense of impending doom, we chose to hold with our plans to attend Grapefest.¬† This little wine festival plays host to the Texas People’s Choice Wine Awards and we go each September and have a great time.¬†¬†Afraid the storm might put an early end to outdoor events, we bought our tickets for the 11 a.m. tasting, and aimed to get to the festival pretty much as it was opening.¬†

It was lightly raining even as we left the house, but we were armed with umbrellas and boots and rain jackets and hats, and off we went!¬† We parked close to the main gate, and were immediately struck with how terribly few people there were.¬† Then, we realized, there weren’t really many vendors, either!¬† We can totally make our own fun, no matter what, so we weren’t really too bothered by it . . . just sad.¬† After all, if we’d been at a tent show in the path of a tropical storm, we’d have¬†packed up and gone home, too.¬† Hopefully, Thursday night and Friday were good for those folks, and the weekend wasn’t a total wash.¬†

The People’s Choice Tastings were happening, rain or shine, and we had a great time.¬† As planned, we met Starr and Joe and Troy and Alex, and Rod, just in time to get to our tasting on time.¬† With the weather-shy folks staying home, and the resulting crowd so small, we had plenty of time to taste as many wines as we really could–no standing in lines.¬† We liked that part!¬†

My photo is of our little group (minus Troy who was off visiting with a girl!) as we walked down the street after the tasting.  A couple of other cute photos include one of Joe and Alex, and one of Rod and Kyle.

The wind and rain were a constant part of the day, but it never got bad enough to chase us away.¬† We did go inside for burgers at Wilhoite’s, but that was mostly because there were no street vendors selling much of anything!¬† Instead of shopping craft booths–again there really weren’t but two or three—we shopped the little stores on Main Street and just enjoyed each other’s company.¬† When the walking had gotten the best of most of us, we decided it was time for an early dinner at Esparza’s, a fun little Tex Mex place we try to go to most years.¬† It was still daylight when we finally said goodbye and walked to our vehicles.¬† That was unusual, but we were tired and happy—just like we ought to be at the end of a festival day!

I took this photo of the beautiful hurricane-generated clouds on the way home.

We heard from a few folks down Houston way, that had come through Hurricane Ike relatively unscathed.¬† We will continue to check in with other folks tomorrow.¬† News coverage is still rather uninformative regarding Galveston—people aren’t really back there, yet.¬† We are hopeful, in that it seems the storm wasn’t as bad as we’d feared it would be.

~MB

Self Portrait…again Monday, May 5 2008 

4 May 2008
Somehow I managed only one photo in the 24 hours that made up Sunday. Not sure how, but it is what it is. This is me:
Self Portrait
I have on a brand new, brilliantly black & yellow landsknecht chapeau (I will have to look up the proper time for the hat UPDATE: The hat is apparently called a tellerbarret ("platter hat")) and a new pair of green-tinted sunglasses with bronze rims. The sunglasses are reproductions of a pair of spectacles that date to the very early 18th century. I’ve been told that there is very little difference between this pair and the few pair that have been dated to the early-mid 16th century. Therefore, I feel fully vindicated in owning, wearing and selling them at a Renaissance festival that takes place, ostensibly, in 1538 England during the reign of HRM Henry VIII (although I feel pretty confident in saying that musketeers, frock-coat clad pirates in tricorns, and ninjas didn’t make their debut in England until much later).
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 5 May 2008 )

Listening to By-Tor and the Snow Dog by Rush
from Retrospective I (1974-1980)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, red-eye reduction

Attentive Wenches Sunday, Mar 23 2008 

Attentive Wenches

22 March 2008

The twenty-second:  Saturday.  The big day of booth maintenance and cleaning at East Wind Games.  I had worked all night . . . the continued sleep deprivation experiment.  I was finishing up button holes as Kyle was hitting the snooze.  He was wonderfully supportive, though, and the morning went smoothly as we prepared to leave.  We pulled up between our two booths just as the clock in the truck changed from 9:59 to 10:00. 

Kyle’s wonderful pirate compatriots, the crew of The Blazing Sun, showed up with brooms and shovels and plants and snacks and¬†most importantly, enthusiasm.¬† All the work that really needed to be done at East Wind Games, was done before five o’clock.¬† Marcus, our new booth manager, was tireless and driven, and the whole crew, under the leadership of Curtis the Red, was amazingly energetic and more helpful than we could have even hoped.¬† And not only did they get East Wind Games ready¬†for us to move product into, but they helped unload my trailer into the Pendragon Costumes Shop, as well.¬† I am so grateful to them.¬† Providing them a spot to leave their personal stuff on a faire day hardly seems like repayment enough, although that is all they will accept from us as payment.¬†

The Wench Workshop was a success, too!¬† We had about eighteen (I can’t believe I never actually got a head count) wonderful women from the International Wenches Guild, Chapter 13, gather for our biennial event.¬† We set up tables and decorated them with pretty fabric and Easter Baskets.¬† The spread of yumminess that various wenches contributed for lunch and grazing, was amazing.¬† We heard from our brother organization, the International Guild of Rogues, Scoundrels and Cads, complete with a rat-pucking demonstration. (If you have never seen a rat-pucking event, you’re missing out!)¬†We had little lessons on parade ettiquette, and¬†self defense, and costuming (the latter given by¬†yours truly).¬† There was much laughter and good comraderie.¬†¬†Many ladies¬†thanked me afterwards, both for my presentation and for hosting the event.¬†¬†

After the wenches were packed up and gone, and The Blazing Sun crew went home, and all my costume bits were delivered to their various new owners,¬† we called it a day.¬† Alex and Emily, who had come down to help as well, and worked their butts off for us, joined Kyle and me for dinner.¬† We chose a place on their way home, Bienvenidos, in Red Oak, and had a delightful tex mex meal with them.¬† We got home and I tried to do some catch-up on the KRuMB, ’cause I’d neglected it pretty badly this week, what with my world consisting of much work and little sleep (seven hours total since Wednesday morning, at that point!).¬† But, about the time I sat down, I got tired.¬† The two entries I wrote before giving up and giving in, both needed editing when I looked at them Sunday morning!¬† I crashed pretty hard, and slept for a good eleven hours!¬†

Hopefully, my sleep deprivation experiment can be over, now.¬† This week will be crazy, but I’m hoping it doesn’t have to involve all-nighters.

~MB