Pelican Stuff

Originally published May 28, 2020.

I am gratified to announce that as of May 27th, Warder Rashid and I have been associated for a year and a day. He and I have officially agreed that he is my protégé. He will swear fealty and receive the symbols of our relationship from my hand when we are able to safely do so in public, for all to witness.

I am also pleased to announce that Lady Reishi and lady Gelis have agreed to enter into association with me as my students. They will be my students for a year and a day, at which point we will discuss how our relationships might change or evolve. They will also receive the symbols of our relationship from my hand when we are able to safely do so in public, for all to witness.

Until then, know that Rashid, Reishi, and Gelis enjoy whatever benefits my patronage carries. They are members of me and my wife Laura’s Family of Choice.

Also know that I believe that within each of these gentles is the potential to be worthy of peerage. I hope all of my friends and all of theirs look forward to seeing them achieve their goals as much as I do.

In strength, in service, and in song, is this done by my hand in the early hours of morning, May 28, AS LV.

Andreas, Magister of the Order of the Pelican, Baron of the Court of William and Isolde.

It’s Not Always Fun

Originally published May 24, 2020.

So I was talking to some folks today (more on that next week) and I articulated something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, so I wanted to talk about it to a wider audience.

A lot of people in the SCA say “do what you love, and peerage will come,” and while I don’t think that’s true, because the process is flawed and has far greater random elements than most people realize, there is a nugget of truth to the statement.

I might rephrase it as “do work you can tolerate doing most of the time, and it’s ok to not like every second of it,” because, well, some of the administrative work of the SCA just isn’t all that much fun, but it still has to get done, and no one loves doing their chosen activity all the time. As long as you fulfill your obligations, you’re generally gonna be good.

The point I’m working towards is that it is okay, upon occasion, when asked “are you having a good time” to say “no, but you are, and that is personally satisfying to me.”

There are aspects of heavy combat that I don’t like very much, but I still love fighting. Same for rapier and archery, and poetry, and the Storycast, and general Bardic. Woah is it big time applicable to Bardic. Maybe more than everything else put together.

This isn’t even about having bad days, although everyone, even peers, have bad days. Just that there’s a reason why it’s called “work,” right, and it’s incumbent in those of us who can to pay it forward / give back to this organization we love so much.

Even if sometimes we don’t like doing it.

Thoughts? Disagreement? Outrage? Don’t be shy. 

30 Years of SCA

Originally published May 12, 2020.

So I celebrate my SCA anniversary in a much more Jewish manner than any other way. I say “My first event was Spring Coronation, AS 25” and I calculate my anniversary from that, and because Coronation isn’t a set date, it moves around. So that means that this year, I celebrated 30 years in the SCA on May 2 — ten days ago.

But May 12 is the actual date of Comar & Lisa’s first coronation, all the way back in 1990, and that event was my first. I piled into the back of Patrick MacPhelan’s van, with a bunch of other people from the Marche of the Thistle, and we drove from Wooster, Ohio, up into Michigan. I think it was Flint, maybe? Count William would know.

I’d been going to local SCA meetings for a few months before that, and I was pretty sure that this was something I wanted to pursue, but when I went to that event, that’s when I really knew. I mostly wandered around by myself, and I remember seeing David & Tangwystl, the first Prince & Princess of Ealdormere, and thinking (because I knew no better), that they were the King and Queen, or about to be — right up until Comar came into the room at Court and demanded the Crown, and then there was absolutely no doubt who the King REALLY was.

Since that day, I have “Begun Again” probably six or seven times. I’ve been part of movements, I’ve had a lot of romance, more than one failed peer/dependent relationship, twenty or so Pennsics, and tens of thousands of miles of driving.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my particular path to most people, all of my trials and tribulations have brought me to be the person I am today, and I’m pretty okay with that. There isn’t much I would do differently, thirty years later.

When the OP is updated next month to reflect the Ethereal Courts that took place at the end of Seto & Ynes’ reign, my elevation date will be May 2, AS 55. I specifically asked for this, and since I know the guy who manages the OP, I got it taken care of. It was important to me that my elevation date resonate in this way, and honestly, it might as well have been on 5/2 anyway.

Too many people have helped me for me to thank; there is a maximum number of people you can tag in a post on Facebook. And the truth is, that if you’re reading this, you have helped me in one way or another, even if that help is just that you participate in — and thus help to keep alive — the SCA. So thanks everyone.

The next 30 years beckon.

The Moment

Originally published May 2, 2020.

I am put on Vigil at the end of January 2020. Picture by Baroness Zahra

This picture.

This picture is the distillation of 30 years of striving and failing and striving again, of refusing to give up, and having others refuse to give up when I was ready to do so.

It’s also a distillation of a decades long friendship that started out with me cutting up waffles and other food into small enough bites, moved into watching Star Wars on my couch, and ended up with someone I’ve known since she was a baby putting me on vigil.

I love you Mika. I’m proud of you. You did good.

Elevation Thanks

originally published May 2, 2020.

I have many people to thank for everything over the past three months, as I have processed getting put on Vigil, set everything up, had the event cancelled, contemplated a virtual elevation, and finally been elevated.

Before all others, I have to thank Laura. Not only did she step way out of her comfort zone to take on the role of the Hands of Their Majesties in order to present, speak about, and then place the medallions I wear today, but she’s believed in me far longer than I’ve believed in myself. I’ve been moody, angry, euphoric, foolish, and just plain stupid plenty of times over the past 14 years, and she’s stood by me the entire time. I did a #wordfamewednesday post about her last week, but really, it only scratched the surface. I am who I am right now because of her.

the favor Laura gave me before elevation.

After Laura comes my boys, Charlie, Ben, and Max. It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to balance the different parts of my life, and I know I haven’t been a perfect father, but I always went out and tried to be a better example to you each day than I was the day before.

My boys.

My peers: Duchess Arabella, Duke Ragnvaldr, Mistress Amelie, & Sir Thomas. Thank you for standing by me, and participating in this weird, confusing, distant elevation. I can never repay you for your support.

I want to thank Mistress Maggie & BARONESS Zahra for coordinating my virtual vigil last Wednesday. When I go the opportunity to run Baroness Allegra’s vigil Thursday night, I got a feel for how difficult that is! Thank you both very much!

I want to thank so many of you. William & Isolde, and the Hefflins for running the food and organization for my in-person vigil at Winged Hills Collegium so many weeks ago. Finn & Halla & Lewys and the Bardic Storm crew for always being ready to talk about music. Tha Krew for always having funny memes and comments. Signy & Lanea & Gideon & Monique & Ros & Andries & Sophie for helping me figure things out.

Mistress Maggie of Cnoc Cait & Mistress Marie la Fauconniere worked together to produce my vigil tunic, which I have pictures of below.

I want to thank Aveline & Mistress Sarafina for the Garb that Is Yet to Come, as well as Mistress Roana for the vigil book that is on the way. They will all get used when we are able to be together again, and have a MASSIVE party.

My co-vigilants Allegra & Fiadnata & Sigenandus & Katayoun & Saraswati & Hrefna & Corisande, all standing together in a group going “what are you gonna do? I dunno, what are you gonna do?” Well, we made it y’all! CONSTANT VIGILANTS!

Mistress Alzbeta has been a tireless workhorse for all of the virtual elevations, and she was no exception for mine.

And of course, the Shepherd of Fire, Ryo-ô Seto, and la Amada Regina, Ynes, my unending thanks for believing in me, and trusting me, not just at this moment, but for much of Your Reign, and how it was thematically shaped. These may be the duties of the Honest Minister, but they are also the joyful enterprises of the lucky ones.

Here’s the video:

Thank you, everyone, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten others as well, I always do. I appreciate all of you.