Post-Event Blues

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There is a phenomenon that many of my SCA friends, and likely my friends who have another hobby where many participants meet together for a day or two several times a year, experience: the post-event blues. It goes a little something like this.

You spend days or weeks anticipating the event and seeing all the people there. Finally the day of the event arrives and you have an amazing time visiting with your friends and doing all the things that there are to do at the event. You soak up the experience, and suddenly the event is over, and it’s time to go home, back to your regular weekday grind. For the next couple of days you’re feeling down because the event that you spent so much time looking forward to, and enjoying the day of the event, has passed, and you really wish that the event could have lasted forever, but real life takes precedence, and it pales in comparison to the fun you had at the event.

I’m experiencing that tonight.

For the last hour or more I’ve been repetitively cycling through my Facebook feed and sports scores and my Discord servers, not really paying much attention to what I’m doing, just kinda going through the motions. This is how I used to feel all the time a few months ago. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.

The good thing, however, is that I know what’s going on, and I know that it’s environmental, not internal, so the melancholy feelings will pass in time.

I’m tired and I want to go to bed, but can’t for a little while longer because of my medication regimen. Fortunately, bed isn’t that far away, and I’m really looking forward to getting some good sleep tonight.

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What a Weekend!

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This weekend my wife and I traveled to a town outside of Wichita Falls, Texas, for an SCA event hosted by the group local to Norman, Oklahoma, just outside of Oklahoma City. We weren’t initially planning to go, but a friend of ours let us know that we pretty much needed to be there, so I poked and prodded the budget until we could afford the event and the gas necessary to make the five-hour trip to site.

During the week, we managed to score a ride with a friend of ours who lives in Temple, and together we rode to another friend’s place in Fort Worth to crash for the night. We woke up early the next morning and started on the two-hour trip to the event.

The event was a busy one. In addition to the armored and rapier combat and archery, there were three peerage vigils to attend, as well as classes, a tavern, and general socializing. For those that don’t know, there are four awards in the SCA that are consistent no matter where you are in the world. One is for excellence in armored combat, one is for excellence in the arts and sciences, one is for a long history of excellent service, and the last and most recent is for excellence in rapier combat. These awards are the highest that can be attained in their respective fields, and collectively these four awards are considered the peerage. When one is offered admission to one of the peerage orders, it is customary for that person to sit vigil, where others can come and offer words of advice, wisdom, or congratulations, while usually partaking of food and drink offered to the attendees. The three vigils represented candidates for all of the peerage orders save for rapier combat.

There were several people at this event that I hadn’t seen in many years, and it was very good to see them and catch up on the years since we were last together. I attended a class on commedia dell’arte, the 15th century Italian form of improvisational theater, and while I didn’t actively participate, I learned an awful lot and gained a new interest in the SCA.

Finally the night came and with it was evening court, where many awards were presented – so many, in fact, that there were two intermissions. The last award of the second session was the one we’d come to witness. A very dear friend of ours – the one that drove us from Temple through Fort Worth and on to the event, in fact – was given a court barony, which in the kingdom that covers Oklahoma and most of Texas is the highest award one can receive short of peerage. Our friend was completely blindsided by the award and the audience rose to their feet and cheered loud and long for him. This award was very, very well-deserved and we were thrilled to be able to be there to see him get it.

The third session was reserved for the three peerage elevation ceremonies, and a friend of mine from long ago led the procession for one of the ceremonies. Her voice was easily heard throughout the hall and her words set the tone for the rest of the ceremony. As it turns out, this was the first time that she’d led a procession, but she looked like an old pro at it. I got a chance to catch up with her after court ended and was pleasantly surprised to see that she remembered me after all these years – it had been close to fifteen years since I last saw her.

My blood sugar began to crash shortly after court, so the farewells that I was hoping to be able to deliver were cut short by my need to get off site and regulate my glucose. By the time we got back to Fort Worth for the night, it was 3:00 am and we quickly went to sleep.

We got up the next morning, said farewell to our host, and drove back to pick up our car in Temple, then headed home where we collapsed in bed for a lengthy nap.

It was an amazing weekend and I’m so thankful to the event’s hosts for putting on such a great event. It reminded me that I need to head north more often, because there are some really good people up there, having a great time.

Thanks, Namron

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I am falling asleep as I write this, so I’m going to write about the weekend at length tomorrow, but for right now, I’m going to do what my wife so often has to remind me to do and listen to my body. My body says sleep. Now.

I will say this. The weekend was spectacular. Thank you, Namron, for an awesome event.

Another Event Missive

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I’m writing from another SCA event with a dying battery, so this is going to be short. I’m having a great time and have seen many friends I haven’t seen in years. The mosquitos are everywhere, though, so I anticipate a lot of bites before we’re done tonight. I’ll write more about the event tomorrow during breaks in algebra homework. 

Busy Busy Busy

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It’s been a busy day so far.

On top of my usual Thursday stuff that got postponed because of the move yesterday, I’ve prepped the two of us for the event this weekend, cleaned the house, and even done the 2018 budget, which for us is a pretty manual thing. We use an Excel spreadsheet where each line item for each pay period is entered one at a time, to make sure our meager money gets where it needs to go. It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes, especially when practically all of our bills are scheduled to hit out of the same check, but it’s that challenge that makes it fun for me. It’s also probably why I haven’t utilized the budget tools in Quicken, the program we use to manage our bank accounts.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I hope that I’ll get to see a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in a long time at the event. It’s the first time in years that I’ve done back-to-back SCA events like this, and it really feels good to be spending so much time around my chosen family.

There’s still plenty to do, so I’m going to go ahead and get to it. Tomorrow’s post is going to be very brief, battery depending, since I’ll likely still be at the event or on the road back to where I’m staying over the weekend when I’ve got something to write about.

Quickie Report

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Today was pretty low key. I helped a friend move this morning and early afternoon. It’d been a long time since I’d done that, and I definitely needed the exercise.

I was also on the air for the first time in almost a month tonight. It felt good to broadcast again. Once again, we’re not doing our Saturday show because we’re planning on attending an SCA event this weekend, but hopefully next week we can get back on the air.

I’m exhausted tonight, so I think I’m going to make this short and sweet and hopefully have more to report tomorrow.

Day of Grades

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Today in algebra class I turned in my fourth quiz and got back my first homework assignment, my third quiz, and my first test, all in one shot.

The homework assignment wasn’t a big worry, since the answers for most of the questions were in the back of the book, and I checked those questions once I completed them to make sure I was right, or to find out what I needed to change to get the correct answer. These were graded on a ten point scale and I got full marks, 10/10.

The quiz was a concern, however. This was the quiz that I turned in early because of my trip to California last month, and as soon as I got through the lecture that day I knew I’d screwed up. My instructor even told me there was one that he saw on a perfunctory glance that I got wrong, so I went in expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d scored an 85 on it.

Then came the test. This was my first closed-book grade in the course and I was very nervous. I took over an hour to get through the 11 questions on it and I left thinking that it could have gone either way. I was worried, though. This one single test represented 21% of my final grade, so if I screwed up even one question, it would measurably affect things in the long run. I flipped the paper over and saw “94 – Very Good!” and I could feel the tension melt away.

The best I can tell, I’m carrying an A average in both algebra and biology, which I’m very happy with at this point in the semester. It’s been a bit of a struggle at times juggling the demands of two classes, but for the most part things have been relatively stress-free. I don’t anticipate that continuing into next semester, however. The plan is to take on a full-time course load, and that’s going to cause some changes in my daily routines. Some things on my checklist will go by the wayside because I just won’t have time to keep doing them. One of those things might be this blog, to an extent. I have written nearly every day this calendar year and I just don’t see me continuing to do that with a 12 credit hour schedule. I’ll likely either drop to a couple times a week, or have to severely curtail how verbose I get here. Still not sure which I’m going to wind up doing. (You guys read this thing, what do you think? Same detailed, long-winded posts less often, or still daily, just with shorter posts? Let me know in the comments or on one of my social media feeds if that’s how you got here.)

We were anticipating a weekend off from being social, but a friend pointed out that the SCA event that’s being held this weekend by the Norman, Oklahoma group is actually taking place in north Texas, which shaves about two and a half to three hours off the drive time, making it considerably more accessible. My wife and I haven’t visited our friends in the north of the kingdom for at least twelve years and we’ve been wanting to find a way to get up and spend some time with them. (For those unaware, the SCA kingdom that I live in is comprised of Oklahoma and that part of Texas in the Central time zone – in other words, basically everything but El Paso, so Oklahoma is north for us here in Austin.) We poked and prodded the budget and made this weekend’s event a possibility, so at this point we’re planning on attending. My therapist would be very happy to hear just how social I’ve been over the last five or six weeks.