Sorceror's Apprentice

1:10 PM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm not going to bother delving into the blatant historical and mythological errors of this movie.
First off, the only pentacles in the movie were used by the bad guys (Morganians, after the sorceress Morgan la Fey), perpetuating the lie that they are associated with evil. And the tools used were considered vital for practicing magic, despite the fact that, that is not true in real life. Only an insecure young man is able to overcome this obstacle, despite his elders having practiced for hundreds of years. Once again, Hollywood emphasizes youth over wisdom and experience.
Then there's the centuries old dichotomy of male wizards good/female witches bad. The most powerful female sorceress is automatically evil, and the most powerful male conjurors are good (Merlinians, after Merlyn). Despite the fact that Morgaine was originally a healer, actually treating Arthur when he went to Avalon, seriously wounded. It wasn't until later cycles when she was portrayed as being evil and conniving, likely because she did not adhere to the sexual ethics projected onto women of that time period. In other words, since she was not a virgin and refused to settle into an arranged marriage, she had to be a whore and therefore demonized for it.
The movie fails the Bechdel Test, obviously. The female characters are either in need of rescuing, rewards for a job well done, or evil and need to be defeated. When Dave tries to keep Becky safe, she tells Dave that she is already involved and might as well help save the world. Dave, the physics geek, says that, that's sexy. I wanted to throttle the character because he's wanting to treat her like the reward he sees her as by keeping her on the pedestal he's placed her on for so many years: safe and pristine. He's supposed to be a geek and is just NOW figuring out that intelligence is a turn-on? I'm not even touching the resurgence of emo boys stalking the women whom they allegedly love. Some things from the '80's should have been left there.
If you're the kind of person that can turn your brain off, it's an enjoyable flick. If you're like me and unable to dissociate entertainment from larger sociological problems, you might find your blood pressure rising to unsafe levels.

I think I've been Shanghai'ed

12:58 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Someone in Adiantum threatened to conscript me into the Chirugeon’s Guild. I can’t imagine why. I mean, my campmates and I at War only took care of a guy who had hypothermia from falling in the creek. (By the way, it’s general common sense: get him out of his wet clothes, towel him off, put him in dry clothes, wrap him in a wool cloak by the fire, and get hot fluids into him).
Then there’s the fact that I’m allergic to aloe vera, but still rubbed it into a friend’s horribly sunburned back with my bare hands. I washed them right away, so it was fine.
At fighter’s practice, I was hand-sewing a snow-white, pure linen coif when a fighter got a gash on his hand. Since no one there had a first aid kit, I rinsed out the wound with a water bottle and tied the coif around his hand. I figured that I could just bleach away the germs and then dye it to take care of the stain.
The chirugeon came with her kit later, but was in the middle of a corset fitting. He was reluctant to get properly bandaged up, but I told him to get his ass over. He still complained as I cleaned it until I told him to shut up and just stand there and look pretty. Keep in mind that I am short and was wearing a flowered sundress and flip-flops, while he was in full gear. That’s what prompted her to suggest that I join the guild. Evidently ordering around injured heavy fighters is a prerequisite.


12:55 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
An Tir/West War was a blast, and the first ever medieval Sock Wars were a hit with yarn donated from Brown Sheep. We An Tirians won, naturally. The winner knitted an entire pair of Pre-Literate stockings over the weekend. 0.o I’m a sock addict, but that’s just plain nuts!
I had the honour of meeting Dame Christian de Holcomb, who taught a fascinating class on rosaries. I learned to spin with Snorri, card weave, and more fingerloop braiding techniques from Idonia. My campmates knew that I was essentially camped out in A & S all weekend.
Here are the mistakes that I made, so you might not repeat them:
1. Forgot the plug to my air mattress. The nest that I was able to cobble together was warm, but not necessarily comfortable.
2. In the excitement of my first major event, I forgot to eat or stay hydrated throughout the weekend. Very bad idea.
3. I did not know that there were going to be showers and, therefore, did not bring soap.
4. If you are going to dye anything that you plan to wear to the event, do so well ahead of time. Luckily, my cotehardie is dark coloured so that the marks left by my black belt were unnoticeable. My hands and chemise, however, were not so lucky.
5. Should you intend to wear a particular garment to an outdoor event, do NOT under any circumstances make it white. On the other hand, I now have a gown for 12th Night.
6. I volunteered my time at Sock Wars, which necessitated an early rising. Most people would use their cell phones as an alarm, but if the event is in an area with poor reception (which most of them are) the batteries will be quickly drained. Note to self: pick up a small portable alarm clock the next time I have a full schedule at an event.
7. I planned my days too full and never got a chance to get out to the battlefield, where I knew many of the fighters.
8. My camera was allowed to sit in hot areas too long, quickly draining the fresh set with which it started.
But I didn’t screw everything up, here’s what I did right!
1. I already had a pair of Pre-Literates that were absolutely wonderful. They were very comfortable, their thickness helped prevent blisters, and kept me warm at night. After I finish the Sock Wars ones I started, I plan on making a third, vermilion pair.
2. I packed a very large basket in the morning with everything I thought I’d need throughout the day so extra trips back to camp weren’t needed. (Obviously, more food and water could have been packed).
3. Most of the food I brought did not require cooking (bread, cheese, fruit, and granola bars), allowing me more time to play. Bonus points because it’s period!
4. I have a headlamp that garnered envy from some campmates. It’s a portable light that keeps your hands free for the biffies, brushing your teeth, doing dishes, etc. I have excellent night vision, so when I do end up using a light it’s inevitably the headlamp.
5. Even though it was Independence Day, we were on the Oregon Coast so I brought my wool cloak just in case. I was very grateful for the brief flash of common sense that prompted this because I used it in my bedding, protected against the winds that picked up after sunset and the temperature dropped, and helped warm a hypothermic man who had fallen into the creek.
6. Let’s just say that chemises are not overrated. Our ancestors wore them for some very good, practical reasons.
7. I packed an extra set of shorts and a tank top. There happened to be a swimming hole on site, and my mundane pajamas worked well as an impromptu swimsuit.
8. Linen is fantastic material!