Jesus is a Liberal Democrat

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The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>March to Keep Fear Alive

11th Night

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Summit's Winter Investiture, or 11th Night, was an incredibly emotional experience, more so than I had anticipated. Let me preface this by saying that I worked a graveyard shift, drove 45 minutes to Salem, and then on to Roseburg. I ultimately had been awake for approximately 31 hours straight. Coincidentally, it is inadvisable to consume more than two energy drinks in a 24 hour period. Also, I am extremely grateful to Rhieinwylydd Verch Einion Llanaelhaearn for loaning the use of her hotel room to shower and change out of scrubs before dragging me off to heraldric activities.
Most attendees had been playing for some time, so in some ways it was like being the new girlfriend of a socially awkward cousin at a family reunion, only without the significant other. But once the initial social anxiety of so many people crammed into a cement-floored enclosure wore off, it was easier to realize how many friends I had made in my first year of actively playing and how grateful I was to be able to come and celebrate. In a way, it was like a combination of all the holidays of the season.
While most courts on a smaller scale can be really fun (if you've ever witnessed the awarding of a Baronial Brownie, you know what I mean), extended formal ceremonies can be tedious due to the length, lack of amplification (especially if you're in the back), and people you only know via wordfame. This one really got to me, and not because of the lack of sleep, either.
When I first began playing, I camped with fringies who would never be caught dead at any organized activity at an event that wasn't a party. They told me that court was boring and there's no point in going since you have to "suck up to the right people" in order to get recognized (they also neglected to mention that you end up knowing people in offices by getting involved). And all people in offices are obsessed with status and will look down their nose at you for being a newbie, not having an award, etc., regardless of their personality and previous predisposition to arrogance. I took their advice, not realizing that I was missing out on receiving a newbie necklace.
There is a tradition, at least in An Tir, that newbies at their first event receive a token from Their Highnesses, usually coins stamped for their Coronation. During their reign, Viscount Gabriel Luveday and Viscountess Sumayya min Yibna gave out necklaces of silver spirals suspended from silver roses separated from the central figure of a silver elephant by red and blue beads. The theory being that gentles recognizing them can help guide and encourage the wearer.
While witnessing Their Alpine Highnesses' stepping down ceremony, I realized that they really blew all the misconceptions I had been told out of the water. She took genuine pride and joy in giving awards, embracing newbies, and generally welcoming any and all she met. (That is not to say that Gabriel was any less approachable, just that he is much less eloquent in formal settings). They really embodied everything that I came to learn that the SCA could be: gracious, warm, and inclusive. By shattering my preconceived notions, they helped to create a lifelong member as well as a retinue member for Prince Durin and Princess Ceridwen's fourth reign.
In the aftermath of court, I approached Sumayya, who took the time to listen to me try to communicate all this. Later, I commented to Lady Elizabeth Turner de Carlisle that I wished I had, had gotten a newbie necklace because now it meant more to me than a bauble. She resolved the situation by yelling, "Hey, Sumayya, you have any more necklaces? She never got one!"
Ahhh, friends.

Roman caligae

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That's "caligae", not "Caligula." Here's a short description with pictures of my friend's experiment in shoemaking for his Roman legionnaire persona.

How to Paganize your Solstice

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Luckily, most decorations associated with Christmas are Pagan in origin.
Evergreen boughs remind us that nothing ever truly dies, and can easily be spruced up (pun intended) with holly berries for the Holly King. Wrap them around stairways, mantles, and windows. Don't forget a wreath for the front door for the Wheel of the Year. Ivy is another greenery that you can festoon your home with for fertility in the coming year. Speaking of fertility, don't forget your mistletoe!
Make a Pagan nativity scene (I really want to do this, but don't have time this year. Maybe next).
Candles everywhere! You'll most likely be making and blessing new ones for Imbolc, anyway, so why not use up the old ones? It's dark and dreary, and what better way to celebrate the festival of light? However, do use common sense and only burn them in containers in safe places out of the reach of children, pets, and other gremlins. Traditionally the colours would be red, green, white, blue, silver, or gold, but you can use any you like. For extra light, put them in front of mirrors and/or windows.
Display your Yule log before burning it.
Hang bells everywhere, especially on doors, for good fortune.
Santa Claus is Pagan in origin, and I prefer the traditional type of Father Christmas in the robes. Although I would recommend leaving out the modern concept of elves out of respect for the fae.
Don't forget potpourri! Cinnamon and pine scents are long-lasting, inexpensive, and festive.
Now for the easiest and hardest part, the tree. There are some commercial ornaments out there, but they can be fairly expensive and/or poorly made. Many of them I look at and think, "I can make that." If you are crafty, you can make your own ornaments.

Santa Claus is Pagan, Too

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A cute song about the cognitive dissonance of the Christianized Santa. This particular video has some kernels of information, if you can look past the grammar and spelling errors.

Holiday vs. Christmas

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Here is a list of common stores and companies that use "Holiday" and those that say "Christmas." Hopefully, you can support local businesses instead of big box stores, but not all of us can afford to, especially in this economy. They are categorized according to their websites, as I don't watch nearly as much live TV as I used to (oh TiVo, how I love thee).
Crate and Barrel (see Home Depot)
Home Depot tries to trick you with a Holiday section divided into Christmas or Hanukkah
K-Mart (second year in a row, at least that I know of)
Wal-Mart (no surprise there)
Can't Make Up Their Minds
Amazon, only mention of any holiday is for shipping by Christmas
Big Lots
Fred Meyer, main page has Holiday but ads and products all say Christmas
Frye's, no mention of anything, not even Winter
JC Penney, uses both
Nordstrom, one instance of Christmas and then tries to use Winter everywhere else
Office Depot, no mention of anything, not even Winter
Ross, one instance of Winter
Winco, tries to use Holiday but reverts to Christmas
Barnes and Noble (but Powell's is better)
Best Buy
Borders (Powell's is much more betterer)
Kohl's, primarily Holiday with a Christmas Sale
Petco (hey, even our familiars need gifts)
Powell's, but we already knew they're awesome

It's that time of year again...

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To bust out the Solstice Carols! My favourite site is Willow Firesong's because there are so many, and they aren't anywhere near as bad as my recent filk attempt.

Outrage of the Day: Priest Orders a Hit on Abuse Victim

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"A Catholic priest, facing criminal charges and a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a teenage boy, is now charged with attempting to hire someone to kill the youth, authorities said Tuesday."

It sounds like a bad Lifetime movie, although the term "bad Lifetime movie" is a bit redundant.

How Do You Afford Your Medieval Lifestyle Filk

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This has probably been done before, but I though I'd try my hand at it. To the tune of Cake's "Rock 'n Roll Lifestyle." This is my first ever filk, and I can only play the radio... badly.

"Well, your rapier collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your custom made épée?
And how much did you spend on your new arming jacket?
Is it you or your lady in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to Pennsic and drinking in camps,
Sometimes for events that you haven't even heard of,
And how much did you pay for your Estrella War shirt
That proves you were there, that you heard of it first?

How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?
How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?
How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?
Hark, oye.

How much did you pay for the pig-face bascinet,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the war?
And how much will he pay for a brand new gauntlet?
One which you'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another war.
And how long will the merchants keep forging you new ones?
As long as their tankards are pewter, glass, or wood ones.

Aging silver duct tape on old guisarmes,
Dozens of favours and award of arms,
Your poor knees pay dearly now for tourney magic moments
But fight on soothfully with some brand new components.

How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?
How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?
How do you afford your medieval lifestyle?"