madbaker: (Pulcinella)
(Said in Family Guy voice)
Good weekend, but exhausting. We had the GSP picnic to decide our annual show; I'm happy with what we chose, although it means some work upfront for me. (Which I volunteered for.)
Then socializing with Hirsch and Aldith, crashing at their place before the Sunday officers' meeting. The latter went as well as could be expected.

Tired now; I kind of want a rinse-off shower and an early night. And then a weekend to make up for not having one.

madbaker: (Galen)
I took Friday off. Originally it was so that we could go to A&S. But around Tuesday the wife and I looked at each other and said "Idonwanna." Instead of spending Wednesday cooking, Thursday packing, Friday driving and setting up, then Sunday breaking camp, packing, driving, and unpacking - I did not much of anything Friday. It was kind of glorious.

The downside was that we still had to go to the event. It's a Kingdom-level event, and that's part of the current set of responsibilities. We day-tripped which made for a very long day. We left the house at 7 AM and got back around 9:30 PM. But we did get to spend the night in our own bed...

It's disturbing how much work piles up when I'm off for a day. Back to it.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
The 1000-mile road trip to LA* was good overall. I really enjoy the West Coast Culinary Symposium; it's nerding within a specific subgroup of nerds. We even tried Pea Soup Andersen's, which as a kid I always wanted to do. (Review: meh.)

However, we hit epic traffic even by LA standards. We hit Pasadena around 12:30ish and were in stop-and-go for the next four hours. That did a number on the car: our brand-new tire got a flat (which apparently was the fault of the tire failing, not driving over a nail) and our rear brake pads ground down to nothing. So half the drive home Sunday was on screechy grinding brakes. That was as much fun as it sounds.

I took yesterday off, planning to do laundry, shopping, and relax before the flood of catch-up work today. Instead we spent much of the day at the tire shop. But at least it's fixed now.

(Except for the tire pressure light, which came back on about ten miles from the tire place. Really?)

*Yes, I am aware that we were significantly outside LA proper. (Hemet, for the curious.) To a Northern Californian - even one like me who spent time down there - anything that requires driving in the vague vicinity of LA is LA.
madbaker: (joyful Wulfric)
I generally really enjoy Collegium. It's such a refreshing break for me from the usual fighting-based events.
In an attack of sanity, we drove out to Sacramento Friday night so that we wouldn't be round-tripping Saturday. Traffic was horrible, as we expected; the 90 miles took us three hours. (The wife wasn't sure she was going to go as she had come down with a cold. But she was meeting the chronicler to help her put together formatting for the newsletter.)

A quick search on Yelp and we decided on a fusion hot pot place for dinner. We were among the few white people in there, always a good sign. It was quite good! Spicier than I expected but tasty.

I taught a first period 9:30 AM class on "How to Exchequer an event." O the excitement. I think it was useful for the two people who showed up. If so it was worth it. To amuse myself I made two pages of joke SCA names. Some of them were classics, like Reed the Page and Portia Audi Tudor. Others were lesser-known like Crispian Milk. It kept me engaged when I was putting the class together.

My other class was an open drop-in to go over forms, answer questions, whatever. Again lightly attended but I would have been surprised if it hadn't been. Another exchequer put together a really good short Powerpoint presentation on reports to help out. I solved a couple minor problems for two people who showed up so again, I'll count that as a win.

In between the two I audited a 16th c. Dutch sauces class in the kitchen. I loved it. I got to hang around people cooking and being creative. Without any pressure to actually do anything. One of the unexpected downsides of this job has been the crushing of my creativity and this was a bit of a reminder as to what I am missing.

I also got my coronet delivered! I had seen it two weeks previously but it needed pearl replacement. I'm quite happy with it. The wife is polishing it right now (not a euphemism).

Afterwards we went to a local Ethiopian restaurant with three others. Very good food, especially for the cost. It did mean that we didn't leave Sacramento until 7:30 and got home around 9:30 PM. We had to trade off driving partway through - I just couldn't keep my eyes open. And we're both tired today.

madbaker: (Bayeux cook)
This last weekend was the annual West Coast Culinary Symposium. This year it was in Portland, at the same place it was three years back - a remoteish Campfire Girl camp. It's on the rustic side (apparently some of the cabins had rodent dropping infestations). I've been attending them for some years now. I always have fun, because this is a subset of a subset of friends. It's an SCA event focused on food nerding. My happy place. Also, I get to hang out with people I don't see very often from Oregon/Washington and Southern California. And usually meet new people to be friends with. The keynote speaker led a discussion on food history and "Why do we do this?" My answer is "To inspire and be inspired." No exception for me this time 'round.

I usually teach at least one sausage class. This year it was one of my recent discoveries: an herb omelette sausage subtlety. After making it a few times at home I figured out how to make it work and I thought this would be an interesting and modern palate-accessible alternative. Although limiting the class to eight people made that less accessible, I suppose, but I find that's about the top limit for this sort of class. Otherwise there's a lot of standing around and people can't help. Anyway, it was immensely popular. There were a number of foobs initially (I didn't know where my class was, then didn't get the supplies from the kitchen, and so forth) but we finished around our time limit and it was delicious. People commented that they'd make this for events themselves! I count that as a total win.

I felt a little bad for one teacher; I took his class and there were only two attendees. It wasn't anything I didn't know (food safety) but it was a good refresher, even if it was focused more heavily on the microbiology side than the practical how-tos.

The class coordinator gave out nice thank you gifts to teachers: a bit of waxed linen, a hand-written thank you note, and a jar of jam. Which TSA confiscated at the airport. I was peeved, but who knew jam was a verboten terrorist device?

The only downside to having gone, of course, is that there's a ten day event coming up this weekend. Oh well. Back to work.

madbaker: (joyful Wulfric)
I habe a code. I blame the petri-dish Hall of Justice, but apparently significant numbers of people also got sick from Crown last week. Who knows? I am feeling better today, but also trying not to push it. I may work from home tomorrow.
Coronet blah blah )

Today: dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, probably some exchequer stuff.

madbaker: (Bugs Bunny)
I didn't sleep well until I fell back asleep less than an hour before my alarm, at which point I had a very vivid and strange SCA-related dream. Then I got in to the office and discovered I left my phone at home.

Those are grounds for going home and taking the rest of the day off, right?

madbaker: (joyful Wulfric)
This weekend was devoted to two contradictory principles: that medieval re-creation is a fun, artistic, and escapist hobby; and that I am involved with the real-life numbers side of it where I have to stare at spreadsheets and tell people they can't spend money to have fun.

Nevertheless, I had a good time. Work is really, really busy so I should get back to it.

madbaker: (Laurel)
I haven't taught anything at an SCA Collegium or A&S for a while. Except for Cooks' Collegium, at which I have taught for the last four years. I'm discounting that because it's a specialty audience. I just haven't been inspired.

Several reasons, I would guess. Work has taken a lot of time/effort/brainpower. The exchequer job I'm doing, such as it is, takes some - and next year's likely handover will eat my life for certain.

I feel vaguely guilty about this, like I am slacking on Laurel responsibilities. Then I feel guilty about feeling guilty about it. Yes, I walk around with cured meats and do a bit of demo'ing that way. But it's not quite the same as actively teaching people.

I don't know. Maybe I need a kick in the butt to restart creative juices. Maybe I don't and this is a pause that refreshes. Maybe I'm too neurotic for my own good.

Maybe.

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
Car window smashed again. The last time was July. This time at least they didn't steal the car; they just took the $4 in quarters, destroying the coin tray. We'd locked the glove compartment, so they pried it (mostly) off trying to get into it.

Appointments made for replacements with our insurance blah blah blah. Last year was the first time in over ten years that this has happened - our neighborhood is generally pretty safe. The second time in less than twelve months - I think we're getting rid of the other car and parking this one in the garage full time. I am totally sick of this shit and now that they've discovered this stretch of street as a target, I don't think it will stop.

How will this affect our packing and Beltane attendance next weekend? We know the window won't be replaced until next Wednesday (we usually pack Thursday). No clue yet as to when the glove compartment fix will happen. Theoretically it shouldn't take as long as, say, installing a brand new bumper. But stay tuned, I guess. I'm not wild about packing and driving with a glove compartment dangling from the dash; but I also don't particularly want to miss the event.

madbaker: (Laurel)
The weekend was good. Tiring, but good.
West Coast Culinary Symposium in Fairfax )
madbaker: (Pulcinella)
Once upon a time, in the dawn time of the SCA, there was Fighting.
Beating everybody at Fighting earned you an award. For Fighting.

Then they wanted to give awards for Fighting to people who hadn't beaten everybody else. So they back-dated an award for those who had beaten everyone else, and gave it precedence. Uber-Fighting.
There were also people doing other things besides Fighting. So they also created an award for Everything Else. So there was Uber-Fighting, and Fighting and Everything Else.

That was too much, so Everything Else was split. So there was Uber-Fighting, and the next tier down was Fighting, Arts, and Service. All theoretically equal, except of course that you had to participate in Fighting to get the Uber-Fighting award that outranked the others. Those were the rules of the game.

This worked reasonably well for many years. Until many people were doing different Fighting and wanted the same recognition. But the Fighting award* said no, these Fighters cannot get the Uber-Fighting award and they are not our Fighters. We do not want them.

So now there is a new award. So there is Uber-Fighting, and the next tier down is Fighting, Arts, Service... and Fighting.



* Some members of Fighting are exceptions, but it seems clear that the Fighting award as a whole was hard against it.

madbaker: (Torg costume)
Twelfth Night: I didn't feel like I experienced the event much. I spent a fair amount of time/effort trying not to be That Plague Vector Guy - I started coming down with a cold on Wednesday, but there really wasn't any way to not show up given the play obligations. So I spent some of Saturday in the room, snoozing. I did go to court but it was basically because I needed to sit down Right Then.

We got bumped and bumped for our play starting time. Not surprising as court will almost always go long. Disappointing though; every half hour later loses a significant portion of our audience. Our performance of Twelfth Night... it was a bit slow to start, but I was happy with it. I have yet to see the video but there were good laughs and reactions. Even part of a standing o at the end. Valgard, the Drama Doctor, made a point of telling us how much he enjoyed our performance.

Dinner was delivery Thai food in a room and chattage for several hours. Then I went to bed. I didn't feel that well Sunday; I'm not really sure why but it certainly wasn't a hangover. The wife drove back which helped, since I didn't have to concentrate on driving and could just veg out. Today I called in sick. I've run a few errands, but mainly I'm trying to get rest and recovery. Back to normal work tomorrow regardless.

Ouch

Dec. 12th, 2014 08:34 am
madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
I took the car in this morning for an oil change. I took it to the dealer because I needed to replace the rear windshield wiper after jerkface broke it off to try to break in.

...wear and tear leading to more work. The biggest item? Replacing struts, which given how we overload the car for SCA events is not surprising. The projected cost is, um, significantly more than the initial oil change. I don't believe they're upselling so much - they've been pretty honest in the past. Just that the car is 11 years old and has 115k miles.

But, um, ouch.

madbaker: (life is good)
Still trying to resolve the non-shipping of Ken Albala +'s translation of Livre Fort Excellent. When it was delayed they marked my order as "Complete" and they never sent it to me. I spoke with someone last week who promised to call me back, but she hasn't. I'll try again this week. This time my position will be "Ship this week to me or refund my money now." Fortunately, Ken sent me one of his extra copies (signed even!) and that arrived yesterday.

So, now I know what I'll be using for inspiration cooking at the war.

madbaker: (joyful Wulfric)
Plans fell through. Thinking about replacement plans, but those are being slightly derailed by a big case of the "I don't wanna"s. Mine, not the wife's.
I know that replacement plans would be a lot of fun; it's all the pre-plan work that has me disgruntled.
madbaker: (Krosp)
I haven't been in a posty mood. It's been a struggle even to keep up with Resolution Recipes (which I still do, and one of the main reasons I'm still here).

Life continues on. Very surprising and cool SCA stuff (Pelican offer); successful, albeit shorter-than-I-planned long-cured meat (Frankenham); bartering various meats for home-brew; commedia dell'arte. Lots of reading.

GAAAAAAAH

May. 22nd, 2013 11:40 am
madbaker: (Bugs Bunny)
Work is stressing me out. Monday I went into the office at 7 AM. I turned off the computer at 6:45 PM.
Erinwood is stressing me out. It's this weekend. It'll be okay, I'm sure. I keep telling myself that.
Having a cold is stressing me out. I'm feeling a lot better than I was a couple days ago but I don't want to be doing food-prep for 60 people while hacking up a lung.

...Back to work now.
madbaker: (feast)
The Culinary Symposium was a lot of fun and I'm very glad I went. I may write something more later, but the longer it goes the less likely that is.

The wife and I went to Bix last night for a slightly-delayed anniversary dinner, aided by an Xmas present gift certificate from my dad. It was lovely. Sidecars at the (crowded) bar to start, roasted marrow bones, chicken hash for her and swordfish for me, roasted brussels sprouts, and chocolate bread pudding to finish (for a change, instead of their very good Bananas Foster).

Back to work now.

madbaker: (Giants)
2012 wasn't a bad year for us. I got officially laid off when the parent company wrote off our start-up. That wasn't great, but we had money saved against this possibility. I continued working with them while looking for a paying job, and when our business improved a bit they brought me on as a partner. I'm still underpaid, but it's getting better. I doubt my equity stake will ever make us dot-com rich, but for the moment it's enough to live on and I still mostly enjoy my job and the people I work with.

On the one hand, we didn't do a lot of SCA stuff. Despite the mostly meatloaf-free environment after May, we weren't really feeling it and didn't go to a lot of events. On the other, we did go to West-An Tir and I went to many more than we normally would after Zanobia asked me to be Laurel Counselor. That's been interesting and mostly fun - but I'll be glad it's over next Saturday.

The apprentice and I are continuing to work on charcuterie stuff. One of my goals for 2013 is to clear out a space in our oubliette for another curing chamber. I want one I can use for long-term curing, like an 18-month proscuitto.

No major health problems. Still happy to be married to each other. Still not King. But if 2013 is no worse for us than 2012, it'll be a decent year.

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