arathreel: (Default)
I am putting a call out to everyone that is willing to help me with the cooking. Kitchen is almost cleaned and ready from my OMG NEED TO MAKE BREAD FOR PENNSIC!! and need to bake afterwards. People who have been to my house before know for a fact I can have 7 people comfortably working in the kitchen, alone.

Plans right now:

Mushrooms are already finished, bottled, and marinating.

This Sunday:
Make and freeze the hen with prunes (cooked), the shashlyk (in it's marinating juices), chuchkella (which I've never made before and just have my fingers crossed), and the red wine/cherry sauce.

Next Sunday:
Make and freeze the cabbage pies (I have my mom making the crusts for me (thankfully)) and apple kissel.

The day before:
Make mushroom caviar.
Cut up everything needed for making the next day.
Start thawing things.
Pack everything needed for cooking/baking/etc.

The day of:
The cod, creamed beets, stuffed onions, turnip pudding with ham, apricot dinner kasha, tea eggs.
Oven schedule: turnip pudding - onions - fish.
Pick up bread in Schenectady.
Mild decorating (because it makes the Katrusha happy).
Sbiten? Mint water? Water? Kvass?

Speaking of awesome feasts: the nice thing about doing buffet style, as it should be, is I can also ask if anyone would like to perform during feast and you don't have to worry about being interrupted by course calling. Is anyone interested? I only ask you stick with the Russian theme.

I'm so excited about my feast.

If there is anything you want to help with, any step along the way, please let me know!
arathreel: (Default)
Anyone going to Hunters, here are two of the definite dishes:



Creamed beets and white fish with a cherry red wine sauce. Supposedly the fish was good. I had the sauce on a piece of pork. Nummers! And the beets? OMG... yes, please.
arathreel: (Default)
I'm working on a new song. It is a waulking song. It is a commission piece. My first time performing it will be at hrim schola. If I have it done by then. If not, I will just sit in on the class and spin while I play the music for everyone. But hopefully I can come up with something in two weeks.
arathreel: (Default)
Today was an ever so exciting day. I competed in King and Queen's bardic with hopes of at least doing two round. Which I did. My first piece was my Cock and Hen song. My second piece was my Baba Yaga in Germany story. And I was happy to see all the other people who competed. Especially Virginia. She has a lovely voice and should get up more.

Then they deliberated and I got to eat and talk with Master William and such. And they announced the, not four, but five finalists. Aoife, Toki, Judith, Lorita, and myself. While everyone else rejoiced or, in Loretta's case, was floored, I simply responded to my name with "shit" under my breath. Master William then congratulated me and I told him I would try and pull a story out of thin air for the topic of "valor".

Needless to day, in the end I didn't win. But I didn't mind at all. I wasn't performing to win. It would have been a nice bonus but I really was just there to have fun. And I had tons of it. I got a lot of really good feedback, heard some amazing stories and songs, and in general spent the day with friends laughing and having fun. The two winners were Toki and Judith. I wasn't surprised. They were well deserved wins.

And then court. And...I got my troubadour. I was worried I was going to get something. Master William said he didn't even know and was really excited for me. He also thought I had a really good chance of winning the competition. I was happy just to have done it. Good experience.

In either case, lots of fun. Friends getting nice things. Dorothy/Renata got her troubadour too! And Virginia's man, Paul/Guy got his AoA! I love celebrating friends getting wonderful things!

But now I'm going to eat, pack up a few games, and head off to Genericon.

Edit: name changed due to misspellings.

Also wanted to add that my awesome troubadour cup was given to me by Lorita who got it, in turn, from Master Grim when she received her troubadour.
arathreel: (Default)
Now that I have slept and have had time to cool down and settle my emotions, getting them into a more stable space, I am able to talk about what happened.

Ceildih was yesterday. It was my first time ever to the event. Ever. All I had ever known about it was that there would be an auction. Well, a week or two previous, I was working on a song. It was a song that was inspired to me by something that the Queen had said during Winter Nights. It was a topic dear to my heart and I was happy to be writing it for her borrowing music that someone said I should FILK anyway.

So two weeks previous I was working on the piece and a woman who has my greatest respect and I look up to as a friend, an aunt, a colleague, and a teacher asked me if I could have it memorized by Ceildih when she saw it. I said I wasn't sure, but I would try. I figured, maybe I could catch the Queen at some point and sing it for her after my good friend's prompting. Before that, I was just thinking if I ever sang it, to just preface it with why I had wrote it. I never planned to sing it for her. Another friend of mine also said I should sing it at this particular event. So my excitement was definitely up.

In anycase, up come Ceildih and she had me all excited about being able to sing this song for the Queen. I even approached her at some point and told her I would like to sing my song for her. That was all I honestly planned. I asked my friend if, at least, she could just... you know, announce me to the Queen. Or introduce me. Just at some point. So she planned to do it at feast.

The day went on excitedly. I played with my teacher's children who appeared attached at my hip at times. I bought a few things at the auction, the one I really had wanted being the doumbek. I'm already happily teaching myself to play. The auction was long. And then it was feast. I approached my friend and told her I would take her lead as to when I should go up. First course... Toki did a speech about why it is Bjorn's Ceildih. First time I ever knew the history behind the event. That was when I stopped eating because I got nervous. It was a perfect set up. The event was all about what my song was about! Second course. A few more people got up to toast the baron, the King and Queen, the cooks. Third course. I stood up with my friend, but someone else performed a poem for the King and they asked us to wait until after desert. I felt foolish having gotten up and standing there, but that's fine. Fourth course.

Now this is where things get tricky. It was the dessert course. I was watching... waiting. The Baron began to talk about someone who had written a song.... with the same meaning as mine. Aoife was up there. And began to sing. My heart dropped into my stomach. I can't perform now. If I had performed, my song would have lost ever speck of meaning, both to the populace and myself. I began to cry. I told my friend I couldn't perform. She felt so bad she had the Queen come over and ask for her song. I couldn't. At that point, even though I knew it wasn't true, my brain was swarming. They chose Aoife because she is a more top ranking bard. She has lots of awards. I'm barely known in the barony, let alone the kingdom. And how could I sing something inferior for the Queen?

I knew, in the back of my mind, it wasn't true. The my biggest hurt was being so built up for something that meant so much to me.... only to follow someone else who already did a beautiful job putting it to words. There was no reason to perform at that point. Being a bard, we don't perform just to be in the spotlight and have people listen to us. We perform because we have a message for people. Or we want to entertain them, or make them cry. Because, as a bard, we are able to help render people helpless to their emotions of joy, anger, sadness, or even regret. All their emotions. It is what we do. If I had gone up to sing another song like that, it would have diminished all the meaning of mine, and possibly Aoife's. I couldn't do that to her or to me. Or, more importantly, to everyone else. So I declined. The Queen left for the night after feast and now I'm starting to wonder if it is really important to ever sing it for her. I know it is for her. And I wrote it for my own reasons.

I was unable to go to post-revel after all of this. It just was not feasible. My emotions had to settle. And even now, as they are settled, I'm still feeling the pain of last night. It is no one's fault. I hope people understand I feel no ill will, no blame. Just regret. I should never have allowed to get my hopes up. I've seen how people are around the King and Queen or even just the Baron before. Everyone wants to talk with them. It is difficult to find them alone. Everyone has a story for them, or a song, or just a conversation. I never should have...

I was going to post the lyrics to my song here, but I'm beginning to doubt them. Perhaps I will work on them for a few more months before I ever consider them again to sing to anyone.

Ceildih

Nov. 15th, 2008 10:59 pm
arathreel: (Default)
I bought a doumbek. Excited am I. Had my heart ripped out by being excited about something and failing miserably.

Feeling like a failure.

Have cried too many tears tonight.

Thinking of more or less quitting bardic workshops and just working on my own and with Master William. Preforming very seldom.

Of course, all impulsive thoughts. My mind is not happy. My emotions are not happy.

I feel like a failure.

People who were there will at least understand why all this is being said. It is a tonight-feeling not an I-always-feel-like-this-feeling. And I'm probably over reacting. Thank you, friends, for being there for me tonight. Just the small hug or pat on the shoulder meant a lot. It means I'm not as alone as I keep thinking I am.

KWB&C

Nov. 10th, 2008 05:36 pm
arathreel: (Default)
We are home. It was amazing. Key notes on the trip:

"Efenwealt says he likes me, I'm doing a happy dance! Efenwealt says he likes me, I'm gonna crap my pants pants pants!"

The peers all playing kazoos to Muh na muh na.

Making Dorigen sputter by accidentally not knowing she was there when I said... something.

Getting new neat bling.

Sitting down and having lovely conversations with Rurik, Dorien, Effenwylt, Maraha (I think that is how it is spelled >_<) and various other phenomenal people.

Having awesome vocal criticisms to people who truly enjoyed Kyrie.

Werellamas.

Meeting Kazi, or should I say Kate, for the first time and probably the last...

Bardic Circle. So mischievous.

I wrote a new story during the fairy tale workshop. It is awesome.

Amazing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mmmm...hedgehogs.

Getting really nice compliments for my first time ever with these amazing people.

Feeling incredibly overwhelmed and intimidated.

All in all, an amazing trip, and I will try and write it up properly when I am more able. A humbling experience and I can't wait to do it again.
arathreel: (Default)
Heading out to KWC&B with tons of extra loose leaf and lots of pens for our three party members: a bard, a rogue pirate bard, and a sneaky sneaky ninja thief. We totally critical hit this trip!

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