An SCA Meme to Start the New Year

Note: Another resurrected historical entry. It is all navel-stare-y, but it is useful for me because it reminds me of some things I want to do. Edited into this blog 29 July 2016.

An SCA Meme to Start the New Year

by Merouda – January 5th, 2007.
Filed under: Navel Staring, SCA.

And, because I love everyone who is syndicating this journal, even if I have no clue who you are and no idea that you’re reading, I will do you a favor an use the awful WordPress cut tag to save you from the very long meme. The WordPress tag is not nearly as sophisticated as the LJ cut, alas, which is why I don’t use it… but for youse guyz, I will, just this once. I hope it works outside this blog.

Behind the cut, attack_laurel’s SCA meme, brought to me by alienor first.

1. What is your SCA name? (You don’t have to write the full name, just your first name if you want.) – Merouda Pendray. It’s Cornish. Real Cornish, from Cornwall, even. Why Cornwall? Why not?

2. What is your home kingdom? – Northshield. (Uf DA YAH SHURE YOU BETCHA!)

3. Have you ever lived in another kingdom? If so, where? – Yes, I’ve lived in the Middle (in northern Illinois) and Atlantia (in the Baltimore area).

4. Do you remember your first SCA event? When/what was it? – Wellll…… This question always puts me in the position of admitting my One True SCA embarrassment… my earliest days of participation. I don’t really recall my first events except to tell you that it was one of several things I did in late spring and early summer of 1982 at locals in easy driving distance around Ft. Meade, MD, where I was stationed at the time. I had such a crush on the boy I was involved with, though, that I can’t really tell you what was happening, because it was all about being dressed like a princess around this guy that I viewed through a major adolescent and sadly unfulfilled lust. I was completely in my own fantasy. It’s likely that I would have been a steady 25 year participant had my marriage to Mark not interrupted my ability to pursue my interests. Instead, I’m a 25 year participant with a 7 year gafiation. ;-)

5. Do you have any awards? (You don’t have to list them if you don’t want) – Yes, I do. They are almost exclusively A&S awards, which always surprises me, given the amount of blood I’ve coughed up for the SCA. But then, I just look at how talented I like to think I am, and then it’s no surprise that no one noticed the service in the face of all that art. ;-)

6. Do you list them after your name in communications like e-mail? – Generally, no, and I do not favor the practice. I use my title in royal correspondence, or when addressing people specifically in line with my capacity as an A&S goob.

7. Do you have a device? – Yes, and I chose my device LONG BEFORE the Principality of Northshield chose its livery and badges. I’d like to believe that I inspired the Principality, but I’m too practical to trick myself into believing it. ;-) Still, it’s a happy accident. And, FWIW, the actual inspiration for the gryphon totem is the arms of Duke Eliahu. I also have 2 badges, a household name, and am preparing a third badge.

8. Do you use it? On what? – Yes. I am very much into heraldic embellishment, see http://www.merouda.com/asheraldry. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

9. Are you on all the kingdom/society lists available to you, or do you avoid them? – I’m on several kingdom and local lists, several scribal lists, SCA-LAurels, and a metric tonne of yahoo groups, but I just skim ‘em these days. 95% of the content is not relevant to me.

10. Do you keep your Pennsic/Estrella/Gulf Wars/etc. site tokens? – Yes, plus most of the tokens I received from about 1992-2000. After my curtain rod started bending under the weight of all the tokens hanging off ‘em, I started to limit my collected tokens to those that can be turned into some other useful and amusing item in my vast quantities of free time.

11. Do you keep the favours you’ve been given by royalty/friends/SOs, etc.? Do You wear them all? – Yes, mostly keep them. Most of them are such memories, though, that I just keep a box for them and consider them happy memories in material form. My favorite is a small enamel ring that Thorbjorn Osis gave me back at WW III. I dislike the habit of wearing multiple tokens from the belt, so those that I do wear do not hang from my belt, as they are actual accessories.

12. Do you call your friends by their SCA names even when you’re not at an event? – Yes. Even when I know their modern name and have known them long enough to use it. Some people just are more themselves as Scadians than the modern world can ever let them be. I also hate, hate, hate it when people call me by my modern name at events, so I generally prefer to be called by that name by Scadians at all times. However, here in CAM, people have tended to ignore that request, to the point where I sometimes feel a little odd being called Merouda.

13. Do you go out to dinner in garb after an event? – Sometimes, usually only if I am planning to return to site. It was fun when I was younger, but now, I just don’t want to be stared at.

14. Do you have all kinds of garb, or do you generally stick to one period? – I travel times and cultures, although I have recently been making mostly early Tudor to have more clothing specific to my persona’s lifespan (about 1495-1565). Why early? Well, cuz, see, it requires little foundational garments, and as much as I prefer court clothing from about 1535-1555, I simply do not have a dresser to dress me. It’s hard enough to get people just to lace my dress the way I want it laced, much less get me from chemise to final jewel pinned in place. I’m thinking about pushing my early Tudor to about 1510, so I can have front closures, even though I’m not terrible fond of those dresses. Otherwise, I tend to make up alternate personae to account for the differences in dress… I’m up to 7 personae now. :-)

15. How many interests do you have within the SCA? What’s your favourite? – I’m an A&S maniac. There’s nothing I won’t try. I’m thinking of going into animal husbandry in the next 10 years. My favorite is C&I, although I’m pretty burnt on the whole scribal thing for now—talk about art that never looks like service. I am taking a break from that to pursue some things I didn’t explore as much as I wanted to while I was conquering C&I: persona development, period diary, period storytelling, costuming, embroidery, woodworking, heraldry, soapmaking, candlemaking, archery, poetry, period deportment, oil painting, sculpture, herbalism, cookery, and miscellaneous skills that will have to be taken up in order to improve my kit. And this would be the tip of the iceberg, as everything is interesting to me.

16. Do you have an SCA-oriented web site (to show off projects, keep dress diaries, etc.)? – Why yes, yes, I do – all sorts of pathways to my interests can be found by digging around http://www.merouda.com, although most of the SCA-specific stuff can be found off of the www.merouda.com/oim, www.merouda.com/asheraldry and www.merouda.com/artscipaths.

17. Do you maintain a hairstyle that is more period style than modern? How about any other part of your appearance? – I keep my hair long so I can put it up, but I do have bangs that I choose to allow to show in many cases, but try to treat in some unobtrusive way, so that they won’t be a glaring modernity. I am also wont to wear a modern bra under certain of my cotehardies, as I am amply endowed.

18. Do you tell “No $###, there I was” stories? (Admit it.) Do any of them involve well-known SCA people? – No. Not that I am aware of. I’m better at getting other people to tell their stories. And, for some reason, I’m just not the girl that people invite to the cool-kids parties, so I don’t get much of a chance to observe most of the sooper-dooper moments. LOL. I’m too busy stumbling into ravines. ::snerk::

19. Authenticity is Fun. Yes or no? Why? – It’s entirely tempting for me to steal attack laurel’s answer wholesale, as it’s very in line with my own opinions. I find authenticity fun, although I recognize that my ability to be 100% authentic is limited. Sometimes I have to substitute depth of knowledge because I don’t have depth of pocket or depth of skill. Frankly, as I have said in the past, I find it perfectly acceptable to use something that looks right even if it is made with non-period method and/or material as long as the person in question knows what is period. This is, ultimately, a second life for most of us, and I never want to see people starving themselves or not paying their bills or running up scary amounts of debt to purchase materials, books, pavillions, whatever, in order to have the perfect set-up for an SCA weekend. And, as attack laurel said: The better everything looks, the easier it is to see the magic… The people who regularly show up at events in completely non-period gear (even as a joke, such things should be applied sparingly) seem to be saying (sometimes quite aggressively) that it’s impossible to have be period and have fun, which makes me sad.

20. Is there one modern thing at events that really bugs you? – Things that make me crazy? Not so much. Things that I notice and that lessen my SCA experience? There are multiple things. 1: No effort made to disguise modernities. It’s really easy to throw a simple, single (preferably dark)-colored sheet over your plastic bins and nylon chairs. 2. Events being held in large modern facilities. I am making a deliberate effort to turn away from large events and go to small events held on properties that are either gothic inspired or so small and nondescript that they can be tuned out. Convention centers and gymnasiums take so much out of the event for me that I find it unpleasant. 3. Bog Dresses. 4. Title Stacking—a post period invention. 5. Being forced to buy food on site and being served a completely modern lunch on styrofoam plates. 6. Watching people perpetuate SCA customs as if they were period practices. 7. Cell phones, etc, in open use. Ditto for games of M:TG etc in the open… 8. Lack of headgear when appropriate, or, even worse, perfect costumes topped by a lady with Big 80’s hair. Oy. 9. Absolute lack of opportunities to practice persona play. I’m brainstorming now about how I can increase this opportunity in Northshield, because I am very much aware of how one committed person can make a change.

Bonus Question! 21. Everyone has a shameful garb/accessory mistake hidden somewhere in their past. What’s yours? (We’re all friends here, we promise not to laugh. Much.) – I’ve done plenty of cringeworthy things in my SCA time, but, oddly enough, none of it is garb related. I could already sew when I got in and my earliest pieces of garb were not terrible. Not good, of course, because beginners are beginners, but I’d still wear all of it now, albeit as camp or kitchen/work garments rather than day- or courtwear.

My earliest scrolls, on the other hand….

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