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Banrigh na Boogie

The Vertigo of the Ulsterpersons


July 16th, 2006

Tha mi sgìth @ 04:33 pm

Current Location: home at last
emotional weather: calm glé sgìth
today's soundtrack: Gàidhlig singing, melodious harping, skirling pipes

... glè sgìth.

But besides that, happy. Spent an intensely hot and humid day at the Scottish Festival yesterday with the fabulous femblagh, and the Usual Suspects ivy_rain and paul_hamish. We chatted about all things Gaelic, many things CR, appalling/amusing things Pagan, and tried not to die of dehydration or heat exhaustion.

I ran into some other old acquaintances, and spent too much money, of course. We tried to prepare for the weather with ice water, nuclear-strength sunblock, strategic shade and minimal clothing. But there's only so much you can do when it threatens triple digits and the humidity is swathing you in wet wool. I thought I was doing great, and then almost passed out on the way to the car, having suddenly hit my limit. But dumping ice water on my head and hustling me into an air-conditioned car stopped me from greying out completely, and my friends got me fed and cooled down. Yay! (ooops...) Yay!

The festival presented the usual mixed bag of good and bad aspects of Scottish-American culture. This festival was better than some, in that I saw only one vendor selling Wiccan books and other Capall Bann embarrassments. There was Gàidhlig singing in the merchants area, and some excellent book vendors. Even the tartan-oriented merchants seemed more informed than you sometimes deal with, and there were even a few merchants who spoke at least a few words of Gàidhlig.

Of course, as regular readers know, my Gàidhlig is embarrassingly rusty and feeble. Though I first started learning many years ago, I never reached fluency, and in recent years had slacked off to the point of having to start over. I think this is largely due to having started with books like the old Teach Yourself Gaelic (TYG) by Mackinnon which, while excellent at grammar, is practically worthless for modern conversation. So, while in the past I've been able to fumble out some translations and compose some very simple pieces of poetry/invocation, Gàidhlig conversation has always been overwhelming to me. I have never had access to in-person classes, just books, tapes, and what bits of podcasts and radio my dialup connection could handle.

But my recent talks with our resident Gàidhlig teacher extraordinaire, femblagh, have me all inspired again. Barring any catastrophes, this is the year I am aiming to finally break that language barrier and get back to not only being able to think in Gaelic, but to move beyond where I once peaked and really be able to converse easily. As a child and teenager I picked up other languages pretty quickly, so I know I have the ability; it's just a matter of fitting it in time/energy wise. But that should be much more possible this year than it has been in a very long while.

In other news, I realize I have not made any public posts about other recent social events. Most notably, the visit by saigh_allaidh and V's surprise birthday party. The visit was much-needed, and though we were both kind of worn out from other recent events, good planning and reconnecting came from it. At V's party we sang in Latin, feasted on ivy_rain's amazing creations, and did medieval dancing, complete with hand-held candles in a dim room and an attempt to do gender-based structured dances with a house full of women and only two men. This is what you get when hanging out with lesbian medievalists ;-) I thought it would be hilarious to make the two men try to dance with a whole group of women, each, but out of kindness we finally decided to divide up based on "bifurcated garments and non-bifurcated garments." Division by butch and femme was instinctively discarded as it would have devolved into a two hour discussion of which side of that line some of us fall on.

Back to resting up, so I can hopefully have a productive week.
 
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From:thewronghands
Date:July 16th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
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Glad you had fun (and didn't die). [grin] "Medieval lesbians" is a great entry tag, too.
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From:saigh_allaidh
Date:July 16th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
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Glad you had fun, although fun without nearly dieing from heat exhaustion would be better. But at least you were with people who, you know, noticed and helped you rather than blathering on about how empathic they are while not noticing you about to fall. *snerk* I do wish I could have been there, but obviously, it's a good thing I am back here at this point. Maybe sometime in the future I can coordinate a trip for an event we want to attend.
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From:caitriona_nnc
Date:July 17th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
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That would be great. femblagh is into coordinating some Gaelic things, too. There are upcoming festivals in CT. The ones in NH may not work out for you in terms of current commitments, but it's something to bear in mind. I'm less trashed by it all than I thought I'd be, so maybe the non-MA festivals are not out of the realm of possibility anymore. Especially the ones in the cooler seasons.

Maybe next year or the year after I can do the ACGA Gaelic immersion program in NH. It's cheaper and less physically taxing than getting my ass to Skye or Nova Scotia now. Though that is on the more long-term agenda.

I like the new icons. I need to make some. And to finally make some for ivy_rain, who was so good to do the shoot with us but has yet to have any icons or photos to show for it [guilt cringe].
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From:saigh_allaidh
Date:July 19th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I have to figure out scheduling stuff a bit ahead...which is a problem. I MIGHT get a bit more leeway in the near future around events, we may be able to either get the sports person to take on more non-sports work or get another person. The papers have restructured so there are now fewer office workers and more chance to have more reporters. As much as I could use more money, however, I am actually hoping that they get more as there are weeks I'm just overwhelmed. Besides, I am thinking of getting something else on the side that might pay a bit more for shorter time. I love this job, I realize that even with the changes they can't pay more, but I need to do something else. I'll probably be talking about that at some point in my journal.

Yeah, I needed some new icons. I'm so damn obsessed right now with running I wanted one running, and more with the little beast too. I do like the close up of that one too, but do feel that with the cap I really look like I'm trying to hard to look like Sarah Connor; really, I actually try to avoid it but with the layered hair cut I do tend to wear it when I want to keep the hair out of my face. I should do some more running ones without perhaps. Or should have been wearing the SCCS t-shirt and put this as another possibility.

Yes, I should get some work done on the SCCS site....but I'm also inspired, partially by the running photo, to do some more photos. I'd love to get more in-training photos of us all. Working out, hand-to-hand. I have ideas. Some of which we can't afford props for, unfortunately. Know any self-defense instructors down there?

You have both the photos from your camera and mine from the shoot, right? I only have mine. I'm equally guilty of not making anything up for her. Maybe you can have her go through the photos and see what she likes, if it's any from mine, I could do up some icons for her.

Hmmm...which free website service shall I use? I do have room on cyberpict.net but then really would like to have something that's all on it's own. Tripod is sucking more and more. But then they all do. Hmmmmm
From:femblagh
Date:July 25th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
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"The fabulous femblagh"? Woo-hoo, I've been upgraded!
From:femblagh
Date:July 25th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
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PS "Lesbian Mediævalists" (or "Mediæval Lesbians") would be a great band name.
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From:caitriona_nnc
Date:July 25th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
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I'll bear that in mind ;-)
From:femblagh
Date:July 25th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, even better: "Medieval Lesbian Hotness"!

YO, Yo, YO! Party people in da house! Give it up for the MLH!!
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From:caitriona_nnc
Date:July 25th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
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They can play on a double bill with The Man-Whores from Outer Space.
From:femblagh
Date:July 25th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
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YES!!!

Banrigh na Boogie

The Vertigo of the Ulsterpersons