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asleep at mal 9/09
alumiere
war... 
9/10/04 14:33
asleep at mal 9/09


for those of you who are sick of hearing about war, now would be the right time to quit reading; for those who actually want to hear about it, here's my take on this year's trip

guess i should start by explaining that usually i'm totally organized; i have an excel spreadsheet from past years that i use to pack/make sure i've remembered everything (and which many of my friends have edited to their needs and swear by as well); and this year i didn't actively start aquiring the needed replacement equipment/supplies until the weekend before war, i couldn't find the spreadsheet with the list of what was already at war in storage and what needed to be packed, and didn't pack a single thing until the friday i left for war - very disorganized, and it resulted in me forgetting a few (albeit minor) things and not getting to the liquor store before leaving, but otherwise didn't have much affect except for the sleep dep i was suffering on the drive up/first day onsite

initially i was planning on leaving saturday during the day, with a rental truck (driven by mkblack - thanks again!!) and a caravan of friends, but due to a request that someone join lilkender for land grab as moral support/diplomatic liason and that that someone should be me, instead of leaving saturday morning between 9 and 10 i was suddenly trying to get out of the house friday around 10pm... needless to say, between the schedule change and going out to alchemy_dc with devon in tow and staying out too late, my packing started out way behind schedule, and then there were a few glitches... dead car coming back from picking up the rental truck - there's a faulty gas guage i was unaware of on zooom's scirocco, pyrogus and i winding up loading the new gate into the truck by ourselves, and me having to pick up my newly repaired car at the shop meant that i packed in a remarkable 6 hours...

thankfully by the time i actually got mostly done throwing garb, bedding, etc into tubs and bags, and shoving food and a bit of booze into boxes/coolers, the rest of the caravan (funkergrl, rinesin, pippilongstokin, mkblack, and deadmoonrising - thank you all for the help) had shown up at the manor and were able to help me cart stuff from the house to the car/rental truck (especially since zooom had hurt his shoulder and couldn't really lift much of anything)... we finally got loaded and on the road about midnight, with me in the lead followed by 3 cars and a big yellow van

the drive up was pretty uneventful - not much traffic and only a few stops for gas/bathrooms/munchies, and we were driving toward war just as the sun was coming up - i was wishing my camera was accessible coming north from pittsburgh (and that i wasn't driving) - the cloud/fog embankments in the valleys were amazingly beautiful, and i would have loved to get some pictures of them - there were points were it seemed like the mountains were right next to us across a small moat of twisting swirling fog

since we arrived much later than we hoped, we decided napping in the car was pointless (after 6am - had to be at land grab by 9) especially since it was quite cold out, so we bundled into some semi-warm garb and wandered down to the swamp to see how camp looked and make ourselves at home by the firepit at shadowstorm... we found that the mowing in the swamp hadn't been done very well (apparently due to wet ground - they couldn't get the big mowers down there safely) and we were going to have a lot of land to clear before we could begin setup - first thing on the adgenda after land grab became the aquisition of a scythe and a new (working) weed whacker to facilitate that

land grab was amazingly painless thanks to tasha of shadowstorm, and the problems that existed before war melted away quickly... by 10am we were given the go-ahead to begin taking stuff down to camp and start setup... first day went reasonbly smoothly except for a delay in the delivery of the shower trailer/kitchen (there was a problem w/ a leaking axel on two paw's van) and the fact that my vertical tent poles disappeared sometime between last war and this war (tent eventually went up for deadmoonrising's use with the jerry-rigging (sp?) of some plumbing pipe as replacements - heavy, but they worked... i fell asleep in one of my sling chairs before dinner, after dinner, and next to the fire pit before ikirus woke me up and put me to bed - it was absolutely freezing out the first few days of war

sunday was spent power washing the sheet wall (to clean up the worst of the mold/mildew/mud before the fabric rots), getting the kitchen/shower set up and rescuing my pavillion and furnishings from storage and beginning to get my stuff set up; monday was spent returning the rental truck and more setup, including the new gate and the now clean sheetwall, and we were done (with the exception of decorating my pavillion which was finished wednesday)

oh, yeah, and on sunday night, a tree fell on my car - i was parked outside the sheetwall at the back of camp, the car was whole when i parked and when people last walked out past it at about midnight, and when i went to move it at 10am, i found the front windshield smashed and a destroyed passenger side fender - apparently it was damaged by a large falling treebranch, but someone had already moved (and burned?) the branch... not fun, but life happens - usaa was really nice, sent someone to repair the window onsite (couldn't drive it - the glass was still totally in the frame, but so badly spider webbed that driving through the creek bed to get to the parking lot would have resulted in a shower of glass), and are dealing with the body damage now that we're home to a shop i know... the folks at troll did piss me off though; in order to let the glass repair guy down to camp they wanted me to do 10 hours of "community service" - i told them i thought that was ridiculous and was rather offended that they felt i should bribe them to let the repair people onsite

meanwhile, the partying began monday evening and continued heavily for most of war... spent quite a bit of time the first week at vlad's, also spent a lot of time hanging out in camp, and even managed to walk up the hill to black rose and brought angel down for a visit - our drummers are becoming quite decent, and having a few built in dancers in camp is always a good thing (oooh... pretty, shiny, sexy dancers)

thursday was zooom's arrival and our first week party - zooom rode across the footbridge and into camp just at dinner time, to a camp that was completely ready for a party - he even approved of my cocktail creations (bells blast and jody juice in honor of our missing booze donors) - the party was quite a success, and neither of us had to spend the entire evening behind the bar, which was nice... i also very much liked being in the pavillion up front - i can entertain and meet people without being quite so overwhelmed by the crowd as i'm in my own house, and the everyone said pavillion looked excellent although very different from bells' and jody's decor (my pavillion was bought from bells & jody, and lives in the same location in camp so people were confused when they weren't there)

friday, we had our surprise guests begin showing up (well, i knew about 4 of the 5 in advance) - bells and jody arrived from the airport at about 10am, staciadevi arrived mid-day, then arcain showed up around dinner time, and skye arrived friday as well... much drinking of cocktails ensued, to the point that we had several clan members down for the night before dinner... lots of chocolate cake plus rum plus 300 year old gran marnier was probably not a good idea on an empty stomach guys... oh, and bells delivered my cassock/winter coat - suit weight wool gaberdine, fully lined with purple paisley brocade - that i'd sent to have embroidered buttonholes added to - it looked beautiful, and was a much needed layer of warmth - damn was it cold this year... isabelleuna, vixen, and various other friends came by to visit, and many spent several hours hanging out with us, drinking and talking - one of the best parts of war for me is the quiet time with friends

saturday, the aftermath of friday's partying required yet another town run to buy more booze (kindred drink?... nah, never) and some quick clean up/straightening of camp, then most of us got beautiful for the slave auction - zooom and i both got fairly wasted and greatly enjoyed the evening - i spent the first part of the night outside angel's pavillion watching the auction and chatting with bells, dawnkitty, arcain, skye, devon, aaron, alexa and malcom, etc - angel went up to start the auction wearing a lighted candelabra headpiece - fabulous - and then i dashed back to camp for guard duty (bells was supposed to be on duty with me, but he was bidding on someone at the auction and showed up late - still got to have a good, catty and yet productive conversation when he did show up), then spent some quality time hanging out with zooom and some of the die fledermice in our pavillion... about 4am i needed to go pee, and since there was a large group of drunks outside our gate on the bridge, i headed out toward the port-a-castles near the classic swimming hole... too bad i hadn't noticed that shadowstorm had hung their sheet wall over the swimming hole - i was watching for the end of the sheet wall to turn left (most of the tiki's were dead) and walked right into the swimming hole, one step and i was in up to my waist - fortunately, i had taken off my corest and left the cassock in the tent, so no major damage was done, but damn did i feel like a fool

sunday was the clan meeting (kaija, tananda and i were elected council) and it was zooom's and my turn to cook (indian butter lamb - yum) and dinner was a huge success (i like cooking for people who appreciate good food you see), plus we had a few more guests for dinner - johnny slaughter and charlie came to join us (they were camping with timberwolves this year) and bonded almost instantly with two paws and bob, and a wonderful massuse sean who we'd met thursday during the party brought his table and spent like an hour each working on zooom and i in exchange for drinks and dinner and good company (although i did give him a decent tip too)

can't remember what i did sunday or monday evening though - think at least some of it was spent chilling in camp with good friends

tuesday was mardi-gras, at which i made a brief appearance, then ran away from the crowds for a visit to die fledermaus and spent a good part of the night hanging out at our fire pit - quite a few people came by as a respite from the crowds at timberwolf

wednesday was the start of the rain; first our firepit became a skull shaped lake (so they dropped a cut of tree trunk from the wood delivery in the center and built a fire on the top), didn't do much except try to cope with the rain that day

thursday was more rain (the bastard brigade - bow and arrow - shoot was cancelled due to the weather, as was the brigade party), naked spagetti dinner at die fledermaus (a tradition - ask larethdf for details), and tananda and i did put in a brief appearance at the blue feather ball (not terribly impressed with the turnout) and then got woken up near dawn - there was a very nasty incident which happened to jericho_the_red thankfully, it wasn't worse, the guy picked the wrong woman to fuck with, (http://www.livejournal.com/users/jericho_the_red/58039.html) but it was still very upsetting; war has always felt safe, now we all feel like we have to travel in groups - to the point of being escorted to the port-a-castles after midnight or so

friday began break down (very proud of my clan that day - we accomplished a lot, and managed to get everything we planned to have down to the storage facility hours before brutus expected us to be done, thankfully, just before the rain hit again), followed by enough rain to turn the entire front of camp into a large lake - water several inches deep from the main pavillion/cutter & dawn's tent and all the way up my front porch to the kitchen/shower and into mouses' pavillion as well - this was quite the mess, and made for some very muddy floors and rugs and wet everything... oh, yeah, and the pavillion roof leaked - onto the bed - fortunately, only one side got wet, but damn did it make me unhappy; and i spent most of friday night at the laundromat in butler drying out the rugs and bedding that needed to go into storage the next day

saturday's breakdown didn't go badly either, except that anyone who had a car/vehicle on the island (we camp on an island between two streams, one of which is dammed to a trickle for pennsic) was trapped, although we had too much stuff left in camp sunday morning, and our bastard had left us, so sunday was pretty much a disaster... saturday evening was the end of the world party - my favorite party at war - and i was in an anti-social funk and didn't really get to enjoy it - instead i spent a large portion of the evening dejectedly packing up wet garb and stuff in the pavillion, came out briefly to play hostess and dance for a bit (thanks for the new mixes dj_kangal) and then went to bed well before the party ended but had a hard time sleeping as i was freezing and couldn't get warm

sunday was, as mentioned above, disasterous - lets see - the truck for storage was reserved for 9, when brutus told us 10:30; luckily the driver was nice enough to squeeze in a quick run for us anyway as the 10:30 people weren't there yet; the shower trailer was stuck in the remnants of the lake; i wound up making four sepearte trips to storage to get other peoples personal stuff taken care of; in general disorganization abounded... thanks to a ton of help from pyrogus we finally got the pavillion down and dried and all the stuff into storage (thanks lilkender for taking that final batch of clan stuff down) - after about 3pm, pyrogus, two paws, mouse and i were really the only people left in camp - and we managed to get (with the help of dave cooper who owns the land, and was awesome enough to bring down a tractor - he even loaded pavillion pieces for me into my car) the trailer out of the mud and off the island and were leaving site around 8:30 pm - i love my clan, but breakdown will not go this badly again next year

finally got home (thank goodness for the last couple of stackers) about 1am sunday, didn't unload a damned thing, slept nearly all of monday and unloaded the car when zooom/kitten were home to help, then back to reality for me

overall, it was an excellent war; i didn't even mind the rain (although it would have been much better had it been earlier in the week - we were very worried that the pavillion and pyrogus' canvas tent were going to have to be put away wet and we'd have to drive back up the next weekend to dry them out) too much; i got in a lot of good conversations and quiet time and was thrilled to see people who haven't made it to war in years as well as multiple unexpected guests; and i met some awesome new to me folks as well

i'm already looking forward to next year, albeit with some minor changes (and a visit to site in the spring to re-waterproof the pavillion's roof before war) in planning and packing (more stuff will be stored onsite next year, i'm tired of carting all this shit back and forth)
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