Monday, November 9, 2009

The Glorious Geekdom of RenFest

Wow, I must be really suffering from Blogitis or something. Dunno what's gotten into me.

First, I want to thank all you lovely readers for taking a moment to respond to my last, whiny post about how nobody loves me (or something along those lines). All your thoughtful comments made me immediately feel guilty of acting like a spoiled brat! Now you've all taught me that a little whining will get me all the attention I want. Well, I'll try not to take advantage of it too much.

Even so, I seem to have withdrawn from the blogosphere a bit, and I'm not gonna make any excuses; it's just dropped on my list of priorities. Plus, they've lowered the hammer at work about being on the internet, so my little blog-breaks are much harder to manage. And so I really can't complain about no Mom used to say about letter-writing, gotta write some to get some!

But I have been wanting to post some pictures from the Carolina Renaissance Festival last weekend--tried to on Monday, but Blogger's suddenly gotten cranky with me, and is being a b*tch about uploading. Tonight, though, Miss Chef's at work, I'm mostly caught up with housework, and I don't have to grade or lesson plan, so I was very patient and got them up!

Huzzah! I've finally figured out that what I really enjoy about RenFest is the atmosphere. Sure, the smoked turkey legs are fun (and greasy...I'd forgotten that detail!), and occasionally I find a really cool and unique Christmas gift for someone. But it's just being out on a lovely fall day, strolling around a partially-wooded area, with a bunch of creative, if somewhat geeky, folks doing what they love. It's a bit like reading an absorbing novel; it lets you pretend you're somewhere (and somewhen) else.

And, when I say "atmosphere," I think I really mean, "people watching." This little pirate was absolutely adorable, even when he tried to use his sword to cut the tent ropes. Unfortunately, he became overwhelmingly shy when he realized I was pointing his camera at him, and this was the best shot I could get. His mom offered to rent him to us for the day (she had 4 or 5 others to keep up with, bless her).

For the most part, however, I wasn't comfortable taking random shots of the costumed festival goers, so I don't have a whole lot of "atmosphere" pics to share.

As it turns out, I'm also not very comfortable with the whole sword-swallowing thing, either. The actual sword part wasn't so bad... was the parts involving the guy's nasal passages that got to me. 'Nuff said. (Miss Chef enjoyed it, though...I think...I was busy averting my eyes.)

As I mentioned earlier, there's also a fun shopping aspect to the festival. One year I got my mom a beautiful glass iris; Miss Chef bought her mother a very expensive hand-woven shirt another year. This year, however, no such inspiration struck.'s always worth a look, 'cause you really never know what you might come across.

The afternoon was wearing on, so just a little more atmosphere...

This tree guy, or as I like to call him, the Ent, is an actual human wearing a costume that makes him about 8 feet tall. The face actually changes expression, so I'm not sure what's guy and what's costume. It's just this side of creepy...which makes it fascinating. You should click on the picture to get a better look at the fascreepination.

Oh, and we couldn't leave without trying...

We usually eat part of it, take the rest home, use it in a thrown-together pasta dish, and save the bone for stock! Don't know if we'll make it through all those steps, but it's a good system when it works.

We had time to catch one final show before the day's end; we chose these wonderfully hilarious acrobats, who include lots of fire in their finale performance.

They call themselves Barely Balanced, and they are. I recommend stopping by their show, if they happen to be at a renaissance festival near you! (It's out of focus because they were juggling those flaming torches, all while keeping up very clever banter.)

Well, tomorrow's Friday, so stop by later in the evening, or sometime Saturday, and I'll try to catch you up on the rest of life these days in Flartopia. And, as always, thanks for stopping by...and I mean it!


  1. Thanks, Flar - I clicked on the Barely Balanced link and watched their promo video - wild! I love Ren Fairs, but haven't been to one in over 10 years.

    Nancy in Iowa

  2. Well waste not want not on those turkey legs. I bet the trash cans are stuffed full of enough turkey leg scraps to feed an entire nation and then some with soup stock. I'd never though of reusing my turkey legs in that way before. Brilliant!

    And wow. Couldn't that sword eater at least blow his nose before he started his metallic meal? eww!

    That Ent is way cool and creepy. What is up with those bird house gourds on his 'knee trunks' though. Weird! lol!

    Sounds like a fabulous time. I can't wait until the next one! I think I will dress as a Wench. :)


  3. So, so jealous! I didn't get to the RennFest here in Des Moines (again) this year. I used to go EVERY YEAR in Ontario. But it was really awesome there and ran for 8 weekends in a row, and they had an entire medieval village built in a wooded glade that sat there all year waiting for it. Here it's not the same. Sigh. The shopping was superb. I still have some really cool earrings from there, and a laced up corset/bustier thing that I would just love to wear somewhere but nowhere is appropriate. Oh well, living vicariously through you...

  4. Trust me- the costumed people want to be photographed. They like the attention they get being in their role!! It's like the people who dress up for sci fi conventions or comic cons. They dress up to look cool and having pics taken adds to that cool factor.

    Our RenFaire was in Oct and we didn't go this year!! Ack!!

  5. Please say you

    1. Bought an $8 skull and
    2. Its sitting in your window right now.

  6. I have never been to one, but it sure looks like fun!


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