tRump takes another shit on the carpet prior to being thrown out on his ass

Mom called around 2:30 PM. Beth had called and told her to turn on the TV. I popped on Facebook. No surprise, but Holy Crap. Over 1000 tRump supporters had broken into Capitol Building with guns and flags and militia gear, to "protest" the certification of the electoral votes to make Biden's victory official. Again.

They broke windows, taking photos of themselves waving guns and flags therein, vandalizing the building and its furnishings and nearby buildings after lawmakers were hustled to safety. DC went under a 24 hour curfew at 6 PM. It later came out that some police and security allowed them to pass, in some cases even opening gates and doors for them. A few cops even posed for selfies with them. The photos are plastered over media worldwide. That'll be handy when hopefully they're tried for at least six potential felonies.

The National Guard appeared to refuse at first to intervene when Pelosi and DC's mayor called for them to step up (supposedly there was "confusion"), but finally troops were deployed from three states, plus state troopers. 13 were arrested (Wow! 13!) and five (5!) guns were confiscated and at least one bomb found. One female terrorist was shot in the neck and killed. Order was mostly restored after over four hours, but some of the terrorists were seen wandering around freely after curfew.

tRump had said earlier in the day that he'd march with them, but ended up bravely tweeting from the safety of his SUV. Twitter locked his account for 12 hours and threatened to suspend it permanently if he violates the rules again. (OH! OUCH!) We'll see. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also took down posts and Facebook temporarily locked his account.

Pence and McConnell did their duty for once. They called it out for what it was and went on with the count when the area had been secured. Pence also stated that the terrorists will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We shall see. What the Hell did tRump think was going to happen? Now he's looking at possible rapid impeachment with his other crimes coming home to roost the minute his ass hits the pavement.

People will be writing about this for years. Here's a thin slice...
Facebook and Twitter lock Trump's accounts after he posts video praising terrorists ~ NBC News (Yeah, he's that stupid.)
Donald Trump is Now a Terrorist Leader ~ Mother Jones
Congress gets back to certifying Biden victory after Trump mob storms U.S. Capitol ~ AM New York
Thousands of National Guard members head to Capital to tamp own pro-Trump insurrection ~ CNBC

So how do I feel about this personally? Sickened at the disparity between the law enforcement preparations and responses of the BLM protests and this terrorist incursion. Of course if these guys were black they'd be grievously injured, arrested and many would be dead. Embarassed yet again that this is the face of my country. I've seen enough of the stupid building up that I'm not entirely gobsmacked, but wow. Several Republicans that had vowed to to vote no on certification changed their minds because of this stunt. How did Y'all Quaeda think this would end?

Scents and Sucreabeille-ity -- (Verdict: WEAK)

Tobi drew my attention to a parfumier called Sucreabeille. Their approach is the same as BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab). Intriguing scents with glorious, mysterious and amusing names, available in samples to suck you into their perfumy Web of Doom ("Come to the dark side. We smell awesome!").

I'd tried BPAL years ago in hopes of finding a good signature scent or two after hearing friends gush about it on LiveJournal. There are tons of online groups dedicated to discussing BPAL and buying / swaping samples. All but one or two of the samples I ordered ended up smelling like dish soap on me. The one I really liked, Blood Countess, was discontinued, of course. Womp womp. ("Elizabeth Báthory, also called Erzsébet Báthory in Hungarian and Alžbeta Bátoriová-Nádašdy in Slovak, was the Bloody Lady of Hungary. In order to preserve her youth and loveliness, the brutal and incomparably savage countess captured, tortured and slaughtered innumerable young women and bathed in their blood as part of her beauty regimen. Ah, vanity. Corrupted black plum, smoky opium and crumbling dead roses covered by a deceptive veil of Hungarian lilac, white gardenia and wild berry.")

I usually steer clear of vanilla, but I'll make an exception if the mix sounds intriguing. I like it fine in food, but in bath and body products, scented candles, etc, it grosses me out. I usually gravatate to musk, amber and pachouilli, but I have a lot of friends that detest pachouilli. I usually wore it to SCA events, and I'd smell it around occasionally in those days - not enough to get sick of it, so I associate it with some of the best times of my life. I'm also a sucker for gardenia, but in the perfumes I've tried it seems like an old lady smell. Most scents that I've seen with berries tend to have very decadent descriptions, have always gotten my attention - blackcurrant and blackberries. I also love honeysuckle, and sage, sandalwood and jasmine incense, so that will sometimes tip the balance as well.

I only recently discovered my current favourite scent, King's Musk ("Airs of ancient amber with a heady green musk."), by Caravanserai, of Durham, NC, at the Shakori Hills Festival.

Tobi's excitement got my attention, so I visited the Sucreabeille page, which is tricky to navagate, and joined their Facebook group. Boy howdy, there's a bad formula for self restraint. Lots of useful personal notes about scents from their fans. If you're determined to give it a go, it'll help with your selections. After a week or two of lurking on the Sucreabeille sites, I ordered two sets of five 1ml samples. They throw in an extra sample of their choosing for each set. The extras are marked with an "*".

Overall Verdict: I'd rather have my money back. Some nice combinations, but all were WEAK. I was afraid I'd get addicted to all of those awesome-sounding concoctions, but no. The scent lasts a few minutes. If you really slather it on, you'll get the barest hint of it a few hours later if you press your nose right onto the spot.

Bawdy Got Me Laid
Scent Notes: A sultry blend of Amber, real Ylang Ylang essential oil, pure vanilla, and golden honey. ~ Ursula's comment: "Not bad, but Bawdy will not get you laid."
Scent notes: Ruby pomegranate seeds, sticky, thick dragon's blood, swirls of red musk and rosewood. ~ Ursula's comment:  "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
"By the pricking of our thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Gather ‘round the cauldron, witches, we’re cooking up something special. A smudge of sage; some freshly picked apples; exotic spices; juicy figs; smoky pipe tobacco; wax from the eternal candle; a smattering of other delights. Mmm, doesn’t that smell wonderful? Be careful; potions brewed in cauldrons are particularly potent and delicious. Proceed with caution, pretties. Plus, it’s perfect for witches, wizards, warlocks, alchemists, or anyone who rejects or does not conform to the magical binaries. And don’t mind the dead man’s toe; it’s purely ornamental."
Scent notes: A smudge of sage; some freshly picked apples; exotic spices; juicy figs; smoky pipe tobacco; wax from the eternal candle; a smattering of other Fall delights. This is a perfect fall day full of crisp leaves. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."
Don't Be a Lady Be a Legend
"Now, we’re not saying you can’t be a lady AND a legend. In fact, that’s absolutely possible! But sometimes, circumstances call for one or the other, and in those times, we implore you to be legendary. Being a lady usually involves abiding by the rules, following along with what is expected of you, and going with the status quo. Being a legend means not letting anything stand in your way so you can do what is right, no matter what anyone else thinks. Break all the rules. Define your own path. Don’t let the bastards get you down, and Don’t Be a Lady, Be a Legend."  Scent notes: Raspberry lambic with elderberry syrup, thick, resinous dragon's blood, and elegant amber spheres. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."
"Queen of the comebacks and quick quips, Dorothy Zbornak is the hero of all the awkward, tall girls who stayed home and wrote poetry in high school, rather than going out on dates. Her ex was so stupid he had to get naked to count to 21, and we definitely understand that. Dorothy is the patron saint of sarcasm, the definition of a tough woman, but deep down she’s a total softie. She’s loyal and wicked smart, and will pick you up when you’re down (or kick you if you deserve to be there). We love Dorothy forever."  Scent notes: Rosewood and amber with a blend of cedarwood, cypress and blackberry sage. A dash of scotch whiskey, Egyptian musk and black tea. ~ Ursula's comment:  "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Goth as Fuck
Scent Notes: A totally unapologetic haunted cathedral. Rich, dark resins, thick incense, beeswax candles, frankincense and myrrh. Cool stone floors and cloves, red musk and sassafras. Clary sage and wormwood. Guiac wood and patchouli, and a whisper of black jasmine. ~ Ursula's comment: "I really wanted to like it. The name alone probably sells a bunch of these. They really put the kitchen sink in there. I find one or more of the elements downright repulsive. It's a mess."
Here's The Thing: Fuck Everyone
Scent notes: Bourbon, Rich chocolate, Dark amber, touch of dirt. ~ Ursula's comment: "I was expecting this to be great, but it's not. Maybe it's the touch of dirt." Something in there is not scent  that I'd want on my body. If you want not to be alluring, this scent is for you"
The Librarian
Scent notes: A library full of all the books in the world. The Librarian takes notes and catalogues while sipping a large mug of hot buttered rum laced with espresso. A whisper of patchouli follows her through the stacks. ~ Ursula's comment:  "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
"Working a minimum wage job after graduating with a master’s degree is demoralizing on its own. But working at the same minimum wage job, at a coffee shop, on-campus at the very place you got said degree? Humiliating. At least it was for her, " Scent notes: A funereal wreath of white lilies and black orchids sprinkled with a dusting of graveyard dirt. A somber wake feast of dark chocolate drenched raspberries and a shot of dark rum. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."

Ruthless B-Word
"Chances are high that, at some point in your life, someone has called you the b-word. They meant it as an insult. They thought you were too bossy, or demanding, or angry, or uncompromising. Maybe you didn’t return their unwanted advances. Maybe they didn’t have a reason; they just said it unprompted and out of the blue. But, anyone who calls you that doesn’t understand the power that word holds. Take that insult and turn it into a badge of honor; wear it proudly at all times, confident in the fact that you’d rather be a ruthless bitch than a spineless coward. In the wise words of Tina Fey, “Bitches get stuff done.” Do we ever!"  Scent Notes: An unbelievably juicy blend of blood oranges and lychees. White amber and ginger lilies blend to give a sophisticated presence. ~ Ursula's comment:  "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Scent notes: Oud wood, smoked patchouli, coal, freshly paved tar, cedarwood. ~ Ursula's comment: "Re-reading the description, I'm not sure what made me choose this one. Possibly it was because someone raved about it on Facebook. Another reason to uninstall.")
Wayward Soul Sister
"Life is weird right now. We’re all socially isolated while remaining globally connected, for better or for worse. We have all the terrible and wonderful pieces of the world at our fingertips 24 hours a day. But here at Sucreabeille, we are most grateful for our ever-expanding Facebook group full of sisters (and brothers and siblings) who feel like family, even if we’ve never gotten a chance to meet IRL. It's our own little community of kindred spirits gone awry, of people who basically should be family, or are family in everything but name or blood relation. Anyone who has ever met their soul twin, especially if it's someone you only know via the internet, knows what we are talking about. We love you all. And we are grateful for you and your sense of community now more than ever." Scent Notes: Blood red cherries covered in dark chocolate, exotic spices, a dash of patchouli. ~ Ursula's comment:  "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Their Master Catalog is here.


Because this country is awash in Stupid, it doesn't look like things will be going back to normal anytime soon. For the sake of my sanity, I'm committing to cultivating stong, creative connections. Many of us have been starving ourselves of contact long before the Pandemic came along. The more I withdrew, the easier it became to stay home. The harder it becomes to myself up to doing the things I used to love. A good thing that's come out of lockdown is that the isolation has made me think harder about what actually makes me happy. For me it's connection. Being part of a pack of equally creative, committed individuals. Pooling talent and resources to make something great happen. Even if that just means a great party. Scrolling for that in my Facebook feed is not a good hamster wheel for me to be on. I love many of my connections there, but I need something more substantial. More signal. Less noise. More focus. Time to move from planing to doing.
Red Ursula

Pennsic memory - screwdrivers and sensibility

House Bayard was encamped on Hangover Hill next to Gabriel's Landing. One morning I went next door to borrow a screwdriver. They gave me one. Well, several. I should have been more specific.... So after an hour Lord Skylar was starting to slurp his way up my arm. He was very cute and I'd clearly met his stringent criteria of having at least one X chromosome and a pulse. Not a chance, buddy. I was literally helpless with laughter. Actual tears. Rebecca saw my "This is fun, but help!" face and barked "SKYLAR! *NO*!"in exactly the same voice you'd use if your cat were about to grab a steak off your plate. The only thing missing was a spray bottle.

Star Trek Phoenix - Episode 309 - "A Forest Apart" - Doctor's Log

As luck would have it, our visit to Earth is just in time for Pennsic. Pork Chop will be in charge of sick bay during my Five Days of Infamy. Fully prepared this time. Romulan Ale to trade for House Pink Fuzzy Bunny's DewMeadDewMeadDewMead... Iron Age gear for The Bog, even dirtier songs to contribute to the Dark Horde bardic, glow-in-the dark bocce set ... plenty of spear practice so I don't jack up my shoulder like last time. Dance card is full. Ridiculous Flemish court garb for the Blue Feather Ball, Confederation mercenaries engaged. Banners and pavillion being shipped from storage to Hangover Hill... Rhydderch Hael are loaning me some archery kit for old time's sake ... I can almost smell the wood smoke, armour polish and roast beast....Bringing Jeffrey (my sentient holographic Australian pygmy possum). What could possibly go wrong?
Red Ursula

Ursula's "Wolf's Head Pavanne" based on the Candle Dance from Robin of Sherwood (a work in progress)

A work in progress, shooting for completion by 8 August 2020....

Candle Dance from Robin of Sherwood (YouTube link)

Style:  French Medieval / Renaissance pavanne
Formation: Four couples in procession, Ladies on the Right ("The lady is always right.")
Direction: Facing head of Hall. All movement is forward unless otherwise noted.
Starting foot: Always begin a series of steps with the Left foot.

Single rising - Take one step forward, rising on tiptoe, bring the other foot beside it on tiptoe, then let both feet sink flat.
Inside foot/shoulder = The foot/shoulder closest to your partner
Outside foot/shoulder = The foot/shoulder farthest from your partner
Turn over left/right/inside/outside shoulder - Instead of spinning in place, turn with the specified shoulder remaining in the same location in relation to the floor (same idea as pivoting)
Pivot - Keep one foot planted while turning. (Think of a gate pivoting on its hinge.)
Reverence - Men (Bow): Keeping back straight, bend forward at the waist, maintaining eye contact with partner.
Reverence: Women (Courtsey): Keeping back straight, place Right foot a natural step behind and slightly to the Left of the Left foot (this keeps your knees from banging together), sinking gracefully a few inches, maintaining eye contact with partner. You can also just bend at the knees with straight back and eye contact. Boring, but it gets the job done.

Measures 1-3 -- 3 singles rising

Measure 4 -- 1st couple turn over outside shoulder to face each other
                    2nd couple pivot on outside foot to face partner
                    3rd & 4th couples .....................................................................

Measure 5 -- Reverence

Measures 1-3 --

Measure 4 --

Measure 5 --

Measures 1-3 --

Measure 4 --

Measure 5 --

Measures 1-3 --
Measures 1-3 --

Measure 4 --

Measure 5 --

Measures 1-3 --

Measure 4 --

Measure 5 --

Transcription Notes:

For years I've been dying to work out the choreography for this gorgeous dance from Robin of Sherwood Season 3 Episode 1 ("Herne's Son Part I"). I posted the video yesterday and Jen Kirk mentioned that she'd love to learn it, so I figured I'd finally give it a stab.

First the framework. It's a pavanne (stately French Medieval / Renaissance dance) with a lovely weaving pattern for four couples, holding a candle in each hand. I made my candle holders over a decade ago and still have them where I can find them. 8-o.

Counter to what I've been taught, they have the ladies on the Left. I'm putting them on the Right to avoid confusion. The handy phrase we were taught to remember is "the lady is always right". For the sake of a better shot, the dancers in the scene are facing away from the dias, but they should be facing the head of the hall.

This dance is a hot mess. The song has 37 measures. The first verse has five measures and the second verse has eight, because of course they do. (Seriously, WTF?). I'm wondering if it will be a repeating pattern like a haiku. Not a standard verse/chorus.

In the first verse, the first two couples do slightly different things and the rear two couples do a third thing, which at the moment I still have to pick apart. It's like two slightly different dances hooked together. It would make more sense for them all to be doing the same thing or having the couples on both ends turn over the shoulder whilst the middle couples pivot.

So yeah, it's kinda ...aiighhh....especially since, more maddeningly still, a lot of the footage was shot very artistically through a wrought iron chandelier, which, along with the side dialog shots, obscures details of the choreography, so this isn't a complete re-creation. I improvised the missing bits based on pavannes from Thionot Arbeau's "Orchésographie" (1589) and ... whatever. As a viewer I do love the camerawork, but as a transcriber, gah.

Since you can change the settings to speed up or slow down a YouTube video, I can dial it down to 25%, which is a huge help. I'm working it out in several sittings. The easy part is done - notes/rules, terms/steps, general structure, most of the first verse, transcription notes, links and number of measures. The rest will come, one painful verse at a time. I'd credit the original choreographer, but I haven't found any info online.

Video stash for later projects:
Pavanne / Galliard
Pavanne / Volta tips with banter
Cate Blanchette & Joseph Fiennes - Volta from "Elizabeth"
Gwenneth Paltrow & Joseph Fiennes - Volta from "Shakespeare in Love"
Kate Winslett & Alan Rickman - Baroque dance from "A Little Chaos"


The fail is strong

Today I will not simply maintain.
I will make real progress.
I will fulfill my work goals before the end of the week.
I will fulfill my personal administrivia goals before Wednesday.
I will take use every tool at my disposal to control my sleep.
I will move past worry to creativity.

Update: Nope

  • Current Music
    Ulf Söderberg: "Tidvatten Part II"
  • Tags
Computer Bat

Weekend fades to panic

Another weekend mostly wasted. How do I get some sleep? I guaran-damn-tee it - I'll be ready to drop into a gorgeous sleep at 9am. In a merciful world, I'd fall hard under before midnight and awake fully refreshed and alert by 6....Gah.

9AM sharp tomorrow I'll be on the phone with my doctor demanding drugs. Benedryl, Melatonin, Trazodone Valerian, Lavendar, Chamomile, and less than 10mg Ambien are all useless. I need something that works or I'm gonna cave in.

Wide awake. Eyes wrecked.

One small solace - the gorgeously tranquil "Vide Cor Meum" from the Hannibal soundtrack. It reminds me sharply of being among the dreaming spires of Oxford.
  • Current Music
    Hans Zimmer: "Vide Cor Meum"
  • Tags
Damn Monkeys

Boring holiday weekend - Sunday

Another unremarkable day, another mostly wasted weekend. Treading water, but little forward progress.

OK - a few victories. I got caught up on hooping, i.e. since the 27th, I've averaged an hour of core hooping and 12 minutes of handspinning per day. Nine days counting today. It doesn't seem to have helped my sleep, but I do feel a touch more mental clarity. My stomach is flat in the morning and I'm less likely to need a snack after 9PM.

I went shopping - partly to get groceries sorted at least through Thursday and partly to just get out of the house. Chicken, salad fixings and misc, large bottle of hand sanitizer, biotin, which Jamey takes to keep his hair healthy  - sure why not - and a large bottle of calcium / magnesium / zinc pills, which helped my shoulder in the past. The zinc may also help with sleep. I also picked up some sunflower seeds and cashews, which also supposedly help with sleep. I also picked up more henna, since yesterday's batch did a pretty good job. I'm nearly back to my signature auburn. I'm going try it once a month and see if it settles in, then back to every six weeks.

Took a stab at a nap around 6PM. Nope. Then I made another huge salad and cooked up the chicken with enough of the spice rub left over for the next batch. Came within inchaes of ruining it wirh overcooking, but still good. Did the dishes, took out the trash, posted in LJ. One more post today will give me an average of one post per day since the 23rd (13 days).

Here we are at 9:10PM. Food ready for next week, posting and hooping caught up, henna done, but I failed on the most important task - getting caught up with work. I need to take control my my head. I need some fucking sleep.