Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wrapping up the year

Last weekend I traveled to central North Carolina for Unevent, the Kingdom of Atlantia's annual business meeting. I wonder whether any of the other SCA kingdoms have a similar gathering. The local branch officers get to meet their Kingdom superiors, and the polling orders (people who have already won certain high-level awards) get together to discuss their recommendations for passing along to Their Majesties. And of course all of us get face time with each other.

So another year goes down in history. For me, thirteen SCA events in twelve months. Who knows what the new year may bring?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apologies for my long hiatus

The subject line says it all. For the last few months I have been quite wrapped up in personal issues -- specifically, transitioning from being a full-time worker bee to a home-based freelance writer who is still open to the idea of another full-time job with benefits, if such things can possibly be had in the new global economy.

Of course, I haven't completely abandoned the SCA. In September I was head troll/gatekeeper for the Storvik Baronial Birthday and Investiture, during which we welcomed our new Baron and Baroness, William and Sorcha. The following week I went to the East Kingdom Metalsmiths' Symposium, which was not in the East Kingdom this time around, but in Atlantia's Barony of Stierbach. Not only did I take an interesting class on learning how to distinguish Viking wire-woven (trichinopoly) chains from those made by the loop-in-loop method, I made my first-ever glass beads and forged an iron S-hook. Bead-making is highly addictive, because you get results in roughly five minutes from start to finish. And though I was tired and achy after all that iron-pounding, I felt truly amazed to pick up a hard S-hook that, only an hour previously, I had been twisting as if it were made of Sculpy.


In the meantime, if you want a fix of Lithuanian goodness, I commend you to the Loose Threads blog, where you can read a review of the Lithuanian costume calendar I've been drooling over. Gotta watch my pennies, though....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back from Pennsic

Greetings to all!

On Sunday the 15th I traveled home from a very enjoyable Pennsic War XXXIX, where I taught two sessions of my Battle of Grunwald class and one session of "Survey of Modern Lithuania," which was essentially the same class as this.

Right now I'm just posting a short note to remind my students -- especially my students in the Grunwald class, who got just a one-page handout due to my pressing personal issues prior to Pennsic -- that I haven't forgotten about you and I'll try to get this information up as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, blogger Cathy Raymond ("Loose Threads") has posted a review of the first chapter of Medieval Clothing and Textiles 6, edited by Robin Netherton and Gale R. Owen-Crocker (not "Owen-Crocke" as the cover says!). That first chapter presents a survey of Latvian clothing and textiles from the seventh to the 13th centuries, all based on archaeological findings. Granted, the essay is about Latvia and not Lithuania, but there is some overlap. In particular, I did not realize from other sources that the soil gets slightly different as you move south through the Baltic region, so that scraps of fabric are found in Latvian digs but not in Lithuanian sites. I don't know exactly what creates the change in soil composition, but it does seem to have an effect.

Hmm. Maybe the class I would really like to teach in the future, "Lithuanian Women Through the Ages," will have to become "Lithuanian and Latvian Women Through the Ages." But that is an issue for another day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

SIX HUNDRED years ago today...

As I said to a co-worker this morning, "How cool is it that we know that something big happened exactly 600 years ago today?" (OK, I'm ignoring differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars here.)

I'm looking for online news of the commemorations. I hesitate to say "celebrations" today because, although the victory at Grunwald/Zalgiris was A Big Deal for Poland and Lithuania, an awful lot of human beings lost their lives that day. I grew up in a community of 20,000 people, so if you estimate the total toll of that battle at 12,000 to 13,000, then it's almost like two-thirds of my hometown vanishing in a single day. That's a lot of blood.

But back to the news....

PressEurop.eu calls Grunwald "the battle that changed Central Europe." Belarus Digest claims that most of the Lithuanian units at the battle were from lands that are now part of Belarus and that the Belarusian president was not invited to the official commemoration "for obvious reasons." (Jealous much?) Expatica.com takes a look at the reenactors.

For a more Lithuanian perspective on the anniversary, check out this article (in Lithuanian) and especially the miniature version of the battle created by a Vilnius museum. An English-language article appears here. (It's a bit difficult to search Google News for "Zalgiris" because the name is so big in basketball.)

Since the New York Times did such a detailed writeup of the 500th-anniversary commemoration of Grunwald, I was a bit miffed that the publication did not mention it on its "On This Day" page today. After all the things that happened in the last 90 years of the 20th century, one could argue that it's even more important today to remember Grunwald than it was in 1910.

Finally, thanks to Wikipedia (which *did* mention Grunwald on ITS "on this date" page), I finally found the official website for the 600th anniversary. It's offered in six languages -- including Belarusian. (Ha!) Some of the historical articles contain interesting ideas, which I must study in preparation for my Pennsic classes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Grunwald/Zalgiris anniversary nears...

Woo-hoo, it's almost that time! Here's a roundup of stuff I've found just through a quick search on Google News.

First off, Reuters has a short feature on an armorer, Tomasz Samula, who is racing to finish outfitting the knights in all their shiny accoutrements. The gentleman who will portray King Jagiello predicts that 6,000 people will be in the military camp and 2,200 will take part in the battle reenactment. (Another report, however, places the expected number of fighters at 1,500.) Reuters has also sent out a short historical blurb for those people whose first reaction is "Grun-what?"

Suite101.com reports that Lithuanian's pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo is the host of recreated Grunwald/Zalgiris battles today through July 20. The pavilion has had more than 1 million visitors so far this year.

Meanwhile, the leaders of Minsk don't want their youths to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Grunwald with a pillow fight, the way they celebrated the 599th. (Today's capital of Belarus was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the time of Zalgiris.)

Tomorrow, the president of Lithuania will join the president-elect of Poland in laying a wreath on the grave of the real Jagiello in Krakow.

Also, the modern-day director of Wawel Castle discusses how this year's anniversary compares to the 500th anniversary in 1910 and how Grunwald resonates through other aspects of Polish history. Another part of this interview -- less related directly to Grunwald, but still interesting -- is here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Halfway between anniversaries

We're more or less halfway between two anniversaries of big Polish battles. Now, if you've read this blog before, you already know about Grunwald (July 15, 1410), but today I learned about the Battle of Klushino, which took place on July 4, 1610. That part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's history is outside of the SCA time period, but only just, so reenactors could presumably use their winged hussar uniforms from the late 1500s.

(In case you're wondering, the Poles beat the Russians quite handily.)

I stumbled across this page chock full of photos of the recent Klushino reenactment. Looks as if everybody had a good time!

Meanwhile, back in the High Middle Ages, it looks as if the commemoration of Grunwald/Zalgiris is already beginning.

I wonder whether the Grunwald anniversary will get much notice on the western side of the pond. At least one of the blogs on the Wall Street Journal site has noticed. Who knew that the guy who heads Poland's largest bank in 2010 shares a name with the king who ruled Poland in 1410?

The bank spoke of a war during a press conference on the subordinate bonds. Instead of a clear declaration that the bonds would finance the Bank Zachodni WBK buy, at the meeting with a small group of business journalists Mr. Jagiello spoke of the upcoming 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald, also known as the first Battle of Tannenberg — one of medieval Europe’s largest battles, in which the Teutonic Order was defeated by the Polish-Lithuanian monarch Wladyslaw Jagiello (incidentally, the PKO Bank Polski CEO shares the last name with the famous king).

Mr. Jagiello, the bank CEO that is, would make references to the battle, citing chronicles by medieval author Jan Dlugosz, each time he got questions about the planned acquisition.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Early-summer update

Whew, it's mighty hot and humid here in the USA's capital city, and I'm thinking Pennsic -- what about you?

Currently I'm reading a book called The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence by Anatol Lieven. It was originally published right after the events of 1990-1991, so it's actually got a bit of a dated feel to it -- it would be interesting to read whether the author's initial hunches were borne out over time. I suspect that Algirdas Brazauskas, the first post-Soviet president of Lithuania, plays a pretty big role in this book -- I just learned from Wikipedia that he died a couple of days ago. (You'd never know that from the American media.)

Although most of the history outlined in Lieven's book is way past the SCA's time period, the author keeps placing the more recent events in the context of the cultural history (both real and imagined) of each of the three Baltic nations. Personally, I'm glad to know about this, if only to answer the question of "why do we care at all about Lithuania?"

In other post-SCA-period news, Wikipedia tells us that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Berestechko, which seems to have primarily involved folks from present-day Poland and Ukraine, even though it took place during the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Pennsic 39 teaching schedule

I've known this for a few weeks now, but due to a very hectic month of May, I haven't gotten around to posting it until now.

I will be teaching "Smackdown of the Teutonic Knights: The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald" on Saturday, August 7, at 3 p.m. in AS 6 and on Wednesday, August 11, at 4 p.m., also in AS 6.

I will be teaching "Survey of Medieval Lithuania" on Sunday, August 8, at 5 p.m. in AS 11.

To my students and "fans": Mark your calendars now!

To myself: O.K., time to ramp up the research in earnest....

{Edited on May 26 to correct the date of the first session of the Grunwald class.}

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm committed!

Yesterday was the deadline to submit Pennsic University class proposals to be listed in the "book" that Pennsic attendees get when they check in. I just squeaked in with my two proposals.

This time I signed up to take two classes -- and I will teach one of them at two separate times. Wow, I'm expanding....

The first class is titled "Smackdown of the Teutonic Knights: The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald." (How's that for an intriguing title?) I asked to teach this one Saturday the 7th between 3 and 6 p.m. and Wednesday the 11th between noon and 3 p.m. That way, maybe some people who can't get to one session can make it to the other.

The other is simply titled "Survey of Medieval Lithuania." (Since I've taught at the previous two Pennsics, how can Lithuania still be "the biggest medieval country of which you may not have heard"?) My requested time slot is Sunday the 8th between 3 and 6 p.m.

That's all I know so far. Now here comes the fun part ... getting ready to teach TWO classes!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drinks & clothing & stuff

Photos are still forthcoming. I actually didn't take many photos at Slavic University because I was busy doing other things. You can go to the photo gallery mentioned at the end of the previous entry if you really are curious. Most of the pictures I've still got on my memory card are of various steps in the process of making five margučiai last month.

Yesterday someone asked me (on my LiveJournal account) whether I'd been able to find any documentation that Lithuanians made and drank krupnikas in period. Krupnikas, of course, is that dense honey liqueur that Sfandra was offering to fellow Slavik University attendees.

I responded with various links that I picked up from various Web searches. To summarize, I found some online claims that Lithuanians invented krupnikas during the SCA period, without any evidence to back it up, and I also found claims that viryta (another variation on the honey-liqueur theme) was dreamed up by Lithuanian-Americans in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

As I told my correspondent, I have a hard time believing that the immigrants of a century ago invented honey liqueur out of the clear blue sky. I suspect it was a recreation of something they had drunk back in their homeland. (And of course, all the recipes for krupnikas and viryta are a little different from each other, because families individualize the stuff the way they do with meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, and whatnot.) Now, there is no guarantee that Lithuanians were drinking that stuff back in the Middle Ages and Renaissance -- a lot of "folk music," "folk dress," "folk dancing," etc. turns out to be way post-period. (Side note: I have no idea whether this honey krupnikas is at all related to Polish raspberry krupnik, which is basically berries marinated in vodka.)

I can't resist delving into all things Lithuanian, so I decided to do a little Web surfing to check out some of the claims in one of the articles. Long story short, I ended up on a Web site with high-resolution scans of the city maps from the multivolume atlas Civitates orbis terrarum, published between 1572 and 1617. It turns out that collaborators Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg included Vilnius in the third volume of the atlas (1581). Here's what their bird's-eye view of Vilnius looked like:


Now, at this point in my research I'm not so worried how the streets were laid out -- I'm much more interested in the people in the foreground. The site "Working-Class Images" has a close-up view of the man and woman in the center of the foreground. At last -- a period idea of what very ordinary people looked like, not just the fancy Elzbieta and Barbora! Something I might actually be able to sew for myself with my limited skills, too.

The map of Riga, Latvia, also published in 1581, has much less detailed images of people -- nothing for the clothier to take note of there. However, the map of Gdansk from the second volume of the atlas (1575) has several women in the foreground. Their gowns look more detailed and seem to have more German influence than their Lithuanian cousins, but again, they look like ordinary folk and not royalty.

I'm really, really glad I found these resources, because even though I can buy a pattern to make a Cranach-style gown, modifying it and encrusting it to look something like this portrait of Barbara Radziwill would be a bit beyond my skill level. Now I can set some realistic garb-creation goals.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Slavic University, Part Two

To continue the tale of last Saturday....

Another thing I did during the morning, instead of sitting in on the classes, was to take the pictures of medieval Lithuanian leaders I'd printed on the color printer and glue them onto the tri-fold "school project" cardboard display. Of course, I'd vastly underestimated the amount of display "real estate" those pictures and their captions would take up. But, then again, I'm looking at this as a work in progress. I should make time between now and Pennsic to fill up the rest of the display board with additional maps of the changing borders of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, plus images of artifacts and reconstructed garb (such as it is).

While waiting for Sfandra to finish up her portrait session with Baron Bardulf, I hung out at with the folks at Troll (registration table). It was getting close to the scheduled lunchtime of 12:30 p.m., and Lady Marija, the autocrat (event steward), was starting to fret that she was going to have some huge holes in her afternoon class schedule if Master Mordok and his apprentice, Pan Zygmunt, did not show up from the Middle Kingdom. But, lo and behold, right at 12:30, a car pulled up and disgorged the two of them! That was a long drive from Michigan, through Ohio, and to the eastern panhandle of West Virginia!

For lunch I had cheese cubes, creamy potato soup, a mushroom tart, and some sweet bread. More coffee, too. Why, yes, I run on coffee -- I don't care whether or not it's period.

After lunch I decided to take Master Mordok's class on cloth shoes. He is experimenting with a way to make a simple cloth shoe made up of a sole and a wrap-around vamp. Of course, you put a leather sole on the thing, outside the cloth. Mordok was also interested in getting copies of our individual shoe patterns with our sizes marked on them, because he'd like to start selling them (kids going to college and all that...). We ran well over our allotted hour into the next hour, and even then intruded upon Pan Zygmunt's zupan class, but at least I could listen in while finishing up the cutting. I now have a pattern to fit my weirdly shaped feet and will have to start looking for suitable fabric scraps. I'm not anticipating that I would be able to wear such handmade shoes on a heavy day of Pennsic walking, but maybe I could make some cute lil' booties for indoor events.

Finally it came time for my class on medieval Lithuania. I got about eight people in there, including Igor and Fevronia; the former kept making his signature wisecracks. :-) I think it went pretty well, considering that I hadn't been marinating my brain in the subject leading up to the event. Afterward I collected my books and eggs and packed them in the car.

By the way, you can read the Slavic University lunch and dinner menus here. Sadly, I didn't see any sour cream, but both kinds of pierogies were excellent -- a little different in taste because they were made with buckwheat flour (not sure if they were 100 percent buckwheat or a mix with regular wheat flour). The pre-sliced kielbasa was also outstanding. Some people brought additional dishes, so there was a bit of a potluck going on, but I was slow to get to the table, so I missed the cheesy potatoes. Again, sadness.

After dinner, the shire members gave away some extra bread, so I ended up with a bag of some very dense sourdough slices. As the shire folks busied themselves with putting away furniture and cleaning up the site, I was thinking that I didn't get to talk to Sfandra enough during the day, and she and her friend from Rhode Island were inviting people over to par-taay in their room at the Comfort Inn. So I drove over there at dusk. Good thing Sfandra had told me that the Rite-Aid store was a landmark, because otherwise I would have driven right past the little lane where the hotel was hidden.

As it turned out, Sfandra and Katrina/Catriona had a great crowd in their room: Igor and Fevronia, Mordok and Zygmunt, and me. It was getting late and I was getting a little tired, so Igor and Fevronia graciously invited me to crash on the sofabed in their room at the inn. So I called home and informed my friend about this, and then I hit the krupnikas and the Stoli and the rum. *grin*

(To be honest, Shepherdstown is not right off the interstate highway, and I'm glad I didn't have to negotiate the twists and turns of unfamiliar two-lane state roads in the darkness.)

After watching the first few Tina Fey skits on SNL, I went downstairs and fell asleep like a log. In the morning, I certainly didn't have much to pack up. I washed my face, made one of those big round waffles in the "free breakfast" room off the lobby, and headed home in the brilliant sunshine, past the battlefield of Antietam and several adorable little towns.

Don't worry, I'll show pictures! But this entry has gone on long enough already. In the meantime, the Slavic University website has lots of links to photos.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Slavic University: A happy experience! (Part One)

Why, yes, I did enjoy Slavic University after all!

I think attendance was about 50 people -- not bad, considering that the kingdoms of Aethelmearc, Atlantia and the East were all holding their Spring Coronation events the same day. (I can't speak for other kingdoms, but I know that Atlantia's Spring Coronation is almost always the first Saturday in April; it was moved back a week in order to avoid conflicting with Easter and Passover.)

Lady Marija Kotok, the autocrat (or event steward, if you prefer) made wonderful site tokens out of amber and leather. They are called znaki. (Literally, the word means "signs" in Polish, according to Google Translate.) I haven't been able to find much listed under that word, because it is so common, but a search for the phrase gromoviti znaci was a bit more enlightening (try it yourself). Here's what was written on the back of our event programs:

These [tokens] have been designed so that you may continue to use them as a period-appropriate piece of your Slavic/Rus garb. Although they show religious symbolism, they are not intended in any way to be religious. Rather like the crosses you see on Templar garb, these represent a period practice of that time.

What is a znaki and how was it important in Slavic culture?

Znaki means a word or symbol, often one associated with power. A talisman or charm. For thousands of years, Slavic people have made talismans. The designs on them were called znaki, which means "charm or symbol." Each of the znaki had special meaning, and since the ancient Slavs had no written alphabet, these symbols were the expression of ideas and the method of communicating magickal desires. During the Middle Ages in times of double-faith, it was common to see many people wearing double znaki. In the case of our tokens, one side bears the symbol of Svarog the ancient pagan sun god, and the other symbol of the new faith. This way they could turn the znaki to present the symbol they wished to be displayed at any given time -- appearing Christian or Pagan as they deemed suitable and/or safe at the moment.

I left home a little later than I had intended, so I missed Sfandra's class on Ukrainian gerdany, or beading. Sadness! (OK, I believe she may teach the class again at Pennsic.) Yes, this is one of those "not-quite-Lithuanian" topics, but a good part of Ukraine was under the influence of Lithuania for a chunk of the SCA time period, and gerdany just looks like something that's fun to do. (Note to self: One of these days I ought to look up the history of Ukraine and Belarus from the Ukrainian and Belarussian points of view.)

So, anyhow, once I arrived around 11 a.m., I busied myself with setting up my books at the library table (where there was already an excellent selection) and my A&S display (the five natural-dyed eggs I'd managed to make before the event). I honestly don't know if anyone noticed my eggs. They probably would have looked much more appealing if I had had the time to shine them up with clear nail polish. (Yeah, that's not a period substance either, but it makes them look purty, and it probably helps to preserve the designs and the shell in the long run.) Around this time I greeted Master Igor and Mistress Fevronia, who are among the former landed baronage of Storvik and still reside in my barony. They were dressed in their full Russian garb and looked great (especially since Master Igor has dropped about 80 pounds recently).

I will write more, I promise!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eve of Slavic University...

'Twas the night before Slavic University and I have SO much to do! Don't worry, though, at least I remembered to print out some handouts for my class. :-)

If you're going to be anywhere in the vicinity of West Virginia tomorrow (Saturday, April 10), PLEASE stop by! The event details are all here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Joint Grunwald/Zalgiris reenactment planned

On a Polish-news site, I found a newsbrief about the coming 600th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Grunwald, a.k.a. Zalgiris. Apparently, the heads of state of both Poland and Lithuania will attend.

The 600th anniversary of the victorious battle of Polish and Lithuanian forces against the Teutonic Order will be jointly celebrated by both countries’ presidents.

A relevant document has been signed in Warsaw by Lithuania’s deputy defense minister Vytautas Umbrasas and secretary of state at the Polish ministry of culture and national heritage Piotr Zuchowski. It covers cooperation in organizing the celebrations and their promotion.

The anniversary falls on July 15 and the main events shall be held at Malbork Castle, the former seat of the Teutonic knights, and on the fields of Grunwald where the battle of 1410 is to be reconstructed in historical costume by special groups of enthusiasts from Poland and Lithuania.

The official anniversary events will be attended by Polish head of state Lech Kaczynski and Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite.


Go to the original website to read the comments, if you wish.

You could also take this Grunwald-themed tour, though you won't be in Grunwald on Thursday, July 15. Hmmm.

Still counting down the days to Slavic University III in the Kingdom of Aethelmearc. I've been told that the schedule of activities will be posted next week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Starting the colorful journey...

I know it's getting late, but I just wanted to post that I have started to make the natural dyes for this season's margučiai.

My male foodie friend and I have been saving up the outer skins from yellow onions since last summer. Following the directions from this website, I took about three handfuls of the dried skins and crumbled them into a bit more than a cup of water. I brought the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for a while. Some of the water evaporated, so I added some more. Even so, once I strained the liquid into a clean glass jar, the level seems barely enough to cover an egg. Then again, the level will rise when I put an egg into the jar.

Now I'll add the vinegar and cap the jar, and I'll be ready to start dyeing ... at least with that color. I would also like to experiment with turmeric, spinach, and red cabbage, and maybe even grape juice and beets.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A housekeeping question

My previous post has an obvious spam comment attached to it. I just now enabled moderation for all comments, but how the heck do I delete this spam comment? There doesn't seem to be a button allowing me to do that.

Thanks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Lithuanian Independence Day -- AGAIN!

Twenty years ago today, Lithuania rose up and declared itself the first of the Soviet Socialist Republics independent of the USSR. At first it almost seemed like a quaint, quixotic, symbolic thing to do ... but no! The Lithuanians were really free, and as more countries joined them, the Soviet Union crumbled around them! (And of course, some countries had never recognized their incorporation into the USSR in the first place.)

To commemorate this anniversary, here 's a timeline of the events leading up to that momentous decision and a retrospective article from the Irish Times. Finally, here's the obligatory Wikipedia entry.

Remember, it took the Soviet Union almost 18 months from this date to recognize Lithuania's independence -- following bloodshed, a failed Soviet coup and the U.S. president's siding with the Lithuanians. By then, the USSR was about to fall apart.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Springtime

Slavic University is but a month away, and I'm looking forward to it! I'm not going to have a perfect kit, but I will try to spiff up a bit (and document my efforts here).

I also think I ought to make some margučiai and bring them to Slavic U. What am I talking about? Well, the singular is apparently margutis -- and margučiai are the same as pysanky -- in other words, decorated Easter eggs. Since the event is the weekend after Easter and the mid-Atlantic region will be bursting with new flowers and plant growth, what would be a better A&S display?

I've been saving yellow onion skins for a while now, and I have a gallon zip-bag filled with them. I look forward to boiling them and mixing in a spoonful of vinegar to create a natural dye. I may also experiment with the cooking water from red cabbage and green spinach leaves. These plant-based materials may not provide the intense color of modern commercial dyes, but I'm willing to try them nevertheless. If they all fail, I've got some dye tablets left over from last Easter!

The more common (and especially Ukrainian) technique is to use hot wax to draw the designs first, then color the eggs. I seem to recall, though, that last year I found some examples of Lithuanian eggs in which the artist dyed the eggs first, then scratched off the designs with a knife. I may experiment with both methods.

There's also the question of whether to draw the designs on raw eggs -- and then blow the contents out, leaving only a varnished shell to keep for the long term, or to decorate hard-boiled eggs -- and then have people peel and eat those artworks. Again, I may try both methods. I am thinking that the scratch-off method may leave the eggshell weak. Maybe I should try that on the hard-boiled potential lunch specials. :-)

So, without further ado, here are some links to eye candy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Lithuanian Independence Day!

Today is the anniversary of Lithuania's brief independence in 1918. In honor of the date, I'm posting a couple of links to YouTube videos (here and here) showing some military-type observances of the 10th anniversary celebrations of independence in 1928. It's way out of the SCA's period, of course, but in some of the banners, and in the decorations at the end of the second film, you can see the Vytis and the Pales of Gediminas -- both ancient heraldic symbols of Lietuva and its leaders.

My apologies for again abandoning this blog for a couple of months. Not much happening here at the moment. However, the calendar is sneaking up on me -- Slavic University is less than two months away! Holy moley! Also, registration for Pennsic University at Pennsic 39 is now open. I guess it's really getting to be time to decide whether I'm going to teach something special about the Battle of Grunwald's 600th anniversary and, if so, what I'm going to say.

One note: At the Storvik Performers' Revel, I told a five-minute version of the Tale of the Battle of Zalgiris, and it went over pretty well with the audience, even though I'm not much of a bard. Maybe I will practice that for future use at SCA events this year.