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What a nice Saturday!

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What a nice Saturday!

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Yesterday morning I woke up around 6:30. I spent most of the time between then and a 10 am meeting I had planned working on my second communication with artist Håkon Søreide to get information about sales and pricing on his work.

Ten minutes early, John Harvey (a local artist, no website available) and I were both already in the parking lot of Schlotzsky's, a place I chose as being a distinctive location at an easy-to-find intersection. I gave him a check made out to the Lincoln Artist's Guild (which supposedly does have a website available, but I am having trouble locating the sucker), and he gave me a painting entitled "Forest Creek." Then we went across the street to IHOP for coffee (for him) and breakfast and a nice conversation, about Chicago and museums and his day job and his medium preferences. It seems to me like you ought to do that with someone whose art you purchase, if you can, so I did. He wanted to buy, so I acquiesced by taking my card back out of the bill holder and giving out all my cash (a whopping $3) into the tip instead.

After a quick trip to the bank, I went shopping. It took about an hour and was mostly painless; however, I did leave a bag behind and had to go back to retrieve it. It was the little one with all the stuff I needed (like sunglasses and sunscreen) or really wanted to have (like the itty bitty purple dragonfly earrings). I DON'T really want to have the clothing I bought, but I can't wear shorts to work - and long pants are already getting too hot and I CAN wear capris - and I get tired of rotating the same handful of tops. Laundry time this evening, maybe. I also got a coffeemaker, in hopes that Mom and Bob will visit sometime in the not too distant future (next Sunday, A.D., natch).

Home once more, I took a brief nap before loh and nick_number picked me up so we could all go out to "James Arthur Vineyards - Nebraska's Largest Winery" for a one day ren faire. No thoughts about dressing up were carried out, though it would have been an ok day for it - lots of wind keeping the folks in wool and such cool. The array of canopies was just about maxed out as far as setup that'd be worth having for one day and then striking - there was no rain, fortunately, as that would have been problematic what with the wind and lack of enclosures and all. It was about the same size as the fairy fair I went to in Elgin, IL a couple of years ago, at around the same time of year. Wonder how that one is doing...

We watched the local SCAdian court progress out and give out awards before opening the tourney (the... king?... really needs to learn how to project). Though I rooted for the guy in purple, most of the energy went to the large fellow affectionately dubbed "Half-Troll" who (somewhat melodramatically, IMO) won all the way through until he lost the final bout.

There were not many vendors (the number I heard was 4) and nobody had anything small in sterling silver, which is usually what catches my eye, so we went past the sellers pretty quickly and up to one of the permanent buildings at the vineyard, which had a pretty pond-with-fountains deal, with walkways and a couple of gazebos (or pavilions or whatever you want to call them). I agree with loh, they could use some fish - maybe koi (mouhm). When we arrived, there were teams of belly dancers performing, which caused me to realize that I'd never actually seen belly dancing in any format other than solo before. I wondered whether the stylized movements made group choreography more or less difficult than in other dance styles. Ironically, the belly dancers were required to conceal their bellies, as well as have their legs covered under their voluminous skirts. I found this ridiculous - shades of Barbara Eden on network TV from the '60s - but again, the brisk wind was in their favor, both in cooling and in giving their outfits additional rippling motion. I amused myself by pondering whether the groups had been selected for costume color or mastery level. It could have gone either way, though I think one of the three in the group nearest us had a higher skill level than the other two. Maybe I could make better guesses if I'd been able to see the third group, but they were farthest away, up on a porch and the view was obstructed.

After the dancing was through, we went to the wine-tasting booth, and met up with friends of loh while we tried several varieties, most notably the raspberry mead. We three all found it eminently drinkable, an especial rarity for me, so the fella and I went and purchased a couple of bottles (I need to have some kind of booze party at some point, or eventually I won't be able to store food any more what with all the liquor I don't drink in my fridge). We all went and sat in a gazebo/pavilion/whatever for a while, and pretty much wrapped up the afternoon by all deciding to go out for dinner. On our way back through to the exit at the front, we did stop to see Half-Troll melodramatically lose again. Perhaps I am being unduly hard on the SCAdians in suggesting that the stick fighting outcomes were pre-planned, though - maybe the giant guy is really a gentle giant, or just periodically forgets that his head sticks up over his shield (since that's where I saw him get bopped several times).

The five of us went to a Greek restaurant called the Parthenon. We ordered saganaki, which was a stronger cheese than what I'd had before, and also a sharper dish, as the alcohol hadn't burned off completely - still highly yummy, though. There was also calamari, of which I had the tiniest piece on the plate. The wait for the main meal was a little overlong, but the convivial company made the time pass easily, and when it came, the food was worthy of waiting. For my entree, I got stuffed salmon - what it was stuffed with was YUM; as it turns out, one of the major components of YUM is crab. I gave away my pita quarters but ate everything else - the salmon, the bed of lettuce, the pretty piece of purple kale, the cooked spinach with onion, red pepper and feta, and the button mushrooms with cloves (those were funky!). The dinner conversation was extremely pleasant, and we lingered in spite of avoiding the devilishly good honey-infused, papery-filo-dough goodness that is Greek dessert.

Upon returning home, I ended my evening with chat and internet radio before my common up-too-late incoherency surfaced and I had to hit the sack. Lovely day all around.
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