June 1998
Volume 1, Issue 2
"In Melenta... Vee
have vays of talking."
— The General,
quite shell shocked.
Tripod of Power
The General
Brother Rodney
Kit Fitzgerald
The General

Dinosaurs Finally Extinct?

Dinosaur Everything dies. This is not news. No matter how long something exists, there is no guarantee that it will last forever. It happened to the dinosaurs. They were around for hundreds of millions of years. It happened to the Sabertooth Tigers. They were around for a couple of hundred thousand years. It happened to the original Irish bands of Revelwood. They were around for a little over 14 years. But as with all creatures, it was bound to happen. These past few months have seen the slow but sure de-evolution of the infamous Revelwood creations known as Jack In The Green and The Revelwood Band. Like the behemoths of yore, these beautiful beasts have died and will never come back. No matter how much Fiona yells at Skylar or Stonewall. As in the past, some dinosaurs did not die off, but merely adapted to the extra oxygen in the air. They continue to hunt under assumed names. But they fool no one. The sun has finally set on the original giants.

This is not a bad thing, though, because it means new life. For as the great predators decompose into a sluggish puddle of low octane diesel fuel, something brand new emerges from the oily slime. Something good. Even as we speak, rodent-like furry mammals are slowly slipping out from under the rocks to face the bright morning of a new life.

All the forces of nature are working together to metamorphose a new predator. A new race of beings that will move differently, have a distinctive look and a unique sound not heard before in the forests.

Bottom line is that it’ll probably still drink too much beer and not clean up after itself. But that is to be expected. We are talking about musicians.

And after all, when you think about it, it’s really just a different color dinosaur.

Martian Gras Cosmic Success

Martian Gras Partygoers As expected, the beads were hanging, the glitter was flashing and as usual, The IB was covered in feathers. It can only mean one thing... Martian Gras.

Those silly little White Cups pulled it off again. There was an even money bet placed that they couldn’t get the party off the launch pad in time, but the White Cups proved once again that they are professionals.

An incredible collection of creatures made it to this year’s festivities. Many, like the IB, were bedecked in the grand plumage of the traditional Martian Gras garb. Some, walked around with stuffed armadillos on their head. Nothing new there.

There were MIB and Coneheads, Borg, hitchhikers and the occasional sentient mattress. Other than that it was business as usual.

Extreme food. Extreme music. Extreme fun.

JUNK MAIL • Volume 1, Issue 2 • June 1998

Zen and The Art of Brewing

Brewski We seem to be onto something ancient here at heady old Revelwood. We’ve gotten the brewer’s bug. Now, rather than just drink the stuff, we’re inclined to make it. And we’re so excited. The new brewer’s guild is all a-quiver with the search for recipes, loose bottle caps and a rubber seal that knows when to just say yes.

Of course, there is a Revelwooder that has been doing this for some time now. Zoo has presented casks of his home brew for a couple of years. But is he making a big splash about it? No. He has quietly brought his ale to several parties and shared the glorious golden glassfuls with nary a mention. That’s just how he is I guess. One of the quiet ones. I knew he was trouble.

Not willing to simply brew beer, we have decided that the official Revelwood beer will also have an added twist. Surprised? Me neither. Each batch brewed with natural well drawn RevelWater (from the pump at the Barn) will have the I-Ching thrown as it is brewing, so that the true nature of the beer will be revealed before the tapping of the keg. This will be very helpful. If we brew a beer that is most beneficial, we can keep it for a special event. If we brew a beer that will cause great consternation and calamity, we can give it away to specific acquaintances at the War. Sort of a beer bomb.

Of course, the possibilities are unlimited. A beer that is found to have the power of the thunder can be traded with the warrior types, for say, putting up our tents. A beer that brings forth the passion of another can be bartered with an acne laden 21 year old, for say, carrying 20 pounds of ice back to camp. A beer that brings forth peace and tranquility can be traded with the middle-aged Earth children hanging down by the herb merchants for, well... herbs. You get the idea. Mood beer. It’s all in what we put on the label.

Imagine, we would have the War’s one and only, patented I-Ching Revelwood Brewski. How mystical can you get?

But wait! Why stop there? How about the Revelwood Beer Mug sales, and the Revelwood Beer Hat promotions, and for the girth conscious, Revel-Lite Beer, and the Revelwood Beer Concert Series, and...


15 Excuses For Being Asleep At Work

Sleepy Guy 1. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."

2. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last management course you sent me to."

3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper"

4. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"

5. "This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"

6. "I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance"

7. "Actually I was doing a "Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan" (SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.

8. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory towards people who practice Yoga?"

9. "Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

10. "Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"

11. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong color pot."

12. "The coffee machine is broke...."

13. "Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!"

14. "Wasn't sleeping. Was trying to pick up my contact lens without hands."

15. "I saw Titanic last night. It hasn’t worn off yet."

JUNK MAIL • Volume 1, Issue 2 • June 1998

Citizen Spotlight

Ropus in flight
Some of us think we have interesting hobbies. Some of us think we lead interesting lives. In fact, some of us really do.

This is Ropus (inventor of the Revelwood Fin) in his newest big wheel. This is not his job. This is his recreation. Sort of makes that TV remote look a little lame, eh?

Ropus has won two trophies so far this season. And it’s only June. Can an endorsement for a carburetor cleaner be far behind?

Hey Ropus, how about a Revelwood Beer sponsorship? A Boris would look great on the side of your race car. I got a fiver.

Brother Rodney's Review

Corrs Album Cover The Corrs; Forgiven, Not Forgotten (1995; 143 Records/Lava Records)

Connie Willis; Doomsday Book (1993; Spectra Books)

One of the core elements in the philosophy behind the Artist's Colony of Revelwood is a desire to share, appreciate, and revel in others' art. It is to this end that Rodney Reviews makes its debut in this issue of Junk Mail. (That and the fact that The General needed some filler, and I'll never pass up an opportunity to foist my personal tastes upon other people.)

While these two little gems are not what you'd call recent releases, I figure this band of loonies, many of whom think the phrase "current events" refers to, oh, the year 1450 or so, probably won't mind much. And even if you missed them on their initial release, they're still readily available, and worth giving a look-see (listen-hear?).

Forgiven, Not Forgotten is the first American release from the Corrs, a brother-and-sister (and sister, and sister) act from Ireland. They are hugely popular in Eire, having sold over 10 million copies of this CD there, but have yet to catch fire here in the states.

They did appear in a New Years Eve episode of BH 90210, and lead singer Andrea Corr is featured as the singing voice of the heroine Kayley in the new animated movie Quest for Camelot (brief Rodney Review - Excalibullshit, avoid it like the plague).

Andrea (vocals, tin whistle), along with sisters Sharon (vocals, violin) and Caroline (vocals, drums, bodhran), and brother Jim (vocals, guitar, keyboards, programming), provide a mix of electrified traditional instrumentals and somewhat over-produced slick pop numbers (courtesy of Grammy-winning producer David Foster, who used to be in the band Skylark [remember "Wildflower"?] in the 70s, and has produced a real eclectic mix of artists, from Kenny G to Bruce Hornsby to the Vancouver Symphony, and oh yeah, the soundtrack to that Camelot Quest thing).

These Corr kids can sing (sorta like if Wilson-Phillips were good, and grew up in Dublin), and they can play - a jig called "The Minstrel Boy" and the following "Toss the Feathers" are the best things on the CD, which closes with "Erin Shore," a majestic piece that wouldn't have been out of place in the Rob Roy or Braveheart soundtracks. The vocal numbers are somewhat less impressive, but catchy, and poppy, and not too offensive. The Corr girls are also pretty easy on the eyes. I forced the General to listen to this on a recent drive, and he was fairly impressed. I am too. Their newest release (1998) is called Talk on Corners.

Connie Willis, erstwhile housewife and one of the most highly decorated science fiction writers alive (she has won more Hugo and Nebula awards than anyone else), worked for five years writing the masterful Doomsday Book. It is the story of Kivrin Engle, a history student at Oxford in 2054 who is sent back in time to research an English village in 1320. By some slippage in the time net, she arrives 28 years late, smack in the middle of the onslaught of the Black Death (which, according to Willis, they actually called "the blue sickness").

The story alternates between the Oxford History department's efforts at bringing her back (complicated by a rampant outbreak of a near-deadly flu in 2054), and her gut-wrenching experiences in the small village, devastated, as she watches, by the Bubonic plague. These and other well-crafted subplots move the story along at an urgent pace.

It's a stunning saga of suffering and hope, that paints an all too realistic picture of what things were really like in the Middle Ages; a refreshing reality check to remind us all that life was not all knights, damsels, jesters, pipes and pints. Just the thing for my fellow citizens of Revelwood! Connie's latest work, To Say Nothing of the Dog, continues the adventures of the Oxford time travelers - this time in a more upbeat Victorian era romp. You'll enjoy this one too.

Until next time ...

Brother Rodney

JUNK MAIL • Volume 1, Issue 2 • June 1998

His Baronship

So, You’re Going To The War?
A Revelwood Primer for the Un-Enlightened

More often than not, a Revelwooder’s first Pennsic War can be a traumatic thing. Usually for those people around the Revelwooder. The Pennsic War, for those hearing about it, or considering going for the first time, is a collection of about 10,000 costumed people spending two weeks in the middle of a hot, humid August in an over-crowded, under-staffed, high-energy, low-tolerance mosh pit. It costs about $100 to attend, takes about seven hours to drive there and inevitably you get lost North of Pittsburgh. With me so far? Some of these costumed people carry a big stick wrapped in duct tape and are only too happy to hit you on the head with it. Sometimes they will bring a friend. If you’re lucky, the friend will hit you too. Or, you might find yourself being followed by a bard who insists on playing his newly purchased bodhran with extra knobby tipper, or bright shiny dumbeck, and singing some obscure 12th Century ode to the Black Death. A bard, by the way, is a musician that can’t get a band together. If you are real lucky, you will be assaulted by a Herald, who will stand next to your tent at 8:30 AM and shout out the morning announcements about the day’s gruel bake-off, or the tapestry-unraveling lesson, or the best person to be hit on the head by, and what time they’ll be available.

Your day will inevitably include a stroll up the Road of Woe. As the name implies, this is a difficult, painful, sometimes dangerous path that leads from the better campsites, to the merchants areas. It is difficult because it is a 45 degree grade, usually traveled when the temperature is in the upper 90’s, and the humidity even higher. It is painful because the road is paved with granite and quartz rocks the size of golf balls, cut by special dwarves who hate humans and know how to chisel them at just the right angles to pierce our flimsy medieval shoes and twist our un-supported ankles. It is dangerous because more often than not, some portly fellow has lost his balance and is rolling towards you like a cartoon boulder, bouncing and howling all the way. If he doesn't get you, the subsequent avalanche of slow reacting pedestrians will.

But the war can also be an exciting place. Nestled deep within the relative quiet of our Revelwood encampment, we have been witness to one hurricane, a forest fire, one tornado warning, five torrential down pours, innumerable flash floods, martini breaks, accidental strolls into the lake, one fat lady taking a mud bath and a naked albino violin player.

A typical day at the war, for the non-combatant, starts out quite late because of the way you carried on the night before. If you are fortunate enough to have avoided the herald, you will probably regain conciseness sometime in the late morning, or early afternoon. You will stumble about grumbling incoherently, and somehow recover your goblet or mug. You will then seek out some water. Usually, you settle for the run-off from the beer cooler. You justify the pine needles and other detritus as protein and drink it anyway. Actually, it’s roughage, and you will pay dearly later. But we’ll deal with that some other time. I would need a whole issue to describe the port-o-castles and the honey truck. Breakfast will probably be the furthest thing from your mind, what little of it you may have at that moment. Eventually, when you’ve regained the ability to speak, you will ask "Who wants to go to the merchants?" Inevitably, someone will, and off you will go. Heading straight for the Road of Woe.

Revelwood Sign The merchants are located about a mile away. All up hill. The fact that going back to camp is down hill is no consolation. Remember the portly fellow? When you reach the merchant’s area, you will be astounded at how many merchants there are. And that they all sell the same exact jewelry, weapons, drinking vessels, clothing, musical instruments, etc. Each claims to be an original, each hand made, each the lowest price available. Face it, this is fantasy land. And they do take American Express. You can also enjoy your afternoon's repast at this location. There are various medieval fast-food establishments, again, each selling greasy food. each with inadequate seating and each hosting a pan-handling bard. The bard is so you can consume your food, spend even more money and develop a migraine simultaneously.

Now that you have survived the day, you will begin to prepare for the evening’s activities. If you were smart, you would have continued straight for the parking lots and driven home. But smart has no place here at Pennsic. And you will inevitably don your finest tunic, tie your mug to your belt, and run to catch up with the Hot Irish Sausage. Oh well, that which does not kill you, makes you stronger. Besides, next year, you get to frighten the virgins.

JUNK MAIL • Volume 1, Issue 2 • June 1998

Byte Me

Son of Cyber-Wood

As with all things Revelwood, when something good happens, we try to overdo it. Cyberspace is no exception. Several years ago, Annabella and The Vicar put together an excellent site called "The Artisan’s Guild Web Page." The site includes samples of the many types of art found at Revelwood. Creating a web page is fun. Maintaining it is a pain in the psyche. However, Annabella and The Vicar are working hard to keep it up to date. "The Artisan’s Guild Web Page" is currently undergoing a nose job and will be formally re-introduced when the bandages are off.

Never one to learn from another’s mistakes, here we go again. Brother Rodney and The General are proud to announce the debut of the second Revelwood associated Web page. This one is humbly called "The Revelwood Home Page." It includes some Revelwood history, some lovely holiday snaps, descriptions of the Ireland trips and creative interpretations of just what Revelwood is. The Revelwood Home Page also includes a quest for those who think they know something about Boris the Lonely Pine Tree. The Revelwood Home Page is located at: http://www3.umdnj.edu/~libcwis/revelwood [Webmaster's Note: But of course, you'd know that, if you're reading this now! - BR]

Of course, both sites are looking for material to post. We know you have something to say, some obscure photo of the IB in feathers, a recipe for broccoli and pecan caramel roll that your grandmother handed down to you. Anything that might be of interest to someone who gets lost in cyberspace and washes up on our shore. Just send it to Cyber-Wood, P.O. Box 1, Stratford, NJ 08048.

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P.O. Box 1
Stratford, NJ 08084



DWM, 63, vertically condensed, caloricaly ample, non-photogenically visaged, locomotionally inert, and tax-liability free seeking S/D WF. Anyone willing to meet a guy that can talk intelligently on many subjects, recite SCA history like nobody’s business, has his own battery operated wheels, and can make you laugh, contact Andrew at: macrobb@dnaco.net.

Pennsic War Camp Slave Wanted: Two famous musicians seeking nubile artist-type woman to serve as on-site camp slave. Must be extremely temperamental. Must not really like the idea of being a camp slave but want the experience to help express her art. Must be over 18. We are willing to pay 1/2 of registration fee from Saturday (8/8) through Sunday (8/16). If you want to leave for the War on Wednesday (8/12-5:00 AM), we can provide transportation from the Philadelphia/Southern NJ area. Duties will include, setting up two tents (2 person domes) upon arrival, preparing simple morning meals (10:00 AM-ish); keeping coolers stocked with ice and orange juice (our cost); daily policing of camp site; reciting Vogon poetry on request; preparing occasional afternoon cocktails for guests (again-our cost); etc. No specific evening duties. Write to: Typical But Sincere Men, c/o PO Box 1, Stratford, NJ 08084.

Wanted: Groupies for Hot Irish Sausage Known World Tour. Must repeatedly travel the Road of Woe. Tone deaf preferred. No dumbeck players.

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