Pagan: This may shock some people, but....I am a witch. Actually, I grew up in a pseudo-Pagan household. By this I mean that my mother and grandparents pay lip-service to Christianity, primarily because in the 30's-50's, you couldn't really do otherwise, but their active beliefs is a sort of mix of Shamanism and general faith. That side of my family is very tied to our Choctaw / Cherokee heritage and growing up, it showed in their reverence to "the spirits". In my teens I began to read a great deal to try to find something more suited to what I saw in the world and eventually settled upon what amounts to a combination of traditional Wicca, mixed with alot of Cabalistic Enochian Magick. As far as I know, I'm one of the few Ordained Wiccan priests here in San Diego (although all it really takes is filling out a form....ordination is no great thing). This allows me to perform legally binding marriages, and has led to many occasions where I've been able to counsel people, sometimes by giving spiritual advice, other times by just being there to listen without expectations or preconceptions. Sometimes it can get a bit difficult, such as when the latest crop of "rainbow chasing smurf herders" causes people to look upon witchcraft as a less than serious religion, but I just remember that the other religions have their flaky idiots as well and deal with it. However, between Hollywood and Emo kids, it's an uphill battle all the way.
Family: My biological family and I are not close. I see my mom and grandfather a couple times a year, my local aunts, uncles, cousins maybe once a year and I talk to my mom about once every couple months. That's about all the involvement I care to have. These days, I have little in common with them and my life is too busy to make room. My real family is my SCA Household. I've managed to put together a menagerie of some of the finest people I've ever known and I consider every one of them a member of my family. Farlin and Ty are like my brother and sister, to the point that on most occasions we share a brain. Every member of the house knows that I would go to the ends of the earth to help them on a moments notice, and the great thing is that they all do the same for each other and myself. We may have moments of annoyance, like any family....but if you screw with the Maiden, you screw with all of us. The bonds of loyalty between the house gives me my greatest sense of pride in this life.
LARP: Live-Action-Role-Playing is how I seem to have met a great deal of my friends. I enjoy gaming beyond almost any other activity and LARPing is especially fun. It's like gaming, acting and costuming all at the same time. Many of us met either in the old Battlefield San Diego game or in the Baptism of Fire game that I ran. In the hey-day of LARPing, we used to get 70+ people together at least twice a month for some fantastic storytelling. These days, with the advent of WoW, Online Gaming and other sedentary distractions....most LARP's count themselves lucky to get 15-20 people together. A sad end to a once great era, but it is just not possible to effectively run a LARP with less than about 30 people. One of these days, If I can gather enough people who can show up consistantly, I may put together another LARP, but the last attempt could only gather 10-15 at any given time. Hardly even worth the effort it seemed.
Drinking: I like to drink, although I've found that my drinking has significantly dropped off in the last couple years. I only drink significantly at war, parties and the occasional special occasion (like last nights B-day party). Otherwise, I'm content to have a beer or two and call it good. Over the years my taste in alcohol has been refined to the point where now I tend to only go for good rum, good single-malt scotch, premium beer and the occasional Saki binge. The days of "drinking to get messed up" are long behind me, although getting messed up as a side-effect of drinking good booze is always an added benefit. Don't get me wrong though, my tolerance is still pretty damn high and I'll wager I can drop most people under the table due to my weight, experience and near-pickled liver.
SCA: Probably the defining trait about me. I joined the SCA in February of 1991 at the time of Estrella VII. This means I've been a SCAdian for 18 years now. Pretty close to half my life. Rathflaed said it best in his song "30 years". "30 years have come and gone, and with them many friends, pass the bottle round me boys, and we'll drink again." I've seen a great deal of changes, both in membership and attitudes in the last 18 years. Some good, some not, but like all things, it is a growing and evolving entity. I've been an authorized fighter for 17 of those years, and although a spinal defect, my own weight and a decade in heavy armor have taken their toll on my health, I wouldn't have traded my memories and experiences for anything. Farlin asked me for my SCA resume awhile back.....in putting it together my jaw dropped when I realized just how much I've packed into the last couple decades of activity. Where else could one have such a diverse range of experiences and gain lifelong friends as a perk. Being able to put together my SCA household is the thing that has brought me the greatest amount of joy in my life, I look at it now and know that it is no longer just a collection of "my" friends, but a self-sustaining entity that will likely outlive me and become one of the "primary" households in the SCA. We already rank in status with Drafn, The Abbey, Corvus and 9th Legion as one of the "older" households out there.
The Honorable Lord Alastar de Coursayre,
Graduate of the Baronial Household
Order of the Golden Trident
Order of the Serpents Flame (Middle Eastern Studies)
Order of the Serpents Flame (Performance Drumming)
Armiger of Caid
Order of the Dolphin of Caid
Order of the Harp Argent of Caid (Middle Eastern Studies)
Order of the Crescent of Caid