Category Archives: Observations

The (Really) Thin Red Line

I live in the States. Everyone loves to be “the good guys” (though in war, “good” is even more subjective than usual). Most people who join the hobby, understandably, want to reenact militia or the Continental Army. They want to be patriots and fight for their country in albeit an unorthodox way.

But here’s the flipside of that shilling: it’s hard to have a game with only your side represented. Somebody has to be the offense, and I’m going to stop before I descend into some half-baked sports metaphor because I’ll make a fool of myself.

Reenacting a British regiment largely means two things: one, you’ll get invited to more events because there are less groups out there to choose from; and two, there are often less of you on the field.

Sometimes with hilarious results.
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And Now…The Post Most Likely to Get Me into Trouble

I believe in women’s equality, and I believe we have a LONG way still to go. Hell, we may not even get there in my lifetime if current attitudes don’t start changing a little faster.

And yet…at the end of the day I’d rather gain recognition for doing a job well than gain recognition for doing a job well because I’m a woman. And I DON’T chew a guy’s head off when he opens a door for me.

And I sure don’t want to be pointed out as a woman when I’m reenacting.
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I just finished my hair for an event today…

…And as I worked, confining my rat’s nest within a multitude of bobby pins and enough hair spray to punch a new hole in the ozone layer, I reflected on the fact that, invariably, someone will come up to me and try to touch my hair.

no touching

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Let’s Talk About Ramrods

NO, this does not require another George Takei GIF. I’m being serious. Trying to be.

The ramrod is a metal rod used to ram (how they got the name, I’ll never know) the musket ball down onto the gunpowder in the barrel so it’s packed tight for maximum velocity when the powder is ignited.

Reenactors rarely implement ramrods for their intended use because we’re not (I hope) using ammunition. There are some reenactors who will use the ramrod after priming and loading just for show, or to ram the cartridge paper down for a little extra oomph when firing, but it’s extra seconds that are superfluous anyway because we’re not (oh lordy, how I hope) using ammunition. Continue reading

The Pitfalls of Synaptic Misfires

In reenacting, just like in the real army, being drilled is a part of life

oh my 2Come on. These jokes write themselves.

But I’m talking about drill. Manual-of-Arms. Here’s the thing about drill – it’s important. For one, the British army was pretty much bar-none. They were a small army because they mostly did not conscript, but they were GOOD. And, stationed in the Colonies and awaiting orders, they had nothing to do but drill. So they knew what they were doing in the field. If we don’t drill, we’re going to look sloppy and that’s just a poor representation of the people we’re trying to honour. Sloppy is for the militia.

(Love you, militia friends!  You know I’m just teasing.  No need to target me in your next bayonet charge, right?  ….Right?)

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It’s Like My Own Version of “Jaywalking”, Right in My Backyard…

Sometimes it’s a last-minute morning run to a supermarket to grab food on the way to an event. Or maybe it’s a stop-off at a restaurant on the way home. Even a pit stop to gas up the car. Either way, the reactions from the unsuspecting public are always amusing and never predictable.

I once had a man stop me on the street as I packed up my car, dressed only in my smallclothes. But he correctly identified me as a Revolutionary War reenactor (100 points to him!), and asked if there was an event nearby. He sounded keen to attend and it saddened me to inform him that the one I was headed to was over an hour away.

That’s a good interaction. He realized I was a reenactor. He knew what time period I portrayed. He seemed really excited that there might be a reenactment happing close by.

Most of the time, we aren’t that lucky. I don’t mean to harp on the public. They mean well. Often, they want to make informed inquiries but simply don’t have the framework by which to formulate questions. Continue reading