Eric Oppen technomad at intergate.com
Tue Nov 2 16:31:39 GMT 2010

Quoting Pat Mathews <mathews55 at msn.com>:

> OH, how lovely! But wait! Here's a big burly red-bearded fellow and   
> the entire longboat crew coming up the path with gifts of gold and   
> garnet jewelry and an epic poem for the occasion, and a food gift --  
>  oh, the honey-mead will be truly popular, but whatever will Ma  
> Foxti  do with lutefisk?
> But the epic should be great, if only there is someone on hand who   
> can translate it into Chalionese.
As I understand it, in the Old Country lutefisk is _poor people's_  
food.  Scandinavian-Americans ate it because...well, they didn't come  
over here because things were going SO well in the Old Country.

When my dad and I were in Norway, people looked at us very oddly when  
we asked about things like lutefisk.  Now, lefse...my mom was not  
Norwegian herself (Dad was pure-blooded) but after she discovered  
lefse she said that we couldn't have it around the house except at  
Christmas, because if it was around all the time she'd weigh five  
hundred pounds.  And considering that Mom tended to be rather  
underweight, you can see how much she loved that stuff.

>> From: CatMtn at aol.com
>> Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2010 00:10:25 -0400
>> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
>> Subject: [LMB] HAPPY  BIRTHDAY!!!!!
>> A Birthday Feast  at the Zangre
>> Today is November 2nd, and most of the listies are meeting on  the plain
>> around the Zangre to walk up the approach together.  Some have   
>> arrived earlier
>> and are  already at the castle helping plan the party.
>> The reasons for the meeting are  happy ones-first, it is Her Ladyship´s
>> sixty-first birthday, and second, Iselle  and Bergon have secured their
>> position in Chalion-Ibra, allied with the other  countries on the   
>> peninsula that
>> speak Chalionese, and are sponsoring successful  voyages of exploration to
>> other continents.  Everyone wants to celebrate.  It´s a beautiful  
>> day in early
>> November,  with blue skies, plenty of sunshine, and cool enough for comfort
>> without being  too chilly.
>> The road to the Zangre from the  plain is steep and winding, and it´s easy
>> to see why the castle has never been  conquered by force.  The castle  walls
>> encompass the entire top of the table-like mountain, and any soldiers
>> attacking it would have to climb cliffs before they even got near the castle
>> walls.  It is a beautiful castle,  made of glowing, creamy stone   
>> that seems to
>> change color ranging from amber to  nearly white with the weather or time
>> of day.
>> Ista and Illvin have come to the  Zangre for the occasion, with Liss, Foix,
>> and Ferda.  Visitors from other universes include  Dag, Fawn, and their
>> daughter, Whit, Berry, and  their son, and Hawthorne.  Many of the   
>> Vorkosiverse
>> inhabitants are  there as well, and Ivan is looking very smug because the
>> next Vorkosiverse book  is about him.  And there´s this  girl....
>> The climb up to the castle was  fascinating, with different views of the
>> city laid out below as the road twisted  and turned.  The group is
>> accompanied by flashing lights as people take pictures on the way  up.
>> The castle gates are standing open,  and the listies and characters enter
>> the courtyard.  It is decorated with colorful autumn  leaves and vines to
>> honor the Son, and the sinking sun is turning the stone of  the courtyard to
>> gold and amber.  We  go through the main doors, down the long hall, and into
>> the patio, where the  last rays of the sun are slowly fading away.   
>>  Dinner is
>> to be served in the patio,  which is an elegant room with an opening in the
>> roof that allows the diners to  see the stars.  Many of the listies  have
>> brought special dishes from their native countries, some have cooked their
>> favorite dishes for entertaining, and the servants receive these   
>> and put them
>> on  a buffet table for the guests to sample before the meal.  Ma Foxti,
>> Marilyn, and Elizabeth are in  charge of the buffet, having servants replace
>> empty dishes with full ones,  making sure they are arranged in a   
>> way that will
>> indicate which ones are the  spiciest.  James Bryant brought  curry with
>> all the side dishes, which interested the royal family very much    
>> since their
>> explorers have been trying to reach India by going around the continent of
>> Africa, but have not yet succeeded.  All trade with India is still  by the
>> extremely complex and expensive land and water routes of the Silk  Roads.
>> Miles is at the party, of course,  with Ekaterin and their children.  There
>> is a rather large group of children;  Iselle and Bergon´s four, Gregor and
>> Laisa´s three, the four Vorkosigan children, Cazaril and Betriz´ son, the
>> two  from the Wide Green World, Harimad and Bob!!´s two girls, Tora´s two
>> boys, and  at least a dozen others.  They have  been allowed to play in the
>> patio until dinner is served, when they will be  moved to their own dinner
>> and party by a small army of  nursemaids.
>> Cordelia came to speak to Miles,  looking determined.  "Miles, are you  the
>> person who has been spreading rumors about Ivan´s latest girlfriend? He
>> seems to be taking her more seriously than his past  romances."
>> "Er-what´s wrong with that?  I owe him for talking about Ekaterin and
>> getting Major Zamori, Alexi Vormoncrief, and of all people, By Vorrutyer
>> bothering her," he replied defensively.
>> "That´s not the same thing, and you  know it.  Dropping hints that she´s
>> a Cetagandan ghem to some of the old-fashioned Vor and that she´s one of
>> Baron  Bharaputra´s daughters to the galactics is going too far!   
>> Alys is very
>> upset."
>> "Oh, all right," sighed Miles.  "But he does deserve  it."
>> "I warned you," murmured Ekaterin  with a faint smile.  Miles wanders  off
>> to find Royce and compare hospital experiences.  Ekaterin chats with her
>> mother-in-law;  Howard joins them.
>> This birthday party is unusual in  that there are many servants to do most
>> of the preparation of the dinner.  All of them want to be on the serving
>> staff to get to see the people from far distant places that make  India seem
>> almost next door.  Iselle encourages this because it will  spread the
>> information that there really is a land on the other side of the    
>> ocean.  Luckily
>> most of the  preparation has already been done, and the dining area is large
>> enough to  accommodate a large number of attendants.  Some of the listies
>> have made an effort to try and dress in the style  considered proper in
>> Chalion at the time, but many of the women are wearing  elegant   
>> trouser suits,
>> which Liss especially, as well as Iselle and Betriz, are  looking   
>> at enviously.
>>  It´s obvious  that there may be a style revolution coming to Chalion.
>> Groups of listies are mingling and  talking:  Kate, Andrew, Alys, John,  and
>> Cazaril are discussing poetry; Howard, Jill, Natali, Mark, and Kareen are
>> carrying on an animated discussion of some sort;  Pete, Richard, Bergon, and
>> others are  discussing military history; the head Birthday Tixie,   
>> Jim Parish,
>> is trying to  round up his assistants and having a hard time of it; Megaera,
>> Sasha, and Mary  are trying to take pictures of the gathering and the patio-
>> in short, it´s a  typical listie gathering, and trying to organize it is
>> like herding cats.  Everyone might as well just relax and  enjoy it.
>> The children are in another hall  being fed their dinner and playing games,
>> and it´s time for the adults to gather  at the tables.  The Divine Hallana
>> says a few words of thanks for friends, food, and the events we have come
>> to  celebrate, and then the first course is served.
>> The dinner is magnificent.  There are enough courses that all tastes  can
>> find something delicious, and the company is all that could be desired.
>> Jerrie has given the music and lyrics of  some of the best filk to   
>> the castle
>> musicians on an earlier visit, and there is  a musical accompaniment to the
>> meal.  Caz is embarrassed by the verses proclaiming him a hero, but  
>>  Palli and
>> Nicholas assure him that he should not feel that way, as they are nothing
>> more  than the truth.
>> The final course is, naturally, a  huge chocolate pecan cake.  After  the
>> candles have been blown out, the traditional song sung, and congratulatory
>> speeches given by Nancy, Pat, Tony, and Jim, Harimad and Anmar  cut  
>>  and serve
>> the cake.  (The cake,  shaped like the Zangre itself, is so large that it
>> takes a sword or a machete to  cut and serve it neatly.)  Iselle  loves the
>> taste of chocolate and expresses a wish that it was available to  her.  "It
>> will be," Phil assures  her.
>> It is getting chilly in the patio,  so the royals and their guests are
>> happy to move to the ballroom after  dessert.  The musicians, supervised  by
>> Mark, Jerrie, Paula, and Maureen, are playing a mix of traditional   
>> Chalionese
>> music and music familiar to the listies.  The combination is odd, but seems
>> to satisfy everyone.  As the evening goes on, it gets even  more odd when
>> they start blending the two kinds of music.
>> The dancing now starts with a few  folk dances which some of the listies
>> are familiar with, and the Chalionese  court finds the listies´  
>> dances easy to
>> learn and very amusing. Gwynne and Tel  are teaching the steps, and Tria is
>> watching and  critiquing.
>> John has wandered into the castle  library and appears to find it
>> fascinating.  Megaera, Alison, and several other  listies have   
>> joined him there.  The
>>  library has books from all over the western world, and bibliophiles are
>> understandably drawn to it.
>> Micki and Anne are asking Betriz  about trips into town tomorrow, and she
>> agrees to arrange transportation.  Jeff and Matija express a desire  
>>  to  visit
>> some of the temples.  Marina  and Becca are interested in watching some of
>> the craftsmen do their work, and  many other listies want to get souvenirs.
>> LouAnn and Laura both slip into the  children´s party to make sure everyone
>> has settled down for stories and  bedtime.  The nursemaids are a bit
>> confused by requests for stories they haven´t heard of, but have coped by
>> telling the little ones "new" stories that they aren´t familiar with, so
>> everyone is happy.  Laura reports  this to the other parents on the  
>>  list, and the
>> parents go in to say goodnight to  their children.
>> The dancing, card-playing, and other  entertainment last until almost
>> midnight.   The Tixies and all of the list wish Her Ladyship a most sincere
>> HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  And many, many  more.
>> --
>> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to mathews55 at msn.com
>> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
>> http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold
> --
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> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold

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