Monthly Archives: November 2010

Steamcon II

I went to my first Steamcon last weekend, and I already know it won’t be my last!  It was so much fun; the panels, guests, and people-watching were top-notch.

Here are a few of my adventures, along with a few photos.

First off, I was severely sleep-deprived when we arrived on Friday because I’d been up until about 3am the night before attending the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows midnight premiere.  (I’ll do a separate blog about that night later on.)  We get to the Hilton in Seattle and get checked *just* in time for the first panel I really wanted to see.  I’m a huge League of Steam fan, and was delighted to hear a few of the members had flown up to Seattle.  Their first panel was pretty much an introduction to who they are and what they do.  If you haven’t watched any of their short films, you need to check them out on youtube.  They are seriously the definition of everything cool about steampunk!  Their gear is absolutely amazing.  Everything ‘works’, from the baby eel shock-prong, to the net gun, to the plunger-canon!

They also have amazing costumes:

This is their zombie expert, Baron Von Fogel.  His most awesome bit of equipment is his hand-crank chainsaw.

Ghostbuster Crackitus Potts (shown here holding his baby eel shock prod – which actually does deliver shocks, as testified by brave members of the audience):

LadyAmeliorette Potts, his wife, also came, but by the second day was strangely absent, and in her place was one of the female ghosts who haunt the League of Steam:

Her costume was absolutely to-die for, with so much incredible detail.  I took many close-up pics, and will post them on my costume blog, Dragonfly Designs by Alisa.  In the background, you can see the fourth member of the League, Zedediah.  He is a domesticated zombie, and very well-behaved. If anyone was attacked, the evidence must have been cleared away quickly, because I saw no sign of mayhem whatsoever.

This guy was really amazing.  He staying in character the entire day, complete with eyes rolled back and drool.

On one of their other panels (shared by a genuine ghost-investigator), Potts took the opportunity to demonstrate his ghostbusting skills:

Friday evening was the Singalong with Abney Park.  Unfortunately, Abney Park was “unable to make it”, so they dredged up a last minute replacement band: Ranch Hand Robbie and his Wranglers!  It was hilarious to watch them attempt to stay in character as they “covered” their own songs.

I wore my Zombie Hunter outfit:

The second day (Saturday) I wore my Steampunk Geisha costume, which proved to be the most popular costume I’ve ever made!

It was difficult to walk more than a few feet without being asked to stop for a photo, and once I was stopped by one person, it quickly turned into a mob scene – I was instantly surrounded by cameras!  I truly felt like a celebrity in this dress!  I was even given an award ribbon by the Rose City Steampunks for “thinking outside the box” and “wearing a color other than brown”.  😀

One guy said there had actually been a panel earlier in which they had discussed what a ‘steampunk geisha’ costume might look like.  How funny if I’d managed to attend it in this outfit!

One of Saturday’s outstanding panels was the one with Abney Park.  Despite it being “early morning” (1pm!) they were awesome.  They told so many great tales, like Dan’s accidental arrest for convenience store armed robbery…

I was too busy laughing to take video, but someone else did:

They were having so much fun they went over their time, and I had to walk out before it was quite over in order to meet my friend Mike for the High Tea and Fashion Show at 2pm.

The High Tea setting was gorgeous, with white linen and candles.  They served ham and salmon tea sandwiches, mini quiches, and for dessert, mini petit fours, cream puffs, and mini eclairs.  The menu and schedule they handed out was gorgeous too:

We chose seats right up against the catwalk, and by chance the lady who took the seat next to mine was the wife of writer James Blaylock, the Steamcon guest of honor!  She and her husband were wonderful tea companions; during the fashion show, she kept leaning over to whisper: “Could I commission you to make THAT for me???”  😀  Too bad I don’t actually take costuming commissions, or I’d have had work for months – she had a serious case of costume-envy, after seeing all the great steampunk outfits all day!

Unfortunately, they didn’t allow any photography inside the tea room, but the fashion show was great fun.  Especially the designs from Lastwear.  They had their models act out little skits as they walked the runway!  I did find this photographer’s page with photos of the fashion show.  If you go about 1/3 of the way down the page, you’ll find a guy wearing a black cap with goggles, a black jacket, and a red kerchief around his neck.  He was particular fun for me, since he stopped right at our table, crouched down, made very intense eye contact with me, and proceeded to silently flirt.  When he left, Mrs Blaylock leaned over to comment that he had ‘wonderful eyes’.  Yes.  Yes he did!  *blush*

Saturday evening was the big concert.  None of us thought very much of the opening band (Bakelite 78) but the second band, Ghoultown, was very good.  I think I’ll get one of their CDs.  The headliner was Abney Park, and they were excellent as always, even though they were plagued with technical difficulties with Kristina’s keyboard.  (Like one of the fans shouted, it isn’t a real AP concert unless something breaks….)

Sunday I wore my Saloon Girl outfit.

 

 

I posed for more photo-ops, and had girls chase me down so they could pet my shoulder martin.  Also, I was reminded of an occurrence that happens only at costume-type cons: mutual butt fondling!  Yep, get two or more ladies wearing bustles together, and pretty soon it becomes a free-for-all, as everyone wants to examine the construction of everyone else’s bustle!  😀

Late afternoon it started to SNOW, and the con cleared out fast, as all the panels were pretty much over, as no one wanted to get stuck in Seattle!  This is also when I discovered that semi-skimpy saloon girl outfits don’t do well in snow – gads, that was a cold walk to our car!

My favorite panels ended up being:

Steampunk Ghost Hunting (funny AND informative!)

Eureka it Works! (that fabulous League of Steam & their equipment)

Victorian Undergarments (they had actual extant corsets, bustles, and petticoats to pass around for the audience to examine)

The Abney Park panel (well, of course!)

The Art and Science of Fencing (Knives, swords, and live dueling, what’s not to love?)

Perhaps the best part of any con is the people-watching.  Next, I give you some of the most awesome and fun costumes that other people were wearing:

This guy’s costume was flippin’ amazing.  I wish it showed in the pic, but inside the cage was a fairy.  And she moved, flying up and down in the most lifelike manner.  I don’t know how he did it, but it was GREAT.

Best wings ever.  They actually extended and retracted!

This guy’s hat lighted up in several amazing ways.  And besides that, he was just one of those really nice people that are such a pleasure to meet at cons. We took pictures of each other, and then (since I was in my geisha outfit) a crowd gathered and we ended up posing together for several minutes worth of pictures.

I have a love for mechanical arms. This guy had one of the best.

Mechanical arms aren’t amazing enough for you?  How about a mechanical ostrich???

Another pair of wings, and a guy whose costume is just generally cool.  Back view:

And front view:

A mechanical dog that moves, lights up, and barks.  It reminds me of the Doctor’s K9.

How can you not love a guy with an octopus on his shoulder?  It’s so elegant!

Here’s another one that the picture doesn’t do it justice. At all.  This is an articulated dragon, with “fire” in all its joints and under its scales.  So cool!

I don’t quite know who/what this girl was, but anyone who carries a glowing green brain around on their back is seriously cool!

Great fun was had, and I’m going back next year for sure – I already have costume ideas flooding my own (hopefully non green and glowing) brain!

Also, we are SO GLAD the con ended when it did, because today (Monday) Seattle is an absolute mess because of the snow.  If the snow had begun day or two earlier, it would probably have been canceled!

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Election Day

This is a copy and paste from author Patrick Rothfuss’ blog:

Today, a lot of people will be encouraging you to vote.

Not me.

I’m encouraging you to do some research into the actual facts about the candidates up for election. I’m talking about real facts here. Not what you heard on a TV ad. Not some bullshit printed on a flier and mailed to you. Facts. Not spin. Not propaganda. Not some party line. Not some thing your friend heard about this guy this one time. Not fearmongering lies poured into your ear like some goddamn poison.  Facts, you fuckers. Facts!

Then and only then should you go out and vote.

If you vote without knowing the facts, you are barely a human being in my opinion.

This has been a Public Service Announcement brought to you by a joint effort of the Committee for You People Getting Your Heads Out Of Your Asses and Americans Tired Of Our Government Being Fucked Up Because So Many People Are Content To Remain Ignorant, Easily Manipulated Sheep.

I’m SO HAPPY that Rothfuss has posted this.  The tv ads don’t bother me.  The phone calls don’t bother me.  The attacks, the name-calling – I ignore all of that rubbish.  What bothers me is all the people and groups calling for everyone to get out and vote as if that were The Most Important Thing.

No.  The most important thing is to do a little personal research and know who and what you’re really voting for.  If you’re the sort of idiot who is going to vote because of what you saw in an ad, or what your friend told you, or because you recognize a name you saw on a yard sign, then I don’t want you to vote. Period.