About Me

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I am the creator of steampunk reviews, a woman in love with history, mystery, and the fine things of life, though not necessarily in that order. As a self-styled aristocrat, I've aimed to cultivate an old world (real or constructed via movies being irrelevant to me) sense of elegance and taste, and have been going to great lengths to fulfill that goal. It is my aim to live a life that is enjoyable, rather than one obsessed with being 'perfectly good for me in every way'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Steampunk Stratford

This past weekend I was across the border in Canada, off dazzling my way up street and down alley in Statford, seeing plays, drinking tea (and beer! God love Canada!), and generally have a grand and suprisingly steampunk time. The gear-headedness began at the first play, As You Like It, where the set featured an enormous clock that spun at various times during the performance. I managed to snap the following photo of it before being informed that picture taking is a no-no at any point in the theatre, not just during the performance proper, but I feel it is a shame to hide it if it will inspire more people to go to the show.

The next day, while getting a light luncheon before proceeding to a raw and grandiose production of Evita, I ran into another element of Steampunk in the form of a beer known as 'Steam Whistle', which is a Pilsner that is just generally wonderful, light and wheaty (god I sound like such a snob) without any unpleasant bitterness.

Moving right along, by far the most Victorian place I came across was a 'tea salon' called Harry Ten Shilling, which sells a variety of teas and beautiful English style tea wares. It also has a menu that features fascinating marriages between tea and popular coffee drinks, such as tea lattes, a concept that had never even crossed my mind. I became addicted to one of these lattes, which was referred to as 'London Fog' and created by mixing black tea, milk, and bergamot, mandarin, and carmel syrups. To say I'm in withdrawal from this marvelous drink is a bit of an understatement, though I was at least able to buy a canister of tea (known as Dorian Grey), which I am currently sipping petualantly out of a lovely bone china teacup I purchased at the same time, and, as we all know, everyhing stops for tea.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The habits of the nocturnal

For as long as I can remember, I have been a creature of the night (insert Rocky Horror reference here). When the sun goes down, I wake up, much to the horror and/or confusion of virtually every person I've had to live around. I drive roommates crazy, annoy my family, and baffle my friends when I call at 3 AM because I'm bored as all hell. None of this, however, has stopped my nocturnal behavior, and I doubt anything ever will. My internal switch was installed in the inverse position, and I am perfectly happy sleeping the day away.

In relation to my nocturnal habits are my night going rambles. Usually these are confined to my rattling around the house, but every now and then the itch gets too much to bear and I drift outdoors, wandering here and there, trying to balance my desire to explore with my desire to not get mugged or annoy the local fauna.

It's fascinating to see what takes place when the sun goes down. Some people's guard goes up, others remain utterly oblivious to their surroundings. Case in point, I spent several hours up a tree while moongazing, and not once was I spotted by the many individuals walking too and fro underneath me. At the same time, however, I have also scared the daylights out of people when I walk out of the black or drop out of said tree. Indeed, I even have a pet theory that I may be somewhat responsible for rumors of my college campus being in possession of its own bigfoot, but that's an extremely long, complicated, and tenuous theory that doesn't bear much thinking about. Regardless, I am most fond of the night in a not-creepy-or-vampire-related way, and in some ways being at home is putting a kink in my wandering plans, as, unlike my college campus which is, to put it bluntly, in the middle of ass-fuck nowhere, my family home is actually around civilization and creeping around in the middle of the night is not an acceptable way to spend one's time around here, since if you don't get sprayed by a skunk or attacked by some creeper the neighbors are likely to see you, freak, and call the cops.


Also, I'm really excited for season 3 of True Blood. Totally unrelated fact, though.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photoshoots, cars, and insect life

I love photography, whether I'm the one taking the pictures or the subject being documented. Thus it is that one of the things I'd like to use to improve this blog is the inclusion of various fashion focused photoshoots to benefit my many viewers. It's a concept that's been rattling around in the back of my head for quite awhile now, and at this point I've begun plotting how I might work it out. Whether it will really take flight, however, isn't really in my hands. I need photographers, models of both genders, and a makeup specialist among others, all of whom will have to be willing to work with only the promise of publicity as payment. I could, admittedly, begin doing these shoots with just myself and one other person, but inevitably others will be needed. I do, however, have some connections I can plumb and favors to phone in, so perhaps this will work. You never do know.

In other news, I have a car. A beautiful red automobile that I have named (since I name all my electronics/machines) the USS Enterprise (A trekkie? Whatever made you think that?). It is absolutely spectacular, comfy, and badass, and comes with some pretty advanced technology, including a communication system I named Uhura (A life? Who needs one of those?).

Finally, a word about bugs. I am not a person who generally freaks out where insects or other invertebrates are concerned. Indeed, I've often found the various creepy crawlies that make other people scream to be fascinating or even cute. The one bug I cannot stand, however, is the house centipede, and, of course, because it is the one thing I cannot stand, it's the one nasty I encounter the most often. Honestly, if you want to freak me out, all you have to do is show me a picture of one of those ugly fuckers. And it does have to be a house centipede, mind you. Amazon centipedes (the huge things with the gigantic mandibles) are not something that particularly freaks me out. But the wiggly, hairy, bath tub invading monstrosity known as scutigera coleoptrata will make me scream and run like nothing else on this earth. And I've had to kill two in the last two weeks. If this keeps up I may just lose my mind.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Museum Shenanigans

Well, I'm back at the museum. I've waited a whole year for this, and hot damn if it doesn't feel good to be back in my element. Now, for those of you who think museum work is stuffy or technical or just plain boring, allow me to enlighten you as to the reality. Working in a museum (or at least working at my museum) is like an episode of mythbusters on some serious crack. As per example, on my first day all those many months ago, my boss took me into the collections and showed me some of the highlights. The first thing he pulled out? A shrunken head. No I am not kidding. I later found out that there are, in fact, three shrunken heads in our collection, one of which is clearly european, suggesting that somebody's expedition/missionary work/vacation didn't end the way they planned.

At the moment, however, I'm getting down and dirty with a collection of very strange weaponry that looks like someone Frankensteined together Indian (as in the country of India) and Japanese fighting tools with some very messed up results. The brightly colored and ornate style of Indian art and the sleek lines of the Japanese aesthetic do not mesh well, if at all. So it's up to me to figure out what the hell happened with these items and, if possible, return them to constituent parts. I'll also be working on dating the various pieces of a suit of samurai armor that was apparently cobbled together at some point. And in between all of that I'll be filing away donut shaped rocks and mummy hands in glass cases, or even wearing a mask and gloves while transporting taxidermied animals that may or may not have mercury in their fur/feathers.

It's gonna be a hell of a summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The World Steam Expo, or 'Is there an elder god right behind me?

Pics! Pics galore!

First shot, taken while waiting for my friend - who will appear later and who I affectionately refer to as Red - to get through the registration line.

I love my elder god!

Cthulu is either about to eat my soul or commit tentacle rape. Take your pick.

Athena and yours truly

Athena and Steampunk Bobba Fett

Steampunk manly men doing steampunk manly things!

Red trying on a corset

A pretty pair of steampunk lassies

Steampunk pinup!


A battle of wrenches

You feelin' lucky, punk?


The amazing Terrance Zdunich and myself

The bikes of yester-year

The line waiting for Abney Park

Culture Clash

A pic snapped by someone else on the second day while I was still in my first outfit.