About Me

My photo
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, October 27, 2010

Today's forecast: Fair travel, foul weather, crops-blightingly-bad temper

Well I'm back from a lovely trip to Chicago to see the opera Macbeth at the Lyric Opera. Said trip began with me boarding a train and spending upwards of five hours on the thing, contemplating my life and going on a sort of vision quest to regain some of my lost vim and vigor. After a multitude of stops, starts, slow patches, and rattling rails, I was disgorged in the belly of Union station where I met up with my aunt and uncle, whose home I occupied during my stay. The next day we attended the opera (I wore full kimono because I bloody well could and because kimonos are easily packable, as opposed to full bustled Victorian gowns. One must
make allotment for small luggage), which proved to be decent but unremarkable, leading me to doze off as Lady Macbeth ranted about her unclean hands and I mentally suggested she just buy some damn Oxiclean already. Then it was off to dinner at an absolutely SPECTACULAR restaurant where I enjoyed the best meal I've had in months, all the while gazing on the Chicago water tower. Said tower is a portion of the cityscape that has been engrained in my mind ever since, while on vacation with my family at a young age, I turned a corner and was greeted with the sight of that gorgeous, gothic structure jutting defiantly out of the modern surroundings. My father then told me the story of the Chicago fire, relating how the town of my birth had been burnt to the ground, which lodged firmly in my imagination and has never left.

The next day, however, I was once again on the train and jouncing and vibrating my way back to Miskatonic. I was reluctant to leave, as you might imagine, but I took it all with good grace, unpacking cheerfully and savoring my memories of my time. These overall good spirits lasted till the next morning when a tornado alert led to my being yanked out of bed at an ungodly hour and having to throw on a robe over the gigantic t-shirt that serves as my nightwear. My compatriots and I were then bundled into the basement lounge where we spent an hour and half, doing absolutely nothing, all the while waiting for a tornado that never came. The most exciting thing that occurred during the time was when we were informed via walky talky that a group of students, deciding that up with this they would not put, escaped the confines of whatever bunker they'd been herded into and were triumphantly marching across campus.

And now, bringing us up to date, I am in a foul mood. After taking an art history exam that I'd studied hard for I treated myself to a meal at the school cafe. There was a bit of a line, so I queued up dutifully and waited, trying to ignore the stifling heat of the student union, which made me itch and perspire in my ornate clothing. Finally I was next to be served, a fact for which I was rewarded when the bimbo at the head of the queue slammed me with her enormous blue-patent-leather-hobo-bag-monstrosity that probably cost more than the whole of my outfit (and allow me to say that the money could have been put to better use buying her some clothes that weren't made out of sweatshirt material). She also did not bother to apologize or even acknowledge that it had happened, adding insult to injury while I suffered silently after having what felt like a text book or laptop slammed into my sternum. So, dear readers, I'm in a snarlingly bad mood, the sort that leads me to want to run home, turn out all the lights, curse humanity up one side and down the other, and then throw myself melodramatically on my bed with a hot compress over my eyes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Books, bugs, and mysteries

Life moves apace, dear readers, and as per usual it's never simple. Exciting, yes, fun, sometimes, interesting, always, but never, ever simple. For starters, I'm literally drowning in books, both for pleasure and work. I've recieved a great many volumes from various publishers for my reviewing pleasure, which is fine, except for the small problem of these being rather large books. Combined with the huge amount of reading I do for my classes every single night the task of getting through any of them is more than a little daunting. I swear I will get to it, though. I just will have to take a bit longer than average, as after a certain point when I'm reading my brain goes into shutdown mode and refuses further input. *Deep, melodramatic sigh*

The bug life has also been making a nuisance of itself. The hallway of the Undercity - a collective pet name for the basement level in which my friends and I make our abode - is consistently infested with all manner of creepy crawlers. Assasin bugs, daddy-long-legs, centipedes (naturally), mosquitoes, and a host of unnamed monstrosities - all of which apparently have been using anabolic steroids because they are HUGE - regularly make us scream, run, and put our books to practical use as ideal bug killers. I chalk it up to the weather, as the dropping, autumnal temperatures tend to drive insects in doors, thus causing all manner of issues.

Also, the clanking pipes have finally come to a halt. That has not, however, brought an end to the late night noise. This time the sounds come in the form of a person, one who routinely returns to/leaves the building early in the morning, and opts to use the back door which is set to trigger an alarm if it's opened after 12 AM or before 6 AM. Said alarm has the power of a jackhammer and goes off till the door has been closed, usually by which point I'm disentangling my fingers from the ceiling plaster and trying to not have a heart attack. Who this person is remains a mystery, though I am busily compiling and correlating the incidence of the door's opening and hope to be able to bring this to a halt in the near future. Because either they cut it out or I feed them to my shoggoth. Their choice.

Monday, October 4, 2010


That’s the soundtrack of my life, currently, or at least the soundtrack of my life in my dormitory. The exact source of this noise is the prehistoric plumbing system (which was probably installed by the ancient Minoans if the pipes’ crumbly nature is any indicator), and this racket has been nonstop for two days, following an alarming leak that dripped its way through the ceiling right in front of my door. As if all this wasn’t bad enough, now the original noise has been joined by the bumping and cursing of workmen, who seem no closer to fixing the problem. Below is a photo of said problem, take that as you will.

Of course the big issue from all this is the fact that I CAN’T SLEEP. As I write this, indeed, I’ve spent a night without a wink of valuable shut eye, and am getting that distinctive sensation that presages a bad case of mental ‘blue screen of death’. Barring alcohol or barbiturates (or a lethal combo of the above substances) I feel that my chance to get a good night’s sleep are pretty much nil, and that’s likely to turn this Steampunk aristocrat into a ravening lunatic who chews her coverlets and begs for the noise to stop. Just book me a cell in Arkham and we’re all set.