evile: (steambug)
Got home last night from pretty much the best con I've ever been to. We had such a fine time. Met new friends, steampunks and regular folks on the street, danced and drank and goofed around, hugged and laughed and listened to music and shopped and learned to fight with canes or parasols. Learned more about tea duelling and teapot racing, just too much fun.

here are photos. & videos.

And a post from the main organizer, host, MC. Doc Phineas, a gentleman and a scholar, a wonderful human being who made each and every person feel welcome.

I am getting the most beautiful letters emails and phone messages from people tears eyed who do not want the love they...

Posted by Kenneth Kastler on Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Jan. 29th, 2013 10:04 pm
evile: (Celtic Knot)
My aunt L. suggests that every time I'm at a steampunk gathering and a certain person gives me the stinkeye, I should smile and wave. haha. I may, at that. But mostly I'm going to try harder to ignore, spend time with my friends, be myself, have fun, and not worry about whether or not someone is glaring at me. (someone told me she wore a leash and collar to Clockwork Carnival at Elysium this past Friday. haa. I didn't notice. She was wearing her same old purple and black lack-of-coverage dress and her little stovepipe hat. she really needs more coverage of her boobs.) And, seriously, one of those pitiful, raggedy, hangdog men she slaps around physically and verbally was supposedly her "top" or something, supposed to be holding her leash?? It is to laugh. She may be lazy, but she is not a sub.

There's an annoying burner/steampunk/poly person/'famous' 'author' who has continued to slander the Austin Poly group, and to a smaller extent, the Flipside burner crowd. I was subscribed to her blog and comments for a while. Too long. I figured out today how to to unsub from all of that. She's a trainwreck. One of her most recent posts talked about how her husband had a really bad fall and injuries, and while she was at the hospital keeping him company or whatever, some of his family members were supposed to be taking care of her pets...and one of the pets died. I feel sorry as hell for the animal, and I offered condolences. I may not agree with things she says, and her slander makes me angry, but no animal should suffer like hers did, and it's always very sad to lose a four-foot.

She deleted my comment and wrote a follow up in which she paraphrased my comment, demanded an apology, and told me to Fuck Off.

Well...I'm not inclined to offer apologies to people who delete my actual words, put words in my mouth, and drop eff bombs on me. That's not how grownups deal with each other.

So....unsubbed. I can't stop her from slandering my friends, I can't make her grow the fuck up, get a job, and stop whining about everything. "My husband can't work for the next 6 months while he heals, we'll have no money, everyone is so meeeeean, whatever shall Pretty Pretty Princess doooooo?" Well, sweetie, you seem able bodied and you can read and write in English, so you're fucking employable. Go work and support your family. You know, like your husband has been supporting your no-talent lazy ass for the last however-long.

Someone else said "oh, she's bipolar, she can't work," to which I say Bull.Shiat.

I'm clinically depressed, have been for years, and guess what, I work, I pay bills, I take responsibility for my life, and I (generally) don't treat people like shit, let alone go around telling people to fuck off while demanding that they apologize to me.

Mental illness can be an explanation, it should never be an excuse.

I have friends on disability for mental health stuff and I don't guess I'd ever say any of that to their faces, but in all raw honesty, in my experience, having a job and plans and obligations out in the world is, if nothing else, a good bandaid for mental health issues. The more time you spend at home alone with nothing to do and no people to reality check yourself with, the more the worms can chase themselves around in your head.
evile: (Celtic Knot)
My newest favoritest artiste:


evile: (steambug)
I have no coherent time-line for the wonder and beauty and fun that was the Showdown at Unobtainium (hey, we were in a town full of unstable time-bending ore, OK?) so, instead, I give you

The ABCs of Unobtainium:

A: Actors, Airship & Artists First of all, the town itself was a work of Art, with carefully-fashioned wooden facades and fencing for many structures, various props and odds and ends carefully placed about, lending atmosphere. Each and every vendor at the event had all hand-crafted, one of a kind, awesome stuff.

There was an Airship on site; the way it lit up at night looked like something straight out of a Cirque du Soleil production. It was a wonderful moving piece of art and many very lucky folks got to enjoy a ride around the site in the airship. They also had a shoot-out between the crew of the airship and the SteamPinkertons.

When the event was announced in July, the call went out for actors, and many folks stepped up and put in a lot of hours getting into character, practicing improv bits, practicing the showdown combat scene, and getting ready to show our visitors a good time. We had a mix of historical characters--Edison, Tesla, George Westinghouse, Calamity Jane, Lilly Langtry--and characters created by the actors for the event. Everyone did an amazing job of bringing their character to life and keeping in character throughout two days of festival.

B: Bartenders, Builders & Burlesque Shiner's Saloon, Tenyson absinthe, and others provided top notch beverages. The bartending team kept themselves cheerful and high energy from opening to closing. Everyone who came in to the bar was immediately swept into the spirit of the Wierd West! From a cow field in the middle of nowhere, a town was built; the Unobtainium volunteer builder team spent months building facades, furniture (the bar itelf was a thing of beauty), seating, you-name-it. And for the folks who were able to stay up late enough Saturday night, there was Ruby Joule, a wonderfully talented, beautiful, and fun burlesque dancer. Ooh la-la!

C: Crafters & Costumes Everyone from the build team to the vendors & guest lecturers, robot-builders and everyone visiting the town for the day or the weekend was fantasically creative. There were very few people who came to Unobtainium in "street clothes"....most visitors were in fantastic garb with many individual flourishes. We had military-style steampunks, Weird West steampunks, renfaire steampunks, Explorer steampunks in pith helmets, Steam Pirates, Officers, Gentlemen, Gunfighters, Soiled doves & dollymops, gypsies and at least one automaton (me!). I think my eyes hurt from seeing so many beautiful and interesting people and costumes!

D: DJ. In between live music, science demonstrations & debates by Tesla and Edison, and Doc Ravencraft's talks on supernatural phenomenon, we had Dr. Strangevibe, whose musical archives were a thing of wonder, as was his skill at mixing and matching the tunes. There were wonderfully etherial, strange songs, there were more "earthy" tunes, and all of them contributed greatly to making the atmosphere of this temporally-challenged town sliding into madness.

E: Edison. Daniel Benes, the actor who played Mr. Edison, though he portrayed Edison as the arrogant man of business and science, was actually in reality a very nice, thoughtful, and funny person. In his personal life, he is a musician and sound engineer who also builds scientific gadgets for fun. One of the most enthralling pieces of art at the event was a mine shaft he constructed using hardware store goodies, with eerie lights and smoke and scary warning sign to avoid the mine shaft due to raw Unobtainium vapors. It looked amazing. He also built a board with a small steam engine which he used to power various light bulbs in order to demonstrate his electrical inventions. We were all absolutely *stunned* when, after all was said and done and we were packing it in Sunday night, when he confessed that he'd felt completely over-his-head, and had seriously contemplated quitting early on! He never showed it! I was also terribly amused when he broke into an absolutely adorably silly little dance at the end of the day Sunday. I hope someone got it on video.

F: Friends & food. FRIENDS! Wow, it was great to see so many friends at this event. We had friends vending, friends on cast, and more friends came out as patrons to shop, eat, drink, listen to music, see art, check out the gadgets and media displays, and have a good time. It was wonderful to see y'all and I hope you had the best time!

The Brou-ha-ha, one of my favorite food vendors from Sherwood forest faire, were selling assorted strange and yummy things, including 'hell spawn on a stick' and 'sea pig'. I hope to replicate the sea pig soon. The chef catering the VIP area was also fantastic; After a long day at the Ticket booth, I was absolutely starving and grateful for my VIP pass. I enjoyed nibbles of prosciutto-wrapped melon, basil, tomato, and mozzarella drizzled in olive oil, thai coconut soup, and bite sized cheesecake bits.

G: Gadgets, Gamers & Gunfighters! ATX Hackerspace was there, there was a Maker Mad Science Lab & the Edge of Imagination station, all demonstrating media, computers, blinky lights, and science. There was a funky spin-art machine, gadgets that would tell your fortune or diagnose your wierdness (I'm hebephrenic!) and all sorts of fun. Ubergoober & Cracked Monocle were on hand with Steampunk LARP goodness. I was sadly working the ticket booth when it happened, but apparently there was a grand shoot-out between the Steampinkertons and the crew of the airship, in an attempt on Mr. Edison's life. Thax, as the Town Drunk, was unfortunately killed. Twice. and brought back to life by the Mysterious Stranger, Mr. Satan. Oops, I meant Seatan, of course.

H: Hell. and HOT. A strange twist on the story of Unobtainium, apparently the miners dug very deep, indeed, in their pursuit of the valuable and crazy-making Unobtainium ore. Weather wise, it was quite warm both days, especially for mid-November. Many volunteers and cast got sunburn, and I know of at least one heatstroke. But everyone soldiered on like champs.

I: Ice Cream, Ever made Ice Cream with Liquid Nitrogen? Heh, me neither. But the Maker/Hacker/Mad scientists sure did. It was great fun, nevermind that the entire apparatus was then covered in bees shortly after they completed this amazing demonstration of scientific fun!

J: Martha Jane Canary. That's be Calamity Jane to me and you, folks. Sue, the actress playing Calamity Jane, is one of the loveliest, kindest, most genteel ladies in the steampunk scene. She's known for going to cons and doing presentations on how to put together steampunk outfits from goodies you may have stashed in your closet, or find at vintage stores, with just a bit of alteration and perhaps one or two well-chosen accessories. She was on task and in-character from day one, in all her salty glory. Amazing!

K: Kiki Jezebel. I am sad to say that the actoress playing this role was rudely denied leave from work at the last minute; she was a hoot and a half at rehearsals and I hope she will reprise the role at some future steampunk shindig.

L: Laminates! The ticket gate crew had fun and headaches sorting through the dozens, or possibly hundreds, of laminated name tags for VIP, Artist, Vendor, Cast and Crew of Unobtainium. They were meticulously crafted, printed, laminated, sorted and organized by Sam Tyler, and after being in the grubby paws of the front gate volunteer team, all organization had fled and we were just fumbling through. It was a valiant attempt and the laminates all looked fantastic. I'm keeping mine forever :)

M: Makers & Music! I mentioned the gadgets brought by hackerspace, mad scientists, and media presentations already. As far as music goes, there wasn't a bad band in the bunch; Erika Maasen is very talented at playing various stringed instruments and has a fantastic voice; she re interprets many 'alternative rock' songs from the 90's into her very own interesting covers. She was quite beautiful, as well. Saturday we saw and heard Ms. Maasen, Temple of Ape's Theremin-carnival, Shakey Graves, Darwin Prophet & the Chronus Mirror, and the perennial Texas Steampunk scene headliners Marquis of Vaudeville brought the house down. Sunday, many of the same artists played again, plus Barebones Orchestra rocked the hung-over house! Amazing, amazing, amazing. Idea for next time: these artists really need a dedicated CD table set up all weekend, so people can take all that great music home!

N: Nitrogen! Again with the fun and messy science! The makers and hackers not only made ice cream but also demonstrated fruit-shattering tricks with liquid nitrogen :)

O: Ozzy & Oktober Love Not THAT Ozzy. Unobtainium's Ozzy was portraying Herr Doktor Einstein, a renowned expert on hysteria. He has worked as an improv actor at renfaire, he really added a lot to rehearsals and between him and the bartender, did some of the damn funniest improv I've ever seen in my life. Being that he was an expert on treating hysteria, I don't know about that other "O" tho I could be curious. ;)

Oktober Love was our very own steamgypsy; and a lovely one she made, too. Trekking up from San Marcos for actor rehearsals week after week, she was also an absolute ROCK at the front gate, helping with tickets and traffic, and then whisking off to help with bartending in the VIP area. What a lovely, multitalented, creative, and dedicated Unobtainizen.

P: Presentations! We had everything from soldering to arduinos to costuming to westernpunk to psychic phenomena. If you wanted to glue a gear on something and play in the alternate costume reality or actually make your gears go, there was someone there who could tell you how to do it. Art, science, DIY, you name it.

Q: The Queens of the event, the organizers heart and soul of the event: Sam Tyler, Maggie Duval and Lisa Ralston Turner. This whole thing came about from their dreams and ideas, and the people who believed in it enough to make it real. I know it was a stressful thing to plan and organize, and I know that in the aftermath of the event, they are exhausted and crispy around the edges, but I hope that when the smoke clears and the counting's done, the enthusiasm of the builders, makers, vendors, volunteers, and paying patrons will motivate them to let it happen again.

R: The Robot Group. These are the folks who brought the crazy spin-art machine for everyone to play with. Very nice folks, lots of fun, and very patient with science noobs. http://wiki.therobotgroup.org/wiki/Main_Page

S: Science! Have I mentioned the science? Robots, blinky lights, tubes and wires, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, Tesla Coils...this was hands-on learning at its finest and most fun.

T: TESLA! Portrayed by Edwin Wise, a real-life mad scientist, improv artist, locally famous gore-maker, avid past participant in Scare for a Cure and dedicated ladies' man. A true renaissance gentleman. He and Daniel took joy in bringing science goodies to actor rehearsals. He brought his small Tesla Coil and we fired it up in the back yard; the following week, Daniel brought a Van de Graaf generator. The two scientists worked and played very well together, and it was almost a shame that Tesla won the Showdown, because they were both just awesome.

U: Unobtainium. More than a few tents in a cow pasture in the middle of Nowhere, TX, this was a community of people who came together to make something happen. Everyone who visited added their own energy to the whole. It was an amazing, amazing event. Not a place, a feeling, a brief step out of time into a world we made real. I want to do it again!

V: is for VIP! The VIP area was flowing with complimentary drinks and the most tasty bites of yummy things. Thai coconut soup, figs, tiny cheesecake bites, melon wrapped in prosciutto, I could go on and on. I hear there was a VIP supper as well, but I completely missed it. boo to that. Unstable chronological elements in play, what can ya do? There was lovely beer from our local Independence brewery and absinthe purveyors Tenneyson were on hand dishing out the Sazeracs as well.

W: Wind. There was a cold front trying to blow in all weekend, which didn't arrive til Sunday night. We had tickets and envelopes blowing around at the Ticket booth, until Holly found us a lot of rocks. The stage was a little wild at times, too. Apparently just being a few more feet above the ground raised the wind gusts even more. We all coped as we could, and at least the wind kept things a little cooler than they might have been otherwise.

X: X rated OK, I've got nothing for this, except I heard there was nudity out in the camping area.

Y: Yearly! This was the first, and from the sounds of it, the ONLY Showdown at Unobtainium event that will ever be. I would love to see this become an annual festival, featuring quasi-historical characters portraying history as it should have been, science and art pointing the way to the future as we'd like it to be.

Z: Zeitgeist I had to hunt for a Z word, and I think I found the perfect one: the spirit, attitude, or general outlook of a specific time or period. Pretty much sums it up. Art, science, do-it-yourself-ness, re-purpose, re-cyle, community spirit, and fantastic costumes. The spirit of Unobtainium, a moment in time, more precious for having been short and intense, and leaving us all wanting more Art, Science, and Beauty in our daily lives.
evile: (steambug)
It's finally here!!!


I'm working the ticket booth from open to 6pm Saturday, come say hi and enjoy a day in the Weird Wild West!
evile: (Default)
inspired by the Beer Brass and BS gathering on TuesdayRead more... )

And here's another, for the upcoming Showdown!Read more... )
evile: (slap)
'Interesting' time at Beer Brass & BS last night. Lots of people we normally see there were absent. We got stuck next to a couple in which the gentleman, A., was friendly enough (if socially awkward), dressed up steampunkily, and his lady, let's call her "C", was not dressed up, intensely focused on her smartphone, and sending off major hostility vibes. We attempted conversation, and turns out Tuesdays are usually bad for them to attend Steampunk events because it's normally her SCA fighter practice night. At one point, she began to verbally eviscerate her husband--choosing to either misinterpret something he said, or just starting some shit from nothing...it was very uncomfortable and unhappy making. I totally got an irrational 'SIL' vibe off her, even before her abusive outburst. Thax and I basically averted our eyes from this unseemly public behavior and retreated to a conversation between the two of us about our upcoming vacation.

Later on, our friend Flavio came over and we were chatting. He mentioned HFS while talking with me and Thax, which made the guy of the couple perk up a bit. He said he and his wife know an HFS group and are 'good friends' with Skye. Whatta surprise. Birds of a feather, so to speak. Thax said something noncommittal, like "I know who that is," and Flavio said he'd heard of her but never met her and I said "I say nothing,". The wife made startled eye contact with me but I didn't say anything else.

The conversation petered out again, and eventually I looked up and they'd gone.

So, I've seen this before. My SIL used to do this all the time to my stepbrother, back in the day when my (now ex) Sweetie & I used to try & invite the two of them out to things, only with Sineater and Skye, he'd usually be embarassed and upset enough that he'd go ahead and leave.

Her verbal attack was all about the fact that she didn't want to be there, so she tried to make a big enough stink that he'd feel humiliated and leave. He wasn't quite able to completely shake her vibe off and have a good visit or get up from the table where he sat while she was texting away and go meet people, but good on him for not falling for that despicable and abusive manipulation tactic. Allowing her to shame him in public and cut him off from people is exactly what she wanted. She accomplished some but not all of her goal. I hope he'll come back but I don't hold much hope of it, he didn't get much encouragement or reinforcement for being there. Sam Tyler, the owner of the Mysterium, came over and chatted us up a bit, talked about the Darwin Prophet benefit party/sale/thingy on the 29th, talked about humorous things for a little while, and then moved along. It was very graciously done of her, and even the wife of the couple seemed charmed by Sam's chit-chat.

Anyhoo...It speaks to the gentleman's strength of character that he didn't allow his wife's temper tantrum to chase him off, but my avoidant response was terribly weak and shameful. I wish I knew something good to say or do in situations where I've witnessed an episode of verbal/emotional abuse to let the victim know that I'm not embarassed in any way by the victim, but I recognize the abuser's behavior for what it is. Some way to reach out to the victim and say "The way you are being treated is NOT OK, and you didn't do anything to deserve that,"...seems simple enough, why can't I think to say that in the situation when it's happening?

evile: (Creativity)
Thax and I have been slowly but surely decluttering the craft/computer room. It's been on the list for years now...literally. I'm good at procrastinating, what can I say...

Tonight, I'm afraid I got seriously sidetracked. It started earlier today when our friend L. posted a link to a really fabulous house right smack on 6th St. Cool location, great space, totally redone in the 70's...and it looks it. I went clicking around to see the other houses in the "Nearby Similar Listings" and found this wonderful place for a mere $975,000.

315 Lavaca St, house views

The location is also good, but not right smack on 6th. You can walk there easily if you like, but the drunken party noise is not going to be right in your lap all the time. It's also LOTS bigger. Like, 1/4 of a city block LOTS. wow ee.

It's a bit dark and a little dingy inside, but the outdoor deck with the view, outdoor seating area, bar, and hot tub make up for a whole lot of that.

Plus, assuming I had the money to buy the thing in the first place, of course I'd have the money to redecorate. And the dark + industrial look of the existing features is just about perfect for adding Steampunky bits.

I've started putting some ideas up on Polyvore. It's fun.

Heehee. I'm silly. And I need to get back to work on my own RL house now.


evile: (Default)

August 2017

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