STEAM-CON – Report from a Midwest Steampunker

Nov
07
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I had just worked 20 hours (literally) and had not eaten a single meal.  I was wearing my “traveling” jeans, a vest, my pocket watch and compass, my great jacket and holding a walking stick.  People were looking at me funny, my gods, does no one dress up for travel anymore?  My vintage 1930s indestructible suitcase was already on its way to the plane.

Steam-Con in Seattle was where I was bound.

Steam-Con, what is there NOT to say?  Well dressed, well spoken, urbane people.  A very beautiful and inviting hotel that I left a whole three times during the entirety of my stay.  Crazy people who think they’re vampires running around the hotel at 3am.  This guy…

The first hint this would be something out of the ordinary was the dance party – I would say that it was that the Sea-Tac Marriott did not allow the mooring of airships on the roof, but I landed at Sea-Tac itself, not its Marriott.

It was most likely the first time in six years I had been to a dance party where I actually liked EVERY song they played.  It also helped that I had neither slept nor eaten properly in well over 24 hours, and that they had the best gluten-free beer I had ever had… for three dollars.

Though the details were, all in all, a little hazy, the first night also established, as any good story does, the main characters of my weekend.

Located by the dancefloor, sitting on a chair, was a gentleman with a very large and strange looking arm.

That would be the arm.
This was The Emporer Justinian of the Red Fork Empire.  A charming gent, we shared a few words, I do suggest exploring his website…

The Red Fork Empire (official aether-web page)

Then there was Michael, who is the gentleman in the red sunglasses above.  Also a charming gent.  He is an amazing fabricator, I wish I had a picture of his sword.

Then, at some point, I met Elizabeth and Deborah.
Deb
Elizabeth:
All the pictures in this post are from her, by all means thank her if you ever see her.
Both are established writers, very exciting as I hope to actually master (or even remotely attain the ability to utilize) the English language eventually and become a writer myself.

Elizabeth Darvill’s page is also something to see – www.ElizabethDarvill.com

I danced quite a bit to dark vaudville and neo-cabaret music along with some industrial, EBM and 80s pop that was still good.  Then I decided that, seeing as it was 4am in my body clock and I had to be and ready to register at 8am, I should go to bed.

The next day I found myself waiting in a rather long line in the center indoor garden area for two hours, myself and roughly thirteen thousand other people had evidently not registered online and could not make it to the convention by Friday night.  Of course, and as should be expected, a captive audience lent itself to someone attempting to entertain either us (or themselves, the intention was not clear.)  What was clear was that  a gent decided to place his computer speakers outside his hotel room window  (to note the indoor garden was open air to the top story and surrounded by hotel rooms) and proceed to dance in the buff (at least from the waist up, we Steampunkers evidently have standards… I assume), for us.  People clapped, laughed and then it went on too long and became part of the never-ceasing background noise.
Thankfully registration was not full by the time I got there.
I signed up, printed my name and waited for my badge to appear.  A gent stepped up onto the table, held out a badge and stated “The guy with the really freakin’ long name.”  Yes, most of these people were not nobility, and thus, I assumed this was my badge – and it was.
I next went to the art hall where I ensured our inventions were properly set up and displayed – as well as added the Ambient Aural Recorder to the array.  It worked out quite nice and Angelina Marie – the curator of the art exhibtion hall – was more than cordial and accomodating.  Unfortunately a wire on the Aural Recorder had broken and I was without a sodering iron.  I gave it up to the fates and went along my way.
I wandered the con – meeting people and admiring outfits.  Then I came across the ladies from the previous evening, Deborah and Elizabeth.  We talked, I mentioned the High Tea and Couture (that will come in a moment) and they mentioned a wish to go.  I must say that purchasing two tickets for both the Tea Party and Airship Invasion (that evening’s concert) was a brilliant idea, and thus I offered my spare to one of them.  Elizabeth accepted and we decided to meet at two for the High Tea.  Meanwhile I went to sup on some lunch where I was met by the good Justinian.  This would be meal 1 of I believe 5 at the hotel restaurant – it also took 45 minutes to get one’s food – but then again they also had one bartender and one server for what seemed like roughly 15,000 people (okay actually just 1500).
I also got a call – “Joseph! It’s Angelina, we found somebody with a sodering iron to help fix your machine!”
I paid the bill – bid the good emporer adieu and went to the exhibtion hall.  There Michael (gent with the red glasses) stood.  We shared warm greetings, I thanked him for allowing me to use his sodering gun and we got to work.  For his help I gave him my spare ticket the concert that evening, then had to be on my way to High Tea.
Far and away – High Tea and Fashion was the most “badass” part of the entire weekend.  One felt like a veritable king as the servants walked about asking if one would care for more tea while people who’s attractivity was on a sliding scale of “marginal” to “holy shit is that a greek god or a person” marched on the run-way in absolutely amazing outfits.  Here are some pictures (also compliments of Elizabeth).
After High Tea (from my right to left, it was spent with Elizabeth, a Pirate King, his lady, two daughters and their lovely mother, a young woman who helped organize the fashion show, the good Emporer Justinian, and myself), I was approached by J, one of the event coordinators for the Conference, she needed something, the conference needed something.
“Joseph – you have a room to yourself, correct?”
“Yes…” I said cautiously, as such questions only lead in two directions – to a fantastic blog-post – or to inevitible thermo-nuclear destruction – more on that to come.
“The Vernian Process just showed up – they were supposed to have three people… they have eight… can one stay with you?”
Well – I told her that we can certainly get a roll-away cot and yes, a member may stay with me, I also suggested they contact Justin, as he was also at the conference by himself.  Thus we found him and the two of us cordially signed off on letting the excess members of Vernian Process stay in our rooms.
If only the gods had warned us what we had gotten ourselves into.
This ends the first half of my adventures in Steam-Con, namely because the 2nd half is basically the non-stop party that was Saturday night and the non-stop hangover that was Sunday day.  I will preface it by saying that the members of Vernian Process are wonderful and cordial individuals… the guy who stayed with me was the person that drove them I guess…
Thus!  Stay tuned to part two of…
THE LORD BARON JOSEPH CONHAN ROVNO VOURTEQUE IV (aka “guy with the really freakin’ long name”) goes to STEAM-CON!

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