Thursday, January 22, 2015

HRM Steampunk Symposium 4 Recap - Part I

Home, unloaded (mostly) and already powering full speed ahead into planning and prepping for our next event, but before we get to that, let's recap our first event of the year, Her Royal Majesties Steampunk Symposium.

This show is the first show of the year for us and we always look forward to gearing up and spending the weekend on the Queen Mary for the weekend. This year was no exception.

Normally we leave around 2 or 3 pm to get up to Long Beach between 4 or 5 depending on whether or not someone has dorked traffic one of the freeways. This year we didn't actually hit the road until 7pm, because Cindy had to work until 5 and then had to fight her way out of downtown La Jolla, those of you who live in San Diego for any period of time know what I'm talking about. Of course, this also means that since we were slated to load up and go when she got home, the Traffic Gods[tm] decided to be extra rude and made the drive home much slower.

It all worked out since I still wasn't done loading up. Between herding the kids, and having my day discombobulated from having to run all over town, I was a bit behind in what I needed to do.

We finally hit the road about 7 pm and made our way to Long Beach by 9 pm. The Traffic Gods[tm] must have felt bad for the earlier mess and gave us a clear path, except for the road work that we had to navigate through up near Camp Pendelton.

Once we got to the Queen Mary, we unloaded the show stuff and dropped everything in our booth space, leaving the step up to be done first thing Friday morning when we had access to the vendor room. We usually try to get at least the grid wall up the night before, but Cindy and I just wanted to get unloaded and then check into the hotel room and then find the bar for a much needed drink.

The antics and adventures we had when we checked in can be read about over here.

Set up always tends to be an adventure no matter how many times we've put up the booth in different locations. This year was no different.

The vendor room was in a new location from last year, which meant new placement in the room. We didn't really pay much attention to the space when we rolled in Thursday night and dropped off all the grid wall and tubs, Friday morning we were whistling a different tune.

Normally our booth space is 10 feet x 10 feet, this tends to be standard for most conventions that we got to, however, do to the layout of the room and there being two huge pillars along the side we were on, our space was 8 feet wide x 12 feet deep, which gave us 96 square feet of space to work with, instead of 100 square feet. While 4 square feet (2 ft x 2 ft) doesn't really sound like much, when it comes to display space it's actually a lot of room to put stuff.  Now, we're down 4 square feet, but we have a new set up to try out for the t-shirts which gets them off the table and stored (in theory) in a much easier way to control inventory and get at the certain sizes. So on to the grid wall set up we go!

Loading in
We really have a love/hate relationship with grid wall. It's the best way for us to set up the booth and display a good portion of our inventory and it's also great for space delineation. What it's not, is great to move around, it's heavy, and bites the heck out of your fingers if you get them in the way. Thankfully, we were able to get rid of the 8 foot pieces we had and now only have to deal with 6 foot x 2 foot panels and 5 foot x 1 foot panels.

So in comes the grid wall along the back wall....oh wait...that's not a straight wall, it had a built in cabinet that curves outward into the booth, which of course means, we can't put a table along the back. ~scowl,grumble,swear~

Putting up the banner
Time to rethink the booth layout, which at this point Cindy makes the smart move and goes for more coffee as I sit there working things out in my head and cursing under my breath.

After some shuffling and creative thinking, we got the grid wall up and used the curve to our advantage, though it did cost us a couple extra feet of display space and the second table that we normally have, but we were able to get everything in the booth displayed, though it was a bit too crowded for my tastes. Of course, us artists are our own worst critics too.








Here we are all set up and ready for the first customers on Friday, not to bad for not having our usual amount of space.

All set up and ready for customers

 We ended up tweaking and rearranging things throughout the weekend, but over all we were happy with the set up that we cobbled together.

Cindy & Colleen
Once the doors opened for the day, things flew by, before we knew it they were announcing that it was 4:45 and the vendor hall was going to close 15 minutes later.

While we both devoured lunch at some point during the day, we couldn't wait for the room to close down so we could head out and get dinner.

Glorious Guinness



True to form we, went to the room, changed and headed out to the shuttle to have dinner at our usual haunt, The Auld Dubliner.

In past years the vendor room has closed at 6pm, which usually doesn't put us at the Pub until 7/7:30 depending on how long it takes us to change and take the shuttle over. This year vending closed at 5pm and we were at the pub by 6pm, which of course, was packed to the gills. Thankfully there was a couple leaving and we were able to get a table pretty quickly.
Selfies or ceiling photos ?




With drinks & dinner ordered, we chatting with Mike & Bre, from L.O.S.E.R, who were sharing a room with us. Of course what dinner isn't complete with a few fun(ny) photos and some photos of the Pub decor:
Pennyfarthing
The bar area, with a rather impressive whiskey selection

We're not sure if Mike is trying to serenade Bre or eat her brains.







Friday, January 16, 2015

First show of 2015 - HRM Steampunk Sympsium


We're back at it for 2015 and I'm hoping that I can be a bit better at the upkeep of the blog and the goings on of Wyng'd Lyon. I'll do my best but I can make any promises.

Last night, January 15, 2015, Cindy and I loaded up and hit the road for Long Beach for our first show if the year, HRM Steampunk Symposium.

After leaving an hour later than we wanted last night we got to the Queen Mary with an hour to unload, which for Cindy and I is an amazing amount of time. 

We checked in with the vendor coordinator, found our booth space and had everything out of the truck in a total of 30 minutes.  The whole evening was a comedy of errors though, from the dolly having a mind of its own in the hardwood floors of the Promenade Deck, the wheel of my suitcase deciding that it was going to stop work and literally go sideways, right down to checking into our room and discovering that I booked a room with two twin beds instead of two queens. Certainly not conducive for sleeping 4 people, so back to the front desk to upgrade the room so no one had to sleep in the bathtub.

Once the room issue was straightened out, we went to find the bar and settled in with some friends for a couple hours of laughing and swapping stories.


  After finally turning in a bit after midnight, we both slept like the dead and are now working on caffeinating ourselves and waiting for the maintenance guy to come fix the shower. Yep, the fun continues! 

Oh look the maintenance guy just showed up and I need more coffee.

More to come as the day progresses!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Kevin

Pretty much every artist has a muse, or an inspiration and I'm sure that it can be said that every business person has something or someone that inspires them in shape or form..

Today I wish Kevin Workman a very Happy Birthday, for he was my inspiration to take that first step into growing my business, to getting it out of my home and into my own location. Let me tell you, it was a hell of a step too.

Nervousness couldn't even begin to explain the feeling I had upon looking at rental space and signing a lease for a 300 square foot space. After I signed that lease, I really felt like I was going to throw up, it put things into some serious perspective. It was time to sink or swim and there was no way I was going to sink, at least I hoped not.

And so far, in the words of Dori from Finding Nemo - "Just keep swimming", I have.

It hasn't been easy, by any means, but it's been an adventure and on that road, I've met many wonderful and amazing people and I've expanded.

I've moved from a space that was just over 300 square feet to almost twice that. I've added inventory ranging from items I make myself, to hosting the work of other great craftsmen and artisans and thing just keep growing. I've gone from a handful of one days shows, to a large list of 2 & 3 day conventions all over the West Coast and not only has the business grown, but so have I.

It's been an amazing ride and I thank Kevin for his inspiration in getting me to take that first step. The only thing missing, is him see it in person.

I love & miss you Kevin, but I know that you're always with me in my heart and my memories, and that you would be proud to see where that first step that you inspired me to take has taken me.

Happy Birthday my dear friend and thank you for all your inspiration! I hope that some day I can inspire at least one person the way you have inspired many.






Monday, April 21, 2014

Confirmed upcoming events:

Here's the latest event schedule for Wyng'd Lyon:


April 25-27, 2014

Kingdom Con is San Diego's gaming convention held at the San Diego Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley. This will be the first time for Wyng'd Lyon vending there and we're looking forward to the fun times to be had. Visit their website for more information.

May 2-4, 2014

Back for its 4th year and probably one of our favorite events, Gaslight Gathering is again being held at the Town and Country Hotel in Mission Valley, Ca. Come out for some great panels, performances and costumes! Ticket can be bought at the Gaslight Gathering website.

May 17, 2014

Join us again for the North Park Festival of the Arts street fair, a fabulous one day event of art, music, food and many other fun activities for the family and the best thing, there is no admission fee! For more information, visit their website.

May 31-June 1, 2014

Wyng'd Lyon will be vending at Long Beach Comic Expo for the first time, join us and Tawmis & Maico from the Comic Relief Podcast to see what type of  mischief the three of us can wrangle together. For more information about Long Beach Comic Expo, visit their website.

Stay tuned here to the blog or visit http://wyngdlyon.com/events for an updated listing of the events that we are going to be at throughout the year.


Hope to see you all soon!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

HRM Steampunk Symposium Part IV

For those who missed them, here are Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3

The last day of conventions are always the saddest day for me, because that means we're one step closer to having to pack up and go home to the daily grid. Though in a way it's a double edged sword, because it also means that get to go home and see my kids who I haven't seen for 4 days.

Lather, rinse, repeat with the early morning wake up time (again). At least this time I had something t keep me occupied, Cindy had forwarded me a copy of her recap of the Run for Your Lives Zombie 5K that we did back in October 2013. One good thing about being the first to wake up is that you get to enjoy some peace and quiet, the bad thing is trying to be quiet or keep from shaking your bed mate out of the bed from laughing so hard remembering the hilarity of the events that took place during the run. For those of you who want to share in the hilarity, you can read the recap here.

After enough giggling and the alarm clock finally going off, we all get up and started the morning dance of packing up our belongings and taking them down to the car since we had to be checked out of the room by noon and well, we'd all be in the vendor room for any final sales that would be happening.

Most of the day was uneventful though come 1pm there was much commotion when a group of bandits burst into the room and robbed a few of the vendors, us included. We gave up a good fight but were overcome when they ganged up on us. They rushed out the side door when the constabulary rush in to try and make an arrest. Incidentally most of the bandits were caught, and the day was saved. The few that escaped and made it back to their hide out ended up with quite the surprise. See, the tricky lasses that we are, decided to replace the cash with Hershey's kisses.

If you haven't guessed by now, the above robbery was staged as part of the weekends events. Our friend Phineas asked if we would be willing participants to be robbed by the League of Supremely Evil Revolutionaries (L.O.S.E.R). Though I think they were a bit surprised when not only did we fight back, we ended up with their "cash"


After the afternoons excitement died down, we visited with friends and customer and then said by to Andee who had to leave for the bus station to make her way back to Tucson. Before Cindy and I knew it, the vending day was over and we started breaking down and packing up. Mike and Bre stopped by and said their good-bye and apologies for not staying to help as Mike was coming down with the plague.

Cindy and I had the booth broke down and packed up in an hour, something that used to take us at least twice that in the past. Of course it took us longer to get off the boat and loaded into the truck since there was a line of vendors all waiting to use the same elevator to get off the boat. Now most vendors are pretty patient people and all tend to laugh and joke when waiting for things to progress, but there is always one that causes some sort of hate and discontent and this event was no exception.

Incidentally not only were Cindy and I the subject of this guys rudeness of cutting in line, he happened to be the same guy that commented on Cindy's Lovecraft shirt a few events back, saying that it was a great shirt, and then proceeded to ask her if she even knew who Lovecraft was. . I'm sure you can imagine the ranting that ensued from both of us at that point. 

Once we finally got ourselves down to the parking area, we got the truck loaded up and hit the road making our usual stop at Dairy Queen for dinner before making it back to San Diego to unload the truck and then go home to pass out.

HRM Steampunk Symposium gets better every year and it was an awesome way to start off 2014. We can't wait to be back on the Queen Mary for another round of fun and shenanigans.

























Why am I doing this? otherwise known as Run For Your Lives: Zombie 5K

Written by Cindy of Original Cin Art:

Autumn once again brings that time. That time where I break out the running shoes and sweats. That time where the undead rise to block my running path. That time were I end up with more mud in my sports bra then I ever care to admit. For another Run For Your Lives, zombie 5k had come.  For those of you who missed last years antics, I ran a 5k that involved being chased by zombies. By zombies I mean average Joes that enjoy dressing up like the undead and grabbing and innocent runners, like myself.  It was a physically challenging event for me considering it was my first 5k but memorable and extremely rewarding when I crossed the finish line. So I decided to go back this year and to it all again. 

The new year brought me a new partner in crime by the name of Colleen. Colleen has been a close gal pal of mine for many years. Her dry sense of humor and take no crap attitude made us instant friends when we first met. She was the one who originally pointed  out the Run For Your Lives 5k to me. Unfortunately, due to an ankle injury, she had to bow out of the race last year. This year she told me she was running with me come Hell or high water. And she did.

The track was moved a good two hours from us this year, now located at the Glenn Helen Raceway, an epic dirt bike race trail. So Colleen and I headed out at Oh-My-God ‘O Clock in the morning to get registered on time. My husband had to bow out of coming with us to take photos due to his old ankle injury acting up. After he gave me a sleepy kiss good bye followed by a groggy “Don’t let them get your brains, honey.” I left him in bed snoring.

After a long drive we made it to Glenn Helen and began the process of registration.  I had to admit, this year the process of getting registered and on site was far more organized than last year. Last year I spent a good hour in line . But we zipped through registration, picking up our numbers and flag belts.  The belts are part of the game. Each runner wears  three velcro flags on a belt, much like what you’d see in flag football. A flag represents a “life’ which the zombies have to grab from you. When you’re out of flags, you’re out of lives and you cross the finish line “infected.”  This year, runners were given an opportunity buy more lives to keep you in the game longer. The proceeds went to a children’s charity. Colleen was generous enough to pick up a purple extra life flag for both of us.  

As we waited for our run time to come, we watched a local DJ play a round of musical chairs and trivia games with other runners. I watched, muttering the answer to every trivia question under my breath before the contestants could say them. Colleen tried to push me onto the stage saying “Come on! You know more about zombie movies than half these yahoos here!” but I was feeling bizarrely shy that morning. That, and the coffee had yet to kick in.  
Eventually when the countdown to race time began and we were herded into a narrow cement tunnel. I remember last year being rather nervous and shaky at this time, not sure what was in store for me. Now, after one race under my belt, I seasoned veteran.  I had this coolness about me. A coolness that said “this is going to be scary, but I totally got this,” Oh yeah. I’m a bad mama jama. Last year I finished the race with no flags. This year I was determined to finish as a survivor.  Beside us were a small team of men in fatigues, bandanas tied around their heads a ‘la Rambo. On the back of their vests the words “Zombie Annihilation Squad” were stenciled in black.   When the starting horn blew, the squad leader threw his hands up and shouted. “No one lives forever, boys!” and ran, the rest of his team hooting and hollering loudly as they followed after him. I loved them all almost instantly.

Colleen and I took off into a raging cloud of dust that the runners before us kicked up. We coughed and sputtered up all sorts of lovely chunk but  powered through it, dodged a few zombies that were hiding in the dust (Thank GOD for sunglasses!) and approached our first obstacle. One large hurdle sat between us and the rest of the path to victory. Colleen is tall, strong, and wiry. She slipped right over the hurdle with the grace of a dolphin. I  am not so much. Being curvy has its benefits but getting over hurdles with ease is not one of them. I slung one leg over, an almost victory cut short by my other leg deciding it was perfectly happy staying right where it was. So there I was, one leg over a hurdle, the other planted firmly in the dirt, with other much more svelte, athletic runners vaulting over like  gazelles. I was the misplaced Walrus on the Serengeti. It took me a moment, but I did notice the handrail above my head. I snagged a hold of it and hauled my other leg over, and promptly did a header into the dirt. But I did make it over the hurdle! The rest would be a cakewalk! Well, that’s what I told myself as I barreled down the dirt path to keep up with the crowd. But the reality of this years race was the obstacles were going to kick my butt far harder than the zombies. Luckily, there were no more hurdles at least.

As we walked, Colleen and I I talked about how different the terrain was from last year. We joked with other runners and make funny comments. A blonde young woman caught part of our conversation and laughed joining in on comparing this track to last years. Turned out she was not only a runner last year but also played a zombie on an alternate race day as well. Her name was Danni and was running the race alone do to her partner not feeling well. So we decided to team up. Viola! Instant allies!  Another race, another new friend. See? zombies do bring people together.

The run continued. The track this year was far more hilly than the year before, full of steep hills, very low valleys, and tons of rocky terrain that made me wish I wore knee and elbow pads. We approached the steep decline of a dusty hill. One runner dashed past us and tumbled butt over tea kettle down it, landing on his face. Luckily we was not injured and he jumped back to his feet and walked the rest of the length. Colleen and I exchanged skeptical looks after witnessing that.

“Butts,” We both said in unison.

The three of us sat down on our behinds and crab walked out way slowly down the hill. Crab walking is a dang good upper arm workout. I found this out from the insane burn I was feeling in my biceps. Unfortunately, Crab walking is also not something I would recommend doing down a steep hill. I found this out when my left hand slipped out from under me. After that it was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! I skidded down the hill on my bottom at break neck speed before a handsome gentleman broke my fall but simply being in my way. He was also crab walking his way down the hill. Well, he was until I slammed into him. My legs were now wrapped around his butt and the two of us careened down together, screaming, until landing in a pile of arms and legs at the bottom of the hill.  Part of me thinks that story should end with the phrase “And that’s how I met your father, kids,”. Luckily my bobsled partner was polite and amused enough to laugh. We dusted each other off and he went on his merry way. From that point on, Colleen referred to that as The Lap Dance Incident of 2013. 

We barreled through quite a few obstacles; mud puddles, tall hills, and of course, many other undead that jumped on our path. I was quick to dodge but my speed wasn’t nearly as great as last year and I ended up losing two of my four closely guarded flags.  I still had two lives left though and I was going to keep them! We also ended up with quite a few tunnels to crawl through. Nothing too horrible, until we came to the amazing shrinking tunnel. It looked innocent enough. I was able to walk through with just my head slightly bent. Then I had to crouch, then bend at the waist, then get on my hands and knees. Before I knew it, I was belly crawling through. I’m not a claustrophobic person. Sometimes I enjoy curling up in tight spaces. But I had a line of people crawling in front of me, and a line of people crawling behind me while the tunnel walls started to shrink. That is when I decided I will never go spelunking, ever. To keep myself from panicking I started to sing show tunes and discuss the lovely shape of Colleen’s hinder. Then we came to an abrupt stop. Apparently, the girl in front of Colleen had a panic attack and decided to stop moving. All I heard in my head was “Don’t Panic Don’t Panic... Wait, we stopped. PANIC!”  I took a deep breath and said in my best fake chipper voice:

“What’s the hold up?”

“She stopped.” Colleen called to me over her shoulder.
 
“Just stopped?”

“Yup.”

I sighed then called to the girl in front of Colleen. “Hon. There are a whole line of people back here who want to get out as bad as you do. Just keep crawling. We’re almost there.”

The line moved again a bit more but as soon as I saw the light ahead it stopped again.  After a letting loose a long string of curse words, I muttered to Colleen, “She stopped again, didn’t she?”

“Yeah.” Colleen sighed. We waited, as the air grew stale and the walls started to close in tighter. I started to sweat. Then with a grunt Colleen said “Sorry lady. No time for this.” And pushed the girl out on her belly into the sunlight. we all fell out of the end of the tunnel like toothpaste being squeezed from a tube. As soon as we hit the dirt, Collen and I  jumped to our feet, and kept moving.  From behind us I heard the girl Colleen pushed give a shaky yet happy “Thank you!” shout to us.

We then hit zombie territory, vast empty spaces full of the lumbering undead. The track was dusty and that dust was getting deep into my lungs. My long lost asthma condition reared its ugly head after years of laying dormant and I found myself running out of breath more that usual as I dodged and ducked. Luckily for me, the zombies this year were far less aggressive. When they saw a runner struggling, they politely backed off of them, chasing after the quicker more able bodied runners. Pretty much the complete opposite of what would happen in any horror film ever written. So while I lost a  another flag, I managed to stumble through with my purple extra life flag intact. I still had a chance to survive.

The closer we grew to the end of the race, the bigger the obstacles became. First there was the barbed wire. You had to step over this wire through mud to continue the track. Colleen, Danni, and I waded through the wet, knee deep sludge, striding over the twisted wire and cackling the entire time, perhaps out of amusement, perhaps out of delirium. I tend to lean towards both.  The capris I wore soon became long pants due to the weight of the muddy water soaking the cotton fabric. In fact, I almost ended up dropping trow right there as they slipped down my hips. This only made me laugh harder and I ended up losing my balance, tangling my pant leg up in the last row of barbed wire. Before I could even shout for help to my two partners I heard a masculine voice say “Woman in distress!”. I turned to see the fatigued dressed squad leader from the beginning of the race come barreling at me, leaping over the wire. He stopped beside me, untangled my pant leg, then with a salute when running off into the dust after his zombie squad. Did I mention I loved those guys?

    Next came the pile of large tires to hike over. By now, the tired were streaked over with slick mud from the previous runners and people were sliding and slipping all over the place. Colleen hopped up onto the first tire then started to slide. On reflex I threw my hands out and caught her by the...butt. Then with a firm heave, I pushed her back into place. She turned, looked at me, and we both burst into hysterical laughter. The rest of our conversations continued in this vein:

“Dang Colleen. For a Mother of two, you have a fantastic butt!”

“You oughta know. You got two heaping handfuls of it!”

“Seriously girl! Do you work out?”

“Chasing after two children builds muscle tone!”

We did a lot of belly crawling after that. Belly crawling under faux electrical wire, belly crawling through mud slicks, I spent more time on my belly than I do while sleeping.  And every time I had to belly crawl, I ended up behind the same guy. I thank my lucky stars I decided to wear pants that day and not something like micro shorts. If I did, that poor guy would have been subjected to a view that only my gynecologist is privileged to.  

The final leg of zombies were what I like to call the Motivational Zombies. Trust me. Its exactly what it sounds like. These group of undead were an interesting combo. We had the ones that were cheering us on, wanting high fives from the runners, and even wanting hugs (though that one did steal flags if you went in for a hug, I noticed.). They were closely grouped to the zombies that were willing to chase you down for one of your precious flags, moaning and grabbing at you as you dashed by. We rapidly ran through the hoards approaching what could be best described as a dumpster full of water. It really wasn’t a dumpster but it looked like one and we had to swim across the length of it to make it to freedom. The three of us shimmied up the makeshift ladder and dove in. Thank God I didn’t give myself time to remember how tired I was by then. If I thought about it, I probably would have sank to the bottom.


When we fished ourselves out, we were close to the finish line. I was just about to throw up my hands and give a victory hoot when I looked down to my mud spattered belt. I did not see any flags. The cry withered in my throat and I sighed, rather disappointed I didn’t make it across the line as a survivor. But I still pressed on. The finish line was crossed by, you guessed it, belly crawling under a chain linked fence. By now I was exhausted, wet, and my hip was throbbing from falling off that first hurdle at the beginning of the race. But I made it this far. I was crossing that finish line. I crouched down on my belly and wiggled my butt under the fence. For a moment there, I was stuck.  I felt my behind catch on the chain link and my arms were so tired, I could barely pull myself another inch. Colleen came to my rescue. She snagged both of my forearms and with a hard yank, she pulled me across the line into safety.  We made it. We made it through that track in 45 minutes even!

I looked up, spitting out chunks of dirt that somehow wedged itself between my teeth. The volunteers from the run waited there, medals in hand. Half said survivor, the other said infected.

“Did you survive?” A volunteer asked Colleen with a smile.

She held up her two flags triumphantly and said ‘Hell yeah!”  as they handed her a medal.

“Did YOU survive?” another volunteer asked me. I let out a sigh as I started to stand up.

“I don’t think…” I started. As soon as I straightened up,I felt something flutter out from under my shirt. There, across my shoe, was my purple extra life flag.  Apparently during the previous belly crawl, it had snuck up under my shirt and stuck to my wet, muddy, belly.   A flag never looked so beautiful to me.

“Why yes! Yes, I DID survive!” I said with a grin. They handed me a medal with the word survivor emblazoned across it in bright red letters. I wore it all day.

I did it.

I Survived the zombie Apocalypse.

...Sorta.

After taking some photos with our friend Danni and her amazing tricked out zombie trick (complete with severed head chained to the back). We hosed ourselves off headed back home.Colleen was sold on the entire experience. Our entire conversation was nothing but chatter about how awesome the race was.  I gazed at my medal the entire time home, giddy with the accomplishment.

This was my second year participating in Run For Your Lives. So far, every time I’ve ran in this 5k, I walked or in this case, limped away with a serious feelings of accomplishment.  Last year people told me I was crazy. That I couldn’t run such an intense 5k due to my asthma, my being somewhat overweight, out of shape, and so on. But I did. I crossed that finish line. This year those same people told me they couldn’t believe I was going to do it again and how hard it was to keep a flag. But I did. I did it faster, better, and walked away as a survivor. Now when I start getting down on myself I remember back to these 5ks and tell myself. “Girl, you can do anything. After all, you outran zombies.”

Friday, February 28, 2014

HRM Steampunk Symposium (Recap - Part III)

Here are Part I and Part II  for those of you who are just joining us.

The second day of conventions always tend to be the least stressful, mostly because everything is set up already and all we have to do when we get to the vendor room is uncover the booth and reset a few items that we laid down so they don't get knocked over and broken, like our Absinthe glasses.

That and by then my body has decided that I get to sleep in, or maybe it's because I've whacked out my sleep schedule because we'd stay up until 1 or 2 am the night before laughing and giggling about whatever our sleep deprived brains decide is funny. Of course, the biggest problem with this is we end up being loud and not know it until the adjoining wall gets pounded on by the occupants we've woken up or by getting a phone call from the front desk. Thankfully none of that happened this year.

Again, my brain decided that I needed to be the first one awake as soon as the sun came up, though I did actually get to sleep in until 7:30 am, trust me this is a milestone, just ask any parent with kids under the age of 7. Grabbing my phone, I read email and checked Facebook while I waited for the rest of the crew to wake up, or in this case, I ended up waking them up as everyone was enjoying their slumber, this was of course after walking the obstacle course of bodies on the floor to and from the bathroom.

On to making coffee and ironing the yards of red fabric for my dress, which had been balled up in a pile since the last time it was worn, which I think was back in July 2013, all the while the 5 of us were doing the hotel room dance around each other, trying to get in and out of the bathroom and around the room to get dressed and our make up on. Despite no real choreography, no one tripped, died or fried themselves on the hot iron.

Once we were all corseted up, we grabbed our things and headed upstairs to uncover the booth and get ready for the days customers. Cindy and Andee ventured off to the coffee cart to obtain some more caffeine and some much needed food and we were ready for the day! Bring on the sales!

Saturday was as busy as Friday and we could tell when then panels and other events let out as we were graced by a wave of customers each time. Cindy was cranking out the commission sketches between customers and friends stopping by and Andee was working on some creative quilled items, while I sat and finished sewing the string ties and ascots that I hadn't finished before leaving San Diego, if you can't tell, this is a reoccurring thing for me, of course it also gives me something to do during the slow times in the booth.

Come the end of the vending day we were more than ready to go change, grab dinner and then come back to get ready for the ball.

Dinner was once again at The Auld Dubliner, though it was just the three of us this round and we lacked the fun bus ride of Thursday night, but we did remember to get off the bus at the stop closer to the Pub! (See we can be taught!) After a round of Irish Coffees, a lovely glass of Oban Scotch and some really good food, we made our way back to the Queen Mary and donned our finery for the Saturday night ball.

We made it to the ball just in time for Abney Park to start their second set for the evening. Being a big fan of their music I was very excited to see them live, though I wished that the kids could have been there, because they would have had a blast as well. Once the set was over the came out and did a couple more songs as an encore and then threw out the sets lists from the second set. I was standing there talking to Cindy when I felt something bounce off my chest, lo and behold, it was one of the set lists.

After the crowd dispersed a bit we went over to get in line and get autographs. I also picked up a copy of Abney Park's book Wrath of Fate and had that and the set lists autographed by the band. I even managed to get photos with the guitarist and the lead singer, Robert. I told him how my kids love to sit in the back seat of the truck and sing along with Airship Pirates. He also noticed Cindy's stuffed ferret, Senor Squeaky Pants and asked if it was a weasel, when she said no, he asked if it could be a weasel (if only for a moment). Seems  the guitarist has a thing for weasels. She laughed and said he could be a weasel if they wanted him to be. Robert then pointed our Senor Squeaky Pants to the guitarist and he dug out his phone and asked Robert to take a photo with the comment "I think this the first time I've ever asked to have a photo with a fan."

We chatted for a few more minutes and then made our way to the midnight buffet line and since we were not only full from dinner a few hours earlier, we lived by the ideal that "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first" mantra and went straight for the tasty dessert morsels.

After our fill of sugary goodness we made our way back to the hotel room, chatted for a bit and then passed out.

The 4th and final part is here