Our first event was the "Bartitsu" lecture demo, which had a good balance of lecture and demo. We both picked up some useful information on Victorian-era fisticuffs and the unique style of cane fighting developed by Barton-Wright.
At 11:30, we went to the "Lost Worlds" presentation, introduced by notable explorer Captain Kreiger, and presented by Professor William Dezoma. Again, very thoroughly researched, and presented in an informal and entertaining fashion.
We broke for lunch at the Tea Room, which had an impressive variety of teas. It was nice in a way to have volunteers seating and serving people, but we could have done just as well serving ourselves. There was a nice selection of tea cookies on hand also, although I suspect that the liquorice allsorts that came along with were pretty much wasted-.
After that, we caught the latter part of the "Multiculturalism" panel, which in large part covered the same ground as similar panels we have seen at WisCon: respect the culture you are writing about/enacting, do real research. At least they had one of the more creative and exciting ends to the panel we have seen. "Authenticity" did seem to be a big theme at this convention, but that leaves unanswered the question of "how do you keep your 'punk' in steampunk?" What if your character would authentically be a cultural snob, or boor? What about fantastic elements? Hmm--perhaps a panel to be proposed, here--.
At 2:30, we went to "Explorers and Adventurers of the Victorian Age," which was pretty informative and well presented. It was interesting that the presenters included some local figures, such as Lake Michigan's most notorious pirate, although I was a bit bemused to hear that Captain Fredrick Pabst, famous Milwaukee brewer, supposedly participated in the Klondike gold rush at age 60? I've been to the Pabst Mansion several times and that was never mentioned in his biography as given, nor can I verify that anywhere else. Oh, well, the rest of the data given in the panel matched what we knew as far as we knew it. Again, there was an emphasis on using historical information as a basis for creating steampunk characters. (I gave my background for "Dr. DuQuesne" as an example of a persona with a military background, and got complimented on it--.)
Due to potential loudness, we passed on the "Battle of the Leviathans," and took a break in our room while dressing for dinner. We had reservations for 'The Captain's Table," and were looking forward to it. This was GREAT fun. Doing an entire dinner in persona is a great idea, and it gave us a chance to interact closely with "Lord Bobbins," "Captain Krieger," the Aquitanian (sp?)ambassador, and our co-attendees. I was charmed to discover that the couple next along the table from us were "Mr. and Mrs. Schlitz, from Milwaukee," which I though was a wonderful persona idea. I had the Sea Bass dinner, which was excellent, and Georgie pronounced the Apricot Chicken entree to be good, as well.
After dinner was the Steampunk ball, which we also enjoyed. Georgie had to go back upstairs to pin up her skirts so she wouldn't step on the hem, but in the mean time I cadged dances with Miss Mary Prince, and Mrs. Judy Seidl, who were both most gracious partners. When Georgie was able, we waltzed to "Tales of the Vienna Woods," polkaed to "Thunder and Lightning," and waltzed again to "Music of the Spheres". It's been too long since we danced together, and I was very glad that we could. The ball was a lovely occasion, and we speculated on where else these days you could see so many gentlemen as well turned out, "white tie" occasions being pretty much a thing of the past everywhere else.
After the ball was over, we adjourned to the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron party room and enjoyed some wine while catching up with friends Tracy Benton and Bill Bodden, before retiring for the night.
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