Tuesday, May 31

She won't wear an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini

I am shocked, simply shocked.

What kind of girl do you think I am?!

When someone said I should wear a bikini (to show off Evil Wil Wheaton's signature) I thought it was something modern but modest like this below

(Which I can picture myself in.)
Not this at the right!
(Or worse!)

Only a Perfectly Awful Girl would be seen with that much skin showing.

Do you even know what we wear when we go bathing in 1864?

I do have some standards!

I am consulting with my dressmaker and shall let you know when we come up with a final product.

Sunday, May 29

I've Comicon and gone

Phew! What a day.

We got there shortly after the Comicon opened and already there were huge crowds, but we got our passes and went in.

Momma's friends Jennifer and Steve were already there and had gotten George Takei's autograph. They even got to meet his husband Brad!

(As a side note, Jennifer had gifts for Momma and that other doll Luna but nothing for me, hmph.)

We spent a lot of time walking around the exhibit hall and checking out the cool stuff and Momma bought me a robot head! Now I can make my own!

Momma's friends went to get their photo taken with Leonard Nimoy and we went to find some lunch. Just as Momma got our food (quesadillas for everyone!) her friends called and said the line to meet Evil Wil Wheaton was really short and to get back downstairs!

Momma left the food with my big sister and Grandmomma and grabbed me and we hustled downstairs.

We got in line where he signed a photo of himself ... and me! He said I was "great" and not the first "doll" he's signed. (But I was the first at this Comicon.)

Someone said I should get a bikini to show off his signature. I'll have to go to the library to find out what a bikini is, but it can't possibly expose more skin than what I saw today. The things those girls were wearing!!!

After eating a quick lunch we went to a huge room that seated 4,000 people to hear Leonard Nimoy talk. He sure was funny!

After that, my big sister and Momma's momma headed home but Momma and I stayed to play. We finished the Exhibit Hall and Momma got me an incredible cameo locket. I hope I can get back to 1864 okay, but I think it will be fine.

Fellow steampunkers thought I was great and I got lots of compliments. 

We finished the day with a Steampunk Fashion Show. I was not asked to model but one man offered to make me my own little aether gun!

After this we were all exhausted so we decided to head home, but Momma said we might go to Coppercon in September! 

Slides can also be seen HERE: https://picasaweb.google.com/112240988257177027782/PhoenixComicon?feat=directlink 

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, May 29

Lincoln's troops off Virginia, shots fired

President Abraham Lincoln, moving to enforce a previously declared blockade on Southern seaports, bolsters Union forces at Fort Monroe near Hampton, Va., one key to his strategy to cut supply lines to secessionists and dominate the coast between Virginia and the Carolinas.

Both sides are on edge. A correspondent for The Associated Press reports from Fort Monroe in late May that the area bristles with Union troops: "A force of 7,500 men, including a few regulars and 4 pieces of artillery, formed to-day ... near the mouth of the James River, about ten miles from Fortress Monroe." The dispatch adds: "The rebel battery fired four shots ... and though over three miles distant, the shot fell but little short, indicating that the guns of the rebel battery are of the heaviest calibre."

Other dispatches report a number of runaway slaves are streaming to the fort from the Virginia countryside and Union commanders are holding them as "contraband of war." One escaped slave is quoted in a May 27 dispatch of the Boston Journal as saying: "We heard that if we could get in here we should be free, or, at any rate, we should be among friends."

Thursday, May 26

That blood of heroes never dies

Even after the South seceded from the Union, President Lincoln would not allow any stars to be removed from the flag.
I am ashamed of myself.

In my excitement for Saturday's Phoenix Comicon, I totally forgot what weekend it is.

Decoration Day or, as you now know it, Memorial Day.

First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the Civil War,  it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. 

In an article from the Associated Press (which began in 1846 as a way for five competing newspapers to cover the Mexican War):
CHARLESTON — The city that plunged the nation into its bloodiest conflict can also lay a claim to holding the first Memorial Day observance honoring the dead from the Civil War. 
In a little known event, as many as 10,000 people, many of them black, gathered May 1, 1865, to hold a parade, hear speeches and dedicate the graves of Union dead in what is now Hampton Park in Charleston. 

A number of towns around the nation claim holding the first Memorial Day, although the distinction generally goes to the town of Waterloo, in upstate New York. 

Waterloo held its first Memorial Day in 1866. 

In the North, in 1868, the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, ordered the graves of the war dead be decorated with flowers and memorials. 

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. 

Through the years Memorial Day was generally celebrated on May 30. Beginning in 1971, the federal holiday was designated as the last Monday in May.

So please, thank a vet for your freedom this weekend. 

Wednesday, May 25

She who wields a mean parasol

Queen Victoria's anti-terrorist parasol
I am anxiously awaiting Momma to finish my stout parasol, but wanted to show you I'm not the only strong-minded woman to wield one.

Of course I got my inspiration from Mrs. Amelia Peabody Emerson, but do you know where she got her inspiration?

Detail of parasol showing chain-mail lining.
Queen Victoria experienced several assassination attempts, the first being in June 1840. Prince Albert is thought to have designed this parasol incorporating a layer of mail between cover and lining as protection for the Queen. However, the weight of the mail made it impossible for the parasol to be held normally. It weighs 1468g (3.237 lb) and was probably never used by the Queen.
Momma said mine won't be lined with mail.



Tuesday, May 24

Hailing frequencies open, Captain

photo by EofA/used with permission
I was chatting with my dear friend Phoebe (right) and mentioned that I was going to the upcoming Phoenix Comicon and she nearly swooned!

See, Phoebe is the original "Uhura fangirl" and she likes all things Star Trek (and geeky) too.

(She's adament that she's fangirling as Uhura by wearing the costume whenever she can, not that she is Uhura.)

I admit, I like her futuristic look a lot but I refuse to wear what Momma says is a pushpin in my ear!

I'll carry the punk look only so far!

While I don't think she has seen the steampunk light, she does have a great sense of style.

Do you think this "steamy" photo might change her mind?

Monday, May 23

To boldly go where no doll has gone before

I am so excited! I might get to see two of my favorite future human (or half human) beings this weekend!

Mr. Spock (top)

Mr. Sulu (bottom, right)

Aren't they handsome?!

And they're time travelers, too!

I hope I can get a photograph with them!

Sunday, May 22

Back to the future

I couldn't say it better myself:

Avast ye scalawags! The Jolly Roger flys as Pirates battle on the decks of H.M.S. Phoenix Comicon. Don't get too close to the swordplay ye may end up being fitted for a wooden leg or find yerself walkin' the plank down to Davy Jones' Locker.

I'll probably only get to go on Saturday (May 28) but there are so many things to do!

  • Steampunk Entertainment
  • Steampunk Fashion Show
  • Steampunk Weapons

Now, what should I wear?

Should I dress up (top)?

Go casual (middle)?

Or go modern (bottom)?

Please, help me decide!

Oh yes, I'll graciously permit photographs if you see me there!

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, May 22

Virginia ratifies secession

On May 23, 1861, voters in a Virginia convention ratify an ordinance for the state's secession from the Union as a divided nation lurched toward all-out war. South Carolina had been the first state to secede in December 1860, followed soon after by six other Southern slave states.

Virginia initially was among states seeking a way out of the crisis and delegates initially opposed secession in February 1861. But the Confederate artillery attack on federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., in April joins other developments in shifting the mood on the political landscape.

In late May, Richmond replaces Montgomery, Ala., as the capital of the Confederacy and its president, Jefferson Davis, arrived there to great fanfare on May 29, 1861. Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina secede this month, bringing to 11 the number of Southern states forming the Confederacy.

Friday, May 20

Pirates and Cowboys & Aliens! Oh my!

Yee haw! Now this moving picture I have to see!
1875. New Mexico Territory. A stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde. It's a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella, he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

I wonder if Ella will need my help?

Hey, it could happen!

In the meantime, I'll watch this:

He looks like an agreeable fellow.

Thursday, May 19

I see dead people

I had to laugh one day when I was sitting in a 1938 library and I heard someone outside walk by singing,
"Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers?
Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?"

That's pretty much what people say when they see my eyes ... and why I usually wear my tinted lenses.

Momma and other people say my eyes are weak, but they're not.

Momma says I have The Sight, but if she only knew.

You see, I can see ghosts.

And they have a lot to say.

So be careful what you say because you never know when a ghost will be listening and tell me everything you know.

Wednesday, May 18

On the streets of Philadelphia

Ahh, back to Momma, Philadelphia and 1864.

After Momma and I ran away from North Carolina we came to Philadelphia where we could be free. After searching, Momma found a job where she gets paid! And we get to live here, too.

When I'm not is school I run errands for Momma and Mrs. Ford. No one notices a girl like me and keep talking about things while I wait for payment or a tip.

Not all the tips I get are coins though.

Some of the tips I get help the Underground....

Sometimes I wish I could walk into any store like this confectionery and buy things without people looking at me or making rude comments. Some stores won't even serve me or let me use the front door! Why? My money's the same as theirs.

Oh well, just as long as they keep talking in front of me. Go ahead, pretend I'm invisible. What I learn from you might help end this war sooner.

Sunday, May 15

Way down in Egypt land

I sincerely apologize to my faithful readers for not writing anything this past week, but I got a bit adventurous with the time travel machine. I promise that I shall write about 1864 Philadelphia soon!

In the meantime, after spending much time in future libraries I became acquainted with the memoirs of the famous female Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody Emerson. Since her journals began in 1884 I decided a quick trip to Egypt was in order so I could meet this remarkable lady.

What a woman! A proponent of rational dress, she gave her stamp of approval to my ensemble and I got many ideas from her to adapt for my own growing wardrobe.

Mrs. Emerson usually carries a parasol, which she uses a weapon - including a sword-parasol! Her other famous accessory is her belt which contains a pistol and knife, canteen, bottle of brandy, candle and matches in a waterproof box, notebook and pencil, needle and thread, compass, scissors, first-aid kit and a coil of stout cord (useful for tying up captured enemies).

Momma's making me a stout parasol and while she won't let me carry a pistol (or brandy!), I think I shall try to assemble my own belt which I think would be useful working for the Underground....

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, May 15

West Virginia, a state born of war

In a May 12, 1861, dispatch to The Associated Press from Wheeling, in the future state of West Virginia, a correspondent reports the region is stirring with calls to break away from Virginia and side with the Union. Accounts speak of the region's leaders arriving in Wheeling on trains from pro-Union counties all around, filling up hotels in preparation for a two- or three-week convention to consider breaking with Virginia and siding with the Union.

"The town is alive with delegates to the Convention and they are continually arriving," the correspondent writes to AP of a gathering marked by a flurry of speeches and calls for action. "The speeches took determined grounds and favored immediate separation from the state (of Virginia). They were received with great enthusiasm."

Reports note an overwhelming sentiment in what was then Northwestern Virginia that the "only safety is in the Union." The dispatches add that two companies have already been mustered from the area for the Union fight and more are expected later. It is only a matter of time before West Virginia becomes the only state born of the Civil War.

Monday, May 9

The time machine

Here I am with my time machine before returning to 1864.
Can you keep a secret?

I'm a time traveler as well as an Underground agent.

I recently met a gentleman who gave me this. I don't know who he was (I think he was a doctor) and he gave me his old time machine called a TARDIS.
The first place I hit was the library. Future libraries, to be exact.

They're helping me to decide where to go. Disneyland was one place I quickly decided was a must see! 

So who knows, maybe you'll see me!

Sunday, May 8

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, May 8

Preparing For War

By the second week of May, Union and Confederate forces are moving troops and mobilizing for the looming fight.

On the Union side, regiments and military units from states including Ohio, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are gathering in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., setting up tent camps.

Likewise, there are troop movements in the South, particularly in Virginia.

A correspondent writing to The Associated Press on May 8 reports that "Fourteen hundred Tennessee troops and a battalion of Alabama troops have reached Lynchburgh," a Louisiana regiment reached Richmond and 4,000 troops including two companies from Georgia have entered Norfolk. "The authorities were fortifying Norfolk in all directions ...and erecting batteries and impressing persons to labor," the correspondent reports.

It is a time of determining where loyalties stand. President Lincoln's War Department has ordered troops to Cairo, Ill., to counter the secessionist threat there. And delegates gather May 12, 1861, for a convention in Wheeling in Virginia's northwestern corner, "all overwhelmingly for the Union," another dispatch notes. The pro-Union sentiment will eventually lead to the new state of West Virginia joining the Union later in the war.

Thursday, May 5

My precious....

Dear Addie,
Why do you wear a shell necklace around your neck?
Your Biggest Fan
Ahh, my shell necklace. It has quite a story.

Momma has a cowrie shell my great grandmother brought all the way from Africa. (Cowrie shells were used as money in parts of Africa.) It's her most precious treasure and was one of the very few things we brought with us when we ran away.

Someday I can have it, but until then I wanted to wear something that symbolizes my most precious treasure. Since our freedom is the most precious thing to me, I thought this brass shell (or cartridge) symbolized our fight for freedom better than anything.

Like Momma, I wear it on one of my brother's shoelaces around my neck so I can keep him close to my heart. 

And I never take it off. 

Wednesday, May 4

What to wear Underground

Momma got my everyday clothes yesterday, so I can save my tartan for special occasions!

Isn't it amazing! It has a brown suede skirt, brown tweed bodice, black jacquard sleeves, and black lacey cuffs. Both pieces are decorated with brass chains and gears. A stunning steampunk necklace made out of old gears also came, strung on a pretty black velvet ribbon. (Someday I'll tell you about my special shell necklace that I never take off!)

A black hat came with the outfit, decorated with gears and red feathers, but it doesn't fit well on my current hairstyle so Momma told me to wear my old black top hat for now.

We're waiting for my brown boots to arrive, too!

And to think that I recently had to wear rags....

Tuesday, May 3

Meet Steampunk Addie

What can I say about myself? I was born a slave in North Carolina but Momma and I ran away after Poppa and my brother were sold. We went to Philadelphia where we could be free.

Once there I became involved in the Underground....

At least that's MY story.

Momma says I'm Pleasant Company and she found me somewhere called eBay. She wanted to fix my "weak" eyes. Ha! If she only knew what I could see with these eyes. But that's another story.

She says that once she saw me she knew I was destined for great things so she started to assemble a great wardrobe. (It's a good thing she can sew!) But we've also collected things from all over.

For my hair, she used hose clamps and ribbon roses.

Being steampunk, I had to have a corset. First she borrowed (
eww!) one from a girl named Felicity, then got me my own in black. A red one is coming!

Momma then took an old tartan dress apart and attached the skirt to a sash and paired it with a nifty green jacket.

Finally, I got a shell necklace, a timepiece, binoculars, some major boots, a couple of hats (one of which she trimmed with a scrap of the tartan dress) and some tinted glasses for my "weak" eyes.

What do you think?

Oh, and my hero?

Abraham Lincoln of course!