This is the last entry devoted to the Steampunk Symposium held on board the Queen Mary on the weekend of January 10-12. It has been on queue for well over two weeks, but given the events, I have not been able to publish it yet. It is the reminder of a very magical weekend in mid January.

I keep wanting to write about my friend, but I feel that nothing I can say right now will do the situation justice. I hope you will enjoy this review.


From the moment I boarded the ship, I could feel something about it was special. It felt as if I had taken an elevator to another time period. As I stepped into deck A, I felt as if every step I took was taking me back a decade. It was electric and magical.

It didn’t take long at the registration table before I met my supervisor, Lori. She gave me the instructions for the volunteer room and told me to go explore the ship to get familiar with it.

Curious little Leelah decides to go to the lower levels of the ship to explore. This was a really bad — or really awesome — idea! I went two decks down to deck R and came across the floor that they host events at. Later on I came to find it is the deck on the ship with the most paranormal activity that is documented. The only other is one much less frequented, the boiler room. As I descended the steps and left the stairs, I found myself on a very eerie floor. I could feel the energy of parties long gone; I could feel people chatting loudly, talking pleasure over business and vice versa. The hair on my arms stood on its end and I decided to come running back up the stairs. The majority of my time on the ship was spent on this deck, though.

Tending to the presenters was very fun. I got to meet Votes for Hexapods and the Spoon Boy. During my ventures up and down the stairs, I encountered the guitarist of Steam Powered Giraffe. He was very friendly and constantly made rounds around the ship. I found him to be a free soul in search of adventure. I think his name is Mike.

I took a rather amusing class on etiquette for the Victorian Steampunks. The instructor made us all laugh, but reminded us about some useful rules of etiquette. The class ended with a chapter on romance, which everybody seemed attentive to. I didn’t catch the instructor’s name, but she is charming!

After class, I went to the activity to meet the Queen and get my cards read by a pirate named Thee Bluebeard. The way we met was kind of awkward, but it helped ease the tension when I sat down for a reading. He was using only the major arcana cards from the Celtic Tarot. When I sat down, I didn’t think so much about the semantics of tarot. I just wanted to have my cards read and to enjoy the experience.

Thee Bluebeard is careful to define all of the cards with his own mental list of meanings. I felt that he picked them up over the years, and had no time to ask why he had dropped the minor arcana. Still, when he started to talk to me about my situation, my eyes welled with tears. He did a simple Celtic Cross spread and turned the cards over one by one. Every time he brought up something new, I felt my whole fate shuffled out before me and laid bare to a stranger. I listened intently, hanging on every word and every unfinished sentence. He implied many situations without specifying, but there were other instances in which his inflection reflected how I felt. He was accurate. Everything that I needed to hear came up during the reading, and I had to brace myself so I wouldn’t stand up and try to hug him. It was an emotional moment.

After thanking Thee Bluebeard for his borrowed enlightenment, I had duty coming up. A volunteer by the name of Tiffany joined me for a very fancy dinner on board the ship. We had sparkling wine appropriately named Queen Mary and gabbed about Korean dramas and Japanese idols.

When we went downstairs, we found a long line for people that were early to watch Steam Powered Giraffe play. I was on ticket duty, so I got a little nervous. Still, this job meant that I would meet all the people attending the activity. The whole convention was about to squeeze into a ballroom to watch them play!

The missionary came around to offer we prayed with the Holy Spirit. She took out the book of the Holy Hammered, otherwise called the good book, and amongst heavy laughs, we downed a shot and praised the warmth of the Holy Spirit within us. I still giggle when I think about how brilliant that was!

Duty went smoothly enough. We took turns on the entrance and guarding the second exit. During that time, I found out what it is like to face an attempt for a bribe to sneak into a concert and I went to aid a lady having a severe panic attack. Both situations were smoothed out relatively fast. The night concluded with a long ride back home, a shower and the promise of a wonderful time the next day.

To see the photos in all their splendor, please feel free to click on them.

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