You are here: Beginning Jenny Blog Vintage JennyBlog: Archived Posts

TwitterPops

Blog (Blahg) Archive
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:06 Jennifer Devore
Print PDF

Prairie purveyor Harriet Oleson, might well turn up her nose at the bottled, dried and otherwise preserved mammalia in the curiosity cabinets of Dr. Watson’s Steampunk Odditorium. Of course, that would be the well-bred, prim, Victorian in Mrs. Oleson: posh country-wife to Nels and mother to the precocious and glorious Nellie Oleson. The sales-savvy, shrewd Mrs. Oleson, the pioneer proprietress of Little House on the Prairie's Oleson's Mercantile, would covet and embrace San Diego's newest emporium of steampunk ephemera. She would see a thriving capitalism, bordered and framed fancifully by ruffles and feathers of gilded, Victorian-era proportions in the mighty powerful, contemporary trend that is Steampunk. A steadily growing interest in Victorian-tech and word-of-mouth about this beachside bazaar are both running at locomotive speed, headed straight for each other and powering Dr. Watson's, and its formidable owner, straight into hogsheads full of 21st C. gold nuggets and peer popularity.

Having recently covered San Diego Comic-Con for GoodToBeAGeek.com, I naturally went in costume. It’s what I do, as many of you long-time readers know. Amidst the fervor, chaos and unrelenting joy that is Comic-Con, my cohort and I fielded the same question ad nauseam: “What is steampunk, anyway?” Imagery from Sherlock Holmes to Jules Verne, Wild Wild West to Copper were invoked and, despite the seemingly enthusiastic discussions, most glazed over midway, stole a few snaps and moved along toward less taxing, more easily explained cosplay like Catwoman, Doctor Who, Bender and Duff Man. Whilst overall, steampunk was a rarity, my cosplay partner-in-crime and I found a smattering of, if not small, worthy steampunk folk about the Con. League of Steam, for one: "Victorian-era Monster Hunters Serving All Your Supernatural Elimination Needs Since 1884". (Check back here at Hallowe'en; I shall be posting a League piece during the season!) Still not certain what this damned steampunk is? Voila … a succinct introduction.

 

 

During my quest for further sartorial inspiration in the final weeks before Comic-Con, I ventured up the beach to Dr. Watson's. A personal recommendation plus a bit o’ Bing searching lay the leather-and-mechanical path to whimsy. Mise-en-scène amidst one of San Diego's most eclectic populations -marines via Camp Pendleton, surfers and skaters, tatted rockabillies, Bettie Page wannabes, wealthy property owners, hippies, retirees, vacationers, Real Housewives, the homeless, shadow immigrants and so much more- Oceanside, California is just the fragmented and funky community to welcome this proctor of peculiar paraphernalia.

Dr. Watson's is part-natural history museum, part-western general store and all saloon decor. It is run by one Tracy Scheidel, best described as an AntennaTV-worthy, feisty-yet-soft-hearted protagonist, an amalgam of Gunsmoke's Miss Kitty, Little House on the Prairie's Harriet Oleson and Dukes of Hazzard's Boss Hogg. I'm guessing if she likes you, you're in good shape about this town. Owning a fair swath of property and store-frontage along famed PCH, (Body Piercing by Tracy and About Face Tattoo, to start) Tracy Scheidel is an affable, intriguing and inquisitive conversationalist. Possessing a quality so few have, yet so many covet, hers is a social talent leading the visitor to believe of their utmost importance in her day. What you want, she has. What you need, she’ll attempt to satisfy. What you love, she loves. In another life, she might have been a formidable madam, saloonkeep or politician.

The Odditorium is sentried nicely by a charming, bombilating black-tressed, pale-skinned, rouge-lipped, saloon girl-slash-manageress called Miss Celeste. What you need, she also wants for you and will go to lengths to get it. She will also ask, sincerely, "How did you hear of us?" As eager and positive about the Odditorium and its livelihood as is Madame Tracy, Miss Celeste also maintains the shop's Facebook page, posting photos, articles and upcoming events.

Like a welcoming saloon after days on a lonesome desert ride, Miss Celeste and Madame Scheidel, in this surfside museum-cum-mercantile, amidst the shrunken heads, dried bats, vintage Playboy magazines, leather top hats, feathered baubles and mechanical goggles, will have you nestled nicely on their inviting divan. From there, you can watch a private fashion show, your special girl model striped, Victorian bloomers, Betty Grable-inspired bathing suits, Dita Von Teese-styled tap dance shorts, Sherlock Holmes-worthy plaid trousers and Lonesome Dove-ready cotton chemises. All the while sipping gratis coffee and noshing from an assortment of Little Debbies. Before you know it, just like that oasis saloon, you’ll have happily and easily spent a few hours and a few more dollars. Makes me think a steampunk saloon, along the lines of Old School Vegas, Fremont Street's Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, might not be a bad idea, for Madame's next venture.

 

Dr. Watson's Steampunk Odditorium, proprietress Tracy Scheidel

421.A South Coast Highway

Oceanside, California 92054

760.757.6628

 

Madame Scheidel, may I suggest adding the Hello Kitty Moustache collection? How could you not?

 
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 08:39 Jennifer Devore
Print PDF

Some are born Geek, some achieve Geekness and others have Geekness thrust upon them. For those of us whom are verily Geek-at-Heart, we shall not be shedding the title as quickly as a West Hollywood hipster sheds his iPad the moment Apple bids him so. Whilst many will claim the title of Geek, as to be Nerd/Dork/Geek/Wonk is très chic, it is a dangerous, double-edged lightsaber ... wait, they're columnar in shape. Anyhoo, we may live blissfully in our own, little biospheres; yet we are easy targets, like a wounded dolphin, or the only kid dressed up like a pilgrim the Wednesday before school lets out for Thanksgiving Weekend.

From sea to nerdy Cameron-submersible sea, forest to dorky Bigfoot forest, Skywalker Ranch and beyond the solar flares, this proudly pale populace has some serious ideas about what is fun and what is not. Summer is here and it can be a tough time for us, what with the sun, the outdoors and the prospect of a proper, dress-up holiday still months away. Never mind all that; we know what makes for real summer fun and with all due respect to the rest of you, to quote The Big Bang Theory's Dr. Sheldon Cooper, "You're having fun wrong."

Summer can be a bit of a free-radical situation for us: left to fend for ourselves amidst the plains and savannas of a deconstructed season, fighting against the harsh summer sun and the expected, traditional, normal outdoor activities of the average, summer reveler. In adult-life, as in school, just because it's summer, doesn't mean the wedgies cease. In such situations, it is only natural to seek the like-minded. When the broad landscape is dotted with the frequently unavoidable herds of roaming, aggressive, beefy, sunny, beachy, geek-squashers it is often necessary for the more fragile, the proverbial 98-pound weaklings, to gather and move in clusters. The sand-kickers can’t get us all if we move as one.
If it is entirely plausible that you could spend a joyful afternoon at Peet's Coffee having a serious debate about whether Han or Greedo shot first, you just might find the following summer alternatives to beach volleyball, backyard BBQs and 5K mud runs great fun indeed. I cannot advise on alternatives in your backyard, but as a Cali Girl, I will gladly walk you through some of my Golden State's finest, oft air-conditioned, cerebral, summer dork attractions.

  • San Diego Comic-Con: Certainly a toss-up, as to whether this should take the number one or two spot. In the end, it had to be crowned as supreme. Comic-Con is Mecca for con geeks the world over, even the new breed of geek: the poseur. C-C has become the new Studio 54. Few at the 1970s, iconic, NYC discotheque probably actually loved disco. Today, it's questionable how many Comic-Con attendees even read comic books, let alone have a passion for the medium. Still, decades after Richard Alf et al gifted the Geek World with the original SDCC and after all the poseurs have moved on, when The Big Bang Theory runs its course, the real fans will still faithfully flood the San Diego Convention Center each July, giving the San Diego Fire Marshal four sleepless nights every summer.
  • Disneyland: Like Salieri to Mozart or Sean Penn's Emmet Ray to Django Reinhardt, were there no Comic-Con, Disney would clearly reign on this list. If you’re fortunate enough to have an annual passport, chances are good you can’t get enough of Star Tours and its fifty-some possible scenarios, The Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, a Johnny Depp-frosted Pirates of the Caribbean and browsing ad nauseam the Capodimonte-laden glass shelves of Main Street's Disneyana. We Disney devotees do enjoy the occasional, audible snort of derision at new attractions and additions and love to regale newbies and family first-timers with behind-the-scenes Park trivia (especially those of us whom worked there). Overall, it is our church of sorts and if you don’t like Goths, stay away mid-September through January, for The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at The Haunted Mansion is really, honestly, to die for, kids.
  • Renaissance Pleasure Faire: This one’s the original, yon friends. It's usually over before summer solstice hits, but you'll find plenty of other faires up and down the state. Yet, prithee, this is the Hamlet of Renaissance festivals. Oft simply called "Southern" or "Ren Faire", it’s been around since what feels like Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh were playing footsies behind hogsheads and if you’re well-acquainted with Faire, then you know the tacit rules of conduct: no polyester, no real names, no Victorian Gary Oldmans from Dracula, keep your tongue in character and do not ask us if our costumes are hot. It's almost always 100 degrees and with the exception of our cleavages, we're swathed head-to-toe in leather, velvet, suede and fur. What thinkst thou? Faire is no place for steampunk and there’s also an internal, heated and on-going debate about Captain Jack Sparrow, because he’s a "made-up pirate". Of course, most of the pirate guilds are themselves comprised of made-up pirates. I give you geek.
  • Conan: Deserving of a Larry King suspenders & glasses/Arnold sausage snap combo-pantomime, this day trip can’t be beat, even by the Masturbating Bear. Whether you're a lucky local of beautiful downtown Burbank or saving up your game tokens for a Golden State sojourn, a Conan taping is probably the second best taping you can attend in The Valley. Tickets are free, but the online lottery is hit 'n miss. Still, if you can nail a date and don't mind being in Burbank on a weekday, you’ll be better than just about everybody back home on the farm.
  • Huntington Library and Gardens: Word nerds, book geeks and art history-snarks, this is your perfect afternoon, except Tuesdays and only from 10:30-4:00 in the summer, 12-4 otherwise. Of course, if you want to miss traffic getting out of the Pasadena-area, you’d best try to be out of the parking lot by 2:30, 3:00 tops. Home to a Gutenberg Bible, an Ellesmere manuscript of The Canterbury Tales, scores of early-Shakespearean papers, Audubon folios and a selection of 18thC. French and English decorative arts that would make Sofia Coppola swoon, the quiet and hidden treasure of L.A. museums is clandestinely tucked away in upscale, residential San Marino, an old money suburb of Pasadena. If you’re drawn to English incunabula, powdered wigs, French Lace roses and think Joshua Reynold's Sarah Siddons as Tragic Muse is just downright hot, then you’d better get going. Traffic will be a total nightmare in about forty minutes.

As a bonus, I must toss in The Hotel del Coronado. Though not a geek-oriented destination in and of itself, unless you’re bonkers for Victorian architectural detail, it is home to our favourite geek ghost, Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Hotel del Coronado. What?! You don’t know Miss Hannah Hart? Zowie!, as she would decry! Best get yourself over to GoodToBeAGeek.com and introduce yourself to this sassy and brassy, 1930s, Old Hollywood dame whom finds your casual wardrobe and slack-jawed vernacular a disgrace. Boyz-o! Does she have some opinions about you!

Clearly, because we are Geek, I rest assured many of you will disagree with my list, if only to dispute its hierarchy. Moreover, I expect others will rant and rail over omissions and inclusions. Please, do share @JennyPopNet or @GoodToBeAGeek. Like learning a Hotel Del ghostie girl is as bonkers for Carl Barks comic books as I am, it's always a thrill to learn where more of my own kind roam at will, without threat or fear of a good swirly.

 

 
Thursday, 28 June 2012 13:54 Jennifer Devore
Print PDF
So, unless you've been slumped over a Pacific Beach bar since Christmas -Very possible in P.B.- you know San Diego Comic-Con is nigh and yours truly is headed there with proverbial bells on. (Actually, I'll be donning ruffled, Victorian bloomers and a pith helmet: no bells.) Whilst it may seem I'm going for a good old-fashioned, G&T-fueled, steampunk, dress-up party, I'm really doing it all for you. Really.

parkablogs.com

For all of you whom wanted to go but can't make it, either because you were unsuccessful in nicking a badge through the Con's wonky, mad, digital dash for online purchases, or it was just never in the cards for you to get to America's Finest City this summer, I shall be your big eyes and perky ears throughout Geek Mecca.

Directly from the San Diego Convention Center floor I shall be Tweeting and Facebooking only the choicest gossip and sweetest pics: hot Manga girls, celebrity sightings, bonkers cosplay, even that guy who absolutely should not be wearing Spandex. If it's worthy, I shall be covering it for JennyPop.net and GoodtobeaGeek.com., under my pseudonym Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Hotel del Coronado.
If I'm lucky and can squeeze into a panel or two, I might even be able to get you some dishy goodness on the likes of Bob's Burgers, The Walking Dead, Children's Hospital, The Simpsons, True Blood, Spongebob Squarepants, American Dad, The Big Bang Theory, Vampire Diaries ...  phew. You know what? Take a peek here at the full list of TV panels for 2012: far too many to reference. If I could corner anyone for you, who would it and what would you ask them? Tweet me @JennyPopNet and let me know; I'll do my best!

Moi? I'll have my eyes peeled for the likes of Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate) Seth MacFarlane (American Dad, Family Guy), Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Loren Bouchard (King of the Hill, Bob's Burgers), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Henry Winkler (Children's Hospital, Happy Days, Arrested Development) and the entire Once Upon a Time cast and writers crew. Witness my love for Once here! Although, I do have to say that if the rumours are true, according to Variety, The Lone Ranger may be hosting a panel, possibly featuring Helena Bonham-Carter, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp ... well, I think we all know the outcome if this happens. Pack the smelling salts!

Best of all for you jelly beans, I'm giving up the goods! Not those goods, ya wet smacks. 2K12 Con goods! Now, pay attention:
  • 2 Grand Prize Goodie Bags Incl. one official Comic-Con Souvenir Book, autographed by author Jennifer Susannah Devore on her article, That Other Jane: 100 Years of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Heartbreaker , plus a collection of goodies from random floor vendors as well as some official Comic-Con Schwag  Bag contents. (Note: fewer than twenty writers appear in each year's Souvenir Book. Getting a signed one is a rare treat indeed. Keep yours mint; Jen's getting bigger by the day! Fan-wise, that is.)
  • 3 Goody Giveaways per convention day (Goody = one promotional item from random convention floor vendors) I don't even know what these are, yet! I'll be Tweeting them live from the floor. Trade shows and conventions are chock full of awesome tidbits ranging from coffee mugs and comic books to games and anime key chains. Who knows?!
ParkaBlogs.com

How to win? Easy Peasy! Just Tweet or FB the following during the SDCC dates of July 12th-July15th!

  • 2 Grand Prizes:
  1. One Facebook Fan: "Like" Savannah of Williamsburg on FB and post a quote from one of Jennifer Devore's Savannah of Williamsburg books. (Don't have a book? Get a free Kindle or Nook sample at Amazon and BN.com. Every quote gets you an entry!)
  2. One Twitter Pal: Follow @JennyPopNet and Tweet a short quote from any of Jennifer Devore's Savannah of Williamsburg books.
  • Daily Goody Giveaways: Follow @JennyPopNet with a Tweet containing  #SavannahofWilliamsburg and #SDCC, or "Like" Savannah of Williamsburg on Facebook and post a Comic-Con greeting on her wall!
Already a follower on Twitter? Already a Facebook fan? Sweet! Then all you have to do post a quote, Tweet a hashtag and wish me luck on tracking down Johnny Depp! (Wish Johnny luck, come to think of it!)

 

Abyssinia at the Con, cats!

All prizes will be mailed after SDCC 2K12. All winners shall be selected at random from qualified entries. In the event of any dispute whatsoever, I will be the final arbiter of final judgement under any circumstance. There is no cash value. As a condition of entry, entrants are expressly prohibited from making any claims whatsoever. No third party shall bear any responsibility whatsoever in relation to this promotion, including but not limited to syndicates, partners and affiliates. This contest is held solely by jennypop.net. This contest is held solely for fun. Have fun!
 
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:43 Jennifer Devore
Print PDF

 

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

"I still don't get it, Jennifer. What the heck is Steampunk?"

Voila, the de rigueur response from most when hit with a steampunk reference. Nebulous, querulous Steampunk. Briefly? 'Tis an anachronistically-based, alternate-existence, period-shod, fantasy world wherein steam power industry mixes bombastically with the funky, sharp vibes of modern technology ... plus a lot of airships, corsets, leather tophats, octopi (weirdly), 6" granny boots and fingerless gloves. "Quod the quod?", you cry. No worries. It doesn't actually matter. It's just a bit of stylish fun.

Steampunk is a weird and wild wedding of fashion, decor and technology flanked by the bridesmaids of science-fiction and fantasy. It's a mad, mad, mad, topsy-turvy swirl of Victorian-era British Colonialism, the American West, 19thC. Industrial Revolution and NASA. If Charles Dickens, Gail Carriger, Jules Verne, Walt Disney, Dr. Michio Kaku, Edward Gorey and Tim Burton co-recreated a Gilbert & Sullivan musical, you'd have Steampunk, sort of. Lift your opera glasses and have a peek at Xerposa: All Things Steampunk.

For a more intellectual exploration, take a few moments and treat yourself to Science Channel's Prophets of Science Fiction, specifically the Jules Verne episode. Dr. Kaku himself will help guide you through the leaves and pages of Verne's Victorian-futuristic literary themes.

Anyhoo, whilst Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B., Vivienne Westwood, Betsey Johnson and Ralph Lauren have been giving us teases n' tastes of the Victorian-fantasy look for years, Prada, with the help of Gary Oldman, Garrett Hedlund, Jamie Bell and Willem Dafoe, now gives us a four-course, sartorial feast with the Fall/Winter 2012 line of menswear ... steampunk inspired, clearly. After viewing the dapper, magically digital spectacle above, spot a bit o' ladies' steampunk through your spyglass at Clockwork Couture.

Should you be fortunate enough to be local to San Diego, take a sunny stroll down Oceanside way one day and poke your bowler into Dr. Watson's Steampunk Odditorium.

Need an altogether visual? Portlandia, as it does with all its targets, spoofs it best: Steampunk Convention. (A little too spot-on!) What's your fave steampunk mode: literature, film, fashion designer, photographer, or artiste otherwise? Share with Moi!

 


 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 10 of 21

Savannah on Facebook

Shop JennyPop on Amazon

Darlings on Facebook

Good to be a Geek on Facebook

JennyPopcorn: Netflix New Releases

  • The Circle

    Ambitious Mae Holland can't believe her good luck when the mightiest tech company on Earth -- The Circle -- hires her. But Mae's enthusiasm for her new job wavers after meeting a colleague who's skeptical of the company's objectives.
  • Gifted

    When his sister dies, 30-something bachelor Frank Adler assumes the care of her 7-year-old daughter. But his plans to raise her are threatened when the child reveals herself to be a math prodigy, and his mom suddenly gets involved.
  • The Boss Baby

    An addition to the family in the form of a suit-wearing baby brother has 7-year-old Tim worried about losing his parents' affection. But when a corporate plot threatens the balance of love in the world, Tim teams with his sibling to foil the scheme.
  • Colossal

    Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an out-of-work party girl who, after getting kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens), is forced to leave her life in New York and move back to her hometown where she's reunited with her childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis). When news...

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

PopShots

_20150921_233117.jpg

Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!