Friday, May 13, 2011

Eye Candy

Sorry this is a little late. Blogger seemed to be having some problems.

We had just left the parking lot and were heading toward the tram that goes to Disneyland when I saw them. You couldn’t miss them, really. A man and woman were dressed in all black. The man had some kind of platform shoes that looked like they were made for Frankenstein. The woman had a long black dress, a poufy looking hat and she carried a parasol.

Of course, I did a double take as they got on the tram. Well, everybody else did. too. I wondered what was up with them. I had to laugh. Times have certainly changed. In the old days, Disneyland would never have let them in. They wouldn’t even let men wearing tank top style shirts in, or hire women with pierced ears.

There wasn’t room for us on the tram, and we were too impatient to wait for the next one, so we walked to Downtown Disney and then took our secret way to get in the park without waiting in a long line. I had forgotten about the oddly dressed couple until a woman brushed past us, dressed in an elaborate black get up. She had a long dress cinched around the waist, an elaborate hat and a parasol. It was all black, and I recognized the style as being Steampunk. It was so clearly a costume, I thought she might be there for some kind of show Disneyland was putting on.

As we walked through California Adventure, I saw more people in black clothes, but there were more goth like. All black, lots of chains, bootlike shoes, dyed spikey hair and make-up.

Something definitely was going on. Ah, but there was a way to find out. All this time, I had been neglecting the power of my BlackBerry and used it merely as a phone and a way to see my emails, though was not always able to open them, but that’s another story. My BlackBerry has a browser on it which means you can go online and do a search. My son was impressed when I told him to type in Steampunk. He then added Disneyland and the date and hit enter.

That was how we found out that it was Bats Day and they’d arranged a meet up at Disneyland. I thought Bats was an acronym for something, but I think they used it to mean the creepy mammals that fly around. The event seemed to be originally aimed at goth types, but somehow Steampunkers had joined in.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Steampunk is, it refers to Victorian science fiction connected with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and the kind of futuristic machines they came up with that were powered by steam. The costumes I saw had some relation to Victorian style, but in a weird dark sort of way.

The goth people looked closer to pure punk. Anyway, the two groups of costumed people were everywhere and made a weird contrast to all the regular visitors there in their Mickey ears and pastel tee shirts. Though I did see at least one person in a goth outfit complete with huge platform shoes and white make-up and black lipstick (it was a guy) who had Goofy ears hanging down from his spikey hair style.

It turned out to be a fabulous people watching day. Particularly at eight p.m. when all the dressed up people gathered in front of the Haunted Mansion for a group photo. Unfortunately, it was too dark to take a photo with my BlackBerry, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

In the end we went on two rides. Buzz Lightyear which amounts to riding around in a little car trying to hit targets so you can save the universe. My son likes that ride a lot and said he finds it especially fun to see me shooting at something. I hit enough targets to make it to the third level and at least wasn’t rated as a space cadet, though some people might disagree. The Disneyland folks are nice enough to give you a free photo of your adventure.

Over in California Adventure we went on Soaring Over California. You are basically dangled over an I-Max screen and it gives the feeling you are flying over various spots in California like the waves in Malibu, snow covered mountains near Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, Yosemite falls, an aircraft carrier in San Diego, the Golden Gate bridge, etc. The first few times I went on it, I was overwhelmed by the big screen and the feeling that I was flying without a plane. But now I love it and have no problem with the big screen or the view. I was just worried my red Mickey Mouse Crocs might fall off my feet, so I stowed them under my seat.

It was a fun Mother’s Day.

Do you like to people watch?

17 comments:

Planner said...

If you had only known in advance, you could have asked Adele for advice on what to wear!

Glad you had a good time!

Betty Hechtman said...

Adele would have loved the little hat I saw one women wearing. They're called fascinators and are more of an ornament than a head cover. Adele, of course, would have made the crocheted version I saw in a U.K. crochet magazine.

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a wild and fun day, Betty, including the people watching. That sounds like a particularly memorable Mother's Day!

Linda O. Johnston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen said...

As I recall, Jules Verne mainly used electrical batteries for power. Captain Nemo's Nautilus depended on batteries, the airship of Robur the Conqueror depended on batteries, they carried electric lights down the volcano in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Verne does use steam to power The Steam House - which despite its name is a steam-powered robot elephant, with enough room inside for a number of people to live.

If you want to see proper steampunk, go to visit http://girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it's thanks to some of the people in our RWA chapter that I know what Steampunk is. It was a fun day.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks for the information, Ellen.

marlenedotterer said...

Sounds like a fun day! I love California Adventure. We went on it twice and I could have gone over and over and over.

I also love Steampunk. We usually dress up when we go to SciFi conventions. My husband is so handsome with the suspenders and bowler hat.

Betty Hechtman said...

Marlene, how neat to hear from someone who actually dresses up in steampunk garb. Where do you find the outfits?

I could go on Soaring Over California a bunch of times, too.

Carol S said...

On the TV show Castle this year, they did an episode about Steampunk followers; that was the first time I had heard of it. Perhaps real science fiction is making a comeback vs dungeon and dragon stuff.

Monica Ferris said...

I LOVE to people-watch! The Mall of America is a great place to do it, and I pretty generally take time at any convention to just sit in the hotel lobby and watch people come and go. I quite often get walk-on characters for my books from people watching.

Betty Hechtman said...

Carol, I must have missed that episode of Castle. I'll have to look for it online. I'd love to see it.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I am totally agree with you about people watching. It is the best entrertainment and if you can eavesdrop on their conversation, even better. I, too, have gotten character ideas from people I see in passing.

Sarita said...

I definitely love to people watch! So glad you had fun.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

What a cool story, Betty. I wish you had pics to share.

Betty Hechtman said...

Sarita, people watching is the best.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, pictures would have been fun. There's always next year as I think this is a yearly event.