So here I am in Toronto!

I was hoping for some birdwatching, but the weather always conspires against me, so I arrived during a cold snap…might possibly catch some waterfowl if lucky. Tomorrow we’re supposed to hit the zoo, which is often a good spot for birding.  I have been promised strange ungulates. (Who doesn’t love a strange ungulate?)

Today, with my buddy Graydon acting as Native Guide, we wandered–and shopped–what may have been downtown Toronto (Hell if I know. They had tall buildings, though. And subways. And streetcars. And gay bookstores.)  Visited a fabulous outdoor sporting good place (I had to get long underwear, if I’m going to roam the zoo, and buying long underwear in the South just isn’t worth the bother. You go to a state/country/whatever that actually experiences cold to buy long underwear. This is a rule.)

And then we visited one of the places that I was really dying to go–Northbound Leather. Which sells, um, leather. Lots and lots and lots of leather.

And, err, other things. Odd things. Things that Ursula did not look too closely in the case at, and a few things that she picked up, said “What is…OH!” and put back down hastily. Still, delightful.  (Do you know what a flattened out latex gimp mask looks like? I do. Now.)

Look, I have been wanting a corset for AGES, and I really LIKE leather. Yes, yes, cloth has all kinds of appeal but…err…I like leather. Purely as a tactile thing. Nothing weird. No, really.*

Also, apparently I wanted buckled sleeve thingies. I had not previously known that I required these in order to make my life complete, but I discovered this almost immediately.

Graydon was very patient about the whole thing. “Sorry this is taking so long…” I said, as the equally patient (and very very gay) salesman laced me up for the six-hundredth time. “I’ve gone shoe shopping with dancers,” he said wearily, “this is nothing.” 

Part of the reason he was so sanguine about it was probably that he decided to document it all, for posterity, or possibly just the internet. And because I love you all, and you’d ask anyway…yeah, here ya go. Ursula in leather. Don’t say I never gave ya nuthin’.

The photos were just too much fun to pass up. I am told that I am far too kinetic a subject for easy photography, however–by which I think it was meant that I move a lot, and tend to bolt or grimace if I see the camera–so between that and the lighting, mad props for getting any that came out at all.

Also, I did not include several that would likely cause a riot if I tried to wear them outside and do anything such as “tie shoes” or “scratch nose.”  They suffered what is known as the Nuclear Bodice problem….severe danger of fallout.

Please note purple socks. Possibly I would wear different socks with this in public. Possibly.

Please note mannequin in background of this photo. No, I didn’t try that one on.

Look at those buckled…sleeve…wrist…thingamajig…stuff…and tell me that you could live without them either. I swear, I’m wearing them to every convention until I die or my wrists chafe from doing too many sketchbooks with ’em on. They cover fishy, but leave the kingfisher fully exposed.

Quite a good shot of kingfisher and fishy, in situ.  All staff members present talked me out of the corsets with shoulder straps, on the principle that the tattoo was way too cool to get minimized. I deferred to their judgement.

I am posting this one as a reminded to myself that once upon a time, in my early thirties, I had a great ass.

A profile shot of me that doesn’t make me want to run screaming into the night is rare enough that I’m posting this one, Roman nose and all. The corset in this shot has lovely front buckles, and the cut was actually rather more flattering than the sweetheart line, strangely enough. I am told that after some wearing, the stretching will occur in the proper places and provide a bit more support rather than compression (or something like that, I don’t know how these things work.)

I contemplated the oddly furry gimp-dog-mask thing…complete with leather tail…not for myself, but just to scare the crap out of the poor people who volunteer to help me man the table at cons. “Here. You’ll be wearing this….” but then I thought…naaaaah. I’d have to get it cleaned, and…well, never mind. (I had this brief searing mental image of Carlota and…well…I want people to spend money and then move along, not  grovel in front of the table, thank you.)

Have no idea if the outfit I finally settled on will boost table sales, or whether it will simply mean that I get a higher percentage of fifteen year old boys lurking around, but damnit, this is the best I’ve looked in ages, and if conventions (i.e. Nerd Prom) are not the place to show it off…

My credit card sobbed, but did not actually ignite, so all is well with the cosmos.

*Does anybody actually believe me when I say this any more, or am I doing this solely for my mom’s benefit?

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