so let's talk about it!
tl;dr: here are all the pictures without context, I won't post each one individually to save on thread loading time and clicking 453876 pictures time on your part, and url posting time on my part >__> ALSO: I've thrown in Liz's pictures in here~ But wait until AFTER reading so that some of these pictures make sense!Downtown pictures, Downtown krewStained glassDowntown pictures, Airyu/Tai onlyMisc picturesWaiting for Bliz~Hallway pictures*mostly* astro-room picturesFood-place picturesLiz room pictures17 thurs
Hoo, boy. Today'd be the day I leave, and Thursdays are my busy days. Fell asleep around 3AM last night, got up around 7:30AM and left to class around 8:30 for my human physiology lecture at 9:30, immediately followed an animal physiology lecture from 11-12:25, but my anatomy lab class starts at 11:10 so I have to head out early so I don't miss quizzes. We get out early at 2:30PM and thankfully Airyu has brought me pizza to get my energy up :3 After 5 hours of nonstop class I'm usually quite hungy (and I usually have another 1.5 hour class after this, but I'm skipping it today~). We pack and leave around 400, take a train to the airport, and go through security. Unfortunately I set off the X-ray scanners, and they pull me aside. It was here that I realized my tool kit isn't quite airline friendly - I had laid everything out, but the case for my screwdriver bits was obscuring the machine . They sort of look at me funny and have me stand off to the side and re-x-ray the bits, deem them terrorist-free, and let me go on my merry way. I think the funny looks were because I had Princess Celestia right next to my wire cutters (all my suspect doodads were in the same tray), but oh well. We head to our gate, get a bit of frozen yogurt and plunk around on our instruments for a bit. I check out a free Chromebook before boarding the 3.5 hour flight. Inside, the plane was lit a lovely lavender hue, which faded to black after we took off. I found out that, if you have internet, Chromebooks are a decent ten-hour web-browser (the chromebook didn't even use half it's battery, for the entire trip, compared to my netbook's now-5-hour max battery) and let you use flash/java apps to acceptable levels, but without internet they suck pretty hard - the chrome window is literally the only window you get (and the offline text-editor I managed to find didn't even let you undock from the bottom of the screen, and had the barest of functionality (read: it let you put letters, numbers, spaces, and tabs in)). Anyway, we land around 11 local time, bumble around before realizing we can't buy day-passes for the CTA rail, give up and pay a few bucks and a half a buck for the 5 minute trainride.
And here is where our fun begins. After getting off the train and walking past the AKUUUUUUUU building
We near the front lobby and Airyu gets her first glimpse of fursuits irl. I also discover that while the fire exits aren't alarmed, they only open from the inside. We go up to the main lobby - there are four hallways that possibly go to our room, and I choose the three wrong ones first (I swear I've been here before). I start plotting about how best to reveal myself - knocking on the door wouldn't be a fitting way to introduce myself. Through an incredible coincidence of timing, I hear Liz open the door, talking to someone - I quickly shoosh Airyu back around a corner and wait for them to pass. I'm pretty sure they went into the garage to fetch something from their car, so we go up the stairs and wait a few minutes for them to come back.
Sure enough, a few minutes later I hear Liz and what sounded like Aeron. As soon as I see someone's shoe step around the corner, I hug the stuffing out of the nearest person (Aeron) and move onto Liz amidst a burst of glee and an “OH MY GOSH ITS TAIIII” from Liz. Apparently, Liz and Aeron met less than half an hour earlier - Josh was trying to duck back into a bathroom to surprise Liz, but instead they gave each other that “HEY I KNOW THAT PERSON LOOK” and hugged at first sight :3 (I know this because they said so, I'm not a stalker~) Anyway, Airyu hugged around, and we went into the room all full of joy.
We get inside the room around 11:10. Lgnota, Chinq, and Quaggy are there (talking about boobies around Kate's vinyl printer thing, from which she made some Brony stick-ons), as well as Procy and Michal and Astro.
After seeing Liz tries on the fursuit she brought, affectionately named Tumbles, Astro realizes he wants to be a real furry and tries it on, then decides he doesn't want to be a real furry and takes it off.
But suddenly the wofl in Liz wakes up and feels the need to bury a bone or 206, so she goes about burying Lgnota under ALL the pillows:
Liz takes a picture, and I take a picture of Liz taking a picture. Then Javs et al. stop by. Everyone looks at Flyssa for guidence, who decrees Simon is not quite bronified yet. Liz and Muffinpaws channel their energies through my matron pony Celestia, and Simon gasps as he is filled with the Magic of Friendship~~
Now filled with the magic of Friendship, Simon grows a Friendship mustache from a scrap of Lgnota's vinyl -
I wrote down "Simon get off the phone and wake up." in my notes here. Not sure why.
At some point, everyone evacuates except for me, Liz, Lg, and Aeron. Our room grows slightly more disoragnized, but all is well since Princess Celestia is watching over us. You can also see Lgnota's vinyl printer thing, and the reason why Liz is a mite tipsy (note the levels of rum left in the bottle)
As Airyu and I talk, Liz screams RAPE. I forget why. Lgnota can't find her suitcase in the closet even though the closet is just big enough to fit the suitcase. We decide to head to bed soon.
Liz realizes she needs her phone charger, so Agni and I volunteer to escort her. We get to her car, adorned by a Liz-drawn Lgnota sticker. Leaving the task of searching to her less-tipsy companions, Liz opens the door so Agni can search the front seat and I can search the back seat. We had to make our minds up - which seat would we find the charger in? By this time it's already Friday, but I'll save the header for after we go to sleep. I found an oscillating fan, and Agni found the prize charger. We start heading back talking about how happy we were to see each other, and Liz offers us some spicy jerky she discovered in the trunk. Liz says she's so drunk that she didn't even know her tongue was on fire from the jerky, and Agni doesn't like the firemeat, but I think it's deliciously spicy. As we walk back I lectured Liz and Airyu about how they need to take better care of themselves by sleeping and eating better. Since they know I'm king of DC, they are entirely focused on My Word:
After we're in our room but before we head to bed, Airyu and Lgnota and Liz go about comparing their boob sizes. I for one think I'm the winner, breasts are SO not hydrodynamic. Liz wants one more otrhug (and who am I to turn down a willing hugger), but then Lgnota wants one too but is too tired to get up for the hug - oh, what to do! In a flash of genius I pick up Liz and plop down to hug both of them at once (and put Liz in bed at the same time. EFFICIENCY!).
We all lie down and Airyu sets off with a whole slew of things about me that she's never mentioned to be ever - ranging from about how her mom thought she was a lesbian the first time she saw me (due to my magnificently long hair highlighting my feminine side~~) to about how sterile I am. Everyone cracks up and Lgnota starts snorting with laughter - seriously, it was the loudest noise I heard the entire con, yet something about it still seemed cute. Somewhere in there we talk about condoms or something, and the song “I'm sexy and I know it”, but everything's a blur by this point and we eventually quiet down.
Except for Lgnota, who sings "I'm sexy and I know it" on and off for about 30 minutes afterwards.18 Fri
Waking up SUCKED. It was today that I felt the consequences of pulling a 20 hour day. Lgnota's a fuckin' owl and leaves the room around 5AMish, coming back with a few plastic bags. I'm curious (and a light sleeper, since I woke up after Lgnota starts moving around), but my slpyness wins and I roll over and sleep. Aeron got up a bit after Lgnota and fiddled around at some point but I was too tired to look at the clock. Lgnota comes in after that and I rouse long enough to poke around the bags she brought: I discover 2 liters of coke, 2 apples (which would be vitally important later) a toothbrush, and enough first-aid supplies to supply a summer camp, - I realize I left my toofbrush in lab, so I ask Kate to pick me up another. She hands me the purrrple toofbrush she got and says she'll get another one, and so she glides away and I glide back into bed.
I wake up a bit later than expected; probably around 9ish. I poke around It takes us awhile to shower and such; I had told Vis we would try to leave around 9, but waking up at 9 hurt enough as it was, sorry Vis
Since it was somewhat late, we got our badges (which were inferior to last year imo; the picture couldn't compare to 2010's singing raccoon and not even a shoestring lanyard to hang our badges from). and stopped by consuite for our free food (which for the most part were overly salty, sugary, or otherwise unhealthy - but calories are calories, and once in awhile they served meatball or cold-cut sandwiches).
The downtown Chicago krew set out after that - Tai, Airyu, Muffin, Aeron, Javs, and Liz - past the AKUUUUUU building down to the rail station and the hour-long ride downtown. Thankfully I had the foresight to tell everyone what stop to get off at, since the car was full and by the time we got there I had no idea where anyone was. We arrive around 12, but alas, the otter and kitty have to go to the little critter's room. The line is somewhat long, and by the time we get back, Liz needs to go. Meanwhile, I hear people talking about stuff like holiday shopping and dumb ass boyfriends and foreign invaders encroaching on the land that was theirs because their grandfather's father lived there (that is more or less a direct quote).
Most downtown pictures here: Downtown pictures, Downtown krew
We walk through the streets of Chicago, which always seem to be in a perpetual state of construction. Liz's head get's cold and Muffin generously offers his fox hat to former-wofl. At some point Liz changes to Sasha's woflhat but I forget when?? Something to do with Javs not wanting to hold the hat anymore. One passerby saw us trying to take a group picture, and kindly offered to take it for us! What a nice lady :3
We look over a railing, and this little dawggie turns and just stares at us. It walked a couple steps, turned, and looked at us some more. Godspeed, little dawggie o7
We find a little park, and everyone has fun and/or intriguing conversations with the statues:
..except for me T___T
Either Airyu or I thought it'd be a brilliant idea to take a picture facing the blinding sun:
After a half-hourish of walking, we finally get to Navy Pier:
and Liz asks the age-old question: Why the butts is her Russian Canadian boyfriend studying Korean? (Also notice: The pom-pom things on the hat aren't looped together yet)
We also see the Billy Goat's Tavern from last time, and walk past quickly so we don't have to buy anything (though I must commend them for their excellent use of butts in advertising)
We wander around a bit, spending most of our time in the stained glass museum. There's an album of all the stained glass here: http://imageshack.us/g/204/picture1268h.jpg/
This chick walks by; we'll never know what the butts she was up to:
It gets late - Liz wanted to be back by 3 for a fursuit building panel so she could get started making her own suits. We take a downtown krew group picture for the ~~memories~~, and Airyu and Liz share a tearful goodbye, as Airyu finally buttons Sasha's woflhat atop Liz's head together for the trip back:
New album collection here, for downtown pictures after everyone save me and Airyu go back to the Hyatt: Downtown pictures, Airyu/Tai only
Agni and I continue onward, looking at more stained glass and eventually wandering outside. The wind decides to pick up; both of us are staggering at the force of the wind. Seriously, look at this. The flags are being blown *upward* (but it's a good shot of my magical color-changing hair, too :3 ) . After this, we we retreat back inside, looking at whatever else Navy Pier has to offer.
Which didn't include fried dough. Airyu takes a picture of the stand out of spite:
Eventually, we set out past Navy Pier to downtown Chicago proper. See, Airyu used to live here, and we had a childhood memory to hunt down - a place that sold shortbread when she was little. The only thing she could remember was that she asked “Daddy let's go to Sax!” when she wanted the shortbread, and that the store was on the highest floor of a building overlooking the street. So, with a map and guidance from VisMis, we head off. Along the way, we stopped off at a lot of places including a giant Forever 21, the Disney Store (since we're both Disney dorks), and an American Girl store (one of around ten stores in north america; I remember seeing one of her old American Girl dolls at her apartment). Though, except for the Disney store, I camp out by the entrance and work on my ninja stars. We finally find the Sax Fifth Avenue...but it's the wrong shape, according to Agni. It was supposed to be taller...much like the one across the street, heh heh.
We cross and climb a flight of escalator stairs before realizing the elevator would be heaps faster. We go to the highest floor...and find a place that's basically offices. There's a sales floor down one flight full of Christmasy-type stuff and a giant Corduroy bear; we ask the sales associate if there was ever a shortbread lobby here, and we get a sad “No, sorry”. We talk for a little while, about how the last renovation was years and years ago, and how maybe the place we were looking for might be at the Bloomingdale’s food court. We say our thanks and elevator on down, going down another block on our quest for Agni's childhood shortbread.
This elevator ride was only 5 stories. We get to the top...but unfortunately, the building shape here was wrong, too, and no shortbread store in sight. Coincidentally, this place has a place that sells shortbread, so Agni buys a couple and we share it. Not quite the childhood memory we were hunting for, but the adventure was definitely worthwhile :3
Lacking any meaningful direction to search, we start heading back to the rail station; our map was woefully undetailed, only labeling major streets and not how to actually find stations.. After awhile of bumbling around, I finally ask a couple of nice Chicagoans where the nearest L is...and they helpfully point it out one block away. Seems I should've persisted and trusted my map-reading skills :V
We get on the rail and I totally don't almost take us on the wrong train. Thankfully, Agni finds the right train and the hour-long ride back is a welcome thing, given we're sitting down after ten miles of walking. We walk past the AKUUUUUUU building again, and get back to the room. A relaxing dragon who is really a raccoon is waiting for us; he stares blankly, even as Airyu puts her spectacles on RelaxingDragon's face:
Javs et al. show up as well - Javs gives the raccoon who is really a relaxingdragon a blurry hug:
As Airyu and I are ravenous by this point, we head down to consuite for a few nibbles of salted and sugary foods. Astro and Procyon are waiting, slightly red because the drinks they drunk were fairly warm:
We then go to the subspace highway or something. At some point we head back and Javs klimmy flyssie Muffin and Aeron and Liz are there and hugs go all around. Javs is in suit, and he does a good job at looking around really confused:
I forget what Javs is doing here, but he seems really into it
RD shows up, too:
Toward the end of our meal, Fritz pops by and introduces us to his boyfriend. All I remember is him asking about where the weed-smoking spot was.
We get word that Bliz is getting close; Liz wants to go back to the room to suit up to match Javs to meet Bliz. So we do. I get the honor of zipping up Liz and pinning the little stubbletail on, and then we go to the front entrance.
We take a lot of pictures while waiting for Bliz: they're all here.
We then go to the front entrance, and a suiter who has an unpronouncable name and a lost badge shows up and hugs a bunch of people. Liz says he was creepy, but I think it was just the mask's face:
You can see Liz's eye through Tumbles's mouth here, apparantly Tumbles is really a sentient species which moves around by engulfing people and using them as a skeleton. Liz tries wresting conrol and begs for help here:
After successfully taking control of her new skin, Liz uses her newfound powers of awwdorableness to keep Aeron warm, acting as the warmest jacket ever. Aeron gives Liz a piggyback ride as thanks, and soon, everyone wants a piggyback ride. I, on the other hand, reverse-turtle Airyu:
Airyu realizes her MOON BOOTS match Tumble's shoes, here:
Soon, we see the Hyatt shuttle in the distance. Liz quickly (and assertively!) claims first hug, and can't wait for Bliz to come out. (I got second hug, but no one took pictures ): )
We walk Bliz to the front desk to check-in, to his room to drop off his luggage, and then to Astro et al.'s room. As Simon's getting comfy and talking to Michal about their airplanesonas, I crash the game of Shadow's over Camelot, and inherit the job of being the secret traitor - and the task of ruining the game for the other 6 players. I am eventually de-feeted; now that there are no otters, order is restored to Camelot.
Liz asks if Astro's going to propose, and Astro says something like "Liz I'm going to make you my moneymaker". I forget what happens next, other than Astro giving Liz a $1 ring (literally - a ring made of a single united states dollar) and a hug (Liz really stocked up on DC hugs this time~) :
Astro loses his little duck just before we have to go. We find it eventually, but Astro would go on to lose his favorite hat T__T
Michal shares some of his Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liquer, which was criminally delicious. Between a sip of that stuff and a beer I found, that was the extent of alcohol I had for the con. He falls asleep on a chair, and I'd've had a picture of it if I didn't feel guilty about keeping him up that long ;__;
Klimt spends a loooong while playing with my Rubik's cube. He seemed quite adamant about figuring it out himself and refused all my help~
I forget what happens here, but we probably ended up going to sleep in our bed since I woke up in it the next day.19 Sat
Wake up late again, around 9:40. You can see the pattern emerging here. I rush over to consuite to nibble at somethings and dash to furry scientist meet, and I catch the tail end of it. Run into Procy here again. Somewhat dejected that I didn't get to talk about my awesome “Identifying critters using DNA” research. I get back to the room and hang out for a bit. Liz and Kate get into a fake argument, and Liz leaves the room to go get something. Less than a minute later, there's a knock at the door and an instant "pants OFF" from Lgnota. Turns out, it was room service giving us towels, oops~ Lgnota has this really "welp" expression and just stands around for a minute, entirely dazed:
After Liz leaves, Agni and I dress in our kigas, and head down to “Performing in fursuits”. Apparently the first thing you should do in fursuits is to know where you're going. You're wearing a $500+ piece of clothing that makes you rather vulnerable (restricting eyesight, arm movements, etc), so anywhere at night, in crowds, with small children or with alcohol should be treated with a bit of caution. The best plans include knowing exit routes, having buddies know meeting points in case you get seperated, and a dedicated handler in case things really go south.
From there, it's all about performing. Fursuits are giant “Look at me!” signs, and if you're going to get people's attention, you might as well have fun with it (and put furries in a good light). Short of at furcons, you're practically expected to be entertaining while you're in suit. A general rule is you can't talk; coupled with your face literally being a mask, you have to really over-exaggerate your movements to show emotion. Some basic gestures are the shake hand movement, clapping to appear happy, “yay” gestures, and offering a hug. Looking around makes you seem curious, avoids the creepy “staring eyes” look, and helps you make the most out of the ten degrees of vision you get in a suit's head (strut around instead of walking normally to really give yourself an expressive look while widening your field of vision with your waggling head). Walk around with openish arms - communicate that you're open by having your arms open. But watch out for facial expressions - no amount of openness will work on people who are having a bad day, know when you should walk away.
There was a whole segment on dealing with kids - they're essentially little kamikaze missiles, but they might not show it at any given time. They're short enough to be invisible under your muzzle, undetectably quiet with the suit head on (unless they're in banshee scream mode), and important enough to be worth a lawsuit if you're careless. When dealing with ones that can't walk, the rule is: DON'T. Your paws have the usefulness of oven mitts during brain surgery - it's far too easy to drop things while wearing paws. This rule extends to family pets, precious heirlooms, and other things that wouldn't be happy when dropped. If some dad somewhere thinks you're adorable and insists you carry his infant in your arms, refuse - but with STYLE! You can outright shake your head no, but you can also do things that make it difficult for them to do what you don't want them to do (If they're thrusting their crotchspawn into your arms, sit down or lie down (which gives Dad a good photo op without having the danger of dropping their genetic replicon all over the floor). Turning your back, yelping, slumping your shoulders, making a whining noise, and so on can be employed when something is happening that you don't want to happen.
When dealing with adolescents, move slowly, fast movements can scare them. You don't want to be responsible for making someone's kid cry. If they seem nervous, kneel down and hold out a wrist, then a finger. Don't forget about the “walk away” rule - some kids will be traumatized by your suit. But walk away with style - do a face-in-paws or pull-down-ears and turn around. Some kids might warm up to you knowing that you're not trying to eat them or whatever, and might follow as you walk away, getting the courage to give you that high-five. You have to be careful with the kids that aren't afraid of you, too - that picture with you hugging a kid might end up with Chris Hansen knocking at your door, since kids are conveniently crotch-height when hugging. Tony the Tiger is quite an iconic mascot, and the rules to suit as Tony were quite strict as not to sully his image. One of the moves taught was the knee-block, so the kid would hug your leg instead of your nono bits. And the “keep your hands visible at all times” rule helps show that it's the kid doing the accidental crotch faceplant all on his own. Remember: even if the kid is running at you at full speed, doctors are cheaper than lawyers. And you will likely accidentally cause a kid to rebound off of you and go flying if you're around kids long enough - it's not entirely your fault (though moving your feet slowly helps prevent an accidental kick), kids are unpredictable, focus on damage control (especially with the parent) instead of feeling guilty that you can't read a child's mind.
Walk carefully: this especially applies to areas with children, but taking it slow in unfamiliar places is a wise choice too. Take slow, deliberate steps, using your feet as a cane if you can't see where you're stepping.
Dealing with some teens can be just as tricky. Some may be interested but want to act cool, and thus express themselves by pulling the tail of your $1500 fursuit. Some creative acting can get your message across; failing that, a handler who has bouncer experience.
And then there are the adults. Some might be a little careless with their strength around your suit, especially if alcohol is involved. Facial expressions and the walk-away technique are useful, here - and your handler can be invaluable if things really go bad.
How to act around others is only part of it - how you wear the suit is another big part. Use of a bandana is popufur to cover the gap between the headfur and the bodyfur. A 5 inch long elastic band two inches down your leg and into the shoe can prevent bunching of fur when you walk (protip: more fur will just bunch up more).
Wearing the suit itself is also a challenge. The guy told a story about how he got mildly drunk in suit and stayed in suit for 13 hours. At the end of the day, he took off his suit, drank a bit of water, and fell asleep for 36 hours. Moral: if you push your body too far, your brain will tell you to pants off by keeping you unconscious. Another one blacked out after taking off her suit during a snowstorm and “passing out due to going from hot to cold so fast, and luckily didn't catch pnemonia”. I'm not sure why she passed out, but I'm somewhat skeptical on the reasoning (people go from saunas to freezing temperatures as part of their daily routine, and aren't passing out/developing fluid in the lungs). You should start out by only going 20 minutes at a time, especially since 20 minutes can turn into 3 hours before you know it. Figure out your heat tolerance slowly - heat stroke is a really shitty experience to go through. Alcohol numbs you to the signs of heat stroke, so be even more careful. Don't use ice packs in your suit - while they're cool at first, they're also excellent insulators. If you need to cool someone quickly, run cool water over wrists to cool core temperature. Armpit and groin are additional cooling points, but are less practical.
ANYWAY: after this hour-long panel, we head to consuite for a meal proper. As we walk in, klimt sees us, and just sort of staaaares at us. I didn't tell anyone we were bringing pseudo-suits, either~
Getting back to the table, I ottersnuggle Sasha mercilessly, to which his initial feelings of overwhelming awwwww (seriously, how many pictures do you see of Javs without him making a really twisted face) melt into vicious hunger, and that sets off a snuggleparty:
Agni and I go then head to a series of panels: first to handlers 101. For those of you not in the know, a handler is a duden that follows a fursuiter around and keeps the suiter out of trouble in one of a dozen ways. There was a lot of rehashing from the performing in fursuits panel, including a story about how a suiter passed out and paramedics scissored off a $2500 suit (the damage was irreparable). The first rule of handling is to be explicit with the suiter you are looking after - if you leave and your suiter doesn't realize this, and he/she's relying on you to not fall down a flight of stairs; well, you can see how bad things can turn out. One guy hired to suit on a mountain hike had his handler take his lunch break before helping the suiter down a particularly steep trail - which could've ended expensively in terms of suit repair and medical bills. Practicing hand-signals such as “I need a break”, “I need water,” “I need my suit off NOW”, and so on are a good idea, too..
Handlers have to be bold - knowing when to answer for the suiter (“His name's Buddy, and he likes making friends!”), when to gently fight off too-curious people, when to seriously get involved (Another horror story involved a small mob picking up a smaller suiter and running away with him still inside the suit - the handlers were nowhere to be found, so the other suiters had to give chase). But they also have to know when to pull back, to let the suiter have camera time or play around.
Suits are instant attention getter - you have to be ready for people to just come up out of nowhere. Hopefully you have enough sense to not be in places where those people will try to mug you.
Be prepared - know when you need to carry water bottles for your suiter, or which path would be easiest to travel in a suit. Wear the suit for awhile - see just how limiting it is to have a suit head on, and how much harder stairs are.
Know when you need to have something on-hand like water bottles or a way to carry suit around. Use facial expressions - know if someone's annoyed, happy, worried about a kid running up to you. Take slower, idler steps - your suit's head will muffle already-scared-silent children trying to take a curious look. Make your handler wear the suit for 10 min, walk around, go up stairs etc. Use your feet as tactile cane if you need to find a step up, and watch your head: move slowly around corners/low ceilings.
Then we head to Too Much Light makes the bab_y go blind where we learned about pants Chairs, how marvelously unspectacular Tina Fey is (She's wonderful! A visionary! And a woman!) | , energy production from third graders. We also see “I am a bear”, which starts off funny and turns into a serious monologue about being ready to kill to protect the ones you care about. Also, the solution to life's problems is to have someone shoot you with silly string. We also manage to impress a performer with our kigas!
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We head to furry musicians but lose interest halfway through since it was “This was my experience and new people should practice” type of deal. We head to the Cartoon Smackdown panel where Wile E. beat up Big Bad Wolf and Discord got trounced by Don Karnage. The furry variety show happened too I guess; I don't remember much from this, other than a few pop-furry references to The Reanimator and 300 and such.
We had a few minutes before Lupus in Tabula; here we stopped by consuite again and nibbled at stuff. They had cold-cut sandwiches today, and I load up (especially since I've just been eating snack food till now).
We go downstairs to the Lupus room. This year they had to split the game into two rooms - and they still had 25/33 people each. I wanted to play sort-of...but mostly because of Alkali's charismatic style and rules from last year. Iggy was alright, but given the crowd of somewhat annoying people and the (once again) overly crowded nature of the game, I don't regret sitting out. Steven gets knocked out early for no real reason; he tells me to text him when the next game starts. Liz follows shortly thereafter (to the dismay of the others). Liz's drinks make her slightly imbalanced and a little too talkative (she told Javs information he wasn't supposed to know), and so I amble over and try to help Liz up and out of the game. Agni escorts her to some place, and I stay in the room until I get a text saying to meet at the bar. Javs, Muffin, and Bliz are still in-game, and I tell them to head over whenever the game ends or they get werewolf'd / lynched. As I'm leaving though, one of the other players asks me about Liz. He was quite the concerned citizen, quite honestly, the world could use more people looking out for the well-being of strangers.
I track down everyone at the bar; we all needed a bit of food. This led to a trip to the bar, where a complicated love pentapolygon took shape (Holding hands shows a relationship):
We then decide to re-crash Michal's room for a bit. Astro's duckie looks rather snug with his coffee cozy collar:
Shortly thereafter, we (aeron klimt lgnota liz airyu tai bliz ) retire to Bliz's room to start a new game of SoC. Aeron and Klimt sit out awhile and cuddle adorably before heading out :3 I try to take another picture, but klimt's picture-taking reflex kicks in:
Agni becomes King Arthur, and I choose Sir Kay. But partway through the game, our attention turns to middle ages roleplay: Mordred posed smugly in the wrong direction, since we sorta ignored him the entire game. A good thing, too: Mordred never would have been the same had he known about the gay romance between King Arthur and Sir Kay (obviously since Airyu and I are dating, Arthur and Kay must be too??) . Sir Palamedes was a good sport, and was ok with the unusual relationship between his King and his fellow knight, but Sir Percival didn't know how to feel about it - and Sir Tristian was absolutely mortified after he accidentally walked in on a moonlit tryst between Sir Kay and King Arthur.
This game takes a lot of planning and we nearly die multiple times after playing for an ungodly long time (probably over four hours), and I get grumpy and start criticizing game mechanics which led to an interesting question: To destroy a siege engine (which is basically a catapult) a knight must place down numbered cards and roll a die and hope the die is lower than the sum of the cards, but if that knight loses he takes damage. We wondered: how would that work irl? If the knight wins, does he grow huge and chop the siege engine in half? And what if he loses? The siege engines are pretty badass to be able to take down Camelot's walls, so a direct hit should smoosh a knight instantly instead of taking one life point. So does the driver of the siege engine just step down and kick the knight in the face or something?
We eventually emerge victorious and after another round of hugs we head back to our room and go the pants to sleep.20 sun
I wake up fairly late, just before 11. Before heading to Power of Pretend, I stop by consuite for a bit of food, and see a suit that I sort-of recognize. After a bit of otrstalking, I get a glimpse of his nametag and realize it is, in fact, Evauk! He seemed a bit jittery, but given his love of Monster, plus the fact he had slept about 4 hours in the past day I couldn't blame him:
I get to the panel, which was supposed to be a roundtable-type discussion about "The Power of Pretend". Unfortunately, the panel host had to leave to find hotel staff to unlock the door, and in that time most people left. The host was part of the organization Critters by the bay - quite interestingly, based in the same city I live in. His thesis of sorts was that fursuiting allows you to step outside yourself and play the role of another character - someone you made up, someone you look up to, or whatever - in the same way an actor or writer might step into their own roles. For that brief moment, you can set aside your worries and can act like someone else without people wondering why you changed your personality. He also stressed the point of suspending your disbelief: few people will argue that fursuits are more than a guy in a suit - but in the same way that Daniel Radcliffe can have a romantic relationship with someone other than Ginny, fursuiters can suit as another character without having their real-life self associated with the character they portray.
In any case, after the panel I head back to the room and start working furriously on stars. Astro shows up to drop off his luggage as well as Procy's luggage as well as Procy. The coon helps us drag Bliz's stuff down to our room, sits quietly on a chair before promptly passing out on the bed. Agni insists on helping with the stars, and we hop-skip-and-a-jump to it. But all work and no play makes Agni-Tai a dull couple, so we allowed ourselves a bit of distraction after finishing:
(Looking at the image timestamps, I'm sorta amazed we managed to put on Tumble's head on two people as well as my hat, within a minute)
I finally finish a few hours later, and we head down to consuite once more. Most everyone is there, save astro et al. who disappear somewhere, and Simon et al. who go pick up the pizza, and RD et RD who's busy suiting in the fursuit games. Since Vis doesn't have a badge we just hang out in a big circle, which attracts a bit of attention from a few suiters. Sadly everyone's too apathetic and I'm too busy to play along, and most of them sorta just wander away ;_;
Simon et al. arrives with the pizza, and the guy at the door lets us bring everything in. I'm still working Javs's star since I was a butt and lost it. As such, I was too preoccupied to listen to most of the conversation; I only hear something in passing about Sasha being pregnant with Liz's child. We see someone make a stack of about 20 aluminum pop cans,and not to be outdone, DC makes modern art with by using eleven white (plastic) swords (butter knives) and three forks (which equal one white sword, which is a winner by SoC rules)
We hang around just outside consuite for awhile. We get into mild shenanagans like healing EllsAstro and going through another ninja-star fight. We rustle up RD right before his next game for a group picture, and I briefly overhear someone calling me a bossy otter as I try to get everyone into place (which didn't really work): Astro getting healed
Soon after this, Ben and Bliz were the first to leave. Hugs went around, Lgnota gave me a short but wild piggyback ride with multiple spins and leaning-backs. Michal looks on disdainfully and says “Let me show you how it's really done.” So I hop on, and we strut around for a good 10 minutes or so :333 We see Derpy and Michal makes some polite compliment before letting me off. Who says being a featherweight is a bad thing?
Arting at Redbar - We traded sketchbooks, and by that I mean I looked at Swift's and Michal's, while giving out JD's and Airyu's books :V I also brought my matron pony Celestia with her wise words of wisdom. But Michal devises his own wordback if they ever made a Michalestia toy: "Twilight t'aint right for a woman to read, get back in the kitchen." "Where's Spitfire?"
Anyway, at some point Liz and Kate have to leave so they can get back in time for school/work. Liz went around all sad and hugged us for the last time before going to their room and packing up. Meanwhile, the sketchbooks were still going around, and I'm fiddling around with my rubik's cube. We stand around awhile, talking about what to do now. We think about trying the consuite again, but Vis still doesn't have a badge. Liz stopped by again - she wanted one last hug before leaving, and Liz hugged us for the last time. Also, since Liz didn't need her badge anymore, she gave it to Vis, instantly turning VisMis into Lizdashiz:
Michal and Swift were heading out too, and we decide that Michal's badge would look less suspicious than having a guy named “Liz” at the con.
Anyway, Liz headed out, and Aeron mentioned that he needed to head out too. We go to open the door for Aeron, who goes back to the bar to stop by the ATM. Airyu and I follow for a bit, and meet up Lyssa et al. in the hall. I remember Tom's sketchbook, and fetch it so people could take some of Tom's drawings. Aeron stops by again, and Liz does too (after we call her to pick up Kate's bra, that she left in our room). More art goes around, and Liz hugs us for the last time.
Anyway, Airyu and I head back to consuite, and find that it had closed anyway. We sit outside and talk; RD joins us, as does Carribean Fox (whom I had said hello to earlier in the day, after remembering him from last MFF).
Eventually AstroProc have to go, and so it was just Me, Vis, Airyu, and RD. We make a quick trip to the tigerden computer place, where we try to plan tomorrow on the P1 computers that max out their CPU opening firefox (and I check in with IRC; by this time Bliz is already home). Vis eventually has to go and RD has to do something, so Airyu and I retire to our room and let our hair down, dressing out of the kigas.
Sometime in the past hour Astro asks if he could give away my phone number to MrWolf and before I reply I get a text from MrWuff asking if we'd join them and some friends for dinner. So we dress back in our best garb and meet them at the restaurant. Keyla talks with someone about applied math and image compression and computer sciency stuff; at the end of dinner, we ask the server to take our picture:
So in the end, it was awesome have stayed the extra night. Even though I thought no one would be here, everyone flying out wouldn't have had a spot to stash their luggage and would've had to pay attention to their bags instead of to DCers, and I got to see MrWolf and Keyla after all :3
Airyu and I return to our room, and shower the furry off of us as best we can. Again, we find otters and foxes in the patters in the shower wall; I take a picture of the wallotters and wallfoxes and such, Agni turns into a monster, and we head off to dreamland. 21 mon
Again, we wake up way later than we expected. I'm still tuckered by the last minute ninjastar creation marathon. Sorry Vis ): Our roomies left a bunch of stuff - The 2L bottle of coke, a can of beans, apples , pants, 26 cents of canadian money, a bunch of con materiel, and so on. Before checkout time, we play a bit of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and more Viva la vida.
It's just before noon when we finally check out; RD stops by before he leaves for his flight. We hug, and he scampers off. Our flight isn't until 7-8PM, so we decided to leave downtown again and poke around. On the train, I start drafting this tl;dr, and Agni listens to Justin Bieber.
At the clark and lake station we get a bite to eat, and by that I mean we have the leftovers from last night, as well as bits from KFC, Pizza hut, and Taco Bell (aren't we classy B) ) We also sat next to someone named Deltrice, she was nice (not at all like Keisha would say), told us about how we're on the right track for life (probably more because we didn't have kids, and less because we were at a furcon). By the time we were done, we had just enough time to walk up and down two blocks before heading back to the airport.
Another hour goes by on the train (this one smelled particularly bad), and we go through security again. It takes me a bit longer to unpack everything since I just threw everything in my bag. While we wait for the X-rayer to finish scanning Celestia, we strike up a conversation with a TSA agent regarding cooking for the holidays. Since I had no real use for that last ninja star, I gave it to him and he said he'd use it for a christmas tree decoration :3 Agni reminds me that I'd show her the USO at the airport, so we head over and I bring out my about-to-expire military ID. I could see one of the computers was off and had a “BROKEN DO NOT USE” paper taped to it. I ask, and the front desk lets me take a crack at it. Turns out, it was running some flavor of linux - no one knew how to put in the wi-fi password or make a shortcut to firefox. One thank-you later, I'm back at the lounge with Agni, their wi-fi password in my otterpaws. Chicago isn't as awesome as SF in terms of free internet - even though SFO makes you take a survey for free internet now, it still beats the ten dollars a day Chicago wanted from me.
Agni's flight was an hour before mine, so we kissed and parted ): I waited around at the USO a bit before heading to my gate and gate-checking my huge bag, filled with Celestia, my otter pajamas, a week's worth of clothes, and my laptop. The plane is a pretty purple again, and I try to sleep in case my plan to sleep at SFO/lab failed. But the chairs were uncomfortable this time, probably because my back was resetting itself after carrying my heavier-than-usual bag the whole day. So I go back to writing this tl;dr.
I land around midnightish, and go to pick up my bag. Unfortunately, this time I left my water bottle attached to my bag; they don't like hanging things from bags, so they took it off and put it on the baggage claim by itself. I didn't see my bottle drop; from my angle I couldn't see it at the bottom of the carousel until I got closer.
By this point, I'm quite tired. A comfy bed is a shot in the dark right now, so I decide to cut my losses and sleep in the airport. I eat my MRE, try to curl up on the airport sofa (which has MEHTUL bars that make it impossible to lie down), and doze off.22 Tues
Writing about this day is sorta pushing it since the con ended two days ago, really - but there has to be some closure so you guys don't think I flew somewhere exciting or something. Woke up around 6AM. Had the two apples for breakfast that Lgnota unknowingly provided (it's like she bought everything I needed at some point). Eating is important for life, thus, those apples I snached from Lgnota were *vitally* important. ANYWAY.
Took the train to my campus and life went back to normal.
THINGS I LEARNED
No matter how much I want to do something, I will write it down because I'll get caught up in having fun in 235 other ways and then I'll regret it (Roadside romeo hug, cheering out of bathrooms T___T)
Seriously. Get the pants to sleep before the con, so I don't pass out at the con and get called the sleepiest DCer ):
Write more stuff down, take more pictures, hug more DCers
eff I'm beat, this writeup took a lot out of me