Gatcat photo shoot
Even before the convention started for me, at nearly the crack of dawn on Thursday, I dragged my ass into the elevator with my two bestest birdy friends. We piled into Gatcat's VW bus shortly afterwards and trundled down to Vasona Park where Caspian and Brillo had quality photos taken of themselves in a setting natural to their species, rather than what seems to be the natural habitat of fursuits: convention hotel hallways.
I look forward to getting my grubby feathers on those photos, many of which will end up as 8x10s or larger hanging up on my wall. And it's about time I did hang something up on the wall.
I truly admire the time and effort that everyone puts in to make FC work. Thank you akseawolf for his neverending efforts to make the Headless Lounge comfortable. He always made sure there were enough liquids available for hundreds of fursuiters. And big thanks to t_h_squirrel who brought fans that created hurricane force winds, just what was needed for fursuit survival. PG&E's electrical grid could not handle all the fans that were brought in. I think San Jose had brownouts whenever they tried to turn them all on.
There were also a number of gofurs who kept fursuiters well liquefied, including one guy on Monday night during the dead dog party. I could never get his name, but he was running back and forth handing cups of water to thirsty suiters in the back. The water kept flowing because of his efforts. Thank you whoever you were.
Thanks to the registration staff, who looked down the barrel of enormous lines ahead of them and yet diligently processed over 2000 registrations. They have to sit there a long time to get all those badges out to everyone. That's a hell of a lot of work. Thanks for taking out your time to do it.
Thanks to bosn, who somehow got me the best damned room I ever had during FC. 3rd floor, right next to the elevator, with a poolside view. It may have just been the luck of the draw, but Bos'n, I owe you a beer. Good luck with next year's convention. I feel safe knowing you're running things.
badwox, thank you for putting all your energy to making the main stage as great as it could be. As someone whose contributions span throughout the whole con, through all the major events, it's easy to overlook the fact that the only reason everything else worked at all is because you and your crew put all that equipment up in the first place.
Squirrel, I don't know what your secret is, but you were smiling throughout the entire convention. You make running this convention look all so easy.
People bitch a lot about how cons are run. Maybe they've got a few points because it's always good to strive for perfection. But I'm pretty forgiving with screwups that happen that are beyond the control of the guys running things. All I do is throw money at the con in terms of a fancy membership. Staff members put in real life time into this, both before the con and during the con. And that's what makes cons work.
It's a pain in the ass to give up one's own enjoyment of a convention with 2000 of your closest friends and instead take a huge stressball onto your shoulders. No matter how many people thank you for all the time and effort, the blood, sweat, and tears that you pour into the convention, it's not enough to repay you for that sacrifice.
I don't deserve the friends I have. I am grateful they tolerate my presence. I wish I could repay you for all the kindness they have shown me over the years, and also during the convention.
At one point, the benefactor of the UNF shirt made himself known to me. He said he did it because he thought I was underappreciated. Honestly, I feel I am overappreciated. Lately I have done very little to give back to the fandom. I've been very selfish, especially during recent times. I take and take and take. Yet despite my desires to do nice things for people, I end up forgetting. I end up considering it after the fact. I miss the opportunities to commit random acts of kindness on my friends. It's something I really need to work on.
I had opportunities during the con to do nice things for a few people who were there, people who did nice things for me 'during' the convention. I regret being selfish and will continue to do so until I repay each and every one of you for all that you have done for me.
There were people who always welcomed me whenever I showed up, and always had a smile, or at least a wisecrack. It shows me how much they do really care. I wish I could name you all, but I fear that I would miss one or two. I am glad I managed to spend some time with many of you to solidify the bonds of friendship if even just a little. You all mean the world to me.
On a different note, but still concerning friends, there were a number of people who showed up to the convention that I did not have a chance to talk with to the extent I really desired. Or worse, I did not talk to them at all! I apologize. I want to hide in a corner for not seeking you out and at least saying hi. I blame it on my thoughtlessness. I blame it on directing my attention at times to the wrong place when it could have been used to make your convention a better time.
If it seems like I snubbed you, it was in error, it was unintentional. Feel free to bap me across the beak next time you see me.
Ths was the first convention for Caspian Tern. redxix and mikecoyote are responsible for a great part of the joy that I felt during this con. What a terrific experience for me. Yes, I owe you two big time. I will treasure Caspian for as long as I can keep him together.
Brillo had his moments in public, too. He rocked out to Sublevel 3 and came out for the Sunday night dance, too. He's going to need some repair work now during the off-season, but he held up nicely and did not complain at all. He probably wanted to stay out a lot longer. He will not be ignored, though. Brillo travels much easier than Caspian so he'll always be the one that comes with me to the fly-to cons.
Both of them did whisper into my ear afterwards telling me that I really should try harder, now that I'm starting to see videos of other fursuits during the con. There's so much more I need to learn about this fursuit performance thing.
There did end up being a birdy fursuit photo-op immediately after the masquerade, where a total of 6 avians showed up for a picture together. I had to go through a number of call phone contortions to find out the details so I could be a part of it. I'm glad I remained persistent to the point of annoyance. I need to find out who that crow/raven was. I never did see him before.
Even though I knew I would regret it, just like after MFF, I put my camera away early. I tried taking photos early on, and found that because I screwed up a setting or two, a vast majority of my photos ended up mostly useless, out of focus, or poorly exposed. Like a cranky child, I put the camera in the corner and told it to stay there until it behaved.
I pulled out the videocamera only for the Masquerade and the FNL. Again, I should have used it more. But there was very little opportunity to really be a spectator. Usually I was going somewhere, talking with someone, in fursuit, resting in my room, in someone else's room, eating, whatever.
I look forward to seeing the photos and videos from other people. I truly hope that everyone makes their experience of the con available to everyone else. I think it is vital to share that media and make it a part of the collective memory of this event.
Lack of time
FC is a 5 day con, yet there still isn't nearly enough time. I had to cut out huge swaths of the con, parts that I almost always either watch or take part in. Photos and video from me are nearly non-existant. I had almost no time in the dealers room or in the art show. I didn't watch Critterlympics at all. I went to no panels except the Fursuit Roundtable. Except for one drink at the Frozen Oasis, I did not step foot on the 2nd floor at all. And I never left the convention property throughout it all, not even for dinner.
I went to a couple parties during the con, mostly parties that were geared towards a specific subgroup of furries. They were bigger and better than ever. Everything that I did see was better than ever. Sadly, a few parties never came to fruition, but there was so much going on beyond that, it never created a vacuum for me. Something else always came up to fill the void.
To the guys who put together the parties I went to, and you all know who you are even though I am keeping your identities secret here, thank you for putting your own private hotel rooms for public use. Thanks for buying the liquor, the drinks, the snacks, the food, the supplies. Thanks for lugging it all in, and sorry we couldn't consume it all to keep you from lugging out all the leftovers. Thanks for staying for long, long hours in one place as host when you could have had more fun bouncing between other parties without responsibility. All your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Caspian danced. He wasn't going to miss out on that fun. But damned Caspian is hot. I could only go out in 15 minute increments before he had to go backstage for a breather and a drink. He really let loose during the Dead Dog dance when some more familiar songs were heard from the speakers. I think he's still wet from that night.
Brillo came out as well. He can stay out for longer stretches. I had a great time during all the dances. There were a lot of people on the dance floor, so it was hard to stretch my wings, but I'm ok with that. I'm glad that people were enjoying themselves.
Thank you my_pet_rhino, for putting together a great social track. I hope you managed to make everyone happy. I can't think of any convention that had a dance on each of '5' nights, with two locations on Sunday night. I hope the Metal/Punk show went off well, even though it was scheduled opposite the FNL.
I had a cold a couple weeks before the con. I was shaking off the last bits of it before the con had started, but I had to battle constantly to keep from relapsing. Airborne, along with numerous multivitamins, fresh fruit, and copious rest kept me going throughout the con. I didn't get sick again. Also I kept myself from drinking almost any alcohol at all. That would surely have killed any chance of staying illness free.
I only watched FCTV for a short time. I did hear about problems while the major events were being televised. But I loved the filler bits between the events. I recorded a large portion of it for later viewing. And I'll be keeping an eye out for any signs of myself in the live footage.
inaki, thank you for coming up with all that filler programming for FCTV. And thank you for all your efforts to keep people entertained whenever they found themselves in someone's room with the TV tuned to the right channel.
Furry Night Live
This was the event that everyone loved to mock in past years. Well, there was very little to mock this year, if anything. I was tremendously entertained throughout the entire event, from start to finish. Everyone put in an incredible amount of work to make their skit work, and to put the whole show together.
kitelessd, you are 'the' Dr. Evil. You pulled off that role perfectly. I am in awe at your ability to know just what to say and do on stage. I want to pry open your head and see how your brain works because I must know how you do it.
Ninjas, you all kept the likely drunken audience entertained between acts. I'm glad I managed to get some of your backflips and ninja moves on videotape using nightshot, even though I forgot to use it during the first hour of the show. I am beyond impressed by your ability to backflip on a whim without killing yourself. And whoever that head ninja guy is, I tip my beak to you. I, and the entire fandom, am completely impressed by your skills.
Caspian brought my con to a whole new level. He was like crack, bringing me to a terrific high every time I put him on, and with a bit of sadness when I took him off. It's most pronounced for this first con he's been at. I think the experience will mellow out in future cons as people will have gotten used to the flappy birdy by then.
This puts FC near the top for me, if not the best con of all time. I've been to 30 furry cons now. I can barely remember in the deepest haze anything about most of them, so I have no idea how much I enjoyed them or hated them. Even the most dreaded con for me of them all, CF10, had 'some' moments that were worth remembering.
I also feel awkward when telling someone about the great time I had when they themselves had a different experience. I wish everyone could have had a great time during FC, in whatever ways they wanted. If you didn't have the best time in your life this weekend, I am sorry. I wish I could have helped make it a better time for you.
So, this is not all of my report. There are a couple more things that I will add soon. But I need to make a few visual aids first. I'll have that up after I'm done unpacking, which will likely be next week sometime.