Began the morning with breakfast with a fellow rat. Marko and I then headed off to lead the rodent panel, though in all honesty he did most of the work. This year we talked about the history of rodents in the movies since we've had a number of great films recently. Had some interesting discussion as people mentioned their favorite obscure films.
From there we gathered to have a rodent photoshoot. Thanks to Rain Rat for thinking ahead to organize that.
I didn't bring any fursuits down with me this year. Thought about bringing my new werewolf, Tatters, but decided that flying was enough of a bother already. However I was able to finally coordinate with Diadexxus and try out her character, Riptooth the Skaven. He's a wonderfully vicious rat-creature and I was thrilled to finally get a chance to perform him. I just barely fit, too; if I had straightened up suddenly it would've been accompanied by a cascade of pops as snaps came undone. All went well and we had about eight rodent characters out for photos.
Then met up with an old friend of ours, Michelle, for lunch. She's not actually furry but quite furry-friendly. In fact, we lured her into the Dealers' Den with promises of fleece animal jammies, her weakness. I make this all sound so nefarious, don't I? Just extending the furry embrace... a fuzzy, enveloping hug for everyone! :)
With the weather a bit clearer, I saw a lot of fursuiters outside the hotel, walking around downtown San Jose (!) and interacting with anyone who happened by. It was great to see so much positive reception; passersby were really loving it.
We got some very positive coverage by CBS News as well. I hear that this piece may not have run on the evening broadcast because of breaking news. Does anyone know for sure?
I then headed off to the Exotic Materials panel with Lance. I've been through a couple incarnations of this and I always pick up a few valuable tidbits. (Did you know you could get great results from a belt sander on dense closed-cell PVC foams?) Lance brought piles of materials to show. If you've done a fursuit or two and want to really get into it or find interesting construction options, you definitely need to attend one of Lance's panels.
Grabbed a nice italian dinner at Original Joe's, a block or so from the hotel. Marko and Mycroft came along for food and chat. (That was definitely a recurring theme for the con – one I approve of, certainly! The other recurring theme seemed to be, “Oh look. Fuzz.”)
Spent the evening chilling in Mike and Red's room since they didn't seem to object too much. It's been too long since we've just been able to hang out in the evenings. A toddler with an 8pm bedtime does curtail activities somewhat. So we just enjoyed shooting the breeze and admiring the swirl of cute fursuits. Real life should be more like that more often.
Monday morning consisted largely of packing and waiting for the porter. We did eventually get everything back into our suitcase thereby disproving our suspicion that we'd somehow gained new clothes from nowhere. (“This didn't really all fit in there, did it?”)
Caught up with Twig and Thumper over a moroccan lunch. I think everyone agreed that FC was a suitable send-off party for Twig as he heads off to his new home and mate in Australia.
Ran back and picked up a piece from the art show that I thought I'd been outbid on. I guess I'd glanced at the wrong bid sheet when I did the last pass before the show closed! So I think I was officially the last at-con pickup, handing over cash to Gen as she was counting out the cash box. Whoops. They were very nice about it, though.
We grabbed a few last hugs in the lobby. Saw many old friends, including some we'd attempted to catch up with during the con but missed until then. And I still don't know that I caught Croc and Jimmy out of suit for more than quick greetings. Also I've seen/met Matrics as three different characters now but never out of suit. Quite a track record. :) (Fizz had a great miner's outfit this year. Kudos!)
Got a lift back to the airport from local pal Trey with a brief stop on the way for some quality caffeine. And we've now landed back home, been reunited with our toddler (quite happy to see us but was suitably distracted by visiting cousins), and sorta gotten unpacked enough to sleep and be ready for work tomorrow. Work where there aren't random critters walking by and you can just give people hugs 'cause you're all friends. Geez, PCD already?
Overall, definitely one of the best con experiences I've had. So much going on, so many great folks, such a positive vibe to the whole event. Thanks, truly and sincerely, to all friends and furries for being such a wonderful community! I'll see you next year. Or sooner, at some other con. When is the next con? How many vacation days do I have...? Hmm...