Flight departs late, with much airline hassle, but we managed to get to the hotel in the early evening.
Life is immediately made better upon arrival because I get lombax hugs. Squeak! Lots of fursuits already wandering about the lobby. Thursday this year feels like Saturday last year.
We put in the extra money to get a suite this year, wanting a bit more space. The room is indeed nice. It's even named with a plaque on the door: "Sutter". We spend the weekend wondering if we can modify the sign to be "Suiter".
In the luxury room is a luxury toilet nook with a phone. What struck me is that the phone has two lines. Yes, you can not only take a call while pooping, you can put them on hold and call someone else while pooping! Such are the amenities in the rooms of the rich and powerful!
Got into the con groove: attended panels, met up with a bunch of friends (generally briefly in the halls in passing), hung out. Did get in some quality time with a few folks, though. And there were some nice fursuit and writing panels.
Had dinner with the Bunnywarez crew (Jovino and DJ M) at a little thai restaurant. Quite satisfying and fun business conversation. Congrats to them on five years in business.
Concluded the evening with a grilled cheese party, of all things. I'd never heard of such a thing but as soon as Trey mentioned it, I knew that was my sort of party. So it was after-dinner snacks of various melted cheesey yummies while chatting with cool folks inside a room that contained, by volume, more bodies than air.
Picked up a brunch of vietnamese sandwiches (correct name being something along the lines "bahn mi" except that I'm probably nowhere close on the spelling). Did that with Kit, Trey, Rikoshi, and Roland. Then hurried on back for the editing panel for which Rikoshi was a panelist. Yay, more writing stuffs; I am trying to put more focus on that this year.
Head construction panel was great, thanks to the always-informative Lance and always-fabulous White Fox. We had a camera crew getting some extra footage there at the opening. Wondering if that will show up in the eventual CBS Bay Area feature that has been rumored..
Caught the first part of the Unsheathed podcast recording then had to head up to the room to change for the dance!
Trey and I went as our coyotes, Mischief and Malice, but festooned with loops of glow sticks. This proved to be great, not just because fursuits look cool with glowsticks (it's a proven scientific fact!) but because it meant that I could consistently tell that I was dancing with him in the dark ballroom looking through costume eyes without my glasses. :)
We caught the back half of the Audiodile set and the first portion of Ear Velvet. Thanks to Croc and Thump, awesome DJs (and suiters).
In a surreal and extremely nerdy moment, I will admit that I was personally delighted that I got to dance briefly with a blinged out Sonic. I met Sonic last year, though almost entirely in suit and don't know his furry or RL name. But he was decked out with blue glowsticks on his spines and yellow glowing power rings so... Yeah, it's geeky but I loved it!
Went back up to the room, two dog-tired coyotes, and turned in sometime around 1:30.
Character Journeys panel in the morning. This and the other writing panels were generally Rikoshi, Kyell, Not Toob, and Watts Martin. Strong group of panelists.
In the afternoon I hosted the Rodentia panel. I'd estimate we had about 15 rodents, 5 not-quite-rodents, and 10 partners-of-rodents. I provided some rodent trivia and then the audience shared some things about their lesser-known rodent varieties. Good chatter.
In the evening, I attended the adult writing panel. This got off to a strange start as there were two guys in the row behind me that were making increasingly-loud catcalls and noise as the panelists mentioned adult topics. What started as tittering quickly became "Right on!" and louder incoherency. The person in front of me turned and asked pointedly, "Are you two drunk?" "NO! No, no. Nuh uh." This was followed by some whispering and snorting and then the two of them bolting from the room. They literally knocked over chairs and opened the door so fast it banged off the wall in their efforts to quickly escape. As they vanished from the panel room, there was commotion in the hall and another crash as I suspect they plowed into someone.
WTF? (Points to whomever in the audience intoned "Big-Lipped Aligator Moment".)
After that, the panel ran smoothly and was quite good. :)
Wrapped up the evening with an informal room party with friends. Random discussion devolved as we discovered that Trey had brough quite a large tube of glow sticks to the con and there were many left and... well, furries and shiny things. So there was chatting, drinking, fiddling with light sticks, turning lights off, and sporadic tossing of glow sticks. Fluid strangeness. I'll take silly fun where I find it, though.
Special thanks to Arokh for letting me pester him about Torque, his new lombax. Got a chance to examine the suit. It's by Deezl and it's a beautifully constructed; kudos to him on the workmanship. I see many happy performing runs for Arokh with his new friend!
Checked out of the hotel, eventually, somehow.
Ran into Redstorm, who'd come down late to the con. She had a new puppet with her -- and she designed it! That's like a dream furry job right there. She does nice work and I think this will prove a popular design.
Saw Maly briefly, again. She had a great plush done with the new pattern she developed with Matrices. I'm gonna have to give that one a try.
Had a leisurely lunch, packed our stuff over to Trey's house, got some ice cream, got a night of relatively early bedtimes.
That was my FC, at least the random highlights reel. Apologies to the many wonderful folks I got to meet up with whom I didn't call out here by name -- there was lots of sincerely great times with friends even if you weren't part of this amusing bullet points post. I've just given up trying to do the OMG-huge-name-roster thing. :)
I look forward to next year, when we'll be moving up to the SJ convention center! Dang. I remember when we started this thing.. It's staggering, sometimes, to think about how the fandom has grown. And the amazing talents and diveristy we have, too. It's a strange and wonderful thing to be a part of... Squeaks to you all!