I queued up in the pre-registered line and had my membership badge within about ten minutes of the line moving. I saw expandranon in the sponsor line and waved at him but he obviously didn't recognise me. There were a couple of teenage girls in the line immediately ahead of me and I couldn't help listen in to their conversation. "I found my soulmate! Yeah, I met him last Thursday! It's so awesome." Apparently she'd just turned 19 too.
This year, in honour of the Gold Rush theme, FC was handing out gold in the registration packs to a few lucky attendees. Unfortunately, I got pyrite. Surprisingly, wolfwings found gold in his!
After registration, I jumped into the gryphonmobile with wolfwings and we ran out to the airport to pick up eski and Preston. This saved them forking out $20 apiece for the SuperShuttle (ouch). We were a little early so we ended up doing several loops of the terminals in the car.
Thursday evening was the first time I put on my gryphon fursuit for this year's con. I think I went to the fursuiter lounge first, where I got a few compliments on the costume. "That costume makes ME want a gryphon."
I got out of my fursuit after about 45 minutes, then wandered down to the opening ceremony. I had some nibbles, bumped into bushrat, waved at frysco, then went back up to the room because I was dehydrated, underfed and I had a headache.
wolfwings pointed out to me that tap water is a good source of hydration. Sometimes the obvious eludes me.
wolfwings and I needed to do laundry badly so we got up at 5am to hit the laundromat at 6. It was dark, wet and cold out. Unfortunately, the laundromat didn't open until 7! D'oh! We had to return to the hotel to warm up a bit before heading back to the laundromat. They had a ridiculous system where you had to put credit on a swipe card and use the card to purchase detergent and run the washing machine and dryer. It was a successful laundry run in the end, though. Will have to utilize it next time! Supposedly there was a closer laundromat though. It's odd that the Fairmont doesn't have laundry facilities.
After we got back to the hotel I napped for a few hours. Ten minutes after waking up again I got into my fursuit because wolfwings and I attended the "How To Dance In Fursuit" panel.
That panel was ... interesting. I am absolutely shithouse at dancing because I have no rhythm, no imagination and because I'm not relaxed I move very jerkily. Still ... I guess at least I have some vague semblance of how to dance in fursuit. Might come in handy if that ever happens. =P
I'd really like to try DDR in fursuit. I think I would look ridiculous.
I wandered off out of the dance panel after 45 minutes or whatever it was. I think that was when I wandered into the dealers den for the first time in fursuit. I met likeshine in person! Yay! Picked up my badge from her. I needed to collect a couple of pictures from her but it's somewhat inconvenient handling art in fursuit, so I nodded when she asked if I'd be back later out of costume.
I don't really like to talk in fursuit. I'm not really sure why. I guess it feels inappropriate. Plus it's fun to mime, or at least nod and shake my head absurdly. Sometimes talking is unavoidable, and in those situations it's not like a taboo or anything for me. But yeah, keeping quiet is something that I do well. =P
It's also a bit strange when I get out of fursuit and find myself miming instead of talking. Oops!
I had this horrible habit for the entire convention of forgetting to eat. People who know me would find this very strange, because I'm almost obsessive about eating meals at particular times of the day. I need to have breakfast before 9am, lunch before 2 and dinner before about 8pm, otherwise I get very, very cranky. Skipping entire meals just makes things worse. Any time I was in a sour mood during the con it's probably because I hadn't eaten.
I tweeted at 1:30pm about being hungry (I'd eaten a few corn chips at 8am and nothing since). frysco responded and took me to a nearby place called Smoke Eaters. They do spicy chicken and burgers. It's not nearly as good as Nando's, but it certainly fills the spot. That was actually the first time I got to socialise properly with frysco. Previously we'd only talked in passing.
In the elevator back up to my room I bumped into Foxofire.
Foxo: *stares at badge* "Whyrl! Are you from Australia?"
Foxo: "Oh neat! Brisbane?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm from Brisbane."
Foxo: "Oh, cool! I'm from Brisbane too! Do you go to any of the fur meets?"
Foxo: "Oh. Well, it was nice meeting you!" *steps out of elevator*
No, I don't go to local furry meets. I'm just not interested. It is a bit silly travelling halfway around the world and meeting a local for the (possibly) first time.
Friday night had the Gryphon Panel hosted by eclipsegryph and assisted by many. Eclipse has a good summary of the Gryphon Panel at FC2010 so go read that! Of course, I HAD to show up in costume. Just like last year at the panel, I received a lot of compliments on the fursuit. The only downside is it gets a bit hot sitting through the panel for 90 minutes without a break. The biggest thing I took away from the panel was that I really, really need to read through the Gryphon Pages at some point! phar tracked me down there but left after a while because I wasn't going to "talk in class". This was easily the most well prepared panel that I attended at FC this year. Great job!
I was getting incredibly peckish after the panel and hot so I went back up to my room to remove my gryphon gear, then wandered off alone outside to find something to eat. I wandered aimlessly for a while. There was a lot of drunks out on the street. It was cold, dark, wet, and generally miserable. Eventually I gave up wandering and went back to SmokeEaters because I had no clue where else to go. This was one of the low points of the con for me as evidence by my earlier LJ entry. Fortunately I'm getting better at ignoring/fixing my crappy moods and getting back to having fun!
Saturday morning started with breakfast at the bakery next to the Fairmont. It was the first time I'd been in there since the con had started. It was PACKED. They had a take-a-number system and were very efficient and friendly despite the workload. I bet they had NO idea that this was coming, along with many other businesses in the area.
I wanted to hit the dealer room early so that I could hopefully pick up a couple of commission spots. I didn't realise the dealers den opened at 10am, not 11. D'oh! Plus I probably should have been in there at opening time Friday instead of Saturday when a lot of the artist schedules were already full.
I did manage to snag another sketch from likeshine!
Likeshine: "That'll be $30."
Me: "... How about $40?"
Likeshine: "... Okay! I've been to 39 cons and no one has ever done that before."
I must have gotten into my fursuit again after that. Oh wait, duh - that was the fursuit parade!
wolfwings and I got down nice and early to the ballroom to assemble for the parade. wolfwings' mom, batnwolf, was going to join us too, but I think she chickened out. We basically stood around for 45 minutes waiting for fursuiters to assemble and the parade to start. It was too wet for us to go outside to the park across the road, so the parade left the ballroom, looped around the ballroom level and through part of the dealers den, then back into the ballroom. There was a rough count of 479 fursuiters in the parade, so fursuiters were returning to the ballroom long before we got out into the parade (we were near the back). I got heaps of comments, chuckles, and compliments on my gryphon! Especially my "insane in the birdbrain" tee - that was the best $20 I've spent on a shirt!
wolfwings and I did a run in the gryphonmobile to Subway to pick up a few sandwiches at around 4pm. Yes, I'd forgotten to eat lunch. Note for anyone with a car contemplating going to Subway: walk. Seriously. It works out much quicker than driving.
After we'd returned to the Fairmont, warphammer asked if I wanted to have dinner with him and archai. Whoops. But I said sure, because I wanted to be sociable. Plus I managed to cram some soup in a sourdough bowl into me. Mmm, sourdough. I think that was Erik's Deli Cafe in Sunny Vale.
After food we went back to Warp's place so that I could grab my coat and finally print out the con badge that Rose had made me. Dyesub printer to the rescue! archai did a great job of trimming it.
Attended the Dragon Panel because none of us were interested in the masquerade. In hindsight, perhaps I should have gone to the masquerade. Maybe next year? Anyway, the Dragon Panel was very silly. We walked in late and we were asked to introduce ourselves. I said I was "a wedge-tailed eagle, or possibly a gryphon". The discussion then turned to whether a dragon or a gryphon would win in a fight. They decided that all things being equal then the gryphon would win easily. The panel quickly turned to FYIAD and discussion of everyone's dragons' characteristics.
After the Dragon Panel was, of course, the Adult Dragon Panel. archai sensibly left the room. The adult panel was ... interesting. It was essentially a slideshow of artwork (much of it not to my taste, but I can still appreciate good art) with discussion from the contributing artist. The room was way too small for the number of people in there. Gryphons didn't fare too well when they were featured in the art, so if there's an Adult Gryphon Panel next year it'd be nice to get some comeuppance (pun NOT intended). ;P
Incidentally, I got "outed" as a gryphon during the adult panel. That was kind of embarrassing.
Last year during FC I developed "phantom tail" when I wasn't wearing my tail, which was a little weird. This year I seemed to have developed "phantom stompyfeets". After I'd taken off my stompy foot paws it felt like I was still wearing them. XD I know I'm a lost cause. This was already established last year.
One of the things I'd been meaning to try at FC this year was to attend at least one of the dances. Unfortunately, I failed to attend any of them. Part of the problem is that most of them started at 10:30pm and by that time I'm winding down for the night. The Dead Dog Dance started at 7pm I think but I got called away for dinner. ... Not that I'm TOO disappointed that nobody witnessed my dancing crapitude. =P
More time in fursuit! Some other stuff may have happened but I didn't tweet about it. =P
I think the avian photoshoot was Sunday afternoon. expandranon and I were the only gryphons in attendance at the shoot. There was a flock of birds and us gryphons got shooed away for some bird photos. Unknown to me at the time, while I was waiting for the shoot there was a photographer from a local paper!
wolfwings makes a point every year of buying a ton of pizza for the dealers den after they close on the Sunday. I decided to tag along because I like errands, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do that afternoon, and I was hungry so I was hoping to steal a slice of pizza. Yay, pizza delivery gryphs!
Had dinner at the Pita Pit with Warp (who didn't eat anything). It was actually pretty decent. Kind of like a kebab shop but they made pitas obviously.
I must have been tired and cranky again because I tried to have an early night. batnwolf was watching tv so I couldn't sleep (idiot bird, I should have asked her to turn the tv off), and wolfwings appeared later with a friend and was having a conversation with him, whilst I had my head buried underneath the covers. I got out of bed and started grabbing clothes to get dressed, then flipped out and slammed a door. wolfwings and friend left the room, and I left shortly afterwards. I took a walk downstairs to try to calm myself down. I passed Kigeni and likeshine during my walk. I'm sorry I stormed off abruptly!
I ended up in the foyer of the South Tower just ... trying to destress. Sorted things out though with wolfwings and we took a 2am expedition to Jack In The Box. Yay!
I didn't stick around for Monday last year because I thought the con was dead that day. This year, well ... I didn't get to spend much time in the hotel but the evening was probably the best of the con for me.
That morning, batnwolf went down to the bakery to pick up some coffee and food. When she returned, her wallet had disappeared. She spent the next hour(s) searching for it and freaking out. Then she went through the process of having her cards cancelled and replaced. Hence her and I ended up at the DMV while wolfwings was at the Hiss N Purr.
The San Jose DMV was .... yeah. It was an awful lot like Queensland Transport, or an RTA office. You take a number, wait for your turn, then go up to the counter with your paperwork. We were there for two hours. Fortunately, everything got sorted. We waited outside for wolfwings to collect us and there I was in shorts and a t-shirt because I rushed out of my room without thinking.
Had a Google Voice translation while we were waiting for wolfwings to pick us up: "Hey, we're a little things that I'm having my little a contract in the parking pass that you were sent out. Bye"
There was a bit of a mixup between me and the hotel. We were originally supposed to check out Monday, but Sunday night we decided to stay an extra night. I called the front desk and they said that was fine, and that we should collect new keycards. We didn't collect the cards, and at about 5pm Monday, one of the hotel staff knocked on the door and wanted to know why we hadn't checked out yet. I called the front desk again and they said I needed to pick up the keycards to confirm the booking change. Aiee.
kreggan (Kyreeth) took a bunch of us out to dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, Il Fornaio. warphammer, Terraluna, expandranon, and terminotaur were with us. The meal was epic. Started with some crusty bread, with olive oil and I think balsamic vinegar for dipping. kreggan ordered a $75 bottle of wine for the table (I forget what it was, but it was good). I had canneloni for my main and an awesome chocolatey thing for dessert. Topped that off with a glass of port.
Got back to the hotel right before the Dead Dog Dance wrapped up. D'oh! Got back into fursuit and successfully managed to order and drink a martini all without removing my gryphon head! Ridiculousity. It's not easy drinking with a beak, but straws help.
I also discovered that I got my photo in the local paper, the San Jose Mercury! That really appeals to my gryphon side. *froof* That really topped off my con with a dash of awesome!
Things I've yet to do at FC but apparently should
* Participate in the Critterlympics
* Go to a dance
* Watch Furry Night Live
* Buy a sketchbook page commission
Incidentally, I've probably made more friends AFTER the con than during it, which is kind of kooky.