Just tear open and use it!
Best con ever... well, not so fast. IMHO, AC2K was still the best but I'd consider this year's to be one of the top contenders. Anthrocons are consistently good and always fun to attend.
One of the best moments of the con was the charity auction bidding on the Gigglin' Meeko that I donated. Uncle Kage couldn't resist giving it a squeeze right into the microphone. The whole room burst into laughter then, and again and again every time the runner brought it by and someone squeezed it. JBadger, lover of plush toys that make noise, won the bid. The other big surprise, to me at least, was when Cecil told me, near the end of the art show, that maybe I better take a look at my section. There was a red ribbon hanging there! I found out later that the Guest of Honor's Choice award was from Bill Holbrook of Kevin and Kell. We chatted briefly in the dealer's room a bit later. I also enjoyed the Live Animal Sketching session immensely. That, of course, turned into a photo shoot because who has time to draw anyway. :) And it sure was great to be able to pet the Patagonian Cavy, the chocolate skunk, the fennec fox and the snake. Last but not least, it was great to be able to meet many of my friends once again.
Went off to find a geocache in the Lewis Morris County Park in the morning. Unfortunately, I thought I stepped in some poison ivy so I had to return home to wash it off as a precautionary measure. I've been in and around poison ivy before and had not gotten a rash but I had to be careful anyway as I've read that tolerance to the irritant tends to come and go, and besides it won't be a good thing to bring that stuff to the con on my skin and clothing and give everyone else a bad rash.
Since I was cutting it a bit close because of that, I called Digeri ahead to let him know I might be late. Of course who could predict that traffic on the parkway would come to a standstill because a van had caught on fire. I finally arrived at the Menlo Park Mall and met up with Digeri and his dad. After loading his stuff into my car, we took off to Philly and the Adam's Mark.
Feeling restless later that night, we drove into the city in order to figure out exactly how large the chinatown was. It wasn't that big. Since we were already in the city, and traffic and parking weren't problems at 1 am in the morning, we decided to go look for the geocache in Center City Philly. That proved not to be difficult at all once we looked at the correct side of the street. Of course it's not the first time I've jumped at the first likely hiding spot for a geocache only to find out there's another one just behind it. :) The biggest hindrance was the half dozen or so mendicants who asked for money while we were trying to get our stuff in order for the little geocache hunt. Funny how they ask for dollars now and not just change.
Digeri and I had the whole day to go out since we figured registration wouldn't begin until the evening. Boy, was that ever an understatement! We went to South Philly to have cheesesteaks at Pat's and cheese fries and sodas at Geno's. Now, that was good eating.
Then we went to Wissahickon Park (part of the Fairmount Park) to find another geocache. The second biggest challenge was trying to find an entrance to the park! The biggest was finding out that the geocache was on the other side of the river and we didn't want to get soaked in river water just before the con. It was a good hike nevertheless.
Stopped by Dunkin Donuts near the park. This bears mentioning because there are no Dunkin Donuts in California where Digeri currently resides so he wanted to visit a DD in Philly at least once. As for me... well, I don't normally go to DD even though there's one in practically every town around here so it was a treat for me too.
Then we went back to an old AC haunt, the King of Prussia mall to take a look at the toy and comic stores.
Upon our return to the Adam's Mark, we found a line of amusement park proportions in the lower lobby. Registration was going to be a bit delayed apparently. We went out for dinner. By the time we got back, there was no wait for registration so it all worked out in the end.
We then went to the NEFUR party. Neither of us were from New England, of course, but according to Dale, who was running the party, it sufficed to have heard of New England. :)
Took care of the artist check-in in the morning. Hung the art and signed the paperwork and it was good to go. Also gave Rigel the items I was donating to the charity auction. He was busy trying to prop up the biggest Bugs Bunny stuffed toy I've ever seen. Thank goodness he had a whole row of stalls to display the charity auction items or else he'd have run out of space right there.
Also met Richard de Wylfin, who was standing in the registration line, which by now was nearly as long as the line for Nitro at Six Flags. :) (ok, I exaggerated a bit.) We were sharing a room with him again this year.
Then we went out for breakfast and came back in time for the opening of the dealer's room. Digeri just had to get the Circles stuff before it ran out. I ambled around and got a few items at other tables and then came over and bought the whole lot of Circles items (poster, comic #1 and the buttons) too. Couldn't resist. :)
We then watched the Funday Pawpet Show live and unlagged. Left midway and went to the artshow. I bid on Zach in the Forest by Taurin Fox. It was a stunning piece of a fox guy in the forest reaching for a bottle lodged between a log and a rock. I doubt that was intentional but it sure looked like something out of a geocaching excursion minus the GPS receiver. Of course, I was outbid later and wasn't particularly interested in defending my bid.
After dinner, I hit the artshow reception and Digeri left to watch the furry improv session.
The Inflatable Zebra:
Funday Pawpet Show:
Stopped by the Lifecasting demo by Boogi in the afternoon. Didn't stay to the end though because the room was full and I was just standing out by the door. What I saw looked pretty involved though.
Then I went over to the Whose Sketch Is It Anyway event. It was pretty funny watching the artists come up with spur of the moment drawings. It probably would've been better sitting up in front where you could actually see the art. Maybe they need thicker barrel-sized markers. :) The cheetah fursuiter (?) saw me sitting on my own near the back and gave me a hug. Awww. :)
After that, Digeri and I met up again and watched the charity auction. As I mentioned, the Gigglin' Meeko brought the house down. The kangaroo plush toy did about average. Of course, the most astounding items in the auction were the endless boxes and bags of plush toys that Killjoy donated. Is he having a moving sale? :)
Then of course, we attended the masquerade. Actually, Digeri went ahead to get a seat near the front. I just hung out near at the back and used the camera zoom. All in all, not a bad show. After the masquerade, we wandered the lower lobby for a while and took pictures of some of the fursuiters. There was also a special photo op room but I wasn't there for very long.
Dinner for us was at the Olive Garden, where we learned that the Tour of Italy was a very big tour indeed. :)
After that, we stopped by the Furcadia party for a little while and spent the rest of the night watching cartoons in the con suite.
Falstaff in the Artist Alley:
Whose Sketch is it Anyway?
After the Masquerade:
Began the day at the Live Animal Sketching session. This, of course, turned into a photo session. It was most enjoyable.
Then the fursuit parade began. What a nice variety of costumes.
Digeri and I then went back to the art show for the final bidding. I was outbid on the only piece of art I bid on and didn't feel like defending my bid.
In the afternoon, we attended the Fursuit Head Construction panel by Aetobatus and Hopper Roo. A very good presentation overall. I got the info I needed on the small fans and mounting them in the head. It was very handy indeed to be able to inspect the costume heads firsthand.
Then we went back to the art show. While Digeri purchased the pieces on which he bid, I checked out the one item that no one bought. 1 out of 14 isn't bad. It wasn't the one I expected, however. I thought the one that didn't sell last year wouldn't sell again this year but it did indeed sell and was bid on several times. That goes to show you never can tell what the demand will be.
For dinner, we went out to the middle of nowhere, i.e. further down City Avenue, to an Applebee's. That was quite some distance away. We had a bit of fun with the Dr. Doolittle puzzle books there. (Agullama! :) )
Post-con diversions in The Zoo: we built foamhenge (from the pieces of foam left over from Hopper Roo's foam carving demo) and then the foamcoaster. The 'coaster' was a mysterious circle of black foam that someone found and dubbed a fursuiter's cock ring. Okayyyy... :)
Later that night, we joined in a game of Pit with Rigel, Xydexx, Chris Johnson, Hopper and a few others. It's a pretty fast-paced card game on commodity trading that is probably beyond my capacity to explain. But once we started playing it was easy to get into. Digeri won. I think I was the runner up or in third place.
Live Animal Sketching:
Outside the artshow:
Time to go. We packed up and checked out of the hotel.
Digeri needed to mail the large piece of art (Anubis) home so we went to a Mailboxes Etc right by the University of Pennsylvania. Very nice area but I had a bit of difficulty finding parking. There was a piece of paper in the coin slot of the parking meter saying that the meter was broken. Digeri put in a coin and it worked. Go figure.
Of course, we went to the Dunkin Donuts and I withdrew some money at the Commerce Bank branch along the same street. Banking in a different city. Wow! Heheh. :)
We then headed over to Geno's in South Philly for another go at the cheesesteaks. Good cheesesteaks. Way too many pigeons. And finally, it was off to the airport where we parted ways. Digeri caught his flight back to Cali and I drove back up the turnpike.