51 Things I Noticed at Oklacon 11

oklaconlogoThis year marked my second Oklacon, and I did a much better job of keeping up my usual list despite, or maybe because I kept it on old-fashioned paper!

  1. Fursuit parts are apparently very good for keeping yourself warm.
  2. This is a great con for attention whores: Just yell or talk very loudly and EVERYONE on the campsite can hear you.
  3. Anyone playing the guitar at 7AM should be shot or at least kicked in the nards.
  4. I’m thinking that its about time to retire my old Sears Hillary tent. 😦
  5. I was happy I could get a signal on my Verizon iPad in nearby Watonga, OK, but then I got to the campsite annnd its gone!
  6. Even instant cappuccino tastes great when you’ve been sleeping in 30-degree weather.
  7. I’m not sure which is bothering me more: not wearing my university ring or not having a comb in my pocket.
  8. Someday Dr. Nuka will tire of my ‘What’s up Doc?’ greeting and get all sciencey on my tail.
  9. Somehow ‘All My Exes Live In Texas’ got stuck in my head.
  10. They should probably make sure the participants are able to play volleyball out of suit first.
  11. Plastic hammer + heavy metal stakes = FAIL
  12. I was a bit overdue for a shave on Thursday but the cold is keeping me from doing so.
  13. Good idea: Putting QR codes on my dealer’s table sign. Almost Good Idea: Putting QR codes on my dealer’s table sign at a con where cell reception sucks.
  14. Maybe its just me, other folks seem to be doing just fine. Just what I need: another reason to dump Sprint.
  15. I learned today that Canada apparently has its own version of Texas called Alberta. The thought that each country in the world may have its own ‘Texas’ might explain a lot…and fills me with fear.
  16. One of the researchers was having problems with her camera and was getting frustrated, I had to quip: “This is the part where they usually call me at work.”
  17. Even though I’m not at work, my tail was still dragging at about 4PM…should have had that second cup of coffee!
  18. The collective rolling of eyes could almost be heard whenever someone insisted they were the only one in the furry fandom whose fursona was an X.
  19. Best money I’ve spent recently: $15 for a small stool for sitting in the tent; its a little snug in the forbidden zone, but otherwise worked well.
  20. Its funny how the lack of data turned my smartphone into a glorified watch…and a phone.
  21. I only posted once to social media all weekend and haven’t missed it. It feels good to be talking to people that are actually sane.
  22. The rain snuck up on us Friday night but surprisingly nothing got into the tent…there but for the grace of God go I.
  23. Unlike last year, the bathrooms were kept up and I even contributed by plunging a few times and even fixing a toilet, nice to put that homeowner skill to use.
  24. I should have been annoyed by Reville being played at 9am, but instead I found it amusing…because I was already awake.
  25. My writing panel went well, four people showed up!
  26. Hot dogs? At a furry con? Say it ain’t so!
  27. My laptop is a battery…a big, frakking, heavy battery.
  28. The zipper on my tent was misbehaving and the first thing that came to mind was ‘MY KINGDOM FOR SOME DUCT TAPE!’
  29. Things I forgot to bring: wet naps, duct tape, mayonnaise and once again, a roll of toilet paper.
  30. I could only not shave for so long, Saturday night the face fuzz was gone.
  31. I might need to switch to Mountain Dew from coffee, the Dew seemed to keep Nuka going.
  32. He graciously gave me one of his, and I gave him some of my cough drops, balance of the universe and all that.
  33. Yeah, it was great to hear my dealer-neighbors bicker back and forth like an old married couple…which they probably were.
  34. Furries apparently really hate sports, which is yet another way I stick out in that club in addition to being straight and over 30.
  35. From the ‘clever idea’ department: Previous year’s con shirts: $12 for 1 or $10 for 2
  36. Hearing the rules for ‘Predator and Prey’ made me think of ‘Calvinball.’
  37. When in Rome: I got mustard on my camera’s strap during lunch and my first instinct was to try to suck/gnaw it off.
  38. Part of me want to either stay in a tent alone or get an A-frame bunk next year…hmm.
  39. f I had known coffee cups/mugs were going to be sold at the auction I would have been there in a shot.
  40. I wonder what the organizer thought when I gave him my tax form that said “Sales: $4”
  41. A guy nearby needed help tearing down his ‘insta-tent.’ I knew there was a reason I didn’t like those things.
  42. Well, that and they cost twice as frakking much.
  43. Very thankful to have a second person in the car on the drive home, I probably would have had to stop for sleep otherwise.
  44. Saw so many Braum’s burger/ice cream/grocery joints on the drive up/back that we had to stop at one on the way home. Quite good!  Still haven’t been to Waffle House.
  45. Put over 1,100 miles on the Excelsior the whole trip and used up just over two and a half tankfuls of gas.
  46. Flying J has REALLY good coffee.  That, or drinking instant coffee at work for so long has ruined my taste buds.
  47. We encountered absolutely zero traffic problems on I-35 from Oklahoma City all the way down UNTIL we hit San Antonio and spent 25 frakking minutes going the last 5 miles home…REALLY, SAN ANTONIO?
  48. Good Idea: Empty fridge beforehand so no food goes bad during the drip. Problem: No food in fridge to eat upon return.
  49. While I only sold 2 storybooks during the weekend, it was still 2 more than I sold during Furry Fiesta. *shrug*
  50. Thank you, Sharon.
  51. I can’t wait to do it again!

2013 Convention Schedule

Photobomb by Amanda Rogers of mural-magic.com

Photobomb by Amanda Rogers of mural-magic.com

Another year means another bunch of conventions to attend and enjoy!  Unlike previous years, where I was either just an attendee or assisting with other folks’ tables, I will be peddling my wares at some of these events.  Buy or die!

While this isn’t a convention per se, I plan on showing up and selling my books at the St. Phillip’s Anime Club Anime Show held every weekend at Bubblehead Tea just south of downtown San Antonio on the first Friday of nearly every month.  I don’t know that I’ll have a table every month, but its a fun free event to go to and hang out at.

Ushicon, Feb 8-10, Round Rock, TX – Ushicon is an 18+ only anime convention, this will be the first time that I am attending, so I’ll be curious to see how different it will be without the usual Pocky and Ramune-fueled teenagers running around everywhere.

Furry Fiesta 2013, Feb 22-24, Addison, TX – After gushing over Furry Fiesta last year, coming back is a no-brainer, but this time I’m hoping to do a panel on e-book publishing, maybe sit around in Artist Alley for a day or so and have fun.

Mizuumi-Con 6, March 23, San Antonio, TX – San Antonio’s second biggest anime con should be loads of fun again, hopefully the gym won’t become a sauna like it did last year.  I plan on having a table at this one also.

Wild Nights, April 25-29, Robber’s Cave State Park – Despite Oklacon being an ‘okay’ event and not a ‘knock my socks off’ one, I am eager to try another outdoor convention.  Wild Nights takes place in a different part of Oklahoma and as there aren’t very many other furcons near Texas, let’s give it a shot!

Texas ComicCon 2013 June 21-23, San Antonio, TX – I like Texas Comic-Con, and I want to like it more, but its venue is a dump and the show has become the ‘same thing every year’ for me, so I’ll probably go just for a day to hang out with friends.

Anthrocon 2013, July 4-7, Pittsburgh PA – Anthrocon is the world’s largest furcon, and something I’d really like to go to, but I’m on the fence on making the trip because of the money involved.  Stupid car payment and rent going up.

San Japan 6, Aug 16-18, San Antonio, TX – The 500-lb gorilla in San Antonio, San Japan is a blast.  I’m not 100% sure of my plans for it right now, but I’m fairly certain I won’t have a table so I’ll get to actually have fun.

As most of these conventions take place in the first half of 2013, I may add another event late in the year, money permitting of course.  Hope to see you somewhere!

RANDOM REACTION: Furry Fiesta Day 2

Guess which one is "Dr. Nuka"

Guess which one is “Dr. Nuka”

Day 2 of Furry Fiesta 2012 began with a less-than promising start: the apes that were in the room above decided to start stomping around again at around 6 in the morning.  I made another fruitless call to the front desk but was able to get just a little more sleep before starting the day.

I had breakfast and then attended another voiceover panel.  This one was loads of fun, as everyone (that wanted to, at least) got to read copy and get feedback on their performances.  I also got to learn a few technical things that I can apply to my own podcast, which was cool.  It ended up being the only panel I attended all day: the “furry psychology” panel filled up, and I totally forgot about another writer’s panel after running into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.

We hung out, and as two of her friends happened to be fursuiters, I got to see them get prepared for the ‘fursuit parade’ which is a procession of the various fursuiters in attendance showing off their stuff around the convention.  I have even more respect for those folks now after witnessing firsthand the effort that it takes to put one on, never mind having the nerve to do so in the first place.  I also led one of them (fursuits are notorious for limiting vision) to the ‘headless lounge,’ which is a place for fursuiters to literally cool down.

After that, I camped out with some friends and shot the breeze as we waited for the parade to begin.  Once it began, we all had a ball watching them march, strut, and mug for the many cameras present.  It was really fun to watch, you’ll get to see it too once I upload it and can provide a link, because the only Internet I have is what I can squeeze out of my 3G modem or borrow from restaurants during meals :/  As an aside, you have to pay for internet here at the hotel, and the “Free Lobby WiFi” doesn’t seem to work…now isn’t that a conincidence?

I finally got around to filling out the Anthropomorphic Research Project survey; there were some interesting questions to answer and I’ll be interested to see what the results are, especially since I missed their panel.  The folks in the picture above ARE the researchers, and yes, that includes Dr. Nuka.  I grabbed a bite to eat and then hung out at the lounge area to do some writing. I didn’t really get much done, but I did write most of this blog post, while I was there, so I got something done at least.

I don’t really have much planned for tomorrow, just two panels (one on writing and one on podcasting and I may skip the podcasting one) and then it’s time to hit I-35 back to San Antonio.  We plan on leaving late in the afternoon, so I may be too bushed to post my final thoughts tomorrow, but I can do that Monday morning, good thing I took the day off.  🙂

RANDOM REACTION: Furry Fiesta Day 1

When in Rome...

When in Rome…

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from my first day at Furry Fiesta 2012.  As mentioned during my pre-game podcast with artist Chris Holm, we really didn’t expect it to be that much different from other cons that we have been to before.  So far, that has held up.  Sure, the “Dealer Room” is called a ‘Dealer’s Den’ and fursuiters play the role that cosplayers would play at an anime con, but for the most part it’s the same song, it only goes to a furry beat.

The first thing that really impressed me about Furry Fiesta were the freebies that I received upon registering: a hard plastic badge that was of much better quality than the laminated ones one usualy gets at these things, and a 8.5 x 11-sized con book with a nice glossy cover, which made me even more happy to have my short story included in it.  The inclusion of a bar of soap felt a bit like a tongue-in-cheek joke, but it is honestly something that more cons should probably do.  There was also a furry survey that is apparently taken every year as part of a study on the fandom, I’ll need to fill that out and return it.

Aside from badges, the main way to identify someone is an attendee is by the wearing of a tail. Sometimes ears (the headband kind, not the ‘hat’ kind like I’m wearing in the picture) and fuzzy gloves are worn as well, but tails are pretty common.

While the panels I have been to have not all been as good as I initially had hoped for, I was still pleased that there are more panels that I was actually interested in. The five panels I attended on Friday easily equaled the number of panels I might attend during the three days of an anime or comic book convention.

There seems to be more of an emphasis at Furry Fiesta on the creation of art rather than the consumption of it. Instead of attending a panel where a voice actor answers questions from fans about the shows he or she has worked on, I. can attend a panel where I can learn about voice acting, writing, and art.

There are quite a few things to do here at Furry Fiesta for someone who is interested in creating. The vast majority of the costumes are of original characters; instead of pretending to be something that is the product of another person’s imagination, attendees create their own ‘fursonas.’  Oftentimes, they only exist on paper or in artwork, but a few take the extra step of bringing their creation to life in the real world.  They are known as ‘fursuiters’ and there are some REALLY good costumes out there.

The only horsefly (ba-doom, tissh) in the ointment has been the jerkasses that are staying in the room above the one I am in.  I have been hearing nothing but stomping around and horseplaying last night and into the morning. Two calls to the front desk and a chat with the Furry Fiesta security guy have proven to be pretty fruitless in getting anything accomplished.  To be fair, though, that is something that one experiences at all of these things, so I can’t really hold it against them.  That said, I think the fact that something hasn’t been done about this reflects poorly on both the hotel and the convention.  I will speak with the folks at the front desk again (and maybe even FF security) today and see if anything can be done.  I got a five-hour drive tomorrow back home and I need more sleep.

But yeah, that’s a problem one comes across at any convention.  Its only been the first day, but I have already had a lot of fun and even learned a new thing or two at Furry Fiesta 2012. I look forward to the remainder of the con.  At this rate, I will be attending Furry Fiesta 2013 without any hesitation.  If that isn’t the best compliment I can give, I don’t know what is.