Texas’ biggest furry convention moved to a new hotel this year, which introduced a few new issues. Overall, though, it was a lot of fun. As always, I noticed a few things:
- BEFORE/DRIVE UP-I’m a little bummed over missing the conbook deadline but that’s what my website is for.
#31 PUT SOME CLOTHES ON YOUNG LADY
- I’m guessing I’m going to see a lot of Alices and Mad Hatters. Hopefully, the cartoon versions.
- Seriously, I thought the 2010 version was ‘The Mad Hatter Movie”
- I will openly admit to being jealous of all my friends that will be there on Thursday
- I swear work gets tougher the last few days before a vacation…it’s like THEY KNOW
- Okay, I wussed out and told my cowokers I was going to a ‘comiccon’
- Does loading Disney soundtracks onto a USB stick for the drive qualify someone as ‘furry trash?’ Asking for a friend.
- Thing I forgot: Cologne. Given the female-to-male ratio it’s just as well!
- I’ve lost about 30 pounds since last TFF. I bought a pair of slim fit jeans so I gotta keep the weight off now!
- Honestly, I-35 keeps getting better and better each year…Temple notwithstanding
- The Czech stop was definitely worth the 200-mile wait!
- Parking seems to be one of the big issues early on; I was furtunate to get a spot fairly close by.
- I feel like a tourist lugging my bags around the hotel before check-in.
- It wasn’t too long before I started running into friends, YAY FRIENDS!
- I had forgotten about the placeholder name I had placed on the reservation beforehand, which made for a funny moment: “So that will be two keys: One for you, and another for Roger Rabbit?”
- “Can I get the lowest room available? I have a thing with heights.”
- New hotel is very nice, though the open elevators are a little scary for me. (see above)
- FRIDAY-Noticed a few folks kvetching about the lack of con suite this year. Hopefully they bring the snacks back because playing ‘bartender’ there was great fun.
- The Presidential Suite is open to Super-Sponsors, though.
- Forgot to print out my reg sheet for the first time ever. *hangs head in shame*
- Their reg was so fast it didn’t matter.
- The Hyatt Regency feels so wide open compared to the other hotels.
- Taking five fights of stairs to the room (if I don’t want to wait for the elevator) is definitely a workout
- The hotel room has an Ethernet port, and me without a cable *argh*
#28: It’s Furry Pat!
- New camera has been great, but the battery went dry after only 75 pictures! So glad I got a spare…that I had to retrieve from my room. *pant* *gasp* *wheeze*
- It’s awesome that the con T-shirts aren’t black this year.
- I’m usually pretty careful about catching autocorrects before I hit Send, but finally had one slip through the net 😀
- There’s a fursuiter named Sherbert who has you try to guess their gender. I went with ‘male’ because if I can’t figure someone’s gender in 3 seconds at a con, I just assume it’s a guy.
- I am seriously considering buying a Lemonbrat partial fursuit.
- Overall, the bigger hotel is pretty nice with plenty of space to work with BUT the elevator situation is pretty bad and it is a (understandably) a mite warm inside.
- That moment when you realize the fursuiter you’ve seen in a partial for months now has a fullsuit which means SHE’S NAKED NOW OMG
- It’s 6pm, send in the normies!
- There are places to eat downtown if you don’t mind a little walk. Cool.
- Elevator situation is pretty awful, I wonder if the top-floor con suite is a contributing factor.
- Random young lady: “Are you Eduardo Soliz?”
Me: “The one and only!” *peers at person* “Do I know you?”
Her: “No but I love your YouTube channel!”
UPDATE: Found her on Twitter!
- Maybe I’m not done with “Con Talk” after all…
- I really really need to get cracking on making some panels for next year’s Furry Fiesta. People want them!
- SATURDAY-630AM and I don’t want to be up, but I guess I’m up, bleh.
- Might be early enough to hit Waffle House without losing my parking, hmm
- Upon further review I decided not to risk losing my spot.
- A little disappointed in the scheduling app; it shows the full schedule without hiding events that have already passed.
- Oh, I have to manually refresh it. Derp.
- Nope, still didn’t do it. Boo.
- For some reason I have Matthew Ebel’s “Merry Christmas from Cell Block 2” in my head
- Are the microphones in the panel rooms even on?
- New addition to the fursuit parade: Concerned parents
- Dunno what the deal was with the peanut gallery continually yelling “Spring Break” during the parade but it was annoying to the point where I might put music over the parade audio. UPDATE: I didn’t.
- Nothing like 40-degree weather to make you want a fursuit.
- Freezing my face off was totally worth it for the Cuban sandwich, though
- If you’re running audio you should be professional enough to know to not talk while a presentation is going on. Fuzzing amateurs
- Another great Furry Psychology talk from Nuka. I was getting a little sleepy near the end, and not because of the content, just to be clear!
- I learned that some of the FurScience folks went to San Japan last year. I invited them to attend “Furry 101” this year. COME ON GUYS, I WENT TO YOUR PANEL AND I DID MY HOMEWORK 😀
- The partial suit I was thinking about buying was sold. Oh well.
- A friend bought Lemonbrat’s ‘Tide Pod Fox’ and got very popular very quickly.
#54 He looks good enough to eat!
- Knees starting to feel it by afternoon, likely due to all the stair-climbing bought on by not wanting to wait for the elevators…or I’m just getting old.
- Halfway down the stairs to go to dinner, I realized I still had my bear tail on. Screw it.
- Nothing like walking 2/3 of a mile to go to Spaghetti Warehouse in 30-degree weather.
- Totally worth it, though. Chicken parm you taste so good.
- I was disappointed to find karaoke was full up; I wanted to sing ‘Why Should I Worry’ by Billy Joel from ‘Oliver and Company.’ The canines would have loved it!
- Nice lobby-wide howl on Saturday night, by the way.
- I wanted to be all supportive and stuff for Padunk’s first panel, but it was completely packed! I guess that was a sign it went well! (link warning: some naughty bits)
- Drunk normies + fursuiters = hilarity
- I swear the ‘Two women: One embarrassingly drunk and the other trying to get them to stop being embarrassing’ bit is a trope.
- SUNDAY/TRIP HOME-Breakfast was weird: After we got seated, the hostess kept fussing over our table being dirty (it wasn’t) The table is fine lady, I WANT FOOD
- Mom never made ‘fingerling potatoes’ for breakfast, just sayin. That said, they were tasty.
- No salsa on the breakfast buffet? What is this, NEW YORK CITY?
- The longer the con goes, the harder it gets to not take multiple pictures of the same fursuiters. Oh well!
- Me to friend: “I was thinking about buying a partial”
Her: “I have a bear head base I haven’t started yet.”
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
- So yeah, I may be getting a fursuit made.
- Left the con at probably the earliest time I’ve ever left. Continually going up and down four flights of stairs took more out of me than I thought.
- To the jackass who parked their Honda CRX in the middle of the end of the parking lot: YOU SUCK.
- I am very glad I only make two trips that involve I-35 a year
- Didn’t stop at Buc-ees on the way home, the Wendy’s across the freeway was too tempting. I may have sinned against Texas.
- Big thank you to the solider who fished a soda out of the machine for me at the Bell rest stop. Enjoy the freebie!
- Note to self: Lay off the caffeine on the day when you are making a long drive unless you want to make restroom stops every 50 miles or so >.<
#71 YOU SUCK
- AFTERWARDS-I will openly admit to being jealous of my friends that are still at the con on Monday.
- I think the reason I don’t get post-con depression is that afterwards I go over pictures, post the fursuit parade video, work on this list, prepare for and record a podcast, so the show isn’t really over for me for several days.
- There is apparently an underground tunnel leading from near Union Station to the hotel. I may consider taking a train ride for next year.
- Remember how I said “Con Talk” was over a few months ago? I was never very good at lying. 😉
- “Roll Fur Initiative” for next year’s theme? I guess Creativity failed her saving throw! Hey, I tried!
Another year, another Texas Furry Fiesta. As much as I like San Japan, TFF is my favorite convention bar none. Sadly, this is the last year in the Dallas InterContinental, but it went out with a bang!
If a guy with bear ears took your picutre, check it out on my Facebook or Flickr!
- BEFORE-I wanted to start this list two weeks before the show, but that would have been a bit much. Two days it is, then.
- I put more effort into picking T-shirts for conventions than I do into dressing for my job
- The same goes for shaving: I’ll regularly have a 5 o’clock shadow at work but usually shave whenever I’m going to be with friends.
- Had to resist the urge to put “Skills: Striking fear into the hearts of men” on my volunteer application.
- Should have mentioned my ‘command voice,’ though.
- Seeing Facebook keep going ‘REMEMBER ALL THE FUN YOU WERE HAVING 2/3/4 YEARS AGO’ these last few weeks has been maddening
- Went over last year’s list that I apparently DID start two weeks prior, guess I’m getting more patient as I get older.
- Planning on using my point-and-shoot for pictures instead of my iPhone, too many dark pictures last year.
- Still using my iPad mini to record the parade, though, just need free up lots of memory beforehand!
- Sing just came out on video, I wonder if there will be anyone cosplaying? (there wasn’t that I could tell anyway)
- Bluetooth speakers at cons SUCK. I have bad taste in music too, but I keep it to myself.
- Lucky for me Riverdale is not showing this week. I don’t mind waiting for the next Powerless, BUT I MUST KNOW WHO KILLED JASON BLOSSOM
- THURSDAY-Passenger: You better be ready to go at 9. Me at 930 on Thursday: Still waiting for him
- I pity people that have been to Whataburger without having a Breakfast on a Bun. THAT’S NO WAY TO LIVE
- Siri turned my friend’s last name into ‘Command’ so that is his last name now
- Took a shortcut down some caliche roads to bypass a big accident on I-35 North.
- Yeah maybe I shouldn’t have washed he car yesterday
- Made it past the accident okay, though!
- Not liking Braums is a crime, apparently
- Thursday and the hotel parking lot is already full, oh boy
- Friend as we’re going to the room: “This hallway smells like B.O.”
#25: Come here often?
- Funny that I’m going to spend part of my vacation working (as a volunteer) yet I don’t mind
- Volunteering: Started off helping unload some stuff, kinda wish I’d showed up earlier to help more.
- Furst World Problem: Being swatted by someone’s tail.
- Volunteering: It was fun helping at Kempi’s, I am going to totally miss the Disco Dungeon!
- Weird moment (for me, anyway) “Didn’t that guy have the prettiest eyes?” “Sorry, but I’m straight.”
- I ended up splitting a room in a single instead of a double, we used a pillow as the ‘border.’
- FRIDAY-Surprised at how unorganized the volunteering seems to be early on, (it got better)
- Idea (that may not work): E-mail verified volunteers blanks of the tracking sheets.
- Volunteering: Spent a couple hours in the con suite playing barkeep at the snack bar some more in the morning
- Mary Mouse is just too busy, I need my Certified badge!
- The panelist didn’t show up to the first panel I went to…I have yet to miss one of mine…just sayin’
- These guys really need to purchase a legit scheduling app. The ‘purchase’ part means it likely won’t happen, though
- Kept getting asked: “Are you doing a panel?” I think it’s safe to say me doing panels is a thing now.
- My apologies to my friends when I don’t recognize them in or out of fursuit: I have enough trouble remembering people that only have ONE name and face!
- Decided to belt out Be Prepared at Kempi’s during karaoke and loved it. I kicked into my vocal ‘fifth gear’ that I very seldom use.
- Ten buck special at Boston Market = good eatin’ Going to miss all the close places to eat next year
- Finally figured out to hold my camera by its sides when showing pictures to fursuiters so it doesn’t flip back to camera mode when I’m showing them pictures
- Probably just need to invest in a new camera already.
#31: I’m also certifiable!
- SATURDAY – I want to go to panels but keep bailing on them to have fun with friends!
- Or getting double-booked and leaving a panel early to go to another one
- If you’re asking for questions fifteen minutes into your panel, you might need more material, but it worked out.
- Having an intro written to start your panel isn’t a Bad Thing per se, but it depends on the type of panel
- Lobby ATM machine barfed on me multiple times throughout he weekend, argh
- Fursuit parade seemed to go quicker this year
- Someone swatted me with their tail! How wude!
- Love to upload the video while I’m here, but the 3.1 GB file ain’t uploading over hotel wifi anytime soon, maybe overnight.
- I’m learning that sitting is weird when you have a tail, even if it is just a nub!
- The pictures from my point and shoot are coming out so much better than the ones from my iPhone last year
- Note to self: Get fursuiter pictures when you have the chance, because that StarFox suiter was way cool, but I missed him!
- I was working, though /shrug
- Volunteering: Checking for badges gets a little weird when people have them on their waist/belt
- Okay, so I’m a prude.
- Bought a voodoo-themed print and now I have the Dr. Facliler song from ‘The Princess and the Frog’ in my head
- SUNDAY-Left my laptop on all night to upload the Fursuit parade video and it worked!
- Likely have to retire my iPad mini after this year, 16GB just ain’t enough!
- It’s always funny being functional at 8AM while the party animals slowly lurch to life
- Walked away from my backpack by accident Guess I need coffee!
- Woofle House to the rescue!
- Not trying very hard to sell anything in Artist’s Alley, which is good because I didn’t *le sigh*
#60: Take my books, please!
- I swear I am the only seller in Artist Alley that is standing up.
- To be fair, they’re all drawing
- And sold more than me 😛
- I gave away three books, so there’s that.
- New rule: No more using my iPad as an attention grabber, people just watch the videos and block the table
- You’re welcome for the name, Kawaii-pool!
- Why are there two kinds of Steak N’ Shakes? The ones where you get seated SUCK sometimes.
- Elevator conversation:
Me: “You draw the fluffiest furries I’ve ever seen!”
Tirrell: “That’s how they’re supposed to look.”
Me: “Right, but nobody draws them like that.”
- None of the pictures I took during Closing Ceremonies came out. Insert joke about Path here.
- When someone brings bubble wrap for pick-up to the art show you know they buy a lot of art 0_0
- Got plenty of exercise helping tear down the Art show, and earned enough time for a free registration next year!
- I had originally planned to stay till Monday, but I have too much adulting to do, so I hit I-35 at 10PM
- It was hard for me to leave ‘early’ though MUST PHOTOGRAPH ALL THE FURSUITERS
- If you are a fursuiter and I didn’t take your picture, I AM SO SORRY
- My friends and I got ‘furtobombed’ by Zig-Zag at the end!
- Didn’t run into any of the storms on the drive home but saw lots of scary lightning!
- Had a scary moment on a patch of flooded construction, too
- Finally got home at 3AM,. I’m tired, but the good kind of tired
- Another great show, and I even helped (a little)!
And one late one:
80. At least we only have 11 months to wait until TFF 2018!
Don’t spill the Chemical X!
Texas’ only furcon, Furry Fiesta, took place last weekend from Feb 20-22 and I had a ball. So, without fur-ther ado:
- PRE-TRIP/THURSDAY: Never been on a 4-day trip that didn’t involve a tent before, time to upgrade my luggage.
- Nothing like that ‘did I forget to pack anything’ feeling, luckily there’s a Wally Martinez (Wal-Mart) near the hotel.
- Weight on Thursday morning: 267 Hope I don’t spend half the event pulling up my pants like at PAX South.
- Then again, that wouldn’t be so terrible 😉
- Thing I almost forgot #1-Nintendo 3DS, Thanks, Oscar!
- Thing I almost forgot #2-Cologne. Insert joke about ‘no female furries’ here
- Thing I almost forgot #3- Apparently my insurance card expired last October. Oops!
- Thing I did forget #1: Ballcap for my Soos cosplay. Doh!
- Didn’t drink caffeine in purpose on the way up, finally had to succumb and stop at the Czech Stop for a soda.
- And some kolaches. Mmm, good!
- New duffel bag has wheels…I feel so WHITE rolling it around.
- I was recognized by someone in the reg line and couldn’t figure out who it was until I heard his furry name.
- Felt honored to call Nuka “Doctor” for the first time. Congrats!
- Room is on the 9th floor. Well, I did say I needed exercise XP
- Full-color conbook! Is niiiice!
- A friend said the conbook was in color last year but I didn’t care because I didn’t have a story in it
- Yay, a fridge in the room…already stocked with overpriced items…BOO
- Karma FTL: Joked about the first guy in reg line being their guinea pig, then I ended up being the guinea pig when I upgraded to Super Sponsor.
- Prediction: Lots of angel dragons this year.
- Private joke: Wolfboy was denied chocolate chip waffles at Waffle House, dude just has bad luck with chocolate.
- Waffle House was great! Now I have another place to stop at when I’m in Austin.
- Bad timing though, we bought a total of 15 people there and there were only 2 workers.
- They did an admirable job, though!
- FRIDAY: Had to get the genuine Waffle House experience the next morning after we swamped them on Thursday night.
- Bought a clip-on tie for a cosplay thinking it would be quicker, but it’s more trouble than a real one >.<
- Cap or ears with cosplay? Ears, of course. Ignore #8
- It says something when Wally Martinez runs out of bags!
- Dafuzz is up with no trash cans on the first floor of the hotel?
- The magic is routinely being broken here. I has a sad.
- Feel funny hanging my ears on my rear view mirror like they’re fuzzy dice or something.
- Semi-retired my ears until I figure out a better way to wear them.
- “I’m sleepy” “Drink some coffee” “I don’t drink coffee” “There’s no better time to start!”
- Took a quick peek in the adult section of the art auction, funny how the quality of the art dropped a little.
- The Corral sends to be much improved this year.
- I gave away paper copies of one of my books to a few folks and it felt good, I hope the recipients enjoy them.
- Had to abandon my lanyard because my badge was blocking my shirt…oh no, I’ve become one of THOSE cosplayers
- Two researchers at the con means two surveys to do. I haven’t had this much homework to do since college!
- Obligatory work-related item: Saw a tech-sounding name on a building and the first thought that popped in my head was “Are they hiring?”
- Got bumped in the head by a fursuiter at the Bucktown Tiger performance but it was okay, he was padded.
- I kinda want to knee people that carry speakers playing music in the nards.
- Learned some photography stuff from a ‘fur-tographer’ 😀
- Heard someone use the phrase “home grown country boy.” Is there any other kind?
- What is a fursuiter without a fursuit at a furry con? Very very sad. Dude got better, though.
- Thing I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing: Tingle-styled zentai suit. MY EYES
- Elevator-con didn’t happen for me, there were a few waits, but they were reasonable. Kudos!
- SATURDAY: “I’m gonna dress as Professor Utonium” “Will you have three girls?” “No, but this is a con, they’ll be around” “Yeah but they won’t be girls” /facepaw
- When doing a panel, make it more about the topic, and less about you.
- Hell, at least have an outline. The last time I went to a panel that was that bad it was held by teenagers.
- Heard a bird cawing outside, not sure if actual bird or attendee
- It says something when I sneeze in the hotel room and someone walking in the hall says “Bless you”
- New thing I’m not sure about: Someone had a friend do a badge of their ‘fruitsona.’
- Two people have referred to me as Uncle Kage. Not sure it’s complimentary
- After my camera battery conked out last year, I used my iPad mini to record the fursuit parade.
- …in landscape. I didn’t want to be THAT guy again.
- Got to portray a not-very-nice executive during the voice over panel. That was easy.
- Nothing like that NOOOO moment when you realize your 3DS wifi has been off for the last few hours >.<
- Next time I think I’ll try a room at the hotel next door because reasons.
- Parking Idea: Paint one side of the parking barriers red so people know not to park next to them.
- Parking Idea #2: Take the back way through the overflow parking onto Quorum, much faster to get to Belt Line Road or the shopping center across the freeway
- Got fur-tobombed while getting my picture taken with a friend, lol
- Thing I forgot #2: Small ice chest to store/chill drinks
- Wore a lab coat for a costume on Saturday (see above) and kinda liked it, especially the pockets!
- SUNDAY: Still no bags at Wal-Mart? Get it together, people!
- Awesome idea: Use cardboard priority mail envelopes from USPS for prints to keep them fresh and un-bent
- Boston Market’s 3-person meal could have easily fed 4 but SO GOOOD
- Whispered “I don’t read Gold Digger” to the Antarctic Press guy because Fred Perry was right there.
- I did buy (and enjoyed) two of his other comics and Furry Tales, though!
- Eyeball con: Some wag went around sticking googly eyes onto random things and apparently having pupils on fursuits is not cool anymore.
- I was right about the angel dragons, but the ‘no pupils for fursuits’ thing is a mite weird.
- Van Morrison’s “Moondance” got stuck in my head after hearing it during the jazz performance Saturday night
- That’s not a bad thing, BUT I DON’T KNOW THE WORDS >.<
- Whenever I see musicians play live, it makes me miss being in a band *sigh*
- Had an impromptu “Be Prepared” singing session in the car and realized I’d forgotten most of the words
- From Sunday afternoon afterwards the con was pretty cool, seemed like most of the hyperactive kids had left.
- MONDAY / POST-TRIP: Woke up Monday to see a layer of snow outside…CRAP
- Okay, ice. I’ve spent 99.999% of my life south of San Antonio and know not of such things 😛
- Got some neat “furries in the ice” pictures though!
- You don’t know which shoes are good for ice until you actualy have ICE
- Well at least I wasn’t wearing sandals.
- For being a small con, I didn’t see some folks on some days. Odd.
- Found a phone, how do we find the owner? Fursuit picture on the home screen of course!
- Drive home had a few harrowing moments at the start, but once we left Dallas things were fine.
- Still fuzzing cold, though; the Excelsior (my CR-V) still had ice on it when I got home.
- Took over 200 pictures during the con, holy cats!
- Bye bye, backpack, hello super-sponsor messenger bag.
- Not looking forward to seeing how many FA notifications I have pending.
- Or work emails for that matter.
- Aww #1: No calendar this year.
- Aww #2: Didn’t get to wear my “Do not feed the bears” shirt.
- Realization upon cleaning out backpack: I have way too many chargers and cables
- Weight on Tuesday morning: 268…so why are my pants so bleeping baggy?
- Saw a Krystal cosplayer and thought: “Hey, a place where Krystal CAN enjoy her sandwich!“
A spectacular failure can have the effect of dropping a big heaping scoop of self-doubt on one’s head. After failing to sell even a single paper copy of my first furry book, “Con Fluff 1,” in the Artist Alley of Furry Fiesta a few weekends ago, I found myself questioning everything I did there: my sales pitch, my table layout, pricing, and so on. The bigger question of “Am I Doing It Wrong?” has also been hanging over my head since then.
A friend recently made the observation that I was incorrectly trying to sell clean stories to an audience that was not interested in them. Given how I joke with friends about how some furry art sites don’t update until you turn off their “not safe for work” filter, I’m hardly in a position to disagree. A little part of me is wondering if I should cross that line and start writing erotica/smut/porn/what have you.
I’ve never written anything overtly sexual, and I don’t have much desire to…it’s just not my thing. Despite that, I now have a little nagging voice in my head telling me that if I just cross that line, I will gain a bigger audience. Oddly enough, the internal debate I am having is reminiscent of when I’ve see artist friends struggle with the question of whether to do fan art for conventions.
While doing your own thing as a creative person is very personally satisfying, it also carries some risk, especially where anime and comic book fans are concerned. Those fans have popular characters that they like and don’t often take chances on things that are different or new, especially coming from a little-known or new artist. However awesome an artist’s original creation may be, most folks are going to gravitate to the table with the cool looking Iron Man or Hetalia fanart. In the same way, I find myself wondering if folks are bypassing my works just because it is clean.
Part of the reason I don’t write smut is that I don’t think I’d be good at it, but that isn’t stopping me from considering crossing that line. The little cloud of self-doubt that’s been following me around since Furry Fiesta isn’t helping either.
I don’t know. I guess it wouldn’t hurt if things got just a little more naughty. We’ll see.