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Direlda's Further Confusion Adventures ^^

The clock in my modern fiction class ticked away the minutes behind me while The Wolf told us about alienation and covering in Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms.  I was hoping we would get a chance to talk about the passage on pg 303, where Henry and Catherine briefly think on what it would be like to have a fox’s brush.  My brush hung off the side of the chair-desk.  The minutes flowed on and class ended without a discussion of fox brushes.  Noticing the time, I gathered my bags and became a fox on the run, stopping only for a crosswalk signal, and bounded onto the bus.  No one wanted to know my name because I didn’t look the same as all of them and because people try not to sit next to strangers when there are empty seats on public transportation.  Then again, I am the Liminal Mr. Fox and this separateness comes with the territory.


I left the bus at the first of the downtown transit tunnel stops and bought a light rail ticket.  If I had thought ahead and gotten my paws on the One Card, I would have saved a couple dollars on fare, but shikata ga nai.  The light rail to the airport whisked me on my way and people must have thought my tail needed extra space.  There was no need for me to surrender my bags to the underbelly of the plane, so the only line that proved a bother was the security line.  While waiting to have my identity confirmed, I finished off a drink of water in my water bottle.  It proved a nuisance to be put back in, but the woman waiting behind me lent a hand.  Some Buddhist monks also passed by and I wanted to quote Daito at them: “‘Delusion,’ ‘enlightenment’ – these are just fox words that have been fooling Zen monks everywhere,” but I didn’t know if they were Zen Buddhists or not, so I stayed silent.  The scanning that followed hurt – I had to remove my brush and ears (yipe!).



On my way to the gate, a man stopped me and asked what was with the brush and ears.  I gladly told him.  Then, at the gate itself, a woman came up to me and said she knew where I was going and we talked a little about furry cons.  This was her first one and she was traveling there with her husband, T. Lewis.  The name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place from where (it was only later that I realized he was one of the guests of honor).  Some other people also noted that I was being obvious about where I was going.  After I took my seat on the plane, one of the flight attendants came up to me and asked about why I had fox ears and brush.  The clouds lay thick above Oregon, so instead of seeing my old haunts, I napped.


San Jose greeted our plane with rain, turbulence, and a plane hogging our gate.  Once that was settled, I blitzed through the airport to the curbside, where my ride easily spotted me (I’m sure it had nothing at all to do with my ears and brush…).  We talked and amongst the things we decided was that I would go straight to the house in Cupertino, rather than go to the con.  Missing the opening ceremony was justified by a growling stomach that probably would have caused untold harm had I not decided to satiate it.  After a scrumptious meal and a passing out of hugs, I played a game of LoL with the brothers (until one of the computers intervened with an error message).  The bed provided for me was nice and soft and I made myself right at home.


Breakfast was sausage and eggs.  It was at that point that I remembered there would be no glucose products for me while dining at this house.  The sausage, however, was some of the best sausage I have ever had and made up for the absence of bread.  I was dropped off at the con a little before the registration desk was supposed to open. A good thing, really.  I spent the time wandering around the main lobby of the Fairmont hotel trying to figure out where they had hidden registration, until I learned the second floor was devoted to the con and wandered the circuit once before stopping and asking for assistance from the man guarding the entrance to the art show.  He pointed me across the sky bridge.  After crossing I joined the line that snaked around the hotel’s annex.  It took a while (and I decided that next con I went to I would pre-register), but eventually I paid my money and got my name badge.  That done, I could now enter the dealers’ den and pick up my conbadge, which I had commissioned from Kitsumi.


I’ll see about getting a picture of my conbadge posted sometime because it’s rather amazing and it’s superbly drawn, inked, and coloured.  It captures everything rather nicely. (^^)  Describing it to you would not do it justice, so I hope I can get it online to share.  If Kitsumi had been able to attend the con, I might have hugged her out of the happiness (or joy?) that filled me then.


I then wandered around trying to find my friend Grontalis.  He had been at RainFurrest, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to say hello.  At some point in the day I did run into him, as he was coming up some stairs, and gave him a hug, but he didn’t recognize me at first and had somewhere else to be.  Anyways, as I was wandering the halls, T. Lewis’s wife spotted me and invited me to listen to her husband speak. So I did.  Turns out he is the artist for the comic the movie Over the Hedge is based off.  After he and his collaborator, Michael Fry, were done presenting, I was formally introduced to him.  We talked some.  Turns out they are interested in sending their son to the university I attend – too bad I’m graduating, because if he did attend, it would be a good way to repay the kindness they showed me.  To support them, I bought a copy of the movie directly from them at their booth in the dealers’ den.  Like when I bought the Ozy and Millie books at RainFurrest, I had no intention of getting autographs, but gladly accepted the offer.


I spent the rest of the time Friday wandering around taking pictures of fursuiters and doing my best to overcome my liminality.  This included listening to people play on a piano and then playing a duet impromptu with one of them.  Because I had forgotten my cell phone at the house, my ride back was scheduled at 5.30 pm.  While this was a slight inconvenience, it was one brought on by my own absentmindedness and could therefore not be helped.  I managed to get a hold of Grontalis via text messaging and remedied the confusion of the day.  After another good dinner, I spent some time with the brothers.


Saturday found me bringing my backpack along.  It was heavy because I was carrying my Bible and my laptop (or is it a netbook?) with me so that I could have Bible study at noon.  I met Grontalis in the hotel lobby and we talked some before heading up to find a spot to hold my Bible study.  I found a nice quiet spot on the second floor next to an outlet and set up.  Once again technological difficulties caused delay – I needed the password for the wireless, which the con staff in the internet lounge told to me.  The second difficulty arose when I tried to allow Grontalis to participate as well because my speakers weren’t so great.  I did record the Bible study, so when I get it online, I hope I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself (I certainly looked like one, leaning over my computer to speak into the mike while listening through some headphones that I wasn’t wearing because that was louder than my speakers…).  It also turned out that my quiet spot was right in front of where preparations for the fursuit parade were beginning. ( ^^; )  Yeah… I sort of failed on that one…


I did watch the fursuit parade after Bible study was finished.  There were some pretty awesome fursuits and some rather entertaining ones.  I’ll try and get some of the better pictures up for ya’ll to see (ack! Where’d that come from… (>.>) ).  After the fursuit parade I wandered a bit until I decided to try drawing on the skybridge.  While sitting there, two people came and sat down opposite me and started talking.  I soon realized that one of them was the artist who had placed a bunch of flyers on cheap sketches around the second floor.  So I moved over and joined in.  Johabi was the one getting the commission and I learned he lived in my general area (well, closer to where my ninja roommate is from, but still..).  AmericaJonze is the artist, and she did a great job both on the sketch she did for Johabi and the one she did for me.  She also mentioned that she works for Pixar.  I found them both on FA, so that I could keep in contact with them.  I’ll see about posting the sketch as well.


I wandered around some more and found a good piano player to listen to.  He could play caramelldansen, a Zelda medley, and Final Fantasy songs without sheet music.  There came a point where he needed some sheet music for Kefka’s theme – I pulled it up on my laptop.  I listened to T. Lewis and Michael Fry talk on the future of comics and such things.  My stomach growled at me, so I found some Chinese food (later it didn’t appreciate this).  I was going to go to the masquerade, but Grontalis wanted to hang out.  He was in his fursuit and we went to a restaurant for some food.  I didn’t get anything because I was full, but the smell of the fresh pita wraps made me regret the Chinese food.  Then we hung out in the lobby of the hotel and watched fursuiters entertain children.  Or was it us who were entertained?  The children were rather cute, especially the two little girls who pulled fursuiters over to show off to their family.


It came time for me to leave again, so I returned to the house for another late hanging out with the brothers before sleep.  Based off the weight of the backpack, I decided that night against taking it with me the next day.  I also asked about going to church and learned that, true to its name, the Greek Orthodox service would be all in Greek.  I wasn’t against going anyways, but we decided to drop me off at the con on the way to church, since they were going that direction anyways and I wouldn’t actually get anything out of attending (since I don’t understand Greek really).


At the con I decided to attend a session on poses and expressions, which, while I could not always copy down what was drawn on the board fast enough (I used a camera a couple times), proved rather helpful.  Unfortunately it was at the same time as the session concerning Furry Christianity, so I missed that.  In between that session and one on the basics of making a webcomic, I sat on the skybridge and worked on a poem.  I got to listen to someone playing on a hammered dulcimer and then he was joined by someone with a bodhran! (^^)  And they played some of my favorite songs: Pachabel’s “Canon in D” and “The Road to Lisdoonvarna.”  Made me wish even more that I had brought a recording device of some kind.   I’ll put my poem up sometime (and I mean it…).  The webcomic session was only slightly helpful.  I feel sorry for the person who gave it, because people walked out on him as he talked.  After that I met up with Grontalis and helped spot for him while he was in his fursuit.  While in the headless lounge (or the place where fursuiters can go to cool down and air out the heads of their fursuits), I saw someone with a cool looking fox fursuit and learned that it was made by the same person who made my tail (not that I have the money for that at this time…).


I was debating going to Furry Night Live, which would have been a bunch of skits, when Grontalis brought up the idea of going to eat.  This sounded like a great idea to me, so once more we went to the Pita Pit with Grontalis in his fursuit and I spotting for him.  And my nose hadn’t lied to me the night before – I almost ate the paper wrapping protecting the wrap I had ordered.  Sometime around then Grontalis offered to let me wear his fursuit (or was it while we were in the headless lounge and I said I needed food first? Yeah… it must have been earlier…).  We went to his room and I got a better chance to meet the people he was rooming with.  Anyways, after I was done scarfing down my food and he saved a bit for later (some of which the floor took…) I messed around with one of Eli’s muffins (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, they are transformation [or tf] inducing muffins that exist in an irc channel…) and got tfed into a folf (which is a fox-wolf hybrid) that looked like Grontalis and he got tfed into a human…  Ok, so what actually happened was that I put on his fursuit (though we did joke that I was his clone, since he still wore his own conbadges and I wore mine while in his fursuit).  I gave some hugs, pulled off some zany antics (like chasing down that clone – there can be only one!), and managed to go up and down stairs.  I miss having a muzzle.


Well, it was time for me to go, so I went back to Grontalis’ room, took off the fursuit, and then the two of us went down to where I would be picked up.  While we were waiting, a homeless man who went by the name Sticks entertained us.  He was tall enough and I was early enough, that my ride missed me on his first pass (luckily there was no AT-AT to take down).


Monday saw me frantically stuff everything into my bags, make it through security with no problems and a question on if there had been a convention (to which I answered yes), a plane flight spent working on this and another flight attendant curious about why I was so vulpine (to which I gave my short answer, since she was serving drinks), a light rail trip with intermittent conversation with another person who attended FC, a bus ride that near the end was brightened by a friend off to work (I gave her a little bit of explanation – basically that I had come from a furry con…), and a sharing of some stories with roommates and friends after arriving home.  Then I remembered I had an in-class essay for The Wolf the next day (which was this morning) and put this reminiscing on hold.


So yeah… that was my adventures.  I’ve sort of rambled on almost long enough.  Before I let you run off and do something fun or productive with your time, I’ll just blah blah blah what I’ve learned.  Taking a camera was a definite plus.  I got to get pictures (asking first if it was ok, except during the fursuit parade, when it was expected that people would be taking pictures) of a bunch of cool fursuits (which will be posted sometime and somewhere – I’ll keep you informed).  Staying 15-30 minutes away was mixed.  I got to stay with a wonderful family who cooked excellent food and made me feel at home.  But I had to leave the con at various times and had no close place to store my backpack (it was heavy that Saturday because I had my laptop bag stuffed in there plus my Bible, headphones, jacket, and scarf) and so carried around things that I only needed at certain times.  So if I go to Anthrocon, I’ll try and stay at the site of (or within walking distance of) the con.  Next con I go to, I’ll definitely preregister for, because not only is it cheaper, you also get a shorter line to wait in.  Having someone I knew to hang out with was also a better experience than feeling almost completely liminal (like I did at Rainfurrest).


Errm… if you have any questions or want a better explanation, feel free to ask.  But you can go now.


Go on, go back to what you were doing.  Why are you still here?