what can I say, FC just keeps on getting better every year. this was our seventh time attending, and the first time for FC at the Fairmont. while there were certainly some "Failmont" moments, overall I'd say they pulled it off well. all the hotel staff I met were super friendly and welcoming in all our interactions - as was con staff, but of course I expected that. being used to interacting with the friendly folks at the Doubletree, it was lovely to see this aspect carried over into the new hotel.
we arrived on Thursday. we'd planned on a leisurely afternoon arrival, but when we started loading the bunnyvan we quickly realized that there was *no way* we could get everything there in one load. O Noes!!! what could we do, but make two trips? so we reloaded the van to sort for stuff for the hotel room, drove down, loaded in, then turned around and did it again, loading into the Dealers' Den this time. *finally* it was time to jump into some jammies, relax and greet friends! YAY!
we've been coming to FC for a long time, and it's really great to know so many people now. the con culture is very friendly and welcoming of new folks, but there is really nothing like actually knowing people. as a matter of fact, interacting with friends and meeting awesome new people was my absolute favorite part of the con this year.
oh! and I got to fangirl Reuben Avila! I've been wanting to do that ever since we bought a sculpture (in the FC art show) which he created - during my "Fur East" theme year. it's Ninja Kitty Practical Jokes and it is awesome. next time you're over, ask me to show it to you!
so yes, the seeing peeps was the best. we ran into several of our very favorites on the first night, and received an invitation to a lovely little soiree up in some friends' room. we tried not to stay up too late, since we had to work (including setting up our booth) early the next morning, but it's always tough to go to bed at FC.
I did a little art project this year, to play with the culture a bit... I made buttons that said "I Lost My Head at Further Confusion 2010" to give away to the fursuiters... the catch was, you had to *earn* it (by taking off your head somewhere other than the Headless Lounge).
this is a huge taboo, BTW! very few of the old school 'suiters would ever be caught dead with their heads off, but many of the newer generation apparently have a different outlook, and I found quite a few 'suiters out in the halls with their heads tucked under their arms during the nights. people also heard about the buttons and actually came by the booth to take their heads off for us to get one! I didn't require that you parade through the lobby or anything, but even back in a corner is totally taboo, at least to the old-school folks. it's interesting to see how the paradigm has shifted
overall, most folks thought this was pretty funny (even the ones who refused). although I'm sure some might actually disapprove, no one hassled me about it. it led to some really fascinating conversations! it also led to me learning who some of my favorite costumes actually belonged to - and I was pretty surprised by a few of the folks who did take me up on it!
several did say they would *only* do it at FC - we're all "us" here, after all. one fellow who was cooling off outside the ballroom quickly tried to pull his head back on when he saw me coming up to him, then laughed when he realized I actually wanted to give him a prize for "ruining the magic". from my perspective, the project itself was pretty magical, and like I said it created some fun and unique interactions which I will always appreciate. I tried to remember to thank everyone for playing my silly little game.
really I just think the 'suiters are the coolest (even though I totally admit I am messing with them a bit, but in a friendly way) and it created opportunities for some absolutely fascinating conversations - especially taking about what I was doing, why I was doing it and why they do what they do, with some of the old-school folks. as we were loading out of the hotel, I pinned a few last buttons to luggage on the hotel carts with fursuit heads on top of them. I did come home with some buttons, but I have to say my project was a success.
I also handed out buttons reading "My parents think I'm at band camp" (which Jovino designed with a cool "FC 10" background) which made a great segue into talking about our panel, "Venturing Out of the Den" which is all about how to talk about being a furry with people outside the furry subculture (who may have only ever heard of furries through that dumb CSI episode or the tradge Vanity Fair article). the panel went quite well this year and I'm pretty sure we're on for next year as well.
I DJ'd on Friday night and it went really well. there is nothing in the world like looking out over the decks and seeing fursuiters dancing. last year, they did a conga line during my set (Jovino got one the year before that) and this year, I got them all to scream, and to do the arm motions to YMCA (which, I know, normally I wouldn't even *play* it, but they specifically wanted the well known disco and I figured it'd be super awesome to see everyone doing the arms in their fursuits... little did I suspect that they would scream when I played it, heh). I got shouts a couple of other times too, but YMCA was the big winner. go figure.
here's a shot someone snapped of Zephy (my awesome new pink zebra jammies):
and yes, I did get an official FC fursuit badge for Zephy. Jovino also commissioned me a Zephy badge, and didn't give much instruction to the artist, who drew me all sexxeh in a bikini top. it was pretty weird to see my character (which is based on jammies, and which I kinda tend to see as a little girl) rendered like that. ok, so I'm a "little girl" who drinks beer, whatever. ;-) she did a great job on it and I do plan to get it laminated! it was definitely a head trip, but it was really funny.
party floor goings-on were awesome. (well, they seem to shut it down earlier every year, which sucks, but the parties themselves were fun.) I had very little unstructured time due to various obligations and some surprise stuff that came up that needed dealing with - all good, fortunately! but the con did fly by even faster this year.
also, I seem to be putting out some sort of gay male attracting pheromone these days. not sure what's up with that. it's very odd! (NOT complaining though, I <3 my gay boys and always will.) but seriously, WTF gay guys?!?! :-D
so anyway, we finally got back here on Tuesday. we decided to stay an extra day because it took two loads to load out (despite jammies doing well, they are just BIG) and we were WAY too beat to do it all by noon on Monday. this turned out to be a good call, as we got in a bit of extra "us time" before having to jump back in to work, inventory, filling orders etc. also, several of the best conversations I had were on Monday night (Sunday night was awesome too). I met some great folks and I am stoked for next year!
in conclusion, I freakin' <3 FC! I would not miss it for the world. it's especially awesome to really feel like we're *part* of it instead of just visiting or checking out a scene we don't belong to.