Sixth year at Anthrocon. Third year as con ops staff. This was an insanely magical Anthrocon for me. There wasn't a single bad minute for me at the convention.
I'm trying to recount all the good times I had at Anthrocon this year. My times and dates may be off but all of these events DID happen. :3
Wake up at 5:30 in the morning, little did I know that waking up early all the time is going to be a running theme for me during this convention. I shower, grab my travel backpack and head out to the bus stop. Let me explain my travel plans for Anthrocon.
DART bus to the train station.
Septa train to the airport
US Airways from Philly to Pittsburgh (Fun note, I was pretty conviced we were going to crash for about 2 minutes there after I felt that freefall feeling in my stomach that just wasn't going away)
Pittsburgh Public Bus 28X to downtown Pittsburgh.
All of my heavy luggage was carried out by Reaux and Pandora on Wednesday.
I arrive in downtown Pittsburgh and approximately 2:00 PM and begin to get myself checked in. I hook up with CamoHusky who revealed his evil plan to stay incognito as much as possible while at the convention and how he was still stuck in Arizona, at least on twitter. ;3
Later that night, and after a very philosophical conversation about life, furry, and the universe with Camo, over Primanti Brothers' sandwhiches we get some Sushi at the fish market with Clementine, Rashia, and others! The fish market sushi is expensive but totally worth it. Really banging.
A few shots of tequila upstairs and welcoming Jasper to Pittsburgh when he arrives that night and a midnight dip in the Westin lap pool and I finally call it a night to get some shut eye for my early shift con-ops shift tomorrow.
Wake up, 7:00. Shower and go get some breakfast from Hanlon's Cafe, which has sort of become a tradition for me. Get my breakfast at Hanlons before the convention gets in full gear.
8:00 rolls around and con ops opens it's doors to the masses. We begin taking in volunteers, unloading trucks, registering AC staff, and talking to the media almost immediately. Even though con ops is mostly paperwork and answering questions I really enjoy the hustle and bustle in being at the nerve center of Anthrocon administration.
My relief comes at 3 PM and I'm finally free to get my first taste of all the furries coming into town. I welcome my other roomates Reaux, Pandora, and Paintid and I also help Lupine and Luna get themselves unloaded.
Inu Renegade helps me meet another furry that I've known about and have considered trying to get to know better for a while, Windscar (or Raverkitty). We're introduced and I get to awe in some of his craftwork.
I can't awe too long though as I get tasked with leading Reaux, Pandora, Paintid, Jasper to Primanti brothers for some more colossal sandwiches with french fries. We meet up with Camo while there and cheer on the Pirates against the Phillies.
Afterwards I took a trip down to the Pittsburgh Regatta which was a big streetfair down at the point where the rivers all meet in Pittsburgh. It was pretty cool! BMX shows and corndogs ahoy!
I come back and I help begin Camo Rovak with his plan to fursuit in more suits than Yappy owns (8). He debuts as Kitt3ns and I debut as a guy trying to look as inconspicuos as possible. He is pretty successful, I am less so. Highlight of the night: sending Camo up to Shadows room under the guise of me looking for a room party. Had them fooled for a good ten minutes before I came in and revealed the suprise. ;3
Later that night I wind up meeting back up with Windscar that evening and we talk at length about our craft, the universe, and where to get some good food late at night in Pittsburgh. (Pizza Parma FTW).
The big day of reigstrations! I help get my friends registered and we fill out the furry survey for Anthrocon. Best question: "Have you ever talked to the devil?"
I then hit up my con ops duties and made it through my three hour shift without any major or minor disasters. I worked with Mach Stormrunner who has been on conops for about 10 years and is a real pro. Excellent dude and I hope to get to know him better in the future!
I came back and floundered around until catching up with Peppercoyote who mentions he wants to visit the street fair... 9 blocks away... in suit. So we're off! We pick up blockfoot along the way and Tom, peppers' friend to act as handler. 3/4 of the way there however we lost Tom and I am now handling two fursuits surrounded by non-furs and thier kids at a streetfair in 80+ degree weather. Much props to both Pepper and Blackfoot for keeping the magic alive for the whole 1 3/4 hours we were out and about and for the 100+ picture stops we must have taken to get pictures with the locals! We were only at the street fair for about 20 minutes of the whole excursion!
My favorite question from one of the locals: "The longer you've been a furry the more peices you get right? That's why you're only wearing a tail and he has a whole suit"
My favorite kid: The little 2 year old kid who unstrapped himself from his stroller and sprinted up to Pepper to give him a big hug! His parents tried to get his attention for a picture but this kid was planted!
We bum around and wind up getting a meal at tonic. Well known for their excellent drinks they also have a pretty stellar apple burger! Pepper and myself get out of there just in time to catch the 4th of July fireworks from the balcony of the DLCC! Good thing we picked the balcony over the roof as well since lightning storms forced an evacuation from the rooftops!
After the fireworks I had to rush over to the AC Staff meeting and wound up being late along with about 75% of the other staff members. The staff meeting hopefully won't be on the same day as the fireworks next year. ><' Afterwards I liason with Wolfmax and Lupinespark. We chillaxed in the courtyard and enjoyed his excellent views of the DLCC loading bays! I got to enjoy a new red wine called red cat. I am looking forward to trying out the sister wine white cat at the next opportunity. =3
First day of the convention and I have a minor hangover. Nothing a few aspirins and a Gatorade can't solve at least. And a good trip to Hanlons with Reaux, Pandora, and Paintid. We chow down on Cheetah and Wildabeest specials.
Con ops duty noon to three. Lots of volunteer requests and lots of lost and found forms. Holy cow. Blithe and me had a very busy shift. Once my shift was up I actually got the opportunity to help K.P. come up with some of the clues for fursuit charades! Quebec, and Medula "Q." Oblongata made it onto the list. =3
I take my first stroll through the dealers den on this day and instantly impulse buy a frosted fur vodka t-shirt which I look forward to rocking around delaware.
I then make it up to Charades Impossible! followed by the Sarduyon performance and then I hit 2's rant. All enteretaining! And even though I didn't have sponsor or supersponsor this year I was still very much able to secure some excellent seats for these performances!
I finally got to see Clockingbird again, years after he moved out of DE! Himself, dixie, and thier roomies were excellent hosts with some totally pawesome furry puns. We were gushing about Delaware almost the entire time to the exclusion of the others, so we made it a rule where you had to take a drink if you mentioned the state that shant be named.
I get into suit and myself and Dixie go to the dance and I rock out like nobodys business. Unfortunately sometime during this escapade I lost my AC 2013 badge! My staff badge! I am... not happy at this point but I hold out hope that it will come be found sometime during AC.
How is it already Saturday!? I go down to registration to get a new badge, and I get an earful but nothing too bad. Most of the furries are talking about the fursuit parade happening later that day. I spend a little time in the dealers den today and wind up sitting down at the Look Left table trying to help them hawk their CD's and t-shirts! I enjoy spewing my nonsense at random passerby's until a few of them throw money at me to get me to shut up.
After that round of economic terrorism I hop into fursuit and make my way down to Hall A for the Guiness Records. I'm the 200th suiter through the door and I get to hang out for about an hour inside just chilling suit with my buds Reaux, Tsumi, Draak, and others. For me, it was incredibly comfortable and I was even starting to doze off at a few points laying there in suit.
We took the picture, did the parade route, and then I decided to go a little beast mode and suit until my con ops shift at 6. I make it until about 4:30. Within my rounds however I did come across a wedding party! The bride ran up to me and I got her to show her claws with me in their official wedding photos. I then got surrounded by the bridesmaids and a few other suiters and handed the bouquet! More claws, rawrs, and a handshake to the groom and I was thouroughly overheating in the 90 degree weather.
I de-suit, me and Jasper hit up Furnandos and I get a Cajun Tuna sub. It. was. so. GOOD! I hope to get that again next year! Then my con ops shift at six and THEY FOUND MY CON BADGE! YES! YES! YES!
I staffed with my buddy Davin. He started con ops the same year I did and is another straight shootin dude who I only get to see at Anthrocon. All's quiet as it's during Kage's story hour. Most people dislike missing the big shows for staffing duties but I really enjoy these especially quiet staff shifts. However the Guest of Honor Larry Dixon stopped by the Con Ops office and signed a whole bunch of autographs for the staff members and in general joked around and bullshitted with us for a little while. What a cool dude!
Once it let's out though things really pick up and all the lulls we had are made up for by the rush of lost and found questions.
9PM rolls around and I hand over con ops to security. Furst State photoshoot at 11 PM! I send out mass texts and get in suit. In between getting in suit and the photoshoot I was lucky enough to snag one of the fursuiter badgeds!
Unfortunately 11PM on saturday night for Anthrocon is pretty booked for most people and we get a less than expected showing for the photo op but we still get a great picture with a lovely Lupine laying like one of my french girls along the front of the picture.
I catch the tail end of Firr's DJ set and make my way through the wall to wall dance rave to unexpectedly find Luna and Lupine. Then this song comes on a remix:
Holy shit. I had a moment. You couldn't see it underneath my suit head, but when the chorus come on, I let loose a few tears of special happiness. This was Anthrocon. This was special.
The next DJ comes on and I can't keep up the spassing out in fursuit so I head over to the headless lounge and chill out for apparantly then go to my suit to de-suit.
I wind up not getting to bed until about 3:30. Which sucks because I have to get up a 7:30 for a swanky breakfast.
7:30... snooze button
7:50 allright fine I'll get up.
Shower and a breakfast with some high-level staff from other conventions. We chat about business, insurance, talking to the media, and other boring stuff that only a nerd like me would be interested in. Even KP was able to stop by and offer some advice on dealing with malignant groups in an elegant manner. An olive branch beats a war drum every day.
After breakfast I hit up the Look left hangover 10 AM concert and they really killed it. Best concert they've had. I hope they can snag a better time slot for next Anthrocon!
After that I finally got a true opportunity to peruse the dealers den. I got some time to really spend money in the dealers den. I then promptly spent another hour hawking Cd's and look lefts table. Twas fun!
I pal around the dealers den for a little while longer until my shift at 4 PM. This is a fun shift as you help shut down the con. It's both sad since the con's over, but relieving, since the con's over. Semi chaos, semi this is how everything goes at the end of Anthrocon until 7PM when the staff finally convene for a celebratory dinner. Salmon, beef tips, veggies, and some of the most delicious pies, cakes, and cupcakes around. 20 hours of staffing never tasted so good!
We got a con ops table and regailed each other with stories we gathered on our shifts and just what we needed to do for logistics to secure all of our items for packing up. I met a cool Dorsai who sat next to me, Kitaronicus. Which made it confusing when people came by our table asking for "kit".
Giza, Kitaronicus, myself, and the rest of the ops staff head back over to the DLCC to help with packing up. Artists alley needed a few extra hands this year and I like to think we helped them get back on schedule.
2 hours and a round of drinks later and I found myself singing Bohemian Rhapsody with about 100 other furries on the 2nd floor of the Westin. What a moment!
I'm not much for the dead dog dance so I went up to my room to find Blithe, Jasper, and Icefox shooting the shit. We must have talked for about 2 hours until I finally called it a night by falling asleep during the conversation.
All of my cargo had left the night before so all I had to carry back with me was my travel backpack. I helped Inu, Bo, Luna, and Fawks load up their own vehicles, before finally seeing them off on the drive back to DE.
I got a few last minutes words with Windscar before he took the shuttle back to the airport. I wasn't due to go for a few more hours and I wound up meeting up with Fox T, Sapphy, and Draak who said they were going to go to the Toonseum. I thought that sounded like a great idea but my stomach had other plans.
The gyro place is one of my favorite restaurants at AC and I hadn't been able to visit them until now. The owner of the place asked if we were leaving and I said that we were on our way out.
He then shook my hand and told me that we were awesome. Apparently we really rocked his business over the weekend. That always gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Proud to be a furry when that happens. ;3
I eat my gyro in the company of Boarhound before getting my final glance at the Westin lobby. I take a quick tour of the toonseum and finally head to the bus stop for the 28X. I meet a few other furries on their way to the airport on the bus including Ewolf who was out in Pittsburgh from CA!
The airport is pretty uneventful but I get a really tasty burger at the local sports bar in the terminal. Might have to check that place again in the future.
On the flight back there was a sweet old lady I sat next to who was a complete badass. She was from Tenessee and had all sorts of stories from her childhood. She was nervous and bored so I'm hopeful I helped her pass the flight without much trouble. She at one point in the flight called over a male flight attendant just so she could snap his suspenders!
I also wound up getting on the sour side of an Italian man with my motor mouth saying things before I thought. Ah well, we just landed so I made a quick exit out of that awkward moment.
My phone is becoming extremely moody without much battery at this point and I'm getting worried I'm gonna miss my train to Wilmington so I run over to the train terminal and catch the train to the University City stop. I then wait there for 2 hours for the next train to Wilmington.
I unfortunately get back to DE after the DART Busses end their routes and I take the most expensive taxi ride of my life. $30 for the 4 miles between my house and the train station. Blegh.
I walk through the door, collapse on my bed, and officially conclude my Anthrocon vacation.
I want to thank all of my friends, new, and old who made this Anthrocon super special. I came home and I knew I wanted to make a record of it so I'd remember this one forever. You guys all rock and if you made it this far then I love you tons.
My fingers are ready to drop off my hands after this report and my feet are finally starting to come back to life after walking around all weekend. See y'all at Furbowl and FAU guys. =3