I had a lot of plans for this year's Anthrocon and while I didn't get to check off everything on my ToDo list or even take that many photos (compared to prior years), I still had a lot of fun.
For the first time, I didn't go to any panels. I didn't attend
's reading. I missed all the therian-related panels and assorted meet-ups. I didn't even get to SwiftFox's Astronofur party to look through his telescope.
Why? Well...I was busy. And lousy at time management.
In the Report for last year I said I kept promising to volunteer and kept putting it off, well not this year.
After arriving in Pittsburgh I go to the convention and the expected super-long line for pre-registered Attending. My brain says "Are you sure you registered as Attending and not Sponsor?" I get my phone, find the confirmation email and go "Yay". I wait a much shorter time in the Sponsor line to get my badge and small bag of nifty items. Now that I was legal, I went to fulfill a promise and drop off the item SteleDragonDog made and asked me to deliver for the Charity on his behalf. Having some free time, I went to ConOps to offer my services and was given a snazzy VOLUNTEER ribbon, a timeslip for recording hours, and sent back to (of course) Registration to help. After that, I meandered my way through the con, intending to charge my phone and check with NovarLynx about getting the hotel room key when a fairy godmother brought me to the ball
, *cough* I mean Erin, DonDrakore and Talu_Lupus swept me up in their journey to the fabled Primanti Bros
sandwich shop where I enjoyed some spicy garlic buffalo bites...the only non-
pizza food I had all weekend.
Not kidding. Three days my only meals were "two slices of pepperoni on a paper plate." To be fair, two of those were to get the DogBowlSpecial at Furryland. Fernando's finally closed, but the location was picked up by PizzaParma to continue the tradition of offering furry t-shirts and paw-shaped dogfood bowls with a snack on it. And it wasn't the only location that changed. Tonic, a bar/restaurant that was across the street from the Westin, was replaced with Condado, a taco bar/restaurant. I went there a few times to hang out with friends, but as I don't eat tacos (I'm finicky!), I just had cola.
I went back for more volunteering over the weekend, helping out in Registration and the Artist Alley. I enjoyed it a lot and got to see some of how things work from the other side, which I'm always curious about. And had some unique experiences, like talking with Grandma Kage about folding shirts and seeing an attendee actually act like a sucky customer and demand to speak with a supervisor!
I must give off customer service pheromones or have HELP DESK shining above my head. Multiple times during the weekend, random furs, who could not have seen my Volunteer ribbon, would approach me asking for directions. This happened whether I was off to the side chatting with a friend, or even just walking the streets of Pittsburgh.
I also got to spend time hanging out with some cool people like
, Spangler, Trianine and NightEyes, most of whom I only get to see at cons. Novar, Wayon Oransky, Midnight and Static, who I shared a room with (5 Stars, would room with again). And other new friends I met there, or knew online and finally got to see in person.
And hanging out with friends at some themed room parties. I got to meet some cool people and try some new things.
I do regret not getting to hang out with Kanga. We were going to get together and play some card games, but our schedules never meshed. Next year, definitely.
I enjoyed going through the big Dealer's Den, picking up some stuff and looking longingly at some items currently out of my price range. I picked up the latest Professor Odd stories from Goldeen Ogawa, and the latest Rough Housing comics from
. I finally got a brush and some cinnamon spray to groom my matted tail. I also splurged on a sleeveless LED hoodie. Why? Cause I saw NightEyes wearing one the night before and knew it was something new his boyfriend was selling. So I go to his table to try one on (in red of course). I'm not fully convinced. I hand a friend my phone to take a photo, put on my awesome sunglasses and flip the hood over my head. Dayam, I look like an electric monk. Fine, here's my credit card. After walking through the entire Den on Saturday I reach the end and am at MajikCraft's table with custom plush and etched drinking glasses. I'm looking over the selection and chatting with her (she is really cool) about plush. I make an offhand comment that the stuffing in my wolf plush Oscar has shifted and he's become floopy and droopy. Majik says she does plush repair. I spontaneously generate an !
over my head like a cartoon character and dash back to the hotel to pick him up. She says it shouldn't take too long, quotes a reasonable fee. Oscar's my first wolf plush, I got him about 20 years ago at Wolf Hollow. He's my favorite and often poses for my avatar pics. For the last couple of years I'd wanted to get him restuffed, but nervous about how good the "surgery" would be. I returned the next day and her work was superb. Oscar's belly was filled out and his limbs were rigid and full. And no "scars", I still can't spot the seam she used to open him.
Overall a lot of fun.There are the usual regrets of not getting to spend more time with friends, not getting enough hugs and scritches. Of not having a more balanced diet. Balancing that was the time I did get to spend with friends, some of the weird stuff I tried, and getting to volunteer. All of which made this one of the more fun Anthrocons for me. Can't wait till next year.