After three years I went to Anthrocon again. And what can I say? I had a blast!
This time I was traveling with F_u_r_v_a_n, we met on Wednesday at Frankfurt Airport, and by pure chance he was directly before me at the security checkpoint. The flight to Philadelphia was uneventful, despite the one bump on my flight from Nuremberg before. I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox during the flight. Nice movie, even though the edit could have been better. The only major issue I have with it is that the movie tries a mix of screwball comedy and drama, which doesn't work quite right. The facial animation is great, while some of the body animation is a bit rough in comparison.
But back to the con report. The flight from PHL to Pittsburgh was delayed by almost an hour due to some problems with traffic control. There were more than 40 planes lined up for take off. Cause unknown, no runway closures nor other apparent reasons. I sat next to a Norwegian furry named Dax during the flight, who we spontaniously offered a ride to the Westin with our rental car. We got a Hundai SUV, which was really nice, though a bit underpowered.
As it already was past 9 PM, we first went shopping for beverages and snacks at Giant Eagle and then had dinner at Applebee's. Arrived at the Westin by ignoring my GPS, got one of the last parking spots at the garage and checked in. Ninth floor? Nice... But, what's that? Room's already occupied? Back to reservation, got a new room. Nineteenth floor. Ugh. Welcome to elevator hell.
First on program on Thursday: Shopping. We went to Home Depot, where I bought some ¼" bolts and nuts (hard to get and expensive in Germany). Then we went to Best Buy where I bought nothing. Furvan bought some Nerf toys at Toys R Us, and after a burger at Wendy's and a fast round through the mall we drove back to the Hotel.
I watched the first Filker Tom concert (great guy!), went briefly to the dances, and socialized a bit... At the end of the day I was too tired to go to BBF's dance, though.
First on Friday's agenda: the opening ceremonies. The surprise fursuit performance was very entertaining. Afterwards, went to lunch at Fernando's (the subs are really good) and bought a T-shirt. Uncle Kage's Furry Fandom PR panel together with 2 was entertaining again, however as usual he was preaching to the choir while the folks who really should had been there where happily risking their neck by carelessly talking to journalists. Like the guy on Saturday night at the Tonic. Being asked by a reporter of some small online publication what Anthrocon is about, he replied that he wasn't supposed to talk to the press, because of the Vanity Fair incident, going into details what the article was about, and that this isn't what we are about, and the dreaded CSI episode the reporter even hadn't heard about before, and... That's where I tried to interrupt him and said that it was a hilarious parody and, pointing to the ongoing party with the fursuiters at the Tonic, that having fun and party like this is more like it, and... got interrupted by the twit who said, "Yeah! Party and getting drunk on booze!" and he kept on babbling and babbling and babbling, even though the reporter didn't even listen anymore. Well done, asshole. We're our own worst enemies.
Anyway, back to Friday afternoon. Matthew Ebel's concert was great as always. I'm not really a fan of piano rock, but I'm sure becoming one of Matthew's music. He's an excellent piano player, singer and lyricist. And a very nice guy, too. I missed 2's rant in favour of the Artists Reception. Met one of the Guests of Honor, the puppeteer Jim Marten. Also a very nice, entertaining and creative man, who in my opinion really fits into our community.
So, of course I attended his puppetry workshop in Saturday and found out that he's not only a great puppeteer, but also an excellent teacher. I sure took some hints and tricks from him home with me.
Later, long fursuit parade was long, but quickly through thanks to the excellent organization. In fact, Anthrocon this year was running flawlessly, like a clockwork. And even though more than 4000 people attended AC, it was really relaxing with lots of opportunity to socialize. I didn't even had a single run in with the Dorsai, this has definitely is a major improvement to three years ago. Even the therianthropy roundtable was quite decent... I feared that I'd run out screaming due to the amount of bull—, um, nonsense, like I had the urge at other conventions before, but none of that.
At night I completely missed the masquerade, Uncle Kage's Story Hour, and who knows what else, because I somehow got stuck at the party at the Tonic with BigBlueFox, tilt_longtail, nerfcoyote, fawksbeaumont, tonyringtail and many others. Unfortunately, I still wasn't over my jet lag and had to skip the dance afterwards. Which I later learned was the dance of the year.
Due to some misunderstanding we had the hotel room booked only until Sunday, so Furvan and I already had to leave on Sunday. We took nachtfuchs with us to the airport so he could get his rental car for the rest of the week. The flight from PIT to Charlotte was more or less on time, but the connecting flight to FRA started boarding forty minutes too late due to some electrical problem. After that we had to wait half an hour on the tarmac for the weight calculation. When that was ready we were told that we had to return to the gate as the smoke detectors in the toilets were signalling an error. The technicians got that fixed after what seemed to be an eternity, only to get an additional delay because some woman panicked and left the plane. Of course that meant they had to unload her luggage. We took off at 7:30 pm, with a whopping delay of three hours.
And arrived only two hours late in Frankfurt. While I missed my connection to Nuremberg, I was able to catch the next flight. There was a group of language students on board, and some confusion about the seat numbers, so we had to play tower of hanoi to sort it all out. Hilarious! We made it to Nuremberg in time, alas my luggage did not. It arrived a day later by cargo, but I don't mind when this happens — on the trip back.
What counts is that I had an excellent time. Did a lot of filming and took only one photograph. I hope that I'll be able return next year, I don't want to miss any Anthrocon again.