What else happened on FC? I watched the Critterlympics (or, Fursuit Destruction Derby, as I like to call it), attended the fursuit head construction SIG, watched the masquerade, missed the Sub-Level 03 concert due to exhaustion, bought some more t-shirts, got two pictures by tanidareal from the art show, watched the fursuit parade, bought a book and two magnets, went to FNL, and finally drank a cocktail and a glass of wine at the bar with Tani, bigbluefox, Jaryic, lynard_, Kayjay and Kacy and her gang.
The masquerade was a mess, technically. While it is a good idea to collect the songs in advance and burn them onto a CD, they missed to test whether the CD actually works in the player. Additionally, always write them at a maximum speed of 4x and use high quality media. Yes, we at Eurofurence learned it the hard way, too. The suits were excellent this year and every winner certainly deserved their price. This is definately an improvement compared to the previous two years.
FNL itself was very entertaining and well-prepared. The pause between the acts probably was a bit too long sometimes, but I know how complex it is to run such a show. The hecklers were rather annoying, though. Folks, it is getting old. The stage ninjas were extremely well organized and quite a show by themselves. Room for improvement: one should switch to a different video source before ejecting a DVD. About the skits: I liked the Blue Fox Group best, it was original, well choreographed and excellently performed. Followed by the soda and mentos skit, which is somewhat an old gag, but very well played. Even though I'm not really a fan of parody skits, I also liked the Dead Bones skit quite a lot. What I didn't like at all was how admission was organized. First of all, the show started one hour late. Secondly, we were still standing in the upper lobby at the sweet dessert social event (or whatever it was called), while some people where queuing at the door, others just sitting around. Eventually, without any notice, it turned into a long queue down the stairs, into the lower lobby. It never happened before in the previous years (apart from a short queue at the door, it was informal admission), and shortly before admission, after waiting for almost one hour already, some lady from security demanded in a rather unfriendly tone, that we would have to get in line at the end of the queue. That was when I went ballistic (sorry, aeto, for being the victim of my temper, you had the bad luck of being the only staffer around), because this is one of the few things that piss me off seriously: changing rules in last minute for no reason and forcing them down my throat.
I did not queue at the end of the line, but squeezed myself in. Not my style, but I also do not let me being messed about. Which was even more insulting: when admission finally started, half of the folks waiting for so long didn't even come in, which left the ballroom half empty (and I hear, several people quite angry about how the situation was handled.) This spoiled the evening to a great degree for me.
While I'm at it: security wise, it is a very bad idea to let people queue on a stairway, especially if the stairway is part of the emergency exit. Another exit was (at least visually) blocked by the separators for the headless lounge, leaving just one accessible emergency exit at the upper lobby. Which is not enough, as there were more than 200 people at times. Staff told me that nobody expected such a large audience, but then again: you really need to take this into account when planning the event. And let security take action on that, instead of yelling at the audience.
The flight back home on Monday was delayed by two hours. I had some issue with an unfriendly lady at check in. One case was three kilogram too heavy, the other was ten kilo below the limit. While on other airports the personnel usually does not care much about it, especially when both cases are as tightly packed as mine, this lady demanded to distribute the weight. So I quickly moved some stuff into the smaller case, which took about five minutes, as it was extremely tricky to close the zipper. Eventually, she asked me in a very unfriendly voice to move on and check-in the case later as it was taking too long. For what reason?! There were about 10 parties in the queue, four other open counters, check-in for this flight only, which was delayed by two hours. I never had experienced this kind of arrogant behaviour with Lufthansa before, usually their staff is very friendly and competent, but I guess the check-in crew is employed by the airport, and I already heard several similar complaints from others about SFO.
And what the hell happened at FRAPORT? I've never been treated that politely, fast and competent there like this year, as well as on departure and arrival. They used to be the most ignorant and slow staff I've ever experienced on an airport, but this time: perfect service! Apparently, they finally have recognized that passengers are guests and customers, not Beförderungsfälle. If they keep this up, I'll love to fly from Frankfurt again! This really made my day!
Everyone except f_u_r_v_a_n and tioh is safely back home now, the two are flying back tomorrow. No further problems with my baggage as well, most of my clothes are washed, I'm slowly stowing away the other stuff. I lost a package AAA accumulators and a keyring (without keys, thank god), in return I found sunglasses and a spoon which aren't mine...
Now I'm back at work. It was a great holiday and I had a lot of fun. And I can't wait to return to California.