45 Things I Noticed During Fiesta Equestria 2015

#42 Hope you got  your badge back!
#8/41-Hope you got your button back!

This past weekend was my first-ever My Little Pony con (bronycon?) Fiesta Equestria!  By now you have probably heard about ‘Bronies,’ or adults that like the show. If not, would you like to know more?

  1. BEFORE THE CON : As much as I don’t like to ding a show before it starts, they seem to be a bit unorganized based on their website/schedule issues
  2. No, brony friends, just because I have apples at the dinner table doesn’t mean I’m razzing you
  3. Minor drama even before the show started, oy
  4. FRIDAY : The closer I get to Houston the worse the drivers seem to get
  5. My GPS was set to ignore toll roads. I forgot I have a TXTag now /facehoof
  6. DQ down the road from the hotel? AW YEAH
  7. The hotel seems to have good WiFi, w00t
  8. A press pass! I feel special
  9. I liked the little Canterlot Times newspaper thingie
  10. Except for my badge, I have no pony stuff.  I’m always the weirdo at these things
  11. If your job is to check badges, it might help to take off your sunglasses, dude
  12. Note to self: You don’t like heights, stay out of the clear elevators
  13. Furry 101 went well, had a good crowd out!
  14. Maybe a little too well, I blasted through my material in 30 min
  15. I kinda don’t want to go anywhere and lose my AWESOMELY CLOSE PARKING SPOT
  16. It’s a little strange how formal dances have become a thing at cons now.
  17. Thing I said in the elevator: “Yes, I’m here for the cartoon thing”
  18. SATURDAY : The day to day schedule thing isn’t that great if you’re a panelist.
  19. HOUSTON HAS WAFFLE HOUSE YES
  20. There’s a charity? Need to work on that advertising, guys!
  21. Sombrero covered with foil; what Mexican conspiracy theorists wear.
  22. Except for the whole ‘dudes carrying plush ponies’ thing this isn’t THAT weird.
  23. Thing I forgot: Writing panel handouts. Thank you business center!
  24. It wasn’t into today that I realized I should probably turn off my YOU’VE GOT *ING MAIL message sound. Oops
  25. A friend was all GET ME SOMETHING WITH THIS PONY ON IT, and I had to look up what she looked like.
  26. I have to say, the hotel is in a really good spot, plenty of places to eat around and even some within walking distance.
  27. Wore my red Wreck-It Ralph short on Saturday and realized if I let my hair grow out I’ll kinda look like the Steven Universe kid. YAY LAZY COSPLAY IDEA
  28. Not sure how I feel about the whole ‘paid lesson panel’ thing :/
  29. Saw another panelist who stood still in front of the audience and droned on and on.  Yeah, I think I’m Doing It Right
  30. Selling is always a crapshoot, Thom Zahler didn’t have any copies of Love and Capes on him, guess I’ll check it out online! Long Distance was very charming, be interesting to see where it goes.
  31. I am a mite disappointed in the hotel, the early check in thingie in their app didn’t work and I put my ‘do not clean’ sign up at night and they did it anyway.
  32. Someone I may or may not have known in college recognized me. Whoa.
  33. E-book panel went well, too, I think I’m getting the hang of this!
  34. Question during panel: “Was DashCon or Sonic Con worse?” Me: “SonicCon…At least people went to DashCon.”
  35. Apparently my OC “Big Words” made everyone think of George W Bush…D’OH
  36. One elevator broke down, wasn’t too big of a deal, though

    #41-Not Pictured: Fun
    #42-Not Pictured: FUN
  37. Got a letter from a Derpy cosplayer addressed to ‘Someone Special’. ITS SO CUTE I DON’T WANT TO OPEN IT
  38. A musician got their tail in a knot because there were DJs in a musician panel.  Oy.
  39. No conbooks, a bit odd considering all the art/fiction this fandom produces.
  40. If the point of the speakers in the flowers were to annoy the bleep put of me, Fission Mucking Accomplished, hotel.
  41. SUNDAY : Found a button on Friday and turned it in to lost and found on Sunday, I didn’t want it to become my “tell tale tie”
  42. I didn’t think AJ was going to remember the ‘No Fun Zone” thing he mentioned in our podcast, but there it was!
  43. Note to self: Always take pictures of cosplayers because likely YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN even if it is a small con.
  44. I didn’t want to leave early Sunday, but life had other plans. Stupid life.
  45. Almost made it all the way home on the same tank of gas, thank you Honda CR-V!
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RANDOM REACTION: Wreck-It Ralph

Thank you, Disney, for finally giving us a really good movie about video games.  Wreck-It Ralph is an homage to all of video gaming, not just the ‘arcade days.’  The best compliment that I can give to it is that you don’t have to know anything about games to enjoy it.  Granted, you’ll get more out of it if you have played video games, but they do a good job of explaining how things work in the world behind the arcade screen.

The video game cameos/references/in-jokes all made sense.  I never got that feeling of “HEY! LOOK! IT’S SO-AND-SO! AREN’T WE CLEVER!” that sometimes comes with movies like this.  Everything just felt right.

Despite being labeled as a kids’ movie, Wreck-It Ralph has some dark moments and is rated PG.  There were plenty of funny moments, and I heard as many adults laughing (including myself) as I did kids throughout.  I am going to gladly watch it a few more times in the theaters and buy the inevitable Blu-Ray release.

YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT!

I’M GONNA WATCH IT!

You Can Fix It!

I’ve been hyped up for Wreck-It Ralph ever since I saw the first trailer.  While Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a fun ride, it was more geared toward the NES kids that are just a hair younger than I am.  Tron and Reboot gave us a look into the ‘world inside the computer’ but Wreck-It Ralph is a love letter to the arcade games many of us dropped numerous quarters into back in the 70s and 80s.

The story centers on the titular Wreck-It Ralph, a “bad guy” from a fictional early 1980s arcade game who has grown tired of playing that role for the last 30 years.  He attends group sessions with other bad guys including such heavyweights as Zangief from Street Fighter, Kano from Mortal Kombat, Neff from Altered Beast and even Clyde (the orange ghost) from Pac-Man.  In an effort to become a hero he jumps into other games, eventually putting the arcade in jeopardy.

Disney has even gone through the trouble of making fictional posters, TV commercials and even real “Fix-It Felix Jr.” arcade machines.  I can’t wait, because the movie just feels right based on what I’ve seen in the trailers.  Those of us old enough to remember when arcade games were video games should probably watch this movie, it looks to be a fun one.

RANDOMIZER’S REACTION: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Resistance is Futile!
Resistance is Futile!

This is the second time I’ve written about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, click here to read the first post.

I have friends, both male and female, that enjoy watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and so I knew that I was going to have to eat those peas sooner or later.  I just didn’t think it was going to stem from a discussion about time travel.

So I was shooting the breeze with my friend Chris while we were at a pizza joint and I started talking about a story idea I had that involved time travel.  As expected, we started talking about media we’d watched or read that involved time travel and the “rules” that they had followed, so the conversation turned to Doctor Who, the Terminator series, Back to the Future, TimeWalker…and then out of the blue Chris suddenly says: “This reminds me of an episode of My Little Pony!”

I did a facepalm, much to Chris’ delight.  Chris is a brony, you see, and so he likes to insert My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic into virtually ANY conversation we’re having…or at least it seems that way to me.  Much to his chagrin, I still haven’t seen the show but figured what the hey, it was finally time to eat my peas.  So we went to my place, fired up Netflix and saw not only the episode in question (“Its About Time”), but I also figured we’d also watch the first two so could get introduced to the show and the characters.

I have to say its pretty good.  In terms of quality, I thought that the show was very well done.  The characters and scenery were pleasant to look at, if not downright cute.  The animation was pretty good, though I could see little instances here and there where it had that ‘Flash look’ to it.  I felt the voice acting was very good, and the music fit the action well, with various variations on the main theme throughout.

While it does have some kid’s show trappings, like the ‘moral of the story’ bit, that’s okay.  I liked what I saw, I found it entertaining to watch and thought it would be fun for everyone.  So it has a nearly all-female cast?  Big deal, so did Golden Girls.  So its bright and colorful?  Big deal, so are Super Mario games.  Do some of the bronies need to simmer down and stop shoving it down everyone’s throats?  Yes they do, but obsessive fanboys are present in EVERY fandom so you can’t really hold that against the majority of fans who aren’t screaming their love of it from the mountaintops.

Based on the few episodes I saw, MLP:FiM is a fun show for everyone to watch that is deserving of the attention it has been getting, even if the more overzealous members of the fandom tend to ‘squick the mundanes.’

Is it good enough to be deserving of that level of obsession?  I can’t say based on having only seen three episodes, so I guess I’ll have to see some more in order to find out…

Uh-oh.  This is how it starts, isn’t it?

Fuzzy Thoughts

'Ed' by Melissa DeJesus
‘Ed’ by Melissa DeJesus

Tomorrow I will be driving up to Addison, Texas for Furry Fiesta along with my friend Chris Holm.  While he hopes to get a table in Artist’s Alley to peddle his wares, my objective is to hang out and have fun.  This will be the first “furry” convention I have ever attended, and I have received quite a few different responses from friends whenever I bring it up, ranging from curiosity to revulsion and even amusement.  I just grin and bear it…ba-doom, tissh.

I guess there is no way to get around it, though.  I am a ‘furry.’  No, I don’t have a costume, or think of myself as an animal (the picture at right nonwithstanding).  I don’t bark or howl or snarl at people nor do any of the other crazy stuff that the Internet Hate Machine and misinformed mass media would have you believe.

I just happen to like media that features anthropomorphic animal characters.  As a kid, I grew up watching Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse cartoons.  I enjoyed reading Aesop’s fables and Watership Down.  Later, DuckTales, TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck were part of my afternoons and fuzzy critters like Starfox, Ratchet, and Sly Cooper happen to star in some of my favorite videogames.

I submitted an idea that was used in the newspaper comic strip Pluggers, which features animal people demonstrating the foibles and virtues of working folks.  I entered a writing contest to appear in a (sadly cancelled) comic strip called “My Cage” which was also completely populated by funny animals.   I won and got to pick what animal my character would appear as in the strip.  I chose a bear; artist Melissa DeJesus did a pretty good job of turning me into one, as you can see in the picture above.  As an aside, the template she used can be found on the ‘About’ page.  I also wrote a short story for the Furry Fiesta conbook that stars their jackalope mascots.  It’s called “All’s Well That Ends Well” and I look forward to seeing it in print.

So yeah, I suppose I was a ‘furry’ before there was a term for it.  No, this isn’t intended to be some big epiphany or coming out or anything like that.  It’s just one part of who I always have been, whether you happened to notice it or not.  Tomorrow I am going to go to a convention to hang out with a bunch of other folks that happen to like some of the same things I do, just like I do at anime, comic book, steampunk and videogame conventions.

That doesn’t sound that odd now, does it? 😉