62 Things I Noticed at San Japan 009

San Japan (totally not Cyborg) 009 happened last weekend.  Amidst the new venue and new date, I noticed some things.  If I took your picture (I was the dude with bear ears, see below) you can find it here!

  1. It's YUUUGE!
    #16: You are…somewhere?

    THURSDAY NIGHT – Went in the old entrance of the Gonzalez Convention Center out of habit…oops

  2. New space is YUUUGE
  3. My fursuiter friends are already complaining about all the walking they’re going to be doing over the weekend.
  4. Artist alley is HUMONGOUS
  5. Dealer’s room is INSANE
  6. They ARE going to turn on the escalators in the Dealer’s room, right?
  7. Autograph area setup looks like what I see set up at comic-cons, hmm
  8. Located in the back corner, milk and eggs and all that
  9. If Labor Day does take a bite out of attendance, we’ll really see it on Friday, IMO
  10. Me gusta bigger panel room for Furry 101! About fuzzing time!
  11. The halls remind me of PAX South Year 1 but with the lights on
  12. Seriously, the HBG felt like a cavern back then with all the lights turned down
  13. Spiffy new booths for registration, ooh
  14. Badges are less nice this year, a little more papery.  Hope they hold up.  Compared them to last year’s badges after the fact and they’re the same.
  15. Press badges get the same art as volunteer ones? BOO!
  16. The YUUUGE maps were just a bit confusing.
  17. Didn’t help that they put teensy ‘You Are Here’ stickers that were near-impossible to find.  Maybe some gold stars or Pokeball stickers next time, guys?
  18. FRIDAY-This is my free day: No panels and my freaks aren’t showing up until late in the afternoon
  19. Arrived at 11 and easily found parking at the Houston street lot, wonder if that’s a sign
  20. Random person also walking to San Japan asked if the tin of Altoids rattling in my pocket were dice. OH HELL NO

    20160902_185752655_ios
    #28: Overestimate much?
  21. Walked into the Henry B. via the main entrance this time. Is niiice!
  22. Finally found someone pickier than Alvin Von Devious to try and help with their fursuit. Came close to (metaphorically) flipping the table.
  23. Customer service tip: Just answer my question without the lame jokes, please.
  24. So who gets to be the under/sideboob/cheek checker?
  25. Escalators in the dealer’s room are shut off, no bueno.
  26. One dealer’s display had ALL THE BOOBS.
  27. But that’s okay because they’re just cartoons…right?
  28. “History of Anime in the US” got the biggest panel room and about 50 people showed up. Yes, I counted.
  29. Good panel, but come on, I had that many the first time I did Furry 101 three years ago at RealmsCon.
  30. Do they even check to see how many people actually show up at panels?  Seriously.
  31. I kept waiting to hear one word at History of Anime but it never turned up: “Japanimation” That’s what we called it in the 80’s, kids!
  32. Friend and I did our good deed for the day getting a friend out of a jam.
  33. It took me a half hour but I had to claim the top spot on the Time Pilot game in the game room. EDS is on top where it belongs. *flex*
  34. Somehow I got pegged as the guy ‘running’ the furry meetup and some folks freaked when I showed up late.  THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS, GUYS
  35. SATURDAY-Easy parking on Houston St again, which has me slightly worried
  36. Saw displays made out of free Priority Mail boxes in the dealer’s room.  Classy.

    Clearly there is underboob here.
    #26: Under….side…ALL THE BOOBS
  37. Only the first 100 people get an autograph? Interesting.
  38. “It is up to the artist whether 101+ get an autograph” There has to be a better way to say that without making the artist look like a complete tool.
  39. The Taito Groove Coaster video game calls the Space Invaders alien a ‘crab’ IT’S AN ALIEN GUYS
  40. I keep thinking ‘Spock ears’ whenever I see pointy ears
  41. An anime con is one of the few places where you can lose a fursuiter
  42. Need to mark the lanes in Artist Alley, which one is ‘Row 5’ again?
  43. Arrived too late to the Bitforce concert to take advantage of my press badge, pbbt
  44. Wonder if they had technical problems; we could see the lead guitarist was shredding his fingers off but could barely hear him.  Otherwise, good show!
  45. Except for the game room, the air conditioning seems to be holding up well.
  46. Good thing too, because I was soaking after the occasional three-block walk to my car.
  47. The paleta man is back, woo!

    #X: Hello, old friend!
    #47: Hello, old friend!
  48. Nearly filled up our medium-sized panel room for Furry 101, w00t.
  49. 45 minute time limit threw me off, though, may have to reorganize things for next time.
  50. I only have two cosplays (Professor Utonium and Soos). I didn’t wear either, and saw the perfect people to take pictures with (The Powerpuff Girls and Giffany)! ARGH
  51. 18+ maid cafe was fun!
  52. Tipsy elevator normies were…interesting.
  53. Tipsy normie asked: “WHY YOU WEARING MOUSE EARS?” I’m not going to debate with someone holding a drink in public, they won’t remember anyway.
  54. SUNDAY-Less parking at the lot, but still no problem finding a spot; be interesting to see the attendance this year (It was down 12%)
  55. Been seeing a lot of ‘robot guts’ shirts around, guess they’re a hit.
  56. Hey panel door guy, the door opens when I say so, capisce?
  57. Noticed a lot of Judy Hopps cosplayers, bunny ears, Nick Wildes, and even an Assistant Mayor Bellweather. YAY ZOOTOPIA!
  58. Overwatch was also popular. I don’t even play the game, but for my friends it’s always HIIIGH NOOOON.
  59. Left early because the show just isn’t as fun without my friends!
  60. Mizuumi-Con is now “Otaku Fair” That’s good.
  61. Otaku Fair decided to not make any further announcements about their new event at THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE CITY FOR POTENTIAL ATTENDEES. That’s not good.
  62. Observation:  Labor Day weekend works great for older folks like myself. For the youngn’s, though, not so much.

RANDOM REVIEW: 2012

2012 was an interesting year for me.  I got into my first car accident, purchased a new vehicle, and started going camping again.  Needless to say, ‘interesting’ doesn’t always mean ‘good.’

After a year of experimenting with e-publishing my first e-book: “One Sheet Stories.”  I finally completed “The Rules of Tech Support.”  It has been doing fairly well.  I have also published “Seven Super-Short Sci-Fi Stories” and “Con Fluff 1” since then, so things are coming along nicely on the writing front.  Curiously enough, I am now moving from the digital realm to the physical one: 2013 will see me showing up at conventions to sell paper copies of my books and hand out business cards and flyers to get the word out about my writing.  In all honesty, I’m looking forward to going out and talking to people, pressing some flesh, and then reaching for the hand sanitizer. 🙂

In February, I went to Furry Fiesta to see what the whole ‘furry’ thing was about.  There, I discovered a bunch of cool creative people and decided to venture further down the rabbit hole (ba-doom, tissh) when I got back.  I went to some local meets, made some friends, and even went to a second furcon, Oklacon, in October.  While Oklacon wasn’t quite as knock-my-socks-off as Furry Fiesta was, I still had a good time.  In addition, furry conventions have provided me with a plethora of themes to write for, culminating in my first furry e-book: “Con Fluff.”

Somewhere around August, I got the feeling that my ‘side projects’ were getting in the way of my own.  Being the drummer in a band, the editor for a video game website and helping out with a new convention that was starting up in town was just taking up too much of my time, so I quit everything.  Indeed, as the last few hours of 2012 tick away and 2013 approaches, I am now just a writer of stories, podcasts and blogs.

I’m looking forward to 2013, it should be a fun year full of conventions, stories, new people to meet and of course, furries!

Happy New Year, y’all!

Some of my favorite posts from 2012:

“I am a furry”

“You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and you don’t bring human art to a furry con.”

“This reminds me of an episode of My Little Pony!”

“There’s just something about seeing your name on paper.”

“I think Dust has restored some of my faith in gaming.”

“I know darn well there’s no signal, but I keep checking my phone. I may have a problem.”

This one is from Dec. 2011, but its too good to not revist: ‘and then came the fishnets’

 

 

Headlines and Butterflies

Must be a country music fan…

I don’t have a family of my own as of yet, so I spend Thanksgiving with my parents.  I drive down to my hometown, catch up with friends, bake a pie or two, eat lots of Mom’s good food, watch football and maybe do a little shopping.  I also make it a point to read the town newspaper.  I saw the article pictured at right and chuckled to myself, thinking: ‘yeah, its amateur night.’  It also made me think about the time I had applied for a job at that same newspaper years ago.

I didn’t get the gig because I didn’t have any writing samples on me at the time.  I remember being irritated about that after the fact because I have two college degrees and this wasn’t exactly The Washington Post I was applying to.  “How hard is it to write about honor rolls, City Council meetings and the occasional tractor accident?” I probably thought to myself at the time.

I got over it, life went on and I would eventually go on to write other things: short stories, video game reviews, podcasts and this blog.  I never again thought about the snub until I saw that poorly written headline.  As people are oft to do, I started to think about ‘what might have been.’  I quickly dismissed those thoughts to the back recesses of my mind, because I had better things for it to do, like get to work on the two short stories I need to have done by the end of next week.

Among other things, I subscribe to what is called the “Butterfly Effect.”  Simply put, it states that a small change can ultimately have a much larger impact at a later point in time.  “Does the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas,” and all that.  You see the theory mentioned a lot in science fiction, especially where time travel is concerned, and it is also the title of a movie that I’ve never bothered to see.

Thus, I believe that if you are truly happy in your current situation, you cannot have any regrets at all.  Even the smallest decision or event from years ago may have significantly altered your destiny.  So don’t waste your time wistfully thinking about ‘what might have been.’  If you are not happy with your situation, do something about it, even if it is a small step.  Small steps can eventually lead to something bigger and doing something is always better than doing nothing.  On the other hand:

If you are content with your life…

Be happy,

Be thankful,

but most of all, be you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Oh-De-Lay-Lee

I abandoned trying to keep up a regular schedule with anything creative awhile back. I had originally planned on doing an episode of my “300 Seconds” podcast  once a week, but that didn’t even last a month.  Likewise, I try to post to this blog once a week.  As I’m sure you may have noticed, Dear Reader, that doesn’t happen, either.  The only deadlines I can seem to keep are story deadlines for conbooks, and even then, I had a close call not too long ago.

Granted, I don’t have very many readers or listeners or what-have-yous (yet!) but I still feel bad whenever I get behind like this.  It also could explain why I don’t have many readers or listeners or what-have-yous.  I have cut down on the number of side projects that I have been involved with, but I need to double-down and get cracking so I don’t keep my audience (or potential audience) waiting.  I’m just like everyone else: I, too, get annoyed whenever some person on the tubes doesn’t update on a regular basis, and I should strive to not be That Guy.

So to the ten of you reading this, I’m working on it! 🙂

RANDOM REACTION: Furry Fiesta 2012 Final Thoughts

D'awww
D’awww

I didn’t really have much planned for the last day of Furry Fiesta; just one panel late in the afternoon having to do with podcasting.  My partner in crime had to go to work (I wisely took Monday off) and so we couldn’t hang around, or go to In-N-Out, but such is life.

One thing that surprised me as I walked about the hotel early Sunday was how clean the hallways were.  The hallways of a con hotel on Sunday morning are usually pretty messy: people sleep underneath Artist Alley tables and flyers, and empty cups and bottles are lying everywhere as the con slowly lurches back to life while the hotel staff does what it can to clean up before it does.  In contrast, early Sunday morning the hallways of Furry Fiesta were almost as clean as they were on Friday.

Overall, I’d say that is a pretty good analogy for how Furry Fiesta 2012 went as a whole.  Except for one panelist running late, everything appeared to have gone smoothly as far as I could see.  The attendees were a bit more well behaved than I was accustomed to, probably because they appeared to be older than the usual con crowd. I had to get used to not overhearing security staff barking and yelling at attendees. If I had to guess, I’d say the average age has to be somewhere in the mid-late 20s, because there were a significant number of folks (including myself) that were over thirty years old at the event. Folks also appeared to be better behaved and even downright friendly at Furry Fiesta; it was easy to keep a smile on my face the whole weekend.

I had a fun time at Furry Fiesta 2012. As my friend Chris Holm surmised beforehand, it was the same, but different. It had many of the same things comic book and anime conventions have: special guests, a video room where folks could watch movies and series, a video game room, a dealer’s area, artist’s area, panels and big events.

Unlike other cons, the emphasis at Furry Fiesta appeared to be on originality. Except for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (which is EVERYWHERE, for better or for worse) I saw very little, if any, fanart or even cosplayers dressed up as characters from TV, movies, or video games, for that matter.  Instead, people made up their own characters and dressed up as them. A significant number of the panels also focused on the creative arts: there were panels on writing, drawing, and even voiceover. I easily doubled the number of panels that I usually attend at a con and learned some good information.

The issues I had with the hotel and the people that were staying above me were the only negatives that I took away from Furry Fiesta.  I had a great time and will definitely be back next year for another fantastic furry weekend!