67 Things I Noticed Duing Wild Nights 2017

Wild Nights 2017 took place a few weekends ago, and I had a great time there with friends.  We also took a stop at the Choctaw Casino Resort – Durant on the way home.  Let it ride!

  1. DSC00512PREP/THURSDAY Taking a 14″ grill along, which is adding a layer of ‘fun’ to prepping for the trip
  2. Not having many Con Talk listeners means I’m not too worried about a resident of Wilburton, Oklahoma hearing me and WolfBoy talk noise about their town.
  3. Always have to make one last trip to the store!
  4. Good idea: Use Telegram to communicate. Bad idea: Virtually no cell service at convention.
  5. Leaving my rings at home.  Not wearing them only bothers me when I walk out of the restroom.
  6. Thing I left at home: condiments and tortillas >.<
  7. When they say chicken strip dinner at Braum’s, they ain’t joking!
  8. What’s with the pudding cup, though?
  9. Picked up tortillas and BBQ sauce at the Waxahachie HEB, crisis averted!
  10. We drove 400+ miles across Texas to eat at Pizza Hut in Oklahoma on Thursday night. 😀
  11. Gas lantern providing light.  AM/FM radio providing weather and entertainment. Hooray for old technology!
  12. Super-bright LED lanterns should come with deflectors.
  13. If you’re setting up a tent at 1AM with a super-bright LED lantern, you suck.
  14. FRIDAY I’m genuinely a little disappointed that I can get a cell signal out here, but that’s what airplane mode is for.
  15. It’s driving me nuts that I get notifications on my phone, but I can’t actually SEE the thing I’m being notified about.
  16. Glad to get snapshots of a few fursuiters…a shame my friend whose fursuit fan I fixed wasn’t one of them.
  17. The criteria for being a guest at a furcon now seems to be: Be somewhat popular!
  18. People playing Nintendo Switch in the mess hall…REALLY?
  19. Hearing hacking and coughing throughout the camp, glad we’re outside
  20. Electrical cords running into tents make me sad.
  21. McDonald’s for breakfast on Friday, we’re really roughing it!
  22. They seem to be a little behind in getting situated, no crafting/panel tents were set up until Friday afternoon.
  23. We went hiking and everybody stopped when cell service resumed.
  24. Nothing like BBQ hamburgers for lunch and dinner!
  25. Fancy people have to melt the chocolate and the marshmallow for fancy s’mores.
  26. Maybe too fancy: I don’t think graham crackers should have grill marks.
  27. WolfBoy does not care how much your beef jerky costs.
  28. Nothing like being overprepared for the storm Friday night.
  29. The campfire area was closed off on Friday night.  Aw.
  30. On the plus side: NO MIDNIGHT AWOO.

    IMG_2164
    #31: Storm’s a-brewin’
  31. SATURDAY Storm didn’t come until early today, but we were ready for it!
  32. There is a special place in hell for people that have a crowing rooster as their alarm…and abandon their phones
  33. We don’t care for quiche so it was off to Mickey D’s again.
  34. Are there really that many people wanting quiche and crepes for breakfast at a camping trip??
  35. PROTIP: If you haven’t figured this out already about Wild Nights: Bring food.
  36. I’d forgotten how polite small town grocery store people can be.  NO, I DON’T NEED HELP WITH…oh
  37. My hometown doesn’t even have a grocery store anymore, so yeah.
  38. I ran a stop light in town.  Sorry.
  39. “Your poncho is pink.” “It was red when it was folded up.”
  40. Not to be mean to the artists, but once the rain starts, maybe rearrange the tables so people can sit in the mess hall and eat
  41. Random conversation I could have done without: “What is your name?” “Eduardo Soliz.” *long pause* “WHY?” “You look like some Asian guy.”  HUH?
  42. Nothing says ‘oblivious to my surroundings’ quite like people blocking the whole sidewalk that is SURROUNDED BY MUD.  MOVE IT.
  43. LOL at the weather radio saying ‘Arkansaa.’
  44. Waiting in the bathroom for the storm to pass.
  45. About to storm like crazy but DAMMIT WE BOUGHT FAJITAS AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FAJITAS.
  46. And s’mores, of course
  47. “Okay, guys, here’s the plan to get in the car, we’re going to…” *BOOM* RUN LIKE CRAZY!
  48. What do you do when the camping con gets rained out? Sleep in a bunkhouse!
  49. SUNDAY Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold.
  50. I know it annoyed some people, but the 90s car alarm repeatedly going off in the morning was hilarious to me.
  51. Note to self: Buy a cheap shower head for the small bathroom shower.
  52. And maybe some soap holders.
  53. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that hardly any of this has to do with the con itself.
  54. PROTIP: Get your heads out of your phones or you might miss something cool like a truck doing a Dukes of Hazzard over a hill in the opposite lane.
  55. I think they meant to do that.
  56. The business that gave us the Fudge Cheese Butter sign appears to be no more, aww
  57. AFTERWARDS/CASINO Funny that ‘Try Everything’ comes on over the PA as we’re entering the casino.  THEY KNOW.
  58. I had to at least try the slots that had bears on them…no better luck, though.
  59. We had to eat ‘Krispy Krunchy Chicken’ after seeing the name. Tasty!

    IMG_2175
    #61 Not-so-sore loser
  60. Parrot Beach Bar and Grill at the Choctaw Casino Resort was good, shame it’s going to become Just Another Mexican Restaurant in a month or so.
  61. No luck at the casino, guess it’s back to work on Tuesday.
  62. If you’re dropping money into the slots at 9AM you might need help.
  63. Yes, that includes me.
  64. I wonder which table at breakfast is ours…OH, it’s the one with the T-Rex hand puppet.
  65. When  you have a hand puppet on your table, some rando will inevitably ask why it is there.
  66. After the fact, I have a box of hot cocoa and two things of Jiffy Pop left. Stupid weather.
  67. While the con itself wasn’t much to speak of, we had a great time!
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49 Things I Noticed During Wild Nights 2015

Snazzy!
#18: Snazzy!

Unlike last year where I was accompanied by a cacophony of friends, Wild Nights 2015 was a solo affair.  Work and life has been a bit stressful lately so I wanted some alone time.

  1. THURSDAY-DRIVE UP-If I’m going to be away for more than two days, I always make sure the house is relatively clean.
  2. Rain in the forecast, oh boy.
  3. Left my university ring at home and my right hand feels naked.
  4. Going to try to save my recyclables this trip, see how that goes.
  5. I think a place called Slovacek’s (in West) has nearly duplicated Buc-ees.
  6. The new Buc-ees north of Temple is now open though, so it seems redundant.
  7. Just north of Dallas, I got passed up by a truck from “Hakuna Matata Plumbing.” Huh?
  8. Took only 360 miles to get to the Texas border from San Antonio…sheesh.
  9. Saw a restaurant advertising Tex-Mex…in Oklahoma?  Get a rope.
  10. Sign on highway: “Do not follow construction vehicles” THIS IS A PROBLEM?
  11. Took a short cut in Oklahoma because it looked good on the map.  HOLY CATS NEVER AGAIN. The last time I was on a road that scary I was in Mexico.
  12. Got delayed because of an accident on that back road, hope everyone ended up okay 😦
  13. Thing I forgot: small tripod-stool thing for sitting in my tent.
  14. I semi-jokingly refer to it as ‘The Nutbuster’ so perhaps it was just as well.
  15. FRIDAY Going to have to unlearn reaching for my phone because of no signal.
  16. That is, except for updating this list. 🙂
  17. Attended a crafting panel and made a pouch with more than a little help from the presenter. YAY I SORT OF MADE A THING!
  18. At the same panel the hyena plush above got a full wardrobe!
  19. Armbands that say ‘Staff’ Interesting.
  20. Constant showers during the day were annoying but not much else.
  21. I thought about buying a flashlight that clips to a ball cap but didn’t. I wish I had now, because it would be great for reading and writing at night.
  22. I keep looking at my phone to check the time, need to invest in a cheap watch.
  23. FRIDAY-There’s just something about starting the day with a nice hot chocolate, glad I bought my mini-stove.
  24. Feeling a little stuffy, whatever crap they have here (as opposed to the crap we have in Texas) must be affecting me.
  25. Saw a guy in the mess hall playing Fallout 3 on a laptop. Really, dude?
  26. Someone said “wolf spider” and I got the oddest mental image…stupid hybrids.
  27. I need to write a story with a wolf spider in it now.
  28. Saw an angel dragon, guess they’re required at every furcon.
  29. Wrote a scene in that wolf-spider story where someone is eating popcorn and now I want some.
  30. Doesn’t help that the character eating popcorn is based on myself
  31. SATURDAY-Obligatory job-related item: My legs should not be this sore, I need a new job where I’m on my feet more.
  32. I think I’ve finally cured myself of my ‘reaching for the phone’ reflex.
  33. Took a hike to the cave area and got lost again. Note to self for next year: Start on the right side.
  34. After the grey wet Friday, the weather today is beautiful.
  35. Maybe too beautiful, it got pretty warm in the afternoon.
  36. There needs to be a DON’T MESS WITH THE FIRE sign by the campfire, saw a few people admonished for tampering.
  37. A saxophonist performed in the Furry Drama Show, had to resist the urge to ask if he knew Yakety Sax.
  38. Forgot my new car insurance card, hope I don’t get pulled over on the drive home.
  39. A fellow attendee complained about his three hour drive. Try seven, pal.
  40. Broke a tent pole with my head. D’OH!
  41. Once again some of the local yokels infiltrated the camp and started some shenanigans. Oy.
  42. SUNDAY-DRIVE HOME Vehicle hesitated to start in the morning, might be time for a new battery.
  43. Most clever small town business name: ‘Carey-out’ for a restaurant.
  44. Concrete barriers in the middle of the highway for construction means a lot of dead critters 😦
  45. Took off my Green Lantern ring before entering the casino. Gotta set a good example, you know
  46. Noticed some interesting slot machines: KISS, ZZ Top, House of the Dead, Shinobi.
  47. Note to self: If you’re in an unfamiliar area and you see cheap gas, STOP AND GET THE CHEAP GAS.
  48. Some gas stations in OK charge extra for gas without ethanol…oh-kaay.
  49. Was delighted to finally photograph the ‘FUDGE CHEESE BUTTER’ sign that entertained WolfBoy and I so much since last Wild Nights 😀

    Oh, you wacky Amish
    #49: Oh, you wacky Amish

34 Things I Noticed During Wild Nights 2014

robinhood
Robin Hood!

I spent the weekend at Oklahoma’s other outdoor furry convention, Wild Nights, and as is always the case, I noticed a few things…

  1. After two false starts trying to go to this convention, itlooks like the third time’s a charm!
  2. Introduced my co-pilot to slot machines at a gas station casino; many apologies in advance if he becomes a gambling addict!
  3. Cell service is zip at the park, luckily I saved the camp maps to my tablet.
  4. At first, I listened in horror as the only FM stations my radio picked up played country music and then luckily stumbled upon a classic rock station…whew
  5. Looks like they got off to a late start with dinner, I hope everyone had a big lunch.
  6. The park is awesome, and even has real trees!
  7. Feels odd to not be wearing my rings, I keep reaching to take them off before I walk to the restroom…TMI, maybe?
  8. Old tech is better #1: LED lights have come a long way, but I’ll take my trusty 2-mantle Coleman lantern for lighting up camp any day.
  9. I thought I was going to be attached to my backpack for the weekend but I surprisingly did okay without it.
  10. Thing I forgot: a handkerchief, its driving me nuts because I keep reaching for it when I cough, but it isn’t there!
  11. Last year, I wrote a story at Oklacon about my own withdrawal from the Internet.  This year, I may scribe a similar story about a friend descending into madness.
  12. The blooping noise the tap makes when getting water is the COOLEST THING EVAR.
  13. I didn’t go to the hat-making panel and spent the rest of the con wishing that I had one!
  14. Idea: Glow in the dark zippers for tents.
  15. Temps were in the fifties outside on Thursday night, WHY were the a/c units on at the cabins?
  16. Robber’s Cave State Park took a little looking for, didn’t help that I took the scenic route.  Stupid Apple Maps
  17. The cave itself took some hunting to find, too, but then again, we went off the beaten path.
  18. Apparently the NOAA weather computer saying ‘shitstorm’ on the radio is the funniest thing ever.
  19. Crepes for breakfast, potato soup for lunch; seems like someone in the kitchen knows what they’re doing!
  20. Didn’t bring the car key for passenger, came to regret it after being asked ‘is it locked?’ every hour or so.
  21. We got caught by the grocery stores in the nearby town being closed early twice, once at 9 and then at 8. I wanted to ask if dancing was also forbidden and that’s because I’m from a small town in Texas.
  22. Nothing like hearing a gust of wind come from the trees then seeing a cloud of pollen descend. Crap.
  23. Scheduling seems to be an issue for Wild Nights, and registration also took a little while. Don’t forget to bring some patience along!
  24. Comparing the two OK outdoor cons: Wild Nights has the better venue, but Oklacon seems to be better organized. Balance of the universe and all that.
  25. Also: At Oklacon, I took home red dirt in the Excelsior as a souvenir. This time, it’s POLLEN. POLLEN EVERYWHERE. *cough cough*
  26. Saturday afternoon turned into siesta time at the con, there was very little going on. Works for me.
  27. Wore my bear ears into town for no good reason. Oh yeah, because I felt like it. That’s a good reason.
  28. Had my first s’more ever, yum!
  29. Once the weather forecast started mentioning thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes, it quickly lost its comedy value.
  30. Old tech is better #2: While most smartphones were useless, my radio worked just fine.
  31. There appeared to be an exodus of people Saturday as word got around about the impending weather. We hung around, but put everything away just in case we had to make a quick exit.
  32. I don’t think I have ever slept in a top bunk, and after spending a restless night in one, I still haven’t.
  33. This felt more like a camping trip at a furry convention than a convention that involved camping.
  34. Drove into some hail after leaving the event, apparently we just missed the bad weather.  There but for the grace of God we go.

In Soviet Russia, house occupies you!

homeYou know, I can never resist a good ‘in Soviet Russia’ joke.  Actually, I can’t resist a bad one, either.

Buying a house has all but consumed my life for these last two months.  Nearly everything that I have been thinking about or doing (or blogging) since early March has been house-related.  Finding a house, negotiating for it, digging up all the documents for the bank, shopping for insurance, finding a storage unit, moving all of my stuff out of my apartment into the storage unit, moving in with my cousins, closing, moving out of my cousin’s, then getting all my stuff from storage into the house and now I’m taking things out of boxes and putting things in their place and buying appliances.

Along the way, I missed out on quite a few things due to either poor planning, bad luck, or fatigue: Wild Nights, the St. Phillips Anime Club Bubblehead Tea event, Free Comic Book Day, the Central Texas Toy and Comic Expo and the Anthrocon conbook deadline.  My stress level got pretty high and I even got sent to the “principal’s office” at work for getting a little too rowdy with a customer.  My aggravation got to the point that I went from “this will be totally worth it” to “this had better be worth it.”

It has been just over a week after I got the keys, and the number of moving boxes cluttering up the living room is gradually decreasing.  I am hoping to be at some semblance of ‘normal’ (or at least as normal as it gets for me) by week’s end, especially after the new refrigerator is delivered later this week.  I ask myself, was this worth all the bother and stress and money and time and missed fun?

Without hesitation, I think:  Yeah.  Totally worth it.

2013 Convention Schedule

Photobomb by Amanda Rogers of mural-magic.com
Photobomb by Amanda Rogers of mural-magic.com

Another year means another bunch of conventions to attend and enjoy!  Unlike previous years, where I was either just an attendee or assisting with other folks’ tables, I will be peddling my wares at some of these events.  Buy or die!

While this isn’t a convention per se, I plan on showing up and selling my books at the St. Phillip’s Anime Club Anime Show held every weekend at Bubblehead Tea just south of downtown San Antonio on the first Friday of nearly every month.  I don’t know that I’ll have a table every month, but its a fun free event to go to and hang out at.

Ushicon, Feb 8-10, Round Rock, TX – Ushicon is an 18+ only anime convention, this will be the first time that I am attending, so I’ll be curious to see how different it will be without the usual Pocky and Ramune-fueled teenagers running around everywhere.

Furry Fiesta 2013, Feb 22-24, Addison, TX – After gushing over Furry Fiesta last year, coming back is a no-brainer, but this time I’m hoping to do a panel on e-book publishing, maybe sit around in Artist Alley for a day or so and have fun.

Mizuumi-Con 6, March 23, San Antonio, TX – San Antonio’s second biggest anime con should be loads of fun again, hopefully the gym won’t become a sauna like it did last year.  I plan on having a table at this one also.

Wild Nights, April 25-29, Robber’s Cave State Park – Despite Oklacon being an ‘okay’ event and not a ‘knock my socks off’ one, I am eager to try another outdoor convention.  Wild Nights takes place in a different part of Oklahoma and as there aren’t very many other furcons near Texas, let’s give it a shot!

Texas ComicCon 2013 June 21-23, San Antonio, TX – I like Texas Comic-Con, and I want to like it more, but its venue is a dump and the show has become the ‘same thing every year’ for me, so I’ll probably go just for a day to hang out with friends.

Anthrocon 2013, July 4-7, Pittsburgh PA – Anthrocon is the world’s largest furcon, and something I’d really like to go to, but I’m on the fence on making the trip because of the money involved.  Stupid car payment and rent going up.

San Japan 6, Aug 16-18, San Antonio, TX – The 500-lb gorilla in San Antonio, San Japan is a blast.  I’m not 100% sure of my plans for it right now, but I’m fairly certain I won’t have a table so I’ll get to actually have fun.

As most of these conventions take place in the first half of 2013, I may add another event late in the year, money permitting of course.  Hope to see you somewhere!