Tuesday, December 27, 2016

MWFF Recap – Sunday – Let it Go and Let it Loose

Epilogue – Monday – Sleepy Birthday

Only one more day. Where’d this con go? Oh yeah… the dance comp group practice is this morning, isn’t it? I forced myself awake “early enough” and got as light a breakfast as possible – a pastry and a coffee – something I would soon regret. 

These event rehearsals take a good chunk of time. I arrived at the main stage to see a whole group of us outside practicing warm-up stretches before heading inside to take care of positions. I think it took a good amount of time before I realized where I was supposed to be. Combine that with a suit and you have a clumsy bobblehead. Miraculously, on the final run before the show, we all pulled it off (relatively) well. 

A quick break before the dance comp begins and the lite breakfast gets to me. I was a bit peckish, so a light snack was called for… but with the short time, it seemed like a bad idea to eat anything. I guess another cracker wouldn’t hurt. 

I felt the anticipation of being backstage. A peptalk from JD Puppy, plus the roaring crowd outside added to the mix of emotion. Our opening act came. The result: Overall? Not bad. Personally? I’m a left shark!

 Just hearing the song again brings back every single muscle memory... every bit of rehearsal.

I recall seeing a forecast for snow today and, as a Californian used to sunshine, the very idea was exciting! Just after doing the opening number, I walked out in suit and, logically, pranced around in a Winter Wonderland.


The whole scene just felt magical. I wanted to play around further if it weren’t for being reminded that snow is effectively frozen water and wondering why my suit was getting wet and chilly… and later thoroughly thawing in the fursuit lounge (which, props to MFF for offering heated wet towels to us suiters. This was much welcome).

I had a bit of lunch at the cafĂ© with Aiko, a longtime friend whom I finally met. He seemed like a cool dude, and we later spent some time doing final shopping in the dealer’s den before he had to leave.
I wish I spent more time in the den/mall… thing. There was just a bit too much to look at in a short amount of time for the confusing layout it had (which may be an advantage so as to make the den feel bigger than it really was). This was probably the first time I opened myself up to actually buying a few random items and books that I otherwise wouldn’t, so yay splurging!

 Not one of my major purchases, but I was still amused by how cute this was.

Aiko and I soon parted ways, and I decided to play some more in-suit, in the snow. I would, again, regret coming into the hotel soaking wet, but holy marf that was a blast. 

 The one Major Hotel Roadway, all covered in a big, white blanket.

 Assorted cats (yes, cats)

Soon, all good things had to come to an end. I made it an effort to try and attend most closing ceremonies of the cons I go to. It adds, of course, some good closure and drives anticipation for the next event (coincidentally, PepperCoyote’s See You Next Year comes on as I type about this). In my opinion, you can have all the fun in the world, but it’s the ending that will make (or break) a lasting impression.

One of the many, final congrats in the closing ceremony

The ceremony was long for Furfest, but you can really sense the passion that those who ran it had, and it shows by getting just a hair below Anthrocon’s attendance. What really struck me was when they announced how much they made for the charity, just enough for a new animal shelter, but just a few thousand below a nice round number of $70,000. Soon, various furries in the crowd began walking up to the stage, handing out various bills, whatever loose change they had, just to raise that number. The sudden generosity this fandom brings can be very heartwarming. All in all, seeing such an enthusiastic crowd, it was a great end to the con. By far a very unique and memorable experience.

 Warm Red Bar, Chilly Winter Night

The weekend, however, wasn’t over. I had some dinner at the Red bar with Laveur as a bit of an early mutual birthday gift (as we both shared tomorrow as the birthday), courtesy a Liko fox. I didn’t have that much of an appetite, but enjoyed the company, the drinks and appetizers. Plus, there’s something very magical about seeing snowfall at night. 

Various final goodbyes were given (or a see you next week, to my Cali folk), and I headed back to the hotel room to do some final cleanup… and seeing an inebriated lion. I forgot about the leftover drinks, and Lakota was on a drive to get us all to dunk down the last of the booze, mixing up various alcoholic concoctions just to get rid of it all. I was hesitant, being a light drinker. I was worried I would lose all comprehension, and I still needed to pack. 

 No. I won't show photos of us drunk. I did go up to the top floor of the Hyatt well prior though. I have some regrets about looking down.

Screw it… I said. Fraddas decided to open up Jackbox for some delight as we got ourselves wasted in preventing waste. I could pack before leaving tomorrow, I’d just get light sleep.

 I love this snowfall.

Muffle returned late into the night. I was feeling tipsy, and Lakota was in borderline Sheen from Bedfellows that somehow still managed to hold himself up… mostly. I was feeling it after two cups. Muffle had a breathalyzer on hand for some reason. Surprisingly, I was below the minimum limit, and even more surprisingly, Lakota was at the past the point where most would pass out around.
At the point, sleep was needed. Fraddas, Muffle, and I all had the same early 8am flight. I set my alarm to 3am for ample packing time. 

And so the night ends. 

Click here to continue to Epilogue – Monday – Sleepy Birthday

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MWFF Recap – Saturday – Losing It and Suiting Up

Epilogue – Monday – Sleepy Birthday

 View fom Hyatt's Executive Wing. Our hotel just bast the left bronze tube.

Today was the day I lost everything.

Another day of sleeping in, which was nice… but oh, wait, there was the sponsor brunch! Only 20 minutes to go until it starts! Midwest Furfest was the first con I actually bothered to sponsor; the perks seemed very tempting, and I could actually afford to treat myself. 

But where’s my ticket? I can’t get the food without it. I scramble around the room, waking up my roomies in the process… eventually I found it in my backpack of all places… but where’s my badges? Repeat the process to find them under my backpack.

But, wait… my wallet!

I did find that, but a good hour was spent, and you can imagine the looks on my roommates’ faces.

So, Lakota and I took the hike to the brunch, which itself was a delightful with its assortment of hotel catered foods. I was hesitant on snatching the food as I was still on a “healthy eat” mode, and then I went “eff it” and binged on the meats, the eggs, the wiiiide array of desserts. 

  Sponsor Brunch Options

Sponsor Brunch Space

The brunch space was huge and if a bit daunting. This was probably one of the few times I felt the size of the con in the sense of being in a big pond. I couldn’t find anyone familiar in the sea of furries. It was akin to a grade school cafeteria. This didn't last as I did run into a few familiar furries, and to my surprise a table of locals. The socialization was enjoyable. I gotta wonder, does it make one cliquey to prefer a group of familiar individuals? I wonder. 

We all soon parted ways. I walked around a bit and spent some time with a few canines before suiting up for the Fursuit Menagerie – MFF’s alternative to the parade that was started by FWA and improved by BLFC. I never got a chance to check out either in person, but I was impressed and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere compared to the parade which as, honestly, become routine. While I did miss what I think was a group shoot, I did make it in time for the orange and yellow photoshoot.

Image courtesy SeanC from FurAffinity and Flickr

Speaking of, if any of your readers have any photos of that photoshoot, please, please please send them my way!
I then suited around some more and headed up to meet Nightflurry and a few more animals. Apparently they were captivated by a mysterious domed structure in the distance, of which we later discovered to be a temple. One of the furries found it on streetview and enabled it on an android VR. I took that for a speed run, and boy, the streetview in VR is so immersive, I had to remind myself I’m not really in motion. 

There's a temple in here somewhere.

The chilling was brief, however, as I had to do some practice for the group dance opening number. I haven’t practiced as much as I thought I would, so the time was very helpful if not fun to see a few familiar faces like Arcturus, Rowland, and other noted dancers. My coordination, however, left a lot to be desired. 

Post-dance wine.

Two hours pass by and evening sets... boy, did I actually do anything this con? I do a quick stop in the con suite to refresh, passing by many furries waiting in line for what I would've thought was the veriety show. Turns out, it was Floor Wars (which I still to this day have no idea what it is)..   I decide to opt for the less crowded variety show.

Midwest Fupfest

Either it's the timing or the event showing it's age but something about the show just felt...lacking. Like the crowd was light and the entertainment sparse... nothing too major. That said, the acts I did see were enjoyable, with some humor inside (no, I had missed the proposal). I did meet a few more familiar furs, CaliCoyote, whom I hope had a delightful time at the con, and Waffles, a very adorable raccoon.

 Variety Show Excerpt

Waffles and I decided to forego the rest of the show and spend some time together back in the Doubletree. He's a lot of fun to be with, honestly. 

Dinner soon called... and the plot for deep dish was running short. Apparently Saturday night is a popular time for pizza places, like, what the odds? So instead of waiting forever, I opted to order a generic deep dish for the room. Eta? 10:30. Better be worth the $40. Waffles opted to stay until then.

 Fox by the Tree
We were soon joined by Vox popping by and spent some chill time before roaming the lobby for some holiday photos..which apparently the Double has a second floor mezzanine perfect for, with a collection of assorted Christmas trees and nary a soul in sight.

The deep dish came in and boy... it was huge! The hype was real. As far as pizza goes, this is a giant tomato bread bowl!

Waffles and I soon parted ways, and Vox headed out to the con floor. Lakota and I opted to stay in the room and just rest.

I wasn't sure if it was the pizza or the distance to the con, but Lakota and I just didn't feel like going back to the con. I think we both agreed: we're just getting old, and the motivation isn't there.

It's only midnight, at the highest point of the con, and here we are, inside the room. I used to stay up until 3am and now I'm too tired past midnight.

What happened?

Click here to continue to Day Three – Sunday – Let it Go andLet it Loose