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25 November 2003 @ 11:21 am
I think there was a con in there somewhere..  
So, there was a Midwest Furfest out here! In honor of the event, I took Thursday, Friday, and Monday off. Should've taken today and tomorrow off, too, and made it a nice long vacation (what with Thanksgiving thursday and friday), but ahwell.

Things began bright and early Thursday morning, when we went to pick up gatcat and kenket at O'hare. We hadn't met either before, but knew them well enough to offer our convention taxi services...this turned out to be quite fortuitous, as they made most fitting additions to our usual crowd of lovable but cynical misfits. We took them to Walker Brothers, a local(ish) pancake house (it's a small chain that's part of a larger chain, apparently...and it's damn good stuff). They planned to go downtown, to hit the museums, but we pretty much destroyed their plans on that score by taking them downtown, seeing the sights of the city, then hitting Goose Island Brewery instead. I don't think they were too crushed, though I do hope they get to see the museums next time!

By the time we got back, feren had collected tarinfirepelt, and they were rather curious as to where we were. We loaded the vehicles, and headed to the hotel. Kes, Kenket, and Gatcat went to hit Dick Blick for art supplies, while Feren and I went to hit Sam's Club for boozing supplies. We brought everything up to the rooms Feren had arranged, and were amazed by the setup. He'd managed to score us two connecting rooms, one of which was a huge suite, for just a little over the normal con room rate! To show our gratitude, we'll be whining at him periodically to make sure he can get the same setup next year ;) Feren spent the late evening in registration, while the rest of us drank and ate pizza in the room.

Friday...well...things began pretty early. Kes and I went downtown to pick yotogi up from the industrial ghetto at 5:30am. Came back to the hotel, decided not to wake up the others, and headed to the apartment to get computer gear ready for shipping to the artshow. The others showed up shortly, there was a massive loading of equipment, and we were off to setup the artshow. From then til Sunday evening was a bit of a blur. Some highlights:


  • Spending hours and hours coding the new artshow reporting/receipt software, learning .NET print routines on the fly as the deadline approaches.


  • Running home to get the mail-in donations for the auction, and panicing when one of them was missing...then finding it after a search which also turned up my missing zoom lense for my camera. Bonus!


  • The charity auction itself, which brought in $3190 this year, a new record. In large part thanks to the independently wealthy gentleman who spent $300 to hold Morocco the Fennec for the auction's duration, and $400 for a book of art from Herbie, the Disney artist, with an original drawing of his in the cover.


  • Getting out of the artshow at 1:30am Sunday morning, and being too tired to even drink.


  • Amazing dinner at BD's with Feren, Kes, Koz, Poe, Kat, hightensile, and neowolf2. Watching Feren grill, and watching several folk try to eat a whole apple cobbler dessert (the things weigh about 10 pounds). Driving home so exhausted that I was worried I might go off the road! And missing 2_gryphon's show because of the exhaustion.


  • Discovering that the other machines we had wouldn't run my receipt software, and thus needing to funnel all buyers through one register. I think we did pretty good, though...I don't think anyone waited more than 10 minutes to purchase their art, even in the middle of the busiest section of auction pickup.


  • Supreme efforts from all the staff and gophers in the artshow and charity auction. Kit, despite what you seem to think, you did a hell of a job. Working with Kes, Feren, Kat, and Poe, I think we made a hell of a team. The 'regular' gophers we had, ashmcairo and moryssa, did an amazing job, and kept us from going insane. Gatcat and Kenket provided some much-needed extra hands when we were setting up and tearing down...and Jazzmospazz and hakeber provided much needed feeding and Artshow-mom services respectively. Can't thank all of them enough!


  • Getting to see haikujaguar again, even if only for a few brief moments. And providing her a sanctuary Sunday morning where she could drink her coffee, and not go insane!



I unfortunately only got to run through the dealer's den once, the artists' alley not at all, and barely even got to browse the art in the art show itself. But overall, things were pretty kickass...we broke $10k in sales, no major software problems, and lots of good feedback from the attendees. I think we put on a pretty good con out here in the midwest!

Sunday night, we hit D&B's for heavy eating and drinking, and major decompression. Me, Kes, Koz, Gatcat, and Kenket headed out shortly after the food to get a head start on drinking and sketching, while Feren, Poe, Kit, and Kat remained to shoot stuff for a while longer. It was amazing stress relief to just sit around, talking, drinking, sketching, laughing, and playing video games. aureth, moryssa, jenwolf, and datahawk all stopped by, sharing their company in return for us sharing our copious booze. Kes, Koz and I crashed around 1am, the rest around 2.

Monday, it was packing and flight time. We took the main crew of me, Kes, Feren, Poe, Gatcat, Kenket, Kit, Kat, and Koz back to the apartment to unload the gear, then over to The Continental for good, plentiful food, coffee, and some final hang-out time. Pretty much right after that, Feren had to leave to take Koz to midway. Poe was going to have to leave shortly after that, but in a most unexpected (but welcome) change of plans, realized he could leave pretty much any day, with the way Greyhound does their tickets. So we're kidnapping him for Thanksgiving!

The rest of the evening was spent in a sort of contented, tired daze. I plunked on the piano a bit, and discovered how rusty a month or so of languishing can make one. Tried to do a couple duets with Gatcat, who really has quite a vocal range, but mostly failed due to my rustiness and perennial trouble playing in time with a singer :P Maybe for next year, we can have some duets/trios ready for the attendees! He and Kenket did say they hope to make it out again, since she was able to pretty much pay for the trip with her art sales.

And now...I'm back at work, and enjoying the fact that 75% of the people here are out for the week. It's quiet, and rather nice after the frenetic weekend!

Something good: Too much to list, but to pick one thing, I'll go with 'booze'.

Something bad: Con Crud

Something disturbing: Again, too much to list...but going with the theme of the 'something good', I'll say, mixing up margaritas, and just as you're finishing, realizing that the sour mix you were using already had tequila and triple sec included. Talk about potent drinks!
 
 
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
 
 
 
M. C. A. Hogarthhaikujaguar on November 25th, 2003 10:12 am (UTC)
I want to sing with you and Gatcat! :D
Will: coon - party - mcafeewas1 on November 25th, 2003 10:14 am (UTC)
All of the con crew did a great job once again this year.

It was nice getting to hang out with you and Kestral some too.
Brendan: Yeah I'm badroho on November 25th, 2003 01:27 pm (UTC)
Dammit, I knew I would forget someone in there! I'm really glad you were able to stop by for a while on Sunday, I was worried I'd barely get to see you during the con :)
Rattus scientificus: peace mountskorzy on November 25th, 2003 10:28 am (UTC)
Con? There was a con? :)

Naw, as usual, The mare and I are sorry we couldn't go. Bah.. who needs a con to visit friends, eh?
Da Horsey Ladysushimare on November 25th, 2003 11:08 am (UTC)
Yea! Though I told Skorzy last night that we should go to Chicago and he said, "Who want's to go there???" *grin*

I can't wait for you both to move out this way!
Rattus scientificus: peace mountskorzy on November 25th, 2003 02:22 pm (UTC)
Yup.. Chicago isn't very high on my "must visit" list.

Its better when friends there move HERE!
Jingle: Workoutjingle on November 25th, 2003 11:43 am (UTC)
S'shame I don't do cons anymore. It would have been nice to see the whole gang. But money and time is short and with the holidays coming up, my fur's gonna either poof out or fall out. Glad you had a fun time.