athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
As I noted earlier, this was the first FC in six years that I didn’t present the (non-adult) Dragon Panel, and that I was seriously considering returning to those duties next year. That prompted some discussion in the comments about species panels in general, and what they covered. Evidently, both the Dragon and Avian panels were a bit on the aimless side this year.

Under my auspices, the Dragon Panel hewed pretty firmly to “Dragons In Mythology, Folklore, Heraldry, and maybe, just maybe, Modern Fantasy”. [ profile] eclipsegryph runs the Gryphon panel in much the same way; Eclipse has done a LOT of research on kittybirds, going back to their earliest mentions in ancient Greek lore. He always seems to have something new to add, though, and I try to do the same in mine.

The other species panels I’ve attended (and co-presented) have centered around beasties that are, shall we say, less elusive than gryphons or dragons: reptiles/dinosaurs, avians, and bats. Those panels have presented more tangible data about the critters in question, as well as their traditional roles in folk culture. We talked about echolocation in the bat panel, for instance, but we also discussed how bats tended to be sinister in Western culture, but lucky in the East (rather like dragons, that. Hmmmm.).

I’m not sure if that’s true across all the panels, though. Maybe the more obscure and arcane critters attract those of a more academic/analytical/geeky bent. Does the Fox panel talk about Reynard and the Kitsune? Does it dive into how the vernacular term “foxes” covers a wide range of species across a wider range of clades that are only loosely related? Does the Canid panel discuss pack behavior and the ridiculous genetic diversity of genus Canis? Does it compare and contrast White Fang and The Big Bad, or the distinct pop-culture perceptions of Wolf and Coyote?

I simply don’t know.

And I’d like to.

I want to know both what the other species panels cover, and what the audience is interested in hearing.

*To be generous.
athelind: (Default)
Despite the Unusual Circumstances of my life right now, this was a terrific con.

I only attended four official Con events, and only made a couple of turns through the Dealer's Room and Art Show -- most of my time was spent socializing. I spent lots of time with lots of folks, and always seemed to be able to find someone to pester. (Discovering that my phone could send texts to multiple recipients helped a lot there.)

After five straight years of presenting the Not-Adult Dragon Species Panel, I skipped this year, and finally got to see the Masquerade -- the NADSP has been scheduled opposite the Masque for three years in a row, thank you so very much. The Masquerade was fun to see in person for once.

On the other claw, I pitched in at the eleventh hour to help [ profile] eclipsegryph give the Gryphon Panel, and had a blast and a half. Presenting panels has always kicked up a con into high gear for me, and I'll probably volunteer to take back the Dragon Panel again next year.

(Who went to the Dragon Panel this year? How did it go without Your Obedient Serpent at the helm? I've only heard feedback from one person who heard it from another person.)

I think the best part for me was the new location. I've always liked downtown San Jose, though I don't go there nearly often enough. The new hotel is in a splendid location, and is a pretty decent venue for the con, though I suspect we'll outgrow it quickly.

The afore-mentioned Unusual Circumstances allowed me to take public transit into the con with little difficulty, so I avoided the trauma of downtown parking this year. That's unlikely to happen again next year.

Having decent food and little conveniences like a grocery store and a drug store in the immediate vicinity was pleasant enough for us as attendees, but there's a hidden benefit that a lot of attendees have neglected. Being smack in the middle of downtown -- and the Fairmont is as close to dead-center in the middle of Downtown San Jose as you can get -- gives us the opportunity to become a local institution, to be part of the community in the same way that AnthroCon has become part of Pittsburgh. The local businesses certainly enjoyed our patronage, and the local populace seemed downright enchanted by our brand of madness.

This is an opportunity and an experience that we simply didn't have hiding in the Doubletree, stuck in a part of town that's flat-out dead on the weekends and not overly lively during the work week.

Furries are always worrying about how to improve their media image, and I submit that a goodly part of it is simply to be VISIBLE, being happy, friendly, fun people getting together to have a good time.

athelind: (Default)
Packing up the laptop, grabbing the bus back home, and then, off to work again!

Thanks to everyone; this was a great con. More later.

athelind: (Default)
You know it's a classy hotel (as opposed to merely an expensive one) when housekeeping neatly makes up the air mattress on the floor, as well as the beds.

athelind: (Default)
I was originally only going to attend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but I wrapped up all my chores by 5 PM last night. I discovered that I could get everything I needed for five days into a single, small suitcase, including my laptop -- and suddenly, taking the bus into downtown instead of driving became VERY PRACTICAL.

So I did. 45 minutes and two dollars later, I was at the Fairmont.

Picked up a cheap air mattress from Walgreen's, just down the street from the hotel; at $9.99, I may just leave it behind if I decide I don't want to cram it in the suitcase on the way home. It doesn't have one of those battery-powered inflation pumps that so many of them do these days -- but it DOES have a big ol' deflation valve in addition to its beach-toy style INflation valve. I looked at that, and looked at [ profile] hafoc's CPAP breathing compressor, and made a joke about using that to blow the thing up.

... it worked. A one-inch air fitting is a pretty standard size, it seemed.

Spent some time downstairs in the lobby, hanging with [ profile] rikoshi, [ profile] tealfox, and a few others. The hotel had a band playing, and it was ... bad.

These guys were so obviously off-key that even I noticed. Teal insisted that they were singing the harmony without the melody, which sounds about right -- but they kept getting worse. Please understand: [ profile] quelonzia will attest that I have a tin ear. Eventually, these guys were playing at the resonant frequency of tin.

Finally, I went to bed. The air mattress was fine, but odd dreams plagued me through the night -- including one in which Scully and Mulder had been dragged out of retirement to infiltrate a furry convention.

And they were working for Jonathan Winters.

Don't ask me where THAT came from.

athelind: (Default)
It's a little late at this stage, but just to clarify matters:

Despite previous reports to the contrary, both [ profile] quelonzia and I will be attending Further Confusion this year.

Quel will be there on Saturday; I will be there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with possible cameos on Thursday night and Monday morning.

Caution: Due to circumstances that should be familiar to anyone who reads this journal regularly, my moods will be erratic. I may be cheerful and energetic; I may be quiet and wistful, I may be irritable and flat-out bitey. I may be all of these things in rapid succession.

I intend to be cliquish. There are a lot of good friends that I only ever see at FC, and my main reason for going this year is to see them.

When approaching the dragon, do not initiate hugs. If the dragon is huggable, he will initiate.

Do not skritch the dragon.

Oh, and this does seem to be allergies, after all. I am not Patient Zero!
athelind: (Default)
Two days before the con, I have the sniffles, and it's clear that this isn't just an allergy attack.

Bed rest. Fluids. OTC medicine. I should be okay by the weekend.

athelind: (Default)
Due to various circumstances, [ profile] quelonzia and I will not be attending Further Confusion 2010.

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