NB: this was written after the first weekend in March, but I didn't actually publish it yet. My bad.
Last weekend I really, really needed a break from everything. From the pain, the depression, the fatigue, the loneliness--everything... So I went to Toronto with a friend of mine from Ithaca. Had a blast at a furry convention called Furnal Equinox.
That's right... I am part of the "furry fandom"--a furry, for short. And I'm not even ashamed of it. Like, should I be? It's just a hobby of mine: it's not a huge part of my life, but it does inform what I do for fun. Which is mostly to make animal-related art and attend furry events in my sloth costume. I have to admit, I've made some of my best friends through the furry fandom, so I don't regret buying my costume and becoming more involved in it, not one bit. (If you don't really understand what the furry fandom is, or if you think it's a fetishistic or horrible fandom for some reason, I'd be more than happy to talk to you about it and explain my involvement in it to you.)
Anyway, here's how it went.
(you can find photos from the event here... I haven't uploaded them all yet, so check back later too)
First thing in the morning I get up and head to the doctor to get some blood drawn. Yay? Then it's time for another appointment, this time with a psych. (Being sick is like this. You get used to it after a while.) When that's over I go to get my friend Tabby Tim, who took a bus up from Ithaca to Geneva to meet me.
First thing we do is go to Wegmans and stock up on four days' worth of food and snacks. I get a several bags of chips, some salmon, some gluten-free muffins and cookies, fruit cups, trail mix, sugar snap peas, an orange pepper, and pistachios. We also get guacamole and tortilla chips for lunch, and eat together in Wegmans before heading out.
I put some oil in my car and we're on the road. We basically just talk all the way to the border crossing. Now I know all kinds of blackmails for the Tabs >:D (except he knows all my blackmails, too... DX ...)
Canadian border guy is very nice! Sends us on our way without comment. We go to exchange our monies for gorgeous Canadian currency and check out the cheap booze in the duty free store. From there, onward to Toronto!
Except it's not that easy... we get lost somewhere on the QEW and end up travelling in the wrong direction for probably like an hour... luckily some nice guys in a gas station point us in the right direction, and I buy a map of Ontario to prevent this from happening again. THEN we stop at the overflow hotel instead of the actual hotel on accident because we were silly and didn't look up the name of the hotel before we left... but we take a free apple off their hands and pop next door to the Sheraton and see some fursuiters and people wearing tails and ears and know we're in the right place ^-^
First thing we do is meet our roommates, whom Tabs had arranged stuff with online. One's a dragon and one's new to furry and hasn't picked a species yet... they're both really nice and it seems like a great arrangement. We head downstairs to socialize a bit but I'm so beat from the extra-long car ride that I seem drunk and Tabs keeps laughing at me. He gives me a shoulder massage and then sends me to bed while he heads back down to meet some folk.
In the morning on Friday we kinda wander around aimlessly, taking pictures of the people in suit already. We sit down and talk to DJ Pup, Quinn, and one of the judges for the upcoming dance contest, who when she discovers I have a fursuit encourages me to come to the preliminaries later in the day. I don't have a routine or anything, but I think, why not have a laugh? I'd be dancing in slow motion anyway. I figure that if they're using the prelims to cut undeserving acts out of the contest, then I'll get cut, but it'll be fun to try anyway.
Opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m. and I put on my suit for that even though it's kinda hard to see what's going on that way OH WELL
Next big thing we do is the furry dance competition prelims! We request "Can't touch this" by MC Hammer but they just have Super Freak, which is fine. I haven't technically choreographed anything so I just do the dorkiest dance moves I can think of... but in slow motion. It's apparently a big hit and everyone kinda roars with laughter and I feel good about that, that I was entertaining even as I had no idea what I was doing. Turns out they're not cutting anyone from performing, they're just using the prelims to get introduced to the contestants and give some critiques. Looks like I'm headed for the final competition on Sunday!
Then there's a wicked crazy informal pool party in the hotel pool... Tabs borrows my athletic shorts and sports bra (why the bra on a dude? ...well, why not?) and we go down and everyone has all these huge, custom inflatable toys, like a big white dragon and a tiger and an otter and beach balls of all sizes. It was actually crazy fun, everyone just splashing around and having shenanigans.
Then there's a photoshoot for fursuting wimmins so I go to that and take some photos with my gurlz! I was hoping more lady suiters would show up; it was only a handful, but that's okay I guess.
Then we go to the dance for a little while, and I dance in slow motion
with glowsticks stuck between my claws... yeah! (There's a great picture
of me and someone else bedecked in glowies: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/12927466/ ). After a while with the lights and the sounds and heat and fatigue I can no longer tell what's going on around me anymore really? So Tabs takes me up to bed and then goes back down to see what he can do to get into trouble...
On Saturday we sleep in until the fursuit games. I'm... I'm pretty sure that my sloth slowness is the reason why my team loses... D: OH WELL I can't help it! Once the suit goes on I get in character and I don't break it for anything.
After this it's the giant fursuit photo, which is really hot and tiresome just standing around while they try to get us all situated, but honestly considering that there's like 200 - 300 suiters trying to get in this picture, it doesn't take that long at all! I end up somewhere near the back but you can see me pretty well in the final picture. (I'd link to it, but they haven't posted it yet.) After this, the parade! I start near the front of the line but end the parade near the rear, like always :3
Tabs and I spend some time just like, idk, eating and snuggling and being boring anti-social people up in the room... then we come down and look for people to hang with. Spend some time in a pretty cool room party with free booze. At some point in the middle of the party, though, the gaggle of women who I was chillin' near all leave, meaning I'm the only chick in a group of chucks, and it's kinda weird? So I head off to bed, leaving Tabs to fend for himself!
In the morning (when I finally get Tabs to wake up... by poking him every five minutes and making him some tea and finally saying I'm gonna leave without him if he doesn't get up) we head down to the fursuit dance competition!
All the dancers are really good. I like each act that I see, pretty much. I'm number 18 so I see a lot of 'em before I finally go. While I'm watching the other acts, I'm trying to think of what other dance moves I should add to my routine to make it a bit longer. Then, it comes to me... twerking. Yes. You can see the dance on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJkqdIMiyGQ ...
Apparently that dance really turned some heads, because I won first prize in the competition! @-@ The medal is really cool, too, a golden paw on a Canada-themed ribbon. I think there were some people who got kinda upset that a comedy routine won the dance comp instead of a serious show of skill, but most people seemed to be pretty pleased that I won... a few people told me, if I didn't win they would've started a riot o.o ...Glad there was no riot!
Tabs and I left before the closing ceremonies since we had a bit of a drive left. Mostly everyone else was leaving at this time, as well. We did some quick WHAT'S YOUR INTERNET INFO exchanges and then headed out.
Swag I ended up buying from the dealer's den: a birthday
present for my sister (it's still early, but hey, whatever), a cool
carved elephant necklace (couldn't resist), and three pins for my
purse--a cute little pirate symbol, a kitty going NYA~, and a human
rainbow dash (conversation when I got the last one: "A cute girl
with rainbow hair! I don't even like My Little Pony, but I need
this" "Why?" "Because I'm a lesbian!!" *seller bursts out laughing*).
Drive home was considerably shorter since we bought a map and knew what we were doing this time. American border guards were, as Tabs so eloquently put it, "dickbutts." They just take themselves way too seriously and are super rude about everything! ugh.
Got Tabs home to Ithaca after dark and was really kinda crashing off my con high and way too tired to actually drive the 45 min back north to my own place... so I stole his bed and he took the couch and I just slept and slept (had Monday off work) and went home at like noon. The rest of my day was just spent relaxin' and finding all the peoples online!
There were too many cool fursuiters and really awesome people there, so I'm not even gonna try to list everyone or do shout outs. You all know who you are. :3
Conventions are a lot of fun and I look forward to doing at least one more this year in Colorado (RMFC).
peace out, y'all
p.s. -- you can find my furry art accounts here: https://www.weasyl.com/profile/tica and here: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/tica/ if you are so inclined. I'm tryin' to keep 'em updated and all that... I still have a lot of art and photos yet to go up!