Hey all, I know it's been a year since I last posted a blog of any sort. Well recently I've had something to post about. I wouldn't make it so long but I've had a few friends request that I write up about what I got up to at ConFuzzled 2011 which happened this weekend just gone, 6th May - 9th May. Here goes the tale, I'll see what I can remember, it might not be accurate...
Before the con
Well, I should start before CF, Wednesday evening, I was putting my list together in Evernote so that the list could be taken with me on my phone and check off people who wanted to meet me. I did this because last year there were people who I didn't manage to see. My mood was pretty good, Thursday evening I was going to be traveling to Smraedis' flat and Wednesday was my last day of work before CF started.
The next day: Thursday, while sitting at my desk, clutching at my big massive cup of tea, I thought, I best get packed up and ready. But what to take? I quickly wrote up a to-do list using Google calendar and then proceeded to go through it, packing all my things together, remember that I would spend that night at Smraedis'.
Ah ha, the big day, the day we arrive at the grand ConFuzzled, with it's furry gates which so confuse everyone who doesn't have a clue who we are.
We had breakfast and found what buses we needed to catch in order to get there, one to the Trafford Centre, another to get to the hotel. Smraedis started to get his things together a bit more, but was unable to find his swimming gear, which sucked a little and despite searching his whole flat, neither of us could find them any where. That put him in a fairly bad mood. :s
Jumping ahead to when we got off the second bus, I'm trying not to bore you too much. XD It took about a 5 - 10 minute walk down the road to get to the hotel, thankfully we knew what it looked like from the front this time. It was found much easier than last time and without having to use Google maps on my phone. Though I did look at my phone on the way, seeing some of my friends all around the area, or in hotel. We both walked in to find masses of people all over the place and one massive queue running through the main bar area. Bags were quickly off and we went to investigate this queue. Is this the registration queue? We wondered to our selves, it was a little hard to tell at first since some people queuing appeared to have con badges on already. We found Meeko in the queue pretty quickly and shared jokes about how fast the queue was moving. It was about 3pm and registration was meant to have opened at 2pm, who knows how long it would take for people joining the back of the queue to actually register. We decided it would be much better to go to the bar and sit down with a nice cool drink (it was hot in there) and watch the queue go past. Further more, we sat in some chairs right next to the queue so we could silently taunt people in the queue with our drinks. :) Although, I don't think Smraedis had quite the same plan as me.
After Meeko finally caught up and passed us, we moved to some chairs further down so we could keep him company while his long travel went on. I got my watch ready to time just how long it'd take after he entered the registration room, to the time when he'd emerge. The final result was about 22 minutes if I remember rightly. Once the queue got short enough me and Smraedis decided we would queue, I got my T-shirt as I was Resident+, everyone likes T-shirts, right?
On emerging from the registration room I was told to go to the con ops room to sign up for a volunteer badge. I'd previously signed up to be one, I like to help with things the con staff are always so busy. I was never told about how the volunteer thing worked until later though, which made things a little difficult. After getting a volunteer badge, me and Smraedis went to seek out our room, which thankfully was much better than last year and got unpacked as much as we needed and headed back down. The next mission then started... try to find everyone you know and chat with them. :p
That mission went rather well, meeting quite a lot of people we knew, people also coming up to us and chatting. All the time I was waiting for a con op to come and collar me about volunteering, which is basically putting out chairs and such, but it never came to pass.
The opening ceremony
With all the chatting and a couple more drinks time quickly vanished and it was time to form yet another queue, this time one which it was a good idea to join early, not that we really achieved this. The queue was for the opening ceremony, we had to stand near the back of the room where there were a few chairs and I saw NorfolkFox sitting, so we sat with him and said hellos. Due to all the people, it was easier to stand when watching as we were all introduced to the convention and it was announced officially open! that's always a good thing, there was much cheering and clapping. :p
The main event for food that evening was the BBQ, which as the opening ceremony was going on, was being prepared outside and could be easily seen through the windows from where I stood. Everyone filtered out of the room and we went to look at the notice board to see about getting the ticket for the BBQ, but at £12 odd, it seemed a bit much and it was decided it would be better to find an alternative source of food.
More chatting with people took us around the main bar area and outside, until my phone went off showing that I had to show up for the volunteer induction. I left Smraedis and went back to the main stage which is where it is supposed to have been held. A few other volunteers appeared, this must be good, a sign that I'm in the right place... we waited and waited, I spotted that a hole in the dance floor was shaped strangely like the front half of an animal. What it was now escapes me. :p I also chatted some with people queuing for the BBQ, the queue for that ripped through the room, splitting it noisily in two.
A little while longer I actually learnt that all the volunteers had actually had there induction, it had been moved. Well that was a bit rubbish, hmm. Well, I disappeared to go and find Smraedis again, we went to get food after I signed out of volunteer thing, explaining that I'd missed the induction and I had had every intention of going back later, or the next day for more volunteering.
So Foods Were Nommed
You don't need the details of that, other than it was very enjoyable, yummeh, damn I made myself hungry now. XD
So after the foods, pretty much straight away it was time for the wikifur quiz, we accidentally missed it last year, but went to it the year before and it was good fun. We arrived at the room and things were still being put into place, it was like waiting for the next level in Portal 2, except people were moving the chairs and tables around. We were told to get back until the room was sorted out, then suddenly, and somewhat confusingly we were told we didn't have to queue and we could just come it. XD Yay for communication! Our team, team Us Lot was quickly formed, we got the maximum of 6 players and the name was suggested by Smraedis. Avon ended up defecting to another team in order to help even out numbers in the room and the quiz started. Shit got serious when we heard there would be a free round of drinks to the winners. The questions weren't easy either, making it a really challenge to get said drinks.
Sadly, once all the marking had happened and the top three teams were revealed, it turns out were weren't going to get anything of drinky poos, sad face time. :p We went to check our scores and found with did quite all right despite the questions being so hard, we weren't that far behind the top three.
There after the evening was taken up with chatting to more people, finding others we knew and drinking. It was really good fun. ^_^
Smraedis eventually wanted to go to bed about midnight and we retired, I was still buzzing from meeting everyone and couldn't sleep until the early hours of the morning. :o
We were awake again about 8 - 9am the next day for breakfast were we sat with two others, that led to a good chat. We also spotted Xell who was on a table across the way. He'd suddenly grown a beard in the year since we last saw him. :p
I think it was by this time that a lot of the events had already started, we had a quick scan through the timetable, the Dealers Den would soon be open and there was already quite a queue for it, made up mainly of sponsors who get early access. We usually go and have a look, but don't buy anything. :p There was the Pawpet show, always a must see! There was the Late Night Arcade too which Smraedis was keen to see, he'd brought two of his own games along to try them out, Tekken 6 which he loaded up and Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu, which wouldn't work with English consoles available. Since these events were much later on in the night we set about finding people to chat with and the drinking started after a short while. :p It was still really hot inside and there were complaints that the heating was on full blast, even though it was hot and humid outside. It made it rather unpleasant really, still there was outside were we went to speak with Xell and Laze was also outside.
Here comes what I find is a rather amusing bit. :p While talking to Laze I could certainly tell that it was going to rain and that it might be stormy too, I could just feel it, like some instinct. Laze was saying how you can't tell things like that, while I was adamant it was true. Eventually me Smraedis went to our room because the Formula 1 Qualifications were on TV, once we'd got the remote to work. :p After that had finished we went back downstairs, oh what is this? It's only pouring it down with rain, rumbles of thunder could be heard. Time to quickly find Laze! XD
Somewhere, we found a bird, he went by the name of Regdeh, new to conventions I think he said, we literally dragged him to the Pawpet show which was just about to start, we made him stand in the queue for it. The pawpets was of it's usually quality, quite amusing, though it did have a few problems with the sound quality which Tungro was later informed about, but only too late as the show was over.
Water on the Dancefloor
After the pawpets it was the Late night Arcade and the Saturday night dance. Except, there was was a problem in that the rain was getting into night club and no was allowed to go in. The Late Night Arcade was taking place in Friday's which is a bar just passed the night club, above the fursuit lounge. The minor leak was eventually corrected and we were allowed to pass. Chatting to SpiritRaptor later the next day revealed that the leak was caused by a crack in the roof caused by the powerful speakers which had been brought to CF again this year... at least that's what SR told me. :p During the Late Night Arcade I got to play some rock band, which is about the first time I've really played it properly, I've only ever played FoFiX (Frets on Fire) before. I couldn't get used to the difference in the sizes of the buttons between the controller and my upside down keyboard. But I still managed to not fail. I also proved how rubbish I was at playing story mode on Time Splitters 2 using Game cube controllers, I'm not that brilliant anyway. :p
Once the arcade was getting packed away, Smraedis went to bed, but I stopped up to chat with people, I ended up not getting to bed until 4:20am. I think it was during the early hours of Sunday morning that I found the table of dragons, it was very scary being just a little dino on there, but slydragon kept me safe. XD I was really shocked when Varka said that he remembered me from when he joined the fandom.
I awoke at 8am, rearing and ready to go, despite the late night before, Smraedis remained in bed, he wasn't feeling very well and was really, really hot. I went down for breakfast myself, I didn't really want to get breakfast by myself so went in search of someone. TR was in the main bar as Squire had gone to an art event of some sort, so he came with me and managed to eat one whole Sausage while we were seated near the back of the restaurant. This part is surrounded by mirrors and window boxes filled with shale and plastic bushes. We or rather I, nicknamed the place the Lady Garden, I don't know why, it was funny at the time. :p
On getting out of the restaurant, I lost TR, he went up ahead of me as I stopped to let some people through the door, trying to catch him up he suddenly went out of sight and promptly disappeared, I thought, he's not that fast at walking, he couldn't have gone that far ahead of me. Looking behind me I found that he'd visited the art show while. I think it is this point where Tungro appeared and something was said about the sound problems in the Pawpet show.
After this I mostly spent the day chatting and drinking, there were still people to meet and talk to, people to see again to see what they got up the night before and so on. This took up until about midday when I was about to go and wake Smraedis to see if he wanted any lunch, but he just appeared anyway. :p So we went to the pizza buffet together, where he ate lots and lots of pizza, then kept eating. But he had missed breakfast.
The Fursuit Parade
After this it was back to the bar for more chatting and drink until it was time for the fursuit parade, as the suiters passed by the main bar I spoke to the bar staff, Avon who was getting a drink mentioned to the bar staff about how much they can cost, anything up to 5 figure sums, I added that some of them have cooling systems, ice jackets and electronics within them, and sometimes use special materials which can only be sourced by getting imported from other countries. After watching the suits pass through, we moved outside to see them all walking away from the hotel.
While outside I was nearly killed by a glass falling out the window a few floors up, we think it must have been blown out by the wind.
Once the glass falling incident was all cleared up and the parade had finished, we went back inside to continue with the chatting we'd been doing before, I then noticed the time, dealers den would be closing soon! We quickly went down to the den to see what was available, at this late stage there were no queues and some of the items remaining were on offer to try and clear them. Me and Smraedis went around talking to the dealers and looking at some of the things they had.
When dinosaurs meet
At some point we got talking to SpiritRaptor, who I've spoken with a few times on IRC, I saw him at CF two years ago, but I never said hi as he seemed so busy. He said I should say hello, so I went up to him, he knew who I was straight away and started saying things like I enter rooms with my tail up, and so on. Which I don't, *looks behind him and tries to push his tail back down.* I don't! That was funny. :p
It was also on Sunday that me and Smraedis decided to go to the dance, last year I recorded a few clips on my phone which I uploaded on Youtube. This year I thought I'd do the same, when I updated my phone last year it got the ability to record in 720p high definition. I've used it before and tested it out in the room just to make sure it would work. I started recording and would it work, nope, it wouldn't, thankfully standard definition still did, so I took a couple of quick videos, I should have probably made them longer... oops. I didn't end up doing much dancing that night, not that I can really dance, I just go out there, jump around and kick my legs, trying to copy a few others, generally not caring what I look like before getting off the floor for more drink and chat. I did chat a lot too, again I didn't get back to the room until about 4:30 in the morning, I saw that the doors to Friday's was still open. Friday's was of course where the Late Night Arcade was being held, I went in to see Chrome was still in there, but packing things away, I don't know how that guy could stand up. The Sun was also coming up and the morning chorus was well under way, so I thought it was about time I went to bed, everything else by this time was starting to finish now.
I woke up somewhat sad Monday, knowing that this was the day when everyone would be saying goodbyes, but it had been a good weekend. I had already pretty much packed everything up before breakfast, so after breakfast Smraedis carried on his packing while I went and spoke some more with people I found around the main bar. After getting all the bags in the drop off area, me and Smraedis checked out and kept saying good byes, and hello to Natu. Before eventually we decided it was time to leave.
As soon as we got back to Smraedis' flat, we both more or less sat on the sofa and fell asleep. :p
It was such a great weekend, bring on next year. :D
Thanks to the people I met
This isn't the entire list, I met so many people this weekend. Next time I might have to note everyone down. :p
In no particular order:
- Blue Badger
- Crazy Husky
- DJ Shadowulf
- Evil Twin
- Kraken D'waggin
- Uncle Kage
- Mercurial Monkey
- White Dragon
- Andy Squirrel
- Pippin (Kelsey)
- ... and the many more I spoke too! It was a lot too. :p
I know that there will be things missing, possibly things in the wrong order, but my memory doesn't work like that. XD Thanks to all the staff who made it all work, I hope next year will be even better and hope to see you all again!!