May 20th, 2014

krazy koati

From the beast about to strike

There's some things bunny_hugger typically buys at a convention. One is sketchbook art: one of herself alone, one of herself with me. In Artist Alley she found someone with a style she really liked and tried to commission a picture; we found, in that sketchbook, that she'd already gotten a commission from that artist a couple years ago. So you can't say bunny_hugger has fickle tastes in art style. But this did shift the commission to the other sketchbook. This also opened up the chance for the first sketchbook to get a portrait done in charcoal, which I hadn't seen done at a con before, and which turned out to be really good-looking. (It helps that bunny_hugger's character can be pretty faithfully rendered just in blacks and whites, certainly.)

In the Dealer's Den, well, she was captivated by a really remarkable project that cross-breeds dolls, online merchandising, and biology. One of the artists had set up a scheme where people adopt dragons, and can breed them with other dragons. The dragons are represented with adorable plasticine figures, and carry with them genetic information that, in a simplified but legitimately Mendelian way, represents the various traits they have. Apparently online you can set up breeding programs to create new dragons, with offspring based on the genes in the parents. bunny_hugger recognized some of the terminology from her time as a mouse breeder, years ago, and was enchanted with every aspect of the program. After the dragons are bred, the offspring are also created in plasticine figures. You can see how this offers a potentially explosive combination of collectibles and social game-playing.

So, she bought one of the Dragon Eggs. She didn't know just what the dragon would be --- the eggs contain a little marker saying what colors may be expected from the dragon inside, but not which of the various species it is --- and was delighted that she'd got one, a forest-dwelling sort, complete with a jewel in its forehead, as she'd hoped. bunny_hugger would come back to the dragon several times over the day, at how wonderful it was, and would come back on Sunday to buy another dragon, and if time and budget had permitted she might have got another one yet. As far as I know they haven't been bred yet.

As at Motor City Fur Con, I took out the guinea pig puppet, and did a good bit of walking around with the puppet 'breathing' and looking around and, sometimes, nibbling on my shirt. This drew more clusters of people remarking about how they thought it was a real animal, at least at a glance or from afar. SonicBlu mentioned how he hoped I'd be able to make it to some of his puppet events, and I'd have liked to but they were all --- to an event --- opposite something we had to attend, like the Bunnies SIG or the Procyonids panel. (I never managed to find and apologize to him when it turned out we just couldn't make anything, either, but I hope he understands.) Over the course of the con I'd start getting called ``the guinea pig guy'', and one person would dub the puppet --- whose name I haven't figured out --- ``Carlos Two'', because he'd called the plush mouse fit in his (wolf) costume mouth ``Carlos''. There could be worse names, and it's not like I have better ones.

For dinner we went off to a Subway, balancing out the need for something cheap and nearby and the fear that other stuff would close. While looking at the vintage maps of the New York City subway system I startled bunny_hugger with the revelation that Jamaica is the county seat of Queens, and the peculiarity that there are county seats when all the towns in the counties have been merged into boroughs coextensive with the five counties making up New York City. (I also utterly fumbled why it's called Jamaica; I thought it was because of ancient trading links with the island of Jamaica, although actually thinking about the geography of New York City should have shown that's implausible. According to Wikipedia, Queen's Jamaica has that name as a corruption of ``Yameco'', a Lenape word for ``beaver''.) Anyway, Jamaica was the county seat of Queens before Queens became part of New York City, and now that it's just a neighborhood, it's where the things county seats do get located. bunny_hugger expressed an absurd feeling of ridiculousness for how relatively little she knew of New York City's administrative structure, but considering that I couldn't answer the question of whether Queens County has its own Sheriff I'm on much weaker grounds, and I'd have the slightest reason to know.

Anyway, we went back to the con and bunny_hugger ... I could swear that we went to the hotel bar, with bunny_hugger in costume, so she could get a drink (Diet Coke, since getting alcohol in costume is a complicated process), but that doesn't seem to fit. Maybe it happened Friday night instead. (Except that was surely busier? Maybe it was Saturday night after all.) Certainly the bartender joked about serving the Easter Bunny, and a healthy number of people smiled and asked for photographs with her.

Out of costume we ducked into the dance for what we expected to be a little while before the Atomic Variety Show of Doom and the comedy show after that. But the dance was only sparsely attended, with pretty much us and another pair being the only people who stayed for more than a couple of minutes. We didn't want to let the dance just die and so stuck around, trying to wave people in, until the end of the dance and the time when the people running the music and light had to start packing up. We couldn't make ourselves into a crowd, alas, but we had a good time and I even tried a few stylish moves like spinning around so my coati tail was centrifugally extended, and didn't even fall over dizzy as a result of that.

But the side effect of supporting the dance was that we missed the variety show/comedy show, which was a shame, but we couldn't be to everything we wanted to see. It's a nice problem to have in a convention.

Trivia: The first Dutch settlement in Queens County was in the area of Flushing Bay in about 1635. Source: The Epic Of New York City: A Narrative History, Edward Robb Ellis.

Currently Reading: Cooking The Books: Mythologies of Money, Anna Kassulke.