austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I just sit there and stare as you hop from shrub to shrub

Saturday began with the alarm clock, although I believe I slept through it. It woke Skyler and bunny_hugger, though, and she woke me, and nothing would wake my toothbrush so we just carried on regardless. It also opened with the discovery of the exact parameters of the breakfasty table in the lobby, which was to set out chafing dishes with things like pancakes and scrambled eggs and carafes of hot water or coffee and the like, not to mention fruits, the better to let anyone around pick what they wanted to eat. We also knew that at some point there'd be a shuttle bus coming, and we had to get the first one as otherwise we'd certainly miss the start of bunny_hugger's Bunnies panel and that would be unwelcome. So I'd got a bundle of things that could be safely brought on a bus --- tea with a lid, bagels, a bowl of fruit salad --- and sure enough, the bus arrived swiftly. Oh, they also had boxes of chocolate mints which were irresistibly tasty and it's probably a good thing that we could only pocket so many at a time and they weren't out all day and night.

bunny_hugger lead a panel meant to talk about rabbits and hares and related subjects, such as pikas, and whatever might be interesting to people with interests in rabbits et al. To help bring out people to the unfortunately early time (9 am) she'd spent much of the day before talking it up to anyone who'd pause and listen, and also brought several stuffed animals to give out as prizes. Either the sheer size of the convention brought out many more people than she'd counted on, or the promotional efforts paid off, since the panel brought out at least two dozen people, with something like another dozen who wandered in or out over the course of the hour.

And so I got my first glimpse at baar_bear, another person I've known online for a long while, who sat up front and took quite close interest in the chat. He was enthusiastic to meet me, too, although even though we went to several of the same panels we didn't actually talk more then a couple moments the whole weekend. It felt like most of the hour was simply going around introducing ourselves to one another, although I know it didn't take that much time; and while I kind of expected it thanks to the laws of comic irony I didn't win any of the prizes she'd brought out.

The real surprise at the panel was the discovery of a person who'd never read Watership Down and who wondered just what it was about. I do admire the way the crowd refused to give away spoilers to the story, either book or movie version, although the vague promises that it was something you just had to read felt like it would have frustrated me. bunny_hugger gave probably the best spoiler-free summary possible, that it's a novel about treating as a society of intelligent, speaking creatures something approximating the actual social structures of real rabbits.

The talk spun off naturally into other naturalistic-talking-animals books such as The Plague Dogs, and I think there may even have been a mention of the phenomenally obscure sample of the genre, Sandeagozu, which features a small menagerie of animals including one of the few coatis to be in written science fiction/fantasy. Oddly, that's a book which bunny_hugger had read ages ago, long before ever meeting me in any context.

With the only scheduled event where any of us were performing handled, we set out to figure what to do with our time until the Fursuit Parade, about three hours hence, and for that matter also to find our con badges, which were supposed to be ready anytime soon. One little frustration is that we'd commissioned from Artist's Alley, where we can't count on someone being in the same place day after day. I'm fairly good on remembering places, but faces and names are almost hopeless causes. bunny_hugger was surer of the name, but we didn't find her on a sweep around the room, and she tried phoning the artist, without success. She left a text message and we concluded that she'd probably turn up. Overnight con badge production is probably even harder than we realize to get done.

We went back doing a little shopping, although I don't believe we actually picked up anything until later in the afternoon. We did, I know, spend time hanging around bluerain and orv and kevinjdog, who were diligently working at their table in the Dealers' Room in selling books for Ozy and Millie, Newshounds, and Something Happens. I don't believe we actually occluded any actual customers while hanging around and confirming that we should really get together for dinner and miniature golf, which sounded very good as long as it didn't obliterate our chance to go to a second round of dancing. (I think that was actually the third night of dancing, but since I wasn't there Thursday --- I hadn't been planning to be, and Thursday evening I was making the not-exactly-emergency visit to my sister-in-law and niece in any case --- I don't concern myself with its ordinality.)

Trivia: On 30 December 1777 Captain James Cook, astronomer William Bayly, and Lieutenant James King studied a solar eclipse from the newly discovered Christmas Island, and also had to send search and rescue parties to locate a crewman who was separated, first with a companion, then again on his own, and was unable to find his way back despite the sparse vegetation and ships visible from nearly all the islet. Source: Discoveries: The Voyages Of Captain Cook, Nicholas Thomas.

Currently Reading: Copies in Seconds: How A Lone Inventor And An Unknown Company Created The Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg --- Chester Carlson And The Birth of Xerox, David Owen.

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