Sunday opened with the e-mail invite from Delta Airlines to check in for Monday morning's flight. The posted time was still the horrible 7:30 am, with no word of delays, either in the mail, or on the Delta or on the airport web sites. Maybe my reasoning about the flight would pan out. We'd have to print out our boarding passes at the airport, which was fine, given the mess printing out at home had proved on the way out.
bunny_hugger dressed up as Trevor Horn again, for good reason: one of the dealers was thrilled to see her in costume, but didn't have a camera, so asked for her to come back in suit the next day and give a chance for some more photos. She was certainly glad to accommodate this fan request. But the time constraints before her panels meant she wouldn't be conveniently able to duck back to the hotel room and get into normal gear, including rabbit ears, before her panels, so she'd just have to run the Letterboxing and the Bunnies SIG as Trevor Horn, or at least as Trevor Horn In Bunny Ears.
While eating a snackish lunch at the hotel's concessions bar, and watching the TV for signs of the imminent Frankenstorm catastrophe, yet another person spotted and admired bunny_hugger's costume. Trevor Horn is much bigger than I would've guessed this time last year. (Her badges, including one identifying her as Trevor Horn, and another showing the Buggles ``The Age Of Plastic'' album cover, probably helped matters.)
bunny_hugger did some picking up of the commissions she'd ordered (one of them complicated by her forgetting just where one of the artists was, and the artist not recognizing her out of bunny livery), and we did a tiny bit more shopping and much more waiting in line given the Dealers Den rules and the lone cash payment system. No matter.
Almost an afterthought was checking on bunny_hugger's raffle tickets. They'd held the drawings early in the day, before we were really stirring, but we had the whole afternoon to claim our prizes. And on looking up the ticket numbers, why, yes indeed: She had won the pound of locally-ground coffee. Great news, isn't it? (She's still not finished drinking it, in fact.) And wouldn't it be a kick if she had also won the horse miniature and the other horse-related tchotchkes? ... And, yes, she had. This would kick off a streak of good luck in raffle-type prizes for her.
Of course, now there was this collection of horse stuff that would have to be disposed of or moved back home. The carousel-type miniature was fine, but the bookends? The wall-mountable horse head? The silver buckle? These aren't really our style. So for the rest of the day one lingering little point of conversation if you got near us was, ``did you want any of this stuff''? No, you did not.
Though FurFright is by design a panel-light con, bunny_hugger did her part to bring them to the forefront and ran two, both ones she's done in the past. The smaller was the Letterboxing Panel, explaining this hobby, which drew a modest but quite interested audience of mostly geocachers who knew there was this thing that wasn't geocaching but was similar in some way. At least one came out of the panel enthusiastic, insisting she had to try that. She may have, too; it's pleasant thinking she might be trying out a neat hobby, particularly one she's primed for.
The Bunnies SIG was better-attended, since rabbits are such popular critters, and the format was a common one of talking about who people's rabbit characters are, how they came to them, and what they like about them. (One person took the chance to explain in considerable detail the mythological structure of a rabbit-based world he'd worked up, but, enthusiasm is enthusiasm.) Two welcome guests, though, were a pair of real actual rabbits, one of them a therapy animal trained to patiently tolerate being held and petted at length. Both were given the chance to hop around the room, and while they spent much of the time finding the stacks of chairs under which they could find shelter and not so much brightness, they did take some chances to get really up to speed on the wide expanse of carpet. Our pet rabbit could only dream of getting up that head of steam.
Closing ceremonies came too early --- they always do --- but the important rituals were respected, by which I mean the overwhelmed joyful look the charity's representatives get at finding that the con has, as ever, considerably exceeded expectations in how much money was raised. Less fun --- honestly, run on to the point of getting tedious --- was a bit about various of the hairy major figures at the con getting their chest hair ripped off. That was kind of amusing once, less so twice, and somewhere around the 40th time bunny_hugger and I quietly ducked out so we could find somewhere to eat.
We went to the hotel restaurant again, this time getting the salad and pasta buffet. This was quite a good deal, really, even if there was just the ziti (and the salad) that was vegetarian-friendly. It was tasty, and filling, and it was only later on that we learned that when closing ceremonies finally wrapped up they brought out free pizza and ice cream for the remaining attendees. Well, someone hungrier than us probably ate.
After a lot of non-success in finding someone who'd want the horse tchotchkes, and the approaching hour of the second fursuit parade, bunny_hugger settled on a backup strategy. At this as with all cons there were tables with stuff being given away to any desiring; most of them were flyers or advertisements or little self-published comic books. Why not the horse stuff? She wrote up a sign promising, free, and imploring, please take, and left almost all of them on a table. (We both forgot the belt buckle, but that's easy enough to transport and we figured we could give it away as a Halloween trick-or-treating prize or something.)
Then she was off to suit up, putting on her rabbit head and paws and feet to march in the second and shorter parade. This time around I found a spot on a corner, right near chefmongoose (working security and trying to keep people from stumbling into the path of the parade), so I could give him barely usable advice on spotting bunny_hugger when she came around the far corner. This was a shorter parade, not going outside since it was after dark; I can't see unsupervised walking in costume at night ending up well. To make up for this the parade doubled back on itself, so everyone got in principle two chances to photograph all the marchers, and I was nowhere near the turnaround point so whatever chaos that might have produced I missed.
After all this was a dance, one running into the wee small hours of the night, although we only got as far as the wee hours, given our need to be up and preparing for the airport at about 11 pm. This was a smaller dance than the night before, with at times bunny_hugger the only one occupying the dance floor. (I joined her when I finally felt secure enough about leaving her fursuit in view a whole 25 feet away from us.) One of the other fixtures of the dance floor was a person in a ``Space Bunny'' costume, voluptuous and dressed in all the retro space gizmos, including one of those scrolling dot-matrix displays on her belt, who mercifully drew attention away from my efforts to lurch rhythmically about the floor.
On the overhead screen, projected without sound (or with sound inaudible over the dance music), was Ralph Bakshi's Fritz the Cat. It's a film I haven't seen in more than occasional clips since, you know, Ralph Bakshi and all that, but bunny_hugger's seen it and has critiques which even just watching the film without any relevant audio suggest are pretty much dead on. (Also, later, she poked around the Internet and found the fascinating spectacle of Robert Crumb and Ralph Bakshi's fighting over the movie. This included what would be a you-win-the-Internet grade insult by Crumb, who apparently accused Bakshi of having twisted attitudes about sex, which, yeah, wow.) Later, after the entirety of Fritz the Cat had run, came on the next show: How To Train Your Dragon. Now, me, I'd have put the more family-friendly movie on during the earlier hours, but what do I know?
By then, someone had taken the horse stuff, so it went to someone who presumably wanted it.
We couldn't wait for the second movie to end; with some regrets and a last wandering around the hotel, we went back to our hotel room and got ready for bed. The last word we got, checking, was that there wasn't any delay or cancellation of our flight, despite the oncoming Hurricane Sandy, whose extremest outskirts of brisk winds and cold rain we are already in.
Trivia: The leek was for centuries a national badge for Wales; it wsa replaced as recently as 1907 by the dandelion, apparently following a misunderstanding of the Welsh word for ``bulb''. Source: The Invention Of Tradition, Editors Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger.
Currently Reading: Star (Psi Cassiopeia), C I Defontenay; Translated by P J Sokolowski. Ah, protection from one's fanboys: Pierre Versin's introduction to this 1854 book pouts about the way American science fiction thinks American science fiction is the most important kind, and tries to play up this book was the original space opera. Except there's nothing space operatic about it; it's firmly in the exotic travelogue/nonfact anthropological form. I appreciate that Versin, who rescued the book from its obscure original publication to become an obscure DAW Yellow Spine quirky-selection book (and I love those DAW Yellow Spine quirky-selection books) wants people to appreciate the stuff he loves more, but he didn't have the needed perspective on a book that's pretty neat but not a neglected keystone of the genre.