I have to say this first. Before RCFM this year, much like Corsi Mouse, I've never had any form of Post-Con Depression. I go back from a con feeling good, purified from focused effort without having to concentrate on maintaining a societal mask of propriety.
I was, for the first time in my life truly able to understand the term tears of joy. I was driving back up to Kansas City, my stereo picked the following two songs in a row: Stray! by Steve Conte, followed by a cut-down version I'm working on of Beloved by VNV Nation that fades in with only a few seconds of the 1-minute strings intro, directly into the monologue, trimming down the instrumental, and ending after the first crescendo without the reprise. Basically, 01:00-04:22, with about 20-odd seconds being massaged out in the 03:22-03:50 sequence.
Yes, it's meant to fit into a 03:00 slot and have a very sudden stop. =^.^=
I was singing along to the first one, suddenly I just couldn't sing... I couldn't stop myself from singing... but the air wouldn't gather in my lungs. It wasn't "I have to pull over and weep" tears, it felt more like Furp was there, giving me a thumbs up (I missed his toast until after the fact, something that had been nibbling at my ankles a little), everything from the con was rushing in like I was only noticing everything I'd done for the first time... right then. All the wonderful adventure I'd had this year, the dozen or more new people I'd had a chance to actually talk to instead of my usual 'HiBye!' routine of so, so, so, SO many years past at conventions.
And now... ...the actual con-report itself.
Unlike a lot, I drove down both overnight, and WAY the fuck early. As in, I left around 7pm on Wednesday, stopped for a meeting with Crown Autocross before hitting the road and ending up bombing down US Route 65 at about 01:00, chatting with a couple truckers and being warned very politely where any bad road spots were. Got the chance to enjoy all 60-odd miles of the 65 coming down out of the Ozarks without issue, and really unwound the Yaris in a way I haven't had a chance to do since I last drive in the California mountains. Found out from three or four truckers a better route would have been 62 east then cutting down to Memphis, both for time and twisties, but the drive was energizing, uneventful, and beautiful.
Getting in to Memphis, I traded driving duties, took a nap, etc, ended up getting in to Huntsville and RCFM before noon. Immediately saw isfacat, among others, said hi. Managed to bum a shower off of... someone, felt a million times better at that point. But started to need sleep, and no sleep until much later that evening. Around 1am the next morning in fact. Thought, "Maybe I should warn them that Heros will be late getting in," and told the front desk, they misheard Heros' last name. Someone ELSE had called in, with a very similar last name, and not even with RCFM, and had warned that someone with my first name might or might not be waiting for them at the hotel.
So... yeah, first night, due to sleep-dep slur and coincidence, I got a very nice room all to myself. When Joel got in, we got things sorted out the next day, kept the smoking room I'd gotten with two double beds in it so we all had plenty of crash space. =^.^=
Minor side-track note: Friday morning, before I'd realized the room snafu or even touched bases with Joel, I was starting to unpack the fursuit that pistolpop was kind enough to let me borrow for the con. And then it hit me like a freight-train, "Smoking room." Aiieee!
So... immediately head out into the main hotel... and spot Corsi Mouse out and about. He gets me set up with a safe spot to store the suit, and that's averted. End up deciding to dive into it right then, and get suited up after brushing everything out as best as I can. Little fiddling here and there, thunk, suit goes on. And out I go, romprompromp.
And immediately find out I missed a huge crowd of suiters that were just outside on the bridge having antics, while I was just stompin' around the main lobby and wondering where all the suiters were. Right before they all romp in, up the elevator, and bee-line for the headless lounge. That was my luck for about half the con, it seemed. No complaints, just didn't know where the suiters were heading a lot of the time since I wasn't used to thinking like a suiter, but like a handler still.
So... ended up changing out during opening ceremonies, and making at least a token pass through the LAN room, if I remember correctly. Most of the con was a blur like this, I don't want to make a cheesy reference but those 'flashback moments' in The 6th Day were very much what things felt like at various times. After that, off to bed as a relatively reasonable hour, mostly so I could always make sure to take full advantage of the delicious and wonderful free breakfast included in the room-rate.
One minor high-point was the 'backup fursuit dance' since we didn't get the Ballroom for that on Friday, Corsi wrangled a last-minute setup in the headless lounge, which turned into quite a bit of fun. Had kaiyasoftpaw do a brief stint as a dance instructor during an akward remix of Thriller that kept dangling all the fun bits... then running away with them until the very end when it finally gave us all the fun-to-dance-to bits out of order but all at once.
I never once had the opportunity to actually try some of the made-to-order omelets the amazing guy behind the counter was cooking, but I have to compliment him just for being so positive about things. He was honestly a bit of a highlight of going to breakfast every morning, was seeing how he could get everyone a bit more chipper and awake that was waiting for food from him. =^.^=
But after breakfast on Saturday, hit the dealers den and artists alley briefly to peruse, plan a few purchases for later, prowled around until it was time for the parade. snapcat is right that the hotel, while nice and staffed with excellent line-and-duty staffers, did feel a bit like visiting grandmother's house. There simply wasn't anywhere for suiters to romp around, except pooling up like a puddle at the elevator lobby, or the only walkway between there and the con event-space, or hang out in the headless lounge. The main lobby was one third only open during breakfast/booze hour, another third only during lunch/dinner/booze, and both of those areas were off-limits to fursuiters at all times. Explicitly. So... you either went out the back way through the neighboring convention center bridge to get outside and wander the park over the canal, or you romped around the balconies of the hotel in your suit.
So... not the best, but the parade was fun. We barely all fit into the dealers den, just too damn many suiters actually there. Turns out some gathered for bowling, others for other things, but as a result most of the suiters weren't actually doing much in the hotel proper. For non-suiters and just day-to-day attendee's? The main staff could be very nice. But once you got in suit, the only ones that seemed happy to see you were all the maids and facilities staff. I had more of them (very politely) ask me for photo-op's, and take more pictures, than everyone else put together in the con. Hung out and about, poked my head in various parties, but again didn't stay up late.
Only akward moment was trying to go pick up a pack of smokes for likeshine and painteddog due to stumbling into a law I wasn't aware of that outright bans all second-party tobacco sales. Not just 'you must be X years old' but 'no purchases for someone else under any circumstances' that I wasn't aware of. So... social engineering roll, hit up a gas station, end up getting the same smokes for a buck less a pack than WalMart wanted for them anyways. And get giant-sized Reese's Cups. Win.
Ah... the last day of the con. This was a hoot, thanks in no small part to the Fursuit Games (yay, dizzy rally! I was beat after that and wandered the halls and headless lounge, got back in time to see the twister finale) and much running around before-paw to get supplies for same games in order. Got plonked into one of Solion's cooling vests for 3 or 4 hours total, which made romping around in the full suit practically trivial. snapcat got to use it after me, I heard a third got a spin before the battery pack finally ran down. Very cool tech, literally, not figuratively. Fullsuit becomes as easy as a partial to wear, even under the muscle-padding and what-not that some suits use. Yes, Sunday went by this quickly.
After that, sadly packed up the husky... for all of an hour. When I finally poked my head into the HNL party (the deader-than-dead-dog party after the con is well and truly over, around midnight onwards) I ran into tisket in her Moxie partial. Felt odd being out of suit, admited it, she nudged me to go back and get it unpacked enough to wear. So... yeah, ended up hanging around talking to Tisket and Sage until some ungodly hour of like 4am, some mundanes managed to somehow talk their way into the HNL which made things go from relaxed 'heavy but positive' party to 'ack!' like a knife-switch got thrown. Nobody panicked, it was all orderly, but very much a 'knob turned down from 11 to 5' kind of moment.
Made me doubly glad I had a mask/head on though, as Tisket put it, "They can't see the expression on your face," which was an oddly amusing little inside joke. So we could stick out tongues out, etc, and stress-vent so easily inside our own little private space. That got the knob back up to 7 or 8 for us two at least. =^.^=
Finally crashed for a few hours around 5am-8am. Breakfast, ROAD RALLY! There's simply no other way to describe getting from Huntsville, Alabama, all the way back to Kansas City, Missouri, when you leave at 9am and are back in 10 hours. Yes, including stopping for gas. CB for the win of getting to actually sleep before work.
Only downside to the con was a strained the rotator cuff on my right shoulder from all the overhead and behind-the-back zipper-string pulling to get in and out of suit as much as I did. Was painful enough I went home early from work on Tuesday, but some ibuprofen over two days and a night's sleep with being careful about the arm, good as new.
So... yeah, depending on how FC goes this year at it's new hotel, I may be focusing on RCFM more myself now. *laughs* At the very least... suiting! Yay! OmNomNom! Must do that more, and soon! And thank you so much, pistolpup, it really made RCFM an utter blast instead of me likely just sitting in the LAN room all con if I hadn't had that suit along!
I can honestly say I haven't felt this energized in months. Yes, I'm exhausted, but I'm... full of strength I didn't have before this con. Even at work I've noticed it, I'm more assertive now, more comfortable in my own skin, after getting a chance to really unwind in another skin... the ritual of switching skins like that really let me unburden myself in a way I don't think I have since the last time I could fullsuit.