Monthly Archives: September 2006

I’m Still Alive, Really

Wow, it’s been pretty quiet here lately, aside from random MFF spammage. Well, let’s see here…

First off, one of the big reasons it’s been quiet is that there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. I am currently unemployed (though looking all over for a position), so a lot of my days consist of waking up early, spending a few hours shotgun-blasting resumes across the Internet, going to the gym, and playing househusband (laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.). Unemployment checks should start rolling in soon, and Dan’s job has us covered with benefits and a good portion of the bills, so we’re doing pretty good on that front. Having said that, I guess I can talk about the few interesting things going on…

I’m writing this from Panera Bread in Arlington Heights, IL. From here, I’ll be driving over to Schaumburg and starting the process of verifying data for the Midwest FurFest 2006 Restaurant Guide – making sure that restaurants are still where we say they are, and adding new ones that have sprung up in the past year. I’ve found some new toys to play with, which make the possibilities of the guide a lot more interesting: I found a nice utility that can take the Excel spreadsheet I have with the guide data and make a Google Earth KML file of is; now I just need to figure out how to easily convert a KML file to something that will work with Google Maps. In the meantime I created this page, which gives an idea of what’s possible: MFF 2005 Restaurant Guide. Keep in mind, that’s data from last year, and only includes the restaurants from the guide and not the services part, with stores and pharmacies and such.

I’ll be taking a break from driving around to grab lunch for takaza, nymphara, and emrldgirrl at Chipotle (arr num num!), then after work Dan and I will probably celebrate his survng his employer’s end-of-the-fiscal-year crunch time by going home and collapsing. For the weekend, on Saturday Dan is taking some folks to see the last Cubs home game of the season, and I might be helping some friends move. And Sunday? No idea. We’ll fake it 🙂

Oh, and because it’s been too long:
COFFEE (AND ICE CREAM) NIGHT!
When: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM, Wednesday, October 4 (this coming Wednesday)
Where: Bobtail Soda Fountain, 3425 N. Southport, Chicago, IL
That’s a half-block north of the Brown Line Southport station, and the El is by far the easiest way to get there. Street parking is available, though you may have to hunt a bit. Bobtail has very tasty (Intelligentsia) coffee, and excellent ice cream as well. They don’t serve much in the way of non-dessert food, but there is a Potbelly Sandwich Works right across the street. Dan and I will probably hit Potbelly at around 7 PM for a quick dinner if anyone wants to join us there. If you’d like us to save you a seat, just let me know, here or by e-mail!

MFF Spam? I’ll take some, please!

Have you tried to reserve at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield and have been told that they are out of rooms? Afraid that you may have no sleeping space come time for Midwest FurFest?

Well, fear not! Amerisuites Schaumburg has just signed on as our overflow hotel!

Located on the other side of the parking lot of the Hyatt Regency Woodfield, itis only a short distance from all the fun of the convention.

We were also able to negotiate the rate of $90 a night!  Call up 847-330-1060 and ask for the Midwest FurFest rate to get your room reserved today!

As always, if you have any hotel concerns or questions, feel free to email us at hotel (at) furfest (dot) org.

Yeah, I even spam my own journal…

The deadline for Midwest FurFest’s inexpensive pre-registration rate of $30 is 11:59 PM CDT, Saturday, September 30! After that date, the pre-registration rate jumps to $40. If you want to save a little extra money, you need to pre-register online by then (at http://www.furfest.org) or be sure that you mail in your pre-registration postmarked by September 30, 2006.

Sure, you can still pre-register after that date, but think of the money you save! That’s ten dollars you can spend on gas, meals, comics in the Dealers Room, badge commissions in Artists Alley, donations to our wonderful charity, Safe Haven Wildlife Rescue!

Remember that you can pre-register for Midwest FurFest online until 11:59 PM November 12, 2006; all mail-in pre-registrations must be postmarked no later than November 1, 2006. Online registrations can be purchased with any major credit card. Please note that if you enter your registration online but do not pay, that information will be deleted and you will need to register at the door. If you do not wish to register online, you can always print out the pre-registration form from our website and mail it with a check or money order to the address shown on the form.

Want to support the convention even more, and get some cool stuff while you’re at it? Sponsorships are $120 now and at the door. Remember that sponsors get a free T-shirt with art by one of our Guests of Honor, a collectable limited-edition cloisonné pin, special prints, a fabulously tasty Saturday brunch, a surprise gift, and much more!

Questions? Check out our Registration FAQ’s at http://www.furfest.org/register.php (just scroll down).

Still have questions? Drop us a line at registration@furfest.org!

Also, one final note: Hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield are now in very short supply. Make your reservation NOW! We are working feverishly to negotiate a convenient overflow hotel, but if you want to be in the center of things you’d better reserve immediately! Please note that you must call the Hyatt to place your reservation – online reservations are not available, unfortunately.

Now That Is How You Celebrate A Holiday!

Wow. It’s been a while since I updated here, hasn’t it?

As I mentioned last week, we didn’t attend MFM, though from what I hear a good time was had by all. Instead, we had a nice, lazy weekend around the house. I found a new addiction (Jak 3) with which I wasted numerous hours, which was pleasant. On Saturday night we met up with lisagems for some tasty gelato (not as good as Silvia’s, though) and then walked down and hung out with siriuswolfstar for a while at his place of employment. Sunday morning we met up with Lisa, Sirius, and simbalion for a delicious brunch at Tre Kronor. When we got home we collapsed into a food coma, and enjoyed a lazy day around the house, watching TV and playing Jak 3. Monday was rainy and gray outside, so we made the most of it by taking care of some cleaning around the apartment. And that was about it – our Labor Day weekend! Not exciting or anything, but actually quite enjoyable.

Yesterday was an all-day job interview for the company I’m currently contracting with. I won’t say much about it except that I think it went well, but it will be a good month before I hear anything one way or the other. In the meantime, life goes on.

And here we are at today. I’m back at work, for now anyway. In a few hours I’ll be heading out for lunch with the rest of my department to mark a cow-orker’s 30th anniversary with the company, but it looks like I’ll be bowing out from the ensuing golf outing so I can head down and pick up takaza after work. Why pick him up, you ask? (Well, you didn’t really, but pretend you did.) The street where we live is currently under construction, and from what we’ve seen they tend to put up signs about how you must move your car or be towed about 24 hours in advance. I think it would be safer to leave his car at his employer’s while we’re in Maine.

Maine, did I say? Why, yes I did! Tomorrow morning, we wake up at 4:30 AM (ugh) and drive to O’Hare International Airport. Following our cavity search and removal of all relevant and irrelevant privacy rights, we will be boarding a United 737 for glorious Manchester, New Hampshire (along with feren and Lori, roho’s cousin). We’ll pick up a rental car there (AAA discounts are da bomb!) and drive two hours to Portland, Maine, where Roho’s parents live. We’ll be spending the next five days out there, attending (and helping with), Roho and genet’s wedding, plus seeing some of the sights and generally having a good time. We’ll be sharing a vacation cottage with linnaeus, chebuytkin, Feren, lady_curmudgeon, and datahawk. It’s gonna be a blast! According to the listing, the cottage has wifi and broadband Internet, so with luck I may even post the periodic update (probably at the wee hours of the day, when I’m awake and the rest of those slugabeds are still asleep! 🙂

So: some last-minute laundry tonight, then packing, and oh, we have an online MFF board meeting somewhere in there too. Ideally, an early bedtime, too, though I somehow doubt the likelihood of that.

For now, though, time to get some work done!

Is The Week Over So Soon?

Last night was really nice. siriuswolfstar had mentioned the possibility of getting together for dinner. I decided to try to come up with a place we hadn’t been to before, so I turned to my favorite place for Chicago foodies, LTHforum. That led to a neat initiative that they have instituted called the Great Neighborhood Restaurant program, whereby people nominate GNR status for the little local places that they think are worthy of greater notice. eatchicago.net took the last few rounds of winners and made a fabulous Google Map mashup. After looking around, I came up with two choices: Spacca Napoli or Laschet’s Inn. We opted for German over pizza, so Laschet’s Inn it was.

We met up with Sirius and simbalion at the restaurant and I have to say it was a great choice! I had the very tasty Leberkase topped with a fried egg, German potato salad and sauerkraut, chased by a Spaten Optimator. Just delicious! takaza‘s cheeseburger was only mediocre, unfortunately, but that kind of says that you have to play to your strengths. The apple strudel was a mushy mess that couldn’t hold a candle to L. Wood’s wonderful homemade version, but at least the apple crisp a la mode wasn’t bad at all. Following the meal we chatted a bit in the pleasant evening air then headed home.

And here we are just before the holiday weekend. Sharp-eyed readers may note that I have not said anything about going to Mephit Furmeet, which started today; with the wedding in Maine next weekend, there was just no way for us to swing MFM financially. Next year, though, I suspect we’ll be there. I hope everyone there has a good time, and be sure to thank the good, hardworking staff of MFM – they’ve earned it!

So what are our plans for the long weekend? Um, not much of anything actually. Sleep in, do some prep for the wedding. Maybe do brunch at Tre Kronor. That’s about it, really. Hey, if anyone wants to get together give us a shout – maybe a movie, or just hanging out. I expect by Sunday night or Monday I’ll be going nuts for some social interaction 🙂

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, and if you’re traveling be sure to stay safe!

Holy Cow!

The Hotel Liaison for Midwest FurFest (aka my sexy and wonderful husband, takaza) tells me that our room block for this year is dwindling fast. How fast? Like double rooms selling out within the next week or so fast. Once those are gone, there won’t be any more! There’s still king rooms available (for now) but I expect those will be going fast as well.

If you haven’t reserved your hotel room for MFF, DO IT NOW! Remember that you can’t reserve online – you’lll need to call in; the info is on the hotel page of the MFF website.

Edited at 12:38 PM: edit for clarity – sorry for the confusion.