Monthly Archives: July 2008

Midwest FurFest August 2008 Newsletter

“On you huskies! North to Alaska!”

In This Issue:
* You Want Programming? We’ve Got Programming!
* An Update from the Hotel Liaison (Shuttles to the Overflow Hotel!)
* Can We Talk? Yes You Can, On The Midwest FurFest Forums
* Get Your Membership to Midwest FurFest Now!
* The Dealers Room Is Looking Good
* Great News from the Art Show
* Our Publications Editor Needs Your Help
* Midwest FurFest Loves Its Volunteers

Click Here to Read More

Lazy Sunday

(Narnia not included)

Wow, so this is what a quiet, lazy weekend is like. I haven’t seen one of these in a long time.

Since my last substantial post, not too much has happened. Work has returned to more normal stress levels, thank heavens. Takaza is finally feeling better – thanks to everyone for their kind words. Unfortunately, this is a chronic condition that can’t be cured, but can be managed. He’s working on finding a new doctor who will help him with that.

Meanwhile, on Monday I did join mongologue at one of the Chicago stops of his long, long road trip. Linnaeus, simbalion, and siriuswolfstar joined him for a fabulous dinner at Tre Kronor. Great company and delicious food.

On Thursday, roho and genet came over, ostensibly to go to the Lake County Fair. However, after evaluating exactly how much fun there would be available for an $8 admission fee, we instead opted to go to Vickie’s Place for a pleasant dinner right out on the Fox River. Dessert afterwards was from Oberweiss, which was expensive but tasty as usual.

Following a quiet Friday night in, I went over to my friendly local podiatrist to have one last ingrown toenail taken care of. This has left me gimpy and slightly grumpy, unfortunately. Dan’s mom came over for dinner last night and I’m afraid I wasn’t the most sociable, but Dan did grill up an excellent steak dinner with Syracuse salt potatoes and grilled onions and grilled corn.

And here we are at today. Dan is working on the final reconciliation of Anthrocon’s finances. I hope to add some small bit of help where I can as well. For the most part though, it’s just a quiet, pleasant afternoon.

Stressed Out

Due to a conjunction of a huge project at work hitting this week and a couple of personal projects happening this weekend, I’m pretty stressed out right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to write up last weekend’s doings (including working a 14.5 hour shift on Saturday) and Monday’s trip to see the Beach Boys at Ravinia. That’ll have to wait until next week, though – too much going on right now. If I seem a bit short when you IM me, I ask for your patience. I’ll be better next week, really!

2008 Anthrocon Artists Alley/Con Store Report

We came into Artists Alley and Con Store this year knowing it was going to be a big year. We had new cash registers, new staff, a new payout process, and an Alley that was 40% larger than last year. I am pleased to say that we met all of the challenges presented and created and Artists Alley and Con Store that was really great. Were we perfect? No, we hit some bumps along the way. But we have reached a point where we can stop creating processes and can start refining the processes.

Of course, I’m the spokesman for the department, and the most visible person in it. I am under no illusions that our success is all because of me. First off, I had help in all of the pre-planning, register programming, and process design from my husband Takaza. Once it came time to execute all of our plans, my staff jumped in and made it happen: Woody, Frostbite, Chanur and Grandma and Grandpa Kage all came back from last year, and were eager to go to work.. Shy Matsi, Rama, Dave (TecKnow), Delphi, and Space Dingo joined us this year and did a great job, as well. I want to single out Rooth, my de facto second in command (and next year it will be more than de facto!) for taking initiative to improve the Alley both before and during the convention and providing some outstanding technical know-how. Finally, we wouldn’t have been able to make AA/CS work without the help of Takaza’s Finance staff: Linnaeus, DaveQat, Tango, and Hartree. Thanks to all of you!

Now, let’s talk about the nitty-gritty:

Still Needing That Vacation From My Vacation

Anthrocon reports will continue, but a brief break to talk about the three-day weekend.

Isn’t it funny how what is supposed to be a relaxing weekend suddenly becomes a very busy one very quickly? We started things out well – I slipped out of work an hour early on Thursday and got to relax a bit at home. takaza and I stayed in, watched some Tivo, and generally relaxed. I packed it in relatively early, but Dan stayed up late doing some baking and watching some shows I wasn’t interested in.

Friday morning was rather pleasant. Not a whole lot going on, just chilling at home, chatting on Furrymuck, that sort of thing. We finally got going in mid-afternoon and drove down to justincheetah and calapurr‘s place in Lombard, where we were joined by dexcat and Dexgirl for a fantastic evening of good food and good company, capped off with fireworks just a few hundred yards from their back deck. We ended the evening watching Harry Potter Being an Angsty Teen, though I was falling asleep periodically through it. We crashed for the evening at the felines’ house.

On Saturday we made the pilgrimage to Juicy-O, which was fabulous as always. Dan and I drove home while Cheetah and Cala tended to some stuff at home. We were joined not long after by roho and Genet, then Cheetah and Cala again, and we all went to see Wall-E at the McHenry Downtown Theater. I think I prefer the Antioch theater (the same company owns both of them) – it seems a bit cleaner and more pleasant in general. The movie was very good. Not quite a Pixar masterpiece like Ratatouille, but still a fun and enjoyable movie. Afterwards we lazed around our place while Dan cooked up some burgers. We also introduced Cheetah and Cala to Boom Blox 🙂

Sunday was a big day – we were supposed to be testing recipes for the LAFF Softball Picnic coming up on June 19th. Roho, Genet, steviemaxwell, and linnaeus joined us to help pick apart the recipes, discuss improvements, and generally refine things overall. They were all a huge help in preparation and cleaning as well, something for which I am very grateful! We came up with this menu:

  • Asian mixed green salad with baby bok choy, scallions, and snow peas, tossed with a sesame vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds
  • Potatoes with kosher salt, Tellicherry pepper, and garlic, grilled in foil
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, brined and wrapped in thick-sliced bacon, grilled to perfection
  • Grilled Arrachera (marinated skirt steak) tacos with corn or flour tortillas
  • Old-fashioned pound cake served with a raspberry coulis and fresh whipped cream
  • Fudgy Texas chocolate cake with (or without) toasted pecans

Right now we’re cooking for 40, but we’ll see how many RSVP’s finally come in (need to RSVP? You can find information on the picnic and RSVP instructions here). Given how stuffed everyone was at the end of the meal, I think we’ve got a winning menu put together, and it’s manageable for the number of people that we’re talking about. Given that the only facilities we’re going to have is coolers, some tables, and a five-foot-by-two-foot charcoal grill, our options are somewhat limited but I don’t think this shows in the above menu.

And now it’s Monday and I’m back at work. Booo! Still, there’s a ton of stuff to be done today so I need to get started on those…

Anthrocon 2008 Report, Part 1: Preparations, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Yes, it’s time for another one of Duncan’s exhaustive, verbose Anthrocon reports! This is the personal report; I have the “official” department report outlined. I’ll get that written up and posted by the end of the week.

I’ll preface this by saying that my Anthrocon reports (both personal and departmental) are long and detailed. This is mainly for my own benefit, as it’s very handy to look back just before the convention at past reports for reminders of what we did in prior years, what worked, what didn’t, and handy things like which pizza joints were good and which were not. Feel free to read along, though!
Preparations and Tuesday – The Drive Out