Monthly Archives: October 2009

Get ready for The Midwest Furfest 2009 Charity Auction!

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It’s now less than a month til Midwest FurFest! Time to start packing and planning! Of course, as you pack, you’ll want to leave some extra space for all the loot you’ll pick up at the Den, the Alley, and the Art Show. Rather than leaving that corner of your suitcase empty, why not turn it to a good cause – like cute fuzzy animals in need of rescue?

This year, Midwest Furfest’s Charity Auction goes to benefit Kane Area Rehabilitation and Education for Wildlife (KARE for Wildlife). KARE has been helping Illinois wildlife since 1995. Every day, they work to rescue injured and orphaned members of Illinois’s native species, such as foxes, coyotes and raccoons, as well as raptors. In addition, they are involved in local education and outreach, along with some of their non-releasable charges.

So how can your extra luggage space help KARE and the animals? Auction donations! That signed original fox piece that your boyfriend won’t let you hang on the wall? The gorgeous handmade blanket that you never use since moving to Arizona? The skunk tail you don’t feel right wearing since discovering your tiger side? All of these would find a great new home at Saturday’s charity auction!

Don’t have anything to donate? Come to the auction itself, and see if you can find something to pick up instead! Every year, the auction brings in unexpected, creative, incredible donations for our talented auctioneers to send home to new owners. Not sure if you’ll be interested? Come for the show anyways – the banter is half the fun, and KARE will be there with some of their critters to cheer folks on. And don’t forget to drop by the charity’s table to meet Vicki, her volunteers, and the animals.

For details including donation instructions, rules, and more info on KARE, check the latest on the website Charity Page

See you all in November!

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Oh wow, it’s been a while since a proper post here, hasn’t it? OK, here’s a quick recap of the last few weeks…

The weekend of October 10th: This was the big Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind weekend. On that Saturday I took the train into the city and wandered around a bit. I stopped by Julius Meinl Coffee House, which was delightfully civilized (and had great coffee)! After that I walked around the Lincoln Square neighborhood and stopped by The Bad Apple. While I didn’t get any of their tasty-looking food, I did have a New Holland Charkoota Rye Smoked Doppelbock which was…challenging, but interesting. You have to love a bar where you can strike up a conversation with two strangers about the relative merits of the beers your drinking. I really need to get back to this place!

From The Bad Apple it was across the street to the Half Acre Beer retail store. Alas, their offerings were a bit thin still (they had just started retail sales) but I did pick up a couple of good beers to take to dinner. I bussed it over to Andersonville and arrived at Ranalli’s Pizza in plenty of time for the LAFF get-together. I have to say that the folks at Ranalli’s were awesome to work with for our little shindig! We had about 28 people show up, and they were extremely accommodating. The pizzas just kept coming out, and the company and food was excellent. I hope that maybe we can do another LAFF event there again sometime soon.

After dinner the whole crowd trooped down to the Neo-Futurarium, where a line was just starting to form. I’m really glad we got there when we did! It was a cold night, but not too bad and the time passed quickly. We were treated to an extremely entertaining show, and I was reminded once again why it’s going to be so damn great to have the Neo-Futurists at Midwest FurFest this year.

The next day was the Midwest FurFest staff meeting, and things went really well. We nailed down some lingering details and I hope that everyone left with as good a feeling about the convention as I did.

On the weekend of October 17th, we aimed to keep things a little lower-key. takaza and I both slept in and had a lazy day around the house, slipping out late in the afternoon to stop by a restaurant supply place not too far away, then stopped by the local butcher and liquor store (where Dan had an amusing exchange with the Twitter-rep of our favorite rum). On Sunday, we welcomed roho, genet, and linnaeus over for a very tasty dinner of braised short ribs, ratatouille, and roasted potatoes with garlic vinaigrette. Very tasty dinner, supplemented by some really nice wines.

And here we are in the throes of another week. We’re going to be doing cleaning in preparation for a get-together this weekend, not that the place is all that dirty. If nothing else this gives us the impetus to put away the last few items left over from the move. Oh, and the penultimate Midwest FurFest staff meeting is this weekend! Believe it or not, plans for next year are already in high gear as well – nothing I can talk about, but I can say that folks should try to get to Closing Ceremonies at MFF, because we have a lot of cool information to share!

Too Much Light Makes the Furry Go Blind!

As a part of our ongoing quest to bring you new and exciting programming each year, we are proud to welcome one of the most innovative theater groups in Chicago to this year’s Midwest FurFest: The NeoFuturists, creators of the long-running play “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”, which is currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary! “Too Much Light…” is a rollicking, exciting, thought-provoking, and at times interactive attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes.

In the NeoFuturists’ own words: “The single unifying element of these plays is that they are performed from a perspective of absolute honesty. We always appear as ourselves on stage, speaking directly from our personal experiences. Each short play is written by a performer, honed by the ensemble, and randomly collaged with twenty-nine other plays through high-energy audience participation. Each night of performance, we create an unreproducable living newspaper collage of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, and the visceral and experimental.”

National Geographic Traveler Magazine says, “This experimental company delivers exactly what good satiric theater should: wry humor, skilled slapstick, thought-provoking social commentary – sometimes all at once. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed myself so much at a theater, since I laughed out loud so much.”

The NeoFuturists will be preparing a performance specially tailored to Midwest FurFest and furry fandom; you don’t want to miss it! Their performance will be on the main stage in Ravinia Ballroom DEF on Saturday, from 5 PM – 6 PM (immediately before the Furry Variety Show). This promises to be a one-of-a-kind show. We hope to see you there!

You can find out more about the NeoFuturists at

LAFF Pizza and Too Much Light Outing – Call for RSVPs!

Get those RSVP’s in! The LAFF Pizza/Too Much Light Outing is this weekend, and we’re going to have a blast. A brief recap:

WHAT: Pizza buffet! Ranalli’s will be providing salad, all we can eat pizza, beverages, and dessert in a separate seating area.
WHERE: Dinner will be at Ranalli’s of Andersonville (, 1512 West Berwyn (between Clark and Ashland), Chicago, IL 60640
WHEN: 8 PM – 10 PM
HOW MUCH: $18.00, including tax and tip (if you are going to be sitting with us, you *must* pay for the meal). Takaza will be collecting money from folks as they arrive.

WHAT: Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes by the NeoFuturists (
WHERE: The NeoFuturarium, 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster), two blocks from Ranalli’s of Andersonville
WHEN: Seating is first-come, first-serve, so we will be lining up at 10:15 PM or so for the 11:30 PM show. Come prepared to hang out, chat with friends, then enjoy a great show
HOW MUCH: $10 – $15 ($9 + roll of a six-sided die), cash only

RSVPs: Please RSVP directly to me at Please let me know if you will be at the DINNER, the THEATER, or BOTH. RSVPs sent to LiveJournal and to the LAFF mailing list will be cheerfully ignored. A reminder: “I might be there” is not an RSVP. “I may be bringing three friends” is not a useful RSVP. These will be ignored.

The following RSVP’s have been received:
(Name – Pizza / Too Much Light)
1. Duncan – Yes / Yes
2. Takaza – Yes / Yes
3. Syn – Yes / Yes
4. DaveQat – Yes / Yes
5. Pawnce – No / Yes
6. Leon – No / Yes
7. Narkiel – Yes / Yes
8. Huxley – No / Yes
9. Dane – No / Yes
10. Woody – Yes / Yes
11. Ryan – Yes / Yes
12. Perro – Yes / Yes
13. Wolphy – Yes / Yes
14. Bramble – Yes / Yes

So, who else is in? Again, please email your RSVP’s directly to me at See y’all soon!


Birthday Weekend for a Sheppie!

What a weekend that was! It was fordshepherd‘s birthday, and we were determined to celebrate it in style.

baja_hyena flew into Milwaukee International Airport (MKE) on Thursday night. I picked him up and we came home to a tasty dinner of fried chicken and mashed potatoes that Takaza had made.

Friday, we were joined by Ford, who arrived just in time for a great steak dinner and a relaxing evening of chatting and relaxing.

On Saturday, the fun really began! Following the surprise (to Ford, anyway) arrival of r_bear, the first stop was Whirlyball, a crazy combination of bumper cars and lacrosse with a really good bar. We were joined by perro, wolphy, deccadoggy, tozier_wah, justincheetah, calapurr, r_bear, linnaeus, and snickershusky. We were able to get in six 10-minute games, and we had a blast! We’ll definitely be going back, perhaps either during Wuffmeet or Memorial Day next year.

After Whirlyball we stopped for a tasty lunch at Eloise Chicago, then it was over to Nickel City Arcade, where after paying $2 admission you can play any of their 100 games for a nickel (OK, maybe $0.15, sometimes). I got an hour’s worth of entertainment on about thirty cents with a couple of games of pinball, an old version of Mortal Kombat, NFL Blitz ’99, and Puzzle Fighter. The place was of course overrun with kids on a Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t too bad.

When we wrapped up there several folks took their leave, and it was down to eight – me, Dan, Baja, Ford, Linnaeus, RB, Cheetah, and Cala. We stopped by Linnaeus’ place to change and then it was off to dinner at Moto. Oh my god, Moto.