altivo: The Clydesdale Librarian (Default)
[personal profile] altivo
The good news: It appears that Midwest Furfest was bigger than ever (5600+ attendees, almost 1600 fursuits in the parade, $62,000 raised for this year's charity "Save-a-Vet".)

The bad news: Though I'd agreed to do a panel with Sparf and Tempe O'Kun, and did register for the con, when push came to shove it was simply not practical for me to get there. I had originally thought I could just drive down for Saturday, but it turns out that parking is non-existent or quite expensive in the area, and dubious at night. The panel was from 8 to 9 pm on Saturday, which would have meant returning alone in the dark to a remote parking lot to drive back home.

I don't much care for driving to begin with, and in a congested unfamiliar area, in the dark, this didn't sound at all appealing. So I thought maybe public transportation would be better. Well, it's theoretically possible to get to the convention hotel from my home if I take Metra commuter rail from Woodstock to Jefferson Park in Chicago, and then transfer to the CTA Blue line to get to Rosemont. It's about a quarter mile walk from the station to the hotel. This would have been workable except that the weekend train schedules are sparse (to put it politely) and with the panel ending at 9 pm, there was only a single train to get me back to Woodstock. Miss that connection for any reason (and there are many possible reasons, from time overruns to a CTA delay which is fairly common) and I'd have been stranded. Even if it worked, I would have gotten back to Woodstock after midnight, and likely have had to stand around in a nearly deserted station at Jefferson Park for 30-40 minutes which is never a pleasant prospect after dark. I've had unpleasant and near-disastrous experiences with that before.

So in the end, I gave up on the whole idea. I felt bad about backing out of the panel, of course, but I knew that Sparf and Tempe would manage it just fine. So I sent my apologies and missed the entire convention. The last time I actually attended MWFF was in 2008. The con has nearly quadrupled in size since then, which is good I guess, but makes it so big that I'm reluctant to go at all. This experience makes it even less likely that I'll try again. Friends who were actually there found the crowds so oppressive at times that they had to leave the hotel to find open and relatively quieter space. I'm very prone to claustrophobia, so avoiding such scenes is probably a better choice for me. I was looking forward to the art show, and a chance to hear Fox Amoore live as well as seeing some friends from out of state, but it didn't work out.

On the other hoof, I did get to attend two of my husband's three live performances that took place this weekend. I would have missed those had I gone to the convention. Saturday morning he was with the Kishwaukee Ramblers at the Woodstock Farmers' Market. That evening the Ramblers appeared again at the Boone County Conservation District's annual Christmas Walk in Belvidere. The setting for that event is a park that includes some historic cabins and a one room schoolhouse that has been reconstructed on the site. The Ramblers played in the schoolhouse by lamplight, where visitors to the park could stop for refreshments and warm drinks after touring the cabins and the blacksmith shop along trails illuminated by luminaria set along the ground. Here is a photo of the 19th century schoolhouse setting, with my husband Gary on the left playing concertina and hammered dulcimer.

Kishwaukee Ramblers

Date: 2015-12-07 05:29 pm (UTC)
hrrunka: My small wire-strung harp (harp)
From: [personal profile] hrrunka
I'd probably have picked three small live music events over one huge convention. I commuted to WorldCon last year, but it was in a centre with good public transport links (including a dedicated station at each end of the centre) and I knew how late I could rely on the public transport connections, and when I had to cut and run. I don't think I'd have fancied any travel as dodgy as you describe...

Date: 2015-12-09 01:28 pm (UTC)
hrrunka: Attentive icon by Narumi (Default)
From: [personal profile] hrrunka
For me, something under 150 attendees is good for a Con. I'll cope with Cons up to maybe 600. After that I'm looking for a suitable subset con within the Con, and I'll be steering clear of the big events.

Date: 2015-12-09 04:23 pm (UTC)
hrrunka: Attentive icon by Narumi (Default)
From: [personal profile] hrrunka
The UK Filk Con is usually somewhere around the 120-140 mark. The German one is limited by the hostel size to (I think) 100. When I started going to EasterCons they were around 600, but the last one I went to was double that. The DiscWorld Cons were about 900, and limited by the available function space. WorldCon, of course, was several thousand attending (and over ten thousand memberships sold), and I concentrated almost entirely on the filk stream (with a little bit of furry stuff where I could).

Date: 2015-12-07 05:45 pm (UTC)
songcoyote: (Default)
From: [personal profile] songcoyote
Your hubby looks quite dashing in that photo ;) Sounds to me like you made quite a good trade! I've been doing Dickens stuff for the past 3 years (inclusive of this one) as well, at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair ( I am the Ghost of Christmas Present there, and it's a role that feeds my soul on many levels.

There are some conventions I no longer attend because they have become too large or otherwise unwieldy, such as San Diego Comic Con. Hopefully you get a chance to go to one of the smaller ones some time - they're easier to enjoy. But if in general cons aren't for you, that's okay too, of course!

Have fun, be well, and may winter be kind to you and yours.

Light and laughter,

Date: 2015-12-09 07:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lhexa
Hello again. I apologize for my bad behavior from several years ago. Would it be alright if I started leaving comments again?

Date: 2015-12-11 04:37 am (UTC)
lhexa: (literate)
From: [personal profile] lhexa

MFF is too big for me too now

Date: 2016-01-08 08:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear Rider.

Bear had to go to our hotel room and sit in a hot bath for an hour because the crowd was so opressive it really got to him. Even I felt it while in my Steed fursuit. I did not join the parade because it was so long but I did watch from the bottom of the escalator, which was a good spot.

Plus no model railroad furs or horse fur meet or much of interest other than I learned a few things about fursuit making.

I so love fursuiting that I enjoyed showing off and hugging kids and having my pictures taken hundreds of times and being nose petted and comments like "Nice assless chaps". Gee. Grin.

So that will be my last MFF. I am already registered for three much smaller cons in Michigan and one in Cincinatti, Ohio. Bear seems to enjoy fursuiting too. YES!

Your old yeller flap pony, Imperator.

August 2017


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