tabbiewolf: (faye - glare)
Con Business: I made a few hundred bucks more than I did at Anthrocon, with much more interest in my published work (portfolios, comics) than the near non-existence of that interest in Pittsburgh. Admittedly, I could account for that $200 in sales being in buttons and baked goods -- though I was selling buttons at Anthrocon -- but the sheer amount of work I got that wasn't buttons or baked goods (as in, badges & other commissions) makes me really re-think getting a table at Anthrocon this year. I honestly am not sure that it is worth the time and money and stress. But we'll see how I feel in a few weeks, when all the con stress from FurFright has worn off.

Con Fun: As usual, the majority of joy was found by hanging out in the tabletop gaming room, chatting with friends and playing games. I'm sort of sad I didn't get to buy anything from ConnectiCon's massive selection this year (I bought [livejournal.com profile] spotweld "7 Wonders" last year), but I was so wrapped up in the Dealers Dungeon I had no chance to get down there before they closed. Though I can always go up to their monthly gaming meets and partake, I suppose ;)

Con Stress: I've heard about the whole fluff-up with the Dorsai and I've accumulated bits and pieces of both sides of the story, and they all know where I stand and I have an okay idea of what happened (I refuse to say I have an exact idea because I don't). I am not getting involved with the issue because I was not directly involved, but it should be known that I have friends on both sides of the argument and everyone's being hurt by the massive clusterfuck this incident has become. If you want my advice, it would be to let things calm down first: between the normal stress of a convention and the extra stress of rolling a hurricane into it, nobody is winning here.

Non-Con Stress: We had a whole bunch of people crashing at our place this weekend since it's so close to the FurFright hotel. On Friday evening, I got home to find that my All-Clad Copper Core pans had been run through the dishwasher. This is the first time this has ever happened -- I've always washed my pans by hand, even the ones that weren't super expensive and didn't have a copper core. Copper in the dishwasher, if you were unaware, is a BIG no-no. The caustic dishwashing soap and the heat absolutely destroys the finish. Besides that, these pans have something of an emotional attachment (I'm weird, I know) because of how they were acquired and their sheer awesomeness. It's a joy I will never get back, because instead of being reminded about my awesome job that I got them from (and the success in my life that buying them signified: I just bought a pan set, I'm an actual adult!), I will be reminded about this.

Anyway. Finding this after a day of business and con-related stress (money, baking, drawing, time, sitting behind a table in a crowded dealers room) basically broke my heart…and, thanks to the busy day I'd just had (hoping to get home to relax and finding that was super lame), really pissed me off. A discussion was had with the people who did it (where what I explained above was explained, not to mention the cost of the pans, which was something around $1000 for 3 of them if I wanted to buy them new again), and it was mentioned that we were all extremely tired and stressed and we'd talk about it more in the morning after a good night's sleep.

That didn't happen, because we got up early on Saturday to get to the con…and the people who did it were gone by the time we got home. Left the house, took all their stuff, took the person who I thought was a close friend with them. They did leave a note and a pumpkin, and they paid Spot back for the commission they were going to do (and didn't) and they paid me for the buttons I'd made for them, but…well, it was a way of not facing up to the responsibility, in my opinion. Not to mention that these folks were going to run a few games AND do volunteer time at FurFright, and as we discovered that night, the folks in charge of volunteers were not informed until well after the issue needed to be resolved. This meant we had to run around the con trying to find people to help watch some rooms. Spot was passively nudged by a friend as the one who'd thrown these now ex-volunteers to security, so we got the blame for that as well. Fantastic.

And of course, of the people involved, we've heard absolutely nothing from the person I thought was a close friend (and all five of us left in the house were friends with them; they said good-bye to NO ONE)…who I've known for years, and who I invited out personally. As I mentioned jokingly to folks in the house the other night, nice to see that libido outranks what I thought was a pretty decent friendship. I guess I was wrong on that front as well. It's weird: I'm sort of the center of this group of friends -- the majority of them all know each other because of me -- and I feel really disappointed in this person for doing what they did. Not the pans, but the leaving without saying good-bye.

As for the pans: It's excessively hard for me to hold a grudge. I dunno if y'all remember, but Spot totally broke my car at FurFright last year -- he snapped the back door off my station wagon (yeah, seriously) -- and although I joke about it still, it's something we can laugh at now…I don't hold it against him (obviously). But leaving instead of talking it out, not to mention shirking the responsibilities you'd signed up for, really grinds my gears. I'm not so much angry as disappointed with all of them, and a tiny part of me feels responsible for the whole thing…even though absolutely none of it was my fault. There's a level of trust that was lost and it rather saddens me that there's not much I can do to get it back.

But as I mentioned last post, the ball's in their court now. So it goes.

Hurricane: Sandy plowed into the East coast yesterday, but we were totally prepared: we moved all the frozen stuff to the big freezer downstairs; Spot cleaned the gutters, took down the bird feeders, and put a tarp over the storm door; I baked a ridiculous amount of cookies; we filled the upstairs freezer with filled ice cube trays; and we moved all candles, flashlights, batteries, and diabetes supplies to easy-to-locate spots. We all took hot showers before the rain started coming down, I made a loaf of bread (no chance of getting that at the store), and we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Power started flickering in the late afternoon, so computers got shut down and board and card games got pulled out. Sandwiches were made with the fresh bread I'd made in the morning -- in case power went out, we didn't want to be cooking anything, and getting rid of the various perishable meats in the fridge was not a bad idea -- and we continued to wait, monitoring Twitter on our phones for updates on the storm as it plowed into New Jersey and New York. And then…the wind and rain stopped. We're reading reports of the New York City subway systems and tunnels flooding, of the New Jersey coastline being changed, of some friends further up in New England who'd lost power and had to deal with various leaks…and the wind and rain stopped.

So we all curled up on the couch and watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Power never went out. We were prepared for it, but it didn't. The cable flickered and died at around 11pm, but it came back this morning. The coastal areas of Connecticut apparently got hit hard -- harder than Hurricane Irene last year -- but nothing major happened up here. Heck, the usual leaks that happen in the basement when it rains hard were minor at best.

I'm looking at photographs of the results from last night and it's really stunning to see the New York skyline almost completely dark. It's surreal.

To everyone dealing with power outages and the rest of the disasters this storm caused: STAY SAFE. If you're in New York City or New Jersey, do the best you can to stay out of the way of the folks who are trying to get things cleaned up. If you stocked up on canned goods, etc., for the storm and you still have power and don't need them, please consider donating them to a local shelter where people DO need them. The Red Cross needs blood donations, and people need as much help as they can…but sometimes the best help you can provide is staying out of the way.

Again, stay safe, everyone!
tabbiewolf: (The Doctor - nerds are sexy)
FurFright was great. I actually made more money than I did at Anthrocon, which is making me rethink going to Anthrocon 2013 -- the travel expenses are far more expensive than the money I make there, though it evens out with roommates and carpoolers -- and a lot of my fellow artists are saying the same thing. The amount of dealers is so huge compared to the amount of people who attend the convention that it isn't great for us smaller names who are trying to promote ourselves and our work.

I dunno. It could just be the shitty economy, but we'll see how the rest of the year pans out. FurFright was great because I sold a little bit of everything -- including a large amount of the portfolios that didn't sell at all at Anthrocon -- not to mention a ton of buttons, as well as a lot of original art (badges, sketches, etc.). I was never not busy (but I wasn't overwhelmed at any point...well, not by con-related stuff anyway), which is how conventions should be if you're a dealer.

Big thanks to all my friends who supported me and cheered me up after the non-convention-related drama that happened on Friday and Saturday. I really could not ask for better friends (Thank the Lord for the friends He cast in the play He wrote for you as the song goes). That's a situation that will one day be resolved (more detail may be gone into here one day, but I think it's okay to keep it amongst the people I told in person), but the ball is not in mine or Spot's court a this point, so I'm going to let it go as best I can and hope that things work out. Snarking with [livejournal.com profile] tashabear, playing Red Dragon Inn with [livejournal.com profile] world_dancer and [livejournal.com profile] fenris_lorsrai and Falconeio and a whole crew of other awesome people, digging through the weird Japanese candy we brought along to share...that really was a wonderful way to spend Saturday night and definitely helped calm me down :) Thank you guys.

We ended the con last night by changing into pajamas, ordering Chinese food, trying various delicious boozes (OMG the mead that I traded cupcakes for is The Best Mead EVER...damn Canadians, I have to go to Quebec to get more), playing the Back to the Future card game and then actually watching Back to the Future, followed by snuggling on the couch, followed by everyone crashing. Today we've been battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which is currently flooding New Jersey and the main part of it has not even made landfall yet.

If you're on the East coast -- anywhere from Virginia to Maine -- stay safe and follow the warnings they're issuing. Even if the storm doesn't hit some areas as hard as they're predicting it will, being too prepared is FAR better than not being prepared enough. Flooding has already started happening along the coast, and they're predicting that it will turn into a massive blizzard as it reaches Appalachia. Currently here, the state is under a Federal Emergency and all of the roads have been closed to traffic that is not emergency vehicles...most of the surrounding states are the same way. We still have power (obviously), but I'm not counting on it holding out.

Everyone stay safe and continue being awesome!

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