FursonaCon 2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:28 am
mortonfox: (chestnut halloween)
[personal profile] mortonfox
So this past weekend was my last furry convention of the year: FursonaCon at Holiday Inn in the Norfolk / Virginia Beach area. It's also the smallest one of the year, with only 297 attendees. (79 fursuiters in the fursuit parade) Funny thing is I think I enjoyed it the most of the four cons I attended this year. There wasn't much programming so that left plenty of time to relax, chat, and fursuit. The local furries are very hospitable. They didn't know me or where I was from ("Remind me again where Delaware is?" said one of them, probably half-jokingly.) but I was just short of dragged to a room party the first night of the con. Of course, with only a few hundred attendees, we didn't have the whole hotel to ourselves but the people from the two wedding parties we shared the hotel with were also very nice and wanted photos with all the fursuiters.

The fursuit games were run differently from other cons. Instead of having all the games as one long event, they split it into multiple short events, one game per event. I thought that was much less tiring. Plus, that meant each game had prizes. I didn't do so well in fursuit dodgeball, but my team won trophies in fursuit hockey. Because there weren't many fursuiters, the parade was short and quick and we got fish tags (for the Atlantis theme) at the end of it. One other benefit to a small con: there was never a wait at the photo room and so I got these wonderful lightstick photos.

Biggest downside though was the hotel. While some parts of the hotel were new and fairly up-to-date, my room wasn't. The faucet was loose. The power socket was loose. Lamp fixtures were rusty. The air conditioner was weak. Housekeeping on my floor lacked attention to detail. They forgot various items and even forgot to service my room the first day. Also there was a musty odor in the hotel corridors and some of the meeting rooms. On the plus side, my room had a refrigerator and microwave oven, which helped a lot because that meant I could buy some groceries and not have to contend with that ridiculous 12.6% restaurant tax in the Norfolk / Virginia Beach area.

What would the weekend be without GPS games? I found 6 geocaches on the trip. They were mostly very easy, even though two of them were rated 5 stars and one 3.5 stars. Surprisingly, the cache that took the most time to find was rated only 1 star. One of the 5-star caches was a pretend 5-star but aside from that, I'm not sure how difficulty ratings work any more. The star of the weekend though was Munzee. That area is packed with pins! On the evening of my arrival, I was up to 3,624 captures when I decided I'd better get back to the hotel! I got 290 more on Sunday evening and over a thousand more on the way home, but even then, it looks like I've barely scratched the surface.

The caches... )

Weekly Otherkin Chat Starting Now!

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:00 am
jarandhel: (Kirin)
[personal profile] jarandhel
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting now, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/

Weekly Otherkin Chat 8pm EST Tonight

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
jarandhel: (Kirin)
[personal profile] jarandhel
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat at 8pm EST, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/

Fixing My Broken Give-A-Damn

Oct. 12th, 2017 10:21 am
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Sorry, My Give-A-Damn is Broken
So the thing with the rebel tendency, at least for me, is that I am motivated by desire. That is to say, I have to want something in order to make it happen– which is why grief and depression are my kryptonite. Depression makes it hard to take pleasure in anything, and grief makes it hard to be willing to engage in things you like because you don't want to risk facing the pain of loss again.

But I can't just spend my life wandering an emotional wasteland like Hipster Percival. Besides the fact that we live in a pay-to-play society, there's a more primal factor in that I need to be creating in order to be happy. But attempting to create when my heart isn't in it, true to rebel nature, is just an exercise in frustration and resistance.

This creates a kind of feedback loop– I have to be happy enough to get excited about what I want to create, in order to do the creating that will make me happy.

It's kinda like a fusion reaction: once the cycle is up and running, it's nicely self-sustaining, but if something comes along and stops it (or it runs out of fuel), it takes a vast amount of external energy to get it started back up again.

Which is roughly where I am emotionally at the moment. I need to restart my emotional pilot light– what I refer to as my Give-A-Damn. When you hear about artists wailing to the muses for inspiration, same deal. Some writers sneer at this notion, saying that "real writers write whether they feel like it or not." I would argue that those writers have probably never had to really deal with a broken Give-A-Damn, and have no idea how debilitating it actually is.

(They may also be hacks; but that varies wildly from writer to writer.)

There is some truth to the adage that once you start moving, the energy and enthusiasm will come, but it isn't an absolute. Sometimes "shut up and write" works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, a mental vacation is what's needed. Other times, you need to actually get inspiration from a new experience or from some great piece of work that's new to you.

So far, my Give-A-Damn has been very stubborn about not letting itself be fixed– but I am more stubborn than it is.

-The Gneech

Maryland MunzFit

Oct. 11th, 2017 04:37 pm
mortonfox: (face tree)
[personal profile] mortonfox
On Saturday, I went to the Maryland MunzFit event in Sandy Point State Park. Although I've passed by Sandy Point State Park before, I'd never been inside past the fee booths, so I'm glad to report that beach has good views of the Bay Bridge and large ships sneaking up on people.

Although this Munzee event is connected to a series of fitness events, I don't think we actually did anything especially fitness-related but most of us took a walk around the state park to capture 70 event pins that had been deployed for the event. As usual, we started the event by gathering at a spot near the parking lot for a meet and greet. Then we wandered off in smaller groups to look for the event pins. I went with Jeeper32 and ozzy1602. Although most of the walk was along the parking lot edge, the beach, and the fence line, there was also a stretch on a wooded trail and through a picnic grove, which was nice. We successfully found all the event pins, as well as all the other munzees in the park.

All in all, it was a wonderful day even if the weather was a bit warm for autumn. Munzee is a game we can play on our own but sometimes, it's good to do that in a group.

The munzees... )

Weekly Otherkin Chat Starting Now!

Oct. 11th, 2017 12:00 am
jarandhel: (Kirin)
[personal profile] jarandhel
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting now, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/

Random Blugh

Oct. 10th, 2017 01:18 pm
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
Feel like crap for no good reason today. Trying to grind through because there's a lot of stuff I want to get done and there will always be things trying to prevent me from doing them, so when those things are my own internal bad wiring I can at least say "no" to that.

Through a roundabout path I recently happened upon Gretchen Rubin's concept of "four tendencies" and discovered that, true to form, I have the rarest and most problematic tendency, that of "rebel." The tendencies are based on how you respond to expectations, whether internal or external.

  • Upholders respond strongly to both internal and external expectations. They tend to be sticklers for the rules, but also self-motivated and with a moral code that can override the outer laws and traditions of the world around them. Hermione Granger is listed as an archetypal upholder; I'm not sure if I actually know any personally.


  • Questioners respond strongly to internal expectations, but not so much to external ones. They always want a satisfactory explanation for anything– if they don't think there's a valid reason to follow a rule or complete a project, they won't. [personal profile] laurierobey falls into this category. I suspect Sirfox is as well, but it's harder to tell.


  • Obligers respond strongly to external expectations, but not so much to internal ones. These are people who can stick to an exercise regimen if they've got a buddy or a class, but will immediately stop as soon as nobody's "checking up" on them. Sandy Rathbun was in this group, and I suspect so was Mammallamadevil.


  • Rebels do not respond well to external or internal expectations. They can be summarized as "You can't tell me what to do– and I can't tell me what to do either." Once they decide they want to do something, there's no stopping them, but until they want to do something, you can expect them to resist with all they've got. That includes things they decided a month ago that they wanted to do, but that they don't want to do right now, which can lead them to be just as frustrating to themselves as they are to the people around them. Like I say, I am a rebel. So is Hantamouse, which is simultaneously why the two of us get along and why the two of us fight.


There's a lot more to the framework than just this, and it's also just a tool, not some magical solution to figuring out personality quirks and interactions and things. But within the framework, I think there's some interesting insights.

I was at a presentation by Ms. Rubin, and I tried to ask (but didn't get called on), "If a rebel instinctively says 'no' to any expectation, even their own, how are they supposed to keep from eventually sliding into a Bartleby-esque catatonic state of just never wanting to do anything?" I hoped that her book might have an answer for that question, but I have since discovered that... no, not really. The book had very simplistic reverse-psychology suggestions along the lines of "I bet you can't lose 20 pounds in ten weeks!" Seriously? What am I, seven?

But this is a problem that I have found myself facing over the past few years since being effectively self-employed. I used to hate my day job fiercely, and come home to work on my writing/art/etc. with the zeal of a workaholic because it was what I wanted to do. Now, the writing/art/etc. is my day job, but instead of being energized and excited and kicking ass, I am now fighting with the constant desire to sleep all day or play video games or whatever else instead.

A devotee of the four tendencies would say that's my rebel nature, and it may very well be. But that just puts a label on it, it doesn't actually give me any tools to combat the problem.

I have contemplated going back to a day job just to give me something to channel my resentment back into other than my own work. But as I get older, I don't have the endurance I used to. That Starbucks job I had in late 2015 was only part time and still left me feeling dead most of the time. I can only imagine how wrecked I would be trying to go back to 40 hours of writing code or something similar at 6 am in the friggin' morning. I can't deny the pay would be better, but if it left me too tired to do my real work, it would be literally selling my soul.

I know that I am motivated by desire. Everything I've accomplished was because there was something I wanted to happen. I created Suburban Jungle because I wanted there to be a comic like Suburban Jungle for me to read. I wrote Sky Pirates of Calypsitania because I wanted to read a book like Sky Pirates of Calypsitania. But right now I'm in a mental and emotional spot where desire is hard to come by. Grief has damaged my ability to feel enthusiasm. Frustration has damaged my ability to feel hope.

So right now, I am operating on almost 100% pure stubbornness. Which is frankly exhausting. So I guess on reflection it's not quite so random a blugh, nor quite a case of feeling like crap for no good reason. I'm fatigued.

-The Gneech

Weekly Otherkin Chat 8pm EST Tonight

Oct. 10th, 2017 11:01 am
jarandhel: (Kirin)
[personal profile] jarandhel
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat at 8pm EST, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/