Friday June 5th: Califur 5 Day One!
The Kzinti Freehold denizens (Roy and I) woke up at the crack of 11am. Hey, it's Friday of the con,
a bunch of people will still be at work. No need to rush. And we was tired anyway. Excuses, excuses.
We eventually fell into the Roymobile, a snazzy '99 Taurus with dark emerald green paint, and drove South.
We did the La Cienega Boogie to avoid Southbound 405 congestion into LAX, and had a pleasant drive.
We reached the Irvine Marriottttt at around 1 pm and parked at the hotel. Because this was Irvine,
and because the John Wayne Airport was nearby, there was no street parking. At all. It was either park
at the hotel or park in nearby business office parking structures, which cost more than the hotel parking.
Irvine is a zaibatsu town, a corporate town built by corporations and housing corporate workers.
They roll the sidewalks up at 9pm. Anybody who is seen walking there at night is highly suspicious. :)
Anyway, we got into the hotel through the back door and found the lines for registration: pre-reg and reg.
They're both long. And there's only 3 laptops set up at reg. And only two of them were manned. Oh boy.
For the previous 4 Califurs, I've only ever gone there on Saturdays, so registration was less crowded.
The reg line, the one I was in, moved veeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy slowly. Most of the people sat on
the floor and chatted with each other, and played with their various electronic gizmos. I saw several
people I knew while in line, including doodlesthegreat, m_tiger, and zotcoon.
Roy and I were in line for 2 hours. So we finally got our badges at about 3pm. Wooh.
We went to the dealers' room to look around and Roy promptly disappeared.
Back when I went to furry cons regularly, I knew over half of the dealers attending, sometimes 75% of them.
At this Califur, I knew maybe 20%. I suspect the percentage will be higher if I make it to FC next year.
I said "hi" to Michele Light, who smiled and consoled me about my getting laid off the previous week.
She's such a sweetheart! I bought one of her new luggage tags ("My friends need to be punished") and
hung it from my Emperor PalpaStitch cloisonné pin. How appropriate! :D
I continued around the dealers' room and said hi to Dark Natasha, and Jaguar (aka Husband of Terrie Smith).
Terrie wasn't there, again. I keep not seeing her. She was at LOSCON last year but I did not see her
because she was sick and holed up in her hotel room. If we both make FC-2010, maybe I'll see her then.
At 4pm, Roy and I rendezvoused at the Greymuzzle Meet to chew the fat with the older furry crowd and
compare notes on how we got into the fandom.
There was an Ice Cream Social at 6pm, and it was a nice spread. We didn't feel like ice cream though,
so we didn't buy tickets for it. Roy and I wandered our separate ways.
I met a couple of fun-loving husky party girls who seemed stuck in the 80s. Dig the
There was also a particularly nice bird costume, and the person wearing it was good at being bird-like.
The bird's badge name was Orzel. I don't know if that was the suit's name or the player's name.
At 8pm, Roy and I rendezvoused in the main presentation room to attend 2 The Ranting Gryphon's performance.
I had seen him at Further Confusion 3-4 years ago, and he had been pretty funny, though a bit unpolished.
His performance at Califur was much improved! Better delivery, tighter control, great stage presence.
I had a brief flash of George Carlin at one point: the tone of voice, the hand gestures. It was uncanny.
Afterwards, the room was reconfigured for the dance and Roy got a bad case of Friday Night Fever. :D
The music selection was industrial, goth, and angry Germans with synthesizers. It was nifty.
I wandered over to the lobby to hang out and talk to peoples. I ran into Zot and his bottle of absynthe.
Zot was wearing one of his usual non-PC t-shirts. This one said: "I named this shirt Mohammed".
And he had chosen "H2N2" as his badge name. What a wacky guy! :D
Me, I was wearing a Ford Trucks redneck t-shirt. It had a cute cowboy-hat-wearing buxom hick chick on it.
Lots more wandering ensued. Eventually, I went back to the dance, which was still going strong.
I chilled in the hall outside, waiting to see how long before Roy had had enough. :)
And I was feeling tired. The dance ended around midnight, I think. Roy look exhausted but happy.
We piled into the Roymobile and headed out of the parking lot. After conflicting stories regarding the
price of parking, we found out what it really was: $10 flat rate per day. Compared to the $18 maximum rate
of the nearby parking structures, it was a bargain! And we wound up not paying on Saturday or Sunday,
so we made out like the proverbial bandit (who may or may not be related to the Hamburglar).
And speaking of burgers, we had both missed dinner and had barely sustained ourselves on the meager
offerings of the con suite, so we waz HUNGRY! And it was already past midnight. In Irvine.
"I know there's an In-N-Out around here somewhere! And they all close at 01:30 on Fridays and Saturdays!"
"I know there's an In-N-Out around here somewhere". Sounds like famous last words, don't it? :)
And after spending 25 minutes meandering around the curvey roads that make up the residential area South
of the con hotel, it seemed like we would never find the damn thing. We decided to drive into the UCI campus
(University of California, Irvine, sometimes known as University of Customized Integras) on the theory that,
if you're gonna build an In-N-Out Burgers, having it near a university is very good for business.
We didn't have much luck at first, winding up in a cul-de-sac. Then we asked a couple of skateboarders
and they pointed us in the right direction. We turned too soon and hit another cul-de-sac. On the way back,
I glimpsed the In-N-Out through the trees and guided Roy to its location. Finally! FOOOOOOOOD!
We enjoyed some Double-Doubles and fries and Coke for me (with 4 twists of lemon) and shake for him.
It was glorious!
Once sated, we hit the road and headed homeward. The drive was pleasant and quick.
We arrived and looked for a parking post. My neighborhood is a bit hard for street parking.
There was a spot near the Freehold but Roy said his car wouldn't fit. I was convinced of the opposite.
I even offered to park it for him, because I have MAD FRONCH PARALLEL PARKING SKILLZ.
He let me park it, and his smirk indicated that he expected me to
I parked the Roymobile in that space in two moves! The Unicorn was most impressed.
From then on, I became his Official Parallel Parking Kzin.
Roy used to drive a tank, M-1 Abrams, so parallel parking was not a skill that was called upon. :)
MADZ SKILLZ YO!! :D
Bud Light and Clamato! Two great tastes that apparently taste great together! For somebody!
The can is labelled in English and Spanish.
Anybody know what this is all about?
Edit: Apparently, it's based on a Mexican drink called "Chelada".
Take a glass full of ice cubes, squeeze some lemons and/or limes in it, then pour a dark Mexican beer in there.
It's supposed to be very refreshing.
Anheuser/Busch decided to make its own version with Clamato, because they're insane.
They have two versions: Budweiser Chelada (red label) and Bud Light Chelada(blue label).
I call them both "ClamaBud".
ClamaBud is reviewed here. The first reviewer says:
"This is actually pretty tasty though and would be a good breakfast beer."
Hmmmmmmm, breakfast beer...
ClamaBud Light is reviewed here by professionals.
The Kzin likes his Alkypop(tm).
To wit: Smirnoff Ice Watermelon.
Notice the personalized cup.
It's called "Smirnoff" but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that there ain't a drop of vodka in it.
(The name "Alkypop[tm]" is a registered trademark of hatch and is used with permission. I think.)