The Magic Gardens in Philadelphia is a museum and community arts space created by artist Isaiah Zagar. It was build over many years using recycled materials, found objects, and about a million different colors. Here are a few of them:
The Berkshires were so lovely, we had no choice but to give in to Mother Earth and go blueberry picking.
HOW LUCKY CAN TWO GIRLS BE?
^^ I mean, look at that! Take a step back and really look at that. What splendid, splendid beauty can be found in something that just grows straight from the earth.
Who needs the big blue sea? Who needs purple mountain majesty? Who needs all that grandeur when you can find such striking beauty in such a small package? What a remarkable world we live in.
... WAIT WTF WAS THAT?! WHERE DID THE CHARMING BLUEBERRIES GO?
Oh... phew. That's more like it.
Isn't Mother Nature truly majestic? Even something as small as a blueberry holds, to its core, such fierce beauty.
HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FLAMING TURD IS THAT?!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT'S HAPPENING?! WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!
KILLLLLLLLLL ME. KILLLLLLLLLL ME. HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL AND JUST KILLLLLLLLLLLLL ME.
After our first day at AnthroCon, driving back to our motel on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, we stopped off at a Dunkin Donuts to each try our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Cronuts ever.
We decided to take a real hard look at ourselves in that Dunkin’ parking lot. It was dark. We were tired and confused. There was a family size box of donuts between us, empty. It was then that we really accepted our fate as Josie Grossies.
This realization was liberating. There is a freedom that comes with accepting that you are the biggest loser at a Pittsburgh furry convention. But, hey, we knew that on Anthrocon day 2, we would walk into the festivities, dorks that we are, and learn as much as possible about the craziness all around us. Theres nothing more loser-y than learning new things! (Maybe besides binge-eating Cronuts in the dark).
Lesson 1: What is a "Yiff"?
A lot of people assume that every Furry does sex stuff in his or her furry outfit. This, however, is not true. We learned that a majority of Furries enjoy dress up platonic fun. "Yiff" is a special term designated to those who bring it into the bedroom (that's where they do the sex).
Lesson 2: It's not just about Furries.
If you think Furrydom is all about cute cuddly animals then you're wrong. Dead wrong. Road kill wrong. It's time for you to meet the Scalies. Instead of dressing up like animals that are furry, they dress up like amphibians and reptiles that are scaly. Do you see what a huge mistake you made?? Do you feel like an idiot? Calm down. there's so much more to learn.
Q. Is this a Scalie?
A. No, this is a Furry. Are you an idiot?
Q. Is this a Scalie?
A: Yes, this is an excellent example of a Scalie.
Lesson 3: You're Gonna Need A Tag.
Everyone at Anthrocon has at least one these hand drawn tags dangling around. They represent your personal characters. Often times Furries get their talented friends to drawn tags for them. We could have had some tags for AnthroCon if we had any friends or talent or friends with talent (JK LOVE YOU KEEP READING OUR BLOG).
Amelia here had some of the coolest tags we saw. She was dressed up for the day in a Cosplay for her fan character "Flufferpuff." Her favorite color is teal.
Lesson 4: "You can't always match the pony to the Brony"*
It can be hard to pick just one.
*Overheard at the "My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic" meet up
Lesson 5: Something about Wyrms
These are Wyrms. What are Wyrms? I have no fucking clue. I failed Wyrms class.
We met a group of teenage girls that were huddled around a group of the most colorful little fuzzy things we’d ever seen. We thought to ourselves, “hey, we are definitely in the same age range as these girls, and we have a blog about color. It looks like we’ve found our AnthroCon niche after all.” But it was so much deeper than color, guys.
The girls really tried to invite us into their world. They were so gracious. The spent far too much of their time trying to explain to us what the fuck a wyrm is. We still only know that they are fuzzy and colorful and not worms.
Be cool. Stay in school.
I’d like to say we just happened to stumble on the world’s largest furry convention but no. This is one of the few things (the only thing maybe?) we planned far, far in advance. In fact, when Maggie got the dates wrong, we ended up having to backtrack 590 miles east from Salem, MA to Pittsburgh, PA just to make it on time. Needless to say that our scenic drive through the Poconos was tense and passive-aggressively silent.
From what we thought we knew about furries and what we thought we knew about conventions, we were expecting AnthroCon to be a slutty, debacherous mess. Essentially, we thought it would be a college party bender (there’s an animal house joke here we’re too lazy to make).
To our surprise, AnthroCon was not really about clumsy pick-up lines and full-costume walks of shame the next morning. It wasn't college. Rather, it was a constant ebb and flow of people being cliquey and people being inclusive. Yep, it was high school.
And if AnthroCon was high school, then we were Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed — we were the too old, too uncool-for-school posers flying under the radar to see just what it was like. And here's what we found:
1. There's A Lot Of Love
2. And There's A Lot Of Exclusion
Look at this Arctic creature gazing on to a group that he wishes he could be a part of. So tragic, so high school.
Or maybe he's just watching the Pittsburgh Panthers game going on in the far distance?
PS: it is so weird knowing that a Panthers game is going on while you're in a convention center with way, way more panthers.
3. But, Hey, Man, Let Your Freak Flag Fly
AnthroCon is definitely a time to express yourself. Are you a dog wearing a Pikachu backpack? Or are you more of a tiger wearing an over-sized donut?
We were all about expressing ourselves in high school but we had a uniform with a fairly strict dress code and inflatable pastries were definitely not within jurisdiction. Such a shame, too, because that's definitely a look we would've rocked.
4. Wait... Are You Guys Gossiping About Me?
Seriously, what are you guys talking about? Is it me? This is all getting a little too high school. Like, come on, guys. Let's act our age (though I'm pretty sure I'm Josie Grosie and I'm 16 years older than you).
... But I can't really tell how old you are cuz you're wearing fucking furry masks over your face. That could be John C. Reilly under that costume*.
*PLEASE GOD LET IT BE JOHN C. REILLY UNDER THAT COSTUME.
6. In AnthroCon, Like In High School, Fashion Is Key
Look at the style on this guy! You don't get more chic than a vest on a fox. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the first girl in my class to wear Uggs.
6. But, Of Course, There's Gonna Be Some Fashion Faux Paws
Hey Ms. (Mr.?) Thing, I know this is a color blog but wow. If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's orange on yellow on yellow, let it mellow in your closet forever, am I right???
Don't worry. Everyone has those fashion mistakes they look back on with shame. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the last girl in my class to stop wearing Uggs.
Also, I actually really like this outfit. I'm just projecting because of the whole Uggs thing.
7. Some Girls Just Get All The Attention
"What I found? Those girls are still there. The ones that, even as you grow up, will still be the most beautiful girls that you've ever seen close up."
-Josie "Grosie" Geller, “Never Been Kissed”
8. The Hotties With The Bodies Were All There
Isn't it hilarious that we thought the boys we knew in high school had "hot bodies?" MAJOR LOL there. They were squirmy JV-basketball one-time-not-virgins and we were talking about them like they were Gerard Butler.
Anyway, look how sexy this ram with a six-pack is! What's your sign? Aries? Me too. Does that mean I can touch your biceps? Is it weird that I'm sexualizing a ram? Probably not because that's an actual fucking human, right?
Also, do you think it's a coincidence that the team mascot in Never Been Kissed was the ram and this guy is dressed as one? Yes. It's 100% a stupid fucking coincidence, Maggie. Let it go.
9. And Some Boys Are Always Gonna Be Bad To The Core
If angstily smoking while looking at pristine bridges doesn't remind you of high school, you were not an SF kid. Or you had the wherewithal to consider lung cancer (sorry to hear you were a big fat dweeb!).
Also, do you guys remember smoking Cloves? All of my older cousins tried to convince me to stop smoking them because "Cloves are disgusting" and I just remember thinking "sorry you guys aren't as complex as I am but I am going to be smoking these cinnamon sticks forever."
And look at me now — complex as ever at a Furry Convention! SUCK IT COUSINS.
10. No, seriously, you guys. This shit is so high school!
... right down to the straight jacket, you know? Remember how crazy that was?
Wait — did I say straight jacket? I meant halter tops. Remember how crazy halter tops were? Straight jackets are for crazy people and I was only crazy about halter tops back then lol #boys #NormalGirl #NormalGirlAtAFurryConvention
lol can't wait to spread the rumor to those bitches from picture #4 that Ceil wore a straight jacket in high school...
11. In The End, It's All About Friendship :)
Yep, this is an actual photo of Ceil and Maggie. Friendship still strong after 12 years.
So, as an ending to this article, and, perhaps a beginning to a new chapter in my life, I, Josie Geller, will be at the state championship baseball game, where my friends, the Southglen Rams (with six packs!) are playing for the title. I will stand on the pitcher's mound for the five minutes prior to the first pitch. If this man accept my apology, I ask him to come kiss me, in front of everyone, for my first real kiss.
...Shit, that's Never Been Kissed again. Whatever, keep posted to see what else we learned, saw and heard at Anthrocon (and to see if Michael Vartan ever showed up to make out with us!)*
*Spoiler alert: he didn't.
Best quote heard that day:
"Do you kiss your mother with that beak?!"
People said there's nothing to do in Iowa. They said it and we believed them. What idiots they all were.
We stumbled across the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. Some time in the early 1900's, Father Paul Dobberstein promised Jesus that if he survived pneumonia, he'd built a shrine made completely out of rocks, minerals and crystals. Spoiler alert: he survived (if you want to avoid spoilers, don't go on the internet, man).
He spent 42 years building the shrine and today it is the largest collection of precious stones found in one location. In fact, it is estimated to value $4 million dollars. To put that in perspective, that's more than Celebrity Apprentice's Omarosa and 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander have combined.
(Editor's Note: though 4 million dollars is quite a large sum, it's only a 10th of Frankie Muniz's net worth. I guess it should really be called "Malcolm In The 1 Percent," huh? What's happening to America's middle class, guys?! Open your eyes, America. Real Eyes Realize Real Lies).
With walls made out of agate, amethyst, azurite and more, we found nearly all 60 of our colors here.
They said there would be nothing to do in Iowa.
... What rocks were they smoking?
The White Sands of New Mexico is a vast stretch of pristine dunes protected by the National Parks Service in Otero County. On full moon nights they keep the park open until midnight and just let visitors roam free across miles of empty white space under the lit up New Mexico sky. I know, it’s crazy that people don’t talk about this more. You drive your car out there, park it, then take your shoes off and just go wherever you want.
And as if the setting wasn’t surreal enough, there’s a Mariachi band playing some where in the distance.
Tons of locals come out for the event, but with so much open space it was difficult to not feel alone out there, traipsing around the desert waiting for the sun to set.
Just before midnight, with the full moon high, and the guitarrón strumming dreamily in the background, we felt moved to open our hearts to each other, to lie in the sand and have one of those heart-wrenching moments that great friendships are made of. However, after three weeks in the car alone together, we realized we have absolutely nothing to say to each other. I do believe the phrase “shut the fuck up — I can’t hear the Mariachi” was uttered.
Here’s to hoping we find something to talk about in the next five and a half months together!!!!!!!!!!
We finally made it to New Mexico! 3 States!
I mean... umm... "that blue, though..."
This photo was taken at Salvation Mountain which is essentially an adobe-covered homage to Jesus built on top of a hill in the middle of the Californian Desert. What was once a little-known indie destination now attracts hipsters and families in Dodge Grand Caravans alike.