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.
Our journey to the eastern border of Wyoming was an arduous one. It took a full six hours across what Ceil called "Bleaksville, Nothingz County." (Please note: Ceil absolutely cracks herself up when she says this. Her game-changing jokes like this are what makes a six hour journey feel like only a five and three quarters one).
Why such a long journey? We were on our way to see Devil's Tower.
In the 11th hour, someone, I won't name names but it rhymes with Tessa, asked, "How long are we really going to look at a rock for?"
Outraged, Cecilia and Maggie quickly fired back at Rhymes-With-Tessa, saying things like "it's not about the destination; it's about the journey!" and "Live a little! When are you ever going to return to Bleaksville, Nothingz County?!"
We even told her that in addition to its being a total geological anomoly and a sacred ground for several planes tribes including the Dakota and Cheyenne, "this rock muthafucka is the muthafucking rock in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind." None of us has actually seen this movie but, one day, Netflix might add it to its streaming catalog and that would be very, very important to us.
So we looked at the rock.
We really, really looked at it.
But somehow, Ceil ended up in a child's sized swimsuit and we ended up just taking pictures of ourselves per usual.
Because I (Maggie) made fun of Ceil's sense of humor earlier in this post, Ceil says I have to finish this by giving her a compliment and, according to her, "it can’t be how good I look in a child’s bathing suit." You know what I have to say? She's got the heart and courage of a lion.
We stayed with Carl for a couple days and he took us on a personal tour of the area. We went on an amazing hike that over looked the river. We walked through an array of native flora including wild New Mexico sage.
We thought it would be a great idea to pick a bundle for a sage burning ceremony to purify our car (aka our home for the next 6 months). Insider's tip: apparently the upholstery of the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta is not fire proof.
Tess whipped out her phone to take picture of the scenery and Carl was quick to tease her about the constant need to look at the world through a lens.
Meanwhile, Maggie was hiding in a bush with her phone taking pictures of Carl looking badass in his bandana.
There was a small bench at the peak where we stopped let Carl “take it all in” and “really feel the beauty of nature” while the three of us pretended like we also knew how to “take it all in” and “really feel the beauty of nature."
Also part of the Carl tour of New Mexico included driving us out to an eery abandoned house (so we could take pictures for the Tumblrs we’re too old to have. Don’t worry, Carl says you’re never too old to share artsy pictures on the internet with the hopes of impressing teenagers online.)
Next we stopped at what I can best describe as a hippie wasteland. It was basically an enormous tract of land dotted with broken down Volkswagen buses owned by white people with dreadlocks. Nobody seemed to be doing much, or paying taxes. We mostly just drove around listening to Carl making fun of them for being to lazy to build a real house. Real houses have dragons.
We also got a chance to visit the famous Earth Ships outside Taos. These building have become a cultural and environmental phenomenon. They are incredibly sustainable solar houses that are made out of old tires and bottles. They are modern and beautiful and they even recycle water to grow food. Seeing them in person was pretty spectacular.
After listening to a short video in the visitors office about all the diverse and functional properties of the Earth Ships, we walked around and listened to Carl talk about how poorly structured they were. To be fair, there were no dragons.
Last we went to a spectacular river gorge with one of the most amazing views we’ve ever seen. No comments form Carl about the structural quality of the bridge.
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!!!!!!!!!!