Still. We went to Furnal Equinox! Susi and I drove up from his place in Ohio, and I started and then aborted an attempt at video documenting the journey, but the scraps I have may make their way up at some point. It involved going across the Canadian border to Toronto to spend the weekend at another hotel that hosts another universe within its walls.
This convention was about two thirds the size of Furfright but was at a smaller hotel, so it felt around the same size - it was quieter than Furfright due to not knowing quite as many people there. Nevertheless, I was able to meet many great people and artists that I hadn't known about before, along with some that I'd seen previously - Ookami Kemono in particular is a great person and was really enthusiastic about catching up, even though I'd talked to and commissioned him only once before.
I didn't enter the Masquerade this time - I hadn't really prepared anything, but when I heard there was one going on I hurriedly put some notes together and went down anyway, only to remember the reason I hadn't entered was that it was meant to be for suiters. So I went elsewhere and had a lot of fun at some of the improvisation panels instead - some of the highlights involving someone with half a beard imitating a beard-thief, Pac-Man and the Space Core from Portal 2 going on a date, and off-duty Space Invaders commiserating with each other. I then entered a Smash Brothers tournament in which I was beaten in about three minutes. Other events I didn't attend included a pool party with some bizarre and incredible twenty-foot-long custom inflatables, after which the pool was closed for cleaning.
I got to suit as Angel again and found it just as incredible as the first time Susi allowed me to step into his fur - it's incredible how people look at you in fascination and enjoy you interacting with them (especially as there were still a good number of 'normal' people staying at this hotel this time). But I also realized that so much of that appreciation was for Angel and his uniqueness rather than for me - he's an incredible creation of Susi's and he deserves all the credit for him. If I had any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a fursuiter, though, this would have absolutely extinguished it - with my slot at More Fur Less coming up, next time a convention comes around it's going to be the real DavidN!
On the last day of the convention, Tamakun remembered that he lived there and came over to the hotel, so I got to meet yet another person I'd first encountered through the Internet and got to talk face to face and catch up about life, careers and future plans. It was on this day that I fully realized, difficult as it is to let go of youth, that I'm part of a group of more mature furries now - I kept thinking that there were a lot of very young girls at this convention but then realized that I'd just got older. And while the group at the table next to us were tapping away on their DSes before the closing ceremonies, we were talking about the geopolitical implications of an independent Scotland, then Whitney phoned me and got us both excited about the prospect of buying a new dining room table.
Eventually we had to leave, and we left Canada through the lane of an absolutely baffled border crossing guard, who asked us a lot of questions about who we were and what we were taking into the country (referring to me as "Ken" throughout), searched bewilderedly through the array of props that Susi had in the back of his car, and then asked how we met, which Susi euphemized through absolutely beautifully.
I think my favourite moment of the whole convention came from Sandy Schreiber, one of the guests of honour, whose panel we attended on the first day. In an extended answer that I think came off my question about how she and Sabretooth Ermine discovered the furry community, she recounted how when she was playing house as a child she always wanted to be the dog, or the cat, or the parrot, and how everyone else said that no, she had to be the mother or the daughter... and she said (and I'm paraphrasing) "I'm already that - why would I want to pretend to be something that I already am?" That attitude sums up a lot of why I'm part of this community - the imaginations of all of those involved!