The afternoon from that point on was rather boring, and I was given the opportunity to go out to supper with Adam and Dad, but opted not to for a couple reasons. For one, I called in sick to work, and as unlikely it would be to happen, I didn't want to risk running into somebody from work who actually had the day off, because I would eventually see them at work and they might say "Hey, I saw you at [x] the other day", leading somebody else to ask "What? I thought you were sick!" Also, forgive my pessimism, but for Dad to make the offer to take us out to supper alone makes me strongly suspect that he wanted to talk or ask us what we'd been up to. Honestly, that makes me sound like the "bad guy" right there, but I don't like being put in that sort of position. If you want to ask me things like that, you're more than welcome to do so at home, but don't be surprised if I don't give a very long answer, because most of the time I don't want to talk.
Anyways, he and Adam went out, as did Mom and Naomi to some other place on their own, leaving me with the house to myself. I spent most of the night upstairs though, only going down to the kitchen for water and to toast some raisin bread for my supper. From then until ~10:30 I tidied up my room and got a few things ready for Saturday, then finally started feeling tired enough to go to bed, so I turned my light off and layed down. As per usual I played another couple puzzles on Pic Pic, then started feeling uncomfortably warm, so I grabbed one of the thinner blankets I have, then layed down again to try to go to sleep.
I'm not sure what time it was when I woke up (I'm going to guess around 1), but I did, and it was still quite dark out, so I stayed in pretty much the same position hoping I'd fall back asleep. That's one of the disadvantages of normally being up at that time in the morning. Your body expects to be up and active then, but in my case you have plans that require you to be up quite early the following morning, and have a very hard time getting the two parts of your brain to realize the same thing. Eventually I fell back to sleep though, and the next time I woke up it was starting to just barely get lighter outside. I figured it must be close enough to 7, so I rolled over and checked my laptop, only to see that it was 6:58. It seems no matter what I do, in any case like that where I have to be up much earlier than I normally am, I somehow wake up a couple minutes before I have to be, no matter whether I have my alarm set or not.
The other thing I noticed was a chat window in the lower corner of the screen with several messages from Deoge. Simply letting me know how much it would cost for gas, and that he'd be there around 8:30. He was actually still online at the time, so I sent him a couple replies, ended with "See you then~", and rolled out of bed. That was followed by getting dressed, packing most of my stuff up, then heading downstairs to wait. Originally I was going to do random stuff on my laptop, then figured it'd be more convenient to have that packed by the time he showed up too, so I did, then went into the dining room to play Guitar Hero III. Not with the guitar, unfortunately, but I can still do passably well with the controller, which is exactly what I did in that case. The only songs I remember playing were Top Gun Anthem, and part of Stockholm Syndrome, then there was a knock on the door.
It was Deoge, obviously, and the first thing I had him do was carry all the candy out to his car. Something tells me he didn't realize quite how much it was as well, because he seemed rather surprised at how heavy it was when he lifted it up. Anyways, while he did that I made sure I had everything, then locked the door, walked down the steps, and got into his car.
Our first stop was the ATM on Keil, because I had no money with me, then McDonalds so I could get some breakfast. That was the first bad part of the day. The guy in front of me ordered $41 worth of food, and by the time I got *my* food, Deoge was just walking in to see what was taking so long. After getting back into his car I was informed that we were now about ten minutes off, but there were no worries because we could make up some time on the 401, and indeed we did. Not much happened driving along there aside from some random talking and me taking pictures of the sun shining through the clouds and various signs, but we reached our first stop before too long, which was London, for gas. Nothing else there, although we were both quite amused at how his GPS referred to the highway as a "motorway". Anyways, from there, more talking and picture taking until we started driving out of range of the radio station we were listening to and I pulled out my laptop to put other music on. That didn't last for very long, because I opted to play StepMania after listening to only two or three songs, and that drains the battery rather quickly. We eventually had to turn off though, and had our first experience with getting lost. Thankfully the GPS made getting back on track quite easily, but Deoge learned that zooming out on the screen was a good idea, because it allowed him to see where he had to turn with more time to spare.
Our next stop was at a random set of traffic lights where Deoge thought something had happened to his car, but as far as I know now it was just a sewer grate that he drove over or something. It was slightly worrisome though because he said that if whatever he thought happened had, we wouldn't be going anywhere, and I didn't like the thought of that not only for not making it to the meet, but also for being stuck in a strange / unfamiliar place. Thankfully nothing happened, as I already said, and from there we continued driving, eventually reaching the house where Pakesh De was supposed to live. He was there too, but he didn't answer the door at first, so it's a good thing I waited there for a bit. Deoge was there too, but he was back in his car, and it would not have been good if nobody had been there at the door when he came to it.
So we exchanged formalities, then got into the car again, and were off. The two of them talked about something or other (or perhaps several of them) involving cars on the way there while I took more pictures, and the next thing I knew we were only several hundred metres away from the apartment (at least according to what Sheila (what Deoge named his GPS) was telling us). Of course, getting into the place wasn't quite so easy.
First of all, Deoge needed to find a place to park, and apparently he had talked to Ki Wind about getting a parking pass, so he went inside to see about getting it. However, there was nothing in the lobby to indicate where the meet was being held, so when he came back out we pulled around into the parking lot for visitors and discussed our options for getting in. I was advised to try to get on the internet on my laptop, so I pulled it out and turned it on, and sure enough there was an unsecured access point that I was able to connect to. Strangely though, it turned to being secured less than a minute after that, but I was still connected, and thought nothing of it. Deoge mentioned letting them know we were outside in "the IRC channel", so I logged off then back on again because Pidgin and everything else I have in my startup folder failed to start, then opened it and set up a new IRC account, from where I passed it over to him. Apparently he doesn't know quite as much about IRC as I thought though, because he didn't know the channel name or anything, and eventually asked me to open Firefox so he could go to the Toronto-Furry website and use the chat thing there. That worked. Sort of.
The first piece of advice we were given was to use the door which was very helpful, then we were told to just wait there and follow somebody else in, but one of the other furs in the channel said that might be a security issue, then eventually Morgan either said he would let us in, or told us he would get somebody else to, because we pulled around to the side of the road again, got out, and tried to grab everything we could to bring it inside. I ended up dropping a container of donuts onto the sidewalk, but they were still in their package, and nobody seemed to notice when they were actually being eaten, so that works. Upon opening the door to the lobby, we were greeted by a sheet of paper telling us to buzz #0038 for the party room, so I did, and was just beginning to wonder if I should've included the number sign when somebody answered, and we were let in. Down the stairs and around the corner we walked, and were greeted by a door with a sign on it that said "PARTY ROOM", where the meet itself began...
Of course, the first thing all three of us did right away was to walk up to the counter to set our bags of food and candy down. The reaction to the amount of candy I'd brought was quite amusing, but I didn't stick around long enough to hear anything beyond "Holy s^^t", instead opting to walk around looking for a place to set my other things down. Before that, however, I ran into Azurtrix and was asked if I had called into work, then he said something else about having seen all of the candy ahead of time. I eventually settled on just setting my bags down against one of the walls, and walking back over to the counter to get some candy, and was put to work carrying bowls of the various things over to the tables spread throughout the three rooms. That actually helped, because upon walking into the furthest one, I noticed an unoccupied chair with a power outlet quite close to it, so after distributing the last couple bowls, I grabbed my backpack and other bag yet again, and carried them over to that corner so I could charge my laptop and hopefully get on the internet. The former worked fine, but all the wireless access points nearby were secured, so I ended up just closing it and setting it down on the floor to watch the movie that was being played. Title was "Phantom Pawpet", and it involved various animal puppets singing / acting out Bohemian Rhapsody, then Phantom of the Opera, just without so much acting. Eventually I got tired of that, and had to go rub Curel on my back anyways, so I grabbed that, asked where the bathrooms were, and went out into the hallway.
Upon trying to open it, I found that the mens' bathroom was locked, and there was no response when I knocked on the door. Eventually Dan Skunk came out needing to use it too, and suggested just going in the womens' one, but it was also in use. Thankfully, less than a minute after that the door opened, and I was able to go about my business, and also figured when I went back into the party room I'd find Sparrow and ask where he planned on setting his DS and PSP up so I could do the same with mine, and that's exactly what I did. When I was walking around at first I noticed a PSP on one of the tables on the center room with a note saying "You can play games if you want", and figured mine would be going there too. However, that table had since been claimed by Morgan for his tails and dragons. As it would turn out though, he was still setting things up, so I took the opportunity to tell him "I have something for you", then flipped open my DS and gave him the dryer sheet I had tucked inside and watched the look of confusion then amusement on his face as he realized what it was for (link for reference). Anyways, after that Sparrow and I went to consult Ki to find another power outlet with a table close by, and ended up using the one in the corner of the first room that I hadn't noticed at first. There was still one free plug left, so I grabbed my laptop from the far room, and brought it back out to where my DS and PSP were, slid it under that table, and plugged it in so it could continue charging, then did the same with my backpack and bag of fursuiting stuff, minus the plugging it in part. From there, I went back to doing other things for a bit, which mostly included wandering around and taking more pictures.
Eventually I heard somebody else ask where the bathrooms were, so I said they were out in the hallway, but that the mens' bathroom was locked, prompting Dan to ask Ki to get ahold of the building manager to come unlock the door. That, however wasn't necessary, because he said the door was already open. Perhaps somebody had just been in there and wasn't responding, but one way or the other, I had to go to the bathroom again as well, so I went out into the hallway, tried opening the door, and found that it was locked. Knocking on the door got me a "Yes?" that time though, so I took a couple steps back so I could lean against the wall and wait. Eventually one of the furs (who I'm presuming is / was Black Mage Kitty) opened the door and walked out. Once in the bathroom, I had a weird thought. The ceiling was sagging in one corner, and I wondered how high up I could get into the building if the opening was large enough to crawl into. Probably not very, but the thought was still... interesting. Anyways, I finished up in there, then walked back down the hallway and into the party room again.
The first thing I noticed back in there was somebody else sitting where I was going to, doing something on their laptop. They were playing a game, and sure enough that game was StepMania. I sat down to watch her for a bit, then reached over her, underneath the table (knocking over her can of pop in the process), grabbed my laptop, and opened StepMania on it. From there we more or less watched each other play various songs, while I was told that playing StepMania with three fingers is the only "right" way to do it. She used four keys in the middle of the keyboard somewhere, and I can see that being easier for fast songs, but I'm quite happy with the way I play it now. We did end up both playing the same song to see who would get the higher score though, and I'm pleased to say I did. My screenshot is here, and the only things I did better than her on were a higher max. combo, as well as having better accuracy. We both got A's though, and I suppose that's really all we were concerned with.
Eventually I got up and slid my laptop back under the table, planning on finding Deoge to ask what time he wanted to go see about booking a room for the night, and after getting an answer (I can't remember what it was right now), went back to the couch to sit down again, and the time from then until we left was more or less spent playing Mario's Picross 2 on my PSP and watching some card game being played at one of the other tables. All I know about it was that there was a wooden peg sort of thing standing up in the middle of the table, and each player had to flip over a card, which had varying shapes and colors on them. I know both Deoge and Ki were playing, so I'll use them as examples. Say Deoge flipped over a card that had a yellow square with jagged edges, somebody else took their turn after him, then Ki flipped over one of his cards and it had, oh, a green square with the same jagged edges. Whoever grabbed the peg first "won", and that would be followed by a loud "OHHHH!" from everybody at the table. The thing that made it somewhat tricky was that, still using the cards with squares as an example, there would be some with wavy edges instead, and if you flipped one of those over when somebody else had already laid down one with the jagged edges and grabbed the peg first, you "lost" and were teased about it for a few brief seconds.
I presume he finished the game he was playing before we left, but eventually he came into the other room asking if I was ready to go, so I grabbed my shoes, and off we went. The cold air in the hallway felt much nicer, but that didn't last for too long, because upon stepping outside I noticed it had been raining and still was slightly, so I picked up my tail and walked to the car hoping to get rained on as little as possible. We talked for a bit about how we thought things were going so far, and agreed that there were valid reasons for what we didn't like (namely the heat), and dropped it there. Nothing terribly interesting was said on the way to the hotel, mostly because I was too busy taking pictures, but we ran into something unusual upon getting to the intersection where we should've turned to get to the hotel. The GPS told us to go straight over the bridge ahead, and figuring it knew what it was talking about, we did, and were instructed to bear right shortly after starting up it. That let us around and underneath the bridge we'd just crossed, then back around and up into the opposite lane. Sort of weird, but it was less than a five-minute detour so we just laughed it off then tried to find a place to park.
Booking the room was rather uneventful aside from getting an "Oh!" from some lady as she got onto the elevator. Probably because I still had my tail, ears, and arm warmers on at the time, but I thought nothing of it, and anything else she might've said was cut short by the door closing. Our next stop after the hotel was Walmart to pick up some more pop. My tail fell out of my pocket walking up to the place, and if you'll recall it had been raining, so it got wet and that sucked. Anyways, despite not knowing exactly where the pop was, Deoge found it without too much difficulty (apparently the layout of the store was quite similar to whichever one he visits the most), and we grabbed four cases. Cola, Cream Soda, Root Beer, and Orange. On the way up to the checkout I noticed several more cases of the pop we were carrying sitting in the middle of the aisle, but it would've been pointless to grab those, so we just walked up to the checkout lane and waited.
They have an interesting sort of system wherein there are five or six express checkout lanes, but one queue for all of them. You simply wait until you're at the front of the line, then are told by some computer voice to "Please go to..." then the lane number. We got #3 which was amusing because the only other ones I heard before that were #1 and #5. I know it's probably common and therefore uninteresting to anybody that sees it regularly, but I don't, and therefore it's getting included in here. But when our turn finally came, I was promptly asked by our cashier if I was on some sort of dare, and gave him the same response everyone else has gotten, that being that it's simply something I'm into. Aside from that and him thinking that I was buying one case of pop on my own, nothing much else happened, but before leaving Deoge asked one of the other employees standing beside the door if there was a beer store anywhere nearby, and she said she didn't know, followed by us walking back out to the car.
The drive back to the apartment was pretty much the same as the way there, in terms of taking pictures of random things. The most interesting one I got was of some van that had obviously been in an accident because the hood was a different color than the rest of it. When we got back to the parking lot though, things didn't exactly work out as we hoped, in that the card Deoge had been given to get into the lot wouldn't work, and he didn't want to pay $4. After some driving around to see if there was anywhere else he could park long enough to run inside and see what the problem was, he opted to just dig into his pocket and pull out some money. That was probably for the best anyways, because there was a cop sitting up at the far end of the parking lot that would presumably not have been happy with us gaining access by other means.
So out of the car we got once again, grabbed two cases of pop each, and walked up to the doors, where somebody was already waiting for us. I took a couple pictures of the sign with the buzzer number, then walked down the stairs and back into the party room as well. The pop was obviously placed into the fridge, then Deoge took off somewhere else, and I'm pretty sure I just walked back to the other couch I hadn't sat on yet, and sat down for a bit. The next thing I can remember was hearing some things said about MFF, so I mentioned "Hey, I'll be there as well", and from there was sat down beside and randomly asked if I was having fun, and if my parents knew what I was here for today. I said yes, then yes again to the question that followed that about if they knew I was furry, then also was asked what their reaction was to that, and one other unexpected question from there. In the end though it more or less came down to how I told them, leading to mentioning my tattoo, then showing them a picture of it. Their reaction was rather obvious ("You know that's permanent, right?"), and was followed by more questions about what I'd do if, in the future, I had a significant other, and they didn't like it. Apparently responding to that with "Well, they would ideally be furry as well" was not expected and makes me look even more like an elitist, well, insert your own word after that. Anyways, they also asked what it was I liked about furries, then I sort of figured "I'm going to get up and go somewhere else before they ask anything else", so I took off over into the other room to watch Guitar Hero II being played.
Of course, I asked to play the next song, and once they finished the one they were on, walked around closer to the TV so I wouldn't have to stretch the cord on the guitar as far, and quickly noticed my socks getting wet. Somebody had spilled pop on the floor, and not only was I standing in it, but I had also dragged my tail through the stuff. Erf. I tried to back up against the wall as far as possible for that one song, then crouched down on the couch for the other one, after which I gave the guitar away to somebody else that was waiting to play so I could go tend to my tail. I couldn't exactly do much at the moment outside of squeezing it with paper towel, but that still helped a bit.
Seeing as I didn't feel like getting back into that mess again though, I walked over to take a look at the game that was being played on the card table at that moment, and saw that it was Monopoly. Just with credit cards instead of money, and the prices of everything increased significantly, probably to more closely resemble the prices of things nowadays. It still seemed weird though, because Monopoly just isn't the same without the paper money. That and whoever's filling the job of the banker being able to take advantage of that if necessary. But I watched for a bit, then went over to watch DDR being played as well, then to the third party room where they were watching more furry-themed movies with SonicBlu's music in the background. Upon turning around to head back, I ran into Deoge talking to Jean (who was presumably the mother or grandmother of one of the furs at the meet), and caught enough of their conversation to hear "I got him into the tattooing thing now, so he has the snow leopard spots all over his back". From there, I went back out to the first room to grab my paws so I could actually put them on, but ran into Dan Skunk on the way, wanting to know if I had any money to put towards pizza, so I have him $20 and got ten back, and ended up taking five pieces anyways, which was more than enough. Getting back to the paws though, they garnered several "Oh, you have other stuff too! Do you have a mask?" comments. For one, yes, I have other stuff, but I just haven't put it on yet. Two, no I do not have a mask, and have no plans to either. A full head, yes, but I want something more than would just cover your face.
So anyways, off into the far party room I wandered, getting there just in time to be asked by Morgan if I was going to take part in the parade. I said yes, and stood there because I figured everyone would be coming along, but apparently it was only for the fursuiters, because I was told to join the line, so I walked back to the end of it and waited. Just as we were about to start walking, somebody else standing back there asked if he could take a picture, so I said yes, waved, was told thanks, and ran to catch up with the other fursuiters. More waving followed as we walked through the three rooms, then we went out into the hallway, turned to the left, walked for a bit, then went right back into the other door to the party room(s). Not as long of a "parade" as I was expecting, but it was still raining outside, and although that made it nice and cool indoors, it would not have been very fun to go walking around in.
Once that was over with, I walked back over to the TV where Guitar Hero was still being played, and said I wanted to try the next song with my paws on. It was Thunderforce, and I think I did alright despite only playing it on Hard, but the most difficult part of it was not being able to feel which buttons you were holding down. I took them off after that because my arms were getting slightly sweaty anyways, and sat down to play several more songs.
That's pretty much all I did for the rest of the night, aside from grabbing one last can of pop (of course, by the time I wanted some, all the stuff Deoge and I had picked up at Walmart was gone) and packing my things up. We said our goodbyes around 1 in the morning, checked one last time to make sure we had everything, and I grabbed several packets of the Koolaid mix that were on the counter, then we left.
Nothing terribly interesting happened on the drive back to the hotel, and we pretty much called it a night right after getting up to our room. Well, Deoge did, and I took a couple more pictures of the lights outside, and an amusing sign in the bathroom, then laid down on the other bed hoping to be able to connect to the internet. As it would happen, there were three wireless access points available, all with a different signal strength, and all unsecured. However, the farthest all three of them got to connecting was eventually giving a "Limited or no connectivity message", so I typed a couple things into Notepad, saved them, shut my laptop down and packed it up, then pulled back the covers and layed down in bed.
I did not wake up for so much as a minute until the alarm on my DS started going off, but I suppose that was a good thing, given that it would've been rather unsettling waking up earlier only to realize where I was. Anyways, Deoge woke up shortly after I did, and we set about getting dressed and making sure we had everything packed up, then took our cards down to the front counter to check out, then walked out and around the building to his car.
Our first order of business was to find somewhere to get breakfast (he had been wondering if breakfast was included with the hotel room, but even if it had been, we likely would not have had enough time to eat anything). McDonalds was suggested, and we had almost parked in the Walmart parking lot again to go to the one there, when he decided that Tim Hortons sounded better. It's sort of funny how you see them pretty much everywhere when you don't need them, but when you do want to go to one, they're nowhere to be found. We drove up the road we were on for a bit though, looking around for one of the usual signs, then Deoge mentioned that he also needed to find an ATM as well. More or less at that exact time I thought I saw a sign for both Royal Bank and Tim Hortons, but didn't want to tell him to turn around in case I was wrong. Thankfully he did anyways, because sure enough, that's exactly what I had seen. Apparently he has some misconception about them though, in that if they're drive through stores, you can't go in at all. But after he came out of the bank I pointed out that there were several other customers waiting in line, so we parked, walked up to the door, opened it, and stepped in. It was quite crowded in there, and I didn't realize there was a line you had to wait in, so I just stood at the door assuming the customers at the counter would eventually be given whatever they ordered and head out, sooner or later allowing me to take their place. We didn't lose too much time there though, and after settling back into the car again, were on our way to the zoo.
Driving there, like all the other times we had to drive anywhere, was uneventful, until the GPS told us we had reached our destination, with the zoo nowhere to be found. An attempt was made to select the other address for it, and that seemed to work, because we were instructed to drive down the hill in front of us, then take a few more turns from there, and eventually we came across an interesting bridge. It was quite narrow, and there were traffic lights on both sides of it, simply because it would've been impossible for two vehicles to cross at once. As with the Walmart thing, it would probably be more of a pain than anything to somebody who is used to it, but I found it rather unusual.
Anyways, from there I started getting more and more anxious as we got closer to the zoo, but was rather dismayed not seeing very many other cars in the parking lot. That turned out to be a good thing, but given that some of the other furs from the meet were supposed to be coming with us, it was sort of weird not seeing them there. Neither of us felt like waiting though, so I put my ears on, then stepped out of the car, and we both walked toward the gate. The admission price was $20, and honestly, that seems a bit expensive now, but I did not even think twice about the price while we were there, and can safely say that I, at least, got more than my money's worth. Just for being able to see the snow leopards alone, but I'm getting ahead of myself now.
Our first stop inside the zoo was to consult the map to figure out where we wanted to go first, but Deoge had mentioned wanting to be on the way home by noon or so on the way there, so I suggested we go right to the snow leopards and wolves, then see about going around to the other animals afterwards. Amusingly enough, there was a guy standing just inside the gate, who was presumably there to give directions if you needed them, and without either of us even saying anything first, he asked "You looking for the snow leopards?" Yes, we are. Or perhaps I am, because Deoge was there for the wolves, but still, just what gave that away... Anyways, he pointed us in the general direction, and we set off. On the way there, we ran across the Red Panda exhibit, and sure enough, there was a piece of paper with "Sponsored by Firefox" or something like that on it taped to the inside of the window. Then also animals that looked sort of like foxes, but were called "Dhole"s. Further on we walked, all the while with me taking more pictures, then finally we came to the snow leopards.
Well, first a statue of two of them which we both had pictures taken with, although I went second, and when I sat down next to it, the top of one's head looked as if somebody had been licking it, which was rather annoying. Pictures were taken anyways though, then I got quite a few more of the animals themselves. Unfortunately, any time I tried to zoom in really close on them, the camera decided to focus on the fence instead, and I didn't think of trying to turn the autofocus off at the time. There was the option of taking pictures through the window too, but neither of them could be easily seen from there. I took a couple more pictures though, then it was announced that he wasn't going to worry about getting back to Chatham in time for the stuff he had originally planned to do, so we consulted our map again to find where the wolves were, and set off for them.
On the way there, we ran into a peacock randomly wandering one of the paths, so we stopped for a bit to try to catch it, but it always ended up taking off into the bushes where we couldn't reach it. Then there was also a large, hollow globe that Deoge decided we wanted to climb, so he did, while I stood there taking pictures of him struggling not to fall off. We also came across the raccoons, which were, at that point, nothing but little balls of fur curled up in their hollow log things, and in after them, there was a large hill. Sure enough, the wolves were at the bottom of said hill, so we walked down anyways, and came across, well, the cougars, first of all. As it would happen though, both of them were sleeping, but one woke up and raised it's head for long enough that I could take a picture, then we continued on towards the wolves.
Once there, I started taking pictures of them, while Deoge did the same, sort of leaning on the fence trying to get as close to them as possible. Eventually he jumped right over the fence and walked up to the other one (there were two - one waist high, then another surrounding the whole enclosure) to sit down with them for a bit, while I wandered back in the other direction to take some picture of the eagles. Once he was finished there, we walked back the way we had just come, but turned down the side path instead, and found ourselves in front of the bears. There were two statues there which we took pictures of each other with, as well as a couple of the bears (even though the only one I could see was quite far out in the field), then we walked back up the hill again, then turned down the path we hadn't taken before. That led us over to the lions, as well as some hollowed out tree that had lots of interesting messages written on the inside of it, and a rather large tunnel that housed the exhibits for a couple of the other animals. I'm pretty sure the leopard was one of them, but I couldn't see it, so I opted to take a picture of the "DO NOT TAP ON GLASS" message, then we continued on.
Our next stop was halfway along some wooden walkway, because there were supposed to be elephants somewhere close by, but we couldn't see any. Yesh, it's sort of sad that they would've been the largest animal in the place and we couldn't find them, but perhaps they were off being fed or something. We did see what was presumably the only rhinoceros there further along the walkway though, and it was quite large, so meh.
By that point, we figured we'd seen pretty much everything, but we still had lots of time, so I was asked if I wanted to go back to see the snow leopards again, and of course, I did. I recorded a couple movies there, and was also told by Deoge to jump over the railing to get a bit closer to them (for I was standing up on top of it to get a better view for picture taking, but I didn't, and I regret it now. That was probably the first and last time I'll ever have the chance to visit that place, but there's no sense getting all out of sorts now. While we were standing there though, some kid behind us said something like "I think their tails are real!", in reference to Deoge and I, and I also got some sort of verbal reaction out of one of the snow leopards. It sounded like it was groaning, then it walked back behind the pile of rocks, jumped up on them, laid down, then stared at me until I turned away. I'm still not sure what it meant, but it was something more than just taking pictures of them, so meh.
After that, we turned and started walking back towards the gates, and ran into Dan Skunk along the way. Small talk and apologies for not waiting for the rest of them ensued, then, although I can't remember how it came about, we ended up following him around to a couple other places, and eventually to the Harvey's in the zoo for lunch. Sure enough, while we were there a couple other furs from the meet showed up, and we all sat down together to eat. Once we finished there, Deoge and I said our goodbyes and gave some hugs, then took off once again for the gate. I sort of wanted to stop by the gift / souvenir shop to see what they had of the snow leopard variety, but that would've been money unnecessarily spent, and I already have plenty of tails and such of that sort.
The drive home (after getting out of the Toronto area) was once again uneventful, enough so that I fell asleep for what felt like less than a minute, and Deoge said he felt like he was going to as well. Well, aside from him finally remembering that he still had part of his breakfast from Tim Hortons tucked away. He still ate it though, and it was somewhat warm, but still rather old. Eventually we stopped at some Husky branded service centre so he could get some more gas, but I went in as well to grab a bottle of water, and also ended up taking a picture of all the plush huskies they had on top of the fridges. Then upon getting back into the car I was asked if anybody had made any remarks to me, because apparently I was getting all sorts of weird looks, but nothing was said. Then the last thing I did before putting everything away and watching buildings and such go by was copying the pictures he took to my laptop, as well as copying the ones Sparrow and I had taken to his memory card.
Not much was said when we pulled into the driveway aside from "Well, that was alot of fun, so thanks for the ride / thanks for coming along". I was given a box of muffins though (which are all gone now), then I walked into the house, set them on the counter, and went up to my room. My first order of business there was to pull my laptop out and say Happy Birthday to Noir, then the rest of the night was more or less spent uploading all of the pictures from the weekend, as well as chatting with both her and Deoge, and writing the first draft of this. Apparently my lack of sleep finally caught up to me though, because I fell asleep around 10, laying on my back (when I always sleep on my stomach), with my laptop on my lap, an episode of Home Improvement playing on it, and my light still on. Thankfully I woke up about fifteen minutes after that though, and that small nap didn't really help things anyways, because I ended up calling it a night around 4.
You would figure with all the stuff that happened in such a short span of time, I would have some dreams related to the previous day's events, but I guess not, and, well, I'd prefer real, tangible memories of trips like that to dreams any day <3
Now *that* took far too long to write.
All told though, it was an extremely fun weekend, and I greatly enjoyed every part of it (aside from the couple annoying things mentioned up there), but if I had to choose between the meet and the trip to the zoo, I'd say the latter. Pretty much everything worked out perfectly on Sunday, and as I think was already mentioned, I had never been to the Toronto Zoo up to that point, and first times for those sorts of things are always better, no matter what evidence you pile up against that.
As for other things, both Dad and Adam need to think a bit harder. On the way out to Little Caesars earlier I was asked if there was anything in particular I wanted for a birthday present. It's still just under a month away, but Adam's is tomorrow, and mine will be the next after that, so I guess it makes sense for them to start thinking about it now. Anyways I told him there were a couple CDs online that I wanted, and if they showed up on the site again in time for my birthday, they could consider getting those. Problem with that is I've been checking Vulpvibe every other day or so since the site layout changed, and they still only have two CDs listed for which you can buy the actual disc. I know there were several other things I posted all at once in an entry a while ago too, but it's pretty much safe to say that if I can't be bothered to look them up again now, chances are I didn't really want them after all.
The thing I'm getting at with the title of this entry is that he went on to tell me I should think about it, and let them know whenever I've made up my mind. Fine. I will agree that yes, it is ultimately easier to have somebody tell you what they want so you can find and buy it, but it also shows a complete lack of thought on your part. Did I have to ask any of you last year what you wanted for Christmas? No. Have I asked you yet this year? Once again, no, but I'm less certain that you'll truly appreciate what I got for you, whereas last year I knew you would, because it was my first year doing anything of that sort, thus I had more options. Getting back to my birthday present though, there is one thing about me that you didn't know at this time in 2007. It is up to both you and Mom to think about what it is, although given it's something you see on a daily basis, it shouldn't be that difficult.
At least that's what I'd like to say. And yes, the thing I'm referring to is quite obviously being furry. I would be happy with anything snow leopard (or even normal leopard) related that they get me (as long as it's not something I already have), but I don't want to come right out and say that. They've told me several times in the past that I'm always quiet and never seem to be in the mood to talk, and even though that's not a good thing from a regular point of view, it works in this situation. Now is their chance to think over the few things I have told them, and figure out what I'd like from there.
But for now I plan on asking two times if they've thought of anything. Once before I leave for MFF, and the other when I come home. Perhaps a light will flicker on in one of their heads between then and, well, then.
Although that's another amusing thing. As planned I went to Money Mart after Little Caesars tonight, and after getting back into the car and buckling up, was asked if I was in some sort of debt. No, Dad, and if I ever was, to the point where I had to enlist whatever services they offer there, I would be a complete wreck, and you would notice. I cannot stand the feeling of owing money to somebody, unless it's some insignificant amount such as somebody at work buying drinks from Tim Hortons for everybody. Any large amount and it's one of those things that you worry about constantly until it's resolved.
I explained what I had gone in there for though, and learned that even though I printed the list and stuck it to the board in the kitchen a while ago, he still doesn't know I'll be going to the States next week. So of course he asked "I assume you have a passport then...?", followed by some comment about how I'm "really adventuresome now" (yes, -some as opposed to -ous), and that when he was a kid going to London was quite far. My view of distance is based more on the time it takes to get there than the distance though. For example, it takes the train about an hour to get to London from Chatham, and I've walked home from work along routes that took me as long or longer than that. If I had a vehicle it may be different, but I don't so that's how I see things right now.
As for Adam, I also went out to Tim Hortons around midnight, and when walked in the door again, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him pretty much the same thing I told Dad, but at least he's put a little bit of thought into it. Either that, or still having my arm warmers on gave it away, because he jokingly asked if I wanted another tail or a second set of ears or more tattoos or something, and I more or less said I had those things already, but he was on the right track. Put some thought into it, and for both our sakes, don't say you're getting something for me. Another part of giving a gift is for it to be a surprise, and that's exactly why I haven't told them anything yet, although that could be considered not talking to them, which is, once again, not really a good thing.
Other than that, I've been thinking a bit about the hole I started digging myself into a couple entries back. First of all, if you're reading this, Deoge, your comment is pretty much in the same place as the ones Noir posted back in August. They are and will remain there for anybody else who wishes to read them, but I have no plans to right now, and cannot foresee doing so at any point in the close future (and also, you see, this is why I wanted to make the "How we knew each other when we were kids has no relevance now" thing quite clear when we first started talking in MSN).
Anyways, I created yet another alternate account early yesterday morning, and posted the current state of how I see things to a certain community dealing with depression and all that wonderful stuff. If I get any helpful replies from that, great, but it got me to thinking. Perhaps I should join the same community with this account here, just so every time I look at my friends page I'm reminded that, despite things somebody else may be looking forward to, there are always others out there who are on the completely opposite end of the spectrum / what have you. Sure, you could say "Well, by watching that community you'll be more susceptible to that sort of stuff yourself", but unless somebody else posts something I'm really able to identify with, it seems like a win / win type thing. I'm still going to wait for a bit to see how things go though, because I don't want to up and do anything before I'm sure about it.
And with that, I need to run down to the computer downstairs to unzip those episodes of The Red Green Show for Adam. I was going to do that from up in my room here, but the time remaining was about 7 hours, and I don't want to run the risk of them still extracting when he wakes up in the morning~