marko_the_rat: (standing)
I did it! Another year under my belt. After I got to Rattus's 10th anniversary in 2015, it's been one year at a time, but my boss pointed out that next year is the 40th anniversary, so I can't miss that! 2018 or bust!

I flew in the day before, as is my habit, to give me time to acclimatise to Sydney and maybe catch up with friends. Everything seemed to go wrong with Friday, starting with getting out of bed. I checked my email and found Tiger had cancelled my flight 3 hours before it was scheduled to go citing "operational reasons". It said to call them to book a new flight. I did and was left on hold for 50 minutes. (While I was waiting I checked to see if there was any way I could do this on their website, but a phone call was my only hope.) When I finally got to talk to a human, she told me there were no flights from Brisbane she could put me on today, so I agreed to a flight from the Gold Coast when my darling and long-suffering raccoon said he'd drive me. Yes, I know I only have myself to blame for flying with Tiger, but they'd always treated me well before and I thought they'd cleaned up their act since they got bought by Virgin. I was determined to fly to Sydney on Friday because this was my chance to go to the Finnish Consulate to renew my Finnish passport.

Once settled into my room (I'd found a hotel right on the edge of Moore Park), I headed out to find the Finnish Consulate. Google Maps helpfully guided me via public transport to a construction site in the rain. It turns out they'd moved, but Google Maps had pulled the info from my Contacts which for some reason I'd saved from an earlier visit. It was too late for me to get to their new location so I made my way back into the CBD to explore for a little before having dinner with Belinda. When I got an SMS from her I realised my phone had not updated to Sydney time (I had switched off automatic time zone on my phone because it keeps getting it wrong in Brisbane) and I was running late so I had to hot foot it to the other side of the CBD. (Sydney is very big to a small town rat such as myself.) Meanwhile, Stephen (my frequent roommate for Mardi Gras) was having dramas of his own. His Virgin flight had been cancelled and they automatically rescheduled him for a flight later that night (Tiger, take note!) only to have that cancelled and he was rescheduled to fly in early Saturday morning. He rang Virgin but they were adamant there were no flights to Sydney that night. (It was raining fairly heavily in Sydney, but nothing like a storm.) He ended up huddling with other early starters in the only part of Brisbane Domestic airport still open at night. I spent that night alone and lonely, but at least I was warm and dry in a comfortable room and slept soundly that night.

Saturday thankfully went much more smoothly. I got to enjoy an early morning walk in Moore Park until I was drenched by a surprise downpour, but Stephen got to the hotel at last and there was much rejoicing. We took a bus with our suits into the CBD and got there smoothly without the full buses and crawling traffic. Leaving early pays off! We found a new furry who was even earlier than us and we set up shop next to a fairy ring and became the official furry gathering point for that year. (I think we had the honour of being the first furs he'd met irl up to that point--what a leap from never having met another fur to marching in Mardi Gras! I hope we made a good impression.) We were up towards the front of the parade this year and there was patchy rain so it curtailed my own exploratory impulses, explaining why I didn't take many photos this year, but the rain stopped when it was our turn to march. Another great march as always, thanks to Dustan and Loupy.

We went back to our room (still a long walk, but at least we didn't have to brave a taxi or Uber), freshened up and had a long walk to the Erciyes Restaurant (one of the few places still open at that time of night, but it was worth it!). Stephen had been holding up remarkably well on one hour of sleep, but after dinner it finally caught up with him. He'd wanted to go to the after party but he couldn't stay awake so we both had an early (?) night.

Sunday we got to hang out with Kamadan (an NZ spotty cat) and Vel (the only sometimes scary demonic platypus). We made it to the airport with plenty of time and enjoyed a drama free flight back to Brisbane.


I took a handful of photos which I left up on Google Photos.

The official float photographer took a lot of great photos, including this lovely one of Stephen and I (I took Rattus Alt because I feel as if Mardi Gras belongs to him):

The official Mardi Gras photographer took a great shot of the float:

You can also see the livestream of the whole parade (the time link goes straight to our float) here.
marko_the_rat: (standing)
Rattus has had a facelift!
marko_the_rat: (standing)
RivFur, having been downgraded back to a furry meet, was a laid back affair this year, but I still managed to have fun at the BBQ and the closing ceremonies (where Rattus participated in a drawing game). The BBQ was special, because I used it to celebrate Rattus's 10th birthday. Hopefully I'll have photos to show you from that down the track, but for now I am pleased to showcase these photos from the BBQ:

RivFur 2015
marko_the_rat: (standing)
It seems to have become part of my routine to give my own personal Mardi Gras wrap-up. My attempt to learn lessons from last year's Mardi Gras failed but it was still my best Mardi Gras yet! This being my 10th Mardi Gras in a row, I should explain why I keep coming back year after year. Lupie said it best, on a natural high at the after-party: We get to feel like rock stars, just for one night. That's what I come back for every year. Where else can a humble* rat like me experience huge crowds cheering us as we go past?

The furry float itself went off without a hitch (there were some last-minute dramas with the float but those got resolved before we started marching). I planned to march on foot this year, as sort of a tribute to Rattus's first Mardi Gras when he was only a partial and we all had to do it on foot, and I followed through. (Thanks to Dustan for getting my new external foot paws done at such short notice.) Doing the parade on foot makes it feel much more personal and immediate, and I was able to surprise some of the audience by handing out impromptu hugs and high-fives. It also meant I featured prominently in Channel 10's news coverage of the event. I've said before I do it for the crowd, not for the media, but it is a nice bonus. I was especially chuffed because this was Rattus's 10th and he deserved something special to mark it. I felt like I was entering an altered state of mind towards the end but I knew I was committed because there's no question of climbing onto the float once the parade has started (it's a safety issue).

But what are the lessons I failed to learn? I thought getting a room near the end of the parade route would make it easier but that back-fired. My unfamiliarity with Sydney (even with Google Maps, it's very confusing) meant I ended up still being around 3km away from the end of the parade route, and so far away from the start that the only way to get there was by bus. I ended up with a large entourage and organising furries is like herding epileptic cats. By the time we were all ready and waiting at the bus stop, it took several buses before there was one empty enough to take us and then it was a slow creep through traffic to get to Hyde Park (anyone would think there was some big event on!). To my great shame, Dustan had to wait for us so we could all get into the locked off staging area. Afterwards it was a trudge back to the room. I think I was better off with the room I had last year, though at least this way we didn't have to navigate our way around the Mardi Gras crowds.

While I was thrilled to get a photo of Rattus with Scurrow and to fan-boy him, I was deeply disappointed not to get a photo of all three rodents together (except in Logan Husky’s group photo of course). I didn’t think it was my place to be ordering fursuiters about so I let the opportunity pass. Maybe I should have been more bossy? I’m sure the furries thought me adequately bossy when I was trying to get them to Hyde Park!

I was telling myself that this was my last one, that I don't have to keep coming. But why should I stop? I am still having a great time and (as I proved this year) I am still up to the physical challenge of marching. I just need to get over my superstition that if I miss a year I won't go again. Who knows? Maybe in 2025 I could celebrate Rattus's 20th anniversary? I think I will need to ride on the float for that one.

* (Yes, I'm self aware enough to know I have a huge vain streak, in common with all rats and fursuiters. I was using the word "humble" ironically.)
marko_the_rat: Kiss the Cook (cooking)
Rattus is back in the kitchen where he belongs! The third episode of Rats Can Cook! is up on YouTube for the first time in glorious HD and soon on Vimeo.

Behind the cut so as not to overwhelm your Friends page )

Grateful hugs go out to [ profile] higgs_raccoon for making this possible. And thanks to [ profile] pistolpup for loaning his penthouse and his time, helping to give this episode that extra touch of class (well, as much as you can expect with a rat in the kitchen), and to [ profile] ristin for being a Production Assistant.

You don't have to take notes; I have the recipe for Eggplant fettucine with pine nuts and basil online.
marko_the_rat: (fursuit)
Yes, I went to MidFur X and I had a great time! I will share more thoughts later but for me the highlight of the con was getting to perform my very own skit for the first time. I'd been thinking of little else for the past several weeks and I put my all into it. Not all of it worked out quite how I visualised it but overall I'm pretty pleased with it and the audience was very kind. Hopefully a better quality version will show up on YouTube in due course. I'm hoping to take this skit on the road. Next stop: Anthrocon!

It doesn't show up well on this video but at the end Rattus's guitar overheats and starts smoking.
marko_the_rat: (Default)
I got some really amazing presents for my birthday (not least of which was a trip to a real French restaurant!) but I have to admit that the most amazing was an actual banner promoting Ratatouille, courtesy of [ profile] brisdrake. Naturally, Rattus just had to pose with it. Thank you so much Drake!

marko_the_rat: (Default)
Eight months after doing my last Rattus video (not counting the nine-second Gmail submission), I have another video up on YouTube. ^_^ Rattus seems to be getting into doing self-improvement and educational videos. He's such a caring rat. Here, he's showing you how to recycle (with help from [ profile] ristin!).

marko_the_rat: (Default)
I've been blown away at the success of my YouTube submission to Gmail's collaborative video. Its popularity seems to have peaked on Monday when it got to be the second most viewed video on YouTube that day in the category of Film & Animation, beating all the other Gmail submissions. Comments were coming thick and fast, and I enjoyed deleting the spam posts and even an anti-furry troll. I think the troll took exception to his copy-and-paste opinion being deleted after only two minutes because the next day I found my rating had gone down to two stars after a sudden surge in the number of ratings. It's kind of funny to think that he has nothing better to do in his miserable life than make a series of alts on YouTube to pick on my video.

Gmail have put up a new set of featured videos and the furore seems to have died down, with the number of views now anemically creeping up toward 31,000. It's just something I did for a bit of fun and I had no idea it was going to have such an impact. If I had, I would have reshot it to make the M-velope more visible. All in all, I enjoyed my nine seconds of fame and I think it was well worth the half hour or so it took for preparation and filming. :)
marko_the_rat: (Default)
As promised, you can find photos of my trip here, many of which feature Tristram exploring Sydney.


But these are the photos (and videos!) you really want to see. This is my personal favourite one of me. Still raving when many others appear tuckered out. And what a cute tail! Many thanks to Michael Hendy for taking so many great photos.
marko_the_rat: (Default)
My new shirt has come in, printed on 5XL stock, as clothing for Rattus. It's not quite as low as I'd have hoped it would be, but otherwise it fits him quite well.

marko_the_rat: Gothic or serious (gothic)
This photo is some months old now, but I went to a Talk Like a Pirate party dressed up as a pi-rat. Lame pun, I know, but it was good enough to win me the best-dressed award!

Piratical leanings )
marko_the_rat: (happy)
The wonderful [ profile] pappasj invited us to a fancy dress party (around the theme of white) she held celebrating the coming of winter. I thought to myself, "What better symbolises the coming of winter than a giant rat?" and decided I should honour the event with the first public showing of Rattus to a non-furry crowd (except for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which doesn't count because it was a march rather than a party where people can get up close and personal with Rattus). She was very supportive so I built up my Dutch courage (apologies to my Dutch readers) with a few beers and then crept upstairs so I could reemerge as a six foot tall (including the ears) grey rat. I loved it, I absolutely adored all the attention and the cuddles. I was pleased to be recognised as a rat rather than a mouse. My beer drinking party trick also went down well. It's probably a bigger novelty for non-furries and it was a welcoming, open-minded crowd.

Click here for photos of the event! (You need to scroll about half way down for when Rattus comes on the scene, but there were lots of very clever costumes--the burst condom was my favourite!)
marko_the_rat: (Default)
Oh no! Avert your eyes, children! It's Rattus 'using' a mouse.

Oh, Rattus! )
marko_the_rat: (Default)
[ profile] porsupah expressed an interest in seeing me in my work attire so I got [ profile] ristin to take a few photos of me before I head off to catch the bus. Why these could be of any interest to anyone else I have no idea.

Me heading off to work )


marko_the_rat: (Default)
Marko T. Rat

April 2017



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