Gryphon Stompy

Someone I like to remember.

When I was in my late teens, my father was in a mental asylum. Why was
he in an asylum? Because he was a crazy fuck. That's not the point.

For the year and a half he was in the asylum, my family would come to
visit him about twice a month. And during that time, I met some of the
most interesting people I've ever met. There was the paint sniffer who
could do cryptograms in 17 different languages. The maniac who killed
his whole family but saved a helpless kitten from a sewer drain. The man
who believed with all his heart that each cigarette he smoked would end
with his death, and then rejoiced with the happiness of a cancer
survivor each time he put one out and was not dead.

Obviously, security in a place like this was pretty tight. There were
several security checks to go through before you were let into "E
Wing"... the place they kept the violent and unpredictable patients.
Sometimes, the waits were pretty long. They could only allow so many
visitors at a time so they could keep track of everything. And when
there were a lot of visitors to E Wing, sometimes you spent a lot of
time in the waiting room.

The waiting room was a perfect scene for a crazy-house film. A long
hallway with bars on all the windows. Built sometime in the 1930's, it
had the old timey black and white tiled floor. Doors with square glass
windows in each, complete with the painted names of the occupants who
worked in those rooms. Ceiling fans hung from a ceiling perhaps 15 feet
high. An ancient stairway leading to upper floors. Occasionally,
psychotic screams would echo down the stairwell. This isn't a story,
this actually happened.

One time, while my family was waiting in this "lobby" to get to the next
checkpoint and hopefully E Wing to visit my father, my mother struck up
a conversation with another woman who was waiting to see a doctor. This
was a black woman... someone white people didn't normally converse with
voluntarily in Arkansas, even when I was growing up.

The black woman was frantic to see a doctor and have her daughter
committed. And as she talked, her daughter who was there with her,
walked intently back and forth along the tiled hallway, turning when she
reached each end and heading back the other way until she again reached
the end. She said nothing. She responded to no one. It was as if she
didn't realize any of us were there. As though she was in her own world.
Her eyes were a million miles away, seeing things that no one else saw.
Occasionally, she would speak to no one. Responding to questions that
hadn't been asked. Making comments on beautiful dresses that no one was
wearing. In spite of myself, my immediate reaction to the young, crazy
black girl was to be frightened of her.

And in one very terrifying moment, as I was standing at the end of the
hall she was walking toward, she made a slight variation in her walking
routine. Instead of reaching the end of the hallway and turning
immediately back to begin her excursion the other direction, she paused
when she reached me. For a brief moment, she lifted her eyes to look
into mine and seemed as though she might have joined us in reality for
just a split second as she grabbed my hand.

She squeezed hard! Looking into my eyes the whole time. And as I
watched, her eyes and mind again wandered away to some unseen place. But
she kept the grip on my hand. I was terrified! I kept looking toward
her mother, hoping that this was some kind of recognized behavior she
could ease my mind by telling me it was something she always did. I
didn't help that her mother's expression was as surprised as mine was.

The girl began her walk toward the other side of the hallway, holding my
hand tightly in her's. So, I went with her, holding her hand the whole
way. When she got to the other end, she turned around, still holding my
hand, to begin the 20 second journey to the other side. I followed.

The girl never looked at me again. She never said another word. But as I
walked with her, her agitation seemed to melt away and her walk turned
from a desperate search into a casual stroll. I still remember her
mother remarking in the background that she'd never seen her take to
someone the way she was taking to me. I remember hearing her mother say
that it was the most relaxed she'd seen her daughter in years.

I walked up and down that hallway with that crazy girl clutching my
hand, as though it was something she desperately needed for some unknown
reason, for about an hour and a half. I have no idea what the girl was
thinking. I don't know what in the world holding my hand meant to her. I
was never even told the girl's name. But I have never in my life felt
more needed by anyone.

Sometimes I think about that girl. I wonder where she is.
Gryphon Stompy

End Of Gryphon Lazy Season

Hello folks! I have a few bits of news for you...

First -- Antheria has extended their online registration until the 15th of this month. Originally, we cut it off on the 1st of September, but when we did, we started getting e-mails from a lot of folks who didn't get a chance to register and wanted to. Only the Pharaoh Level members can go on the yacht trip and you can only register as a Pharaoh online, not at the door (mainly because we have to be able to make the yacht reservations ahead of time). So you now have until the 15th to register online! Don't worry if you don't make it though, you can always pay for basic membership at the door if you miss it.

Second -- A lot of you out there have been asking me when the 2 Sense Show is returning or when there will be new rants. Many of you know that I had to move this summer and the studio had to be rebuilt. I'm happy to say that it's nearly complete. What does this mean? It means I'll have to stop being lazy, you'll have more rants and shows to watch and the neighborhood will slowly start wondering where that slight smell of sulfur and bad cabbage is coming from.

More news to come!
Gryphon Stompy

Oh balls. I'm still alive.

I realize I've been dropped off the planet for some time now. I just wanted everyone to know that I'm back now.

The fact is, I attempted suicide. I felt worn out. Tired. And there didn't seem to be anything worth living for. So I tried to kill myself.

I considered the method by which I would shuffle off this mortal coil carefully, and in the end, I decided that I would go with an unusual, difficult and torturous method that would allow me a long and painful death. I decided to wait till 3 weeks before AnthroCon to prepare, attend AnthroCon as a dealer, performer and panelist, and the very day I returned, I would pack everything I own within three days, move to another apartment, unpack everything I own within three days and then sit down and drink a bottle of whiskey. I didn't actually expect to get to the whiskey because I thought I would surely be dead by then.

However, after the whiskey, I laid down on my bed and waited for death. I lost consciousness, proud that I had suffered through my long and tortured suicide. But then... I woke back up later. Turns out I was just sleeping.

So! Just to let everyone know, my suicide attempt failed and now I'm left alive, having attended another AnthroCon and am in a nice new apartment. I know, I know... I can't do anything right.

Some people have asked about the studio and the 2 Sense Show. The studio has moved along with me and I'll be setting that up soon. As soon as that happens, there will be more 2 Sense!

And, by the way... AnthroCon this year. Epic. Totally epic and I'll write more about that soon.

Good to be back! Hope everyone is having a good summer!
Gryphon Stompy

2 Sense Break

As most of you guys know, 2 Sense has ended for the season. Technically there WILL be one more episode where we'll introduce you to the folks who auditioned for co-host and show you how they did. That episode has a lot of post production involved though, so it's still being worked on. I'll let you guys know way ahead of time when we plan to broadcast it on Ustream.

2 Sense may be taking a break, but that doesn't mean I'll be disappearing until the show comes back. Right now, I'm working on new stand up material for the live performances I'll be doing at conventions this year, starting with FWA! Any suggestions about things you'd like to hear me talk about?

Also, now that my Thursday thru Saturday nights are open, I'll be filming more rants as some of you have asked for. We'll also be working on a few new shows besides the 2 Sense Show to share with you. And there are some other projects I have in mind that some of you might enjoy.

In any case, keep an eye out for that last 2 Sense of the season, probably coming up within the next couple of weeks (excluding FWA weekend, of course). I'll make sure to keep everyone up to date here and on Twitter and FA.
Gryphon Stompy

2 Sense Delay

I know we didn't have a show last weekend and I really hate not doing a show for you guys for so long, but I think I might have to cancel tonight's show. I'm a sick bird!

Earlier this week, Toast brought home a nasty bug. And being the generous, sharing bunny he is, he let me have some too and it taught my face how to explode. There is a bit of a fever and I'm drinking more of my own fluids than I care to.

Sorry about this guys. We really did plan to have a show this weekend and this was just an unexpected turn. Gods willing, we'll be back next weekend, or maybe even for a special middle-of-the-week thing.

I'm going to crawl back into bed for now.
Gryphon Stompy

Angry Birds And Overly Sensitive Pricks

Have you played a game called "Angry Birds"? If you don't have a smart phone (iPhone, Droid, Palm) then you probably haven't. Though I hear they are coming out with PC and console versions in the near future.

For those who don't know, let me tell you, this thing is the smart phone equivalent to Tetris. People are going ape shit over it! Since it was released a year ago, over 50 million people have downloaded it! It has sold almost as much as Legend Of Zelda. The reason for this is because it's an awesome game, pure and simple. Easy enough for a child to play, yet intellectually engaging enough for an adult to enjoy for hours. It has every bit the simplistic genius that Pac-Man or Asteroids had. I admit, I am an Angry Birds fan.

However, I sense something on the horizon for this game -- a prediction if you will...

The game plays out in worlds and levels, like the original Super Mario Brothers did. And today, after battling my way through all 15 levels of world 8, I came to world 9 and started on that one. I wasn't thinking on any sort of political level, that is until I reached level 11. That's right... 9-11.

Now this game is full of crazy constructions. That's the point. You have to use a slingshot to fling pissed off birds at their enemies -- a bunch of pigs who've stolen their eggs! The pigs build all kinds of interesting constructions that you have to destroy to get to the pigs. Boats, submarines, bridges, houses -- and skyscrapers. Now though there are plenty of levels that involve demolishing towers that resemble office buildings, I happen to notice that level 9-11 has just that sort of construction also. In fact, there is a box of explosives at the center of the tower which you must crash a bird into, causing the tower to explode and then collapse before you can even finish the level.

Now, mothers have downloaded this game for their kids. It's played by office workers, business people, police officers... probably even a congressman or two. How long do you suppose it will be until someone cries "terrorism"? Because you have to know it's going to happen. In this world of sniveling cuntwaffles just waiting for the next opportunity to whine about some insensitivity toward 9-11, you know SOMEONE out there is going to get butthurt about this.

Anyway, that is my prediction. I may be wrong, but all we can do is wait for it.

Gryphon Stompy

Abandon Journal WRONG!

Whoa. Well, I said if there were enough people still watching this journal to surprise me, I'd keep writing in it. And by "surprise me", I meant somewhere in the ballpark of like... 40 people. Needless to say, when I saw 150 responses in just a few hours, my nuts jumped out of my pants, screamed and fainted.

I actually feel like I should apologize now. Apparently there are quite a few of you who keep up with what I've been doing here. And I'd all but abandoned this thing, thinking no one was reading it anymore. I'm sorry for that!

I will start keeping up with this Journal again then. Actually, I should have some news about some RGS projects soon, including a new show pilot we want to test.
Gryphon Stompy

Abandon Journal!

So, I was sitting here with my mouse hovered over the "delete" button for my account...

Livejournal has seen a lot of activity over the years, but lately it seems to be a bit dead. Everyone has moved off to Twitter or Facebook or somewhere else. I've neglected my own journal quite a bit myself lately.

But I think that before I shuffle this journal off to null space, I'd just make sure it wouldn't be disappointing anyone.

So... anyone out there who still reads this journal, say "Aye!" And let me know what other social sites (if any) you frequent. If enough people still read this thing that it surprises me, I'll keep it going and I'll even start updating it regularly again.
Gryphon Stompy

Indyfurcon 2010

So, after returning home for one day from RMFC, it was time to board another plane and fly out to IndyFurCon in Indianapolis! You might remember me asking for roomies for the con here in my journal. They flew me out there earlier than usual. I was to depart Los Angeles Wednesday night and return the following Tuesday.

Well, plenty of people wrote to me, offering to give me a place to stay and I want to thank each and every one who offered. Though I wish I could have stayed for a little while with everyone who offered to put me up, that just wouldn't work. So I accepted the offers that most closely matched the time I was going to be there. I had no idea I would learn so much from the people I stayed with over that week. But we'll get to that in a minute...

I will admit, when I first got to the hotel on Thursday, I had doubts. The hallway with the convention space was dark and empty. There were almost no other furs around. I might have thought I had the wrong place if I hadn't seen a few license plates in the parking lot that only furries would have.

What I didn't know is that this was ninja con! It was fairly quiet until registration opened. Then suddenly, POOF! Furries jumped out from everywhere! From under the couches, from the flower pots, rappelled down cables from the skylights... and started partying! Suddenly, it looked like what I know to be a fur con!

There were a few main acts on main stage (which I'm honored to say I was one of) and some great dances and other programming. But the programming was kept fairly light at this convention, which ultimately lead to a lot of hanging out and spontaneous "events", like Bucktown Tiger and Floppy Belly starting up a little contemporary music concert in the convention area hallway. I always love it when those happen! Uncle Kage could even be seen as he was ten years ago, in a lobby chair surrounded by furries who uttered the sacred phrase, "Tell us a story, Uncle Kage!"... so he did!

I know quite a lot of furries who really enjoy "hang-out cons". Well, that's what IFC was. And a very good one! The staff was friendly and helpful. The hotel was nice. There were loads of bouncy fursuiters around to keep things fun (a huge percentage of which were the "squeakers" this time, for some reason). The weekend just cruised by and everyone had a great time.

And then, on Monday morning... *POOF*. As quick as they appeared, they were gone. Indianapolis furries are ninjas. All of them.

Like RMFC, I had a lot of time to hang out with people. And as I said before, I wound up staying with other furries a lot that weekend. Zylana and Drac offered their home to me to stay in during the time the con wasn't going on. And Keeya and Syber had me in their room during the convention.

Now, you may not know what it's like to have fans. Particularly fans that you might... well... want to minimize your time around. I never want to be rude to a fan, but now and then you run into one that's a bit uncomfortable to be around. Before too long, you've run into quite a few fans that have been uncomfortable to be around. And if you're not careful, you will eventually start being prejudice to a certain type of fan, believing that they will be uncomfortable to be around, even though you have never actually talked to them much.

I made new friends at IFC. And I'm happy to say that two of them caused me to realize that while I hadn't realized it, I had build up this kind of prejudice for certain fans. And that prejudice can be dead wrong. I shall not mention names. One of them known exactly who he is and the other is probably completely unaware.

What I will say, to my new friends...

Zylana and Drac. You welcomed me into your home, drank beer and played video games with me, drove me where I needed to go, offered me a warm place to sleep and made me the first home cooked meal I'd had in months. You let me play with your snake! And you didn't ask for a thing in return. You're good people and I won't forget you.

Keeya and Syber. You were two of the most respectful, cheerful and outright fun roomies I've ever had at a convention. You're messy as hell, but your personalities made up for it and more. :) The chats I had with you were insightful and intelligent. I would look on it as an honor if I could room with you again, should the opportunity appear.

Finally, Floppybelly. You were the surprise of the weekend for me. It has been a long time since I've found someone with whom I felt so at ease spending time. I even started spilling my own troubles out to you for a bit, and I rarely get to do that. Talking to you felt like talking to someone I've known for years. I don't know how, but it did. You were awesome and I certainly hope I get the chance to hang out with you again in the future.

So, in short... Great con. Great weekend. Great friends.

My next stop is Eurofurence! But that's... another story *dramatic music*.
Gryphon Stompy

Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2010

Well, it's about time I told you all stuff about the places I've been over the last few weeks!


Wow. These guys really know how to treat a guest! As soon as I stepped off the plane, a friendly furry was waiting there to greet me and the other GOHs that were coming in around the same time. Once everyone had arrived, they took us to a cozy little place in the airport that sells local brews. I wasn't aware there was such a variety that came from the Denver area. After a couple of beers, it was time to get to the hotel.

The organizers totally duped the lot of us. They went off to "find the shuttle". What they didn't tell us at the time was that "the shuttle" was a stretch limo made out of an SUV. It was enormous!

Now, something I found out about the RMFC staff is that they're clever. Deviously clever. They rented an SUV limo for their guests of honor -- an SUV limo with booze in it, no less. They *could* have whisked us off to the hotel before we could say Jack Robinson... but they didn't! They told the driver to take the long way around -- during rush hour! Because of this, we got to chill out in the back of that wonderful limo for far longer, and had the chance to talk to each other! ...and drink booze!

The room they gave me was wonderful. And they were very careful to see to my every need. As someone who is used to just being a performer, I couldn't help feeling like it was more than I deserved.

The con itself was a lot of fun for everyone, except perhaps for two very... spirited individuals who were just a little bit too... um... okay they were just damaged fuckers. They had serious mental issues. Both of them bothered or disturbed enough people at the convention that they were asked to leave. A good call from staff judgment, I think. Other than that, everyone had a ball. The dances were fun, great programming, great hotel (Doubletrees are the best!), lots of happy furs! My performances were a pleasure to do and I hope everyone enjoyed them.

There were two really nice bars with friendly bartenders and good booze... and (praise the Lawrd!) there was a pool table!

And... for the first time in a long time, I was able to do something that I rarely get to do anymore. I made new friends! I don't usually have the time to sit down and talk to people long enough to get to know them. Or for people to sit down and talk to me! Arcturus and I spent Sunday night drinking bloody maries and playing pool. He was a big wad of pure fun to be around. (Though I think I still owe him for some of those drinks.) And the married couple who're in the military together. We ran into each other several times and always wound up in some great conversations. Kitt? You out there? You were terrific to get to know as well.

All these folks wound up being special to me in some way or another, all because I had the chance to hang out more with the con members than usual and talk with them. Of course, that's not to say I didn't enjoy hanging out with everyone else, because I certainly did!

RCFM feels like the old days when even big fur cons were still small enough to have time to see your old friends and meet new ones. It's a simple, straight-forward, solid event that is run in such a way that everything seems to just happen on its own (which I know from experience takes a lot more work than it sounds like). Hotel + fun events + furries. Plain and simple.

I'm adding RMFC to my Awesome List. I would love to return!

After leaving RMFC, I flew back to LA for a day, then it was off to IFC in Indianapolis.

...but that's for the next post!