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Friday, May 18, 2007

ACen Report-Friday-Continued
So come to find out, while we were having a blast on Friday, Shanny's parents' house burnt down. I was in total shock. Go visit her and lend her your support if you haven't already (her user name is Dark_Phoenix for those that don't know Shanny).

ACen Report Part III (of IV, hopefully)

Just a note on where fellow MyO’ers were at the time of these events: Katana couldn’t come on Friday, MsKeller had a booth in artist alley and then later went the Yaoi track, I didn’t know Bellpickle was even present on Friday, but I think I read at her blog that she was there and went to the concerts and J-rock events. I was more interested in the Japanese track and Schultzie was more interested in the English track, but we still did end up in several panels together. I'll be linking the others' journals soon just so you can have lots of perspectives on ACen...

Friday-Part II-Shinkiro the Panel Geek

To catch you up, we were escorted to Opening ceremonies (which for some reason started almost one hour late). During the middle, some one announced that we were to evacuate due to a fire. We stayed evacuated for about twenty minutes or so. We eventually filed back in and opening ceremonies continued on. There was nothing unusual after that but I was ecstatic that I was a stone’s throw away from the awesome Japanese guests (I even made eye contact and smiled at one as we were taking our seats after the evacuation, squee). I also think that one of the bands (Spiral Spiders, I am pretty sure) came over and sat RIGHT behind us. I just know that there were several Asian hotties a couple of rows back speaking Japanese.

We stayed put and watched a few videos for the AMV contest just because there wasn’t anything else better to do. Schultzie wanted to check out the Mock Combat for Cosplay panel, so we scooted on over to peek in. We both lost interest fast and ended up at the Inside the Voice Actor studio panel. Apparently, all the voice actors slated forgot that they had a panel XD. One eventually showed up and then another. I don’t know much about English VA’s so I’ve already forgotten their names, gomen. One called himself Zero something-or-other and the other was in the last two eps of Eva. That’s all I got x_x

We left the VA panel early to check out the Evangelion panel (all Schultzie there too, hehe). It was actually pretty entertaining considering I didn’t care for the anime at all. I got my first glimpse at Spike Spencer and I saw Tiffany Grant, who was at MTAC though I only saw her at opening ceremonies. She is SO tiny and cute. They had some hilarious stories to tell and yes, the panel prompted me to want to rent the first couple of volumes of Eva just so that I could hear some of Spike Spencer and Tiffany Grant’s work.

Next Schultzie and I split up. I think he went to the Making Video Games panel and I tried to attend the To Japan and Back panel. I got a text from MsKeller saying that she was going to the Japanese Ghost Stories panel at that time. My panel got canceled (or maybe I just couldn’t find it, I can’t remember!) so I tried to head over to the Japanese Ghost Stories panel, but couldn’t find the McCarran room where it was held (damn my poor sense of direction).

For some reason, I got really confused and thought that the Trigun panel was being held in the Main Events room at 5pm, so I went and waited patiently in line. Remember the guy in the suit who thought we were VIPs? Well, I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was him! He was merely there to inform me that special guests did not have to wait in line and that I could bypass the line! I politely declined the offer and kept my place in the line. A staffer came by some time after that asking if we all had tickets. He told us where we could get them if we didn’t. So off to the ticket counter I went, asking for tickets to the Trigun panel. They looked at me like I was on crack, prompting me to excuse myself and recheck my schedule. Trigun wasn’t until six and I had apparently been in line for the Spiral Spiders concert! (Tough choice, btw because I wanted to see them, but I knew I could see their show Saturday afternoon, but I’d never have a chance to see Yasuhiro Nightow again). With more than a half hour to kill, I found some pay phones and called some people until time drew near for the Trigun panel.

Schultzie and I met up and made our way to the Trigun panel. It was basically a Q&A session with Yasuhiro Nightow (creator of Trigun) and Noriyuki Zinguji (graphic designer for Trigun and many other series and games). It was pretty informative and very entertaining. Japanese guests always crack me up to no end. Plus Noriyuki Zinguji was kind of hot, tehehe. Sorry Schultz! I tried not to unleash my fangirl too much with Schultz so he had NO IDEA that I was silently drooling beside him.

After the Trigun panel ended, we went over to try to see if they were still playing at the Wii Would Like to Play panel, but I guess they ended it early because it was finishing up when we got there. It was supposed to last another thirty minutes after the Trigun panel ended >_<. Schultzie and I went our separate ways again after walking around for a while. I walked around by myself and after determining that nothing of interest was going on, I found my way back to the room that had previously hosted the Wii panel. There was nothing going on in the room so I decided to just take a load off and text Katana since she had texted me earlier in the day.

Who came strolling in as I was texting Katana? Find out in the next installment of the ACen Report!

To be continued…

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

ACen Report-Friday
So much happened on Friday that I am actually having to continue it! I am thinking that I can fit the rest of Friday and all of Saturday and Sunday in the next post. Without further ado:


MsKeller was up and getting ready to depart at around 7am, as she hadn’t picked up her badge yet. Schultzie and I slept in a little longer but not much. By the time we were up and ready, we saw MsKeller down stairs waiting for the shuttle. I wanted to offer her a ride but it wasn’t my car and it only had a two-person capacity so we were all full up. We ate at Denny’s in honor of someguy, and even took a picture for him, but Schultzie did it on his phone so I don’t know if it turned out. After a massive breakfast that I couldn’t even finish half of, we headed over to the con.

The panels didn’t start until 11am, but we went early to check out the artist alley and dealer’s room. We also went to try and get a schedule, which they were still out of on all the occasions that we asked for them. It was way past time for the above-mentioned events to open up, yet masses of people still stood around waiting to get in. After a while, we found out that there was a problem and for some reason the fire marshal wouldn’t let them open up the dealer’s room/artist alley. It would be another hour before it opened >_<. We walked around a bit more, tried to find schedules (to no avail), and then ended up sitting down for quite some time waiting for things to get started.

Eventually, the doors opened and we walked right in. This was the first time I didn’t have to stand in line for hours to get in to a dealer’s room. It was set up so that you could just walk right in. 10 points for ACen! The dealer’s room was also huge! One of the biggest I have seen at a con. It was heaven! I pretty well knew at this point that I would be returning next year. We made several laps around the dealer’s room and then headed over to the Hyatt where opening ceremonies would be (we were also told we could FINALLY get a schedule here).

ACen had a most interesting set up. Artist alley and the dealer’s room were in the convention center, and then all of the panels and events were held in the Hyatt. It was great because it made everything less crowded relative to cons that crammed all their stuff in the same facility. The down side was that you had to take the skywalk of doom. I personally referred to it as an otaku wasteland. At any given time you could see numerous cosplayers ‘broken down on the side of the road’ with costume issues and many otaku wandering around listlessly and obviously lost. I myself ended up on some dead-end strange stairway at one point in time.

Anyway, we finally made it to the Hyatt. We had no idea where the panels were, so we wandered around lost some more. Eventually we found a staffer and asked where we could get a schedule and a map. She stammered that she didn’t know because she was only an assistant and told us that she would be back.

The next thing I knew this guy in a suit came out and introduced himself as the head of something or other (video programming, I think). We were lead back to a staffers only room where we were given a schedule practically right off of the printer as the suit announced, “our guests need a schedule”. I was in amazement. ‘What great service!’ I thought to myself.

The suit asked us what event we were looking for and we told him that we were trying to get to opening ceremonies in hopes that he would give us directions. He then proceeded to personally escort us the substantial distance to opening ceremonies. When we got there he asked us if we wanted him to take us backstage and he seemed surprised when we told him no. “But all of our special guests are usually introduced during opening ceremonies”, he said. o_O We told him ‘no thanks’ as we ran away as fast as we could, realizing why we were getting the VIP treatment.

Opening ceremonies were progressing as normal until someone announced that we were evacuating due to a fire. We kind of stared at him thinking it was a joke until he eventually managed to convince us that it was not. So out we went where we stood around for a while waiting to be readmitted. Schultzie’s first con was already a memorable one, and it was only the first day and first event!

To be continued…

In the next instalment: A brief overview of the panels I attended, the MyO meet up, more VIP treatment, and why I had to make a mad dash home on Sunday morning at 6am…

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ACen Report 2007-Thursday
Due to length, I decided to break up my ACen report by day. Today tells the harrowing events of Thursday, where I got to meet up with Schultzie and MsKeller for the first time. A preview for friday follows and a pictures post will follow after the written accounts.

After going back and forth about whether or not to do a couple of job interviews on the way to Nashville, waking up at 5:30am made the decision for me. I gassed up the van and hit the road with resumes in hand. I was in J-town (new Internet name for the city I will be working in) at a little before eight. I filled out some paperwork and did an interview on the spot and then hit the road for Nashville. I left with a good feeling about the job as they even set up an orientation schedule “if my references checked out.”

I left J-town at around nine am and ended up in Nashville at eleven-ish. I bought some snacks and water and a couple of small trinkets for MsKeller and Schultzie (sorry K, I couldn’t find a Nashville key chain with ‘Katana’ written on it :P. That goes for you too, Bellpickle). I was there way early for my flight so I made some phone calls to kill time and after a few hours, I was airborne and on my way to the Windy City.

The flight was only just over an hour, but it was crammed, hot, and a screaming baby with endless lung capacity sat two feet from me. I was working on a migraine by the time I got off the plane and collected my one checked bag. After numerous text messages and phone calls, I managed to meet up with Schultzie who was kind enough to pick me up at Midway and make the painful trek across town in rush hour traffic all the way to O’Hare. Of course he gave me crap about it because, well, he is Schultzie! At least he didn’t rib me about having to drive around the airport a zillion times because me being a dumb butt, couldn’t figure out that I had to go pass the taxi and limo lanes so he could find me and pick me up!

Finally, we were on the way to O’Hare. The traffic was crazy and we stayed mostly at a crawl, but I got an extended view of parts of the city, and Schultzie was an excellent guide, pointing out buildings and other points of interest as we inched along. I also got to flip through Schultzie’s sketchbook during the drive (it is a shame he doesn’t post his work to MyO). I really didn’t mind the drive, but it wasn’t me having to maneuver through 5 o’clock traffic in Chicago on a Friday afternoon *pokes Schultz*.

After about an hour and a half, we arrived at the hotel, checked in, and rested up for a bit before heading off to the convention center to pick up Schultzie’s badge. More bummers occurred. There was no microwave or fridge as promised and I couldn’t use the high speed Internet access due to technical issues. I figured that we would muddle through despite these atrocities! :P

If I remember correctly, it was on the way to the hotel that I got a text from MsKeller saying that she would be in town around 9pm. I also got a voice message saying that I GOT THE JOB!!! I somehow managed to lose my phone between that time and the time we got to the hotel, so I headed to the convention center phone-less, hoping that MsKeller didn’t arrive at the hotel before we were done.

I want to take this time to mention that I ordered my badge in the mail, and I was one of the lucky ones who actually got it. Katana ribbed me endlessly for doing so, claiming that she only waited in line only five minutes last year. Yeah. I think Schultzie and I waited for at least two hours, and almost an hour past when MsKeller was supposed to arrive but I had no way to contact her.

It was madness. There were some really good Ranma cosplayers behind us who did make it a little more bearable. Wish I could have gotten a pic. They did a good job ^^. Someone with a video camera also interviewed me so I might be floating around in cyberspace somewhere, ha. The major bummer was that they were out of schedules by the time we got through the long line >_<.

We headed back to the hotel at around ten-ish pm. I was worried about MsKeller and I was starving (I ate a pack of crackers and that was it up to that point). The plan was to track down MsKeller, order in some food, and go to sleep so that we would be ready for opening day.

When we got to the hotel, there was a strange black duffle bag sitting on one of the beds. We were a little freaked. I almost knew it had to be MsKeller’s, but I couldn’t imagine a hotel just letting someone in to the room that was in my name. In the end, it did turn out to be her and I am glad they let her in and gave her a key so she wasn’t stuck waiting on us for hours, but I still can’t believe that they did. A little freakin’ scary. o_O

So MsKeller, Schultzie and I shot the crap for a little while, and then I rolled over and went to sleep. I was still hungry, but I was so tired that it kind of overrode my hunger and I went to sleep pretty fast. MsKeller was way more hyper than I imagined and she was gung ho Navy all the way. She was very excited and I am very excited for her. She was fun and I am only sorry we didn't get to see more of her because she had a booth in artist alley.


On the next installment of the ACen report: The fire marshal won’t let us in, we get mistaken for VIP guests, we get evacuated during opening ceremonies and more! That's right, more craziness and panel geekness coming your way in Friday’s installment of the ACen report.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

   Can't feel my legs.
Okay I'm waaaay to lazy and tired to post about ACen today but since I swung in to make sure everyone made it back okay, I thought I would at least post SOMETHING. So here is a teaser:

--How many times did Katana glomp me?
--How did Bellpickle react when I called Remy a 'she' and better yet, how did I redeem myself?
--How bad did Katana, Waffles, and me scare Schultzie with our fangirlieness?
--How did MS Keller scare us away from her art booth?
--Exactly how much money did I put in that scantly clad guy's leather strap?
--What's with the black cat in Trigun?

Find out all of this and more in my ACen post. It'll probably be lengthy: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!! Oh and don't spoil it for everyone just cuz you know the answers, Katana and John :P



PS. My mom is okay. She is still sick and if she doesn't take better care of herself, she will have pneumonia if she doesn't already. Her lungs are clear for now...

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