Friday - You Are Now Entering Epicness 

It isn't pleasant waking up feeling horribly dehydrated.  I had to attribute my condition to the plane ride, anxiety, and general lack of eating or drinking anything the previous day.

Fortunately, Art was prepared with a cooler full of food, water, and juice packs.  As well as a box full of bread and granola bars.  Advice to potential con-goers: it's a good idea to bring your own food, because God knows the hotel restaurants and the convention concession don't gouge hungry patrons enough.  Instead of paying $15 for meager continental breakfast, some juice and fruit were enough to get us underway.

Let it be said, my anger towards him was beginning to lighten.

It was a good thing that a lot of ACen events started around 11:00 AM.  That meant that sleeping in was possible, and for anyone who partied on Friday and Saturday nights, that would be a welcome thing.

So Art and I walked around, taking some footage of the convention and snapping pictures of cosplayers and other sights.

Car show!

We had plenty of time to kill until we met up with Chromus and Adam, seeing as how Chromus was supposed to arrive some time after 12:30.  He had already handled the pre-registration for the out-of-country people said it would be a good thing if we picked up our badges together since it was done under his name. Unfortunately, the convention hit a snag a few weeks prior when it tried to mass mail pre-reg badges and got them lost.

Note to any convention people: Never mass-mail anything - especially anything to do with registration and badges - during the tax rush; this is asking for trouble.

During our wanderings, we managed to bump into /b/tard Tom and he alerted me that there was going to be a raid later on in the day; most likely around 6 PM.  I would definitely be there to "capture the epicness."

We still had plenty of time to spare, and so Art suggested a quick trip to the CTA parking lot to check on his car and pay for his spot.

On our way out, the fire alarm went off.  We debated whether it was a fire drill or some yahoo pulled the alarm.  Art quipped, "They'll never find out who did it. Everyone's in disguise!" Oh cosplayers... LOL!

It was a nice stroll, despite the blaring sirens of passing police cars and fire trucks.

We saw a few more lost-looking cosplayers at the station and walked with them to the Hyatt.

While making our way back into the hotel, guess who we happened to find loitering around the front entrance?

Red shirt, Devil Bats baseball cap, and (as Artful says) he looks like he's entirely made of corn - yup, it's the one and only Adam Pulver!

I tried to glomp him.  He heard the running footsteps, the leap, and his eyes lit up as he saw me... then morphed into the "Oh shit!" look.  He deftly stepped aside and I flew right past him.

After picking myself up from the carpet, we decided to go for round two.

Off to a great running start... What a leap!  What a catch!  Oh noes, it's our good friend: MOMENTUM!

After picking ourselves up from a pose right out of Ken Akamatsu's works, I decided to shoot the first video of the con.

So, all that was left was to wait around for Chromus.

The reason why I owned half of Chromus' soul: when it came to booking hotel rooms, I offered to book his hotel room for him since there was no toll-free number for Great Britain. He trusted me enough with his credit card number and I got him his room - for that, he says I own half of his soul. So I had another fellow willing to buy me stuff! But I just couldn't take advantage of the poor fellow like that!

I have Artful to fill that slot already.

We decided to take the wait from the lobby to the hotel entrance. It was nice to get some sunlight, fresh air, and free ourselves from the loud noise going on indoors.

Eventually, to our surprise, we found a big lumbering fellow heading our way - and he was quite tardy. We pretended not to notice him.

Well, well, the gang's all here!  Now it's super happy fun time!

First, Art implemented a covert ninja drop-off at the IRT headquarters.  Two gift bags for a couple of message board people that really helped him out.

Then it was check-in time.  Afterwards, it was off to the executive suites to admire Chromus' room.  Oooh... ah... It's much bigger than mine and it even had an armchair!  Fancy.

We split open my stash of Pocky and cracked a few jokes about Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series.  Especially catchphrases that pertained to any and all things... IN AMERICA!

Then it was time for Chromus to change into his Eyeshield 21 cosplay.  Now, Adam and Chromus are fanboys of this football series, so I'll leave whatever gushing they have to do over in their con reports.  This is my report, so no sports manga love-in.

It was on our way to the convention hall where registration and the dealer's room were.  There was a snag when Chromus locked himself inside his own room.

Adam and I proceeded to mock him - IN AMERICA!

Making our way to the convention hall to get our badges meant one thing: Line Con. Line Con, that magical event where people stand around in line for hours and hours, and it seems like it'll never end!   While it is good to never endure Line Con alone, it certainly doesn't hurt if it can be avoided all together.

Adam taunted us with his "got it in the mail" badge and went off to do some shopping.  It was 2:30 and he said he'd drop by and see our progress by 3.

To entertain ourselves, we talked to each other, talked to random people in the line, yelled at random cosplayers so we could take pictures of them.

And then Artful hoisted me up on his shoulders so I could get a better view of how the line was doing.

Adam dropped in on us every hour or so (the 3 PM visit showed we were still in line... he'd come back at 4) - taunting us with the swag he got... IN AMERICA!

Remembering all this line stuff is aggravating me, so let's skip ahead to where we've all got our badges and meet up with Adam to do some shopping.  Well... our shopping, not his since he'd already wrapped up.

Artful - mindful that he must appease me lest I throw him under the tracks of the man-train - bought me lots of ice cream and the final volume of Read Or Dream I've been searching for.  Two vanilla/chocolate twists later... he had a free pass out of the yaoi, but I was still willing to drain his wallet dry.  I was already in a good mood from meeting Chromus and Adam, which easily helped him up and out of the hole.  I reminded him that I wanted to be well fed... and not just on granola bars and juice packs.

Sadly, our little group had to part ways since Art and Adam wanted to make it in time for a webcomics panel, leaving me to wander alone.  I had lost Chromus somewhere in the crowd, or maybe he had to run off somewhere else as well... Anyways, I saw lots of swag, and I barely even halfway through the dealer's area! While wandering, I took a few pictures of various cosplayers.

It's Mina!  Densha Otoko's favourite bunny... that's not a bunny girl...

Oh, Mikuru!  Much better.

And the classic pose with Yuki, Haruhi, and Mikuru.  Is it just me, or does Mikuru look like Hilary Duff?

My feet were killing me, and fortunately, I bumped into Chromus.  Who was feeling quite drained from his plane trip and needed to take a quick nap.  Jet lag does that to you... IN AMERICA!

I offered to accompany him to his room and make sure he didn't get lost or pass out in a heap along along the way.

S: "Chromus, before we go up to your room, do you remember where it is?"
C: "Um... I forgot."
S: "2427. 24 and 27.  Think of them as two multiples of 3 right after the other!"
C: "Gotcha.  2427."
S: "And do you have your key?"
C: "Um... Where is it?  I can't find it..." *rummage rummage* "Found it!"
R: "God, I feel like a con mom.  'Sempai, don't stay up on your feet all the time!'  'Chromus, don't forget your key.'  'Adam, did you eat yet?'"

Making sure he got to the elevator all right, I was left wandering the lobby.  It was a little after 6, so that meant /b/ raid time!

The initial meet up was looking good.

Then people started dropping out of the raid.  There was either a better panel going on or they had to "meet someone soon."


We needed /b/lackup, but the crusade had to begin before the photoshoot ended.  So it was on our way to the convention centre again.

We tried to recruit people, but they also pussied out. Nonetheless, the raid had to go on.

ZOMG! /b/tard RUSH! LOLOLOL!!1oneone1eleven!ichi

E is for "effort", if not for "epic." Massive LULZ were had, and let it be said, I did it all for the LULZ.

Finally worn out, I retreated to my hotel room and proceeded to lovingly put away my swag.  Eventually, Art came back from the webcomics panel and helped me out with one more video clip until my batteries gave out.

It was time to do... do, um... do something until Anime Hell.

This is where one of my memory gaps kicks in.

All I remember is that Artful and I got in line for Anime Hell, which would then be leading up to Midnight Madness.  Back-to-back WTF-ness; from random clips that make you say "Oh Japan!" and "LOL! Internet!" in Anime Hell, to the gut-busting fanparodies in Midnight Madness.  And I also remember a lot of relief from having to sit down for four hours instead of being on my feet for the same amount of time.

Fortunately for Artful, I was happy and something far more interesting was going on at the same time as the most hardcore yaoi panel.  So, he saved his ass (pun intended) in the nick of time.

Anime Hell was fun, as always.  Heino made an appearance, even though they swore that they'd retire him from the run.  I enjoyed the random Japanese clips (Jeffrey Ross' "Japanorama", Densha Otoko, and Hard Gay among others) to clips about Chuck Norris and Don Hertzfeldt animations.

Midnight Madness had some really good fanparodies.  Fanboy Bebop and Evangelion: ReDeath get much love from me.  I salute you, Studio Sokodei.

It was far too late by the time Artful and I got back to our hotel room.  To help knock us out, I made a nightcap.  Or should I say a bottlecap?

I brought some liquor in my suitcase.  One flask of raspberry SourPuss and one flask of root beer Schnapps.  If anyone knows what goes into a bottlecap, it's practically one shot of half-and-half root beer Schnapps and raspberry SourPuss in a glass of lime juice.

I really do regret not being able to take a video clip of me mixing the drinks.

I improvised the lime juice using some powdered juice mix like Kool-Aid.  Using up half of my liquor (the other half for Saturday night), Artful and I shared a glass... or two.

Since this was really too much liquor to finish drinking in one night, I decided to go find people who were of age and very thirsty.  Not wanting me to go on an adventure alone (and patiently going along with my whims) Artful accompanied me.

Wandering the halls in our socked feet, we found a bunch of embittered con veterans and got to pawn off some of our booty.  We sat around for a while and listened to some war stories (which I can't remember since I was getting sleep deprived and nicely buzzed) and partook a few swigs of their liquor.  Mmmm... Jaegermeister... *cough cough*

Too tired to do anything else, Artful and I slogged our way back to our room, plopped into bed.

Friday was definitely a marked improvement of Thursday.

But what about Saturday?