Friday | Fri/Sat | Sat/Sun
We were promised tables by 5:00, which was easy enough to work with. The masses were just starting to arrive, along with Kenny and new PR head Katie. We were confident that we could get everything up and running by the time my first shift started at 6:00.
The time is now 5:15... and there's no tables. Crap!
At least we can pop in for Opening Ceremonies.
Their main programming room was pretty damn big, and seemed to have evolved a bit, with more backstage curtains and sound.
There were plenty of people in the seats, but it wasn't totally packed, which makes things a little more comfortable.
One random Porco Rosso cosplay later, it was almost 6:00. My hopes were dwindling, so I had to resort to a backup plan. I rushed to the car, grabbed a snack from the con bag, changed into my volunteer t-shirt, grabbed every single thing needed for the table and dragged it all behind the registration desk where my shift was.
The shift started very slow. My assignment was to check in volunteers. In the first half hour I checked in four. I knew three of them. Two were Geek.Kon staffers. One was Scott. When the tables were finally arranged, the staff let me sneak out to help set it up.
Kenny and someone who is not Katie at the table. I was thrilled that my new touchpad (which my company had unloaded to employees at an insanely cheap price) was great at serving double duty as a picture frame and music player at the table. I was less thrilled that our smaller, crappier banner was a better fit for the table and also has trouble staying flat after being rolled up since June.
The lack of shelving and t-shirts, incidentally, is something new we're trying this year. We never sold a whole lot of shirts to begin with, and this arrangement allows us to be extremely flexible with table duty. If we ever need to leave it unattended for a moment, we can simply yank the touchpad and plushies and walk away. It's a nice option to have.
Back on registration duty, things picked up a little more. During the three hour shift, I ended up bouncing back and forth between at-con and pre-reg. Daisho keeps their system pretty easy to manage and we cruised along. For anything we didn't know, we just had to ask Capito, since he "knew everything" according to the reg staff. I ended up asking him a question about reference pics for the cosplay contest. He made up an answer... which may have even been correct!
Naturally, the only major issue came up at the very very end of the shift. Figures.
I got back to the room as the party started, joined by Mike from Kitsune Kon, whose party hadn't started yet. Since several of us would be in and out constantly we couldn't break out the Munchkin, so we settled on "two green" Apples to Apples, which ended up having more thoughtful, intriguing answers than anything else (it also may have been the first time in history the Steve Martin card has ever won a not-crappy round). The main highlight was playing Pedobear moments before judge Josh proclaimed, "Pedobear would be perfect for this one."
We ended up getting a few people to show up, just enough for new staffer Jeff to show his skill hosting a few rounds of werewolf, which got just loud enough to attract hotel security. This was the other reason I wasn't enthusiastic about hosting a party here. With our party sanctified, we called it quits. It was late and I hadn't had a proper meal since eleven, so I went to Kitsune's party. They had hot dogs.
Hmm... this picture did not show the party to be as bustling as it actually was. They were in the main building and had hot dogs and burgers. Place was packed Saturday night.
This party was far more successful, and hanging out with Kitsune is always good times. One of the staffers put on one of those delightfully sadistic Japanese TV shows, this one imploring four poor souls not to laugh for 24 hours as they are subjected to random violence, weirdness, comedy skits and awkward celebrity cameos. After an hour of this, hotel security stopped by and we got to play the home game. Much as I wanted to stay to the end, I had an early shift in the morning and needed sleep.
When I say early, I mean 9:00 am, of course. And I woke up even earlier, with time to get a proper sit-down breakfast with Jeff.
Most of the convention was still asleep, so it was a pretty easy shift in the video game room with Cheesus.
For some reason, an episode of My Little Pony was on the screen in the far end of the room. I mention this because it was my first time seeing more than a small snippet of the series. Spent half the shift looking over and grumbling, "dammit, this is pretty good." Given this exposure, it's a somewhat sad state of affairs that MLP now joins such icons as Doctor Who and Firefly in my list of things I can't watch, for fear of getting so hooked I'll never leave the house. I already have to control my Phineas and Ferb intake.
See, I've been down this road before...
Somewhere in this hour, talk turned to Mario Kart, possibly us lamenting how con tournaments often use modern console editions like Double Dash over the Super Nintendo version, which relies more on skill and less on the item box gods. This ended in several rounds head to head between me and Katie. She took most of them, but I held my ground and took a couple races- a far better result than Kenny, who just got whupped.
Training to be the next Mario Kart challenger.
There was a lot of table duty (just because it's flexible doesn't mean we can neglect it completely) and random roaming.
The response to the Crest of Knowledge I had picked up at ACen was very positive, and a nice way to plug my Digimon panel that afternoon. Picked up a Reliability keychain from the same vendor. It was time for a new one, although I must say that after several busted keychains in a row, the Utamaru I picked up at No Brand '05 had an impressive run.
During a run to the room, I found Josh trying to figure out the Whack a Catgirl game he had picked up from Fast Food Anime. I had bought the game at Detour months ago and showed him out to play. The power of Fanservice propelled me to an easy win, but he greatly appreciated the concept and flavor text.
I stopped by the swimsuit competition, intrigued by how it would translate to Main Programming. It had been done poolside at the Ramada and felt nice and appropriately casual there. Although the convention was right next to a waterpark, the hotel wouldn't let Daisho do it there, so they had to keep it inside. This added an air of respectability and legitimacy to it, which somehow didn't seem right. It sounds weird, but giving the event proper reverence seemed to diminish it somewhat. Seemed better as an innocent side thing.
Love the Haro beach ball though.
Day Glow (and now Geek.Kon's) Kim had two interpretation for MLP's Luna- one for the swimsuit competition and one for the cosplay contest. As Evan learned last year, changing back and forth between the two for the various judging and event appointments is a bitch. Especially given how far their room was.
Still can't get enough Persona cosplay. Doesn't Kanji's folding chair violate weapons policy?
Despite not doing a whole lot, I was surprisingly tired by mid-afternoon. I never did hit the waterpark, mostly because I was in no mood to go alone. By 4:00, I was taking a short break in the room, prepping my panel.
We'll go to Page Three for that.