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I reached the room as the prior panel, Daisho debate, was wrapping up. It was an earnest debate between assorted con staffers. Mike from Kitsune Kon was wrapping up his argument on the subject of Marvel vs. DC. Reports were that Katie did a fine job earlier in the panel.
Once they wrapped up, my fellow panelist and I threw the room back together and started the panel on time.
Unsurprisingly, I forgot to take pictures.
It didn't have quite the crowd support from No Brand or Iowa, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I was assisting another Daisho forum member who wanted to run the panel and needed help, so he directed traffic most of the time. We hit most of the usual bases, although there was someone in the crowd who may have recognized my fanfiction pen name. Somewhere along the line things completely went on a tangent and I managed to stun Calvsie when pointing out how Izzy's daughter looks a lot like Jeri from Tamers. Considering how much of The Connection relies on that similarity, it was an encouraging reaction.
A quick KFC run and a shower followed. I only had one hour between my panel and my night shift, but that too was only one hour. Furthermore, it was a badging shift, which isn't all that difficult.
Especially when there wasn't anything to badge...
Yeah... uh... apparently I was set to badge the panel wing during the costume contest. Only thing was that there were no panels scheduled against the costume contest. Nobody had reason to go down that hallway. In fact... that particular intersection was being used as the backstage area for the costume contest, so not only did nobody have a reason to go down that hallway, staff refused to let anybody down that hallway.
So I'm off the hook, right? Hardly.
Suddenly I'm a crossing guard keeping attendees out of the hallway, while making sure participants got to the stage.
This wasn't too bad... until you recall that there was a not-Daisho event being held at the convention center concurrently. This lineup was in front of one of the main entrances, and it turns out that some of the not-Daisho participants were on their way in.
So now we had to keep attendees out of the hallway, make sure participants got to the stage and usher any not-Daisho folk through the hallway quickly.
You know what would make this even better? The West Bend High School Marching Band! In full regalia!
And suddenly we have to keep attendees out of the hallway, make sure participants got to the stage, usher any not-Daisho folk through the hallway quickly and create a barrier separating the people in funny outfits heading to the stage from the people in funny outfits heading to wherever band geeks are supposed to go at the Kalahari.
Best badge shift EVAR!
We could have used her help.
All that and I still had three more service hours on Sunday.
Back at the room, the party was still a half-hour away. Kenny, Katie and I killed time with some card games with an actual deck. One was a simple guessing game (where drinking was supposed to be the "punishment" for incorrect guesses) and we astounded ourselves by how well we did. And by well I mean we discovered that we had hidden psychic powers.
Kenny and I didn't stay for the actual party, as we wanted to check out Otaku Tonight With Professor Pher, a Conan-style late night talk show with a monologue, skits, guests and a musical performance. Kellin and I were the guests at Geek.Kon, and I was especially interested in seeing the show from a not-backstage angle.
That's much better. Now I can see the screen! He and announcer David drove from Eau Claire to Stevens Point to film their cold open at the Ramada with Nick Izumi... whom I felt the need to mention since I hadn't yet and this is his primary con.
Speaking of Nicks, Nick F. joined us and minutes into the show hoped they could bring it to ACen. If they wanted it so bad, maybe they shouldn't have moved to a week before No Brand.
First guest was voice actor Matt Hill. The con focused on his anime credentials, so it was hard to focus on anything other than his work on the Cardcaptors dub (which I hold up as the single most butchered dub in recent memory, shoving it in the faces of all who complain about the dubs of Digimon or Naruto). The interview wisely honed in on his other animated works, namely Captain N and Ed from "Ed, Edd and Eddy." He's a winner!
In keeping with tradition, the second guest was Daisho co-chair Jake, who talked about the insanity of having to move. The band, Wisconsin Dells locals, did a cover of an obscure Barenaked Ladies song (which are the best kinds of Barenaked Ladies songs). All in all, a great show.
Kim's other Luna won a Judge's Choice award at the Costume Contest. Since I wasn't expecting our party to go all night, I made plans to meet up with team Day Glow later on for moar partyz.
I got back to our room just in time to see Josh breaking out Whack A Catgirl again, this time for a larger group. We ended up with a pretty competitive five-person game, and I'm amazed that it doesn't hold up half-bad after the novelty of baiting catgirls with yaoi manga and whacking them with mallets wears off.
Another low turnout and another stinkeye from hotel security meant we closed up shop early tonight. Time to find the after party!
Giant burgers and fruity alcoholic drinks at 11:30 pm. Jackpot.
They were seated a giant tree away from the Otaku Tonight people, who were celebrating their second successful show. Pher and his fiancÚ joined us for Apples to Apples, although they had me run all the way back to my room since they insisted on the custom Geek.Kon version.
This was our standard one-green going to hell version. I'm normally not a big subscriber to the notion that the green cards you win determine your personality, but Kim, who was dressed in a lazy bedtime version of Panty, kept getting cards matching her character's personality. At one point I awarded a card I knew to be hers just so "Panty" could add Easy to her collection.
Panty- Easy, Selfish, Explosive, Overwhelming, Important, Wild and Sultry. It was another late night, and I left before they were even finished.
Sunday morning in the video game room was even slower than Saturday. There weren't even any ponies to occupy the time. Half the hour was spent surfing the web on my touchpad and making sure my fantasy football teams were in order.
Actually, to be more precise, half the day was spent surfing the web on my touchpad. The only respite was when it was serving table duty.
The process of checking out of the hotel could be described as workmanlike, as we managed to get everything into our cars in about a half hour with minimal drama. I grabbed lunch at a snack place in the resort area, one of the few times that the place actually felt like an overpriced tourist trap.
Kenny occupied his time making boxes out of old Magic cards to show off at the variety show. It was getting pretty quiet, so we packed the table up early.
My final badge shift was for their fashion show and closing ceremonies. The good news was that this was a legitimate, necessary position. The bad news was that most of the people who wanted to attend the events were already inside and I had very little foot traffic at my station. The Touchpad bailed me out again as I kept one eye on the door and another on the Packers score.
I did make sure to watch closing ceremonies, however. They didn't make an attendance announcement, but estimates were a slight dip. Understandable given the move.
Final verdict on the Kalahari? It worked, but something about the location seemed to lack the Daisho magic of years past. Maybe it was the smaller attendance from the move, maybe it was the more upscale feel of the place, maybe it was the layout- spreading things out over additional hallways. Either way, it didn't quite have the same energy. It's a perfectly viable location for a convention, but I'm not sure if it's capable of making Daisho feel like Daisho.
Still, you have to love their closing ceremony ritual of a group huddle with the staff in the center. That's Daisho no matter where they are.
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