AMKE | Kitsune-1 | Kitsune-2
The worst part about transitioning to Kitsune Kon immediately afterwards was that we didn't even have four full days to rest. We left Thursday night after work in order to help them set up. This was a great idea in a vacuum, but it did create quite a crunch. Between Evan and I, we were responsible for almost all of the non-guest panels and some of them we hadn't quite started yet. That and writing the Anime Milwaukee recap made for quite an exhausting three days.
At least we had a convention to go to.
The Masochism Tango
We made pretty good time Thursday night, arriving at about 8:00. Things seemed surprisingly calm considering they were not only trying to set up their convention, but their con director was busy picking up a guest at the airport. Rez soon arrived with Chris Cason in tow, back for another week in Wisconsin. We tagged along for the tour.
Mitch eventually left to pick up Vic Mignogna, leaving us with Chris. We ended up talking for about an hour on such random topics as regional burger franchises, the cola wars and the propensity for some of the many Chris's at FUNimation (Sabat, Blevins, sometimes Ayres) to start referring to themselves at Christopher.
I explained to him the whole conceit behind these recaps and how I like pictures of the con in action. Here is a rare case of somebody photobombing a picture he's supposed to be in anyway.
Tiffany Grant arrived next (#11!) and the two guests immediately ventured out to find some place to get a bite, despite it being something like 11:00. I tagged along to at least have a soda (and maybe an appetizer or something), but all the hotel restaurants (strangely enough, there were about five of them) were either closed or shut down the grills. They headed off to Subway. I didn't follow because I'm not leaving the grounds for a soda.
Elsewhere at the con, the big hubbub was setting up the video game room, as it usually is. I ended up helping test out the DDR mats and their positioning on the floor.
Hard work this be. Shame they had to settle for the flat pads. I had two Ignition 3s at home I could have easily lent them.
Before we fastened them to the ground with gaffer tape, Evan gave it a try just to be on the safe side. I asked for a slightly harder song to get something that really bounces around the pad. He picked Tsugaru. As I hadn't played DDR in a year, I realized just how out of shape I was, and could barely move afterwards.
I took the unprecedented step of taking a shower at 1:00 am and heading straight to bed afterwards.
Friday morning started out a bit slow. Everything was coming together pretty nicely, but they realized that they were lacking printer ink. Guess what? Time for an office supply run! It may have been a bad idea, as I'm very particular about which dry erase markers I select, but I got through it promptly, even sneaking a quick lunch run on the way back.
After sitting at the Geek.Kon table, which was somehow staffed the entire weekend despite all of us running around like crazy helping out, I was sent off again with one of the weirdest dispatches ever- drive Vic Mignogna to a clinic.
Apparently, he had injured his finger in a racquetball incident a couple days prior and needed a doctor to check up on it and re-bandage it today. So we were Googling around, trying to find the right place that accepted the right insurance and could... yeah, it was weird. But I got the directions and we were off!
The big fancy hospital that we arrived at promptly apparently didn't do urgent care. We all grumbled, took directions for the place on the other side of town and sped off.
This place was correct at least, but the billing took forever and Vic was instructed to pick up an over-the-counter med at the nearest pharmacy. So while he was waiting to settle up the tab, I had to ask around to figure out where the nearest pharmacy was. All the while, the clock was ticking as we were trying desperately to get back for Opening Ceremonies.
Incidentally, you have never lived until you, your girlfriend and Vic Mignogna are forced to rush madly through a Walgreens in a race against time.
It was sorta like this.
We pulled up at the hotel doors at 5:30, just as we got the call that Opening Ceremonies had ended. Ranked out. Shucks.
After drowning our sorrows at a great New York-style pizza place a block away, it was time for my first epic panel block.
As a first year con, they were pretty starved for panels, so Evan and I submitted what we could. I submitted three and was added to two more as the convention neared. A week before Milwaukee, Richard asked me to jump into Manly Men of Anime since Nick Izumi wasn't going to be at the con until Saturday. This in spite of the fact that I hadn't actually been to one of these panels in their entirety and wasn't really up on any of the popular Shonen Jump titles. He was fine with that.
Despite our clueless stares whenever someone from Bleach or One Piece came up, the place was pretty packed and everyone seemed to have a good time.
With a one hour break before my next block, I went up to our table and popped open my laptop.
I was not up there to sell Geekbot plushies to Belarus and Ukraine, although I totally did. I was trying to make sure everything was in order for my first foray into an actual structured panel- Geek Music 102. Everything was not in order, as the internet was not fast enough to nab the videos I needed quickly enough. I used the ones I had previously download for just such an occasion, got it all ready and crashed Evan's steampunk panel to start setting up.
Even with TheHerald helping me set up, we did run into the strange problem where the projector displayed my laptop fine... but didn't show the video that was playing. It required me to fall back to step three, switching to mp3s of most of the songs as some were live performances that didn't sound good without seeing it.
The adjustments on the fly, and the effort I put into making sure all bases were covered, paid off as the respectable crowd really appreciated the introductions to some awesome bands. Since I absolutely wanted people to see the adorable video for Michael (Jump In) by No More Kings, I just turned the laptop around.
I see no harm in sharing the Google Doc for it now, although the audio clips I used for Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm are not embedded.
Once that panel was over, I packed up my laptop and used the secret door to the next room over, Main Programming, for Tales of Con Horror. Here's the catch- I wasn't just going to be watching voice actors share stories...
Oh yah. Me, Rez, Tiffany, Chris, and later Mike from Natsucon/Anime St. Louis. It was nuts.
Many of Tiffany's stories were the same ones she told at her panel at Ohayocon '08, and if I wasn't going to share them then, I'm not going to share them now. Among the stories I shared were The Coffee Conversation (Geek.Kon.10), The North I-95 debacle (Otakon 2004), the encounters of "an anonymous Kitsune Kon staff member" with multiple semis (Ohayocon 2008), Kari Wahlgren fangirling over my con bag (ACen 2007) and, of course, Sex Offenders (also Otakon 2004). Best part about that one was that Scott was present this year and not only filled in the details, but a forgotten horror story from my first ever recap- Nick F. getting Scott to move his apartment out while my group was left stranded at ACen 2003. My recaps have come a long way since then.
Perhaps it was the Sex Offender story that prolonged things, but we just didn't want to quit, going forty minutes longer than the scheduled one-hour panel. It was just that much fun.
Sarah and I returned completely high off of that panel's awesomeness and returned to find our roommates waiting impatiently. Geek.Kon wasn't having an official room party, but since Day Glo was staying with us, we had to bust out the Apples to Apples for old times sake.
As always, there were some incredible rounds, particularly when our custom cards saw the light of day.
We turned in at around 3:00 am. After all, we had an early morning tomorrow.
Proceed To Saturday!