July 19th, 2007, 5:00AM, Hancock International Airport.
Weather: 20 Degrees C, Cloudy
Subtitle: Delays, Changes and big headaches.
Yesterday was my last day of hanging out with the ITT folks for the week. During that time, our instructor had a family emergency with his wife so we got class off. While we were waiting for him, I managed to get the SSH system to work so I could use the home network securely through ITT’s firewall and many other security measures. If I’m lucky, this will work absolutely everywhere, including heavily secured networks like banks and whatnot. Hell, it’s what I’m using right now to write this entry on my apartment computer (reminder, I’m at the airport). So anyway, I headed out from there and headed to Carousel Center to buy a present (more on that later). I get a call from Laura who is running the show for my hotel. Due to a discrepancy of some sort, our room got canceled. After me complaining quite a bit for it to be fixed, she comes back and we’re now paying about $80 less for the room, but there’s one extra person in it.
Oh well. So anyway, after it got sorted out, I was hanging outside of Victoria’s Secret. Unfortunately, I was like Hideki from Chobits. I had a nerve-wracking time trying to get in there without feeling weird. I walk in and am surrounded by a mess. The store was not kept well, lingerie was not organized well, on the floor, sticking out of weird places and it just felt, dirty. I guess. So I glanced around anyway. Some of the stuff in there was really sexy looking. I mean, I like what I saw, despite a poor presentation. So anyway, I walk up to the counter and get what I came for. And it happened again. “Can I help you find something miss?” Miss. MISS?! Does it look like I have boobs to you?! I didn’t really blow up like that, but I obviously thought it was funny. I replied with my signature, “I suggest you reconsider that statement” in a deep voice. She looks at me and says, “Oh. Well please accept my apologies. Are you looking for a gift card or something to wear?” I respond with the card then also think to myself, “This doesn’t make sense either. See, the counter where you put things and the pin-pad are on complete opposite sides of the point of sale machine. The winner? Not whoever designed this system. So anyway, I get my car and envelope, she then asks me if I’d like a bag. Now, it felt really weird at this point. I’m not sure what, but it just hit me. Then she finishes with “It’s really small and cute. Perfect for her.” I’m like, eh, why not. It may not be a bad way to present my gift. I get it, the bag and then head out. I stuff the bag into my laptop case to conceal it (I mean, I would of felt extremely weird with this tiny Victoria’s Secret bag going around for another half an hour). So I get home and claim my victory of being able to be in that store, alone and get my job done without freaking out or just breaking down by being surrounded by so much sex. I purchased this card, following seeing my dad commonly gets it as a gift. I talked to Maeve about it and she said it was a nice gift because it says to the girl I think you are hot. Personally, I thought of it like “it’s something you use anyway, so why not look/feel great with it?” After getting home, I decided that looking up the Wikipedia article for the store to see if there was anything interesting about it. Turns out the original concept for the store was not to cater to selling women’s underwear to women, but to men buying underwear for his wife or girlfriend. I thought this was an interesting concept, but dismissed the idea later thinking “it can’t be that way anymore. WAY too much pink and femininity roaming around to interest me or make me feel comfortable.”
So I got home and got a nap. Wasn’t too long, but it made me feel more prepared for the rest of the day. I got up, got to the bank for the cash, picked up some dinner, met James back at the apartment and watched the first disk of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. OH DAMN. It’s freaking wonderful. A fine anime, very funny, very energetic, has a decent “WTF?!” factor and has a good amount of fan service to keep the perverts (like me) entertained. I haven’t got a good chance to go through any of the special features yet though. I brought the included hair band with me for a laugh (going to see if Laura can get it tied to my hair properly.) Or I could try it myself. If I enter BWI with it on, it should be a dead giveaway what I’m there for. Then, I got the call. My flight has been canceled. No, it’s not the end of the world I am still going to get there. However, due to all this, I am connecting in a different place, arriving later but got some cash back for the problem. I don’t know if something’s happening at LGA (LaGuardia, New York City), or if it was just too under booked, but oh well. (Edit, about 6:20AM) Apparently, there was a steam pipe explosion in Manhattan. I think this could be the case, because I got the call about 10PM last night and the pipe seemed to have exploded only a short time before that. The fact that a steam pipe explosion causing the flights to the airport to be canceled doesn’t make tons of sense, but I suppose it can’t be helped. I’ve got about another 40 minutes until the boarding call is announced, I’m going to crack open my book: Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds, the inventor of LINUX. Well, maybe not. Something interesting just occurred to me. My cologne, in a steel case, a liquid, at 1.7 ounces GOT THROUGH security. I forgot I put it in there. The hell.
July 20th, 2007, 1:39PM, Baltimore Convention center, Room 340.
Weather: 34 Degrees C, Sunny
Subtitle: And it begins.
Last night I finally got in. I decided to wait for Sarah instead of heading on. I did, meet her for the first time and I thought it was cool. She destroyed one of her toes and had a hard time walking. Oh well. We got on the rail and headed out to the convention center, put down our bags at the hotel and got in line for the pre-registration. As expected, the speed of their service kept us in line for only about an hour. After that we met up with Laura and got into the hotel. I’m not completely happy with my roommates, but at least they’re not serial killers (Sarah thinks they are.) We had two couples from upstate New York. They all seemed a bit too friendly with each other and that annoyed me, knowing me and Sarah couldn’t do anything remotely that interesting with each other. Anyway, we went to the dinner and found that a total of four people showed up, not including us. They (as in Uno’s) didn’t seek to keep our reservation. So we got some free appetizers for the gig. Anyway, after that we headed back to the hotel, I crashed, Sarah stayed up a bit, writing in pain.
Today, I got up at 9AM naturally. Go figure. I got into the bathroom without waking anyone, but ran into a problem. All their bathing suits are hanging up. Now the guy’s pants are fine. But the women’s two pieces made me cringe and hesitate. Oh well. I got all fresh and dressed, walked out of the room. Then I bumped into Sarah’s cot making a rather loud noise that woke everyone up. They all got up and I headed out to the convention. I ran into Frice in the game room, looked around and started pwning some n00bs at Wii sports. Damn that was fun, but in the process I destroyed my left arm, making it almost useless for days. I headed out again and walked up to Shiatsu Massage, which is where I am now. Hopefully Sarah will appreciate this, though I don’t have a demo partner to try it all out on. I guess its “good luck” from here on out.
July 20th, 2007, 6:16PM, Marriott Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Room 8088.
Weather: 34 Degrees C, Sunny
So I’m sitting in the hotel room with Sarah right now and she’s complaining about her toe and being sick. Now she wants to go home early. I personally am not happy right now. I was hoping for a decent weekend with a friend, not something that reminded me of how my sister acted on a previous trip. She tried to get her flight rescheduled for $400. I was expecting a minor fee; say $40, but not $400. But that aside, I think she’s just taking the coward’s way out. I thought she should have got some sleep (she stayed up really late last night) and figure it out in the morning, but she’s taking this way too hard. I think she now has a train she can take back later tonight. I’m worried for her, don’t get me wrong, but unhappy.
Let’s move on. I got in line for Fred Gallagher for a drawing of Largo for my book and asked him a couple questions. I showed him the picture of him and Gordon Freeman, he thought it was amusing plus he said he had a friend who worked for Valve. Really funny. So I moved on and asked him about a new version of the website. He responded by someone was already working on it, but thanks for the offer. Either way, I’m glad that’s done.
July 21st, 2007, 4:12PM, Baltimore Convention Center, Pratt Street Lobby.
Weather:Â 35 Degrees C, Sunny
Subtitle: The next morning.
Well, I’m back and feeling pretty decent. This morning I hooked up with Jonathan Stopchick of Caffeinated Lifestyle and talked quite a bit to him. I got some pictures with him and some myself and we were a decent crowd. I got a flower from an Aeris as a joke, still hanging out of my camera bag. I basically went around the dealers’ room, found nothing I was looking for, (The starter box set to Gundam SEED Destiny Volume 1 and something from Watsuki(a)) came back up here and sat down because my legs and back really hurt from all this running around. For some creepy reason Johnny wanted a picture in my Kimono, so you’ll get to see that when I return home. Oddly enough I haven’t watched a single thing of anime today. I will go to fan parodies tonight because, despite my hate for Neon Genesis Evangelion, Evangelion: Redeath is absolutely hilarious.
I am ready to serve you my mistress…
And one that I took (This is Johnathan Stopchick by the way). BEHOLD! THE DEW!!!
July 21st, 2007, 12:47PM, Ballroom 2, Baltimore Convention Center.
Weather: 30, Degrees C, Partly Cloudy
Subtitle: And on the last day…
Last night I took a nap from 6:00PM to 8:12PM. I got some extremely bad pizza to eat, I mean, it wasn’t even completely cooked. Then I went to the rave for the fist time ever in my Otakon history. Well, I felt like a complete moron. Hell, watching Phil made me feel embarrassed. I walked around, bobbed my head a bit and went around in some “conga” lines. Overall it was okay, but I was kind of bummed I lost my Aeris Flower. I went to see Evangelion: Redeath Redux again and thought it was as kick ass as usual. After that I went to see Fencer of Minerva which was a pretty cheap hentai anime, but who cares about that. The crowd was the thing to see. Think of it this way: “Take it off!”, “Just put it in!”, “Boobies!”, “Meow!” and “Awe, come on!” were common to say every five minutes. I thought that was great. I didn’t finish watching it because I was too tired. I came back to the hotel and crashed.
This morning I got up kind of late, packed up and came back to the convention center to pick up a couple of things I missed. First was a tee for a friend, then I wanted a Megatokyo polo, but they were out so I went back to the Otakon booth and got one from there. Finally, I can wear my Otakudom at work and still conform to most dress codes. I ran into Johnny Stopchick again and we got a group photo. I then went to “Ultimate Anime Shop” and asked around to see if they had anything by Miss Watsukia. It turns out they didn’t but the owner of the booth said she recognized her art. I’m going to bother her online for it later. For some reason she gave me one of those advertising gifts, which was a condom. I thought that was ridiculously funny, apart from “free air” (Molex Productions) and bag of tissues (J-list). I am now sitting in Panel 4, waiting for the closing ceremony and the most important thing of all: next year’s dates for the convention. I don’t want the headache of finding a room at the last possible moment, so I want to do this early. So far I know Phil will be coming and joining me in the room, that’s two of a possible five or six. *Gurgle* I’m hungry. *Pulls out some chips and starts munching.*
July 21st, 2007, 7:08PM, Baltimore/Washington International ThurgoodÂ Marshall Airport.
22 Degrees C, Cloudy
Subtitle: Going home.
No problems here. Just hanging out in BWI, talking to someone I met on the way here and enjoying myself. The Otakon dates for 2008 are August 8th, 9th and 10th. I think that’s cool. I’ll be reserving a hotel at Days Inn on the 15th of August, 2007 or at the Holiday Inn in September 2007. I can’t wait to be home so I can relax and get some real sleep and a shower before work at 9AM EDT in Utica again. Here’s a crew picture for great justice:
12:40PM, Office of MTI Technology Corporation, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Oriskany, New York
24Â Degrees C, Partly Cloudy
I thought I had a good time at the convention, though I would have hoped Sarah would enjoy it with me. In either case, I haven’t exactly got the heads up on the latest and greatest in anime slated for the states, but I did have a good time. Between the rave, pictures, fan service (personal story), hentai and food, I enjoyed my time there. No major complaints stood out in my mind, though I wasn’t really sure what to expect being out of the community for so long. Next year, I bring more cash for the dealer’s room.
12:31AM, Zero’s Apartment, Liverpool, New York
19Â Degrees C,Â Mostly Cloudy
I didn’t take many pictures because I had Johnny do most of the work. Here’s a big slab of them: