I need to demand more often, apparently, because my weekend ruled. More like conquered overwhelmingly.
Great trip down on Thursday. Any time you get to spent 5 hours next to a cute and nice person of a gender that you like, it's automatically bonus win points.
Got in, had to wait to get my badge. Went to Chili's for Cat's birthday dinner. Sat around and talked a lot of shop with Adam, Mike, and Jamie. Most amazing thing? 16 people for dinner and the bill being paid without a whole pile of "Well we're X short." Went back to hotel for Umbrella cake. Resident Evil Umbrella logo cake, that is. Complete with red-tinted cake and bleeding icing. Ended up seeing some of the icing smeared on a few faces that night.
Room for everyone in my department was an issue because of a mistake, but that got more than fixed. We ended up with a suite. Complete with balcony. And a very fast unprotected Internet in the area.
Spent Thursday night hanging out with Team Burlesque: Val, Patti, Josh, Gongo, Eric, etc. Sarah and Dani stopped in later. We came up with "THE GREETING" that night and it stuck for the rest of the con. Maybe even further. We'll see. But it's amazing.
Crew from last year was similar. Sarah and Bitch, no Dan, and this new guy Dennis. Worked great.
"Voltron Guy" a.k.a. "Princess Tutu Boy" was back. He kept coming to us asking about the Hall Contest and the Karaoke contest. He then said that if he didn't win an award in Hall Contest, he would "resign from cosplay", because his cousin had been a famous cosplayer. He also said that when Karaoke was changed from Contest to Open Mic, he didn't enter. Apparently, he only competes, because we told him in both situations "Why not just do it for fun?" He muttered something about his cousin and shrugged. BTW, he didn't win, and I owe Bitch a beer next year. He won the bet on how many times he'd be back.
Right across from the Info Desk was a surprise late addition to the Webcomic Alley. Verily, his presence could only be a BOON to the event. This of course is the one and only Crybringer (dotblogspotdotcom).
Ducked into the Dealer's Room early and scouted things. Ended up getting Knights of the Round for $25. I swear, those things are like crack to me.
Half of our table space was co-opted this year. They made our 2nd table be the Autographs table. So we only had half the space, but we got to meet all the guests. :) This leads to one of the more epic stories:
So the last signing on Friday was Steve Blum. 8:30 to 9:30. The guy is amazing. Says hi to all of us, talks with each of the people, thanks every single one of them, says things for them on camera and records them onto cell phones, and is generally just full of energy. This is also where someone has him repeat a phrase he said on a podcast when they'd been saying his name wrong: "IT'S BLUM, YOU BASTARDS!" Saw him sign flags, artwork, DVD covers, box sets, DSes and even a Big Gulp (crazy side-story there for another time). 9:30 rolls around, he's still there. 10? Still there. I go upstairs, put my stuff away, have a drink, relax a bit, try to get in touch with some people and then head back down around 10:45. I get on the escalator and see a line of people on the floor I'd been working on. Why? Because he's STILL THERE. He stayed until the last person was done, around 11:30. Unbelievable.
So I get to the rave and try to rock out, but I'm just not feeling it. The DJ's transitions were awkward and I just kept not being able to sustain the groove. So I end up heading back to what I think of as the Basement Lobby. It's the Main Events line area, the Artist Alley, etc. And who do I see there? My friend Greg, who was working Guest Relations for us and his charge for the weekend... Steve Blum. So now I'm hanging out with them and drinking, since some guys had some liquor there. And I mean BLATANT liquor. Malibu and Maker's Mark. I know because it was the actual bottles. Yay for being able to drink in "public". Got to have fun. Ran into JJ, Alli, and Alanna and loved upon them as always. Ended up going upstairs, hanging out with some people, then running into Rene and this guy she was with. We made a 7-Eleven run, then a CVS run. I started talking to the girl behind the counter there and they left me. On the way back, I ran into a few people standing outside McDonalds. Since it was opening in like 3 minutes, we hung out and got breakfast at 5 along with a few other congoers who showed up. Then back to the hotel for sleep at nearly 6.
More epic on Saturday. Picked up a [MESSAGE REDACTED] for Shelly. Eventually got into Blaine. New mustache is apparently narrower and longer. Eating was... interesting. Hung out with Rob and Alanna and Alli some more in Pokemon outfits. Got some pictures. Also got the idea of being "Cosplay Potato Head". If I can do it, it will be LEGEN.... wait for it....
But anyway... :P
Eventually I grab dinner and get down to Info Desk. It's about 8. Steve's 2nd signing is at 8:30. I sit down at the autographs table anyway and start eating. The line's already started forming. I'm keeping an eye on the clock. The security line wrangler gets on the bullhorn and announces me as Steve Blum's stand-in at around 8:25. I even grab a Sharpie and go "Alright, I'm ready." I do finish dinner in time and intentionally stay there. I see Steve coming and wait until he gets into the area, then turn around and "notice" him and go "And who the hell are you?!?!?!" Laughs ensue. He remarks "I notice you've lost something" in reference to my having hair the day before. More laughs. I go back to my normal seat which is the one next to him and continue what was doing the day before: Getting a huge kick out of his antics and the discussions he's having. We close up around 10, but I've got nothing planned until the rave. I end up hanging around for the most part. He keeps signing until, at around midnight, security finally stops letting people get in line. I hang around, talking to security and random people and notice the line's not long at all. So I figure that as an act of hilarious irony, I'd get at the end of the line. When I get up there, he points at me and yells "THIS GUY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING STANDING IN LINE??? We've been neighbors for the last 2 days, I would've signed something for you any time." I told him that I figured that since I TECHNICALLY was the first one there, it was kind of fitting that I'd be the last to get something signed. I asked him to write something he'd say to Jet on the back of my badge. So it says:
I thought noodles and beef meant there's be BEEF in it! Thanks for the company, Space Cowboy.
Class act. :)
Went and made myself some drinkage. Gatorade + Bacardi + Curacao for color balancing. Hung out at the bar for a while with epic peeps like Ray, Chris, Twinnies, Laura, etc. Ended up sitting around and having drinks with Laura (I'm sorry for how you ended up feeling. :( *hugs*), and eventually headed for the rave.
MUCH more win. Got some sticks and started to get into the groove. Hit up a circle or two early and felt a bit off, but got my feeling back. Ended up with Epic Circle eventually where we had like 8 of us all around the place who would just move in and out randomly with totally different styles of dance. I think I actually started taking over things at one point (which is a first, actually).
Epic part involved this blonde who I can not describe as anything less than "hot" walking into the circle and pointing at me and using The Finger Of Beckoning. She pointed to the crossed glowsabers hanging from her belt and then to me. We started dancing, I eventually reached around her and grabbed them and pulled them out and started using them. I learned I'm NOT good with them. My fingers dance around the hilt too much. I keep doing things like switching grip forms while they're moving around. I need to work with them more. We talked more later on and worked on some stuff. Really nice girl.
Also saw something that blew me away on the floor. There was a girl with a dance style frighteningly similar to mine. Some of you like Will and Jing know that my style is kind of a part-popping, part-raving, (and now part-tutting)mainly free-form style. I have too much energy when I dance to just keep it restrained to one style. She was doing movesets and flows exactly the way I would do them. Didn't get a chance to talk to her or see her later that weekend. :( I'll notice her again if I see her at another rave, though.
Closed out the rave at 5:30. Must say that Ashura and Luminal's stuff was pretty damn kickass. Luminal even came down at the end of the rave and gave every single person who was left there a hug. Someone said "Breakfast at McDonald's with DJ L!" He goes "You know what? Gimme about 15-20 minutes to pack my gear up and then we'll all head over to McDonald's for breakfast!" I ended up dragging my ass back up to the room for another 2 1/2 hour late-night-nap.
Sunday involved seeing lots of friends once again before they left. Also ran into the blonde from the night before. Might have some plans for Otakon with one costume she's thinking about working well with something I have and something Shelly wants to do. Need to get her info from JF, who I believe is a friend of hers. Either that or he was just hanging out in her group. Also got GREATEST PICTURE EVER. I e-mailed it to myself and Val, it'll be uploaded tomorrow. :D
While working, got to have free pizza and got invited back to work the desk next year. Head of Hall Cosplay passed by and I got to check out the Renegade Edition of DJ Hero (they didn't have it in the Game Room most of the weekend), and I can see the issues people had with the controller. If I could scratch from the right, it'd be comfier.
Usual post-con stuff. Saw lots of people just before they left. Found out about EPIC STAREDOWN (I think I found out on Sunday, at least). Moved rooms and rested up some before dinner. Had Yaya at the next table to one side, the band at the next table in another direction, and the VAs at the one just past that. Had one of the translators for the band sit with us for a while and her and I just chatted about various things.
Back to hotel, relaxed a bit, then up for party time. Was making a drink and said translator wanted one as well and what she wanted meshed right with what I was making. So I Mad Doctor'ed her a drink too (it was okay, but not spectacular). She loved it, though, so it was win. I also got to try Absinthe. Had a sip and realized how strong the taste was. I simplified it as "Compressed Sambuca". The guy who had the glass of it didn't want it, so I ended up downing the rest. Yeah, strong stuff. Would love to see what the REAL stuff is like, though.
Theme song for the party: "Dah da daaaaaaaah, dah da daaaaaaah, JUS-TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!!" This from the band, who ended up making Justin (who you might know as the guy from the raves who usually has those INSANELY bright orange glowsticks) do shots of Everclear. OH did he get hammered. Passed out and they shaved off his eyebrows and started putting makeup on him. They turned him into a pretty J-Rocker. And it ended up really working, actually.
Talked with one girl who was just pure kinds of awesome for a nice chunk of the night, and made plans to drag another girl into the rave next time I saw her. She said she just wants to dance in the circles and not have guys grinding all up on her. So I told her I'd be the rent-a-boyfriend and drag her to one of the circles next rave, since that's often what I end up doing. And hey, I get to play the part of Rude while raving. Fits perfectly for me.
Got to talk to Steve a little bit before he left. I could have come to this con HATING the guy for whatever reason and I'd be a fan of his by now.
Eventually after the partying got removed from its 2nd different room, we went down to the lobby for the night. Just me, Xavier, and a few other guys. Just hung out and talked. Ended up going to bed around 5:30 AGAIN.
Monday I got up and was the only one in the room. Everyone else's luggage was gone. So I got up and started getting ready. I tossed the latch on the door because I didn't want a case like I'd had in other hotels when Housekeeping wouldn't even say a word, they'd just come by and open the door. Didn't want to have to do something like be just in a towel and tell them to come back later. So while I'm getting changed, the door unlocks and starts opening... It was the other guy from the room just making sure I was checking out. Aaaaand he happened to be one of the higher-ups at the con. Oops. Kinda awkward there. Oh well.
Got outside, saw some people I recognized, talked for a bit. Some other people showed up and the convo turned to sex and dildos and dick-in-a-box and whatnot. Very... interesting. Everyone eventually headed off and I decided to wander up to the underground shopping area for some lunch. Was ahead of schedule, so I ended up waiting around for an hour or so before making my way to the bus stop. Got Seat #3 again and this time had a hawt Guyanese girl next to me, with a damn cool girl sitting across from us. Some great conversation on the bus and whatnot made the trip more enjoyable, even with the added hour travel time due to traffic. Ended up even getting a surprise kiss from her before we parted ways. Life just continues to be good.
So all in all, in the words of Chris Troy: "This con was GOD-TIER".
Thanks to all the people who made it so amazing, including my fellow staff (who'll never see this, probably), the kickass VAs I got "stuck" next to for hours (likewise), the random people I met who I hopefully will at least see again in a few months, Dar, Dani, Sarah, Laura, Eric, Liz, Val, Patti, Josh, Gongo, Rob, Alanna, JJ, Alli, Cat, Paul, Jamie, Mike, Adam, Carlo, Ezra, Alex, Jessica, Keith, Chris, Trin, Ana, Greg, Erik, Kat, Chris, Carrie, Ray, Pete, Drew, Liz, Luminal, and anyone else who I might have forgotten due to name overload.
There's a reason I make it a point to go all the way down to VA every fall, even if it means attending a convention on the same weekend my girlfriend is at another one. It's not the setting or the programming or anything like that. It's the people. And all of you kick so much ass, it's amazing. Much love to all of you. (especially the blondes, since I've also nicknamed this "Hot Blonde Con", so you get added love. :P)