Monday, November 9, 2009

Nekocon 12 report


Getting there was simple. In fact, I beat out both the other cars, both of which were armed with GPSes. By a half hour. My only problem was that I got dyslexic about the exit number we had to get off of I-64 at, but thakfully I was dyslexic in the direction that didn't cause us to miss said exit and we reached the hotel without issue.

Since we beat the other cars there, including the car containing the all-important Person Who Paid For The Rooms And Therefore Must Be Present So We Can Check In (i.e. Citrus) wasn't there, so we got some food (my once-annually visit to McDonald's). When we finished everyone else rolled up. Apparently one car stopped for food on the way down and the other made a wrong turn and ended up having to go around multiple sections of a cloverleaf to turn around. GPSes for the win, amirite?

Honestly, the trip isn't that difficult.

Dealers' room was closed when we got there, so I checked out everything else. I was disappointed that there wasn't a Rock Band 2 setup in the game room, even though they had the controllers for it.

Since everything went JUST AS PLANNED finance-wise (actually, BETTER THAN PLANNED, by $90), I was able to get a full weekend reg.

We discovered almost right away that the door to our hotel room didn't lock properly. It wasn't an issue when we were inside it, since we could just close the little thing that prevents the door from being opened all the way, but we couldn't leave anything valuable in it. We informed the hotel of this and they said to use that thing overnight.

I can never sleep at conventions, I don't know why. Part of it was that when we went to sleep I'd only been up for about 14 hours, so I still had energy and had to lie there for at least an hour before actually falling asleep.


We stormed the hotel's free breakfast and made our way to the convention. Since the dealers' room was now open, I debated about buying some volumes of Negima before ultimately deciding to take a look around at the other vendors first. I ended up buying the 10th Anniversary re-release of Azumanga Daioh in Japanese. All three volumes. I can't read it (moon runes and no furigana to help with kanji), but I know what's going on anyway so it doesn't really matter. I've read the three new chapters written for the re-release scanlated, so... otaku badge of honor?

Besides, I couldn't remember which volumes of Negima I didn't have and I forgot to write it down before leaving. I leafed through a few but since I've been reading the scanlations, I remembered everything and couldn't figure out on the fly where I'd left off.

We got back to the hotel and stashed some stuff in my trunk (since it would lock), then went up to the room and discovered that the lock had been fixed. I discovered this by turning the handle and walking headfirst into the door. Anyway, now we could leave stuff (merchandise, laptops, etc.) in the room!

Also, in the room containing Artist's Alley, there's the R/C Racing thing. These aren't your ordinary toy R/C cars, these are the high quality racing ones that are really expensive, and a couple of professional-quality tracks to race them on (one easy, one difficult). Unfortunately it wasn't up and running when we checked it out, and was desolate the rest of the weekend.

While I was in Artists' Alley I remembered that I'd gotten the Yomi button I was wearing there, so I decided to browse for more buttons (or anything else worth buying). Apparently buttons sold pretty well last year (when about two people had them), because this year almost everyone had them. I happened across a Churuya button, which I immediately bought. Unfortunately, MAGFest didn't have a table/projector/MAME ROMs in there this year, so I couldn't bug Brendan or play any Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. If I had any emoticons I'd put a sad face here.

Distinctly notable in Artists' Alley was the unfortunate lack of anything K-On!. No prints that I saw, no buttons, nothing. The dealers' room was short on it as well, there were some posters and other assorted flat things but I kind of expected more. The lack of it in the dealers' room was forgivable since the series hasn't had the chance to generate much merchandise, but Artists' Alley? Seriously, was everyone who had a booth in there living under a rock? Prints/buttons/stuff from K-On! would have sold like wildfire. I probably could have commissioned something, but didn't really feel like it.

Despite having had a large breakfast (two sugary-fruity-iced-pastry-like-things, sausage patties, eggs, a waffle, a muffin of unknown type, a cup of grape juice, a cup of orange juice, and two cups of coffee), I tagged along and made a second visit to McDonald's for lunch. Since I wasn't all that hungry I had some chicken nuggets and a soda. I tend to stock up on calories since so much of congoing is walking around (and fangasming about things), but the lunch was kind of unnecessary.

So then for dinner we decided to go to a Chinese restaurant listed in the con program book. Getting there meant driving, but it wasn't that far away and looked pretty easy to find.

Except that it didn't exist.

So after calling people and talking (hey, who'd'a thought cell phones would be useful?) we went to Denny's.

Decided to go to the game room and play some Rave Racer for a while. Same old gimpy machine as the one at MAGFest where the left side's screen flickers any time either player hits the brake pedal. I demonstrated this at one point because the left side had glitched to be "letterboxed". I hit the brake pedal on the right side and it un-glitched. Then we got kicked out because some Call of Duty fags wanted to have a tournament or something. I thought that was a PC game, but apparently they released it on consoles as well. The controls are guaranteed to suck anyway. Also, the room right next door was the tournament room. Bleh, whatever.


There's nothing ever really worthwhile happening at an anime convention on Sunday. So we had breakfast, checked out of the hotel, packed up the cars, hit up the dealers' room one last time, and left. I grabbed a Setsuna plushie in the final raid on the dealers' room.

Since last year I had to stop at a rest stop and buy a caffeinated soda to stay awake while driving, this year I planned ahead and bought the drink from a vending machine in the hotel. This was important because the Virginia Department of Transportation recently closed the rest stop I stopped at last year.

Luckily nobody left anything in my trunk this year.

I will note that I spent the weekend sober, since CAINE's resident alcoholic was in a different hotel. Asshole.

Last but not least I totally hijacked Enigma's laptop and used the hotel's free wifi to write the Friday and Saturday portions of this down so I wouldn't forget them when I got back. Writing in the past tense about something that's currently happening is difficult, so if it reads strangely, that's probably why.

Merchandise (with pictures!)

10th Anniversary Azumanga Daioh (all three volumes)
Churuya-san button (to go with the shirt, which I was wearing when I bought it)
Sakurazaki Setsuna plushie (yay Negima!)

A shot of both buttons

Here are the pictures from last year. I don't remember having linked them before.
Yomi button
Churuya shirt

1 comment:

  1. Me and Alex will fix up the Artist Alley next time lol


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