Another year, another anime convention. This one was even better than the last. I planned for it months in advance and saved up a nice goose egg of money for buying goodies. The thing I looked forward to the most was getting to see people. I planned on meeting a lot of people while I was there and this journal reflects that. (Keep your score cards handy, folks). I also had a camcorder with me. I caught a variety of interesting things on tape... Most of them relating to the fanfic group. With that said, let's go!
Journal 1 - Gathering our party members (abridged version)Date: June 15, 2000
I left for Toronto on Thursday, got there around 6pm expecting to be picked up by Sean Gaffney and Joan McDougall. Instead, Victor Navqi met me. We took the long way to the Ramada East (lots of buses involved). Jord Carp was supposed to be there already, but his plane had a problem (something about the engine not working while they were taxiing for take off). [Sean, Joan, Jord and I were sharing a room at the hotel]. Ysabet was going to stay with us for Thursday night 'cause her room reservation was for Friday night. We picked Ysabet up at the airport around 11pm. It was good seeing her again. Ysa-chan was the one I stayed with in Halifax last year, so our friendshp picked up right where we left off.
Journal 2 - FridayDate: June 16, 2000
We had to get up early because we learned that Jord took a late flight to Ottawa and had spent the night at the airport. His flight to Toronto was getting in at 8am or some absurdly early hour like that. Joan, Sean, Ysa and I took the shuttle to the airport to wait for Jord. The big problem with this was that we didn't know what flight he was coming in on or even the terminal. We guessed and fortunately it was the right one. Victor was already there waiting. We didn't spot Jord when he came out. Sean was talking and Jord overheard him and dropped his bag behind our group as he was passing by. Victor glomped Jord (I've never seen a glomp before, but, by God, he glomped him!)
Bean-tachi went back to the hotel minus Victor. We all (minus Joan) decided to take a nap since we didn't have much sleep the previous night. I think I was the only one who actually slept (and I was out like a light from what they tell me). Pandora MacMillan had called Joan because Helen Szeto was available for lunch. They arranged a lunch thing with Helen, Tim Nolan, Pandora, Joan, Sean, Ysa, and myself. Jord was too tired to join us. (I didn't know I was going to lunch until they woke me up to drag me off ^^; )
In the lobby we encountered Ken Wolfe. Hugs and greets were exchanged, then outside the hotel we encountered Matt (Riot) and Morgan (Pol-chan). I didn't recognize Matt! He shaved! He looked so different ^^ Helen drove up then to pick us up. She's a scary driver, but I tend to think that of all people driving in a big city ^^;
Lunch at Pandora's with the aforementioned authors went well. I sat there and ate. Boring, huh? Most efforts to pull me into the conversation ended in failure, so others filled the gap, especially Sean and Pandora. Who needs me to talk when others are happy to do it?
Helen left and the first group of people went back to register for the con (Sean, Joan, and Ysabet -- the non-panelists). Pandora's daughter, Myrna, came home. Then the rest of us went to the hotel. I was put on four panels this year. The first was Sailormoon: state of the union (discussing the current state of Sailormoon affairs), Anime's hottest babes, then the Fanfic awards (I was a judge this year). Those were all Friday evening. I was also on the Fanfic panel being held on Saturday.
The State of the Union was supposed to have Tim, Pandora, and me on it and started at 6pm. At 6pm none of the panelist were there but me and the room was quickly filling. I didn't know what to do o.O; They told us to discuss the new SM dub, but I hadn't seen any of it... So, with the pressure on, I did what any self-respecting bean would do...
No, not panic =P
...I focused attention onto something else! ^^v I started asking the audience questions. Screw this them asking me thing. I got them talking about what they thought of the dub.
Pandora and Tim showed up about 20 minutes into it. They (mostly Pandora) went on to spend 15 minutes introducing the 3 of us and talkin' about other stuff. When we finally got back to Sailormoon it was to have the crowd ask us oddball, only-an-otaku-would-know questions. That was kinda fun. I mean, if you're going to have walking talking encyclopedias sitting up there at your disposal...
After the panel, it was a mad house. Havoc was there and wanted to go to dinner. I said I'd meet up with him in the hall, but getting to the hall proved to be a challenge. While I was still at the table two girls approached me. They introduced themselves and said that they were big fans of mine. One of them (Heather) asked for my autograph ^^; While I was doing that, she got DOWN ON THE GROUND and bowed to me. I was quite embarrassed, but took it in stride ^^;
Then another guy tackled me. His name was David and he had a *powerful* grip when we shook hands. He nearly crushed my hand! o.o; For the rest of the con, anytime he passed me in the hall, mall, in a room wherever, he would stop say 'Mame-sama', bow, then continue on. That was kinda odd ^^;
Getting back to the story, we formed a group and raided the mall. And when I say 'we', I mean about 20 of us ^^; See... most of the people fit into one of three categories. They were either a Fanboy (or groupie), a fanfic author, or a FOB (friend of Beans). I knew who almost everyone was, but everyone was introducing themselves to the other ^^; I'm the bean that binds us :P
The mall was interesting. It has those terribly small tables that you can't use very well to make islands for hungry otaku to eat at. (Not that that stopped us...) We used trays as bridges to create more table space. It was something you would have had to see to believe.
I had to get back to the con because I only had an hour break between the panels I was on. Anime's Hottest Babes was... scary. Firstly, the room was mostly filled with guys (to be expected). The panel was to take a survey and vote of the hottest male, female, and it in anime. The crowd was more enthusiastic about nominating males than they were about females or it o.O! Anyhoooooo.. The male winner was Captain Tylor, female was the Sailor Senshi (it was taking too much time to write down each Senshi and if you added their individual votes up they'd win by a landslide). It went to PsyDuck with PenPen only a vote behind o.o; That was the most disturbing part of the panel...
I hit the dealer's room them. I won't note every time I went in there (which was numerous) and just give you a rundown of my final haul. I went to AN expecting to buy a lot (which I did ^^; ) and I really wanting manga. I didn't find a single one I was interested in =( So I bought CDs instead ^^; Here it goes:
I also won the second Silent Mobius OST at the charity raffle ^^v In short, I scored some serious tunes ^^
The Fanfic awards were more organized than last year. The winners were again invited to read their entries to those gathered. It's a great idea, but does make for the panel being on the long side. Jord read Ysa-chan's entry for her. He did a fantastic job of it! Here's a run down of this years winners:
By the time the panel was over it was 11pm or something like that. I scurried up to Havoc's room apologizing profusely for being so late (we'd planned on meeting earlier for a chat). He was cool with it and we sat and talked Fanboys! for about an hour and a half. Then Matt and Jelynne showed up and we ended up talking even more fic until around 2am.
Havoc gave me a color sign that with a picture of Beans on it to tack to my room door. The Planet Hentai sign was tacked up on his door (that's how I found it the first time). Then some guys were going through the halls with squirt guns with perfumed water in them. 'Voc yelled at them and security took their guns away eventually. They later (after I got there) came around and stole Havoc's sign. He was *not* happy about that.
It was around 2:30am when I left Havoc's room. I then wandered down to see what they were showing in the all night anime rooms. One of them was Kekko Kamen o.O; I'd never seen it before, so morbid curiosity forced me to sit there and twitch uncontrollably as I watched. What a twisted anime that is...
After that, I slid back into the room Sean, Jord, Joan and I shared and crashed for the night.
Journal 3 - SaturdayDate: June 17, 2000
I putzed around a lot before the SM Fanfic panel started in the early afternoon. Went to the dealer's room in that time. Havoc and I got our talk in. We walked down to some coffee shop and chatted until Deso and Demo found us. (Yes, the lost fanboy found us in a coffee shop ;) We went back to the con and putz about s'more.
The SM Fanfic panel had more people on it than it really needed IMHO. I even asked them if they still wanted me since the table was already full. They said yeah and I took up a place at the end. The panelist were Tim, Pandora, Sailor Mac (the Fanfic guest of honor), Steven Savage (her proof reader), Dave Greenlaw and me.
The after panel discussion in Ken Wolfe's room was great! Now, that was something not to be missed. There were about 20 of us discussing all genre of fanfics and getting into stuff that was discussed at the lemon panel. (Which I didn't go to).
A funny thing that I noticed was happening is that I couldn't go anywhere without having a couple people in tow behind me. I finally stopped to ask the group tailing me why they followed me, and Sean (who was among them) answered, "Because it's fun where you are" ^^; I'd tell them that I was going to go up to our room to get something and they'd be worried that I wouldn't come back to get them. (Knowing that I couldn't go down the hall without someone tackling me). Otaku are a funny breed.
The cosplay was interesting.. ^^; Oh boy. I never go to the cosplays, they really don't interest me, but Rupen (Carnage) pulled me and a few other girls into the Fanboys! skit. NeoHaruka was in it, along with Lauren Michelle. A frustratingly ironic thing happen with it too. Rachel Backa had been looking for me all con. She'd also been pulled into chasing the guys off stage. She didn't know what I looked like. We were standing right next to each other and didn't realize what happened until we each told Chaos about the con and he put the pieces together.
The two girls from the State of the Union panel were doing a skit. Panda-chan pulled me aside to tell me that I had a pair of fans talking about me with her and that I should go say hi to them. I tried to encourage them, but I think I made them more nervous o.O; Oops, my bad...
We had this chick in the most AMAZING Galaxia costume following us. I kid you not, it was OUTSTANDING!! Most people avoid Galaxia like the plague 'cause her costume is so elaborate, but hers definitely did it justice! She was also very nice, which gave her extra points in my book ^^;
Well, we chased the guys off the stage successfully. Later Myrna told me that someone seated next to her was wondering why there was a guy on the tail end of the group chasing them off... I guess I am a bishounen now ^^;
I went back to my room for something after that with Sean, Joan, and Jelynne in tow. We sat around for a bit and talked. Then I kept my promise to Sean and sang Eyes On Me for them. They said it wasn't bad. I believe that, but I'm not nearly the singer that my brother is (he's an actor. He was an extra in Austin Powers 2 and Rocky and Bullwinkle). After that, we continued our questing.
There was a big dance going on. It was great! Oh how I enjoy listening to anime music pumped up to near deafening levels ^^; And I secretly do enjoy dancing. The dance was where I shed my usually reserved coccoon and became a social butterfly. (At the cost of draining me terribly, but I'll get to that).
Firstly, we enountered Ken sitting in one of the comfy seats outside the main ballroom just watching people. Sean and Joan stuck their heads in, got a headache, and abandoned the idea. Jelynne likewise bailed. So I lost the people in my party. Not one to let such things hold me back, I dived into the room and started booging. (A humorous sight, I assure you).
Heather and her friend were there playing the part of wallflowers, so I grabbed Heather and dragged her out onto the floor with me. We did a slow dance together (the only slow one they played all night) and then a fast one. She floated off that dance floor when our dances were over ^_- I then did a dance with her friend. Everyone seems to remember me dancing with Eternal Sailormoon (who her friend was dressed up as) but not her.
I then danced some with Lauren Michelle and one of her friends. Her friend was eyeballing the Touga that was walking around -- who happened to be someone I knew from another IRC a couple years ago. So I danced with Touga and then told him that someone was watching him and got them to dance together. They were, of course, thoroughly embarrassed, but didn't kill me in the end. In fact, Lauren's friend was glad I introduced them ^^;v (Touga's already engaged, so nothing could come of it, but it was fun).
After that Rupen showed up briefly. I asked if we could have a dance together at some point and he said maybe, but he was busy. Then I danced with Ysabet and her boyfriend Chris. Then NefCanuck tracked me down and we chatted while I took a breather. I spotted Andrea Doolan (who was dressed as the cutest Card Captor Sakura) and asked her where James Helfrey was. I'd been trying to find him all con but was only on the trail of bought manga he'd left behind. I'd promised to play a game of Triple Triad with him.
She directed me to where he was last lurking and I finally found him. (He as a true talent for blending into the wallpaper). We went out to the lobby to cool down and play a couple games. Some people came around to watch us, including PsyHawk. (Yet another IRC person on a network I hadn't been on in a year at least. I encountered people I knew from three different IRC networks, knowing that I only frequent one network at a time).
Jord showed up again while James and I were playing cards. After we finished (I won 3 matches to his 2) I gathered my cards and Jord and I went back to dance some. Victor had taken Jord all over Toronto, including a dance club. He's a cool dancer, gets into it much more than I do. It was around 1:30am and my energy was running out. They played Just Communication and that did me in.
Jord and I retreated up to the 'Voc's room to rest before calling it a night. There was quite a gathering there including Joan and Sean. They'd done sake already, so we had to wait until the next night to get any. Panda-chan and I sat on the floor and talked quite a bit while various other conversations went on about the room.
Around 2:30am Joan, Sean, Jord and I headed back to our room. I'd promised to watch some anime with Jord, so we wanted to go see what was playing during the all night anime. It was A!MG. The four of us watched episode 3. We left at that point because Joan hadn't seen any of it before and 4 & 5 are seriously ruined if you don't have the rest of the series under your belt already.
Journal 4 - SundayDate: June 18, 2000
I was under the power of my own two feet by an amazing 10am. Sean had already been up and motoring around for a while already. I wanted to go down and see the Olympic Special of Yawara! (I love that series). It was so good =~) I somehow refrained from cheering for Yawara, but if I was watching it at home you can be sure that I would have been on my feet yelling at the tv about half way through it ^^;
By the time Yawara! was over, everyone else in our room was up and moving. Sean really wanted to go shopping. I was drained from last night... and not physically. I was emotionally / spirit drained. I was worn too far down. After an hour or so of them trying to cajol me into going with them, Joan, Sean, Carp (I think), Ysabet and her boyfriend all went shopping. I slinked up to Havoc's room and cuddled my Tonberry while quietly regaining my equillibrium.
Closing ceremonies weren't very well organized. We watched this weird anime called Just Kidding Vamperian. It was from I.G, they said that they were hoping to find a US studio to partner with. Honestly, I don't see it going anywhere in the states or North America if the first ep was an example of the story. Okay, here it is in a nutshell:
A kid wanders into the house of vampires. Vegeterian vampires, I should say. The father still likes to taste guys, so the daughter has to keep pounding him to spit out the boy. The mother is a beauty who can cast magic at the expense of her beauty, so she's always in her coffin getting her beauty sleep. The daughter vampire just wants to make a friend. Then it gets weird.
A vampire hunter with a robo dog (think Rush from the Mega Man games) goes after them. Some things happen, one of the most disturbing was when a deer head (the entire deer was in the wall) came out of the wall and offers to help the boy save the girl vampire. He sticks a hose up the boys rear and blows him up like a balloon while a message at the bottom of the screen says not to do it or die. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he was completely naked at this point because the father was trying to cook him in a bath like a soup.
So this boy is floating and with his head, hands, feet, and johnson pointing out. He eventually farts and deflates. He and the girl run around on the roof some, then slip off. The boy catches the edge in dramatic fashion. The girl grabs onto his johnson. (Are you cringing yet?) That happens not once, but twice! Thankfully it ended soon there after with the boy wearing a bandage like a daiper with a bulge for his jewels... poor guy.
Every guy in that room was covering his jewels with his hands during this anime (not that I blame them). And they want to make more of this? Ech...
Anyhow, after being frightened by that, we decided to go up to Havoc's room and chat s'more. We were getting hungry and decided to order in a bunch of pizzas. Man, what an adventure that turned out to be. It took us long enough to sort out who was getting what and all that nonsense (there was 15 or so of us). Then they argued over where to get the pies from. It took them an hour just to place the blasted order :P
Okay, so we wait, and we wait, and we WAITED and finally someone comes up to our room and says, "I think we got your pizza." The guys breaking down the stage and stuff had ordered in a bunch of pizzas and the driver gave them all the pizzas, not just theirs. Havoc was not amused. He called the pizza place and raised hell. The manager promised us our pizzas in a half hour and we wouldn't have to pay for them.
And so we waited some more. An hour passed and they got another Havoc phone call. The manager said they were on their way. Havoc went down to the lobby to terrorize the driver when he got there. He was terrorizing the hotel staff also, apparently. The manager asked why he looked ready to kill someone. He was mad about the pizzas and because he wanted to go in the sauna and it was going to be closed by the time the pies came and he'd eaten. The manager offered to leave the sauna open for him (which was very kind, IMO).
When the driver came into the lobby the first thing out of his mouth was "the driver was fired, I'm the cook." Havoc was pleased and he had pizza. By this time it was, like, 10pm. Half the people who ordered pizza were already gone. So that left more of the rest of us ^^; Havoc got his time in the sauna. Jelynne started the heating the sake.
Now that was an adventure. It was my first time having sake. They told me not to hold it in my mouth, to just swallow it down. I expect it to taste bad like taquilla. Bah, I held it in my mouth some (there was too much to swallow at once). It didn't taste bad. Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, they got that on tape also :P I think they also made a short .avi of it. Needless to say, Beanie's first sake is well documented :P We chatted for a while longer then went to bed.
Journal 5 - MondayDate: June 19, 2000
We checked out and ate breakfast at the hotel. Got lots of great video footage =] Then we killed more time. Went to the airport because NeoHaruka and I both had to leave. I hopped on a plane and made it back safely, wai wai, end of story ^^;v