So I did a little something on Twitter last year to share my more prominent memories of ACen. Each word held a special meaning to me so all I needed to do was think on it to recall the significance of it. A little later on I realized I probably confused a lot of people, so I eventually expanded upon each word and made a blog. Considering I just got back from ACen once again, I decided to do the same thing. And seeing as I’m restless and need something to keep me occupied (that isn’t wasteful), let’s just explain it all right now…
Boss – The saying which has since gotten overdone via the plug by Lonely Islands had been constant through the whole con. I teamed up with my two female roomies to hassle the other two male roomies whenever possible (though I think one joined in now and then depending on mood). It didn’t matter what we were talking about or doing, we were doing it…like a boss.
Wesker – I went to my first panel which was titled Zombie Survival 101, which was a combination of zombies and Resident Evil culture. And what a panel it was. Who knew there were people who would go so deep into this? Sure, I knew, but I never got into it till now. It was hosted by cosplay Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Alfred Wesker, and William Birkin. The later two are the very reason I was there, because I had a wonderful conversation while we both waited to get badges in a line before con began. From their personality alone, I believe they deserved a shot at being the only panel I would visit this year (though it’s apparent Wesker made a bigger impression). I was not disappointed. And on the topic of lines…
Lines – I finally got to stand in a line like all congoers do who don’t preregister. Then again, even the preregistered stood in line as I saw, because I was line control as well. I’ve heard talk on how it can be a bother, but dang was that fun. I dealt with people and questions on a constant basis, yelling out instructions where needed, and generally made sure everyone had a good time while they waited. The line was supposedly long, but I felt I could have done for a longer one. In regards to that Soap Bubble line though, that was just insane. Would have been interesting to work on that, as it wrapped around the whole hotel almost an hour before opening. That’s dedication to getting your dance on I tell you!
Nash076 – Twitter account of none other than Nash Bozard, Internet personality of TGWTG and company. He was apparently there, which was a surprise to me as I walked by in the convention center registration area. Sure, I knew JesuOtaku was going to be there, which was cool, but I didn’t occur to me she would tag along with someone else. Point being, Nash was there and damn that guy has long and straight hair. I thought I had something going on, but this man brings new meaning to the concept of long hair. Other than that, I hope he was very understanding of the cluster in the convention center exit point Saturday afternoon. Didn’t seem to upset when he showed his badge upon coming through. Then again, I read people bad enough as it is, so I’ll just work on hope.
Exhaustion – Come final day of con, I had a total of eight hours of sleep since Thursday night, and it was showing by this point. I was doing pretty good though, and even put off break for an hour. Granted, if I had known I would be running around in a simulated congoer situation an hour after that hour, I may have chosen otherwise. By the end of it, I’m sure I looked like hell, and I’m sure my attitude was a great 180 in regards to what it had been all weekend. Spend the rest of the day being apologetic to everyone around me, and I can only hope I didn’t hurt my partner in the throes of the chaos. And yet even after all that, was still willing to go above standards and help where I could…as long as I was ordered and moving that is. If I sat idle for a moment, I was falling to the floor in no time at all.
Lottery – Other than registering and getting your badge, the convention center of ACen is nothing more than the staging place for artists and dealers to sell their goods. Becuase this is perhaps one of the biggest cons of Anime all around, the sheer amount of stuff you’ll find here is staggering. And yet, I can’t seem to figure out what I want from it all. Sure, if I had the money I wouldn’t be so hesitant to buy something random, but because I don’t, there really wasn’t anything I needed. Not a big fan of the culture of consumption. However, due to the insights of my lovely partner on Saturday, I was informed of a “grab bag” filled with random items of certain dealers. You don’t know what’s inside, but it’s usually worth twice the value of what you’re buying. Not a bad idea: goods get out of the dealer’s hand, I supported them for future ACens, and I don’t have to deal with guilt of buying something I choose to buy. Everyone wins!
Floor – Me and my roommates rotated on who slept on the floor, due to all of us being day shift and one on mid. And while you think this would be uncomfortable, I slept soundly the first night, and even better the next two…because I had the bed. Like a boss.
Synergy – Or more specific, Hardcore Synergy, The rave which occurred on Friday. Supposedly this is not as big a deal as the Soap Bubble, and considering the line had on Saturday, I suppose that’s true. However, this rave was enough for me. Intense is pretty much all I need to say. I had in had two glow stick bracelets, and while I could have had more via everything dropping to the floor (including a glow sword), I passed it around to others to enjoy, and kept enjoying the beat. My hair came undone and was flinging about like no one’s business, much to the annoyance of others I’m sure, with my sweat obviously flying off. Amazing show, and a shame I couldn’t stick around for BSK. I needed to be somewhat responsible and sleep.
Pandaxstar – On the topic of chiptune, the Twitter of PANDAstar, a fellow Wisconsonite. I freaked at the knowledge of her existence from last years ACen, because she not only worked with chiptune, but lived amazingly close to my hometown (for schooling purposes at least). I’ve since been in contact, and helped in getting her and her fiancee badges this year. It was the fiancee’s first year, and I’m happy to know I have supplied for it to happen. And if you don’t know already, PANDA’s newest album spaceDRIFT is out. Download that album already and support the awesome!
Adverts – Speaking from the mind of a budding artist (or basic worker in general), getting your name out to people about what you can do is a big deal. So when I see countless paper adverts thrown to the ground during con, I can’t help myself but grab them and place them and put inside my pocket. Mind you, this has a huge connection to a self diagnosis of OCD, but it’s legitimate when I see so many incredibly talented artists and dealers who are trying to make a living. I may not be able to buy their goods, but I can sure as hell let the world know where to find the awesome. In summary, I have close to 100 adverts I intend to share here at some point, and I will do this because I care for the well being of the talent I saw. Plus I’m self diagnosed OCD.
Radio – It was my first time on the radio, and I think I happened to do well. Granted, it was certainly hectic having to comprehend not only the conversations on my ear, but the conversations around me as well. It’s insane, and I have a love vs. hate relationship with it. It’s nice being in the know across the building, but bothersome when you don’t want to mess up on the line. And sure, I had some mistakes, but nothing that didn’t deserve just a slap on the wrist. I’m certainly ready to try again, though I think I’d have a caniption fit over useless chatter. Personal issue really, because I can laugh about it now, but when Serious Face I’m a man of duty. and while I could say I need to chill a lot more (which I did a lot of at ACen), a lot more focus is needed on my part, that is for sure. Or just chilling. Still figuring that out.
Lead – ACen staff was handed official water bottles this year, which are awesome as all heck. They are strong and think aluminum with a sweet logo and a location to write our name/callsign and business details. Also had a clip to attach to my belt or other locations, but that got busted real easy and was great while it lasted. However, the issue with aluminum is that it makes whatever liquid is inside taste like it. There was also talk of needing to briskly wash it out before use because pieces of the metal were still within. Now as much as I joked about lead poisoning for smiles, the bottles were a nice gift from the higher ups to the rest of us, and I’m glad they put forth the effort to get them. All the same, it took awhile to get used to the taste, and making it taste like bacon was not a good way to start. That and bacon flavored water is nasty in general. Test subject is not happy.
Albonia – Twitter account of Alan Evans, the creator of Rival Angels. I discovered him after finding a flyer in Lost World of Wonders, and considering the thing I have with adverts, I had to check it out. That, and this is a Milwaukee artist trying to get it made while still working for the man. That is something I need to tip my hat to, and am willing to support however much I can. I bought a print from him as a gift to another, and had a conversation with him that stemmed from my asking how his D&D campaign was going. That’s the wonder about following someone’s tweets: they will talk to you about them. Usually leading to hilarity should they bring up ones that need context.
Pretzels – Last year it was sausage, this year it’s pretzels. The sausage was sadly disappointing to the kind we had this time, which is alright, considering it’s what I usually expect: sausage will always disappoint me. Still, there was a wide array of pretzels spread around this year, that also had filling within them, ranging from jelly, cheese, and pizza. Sure, I’m pretty sure they were present last year, but they get a mention from me this time around all the same. Tasty treat.
Doubt – I will always have it, I’m sure, no matter how good I get at dealing with stress, exhaustion or other items that change my state of mind. Ever since I’ve noted how my behavior can get rather destructive if not managed, keeping myself chipper or at the very least level has been a priority to me. This of course leads to a lot of doubt in myself on if I’m acting poorly, bringing on even more stress to strengthen the cycle. Again, just one of those things I’ll have to deal with on my own, but in the end it’s all good. I’m in good company while at ACen, and they got my back when I have theirs’. Like Rebecca Black and her friends. Fun fun fun.
Cosplay – There will always be cosplay, and therefore there will always be love. Don’t really need to say much more than that, other than how very awesome the work shows with everyone who got in costume. Still don’t have anything besides my Di Gi Charat cat hat in terms of anime gear, and I suppose I need to work up to something at some point. It’s been my second year, and it’s escalated into even more participation, and should it work out like that next year I just may have my own cosplay. Something to look forward to that is for sure. Huzzah.