ACen 2012 is passed, and I did it again. And like I thought I’ve been doing for a long time, I confused not only random people but a friend of mine I mentioned in the tweet. So here we are with a detailed explanation of each word. And yes, this is going to be my summary on ACen 2012. Anything more would be overboard, especially given the advertisement write-ups I had to do (to be shared soon enough).
Greens – Each year the IRT staff has to hire on new people to fill in the slots of those who aren’t there or didn’t return. We usually end up understaffed, or with not enough veterans to make things work. Simply put, this year’s hired on Greens were awesome. More so the two Greens I got to work with, who have been Congoers for a few years now and knew more about the con in regards to how it works rather than how the rules are to be enforced. That’s the one flaw I’ve had in regards to ACen (besides being horribly inept), and while I’ve been here since 2010, these Greens showed themselves to be more comfortable in all aspects of the work than I ever have. Kudos to them!
Nutrition – One of the perks of working on staff for ACen is being well fed. And this was no different than every other year…save for the fact food glorious food was available 24 hours a day. And was it ever appreciated at time when there would otherwise be none to have. And while I could have engorged myself, I ate balanced meals, leaning towards fruits n’ veggies whenever I could. I suppose the only splurge of food I took was the peanut butter and jelly oatmeal raisin English muffin sandwich, though that was a necessity given I cannot have peanuts around my home for fear of killing my Mom. And was that peanut butter and jelly oatmeal raisin English muffin sandwich ever so wondrous.
Butter – A new meme was created with the teammates I shared a room with. My memory on its birth is spotty, but it was the first night we stayed in together, telling jokes and stories, and the meme itself began with what I thought was the worst mock commercial for lotion but accidentally turned into the best thing ever. It derailed into something else quite fast, and we kept ourselves laughing for a good thirty minutes after we told ourselves to go to bed. It’s things like this that keep bringing me back to ACen.
Lines – I was once again put in a position to badge check entry points into the convention center space, and that is ever a bother. You’re expected to watch for everything coming in and out of the area, for props that aren’t up to code and a whole lot of other things while still checking to make sure every attendee has a real badge and can get into the area at a pace that keeps everyone happy. The most I can ever get myself to do is check badges and make sure they get in an out timely, which is helped by me waving my arms around and telling people which side of my body they should use to enter and exit the space. I’m sure I pissed a few people off in the process, but I’m sure the process saved a lot of time in comparison to the cluster it could have have.
Rave – Coming into ACen, I was told that Hardcore Synergy, my first rave, wasn’t a rave at all. The actual rave at ACen was the Soap Bubble, and like hell was I going to say I went to a rave when I never had in the first place. Mind you, I honestly don’t know the difference between the two events, given that they pretty much play the same music that makes you jump and throw your head around enough to dislocate it. I still managed to get my dance on, in my pajamas no less, because I had no other clothes to properly move around in. Thankfully didn’t lose my phone or wallet in the process, and I was so exhausted after the matter that I went straight to sleep upon my return to the room. Already looking forward to next year and ruin my neck all the more.
Cubecrazy2 – Twitter of the artist Jacob/Jake Rueth, who is not only from around where I grew up, but had art on display and sale in the comic shop I used to go to and is a friend of the fellows I used to play D&D with. We had a nice chat about how I instantly recognized him and his art, how he was once the admin of a forum and made him aware of spam in the posts, our mutual acquaintance of people in the D&D, and other random tidbits that came round as he tried to sell his craft to the congoers. I bought a pack of trading cards along with his 24 hour comic ZURG, and he even threw in two stickers of the Cornicorn. Honestly, really was a wonder seeing the genius in person, whose painting resided in the above mentioned comic shop for years. It still gives me shivers.
Hat – I have a brown plaid hat I’ve attained from a previous acquittance, and I consider it magical. It’s my confidence builder, and I had the luxury to wear it throughout all my shifts and almost at all times I went out to appreciate the con. My head probably got hotter because of this, but I was calmer than usual because I had magic upon my head. My team lead attempted to “steal” it from me at the last day of con, but I suppose that’s bound to happen when the rest of the world covets the magical aura such a hat can bring.
Pandaxstar – Twitter of the chiptune artist PANDAstar (get her music NOW!!!). Actually got the chance to hang out with her and went to the Soap Bubble in a group. Sure, we lost each other during the madness of the music, but we got back together later on (though too tired to have proper conversation). In order to make the gathering properly happen, I actually broke my no texts rule on my cellphone, given it costs me for every single text I send. More texts were sent at this ACen than all texts I have ever sent in total. And given what I great time I had, I honestly look at that fact with a smile.
Pillow – Back at the end of ACen 2011, a group chat was being had with me and a lot of other IRT members, and the subject of body pillows was brought up, and I said something about about not being able to handle them for some reason. A member called me out to explain, and I honestly couldn’t say what bothered me about such pillows (besides the sexual implications, but that’s fairly obvious). I felt humbled by the talk, and as a dare to myself I bought myself a body pillow. Don’t fret! It’s a decent pillow, showing Hatsune Miku hopping…or something. I got over myself and tried something new, and the feeling is refreshing. And now I have a body pillow of Hatsune Miku sitting around my room. Huh.
Children – Anime fans come together, and then come together, and then bring their children from coming together to the Anime convention they went to. As it so happens, they tend to get just as lost and confused as full grown adults, and people tend to panic when this happens. It’s always been other IRT members who happen to call in such info about missing children, but I happened to find one before such info was about over the radio. And I was surprisingly calm about the matter. The child was waiting upon the steps for her mother to get out of the registration line and underage sister and friends from getting a snack n’ food in the convention space. In summary, I kept round till proper people came and found the mother right away. The child certainly knew her Anime, and I even got to speak about Ranma ½ with her. I hope I got her hooked onto the classic.
DDR – Arcades have always had a place in my heart, though it wasn’t until I bought Dance Dance Revolution for myself that I’ve come to the conclusion that no arcade is complete without such a machine. And given that I haven’t played in a long time, I needed to get myself on one this ACen. Luckily, I ran into a group of people who wished to play as well, and found myself a partner wearing a red corset. I managed to convince her to play when she noted she needed to get quarters, and I said I would share for a 2-Player game. We both stank in terms of play, but we had fun, so that’s good enough for me.
Zombie – I went to my first panel last year, and instead of going to another one I made a promise to film another Zombie Survival 101 panel because…I don’t know, I missed out on doing it last year? It was as it was last year, though minus a lot of the technical and biology talk from Wesker. Okay, so it’s just someone in a Wesker cosplay, but he’s actually going to college to be like Wesker, so he may as well be Wesker, right? Anyway, filming a panel almost nonstop while standing is an experience for the strong, and I got through it okay. Hopefully something can be done with the footage, and hopefully I have the sense to work it soon. Me and my commitment to getting things done, you know?
Ride – I live in Wisconsin, and ACen takes place in Rosemont, a two hour drive from where I’m at right now. That’s like living next door in comparison to a lot of the people who make the distance for the con. So getting a ride and finding a means to cut down on the costs of them is mandatory (or at the very least smart). As it goes, just a few days before I needed to arrive, another staff member needed a ride to the hotel. I thankfully got in touch with him and got him to the locale, and got to learn a bit more of the city I know nothing about. And I thought Milwaukee was a bag of insanity with its size.
Blanket – ACen makes official merchandise to help fund the con, and one of the new items this year was a wonderfully warm looking and colorful blanket. Sadly, I was given the impression they weren’t selling well this year, bring tears to my eyes, for I would have bought it had I not already used up my funds to buy a pillow. I made a promise to get myself one in the future if they should still be around next year, because them blankets need cuddling.
Stress – I get it bad during ACen. I’m the first to admit fault in my work as an IRT member, and tend to worry a tad too much about doing the right thing. Not only do I have my fellow staff relying upon me, but thousands of attendees as well. The stress was high at least the first night of work though, and things went swimmingly after that. I also like to think it had something to do with the Green I was partnered with that night as well, who claimed to have mastered stress and anxiety through his job to the point of it making him smile. That I could lay claim to that mentality all the time, because when I have moments like that, I feel on top of the world. Will likely take me much longer before I can lay claim to that feeling all the time, but ever to I dream to be free of the worry of failure, given that I have already come to accept it as a given.
Recognition – It’s my third year into being ACen staff, and it still feels so alien and new to me. I only do things like this once a year, and see these people once a year as well. And yet this year more than a few people called me by my nickname Wizard or even my first name. I honestly don’t know what impression I’m making with people, but it’s strong enough that in one instance I missed over half a thirty minute break with my partner because I continued to be stopped by people who recognized me and had a chat. Must mean I’m doing something right in the long run, so you would think I’d be able to kick Negative Nancy in the rear, you know? But as it goes. I see myself as very plain in comparison to the other staff, even if I’m being called out on good things. As long as I’m bringing about some smiles, it’s all good.