We once more bring you another annual blog post to explain the summarized tweet I always put out after coming back from Anime Central. It’s been another great convention of cosplay, fandom, anime, geekdom, madness, emotion, exhaustion, walking, laughing, and…*sigh*…I may as well just admit it. This was the worst ACen I’ve ever had. Not on the part of ACen or those I spent it with, because they have always been awesome to me. The reason for it sucking should actually be very apparent for those who understand what I’ve been going through, and should come as no surprise.
Depression – Of the many rules one must follow when going to any sort of convention, not going alone is paramount. Having strong connections with people to properly decompress with and bounce things off of just makes a con that much better, if not the very reason you go to begin with. As many know I’ve kept myself alone for the longest time, and this has resulted in me not speaking anyone right up to the point ACen started. The vast majority of my free time at ACen was spent sitting by myself and watching others appreciate each other’s company, and I did everything I could to keep myself from crying because I wanted and needed their company as well, but had no idea how I should go about it or even bother trusting in others for that matter.
And while I try to leave each item of my tweet to its own paragraph, this is getting more press to really explain how wretched I feel about things (even though I give out my negativity too much to begin with, but whatever). People whom I have every reason to speak with on a more open level have otherwise felt like complete strangers to me. I was constantly being asked what was wrong, being offered company and hugs, and I awkwardly kept turning them down because of how awful it made me feel. Due to my poor self image, being ignored and ridiculed is expected by me, and getting kindness or even just plain attention made the disconnect within me even worse. I didn’t deserve what was given to me through ACen, so I retreated within myself even more…likely making the problems even worse in the long run. FML…
…but despite the fact Anime Central 2014 was made wretched due to my depression, there were still some good moments. Hell, there wouldn’t be a cryptic tweet if there weren’t any. It’s just a shame the vast majority of the time I was filled with a constant nagging the whole of the convention would be much better off if I just died. Not a happy thought, but it’s an honest one, and that’s why it needs to be said. Onto the rest of the thoughts had through the convention.
Beard – Despite how many people came up to me with recognition in their eyes, there were many who noted how they almost didn’t recognize me, so it’s very likely the number is less than it could have been. The failure to recognize is not from the fat I gained, but actually from the shaven face I had. I shaved off my yet again growing beard a few days before ACen, and the surprise was felt by many. Thanks to my failure to make a video production in a proper amount of time, my beard is now a part of my persona to many of these people, rather than an accessory to the norm. Have been told I look younger from the shave, and that my beard gave a look of power as well, so I’m a little uncertain with the look I should use from here on out. I do know that my beard is necessary to work the red corset/pink skirt combo I do now and then (along with 30 pounds shed), so I need to grow it out when I want to wear it (and lose 30 pounds). Otherwise, am very amused with what a little facial hair can do to change the opinion of others.
Box – Metal Gear jokes are hilarious to me. The seriousness of Solid Snake, the absurdity of the plots, and the humor that can come from it amuses me without end. So when I see numerous Solid Snakes literally exploding out of a cardboard box in the midst of a photoshoot, I tend to lose my head. Those in the know will understand why this is hilarious. Thank you Metal Gear cosplayers for continuing to bring the happy.
SamuraiDan_Jill – Twitter name of the funny as all heck Samurai Dan. Supposedly the only person allowed to walk around the convention with a sword due to the fact he’s trained to handle a piece of steel which can sever limbs. And let me say, Samurai Dan’s wit is just as sharp. While in the midst of my Friday depression, I wandered into his Ninja Olympics panel (one of his many panels, mind you), and actually found myself having a smile. I can see why he’s been incredibly popular, and it’s a shame to know he’s had his share of trouble this past year. I’m hopeful Dan manages to pull through all this, and that his act manages to entertain my father for whom I gave a DVD recorded performance. It’s the legit adult entertainment rather than the all ages panel I went to, and given even that went a little over the line at times…have to wonder how my dad will appreciate.
Bullet – Back in ACen 2013, some fellow operatives thought it would be a fun idea to have a chocolate bullet roulette. A selection of bullet shaped chocolates would be consumed one at a time, and an unlucky person would happen to eat the red pepper seed infused bullet, resulting in much hilarity. This sadly didn’t come about last year due to lack of funds for a press and no time to even consider such things. I still managed to invest in the future venture, and this year we managed to kick it off…In the sense I was reminded of the intentions, and I hardly sought them out before all the bullets were gone, consumed by others. Again, my fault, as it goes. Managed to see a couple people lose their cool when eating those spicy bullets, and given their panic it’s safe to say I was lucky not to have one. As such, looking forward to trying out my luck next year (should others be willing).
Olives – Food is by far the most comforting thing someone can have when they feel they have no affection in their lives, and I took on the food provided to us with as much enthusiasm as could be mustered. In other words, not that much. Granted I stopped by there probably more than I should have, using the menu changes as a means to try something new just because I happened to be bored and didn’t know what to do with myself. Still, a few items took me by surprise, most notably the green olives. I had just come off a shift and was hungry, and the succulent flavor of those green olives likely made me look I was in the throes of passion. Such is the power of food when you need it most.
On a side-note, a certain pancake treat made me feel just like the green olives did, but the olives stood out stronger, and I had already run out of room with my 140 character limit on Twitter, and because there can only be one food related subject…well, I at least wanted to mention it here, because it was dang good.
Mafia – A certain Death Note themed panel likely brought a lot of confusion to congoers this year, many of whom thought they were coming to a panel which talked of Death Note rather than a series of Death Note themed Mafia games. Rather than a single collection of congoers capable of coming in, the congoers were expected to leave the panel, allowing for those waiting inside and outside to move forward in line. My god…it was a bit of a mess. None of the staff really understood what was expected of the Line Control for the “panel” or didn’t know what it was about, and the “panel” didn’t start until 30 minutes in due to chairs needing to be rearranged (which hopefully got it back to its original setup for the next panel). While I think the event was a little mismanaged, I hope those within had a good time (and knew what they were getting into to begin with). I happen to own a variation of the game myself…which I’ll be talking on that in a future blog, hopefully sooner than later given it’s taking so long to get to.
srfungo – Twitter of the YouTube personality Fungo, who has been working his magic for over seven years. Originally putting his work into all things Silent Hill, a lot of the finer details the world of horror has to offer can be credited to him (or so I think, and be sure to slap me if I’m wrong). In addition to that, Fungo has a very strong Internet Reviewer presentation, and you would be foolish to not assist his venture for even more entertainment. But why does he make the list? As a subscriber of his work, I knew he was going to come to ACen this year, and even had the chance to speak with him when I immediately recognized him as he walked by…”had the chance” is key here. But due to my depression I let him go about his business, believing he had better things to be doing than be bothered by the likes of me. Wrong? Maybe. At the very least I’m just glad he came round. Hopefully the visit was worthwhile for him? Seems like it.
Corset – Back at Anime Central 2013, I was incredibly proud and happy with myself when I bought a corset from Draconas Creations. This was of course when I was still feeling somewhat happy about life and where I was going, and didn’t have the extra 30+ pounds upon my person. Since that time the depression which is now my life hit, and because of this madness it never really registered that my corset order was never completed. I honestly don’t know what happened, but it’s been a mess of communication on both ends, for which I would readily accept the blame because I would call myself filth before others. It looks like things will work out though because I managed to see the Draconas booth, and we will be squared away in the next month or two. Hopefully. And may it not slip my mind like so many other things in my life.
UPDATE 12/2014 – I do not recommend Draconas Creations. Paid money for a corset in ACen 2013, and it’s been almost 2 years with communication had with the company. I’ve yet to see the corset I paid for. Shame.
Coffee – Working the Soap Bubble was a fun venture, but a cold one. A couple happened to notice my freezing during line control business, and after coming back from their stay in the Grand Ballroom, bought me a coffee. Getting the boost of caffeine was likely the wrong thing for me at the time, but was that warm cup ever welcome. That cup was handled by both of my hands for a long time before I began to drink it. Thank you two random congoers who bought me the beverage. All I have to offer at this time is your being immortalized on this blog, and it will have to do in the now.
MalcolmtheRay – Twitter name of Malcolm Ray, an actor who caught my eye when Doug Walker’s Demo Reel made the rounds. Damn. Just looking at this handsome man makes me smile. At least it certainly did when he happened to walk by me while working the Soap Bubble. You know how I said I let Fungo walk right by me? Not so much with Malcolm, who I immediately pointed to, exclaimed how very much I was happy to see him at ACen, and gave a high five. Then of course promptly let him be on his way, because embarrassment. I always try my best to leave strangers alone, especially the celebrities (Internet that they be), because I have no business taking up their time as if I’m an important part of their lives. I’m just a guy passing through, and have no reason to expect to be anything more. Hopefully my outburst of joy can be overlooked in this instance?
Doom – Aside from my time at Samurai Dan’s panel, playing Doom 3 in the video gaming room was likely the most I laughed through the whole of the convention. I’ve hardly played any of the next generation games, and find it very unlikely I’ll touch the next next gen games, so I thought it would be fun to try an updated version of a gaming classic. And was quickly filled with a bundle of confusion, annoyance, and entertainment of the oddest sort. Found myself laughing over what the heck I was supposed to be doing and began punching everything (could only effect a traffic cone), eventually getting frustrated enough to kill NPCs as soon as I got a gun. Next and even next next gen games are going to drown if this is where they are going. Instead of investing your money in a faulty product, buy yourself the older Doom games and have instant fun. It will also be cheaper and run a hell of a lot faster than the graphically intensive games currently coming out.
Exorcist – Specifically Blue Exorcist, an anime I happened to catch while I wandered about ACen in a depressive haze. In the tradition of anime stories having a Marty Stu, Blue Exorcist tells the story of Rin who lives a simple life in a monastery, when everything suddenly goes insane: it’s discovered that mold and fungus are actually conduits for demonic power, Rin is the son of the most powerful demon aka Satan, complicated daddy and brother issues abound, and priests happen to have shotguns sitting behind their pulpit. It’s enough to make one laugh, which is exactly what I did when these moments arose. It’s apparently a manga before the anime (as most of them are), and is likely worth checking out if just because of how quickly bizarre it got.
csandreas – Twitter of YouTube personality Chris Sanders, whom I discovered Anime Central 2011. He’s still kicking it, and I managed to bump into him while walking through a Pokemon photo gathering. Nothing really happened other than that, and remembering right then and there that I still have his phone number in my cell. And I never even make use of it! Why do I have this!? *sigh* But Chris is one of those fellows I enjoy following along, and I appreciated the fact I could see him that day. Shame I couldn’t have been better prepared for the meetup, along with the rest of the people I know at ACen. As it goes.
Pizza – Likely the only social gathering that “worked out” was the final meal I had at Giordano’s before my final staff meeting. Giving it the quotations because I ever think I’m making those around me uncomfortable with my presence, and it would be better if I just left rather than even looking at those around me. But hey, I managed to somewhat come through it and enjoy some heavenly barbecue chicken Chicago-style pizza. The sauce was moan inducing, and I was more than willing to have just one piece so others could enjoy the pleasure of it longer than myself. I was undeserving of having it more than once, and was fine with taking home some veggie slices. We are talking Smokey Jon’s quality here, and that’s a damn fine way to finish off a con.
There are a few other moments that deserve notice outside of the tweet, because they are still important yet didn’t make the cut or didn’t come to mind when I wrote it. I did mention my mind is messed up, right?
First is a run-in with Piko Piko Detroit artist, The One Electronic. Him and other members of the crew were having a panel late Saturday night, one which I was unable to attend due to me working the Soap Bubble. Much shame, because I said I might be able to make it and was going to represent via my blue/pink piko panda shirt. Ever wonder if they got the crowd they deserved for the work they’ve been doing. Suppose I should at the very least ask how it went, but I’ve been too wrapped up within myself to do much of anything at this time. Soon?
Next was a geektastic discussion about L5R aka Legend of the Five Rings. Managed to somehow start a conversation about this game with two female staff and the widely detailed story behind it, and how it’s mechanics are like the Storytelling System, yet not. The passion they showed for the game they played was very apparent, and gave me insight as to how I likely look when I’m attempting to convey my appreciation for the complexities within game mechanics and the story it seeks to tell. A lot of what they were saying couldn’t be followed by me, but it was an entertaining story all the same, and made me very curious to know how an actual game would go down. I’m of the impression not so well, due to the strict way players are meant to act, Never been a fan of being fully in character, but you’re always supposed to try things a few times before giving a decision, so…we will see.
A certain mystery panel called “The Panel That Shall Not Be Named” (with “Nor Described” as its description) gave me a bit of a surprise as well…obviously. Hosted by Trevor Mueller, it was really just a collection of life stories he had, and dang did he have plenty. I’m quite certain if he had several hours to do his talk, he would still have more to say…along with having a ruined voice. I actually started noting Trevor over the past few ACen’s, and I’m a little saddened I’ve only just now noted him as a person of great interest. So aside from being an amazingly entertaining panel, it’s an amazing introduction as to why you should pay attention to Trevor Mueller. For that I have much thanks.
And then there was the hugging. An act that was offered to me many times through the con, but I turned down because I felt improper about it. When you’re turning down hugs from even cute females, you know you’re in a very bad place. Not that I didn’t want them, but it just felt improper via a collection of emotional and social issues I have. Everyone felt like a stranger to me, and hugging strangers isn’t even a norm for the rest of the world, as Tim Ferriss discovered. What hugs I did get were never initiated by me (ever the norm), and were had because they glomped me or caught me in a more accepting mood (for which I’m surprised, because I didn’t think I would allow my wall to be broken). It’s a continuing battle I have, wanting something but not allowing myself to have it due to conflicted reasons, but as it goes. Ever want to get over it, because this is getting rigoddamndiculous.
And that was Anime Central 2014. Expect a advertisement haul in the coming weeks, the other ACen tradition I have. My god…the workload I give myself, for which no one but me will ever care about…*sigh*…as it goes.
Tagged: ACen, Anger, Anime, Annual Report, Chicago, Depression, Fear, Food, Happiness, Love, Memories, Money, Music, Review, Social, Storytelling System, Tabletop Gaming, TGWTG, Video Games, Video Production, Work, YouTube