Fanime, or How I Left With More Than 9/10 Of My Money Intact

FIRST… CON… EVAR.

Early in the school year, Mikosi invited me to Fanime. And I accepted. A few weeks ago, she asked me again, and of course I forgot, but wah, why would I want to miss out on that?

So yesterday I drove over to her house where she had dressed as Lulu, her boyfriend had dressed as Vincent, and her sister had dressed as Vivi. Mikosi’s a costume maker extraordinaire and her costumes are seriously roxing. On Friday I believe she went to Fanime as a moomba.

So, we got in Mikosi’s van and had one wild (and fast) ride to Fanime. I had to wait in line for about half an hour to register for the day, but it didn’t really matter. I said hi to Tiya and Nichole, two Marin high school anime artists – this was Tiya’s first con as well and she seemed rather gleeful (or at least a sketch of her that Nichole made demonstrated it). I also met Randee, who said he was hanging out in the internet lounge… and I was surprised to hear that there was such a thing… but I didn’t end up going there. Ah well.

After I got my day pass, I walked around the dealer’s room with phat wads o’ cash… but I couldn’t find anything to buy. I saw a PJ Berri piggy bank that looked sorta cool… but I do have much better things to do with my money. Like…

DDR! ‘Course, there was a RedOctane stand in the dealer’s room, and I impressed everyone with my mad Oni skeelz, and then I went to the actual DDR machines, where a tournament was about to start. This tourney was SPEAICL tourney, though, since the volume on the machine would be turned all the way down, making it Silent PA. I entered along with about 20 other people, but about 10 didn’t show up (including Tigger Eugenie, whew).

The qualifying song was Silent Hill (get it? HAHROHAHR) and I made the top 8 qualifiers with 4th place – 224 perfects and a full combo in the song with no sound. Wooee.

My first round was Conga Feeling and I played against Mr. Wendell *James gasps and faints*. I beat him by about 20-30 perfects. But the second round was against Chubs, and the song was Lupin the 3rd ’78… and he beat me by about 10-20 perfects… ah well. Didn’t care to see who won… I had better things to do.

Like more DDR at the RedOctane stand! As I passed another oni, I turned around and saw Grace from RTA… she needed $30 to buy a teddy bear so she wrote “I NEED MONEY” on a piece of paper and pinned it to her ass. Since I had nowhere to go, I followed her to the Para Para tournament. She entered, as well as who I’m almost completely sure is DDRBot, the 10-year-old Asian wonderkid. Para Para is really strange, I’m-a tell you that. You just watch the VCDs a few times and memorize the gestures for each song. Grace chose one she didn’t completely know, so she uh, decided to stop a few measures into the song. Oh well.

I checked on Mikosi and friends, who couldn’t really get anywhere fast because they were stopped every 5 feet for a photo session. Hooboy I’m glad I didn’t cosplay. They began to get ready for the masquerade contest later that evening, where they’d show their costumes on stage and perform a little skit.

I went on my way to the Webcomics Panel, where Dom of Megatokyo, Greg Dean and Liz of Real Life, Young Wang, E, and Natsuki of Nekobox, Vaz of Underpower, and a whole bunch of people from /me glomps j00 were answering questions. Before the interrogation began, I found a cardboard cut-out of “Chibi Greg” propped up on a table outside the room, drawn by Z of Anti-Bishie. I gave it to Greg to put at his table as he spoke. I got a few questions in, which mostly tied into my comic – should I have a store, should I want profit, should I have a forum, should I be on TWC, etc. As the crowd of fans dissipated after the questioning was over, Greg gave the Chibi Greg back to me and I introduced myself. He said that he’s actually read Midgard and CAR before, and last time he checked, we were waiting for Let’s Dancing to start up. I shook his hand, said it was nice to meet him, and went and played some more DDR. :P

After a few games, Greg and Liz showed up again, and as Greg was about to get in a game of DDR, he found it was time to get a good seat for the masquerade. I played a round of Guitar Freaks and Drum Mania and eventually sat down to watch the masquerade. I found a good spot next to Greg and Liz and their friends again, heha. So as we waited for the masquerade to start, I got to show Greg a few of my LD comics, and we talked about usage of Flash and Illustrator – basically he talked me into giving Illustrator a try… which I’ll do when I get my new computer since this one barely handles Flash.

To kill time, the cameramen started filming the audience and displaying them on the giant screens on either side of the stage, so people started holding up random objects and signs. Liz and I tried holding up Chibi Greg (as Greg held his head in his hands and wept) and I eventually made a “Real Greg” sign with an arrow pointing down, but we never did get on camera.

So we were presented with a dumb announcer, awful stage acting, but mostly really good costumes, and for intermission we were treated with the winning entries in the anime music video contest. Pretty damn hilarious. We’ve got hardcore death metal with happy, jolly subtitles, for Card Captor Sakura, and then we have “Little Things That Kill” gone “Chibi Things That Kill” where the cast of Ruroni Kenshin (?) fights Jigglypuff, etc.

We had Sephiroth singing “I Can Change” (Saddam’s song to Satan from South Park the movie) and slaying 4 Aerith cosplayers as the conclusion – they won an amateur award.

There were also 4 girls that were definitely under ten, dressed up as Sailor Senshi or something, and one doubled as Hikaru from Hikaru no Go… and they won most artistic amateur and best of show amateur.

The final cosplayer completely stormed the competition, though. It was a guy wearing a Gundam outfit, with retractable wings, glowing LED decorations, and a very humorous skit to show off all of the suit’s features. He won all three veteran cosplayer awards – most artistic, best technical, and best of show. That’s a winnings of $450.

All this judgement took more than half an hour to decide, so they presented a lot more AMVs. I got bored. But after all the awards were done and stuff, we got the hell out of the con. ‘Twas late. I discovered on the way home that I hadn’t eaten in about 12 hours (which was soon to be 24 as I woke up today), but my exhaustion and hunger still got me home safely. And that, as they say, is that.

Notice anything about the day? I didn’t buy anything at all. I guess I’m just not an anime fan anymore. :P

Thursday/Friday

The previous week is too hazy for me to blog about, or for anyone to really care about. But I’ll sum it up: I fell in love with Amelia.

This weekend, though, I didn’t get to see her. D: Did have a lot of funs, though.

On Thursday I slept over at Bryan‘s house with James and Adam. We all watched a copy of the Animatrix that I bought on his computer after fiddling around trying to find acceptable speakers. Gad it’s such a good collection. Get it if you don’t like the latest Matrix movie.

Friday was Great America day. It’s a theme park in the south SF bay. I drove there with pretty much no problem. When we arrived, we got on Top Gun. Since there were four of us and four to a row, we tried making YMCA signs for the camera, but Adam on the far left ended up doing an A, and James and Bryan sorta forgot. Then we got in line for Stealth. They shut the ride down for maintenance TWICE while we were in line. It took about an hour to ride the thing. I’m pretty sure we all pulled off a successful YMCA that time, but the photo both at the end of the ride was closed. Then we went on teh Drop Zone. I tried the generic “penny on my hand” thing where I try to see it float in front of me as we fall. Well, either we were falling faster than the force of gravity or the penny had one hell of a lot of air resistance, since it flew above us… and uh, I think it hit the core of the Drop Zone as we were falling. It would have been so great if it would get stuck in a gear and we’d be stuck near the top for a few hours, yessirree.

We tired of rides and instead did (yes, you guessed it) DDR. Across from the Drop Zone there are 3 DDR Extreme machines in a row. Bryan, James and I each put credits into each machine, and we chose the same song at the same time. In fact, the first time we did it we tried Synchronized Love (get it? HAHROHAHR) but uh… we sorta screwed up with the countdown, and James’s DDR machine with the volume turned way higher than the other two sorta threw us off. The next two times, we did Rhythm and Police and Ecstasy (where we switched between pauses :D) and that went really well. It looked cool and I’m sure we got at least ONE interested bystander.

Then we played Hiphopmania 2nd Mix and sucked a lot. But at least it was our first times playing Beatmania in the arcade, wooee.

After eating chili dogs, Bryan set off on his journey to finally meet Steven Wishnack. They said they’d meet each other at the AMC movie theater down the street. Well, down the street didn’t mean much to us, as we uh, DON’T LIVE IN THE AREA. So first we ended up walking across the street to what looked like a mall, but to our surprise, we instead found… FANIME. And gad, was I surprised, since I’d be going there the next day and I didn’t have any idea where it was. And it’s right across the street from Great America! Awesome.

Yes. Anyway. We drove around for almost an hour, trying to find an AMC, before my masculine shell cracked and we finally asked for directions. By the time we got there, it was already 2:30, and we later found out that the Hulk started at 1:50 – that was the movie that Steven saw. So as we waited around to find out if Steven had actually gone in the theater, I started talking about Steve, who is making me a new computer. And I talked a lot about how I don’t know if he’ll really complete it, etc., etc., making it a total of 2 Steves who were almost ruining our lives.

But that’s not all! As we returned to the parking lot of Great America, the guy at the toll booth (named Steven) told us that we couldn’t re-enter the lot a third time. That didn’t matter as we would be leaving shortly after anyway, but hey, it was a third Steve for the day.

We walked into Great America, took that stupid “boat down a waterfall” ride, got drenched, and left.

We RETURNED to the AMC movie theater, trying to catch Steven on his way out of the theater, but to no avail. We concluded that Steven is actually an 80-year-old man and that’s why we wouldn’t recognize him. As we waited to catch him, though, we saw a DDR Extreme machine past the ticket line in the theater, and the ticket taker didn’t let us play it. That’s dumb. You have to see a movie to play the games, and then you don’t want to spend your time before or after the movie in the theater lobby, so when does anyone get to play it?

So, we wrapped up our time in Santa Clara and started driving back home. Stupid enough, we decided to drive through San Francisco, during rush hour, on a Friday. I tried getting into the carpool lane, but even that got backed up. And because it got backed up rather abruptly, I rear-ended the guy in front of me. My first auto accident, I guess.

We traded addresses and phone numbers and stuff, and I’m in for paying a lot for his damaged bumper. Good thing I’ll be getting a job soon. But as we continued our trek deeper into the jungle, I nonchalantly glanced at the slip of paper on which the guy wrote his address… and his name was Steve. AUGH.

After more than an hour of waiting in traffic, we found ourselves in San Francisco, and after taking a few wrong turns, we arrived at Pier 39, where we got in an hour or two of DDR and Dance Maniax. And a sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder. And some vanilla cookies and cream fudge. Pier 39 rox.

And then I dropped everyone off and went to bed. And to think Bryan called Friday uneventful. Stupid Wishnack.

Fanime recap in next bloggo!

Love

So much has happened in the past few days. I could go on and on about it. But right now I need to state the least important thing of all:

Genom Screams Double Heavy will be MINE.

In Memoriam

Jeffrey Faden the California Public School Student
1990 – 2003

Weow. That’s the end. Finished my finals, about to graduate in a few hours, then we got the grad night party, and my life as a public school student is over… and hence starts my life as a university student.

I snuck an extra ticket from our assistant principal for Ameila to come to graduation. I just said we’ve got extended family. That’s not far from the truth, right? Summar will be great. We’ve got to plan to do lots of things and go places. That goes for everyone.

Nothing else really noteworthy… there will be DDR at grad night so we can embarrass ourselves one last time in front of the senior class (or whoever is loser enough to stumble into the game room – James, we will NOT be the main event here)… and it’s just good ol’ Oasis tomorrow. Annie and Sophie have left for Europe, so Amelia can’t meet Sophie (she knows Annie from a while ago, though) but Lauren will be there as well!

So, long term plans for the summer are Fanime, Conrad’s birthday, Geoff’s birthday, UCSC orientation, Marin County Fair, and far off into September is Wilderness Orientation, which I am not really looking forward to. But I’ll have a lot of free time seeing as my only job is helping out my mom, so I’ll be doing a lot of swimming and animating, in that order.

Full Tank

Sure, I’ll blog about the weekend.

Michael Barenbaum, the senior rabbi of Temple Rodef Sholom, of which my family has been a community member for about 10 years now, retired on Friday. We went to a picnic dinner out in the field behind the temple’s school and got to say goodbye to him. But uh… we didn’t stick around for his last service, though. Family had things to do.

When I got home I spent about an hour working over the phone with my mom working on her website – I had put together a gallery to showcase a local artist’s work and unfortunately most of the image filenames had spaces in them. It was a tedious process of guiding her through programs she had never used before, but we got it done. It felt sorta good.

I had enough time to stop by the Oasis, where people were actually hanging out. Bryan took hold of the yearbook that I had just recieved and had some artistic prodigy from my school sign it (she drew a quick face and wrote “I Love You”). And then Adam signed it saying that he can’t wait for the next version of JeffreyAtW. Hooray.

Usual Starbase thingy afterwards. Chris was there. He is still awesome. Rob, another local DDR masta, was there with some friends. I couldn’t want anything more than to have these Friday nights continue into the summer. They’re oh-so-fun.

Which brings me to the other two days of the weekend! Most of it was spent studying, writing extra credit papers, and compiling portfolios of work I’ve done over the year. Jeff came over and we worked on filling out a list of English standards that we had completed over the year… it’s sorta dumb. The only thing that we have to do for the English final is complete that packet, and then just turn it in… I shouldn’t complain since we don’t have a big ol’ test, but I do wish my teacher would plan a little more for us that relates to English… like writing, for instance…

The main event, though: my first date with Amelia! I’ll stray from my usual enthusiastic adjective (amazing) and use this instead: astounding. Come to think of it, the date was short and sweet: we had originally planned on eating at an Italian restaurant a little while away and then driving into the city to see Bay Area Theater Sports, a local hilarious improv… but we ended up eating at Applebee’s in the mall and then walking across the mall to the movie theater, where we saw Finding Nemo. It’s a great film, by the way, despite what some critics might tell you about “unoriginality”…

Although that was pretty much the extent of our date I still loved it. It’s surprising that I’ve been putting stuff off like this – you really can’t say much bad about the dating scene and having someone to be loving and intimate with until you’ve tried it yourself – and even when you have, there still isn’t much bad to say about it :)

Jusqu’à la fois prochaine, c’est JeffreyAtW, dirant l’adieu.

And speaking of la fois prochaine… GAH FINALS AND GRADUATION AND GRAD NIGHT AND GLAGH TOO MUCH STUFF ETC.

I wrote on my hand

I’ll take a picture of this later, but right now I give you a TVM-esque ASCII hand.

 ——————————–
|    THX                         \
 —————-                 |
                 |                |
 —————-                 |
|    ASL                          |
 —————-                 |
                 |                |
 —————-                 |
|    STFU                         |
 —————-                 |
                 |                |
 —————-                 |
|    LOL                          |
 ——————–             |
                     |            |
          ———–             |
         |    W00T               /
          ———————–

Pinky: THANKS! Be courteous. Lift pinky while drinking.
Ring Finger: AGE/SEX/LOCATION? I don’t know… you’re not married or something so you ask that. I don’t even draw ring fingers, so don’t blame me for the stupid idea.
Middle Finger: SHUT THE FUCK UP! It’s your middle finger, duh.
Pointer Finger: LAUGHING OUT LOUD! Point and laugh, why don’t you.
Thumb: W00T! Okay, it’s not an acronym, but no one really uses “GJ” enough anyway.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I am the only one with SUCH A HIGH IQ, THOUGH, HA-HAH!