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Tamara's Flooby Web Log

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Freedom! & 20th Wedding Anniversary Shenanigans

Yep, I'm officially done with school. Monday was the last day for teachers with a training day. I sat through all of it even though it won't have any bearing on me for next year. The lure of getting paid time and a half for my overtime made going Monday very attractive.

So Mike and I went to Dallas this past weekend. We arrived in Dallas around 10 in the evening and got a room at a La Quinta. There were rooms available in a hotel next to the Adam's Mark (A-Kon 16's hotel) but I wanted to spend more money at A-Kon and decided spending less on a hotel room would make that easier. We had our car after all and paying for parking downtown isn't a hardship by any means.

Saturday morning we got up, ate the free continental breakfast at the hotel and headed to downtown Dallas. Mike had a little difficulty locating the Adam's Mark but once he figured out the direction we were driving when we spotted the Adam's Mark from the highway he was able to get there. We picked a parking garage ($12 for the day) and walked over to the hotel.

Things didn't start until 10 and we got there a little after. This meant the line for registering wasn't too bad. We got through that in no time and proceeded to wander around and figure out where all the con events were.

I noticed this when we went to RoninCon but with this con being so much larger it was even more evident. Japanese Animation conventions have a lot of females in attendance. I'm used to attending conventions and being in the minority. It was really nice seeing so many young girls and women obviously enjoying the con.

That brings me to another thing about Japanese Animation conventions--there are a lot of young people. When I was in college, the big con to attend was Okon. You'd see people of every age there but there were a fair number of young people as well. True, the ratio of males to females was way skewed but it always meant unattached females were never hurting for company.

As I've gotten older, however, the audience at Oklahoma SF cons has aged right along with me. I don't see any young people unless I poke my head into the gaming room. I always wondered where they were and now I know. They're having fun celebrating their affection for Japanese animation and manga. That sub genre of fandom that so many Lit Con fans love to deride is alive and well and their cons are fun.

SF Lit cons in this area can't seem to attract new attendees. In fact, it seems like the same couple of hundred fans from the region hit all the cons. The organizers of Panda-monium announced after their very first con that they probably wouldn't be having another one. The reason given was they didn't see any new faces. There's a reason for that...they didn't try and attract any new faces. When you offer the same thing as every other SF Lit Con, you're going to get the same old people.

A-Kon had that sense of fun that I remember from cons. They were crammed with people just happy to be around other geeks. They weren't there to poke fun at someone else's sacred fannish obsession. Mike and I had a lot of fun looking at the costumes attendees wore proudly in the hallways. I haven't seen that kind of enthusiasm for costuming at a con in a long time.

The dealer's room was huge and packed with a lot of Anime and Manga merchandise. I did manage to find a couple of half price action figures and some tables with American comics. I definitely couldn't complain about the variety.

Mike spent a lot of money at the Knighthawk Armoury booth. We bought a foam latex sword for Cal, one for Duncan and one for Mike. Now they can bludgeon each other with abandon and not have to worry too much about bruises.

Mike also found some Cthulhu house slippers. There was a lot of keen stuff but I resisted most of it and ended up buying Totoro magnets and the two action figures I mentioned above. We limited ourselves to one turn in the dealer's room because we spent so much money the first time around.

In attendance at this con were the fine folks from Rooster Teeth Productions (Red vs. Blue and The Strangerhood). Mike picked up the Red vs. Blue season 2 DVD and a couple of stickers for people at work. We also bought a t-shirt for Duncan and had three of the cast members sign it. Way keen.

We wandered the con all day, taking a break around 4:30 to get a nap in the car. The Cosplay was scheduled to begin around 7 so we headed back to the con at 6:30. Sadly they opened the Cosplay room earlier than I thought they would and we didn't get good seats.

The Cosplay was a lot of fun with approximately 22 entrants for the skit portion and 70 for the walk on costume contest portion. The Cosplay skits were great fun and the time and effort put into some of the costumes was impressive. The Cosplay ended close to 10 and Mike and I headed back to the hotel. We could have been studly and stayed longer but I was kind of conned out and ready for bed. Yeah, I'm old.

Sunday we left the hotel close to 11 and after a short stop in Gainesville, TX to check out the discount book store at the outlet mall we made it home around 4:30. And that was what I did to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary.

Well, technically that was part of what I did. Today is the actual wedding anniversary date and Mike and I are going to dinner at P.F. Chang's and to see Layer Cake. Mike's mom has agreed to watch the kids so we'll have a nice night out for Chinese food and a violent movie.

posted by Tamara - 3:00 PM -- Link to this entry
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