Hello everyone, Amoirsp here guest blogging for nekonekotea.
Well, this would account for my first post in an aniblog environment. Hope to do more in the future as long as my poor tensing can be tolerated along with my ignorance of other basic fundamentals. I’ll just try a rambling run-on story style that doesn’t mention any names or handles for day 0, representing the pseudo-AX day that’s not actually a day, hence zero! I will probably go into more specifics and use handles on subsequent days, if I ever get around to it. Most likely not.
As you all may or may not know, Anime Expo was weekend before July 4 as it usually is. I had a blast there. This time around instead of griping about the lack of guests, the con’s disorganization of relaying effective information, or things like the panel tardiness, I was recommended by a good friend to network. Networking went splendidly, and increased the fun infinite fold.
Before anything Anime Expo related happened, I actually got sun burnt at Water World on the Tuesday prior to day 0. It made things very annoying as the skin above the shoulder blades were clawed by my backpack carry-on straps.
Day 0 started off hectic, as I had a ride with another person from NorCal but since he didn’t have a hotel and I couldn’t help get him one, he bailed out at 7:20 AM, 40 minutes before our planned road trip. Well, that sure sucked, so I made haste and jumped on Greyhound who had an express option around 9:25 AM. Got to LA around 4:15 PM. While the $45 cost for Greyhound was reasonable, the subsequent $15 for a taxi just to get to Luxe Hotel sucked. I had the original intention to cosplay as Yumesaki Haruka from Saishuu Shiken Kujira again like I did in 2011, but not only did the packaging eat too much backpack space, but CIRCUS wasn’t even in attendance. I’m still jokingly sad face over the CEO of CIRCUS not recognizing my cosplay, but if I were in his shoes, I too would have absolutely no idea. But in all honestly the cosplay was ditched because the packaging really did eat too much backpack space. I only carried one luggage. I did manage to stuff my gifted art books and the like but those were flat. It helps that I was the wrong gender so I can leave it home due to public perception, local oddity, and the like.
I met an interesting bus passenger who looks like one ethnicity but is definitely another, but is commonly mistaken as being perceived as one. He was doing some of his work and it was interesting to learn about it. The bus also had seatbelts and was nice to rest on, though I’m sure I tweeted actively until roughly 2 PM when I magically decided to rest. The bus driver demanded relative peace and quiet, so it was quite a smooth ride. Yes I did randomly hear someone playing Marvel vs Capcom 2 on the bus, I don’t know how as I didn’t know it was available for PC.
I exit Greyhound by 4:15 PM, accidentally call the wrong person via misclicks, and vied for a taxi. Too bad the taxi took well over twenty minutes of waiting time, but no issue. I arrive at Luxe hotel somewhere between 5 PM and 6 PM and meet two roommates. Since I have heard their voices on Skype before I instantly recognized one of them. Unfortunately since I totally transposed my information, I totally thought one of them played a MOBA game but actually it was mahjong we played together. Conversation about until around 6:30 PM then I noticed they obviously got their badges already and that I should make haste to get mine.
Since I had gotten the premium pass prior, since last year’s wait in line sucked albeit getting huge assistance to have only waited one hour, I took advantage of the line wait and completely mitigated unnecessary loss of time. It also allowed me to arrive later than usual. My expectation was having no line, but alas it was infinitely worse than I had expected: it had one person ahead of me to wait behind. Soon our party of three laughed about how the AX schedule still had “To be determined” issues, and was still subject to changes, despite it being day 0. Oh wait, we mocked about that in the hotel, not after.
Ah yes we encountered our hotel head on the top of the stairs, while subsequently some industry folk were done setting up their booths so I got the chance to greet them at the staircase. It became extra weird when I, who basically doesn’t do anything industry/blogging/anime related says hello to industry folk while hanging out with press people who write for a blog. In other words, nobody particularly knew each other for the most part. Just because I recognize party A and party B doesn’t mean party A recognizes party B even if you do explain. We figured to split as press had opening ceremony to deal with past 7 PM while the rest of us went back to the hotel. Opening Ceremony was some time ago at 6 PM. I am seriously messing up the times.
Well, the convention and hotel availabilities both started at 3 PM. This would account for my first experience intentionally rooming with other people in a hotel, and only knowing about two roommates by face prior to this. I quickly noticed that the people from out of state arrived nice and early, regardless of bumpy traffic or untimely train exits, where delays almost did not matter. At first I wondered why the line which started well before 10 AM never got shorter and constantly forgot that the registration did not start until 3 PM. Anyhow, as 5 PM got near, with interesting methods of relaying, tweeting, and texting, we got to plan things through electronic messaging to get rendezvous points and people’s luggage in the hotel. I must say that was quite the interesting adventure, sending people left and right and nearly facilitating day 0 plans without actually leading anything.
The hotel lead was the only one whose name was actually on the reservation, so unfortunately one of our roommates had to stay in the lobby waiting for roughly thirty minutes. I was still stuck on a bus and have no control over person A finding person B, particularly when the hotel lead himself was still on a shuttle. Despite all the chaos it all ran rather smoothly for the most part, as most of our members if not all were mostly passive so it was easy to point out a suggestion and check if we want to opt with that plan or not. Anyhow that same roommate returned to the hotel a little past the evening, and somewhere at the con we also ran into the one with the pink bag.
Ah yes, the pink bag, this was specifically a direct encounter by the Starbucks shop prior to the split of opening ceremony but after the staircase. Most likely I transposed this horribly and mixed some facts and times. I should have done a sequential timing chart.
I personally found it amusing to do redirecting planning while on the bus on the way to the hotel or convention considering that I had just as hectic of a start to the convention adventures as anybody. I wobbled into the fray with enough cash necessary to comfortably handle food and lodging, as well as a secret double stash budget in case any last minute guests spawned. Unfortunately no specific guests I had in mind spawned, so I never whipped out the funds. A smartphone was a little bit too useful, granted it was necessary, at least the phone part.
After getting the badge around 7 PM I suppose I went back to the hotel and opted to use the shower as nobody clearly was going to use it that soon. Oh now I remember, we were waiting on two press members to finish up the red carpet events as the time quickly passed. The planned dinner reservation was at 9 PM and yet it was nearing 8:30 PM. We knew the dinner place was at Little Tokyo, then quickly realized we would have to use some form of local transportation to get there. Walking was always an option, but when a similar event happened last year, the gathering started at 6 PM, and it was like a 25 person walk to Little Tokyo. The day was brighter and the party was untouchable.
Our room had five people total in the hotel room after badge pickups, as two members went to press events, and two other members already were at press events. So as you can see, the situation was quite pressing waiting on press to be done doing press stuff. I heard and saw evidence of private interviews being up front and personal. But hey we’re just human in the end, no need to go all prestigious on flattery.
The five total room members decided to use the subway, as a taxi was a nice option, but a head count of five was weird to use one taxi, while too much for splitting. The subway turned out to be $1.50 one way and uses an honor system. We saved money from not using a second relay and opting to walk for roughly twenty more minutes south to our destination. I contacted the dinner head to post updates on our situation and location, as we are not the type that like to go to reserved dinners late. Turns out the food wasn’t remotely ready so it was a non-issue. Oddly enough, the two press members we went ahead of actually arrived to dinner sooner than us because they took a taxi, knowing that they were late, and used the same psychology we did.
Unrelated, unfortunately I did not know there was a day 0 dance. I mention this because day 0 had a lack of general events and because it went on around the dinner time unknowingly. But then again, dinner was very late, so I probably would have opted to go against attending that anyways. For day 0 I decided while I was rooming with brand new people, to eat dinner with faces I’ve never seen before either. It went out splendidly. Although there was the local oddity of double food orders since reservation existed, I found it ironic that doing normal ordering came at least an hour sooner. Since I didn’t reserve food in advance, I super indirectly caused part of the chaos of double ordering, since I did not order ahead of time.
Despite the long food wait, getting acquainted with new and old faces shows how small a world this is. I finally got to meet some people I had been wanting to meet, and it was funny when I realized that not everyone had a smartphone, so tweeting wasn’t as reactive as I expected, as the functions weren’t even available. There was more people to talk to than I could talk. I talked so much I didn’t even know my dinner was ready to eat. I forgot what I ordered, but it was probably some two item dinner combination where I picked salmon and shrimp tempura because beef is too mainstream. Actually no I was told by my doctor to consume less steak if possible, so I stray away from consuming that.
For the longest time I wondered why the food for the main table didn’t arrive until say a relatively late hour. I know socializing with the people is great and all, but generally this is beyond my normal late dinner time. Still, it was a much enjoyable event, as our basic party of nine had to figure out how to get back to the hotel. Mathematically speaking, two members opted to stay with the host, while I and another got a ride back, so I told the hotel lead to bring back the other three members. The driver who gave me a ride back was a user with a handle I particularly recognized, and yet I didn’t put two and two together despite hearing him talk before.
Well, all would have been all fine and dandy with getting back to the hotel, if it wasn’t for the fact that the hotel lead brought back two other members. We soon realized one person was missing entirely. The stressed risen even further because of the party of nine, the only one that had the missing person’s number had phone charging issues where the battery just doesn’t recharge. We fortunately obtained the number and quickly tried contacting, but to no avail. Darkness seeped into 2 AM territory, where one does not want to be out in Los Angeles alone at night.
Well, actually since we were all guys and moved together in parties, there wasn’t much to worry about. Also, despite how downtown Los Angeles looks like, it’s not all that horribly dangerous. Also, we are all grown adults so even if something stupidly went wrong, aside from a freak accident, we’re also well equipped with our basic resources to be able to get around the area. Meaning, taxis and last minute hotel staying, as exorbitant the costs could be, were still last resort options.
I had a ridiculous amount of fun for a day 0, despite a last minute Greyhound purchase, a six hour ride, a long wait for press members with no estimated time to arrival, an extremely late dinner, convoluted planning of rendezvous that don’t actually include me being there, and midnight lost adventures. I did get to sleep on a nice sleeping bag due to a kind soul’s extra items. We soon realized majority of us did not bring a sleeping bag, not that one was really needed. Pillows were sufficient on hotel alone. No sighting of certain drawn covers.
I can’t even remember if I ate lunch. I had sufficient snacks and rations to last a while, but I didn’t opt to eat at the bus’ lunch stop other than use the restroom. Rations include some (Chinese?) crackers, two sets of Godiva chocolate dark and light, and Ritz crackers. No wait some of these were bought at Marukai but I can’t remember what, or if at all. There was another bag of food I left for other days but never got around to eating them day 0.
Not much to talk about on day 0 when nothing convention related actually happened, as it wasn’t open to begin with. However, that was certainly quite the full day adventure, and it only got better. I better stop now before I add every single small detail that happened that day.
Amoirsp signing out.