i liked it. it was strange, the people were strange, but fun for
all of that.
it helped that i had native guides, in the persons of one fanboy
and two manic otaku. they introduced me to their friends, made me
welcome. on some level, these people still terrify me, but that's
just the way things are at cons. . . scary people. . .
they arrived with more food than our group took to ax. they had
a refrigerator, in fact. a lot of the people are quite nice. but
still, i am in a maze of twisty little passages, all different.
i haven't read the right books, don't like the right tv, don't dress
the right way. a lot of the people seem vaguely gothic. . . and
i'm more a steampunk.
anyway, though, i arrived at the con about six hours behind schedule,
grumpy and disoriented, without a badge or money for same. in the
parlance, i was a ghost. technically, i couldn't go to any of the
con events, including video rooms, panels, dealer's room, room
parties, essentially everything but the lobby. not fun.
i got by, though. i made myself unofficially useful, and another
staffer bequeathed me his badge when he had to leave mid-con.
my first stop was the BAAS (bay area animation society) anime room,
where i met the logistics coordinator. a monstrously competent guy.
. . explained to me the full measure of the con within an hour.
he explained my options as a ghost, the problems i faced, and the
rationale behind many of the con's policies. i was truly impressed.
we had a little ddr party. . . if you can call it that without
snack food. it was fun. i made signs that i was very proud of, with
the four ddr arrows filled-in and '307' written beneath. most of
the people who came in had no idea whatsoever what the game was
or how it was played. shouldn't have surprised me, i know. still,
there were some decently skilled ddr players. i lectured a lot,
repeating the 'how to play' demonstration whenever necessary. the
high point, i think, was when steve challenged a klingon to honorable
combat on the ddr pads. the klingon accepted, but strode out cursing
after watching a demonstration. steve followed, yelling 'you coward'
and other such slights. he said later that his opinion of klingons
had been drastically lowered.
i didn't see much of the actual baycon 'programming' per se. i
went to a lot of parties, participated in the bopping, helped with
a lot of things, but i didn't get to a single panel. i really loved
the newsletter. it was full of items like 'return our [inflatable]
alien ambassadors to the pool!! they put out an official parody
on the last day, even more ridiculous than their normal paper. very
mostly, though, what made the con memorable was the partying. currently,
anime conventions do not have parties to compare to sf cons.
and yet, i'm told that a-kon is still like an sf con in some ways.
the dealer's room was rather like a rennaisance faire market thingy.
i was shocked by the sheer number of pointy-thing dealers. the dealer's
room offered very little in the area of anime, a nice selection
of books, (quite a few comics, as well,) and a bewildering assortment
of rennaisance-style gowns and such.
the anime programming ran only half the day, during the night.
i thought it rather a good idea, actually. . . in some ways. it
drastically reduced staffer burnout, a constant con occupational
hazard. not that we slept much during the day, but the fact that
we could was nice.
a lot happened, but it all blurs together. for four days, we were
all friends in santa clara. i never found out why we were all there,
and perhaps that's why we all got along so well. . .