This A-Cen was crazy, the kind of CRAZY usually accompanied by me flailing my arms in glee as I laugh my ass off (or doze through it). It was offbeat in that enjoyable way you associate with chocolate-filled soft pretzels, sombreros, and little sleep.
erikadoor, Gene, and I first arrived on A-Cen grounds sometime late Saturday afternoon. We had no badges and no room, but we had the secret weapons known as "Gene" and "friends," and so within the hour we had complimentary Swek being-a-groupie-gets-you-places badges ("Gene: Every day man," "Erika: Dresses in clothes," and "Anne: With Erika") and a place to dump our excess stuff (thanks to lionboogy and Al). Really, a con with Gene on hand is simply a completely different experience ... be it connections or confidence, things just work out for him, and he makes things work out for others.
I found almost everyone I wanted to see, except for etoileeyes ... I could not seem to jive with the Artist Alley schedule, and sadly, it was either quiet or closed whenever I tried to find her there.
In a flurry of last-minute preparation, both erikadoor and I somehow completed a costume apiece. After we finished up Anna (the costume I started for Halloween last year), I transformed into the Sequin Squad, deployed a bottle of glue to the scene of action, and helped see to it that Erika's Starlet was sparkled up (pretty much right before we left).
Despite the similarity in name, any resemblance to Anna in action and personality is slim to none. She is an incredibly badass thirteen year-old who generally looks rather pissy, raises one eyebrow on occasion, and during very rare or special events, smirks. I am almost twenty-two, more batty than badass, and seem to be too nice for my own good. Trying not to smile for pictures was such a challenge for me, I eventually gave up on things like "different poses" and "removing glasses."
Current conclusions on this costume: awesomely comfortable, easy to pack, and my oh my, strict platinum is not a good hair color for me. When next I have money, I need to purchase a more "natural" hued blond wig (like Zidane's), probably one that is slightly darker, so that it does not compete with my eyebrows for dominance. I also need to keep this color issue in mind should I ever get my Atomic Chii project up and running. Me + Platinum = WEIRD in a way I don't know if I'll ever grow accustomed to. I thought I looked silly in black hair, but I got used to it and eventually joked that I should dye my real hair to match ... but this silly in white blonde will probably never die.
Happily, I was only called Winry once.
One advantage to Anna is that when one is tired of cosplaying, as I became that night, one needs only to remove accessories/wig and ta-da! You are wearing a simple comfy black dress. Unfortunately, I seem to be incapable of remembering that I generally do not produce sufficient body heat and thus am going to be freeeeeeeeezinnnng without the sun. After spending some time shivering and borrowing Al's coat/gloves, I donned Erika's extra set of crazypants and was much warmer.
I also brought Zidane with me, which I wore for a short time on Sunday. It may have been a brief bit o' time, but it was (as Zidane always is) super-fun. I took some crazy pictures with Lionel, featuring everyone's favorite monkey-boy wearing a sombrero and gnawing on everything from Paine's sword to May's dolphins.
I love and hate the strangers I meet at anime cons. It's an intense wow session ... from the dude who spent his entire day sitting in an elevator to the two boys who were so drunk, they were sloshing their beer on their shoes as they went around proclaiming how gay they were, you have bazillions of interesting encounters that you almost wish to forget.
One guy asked me what Erika was cosplaying as. I tried to explain the difference between "Starlet" and "Shiva," but the guy seemed determined to associate all summons with Shiva, so in the end I gave up and figured that since he at least got the summon part right, it was good enough. Later that day, as I sat with Erika and Al, another unknown guy plopped down and announced that he knew we were looking for him, that we didn't have to worry anymore, he was right here. I was so tired already, I didn't quite know what to do. I told him we were not looking for him, but he insisted that we were. I couldn't smell the alcohol on him as Erika and Al instantly did, but I did know that I didn't want to deal with him, so I got up and sat behind them. Erika displayed her prowess at getting people to go away.
Later, Erika and I were hanging out on a table, drifting in and out of snoozeland. A number of people took our picture at this time for some mysterious reason, including an elderly lady. Huh? A group of guys came over and introduced themselves and tried to start a conversation, saying how they were bored. Unfortunately for them, not only was I rather tired at that point, I simply do not appreciate being talked to because the other individual is "bored." You wouldn't talk to me until you were bored? That's not a very nice assessment of my worth, is it? It's like saying, "You're boring, but not as boring as boring itself." You couldn't keep yourself occupied? It's not a very nice thing to say about you, is it, considering that you had a number of friends with you? There has to be a better reason for the other person to start conversation! I went into "Okay, whatever ... what? Whatever. Oh. Whatever. Hmm ... whatever" mode, while Erika delivered a few zingers that were not especially encouraging, and so the young men eventually drifted away.
Green Room Madness:
Sunday night, we went up to the Green/Guest Room to hang out. At first, I was feeling very quiet, and felt that perhaps, I may wind up seeming anti-social. But somehow, things just went crazy! What started off with me trying to explain that I had nothing to do with the Trogdor Turkey (it was there when I got there, I swear!), and attempting to demonstrate to non-FFXI folk just how evil sheep really are (I am not prejudiced against sheep! Though I do like to wear sweaters ...) somehow turned into a drawing mess that had those of us gathered nearby laughing without pause and others being dumbfounded by our artistic creations. Evil Artic Flying Hippos and suicidal bunnies took us to ...
.. the amazing anti-hero GOTH GUY, his sort of sidekick PERKY DOLL, and his archnemesis Dr. Zoloft Prozakian! Goth Guy emotes at his enemies until they are reduced to weepy puddles, and he has attached a book of his poetry to his leather studded bracelet with a good amount of chain. He flings this at people when they are down. He drives a vehicle with an inbuilt fog producer, so that his car is always enveloped in the mist of mystery. Deep inside, Goth Guy really has a very perky nature. He projects this perkiness into Perky Doll, thereby animating her and enabling him to be even more angst-tastic. Dr. Prozakian, who looks like an evil Zoloft blob, but who is much better dressed and has a goatee and evil gleam to his teeth, is always defeated by (bad) one-liners. Believe it or not, we even have FAN ART for this already!