I had an awesome time at MangaNEXT this weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to show up til Friday evening because of work, but I was given the night off, so I was able to relax and hang out. Friday.
After checking in at ops and settling into my room, Liz, Judy and I met up and went over to Artist Alley where Maryann and Indira already arrived and had started setting up. Anna had a photo booth there, and we went over to say hi. Jim was setting up his lights for her booth, so it was fun running into him again. I hadn't expected to run into him at this con (since it's not one of Erica's and I never bump into him except at Erica's cons), so I didn't bring his knife with me, yet again.
Liz tried to go home but she missed the last bus due to false information from the hotel staff. Liz and I stood at the bus stop for AN HOUR. Luckily, it's only right across the street from the hotel, and it isn't exactly a hardship for Liz and I to be stuck alone together with nothing to do but talk. ^^; From there, we went back to the con in time to watch the Dating Game with Chris, Jenny, a Lenne, someone I know but can't remember her name who was cosplaying someone from Resident Evil, and Judy as Major Motoko from Ghost in the Shell
(she looked awesome
There was some drinking, and hanging out in the lobby, Judy going crazy (drunk) and attacking Chris, a trip to the liquor store across the street, some passing around of that same purple wig from her 80s party -- it really does get around, doesn't it? -- and then the night concluded with more hanging out in front of the hotel, with additions to the party when Anna and Ben drove up with Jim. Some of us left before 3am. Others
of us left at 4:15am even when she had to get up the next day at 7:45am to get to her spot at the Reg Desk. ^^; (see subject)Saturday.
So yes, got to Registration at 8:30 and worked til 2pm, had a 2-hour break where I took some pics of Judy taking pics of Chris, Carrie & Cat (as Rinoa, Squall, and Selphie), and then had a yummy Quizno's lunch with Liz & Judy. Unfortunately, the Mexican place with the delicious and skin-burning chipotle tabasco sauce is gone. =( I'm very
disappointed. Srsly. I was going to buy or steal a bottle from them; it's so delicious!
So then I went back and worked for another 3.5 hours, had a short break in my room and then ate in Chris's room, where a Naruto hitae-ate was turned into a bra for Chris. It was lovely, to say the least. A bit of drinking was done and we went downstairs to the lobby once again. The group was a bit more scattered this time but that was okay because I ended up hanging out with Judy and Drew for a while. Drew's an interesting guy. I like his sense of humor. =D I was kind of surprised he came over and talked to me because we never really talked at all during NA, so I figure it's 'cause of Sean, but that's okay too. We all walked over to the liquor store/mini mart place to get stuff and when we got back Drew left to do his own thing.
Judy and I went to join Chris and others at the hentai panel, which was pretty darn good. The panelist was really organized and informative, and had really good presentation materials. I really enjoyed her straightforward, no-nonsense approach, which is not to say that it wasn't fun or entertaining. It certainly was. But she didn't let it get stupid, and that was much appreciated. Unfortunately, the little bit of drinking I did, combined with the too-few hours of sleep caused me to be really, really sleepy and I had a LOT of trouble staying awake at her panel, toward the end. I still feel kinda bad about it. ( sudden, slightly incoherent rant; this part is skippable if you aren't interested. )
After the panel Judy and I went and sat out in front of the hotel again for like 2 hours or so. That woke me up, and we had an awesome conversation. I was indeed reminded over and over again this weekend that it's been a year since we met and that we've really gotten very close in the past few months. It's really a very cool thing.
Thanks, Chris, for being the crazy social guy you are, and introducing me to your friends. =D
Part II: Coming Soon! Now with more pics!