Monday, July 11, 2011

Anime baby (Connecticon 2011)

I should post pictures, but I don't know where they are.

We just got back from Connecticon, an Anime/Manga/video game convention. The list of events was actually pretty small; there were only eight rooms and three halls, including the artists' area. But we hardly had time to do anything anyway; we had to mind our comic book table. Fortunately, with three adults (myself, my husband, and our new intern) it was easy to keep the table staffed. At all times, one person was with Cloud, one person was selling comic books, and one person was free to play games or go shopping. It was nice.

The number one thing to do, though, was watch costumes.

Wow. We estimated that as many as 80% of the attendees had costumes. And some were spectacular.

I brought my lab coat, which I wore until it got too hot in the crowded artists' room. So at least I was that much dressed up. We don't like to go all out with the costuming anyhow, because it detracts from our ability to put people's focus on the books. The characters in Zephyr & Reginald: Minions For Hire wear lab coats, so my lab coat was thematic. I'd love to dress like Picorna from Perils of Picorna, but I'm afraid that won't happen soon.

I did get a really cute black and gold dress for only $20. It has an elastic waist and a flaring skirt that complement my hourglass figure. I may not be skinny, but I'm shaped like a woman, so I may as well emphasize it. One great thing about cosplay conventions is that the skinny girls don't necessarily get all the attention.

We had a room at a motel that was supposedly easily accessed by shuttle bus, but that turned out not to be the case at first. We complained to the motel staff about the lack of shuttle bus, but they told us their shuttle driver was unavailable, and that was that. Sorry. Parking at the convention center was ex$pen$ive, so we had really wanted that shuttle.

Oddly, though, when we drove around Hartford center looking for a cheaper parking garage, everything was closed... except one garage... which was free. We parked there, of course! And then we walked five blocks to the con.

On Saturday afternoon, I returned to the motel to give Cloud a nap, and we learned that the shuttle bus was operational. Yay! When Cloud learned he'd get to ride on a bus, he became obsessively excited, almost intolerably so. We still had to wait 20 minutes for the driver to get ready, and those 20 minutes felt like 20 hours. Cloud refused to leave the side of the bus, not even to run inside for a quick drink of water. I had to think up 20 minutes' worth of different ways to assure him we'd really get to ride the bus.

The bus was just a white van, which I think was a little disappointing to him - he must have been picturing one of the big blue city buses - but he seemed pleased enough when we climbed inside. "There are different kinds of buses," I explained. "The shuttle bus is just one kind."

AwesomeCloud was largely pretty good. There were escalators for him to play on and a patio to run around on. He largely ignored the people in costumes, unless they had candy. For instance, Ev, our artist friend who had his own table, was dressed as a pirate and Cloud shied away from him until Ev offered Cloud some Japanese gummy hearts. Then, Cloud was in love. He stopped by Ev's table frequently to get more gummy hearts. It became a running joke - Pavlov's kid, pumped up on sugar, etc.

The MENSA booth was giving out chocolate. Cloud memorized their location, too. After a while, I felt so bad about intruding on their space that I made some vague promises about trying to take their admission test sometime.

(Don't get any ideas! I said VAGUE promises, SOMETIME! And I said trying. I didn't say how hard I'd try.)

In the middle of all this, Cloud somehow developed a phobia of people dressed as cardboard robots, and the puppets at the puppet show made him cry. (Ironically, as we were leaving the puppet show, we walked right by a 6-foot-something Tusken Raider and he didn't blink an eye.) He also began to cry more readily as the con dragged on and exhaustion set in. But all things considered, he was a real trouper throughout the weekend.

On Saturday night, there were fireworks after bedtime, which were visible through our motel window. Cloud was still awake at that time, so I opened the curtains and let him watch from his crib. He filled in the silence (the fireworks were fairly distant) by shouting, "KaBOOM!" every now and then.

Aside from the ill-fated puppet show, I only attended one event - a plushie workshop. I made a kung fu kitty for Cloud. He likes it well enough, but I think he wishes it had a face. I shall embroider a face onto it as soon as I find my embroidery floss, and after I mop up the basement (which flooded) and unpack and mow the lawn. And rest awhile.

My sister and her boys are coming on Wednesday. So I may forget about Kung Fu Kitty for a while until I have less stuff to do.

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