Okay, here goes.
To start out, a brief explanation of my state going into the con. I'd caught a cold a week and a half before the con, and then the weekend before the con, began suffering from terrible insomnia, which didn't help the cold any. So when AN rolled around, I'd started being able to sleep again (a bit), but was still bone-tired and coughy. This had a detrimental effect on my enjoyment of the con, needless to say.
Thursday we dropped off costuming supplies at the hotel for Leah & Roupen, but other than that I mostly just tried to sleep.
James (Ruckus) was supposed to fly in around 11am, but he ended up having to take a later flight. So we didn't get up until maybe 12:30, and then there was a mad scramble to get everything packed in the car and get to the con. There was more than usual to bring, as I was not only bringing our costumes for this year but a whole bunch of older costumes (including Windy, who takes up a lot of space) for my costume display.
So we get to the con, frantically unpack and discover that there is *nothing* in the art room for me. No dressforms, no display case, no nothing. Needless to say I'm pissed, but make do with a hanging rack and a table. While trying desperately to detangle Windy's wig, it occurs to me that I should have bought some wig conditioner. *sigh* Meanwhile, Stuart went to pick up Michael, my makeup artist friend.
I finally got everything more-or-less set up, then ran to the bathroom to change into Ayumi. Since it's mostly just random leaves, it took more adjusting than one would think. Amazingly enough, the only thing being held on with double-sided tape this year was my bird. *lol* It was annoying, though, that I wasn't able to get my new contacts until Saturday so on Friday I had to keep taking my glasses off for pictures.
I then ran to meet Michael & Stuart and catch my first panel, which was the Geisha Makeup one. I'd wrangled poor Michael into helping at the panel, though he was kind of dubious seeing as he's more experienced at body paint and vampire teeth than geisha. All went well, though, as he's a great speaker and very entertaining, and was quite willing to return next year (for a panel a bit more up his alley, though). Joseph (Princess Vi) was a good sport and very cheerful.
After that panel I had another on Costuming on a Budget, but NOBODY showed up. I suspect it was due to a snafu involving the registration lines as well as the Dealer's room just opening. Better scheduling next year, I guess. Stu took Michael home, then decided that he wanted to stay home for the rest of the evening and putter on the computer. =P
Roupen and I went to check out the Red and White show, which I shall not comment on. -.-;; We also took a brief trip through the Dealer's room, but I had no cash so didn't get anything. At this point James showed up, and much hugging occurred. We scrounged some food and went to the new "Whose Dub is it Anyways?" contest that Roupen was running, which went quite well in my opinion...although people really should more carefully evaluate their improv skills. A couple of people were REALLY good, some were okay, but a couple just stood there and didn't say anything. Kinda lame...
After that, I had to run to get to the Fanservice Crossfire panel I was sitting on, which didn't have huge attendance but turned out to be quite....how shall I put it? Entertaining? Hm. Let's just say that I was *already* sick of evolutionary psychology before the panel. Animecafe's got a great pic of me laughing at something Paul's saying...
We headed home and went to bed.
Roupen and Leah needed help with their costumes, so we got to the hotel around 11:30 despite being very tired. Much of the afternoon was thus spent in Leah's crash space room sewing and whatnot, but I didn't really mind. At some point that afternoon my parents dropped by with bags of food, much of which, unfortunately, needed refrigeration. We found out later that night that we couldn't keep stuff in the Staff Lounge fridge, which caused a fair bit of annoyance on my part as I had to lug bags of food hither and thither. Next year, they can bring a cooler or non-perishables. Anyways...
I got into my costume, then ran down to the Materials and Sewing panel, which was followed by Cosplay for Newbies. Both went well, although I do wish we could get a few more more experienced costumers to sit on the panels.
After the panels I got Stu into his costume (Stu kept complaining about his wig...now he knows how I feel!), helped L & R get ready for the Masquerade sign-in, then Stu and I wandered around a bit looking for James, and eventually ended up in the mother-of-all-lines for the Masquerade. It was the first time I'd actually watched the AN masquerade in......well, ever, actually. Due to sickness, I hadn't had time to finish the props for my Hyakurin costume, and since I didn't have a good idea for a skit and hadn't been able to put together a group, I decided to just relax for once and watch the show. The Masquerade itself went pretty well, with minimal delays and snafus, and even managed to come in under 3 hours. I felt very sorry for poor Greg, however, as I don't think he really knew what he was getting into. We had a huge influx of new congoers this year, mostly under the age of 16, and as such they were rowdy and noisy. There was some extremely rude heckling going on, and I commend Greg for his patience in putting up with those jerks gracefully. The new time limit seemed to work well, except for the fact that people in the audience would scream constantly whenever somebody they knew or a popular character came onstage, thus delaying the skit, so many skits had to be cut short. Hopefully we can do something about this in the future.
After the Masquerade, we headed up to Leah's room to change for the Dance. Roupen was stressing out about everything, and Leah disappeared halfway thru the dance, so it fell to me to handle much of the DJing. Which I'm fine with, except that my asthma started acting up. I just kept popping Fisherman's Friends and I was sitting down most of the time, so I didn't notice it too badly, but I didn't dance much. By this time, however, I was very, very tired so I didn't feel much like dancing.
The dance went pretty well, although as usual I didn't have time to play half the songs I wanted to. We had a couple screwups due to accidentally hitting the wrong buttons, but for the most part it was good. At 3:30 we had to kick a very reluctant crowd out of the room, and headed home.
Unfortunately, the asthma attack that I'd been ignoring rendered me incapable of sleeping. I was mostly okay with extra-strong Fisherman's Friends in my mouth (I guess menthol eases asthma symptoms?) but I couldn't exactly sleep that way. And I'd forgotten my inhaler in my jacket, which was in Leah's room at the con. Stu and I ended up driving to my parents' house at 5am to get my mom's inhaler, which after multiple doses allowed me to sleep a bit. Only a bit, though, as I had a panel at 11am. ARGH.
Stu and I dragged ourselves out of bed at 10 and headed over to the con, both very bleary-eyed. We decided not to wake James up, as he probably really needed the sleep. The Wigs, Footwear and Props panel woke me up, though, as it was very interesting and energetic. Adrenaline will do wonders...and I must extend my thanks to my fellow panelists and, in particular, that great couple from the States (this year they were doing One Piece cosplay; last year was Hellsing) who seem to show up for every one of my panels. ^_^
Next was the Mascot Costuming panel, at which I felt a terrible newbie. Yes, I've worked at a mascot shop, but haven't actually made a mascot costume all by myself, unlike my fellow panelists...and the techniques used at a professional shop are not really the best techniques for a solo amateur cosplayer. So that was a bit of a cold shower for me...
After the panels we grabbed some food and headed over to catch Roupen & Leah at You Don't Know Anime. Despite not having a microphone, it went quite well. Too bad all the good prizes were gone, though....the winner deserved something better than an ebay backpack. At this point James magically showed up in his Hello Kitty apron, and we all paused for a photo-op. I would really have liked to stay and hang with the Fanboys, as I never seem to do so on the Sunday of AN, but we were so dead tired that we just packed up all my costumes in the car and went home to sleep.
When we finally woke up, the three of us went to Rikishi (my favourite Japanese restaurant), where James proclaimed his approval of the rice. *lol* James and I ended up watching The Fall of the Roman Empire on TV and mocking the costumes for their total historical inaccuracy.
Monday was another lazy sleep-in day, punctuated by a trip to Chinatown for dumplings and bubble tea. We were, unfortunately, unsuccessful in our brief quest for a replacement Guitar Wolf jacket for James. James and I stayed up too late vegging in front of the TV watching Blind Date. -.-;;
To sum up: it wasn't the best time I've had at AN, due mostly to being sick and tired much of the time. Hopefully I'll be feeling better next year. A lot of problems from last year seemed to be dealt with this year, which is good. Our attendance went up tremendously, so it's amazing that everything went as smoothly as it did.
Additionally, I had a hefty serving of humble pie as NOT ONE person came up to me on Saturday and knew who I was cosplaying. I would have thought more people read Blade of the Immortal....*sigh* I guess I'll just have to do something REALLY flashy for next year. Ehehehe.