The picture to the left here, graced the badges and program book at Sakuracon. We all commented that they must be a yuri couple as they are next to each other and touching. LOL (Little inside joke there from the Yuricon Mailing List.)
I’m going to be blunt here – Seattle is an odd city. The people, especially the panhandlers, were very creepy and had no sense of a sufficient personal space so as not to arouse the wrath of east coast visitors. I figure that in New York the homeless and/or crazy are so busy trying to survive that they don’t really have time or energy to get into my face. In Seattle, clearly they have plenty of time and energy…and get into my face, they did.
The city itself is pleasant enough. Through no one’s fault, the museum I wanted most to visit was closed, so that was a bit of a bummer. But we did manage to do lots of touristy stuff, which is always goofy fun.
“We” in this case included an unusual appearance by my wife. She almost never does cons with me. She and I were joined by Donna, Serge and Bruce; Yuricon staffers/supporters/minions/etc and people I am pleased to count among my dear friends.
We arrived on Wednesday, and met up with Donna and Serge. After dinner, we went on an adventure to Archie McPhee’s, where, as I mentioned, I bought bandages that look like bacon strips, got a friend a hula girl duster, some other friends pirate and rubber ducky goods, and myself some Tiki packing tape. Also, I picked up some heinous things to put in the yuri grab bags we’re going to be making for Anime Next.
Thursday AM, the wife and I set out to see the Seattle Space Needle. I, used to massive tourist lines, was shocked to find that we were able to go right up. We could see our hotel, and took in some nice views of the surrounding mountains and water. It had started sunny; by the time we got to the Space Needle it was cloudy over the city, but the mountains were still sunny. It looked quite cool. We have nice hills around here, but no real mountains and I’m always happy to spend an longish while looking out at really huge hunks of earth that stand out so massively from the rest of the scenery.
Next up was the Science Fiction Museum. It looked really ugly from outside – sort of a conglomeration of blue and metallic lumps. Inside, it was so impossibly geeky that I absolutely loved it. It’s essentially a warehouse house for Paul Allen’s private collection of sci-fi crap. As he has more money than god, it means that it’s a really super-sophisticated, well put-together warehouse for his sci-fi crap.
Note the utterly, totally dork-a-riffic levels of membership:
And the signs on the bathroom doors. Could they be *any* more nerdish?
Needless to say, we had a great time there. :-)
We decided that as we were all togther by Thursday evening, we’d wander over to the conference center and get our badges. The first person we asked had the right answer, but for the wrong reasons. The second person we asked seemed to have the exclusive job of sending everyone over to the most overworked person in the room, which would have been fine, except the right person was in that room too. Once again – you get what you pay for with volunteers. :-) But, be that as it may, we did get in touch with our host, Sean Larson, Programming Director of Sakuracon, who had invited us out in the first place. He got us our badges and had to bail, which we totally understood. We headed over to the Marketplace, took a look at our table, introduced ourselves to our neighbors and left to do some dinner.
Let me digress here for a second. I want to mention that, at every con/event I have a table at, I do my best to befriend my immediate neighbors. I find that it makes the whole event a better thing when you and the businesses that surround you all get along. In this case, we had “Toys for Freaks and Geeks” on the right, CL Enterprises (I think that was their name) on the left and YesJapan.com in front of us. All were perfectly wonderful to be near. YesJapan is a “language” website, which sort of sells the idea that geeky guys can have cute Japanese girls as friends to practice language skills with. They played videos all weekend of basically, the guys who work there shooting the breeze with Japanese women, talking about useless and insanse things – interspersed with hard Japanese rock bands videos. They were hysterically funny, but somehow really awful too. :-)
Friday started with a nice, relaxed morning. Pattie and Donna headed out to Chinatown and Bruce, Serge and I went right to the Marketplace to set up. We were doing a rock-bottom sale on yuri manga from ALC, so sales were brisk and we had a fast day. The joke was that while all vendors are there to sell and are, therefore, only your friends as long as you give them money, we were the only ones who were open about it. When people bought a book, we’d say stuff like, “Buy a book and we’ll be your friend five dollars worth!” LOL Serge got caught in a prolonged conversation that was going nowhere with someone who had bought a book. When the guy went away, he turned to me and said, “That was ten dollars worth of friendship for five dollars.” It kept us laughing all weekend.
A few friends stopped by – Jen, and her friend Jahana and Devon and unexpectedly Derek and Diana – as well as a bunch of folks from the ML, which was a genuine pleasure. Especially Sara, who was very energetic and bouncy and made us laugh – and she brought lots of people by, which was great. So, thanks Sara! And the young lady who is cosplaying Chloe here, who was very cute. Thanks to her too. ;-)
Friday night we went out to Chinatown to Uwajimaya, a pan-asian market and mall, with a very large Kinokuniya bookstore. I wasn’t feeling great, so managed to not spend anything. The wife and I went back to our room to crash.
Saturday was, for me, more of the same – the con in a dealer’s room looks the same for most of the day. LOL The crowd changes as the new waves of people come in, that’s about it. There wasn’t any anime I needed/wanted to see, and games and the like aren’t my cup of tea. We did have a friend, Hillary, drop by and later went to dinner with her, in the teeny space we had between marketplace and Yuri Panel.
The Yuri Panel was quite nice – about 50-60 people showed. The questions were pretty decent and everyone was very earnest. Serge and Bruce were GREAT on the panel and had a lot of good things to say. Interestingly, Serge was more up on anime, and Bruce on manga, so that worked out really well. We went back to the hotel and watched a brilliantly bizarre live-action movie called Survival Style 5. It’s by the same director who did Kamikaze Girls and boy can you tell. It had alot of the same actors and tropes, but was really funny and weird in a whole new way. I think we all liked the storyline of the guy who kept killing this girl, but she kept coming back, and eventually they kind of fall in love, best. I recommend it for a healthy dose of surreal humor.
Sunday we made an appearance briefly at the table, then bailed to do some more sight-seeing. This time it was the Asian Art Museum, followed by a quick turn aroud Pike St. Market, so I could get my hairdresser the salmon I promised her. lol
The last night we were there was the wife’s birthday, so we went out to celebrate, following that up with a Korean kung-fu (no joke – it was really a kung-fu movie, just filmed in Korea. Trust me, I know the difference) comedy. It was pretty funny, so it was a good end to a good trip. :-)
I can’t thank Donna, Serge, Bruce and Pattie enough for coming out with me. It would not have been nearly as fun as it was without them. Thanks, guys. :-)
Our next event will be Anime Next, June 16-18, 2006 in Secaucus, NJ. I’ll be doing the yuri panel and a fanfic writer’s workshop. I’ll let you know when they are scheduled.
See you there!