May 14th, 2005

ACen: Day 1

Well, day one of ACen is history--technically speaking even--since it is now after midnight. I'm a bit more technologically endowed this year, so I'm actually able to update directly from the con. Hopefully this will help me to avoid the delay of entry that I usually have when reporting on a multi-day event. It might also lead to the recording of additional details since things will still be fresh in my mind rather than me trying to recall them several days later.

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Collapse ) I was amused that we were assigned room 573. And if you get why that's funny to me you're as big a nerd as I am and you're laughing right now, too! We got a few things squared away in the room and then headed off to get our con badges.

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ACen: Day 2-midday

This being able to update at the event is a real boon. I finally finished sewing last night around 2am...long after everyone else in the room had gone to sleep. It was quite a change from last year when I was the one going to bed early. :P The needle managed to poke all the way through the plastic thimble I was using and stab me in the finger at one point. I think it got stopped by bone! And that's the blunt end of the needle, too. You can hardly tell anything happened to it by looking at it, but man is it sore today!

I woke up this morning around 6am. I was still tired since I had only slept about 4 hours and hadn't gotten much sleep the day before either, but I couldn't get back to sleep because I felt gross. So I got up, took a shower, and went back to bed. I finally got up for good around 10am or so, got ready and left the room all while everyone else was still asleep. I guess my age hasn't slowed me down too terribly just yet...let's hope that trend continues.

I've pretty much spent the entire morning down in the game room. Frankly, I think that's where I fit in best since it's the most of this culture that I actually participate in on any regular basis. I sat and talked to "Drunk" Eddie for probably about an hour as he was fixing a Beat-Gear pad. For anyone who knows anything about those, you'd probably be about as surprised as I was to actually see one in person. He was right near the Ransai setup, so I saw Scott from Ransai while I was there also. I also talked a bit to Zaps who I hadn't seen since MWS2--like three years ago already. Geez, I've been doing this a long time! I also got to say hello to HollywoodNova. I'm glad that I got to see him again this year. Otherwise I whored some DMX 2nd since it's really the only game in the game room that I'm interested in and don't get to play very often.

Now I'm just hanging in my room and eating an overpriced hotel sandwich: roast beef. It's actually fairly decent and pretty substantial. It's still overpriced, but not the no-value larceny I would otherwise expect from people serving a captive audience.

While I was between the game room, the food line, and my hotel room I also crossed paths again with a couple of girls we had met at the concert last night: Hayley and Sarah. They were sitting with some of their other friends in the hall outside the game room. I stopped and chatted with them for awhile. I described our pizza last night as being worse than school lunch pizza and was promptly asked which school I went to. So then I got to reveal that I was a college graduate...and 30, much to everyone's surprise. I think I really get a kick out of being thought to be younger than I really am. I suppose it's an advangate since I mostly hang out with younger people and do traditionally younger people things anyway.

In line for my sandwich I was spotted from a balcony above by anarchykid03, his girlfriend, and asianangel_neko. Mickey and his girlfriend came down to chat with me for a bit. I'm not sure where Elise went off to.

So now I'm contemplating dying my, of all things! I'm actually entered into the DDR freestyle tournament that's probably getting ready to start up sometime soon here. I'm trying to decide if I really care. I certainly don't have anything prepared and I'm not sure I my ego can take the gong show format. ;) I suppose I'll head down there and see where they're at just for grins.

More later...

ACen: Day 2-evening

I ended up participating in the DDR freestyle competition afterall. Shortly after making my last update I went down to the game room again to check to see where they were at. They were going to do freestyle between tech qualifiers and elimination rounds. I turned out that I got down there as they were finishing up the last few qualifiers.

I talked to Scott for awhile as he repaired a IIDX ASC and then sat down to watch freestyle. There were maybe a 10 people participating. Most people's performances weren't particularly remarkable and a couple were deemed bad enough to get gonged. I did Mr. T at west_end_guy's request. I threw my typical high energy level into it and had a lot of fun, but I was definitely hindered by the fact that I haven't played DDR in probably over a month and have been playing Pump almost exclusively for the past two or so. I was missing a lot of steps and generally getting a bit lost on stage, but the crowd response was quite good, I didn't fail, and I didn't get gonged. In fact, Zaps, the judge of the event, announced that "that's how freestyle is supposed to look" after I was done. I'm sure it was at least half joking, but I appreciated the compliment nonetheless. All in all I'm pretty happy with how things turned out.

The winner was a guy named Walker (handle: Zilford) originally from Iowa City, IA and recently moved to Minneapolis. He and I talked for awhile after the event. We share a lot of similar opinions about freestyle including our tendency for practiced improv rather than rehearsed, memorized routines. He complimented my high energy style and I complimented his performance. He felt that there were four entrants that had good showings among all the participants. He graciously included me in that group. I was flattered.

One other of the group was a guy that did a pretty good routine but got DQed for Matrix Walk-style machine contact. Apparently he didn't read the rules...although I think that's pretty much a given at most any event these days. It was right at the end of his routine, too. It was sort of a shame, but I think that Walker had a better showing anyway. The final person in his group of four was HollywoodNova. He's still Tommie, that's for sure, but he's been out of the game even longer than me. He wasn't at his best, but he still looked pretty good.

Even though it was pretty much a bust last year, I decided to head up to the Bemani panel again this year. It was better, I think. They forwent the game demonstrations of last year that I thought were pretty pointless and just did an hour-long Q/A session headed by several reps. There were some funny moments and decent rumor-milling going on and I didn't feel like it was a waste of time at least.

Now I'm just sitting here in my room with dye on my hair. Waiting for it to develop is giving me a good chance to get another update in here. It should be about time to rinse here in a few minutes and then I think I'll rejoin the con...perhaps break out some cosplay.

'til next time...