Written and photographed by Sofa.
I remember I was just about to call it a night on Friday the 24th when I received a message from Cici, regarding the circumstances of meeting up the following day. That itself was troubling, because I didn’t know what was going on tomorrow. Apparently I’d forgotten all about AOD- Animation on Display, an anime convention in Burlingame- which would be going down this very weekend, and we’d discussed plans of attending at one point. AOD would have to suffice without my presence, however, seeing as I was much too occupied playing Space Engineers for this Kigurumi-related nonsense; my fleet of suggestively-designed starships took top priority.
After an evening of aggressive coercing from BAKA’s de-facto chairwoman, I decided that attending AOD for journalistic purposes would be easier than attempting to persuade my way out of it, and much cheaper than hiring “professionals” to silence her.
The plan was simple; meet Cici at Ride the Pig with kig supplies in tow, get in, then head out. The usual. Except no, she said- we’d be meeting at my place after getting breakfast, seeing as I was closer to the venue.
It was only after arriving at Denny’s that I realized I’d singlehandedly ruined everything from the very beginning (as according to plan)- I was expected to bring kig supplies with me to breakfast so we could change out somewhere and head straight to the con. “Oh fiddlesticks,” I unconvincingly lamented after realizing what I’d done, “now we have to head back to my apartment via a parking lot disguised as a freeway so we can get my stuff and then take another three hours sitting in traffic to get back to Burlingame. At this rate, we won’t be able to make it to the convention, thus forcing me to spend the rest of my day developing my vaguely phallic space-armada. What a tragedy.” Cici stared blankly at me from across the table, arching an eyebrow- a gesture that reminded me that this was nothing at all new. Indeed, events held in and around San Francisco were notoriously difficult from a transit standpoint, namely due to the fact that our fellow motorists are so enthralled with our presence, they’d rather us not even leave the roadway, resulting in a commute that’s three times as long as it ought to be thanks to traffic. However, that never stopped us, even if it meant arriving for the last half hour of said event, and this one would last for the entire weekend. We had all day.
My initial plan for sabotage thwarted, I spent the following hour or so wading through an automotive sea, arriving at my apartment to find that Cici had already arrived, assumed control of my computer, and made self-defacing posts on my Facebook page.
We finished gearing up and embarked to the con, where the commuters abandoned us and let us arrive by about 1400. As per usual, we were met with an engaged and welcoming host of attendees.
Ayup. Just look at all that anime.
Get a gander at all those adoring fans; they just can’t get enough of Daphne here.
You can see why they’re all over her, she’s too cute. Except maybe the eyes. Whoever designed those eyes deserves to be punched in the face.
By now, I’d figured my plan to misdirect Cici to a place that was, in fact, not AOD would have rendered her bored and spurred her to take us home, where I could go about my usual affairs involving not-in-any-way-immaturely-designed starships in peace. She remained undaunted however, and determined that we could reach the actual convention by cutting our way through a few miles of underbrush.
Less than an hour of swinging machetes at foliage and fending off angry natives and hostile wildlife later, we arrived at a clearing that we determined to be AOD. Or maybe it was El Dorado; prolly the former, seeing as the latter is a city of gold rather than an anime convention, and this very much was an anime convention.
Thus did we descend into the abyss that was the con. We paid our twenty-five dollars to get in, and Cici was turned loose while I had to carry her stuff and take pictures.
One uncomfortable lady at the front desk later, we made our way to the dealer’s hall to undermine small business by drawing attention to ourselves and not buying anything.
Yes, Wyu, we are distributing business cards. Don’t you worry.
Hired a ghost to take a picture of us as proof that I was, in fact, at the event.
Animal attacks at these events have been getting more and more common.
Met these guys, who some of you folks familiar with gaming culture might just recognize. Tell us if you do, because we don’t.
(Actually that was a lie; they’re Jirard and Greg from The Completionist and that’s pretty acecredible. Cici doesn’t know that, though. Cici’s involvement with video games is limited to Ragnarok Online 2, and that’s kind of sad.)
Cici gets a good look at herself in the mirror in the head. That’s right, she dragged me into the ladies’ room just to take pictures of her. In the bathroom. I’m not making this one up, this actually happened.
Stumbled upon this fine establishment; I had to get my drink on, so Cici used the opportunity to get pictures taken, as is customary.
This is robots. He’s not quite as Big or Zammy as I’d like, though.
Hit the gym to pump some iron and take some more photos.
I don’t know, actually. She insisted.
After hours of walking around and not meeting out attention-getting quota, it seemed we’d wasted twenty-five bucks. Yet the head honcho herself persisted, determined to find out favorite photographer, Toshi. In the dead of night, we finally tracked him down, and as per usual threatened him with violence if he didn’t get lots of pictures of us.
Night had long since fallen when Cici finally decided to free me from this prison of fiberglass and indifferent, teeming passersby in funny costumes, as we decided that we’d gotten what we came for and wasted twenty-five bucks in the process. Both of us dismayed, we proceeded on the uneventful journey home. A quick perusal through the pictures I’d taken followed by a trip to my favorite local dive later, Cici relinquished control of me for the evening, getting back into her car and driving off into the night. Peace had finally come, as I basked in privacy and silence.
Then I realized I had to organize the pictures and write a blog post.
I brewed a cup of coffee and secured some snacks. I was in for a long night.