Amblin’ About

Dearest Rachel –

Sorry to disappoint you, but this entry isn’t going to be about old Steve Spielberg’s film studio – not even the bit about the Animaniacs, as much as we might have loved them. This is an anime convention, after all. None of this American garbage here, now.

This was supposed to be an essay on “con time,” as I fully expected to drop stuff off after putting in 3½ hours at the registration desk and head back in time for the opening ceremonies, despite my having passed by main programming on my way to my room as people were queueing up for those self-same ceremonies. I assumed it wouldn’t start for another fifteen minutes at least, at which point I might be able to slip in and still watch the last thirty or forty minutes without too much lost.

Based on what you just read, I think you can conclude that this is not what happened. On paper, this was supposed to run from 1 until 2. From what I saw as I passed the queue, it wasn’t starting at 1 yet. But by the time I returned at 1:30, the doors to the main programming room had been propped wide open, with nobody inside. It was all over and done already. So much for “con time,” at least for the moment.

And really, so much for the con – or at least, the official parts of it, as far as I was concerned – for the next few hours. Really, there isn’t much on the program schedule that grabs my attention for most of the day. There’s a bit about DanganRompa at 4:30 or so, but that’s more Daniel’s thing that either of ours (although I might check it out for his sake, I don’t know yet). And as usual, none of the anime titles call out to me, either. I’m completely at liberty for the time being.

Which I’m sure that I should be using to get myself something to eat: I haven’t bothered with anything since Iowa 80 last night. It’s not like there aren’t options available; there’s a food truck right outside the hotel’s main entrance, the Recharge Room is practically right below my room, and if all else fails, I have a few bowls of udon I could make for myself.

But nothing is calling me at the moment, as I wander out back to the Riverwalk area, just taking in the sights.

At which point I can start to feel raindrops on my head. So back inside I go; besides, this phone still wasn’t completely charged when I tried to make a break for the opening ceremonies.

So I have it plugged in while I try and organize my thoughts. I feel like I’m wasting my time; why am I still in this room, when I should be out there?

Clearly, my thoughts still need more organizing.

Eventually, I determine that the phone is charged enough anyway, and decide to check out the recharge room downstairs. There’s a handful of people there, not a crowd. And as far as conversation goes, I’m clearly walking in on the third reel of this movie. At some point, the topic turns for the merchandising, and the fact that the dealers’ room opens in… fifteen minutes.

Oops. This was always one of the perks of sponsorship that you treasured, that we could get into the dealers’ room before the crowd overwhelmed it. I need to hurry, otherwise I’m not going to get a chance to really look at anything. Then again, was I really planning on buying anything?

Well… about that. I had considered commissioning a few memorial sketches of you. It occurs to me that you considered yourself so much like Rakka (and Ellen as Reki), that commissioning a portrait of you in the style of Haibane Renmei, complete with halo and gray wings, might be a nice tribute to have.

Haibane Renmei Wallpaper and Background Image | 1600x1143 ...
All the stuff around her is an appropriate touch, too.
haibane renmei | 安倍吉俊, 鶴田 謙二, イラスト

Or maybe some other anime character; you used to like when I called you ‘Rei-chan’ as a shortening of your real name. How about a portrait of you in a plug suit?

Like so?

But this requires some sort of source material for whatever artist I ask. And a good commission like that isn’t something that could be done over the course of a weekend like this. Looks like I just didn’t put enough forethought into this. Still, I collect a few business cards; maybe I can contact one or another of these folks after the convention and make some kind of arrangement.

It’s just so empty, walking through the dealers’ room without you. For once, I’m grateful for the fact that I’m required to wear a mask anytime I’m in public here – whereas ordinarily, this would irritate me no end. Between the fact that you’re not at my side, and I’m visualizing these pictures of you as a haibane (complete with a cocoon dream of snow and ice, leading to being bestowed the name of ‘Yuki’ by your fellow haibane), It’s hard to keep from bursting into tears. I know it would be inappropriate here, but I can’t seem to help myself. At least most of my face is hidden. And the goofy grin on the ‘face’ that people see manages to keep those around me amused – to say nothing of guessing whether any of the younger set recognize my face. Seriously, I get that three times from various vendors in the course of one circuit around the room.

I don’t leave the place empty-handed, though. I do find something I think Daniel will like:

At this point, my fasting is starting to catch up with me, and I head over to a nearby restaurant. It’s a little fancier than I might otherwise do, which is fine, but not something I want to fill up on. I order a pair of appetizers and, sure enough, it’s not enough to fill me up. But I’m okay with that; I’ll might just get myself some pizza later this evening.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, the DangenRompa panel consists of a number of cosplayers attempting to act in character, and apparently answering various questions from the audience about the story of the game. I don’t think it’s going to have answers that either Daniel or I would be looking for. So yeah… I’m pretty much in and out, here.

Until next time, honey.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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