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Michael Morimoto

Hello Brandon et all:


Brandon, I am sorry to hear that you were hazed at the con and that I had 
missed bumping into you. I did not go to A-Kon last year so this was my 
first one. I had heard good things about last years (plus seen video 8^) ) 
and was eager to go. I had also heard that Texas fandom was somehow different 
from California fandom and was eager to see for myself (Knowing that while con 
people may not represent the local color, it might give me a very generalized 
idea on attitudes). If Brandon can be ‘brave’ enough to post his $.02 worth, 
so can I. If you think you might be offended by personal opinions, please hit
n now. These are my personal impressions and they may change over time… 
This is meant to be informative and funny. If you can’t sense the humor in
the glowing characters you see before you, trust me, it’s there… Some of 
the events are a little out of order.


I arrived with my group ‘o friends friday afternoon after a long layover in
Phoenix. The flight from John Wayne to Phoenix was fine but the ride from
Phoenix to Dallas was bumpy because of storm action. On our way to the
 Radisson hotel, it started to rain big time (at least to the eyes of this
Californian). We got to the hotel and I noticed a bunch of con-slugs in the
lobby. My expectations dropped. After checking in, we ate at a local
cafeteria (I love cafeterias) and I wandered around the hotel. In the vacant
dealers room I ran into some cool people and my expectations rose. I am awful
with names but the majority of these people were from Houston and were of Dave
 Merrill’s (sp) group. We then went shopping for ‘supplies’ and it was fun
getting lost in Dallas in the rain

.
Saturday I got up early (for me on a Saturday, at least), got my con reg done
 and went to the dealer’s room. Con reg screwed up on my reg but the handled
 it quickly and in a friendly manner. The dealer’s room was kind of a joke.
Can we say: We want to rip you off??? There were a few okay buys however and
I did manage to pick up some minor dirty pair memorabilia. The red haired 
lady behind the Lone Star table was cute though, and intelligent, so I did 
get something out of my trip to the dealer’s room. 😉
I then went to a panel with Ms. Buck and others on it talking about their
 animation projects. I was disappointed with the room. They put this panel 
in a hotel room on the 4th floor? What a joke! Although I already know
some of the people on the panel and their info, the panel was still informative
 and fun.


We then went to get something to eat and did some exploring in Dallas. Thanks
go to Mr. Freels for pointing out Kazy’s and BCS. We went to BCS first. It
turned out to be a trading company which sells mainly manga and magazines in
the front. The selection is small but they did have some manga. The variety
of material appears to be aimed at the Japanese reading adult. The clerk 
working there was very informative and friendly. Unfortunately, I forgot to
ask him his name. We then went to Kazy’s. It is a small store with good
variety but poor selection… They appear to get most of there stuff from
 California. If these were the only two places in Dallas to get Japanese
goods, then it is depressing. Tell me that there are better places in Fort
Worth and Houston. We then did some more shopping for supplies and I was
happy to see Dairy Queens in Texas (I enjoy chocolate dipped soft serve).


We went to the con banquet and it was kinda lame. I was expecting better
food for my $20. Plus the seating was kindof spread out and this made it
hard to socialize with others. They had a stage and PA system set up but
they did not use it here (maybe for the masquerade?). I would have been fun
to have someone talk (Like Ms. Wakefield did in the bar with the band the
night before). The banquet was deadsville and we had to entertain ourselves.
Luckily I did get to meet the Forresters (Meet the Forresters, sounds like 
the name of a sitcom, doesn’t it?)


I was out shopping for more supplies and missed the masquerade. We cruised by
the dance later, and as usual, there were only a handful of people out there.
:-(. It was fun hearing anime music, plus whoever was dj, picked a good 
selection of ‘normal’ music too! I did the dance-thing and it was a lot of
fun (I CANNOT dance!). Afterwords I wandered around a bit and finally went
down to the pool to dick around with my squirt gun.


Sunday I got up late. BTW: We did bring VCRs with us, but this was mainly to
show anime with. We were a but irritated at the number of people who came up
to us and expected us to dub for them right away. While we will do the
 occassional free dub of things like PineSalad Productions material, we grew
 to resent this intrusion on our con-dom (get it??? its a play on words, son).
We are on vacation for goodness sake, have a little consideration for others, 
okay??? One of our VCRs broke in flight (A main logic board was cracked) but 
some bwanes and a trip to the local Radio Shack (There everywhere, it’s kinda
scary) fixed it.


I went to the Dealer’s room to get T-Shirts made. They make the T-Shirts by
color copying your material onto special paper. This paper suspends the toner.
The toner is polyester based. They then take this paper and bond the toner 
onto a 50% cotton 50% polyester shirt. This technology has been around for a
while but the image definition has gotten better. Plus, I had to spend money
on something, didn’t I???


Then there was anime remote control. It was a lot of fun. My favorite 
catagory was \Dead or Canadian. Hats off the Pam, Richard, and Alec for
a great job done! Saturday night there was a showing of PineSalad material
 in one of the video rooms. This material was remastered from laser and little
comedy bits were inserted. It was great! Hats off to Alan and Pam and the
 rest of the crew!


Pre-dinner, there were wheelchair races down the hall which were a lot of fun!
The trip to the Hard Rock was kindof a bummer. 1) If you are going to lead a
caravan of cars, know what the f*ck you are doing and know where you are going.
If you are unsure, allow someone with a map and sense of direction to lead.
Major points off. 2) You would think that people going out to eat would bring
money with them. Wrong. Quite a number of members did not bring money with 
them and they did not let others know that they needed a loan. If they had
let us know, maybe we would have been able to bring extra funds to lend
them. 3) The Hard Rock group was intended to be a small group of cool people.
You would be amazed at the number of obnoxious people who self-invited
themselves and then left because the Rock wasn’t there kind of environment.
NEWSFLASH: If you go to a Hard Rock,there will be crowds, music playing, and
rock memorabilia… 4) If you are a Hard Rock, play you music loudly. The
music was hard to hear, or maybe I’m just used to the L.A. one. Overall, I
managed to have a good time, but it was forced. The Hard Rock staff, the 
small food fight, and Kei really helped me to have a good time (plus a Long
Island Iced Tea and a Hurricane 🙂 ).


We then went to the infamous grassy knoll. At said knoll I gave a long-winded 
monologue about the various Kennedy conspiracy theories. My audience was kind
 enough to act interested. A memorial to Kennedy was nearby. A friend of mine
said that I would like it ‘because it’s very Japanese’. They were right. We
went to the memorial and it is very austier and grim. I liked it. It IS very
Japanese!


We then went back for the squirt gun fight Brandon had previouly mentioned.
 Monday we go up, packed, ate at Shoney’s, said goodbye to all the good people
 we had met, and left for home.
Overall, Texas was humid and full of masquitos. It might be too humid for me,
I dunno. Most of the Texans I met were nice although a select few held 
certain views (racist, sexist, homophobic, intolerant, and neanderthal) that 
I had hoped has disappeared and that was depressing. The road system was 
strange and people need to learn to drive. The supply of Japanese good was sad.


A con is what you make it. I have been involved in running small cons in the 
past and it is a lot of work. This is not intended to be a defense of this 
con but let’s not be so quick to condemn, okay. Cons are environments in
which to meet people. The events, shopping, and dealers rooms are just side
notes. People are the most important thing. I met a lot of interesting people
who I had only heard of before. Most of the them were interesting to talk to.
This con gave me the chance to glimpse beyond the con-persona of some people
and and what I saw I liked. I especially enjoyed mmeting the Forresters
(Meet the Forresters) esp. Kei, Mr. Merrill, and a few other people I cannot
remember the names of.


Sure fandom has a bunch of inconsiderate Fanboys and Con-Slugs in it. People
who are not interested in the anime but are only interested in latching onto
something. People who are seriously in need of getting a life (As if I can 
talk with my Ph.D. in Life). But there are those few interesting people who are
interested in anime and/or use it an a fun escape/vacation who are truly
interesting and unique individuals that make it worth it all. Too bad we 
cannot separate the wheat from the chaff… A con is what you make it and if
 asked, I will go to A-Kon III, if there is one. I hope to see some of you at ComicCon and AnimeCon!


Well that’s my $.02 worth. (It’s more like $1.00 worth, keep the change) 😉


— Michael.

Originally posted on Rec.Arts.Anime on May 31, 1991.


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