“When one door closes, another one opens”, or so they say.
A door we were looking forward to, expecting, was slammed shut in our face and we needed our summer con home. We discovered less than three months before the supposed events, our dear summer anime con, Natsu Con, in our Collinsville, was canceled and plans I been made. My friend Tabby had been working on a detailed, secret cosplay for months and months, I had brought all my materials and I asked off from my summer school for a day, which is hard to do. I was looking for a light, a torch, to show me the pathway to an answer and that light came from a computer screen. I went to the anime convention database and found that in Jefferson City, there was a con a month earlier than we planned, but the website enticed me.
At the same time was when Samurai Dan was going through his book ordeal and we had conserved about doing a panel at Natsu, but once we knew it was cancled, I was deflated like a balloon (better than the child kidnapper Difbloom I suppose…). I mentioned how I was looking at Anime Mid-West near Chicago in late June, which had HUGE stars, but it was a 5 hour drive and the other sweet site that held a con known as Cosplacon, short for Cosplay Con in Jefferson City the weekend before my 3rd wedding anniversary. Derrick was soured at both ideas since he drives and even Jefferson city was 3 to 4 hours away. But, I mentioned Cosplacon and Dan told me he was a guest there and that their co-chair, a man named Rodney, was amazing and would approve our panel (which he did). With this in mind, it took some planning, meetings with my friends, different arrangements, and convincing our parents and Derrick, but then we were all on board for Cosplacon. A new door was opened and I was praying it would have golden light radiating from its archway when we entered into its new realm.
It was two months of scrambling to pack, waiting for cosplay components, and lots and lots of planning, memorizing, prepping, and stressing for my first ever panel. I was so grateful Dan was with me to help me through all of it. He hopes I will be my own star of panels yet he told me he would make my cry! Hmmmm…Dan the Man sure is interesting! But, I sure felt like an over-organized noob with this being my first time and him literally having over 1,000 panels under his belt! 0.o
To share our experience, check out all the videos I mentioned on my Youtube Channel here.
Like Anime St. Louis 2014, I helped Miles pack the day before, which happened to be a Wednesday for this was technically a 4 day con (it started Thursday evening). He stayed over and wrestled with our coach after I returned from a church meeting that evening. Our couch is super soft to sit on, but it has no support for sleeping. I told him to take the loveseat, which is smaller, but has the right amount of comfort and sturdiness. He declined and I woke up that morning to see my clock was on loveseat, tossed with the batteries beside and my Yami Yugi fleece blanket perfectly laid on the floor between the couch and the coffee table. It looked like a murder had taken place! >.< Miles said the clock was driving him nuts and that he tried sleeping on the floor with Yami (that sounds bad…), hence the blanket. Oh dear…what a way to start off the con! 😉 We packed our stuff, me having a lot more than usual since I had all my books and items for sale and a fold-up table. We ate a brunch of McDonald’s and got some snack cakes for a social we where invited to that evening at the con and some motion sickness and stomach medicine along with had to gas the car. The McDonald’s was a bad idea for it did not agree with me; ALL day I felt the McNuggets in my stomach like rocks. 🙁
Now the part we all dreaded; the drive. One, none of us had ever driven to Jefferson city and two, we heard horror stories on how twisty it was and how scary and dangerous it was. I was all in knots on top of my McNuggest madness. I took the fizzy motion sickness medicine. It clenched my stomach up, but I’m not sure I felt better. I surely felt like I was going to toss my cookies a handful of times. After about an hour, 2/3rds of the way on our trip, it started to rain. Not enough to make us stop, but it was enough and shattered for two hours. At least there were not too many cars on our path and they slowed on the country highway due to the rain. Since this was new territory to us, this was good. We left our town exactly at 1:00 and we got to Jefferson City’s Capital Plaza hotel which is RIGHT NEXT to the Missouri capital at 4:20l. I mean, they are side-by-side guys! The hotel was busy and started to bustle with colorful wigs. It was very pretty and a simple layout, which was awesome. It had a lovely waterfall and two elevators are either side of it. This was terrible for me for I am terrified of elevators! Not only were this fast, but half of it was made out of windows so you could see yourself going up and down! *shudders* We were only floor number 4 and I rode that thing I don’t know HOW many times that weekend, but it wasn’t any less scary. I had to hide in the far corner away from the windows and squeeze Derrick, once Miles, tightly. If they were not there, I gripped and left handprints on the metal from curling myself off to the world. I had a few people ask me if I hated elevators and I choked out a humorless chuckle, poking at how they guessed. My fear aside, we checked in and paid for our room, unloaded all our stuff, called parental units to let them know we were safe and they at 4:50, we got in line to pick up our badges.
The line for the badges was longish, like a fifteen minute wait, but there were only two people at the pre-register booth and they were working so hard and were super nice. When we got there, they told us we had forms with our names and basic information along with rules to agree with. So, we had to spend 5 minutes filling these out and then getting back in line. I wish they would have had a sign so we knew to do that first and then get in line. When we approached the line front, I explained how I ordered Derrick and Miles’ badges and they were all confused, not seeing the boys’ names. I ordered two at a time and since I paid with my paypal account, it had Morgan for both their badges and…well…they already had PRINTED on the thin feeling badges that Miles and Derrick were, get this, Morgan-chan! 0.o So, all weekend, if their badges flipped, it said MY name! I felt so bad. But, the website only asked three things: how many badges, if they were all over 18, and the name of the payer. I wish they had all that information on the order form so the confusion was not there. My badge from Dan, of coarse, was not ready, but they recalled hearing about it so the lady was kind and made me one real fast. They work their butts off and I appreciate all their work, but still, this was the most confusing badge pick-up ever. OH! It was fun that when they asked if you read the rules all weekend, you had to say Charmander or they made you go back and read them again! I had a Charmander necklace and pointed to it one day to a staff member who asked me, which made them giggle. I would give this a 5 out of 6.
We rested in the room for a bit and then around 6:00, we went to an event I got invited to on the Cosplacon facebook, called a tasty social, where they promised homemade cupcakes. Not too many events were happening Thursday, but people were coming and the room was full. There was a nice guy in a ninja outfit and mask named Alex as our host. I gave him my snack cakes I bought to help out and he was very grateful. Sadly, the event fell to pieces for our poor ninja. 🙁 Several people in the room were loud and rude, talking and laughing while Alex-san was trying to talk about their social group and the games for the panel. He was quiet and because he was talking through his cloth ninja mask, it was near impossible to hear him. He had a presentation, but the person in charge forgot to get and it was 20 minutes late and then they could not set it up. We tried to play a game where we wrote down things about ourselves and a random number. They were shuffled and the point was for us to get up and introduce ourselves to new people to see who the card belonged to. The winner, who figured their person out first, got to eat first from the pastry paradise and the second place winner won a Toothless from How to Train your Dragon plush. Well, someone in our group for a super easy, giveaway card and figured out their person right away. So, guess who for second place? DERRICK! =D He won Toothless and he LOVES that film, so he was playing with him all weekend. The game as confusing and all people talked about was getting food. I must admit, they were the best cupcakes I have ever had! They sure can cook! Yummy! ^o^ I did talk to two girls who were starting X and Y and wanted tips, a Big Bang theory fan, a guy who was impressed with all my Sailor Moon knowledge, and a cute teen girl who asked to hug me and gushed over all my Sailor Moon items (I had on my new Sailor Inner Scouts shirt, my Sailor Moon S heart locket, and my Sailor Moon S all scouts purse). ^_^ They tried really hard and I am grateful for all they did, taking a business card of course, but they lost the audience from the start and it was a lose cause. My teacher instincts to disciple were tingling so bad I had to clutch my fist on my jeans, but that would make me rude. I give this panel a 5 out of 5 and wish them luck in their business.
On our way leaving, we saw Samurai Jillian get in the elevator and watched her go up with her Akita puppies, Naya and Kuma. Kuma didn’t care, but Naya sat and looked as she rode up in the elevator. All five of us at the same time waved at Jillian and she chuckled, waving back before she got off. Later, from Dan, I found out they were on the same floor we were! HA! =o
We all decided to get supper from our list of food choices and in an hour, Brown and Tabby had a panel to go to. We went a place called Perkins. The menu looked SO good and it only had two other couples in the whole place. Well…it took them forever to take our order, forever and a half to get our food, and they messed up poor Nathan’s order and he was getting super tense. I wasn’t very hungry for the nuggets were still mocking me in my stomach, so I just ate mashed potatoes, which were very tasty and I tried half of a tuna sandwich…BLAH! Nasty! :(- Miles was on a budget and the prices were higher than I thought, so I felt bad on that and weird for me, I got water because I had an odd sweet taste in my mouth I could not get rid of, but, water is never a bad thing. By this point, when we finished, our humdrum, monotone (but not quite rude, but it was on the edge) waitress gave us our check and Brown and Tabby were 15 minutes late to their panel. We rode separately, so we took our time for in half an hour, I had to be in a fashion show! ^o^
I stepped into the lobby with Derrick and Miles and Derrick pointed to me on the stairs was Dan (he called me while I was leaving the restaurant and I sadly missed him, apologizing fiercely to him in a text). He was talking to someone and I strode up and waited and right away, he poked fun at me, telling Derrick how husbands were abused by their wives and had to stick together. Jillian laughed, but we both rolled our eyes. Dan shook Miles’ hand, which surprised him and he mumbled, “Oh…He’s your brother. I didn’t realize this was a family affair…” But then he declared, get this, he LIKED Miles! 0.o He said it was because he looked like the villain from Hell Boy 2 (I have no idea…) and that Miles was small and he could pick him up and throw Miles at me at our panel! >.< *sighs* Since I had about 20 minutes, we found our panel room and scanned it out, him signaling me over to spots a few times like a spy and telling me what was going to happen. It was so cool! We talked some more and then I told him I sadly had to depart for now to be in a fashion show. He blinked, not processing the image like most. I didn’t blame him; it was my first time modeling and I’m not the type. I told him he could attend to see if I fell on my face, but he informed me that would be call ‘style points’ not clumsiness and wished me luck!
I found my friend Sage’s room, the one who was running the Tokyo Street Fashion panel and her room was an array of chaos. I texted Tabby the room and we took over the bathroom. Sadly, Sage and her friends are super thin, so Tabby and I, being bigger than her, didn’t get the super cute Lolita clothes like I thought, but some…interesting looks. Sage, a sweetheart, kept apologizing because she was running around trying to get eight girls dressed in a tiny hotel room. I pulled Tabby in the restroom with me and we changed. The pictures are here and maybe I didn’t look sensual or flattering, but I had to giggle at myself and I decided to have as much fun as possible and I had to admit, once I got used to the bold colors of my Tokyo clown attire, I liked it and other than the pants being a bit snug, it fit me well. Sage put heavy blue eye shadow on me and rub on glitter on my cheeks. I also had jewels stuck on my forehead and by my eyes and the final kawaii touch, one of Sage’s darling, custom-made flower crowns. Tabby had similar pants to mine in style, but they were pale pink and purple with unicorns all over them, her shirt basic.
The program said the fashion show started at 9:00 and it was about 9:00 when Sage told Tabby and I to go ahead to the panel room. But, Sage said it was supposed to start at 9:30. Nathan said the room was full, waiting for us, but after 15 minutes, with Tabby and I the only ones there being door greeters (and getting filmed by one of the con’s professional video graphers…*gulp*), many but our guys, Derrick filming, left. Sage went in there at 9:20 with her crew and nothing was set up like she asked. She ran around getting curtains, a microphone, and so forth. She was trying so hard and I could tell it was stressing her out. She told us she would call our names and we would pose a few times, walking on the red line. We had some group shots beforehand while the crew quickly set up and there was this darling little girl. She had a rose and the stem broke. She asked her dad to glue it back together! It was so cute. I found a big rose petal in the hallway, a real one, and I gave it to her and she held it and rubbed it against her cheek several times. She was precious. There were camera flashes everywhere! I felt famous! ^___^
A tad after 9:30, we started our 40 minute show. I was number #4, being in the bold Harujuku category. I smiled widely, showing off all the patterns of my outfit, and even played with my lopsided pigtails Sage did for me; very clown-like in my act. Tabby did some cute poses as well. Everyone had fun and even though we had a small audience, we did our best to show off our outfits Sage worked so hard to place us in and she was so amazing. The boys praised us and Tabby and I took some pictures together. Even though it could have gone a lot smoother for all involved, I was filled with this thrill, this excitement inside me and I knew I wanted to model again for my heart’s love, my otaku passions. I wish I was thinner so I could wear cuter items, but I told Sage I would love to help her out again if she wanted me to. She hugged me super tight and put me on her model list, thanking both of us immensely. Tabby and I got changed into our normal clothes and headed back to our rooms (her and Nathan were on the 5th floor). Since I was in this event, I will not rate it.
I went to the room to rub off all the makeup off my face since they had no wipes or remover in the room, which made me so nervous. I never wear makeup and I have seen the zits and bumps you can get when you don’t wash it off properly. We crawled into bed around 11:00 after I tried and failed to read my Percy book (I only had 40 pages out of 585…AH!). On too small for two, uncomfortable, flat pillow beds, dream land hardly graced me with its appearance, but I tried to rest after a long day regardless.
Day #2 started at 5:15…arg…I was SO tired! -_-;; I tried to sleep, but it was a relentless chase that I lose at numerous times. Now…I will not go into details, but I was awoken by some drama in my party, drama that affected our whole weekend greatly. It could have been worse, but it provided a challenge, a strain on Derrick and I, being the adults. So…I will leave it at that and not mention it any more, but if I say I was tired or stressed a lot, this drama is the reason. Like also stated, it could have been a lot worse; it was just a situation not handled well.
Anyway…because of this drama, I could not sleep anymore or choke down my Coco Puffs Nathan was nice enough to get for me. At 8:45, I got the boys up slowly and started getting ready for my cosplay around 9:30. I was Sailor V for Friday, her seeming to be my trademark character. I love being her a lot, but I hope to be someone just as awesome and recognizable next year too. Decisions… But, Sailor V’s cosplay has A LOT of parts, so it takes me longer than I would like, like half an hour, but I always have fun with it. We left at 10:00ish to go see Tabby’s secret surprise cosplay she has been making painstakingly for almost a year now…
Wow! Tabby did an amazing job! ^-^ She made wings that were amazing and had so many little details. She was from League of Legends, which I sadly do not play, but Derrick, Nathan, and Tabby do. She worked so hard that I was glad she got to enjoy the fruits of her labor. With this, we headed to explore the venders for about 40 minutes. Sadly…the venders and artists were small in number. No means bad, but I was slightly disappointed. I DID get a Pokeball hat that I CRAVED, DREAMED of having at my firs con ever in 2012 and baka me thought it would be there by Sunday! Nope! Was sold at the end of that Friday! :'( But, I saw the same hat again and I HAD to have it so I snatched it up and I love it! It fits me well, is warm, and I have gotten so many looks of awe from it. For sure my favorite purchase (no stuffed animals AGAIN! So shocking!).
At 11:00, we went to our first Samurai Dan and Jillian panel; sword class! None of tried this time, but it always fun to watch and the audience was a hoot, egging Dan on. Sadly…I had a klutz moment (thank GOSH Jillian was the only one who saw of the two and she just chuckled). I was walking forward, determined to get these front row seats on the opposite side of the entryway. Well, it’s normal to look forward when you walk forward, right? Apparently, that was a mistake for I stepped on the pile of practice bamboo swords, about 20 of them all together and when I thought I stepped off one, I rolled, my feet LITERALLY rolling out from under me. I did this like four times, flailing my arms madly outward and was able to leap over the rest of them, barely not losing my balance. 0.o Wow! Slapstick comedy for free provided by Sailor V! And what do the love of my life and my sibling do? Call me stupid and said I should have looked at the floor when I walked! -_-;; I so wanted to disown them. The panel was as fun and informative as usual as I observed Dan’s style of performing since I had my panel with him the next days. I learned a lot from that. I did film some parts of it and it is on my Youtube Channel. Of course, no surprise, they get a 10 out of 10. They truly have their panels down to an art and can roll with the punches…or a zombie takeover that they kept referring to! HA! ^o^ Dan also has over 500…not his kids now from anther con story! I hope I have that on video somewhere!
We explored a little bit more and then we wanted to eat Japanese for lunch to fit the mood of the con, plus any time I can try a different Japanese restaurant, I will! 😉 Miles found a friend and they ate at the place’s restaurant. Tabby and Nathan were supposed to go with us after Tabby took her wings off (she can’t hold anything with them hardly they are so massive; she could hardly SIT poor thing!), but the directions led them to a mall, so they just went somewhere else (we drove separately). I told Derrick to check the mall for our favorite Japanese place in Cape is in an outdoor mall. Sure enough, it was there, but this was an indoor mall! The lady who hosted knew who I was and gushed over us, asking us tons of con and anime questions. It was awesome and the place was pretty inside. So, Derrick and I accidently got a date alone during a hectic con! 0.o Crazy, but we didn’t complain! ^^ Our food was good; BEST California rolls I’ve ever had! The gyoza was good too. The rest of my food was okay, our miso blah (although I LOVED how Derrick’s salmon was on a FISH shaped plate! HA! <3), but I would still give this place an 8 out of 10 stars. It’s called Fuji’s. Derrick and I, finishing early, decided to walk around the indoor mall to see what they had. WOW! It was Friday at lunch time, in the summer, and it was DEAD!!! After twenty minutes, me in my cosplay flats and starting to ache, we headed back. We chilled and I got my final con items from the venders.
4:00, we had our self-defense class and I was determined to learn a lot. Dan’s story on why he got into self-defense was really inspiring and I felt bad that he could make Jillian drop to her knees as his test subject with only HIS THUMB! o.0 It called it the Jedi Party Trick, but it took lots of practice. I did try this time with Nathan since Nathan and Tabby are too different in height and Brown and I are the more subdued of our couples, Derrick and Tabby super competitive. Brown and I both had trouble, but he was super fun and patient with me, which I was so grateful for. He’s a good friend! ^_^ Jillian saw us and came over, showing both of us what we were doing wrong (we both were not wrapping our fingers around the attacker’s wrist once we were twisting their hands to surprise them). Nathan did hurt me once, but at least I know what that feels like for an attacker and am glad that if I learn it right, I can protect myself a tad. Anywho! Jillian, who knew my name and I wasn’t trying to fan girl, tried to guide Nathan’s hand on how to bend mine for the defensive move and she stopped and was amused, telling me, “Wow, Morgan, you’re pretty flexible, so it will take almost a full twist for you to fall. Nice.” >.< WHAT?! I have a talent physically! Now, if you read my Natsu 2013 review, I state how Derrick is near double jointed AND bendy, so Jillian and her aides struggled to make him buckle even a little. She said 10% of people are near immune to the basic move and Derrick was in that ranking. She said mine was close to 15%. I wonder what our kids will be like…Not sure how I feel about that, but I was grateful I got some praise…I think that’s what it was? There were cute babies there too and one was rocking so hard that he knocked his baby seat over. He wasn’t hurt, but I didn’t want his blood to rush to his head and his little face was panicking. I lifted me up and he gave me the sweetest smile, a man telling me I was nice to do that and would make a good mother for my quick reactions *blushes* 10 out of 10 and I hope I can continue to learn this needed art.
We were going to go to a cosplay café, which I heard later was Hetalia themed…0.o AGGGG! How I would have loved that, but the tickets sold out in 20 minutes they said! I decided to change out of cosplay.
Next was the opening ceremonies and the Iron Cosplay. I found it strange that the opening ceremony was the day after the con started, but Dan explained to me that he liked it for people were already here for a while and pumped. I sure saw that. Even though there were technical difficulties, they had sound guys in the back playing rocking music, throwing cosplay videos on the large screens on both sides, and Rodney, our chair and MC, kept us in the loop on everything! Wow! This man has energy and love for cons! He took a selfie of himself on stage with the crowd in the background, was asking about all the insane challenges you could unlock to win a free pass to next year’s con, randomly started singing and had random dancing fits. He was a blast and I could tell his hard working staff loved him like a king and a friend. This amazed me because normally, you don’t know who the con-chair is and they wave at the opening ceremony and then go. Despite the fact that he was busy, he was there for us, acknowledged all his workers, and just had fun, so excited for cosplay. I can see why Dan likes him so much! ^_^ He sadly told us that Johnny Yong Bosch, the star of the con (those of you who live under a rock, he was Adam Parks in Mighty Morphing Power Rangers and also is a huge name in anime voice acting, known probably most for his role as Ichigo, the main character of Bleach) had his flight delay and then his bus was stalled. Grrrr! Dan and Johnny are like besties, so I knew Dan was wanting to see him too. 🙁
As we were waiting for things to get fixed, Rodney called all the organizations up on stage to talk and he was joking with all of them in a playful, funny way, like they were all his pals. I loved that. My pal and Pokémon training partner, Danny, was up there in all his Shiny Gleceon glory. He did great! ^-^ This took a while and we introduced the other official guests. Dan and Jillian came up with the puppies, who didn’t want to get off the stage and were cuddling with each other…SO. KAWAII!!! =O Dan even told Rodney, who made fun of him for not using a microphone (he doesn’t need one) that he would get Rodney later with his Jedi Party trick and Rodney backed away, the crowd thundering with claps. Dan (we met each other at the stairway since the elevator was busy before the ceremony and he groaned that we were on the same floor then the whole time he kept pulling my Pokeball hat in my eyes and we were fussing like kids, going blah, blah, and making up sounds. It was so fun and we were both trying not to chuckle!) grabbed me before the ceremony started to see where I was sitting and he announced my name on stage and made me stand! I didn’t have time to be nervous like normal for he opened his mouth and told me and Jennifer, our guest author, that he knew that we were not at cute as him, but the crowd would learn something fron two authors. We shrugged at each other across the crowd and then gave him the female, “Hmmmm…Excuse ME?” look. HA! After this, they started the Iron Cosplay contest. This is where Rodney selected 15 people and they were divided into groups of 5. They had to in 15 minutes and with only 6 items from a box of random objects, create a cosplay! It was a riot! The winner was well deserved and I SO wish every con did this event! Genius and it got us all so pumped!
Maybe there was no Johnny or a rock concert, but Rodney and his energy made the ceremony and it was much fun! 9 out of 10! ^.^
After this, Miles and his pals wanted to go to some panels so the two couples went to a local pizzeria and it was delish! The weather was so nice that we ate outside and we had a great time, the pizza wonderful! 9 out of 10 only because the pizza fell apart so easily and it was messy to eat (Tabby and Nathan had to use a fork!) It was so needed for us to relax together. After this, we went to Cold Stone at Nathan’s begging. Miles and I had never heard of it until they mentioned it. It is a fancy ice cream place. They had a sweet shop too, but I knew they wouldn’t keep well for two days. 🙁 All that chocolate looked so good. I got a basic cookies and cream ice cream and the guys there saw our badges and were teasing us, saying they expected to see us in costume. They were using puns at Derrick the whole time since he wore his Batman hoodie, even handing his ice cream to him and telling him to enjoy his “Marvelious creation…” If you get it…yeah…-_-;; Sadly, the ice cream was gross! Derrick wasn’t a big fan either and I TRIED to like it. *sighs* Oh well.
We got back to the hotel and I was walking down to check something when I heard my name in a whisper. I spun around and saw no one, so I continued, then I heard my name super loud. I looked up the stair to see Dan with his wife Jillian. They were waiting for Johnny to come in to say hi and then have supper. When I walked up to him, he did something that shocked me; he hugged me! 0.o Now, Dan and I have discussed how sadly at cons, some people do not have personal space or care about yours and he has told me some horror stories. This touched me. We talked about the panel tomorrow, him asking if I was nervous. I admitted I was, but I told him bashfully that I am the type of person I get nervous beforehand then once it starts, I find my mojo and I go in, always doing my best. Instead of joking with me, he nodded respectfully and said that wasn’t a bad thing for it meant I cared, something my dad always says. He smiled and gave me a fist bump (which my friends later were jealous about) and telling him it would all be good and also said he invited another Missouri author to sit with us, which was neat in my eyes. This moment is a con favorite of mine.
After this, we went to Brown and Tabby’s room for an hour and played Uno. It was EPIC! We had so much fun and I was so grateful I had this quite time with such awesome people. 😀 Miles, Derrick, and I went to bed around 10:30, me finally sleeping most of night.
Day #3 and my panel day…oh boy!
I woke up around 8:00, which for me is good. I played Pokémon for a little bit and my crew were sleeping like the dead, nothing waking them up. So, at 8:20, I went down to the main floor and they had a breakfast buffet. It was a little pricey, but not much more. I was SO nervous for I knew that my panel was that day. I shook at my table as I skimmed through my note cards as a kind waitress got my milk. The buffet was good, the bacon was…WOW! The BEST bacon I have EVER had and that’s saying something! I texted Derrick to join me, but he never replied, so Brown and Tabby came and joined me later and it was good to unwind. I got back to the room at 9:15 and had to wake my crew up since we needed to be done at the con at 10:00 (they were supposed to wake at 9:00 at the latest). Derrick was shocked when I woke him. On this day, I dressed myself as Hungray from Hetailia. It took me longer than I wanted it to to get ready, but at 10:00, when the venders opened, I had to zoom out the door as Miles was still changing to go pick up some custom beads I got made for 2 Nerds on a Couch, we are super nice and talented! He JUST finished them when I got there as the doors opened, most of the venders still not there. You will them in the “Items I got” section at the very bottom. So worth it! ^-^
Since that only took about 10 minutes, I walked around to look at the booths, but no one was there, so I started to pass the waterfall lobby to get the elevator of doom when in the corner, I saw a young man talking into his cell phone and I was in my mind as I walked breezily by, “Oh…that’s Johnny Bosh…” I was walking up the stairs when at the top step, my mind smacked my senses at what I said and I tripped, twirling on my boot heel, and grabbed the balcony railing in one motion, my eyes wide as I stared to make sure. Sure enough, Johnny Yong Bosh was below me! My mind was repeating “What?! NANI?!” seventy-thousand times in 52 different frequencies and 67 different languages. He moved to join his band, who was setting up their fan table in front of the waterfall. I strode away to the elevator and tried not to fan out since Dan told me I could only meet Johnny if I acted like an adult and although I am an adult 80% of the time, I knew fan girling would knock down some points.
After we all got dressed, we headed down. Nathan, and Tabby had a panel to go to and Miles and his pals were going to head to the “Eyeshine is Neato” panel with Johnny’s band when we noticed their booth was opened. They had tons of prints for sale (pricey, but at least they were good quality). I decided to purchase one, a Power Ranger one that would look neat next to my Power Ranger print in my bedroom I got last year. Miles got a small one too. I figured you get one, pay, and then go since they had a panel and their scheduled autograph time wasn’t until Sunday. Still, I paid and the lady told me Johnny would only sign one item per line visit. I was confused, but the line kept moving and Miles was in front of me. There, at the end, was Johnny. Poor Miles was trying to put his wallet pack in his Li Syoaron backpack and the line moved, shoving his both and he dropped all his stuff. When I mean all his stuff…I mean ALL his stuff and it was right in front of Johnny. Miles, who is always Mr. Calm and “I can care less” looked super flustered and bent down to pick it up. Johnny got out of his chair to bend down and make sure Miles was okay, a sweet, small smile on his face. Miles didn’t see this, but I did and it made me smile. Miles grinned like I normally do with voice actors and pointed to the Eyeshine CDs at the table as Johnny signed his picture. Miles strutted a little, but I was proud at how well he did; he is a Johnny fan boy (in a respected way). He said, “I…I have all your CDs but the newest one.” Johnny smiled again and it reached his eyes this time. He told Miles, “You have good taste in music man. Thanks.” Johnny was much more business-like with me and zipped through me, but I called him Mr. Bosch and told him I was working with Dan. I’m not sure he even looked at me to be frank. He’s a huge star so I understand that and I was really happy to meet him, but I think because I didn’t brace myself to meet him, I didn’t have a chance to get excited/nervous butterflies like I normally do. Or I’m getting used to meeting stars. Not sure. He signed my picture (the other one was sadly in my room, but I saved it for Sunday), “Adam- It’s Morphin’ time.” I think his name is a line with a loop in the center! HA! =O Not sure what to think on that. Still, it was an honor to meet a childhood icon early.
Miles went to his panel after this and I sat with Derrick at a table, reviewing my panel notes and shaking. Sadly, I had to run up to the room and I…with the nerves…I threw up. 🙁 I hate to admit that, but I freshened up, took some medicine, grabbed all my stuff with Derrick’s help, and headed down to the panel room. It only took us about five minutes quietly in the back to set up during a Star Trek vs. Star Wars panel (it sounded like they were having fun). Dan and Jillian came in next then people started pulling in as Jennifer, the other Missouri author, and I sat at the table as Dan told assuming stories to get the crowd. It was as near full. 0.o Our panel was called “Breathing Life into Storytelling,” but Dan said it should be called “Breathing Death into Storytelling” Once we started, I got in my momentum and, like promised, Dan really teased me, but I fought back, making him almost spit him Mountain Dew out as I timed my wording right. My bag of tricks was a huge hit too and I think I did okay for my first panel. I rushed a little and my voice was higher than my professional voice normally is due to my nerves, but I got a lot of compliments, some shocked it was my first panel. Dan even told me I did well in a text later. ^-^ None of us sold anything, but I had a many people ask my questions, some timid like I was famous, but I think I at least encouraged some of them to try. I got recognized a few times at the con too as the author lady, having some fan girl squeals at me! HA! 😀 Again, since this was my panel, I am not going to rate it. Sure, it didn’t go like I expected, to quote Kero: “Expect the unexpected.” I had a good time, can say I did a panel, and got to work with these fine authors. I really hope I get to again. Here is part one of the video; the rest are also on my channel.
After this, I could breath. Derrick and I went to go get lunch for everyone at McAllister’s Sandwich place. It’s similar to a St. Louis Bread Company, but better. We had to choke our food sadly so it didn’t taste as good as it would have and it was pricey, but the mac and cheese was some of the best I have ever had and I am a mac and cheese expert! ^_^ This kept me full all day too. At 3:00, we went to a panel called “Here’s Johnny…Yong Bosch.” Sadly, we were in the last row, which Miles was grumbling about and Johnny talks SUPER quiet! The stories were cute and the questions good, but you could tell he was tired and I had trouble hearing him (and getting good shots of the panel, but it is all on my YouTube). Him and Jason David Frank, Tommy Oliver from Power Rangers, seemed to get in A LOT of trouble together! I would give this panel a 7 out of 10.
After this, I decided to take a shot at challenging the Cosplacon X and Y gym leaders who had their own unique badges. My friend Danny AKA Shiny Gleceon, have been battling and practicing for a month when we could and he is really, really good. I beat him once and we were both shocked since he has over 170 hours on his game and I have 33… But he is so nice, helpful, and encouraging, a good new friend. 🙂 We call each other partner. He ended up getting 4 badges. I was in line 45 minutes and the line was LONG and they were stuck in this little hall. It was confusing to tell who was battling whom and the gym leaders kept leaving so if you wanted to win, you had to play the whole con. They had limited badges sadly. I finally got to battle the fairy gym leader, who I later found out was one of the guest cosplayers. I ALMOST beat her! We were both on our last Pokémon, last hit, and her Pokémon went first. She left after that and only 2 gym leaders were left and the ice one had like SEVEN people in her line! It was nuts! I really like the thought, but it was not smooth at all. I hope they do this again, but give them their own room with maybe more gym leaders for time, 3 on 3 battles…I would give it 5 out of 10.
The main event! The Cosplay Royale! They had some good cosplayers and the number was enough to keep your interest, but not dragging long. The MC was cute and I liked her delivery. Rodney of course was there, being pumped, goofy, and starting random dances. He even told us they had a professional photograph studio set up in one of the rooms. Tabby told me she used it and the pictures looked awesome. The Royale was fun and I had a good time. My camera, sadly, was being weird so I missed filming it and my pictures look horrible because it was so dark. Yet, I saw cameras everywhere so I am sure it’s on YouTube and I’ve seen some amazing, front row pictures of the cosplayers. Tabby was in the middle and she really acted like a bird and made these insanely fierce battle cries and deadly faces, scaring the MC. The crowd roared when she did this and spread her wings! I wish she would have won, her and the Mewtwo, who I got a picture of with my just bought Master ball, but congrats to all the winners and contestants for putting on a great show. There were only 4 skits and the Sailor Moon one was SO funny and good! When they did the dance to “Bye, bye, bye,” I fan girl screamed so loud that I hurt Derrick’s ear! They did Gangdom style and Hit Me Baby One More Time. I’m glad they one, but all of them were great, especially when they all ran back on stage and danced behind Rodney. He just joined them and set out these amazing looking trophies. We also got to see these COOL BEAN cosplay videos! It was all such a blast! 9 out of 10.
At the end, Samurai Dan and Jillian did a stage show and they were as funny and fantastic as always. Their volunteer even put her cute little Lolita hat on the bamboo mat they chopped up for pictures (she got it back before they cut it). They did do something that I’ve not seen…they missed on their dangerous in the air cutting move! o,0 No one was hurt and they played along with it and did it a second time correctly, but I was surprised. 10 out of 10.
After this, we went to the most talked about event of the con…The 18+ Cards Against Humanity with Dan and Jillian. There were about 200+ people there and it was weird to hear everyone rip out naughty words. Dan kept grinning at me in the corner with my group and asked if I was okay once. He patted my Gleceon ears too! *sighs* We didn’t win any, but it was entertaining and Dan allowed filming. 0.o Still, I cannot repeat any of the topics, but it was fun. Too vulgar for me? Yeah…but that’s part of the game. I wish people would have quiet talking while they were reading the answers though; it was hard to hear. 9 out of 10. Dan let us all leave 5 minutes early and all of us stormed out of the room and invaded the Eyeshine concert, my light saber high in the air (which I think is now, after 3 years, officially dead for it was flickering so bad that I had to switch to my new LED num-chucks I got at Anime St. Louis this year. A moment of silence for this sharp bearer of light…). I did hang back and talk to Dan, being one of the last ones to leave and he signed my Samurai Dan button, upset I picked the one where his wife was chasing him with a sword (she signed the purples one and I thought blue was a boy’s color). I <3 how he signed it over his wife’s face! HA!
Miles and I went to the Eyeshine concert and the guitarist made us all go to the front of the stage, literally and we were in the second row so all the shots you see of the concert…NO ZOOM! I was so close that I saw perfectly with no glasses and I had to scan to get full images of the band (where the band was shirtless and broke one of his drumsticks…I’m not sure…o.0). Johnny was dancing and doing moves on the stage. He got some spit on me once by mistake and one time, he spit on the stage! But, I really liked their sounds, their moves, and interactions with the audience. Eyeshine is neato indeed! 9 out of 10.
At 9:30, I left the concert early since it was hurting my ears (I’m such an old kill joy). But, my heart was pumping with this adrenaline I’ve never felt before and it was awesome! 🙂 Miles asked to stay until midnight for the Saturday night dance, so I had to stay up, tired as I was, to let him in. I did finish my Percy book at least. He did come in right on the dot and Derrick was already out. I sadly got no sleep that night, but Saturday, normally the craziest day, was over.
Sunday- Final day and packing day! -_-;;
I didn’t sleep hardly at all, so I was a tad cranky, plus knowing we had all that stuff to pack was not a fun thought. Luckily, all the items I purchased fit in my Hello Kitty tote, so there was nothing large like usual. I convinced the boys to eat the buffet with me. It sadly wasn’t as good as last time, but the bacon was still heaven in my mouth! Probably knocked a week off my life, but… We packed after this and due to EVERYONE checking-out, the line for the elevator of doom was monstrous since it had a new 6 person limit…
OH! I didn’t tell you about the elevator dance party Friday night that was spread like wildfire all over the con! =] Well, we were in line to go downstairs early Saturday morning on our 4th floor when it finally dinged and the doors opened. Two girls in front of us stopped, counted, and said “Oh…six. Can’t get on.” and the elevator went down. Now, the elevators were small, but the two of them could have fit. One girl must have felt my quizzical look for she turned to look at me and stated, “Oh, there is a new limit to 6 people in the elevator at once. It’s posted downstairs. Last night, at least a dozen kids, maybe more, all crammed into an elevator and decided to have a dance party and all jump up and down at the same time. It got stuck, so now Cosplacon has placed a limit.” -_-;; Ah! People! I mean, I know you want to have fun, but be responsible! They could have got hurt or broke the elevator. No wonder hotels are leery of otakus… I am proud of Cosplacin though for doing something about it and most of the time, people obeyed it. Once we got in and there were 7 people total, but Derrick told me we won’t get in trouble. After my writing panel, Samurai Jillian was walking to the lobby and we both had to go up and we waited and waited for the elevator. While we did, she noticed the sign and I explained what happened. She shook her head and said, “Crazy kids…” and we shared a moment and ended up talking about Barnes and Noble stores and books for 20 minutes, her smile so nice. It. Was. AWESOME! =)
All right! Sorry I derailed, but this train is right on track.
Sunday. Packing day. Elevator was so full that we had to carry all our stuff down all the stairs and into the second lower level of the guest parking garage we had to use every day, but Thursday due to the parking lot being jammed (and it’s ‘amazing’ how some people park in parking garage…Please notice the air quotes…-_-;;). Thankfully, we all carried as much as we could and it took only two trips. At one point, I started letting people pass me who were going down (I was coming up for my second load) and I almost got knocked out with LARGE boxes about four times and I counted 20 people passing me. It took me 10 minutes to get back up there to floor 4! Derrick was worried, but hey! It was busy.
This chaos made us about 10 minutes late to our first panel “Ladies and Gentlemen’s dueling,” but Nathan and Tabby filled us in and sadly, there were only like 10 people in there. The group, Airship Vindus, are a Steampunk web series group on YouTube. They were all decked out in their gear and were super funny, but you did learn a lot about the art of dueling (not Yugioh sadly, but hey! Need some education at a con…*snickers*). I was shocked to find out that in pistol dueling, where you throw the glove down to challenge someone, it was considered, get this, ‘barbaric’ to shoot more that three times at your opponent. 0.o You’re shooting each other with guns?! What do you expect! The audience was shy, but Nathan, always bold, challenged his fiancé Tabby to the first duel. The offense? “Last night,” he said…Oh! SNAP! o.0 She smacked him good with that glove and won, defending her honor. Brown also challenged Derrick for playing the cement donkey on Worms On-line…Not sure what that means, but half the audience gasped. Derrick has very good aim. ^-^ There were other duels as well, most of them involving all the gold glitter ALL over the floor! I wish they would have had a bigger crowd, but I had more fun here than I thought I would and I learned some things. I would definitely go to one of their panels again. No, I did not duel because I am a wimp and my aim sticks, but I did have a funny offense if I got challenged and had to except… 😉 9 out of 10.
Right after this, we went across the hall to the Akita panel with Samurai Dan and Jillian and their two furry babies, Naya and Kuma! I LOVE these puppies. I have seen this panel before with Jillian at Natsu 2013, but any excuse to pet these darlings and feed them treats was grand. Jillian was so thrilled by all the questions, she even extended the panel by 20 minutes since there was not a panel after them. This was Miles’ first time meeting the dogs and I don’t think he liked their drool when they ate from his hand (at one point, he gave Kuma SIX pieces of treats at once! Kuma was so tickled pink and kept chomping…*sighs*), but Derrick and I went nuts, trying to reach for them every chance we got. Kuma lingered by me twice and let me pet him. Naya kept looking out the window (she likes to try to escape apparently, which was why the doors were closed). Dan sat on the side lines, looking pretty as always. 😉
Sadly, in the middle of it, Miles and I had to leave to get our Eyeshine autographs before they left at noon (it was 11:40). The line wasn’t long really and it was maybe a 7 minute wait, Miles and I one of the last ones to arrive. The band all signed my panda bag and really like it. Johnny even asked me if this was my autograph book and I told him yes, he said, “Nice!” I also gave him a poem I wrote and dedicated to him. NOTHING creepy, but to thank him for being who he is and a hero to many of us. My publisher Sheenah read it and liked it a lot. When I handed it to him and calmly explained it was to thank him for his talents, he squinted and I could see the sweat on his forehead asking himself if he had time to read it. I assured him he could read it later and he sighed and tossed it to the side. 🙁 Wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but I got over it. He told me there was a separate line for pictures and there were only 2 girls in front of me. One of them gasped and grinned at me, saying, “Oh my gosh! You’re…You’re the author lady from yesterday! Wow! Hi! I love your kitty ears and your shirt! You were great!” I nodded and smiled, telling her it was nice to be recognized, which it was, but still strange. >.< Miles got pictures with Johnny last night after the concert so he stood back. One of the staff picture grabbed my camera from him and smiled, saying she was taking pictures for everyone and shoved Miles up there, calling him little brother! Hehehe! All the band surrounded us as fast as lightning and they were standing normally, but out of the blue, Johnny gave them all a look and in a second, they were doing battle poses. My mind couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening and I barely got a battle pose in time before my camera snapped the picture. Miles just stood there, but it was fairly cool.
Johnny signed my Power Ranger picture too.
After this, we went back into the Akita panel for a half hour. I thanked Dan again for all he did for me, getting another hug and a picture with him. It was nice to talk to him and work with him. Their panel gets a 10 out of 10! Puppies! <3
Tabby and I booked massages for the end of the con; only a $1 a minute and walked around a bit while the boys sat down and ignored the world with their phones and games. Tabby got her massage first and then me and the boys got in line for the Pokémon Carnival. It was packed and we got in, me all pumped and…it was such a flop! I can see they really tried and the staff members were sweet and full of energy, but there were about 6 little carnival games at a few tables and if you won, you got one of those little prizes parents put in goody bags where they get like 50 of them for $1. I also read in the booklet there would be food, but there was none. I stayed for a half hour and tried a few games, Miles and Derrick not even interested. Tabby was getting a super bad headache and she laid on Nathan. I went to get my massage after this for my head was starting to pound. The massage lady was all decked out in Steampunk and she was super nice and although I only got a 10 minute massage, it was awesome. She made homemade candles too and they were reasonably priced. A massage table at a con? What’s better! Rodney came over and talked to her while I was there, upset and joking with her at how she got her food so late compared to everyone else (he went around and made sure all the venders had food or took orders to get them food if they couldn’t leave…HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! ;D) I got a few more little things and then went to get my crew.
I give the massage lady a 10 out of 10, Rodney a 9,000 out of 10, and the Pokémon Carnival, although it had potential, a 5 out of 10.
None of us felt well and the closing ceremony was the final item, so Derrick, Miles, and I headed home early. We left at 2:00, waving Jefferson City, out lovely state capital, sayonara. I sadly forgot to take my motion sickness pill with a pounding headache and lack of sleep on top of it. Halfway there, we hit a town and I asked Derrick to pull over to the gas station, where I got sick. Every little noise made me want to throw up and I walked out, smelling hot dogs, and almost ran back in the restroom. 🙁 Derrick got me a Pepsi, some bugles (salt and no real flavor), and a Pay Day, which I barely nibbled on since we hadn’t eater in a while. I nodded off in a restless, almost nightmarish fit of half-sleep, my neck hitting the back of my seat. It was awful, but only lasted an hour, so the last half hour until we got home, I was able to sit up and chat a little. We discussed the con and we loved our experience. ^_^ Will we return if Natsu has their event next year was our key question that we still don’t have an answer to.
We got home, unpacked, and then my buddy Evan came over where swam, I showed him what I got as we ate pizza and we watched two episodes of the Orange Island season of Pokémon and played Pokémon Stadium 2, which he NEVER played (but he was a pro at the mini games…). Derrick joined us later that evening after he got to log-in to do his alpha testing for Destiny, the new upcoming Elder’s Scroll game. That’s right! My Dar Bear got to be an ALPHA tester for such a highly talked about game. His little grin as he bounced around playing it was so precious. All this was a good end to our Cosplacon adventure.
“When one door closes, another one opens.”
That sure is true and I did see a golden light in this new realm and it is an experience this otaku author will never forget.
Rodney and loyal Cosplacon staff, thank you for being our home when we thought me loss our summer con. We hope our paths will cross again soon.
To share our experience, check out all the videos I mentioned on my Youtube Channel here.
Tokyo Street Fashion Show Group:
Awesome Cosplays and Items I Bought: :