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Monthly Archives: May 2011

POSTED: Pics of the Trip

I posted on PhotoBucket, the pics of the trip. Enjoy!

http://s30.photobucket.com/albums/c316/chibiflor/Anime%20North%202011/?albumview=slideshow

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Day 4: (AKA: The Trip Home)

Since I have been so talkative for the rest of the trip, I want to keep this simple. We went home. Wait, you wanted more? Like how the trip home was like? Okay, I will do that. Eventually . . . What now? Fine!

I ended up waking up early, so we both went off to the local buses early. I figured we could get some eats downtown. So we took the bus to the subway, then rode the subway until we reached Dundas Street. At that point we emerged and found a Mr. Sub restaurant. Apparently, Mr. Sub is a chain in Canada, because I ended up seeing more as we went home via Greyhound (more on the Greyhound later). Anyway, we eat and took off looking for the main bus terminal.

Apparently, upon leaving the main bus terminal, we had turned the wrong way. As a lady told us. We had to turn around and go about 3 blocks. There we would find the Toronto Bus Terminal. Apparently, there two Terminals? I don’t know, but there were two buildings (one closed – the other open) which buses came into. We had gone to the building we had been let off on, which wasn’t the correct one. The correct one was across the street.

We sat there for an amazing long time. Then again we had come very early, so the wait was that much longer. We sat and sat. Melissa fell asleep while I fought to stay awake. It was very boring. Until just a few minutes before we departed. Then a young girl arrived who had also attended the convention. We chatted until it was time for us to leave. She did leave for a few minutes to run to subway for some food. In which we watched her stuff. In gratitude, she gave me a Doritos bag.

Pretty much the moment she gave me the bag, the bus showed up. So we had to leave. We lined up at Gate number 7. They scanned my ticket and then later took my ticket. I was able again to get on with my bookbag and my duffel bag. Then we were off!

The next hour or so, was fairly boring. I did get to see a lot of Canada through the bus. Since we stopped in a lot of areas. Eventually, we made it to Niagara Falls and the Rainbow Bridge. (UGH!!!) I have to say now, that I have crossed the Rainbow Bridge several times on Memorial Day – Not Good – Bad Even. Now on a bus, we had to wait in line as each bus went through the same process. Unload luggage, kick people off (with all their stuff), people claim luggage, and wait in the line to be seen. It took even longer this time, because of the US’s fear of everyone foreign and because of the walkers on the bridge. (We came up on the Peace Bridge before – no walkers). They seemed to take priority with the walkers, so it took longer.

Eventually, I had my turn to go. They asked me my citizenship, where I was born, what was I doing in Canada. Then they let me go. However, right before I left, they had me put all my bags through the x-ray machine. I noticed right before I claimed my duffel bag, one guard called over another and chuckled. Privacy is not something given for buses crossing the border. Oh well.  Anyway, we got on and headed to the airport. I called my parents and told them I was on my way.

Finally, we reached the Downtown Bus Terminal. My parent’s and my dog (who had been staying at their house) where there to greet me. They took me back to my house. When I reached home and I took everything off and washed it. This is a good precaution against bed-bugs. Then I went to sleep. Finally the trip was over!!!!

Day 3: Wrap up

Sadly, I was unable to write on Day 3. Mostly this was due to the fact I was just too tired at the end of the day to write anything. So, I am going to write about it now. I hope you will pardon the distance that I now have to the actual events of the day. I will try to be as accurate as possible. It is only a few days later, so I should be pretty good yet. Here goes:

Tuesday 12:57 PM:

Day 3: Wrap up

After I wrote my wrap up for the day, I packed everything. This was because I had to switch hotels later on in the morning. I am not a morning person and I felt that it would be better to pack before bed, so that in the morning all I had to do was get dressed and quickly pack the final items I kept out.

However, right before bed Melissa came back and said that she was going to stay out all night and play magic. Which I didn’t have a problem with, however, I needed to check out before 10 am. This was because Lisa and her husband where going to give me a ride between the Marriott and the DoubleTree Hotels. Which was greatly needed since I didn’t have wheels on my suitcase (it’s very old). I also wanted my money back from the Marriott, so I was going to check out no matter what. And I had no intention of going back once I checked out. So, she decided to pack and leave with her suitcase.

In the morning, I got up before the alarm and dressed. When I went downstairs and checked out. Lisa and her husband arrived and drove me to the hotel. I stowed my luggage with the convention (Since the DoubleTree charges one dollar per item stowed) and went to pay our fees for the night. We were staying on the convention’s plan. What that means is that the convention pays for the hotel room and you pay the convention 10 dollars per person, per night. It is available for Staff members and Volunteers (Limited Availability for Volunteers and the rules are a tad different).

It is how I used to pay for the hotel whenever I went to Anime North. However, I don’t do it anymore for most of the convention due to fact that I have had trouble before with crash space. However, on Sunday, Crash Space is available for Staff members who are from out of town only. And most people take off on Sunday. So the options are better that day. Many times, it is only one or two people to a room. A lot better than the rest of the convention.

Anyway, I paid and went back to work. I figured eventually someone would tell us where we were going. I spent most of the day inside the Staff Lounge. Where were encouraging people to eat, because we needed to get rid of as much of the food as possible. Which worked fairly well. We still had a lot of food around at the end of the day, but we had gone through a lot too.

Still, the issue of where we were going to sleep lingered. We still didn’t know towards the end of the day, and the person who took care of that was gone (once I figured out who that was). We had no keys, no room number, no where to go. We couldn’t go home because I had booked the bus for the next day. We were stuck.

Finally, our dept. head saved us. She was leaving that day and would no longer need her room. It was booked by the convention as the green room for guests. It was also, where she and a couple of others slept. It was a two room suite with two pull out couches and a king bed. I have no clue how much it costs the convention to rent this room, but I know it costs more than my room in the Marriott – way more! They had this room full of snacks and treats for the guests. They still had it for Sunday night, so we stayed there. I took the full-out couch and Melissa took the king. It was HUGE!!!

Still, we both couldn’t sleep and talked for a while. Eventually, Melissa went for a walk and I went to sleep. Around 3:30 am, the phones (yes there were 2) rang. Someone decided to call the room! I was torn out of my dream just to have no one answer when I picked up the phone. I am sure they were not looking for me, but geez why 3:30 am? Was it that important?

Melissa came back in and started to take the food out to the Conn Office. They would use it the next day for tear down. She decided not to sleep and I decided to sleep on the king. I went back asleep and didn’t wake up again until morning.

Day 2: Wrap up

This is the final entry that I posted on Day 2 of Anime North 2011. It was written at 12:55 AM (Technically on Day 3) and is about the events of that day. Enjoy:

12:55 AM:
Day 2 Wrap up
So, Day is now over – Obviously, it’s 12:55 AM. So, why don’t I explain what happened to me the rest of the day. Well, I stayed upstairs for a while I rested and slowly got changed into my fursuit. I had problems as I discussed earlier, but I decided to give it go anyway. Sadly, I didn’t make it far before I had to trim her purple hair. It was getting in-front of the the eye holes and making it very hard to see. I’d love to remove the hair all together, but sadly I cannot. So I had to make do with that I had.

Still, visibility wasn’t good enough to walk down the street with the head on. So I carried it down to the Sheraton. There, I put it on and tried to move around in costume. Sadly, by that time I was very hot and seeing was almost impossible. So, I floundered around for a while before giving it another go. And eventually, I made it back to the Doubletree with my head on. (I didn’t have it on the entire time).

Once I made the trek back to the Staff Lounge, I didn’t really leave until later on that night. I stayed and watched the room and did a few tasks. Mostly though, it meant that I sat and talked to the different staff members who came by. So, it was actually a lot of fun.

It is interesting that the most comments that I got about my costume were while inside the staff lounge – while I happened to be partially out of costume. I had my head off and my coat off, as well as my shoes. So it wasn’t the full effect. My only guess as to why is that not many staffers dress in costume. I’d say about 15 to 25 percent do. Most of those are younger. So maybe it just something unusual in the lounge. Either way, it’s interesting!

After spending a few hours working there on Friday and all the time I clocked today – I have provably made my quota. That doesn’t mean I won’t come back tomorrow. I will most likely take a panel or two in then head back and watch the room until the end of the final day of Anime North.

Day 2: Results of Wearing Fursuit

Here is the post I wrote on Day 2 of Anime North. It was not posted due to the fact I didn’t pay for internet in my room. It’s almost 17 dollars Canadian a day. Way too much money, especially when you think I wasn’t in that room very much! Anyway, here it is:

11:30 PM:
Results of wearing my new suit

After my last entry, I went up to my room and got changed into my fursuit. Everything went as planned until I put the Balaclava on then put the head on. I found there was little field of view – even worse if I didn’t wear my glasses. I literally couldn’t see the ground beneath my feet. I had two tiny mesh filled holes to look out of. Not enough sadly.

I could manage ok if I didn’t have a problem with my glasses steaming up. I didn’t realize this problem until I tried to use the head at the con. With all the layers on and the slightly muggy weather – plus me being very active, added up to a very moist environment. Which made seeing almost impossible from time to time.

I am not angry about the deficiencies of the head. I choose a new fursuiter because of the cost and the opportunity to support someone new at the craft. And I plan to give her feedback soon. Plus, I honestly didn’t know about the sight issues or any of the minor issues. I could have researched it, of course, but something like this is best experienced. It gives you an idea of what needs to be done for the next project. I can’t say what it will be. I may end up going with a neko outfit for the time being and roll with it. But I don’t know. I think cost will be a major factor. I honestly don’t know what I will be able to afford in the future. I will have to figure that out later.

At Home: Will finish Anime North 2011 Posts shortly

I am all at home now and am well rested! Anime North was a success. We had at least over 18 thousand people show (They are still doing the final counts). And while I did have spotty internet, that is not the total reason why I have not blogged everyday. Usually, by the end of the day you get really tired and just don’t have it in you. Particularly at the end. So, I will post later today the final blog entries for Anime North 2011. See you there . . .

Day 2 at the Con

I’m back at my hotel lobby again and I have wifi again. So, I wanted to give you a quick update on what has happened today.

After I logged off the computer, I walked over to the Doubletree. Which is a VERY, VERY long walk! But that is the price I pay for the convenience of having my own room. Next year, I WILL fix this! I will have a room in the Doubletree or the Sheraton so help me god. Anyway, I went over and I watched the Staff Lounge for a while. Which was good because there really wasn’t any other staff here to watch it.

While there, I learned that I did have access to the internet and I will provably write from there in the future. But, I had fun taking care of the food and talking to other staff members. I wanted to stay longer since there was no one else to watch the room, but I had to leave around 12:15 to run my workshop.

My workshop was the Improv Workshop in the Waxman Room in the TCC. Which I wasn’t totally crazy about the location. At first, it was because of how hot I thought it was going to be. Later, it was because of security blocking access to my workshop. The workshop is located in the nice section of the TCC and is watched at the door by both Volunteers and Security. I got questioned by both. Technically, I am staff – that means I can go almost anywhere without question! That includes the TCC. On top of that, I had issues finding the place, but I ended up making it okay.

However, that was not true of the attendees. They had trouble finding the place (worse than me). And were hassled. Which made the numbers real low. It did eventually begin to grow, but it was slow.

Besides attendance, overall the workshop went well. I had some issues with a couple of students trying to become the instructor and I had a couple of issues with communicating what I meant. Which I will need to improve upon next year. But overall, it wasn’t too bad!

Well, I have to go upstairs. Which means no internet. So, I’ll see you later!

Updates from Toronto

It’s Saturday and I am really here in Toronto. Sadly, I have had spotty internet at best, so I could not update what was going on yesterday. I did, however, write down what I thinking as things were happening. Which will be today’s first post. I hope to post at least one more time before bed, but who knows! It does mean, however, that posting articles will have to be on hold. I simply don’t have the access to get them. Sorry.

Here is the updates from Yesterday:

At 11:57 AM:
I am on the MegaBus to Toronto Canada that is supposed to leave at 11:30. Which has obviously has happened. Yeah right! Actually it is because a couple of people need some VISAs checked, so we are stuck here waiting. Which apparently now means someone is getting kicked off. I feel for her, but I guess it has to be, it has to be. Anyway, I am sure we’ll be off soon!

On a side note, I got on just fine with my two carry-on bags and suitcase. So I am all set to go to Anime North. So lets go!

12:51 PM:
We’ve been in Customs for about a half hour and are now waiting to go. We had to wait for the bus driver to unload all our suitcases, grab our stuff (all of it), and exit the bus. At that point, we went in a small building where we had to declare who, what, when, where, why were in Canada. It went smoothy and I am now back on the bus waiting to go. Now if the bus would only start up!

Sadly, the bus driver came on the loud speaker and said they two people haven’t made it all the way through yet. They are missing their bags but all bags are accounted for. I wonder how long this delay will cost us. God it is hot!

1:04 PM:

I think the Saga of missing luggage/people going to Canada is reaching its end. I think they cannot continue on. I hate to say this, but make a decision and go! They are arguing with the bus driver, just stop and let me go! His French accent is cute, but hard to understand. I WANT TO GO!!!!!

1:40 PM:

Yup Still here. Exciting ain’t it? We should have been in Toronto by now! But instead, we are STILL sitting at the border. This is all because some minors got caught with some interesting bags. Or so the story goes. I have also heard they may/or may not be unattended minors. Still, at this point – I don’t care! I want to go!

Wait! I heard something – are we going? WOOOTTT… We’re going! Let’s go!

1:50 PM:

We have been on our way for a few minutes. When we were leaving the bus driver said that is would be 1:45 minutes to 2 hours based on traffic. We are so late now, but I may end up sharing a taxi to the airport. It should make up some time! Of course, it will cost more, but I can take that. Now it’s just left to me to ride and enjoy!

2:55 PM:
We have almost made it to Toronto. I am glad because I want to get off the bus and get to the hotel. I am sure everyone here has a similar sentiment. I’ll write more tonight!

9:37 PM:

Well We ended up sharing a cab with those ladies going to the airport. Which got us to the hotel in less than 45 minutes. By 4pm, we were in line and ready to go. I got my reservation, but there was a couple of problems (1) my card was declined. Apparently I needed to tell my bank first when I travel aboard. Woops. I’ll remember that next time.

(2) they sprung a extra hundred dollar fee on me! When I got there, I panicked! What was I going to do? They said there was an extra 50 dollars a night security deposit. Which I had no way to pay. Instead, they “allowed” me to pay them 50 bucks total. Apparently, it is not only a insurance policy but is a line of credit for extras. Thanks, I wanted that! Now I have little cash for spending. Thanks.

Anyway, we ended up getting in and the bill will be paid. So, we got in unpacked and managed to make it to the Doubletree (Where Staff sign in and where I work) by 6-6:30pm. I was there until 8:30 pm watching the room. Then I headed over to the Sheraton (The other main hotel of the convention) and tried to find the swap meet. Which I couldn’t find. Either, I was too late or they didn’t have it this year. It sucked because it is one of my favorite events in Anime North. I doubt I will see it again – which makes me sad. It was just so cool!
I did find some video game dealers who had set up in the Sheraton, but sadly overall their games were overpriced and were out of my price range. For instance, “Plants vs Zombies” DS was being offered at 25 dollars Canadian. At home, I could have picked that exact game up at Gamestop for 20 US (NEW). I know that sounds expensive, but when you figure in that 1 dollar Canadian equal 1…. dollars US. It’s way too much! The Pattern fit most of the other games I saw. The only reasonably priced games where very-old games. For instance, they were selling many N64 Cartridges for 20 dollars and some less. That was a good price, I just couldn’t pay for it! (Thank you Marriott!) I guess tomorrow is another day!

I will write soon!

Bronies are just wierd . . .

God I love you Bronies! You keep on giving the wierd!

I’m all packed and ready to go . . . almost!

Well, I’ve spent most of the day packing and now I only have a few more items to pack. Tomorrow, I go out for an audition and stay at my parent’s house. From there, I will head out to Toronto on Friday. That’s it – I’ll be at Anime North 2011. Wow, that’s it. It’s really it. All my planning, all my work, done. All I need to do is wait.

God this is killing me! I want to do something – ANYTHING!!!!! I feel like I should be doing something. Fixing some problem. Advertising for my stuff. Fixing my suit. Scraping together money. Calling the hotel – ANYTHING!!! But no, that is not needed. I have planned the trip. It’s done. Now all I need to do is go on it. It feels just so weird. I feel spent. Like a giant weight has been lifted and now I am free. But why do I want the weight back? GOD GIVE ME SOMETHING TO DO!!!

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