Anime Mid-Atlantic - We each need a lead pipe.

The first Anime Mid-Atlantic was held June Fifteenth to Seventeenth, 2001, at the Holiday Inn Select of Richmond, Virginia. Four conventions have started in Virginia so far. Two remain; AnimeUSA in Arlingon, VA, and Neko-con in Virginia Beach, VA. (Otakon and Katsucon have both moved to the Baltimore Inner Harbour.) Just as Otakon, Nekocon, and Katsucon all have common origins, so do the other two Virginia conventions. After the first AnimeUSA in 2000, the staff split, one group to continue runing Anime USA, the other to form Anime Mid-Atlantic.

Anime Mid-Atlantic was one con I'm very glad I went to. After going to Animazement two weeks earlier, I wasn't too eager to get to another con right away, especially a first year con that was born from AnimeUSA. My bank account seems to only be going down, and another con wouldn't help. Of course, I wasn't thinking about letting the oppertunity of a con pass me by, and I planed on driving down two hours for Saturday and coming back during the wee hours of Sunday morning. That way I could enjoy about half the con and avoid paying for a hotel room. Of course, that was before I heard about a trip to King's Domionion on Saturday, and before I realized that money has no value unless you spend it. So, having the time available to go and an invitation to room with some friends, I decided to go. It would be a nice small con where I could just hang out with some friends. Maybe I wouldn't even buy a badge until Saturday. As it turns out, thought, it's pretty darn lucky I decided to go.
Thusday before the convention, I got an instant message telling me to pick up my friend Iris, who was supposedly driving down from the DC metro area with two other friends. Why? Well, somebody's cute little purple Dodge Neon didn't have room for both three people and somebody's big set of wings. But I was happy to help out and have somebody to drive down with. But, did Iris know I was picking her up? No, somebody forgot to tell her. And thus my adventure began.
Thursday the a/c breaks down. So what do we do, call the repair man, of course. Well, he can come Friday. I wanted to leave early Friday morning to avoid possible rushhour problems. Well, the repair guy is supposed to come by ten, and be finished by noon. Good enough. So, he comes, and while trying to figure out what is broken on the heat pump, decides that shaking it back and forth violently would give him the answer. So what happens? He ruptures the coolant line. Nice, corrosive, toxic Freeon spews all over the place. To make a long story short, because of that, I didn't get to leave until about one.
Well, I go pick Iris up, and we make our way down to Richmond making sheep noises at stoped traffic and singing They Might Be Giants songs. Well, that was more Iris; I just enjoyed her little antics until she fell asleep. Luckily, I managed to get to her before she thought she had been utterly forgotten.
Well, we get there, safe and sound, despite heavy rain, lots of backed up traffic, and more cops than I ever want to see on a road trip again. I only have one bag, but it would be nice to check into the room and relax for a while. But nobody's there. So I put my stuff in a friend's room (thank you!), and went down to the lobby to see what was going on. So far, it was pretty much nothing. A few costumers, and a few friends were mulling about, since there wasn't really much to do yet. Well, after a quick drive to Best Buy, I went to check out some of the panels. To my delight, it was actually quite interesting. In fact, over the weekend, I actully went to several panels. For a while now, I had been avoiding panels, because most of them didn't interest me, or were at conflicting times with other thing. But the panels at AMA were nice and well planed, as well as quite interesting.
Finally, most of the people who were coming finally got there, and the rest of Friday night was spent eating pizza and chatting in the hotel's nice lobby and a dip in the pool.
Saturday morning was mostly about the dealer's room, and a few panels. As morning turned into afternoon, though, Amy, Carolina, and Alex showed up. With very little going on at the con itself during that time, we went out to the local mall in search of entertainment. My first words once inside the mall: "Food." Once I returned, though, the con was in as full swing as it would get, and I felt like getting into costume. So, out came Spike, and I enjoyed the occasional shout-out and photo op. Soon, it was time for the cosplay, though. I got a great place to take photos from, and enjoyed the skits and walk-ons.
With the cosplay over, it was time for dinner. It was also getting late, and many places had closed. So we piled into my car and went in search of open places. We found a Friendly's. It was nobody's first choice, but it was open. And the service? Well, our waiter was pretty unique. Granted, we didn't exactly look like their regular kind of customers. It wasn't bad service or anything, but our waiter, well, I think he had just been on his smoking break. He must have wanted us to keep those menus, cause he never came back to take them. Finally, after that experience, we went back to the hotel to join in on the dance.
The dance was fairly small, since there weren't that many con attendees around, but it was still pretty good. Rob Lantz took on the role of DJ, and played a lot of fan favorites as well as some really interesting tracks. All the food in my stummach didn't quite agree with being pulled around left and right, so it took me a while to get into things, but once I hit the dancefloor, it was all good. Even the dance lost it's appeal after a while, once my energy had left me and friends started leaving for permanent breaks. Well, that just meant it was time to crowd everybody into a single hotel room and figure out some shinanigans. Our fold up bed was the perfect tool...
Well, we went around various places in the hotel, taking pics of us on the bed. Since I was on the bed most of the time, I only got one photo of us all. One is plenty to remember it by, though! We pulled the bed along until Uncle Ben decided he didn't like us and made us take it back. So what did we do? Well, we took it back and then hit the lobby to chat with others down there. We managed to keep that up until about four in the morning when the hotel staff asked us to leave so they could clean. And that's exactly what they did. They politely asked us to leave so they could do their job. They didn't demand, they didn't condesend, they just asked nicely, and we were happy to comply. Of course, it was bed time anyways.
Sunday when I woke up and ventured out of my room? I could hardly tell there was a con going on. Granted, it was nine in the morning, but nobody was around, and even the con signs and flyers and such were nowhere to be seen. Just the tables and a few staffers were to be found in the main convention area. I was pretty tired, so I went back to the room to sleep. I woke up when people came to say goodbye; a small group of people were headed up to King's Dominion instead of spending the last day at the con. Wise choice; nothing much was going on Sunday except for repeat showings and gaming tournements. It wasn't for me, though, so I wished my friends farewell, and got ready for the ride home myself. After lunch at an Italian restaurant with an interesting parking space, I took Iris back home. After that, it was up to the middle of nowhere to stay at friend's house before going back to my own home.

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Final Thought

Items of Interest and some Semi-Random Thoughts



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