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Apr. 2nd, 2013

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We'll go dancing in the dark...





This song has been in my head all day... just thought I'd share.

Apr. 1st, 2013

Photography

Sakura-Con: First batch of pictures... general convention snapshots



The quick-and-dirty and easy photos... the general convention shots, which I actually didn't take too many of.

Pictures behind the cut...Collapse )

Mar. 31st, 2013

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Sakura Con Day 3 - home!



Tadaima! (I am home!)

The hotel had storage for guests that weren't leaving right off, so we packed up and stored our stuff. The breakfast place totally messed up our orders, but since they weren't unpleasant and we were in a hurry we went ahead and ate them anyhow. Bacon instead of ham on my breakfast sandwich isn't exactly a deal breaker.

Once at the con, we wandered until I had to go the last photoshoot... when we started, we had just one photographer (me) and four cosplayers - but at it's height we had four photographers and ten cosplayers! Plus, since we'd set up right off the main entrance, there was a lot of attention from passers-by. Once again I forgot to hydrate, and Brenda came to my rescue with a bottle of water.

We got done later than expected, and even though the hotel was well organized and it only took twenty minutes to get our stuff and car... we missed the 1.30PM ferry. I hadn't wanted to drive around, but I wanted to sit in the sun for an hour-and-a-half even less... so we drove around. We're already mostly unpacked, fed, and chillin', and the 3.00PM ferry hasn't even docked yet.

There's more unpacking and cleanup to do, but it's time to go veg in front of the TV... there's nothing undone that can't wait.

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Sakura Con Day 2 and Day 3 begins - I don't wanna go home!



Day 2

We founnd a nice little deli for breakfast just a few doors down from the convention center. I had a nice English muffin with ham, cheese, and egg... The only drawback was that they had no coffee, only hot tea. What kind of place has no coffee at breakfast. What kind of place in Seattle has no coffee period? We're going back this morning, but I'm hitting the Starbuck's next door first.

First thing on the agenda was Artist's Alley and the Exhibition hall - total sensory overload between the crowds and all the cool stuff for sale. We only picked up a couple of small things despite all the temptation... I'll head back today, right before we leave, to make a final decision on a couple of things though.

Brenda had a panel, so off she went and I wandered the hall for a while photographing cosplayers before heading off to mine... Which ended up to be one of the coolest things I did all weekend. The panel was titled "Anime Architechure", and it turned out the moderator was a Masters candidate in architetcture and land use planning at UW who had studied in Japan. The presentation was a wonderful one dealing with Japanese culture, how it was reflected in architecture and the built enviroment, and how that in turn was reflected both in the (visual) background in anime and sometimes affected the plot. The Q&A discussion afterward was equally awesome - but I had to bail early for a photoshoot.

The photoshoot turned out to be equally awesome... on Fri, we'd only had about four cosplayers and two photographers. We'd all decided to pass the word to other Sailor Moon cosplayers we saw in the halls on Fri and Sat to boost attendance some (since we didn't make the 'official' schedule), and we suceed beyond our wildest dreams! Almost twenty Moonies in cosplay, and it seemed to be almost an equal number of photographers. ("I told two friends, and *they* told two friends... the numbers add up!) We had to go out into the park to find enough room to shoot, and the procession drew quite a bit of attention. (Everyone knows Sailor Moon and eight Usagi's in various outfits really stood out.) The energy level was incredible... and at the end I was drained.

I met back up with Brenda, and we wandered back down to the same little deli... Between coming off the high from the shoot, forgetting to hydrate, and forgetting to eat lunch I really needed to decompress, drink, and eat. We ended up going back to the hotel and just chilling for a couple of hours.

Back to the con to wander and photograph some more, and then we went to the Cosplay Contest... many, many, way cool cosplay that the players had obviously spent many hours researching and building. I disagreed with some of the judge's choices, but I don't envy them trying to seperate the superb from the sublime. (I've judged at almost that level in the SCA, and it's *hard* to do.) We had a brief break before it was time to go get in line for Cosplay Chess, and when we saw how long it was, we though about how tired we were and bailed out. (Not only did we not want to stand in line, but the contest and the chess game both required a good lens with a long reach - which I do no have.) Instead we hit the hotel bar for a drink and wind down before heading off to bed.

Day 3

A short one today... Brenda is going to check us out of the hotel while I head over for yet another photoshoot, and then we'll head home. I think we're aiming for the 1.30PM ferry, and I don't want to miss it because the next one is at 3.00PM and I *DON"T* want to drive around. I'm too tired to drive an hour and deal with the traffic if I don't have to.

Well, I don't want to go home, but it's to head off to get coffee for Brenda and start getting organized.

Mar. 30th, 2013

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Sakura Con - Day 1 and Day 2 begins



Ohaiyo! (Good morning!)



I found a different set of complementary computers this morning, in the back if the lobby bar. (!?!) Speaking of which, the lobby here is huge, it wraps around two side of the buildng and runs the length of the block on both sides. But, between being only steps from the convention center and having three floors of convention/meeting space of their own, I suppose they must see from pretty good crowds from time-to-time. I should take a moment to give kudos to the hotel, other than the crappy coffee in the coffee shop, they've been unfailingly well organized, helpful, and polite.

Day 01

We ended up eating breakfast in the hotel yesterday, very pleasent and comfortable but also very expensive... we found a little cafe down the block which hopefully will be cheaper. Four days at con can get a little expensive, so we need to keep an eye on the expenditures.

Brenda had an early panel on Cosplay, so I went to the opening ceremonies which was pretty fun. Until late afternoon, we were both on seperate tracks and so we only saw each other in passing.

The photoshoot with a group of Sailor Moon cosplayers went well despite having a much lower attendance than the activity on the forums would have suggested. (I'll be shooting them today and tommorrow too, so we'll see how it goes.) Over the day, I collected a lot of shots of Sailor Scouts, for an anime/manga series that's just over twenty years old now it still holds a lot of fascination for many.

My first panel ended up being canceled, so I spent more time wandering around and photographing the cosplayers - and there was some incredible cosplay going on... Some people are very dedicated, I saw one girl cosplaying Chi (from Chobits), and over the course of the day I saw her in pretty much all of her outfits from the series - in order. There's been a nice mix of new and old overall, along with many people in kimono. Renting the fast lens turned out to be a brilliant idea, as the lighting in the convention center has been uniformly horrible. I've been shooting a mix of just snapshots and trying for some portraiture, but mixed results on the latter. The cosplayers aren't really in that mode, and I still need to work out how to bring them out.

In the midst of all this, I also hit the dealers room - which was a total sensory overload between the crowds and all the cool stuff. I could have spent a fortune just on clever t-shirts...

Then it was time for a panel on creating AMVs, which was a little different than I expected but still interesting and useful. I have a couple of ideas for AMV, but they're one of many projects on the back burners. After that, Brenda and I hooked up and wandered around and headed over to the food court at Westlake Center, which has an amazing assortment of ethnic fast food, for dinner. She had an udon bowl, but nothing caught my eye and sadly I just defaulted to a chicken sandwich from McDonald's.

We came back for a panel on "Anime Girls and Bishounen (pretty boys)", but it turned out that the moderator wanted the crowd to discuss what they felt was attractive about their favorties... this felt a little skeevy so we bailed and wandered some more just watching and chatting with various cosplayers.

We hit a late night panel on abridged series and parodies, which turned out to be pretty amusing as well as informative. One of the moderators premiered his new video abridging/parodying Sword Are Online (which I've wanted to check out), which was funny as hell. (Even to Brenda, who didn't catch all the MMO in-jokes.) The panel was still going on at 11.30, but when they started a new video (the series didn't appear too interesting) we ended up bailing.

We'd hoped to get to the late night adult (hard PG/soft R no nudity) costume context, but we were both just wiped out... Ended up coming back to the room, chatting a bit about Saturday's schedule, and hitting the hay.

Day 2

In some ways, more of the same, in others different stuff... we're hitting the artist's room and the dealer room together first thing, then Brenda has a series of panels on Japanese culture while I have another photoshoot and more anime panels. Her alaram will go off soon, so it's time to go get coffee for her and take it up.

Mar. 29th, 2013

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Sakura Con - Day 0 and Day 1 begins!



Found a complimetary computer in the lobby... So I'm actually able to make a full post! I apologize for any spelling mistakes, no spell checker that I can find, but I don't know IE all that well.

Day 0

We caught the ferry we planned, and had a nice ride over. Ran into both other otaku and friends on their way to the con. Downtown traffic wasn't so bad, and both the hotel and the con were pretty well organized, so less that two hours after getting off the ferry we were checked into both and were sitting in the lobby bar with a nice beer. We wandered over to Westlake Center for dinner, then back to the hotel bar to hang about and chat. (The room is pretty small, and with all our stuff not a lot of room to hang about in.) Eventually back to the room and to bed.

Day 1

Up early as usual... I found less on the street to photograph than I'd hoped, but there's a couple of nice shots that I hope come out. The otaku are already out on the street in force, I don't know if they're up early or up late, or where they're going... The con run 24 hours, but opening time is hours away yet.

Nobody seems to have a good idea of where to get breakfast... Downtown in my (admittedtly limited) experience are always great for lunch and dinner, but not so much for breakfast. We'd hoped to avoid eating in the hotel because it's so dang expensive, but there doesn't appear to be a choice.

This morning is going to be slow, so I may either hit the opening ceremonies or just take a midmorning nap (we are technichally on vacation after all). But I've got a cosplay meetup to shoot at noon, and then it's crowded from there to as late as I care to be awake. Time to get going, I want to wander around with the camera a bit more then it'll be time to hit the hotel coffee shop and take coffee up to Brenda.

P.S. I despise Windows 8.

Mar. 28th, 2013

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Sakura Con Day 0 begins!



The freaks and geeks and nerds and otaku are on the move in Seattle... A bunch of friends are on their way to, or are already at, Norwescon down in Seatac and we're off to Sakura Con in Seattle itself in just a few hours.

Not that much to do today, but it all has to be done in time to catch the 3PM ferry out of Seattle...

Brenda packed last night, other than a few last minute items. I'll pack my stuff today. (It sometimes annoys Brenda that from a standing start, I can be packed and ready to go generally in under an hour..) I've got to make sure we have all the printouts for the hotel and con pre-reg, then clean out and pack the van.

The schedule is still in a flux, Brenda has hers nailed but I have several times when I want to be in three places at once! Ah well, it'll all work itself out in the end. Having a lot of interesting things to do is a Good Thing... When we talked schedule last night, Brenda reminded me that I'm not 20 anymore (thanks dear!) and should think thrice about planning eighteen hour plus days across the weekend.

As I said yesterday, though I'm going to try, posting to LJ from a phone isn't conducive to much more than quick updates... live updates will be on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/derek.lyons.1029), and I'll post full entries here next week.

Ittekimasu! (I'm off, see you later!)

Mar. 26th, 2013

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Eight hours back on Facebook...



Just eight hours back on Facebook, and I'm already reminded powerfully why I took a break in the first place.

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Sakura-Con T-2

Almost ready for Sakura Con...

Completed:
  • Hotel reservations and con pre-reg: Done!
  • Schedule printed out and both of our schedules gridded out: Done!
    (There's still some details to be worked out - mostly because we don't have all the panel descriptions.)
  • Lens rented (A better indoor/portrait lens) and on hand: Done!
In Work:
  • Laundry
  • Packing list
  • Practicing with the new lens. (A couple of quirks have already been noted.)

To be done:
  • Pack (duh!). (Clothes, camera gear, books, etc...)
  • Clean piggie cage. (Wens night and wash the cage lining immediately so we have a clean liner when we get back Sun.)
  • Shop. (Snacks, piggie veggies for the person who is watching them, Dr Scholls for my shoes.)
  • Print out con pre-reg sheets and hotel reservation confirmation.


I'd hoped to 'live blog' the con... but in the end, LJ isn't really compatible with a smartphone. I'll try my best, but those that haven't might want to hookup on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/derek.lyons.1029)

Mar. 23rd, 2013

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Love, two different opinions...



Still mired in the task of cleaning out my iTunes library, deleting duplicates, correcting titles and groups, getting rid of duplicates... (Something I spend like five minutes a month doings, I'm not obsessed, just sometimes CDO.) I had them sorted by song titles, and this pairing showed up next to each other... interesting, no?

The Captain and Tenille - Love will keep us together.



Dig those groovy 70's/Disco era threads!

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart



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