Last April, I joined a group here in Florida called Florida Cosplayers. It's such a lot of fun, and I've met dozens of people like me, who are infatuated with anime and dress up as their favorite anime characters. Honestly, I enjoy it. Not just because it's neat to have very unusual clothing, but it's also the sense of a tight-knit community and friendship among the FLCosplayers. What we do is, we help each other with tips on making our costumes, make props and how to act out the characters effectively. I must say, it's a lot of fun and I thank Susan (Usagi, founder of the FLCosplay group) for putting something like this together. ^_^
While I'm on the subject of anime and cosplaying, I've gone to several anime conventions since last April. Those include:
Jacon 2002 (http://www.jacon.org)
Otakon 2002 (http://www.otakon.com)
Anime Festival Orlando 3 (http://www.afo-con.org)
Anime Weekend Atlanta 8 (http://www.awa-con.com)
I consider Jacon the absolute best of all 4. That convention was when I met most of the Florida Cosplayers' members for the first time, including Susan. Everyone was very nice and friendly, and I really enjoyed it. I also got the chance to make amends to someone (I won't get into it, but some of you may know what I was talking about) and that felt really good. ^_^ As for the convention itself, it was a lot of fun. I didn't watch any of the anime they showed, but rather I participated in the costume contest. I didn't win anything, but I didn't care. I had a lot of fun waiting. We all waited in line for three hours, waiting for the contest to start. While we were waiting, the staff was kind enough to pipe some music into the hall and pretty soon we were all playing limbo with Sakura's staff. I also took the opportunity to meet people like Carol-ann (Athena1chan) and Mandy. After the contest was over we were all tired and hungry so my friends Rich and Susan (more about them later) and I took Mandy out to eat at Bennigan's. We had loads of fun going out to eat in costume, and we got stares from a lot of people. Just for kicks, the four of us, in our costumes (Except for Rich, who was wearing civvies at the time), paraded around the restaurant. Some people recognized Mandy as Sailor Jupiter, and a man recognized my Vyse (Skies of Arcadia) costume. Oh, it was great. ^_^
In July, my friend Nicki and I put our heads together and we threw a mini-chibi-con here in Melbourne, FL called the Cosplay Summer Camp. And I gotta tell ya, it rocked. About 30 cosplayers from Central Florida (One from Georgia, a few from South Florida) came to the 2nd floor of the Student Union Building on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology. We also had our friend Mike (A.K.A. Maboroshi) come and take pictures. His webiste is here.
Two weeks later, my friend Rich and I flew to Baltimore, MD for the grand-daddy of all cons, Otakon. My god, the convention was huge. I spoke with Sue Monroe (the con chair) and she said that there were almost 13,000 people in attendance. DAMN! Otakon was a lot of fun, despite major technical problems with my laptop and PDA due to the bumbling idiocy of one Otakon volunteer staff (or two, not sure.) But I finally got to meet an online friend of 5 years. It was so great. We met in the lobby of the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor hotel. I had been waiting with my friends Rich and Jeff for an hour and a half while Ian and his friends went out to eat. Overall Otakon was pretty nice, but there were many things to do and so little time. Ian and I watched Cooking Master Boy together, and I gotta say, it's one hell of an anime. I can't seem to find copies of it anywhere.
I won't get into AFO3 and AWA8, but they weren't as good as I had hoped. Enough about anime and cons. Last summer my friend Rich met a girl named Susan (Not the Susan I mentioned earlier from the FLCosplay list). She was nice and friendly. However, when Rich and Susan started to become more intimate towards each other, Susan started changing. She now tries to take advantage of me because of my car. Every day for the past few weeks, she's IMed me everyday, begging me to take her somewhere like Rich's apartment, Barnes & Nobles, the library, etc. I was more than happy to help her out at first, but once she kept bugging me so much, I started making excuses. I mean, I can't help but feeling that Susan's been trying to take advantage of me. I mean, I understand completely that she doesn't really like to be at home with her parents, but geez, I'm not her chaffeur. I have classes and so many things I need to do. I'm trying my best to like Susan, but... She's also very wild and childish. It's hard for me to associate myself with her. Case in point: Last Friday we were at Walmart, the night before we left for Anime Weekend Atlanta 8. We went through the halloween costume aisle to look for certain parts for our costumes when Susan picked up a toy witches' broom and started to playfully beat Rich with it. I asked her to settle down because we could get thrown out of Walmart, but she wouldn't listen to reason. Another case, last Sunday when we were packing up our stuff, Susan grabbed one of the glasses that the hotel provided "for our convenience" and stuck it in her bag. I told her to put it back, since it wasn't hers. She was so adamant about it, and Rich didn't do anything, even though it'd be his ass when the hotel finds out one of their glasses were missing. Oh man, I try my best to like Susan and to be nice to her, and I still do like her, but she drives me absolutely bananas! We stopped at a Stuckey's in Valdosta, GA for a potty break last Sunday. As Rich went to fill up the car, Susan and I walked into the store together to buy a few things. I was hanging out with her and suddenly she turned around and yelled, "Don't follow me!" I was like "...What the hell? Okay, fine." and left her alone. I bought what I wanted and went back into my friend's car. A few minutes pass, and Susan didn't return. We drove back to the store and I volunteered to come in and check on her. I walk in and I see her sitting in a chair, face buried in her hands. I lightly tapped her shoulder and she suddenly snapped, "DON'T TOUCH ME!". I said, "Relax, Susan, Rich sent me to let you know we're ready to go." and she bolted out the door, calling me names. I was standing there, wondering what the hell was going on with her. I went after her and yelled, "Susan, why are you being such a damn bitch to me?!" and she ignored me. I told Rich what happened, and after they talked, Rich told me that Susan was having cramps or some shit. Well, I've been around women with cramps before, and trust me, they were nowhere near the way Susan acted, so I really think Susan was exaggerating for attention. After that episode, I've been trying to distance myself from her some more. But ugh, she's the girlfriend of a good friend of mine, so it's very hard. Whenever there's Rich, 90% of the time Susan's there with him. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the woman, but she frustrates me sometimes. I'm trying my best, though.