It's that time of year again! Another year has gone by and another year at Anime North under my belt. I just realized I've been going to this convention for a long time. I've never missed out on it either, I still make it for a day or two of the weekend, or for the whole thing.
This year, my friends Whitefrosty and Pheleon and I managed to nab tables in the Crafter's Corner. We had about 18ft of table space all lined up, and it was pretty intense. However, since I has promised my friends who run the maid cafe, Cafe Delish that I would be a maid this year, I somehow managed to do both with the help of my amazing friend, Amanda. LOVE & THANKS ♥.
It was a pretty hectic weekend and I think I lost weight from the 1)starvation, 2) lack of sleep, 3) drunken craziness which also induced lack of sleep and starvation 4) and lots of running back and forth from the con center to the hotel.
Friday was pretty funny since I was trying to fit all the stuff into my car, along with all the overnight suitcases from my sister, Amanda's, Alice's and mine into the car! I had to upgrade and use the SUV instead of my usual hatchback that I have claimed as mine... lol.
Somehow it all miraculously fit with a lot of smushing and I think Alice and her friend Kim were a bit uncomfortable in the back...but I guess it beats busing to the con?
Since my sister and I were staff this year, we didn't have to go through the line up to get our badges. It was a pretty long line! We also checked in for the hotel room and set up the stuff. I had agreed to help promote the cafe at the open ceremonies with a few fellow maids and our head maid, Yumi. But since registration opened for the CC at 3pm, and I had to meet them at 3pm...I was running around like crazy to bring in all my shelves and the merchandise. My sister and her boyfriend, along with my other friend Kevin helped set up the table display very well!! I was very impressed. Amanda showed up at some point was away from the table and at the ceremonies.
A shot of Delilah with some of the merchandise while my friends and sister helped me set up my table while I was running around like a crazy person.
The opening ceremonies was interesting to say the least. We danced to the old dance that we decided not to use this year at the cafe and the other girls were nervous about being on stage. Being a cosplay veteran and just used to it by now, I just told them it would be fine, You don't even see the people once the lights come on! After some initial delay we got on stage and did our thing. We were asked to stay around to help welcome the guests by bowing and stuff and to make sure the guests didn't fall off the stage LOL.
Open Ceremonies, Final Pose. Photo Credit: Derwin Mak.
The other girls came after to start the flyer run to promote the cafe, I walked back with them and went to my table to see it nicely set up :D
Pic: Courtesy of Alice, Whitefrosty
I called it the jail cell...cause it essentially made it look like some of my plushies were in jail. LOL Worked out well thought since I could monitor the plushies better and have a nice shop keeper opening in the center. It was very cosy...however I think my hearing was just getting steadily worse over the weekend. People would ask about the plushies or my BJDs and I swear I would just not hear the right thing. My apologies if I was a bit dazed and confused. As the weekend progressed, it just got more and more tired. There's only so much adrenaline I have to keep me going.
Friday was good though in terms of sales :) Well, the whole weekend was a pretty good success. Moving on to the rest of the report! After the CC closed, Kevin, Amanda and I went to go eat some dinner since we were starving. Hanh met up with us at Sushi Dragon where we sat and ate for a bit. We were there until midnight. . . I felt bad for being one of the last customers there but I am glad they let us come in and eat though. We were turned away at the other sushi restaurant across the street.
When Saturday morning rolled around, I had to get up early and go to the CC area with Amanda to set up the table. After some milling about and her forgetting her pass, but with my godly Staff powers, I got her to come in with me to at least drop off the items we carried over, she ran back from the buildings to the hotel room to get her pass. Everything was set up before I left her and I ran back to the hotel to get dressed for the cafe. It was so bad cause once I walked into our room, Yumi came by and told me the other girls and her were going downstairs to practice a bit. I was like OMG, I'M NOT READY. LOL After some super sonic changing I managed to find them without being too late. I have the dances ingrained into my memory..but it's still nice to perfect it if we have time to and to get the timing right. Before I met up with them, I walked by the Terrace Room where the cafe would take place to ask my Overlord Boss some questions, and this rude lady thought she could talk her way into getting tickets earlier than the rest of the people in line! It says in the program book that the tickets go on sale at 11:30am. It was 10:30, and apparently she had somewhere else to be and she couldn't stay longer to get tickets for her daughters.
Now, we can't change the rules and start selling a ticket to one person, because that means we would have to sell the rest to all the people out there and the room wasn't even set up yet! I don't understand people who think they have priority over everyone else when the rules are clearly stated. Unless it was a serious do-or-die circumstance, exceptions won't be made because it would be unfair to everyone else out there who have been waiting for a couple hours!
We don't make people line up for the cafe, it just happens because it's popular and is a ticketed event. That lady got so angry and started criticizing the cafe. I left before that since I had to meet up with the other girls, but she was pretty much told to get out if she has somewhere else to be.
Picture credit: Stephanie
The cafe went very well! I was more relaxed this year since I was a returning maid...no pre-event butterflies. Overall it's quite simple and you just have to remember to say the right drinks and food. And make sure you don't spill or drop said drinks and food.
Here's me at the first seating serving some roll cakes. You can see my pin flair that we create for the guests. For the last two years we have been designing and selling pins to help raise some more funds for Sick Kids. This year however, all the pin donations were donated to Japanese Relief.
Picture credit: Stephanie
By the last seating, Hanh and I were getting very tired since our breaks were very late. I wanted to go back to check up on the table in the CC but we ended up just getting some cold drinks from the staff lounge and crashing in our hotel room. It was so nice and cold...I think we did a small power nap before we had to go back to the cafe. Behind the scenes at Cafe Delish! Power naps to Power Up!
By the end of the cafe, I was very tired and hungry, so after taking some pics with the girls at the end, I went over to con center and told Amanda to pack up and we were going to eat and stuff. I think she was quite relieved since she was there the whole day by herself. I felt bad...so I don't think I'll ask her to do this again unless I'm actually with her. She didn't come with us to our core-staff wrap up dinner at Moxie's so I just left her my hotel key card and let her do her own thing. I think she really wanted to shop LOL.
My friends. Adam, Hanh and I ended up doing the booze/beer run since the others didn't want to move their cars from their spots and I didn't care so long as the car was in the hotel parking lot and not getting trashed at the con center. So, we made a trip and got some stuff for the night party. It was amusing to walk back to our rooms with two bags filled with boozy things after dinner... lol
Then, it started getting Out of Control. LOL
Basically to make it short..and sort of sweet, the 3 of us who did the booze run were just being crazy the whole night during dinner and at our 'after party'. We were just making up scenarios of like gag cafe personas and it spiraled out of control cause once we got back and started drinking, everyone got really into it. It was really funny and after a lot of drinks and my friends trying on my lolita dress and accessories and some wig fun, I had to stop and sleep since we all had to wake up in the morning to check out.
And let's say, 4 of us woke up with bad hangovers. I don't regret it cause it was fun, but I wish I could have gotten more sleep cause I don't think I would have felt as bad as I did in the morning if I could continue sleeping it off.
Hanh and I had it the worst though...for some reason we just felt miserable. I had to ask my sister to go get me some greasy food to tame my head and my stomach..since grease seems to help with hangovers.
However, sitting at the CC table was alright on Sunday since it was more relaxed and there were a bunch of us to help me man the table. I finally went into the Dealer's room on Sunday, the first time in the whole weekend! The only things I purchased were two mangas...to continue my growing collection of Ouran High School Host Club. I'm missing the most recent two books...but that doesn't concern me too much..since it seems to be a trend that I'm just always two books behind in the series. I said hi to some old cosplay friends and chatted with them :)
I met quite a few BJD owners on Sunday and chatted with them about their dolls and companies. It's nice to see other dolls in person and meet other owners. My kids were having a good time chilling with Alice's thought for the weekend. Ventus and Mishka are BFFs.
Photo shamelessly stolen from Alice. My camera has blackmail pics and I had used my sister's camera to take pictures. . .
Then the weekend came to an end. We packed up, did some car pooling and after a nice dinner the weekend came to an end. I was very happy to be home and to sleep for almost 12 hours.
Overall, I had a great time this year at AN. The people that were around and just the fun that we create for ourselves, it really helps with the atmosphere. I noticed the cosplays were very good this year too! Sometimes I miss not cosplaying anymore..as I haven't done so at AN for a few years, but I just didn't have the time this year to make anything.
Nice seeing old friend and making some new friends! I've sold some of my merchandise, ate some good food and didn't mess up my dancing at the cafe. We beat last year's mark for the donations for Sick Kids which is a great accomplishment for Cafe Delish.
Now it's just time for me to clean up the house and to eat, sleep and relax a bit.