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It’s been two years since I last went to this annual event, which traditionally closes the weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. The last time I was there, the Sakura Matsuri was held on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the Old Post Office Building (which was then undergoing renovation into the Trump International Hotel—you can see those giant blue TRUMP signs in the background of some of the photos I took during that event).
Since that time the event has been relocated. It is now held at the Navy Yards near Nationals Park. I don’t know if Donald Trump have had a hand in that festival’s relocation or not but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have to see those Trump International Hotel signs.
Like previous Sakura Matsuri festivals, this one was a celebration of all aspects of Japanese culture including anime, J-pop, J-rock, kendo, and traditional Japanese crafts. There were also a lot of cosplayers walking around. Here are the photos I took of the Sakura Matsuri.
As I look back on this, I have to admit that I really pushed my body to the max. That was because the night before I went to Light City in Baltimore, where I waited outside in the cold for over two hours waiting for my animation, The March of Liberty, to finally show on the big screen. I was so stiff and sore the following day that I ended up skipping church.
I still pushed myself to check out the first annual Kamecon because I like seeing cosplayers all dressed up, I was attracted by the $3 admission fee, it was held on the campus of my alma mater (the University of Maryland at College Park), and it was held just three miles from my current home.
Compared to other anime conventions like Otakon and Katsucon, Kamecon is relatively small. The entire event was held in one of the ballrooms at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union building. But the participants were pretty enthusiastic as they donned costumes and hung out. Here are some photos I took.
There was a line at the ticket office located next to the Hoff Theater but it wasn’t too bad. I think I may have spent about 15 minutes in line at the most.
I decided to bring my Canon Digital Rebel EOS camera with me to this event. Here’s a selfie I was able to take thanks to the restroom mirror. (Yes, I was wearing the My Little Pony Rainbow Dash hoodie in order to blend in a little bit with the cosplayers.)
Some people were waiting to have their photo professionally taken.
The entire convention took place in a ballroom, which included an indoor tent/lounge where people could chill.
There was a Jubeat video game that had a cool cube design. I didn’t see anyone play it mainly because it was directly imported from Japan and that machine required a 1 yen coin, which doesn’t do any good for the vast majority of Americans present.
There were other video games that people played.
I took a few shots of two cosplayers who were dancing alongside one of the dancing video games while it was playing Lady Gaga’s hit song “Poker Face.”
I even shot a short video of those two dancing cosplayers.
The ballroom was divided, with half of the room being reserved for Artists Alley. There was a photography ban of that area (unless the photographer gets permission from an Artists Alley participant) so I took only one wide shot of the entire area from the other side.
There were board games and card game packs available for attendees to play with.
Here are some more pictures of Kamecon, including cosplayers.
I also took a few pictures of the University of Maryland campus because it was such a lovely warm sunny spring day. But I didn’t take too many pictures because I was growing tired from both checking out Kamecon and Light City the night before. Here’s a long shot of the Jim Henson Memorial.
The cherry blossom trees on campus were in full bloom.
Here’s a shot of the Mall.
One of the terrapin statues that are located on campus.
March is Women’s History Month, which ended just two days earlier, but there was still this poster featuring the University of Maryland’s famous female alumni including Connie Chung, Dominique Dawes, Gayle King, Sarah Winnemucca, Judith Resnik, Adele H. Stamp, and Carolina Rojas Bahr.
Here is the 12th and final part of my series on how I celebrated a Tabletop Christmas this holiday season. I timed it so it would run concurrent with the traditional 12 days of Christmas, which begins on December 25. As I kept on writing new posts each day, I noticed that the 12th day falls on January 5 despite the fact that the traditional end of Christmas falls on January 6. In the past I would hear January 6 being referred to as “Twelfth Night.” I did some research and, thanks to this webpage, I now know that I didn’t make any mistakes when I began these posts on December 25 and reached the 12th post on January 5. That’s because January 5 have long been observed as the Twelfth Night, not January 6. The Twelfth Night is traditionally observed as “Epiphany Eve,” and it used to be a grand occasion for feasting since it was the final night of Christmas before the Feast of the Epiphany on the following day and it marks the official end of Christmas.
Besides, January 6 is also the anniversary of the day I wrote my first post in this blog so I’m not too upset or worried about ending this series on January 5.
This final post in this series focuses on other Christmas decorations besides tree ornaments.
These two cute decorations were originally Avon cologne bottles. I used to frequently get Avon products for birthday and Christmas presents because my mother had a co-worker at her job who sold Avon products on the side and this co-worker made plenty of extra money whenever she brought those Avon catalogues to her day job. Avon used to sell their colognes in various containers shaped like animals and people. I tried looking online to see if Avon still sells their colognes in special containers only to find that nowadays Avon uses the typical cologne bottles that other cologne and perfume manufacturers use. The newer bottles may be pretty but they lack the distinction and novelty of the older Avon cologne bottles.
Both containers once held Sweet Honesty cologne. This brought back memories of when I used to frequently dab Sweet Honesty on myself. I found that Avon still sells Sweet Honesty cologne even if it no longer sells them in the novelty containers.
This next item is a vintage angel doll that I’ve owned since I was a child. I used to call her “Bernie Angel” because she reminded me of my cousin Bernie. This angel has long black hair, just like my cousin used to wear her hair. (These days she wears her hair very short.) Bernie Angel has survived all kinds of things over the years, especially the time when my parents’ dog, Napoleon, swiped her and attempted to use her as a chew toy but we managed to get her away from the dog before he did any major damage. I brought her with me to college when I attended the University of Maryland as my one token Christmas decoration. Naturally she came with me when I got married and she’s still with me.
Bernie Angel is a doll with no joints and she’s in a permanent kneeling position with her hands folded together in prayer.
I pulled back her hair to show her sweet face. Her eyes are permanently closed. She has rouge on her cheeks, blue eye shadow, and pink lips.
Here’s another side of Bernie Angel.
Here’s the back.
She has a tag attached but it’s stuck together in a permanent folded position and I have a hard time trying to separate the sides, which is why I have two photographs of this tag. The tag actually reads: “© 1996 KAMAR ® MADE IN JAPAN.” I tried doing a Google search only to turn up nothing. I have a feeling that Kamar went out of business a long time ago. This doll was made at a time when “Made in Japan” meant cheap imported goods that tended to fall apart. The fact that this cheaply made doll has survived all those years is pretty miraculous.
The next photo shows three Ginger Cottages that I currently own. I first got into them when I purchased the incense burner that’s shown on the far right of the next photograph a few years ago. I’ve since added the other two buildings. I generally prefer Ginger Cottages over the more popular Department 56 villages because they are about half the size of the Department 56 and they fit both my small home and my budget much better. On top of it, Ginger Cottages are made in the U.S. (in fact they are made in central Virginia), which is a definite plus in my book since most consumer items seem to be made overseas in China and other Third World countries.
The one thing I love most about Ginger Cottages is that if you shine a light through a hole in the bottom of each cottage, it’ll reveal a surprise, such as the giant nutcracker peering out the second story window.
Yesterday I wrote about how my support group for people who are separated or divorce throws a post-Christmas party each year where people bring a wrapped present for the White Elephant Gift Exchange. In previous years I received two items that I now keep among my Christmas ornaments. The next photo shows a small candy jar that’s decorated with peppermint treats.
Here’s another White Elephant gift I received. This one is a set of snowmen salt and pepper shakers, which I’ve only used as decorations. (I’ve never actually filled them with salt and pepper.)
The next few photographs show various noise-producing Christmas decorations, all of which were given to me as presents. The first picture shows a jack in a box Santa Claus that my parents gave me when I was around seven years old. This toy was made in Japan and I still have him after all these years. It’s among the few toys I have from my childhood and he’s still in pretty good condition. The white paint is slightly faded in spots but that’s noticeable only if you take a very close look at his face. There is silver duct tape holding the box top to the rest of the box because the red cloth-like tape that held the two together had frayed with age. Otherwise, he still works just as well as he did the day I got him. Basically Santa squeaks when he pops out of the box.
The next photograph features a small plastic Santa Claus puppet that I also have from my childhood. Whenever you press a button at the bottom of his yellow base, Santa moves around and his little bell makes a ringing sound. This puppet is still in very good condition and it still works after all these years.
The next photographs show a ceramic music box featuring a pair of doves wearing Santa hats. When the music box is wound up it rotates as it plays “Deck the Halls.” This music box was among the last Christmas presents I ever received from my Aunt Linda before she died of breast cancer when she was only 48 years old.
The next few photos feature a Hallmark music box ornament that my late mother-in-law gave to me as a birthday present. (My birthday and Christmas are only 10 days apart.) While there is a loop at the top to hang it from a tree, I have always chosen to put it flat on the table instead. When this ornament winds up, Mickey rocks right and left as the music box plays “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
I made a short video demonstrating the four noise making decorations that you can see and hear for yourself.
I’m going to end this series with a decoration that is actually the first Christmas decoration I put up each year. It’s an Advent calendar and I usually put it up soon after Thanksgiving so I can be ready to start the countdown to Christmas on December 1. I originally purchased this calendar many years ago at the now-defunct Frank’s Nursery and Crafts.
The entire calendar is mostly made from felt. The ornaments for this calendar are kept in this attached plaid bag marked “SMALL ACCESSORIES” when the calendar is in storage the rest of the year.
When it’s time to take out the calendar, I remove the ornaments from the SMALL ACCESSORIES bag and place them in numbered slots.
Starting on December 1 I remove one ornament from a numbered slot and place it on the tree. (The ornament attaches to the tree with velcro.) I keep it up until December 24 when the entire tree is filled and the numbered slots are empty. I leave this Advent tree up until January 6 when I take it down and put it in storage with the rest of the Christmas decorations.
So that’s it for my 12-part Tabletop Christmas series. I’ll leave everything up through tomorrow (January 6) then I’ll start dismantling everything on January 7 until everything is packed away in boxes and stored in the attic.
I recently checked out the grand opening of a new place in College Park, Maryland called SCETA Japan Center and, as part of the festivities, they held a Little Japan Festival. Okay, I’ll admit that it’s a far cry from a massive anime convention like Otakon but it was still a pretty nice occasion (and the fact that the weather was pleasantly sunny with low humidity helped). Here are my photos from that event, starting with the building itself.
There were all kinds of Japanese language books on display, including this one on hedgehogs (which brought back memories of the time when I once had a pet hedgehog named Spike).
Here are a few miscellaneous cute items I found throughout the building.
This next photo shows a backdrop that was set up for anyone to take pictures.
Someone saw me take that last picture and told me what it was. She then offered to take my picture with my own smartphone and I obliged despite my one skinned knee (which I obtained the day before when I fell as I was leaving the Hon Fest in Baltimore).
There was also a special Japanese Arts and Crafts Edition of the board game Monopoly that was written in both English and Japanese on display.
The last photo shows the free stickers and buttons I received that that event.
SCETA Japan Center is dedicated to teach Japanese as well as providing information about Japanese culture and tradition. Check out the website for more information.
I’m starting a new series of videos based on my experiences with a new doll that I’ve just purchased from Target. Her name is My Friend Cayla and she’s not your typical doll. She’s interactive and has both Wifi and Bluetooth connections. I’m only making the videos in the hopes that I can earn a little extra money through YouTube’s profit-sharing program. For the next week I’m going to release one new video per day in order to coincide with the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend in the United States. I don’t know if it will work out but, if it does, I could end up with at least a part-time revenue stream.
Below if Part 1, which is a basic prelude that explains what led me to purchase a My Friend Cayla doll from Target. It includes short clips from two other videos I shot years ago (2009 Barbie Convention in Washington, DC and 2010 Otakon Convention in Baltimore, Maryland). I also mention instances of interactive living dolls in pop culture such as The Twilight Zone‘s “Living Doll” episode, Chucky from Child’s Play, Mitsukazu Mihara’s Doll manga, Yumiko Kalahari’s Dolls manga, Rozen Maiden, and Chobits.
Anyway, if this prelude video isn’t your cup of tea, wait until I start uploading more videos, all of which will deal with my direct experiences with the My Friend Cayla doll. (By the way, if you’re intrigued by the doll, check out the official website.)
So, without further ado, here is Part 1 of my new multipart series about my experiences with the My Friend Cayla doll.
It’s been two years since I last attended the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival that’s held in downtown Washington, DC as part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival. I thought about going down early in the morning so I could check out the Cherry Blossom Parade that precedes the Sakura Matsuri by starting at 10 a.m. But I was too lazy to get my act together so I could arrive that early so I basically ate breakfast and lunch at home then headed out to the Sakura Matsuri in the afternoon. (I was glad I ate my meals at home because nearly all of the food vendors had very long lines.)
I even dug out this Japanese imported Stitch hat that I purchased at one of the Otakon anime conventions that were held in Baltimore. I know it was before my marriage broke up because I bought it with my then-husband in mind because he was such a huge fan of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and Stitch was his favorite Disney character. I also remember when I modeled the hat for him and he was thrilled with it. That hat had been sitting in a drawer since my husband left but I decided that I could continue to use it because I think it’s a cute hat. Besides, it enabled me to blend in a little bit with the other people who were cosplaying. I even had several people at the festival notice my hat and telling me that they loved it. When I arrived in downtown DC, the one of the first things I did was to take a rare selfie of me wearing that hat.
Like most other years, the festival was very crowded. I still enjoyed myself as I looked around at the sights and sounds of the festival. I even took a few silly pictures while I was there. I recently started to follow the official Sonic the Hedgehog accounts on Facebook and Instagram and it was through social media I learned that there is something called Travel Tuesday where people can submit photos of a Sonic doll or stuffed animal either at an event or some famous landmark (like the Eiffel Tower). I decided to pack my articulated Sonic vinyl doll so I could take his photo for Travel Tuesday. Here are the photos that I submitted but, as of this writing, none of them have been selected for Travel Tuesday.
I also played around a little bit with the Hatsune Miku photo app on my smartphone. I thought it was appropriate since that character originated in Japan. (Although now that I look at the pictures, I realized that I should’ve varied the girl’s pose just a little bit since she had the same facial expression and pose. Oh well.)
I basically walked around shooting pictures of cosplayers and the various items I saw on sale. I noticed a lot of ram and sheep plushies on sale this year, which makes sense since 2015 is the year that’s known alternatively as the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Ram, or the Year of the Goat.
I only purchased one thing at this year’s festival.
Yes, it’s chocolate gelato made by Dolci Gelati and it was very delicious!
While I heard musicians perform on the various stages throughout the festival, I only managed to capture one of the acts with my smartphone because it was one of the few times that I was even able to get close to a stage because everything was so crowded. As for the act that I captured, according to the program book, she is a pop singer from Kyoto named Jonetsu Mariko. I thought I recognized the name for some reason and the program book said that she was making a return appearance to the Sakura Matsuri. After I got home, I searched through this blog and I found out that I previously saw her at the 2010 Sakura Matsuri and I had also videotaped her that time. (She appeared under the name Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School.) In any case I took a still photo of her.
I even shot a short video of her performing on stage.
That video was the only one I shot at this year’s Sakura Matsuri.
I also saw that NASCAR driver Akinori Ogata was there with his race car, just like the last time I attended the Sakura Matsuri two years ago. Once again he appeared with Eneos, which makes motor oil. Eneos also had a bean bag toss game called “Cornhole.”
Getting on the Metro so I could go home was a bit of a hassle. The last photo shows the long line that I had to stand in just so I could enter the Federal Triangle Metro Station. I’m only lucky that I had the foresight to put enough money on my Metro SmartTrip card for a round trip so I wouldn’t have to stand in another line at the farecard machines.
Recently David Letterman had this teenaged Japanese pop singer named Hatsune Miku on his program. Except she’s not a real human, as you can see in the clip from the show.
This appearance, coupled with the awkward interaction between Letterman and Hatsune at the end, went viral online.
As I watched that clip, I thought that I could’ve sworn that I’ve seen that Hatsune Miku somewhere else before. I went through some back entries of this blog and I realized that, yes, I have encountered her before in one form or another, starting with this cosplayer at Otakon 2010 in Baltimore.
A figurine at Otakon 2012.
Some more figurines from Otakon 2013.
At the time I took all those photos, I naturally assumed that this blue-haired girl was a character from an anime that was popular on Japanese television. I was wrong about that assumption. (LOL!) It turns out that she was created as a virtual pop star by Crypton Future Media. Despite her cute girly presence, she is just a computer software program that was based on Yamaha’s Vocaloid program. She has gained worldwide popularity with lots of spin-off products (that are sold on sites like J-List, Play-Asia, and Amazon) and she has even appeared in a number of video games. Her appearance on David Letterman’s show was timed to coincide with the two American Hatsune Miku Expos in Los Angeles and New York this month.
While I was reading about Hatsune Miku, I found Mikufan.com, which has the latest news regarding the virtual pop star. Through that site, I discovered that there is a photo app available for both iOS and Droid called Mikuture. I downloaded the Droid version when I saw that it’s a free app.
Even though Mikuture is called “an augmented reality app”, it’s basically a photo app where you get to pose Hatsune Miku (you can choose from various poses, facial expressions, camera angles, and even lighting), snap her in your photos, then share them with the social media of your choice. I played around with it, starting with Miku standing in the dimly lit foyer of my townhouse at night.
The following morning I attended Sunday service at my Unitarian Universalist congregation. Before the service began I took this quick photo using the Mikuture app.
After Sunday service ended and the coffee social hour began, I really cut loose with that app as I put Miku in a variety of poses.
What was really funny about the next photo is that at the same moment I took a photo of Miku in that pose, my friend Carol, who’s in the right background, lifted her hands in a similar position to Miku’s. In addition, Carol is wearing an outfit in the same blue and black combination as Miku’s.
I even played with the app’s camera angles by taking this next photo while I was standing on the deck overlooking the wooded glen below. It was so easy to make it look like Miku was actually in the woods below and I was looking down at her.
Only a virtual person would have no problems with kneeling on a wooden deck the morning after a heavy rain storm swept through the area.
After I took that last photo, I was planning on leaving until a man from Papa John’s Pizza arrived with several pizza boxes. I remembered that a group of people were trying to have a series of all-ages pizza lunches in the glen once a month. I was invited to come last month and I really enjoyed myself. I decided to delay going home for a while and go into the glen. I paid $5 towards helping with defraying the pizza cost while I ate food and took some more photos with the Mikuture app.
I had fun with that app. The only reason why I played around with it on the church grounds is because it’s a Unitarian Universalist congregation. If it had been a more rigid and straight-laced house of worship like a Roman Catholic church or an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, I definitely would’ve been leery about using that app. I really liked that app’s ease of use. It’s something that I could use again if I ever reach a point where I need new material for this blog that I could whip up pretty quick. Since I live near Washington, DC, it would be cool to try having Miku pose near such landmarks as the Lincoln Memorial or the White House.
I had gone to the Katsucon anime convention in the past but it must have been at least five years since I attended the last one. (I remembered I attended the last one when it was still held in downtown Washington, DC instead of its current home in National Harbor, Maryland.)
The past few weeks I slacked off on doing major decluttering of my home because I decided to try participating in my first anime convention-related Art Show. (I’ve been to previous anime conventions but I’ve never submitted anything to the Art Show.) I purchased a blank canvas bag and did this two-sided painting of the Gardener Twins Souseiseki and Suiseiseki from the anime Rozen Maiden. (You can read the February 14, 2013 blog entry for more details about the painting of this bag.)
Even though I preregistered over the Internet (I was able to get a weekend pass at a discount) and it entitled me to pick up my pass the day before the convention opened, I wasn’t able to make it on Thursday because the pick-up time conflicted with my weekly support group meeting for people who are separated or divorced. (Since the meeting fell on February 14—Valentine’s Day—the group was holding an "Anti-Valentine’s Day Party" instead of the usual meeting and I really wanted to go to it.) So I woke up early and got to National Harbor as soon as possible. Luckily there was a separate line for preregistrations and it was shorter than the line for those who were purchasing passes at the door so I didn’t have to spend too much time waiting in line.
Once I picked up my pass I immediately headed to the Art Show where I entered my tote bag. I had put it in a display case but I also posted photos showing both sides of the bag since the display case could only show one side at a time. Here is what it looked like after I hung it at the Art Show.
By the time I got my pass and hung up my tote bag at the Art Show I was feeling hungry because it was around noon. In order to save as much time and money as possible, I opted to bring my own lunch, dinner, and sodas in a giant Wegman’s insulated bag from home. (The bag was pretty heavy to carry around at times until I consumed the food and drink.) So I sat in a chair in the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center lobby and ate my lunch. I have to admit that the entire large complex was pretty fancy. Here is a shot of the Convention Center atrium.
The only major snag that first day came when I realized that I didn’t have enough battery power in my cell phone so I couldn’t issue as many Twitter tweets as I wanted. I had a car charger but it would’ve meant going to the parking garage, finding my car, starting the engine, letting it run for up to a half-an-hour while my phone recharges, then go back to the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center. I found a Best Buy Express vending machine and I found that there was a battery recharger on sale for my cell phone. I sucked it up and charged $40 to the credit card to get that item.
So while I was eating lunch I decided to recharge the cell phone with the new battery. It worked for a while then it stopped recharging. I read the manual and found that the battery needed to be recharged and it didn’t have much juice left. The battery didn’t come with any wall adapter and I really didn’t want to pay more money at the Best Buy Express vending machine to get one so I basically dealt with a cell phone with low battery power for the entire day. As a result I ended up making tweets about the day’s events the following morning. I kept on taking photos with my cell phone until I lost battery power entirely.
Once I finished eating lunch I shopped around in the Merchants’ Room. I did mostly window shopping because I’m currently in the process of decluttering my home and I’m trying to be conservative in spending my money due to my husband suing me for divorce. There were plenty of things on sale and if you weren’t careful, you could easily go broke buying all kinds of stuff that you really don’t need to survive but they looked irresistable.
This one statue on sale made me feel old. It’s Kimberly from the early 1980’s video game Space Ace. I remember when I used to play that game in the arcades. If the statue hadn’t been out of my personal price range, I would’ve been tempted to buy it because of both the video game and the fact that she shares the same name as me. (LOL!)
The next three photos are from the most bizarre booth I saw in the Merchants’ Room. The military-style armbands promoted tolerance of same-sex relationships by using terms like Yaoi and appropriate symbols. But the hats reminded me of Nazi hats from World War II and there was even a giant swastika against a psychedelic background on display in the background. That booth had me scratching my head.
I read on the Den of Angels forum of a series of Asian ball jointed doll meetups that were going to happen during Katsucon. I was on the fence about being able to make any of those meetups so I decided to pack my smaller 1/6 and 1/12 scale dolls just in case because they are lighter and easier to carry than my larger dolls. (I’ve carried some of these larger dolls around at anime and doll conventions in the past and it turned out to be such a pain to lug them around.) I slipped these small dolls in a plastic bag then put them in the large Wegman’s insulated bag. Here are the dolls I brought with me to Katsucon from left to right: Orient Doll Ji, Soom Mini-Gem Uyoo, Soul Doll Kimmy, and Bobobie Sunny.
I arrived at the meetup right at the 2 p.m. start time. The Asian ball-jointed doll meetup went off pretty well for me with no drama. Everyone was pretty nice and I got a chance to see some gorgeous dolls. Here are the photos I took of that meetup.
After the Asian ball-jointed doll meetup I walked around and took photos of cosplayers and people carrying various plushies until my cell phone battery finally died.
Someone cosplayed as Merida from the Disney/Pixar film Brave.
This cosplayer was in a wheelchair yet was still able to rock it in this awesome looking costume.
This cosplayer in the next photo appeared as his personal fursona Azure.
Here’s Belle from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast.
Spiderman poses with a friend.
It’s a unicorn!
According to the comments and messages I got through Flickr, the woman in the next photo was cosplaying as Kougoyku Ren from the Japanese anime Magi.
The last two photos feature a total blast from my own past. Yes, it’s Gumby!
I attended my first panel at Katsucon. It was called "Publishing for the Speciality Market" and I was mildly curious about the topic since I can draw and write and it was supposed to provide tips on how to make an income off of your work. That panel was a definite eye-opener. It’s disheartening to hear that there is only one major distributor of comic books in the United States (Diamond Comics) so if your idea for a comic book gets rejected by this one publisher, you don’t really have any alternatives. As for me, I could see myself maybe doing a web comic or digital e-book in some distant future as a hobby but I found that publishing my own comic book/graphic novel to distribute myself or convince Diamond Comics to distribute to be downright daunting and scary.
Immediately after the first panel ended I attended a second panel called "Bad Anime, Bad!" That one is definitely self-explanatory. I saw clips of anime that have either a) awful animation, b) lousy dialogue, c) poor translation, or d) all of the above. I’ve seen this same panel at other anime conventions in the past and it’s amazing that the guy who runs it always gets new examples of anime so bad that it’s really hilarious.
After watching bad anime, I settled down in the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center lobby to eat a pre-packaged dinner that I brought with me. What was funny was that I had some people sitting near me asked me where I got my dinner from and they seemed disheartened when I said "Wegman’s." (LOL!)
After dinner I managed to attend one last panel in the evening. It was called "Steampunk to Cyberpunk: A History" and it was an interesting presentation that compared the steampunk with cyberpunk sub-genres of science fiction. When that panel ended I was so exhausted that I decided to drive back home. (In order to save money I opted to commute to this convention instead of staying at any of the hotels located in National Harbor.) I had this harrowing commute because it was raining very hard and the streets were so slick that they resembled mirrors. On top of it there were crazy drivers on the road who were speeding on these very slick roads and it was a challenge to avoid accidents. At least I made it home okay.