2010 hit the ground running - for the second year in a row, my best friend convinced me to attend the local anime convention. Although I am not particularly a fan of "Japanese animation and pop-culture", there are always new things to be learned, and Ikkicon  did not disappoint.
I skipped the Friday activities, since at our house New Year's Day is a strictly-pajamas, sleep-until-noon sort of event.
Saturday and Sunday were quite busy:
We sat in on Mock Combat for Cosplay, a two-hour panel run by Chris Ayres. If this panel shows up again I'm definitely jumping in, because it was incredibly fun. Ayres demonstrated how to make it look like you're throttling (or groin-kicking, or slapping, or punching, or arm-twisting) someone without hurting your partner. Even better, he's a fountain of funny and interesting stories of stage trickery, which I find fascinating.
This apparently doesn't hurt at all.
But it looks painful, doesn't it?
This is one of my favorite shots, although I wish I'd gotten video of the kidney-kick.
Another memorable panel was Cosplay Chess, which is just about the geekiest thing in the universe. The floor is blocked out into squares, characters are placed, and two people play a game of chess, moving the characters around the room. Points are, of course, awarded for ingenuity and cleverness in "finishing moves." I don't know who was dressed as Doctor #10 and Rose, but The Doctor produced an award-winning display of sorrow when Rose was bumped off (and just two moves from checkmate - isn't that always the way?). Our team (white) won, and poor Darth Vader was destroyed by a seething mass of characters.
So, apparently it's difficult to take an interesting chess photo. Look, if you want great board game imagery, go here. I'm just a nerd with a camera.
Nice to see the boys getting along.
We later wandered into the artists' and dealer's areas, where I was coerced into parting with my cash. I had decided ahead of time that I was only going to shell out for "experiences" or "charity" so I got two Sereniteas from the Austin Browncoats table. 1) How could I turn down a Nathan Fillion-inspired tea blend and 2) proceeds go toward encouraging more kids to read.
There were about twenty different blends. The woman had me at "you can smell as many of them as you like!"
Right around 5pm the first afternoon, things went blurry. As it turned out, I was simply vibrating at a faster speed than the rest of the world. Possibly due to the event laughingly called "lunch", where I had enjoyed melon bread, chocolate koala bear cookies, Calpico with aloe, and what I think was mochi.
We also stopped in at the charity auction, which unfortunately did not have many convention goers in attendance. Of course, that didn't stop the signed Serenity comics from rapidly soaring above my price range. I did, however, shell out for a dvd of Trinity Blood signed by about 14 different people - which definitely fell within my charity/experience plan. The money goes to Kids Need to Read, and I've never won a live auction before. It was thrilling!
As much as I enjoyed Mock Combat, if there was one panel that was worth the entrance fee all by itself, that panel was A Very Merry ninjaHELL! Last year's left me a little cold, but I laughed my ass off this time - particularly during the traditional "we need to stall because the equipment hasn't shown up yet WHERE THE HELL IS THE RIGHT CABLE" segment.
What else? Lets see. . . we took a little time for photos, because Ivy had a great costume and the Hilton has crazy decorations.
You think this is nuts? One of the rooms had a lighting arrangement on the ceiling that looked like a Viking ship made of diamonds.
We also exchanged gifts! Ivy got me a Doctor Who pop-up book, which is exactly the sort of thing everyone wants and is too embarrassed to buy for themselves. I got her a mug designed by Wil Wheaton and a box of Earl Grey.
Look, ma! Nerds!
(Alternate caption: when you've known someone for over a decade, your brains eventually synch up. Half the fun this weekend was laughing at each other's jokes, taking pictures of toilets, and bringing up embarrassing things we both did in middle school.)