Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Last weekend was time to be with my people--the nerds, the geeks, the anime lovers. Unlike what Anthony Lane would have you think, I find them mostly very pleasant and friendly. Even among the more male-dominated environs of superhero comics and role-playing games, I've met very few of the misogynist conspiracy freaks he mentions. Of course, anime fandom is quite female-friendly. Any he-man-woman-haters would be in danger of being whacked by the dreaded Yaoi Paddle.
The Crown Plaza Hotel was definitely a better set-up than the Bloomington Ramada. It had the luxury of a real hotel, not a motel with delusions of grandeur. At the Ramada, I was always scrambling down narrow hallways like a hamster in a giant Habitrail. The conference rooms were roomy and there were plenty of chairs, so I didn't have to wreck my back sitting on the floor. Of course, I know downtown St. Paul and it's skyways like the back of my hand, so that helped.
The only downside of AD 2009 was the lack of awesome anime, but some years just aren't as good as others. My favorites were Ghost Slayers Ayashi, a sort of mix of the X-Files with X-Men set in Edo period Japan, as a motley crew of people with special powers are hired by a secret government ghost-busting organization, and Baccano!, a crazy mix of cultists, gangsters and assorted weirdos looking for the secret of immortality in Prohibition-Era America. For the lovers of awesomely bad anime, there was Garzey's Wing, a confused tale of a normal Japanese boy whose consciousness is somehow sent to a Dungeons-&-Dragons-style world to save the good people from the evil people with the power of flying with wings on his feet. Almost every line was laugh-out-loud ridiculous. My favorite was something like. "I MUST leave this land--for I MUST . . . .attend my HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!