So the weekend started with: LONG CAR RIDE IN BLIZZARD. Okay, so it snowed all day...I guess it wasn't *really* a blizzard. The roads weren't slick and visibility was still fine...although people still drove like grandmas! Grabbed some gas and picked up ShirtNinjaSkillz from his house around 11 and headed to the post office and JoAnn Fabrics. Picked up another 10 yards of fleece (on sale!) for scarves and hit a drive-thru on the way out of town (Note to self: no more Long John Silvers, stick to TacoBell). Drove straight through, no stops. Hit the hotel around 5:30 and got checked in and immediately unpacked. Hooked up the PS2 and Ninja started his anime watching spree with Ah! My Goddess: The Movie whilst I finished unpacking and began cutting. My house is a bit of a disarray at the moment since we've been scraping/painting/ripping carpet/moving rooms etc. so I haven't had any large, clean space to do any sewing lately (boo!). This was going to be a small show though, so it didn't really matter. Got the scarves & sets of paw prints cut out with very few scraps (go me!) and got to work on trying to sew. We eventually decided we were hungry (around like, 10pm) so we ordered a Chicken Alfredo Pizza and breadsticks from a local establishment from Muncheez Pizza. Ninja put in Chobits and got to watching some more! My sewing machine had been making a funny noise all night and eventually around 11 I decided something was wrong...it kept skipping stitches! Trusty google informed me that my needle was bent and of course...the kit I brought with me didn't have any extra machine needles! (Luckily, I'd spotted a JoAnn on the way to the hotel). I decided to do as much prep-work as I could and clean-up and call it a night. Well, about an hour and twenty minutes after the pizza hadn't arrived I called them to inquire. The lady on the phone said it was out of the oven and would go out with the next drive that got back, but they were super swamped and had "lost" a few drives (Misplaced? Died? Quit?). I go back to pinning paws prints to scarves and packing up so I'd be ready to go in the morning. After clean-up we then were visited by the pizza delivery man! Free pizza, hand delivered by the owner, score :)! After pizza, Ninja continued with Chobits & I grabbed a shower and decided to relax a bit. Now, Ninja is an old man and 2 am was about 7 hours past his bedtime so....he was falling asleep, which made me heckle him more. (Note: Ninja really isn't old - only a few months older than me, but apparently he goes to bed at 7 or 8 these days...whereas I've been accustomed to 3ams as of late!)
I woke up around 8-ish and straightened my hair and we were still able to hit the tail end of the "free breakfast". I can see why it was free! They pickings were slim...not enough milk for 2 people to have cereal, their cream cheese was "crumbly" (and not very good!) and they had oat meal pies and honey buns as part of their continental breakfast? Not even fruit...I was pretty disappointed. I snatched some oatmeal cream pies for later at the convention and ended up with some orange juice (in a double shot dixie cup), coffee (which tasted terrible, btw), and a bagel with cream cheese. How I missed my folgers and coffeemate back home! I'm a coffee drinker these days...and I poured every last bit of my cup out after one taste. I threw together a handful of hair accessories really quick and we headed out. I called one of my convention contacts and learned that my sewing machine was about 20' from an outlet so we decided to hit up somewhere for an extension cord after getting needles. First stop was Subway for some $5 Footlongs, then off to the fabric store. I wish we had a JoAnn Superstore, they're so...beautiful ;_; ...got some universals from the Viking Rep and then hit up Deals (best dollar store EVER) which was in the same strip mall for some extension cords and Pepsi. I dropped Ninja off at the corner with my stuff and then parked. He helped me carry it around the building (3rd door's a charm!) and up the escalators. There was a very nice volunteer girl who offered to bring our badges to our table so we went ahead and I started setting up right away. She came back with our badges and then ran to get us lanyards, and offered to send someone back later if we needed a break! I busted out the sewing machine and got to work. I had 7 or so already done/left over from last year and then I set out the unsewn/partially sewn ones so people could still request them or change colors as they saw fit before they were done. Socialized a little bit, put out some fliers and sewed. Sewing was intermissioned by lunch, fluxx, chatting up the local policeman, and Ninja and I discussing the best cosplay idea ever which will henceforce be known as "Codename: Project B." I also told him that I'm old because this is my 10th year of going to conventions and he said "but I'm older than you" and I told him it didn't matter because this was his first anime con. We were able to see part of the costume contest through the open main events doors, which was nice...until they later closed them for other events. I was kinda sad about this until the time came for the dance as every time the door opened I'd cringe from the sudden increase in volume. I finished sewing and re-prioritized my packing so that there would be fewer items to bring back to the hotel/back tomorrow. We headed out probably about 10, most definately the last AA table standing and went back to the hotel. Ninja enjoyed more Chobits and we ate our cold, leftover pizza. I finished cleaning up the hotel room after my craftiness and packing for Sunday then began researching for Codename: Project B while old-man Ninja fell asleep during at last episode of Chobits.
Got up reasonably...mostly due to barking dogs next door (our hotel allowed pets). I headed out for more free breakfast (It may have been crap but at least it was free!) and decided to forego the bagel this time and try the cereal instead. I also got milk this time :) Pretty standard raisin bran & orange juice - no complaints there. Checked out, grabbed some gas for the trip home and stopped by deals again for some snacks & beverages for the day. Sunday was considerably slower. Probably a combination of SuperBowl Sunday + Not as much to do. Set-up was pretty quick and I spent a few hours working sketching 8-Bit Final Fantasy costume designs for Anime Central. Around 1pm I left Ninja at the table and headed down the Dealer's Room. Super cramped! As soon as I got there I noticed Peter from Anime Fan Zone who was chatting about bad cons with a woman from Bowen Dragon. I recognized some of their con stories as I had heard about them during my internship and threw in my two cents as well. I apologized for not being at Anime Zap! and we chatted about our local college conventions and other shenanigans. Next thing I know an hour has gone by and vendors were talking about packing up. I decided that with a 5.5 hour drive I'd like to do the same so after spending a few minutes with Peter & a staffer I said my goodbyes and headed upstairs to get dressed and start packing up. I threw on some jeans and my Jeff Hardy shirt, which got a comment after me wearing it for about two minutes, haha. Today's load was much lighter and we got out fairly quickly. Ninja insisted we eat Fazoli's, claiming it is his favorite restaurant. (I don't see the big deal, we used to have one where we live but I only ate it once while it was there - it just taste like pasta). He also tried to tell me that their breadsticks were better than Pizza Huts, but I told him he was wrong :) I drove straight through again, this time no constant snowfall. I dropped off Ninja and got home myself about 9:45. I was very excited to get to see J for a few minutes before he had to go to work! I tried to stay up and watch some Stargate: Atlantis but I ended up crashing out shortly thereafter. How great it is to sleep in your own bed!
Overall: Not sure if I'll go back. The staff seem like they're trying and are really open to suggest which means they've got great potential! However, my expenses FAR exceeded my sales for the weekend which is really no fun when you don't even get to enjoy the convention at all. It will just depend how I end up classifying conventions: are they just a venue, a place to make sales? or shall they be considered a promotional expense, one used to entice new customers to purchase from me in the future? Only time will tell!