Sunday, June 1, 2014

Matthew's FanimeCon 2014 Report: Part 2 - Day Zero

As Day Zero approached with FanimeCon's 20th anniversary in the backburner, some of my routine felt like I was going back to this convention for the second or third time while it also felt I was a grizzly convention veteran.

I woke up around 6:30am, prepped and ready to go. After running some errands in Sacramento, I took off down Interstate 5 solo, nobody in the car with me, just before 9am towards the 580 to cut through the East Bay while avoiding potential traffic from the heart of San Francisco and Oakland.

I arrived at Ray's house around 11am only to realize that I had about another hour before I would reach my hotel.

By the time I had reached the hotel to check-in before 12pm, the biggest news coming out of registration was that just an hour earlier the door opened for pre-registered attendees and by that point the notion of "Line Con 2014" was thrown out the window in favor of "Maze Con" or "Speed Run Con." I found it shocking that I had to wait another five hours until professional registration opened and people already had their badges, which looked very clean on plastic instead of paper in years' past.

Where's the line?
What is this wizardry?
 Back at the hotel, I keep forgetting that the hotel wants to charge for incidentals on top of the total room cost. I try not to ask for more than each roommates' share and I found myself fronting the cash charge by running over to the bank a block over. I would get this money back upon check-out Monday morning and knowing my roommates I knew that there would be no problems in getting it back.

Nate, Ray, and Lucas at Day Zero.
While me, Ray, and Lucas established ourselves in the room, Nate was not yet in the room. He was cosplaying Onosa Sakamichi from Yowamushi Pedal and rode his bike from Milpitas to the San Jose Convention Center. He and his friend, who also cosplayed from that series, needed to ride back before Nate could grab his stuff, and even then he would not be in the room until Friday night as his graduation ceremony was slated on Day One.

After hours of relaxing, watching Spongebob, and waiting for Nate to pick up his press badge after we all did shortly after 5pm, it was time to make a food run at Costco. We came out with a hefty amount of food and drink that would last us throughout the entire weekend and more. From that point, Nate parted ways with us to head back home and prepare for said graduation ceremony. The rest of us went to Daiso Japan which has recently opened up near the 280 and Saratoga before heading back to the hotel.

Lucas and Ray catching up with friends from the Touhou fandom.
Dinner time was upon us and through the gift of Groupon I was able to score the Burritozilla from Iguanas for only $12, a steal compared to the $21 normal price. Each of us had a third of this five pound, 18-in monster of a burrito, although eventually I found myself eating the rest and avoiding waste.

Ray and Lucas pulling their part of the burrito.
The convention wasn't officially open yet, but there was the Gaming Hall and Swap Meet on Day Zero. Ironically, there was a line to get into the Swap Meet across the street at the City National Civic; everyone proclaimed that "Line Con" moved across the street.

As the hall roared into Friday morning, the official start of the con, 2pm Friday afternoon, was rapidly approaching. And with that, the three of us and our "Nate replacement," Fazio, who needed space to crash before his room opened up Friday, called it a night.

-Day Zero End-

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