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New York, NY

Got back to NJ from NYC today after a fun weekend with datacat, sixteenbynine, and a few hundred people at the New York Anime Festival. The trip began with me heading to NJ to spend a couple days with the family before heading to NY, and I ran out of gas on the way there. The gas gauge on my car is broken and more expensive than worthwhile to fix, but my car ran out of gas about 50 miles earlier than usual, probably due to a lot of local travel earlier in the day. I learned that #77 will get me the state police, and they can send a tow truck to help me. It costs $50 plus the price of gas for the tow truck to save me.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all spent with family, and mmsword came to dinner Thursday night before I left for NY. He had to give me a copy of datacat's keys which were helpful in my not having to leave her apartment at 7:00 a.m. the next day, as she couldn't get Friday off work. I left for NY after dinner and had no trouble getting there; after a bit of searching, I managed to park in the same location I parked when mmsword and I visited in May.

Friday was good; the first thing I did was meet with sixteenbynine at Book-Off, purchase the third Kino no Tabi tankoban, and get breakfast of sashimi and seaweed salad at a place just two stores from it. We then ran across town to get to the convention, where the first thing I did after getting my badge was to visit the Media Blasters booth and say hi to Anna, Joe, and Sean. (John wasn't at the convention and Merideth didn't arrive until Saturday.) I played some Alteil with them, helped introduce a couple people, and hung out for a while between panels. I had to catch the Adventures in Voice Acting panel since I reviewed their first DVD, and it was nice to meet Tony Oliver and Steve Blum in person. It was a great two-hour panel with a couple talented audience participants who got to test the dubbing process live. I also tested my mom's camera's video function to see how it went; it worked pretty well, though it's hard to get good sound when there's so much noise around.

datacat arrived after work to meet sixteenbynine and I in the Vertical panel, where they were discussing their book and manga releases, including some cookbooks, mystery and horror novels, and of course, Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack. It was pretty late at that point, and after a quick breeze through the dealer's room, we all took a long jog to a nice classic Chinese restaurant, Wo-Hop, which has been open since 1938. I normally can't eat most Chinese food, but I got a nice dish of steamed shrimp and broccoli with no sauce or rice. We traveled to the subway together and then went our separate ways for the evening.

Saturday started a lot later than either datacat or I expected. I woke up later than I wanted but really needed the sleep after Friday's exercise, and datacat had to finish her costume after some morning chores. I also needed to buy a new hairbrush to replace the one I was missing, which I later found in my car, and we only managed to get to the convention at about 2:30. I waited and took a few pictures of passers by as datacat changed into her costume in the packed restroom, then we wandered by the cheap manga table ($6 each; 2 for $10; 10 for $40) before making our way to the screening rooms. The one thing I really wanted to catch while there was The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and it was awesome. It had great animation and voice-over work, and was enjoyable in a number of ways—comically, dramatically, and thematically. We left the screening room to go visit Media Blasters, where I introduced datacat to the gang, including Merideth who gave me a big hug when she saw me. It was nice to feel so welcome.  ^*^  After some chatter, I showed datacat all their different titles, from Voltron, Go-Lion, and Phoenix to their wide arrangement of ecchi, hentai, and live-action films and series, including Machine Girl, Zatoichi, and The Great Yokai Wars. She bought the whole series of Phoenix, and we watched the first disc Sunday night.

After touring the dealer's room for a while, we were ushered out early (6:30 instead of 7:00) while I was in the middle of a purchase—a Tsubasa pendant for datacat and an Ergo Proxy cross for myself. The hall was originally to close at 6:00, but during the day it was decided they'd stay open until 7:00 p.m. Apparently Bandai announced they'd be playing a show at 6:00, so the convention center allowed them the extra time and told everyone else they'd be open until 7:00. As soon as Bandai's show ended, just before 6:30, they told everyone to pack it up and head out. Big companies with big booths get a lot of leeway with these things, it seems, and a lot of dealers were disappointed with first being pushed to stay later and then being ushered out early (especially while in the middle of transactions).

I called sixteenbynine after we left the hall to see where he was, as we hadn't bumped into him yet. Since he was already gone and having dinner, we left for the apartment and ordered sushi for delivery. There are few conveniences in life better than fresh sashimi arriving at your door without having to move.

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