Mon Oct 24, 2016, 11:51 AM
- Listening to: Harold Faltermyer - Memories (from Top Gun)
- Reading: Tweets and Facebook posts
- Drinking: Dr. Pepper
For the 2nd time I attended NMND. I almost didn't though.
I reserved a room at the Crowne Plaza back in July, and got my sponsor level badge last month. My plan was to again hitch a ride down there with Electrical Enginerd (Tesla coil guy), but a couple weeks from the con I found out he wasn't going to be able to make it. I tried to find another ride, but it was obvious I wasn't, and with my car unsuitable for such a long distance (over 900 mile round trip) so after examining my finances, I decided to do a first for me: Rent a car and drive down there. Enterprise had one for only $20 a day, so I went for it. It meant I would have far less to spend at the con (and my utility bill would be a bit late), but at least I would be going.
I was worried though at the notion of driving a car that isn't mine that far (I don't like using other people's stuff for fear something might happen to it), but when the time came I went for it.
Around noon I had a friend drive me to Topeka to pick up the car, which turned out to be a Nissan Versa (was expecting a Kia Rio as shown on their site) which ironically had Texas plates . The newest car I've ever driven. And needless to say I was green on driving it since it was nothing like my 1980 Plymouth Volare. I could barely feel the gas pedal which made it easy to give it too much gas. I slowly made my way out of Topeka and headed for home. As is the norm for me though I picked up on it pretty fast, and soon found the joys of cruise control.
After running and errand I went to bed as I would get up around 10PM, pack the final items, and leave at 2AM Friday morning. I planned on taking highway 75, 69, and the Indian Nation Turnpike to Dallas as the toll would only be $2.00 (vs. $8.75 to take the Kansas Turnpike/I-35). The route was shorter than taking the I-35 one, but took more time.
Taking the latter route would've been better.
I got out of town a little late at 2:30AM. As I drove down hwy. 75, my worries slowly turned to excitement. It was somewhat slow going since 75 went through several towns and was mostly 2 lane. I made a quick stop at a Walmart in Independence, KS to get something for my cosplays, then continued on.
I didn't have to stop for gas until Okmulgee, Oklahoma (the Versa has killer gas mileage), and with the sun almost up stopped for food. Got on the I.N. turnpike at Henrietta (unlike the Kansas one I'm used to, you pre pay the tolls for the most part). The trip soon slowed though as there was construction all along it, including at the first toll booth North of Vernon, OK. As I approached the sign said keep right for cash payment, and construction barriers were reinforcing this, so I did, and it took me off the turnpike . I paid .75 in change, then drove about 9 miles down hwy. 9 to try and find someplace to get more change so I could get back on (the booths were unmanned coins only). Couldn't find one so I went back and hoped I had enough to get back on. I did ($1.25), and continued on. Made a stop at a service plaza before getting onto hwy. 69 at Henrietta.
Going down 69 I soon found railroad tracks next to the highway, so I kept watch. Wasn't long before I came across a Union Pacific train going the other way. I would've had time to stop and get a pic' but I didn't. Not long after that I overtook another one going the other way so I got ahead, found a crossing, and waited for it. Got a couple of pic's and continued on.
I finally got to the con around 12:30PM, missing out on a couple of panels (nothing important), but at least I was there. Checked into the hotel, unloaded my stuff, parked the car, and went to my room where I spent about an hour unpacking and getting the rest of my first cosplay on (I already had the shirt on).
It was WAIFU STEALING TIME!
On the way out the elevator door opend and there was one of my friends from MWBF standing there. He had ridden down with 2 others from Lawrence/Kansas City.
No sooner than I walked in I got comments on it. Just like that a couple of girls cosplaying Midnight Sparkle and Daydream Shimmer asked if they could get a photo of them fighting over Flash later, and of course I said yes (I have no problem with people taking pic's of my cosplays). I registered (incl. for the cosplay competition) and walked into the con. The first panel I walked in on was the EqG fan panel by Horse News. One of the panelists was cosplaying Sunset and immediately wanted to get a pic' with me, and I even got invited to sit in with it a bit and offer opinions. After that was the opening ceremonies, and then an autograph session for sponsors only. The line was long and I was worried I would miss the cosplay contest, which was right afterwards, but I managed to get mine and get out to get my cosplay prop with minutes to spare. As for the autographs: I had Larson sign my Funko Twilight's wing (told him I was one of the few who didn't have a problem with Twi's transformation), and he liked my Flash cosplay. Then I went over to Vincent who loved it. Only got a photo with him: i63.tinypic.com/23ks128.jpg
Then I got Brenda's autograph (on a still in box Zecora brushable), and she liked my, blue eyes.
There were some good cosplays at the contest. And you could have them play music during your appearance, so I transferred the song I was going to go onstage with (Beastie Boys Rhymin' and Stealin') from my MP3 player to my laptop, then to my flash drive beforehand. Unfortunately it was played for the wrong person. Oh well. Didn't need it because my waifu stealer cosplay was a hit. And I won best prop for my "Bag O' Waifus" .
And of course, after the contest this happened:
My final panel of the night was a Horse News one on fandom drama (wasn't going to miss that one ). Didn't get to sleep until 2 AM.
Slept in longer than I wanted to, but managed to change into my 80's Shining Armor costume in time for the all guests panel. Then I took part in the "march for Equality" (I'm sure Kelly would've taken part, but she was doing autographs).
I went to the charity auction (altogether over $15,000 was raised for St. Jude), then the VA panel which featured the VA's first having to do a short skit with scripts they hadn't had a chance to rehearse. Went to eat dinner (I brought some food with me so I wouldn't have to get outrageous hotel stuff or go out looking for something), then went to a a late running panel that wound up being combined with another (confidence through cosplay and state of the fandom). Picked up a couple of badge ribbons saying I was blocked by 2 different people (even though I'm not) . I wanted to go to the drink with Mitch and Foalpapers panel, but because the other panel ran late I caught the last hour of the OONTZ rave before going to bed. Saturday wasn't as good as Friday, but still had some interesting stuff.
Things just go by too fast. Got into my NLRAF pilot cosplay, and checked out of my room by 11:30, made another pass through the vendor's hall (found a neat little scrolling message badge that became part of my cosplay), then went to the History of Cons panel, and for the heck of it checked out Beardcon. On the way I finally met
Decided to get my NLR game on my assembling my Luna banner and standing at attention (somewhat). Probably had 12-15 people take pic's and 1 video of me. Lots of people including Dustykatt liked it.
I swung by the autograph session to get a pic' with Kelly before going to the explain this to me panel, which almost ran into the closing ceremonies. And with the end of that, it was time to go home. I managed to get out of Dallas before nightfall, and this time took I-35 back, which went much faster. 8 hours later I was home.
Was it worth the time and money? Yes it was. It was nice to get away from everything. As for next year: Hopefully I can find a ride. I'd much rather do that because it saves money, and it's funner. Of course we don't know what the future is going to bring. Heck that might have been my last con. We'll see (I'd still like to go to Bronycon).
As I type this I've been up 28 hours straight (namely because I had to get the rental car back to Topeka by noon). Time to get to bed.