I stopped at home to finish packing the car after work and left some time between three and four in the afternoon. I went straight to the Renaissance Center, made contact with Russ (the guy I've shared a room with for two years now) as well as TigerUchimaru and Blondeguygamer, and got all my backseat luggage into the room. Eventually I had to pick up WellUnreal007 from the airport, only to find out that I'd gone to the wrong terminal. Upon arriving, traffic promptly stopped and/or turned into a massive clusterfuck as everyone tried to pull over to pick up arrivals while the police yelled at everyone and everything to keep moving. Unreal was in the arrival area, but with my being unable to find anything resembling an opening in that area he ran out to my car while it was a couple lanes out and got in with his luggage.
We fought our way out of airport traffic only to find out that part of the highway leading back was closed, meaning three lanes of traffic were being funneled into a one-lane exit ramp. Needless to say, we powered through my one-hour long mash-up of Bear Force One fairly easily before getting back to the hotel.
With my missing the chance to pick up pre-registration the night before, I had to wait in line. Let's get one thing straight right now. The registration line was far, far worse. If the registration line was the final level of Dante's Inferno (the story, not the game) then the pre-reg line was somewhere in space, orbiting several miles away from the Gates of Hell. Still, the line was several hundred feet long. It moved fast, though.
After that I went back to the room and, since Linkara was there this year, reprised the role of 90's Kid, this time with the right color of hat and carrying around Blondeguygamer's Genesis as a prop. The sunglasses (which I can wear and still be able to see now that I have contacts) helped hide the massive rings under my eyes, though I was strangely not as tired as I should have been. I think that means I've been doing this way too much.
I was stunned by how many people recognized it and/or asked for photos, and even got stopped for an in-character three-minute long conversation by a couple of Dr. McNinja cosplayers. Then Linkara's live Atop the Fourth Wall happened. This was taken immediately after:
Fun fact: the first thing I agreed to in regard to Youmacon cosplay was that I'd be a part of Youmaslam!, a group of cosplayers doing classic WWF stars. So, around 9 in the morning, Russ was getting into his Macho Man Randy Savage costume while I slapped on a kilt and went as Rowdy Roddy Piper. Fitting, seeing as how I'm part Scottish.
We met with his other friends who were in the group, which included guys dressed as Virgil (who was Static Shock part of the previous day), The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, and Hulk Hogan, as well as a girl who was Elizabeth. What I didn't realize at first was that not only was this group going to be together for awhile, Russ and the others got in touch with Team Four Star and we would be doing a run-in gag right after the finish to their Patty Cake Championship match at the start of their panel.
Unreal was dressed as Barry Burton too, so it was appropriate if nothing else. TigerUchimaru said I was convincing, which I'm still not sure if that was a compliment.
I saw a bunch of Resident Evil cosplayers the previous day, but a lot of them were still around Saturday afternoon. We met with a group of S.T.A.R.S. members, the main four of Alpha Team to be precise, who seemed surprised to see me as <name removed>. Apparently there was another <name removed>, but it wasn't as recognizable. They told us about the panel that night involving Resident Evil and Silent Hill, which I ended up missing because I was so damn tired.
At one point while in line for the dealer's room someone walked up to me, checked the name on my badge (SCXCR), and walked away. I'm still not sure what exactly that was about.
We checked out a video game voice actor panel in which I found out that Reuben Langdon, who has done motion capture work for numerous videogames, tore his ACL multiple times during work for a game. Afterward he, as well as Jon St. John (Duke Nukem) and Josh Keaton (Ocelot, MGS3) did autographs for everyone. Not having anything appropriate for them to work with, I had them sign my one of the powerpoint presentations for my Geography class. No, seriously. Jon's message read "I've never lived there."
We'd actually started packing the previous night, and had just about finished packing before saying goodbye to TigerUchimaru, who had to catch an early bus, and heading to a Monster Hunter panel. Unreal, Blondy and I all played an arena match against Great Jaggi, Barroth, and Royal Ludroth respectively with different partners. We all succeeded in taking the monsters down and, between all of us, only fainted once.
During a final sweep of the dealer's room we pooled some money together to buy Fighter Maker (it's a long story), which Unreal would hold on to. Meanwhile I got a Monster Hunter figure of Ceadeus and, thanks to Blondy's generosity, a Bomberman coin bank almost as tall as my computer monitor. We also helped Unreal afford a K-On plushie. Fuck me if I can remember which one it was.
At an escalator we were stopped by a black guy asking if we ever watched Star Trek. This eventually turned into a conversation on the existence of intelligent life outside of our planet and how he was selling CDs of his raps about it. He took what change I and Blondy (his Canadian change, mind you) had left and gave us a CD in the most mind-fucking homemade slip case I'd ever seen. More on that later.
After eating one last time in the food court with what little money we had left, we all got our things packed well in advance of checkout and started moving shit to my and/or Blondy's car. The elevators were all packed so we took the stairs down to the third floor, then made for the lobby.
We shared a lobby elevator with a creepy-as-fuck Brony in a Rainbow-whatever-the-fuck-she-is hoodie whose face was stuck in slack-jawed mouth-breathing mode. To make it worse, the lobby elevators move much slower than the regular ones since they only go between floors 1 and 3. Not a damn word was spoken the entire ride.
The CD itself was covered in a plain white label. By this point I was already concerned about the CD potentially infecting my computer or Unreal's laptop. Now I was worried it would either open the Gates of Hell or kill me in seven days. Still, I put the CD in and heard... something.
for the Shadow Klan tells me so.