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Strip 374, Volume 3, Page 57

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< Piro >

proposal ponderings

"proposal ponderings"

Wednesday - February 19, 2003

[Piro] - 15:05:00 - [link here]

After finally getting home yesterday, a local on the #megatokyo channel told me to look out the window at the snow that had just started to fall. After driving 15 hrs in treaturous snowy conditions, i have to say that this was one of those few times where the sight of snow drifting past my window really didn't excite me very much ^^;;

One of the problems with going to anime cons is that they have a tendency to turn my world upside down for several days before, during and after the convention. Katsucon this past weekend was no exception. In fact, for various reasons, it shook things up a lot more than my usual travels.

First there is my perpetual problem with being behind schedule on... well... everything. Some of it has to do with taking on a little too much for January and February (which, by pushing into February crowds out what i SHOULD be working on this month). The irony of overloading yourself is that the pressure of having too much to do actually makes it *harder* to work efficiently. Go figure. Cons are a nice break from the grind, but they also require being ahead by at least 2 comics. As you can see, this did not happen before I left.

Next, we were late getting to the con. Sarah and i decided to drive to Virginia rather than fly because, well, we like road trips. 8 hrs isn't a long drive for me (i can sit at a table for 8 hrs, i can drive for 8 hrs). Our original plan was to leave thursday afternoon and get there friday around noon. Unfortunately, Sarah had to see a professor friday morning, which meant that we didn't leave till ten-ish friday morning. This put us into the DC area just in time for rush hour. Yay, fun. Great time to get lost on the roads circling the Pentagon.

Then there was that pleasant little snow storm that blew in Saturday night. Gee, what wonderful timing. On Sunday we faced the daunting question as to if we should leave DC and try to drive out of the storm, or face getting stuck for days in the additional feet of snow arriving later that night. As fun as it would be to hang out another day with everyone at the con, we had cats that were all alone in the apartment, sarah had work and class, and I needed to get home so I could get back to work on all this stuff i had to do. We figured that we would drive out of the snow somewhere around mid Pennsylvania. Hah. We never did drive out of the snow. It took us five hours to get out of Maryland. Five hours to get out of Pennsylvania. after 11 and a half hours of driving in snowy conditions we decided it was time to stop. The next day, we faced even more snow. I think the snow finally stopped about 30 minutes from home. I was forgetting what pavement looked like.

The final problem with cons, especially cons that involve stressful travel conditions (happens to me often for some reason) is that it takes a day or so to wind down after getting home. My original plan was to get home sunday night and spend monday winding down and taking it slow, then punching out a comic on tuesday. Fffft. After getting home around 3pm on monday, i was pretty much useless. Yesterday i stared a blank piece of paper and a blank script and couldn't even remember what Megatokyo was about. Creativity isn't a faucet that you can turn on and off, it's more like a horrid old lawnmower that you have to coax and yank into shape, coupled with prayers and a little 10W40 spritzed into the joints. After struggling all day, things managed to turn over and i remembered that somewhere down there I actually do know how to draw. ^^;; Drawing the actual 'Sad Girl in Snow' picture that has been hinted at for all this time was, well, kinda daunting. Nothing I could actually draw could meet the expectations for it, so i hope this stand in will do for now.

Even with all of that, Sarah and I had a great time at Katsucon. I would like to thank not only the Katsucon staff, most of whom i didn't even have time to meet, but to my friends and all the fans who helped make Sarah feel welcome at her first real anime con. Oh, and Pocky, I hope you get your voice back. ^_^ Sarah and I would both like to thank you for inviting us. Most of all I'm glad that everyone seems to have made it hope safe and sound, and that most of you aren't idiots like Sarah and i are when it comes to traveling where angels fear to drive. :P

One other thing that happened at the con was really my doing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to run a panel, run around and take questions because Dom isn't there, and then at the end of it prepare to ask your girlfriend to marry you? Somehow, i managed it, and amazingly, Sarah said yes.

Sarah and I have been together for a long time, and we've been thru a lot together. Never once has she failed to support me, in fact without her i would never have had the courage or the self confidence to do what i'm doing now. I like to think that I've been there for her whenever she has needed me, and I know that I always try to be. I guess you could say i really am her #1 fan, and i always will be.

maybe that's why i've been so nice to Piro lately. He's been getting way too many breaks. I need to do something about that....

< Seraphim >

isn't she cute and adorable? - piro

"the scenic route"

Wednesday - February 19, 2003

[Seraphim] - 13:00:00 - [link here]

Katsucon is my first con since Megatokyo has become 'known'. I was a little afraid but I mistakenly believed that most fans were like Dom and Asmodeus. Now those two guys scare me to death. I've heard the stories and seen the pictures. Nothing can top the Origami fanatics on the strangeness scale. They are a breed apart. I like to do origami and all but I don't want to get into the whole origami Zen 'way of life' thing. I think the scariest con scene is the American Library Association conventions. Imagine thousands upon thousands of librarians gathering together and taking over an entire city not once but twice a year. Sure we're cool and we know it but outsiders will never fully understand.

Much like the emails and messages I have received in the past, the fans are incredibly friendly, supportive, and very patient. So many people showed up for autographs and would say that they had been waiting in line for their friend, cousin, or children. Wow, what great friends and parents. My dad wouldn't have waited in line for me. I always got the 'your legs are younger' excuse. I find anime fans are extremely creative from their costumes to the Haiku forum threads. There was also one crazy guy who when church services were cancelled because of the BLIZZARD decided to catch the Metro and come meet us on Sunday morning. I was truly impressed.

I was extremely shell shocked by the amount of work Piro and the rest of the MT crew does at a con. I had a class Thursday and had to meet with a professor Friday morning so we got in late on Friday after getting lost in D.C. We circled the Pentagon several times but finally got there. Saturday started off with autographs in the dealer room, then racing to another autograph session, then back to the dealer room for more signings, then to a panel, and a few minutes for lunch and back to the dealer room until a 5:00 workshop. After about two hours I could barely remember how to spell Seraphim and was wishing she was named something shorter. We had a nice dinner and then Piro had another workshop at 11:00. Piro was up and in the dealer room again Sunday but we took off early and raced the blizzard to Michigan. We are slightly crazy but we also hadn't arranged for anyone to check on the cats. That probably sounds like a dumb reason but they count on us. At least we know there won't be a blizzard at Sakuracon, Anime Central, or Otakon! But I've heard Baltimore has other natural disasters.

Having lived in Michigan my entire life I wasn't too afraid of the drive home but I saw things I have never seen before. I have to admit driving down the middle of the Beltway with no other vehicle in sight was incredible. It felt a smidge like something out of Steven King's 'The Stand'. When we finally did encounter other life forms they were invariably pulled over under a bridge or overpass and scraping off their windshields. Oh no, you would never see a Michigander stopped along side 696 or 94 scraping their windshield. We do that BEFORE we start driving. Where did that bizarre practice come from? Dozens and dozens of people were doing it. Or the habit of reaching out of the driver side window to grab the wiper while driving in a blizzard. My favorite all time event on the drive home was the Jeep Cherokee that decided to go into the 'Scenic Outlook' (to look at more snow??) which hadn't been plowed and got himself stuck.

Yet none of this compares to what has happened within our own apartment community. Driving to work one sunny morning 5 of our neighbors rear ended each other before even getting out of the gates. Admittedly, it was very bright and if not for the lights of the fire truck, we may have ended up the sixth car that scenerio. We got to the main road and another neighbor rear ended someone at the exit. A rescue vehicle going to the 'big' accident was stopped to help them. Just today Piro came across an SUV that ran up over a curb and crashed into a small tree on the property. The tree is just barely past the sapling stage and it totaled the SUV. There wasn't even any snow on the ground. I actually feel safer out on the roads then in our own parking lot. Our neighbors' sucky driving is probably going to drive up the local insurance rates. We probably live in the highest accident area in the whole town.

I was going to leave the announcement to Piro, but who knows when he'll have time to write a rant. The rumors are true, he proposed at the panel. And now that there isn't a gigantic audience, the answer is still yes. We had seen CNN coverage of a soldier proposing to his GF on the T.V. and I think Piro just wanted to steal the his thunder. I now know exactly what anyone who is surprised by a proposal thinks as it is happening - "What the hell is going on here?" I just kept wondering what Piro was babbling on about. It did explain all the 'What did Piro get you for Valentine's Day? HA HA Nudge nudge wink wink' that was going on for the whole con. Wink wink. It was a surreal event all around. How we are going to squeeze nuptials in this year, I do not know. We'll probably have to make Ukyo get a divinity degree from the Church of Blue Suede Shoes advertised on matchbook covers, so he can marry us. Maybe he could become a ship captain. Whatever would be easiest for him to study. I'm not picky.

- seraphim

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