As a few of you picked up on, today was a rough day thanks to the miracle of Google Now. You see, I’ve worked so hard to keep all the information in and around my life organized that sometimes I forget some of that info… hence why I use reminders via technology.
Today Google Now on my phone reminded me that it was (would have been) my father’s 64th birthday and his and Sharon’s 19th wedding anniversary.
It took a number of months or so after his death for me to truly come to terms with his passing, and I’m more or less fine – but random reminders still serve as a kick in the gut from time to time. My dad never really understood the whole “geek universe” I swim in the sea of, but he would always listen when I would vent regarding the issues I would have to overcome when working with events.
If nothing else, we was a great listener.
So happy birthday, old man. (If you’ll excuse me – I’m just going to continue to assume he’s still reading my online nonsense.)
Added note: I Google dad from time to time in case any random info pops up and found this site listing his football career. I might have to find photos to scan and update the info for him at some point: http://www.fanbase.com/Russ-Croom
Twelve Days Away From Florida: #Austin, #AnimeExpo, and #LosAngeles
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the world that I’m coming
Twelve days is a long time. I left Orlando on Saturday, June 28th for Austin, Texas to wrap up some InvaderCON details and, thirty-six hours later, I caught a plane for Los Angeles to attend Project Anime (Year 3) and Anime Expo 2014. SO MUCH happened and I’m doing my best to remember it all. Thankfully, Instagram and Twitter keep track of me pretty well.
So I’m sitting on Virgin America Flight 312 to Orlando International Airport recalling the whirlwind of the past week and a half.
I visited over a dozen “geek” locations in Austin, Texas to drop off local InvaderCON info. One of the most memorable of these places was Pinballz Arcade. Unlike some the trendy new “geek bars” featuring classic arcade goodness, this place is the real deal. Not a bar, an arcade. I swear I stepped back into 1985 and twelve year old me was awestruck by all the quarter gobbling goodness that was there.
Austin is a pretty amazing place and a REALLY good city for finding great food. I (of course!) hit up the Salt Lick to get some amazing barbecue. I finally tried P. Terry’s Burger Stand… and (sorry) it was pretty underwhelming.
After leaving Austin, I found myself in Los Angeles where I had lunch with some Richard guy and did work on InvaderCON. That Monday night, I had dinner with Allison who works with Anime Los Angeles and Anime California to talk shop. I’m hoping some of the advice I threw her way helps her out.
Then I checked into what would be my home away from home for the next eight days: the Westin Bonaventure. This was my view:
I was hired by Anime Expo/the SPJA to design an “anime convention runners and industry conference” in 2011. I named it Project Anime and continued to work on the event until spring of 2013 when I moved onto other ventures. Each year, though, I return as a guest and participate in the conference and I’m happy to see how it’s grown. So, Tuesday morning I got up bright and early and showed up for Project Anime 2014 with the runners of dozens of other anime conventions from around the world.
Attending the conference is also a chance to visit my friend Marc. Marc co-created Project Anime with me and is the CEO of Anime Expo. Here we are looking serious and stuff.
I got to hang with a bunch of old friends from other conventions during the conference. Shout out to:
Rachel aka “Cookies” from my past adventures at Anime Expo.
Lindsey & Stephen from Kraken Kon who, incidentally, gave me one of the nicest gifts at Project Anime: a copy of their con guide with my name in the Thank You section. (Thanks, guys!)
I’m sure I’m forgetting some folks, but I’m going to blame old age, exhaustion, and a numb butt sitting on a plane.
Project Anime’s evenings were spent at many late night social gatherings with other con runners and industry. One took place at a club called the Elevate Lounge in downtown Los Angeles. I took this pic from the open air bar while there. No filter!
After that night, Anime Expo kicked off and became a non-stop blur with friends old and new…
I spent many an evening out and about with Tara (from FUNimation).
Got to spend some solid time with Jenn from Otakon. Getting to have conversations the past couple of years at Anime Expo have been difficult to do political and legal mumbo-jumbo reasons, but this year we spent hours talking about the industry and (somehow) religion and politics. I event introduced her to the magic of The Pie Hole and boxed water.
I also ran into Cosplayer and Florida Anime Experience alumni Alexa Karii.
Got to spend a lot of time with my pal Tsuyoshi from Japan.