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Everything posted by alabaster

  1. Kaki, Southwest doesn't charge extra for bags, and neither does Virgin IIRC.
  2. I have been known, on occasion, to brew a vat of tea and then use water bottles to bring it with me. Just requires a bit of planning.
  3. Bottled, unsweetened teas are nearly impossible to find in the US. Such a pain in the butt.
  4. You must be flying ANA. You can get MUCH cheaper flights -- I've seen them as low as $800 in the last 3 months -- but I think it's probably worth a bit extra when you can afford it.
  5. I picked up two DVD's of Peach Girl from Big Lots for a dollar each and I can't say I was terribly into it. It just seems like they took a few episodes from a local station prime time drama and used it as the subject matter for an anime. If I was into that, I'd watch the WB on Wednesday nights. Wasn't Marmalade Boy the one about the girl whose parents do the wifeswap thing? I can't recall. Yup. Similar degree of awkwardness, but now with utter bitchery.
  6. Since i just got FIOS, I've been checking out their lineup. * Mushi-shi -- I'm really loving this one. Reminds me of creepy Irish folk tales more than anything else. Very different sort of vibe than the usual shojo/shonen crap. * Ouran HS Host Club -- enjoying it as a meta-commentary on teenage girl fandom. * Peach Girl -- have seen a few eps; a bit more slice-of-life than I am in the mood for, but not too bad. Liked Marmalade Boy better. * Hunter x Hunter -- so far so good: a bit formulaic, and I can almost foresee the endless tournament block of episodes coming. Enjoyab
  7. Hotel-based cons have options we do not when it comes to space. The Otakon dance has a much larger number of people to manage and for various practical reasons we need to be kicking folks out of the BCC by 2am. Heck, we kick most of our staff out by then. As the guy who, for two years running, was the last one out of the BCC at night (at 330 or 4am), I don't see it being particularly easy to extend that -- especially when most of the city shuts down at 2am. While some venues can stay open, we may well be up against city ordinances and noise rules. I'm sure that our planners will *ask* the
  8. I don't think it's so much we're against people hugging, we just had to ban the "Will Glomp for..." signs. Along with signs in general. Apparently Baltimore considers it "solicitation". And glomping people w/o permission is frowned upon. That's how I understand it, at least. Any other Staffer with better info, please chime in. Nope, you've got the gist of it -- see the FAQ on the website for more info, as well as the policy page. Hugs okay, pouncing and glomping total stranges, NOT okay. Offering sexual favors of any sort for any sort of payment? That is solicitation, as the BCP
  9. Pretty sure it was presented as a fire code or related safety issue.
  10. Dear God, that sounds hilarious. That'll make me get in line early just to see that Oh please. Rickrolling has been passe for at least a year now. Like "Chair", it stopped being funny about the third time it was done. Once your silly meme gets airplay during the Macy's parade, it's time to give it up...
  11. It's possible there will be something else to do thursday. No, I'm not saying anything more just yet.
  12. That's an acurate description of the 7Eleven that's 2 blocks away Once you guys are all gone, and the BCC is empty, we staffers have the chance at last to get real food and blow off some steam. Only one year we faced a real problem: we ran out of dessert before quite a few dedicated staffers arrived. So Alice (Volkmar, last year's Prez) and I hopped a cab and ran around the corner....and promptly bought out every snack food item in the (at that time) fairly new 7-11. It was obvious from their faces that they thought we were on drugs. Because who else lays out cash for a few hund
  13. Luckily that was the case for me. At least within Tokyo, there was no problem getting around or finding what I needed. Shopkeepers would often find a neighbor who spoke English, and in many cases they tried out their half-remembered school English on me. Which was only fair, as my Japanese abilities extend to politeness words and Berlitz tourist words. I can get by, and I understand more Japanese than I speak (which isn't much in either case). Of course these days I usually have some interpreter help for more important things like meetings, but it's still a very strange feeling t
  14. Yup, that's what I was saying earlier -- the one buried in the main hotel is bigger, but more likely to have issues. The one in the in-between building is almost ideal, but until you and I touched base this week, I was under the impression it had been booked by someone else. Sound baffling is possible with sufficient pipe-and-drape.
  15. Last year at Tokyo Anime Festival, we met an Otakon member who lived in North Dakota (or possibly some similarly midwestern locale). Finding a con member in Tokyo to begin with is odd enough, but to have them be from 2500 miles away.....
  16. Last year we had a mix -- most panels fit into a one-hour slot (so a 50 minute panel); a few panels and industry events went longer. I think Mer's comment was just giving an example.
  17. I'll let Panels Czar answer the more detailed questions, but there are a few general amenities that are standard in all rooms, and a few rules of thumb that may be helpful until he gets here -- since I have to provide this same info to industry and guests. * Typically, all our panel rooms have microphones, screen, table, 4 or more chairs. Easels and big paper pads are usually available on request. * The mics generally are FIXED and can't be moved, though sometimes the bigger rooms have wireless mics. Typically you won't see a wireless microphone in a room that doesn't have a sound
  18. Now Keep in mind that this hotel is 3-4 blocks up the hill... not a bad hotel just a bit of tiring to get too ; It's the former Wyndham, if that helps anyone.
  19. Yes you can have more than two panelists; however, only two will be eligible for panelist benefits.
  20. It's about whether we can get appropriate permission from whoever holds the rights. In some cases, we can go direct to the source if the property doesn't have a US distributor. For example, one of our prior guests, Mr Suwa of YTV, is a producer for the Yatterman series, and he may be able to direct us to the correct person to get permission to show the movie. It's fair to say that our policy has evolved regarding unlicensed properties -- as the legal situation has evolved, so has our relationship with various industry players, and so has the amount of attention paid by Japan.
  21. I've *never* understood the mad rush for the dealers room, nor the willingness to wait in a line for 3 hours and miss out on actual programming for no earthly reason. When I go to cons, I like to pick my badge up as early as I can -- so I can understand the pre-reg line, or rather I could if *every* year it hadn't been pretty much emptied after the first few hours. It is undeniable that you could simply show up at 7pm and not have to wait long, if at all, to pick up your badge. Why waste so much of your day? Then there's the folks who will sit up all night watching anime or playing
  22. A few days ago I heard ANA was cutting their fuel surcharges in April. So if I wanted to fly from DC to Tokyo in June, it would cost me $200 less than it did in January. That's for economy class. For business and first, I imagine the discount must be huge. And that times ten means you're probably quite happy right now. (Side note: ANA is a really awesome airline and they're one of only two airlines that fly direct DC-Tokyo. Try them sometime.) IIRC the fuel surcharge for ANA biz class was about $350 -- so not *quite* as much as you'd think. The surcharge kicked in last year *
  23. If it's any consolation, gas prices are a HUGE part of my worry every year. When gas doubles in price, it affects all the airfare for guests, the cost of ground transportation, even food prices. But when you fly 20-30 people in from Japan, a 25% increase is pretty painful.
  24. Funny is when you work your butt off for 11 months, then work like a madman for a solid week, to bring other people 3 days of fun, and you don't get to see it yourself.
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