W4's Fanime 2002 Report: Thursday

Technically, this was the day before Fanime, but I must report on this day if for no other reason than to give you a vital health warning: pizzas have metal in them.

How do I know this? Simple. At San Diego's airport, I walked through the metal detector twice. The first time, carrying my wallet, my gum holder and Chap-Stick in my pocket, I passed without problem. When I found out that my flight was delayed, I backtracked to get a personal pizza for lunch. I ate it and walked through the metal detector with the exact same things in my possession.


While they were frisking me (oddly enough, the soles of my shoes set off their metal scanners), all I could think of was, "What the HELL was in that pizza?!?"

So remember, kids. Say no to pizza, especially if you're about to board a plane.

But aside from that, getting from San Diego to San Jose was uneventful.

My old college pal, Young Wang, was at the San Jose airport, along with his girlfriend, Christine (a.k.a. Natsuki), to pick me up. We went from the airport to The Great Mall in San Jose. That's what they called it, but it seemed like just about any other mall I've seen. But since Young and Christine were there, we had a great time. It could have been The Great Landfill for all I cared since I was so happy to see Young again after eight months.

From left to right: Christine,
Young and Gir.
GIR! Defensive mode!
GIR: (eyes red) Defensive mode activated! (leaps into Young's arms)

What? *I'm* writing this. Of COURSE there will be corny jokes.

From the Great Mall, we three went to an art shop, fabric shop and then to a second mall which was not as great as The Great Mall, but what can one do? We did get together with a small mob of Young's friends, hit a comic book store and then went to a Hewlett-Packard building to pick up EVEN MORE of Young's friends... and, oh, yeah. His brother, too. (At this point, there's... roughly 14 of us.)

Ah. Young's brother. Louis Wang. You know how, to most of you, Crazy Taxi is only a game? Well... not so for Louis. And he drove me to In-N-Out Hamburgers. And yet, I survived. Proof positive that there is a God somewhere out there. ^_^

So we ate and headed en masse (French for "in a giant moose") to The Santa Clara Westin, the site for Fanime. I checked in, and let me tell you right now that the hotel beds are HUGE. And the service was phenomenal. Two thumbs way up. So I set up base, unpacked and registered.

And lo and behold...

Mahoro!  Hooray!
Ayup. That's Young's artwork. Not only did he do the cover, he provided artwork inside the program for a brief Japanese tutorial and a top ten list of things to do at Fanime.

Hooked up with friends. Registered at the hotel. Registered for the con. There's only one more important thing to do before bed. Check out the arcade. So I did. And it was good. There was "DDR 4th Mix Plus," "Guitar Freaks 5th Mix," "Drum Mania 4th Mix," "Keyboard Freaks 3rd Mix," "Dance Maniax Second Mix," "Puzzle Fighter II Turbo" and an Ultracade machine including classics like "Side Arms," "Snow Bros.," and "Zookeeper."

Oh, yeah. That'd do quite nicely. After playing a few games there, I headed to bed (roughly midnight). That turned out to be a good call; I'd need my energy for the days ahead.

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