& DHT World Tour
March 12-14, 2004
Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire's third annual anime extravaganza and the Annual get
together of the members of the non-performing band "Dead
Ham(p)ster Tuesday" tossed in as well.
I know, I never wrote up NoBrandCon
2003, but... I don't care. It's been too long to remember enough
anyways. Rather than the crappy photo reports I used to do, I've
decided to write up a full entry, detailing most of the major
events. You'll also notice that there is a new comment format,
since I've done away with TRHMessenger. It's the one I've been
using on a lot of the rest of the site. At the end of each day of
the report, you will be able to comment on it... hopefully this will
work out well.
Okay, so Thursday was the easy day...
why? Because it involved me
not doing much. I was waiting mostly for Derek to show up.
Derek was staying with me, while Chris and Heather were staying at
Heather's friend Kristen's apartment. I was expecting Derek
at 8pm, so I rushed at got my homework done...
...and then called Chris, and found
out they weren't going to get there
until midnight. So, I sat around for a few hours and did nothing,
until Derek got there. We then went to sleep.
Friday started bright and early, as I
had an 8:00am class. Derek
came down the hill with me, and sat in
Davies with me, which is
my usual morning ritual. Exciting. Between my
classes, at some point Chris showed up with the IBS stock, and we
partially set up the booth at about 12:30pm or so. The following ass-shot
wasn't intentional (I was trying to take a photo of Chris and Derek at
the un-setup booth, but Derek bent over at an inoportune moment), but
the way Chris looks like he's standing proudly over it makes me
laugh. I got out of my last class at about 2:00pm, and went and
helped Derek set up the rest of the booth. The Dealer room opened
at 4:30, and our part of the convention. Not that much later,
Chris came back with Heather in tow (she was getting
a new tatoo), and the Ina Bel Shuhadaku vendor team was assembled.
At some point in there, I finally met
Becca, who I've been randomly
talking to for the last few weeks online, through YIM when I'm bored in
class, which was cool.. Over the entirety of the weekend I would
have many such moments, where I met people in person who I've been
talking to online. I'll only mention Becca, because she was the
first to holler "TRAE!" at me, and if I spent the time to list EVERY
person who I met who I knew from online... well, I'd be writing a
friggin' novel, so I won't.
Opening ceremonies happened at
7:00pm, right outside the dealer room,
so I was able to watch from the doorway. It was neat, as they
performed the funeral for Duct Tape Boy... who, of course, turned out
to not be dead. Big surprise there... *grin*.
Afterwards, Chris conducted the
Friday night tournament at the IBS
booth, and I went off to host Hanzo the Razor. Hanzo was... well
it was Hanzo. If you don't understand Hanzo the Razor, or why
it's such a great movie... then, well, you suck.
Derek also sold about a third of his
stock that night too.
Anywho, afterwards Derek and I were
both pretty wiped, so rather than
go to any hotel located activities, he and I chose to just crash and go
Saturday began bright and early, at
7:00am, for Derek and myself.
It also involved a rather interesting encounter in the bathroom. I'll
leave you with what I wrote that
morning rather than reiterate it though. We rolled down the
hill to the convention at about 8:00am. Derek worked on custom
pieces he'd taken orders on, while I... ummm... I sat and wrote the
blog entry I just linked to.
Saturday was significantly busier for
us than Friday people wise, but
while we sold more than Friday, it wasn't significantly more. But
that was perfectly fine, because that was still a huge chunk of the
foam swords (and we sold more on Friday than expected). Derek
also didn't mind, because he hit profit too.
Chris ran the first tournament,
without much problem... and this
is where stress begins. I wish I hadn't left the IBS booth,
but... effectively I had to... to go host Hanzo the Razor 2: The Snare
(You know, the film I scarred Kawaii
Gemini with at last
year's NoBrandCon), and Derek pretty much got shafted by it. I
still feel guilty about it, but... grr... this is why, if I work for
Derek next year, I'm not going to host anything past the first Hanzo
film. If I'm working for the con, like I was back in 2002 and
2003, I'll host the second and third movies, but no more of this half
assed garbage. The con either gets all of my time, or only the
two hours for Hanzo 1. That's it.
Afterwards, the booth died down, as
the Costume contest started.
Derek walked around, working on his custom piece, I got all angsty, and
not a whole lot happened for a while. The dealer room
closed at 8:30, and I talked with Terence up until the Dance...
Chris started the final tournament
for IBS at 9pm, and I went to the
Dance. The dance was awesome. I pretty much made an
ass out of myself for the entire time... and had a lot of fun. I
also was a yucky sweaty mess by the end.
When I got out of the Dance, the
tournament was still going. The
second place winner from last year's Sunday tournament took first, and
got the nifty black hilted custom as a prize. I have a photo of
most of the winners from the
tourneys that I took soon
I stopped by the dorms, took a quick
shower, and changed my clothes, to
become less yucky.
Afterwards, Chris, Derek, Heather and
I all went to the hotel, and
promptly split up... I unfortunately lost track of Derek, which ended
up with me wandering around the hotel several times looking for him,
worried. Mostly because he couldn't get into my dorm room without
me (in theory). Luckily, everything worked out for the best (as
he eventually got in), but I still felt really guilty.
I ended up in a room rather full of
people, which involved lots of
talking, playing Soul Calibur 2, and watching random crap until 5:30
...I got to the dorms at about
6:00am. I fell asleep at 7:00am...
...I woke up to go back to the con at
7:30am. That's right, I
only got about 30 minutes of sleep that night. Woot.
I went to go run Hanzo 3, at
8:00am. To which no one showed up to
until 8:45, and I was able to pawn it off on someone else (Namely
Brandon/Wizardree). I was really tired, and spent the time before
the dealer room opened talking with Steve and Befu. Befu made me
feel better by letting me play with her plush "Kick the Cheat: The
Cheat!" that Steve had given her. Thank you Befu, that made my
I also got to
mess with Damien's (of Genesis
Mindworks) head, as he was
still a little drunk from the
night before. I'm really too mean to the guy... but it was still
funny. And, apparently, a day at NBC2004 can't start without my
encountering someone who's drunk.
I ended up in the variety show at
several times, including me dancing
around with Gojira, in a bizarre, yet hilarious improvised moment, and
screaming Feliz Navidad at the top of my lungs with Steve. Verssen
Werks / Kawaii
Gemini / Joe
Grisaffi / Monica Rial put
on a bizarre skit together, for
which I have some extremely out of focus images of in the image gallery
for this (too many to just link to). The skit was hilarious
though, even if not rehearsed that much.
The vendor room was slow, but we
moved almost all of Derek's
swords. This is
all of the swords (besides the
throwing weapons) that Derek had to actually bring home.
All and all, a successful year for him. I do also want to point
out that Julie had
the best "Gir" outfit ever.
It just needed a mention.
The Vendor room closed at 4:30, and
Derek and Chris hit the road not
that long after (Heather was heading back monday, but I still didn't
see her again before she left, so it only sort of counts as he having
stayed longer). I went to closing ceremonies, and the con shut
down for the night... except for Warhammer 40k, which I'm told ran
until 10pm Sunday night.
Andy apparently won that.
So, that's the entirety of my NoBrandCon report... hope to see you all