Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Catching up: Katsucon 2016!

Weeks / Months later! I'm finally sitting down to write this entry before I completely abandon it orz  coz I know I'm still behind on entries from SUMMER SHOOTS too but....welps...better late than never??? More under the cut!

I just rolled back from Hanadoki Con (actually, lets get real. I just spent 10 mins walking around there and quickly gave up and went elsewhere) but I'm finally sitting down long enough to try and catch up with entries and edits orz which I am really bad and behind on! I honestly don't even know much many people even bother keeping up with their blogs anymore. I for one am very guilty of not keeping up with it but for my own amusement I try to so I can always look back at how atrociously lame I was lol...

But man oh man, Katsucon had its up and downs without a doubt! And its definitely taking me forever to sit and write this entry out and I've had to take continuous break to do so...not to mention Firefox crashing on me and not saving the entry at all after almost wrapping it up completely...

So take no.3! This is probably going to be a very heavy text based entry since I didn't take a lot of photos outside of the shoots I was doing and its more than likely strictly a way for me to reflect back on my experience there...(though I really wished I whipped out my camera more so I have more of a visual reminder...but oh well)

Day -1 to Day0! 

I ended up staying up the night before my flight since my flight would have been a very early morning departure. I  took the first flight out of California to DC, being that it was a 6:50am flight,I had to be at the airport by 5am at the latest...I always underestimate how busy the airport gets with early morning flights. Between commuters and those traveling the longest distances; wanting to get as much of their day out of the way as possible...

By the time I got through check-in and security there was little to no time to really sit down as they were already starting to board people on the plane by the time I got there. Luckily for me I bought the pre-check in prior because I was not about to deal with waking up early the day before JUST to check in on my flight...and risk getting the last boarding...I highly suggest this to anyone flying with SouthWest because it saves you the headache especially if you know you'll be flying out first thing in the morning...

The flight surprisingly went by pretty quickly. I'm sure it helped the fact that I just stayed up the night before so I  don't have to suffer immense jet lag by the time I got to the East Coast and I armed myself with as much entertainment as I could carry on with me :'3 I don't do well on long flights since I get bored/antsy easily ahaha...but glad it went smoothly though. This isn't my first time flying long distance but its definitely the first flight I've taken by myself thats clearing across the ocean and it was definitely an experience that I welcomed with open arms!

Caught a shuttle to the hotel when I landed and it was a good thing I opted for the shuttle versus an Uber since I underestimated the traffic to get there...shuttle atleast gave me a flat rate instead of racking me up by the miles? Or something rather. But yes! As soon as I landed it was off to work!

Actually not really, we decided to first brave the cold and walk to the McDonalds in the quest to find coffee and 50pcs Chicken Nuggets. I don't have any photos but I posted a stupid video on Meipai of us freezing because of the cold wind cutting through our faces. And honestly, we had no idea how we were going to get to the McDonalds since from where we stood it looked like you had to cross the high way or drive a car.

Wondering around the harbor there turned out to be a route that took you AROUND but aint nobody got time for that so we bucked it across the high way...
and chickened out on the way back and called for an Uber lOOOO to take us back to the hotel which was basically a 5 min. drive lol...sorry not sorry. We're not about to cross the high way again with coffee and chicken nuggets at hand.

Day 0 shoot started off with Euphemia's shoot and quickly followed by Death Parade March at the bar area. The bar area and staff was very forgiving to us cosplayers! I feel in California the hotels are all a no-no to us shooting in certain parts of the hotel. Here, I even got away with using an LED light diffused with a napkin. LOL Thanks to Ruiki for helping me out at the shoot!

Admittedly, I was rather nervous for my shoots. IDK Why, but it felt intimidating to be booking shoots with a whole new set of cosplayers in a whole new convention that I knew nothing about. but it turned out great! It set a good pace for my weekend ahead.

I tried to get my badge that night too but quickly gave up at how long the line was and in all honesty...I didn't even really need it. It makes me wonder how the con even gets away with this or makes money. Then again I doubt they even really have any events or anything planned out and quickly noticed that this was a very cosplay heavy based con anyway...

Day 1:

Officially Day 1! Being slightly jetlagged or just running on pure excitement and adrenaline I got up before everyone else and left the room shortly after 7am and went on a run around Harbor Island :x since I figured it would be my only chance to really walk around the convention center and around the surrounding areas to get an idea on what the place offered and also to be a tourist. Ish!

I mean, I did pack sweats so why not go for a run? LOL

Officially Day 1! Being slightly jetlagged or just running on pure excitement and adrenaline I got up before everyone else and left the room shortly after 7am and went on a run around Harbor Island :x since I figured it would be my only chance to really walk around the convention center and around the surrounding areas to get an idea on what the place offered and also to be a tourist. Ish!


National Habor is definitely a very beautiful place and Katsucon's hotel; the Gaylord is definitely as pretty as it lives up to be! I wish I took more time to really explore more of the city but I busied myself with shoots throughout the whole weekend uwu which is good too though...
Day 1 Shoots had me at my bussiest since I made sure to leave myself sometime on Saturday to do some other activities and for my own cosplay  as well. So Friday proved to be my most busiest time!
It was a good thing I gave myself time that morning to run around the convention center and get a feel for the area or I would have been COMPLETEL lost to what to do with the photos ):
Most of my entries for Day 1 is up! My biggest shoots for that day that I have up so far (at the time this entry is being posted) is the Life is Strange shoot and Diablo! I'm so glad I found the little hidden gem of the parking garage that I doubt anyone else had used during that weekend since it proved to be really great and to my advantage! Bless!


I'm glad I gave myself enough time to be able to shoot my friends owari no seraph cosplays too <3 p="">
Day 1 went well (minus a few hiccups that I will dismiss at this entry :x coz were gonna try to keep it positive ok?) 
I probably went to the parking garage several times that weekend to abuse it to no end for all the 'grungey' or darker shoots. I was really nervous to try and find a good place to shoot the darker themed shows/games considering how pretty the Gaylord is! but thankful for the gem of the parking garage that I found!
I feel every cos photographers dream is to find a gem like this and to be able to use it at our disposal was even greater.
I don't know if any other photographers found this place lol but I'm glad I had free reign of it each time I did use it!
Earning myself a little lovely bonus I treated everyone else to sandwhiches and a few drinks to celebrate the weekend.

The white Russian was definitely a more appropriate weather drink by any means but me being me...I had to order a blue hawaii; a little slice of summer paradise despite the cold winter weather lol.
Everyone at the bar was like OOOH WHATS THAT???
It was a nice end to Day 1 and had a good chitty chatty time with new Canadian friends too <3 p="">
ah, felt much adulating coz we probably were bitching about our office jobs the entire night AHAHAHA
Day 2:

I feel these entries are going by a blur but honestly, I didn't really do much other than just SHOOT all weekend so...I feel more indebt would be when I start to post the individual sets lol... I think?...
Anyways, day 2 was off to another early morning start up! A super early morning shoot with Jihatsu and Heaven for ONE PIECE and lord, bless Heaven for braving the cold winds that morning. As you can tell on the photo there was SNOW and since were at the harbor, you can just imagine how windy and cold it actually started to snow while we were shooting. So we had to book it short and head back to the hotel ASAP and try to resume our photos indoors because it was just THAT cold...
If anything, I gotta hand it to Heaven for being in Nico Robin in the cold...but yeah, we clearly didn't last long. Saturday was also the day the stupid fire alarm went off and everyone was being evacuated. I was on the 18th floor :x of the hotel and I didn't  bother going down thinking it was a fluke or prank...but turned out there really was a small fire in the maid café. Whoops. I probably would have died LOOO or idk. If it really was super urgent I would ran my happy butt down the stairs from the 18th floor...

Saturday was also cosplay day but in classic Chris nature, I only wore Saber for like 30 mins. And because of the fire evacuation our plans got pushed back even further. Whoops. So I ended up changing out right away since I had a afternoon full of bookings to do still LOL
Canada and geibait wore Touken Ranbu that day too and I was the jerk photographer who made everyone come outside to suffer in the cold just for a few photos :'D....hopefully I'll have the photos up soon enough coz I know at this time I don't have an entry up for it yet  but the teasers are up on my page!
I ended up giving up my parka to Kogi and shot in just a t-shirt...*determined*
I swear the other photographer that was out there was internally weeping for me as he even asked how am I alive. I answered; determination and adrenaline LOOO!!!!!
More of the shoots kept getting pushed back and back ): and it was rather hectic to get to everyone else that afternoon as everything was being delayed, pushed out. Sun setting and etc.
Plus it was starting to get really crowded. Some of my shoots ended up cutting short due to the times overlapping due to the hiccup on the schedule.
After everything was done, it was time to change back into Noragami!

Day 3:

Day 3...we were suppose to get up before the sun rise to shoot didn't quite happen LOL...
Long story short; we failed but we still tried to shoot anyway ahaha...

It was again cold outside and with lack of helpers it makes it rather difficult to shoot costumes when the cosplayers themselves are immobile qvq gg... I'm sure we all learned alot that weekend. Props to all the cosplayers though. I really have no more stamina to cosplay at events LOL...
I picked up new HQ trash stuff from my friend Rei's booth; Arsenic x Cyanide. I got the Fukurodani and Seijoh hat from her <3 and="" get="" grummy="" hands="" i="" karasuno="" my="" nekoma="" on="" ones.="" p="" still="" the="" to="" yet="">
It was the last day of the con;  hectic mornings and everyone trying to check out @v@;;
Wore the lolita dress for the first time but again I failed to get a full OOTD and I  think I still need to get propr tights and etc. Its a really bad work in progress.
I wore the blonde wig to match 'young dad Kazama' LOOOOO instead , and made sure to wear big big hair to sell chiisai image. Though its not hard when all your friends pretty much tower over you anyway///

Dinner that night was BonChon Chicken~ which I know we have in LA but I've never been. Whoops :x it was an adventure getting there and that soju was well deserved considering how the weekend went lol.

Last day! Of course by luck it starts to snow!! It was nice weather all weekend long and even months prior to Katsu was all nice and dandy but of course the day I gotta fly home my flight cancels!



It was very beautiful and serene but internally I was screaming/crying stressing out LOL coz my flight got cancelled and I got to reschedule my flight and make sure my butt is on its way back to CA ASAP since I only have booked so many days off work! >w< 
I've been to the snowy mountains in CA before but this is a whole new level of snow for me LOL and it was great but stressful because of work!
But the show must go on, since we had planned a Cathedral shoot anyway and I was set to fly home that evening but with the flight cancellation...oh well...
Just as things couldn't get any worst LOL the chapel was closed when we got there! D8
We did what we can to make the best of the situation and shot around outside anyway...//sobs...

Because we're a gdamn trooper LOL
Bless Kyo for being out in the snow in her zettai ryokki Jeanne
In the end, we all still had a chance to have a last dinner with everyone together before we all parted ways. Instead of bumming at Kyo's house I ended booking myself a room at the holiday inn so I can camp out at the airport the following day to see if I can get a flight out to California QvQ It was so incredibly stressful. It was great that everyone else was able to make it home, some of my CA friends flew out the day before me...and clearly made it out before the snow set in...

I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty stressed out and anxious the entire time. I booked a place right by old town Virginia and this was the view from my hotel. the hotel was nice and not shady atleast ahaha...
but it did little to alleviate my anxiety...Kyo gave me a bathbomb for stress which was really nice and I spent the entire night just editing, talking with friends from CA and watching TV till I eventually passed out and got up early to try an walk around the area and headed to the airport prepared to camp out for any flights headed West....
Southwest did not reimburse me for anything but a free flight so it was ok. I guess...
At least I got a hearty breakfast at the hotel before heading out.... I don't remember how long I camped out at the airport but I'm glad for good free wifi and a open seat on the café area.
I ended up catching a flight to Texas and from Texas to California. I had sent out several SOS lol to anyone in CA who could house me if I ended up landing in LAX or Ontario airport but ideally my goal was to reach San Diego Airport but at that point, I was willing and ready to take ANY flight out headed any where near Southern California!
I looked like a pathetic lost child to one of the attendants and was given chocolate milk....LOOOOOO
My loot from Katsu! and I got home to a bouquette of red roses, a bear and chocolate from a dear friend! >w< since Katsu was valentines weekend!
I had intended on bringing chocolate for everyone too but I was a butt and forgot but I brought assorted pocky and red velvet oreos LOOO that counts?...

After several hours and much anxiety later I finally got home late Wednesday night! QvQ //sobs
It was such an adventure... Would I do it again? I honestly miss katsucon, I miss the east coast. I loved everyone I met there and it was great.
If I ever go come back to the east coast during its snowy season. I am going to be more well prepared in terms of time off work and etc...instead of cutting it close...

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