Seeing as I got bored of revision long ago, I should probably write the obligatory MCM Expo blog.
It was a very, very, stressful Expo. With parents determined to make me feel miserable and useless the night before, when I already felt not that great anyway, I started off the weekend in a bad mood (I know I should blog about the last day of school too, but like most school days, there was feck all to blog about, perhaps besides finally seeing Scotty’s hair out of a pony tail... I’ve waited two years for that!). We all finally went to bed at 1 am after frantically trying to do everything, only to get up four hours later to catch the train.
Almost nothing went right with public transport this weekend, starting off with the train. We were supposed to be getting a replacement bus to Stratford from Ipswich, but thankfully they sent us to Ingatestone instead, where we got a bus to London Liverpool. I suspect if we had been sent to Stratford, we would have been sent to Romford instead, where we went via on the way back. This way meant we got in half an hour early, which makes up sorta for getting on the wrong tube first thing. We finally got to Expo, and took up residence along with Michael and “Chii” (she was Cosplaying Chii, so shall forever be known that way :P) whom we had met on the train, on the hill for some lunch. Filled with Curry pasties and fruit, I left Lu and Rosie Cosplay watching on the hill (Sunstroke didn’t sound like my idea of fun...). When Me, Em, Michael and Chii got to the queue, we were horrified, they had an entire Expo hall for the queue. Michael and Chii then produced pre-ordered tickets out of Chii’s bag, which I didn’t even realise you could do. This filled me with much envy, as we then had to stand in the queue for an hour and a half. It has some perks, Cosplay watching and the dancing Doctor Who (She was awesome! I still regret not being a able to talk to her properly... But the one time I saw her, she was in Expo stress mode too, though I did overhear her saying she’d Cosplay him too next time :D). Once we had finally paid our £10 (yep, ticket prices have gone up *le sigh*) we went into the hall, to be bombarded by the hordes at the dealers stalls. At this point, I had Expo hate. I’d just queued for ages, only to be confronted by my idea of hell (but with added cosplay costumes which was partially cool, and partially quite annoying as then take up so much room). I was tired, stressed, felt like shit in my Costume, that I’d hated the idea of more and more through the making process (I’m not a Cosplayer... Sorry... I’d much rather just design my own outfits than copying someone elses), and was ready to go home. We went back out to the hall, and onto the hill, which only caused more rage for me, with it being rather too hot and sunny. After a bit, I decided to separate off from the others, and go back into the hall, if only to escape the sun. I managed to get a proper look at the Indie comics area (and bought far too many of them, but they’re only a pound or two each mostly!) and met some charming artists (including one that read me a story in a rather epic manner, I wish I’d filmed it!). Warren Ellis (FreakAngels) was there to meet, but I really couldn’t be bothered to queue up to meet him. I’m like that with most celebrities oddly, except Rogue, who gives awesome hugs and smells good :D
After I finished in the comics area, I went over to the DDR area, passing the Tokyopop stall where I’d had much rage at the fact that earlier I’d bought the English Gothic Lolita Bible, only to find it cheaper on the Tokyopop stall later. The DDR area at MCM is awesome though. They have a few DDR machines, two of which are standard ones, that are in a few arcades around England, and then their custom one that has everything on it. From Malice Mizer, Dead Can Dance, Corvus Corax, to Bemani originals like Scotty D and Naoki. This is the one they bring to Tokonatsu (anime camp), so any guessed what I’ll be doing all weekend this Toko? They also have various drumming and/or DJ games (I didn’t see the DJ one this expo, but I was crap at it anyway) and Singstar (which me and Rosh had great fun with last time). And then of course, my favourite bit, ParaPara Paradise. A game which DDR:UK have told me there simply isn’t the demand for in England (it’s on the PS2 in Japan, which it what they bring to Expo). This makes no sense to me, as not only is it beyond awesome, but I know many people who have poured hundreds into the lone UK machine at Trocadero in Picadilly square, and there’s even a UK ParaPara nightclub (as in the style of dance without the machine, coordinated moves to each song that the whole club dances) called Roppongi street that runs on an unfortunately infrequent basis. Anyway... I played for ages on that, and got talking to a Para Para enthusiast who knew all the dances! I’m still learning L I kept playing this until last games were called, when I left and met up with the others. My Expo love was definitely resparked, but I was ready to go home, and regretting the fact I’d been talked into a second day especially considering the incentive of having my accommodation paid for had been taken away without warning, and I was leaving early because I simply couldn’t afford not to. This means I’m going to have to magic even more money out of thin air for my summer plans *sigh*.
We then had to do the massive trek to the hostel. This would have normally been extremely simple, with only one change to get onto the jubille and straight to our hostel. Instead, it took 6 changes and nearly 2 hours, stupid TFL... Once we got there, the others collapsed, and human Duracell bunny me went to Sainsbury’s. It took longer than I remember to get there, probably because last time I walked it with Creep, and everything seems to go slower when you’re alone. I even got a call from Em who must have thought I’d been kidnapped or something. My card got refused at the checkout, as I had forgotten that my payment for my Hull accommodation deposit was going out, and I’d forgotten to pick up cash that morning, so I had to sort that which left me with £3.54 in my bank account... And another day of Expo to go... Great... I got back to the Hostel, and made some food for everyone, which went down very well, and then we collapsed to try and catch up on some sleep (especially Em, who was rather ill, hope you’re feeling better! And somewhat especially me, I had twisted my ankle on the way back from shopping, and was hoping it wouldn’t be swollen and painful by the next day, which it was then).
The next morni ng, we all got ready for another day of Expo, with Em a little bit better for a good night’s sleep, and my ankle better but not perfect. The others were in Cosplay (not sure what from...) and me feeling much cuter in my Lolita (it will be that or Steampunk for pretty much every Expo from now on, I repeat, I am not a Cosplayer. Though Shilo may be a possibility, as it wouldn’t really involve buying anything, and I’d still feel like me somewhat). The tube was much simpler that day, with the jubilee line up and running and the only replacement bus being to Custom House which was a short journey. Once we got to Expo, the others went to the hill, but I went straight in, wanting to at least get my money’s worth seeing as I was forced to stay an extra night (I had intended to go to Beltane Bash instead, but decided it’d be easier just to play arcade games all day). I met up with Bakura to meet Urahara (a MegaTen buddy of mine) and get some money she owed me to pay my entrance fee, seeing as I scarcely had £4 to my name. I then got in the queue (or lack thereof more like...) for my ticket. I went in, claimed some various freebies (though I missed out on a free bag, they were awesome, so it makes me sad, I did get a T-shirt from the same stall mind). I then played Dofus for a bit, another MMO that I will probably get addicted to... When I have internet again. I got talking to another gamer, who had been playing Dofus for about a year. I took her username so we could chat later. After this I intended to go and waste the day in the DDR area, but never actually got there... I got distracted by the Trading Cards area. Firstly, I got distracted by a new game called Huntik, which is absolutely awesome! It very different to most games I’ve played, as it includes the idea of quests. You play it either as someone trying to complete the quiest, and the other trying to prevent it, or as both of you competing to complete the quest. Once I’d played a practice game, they gave me a free “evil” starter deck and let me sign up for a beginner’s tournament at 3. I went away from this and other to the other side of the Upper Deck stand to play the new World of Warcraft table top game. It’s not played like Warhammer (which is a good thing... As an army of Warhammer figures can cost in excess of £100 just for the figures, sans paint, flock and terrain, which is a shame, because it’s an awesome game). It played with around two figures each, and a board with hexagonal squares. I won’t go into the whole rules, but I started playing a game against a very pretty member of the Upper Deck team. Later in the game, someone else took him over, so he could be taught how to play too, with the watchful eye of the pretty Upper Deck guy over us, telling us what to do. He sent us off with some free figures, and I went for a wander again. I went to the Magic the Gathering stall, and managed to blag some free cards, despite the fact I’ve been playing for years (I tried to get the other to get me some free decks too, but it didn’t work out *pouty face*). After a bit, it was time to go back to the Huntik stall for the beginners tournament. They gave us each 5 unreleased boosters with which to make a deck out of, and gave us 20 minutes to build a deck. I managed to get the rather rare Araknos legendary hero card (it’s a fecking giant Spider! How perfect is that!!), and the person I was meant to be battling was kind enough to give me the amulet of Araknos you use to summon it (which was actually his downfall, but neither of us were actually bothered about winning, really, it was all just for fun). We then started to play a game, with us pitted against each other to have a bag of Amulets equipped in zone 3 by the end of round 5 or 7. I had forgotten the geekish thrill these games bought as I haven’t even been able to play Magic properly in ages (even the sessions at Battlenet clash with BLAH L). I got both Araknos and the Amulet quite early on in the game, so I tried to lull him into a false sense of security in the first four rounds to lay Araknos in the 5th, with a line of defence built up before him so I was guaranteed to win. I had major fear the turn before I was due to lay Araknos when he said “How many cards do you have ?”. Usually if someone says this in a Magic game, it’s reasonable to assume they have some horrid card like Mind Rot, which makes you discard two cards. For about a minute, I was so nervous with only Araknos and the Amulet in my hand! But it came to my turn with the 2 cards still in my hand, and I played them. I brought Araknos forward, to claim the Amulets. I can’t remember how (probably some odd free action), but he mananged to delay his fate for this round by stopping me claiming the amulets until round 7. We kept playing till round 7, when I claimed the amulets. After a turn or two, he just gave in, there was actually nothing he could do. All this took an hour and a half, leaving only half an hour of expo left, and only the first round played. This wasn’t very well organised. With the prize only being a T-shirt (I already had another design, I was all that fussed) and a proper playmat (which be useless for me anyway, as it’s really nor portable, whereas the paper version I have is), I decided to drop out and go and explore the last couple of stalls. I played a bit of a game called Chaotic, which was fun, but I wasn’t overly impressed. Plus they weren’t giving out free decks or anything, which means I’d actually have to pay to get a basic deck behind me. Huntik had given me a started deck and 5 boosters... Once I’ve found someone to play with (it’s a new game, so Battlenet hasn’t picked it up yet it appears, which is a shame, but we’ll see!), I will have to buy a small pack of quest cards, or redeem the online codes I have for a few free ones, and I’ll be ready to play. Lastly, I went to the WoW stall to play the card game. I didn’t get to play a proper game, only watch someone elses (I got chatting to the 2 playing afterwards, as well as the pretty Scottish Upper Deck guy too); but I was sent away with 2 started decks and a disc on how to play. It seems such an awesome game, and with the wide availability of this one, the fact that it’s pretty well established, and it’s World of Warcraft, which is stupidly popular (though I’ve never played out of fear of getting addicted, perhaps when exams are over). I traded contact details with the two girls I met, who were both awesome (one was even dressed up as Shilo! Awesome! She thought I was awesome as I was the first one to recognise her!). On the way out, the girl dressed up as Shilo said she loved Expo, because where else could you be taught to play WoW games (she loves WoW the computer game) by a cute Scottish guy. She said it was a shame she had a boyfriend lol! I was thinking more “Shame he has a penis...” which kinds of makes anything else irrelevant anyway, but he really was a lovely guy.
After this, we started the journey home, and lucky we had 3 hours to get to the train station, because instead of getting the one change on the DLR to Stratford route as it would normally be, went went fecking everywhere. Not trains from Custom House, so we got the bus to Canary Wharf (after much panic because Bakura was so slow getting there, and they kept calling “LAST 3 BUSES!!!!” “LAST BUS IN 5 MINUTES!!!”), only to discover there was no tubes to Stratford until 19:30. So we went to Bank, then back onto the central line to Stratford. From Stratford, we were then told replacement buses had been cancelled, and that we were to get the train from Romford. This involved getting back on the tube, to Newbury park, then getting a replacement bus to Romford. This journey caused us much lols, simply for the fact that the man in front had a cat on his shoulder... We got there in plenty of time though, and got the train to Ipswich, where we changed, and managed to blag our way onto an earlier train, despite the fact we were on fixed tickets, getting us home 45 minutes early, which was a good thing, as all I wanted was sleep and to not be around people. Dropped everyone off home when we got back, went home and collapsed.
Since, it’s been rather uneventful. Mostly recovering from Expo, being very Geeky and doing things like deck building with all my new TCG cards, failing to meet up with Emily (though I get to see her tomorrow :D) and attempting to tidy my room. I’ve rather enjoyed some time by myself to be honest, a rare thing in my life it seems. I’ve actually watched some TV, mostly Doctor Who though, and the second episode of Dollhouse, which is definitely worthy TV. I sniggered today at the fact that Huntik has a TV show, it’s really crap! But I like the game, so I won’t complain. I just hope I can actually find someone to play it with...
Here marks the end of another one of Spider’s epic blogs.
See, I’m even worse if you take my internet access away, gives me too much time to do stuff like this...