Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night, gripped by some nameless fear that has you jerking awake, flecked with sweat and short of breath? You have no idea what just went down, but it was Six Degrees of Unpleasantness? Yeah, that was me with getting the hotel accommodations. Except it felt like the 10th Level of Hell and it was a lot of my own doing.

I had initially slogged on getting the room when they opened up on February 15th, as I thought my travel agent friend could cut me a better deal. He could not. He called my on Friday night (that would have been the 17th) to say that inexpensive rooms were miles away and of questionable quality and locations. The hotels I did want were more than my mortgage payment for a month!Continue reading

As much fun as it is to go to the Anime Expo®, you still need a place at the end of the day to store your swag and get a hot shower and maybe even cop some Zs. I mean, you can’t live on Starbucks and Red Bull for four plus days (well, you can try, but you could die). So, you have to think about accommodations.

One the plus side, the convention is of such a size and import that they can negotiate room deals with a variety of hotels in the area. On the down side, it may still be a bit costly to go.

As of the present date, there are seventeen hotels tethered into this Good Neighbor Program. The two closest ones to the Convention Center, the Ritz-Carlton and the J W Marriot (a mere 1/10 mile away) START at $224 a night. Yes, I know, if you get a bunch of pals to come together and are willing to bunk up, you can drive your personal cost down, but that means having to sleep with people who have differing diurnal/nocturnal schedules and what if you get a person who takes two hour showers and gobbles up all the hot water and clean towels? That’s the kind of guy you smother in their sleep and drop down the elevator shaft.Continue reading

Well, it’s that time of the season again, making plans to see one of the three biggest anime conventions in the world, The LA Anime Expo® (or ‘AX’). This year promises to be different than in seasons past, but much is still fraught with peril and uncertainty. Getting “Hamilton” tickets wasn’t this bad, but it was bad. I will gladly explain, as that is what I do best.

You have to make the commitment to this well in advance, as you need to be prepared in November to make the first sortie and then, you have to stay on top of things, lest it gets out of hand. This was the year that the daughter was going to be a vendor, but things got away from her (as is usually the case). It is rather intimidating to do this, as you have to mentally prepare for it and have the supplies on hand, so I don’t blame her for uncertainty and doubt. I have a hard enough time selling stuff on eBay, much less the intensity of four days of being in Artist’s Alley (and surviving on Subway sandwiches) while seeing tons of people who mostly glance and walk past or worse, make some kind of snarky comment. (“You’re an artist? You can’t even draw flies!”) So, she’ll be attending as a regular person. I am the one with the interesting tale.Continue reading