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Being Social: the Weekend of 11.11.11

10 Nov

Nu! The final Binary Day is upon us!  It is a sad affair, but there’s still a lot to do even after the 0’s and 1’s stop showing up in our datebooks:

Friday

9am

The DC Gam.es festival runs this weekend, which will run games designed locally.  Our lovely Artisphere will again play host to this exciting event, which coincides with the conclusion of Digital Capital Week.  Games include:

  • Live Action Spy Party, designed by Pete Vigeant (ESI Design)
  • A Web of Hope, designed by Pete Vigeant (ESI Design), presented by Natron Baxter
  • 3 1/2 Ring Circus, designed by Charles Amis, Ala Diab and Nathan Maton (Gameful)
  • The Mini Gauntlet, designed by Matt Fleming
  • The Escort Quest, designed by Rob Meyer and Grant Reid (NYU Game Center)
  • Grow a Game, designed by Tiltfactor (and run by Nathan Maton)
  • Before/After, designed by Molly Abin and Todd Ogin

Also all day, varied times

There will be a ton of Veterans Day events for Friday, including a parade in Manassas, ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Navy Memorial. The Mount Vernon Estate will have a wreath-laying ceremony followed by performances by the Harmony Heritage Singers (an all-veteran barbershop chorus) and the U.S. Air Force Strings.  (via WTOP)

Saturday

10am-6pm

The Accessibility Hackathon, another point in the Digital Capital Week, will be bringing developers together  at tche DC public library to ‘help create tools to meet the needs of the user community’.  I’m no coder, so check out their Hackathon website for more details. (via Eventbrite)

If the DC Games Festival wasn’t enough, Saturday is apparently National Gaming Day!  Participating public libraries will also be hosting tons of dice rolling, button punching, card slamming fun! (via WaPo)

7pm

We, the Pizza and DC Brau will be hosting a night of all things tasty.  DC Brau  will feature the Citizen and Public brews, and will be paired with Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s  special pizzas.  Sounds tasty, but tickets are $40.

Yeah, tweed.

Sunday

12-10pm

Once again, the Dandies & Quaintrelles  will host their third annual Tweed Ride.  This will combine a fashion show and a hipster reunion on wheels. It is free, but you have to register to learn the starting location.  There will also be an after party at Smith Commons($15 ticket required). (via Metromix)

7pm

Yeah, back in the day 3 Doors Down were kind of popular. I guess they’re still playing, and will be performing at DAR constitution hall

It’s a…

12 Sep

snack!  Meet the Ack Bar.  Total geekiness to the max. ❤

Destroy the Empire of hunger!

There is so much awesome at welovefine.com.  I literally had to make myself stop browsing the site… still have a little more work crazy to go!

If you find any wicked shirts, feel free to share in the comments below!

DistrictGeek’s post-Otakon Report 2011

11 Aug
Otakon 2011

Time to Tofu Race!

Otakon’s attendance this year was 31,348. Though not as big as ComicCon, this event is pretty intense, if not overwhelming for the uninitiated. Otakon is an anime convention named after Otaku, the geeks that love anime. And there are tens of thousands that show up to this con every year, taking over the Baltimore Convention Center, the 1stMariner Arena, the Inner Harbour, and all hotels within at least fifteen minutes’ travel. Most attendees dress up, either in costumes of their favourite characters or memes. It’s Halloween with a Japanese flair. There are always a sea of coloured wigs and men(*1) and women dressed in skimpy schoolgirl skirts. Though some buy their outfits, I am one of the many at con that enjoys both making and wearing costumes:

Ahhah, it's me, DistrictGeek!

The con is so huge that you can’t nearly begin to do everything you want. Instead, it is quite typical to queue for an hour before any major event that you wish to see. Compounding this issue is the fact that the schedule only comes out a week or two before the convention (owing to the epic scheduling done to fit hundreds of events into only three days). It goes viral as soon as it’s released: a massive offering of anime, fashion shows, panels, workshops, autograph sessions and concerts. But that’s not all! The Dealers Hall and Artist Alley are both the size of aircraft hangars, and they take hours to peruse. Add in photo shoots for all the epic group pictures of themed costumes, and your schedule is so full that eating and sleeping can be easily forgotten(*2).

I left for Otakon with a handwritten, double-sided schedule in hand. There were room for edits and additions. I knew what I wanted to do, but had no idea if I could get it all in. Here is how I fared:

(this isn't mine, dur)

Thursday

Though commonly only used for those coming early to pre-register the night before the con, this year Otakon hosted a Matsuri street festival. I wanted to go but I worked Thursday, which made it nigh impossible to fight through rush hour and get there in time. From all accounts it had cosplay and food and awesome, and I plan to check it out next year.

Photo Shoot!

Friday

Registration began at 8am. I got up early, planning to arrive around 9, even though my first Group photo shoot (Katekyo Hitman Reborn) was at 10. This was cutting it extremely tight, as depending on your luck the registration line could take hours, not to mention that the path was wide open to the sweltering summer sun. I was insanely lucky and was able to walk right up to the reg, get my badge, and catch the tail end of the photo shoot. Then I ran over to the Brony (MLP: FIM) meetup and hung out with a bunch dudes (and a few chicks) who love My Little Pony.

Dash's whup-ass!

Costumes, stickers and songs abounded. However, I knew my schedule was packed and darted down to submit some pieces I painted to the Art show, where Otaku bid on pieces by artists who may not necessarily have had an actual table in the Artist Alley. I quickly perused one lane of the Alley, and by then my hotel room was ready. I got a Brookshire Suite, which, though a few blocks from the Convention Center, was across the street from the outdoor fountains, a hub for photo shoots in the evening when it was cooler out.

I had a quick bite and returned to queue an hour for the Sixh fashion show.Sixh is an H.Naoto clothing line, focusing on Japanese punk and Gothic Lolita style. I happened to sit next to Youko Sunshine, an amazing model who has been to so many con fashion shows that she’s been barred from participating in any more in the US. Though unfortunate for her, she was willing to throw my name into the hat, as I had applied to be a model but did not succeed this year. The show itself was fun and enlightening; it was a great way to see how Gothic fashion is evolving in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Goths clap?!

By this time I had missed a travel-to-Japan panel and the Reddit meetup, but I didn’t feel that they were top priority. I did a more thorough run-through of Artist Alley, and then met an old high school friend for sushi (Edo Sushi meal review here) before going back to the queue – this time for the Ultimate Lolita fashion show. It may not be the Ultimate, but this show is always great, as it displays many local and self-starting Lolita designers, not to mention that and the amount of clothing is much higher than that of the professional shows at Otakon. It inspired me to try and make a Victorian Pirate outfit for this year’s Renaissance Festival, so we shall see if I can get it done in time!

So ... frilly ...

While in queue and at the second fashion show, I missed a screening of member-created Anime Music Videos, the Thundercats Premiere on the Hub, the Chemistry concert and a Digimon photo shoot. But there was still one thing that I wanted to do: the Otaku Rave. Yes. Otaku. Rave. Because many of the anime fans fit in to the jailbait category, there were masses of teens clad in neon, rainbows, fur boot covers and glowsticks. The music was great to begin, but at midnight a girl in a long teal wig came in and tried to play anime songs. No one was amused, and there was no beat. It was a mass exodus.

Mrow!

… To be continued Tuesday!

*1 – Picture by Bluebell-Ren at Deviant Art

*2 – Food is easy to come by, but time is not.  After a few years, I found that having sandwich fixins at the hotel, and carrying fruit, a power bar and 5 hour energy drink is the way to go.  Every time I went to my hotel room, I made sure to eat.  Still, it wasn’t often.

Being Social: Thursday Antics

12 Jul
Wtf, apparently Thursday this week is the party night:

Oui, oui!

 The major party of the night is the French Bastille day, which gives DC an excuse to party thanks to its French rootsDC’s Metromix came through once more, with a pretty long list of parties that you can attend.  Most involve booze, French maids, and dancing.
And if drinking with wild, dangerous animals is more of your thing, again this year FONZ is hosting a Brew at the National Zoo from 6-9pm.  Tickets are $65 and they will sell out, so pick them up now if you’re interested (and invite me)!

Being Social: the Weekend of 07.08.11

8 Jul

This guy is totally going derpy...

There will be no lack of chick watching this weekend,  as there will be Miss DC interviews Friday, and on Saturday there will be Red Rocker tryouts as well as what I’m sure will be a massive, wild crowd at the auditions for America’s Next Top Model at the Pentagon City Mall.  Be sure to check the bars around town, as those rejected by Tyra will be sure to be wanting consolation.

 
If you’re more into ninjas than chicks, the Freer Museum of Asian art is hosting its Sixteenth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival. Watch epic Martial Arts films such as Hop Fu (yes, Hip Hop Kung Fu), the original Drunken Master and other foreign titles! This weekend will be screening Bodyguards and Assassins. (via DCist)
 

Bruce Lee say watch now!

Speaking of movies, the Capital Fringe Festival returns tonight for its seventh year, showcasing more than 2,000 artists in 100 different productions – and they’re kicking off the festivities with a free party. Attendees will enjoy live music by Alma Tropicalia and Elikeh under the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent. For full coverage, theWashingtonian has a guide to the festival’s can’t-miss performances. (via Washingtonian)
 
Finally, it is the last weekend to stop by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall.
 
Besides that, we have the following:
 

His Holiness the First

July 9
9am
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in town for the week, and he’s kicking it of right by giving a “Talk for World Peace” on the West Lawn of the Capitol.  I think it’s his birthday this week, too, so maybe there will be cake?  This event is free but get there early – I’m sure there will be a massive crowd.  And if you miss this, His Holiness will also be holding a “Kalachakra for World Peace” at the Verizon Center 6th-16th.
 
1130am-630pm
Hunt DC, yet another massive city scavenger hunt, will unfold.  According to Metromix, should you choose to participate, youll have to to solve clues, crunch mind bending riddles and plot your game winning strategy. And then eat pizza at the afterparty.
 

Faaancy ❤

July 10
10am-5pm
The 57th Summer Fancy Food Show will be held at the Downtown Convention Center!  This is allegedly the largest marketplace for specialty foods and beverages in North America, featuring food artisans and entrepreneurs from 80 countries and regions.  Some things you may find include flowing spices, confections, teas, vinegars, oils, cheese, yogurts, natural products, and ethnic dishes. Tickets ($35 before July 8, $60 after July 8 ) can be purchased at the event Web site. (Via Washingtonian)

Also, keep honing your Angry Birds skills! On July 14 there will be an Angry Birds game tournament in Crystal City!

Metro Opens…Shop?

23 May

...really? We'd wear this?

Oh, this has to be a joke.  The DC WMATA has renewed and re-opened their online gift shop which includes doozies such as this shirt boasting a laughable motto.
  • Safe? Not always.
  • Reliable?  Definitely not.
  • Effective?  When time to destination and cost aren’t an issue, sure they can have that one.
  • Mobile?  Really, WMATA?  You think that you need to state that a fleet of trains and busses are mobile?  They must be desperate.
I mean, I am a Metro commuter myself and I’m thankful I have rides to anywhere in the DC area.  I can’t handle the stress of driving the beltway, so the little stresses of the Metro system are quite acceptable to me.  But still.  That catchphrase is a pie- in-the-sky dream.  The gift shop really should have stuck to the basics, like travel coffee mugs (even though eating and drinking on WMATA is prohibited) or “writing instruments“, not putting a unfulfilled dream on a shirt or using the Metro logo to defile a Swiss watch.
Would you buy anything from here? Or is this just a good idea gone horribly wrong?

Belt WIN /FashionWeek

6 May

To finish up my week of awesome geek goodies, I will reveal to you all a belt that I am seriously thinking of buying.  Is it a great idea, or is it too dorky to actually wear?

Ah, BSOD. At work, you are my BFF.

Thanks to Geek Gone Chic for having such awesome wares!