Friday, August 04, 2006


If I write anything this weekend it likely will be twisted, since I'm getting by on three hours of sleep and driving down to Baltimore every day to take my son to Otakon. It's an annual convention for devotees of all sorts of Japanese pop culture, but especially the manga/video game/anime set. They come in droves, and they come in costume.

So today, I stood in line in the sun for two hours, then got to see men in vinyl hot pants and men in kimonos, got poked and prodded by oversized plastic swords in the jostle of the crowd, and it only costs $50!

I'm there for the sake of my 15-year-old son, who is very into this stuff, though not enough to make a costume and I'm glad to say he's not as chubby or pasty as the average male in the crowd. So there's hope. But it's really cool that these folks, who do seem intelligent and good at heart, can spend a weekend a year in a place where they're not a picked-on minority, where their efforts and knowledge are appreciated, and where they can just be themselves.

Wish they had had a version of that for the 15-year-old me. But it certainly would have involved multiple and serial violations of the Mann Act.

Anyway, it was all worth it because my son worked through the year to save enough for tickets for the three of us, and there's nothing morte priceless to a parent of a teen than a foolproof motivator for work.