A few weeks ago now (eep, how time flies!), we went to Kitacon! Last time I went to Kita, I was behind a table in the dealer's room and business was pretty slow, but the little I saw of the convention made me yearn to go back as an attendee! When they announced that Kita was going to be the Big Summer Con of 2015, we all jumped at the chance to go!
The con was incredible! It was just such a lovely, fun, relaxing, silly convention. I didn't get to as many panels as I'd like to have, but I did get a chance to catch Ashley Burch talking about her career in video games and on Youtube. I must admit I spent most of mine time in the games room - they had a retro gaming section and there was a copy of Chuckie Egg I just had to get my grubby paws on! I think I got a little obsessed, haha. I used to be really good at Chuckie Egg - back when I was five.
Moose spent a lot of Sunday in a Magic the Gathering draft, which he won (of course), while I hatched my own little plan. His birthday was two days after Kita and I really wanted to do something. Unfortunately, every plan I had sort of fell through and it became a bit of a scrabble despite my attempts at forward planning. I asked my friends Sarah and Luke to buy a cake as I'd have had no way of hiding it, and we decorated their hotel room while Moose was busy playing MTG. By 'decorate'... I mean, we blew up some balloons and draped some paper over the pictures, haha. It wasn't the most sophisticated affair, but we put candles on the cake, put some presents around and gathered all of Moose's friends! An awesome touch was that our rooms (Sarah and Luke's, where we had decorated, and the room I shared with Moose) were right next to each other, and attached by a little balcony we could walk between! So, when Moose was done with Magic, I told him I needed to go back to the room to grab some money while everyone else waited in the other room, and then we walked between the two and SURPRISE!
Okay, so it wasn't the most perfectly executed plan, but it meant a lot to me that I try and do something to acknowledge his birthday! He and I already had plans to spend the actual day together at Secret Cinema (The Empire Strikes Back!) - so this was just a little something I wanted to do with his friends as well. It was important to me that we do something as a group, and I think he appreciated the effort and thought if nothing else! I'm looking forward to when he and I live together and I can throw proper parties for his birthday, but for now the little things will have to be enough.
The evening parties at Kita were also pretty great. I'm not all that into parties normally - you'd never find me in a nightclub! - and I'm not interested in J-pop and J-rock really, but they had a proper rock night and Sunday evening featured a beautiful formal ball, complete with a string quartet playing appropriate songs like the Jurassic Park theme and music from The Lord of the Rings! It was lovely! I really enjoyed the chance to dress up and see all my friends dressed formally - it's not something any of us do all that often (sadly!).
Kitacon was incredible. Moose said it was probably his favourite time at a con, simply because it was just relaxed and fun all the way through. Really, my only criticism of Kitacon is about the venue - or specifically, its location and the lack of available food nearby. Kita is held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropol, and it's bloody expensive. I'm talking £15 for a sandwich. They put on a few deals - pizza, mainly, and they offered some 'street food' for the convention but it was just ridiculous. (£7 for a tiny hot dog with a spoonful of chilli on top). We ended up walking all the way through the NEC, to the airport just to get a Burger King meal because the food was so expensive at the hotel - and we weren't the only convention attendees who did this! I really like the hotel, and the pool and spa was a lovely touch and great way to unwind on Friday night, but the food is such a downer it's actually a huge turn off, for me. For example, it doesn't compare to the Warwick Arts Centre, where Ayacon used to be held, and where Amecon is being held next year. Warwick is my favourite venue for conventions - with several places to grab food, including a nice studenty pub and an actual affordable corner shop! Warwick also seems better suited for conventions in other ways, too - it features proper tiered auditoriums for panels and shows, which solves a few of the viewing problems I had over the weekend. Of course, the limitation is that Warwick is a smaller venue, but frankly I think I'd rather a smaller convention with better dining options, even if it doesn't offer a pool and spa!
Aside from the food, I really loved Kitacon. I'm not sure if I'll be back next year because it's on in March (taking the Spring slot and swapping with Amecon for the Summer slot) but I'll definitely get back when it comes back as a Summer convention!
So how the heck do people manage it? I'm the queen of meticulous planning when it comes to trips away or events, but when it comes to planning and organising my day-to-day life, I find I'm falling short so often. I'm not drawing as much as I'd like to be, I'm not blogging as much as I'd like to be. Dreams of making Youtube videos, practising my accordion more, or actually maintaining a healthy balance of, well, anything, seem very fleeting! I've had my hours increased at dad's cafe as I cover for a girl on maternity leave, and while I'm finally able to chip away at the credit card I've very much 'enjoyed' over the past few years, I'm finding it very hard to balance my creative pursuits around the extra work. Of course, the first thing to suffer is my blog. Sorry guys!
I bought this lovely big planner from Paperchase, which unfortunately is far too large to use as a portable diary, so I'm going to use it as a personal planner for projects, plans and creative pursuits. I think actually listing out everything I want to do and setting myself a bunch of mini deadlines is the best plan of action, for me.
What about you guys? How do you stay on top of everything when you've got a billion different things you want to do?
I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a blog dedicated to travel, geeky adventures, vintage style and a little bit of Disney Dreaming! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.