Besides that, I spent a lot of time in the exhibition room. A lot of time. Most of it was just spent walking around and staring at everything--merchandise, cosplaying customers, you name it. I ended up getting two bokken (one for my brother) and a set of four MT pins. I also got the cell phone strap Dani wanted, although I didn't see the other stuff. (Dani: contact me privately to arrange stuff--AIM or e-mail.) Free stuff included an Inuyasha sticker and a little magnetic poetry-like thing, as well as a big bag of stuff I need to paw through to see if there's anything useful. Oh, and my badge, with an AX lanyard.
The cosplay was great. There weren't any really lame costumes, and there were a lot of good ones. I only saw one Sango, with a pretty good Hiraikotsu; there were a lot of other Inuyasha and Robin characters around, although I didn't see any Michaels. Some of the not-so-anime costumes I saw included an Imperial officer and three Storm Troopers, a Jedi (separate from the bad guys), Mario and Luigi, two Links, and an Auron or two. I only saw one crossplayer, but he was quite hideous in Faye's uber-skimpy yellow costume. (Later on, I saw someone with a shirt that said something like "I spanked man-Faye"--not sure if it was the same guy...)
Incidentally, I don't think most people understand how interesting it is to watch others from a distance--just sit there for a while, watching people move, interact, enjoy each others' company. I did some of that from the third-floor balcony...it was nice.
All in all, it was simply amazing--the most fun I've had in months. I had no idea there were that many anime fans in the area...we took up two and a half of the three floors in the place. (The remaining half a floor was devoted to an organization called "Princess House". I'm not exactly sure what it was, but it involved a lot of women in white suits glaring at the rowdy otaku.)
This morning Mom thought it was kinda silly for me to go to AX when I have Otakon at the end of the month, but I really think it was worth it. Gave me a chance to unwind, sink into a geeky environment, waste a bit of money, feel a little more like I'm not alone on this planet.
Yeah, I think that was worth a few bucks and a sore pair of knees.