|"Pensacola Beach Sign" by Greg Riegler|
The Dread Dormomoo and I headed to Gulf Breeze last Thursday to attend Anime South, the reboot of a venerable last-decade con. The last one was held in aught-nine, and has been sorely missed. Marc Yu has a knack for putting on good cons at excellent venues, wangling deep off-season discounts. It was a lovely time away for us.
I had the opportunity to put on a panel about Christian imagery in anime: Sometimes a Cross Is Just a Cross, (or) Why Nuns Can Become a Habit. Because I have been SO busy, I was unable to do a thing about a PowerPoint presentation until Friday (my panel was Saturday noon). I was able to activate PP on my laptop and cobble together a credible slideshow for the panel in time. The DD ran the booth on Friday while I did my learning curve thing. The panel was fun, humorous, and sparsely attended, because Christian, I guess. Marc has strengthened his evangelical roots, and wanted a con that would potentially touch the kids' spirits as well as their funnybones or wallets, therefore he had some blatantly Christian programming, and shockingly, no-one grumbled. Well, one chick did, dubbed it "LameCon", but I resisted telling her that the con is what you bring to it. I must admit that I had reservations about the concept, given the culture's less-than enthusiastic embrace of Things Christian, as well as many churchy folk who would have the screaming meemies over the whole anime thing:
The Spirit of the Lord Family Church meets upstairs at the Crowne Plaza on Sunday afternoons. Some of their members were "concerned" at the demonic costumes of some of the cosplayers here at the con, and, being vexed in their spirits, attempted to exorcise someone, because, you know, the kids weren't wearing tapioca-colored polyester, I guess. Thanks for giving a black eye to people who are trying to live the faith in the marketplace.
Chapter and verse, people. Where did Jesus, or an apostle, try to cast out demons from someone because of their clothing?
Can we PLEASE stop passing off boogeyman superstition as Biblical faith? Please?
(taken from KawaKon blog post 2009)
The con went well! It was a bit less...freewheeling than many, but that's OK. A Good Time was had by Most.
I made an aside comment during my talk about the problem of American mission folks tending to preach US culture as much as the Gospel, and warned against it. We have leave to proclaim the message of Jesus in His name. He does not grant us leave to convert people to Americanism or suchlike. Afterward, an earnest young couple came up to me, and the young lady asked if I had been to Japan. I told her no, and she focused on the "teach the gospel, not the culture" point. They are going to Tokyo in June to do some missions work, and had been struck by the comment. We chatted a bit, and they moved on. It was a real "maybe that's why I was to do this presentation" moment.
The DD and I went to "Crabs - We Got 'Em", and didn't. I had beer-battered fried Gulf shrimp, and she enjoyed a grilled mahi-mahi salad. They had good cocktail sauce, which is to say ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. The waitress suggested a beverage that sounded like a spice-brewed beer (pumpkin pie summat-or-other) so I ordered it.
Imagine taking a pumpkin pie slice, adding corn syrup, rum, and garnishing with a Maraschino cherry and a ginger snap, and serving it before the meal.
It was like being beaten to death with Christmas.
I tried it. The DD tried it. We sent it back with explanations. We were not charged. My blood sugar may normalise mid-February. Then the obligatory Bread arrived. Flattish hushpuppies, they looked. I bit. Imagine cornmeal funnel cake with cinnamon sugar. Well, at least it had a dipping sauce.
These people had it out for my pancreas. When our order arrived I was all "What fresh hell is this?"
I ate a shrimp. All was forgiven! The shrimp was sweet as shrimp should be, succulent, with no fishy overtones. There was half a lemon on the plate, wrapped in a paper/cloth/Centauran osmotic membrane bag, tied with a red ribbon, and I sussed it immediately. It filters out the seeds. The cleverness was worth the price of admission! Herself's salad was delicious, and the only sadness was the Gulf Coast's addiction to battered fries. Oh well. We split a slice of Key Lime Pie, and toddled off to the room. The service was very good, the "special goodies not so much. I would go back for the shrimp. OH! The hushpuppies were astonishing. I had just eaten a bite, and our waitress came by. I held it up and she said. "Hushpuppy".
I asked "What's the SECRET?" She said pork, onion, corn...jalapeno. Oh, mercy. My global preference is for cornmeal and onion, but as a scintillating surprise, these were amazing!
The DD is gluten-sensitive (why I thought of Deanna Troi I have no clew...). Two and a half doors down from the hotel was the Florida Pizza Kitchen, and they offer a gluten-free crust option. I always try my wife's GF food (honest!) to make sure she is not suffering or missing out. It was as good a pizza as I have ever had. Must wangle their recipe! I had their NY-style crust, and it was excellent as well. One oddity: they shred their pepperoni. Makes for a different cooking profile. Very yummy!
I must awa'. I am fixing MAY-hee-can cornbread for supper, with pintos, salad and suchlike. No muffins.