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SoCal Spring Gathering
April 12  Irvine, CA
Continuing the furious pace of 2008, I paid a visit to the SoCal Spring Gathering.  These highly organized events have
been around for a few years, but this was the first time I had ever been to one of these events because they always
seemed to conflict with some other event that I chose to attend instead.  Just for kicks, I volunteered to bring the video
Rock Band to this event, which involved loading up my car with a 42" LCD HDTV, XBox 360 with all of the
controllers for the game, microphone and guitar stands, and all sorts of crazy accessories.  I buried my camera
equipment somewhere in there.  Maintaining the video game took up quite a bit of my time, but it seemed as though
people were doing a good job maintaining it without me around, so I was able to sneak away for about two hours and
actually take some photographs late in the afternoon.

It has been a really crazy year so far and it looks like I'm on a pace to cover a record amount of events.  It's quite amazing
that I've covered a lot of cosplay activities this year and only one of these events was an actual convention.  I don't really
know how things came to be this way, but it's nice to see the Southern California anime/cosplay community come
together this year in such a big way.  Conventions are fun, but it seems that a lot of people don't want to wait until the next
convention and the fan-organized events are increasing in popularity.  Getting 403 people to attend a picnic in the park is
quite an amazing feat.

I had a wonderful time at this event.  The weather was nice and there was some great food and a lot of really friendly
people.  Everybody was just hanging out and having a good time and it's nice to see that.  It's really nice to see all of the
friends that I've made over the years in such a relaxing atmosphere.  As for photography, I've been really pleased with
how this year has been going.  I'm really starting to enjoy shooting in these wide open spaces.  That luxury just isn't
available at a lot of convention locations.  Even though I didn't take very many photos, this event was definitely worth
going to and it was one of the most fun events that I've ever been to.  If it's fun, that's all that matters.

Nergene Arquelada