But this year I'm the one who decided not to go. Part of me still really wants to be there, but I think that's mostly inertia and routine. Since 1992 it was basically 'the trip I take every summer'. Every July 4th weekend I'd be on my way to AX (well, one year it wasn't July 4th). But the past couple of years I felt kind of out of place. My anime fandom has been less rabid the past few years, and I relate less and less to the 'new wave' of anime fans. I don't have the time to watch anime constantly that I used to have, so I'm forever out of the loop on what's 'new and cool'. I can't be bothered to bit torrent the shows that aired last night in Japan like so many of these kids seem to do. If you're not 'now', you're not really a fan. So AX had become less about the anime for me and more about seeing old friends. But then fewer of those friends have been attending AX in recent years, and after the big meltdown with Mike and Jen and PMX and AX... I just had enough I guess. I couldn't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a trip to AX when I'd probably spend most of the time just hanging out and talking to a handful of people. I don't care for sitting in con video rooms watching anime with a room full of otaku, online shops have made the dealer's room obsolete and over priced, and I've never cared for Masquerade, the concerts, or dances. So maybe the AMV contest, and the industry panels - but these days there'll be people posting *at* the panels with wireless net access. You can get the latest news without being there. (In years past I've done similar things with my rig.)
Still, I feel kind of displaced and sad - like I'm not where I should be or something. I just feel strange and not quite right.