Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fanime 2017 Day 1 - A Full Day

Despite claiming that I would take it easy, I actually spent a good 12 hours at con today, getting there at around noon and not leaving until almost midnight (!).  I probably loitered around longer than I should have...

I woke up after a pretty good night's sleep and after showering it took me about half an hour to do makeup and get ready for everything.  I don't really terribly mind it too much but doing that for 3 days in a row might end up being a pain.  If I'm not feeling into it I might dial it back and just do eyeliner only or something.

I got to con at around noon and grabbed a pita sandwich from Pita Pit to eat for lunch.  This is only my second time eating food from there and I did a terrible job ordering from Pita Pit last year, but fortunately I did much better this year.  The sandwich ended up being pretty expensive ($8-10??) but was actually pretty darn tasty.

I ran into Isabelle as soon as I got to con and we hung out for a while, perusing the Gaming Hall (which was the only thing open at the time) and wandering around a bit.  (Here I also discovered that we had TGM3 not TAP set up!)  At one point we went out to take some photos of me in my outfit because the weather was this gorgeous cloudy sky that felt and looked great, but as soon as we set foot outside the convention center the sun came out behind the clouds and ruined everything. orz  Maybe tomorrow...

Eventually we joined up with Kotaro and made our way through the Artist Alley.  Around this time I had also ran into a bunch of other people, including Lann, Alex, and their friend, Bleu, and even Poochy.  Going through Artist Alley was pretty fun and I even picked up a new Journey print (which you can see later below).  I think I felt this last year too, but this year going through Artist Alley I definitely felt myself glossing over so many of the more "cheap" art styles and the only things that really stood out to me were the ones that had good composition or just....were good artistically, haha.  It was interesting for sure.

Me and Kotaro also spent a good deal of time in the Gaming Hall today, which was great fun.  We played through the entirety of Metal Slug 5, which was pretty fun, though I'm not sure it was the funnest Metal Slug game I've played.  I don't think I've ever played 5 before, as most of the stuff seemed pretty unfamiliar, but I think by far my favorite is still 2 (or X), for a lot of reasons.

I also stopped by the TGM3 machine to play a round of Master mode, where I got an S5 or something mediocre like that after dying at 6xx or something (eh), which was also when we ran into Allen!  After that, we went and played the most awesomest game ever -- Bishi Bashi!  It was even in English this time, which was neat, and made the roulette game MUCH easier.  We did not too bad and I actually made it to level 17 before dying to the always-ridiculously-hard Sushi game.  It was easier being in English, but....not by very much at all.  RIP.

I also managed to get some relatively fun games of SF 3rd strike in against a Dudley player who beat me a bunch until I finally eked out a win.  My skills were definitely rusty and all, but it was a good time and we both enjoyed it quite a lot.  Me and Kotaro also played through most of this random shmup called Wyvern Wings, eventually deciding to leave it at the last level.

We also made our way through Dealers' Hall where we basically just skimmed over a bunch of stuff but didn't buy anything.

At this point we were getting pretty hungry so we met back up with Isabelle and Wendy (who had just arrived) to go grab dinner.  We ended up going to HoM Korean Kitchen, which was not the place I was thinking of at all but was actually very good!  After that nice dinner we headed back to con, said a brief hello to Jeremy, then went back into the gaming hall where I parted ways with Kotaro and met up with Eddie instead!  Me and Eddie made our way to the swap meet where we did a pretty efficient sweep of the place and I actually came back with a pretty reasonable amount of stuff!  I'll go through the items in the photos section below.  One notable thing was that at one point a manga set of Kokoro Connect caught my eye and I was contemplating whether to buy it or not -- at $2 per book, it was only $10 total, which wasn't very much at all!  I remember very much liking the premise of the show and how it started off but also remember not liking how it ended / the second half as much.  I decided to walk away from it, but ended up coming back.  Unfortunately either they had misspoke or I had misheard and it was actually $3 per book...so I said no.  $15 is still pretty darn cheap for 5 books to be honest, but eh...it wasn't a manga  I particularly wanted to have.

After that we thought about heading home but instead decided to stop by the ballroom for B&W ball staff private lessons.  We both joined in on a WCS private....but it wasn't very useful as it wasn't actually a "private" as it was more of a small group lesson and we were way ahead of the rest of the group.  So me and Eddie just ended up working on some stuff by ourselves afterwards, which was good!  After that Eddie took off but I hung around with the WCS instructors to glean some extra knowledge (they recognized me!), and they worked with me individually on some things too!  One thing that I've definitely come to notice with WCS is that (like a lot of other things) it's taught in so many different ways by different teachers, and it's really up to you to figure out what to "believe" and what you think is "right".  I think it's good that I'm not entirely vested in WCS because I feel like I'd be a lot more frustrated by that if I were.

Here's the photos I got from today!


Me getting ready to head out in the morning!  And sporting my new Journey messenger bag.



Made it to con!



Cute!



RWBY!



I caught this super cute Vanellope cosplayer, ahh!



This Toriel was super nice!  She asked for my photo and I didn't even realize who she was until afterwards.  She seemed super friendly >w<



Pepsi and Mountain Dew people...



I thought I recognized this somehow but apparently not; it was from some webcomic that I'm totally unfamiliar with.  But I think something about the raven beak design reminded me of something else, I'm not sure what though.  The crows from Monument Valley?  The Toringen from Yume Nikki?  I'm not sure...-something-...



Rose!



Wahhhh, definitely the highlight of all the cosplayers I saw today.  It's Reina from my favorite show, Hibike! Euphonium!  Wahhh~~



This guy was awesome.  From the Emperor's New Groove!



I ran into another Journeyer!  We stopped and had a bunch of photos taken, some with my hood and some without.  As you can see my hood sucks in comparison!  So I normally don't wear it =P  This person had a silk-looking scarf that was printed with patterns on it -- he told me he had just ordered it online.



 T-rex tries to play Para Para.



My haul for today!  (and probably basically my haul for con)
The Pita-Ten art book was $10!  It was perfect because as the person was looking up the price I said to myself "hmm, I'll probably pay at most......$10 for this", and it turned out to be $10 =P  Yay Koge-Donbo art~

The Nanoha booklet and pencil/eraser/ruler set was just $1!

The Sumikko Gurashi re-ment was $7...probably the most pricey thing that I got, but I feel like Sumikko Gurashi things make pretty good gifts ^^;.  Also I like them a lot now too.

The 3 stationery sets were $1 each!  And the one in the little book-shaped container has a few different designs in it.  I always feel great taking other people's stationery off their hands because it's super cheap and I always get to tell the owners that they'll be put to good use :)

The Hello Kitty.....thing....in the middle we have no idea what it is yet.  The Katakana says "Sanrio Chara 'Puchisurara'" which made no sense to me....or the other two people I asked, who verified that it does indeed say "Puchisurara".  Wat.  Well, in any case it was only $3, so I got it anyways.
Also right above that is a Cinnamoroll tape dispenser, only $1!

And the Journey print was my get from the Artist Alley -- $7 or $8 if I remember correctly.  It's a nice one, featuring a Scarf Jelly~

All in all not a bad day, though I probably stayed longer than I should have, and got pretty tired.  As always it was really great when people recognized and liked my costume. :)

Tomorrow my goals are mostly to hang out with Angela and Lann, and also perhaps to set up some private melee time with Eddie.  And of course, after dinner, heading straight to Aivi & Surasshu's concert!  And heading home straight after that.

Thinking of going to con around lunchtime again...should make sure that I get a good night's sleep still!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Fanime 2017 Day 0 - Get Hype!

It's that time of the year -- Fanime is upon us again!

My last writeup (for 2016) can be found in 2 parts: Part 1 and Part 2.

It's currently the night before Fanime "proper" starts on Friday and I'm just doing a bunch of mental decompression as I'm getting ready to go to bed, including this post as well as working on my post-mortem for Raven Delivery Service.

Also!  My business cards from Moo came in, which is super duper exciting!!!  They are beautiful and I'm so happy to finally have them in my hands.  Will try and take some photos of them tomorrow morning!

Every year at Fanime is a bit different.  Last year the main takeaways from my experience were that I was a lot more chill about the con in general -- sometimes leaving earlier, not going to ALL the things, etc. which was to great effect I think, and that I was able to spend more time actually hanging around friends, which also was great.  There was also no TGM (sadness) but we did stop by the B&W ball for some fun times (yay).

This year I'm hoping to replicate the more easygoing approach and mostly take it easy while spending time with friends and in general just having fun being around, being in my wonderful Journey outfit, and basking in the general Fanime atmosphere.  I've got three whole days at con and I don't actually have very much planned!

Friday there is a Melee tourney but I feel like I'm like 25% to enter; I do feel like I will probably have better things to do and don't want to just wait around in the gaming hall forever.  There is also swap meet that night!  That said my dance friends are also putting on a dance that night and despite the fact that I have been off of dance recently I might actually be feeling up for it.  So maybe I'll go and do that instead!  It would be a shame to miss swap meet, but....actually, not really.  Last time the only notable things I got from there were some new card sleeves, which were great, but I don't even get to play MtG at all at the moment so that is no longer a concern of mine.  So the only things I would really pick up would be cheap sanrio stuff and random stationery, probably, haha.

Saturday night I'm going to see Aivi & surasshu perform live which should be super great!  Ahh, I hope they'll perform more original works >w<.  I have a couple of my business cards which I made with my Love Everlasting album artwork that I want to show them too :)

Sunday morning I have to drive to SF to play chauffeur a bit (zzzz) but I'll also be doing a WCS private lesson (whee!) and probably having fun with the other social dance kids at B&W ball.

Other than that I really don't have much planned, besides doing the usual rounds of everything at con.  I may also actually (?) register for speed dating this time (actually as in, don't just show up too late and be "eh w/e" like i did last year) but even that is not really too big of a deal.  What IS a big deal is that TGM (TAP i believe???) will be back this year which means awesome Tetris funtimes ahhhhhh so excited for that.  Ooh, and Bishi Bashi will be there too!  And I hear they'll even have Metal Slug there; I actually want to just play through that entire game with someone if possible :)  So maybe a lot of fun gaming is to be had at con this year!

I've packed up most of my stuff in preparation for tomorrow and will probably be making it to con lazily sometime in the late morning or early afternoon depending on whatever I feel like (I've taken the day off of work).  My costume is the same as it was at V-ball, but with a minor addition -- I now have two Journey-themed messenger bags and will be using one to carry my stuff around with me at con!  Not to mention I still have my Journey lanyard for holding my Fanime badge (the badges look awesome this year btw!).  So yeah, pretty cool :)  I will have a bunch of stuff that I'll be leaving in my car, like my portable melee setup, extra controllers, watercolor supplies, etc, as well as just-in-case stuff like my ironing board and scissors, etc etc.  I won't need 80% of those things but it doesn't hurt to be prepared!

Main thing tomorrow is just to wake up, shower, do makeup, and make my way to con!  Since it's Friday perhaps there will actually be parking in the convention center structure?  If not, I'll head to the old standby--the Safeway parking garage, hehe.

Hopefully I don't get super tired of wearing makeup for the whole weekend.  I never put any on nowadays.  I'll have to try and put it on in a somewhat reasonable amount of time, ha ha ha...

I'll try to be blogging about each day as it happens.  I know it seems I never really do that for things these days but I actually think it's great for me to just type out everything like this as a way of relaxing.  You know, for the same reason that journaling can be great.

Hope to see people at con tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Don't lie to yourself about what is important to you.
What makes you happy?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

One year ago, I wrote:

"I left Kiki behind.  After seeing her one last time, I left her behind.  And I think part of me knew already, even when we spoke about "keeping in touch", that it was the end -- or more specifically, it was the end for me.  And I left her behind.  Will I someday leave you behind too?  Or will you stay, watching over me, like one of the wishing stars in the night sky?"

Did I really ever leave Kiki behind though?  I still write about her, think about her, even once in a while reach out to her.  And, she still holds a place in my "sanctuary".  Perhaps by "leaving behind" I meant that I accepted that I would not try very hard to see her again, and to reach her.  But my connection still lingers.  And I wouldn't have it any other way, would I?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

了就很好

Deep in the feelings of the past.  And I never want to come out.  Never...

If I move from here I will lose more than I already have.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Big Dance 2017

Last Friday I went to my 7th Big Dance, which was also my 5th all-nighter (9PM-6AM).

Big Dance was...quite interesting, and a wildly different beast than it ever has been before for me.

I arrived early while Richard and the Gang were still setting up, and was there for the first dance of the night (full credit!).  Unfortunately I could sense somehow that my feet were definitely going to cramp up later in the night -- muscles felt a bit cold and despite my attempts to stretch I ended up running into the aforementioned muscle cramps a while later which was quite terrible, ugh.  I'll have to do a better job of warming up next time.

I took part in both the intergeneration and ambi swing contests, which were both fun, and judged the ambi waltz contest, which was intensely stressful.  I'm making a note to myself that I should never ever get worried or stressed about entering a dance contest anymore because being on the other side is 100% more pressure for me.  Sheesh.  My main disappointment through the contests is that we didn't actually get to see much ambi dancing at all.  I hope that that might change someday.

In terms of lasting through the night, this was most assuredly the most difficult Big Dance to get through, probably for quite a few different factors.  Not only have we not done a proper all-nighter since 3 years ago, but I also wasn't able to do quite that much to catch up on sleep beforehand, and probably more importantly, I'm just getting old(er).  I never really had any doubt that I would make it through the night, and I knew I wouldn't need to take a nap partway through (cheating!) or anything, but there were definitely times where it felt more like a slog than anything, which has not been the case in the past.

A lot of that is also just due to my changing relationship with dance as well, now that I'm such a veteran / oldie / etc.  It's difficult to explain succinctly, but it's a different social experience, I think.  At the same time I -do- still care about dancing, improving, and all that.  It's a sort of odd middle ground that I feel like I've been in for a while, to be honest.  What I can say for sure is that I really appreciated the company and presence of the older dancers, especially getting to see and hang out with Gem which is one of the highlights of every single Big Dance that I go to!

Other notable things that happened during the night....I successfully made it through Dawn Mazurka as a lead with no real issues, we had a lot of great performances that made me smile, and omg, the best part is that we were able to have dance activities that involved something other than balloons, ribbons, and dodgeballs!  wooooo~

My new waltz song got premiered, and although I didn't get to dance it to my fullest due to my feet cramping up (lol), it was really well received and I was happy with it.  Even after making my entire Celestial Melodies album I still have never really made a good danceable cross-step waltz that I'm totally happy with, but I think this one might fit the ticket!  So that's exciting.

I don't remember too many of the dances that I had throughout the night, but some standouts were the first waltz I did with Gem which was super fun, and also dancing a WCS with Audrey which was a blast, omg haha.  Also a cross-step waltz in the middle of the night with Talia where I spoke "softly" like I used to in the past -- I think I'm going to start returning back to those ways sometimes.

I'm quite ready to take a break from dance for a while now, with no reservations about it, either.

My next big event is Fanime, in which I hope to mostly "take it easy" like I did last year (which worked to great effect if I recall correctly) and hang out with one or two friends whom I know are also going.  I'm excited to wear my Journey cosplay again of course, but also to go and see AiviSura perform live for the second time!

I've been spending most of my free time on website redesign and business card designs and my labor is starting to bear some fruit now!  I've updated the front page and nav bar of my main site at http://ddrkirby.com/ (you may have to force refresh to get it to load properly) and it's looking much nicer now.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Feeling a bit better about life...

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Did you know?  Starting with my current desktop, my computers are all named after Protoss units (got the idea because of "Corsair", the case/parts manufacturer).  It's nice to have a convention!

So my home desktop is Corsair, my laptop is Shuttle, and my desktop at work is Archon.  Maybe my next computer will be called Reaver!

Note: I am not a 'toss player.  Zerg for life!

I'VE STILL GOT IT IN ME!

Just made a killer cross-step waltz in 3.5 hours flat.  HECK YEAH