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Monday, Monday…

Here we are again at Monday. So, what was happening last week?

I was busy mostly with job interviews. Every time I was going to designate writing time or putting together posts for the day, I was waylaid by an interview.

This is not at all bad. I need to get a new job yesterday, so I’m taking all interviews. I’m glad to be getting them. It does, however, make me posting regularly a problem. As much as I love to write, it doesn’t pay the bills. While I would love to just write for the rest of my life, the reality of the situation is that until it pays, I must have a regular job.

So, what would I love to cover this week (and am hoping to actually get to do so)?
Comic Con. I want to put out more of my Comic Con posts. I have so much more to talk about and show. It was an interesting weekend and it’s about time. I would also love to put out more fiction. I’ve been working on more things. I also have a post I’ve ruminated about touching on suicide. It’s not something that’s easy to talk about or read, but it is something that needs to be talked about.

So, that’s what I have on deck. I hope you are looking forward to reading it as much as I’m looking forward to writing about it.

Until later!

A Wednesday Quickie

Just popping in for a quickie post to let you know what’s up.

I”m posting from a coffee shop while I’m waiting for a job interview. This is both relaxing and making me a bit nervous. Partially because  lot of people are oblivious sitting, prodding their smartphones as they see people sitting with laptops desperate for a charge port. I must say this is not my idea of a great place to write. While the background noise doesn’t bother me, the inability to no worry about my computer dying does. I have no idea who thought that his would be a great place to write.

So, here I sit, quickly pounding this out.

I will try to return either tomorrow or Thursday with another Comic Con post.

And possibly another special personal processing post in light of something that happened recently… beyond me having a job interview. Until then.

This Week in Preview

Here we are.

Yup, it’s Monday.

So, it’s a day to take care of things that have lapsed over the weekend.

So, that’s what I’m doing.

Unfortunately, that means the day gets busy, busy, busy… especially when you’re looking for work. Which is the bind that I find myself right now.

*le sigh*

All I can do, is keep on keepin’ on. Try to find some other place to work. And hope that it doesn’t take me another 2 years to find a job… or hope that my writing finds an audience.

OK, no time to mope or be upset. Time to pull myself up b my bootstraps and get it done.

Until then!

Banners around the Gaslamp District

Banners around the Gaslamp District

So, after taking a brief moment to gussy ourselves up for the day, we were ready to head out for breakfast. Because we were staying over by the convention center this year, it meant our normal breakfast spot was a bit further out this year. That is something that we neglected to factor in when we headed out to the Mission. It took us about 30 minutes to walk it. Not too bad, unless you’re on a schedule and hadn’t factored it in. It was also hot and muggy. It was more the mugginess that was getting to me. While I’m used to a certain amount of humidity where I live, I’m not used to it with heat (it’s often foggy to the point of leaving water on the ground). So, that made the walk a bit more unbearable.

When we finally got to the Mission, I ordered some chilaquiles… mostly because they’re tasty, tasty food. It was certainly worth the walk. The food was as good as I remembered it. They were also as slow as I remembered too… so slow that I missed my first panel. I was a bit annoyed with that, but the tasty breakfast made up for it… mostly.

After breakfast, we walked back to the convention center. As I stated, I missed my first panel which was the Shonen Jump panel on Naruto. I was hoping to see it, but breakfast was more important. So, I was sad to have missed it, but grateful for the food.

Marking where the mens restrooms are

Marking where the mens restrooms are

Instead I made my 11 AM panel which was about getting news coverage. This panel was quite interesting. It was largely with making sure your Kickstarter or Indiegogo request for group funding got press attention. In that sense, it was interesting, because I’ve never thought about that aspect of it. I never thought about how it’s possible to get your Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaign and therefore getting people who might back you. It gave me a lot of good information on how to do some better marketing.

It also turned out as an awesome opportunity to network… which is by and large my whole purpose to go to Comic Con. It’s to learn things and to network. Year after year, I give out more and more business cards. This year I managed to do it. Which, is also a good thing about these panels.

After that panel, I made my way to Female Heroes, Then and Now. It wase emceed and one of the panelists created the Heartbreakers comic. They also talked about the fact that the comic was in its 25th year. They also talked about Comic Con has changed in those 25 years, especially that there was greater attendance by female geeks. Not only did the population of Comic Con blow-up to 130k, the gender demographic changed as well.

They also talked about some issues that were effecting women in the geek community. Particularly in the

Some panelists from Female Heroes Then and Now panel

Some panelists from Female Heroes Then and Now panel

last couple of months… which, of course, leads us to talk about Ubisoft and more particularly Assassin’s Creed. It’s a moment that is fairly problematic, and has offended a lot of women in gaming. It’s not an isolated incident when it comes to Assassin’s Creed, but I tell that tale in a bit. They also brought up that the latest writer on Wonder Woman said that she’s a strong female, but definitely not a feminist.

Which lead us to discussing whether we should try to reclaim the term feminism… and the fact that it’s still largely misunderstood by what it means. After that they talked about issues in comics and dealing with diversity. They also covered what had they done to offend others and how they handled the situation, which has been known to happen when working in the media. After all, everyone has done something to offend people in the past. It’s a matter of how you handle the situation. They also talked about sending a creative response. They also talked about sexism in video games.

This Week in Preview

Here we are, once again, back to Monday. This is a special Monday. This is the first time when I’ve awaken and turned on background noise that I not only discovered the TV is on BBC America, but it’s also on Doctor Who… to be followed by Torchwood. I think this counts as an awesome way to wake up.

So, I didn’t post much last week. Here’s why. I didn’t realize how mentally and physically exhausted I was from Comic Con. I spent a lot of time among 130k people. It drains me to the point where I just want to sleep. I know that I keep saying every year that I’m going to pace myself. I think it’s become imperative for me to do so. It took me a week to finally get back to speed.

So, here I am… back up and raring to go. It’s time to get more writing done. So, that means I will keep working on getting my Comic Con report out. I also want to get some more of my short stories out. It’s something that needs to be done. It’s something I feel that needs to be done. So, I will work on it.

What else is there?

Not much else right now. Now is the time to write.

See you again tomorrow!

Every time I go to Comic Con, I always wind up 2 weeks before being all nervous and hectic trying to get everything together. Making sure that we have everything we’re going to need. Confirm hotel reservations. Go grocery shopping. Go liquor shopping. Buy all the last-minute garments that I might need. Make sure I have promo goods. Make sure I have business cards… and so on. It is a lot of prep.

We managed to get our stuff together, all of it. Well, a majority of it. One always forgets a thing here and there. This time, the only thing that I needed and forgot was a notebook… which is easily rectified.

We left bright and early at 3 in the morning… after a whole whopping 0 hours of sleep. It was earlier than our start time from last year. I figured getting an earlier start might have meant missing out on LA traffic.

That wasn’t quite correct. We landed in LA in the middle of rush hour traffic. So, just before we got to Burbank, I decided to find a good place for us to get a good brunch. When I’m outside of the San Francisco area, I depend on a handy-dandy app called “Find Me Gluten-Free”. One of the suggestions the app had been a restaurant called Bea Bea’s. It’s on the border of Burbank and Toluca Lake, about a mile from Warner Bros. Studio.

We got there about 9 in the morning on Wednesday morning. They have a good-sized menu, and they have plentiful gluten-free options including waffles and pancakes. I went with something fairly simple by having eggs and bacon. The food was good… really good. I recommend them both for gluten-free people and people who can eat gluten. The food is good. It’s not expensive. It was worth the diversion.

Instead of travelling straight through downtown LA this year, we decided to go around LA. While that sounds like it should take longer, I think it might have actually taken less time. We saved ourselves 2 or more hours in traffic, just sitting and waiting. We made it to the place to pick up our badges by 1 PM. This year, instead of the ungodly line of traffic there was last year. It was in and out with no wait. That’s a first. It was awesome just going in, picking up the badge, getting ice-cold water and heading to the hotel. I love not waiting to pick up my badge. It was awesome.

After we picked up our badges, we made our way to the hotel. It was a long drive and we were very tired. Of course, there was an expected line to check in to the hotel. While I did wait in a line, it did move quickly. And soon after we got there, we had all our stuff in the room and could begin to unwind from a long, hot drive… including a brief nap.

After a nap, we headed out for some dinner. We hit the Burger Lounge for dinner. It was OK. As far as burger joints go, I still prefer both the Counter and Roam (though I would only be able to find the Counter in San Diego as Roam is local to me). It was a good dinner, but I’m not sure I would call it great.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and had a couple of drinks at the hotel bar. The bar at our hotel is quite swanky. It’s a great place to sit and have a drink. While drinking we had a great conversation about Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda with the bartenders. The bonus to geek events is that sometimes the people serving you are also geeks. It was fun to talk video games with them. After that is was back to the room and to bed.

After a good night’s sleep, I’m finally back from Comic Con. The drive was long and hot. You’ll hear a lot more about it as I post about Comic Con starting tomorrow. (Ack! So quick!)

That is what you can expect this week forward until I’m finished with my con experience this year.

This Comic Con was a bag of mixed feelings for me. I will go in to more detail. There will be plenty of news as well as information about the con.

Until tomorrow!

On the stage at the J-Pop Summit Festival

On the stage at the J-Pop Summit Festival

This past weekend was packed with a great deal of things. First of all, it w the last weekend of prep before Comic Con. That means doing all the shopping for what you need. That also meant that fitting anything in became… well, tricky.

Saturday morning, we headed out to the Ferry Buildinng in San Francisco. We were headed there to pick me up some super-tasty gluten-free baguettes from Mariposa Bakery. There is one type of bread that I have missed since I’ve had to go gluten-free and that is sourdough. The flavor and texture… it makes my mouth water. The smell of sourdough bread is enough to make me hungry. Mariposa Barkey’s baguettes are the closest in texture to sourdough. They are super-tasty and worth getting. They also make other wonderful gluten-free foods. I’ve tried their quiche and their cakes. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I suggest picking some up.

We also went by the Cowgirl Creamery stall and picked up some local cheese. Also very tasty. Both stores were super-busy. Of course, it was also the Farmer’s Market, so that would explain the large influx of people. It was difficult to get around, but it’s worth it for all the tasty artisan and local food stuffs in one location.

One of the sales girl. She was quite cute.

One of the sales girl. She was quite cute.

After going to the Ferry Building, we made our way to the J-Pop Summit Festival. Getting there Saturday

was a total nightmare. The garage was packed and people were lined-up on the street waiting to park in the garage. After we saw that line, we decided to go to the festival on Sunday instead. The traffic was just awful.

So we headed home and took care of 90% of the shopping we needed to do. We managed to make the most out of a day. I think we did that with flying colors. We bought all our food provisions and other things we’ve needed for the next week.

We woke up semi-early on Sunday morning to head out to the festival. However, the festival wasn’t just about going to the festival. I still had some things that needed to be taken care of for Comic Con both for home and for the trip.

A cute cosplayer

A cute cosplayer

Getting in to the garage was a bit sluggish when we got there just before the festival was really starting. Once we were parked, it was time to go and check out the rest of the festival. This year the festival wasn’t just about the music. They had sake tasting again this year (they had sake tasting last year). I really enjoyed it last year. I should have done it this year, but I had left my ID at home which meant no drinking for me. They also had a ramen festival this year. I belive this was probably the largest draw.

The music was fun. It’s pop, so of course it was fun. The music was great. It’s always a part of the J-Pop Summit Festival that I’ve enjoyed. The crowds were huge. I don’t think pictures or words can even begin to cover the way the crowd felt this year. It was packed.

The food trucks had a pretty great selection. Of course they were largely Asian food, but there was other food available. The very popular San Francisco food truck/restaurant Bacon Bacon was also there. Onigilly had an upgraded spot this year. Last year they had their food cart. They have great onigiri (stuffed rice balls). They also had these incredibly tasty rice bowls. If you happen to not be able to eat

Naruto cosplay

Naruto cosplay

gluten, they are accomidating and have food that you can eat. They were very knowledgable last year. I would have gotten another one of their bowls, but the line was so long. I missed out on tasty food.

There were some interesting things that you could buy there too. Artists, small clothing companies, artisan food… there were so many things for one to buy. I felt bad because we couldn’t buy as much. Between this being before Comic Con and during a period where we’re prepping for a big trip, it means spending needs to be a little tight. That’s a shame too, because there was so much awesome there.

I was a little sad that I couldn’t volunteer this year. I had a lot of fun volunteering the one year I did. It was something I had enjoyed immensely. It was a great experience. I’m hoping that next year the festival will be at a time where volunteering will definitely be a

The ramen line-up

The ramen line-up

feasible option.

I had a great time again this year. I enjoy the festival and love that it’s exposing more people to music that they would never otherwise listen to. It’s a great time.

As for the rest of this week…

I’m leaving for Comic Con tomorrow morning, bright and early. Ack!

So, that means this is, unfortunately, my only real post for the week here. Does that mean you can’t see what’s going on or what I’m doing at Comic Con including impromptu pics from my phone? Nope. I have a solution to tie you over until I start my posts about Comic Con this year. I will be live-tweeting and posting pictures to Instagram. If you want to see what’s going on while I’m out and about experiencing San Diego Comic Con, feel free to follow me.

Another cute cosplay.

Another cute cosplay.

If you have Twitter and interested in seeing my tweets, you can follow me @ph03n1x13.
If you want to see some pictures prior to my post, follow me on Instagram also at ph03n1x13.

I will have a quickie post the Tuesday after Comic Con. I might try to make it before I leave San Diego on Monday. I’ll let you all know what the plan for that week is.

Until then!

A tale of two Zeldas

A tale of two Zeldas

After Badasses of Japanese History it was time for dinner. I had 2 hours to kill between panels… so it seemed the best time to have dinner. So, I decided to eat at the Grill on the Alley. The restaurant happened to be inside the hotel where all the panels were. The restaurant looks like a steak house. It has that stereotypical steakhouse look. They also have a GIG certified kitchen which means if you’re ordering gluten-free food from them it is made with the utmost care. I sat in the bar. The cocktails were great. Their signature cocktails were tasty. I ordered the chicken breast.

Now I know, when you get chicken breast it generally winds up being dry and in need of something to make it edible. That was not the case with this chicken breast. It was so incredibly moist. It was the most moist I’ve ever had a chicken breast outside of making fried chicken at home. The seasoning was minimal. It was simple a simple salt, pepper and garlic rub. And while it was minimal, it’s all that was needed. It came with some mashed potatoes. The potatoes were also sublime. They were creamy and just the right amount of butter. I topped off my meal with a lovely glass of port.

Prophet of the Helix

Prophet of the Helix

After ordering, it took some time for my food to get to me. I’m not entirely sure how long it took as I

was reading manga. I realized it had taken a long time when I saw my waitress talking to the restaurant manager and gesturing in my direction. The manager came over to me and told me that my dinner was on the house. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time that they were late. It also took a while to get my port. It wasn’t because they were busy. It was fairly quiet. It took them sometime to pour me my glass of port. They wound up comping me both my meal and my glass of port. They were incredibly apologetic. While it took me a while to get both my food and port, they did a wonderful job of serving me despite the hang up behind the bar and in the kitchen. I highly recommend them.

After dinner, it was time to head up to my last panel for the con, Gametrailers.com 7.9 Out of 10. It was an interesting panel. They talked about where they came from. It was nice to get an idea of where Gametrailers had come from and how it morphed in to what it is today. They talked about the programming that they’re currently running on their site. They also did a Q&A session where they were asked questions about their shows,

Naruto's Sexy no Jutsu

Naruto’s Sexy no Jutsu Picture by Jeanie Butera

 

 

talking about covering video games as a media outlet and even some personal information.

One of the questions was if they were looking forward to any video game event in the near future. One of them mentioned that they’re looking forward to the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest. The fest will be in October in Las Vegas. I will be attending the Fan Fest as well and will write about it afterwards.

Fanime this year was different this year for me on so many levels. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a wonderful thing. I felt more fulfilled this year. I had more fun this year than I have had previous years. I’m not entirely sure while that is, but it was fun. It was another succesful Fanime. So, until next year, this is it for my Fanime write-up.

Nightwing and Starfire Picture by Jeanie Butera

Nightwing and Starfire
Picture by Jeanie Butera

My start for Sunday was a rocky one. That’s not entirely surprising as I went drink for drink with someone drinking beer. I woke up at about 5 or 6 in the morning and eased my way back in to being human, one sip of water at a time. I wrapped myself in my blanket and sat in my chair and sipped a

Ryu fighting in the light of day

Ryu fighting in the light of day

glass of water while occasionally dosing in my chair.

I decided to take it easy dressing wise, after all, I was nursing an initially brutal hangover that managed to tune down to a headache.

We had to get an early start on the day as I wanted to hit a panel at 9 AM. So, its bright and early back down to San José for another fun-filled day at Fanime. Of course, I was still feeling a bit dehydrated and had a headache from drinking too much.

But I managed to make it there a little late to see a panel on how to make your own props.

I must say, the panel on how to fabricate your own props was incredibly enlightening. They talk about the time it takes to create something entirely from scratch, largely using MDF.

The props they made had an amazing amount of detail. It was interesting to finally have some idea on how to make props. It’s something that everyone who cosplays will need to do more than likely.

After that, I headed over to a panel called Sewing Lolita. I was hoping that the panel could give me more information on how to do tailoring as a lot of Lolita clothing, while designed for multiple body types, still requires a bit of tailoring in design.

Zelda, Groose and Ganon  from Skyward Sword

Zelda, Groose and Ganon from Skyward Sword

Boy, did it give me a lot of information. I learned a lot of places to go and find patterns for Lolita clothing that I had never thought of. It even talked about tips with taking care of finer details and trims which can be more complicated if you’re not used to sewing.

They also covered things that I had never thought of… like irons. They also talked about something that I’ve always wanted to do, drafting your own patterns. I’ve always wanted to draft my own patterns for designs that I have thought about making. It was a great class to go to and I kind of wish it was longer than the period it was. That’s OK, because I truly enjoyed it.

After the sewing panel, I met up with Craig and we headed out for brunch. The goal of brunch was to try to get rid of the headache that I had leftover from drinking the night before. We hit a local café that has some amazing gluten-free baguettes. I had a great breakfast sandwich. La Lune Sucre is a very good café that has gluten-free options for those of us who can not eat it. They have gluten-free quiches and a wonderful gluten-free baguette that rivals Mariposa Bakery’s baguette. They also make a fabulous hollandaise sauce.

After a wonderful brunch on a warm Sunday morning/afternoon we headed back to con. We wandered

Everybody was Gundam fighting... Picture by Jeanie Butera

Everybody was Gundam fighting…
Picture by Jeanie Butera

around Artists’ Alley and picked up some awesome art pieces. A large piece that shows the seven sages from Ocarina of Time, a Persona 3 piece and a piece that puts Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist as Rosie the Riveter. There was another piece that I saw that had Mikasa as Rosie and said I can do it. There was also a picture in the same scheme as the Obama Hope poster, but it had Shibe Doge and it said Wow. We also ran in to someone who does commissions of Final Fantasy XIV pictures. I e-mailed them, but I have yet to hear back.

After Artists’ Alley, I made my way to my next panel. It was also a sewing panel. This time it was a panel about reading patterns. I was hoping to get some more enlightenment about patterns that I hadn’t learned about before, but alas it was largely everything that I had known from having sewn. It was a great panel and addressed a lot of questions that people had. It was nice to see patterns torn down to the nuts and bolts explained like my grandmother had taught me.

Right after that panel, there was another panel that was about Japanese history. This one was called the Badasses of Japanese History, It was an interesting panel that talked about some amazing people in

Morrigan from Darkstalkers Picture by Brit Cossel

Morrigan from Darkstalkers
Picture by Brit Cossel

Japanese history. Many of them were shoguns. Some of them did other things. All of them were considered incredibly badass. Some of the badasses were Oda Nobunaga, Miyamoto Musashi, Fukuda Keiko, Uesugi Kenshin and more. It was a thoroughly entertaining panel.

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