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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, 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.

Checking In

Today’s post is gonna be a quickie

I will be back on Monday. Losing my job has been a huge punch to the gut nd I’m trying to navigate the emotional minefield that is figuring out how to adapt and get back to looking for a job.

I feel like I’m on a bit of a better standing and would be able to handle most things now. I’m still angry. I’m probably going to be angry for a bit. I don’t like passive aggression. I don’t like people who handle things that way. So I’m dealing with that anger. It sucks, but it needs to be done.

So, what are we looking at for next week?

I will have the last post for you about this year’s Fanime. I’m going to talk about some personal life things. I would like to write the second part of the Final Fantasy XIV review including a compare and contrast of PS3 and PS4 platforms and a bit about the latest patch, 2.3: Defenders of Eorzea.

That’s what’s coming at ya next week. Until then!

What’s Going On

So, I’ve run radio silent for a couple of days. I promise, there’s a good reason for it.

I went in to work on Tuesday. I no longer had a job by the time I left.

That means that I will be more available to create content more often. (Yay)

That also means I’m back on the sending out my résumé track. (Ugh)

Right now, I’m trying to mentally/emotionally reconcile everything. The whole firing process was handled very passive aggressively.  I didn’t feel like it allowed for any chance to improve on my behalf. In many ways, I think that this is what they were planning to happen after they hired a new person. Instead of being up front about it, they handled it in a manner that kept me thinking that I had a job until they axed me.

I wasn’t angry or even surprised when she said that they had no more work for me.

I was just numb. I knew it was coming because no matter how great someone thinks they are at hiding things, they’re not. I knew for months. If they were expecting a reaction, I wasn’t going to give it to them. I already had an idea when they reduced my hours. I especially knew when I was told that I would get more hours if I learned Auto CAD and then they took that away. I’m not as stupid as people think I am. I’m certainly not as stupid as they thought I was. Just because you have a piece of paper to put on the wall doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t is suddenly dumber than you.

But now I’m angry and disappointed.  This is detrimental when looking for work. It makes me more guarded when looking for a new job. It also means that I already feel defeated.

Get through that, I will be better prepared emotionally to handle what’s coming… the stream of no’s.

So, that’s what’s going on right now. I promise that I won’t be gone so long.

So, after a somewhat good nights sleep, we headed back down to San José. After all, we had the weekend to commune with our fellow otaku. Besides, there were more panels to go to.

Forest spirit from Princess Mononoke

Forest spirit from Princess Mononoke

After parking we make a beeline to my first panel of the day. One of the neat things they have at Fanime is a martial arts dojo where they have all sorts of different demonstrations. They also have classes where you can learn as well. I attended the Self-Defense for Women class.

One of the reasons they started teaching this panel was because women have been getting increasingly harassed both on the streets and in conventions. And while that may sound silly, it’s a fact that a lot of women have to deal with.

To be honest, I found the panel both a lot of fun, a great place to socialize with other girls and highly educational. I learned some good moves to help fend off someone if they are giving me unwanted attention. They taught us pressure points which can help fall someone who is taller or more powerful. In the end, they have you run a gauntlet where they do everything they can to stop you from getting to the end. It was a great way to practice the skills that you learn in the class in a more life-like setting.

After the class, I had plenty of time to kill before my next panel. That means a lot of time to kill. I had 5 hours in between panels. So, what do you do with that time? Do a lot of looking around.

We did another round through the dealer’s room. Taking in everything that’s in and seeing if there was anything that I really wanted. Sometimes you just have to look and figure out what there is. There was a good amount of stuff (as I have stated before). We also got a tasty lunch at Il Fornaio.

Jack and John from Torchwood

Jack and John from Torchwood

While we were waiting, we decided to get a drink at the bar in the Hilton. It was there that we met a wonderful couple from San Diego. We proceeded to spend the rest of the evening drinking and talking. We went from the Hilton bar to the lounge at the Fairmont.

There was a lot of drinking involved. So, parts of my memories are fuzzy… which is not entirely surprising. It was a fun evening though. It was definitely worth it.

So after a while (not sure how long), we came back home and I promptly passed out in bed. I was out for most of the night except to get some water.

This Week in Preview

So, here I am… again at Monday. That means it’s time for the weekly preview.

Last week was cut short because of something a little unexpected (but not), but a lot of fun. Mario Marathon started on Friday. I got caught up in watching it all day Friday (kinda like people with the World Cup), that I didn’t get a round to posting.

However, if you want to see what the hubbub is with Mario Marathon, please do. It’s failing at Mario for a good cause. If you have the money, please donate. All the money goes right to Child’s Play charities. They never touch one cent. So, if you’re interested in checking it out, go to The fails make it worth it.

So, what would I like to this week?

Good question. I would like to try to finish up my Fanime post. I know, this is taking a long time. With a little hope and a lot of luck, I can get it done this week (if not by the beginning of next week).

If I manage to have extra time, I might just post some more short story.

I also need to think of the next month, as we are quickly approaching Comic Con. That’s right, we’re headed to the big show in San Diego once again this year. We will also not have camera fail as we have procured a brand-spanking new one. So we are prepared for this year… more or less.

The week before Comic Con is the J-Pop Summit Festival. I didn’t manage to have the time to do it last year, but it was pretty awesome. I will try to get it up before I head to San Diego this year.

What else is there?

I will probably spend more time writing about anime and manga and a bit writing about comics. I still need to write my side-by-side comparison of Final Fantasy XIV both for the PS3 and PS4. I think I’m going to wait until after the 2.3 patch comes out with new content to review it. I might also do further future reviews when other patches and expansions come out. So keep tuned.

Other than that, who knows what else I’ll write about. Keep reading!

I thought that it would be interesting to see “Don’t Believe the Hype: E3” that was done by contributors to They started out talking about what their experiences have been at E3, including how hard it is to get in to E3 as press. They also talked about the reality of talking about how much tickets cost. At $400-500/person, I think it’s going to be some time before I go there myself. They talked about what to expect from the major consoles. Then they went in to the games that will be talked about at E3… like Persona 5 (I am super-pumped to hear more about it), two new Tales of games, new Metal Gear Solid, Bayonetta 2 and more. Since we are in the midst of E3, I’m super-excited to see some of the new things they’re going to be talking about (especially Square Enix AKA Squeenix).

Riddle me this, Batman...

Riddle me this, Batman…

After talking, they showed trailers for titles that will be talked about at E3, most notably (for me) is Persona 5. I’ve waited years (though not as many as Kingdom Hearts III) for Persona 5. I would love if they had a date or something. I am highly anticipating it.

So, what other trailers for games did they show besides Persona 5 (OMG)?
Tales of Xillia and Zirithia (not sure about the second one, I can’t seem to find any information about it)
Mirrors Edge 2
Metal Gear Solid: the Phantom Pain
Star Wars Battlefront (maybe)
Bayonetta 2
Super Smash Brothers 4
Xenoblade 2

There is speculation about whether we’ll actually hear anything about what is currently known about now or whether we’ll get any more information about what I known as Project Beast* made by the same studio that produced Dark Souls. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen at the end of this week.

There’s still speculation as to whether or not Last Guardian will happen. Since the title has yet to appear, it’s still a big question mark. Maybe we’ll get more information this year. It’s a beautiful title and I hope it does see light of day.

Other trailers seen:
Arkham Knight
Final Fantasy XV (aka Final Fantasy Vs. XIII)

DDR Competition Picture by Brit Cossel

DDR Competition
Picture by Brit Cossel

After spending a long day at Fanime, I was ready to head home and get some sleep before heading out somewhat early in the morning to start my second day of Fanime. I was disappointed that there was no Yaoi on Friday night… nor was there Yuri, They did, however, run Hentai.

*Added note, they did. I’ll more about that when I talk about what it’s like viewing E3 from a speculators point of view and not being in the hustle and bustle of the trade show.


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