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2014 anime conventions

Earlier this year I managed to return to Arizona and attend Taiyou Con. And then, a bit after that, I attended Las Cruces Anime Days. My most recent anime convention was Sabaku Con in Albuquerque, NM.
This con had an impressive lineup of guests. I got some autographs from Chuck Huber, Vic Mignogna, and Colleen Clinkenbeard.
I complimented Chuck on his work as Hiei, as I rather like Yu Yu Hakusho.
I asked Vic this question: "How did you feel when people started throwing away the Vic Mignogna plushies when the Todd Haberkorn action figure came out?" He said "That just happened in the video, people don't really do that."
When Colleen Clinkenbeard asked what picture I wanted to buy to be autographed, I picked Yuko because I think well of CLAMP. She said that that was one of her favorite characters but not many people pick that picture.
And the masquerade participants rocked the house. Quite a few of them I know from their cosplay pages, although only a few are on my friends list. I'm actually planning a skit with two of them at the next Albuquerque anime convention (Con Jikan). I could tell you what it's about, but you don't want me to ruin the surprise, do you?
One other thing - at the parapara panel on Friday, a trivia game was played to see who would win the prize of a parapara CD. They asked quite a few questions about older animes, and I won the prize. Later I attended the anime name that tune game. They played a lot of songs from newer animes, and I got beat pretty bad.
So, that was a fun time. I look forward to the next cons I'll be attending later this year. I'm actually planning to hit up some big ones - A-Kon 25 in Dallas, TX, and Nan Desu Kan in Denver, CO.

A belated holidays 2013 message

In exchange for volunteering to work Thanksgiving and New Year's, I got Christmas off. So I went to see my family and some friends in Arizona. And I returned to visit again right after New Year's. Seeing as my birthday fell on December 29th... we went out to eat during my Christmas time trip. And we had a little party with my cake and presents when I returned on January 2nd.

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, despite the fact that I had to work on Thanksgiving this year, it was a pretty good time for me. I had November 25th to 27th off, so I went to Arizona to visit my family and some friends at that time. My mom made a nice turkey dinner on the 26th. I took some of it home with me, so I had a nice turkey dinner again on the 28th. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a bit after it first aired.
I must say... This year I'm thankful that I'm living in a nice town and working at a nice hospital. This job actually pays less than my first one. But it was such a terrible place to live, and no amount of money is worth working in a hospital full of jerks that think respect ends with the patients.

Happy Halloween!

Pardon me for making this post a few days after Halloween has passed.
I had to work on Halloween evening, so I didn't get to greet the trick-or-treaters at my door this year. And I do so enjoy seeing their costumes. If I had been able to greet them, I would have dressed up as the grim reaper. The nice thing about that costume is everybody recognized it. And technically, it's still an anime/game character as he appeared in the Castlevania games.
Even though I was busy on Halloween night, it was an eventful day at the hospital that day. I took third place in the costume contest, as you can see from this clip from the hospital's weekly newsletter:
I also carved a pumpkin to use as the laboratory department's entry for the pumpkin carving contest. This did not place, but you can have a look if you wish. I based the design off of the final hollow mask worn by Ichigo Kuosaki in Bleach:
Hope everyone else had a good Halloween as well.

Fall anime conventions

I took yet another trip back to Arizona this year and attended Saboten Con - the largest anime convention in the Arizona/New Mexico area. It was a fun con, and it was good to see some of my Arizona friends. But I'm slowly starting to make some friends here in New Mexico as well. In November, I will attend a New Mexico anime convention called Con Jikan. This is a first time con, and the first Albuquerque con that started in Albuquerque as opposed to Phoenix or Denver. New cons are good for people who are new to participating in panels and masquerades. I would like to try to put on a villains Q&A panel at this con. It would consist of a couple of panelists dressed up as villain characters that entertain some questions - some submitted in advance, and some asked by the audience. But I doubt this will happen, as it seems like no one is willing to help. But I might do a walk on in the masquerade with my costume of Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura AKA Cardcaptors. That's a pretty presentable costume.

trip to Seattle, WA

So, I'm back from a vacation in and around Seattle, WA. My stops included the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and of course Olympic National Park. I also got to spend a little time with a friend who lives in Everett. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are 53,000 words for you:

Half a year at my job / Local sights in NM

So, I've been at my current med lab job for about a half a year and so far things have been working out well with very few complaints. I eagerly await the time when I've been working there for two years and I'm qualified to test to upgrade my certification from MLT (Medical Laboratory Technician) to MT (Medical Technologist).
Also, I've seen quite a few of the sights here in New Mexico now, such as White Sands National Monument for example. And there's still more to see. I don't expect I'm going to be getting bored with my current home any time soon.

Back to AZ for Phoenix Comicon.

While here in New Mexico, I've attended Las Cruces Anime Days and Sabaku-con. Last weekend I went back to my old home of Arizona and visited Phoenix Comicon. I usually didn't attend that con, even when I was residing in Tucson. This is because I tend to prefer anime cons over mixed genre cons. But nowadays they have several rooms dedicated to anime programming. An anime fan can actually be quite happy there. Bringing along my costumes of Xellos from The Slayers and Lt. Col. Roy Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist, I headed to the con. Several good panelists such as Muffin, Key, Arizona Midnight Channel, and The Renegades were filling up the anime panels schedule. My favorite panel from these people were Origami for Ages 5-97, I Can Harem and So Can You, Cosplay Duels, and Raving is Fun, respectively. And you know, a very large portion of my Arizona friends attend this con. So even if it didn't have much programming that interested me, it's a good place to see people. And seeing it had plenty of good programming this year, there was little reason for me not to come.

I have a place of my own.

The hospital I've started working at provided me with a temporary apartment I could use for up to three months. At this point I've moved into an apartment of my own. This apartment complex happens to have a pool. And there are washers/dryers that can be used for a reasonable fee. There isn't much closet space in my apartment, but for the most part it's a nice place. I immediately bought a bed and a dresser. And once I have a bit more money to spend, I'll add a couch and a bookcase. (I brought a small folding table with me when I moved, and purchased some cheap plastic chairs to go with it, so that's already accounted for. Nothing too fancy, but I don't feel I need anything too fancy.) And this is a very good place to live in the event that my car breaks down. It's only about a mile from the hospital, and two blocks from an auto repair center. It's nice to finally have a place of my own, one that is not being provided to me.

My first New Mexico anime convention.

Last weekend I attended Las Cruces Anime Days. A small two day convention. And I thought it went very well. Since the convention was small, the masquerade was small. But none of the entries disappointed me. And another good thing is that when a convention is small, you have more opportunity to interact with the guests. This con also had a panel that I like but rarely see at cons - a panel on how to build Gundam models. And one of the highlights of the con was the Vocaloid maid cafe. There were a few downsides. The artist's alley had quite a few tables that did not impress me. And while I realize that a small convention may not have an AMV contest, I think they should have made up for that by playing some AMVs in the video rooms. But overall, a very enjoyable con. The next New Mexico anime convention will be Sabaku-con in Albuquerque. A first time con, but I have high hopes for it.