Dracil’s BlogJournal

August 23, 2009

Monthly update

Filed under: Controversy, religion — Tags: , , — dracil @ 12:18 am

Alright, let’s see, haven’t blogged in a while. *looks at one line summaries of what he’s supposed to blog about*

going away party
movies with jenny and lin
fanime meetup 2

Ok then.  So going away party, Aug 1.  It was for David and Joyce.  Joyce to Seattle, David to NY.  We decided to meet up at Berkeley since that’s where it all started.  Had some fun with the “death star” sculpture.  Saw Eric’s photo on one of the banners.  Then we had dinner at Chez Panisse since we’d wanted to go there for a while but never did it so it was our last chance.  Then we went to karaoke and I got annoyed at Music Tunnel’s new system.  If I enter in “a” in Japanese in the title search, I do not expect to be greeted with a blank screen. :P  We loitered around a bit more and then parted ways.

I’ll do the second #fanime meetup next.  This was August 15.  Met up with them at the bart station, and after almost losing people a few times, we finally made it to Japantown.  The actual event was sorta blah, but it was cool seeing Amano (who did FF artwork) and bumped into BayAnime people there.  We then ate at Shabu-sen for lunch before loitering for several hours in Japantown and parting before dinner.

Finally movies.  Wanted to watch Harry Potter, but Jenny hadn’t seen the previous one, so August 8, we used a card she had to rent out HP 5 and Coraline and watched it at her place with Lin.  I thought I would’ve been bored but I guess not.  And Coraline was a cool horror movie for kids.  Today, we actually went and watched HP 6 in the theaters.  But first, I went to the SF Street Food Festival and waited a long time for Jenny to show up (:P) then waited an even longer time to get to the end of the line to get Pizza Frita from the Pizzeria Delphina booth which turned out to be too salty.  I also got onigiri from Onigilly which wasn’t bad.  We met up with Lin at the Farmer’s Market at the Metreon and had our lunch before watching the movie.  Despite knowing about The Event, I still thought it was kinda moving when it happened.  After that, we had dinner at Katanaya and their BBQ pork is so good.  Then we went to find Jenny’s ex-roommate to give her her birthday card, which led to an interesting experience of Scientology.  We tried to be polite and just watch their vid, but the receptionist was kinda pushy so I pushed back, and I think she probably deemed me as a SP, or at least labeled as “very skeptical” which felt a lot like codeword for “avoid this guy, he’s bad news” :P

The ironic thing is, I’d actually be interested in watching their video (the same way I watch Creationist videos).  Just leave me alone and don’t try to start trouble yourself and we’ll all be happy. :P

May 26, 2009

More Fanime Halko Momoi concert

Filed under: events — Tags: , , , , , , — dracil @ 11:38 pm

Interestingly, I still have not crashed.  I think the energy of her songs (which I’ve been listening to, esp. someone’s recording of the concert) is continuing to keep my mind in a pretty hyper state.

Here’s a nice video showing the complete otagei of her LOVE.EXE song in Japan, which means I at least have one video from which to practice.  Whee.

If you have a niconico video account, http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/1236649570 is even better, esp. since it has all the scrolling comments (which helps in understanding what the people are yelling)

Here’s someone’s recording of the same song at Fanime.  In retrospect, I am very glad I didn’t make it onto the stage now. :P

This is probably one of the only ways to make me dance willingly. :P

Fanime 2nd half report (Halko Momoi concert)

Filed under: events — Tags: , , , , , , , — dracil @ 1:49 am

Sunday – Finally the wallet comes out.  I got some figurines for Joyce basically as thanks for the help with the hotel room.  Got myself some Touhou playing cards from the Dealer’s Hall and a Patchouli Knowledge bookmark in the Artist Alley.

So the original plan was to go to the MusicFest, but while going there, I saw a couple girls sit down next to the guy who was the start of the line.  I thought they were crazy and went in and put my bag down.  But after a bit, I decided screw it, I don’t really care about the bands for the MusicFest anyway, and so I went and plopped myself down with the line as #4.  This was about 1:45.  The concert wasn’t going to begin till 8.  Yeah. :P  I just decided I may as well do something crazy for once.

Eventually people start lining up.  I think they thought it was weird that even though I hadn’t heard of Momoi until a couple days ago, I was in line this already. :P  I got Ultra Orange #2 and a bottle of water for that though, I think.  Thankfully, the sun moved and we got the shade for most of our wait.  Eventually while they were passing out the glowsticks to everyone else, I got Ultra Orange #3.  Despite this, I ended up having to get another 2 glowsticks during the concert (a blue one for one of the songs, and another orange one for the encore).

There was a bit of confusion when we were finally allowed in and we thought we weren’t allowed to sit at the front.  But we were.  Unfortunately, the hesitation meant there weren’t enough seats for all of us at the front and center row, so some of the people who were waiting with us went to the side.  The first act wasn’t actually Momoi though, it was the Makenai group from the afternoon.  Apparently, the girls were only interested in that and left after that so the seating turned out ok.

The convention people would turn out to be a little oppressive though.  The fans were doing a live web stream, but they were forced to close it down because the hall was unionized and they’d have to pay some union worker $3000 + $300 webcast fee.  Regular recording was apparently allowed though.  http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Ruezu&view=videos has some videos.  I’d be somewhere in the front row, with the regular dull glowsticks (compared to their battery powered glowsticks) and not entirely sure of what I’m supposed to be doing half the time. :P  There’s also an audio recording where you can hear the calls going on.

At one point, Momoi made Jun-chan (the head maid of the maid cafe) go up and sing the ENOZ song.  She also let people up on the stage for the LOVE.EXE song.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know what was happening till too late and got stopped by the rovers. :( Though I guess that’s better, since I wasn’t wearing one of her shirts like the others, and wouldn’t know what to do either.  Apparently someone also accidentally unplugged the guitarists’s guitar, and one of the guys noticed and plugged it back for him.

Another interesting point of note, her dress for this performance was made in Taiwan.

I got some goods after the concert (shirt, CD), and a lot of the fans stayed around to continue the live webcast.  The convention people continued to be anal about it though,  and turned off the lights on us (I went back later and the lights were on then too).  It didn’t matter, and people just used glowsticks/flashlights for lighting.  They actually started doing the Nico Nico Douga medley again.  Eventually most of the group left to get food I think, but some went to the convention center to finish the webcast, which was filled with random stuff.  I guess it’s somewhere on Nico Nico Video.  I decided to go back to my room then.  But then I noticed I couldn’t find my call book.  Went back down to find it and couldn’t find it.  Luckily I ran into them again and managed to get another book from them.

IMG_3345

Momoists up on the stage with Momoi

Monday – Got up really early to check out and meet Joyce.  But Joyce overslept so I went to wait in line, which was already forming 2 hours before the signing event.  I got my CD case cover signed.  Convention people again imposed random rules and wouldn’t even let us take any photos inside (it was supposed to be no posing only).  I also decided to get a wristband.

Went to the Para Para panel and that’s when Joyce arrived.  Everything was completely foreign to her since this is her first convention, so I had to explain stuff to her.  What was ironic was that she was using a friend’s Industry pass.  Introduced her to Wei-chen and helped her pick out a couple wall scrolls for her brother.  Watched some AMVs, watched people para paraing (one of the instructors from the panel was at the arcade), put stuff in her car, and then watched the closing ceremonies, which consisted of AMVs and a charity auction.  The most interesting thing was when they were auctioning off a Wii guitar signed by every guest of honor, including Momoi.  Instant attention from every Momoi fan in the room.  In fact, Jun-chan’s boyfriend started the bid at $100, and made a gesture at me.  Quick bidding war that eventually ended at $250.  But he passed on that.  Then they announced there was a *second* guitar.  He gave in on that.  If he couldn’t do it, I think I would’ve been willing to help augment his bid by a few bucks.  Last thing to go was a Wii signed by last year and this year’s guests of honors.  Starting bid was $600… nobody was willing to do it.  Eventually a staffer made the bid and donated it back for next year’s auction again.  You could tell it was done as a “somebody has to do it” move, but very awesome regardless.

Some observations/thoughts now that Fanime is over:

1) The momoists are some of the coolest and most generous people I’ve ever met.

2) It’s a good thing I didn’t win the exclusive Yamaga invitation earlier, since that was the same time as the Momoi concert.  Would’ve altered my life a little bit I think.

3) The whole glomping/hugging thing is fascinating.  I’m not sure why it’s such a feature in anime conventions.  I think it’s the whole people letting loose.  I was still being my pretty introverted self, but I was quite a bit more willing to try things out.  Certainly talked to a lot more strangers than I usually would.

4) While at the convention, I was basically living in a completely separate reality.  Completely ignored everything from my usual life.

5) This convention has rekindled my geek interests by quite a bit.  I haven’t really been watching anime/listening to Japanese music for a while now, and I’ve pretty much spent the entire day listening to Japanese music, and Haruhi is now in its 2nd season which means something to watch (just as American shows I were watching are reaching their finales).

6) Kingdom Hearts cosplayers tend to uniformly have pretty cool costumes (their keys).

7) Wearing furry costumes will get you a lot of glomps/hugs.

8) Convention food/drink is way too expensive.  $4 bottles of water just should not happen, especially if you can get the same water a block away from a restaurant for $1.60.  This is a safety hazard as it causes people to drink less fluids than they really should be drinking.

9) I’m tempted to do some otage at the next American concert I go to with friends, just so I can have people stare at me and wonder what the heck I’m doing.  Bonus points if I can get said friends to do it with me (chance of that happening?  <1%)

10) I guess I should find some Para Para videos and just practice off that if I actually want to try the machine next year.

May 24, 2009

Fanime midway report

Filed under: events — Tags: , , , , — dracil @ 12:53 am

Thursday – not an actual fanime day. But had lunch with Catherine, Joyce, and Joyce’s cousin at Boulette’s Larder. Best tasting thing was the pork tenderloin which Cat got. While there there was a spontaneous decision with Cat to watch Star Trek at night, and… it was good. Yay Sylar. :P I’m just happy the spoilers I saw weren’t what I expected/occurred early/didn’t matter (yay for not having been psychologically raped)

Friday – I had 3 hours of sleep because of the Star Trek movie and packing and researching. I took the day off work. I left an hour later than I’d planned. Got there, checked into hotel without a problem (Joyce booked the room for me), and then got in line for registration, which turned out to take an our. The two people I thought was coming today ended up not coming today (Joyce and Wei-chen)

I saw Lupin III vs. Detective Conan completely by accident, which was a surprise for me. I’ve never properly watched a Lupin III anime before but it was one of the old games I played on the Famicom a lot

Spent most of the day wandering around. Actually took a lot fewer photos than I thought I would be taking.

Because of the much bigger convention center, there wasn’t the whole portable players huddled together playing together thing going on. A lot of DSes but everyone was mainly doing their own thing. Didn’t register for tournaments because I knew it would be futile and the board games they had didn’t really interest me (and I’d have to find strangers to play with).

It was also fun watching people play the arcades. I will say that DDR is completely BORING compared to the Para Para machine. Good DDR play mainly consists of people holding onto a handle at the back and just stomping their feat. Really good DDR doesn’t normally happen (the ones where they actually do a dance routine and don’t look at the screen anymore). Para Para on the other hand, that’s actual dancing, and you’re generally moving your entire body, especially the arms. That makes it a lot more interesting to watch, and especially since the moves are the actual moves to the dance. Of course, there are the normal folks who mainly just wave their arms around to hit the sensors and that’s not interesting either. But people only need to be good, and not really good, to make it interesting.

I do wonder how people get that good though. I guess watch someone else play and memorize the moves then?

Watched people play a game with coming up with anime titles for prizes. There was an INCREDIBLY RUDE mother there who kept harassing the other contestant that her daughter was facing. Though her daugher won, I was really happy that she couldn’t get the real prize (to meet the executive director of GAINAX tomorrow in a 100-person exclusive party) because she was underage. God what a prick that woman was.

Dinner at this hoagies place was awful. The hoagie itself was just portion with really bad presentation. The fries were just not good and required ketchup to make it palatable.

Only real panel I went to was Ric Meyers’ “Yelling back at the screen” panel. Very interesting guy. But I don’t think we really click. (The writers are the ones who have the most to discuss with him). He did confirm that the new G.I. Joe movie is pretty much gonna suck (though that was kinda obvious from the trailer. The special effects weren’t nearly as good as Star Trek’s)

Randomly caught the second half of Ip Man. I can see why Leqi really liked that movie now. The fights were awesome.

Saturday – laziness meant I didn’t get to go try out the breakfast place I wanted. Ran into Wei-chen when I was going to get lunch. We didn’t quite recognize each other at first. :P

Maid Cafe opened today but the line was loooooong. So I just went and watched their live performance. I will definitely say that was a good decision. Mostly for them singing some oldie anime from my childhood (Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura) and the Touhou stuff (didn’t recognize the song though), and the new Nico Nico Douga medley video which was great because it meant a lot of the inside jokes and references that I used to be really into. Must definitely try their cafe tomorrow.

Also, what made it so much better was the presence of Momoi. I didn’t know it was her until I saw a ton of people taking photos of her. She’s not someone I really knew before today but she’s done some stuff that I’ve seen or played. She had a group of fans on the side doing Calls with glowsticks, which was pretty cool.

Naturally, because of that, I had to go to the Momoi Calls Workshop panel (I was gonna go anyway though). Her longest Japanese fan was actually there to teach us the moves. It is… basically synchronized audience participation. Pretty sure it’s not something that happens with Western music. I think it actually has some standardized moves that are used regardless of the artist. Apparently there are also otaku versions of the moves, which they also taught us, which is basically the regular moves that are overdone, which is basically what otakus do in general. :P Anyway, it’s actually a bit of workout to do the calls because there’s a lot of jumping, twirling, and arm movements. It was tiring for 2 songs (+ practice before). It will be hell for 2 hours tomorrow. The thing is, this pretty much puts me in a spot where I have to choose between my camera or participating. Not sure what I’ll choose yet. There is no way I’m subjecting my camera to that sort of punishment. :P They also gave us each one of the “Ultra Orange” glowsticks. Apparently these are different from regular glowsticks in that they burn brighter and faster (lasting only about 5 minutes)

After that was basically the anime masquerade. Looooooooooooooooooooooooong line. It pretty much wrapped completely around the convention center. They actually stopped letting people in later in the night because it would be a safety hazard (though there were still seats). Anyway, yay skits. My most favorite skit was the one the MC (who was Ric Meyers) refused to say, “Tiny Flat Chest” and I knew exactly what it was from that. It was the tsurupettan song, but they did an English version and it was with Zero no Tsukaima instead of Touhou. I’m pretty sure this has been done on Youtube. :P Tip to organizers. You’ll have more luck getting people to turn off their flash if you don’t let all those people in the special section use their flashes because they’ll see the hypocrisy/unfairness, especially since those people are all closer to the stage and light and need the flash even less. :P Another highlight was them showing the first episode of the 2nd season of Suzumiya Haruhi.  I had found this the night before I left but hadn’t had a chance to watch it yet, so it was a good coincidence.  Most of the people had left by this point though.

Got back in time to see Dead Fantasy 3 and Dead Fantasy 4. They’re still works in progress. Huge crowd for that.

I still did not buy anything today, but I might tomorrow.

I’m happy that I’ve been seeing quite a few Touhou characters running around. Didn’t get to yell “China/Chuugoku” at Meiling though :( (inside joke). Was kinda tempted to say “baka” to the Cirno I saw though (but if the person didn’t know the inside joke concerning the character, the might’ve been offended).

Also, this hotel’s (Marriott) internet connection is really awful. And it’s not free. If my laptop battery didn’t decide to die again (I really hate Macs), I’d just take my laptop down and use it in the convention area. :(

Oh, the last thing to note was that the Christian protesters from last year were back again. The one where one of the guy’s sons was dating a convention goer. :P Lots of fun hijinks from people yelling back at them. Like them chanting “Kira is god” (Death Note reference), some guy holding up a Liber Chaotica (woo, I have that book), and… Jesus himself being worshipped by followers right next to them. :P Speaking of Jesus, I got a free hug from him in the elevator. I should’ve denied him two more times first though (extreme inside joke that only I know, you can ask me if you wanna know, but I know nobody will ask :P).

May 22, 2008

Summer Events

Things I’m interested in and will probably attend:

May 24 Tzu Chi Festival
May 24-25 Carnaval SF
May 31 Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival
Jun 1-15 Dine About Town
Jun 7 Berkeley World Music Festival
Jun 7 Worldwide D&D Game Day
Jun 15-Aug 17 Stern Grove Festival
Jun 22 Alice Summerthing
August 17-18 Golden Gate Renaissance Festival

Conventions I’d like to go to but probably won’t because of conflicts/too far/too soon:

May 23-26 Fanime
May 23-26 Kublacon
Aug 29-Sep 1 ConQuest SF

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