Dracil’s BlogJournal

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).

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December 1, 2008

Jolin Tsai concert

Filed under: personal — Tags: , , , , — dracil @ 1:59 am

I hate going down to San Jose.

As usual, she was late again.  It’s actually aggravating for me because I usually try to arrive early.  :P

Since she’d pretty much woken up, gotten ready, and came here she hadn’t eaten so she was still hungry so we ate at the hot dog stand at the Fremont Bart which I used to eat at every night when I was still living in Milpitas.

It wasn’t actually enough so we ate at Hydration, which is basically a milk tea place.  They had crispy chicken as a bento box which we got and it was pretty decent and not expensive relative to what we’ve been eating and just general SF food prices.

So, it was the same place where I saw gymnastics with Joyce, except they put a bunch of chairs on the ground and that was the premium seating.  They said no cameras and no recording devices but pretty much everybody ignored them.  Lots of people rushing forward and getting sent back by the staff and people “misreading” their seat numbers.  Tsk tsk.  Also lots of people standing up.  There was one point where Leqi got pulled down by some old man behind us which really pissed her off because 1) it wouldn’t have helped since everyone else in front was also standing up and 2) there was no way we could see anything if we sat down as well.

Anyway, I only knew like 3 of the songs.  Jolin also did some pole dancing, and we had a couple of glowsticks to wave around.  I spent most of the time trying to take good pictures.  Concert lighting is just awful for cameras.  I ended up sticking with manual mode through most of it because the camera was making everything too bright.  By making it darker, I was able to get even faster shutter speeds for better quality.

That said, I think I probably should’ve brought my telephoto lens instead since I was shooting at stuff like 1/200 and f/3.5 at ISO 400.  Pictures would’ve been blurrier/noisier but it would also be a lot larger.

Oh, and ENERGY (boy band) also made an apperance during the show.

It was a lot shorter than we expected too, so we were able to go home via public transportation (yay) and didn’t need a taxi.  Didn’t even need to write down the numbers since there was a steady stream of cabs passing by the bus stop.

October 5, 2008

Joyce’s birthday celebration

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — dracil @ 1:33 am

Eh, so many people were sick or couldn’t make it so it was just four of us.  Me, David, Joyce, and Nancy.

Lunch at Tanto where we all had their littleneck clam ramen and we each picked an appetizer.  I got crab croquette, Joyce picked a pork dish, and David picked chicken wings.

After that, since it looked like it might still rain, we went to The Tech museum.  Nancy came at this time.  It was actually pretty interesting, since there was also a Leonardo exhibit so we got to see a lot of working models of his inventions.  Even the IMAX film we saw (Adrenaline Rush) mentioned him.  The MAO levels (affects risk-taking behavior) became a topic of discussion for the rest of the day.

Dinner was at Kubota restaurant.  We ordered a chicken sukiyaki to be shared by all, Joyce and David got a combo chirashi with some udon, Nancy only had chirashi, and I got a beef short rib with calamari tempura combo.  The beef short ribs were really really good.  The tempura was a little more meh.  So definitely get beef short ribs if you go there.

Then it was to Joyce’s house to eat cake from Satura Cakes, which Joyce had been looking forward to for a very long time.  :P

’twas a good day.  Happy birthday Joyce!

April 26, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Filed under: personal, Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — dracil @ 10:30 pm

My first musical (in an actual theater).  It actually wasn’t bad, considering the warnings we were given.  Yeah, there wasn’t much plot but it’s more about just comedy and mindless fun and listening to the music.  My favorite song was probably Money, Money, Money because of the discordant melody and general force of the song (helps with all the dancing going on).  In comparison, the Mamma Mia song was kinda uninspiring.

One line that struck me from the show was “That’s more than enough for four weddings! And a funeral!”  Confused, I remarked at the time that that would be a good name for a movie.  Of course, it’s been done.  14 years ago in fact.  I think I even saw it.  I guess the existence of the film was lingering in my subconscious but my consciousness, not understanding, came up with that explanation.  At least now I know this bit of trivia.

The best part of the show was when a kid shouted “I do, I do” near the end during the pause before the actress could say her line.  Everyone started laughing.  It’s a testament to how easy it was to get caught up in the show (there were some standing ovations after the show).

Though I have to admit I felt my consciousness slipping away a few times during the musical, but that’s due to my lack of sleep, not because the musical was bad.  We didn’t pick up anything after the show either, but I did donate $5 to their AIDS cause (there were some nice stuff available if you were willing to donate more, like aprons, or signed posters, or a unique signed poster prop).

Our balcony seats (the cheapest available) weren’t bad either and we had a nice clear view.

Before that, we had lunch at Kumako Ramen, which is ranked #23 on Joyce’s list, but we were discussing how several of the top 10 have closed down so the ranking may actually be better now.  We both had the special of the day, the hiyashi ume ramen, which was chilled plum ramen.  I picked it ’cause it was rather warm down in San Jose so I didn’t want to eat something hot.  It was decent, but if it wasn’t for the fact we were using a $10 gift certificate from restaurant.com which cost us $0.90 (use GOURMET as the coupon code right now to get 70% off) we think it would be kinda overpriced.  Her parents thought the gift certificate thing was a scam, but we can confirm now it isn’t.  :)  One thing to note about the gift certificates is that you can only use it once per party per month per restaurant.

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