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Monday, September 15, 2008

And the Boredom Ensues

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist,
but you have ceased to live.
- Mark Twain

Greetings All! Unlike the last post, this one has very little content of any real interest. Life is boring in school, for the most part. I go to class, I eat, I do homework, I go back to the apartment, I sleep. Thatís about the extent of things. But, as usual, I will do my best to squeeze as much content out of my life as possible for the sake of the post. To start off, I am posting this wonderful blog on the day that I have been looking forward to since Spring. This evening is the season premiere of Heroes! Oh, how greatly I look forward to what the writers will do with this show. Last season was an unfortunate step down from the first. The first season had mystery, action, a great story, and fun character development. The second season had action and an okay story with much less of the mystery and development of characters that the broad audience did not find appealing. The creators have promised that this season will be a return to what made the first season great, and I hope they hold to that claim. Anyhoo, on with the post.

AnimeFest Ď08
By far the most interesting thing that has happened to me since I returned to school is AnimeFest. AnimeFest was the 10th convention Iíve had the privilege of attending and it was the last major convention I will ever attend as a college student. Thatís a bit sad if you ask me, but I made the best of it.

In a previous post I spoke of a couple things that were to make this particular convention a memorable one. One of those things was the fact that all of my best friends were going to be there. That ended up falling through rather dramatically 48 hours prior to the convention. Two of my very best friends who I met when I was going to school down in Texas told me they would be attending and assured me of this fact. But, right before the convention I found out through unfortunately roundabout ways that they wouldnít be coming. I was frustrated more than anything. I was trying to plan this convention to make it as affordable as possible, so when somebody drops Iíve got to call people and let them know of the jump in price. But, neither of these friends of mine bothered to inform me personally of their absence. I heard one of them wasnít going to be attending in a phone message left by a mutual acquaintance of ours. The other didnít tell me at all and I had to hear about it when I called him the night before the convention to see when he would be arriving. ďNeverĒ wasnít the answer I was expecting to hear. Both of them had perfectly legitimate excuses why they couldnít attend, and thus I donít hold their absence against them, but next time Iíd like to hear about such things a little more than two days in advance.

The other thing that was going to make this convention memorable was the reintroduction of the Shugo costume I created for A-Kon three years ago. After that costume got destroyed in the wash one of my friends offered to remake it using the old costume as a pattern. He was supposed to have it done by Ikkicon earlier in the year, but didnít. Then, he was supposed to have it done by Otakon, but since I didnít end up attending Otakon I told him he didnít have to worry about having it finished until AnimeFest. He didnít have it done in time for Otakon and then he didnít have it done for AnimeFest either. So, I didnít get to wear my Shugo costume to this convention like I was so looking forward to doing. Even if he had finished it, I wouldnít have been able to wear it anyway because I forgot the gloves for the costume back at the apartment. Thankfully, it should be done by the last convention I get to attend coming up in November. Heís gone ahead and admitted that heís never going to finish it but says that heíll teach me how to sew on a machine so I can do it myself. Thanks, dude.

Apart from those two minor negativities, the convention was a wonderful one. I got to see friends of mine who I havenít seen in ages, I got to go back to Dallas for the first time in a full year, and the convention itself was amazing as well. Probably the highlight of the convention was the premier of an anime called Freedom which will be released on Blue-Ray in November (it wonít be on DVD until next year). The anime is about three friends who live on a lunar colony with the rest of humanity a few decades after the evacuation of Earth due to a third world war. One of the kids discovers that the lunar government is hiding the fact that earth has become inhabitable once again and decides to travel to earth himself using an old Saturn 5 rocket. That description is pretty pitiful, but itís the best I can do without spoiling the entire plot. The story and character design are by the same man who created the movie Akira and it is fully 3D animated. Itís breathtakingly beautiful and the story is top-notch. The director and the screenwriter for Freedom were two of the industry guests the convention invited to attend. I attended all of the panel discussions with these amazing artists, was given a promotional poster for Freedom autographed by both of them, and beat the screenwriter, Dai Sato, in a match of rock, paper, scissors to win a promotional booklet for his creative collaborative called Story Riders. There are some amazing illustrations in that little booklet.

I spent very little in the dealerís room. All I bought in there was some wonderful-smelling loose-leaf green tea, a keychain of Miyuki fromLucky Star, and two pieces of art, one of them an original work and the other an InuYasha fanart. All in all that probably cost about $30. The real expenditure from the convention happened on the last day at the charity auction. I never win anything at the charity auctions at conventions. There are always too many people there with very loose budgets. But, for some reason, the charity auction at this convention was sparsely attended and nobody there was being terribly generous with their expenditures. I managed to walk out with four items: a piece of original anime art, a 20-year-old X-Men poster in mint condition (Iím not much of an X-Men fan but the poster was a good value and it looked cool), and autographed photos of both Brent Spiner as Data and James Doohan as Scotty, both from the Star Trek franchise. Amazing stuff! Everything I bought at the convention totaled out to right around $100 which is amazing given the amount Iíve spent at conventions in the past.

Other things I did at the convention include the dance at which Greg Ayres djíd, a few anime screenings including Shion no Oh, Moon Phase, Genius Party, and my favorite Bamboo Blade, and a few random panels. My favorite panel actually had nothing to do with anime even remotely. It was put on by an artist and voice actor guest named Bruce Lewis. The panel was called ďReality 101Ē and it consisted of Bruce answering any question anybody felt like throwing at him, any question at all. The question that opened up the panel was ďwhat is reality?Ē I also attended an InuYasha panel, the panel for the other Japanese guest, Akiharu Ishii, and a couple industry panels by Funimation and Bandai. Both Funimation and Bandai have some fun stuff coming out soon. Iím looking forward to seeing Bandaiís The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Blade of the Stranger. Both are movies and both look amazing. Anyhoo, there isnít much else to say on the subject of AnimeFest. It was a wonderful convention despite the snags and I will miss going to it.

Since I havenít actually posted on how my classes are looking this semester, I figured that was necessary. Iím taking 15 hours of credit and my array of classes is varied. Iím taking Graphic Design IV, Digital Darkroom (essentially a photo editing course), Ethics, Irish History and Culture, and a course entitled the Arts in Western Culture offered through the music department. They are all fine classes and Iím enjoying them all so far. Digital Darkroom is turning out to be the most boring of all. Itís a bunch of data at this point and the instructor himself has told us that the class is completely useless because any company we end up working for is going to have their own way of doing this stuff. SoÖ I feel like Iím wasting three hours of my life every Thursday night, but Iíll do the work anyway. At this point I just want to graduate.

As a requirement for my Arts in Western Culture course, I am to attend at least one artistic or cultural event. The gallery openings on my university campus satisfy this qualification, but when my professor passed around a sign-up sheet for a drawing of tickets to the Tulsa Balletís performance of Don Quixote I figured it wouldnít hurt to put my name down. I never expected to win, but I did. So, in two weeks I will be attending the Tulsa Ballet with nine other students. It should be fun!

Calling Again
Phonathon started back up this weekend. I went to training this past Saturday and will start my first shift on Tuesday night. This year the university has finally hired a full time staff person to handle Phonathon. This new guy is coming in and making changes, cutting pay, making hours harder to get for Phonathon veterans, and basically making this year a bit more difficult. At least this is what I had heard from a couple of girls I worked with last year. I went and talked to Chad, the new Phonathon coordinator, on Thursday last week to hear the truth from him personally, rather than from a couple of disgruntled girls. Everything I had heard is pretty much baloney. Yes, he is cutting pay for the time being until he can get a grip on who deserves the pay. I donít fear that Iíll make my pay back in no time, in fact after our training session on Saturday he assured me that Iíd be sure to get my old pay grade back. Also, there is no fear that Iíll get all the hours I need. We have a lot of people this year, but not enough to overbook every shift, especially on the shifts Iíve signed up for. Tuesday is notoriously a low shift and so is Saturday. So, Iíll be sure to get at least two shifts a week with no problem. Itíll be good to start making some money again. I hate not having a steady income. I feel like a hobo. So, Iím looking forward to getting started again and I have no doubt that Chad is going to do a great job. Heís a really nice and understanding guy and having a full time Phonathon staff will make it a much better experience. So, on with the moneymaking!

Thatís all Iíve got. Have a great day all!

Caesar1280's Anime Ticker

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, Air, Air: The Movie, Akira, The Animatrix, Appleseed, Aquatic Language, Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Beck, Black Lagoon, Blame!, Blood the Last Vampire, Bokurano, Burst Angel, Castle in the Sky, Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express, Egao, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, Gankutsuou, Gatekeepers, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Gin-iro no Kami no Agito, Grave of the Fireflies, Grenadier, Haibane Renmei, Hellsing, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance, Hikaru no Go, Howl?s Moving Castle, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Jyu Oh Sei, Karas: The Prophecy, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Midori?s Days, Milennium Actress, Mushi-shi, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Naruto: The Movie, Nausicaa, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth, Ninja Scroll: The Movie, Other Worlds, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Pet Shop of Horrors, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Prťtear, Princess Mononoke, Read Or Die, Read Or Die: The TV, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Seven, Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal, She and Her Cat, Spirited Away, Steamboy, Tide-Line Blue, Tokyo Babylon, Tokyo Godfathers, Trigun, Voices of a Distant Star, Witch Hunter Robin, Wonderful Days, Wrath of the Ninja, X

Anime I've Seen

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- .hack//Sign
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Air
- Air: The Movie
- Akira
- The Animatrix
- Appleseed
- Aquatic Language
- Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
- Baby Blue
- Beck
- Black Lagoon
- Blame!
- Blood the Last Vampire
- Bokurano
- Burst Angel
- Castle in the Sky
- Cowboy Bebop
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Digimon Express
- Doorbell
- Egao
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala
- Gankutsuou
- Gatekeepers
- Genius Party
- Genshiken
- Genshiken OAV
- Ghost in the Shell
- Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
- Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
- Gin-iro no Kami no Agito
- The Gokusen
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Grenadier
- Haibane Renmei
- Happy Machine
- Hellsing
- Highlander: The Search for Vengeance
- Hikaru no Go
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Innocent Venus
- Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Jyu Oh Sei
- Karas: The Prophecy
- Karas: The Revelation
- Last Exile
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
- Midori?s Days
- Milennium Actress
- Mushi-shi
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Naruto
- Naruto: The Movie
- Nausicaa
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death And Rebirth
- Ninja Scroll: The Movie
- Other Worlds
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Paprika
- Perfect Blue
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- The Place Promised In Our Early Days
- Prťtear
- Princess Mononoke
- Read Or Die
- Read Or Die: The TV
- Samurai Champloo
- Samurai Seven
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal
- Serial Experiments Lain
- Shanghai Dragon
- She and Her Cat
- Spirited Away
- Steamboy
- Tekkonkinkreet
- Tide-Line Blue
- Tokyo Babylon
- Tokyo Godfathers
- Trigun
- Trinity Blood
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
- Voices of a Distant Star
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Wolf's Rain
- Wonderful Days
- Wrath of the Ninja
- X

Total: 93
Anime I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Roots
- Ah! My Goddess
- Angelic Layer
- Avenger
- Baccano!
- Bamboo Blade
- Basilisk
- Binchou-tan
- Black Cat
- Bleach
- Blood+
- Boogiepop Phantom
- Case Closed
- Le Chevalier d'Eon
- Chobits
- Chrono Crusade
- Code Geass
- Coyote Ragtime Show
- D.Gray-Man
- D.N.Angel
- DearS
- Death Note
- Dennou Coil
- Desert Punk
- Digimon
- Dragon Ball Z
- Ergo Proxy
- Eureka Seven
- Excel Saga
- Fighting Beauty Wulong
- Final Fantasy Unlimited
- Flag
- Freedom
- Full Moon
- Gantz
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
- Gintama
- Glass Fleet
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- Gundam Seed
- Gundam Wing
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hellsing OVA
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Ikki Tousen
- InuYasha
- Jigoku Shojo
- Kage Kara Mamoru
- Karin
- Kino's Journey
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Lovely Complex
- Lucky Star
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Marchen Awakens Romance
- Meine Liebe
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Mononoke
- Monster
- Moon Phase
- Mr Stain on Junk Alley
- Naruto Shippuuden
- Negima?!
- Negima!
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- NHK ni Youkoso
- Night Walker
- Ninja Nonsense
- Noir
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Pokemon
- Prince of Tennis
- R.G. Veda
- Ragnarok
- Rec
- Red Garden
- Robotech
- Romeo x Juliet
- Rosen Maiden
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Saikano
- Sailor Moon
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Sci-fi Harry
- School Rumble
- Scrapped Princess
- Shin-chan
- Shingu
- Shion no Oh
- Shuffle!
- Shrine of the Morning Mist
- So Long, Mr. Despair
- Solty Rei
- Sousei no Aquarion
- Speed Grapher
- Spice and Wolf
- Super Milk Chan
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tenchi Muyo
- Tenjhou Tenge
- Texnolyze
- The Third
- Tsubasa Chronicles
- Urusei Yatsura
- Venus Versus Virus
- Welcome to the N.H.K.
- Winter Cicada
- X-1999
- Xenosaga
- XxxHolic
- Yu Yu Hakushou
- Yume Tsukai
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Zipang

Total: 116
Manga I've Completed

- Cowboy Bebop
- Manga Messiah
- Manga Metamorphosis
- Q*Ko-chan
- Saiyuki
- Shirahime-Syo

Total: 7

Manga I Haven't Completed

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Black Cat
- Blame!
- Chobits
- D.Gray-man
- Darkside Blues
- Death Note
- The Demon Ororon
- Desert Coral
- Disgaea
- Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl
- Fruits Basket
- Getbackers
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Kamunagara
- Legal Drug
- Love Hina
- Loveless
- Megatokyo
- Naruto
- Negima
- Read Or Die
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Tactics
- Trigun Maximum
- XXXHolic

Total: 26

Anime I'm Currently Watching
Samurai 7, InuYasha, Samurai Deeper Kyo,
Boogiepop Phantom, and Shrine of the Morning Mist

Manga I'm Currently Reading
Read Or Die, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Megatokyo.hack//Roots, .hack//Sign, 5 cm per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Angelic Layer, Avenger, Basilisk, Binchou-tan, Black Cat, Bleach, Blood+, Boogiepop Phantom, Case Closed, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Chobits, Chrono Crusade, Coyote Ragtime Show, D.Gray-Man, D.N.Angel, DearS, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Desert Punk, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Ergo Proxy, Eureka 7, Excel Saga, Fighting Beauty Wulong, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Flag, Full Moon, Gantz, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gintama, Great Teacher Onizuka, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Hellsing Ultimate, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Innocent Venus, InuYasha, Jigoku Shojo, Kage Kara Mamoru, Karin, Kino?s Journey, Love Hina, Loveless, Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Makai Senki Disgaea, Marchen Awakens Romance, Meine Liebe, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Mononoke, Monster, Naruto Shippuuden, Negima?!, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion, Nerima Daikon Brothers, NHK ni Youkoso, Night Walker, Ninja Nonsense, Noir, Ouran High School Host Club, Peacemaker Kurogane, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, R.G. Veda, Ragnarok, Rec, Red Garden, Robotech, Romeo x Juliet, Rosen Maiden, Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, Sailor Moon, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sci-fi Harry, School Rumble, Scrapped Princess, Serial Experiments Lain, Shingu, Shuffle!, Shrine of the Morning Mist, So Long Mr. Despair, Solty Rei, Sousei no Aquarion, Speed Grapher, Super Milk Chan, Tales of Phantasia, Tenchi Muyo, Tenjhou Tenge, Texnolyze, The Third. Trinity Blood, Tsubasa Chronicles, Urusei Yatsura, Welcome to the N.H.K., Winter Cicada, X-1999, Xenosaga, XxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakushou, Yume Tsukai, Zero no Tsukaima, Zipang

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