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Monday, March 13, 2006

   Customer Service is a Lost Art.

The "White Tower" must actually be Crowne Plaza!

Hey all. So here's the deal with my beef with the Crowne Plaza. As you all know we are going to Sakura-con. We made our hotel reservations a while ago in the discounted room block Sakura-con set up. Today we worked out our schedule to stay an extra night in Seattle. So we needed to add one more night to our reservations. This seems like it should be easy enough to add one more night, wrong. Get this, even though the Sakura-con website still shows openings at Crowne Plaza at the group rate the hotel refused to let us book the extra night at that rate. They wanted to charge us $230+ for the extra night!! This is over $100 more than the room block rate. This of course, does not include that $27 a day parking fee I was stressing about earlier!

I was, needless to say, ticked off.

I then rant on the Sakura-con message board and find out that the rooms needed to be booked at least 30 days in advance in order to get the group rate. Ok, fine, but then why does it still say the rooms are available at the reduced rate on the Sakura-con website? Meaner people would scream false advertising! Lawsuit! or the like. I just figured screw it and canceled our entire reservation at Crowne Plaza instead. If they don't want to give me the rate I had previously booked my rooms at for the extra day, fine. Apparently for Crowne Plaza customer service is not a top priority and they would rather have an empty room at full price than one filled all weekend at a reduced rate. Not to mention the lost revenue from what would have spent in their restaurant and lounge. If they don't want my business I can go to a place that would like my money.

The moral of this story, I will never stay at a Crowne Plaza ever.

I know this isn't all Crowne Plaza's issue either since Sakura-con's site still shows the discounted rate. I did mention in my postings on their message board that it should be updated to reflect the fact that those prices are no longer available. If I knew that the rates were null and void 30 days prior to the convention I wouldn't have even bothered trying to book the extra day. I would have just crashed at one of my family member's house in Seattle versus dealing with this headache. It just left such a bad taste in my mouth that I never want to deal with that hotel ever again. Like it would be so tough for them to honor that previous rate for one extra night....sheesh.

Comments (7) | Permalink

Friday, March 10, 2006

   Fear Me!

Those of you who visit Adam's myO site probably have already seen the Samurai Panda video I sent to him. By reading his Panda Propaganda you all know he likes to tell you about how evil I am. Well, it's not true at all. Threats? Oh no, no, no! I just send Adam lots of, well, let's just call them PSA's. You know, Panda Service Announcements! It's my civic duty to make sure he is aware of the perils of challenging pandas.

Pandas are gentle...why would anyone think they are dangerous?!

Ok, enough of this silliness. Let me give you some background on that video. The first time I saw it was on Animal Planet on one of those "animals caught on tape" shows. They actually show 2 different panda attack videos. The one I posted here starts off with the guy in the jean jacket sitting with his back to the panda enclosure. The panda waddles up and starts to grab his jacket. (This is where the above clip starts.) Then after the panda gets the guy's jacket it waddles back over to a grassy area and plays with the jacket. Perhaps the panda was upset since this guy had his back to the bear. No one likes to be ignored after all. Or maybe this panda just wanted to look stylish in denim. I guess only that particular panda knows the reason why it did what it did.

Oh, just on a side note the other "attack" video was a guy getting his bottom swatted by a panda. Yet again, another case of a guy with his back turned to the panda...when will these guys learn you can't ignore the panda! Well, it's either that or pandas just love to slap guys' butts and rip their clothes off! Rawr! Fear Frisky Panda Bears! ~_^

Okay, moving on. I have some odds and ends I've got to update you on. I'm still not feeling super duper but I am on the mend. I can type now with only minimal pain. Woo Hoo! I really to appreciate all the well wishes and e-cards. You guys are really sweet. I have a great group of friends here on theO. Thanks so much. Now if only this winter weather here in Washington would go away. It flippin' snowed here yesterday! I want sunshine and blue skies! Can someone in a warm and sunny part of the world please send me some summer weather. I would really appreciate it!

I do have some Nifty news. I made the final cut in the Nifty Fifty over on theOB. ^_^ I was very happy to be nominated again this year. With so many other worthy Nifty nominations I feel very humble and honored to be included in this great list. The post with all the mini banners for each of the Fifty is in itself Nifty. I think next year I am going to nominate the layout of the Nifty Fifty list! Congratulations to all the other Nifty Fifty!! Two years in a row I've made the final cut...I really must be Nifty!

Only 2 weeks until Sakura-con! I was very lucky that I finished up my costume before this last flare up. John's still working on his. This year should be interesting since this is going to be the convention's first year in the convention center. I still need to decide if I am going to pay for parking or just have a friend drop us off at the convention center. It's like $27 a day for parking! That is $27 a day for my car to sit there or I could use that $27 dollars a day in the Dealer's Room instead. Meh. If only I were made of money this wouldn't be a problem!

I guess that is about it for now. I need to send out some emails, get some work done around theO and harass Adam some more. Laters kids!

Comments on Comments

Everyone: Thanks for all the well wishes. I am starting to feel better and I am sure it is from all the good vibes everyone has been sending my way. My spirits are always high even if my joints are swollen and sore. You guys rock.

Comments (15) | Permalink

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

   I feel icky.

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'll be back soon.

Comments (15) | Permalink

Thursday, March 2, 2006

   Claude is Complete!

Like Orihime & Rukia I think Claude is kawaii!!!

I was watching Bleach when I got the overwhelming urge to make my own version of Orihime's "purse". I don't want to give away any spoilers but the purse is a character by the name of Claude. So basically the rabbit-esque purse can walk, talk and even sense the bad guys. When I first saw this version of Claude I knew I had to make him. He's so ugly he's cute. So basically I dug through my craft supplies and came up with this:

Here's my version of Claude!

I even put in the zipper at the top of his head and a liner inside just like a regular purse. I plan on using him as my purse at anime conventions and for the Bleach cosplay photo shoots. I just need to find an Orihime to pose with him and a Rukia to glomp him.

Claude is completely hand sewn and considering my RA I think he turned out fairly well. I guess I am just lucky he is kinda goofy looking to begin with so my wonky sewing could be considered authentic. A few times I did get frustrated since before I got RA I could have cranked this purse out in a couple of days. I started this project right after Valentine's Day and just finished last night. >_<;;

I have a bunch of cosplay accessories that I've made and I have yet to post any in the cosplay section here on theO. I should really get some pictures of everything and add to the site. But not right now since I'm sleepy and sore.

Feel the Love.

I'm too tired to comment on comments so I'll just leave you with the pictures of Claude. I love you all and I'll catch you around the site. Laters!

Comments (16) | Permalink

Monday, February 27, 2006

   What A Weekend!

I need a break!

I know I sort of disappeared for the weekend. On Friday I went on a little road trip out of town for some shopping. I had to buy some more craft supplies for our cosplay costumes, pick up some anime and manga. I ended up getting the DVD thinpack of Chrono Crusade, Peacemaker Kurogane #7 and Full Metal Alchemist #7. Manga wise I picked up some Kare Kano, Bleach and Naruto. It was a very fun trip and now I have some stuff to keep me entertained for a while.

This is all good since for the next week John is out of town on a business trip. So basically I will be reading manga, watching anime and working on my cosplay projects while he is gone. It's been really quite around the house without him here. The dogs were upset last night since he was gone. They kept going to the front window looking for him. Sad huh. Poor pups, they miss their daddy.

Speaking of dads, Saturday was my dad's birthday. We went out to dinner to celebrate. It was fun. We ate lots of good food and had a great time visiting. Since my dad is diabetic we skipped the cake and had just a bit of ice cream. ^_^

Last night I had dinner with my brother Hiroshi. He actually brought dinner to my house. We hung out and listened to cheesy 80's music and visited. It reminded me of when we were kids. It's weird to think how we are now "grown ups" living in our own houses now. Time really does fly by. It was a very nostagic evening.

So anywho, if you need me I'll be cuddled up on the couch in my comfy sweats with some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream watching anime if you need me. Later!

Comments on Comments

marz: Normally when doing these Q & A sessions I write what the questions are but I was lazy. >_<;; Much like I am lazy today.

MiasmaMoon: Tienes preguntas y yo tengo respuestas = You have questions, I have answers. That's a rough translation more or less. I was at a loss for a subject so I just used that phrase.

When cosplaying it is more about having fun. When you step back and think about it there are very few people who physically can come close to being an anime character. I mean, how many bishonen men have you seen running around anime conventions....or anywhere for that matter! Cosplay who you want, have fun, that is the important thing.

Houston anime cons...I would really love to make the trek down to Texas for one of those. Since there are so many voice actors living in Texas those cons always have great guests. Dallas may be the closest I get this year. Perhaps next year!

Lytjuh: You should cosplay! I love walking around a con and seeing all the great costumes. It's great when you can identify secondary or background characters from an anime series. I guess it shows how much of an otaku I am since I get really excited when I see someone costuming in something other than the main characters. A couple of years ago I saw someone cosplaying Hiroshi Uchiyamada from GTO. His costume was so simple yet one that fans of the show would recognize. He was wearing a suit, had a wig on that made him look partially bald and was carrying a steering wheel. When John and I saw him we said: "My Cresta!" Yeah, I'm an otaku.

SunfallE: Yami no Matsuei rocks. The only bad thing is when I watch the show it makes me want to eat dessert. >_<;;

SomeGuy: Oooooh, you have some great suggestions. I think I will vote for Beck next month. ~_^

Mamma Vash: Sakura-con is in Seattle. You should make the trip up north and attend Sakura-con! The website is sakuracon.org and it has all the info you need to know. The last day for pre-registration is the 28th.

Chicago in the winter...are you crazy! Brrrrrr!! I bet you are happy to be back in So.Cal! It's all icky rainy and cold here in Washington. It's the cold, wet weather that shoots straight through you and into your bones. My joints are all creaky now. I feel like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Oil! Oil!

ShadowLight: Balut...ewwww, icky. I swear, whenever I think about it I feel sick. If anything thinking about Balut helps with my diet.

Dark Spirit 21: Cool.

KitsuneTsuki: Men with brooms gold: Canada!

Aaryanna: Wedding Peach. I have only seen the first episode. I really should finish watching that series.

Mouse: Meh to you too sir! I don't know what to say to you since we just talked on the phone. So I guess you just get Meh!

indifference: You are too sweet! ::tackle glomps::

AngelBest Dream: I'm not mad at you. I only have issues with people who break the rules on the site. If you don't break the rules there isn't anything wrong. All is good.

Extra Side Notes

Adam: Just a little something for all the "quotes" you've been posting from me...


BankofKev: Live action Robotech announced and you didn't even tell me! You tell me about P-Diddy outside your window but not about a live action Robotech coming out. Oh, I am so sad I've been left out of the loop...


Comments (12) | Permalink

Friday, February 24, 2006

   Tienes preguntas y yo tengo respuestas.

Ok, it's safe to post.

It may be safe but I don't know what to post about still. I have answered to the best of my ability your questions from yesterday. Hopefully they make some sense. I know sometimes I get a bit derailed with my train of thought. I know, site update info!

In case you did not see it Adam set up a new beta section. Go to the Suggest Catagory link in the side menu (or use the linky I included) to vote for your choice. You can submit up to three votes a month on which anime hubs you would like added to the site. Don't be like some people and vote for hubs that already exist like Inu Yasha. :P I love you all so much I'll share my one and only vote. Trinity Blood. I haven't used my other two votes yet but I am leaning towards using one for Yakitate Japan and the last for Yami no Matsuei. I am still trying to decide. I better hurry, the month is almost up!

I guess that is all I have to say right now. Hope everyone is feelin' fine and life is groovy. I love you all and I'll see you around the site. Laters kids!

Answers to Questions in the Comments

Lady K: Being the otaku that I am I already know the answer to this -- and the outfit! Unfortunately my answer leaves me a bit zanpakutou-less. I would be a part of the 4th Division. I love medicine...not taking it, but in the sense of working in the medical field. There is this wonderful feeling I get when helping nurse those who are sickly back to health. Yeah the 4th doesn't get the love it should. If it weren't for them fixing up the injured no one would have lived through all those bankai battles!

As for my zanpakutou, Unohana's giant manta ray creature is kinda creepy. I would rather have a giant panda with healing powers in it's tummy! LOL

And yes, I am cosplaying a 4th Division member for Sakura-con with a 4th Division bag and all. I'll post pictures of my costume after Sakura-con. It was either that or Nanao-chan. I already have the right hair and glasses. All I would need is a huge book and arm badge! John's going as Tessai from Urahara's shop. You know, the big guy with the apron. Oh what fun we shall have!

Summoner Rekka: I haven't been to Mega-con. In fact I have never been to an east coast convention. I would love to go. I love going to conventions. This year's convention list for me includes (hopefully if all works out): Sakura-con, Kumoricon, Anime Evolution, Anime Expo and A-Kon. We'll see how many I can attend but those are the ones I have in the works right now.

My suggestion for new convention goers: comfy shoes, take your own snacks (con food can be pricey) and a camera. You may get a chance to see some big wigs in the anime industry and usually they are more than happy to pose for pictures. If Greg Ayers is there he WILL glomp you. LOL

As for my family, everyone is going great. ^_^

Mamma Vash: Bubble gum. I actually am not a big gum chewer. I think this is a throw back to my youth. I say youth like I am some oldie moldie! When I was in the 2nd grade I got braces. We all know how you are not suppose to have bubble gum when you have braces. Well, I didn't get my braces off until the 7th grade. Yeah, long time. I had an under-bite so it took longer to fix. Meh. Well after I got braces off I just never got in the groove of buying and chewing gum. I can blow bubbles though. ^_^

Anime/manga life experiences. I think the closest things would be some of the wacky things that happen with my pets or the animals at the vet clinic. Some of the stuff they do makes me think that this is something that would be in a manga.

If I had to live in an anime I would chose one that I wouldn't get killed right away in. For instance. Put me in any vampire anime...Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D....I would just be food. Any fighting based anime, I'm pretty much useless as well. Now I could see myself living in Chobits. I have great credit. I would so buy myself a cute male persocom to do my evil bidding. He would not only work full time outside the house for income but take care of all my household chores! Wait a minute...I think I just described John. >_<;;

Kid Blader: Oh most definitely not. Older just means older. Wisdom doesn't go hand in hand with age.

demonboy: What is "a barrel full of". Since you gave me a Jeopardy-type answer of "monkeys" I gave you my answer in the form of a question.

Lytjuh: Sleeping flies stick to ceilings since they have a natural adhesive on the bottoms of their feet. Of course there is the debate of what they are doing is considered sleep. Some say it is just a period of rest while others say it is sleep. I think when flies are resting they are sleeping.

My main reason for joining theO. Well, I liked how the community was set up. The ultra-moderated message board, the personal journals and the extras...anime hubs, wallpapers, greetings, fan art and the quizzes...it's all very appealing to me. I also loved how fan orientated and fan based this network is. Official corporate sites are nice, but fan produced sites have a heart and freedom to it that missing from those official sites. TheO is for the fans by the fan. We are responsible for making the site what it is. I like this sense of community.

That and it makes it easier to stalk Adam. @_@

ShadowLight: I actually have three (and a half) anime characters I would adopt!

I definitely want to adopt is Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh. She is so sweet! The perfect child. Cute, smart, humble...just plain perfect. I just want to hug her! Even though she comes from a wealthy family and is incredibly smart she doesn't act smug about it. She's not a spoiled little rich girl. John is with me on this adoption. He and I both agree that if we were guaranteed a daughter like Chiyo-chan we would have a baby of our own. But since that would never happen...we don't have kids. :P

Alphonse Elric. He would be the perfect brother to Chiyo-chan. Cute, sweet, honest and a blonde. I think blonde haired little boys are just soooooo cute! I think I mentioned before that there is something about Al that turns on my maternal instinct. I really don't have a strong maternal drive when it comes to babies. I have never had that "I want to have a baby!" urge. But for some reason Al makes me want to adopt him and care for him. I would totally adopt him...now Ed...he's a different story. Kidding, Kidding...if I were there when those boys lost their mom, I would take them both in. Just call me Izumi.

I would also adopt Hanatarou. Poor guy. He needs someone to love him. He just seems like a lost puppy who needs a warm, safe, caring home. I would adopt him. Hanatarou reminds me of my dog Heston. Heston is very, VERY timid. He is afraid of strangers (keep in mind, Heston is still wary around John. Heston's been with us since '97) and I am sure he was abused before we adopted him. There's that time in Bleach when Ichigo is watching Hanatarou sleep and he's talking in his sleep...saying something about not hurting him...that is really sad. Heston wimpers in his sleep. I worry he's having a bad dream about his past. When I watch Hanatarou I feel like he and Heston are kindred spirits. So very timid and afraid yet very sweet and dependable. Hanatarou can join our family.

Oh, if you were wondering why I said three and a half adoptions...well the half comes from Ed. No, it's not a short joke but I really am torn if I would want them both. Al for sure but Ed...he's so stubborn I think I would lose my temper with him more than I should. I guess I could just kick him around like Izumi does. She's so sickly and can handle both boys...I might be able too as well. ^_^

Do I like foreign foods?! There have been some funky things I've eaten that didn't look like it would taste good and was. I'm willing to give stuff a try...unless it's Balut. If you don't know what Balut is, go Google it. Just thinking about that "food" makes me queezy.

Since I already answered the "what anime would I like to be a part of" question I'll move on to the next one: deja vu. Oh yes, I have deja vu moments quite frequently. I am not sure if it is because I am stuck in a rut or what the deal is. It funny. I can't think of the last time I had a deja vu moment.

Dark Spirit: I have no idea. I am sure if you do a Goggle search you can come up with something. If someone who is reading this knows hopefully they can PM you a website. Sorry!

Anguisel: I think the FCC won't do anything until someone complains...which is only a matter of time. No matter if anime stays true to original content or not, there are going to be parents who get up in arms about what they see. Even though programs on television are rated and aired at certain times of the day. Like the mom that got all upset when she and her kids watched "Married with Children". With the addition of anime exclusive channels like what ADV and FUNi are doing, I know there are still going to be upset people who will complain. Parents who don't parent but use TV as babysitters will get all up in arms when their 8 year old, staying up to 11pm sees an anime with some violence. These are the parents who will also use the government, FCC, to monitor what their kids see and hear.

After all we all know that animation is just for kids and that television is there to raise our children. :P

indifference: ::hugs:: Right back at ya hun.

abc kid: Oooooo I like option C. I think trading shoes would help the genders understand each other. Of course that is if the guys ever got past playing with their new racks. :P

Aaryanna: I'll be your mom. Do your homework, get off the computer, clean your room, walk the dog, take out the trash, wash the dishes, turn down that stereo, stop talking on the phone....and whatever else parents are know to say!! Oh forget it. Just do what you want to do since I would rather see you having fun than wasting your life doing chores. ::hugs:: I am such a cool mom.

KitsuneTsuki: Gold medal in Women's Curling went to Sweden.

SunfallE: I'll give you a random fact right now! I have a dislike of watermelon candies. I really hate the taste of artificial watermelon. I love fresh watermelon but artificial watermelon flavor makes me feel icky. ^_^

Comments (13) | Permalink

Thursday, February 23, 2006

   Think, Think, Think!

Think of something to write about!!

I don't really have much to chat about today. I guess I'll open up the comment box for you guys to ask me some questions. Ask me anything. I'd like to see if any of you guys can come up with a question I have never been asked before. Well, have at it kids, let's see whatcha got!

Comments (15) | Permalink

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

   Thank You.

Have I told you guys how absolutely wonderful you are? Well you are. Thank you all so much for the prayers and words of sympathy for our loss. Grandpa will be missed but I know he is in a better place now.

Needless to say the past few days have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. On the 17th, which was my parent's 33rd wedding anniversary, we got news of John's grandpa passing away. On Saturday we drove to Seattle to attend my cousin's wedding in Seattle when I started having an RA flare up. Not to mention right when I was going to be off theO to attend the wedding...the server crashes! Good events, bad events...they all seem to be happening at the exact same time! Meh, after all when life throws you pies, make pie-monade!

Things this week so far have been pretty calm in comparison. I like it that way. ^_^

Comments on Comments

Everyone: As I mentioned before, thank you all for the kind words. I really do appreciate your friendship and kindness. This is just another example of how wonderful theOtaku community is. It makes me proud to be a member. We can share our joys and sorrows with each other and know, no matter what, our friends on theO will be here every step of the way. Thank you. ::hugs::

Comments (6) | Permalink

Friday, February 17, 2006


John just came home from work and told me his dad called and said Grandpa Brightbill passed away. He had been battling cancer and had surgeries and chemo, but was always in high spirits. He was always happy and a wonderful person to be around. He gave the best bear hugs ever, those hugs just made you feel loved. I am really lucky to say I knew him.

I lost my grandparents decades ago and when I married John I instantly had grandparents again. Grandparents who love me like I was one of their own grandkids. Today I feel the same hurt I felt all those years ago when each of my grandparents past away. I know he is in Heaven and out of pain now. I know he wouldn't want us to be sad since he lived a very full and happy life. Despite knowing all this it doesn't stop me from missing him.

Comments (18) | Permalink

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

   Stay On Topic Or...

Hanatarou get's it!!

I'm not feeling very great right now. It's about 10 after 2am and I am feeling so sore and restless I can't sleep. I am not really awake enough to do anything important like writing reviews or posting on the OB. I know you guys can handle my rambling posts and...oh I forgot what I was going to say. Meh.

I did watch episodes 68/69 of Bleach in the raw on Valentine's Day. I know I'm an otaku. John and I don't do all that "lovey-dovey" stuff on V-day. We both agree that the holiday is a giant marketing ploy by the Flower/Greeting Card/Jewelry/Candy industries to get their quotas up for the year. We think if you love someone you should make them feel special everyday, not just on this one day because "they" say you have to. I also hate how it makes people feel bad. If you don't have a Valentine to share the day...If you don't have the money to buy dozens of roses and diamond jewelry...It all just makes people feel bad/guilty for not doing what the masses of Valentine consumers are doing. Sheesh, Valentine rant...back to Bleach.

I couldn't wait so I watched it in Japanese. As you all know Japanese was my first language. It's what my family would speak at home...until my parents decided for us (me and my big bro Hiroshi) that it would be better if we spoke English so we would do well in school. Needless to say if you don't use it, you lose it. My parents would speak to us in Japanese but we were taught to answer in English. So that is pretty much what I've been doing the majority of my life. Both my brother and I understand Japanese but can't speak it very well at all. Which takes me back to the subject I can't stay on...Bleach!

I watched this extra long episode in Japanese and think I got most of it. What I had a hard time with was when they say things that are "anime specific" references. Like....now I can't think of an example....let's use...Bankai. This is a word that in normal conversation I wouldn't come across talking to my parents. So I didn't know what this word meant. In the world of Bleach this word describes the ultimate fighting style of the Shinigami. (BTW bankai literally means ultimate release and a shinigami is a death god.) When you think about it how often do you, in a normal conversation with friends and family, use your vocabulary to it's fullest extent? We just don't. We pretty much get stuck in the rut of using the same words over and over. For example: Extenuating. We know what the word means, but how often do we use it? In my case, rarely. Hope that makes sense...of course none of this makes any sense since I can't stay on topic! Bleach!

The special episode was good, I have an overwhelming crafting urge to make Orihime's new "purse" and I'll leave it at that since I can't stay on topic and my brain has shut down for the night. I have to get up in a couple of hours to accompany my parents to a few of their doctor appointments out of town. Boy, am I going to be fun to be around later today. No sleep + Sore joints = Grumpy Panda.

Poor Hanatarou...all because I couldn't stay on topic...

Everyone: Thanks for the Valentine well wishes. Despite what my rant may have sounded like in my post I do appreciate the cards and comments. I love you all. And you all know I am not just saying that because of Valentine's day. I really do appreciate each and everyone of my friends here on theO. You guys rock!

I need sleep. 'Til next time everyone! ::waves::

Comments (13) | Permalink

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