I got the photos from
Fanime 2011 uploaded. I was going to post interviews
soon. But due to some upcoming oral surgery that will
render me more stoned than I appear, I decided to hold
off lest I talk about flying bats and that trip to Las
Vegas I took that wound up trashing a hotel room and
a convertible. I'll post Usher concert photos in a separate
You spend some time working
on a few things hoping to change the process only to
watch it explode in your face, resulting in a singed
face and having to go back to where you started before
you started. Throw into it a need to divert resources
to a personal situation that lasted a long time and
the motivation to resume fades. But there comes a time
to bite the bullet and get back swinging. And do it
the way that worked the first time.
Obama fans of 2008 may
want to take note.
2011 was a nice gateway back into conventions, and
now it's time to look forward to the next event I actually
feel like attending. Now if only I could reroute tab
A to slob B for the otehr crap I work on.
always offer interesting conversation.
A write up of a convention
that I may or may not have attended during Halloween
weekend where I may or may not have taken photos is
complete. The whole thing will go up once a related
write up related to the convention gets or does not
Well, I would be saying
that except that I managed to locate an online store
for one for a friend's apartment. Superior
Rugs was a nifty little spot for us to get a rug
at the last minute. A quick snippet of our thoughts
of the site is available here.
And who knows, maybe I'll get a rug there for myself
it is time to remove one hat to concentrate on another.
The San Jose Cospaly
Picnic today was awesome. I had fun shooting and mingling
while learning how to do better with both. It does feel
I am slowly converting from cosplayer into shooter lately
and it is fine. Cosplaying is slowly losing its fun
for me and I can just as easily be the coked up pyromaniac
without a costume. With the photographing, I am gaining
better use with my eyes.
No, I am not flooded
with bills. Fanime and the Nor-Cal Cosplay Picnic Mark
I happeend recently and after a supposed tech theft
that turned out to be just basic senilty, I need to
play my least favorite game of all: Catch up.
I just attended a panel
at Santa Clara University about how to enter the video
game industry that featured a variety of SCU alumni
working for companies like Lucas Films, Cryptic Studios,
Bandai/Namco, and even one academy award winning animation
studio whose name rhymes with "Nixar." While
it looks like programmers and artists are in high demand,
there seems to be opportunities for writers like myself
that go beyond game testing--not that I would be adverse
to game testing. My resume is located in the bottom
line of the "Contact" section. Those two hours
provided enough material for an e-book.
Hang on to that thought.
As Fanime continues to
creep up like a pedophile in the night, The Escapist
seems to be getting me back into the anime reviews after
dealing with Funimation. And at Associated Content I
have just been recruited to write as a video game cotnributor.
Guess I can finally justify buying a current generation
console this year as a work related expense. Now which
system should I get?
It has been nearly a
month since the last post and I must say things have
been busy with family and personal affairs. In between
those, I did manage to swing by Asahi-Con
AKA High School Drama Con and the Okage
Sama De~ Cosplay Tea. Tomorrow is WonderCon
and I hope to see you there or at least bug in Spirit.
Anime Reviews: The
Escapist has had a few issues with Funimation recently.
I managed to squeeze off the first volume of Soul
Eater before the sudden trouble. We critics
will be dipping into our personal stashes until it finishes,
so I opted to review Pumpkin
Scissorsduring this drought.
Until more dust settles,
I wish you all love and peace.
Just to piss off a few
people who may have it in for me, I have lived long
enough to see the Earth rotate around the sun one more
time. I was not sure if it could do it due to crappy
economy and slackers in the White House not living up
to their promises, but by golly that little blue planet
did it. As for actually celebrating my birthday... HA
HA HA! What a laugh. March is such a busy schedule that
every weekend is booked with one thing or another. April
is not looking good either. May is sketchy. June may
be the best shot I have. I cannot really confirm what
I want to do in June, but those invited hopefully can
Twitter and Facebook
have been buggy in updating my Associated Content articles.
I will have to make a major overhaul to get that fixed.
But for now, take a look at the anime entry drug Soul
Oh, yes. If anyone is
trying to give me drama for my birthday or any year
of my life, it had better well be in the form of House
or Law & Order DVDs or there will be fire
My third and closest
sister Trina celebrates her birthday today. Since Onii-chan
has to leave town to handle family business unrelated
to her, I might as well give her the gift of a field
promotion to the Traveling Valentine staff. Since I
am still calendar impaired and she has a better idea
of what is happening when, she now takes the reigns
managing my extremely busy and cluttered schedule during
conventions. Full staff bio to confirm her status will
appear later once she approves the writing. I admit
such a gift is no substitute for material goods, but
I am sure even those goods will eventually make their
way to her once I return.
There is also another
odd miracle that happened on her birthday, but I think
we shall retcon that to avoid having to share the spotlight
with Trina's birthday. Now to get back to some rather
good anime that came in rather late.
I can honestly say that
the Year of the Ox ended on a note that I wish it had
not ended on. But things do not go as planned. But it
is better to have ended that way and begin the Year
of the Tiger with a clean slate than starting the year
with that looming overhead. We will miss you.
Though I do admit that
the recent turn of events will affect things here at
Traveling Valentine. Events, rehearsals, and pruduction
schedules are being shuffled around and I think some
things will be canceled entirely. But rest assured that
things will return to relatively normal.
I am definitely not properly socialized.
I think my IQ drops exponentially
with the more close friends around me for outings. Symptoms
include sudden loss of driving skills, gradual loss
of navigtion skills, headaches, and being able to recall
Family Guy cutaways despite heving never watched
the show. Or maybe stupidity is simply contagious and
I cuaght a bad case yesterday. I am kidding of course.
Friends visiting my neck of the words are delightful
even if I find myself turning into a rambling idiot
with a short attention span. Hopefully I can return
the favor and pop over to their neck of the woods later.
was wonderful as usual but I only shot ten rounds. Being
with friends, I mainly stuck with them instead of shooting
the costumes. I took aim at a target, but the gun I
used lacked the punch needed to pierce the armor. I
doubt I will have another opportunity for such a shot.
Super Bowl XLIV was a great game excpet for the commercials,
which blew goats. Hopefully the ad review will get approved.
explosion heard during AOD was not me... for a change.
in San Francisco is once again a relaxing convention
to chill with attendees while catching up on old times
with friends. Yet thanks to the missing hotel room,
the meeting of some really cool
dudes, the panel I gave for the first time about
writing for The Escapist, the first family
meeting with the little sisters, and the juggling of
interpersonal relationships, it was amazing that I fired
no shots from the nearby clock tower. Reports,
photos, and videos are on the way as I locate my materials
and notes. Maybe I will catch the Grammy Awards and
get my Michael Jackson tribute on.
My main lesson for AOD
is that while "No comment" is probably the
worst two words to excuse a person's actions, "It's
Tom" may be my best explanation for things I do.
I cannot believe I am
saying this, but it seems not everything improves with
the addition of bouncing boobs. My latest assignment
Daughters of Mnemosyne had plenty of naked
D-cup action thanks to the titular Rin and I was able
to squeeze out some recommendation just because it was
different from the franchise anime that never end. But
the attempts to be so different ended up boring me to
the point I can write down blood smoothies and angel
sex without batting an eye now.
I hope for a dry AOD
weekend. Michael and I finished shooting a crappy video
sumamrizing the grind of my work for the panel. Hopefully
it will not be too bad to use for an introduction. If
anything, it just makes me realize how out of practice
I am in front of a camera after spending a few years
behind one or talking into a microphone. Perhaps I should
try out a few acting gigs to relearn what I am currently
I close with one final
note about my current assignment: If I fall asleep during
the final portion of your program, you are not looking
at a good write-up.
SacAnime report is up, rain falls down, and I try something
on the side.
Okay, SacAnime 2010 January
is complete and available here.
Two people with two vantages of the convention scene
yields two different accounts of the convention.The
fall SacAnime falls during Michael's birthday so I am
not sure if he wants to celebrate it there but we shall
For those of you attending
during the 30th and 31st weekend, my prototypical panel
"Criticizing an Anime Critic" will take place
on Saturday, 3:00PM at Live Events 2 (Garden
A). After much praise and envy from anime fans
telling me how lucky I am to have a position watching
anime and writing about it, I figure it is time to talk
about how the position is not all sunshine and lollipops.
The hours are long, the work is hard, and the thanks
are minimal at best or derisive at worst. If my talks
about deadlines, writing styles, and headbanging frustration
over writer's block do not interest you, hopefully the
flat out bribes and giveaways of DVDs will. Thankfully,
it is during a reasonable hour in the afternoon so I
will not be in hangover mode but I notice that I conflict
with the Robotech 25th Anniversary panel going
on at the same time.
On a whim I decided to
try out that fiction
writing again. This time it was an attempt at developing
a character. Unfortunately, I still find myself sticking
to first person mainly because I feel it as the easiest
way to convey the main protagonist's thoughts but it
also gives me one less name to make up.
It felt like last year
when James Cameron's Avatar was released in
theaters. I initially resisted seeing it mainly due
to a cramped calendar and not really giving a damn about
the film. But now that it is 2010, I figure it was time
to give it a chance. Father paying for my ticket since
he wanted to see it helped sweeten the deal.
I admit that I was awed
by the 3D visuals and designs of the natural Pandora
world. The Earth dropships and giant mecha walkers reminded
me too much of Aliens and The Terminator
but since Mr. Cameron made those films it is not
really plagiarism. The story seemed to have ripped off
elements of Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, Fern
Gully, and other hippie conservational films while
the sci-fi and action borrowed from The Matrix and
Return of the Jedi. It was a pity that James
Cameron spent over 10 years working on Avatar
that other movies got the jump on it and made it to
theaters before completion. Now it felt like 162 minutes
of deja vu.
I suppose I could pitch
in a lovely article about the contestant on American
Idol who proudly professed to be an "otaku"
and set the anime fan movement about 20 steps backwards.
What keeps me from doing so is that I do not watch American
Idol and could care less about what they show there.
programs work hard to find the most extreme weirdos
and it was a matter of time before they found one of
Too bad, so sad for her.
But in about 15 minutes there will be an even worse
example of anime fan to poke fun at.
I had put this book review
on hold for some time given the inability to procure
one cheap and having no idea what direction to take
it. But the deadline loomed so I buckled down to read
it. Given my lack of spirituality and religion,
the main hook failed to grab me. But I did find the
realistic breakdown of the Salmon family believable
and gripping enough to get me to finish it. Hopefully
Peter Jackson's vision will help me appreciate the story
more. Who knows, maybe a Hobbit or two will sell me
on the idea of heaven. Wait, that would be my vision
of hell since I could not sit through that long trilogy.
Fear and Loathing 2010 Tour has officially begun.
I am out $100, I smell
like cheap beer, there is unfamiliar make-up on my clothes,
and I have several photos that will never see the light
of day. I am either describing a typical weekend in
Vegas or a typical weekend at a convention and I do
not recall watching any Blue Man Group recently.
So the 2010 convention
season dubbed the "Fear and Loathing Tour"
based on Hunter S. Thompson and not a first impression
of the conventions themselves officially began with
the one-two punch of SacAnime and Anime LA during the
January 7th-10th weekend. Sadly my left fist is made
of cake so I only landed one blow with SacAnime. Report,
articles, and eye-pleasing photos--some that actually
move and have sound--are to come once I actually find
the new year running... straight into a brick wall.
So how did you ring in
2010? Dancing the night away? Watching the big ball
drop? Boozing it up? I originally planned to end 2009
dancing at Berkeley during Friday
Night Waltz--the 2009 New Year's Eve was Thursday
night, but shut up--but received a last minute invite
to my friend Ryu's party. Little Sister #3 was attending
as well so I could write it off as a family affair since
my actual family does not ring in the new year until
Lunar New Year. The best memory of that night was allowing
Trina to drive us crazy.
a brand new start such as my new position at Associated
Content as an Arts & Entertainment Contributor.
Given that most of my exposure to arts & entertainment
are from anime and science fiction conventions, I guess
it is about bloody time I get paid for going to these
things... provided I actually stay awake through industry
panels and take notes. Hopefully the doubleheader of
LA and SacAnime
will give me some anime-related arts & entertainment
material for January. Otherwise it is off to the movie
theater. For now, a couple articles to start my new
post include a rant about Sherlock
Holmes' lack of cocaine usage during his new film
and a Funimation
release schedule for January.
Escapist side of things, I just finished reviewing
season of D.Gray-man and can state that
a season of filler episodes is one good way to ensure
a bad write-up from me--not to be confused with something
that I will badly write up. I proudly stake this review
as my magnum opus for now given that my editor has not
alerted me on any new titles between now and the beginning
It is a little premature
to announce, but during the January 30th and 31st weekend,
I will host a panel about my job as a anime critic.
Learn the pros, the cons, and some writing advice recommended
for critics. Since bribery seems to be the best way
to increase asses on seats, I will raffle off some of
my assigned DVDs, some merchandise from my personal
vault, and even a DVD box set of a series to be determined.
Please stand by for actual time and location of the
(Had to Photoshop for
brevity. For the full list of events, click on the banner.
If you wish to better
familiarize with my work and possibly suck up to win
some swag in advance, please check out the rash of recent
My leg is a wreck, my
clothes are sweaty, my wallet is empty, and pistol is
nonfiring. What a wonderful end to Dicken's Fair. It
was great to see Craig, Sharon, Devi, Chris, et all
while meeting new friends like April and Kristen.
The best achievement
of the day was finally finding a tailed coat in my size.
I smell three costume opportunities with this. Report
and photos as soon as I recover and drag myself out
of the avalanche of work I created.
First, a happy birthday
to my father, not that he actually knows this site exists.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for his parenting.
In other news, BAAS,
a wonderful group of anime fans in the Bay Area held
its annual Christmas party today. It was a wonderful
opportunity to hang out with convention friends and
anime fans, eat some marvelous food, and donate canned
food and warm clothes to the needy. Despite being better
known as a misanthrope who hates people in general,
I have always been willing to lend a helping hand for
causes I truly believe in.
Valentine donated a dozen winter coats/sweaters and
seven cans of food. When fortune is smiling relatively
well, it is good to give to the community. As it turned
out, donating such items yielded raffle tickets for
various prizes. I won a poster, a Tails hat (he was
there while Sonic was good so I love it), and about
70 episodes of this "NAY-RUE-TOE" anime. Splitting
tickets with Trina my 3rd Little Sister, she won a Gundam
Destiny shirt, which she traded for my poster.
But the biggest winner was Traveling Valentine member
Ten, who won a brand spanking new netbook. As the abrasive
boss that I am, may I officially state that she is a
lucky, lucky bastard and now I can finally expect to
get some real written work out of her. (Cracks whip)
some wonderful plans for 2010 regarding Sakura-Con
and something very interesting for 2011. I hope to fill
in more details as I soberly recall.
Now to settle
down, wash the spilled food and grass stains from earlier
today, and get to my appointment tomorrow.
I never cared much for
Christmas cards. Half the people on my list will usually
receive a message of "Who the hell were you to
me this year?" I probably should hire a secretary
to help me keep track of these things, but that would
probably require a minor reorganization. Then she would
ask me where her Christmas bonus was. Then I would ask
her where her Christmas bonus I was supposed to give
So December 12th marked
the day of BART Boy's Nor-Cal
Christmas Gathering. The rain and other elements
made the event a bit more damned difficult than it should
have been. In an odd mood, I decided to write in character
of the guy I was cosplaying. This is as close to fiction
as I get, so enjoy the rare treat.
I hope the gallery interface
does not screw things up too badly.