Otaku Encabulator

Random musings of a sleep deprived guy.

Cars and Jobs and Haruhi

Not exactly a comparison people will make. I’d have put a picture on here, but I’m way too lazy to do so, and this article has been sitting in my drafts pile for too long.

A few months ago I was involved in a car accident. I won’t really get into details, but it wasn’t that bad. On the other hand, it could VERY, very easily have been bad. It took me about a week to really get over it.

Next, involves my job. I graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering, but I’m working as a software engineer. A job’s a job, and I am thankful that I even have one right now. In any case, unless you are really good or really good at selling yourself, it’s rather difficult to find a job in the defense and aerospace industry. I can’t say I am good at either. That’s not to say I’m bad, but I’m finding it hard to stand out from the crowd of job-seekers.

On the topic of jobs, there’s also Steve Jobs. His death occurred right around the same time I had the accident. Now, I know everyone and their mother has probably talked about the guy. Well, I’ll just talk about the impact his death made on me. I am not much of an Apple guy. The only Apple thing I own is an old iPod. To sum it up, the guy followed his passion. In context with my car accident, the now infamous Stanford commencement speech he made in particular, struck a chord in me:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” –Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 12, 2005

Not soon after his death, I decided to finally watch The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. I hadn’t read it yet, and I’m really good at avoiding spoilers, so I came into it without any prior knowledge of the story. I won’t spoil anything specific, anyway, but if you’re paranoid about the stuff, you can skip this. The conflict Kyon had to face within himself with regards to Haruhi feels very similar to the conflict I’m facing now. But, unlike Kyon, mine isn’t as clear of a decision.

So all this happened around the same time, and it got me thinking about where I am now. Where does my passion really lie? I don’t think I’ve found it yet. I always thought it was in the aerospace industry. But I don’t know, since I’ve never really immersed myself in that field as much as I would have liked. This also applies to my hobbies. Certainly I enjoy watching anime, playing games, taking photos of cosplayers, and talking about those aforementioned topics, but I haven’t found that special thing that makes me want to put extra effort into it. To do something amazing for myself and possibly for others too. So, my search goes on.

And I didn’t exactly publicize this article, so even if you stumbled upon this months later, feel free to comment. I enjoy talking about this stuff.


Anime Expo 2011: Days 0-2 Lines, Panels, and CONCERTS

Alrighty, let’s see if I can get a summary out quickly before I forget about everything. XD;

AX Begins~

Read more of this post

Anime Los Angeles 2011

I realize this is months late, but I found this draft just sitting around, and I figure I’ll just post what I have. Not like I’ll remember anything new to add anyway. I did go to Anime Expo, but I don’t think I’ll be posting a “con-diary” of sorts like I have before. Well, in any case, I hope you look forward to future articles by me~ Even if I’m absolutely horrid at updating. I’m a horrible blogger. haha

Edit: Okay, I lied, maybe I will post a recap article of my experience at AX. haha look forward to it~

Original draft below
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been working on my job search and haven’t really had time to sit down and write much of anything without feeling like I should be looking for new places to send my resume to.

Anyhoo, enough of my personal life. This won’t be as long as my previous con postings because 1) Most of my non-staff activities were just taking pictures 2) It was almost 2 months ago and I may be a bit fuzzy on the details and 3) ALA is more of a con that you go for the atmosphere/people than the events and guests anyway.

Let’s start with my staff experience and go from there, yeah?
Staffing for ALA Operations is great, since half the time I’m patrolling around the whole grounds of the con, or “roving” as we call it. Keep things orderly and nice, and call in hotel security if need be. We also check for people who don’t have their weapons peacebonded, direct them to the peacebonding station, remove peacebonds for photos, and peacebond them again right after. Although I’m not sure if many people are aware of those last two items. Compared to, say, Anime Expo, we’re a lot less stringent on our weapons policies. I mean, it’s understandable. AX is a much bigger convention and some idiot brandishing a semi-realistic weapon could get them in a whole lot of trouble. But I digress.

The other part of being part of Operations is manning the registration line. It’s not really very exciting, keeping people in line, but somebody’s gotta do it. On the plus side, since nearly everyone passes through that area, you get to see a lot of awesome cosplayers. Combined with my roving duties, it’s perfect for taking photos. Or if I’m busy (which is usually the case), identifying cosplayers and then hunting them down for a photo after I go off duty. haha

So, cosplay. This time around, I took way more pictures than I ever have at a convention. Nowhere near some other people who do this all the time, but I nabbed a few hundred. Most aren’t that great though, I’m still new to this thing. Not to mention that the yellow lighting indoors isn’t really the best light to take pictures in. The pool deck, which is outdoors, is really quite awesome. There’s a reason why cosplay gatherings are usually held out here. I can leave my camera on “auto” and I can get nice shots. heh

Quality of cosplay always runs the gamut from those that were slapped together in an hour to those that were slaved upon for months on end. That’s normal. What really gets me excited is if I see a cosplay of a character that I hardly ever see cosplayed. Speaking of, I saw a lot more Touhou cosplays that I had ever seen previously. That made me quite happy. Although I ended up spending most of Day 2 outside taking pics of the Touhou group. You can find most of these photos on my cosplay.com gallery.

Flashing cameras, depleting funds, and OMG THE CON IS ENDING—Anime Expo Day 4

Day 4, early morning, outside West Hall

Ah, Day 4. The last day of Anime Expo. It’s a bittersweet day. You’re here to continue the fun that you’ve been having the rest of the con, but all things come to an end.

So far, I’ve just rambled on and on about my adventures. Honestly, this and the previous articles were more of a sort of journal-type articles instead of something for the reader. (Sorry. ^^; ) But if you’ve been enjoying this, well thanks for sticking around.

My last day at Anime Expo was much less about being at a certain place at a certain time, so I had a lot more freedom to go shopping and snap cosplay pictures.

Read more of this post

Lines and Line-making Implements — Anime Expo Day 3

Gonna get a lot more crowded in the next few hours.

OKay, I’m a month after the last post, but here we go! With the approach of Saturday came Anime Expo Day 3.
There were a lot of guests around here that I really like, so my current autograph count was still fairly low, relative to all the guests. Day 3 was primarily made up of my adventures correcting that.

Read more of this post

Autographs, Lines, and Surprise Guests — Anime Expo Day 2

Photo by YOJI ABE (YO-2 design)

Okay, so I wrote about day 1, let’s move on to day 2 before I forget or get lazy. heh

Read more of this post

Panels, Panels, Panels. — Anime Expo 2010 Day 1

Line Expo, GO!

Well then, I think it’s time I updated this thing.

As you can see, I did attend Anime Expo. So, I’m wondering how to summarize this so that I don’t ramble and bore all of you…

Read more of this post

I wonder where I’m going to go with this…


So… anyway.
I’ll be graduating with my undergraduate degree in a few weeks. It’s been a fairly busy semester, so I’ve hardly had any time to do much of anything outside of schoolwork, let alone post on this neglected blog of mine.

Where am I going to go with this blog? Not entirely sure. For now, I guess I’ll start with expanding on an “East/West Otaku” presentation I made in an anime class I took this semester. I also have this tendency to dabble in many different areas, so you might see a number of various things related to what I want to do. I plan on getting back into the anime scene once I get all the graduation and job stuff over with. For now you might just see Touhou posts or something. Or my doodles. Well, it’s me rambling, in any case.

I’m learning how to use this wordpress blog… I’ll add people on my blogroll once I get around to posting in a regular fashion.

Til next time folks~

And I finally finish my ALA posts

ALA loot

A few of the things I picked up at ALA.  ALA T-shirt, badge + ribbons, Gunslinger Girl OVA DVD, and a few Touhou bookmarks and Type-Moon buttons from lisu-c.  It was a good convention.  I was tired but hey, since when did people go to cons to rest? haha I’d have stayed longer, but I had to sort out all my crap for the first day of classes of my final undergraduate semester.
Read more of this post

Anime Los Angeles Day 2

“Registration line is over there! If you have not registered, PLEASE GO FILL OUT A REGISTRATION FORM AT THAT TABLE!! ~~wwwONCE AGAIN! if you are NOT pre-registered, I NEED YOU TO FILL OUT A REGISTRATION FORM AT THAT TABLE!! AFTER YOU HAVE DONE SO, FALL IN LINE!”

…is what I said ad infinitum for about 3 hours in the morning manning the registration line on Saturday.

Day 2 wasn’t too interesting in terms of what I did, since I manned the reg line most of the time. haha  Once I got around to take a break, I attended a panel called “Anime Radio Theater” hosted by Kyle Hebert.  People in attendance included:
Chris Smith, Cristina Valenzuela, Derek Stephen Prince, Julie Rei Goldstein, Kaiji Tang, Keith Silverstein, Kyle Hebert, Lauren Landa, Marianne Miller, Miley Yamamoto, Patrick Seitz, Robert Axelrod, Shawn Crosby, Stephen Weese, and Tadao Tomomatsu

I don’t remember if they all were able to attend, since I didn’t recognize everyone by their face.  But it was amusing seeing these guys improv on their given roles/lines.  I don’t remember the exact story, but it involved beggars being exploited by some mob guys, and a man called “The Shadow” who is supposed to fight for them.  Had a Batman vibe to it, but was much more amusing.  Patrick Seitz voiced the Shadow, Derek Stephen Prince was some investigator guy, and Spike Spencer was a mob guy named… Spike.  heh Overall, it was enjoyable. I had a few laughs.

Well, after that, I went back to work. I ended up working the registration line again. I had a few lapses in concentration, since… well, I’d been doing this job for a while, and the line wasn’t really much of a line.  Sometimes, I wouldn’t notice that someone was waiting in line and there was someone available to help process their registration… ehe… haha… It went alright though. Everyone got their badge in a timely manner.

I was able to take a few pictures of people who passed by during times when there was no line.  Anyone who goes upstairs has to go back down through the registration area, so I probably was able to see most of the attendees just standing there. (Unless they took the elevator)

You see a lot of the guests at ALA. I saw Derek Stephen Prince near Registration. And passed by Patrick Seitz on many occasions. He’s a cool guy. I call out “It’s Patrick Seitz!!” and he’ll go, “What? Where!” “HO-OOOOOOOOH~!” or “LIES!!” (all 3 on separate occasions throughout the 3 days of con) hehe, I haven’t really heard many of his roles tho. The last one I can recall was General Jaeger in Valkyria Chronicles. He’s awesome, and I’m glad he was enjoying the con.

After that job, I had to help out to prep the place for the Masquerade lines.  I closed the Dealer’s Hall.  People would come up to me, and I had to tell them the place was closed. A Zero cosplayer tried to command me to open the hall. I was tired, so I gave him the usual spiel, but what I should have done was go, “YES, MY LORD!” and attempt to “break in”. haha… I had no ability to open the doors since I was outside and they were locked.  People can leave the place, but they can’t go back in.

Well, yeah, the lines. “Love the wall! Hug the wall! Hallway–bad. You don’t want the hallway,” said an ops guy we called Beast. I helped direct those lines. “Please stand up!” I said, when the lines were about to move.  Someone blurted out something Eminem-related, but I didn’t hear it clearly. haha…

Well, after the lines were all in, I was exhausted from the reg line stuff, and my sister had commissions to finish up for tomorrow, so we left early.

Alrighty~ Day 2 pictures~ Not very many of them, I’m afraid. And yes, they’re poor quality. LEAVE MY LAME CAMERA SKILLS ALONE! Check my next post for Day 3 when it comes. There’ll be more.

Appreciated the Valkyria Chronicles love~
…Miku? I’m not sure which song this outfit came from though. If I’m completely wrong feel free to correct me.
Noel~! Ahaha, she came up to me with her plush chicky thing, and told me how cute it was and told me to squeeze it. She was so cute… An– no, I didn’t squeeze anything else you perverts.
Eiko! I loved FF9. Eiko was a fun tomboyish loli. hahaha… There was a Kuja around that was pretty good, and a “meh” Zidane around, but I didn’t get to take a pic of those guys.
–I thought these Layton cosplayers were pretty cool. I didn’t notice that guy in the back til… well, just now. lol
–And I close with Beard Gai Kaguya for your viewing pleasure.