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Journal: Dum de dum...

Journal by Gangis
I didn't get the job with BCC. They passed it over to some girl who claims to "really need the money." I don't know her story, but oh well, such is life...

You know, I've been into this anime called Full Moon wo Sagashite. I really like it, it's about a young girl named Mitsuki who was diagnosed with throat cancer and she was visited by a couple of the Shinigami (angels of death) and was informed that she'd have until next Spring to live. She said her dream was to become a big-time singer. Meroko and Takuto (the Shinigami) grant her the wish, and she turns into a 16 year old J-Pop singer by the name of Full Moon. It's really great and heartwarming. I think my favorite character besides the obvious 3 (Mitsuki, Meroko and Takuto) is Ooshige Masami. She's really nutty! She reminds me of Miyazawa Yukino from Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (His and Her Circumstances.)

I've been giving my friends advice on learning Japanese, advice that I've passed over from fluent speakers of the language. For the sake of simplicity and out of the goodness of my heart, I'll repeat it here. ^_^ BTW, if you can't read the Japanese text, right click the browser window and go down to Encoding and select either "Japanese (Auto-Select)" or "Unicode (UTF-8)".

Learn the basic grammar first. I have a really good book, but I seem to have misplaced it so I can't give you the ISBN number. It's a tiny red book with "Japanese Grammar" written on it, I think published by Barron. I highly recommend it.

Learn Hiragana (ÐçÈjafter learning the grammar. I cannot stress this enough. You will definitely want to learn it first, since that's the real foundation of the writing system.

After you've learned and are comfortable with Hiragana, learn Katakana (fJf^fJfi) as soon as possible! Katakana is very important, it is used for "loan" words as well as foreign words.

After you've mastered both Hiragana and Katakana, you have only one choice... Kanji (SZs). Kanji is very extensive and will take years to even learn the 1,945 characters required to graduate from High School in Japan. To make your life easier with Kanji, I recommend this book: Kanji and Kana: Revised Edition by the Tuttle Language Library. The ISBN number is 0-8048-2077-5. I highly recommend it. The book also has some information on Hiragana and Katakana.

Well, I guess that's that. Until next time! ^_^

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Journal: Ahh... ^_^

Journal by Gangis

I feel much better now. The flu I had last weekend took me down for the count... I was really wiped out. -_-;;

I'm taking a new job with my community college, working as a gofer for the art department. The pay's not the best, but at least it's something, heh. I'd earn about $100 a week, which should be plenty to live on, seeing as I've been living off the past few weeks with a $30/week allowance from my parents. You see, I'm gonna trick myself into believing I still have a budget of only $30 a week. I should be able to resuciate my Japan Trip fund pretty soon. Yeppers. I'm aiming for a summer 2004 window.

So yeah, this morning was kinda weird. I overslept, woke up at 11:15 and got dressed. I turned on my computer and got an IM from my buddy Ian, with an URL to a news article, with a comment: "I guess we won't be seeing that launch in March." I thought maybe that March 1st mission was scrubbed. I clicked the link, and it turns out it was about the Columbia accident. I screamed "Oh my God..."--well, not screamed, but it was loud enough for my dad to hear in the next room. He ran in and asked what was wrong, and took one look at the computer monitor and ran into the family room to turn on the TV. We just sat there watching the news for a good half an hour. It's been an odd day, and I want to say that our hearts go out to the families of the seven heroes that perished in the Columbia tragedy.

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Journal: I've made a decision

Journal by Gangis

Like the subjct implies, I've reached a critical decision in my life.

Due to tensions among my parents and myself, I have decided to move out as soon as I get a decent job. I still do love my mom and dad but 20 years is a pretty damn long time to live with them... I believe it is time for me to move on, start a life of my own without my parents watching over me like a hawk over everything I do.

I spoke with my friend Rich and he has a vacant room in his apartment and has invited me to move in. He's a very good friend, and has offered to let me stay for less than 50% of the rent. It would be a $250-300 minimum a month for everything, which isn't bad at all! I'm looking forward to it, but first I need to find a job... and fast.

This situation is starting to wear my patience thin.

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Journal: Been a while, hasn't it?

Journal by Gangis
Well, I've been busy the last couple of months, that and I forgot all about this journal. So much has happened that I'll skip over most of the details, if that's alright with you guys. ^_^

I went down to South Florida the weekend before Thanksgiving to attend ACC Expo. Suffice it to say that I met some really cool people down there (You know who you are! ;) and I had fun, although the con itself was boring. It was nothing but a glorified dealer's room with two anime showings that had no subs. Bleh.

I finally got the school semester over with, took my exams and all. I'm proud to say that I passed all my classes! ^_^ Well, 3 semesters down, 5 to go! (I think...)

As for my Japanese studies, I finally learned all of Hiragana and I'm starting to learn Katakana (although that's been on hold due to Christmas and New Year's). I bought an excellent book called Kanji & Kana - A Handbook of the Japanese Writing System - ISBN # 0-8048-2077-5. I highly recommend it. It's a dictionary of the entire Hiragana, Katakana, and the 1,945 Jouyou Kanji characters and the 284 Jinnei-yo Kanji (used in given names). If you want to learn Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji for only $19.95, get this book. I'm serious. ^_^

I threw a party at my house for New Year's, and it rocked. I had Javier and Scott come in from Miami and my friend Will with his two friends Keith and Mike. We had lots of DDR, watched anime, and had a lot of fun. We also watched Dumb & Dumber on TBS Superstation. We got pissed when they cut out our favorite parts though. >:(

I took Javier and Scott to the video game store where I used to work, and I gotta say, I'm so pissed right now. They kept threatening me with layoffs, telling me that they can't afford to keep me, and that I'd get laid off by the end of the month (December 2002). I go there today and see them with TWO new people! What the hell is this? It just makes me so mad. I'm thorough with that place. I'll take my business elsewhere. If they won't respect me and tell me the truth, I don't want anything to do with them. Assholes.

I don't want to end this journal on a negative note, so I'll think of something to add before I click Submit...

Five minutes later . . .

Nope, can't think of a thing. ^_^;;;
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Journal: Basu Gasu Bakuhatsu

Journal by Gangis

I finally sold that Famicom Game Axe Color that had been lying around for months. ^_^ (It's a portable Nintendo, runs on 6 AA batteries.) Got $88 for it + $9.99 shipping on eBay. So proud of myself. ^^

Well, I broke my digital camera recently (Accidentally dropped it at the JACO party while in costume, damn gloved hands!) and was about to hock it on eBay but tonight I managed to fix it, so yay for me! I was planning on getting a new camera, a much nicer one for $349.99. My current camera is an Olympus Camedia D-380, 2 megapixels. I was planning on getting a Camedia C-4000 (A professional level camera, 4 megapixels). It's worth $700 but can be gotten for $349.99 if you look carefully and don't mind the fact that it was refurbished. But it's a good thing that I fixed my camera. That means I can use it for ACC Expo next weekend in Ft. Lauderdale! Sugoi!

I must have BAKA written on my forehead in a permanent marker (a la Photon.) Last Sunday I was bored and hung out with Rich. And you know what that means, folks? Yup, Susan. So we go to TGI Friday's and have a good meal. I showed Susan how to write her name in Hiragana. Rich needed a favor which I was happy to oblige; he needed to go to the grocery store and pick up groceries since his car was broken. So we all go there and get the groceries. Susan pretty much behaved herself this time, except for when she ran off to read some Harry Potter mini-books. So I felt that everything was okay between us now. Wrong. She begged for a ride again on Thursday (well, not begged, she actually didn't beat around the bush this time) and I told her I would give her a ride on the condition that she help reimburse me for gas. She agreed and so I did. I just hope that she knows that doesn't mean I'll keep giving her rides anytime she wants.

Speaking of my ride, we have 4 problems with it that we know of. 1: The engine misfires a lot, and my dad can't figure out why. 2: The wires for the windshield wipers went bad, and the wipers won't work sometimes. 3: The AC has a serious leak and it looks like we might have to replace the entire unit. 4: The radiator leaks! Big trouble there! My dad and I had a nice talk today and he thinks we will get another car for me soon since all the repairs would be pretty expensive, and we'd rather put the money into a newer (and better) car. I'm thinking of something simple like a 4-door Civic or Altima. Anything to replace my POS Chevy S-10. We'll see.

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Journal: My karma ran over your dogma.

Journal by Gangis

Ha-ha? Get it? I know, it's corny... :P But that's what's going through my head right now. ^_~

Anyways, it's been a while since my last entry... A lot going on, both good and bad. Let's start with last Friday, shall we?

I went to Nicki's 21st birthday party. ^_^ I had a lot of fun, though I was the only one at the party not wearing black. Felt kinda embarassed but still had fun. We watched a bad 'B' movie. I don't know what it was called, but it was so bad it was funny!

Last Saturday I drove all the way to Orlando (for the 3rd weekend in a row) to visit my friends Jon, Joe and his girlfriend Shelley at their apartment. We played Grand Theft Auto 2 over the network for hours. ^_^ I then drove to the UCF campus for a halloween party and ended up driving around campus for 45 minutes (It was friggin' huge!) looking for the communications building. I found it behind the art gallery... With a little help from the campus police. O_o The party kicked total ass, though! I met Hotaru, one of the Florida Cosplayers that I had been talking to the day before. She wore a really cute Saga costume, and it just so happened that Garry and his wife was doing Cinnamon and Basil again, and their kids went as Sugar and Salt (cloud fairy version), and Carmel wore her Pepper outfit, so I wore my Salt (sun fairy version) outfit. ^_^ We had an awesome group photo. SUGAR ROX! ^_^

So this week I had my third Calculus test. And I gotta tell ya, it didn't go well at all. I studied a lot for the past two weeks, and I understood everything on the test. I was looking forward to it in high spirits. When I sat down, though, I completely forgot everything and froze up. Now, it's happened before, and I know it's not test anxiety, and I was told last year that I might have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I'm finally following up on that this year.

Yesterday I drove up to Orlando again (for the 4th weekend in a row!) to visit my brother. We went out to this huge chinese buffet then drove to the AMD Reality Check contest. We didn't win anything but I got this really neat bag, I'm using it now for my laptop. Today we drove to Ormond Beach to visit my grandparents, since it was my grandma's 73rd birthday (I think it IS 73rd, anyways.) Other than that, it's been quiet today.

Oh yeah, and I'm working on a new costume now. I'm gonna be doing Orphen. ^_^

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Journal: *As Nelson* HA-HA!

Journal by Gangis

(In case you didn't know, the above quote is Nelson from the Simpsons, where he points and laughs in almost every episode.)

The reason is that Susan got her just desserts... Well, kinda. She had the nerve to IM me earlier today begging me to take her to the anime club meeting. Of course, I'm not fooled... She just wanted to see her boyfriend so I tell her no. I show up at the meeting and I see her there (she had gotten a ride there from somebody else) so I came up to her and gave her a stern talking-to about how I will never help her out again because of her behavior. Well, when she asked for a ride, it didn't occur to her that she'd need a ride back so since her boyfriend's car was broken for the moment, she was stuck over there. Serves her right for not planning ahead and taking advantage of people like me. Oh well.

Tomorrow night I'm going to my friend Nicki's 21st birthday party. ^_^ It's a costume party too, so I'm gonna wear my Salt costume. THEN on Saturday night I'm driving to Orlando (a 45 minute trip) to attend the Japanese Animation Club of Orlando (JACO) annual Halloween party, again wearing the Salt costume. One thing I hate about being poor is that I'm wearing off-brown cargo shorts for it, and it does look out of place, but... Oh well.

Oh yeah, I saw a new anime yesterday called Overman King Gainer. Pretty good for a mecha anime, even though I'm not into mecha. I'm more of a shoujo/shonen/comedy person. At least it's not an Evangelion ripoff like Gasaraki was... @_@

Azumanga Daioh is coming to an end... WAAAH! I'm about to download the 26th and final episode from newsgroups in a few minutes, and it's sad knowing that there'll be no more Chiyo-chan, no more Osaka-chan, no more Sakaki-chan, etc. Whhhhyyyyyyyyy?!

Okay, more personal news... I'm sick. I'm sick with a cold. It's a very light one though, I should be over it in a couple days. I had to skip Calculus class yesterday because I couldn't concentrate at all, and I was supposed to have a test tomorrow. Fortunately I talked to Mrs. Folmar, my teacher, and she allowed me to take the test at 11:00am on Monday. She rocks! One thing I don't like about her is that when she talks, she talks continuously, and I can't get a word in edgewise until she's finished. But that's a minor thing... ^_^

You know, I just noticed... my anime DVD collection is getting really stagnant, what with me not having a job. I think there's another Love Hina DVD out, but I sure as hell can't afford it. Are one of you willing to get it for me for Christmas? ^_^;;;

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Journal: Yatta! 2

Journal by Gangis

Well, that was a great weekend. ^_^ We finally saw Spirited Away, but more on that later. First I want to say a few words... I can't believe how incredibly stupid I am for feeling that if I wanted to be friends with Rich, I have to be friends with Susan. I came to the realization that Rich is a REALLY good friend, and wouldn't let Susan come between the two of us and I'm grateful to have a friend like him. On that note, Susan finally recognized the problem. She and Rich had a long talk Thursday about the situation, and he feels that I had just cause to be upset at her. Rich also tells me that Susan tends to be clingy and is easily spoiled. He tells me that if she keeps at it, all I have to do is tell her to stop, and she may get mad, but then calms down. It's just her nature, and I understand that now...

*ahem* Anyways! Now about the weekend... it was fun. Dan, Nicki and I left Melbourne around 7pm and arrived at Orlando at 8:30pm. Nicki wanted to get to Hot Topic at the Altamonte Springs Mall before they closed at 9, but we were too late so we stopped at the World's Largest McDonalds on International Drive. And damn, was it huge. Two stories of glorius fast food, an ice cream bar and a pizza parlor, not to mention an arcade area with a Pump It Up machine. It was a sight to behold, but the prices made me wince. Something around $5.25 for a Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese, Supersize fries, Supersize coke scared me, but I bought it anyways. We go to the Universal Studios Citywalk and end up being 10 minutes late for the movie, and guess what happens? The box office tells us they sold out. At this moment, Nicki was really apologetic, even though it was not her fault at all. We reassured her that everything was fine, and that we'd catch the 1:50 showing the next day. So after that we go to my brother's apartment in Orlando. My brother had a lot of work to do so he was up all night in front of his computer while Dan and Nicki slept in his room and I slept on the pullaway sofa in the same room where he was working. It didn't bother me at all since I couldn't hear him, and I had a pillow over my eyes. It was a rather uncomfortable sleep and I woke up with a crick in my neck. Well, after a couple hours we decide to drive to Altamonte Springs to visit the store she wanted ot go to, Hot Topic. We must've spent about 45 minutes in there, because by the time we came out, it was already 1 hour before the movie. We went to the food court and got some food to go. I think Dan had a burrito, Nicki had a sub, and I had chinese food. We ate on the way to Universal Studios, and Dan was behind the wheel of Nicki's Mercury Grand Marquis. Big mistake. We almost get into 2 separate accidents on the same road, not even a minute apart, because Dan didn't check the next lane before switching. Dan, you're my friend, but you scared me shitless! Knocked off about 5-7 years off my life span. But I digress. We get there around 1:25 only to find out that the moive started at 1:05, not 1:50. Well, we buy the tickets anyways and go in. Apparently we didn't miss all that much, so that was good. The movie was excellent and I had a great time. I highly recommend the movie for anime fanatics and non-fanatics alike. Excellent storyline, good animation, even though it was a Studio Ghibli movie (which are infamous for round faces and silly sentimental stuff.) I didn't see much of the sentimental stuff that were in typical Ghibli movies. So all in all, it's a great movie. ^_^

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Journal: Hmm...

Journal by Gangis
I have a feeling that drama's gonna go down today (Wednesday the 16th) between me and Susan... We'll see.

UPDATE
Well, I was right... Susan asked me to drive her to Downtown Melbourne and I finally dropped the boom on her. She won't be asking me for any more rides for a long time. ^_^ *is proud of himself*
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Journal: The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Journal by Gangis

W00t! My first all-english journal title! Seriously, this past weekend has been so great, and I am unable to think of a Japanese phrase that'd fit the weekend (I'm not a fluent speaker in Japanese.)

I went to West Palm Beach (ground zero of the 2000 election screwup) to visit my best friend Jeff. He goes to Palm Beach Atlantic University, and it's a pretty nice school. The people there were pretty cool and friendly. We went out to eat at King's Chinese Buffet with Jeff's parents. Excellent food!

Well, on Saturday Jeff and I woke up and decided to grab some food at McDonalds when I brought up something. I suggested that we go to Coral Springs (my hometown, which is 45 minutes away from Palm Beach) and visit my old neighborhood. So we go south on Interstate 95. Big mistake. There was a lot of construction between West Palm Beach and somewhere in the middle of Broward County, so we spent about an hour on I-95 in gridlock, but then we noticed the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle, 2+ people) lane and just zoomed past all the traffic. :) HOV lanes rock. So we stop by Jeff's house in Deerfield Beach and picked up a few things that he forgot. We then drove to Coral Springs shortly after that. I gotta say, the Coral Springs trip was very emotional (in a good way.) We saw my old house, which had been painted green and white. When we moved out, it was painted all pink, so I consider that a HUGE improvement! ^_^ We visited Cipi and Rich, my old next-door neighbors. It was a huge surprise and we were talking, laughing and crying together for the first time in 5 years. We went to Coral Square Mall and hung out for a while, and I had fun sitting in those huge leather massage chairs. I think I scared a lady once when the massage thingy was rubbing my shoulders, and I was mumbling, "Oh... my..." then when the massage thingy went down to my back, I screamed, "...GOD!!!" We then ate at JR's Pizza, one of our old haunts. The pizza's as good as ever! We started talking about elementary school, the teachers that were a big influence in our lives, etc. And one name stood above the rest, Mrs. Lewinger.

We decided to visit her, and it was definitely one hell of a visit. She has the attitude of a teenager, and that's what I love about her! She was my Kindergarten and 1st Grade teacher and a big influence in our lives. After that, we went straight back to West Palm Beach and hung out in his dorm room for the rest of the night. The next day, I woke up around 9:15 and started packing up. At 10:00 we said our goodbyes and left.

I was driving on I-95 towards Melbourne when a cop started following me, sirens on full blast. "Oh crap." I mutter to myself as I pulled over. Apparently I was doing 80 in a 70. Ouch. I wasn't paying attention to the speedometer, but the traffic. He was pretty nice and courteous, though, and let me off with a warning. And folks, that was the first time I got pulled over, and will most certainly be the last!

So all in all, it was a great trip. I'm tired now so I'll go unpack and take a nap.

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Journal: Bakayaaaarrrrrrrou! 1

Journal by Gangis

Susan strikes again.

Susan (6:02:20 PM): you take lots of naps

Susan signed off at 6:48:01 PM.
Susan signed on at 6:48:16 PM.
Me (6:58:12 PM): well, that's because school wipes me out
Susan (6:58:20 PM): woke up I see :-D
Me (6:59:12 PM): I'd like to see you sit through an hour and a half of calculus wiithout getting tired
Susan (6:59:33 PM): I could
Me (6:59:52 PM): heh whatever :-P
Susan (7:00:03 PM): I would get bored...but not tired
Susan (7:02:17 PM): like right now, I'm semi bored and wish I could cheer up someone in person cause I'm thinking about baking them something but can't get over there :-(
Susan (7:03:27 PM): oh well, can't be helped
Me (7:03:37 PM): ahh, that's too bad
Susan (7:03:55 PM): yeah
Susan (7:11:12 PM): craig? you doing anything right now?
Me (7:11:46 PM): no, but I can't drive you to your friend's
Susan (7:12:03 PM): I figured as much
Me (7:12:07 PM): I'm sorry
Susan (7:12:20 PM): no prob
Susan signed off at 7:12:35 PM.

Note the almost-sudden sign off when I told Susan I couldn't drive her. She's making me nuts. I really want to tell her off but I feel like if I want to be friends with Rich, I gotta be friends with Susan (since they're always together.) Any advice, please?! @_@

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Journal: Tsukare, taikutsu, hangurii...

Journal by Gangis

Today I got up REALLY late (around 9:20) and climbed into the shower. I must've spent 15 minutes in there, because by the time I came out and was squeaky-clean, I noticed that the clock was around 9:35. And I'll tell you, that 15-minute shower felt more like a 5-minute one. So I put on my clothes, get on my computer to check my email, and I engrossed myself into a news article about planet hunting on Slashdot. By the time I looked down into the corner of the screen, where my taskbar clock lies, it read 9:45. "Oh shit." I muttered to myself, grabbed my laptop and dashed for the door. Before I left the house, I plucked $5 from my mom's purse and yelled, "Mom! I'm taking 5 bucks for lunch! Bye!" I got in my truck, flipped on the AC... "Damn." I mutter to myself. It's still not working. I go on my way to class, driving in a Chevy S10 pickup under the hot, sweltering Florida sun. I look at the gas meter... "Oh damn it." I was critically low on gas. There went my lunch money. I 'exceed the speed limit' on the way to my class. Fortunately there weren't any five-o's on the way. I ended up being 5 minutes late for classes, which wasn't bad considering I didn't get on my way until 9:50 and it was usually a 20 minute drive to BCC. That gives you an idea of how much time I shaved off the trip by speeding. O_o The rest of the day went fine, and I came home all safe and sound.

So anyway, I've been studying Calculus since I came home. *groans can be heard throughout the crowd* When I finished studying, I picked up my Playstation 2 and played some FFX. Good game!

I want to elaborate on the whole Susan thing I mentioned in the previous entry. She's not really a bad person, but she tends to exaggerate her actions for attention. I feel bad that she doesn't like to be in her house with her parents, but I can't be her chaffeur. I don't have the time or money to take her places, especially since she never pays for my gas. I think, even if she did, I probably wouldn't drive her around especially since she treated me like dirt on Sunday. She just takes and takes, but doesn't give much at all. Okay, I should shut up about her... sorry, people. -_-

Oh yeah, I might be getting a new car soon! My parents and I were talking about what car I would like to get, and were basically dropping hints. They did say, though, that I'll most likely be getting one by December of 2003 (since the lease on my brother's truck expires then, and we'll have enough money to pay for a new car. Only one more year to go! One more year... just one more year... *mumbles, spirals in eyes* @_@

If I don't get a car this christmas, I've already decided on a few things I'm gonna ask instead. I want a DVD-R drive (approx $250-300) and 512mb or 1GB of RAM ($150, $300 respectively.) Who knows? ^_^

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Journal: Pantsu, kudasai? 2

Journal by Gangis
Hello everybody! This is my first journal entry in a long, long time. A lot has happened recently. Oh, where do I start?

Last April, I joined a group here in Florida called Florida Cosplayers. It's such a lot of fun, and I've met dozens of people like me, who are infatuated with anime and dress up as their favorite anime characters. Honestly, I enjoy it. Not just because it's neat to have very unusual clothing, but it's also the sense of a tight-knit community and friendship among the FLCosplayers. What we do is, we help each other with tips on making our costumes, make props and how to act out the characters effectively. I must say, it's a lot of fun and I thank Susan (Usagi, founder of the FLCosplay group) for putting something like this together. ^_^

While I'm on the subject of anime and cosplaying, I've gone to several anime conventions since last April. Those include:

Jacon 2002 (http://www.jacon.org)

Otakon 2002 (http://www.otakon.com)

Anime Festival Orlando 3 (http://www.afo-con.org)

Anime Weekend Atlanta 8 (http://www.awa-con.com)

I consider Jacon the absolute best of all 4. That convention was when I met most of the Florida Cosplayers' members for the first time, including Susan. Everyone was very nice and friendly, and I really enjoyed it. I also got the chance to make amends to someone (I won't get into it, but some of you may know what I was talking about) and that felt really good. ^_^ As for the convention itself, it was a lot of fun. I didn't watch any of the anime they showed, but rather I participated in the costume contest. I didn't win anything, but I didn't care. I had a lot of fun waiting. We all waited in line for three hours, waiting for the contest to start. While we were waiting, the staff was kind enough to pipe some music into the hall and pretty soon we were all playing limbo with Sakura's staff. I also took the opportunity to meet people like Carol-ann (Athena1chan) and Mandy. After the contest was over we were all tired and hungry so my friends Rich and Susan (more about them later) and I took Mandy out to eat at Bennigan's. We had loads of fun going out to eat in costume, and we got stares from a lot of people. Just for kicks, the four of us, in our costumes (Except for Rich, who was wearing civvies at the time), paraded around the restaurant. Some people recognized Mandy as Sailor Jupiter, and a man recognized my Vyse (Skies of Arcadia) costume. Oh, it was great. ^_^

In July, my friend Nicki and I put our heads together and we threw a mini-chibi-con here in Melbourne, FL called the Cosplay Summer Camp. And I gotta tell ya, it rocked. About 30 cosplayers from Central Florida (One from Georgia, a few from South Florida) came to the 2nd floor of the Student Union Building on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology. We also had our friend Mike (A.K.A. Maboroshi) come and take pictures. His webiste is here.

Two weeks later, my friend Rich and I flew to Baltimore, MD for the grand-daddy of all cons, Otakon. My god, the convention was huge. I spoke with Sue Monroe (the con chair) and she said that there were almost 13,000 people in attendance. DAMN! Otakon was a lot of fun, despite major technical problems with my laptop and PDA due to the bumbling idiocy of one Otakon volunteer staff (or two, not sure.) But I finally got to meet an online friend of 5 years. It was so great. We met in the lobby of the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor hotel. I had been waiting with my friends Rich and Jeff for an hour and a half while Ian and his friends went out to eat. Overall Otakon was pretty nice, but there were many things to do and so little time. Ian and I watched Cooking Master Boy together, and I gotta say, it's one hell of an anime. I can't seem to find copies of it anywhere.

I won't get into AFO3 and AWA8, but they weren't as good as I had hoped. Enough about anime and cons. Last summer my friend Rich met a girl named Susan (Not the Susan I mentioned earlier from the FLCosplay list). She was nice and friendly. However, when Rich and Susan started to become more intimate towards each other, Susan started changing. She now tries to take advantage of me because of my car. Every day for the past few weeks, she's IMed me everyday, begging me to take her somewhere like Rich's apartment, Barnes & Nobles, the library, etc. I was more than happy to help her out at first, but once she kept bugging me so much, I started making excuses. I mean, I can't help but feeling that Susan's been trying to take advantage of me. I mean, I understand completely that she doesn't really like to be at home with her parents, but geez, I'm not her chaffeur. I have classes and so many things I need to do. I'm trying my best to like Susan, but... She's also very wild and childish. It's hard for me to associate myself with her. Case in point: Last Friday we were at Walmart, the night before we left for Anime Weekend Atlanta 8. We went through the halloween costume aisle to look for certain parts for our costumes when Susan picked up a toy witches' broom and started to playfully beat Rich with it. I asked her to settle down because we could get thrown out of Walmart, but she wouldn't listen to reason. Another case, last Sunday when we were packing up our stuff, Susan grabbed one of the glasses that the hotel provided "for our convenience" and stuck it in her bag. I told her to put it back, since it wasn't hers. She was so adamant about it, and Rich didn't do anything, even though it'd be his ass when the hotel finds out one of their glasses were missing. Oh man, I try my best to like Susan and to be nice to her, and I still do like her, but she drives me absolutely bananas! We stopped at a Stuckey's in Valdosta, GA for a potty break last Sunday. As Rich went to fill up the car, Susan and I walked into the store together to buy a few things. I was hanging out with her and suddenly she turned around and yelled, "Don't follow me!" I was like "...What the hell? Okay, fine." and left her alone. I bought what I wanted and went back into my friend's car. A few minutes pass, and Susan didn't return. We drove back to the store and I volunteered to come in and check on her. I walk in and I see her sitting in a chair, face buried in her hands. I lightly tapped her shoulder and she suddenly snapped, "DON'T TOUCH ME!". I said, "Relax, Susan, Rich sent me to let you know we're ready to go." and she bolted out the door, calling me names. I was standing there, wondering what the hell was going on with her. I went after her and yelled, "Susan, why are you being such a damn bitch to me?!" and she ignored me. I told Rich what happened, and after they talked, Rich told me that Susan was having cramps or some shit. Well, I've been around women with cramps before, and trust me, they were nowhere near the way Susan acted, so I really think Susan was exaggerating for attention. After that episode, I've been trying to distance myself from her some more. But ugh, she's the girlfriend of a good friend of mine, so it's very hard. Whenever there's Rich, 90% of the time Susan's there with him. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the woman, but she frustrates me sometimes. I'm trying my best, though.

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

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