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Reiya Con

...emphasis on Con. I think the cons outweigh the pros for working this convention. They haven't listed any events or activities, they haven't even posted hints on their FB page. They got back to me when I asked who, if any, special guests they had booked, but all they said is that they're working on getting contracts signed. They couldn't give me even one hint of a guest to instill faith in this new con taking off in the right direction.

I also took a look at their coordinator team, and was not too happy with what I saw. They're all cosplayers, to be expected for a cosplay convention, but they all seemed like... children. And the last convention of this type I attended that was run by children did not fare too well. The last con (not anime/cosplay) I attended ran by amateurs was also crap. I'm 100% sure I wouldn't make my $65 bucks back no matter how cheap I made my merch.

I have booth'd at successful anime conventions without making my booth fee back, and I have booth'd first-time conventions with professionals (out of town) and have made out like a bandit, so I'm gonna go with my gut on this one.

This sucks, because I wanted to booth at least two events this year. I'll have to just keep my eyes peeled for local craft festivals. I've also been wait-listed for Tora-Con, the long-running anime convention in town (the successful one I mentioned earlier). Who knows.

Where Did That R.O.U.S. Come From?

Every time people post that gif of 70s Hulk chucking a bear into the unknown, I always think of who it's gonna end up landing on. And then I always think of the Rodent of Unusual Size (ROUS) from Princess Bride, and how it just looked like someone threw a stuffed animal onto Wesley. I've never been able to successfully do a tumblr image response, but now that FB allows gifs, I'm all over that shit.




Third Position / New Convention

This will be the first time in a while I've done two consecutive weeks in a row of violin lessons, but it's only this time around, since I had to take about a month or so away. After Tuesday's lesson, we'll be back to every other week.

Last week, we met at the Eastman Music School (where I started lessons with my previous tutor). It took us ten minutes to find a room, and I, still plague-ridden, had a difficult time going through the labyrinth of the practice rooms. Floors of sweltering hot rooms, and on the one day there is no breeze to send through the tiny window of the one we managed to find; I was sweating, tripping on a cold medicine cocktail, and snotty as all hell. At one point, I needed to break to go get some water. How embarrassing!

But!

I showed her this new piece I worked on during the break, and I wow'd her with how much I'm coming along. So she decided I'm finally ready for 3rd position. 3rd position is when I move my whole hand up the neck of the violin to hit higher notes (if you see Hiddles in my icon there, his hand is in 1st position, which is base for playing). First finger goes to the position of the third finger, so I've got two new notes to play. Yay! Only, it's totally difficult!!!




In other news, Reiya Con - a new anime convention, approved me to booth at the artist alley in June. I'm a little wary, because this is a new convention, and I'm not sure how well it's going to go. There's no word on any guests or events or anything. I've got until the 19th to decide, but there appear to be only 16 slots available right now. Tables are $45 (+20 for an extra seat/badge). I can afford it now, but I don't know if I want to wait a week to see if they answer my inquiry of who special guests will be - I don't know if this is gonna be a big turnout, you know? Like, am I gonna profit? Grrrr...

Plague

I had every intention of catching up on my friends feed, but you guys all have wobbly words. It's okay. I have wobbly words too. I have a bad cold, and am at work, doped up on a lot of different kinds of cold medicines. So everything is all wobbly. And I'm here all day, and don't have a ride home (I will have to take the bus). And it's gonna be a long long day, because it's only 10am and I'm not done until 3.

Yesterday was the worst. I couldn't even get out of bed, except to go to the bathroom to hack up a lung. Or both lungs. I couldn't do anything to release me from my 100% mucus level, especially in my nose. All my usual avenues of relief failed me. They just stopped working at all. The second I got down to 90% snot, I started coughing, and it went right back up to 100%. What's worse is my back, right where my lungs are located, hurts so fucking bad from all the coughing. I don't wanna cough anymore. I don't wanna!

Saturday was nice, if not still snotty. Brian (Patient Zero) came over and we spent all day on the couch together napping, watching movies, and drinking teapot after teapot after teapot. I don't think my toilet has seen that much pee all year, hahaha! We took care of each other, though. Made each other laugh, exchanged cold medicines, etc. Brian poured cough syrup down my throat, but he missed and it got all over my boobs. So gross and sticky. But really funny. I thought I was really getting better, but alas, yesterday, as stated, was so bad that I couldn't get out of bed.

But I'm at work today. High on cold medicine. Remember when you could get high on cold medicine? Like, just one? Now you have to take an amalgam of different shit, which I have - Mucinex, cough syrup, nasal spray, advil cold & sinus... who remembers what else. Plus I'm tired as fuck. Was up every hour coughing up a lung.

Gonna die.

Am I dying?

Long Weekend

I have two Facebook accounts. One for family and people I went to high school & college with. The other is for my friends. I have two members of my family on my real account: My cousin and my nephew. That's beside the point of the story.

Back to the other Facebook:
This guy I went to high school with posted on my wall for no reason, suggesting we get together for coffee or whatever. I said I'm at Java's almost every day starting around 1:15 if he wanted to drop by. We agreed on Friday. I hoped he wasn't asking me on a date. Like that other guy, I hoped he'd at least have seen pictures of me and Brian and assumed I'm not available. Whatever.

Thursday, I told Brian and Meagan that I'm nervous about seeing him, because I wasn't that close with him in high school, and he looks a bit like a creeper on FB (specifically, he looks like late-90s Hot Topic threw up on him and never washed off). I didn't want to have to hug hello or anything. They agreed to hang around as my bodyguards.

Friday rolled around, and I sat nervously between the two of them, Brian told our friends I was eagerly awaiting my date, and Meagan planned to introduce herself as Barton. 1:15 came and went, and I checked Facebook on my phone (I don't have messenger for the family FB, so there's no automatic notification if I get a message.

He did send me a message asking if we were still on for today. Ugh. "I'm already there," I replied. I didn't wanna wait forever, so I said I'd only be there an hour or so longer, and he couldn't make it over in time. He asked if we could try again Saturday. I said I have a date. Which I did.

Brian and I intended to meet up at 2:22pm and see The Revenant. I made it to Java's on time, but he was going straight to the theater around the corner. I somehow made it there before he did. We sat in the front row for 20 minutes before the show started, chatting. Brian has a cold, so he sounded adorable with a stuffy nose. And horrid when he coughed. He said it's weird how that guy didn't just come to Java's yesterday, since I said I'd be there, and we agreed on a time, the way Brian and I do all the time. The way lots of people do. Especially since I said I'm always there at that time anyway.

The movie was great, by the way. Leonardo diCapprio fights a bear for an Oscar. The bear part was only the beginning. But the rest is directly responsible to the bear. Damn. The ending was a bit blah, though. Holes. We went to Spot coffee afterwards and he ranted for a couple hours over a couple of friends he's angry with. He's going to hang out here at Spot for a little while while the bad vibe is still at Java's.

This morning, he texted to meet me at Spot again (he somehow ALWAYS manages to text me to come out as soon as I wake up), and he was really relaxed when I got there - he ranted a little bit more, but he wasn't so angry about it. We had a really nice time. His friend Tommy showed up and we drove around a little bit before we parted ways.

Twice over the weekend, I was supposed to meet up with Brendan and Casey, but we couldn't make it work. Blah.

Between outings, I worked on a sketchbook project and caught up on Venture Brothers. I scanned EVERY SINGLE sketch I have and threw out the originals (most of them), and am now working on compiling them into a book (maybe two, as I have some themed sketches en masse). I also got back into violin practice.

I haven't gotten bitten since I posted last week, but I also haven't sat on the couch since then, either. I guess I should test it soon...

Fuck you, cancer. Fuck. You.

“... And these children
that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware
of what they're going through...”
(David Bowie, Changes)

I first read these words, hand-written, hanging on the refrigerator of a friend's party house in the middle of nowhere. I read the words out loud; they sounded so familiar, and when I got to the end, my friend continued, "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!"

I've loved David Bowie for as long as I can remember. Hell, for longer than I can remember. But I never immersed myself in music until embarrassingly late in high school. Music didn't talk to me like TV did. TV raised me. I couldn't love music without music videos to go with it.

And I didn't really pay much mind to lyrics until I read those words on the fridge. Surrounded by highly intelligent and talented and dirt-poor punks that the world looks down on, I realized I'm one of these people too, and I changed that night. I'll never be sure exactly how, but I felt infinitely richer. And I began to pay attention to music.

I still swoon when I think of the night he performed Little Wonder on Saturday Night Live, back in, what, '97?, looking through the camera right at me while he sang. I'll always be a little angry still at missing my one chance to see him live in Buffalo, and if I didn't have a piece of shit for a boyfriend back then, I'd have been there. I'll always put his Little Drummer Boy on my holiday music mixes. I'll always fucking love him.


I cried for two days straight. In the short ride to work (Charles takes me in on the way to his work), I caught a small segment of BBC or NPR, and they were discussing the Lazarus video. Understandable. It made a splash a couple days before. I got out of the car smiling, and felt my phone buzz. I got a text from my sister: "Bowie fucking died!" I stood there for a second and ran back to the car before he left. I started bawling before I even got back inside. I was very late for work that day, and was hardly keeping it together at my desk.



I wept this morning for Alan Rickman, but I think I'm just out of tears. I'm already dead from Monday. The one day I have to pull a double.

Fuck this week. I'm done. Lemmy. Bowie. Rickman. All from cancer. The first two were just days after their birthdays. Rickman had a month to go.

Fuck you, cancer.

They're Back (My Back)

Several years ago, my apartment was met with bedbugs - they'd come in with a nutbag philanthropist hippie, dressed like twenty different types of drug lords, and his dog (also in strange attire), who came looking to buy my house. I'd gotten sick that week, and had a bad cough and wheeze, so I slept on the couch. That's where they found me. I saw the first one days before the realization set in. I'd never seen a bedbug before, so I just assumed it was a random little insect scurrying across the cushion, as I tend to see in the summer in my old house. But I kept waking up with bites. I got over my illness and moved back into the bedroom where I had a few days of peace before bites started appearing again.

The internet answered, as Charles and I tried figuring out what these impossibly itchy hives were all over my legs and back. We stayed up and waited for them to appear, and right on time (according to the internet), we saw a couple crawling up the wall around 3am. Fuck.

We took evasive, defensive, and offencive action immediately. We found the only bug spray we had under the sink and went all-out to the wall, to the creases alongside the bed, to the carpet, but what else could we do? We hoped that was enough and went to bed. I didn't wake up with new bites, but after my much-needed shower, I sat on the floor with my laptop, naked on the towel, and Charles saw one crawling toward me - centimeters from my thigh! We had a bigger problem than we'd hoped. We bagged every single fabric on the bed, floor, and couch (leaving the clothes that were hung and put away to their own devices, with great hope), and we brought all the bags down, along with the couch. The couch went to the curb, the bags went to the laundromat. We went to the store. Came back with caulk, slip covers, proper spray, and sticky pads galore.

It took a few days to get the new couch over. The movers damaged our wall (but it was already damaged when we moved in). During the time we were couchless, we sprayed the everloving shit out of the offending areas - the carpet, the moulding, the little cracks and crevices nearby... After vacuuming, I also sprayed inside the still-running vacuum (and since it was a very old vacuum anyway, we decided to get rid of it after the war ended). I caulked every single gap I could find in the living room and the bedroom. We pulled the couch and bed from the walls, and put down sticky traps under the feet of them both.

The war had ended, but I wasn't the same for months. See, they only pick one host to feed off, and blood-type O has the most likely chance of being chosen. My skin crawled in tiny places around the bites, I felt phantom bites, phantom itches, I had waking nightmares, hallucinating they were still crawling up the walls. I didn't rest easy for a long time.

And now they're back.

My friend brought them over. He's also never seen them before. We'd recently spent the fall trying to debug his apartment of a heavy flow of fruit flies (with great success, thanks to me), and he assumed they were some flightless type of big fruit flies. Meanwhile, he'd come over several times in the past month to hang out and watch movies, and I'd occasionally find a rogue bite, which I attributed to spiders, as they were few and far between, and appeared to have a double puncture mark in the center. Maybe one of them was a spider bite, but lo, when he told me he had bugs crawling all over the apartment and in the couches and bed, I knew for sure...

"You!" I exclaimed, like a demon from the pits of Hell. "I've been getting stray bites for weeks, and YOU BROUGHT THEM OVER." We both laughed a little. We both knew the seriousness of it, but we were in mixed company at a cafe, and I didn't want to call him out too much, as that is a humiliating social stigma to carry (the others weren't paying attention to us in that moment, and I didn't actually shriek at him).

I didn't freak out much, as I had sprayed the shit out of my couch and bed areas (for spiders, and out of paranoia, bedbugs, for just in case), and I hadn't been bit since. Not until the next time he came over. Last night. Less than five minutes into our visit, sitting on the couch, and I saw a big bug crawling up his chest. I grabbed a tissue and nabbed it. It burst into blood when I squeezed. Yep. That's a bed bug alright. And a huge one at that. I luckily hadn't seen any full-grown adults last time I had to deal with this. But now I do, because they are quickly evacuating his body for the unmoving recesses of my couch!! I kept nabbing big ones, little ones, tiny ones, anything that moved! They were all over his coat, his pants, shoes, and bag! NO NO NO NO NO!!! I grabbed the spray can I had on the table, and I opened his bag. He grabbed out his cigarettes so I could spray inside. Those horrible pictures of bed-folds you see when you google bedbugs? That's what the seams of his bag looked like. Not a bug here and there. CLUSTERS of them!!! Holy. Fuck. I had to say, "I'm so sorry, but I can't let you stay. I gotta take you home." I sprayed down anything that moved on the couch until it didn't move anymore before we left. Thank goodness we're selling the other car (oh hey, we got a cute new car - a red Yaris!) because he infested the passenger, and I have to spray it down when I get home today.

Insane

I forgot to make a Christmas post, but nothing exciting happened. I got cool stuff (namely, my Satanic Celine Dion shirt, and some stuff off my Amazon wish list).

Brian and I hang out at my house and watch movies a lot, despite that my house drives him nuts because we can't smoke inside. I got to celebrate xmess with him, though. He came over with the only gift he got - a Garfield collection from one of his friends, and left with a whole bag of stuff, because I go a little overboard when it comes to buying gifts for my best friends (especially those who are easy to shop for). He had a stocking and everything. He was really happy with everything, and especially happy that he actually got to have a Christmas and got more than one present this year. That gave me the warm-and-fuzzies.

Then he dropped the bomb and told me his big news: he's no longer required to take his medication. In the past, I've teared up over the thought of losing him to his disease (not dying, but being mentally incapable of being my friend, at least as close as we are now), and I'm tearing up a little now just typing this. I kept my composure and cheered for him, but he could still see that worry behind my eyes, and nudged me, saying it's gonna be okay; that I have nothing to worry about. But I've heard the stories, and I'm fully expecting to get my heart ripped out by this new development, in time. In the next couple months. And if he really has gotten better, if he really has become able to control himself, then I'll be happily surprised. Not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful that I'll at least get a hello once in a while. Maybe even be able to share a smoke break, or a coffee break or something. I don't know...

But he's happy. It's what he's always wanted. So I have to be happy for him. And he's damn good at convincing me it'll be okay - makes my desire for him to be right stronger than my suspicions that this is the end. He's spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital - and this is the first year he's been required to be on his medicine (or else it's back to the hospital for him, and he'd rather just deal than go through that again), so I know he'll be okay as long as he doesn't act out too badly. I've seen him at Java's since I was a teenager. I know he'll be okay.

There's gonna be some strange fireworks in the coming months.