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I'll be once again manning a table at Youmacon this year, Halloween weekend in Dearborn, MI.  I'll have some of my more popular sticker designs back, plus a few new ones to add to the mix.

I will also have candy. :P  It's Halloween, after all.
I just realized I'm about to hit 100,000 pageviews.  While that's pocketchange compared to a lot of the better artists on my watchlist, it's still a milestone to me.  ^_^*  I wonder if I should do anything for it.
Back from Youmacon, and am now periodically updating my gallery with some of the stuff I was selling.  DA doesn't like the BMP format everything was saved in, so I've had to re-save everything in a different format, plus sizing it down, which is a pain.  There were 14 new stickers in all ("Zoot Suit Jaken" and "Who's Yo Daddy?" were also made into stickers, but are already in this gallery), plus three colored-pencil drawings that I used as samples for people who wanted to request commissions.  I ended up getting two commissions, and kinda wish I'd taken a picture of them or something before giving them away, because they turned out really cute.
I will be attending Youmacon for the first time this year, and will also be running an Artist's Alley table for the first time ever.  Okay, actually a friend is running the table and said I could sit with her and sell stuff... but still!

Since this wasn't really something I was planning on doing all along and am totally unprepared, as of right now I'm just going to be selling some stickers, meaning I've been working slavishly from now until the convention (which occurs on Halloween) to get some new art that could reasonably pass as sticker material.  Which of course means that after the convention, there will be a buttload of new art posted here.  :O
Hey, I know I haven't updated this journal in approximately three years, but just giving a heads-up that I've got a new site open at the main index page.  There's a little bit of new art, mostly in the titlebars and whatnot, and a couple of little comics.

Enjoy.  ^_^*
So, I'll be going up to Jafax this weekend at GVSU, in case anyone else is going.  I will possibly be wearing my Hakudoushi cosplay, but I don't know if I'll have time to mend it before the weekend, seeing as I work all week beforehand.

They're not having a music video contest this year due to lack of applicants.  Well, maybe if they'd actually put the application up BEFORE the deadline, they might have seen some.  <_<


At least Michael Coleman will be there again.
Well, since I got my first commission request this week, and thus will possibly get more in the future, I suppose I should lay down some personal guidelines, so that the request goes a tad more smoothly than my first one, where I had no idea what I was doing.  ^_^*

- The request must be related to a series I'm familiar with drawing.  At the moment, this would consist of Inuyasha and Slayers.

- I am open to original character requests, but I request the OC not share a scene with a canon character.  I dunno, I just feel like I'm betraying someone if I make it look like I endorse some sort of OC relationship.  The only exception could possibly be if the OC is a villain and one of the canon characters is trying to kill him/her.  ^_^*  But, in the end, it's all up to my personal judgement.

- Absolutely positively nothing that could even remotely require the "Mature Content" label.  I don't do things like that.

- Unfortunately, I'm not much of a romantic, so get very picky on what couplings I wish to represent.  If, by some chance, you request a "couple" picture, the only ones I will consider are Papa/Iza, Inu/Kago, or Sess/Rin (in a platonic, familial manner).  Also, as far as I'm concerned, Slayers HAS no romantic pairings, so there's nothing from there.  Now, this isn't saying that any other canon characters can't share a scene, it just can't be in a romantic manner.

... I'm not exactly ASKING for requests with this post, considering I've got plenty of other things to keep myself busy, but it's more of an FYI in case someone thinks of requesting something of me in the future.

edit[0] = Added another bullet point.  -_-*
So, got back from Otakon earlier this week, so I guess I should report on stuff.

We left around 5:00pm on Wednesday to stay the night in Cleveland at a friend's sister's house.  Unfortunately, she had nothing but hardwood floors in her condo, plus no furniture aside from a couple of chairs.  So... that wasn't really the most comfortable thing in the world.  But oh well.

Got up the next morning and drove the rest of the way to Baltimore.  They did something new this year where you can get your badge and registration material the evening before the con so you don't have to miss the first half of the first day just waiting in line.  I don't know why, but there were already a bunch of people in costume Thursday evening, even though the con hadn't started yet.  Our hotel room ended up being in the corner, so it was huge and had two windows.  The boys got an adjoining room that was a lot smaller.  Ha ha.

I honestly don't remember what happened which day of the con, so I guess I'll just sum it all up, since I personally didn't do a whole lot.  Went to the AMV contest and slept through most of them until it got to the end, where they play the humor videos.  Man, that Evangelion Bebop one... someone had waaaay too much time on their hands.  Then I wandered around in my Hakudoushi costume for a while, where no one recognized me.

Yes, I'll rant about this.  NO ONE knew who I was supposed to be, aside from that one Kagura I picked on in the dealer's room.  There were a LOT of Inu cosplayers, and I went up to a lot of them, and they just stared at me blankly.  I even went up to this whole group and bopped their Miroku on the head, and their Kagome asked, "Hey, what show are you from?"  And I was like, "Uh, yours?"  And then their Sango was like, "Oh, are you one of those... um... the group of guys... there were like seven of them..."   .... .... I didn't think that ALL the Inu cosplayers at Otakon would be solely dub-watchers.  Yes, I didn't expect instant recognition from everyone, since Hakudoushi's only been in the anime for about six months, but...  Man, I got NO one.  Aside from the Kagura in the dealer's room.

Speaking of the domestic Inu, they were showing episodes 58-60 of that, so I went to see it.  Thankfully, it was subtitled, but the Viz subtitles still weird me out.  Like seeing "Houshi-sama" translated as "Miroku".  They got "shikigami" subtitled right, at least, which confuses me even more as to why the dub pronounced it "shikikami".

I also got to see the dub of the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist, which I wasn't expecting.  The schedule had episodes 1-4 subtitled, but it ended up being only episode 1, and dubbed.  The dub was passable, though Ed and Al had opposite problems.  Ed was a good actor, it's just that his voice didn't fit the character at times, and Al was a good voice for the character, it's just that, being 10, he didn't act that well sometimes.  But, all in all, I thought it was a good dub.

And through all that, I spent a whopping $5.00 on merchandise: volume 33 of the Inu manga in Japanese.  What can I say, it's the Kongousouha arc, and it was the latest chapter Sasuga Books had in stock.  They had the first volume of the Tenka Hadou no Ken animanga, too, and I was tempted to get it, because of Papa, but I ended up passing, since I figured that there was no way I'd be able to get the other half.

And if you're wondering about the dub of the first Inu movie, it was apparently by invitation only, and shown at a theater a half hour away from the convention center.  -_-  Maybe I'm glad I didn't go.
Just to let people know, I'll be leaving for Otakon sometime Wednesday afternoon and won't be back until Monday.  So, if you're going to Otakon, I dunno, maybe I'll see you.  Provided I can get the costume done in time, I'll be cosplaying as Hakudoushi.  Gah, it's my first cosplay ever.  ^_^*  And I haven't sewn since Home Ec. class in 7th grade.  I'm a college graduate now.  With a Bachelor of Science, not a Bachelor of Arts.  ^_^*  At least the hakama turned out totally better than I expected for just BSing them.

So, uh, I might be around sporadically between now and Wednesday, but for the most part, I'll be gone for a week.
The title is one of those "You had to have been there" sorts of things.  Yup, I spent the weekend a JAFAX, a FREE anime convention up at Grand Valley State University.  And since GVSU is only about an hour's drive from here (well, an hour and a half with the construction), and it was FREE, heckyeah I was going!  I've gone the past two years as well.

Now, of course, being a local, free, university-run convention, it's not anything as big and spectacular as Anime Central or Otakon, but it's still pretty nifty.  I finally broke down and bought the Jaken plushie from one of the vendors.  He was just looking at me like "Pweeeeeze?" and I was like, "Awwww", so I took him home with me.  I also finally saw the Dragon Half dub, and proceeded to want to gouge my ears out at Mink's voice.  Everyone else was tolerable to good, but Mink... Dear god, can she GET any screechier?  At least the ending theme was left in Japanese.

One of the best things about these smaller conventions is that it's a LOT easier to get noticed and win stuff.  And, man, JAFAX has a CRAPLOAD of prizes for being a free convention.  I swear, you have to be trying REALLY hard to not walk out of there with free stuff, even if it is just a t-shirt or a frisbee.  Plus, since there are so few people there, you can actually MEET the special guests.  They were actually able to get one of the Ocean Group actors, Michael Coleman (voice of Stan the pimpin' hamster on Hamtaro, man!), this year, and his panel took place in a regular classroom, and about 15 people attended.  So, that meant everyone basically just got to sit there and chat with him personally for an hour and a half!  :D  It was so much more relaxed and personal than those big convention panels with 500 people begging the guy to do lines.

Another great thing is that unlike Otakon, if you submit a music video, you are GUARANTEED to get into the contest (provided you mail it in on time and it's in the right format).  I guess the downside of this means that EVERYONE gets in, including the really... crappy ones.  There were only six contestants this year, only two of which were actually any good (the Hellsing one to the Irish Drinking Song was awesome.  "Aaaand drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and FIGHT!!").  People are suggesting I try to submit one for next year.  ... Meh, I guess I could try.  It's gonna have to be an Inu video, though, since that's pretty much all I've got.

They actually got smart this year with the trivia show, too.  For the past two years, you just write your name on a slip of paper, drop it in a box, and they pick three names to be the three contestants.  Unfortunately, they've always managed to pick people who knew maybe a bit of DBZ, and that was it, so it wasn't a very exciting general anime trivia show if no one knew anything.  So, this year, including writing your name, you had to answer five questions, so when they drew a slip, they'd check your answers, and if you got them right, THEN they'd call your name.  I swear, the guy who won this year got more points than all of the other contestants from the previous two years combined.  And that's a good thing.  I think he won the entire Macross TV series on DVD.

And then Michael Coleman did the hula.  XD
Okay, time to rant, since I've had one too many people do this to me within a 24-hour period, and it's driving me insane!

Basically, I have someone IM saying that they like my artwork, my website, or whatnot.  Yes, thank you.  I appreciate those kinds of remarks.  But all too often, people turn this into a "let's be friends!" conversation.   I mean... what do I say to that?

Now... I dunno, I'm one of those crazy people who treats relationships online the same way I do in real life.  Maybe I'm rude for turning them down every time.  But, honestly, how many real-life friends have you made where your relationship started out, "Hey, I don't know you, but let's be friends!"  In all honesty, if some random person approached me like that in real life, I'd probably quickly shuffle away.

I mean... you don't make friends with the deliberate intention of making friends.  That's why the term is "making" friends rather than "receiving" friends.  It's something that happens without you consciously knowing or wanting it to.  Really, how "real" can a friendship be when you consciously decide whether or not to like a person rather than let your emotions decide?

So... yeah.  I have to refuse every time.  And really, it's painful for me to put up with people's continuous attempts to "get to know" me when they can't take "no" for an answer, like prattling on about "what's your favorite color?" or "what's the weather like there?" or other mundane questions that really aren't scoring them any points on the likability scale.

That's not to say I don't make friends online.  But it almost always happens in a community situation like a message board or chat room where we join a conversation in progress, happen to take the same stance or interest, and just happen to continue to talk to each other about it.  Nothing premeditated, nothing deliberate.  It just happens.  I honestly cannot tell you the moment or specific reason I made any of my friends, online or otherwise, and really... should I know?

So... yeah.  Just my little rant about "forced" friendships.  I really do feel bad about turning these people down, like I said, but... what would your opinion of my value of friendship be if I actually DID blindly accept every invitation?
Woooow...  I just found a floppy disk with a bunch of drawings I did about six or seven years ago (that would have made me 15 or 16).  The stupid thing is, I think I was actually better at drawing back then than I am now.  ^_^*  Granted, a lot of the drawings were just me directly copying off a reference (which was typically a video tape paused on a pose I wanted to get).  So, maybe I wasn't as good back then, since I wasn't being original.

Aside from the Latin comic.  XD  Man, I really should post that thing up here, now that I've found it.  It's, like, my crowning achievement from high school.  :P  Ah, the Latin comic.  How I giggle at thee...
::listens outside to distant thunder::

Aaaaand here comes another round.  I do believe we have yet to go 24 hours without it storming during the entire month of May.  I don't mean just rain, I mean thunder-lightning-haily-windy-tornadoy the whole messy deal.  ... Come to think of it, I don't think we've gone 24 hours without a peal of thunder during the entire month of May.

Yesterday especially was just ludicrous.  We got nailed by one storm at about 1:00 in the afternoon that knocked down trees, power lines, houses... When it finally left people went outside to start cleaning up, but upon a check of the radar... oh LOOK, there's a suspiciously similar-looking storm in Wisconsin that's just starting to make its way across the lake.  So, come 9:00... round two!  Goodbye more trees.  Hello, flooded roads.  And after THAT one was over, it looked all clear, but upon another check of the radar... yup, ANOTHER similar-looking storm was in Wisconsin and moving across the lake.  So, we collectively smack our foreheads, and at around 3:00 this morning... round three!  Honestly, I've never had that many bigass storms in such close succession.

The whole point of this comment is that we had a similar May weather pattern four years ago when I was finishing up high school (although, if memory serves, that one was just constant rain, not storms).  However, it did in fact NOT rain two days in May: Memorial Day and graduation.  The two days that necessitated me being outside.  Nice, huh?

So, basically, I'm just hoping the same will happen this year.  Memorial Day's Monday, right?  And, lo and behold, the forecast is actually clear for that one day.  So, hopefully that means the pattern of four years ago will continue and it won't rain on my college graduation ceremony, either.  Granted... the college ceremony is in Terre Haute rather than Kalamazoo, and it HASN'T been storming constantly there, so... maybe it doesn't apply.

Although, it WAS in Terre Haute (and in May) that there was the coolest storm ever, where it rained nine inches in one night, knocked out power to campus for seven hours, and dropped a tree on my dorm.  ^_^  Ah, memories.

In unrelated but likely more interesting news, I'm finally working on a new picture.  :P
So, the President came to town today.  I would have wholeheartedly ignored his presence had it not been for the fact that I was out running errands when his caravan came rolling in, and proceeded to shut down both highways and every overpass crossing them.  My errand was south of the freeway.  I live north of the freeway.  All passages from Point A to Point B had been securely closed off.  Needless to say, I got home quite a bit later than I had intended.  ^_^*  I was seriously thinking about taking a southern backroad to the next town over, jaunting over a bridge over there, then taking a northern backroad home.  I ended up just sitting around waiting for the bridges to re-open, which probably took about as much time as my Plan B would have, but saved on gas, so I guess it was okay in the end.

The moral of this story: The President causes more traffic chaos than a 50-car wreck or a natural disaster.