OTAKON

Jul. 19th, 2009 05:55 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Ecchi Elder)
Just got back from the Con a while ago.

Panels were OK. Hit-and-miss as always. Best one was one we'd seen before: Disorganization XIII's SPOILER: The Panel - The Sequel. But it's OK because it was just as hilarious the second time around. MJ wanted to go to some fan fic panels. So we did. They sucked. Bought lots of Stuff.

Anime: Love Hina, Last Exile, and Shigurui: Death Frenzy

Figures:

Haruhi Suzumiya (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)


Yoko (from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)



I haven't actually seen Gurren Lagann, but I want to. Due in no small part to the girl with the gun.

Gashapon:
Maka Albarn from (Soul Eater)

I haven't seen this show either (Funimation has the license, but it hasn't been released yet). The story looks interesting, and this was a cool figure, regardless, so I bought it.

I also got a little chibi Yoko with her rifle for work, because I don't want to bring the big one into the office.

Trinkets: Two cell phone charms (Sousuke Aizen from Bleach and Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist), and some anime pins. I also bought a pin, a shot glass and a button from Jennie Breeden, and some other miscellaneous buttons in the artists' alley.

All in all a good con. Lots of great costumes. Didn't take as many pictures as I'd planned. Have shows I am looking forward to checking out:
Gunslinger Girl 2
Soul Eater
Bamboo Blade
Hetalia: Axis Powers

But first I need to get through the stuff I just bought. Then  get more Bleach, Black Lagoon: Second Barage, and the next Death Note box set.

I need more shelves.
plumbob78: WGT (Ecchi Elder)
I've already written some about Sakura-con. The highlight of this con was their anime music video (AMV) room, which was really well done. Pictures of cosplayers can be found here. After this trip I have decide that the big cons (like Otakon and Sakura-con) are definitely the way to go. There are more people and more stuff, but they feel less crowded than the smaller hotel-based cons. I may still go to Anime USA, especially if my friend Mary Jane is going, but the big con experience is definitely more enjoyable. I have to find another one to try sometime.

Tokyo was spectacular! I must go back soon. I didn't have a lot of time to wander around, because it was a business trip, but I did get to see Shibuya. I wanted to hit Akihabara, but it didn't work out. The few pictures I took during the trip are located here.One caveat, the photos of the cookies were taken in Seattle on Saturday Night. That's not the table in my awesome Japanese Hotel, but in the crappy airport Ramada. What to say about Tokyo...

Crowded. I don't think Americans know the meaning of the word. We went to Shibuya in the morning on Friday and I have never seen so many people. Leaving the metro, it was like two rivers of people in the mall that gave access to the station. And everyone was going to or from the metro, because the shops weren't open yet. Somehow we got on the wrong side, going against the stream. My dash across the hall, accomplished without bumping into anyone was a spectacular feat. The masses of people waiting to cross at intersections was like nothing I've ever seen. Think Manhattan and double it. It was a sight to behold.

Amazingly, watching anime prepared me more for this trip than I ever would have imagined. Of the three of us who went, I knew the most Japanese, despite one guy having been there before. I recognized food items from shows (Rice balls from School Rumble, bread filled with yummy stuff from Azumanga Daioh, and a type of fish cake from Black Heaven). I felt a  little embarrassed explaining my anime-viewing habits are the reason I know some Japanese (everything I know I learned from anime and Shogun). Those guys probably think I'm nuts. Still I think I was a little more savvy than somebody who might learn about American Culture from American cartoons.

I didn't eat as much Japanese food as I would have liked. We had Japanese for lunch most days because of where we were (mmm eel over rice), but the guys I was with weren't huge Japanese fans, and I stuck with the group. Korean barbecue one night. Hamburgers another (this I was actually into because I wanted to see what a Japanese "authentic American hamburger" would be like). God those hamburgers were great. One night we were treated to dinner, which was a great Japanese meal, with LOTS of Sapporo beer to wash it down, as well as some other yummy J-booze. That was where I had to explain my language prowess. First to "This is your first trip to Japan, but... I think you have some experience with the Japanese language." And later to a somewhat incredulous "Why you speak Japanese?" I think this might have been because I was the one of the three who put forth the most effort. I wanted to try some rice balls, but I was never hungry when I saw them in the convenience stores. Didn't eat any sushi until the day I left. There was a sushi place near my gate at Narita, so I stopped there for lunch. The other option was McDonalds, which I didn't want. The sushi was VERY good. Had some nice saké, too. 

It was fairly easy to get around Tokyo as an American with minimal Japanese skills. The metro was very easy.

Efficiency. Everything ran very well. The shuttle to and from the airport was one of the most well run systems I've ever seen. Ticketing, taking luggage, boarding passengers. You would have to be an idiot to get on the wrong bus or lose your luggage.

Everyone was very friendly. The way people said "good morning" and "thank you," it wasn't like they were just saying it, more like singing it. I don't know whether this is just something about the language that they always do it this way, or whether it was because I was mainly interacting with staff at businesses and they were dealing with a customer. Customer service, by the way, was excellent over there.

I kinda wish I didn't have to come back.

"Yes, Mr. PlumBob. It came through." Those word were music to my ears leaving Tokyo. I used some of my miles to upgrade and flew business class from Tokyo to San Francisco, and First class from SF to Seattle.  Business class is nice! I was actually able to sleep for most of the flight to the States, despite not being totally exhausted.

When I got back to Seattle, the first thing I did after twelve hours on planes was, of course, rent a car and go look at planes. The museum of flight is most excellent and I recommend it if your ever in Seattle. Pics here. That night I grabbed dinner at a red Robin and went to bed early. Got out of Seattle earlier than expected, after a bit of a scare (my original flight was canceled; thank God I got to the airport three hours early). After business class the day before, coach was doubly horrible. Middle seats all the way back to DC, too. Landed here around 11. Took today off work. Slept LOTS. Eleven days of running around must have taken a greater toll on me than I had realized.  But it was a great experience. I loved it. I want to go back to Japan so bad. I need to get off my ass and renew my passport.

Good Stuff

Sep. 1st, 2008 09:58 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Sosuke)
This weekend was pretty good. Hppy hour with work people Friday night. Games on Saturday. Dinner out and Wii at John and Mollie's on Sunday. Games today.

Plowing through Cowboy Bebop. Have a two more series a short OVA and two movies to watch. Then I'm out. Time to get more on the list. But I'm gonna try to stretch my remaining anime out because I just spent a heap on that lens. Will probably try to read some books to pass anime-free time. Have decided on vacation in October. Destination currently unknown. Suggestions welcome. I want want scads of culture (museums, galleries, etc.) and nice walks. Suggestions welcome.

This was the best AMV I saw at Otakon this year:

plumbob78: WGT (Default)
I went to Anime Pavilion in Falls Church today, but they didn't have anything on my list. Had lunch at the 4P's, though so the trip wasn't entirely wasted. I really didn't want to come home without any anime at all, though. So I went to Best Buy *shudder*. I picked up one item on my list: Cowboy Bebop, and two other titles not on my list: Ah! My Goddess (first season, the second was done by ADV, which is in trouble, although Funimation supposedly has rescued it), and one other that I'm kind of ashamed to mention.*

I came home, and lied (laid? I always get confused) down for about 15 minutes. I just got up and I realize that I don't want to do laundry or clean today. SO I think I will do that tomorrow. To be honest i really suck at keeping this place tidy. I only get motivated clean really well when I'm planning on having people over. So yeah, I guess I should make plans to have one or more of you folks over for a visit.

All of Planet Bob is currently riding out nuclear war (or wars, depending who's analysis you believe). Anyone want to join in? My alliance could use good people. We'll teach you how to play and help you advance.

* No, it's not hentai. They don't sell that stuff at Best Buy, and I'm not really into hard-core pornography. 

I'm back

Aug. 11th, 2008 07:20 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Sosuke)
I went to Otakon in Baltimore this weekend. Wen with my friend Mary Jane from work:
MJ dressed up
I didn't dress up though.

It was a good convention. Saw the new volume of the Hellsing: Ultimate OVA, which was awesome. Went to some good panels. Saw lots of great costumes. LOTS of Hellsing people:
Vampires and Nazis!


I also got a video of one of the folks portraying Anderson fighting one of the folks playing Alucard


I saw a group of girls dressed as Gunslinger Girl characters, which was cool. And a Chise from Saikano, which was both cool and unexpected. Photos of them on my flickr also. I bought a great big die-cast Tachikoma. I saw a figure I wanted to buy, but decided to hold off and buy it online when I had a credit card again.

Enjoyed the weekend very much.
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
I've been pretty good lately about not blowing large wads of money on toys, but I went on a bit of a binge today. I rationalized this with the fact that I consumed all of my anime and manga when I was temporarily cripples the week before last.

On the way home, I stopped by Anime Pavilion and bought the Fullmetal Alchemist movie and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, 2nd Gig. One the way there, I was listening to NPR (been doing that for I dunno how long, now. Does this make me an "NPR Listener?") and heard a music review. I decided to buy that artist's CD, so after AP, I went to Borders and picked it up. Also volumes 14-16 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, because they were there.

You all probably don't care about any of this, but this is my blog, and I guess I'm the only one who has to care.

I rather like this Kate Nash person.
plumbob78: WGT (Sosuke)
This afternoon I finished watching Black Heaven. It was... weird. I enjoyed it, but I don;'t think it's one I could watch over and over. I think it will have to be a year or so before I want to pop it in he DVD player again. I went to the pub quiz tournament today. Lost. Knocked out in the third of four rounds. One the way to the pub I stopped at Anime Pavilion and picked up volumes 9-13 of Fullmetal Alchemist. Read the first of those when I got home. The I popped in the first disc of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. So far I like it a lot. Good things about it: 1) Dystopian future setting, 2) Interesting stories and characters, 3) WIDESCREEN, 4) 5.1 digital sound 5) Hot gun-wielding cyborg chick!

I love hot chicks with guns. It's my favorite anime genre.

Work tomorrow. Don't want to go. I'd rather stay home and read my manga and watch my cyborg. Truly I live a hard life.
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
No going out for me tonight. I guess I will maybe watch some anime, then go to bed.

The rest of the conference went well. The last day's meetings only went half the day, so a group of us went out to lunch once it had finished. We went to Belga Café. It was very good. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. I had a nice steak with some very good frites, and a green salad, washed down with a Delirium Tremens. After that, I decided there was no way in hell I was returning to the office, so I tog the rest of the day off, came home, and had a nice nap. That night I went out to dinner with John and Molly, and damian792 and becca5. We ate Thai down the street at Bangkok 54, then went to the Dairy Godmother for dessert. It was good.

I finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist this week so I started reading the manga. I finished the first four volumes the other night, so today I went out and bought the next four, which I promptly read in a matter of hours after returning home. Guess I have to buy more tomorrow. Less than two weeks until my birthday.

Tow friends from college got married today. But I wasn't there.

*Sigh*

Apr. 23rd, 2008 09:51 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
Once again I am thinking of buying a CD I will be completely unable to understand...again on the basis of one song.

This time, the album is Sol-fa by Asian Kung-Fu Generation.

This is the song:


It's on the FMA soundtrack.

I'm hopeless.
plumbob78: WGT (Default)

After finishing the series, I'm not sure I have a favorite, really. I love all the characters too much. But I want to marry a woman like Riza Hawkeye.

Stuff

Mar. 25th, 2008 09:56 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Ecchi Elder)
Just tidied up the house for the maintenance guy who will be coming in tomorrow to fix something or other that was found during the apartment inspection a while back.

I have found a space for Ryomou (blue-haired Ikki Tousen girl I mentioned here) on one of my bookshelves. Yomiko (cute/hot R.O.D. librarian in the same post) is coming to work.

Still thinking about car colors. Gosh it's hard.
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
I went to the Provinces with Tom and Jules and baranoouji. I ate corned beef and drank Guinness. Then I got baranoouji to take me to the anime store. I bought the last Fullmetal Alchemist box, and also Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex because, you know, I don't have enough DVDs to watch already. When I got home, I called work and told Mary Jane I would be taking tomorrow off, too. Three guesses in what horribly unproductive way I will spend my time. I am feeling fat dumb and happy.  

Good Day

Feb. 26th, 2008 06:46 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Ecchi Elder)
Today I had breakfast at Bob and Edith's, then I decided to go to the museums. I did Air & Space and American Indian this time. Air & Space because it is my all-time favorite since childhood. American Indian because it's open now. I have to the the National Museum of the American Indian...confuses me. As near as I can tell, there were only four actual exhibits (not counting the boats in the lobby and the displays of stuff in cabinets). Four exhibits in such a large space was disappointing. I did enjoy the dresses exhibit, though. I only went to half of the exhibits because by that time I was hungry and my feet hurt. So I guess I have to go back at some point.  Took many pictures at Air & Space. I'll upload them to flickr later this week and may blog one or two of them here.

I have received my three packages (1 UPS, 2 USPS). Here's what I got


Yomiko Readman from Read or Die. She is a secret agent! And a bookworm! With glasses! She's HOT!

Ryomou Shimei from Ikki Tousen. She is a high-school student. With blue hair! She kicks people's asses! And uses a submission technique that would make her young male opponents very happy...if they weren't being strangled. She is also hot, but in a completely different way.


18-eighteen by Nana Kitade. It has that Indelible Sin song from Fullmetal Alchemist on it. I'm listening right now. I can't understand a damned word of it, but I love it. All the names and titles and stuff are in Kanji, which semagic grabs my music from WMP but doesn't understand, so it makes it all into question marks! LOL

More stuff

Feb. 20th, 2008 11:32 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
I ordered that Nana Kitade CD I was talking about. I also purchased the two figures I've been wanting. Looking forward to packages in the mail!!!

Also, I've registered for Otakon. All the downtown hotels that had blocks of rooms for the con are filled up. Gonna look for something in the B'more suburbs so I don't have to drive as far every day, I think.

Stuff

Feb. 19th, 2008 03:21 pm
plumbob78: WGT (Default)

I meant to post about last week, well, last week. But i never got around to it.

So, latest developments. cut for length )

  

plumbob78: WGT (Sosuke)

Tomorrow I am going to call my doctor's office and see if I can't get an appointment to get this knee checked out. It is better than it was on Thursday, but still not right. On Thursday, every once in a while I would be walking along and the knee would feel like it was going to go out from under me. I got the same feeling when standing up, except it was also hurt. Now I am walking OK, but it still hurts a little when I am descending stairs. Last night, it really hurt twice. Once at the mall, when I side-stepped quickly to get out of some one's way, and once when getting out of the back seat of Joe's car. I don't think my gout has decided to try my knee this time, because this doesn't hurt like gout does. The discomfort is confined to the font left portion of my knee, bottom half of the joint. I don't know what it is. So I'm going to go to the doctor.

Depending what the doctor says, I may wind up withdrawing my name from consideration for a TDY next month. Actually, I may just do that anyway, because it hasn't yet been decided who's going, and if I pull out now, they will be able to select another candidate from the pool of volunteers, rather than scrambling to find someone else if I back out later. If my knee's acting up on me, I will not be able to perform as effectively on the trip, which would involve much walking around and assorted other stuff. So, yeah, I may just say, "hurt myself; may not be the best person, so talk me of the list." That would be the best for all involved. It sucks.

Yesterday I went to Border's because I had a coupon for 25% off one item. I bought five items:

  • Manga: Hellsing - Volumes 1 and 2

  • Music: Led Zeppelin - Mothership, and Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes

  • Film: Howl's Moving Castle

There's little rationale behind my selections. I just finished the first three volumes of the Hellsing Ultimate OVA (completely disregarding the results of my recent poll) and thought I might like the manga. When I saw the Led Zeppelin on the shelf, I realized I didn't actually have any of their stuff, which struck me as wrong. As for the DC album, I'd heard of the band and heard one song, which I liked, so I decided to buy an album. I have no clue if the song I liked is on this one, but I've had good luck lately with random uninformed music purchases, so I took the plunge. As for Howl, I figured I should own at least one of Miyazaki's works.

I tore through the Hellsing in a matter of hours yesterday, so today I went out and bought volumes 3 and 4. I notice volume 6 of Gunslinger Girl is on the shelves now, so I have to pick that up at some point.

Had dinner with the gang last night. We went to Gordon Biersch. A few folks were less than happy with their food. Mine was surprisingly good, especially considering my sole criterion for ordering the dish was that it came with regular old fries and not garlic fries (yuk!). I find it's hard to go wrong with steak and pommes frites.

Three months until my birthday. I turn 30, this year, and need to decide what, if anything to do to celebrate. I could have a party at my place, but that would involve set-up and cleaning, so I am leaning against that. I think I might  get some friends together for dinner. Smallish number, like maybe ten or so. I think a nice dinner followed by movies and drinks back at home might be a good plan. For me, I think anime and sake would be the best possible plan. If I opt for the latter, I already know where I want to go to eat.

So much to think about. I think I'm going to go watch Fullmetal Alchemist, now. 

plumbob78: WGT (Ecchi Elder)

I'd intended to go to IKEA this weekend and get myself another bookcase, so I would have someplace to put my ever-expanding book and DVD collection besides the coffee table and the floor. The plan was to get there right when they opened so it would be less crowded. This did not happen. Each day I slept to late. I rationalize this with the fact I have next Monday off. Theoretically any time on a weekday should be less crowded than a weekend.

After aborting my original plan, I decided to support the local economy by going to Anime Pavilion in Falls Church and buying more Anime. I purchased the first two Fullmetal Alchemist box sets, as well as volumes 1-3 of Hellsing Ultimate. These, plus Black Heaven should keep me occupied for a while, theoretically, although "a while" is relative as I tend to go through these series pretty quickly. I've got an itch to buy a few more figures, too, but I haven't decided which ones yet.

I finished Ikki Tousen earlier this week. I found it most satisfying (and no, the ripped garments and gratuitous panty-shots had nothing to do with it). I will certainly watch it again. I hear there is a second season which has not been released in the US yet, which gives me something to look forward to.

plumbob78: WGT (Jag)
Yesterday I went to the Washington Auto Show to to see the cars. It was partially a research trip, to save myself the trouble of wandering out to all the area dealerships. I saw some cool cars, such as the Ferrari F430 over there on the right. Also some not-so-cool cars, the shining example being a new Ford Gee, I wonder what their inspiration was...abomination that looks like they kidnapped a MINI and force-fed it grain like a poor little veal calf. I learned a few things. First, apparently gear-shift knob theft must be a big problem in DC, because lots of cars had the knobs removed. I found this most annoying. Second, I was saddened to discover that both the Nissan 350Z and the Mazda MX-5 Miata are sized for small people. I simply couldn't fit in either of them comfortably. The RX-8 I could get into, though.
Pretty
I only sat in sporty cars (coupes and roadsters). The Audi TT seems like a very nice little car. I also liked the Audi S5, though it's a larger car and I want something smaller than I have  now. I discovered I really like Porsches. I sat in a 911 Carrera (the least expensive 911, at only 70-odd thousand dollars) I also sat in a Cayman S. That was a neat little car. It has two trunks, which makes it somewhat more practical. Also, if  I were to get Kelley Blue Book value for my current vehicle and if I were to blow all my savings I could actually get a Cayman for a monthly payment that wasn't absolutely ridiculous. But I think I'll have to pass on that for now, just the same. If I got a Porsche now, what would I move up to later? Also, I don't think obliterating my savings account is the smartest thing. I would anticipate cosmic payback in some form. I also sat in a BMW Z4, which was very nice, and more affordable than the Porsche. But again, there is upward mobility factor. I don't think I should be getting a kick-ass luxury car at this point in my life. I want cool and zippy, but not fabulously extravagant. SO the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG is right out, too.

When I am DINK, after I marry a hot, bespectacled villainess, then I will have my Porsche.

I got really drunk last night and hopped off my smoking cessation wagon, which was bad.

Today I began watching Desert Punk, which is on loan from a coworker, and Ikki Tousen, a recent purchase. DP is OK. I really like Ikki Tousen. It's Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with high-schoolers, some of whom are girls. With big boobs. Yeah, total fan-service fest, but still entertaining. Lots of action. I have tomorrow off. It's going to be a laundry day.

I went to Ray's the Steaks for dinner tonight. It was real good. Michael Landrum owns my soul.
plumbob78: WGT (Default)
Angst at the office (not mine) made much of the week suck. There were some good points, though.

1) I met my LJ friend papercuppie in person on Wednesday. We went to the Lower Arlington Bar and Grill. We drank. It was good.
2) Last night I ate Vietnamese in Clarendon with Chris, Becca, Carson, Kristin, Doug. and Katie. Then we went to Dr. Dremo's. And drank. And it was good.
3) Today I decided to vanquish all remaining sadness through commerce. After eating lunch, I went to Anime Pavilion. I bought Black Heaven and Ikki Tousen.

Hope to see more friends tonight. But first, I think I may take a nap.

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