(It just so happens that today is this accounts 3rd dA birthday, thus I find this journal's posting quite fitting.
Okay, so I'm sure there are some who, if they are not too preoccupied themselves, thought I might have dropped off the face of the earth due to the lack of activity on here, however, that is not the case. Rather, life has just been very busy and full of changes for me the past couple of months, some good, some bad/sad, and therefore, my presence here has dwindled, and even after this long overdue journal, won't really be increasing that much...sadly.
Nevertheless, let me list off and describe the main events that have occurred, in as close to chronological order as I can recall.
Working on outfit for ACen 2015
Even though I had the same outfit, (the Dark Flare Knight one) it still needed some adjustment and so I spent at least 3 months, literally working on the first day of the con, to get the updates complete for the convention. I didn't redo/recreate the entire costume, but I had to make many modifications to it since Con+Alt+Delete 2014, mainly of which included painting the whole outfit with spray paint and acrylic paint, adding a weathered/worn appearance to make it more realistic, (and not so "cartoony" as Ciara called it, from the craft foam colors alone) and having to remake the sword for a 3rd time due to the orange enamel paint causing the foam to become brittle and crack over time. I ran into many setbacks along the way including discovering errors in the original design I made, so I really was pushing it on time for the convention. Making a Resume and Finding a Job
While working on the outfit, I still needed to find work, and my usual landscaping work around my area just wasn't "cutting" it anymore (pun intended). Thus, taking my younger brother's advice (who did manage to find a job) I made a Resume on indeed.com and posted it. While I waited to see if anything would happen, I also applied to a nearby Menards, (among other places) as well as answered a classified ad in the newspaper about a sort-of-close-by seed company.
Maybe about 1-2 weeks after posting the resume I received an email b/c of my resume, and after answering it, calling to setup an appointment/interview, I started work on the 27 of April! I now work for a somewhat nearby landscaping company, "Tunzi & Sons Landscaping." It's quite hectic at times; I have to wake at 5:30 AM, start at 7 AM and work to sometimes 5:30 PM or later working in the elements; I do anything from weeding, to mulching, to pruning bushes, or putting in drainage pipe, (plus much more) and to top it off, I was hired with the intention of becoming a "crew leader" meaning I have to be in charge of others, as was as responsible for them and getting the job done on or under budgeted time. It can be quite stressful, and weather like today (rain all day) washes out being able to work, but overall, it's a job, it helps pay for bills, and it's good to be part of the workforce now. Computer HD making sounds
To my dismay, before the whole getting a job thing, while I was in the process of working on my cosplay (while Ciara worked on her DMG Dragon Knight one) I needed to get some documents from my computer, and I hadn't turned it on in a while, but when I did, it kept crashing, failing to start, and overall refusing to work. When I listened to it trying to start before it kept turning off, I heard a particular sound the bothered me it's ANOTHER hard drive mechanical failure, meaning now, all my files are once again in jeopardy, and I currently have no way of being able to retrieve them. Got TracFone day before the job
I needed a phone for work. Originally I was going to borrow my girlfriend's mother's phone but I really didn't want to do that if I could help it. Ciara and I found out the local Dollar General had TracFones (pay as you go phones) so the Sunday night before my first day, we ran there really quick and found one for $9 (though the 200 minutes were $40 :/ ) and I got it activated and set up. In the end, though it was limited in what I could do since almost everything required my minutes to work, I had 600+ minutes and 150 days of airtime.Wolfie passed away ;-;
For the past 6+ months, Wolfie had been having more problems with eating, but initially nothing really seemed out of the ordinary. However, as the months progressed, had starting having a gelatinous/bloody looking stool, couldn't keep even his own kibble down, and had been having more accidents in the house. We tried to do some research about it and the closest thing we could come up with was that he had and inflammatory bowel disorder; and incurable condition, and not really treatable without money we didn't have (and it really wouldn't have been anything more than an over-glorified antacid. -_- Nevertheless, his condition continued to worsen and in the last week and a half or so, he had gotten to where he was too weak to jump back on the porch from being outside, then even was unable to go down the stairs to use the bathroom and had to be carried out.
(Because of the convention prep, I had been bouncing back and forth between my house and Ciara's,) On May 7, 2015...I got back from work, and Ciara told me I had a phone call...it was my mother. I returned her call, and got the dreadful news that Wolfie had passed away that morning, around 6 AM. As much as I wanted to strangle him at times with all the trouble and aggravation he had caused at times, over the years since we got him from our Grandmother, I was devastated to hear that he died and I never got to see him sooner before his last breath. Ciara and I went to my house and my younger brother, his girlfriend, Ciara, I, my mother...no ones' eyes were dry. I know he was no longer in pain, but it just killed the rest of my day. (As it is, it's making me tear up just thinking about it as I write this journal...)
First Paycheck = iPhone 6
R.I.P. Wolfie ;_;
The boss really preferred if I had a phone with GPS for the job, but the Tracfone, even if I used the "browser" feature, would suck down my minuets way too fast, so it wasn't really practical. Thus, as soon as I could, I tried to get a better phone, and (as much as I'm not an Apple fan) it was decided that the best option would be to get an iPhone and become part of Ciara's family plan. Sadly, it's wasn't as easy as it should have been, and both the website and AT&T store gave us a bunch of runaround before the phone could be purchased. Nevertheless, it finally was bought, and as soon as it arrived, I went and bought an OtterBOX (R) case to protect it from the on-the-job risks of being damaged.ACen weekend (5/15-17/2015); Participated in Masquerade; Bought tickets for next year
Anime Central had finally arrived so it was a race to the finish to get the outfits done, get them and our luggage packed in the car, and get on the road. Due to Ciara managing to secure our "first come first serve" spots in the Masquerade (and she got them really early), we needed reference and progress photos printed out, and I needed to stop by the bank for money, so before we could even get very far, those previously stated tasks needed to be taken care of first.
Finally on our way, we headed down the expressway, to arrive at the hotel for check in around noon. We got a decent parking garage spot, unloaded, and Ciara and I went to get checked in for the Masquerade so we could participate on Saturday.
For first time since I met Ciara in 2013, her childhood friend came along/drove, and among the fact her and Ciara don't see each other that much anymore since she lives in Indiana, and this was their chance to hang out for a weekend, Ciara's friend, Ashley, played a key role in Ciara and my cosplays since both of us were bulky with our armor and needed a "handler."
Friday was Ashley's first test-run, so to speak, as she helped us get to our Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplay gathering that evening. I believe the only other things we did that day were meet up with my younger brother and my mother, look around the vendor area and Artist Alley, and then meet up with Ciara's cousins and their friends that night for Chinese food.
Following a good night's rest, Saturday arrived and so we had a big day ahead of us. The 3 of us started off by going to a Panel about creating OCs and Universes and then headed to the Convention Center to get some photos and do a little shopping, before needing to head back to the room to get our big armor on for the Masquerade craftsmanship prejudging. The judges seemed to be happy with what they saw and were impressed, so we felt more confident even though our competition was more than likely, strong. Once done with the judging, we all went back to the room for something to eat, then headed back down to look around the Vendor area a bit more, still in full cosplay, before having to head to the Masquerade area to wait for the show to start. As it grew closer to showtime, we (I at least) started to feel more and more nervous as we saw the amazing competition; even though we were in a "group" category, it still looked daunting. Closer still, and now Ciara and I had to get up and go back stage (Ashley was supposed to come with us, but somehow the staff goofed up something and didn't let her come with). While we waited our turn to go on, we tried our best to practice our poses. Subsequent to standing an hour or more backstage, it was our turn; we sucked up our nervousness, and went out there to applause, which helped the uneasiness to fade. Back down, an now we waited, (watching the, backwards to us, screen of the events/acts) until at last they started announcing awards. Sadly, as I figured would happen, the competition as too steep, and we didn't make the cut...but, at least we gave our all and tried. The ones who did wind though, did deserve all they got.. ^^ We met up with the others and headed back for the room; a little disheartened, but accepting of the results, and very, very exhausted.
One more night's rest, and now Sunday arrived so we had to wake to get all packed up. Once we had all we needed in the car, Ciara and I, in our second, easier cosplays (me a "closet-cosplay" Shiny Umbreon and Ciara, her purchased Atago (from Kantai Collection) cosplay) headed to a panel with Samurai Dan about self-defense techniques, while Ashley went with Ciara's cousins and friends to do some shopping. Once our panel was over, we met up with Ashley and did some final shopping for ourselves; looking for Sunday deals.
Sad to say, the convention was now coming to a close for this year, but at least Ciara and I made sure to buy our tickets for next year. All to the car, we headed back to our not so fun lives in reality, at our homes. >.<;
Overall, even though it was a bit more stressful this year because of the whole Masquerade participation, so our free time was even less than other years, it was still a fun and interesting experience. We can't wait for next year. ^^Hair cut?
Yes, believe it or not, after approx. 5 years of growing it, and trying to find a job that didn't require it's cutting, I came to the decision on my own (even before the convention) that I just need to let all the hassle and split ends go. Thus, Ciara and I went a couple towns south to the nearest "Great Clips" and I let them take off my lengthy mane. I did donate my hair however, so not only will someone in more need, benefit from my virgin hair
, I also got the hair cut for free. Car looking to Car Failure
Following the hair cut, I wanted to just look to see about a first car for myself, since I couldn't borrow Ciara's forever for work, and so we went to a nearby dearer that had a 2003 Chevy Impala I had seen online. However, since it wasn't a "used car" dealer, I got a pretty discouraging attitude from the person who came to "help." We left the place and headed back to Ciara's and just before we got back to her subdivision, her car had started to act up again. Back in February I believe, her car's engine rod problem instead turned into a failed serpentine belt issue that left us stranded one night. It got repaired, but she was told from that point that the car was barely worth $200 because of the engine rod issue and that the car shouldn't be taken long distances. Well, I had been using it for work since it wasn't that long a distance, and now that the belt seemed to be going AGAIN, I now really had a dilemma. Nothing could be done though, save having to get dropped off at work and picked up, until further notice.No Maneki Neko this year
Ciara found out about last Sunday, (5-24-15) when looking on Facebook, that due to them wanting to get more organized and find a better place to hold the convention, (since in my opinion, last year was a flop with the new venue and scheduling) Maneki Neko Con is cancelled this year.Pre ordered exclusive figurine
The same night, Ciara found they opened up the pre-orders for an exclusive DMG figurine, and she jumped on it like flies on honey since, due to it being something only released for Japan, it was now or never. Thus, next Januaray, I (and her, since she got two) will hopefully be the owner/s of this 20th anniversary DMG figure. myfigurecollection.net/item/26… Booked room for Anime World Expo (AWX) - Participate in Masquerade?
Ciara's mother heard from a customer at her work about a convention that neither of us had heard of before, an Anime World Expo, a few months back, and now that times was drawing closer and we were more certain about going, I booked the room for the Westin hotel for weekend of August 28-30, 2015. Not only that, but Ciara wants me to participate in the Masquerade for myself so when that registration opens I need to get myself signed up. Got a new CAR!
Another surprise I didn't expect after work, but at least this one wasn't saddening (at least not completely). The way I figured it, it would be a few more paychecks before I could actually get a car, but I had at least wanted a chance to look for one maybe this weekend if I could, but wasn't sure when or if it was possible. Nevertheless, when Ciara and her mother picked me up from work yesterday (5-29-15) they took me down a road about 20 minutes to the west from their house, just saying they had something to show me. We arrived at a farm where there was a white pickup truck sitting and I went over to where there were a couple farmers trying to hook up some equipment before the next front of storms blew in. As it turned out, the person selling it actually lived several miles away, but had the truck here at his friend's place. What was even more lucky was that the owner actually happened to be around and helping with the farm equipment, so I didn't have to call the number on the For Sale sign and inquire for a later date/meeting. He was a really nice guy and with talking, I took the vehicle for a test run, and he was willing to go down from $1800 to $1000. When all said and done he let me buy it and take it home right there, signing the title over to me and everything.
Needless to say, I am now the owner over a White, 1996 Ford Ranger XL pickup with a bed cover. It had 156,802 miles on it when I bought it, and it has a few issues, but nothing too severe and it's drivable for work and other places. It got the plates and registration/title stuff taken care of yesterday evening, and got the Insurance stuff taken care of this afternoon. A surprise anniversary commission
Finally, yesterday evening, Ciara gave me a surprise photo that she had printed out, of a commission she had made for me, for the 2 year anniversary of our meeting May 18, 2013. It's really nice and I hope you like it as well; the original image upload can be found here from the commissioned artist: fuumika.deviantart.com/art/CC-…