Well, another year has gone by (Really?
Already?) and another several months since I last made an update, so I’m going to post another list of “life events” to start the new year off and get everyone up to speed on things. I’m sorry but this will probably get long…hopefully I won’t bore you all to death… ¬.¬Conventions:
Thankfully, the list of conventions that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend has continued to grow…however, at the same time the list of journals and images from them that I haven’t had a chance to post has continued to grow as well and that bugs the heck out of me. -_-;
Thus, once again, for now, I am going to post another list of said conventions and give a brief summary on the newest 2015 ones. (Last list ended with C+A+D 2014 back in this journal guardianofcliffton.deviantart.…
)I have a bad feeling that this method of posting a brief summary of my conventions will become more standard as my free time for dA or elsewhere, doesn’t really exist anymore. *sighs*
The conventions that I've attended thus far (and which ones I've documented) are as follows:
Anime World Chicago (2012) guardianofcliffton.deviantart.…
Maneki Neko Con 1 (2012) guardianofcliffton.deviantart.…
Anime Central (2013) guardianofcliffton.deviantart.…
Maneki Neko Con 2 - Cloned (2013) 2-Day weekend; No Journal…
Midwest Fur Fest (2013) Not anime, but went with older brother to see what it was about; No Journal
Con+Alt+Delete (2013) Only attended Saturday; went with Ciara (toxsickk) & my older brother; Brief Summary guardianofcliffton.deviantart.… | No Journal…
Anime Central (2014) My first 3-day Weekend; Brief Summary guardianofcliffton.deviantart.… | No Journal…
Maneki Neko Con 3d (2014) 3-day weekend; new venue, won my first cosplay award; No Journal…
Con+Alt+Delete (2014) 3-Day weekend; Ciara & I won both won cosplay award & free admission for next year; Brief Summary guardianofcliffton.deviantart.… | No Journal…
Anime Central (2015) 3-Day weekend; first time Ciara and I participated in their Masquerade, didn’t win anything but still enjoyed the experience; No Journal…
Anime World Expo (2015) 3-Day weekend; the new Anime World Chicago?, first time going to Lombard, IL, went with Ciara, her friend, Katie, and my younger brother, William; No Journal…
RamenCon (2015) 3-Day weekend; first time going to Ramencon, no ramen offered though , first Indiana con for Ciara and me; No Journal…
Con+Alt+Delete (2015) 3-Day weekend; first time neither Ciara nor I participated in their masquerade, first time I had an actual purchased cosplay to wear, Ciara’s first time donning Lolita fashion; No Journal…
Anime Central 2015:
(I have a more thorough summary in the last journal if you’d like that better than a bulleted list)
Ciara got our spots reserved to participate in the ACen Masquerade for the first time
We got our armor cosplays from C+A+D 2014 fixed up & updated with more realistic, painted-on weathering/damaged effects
Ciara’s childhood friend, Ashley, came along to ACen for the first time since I met Ciara in 2013
We started Saturday by attending a panel about creating OC characters and universes
We went to get our outfits prejudged for the craftsmanship part of the masquerade
Ashley played the part of our “handler” due to our bulky cosplays
We went on stage and gave it all we got to show how impressive DMG the Dragon Knight and Dark Flare Knight can be
Due to the steep competition however, we sadly didn’t make the cut, but we did our best
Sunday brought its usual “post-con depression” feelings but we tried to make the best of it
Ciara had her Kantai Collection, Atago outfit and I wore my “closet cosplay” Shiny Umbreon
We went to Samurai Dan’s self-defense class
We looked for Sunday deals in the vendor and artist alley area
We bought tickets for next year’s ACen
We stopped by Panda Express at an expressway “oasis” on our way home, in full cosplay.
[Insert future thumbnails here]Anime World Expo 2015:
Not sure if it was, but based on the name I wonder if it’s the new Anime World Chicago (my first convention) from 2012?
Happened on William’s, birthday weekend so I bought him his badge as a gift
We divided into groups to do our own things for part of the con; William & I and Ciara & Katie
William and I participated in Samurai Dan’s swordsmanship class and got to go at each other with our Bokens
We spent a majority of time in the vendor/artist area talking and patronizing the merchants
William got involved in the Video Gaming area for most of the convention
Ciara and Katie participated in the scavenger hunt event the con had set up
They went to a “Mizuhiki Knot” panel where they made intricate little braid-like designs using extremely fine, iridescently colored, paper tubes
They also went to an educational/history of kimonos panel and Ciara got to try on a Yukata
Eventually we all came back together and went to the Masquerade; Ciara participated with her Sailor Venus cosplay while I used my Shiny Umbreon “closet cosplay”
(I was going to use my Dark Flare Knight cosplay but a miscommunication before the convention resulted in me not bringing it due to thinking I wasn’t able to participate in the Masquerade)
Ciara and Katie went to a coloring panel that continued into a Copic Marker panel of which I joined in on
We all participated in a Cards Against Humanity panel for the first time at a convention, hosted by Samurai Dan and his wife Jillian…and their Akitas were there.
Sunday morning we went to Samurai Dan’s “Samurai vs. Ninja” panel and a little later to both Dan and Jillian’s “Akita” panel!
I went to the consecutive Copic Marker panel on Sunday to learn even more and color in the outline drawings I had done Saturday
Subsequent to much deliberation over the weekend, at the “Tasty Peach Studios” www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=t… booth, by Sunday, I had purchased everything they had “Tofusagi” save the necklace/s and hair clips. >.<
The vendor Ciara and I met at MNC 2013, who took our photos for that “AnimeWorld.com website, was actually here; we hadn’t seen him since and talked quite much; he suggested we come to RamenCon so we made plans for it
[Insert future thumbnails here]RamenCon 2015:
First time going to this convention since hearing so much about it over the years
Ciara and I chose to drive back and forth each day since it wasn’t that far away…next time we are booking a room due to how that “saving money” attempt made getting to certain early panels impossible. -_-
Due to the host discovering instant ramen actually has an expiration date, the “free ramen for everyone” had to be canceled
The “Pokémon Snap” event started out fun but turned into a frustrating flop due to:
Some obnoxious people moving some of the hidden Pokémon images out of their set places causing confusion
The hotel staff removing some of the images since the event had been put up over a month before the con;
Said problems causing us to miss out on panels because of hunting for images taking too long
Aside from the above problems, it was still a really good con
For the weekend Ciara wore her purchased-cosplays of Meer Camble (Gundam Seed Destiny), and Chi (Chobits); the manga styled outfit, and her created cosplay Pikachu gijinka, while I cosplayed my closet-cos Shiny Umbreon again, and my OC Guardian of Cliffton getup
We attended a couple Q&A panels for J. Michael Tatum and actually got some items autographed!
We saw many good cosplays/cosplayers
Among all the Vendors and Artists, kojika was here (the person I first met at my first MNC back in 2012) and for the first time since MNC 2012, I finally made another commission, this time for a iPhone 6 case (due to now having a phone)
We went to a Lolita fashion show
Samurai Dan hosted the Masquerade; we only watched this time, wanting to take a break from the stresses of participating
We attended our second Cards Against Humanity (CAH) panel with Samurai Dan and Jillian and this time some of the guests of honor, like J. Michael Tatum and John St. John, were there to participate and read out the white-card responses the audience groups turned in each round
There was a restaurant inside the Radisson (the hotel hosting the con) that actually had menu specials in honor of the con and we ate there a couple of times during the weekend
[Insert future thumbnails here]Phone case full artCon+Alt+Delete 2015:
Our third year at this pre-Christmas convention and the second year that Ciara and I got to spend the 3-day weekend together; just the two of us
One of the nice things about this convention is the “Con Suite” with its free instant ramen, rice, and soda
After getting to the convention and checking in we both had to get ready; it took a couple hours to do all the makeup and prep work
This was Ciara’s first time donning Lolita fashion and my first time having an actual purchased cosplay
Friday, Ciara wore her personal favorite, lavender variant, “Dolly Cat” print (by Angelic Pretty) Lolita dress while I cosplayed as Mikazuki Munechika from the online Japanese game, Touken Ranbu
Due to not being ready to go until after 3 p.m. we decided to spend the majority of our time perusing the vendors and artist alley since it was rather large compared to the last two conventions
In the evening we went to a sort of nostalgic panel about old cartoon programs called “The Toonight Show”
Next we went to a Lolita panel about how you can still wear the fashion without it costing a fortune; it’s all about knowing where to look
Strange as it was, the CAH panel was Friday night, but it wasn’t any less enjoyable with Dan and Jillian as hosts
Saturday, we first went to a Pokémon panel about its history with players over the years and where it’s headed in the future
We then got our outfits on for the day, I was Mikazuki Munechika again while Ciara was a casually dressed Super Sonico
We were a little late but we still attended the “Who’s Line is it Anime” panel; the Anime version of the TV show “Who’s Line is it Anyway” and it was humorous as always
I wanted to go to the Vic Mignogna panel at 3 p.m. but we ended up losing track of time and just spent the next few hours in the Dealers room/Artist Alley
Due to a busy year and my work schedule not allowing for us to get any new outfits created in time, this was the first year since we started going to this convention that neither Ciara nor I participated in the Masquerade -_-
So as not to become any more depressed over the Masquerade thing, we went to Samurai Dan’s “History of Sharp Shiny Pointy Things” panel instead, and got to see and learn about all the different types of Japanese swords Dan and his family own and know about, including his 700 year old “Water Dragon”
Subsequent to Dan’s panel and me buying one of his CDs and getting it autographed, we headed back to our room early, ordered dinner, and watched “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”
(We would have done more after eating but nothing really peaked our interest and we had to get ready and packed to check out of the hotel Sunday morning)
Sunday, we got dressed, packed up my truck, and checked out
Ciara now donned her second Lolita dress, this time the brown variant of Angelic Pretty’s “Classic Fairy Tales” print…while I wore my “Tasty Peach Studios, Tofusagi” ensemble.
The first thing we did was peruse the Dealers and Artists for the last time, looking for Sunday deals where available
Once it was time, the first of the two panels we planned to attend was one on “Fairy Kei” Fashion; another Japanese fashion like Lolita, but less restrictive when it comes to “cords” and not as pricy
The Fairy Kei panel ended early so we used the extra time to get some ramen and rice for the last time
We then went to a panel to learn about “How to go to Japan, for cheaper than you would expect”; it was fairly informative but I still would like to know more.
While waiting for Closing Ceremonies to start, I saw Vic Mignogna for the first time all weekend, but he was on his way out so I couldn’t ask for a photo in time. :/
Closing Ceremonies began and ended, and then Post-Con Depression PCD set in on the way home; *sigh* back to reality
[Insert future thumbnails here]
And now for the rest of the life events, in as close to chronological order as possible.My Grandmother’s 90th Birthday
June 12, 2015
My last remaining grandparent, my grandmother on my mother’s side, turned 90 years old on June 12th
. Although we didn’t have the party until the next day, it was still a grand event indeed; where many of my more distant relatives came to celebrate. Sadly, the past year, her memory and physical health are truly starting to fade more and it’s painful to watch.
However, God has still granted her many blessings and this long of a life thus far, and I pray she will, God willing, be with us for a while longer.Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions
June 20, 2015
Ciara managed to reserve the tickets a few months in advance and once the day came for the event, we, she especially, could barely contain our excitement. I hadn’t been to the city (Chicago) in a while and after enduring that horrid traffic, I think I know why.
Nevertheless, it was well worth the drive; I had never been to the Chicago theater before and just the grand architecture was a sight to behold. The symphony was even more amazing as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra took us through each of the Pokémon games, through the series, with select songs played in full instrumental splendor complimented by the visuals they had displayed from the games, on the big screen; it was really quite amazing to see how the games’ graphics changed over the years. Had it not been for Ciara getting me more into the franchise by having me start playing Pokémon Yellow, Black, and X, I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate this symphony quite as much as I did!
[Insert future thumbnails here]Figure Collection
July 7, 2015 Onward
For the longest time, the Dark Magician Girl figure was the only one I ever owned…then I met Ciara and we started going to more Anime Conventions. I got a Saber Lily (Fate/Stay Night franchise) figure at C+A+D 2014, but I still only had the 2 figures and that was it. I later got a Shimikazi (Kantai Collection) and a Super Sonico (from Ciara) figures at ACen 2015, but my collection still only had the 4 statues. It wasn’t until Ciara helped me get an OC butterfly girl figure ( myfigurecollection.net/item/23…
) that my figure collecting really started to take off. I now have figures for Feena Fam Earthlight, Hatsune Miku, and a random assortment of others that I’ve acquired via conventions and online. I also have all the new DMG figures as well as a couple of Fire Emblem “Nendoroids” on preorder, all thanks to Ciara’s knowledge and avidness in the figurine field.
[Insert future thumbnails here]Only the leftmost case has my figures; the rest are Ciara’sJapan Day
July 18, 2015
This Japanese cultural event is something Ciara and I attended last year and was where we preordered our ACen 2015 badges. This year (past year now) we went again but took my younger brother, William along for the experience. They changed the venue to the Arlington Race Course which I’m not sure helped; at least, I felt it was better where they had it in 2014, but we still tried to make the best of it. Ciara and I came with the intention of participating in the little cosplay contest they had, and that is what we eventually did…after the nasty storms finished blowing through the area. >_> Nevertheless, we enjoyed the cultural experience of the day; the events, the demonstrations, and especially the cuisine; once you’ve had real ramen, it’s hard to go back to the instant kind. Allis Chalmers WD Tractor
August 15, 2015
I’m not sure how many years I have wanted to own a nice antique farm tractor, but it’s surely been for 10-15 years if not more. Well, after a few months of saving up money from my new job, and after looking around both online and in the areas I drove through while on my job, I finally came upon this ad on Craigslist for an Allis Chalmers WD and I didn’t want to pass it up. For me, I had certain criteria I needed to adhere to; the tractor needed to be in working shape, (not a rust bucket or something being parted out) it preferably should be 2k or less, and it needed to be within driving distance (what I mean by that is it needed to be close enough to my house that I could drive the tractor back home if possible, since I don’t have a trailer and my truck wouldn’t handle the weight even if I did). Nonetheless, after finding the Craigslist ad, deciding it was my best option in current time, and making sure I had the money available, I made the phone call and began the process of setting up meeting times to see the tractor. When all said and done, I turned in my cash for the driver’s seat and with my mother following in her car just to be safe, I drove my new “toy” home from Cedar Lake, IN.
[Insert future thumbnails here]112thAnnual Will County Fair
August 26-30, 2015
Ciara and I participated in the County fair last year and we well we did fairly well for our first time competing, so we decided to give it another go. Due to the AWX coming up the same weekend, we knew we wouldn’t be able to be their all the days, but we still made sure we had all our goods ready for the competition. Ciara resubmitted her fleece hat from last year (since it didn’t win 1st place previously) along with another fleece hat, a couple of fleece scarves, a fleece blanket, and a coffee creamer that she pained to be in theme with the fair. I spent Spring and Summer trying to grow most of my entries, like my popcorn, sunflowers and beets, but I also entered my one big foliage houseplant, an old newspaper, and a large sheep pillow that I worked on up to the very last minute (with some help in the last very minute due to the fact I had work the morning of the fair and couldn’t personally take my items for judging)
. Only our second year competing, but I feel we did quite well; Ciara got a 1st
place on her hats, a 1st
on her scarves, and a 2nd
on her themed creamer, while I got a 2nd
and two 3rd
places on my sunflowers, a 1st
on my beets, a 2nd
on my popcorn, a 1st
on my houseplant, and a 1st
on my sheep pillow…plus, to my star struck amazement, a large, purple, Best of Show ribbon for the pillow! Only two years competing and I got a Best of Show; not too shabby.
[Insert future thumbnails here]Anime World Expo 2015
August 28-30, 2015
[See Brief Convention Summary above]RamenCon 2015
September 18-20, 2015
[See Brief Convention Summary above]3 Birthdays
October 7, 2015
Well, as some of you may know/recall, I turned a quart of a century old this past October. What you don’t know is that I inadvertently was given 3 parties.
On the day of, the 7th
, Ciara’s family did a little party thing for me in honor of my day since my family wasn’t able to do anything until the weekend. It wasn’t big but it was still nice and kind of them to do and they even had a little cake and a couple gifts. Then on the 9th
, my family took me out to eat and we had our little family party with cake and gifts. And that was it…at least that is what I truly thought; I was content, I had what I felt was all I needed, and even had had a party from my girlfriend’s family; what more could I ask for?
Well, on the 10th
, I had gone a few places earlier in the day, and then Ciara went with me to the store later on so I could get some stuff for work. We came back to her house in the evening and while coming inside, things looked darker than normal. Before I could really ask anything however, as I came around the corner into the kitchen area, I got blasted with the words “Happy Birthday!” from not only my immediate family, but also my girlfriends family including a couple of her cousins whom I had met in the past. This was truly the first “surprise party” I had ever been given and I just stood there for half a minute with mouth agape trying to take it all in. Both my family and Ciara’s had been planning the grand celebration for a few weeks and I had been completely oblivious to it. This definitely will be a birthday I remember. ^.^Contacts
October 31, 2015
Ever since I started wearing glasses I swore I’d never get contacts because I just couldn’t imagine jabbing something into my eye, especially not some little clear disk that I feared would get stuck on my eyeball or lost behind it. Well, it had come time to get new glasses again because my prescription had been out of date for quite a while. However, instead of just glasses, Ciara insisted I get fitted for contacts because it would be more beneficial to costuming, especially for characters that don’t have glasses (which is the majority of them). I was very hesitant during the weeks leading up to actually making an appointment at Walmart’s vision center because I really and truly was not ready to do the whole contact thing…yet a part of me agreed they would be more beneficial to the whole cosplay hobby. Needless to say, when Halloween came, of which happened to be the day both (Ciara had needed to get her eyes checked too) of our eye appointments were set for, with a big gulp I signed the papers that signified I was going to be fitted for contacts. I was extremely nervous when it came to trying on the trial pair of contacts for the first time, and I struggled immensely in the beginning, but since that day, I’ve gotten much better and I have to agree, the contacts came in very handy at C+A+D.Con+Alt+Delete 2015
December 18-20, 2015
[See Brief Convention Summary above]
If you have managed to make it this far, congratulations!
You lasted this entire journal without giving up or running away screaming in insanity, and for that I thank you.
Again I’m sorry about the lengthy journal, but it’s the result of not being able to post more often, thus I have to slam you with all this information at once. -_-;