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I know All-Con is a month in our rear-view mirror, but I hand-wrote this post and it's been sitting on my desk collecting dust. Might as well upload the damn thing!

Short All-Con report )
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Yeah, as if.
Don't ask why I haven't posted in a month. I could cite half a dozen lame, half-baked reasons.
Anyways, life is the same as I last reported. Working out of town, no social or romantic life back home, etc etc.
The only bit of new news is that I'm a mere week away from my trip to Japan. A few dingbats I know are saying, "You're not going to Japan! The whole nation is fucked up!" I know they're wrong, but it pisses me off to have their ignorance raining on my parade. I don't care if I get off the plane and spend my entire 10 days filling sandbags and working at a soup kitchen; I'M GOING TO HAVE A JAPAN ADVENTURE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
I kinda gave up on the crash-course-Rosetta-Stone a week or two ago when it became obvious I wasn't going to do a John-Travolta-from-'Phenomenon' and learn the language in record time. So I'll just have to rely on the cosmopolitan-ality of the Tokyo-ites to make up for my lingual ignorance.
Even though I know Japan's gonna be a whole other level of fun and adventure, I still feel like I've gotta jam-pack as much fun as I can into my last week here State-side. SXSW is coming up; I plan to spend at least one night checking that out. Next weekend is Anime Matsuri and All-Con. My friends seem to be equally split on which con they're going to. It apparently boils down to: cosplay or drinking. I haven't put together any great new costumes so I'm leaning towards the drinking con. Hell, if it's my last chance to hang with my friends for awhile, you better believe I'm gonna booze it up with them.
So yeah LJ, that's all I have to say for now. Sorry for the recent dearth of entertainment. Life is just dull often sometimes.
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Woof.
It feels like all week I’ve been playing “Catch-Up.” With the internet, work, home stuff, family, friends, etc. Heck, I haven’t even posted in a week. So whaddya say we get that Louisianime post out of the way while I can still partially remember it?

Louisianime )


CLICK ON THE PIC TO SEE THE ALBUM

P.S. I've almost finished editing my Dragon*Con pictures so they'll be up soon . . . ish.
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I’m in a place called Hogansville right now, taking a lunch break on my very long drive back home to Austin. I think I’ll dictate my D*C report while I’m driving; that should help keep me awake. The rest of my Dragon*Con buds are headed back to Dallas, so I’m on my own. The drive back won’t be nearly as fun without their company. So in honor of our time together I thought I'd share the "minutes" of our drive out here.

Minutes )
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I made it home. The actual trip back was pretty nice, but once I got HOME home, it was a turd fest.
traveling gripes )
That was yesterday; it sucked. But it's in the past. Today I'm doing much better. (My sleep schedule is ba-zonkers, but that's to be expected.) Now! it's time to get ready for San Japan. Mm-hm, yes, mm-hm. I've got two (and a half?) days to get my cosplay done. Yikes! I know most people get that procrastinator's panic and can blast through a costume, but not me. I work at one speed and I get bored/distracted often, plus I refuse to take shortcuts. So it's gonna be a tight schedule. But hell, as much bitching as I've done in the past few weeks about NOT being able to cosplay, I'd be a punk-ass hypocrite if I DIDN'T burn like a cosplay supernova for the next couple days.
First, shopping for supplies, and then IT'S ON!
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Are most Texas people going to San Japan? I've never really paid attention to that con before, but it happens to be the same weekend I'll be back home. So if that's where everyone's gonna be, then you can bet your grandma's last dollar that I'll be there too. Buuuuut if all the cool kids are staying at home, I should start making other plans.
So I'm just wondering who's doing what. I only have one chance to have a fun weekend; I don't want to choose poorly!
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A little before 5 pm yesterday, I got this email from Boss #2. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

email )

Canada, huh? Much like the Norse, I have only made a few brief invasions into that frosty land and retreated quickly afterwards. Aside from Anime North, I really have no desire to go to Canada. I would be happy to live my life as a Texan, proud and ignorant of other cultures. If I come to understand Canadiens, I won’t be able to make jokes about them anymore, and then what?
Boss #2 offhandedly commented that it’s so cold there that ballpoint pens don’t work up there, as if to scare me off. I ain’t afeared. Just because I don’t want to go doesn’t mean I’m afraid.
I'm mildly annoyed that this might scuttle my con/cosplay plans but I'm used to this treatment by now. And anyways, I figure that between this Canada job and the England one (which I haven’t heard anything about for awhile), I’ve got double the chance of getting some solid, steady work for the near future. Personally I’d rather be on a ship in the North Sea sitting in front of a computer than frostbitten in a Canadian tundra, but I’ll take what I can get. To quote Flapjack, "Adventure’s the life for me!"
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Talking about work )
Now that I've been with my company for five years, my vacation allotment has been bumped from 10 days a year to 15 days a year. Wooo! Now I don't have to be so damned stingy with the days I spend at cons.
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random babbling )

I kept meaning to write a post announcing my return to Dallas for the past couple weeks, but there just hasn't been anything to write about really. I'm here for the sequel of that previous job. The biggest difference between the two jobs is that this one takes place in the ass-crack of the summer. OMG. Even though the hours and the physical work ain't that bad, by the end of the day I'm exhausted, just from sweating so damn hard. My sweat glands are pooped. It doesn't leave me much energy to spare to go out and hang with Cameron or do anything other than wash, eat, and go to bed.
The drill crew I'm working with this time is very different. I was warned that the driller was a drill sergeant, but only now am I fully appreciating what that meant. He's hard on his helpers, which means they do whatever they're told (by him or me) without grumbling, which is good, but even I'm a bit wary of the driller and I don't even work for him. The worst part though are the 15 minute lunch breaks. He decides what we're eating that day and sends one helper to get lunch. By the time we finish chewing, it's back to work! I miss having an hour to myself in the middle of the day in the air conditioning. My second favorite part of the day, gone.
On the positive side, all this overtime and per diem kicks up my pay by about %50 per month and that's worth the fatigue. I have been thinking about getting a DSLR camera soon; I'm tired of trying to coax decent pictures out of my point-and-shoot. I think I'll use the bulk of my excess pay to pay off my truck. It would be nice to not have to worry about that anymore. I had thought I'd be spending my evenings putting together a costume for AFest, but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe when I get more adjusted to this schedule I'll be able to scrounge up enough energy to do it.
Oh yeah, when I got back from AX, I got a little email from Southwest Airlines saying I'd finally earned a free roundtrip flight. I'll admit, my first reflexive response was something along the lines of, "Free out of state con! Woo! Acen? Otakon? D*Con? Who knows!" Not too long afterwards I realized that it'd probably be smarter to save the flight for something more responsible. I think I'll let Liz have it. She's been planning to go see her BFF in New Mexico this summer and although I think road trips are awesome fun, it'd make the trip a lot easier for her if she flew.
Hmmm, I can't think of anything else interesting. That must mean it's bed time. G'night!
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Wow. It’s already the end of August. That means the year’s mostly over too, by my reckoning. Woo for Labor Day weekend and having Monday off. My birthday is also this Sunday. I remember the last time my birthday and Labor Day coincided, I was like . . . 8 or something, and I thought that everyone was taking Monday off because it had been my birthday the day before. I thought that holiday was for me.
So we’re not going to Afest this year, primarily due to money. I had thought about going up for a day, Saturday or Sunday, just to check out the cosplay and say hi to everybody and harass my brother and steal my DVDs and games back, plus maybe some fabric shopping. But I shouldn’t be spending money on frivolous things right now so we’ll just be staying in Austin this weekend. Star seems dead-set on making this an awesome birthday weekend. I hope she doesn’t spend too much money or effort because then I’d feel guilty and also obligated to make sure her birthday two weeks from now is even better than mine. I think she’ll like what I got her. ;)

P.S. And speaking of parties, I just finally got around to posting the pics I took at CC's birthday dinner last week. Hopefully someone got pics of when everyone went out afterwards???
http://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i180/astillar/ACDF/2008/

AX 09 thoughts (already?!?) )

Gwuh

Jul. 10th, 2008 01:16 am
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Sheesh. I've been editing and uploading AX pics all evening. It's already 1 am, well past my bedtime, and I haven't even started my con report yet. Heh. I guess that's what I get for farting around all day. Right now all I've got for you are pics and one of the random videos I took.
I swear I'll get that report out tomorrow. (Oye, it sounds like I forgot to bring my homework to class or something.)

Pics: AX Pics

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I'm finally back home from AX, safe, tired, but happy. In a nutshell, it was Awesome. Pics and detailed report tomorrow. And now, precious sleep.

Bleh

Jun. 26th, 2008 07:51 am
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It's been soooo difficult getting my mind into work this week, because of AX coming up. Every day, in the back of my head, this is playing on a continuous loop, "I don't wanna be here, ♪ I'm going to AX, ♫ how many more hours till I get off? ♪ Why even start working on this if I'm not gonna finish it this week? ♫ Let someone else do this. ♪ La de da loo loo. ♫ IWANNAGETOUTOFHERE! . . . . How many more hours?"
I try and skate through each day, doing the minimum amount of work possible. It ain't easy and I'm probably risking a butt-chewing, but like I said, it's so hard to give a crap about work right now.
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And I've got a lot to do to get ready for it. Of course there's the cosplay, which may or may not happen; we lost a whole week being sick. I need to take my truck in this weekend to get a blinker fixed and it's inspection renewed. But once that's done, it'll be ready to go. I know some people are hoping to find a vehicle we can all pile into for the road trip, but I don't know if that's a realistic hope. So I'm getting ready for my back-up plan in the meanwhile. I already got the trailer hitch and a U-Haul reservation, just in case.
I kinda want to get a new camera too, before AX. I'm tired of all the noise that shows up in the pictures from my current camera. But I could only allow myself to buy a new camera if I lost or broke my current one. Unfortunately, the one I have is a tank. It's shock-proof, crush-proof, and water-proof, so unless I have a total dee-dee-dee moment, the two of us will be stuck with each other for awhile yet.
Whereas I simply _want_ a new camera for AX, I know I'll _need_ a new mp3 player for the long-ass roadtrip out there. That is definitely vital. I don't want an iPod though; does anyone know of a good alternative? The Zune maybe? I dunno, that's from Microsoft (i.e., Windows) and I was pissed at how over-complicated my last mp3 player was. I don't want more of that.
I like to think I'm now at the tail end of this infection. Star's symptoms are worse, but she went to the doctor yesterday and got some meds so she should be getting better soon. This experience has educated me. I'm not gonna go through this again. From now till AX, I'm going on a healthy, immune-boosting regimen. Vitamins, Vitamin-C supplements, etc. My immune system is gonna be super saiyan by the time I get to LA. Just you watch!
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Another week’s quickly gone by. Working evenings and weekends will do that for ya. I haven’t done much cosplay work as a result. Been slowly collecting the items I need for my Azumanga cosplay. Most of it’s coming from Goodwill, though I had to give up and buy the tie from Wal-Mart. I still feel like I’m cheating when I buy clothes for cosplay; guess I’ve been making costumes from scratch for too long. Progress on baby GIR is slow, but he’ll be finished for A-kon. Maybe I should get Star to cosplay CrazyHoboGrandpa Zim to go with GIR. She’s pointed out that I’m taking two mascot costumes to both A-kon and AX. Wearing two mascots at summer cons . . . I must hate myself. I don’t know about the A-kon walk-on anymore for Pucca and Garu; Star’s reluctant about that idea, probably for all the right reasons.
Saturday we had an ACDF picnic. It was an ACDF event, but a lot of people dropped out at the last minute so it wound up being a small gathering. Star and I of course, plus CC and Cat, and Levi showed up towards the end. We had a lot more food than the four of us could eat but we sure tried. I ate so much that I wanted to take a nap on the picnic blanket afterwards. Instead, we made a human pyramid, pushed CC down a hill and taped the feat while Star wore the blanket as a cape around the park, and then we walked down to the river. The sign said “No Swimming Allowed,” but there sure was a lot of wading and floating and splashing and other verbs you’d associate with swimming. There were a bunch of people there and nearly an equal number of dogs. The five of us couldn’t really think of anything else to do and we ended up dog-watching. Dog-watching, not people-watching. Why? Because dogs can’t understand English so you can give them stupid names like Snausages and Tiger Balls and Sir Humps-a-lot. Yeah, we must’ve spent an hour or so just watching the dogs and making up stories for them and their owners. Next time we do that, I’m bringing beer. As warm and sunny as it was out there, I’ve decided that I want our next outdoor event to be another float or anything that’ll let us get in the water. The only problem is that I don’t see many available weekends with A-kon and AX coming up. Dunno, dunno, dunno.
It wasn’t until we got home that Star and I realized how glowing pink we were. The sun is racist, picking on us white folk like that.

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