Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Perilous Cheryl!

I hope you had a fantastic day in Boston! Here's a little something to get you thinking about how to celebrate your next big event. ARRRGH!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Catching up

I really have been in a stinky mood lately -- hence the few posts on the old blog. I hate to spread the hate around. But anyway, to catch up with what I've been doing. Gentle readers, expect this to be one my usual rambling forays into the tangents of my mind.

So, last Friday (the 6th), I went to the New York Comicon (Comiccon?). I must be getting older when I am irritated by how time-consuming it is to get into the city. C'mon! It's NYC, after all! Though I usually take the Metro North from Harrison, I wasn't certain that I would find parking so I went to New Haven and took the train from there. Mr. Gene, who I was meeting there, had already arrived, having taken an early Amtrak. The train ride was uneventful and upon exiting, got into NYC walking mode (ya know, the way Kate walks everywhere). I took the subway over to Times Square and then walked the blocks to the hotel I booked through The room was surprisingly big and a good deal -- even though I had to walk through a parking garage and then back outside to my room which overlooked a pool. Yes, it was a regular sized pool. It was as if they had grabbed a motel from a suburb and just plunked it onto West 42nd. Go figure.

Gene met up with me and unloaded all the goodies he had nabbed from the Con and then we walked over to the Javits Center. The previous day I had been mocked by a co-worker since my facebook image uses an anime pic that "I looked like someone who would go to a con." After I confirmed my attendence at such a place (reluctantly), she told me that she wished I could twitter the moment I stood in line behind a jedi. Well, there were no jedis (though one did appear soon after), but I stood in line behind three Ghostbusters. Their costumes were pretty cool with shining lights on their ghost catching thingies.

After receiving my credentials and lanyard, we entered the space. I've been to the Javits Center once before for the Book Expo America which had a lot of flash and promotional material, but this was pretty amazing. My feet hurt just looking at all the aisles. I made sure to hit all the manga booths although their presence was small at this con. Then, I dragged Gene through artists' alley where we saw who was the most popular by the lines forming in front of the tables. I was horrified that Bill Sienkiewicz's table was completely obscured by some other guy. I had to push through the fanboys so I could properly gush. Having never been at a proper con before and with no materials for him to sign (and I was even thinking that I would buy a sketch), he sensed my utter lost state and gave me a comic and signed it ("my gift to you."). What a nice guy!

Gene and I finally sat down at the "food court" which really consisted of sugar in all its varied forms and little of substance (except for philly cheese steaks but that is not of much substance anyway). I teased Gene about all his twittering: "What are you saying now, Gene? 'I'm twittering instead of talking to Wendy?'"

We had some interesting conversations with publishers and pseudo-academics. I only bought a copy of Action Philosophers #2 because it featured a really funny bit on Marx (I can't wait to show my students!). I managed to fend off all other purchasing bugs and the many, many freebies. I let Gene take all those (plus extras!).

After all of this, he had a meeting and I went to a panel by Vertical Publishing. I was bummed that I didn't win the signed editions of To Terra by Keiko Takemiya nor several volumes of Tezuka's Black Jack. In fact, it was quite suspicious that all the books went to people who had put their names in the bag last! I cry foul!

Then I attended the panel that Gene was a part of. The room was packed but the moderator did provide cupcakes which was welcome since I hadn't had much to eat that day. The panel had a lot of people on it and the connecting thread eluded me but seemed to be about teaching comics in all its facets (as an art, as a scholar, etc) and some research. Thankfully the talk did not descend into how scholars are ruining comics, blah blah blah. I enjoyed it though.

Afterwards, Gene and I went to a diner near the hotel and had yummy hamburgers and onion rings. You just got to love a town with true competition. No crappy one diner town for me! Then we spent the rest of the evening reading all of our items, passing out around 1. Thankfully I was so tired that when I heard the fanboys talking in the room next to me at 7:30 a.m., I didn't kill them. I just rolled over and went back to sleepyland.

A quick breakfast the next day and Gene was off to the Con again and I, to home. My only mishap was taking the first subway entrance I found which had the mark of the one I was looking for. I must have walked a mile underground to get to the shuttle to Grand Central!

All right, that's the story and I'm sticking to it. I was planning on talking about my casino trip today but I'm beat. So, here's the short side to the story -- I won 45 bucks and could have won/lost more if the idiots at the casino hadn't laid off so many people that we couldn't find another table to sit down at. In fact, blows were almost exchanged. Yegods, are people wanting to gamble.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I keep waiting

I keep waiting but the days don't seem to be getting any better. I think I've turned into one of those cranky teachers, complaining about "these kids today!" I had a lot of conferences with students, and most of them went well. But then I had to chew out one student for being such a sh*t in class. I think I could have handled it better, but I always think I can handle these events better. The trick is to grow from them and not brood as I am wont to do. As I like to say, "things would be so much easier if I didn't care."

Okay, in other news, I have been salivating over this book which depicts many layout sketches from Ghibli films. Last summer there was a big exhibit in Tokyo where I could have seen them in person (I wonder how good the security was...). The images are so amazing! But 50 bucks plus another 40 for shipping! egad! I will have to stop yelling at students so santa will bring me one.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New Blog

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a new blog for you to enjoy. My theme is anime and manga and any all news that crosses my computer and my brain connected to these topics. The title is Anime Cake (because we all like cake, right?). Many thanks for Elena for drawing that super super sweet and cute picture for the top. I feel all shoujo-ey.

I've just posted so go ahead and look. Yes, it's very pink. If it gets to be too much, I'll fool around with the colors more. I'm not much of a designer, ya know.