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Mana's Blog

  • Mana's Blog has 25 entries (0 private) and has been viewed 26,193 times.
  • Lottery Post members have made 38 comments in Mana's Blog.
  • Mana is a Standard member

September 3, 2004, 2:34 pmEgged!

Early this morning, I found that our house, my car (2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse), my sister's car (Honda Accord), and my mum's car (Toyota 4Runner) got egged by someone(s) .... (Fortunately, no Corvettes were harmed in this incident)

God, egg is HARD to remove from cars and it smells bad too. I wanna know who did that so I can send em' straight to the police or something. I'm just .. ugh, what the heck did we do to someone? -.-

Big deal that if I look weird, but it's no reason to egg one's car and house ... or something
Entry #25
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September 2, 2004, 10:28 amThings and whatnot

Just posting on a linux box here ^^;

Not a whole lot going on after my continued work at the tech support call center and MIS department at my old high school. Store moving slowly but going as planned....

Been dropping by Lotterypost but haven't been posting up as of late on any of my statuses. Going to be trying to from time to time... but I do lead a busy life these days *smirk*

Hopefully I could get the new server set up at the school pretty soon, then all I gotta do is just relax, and occasionally run around and seek out broken computers.

(For those that don't know, daytime, I do MIS for a high school, nighttime I do tech support for 35mm cameras...)
Entry #24
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August 19, 2004, 7:36 amFloatiness

Mmn... been having to take up a job at Canon camera support while I sort issues with the store that's being started up. My hours are going to shift at my job at Canon from 4pm to 1030pm x.x; Gives me time to do some preperations on the store I'm starting... but i had to get a job to get parents off my back on having no work for a while.

Trying to drop by here at least once or twice a day now, but what can I say when life gets the better of ya' ^^;

Last Edited: August 19, 2004, 7:37 am

Entry #23
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August 4, 2004, 7:49 amWhoo.. what a week

Wow, I havent' posted here in a while.  Well... I guess I shall explain my short hiatus..

Most of the week, last week, I found out, the hard way that my city had installed red light cameras >.< ... so I had to get another job pretty quick that would pay my ticket up pretty fast because it was so close to Otakon, the anime convention I went to last weekend. Gotta love Canon call centers. u.u I'm still there, which will explain some things...

As for Otakon itself, it was fantastic ... meeting quite a few people of 'my kind' and then some in the Baltimore Convention Center. Heh heh... those that *are* from Baltimore may not exactly know what is going on ... I hear some people are confusing the convention for a "D&D convention." .... No ... it's an ah-neh-may convention.

The weather was supposed to be rainy, but for the most part of the Friday and Saturday weekend, the weather stayed pretty clear enough so the gigantic lines that trailed around 3 blocks surrounding the convention center can go outside... Sooo many Otaku... hehe..

I think I'll copy/paste the article about L'Arc~en~Ciel that was on the Baltimore Sun:


For its fans, L'Arc-en-Ciel's pernormance here Saturday - the Japanese rock band's first in the United States - is an event of global, perhaps even galactic, magnitude.

Message boards are ablaze with international chatter about the 1st Mariner Arena concert, the crowning event of the 11th annual Otakon anime convention, taking place tomorrow through Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center. Some 20,000 participants are expected to attend. The event, in its 11th year, includes panel discussions, costume competitions, films, dances and concerts devoted to anime, the Japanese cartoon art norm turned total lifestyle.

More than a few L'Arc-en-Ciel followers from as far away as Tokyo, Peru, Spain and Finland say they are coming for the concert alone. "I never would have even considered journeying across the country for a convention, but when I saw that our boys would be there ... well, that did it for me," wrote one quivering California fan on an Otakon Web board. "God, I'm praying for a meet-and-greet. But will I be able to go through with it? Do you guys understand that we will be looking them in the eye?? I'm not sure if I can do that."

Otakon affords L'Arc-en-Ciel (French for rainbow) a built-in audience among convention participants who know the group through theme songs they have composed for Japanese anime television series including GTO, DNA2 and Full Metal Alchemist. The 2001 sci-fi film Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within also contains a L'Arc song titled "Spirit Dreams Inside."

The quartet has become wildly popular in Japan and around the Pacific Rim since its 1991 beginnings within Osaka's "visual kei" rock scene, where musicians put equal time into their look as their sound. "Back then, the color of choice among independent musicians was definitely black only," according to a group history. "Contrarily, L'Arc-en-Ciel dressed themselves in white. This led to the birth of the term and phenomena of shiro kei, or 'white group.'" Naturally, loyal fans came to shows dressed in white as well.

L'Arc's U.S. debut is a possible bridge to an even larger following. "I hope the U.S. audience will enjoy our show," the band's vocalist and front man hyde says by way of a publicist who translated his comments. "I'm not sure what kind of audience we have in the U.S., but I hope that our music will reach the anime crowd and beyond."

L'Arc-en-Ciel's "appeal is basically everything. I love their image, their outfits and hairstyles and how they keep changing," says Jose Rivera, a 20-year-old University of Minnesota sophomore coming to the show. "The band members are all hilarious and/or intriguing in their own ways both as icons and as people," says Rivera, who as a male L'Arc fan considers himself one of a rare breed.

"When I found L'Arc-en-Ciel, I had already found some other J-rock and visual kei bands I enjoyed," says Naomi Baxter, a Gainesville, Fla., resident who hopes to get to the concert. The group "was just far enough away from the norm, and it had a good alt rock sound."

The band has emerged from its glam rock origins and small label repertoire to become an avatar of Japanese rock 'n' roll, known as "J-pop" or "J-rock." But unlike young phenoms plucked from obscurity to become the country's next boy or girl band sensation, L'Arc-en-Ciel has matured into a versatile group that takes its cues from hard rock, pop, techno and other genres. "Each member makes the music that they want to make," explains hyde, who says the first tune he ever played on a guitar was by Motley Crue.

The group has just released its ninth album. Smile, in the United States on Tofu Records, a Sony label. "They're really trying to build beyond the niche market," says Jonathan Harmon, Otakon's director of guest relations.

Over the years, the group has become "more universal in the way of U2," even as it has retained its Asian identity, Harmon says. Their music "taps into that quintessential notion of sadness," he says. "It originally goes back to Buddhism, and this concept that everyone eventually dies. Life to some extent is suffering."

Whether or not L'Arc's sound may bring a Japanese sensibility to American rock 'n' roll is immaterial, hyde says. "I don't think it matters where rock music came from. For instance, animation wasn't even born in Japan [and yet it is a sophisticated medium there]. What's good is good no matter where it came from."

The video for "Living in Your Eyes," a Smile track, depicts a tragic explosion (staged) in slow-motion reverse. It has a haunting, wistful quality that speaks to the more ruminative side of the band, which has recently regrouped after two years spent on independent projects. "Living in Your Eyes" "is an "expression of the fact that four of us got back together after a long break," hyde says. "It also expresses how we felt during the recording after coming back together."

The video may also capture the excitement and gratitude shared by fans like Rivera, who perhaps once feared that the group would never come together again, much less appear in the United States.

"I mean, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Rivera says. "You can only have a first concert once."


At Otakon, fans dress for excess
17,000 anime devotees are expected for the weekend
By Chris Kaltenbach
Sun Staff

To just throw on any old clothes is to miss the spirit of Otakon 2004, the 11th annual gathering of fans whose lives revolve, in ways unfathomable to some but perfectly understandable to them, around Japanese animation and other benchmarks of Far Eastern popular culture.

No, to really experience Otakon, you have to dress the part. Not that they won't let you inside the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend if you insist on sporting nothing more spectacular than a T-shirt and blue jeans; you pay your money ($55 for a weekend pass, $40 for today only, $20 for tomorrow), you can enjoy the dealers' room, the video rooms, the panel discussions and whatever else inspires you.

But fair warning: You're going to find yourself surrounded by young men and women dressed as their favorite animated characters, in costumes that often took days or weeks to create. And you're going to feel out of place.

"I really enjoy looking around and picking out my favorite characters," says 19-year-old Samantha Benya of Sykesville, who's come dressed in a costume lifted from the original Final Fantasy video game, complete with huge green (foam) mallet. "I like to think that it's really them."

And don't make the mistake of thinking this is just a few exhibitionist fans out for a good time. Organizers of Otakon, one of the largest such conventions in the country, expect upward of 17,000 people this weekend. Yesterday morning, as thousands of fans started to gather in anticipation of the noon opening of the dealers' room, at least a third were outfitted in full regalia.

"It's, like, more than Halloween," says Jenny Nichols, 22, who's come from Bowie dressed as the rabbit-like character Rabi-En-Rose - complete with pink tutu, oversized ears and dice atop her head - from the anime series Digi Charat (a quick tutorial in Japanese animation: Anime is movies and video, while manga is anime adapted to comic books and graphic novels). "You get to be somebody else for the day, and you can connect with people a lot more."

Some of the costumes can look pretty ferocious: There were a lot of cardboard swords, scabbards and other weapons on display, plenty of folks were garbed in Goth-like black, more than a few fangs and long fingernails were on display, and for some visitors ... well, let's just say they were a little on the creepy side.

"Yeah, my character, if he shows up, he does a lot of damage," says Adam Hennessy, a 27-year-old administrative assistant from Ringwood, N.J., who showed up dressed as Clarinet, the high priest of the magical army at the center of the series The Violinist of Hamlin. Well over 6 feet tall, Hennessy presented quite the picture in his purple and white robes and long yellow ponytail, wielding a crested staff even taller than he.

But fret not. Like everyone at Otakon, Hennessy is really pretty harmless. He's just a big fan of anime.

"The entire community is really friendly," he says, adding that anime "gives you a greater appreciation of another country and another culture."

For most otaku (the Japanese word for an obsessive fan of anything), that's really the appeal of anime and Japanese pop culture, says Terry Chu, convention chairman of Otakon 2004. "Our convention is a lot of people getting together to celebrate a lot of different aspects of a culture they admire. For me, I actually got drawn into [anime] because it's something so different from what a lot of our cultural artistic preferences can provide. ... It's something people haven't had exposure to."

At least half of the people who show up at Otakon, Chu adds, are first-timers, with little or no previous exposure to the sort of cultural experience the convention has to offer. Such ignorance, however, can't last long: By the end of Otakon 2004, visitors will have been able to hear concerts by the Japanese pop group L'Arc-en-Ciel (5 p.m. today at 1st Mariner Arena), attend advance screenings of two epics of Japanese cinema, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (9:30 tonight) and Hero (11 a.m. tomorrow), listen in on panel discussions of such topics as "Anime Stereotypes and You" and "Fifty Years of Godzilla," meet screenwriters and voice actors (who dub Japanese anime), even view original anime and manga artwork.

Sisters Sarah Marchegiani, 19, and Casey Ivanauskas, 11, hope to take in a little bit of everything over the weekend.

"I begged" to come, said Casey, who was itching to get inside the dealers' room and spend the $50 her dad had given her.

Her sister's plans were a little more pragmatic.

"Meeting hot men dressed in expensive clothes," she said. "This is a great way to grab guys and hug them."


Hehehe... ::Snickers:: Well.... it's one of those things you JUST gotta see... and I was there... running around in a schoolgirl uninorm...

Entry #22
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July 21, 2004, 7:15 amPrime Minister's Questions

I turned on the TV and was flipping around the channels, and I tuned into C-SPAN 2. Watching it... it has the British House of Commons on ... and it reminds me of Congress drunk that's getting work done o.o;

I kinda like it *snicker* ... If you don't know what I'm talking about, find that channel and see if the British House of Commons.. Just something of interest. ^_^

Last Edited: July 21, 2004, 7:19 am

Entry #21
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July 20, 2004, 6:58 amAhaha.. whoops!

... I had something long and drawn out of what happen to me the last couple days, but I lost the posting ^_^; So I'll do it in two bullets

  • Graduation from my lil dinky (but great) college ceremony was Saturday.
  • Went to King's Dominion on Sunday... really tired after playing a dancing game called "Dance Dance Revolution" for two hours with a few friends of mine.
  • Slept almost all day. Almost...
  • Okay, I can't count, there's four ^_^
Entry #20
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July 16, 2004, 8:19 amGuys and Drinks

When it comes to guys and drinks...the deal is, as always, very simple and clear cut:

Domestic Beer: He's poor and wants to get laid.
Imported Beer: He likes good beer and wants to get laid.
Wine: He is hoping that the wine will give him a sophisticated image to help him get laid.
Whiskey: He doesn't give a damn about anything but getting laid.
Tequila: He is thinking he has a chance with the toothless waitress.

Entry #19
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July 14, 2004, 9:50 pmWaveyy back and forth

So I'm playing a game called Civilization III.... and I'm playing the Romans. Then get smashed around by India. x.x;

Play again as the same civilization, and at least get four cities stabalized with the game...

... mm... it's a game I've been playing recently that I'm just now starting to get used to. I played Civilization II, but once again, rules have changed on meehh... and i gotta get used to not having "fundimentalism" as a norm of government (makes it a heck of a lot easier in the previous version).

ah well... *sing* yahho- - watashi wa kattaze! dah dah dah da-dah du-dah da-da....

... grr.. more thunderstorms. I'm starting to wonder if I'll get struck one day ...

Last Edited: July 14, 2004, 9:51 pm

Entry #18
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July 12, 2004, 8:37 amEhh... what to think ...

::Sigh:: I'm one of those undecided with regards of the election. I know I'm going to vote, but I really don't know who I'm going to pick. To me, the two main candidates (Bush and Kerry) have enough flaws and shot up with enough holes that I *wish* there was a viable third candidate.

I really don't like certain policies that have been passed forward through the Patriot Act and now the Patriot Act II is going to pull more civil liberties. And don't give me that "If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about." You gotta also remember "Ignorance of the law is no defense." If you think it's a good idea, let's keep a police radar on you whenever you go anywhere, have a complete audit of your assets every so often at random, have every piece of book that you borrow out from the library looked at, etc.. ... I also don't think it's going to have any effect on any suicidal and politically motivated terrorists anyway....

I'm one of those people who download music, and noting that Ashcroft *ALSO* wants to crack down on that (it's #3 priority aside from terrorism and subversion), eh... i'm quite iffy on that... I like Bush, but I don't like some people that's dragged in behind him...

However, I *am* one of those people who walked out at Farenheight 9/11 (... i can't spell!), a very bad piece of fiction. It pissed me off on how Michael Moore showed how Iraq was all peaceful and whatnot before Bush.  Bull. That's just one big pile of bull. I really don't like the Bush bashing that's throwing around either. -.- The connection between the Saudis, bin Laden, and Bush is a huge stretch, at best. With regards of the yellowcake uranium from Africa: even if the intelligence was faulty, you still have to work with what you got... and that's what he got.

I don't like Kerry's positions either. ::Sigh:: I don't really like too much of his foreign policy issues... or even his regards of immigration to this country. My parents and relatives (they're all Asian) worked *very* hard to get their citizenship here, and it should be continued to be something that you should work hard to get. Maybe some help, but it still should be rigorous rather than a free ride in..

As you can see, I am quite divided... And you can see why I'm not really sure who to pick. I don't like Bush over issues... and I don't like Kerry over issues.. and I think both sides are paid by special interests that aren't really what I'd like either. I like Nader, but he ain't going anywhere this time (you might as well vote for Bush). -.- Unfortunately, sometimes I have the feeling that the issues aren't being important as much as the bashing that's going around at both ends.

Heh, I'd run, but I'll get shot up trying to run (plus I'm too young).... but if you want a real demon in office ... that's me xD

Last Edited: July 12, 2004, 8:47 am

Entry #17
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July 11, 2004, 9:21 amCrunch time!

Two weeks... till Otakon 2004... and I really should get started on my jumpsuit for the cosplay costume I'm going to be in. Cosplay? Basically, it's a term used when you dress up as a game or anime character, seen around conventions. It's a simple costume I'm wearing for this, but ... man, I gotta stop procrastinating.

Entry #16
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July 9, 2004, 9:41 pmExcerpts from The Drinkers Fault Finding Guide...

Symptom : Feet cold and wet.
Fault : Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Solution : Turn glass so that open end is pointing at ceiling.

Symptom : Bar moving.
Fault: You are being carried out.
Solution : Find out if you are being taken to another bar. If not complain loudly that you are being hi-jacked.

Symptom : Everything has gone dim.
Fault : The pub is closing.
Solution : PANIC!!

Entry #15
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July 9, 2004, 9:56 amStrange thing I got in my e-mail...

I know the following is a scam ... but did anyone around here get this same scam? (I will only post the first paragraph up...)

This communication to you is strictly
confidential, with due respect. Sorry at this
perceived confusion or stress you may have receiving
this letter from me, Since we have not known ourselves
or met previously. Despite that, I am constrained to
write you this letter because of the urgency of it.By
way of self introduction, I am Mrs. Sarah Kobe, the wife
of late Brigadier - Gen.Maxwell Kobe normer ECOMOG
ARMY COMMANDER [West African peacekeeping force in
Sierra Leone] who died in the Sierra Leone civil
disturbance [War]. My three daughters and I are
trapped in obnoxious custom and traditional norms..

Did anyone else get this? Yuck. The reason why I abridged this to only one paragraph is because of the possibility of mis-interpetation; I just posted just the first paragraph to get it identified. The sender is : sarahkobe [sarahkobe@egine.com]

Entry #14
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July 8, 2004, 8:21 amShort Item

Hmmm.. my car is doing weird things... I just noticed it.

Although my brakes work fine, I've been noticing that every so often, I hear light popping sounds when I use it, or let go of it to use the accelerator. I don't know what that is, but I will take it to the dealership garage to have it checked out... For that matter, my tires are balding, and I *really* need to wash my car; all the travelling I did really did something and I should get around to this sorta stuff. (and next time, take care of the car much better. Funny enough, I do get around to the 3000 mile oil change)

Then again, it could be that my car is possessed and needs to be sprinkled with holy water or something. Well, it needs to be sprinkled in water, period... but it seems already; it's been raining over here every other day. ::Shrugs:: It's just being weird ... -- but I better take alot better care of it if I decide I want to do some mods to it.

Entry #13
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July 7, 2004, 9:22 pmPomp and Circumstance

Mmn.. July 17th...  my graduation ceremony from my college... heehee.. I just picked up my cap and gown .. and my tickets for seating... Looks like we need more than just five tickets though. ^^;

I'm having a bit of a giddiness, though I really couldn't find a job through them for a while... so I'm just helping with my friends with that anime business.. which I like just as well *grin* ... Ah well!

Entry #12
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July 6, 2004, 10:32 amDante Inferno Test

Took this quick test someone showed me ^_^; I'm kinda surprised myself, but hey o.o

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Level | Score
Purgatory | Very High
Level 1 - Limbo | Moderate
Level 2 | High
Level 3 | Low
Level 4 | Very Low
Level 5 | Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis | Very Low
Level 7 | Low
Level 8- the Malebolge | High
Level 9 - Cocytus | Very Low

Level descriptions: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-innormation.html
Take the test: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv

Entry #11
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