japanesedream_72: (morticia)
Well, another Monster-Mania is in the can. ^_^

This time, the only family member who could make it was my brother, Mark, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, Jennifer. Nice gal. ^^ They stayed at my place Fri. night (8/17), so we could set off early Sat. morning (the 18th). We chatted & watched tv & checked up on the Facebook commentary about the Fri. night portion of the convention. There was some disappointment expressed at some of the autograph prices, which made us a bit nervous, but we weren't deterred.

As it takes me ages & ages to get ready for anything, I got up early & got myself together. A coat of paint, a slap of powder, a little steam, shut off the lights & fans (it's been warm here lately), & we were on our way! But first, a stop at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.


Backed up by a little Bob Marley music, we made our way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, where they hold the NJ edition of the convention every year. The conventions run for 3 days, but Saturdays are the most crowded, largely because all the events - such as movie screenings & celebrity Q&A panels - happen on that day. So parking is a bit of a hassle, to say the least. But we got lucky & found a spot without too much trouble.

The Batmobile was out front this time!


It's been there before, but this is the first time I got a decent picture of it. Last time, they had one of the cars from Christine.

And so, the box is opened... )

There's a convention coming up in MD again at the end of this month. Not sure if we'll be going to that, but if I'm there, you can be sure there'll be a write-up!

Until then, thanks for reading, & stay tuned for my Dead Can Dance concert report!
japanesedream_72: (Default)
Anyone who's known me for a while knows that I, with family &/or friends, can be seen at least once a year at the Monster-Mania horror film conventions (http://www.monstermania.net/). You can read about our previous convention experiences here:

http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/319442.html (2nd half)




And now...a very quick run-down of the events leading up to - & a very long account of our attendance at - the first Monster-Mania of 2012 (Sat., 3/10).

The adventure begins... )
japanesedream_72: (japan)
Finally getting around to putting words to this awesome, awesome day known as Japan Day 2011!

And down the rabbit hole we go... )

But wait - the Japanese news did a report, too!


Last but not least, I made a wallpaper for my computer at work, as an ode to the occasion!

japanesedream_72: (happy)
If you hadn’t already guessed, that title is a combination of this
& this. ^_^

Despite everything that's been going on, I managed to find a bright spot this past weekend.

I'm sure, by now, most of you know about my previous escapades at the Monster-Mania horror conventions.

http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/319442.html (2nd half)



Well, it happened again.

We found our thrill...in Cherry Hill... )
japanesedream_72: (happy)
Please read Part One first, if you haven't already!


Had to do this in 2 parts, 'cuz it got so long! This entry is entirely related to the Q&A sessions that finished up our day at Monster-Mania 16.

Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin... )

Okay, I’ve kept you readers up long enough. Go to bed! XD
japanesedream_72: (horror)
By now, I'm sure you've all read my Monster-Mania 15 reports:

Day 1 - http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/382408.html
Day 2 - http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/382836.html
Day 3 - http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/383075.html

So on we go, to Monster-Mania 16!!


I warn you, this is gonna be image & link-heavy…& very, very looooong.

This is the time. . .& this is the record of the time. . . )
japanesedream_72: (Default)
This is the big one!

But please be sure to read the Friday report before moving on to Saturday: http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/382408.html

Here we go... )
japanesedream_72: (Default)
I have been going almost non-stop for 6 days.

Please bear with me; this will take a while to document, because SO much has happened!!

The adventure begins... )
japanesedream_72: (tired)
Made it to the San Gennaro Festival today/Saturday, which was a lot of fun!

Up early, got ready. Wore the same outfit as I’d planned for last weekend, when we were originally supposed to go (things came up & we had to cancel), except with my hair up this time. Managed to get a few things done before meeting Allison at the bus station. (We took the bus 'cuz it costs the same as the train, but you don't have to pay for parking.)

It was a nice ride, & I saw some things/places I hadn't seen before. Even Port Authority (the NYC bus station), I'd never been to, as I've always taken the train, so that was new, as well. Took a couple of different subway lines, too. Learning something new all the time.

Before the Italian festival, however, we decided to grab a light lunch (I love Italian food, but it tends to be somewhat heavy, & my digestive system has been a bit disagreeable of late). Thought we'd try Sushi Mambo, a Japanese restaurant which we'd seen on our previous excursion. Unfortunately, they didn't have the bento lunch special (apparently, that's only on weekdays), but we got something very nice in lieu of that. Allison had the Oyako-don, while I opted for the Nabeyaki Udon. I'd have gone for a donburi dish like hers, but I really wanted to try those naruto kamaboko (steamed fish cakes, spiral-patterned, like in Uzumaki)! It was great, lots of big chunks of veggies...nice, warm broth (the morning was chilly)...they bring it to you in a hot-pot, with the bowl on the side. I just wish I could master the art of eating udon with chopsticks. O.o *someday*

After lunch, walked down to Mulberry St., where the main part of the festival was. Took about 15 minutes (maybe less). We were now in Little Italy, another part of the City I'd never been to. The place was packed! The streets were decorated with banners & such, marking the festival, as well as Italian & US flags. On either side of the street were stands & stalls, almost all of them food-related. There were also games & prizes (like the kind you'd see at the boardwalk as a kid), a few vendors here & there, along with outdoor dining areas for the local Italian eateries. There was just about every kind of Italian food known to man there: lots of pasta, sausage, pizza, calzone, & desserts galore - cakes, cookies, biscotti, cannoli, zeppole, gelato...even deep-fried Oreos!

Walked up & down Mulberry (seemed like a really long street!) & Mott (these were the 2 main streets of the festival), looking at all the goodies, which also included some rides for the kids. There was an 'attraction', like the old freak shows, advertising a 'snake girl' (part human, part serpent), but we didn't go in.

As Little Italy & Chinatown overlap a bit, & I'd always wanted to see Chinatown, too (particularly the oft-spoken of Canal Street), Allison was kind enough to walk me around both sections, watching me be a total tourist as I snapped shots of cool buildings in the area & bits of Chinatown that caught my eye.

Back to Little Italy, where we had some sorbetto (more of a sorbet, whereas gelato is like ice cream). She had something fruity - was it raspberry? - & I had coconut. We walked up to the church where they had the San Gennaro shrine outside, & inside, they house the statue of the saint, which is paraded through the streets on the feast day. It turned out to be much better that we didn't go last week, ‘cuz Saturday (19 Sept.) was the actual saint’s day, & were able to see the procession of the statue, which we wouldn’t have caught otherwise.

Our friend & former co-worker, Glen, had been attending Rosh Hashanah services uptown, but he called Allison to say he had a couple of free hours, so we met him where he'd gotten off the subway & took him down to the festival. I bought a couple of t-shirts denoting the occasion (1 for me, 1 for my mom), while Glen got some pizza & Allison shared her water with me. It was starting to get warm! Even the weather was on our side.

Heading into the afternoon, we watched the procession of the San Gennaro statue (I took video clips, too - there was a band playing, which did an upbeat, semi-jazzy rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In" with trumpets). Got some zeppole (deep-fried dough with powdered sugar, kind of like donuts, but a little chewier, & hollow) & shared that as we walked back with Glen to the subway station, where we saw him off.

Allison & I then went back to the festival to buy cannoli. They had this one stall with these cute little 'baby' cannoli, in new & interesting flavours. I got an original, a mint chocolate chip, & the Almond Lovejoy (almond & coconut). One of the ones she got was pumpkin pie, I'll have to ask her how that tasted! Afterward, we walked around for a bit, hunting down a particular stall that had a good deal on regular-sized cannoli, which we'd promised a couple of people at work we'd bring back for them (we saved some zeppole, too, since we'd promised those to others). Found it at last, bought the snacks (I made a quick call to my mom at this point), & headed back to catch the subway ourselves.

While walking Glen to the subway, we'd passed a little Chinese shop that had those parasols hanging, the pretty, Asian ones which everybody seems to have but no one seems to sell. Well, on our way back, we stopped there, & they actually sold them! I got a very nice green one at a very reasonable price.

Caught our train, made our way back to the bus station, & just managed to snag the 6:30 bus! Parted ways at the bus station back in Jersey, after which I drove my very tired butt back home. Snarfed my cannoli, called my mom to detail the day, & took a much-needed nap.

Not planning on doing much of anything tomorrow!
japanesedream_72: (gingersnaps)
Where to start?

Summer in the City... )

Is this a horror flick or a disaster movie? )

The coming of the red & the black... )

Yeah, I know, it's a LOT. I just hope I haven't forgotten any details!! XD


Jun. 13th, 2009 10:28 pm
japanesedream_72: (anime)
Given the illness that struck me in the wee hours (sorry, non-LJers, it was a friends-only post, suffice to say I had a rough night & was feeling sick), the day sure turned out interestingly!

In my pajamas with no make-up & my hair something of a frightful sight, I was a bit scared when my pal Sean from next door rang the doorbell & said his mom might take us to the anime convention...today!

Too bad his dad was on a business trip, he missed some coolness! But his mom & sister came. His mom, who said that she heard going on the last day isn't as good, since many vendors/items may not be there) didn't have time to do up a costume, but his sister did a Naruto character. And he was gonna be L from Death Note, but since he didn't have a way to blacken his hair & it was gonna rain anyway (which would flatten any attempt at tously bed-head, he wore some suit clothes & went as Light. Which kinda worked out better, in a way, since I was already doing Misa (I dress like the anime version, but I have dark hair like the movie one), so we were able to go as Light & Misa. ^_^

It was raining when we got there (doom for my hair!), but at least they remembered to bring an umbrella, even if I didn't. We walked in, & saw all kinds of neat & interesting things! People from all sorts of anime, games, shows, & movies (not all of them anime - I saw a Smurfette, a Ghostbuster, & a Jedi). Some, we recognised, others not so much, but all of them were cool. There were some Goth-Loli people, too. We had to register by filling out a brief form, pay the entrance fees (Sean's dad had already said they'd pay for my ticket, for which I am grateful, since these things are not cheap; fortunately, the kids either got in free or at a discount), & get our badges & programme packets. They said you could write anything you wanted on the badge, so Sean & I wrote our character names.

After that, it was quite a bit of wandering around, taking pictures of (&/or with) cosplayers, & a little shopping. Sean got his birthday presents a tad early - his mom got him a sort of robe-thing worn by one of the Naruto characters, Itachi (the vendor threw in the hat for free), I bought him a Death Note. His mom got his sister some goodies, too, of course. And I turned around to see none other than Pikachu Girl from Japan Day just across the aisle!

(Photos from Japan Day can be found here.)

We both looked at each other like, "I know you..." & I went up to her & was, like, "Didn't I meet you at Japan Day?" Squee!! We hugged & took photos, shocked that we actually ran into each other again. She complimented my outfit. I told her I'd been thinking I should've gotten her e-mail after our little encounter at J-Day, so I could send her that shot with Hot Ninja Boy - but, would you believe it, he's her FRIEND!! And he was THERE! She pointed to a nearby fellow in a cool jacket & a hoodie, but (no offense to him whatsoever) he wasn't Japanese & looked nothing like Die; however, when she pulled the hood back a bit, he did have the red mowhawk. XD

I gave her my e-mail address, told her I posted our shot on my blog, & she said she'd e-mail me & get my blog addy so she could check out the post & pics & such (we had a very nice IM session earlier this evening). Then it was off & running again.

I found a kick-@$$ J-rock stall, the vendor guy being a very tall gentleman in a long, blonde wig & a killer white Loli dress (which I told him I loved, though, at first, I thought he was just an attendee!). There were postcards of many of my boys (one section, Sean dubbed, 'the Great Wall of Mana'), a Mago poster, Diru, Malice, & Gackt photobooks, & various CDs & singles. I had an extremely limited amount of cash on me, not being able to go to the bank Sat. morning due to feeling ill & run-down, so I had to pick & choose just what to buy.

And then I saw it.


And I bought it. And now, I've only got $6 until I can get to the bank again, maybe Tuesday. :P

But I got my Mana, so I don't care!

Oh, & get this - they had the SAME BAG as me! The coffin-cross bag I got in Harajuku! I even told him that. I don't know how much it was (Body Line had it on sale for, like, $20), but I was broke by then, anyway.

Took more photos & video, then the kids wanted something to eat (I'd already had a fairly decent-sized lunch, having begun to feel better), so we stopped at the snack bar. On the way, I saw a great pair of cosplayers, doing Misa & Rem from Death Note 2: The Last Name. I couldn't catch them to get a photo 'cuz they went into the ladies' room, so we waited there until they came out! I was hoping for a pic of me & Rem (she is Misa's Shinigami), but she already had a Misa, so I figured I wouldn't intrude on that. (There were several versions of various characters floating about the place, including Misa.) I joked, "It's a sad thing when you have to wait for your Shinigami outside the ladies' room!"

In the meantime, though, Sean & I did have a conversation with someone who works for Funimation, the voice-over company that does Dragonball Z & Yu-Yu Hakusho, among other titles. He wasn't one of the seiyuu (voice actors) or anything (I peeked at his badge but didn't recognise the name), but he remarked on my observation that there was a second Inu-Yasha (I'd already photographed the first), saying there were about 5 of them in the building (this was before we noticed the multiple Misas & Itachis & whatnot), & was telling us about someone who works at these things that often does some major dressing up, & will prob'ly do so at an upcoming anime convention in NY; may have been AnimeFest, not sure.

CRAP! I just looked at that site & it says something about Hyde & his new project, Vamps, coming to NYC!!! I wonder if I'd be able to get tickets & go??? It's on July 11, so it might be sold out already...but I may have to look into this, just in case.

So Misa & Rem finally emerged from the bathroom, I got my shot, & on we went. Ducked into a side room where they were showing excerpts from Death Note 2: The Last Name, so we sat & watched that. We also saw a martial arts demonstration (reminded me of the one at the Sakura Festival in Philly - they were cutting through tatami mats with a sword), as well as an anime characters' conga line!

I noticed a Spike from Cowboy Bebop, & naturally, had to take a photo with him. I asked him if it was okay & he said, "Sure," then the girl he was with (dressed as something from another show) told me, "He's such a pimp!" *gigglesnort*

They had a guy playing sax there, & I caught sight (& shot) of Pikachu Girl again (she was standing with him & someone dressed as a Pikachu). He played pretty nicely, too. I was hoping to see if he knew "Good Night, Julia" (a Bebop thing), but I didn't get a chance to ask him. He did, however, play the Simpsons theme song.

Looked at some more goodies (& really wished I had more money!); there were some Loli clothes/bags, & socks/fingerless gloves I would have snagged, but oh well. The kids were able to get a couple more things, & then Sean's sister saw a character she'd been hoping to get a photo with, so I helped her chase the girl down! Ended up being a cute photo. Another cool one was the one I got of Sean as Light with a guy doing L. (Sean had been wearing his Itachi outfit, but then let his mom wear it.)

From there, I nearly got my head sliced off by some guy with a chainsaw (not a real one, tho', & he did apologise), & then it was on to the thing that was a cross between aerobics & cheerleading. Sean's mom & sister went & did a little of that, then we floated around for a while, trying to find the way out. We got a bit lost (going out of one building & into another, which turned out to be the hotel, where I guess some of these people were staying, since the convention runs Fri. thru Sun.), but eventually found it.

Fortunately, Fate gave us a bit of a payoff for our troubles, 'cuz I spotted a Matt from Death Note in the lobby, dancing with several other cosplayers - I think they were doing those cheerleading moves. Sean & I have a thing about Matt, seeing as how he only appeared in the anime for a tiny, tiny bit (we always say it was about 3 seconds). So we asked if we could get a shot, & since one of the other cosplayers was also doing Light, but the movie version (did you know that's the kid from Battle Royale?), we got in the shot with them (& both Lights had their Death Notes). I can't recall, exactly, but I might've caught a last glimpse of Pikachu Girl at this point. One quick photo of some very good Full Metal Alchemist costumes later, we bid our adieu to "Anime Next, 2009". The whole day is a sort of magnificent blur in my brain right now, & I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but - as I usually do - I'll put in addendums or additional posts if that's the case.

Anywho, it was out into the rain again, & back home. I hung out at Sean's for a bit, looking at computer stuff & playing the Pikmin video game. Then he came over to my house, where I whipped him up a new J-rock mix:

Dir en grey - Namamekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai Ni Hohoemi
Dir en grey - 304 Goushitsu, Hakushi No Sakura
Dir en grey - Machiavellism
Dir en grey - Saku
Malice Mizer - Gensou Rakuen
L’Arc-en-Ciel - Shout At The Devil
Gackt - Speed Master
Gackt - Asrun Dream
L’Arc-en-Ciel - Kaze No Yukue
Phantasmagoria - Lost In Thought
Gackt - Death Wish
Gackt - Doomsday
Dir en grey - Karasu
Dir en grey - Vinushka
Dir en grey - Mr. Newsman

I loaded the pics from the camera onto the computer, & e-mailed them to Sean's mom. I won't post any with them, since I don't have permission (they have to ask his dad - if I get it, I will post them later), & I'm prob'ly breaking every rule in the known universe by posting everybody else's pic without permission, but just so you can see some of the goodness of this awesome day, I present to you...

Me & Pikachu Girl. <3

Conga Line...la la la la la, hey!

Anime fun: left - Misa had a Death Note, too; right - me & Spike Spiegel.

Cosplayers: I don't know who the 2 in the middle are, I just liked their kimono. Left - Rurouni Kenshin; right - movie-Misa with her awesome Rem, outside the ladies' room.

Masters, Mice, & Music: left - Dragonball Z's King Kai, working at the Funimation stall; right - Pikachu (the electric mouse), Pikachu Girl, & the sax player.

Alchemy, Demons, & Gothicness: left - Al & Ed from Full Metal Alchemist; middle - Inu-Yasha; right - a very nice Loli girl.

Last but not least: I have no idea what any of these are, but I thought they were really pretty!

That's all for now. It's almost 5:30 in the morning. Think maybe I ought to go to bed...
japanesedream_72: (geisha)
Welcome! My mom in front of the sign marking the start of the festival grounds.

Hello Kitty posing with a fan.

Talk about fusion - Japanese meets Jazz on-stage.

The little drummer girl says, "Hai!"

Karate Kids on-stage, showing their moves. Large screens on either side broadcast the festivities, which is very helpful when tall people with heads stand in front of you.

Cool & the gang - me, Pikachu Girl, Tattoo Chick, & Hot Ninja Boy. ^_^

I still think he looked a lot like Die, by the way.

Ninjas in action - a screencap from my video clip of Hot Ninja Boy & his amazing moves.

Dance Dance Revolution - the crowd joins in during the Bon Odori demonstration.

Obla-di, Obla-da - the young dancer amuses the audience as the Shamisen Club plays. A screencap from my video clip.

Something old, something new - the Shamisen Club use traditional instruments to re-interpret modern tunes.

After-party - my mom in front of Bubba Gump's.

One additional note: Forgot to mention something else that we saw whilst in the City. We were on the shuttle going back from Grand Central to 42nd St., & there was a girl sitting next to us. A guy walking on the platform suddenly stops, looks in the open door, & starts singing to her. Stuff like, "To the beautiful blonde girl, if you're over 18 & don't have a boyfriend, call me on my cell--" & he gives the number! "--after 7 pm so my minutes will be free..." He kept going, saying things like how pretty her hair was, how she had perfect teeth & ought to do toothpaste commercials, all kinds of stuff! XD

Only in New York.
japanesedream_72: (geisha)
...to Japan Day!


Next time: photos!! (Go here: http://japanesedream.livejournal.com/301772.html)

And probably corrections or additions, since I’m tired & I have no desire to try & proofread all this. :P

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