I’m trying to get back into a better activity routine. Early yesterday, Jon called and then came over and we did a 1.5 mile walk and stretch; I think he wants me to ease back into it because right around the one mile mark, my left knee started to ache a little bit and even after stretching out my quads the pain did not go away. I don’t mind waking, but I’m eager to work on my upper body, which is where the flub bases it’s operations out of. It would be great to finally get to 250, which is way closer to my target weight than 305 is. It would also be great to not be the resident creepy ugly overweight Hispanic guy; I’ll become the resident creepy slightly overweight Hispanic guy, instead. 😛 I told Jon I’d like to reach 250 by my next birthday, and he said not only was that reachable in 12 months, but he wouldn’t be surprised if I was 225, if I worked hard enough. He also recommended I get back into the workout routine from before Anime Expo, and maybe join a gym, but…

I have to admit to being really fucking self-conscious at a gym. The last time I went to a gym to check it out, I remember that I was looking around and seeing everyone there look at me like I was a fucking cautionary tale. Normally, I don’t care, but I mean… it was a fucking gym, people. I got the hell out of there post-haste. When I was working at eBay, I used to go to the private gym there in the middle of the night, when no one else was there. I know it might be a shock to some, but recently I’ve felt like some of my seld-confidence has disappeared, and I’m trying to figure out why that is. No answers, yet, but until I get to that point again, I think I’m going to continue to just do my everyday cardio routine until I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I can go to a gym and use weights. Todd’s brother Matt stopped by to visit, and he mentioned joining the gym down the street… I said I might be interested in joining, too, if he was going along.

In the anime world, I have moved from School Rumble and Najica to Aishiteruze Baby!, which is incredibly adorable so far. This high school playboy comes home one day to find a little girl sitting in his home’s foyer. His mother orders him to take care of her from now on, as the little girl’s mother abandoned her on their doorstep and they’ve no idea when she’ll be back, if ever. So, he spends the entire morning dealing with her and getting her to kindergarten, and the first thing he does when he gets to class is collapse in the doorway and gasp, “I’m never… having children… ever!” I died laughing. But later in the episode, they kind of get into a situation where she gets lost, and he exhibits some character in looking for her (as it was written), and I just thought the interaction was pretty cool. Especially when the little girl is digging around in his room and she finds his porn! Hilarious. After this, I’ve got Jinki: Extend to watch, so I’m hoping this goes as fast as School Rumble did.

Yes, I am Back

so please stop calling me and asking, people. I just got off the phone for the eleventh time, someone asking if I’m home… and I picked up my phone at my home number.

I got back last night at 5:30pm. It was a fun weekend, a really good experience. I love Anime Expo. More on the third, fourth, and final days of the vacation later. I just woke up.

AX2K5: Day One!

We stayed at the Marriott on the first night we were in Anaheim, because earlier in the week, I received a second confirmation notice from the Hilton stating that I had a reservation from July 1 to July 5, instead of the June 30-July 5 reservation I asked for. So, since I did not go down with the huge caravan I thought I was going down with, I had booked two rooms… but with Dave dropping out and everyone else making their own plans even after they said they would go with us, I had two rooms and I only needed one. So, since I had the two reservations and both hotels were still sold out for the weekend, I asked the Marriott if I could just stay the one night the first night, and then we would move into the Hilton for the rest of the weekend. Being a Marriott Rewards Silver Elite member has some sway, apparently, because the moment they found out what my membership number was, it was a different story.

I fell asleep at around 11pm the previous night, and Jody, Jenn, and Thomas stayed up watching Yakitake!! Japan until around 2:45 in the morning. When they went to sleep, I found that I couldn’t go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. Feeling pretty grimy from the previous day’s events, I got up and took a shower and got dressed for the day. I sat down and wrote the update for Before Day One on my laptop and then I watched the sun rise. Our balcony view at the Marriott was fucking perfect; it overlooked the front of the hotel and the Hilton across the street and I was cursing my luck. I wanted to stay at the Marriott with a room like that! I’d been waiting for a room with a view of the festivities, which was the first time since 1996 that we had such luck. Last year, our balcony overlooked the ghetto city of Anaheim and the smells from the hotel restuarant permeated the air whenever we opened the sliding door. But, since I made the reservation and it was too late to cancel the room (else risk being charged a 212 dollar fee) we had to move.

At around 6am, though… I started to feel tired and eventually went to lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. When I woke up, it was around 9am and it was really time to get the hell out of the room. We packed up at 11am and checked out, and then we had to head to WaMu for Jenn so she could get money, and Wal-Mart for me and Jenn so we could grab toothbrushes and other things. And this was my very first visit to Wal-Mart… beleive it or not, I’ve never ever been inside one and I’ve worked for them for over a year. I’ve heard horro stories, but nothing could prepare me for the cavalcade of crap I experienced that morning. I used my employee discount card for the first time, ever, too. It was a horrible experience, and even though I hated it, I had to admit that the prices were pretty damn low. Once we were all ready to go, we checked into the Hilton. Now, earlier in the week, I signed up for HHonors, which is the Hilton equivalent of the Marriott Rewards program. And because I had a membership, I didn’t have to stand in the gigantic non-member line and I was second for the VIP line instead! We checked in in record time, and made it up to the room where Thomas (who’d been staying a floor below us; we were on 12, and he was on 11), came up and we had lunch. It’s 1998 all over again, because the Burgers are still the cheapest thing on the menu here at the hotel.

After that, it was pretty much lazy day. The numbers at Anime Expo are expected to be more than last year, so the crowds are gigantic. We didn’t leave the room until 8:30pm in the middle of the Giants/Padres game, where I was bitching abotu the lack of run support from the Giants in a tie ballgame that they could win. At 9:30pm we took the Anaheim Resort bus from the Hilton to the Disney Resort’s Downtown Disney. We watched War of the Worlds… which turned out to be a huge disappointment. Oh my, did it suck ass. If you’ve ever watched the old George Pal film or read the book, you will be greatly disappointed by the perspective change, the cliches, the crappy adaptation… ugh. I walked back thinking to myself, “Gee, you know what I need now to clean my film palette? Batman Begins.” I need something really good to erase the waste of time I just paid $9 for. Ugh! Reliving that pain again was painful!

Following the travesty of motion picture history, we headed to Carl’s Jr. and got food, then came back to the room and I collapsed for the night, dreaming of a better tomorrow.

AX2K5: Before Day One!

The day before we left for Anime Expo, Dave dropped out of the vacation because his boss never remembered his asking for the time off in the first place. He needs the job to pay bills, and so it was pretty much a done deal. The really cool part was when he offered to pay his share for the room anyway, and thereby allowed us to go. Without his portion, we would have been shit out of luck, because I could not afford to cover his portion in whole or in part.

With that said, our journey begins at 0400 hours on Thursday morning.

I woke up late, after having groggily already killed my alarm clock from waking me up at my desired time of 0230. Instead, I woke up 45 minutes later, to Jody and Jenn in the living room sapping my internet connection with such silly games as EverQuest and R.O.S.E. Online. I quickly showered, and because I kind of procrastinated on packing, I quickly did as much packing as I could within 10 minutes, and stunned myself when 5 minutes later I was ready to go. Seriously a new record in packing for a trip. That’s never happened. We left the apartment at 0405, and headed for our first destination of the Safeway near Todd and Jody’s old house. We bought some provisions for the trip; soda, milk, pastry. Then a quick drive to Gilroy and we gassed up and headed over Pacheco Pass.

I wish I could say that the trip itself was fun, but because Jody and Jenn both stayed up all night, they were both a little subdued. By the time we got to Chudville, we were hungry and pulled over to gas up and get food at Denny’s. Now, this is where the fun started. People were a little more lively and the conversation started to flow freely, we figured out that Jenn had yet to call in to her work to let them know she wouldn’t be in that weekend! Now, Jody doesn’t work, so there’s no accountability, but I have this job, and I had my vacation form filed back in freaking January! I don’t like leaving anything to chance and being screwed out of a weekend. AX is something I don’t like to compromise on. So, we sat there, trying to come up with various reasons for her to call in, and all of them were pretty damn funny. I won’t go into them, here, because it was pretty hilarious and I don’t remember them all. I just remember the idea of a 96-hour flu coming up, and that’s about it.

We made really good time coming into the Los Angeles area. Jody took over driving from Chudville, and kept the pedal on the floor by hitting an average of 90mph all the way down and managed to avoid getting pulled over. I had a small project left over from earlier in the week and consigned myself to the back seat with my laptop to finish it before we got to Anaheim. We pulled into the Anaheim Marriott at 1130 and checked in shortly after. The check-in process was a vast difference from the Courtyard experience earlier in June, and the Anaheim people bent over backwards to accommodate me. I even got a personalized letter of welcome from the Marriott staff, telling me that I’m entitled to certain benefits with them. I thought that was very cool. The only problem was the asshole bell captain who brought the bags to the room. I had nothing less than a twenty on me, and I wasn’t going to ask for change on a tip, but he got a little bent out of shape when I made no move to tip him for doing his job. He did nothing extraordinary, and his attitude when he left reinforced my decision to not tip him.

The J-Squad was tired, and they fell asleep after we hooked up with our friends from the city, Thomas and Alma. Thomas, Albert, and Alma were staying in the Hilton across the street (where we would be the next night and the rest of our stay for the weekend), but their room wasn’t going to be ready until 3pm, so they hung out with us in our room. I’m glad I set my arrival time for 11am at the Marriott or else they wouldn’t have checked us in. Anyway, once they got their room, sleep was the order of the day, and Ispent most of my time configuring my portable wireless-G router for use with the room’s internet port. This ended up being a three hour ordeal, and painful. The router itself was giving me shit, my laptop wasn’t doing what I wanted it to… ugh. But eventually it started working, after I reset the damned thing twice.

When 1800 rolled around, Jody and Jenn woke up and we headed down to the pre-registration line. It was fucking huge. The line was broken up into two parts: an upstairs and a downstairs. It took three hours to get from one end to the other, and possibly it wouldn’t have lasted that long if I hadn’t tried to line jump… because we ended up having to go back to the end of the line. So, that was my fault, but luckily we knew some people from AnimeFX who were ahead and we were able to slip in with them and that put us in a better position than our initial line position. By the time we actually go out badges and packets, it was just after 2100, and we hooked back up with Thomas and Alma and jaunted over to the Jack in the Box to get a late dinner. By this time, I was beginning to feel the fatigue of the day’s events, including the pain in my lower back from standing in line for such a long time. I collapsed in my bed while Jody, Jenn, Thomas and Alma all watched Yakitake Japan.

Tomorrow? We check out of the Marriott and move into the Hilton, along with the explanation of why we did that.


I will be abandoning some of you tomorrow morning at 0400 PDT.

Those of you who’re coming along for the ride, it’ll be a fun-filled weekend of awesomeness. For those of you who’re wondering ‘WTF?’ tomorrow I am leaving for Anime Expo 2005. This is my only real huge pamper-myself vacation that I take once a year, and no one is going to prevent me from enjoying it. Turth be told, though… heh, I’ll prolly end up being more tense when I come back. But it’ll be good tense, not bad horrible tense.

Stories will be shared, and I’ll probably be all netted up down there.