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What fresh hell is this?

After ten years of going to anime conventions, I thought I'd caught nearly every cough, cold, and minor flu around, but this... Tekkoshocon, you've outdone yourself - eyes swollen nearly all the way shut, in addition to other nasty cold symptoms? Bravo!

Also, gross.

so... sweet...

It's really hard to stay unhappy while watching an anime about kindergarteners. Suddenly, the whole world is made of pastel, magic, and kittens. I'm sure I have twenty cavities in every tooth.

"Hanamaru Kindergarten"

Facebook Page... I guess

Plenty of folks at conventions ask for my facebook page. Honestly, I can't stand facebook, but I made one anyway: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Afterimages-of-Ghostfire/182733355094434

Now I just need 10 more people to add me, so I can not have such a horrible looking URL on my new business cards. *eye twitch*

I'm starting to dread Otakon. I see it looming on the horizon, but there are four conventions and JURY DUTY in between then and now. *other eye twitch*

That wind sure bites

The eclipse was beautiful. It was absolutely clear out here, but incredibly cold and windy. Mark and I stayed outside for about 20 minutes, watching it come to full eclipse, then staying there, orangy-pink-brown. It's been 372 years since the last total lunar eclipse on winter solstice, and there won't be another for 84 years.
I'm ghostfire ( [link] ) on Steam too - I need more friends for the 100 games challenge!

*woosh*

alphadeus, I'm sure you don't look through LJ at all, but I saw The Kirby Cocktail and instantly thought of you.

Financial musings

I read the other day that Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man, started investing when he was 11. This didn't interest me nearly as much as the fact that he purchased his first farm at the age of 14, with money he made delivering newspapers. Now, I delivered newspapers for most of the little town I grew up in. I did this for seven years, which is a long, long time when you start at 11 years old, and don't stop until you graduate high school. By my best estimate, over those seven years I made about $3600. Even if I delivered newspapers for seventy years, I would never have been able to afford to do such a thing.

It used to be that an immigrant could come to the United States and start working right away - honest, hard work, say as a grocery store clerk - and after three or five or seven years, he could have saved up enough money to buy a store of his own and go into business for himself. Say a person today started in the same fashion - let's even say he's making much more than your typical retail worker - maybe $12 an hour. He never misses a day, he always works full time. He doesn't make much, so taxes don't take out too much - about 8%, according to a federal tax estimator. Say he doesn't live in a state with income tax, say he rides his bike to work, never gets sick, his clothes never wear out, he doesn't wear glasses, he eats rice and beans to the tune of about $30 a week for food, and he splits an apartment with four other people for about $200 a month. That's about $19,000 left at the end of the year! Joy! But wait... depending on where you are and how big it is, a grocery store will run you somewhere between $300,000 and a couple of million dollars! At the lowest end, it'll take you almost sixteen years of penny perfect savings just to get the property, and then you're left with nothing to actually start and run the business. That's also provided the price of the business doesn't go up faster than your wages. Realistically, working hard from the bottom rung will never, ever, ever get you anywhere.

*brr*

What's really creepy about being this age is that I have very distinct memories of my mother wearing a t-shirt that said, "29 and Holding". It wasn't ironic - I was born when she was only a few months into 21.

Dec. 9

It's my birthday for another half-hour, yet. I made myself a double layer chocolate cake that's cooling now, and some homemade chicken soup has been simmering on the stove for, oh... five hours now.

Mark got me a slew of presents for my last year of carefree childhood (hah! 29 ;p) - a white bathrobe, a hand blender, the newest release of Avatar on Blu-Ray, and an early one - Manga Studio EX. It was on super deal on Amazon, apparently, for only $10 more than the Debut version, and you get an extra content pack when you register on their website. Last night we watched the super extended collector's edition of Avatar, as well as most of the deleted, unfinished scenes before I got too sleepy.

I've been getting more work done (including a bunch for Ikkicon, if you'll be in Austin this New Year's), have some good work offers, have gotten into Anime Boston, Setsucon, Castle Point Anime Con, and Katsucon (though no one's gotten a final acceptance email from them, as far as I know). I've started to lose some of the weight that the super hectic late summer through late autumn con season put on, though I'm still not back down to my lowest (shut up, chocolate cake, it's my birthday! XD). Careful budgeting means we're slowly paying down our bills, but we rarely get to go out. Hopefully that won't be forever, though.

Maybe 2011 will be a better year (knock on every kind of wood)...

*thought for the day*
Great fictional and real heroes tend to share a trait with society's biggest failures - being too stupid to realize you can't do something.

Pandora

Pandora has enabled me to make a old/classic holiday songs station. I now feel like I'm in a Fallout bar where it's mysteriously Christmas. Pass the iguana on a stick, please! XD