So Happy New Year’s everyone and all that nice jazz. I’ve finally gotten the chance to upload some of the pictures taken from the New Year’s Eve party at my house, pictures from Anime LA, and everything else in between.
I had a few days of rest for the Monday and Tuesday after the Christmas weekend, it all started back up in full force come Wednesday. A friends of Jason and I, Jen, was planning on having a party at her dinky little apartment, and I offered up my place as I have the room and I have the sufficient cooking space. Plus, it gives me an excuse to invite my friends over as well.Â When Jen arrives, we head to her car and bring out the tens of pounds of food from her car.Â There are about 150 or so chicken wings, 20 lbs of Korean BBQ ribs, and 2 racks of lamb.Â There are various other munchies, and more importantly, beer.Â We set up a table outside to hold food and serve as a prep table of sorts.Â The other table was used with my cheap round plastic walmart special patio table, and the Hos and friends sat and ate there.Â I spent most of the time just cooking.Â Jen, Claire, Kimmy, and a few others had started baking the chicken in the oven so that they wouldn’t take long on the grill.Â The Korean ribs never take long, nor did the lamb, so everything got cooked fairly quickly.
During this time, friends of Jen’s little brother started to show up. So there were about 15 or so kids around 16-18… I set up rockband for them and they were entertained while I went outside to cook and hang out with the “adults”. It’s interesting how much of a rift there is between folks in and right out of high school, and the rest of us… holy hell I suddenly feel aged. The older folks started eating first, while the kids were occupied with playing rockband.
Jen brought her little Sasha, and one of Will’s friends brought their puppy Labrador Retriever, which was fairly large in comparison to Hugo and Beanie. Seeing two dogs in the house, I decided to release the Corgis from my room. They come storming out to a group of kids in the living room, and as soon as they go to greet them as they normally do in their fairly friendly manner, two of the kids jump up to the top edge of the couch and scream like little bitches. I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t girls that were freaking shit. The girls there were smiling and petting the dogs. And these two guys were just trembling in mortal fear. Simply amazing. I originally planned to have Hugo and Beanie shut away as there was a potential the folks were fearful of dogs, and it also keeps my little monsters out of trouble. But no one really reacted to the little Sasha, and I guess the folks in the main living room hadn’t seen the Labrador(Pang Pang – translated to fat fat in Mandarin was the name of the Labrador). Anyhow, I put Beanie back into my room to keep him from terrorizing the poor little pansies; and go back to cooking.
Dinner is just about done, and Jay, who had been spending most of the evening in my workshop working on a kit, comes out and informs me that his camera was missing. In hindsight, I should have picked up the thing and put it into the workshop room when he had first come over and it was just him, Helen, and I hanging out. He had left it on the little table between my two couches. Well, now it was gone. All signs and fingers point to the kids. So they were asked, a few said they had remembered seeing it, and were helping with looking for the thing. I have a fairly low tolerance for lying, cheating, and all that goes with such actions – so I exploded slightly with the idea that some kid that was invited to my bloody house by some one I barely know, stole my friend’s camera – whom I had personally invited over. Most of the kids are fairly stunned and scared shitless, as I start kicking things around and flipped over the couch in my efforts to cling to the ideals that the camera fell somewhere and was not stolen from my house.
It is revealed that a small group of people had left. Phone calls were then made for which there was a half assed attempt at acknowledgment that the folks on the other side of the phone conversation know that there was something stolen. A plea from the folks that know the people that left were made to just return the thing. And the phone call ended. With nothing that could be done, and only a need to wait for a resolution, we attempt to return to a festive atmosphere. The kids are still fairly freaked out, as they should be. I go back outside and hang the first set of Helen’s friends that come over, Tony and Michelle. A few beers are kicked back and we catch up on things from the last time we saw each other. The kids are too scared to start rockband back up, and so I needed to step in to help get things off of the awkward state and back to normal.
I grab Tony and Michelle and we start up rockband. As we’re picking songs, some of the kids are mumbling that they barely know any of the songs…. *sigh*. The first song we picked was Alice in Chain’s Man in a Box. The kids are the audience and are absolutely clueless to the song. I go to speak out of shear shock, and Tony just tells me to let it go… as it’ll only make us feel that much older…. I look at the song’s release date of 1991, and realize that there was a very real possibility that this song came out before some of these kids were even born… or if they were, they were 1 or 2… maybe we should actually hang out with their parents instead… During this time, the phone rings and we learn that the Jay’s camera was returned to Jen’s house – so they go out to pick it up. All is right in the world again… it is a good things the thieves didn’t return the item personally, as I’m sure there would have been a lovely little bit of retribution given in the form of a good old fashioned beating. Because sometimes, you just need to get your ass kicked to truly learn a lesson from an experience.
Kicking off the rockband again, the mood lighted back up and it was easy to pass the instruments back to the kids and have them run it. I go to the dining room and clear the table.. which inadvertently ends up getting the kids there to leave the party altogether… oops. Tony brought his poker table top and we set it up. It was about 11:30 when we got the game going, so we had a good half hour of gambling until we stopped for the countdown. The Majhong table was taken out and set up in the front living room, where another group of people set up a game of Cranium…. Midnight came, so rockband was paused to turn on the countdown, and drinks were passed around. A few pictures were taken, the drinks downed, and we all returned to our perspective games for the night. Jay is outside smoking a bundle of 4 cigarettes as his farewell to the habit. Helen’s brother is quitting as well.
It’s a cold night, and VERY foggy. The party winds down around 3, only Jason, Jen, the cousins, and a few of Helen’s friends are still around. We finish up a quick setlist for rockband. Jen and company help out immensely by cleaning up things, so I didn’t have much to do in the way of clean up. Just throwing out trash and putting the empties into the recycling bin. Most of the dishes were washed. The Jen, Jason, and the crew left the house a little after 4:00 AM. I get to shower and crash.
Most of New Year’s day was spend cleaning up the house. I then went over to my mom’s place for dinner. While just sitting around watching tv, I get a call from Jason inviting me over to his house for dinner as well; I let him know that I’m already eating dinner with my mom, but I’ll be over when I’m done. With dinner finished fairly early and nothing happening at my mom’s place, I head over to Jason’s house, and as soon as I get into the door, I’m handed a plate, and told to eat… hooray, back to back dinner. When it all boils down, the holidays are really just about hanging out with family and friends, and the easiest method to gathering people is food… so we end up gorging ourselves as we move from house to house to hang out with everyone.
Friday, it’s Anime LA time at the LAX Marriott. At least it’s not in Burbank this year, so the drive is halved. Having gone last year, I know that this is a fairly small convention; but I have to do my part with spreading gunpla building and resin anime figure modeling. My first panel is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Friday. There are a few folks in the room. There are folks that work AX working this convention as well. I give my spiel on resin anime figure and Stalker Girl from Otakon is here with her fiancee David. We chat afterward and Dave is relived to meet someone fairly normal… as if I could be considered normal by any sort of measurement. We hang out watching the underagers go to and fro, watching creepy old fat bearded guys come up and take pictures…. seriously, these jobless mall Santas now that Christmas is over, need to find another way to get their jollies. I decided that I’m hungry and need to leave LAX high school for some food, and Dave agrees and comes along. Sharon (little flip internet stalker) decides to hang out with her friend that had just arrived.
Dave and I head to Little Tokyo for lunch – the poor guy is from Georgia, and he’s never really been exposed to ethnic foods outside the Chilies, Friday’s, McDs, Applebees, etc. He’s never used chopsticks either. An interesting perspective. He’s a nice fellow. We finish up and head back to the convention. I have dinner plans with my parents so I can only hang out for so long…. almost a good thing as back at the con, it’s only teenagers and younger, and 45+ men wandering the halls at half mast. Sharon is dressed up as Ranka from Macross F and her friend is dressed as Feldt from Gundam 00. I’m bored so I make every innuendo I can think of for the word “felt” from being felt, to sliding balls and cue sticks across a pool table’s “felt”…. At least Dave and I were entertained… I thoroughly disgusted a few young men that took pictures of the girls. And as exciting the convention was at that very moment of time, I had to leave.
Dinner was interesting, we went to a place called Wholesome Choice Foods which is a gathering of various ethnic food supermarket, mostly Persian. I grab a Gyro for my dinner and some humus. My mom is frowning at everything as she’s not very adventurous for food, she likes Chinese food and steak… I go and stand in line for some freshly baked Sangak, a Persian flat bread. There is a Doctor and his wife standing there and we chat it up as we’re waiting fairly long. Being a that the item was a Persian product, the good Doctor makes a joke about taking breaks 5 times a day… for which I comment that the bakers are Mexican, and probably misplaced their carpets at home depot… ah.. how I miss random racist jokes. (For those that have no idea, we’re taking digs at Islam) The wait is about 10-15 minutes, it could have been longer, I have no idea, as time passed fairly easily as I chatted with the good Doctor on everything from bad areas we’ve grown up in and where we went to school and such.
The flat bread is damn good. My mom isn’t overly impressed with the food and is sorta annoyed that I get along so well with complete strangers…. funny that earlier that day, someone had made a comment about me being a social butterfly…. I have my moments I guess. Regardless, my mom’s response to if she’d come back to this place was the unsurprising no. Oh well, my step dad and I can return here. I will for that damn bread at least.
I get home and Terry is calling me asking when I’d be home. He’s planning on hitting ALA with me on Saturday, so he’s crashing at the house. I get about 4-5 hours of sleep before having to wake up and head over to ALA. We stop by the local IHOP for breakfast. My Gundam model building panel is 10 AM. I’m really not expecting anyone… too bloody early. But there are about 8 or so people, including Dave, Terry, and Sharon. I’m further convinced that I should do panels instead of workshops when AX comes around. I lumber through the panel even though I’m not overly enthusiastic about giving it to a whopping crowd of 7…. I think if the panel was held later that day, it would have done much better.
We wander the small con, enjoy the smells from the game room, and find a couch and just sat there for a good half hour while people watching. There are a few decent costumes. The group of us are fairly bored. We offer to take Sharon and Dave to Frank and Sons – this mythical place that they have never been. Dave takes Sharon up to the room to get changed, no way in hell I’m bringing a 4’11, 80 lb flip gundam fan girl dressed as every Gundam nerd’s wet dream with me to Frank’s…
I see Dave come back, which is fairly easy as he’s a 6’2 white guy, not hard to spot in a sea of dressed up high schoolers. I look around for Sharon and I’m treated what I can only describe as a young Philippine boy. I mean, short hair, glasses, baggy jeans, and a gundam shirt…. what else is one to think? In my defense, up until this point, I had only seen Sharon in her various costumes. Who knew there was a little flip boy under the wing and stuffed bra… After a few more little boy jokes, we pile into the car and head over to Frank and Sons.
They pick up a few things that were fairly decent bargains. Everyone was hungry so we headed over to the Hat for some pastrami, then to my house. Beanie likes to great people by jumping on them and pushing them. Beanie is fairly strong for the little corgi he is…. He almost knocked over our new midget crossplayer. It’s about 4pm, we finish eating, and start up rockband, and the beers start flowing… Sharon and I are switching between drumming and singing, and Terry and Dave are on the guitars. Sharon gets a few beers in her – and a pretty damn nice voice for songs she knows and when she actually sings into the mic. Two hours later, Terry decides that we need to hit up Brookhurst hobbies for some paint and kits. Sharon exclaims that she needs to pee, and then just stands there. She’s slightly buzzed, but apparently alcohol loosens the lil manboy up and she’s a bit more vocal. Dave finally convinces her to pee so that we can leave. 10 minutes into the drive, Sharon once again exclaims that she needs to pee; but also states that she can hold it… whew… dodged a bullet there (/sarcasm). We get to Brookhurst and she runs off to the little boy’s room. Terry grabs what he needs and we leave.
To make the Corona’s palatable, we decide to head over to my local Ralphs for limes and munchies. As soon as we get out of the car, the flip decides she needs to pee, once again – she is small enough, we can probably just tie her to on the the bushes and just let her empty herself. Munchies and limes on hand, we return to the house, heat up some of the Sangak from the previous night and sort of have dinner. Angel calls to tell us he’s on his way over. He brought over some In & Out for the group too. More beers, and more Rockband. Sharon’s pretty good at keeping up along with Dave, Terry, and I – note to self, drunk little flip girls are much more fun and engaging than sober ones. Angel’s not really allowed to drink much under the watchful eye of Nicky. Helen comes home and hangs out with us for a bit as well.
We play and drink until 1 or 2. Terry and Sharon pass out while we’re watching “The Onion Movie”, which is a movie that just reminded me of Amazon Women on the Moon, but with Steven Segal… It was entertaining to begin, but sorta dropped off towards the end. Still, fairly entertaining – more so because we were drunk.
Sharon and Dave take the spare bedroom, and Terry is passed out on the floor – before passing out earlier, he went to the linen closet and grabbed a blanket.
Getting old sucks, our recovery time is much longer. At the very least, I finally got a decent amount of sleep. So many things happening these past few days, the days just melted into each other.