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Why, oh why must this be so difficult? Julie and I had an appointment with a SCORE councilor through the university today. I pretty much only made this appointment because I'm confused about exactly which permits and licenses we would need to operate a small craft business where we would largely sell at conventions. I mentioned this again and again over the phone, but when we get to the appointment, the councilor they paired us up with didn't know any of these things. >.< All he could do was re-tell me the things that I'd already learned from the internet and half a dozen books.

But after talking to him, we figured that the easiest thing to do was to set Julie up as a sole proprietor while I don't have a job and change it into a partnership when I'm finally able to snag regular employment. The councilor said that there was no problem with this. So when I got home I hopped right online to try to find the application forms for a Nevada state and Reno business licenses. I found the State business license form and the form to register a DBA really easily... huzzah! But imagine my surprise when I could not find any forms at all for the city... all I could find was lists of what you needed to do to get the license (no applications at all) which made the whole process seem as complicated as humanly possible. >.< I'm having a horrible feeling that there's no alternative... I'm going to have to go down to city licenses office and deal with the bureaucracy in person. *sob* Just like I was able to determine that yes, artists who want to sell at SNAFU Con's artist alley only need a $15 temporary permit, but I could find NO forms to handily direct artists to from the convention's website.

Reno, why must you insist on making my life hard?!


Edit: You know what I found, two seconds after posting this? All of the necessary forms except for the $15 temporary permit. Yup, I'm an idiot. But at least now I have the forms that Julie and I need... and the directors of the con can find the info for the temp licenses... they have their own CPA and lawyer on tap. -.- Only one last hurdle to jump... finding out what sort of sales tax forms one is supposed to file in Nevada. O.o Thank god it's Julie's job to try to find a CPA who knows about craft businesses.

Look what I found!

So after I got done feeling sorry for myself, I pulled myself together and finished this drawing for SNAFU Con. And when I posted it to DA, what do I find? Low and behold, a handy, easy as pie button to push to post it on livejournal for me! Sweeeeeeeeeeeet.


Moon Princess and Star Bunny
by ~nuriko-chan

Ah, the times we live in... how they suck.

It's really darn sad that I get all excited when I actually find even one job a day to apply for. >.< And of course, I haven't gotten called in to a single interview that wasn't someone trying to get me to sell life insurance.

I really need to figure out a way to actually get up and get stuff done during the day. Somehow, I figure I'm in this for the long haul and it'd be much more preferable for me to spend my days active, doing artwork, making merchandise to sell at cons... heck, just running errands, instead of spending all day in a depressed haze staring at the TV in my pajamas, half-asleep.

虎年的老虎快乐 !



It's that time of year again... time to make my annual Chinese New Year post. Because lord knows, I only make about ten posts a year. ^.^;;

This last year has been, well, just really crappy. I lost my dad to a sudden heart attack, my young cousin was killed in a car accident, and I lost my job two days after my computer's hard drive completely crashed. And the only one of those things that I was able to fix was the computer. I can only afford this apartment until the end of March, at which point I'm going to have to move back in with my mother, something that I really wanted to never have to do.

But for all that, I'm trying to remain positive. I found out about a new anime convention starting up here in Reno at Sac-anime and promptly volunteered to be their art director. I figured that it would force me to go out and be social and with any luck, I might make some art friends here in town, since I would dearly love one or two. I'm finding out that I kind of like it and I managed to convince the con directors that kiri_moth and vestaka would make good art guests. And for all that this was a particular treat for me, since they're two lovely ladies that are a great deal of fun to hang out with, it turns out that they HAVE been great for the convention. Even before I've formally announced them as guests, there have been a couple of people who have said that they'd fly in for the con just to see Jess. :) I have high hopes that I can make the art programing worth coming to the con for, enough to see that the con has a second year, at least.

Julie and I are also setting up to sell art and toys and any other things that we feel like making at more conventions. We just really enjoy the artist alleys the most when we go to cons... what better reason to sell in them? You make a little money and you get somewhere to sit and chat with con-goers all day. So far we're set to sell with Gretchen at Fanime, Yaoi-con, and maybe Sac-anime. And of course, we'll be selling at SNAFU Con, though I'll also have to keep an eye on the rest of the AA while we do that.

Well, we'll see what the coming year has to offer. I hope that it offers a job, but even if it doesn't, at least my mommy will keep a roof over my head. I just hope she can handle having her children back home... she really only started to like us when we all moved out. When she's reintroduced how annoying it can be to live with me, I can only hope that she remembers how much she likes me right now. :P

Ah, nostalgia...

Aunt Lorna and Uncle Rick dropped a present for us off with Mom at her work and we finally opened it today. It turned out to be a DVD of a bunch of home movies that Grandpa Carlos had taken of Dad and his sisters when they were growing up. It really shows you where my dad got his tendency of buying the best of technology right when it was cutting edge... Grandpa had a movie camera in the late forties and he proceeded to take regular videos of his kids throughout their lives. It was kind of amazing to watch really and it makes me wish that my family had had a video camera when we were kids. There's just a feeling, of how those kids that used to be you moved and acted and what sort of life you had that you don't really get with a static picture.

Oh, and now I have a vintage video of a bunch of people doing a black-face performance. It sure was a different time. *chuckle*

To whatever gods there are out there...

...leave my family alone, I don't think I can take any more. Just a bit over six months since my dad's death, and my cousin Scott is killed in a car accident. I know to most people cousins are extended family, but to me they're close family and I can't stop thinking about how sweet and goofy and good with kids and how very YOUNG Scott was. He was only barely 21, god dammit! He looked scary, tattooed and pierced everywhere. You'd think that showing up to family events wearing spikes and gigantic demon belt-buckles would scare your grandmother... but he had such a silly smile that he always wore that we could never fault how he dressed. And he was so good with the little cousins, running and playing with them in such an adorable way. It just breaks my heart to think that now he'll never grow up to have kids of his own.

Countdown to Yaoi-con

Well, I did the irresponsible thing and went to Sacramento last weekend with Mom, Grandma, and Julie... instead of staying home and finishing up stuff for Yaoi-con so that I wouldn't be running around like an idiot at the last minute, like I ALWAYS DO. *bangs head on keyboard* Well, aside from having a darned good time (and getting to see Repo! at the Sacramento Horror Film Festival) I did manage to accomplish one of the tasks that I had set for myself. I got some black wicker baskets to display fans on at the Ikea, so now at least that problem is taken care of. And I spent monday and tuesday finishing the last two fans I had all inked out, so now I've just got to get the following things done in the next two days:

1. Color the backs of three fans silver.
2. Stick magnet and pin backs on the remaining handfull of glass bits.
3. Re-do the one 1-inch magnet that accidentally got put together backwards.
4. Go shopping to buy Aqua-net, candy, and possibly a tablecloth.
5. Spray the pin display with the Aqua-net so that it'll no longer shed horrible green dust bits all over my hands every time I touch it.
6. Sew the foam bits onto the back clasps of my suspenders so they won't poke me so much when I wear them.
7. Do laundry... not only is my costume dirty, but I've got no clean normal clothes, either.
8. Go to the bank to get change.
9. Design and print out some quick business cards.
10. Burn a CD of Repo and Wicked for the trip.

I think that's it... but I keep forgetting things, so I thought a list to cross off would make sure I didn't forget something crucial. Though I'm sure I will, anyhow... I always do.

Yaoi-con test run.

So I've been working my butt off on the stuff I'm going to sell at the fan market table I'm sharing with Leloi at Yaoi-con, and since I was already making stuff, I decided to get a table at the little mini-con that the UNR anime club put on last night. It went off about like how I expected it to... it was very small, after all, and I only stayed for about four and a half hours, since it was so small that by that time, everyone who was going to see the table and decide whether or not to buy something had already been by. A couple of times. But it didn't go too badly. I covered the cost of the table and I got to hang out with Julie and Lyssa. And some of the kids running around were awfully cute, especially this pair of high schoolers that decided that we looked lonely at the end of the hall, so they did a little dance for us. And I won one of the door prizes, a pretty nifty Dirty Pair figure... so all in all, a fairly decent night.

It did teach me one thing, though... I have NO idea how I'm going to fit all of that stuff in half the space at Yaoi-con. The best I can think of is to try to find a fairly cheap step ladder to arrange the fans on. But at least I can stop working my butt off now. I couldn't fit any more fans onto the yaoi-con table if I tried and all of the magnets and pins are already made. That being said, I spent my entire saturday not knowing what to do with myself, now that I don't have to rush to get things done in time. :P

9

Okay, so yesterday, Julie and I went to see the movie, "9" and I gotta say, I was severely disappointed. But then, I always get particularly shaken up when reminded yet again that no matter how beautiful the artwork for something is, it all goes down the tubes if the story sucks. And yet, the opposite isn't true... if the artwork for something sucks, but the story is amazing, then the final product is still highly enjoyable. As an artist, it bothers me to know that at the end of all things, the art is always secondary to the story.

And don't get me wrong, "9" was freaking GORGEOUS. And horrifying. Horrifyingly gorgeous. It was my every dark, twisted, gothic horror dream come true. That was really part of the problem. This movie featured some of the most terrifying imagery I've ever seen... ever. But the story was clearly meant for children. And the 2 dimensional characters compounded with the overly simplistic and predictable storyline implies that the movie was meant for SMALL children. Children guaranteed to have nightmares for months after being subjected to a killer machine animal with a cat-skull face and glowing red eyes that kills the cute little steampunk doll creatures. For a moment there at the end, I thought that they would give true reason to the characters without any depth whatsoever... everything was present and accounted for. Protagonist who heads into danger to save people he just met minutes ago with no real idea HOW he's going to defeat the massive (and incredibly scary) bad guys? Check. Wimpy best friend who is scared of everything but still gets brow-beaten by the hero into walking into danger? Check. Kick-ass warrior girl? Check. Insane oracle? Yep. Hide-bound old man who acts as a sort of dictator/religious leader who imprisons anyone who doesn't agree with him? You bet. But just when it looked like they were going to give a REASON for such simplistic characters, they whimped out. Instead of giving both the characters and the ending a deeper meaning with a truly great ending twist in the same sort of vein as the end of the Dark Crystal (surprisingly, there are actually quite a few similarities between the underlying plots of the two movies) and dealing with the deeper issue of the human soul and machines and at what point machines become real living beings, they just copped out and did the sort of ending that's been done so often, I'm actually tired of seeing it...

Cut for those people who don't want the ending ruined for them... but I'm so mad about it, that I've just got to rant.Collapse )

That's my main problem with children's films today. Why the fuck are they so afraid to put REAL deep meaning into them? Are kids nowadays not able to handle anything more complicated than the most simple and re-hashed endings? When I was a kid, we were totally able to comprehend bittersweet endings that had MEANING. Hell, even Titan A.E. and Fern Gully handled the theme of world redemption better than "9." And the imagery of this movie was so frightening, they should have just thrown caution to the wind and put more depth and meaning into the story and made it entirely for adults. If they'd done that, the movie itself would have been so perfect, I could die happy. Since frankly, nothing makes me so happy as creepy bone animals and machines with blades for legs coming out of the wreckage of it's own supposed death to the sound of Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" to wreak havoc in an already apocalyptic world totally devoid of hope.

Sac-anime totally did not suck.

Well, I didn't actually expect it to suck, really... I just didn't expect to have nearly as much fun as I did. I had a blast all weekend, except for a brief one-hour period where I had to sit in the over-air-conditioned room listening to Julie fight with Nate over the phone. But besides that, it was amazing! That being said, we didn't make it to a single panel. True, they only had like, eight of them, but even the two we thought sounded interesting, we just could not get to them on time. And we couldn't get in to see neither the masquerade, nor the sunday cosplay fashion show. Which normally would upset us, but the costumes you could see just wandering around the halls were so freaking amazing, we didn't actually feel like we missed anything. I was completely surprised by not only the high quality of the costumes there, but also by the variety. We're so out of the loop that we couldn't recognize 99% of the anime costumes, but there was still plenty of stuff to delight us. Like the Jafar and "evil" Jasmin. Two really creative Alice in Wonderland groups. One guy dressed as Beetlejuice, one guy dressed as an EVIL Ronald McDonald, a whole group of Watchmen cosplayers, a cartoon-version Joker and Harlequin... and I finally found Waldo. I'm kind of surprised, Julie and I were the only steampunk people there. We got lots of compliments, but only one person wanted to take our picture. *sad fase* So we took a bunch ourselves, which I'll put behind a nice lj-cut to spare the unwary the sight of my hideous over-weight-ness.

So, the costuming alone would be a reason to go to this con. But the dealers room was ALSO faaaaar too good. I've gotten so used to small cons having crappy dealers rooms, I brought $200 and didn't expect to spend nearly that much. Instead, I'm limping home with about $30. Well, $30 and ten pounds of manga and toys. I have a brand now, tiny toy army sitting in front of my monitor right now until I can clear a space for them amongst the rest of the hordes. Yes, there was a lot of stuff there for anime series that I didn't recognize, but I was totally unprepared for the sheer amount of old-skool that was also available. I got a Lum t-shirt and three enamel pins: one Ranma 1/2, one Outlanders, and one Project A-ko. Lyssa, this place would have made you weep tears of joy, I'm sure... but we did remember to get you a present. ;)

And best of all, the dealers room housed the artist and writer of an adorable children's book called "Little Vampires." This lady and the guy with her now make my list of Totally Cool Professionals. You know, those people who are completely approachable and genuinely enjoy meeting their fans. Of course, I don't get to meet many professionals, so the list is short... just Rebecca Hicks and Wendy Pini so far. ^.^;; We found ourselves getting into a massively in-depth conversation about Watson and steampunk vampires, so much so that Julie had to remind me that we hadn't eaten all day and if we didn't leave these good people alone soon, we'd lose our window and be forced to go without food for the rest of the day.

The video rooms were good. So good that I was disappointed that unlike at other cons, they didn't run all night long. We managed to catch the end of a live action movie called Detroit Metal City that we MUST find... because the last ten minutes had us laughing so hard. Likewise with a little anime called Hetalia, Axis of Powers. The only anime that humanizes countries into yaoi-lovin' bishonen, capturing each other in chibi five minute intervals. I know it sounds weird, but it was surprisingly funny.

Another plus was that there was actually decently-priced food available. Okay, it was only available during the lunch-time hours, but for $10 the hotel restaurant had an "all you can eat" buffet that actually wasn't bad, if you could get to the food before the horde of locusts descended and cleaned it all out. It's REALLY rare to go to a con and get semi-regular meals without being reamed in the pocketbook. On saturday they were really busy, so we got seated at a table with a mother and her 13 year old son, a good opportunity to have conversation with strangers. It was kind of refreshing, it was the kid's first con and his mother came with him to support him, her reasoning being that if she knew what he was into, then it'd be easier to regulate him. But then, she seemed perfectly fine with her pre-teen son being into yaoi, so I don't know what she'd need to regulate at that point. O.o

Last, but certainly not least... Sacramento must be the mecca of FREAKING AMAZING artists. There were something like 50-60 artists set up with tables in the artist's alley and dealers room, and with only one or two exceptions, they were all freakishly talented. So talented that it would have made me incredibly jealous... if I weren't so busy buying their stuff. And not even all of them were fanartists, a lot had their own original comics and things. It made me want to see if I could weasel my way into the Sacramento artist's group, it's only two hours away. *big eyes* These people were so good, if I could just hang out more with people like them, then maybe some of the amazing-ness would rub off on me.

Now, without further ado...

Lots of pictures under the cutCollapse )