Microsoft Outlook Sends Its Condolences

Should I send a "thank you" card to the server?

This came with some flowers that were sent to me by the company I work for.  I appreciate the gesture (Lord knows my apartment could use the greenery) but would it have been that hard to put just ONE person’s name on the card??

Saying Goodbye

My brother Roland’s funeral was yesterday.  It was a big shock to see him go so soon and so quickly, and so everyone in the family has had a hard time coping with his death.

My brother told us to carry on if he were to go first.  Go on with your lives, he would say, don’t mourn me, don’t feel sorry, just keep going.  Its a great sentiment, and I knew he meant every word, but in practice, it is a lot harder to do.  Every time I convinced myself that I was done crying, the tears would start rolling again after seeing old friends, or hearing the wails of our mother and his widow.  Something I noticed during the funeral Mass helped me out a lot, though:

Growing up I was in the church choir (don’t be too impressed, we only had like 5 people) and during his funeral Mass, the choir played the song “Pescador de Hombres” (Fisher of Men) which I tried to sing.  It is a song I am familiar with and so I didn’t think it would be a problem.  At first, though, my voice was pretty awful and I would choke up at the line “En la arena/he dejado me barca” (In the sand/I leave my boat) because it made me think about my brother and his fishing boat.  I kept on trying, though, and the song became a little bit easier to sing with each verse.  By the fourth one, I was mostly back to form, I would still tear up a bit but I managed to hold it together for the rest of the song.

Moving on from my brother’s death is going to be like that.  It will be hard at first, but as I keep trying eventually the pain will reduce to the point where will be able to go on without him.  It won’t be easy, but I will reach that point eventually.

Judging from the number of people that showed up for the funeral, I could tell that my brother had clearly touched the lives of many people.  I was glad for the time that we had together, but now that he’s gone, I’ll keep moving forward as best I can…just like I did when I was singing that song.  Good-bye big brother…thanks for everything.

Mizuumi-Con 2011

UPDATE: The president of the Mizuumi-con sponsoring organization “Patrick “Enzan” Lloyd” replied below, and apparently the empty tables were the result of no-shows.

Mizuumi-Con is special for me because it is where this crazy trip called “creativity” began.  I first attended Mizuumi-Con back in 2009, where I attended two panels.  The first was with Kevin M. Connolly, who discussed voice acting.  The second was Chris Holm’s panel which talked about ‘inspiring artists.’  Kevin provided insight on doing voiceovers, and the message of Chris’ panel was…well, “get off your ass and do something.

A few days later, I was flipping through old notes, trying to figure out what old ideas might be worth dusting off.  A few weeks later, I would meet with Chris and a couple of other guys to form what would eventually become First Storm Manga.

This would actually be my second Mizuumi-Con behind the First Storm Manga table in the dealer/artist area.  Unlike other cons, Mizuumi puts both artists and dealers in the same space.  Last year, it was a madhouse; the space was packed to the gills with artists, dealers, and more importantly, customers.  In an effort to ease the congestion, and I presume, get more dealers and artists involved, it was decided that a second room, dubbed the “Annex,” would contain the spillover.

It was a good idea on paper, but a few things kept it from working as well as it should have:

  1. Distance – The two artist/dealer areas were at opposite ends of the OLLU campus from each other, so if you wanted to check both of them out, it was a decent hike.
  2. Layout – The layout of the tables at the Annex was awful.  They had the tables start at the walls and go in towards the middle of the room.  This is great if you get a good spot in the middle of the room, but sucks if you are by the wall.  Even if you are an attendee, having to constantly double-back is annoying and it didn’t take very many people to make things crowded.
  3. Planning – In the main artist/dealer area we had at least a dozen tables that went unused.
  4. Organization – Some of those people in the Annex could have been moved over to those empty tables but nobody in charge figured it out.

I went by the Annex a few times to say hi to friends and check up on them.  It was crowded, hot and quite a few of my artist friends did not do as well sales-wise as they would have liked to.  In contrast, the artists I knew that were in the original location did fairly well and things never got too hot or too crowded there.

Despite the Annex goof-up, I had fun talking to people about First Storm Manga and our own upcoming September event, the Mezasu mini-con. Mizuumi appeared to draw a good crowd and it looked like folks were having a good time.    Mizuumi is a fun one-day event, and I try to encourage folks new to the anime scene to attend it as a starting point.  I look forward to coming back next year; hopefully they will have worked out the kinks in the artist/dealer area.

A final note: If it sounds like I’m harping about the artist/dealer room thing it’s because I personally know just over half a dozen people that had tables there and I feel bad for the ones that got shafted.  Hopefully things will be better next time.