San Japan 4TW was this past weekend and it was a BLAST.  Except for some technical issues at the concert and the general lunacy that went on in Con Alley before the rave, I had a great time.

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The Loliholix are no more, we are now NeRiMa ねりま



The most telling thing that I can say about 2010 is that I spent the last third of it without a full-time job, after getting canned back in August. I’ll be honest, I have nobody but myself to blame for that; a friend asked me if my bosses had been looking for a reason to get rid of me awhile back.  I sheepishly replied: “Well, if they were, they didn’t have to look very hard!”

Thus, the whole “what am I going to do with myself” debate I’d been having since 2009 (and heck, probably earlier than that) took on a whole new meaning as I applied for tech writer, tech support, and even editing jobs in an attempt to get away from programming.  I am currently scheduled to start a new programming job on the January 24th…well, so much for that.

Of course, sitting behind a desk for 40-something hours a week hating my job was not the only thing I did all year.  I also continued to be involved in First Storm Manga, handing out flyers and manga at a couple of anime cons throughout the year and keeping the website humming.  We are also going to be hosting our first event, the “Mezasu mini-con” on January 22nd.  While I enjoy hanging out with the guys, and it is fun going to events, I’m not sure that I want to be as involved in First Storm next year.  I’m just not sure that I’m getting a lot out of it, but I’ll bottle up that angst and save it for a future blog.

Another new ‘side job’ that I picked up was that of Writer/Editor/Voice Guy for video game website I started out just providing narration for some of their videos but eventually got more involved in the site, editing articles for readability and even writing reviews.  Because of that involvement, I was able to attend the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in July, and it completely blew me away.  I also had the privilege of attending the “Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy” concert in Houston, and the pleasure of interviewing famed video game music luminaries Nobou Uematsu and Arnie Roth.

Speaking of music, I was invited to join a band called The Loliholix. It turns out they needed a drummer, and I just happened to know how to play drums and have way too much time on my hands.  After getting an electric drum kit and an big ol’ honkin’ PA to use as an amp, I was ready to rock.  Practicing and hanging out the band was fun, but playing our first big gig at San Japan was awesome.  Being part of a show, even if it is a small one, is just incredible.  The audience feeds off of your energy and gives more back to you.

All the while, I have continued with my creative endeavors, namely writing.  I completed some very short stories, even entering one into a writing contest, and am working with my friend Chris Holm on some comics.  I also have some longer works that I hope to finish soon.  I am hoping to get my stories, and even some non-fiction, onto the various e-readers and phones and pads that are all the rage these days.  Hopefully, I can make a few bucks on the side that way.

As if being a part time musician and writer wasn’t enough, I also read for a part in a short film that my friend Carey Martell is currently working on called “Deathfist Ninja GKaiser.” Now, I won’t be too disappointed if I end up as Man in Suit #6 but having a speaking part and being the first person in the show to get fried by the Big Bad Guy would be cool, too.

All the while, I managed to post to this blog and keep up a somewhat-regular schedule with my podcast: “300 Seconds.”  I figure that if I can get out one blog post a week and two podcasts a month on top of all the other stuff I’m doing, then I’m doing alright.

Overall, 2010 was a great year for me.  I got to meet a lot of cool people and had a lot of really neat experiences.  Sure, it sucked to lose my job, but with the help and support of family and friends (and some creative budgeting) I’m hanging in there, in fact, I already have a job lined up in a few weeks so things are looking up!. I have faith that things will turn around soon and 2011 will rock even harder.

Farewell and Godspeed, 2010.  You were one to remember.


Yeah, I’m The Drummer!

San Japan :3

Drumming is Serious Business!

I learned how to play drums in grade/high school. I was a band geek through and through, but after school was over, I didn’t pursue it much, though I never lost the desire to maintain a beat, tapping my hands on any available surface whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Eventually, Rock Band came around and I rediscovered my love of playing music, albeit in virtual form. Despite what the naysayers believe, it is possible to learn some drumming basics with the game. If nothing else, learning how to keep a beat is a skill that can be applied to any instrument or form of music.

Earlier in the year, I was asked by my friend and guitarist Eagle-Bear to join The Loliholix, a band in which he played.  They had lost their original drummer and needed a new one.  I warned him that while I did know the basics, I was not accustomed to playing on a full set. He said that we had plenty of time to prepare, and had the utmost confidence in me.  Awww.

After acquiring an electric drum kit (ah, the joys of apartment life) and several months of practice later, I played in my first two gigs.  The first was at the San Antonio Chinese Society Family Fun Day on July 3, it was fun and a good way for us to get our feet wet before San Japan.  It was lots of fun playing to a small crowd, and while it seemed a little odd to be playing J-rock at a Chinese event, they enjoyed the show.

San Japan was The Big One that we had been getting ready for.  I had two big concerns: the occasionally dropped drumstick and also, just what to wear. It sounds funny, but I knew that Kiwi (bass) and Jamie (singer) were going to be all decked out and I wanted to have something different.  I found an elegant solution to both problems: I bought a pair of batting gloves which give me a better grip on the sticks, and when combined with a Superman shirt worn over my Loliholix t-shirt, looks like a half-assed costume. Maybe I’ll add the fox-ears (which look like bat-ears on my huge melon) next time.

Performing at San Japan was awesome.  The stage, the energy of the crowd, the loudness of our music, everything blew me away.  Granted, it wasn’t perfect (I whiffed a few cymbal crashes but thankfully didn’t drop my sticks) but we got lots of compliments and I even signed a few buttons.  We are hoping that San Japan serves as a springboard to playing at more cons, and I really hope we get to play at RealmsCon in a few months as Corpus Christi is near my hometown.

At the minimum, though, we will be playing at Mizuumi-con 4 and San Japan 4TW next year though and I can’t wait!