2015 was the worst year of my life. I’ve had some bad years in the recent past, but nothing collectively takes the cake compared to this year. So I can’t speak positively about it at all. I really don’t have high hopes for 2016 either, because realistically I don’t see it getting any better.
The rest is rambling and I honestly don’t expect anyone to read it. It’s just a place for me to put my depressive thoughts, which, let’s be real. No one should be subjected to that.
I generally hate the end of the year. I know I’ll be having my birthday, which honestly it’s just always a depressing day for me, and I have to reflect on the fact I’m another year older and nothing to show for it. Nothing accomplished, no exciting life changes, no future. I’m so old and haven’t much progressed on anything at all. It doesn’t feel like a time to celebrate to me.
Everything is a blur. I think of “2015” and all I see is a blur. It’s a dark, sad blur. There are clouds and haze, it’s wet and cold. Any moments of happiness I had are just so fleeting, I can’t find them again. I wish I could remember them, but I can’t.
There are lots of things I enjoyed once, that I can’t seem to enjoy anymore. Certain series I liked, things I liked doing. I feel so removed from them that I just don’t feel joy anymore. I hope one day I can enjoy them again.
Countless things, very real and tangible things, very intangible feelings, went wrong this year. Work things, house things, health things, family things, friendship things. It’s hard to find any defining good moments amongst all these consistently bad things.
I don’t care if I seem overdramatic. At a certain point, you just stop caring how people interpret how you feel and how you act on your feelings. Because, trust me, all my bad feelings are just directed internally, that you don’t see 90% of the turmoil that goes on. So if people think the 10% that I show is attention-seeking or irritating or melodramatic– I don’t care. I’m broken and tired. And when you barely get on your feet again, you’re just knocked down once more, it’s hard to believe you’ll /ever/ stand on your feet for more than 5 minutes. But you have no choice but to keep trying to stand back up. It gets harder to care about the people watching you stumble and what they must think; how to impress them when you only have enough energy to keep getting back on your feet over and over again.
If you’re drowning, struggling for air, the moment you get your head above water and manage to breathe… that’s a success. Maybe you’ve managed to wade in the water long enough to keep from drowning for a few days. That’s a success. Maybe you’ve gathered enough strength to doggy-paddle your way forward. You’re not swimming, you’re covering little ground. It doesn’t feel like much when you’re struggling, watching everyone else doing laps around the pool. But, you’re trying. Almost everyday is a struggle to keep from drowning. And so, whether people recognize it or not, I’m trying every day to stay alive. Physically, but more so, emotionally. To keep from being completely dead inside. I know it may not seem like I’m trying, or getting anywhere. Trust me, no one’s more disappointed in my lack of success than me.
I wish I could be positive, I wish I could have something good to say. I wish I could say I’m looking forward to the future, but I’m not. I have no reason to hope or believe anything will be different or better next year. It’s my logical, realistic, cynical side that tells me to know better than to have high hopes. I’ve never been a very positive person, but throw depression into the mix, and you can just forget it. No matter how hard I try or how much I want it. There’s nothing on the horizon for me except more of this. All I can hope is that I can manage to keep myself from drowning.
2015 is ending just as it started: a lonely disappointment.
I’m sorry to all the friends and family that have to deal with me. I wish more than anything that things could be different, and that I wasn’t like this. Sometimes I can’t believe anyone would want to be around me. “How can you like me when I don’t even like me?” I ask myself.
Thanks for sticking with me regardless. I really need you.
I'm gonna let the photos do most of the talking on this one, because it was kind of an awkward one to write. I spent like half the con sick and utterly depressed, which isn't fun to share and talk about. But that is not to say there weren't good times. Quite the contrary, there were a lot of silly shenanigans. But if you want to stay away from the the more depressing parts of this writeup I suggest just looking at the pictures, hahah...
Haikyuu, Jojo style. Part of Friday night wacky times.
Thursday around noon, janiekat[Jane] and I left Philly for DC and had a pretty uneventful ride down. When we got to the Gaylord, I checked in only to realize we were assigned the most inconvenient room on the topmost floor far away from the elevators. I don’t like to complain about stuff like that but checking in at 3pm on Thursday after booking the room several months in advance, and THIS is the room you give us? Luckily when bluucircles [Amanda] arrived, she asked them politely if we could change rooms, which we did to something much better in comparison.
Amanda and I then change into Matsuoka siblings for a carefree (careFree!) photoshoot with sorairo-days [Sarah] and fairyring. When I heard Sarah was going to be Momo, I jumped in on the chance to be Rin (I've been wanting to be him for a while) with her and Nitori, and later Amanda joined as Gou and our Samezuka group was born. Naturally we headed for the pool to shoot with Kaze-Mike and Chasis Photo, both of whom were great to work with!
I love this photo of all of us! Photo by Kaze Photography.
This is when Chasis Photo kept telling me to “be more bishie”, and I was like howwww, cries.
Unsurprisingly, there were lots of Free cosplayers at the pool, even on Thursday night, and we ran into jmoosalecki as Momo!
Of course, we had a silly time shooting, but were kicked out when the pool closed. Afterwards, we took some ridiculous photos at the hotel gym room as well as goofy pics at the arcade. I think this was the first time cosplaying at Katsucon on Thursday, and honestly it was the best Thursday night at a con I’ve ever had! Too many shenanigans to count.
I misplaced the photo strip from purikura, I hope I can find it ;^;
Arcade and gym fun times.
I can’t stop laughing at these photos of me on the horse. I really wanted to ride it, okay??
Gou doing what she does best: appreciating muscles.
Some of us needed to work extra hard on our muscles, though....
After we finished all up with shooting, Amanda and I went to get food at the sports bar in the atrium. It was funny because we ended up sitting next to other Free cosplayers at the bar. We also ran into friends!, including the Twin-Cosplay gals, and later dem-hips[Tara], kacielacie[Kacie], skwinky[Steph] (and maybe a few others, my memory is faulty). We talked so much we kind of neglected our food, but it was a good night!
Friday morning Amanda and I got into our Chuunibyou costumes. A few months prior to the convention, Amanda finally convinced me to watch it, and I really enjoyed it! It's not a series that many people have heard of though, despite running for two seasons. Anyway, we had a morning shoot with TigerShot Productions, who got some really great shots of us! It was my first time shooting with him, and it went really well!
Yuuta wants nothing of Rikka’s nonsense. Photo by TigerShot Photography.
After finishing up the shoot, we had some downtime so we grabbed some coffee and breakfast. Soon after it was time for our shoot with the newly created Photopomp Studios!-- the combined powers of friends skwinkography and kdoranphoto. We all somehow braved the cold and wind (Steph and Kacie brought blankets for everyone, they were so prepared) to get some super cute shots. I'm so glad we got shots with the ferris wheel as well as recreating a few scenes!
Rikka wants Yuuta to go on the ferris wheel with her. Cuuuute. Photo by Photopomp Studios.
The iconic pinky holding scene ;^; Photo by Photopomp Studios.
After the shoot was over we all gladly warmed up back inside. Amanda and I wandered a bit, then gave in and waited in the badge line which never really calmed down. At about an hour wait, it could have been worst, I suppose. Then we toured the Dealer's Room before it was eventually time for some food. We went to Nando's with Jane and fenihel and ate back in our hotel room. It was then time to change into Haikyuu, but not before Amanda and I whined a bunch about taking off our Chuuni costumes. (We realized we never took photos in the photobooth, so we want to plan a trip to do purikura sometime!)
We still cute.
We ran into ameatyourservice, it was lovely meeting you!
We found a Nibutani cosplayer!! I couldn’t believe there was another Chuunibyou cosplayer, I was so glad!
So Amanda, Jane and I met up with a bunch of folks (skwinky, vintage-aerith, shinjaninja, kacielacie, etc) for fun Haikyuu times in the lobby. Literally, we were there for hours, acquiring more members (such as psychedelicpaprika) and shouting "SPORTS SPORTS!" and other crazy shenanigans. The best part is how well-received we were for just hanging out; a lot of people enjoyed us and took our picture. We were in a few wacky videos, like one wishing a con-goer's friend a happy birthday. We even sparred with some Kuroko no Basuke guys (ok, not actually). It was a pretty obnoxious fun night, and there are many a photo documenting our wacky times...
I still laugh every time when I see shinjaninja as Tsukki in the background...
Also Steph’s Noya face kills me. Everyone is so good.
Eventually we headed back to the room. I didn't mention yet, but we were sharing the room with sewthoughtful and Armen again, which with the five of us, is the best reoccurring con roomie group I could ask for. <3
Saturday morning I woke up leisurely and changed into Wirt for the first part of the day. There were... oddly a very large number of Wirts, which was surprising and not surprising at the same time. Anyway, I hung around with Jane and the large Fire Emblem group photoshoot she was a part of with Photopomp Studios. We hung by the doors at the back of the atrium as members of the group individually braved the cold (Steph and Kacie were troopers for hanging in there all weekend). We kept having to open the door for con-goers because it was locked from the outside, hahah.
This is a random vine I stumbled upon that has me as Wirt and Jane in FE in the background, lol: vine.co/v/OxQrxFjAXjr
I hung around there for a while, helping wherever I could, but eventually separated to join Amanda in touring the Artist Alley. (Sad I didn't get to see Ceriene in her armor!) Eventually she had to go to a shoot and I ran into Sarah, Hibrrry, Zach, and Vinh, and hung around with them for a while. Everyone kind of dispersed with different events going on and I met back up with Amanda and we chatted with death-rae for a good bit! We then finished up the AA before heading back to the room to change into our Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun costumes.
Jane had made Amanda and I marathon GSNK one weekend, and it was certainly was fun and entertaining. A bunch of different friends wanted to cosplay together, so I wanted to join mostly to hang out with everyone (As in, I didn't have any strong desire personally to cosplay any of the characters, but it seemed like a fun and easy thing I didn't want to miss out on, so I joined the group). So after changing, Jane, Amanda and I met up with the group in the lobby. We then went to Nando's (again, because lol without the Freshii/Baja Fresh there's like no other close/quick/cheap place to go) with skeletim and vintage-aerith to grab dinner and brought it back to eat in the lobby.
It was Valentine's Day and Mikoshiba's birthday, so you can imagine the hilarity that ensued. Besides the before mentioned people, also in our very casual group shenanigans were kacielacie, dem-hips, skwinky, supitscarrie, amisgurumis, mie_scattering, Kassie, and I think that's it. It was a goofy time, so I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. (I wish I had gotten pics with more of everyone there)
Selfies with kira-rin!
Apparently I spent the night trying to photobomb, ahah. Can’t let my cute friends have all the fun.
I was nearly strangled trying on Dokidoki Kokoroki’s “Get Along Scarf”....
Photo documentation of
Amanda, I mean,Seo being obnoxious.
When I changed before dinner is about when I started feeling sick, and tried to take medicine to hold it at bay, but to no avail, really. I usually get sick /after/ cons but not during them, and it basically hindered me the rest of the weekend, which I go into more about how it took a toll on me, womp.
Sunday I slept in kind of late, I can't remember how long, but I was sick and certainly didn't feel like waking up. But I did, and changed into Hiro to meet up with Tara as Gogo. In fact, her wanting to cosplay Gogo was the main reason I decided to cosplay from Big Hero 6 in the first place! So I'm glad we both followed through with these costumes. We tagged along with Amanda, Kacie, and baronvonblitz[Tyska] on their One Piece shoot with Steph. It was nice chatting with Tyska (and warming her cold hands, as usual) since I hadn't seen her in awhile! After they finished up their shoot, Steph graciously took some quick photos of me and Tara.
Me and dem-hips, heroing it up.
Photo by skwinkography . Thanks for doing an impromptu shoot with us! <3
As the con was dying down, a bunch of us hung out in a sort of secluded hallway for much of the afternoon. As people came and went, we said our goodbyes. By early evening, mostly everyone had left, and only us who were staying until Monday remained. Eventually we changed out of costume, and Amanda, Jane and I went to the Mexican restaurant, which I hadn't been to in a few years. I was feeling pretty awful mentally and physically and could barely eat my food. This is when I was hit hard by depression (so you can stop reading now if you don't want to read about that), and I won't go into much detail other than I was a sorry sobbing mess the rest of the night.
I was too sick and depressed to join, but look at my cute friends wrapping up the con.
Monday morning I really did not want to get up, unsurprisingly. I am never the last person to get up in a hotel room. Definitely was not feeling better in any way. Regardless I had to pack my suitcase in its entirety as we all got ready to check out of the hotel room. The five of us went to get brunch at a nearby IHOP. It was a nice and leisurely way to wrap up the weekend. After finishing eating, Jane and I said goodbye to Steph, Armen, and Amanda, and then made our way back to Philly (I left one of my favorite hats at the restaurant, which I can say did not help my mood in the least).
The funny part about this is that we asked the waitress to take a pic of all of us, but she fully cut out Jane, hahah. So Steph took a solo pic of Jane. We think it’s because Jane wanted to swipe the passing plates of bacon...
We returned around 5pm, and I proceeded to sleep almost immediately. I had to do a fairly simple hour-long-ish task for my job on Monday evening, as prescheduled, but otherwise was nonfuctioning. I actually called out from work the next day, which I rarely take sick days, and that was bad because I had a project I needed to finish up that day and had to leave it for my coworker to do. I felt extra shitty because of that on top of it all.
It was a weird sickness, not the usual type of cold I get. This had some intense coughing but mostly just feeling incredibly drained, kind of feverish. I don't mean to focus on this too much, but it was a huge take-away of the con. I don't want to let it outshine the good times that were had, but getting sick destroyed my ability to contain my emotions at the con, so my depression just came pouring out. I realize now this was certainly not the first time being an emotional mess at a con, not at all, but I was completely unable to control it this time. I hope I won't have to have a con like this again anytime soon. It was not fun for me to deal with, and it was not fun for the people around me either, I'm sure, so for that I'm sorry. No one did anything to me to cause this, so it's certainly no one's fault. I'm just mostly ashamed you had to witness it.
If I don't stop now I will just ramble abut my depression, which is unrelated to this con report, so I'll shut up now. Thanks to everyone who made the good times of the con the best they could be, and I look forward to the next time we all can hang out together.
Characters of finalarcanum!
After work on Thursday I took the bus down to DC from Philly. The ride is uneventful (unlike last time, which was horribly late) and I finally arrived by 10PM. Fun fact: when my cab driver drove by the harbor as we approached the Gaylord, I audibly “wooah”d as I saw the new ferris wheel all lit up. He probably thought I was crazy. After settling into the hotel room [which I was sharing with bluucircles (Amanda), ZeronXepher and his girlfriend] Amanda and I went out on an adventure in hopes of finding food. We did not. Everything was closed at that time since it was a weekday, so we ended up at the sports bar restaurant in the hotel (which was fine except for the incredibly slow service).
The new ferris wheel is so pretty at night!!
Friday morning was an easy-going one. For me, I had no obligations so I was in no rush. I took the opportunity to iron most of the costumes for the weekend. Eventually I got dressed into Hiro, which was originally intended for Katsucon, but I finished early. (I’ll have a lot of overlap with Katsu, actually).
I even surprised myself with how kawaii I am as Hiro. I did not expect this. Everyone wanted to pinch my cheeks and I was like “no stahp.”
Right after I arrived at the con, I had a special moment with sorairo-days (Sarah). I was heading down a flight of stairs, she was coming up them. I looked at her, pretty sure it was her but not 100% sure (cosplay does this sometimes, it’s magic). When we passed each other, we made eye contact, and just kinda smiled at each other and kept going. I figured since she didn’t say anything that it wasn’t her, but about 5 minutes later I get a text saying “OMG are you Hiro today?!” I’m still laughing about it, so I had to document this.
This is about when I ran into my brother Tadashi! I can’t believe I found one so quickly, I had to take a selfie with him!
Then I actually met up with Sarah and crashed her shoot with tangledinblue, hahah. We hung out outside, the temperature was actually comfortable (for me). We ventured to the Titan statue, which was a first for all of us.
Photoshoot crashing, so I was inspired to take a Skwinky-esque selfie at the Titan statue, lmao.
I always love selfies with sorairo-days!
Back inside, we bummed around kdoranphoto(Kacie) and skwinkography (Steph)’s shoot with Amanda. There was shenanigans. Not long after, we ran into barnabunbun(Stef), yonakaniji(Katrina), and company. I then left with Steph and Kacie to help with some trips to the car to get luggage. Between the trips to the car, I got to see skeletim(Tim), death-rae(Rae), vintage-aerith(Lauren), shinjaninja(Mary) in the room, along with some new faces!
After the great task was done, I wandered around and ran into some peeps, including monobolical and celsius, and then hung around a bit with janiekat(Jane) and fenihel(Jess). Then there were lobby shenanigans, such as when Mary, Lauren and I all hid underneath Amanda’s giant Peach dress, haha.
I told you not to pinch my cheeks
Later, after Amanda was more mobile (aka. not wearing a ballgown), we headed out for dinner, but not before happening upon the Triforce Quartet at the Gazebo! We stayed and listened, and although I don’t really play video games, there were a few familiar tunes, and I love violins. After the performance finished, it was time for dinner for real, but still no friends were around to join us, SOBS. We ended up going to the Thai place, which really hit the spot after not eating all day.
We returned to the Gaylord and hung around at the lobby bar and saw a bunch of people there. I turned in early because I had some hand-sewing to finish up and such (and was also tired).
Saturday morning, Amanda and I prepped for our Over the Garden Wall shoot with Steph. And with Kacie assisting, it was a blast, as always. It was pretty cold outside, especially for costumes, so Amanda hid inside my cape in between taking photos. But it was super worth it, the photos turned out wonderful! (See below for a preview)
A little birdie told me to take a selfie, and I listened, because I’m such a pushover.
Love this photo from skwinkography!
We finished up with a few more photos back inside, and then ran into Sarah, blanko and sashadee-cosplay. We then did a quick take for Kacie’s video— she had a super brilliant idea for our characters, which I’ll let you see for yourselves in her awesome video: watch here. Soon after, we grabbed a bit to eat for lunch, which I’m realizing eating actual meals during the day is nice (oops). But it was soon approaching time for SUPER SECRET SURPRISE MISSION.
Around 4PM, Amanda and I changed into our secret costumes, which were part of a huge plan to surprise Steph for her birthday. A bunch of us made costumes of her characters from her webcomic, Final Arcanum, which coincidentally just finished up its first major arc. (Go give it a read!!) When we were done changing, we snuck over to Headquarters, aka. the hotel room where Steph and co. were staying. There were met up with ringleaders Lauren, Mary, Kacie, Tim, and everyone else— and so the super surprise mission was initiated!
terminallyxsadistic and Emory played as the distractors, keeping Steph busy while the rest of us got ready. Then, they led her on an elaborate “treasure hunt”, map and all, through the Gaylord— all in keeps with the world the comic is based. Then, suddenly Steph was “captured”, just like the protagonist Acacitli, and the story played from there.
Mary’s character, Iver, waits for Steph as she’s escorted up the elevator to sky prison. As she comes off the elevator, who’s waiting for them? Non-other than my character, Vale, the girlfriend, who is confused and concerned about what’s going on (in the story). Mary and I ad-lib as we bring Steph down the (very long) hallway to the prison cell (aka. hotel room). Once there, in keeping with the story, Steph’s comrades burst through the (connecting) door to save her!
Mission successful! Here’s everyone after the surprise was complete, with the birthday girl in the middle!
L-to-R: death-rae, vintage-aerith, bluucircles, skeletim, kacielacie, skwinky, grandemagnifico, shinjaninja, firewolf826, shazzbaa
Steph was so overwhelmed with happiness, I’m so glad we followed through with this and made it happen! I’m glad I was able to work my way into the group, sort of last minute, and was able to be part of this. I really support Steph and her comic endeavors; she makes me proud! Special thanks to Mary and Lauren for initiating this idea, and to everyone else (really EVERYONE) who participated and managed to keep it a secret for so long!
We all then went down to the atrium to take some quick shots. Time (and light) was limited, but janiekat was a trooper and powered through to get pics of everyone. After about an hour we wrapped it up, and headed over to Public House restaurant for the birthday dinner celebration. Unsurprisingly, hilarity ensued, and the services was very nice and accommodating for our large party.
At dinner! I love taking table shots, but this was hard with so many people! I had to stitch three photos together, lol.
After dinner, we all went back to the room to have drinks and hang out. I had fun talking about art and webby stuff, amongst other things. And then we laughed, we cried. But no really. Good bonding friendship times all around. It was getting late, and some needed to turn in for the night, so a few of us (Steph, Tim, Amanda and I) went to the arcade room. I was surprised that we stumbled upon Stef, Katrina, Laura, and Zach at the DDR machine! We ran into some others as well, including supitscarrie. Giving into the noise, we left to go up to the board game room. There we spent over an hour or so playing the anime pitch game, Channel A. Or rather, I watched everyone else play because games like that make me nervous/self-conscious because I am not funny or clever at all. But it was entertaining nonetheless. By now, it was SUPER late, past 3am, so it was an odd miracle that I wasn’t sleepy at all (because I’m an old granny who’s bedtime is like 11). Everyone dispersed because it was seriously bedtime all around!
Some selfies with my boys~~! Plus one of my favorite photos from the night— when they recreated the last scene of Final Arcanum ;^;
Sunday morning I took my time packing up my luggage and changing in Rin from Free. I wasn’t feeling very confident (I felt better during my costest) but resisted the urge to tear everything off. I hope to improve so I feel better when I wear him briefly at Katsucon [
now passed, I fixed up the wig so I did feel better at Katsucon]. Around checkout time, I met up with Jane and we dragged my stuff to the car. Then, I grabbed some breakfast and coffee, and we later ran into Gianna, Alex, Jeremy and company, and hung around with them for a while. (I loved their Digimon kigus. I felt like all my friends made them for this con, I can’t wait to make my own too!)
By the afternoon, we were joined by Lauren, Steph, Amanda, and Kacie, and continued the lazy Sunday hangout times. We briefly toured the Dealer’s Room and then ventured out to Potbelly to grab lunch (Lauren and I had a super cute interaction with a little boy while standing in line!). The weather was nice, warmer than it had been and sunny, so we sat outside, but by the end of lunch it started to get a bit chilly. We all headed back inside and hung out in the lobby, where we were joined by Ceri, Kat, Violet, and Jess.
Around 5pm, people started dispersing, so it was time for goodbyes! Luckily, with Katsucon right around the corner, we’d all be seeing each other soon enough.
|I am a college graduate with a BFA in graphic design (interactive and illustration) and a Japanese minor, and am working as a web designer & programmer in downtown Philadelphia. I really love doing cosplay, started in 2004. I am pretty stubborn, have high-expectations, dream big, and often over-extend myself.... I'm not quite sure where my life is going, but for now, I'll just be having fun cosplaying... ^_^;|