I hope everyone's health, both physical and mental, is fairing well! I gained a little weight from quarantine and am working on dropping it. I really need to start jogging or exercising or something, but I don't have the motivation at the moment. My mental health has been wavering a bit. I've had a really rough 2k20 so far. My spring term was basically just one giant train wreck after another. My step dad was in the hospital with pneumonia, and then my brother. At the beginning of the term, my aunt passed away. My cat had an emergency vet visit, which super sucked because I was technically unemployed at the time. My sister ended up in a horrible car accident here a couple weeks ago and it made it so difficult to take the calculus final exam. Which is what I'm studying for now, because my professor is having me retake the exam and putting me through the stress all over again, instead of, you know, working with me on a decent compromise as to how to grade my final. Jackass.
Aside from all that, things have been pretty good. I've gotten back into old hobbies and it's really nice! I have started drawing and writing again. I am also sewing! I've finally found time to sew (outside of making masks for my friends and family and, of course, my community). I'm trying really hard to focus on the things that I can control and the things that make me happy. It's kind of hard with everything else going on, but it's also really important.
I didn't come here to tell you all bad things though! I really didn't! I am finally going to write up my reflections on the Cross Country Tour and ALA! Even though it's only been half a year, it feels like eons ago---from a different universe almost.
First of all, meeting so many other beautiful and talented people---both models and photogs---had me fangirling inwardly for half the trip. It was so cool to make so many new friends. I had a lot of trouble not being socially awkward though, as I am probably one of the most socially awkward potats in the whole world. I had to really focus on keeping my cool and not babbling constantly (I talk a lot when I get super nervous). And oh my gosh! Getting to see old friends was so nice. I was so happy to give hugs and loves to the people I already adored! And now next time, I'll be able to give hugs and loves to EVEN MORE people.
I think my favorite place to shoot was at an expansive garden with so many beautiful buildings in Austin. It was super busy for me, but it was so pretty! There were so many places to shoot and it was so big and I got to work with so many cool people! The whole place was so incredibly gorgeous though. I couldn't believe it was January! Texas has a very different winter than the PNW! We shot at a few places and I ended up sunburned because I forgot to pack sunscreen. It was awful. I wasn't like, super sunburned, but I hate the sun with a passion. I avoid it at most costs. Usually, I slather on sunscreen and then embarrass everyone around me and walk under a parasol during the summer.
I slept for most of the rides between places. I get super car sick super easily, so I constantly took Dramamine. Arizona was a lot of fun! By the time we got there, I was finally completely comfortable with everyone we'd been traveling with. I had a ton of fun shooting by a pool and in different rooms. I still feel bad for laughing so loud that I woke people up or made it hard to sleep. I wasn't trying to be inconsiderate, but I was and I still feel guilty over it, which is silly because it's been half a year. But. I still feel bad. It made things a little awkward for me afterward, because my anxiety convinced me that I was now unlikable---which is super stupid. Anxiety is the worst.
Some of my favorite shoots over the course of the trip were Star/Tom with RyokoYuuki, the big D.Va group, Gohan/Videl with Renee Storm, the Sailor Animamates group, and probably the Inuyasha group! I think I would've had more fun with the Naruto group had I had more coffee in my system beforehand. I really like groups, it'd seem! Oh! And Kika, Ryoko and I totally shot a The Walking Dead group and it was baller. I seriously can't wait to get the pictures back! But seriously, I had so much fun with everyone and it was such an honor to be invited! Not gonna lie, all of the shoots were fun and I just want to list them all.
ALA was very busy. It was my first ALA and I actually got to see some of my non-deviant friends while I was there! I always get super excited to see my friend, Sam, because she's such an incredibly talented seamstress. Her work is SUPERB. I look up to her a lot. She stopped by the booth to give me hugs and loves and show me her Midnight cosplay up close. It was so pretty! Not gonna lie, super happy Sam wasn't competing this year because I wouldn't have had the time to watch her on stage! Instead, she just helped backstage during the show.
By the time we got to ALA, I think we were all pretty tired. I definitely needed 26 cups of coffee daily. My Chii cosplay broke when I went to put her on and I had to figure out something else quick. I ended up choosing to wear Sakura Kasugano instead. I was really surprised how many people knew who I was and how many people informed me that I was Ultimate Street Fighter Waifu ahahhaa. It made me laugh so hard! I really want to shoot her, but I also think it'd be silly to shoot her solo? I mean, I could. I just think that it'd be one of those that would be better off shot with someone else? I don't know. What do you guys think?
I had my birthday at the ALA party! It was super cool! I was so thankful that Troy didn't get everyone to sing happy birthday like he said he would. I think I would've died from pure mortification. I really want to tell you guys that I'm an excellent dancer---but I honestly am awful at dancing and I'm not sure how I keep getting invited to do things! I look so goofy when I try to dance. I also have trouble remembering how like, everyone else dresses for the parties. I wore something that ended up making me feel incredibly uncomfortable because it wasn't flattering to my shape at all. But I definitely glowed! I need to get better at figuring out sexy versions of characters. I also need to remember to buy a wig grip so that my wigs don't go flying off on stage!
Because of school, I had to leave a day early. Everyone came to the room I was in and wished me a happy birthday and great sendoff. Troy even came and gave me the cutest pin. Someday when I find the right ita bag, it's going dead-center. I waited until I got to the airport to cry. I was so sad to be leaving everyone. When I say that it bummed me out, I am not exaggerating haha. I went home very tired and emotionally drained from having to leave all of my friends.
One last note about ALA---there's an Indian restaurant right across the street from the venue; if you ever attend ALA, go give them your business. Their food is dank af and inexpensive. I don't know why it wasn't busier! Seriously. I'm a foodie. 10/10 would recommend.
Regarding covid---I don't know that I'll be attending any anime conventions for the rest of the year. I might consider it if I manage to get Sango done this year, since she wears a mask. But also, I'm part of the high-risk group (severe asthma/prone to pneumonia), so I also don't know if it's a thing I'm willing to risk. I haven't completely decided yet. When things get closer to Kumoricon, I'll decide. I had already committed to doing the lingerie show during Miyakocon---so I might go for that. It's going to be a Princess Serenity-inspired lingerie! I have it all patterned out and ready to put together. But who knows? I might have to ask to wait until after there's a proven vaccine for covid.
Please stay healthy and safe out there guys!