ajmyers82 / Member

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ajmyers82 Blog

Aj who?

Wow, I've been gone for so long I almost forgot how to get here. :P

I'll spare everyone all the grisly details of my graduation from my beloved U of I, move back home, job search, job found (yay!), move to Chicago-area, new "I-think-I'm-in-over-my-head" job , yadda yadda. :P Let's just say I wasn't away from GS all this time because I don't like it (I still love you, GS). And I have to say... I'm not back per se, just popping in. Hopefully I'll be able to pop in with more frequency, but I make no promises at this point.

Anyway, just want to say hi to everyone I haven't talked to in so long. :) Hope everyone is well. And to anyone who sent me a pm... I had, like, a million, so I just erased them all. Sorry, but I just couldn't bring myself to go through each and every one. :?


Drowning in life

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I haven't been on here for weeks, I haven't had a decent IM conversation in a month, and I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. A brief overview of what I've been doing: finishing my thesis revisions since the deadline for submission is June 27th, applying and interviewing for jobs, working hellishly long hours at the lab, and packing since I have to be out of my apartment on the 28th of this month. :| As I don't actually have a job lined up and new place to live, I'm moving back home temporarily. When I moved out 7 years ago, I never thought I would be heading back, but life's funny that way. I don't mind, obviously, since I go home a lot anyway, but I need to get a job right away so that I'm not leeching off my mom. So wish me luck with all of that.

Basically my schedule has only allowed for about 2 hours of "free time" every evening before I crash on my couch and slip into unconsciousness. I've been spending the time catching up on some reading and I finally finished getting 5 stars on all the medium songs in Guitar Hero I and II. That game is like therapy for me, I don't know what I would do without it to take my mind off things.

Anyway, that's why I haven't been around. It will be awhile before I am since I'm going to be disconnecting my internet soon and I hate the dialup at home :P. But once life settles down a bit I'll make my triumphant return. Oh, and I'm currently writing the Acknowledgements section of my thesis and in it I thank "all my friends who have supported me through my trials and tribulations" and that includes everyone here, especially all who read these sporatic blog posts even though I never read yours in return, the members of the MoL who make me laugh, and especially Yami and Nano for IMing me even when I can't respond. It means a lot to me. Thanks everyone :) Hope to talk to you all soon.


Watch out for falling skin

Another long blog post explaining where I've been and where I'm going....

First off... I told someone the other day that this crazy busy schedule sucks because I haven't been able to talk to my friends for weeks. Of course I then got the heavily sarcastic comment "oh, you mean your 'online friends'? How can you miss people that you've never met? :roll:" This really pisses me off, because I do consider my online friends to be actual friends, and in fact there are people I talk to online that know me better and seem to care about me more than some of my "real" friends. So, I'd just like to say you guys are great, and sorry I haven't been on and thanks to everyone who has been leaving me messages even though I haven't been on and replying in a timely manner.

Secondly.... my garage sale. We ended up making more money than we thought we were going to, so that's good. We made $880, $600 of which I got to keep. Time to put a small dent in my credit card bills.... :? And even though the sale went well overall, it was miserable. From Wednesday to Saturday my grandma (whose house we have the sale at) just drove me absolutely nuts. We ended up getting in an argument and giving each other the silent treatment. It was also hot and the windiest it's ever been during one of our sales. And so on top of my obligatory sunburn on my arms, face, and ears.... I also got windburn on my face and ears. So my skin blistered, opened up and started oozing, and then forming these large, yellow scabs. Very attractive :P And now my sunburn has started to peel so I leave bits of skin and scabs wherever I go. Normally I wouldn't care, and would even use this to gross out the people at work... however I have a conference next week and I need to look a bit more..... normal.... for it.

Which leads me to my third topic. Our annual meat science conference. Some may remember that we hosted this conference at my university last year and I absoluetly loathed the entire experience. But this year it's in South Dakota, so it won't be as bad. However, my main goal this year is to convince someone there that they want to hire me. So I'll be armed with my resume and business cards.... and my sun/wind burn :P Anyway, I'll be in South Dakota from Saturday (6am, yay) until Wednesday night. If you don't hear from me after that, then I probably melted into a pile of oozing flesh. Maybe Nano can collect my gooey remains and boil some of my enemies in it (I'll make you a list, just in case) :D

You may call me Master Aj

8) Yay!! I passed my master's defense!! So I have officially attained the degree of Master of Science. I already have my new business cards printed with my new letters behind my name. :D I just have to make corrections to my thesis and depositit and then I'm completely done with my college career. My defense lasted 2 1/2 hours, so that's not bad and it went really well. I was super nervous for the week before hand, but once I got into the room with my committee, I was ok and it went by fast. And of course, while I was in my defense, my coworkers decorated my desk. This is something we do for everyone, so I expected it, but the theme they used is really awesome...... NINJAS!! They cut little black masks for all my various figures and stuffed animals on my desk, they put a mask on our lab blowup monkey and gave him some ninja weapons, then put a mask on our lab rubber rat and give him some shuriken, and they put a TMNT mask on our large stuffed Weiner Mobile. They even got a Rafael mask because someone remembered that I said he is my favorite. I can't believe someone actually listened to me talking about my fave ninja turtle, let alone remembered it. They also poured tons of tiny, shiny confetti all over and inside my desk. It's everywhere. I'll be cleaning it up for awhile :P Here's a pic of the awesomeness. Oh, and they also made me a ninja mask to wear, so as soon as I changed out of my suit, I threw on the mask, grabbed some of the weapons off my desk and ran around terrorizing the lab :D

Oh, and after all that fun, we always go out to eat in honor of the person who just passed their defense and I chose Pizza Hut buffet. Mmmmmm..... pizza. I ended up having 12 friends come with me. I know what you're thinking.... "you know 12 people?!" :P But I use the term "friends" loosely. More correctly, I went with 2 friends and 10 acquaintences from work who wanted to eat pizza. :P :lol:

So much has happened since I was last on GS.... And I'm going to be off for another week starting this weekend. I'll cover that and my garage sale in the next blog post. I'm at work right now and should actually be, like, doing work I suppose. :P

And here's some more

Well, some of you may have noticed I've been pretty absent the last week or so (and maybe you didn't... :P ) and I'm sorry to say that that's going to continue for another 2 weeks :(  I'm really working hard getting ready for my defense on the 5th, and my garage sale is the 4 days after that, so I'll be pretty much not here until those two things are over.  I leave the MoL in the destructive hands of its officers and hope it's still there when I get back on :P :lol:  And I leave all of you with some more pics, so enjoy! :)

So, I've gotten my mom completely hooked on Guitar Hero II (that's right, my mom's a rock star! \m/ \m/ ) and she just made her way through Freebird to finish off medium.  When I was home last weekend I snapped a shot of her playing, and it's hilarious because she's concentrating so much she looks miserable :lol:  (she's going to kill me when she hears I posted this pic).  But I'm so proud of her mad skills :D

These are some of the pics from the Bleach group photoshoots I was a part of at the anime con.  I have a gazillion pics, my brother was a great photographer for me :)  But these are some of my favorites.

Ichigo vs. Aizen        Zangetsu     Ichigos (with huge Hollow!!)

Big group      Captains    Leiutenants    Rukia

Yoruichi and Urahara        Yachirus biting Ikkaku's head

Yachiru and Ken-chan      

Yachirus giving directions- this was something I asked the other Yachiru and this Kenny to do and it was a big hit with the crowd :)

Yachirus hug- this was a request from the picture takers

The following are some pics I took of the Kingdom Hearts photoshoot that my brother was in.  This was a huge shoot and it kept deteriorating into a yaoi-fest :lol:  My brother didn't take part in any of the yaoi pics, but there was an incident with a yaoi paddle that I'm not allowed to talk about.... heehee.... :D

Halloween Sora        Axels       Demyx    Dusk

Riku, Kairi, and Sora    Some organization members

Big group     More organization    Xigbar

I've been looking through other people's photoalbums that they posted from the con and found some of me and my bro :D

The only picture I've seen of the 2 of us together (we forgot to take any :P )

Beware the power of Riku's sword! (and Aj's wrath if anything happens to it.....)

I look like I'm strangling my Kenny plushie in this pic :lol:

Riku reading KH manga.  One fangirl went completely crazy when she saw this.  If you notice, there's also a graphic novel in the bottom right corner.... that would be the one I'm reading, so I feel like this person was hovering behind my shoulder.... *creepy*

I was really surprised to find this one, I had no idea I was being watched from above.

More pics

Sorry it's taken so long to post more pics, but I haven't had much time to get online lately.  Even though I walked in the graduation, I don't actually get my degree until August and that hinges on me completing and defending my thesis.  For those who don't know about thesis defenses.... I have to put together a presentation detailing my research and give that to a committee of professors who then grill on me on my methods, my results, and on everything else from basic science questions to minute details of meat science.  It usually lasts about 3-4 hours.  If I do well enough, I pass, and if not..... well, lets not think about that.  So I've been busting @ss to get my stuff done and studying, and I'm starting to freak out slightly...  :?

But anyway, here's some random cosplay pics for your enjoyment. :)  I'll post more when I get a chance.

Pikachu      Great Saiyaman     Moogle    Ninja Trooper

Spartan    Pakkun     Princess Peach    Inuyasha and Kikyo

Link    Tifa and Vincent    Rock Lee    Vash    Holland and Eureka

Rock and Roll clown     Samurai Scream dude  

CD armor guys- I was told this took a long time to make.  It made a really cool sound when they walked

Captain Jack Sparrow- this guy was friggin awesome!  He had all the mannerisms down and was absolutely amazing!

Fangirl goes *squee*!!!

Yep, the inner fangirl was out in full force this weekend :D  The anime con was FANTASTIC!!  On Thursday night in the registration line I wore my "My parents told me I could be anything I wanted so I became a ninja" shirt and my brother wore his "My parents told me I could be be anything I wanted so I became a pirate" shirt :D.  I got one of the guys in line to help me come up with reasons why ninjas own pirates and he was great at it :)

On Friday and Saturday we wore our cosplay costumes and they were a huge hit!!  My brother barely got off the elevator the first morning before the fangirls swarmed and glomped him.  It was craziness.  I got glomped too a few times, everyone said I was adorable :oops: (very out of character for me :P ).  Everyone was taking our pictures and yelling our characters' names, it was so much fun!! :D  And there were a lot of great other costumes there.  We ended up taking about 200 pictures :shock:  I won't post all those here, obviously, I'm going through them right now.  I'll post some of my brother and me in this post, and then some of the other costumes in my next post.

Anyway, we had a GREAT time, we can't wait for the next one, and we're definitely going to be dressing up again! :D (I should start on those now, they took me forever to make this time :P )  Then on Sunday I got to walk in the graduation ceremony (even though I'm not officially done until August).  The graduate robe I had to wear was the most uncomfortable thing in the world.  Since it's a higher degree robe, it has thick, hard velvet that makes it impossible to sit or stand in it comfortably, and it has a "hood" which is just this thing that hangs around your neck and down your back.  It was like a final exam to make it through the ceremony with your trachea blocked, fighting the dizziness and blurred vision, and to make it across the stage without falling over.  I barely passed that test :P

So, here are some pics for your enjoyment (and thanks to everyone that wished me luck and a good time in my last blog :D )  BTW, I made my kimono, hakama pants, leiutenant badge, waraji shoes, and tabi socks from scratch.  I made my brother's outer vest and sword from scratch and altered the rest of the costume pieces.  I cut and styled both wigs.  It took me about 4 months and $300 to finish it all.

Aj's brother: Riku from Kingdom Hearts 2
Riku 1     Riku 2    Riku 3    Riku 4      Riku 5    Riku vs. Shadow Heartless

Aj: Yachiru from Bleach
Yachiru 1    Yachiru 2    Yachiru 3   Yachiru 4     Sleepy Yachiru   Another sleepy Yachiru  (hey, it was a couple of long days :P)


I. Am. So. Psyched.

Well, this weekend is the 10th Anniversary of Anime Central in Chicago, IL.  This will be my second year going, first year cosplaying.  I'll be heading home tomorrow (Thursday) to pick up my little brother, then head over to Chicago to get checked into our hotel.  Once we're settled in, we're heading out to Mitsuwa, a Japanese marketplace close to the con.  Then Friday and Saturday will be filled with fanboys, fangirls, anime, AMVs, shopping, art, and panels, etc. :D  I'm so excited that I couldn't sleep last night (which is making work really rough today...).  Then Sunday morning it's up early and driving back here for my graduation ceremony.  I'm psyched about that too.

Other happenings..... I've finally set the date for my annual garage sale, it'll be in June and I'm guessing it will be hot as hell.  :?  Bring on the sunburn!! :P  Apparently everytime my grandma stops at a garage sale in the area, she gets asked when we're having our sale.  We're pretty well known 8)

Other news.... my neighborhood is getting worse and worse :roll:  The cops should just park their cars in the parking lot so they don't have to keep driving back everyday.  And the garbage people forgot to empty our dumpster this week so the garbage is spilling out of it and the wind is blowing it through the parking lot and around my car.  The good part about this is: when I found the condom wrapper outside my front door, it was probably just blown over from the dumpster and somebody didn't actually feel the need to break out a condom on my doorstep.... :|

Just an update on life

Well, things here have been crazy busy as usual. :roll:  Add to that another bout of insomnia, and I'm just worn out and tired :P  My job situation is still up in the air and I'm still moving out of my apartment on May 31st, even though I do not have a place to move to and I may be penniless by then :P  Oh well, it will work itself out.  I packed up some stuff around the apartment and took it home for storage to make moving easier, and my books ended up filling six 22 gallon totes (3 for manga and 3 for regular books- but only the ones on my bookshelves).  It's weird to see the shelves all empty (although I've already started refilling them with books I've been reading :P ).

I'm also finishing up the cosplay costumes for my brother and me since our anime convention is in a few weeks!! :D:D  My brother's Riku costume is almost completely done, I'm going to finish it when I go home this weekend, and my Yachiru costume is coming along nicely.  I'm getting really excited about the con, it's been far too long since the last one! :P  This year High and Mighty Color are going to be performing too!  I would love to see these guys' concert.  I just got Goover and I really like it :D

One negative thing about the con weekend..... I just found out that I can walk in the May graduation ceremony even though I won't be technically done with my degree by then.... and of course it just happens to fall on the Sunday of the con weekend :cry:  So I talked it over with my brother and we decided that we would stay until Sunday morning, then hoof it back here for my ceremony.  Last year at the con I stayed up until about 3:30am Saturday night watching anime in the viewing rooms, it'll probably be the same this year.  Then I'll be up about 5am to get ready, drag my sleeping brother and all our stuff out to my car and make the 3 hour drive back for my 9:30am ceremony.  I'll be tired as hell, but hey, it'll be a great weekend. :)

Thoughts on Virginia Tragedy

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the Virginia Tech shooting that occurred yesterday.  I followed the story all day yesterday from the time they confirmed one person was dead, all the way up until this morning when they confirmed 33 dead and 27 more injured.  Among the 33 dead is the gunman who committed suicide.  It's the worst shooting massacre in US history.  It's an especially stark reality check for those of us who work, attend class, and live on a college campus because you think about how these kids were just starting their Monday morning just like we did.  And with about 43,000 people on my campus, it's not a stretch to think that there's one person in there who will one day just snap and cause a similar tragedy.

I think the part of this story that has shocked and startled me the most, however, is the reaction, both local and global, to what happened.  Almost immediately, students and family at Virginia Tech began attacking the college officials, claiming that not enough was done to protect and inform them.  They have suggested a lock down should have been intiated.  A lock down where?  How?  There are many buildings on campus to be checked and locked.  Many people were already out walking around on campus, how do you quickly round them all up?  Many students were still sleeping and faculty driving in to work.  How do you inform and protect everyone?  And there was a two hour break between the time when the gunman shot 2 people in the dorm and when he starting shooting in a classroom in a different building. How were officials supposed to predict and prevent that?

And while, yes, America does have its problems, the global cold shoulder and scoldings we are receiving are deplorable.  At a time when so people are grieving, is it really necessary that other countries shrug and say, "Told you so."  In the London Times it basically said that we don't have the right to be upset that this happened here because of America's gun culture and how these things never happen in London because they got tough on guns.  Well, I'm so glad to hear that Britain is so safe, perhaps we should all move there where no one ever dies in sensless, violent attacks, like say, oh, I don't know, in bus or subway bombings.

Anyway, just needed to get that out.