The second day was the first and only full day spent at the con. Chris and I most of the day doing our own thing; people watching, enjoying elaborate costumes (even Nell in her released form), watching random panels and such.

The three of us spent a few hours in the afternoon watching Live Action Mario Party (based on Nintendo's game, of course), and Amanda even participated in one of the min-games doing a crab-walk.

We watched random audio/video tracks throughout the day, including Video Game Project 5 and some humerous mashups. I'd never spent so much time watching AMV's and it was well worth it. I'd only seen some AMV Hell videos before but some of these others were really funny.

Later Chris and I listened to The Spoony Bards (so named because of a censorship/translation issue from an FFIV game) play for a bit in a hotel lounge area on the first floor. They're always fun to listen to and play a range of geeky musical scores.

Youmacon is an anime con that occurs during the last weekend in October each year in the metro Detroit area. This year marks year five for the event and they continue to grow at a rate that they sometimes struggle to keep up with.

Amanda, Chris, and I arrived in the early afternoon at the Hyatt (where the event is held). We checked in, dropped off luggage, organized provisions and headed out onto the con floor.

Since it was still early afternoon the hotel wasn't overflowing with otaku - yet. We did see storm troopers though (3 total this year vs the lone 1 I saw last year).

I wanted to wander into the dealer room early this year, since last year I had difficulty finding a little stuffed Kirara doll (from InuYasha) I wanted. This year I managed to secure one early. I also stumbled across various odd Final Fantasy VII gear, like the above pic.

Yesterday Sherry and Dan had their second child, Emilie Lara June. So today after doing some work at school I headed over to the hospital to visit them.

Daniel and Sherry seemed in high spirits and happy to start this next phase of their family.

I'm looking forward to spending Monday with them and seeing how everyone settles in at home. It should be exciting. :)

So here is a shot of the newest addition sleeping in her bed.

I've had a Guild Wars account for a pretty long time. Slowly I bought all the standalone games and even have the GW:EN expansion and yet I've still failed to complete any of the main story lines or anything. Its a fun game but I play it pretty infrequently. So since I had a little downtime this morning before heading out to school, I booted up the game.

As you can see from the screen shot they're celebrating Halloween. :D

Most of the afternoon and evening I spent at school researching statutes and cases for my research and writing class. Its a long process but very educational to go through the motions yourself as opposed to having the cases handed to you. Thought it will be frustrating to keep pulling cases and statutes that I don't need, I can see where practice over time will speed up the process and make it much more enjoyable.

Slowly I am packing up various parts of my apartment. To make a long post short, Chris and I have been spending a lot of time together. So eventually we got to talking. And more talking. And we decided it makes sense to just have all our stuff in one spot. Especially since we have been practically living together anyway.

So though I love my apartment complex I'll be moving in the next few weeks. Its exciting, and it cuts down on the amount of clutter I own when I have to go through each individual item. So here is a shot of the easier stuff I've tackled so far. Honestly most of the things in my apartment were already packed up because I don't have room for everything, so that's kind of a bonus...

Most of the morning I tried to organize my apartment and pack up a few things. The futon got dismantled and that opened up the office (so much so that I lament not having done that sooner).

After bit of poking around on the computer, applying to a few jobs and organizing some files, I switched into Ubuntu to address the unresolved dual monitor issue.

I spent a few hours with it and finally got the drivers Chris installed yesterday to load properly (not sure what the problem was exactly). After that I installed AdobeAIR and tweetdeck, and messed around trying to get Skype and the PS3 to work.

And this afternoon should be fantastic as I get to spend time with Sherry and Dan before she's induced this week (unless, of course, she goes into labor between now and wed)

After class Chris came over and we worked on installing Ubuntu 9.04 on my desktop.

It now successfully dual boots vista and linux. Unfortunately there is a snag with the dual monitor setup I currently run. Apparently Ubuntu is not a fan.

So here's a shot of Chris trying to work on the driver issue. He got it working! Until the computer got rebooted. ;( Still, I appreciate the effort.

Today is Chris's birthday. Saturdays are great days for birthdays since they typically don't involve work or other responsibilities.

The day was good. After I botched breakfast (and it was fixed by Chris) he opened his present, shot some video, and then we promptly went out shopping, looking for a nano case. We ran across some odd candy, hung out at the mall and played air hockey.

Later we played some PS2 games (had to redeem myself from getting my butt kicked in air hockey), watched a movie, and had tasty cake.

Great day and glad to share it with you Chris. <3

It happens more frequently as the years march on, but it's still frustrating to see christmas items right next to Halloween decorations. I mean, I know it's going to happen...but seen those stockings in October just means I'm going to have to start listening to the holiday music at the beginning of November....

Another odd thing I ran across today was a whole host of "___ and Philosophy" books. The one that immediately caught my eye was World of Warcraft and Philosophy, followed by the Zelda book next to it, as well as a Simpsons and Final Fantasy one. All these at your local bookstore, Dan and I discovered.

I'm not a huge fan of shopping (unless it involves video games or computer parts) and today I needed to do quite a bit of it.

Chris's birthday is coming up Saturday and I needed to get some things organized. So last on the list was a card. I hate shopping for cards. HATE. Not a huge fan of cards to begin with and it never seems like any of them ever fit what I want to say.

So when I see an aisle like this full of cards - I spazz just a smidge.

On a lighter note, dinner was pretty awesome. Yay calzones from scratch.

I spent most of the day working on a research paper for my evening class, Research and Writing.

It would have gone a lot smoother but Leki was so excited that I was home and around that he spent a rather large amount of time sprawled across the papers and trying to lay on the keyboard...

Day one of unemployment started out with job searches, working on my research paper, and a few other things. I ran the roomba for a bit to clean (not that it really needs to clean but its good to get the cat used to it). I also finally made the focaccia recipe Varvara (friend of Chris' from Russia) gave to me. She was even kind enough to translate it from Russian to English and metric to US customary units.

The day ended with Chris, as most days do. I cooked dinner and we headed out to Wealthy Theatre to watch the cheesy 80's movie, The Howling. The theatre is older and pretty awesome to chill in. I was impressed and the pics don't do it justice.

Today is the last day of my latest contract gig. Then comes a stint of unemployment until I can find something new.

The day was pretty uneventful Monday for me work-wise, and the transition was smooth from the woman coming back from maternity leave and my leaving. Creating a document that tracks all the changes that occurred definitely makes the transition smoother.

So this time around I will take Chris's advice and not spazz so much. I'm plugging away looking for a job, working on school work, and thinking about all those books and projects (*cough* audrey *cough*) pile up over the last year or so and start working on those during my downtime.

I predict many relaxing days in my future, not unlike what Leki seems to enjoy on a regular basis.

Adam and Comfort, creators of The Uniques comic and good friends of Chris's, came into town today.

We spent the afternoon with them, walking Kent Trails, learning random bee facts (Adam's dad is a bee keeper), and enjoying the weather.

Later, in the evening, we watched several shows and a movie while Adam and Comfort worked on issue 9 of their comic.

It was a great Sunday afternoon.

In the morning, I lazed around not doing a whole lot. Studying for class mostly.

In the afternoon, shopping was on the agenda once it was decided that I would try to tackle Chicken Cordon Bleu, which I've never made before.

Though I'm not a huge fan of ham, I decided to make all the pieces the proper way for the first time around. I'll modify it as I make it over and over...

So here's a shot of the chicken with ham and swiss cheese waiting to be transferred to the skillet.

After work Chris and I headed over to metro Detroit to hang at my friend Kati's house for a bonfire.

It was a great evening and I was able to meet Georgia's new mans - who is very nice.

The evening was great with the only bad part being the terrible meal I ate (mountain dew and poptarts - topped off with brownies, cookies, and smores) which caught up to me later in the evening.

I look forward to doing more of these - even if I have to drive 2 hours to get there.

I spent a rather large chunk of the day working on a paper for my research and writing course.

Not done, but I made progress. So here's just a shot of some papers I had laid out while organizing my thoughts...

I've had the Taurus sitting around for awhile, waiting for my little brother to snag a license.

But its been two months and nothings happened.

So today when I went out to start the car, move it (and realize I'm waay used to the Fusion now), and in general make sure it still ran I bumped into one of the maintenance people at my complex. And he was interested in a car for his daughter.

Issue with finding old Taurus a new home: solved. :)

Tuesday was a pretty good day. It was quiet at work and sunny outside - low stress.

But I also didn't do much Tuesday. Didn't go out, didn't do much in. I did make sloppy joes though - so here's a shot of dinner for Chris and I.

Outside of making dinner there were just a few youtube videos Chris showed me like Microsoft's vision of the future and sarcastic gamer's version. I passed out pretty early.

Spent some time with the Junes, Dan and Sherry, this evening. We caught up on stuff, had good food, and great laughs.

I watched Natalie run around, doing cute things like dancing and playing with her dad.

Dan and I snagged tasty dinner at Noodles & Co and had a fun evening chatting and catching up on life.

All in all fun night with family.

After my class today, Chris and I headed out to Robinettes for some doughnut and cider. It's been a pretty long time since I've done that whole fall apple thing so I was totally willing to do it.

There was a pretty long line for doughnuts and cider when we got there, but it moved relatively fast and the weather wasn't too cold. Once inside we were able to sit down and enjoy the food and drink.

They do have hay rides, kettle corn, a corn maze, and all the other things you'd expect to be at an apple orchard in the fall selling entertainment. Its a nice place and I've only been there once before in the winter, so it was totally worth going again.

Attended the wedding of Stephanie and Jeff today - friends of Chris'.

It was a nice ceremony, fun reception, and all around good time. It was great to see so many happy people and meet a lot of the people Chris works with - who are all awesome by the way.

While I'm not a huge dancer, its great to watch other people have a ton of fun out on the dance floor. It was especially awesome to watch the guy you're dating jam along to music. Too bad the pre doesn't take good photos in dim lighting. Hoping to snag a few from Dan, a co-worker of Chris' though. ;)

On lunch I decided that both the apartment needed to be vacuumed and that Leki needs to get accustomed to the roomba (if only in the hopes of him doing this).

So I set it off and it ran for almost an hour, cleaning nearly the entire apartment. It did an alright job, but I think I stretched its radius out too far so it wasnt able to double back enough to fully clean the carpet.

Still, its always amusing to watch Leki with a new item. He's curious, he's afraid, he's curious, he's afraid....

I totally thought I took a photo today. Nope, I didn't. But what I did do was a whole lot of lazy in the evening after work.

I messed around with Google Wave more and showed Chris some stuff I'd figured out. Hello public waves = glorified chat rooms of the 90's. Still, its interesting and a fun gadget to play with. He picked up a Zipit and was showing it to me. Very small, very cool, lots of potential for goofing around (*cough* loading linux *cough*).

After that we watched another episode of the new show, Flash Forward. Watching it I couldnt help thinking about Highlander, and how the main guy talks kind of like Christopher Lambert. Then I kept wondering if he was Duncan, from the TV show. No, he's not. Still...anyway.....

So here's just a shot of the cast from the show, since that's sort of what I did for the evening (and another screen shot of Google Wave seemed too much). Chris gave me a snazzy printed off pic of meow meow for my fridge, which I am totally digging and is chilling right next to my pic of Vash and Peppy.

Chris, who got an invite last week to Google Wave, was kind enough to nominate me with one of his 8 slots. I received the invitation in the mail today and have spent as much time as I've been able, between work and school, playing with it.

I can see that it has a lot of potential. You could have feeds coming in from all sorts of various sources and do live collaboration on projects, meeting notes, event planning, and more.

So far I've managed to get twitter working with it, and was able to post a few tweets. The blogger bot, bloggy, isn't working with blogger so I'm not able to post from there yet. However, posterous does work so you can always look here to see if I've posted anything.

But, with all things in preview, bugs are still being worked out. As you can see from the screen shot, not all of the images were loading properly.

If you aren't familiar with Google Wave, check this out.

Age has made me appreciate my father more. As a kid we clashed a lot. I'd avoid my father like the plague because any little thing I did seemed set him off. Hell, to this day I'm pretty sure given the opportunity I still wouldn't decorate the Christmas tree with him. And I almost never, EVER load the dishwasher when I visit them.

It wasn't until I got older that I appreciated how similar we were and how relaxed our relationship is. Who cant love having a dad whose shoulder you could cry on if you wanted? Or you can have a beer and swap racy jokes with? And I appreciate that when I complain about something, or ask for advice my dad will actually tell me I'm wrong or plays devils advocate.
So my dad doesn't tell me what to do and fuss over me like a child, and I don't avoid him to skirt around the parental nagging it seems some of my friends are subjected to still, into their late 20's. He respects my independence. Hell, he encouraged it. So even when he doesn't agree with things that I'm doing, or ways that I'm living, my dad is awesome enough to respect that I'm different than him and as long as I'm happy, he's happy.

Here's a shot from '87 of the family at a friend's wedding; my dad still had darker hair and was sporting his awesome 35mm SLR.

So I hope you have a fantastic birthday, Dad. And that mom waits on you hand and foot. Who knows, she may even be up for a trip to Microcenter or something. :D

This Monday was pretty uneventful. Didn't have a whole lot going on, didn't do a whole lot. Heck, I didn't even remember to take any photos except when I was messing around on lunch break with the cat.

So here's a shot of Leki scarfing down food in the bathroom, periodically looking over to ensure I'm still around.

He gets weird sometimes and wants me to sit with him while he eats. His two favorite things in the same room: food and warm pillow.

My little cousin Ashley turned 10 today. She's quite a bit younger (nearly 20 years from Dan) than her other brothers who I spend quite a bit of time with.

In keeping with tradition they had another birthday party this year. I've not attended all of them, but I try to go every few years since I dont see Ashley or my aunt and uncle a whole lot outside of that - despite them living (until recently) in Rockford.

So Chris and I headed out there and I got to spend time with Sherry and Natalie, as well as Dan and Josh. Amanda was there as well. Hell, even my parents came out for a little while. All in all it was a good afternoon, despite people being under the weather.

As a belated birthday gift (and completely outside of our normal cousin tradition), Josh picked up a cute novelty I had always found amusing: Eco-sphere. So here it shall chill, on my desk and away from anything the cat may want to do with it.

There are additional photos here: Ashley's 10th Birthday Celebration

Originally today I was supposed to shoot photos for Shelly and her new mans up in Cadillac. Then my parents were talking about coming out for the weekend with Dayzee in tow since there is a birthday shindig at my aunts in Rockford Sunday.

Eventually though these all fell by the wayside and Chris and I were able to enjoy a relaxing rainy day. He made tasty chili, we went out to see Zombieland with a couple of his friends, and then promptly came back and watched a few more movies (with my doing homework interspersed) back at his place.

Fantastic way to spend a rainy fall day.

Let the little ferret out and about this morning before work. Every once in awhile she wakes up in the morning, looks at me with her adorable beady eyes, and I give in. I have to let her bounce around, running into the cat stealing socks, and in general having a good time.

Guess it was a pet heavy Friday. I also took Leki to the vet for a booster shot. He wasn't terribly happy, but he didn't attack anyone this go around. Just moaning, whining, and hissing. He's making progress.

So here's a shot of the little girl next to her basket of toys and a tube I've had for years she uses occasionally.

Hung with Sherry and Daniel for a bit. Was fed tasty foodz, caught up on life, and am now hopped up on coffee and Mt Dew for the evening.

All in all was a good day, albeit busy. The Roomba I ordered arrived today, and I'm looking forward to finishing it off checking it out with Chris after I pick him up from the airport.

Soon this little machine will clean floors, be controlled by wireless remote, and chirp out midi music. Totally loading FF music onto this thing. Will be awesome.