Archive for March 2015

I never thought I’d say this now but   Leave a comment

I’m looking into making my exit from BPS much sooner than originally planned.

As of last week, I went public with letting my school community know I would not be returning after this school year. After 10 years working for BPS, I’m done.

The physical and emotional toll these last 2 and a half years in particular have taken on me have forced me to change my thinking on weather finishing the school year is the right thing for me or not. I’ve decided it’s no longer a viable plan.

Listen: I did 20 months of City Year 10 years ago. The work I did then and the hours I worked were much more demanding and I was paid alot less but it was nowhere near as stressful as I’ve been feeling for the last 10 months in particular. As of right now, I feel like I’m two steps away from having another mental breakdown. That’s not a place I’d like to revisit so…yeah.

I am still working on my post-BPS plan at this time. While having something to jump into now would be ideal, right now I don’t have anything concrete. Believe it or not I prefer to look at things realistically. I am prepared to go without a paycheck for a few months. I’m single and have no kids so I know at the end of the day, my family will support me in the short term.

I have not yet decided when I will resign it’s a matter of when, not if I envision my transition out of BPS taking place in mid-April the earliest. That said, I have alot of favors I’ve collected over the years from people that I’m going to start cashing in starting tomorrow.

If you’ve ever said the words “I owe you one”, expect to hear from me real soon ^_^


Posted March 20, 2015 by brendan2k5 in Blog, Boston, News, Serene Adventure, Updates

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The Internet Forums of Public Opinion are SO Unforgiving   Leave a comment

I thought about saying social media but message boards have been around long before the Facebook, Twitter and MySpace were even thought of. Basically, if Internet Message Boards was Judge, Jury and Executioner anyone who wasn’t a celebrity or had alot of money to swim in would be dead or in prison. As a friend of mine put it last year, the trouble with message boards is since everyone has an opinion, no one does.

That said, while nothing would please me more than to name and shame my two worst offenders I don’t want to give them the attention those websites feed off of. Feel free to ask me via email what websites I’m talking about, though.

Moving on, I can remember just 20 years ago (like I pointed out in previous blog post I’ll be 31 at the end of the month) the days of America Online and having internet safety drilled into you. You know, don’t share personal information with strangers and all that. As more ISPs popped up, IRC (short for Internet Relay Chat) was like the black market of the internet. Only those who were involved in nefarious internet-related activities–and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination–used them after 2000. It was around this time the Tech Bubble burst. The few years between then and the inception of Social Media websites saw the popularity of Message Boards and Blog Sites (Blogger, Xanga and Live Journal to name a few) explode into the stratosphere.

Internet communities then are of course very different from how they are now. No place is this more apparent than Message Boards. Just ten years ago, having an opinion was considered something positive. Now, it can put a target on your back or in extreme cases, turn an entire internet community on someone. You express you dislike something really popular somewhere and you’re automatically branded a hater or a troll. Those who’ve been in that position know what I’m talking about.

While keeping to my promise of not naming specific websites, the one subject both sites I have in mind have in common is video games. To scratch the surface a little bit: All of the talk you may have heard about there being a “Console War” between Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft going back now 10 years is a lie. The only people who see “competition” are the gaming community itself. The industry only sees $$$$ so…yeah. The problem is fans and gaming news sites misquote statements put out by developers to support their viewpoint for or against one of The Three.

With PC Gaming, it’s actually worse though from what I’ve been seeing folks are starting to wake up and small the coffee. The long-standing mantra of your textbook PC Gamer is “PCs are better than consoles”. From what I’ve observed on several websites, that mindset has begun to change in just the last year. What IS true is while consoles have an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years, PCs have no such limitations. What’s also true is PC Online Gaming has almost 10 years on consoles (The Dreamcast being the first console to make online console gaming mainstream). The biggest sticking point PC Gamers like to tout is with PCs, you can more easily mod your game in most cases. Modding your console is forbidden by all of the Console makers and in fact, you can get in alot of trouble if you’re caught.

That’s just platforms.

Individual games…whew. I could write 10 blog posts and only scratch the surface! Emotions are just too high xD

…Look, I’ve been there. If you asked me in 1999 if I would start blogging, I’d probably look at you as if you have two heads. I didn’t even know what a blog was after I randomly made my Xanga account in 2001. It wasn’t until 2011 that I seriously revisited the subject. 4 years later, I haven’t looked back. Remember: I once ran my own website XD

That crazy time from 1999 to 2010 saw me bounce from one Internet Community to another. It wasn’t just for the topics of interest but wanting to fit in with like-minded folks that saw me go from one site to the next. I had enough trying to prop up my website Serene in 2010 and retired it for good the following year in favor of doing the WordPress thing instead.

I haven’t looked back.

Given between my five blogs I’ve written over 400 posts in 3 and a half years, I figure if someone wants my opinion, they should just come here. With my blogs, I don’t have to feel like I spent alot of time or effort posting something only for my post to either be ignored or deliberately misquoted out of context.

I look at certain websites and I look at how unhappy so many people in the forum community are. Most folks will get frustrated and either move on to another forum community or just lurk. I found my own way thanks to WordPress. Folks can chose to read or they can chose not to. Some folks will find this very hard to believe but I know more than “just a few people” read my blogs. Unlike forums and social media, a lack of comments doesn’t necessarily mean no one is watching.

…So I will continue to blog.

33 Days until Anime Boston 2015!   Leave a comment


Boy, is it going to be EPIC.


I usually talk about Anime Boston on my Anime and Manga blog but I’ve decided to give everyone an overview of what my routine at Anime Boston is like. Here it is as I put it on Facebook yesterday:

I always go for the full weekend. For me, the party actually starts Thursday evening when Pre-registration opens at 4PM (WOOT!). Once you get your badge–and you will have it no more than 60 minutes max from the moment you get in line–you are free to mingle with the hundreds of fellow congoers either waiting in line or hanging out in the halls of the Sheraton or around the Pru. If you are a panelist, It’s a great opportunity to tell as many folks as you can about your panel(s). They’ll spread the word for you xD

Friday is when things officially kick off. Opening Ceremonies starts a bit before noon and it’s intentionally set so you have to wait until after Opening Ceremonies to shop ’til you drop in the Dealers’ Room. Before opening ceremonies, there are some Anime running in a couple viewing rooms to check out. The only Opening Ceremony in Boston that can hold a candle to AB’s is First Night. This is where everyone is hyped up, all the Guests of Honor are introduced and etc. After Opening Ceremonies, HAVE FUN! I tend to make a beeline for the Dealers’ Room right after Opening Ceremonies to see which vendors are back and which ones are new this year. I also tend to buy my Anime Sets and/or Video Games Friday since they’re never marked down later. I also go out of my way to ensure my Anime purchases stay under my hard cap of $100. Otherwise I’d have no money when I go back to work on Monday. Anyway after that, I eat lunch and then check out some panels until the Swap Meet. The Swap Meet puts the Stock Exchange to shame so…yeah, no way I’m missing that!

Saturday is the halfway point. Certain obligations keep me offsite until around 6PM. When I get in (after picking up dinner in the food court or Wagamama), I go staight to the Swap Meet until about 30 minutes before the panel I do is scheduled to begin. I then head to said room to set things up. That said, this will be my 4th year as a Panelist at Anime Boston (I just hope my Pokemon and Clannad Panels are not Saturday Night this year…). The past three years, the panels I did Saturday night were main event-level: They were slotted to overlap both the Masquerade and the AMV Contest. And all three years, the room was packed! I did Persona 4 in 2014 and Clannad in both 2013 and 2012. Persona 4 will be an hour again this year so I assume it will be on Saturday night. Anywho, after I wrap up my panel, sign autograph books and exchange contact info with folks I head for the AMV Contest and then the Concert. Since I don’t have a hotel room again this year, I time my exit so I’m on the second to last Orange Line train to Forest Hills a bit after midnight (LOL!). I plan to take a cab the rest of the way this year.

Sunday is when we close out the con. It’s also when I really bring it as a panelist with two additional panels, both timed for late morning and early afternoon. The second one tends to finish a bit before Closing Ceremonies. I try to get to the Hynes Sunday Morning at around 9 so I can take advantage ofNew England Comics and Comicopia’s respective blowout sales and binge on either a new Manga series I haven’t read yet or alot of new volumes of one I already have. Last year, I started on Blue Exorcist and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. After that, I then hustle to do my matinee of Panels. This year, my Clannad panel will be 90 minutes long. My new Pokemon panel will be 2 hours as well so…yeah. 3.5 hours of power! After my last panel finishes, I just go to Closing Ceremonies. It pays to stay until after the credits are done: That’s when the AMV Contest winners are revealed and you get to see them all. After Closing Ceremonies, there is one panel remaining: Convention Feedback at 4:30. It’s an opportunity for congoers to talk directly to the powers that be face to face. I highly reccommend everyone go to it if they can. Then, it’s wait until next year!

…And there you have it.

I avoid taking any personal time until after Anime Boston if I can help it. Anime Boston means I can take a vacation every year without spending alot of money. In comparison, most conventions charge nearly twice the going rate of $50-$60. Of course,  it’s also true panelists get the registration fee refunded a few months later.

One point I want everyone to understand is the con isn’t just for teens, young adults or even die-hard Anime fans. I’ve seen everyone from grandparents to toddlers at Anime Boston over the years. There’s something for everyone. The thing I love about Anime Boston–which I’m sure is the reason folks come back every year–is you know you won’t be judged just for liking Anime, Manga and/or Video Games.

…That kind of thing is important when you’re over 25 ^_^

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