10/4/14 - How long since the last post?

So I'm going to make this quick.  Yes it has been a while.  I thank you to those who stuck behind me.  I am going back to doing this solo so I can control my own destiny.  Yes, that last line was corny as hell.  I have also opened a store envy account for those interested in purchasing my work if you didn't know otherwise.

But the most important part:  July 2015.  I am focused on this month.  The unfinished comic will return in full force!  Stay tuned!


5/26/12 - Fossilized Website Coming Back to Life?!?!

It has been a very long while but we are still here!  Toki here to bring you updates via Facebook and our website.  Just to inform you new customers we currently have a wait list for commissions from artist Toki/Jeztarzcourt.  Ariel has commissions he is waiting to hear back from his commissioners and is still taking requests.  Mind you, we are slow artists, meaning all art work takes us ample time in between our busy schedules outside anime conventions.  We thank you for your patience!  Please feel free to drop the artist YOU want art from an e-mail with full, detailed-description of what it is that you want us to draw.  A wait list does not mean it won't get done.  We will get to all artwork, but with all great things of course it will just take some time.  :D <3 




11/09/11 - Culture Clash Studios now on Facebook!

 Recently we have started a facebook page for Culture Clash Studios.  Excited?  I am.  Updates are more frequent, see art in it's developement, even get a quick sketch of yourself just for following and liking Culture Clash Studio's FB page!  Keep in touch with artists and have commission inquiries?  Want to know the next convention we are talking about going to?  Want to plan a battle of the pencils? BRING IT!!! 

Haha Jking... but seriously check us out on Facebook.  Inspire Mr. Culture Clash himself to do a little more "interacting".

9/30/11 - Anime Weekend Atlanta~ 

Here we are at AWA and Friday is just about over... in about 9 minutes.  We have a few new things featuring at this con.  More large prints of customer favorites, sample line of stickers from MG3, new table displays!  Come and visit our table!  :] <3

 P.S. new page of MG3 posted as a special for AWA going to post another page~

6/7/11 - Jeztarz's Introduction!

Herro! I joined technically last year, but it's taken me this long to write an introductory.  Just so you know... I take my sweet time with my art and my art is in my style.  With that said, I hope all those who have commissioned me are happy with my work.  With the site's new renovations to come, I will be re-adding all art to be featured at conventions.  Exciting no?  Now, my partner has mentioned an original comic called MG3.  This comic will be featured on this website, but let it be known pages will be posted at a slow rate.  If you wish to purchase printed copies of the complete chapters you are more than welcome to e-mail all inquiries.  To save you some time, Chapter 1 of MG3 may not be available until the fall so keep crossing your fingers I get this project into gear! (for those already familiar with my work there is a pre-order list please e-mail your interest to receive direct updates)    ---Thanks for reading! <3 Jeztar


6/6/11 - State of the Union

Please check the Statu of Studios regarding the state of Culture Clash Studios.

5/18/09 - Lots and Lots

Wow!  It's been a while ain't it?  I was just brought back to life, reality really bites.  However, convention season is kicking in and I have to set my eyes on the prize.  First let's get this out of the way, I am so so sorry for the late commissions.  I am working on them but work sucks, in addition my current PC is fried.  Good news though is we now have two artists!  Let me introduce you to our newest artist Amanda Kingsley.  She has some really good artwork so please check them out on her own section Jestarz Court.  She will make her debut at this year's Anime USA but I am trying to convince her for an earlier convention. 

10/14/08 - After Anime USA

First off, I am still tired.  So very tired.  That's because right after the convention I had to go to work.  Back to reality, yay.  Okay with that being said, let me say I had a great time at the convention as always simply because the fact that I didn't have to pay zilch for hotel.  Okay maybe parking but still.  Unfortunately none of the art I put up on the Art Show sold, oh well better luck next year.  I got to meet some great artists, plus I got to see folks I haven't heard from for a while.  It's my fault, I really really need to text more (heh heh Leo).  It was nice to see Miguel from Dragon's Den again, and it was nice to see Danny's leg as well.  Um it's a long story.

A big shout out to my neighboring artist alley gal Linda.  I am still wondering if I got your contact info.  I probably do, but I will see you at Katsu as I am crossing my fingers for a table.  Also a huge shout out to Mike my arcade man!  Thank you thank you thank you for bringing me down memory lane with the Killer Instinct 2 arcade game the real one.  I guess I didn't realize I was that good in the game until I realized I was beating people too fast.  My writer Dan said I had twelve wins?  Ah, I lost count.

And speaking of which, yes to EVERYONE I still owe a commission piece to all the way back at Otakon.  Bear with me please as I am struggling to get the time to finish them all.


 9/25/08 - After Atlanta

For the record I came back about four days ago.  I finally found the time to sit down and write this blog regarding my trip.  First off as usual I don't get to head out that far south in a while so the Atlanta convention is a nice change for me.  The factors have changed.  It's an anniversary of a departure for me personally.  It's a change of travel plans.  It's a change with a whole new purpose with our business.  Yada yada blah blah let me get to my synopsis.

Wait, first and foremost, a shout out once again to my linkshell troupe all the way out there in Florida.  James, I promise I am working on a way to go to any conventions in that area.  Chris, hope you enjoy your awwww so cute Silvra pic, which is way way opposite of the other pic from last year.  You two Robs, I promise I will get the other pic done ASAP.  And give my regards to the wedding to be.  I am going to try to make that deadline.

Unfortunately I didn't really spend that much time going around the convention itself.  This is perhaps in the history of all the conventions that I have ever attended that I DID NOT ENTER THE DEALERS ROOM at any point in time.

Well the drive back?  Um, energy drinks suck because they have lots of sodium and it messed with my foot aka gout again.  Crap.  And I so so wanted to get a Pork Chop Gravy Biscuit at Hardee's.  Oh well.

 8/15/08 - Star Wars: Clone Wars, the short short review

It was a great cartoon episode, that's it.  Nothing really.  Instead of questions answered, now there's more questions asked.  What happens to Anakin's padawan?  What happens to that rogue Jedi under Dooku's rule?  What? What? Etc.  I felt this was more of an advertisement for new toys rather than a satisfying Star Wars movie.  The first clue that the movie was for kids was at the opening where NO classic score, nor classic opening.  For gawd's sake man, even the video games had the classic score and opening.  On the bright side, depends on how you look at it, it did introduce us to Ahsoka the padawan:  way better than Jar Jar and newest inspiration to cosplayers everywhere.  Go see Dark Knight....again....instead.

8/10/08 - After Otakon 2008

Okay let me get the worst of the convention out of the way:  I had gout most of the weekend so I had to limp every day.  Made me look like a hunchback.  Great.

Now that that's out of the way.  I am glad I was convinced to do this convention.  It wasn't the fact that financially It was a success, but the fact that this was the big leagues of Anime Convention.  Every day was a busy day, busy for me to the point that I actually had to get prints of those I sold out the previous day.  I had to do this every day in fact.

But the fact that I have fans (yes, I have fans) that were willing to wait and loved my work that they didn't care the price, I was speechless.  I even met new fans from around the world that is now taking my work back home.  Sweet.

I met a lot of new people, with just unbelievably cool artwork.  There was one lady who blew my eyes away that I had a commission from her done.  Please, do yourself a favor and go to her site www.Lannyworld.com .  In fact, I will have her draw more for me.

Overall, I loved the convention and I will definitely go back next year.

7/31/08 - What is the AYVB?

After months of preparation, my staff and I are ready to unveil the launch of the AYVB!  Right now the site is still way off from its final look, but at least we have it up and running.  The first comic strip is up and I promise that I will keep it updated.  Come, check us out at www.AYVB.net!

6/28/08 - Wall-E the short, short review

Three words:  Watch this movie.  One word:  NOW.

You want more details?  Okay, we just left the theatres to see Wall-E.  Let me get the negative out of the way:  there was no trailer for Pixar's next picture.  Okay, the opening of the movie which introduces us to the main character gives us two big points:  1) sets the tone of the character and 2) gets us attached to him real quick.  And that's where I have to give kudos to Pixar.  For them to create such an adorable couple like Wall-E and Eve is so cute yet so convincing, you often wonder whether it was a romance or an environmental comment (By the way, I thought that it would have been funny if they were the parents of Optimus Prime).

And speaking of comment, we had two theories on the moral of the story:  The environment?  Or we as a society turning into fat and lazy?  You decide.

But overall, I love this movie and I love the characters.  Both of them.  I mean come on!  It pulls at your heartstrings whenever Eve calls for Wall-E and vice versa (Oh and I dare you not to feel mushy during the outer space sequence with the two).  Go see it, I'll probably see it again.

 6/15/08 - After Anime MidAtlantic

 Thanks for all who welcomed my staff at Virginia Beach this weekend.  I must say that after my previous convention I was coming in with a down but this is one of my regular venues so this would be my fifth Anime Mid-Atlantic.  Let me say this:  wow.  We did a tremendous, tremendous comeback not only with business but also making new friends and finding old ones.  My personal favorite was that I got a picture with Vic Mognogna who is a very popular voice actor who actually picked up a print of mine!  I have to say this was my most successful convention yet!  Unbelievable!  I will definitely definitely will be back next year.

To those who purchased and viewed my work thank you, thank you very much!  Please if need be drop me a line!  To those who were there who asked:  What is the AYVB?  Come visit my site again on July 31, 2008 to find out!

A shout out to one lady who I accidentally tripped on while taking a picture of a cosplay:  I am truly, truly sorry.  I let my fan in me get the best of me.

To a friend of mine who I barely saw much of at the con:  I will see you at the next convention and I hope we can hang out some more...

Until then, I hopefully will be at Otakon next...

5/24/08 - Indy Jones 4 and Speed Racer:  the short, short review

Hello, I'm here once again to give you a quick review-by of two movies that we just saw so here we go.

First up is Speed Racer.  Right off the bat the Wachowski brothers are very visual with this movie.  The colors are bright and cinema angles are quickly moving.  This is apparently the end result of transforming an anime into a movie.  The actors really got into their roles, and what I do like is that they are fleshed out with backgrounds and not just on the screen (I really like the origin of Racer X and why he left his family).  I really liked the races but there were scenes that seemed to drag.  Overall, purists would feel justified.

Next up is Indy himself.  First things first:  Shy Leboof did not ruin the movie.  There I said it.  Without ruining anything, go see it simply because it's Indiana Jones.  The ending was a bit of a letdown (because it seemed to be a quick solution to his 'findings') but at the same time had a very, very nice closure (after his 'findings').

Now I'm off to bed, nite all.

5/13/08 - GTA 4 Review

I have been playing Grand Theft Auto 4 on my Xbox 360 for a week now, and I think I am qualified to give an opinion about the game versus the many mothers, political activists, etc. that did because well for one I actually played it.

First off let me say that the game is addicting.  Not the addicting that you would be influenced to act out the game in real life, but addicting in the sense that you would see time pass by as you just explore around the huge, living city or finish off mission after mission.  I have played previous Grand Theft Autos before, but this is the first where I actually see myself playing every day and not get frustrated with the missions or the side missions.

And when I mean the city is huge and living, I mean it.  I could flood this review with oh how the graphics was great or how the sound is terrific.  That's for the other magazine reviews to do.  What I am blown away is the little details that Rockstar did to give the characters and the city life.  Just walk around and you can see the NPC characters act out their role to other NPC characters.  They will react to you.  I saw a cop stop a robbery and an accident happen in front of me, that's priceless.  Add the internet cafe with it's own little details and you'll wonder how all that is on that disc.

Don't get me wrong, the game did not ship without a few bugs with it.  If you had a Playstation 3 for example, it has problems running on different versions.  Some of the NPC fixed animations sometimes don't react to your main character.  But overall, the game is worth playing as long as you know that this is a game nor use it as an excuse for any real actions that someone does.

5/2/08 - Forbidden Kingdom and Iron Man: the short, short review

Okay, I just saw Iron Man with friends.  And I thought it would be a good time to give a short, short review on that movie and the other movie I saw last week The Forbidden Kingdom.  I want to do a short review because I'm tired and I have to work in the morning.

First off, the Forbidden Kingdom.  Simply put, if you are looking for a deep story driven film with twists and turns in every corner.....rent Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  This is a purely driven children's storyline.  It kinda reminded me of Sidekicks with Chuck Norris and the kid from Seaquest, except replace Chuck with awesome Jackie Chan and Jet Li.  The fight scene between the two was epic, with each actor pulling off the styles that they excel in.  The kid is a real annoyance, but the two girls are gorgeous!  Overall if you're a fan, you'll love it.   I already saw it twice.

Now for Iron Man.  Three words:  Robert Downey Junior.  He is the best actor to portray the playboy Tony Stark.  The action scenes were decent, but it was the Stark banter that took the show.  They did kinda hint at a possible sequel, but although Iron Man was a decent movie I don't think it will sell a sequel.  Of course I could be wrong, I mean after all there is a Hulk movie coming out.....

4/15/08 - After Tekkoshocon

I haven't posted a blog in a while.  That's my fault.  Honestly, looking for a full time job to pay the bills, and then finally getting a job that is mediocre, well it takes a toll of what you want to do.  Oh well, enough of my personal rants about myself.  Time to rant on my previous convention.

Well, I guess I might as well get the negative stuff out of the way, which is mostly the convention itself.  The whole 98 percent of it I believe.  Upon arriving to Pittsburgh, PA and entering the hotel in which the convention was being held at, you can feel that the mood was bad.  The hotel was very small for such a convention.  The artist alley rooms were even smaller.  Think blood vessels in which the hallways were the main arteries and then it trickles down to capillaries for the small rooms like the artist alley in which only one blood cell can pass through one at a time.  Yes, that small.  Well in their defense, it was originally gonna be at a different convention hall but apparently there was a miscommunication and this was the result.

Which leads me to my next comment about the idea of miscommunication.  Perhaps the biggest thought that stuck out to me as well as possibly the other artists that attended.  Let me give you the scenario.  The artist alley hours listed that it would close at 6 on both Friday and Saturday.  Now on most of the conventions I have ever attended, most artist alleys close much later, some in fact never close.  But I digress, this is my first Tekkoshocon so I abide with the hours.  A petition was then passed around the artists and was signed as a "request" (remember that, request) that we could be closed at 10 instead.  Hours later, we get a confirmation that our "request" was obliged and we thought nothing of it.

Then the drama happened.

Ten minutes before the closing time of the first day, the convention director himself came in the room and announced to artist alley for the customers to leave at once.  I thought "Did someone steal something?"  Well, I wished.  He closed the doors behind him and all of a sudden he went into this drill sargeant pose and demeanor.  He asked if we were aware of the petition (remember that he is screaming this).  He then asked if we remembered signing a contract before attending about the artist alley.  He then went on this long speech about the short staff and that he was angered by the "demand" that we made (what the? request turned to a demand?) and that because of the breach of contract we could be kicked out.  At the end he said that he will authorize the closing time, but any other "demands" and we will be kicked out with no refunds.  At the end of his speech he challenged us to argue with him the next day.

At this point, I thought to myself forget it I'm done and pack up and take the hit.  What angered me the most are this:  1) This director was talking down to us like we were elementary kids breaking a window.  I guarantee there were older attendees me included that were insulted by this.  2) Why go through the dramatics ten minutes before closing time and make a scene to attendees?  3) It was a "request" in which if they said no, that's fine.

Oh well, time will tell whether I will attend this convention again.

On the bright side, kudos to the Radisson Hotel at Green Tree for putting up with all that.  The breakfast and drinks were probably the best I ever had.

11/22/07 - After Anime USA

Well another convention under wraps.  I have to be honest I really did not have high hopes for this convention, considering my previous experience with Anime USA.  I was fairly surprised on a difference a year, and some motivational aide, would make.

There were three things that happened at this year’s convention that were memorable in this person’s eyes.  This is excluding the fact that this year’s Anime USA was held locally, so goodbye hotel fees.

1)      This was the very first convention that one of my pieces actually went to auction, not just for sale.  I have been in the circuit for five plus years, so I was ecstatic when my friend told me that one of my pieces had three bids on it.  In turn, that moves the piece to the art auction.  That means, yes, there are people out there that like my work.

2)      I gained staff members!  Well not really, but we did come up with an upcoming project for next year.  That’s all I can say without revealing much, but let’s just say it will continue the sick humor we all grow to love.

3)      I met many new people.  And again I got to strengthen some contacts with people from the past.  But in the end, I was taken aback from left field, literally.  I didn’t see it coming.  So in the end, you know who you are.  I made a new friend, yay!  And I do so certainly hope you can make another convention locally in this area, like say Anime Mid-Atlantic?  Or sooner?  Oh well, I can only hope.

Well that’s it for now, unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Ohayocon next year because I missed the registration deadline.  And I won’t be able to make it to Katsucon, again.  Because for my own reasons.  So I’m gunning for Tekkoshocon in Monroeville, PA.

10/31/07 - Akiba Recovery

Akiba-Fest was held this past weekend at JAXX club and I am writing about it now.  Why?  I think it’s safe to say that I have fully recovered from what I feel was the most energetic experience I have felt in a while.  Now with all those conventions that I have attended, I have to punch myself for not attending any of the musical guests that often play to an anime crowd during the ceremonies.

I might as well give you a timeline of what happened this weekend then, well the best that I can remember.

Friday, around 3 PM

I get a call from the head of Tenbu productions saying that they were going to drop off my tickets for Akiba-Fest today.  The big reason was on the previous Akiba-Fest I entered my shirt design for Scion’s first anime-themed shirt contest.  To my shock and surprise, I didn’t win third or second but first place!  So I was already intending to go to the concert whether or not I got a free ticket or so.  Well basically this was the great news that I needed as he came in the store, but he wasn’t alone.  A representative from Scion came as well, for media purposes aka taking my picture and all.  But the real surprise was when he also brought the two music groups performing at my store!  Psychic Lover and Salia came in my store to do photo ops with me!  I was now in awe mode.  And let me tell you this, I felt such a positive energy with these two groups that I couldn’t wait for the show!

Saturday, around 5 PM

As I started walking towards the line I saw in the corner of my eye two very attractive models standing apparently waiting.  Then it hit me like no tomorrow, they were wearing my shirt!  I was speechless.  Then the Scion rep came again to take photo ops, this time me with the models.  I called them my bodyguards.  They laughed.  Now the wait for my friends to show up so we could go inside.

Around 8 PM

This was it, they brought me up on stage to present me with the ceremonial big check as well as showing off the new Scion shirt to the crowd.  Of course most of the crowd had no idea who I was, they were there mostly for the music acts.  It was still great, at the end of it all I got a round of applause and now I had a big check to carry around.


The show was over.  Psychic Lover was awesome.  Let me say that again.  Psychic Lover was awesome!  They had this great energy, and they gave it to the crowd as well.  And you can tell if you were in the crowd that they gave it right back as well.  Salia was awesome as well, but unfortunately for me I had absolutely no voice left so all I could do was mosh and jump on the dance floor.  The greatest part of the night was definitely the encore when both bands were on stage.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend.  Now I have to go back to work.

9/30/07 - Retirement

My aunt celebrated her retirement today.  There were lots of friends and family there.  It was happy.  It was also sad.  It was a wake up call.  It was everything.

My aunt gave my parents and I room and board when we moved from New York.

Thank you.

My aunt and I had some problems in the past.

I'm sorry.

But most of all, my aunt lived a wonderful life and can finally rest and relax.


My aunt will now be travelling home to the Phillippines and back.

Thank you, and we will miss you.

Thank you for giving me time to reflect on this long week.  To make it short and sweet, you know who you are.  Time will tell what will happen in the future to all of us dear, but I do not want to lose you as a friend.  I love you as a friend and I love you always.  Don't forget that, you know I'll always have an open ear.  Until then live life and know you have family here as well.

And so not to end so on a melancholy bit....MOCHI MOCHI!

9/24/07 - After Atlanta

Well just got back home from the Anime Week in Atlanta 2007 convention held in, um, Atlanta.  So let's start my weekend summary shall we?

Thursday 9/20/07

My friend and I had a goal to make it to Atlanta in under 10 hours.  So we left around 10 AM from Alexandria, VA.  The trip is around 600 miles.  Fun.  Fun.  We took two stops.  The first stop was a very nice lodging diner called "Rumorz Cafe" off of Dinwiddie, VA.  Now being an avid fan of the Food Network, my first reaction to the decor of the place was "Wow, Rachel Ray would like this place."  Well, the food was okay.  I ordered their homestyle chili.  It tasted more like the kitchen sink, in which they put every spice known to their cupboard in the dish.  What made the meal were two of the sides:  the homemade potato chips and the southern style iced tea.

The drive was pleasant, no real traffic.  My friend drives like a daytona driver.  Unfortunately so did most of the North Carolina drivers.  Well, anywho, the second stop was at a truck stop called Andrew's (I think, at this point I was tired from sitting) located in Homer, Georgia.  They had a billboard boasting 9.99 Ribeye steaks.  I was hungry.  Then we saw they had a deal on instant ramen.  We were asian, and we wanted to get to Atlanta.  We bought the ramen and upon arriving at Atlanta we had ramen.  And it was good.  Well, not really, but it was filling.

As for our hotel?  We stayed at the Sheraton across from the Renaissance Waverly Hotel which hosted the convention.  I really like this hotel because it is not connected to the other hotel (aka less otaku noise in the halls), but now I like the hotel for another reason.  We had two, count them, two 40-inch HDTVs in our rooms!  And my only regret was I didn't bring my XB 360.

Friday 9/21/07

Oh boy, let's just say that I had a rocky start.  Not business wise, because as soon as I set up, bam, I already had a commission.  Also, my favorite linkshell troop from Florida came back this year (a shout out to my pals Robert, Robert Prime, Chris, James, and the rest.  Ya all rock!) and as I started to panic in "Oh No not another poster size commission", they wanted individual ones.  Whew.  Like I said, I had a rocky start.  Emotionally, I'll just leave it at that.

Saturday 9/22/07

Still down, my artist alley buddies caught wind and tried to cheer me up.  Thanks, Leo, Owen, Yad, Jim and all you crazy characters.  Ha Haaaaaaa.......Payback.  Also the coolest moment was when a male Sasuke cosplay actually proposed to a female Naruto cosplay in the main hall.  Didn't know if she said yes, but I'm guessing she did.  I heard the otakus cheer.  Oh long long day.  And the sick part?  The commissions kept coming.  I think at this point I realized that 1) I had a wrong sense of humor (aka Sailor Homer), and 2) People started knowing me as the "Final Fantasy" guy.  Yay!  I have fans!

Sunday 9/23/07

The first thing I heard from the artist alley was "Where were you?" because apparently I was invited to an artist party in a hotel room in which their plan was to "cheer me up".  Of course I said that I didn't know and I asked what happened.  Their response was that they were drawing, and that's what they're sticking to.  In which at one point, there universal statement was I should have been there.  Upon going home, this was my busiest convention and gave me the pick me up I needed after Friday.  So I miss ya all in Artist Alley and my Florida newfound friends.  But home is a calling so here we go.

Okay, last year's return trip was bad.  We left at 5 PM but we didn't get home until 8 AM the next day.  So we had several plans to avoid this problem so we could get home earlier.  1) No stops to eat, we would take it on the go 2) No distractions (I'll leave it like that) 3) We brought my friend's car cuz it was an automatic, we took shifts.  So we got home at 3 AM.

Overall, despite a rocky start, I had a blast in Atlanta.  I met some new friends, and met with some old ones I haven't seen in a year.  I'm already counting down for next year's AWA.....

7/21/07 - Harry Potter and the Ninja

Okay so originally my friends and I were going to help out a friend who was unfortunate enough to be 1) a store manager for a book store and 2) a store manager for a book store selling the final Harry Potter book at midnight.  What I found in the short hours we were there was an adventure within itself.

It started as normal as any anticipated big event should be:  preparing the line for the eventual mad rush of midnight.  There were many people inside the store, and we were put in charge of maintaining order.  So we did what every friend does:  we started reading random books.  Of course, we occassionally helped.  I occassionally pumped up the crowd, basically giving them a countdown until they lose their thirty bucks.  And as for the crowd, it was a mix of teenagers and kids and adults.  And when midnight struck, yup, madness ensued.  It was cool to see the first customer to be this smiling kid as she strolled out the store with her mom holding on to that book as if it was the newest video game system or the newest toy on the lot.

Before I move on, no, I am not going to give an elaborate comment about the right wing religious factions about Harry Potter teaching children immoral values.  My view is this:  if you don't want them to read a book about good overcoming evil, fine, let them read something else.

But boy do I got a book for you then if you want them to read something else.  You see, as my friends at the end of the shrinking line had the books in their hands, ya, they convinced me to try the book out.  Well actually, I think the hype did, but that's besides the point.  So at first I had all the books in my hands ready to go yahtzee and buy them all.  But then I realized, let me be the generic lazy man and just read the first book and fast forward to the last book.  Of course, I grew an extra brain cell and decided to buy book one and read it sequentially.

That's when I saw it.  In the kids' section.  On display.  The title said it all.

"Night of the Ninjas"

What the?  At that point I fell on the floor laughing hysterically.  What cinched the book's lunacy was the art cover.  It featured a generic ninja grabbing two kids forcefully.  It was almost as if it was an anti-ninja attack on.....ninjas.  So of course I looked through the book real quick and had to buy it.  Because I have to read it.  I need to read it.  Because I want to know how this author can make light of the subject.  Then I realized she had other titles (author's name is Mary Pope Osborne, seriously you need to see these books).  So yes I bought two more.

"Civil War on Sunday"

and probably the high point in tonight's foray into Harry Potter mania:

"Tonight on the Titanic"

.....wait let me repeat that title of this children's book again, because yes, yes, I need to reaffirm to you the reader the title of this children's book.....again....

"Tonight on the Titanic"

So yes I bought these books to read why and how and oh my gosh.

But along with the Harry and the Ninjas I did come home with a book that I remembered in my childhood:  "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein.  Every kid should own this book.  Because that's how I am.  Why?  Here's one of my favorite poems Silverstein wrote as a final note to this blog...


If we had hinges on our heads     There wouldn't be no sin,   'Cause we could take the bad stuff out   And leave the good stuff in.

7/18/07 - Santa and Retail

I'm sorry it's been a while since my last blog entry.  Let me be quick to the point:  my job (the one that pays the bills) sometimes can come down on me like tetris blocks.

I get customers in my store almost every day, scratch that, every hour.  Why?  I work at a video game retail store.  Wait let me clarify.  I work at a retro-video game retail store.  How far back do we go?  Oh ya, we go far back.  All the way back to Pong.  And my staff?  It's just me and my assistant.  Great.  And the atmosphere?  Well, considering we don't get paid much we usually take it out on customers and ourselves.  Have you seen the movie High Fidelity with John Cusack?  You should, great movie.  Ya, that's how we feel.  Every day.

But there are times where we have to watch ourselves as retail employees.  We have to watch what we say or do.  And you know what clientele I'm talking about who we have to be careful not to offend or abuse.  Ya, the kids.  And I'm not talking about the teenage who want to be adults real quick so they can buy that mature rated game that just came out.  What I'm talking about are the young children who still believe in Santa Claus.

And this is where my story begins.  One night as I was closing my store, a young kid and his mother strolled in the store looking to sell his Gamecube and games.  Of course, the kid wanted money for his system, while the mother wanted store credit.  At this point, they began to discuss to each other what was more important:  credit or cash.  So being the satirical person I am, I basically told the child that at the end of the day, the system belonged to his mother, who bought the system.  The child quickly denied that fact, and responded that he owned the system.  When I asked the young potatoe who bought the system, the kid honestly responded "Santa Claus bought it."

Before I even responded to this, I saw the mother's look of despair as if to tell me "please don't tell him the truth."  Great, of course I had this point-counterpoint that was happening in my head.  Should I break this kid's sense of hope and tell him the identity of his 'Santa Claus'?  Or should I come up with something and let him firgure it out as he grows up.

So I confirmed that, yes, the system did come from Santa Claus.  However, as I explained to him, Santa Claus did not make the system.  Santa was only the retail owner of the product in which he needed the necessary funds to purchase the components to have the system complete, like the box and controllers and such.  By the way, yes I did say these long words.  You should have seen the kid's look of confusion.  In other words, as I said to the kid, Santa needed funds in order to be able to 1) giftwrap the product 2) pay the shipping taxes and 3) ship the product with extreme priority because after all he wasn't the only one that was getting the system that day.

In which the kid asked, "So where does Santa get the funds then?"

My reply?  "Well kid, that's what your parents call the IRS.  And they pay that every year."

In conclusion:  the kid gave the mom the cash.

7/5/07 - Transformers review

Just saw Transformers movie this July 4th morning at 10 AM.  It wasn't because we were going to see fireworks later.  It wasn't because we were having a barbeque later.  No, it was simply because morning matinees are cheaper.

I went to see Transformers with extremely low expectations.  I was a Transformers generation 1 fan.  I was a Transformers: The Movie fan.  So what I was fearing was a slight travesty to the Transformers name.

Well, let me say that the movie was okay.  That's it.  Okay.  It was neither great nor terrible, just okay.  Perhaps the best way to view this is not only to expect nothing, but to also base it along the line of past reincarnations of Transformers generations.

So with that aside, lemme talk about the movie's biggest problem.  There were many pointless characters in the movie that they were there to be just filler, to me.  Let me give you the three most pointless characters to you.  Pointless number 1: the entire voice analyst team.  The fact that "7" unveiled the whole top secret project without the necessity of deciphering 'the voice', it was just there to show the "smart sexy lady".  Pointless number 2:  Sam's best friend who was in the movie for two scenes.  Honestly, he could have went to the party alone, and the story would not have changed.  Pointless number 3:  Sam's girlfriend's dad.  Oh, wait, he wasn't in the movie?  Yes, he was as a person on parole to make her 'a bad girl to question Sam's innocence.'  Come on, after looking at her, would you?

And on THAT note.  A girl that hot for the men patrons to gawk at.....and she's supposedly in the 11th grade?  Wouldn't it have been less pedophilic if they made these teens go to college?

All in all, an okay movie.

7/3/07 - A Rollercoaster ride

Well, I guess with every emotional rollercoaster you have to start at the beginning of the ride so let's start with the climb to the first big drop.  This past Monday morning was gonna mark my last day in summer college class in order to get my college degree in general studies.  Sure, that's basically just a piece of paper saying "Wow, you took some classes, you spent money," but to me it's a degree nonetheless (this is a long