Thursday, July 31, 2014

Choga - July 2014

Choga is one of these Asian restaurants where some Korean and Japanese food is served as well as free music almost every night. In order to see the performances, purchases is a must. However, there is no music charge but you can make a donation to a tip jar.


The first story is Setsuko's birthday party which Monday July 21, 2014. I was hoping my 2 Facebook friends would attend but they didn't show up so that's why I chose to sit in the tables. I have money to purchase whatever I see so I had my steamed dumplings and ramen. Unlike last month, I had my chicken teriyaki. And of course, there are appetizers as well. My best option is to avoid some hot spicy foods so my mouth wouldn't burn.

Setsuko provide some great entertainment and so is Mina who plays the piano. Of course Setsuko has 2 of her original songs, Mr. Right and If you believe in yourself. These songs are copyrighted songs and cannot be duplicated or it'll have copyright issues. Not to mention has Setsuko has her down band comparing with her own dancers of the past events I went to.

During the break, I gave Setsuko a birthday gift which is a flower and every one of Setsuko's friends or guests all in 1 group photo. The same goes when the show ended.

Now let's talk about July 29, 2014 at the same venue Choga. It was much unexpected to meet Atsumi of Robin's Egg Blue along with the other Japanese vocal singer I met which is Yatsumi. This is more like a singing Chorus event. If you want to know about how Yatsumi is met, here's where she came from. I'll give you a convention that I went this year and yep, it's SpringFest. There is band where they performed in such anime related events and that band is The Asterplace. I kind of think Yatsumi am similar to Uzuhi's Tsubasa which is why there is a female member of the Japanese punk rock band.

I don't have money to waste so I just ordered the Blue Moon and some water. Oh, you gotta love this! No ID required of buying alcoholic beverages, may I ask why? Here's the other bars around Bleecker Street such as Wicked Willy's or The Bitter End and there is security asking people to show ID's at the door. If a person buys alcoholic beverages without showing ID, then they are screwed especially if they serve it to persons less than 21 years of age. Here's Domaine Wine Bar in Long Island City, no ID and no security comparing with Arlene's Grocery, security and they ask for ID at the door and if they ask for ID's at the door at the bar, why they can't do the same for restaurants. Who came along and said, OK we're gonna have better food, better music and oh those show your ID policy gotta go. When did this idea of simple convenience become obsolete?


So anyway let's continue telling the story about the chorus band called Always Be Good. While enjoying my Blue Moon before the music starts, Yatsumi already quickly realized who I am and replied with her name. I haven't forgotten who she is since I met twice from The Asterplace.

I have to say that this isn't so bad. The vocalists don't sing their original songs but their cover songs. But keep in mind that they are copyright protected since they belong to the original artists when it comes to uploading videos on YouTube. During the event, I ate the watermelons, drank the beer, and water. Not to mention that Gen Don Horisawa and Masashi also came over.

When the event is over I gave the flowers to Atsumi also known as birthday flowers. I couldn't finish the beer but it's best to let it go. The photo is by Gregorio Binuya. If Yatsumi is met on that day, maybe I can follow her for any upcoming shows.

Keep in mind, I didn't bother writing a blog on Mariko on July 14, 2014 at Arlene's Grocery because it's just wasn't a good time after the event. I was originally going to obtain the 2nd CD from Mariko but it never happened. It's the end of July and August is getting ready to begin. Tune in next time when we go to PwnEm Con at Insectduel's Game Corner.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Hour FUNdRaiser - NY de Volunteer (July 2014)


In this story, we have chosen to come back to Legends Bar but it wasn't the same but for every visit, there were at least different people. What really ticks me is the fundraising goal which can go up to $4,000 to help 200 children in EJC. So the question is did we meet that goal? This story will find out.

First of all, the dress code! We can't even wear our badges into the event BUT things would be easier if we already created our own shirts with our logo either heat press or silk screen. What ever happened to selling their own NYdV T-Shirts but origami earrings are still sold which is handcrafted by NYdV Staff. What's new is offering free chocolates if you purchase anything more than $30 in raffle tickets.

Once I got raffle tickets, the real battle began. There isn't much interesting prizes but you get to bid their prizes. The most expensive prize is the cosmetic set from Shiseido which cost $100 and only 2 people can win. The second one is the whiskey which is probably around $90. By the way, we get 20 raffle tickets for $40; it used to be 15 raffle tickets. I placed a few raffle tickets which include Bus tour of Washington DC, Chocolates, Cosmetic Set, and some others. I saved a few tickets to be placed for Round 2 gifts.

Round 1 has been called in to win prizes for people who placed their raffle tickets. 4 people can win a box of chocolates which is a $72 value. I was one of them. Because there were a few tickets being placed in, that was an automatic win for me and not luck.

But I do have to give credit for these musicians for their background music.

Round 2 has begun so I placed a few tickets on Asahi Beer, Cosmetic Set, Bottles of Green Tea which is common in Japanese supermarkets, and Sake Set. No point winning chocolates 2 times in a row so let everyone get a chance. So what really bothers me is who any why the hell people want the whiskey drink so much. Are they high or alcoholic collectors or they loved to lose their minds once they start drinking? You know I was one of the decent people who don't drink a lot of alcohol. So during Round 2, a lot of people used their tickets is thrown on Whiskey and Sake Set so there is no way for me to win. The Cosmetic Set has less tickets and that was very surprising. I would win the whiskey drink as a gift to someone but that would be stupid.


The raffle gifts are a HUGE improvement over the 2012 to 2013 NYdV events I visited. To prevent confusion or cheating the cups is place upside down and covered in paper with the prize number in it. However, there's a prize number on top of the cups where you place the raffle tickets and the numbered the prize name itself. But there is one flaw, the tickets overflow. Too many tickets may overflow the tickets and is visible on the bottom of the cup. My suggestion is get the cup tops and place the number instead of some cheap paper or any item that has the same size as the cups.

So here comes Round 2 and guess what, I didn't win the prizes not even the Asahi Beer. After all of my efforts but I walked away for what I had. Usually there is a second chance prizes but there isn't. Remember, the $40 I spend go towards the children in EJC. But the question is did they meet the fundraising goal of $4,000? No they didn't, they rise only up to an estimate of $2,200. So this is like crowdfunding in real life like they were crowdfunding in websites like KickStarter, IndieGogo, GoFundMe, and others.

I have been crowdfunding for MAGFest this year and guess what, I have a roommate. Then we tried crowdfunding for the Denver Cherry Blossom Festival, it failed. After all these attempts, we know that crowdfunding into Otakon's hotel will also fail as well. But there is one thing that really got my attention this year than Otakon and that convention was PWN EM con. Tune in next time at Insectduel's Game Corner blog.