New Stories: E3, Hipster Little Mermaid and More

Traci Hines at Japan L.A. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

Traci Hines at Japan L.A. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

Last week was E3, so I spent a good chunk of time Metro-ing back-and-forth from Los Angeles Convention Center. This was my second time attending E3 with a badge. (I went badgless two other times.) It’s much different from the events that I normally cover, mostly because it’s a trade show rather than a fan convention. It’s much more similar to NAMM, the music trade show in Anaheim, than it is to San Diego Comic-Con.

I wrote E3 stories for L.A. Weekly this year. “Why Aren’t There More Women in the Video Game Industry?” features interviews with women who make games, write about games and are otherwise involved in the industry. “Oculus Rift Gives You Magical Powers in a New Video Game Set in 2020 L.A.” spotlights a game I tried out at IndieCade’s booth. Anamnesis was created by two USC students and uses Oculus Rift to present multiple points of view in a narrative game.

Aside from E3, there has been quite a bit going on lately. Paper Magazine sent me on assignment to check out Cut Your Teeth, an underground dinner party from Wolvesmouth mastermind Craig Thornton and artist Matthew Bone. For KCET’s Artbound, I met up with writer/photographer Mr. Bonzai and sculptor Keiko Kasai at their home/studio. The two have been together for 30 years and Mr. Bonzai recently unveiled three decades of drawings he created based on Kasai. Last weekend, Traci Hines was at Japan L.A. for an Adorkable Apparel pop-up shop. Hines is a singer who gained a lot of popularity thanks to her resemblance to Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I talked to Hines about how she channeled that popularity into a nifty clothing line for my latest L.A. Weekly column.

Stay tuned because there will be more stories coming out in the next few days.

 

Time to Catch Up

Photo: Liz Ohanesian

Photo: Liz Ohanesian

Last weekend, I went to Long Beach Comic Expo and was excited to interview Jarod Lee Nandin. He cosplays Jenkins, aka The Griefer, aka “that which has no life” from the South Park episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft.” It’s a particularly genius episode of South Park. I remember watching it at my friend’s house and almost falling off the couch because I was laughing so hard.

Anyhow, I previously saw Jarod at a couple other conventions and admired his costume, so I asked him for an interview and he kindly obliged. Jarod is a super cool guy and very friendly. I figured that someone cosplaying such a minor South Park character would have to have a good sense of humor and now believe this to be a correct assumption. You can read the story in this week’s “Cult Stars” column for L.A. Weekly.

“A South Park Cosplayer With a Message for the Trolls”

Otherwise, things have been pretty busy lately. I’ve been working on freelance goals and, most of the time, I’ve been meeting them. It’s nice to see how things work out when you actually make spread sheets and write stuff on white boards.

I just updated my clips for the first half of 2014, so you can catch up on stories there. It’s not everything, just some stand out pieces. Amongst the highlights are my first feature for Boing Boing (on Sailor Moon) and an interview with Herb Alpert that I still can’t believe happened. There’s also a tour of Cartoon Network’s Burbank Studios, a Jem and the Holograms think piece and a personal story in which I make my husband sit down and watch the original Star Wars trilogy with me. He never saw it. I’m kind of a nerd about it.

Next week, I’ll be at E3. If you want to follow the adventures, look up @lizohanesian on Twitter.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

 

New Stories: Pulp Novels, Japanese Tattoos and a Whole Lot of Other Stuff

PaperbackBookFest2

 

Since the start of the year, I’ve been making business goals at the beginning of every month. The goal is based on how much I invoice. It’s a modest goal, but I still managed to miss it in January and February. Fortunately, things changed this month. I surpassed the goal on March 18, giving me about two weeks to try and get a little further ahead.

This probably sounds dumb, but I think part of actually making the goal had to do with getting over my aversion to spreadsheets. Looking at the numbers column by column every morning and every evening helps a lot.

Also, I’ve been trying to tune out a lot of the outside world, just so that I can write without distraction. When that happens, I can get four stories done in just over 24 hours. That includes time spent sleeping or eating or whatever. Not everything I wrote is available to read yet, but here’s the list of what is online.
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New Stories: Oscar Parties, Teebs and Cosplay

Inside Space 15Twenty for the opening of "Ante Vos." (Photo: Liz Ohanesian, first appeared on KCET Artbound)

Inside Space 15Twenty for the opening of “Ante Vos.” (Photo: Liz Ohanesian, first appeared on KCET Artbound)

Hey, it’s a week where I remembered to update this blog. The following are stories of mine that were published this week. Please check them out when you have the chance.

“8 Fun L.A. Oscar Events for Non-Assholes”

I’ve been reading Paper since the 1990s, so it was nice to get to write something for the magazine’s blog. This is just a roundup of cool Oscar-related events. An in-the-know friend said I found some events that didn’t hit his radar, which made my day. If you’re planning on doing the Oscar party circuit on Sunday, try to hit up at least one mentioned here.

“Teebs: Ethereal Beats and Visual Remixes”

Teebs is a local musician and artist whose work you should know. Last week, I got to meet up with him as he installed “Ante Vos,” an art show made from record sleeves, at Space 15Twenty in Hollywood. The story appeared on KCET Artbound.

“How One L.A. Cosplayer Deals with All the Attention (and Harassment)”

For my latest Cult Stars column for L.A. Weekly, I talked to L.A.-based, internationally-known cosplayer Maridah. In the interview, she addresses an issue that many cosplayers face. That’s harassment and otherwise inappropriate behavior from folks online and at conventions.

My Plans for 2014

Is it too late for a New Year post?

More than a week later, it still sort of feels like January 2. I haven’t grown tired of the goals I made this year. I’m exercising every day, eating better and, most importantly, getting the necessary work done to reach my goals for 2014.

I made goals because I was tired of reading about how lousy our economic climate is. Pay rates are bad, that is, if you have a job. And then there are those stupid student loans. The system is a mess, but I don’t have much hope that someone will actually fix it. So, I have to do what I can to try and fix my own mess myself.
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Stevie Nicks Night at Shadowplay

Stevie Bella Donna

 

I don’t quite remember how it started, but, soon a string of half-jokes bounced around at last call turned into a bona fide idea. We were going to do a Stevie Nicks night at the goth club. A few weeks of promoting commence. I watch the RSVPs, unsure of whether we just had the best or worst idea ever.

This month, Shadowplay fell on December 28. That’s the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, a Saturday which many in the club world have come to dread. Christmas in L.A. is typically pretty slow. There are a lot of people who aren’t from here. They go home, only to return just in time for New Year’s Eve. That final party night of the year is huge. It’s also, typically, expensive. That said, people will stay in the weekend prior to save up funds and energy. Still, we managed to get a pretty good amount of people into the club, enough to keep the dance floor full for the bulk of the night. Yay!
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The Cure: In Orange at Cinefamily

Inside Cinefamily's lobby, the Instagram filter version. (Photo: Liz O. )

Inside Cinefamily’s lobby, the Instagram filter version. (Photo: Liz O. )

I saw The Cure: In Orange as a young teen with VHS access. Perhaps every Cure fan did. The video was always easy to spot at mall stores and video rental shops. In Orange. I didn’t know the difference between “orange,” the fruit/color, and “Or-ange,” the place in France, until the cassette made its way into my parents’ VCR. Sometimes I think I learned more from music than from classes. Regardless, I saw the video a bunch of times, either because a friend had it or I rented it, but the last viewing session was well before the advent of DVD players. To this day, In Orange has not been released in that format. Last night, though, I got to see the famed Cure concert film on the big screen, as a 35 mm print, at Cinefamily. On top of that, I got to DJ before the screening.

This was the first of two screenings at Cinefamily this weekend. (The second one is tonight.) Friday night’s screening sold out with good reason. Cinefamily did a great job of explaining why In Orange is important. I tried to expand on that while talking to my husband and a friend of ours. “It’s the definitive Cure film,” I said. In Orange isn’t like Depeche Mode: 101. There’s no narrative. It’s just the band playing a bunch of songs in an ancient venue. Still, you get a good sense of who they are and who they are going to be. The concert took place in 1986, a year or so before “Just Like Heaven.” They were big, but they were about to get bigger. On stage, you have the classic line-up– Robert, Simon, Porl, Lol, Boris– that would start to fall apart a few years later during the course of making Disintegration. It’s not the original line-up, but it’s the one responsible for a lot of the biggest hits.
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Liz O.’s Annual Birthday DJ Gig

Image: Klaus Hiltscher, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike, via Wikimedia Commons

Image: Klaus Hiltscher, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s time for my annual birthday DJ gig. This year, the event is taking place on December 28 at Shadowplay, the monthly goth party that I promote with Diana M and Larry G. from Underground. We have a special theme for this month too: Stevie Nicks.

“But, Stevie Nicks isn’t goth,” you protest. To which we answer,”Ha! How many goths do you know who totally dress all Stevie for a night on the town?” I bet it’s a lot. Heck, I’ve done it too and I’ll be busting out the black lace and boots for this gig too. Plus, “Rhiannon” is a jam, which is part of the reason why we picked this theme. I’ve been listening to “Rhiannon” on repeat, while Diana has been watching American Horror Story: Coven. We’re also encouraging people to dress as their favorite Coven characters– cosplay, if you will– if you are so inclined.

Here are the important details. The party starts at 10 p.m. If you RSVP via Facebook (just click join), you and one guest can get in for free before 10:30 p.m. Otherwise, it’s $8. The club is also 21+. If you’re a Facebook user, like our page for more updates.

That is all.

When You Want to Quit, But You Know You Can’t

There are a lot of days when I question what I’m doing with my career. Take Monday, for example, when I found out that my car didn’t just need three new tires. It needed new brakes too. I wanted to cry, but, somehow, resisted that urge. Sunday is another example. It was my birthday. Overall, it was an awesome day, but all the while, I couldn’t help but think that I’m too old now to be doing this, that maybe I should accept failure and move on to something more stable.

I’ve done a lot of stupid and difficult things in my life. Trying to write for a living is, by far, the most stupid and difficult of the lot. In the past few weeks, the urge to quit has been stronger than ever. But, I’ve quit things before and know from that experience that regret is more painful than frustration. Regret is paralyzing. You can’t do anything to fix the mess you made. Frustration hurts, but you can play through it like a jock. There’s always still hope that, in the end, you’ll have a championship ring heading your way.
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Thanksgiving Message

Yesterday, I posted the following in my personal Facebook page.

Since it’s that time of year, I wanted to say thank you all for being awesome. Some of us have known each other for most of our lives by now. Some of us have never met in person. Yet, you’ve all managed to make the day-to-day drudgery of work a little bit more entertaining. Thanks for the funny little updates about your day, weird videos, selfies and memes. Even your cat pictures and kid updates are cool, and I’m allergic to both. I hope to see more of you in person more frequently soon, but we can talk about that later. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving. Have an awesome weekend and KIT, or something like that.

I wanted to repost and expand on this because the message goes far beyond my circle of Facebook pals.

I’m grateful to live in a world where we can share our life experiences with faraway friends and people we will never meet in person. As annoying as Internet life can be, it’s changed who we are and how we relate to each other.

At its best, this whole swirl of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr madness can be the push we need to become more compassionate, empathetic people. In the physical world, we’re divided by geography, industries, social circles, age groups. Online, we can get a glimpse inside the lives that we don’t see on a day-to-day basis. When we use these technological gifts to their fullest advantage, we learn as much about each other as we do about ourselves.

All that means is that I’m thankful for you and how your stories have made an impact on this reader/snooper this year. For those of you in the U.S., have a great holiday. For everyone else, hope you have an amazing rest of the week.