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A few years ago, I heard somewhere, somehow, that people were playing Quidditch. In real life. Like, real people, muggles like me (as much as I wish that I were otherwise), were playing Quidditch. Like, with brooms and hoops and balls, although sadly without flying.

I thought that that was possibly the best idea that I’d ever heard (short of being a mangaka)! (Except for the not-flying part)

So, I watched some YouTube videos about it. I looked desperately in both English and Japanese for a team based in Tokyo. Anywhere in Tokyo. For some inconceivable reason (Harry Potter is popular in Japan) there weren’t any! So, I got together with a friend and talked about starting one. But while we both had the time to participate in one, neither of us had the time to start up and maintain a team. Not to mention the logistics of lugging all of the equipment to and from whatever park we wanted to play at (we were thinking of using Yoyogi Park) without either of us owning a car.

So, yeah, sadly it just wasn’t in the cards.

But when I got it into my head a few years ago that it would be nice to live in Hawaii one day, I went and checked to see if they had a Quidditch team. And guess what?! YEP! They do! They’re called The Nightmarchers. Last month, I joined and I’ve never looked back. IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!

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3.. 2.. 1…

I Love Hawaii!

Just over a month has passed now, and most of my first month was taken up with looking for jobs, looking for apartments, and making a ton of friends. There was also San Diego Comic Con! I want to write about Comic Con, and all of the crazy mishaps that happened before I even left Hawaii, but I’m hoping to get some good pictures back from my panel! If you took any photos at my panel, send them to me at jamie@jamieism.com!

So, a few things have happened. I have had little time for leisure, but I now have a new place to stay, with the lovely cosplayer Leah Rose and her husband. It’s pretty much in the middle of Oahu, so until I get a car or move to my dream city, Honolulu, it’s still quite a chore to get over there. (It’s a 30 minute drive or less, depending on traffic, but on the bus it’s closer to 2 hours. Yikes! I really miss Japanese trains. I think that I’ve said that before.) I can’t wait until I’m relocated, but who can really complain? I’m LIVING (barely) in Hawaii!!!!! \(^o^)/

So, until last week, I was running around trying to figure things out, and every time that I went out, it generally meant 4-5 hours of my day wasted on a bus. This is why I’ve been so quiet! And then, last week, I spent pretty much every day working with some of the members of the Quidditch team here, repairing and painting our quidditch hoops and poles, and updating the brooms. They’re sky blue and silver-striped now (my idea), and quite awesome if I do say so myself!

So. Yes. Quidditch. I’ve gotten involved in Quidditch! Is that really a shock? A few years ago, on Twitter, I freaked out when I found out that real-life muggle Quidditch was a thing that was being done. I wanted to play so badly that I got some friends together in Tokyo, wondering if we could start a team. But I was too busy to manage one, and I didn’t have a car to lug around all of the equipment. So, it faltered. But then I found out that in Hawaii, the place that I wanted to go, there was already a team.

YES. OHHHH YES.

The team here, called The Nightmarchers, has been having some membership problems and never been able to go to any of the regional playoffs (there are about 400 teams in the US alone!). It doesn’t help that this is Hawaii, so there aren’t any other teams around to play against and hone their skills. But I’m full of all of this gung-ho spirit, so I’m working with our team captain and co-captain, in addition to a few others, to totally change that! I don’t know what will happen, but I am having a BLAST playing every Saturday. Running around with a broom clamped between my legs under the sun in 85 degree heat and high humidity is a bit killing, but you know what what means? I’m going to get in really amazing shape! :D

Here’s a picture of the team as of last week. I’d say that about half of them are regular members. Can you find me? ;)

It’s so, sooooooo nerdy. I love it!

I haven’t had a lot of chances to explore the island (Oahu) thanks to being fairly limited in transportation, but the amazing Jeremiah and Kelly (who opened up their home to me for over a month!) did take me around the island! Want to see the pictures? I know that you do! ;)

 

The beach just goes on and on… Continue Reading »

Should I change the name of this post? I love having a name to my series, and this is certainly going to end up  being a series before I switch over to a daily record of my life. What do you think? Great? Lame? Let me know below in the comments section (if you haven’t commented before, I need to approve the comments after you submit them, before they show up. You’ll get a notification when I do. Be patient!)

Anyways, Hawaii!

Let me say this.

I. LOVE. IT! The weather, the stunning beauty. The endless oceans, stretching in every direction. It’s spectacular, and more than that, it takes my breath away every time. What is underneath those pristine, crystal-clear ocean waves, where the light is no longer able to penetrate? Giant squid? A sunken Atlantis? Mermaids, even?

I don’t know. Continue Reading »

My heart was racing now.. I was there. I was in Hawaii! Was this really happening? Surely not.

But there I was!

“Anyone with pets on the cabin, please see the flight attendants before you exit the plane,” the pilot announced over the intercom. I looked at the booklet in back of the seat in front of me while people around me got their things and filed out. I’d never heard this announcement before, probably because I’d never before happened to be on a plane that had a pet in the cabin somewhere. This announcement was just for me, wasn’t it.

According to the card, I was going to be directed to animal quarantine officers that would be present, and I would have to surrender my pet to them along with any paperwork that I had.

I’d have to surrender Sansa to them? I couldn’t go with her??????

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Two weeks before I left, I was sure that I would be blogging like crazy as soon as I touched down. Actually, I was sure that I’d be filming everything up until I left, and writing it down in detail.

Ohhhhh, was I ever wrong! A week before I left, I was mired down with work for a Japanese magazine, and I started to feel the crunch of time. I felt tense, all of the time, especially when they wanted changes to the art work (I wasn’t getting paid– this was basically promotional work for my book). I was happy to do it, but the timing was bad. I could feel the days ticking by without a spare moment.

My books had arrived, but I hadn’t come close to getting them ready yet. When my sister volunteered to help, I was SO grateful!! She shouldered at least half of the work, getting bookmarks ready and filling packages, checking invoices, while I signed books. It never seemed to let up. What a great experience it was (you can still get the book!!! Check out the links at the top right!), but I was running short on time. Continue Reading »

So, a while back, I had an idea.

I thought, “I don’t really have any ties to anywhere. So, I’ll just move to Hawaii!”

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Hyaaaa—-h! That was sort of that sigh of relief that anime characters sometimes like to do. I don’t know why. I suppose that’s because things are coming together! I started to write a big life update post earlier today, but have set it aside for a while while I think about what I want to say, in favor of this. This story is still not yet over, after all!

My first year in Japan. It had its ups and downs, but all along it was coming along quite nicely. I was having a great time (outside of work), and at the moment, it looked like I wasn’t going to come back to the US anytime soon.

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

Of all of the things to stress over (not moving, not a new job), I was really stressing out over Tenimyu tickets. Those things could be really hard to get! This reminds me of how far I’ve come. If I wanted a ticket to Tenimyu now, I could call Watanabe-san at Shueisha and ask for a complimentary one. The last time that I went, it was my going-away party, my sendoff for working for Konomi-sensei. But back then, it was just me against the world. Or, at least against every other fan.

I was seriously outnumbered.

I’d had to resort to auctions to get seats at all, but for some reason, I ended up with a ton of good seats this time, up close.

The gods had smiled on my little fangirl heart! But those tickets weren’t all that fate had in store for me and my friends… not at all. Nope. Something really, really strange happened on July 1st.

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