WELCOME to the personal home page/blog of Matthew La France. Please enjoy your stay.


I haven't posted in a few days.

I feel like I am starting to lose touch with the internet. Like when you feel like you have become your parents and can't really relate to your kids, only it's the internet and it's only been like 10 years. Like we will start to become dated by the amount of web coding we know. I'm circa 1998 since that's about when I stopped learning anything new about web design. That will be my vintage. I read a book on CSS in 2002 or so, but that was probably published in 1998.

I feel sort of cut off from any groups or cliques that are really active and vital. Maybe rom hacking realy is stagnating, or I'm just getting old. I don't know that I'm even expressing an online identity anymore. I just sort of blog and run a game site, not that those thigns are bad, but everything is standing still. I don't know what the new thing is right now, or the new thing just doesn't make sense to me anymore. Like I'm listening to Frontline Assembly's newest album, it's from 2005, yet it's not really new. It's a band that was around 20 years ago. There is probably something new and vital out there, but I can't reach out to it, I'm blind to it because there is no path between it and myself. The only things I can see is the crap that is most visible and that is truly crap indeed. I'm too complacent and that makes me very uncomfortable.

I'm reading William Gibson's new book, Pattern Recognition which is brilliant as ever. It feels like it's written a bit more "modern day" than any of his other books, but in a way that myriad obscure aspects of pop-culture, technology culture, and general otakuism have been obsessively observed and poetically reflected upon. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through, but I'll try to post a review once I am done, though I'm not very good at describing my feelings about his books, it's just a hard feeling to describe.


Just a quick post. I wanted to let folks know that I added my recent trips photos to my photo gallery. Check them out there. ^_^


I realize I never quite did the post trip follow-up post that I intended. While I am hoping that I will be less materialistic some day, one of the things I was looking forward to that I did a lot of over there was shopping.

First things first Comiket: As I think I stated before, Comiket was not the success I was hoping it would be, regardless I did get to both meet, and purchase doujinshi from two of my facorite artists, Haruki Genia and Mita Ryuusuke. I got Haruki Genia's newest Jintoku no Kenkyuu and a new series based on Ichigo 100% called Ichigo Hazard. Mita Ryuusuke had an original picture book, as well as some stuff based on Ichigo 100%, Final Fantasy 7, and various fighting games. I was able to grab a Fakestar book from a shop later in Akihabara.

Akihabara: I wanted to get a bunch of Playstation games for my PSX Anime List. This was my goal, and gave me something fun to search for in Akiba. The buget was games averaging 1000 yen, in numbers of 30-40. I think the total muber of games was 34. I'll be posting the screenies on the PSX Anime List so you can see them there soon. I also picked up some capsule toy figures. I got the whole collection of Kujibiki Unbalance figures finally. On my last day there, we went to the Cure Maid Cafe and went back to the cosplay shop that I bought them from originally. I bought a few one at a time but could not get the last one I needed. The girls behind the counter took pity on me and dug through some more boxes, even opening some to find me the figure I needed. It was really sweet of them, and thanks to them I now have the complete set. I also got a complete set of capsule toys for Popotan which are really cute.

Some other cool stuff I got: A pose book; A book about doujinshi; an issue of Akiba Walker with a guide to Maid Cafes; a daruma; A Japanese Xbox (gift) and the Galaxy Angel game; A Japanese Famicom version of the GBA and some GBA games (gifts); and souvenirs for all my friends.

Results of my trip: I'm using my Daruma as soon as I make a Cafepress store. It is a money Daruma, so I'm going to fill in it's first eye when I start the store, and the second when it is successful. I got a really good fortune at Asakusa this year and I left it on the grounds to be burned this time so I'm determined to have a good year and stop feeling so sorry for myself and get on with my life. I'm taking from something that Steve said that I'm not invted back to Japan until I have a booth at Comiket, so that is my goal in the next couple of years. Make enough money with artwork to go to Japan again and have a booth lined up at Comiket. I'm gonna give it a shot.


I feel like I've missed out on some blogging opportunities recenlty, but that's ok. I have had a fairly exhausing week but good overall. I had several nights of as little as 4 hours of sleep this week, but work has actually been pretty good. I'm glad that the holidays are over, things are much more relaxed and I have time to get stuff done. I haven't gotten to do everything that I wanted since I got back from Japan, but I'm starting on things slowly. I set up my Japanese Xbox and played some Galaxy Angel. The story kind of went on and on and I couldn't follow it as easily as say Sister Princess on the PSX which I have also played a little of. I'd like to sit down with Galaxy Angel some more though and see how the "gameplay" is.

I watched the last episode of He's My Master (Kore ga Watashi no Goshujinsama). The ending was pretty cool, I liked it. it's basically a formulaic gag series but it's got some originallity to it for all it's formula, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. The main character Yoshitaka is a riot. He's a total otaku with an unlimited budget, no shame, and three 15 year old girls living in his mansion. ^_^; The suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy the show is high, but that's how the series doesn't take itself too seriously, it creates these ridiculous story moments that just leave you going WTF? And then you are like, "ha, that's funny!". I guess I recommend it as long as you take it for what it is.


Ok, I'm finally going to update. As I previously stated, I made it back ok. The only event happened while picking up my bags from the airport when I got home. They did not label the baggage conveyors at all and my flight's passengers kept walking from belt to belt looking for their baggage. Finally it seemed like we had the right one, and when I saw my bag come around some dude grabbed it, looked at the tag, and took off with it. I though maybe it wasn't mine, but I thought I should check it and make sure. By the time I got over to where he was though, he was no where to be found. I started to freak out because I had brought all the souvenirs and much of what I had gone to Japan to get in that bag. I finally found the guy sitting on a bench and sure enough it was my bag. I think it was an honest mistake, but I would have been really upset had he taken off with it. I was glad that I found it.

I had my first day of work today after my trip. I spent yesterday trying to relax and get over the jet-lag a little. It will take a few days to really get over it. It kind of sucks coming back home to my regular lifestyle but I got a little more perspective on my life by getting away for a while. I have some new goals that I am going to be working towards. I'll see how it goes, but I think I was able to find some things that I really want to go after and I'm going to give it a shot.

Not to sound too serious, my trip was also a lot of fun. I'm really grateful to my friend Steve for inviting me back and letting Ben and I stay with him and everything he did for us while we were there. It was a lot of fun to hang out like the old days and enjoy ourselves. I got to hang out a bunch in Akihabara and get all kinds of neat things. I'll post a little more about that later, what I got and I have a story about my last day there, but I need to go get dinner and this post has gone on long enough. So long for now.


FYI: Just letting everyone know I made it back to Vermont. I had a long but uneventful flight back, no troubles with anything. A post-trip report will be forthcoming after a good night's sleep. ^_^


Here is one more picture of Ben and I getting ramen in Akihabara.

I was unsucessful in getting the last figure that I need, but I posted an image of the ones that I have. Spent some more time in Akiba today. I got a few more games and had fun wandering around various shops. In celebration of the new year we went to the Asakusa shrine last night. We threw some money into a big box and prayed for a good year. There were a bunch of stands set up selling fair-style food. I had some takoyaki and sweet sake.


Good morning! For reference sake I just woke up, it's 8:00 am Tuesday morning, Monday 6:00pm at home. :) We had another fun day yesterday geeking out completely. We went on a search for "fukubukuro", a new years tradition of grab bags of stuff that have an assortment of items worth double or more the price of buying the bag. I got a 2000 yen bag (around $20) that had almost 7000 yen worth of stuff from the store "Gamers". It was a Digi Charat goods bag. I got a bunch of pencil boards, a couple post cards, some pens, a ruler, a couple of key chains, some coasters, and a train pass holder. It was kewel. A figure or something might have been nice though.

Speaking of figures however, I decided to collect the Kujibiki Unbalance figures that are currently out. The are sold randomized in unmarked boxes for around $5 each. It is a set of 6 and I've managed to get 5 of the 6 so far with only 6 boxes. The 6th figure may be difficult to get statistically. I have a 1:6 chance of getting it with any one box. I hope I am lucky and get it right off. Cross your fingers for me!

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