I don't actually remember much of my trip to Taiwan when I was a six-year-old. I remember the airport in Honolulu at midnight, where we had a layover of a couple of hours. I remember the shao bing yo tyao (I've misRomanized it I'm sure...) guy bringing his sesame covered flat bread and the savory donuts with big vats of sweet and savory hot soy milk. I remember the Taiwanese Maid who took care of us while Mom and Dad snuck away for a week. The only reason I know that she was Taiwanese is that my Mom swears, to this day, that my spoken Mandarin was tainted by that maid to this day.
Both my little sister and I were sick for most of that week. Sore throat, stuffy noses, and we were both really unhappy with the whole situation, even demanding real, AMERICAN CEREAL one morning, so the poor maid scoured the whole market district and found one stale box of Rice Krispies that my sister and I refused to eat.
The one thing that I do remember, though, was the hot, honeyed lemonade that the same maid fed us when we were miserable and sneezing and coughing. It was just lemon juice and honey in hot water, and it felt so good to sore throats and with unhappy lungs.
So, even today, I get out the lemons and the honey when I get sick, and I was able to lay on the couch and drink hot lemonade and remember that small bit of comfort in a very strange land and place.
John's in Seattle. He's been there since Wednesday, he's coming home tomorrow. Jet's taking care of me at home, and doing his manly best to help me out with everything. He's been great, and I've enjoyed my time with him a lot. We drink pear cider together and I cook my lamb chops while Jet actually stir fried tofu for himself last night. For some reason Jet really, really likes tofu. For him is a treat that's even better than bacon and he'll take tofu over candy any day.
But I am pretty thankful for having John the rest of the time. He actually does a lot of the laundry, dishes, cooking, and nearly all of the morning prep for Jet. This morning I had Jet's lunch all packed and ready to go and got us out the door in time and to the bus stop, no problem, and when I came into the house I saw his lunch sack sitting on the kitchen counter.
I drove the whole way to school to stand by the place where the kids let off the bus. Jet laughed when he saw me and put his back to me so that I could put his lunch into his pack. "I wondered why it was so light!" he said.
Then I went home and collapsed on to the couch with a mug of hot lemonade and read the last of After School Nightmare and the whole of the hard cover edition of Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova, who is actually Canadian, I think. I loved both.
The ending of After School Nightmare was far, far more satisfying than I thought it could be given all the things that had gone on in the dreams in the previous books. I was amazed at how nearly every conflict and situation that had been introduced was addressed in solid terms in the last two books. They also brought all the imagery together as well, in some really strong dreams at the end.
Plus the postlude was just satisfying in a very, very solid way, and the protagonist really resonated for me throughout. I'm not at all sure there's room for fanfic in it, as it was solid, and nearly all the backstory that mattered was actually given.
Dramacon was really interesting as it's very much about the North American take on Manga and Anime during our conventions, everything from the twice-translated terms to the various sub-cultures' takes on cosplaying, art, writing, and the way the industry works here. I've been to enough gaming and SF&F cons as well as the Mother of All San Diego Comic Con to nose out a lot of the similarities. *laughs* I still remember running the all night movie rooms back when the SD Comic Con was still in a hotel... it's so HUGE now.
Anyway... Dramacon is a sweet little Con romance over the course of three Anime Cons, and all the hijinks that ensue. There are reasons it's rated 13+. I like the art, enjoyed the characters, and kept trying to read it backwards. *laughs*. It's probably the first North American manga that I've actually read. I really liked a lot of the characters in the books, they were interesting, none of them were easy to get or one-dimensional, and all of them gave small surprises in the best and worst of situations in ways that were very, very much in-line with how they were made. I'd definitely give a thumbs-up.
I'm not sure that it was the first because of snobbery so much as simple ignorance that such things existed that I could actually buy. I should probably look into Girl Genius again, but that's more web comic and it's all Foglio, not exactly what I'd think of when I think of "manga". I do buy other graphic novels, but they're more in line with Freak Angels. Eh, no, I won't do the whole debate of is it *really* manga if it wasn't done by a Japanese mangaka. You believe what you want, I'll take it as a faithful take on the story and art style along with a lot of interesting plot and characters in healthy doses and call it "manga". *laughs*