21 Jun


In which we indulge the kids. Our local library is awesome. It has books and online resources, but it also has events for all ages, and my kids have recently begun attending the monthly anime night for teens. That the boy was encouraged by girls at school may have had something to do with it.

Anyway, next month’s meeting is Cosplay, in which the kids dress up as their favorite anime character. The group decided that Zavi should dress as Kanda, a mystical warrior exorcist from the D Gray Man series. I’m not sure what that means, but it involves wielding a sword and looking cool, which is I think all that matters in this case.


It was decided that Katja would be Winry Rockbell, a good hearted mechanic from the Full Metal Alchemist series.


Armed with reference pictures we headed to Goodwill to see what we could find. We totally lucked out finding a black trench coat (size 40) for less than $10 that could be trimmed and tailored into a Kanda-worth coat. It was a little harder to find something tween-sized to approximate Winry’s lavender coveralls. We decided that cargo pants and a matching shirt in any color would get the point across.


For Zavi’s warrior, I chopped off half the front panel of the coat, added huge darts in the back, slit the sides, took in the sleeves and sides, and added lots of white trim. It’s a total hack job on the inside, but looks pretty darn good on the outside — especially by Middle School library group standards!

Kanda Cosplay

Kanda Cosplay

The Winry costume was much easier. I dyed the shirt to (mostly) match the pants, sewed the two together, and added an embroidered name patch for fun (and just in case it needed any explanation). The girl took care of the rest with styling and finds in her closet. At age 11, I am happy she was more than willing to swap the tube top for a tank. I told the kids I’d look for cheap hair clip ins for added effect, but if that doesn’t happen it’s OK. Katja thinks a gold wig is just as fun as a blond one.

Winry Cosplay

Winry Cosplay

The best thing is that the kids love the costumes and are excited for the next anime night at the library.

07 Jun

Mahalo USO and Honolulu Zoo

Saturday was Military Appreciation Day at the Honolulu Zoo. We didn’t have anything else planned, I’m back to being a single parent again, it was something to do, so off we went.

There was live entertainment. I wish I could remember this guy’s name, as I think he performs around Honolulu quite a bit.

The Honolulu Fire Department represented. The kids could climb aboard an ambulance and fire truck. Only in Hawai’i would the fire truck include a surf board!!

There was story time…

…and crafts,


…and more games…

… and things Hawaiian to learn about.

Of course, the were animals too. The Honolulu Zoo may not be world renown, but it has the requisite elephants, monkeys, zebras, and tigers. There were also some weird relatives of the crocodile called gharial. My son made a point of finding all the lizards — like the one above. The nene, below, is the state bird of Hawaii and a relative of the Canada Goose.

A big mahalo (thank you) goes out to the Hawaii USO for organizing the day. Zoo entrance was free for ID card holders (like us), they had frequent shuttle buses from free parking at the nearby community college, they advertised free ice cream and hot dogs to the first 8,000 visitors (but it was a whole lunch bag with chips, cookies  and water too). And when they said lots of activities for the keiki (kids) they weren’t kidding. There was plenty to keep everyone busy and no long frustrating lines despite the large numbers of people there. Everything was well organized and well staffed. Even the weather cooperated with lots of sunshine and trade winds to keep it from getting too hot. All in all a great day!