Category: Oni’s Life

2017, Oni's Life

I’m tapping out for a bit

Hi all,

I haven’t updated this blog in a bit because on a 1 to 10 scale of “How are you doing today?” I am at a -50.

My friends getting sick and dying, I’m working ridiculous hours to pay my bills plus unpaid work on my cons. (No, I don’t get any $ from the cons.) My health is falling apart for over 7 months now which will explain to you why I haven’t posted all that much.


The reason that I start blogging things here and they fizzle out is because I have to keep stopping to focus on the life and con work because both of those things directly and indirectly affect my ability to pay my bills.

I love writing to you. I love sharing my life. I also love helping people feel better and to be better in their lives. But all of my online work I’ve done for free. I actually have paid to do it for free since 2003. That isn’t sustainable. I also realize that I’ve never asked for it before, either.

You have to either enjoy something (and have the free time to devote to it) or get paid fairly in order to do something. I no longer have any free time.

I’m sorry for those of you emailing me asking me for advice or help with your lives or your creative businesses. I can’t help for free like I used to anymore.

I’m taking some time off now to focus on running the most amazing Harry Potter Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. (Come out and see us! It’s going to be our best work yet!)

I’ll be back soon with a new format here – one that likely will be supported by a Patreon or something. I need to solve the problem, “How can I do the awesome stuff people enjoy from me and earn a living wage for it?”

Hey, if you have any suggestions, email me from the top nav bar. This blog has always been for you so your feedback and support is going to dictate what happens next. :)

And do sign up for my mailing list to be alerted for when I relaunch.

2016, Oni's Life

NEW STUFF: New Doctor Who podcast, new Marketing and Life Coach blog focus for 2017

Hi all –

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much as I had before here. There are a few reasons for this.

I have been very busy working on my conventions that my organization, Onezumi Events does in addition to my full time freelance work. You guys know this. It’s also taken a bit longer than I expected – nearly a full year for me to get back to my normal ability to work in Overdrive Mode (my normal state of being) after my eye surgery. It’s impossible to handle everything that I do without being in Overdrive Mode.

I don’t want to go into detail because frankly I am tired of dealing with it, but I’ll just leave it as I may have finally as of 2 weeks ago figured out how to exist with glasses AND contact lenses. It’s pretty annoying to try and life your life when you feel like you have been slapped in the head because your brain can’t decipher what’s going on randomly when you change your eye wear. But I have it now.

I produced over 10 pieces of art in less than a week and for 2 weeks have had no trouble doing what I used to do before I went super blind – but even easier. I did over 47 hours of marketing research and fun with social media data in addition to my day job in another week. So I think it’s say to say that I am back to normal but better. Here is a sampling of only some of the stuff that I’ve been quietly working on behind the scenes:


– Our new (Re)Generation Who Podcast / VideoCast! This will have a launch date quite soon. If you are a Doctor Who fan, you really need to subscribe to our YouTube channel now so that you don’t miss out on the launch. Reviews, celebrity interviews, discussions, and spotlights on Doctor Who projects that you may not know about but need to know about will be here. Hosted by me and featuring recurring co-hosts and yes – even actors from the Doctor Who TV series will be involved. You are gonna love this.

– OnezumiVerse changes: It’s become clear to me that for over 10 years people have been asking me to help them with their lives and careers. You’ll see posts showing up here before 2017 that are Life Coach / Marketing Coach / Tech Review-oriented, like this awesome iPhone case review.

That’s because I am in real life an highly-acclaimed Marketing Manager / Strategist / Whatever you want to call it who really REALLY optimizes / hacks her life so that she can be a high performer. Basically I run shit on Beast Mode and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I’ll be sharing how I managed to get from being so poor that I had to eat out of trash cans to this level – and I’ll share all of my Un-glamorous mistakes so you can avoid those. Hopefully I can help some people better themselves in the same way that I did. This is what a large part of this blog will be in 2017.

You won’t lose the me you’ve come to know.

The Haunted House reviews and all of the popular features are staying, but this blog needs a tighter focus in order for me to remain interested in blogging here.

REAL TALK: I have done theme parks over and over so much that there’s not much interest remaining for me on that topic. I have never had any desire to be a theme park news site and I can’t possibly compete with folks who live in Orlando and get inside tips from their friends who work there before it’s made public.

My Thing has always been my unique voice. I have no desire to just post links to press releases or speculate about roller coaster rumors. Other people do that far better than I ever could.

In order for me to do anything I feel that I must always answer the question, “Do I enjoy this and can I do this better than anyone else? Do I have something to offer that no one else can?”

Well, the things that I do the best are:

1. Running Conventions

2. Marketing and Life Coaching that is accessible for everyone regardless of your economic background

I also kinda rock the haunted house reviews.

Judging by today’s political climate I think this is needed more than ever before. I’ve been considering it for over 10 years because I get so many requests for it. This all started because I got so many questions from my friends that I figured I would just put them online so I don’t have to keep re answering the same questions 8x a week. I’ve started a Facebook group for this on the down low and people are already joining before I’ve released anything.

This is going to be amazing and I think it’s going to help a lot of people. Feel free to email me from the top nav bar on this site to submit a question. I may answer it here in this series.

Thanks to everyone who has followed me since I started building this in 2003. I’ve never been great at focusing on 1 topic, but I finally found 1 topic that I can bring a hell of a lot of unique value to and make endless good content about.

Oh, and I’m also getting ready to open my art shop up again.

In 2017 you will get me, but better. Thank you so much for being there while I went through what ended up being the most bizarre and life-changing year ever. Please pardon our dust here while I prepare for the amazing year ahead!

You guys are the best!

2016, Oni's Life

When you feel like you’ve been in a car accident but you haven’t been; making convention table layouts; guitar practice

I hate going to the podiatrist for exams. Let’s me just say that getting your surgical site examined and messed with is pretty rough. Somehow I feel like all of my joints are angry as if I were in a car accident. He didn’t mess with my shoulders and arms but they hurt? How the hell does that happen? I may have recoiled so badly I hurt myself during the exam.

I’ve finished the anti inflammatories he prescribed and they did pretty much nothing except maybe made it worse so I’m excited to try the second option to see what’s up. (EDIT: I may have had an allergic reaction to my anti-inflammatory medication they prescribed because severe joint pain is listed in it’s side effect. Urg.) I am optimistic. Normally doctors won’t try because it seems too complicated. This guy is trying. Anything that helps me is welcome.

I have a severe bruise on the bottom of my foot from the exam which also makes no sense because the doctor wasn’t that rough. Oh well! I get to limp at work today. I’m so glad it’s summer. Heat makes me feel better.

This week is a busy one. I get to finish off the layout for Intervention 7 and oversee that my staffers get assigned into their sleeping rooms, and that everything else is on track. Normally the event layout is done months earlier but the venue was being significantly remodeled so any layout we could have done earlier would have been wrong.

I’m used to planning events with an ever-changing venue underneath me. Venues being redone is actually pretty common. Because of this the venue had no to-scale map so we had to ask our architect friend Eric to literally make that from scratch for us. You need an accurate map so that you can place tables and not oversell your room.

I may have a free day this weekend to do something fun which will make a total of 3 days this summer that I’ve had time to do that. One of those days, this happened:


Don’t ask me why it looks like he’s molesting my boob.

Now the question is what to choose for this weekend. The answer is often “get some sleep”.

Being an adult is being sleepy all the time and worrying about money is all I’ve been able to figure out.

Anyway, register for Intervention 7. I’ll post my panel schedule quite soon, but you can see the schedule of events here.

EDIT2: After writing all of this I ended up crying in the fetal position from the pain and was told to get in bed.

So I pulled myself together and did it this way:



2016, Oni's Life

Post surgery – I finally feel whole again

As of this week, Oni is back. For real. Hi.

oni red hair glasses

You may have noticed that ever since I started losing my sight in Fall 2015 I pulled back from posting on here. Truly I need to thank my team for helping me during this time because it was one of the worst times mentally and physically for me. In addition to numerous health problems, worsening of extreme chronic pain, and deaths of my family members and friends it totally crushed me.

It was worse than you think it was. It was harder than what I put online.

A huge shout out goes to my Ops team. Paul DiGennaro, Derek Price, Ginger Peterson, and Miranda Major (Check out her bookstore, Half Moon Collectibles in Nebraska, USA) . Also Kara Dennison Craig Cobalt, and the rest of the 145 members of my staff. And of course, the man who had to bear the brunt of every aspect of my mental and physical breakdown – my sweet husband James Harknell.

I still get weirded out that I can see, but I’m better at navigating it than even just last week. My face is starting to look like me again.

Imagine if you all of a suddenly didn’t recognize who you saw in the mirror after a surgery. That’s why most of the pictures you see of me for all of 2016 are old or me with sunglasses on. I had NO IDEA that my entire life I didn’t really know what I looked like. I did, of course but also I didn’t. Then – HD ME IN MY FACE.

I just couldn’t recognize myself. It felt like I had been killed or changed and it was upsetting.

And my chronic pain condition got worse. It’s always been bad but I guess age 30 is when things start no longer being something you can ignore. I am heartened that I have a doctor that will try some things to get me a diagnosis and some help.

Now that I feel like me the only thing in my way of making art is time. I’m 3 weeks out from Intervention 7, which I hope you’ll come say hi to me at, because I do need your support now more than ever. My days are packed.

I haven’t felt this good since 2 or 3 years ago when my eyes started to finally deteriorate. I’m able to talk to people again. My anxiety is lower. I can think straight. I used to get anxiety leaving my apartment because I had to drive while blind. I did that for almost 15 years. Blind AF. Drive anyway. How else would I get a paycheck, I ask you? There’s no public transportation to where the jobs are here.

It’s surprisingly easy to understand what’s going on around me now. I can read street signs so I don’t have to rely on the bizarre counting method I used to use to estimate distances. If I drop something I quickly pick it up and remain calm. I don’t freak out inside like if the world is ending.

It’s like I’ve been tuned up and let out of my box like the Terminator.

It feels good to be back and to feel like myself again. Brace yourself. It’s going to be a great year.

2016, Food, Oni's Life

REVIEW: Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink murdered my stomach flu that some jerk ass bagel shop gave me

I should make a landing page that details my blog policy so I don’t have to keep re-stating that I am not paid to review this and that I bought this with my own money. All of my reviews are honest and I will turn down money from organizations that I do not like because otherwise my reviews would be useless.

So I made the mistake of eating at Brunswick Bagels on Rte. 18 in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Central Jersey where I live seems to have an inordinate amount of unclean/sloppy restaurants, possibly because of the constant rotation of college students in the area and them not caring about repeat customers. I have no idea. Just a guess. North Jersey is great. South Jersey is fabulous. In general the food is really good here. BUT…Central where I live I have gotten a stupid amount of food poisoning and worse.

I got gastroenteritis from this bagel shop so bad that I ended up at the doctor’s office 4 days later where he was able to examine me and make this diagnosis. It was a dull roar of cramping intestinal fits and trips to the bathroom. I was scared that I had cancer or something because google always tells me that, but it was only food contamination that set in shortly after eating an egg and cheese bagel at the a fore mentioned bagel shop.

The worst part was that I had planned a rare weekend of respite out of town the following weekend for the 4th of July holiday but it just hung around. I got to take my sick intestines with me and feel miserable while trying to have fun. As the doctor explained it to me, the bacteria in my intestines had been screwed up such that each time I ate food my body couldn’t digest it. My doctor recommended yogurt but that didn’t work that much.

It got so bad that I went to a supermarket and decided to try the probiotics. I ran into Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink and just bought it because please god help me give me some relief so I can enjoy my weekend…


Dude! Within hours I was back to normal. I had been sick for about 7 days with the same symptoms and this thing neutralized it.

I don’t know much about how probiotics work and I always thought these drinks were silly but omg do they have a new fan now. I was able to go to the museum the next day without Oppressive Cramping Gas and worse ass fire.

So yeah I hope you don’t get the stomach flu from a bagel shop that has bad food handling practices, but if you do get yourself some of this. I have never been made better so quickly and Iw ish I knew about them before.

But kombucha still scares me. What even is that?