A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis! (06/16/21)

What’s good anime fam! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, so for this one it’ll pretty much be an update on what’s I’ve been doing as of late. As for what’s happening in my neck of the woods; it looks like we’re inching closer to that magical goal of 70% full vaccination not just in my home state of Maryland, but in a couple other states as well. For 15 months the thought of going to an anime convention was frowned upon due to the size of the crowd, but with the positivity rate dropping in certain states with high vaccination rates, some conventions (smaller ones) are starting to come back around. I myself have been contemplating if A. Goldman and I should take a shot at one of the returning conventions later this year; one of them just happens to be in New York. As for myself and what I’ve been up to as of late, well it’s pretty much the usual.

Due to my mixes being taken down off my Youtube and Facebook pages, I’ve decided to upload all of my DJ mixes to my official Mixcloud page. You can find me as Avidd Minddset on Mixcloud and check out a couple of my ‘Minddset Sessions’ DJ mixes! I’m also working on episode ideas for our Nerdz of the Decade podcast, and I promise that we’ll have some new episodes for you guys to check out! It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 months since my last convention, and with a few of them returning (with safety measures in place) I guess you can say that our first convention back since March of 2020 will be Anime NYC. I’ve never been to New York or Manhattan for that matter, but after being stuck in my house for a year and a half, I’m itchin’ to leave the state!

Even though I’m fully vaccinated (and shaking off the side effects) I’m probably still going to keep my mask on; or get one of those LED light-up masks that look like the one Scorpion from Mortal Kombat has on. I know it sounds like I’m rambling on, but guys, these are just the thoughts that occur in my head everyday – and I write em’ all down on this blog to share with you! The last year and a half hasn’t been easy (and I can probably say the same for you if you live in the U.S. or any other country), but D&A has kinda been my little online home away from ‘home’. I can share my thoughts, how I feel about certain things and trends, and what’s the best anime title to start with if you’re just getting into it. (Go with the classics like Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh, Cowboy Bebop, or Sailor Moon and work your way up to the new school titles.)

Honestly, there’s moments where I’m glad A. Goldman and I had that vision back in 2015 about creating a blog; thought it was going to be an anime convention photo album at the time. We’re five-going-on-six years in on this thing, and it’s been a fun ride! So I’m gonna end this post with more years to come for me and A. Goldman doin’ our nerdy thing on this blog, as well as getting the chance to break out my first live DJ set at an anime/gaming after party (or anywhere that wants to jam out to some music).

Until next post guys! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Cinco De Mayo Edition!

Hey guys n’ gals! Yours Truly is back with another post about my thoughts regarding everything that’s been going on so far this year. Today of course we celebrate Cinco De Mayo; so hopefully you’re celebrating safely and responsibly since yes, we’re still in a pandemic (but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel). Honestly the past several weeks have been kinda hard to come up with fun and creative nerdy content for the blog, but slowly and surely  I’m starting to get a little of my mojo back. Since March of last year I made the decision to jump back into the music production scene and dropped my debut EP (Minddgames), and two albums (Primetime, and Mental Vacation) under my stage name; Avidd Minddset. (I even had my first collab single with King Shabazz.) Even though the pandemic has been awful to us mentally and emotionally, it also made most of us really take a look at ourselves as well as our priorities in life. Many of us will come out of it better people than we were going into it, while others will double down on their own ignorance and toxicity towards others.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience (with this being my first pandemic along with thousands of others who are in the same boat), is that you never wanna take anything in life for granted! So many of us have lost loved ones through this pandemic, which has made a lot of us keep the loved ones who are still with us close to us. Sure, we got our own difference of opinion when it comes to things like ideals and politics, but when the human race is threatened on a global scale, whatever beef you got has to take a back seat and focus on what’s really important. You also gotta be mindful of who you listen to, and where you get your information from in times of great crisis; cuz’ misinformation is a dangerous thing. (As we’ve seen the repercussions.) Our return to normal is closer than we think, so if we wanna return to what we love (mine being anime conventions and DJing at clubs), we gotta get vaccinated.

Well, that’s pretty much my thoughts in a nutshell at the moment. Hopefully you guys are celebrating Cinco De Mayo safely and away from large crowds at least for now; come May 5th of 2022 we’ll be celebrating at the clubs once again! Until the next post, stay nerdy guys! 😉

D&A Anime Blog: Just One Of Them Days…

If you’re a blogger (especially an anime blogger like us), then you’ve probably encountered one of those days where you want to post something, but for some reason, you just don’t have the mental energy to do so. Its not to say that you’re not passionate about it, or even the fact that you’re burnt out of topics to talk about; but when a good chunk of your source material for your original content comes to a screeching halt…well, you suddenly start having one of those days. For us, that chuck came in the form of anime conventions; and as much as we miss them the same way that you miss them, it’s just not 100% safe to return – but we’re getting there! As far as our Nerdz of the Decade podcast is concerned, it’s STILL going to happen…even though its taking us a little longer to get the equipment we need (cuz’ of the delays due to COVID-19).

In spite of our hurdles we can’t thank you guys enough for all of the love and support that you’ve given us. D&A wouldn’t be the anime blog that it is today without the community, as well as our followers and our fans. If there’s one thing we’re passionate about, its anime, and we’re pretty sure you’re passionate about it too. (Cuz’ that’s why you’re here, right? XP) It may be one of those days for us, but with the power of God and anime at our side, we plan on bringing you some of the best nerdy content you’ll ever see! Until next post, stay positive and stay nerdy!

We’re not gonna stop!

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (02/28/21)!

What’s good guys n’ gals! Since March of 2021 kicks off tomorrow, this ‘Founder’s Thoughts’ post is pretty much a thank you to all of the people who have supported us since our launch in 2016. The last 26 months haven’t been easy for anyone; from the start of what is currently the global pandemic, to Black Lives Matter, to the vaccine rollout as well as a new president in office. Yeah, we’ve been through a lot, but I have a feeling that many of us will have a greater appreciation about our lives as well as the lives of other people. Much like the anime community that A. Goldman and I have been a part of since we were kids, we gotta love and support one another through the roller-coaster that we call life. We may have our differences in opinion, and we may not always agree on everything, but we got to find that happy medium and common ground that brings us all together from all walks of life – like anime has done for so many of us. So from Yours Truly, we love and appreciate you guys from the bottom of our hearts. Of course once this pandemic is truly over, we can’t wait to see you all at an anime convention again! 🙂 

We’ll see you guys at cons soon! 🙂

A Founder’s Thought’s with D.J. Lewis! (01/19/21)

Hey guys! Where in the world do I even begin on this post? The last couple of weeks have been (for lack of a better word) crazy to say the least. I’m not the type of person to get political often, but a huge part of me is glad that we’re about to have a new administration (full of ADULTS) on the White House. We got a lot of work to do in these United States of America, and it starts with healing – a whole LOT of healing! Honestly I haven’t really been in the mood to do a lot of posts in the past week other than the anniversary post, but with our new podcast equipment on the way we’ll be having some fresh new content to talk about!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve written over 700 posts in the span of five years. Some of my favorites have been the breakdowns between “Geek” and “Nerd”, as well as my prospective on the “Sub vs. Dub” debate. I call it a debate as opposed to war because the ‘war-factor’ of that debate is happening on any Reddit page or anime chat room you can find. (And there’s a lot of those already!) Even though many of us in the anime community have a difference in opinion; whether you like subs, dubs, or both, we all love and respect one another – at least most (if not 80%) of us do.

The last ten months have really put us in a position where we’re either reinventing ourselves, or taking up a new passion or hobby. I’m pretty sure by now you guys are aware that other than doing posts on the blog, I produce my own music as well as DJ. Do I see that as something that may turn into a secondary source of income as well as a new passion? Of course! There are some many thoughts that go on through my mind on a daily basis; some of them are about what new anime to watch and talk about, while others have to do with where I see myself in the next five years or what new goals I want to accomplish. Who knows what the future will hold for us once we come out of this pandemic, but I can say that a new year comes a new step forward to a better and unified tomorrow! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: My Experience As An Anime Fan

From the time we’re kids to the time we become full-grown adults, we’ve all become fans of something in our lives. For many it could be professional sports or wrestling, but for a particular amount of people, it was anime. I’ve always had this saying when I was growing up; ‘Everybody, knows somebody who likes anime!’ It could be your sibling, your best friend, or second cousin twice removed, but it actuality it’s kinda true. What started as a niche medium back in the 80’s and 90’s has now grown into a culture that I’ve come to know and love. Everyone’s experience as an anime fan is different, so I’d thought I’d share my own…

Yours Truly at Thy Geekdom Con 2017 with a DRV3 cosplayer

Man, where do I begin? I’d say sometime in the Summer of 1997 (I was about 8 years old at the time) where school was out and I was in front of the TV watching many of my favorite cartoons. I was pretty much your average eight-year-old doing what kids my age at the time do, until I discovered something that would change the way I’d look at cartoons for the rest of my adolescence. Around this time I discovered a programming block called Toonami, and on it was one of the first anime titles I’ve ever watched; Tenchi Universe. Oh yeah, my first anime title was one of the OG Harem titles back in the day. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but as I continued to watch I became more enthroned.

It was something different compared to all of the other cartoons I watched (Scooby-Doo, Dexter, Etc.) because of the colorful scenes, the artstyle, and everything else. I had a feeling that this show wasn’t produced in America as it didn’t have that goofy Western style I’ve grown accustomed to. By the time I was in 7th grade everyone was talking about a new anime title that was picking up in popularity; Naruto. YouTube wasn’t even created around 2002, so the only way everyone in my school found out was from Cartoon Network promos. (Plus MySpace, cuz’ Twitter and Facebook didn’t come out until a couple years later.) Pretty soon Toonami picked it up and after my DBZ phase, I jumped into the world of Naruto – three seasons later! XP

As the years went by I consumed anime title after anime title, and even though I was now considered an anime fan, I never joined any of the clubs in middle or high school (although my high school only had one club). Ah, the irony…

Around May of 2008 (my senior year of high school) I found out about a place called an anime convention; which is a place where anime clubs from all over the state and region gather and have the time of their nerdy lives! I had a Summer job at the time, so I took the money from my paycheck and went downtown to Baltimore City, MD where I went to my first anime convention; Otakon. Let me tell ya; it felt like I died and went to Nerd Heaven! This utopia of nerds made me feel like I was home; home to other people who liked anime as much as I did. That feeling stayed with me that entire year, and was the reason I kept going back to that convention every year up until it’s grand finale in 2016; the year I started D&A Anime Blog with my friend A. Goldman!

My experience as an anime fan has been pretty cool. Yeah there were moments where it was hard to make friends while growing up because many of them didn’t know what anime was, or made fun of me for it. However since its rise into popularity, I’ve found myself having friends to go to cons with as well as an awesome blog where I get to talk about all of my favorite shows. I though being a geek was terrible; due to it being cast as the bottom of the barrel of social hierarchy in middle and high school. As I got older the level of acceptance for anime and manga grew to astronomical levels (and still is to this day).

Sure, we have our disagreements of who’s best girl, which anime is top tier, and if we prefer dubs over subs; but overall my experience with the anime community has been nothing short of awesome! Hopefully younger generations will get to experience the world of anime as I did – if that haven’t already! XP

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve! Normally we would be out and about with family and friends doing some last-minute shopping, taking in a movie with that special someone, or making snow angels. That’s what we’d usually be doing in a pre-COVID world, but it’s 2020. I don’t even have to say how crazy, weird and stressful this year has been for the country, but in the mist of it all the vaccine is finally here! For many of us who are anime fans; not being able to physically go to conventions this year has given us that ‘post-con blues’ feeling after an exciting con is over. However, a lot of our favorite conventions have given us digital alternatives in order to help take our minds off the pandemic, and for that we are so grateful.

Although we’re knocking on 2021’s door and hoping that conventions will make a ‘physical’ comeback, it more than likely won’t be until the third quarter of 2021. (Cuz’ many otakus under 35 who are among the general population will be the last ones vaccinated.) As MUCH as that sucks (and believe me I know) we’ll just have to wait a little while longer. If there’s one thing that we should never take for granted and pay more attention to, its mental health. COVID has tested us in a way that we’ve never been tested before; even though we’ve gone through other viruses like H1N1 and the Bird Flu. When conventions do come back, I hope to GOD that hygiene is a #1 priority among attendees! Honestly, I don’t even wanna get started on the many smells that my nose has taken in at conventions.

Hopefully you and yours will stay safe this holiday season, and bring on 2021 (cuz we can’t wait for 2020 to be over)!

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (12/01/2020)

Well guys, we’ve finally made it to the final month of 2020. I don’t even have to say how much of a struggle the last nine months have been since this pandemic. With vaccines on the way many of us are breathing a sigh of relief, but at the same time we’re still dealing with the absolute worst of COVID. For as long as we live none of us want to hear that word anymore as soon as its over, and I agree with you 1000%.

Although Christmas is 24 days away, most of us just wanna get to the date that really matters at this point; December 31st. At 11:59pm of December 13, 2019 I’m pretty sure millions of us already had our 2020 year planned out as to what we were gonna do, and then BAM! COVID hit us in the face like Mike Tyson. Never in the 31 years that I’ve been on this planet, have I ever seen a virus put the entire world on lockdown. There have been many pandemics to hit us like H1N1 and the Bird Flu, but COVID…man. Throughout the months we’ve all been feeling it, but the ones who are feeling it the most are the healthcare workers, the doctors, and the nurses. For the men and women out there who are on the front lines, we are all keeping each and every one of you in our prayers.

For nerds like myself and A. Goldman, COVID shutdown the convention scene. Although that happened many of our favorite cons (and yours) have found digital alternative ways to keep the morale going while staying safe. Virtual conventions have been the way to go this year thanks to the creative individuals who run these cons. Even once things do get to “normal” I don’t think this will be the last time we see virtual events. (Though in my defense there’s nothing like physically being there in order to get the full con experience!) 2020 has put humanity in a position where we can do one of two things; get our ‘ish’ together and start treating each other as human beings, or remain divided because of our differences – especially politically!

This year has been many things; horrible, stressful, merciful, eye-opening, you name it! I just hope that we’ve learned something about ourselves in this time of difficulty, and start to become better people because of it.

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (11/17/2020)!

Man, in the past 30 days a lot of stuff has happened and judging by how everyone is feeling right now; we REALLY want this year to end. Back in January after New Year’s Eve it seemed that people already planned out their whole year; as to what they were going to do, where they wanted to go, and what goals that wanted to achieve. Then BAM! Outta the blue COVID-19 happened. We knew it was bad when it ran amok in Wuhan, and now America is looking at 12 million infected, and over 250,000+ dead. Believe me, I hate talking about this as much as anyone; especially with the holidays coming up and now being told that we may not be able to physically sit next to out-of-town family this year.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure half the country is flipping 2020 off as I speak (and they have every right to) but if there’s one thing that we need more than a haircut or a night out at the club, it’s self-care. COVID has put our mental and emotional patience to the test to see how long it would take for us to crack, and while it seems like our social lives have forcibly taken a hiatus, many of us are getting creative. Take Yours Truly for example; before COVID A. Goldman and I were ready to kick off our 2020 anime convention tour at our usual cons, but since they’ve all been canned we decided to focus on our online presence. Eight months later I officially got the DJ system I’ve always wanted, and now we’re in the process of starting our own nerdy podcast! 

DJ Avidd Minddset! My Pioneer XDJ-XZ

Right now we got to do our best to turn this lemon that is 2020, into the lemonade that will fuel our passions, aspirations, and goals in 2021 and beyond. This year was crazy (and here’s hoping and praying that 2021 will be a little less crazy), but hopefully we’ve learned something about our selves through this trying experience that we pray we don’t have to go through again – but should it happen, we’ll be better prepared.

If you haven’t in awhile, check on your loved ones by calling them or texting them. Zoom or chat with friends through Discord, or even look for something funny to watch on youtube. If you’re an anime fan, triple down on some new shows coming out or stream them on Netflix. As for me and A. Goldman, we’ll keep bringing you the best nerdy content that we can provide; and that’s a promise we intend to keep! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (09/03/2020)!

Hey guys n’ gals! So it’s finally September, and it looks like what was supposed to be an awesome Summer that didn’t happen, is finally winding down. To be honest I feel drained; mentally and emotionally due to the country ‘seemingly’ going to hell in a hand basket. A few days ago we were given the news of the passing of the King of Wakanda himself; Chadwick Boseman (aka Black Panther) from stage four colon cancer. Marvel fans young and old from all around the world gave hundreds if not thousands of tributes to him, as he wasn’t just an actor, he was a true superhero. His work ethic even during his state was second to none, and was super humble for every opportunity and was a really cool guy.

With all of the craziness going on we should look at the type of person Chadwick was and strive to be better in our own lives. He was an inspiration to young African-Americans and other children who are fighting cancer everywhere. Although he played a superhero, he was OUR superhero. This is indeed a sad moment for the Marvel world, but if we can be nearly as half the man that Chadwick was, imagine the kind of world we’d all live in; where there was more love and humility and less hate and violence. 2020 has us seeing clearly now; how bad racism really is, and what we must do as a nation to stop it. We may not have grown up the same way, but we live on the same soil. Let’s be better ya’ll.

Until next post, stay united!