At Anime Expo 2004, I briefly spoke with Lisa for the first time when she was sitting at the artist alley, selling NANA-inspired collar jewelry. I was excited to talk to somebody who was familiar with the NANA series… this was back when it wasn’t popular at all. I didn’t see Lisa again until the following year at Anime Expo 2005, when we both participated in a giant BLEACH cosplay group. I didn’t remember speaking to her the year before, but she remembered me. When I introduced myself to her, the first thing she told me was: “I know! I know who you are!”
We exchanged messages via Cosplay.com and we figured out we were both living in Long Beach, California at the time. I swear, that very weekend, she drove up to my house and established our friendship. She was so assertive and open… and just plain fun! It was an adventure with her from that point on.
For a couple of years, we grew very close. Even though we did a lot of things on our own… I felt like we were inseparable at the same time. She introduced me to so many people and things- concerts, fashion events, themed parties, etc. I was seriously just a nerd whose annual schedule revolved around anime conventions at the time. She opened up a whole new level of geek and chic for me. She was definitely a big influence on who I am today. In the short 5 years I knew her, she inspired me to be more fashionable, confident and outgoing.
She was a wonderful, creative, talented and fierce force of nature. I called her “Little Lisa” all the time because she was quite short! But she was always bigger than myself, bigger than a lot of people with her giant personality. Needless to say, loosing her has been a terrible shock. It is hard to accept that she will no longer be around. It is hard to understand how life could be so unfair to someone who was so passionate and just loved living so much.
I can probably write so much more about Lisa and my friendship with her. Those who follow me on my twitter and livejournal know this. I will miss how she used to tell me how beautiful and talented I was (and to shut the fuck up whenever I felt unsure about myself!). I will miss how we used to talk forever when we are in our cars, driving in rush hour traffic. I will miss her laughing at my silly jokes and telling me how witty she thought I was. I will miss being “redunkulous” with her. I will miss going out dancing with her and watching her slowly get drunk with just one small drink. I will miss how funny and lively she was– and her unfiltered words that would some times get her into trouble. I will miss our food dates. I will miss her terribly. I still cry for her. Life will never be the same.
I love you forever, Lisa.
I am pleased to invite all of you who live close to the Los Angeles area to come and join us as we celebrate Lisa’s fabulous life. This Sunday, February 6, 2011, we will be having a tribute art show and concert for her. Please join us! We owe it to her to continue her legacy and live on fabulously.
The Fabulous Life of Lisa Nguyen: A Tribute Art Show
Opening reception: February 6, 5pm – 7pm
Location: Werby Gallery, Student Gallery courtyard at Cal State University, Long Beach (map)
Facebook invite: (link)
The show will feature artwork from Lisa’s friends and family, as well as Lisa’s own work. Some of the art will be sold and the money will go towards a scholarship foundation in Lisa’s name and honor.
Leader of the Pack: Benefit Show for Lisa Nguyen
(aka Totes Appropes)
When: February 6, 2011, 9pm
Location: The Prospector, 2400 E. 7th St., Long Beach, CA
Ticket: $5 at the door, all proceeds will go towards Lisa’s art scholarship.
Facebook invite: (link)
Bands: Aubry & Thor (Long Beach),Â Brother Cecil (Orange County/Jackson, MS),Â Cunt Sparrer (Long Beach, CA),Â The Devil Bats (Los Angeles, CA),Â Inazuma (Los Angeles, CA/Japan),Â w/ DJ OLDBOY & DJ Peachy Keen