Weekly Ketchup 18 - Geek Week

As my social media activities can attest, this past weekend was incredibly tiring and busy but overall awesome for me. It was, after all, Free Comic Book Day last Saturday and Star Wars Day last Sunday - both internationally observed annual geek events, so my weekend was bound to be really hectic - and really geeky! The stuff that The Big Bang Theory is made of!

Though, now that I think about it, my entire week has been across-the-board geeky, more so than any other week (I think).

First, let's begin with this little gem of a YouTube channel.

More than providing me with background sound while I work on designs for a client's project, the channel provides some quick, bite-sized information on a variety of topics - from psychology to literature. I actually discovered and subscribed to the channel some time ago but I got through their entire series on US History and got started on World History just the past week. I'm not much of a history nut but it's nice to have even just a bit of knowledge about events, especially when they are referenced in conversations, and this show makes learning history far more entertaining than the crap I endured in college.

In the realm of comics, I already went through 30+ issues of Invincible last week alone - and I loved every minute of it! It's a fun superhero book that doesn't take itself very seriously.

One of the funniest scenes I've read in comics!
My only gripe, though this applies to comics in general these days, is that there really isn't much to read in a single issue. Gone are the days where I spend 15 to 20 minutes on a single book. These days, I'll be lucky if I make it to 10 minutes.

Another surprisingly short read is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series. I finished it late last week and I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The world-building just doesn't work for me and I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. There's a dwarf that burrows by eating and pooping dirt.

Or maybe I'm just not down with having criminals as protagonists. Though Eoin Coifer did try to make readers empathize with his main character, but I just can't bring myself to do so. Here's hoping the next books hook me in.

And now, to gaming. My friends and I were supposed to spend last Thursday's Labor Day break playing board games but our host, Mark Poa, had to cancel because MR had a family emergency and she couldn't fly out. We tried to make other plans but I ended up staying home and playing my own games - most notably Dust: An Elysian Tail (yeah, I'm still there).

At this point, I was already consulting walkthroughs online because I couldn't figure some levels out and I wanted to be done with them so I can move on to the next. I ended the week on the final level of the game. I'm probably gonna finish it sometime this week.

Final level! Things are bound to get nasty from here!
I also bought a couple of Kemco and Kairosoft games on Android because they were on sale. I haven't fully delved into either games, so I can't really say much about them yet, but I did sample them a bit.

Friday night was Geek Fight at Boho. We had a modest turn out with only four teams competing, two of which were composed of me and my friends, but Kenneth the substitute host (Carlo Casas wasn't available for some reason) really livened up the evening with silly retorts like asking the groups to draw boobs, pubes, or even V-cuts on their board if they don't have the answer. I've actually seen Kenneth before - as a member of the Silly People Improv Troupe and as one of the doomed students on Battalia Royale.

Neither of our two groups won that evening but it was fun nonetheless, so it's all good.

Finally, the weekend. To be honest, there really wasn't much about FCBD that excites me anymore. After all, I'm not much of an avid collector anymore, I've gone every year since Comic Odyssey spearheaded the event locally, and I wasn't thrilled about basking in the searing heat while waiting in line for this year's free comic offerings, none of which I'm particularly interested in. Since I'm also in the business of cutting back and saving, I was also not interested in the sale. I only really went just to say that I've had a complete geek week and to have enough fodder for this blog.

I had this medium-sized shirt altered for the occasion.
To be fair, though, this year's event was less taxing than last year. I was in line by 8:30 am and was done by around 9:30 am. Boy, was I glad they got the line moving early and quickly. I could've gone home then but I had to wait for Mark P. and Chiqui. Actually, one of the things I always enjoy about FCBD is meeting up with friends and the local fandom, so I'm glad I still took the time and effort to be there.

As for my stash, I got Transformers vs. GI Joe, Archie, and Power Rangers comics (yeah, I totally skipped the Marvel title) plus some other random issues that Comic Odyssey gave away to early birds. I ended up giving away my copy of Archie to Jay-r and Power Rangers to Alec. They didn't make it to the quality stuff but I wanted them to come away with something since they're hardly ever at these events and, like I said, I wasn't particularly interested in the comics anyway, so it just made sense. Mark P. also wanted the Bongo FCBD anthology but they already ran out of copies when he arrived. Had I known, I would've gotten a copy and given it to him.

My initial apprehension about attending this year's FCBD almost made me lose my slot to figure into this year's Star Wars Day celebration at Resorts World as part of the Philippine Outpost contingent. The call went out to troopers and handlers weeks ago for a two-day weekend trooping but there were limited slots, so I let the troopers sign up first. I also had to gauge whether my presence would be required for either or both days. It wasn't until early last week when I decided I would attend FCBD that I finally confirmed my participation for Sunday only but was told the slots had already been filled. I didn't really mind - I was perfectly fine with just supporting the event and taking photos and videos of them, which I always enjoy. However, I did volunteer to handle the small group who would be making an appearance on ASAP earlier in the day though.

I also had this shirt altered last week just for the weekend.
The trooping at ASAP was actually the second time I handled the troopers for a variety show performance. The first time was on Party Pilipinas about a couple of years ago. The experience was almost similar - down to Iza Calzado being present on both shows - except that, during rehearsals, I didn't know many of the performers on Party Pilipinas but I knew most of those on ASAP. And I don't watch either shows! Except for the rain that made crossing from the green room to the studio less than ideal, the trooping went swimmingly. I had my camera with me to take photos of the appearance but unfortunately: a. My position on the side of the stage wasn't a good angle; and b. My camera's battery ran out.


Thankfully I had a spare that I got to use for the event at Resorts World. It turned out that there were more troopers and a couple of Jedi than I initially expected (including Nabs and some new troopers who came all the way from Cebu!), so an extra handler came in really - well, handy! I found out I was officially enlisted, after all, which gave me backstage privileges, among other perks, in exchange for helping the legion out with putting their armor on, marching, and everything else they may need. My fellow handlers.and I shuffled between the dressing room and the activity area or going around the mall, wherever there's a trooper. And I still got to follow them around or RUN AHEAD OF THEM and take photos and video (that reminds me - I still need to edit)!

The final photo I took before my camera's spare battery conked out.
Yet this event was less exhausting for me than FCBD was. I was already crashing last Saturday afternoon while we were playing Cards Against Humanity at Krispy Kreme but I was pumped all the way through the trooping. Then again, I didn't get much sleep the night before FCBD because Geek Fight. And I pretty much slept the entire evening when I got home from FCBD, which foiled my plan of capping my Saturday with a comic book movie, ie the Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Anyway, back to Star Wars Day Sunday. Jovan, Aids, and I hitched a ride out of Resorts World with Jon, who also wanted to check out the VaderBoy custom toy exhibit at Ronac Art Center, so we tagged along. Turns out some of the troopers who were just at Resorts World at the event also came to support one of the troopers who couldn't participate at Resorts World because he was one of the exhibit organizers. I was actually blown away by the concept of the exhibit since I wasn't aware such a sub-culture exists. It's now become something I want to look into in the future. After all, it's art that I can easily appreciate.

Just imagine if Ewoks were this creative.
And so May the 4th and my "geek week" ended for me there. Funny enough, I've never been to any of the places I ended up going to on Star Wars Day, which is great for adding to my fount of experience. Actually, the whole of last week has been awesome on so many levels and I'm forever grateful that this is the kind of life I get to live.

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