Friday, July 22, 2016

Australia Trip 2016


6:30am - woke up after barely sleeping due to anxiety and excitement. I was already around 90% packed, just had to put stuff in my backpack.

7:00am - had breakfast then took a bath. We have to leave by 8am as I was not yet checked-in, which Rey and Shiela managed to do so online last night.

7:57am - I hailed an Uber to take us to the airport. It had a surge rate but we decided to take it anyway. 

Me & Rey, a selfie in Uber
8:20am - arrived at the airport in the Departures area. Shiela was already on her way so we decided to wait for her outside. We weighed in our luggage and we were both around the 15kg mark.

9:30am - had a snack at Cafe France in NAIA Terminal 2 to pass the time. Our flight wasn't until 12pm so we still had more than an hour to spend. I ordered Beef Lasagna for 200php - very expensive but no choice as the selection of places to eat there was disappointing.

11:00am - started boarding PR213!

12:20pm - off we flew for Sydney! Rey and I were seated around row 44 - he was in the window seat while I was in the aisle seat. Fortunately, no one was between us so we had some room. Shiela was seated behind us (row 45) in the window seat. No one was also in between her and the aisle seat passenger.

10:30pm - arrived at Sydney International Airport! It was cold in the airport but I knew it'll be colder outside - and I love it! Passing through Immigration was a breeze so we were out of there around 11pm. We searched for a place to eat but since it was almost midnight, all of the restaurants in the airport was closed already. We saw a McDonald's but it was also closed; we lingered there a bit though as there was free wifi. We stepped outside in the cold (brrrr!) and hailed a cab. The cab driver was very kind (Lebanese, IIRC). Rey made the mistake of trying to board the driver seat, forgetting that Australia cars are right-hand driven! 
Hello Sydney!

12:00am - arrived at our AirBNB in Centenary Park. Had a bit of delay finding our building but after a while, we found the keys in the letterbox (as the host instructed) and we were able to enter the apartment quickly. It was quite spacious, if not a little dusty and dirty. Shiela opted to sleep in the sofa (which was quite spacious, she said) as her room was dirty (it had hair on the bed) and only had a curtain for a door. We tried to have food delivered but it delivery also closes around midnight so Rey and I shared a Nasi Goreng instant noodles that we found in the pantry (microwaved!).

1:00am - bedtime! Rey and I took the bedroom with a patio and it was quite big! The bed was also comfortable. The shelves though were dusty and one even had the top come off, not properly secured/glued! Anyway we were tired from the trip so we fell asleep quickly.

Total expenses: $24aud for the cab

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Songs I Can Listen To Over - Revised
(And over...and over...and over...)

Since my last post regarding this topic was published here, there have been some significant changes to the list. Some were removed as they have outlasted their novelty (or perhaps I have just grown tired of them) while a few were added as I discovered (or in some cases, re-discovered) them during the course of the years.

Here's an updated list:

1. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
2. Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
3. When Love Is Gone - Jim Photoglo
4. Operator - Jim Croce
5. Call The Shots - Girls Aloud
6. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
7. The Scientist - Coldplay
8. Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Leona Lewis (original by Oasis)
9. Book Of Days - Enya
10. Turn My Swag On - Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

A couple of notes:

- I searched When Love Is Gone (#3) for almost two decades, ever since I first heard it in the 90s while on a jeepney ride to the office. All I got were a few lines and the melody of the chorus so to say I had the barest minimum to search with is an understatement! I finally managed to identify it late last year - via Google of all places!

- I never thought I'd like a rap song as much as I did with Turn My Swag On (#10) but I also never thought a rap song could sound like a spy movie.
Resurrecting the corners
(A new year, a new resolution...and an old blog)

Wow - I can't believe my last post was more than five years old!

The new year has just started yesterday and one of my resolutions is to take my writing to the next step. You see, back in 2009, I've decided to keep a diary again and resolved to fill up its pages faithfully from the first day of the year up to the last. In a way I have accomplished that - I say in a way because two weeks in May were kept blank. There's a good reason for that though: I was in the US at that time and I left my diary at home. I did chronicle my adventures in a separate notebook, which I plan to blog about soon.

Anyway, in 2010, my resolutions were (a) to continue keeping a diary and (b) re-activate my fiction writing. I used to write love stories back when I was in college but when I started working, that fell off the wayside. I haven't written a complete story for almost two decades now and I thought it would be a good time (or year) to start that again.

Easier said than done I guess.

This year, I've decided to take a different route. The diary resolution from two years back is still in effect but this time, I thought of re-activating my blog. My thinking was that it's easier to write about one's life experiences than pull a story out from the ether.

And with this first post, I guess I've already succeeded! :D

Anyway, as an introductory post, let me update briefly the articles that I've published here so far.

TOYCON - I continued to participate in the annual Toy Convention in Megamall up until 2009, when I shifted to the new Metro-Con organized by a friend. This new convention is more geared towards the comic medium rather than a mix of hobbies like the ToyCon so I thought, since I'm only selling comics, why not give it a try. Great decision as I earned a lot in their first year. I again participated in 2010 and while my earnings were not as great as the previous year, it was still a good one. I plan to participate this year again, which will be held in the first weekend of May.

NEIL GAIMAN - well, he did visit the country several more times after that first one in 2005 but I didn't attend any of his events anymore. I guess once was enough for me.

CANADIAN IDOL - this one sadly seems to be a defunct show now as its been off the air for a couple of years. It seems they discontinued it due to the recession that hit Canada (as well as the rest of the world). I miss the judges but not the host - sorry Ben! Jon Dore also left the show a year or so before it was cancelled.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT - I haven't worked in a graveyard shift since 2005 and I'm thankful for that as even now, working in that time frame is not attractive to me. A lot has happened though regarding my worklife since then - for one, the project where I worked the graveyard shift is no longer active. More on this in future posts.

FAVORITE SONGS - I plan to do an update on this in a future post so no need to expand on this here.

Okay I guess that updates most of the posts here so here's looking forward to new ones in the coming year. Wish me luck I guess!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Songs I Can Listen To Over
(and over and over and over and over...)

There is always a song (or two) that you can listen to over and over again and never get tired of doing so, no matter if you've heard it a thousand times or a million times.

These songs mean something to us, whether the reason is deep or shallow, it does not matter - you just get that certain joy whenever you listen (not hear, there's a difference) that song and suddenly, sometimes, you forget everything else, if only for the duration of the song.

Here's my list:

1. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
2. Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
3. Knowing Me, Knowing You - ABBA
4. Operator - Jim Croce
5. Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler
6. Hard Woman - Mick Jagger
7. Rich Girl - Daryl Hall & John Oates
8. Book Of Days - Enya
9. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
10. Please Don't Stop Remembering - Randy Edelman
Graveyard shift
(but not in an actual graveyard...but then again...)

Never in my life did I see myself working the night shift.


As in, never.

I am currently working from 9PM to 6AM because my US-based client is implementing a major system and they want my team to work in sync with them in case any problems would arise during their testings.

Now this is my first experience working the graveyard shift; yes I've worked overnights before but never on consecutive days. And now that I have worked on these hours, I could definitely and conclusively say its not for me.

You see, I'm a morning person (as a dear friend pointed out earlier) - I wake up relatively early, arrive at work early (around 6:30ish), and I generally finish my own tasks before lunch time. Anything else that would arise I give the rest of the day as a buffer.

I don't know where this principle (for lack of a better term) of mine started but I've been applying it since college. Aside from time management, I would approach my subjects in a similar manner - I work hard during the first half of the semester then would generally be exempted from taking the final exams. I would rather not take the finals than increase my grade further - as long as I get a passing grade (which is a little above average considering I basically skipped the finals), I'm fine.

Anyway, the third day of my night shift is just about over and I'm currently listening to The Fifth Dimension's I Didn't Get To Sleep (At All), quite appropriate if I say so myself.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Canadian Idolation
(That other show over the other side)

While everyone was sad that American Idol (AI) finally concluded with the crowning of a new idol - Carrie Underwood - I was actually glad because that means my favorite Idol franchise is about to start for the summer!

"Welcome to Canadian Idol!"

Currently on its third season, Canadian Idol boasts a few differences from its american counterpart. For one, it has four judges rather than three. Second, it only has ten finalists as opposed to AI's twelve. And it had more "firsts" than any other idol franchise in the world.

First off, the judges. There are three men and one woman, all are supposedly professionals in the music business (well their side of the world anyway). They are:
  • Jake Gold - a record producer who is labeled as the flamboyant one. His critiques are sometimes mean and sometimes funny, but he's more partial to the emotion a contestant evokes during a performance rather than anything else. In season three, Jake's been sporting a rather horrendous pair of glasses.
  • Farley Flex - the big black guy in the judging panel, Farley is a famous TV and radio personality in the urban scene in Canada. His critiques are always nice, never mean, more like Randy Jackson without any attitude. Of all the judges, Farley's perhaps the "coolest" one.
  • Sass Jordan - the only female in the panel, Sass is, like Paula, the only recording artist amongst the judges. Unlike Paula though, she apparently still has a career in music in her home turf. Her critiques are always nice and appreciative (definitely more coherent than Paula's) but lately Sass have been dishing out sharp comments if she feels a performance was subpar.
  • Zack Werner - the Simon Cowell of the group, Zack doesn't pull his punches when giving out his critiques, damn any feelings he might step on. But there is a good side to Zack, and he appreciates the effort put in by a contestant. He actually did some performing in his early years in the music business and is actually a lawyer (though non-practicing).
Now as for the host, well Ben Mulroney is no Ryan Seacrest but one could see that he's trying to be a good emcee. His eyes are rather dead and emotionless, unlike Ryan who comes off as sympathetic and caring. In season one, Ben's hosting skills are very very lacking but overtime he became more comfortable and adept.

Canadian Idol also has a roving correspondent - Jon Dore. Now Jon is more of a jester, often horse-playing with the contestants or playing a practical joke - on himself! He is quite likable - more than Ben I would think.

Season one had eleven finalists - supposedly a last minute decision during the wildcard performance - but seasons two and three have ten. The show boasted a few firsts (from what I could gather) like:
  • The show was the first to do away with the red room during last season's wildcard performance. Usually, semi-finalists are sequestered in a room (painted red, hence the name) while waiting for their turn to perform; only during the results show are they all on stage seated on couches. Last year, during the wildcard show, all eight wildcard semi-finalists were on the couch so they could see and watch each other's performances upfront.
  • During the sixth results show of the finals last year, the idols performed playing a musical instrument each.
  • This year, the judges chose eleven eliminated semi-finalists and Canada voted eight to perform live in the wildcards show.
  • In the first season, when a wildcard semi-finalist dropped out of the show, a contestant was chosen from the top 100.

The show is currently on its ninth round in the finals and so far it seems to be going strong still. This year however had no Asian finalist (well not that I could distinguish) - season one had Mikey Bustos and season two had Elena Juatco.

In the absence of CSIs, Aliases and Apprentices, Canadian Idol have been a good distraction for me - at the very least until the next American Idol season.

The CI judges: Farley Flex, Sass Jordan, Jake Gold and Zack Werner

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Wake

Wow, it’s finally over! Just days before I was anxious to participate in my first ever book signing event - and with NEIL GAIMAN no less! To those not familiar with Neil, he wrote several comic book stories and had quite a few paperback novels. His most popular comic book work was the SANDMAN series, which was about an entity called Morpheus who is the king of all dreams. His most popular novels are AMERICAN GODS and STARDUST.

Here's my attempt to recount the NEIL GAIMAN event last July 9, 2005.

I woke up at 7AM that day. I texted my friend Shiela if she would like to share a cab going to Rockwell and she agreed. As I'm nearer to our destination, she'll pick me up at around 8AM.

My group THE COMIC BROOK was scheduled to meet at Starbucks Rockwell by 9 to 9:30AM but I moved it to 8:30AM because nearly all of Neil's books have sold out already (I visited two Bibliarch branches the day before) so the chances of a huge crowd just exponentially increased.

Shiela and I arrived at Rockwell by 8:30AM. We saw the huge white tent, where the event took place, from a distance and I sighed in relief that we'll be at least indoors and most probably be cooler. We saw no one we know at Starbucks so we decided to check out the tent. From afar, we saw that a line had already formed so I called some people to tell them to hurry their butts already!

One of the people I called was Raffy. He was supposed to be there by then, as he was one of those who protested that 9AM is too late a time to meet already; lo and behold, he had just woken up - and he lives in Alabang! He flipped-flopped between going and not going before finally hauling his butt off the bed to go.

We saw Jabe near the middle of the line and we chatted for a while. When Rey and Arnel arrived at 8:45AM, we queued up quickly. Lex arrived a few minutes later and we managed to squeeze him in. I saw in line a few familiar faces from the yahoo group Pinoyslayers, like Thor, his sister Faye, Yayie and Jan.

The line was divided into two so we essentially got separated - Shiela and Arnel was in one line while Rey, Lex and I were in another. Nyek and his girlfriend arrived around 9:15AM so they were several people away from us.

Neil Gaiman arrived around 9:30AM and he was greeted with cheers and shouts of welcome. He was in sunglasses and dressed in black (as expected). He waved at the crowd and disappeared in the tent, where he supposedly assessed and judged the entries for the art competition.

By 9:45AM, we got our green-colored numbered stubs. Now these numbered stubs is just to organize how people will queue up for the book signing later that day. Shiela got 99, Arnel was 101, I got number 130, Rey got 132, Lex got 134. Jabe I believe got 66 while Nyek got 155 or something.

Giddy and relieved, we then went to Starbucks to relax as the mall was still closed. Raffy arrived a few minutes later and he was number 292. Rey and I played two games of VS before we all went in the mall and strolled around. We went to Fully Booked, where a lot of people were making their last-minute book purchases. Amongst us, only Rey bought anything - a SMOKE AND MIRRORS paperback.

I wanted to watch FANTASTIC FOUR but we paused for lunch first at MONGKOK; this was around 10:30AM. Sandman (Marc, not the Morpheus) and Dicky arrived at almost the same time - their numbers were 400+ and 500+ respectively. Igee, who had been texting me an hour ago asking questions about the event, finally arrived - and he's number 682!

We eventually spent about 2 hours in MONGKOK, just chatting and catching up on each other's lives. By then I knew we won't be able to watch FANTASTIC FOUR anymore so we transferred to Starbucks again to pass the time - the GATHERING event was 3PM.

Christian, Ben and Shiela's friend, Richie arrived when we were at Starbucks. Christian and Ben didn't get any numbers anymore while Richie got a red-colored stub (162) which was for the next day's signing already. The last number for the day was 700! Geez louise!

By 2:30PM, we found out that there was a looooong queue by the tent's entrance. Rey and I fell in line (later to be joined by Shiela and Richie) while the others waited by the door to wait till everyone has entered. Turns out they got in ahead of us by "squeezing" their way in!

There wasn't a lot of people - well, there was but I was expecting more. I had room to turn around in my place in the crowd so go figure! Anyway, by 3PM, a band called THE LATE ISABEL started performing and wouldn't stop until about 8 to 9 songs later! It wasn't that they're not good - they actually are - but people were expecting Neil to show up already! They didn't come here to listen to a concert - they wanted to see Neil Gaiman!

By 3:45PM, Neil finally arrived! Gabe Mercado, the host, announced a few winners to some raffles first before introducing Mr. Gaiman - and the crowd went absolutely wild! Shouts, cheers and just plain pandemonium greeted Neil in what his livejournal says "a wall of sound"! Hands were raised in fists, like they were worshipping a political leader in a protest rally, along with camcorders and cameras and tape recorders! It was truly a loud, loud crowd!

Given that, imagine then how louder the cheers got when he took off his leather jacket :P stomach decided to join the fray and started acting up itself! I drank a frappucino an hour ago and now I'm paying the price (milk and me don't mix)! I was nauseous and positively miserable, coughing like I was gonna throw up and practically sweaty!

On stage, Neil was talking, telling how we were noisier than the Brazillians and that it was illegal to buy chewing gum in Singapore. He also told how his printer acted up in the hotel - hence his delay in appearing earlier - as it printed out 20 pages of paper with just one line of text on each page! He was going to do a reading of his latest novel (called ANANSI BOYS, out in September) with those printed pages but because of the problem, he read via his laptop.

It wasn't a huge laptop so he was able to carry it in one hand. He began reading and it was the story of a guy named FAT CHARLEY, who was being prodded by his fiance to call his dad and invite him to the wedding. It seems FAT CHARLEY and his dad are not in good speaking terms. Fortunately, FAT CHARLEY doesn't know his dad's number or address. Unfortunately, he blurted out that a family friend might know.

Caving in to his fiance's insistence, he called the family friend (who was an old widow). That's where he found out that his father died. FAT CHARLEY was in shock as he told his fiance the news, but not because his father had died was he in such a state but rather it was the way his father died.

I'm not gonna tell how his father died but let me say that from what Neil read, it seems the humor and the situations are not entirely original. Amusing but I've heard or seen them somewhere else before. However, knowing Neil, he'll spin those situations around a wonderful tale so it wouldn't matter whether he was using unoriginal plot devices.

After reading, Neil answered three questions, of which only two do I recall. The first question was what did Neil sacrifice to become a great writer. Neil's answer was long (or rather, long-winded) and he ended it by saying "nothing". The second question was why his most memorable characters are women, and he said because there weren't any women characters back then, just "men with melons". This part of the event was the shortest, lasting only about 15 minutes or so.

By 5PM, the book signing started. People generally dispersed - some went out to leave because they weren't going to have any book signed, some went out for a breather (or a snack), and a lot (like us) sat down the dirty floor to wait our turn. Numbers 1 to 30 were called to queue up while Neil prepared his pens and signing table. Gabe also said that Neil will only put a dedication on one book, the rest he will just sign. This was understandable as it would take Neil probably days if he was gonna put a personalized dedication on every book! Gabe asked people to put their names on the numbered stubs so Neil won't misspell them.

The signing was rather slow as the first 30 people took about an hour to finish! I was making fun of Igee's number - 682 - as by the rate things were going, he won't be able to have his books signed that day. His salvation came when Raffy, who had to watch FANTASTIC FOUR by 9:30PM with his girlfriend Magee, made a deal with him - have three of his books signed and Igee can have his 292 number and Neil's dedication. Raffy got Igee's 682 number and left.

While waiting for our numbers to be called, an exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from Dave McKean's upcoming film MIRRORMASK was shown. It was an interesting piece, showcasing the creative process behind the creation of the movie, as well as a couple of interviews with Neil and Dave.

By 7:30PM, my batch was finally called to line-up. I brought my ENDLESS NIGHTS hardcover and decided on the second right there on the spot - my BRIEF LIVES trade paperback won over SEASON OF MISTS because of personal taste. Halfway through the line, I found out that you can specify what dedication you want Neil to write.

I panicked a bit - what should I have him write? Should it be a verse from a favorite song? A line from a favorite book or story he wrote? A dirty limerick? What what? I eventually ended up with a quote I've been using as a joke for days prior to the event - I told my friends in jest that maybe I should have Neil sign "THE COMIC BROOK RULES" so I could tell people that he gave his "official stamp of approval" to my yahoo group!

30 minutes later, I was in front of Neil having my books signed. Now before you hand your books over to Neil, you hand over your camera to a Fully Booked personnel so he/she can take your picture. I recognized the girl who took my camera - she was one of the moderators of the Pinoyslayers yahoo group - but I forgot her name. I blurted out another name and she corrected me - it was Tanya.

Anyway, I don't know if she took it against me or anything (but I don't think she did) but she took my picture when I wasn't looking! I was the only one amongst my friends who was not looking at the camera when his/her picture was taken! :(

And yes, Neil wrote "RUEL, THE COMIC BROOK RULES".

It was already 8:30PM by the time Rey, Lex and I finished and, to our surprise, Doc Robert had arrived! He had work in a clinic the whole day and was only able to join us at that time. We all decided to have dinner and Igee hesitantly joined us when we told him he'll still be considered even if batch was already called. We ate at Dulcinea, where Doc was pissed at the poor service of the head waitress (an order of his never arrived). The food was okay though. Igee, in his enormous generosity, paid for everyone's bill!

When we returned, around 9:30PM, Igee's batch had just been called to queue up so he quickly fell in line. By 10:30PM, he was finished and we all went home. The batch that was queueing when we left was 331 to 360. Dicky stayed behind, hopeful that his number (500+) will still be called.

I arrived at around 11PM, exhausted yet happy. It was my first book signing and it was fun, especially in the company of my friends. I'll definitely do this kind of event again (yes, even with a bad stomach) and here's hoping Neil could come back someday.

To end this rather long recount of the day, here's another instance that showcased Neil's professionalism and good nature:

Around 12:45AM, I got a text message from Raffy - Neil was still signing books! And he just had his books signed using Igee's 682 number! It seems that Neil finished at 1:30AM, finishing the 700 number plus signing for a few people who didn't have the stubs plus signing the shirts of a few Fully Booked staffers! What a guy!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

...but no noctures...

It's only a few days to go before Neil Gaiman arrives in Manila so I'm very much excited to meet him in the book signing on Saturday. While he's not my favorite writer, I did enjoy his past works (a great percentage of them anyway) and I actually respect what he has brought to the comics medium. His Sandman stories remain some of the best I have ever read!

Unfortunately, his 1602 remain as some of the worst (for me, that is). 8-(

Anyway, I am organizing a meet on Saturday for my yahoo group The Comic Brook so we can all line up together for the book signing. There will be an event before it (called THE GATHERING) at 3PM so I expect to be there for quite some time.

To get a book signing pass, I bought MURDER MYSTERIES (I wanted STARDUST but they're out of stock) - pretty decent story and nice artwork by P. Craig Russell. It tells about a crime that happened before creation, where everything else was still being planned by God. I honestly didn't expect the crime to be as simple as what was revealed, though I'm not disappointed as it was beautifully unravelled and presented.

The book pass entitles the bearer to have 2 books signed by Neil. I have already decided on one - my hardbound ENDLESS NIGHTS - but I can't seem to decide on the other. I'm carefully considering on the following:

  • SANDMAN: SEASON OF MISTS TP - perhaps the best storyarc in Neil's run, this TP tells the story of Lucifer leaving Hell and giving the key to Dream, resulting in a few dilemmas for the dream king.
  • SANDMAN: BRIEF LIVES TP - my favorite storyarc of all, this linear tale told how Dream and Delirium searched for their brother Destruction. Drawn by Jill Thompson, my favorite sequence in this arc was when Delirium confronted her oldest brother Destiny.
  • MURDER MYSTERIES HC - only because it's the other hardbound book by Neil that I own.

I could buy STARDUST (provided I find a copy somewhere) or MIDNIGHT DAYS, depending on my budget I guess.

Anyway, my friends and I will be meeting around 9AM at Rockwell and hopefully, there'll be a line already so we can get our numbered stubs. If they would honor the sequence of the stubs when the book signing event comes around, that would give us time to do something else rather than stay in line, probably go to Druid's Keep to play VS hehehehe.

Hope the day turns out great! 8-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The TOYCON That Was
A TOYCON 2005 Diary

I can't believe it's finally over.

Ever since I knew that there was going to be a Toy Convention (or TOYCON for short) this year, all I could think of was participating. Y'see, this past TOYCON was my third endeavor in selling on a such a grand scale. The first was during the 2004 FILBARSCON (held in May at the Glorietta Activity Center) - now that was fun! I barely sat down, I didn't take a piss break for like 8 or 9 hours, and I sold more than what I expected (and my goal was just to sell a lot so I would have a little more space in my room!).

Now given this, imagine my enthusiasm when I went on my second endeavor - the A.I.M. fair (held in December at the A.I.M. school, in front of Greenbelt One). I contacted my friend Raffy and we partnered up, sharing the cost of the booth. Now that was one huge fiasco! For the entire day, I only made a grand total of 60 bucks! I guess the crowd and the place wasn't right for the stuff we were selling. 8-(

Now comes the 2005 TOYCON. When reservations became open around May, I contacted my friend Raffy and asked if he wanted to pair up again. He said yes and I had my friend Ricky (alias Freefall) reserve a single booth.

The event was held last June 26 at the Megamall, in Megatrade Hall 3. Official convention time was 10AM but exhibitors can set up their booths as early as 9AM. My father and I, along with my friend Shiela and about 7 boxes of comics, left the house at 8:30 but when we got to Megamall, there was a long queue at the parking area. Fortunately, it took us only about 30 minutes of waiting so by 9:30ish, we were already setting up our booths in the convention area.

It was a surprise that each booth had 2 tables, whereas I was only expecting one ('cause in the FILBARSCON, I only had one). However, due to the sheer number of toys and comics we were selling, we had to put some boxes underneath the tables. Toys were displayed on boxes-turned-walls behind the booths (on which a little bump can have the same effect as the trumpets were to the walls of Jericho).

Eventually, when 10AM came and the convention doors opened, we were ready. We were a little crowded behind our booths - aside from Shiela, Raffy and myself, we also had Boss Jules and Rey. Boss Jules is the representative of Druid's Keep, an excellent hobby store in Magallanes that we partnered up to sell some toys. Rey is my best friend, who along with Shiela sold some comics along with me. Jabe, a fellow collector, also dropped by a bit later to put some of his comics for sale in our booth. Magee, Raffy's girlfriend, also dropped by, as well as Joy, Shiela's friend.

All in all it was a tiring day, but fun nevertheless. I met some members of my yahoo group The Comic Brook, including Oliver Pulumbarit (an excellent local writer/artist), and I liquidated some inessential stuff. I didn't make as much as I expected to but I made more than I did than in the FILBARSCON so I guess I don't have anything to complain about. Boss Jules made twice than I did while Raffy made thrice, but I guess that's to be expected as toys are more in demand, not to mention more expensive, than comics.

We packed up around 9PM and went to Starbucks Magallanes (Raffy, Jules, Shiela and I) to do some accounting, after which Raffy drove me home. I left my boxes in the sala, as I didn't have anymore strength to carry them back up to my room, and retired for the day.

Now it's back to comics buying for me. I didn't buy anything in the TOYCON (well except for a Fudge magazine, but only because it came with a Batman Begins poster) as I didn't find anything I wanted that badly to buy (well except for Ricky's box of chromium WildC.A.T.s cards, which I stupidly let go to an interested buyer).

Next year I will definitely be back with the same amount of enthusiasm and same set of expectations - I just hope it'll be at least as fun as the convention this year was. 8-)

My First Post
(or I can't believe I'm blogging)

Hello? Is this thing on? *tap tap tap* Hello hello? Oh! Sorry, I guess it's on then...*ahem ahem* goes nothing...

Welcome to my first endeavor in the world of blogging!

Okay now that wasn't so bad teehee 8-P

Anyway, here's hoping I could update this blog regularly, provided work and VS (the trading card game I'm so into right now) would allow me the time to write whatever's in my brain.

Okay, that's it for now - thanks and bye! 8-)

...Okay you can turn off the microphone now...*whew* I'm glad I didn't screw that up...I mean it was just my first my first blog...*scratch scratch* I'm hungry...what to eat what to eat...*blech cough cough* oooh was that supposed to be green? Maybe I'm coming down with something...oh well...huh? Why is the red light on the microphone still lit? Oh geez!

(dead silence)