Geek-ened Weekend

Saturday was officially geek-out day.

After a quick pass by UP to inquire about music lessons (enrollment for second sem starts November, argh), I take a jeep to SM North because I’m meeting an old friend at Trinoma over a few Magic cards I had bought. Stopped by SM North first because I planned to hunt for toys, but got so turned off when I found out I didn’t have my SM Advantage Card with me that not even seeing a relatively hard-to-find Windcharger Transformers figure on the shelves and on a discounted price could make me want to spend on it. (For those who are looking for one, it might still be there in the SM North Department Store.)

Was probably fortunate, in hindsight, as I would have so many more things to go broke on before the day was over.

I found a Fully Booked branch behind¬†another of my usual North area stops (Toy Kingdom in SM The Block). This came as a huge surprise to me, as until today, the only decent Fully Booked branches I could remember were the ones at Gateway, Bonifacio High Street and Greenhills. Also surprisingly enough, this branch was pretty well-stocked, which is more than I could say for most of the National and Powerbooks stores out there today (to quote a friend: “National? ‘Di naman yun bookstore, school supplies lang yun na nagkukunwari!”).

If at this point you think I’m making too big a fuss over the books in a bookstore, you should see me when I’m in one. Striding through shelf after shelf, genre after genre, book after book, makes by brain drool in so many ways my other geekiness outlets (cards and toys) sometimes cannot. It’s actually one of the reasons why I try to avoid killing time in bookstores: I usually end up buying something to add to my ever-growing pile of unread books (see previous post).

I had a good excuse, though, for staying, as I remembered that I had php2000 in Fully Booked gift certificates, a birthday present from an uncle who somehow always knows what gifts to get me. And I had time to kill, as it was around 1 and I wouldn’t be meeting my friend until around 3. Two hours of walking back and forth the shelves, comparing this philosophy book to that novel, this graphic novel to that collection of short stories, and so on.

As I walked into the store, one of the first things that caught my eye was the four A Song of Ice and Fire paperbacks, staring at me from the Shelves for Popular Stuff (that’s what they are to me, anyway). The series was one of the things that ended up on my “to-buy” list, along with the following (guess one):

  • several Transmetropolitan TPBs I wanted more for keeping than for reading since I’ve read the series at least twice,
  • an old Likhaan book that I decided to let go of since I had long finished writing the papers it was supposed to be for,
  • a few Marquez books to complete my collection,
  • some stuff by Gaiman, Bradbury and Asimov that I think I will end up borrowing and reading in the future,
  • David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp (because the parts about people and art are THAT beautiful),
  • Craig Thompson’s Blankets, a digital copy of which has been in my hard drive since forever,
  • etc., etc.

Texted a friend about George R. R. Martin’s series, to ask if they were books worth both reading AND keeping. Get a resounding “Yes” in response, along with news of a boxset that’s cheaper than getting the books separately. Look around for one in the Shelf of Boxsets, but no dice. Had a salesman unwrap Asterios Polyp and Blankets so I could take a good look at both. Decide on getting one of them (still guessing?) along with the four books, grabbing them on the way to the counter. As I plop the books down to say that I’m getting them too, I see Sean Bean’s face, all sepia-d, right behind the cashier. I immediately ask for a look at it, find out that it’s the boxset I was looking for, and, laughing, tell the cashier that I won’t be getting these after all.

It’s all your fault, Sean Bean. Thanks, BTW.

The result:

Time and money: well spent.

(If you guessed Blankets, you get a metaphysical cookie. What can I say, the story is just love, in so many ways.)

I swear, I could hear the Game of Thrones opening theme as I walked out of the store with an absurdly large plastic bag. So I hummed along to it as I crossed from SM North to Trinoma to play a few games of Magic with an old dormmate.

***

You know you’re real geeks when you’re willing to spend a bit of cash on expensive coffee, just because the coffee shop was relatively quiet, and had a decent-sized table you could play cards on. That, and being able to talk Magic for hours, of course. This eventually led to me getting a hundred and sixty new sleeves for my decks (100 and 60, respectively), plus a few boosters while waiting for the car to come around. It’s a slippery slope, I know, as the last time I remember actually buying boosters was Mirrodin (not Scars of Mirrodin, mind you). Don’t worry, the stuff I got was bad enough to turn me off buying boosters for the immediate time being.

***

Afterthought: I can imagine how nuts Eight-and-a-Half Tails would be as a general in an equipment-centric Commander/EDH deck.

***

Saw part of Game of Thrones‘ first episode on local HBO at around lunchtime today. Fail cuts are fail, as expected of local television. I mean, I understand removing the part where the Dothraki are doing it and slashing each other’s throats in public during Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding, but to cut lines like Viserys scaring his sister with the 40,000 men and horses was just pure LOLWTF.

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