Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Would Look Forward to in the Future

Guild Wars 2
In as much as I have been quite clearly against MMOs calling themselves role-playing games, a huge part of what makes me despise them is the fact such games are too focused on grinding, pointless repetitive quests, and barely-existent actual role-playing going on.    World of Warcraft failed to really capture my interest.  DC Universe Online disappointed me big time.  All the Korean MMOs I had played were cutesy fun at first then horribly grindingly boring real fast.    Even the upcoming World of Darkness MMO is making me worry.  All we have seen is a teaser and that's it.

Guild Wars 2, however, has clearly stated they plan to address the concerns of repetitive questing and pointless grinding.    From the updates they have been sharing, the triggered quests seem to be more important than the usual repetitive ones in MMOs.    They boldly proclaim their MMO manifesto (and gain bonus points from me for calling it MMO and not MMORPG) in this video, which shows promise for the direction the game is taking.   I'm actually tempted to try it when it comes out.

Little Big Planet 2
Little Big Planet was already a fantastic game at its initial incarnation.  With so much potential locked in what looked like a kiddy platformer, the game was a sandbox of creativity waiting to be unlocked.  The very first level I made and shared was a Dynasty Warriors inspired one which was barely challenging to play.  The later Dr. Who inspired level I made boasted numerous levels to explore, hidden secrets, a boss moment and a narrative element that was too easy and too hard in certain instances.    God knows how much I was envious too of the other downloadable content that was available.  I wanted to buy the Pirates level builder to gain access to water, the variety of costumes available for period pieces and popular fandom looks.  And I still fondly recall the best stages I tried playing.

Little Big Planet 2 sets itself up to do everything the first game has done, and push it to the next level.    Already this early, fantastic creations are already being shaped by those who have access to the beta test of the game.  The limitations of a platformer game as a look for the game are no longer in effect!  Just check out the adaptation of the game Flower!  Or their version of Pac Man!

Beyond Good and Evil is coming back!
From the Beyond Good and Evil HD version coming up, there is also news of an upcoming Beyond Good and Evil 2 game!  When I first played the original game on the Play Station 2, I recall how much I loved this game for its unique sense of humor, varied gameplay and compelling story.  Like a strange mix of Solyent Green and Legend of Zelda, the game has twists and visuals that simply give it such a unique look and feel that it really saddens me how it never hit it big due to the lack of strong marketing and support from its distributor.

I am really hoping that these two games come out and that the world sees the beauty and fun that this game has to offer.  Seriously.  God of War and Devil May Cry have nothing compared to this game.

But sadly, once you visit their official site however.


But no, i will not give up!

More Old Games Coming Back!
Other than Beyond Good and Evil, I am overjoyed to know that ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are now going to be ported to the PlayStation 3 as well!  I already have a copy of the Prince of Persia Trilogy and the Sly Cooper compilation too!  Here's hoping even obscure but fun games like Eretzvaju and Bust a Groove (Not to be confused with the stupid dinosaur bubble game) get ported.  I doubt it, but one can hope right?

Sequels to Games We Love
There are also the great games that are about to finally release their long-awaited sequels.  Batman's Arkham City, Silent Hill 8, Dynasty Warriors 7, and best of all, America McGee's Alice: Madness Returns are about to have come back games on the horizon!

And let's hope for Kingdom Hearts 3!

The Dark Knight Rises
Sooooo psyched for the next Chris Nolan Batman movie.  With his having confirmed Tom Hardy having a role in the movie, I can't wait to see what his warped mind has in store for us next.   Lots of people are placing bets that good ole Tom will be Hugo Strange.  I personally am hoping he ends up being the new Riddler.  Probably one given a more Clock Work Orange twist.  I wouldn't mind if he goes for Clayface too, as long as he has many shirtless moments before and after turning into mud.

And more, more, more geeky moments with my Wocky.
Everything from getting more Transformers, a joy far too long denied, to indulging in movies, shows, and other little pampering things, my life with my partner continues to get better and better each and every single day.   I love being in a relationship where one can be as geekily gay as one really is.

2011, bring your wicked wabbits!
I am ready for you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

My favorite gift.

Day 362 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

You can never have too much geeky stuff.
And when it comes to one's fortune, you can never know when it will swing your way.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 361 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Yes.  The actual books.
Thank you Mahar for giving us access to the actual books!
Sabihin mo na lang if eto na gifts mo sa amin.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 360 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Pepper and Salt shakers.
As magnetic bunnies.
Can it get any geekier?


Day 359 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

My prize for being part of the 24-hour comic thing.
Yay to free comics!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 358 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

I love how gift-wrapping paper now has grids in the inside for easy measuring and knowing where to cut or fold.  Thank you Hallmark! Now my gifts actually are wrapped as gifts!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 357 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Styx Taxi was one of those well-made indie comics which I wish there were more of.
Come to think of it, there are a LOT of indie comics I do enjoy reading.

Day 356 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Another wonderful read from Gerry Alanguilan.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 355 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Operation Bammboo a success.
Got my mom a nice Bamboo tree to add to her garden.
And look, it is even taller than me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Jingle-y Rant

Christmas is coming in a few days and so far, I've successfully found Christmas gifts that I wanted to get for my Mom, Dad and sister.  Still trying to find a way to get nice gifts for Kuya Mike and Ate Ives who live in Los Angeles with their two kids, but I don't know how to best do that without them having to worry about paying for packages and the like.

On the personal side, I've been very happy to see how much Rocky enjoyed his first Christmas gift.  The orange-y Unicron now stands menacingly paralytic beside his Fortress Maximus which makes me smile each time I glance at them.  And the boxed set of a new "combiner" kind of gestalt composed of "dinobot" like robots is waiting to be unpackaged.  So that's a few more new robots to my man who loves Transformers after years of being denied the right to own and display such proudly.

On the other hand, I was overjoyed to receive the complete Lost Blu-Ray collection from Kuya Mike and Ate Ives, a stash of DVD-Rs and delicious dark chocolate from my mom for our company Christmas party, a puzzle set from my trainees, a notebook with a tiny disturbingly cute figurine from an outsource contact.

As to here at the Sietch, I now have a super cool Playstation Move + Playstation Eye +Kung Fu Rider game for the Playstation 3 from my one and only Rocky.  And he insists there is still a second gift coming.  What is it?  Here's an image to whet your appetite.

And yes, there IS still the temptation to hunt down one last gift for Rocky before the eve of Christmas actually comes around.    (I am seriously considering getting something too for his family, but part of me worries that might be too forward of me.)

And this is just as far as "physical presents" are concerned.  

My parents celebrated another anniversary, which in many ways is actually a HUGE Christmas present as well.  Without that, this boringly fun blog wouldn't exist since I would have never been born!   A new batch of students are graduating, just as a new batch of students have been welcomed, in De La Salle Lipa where my parents and my Dad's schoolmates from DLSL have been sponsoring the scholarship of what has now been five generations of students.  Many geek friends have extended the spirit of giving joy and love to hospitals and outreach groups, and doing it in ways only geeks can ever accomplish.  New friendships have been formed.  Lives have been saved.  The bonds of loyalty and love strengthened.    

And yet, so many people in my Facebook newsfeed as well as on plurk seem to be obsessing over how this Christmas "doesn't feel like Christmas".  Some friends complained about how this year seems to lack the "spirit" of it all, laying blame on news reports such as the acquittal of certain people, the deaths or tragedies that had befallen friends we know, or the prevalence of certain people to focus instead of monetary things (like the lotto, or out-of-town trips financed by others, brand obssessing, etc) than the true joys of Christmas.   Personally, I think people just need to remember that the "spirit" of anything lies best in how we as an individual celebrate it with others.  Let's face the fact that while it may be as bad as one out of every three people celebrating Christmas is just faking it, the more people like us truly celebrate it, the bigger the chance fakers might be moved to seeing the season for what it really is meant to be.  

While we will never be able to convince idiots like Rachel of Glee that Christmas is not the best time to gain ask for the forgiveness of others through the careful use of guile and manipulation, we can however choose to accept such jerks as what they are and still be thankful of the role the play in life as a whole.   Christmas isn't thanksgiving.  Christmas isn't independence day.  Christmas isn't the season of shopping nor the season of showing off.  But if that's how you choose to celebrate it, then go celebrate it that way.   Don't worry.  I won't stop you.

You won't, however, stop me from being able to truly embrace the spirit of the season.  And from feeling the joy of this season and all the love that is spread outwards in an honest and sincere way.  The CBCP rants about people "forgetting the true purpose of Christmas and it being stolen by Santa," while others more versed in the facts know the Church "took over" the date when certain pagan rituals were being observed to "replace their practices."  And yet, I see more non-practicing catholics who are embracing the spirit more than churchgoers I know.  For every contact I have complaining about Christmas, I see a few more who - like me - are celebrating it and spreading the cheer and joy to those they love.   

And we are going to keep doing that.
Because it is Christmas, and because Christmas should not be limited alone to the elite, to the religious or to the wealthy.    And as far as I am concerned, it never will be.  The world celebrates Christmas in so many ways.  Why should we be any different?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Day 354 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Secret Wars II.
I miss the days when broad cross-over stories were this interesting.

Day 353 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Sucat Sky Way route now operational.
Always good to have more ways to visit one's parents.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 352 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

My Rocky got me a Playstation Move, a Playstation Eye and Kung Fu Rider for Christmas!
I love you, Rocky!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 351 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

More Kylie in the world makes the rainbow a brighter celebration of color.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 349 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

The Lost complete collection in Blu-Ray.
Thank you Kuya Mike and Ate Ives for this wonderful present.

Day 348 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Shade the Changing Man is a mind-blowing read.
Seriously good stuff.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 347 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

One of them few books that I got which I am really happy to have.
Gaiman, Bolton, Buckingham and Russell in one comic?


Day 346 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

I love this issue.
Especially since they didn't lie.
Spidey did die.  And his confrontation with Thanos was beautifully written.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Day 344 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Who knew Kylie Minogue had a movie?
I didn't.  I'm tremendously excited to get a chance to watch this eventually.
Another one of them gems I got in Singapore for me and Rocky.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Day 342 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

What's better than finally finding a copy of the WE3 tradepaper back you've been looking for for so long?  Being able to buy it, get back home from where you got it, and open it to discover there were actually TWO copies instead of one in the packaging.  

So yes, we finally have a tradepaper copy of WE3.
One for each of us.

2B gud?
Yes.  2B gud dog.


Day 341 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Gay Pride March!
A pity I wasn't able to go.

Day 340 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

My Christmas gift to Rocky!
And yes, I was able to get this for him at Singapore.

Day 339 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Some comics are hard to describe.
Reading them is the only way to really grasp how genius they are.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Day 338 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

A nice collection.

Day 337 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

The New Mutants, as a concept, were already fantastic.  Add to that the artistry oBoleslav William Felix Robert Sienkiewicz and things get so much more better.

Day 336 of 365 Days of Geeky Happiness

Magic the Gathering was one of those card games that for me was remarkably fun... until they made it too competitive.  Suddenly, a lot of fun decks aren't really viable to play anymore since much more tuned up decks eat them up too easily.  

It became like playing basketball with your neighbor who is in the NBA, but when he plays he always just plays to win.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

So Tired. But just about done. (For Yesterday)

Yep.  That work I was complaining about?
Just about finished it right now.  That's 2:03am of the next morning.
And yes, it MIGHT have to happen again later.

Yay me.

I so wish I was home with my Rocky, to celebrate the Pride March instead.
But at the same time, I have to admit, it has also been fun exploring Singapore with my parents.
Just could be so much better if work can be somehow removed from the equation.
And if somehow roaming actually fraking worked.

In other news, Rocky has just found me his Christmas gift!  This scares me.  In a good way.  But scares me nontheless!   Last year was a mixed bag.  This year, however, has been better and better each passing day.  And now knowing he's already found a gift for me, I'm gonna have to step up and find his!   Here at Singapore, I was tempted to get him this Unicron toy which was around S$180, but thankfully it wasn't the one he liked so good thing I didn't get it yet.  There are a few other options I saw which he might like, but oh, the challenge of trying to decide which one to get.

Ain't easy, I'll admit to you that.

There's always that innate fear of wanting one's chosen gift for the other to be just as cool as the one they found for you.  It is, of course, an almost unrealistic expectation.  But I guess in many ways it is a reminder I should focus on what makes gift giving special.  When looking for a gift is a search for something that would make the other happy, it is a real gift.    There is "nothing" you need to match or equal.  Just get the gift you really feel you want the other to have.

But no matter how popular the Florence and the Machine resurfacing song has gotten, no way are the dog days over it seems.

In fact, it keeps getting better.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Oh well, at least its a free trip

So after being told that I have to still work on my last day at Boracay, I was already feeling kind of pissed off to a large degree at the fact that my life seems to know revolve around work 99% of the time at any point in time when members of my family are involved.   Don't get me wrong, I love my family.  My parents are fantastic, kind, and supportive parents.  My brother and sister get along with me quite easily, and the three of us know we can rely on each other when push comes to shove.   But being part of the family business, I have started to notice how I barely receive calls from family now just to ask how I am.  Nor have any family events or outings been purely family events.  Work meetings, discussions on clients, problems with the performances of certain individuals in manpower and the like keep creeping in.   So with the dismal way my first actual vacation in years of working for the family business ended, I was feeling pretty shafted in regards to the idea of trusting any vacations to come from that day on.

My dad ended that day's text conversation with a:  "Don't worry.  Soon, you will have lots of vacations."

In some ways I took that message wrongly.  It felt more like a veiled threat.   Or a warning.  It was a digital horse on my bed-shaped inbox, so to speak.

Then came word a few days later of a grand plan they had:  A trip to Singapore.

My parents you see used to live in Singapore for a period of time.  I don't quite remember the specifics, but it is suffice to say, when we kids came into the picture, they decided to come back to Manila and raise us here.  But they do have fond memories of the place and when the idea of flying to Singapore came to their heads, they easily found a way to even add more meaning to it.  My sister just celebrated her birthday last December 1.  At the time of the discussions on having the trip, it was intended to also celebrate her birthday together as a family.

"But what about work?" I protested, already not too keen of the idea of flying out of the country only to still do work - the kind of work they feel I should go in to Paranaque thrice a week to accomplish even if I can dutifully handle it in Cubao.

"We can ask your Kuya and Ate to handle it," my Dad mused.

I was skeptical.  I asked that of them for my supposed four day Boracay trip.  I was barely gone for more than one working day when my dad texted me I "was expected to work" that Tueday.   Making it more frustrating was that the days the picked for the trip included the day of the Pride March, an event Rocky and I have been planning to attend since last year's march.  Having just come out to my parents last April, I was really looking forward to being part of the march as an out gay man.

But fine, it was a family vacation where I didn't have to worry over work.

Or at least that's what I thought.

Now it is 2:30a.m., and our flight to Singapore is at 6a.m.   I just finished loading my clothes to the suitcase my dad wants to bring and I thankfully am calmer now.  I was furious earlier though.  Why so angry so early in the morning?  Because when I arrived, my dad quickly asked, "So how are they going to do work assignments today?"  A question which basically declared, "Since you are working, how will they coordinate with you?"

I stared back, anger growing, but trying to stay calm.  I ask, "I thought Kuya and Ate Ives will-"

"Did you talk to them about it already?" came the reply and at that point I broke off eye-contact.  I was furious.  They didn't tell my brother and sister-in-law that they had to cover for me.  They expected me to tell them.  And mind you, it is not a if they haven't spoken with the two recently.  My sister-in-law knew of the trip.  I chatted with her one time and she persuaded me to join the trip.  Said it was something about our parents trying to reach out to us.  So I thought they were all planning this out.  Parents telling the two to hold the fort while me and my sister join them on a getaway to Singapore.

I guess that wasn't the plan after all.

So now, I'm leaving all these notes for the transcribers on how to assign work.  And I suspect later, once we arrive at the hotel, I will do what I can to connect online and check how work is going.  I know my brother and sister-in-law will be willing to lend a hand.  That's pretty much certain.  But I hate how my parents expected me to "tell them" rather than them informing the two of their plans.  I didn't want this trip after all.  I'm only going because I want to be there as a son.

But looks like I'm going to be there as both a son and a member of the transcription company.
So much for a vacation, eh?

Na Tim Yap ako.

But yeah, I'll do my best to enjoy the trip.  I'll even take pictures.
I just wish, sometimes, that they would just be more upfront about things with me.
And some day, allow me a REAL 100% vacation.

Or else, I might just one day give myself one without asking.


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