Have I mentioned that I have the best parents ever? 

I now I’m biased but that’s how I’ve felt since yesterday evening, when I got the most perfect Christmas gift (in my family we give each other presents on the Christmas Eve).

(I’m in the middle of preparing Christmas dinner, so I’m gonna skip details and go to the most important part of my story.)

Anyway, I was opening my presents and found some rather useful ones, some funny ones, a book by Tolkien (obviously), and one volume of manga.

Shingeki no Kyojin, Volume 12 by Hajime Isayama

One volume of manga which made me really happy because seriously, parents seldom buy things like that. I thanked everyone, saw what others got and this was supposed to be the end of that evening. And then my mom gave me a box and said, “I forgot to put it under a tree.”
I found these inside:

All volumes of this particular manga that are available in Poland! I felt like crying and got a little bit too emotional. My hands were shaking, I couldn’t speak, started counting them and putting them in order… I probably looked like that:

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(Yuri on Ice)

I don’t remember the last time I was that emotional. And it wasn’t just about the fact that I got all of them, it was also about this element of surprise (I found out later that it was planned) and the fact that I got them from my parents. I still can’t believe it!

I have to go. But I want to wish you all the best Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/end of this year ever! Be merry!

Not your usual con experience (or: I volunteered!)

Sooooo….. I know it’s been ages (more than a month!) since I last wrote anything here but I have a very good excuse (it’s more of a reason, actually): I was a crew member at a local (= one of the biggest in Poland) sci-fi/fantasy/anime/gaming con(vention) and that meant combining lots and lots of con-related work (and fun) with my uni studies, academic conference, adult responsibilities (=job), and a language course. And post-US election depression. But that’s not what I want to write about here. Let’s focus on the Con! 🙂

This was not my first time volunteering.

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist! 😉

I’m actually a veteran when it comes to big events (mostly music & film festivals). However, this was the biggest con I’d ever volunteered at. I’m pretty sure that there were more crew members here (several hundred) than there were attendees at the last con I worked at. My section (Rapid Response Unit) had 19 or 20 members which was both too many (to get to know and remember) and too few (to do all the things we were asked to do without taking extra shifts). Somehow, we made it work.

We got down a tiny drone that got stuck to the ceiling, about 5 meters above ground. Brought in the TARDIS. Discovered origin of a strange hissing sound in the Kid’s Zone and took care of it. Made thousands of name tags using a ream of paper, one knife and three pairs of scissors. Pasted hundreds of leaflets (some of them in the restrooms, because we were told that everyone should be able to read program while sitting on the toilet). Managed to keep the con clean even after cleaning company turned out to be a total bust. Unloaded and loaded double-stacked pallets with 360 tables in under 3 hours. Carried dozens of odd items. Including two large cakes. Helped exhibitors and merchandise dealers to pack their stuff. Spent lot of time running. Without any complaints about our section. And without complaining.

aweomejob

However, being part of the crew also meant missing pretty much all the panels, talks, small (and not-so-small) events, and shows. There were so many things that I had no idea about and saw only on videos and photos (not even my photos – there was no time for that)! Next year I’m definitely going to (try to) find time for fireshow and some panels (nothing beats a good panel). And bring more money. (Though this might not be the best idea ;)) Who knows, maybe even take some photos!

And this is a (very) short video presenting Saturday part of this con:

Anyway, next year there I’m definitely going to be there. There are 5 cons in Poland in 2017 that I would like to work at: two international Comic Cons, a national Polcon, and two local ones. Hope I’ll find enough time 🙂

Home Sweet Home

It’s so strange to be home. In two days I’m moving out of my small village to a city, so yesterday I built a bonfire. You can’t have these in cities.

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To be honest, I don’t feel like moving. I feel like staying cooped up inside, (finally) catching up on the latest SnK chapters, watching some bookmarked anime series, and missing Japan. But that’s just post-trip depression that I get every time I return from my travels. So I’m gonna allow myself half a day of uninterrupted fun (= watching Tiger & Bunny with my cat) and after that I’ll return to the land of the living 🙂

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Kotetsu T. Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny

I don’t have any popcorn but I do have dark chocolate-covered coffee beans. Hello, pure energy!