I woke up this morning, feeling quite refreshed. Having spent an entire day yesterday walking around a show floor will get you out of your jet lag in a hurry. I was jet lagged the previous day, yes, but not nearly as bad as I thought I would be. Today it was practically a non-issue.
However, my throat wasn’t doing so well.
I checked my email. More youtube comments… I had been noticing a strange uptick of hits on my blog recently, as well as a particular blog post – The Mirai Fan Art post. The associated video was also getting an uptick of comments. I figured “something’s up”, and went onto figure.fm. I saw a couple of mirai fan art posts here and there, but it didn’t really tell me what was going on. So I went onto dannychoo.com to take a look see. Saw the article on CGM. I gave that a quick read.
From what I heard the previous day, there were over 140 sign-ups. That had intimidated me a little bit. Reading the comments about the legality behind the gathering also made me a little wary.
I was a little excited that I could meet and network with other Singaporean bloggers, and potentially other readers of my site. And since I didn’t get to meet Danny last year, this was a good opportunity to do so.
I saw Alafista’s comment and replied “Save us some seats, tomodachi!” I hadn’t signed up yet, and still wasn’t sure if I should.
I looked around and found the Mirai Fan Art submission post and decided to comment. Chun happened to be online at the time and a quick discussion made it all clear – Danny had tweeted my video earlier. Not really sure what was up, but figured “Why not ask Danny himself?”
I decided to go to CGM.
I spent the better part of the day drawing. I liked the idea that my artwork could potentially be on TV somewhere. It was time anyway, since I wasn’t 100% happy with the previous Mirai fan art. I had improved significantly in my skills since then, so an update was in order… plus I didn’t have the original PSD to submit anyway.
My wife seemed a little bit wary “140 people?!” not only that, but she feared I would get lost trying to find my way around on my own. I’d never been to that part of Singapore before, and I guess that’s the way wives are.
I was looking at google maps and it seemed pretty easy to me on how to get there.
She decided to come with me anyway (in case I was lying and meeting up with some hottie I met at AFA, I guess).
When my wife and I arrived, you could already tell that something was going on. People had already gathered and were doing there thing, taking pictures of figures set up at various tables, and a few Dollfies were standing at another table. I ignored the Dollfies at first, as I noticed EX14. He waved.
“oh hey! I thought you weren’t coming!” he said.
“Decided to anyway. Not like I get to do this everyday!” I replied. I introduced my wife, and said my greets to my other comrades, now familiar faces.
“So has Danny arrived yet?” I asked.
“Yeah, he’s just over there, making his rounds.” they all seemed nonchalant about it, which was strange to me, considering how he seemed pretty popular online and carries himself as such. “You can get an autographed card!” I remember him posting once.
Since everyone was so nonchalant about it, I figured that I probably should be too.
I took a few pictures of my comrades, as well as introduced myself to a couple of others. Gordon had already shown up, as well as Alafista. Zh3us hadn’t arrived yet, since he was still at work.
I could tell that my wife was not used to this sort of environment, but she seemed to accept it with an open mind, and curiosity. This was her first time meeting up with a large group of people who shared the same interests as me. She seemed more fascinated by it than anything else. She was interested in the dollfies. I do admit, that dollfies are pretty. We went and had a look for a bit. I’m not really sure how she felt about them.
“They’re pretty and cute… but at the same time, kind of revealing.” I think that’s what she was thinking… or maybe she did say that, I’m not really sure.
I could tell that she was trying not to be judgmental about anything or anyone. Not that she normally is anyway. But I could tell something was going on in there. She was acting a little different… or maybe that’s just me.
Yukito came up to me and said hi.
“Is this your wife?” he asked.
“Yup!” we chatted for a bit, and my wife seemed genuinely interested. We sat down at a table, and Yukito brought out his box of nendoroid petit parts to show her. It was strange to me seeing my wife light up like that, as she giggled and played around with the parts. She assembled a little scene and was proud of herself. I took a snapshot.
Not too long later, I was introduced to Gordon. I introduced my wife to him and we chatted briefly. A little sad that we didn’t have a chance to take a picture together.
He passed me his infamous Sandtrooper cards.
“Do you know who this is?” he asked my wife and I. I wasn’t thinking at the time. It was obvious, but I still let it slip.
“Umm… Star…trooper?” my wife said.
“No, you mean Stormtrooper?” I blurted.
“You’re both wrong.” Gordon said happily.
I know I’m wrong! I thought to myself. “Sandtrooper.” I corrected. “Hey! I like your ID tag!” I pointed at Gordon’s Darth Vader themed tag.
I wanted to chat with Gordon a little more, but Danny was suddenly beside me.
“Hey! You’re Radiant Dreamer, right?” he asked, shaking my hand.
“Yes! That’s me!” I was caught a little bit by surprise by his sudden approach (like a ninja!)
We exchanged cards, bowing down with the exchange, and had a brief conversation (not exact wording in the least):
“I saw your Mirai fan art youtube video.” Danny mentioned.
“Yeah, I know. You tweeted it.”
“I’m planning to put it in Culture : Japan. Do you have an HD version of it?”
“Not with me, no.”
“Would you be able to get it to me somehow?”
“Maybe… might be a bit difficult… but I heard about the request on your site, and have actually been working on a new fan art.”
Danny looked at me with a raised brow. “Oh really? You have your computer with you?”
“Yeah, been working on it since today. I can get you the youtube video of it maybe tomorrow or the next day.”
“Wow, you work fast.”
“Thanks. I’ve gotten a lot better at my art skills anyway. So hopefully you’ll like this one more.”
“I look forward to it.”
Actually, I think our conversation and discussion took place over a few chats throughout the night.
I’ll be uploading the artwork to my facebook page.
The youtube video of it being done:
The rest of the night was spent hanging out with comrades, and meeting new ones, checking out the scene, and simply enjoying ourselves. It was pretty awesome of everyone to bring all their Nendoroids, Figmas, and Dollfies. I’ve never seen so many of them in one place (outside of a convention, that is).
A comrade raised the same question that I had “Aren’t people worried about losing parts?” It’s bound to happen – someone loses a tail and that’s it – Saber Lion ain’t a lion anymore.
I suppose though, that if everyone were afraid to bring out their toys, then there would be little point to the photography and gatherings. It was interesting to see a few nendoroids that I owned too, in the mix.
Zh3us’ doll was there even before Zh3us was.
Kodomut was doing his thing, and so I interrupted him for a moment to take a picture with him. He’s a very nice guy, and I was happy to take this shot with him. It’s quite a nice photo, ya? Feels like we’ve been buddies forever. 😀
My wife saw this and couldn’t help but take a picture of it. Nice!
As the night went on, more and more people showed up, but it was hardly the 140 people that I thought there would be. (You may see yourself in the picture here!)
I don’t think I can make the cut to be part of the Legion… but it was fun wearing the helmet.
We ordered noms and chowed down.
I was surprised to see a Wendy’s here. It just seems so… out of place, at a hawker center!
My wife decides that she wants a picture with the Dollfies. Those of you who met her that night will remember what she looks like. Those that haven’t met her yet, well… I suppose the paint-over is fairly accurate. 😉
You think buying her one of these will convert her? Note the hand pose!
I do admit, they are kinda cute. But I’ve never been much for ball jointed figures. I just don’t like seeing joints. It’s not natural enough to me.
It looks like Stingray if I am not mistaken. Delicious!
Plenty of Satays! A plate of this many (40?) Satays would have cost about $50 CAD in Vancouver. Plus 12% tax, and 15% tip. That’s about $82 SGD!!!
I think ihatenegi ate most of the wings. He was working on it all evening when most everyone else gave up. Shortly after dinner, my wife decided to go home first.
Typical Singaporean condiments.
Sharing my info. I was completely unaware that there were limited pages in this notebook, and that this was intended to be used to gather lots of contacts.
Partway through, I noticed a single caucasian guy chatting around. He looked rather interesting, and I felt an urge that I needed to talk to him for some odd reason. I dismissed it and continued chatting with a couple of comrades.
He eventually made his way to my table, and sat himself down.
“Hi! You’re Radiant Dreamer, right?” he asked.
“Um.. yeah!” I was surprised. There was something he knew that I didn’t. “Who are you?”
“You’ll know as soon as you see this…”
My eyes widened. “NO WAY! No way!!” I exclaimed in disbelief. As if in reflection to my reaction, Fabrice’s smile widened too. I excitedly shook his hands. “Oh my GOD it’s so great to meet you!”
“YEAH! I was over there talking with some people, and I heard that Radiant Dreamer was here. I just have to meet him! I said to myself.” Fabrice said excitedly.
It was an incredible feeling to meet another one of my readers. In fact, before I started taking these trips to Singapore, I figured that I would never meet any of my readers, but here I was, and sitting in front of me was a good friend whom I had never met. This realization was an emotionally heady feeling, an unreal feeling.
Excitedly, Fabrice and I chatted for a long while, exchanging our stories on our travels to Singapore, and about AFA X.
From what I heard, the two girls in the middle are famous cosplayers or something. The one on the right is kinda cute. Someone shouted “Should take a photo of Danny getting a kiss from them!!”
Awkward silence. Not even a giggle from anyone. I can only assume the perp was trying to live vicariously through Danny, or didn’t realize that Danny’s wife was also present. Oh how scandalous that would have been! O_O
After a while, Danny sat with me and Alafista to chat for a bit, eventually more people gathered. It’s an interesting technique he used to bring everyone together – he didn’t announce anything. All he did was ask the next person sitting nearby a question or two “So where are you from? What do you do? What are your plans for the future?”. Each time he asked that, a couple more people would join in, and they’d eventually get asked.
When enough people got around, he opened up and started talking. I was a little disappointed by the “content” of what he said. Not that it was bad or anything. It was just nothing new. He’d said all this stuff before, probably in his other gatherings and speeches, but what he talked about was also on his website – his motivational posts.
I sat beside him anyway to listen. In a way, it’s like recounting old war stories. Oh yeah, I remember that one. I found that story inspirational. It wasn’t just a gathering to meet Danny and hear him speak. It was a gathering to meet other like-minded people.
A secondary group of people were enjoying themselves chatting with Danny’s wife and joking around, including Kodomut, zh3us, yukito, Gordon, and several others. I guess they must have heard Danny’s talk before?
The music started getting loud (it’s weird that there’s a stage at the center of the hawker center) it wasn’t very good music either. It was getting exceedingly harder to hear what Danny was saying. We all decided to move further to the outskirts of the hawker center. During this time, Fabrice and I began to chat again.
I’m not really sure what Danny was talking about during that second part. But it wasn’t too long after that we all decided to get up and take a group photo. It was getting pretty late anyway.
Hmm… strange how some of the comrades I met the previous day all happened to be moving at the same time…?
It was an evening well spent, I think. I couldn’t believe that it lasted that long (about 6 hours). That’s a lot of socializing. As several of us walked together, I could tell that my sore throat was getting worse. After all, I had spent the majority of my time almost shouting because it was so loud.
“Dang, what an awesome night.” I croaked.
“We’re gonna do a WLNF meet-up this weekend.” Kodomut explained, “Shazz is coming back from Australia.”
I love how hard Singaporeans play. “That sounds cool! Count me in on that! If I’m not dead from zh3us’ germs…” I said jokingly.
“Be careful. It’s a big one… I’m only just recovering.” zh3us warned.
Sure enough, the next day, I could barely talk anymore. The burning sensation in my throat indicated that I was not going to get better soon enough. This was just like last year. I thought to myself. My sickness pattern usually started with signs of a sore throat (so bad that it hurts to swallow), a couple of days and it goes away, only to be replaced with an unstoppable dry cough, then a slight fever before a productive cough. After that, it usually takes two or three weeks for the cough to completely go away.
I opened my email to find Kodomut had already sent out invites to WLNF.
“I’ll try to make it if I’m not too sick…” I replied. We joked around a bit about me getting the germs from kissing zh3us.
I never did make it to WLNF.