Tech. Travel. Nerd Culture.

Respawned: Catching Up (on rayhomdotcom) in 2015

“Whining makes you feel better. This is why you blog.”
– Alison Stevenson, The VICE Guide to Self-Esteem

Well, hello there!

After almost 14 billion years since the universe began – it still doesn’t care you exists… so, quit tellin’ me you’re putting out vibes through it – and for those of us who made it this far, another year has been added to our mutual life expectancy. Yay! You exist!

As I’ve become more reclusive about what I should post in my public social network circle (I do spend more time being an #igers), I miss blogging (or keepin’ an online journal, as is the 90s interweb speak). I’m lucky if I post about one per season these days, if even that much. Times have changed, where every one, including their mother and their pets have an ADD opinion/feeling to posts online. I get it. I definitely was doing a lot of that here on rayhomdotcom back in the days. Letting out a naivete emotional ramblings to get attention, and seeking a sense of validation. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Anyways, I’ve been away from this site and spending my days, when not doing web dev stuff, often escapin’ to L.A. every few weeks to fall back in love with the city and its people, while other times I’m fighting lycans, and if insomnia hits, I’m causin’ mayhem with my online gamers in the “streets of Chicago” until 3am in the mornin’.

Many times, I had started drafting a bunch of posts about the few Cons (esp. SDCC2014) and events I attended last year but ended up scrapping them because I was already actively posting highlights on both Instagram and Facebook. At one point, I wanted to blog about “Annabelle,” and my love for “The Conjuring,” but that was a terrible movie, and I postponed it, needing more time to reflect on my disappointment. I had one draft about LARPing (I’m unsure why, I don’t even cosplay), and another about why people who complain about social networking annoy me, yet I’m annoyed by the common practices of most social networkers – foodie pics, selfies, and appending “lol” to every comment posted. Most of these unpublished posts were heavily passive-aggressive in tone, so I have decided not to release them.

Maybe I worry too much about stuff that I write may end up biting me back in the ass… but after recently having turned my backside in front of a mirror, it reflected back that I don’t have much of an ass, so maybe for the most part, I’m safe to start writing again…

Life of a Cons Man

For me, 2014 has been a year of a lot of nerdy Conventions – CES, AVN, Concord Con (yes, there is one), Wizard World, WonderCon, Big Wow, Fanime, SDCC2014, Bricks by the Bay (Lego Con), A.P.E., Hello Kitty Con (for my sis-in-law. I’m tired of explaining this), Stan Lee’s Comikaze, Walker Stalker Con, are a few I can recall. May have missed one or two in that recollection.

And they were insanely fun and memorable events for me. The opportunity to geek-out over movie-related stuff, expensive toys, and meeting near-buttnekkid people dressed up in funny outfits who don’t have any actual superpowers… a whole fuckload of great experiences that I need not to explain but most of you would not care to relate to anyways, but move on with your lives. *shrug*

Anyways, here are a few highlights:

  • During Preview Night at Comic-Con in San Diego, my buddy, Benny, ran up to me excited that he got a Lucille Bat signed by Robert Kirkman, the creator of “The Walking Dead”. I asked Benny what bat? He turned around with a big smile and pointed to his backpack for me to check it out. Again, I asked him what bat was he talking about? He turned back towards me and exclaimed “Oh, shit!” And ran back into the sea of people hoping he just dropped it somewhere. He never did recover the bat. I feel bad for him but the shocked look on his face was priceless. LOL!
  • Dolph Lundgren photo bombed as I was taking a pic of Wesley Snipes
  • I appeared in a faux promo trailer for the next season of Vikings
  • Showtime interviewed me about what I enjoyed about “Penny Dreadful“. Never found when it aired.
  • James Hong was hilarious at Wizard World. And, I got footage to prove it!
  • I befriended a few great artists at some of the Con exhibitor booths, most notably, Steven Yu and Genevieve Tsai, which I have kept in contact and talked of possibly working on projects together in the coming future.
  • During Wizard World in Sacramento, Chris Hemsworth was the big name guest there. People were paying about $400 to do a meet & greet with him. I’m not big on Marvel, or superheroes in general, but I’ve seen them all. The Thor movies are my least favorite. Anyways, while lining up to see this guy speak, I hear a lot of screaming and, apparently, because Hemsworth was walking into the panel room with his bodyguards. One person exclaimed that she got a pic of him. This caused another fanatic to run up to this “lucky” camera person, and asked if she could take a pic of the pic of Mr. Thor on her camera… this forced me to rethink what is the fine line between “just a fan” and a “nutjob who needs something to prove on their Facebook”.

But, the funniest moment I have to talk about was…

“Reading is better than real-life travel… ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who doesn’t read lives only one’… In the books that I’ve written, and the ones that I read… I’ve flown to other planets, I’ve fought aliens and super villains, I’ve dived to the bottom of the sea, and I’ve climbed mountains… I’ve fought ghouls, and I’ve made love to a thousand beautiful women…”
– George R.R. Martin at SDCC2014

For the 2nd year in a row at San Diego Comic-Con, I got to meet “Mr. Game of Thrones” George R.R. Martin. But, this time, seemingly sitting alone (as pictured above as the header for this post). Normally, millions of people would be mobbing this guy for an (limited time) interview/autograph/funny quote followed by his signature giggles, or just to simply respond vulgarily to you when asked when he will finish the “A Song of Ice & Fire” books. But, no, he’s just chilling… alone. How I got this pic was that prior to SDCC2014, I had trolled GRRM’s not a blog on his appearance time at the event. Most people, I”ve come to realize, aren’t aware that GRRM writes comic books too. So, I immediately noted that I will try to meet him at the exhibitors booth that GRRM mentioned he would be signing at. So, once Preview Night opened their doors at SDCC014, I jam ran as fast as I could to the Avatar Press booth expecting a large line to meet Georgie. But, no, he was there by himself… NOT writing “The Winds of Winter”. Maybe this was the moment he reflected on not coming back to Comic-Con this year.

It’s a lot of work to prepare and attend these Cons, which results in my lack of blogging about them like I use to. I tire more often from just responding to emails and FB Messenger in a timely manner. I’ve been weak in the time management department. (Hey, I need my offtime to binge a bunch of series and slaughter A.I. NPCs when online gaming.) Social networking is the instant gratification to avoid the void that keeps me connected. But, this lifestyle has also cut into my desire to travel more…

rayhomdotcom meeting the ComicBook Men at Comikaze 2014 in L.A.
Meeting the AMC’s Comic Book Men (minus Walt because he’s afraid of flying) at Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2014 in L.A. Ming is explaining to me to not give up on my search to meet Kevin Smith.

Plans for Traveling Abroad

“At various times in history, the Chinese Americans have been treated like strangers on both shores—a people regarded by two nations as too Chinese to be Americans, and too American to be Chinese.”
– Iris Chang, The Chinese in America: A Narrative History

I’m not one of the 100 who made it to the final rounds to go to Mars; nor did I attempted to apply to be, so that doesn’t really mean much here except that if I have no plans to get off this planet, I do aim to do a couple of non-Con trips in the near future. I haven’t been out of the U.S. since my trip to Vietnam and spoke at a digital conference about filmmaking. Eventually, my trips to L.A. will slow to a roll for a bit to make room for: a trip to Portland, a train ride to Seattle, visit New York, see a large part of Europe (Italy, Germany, and England, to name a few), and seek my ancestral village in China to document my journey, and map out my geneaology. I need to continue expanding my worldview to give me bigger context to my existence.

It is late into the night now, as I’m gonna end writing at this point. I just wanted to catch-up for a bit here on rayhomdotcom. Thanks again for the few who read here. I need to finish packing as I head out to Anaheim tomorrow late afternoon and hang with the Justin’s Apt Podcast guys to attend WonderCon for the weekend. That means, another nerd-gasmic post to come. See ya!

ray hom

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