Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bibliophile




I'm in Powell's and I'm trapped. I can't seem to reach the exits, no matter how hard I try. Every time I get near the checkout counters, an invisible force turns me around and pulls me toward a different section of the store.

This is not a dream. This is reality.

And the reality is: I want the books. I want ALL THE BOOKS.

Two halves of my brain wrestle for control.

Brain Half A:  NO! You have too many books already! You literally have no more shelves on which to put them. And you haven't even cracked half the books you own. GO HOME.

Brain Half B: SHUT UP I NEED THE BOOKS 
AND THEY NEED ME
BOOOOOKKSSSSSS! 💜

Twenty minutes later, my brain halves reach a compromise:  You may buy one book, but it has to be a gift for someone else.

That's just fine.

I'll do just that. This time.

Oh, but I'll be back.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

BrickCon 2017!

BrickCon 2017

So the annual Seattle LEGO Convention, BrickCon, happened last month, and I attended for the second year in a row (and fourth year total.) This year, the con began on Thursday. Unfortunately, I couldn't really take both Thursday and Friday off work, so I had to miss the first full day.

I left Portland at about 4am on Friday morning, arrived in Seattle around 8:30am, and after briefly stopping by my cousins' house (where I'd be staying the nights) I headed to the convention hall. I got my nametag, picked up my swag bag (chock full of "free" LEGO!) and set up my MOCs.

Here's what I brought this year:

My "Fisher-Price" buildings, which were also at Bricks Cascade this spring: School House, Merry-Go-Round, and the little blue and yellow house....


Below you can see Scrooge McDuck... he came to BrickCon in 2013 as well.


"You Have Chosen..." is my next MOC. The scene in the middle came to the con last year, but the two grails (false and true) are new this year. Cookie Monster there on the right was also mine, though I didn't get a good picture.


And finally... my Kitchens. The 70's one on the lower left was new to this con, and several of the others received upgrades since their last con appearance.


After I set up my MOCs, it was about time for the one game in which I was planning to participate, Round 1 of the Master Build. (Master Build is my favorite game, and the only one that doesn't make me want to throw bricks.)

This year, we were given a bag of pieces that appeared to include 4 sets, those $4.99 Classic sets that come in red, green, yellow, and blue. I do see some orange in there, too, so I dunno...


We were told we had to build at least 2 of the following 3 things: a living thing, a building, and/or a vehicle. We had approximately an hour to build.

This was mine final creation... castle, waterfall, ship sailing away, and sea monster.


Here are some of the other builds...








I was super impressed by all these (and more). I had no expectation of making it to the semifinals (top 20).. but, surprise!, I did, actually!

After the Master Build, I headed out to get some lunch. There's a food court at the Seattle Center, and one of my go-tos there is Mod Pizza.


Evidently I'm not the only fan of the Mod. Hey, Bird!

Games were happening all day Friday, and that afternoon they held the Team Speed Build. Even though I wasn't registered for this game, I got in line for the lottery picks for a chance to participate. I was lucky enough to squeak in.



Our team didn't win, but I got to take home several handfuls of maroon and light grey pieces, so yay for that.

Also that day, I attended two workshops/seminars, one on collaborative building and one on Technic creations. The first was inspiring and the second was very informative! (I am such a dunce when it comes to Technic, though I do like my MOCs to have moving parts if I can. I really did learn a lot from this seminar... especially what not to do (anymore.))


That evening, my fellow AFOLs and I gathered in this nearby theater/auditorium to listen to the keynote speech. I was so tired (I'd been up since 4am after all) that I'm afraid I didn't get much out of it... it took a lot of effort just to not fall asleep. I headed straight to my cousins' house afterward and crashed.

At some point between Friday and Saturday I laid out the bricks I'd gotten just on Friday, and oh my..



So... many... shiny... LEGO....

The next morning, I was as ready as I could be for the influx of people... Public Day #1...







I did spend a bit of time behind my MOCs this year... specifically, by my Kitchens. But after a few hours, I needed a break from the mayhem, and headed to the nearby Museum Of Pop Culture, mainly to see the Jim Henson exhibit.





The JH exhibit was great. I love those Muppets.



Elsewhere in the museum, they had this room full of indie computer games/apps you could play. One was called Mini Metro. I liked it so much, I bought it for my iPod and I play it regularly, now. Check it out if you like puzzle games!


I returned to the convention hall around 3; that's when they were going to close to the public... but they then extended the hours till 4. 4:00 was also the time for the Master Build semi-finals, so I headed to the place where that would be taking place.

We (me and the other 19 semi-finalists) were given this set...


...and were told that this time, we had to build all three things (building, vehicle, living thing.) And, if we could, we should follow the con's theme, which was "Old School."

Naturally, I took that literally...


Get it? Cuz it's an old-fashioned school?? Hey, I'm a teacher. What.

As soon as they called "time," I looked at the guy to my right, saw what he built, and gasped...


The other builds were insane, too. Besides the one above, these were my favorites...






^I think this one ended up winning.

That evening, they had the Awards Ceremony and gave away door prizes, as they do at each of the whole-group gatherings. 


At BrickCon, they draw people in groups of 5 (for smaller prizes) or 1 (for larger sets.) 


I was drawn in a group of 5, and got the Prince Of Persia set "Quest Against Time." I was actually really happy about that. It's an older set, circa 2010, from my early AFOL days. (Ahhh....) I'm happy to have an opportunity to re-build the set. (And, of course, that's another Jake Gyllenhaal minifig to add to my rather impressive Jake Gyllenhaal Army.)



After the awards ceremony, I joined in a game of Dirty Brickster (think: white elephant or a yankee gift exchange, but with LEGO). Due to the number of participants, they broke it into two groups. I had items stolen from me a few times before I managed to steal, and go home with, a LEGO City: Fun In The Park set. Yay!


Before I knew it, it was Sunday....



Like I had on the previous day, I sat near my Kitchen MOCs and spent some time talking with fellow AFOLS who were sitting nearby. When the noise from the public got to be too much, I escaped to the nearby theater lobby, where fellow AFOLs were doing a Mega Draft, and I helped sort pieces. They were drafting the Brick Bank. 2382 pieces per set!!


That afternoon, after Public Hours ended, we gathered for Closing Ceremonies. This is where they announce Best In Show, People's Choice awards, etc. They also have been doing Honorable Mentions the past few years. I was absolutely floored to hear my name get called for a special brick for "Details in a Small MOC." Yes, I put a lot of detail into those Kitchens! I was even adding things to them during the convention. :) I got a 1x8 engraved brick as well as a LEGO City set.

 After the final ceremony, I packed up my MOCs, hopped in the car, and headed home, exhausted but happy after a fun weekend.

Before you go, check out some photos of my favorite MOCs from the convention. And if you want to see even more, check out my Flickr Album.














^Winner of Best In Show!


Okay, now I'm finished. Until next year...!