May 9th, 2004


Geekfest 3

No pictures in this one, so no reason to keep it Friends-only.

Yesterday was Geekfest III at halfnorn's place in Culemborg. Of course we attended! We picked up Geekfest-veteran ontheseams and Geekfest-newbie exar up at Nijmegen station just before 11:00 and set off in the 'fubmobiel' towards Culemborg. When we turned off the highway, we were treated to a scenic route towards our destination (Geldermalsen and Buurmalsen are charming villages).

I had assumed that, our destination being close to the train station, it would be right in the city center and thus would pose a lot of parking problems. A quick calculation learned that I would have to pay for five hours. At an estimated EUR 2.50 per hour, that was more than I was prepared to pay -- I'm Dutch, after all!
So when we entered Culemborg proper, I followed the "free parking" signs. And yes, we managed to secure a free parking spot. However, this turned out to be at the opposite end of Culemborg... Well, we got our physical workout from a walk through the center of town. Culemborg turned out to be a charming "city" with some nice historic buildings. We had very little trouble finding the designated geeky mustering point -- turns out we could have parked right next to the house. Doh!
At least the precise specifications of the fubmobiel remained hidden for the others, so that my secret identity has not been compromised!

When we entered, a lot of geeks had already congregated in the living room. A lot of people reacted like they had heard all about me when I entered... I don't know what zolphia told you about me, but I assure you: it's all lies!
We got down to business with the DVDs, but it became quickly apparent that the living room was too small to easily accomodate all geeks. When kees_s had arrived, it was decided to adjourn to the course-room of halfnorn's parents company next door. A theatrical setup was improvised (consisting for rows of chairs, a whitescreen, a laptop and a ceiling-mounted beamer) and we got into watching some anime in earnest. I won't repeat the list of what we have seen here -- other entries have the complete list.

I did notice that people thought Ah! My Goddess was 'corny'. I didn't think so -- if you know something about the cultural context, it's romantic, with no cornyness in sight. Anyway, if you thought this was bad, stay away from Ai Yori Aoshi and perhaps romance in general. Well, what could you have expected from kids?
In between the viewings, I had a chance to chat with people. I met usmu at the watertank and had a chat with him, which breyten joined in on.
We also saw Dogma and Edward Scissorhands -- I could have done without those, actually.

During that last movie, we went to a snackbar nearby. I was impressed with the level of service and friendliness the staff managed to maintain when faced with an invasion of twenty-odd geeks. We got our orders promptly, and the staff even brought it to our table. There was even enough seating for everyone!
We chatted with kees_s and zolphia over dinner, mainly about Compaq computers and their (lack of) quality. When the rest of the gang returned, we had just ordered tea and coffee (both of very passable quality), so we told 'em to go ahead of us. When we were halfway our cups, halfnorn came back to check where we were -- we should have informed her of our intention beforehand, sorry 'bout that. When we were ready to go, I bought everybody (who was still around) an icecream -- I felt like eating something sweet, and it's some sort of Geekfest tradition...

When we returned, we saw that the rest had waited with continuing Edward Scissorhands until our return -- you shouldn't have, really.
After the movie, we watched some more anime and chatted a bit. Then, at 21:00, we were ready to leave. We said our goodbyes and walked back to the car. We dropped off ontheseams at home, but didn't get invited for coffee out of fear of dire parental retribution in case of noise -- that's OK, I just wanted to go home at that point. I was very tired.

I have mixed feelings about this geekfest. We did get to see a lot of geeky stuff, probably more than at previous geekfests. On the other hand, there was much less time for chatting and socialising. And with a large group like this, smaller groups automatically get formed. It can be hard to 'break into' a group, which means you sort-of get left out. That's no fun. I did spend less time chatting with people than I would have wanted.

Interesting things:
- shironuchan's "Woosh!"-hair looks gorgeous on her;
- kees_s is not impressed with Compaq's technical support;
- zolphia surprised me by kissing me when saying our goodbyes;
- halfnorn's parents are cool, and so is datamining;
- Some people seem to be pre-disposed to weird antics when camera's are around;
- Some people don't 'get' some types of anime;
- A plot that can be perfectly acceptable in anime is too weird when executed as a live-action movie;
- There are a lot more geeks out there than I thought.
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