With all due respect for the rest of the calendar, December is the craziest month of the year. As a child, you got great Christmas presents that have fueled your nerdom for years. As an adult, it’s the month you can get smart, decorate the tree with geeky decorations, or buy nerdy items. Some of these activities make up the following list of geek activities and events in the Valley this month. Highlights include the Mystery Science Theater 3000’s latest live tour winding its way into town, a Santa-themed pub crawl, and the chance to meet the actor behind Darth Maul. There are also dolls, cosplay events, and the chance to hang out with furry cats and fursuit fans. Read on, geek out and have a good holiday season. click to enlarge McClane. Gruber. Dolls. All Puppeteers Die Hard: A Christmas Story Some things are inevitable during the holidays, such as Christmas music and bad TV movies about the lives of big city dwellers who fall in love visiting quaint mountain towns. In recent years, it has also become increasingly difficult to avoid the pointless social media debate about whether or not Die Hard is a vacation movie. The production of Die Hard: A Christmas Story by the All Puppet Players, a reinterpretation of the 1988 action film made of cloth and felt, will probably not steer you one side or the other, but it will definitely entertain you. It’s the same epic storyline you remember (all cops versus European terrorists in a high-tech skyscraper), albeit with puppets. The performances take place every Thursday through Sunday evening until December 26th. The performances take place at 7.30 p.m. and are only open to people aged 17 and over. Tickets cost $ 29 to $ 81. LibCon West’s libraries have long been a place to speak to your geek, thanks to their abundance of loanable media and ephemera covering a wide variety of topics. So it is only fitting that the Velma Teague Library, 7010 North 58th Avenue in Glendale, is hosting an event like LibCon West, an afternoon-long geek extravaganza that takes place on Saturday, December 4th, from 12pm to 5pm. All of the geeky hallmarks of a con are promised, including stalls, cosplayers, and cunning and geeky activities. Live entertainment includes stylish lightsaber fights from Syndicate Saber United, pirate gadgets from the DREAD fleet, and live music from mini bosses (video game covers) and the Phoenix Conservatory of Music (pop culture tunes). The best part is that almost everything is outdoors, which should help allay COVID-19 fears. Admission is free, more information is available here. click to enlarge actor and comedian Paul Reiser. Dmitry Bocharov Paul Reiser Geeks are certainly no strangers to Paul Reiser. While the actor and comedian is best known for his time on Mad About You, he’s also had memorable twists and turns on nerd-friendly projects like slimy and double-faced Weyland Yutani henchman Carter Burke in Aliens and the, uh, slimy and double-faced Dr. Sam Owens in Stranger Things. (His roles in The Kominsky Method and The Romanoffs were pretty memorable too.) Reisers is also a damn stand-up comic that makes regular club appearances and will perform two nights on CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, on Saturday, December 4th and Sunday December 5th. Performance times vary, and entry is $ 25 (plus a minimum of two drinks). UZA MysCreation’s Christmas Haunted Attraction Do you want your holidays to be more scary than happy? This two-story display and the two-story exhibition and meeting place created by UZA MysCreation, 2935 West Libby Street, offers a ho-ho-terrible mix of festive feasts and creepy horrors from Friday, December 10th to Sunday, December 12th. Theme with multiple versions of the mythical Christmas demon lurking on both floors. Expect both thrills and chills. The opening times are every evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $ 10 online and $ 12 at the box office. click to enlarge Kris Kringles in costume are welcome at the Santa-Pede pub. Benjamin Leatherman Santa-Pede Pub Crawl One of the hallmarks of the pre-pandemic valley holidays was the Arizona Cacophony Society’s annual Santa-Pede Pub Crawl, a day-long invasion of local drinking halls by hordes of people known as Kris Kringle or other Christmas-themed costumes. With the event appearing to be on hiatus this year, the very first Santa Pede pub crawl on Saturday December 11th in Tempe seems like a worthy replacement. It’s in no way affiliated with the Cacophony Society, but it offers a similar setup and shtick to Santarchy. Attendees are encouraged to dress like Santa Claus or other festive characters and drink their way through bars like The Golden Pineapple, Monkey Pants, and Time Out Lounge before ending up at the Yucca Tap Room at 29 West Southern Avenue. A collection of art cars, DJs and bands awaits you. The crawl starts at 6pm and is free to attend (but you have to pay for your drinks yourself). All details and the route can be found here. It’s a feline Christmas show for cats If you want to give us fur for the bad puns we’re about to let go of, the Phoenix Feline Breeders will be holding this two day cat show and adoption event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday December 11th and Sunday December 12th December 9 am-4pm at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. It’s open to both cat lovers and those who enjoy interacting with fluffy, adorable cats. More than 40 races are on display – from Abyssinians and Sphinxes to Maine Coons and Persians – with eight judge rings. Activities and competitions for other household breeds are also planned. Looking for the perfect gift to pamper your fur babies? The vendors sell everything from collars and clothing to toys, cat furniture and toys, and jewelry. Not a kitten. Local adoption agencies and rescue groups will also be there for those looking to bring a new pet home for the holidays. Admission is $ 10 for adults, $ 10 for seniors, and $ 7 for children ages 3 to 12. Click to enlarge The power is strong with this one. Gordon Tarpley / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr Ray Park Signing Appearances He brought one of the wildest Sith Lords in the galaxy to life and was a role model for anyone holding a broomstick or golf ball retriever. The Scottish actor, martial artist and stunt performer Ray Park will forever be known for his role as Darth Maul and who made sure that he revolutionized lightsaber fighting in the Star Wars universe and made The Phantom Menace a film that was partially worth seeing. It’s not his only geeky claim to fame, as he also played Toad in the original X-Men film and Snake Eyes in the GI Joe films. Park is slated for mid-December to visit the valley to sign two appearances at local geek stores. He will be at Surprise Comics, 14763 West Cactus Road, Saturday, December 11th, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and at Collector’s Marketplace, East Indian School Road, 1945, on Sunday, December 12th, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Autographs or selfies will be $ 60 or $ 100 each for both. click to enlarge The last meteor shower of the year is just around the corner. Henry Lee / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr Geminid meteor shower Head for astronomy freaks: The annual Perseid meteor shower will light up the night sky over Arizona (and the entire northern hemisphere) in early to mid-December. It is one of the biggest meteor showers of the year (with more than 50 meteors per house) and will peak on the evening of Monday, December 13th through Tuesday, December 14th. In other words, you have to stay up late or if you get up early you can see a wide variety of meteorites. It is best to look at the eastern sky between midnight and sunrise in the darkest possible area of the valley (read: on the outskirts). Island of Misfit Toys Burlesque Santa could do the various burlesque artists from Three Fates Revue after this Christmas show on Sunday 19th According to Pepper Schnapps of the troupe, they will be performing a “weird burlesque show full of sexy, nerdy acts” all evening. Local drag artists and variety performers will also be involved in the event. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and the show starts at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $ 15 for standing room only and $ 20 for regular seating. More information can be found here. click to enlarge Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Time Bubble Tour It’s a great time to be a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The folks behind the iconic movie riffing show recently announced the series of kraptastic films that they will hit on MST3K. Gizmoplex will restart its streaming service in March. If you need a cinematic snark to bridge you, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: Time Bubble Tour is coming to the Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street on Wednesday, December 29th. The show will see the prisoners of the satellite of love (including current host Emily Connor and old favorites Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot and GPC) play a live riffing of the 1985 horror fantasy film “Making Contact” Robot roll call is at 7.30 p.m. General admission is $ 37.50 to $ 78, VIP packages are $ 125, and a special meet and greet package is $ 199. Tickets and details are available here. The Painted Desert Fur Con Furry fandom is more than just the bad jokes, half-truths, and half-baked representations seen in pop culture. (For example, it has absolutely nothing to do with sex, fetishism, or deviance, regardless of what TV shows like Entourage would lead you to believe.) Just ask any of the attendees at the recent Painted Desert Fur Con, the three-day event held at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown , 340 North Third Street. The annual event is for devoted supporters of the geek subculture or those who wish to get involved. According to PDFC’s website, activities at Con include panels, costume shows, workshops, a merchant and artist alley, dance competitions, and special guests. Event times vary, and entry starts at $ 60. Related Stories I Support Local Community Journalism Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of the New Times clear.