My Week In Photos

Sunday

Last Sunday, my cousin Rachel came to visit all the way from Florida.  We spent the day roaming around NYC with my brother, Bob .  I wore my new Mermaid leggings by Black Milk, a hipster Ariel tee from Target, and Sephora’s Ariel palette eyeshadow in Sea Witch.  We met at City Bakery which has delicious french toast, and the best hot chocolate you will ever taste in your life.  It’s basically like drinking a melted chocolate bar!  Afterwards, we went to Books of Wonder, a bookstore in NYC that specializes in YA fiction and children’s books.  Next, we headed to the Southwest lounge in Bryant Park where we had drink and sat outside enjoying the beautiful crisp fall weather.  Afterwards we went to Baked by Melissa (because cupcakes) and finally to Times Square (where the billboards were overtaken by geeky franchises), to go to the Disney store where all of the employees raved about my Ariel outfit.  Later that night we met up with my cousin Samantha, and the rest of my family for dinner and then Rachael stayed overnight and I made her watch an episode of The IT Crowd which is my favorite sitcom ever created.

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Monday

Monday I wore my new My Little Pony dress by Iron Fist Clothing.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect addition to my wardrobe.  I also put out my Harley Quinn pop figure on my desk so she’ll be next to me while I write, and I read the first volume of Attack on Titan, which was really engaging.  I’m definitely going to pick up volume 2 the next time I find myself in a bookstore, which is usually pretty often.

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Tuesday

Tuesday was an eventful day because it marked the finale of Fangasm!  Syfy played a two hour special of our final two episodes, which showed us LARPing in a park and visiting the Batcave from the 1966 television series, as well as final episode which showcased the launch party we had been working towards planning throughout our internship.  I also received my copy of Jetpack Unicorn in the mail which is a game that I supported on Kickstarter created by my friend and pen pal Kristina.

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Wednesday

I don’t have any photos from Wednesday, but I can tell you that I spent my night reading Pretty Deadly #1, a new series released by Image Comics, and Young Avengers #11 which I had been dying to read ever since Bleeding Cool posted a spoilery photo of Tom Hiddleston holding up a certain page from the issue.

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Thursday

When I came home on Thursday I was so excited to find a copy of Kiri Callaghan’s new book, Alys, which she had sent to me to read during my 5 and a half hour flight to LA next week.  The book is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and I was so intrigued by the plot summary that I couldn’t wait to start reading.  I’m currently about halfway through the book, and I absolutely love it.  If you’re a fan of Lewis Carroll, I definitely suggest picking up a copy!  I also reviewed these delicious Zombie chocolate bars for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  They’re zombie green bars with crispies inside and they even say Bite Me on them.

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Friday

Friday was a ton of fun!  After work I headed to Bryant Park where I was ecstatic to find that they’re already setting up the holiday shops and ice skating rink!  It was an usually cold night, but I sat outside and finished reading the 5th volume of Sailor Moon.  Afterwards, I met my friend Leonard at Kinokuniya, which is a manga bookstore in NYC, and I bought the second volume of Attack on Titan, and the second volume of NANA.  From there we rushed to eat our dinner at the Brooklyn Dinner so we would be on time to see Matilda on broadway.  Matilda was one of my favorite books as a kid, so I was particularly excited to see the show.  The set design was beautiful!  The theater was decorated with enormous sized versions of Scrabble letters, and the scenes of Matilda in the library surrounded by books were some of my favorites.  I was so impressed with all of the talented children in the play, who are far more coordinated than I’ll ever be.  After the play we went to the Disney store, where I got a Frozen mug.  I keep wanting to buy everything with Elsa on it, but I’m trying to control myself until I actually see the film, even though I already know that I’m going to love it!  Then we went to Jamba Juice and drank pumpkin smoothies before calling it a night.

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Saturday

 I ended my week with the long awaited next installment of our monthly Geek Girl Blogger Brunch.  We had a lot of ladies who were unable to attend this time, but even with our reduced number (me, Cassie, Melissa, and Yissel), we had so much fun!  The theme was Harry Potter, and the majority of us were donning Hogwarts house scarves.  The hostess asked if we were in a fraternity (which is especially confusing since women are in sororities, and not fraternities), but we were definitely our waiters favorite table of the day.  He greeted us by asking if we were planning on playing Quidditch later that day, and he used my replica of Luna Lovegood’s wand to cast the levitation spell Hermione corrects Ron’s pronunciation of in the first film.  He was also very confused by Cassie’s pygmy puff, Spartacus.  We started our brunch by toasting to Melissa who just landed a book deal with Random House!  Her first book is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2015 and we’re all extremely proud of her!  After brunch we headed to a wiccan store where we played with cats.  Then it was off to The Strand (where I purchased 4 books for only $20!).  Then we went to the next closest bookstore, Barnes & Noble in Union Square, where Cassie and I shared pumpkin cheesecake.  We decided that we couldn’t end our brunch without grabbing dinner, so we also hit Heartland Brewery and I finally tried their pumpkin & sage ravioli which is incredibly decadent.  So overall, it was a fantastic week!

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My Shocking Harry Potter Based Jung Typology Test Results & Why I’m Totally Okay With Them

So, just to give you a little bit of background information, I’m a long time Harry Potter fan.  And I mean so long term that on June 30, 1997 when the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released, I spent the day sitting on my favorite chair in my childhood room reading my hardcover copy and hoping that on my 11th birthday (which was less than a month away at the time), I’d be finding out that I was actually a wizard too and unlike the Dursley’s, my loving parents would be gladly escorting me to Platform 9 3/4 that fall for my first year at Hogwarts.  I vividly remember preordering a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, from a Book of the Month Club catalog ( ! ) (way before I knew what an impact it would have on my life), because my ten year old self had thought that a book about wizards sounded incredibly awesome.  Spoiler alert, I was right.  But anyway, I also remember JK Rowling first introducing us to Luna Lovegood.  A character who is arguably one of my favorites in any storytelling medium.  Luna is so cool.  She’s blond with green eyes, just like me, and I totally admire her ability to believe the unbelievable, as well as her complete disregard for other people’s opinions of herself.  I think Luna is the reason that I too, don’t give a darn what anyone thinks of me.  She always served as a kind of role model to me, but not in the way that adults are role models.  Luna is a character that grew up along with me (until book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when JK Rowling took a two year period to release the next book and I surpassed her in age).  But nonetheless, I looked up to Luna as much as any kid could look up to one of their peers.  (Side note: I still consider her a peer because I’m not entirely convinced that I could possibly be a Muggle).

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So here’s the thing.  I’ve spent my entire life identifying with Luna.  Then, this Harry Potter based Jung Typology Test showed up.  Did I *need* to take it?  Probably not.  Anyone who meets me agrees within minutes that I’m a Ravenclaw.  I don’t need a test to confirm it for me.  But out of sheer boredom and curiosity, I decided to indulge myself in the affirmation this test would surely provide.  So there I went, answering question after question, critiquing my personality traits until hitting submit and awaiting my result.  And there it came INTJ (Introvert Intuitive Thinking Judging).  I flipped back to the Harry Potter infographic, and my eyes beelined to Luna I (yupp), N (mmhmm), F (wait, what?), P (?!). NO. No, no, no, no, no.  This can’t be correct.  Who’s lettering do I match?  And that’s when I saw it.  Draco Malfoy. Shock. Awe. Surprise. Confusion. Speechlessness.  These are all things that I experienced.

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Fortunately, Draco’s Jung character description is not nearly as awful as  the way his character behaves in the books, so I suppose that just goes to show you that it’s all about how you choose to apply your traits to your everyday life.  Here’s mine & Malfoy’s description: Natural leaders that strive for perfection.  Objective, independent, conceptual, and adaptable.  Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long range explanatory perspectives.  Skeptical and independent.  Tend to have an aura of definite self confidence.

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I spent a bit of time reflecting upon my life and wondering how this could’ve happened, and how I could possibly be like Draco Malfoy in any way, shape or form, but while barely any direct comparisons come to mind, I did find the description very accurate and applicable to my own self.  Then I thought back to good ole book number one when dear Harry begged the Sorting Hat to place him anywhere except Slytherin.  “Not Slytherin. Not Slytherin.”  And do you know what the Sorting Hat said? “Are you sure?  You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that – no? Well, if you’re sure – better be GRYFFINDOR!”  Which is why I’m choosing to believe that I am in exactly the same situation.  This Jung test is like my Sorting Hat and I’m begging for it to comply and allow me to continue living my childhood fantasy of becoming Luna Lovegood.  If I’ve learned anything from Harry Potter, it’s that the conscious choices we make are the ones that define us.  So while I’m quite happy with my outcome’s description, I suppose I shall attempt to be more empathetic from here on out.  In fact, the results have made me more empathetic towards Malfoy, which is probably a step in the right direction.  He made some poor choices along the way, but he proved himself in the end.  I may share traits with Malfoy, but Harry shared traits with Voldemort, and really, it’s all about the application of those traits to your own actions.  So, Luna Lovegood, I will not disappoint you!

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You can take the test here, and then compare your score to the chart above (click to enlarge!) to find out exactly which Harry Potter character you’re most like!  I’d love to know your results as well, so feel free to leave a comment!

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Geek Girl Blogger Brunch #1

To me, one of the most exciting things about being a blogger is the opportunity to meet a community of other likeminded women who are also interested in blogging about geek culture.  I met two of my best friends Melissa and Cassie through blogging and tweeting and such and since then I’ve been rapidly expanding my network!  My friend Jamila and I previously had a blogger brunch and it was so much fun that we wanted to have another one, but include more of our other friends.  Both of us have a “the more the merrier” type mentality!  After coordinating our schedules on a google calendar we decided to go to a Mexican restaurant in the East Village that serves delicious food and a plethora of strong and unlimited drinks.  All six of us (Me, Melissa, Cassie who writes for Bibliomantics, Jamila who runs Girl Gone Geek, Leslie who created the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club, and blogs on Darling Stewie, and Yissel), woke up extra early and traveled downtown so we could discuss things like which Game of Thrones house is our favorite, who our fictional crushes are (my first one was Link from Zelda), and tweet about it using the hashtag #GGBrunch.  After brunch, we headed over to Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (I had another Mermaid), Toy Tokyo, Forbidden Planet, Barnes and Noble, Kinokuniya and Midtown Comics.  We had so much fun that we’ve decided to plan monthly brunches and give them each a theme.  Here are some photos from our lovely day!

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The Girls

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Our first round of frozen Rosalitas

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Goodies From Leslie’s Etsy Shop!

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Geek girls always accessorize

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Cassie whispers Game of Thrones spoilers to Melissa

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Outside of Toy Tokyo

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Mermaid from Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

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The $1,000 Boba Fett I need in my life (From Toy Tokyo)

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And surprising no one, I bought way too many books!

As you may be able to tell, I acquired quite a few books during our after brunch shopping spree and I could barely feel my arms as I was running to catch my train.  My Saturday haul included 1)Books – Fablehaven by Brandon Mull and Brandon Dorman, and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, 2) Manga – 5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai, Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP, Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, and Is This a Zombie? by Shinichi Kimura & Sacchi, 4) Graphic Novels – Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, The Sixth Gun Volume 1 by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt, The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 3 (Marvel Masterworks) by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko, and 5) Comics – The Wake #3 by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy, Trillium #1 by Jeff Lemire, Infinity Part One by Jonathan Hickman, and Li’l Gotham #5 by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs.

So now I’ll be hiding in my house all week and spending time with my new books! How was your weekend?

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Tea & Book Chat: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Marissa Meyer’s debut novel, Cinder, quickly became a book that I could not put down.  In fact, I became so attached to the characters and the story that I ended up reading the entire 387 page book in just one day.  Cinder is a modern day Cinderella tale that blends science fiction with fantasy, creating a whimsical yet bleak dystopian society aptly named New Beijing, which formed following the end of the Fourth World War.  Adding to the science fiction aspect of the story, Cinder is cyborg, a lower class citizen in the ranks of New Beijing’s caste system, with a mechanical leg who suffered a traumatic event early on in her childhood, just before she turned 11.  An event of which, Cinder has no recollection of.  All she is aware of is that her father saved her life and soon after lost his own, leaving Cinder to live with her evil stepmother Adri, evil stepsister Pearl, loving stepsister Peony, and their hilarious android Iko who has an affinity for wearing jewelry.

Times are tough in New Beijing, as the entire county is becoming infected with a very deadly virus called Letumosis.  There is no known cure for the disease, also referred to as the plague, which hits suddenly and quickly progresses through the four stages of the disease before finally resulting in death.  Prince Kai’s father, the current Emperor, becomes infected with the disease along with Cinder’s stepsister Peony, before a cure can be discovered.  Once Peony’s illness is discovered and she is brought to the hospital to be placed in quarantine, Adril decides that the entire misfortune is somehow Cinder’s fault and as her legal guardian, she volunteers Cinder to join the Cyborg Draft and to become a test subject at the hospital.  They inject her with the disease, but miraculously, Cinder’s immune system seems to fight off the virus and her body is clear within a matter of hours.  She develops an interesting relationship to her less than truthful doctor, becomes more closely involved with Prince Kai, and learns some very shocking information about her past in the process of her volunteered research.  And of course, in true Cinderella fashion, the book spends many pages building up the excitement of big celebratory ball that is being held by Prince Kai in his castle during the final chapters.

Just when it seemed that their world couldn’t possibly face any other hardships, a race of humans who left planet Earth to inhabit the moon, called The Lunars, show up to negotiate a marriage to Prince Kai in exchange for continued peace between the colonies.  While Prince Kai detests Queen Levana, he is faced with the  difficult decision of marrying her in an effort to protect his people.  Queen Levana is shockingly beautiful due to a false facade that she is able to project to the people on Earth.  One line that I particularly loved in the novel conveyed the notion that truth cannot be hidden from mirrors.  Which is why The Lunars demanded that all mirrors be removed from the premises before they arrived on Earth.  In addition, any prior communication with Earth had always been done with a shield so they’re able to avoid revealing their true forms.

I really enjoyed this fractured fairytale.  Cinderella has never been one of my favorite fairytale princesses because she has always seemed slightly useless, but Meyer turns cyborg Cinder into a memorable heroine.  The book was full of foreshadowing which enabled me to figure out the plot twists early on, but despite being able to tell what was coming, I was still excited for all of the big reveals.  As I mentioned before, I ended up reading the entire book in one day because I had to watch the next series of events unfold.  I also liked how the beginnings of each section were prefaced with a quote from Cinderella which previewed the upcoming portion of the story which was about to be retold.  I’m very fond of the books cover art as well.  The artist made Cinder’s skin translucent so that you can see her mechanical leg which translates the fragility of the glass slipper into the fragility of her artificial limb.  She’s depicted wearing a striking red pump which pops against the shadowy background, and the title font is the perfect choice.

Cinder ends with a major cliffhanger, but luckily, the new paperback version of the book includes a bunch of extras that any book lover would appreciate.  There was an added short story called Glitches which brings us back into Cinder’s past before the events in the book occurred, an in depth interview with Marissa Meyer, twelve discussion questions which would be very interesting to discuss whether you are hosting a Cinder book club or simply pondering them on your own, and a seven page preview of Meyer’s next book.  Cinder is the first book in a four book series called “The Lunar Chronicles,” that Meyer will be releasing between 2012-2015.  Her second book, Scarlet, which twists and retells Little Red Riding Hood, will be available in bookstores nationwide this Tuesday February 5th.  Following that, Rapunzel’s story will be reimagined in Cress, and Snow White’s in Winter.  I am very much looking forward to continuing on with the series and discovering how each of the fairytales retellings will intertwine and relate to The Lunars.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson Review

This week I couldn’t put down Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.  The book serves as a prequel to Peter Pan, who at the time is an orphan without a last name.  Peter and the other orphan boys are sent aboard a ship named the Wasp, to go to Rundoon and serve the evil King Zarboff, the third.  During their journey, Peter sneaks out of the boys’ quarters to attempt to find real food for them to eat.  Along the way he makes a new friend named Molly, who is an apprentice and descends from a long line of Starcatchers.  Molly is traveling separate from her father and guarding a magical trunk aboard their ship which is to be delivered to the Queen.  Peter and the Starcatchers is a mystical page turning adventure involving familiar characters such as the pirates Black Stache and Smee, Captain and first mate aboard the Jolly Roger, the most terrifying pirate ship in the sea.  As more sailors become privy to the magic withheld inside the trunk, chaos ensues on the high seas and five separate parties (Slank and Little Richard, Black Stache and Smee, Peter and Molly, the mermaids, and once they hit land, the Mollusks) battle each other to acquire the trunk.

If you have an affinity for the story of Peter Pan, you will fall deeply in love with Peter and the Starcatchers.  It’s wonderful to read the events which shaped Peter into the legend he is today.  You also learn about the origin of  the Lost Boys, Tinkerbell, the mermaids, and Mr. Grin, the crocodile.  The story is rich with easter eggs its fast paced narrative instantly engages the reader.  I often found myself saying I would read “just one more page,” before I put it down, but in actuality I would end up reading twenty to forty more pages.  I loved the story so much that after completing the novel I felt compelled to look further into Peter and the Starcatchers online.  I had already known about the off-Broadway play in New York (which I’m going to force someone to take me to on my birthday), but I also discovered that Disney is planning on turning the book into a film.  They’ve already employed Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) to direct, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Peter and the Starcatchers is the first book in a four book series, and you can order a copy from Amazon.

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Tea & Book Chat: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

As a total literature nerd and major Star Wars enthusiast, I can confidently state that the one thing missing from my life up until now was William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher.  Doescher uses iambic pentameter to adapt A New Hope into a 5 act Shakespearian adventure involving a captured Princess (Leia), a wise (Jedi) knight, and evil (Sith) lord, a young hero (Luke), and his comedic relief (C3PO & R2D2).  (That means we get to read R2D2’s bleeping in iambic pentameter!) We all know the plot of A New Hope, but what many of us may not have realized is how well the characters in Star Wars mirror Shakespearian archetypes.  I especially love Doescher’s use of literary devices.  For example, Vader’s speech in Act I, Scene II of the book foreshadows the events that are soon to follow. Verily, A New Hope, recounts the 1977 film scene for scene, and Doescher solves the lack of visuals, by adding a Chorus who explain the actions of the characters and enhance their soliloquies.  The book also includes 19 beautiful illustrations which depict the Elizabethan attire of the cast of characters in the dramatis personae. I would love to see Doescher’s retelling performed onstage, or simply read aloud by friends at a house party.  Perhaps, next May the Fourth!  I am convinced that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, William Shakespeare had every intention of this interpretation existing.  Believe me when I say William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is the book you’re looking for. (I had to get in some Star Wars-isms!)  I’ll leave you with this satisfying line spoken by Han Solo:

[To bartender:] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the

mess.

[Aside:] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!

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You can purchase a copy of the book here, and view the trailer below.  Happy reading!

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Books I Read in 2012

Every year I make a list of the books I have read throughout the year by month as a way to keep track of what I’ve read.  I had been really worried about not having read enough books and graphic novels in 2012 because I had felt so pressed for time between all of my responsibilities, but once I tallied my list I  was thrilled to discover that I enjoyed a total of 104 books.  2012’s reading list was very graphic novel heavy as compared with previous years, so another of my 2013 goals is to make sure I have a more well rounded list.  2010 was my best reading year to date.  I had been commuting and for 3 hours per day, and since I didn’t have any close friends at my previous job I also had an extra 80 minutes of reading per day in break times.  That’s a total of 4.5 hours of total literary bliss 5 days a week.  I was much more conscious of switching up my reading as well.  I would alternate between modern fiction, classics, non-fiction (mostly based on physics or nutrition), sci-fi/fantasy novels and graphic novels.  I want to get back into that habit for 2013.  So without further adieu, here is my 2012 reading list! (Some titles are repeated if I had read them multiple times.)
January
1. The Walking Dead Book 7 by Robert Kirkman
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
4. Morning Glories Volume 2 by Nick Spencer
5. Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
6. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid & Alex Ross
7. Batman: Through the Looking Glass by Bruce Jones & Sam Kieth
8. Spider-Island by Dan Slott
9. Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle & Jock
February
3. New Krypton Volume 1 by Geoff Johns & James Robinson
4. New Krypton Volume 2 by Geoff Johns & James Robinson
5. New Krypton Volume 3 by Greg Rucka & James Robinson
6. True Blood Volume 1: All Together Now by Alan Ball
7. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

March
1. Sweet Tooth Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
2. Sweet Tooth Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4. The Umbrella Academy Volume 1 by Gerard Way
5. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
6. Essex County by Jeff Lemire
7. Sweet Tooth Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire

April
1. Sweet Tooth Volume 4 by Jeff Lemire
2. Feynman by Leland Myrick
3. X-Men Season One by Dennis Hopeless & Jamie Mckelvie
4. Daredevil by Mark Waid
5. Severed by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
6. Ex Machina Volume 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan

May
1.  iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
2. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1 by Joss Whedon
3. Fantastic Four Season One by Roberto-Aguirre-Sacasa
4. Animal Man by Jeff Lemire
5. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 1 by Sean McKeever
6. Deadlocked by Charlainne Harris
7. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 2 by Sean McKeever
8. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 3 by Sean McKeever
9. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Volume 4 by Sean McKeever
10. Love Buzz by Len N. Wallace
11. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: Sophomore Jinx by Terry Moore
12. Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
13. Marvels by Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross
14. Iron Man Noir by Scott Snyder & Manuel Garcia

June
1. Mystery Men Volume 1 by David Liss
2. Sailor Moon Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
3. Sailor Moon Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
4. Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
5. Mystery Society by Steve Niles & Fiona Staples
6. Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd & Dave Taylor
7. Astonishing X-Men Volume 2 by Joss Whedon
8. Hack/Slash Omnibus 1 by Tim Seeley
9. New York Five by Brian Wood
10. Daredevil Volume 2 by Mark Waid
11. Black Widow & Avengers by Paul Tobin
12. Batgirl Rising by Bryan Q. Miller
13. Batgirl: The Flood by Bryan Q. Miller
14. Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale

15. New York Four by Brian Wood

16. iZombie Volume 2: uVampire by Chris Roberson

17. iZombie Volume 3: Six Feet Under and Rising by Chris Roberson

July
1. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
2. Daredevil Yellow by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
3. Fantastic Four Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman
4. Fantastic Four Volume 2 by Jonathan Hickman
5. Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
6. American Vampire Volume 2 by Scott Snyder
7. Y: The Last Man Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn
8. Y: The Last Man Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn

August
1. Y: The Last Man Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn
2. The Guild Volume 1 by Felicia Day & Jim Rugg
3. Speed Racer Volume 1 by Len Strazewski
4. Love and Capes by Thomas F. Zahler
5. Y: The Last Man Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn
6. Batman: War Games Act 1: Outbreak by Devin K. Grayson
7. Zatanna: Shades of the Past by Paul Dini & Cliff Chiang

September
1. Ecko Rising by Danie Ware
2. Very Near Mint Volume 1 by Justin Peterson
3. Morning Glories Volume 3 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma
4. Locke & Key: Clockworks by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
5. Y: The Last Man Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn
6. Y: The Last Man Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, Adapted by Hope Larson
8. Y: The Last Man Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn

October
1. Y The Last Man Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn
2. Y The Last Man Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughn
3. Y The Last Man Volume 10 by Brian K. Vaughn
4. The Walking Dead Book 8 by Robert Kirkman
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

November
1. Green Arrow: Quiver by Kevin Smith
2. Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger
3. Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb
4. Teen Titans Volume 1: A Kid’s Game by Geoff Johns
5. Nightwing/Huntress by Devin Grayson
6. Teen Titans Volume 2: Family Lost by Geoff Johns
7. Namor The First Mutant Volume 1 by Stuart Moore
8. Teen Titans Volume 3: Beast Boy by Geoff Johns

December
1. Birds of Prey Volume 1: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone
2. Teen Titans Volume 4: The Future is Now by Geoff Johns
3. Spider-Man Blue by Jeph Loeb
4. Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon
3. Teen Titans Volume 5: Life & Death by Geoff Johns
4. Batman Noel by Lee
5. DC Universe Christmas by Various
6. The Adventures of Tintin by Jamie Bell
7. Transmetropolitan Volume 1 by Warren Ellis
8. Transmetropolitan Volume 2 by Warren Ellis

What are everyone else’s reading goals for 2013?  I’d love to hear which characters you’re planning on spending time with this year!  If you ever have any good recommendations, please feel free to share them with me as I am always up for a new adventure!
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12 Best Christmas Themed Episodes on TV

Christmastime is hands down my favorite time of the year.  I always do everything I possibly can to enjoy each moment of the holiday season before it ends and I’m forced to wait until next year to celebrate again.  Some of my favorite traditions include helping my mom bake Christmas cookies (this year we baked gingerbread cookies, raspberry thumbprint cookies, pecan danties, almond crescents, butter cookies, and rainbow cookies in Christmas colors), driving around aimlessly to admire all of the festive lights, watching some of my favorite movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Santa Clause, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, Love Actually), enjoying way too many of Starbucks’ gingerbread lattes while visiting all of the holiday shops and Christmas trees set up around New York City, reading some of my favorite stories (Nicholas Was… a short story by Neil Gaiman, Batman Noel [which Jen & I just did a Super Villains Comic Book Club episode about], Polar Express, Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash Christmas issue and Christmas Trees by Robert Frost), decorating everything in sight from my house to my desk and even my car, and loudly singing along to the Christmas music I grew up listening to (as Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear).  Well this post has turned into a list of all of the Christmas entertainment I love, but the purpose was to focus on television episodes.  Below are my 25 favorite Christmas themed television episodes in no particular order!
1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer – ‘Amends’ (Season 3, Episode 10) – Amends is the only Christmas episode of Buffy that was made in all eight seasons.  In this episode Angel is haunted by his past by the forces of the The First Evil, and Buffy struggles to get rid of the Bringers.  The episode ends with a beautiful snowfall in Sunnydale.
2) Batman: The Animated Series – ‘Christmas with the Joker’ (Season 1, Episode 2) – The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum on Christmas Eve on a Christmas tree and begins to wreak havoc in Gotham.  He kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, and Harvey Bullock, and the gives Batman and Robin until midnight to save them.
3) Doctor Who – ‘A Christmas Carol’ & ‘The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe’- In ‘A Christmas Carol,’ my favorite Doctor, the charming number Eleven, attempts to save his companions Rory and Amy who are trapped on a space liner in a strange cloud belt.  The Doctor has to convince the Scrooge, Kazran Sardick, to help and he does so by trying to change his past and make him into a nicer person.  The following years’ special ‘The Doctor, The Widow, & The Wardrobe,” is a Narnia-esque fairy tale in which two children happen upon a present the leads to an alternate universe.  The universe is inhabited by a bunch a treelike people who are attempting to escape through a human vessel.
4) Supernatural – ‘A Very Supernatural Christmas’ (Season 3, Episode 8) – Sam and Dean chase a pair of Pagan gods who have assimilated themselves to society but still require a yearly sacrifice.  The pair sell Christmas wreaths which ultimately ties them to the murders.  All of their victims are mysteriously pulled up their chimneys before disappearing forever.
5) Tales From the Crypt – ‘And All Through the House’ (Season 1, Episode 2) – The episode begins with a woman murdering her husband in order to get his life insurance money.  Afterwards she is chased all through her house by an escaped mental patient who is dressed in a Santa Claus outfit.
6) Smallville – ‘Lexmas’ (Season 5, Episode 9) – Lex Luthor, one of my favorite characters on Smallville, is shot and he slips into a coma.  During the time he is unconscious he is visited by his deceased mother’s ghost and she shows him what his life would be like if he denounced his father Lionel.  Lex sees himself happily married to Lana who is pregnant with their second child.
7) Adventure Time – ‘Holly Jolly Secrets Parts 1 & 2’ (Season 3, Episodes 19-20) – In which, Fin and Jake find the Ice Kings video diary and try to decipher it in an effort to discover the Ice King’s deepest secret.  In part 2 of the special, the Ice King tries to steal his video diaries back from Fin and Jake.
8) The X-Files – ‘How the Ghosts Stole Christmas’ (Season 6, Episode 6) – Mulder and Scully spend their Christmas Eve investigating a haunted house in Maryland where a couple had made a lover’s pact and died together so they would never have to be alone.  Now the ghosts of the dead lovers are trying to convince the new living couple who move into the house to make the same pact.
9) Kim Possible – ‘A Very Possible Christmas’ (Season 2, Episode 16) – Kim is forced to travel around the world searching for Ron after a very thoughtful Christmas gift he plans for Kim goes awry.  Ron and Drakken bond over a Christmas special they both love called Snowman Hank, and Kim and the rest of the Possibles save the day.
10) The OC – ‘The Best Chrismukkah Ever’ (Season 1, Episode 13) – In this very Seth Cohen centric episode, Seth struggles to keep his family together by celebrating Chrismukkah, a holiday he invented as a child which combines Christmas and Hanukkah.  Meanwhile, Seth is also struggling to choose between Anna and Summer.  He makes the same mixtape for them while Anna gives him a homemade  comic book starting Seth as the hero, and Summer dresses up as Wonder Woman.
11) 3rd Rock From the Sun – ‘Jolly Old St. Dick’ (Season 2, Episode 12) – The High Commander played by John Lithgow, prepares his alien family for their first Christmas on Earth by cutting down a Christmas tree from someone’s yard which results in his arrest.  Meanwhile Sally gets a job wrapping presents at the mall, and Harry as one of Santa’s elves.  Although, Harry becomes enraged when he discovers that he is not in fact working for the real Santa.
12) The Big Bang Theory – ‘The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis’ (Season 2, Episode 11) – Shledon, already skeptical about the holiday season claiming that Christmas is just a ripoff of the Pagan holiday Saturnalia, has always been against gift giving.  Once he learns that Penny has gotten him a gift, he struggles to find something for her that will be worth an equal value.  Once he learns what Penny’s gift is, Sheldon is uncharacteristically overcome with emotion, and it is the first time we see Sheldon embrace Penny in a hug.
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5 Fictional Places I Would Love to Live

Several days ago on Twitter, I asked everyone if they could choose a place, real or imagined, and live there, where it would be.  I was met with an overwhelming number of responses that continued throughout the day and I felt so inspired by everyone’s differing opinions that I decided to compile a list of my own fictional places I would love to move to.  The truth is that given the opportunity to move, I would choose to stay where I am, but it’s still fun to daydream!  I would create a list of real places too, but as New York is the only real place I would like to live in, the list would be quite short.  I’m sure no one will find it surprising that two of the five places I chose are fictional version of New York =^.^=
Sugar Rush – Sugar Rush is one of the newest imaginary places that I fell in love with while seeing Wreck-It Ralph last weekend.  This simulated land is the setting for a video game and it was built completely out of sweets.  Everyone who resides in Sugar Rush is a type of candy, or they incorporate candy into their signature looks (ie Vanellope’s sweet hair accessories).  Sugar Rush is like Candyland, only more pink, and ruled as a democracy.
Fabletown –  Fabletown is the first alternate NYC that I would like to reside in.  But just to be clear, I would be a Fable and not a mundy.  More specifically, I would probably be Cinderella, better known to the Fables as Cindy.  I would wander around Bullfinch street, have an even vaster shoe collection than I have now, and venture out into the real New York City anytime my heart desired.  And I’d get to go on secret missions for Bigby!  (I couldn’t find a great image of Fabletown, so the image above is one of my favorite Fables covers for issue #118)
Hogwarts – Hogwarts is a gorgeous castle with an enormous library burgeoning with tons of magical books that I have yet to read.  I’d love to spend hours reading Hogwarts, A History while drinking a frosty butterbeer in the common room, or strolling around the castle until whatever mischief I would inevitably get myself into is managed.  Plus, the Great Hall is charming during Halloween and Christmas<3
Star Wars Universe – In my mind, this could only be the perfect scenario: Traveling through the galaxy with C3PO and R2D2 accompanying Han Solo and I on the Millennium Falcon (my favorite spacecraft)!  We’d stop on the Death Star and have run-ins with Vader and some Stormtroopers and everything would be stellar.  Knowing me, I would have lightsaber fights galore (mine would be purple like Mara Jade’s).  The force is strong with my love of Star Wars and space.
Superhero Inhabited NYC – If my city was inhabited with superheroes my dreams would be a reality.  In a world where Spider-Man, Batman, the Fantastic Four, and Dick Grayson could be seen at a any moment walking through NYC, I would be an even happier girl.  I would be best friends with Stephanie Brown, and I would definitely be there to fill the Gwen Stacy sized void in Spider-Man’s heart.  There would also be so many other heroes visiting their NY friends all of the time and I’d be surrounded by everything I love most.  The only downside would be the many villains the city would attract, but something tells me there would be enough good guys to prevail that it wouldn’t be a major issue.
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How I Spent Hurricane Sandy

Since Hurricane Sandy has struck, there has been little to no transportation available around New York, plus most establishments were out of power, and some still are.  Never in all of my years have I seen the school district close down for six consecutive days and counting.  I am so thankful that everyone in my family and all of my friends made it through the storm okay with only minor damage and power loss in some instances.  One thing Hurricane Sandy has forced me to do is spend a lot of time inside my house.  Work was closed for two days last week (we were nowhere near as lucky as the schools!), and I used that time to finish reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, reorganize my book and graphic novels shelves, reorganize and minimize my DVD collection, straighten up some of the cluttered areas in my room (all while watching The X-Files), and spend a lot of time watching classic movies with the rest of my family.  It feels like I’ve been on the go since last March so it was really nice to enjoy a relaxing week at home for a change.  Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy curling up in my bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea, or lounging on my downstairs couch for family movie nights.  It’s always lovely to reconnect at home and spend some time selfishly indulging in the things that make you happy.  But now that it has been a few days, I’m ready to run out to Manhattan for more adventures.  I have plenty of exciting things coming up this holiday season, which I’ll be sure to share with everyone :o)
(I almost never wear my glasses, and I definitely never post photos in them, but since so much of my time was spent at home it just seemed easier than putting in contacts everyday.)  Anyway,  before I left for Florida I took a Twitter poll to see what I should read.  I began reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline on my flight there thanks to the overwhelmingly positive recommendations of some of my Twitter followers!  After the first page of the story, I was absolutely hooked.  Cline mixes my love of the 80’s with my love of classic video games to create a compelling story about an international video game challenge where players were competing to inherit the fortune and control over OASIS in real life after the creator passed away and left a video explaining the prize and a clue to begin the contest as a part of his will.  It took years before the first key was found (there are three keys and three gates that must be cleared in order to win the game) but once Parzival got the ball rolling, it was only a matter of days before other gunters (players who devoted their lives to the hunt for Halliday’s hidden easter eggs), began to crack the vague clue.  I think I enjoyed this book so much because it felt like I was piecing together a puzzle.  I spent just as much time reading as I did contemplating the possible places keys could be found or how to clear any of the gates.  Cline wrote Ready Player One in a way that made it difficult for me to ever put it down.  If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest ordering a copy on Amazon so you can begin the hunt as well.  If you do read it, or have read it already, please tweet me with your thoughts or contact me on tumblr as I would love to discuss it!  My brother is currently reading my copy and it’s so difficult for me to keep my mouth shut about what’s going to happen while he finishes.
The next activity I mentioned was cleaning, but since that is extremely uninteresting I’ll move along to the classic movie marathon my family has been having.  I’ve always been a fan of old movies.  I find the glamour and classiness of old Hollywood to be irresistible.  The first night of the storm we watched Hitchcock’s Vertigo staring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak.  Stewart’s character Scottie is hired by his friend to tail his wife around town because he believes she has been possessed by a spirit.  As I’m sure you’d imagine, chaos ensues as Scottie gets closer and closer to his subject, and his affliction with vertigo plays a major role in the outcome of his assignment.  The next movie we watched was also done by Alfred Hitchcock, and is one of my personal favorites, Rear Window.  Jimmy Stewart also stars in Rear Window, but this time he is an adventurous photographer confined to his apartment after he breaks his leg.  He spends his time staring out his windows at his neighbors and gaining insight into their lives.  It’s all fun and games until he believes that he may have witnessed a crime.  With his the help of his companion, the lovely Grace Kelly, the duo collect evidence against their suspect and involve one of the local detectives.  The movie is quite exciting and the ending really moves you to the edge of your seat as you watch the story unfold.  The rest of my family hadn’t previously seen Rear Window so I was really happy that I was able to introduce them to it and share in their viewing experience.  We’re also planning on watching another one of my favorites, Casablanca, several Audrey Hepburn films, and a few more Hitchcock masterpieces in the coming weeks.

I’ve always been the kind of person who loves holidays.  It’s a great excuse to craft things, bake delicious pumpkin and gingerbread desserts, spend time with your loved ones, and simply enjoy the spirited atmosphere that surrounds them.  Christmas has always been my favorite, but Halloween is a close second.  Because of the storm we didn’t have a traditional Halloween this year but I still ate my candy and watched James Gunn flicks.  One of the most exciting things to happen this week (you know, besides that whole hurricane thing), is that Starbucks brought back their holiday cups!  That means that Christmas is right around the corner! I had my first gingerbread latte of the season this past Thursday and it was the perfect way to console myself for being at work while the rest of my friends and family were at home.

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