Free Comic Book Day 2013!

This year Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) coincided with May the Fourth and I was initially conflicted with which sector of geekdom I felt like representing that day.  Ultimately, I chose to wear a comic themed ensemble as the previous year, May the Fourth Lando’ed (horrible pun) on the same day as the theatrical release of The Avengers, and I wore Star Wars things.    And that is how my mind works.  I’m hoping that next year, we’ll get two separate days to celebrate because why not!  I ended up spending the majority of my day at Midtown Comics’ Downtown location on Fulton Street.  They were one of the only stores in New York City that had signings going on and we all know how much I love getting books signed by authors and artists!  After a slight subway mishap when my C train decided last minute that it wanted to be an F, I ended up in Brooklyn, and had to turn around and head back to Manhattan.  I had received more stares than usual on the train due to my Supergirl theme, but it was exceptionally weird when a guy started taking photos of me without asking.  That’s just creepy.  I’m happy to pose for a photo if someone asks permission, otherwise, it’s just uncomfortable.

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The first signing I went to had Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos signing copies of Archaia’s FCBD offering, Mouse Guard.  I had wanted to purchase a copy of Cow Boy, which is the Archaia book that the pair created together, but sadly, Midtown was out of copies.  But I did also have Nate sign my copy of PIGS, so I was really happy about that!  While I was chatting with them, Chris took a photo of me which was posted on CBR as part of their Free Comic Book Day Coverage!  I had initially been referred to as Supergirl with her Superman, but it looks like they’ve since revised it to say my actual name.  Not that I have any issue being referred to as Supergirl.  There had already been a line formed outside for Midtown’s later signing with Scott Snyder and Jim Lee who were promoting their new Superman Unchained book for DC Comics, so Nate and Chris went outside and signed books for everyone in the line as well.  And Chris sprinted down the alley to Vine a video of the line, which was quite hilarious and ended in him getting chased by motorcycles.  I was also so excited to meet other Kristin H., who handles the official New York Comic Con twitter account.  We had previously been guests together on a special Geek Girls Named Kristin edition of the Average Intelligence podcast which is hosted by Gary, but we hadn’t ever met in person until FCBD.

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After the signing, my friend Tanya and I did a quick run to the new comic shop, Carmine Street Comics, which had just opened two days earlier.  Carmine Street Comics is run by two former employees of Manhattan Comics (the old Cosmic Comics), which sadly, closed two after FCBD.  I like that their new store focuses on indie comics.  Aside from checking out the location and stock, one of the main reasons I wanted to head there is because I had been wanting to read Brad Abraham’s Mixtape ever since fellow blogger Ari did a spotlight of the series on her site.  And now I have them! We also ran to Joe’s Pizza which is a famous pizza place which you may remember from Spider-Man 2.  It just seemed appropriate.  Next we headed to Forbidden Planet for all of three minutes before leaving to meet my friend Lauren, and her roommate Andrea for some sandwiches and comics at the Times Square Midtown Comics.  Lauren and I were the perfect embodiment of the day, with me representing Supergirl, and Lauren in a Star Wars tee.

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Then it was back to Midtown Comic Downtown for the Scott Snyder and Jim Lee signing.  The store was incredibly busy as everyone was really excited to see Scott and Jim.  Two of my friends had been scheduled to interview them both before the signing began, Ali for MTVGeek, and Alan for CBR.  After their interviews concluded we had some books signed (I had Scott sign my copy of American Vampire Volume 1, and I must’ve had a major brain freeze because I totally forgot to bring my copy of Hush for Jim to sign – who just so happens to be my favorite Batman villain).  But oh well, next time!  Then we headed out for drinks and some food, but right before leaving to head home, we ran into Scott Snyder outside of bar and he invited us in to hang out for a little while.  It was so much fun!  Jim Lee bought us drinks and Lisa chatted with him about psychology.  Then Alan, being the sweetheart that he is, drove me all the way home so I didn’t have to take the train.  Lisa, Alan, and I listened to a Neil Gaiman audio play for our mini road trip, but we only had the time for half so I’m still dying to find out how it ends!

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How was your Free Comic Book Day & May the Fourth?  Do you have any yearly traditions set up to celebrate your geekdom on either day?  I’d love to hear all about them!  I broke my usual tradition of doing a comic shop crawl and hitting all of the stores in NYC, but I had an amazing day nonetheless!  I was shocked at how quickly the time had passed.  Next year, I’m definitely going to make an effort to hit more shops!

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Kristin

Stress, Insecurities and Worries Aplenty

I can honestly say that 2013 has already been the most terrifying year of my entire life, and it’s only April.

Throughout my life I have always had a solidified plan of what I was going to do and who I was going to be.  I’ve worked hard and set ambitiously high goals for myself and throughout it all I’ve always managed to stay on track and maintain complete control of everything.  Even to the point of absurdity. My friends had always envied me for being so put together at such a young age and for being able to define and actively work towards reaching my personal and career goals.

It’s for these reasons that the level of uncertainty I’m now facing is stressing me out beyond belief.  And I’m not even allowed to talk about most of it.  As someone who has always embraced change and has easily adapted to the world around me, I’ve had a difficult time admitting that I’ve been struggling this past month.  When your future is dependent upon other people, it’s near impossible to relax or breathe easy.   I find myself incapable of making long-term plans because I have no idea where I’ll be in a month’s time.  (I haven’t even been able to respond to some wedding invitations yet because I’m so unsure about my future!)  I know that I’m on the brink of a major change, but I’m so eager to begin my transition that I think I’m trying to rush time along which is never a good thing.

I’ve spent countless hours sitting at my desk and daydreaming about receiving one simple phone call.  A phone call that will ultimately change my life forever.  Every time I feel my phone vibrate, I can’t help but scream internally and think, “THIS COULD BE IT.”  All of my muscles tense up and I fantasize about how the conversation will go before even checking to see who it is.  It’s getting close to the wire, but this last week is really testing my patience.

On top of that, I’ve also begun looking at apartments because I am finally ready to leave home.  Again, a terrifying concept, and although my family will still be close by, it won’t be like college where I’ll be leaving with the intention of returning in the summer and winter.  This time it will be for good.

I worry about my mom’s health and about my dad’s new job.  I worry about my brother who is constantly traveling, and about who will take care of them when I’m not there.  I worry about money and about how I’ll be able to survive on my own.  I worry about my friends, and their situations, and I worry about my job.  But even more so than usual and everything that always came naturally to me and seemed easy is being warped by this impending stress into difficulties that I’ve never acknowledged before.

In my heart I know that everything is going to work out.  I know that this thing that I’m waiting to have happen will happen because I can just feel that it’s what I’m destined to do.  I know that my family will be fine and I’ll love living on my own and the world will keep spinning and everyone will go on with their lives as if nothing has changed.  And I know next week when everything “clicks,” I’ll have felt silly for even expressing my worries in this post, but until then I know it’ll make me feel better to put it all out there.

Hopefully next time I’ll be able to update you all on some of these major changes, but until then, I urge you to keep striving towards your goals and following your dreams.  We only live once and I truly believe that we’re all responsible for our own happiness.  I challenge you to go out of your way to accomplish something that will make you happy whether it’s something simple like organizing your closet, or something bigger like applying for a promotion at work.

I’d love to hear what you’re worried about and what you’re going to do to contribute to your happiness so feel free to leave a comment below, or if it’s too personal to share publicly, you can always email me at Kristin@superspacechick.com.  Good luck and goodnight!

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New York Comic Book Market

Last weekend I attended the New York Comic Book Market at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City and learned that if I want to develop any muscle in my arms, all I have to do is begin reading omnibuses.  Who knew?!  I had been raving about wanting to purchase the X-Statix omnibus for almost a year now, but that beautiful monster is $125.00 and at least 10 lbs.  I had mainly been waiting to take the plunge and buy the book because $125.00 is a lot of money to spend on a series you haven’t read yet and aren’t absolutely positive that you’ll love.  I’ve always been obsessed with Mike Allred’s artwork which is why I had been so seriously considering it, but when I arrived at NYCBM I almost fainted when I found a copy of said X-Statix omnibus sitting on a table with a $45 price tag.  It was fate.  The comic gods were sending me a sign.  The lovely seller even managed to knock the price down to $40 for me so I eagerly handed over my money and prepared for a long night of back pain.  I was so excitedly rambling on about this deal for so long that I unintentionally convinced Melissa and Cassie to purchase copies too.   Now I’m supposed to be making a syllabus for us so we can read at the same pace and discuss our progress, but I’ve snuck ahead and read about half because really guys, I’d been waiting to read it for almost a year!

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From the same seller I also picked up the first Uncanny X-Men omnibus by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee (for $35!), and an X-23 hardcover by Marjorie Liu and Will Conrad (for $8).  Speaking of Chris Claremont, he just so happened to be one of the guests at the show and he graciously posed for a photo with Melissa and I.  Sadly, this was before we purchased our X-Men trades, otherwise we would’ve had him sign them!  While we were there, we ran into my friend Sarah, who was working at the St. Marks Comics booth, and some of our friends from Midtown Comics.  Another great NYCBM find, and another Allred original was an It Girl & the Atomics bust by Bowen.  Since I was already carrying too many things at the time, I found the company on eBay afterward and purchased the bust for the same amount they were offering at the show.

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Next year I am definitely planning on getting to the show earlier, bringing a rolling suitcase so I don’t destroy my shoulders, and remembering to bring cash so I can buy ALL THE TRADES!

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The Nerdist, MoCCA Fest & More!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all doing well!  I know I’ve been a little MIA this past week on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and such, but I’ve just had a crazy week.  Things are getting back to normal though and I’ll be resuming my regularly scheduled nonsense come tomorrow morning.  I wanted to offer a quick update on what I’ve been up to since I disappeared!  It all starts with my new job as a video host for my favorite comic book store, Midtown Comics.  I recently began narrating their weekly action figure and collectibles newsletter which you can view and subscribe to on the Midtown Comics YouTube channel!  The first video I did was for a toy that I’ve been coveting since I first saw photos online- Hot Toys Thor modeled after Chris Hemsworth.  It’s literally to die for!  Sadly, I had to miss filming last weeks video which was for an exclusive Cable statue by Bowen, but I’ll be resuming next week!  We usually film at the Time Square store, but they recently announced a change in store hours (Midtown will now be open from 8AM-Midnight!!), so we’re moving over to the Grand Central store instead.  But of course, I’ll probably do some shopping at Times Square beforehand.

Last Friday night after work, I met one of my best friends, Rachael, for an epic night of fun!  First we attended Chris Hardwick’s stand up comedy show at Caroline’s in New York City.  Both of the opening comedians for Chris were hilarious, and Rachael and I giggled along as we sipped our glasses of wine and bourbon.  I wish I had caught their names, but unfortunately, I didn’t and I can’t seem to find them online.  Next Chris took the stage and he interacted and poked fun at the audience members.  There was a girl who is currently in school and works with cadavers, a guy who bore a shocking resemblance to Firefly’s Alan Tudyk who had broken his leg dancing, and as always, a bachelorette party full of rowdy women.  After the show, we waited around a bit to see if Chris would come out to meet some of his fans, but alas there was a 10pm showing directly after ours so he didn’t have the time.  Following our comedy date, Rach and I headed over to a bar on Broadway called McGee’s.  It’s the same bar that was used as the model and inspiration for MacLaren’s on How I Met Your Mother.  It’s funny because the bar set up looks nothing like the bar in the television show, but it’s a fun place nonetheless.  There are signed posters by the cast members throughout the bar and while the layout is completely different, the decor of the booths is similar.  As per usual, we ended up staying out too late despite having to wake up early the next morning for MoCCA Fest.  But it was well worth it!  Below is an awfully blurry photo of Chris during his set.

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Then bright and early Saturday morning it was time for our next adventure.  Each year the 69th Street Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue holds a festival celebrating indie comics and artists called MoCCA Fest.  MoCCA is an acronym for the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art.  All of the money raised through ticket sales goes towards benefitting the museum, so where I normally would apply for a press pass, I chose to pay the entrance fee and support the museum.  Plus sometimes a girl just needs a day off!  I met Melissa, Jill, and Rachael, and we roamed the floor together for hours.  I was really excited to see the First Second table because I was looking forward to picking up a copy of Lucy Kinsley’s Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, as well as meeting Noelle Stevenson who writes and illustrates the webcomic Nimona.  There was also an adorable book I found that is illustrated by Scott Campbell, called Zombie in Love which I didn’t get a chance to purchase, but I’m planning on acquiring a copy very soon!  Later in the day we met up with one of my favorite geek guys, the charming Alan Kistler, and roamed around a little more before leaving and heading to Dos Caminos for mexican food and margaritas.  (Side note: Alan is brilliantly talented and he just finished writing a book all about the history of Doctor Who, aptly named Doctor Who: A History and you can already preorder a copy on Amazon!)  After dinner our plan had been to see Jurassic Park in 3D but due to our lack of energy we decided to go our separate ways and head home.  I went to Midtown Comics near Grand Central with Alan and his lovely girlfriend Lisa, and we chatted comics for quite some time before making our final purchases.  The next day Alan surprised me with a digital copy of the first Superman story ever in Action Comics #1 which proved to be a fascinating read.

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Then Sunday, I had some family things to attend to, which is the main reason I haven’t been able to be online.  My poor mother was rushed to the emergency room and she needed an operation.  It was initially very frightening due to what our family had gone through last year, with my mom overcoming cancer, but thankfully she is okay and the doctor let her return home today!  And my crazy brother is worrying us all to death because he somehow decided to visit South Korea right when the government is threatening to launch missiles.  We made him register with the US Embassy before leaving so he would be on record and be able to evacuate safely if need be.  He comes home on the 20th, and I’ve received several emails from him so far, so I know he’s enjoying his trip, but I’ll feel much better when he lands on U.S. soil.  So anyway, those are my updates and I am so sorry again for disappearing.  I’m happy everything worked out and I can’t wait to catch up with you all!

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How the Adventure Time Video Game Took Over My Life

So last week was pretty atypical in the sense that I had way too much free time.  It all started when I caught an awful cold last Sunday night and was forced to miss three days of work.  I always talk about how badly I’d love to get sick and be forced to lay in bed all day relaxing and watch movies/tv shows and read/write for countless hours and last week I got my wish.  Only it was terrible.  I spent most of my time home asleep which is super unproductive and boring.  Even when I tried to stay awake to watch things, it just didn’t happen.  I did watch some things though like Futurama, Veronica Mars, Empire Strikes Back, and three Harry Potter movies.  It pained me to stay in Thursday and Friday night but for once I decided to do the responsible thing by staying in and trying to get better.  On Saturday, Melissa, came to Long Island to visit me and we had a crazy long day of toy shopping, C2E2 cosplay material shopping, and roaming around the mall because Melissa moved here from Texas and there aren’t any good malls in NYC so she was in heaven.  Then we grabbed sushi for dinner with my awesome genius brother Bob and when we got home we told ghost stories, drank white wine, and drunk tweeted The Avengers (sorry followers!).

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After I dropped Melissa off the next morning I purchased a much needed treinta unsweetened green iced tea from Starbucks and went home to clean my room which didn’t last too long.  Then it happened.  I came across the Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage? game for Nintendo DS that I purchased after brunch with my friend Jamila a few weeks back.  Oh my glob! Looking back, I totally just realized that I spent Friday night watching Adventure Time with my brother, and on Saturday I purchased a plush Gunther and a BMO toy with a changing face to add to my collection of Adventure Time toys so maybe my caving in and playing the game this week was like *destiny* or something.  Or maybe I really did have too much free time.  Either way, I became as addicted to the game as the Ice King is to finding a Princess to be his wife.

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The game has cameo’s from nearly every character in the show (including Lemongrab! and LSP! and Snow Golem! and Hot Dog Princess! and well, you get the idea).  You play on BMO (obviously) as Finn and Jake traveling throughout the Land of Ooo in search of the Ice King because he stole your garbage and you want to know why.  The game starts in the Grasslands, progresses to the Candy Kingdom, then to the Red Rock Pass, and finally ends in the Ice Kingdom.  Along the way you help many creatures with their issues and acquire all kinds of fun swords and abilities.  There are even some surprising villains to you have to face such as Marceline (because the Ice King promised her $5), and as if killing one Gunther wouldn’t be bad enough, there’s a Gunther clone machine and you have to kill a total of ONE HUNDRED Gunthers.  It’s heartbreaking until they start to irritate you and you begin to yell at them as the Ice King would.  Now, when I say that this game began to consume my life, I mean it wholeheartedly.  I began playing on Sunday night at 11:30pm (already a bad idea).  I played until 2 am despite having to wake up at 6 am on Monday morning for work, and then I repeated the pattern on Monday night.  And you know how I wake up at 6am so I can write for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and edit my tumblr queue?  Well I woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning and played more of the game until 8am when I had to get ready for work without writing anything at all.  I finally beat the game on Tuesday night (tonight), and now that I’m finished I feel completely free and relaxed.  There’s a chance I may even get a decent amount of sleep tonight unless I start playing something else.  I don’t want to give any spoilers about the end of the game in case you’re planning on purchasing a copy for yourself (which I highly recommend if you have or can make the time to devote to it) but trust me when I tell you that Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage? is a glorious addiction.  Friends, family and coworkers were worried about me but when I start communicating with the real world again tomorrow they’ll see that everything is okay.  One of my favorite things about the game besides the clever plot is that it plays much like Super Mario Brothers or Donkey Kong in that it has specific levels and bosses you must beat to save a princess from a misunderstood villain.  If you’re interested, you can buy a copy on Amazon for a reasonable price, and if you’re not, then I’m not sure why you’re reading this.

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Veronica Mars, the Doctor Who Bar & More

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a personal post about what I’ve been up to, so I figured that now is as good a time as any to get back into the groove of weekly updates.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle because lack of posts means I’ve been extra busy, which in turn means I have that much more to write about!  We’ve had an influx of West Coast visitors in New York in the past week which is part of the reason I haven’t had time to write/sleep/etc.  Our first visitor, my Super Villains Comic Book Club cohost, Jen, flew into NYC on Wednesday, aka new comic book day, and since she hadn’t ever been to Midtown Comics, Melissa, Brad, and I made sure to bring here there as our first order of business.  Jen was in awe of the amazing toy and statue selection at Midtown, and after swooning over several of the Scarlet Witch Bowen statues, we completed our purchases and headed back to her hotel to film an extra special live episode of our aforementioned club.  Melissa has been a guest in the past and I was so happy she could join us again to discuss Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga.  The three of us purchased our trades together, and had them signed by the creators at the Midtown Comics booth at New York Comic Con last year, so the story holds even more meaning for us.  Since we were filming at a hotel and didn’t have our usual home amenities, we forgot all about needing glasses, and a bottle opener.  After extensive googling and many failed attempts at using shoes, hangers, hair pins, pens, and the wall, it occurred to us to call the front desk and thankfully they were able to accommodate us.  We filmed in what we called, a “slumber party style,” since  the giant hotel bed was the only place we could get all three of us to fit in one screen.

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That same weekend, Molly McIsaac, who I hadn’t previously had the pleasure of meeting came to New York for a weekend visit.  Molly is absolutely lovely in person and I was surprised at how much the two of us had in common from our vegetarianism, to our love of fashion, to our preference for Matt Smith over David Tennant.  I met Melissa, Jill, Molly, and Leo, at The Museum of Sex near the Flatiron building and we perused the gift shop before jumping back in Jill’s car, sharing in a traumatic experience, and then promptly heading to The Modern for drinks.  After almost an hour of driving around and searching for a parking spot, we finally found one.  Little did we know, another woman was going to get out of her car, bang on all of the windows of our vehicle, scream obscenities at us, and claim that it was her spot.  After being told we would be in for “a rude awakening today,” the psycho woman realized that Jill had been filming our entire interaction and she quickly drove away.  Nonetheless, her behavior was completely uncalled for and all of us were rather shaken.  After all of that we realized the spot was too close to a fire hydrant anyway, and we ended up parking in a garage near the museum.  It is amazing to me that a person could become so enraged and uncivilized over a parking space that wasn’t even hers to begin with.  Once we were inside MoMA we were all really excited to see Edvard Munch’s infamous painting “The Scream,”  but sadly, the museum closed before we were able to make our way to the top floor.  Next, we headed to Canal Street for some shopping, and to Mayfield for dinner where we met up with Ali, Brad, and Nate.  I had the most delicious chopped kale salad, but was ridiculed by fellow dinner goers for supplementing my healthy salad with a side of fries.  They were worth it though, so delicious!  You would think we’d be exhausted at this point, but the fun continued at The Way Station, aka the Doctor Who bar, where we met Rachael, and Jen (who was still in town until the next day).  It was karaoke night, and after several River Songs (the bar serves Doctor Who themed drinks… I know, right?!) we went onstage and joined in the fun.

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Then on Wednesday I met up with Rachael, who took me to what is quite possibly the coolest bar I have ever been to.  It’s a speakeasy in Chelsea and I have never been so impressed with a bars delicious drinks, service, overall atmosphere, and of course, fantastic company.  The bar is located inside an unmarked door, and if you aren’t already privy to location, you would never find it on your own.  Even once you manage to seek out the door and open it up, two black velvet curtains hang in your immediate view causing you to wonder if you might be in the wrong place.  But once you bravely push back the curtains and overcome the fear of possibly breaking and entering into an abandoned building, you’ll be welcomed by dim candlelight and a very friendly bartender.  In typical speakeasy fashion, there are no menus to peruse so you must tell the bartender what you enjoy and he’ll make you something he thinks would please you.  He completely hit the nail on the head with my drink order.  I usually stick to wine, but the next time I go back to the speakeasy I will be asking for another gingery, citrusy, glass of heaven.  After catching up and realizing that neither of us had eaten enough for the day, we headed to the original Shake Shack where I indulged in more french fries, and a mushroom burger.  Also! I was so proud of myself because after leaving Rachael at 9:41pm on 23rd street and Madison Avenue, I was somehow able to speed walk back to Penn Station (34th and 7th avenue), where I made a 10:08 train with nearly 10 minutes to spare.  (Excuse the grainy quality of the below photo.  We may be grainy, but we’re still adorable!)

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And finally, all of these events lead me to one of the best stay in girls nights that I’ve ever had!  In the wake of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter miracle that launched on Thursday morning and was fully funded by 9pm on Thursday night (you can still donate and reap some of the awesome rewards here if you haven’t had a chance yet) Jill had the brilliant idea of having us over for a Veronica Mars marathon.  Melissa, Rachael and I came fully equipped with snacks and various selections of wines, cider, bourbon, while  Jill supplied us with tacos and champagne.  We watched about six episodes of the show in total, with many, giggling breaks in between (which you may have noticed if you happened to read any of our Twitter accounts on Saturday night).  I had seen the least amount of episodes of the show so we stayed within the first season, and Rachael was kind enough to lend me her DVDs at the end of the night… which I’ve now been watching for six straight hours.  I deeply admire Veronica for the decisions she makes, the character she possesses at such a young age, and her willingness to help anyone in need.  She is quite the detective.  I’m probably going to finish the first season by tomorrow night which is why I had to order the second season with Amazon Prime (thank gods for 2-day shipping!).  We successfully managed to avoid the overcrowded New York City bar scene on St. Patrick’s Day.  The extent of my St. Patrick’s Day attire has always consisted of Green Lantern t-shirts and accessories for as long as I can remember so I’ve continued the tradition this year.  A bunch a of other things have happened in the midst of what I’ve already recapped, but due to a combination of 1) keeping this post to a readable length, 2) lack of memory, and 3) being summoned downstairs for St. Patty’s Day dinner with my family (in which the vegetarians will eat salad, and everyone else will eat corned beef), that will be all for now! OH! And my genius brother Bob was accepted to Columbia’s graduate program to get his masters in journalism and I could not be more proud!

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The Big Zombie Tour By Atlanta Movie Tours

Since The Walking Dead is finally back, I decided that it would be an appropriate time to recap one of my favorite Walking Dead related events I have ever attended.  Last Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Atlanta for Dragon*Con with my lovely On Wednesdays We Wear Pink co-creator, Kristin, and her husband Patrick. In addition to our con-going we were also invited to attend “The Big Zombie Tour,” a tour created by Atlanta Movie Tours, which turned out to be my favorite part of our entire trip. Anyone who has visited our site knows that we are both huge zombie fans, and more particularly, Walking Dead fans. This bus tour takes you throughout Atlanta and brings you to all of the places where memorable scenes from The Walking Dead were filmed.  Atlanta is such a beautiful city, mixed with both urban and suburban areas which made for an unique and gorgeous experience.  Throughout the tour, there are trivia questions being asked with prizes for correct answers, photo-ops in all of the locations you visit, and anecdotes from The Walking Dead set. “The Big Zombie Tour” was hosted by a fellow named Charlie who played a zombie on the show with a featured kill, and an awesome tour operator named Patty. Charlie is the zombie in the beginning of season two that Daryl shoots in the eye with an arrow and guts in order to determine if he had eaten the missing Sophia.  It was evident that both Patty and Charlie love what they’re doing, and their enthusiasm and knowledge of The Walking Dead truly enhanced the tour.  Other Kristin also wrote an in-depth article about the specific places we visited which you can read about here.  If you’re interested in attending The Big Zombie Tour, you can book your trip on Atlanta Movie Tours website.  Trust me, if you love zombies, this is a tour that you cannot miss!  Below are some of my favorite photos we took during our trip!

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The Elements of a Perfect Saturday

It’s very rare that anyone wakes up in the morning and finds that everything is going their way, which is why I often try to do certain things to ensure that my day will be an enjoyable one.  Admittedly, I had a very rough week which is why I decided that I would try to rid myself of stress and fill my Saturday with activities that were sure to make me happy.  I started my day by waking up, showering, grabbing a treinta unsweetened green iced tea from Starbucks, and hopping on the next train to Manhattan about an hour and a half earlier than I had to.  I opted for iced tea despite the 19 degree weather my iPhone app warned me about because it’s my signature drink  and it’s one of the small things in life that I find truly delightful.  Adorned with my favorite pink scarf, I set out on my train ride and instead of reading as I usually do, I decided to listen to Tegan and Sara’s new album (and my current musical obsession) “Heartthrob.”  In fact, I tried to listen to it as I began writing this blog post, but alas, I spent more time singing than writing so I was forced to turn it off.  One of the reasons I am so drawn to this album, even more so than their previous ones, is because of the overall tone.  It’s very upbeat and each time I hear it all I want to do is sing at the top of my lungs and dance around.  Upon my first listen I fell deeply in love with it.  You can easily hear the inspiration they drew from the songs and sounds of the 80’s.  I really hope they tour in New York this year!  The reason I chose to arrive so much earlier than necessary is because one of my favorite things has always been to walk around New York City and clear my mind while enjoying a view of buildings.  Especially in the morning. Many folks believe that New York at night is the most beautiful sight, with all of it’s bright lights illuminating the skyline, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, on clear sunny days in the early morning, before the streets are overrun with people and you can clearly see all of the detailed architecture, New York is at it’s best.  One of my favorite authors Goethe, once described architecture as frozen music, and I have yet to find a better way to explain my love of each and every New York building I pass on morning walks.

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Along my walk I stopped at a few stores, mostly out of necessity, to warm up my hands because unfortunately I have a mental block against brining gloves with me when I leave my house.  I was meeting my friend Jamila for brunch on the Lower East Side where we were planning on discussing our blogs, sharing secrets, and strategizing for the futures of our sites.  We had such a wonderful brunch at an adorable little restaurant called El Camion.  I have to mention Jamilia’s fabulous outfit because it just the cutest!  She was wearing an Empire Strikes Back sweater, and Legend of Zelda red rupee earrings.  I think part of the reason we became fast friends is because we are both very passionate about incorporating geeky fashion elements into our wardrobes.  We bonded over our mutual love of Studio Ghibli, Scott Snyder’s Batman, our compulsive Etsy shopping habits, and of course Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga.  After brunch, we visited Toy Tokyo, where we were both barely able to resist all the fun toys they have to offer.  One day, I am determined to purchase the Harley Quinn NYCC exclusive Pullip doll, but for now, I’m saving every last penny so I can move sometime before my birthday in July!  But in the meantime, she’s fun to visit.  We continued our after brunch shopping by hitting up St. Mark’s Comics, GameStop (I helped confirm Jamila’s need to buy Ni No Kuni for PS3 and I myself picked up the Adventure Time game for Nintendo DS that I had been lusting after), Barnes & Noble, and Sephora to see their new Oz the Great and Powerful eyeshadow palettes from Urban Decay. Overall, we had an amazing time eating, shopping, and geeking out together.  I can’t wait to see her again!

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As soon as we parted ways, one of my best friends Giovanni, texted me because he was in the city to see all of the Oscar nominated shorts which were playing at the IFC Center.  I walked over from Union Square and met him just before the show was beginning because I too was anxious to see all of the nominees short films before the Oscars premiere.  I had only previously seen two of the shorts (“Paperman” and “Fresh Guacamole”) which remained being my two favorites after viewing them all.  I was so excited when the show started and we realized that it was hosted by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.  They are the two directors who created one of my favorite animated shorts ever (“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore“), and last years Oscar winners in the same category.  They showed a bit of animation from their short, and discussed the importance of having an idea, following through with that idea no matter how long it might take, and their personal emotions and reactions upon winning Oscars.  The Oscar nominated shorts we saw were “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare,'” “Adam and the Dog,” “Head Over Heels,” “Fresh Guacamole,” and “Paperman.”  The only short I didn’t care for was “Head Over Heels.”  Because the total time for all the films is rather short, they also screened some of the other notable films that were considered for being nominated.  I particularly loved the short entitled “Dripped,” which was an homage to Jackson Pollack through an animated art thief at large in New York City.  There was also a really beautiful sci-fi short called “Abiogenesis,” and a short featuring the voices of James Corden and Helena Bonham Carter based on a children’s book, called “The Gruffalo.”  Even after seeing all of the nominees, I’m still rooting for Paperman.  I was so inspired by the short after seeing it that I even made my own paper airplane marked with a red lipstick kiss.

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After our movie, it was back to Brooklyn where we watched a few other animated shorts by Pes (the creators of “Fresh Guacamole”) before meeting my best friend Melissa, her friend Mandy who was visiting for LA, and two more of their friends for some scrumptious dumplings.  Ever since I became a vegetarian, I have felt that there was a dim sum void in my life, but it was properly filled last night.  I indulged in vegetable shu mai, (which I didn’t even know existed!), vegetable dumplings, and scallion pancakes.  It was a delicious meal and I am definitely planning on frequenting M Shanghai’s for more Asian cuisine in the very near future.  On my way home, I ran into minor delays due to a track fire near 34th street, but even that could not put a damper on my day.  I picked up some more Starbucks, progress a little further in the current book I’m reading, and texted with my friend Chris, the talented guy behind my beautiful new blog design, while waiting for the next train.  I arrived home to find that my town was covered in a layer of snow, and my dad had been kind enough to go to the train station and clean off my car so I didn’t have to spend anymore time in the cold.  He’s seriously the best dad ever.  When we got back to the house my mom, dad, brother and I decided to have a quick glass of wine and sit in our living room recounting our days to one another.  It was the perfect ending to my pleasant and relaxing day!  Although I am uber sore today from the countless miles of city blocks I covered yesterday, I wouldn’t change a single thing about my day.  I hope everyone else is making sure to take time to do things that make them happy.  Sometimes I forget that I need to, but it’s days like yesterday that serve as a reminder to me that despite our busy schedules, it is really important to set aside time to do the things you find enjoyable.  Life is too short not to spend being happy!

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Jill’s 30th 80’s Party & the SoHo Hello Kitty Art Show

I’m still recovering from what was quite possibly one of the greatest weekends ever, but I had so much fun that I felt compelled to write a blog post about it before attempting to catch up on some sleep!  I only spent a total of 9 hours (including sleep) at my house this weekend but it was worth every minute!  As a long time LOTR and Hobbit fan I knew that I had to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on opening night.  I was overcome with joy at the thought of spending more time with Gandalf and seeing Bilbo’s adventure finally come to life, so I brought my plushies of Gandalf and Bilbo to snuggle with during the film.  But before heading to the theater, I unintentionally stalked my good friend Alan via Twitter who happened to be filming at Midtown Comics.  Melissa and I met him there to buy a graphic novel for Thursday’s Super Villains Comic Book Club and then stumbled into a Ricky’s to buy wigs for the next days festivities.  Before arriving at the theater we met the birthday girl, Jill, her boyfriend Brad, and one of my closest friends, Dan, at an adorable restaurant that was decorated beautifully for the holidays!  Next, we proceeded to stock up on movie snacks since we knew there was an almost 3 hour journey ahead of us.  We all agreed that the film was rather lengthy, but I really enjoyed it anyway.  I did not however enjoy the 48 frames per second 3D aspect of the movie.  It was just plain odd.  Everything looked too real so it was as if you were watching a documentary.  But I adored seeing Gandalf again, and Martin Freeman did a wonderful job playing Bilbo.  Plus Thorin is the hottest dwarf in Middle Earth.  But my favorite scene of the whole film was towards the end when Gollum and Bilbo were exchanging riddles.  The same scene in which Bilbo happens upon the ring.  I was pleased that the film was much more action packed than I was expecting, and I would really like to see The Hobbit again in 2D before it leaves theaters.
By the time I arrived home it was nearly 4:15 am but since I hadn’t eaten dinner/ wanted an excuse to stay up later and watch my current tv obsession, Adventure Time, I did just that.  By the time Jake and Finn finished saving entrapped princesses from the Ice King, I ended up getting close to four hours of sleep for the night.  I didn’t have much time to get ready and pack on Saturday before dashing back into NYC again for the main event of Jill’s birthday, an epic 80’s style prom, that would rival any John Hughes movie.  I tweeted on Saturday about how crazy my neighbors must think I am because I was seen dashing across my lawn in a Batman sweater and carrying high heels.  It was truly evident how much time and effort Jill put into organizing her party from her 80’s mix, which is the best soundtrack I’ve ever danced to, to the deliciously themed drinks (Pretty in Pinks, White Weddings, Return of the Jedi shots, and my personal favorite, Flux Capacitors), to the Save Ferris sign, and of course, the silly outfits we all decked ourselves out in!  Jill’s awesome brother Adam set up a photo station where we took 80’s style prom pics and plenty of other ridiculous photos.  I was also really excited to see Rachael who is one of the kindest and most genuine girls I’ve befriended this past year.  Below is a collection of some of my favorite photos from the night!  After the party a few of us headed to a dinner for a late night snack/ early breakfast, and then Melissa and I watched Bio-Dome before going to sleep.  At 5:30.  Again.
Then on Sunday, instead of spending the day resting before the work week started, I met up with two of the most awesome girls I know, Sarah and Lauren, and we roamed around NYC in the cold, misty rain.  First we stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes, and indulged in our favorite flavors while giggling and catching up on gossip.  Now that they’re both on their winter break from classes I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot more of them :o)  But our main goal for the day, which we achieved, was going to the Hello Kitty art show in SoHo.  They had a bunch of gorgeous paintings by a wide variety of artists.  My favorite was the Simone Legno print.  Simone is the designer for Tokidoki and i simply adore each and every one of his creations.  A close second was the superhero style Hello Kitty and a rock and roll style painting which made Hello Kitty resemble Adventure Time‘s Fiona.  While we were there we saw a girl outfitted in a Christmas style Lolita ensemble, and a giant Hello Kitty cosplayer.  Even though we had been trudging through the rain we couldn’t resist taking our picture with them by the Hello Kitty Christmas tree.  We also met the artist Tara McPherson and had her sign bookmarks for us.  Afterwards, it was back to wandering around in the cold rain and visiting random SoHo boutiques in search of Christmas presents.  Then we had a delightful dinner at Red Bamboo, a vegan restaurant in the East Village, where we drank shirley temples and conversed about the Star Wars expanded universe and all of the endless possibilities Disney has for expanding the franchise even further.  We were having such a great time that none of us wanted to leave, but alas, the Dexter season finale was premiering at 9 and since Lauren and I are avid fans we had to be home in time.  I won’t say anything just yet since the episode only aired last night, but it was mind blowing.  I am so pleased with the way this season has turned out after the lackluster sixth season.
I’m so happy that I was able to see so many of the people and I and care about just before the holidays.  Plus walking around Manhattan during Christmastime is pure magic.  And cupcakes.  Cupcakes make the world a better place.  I hope everyone else had a great weekend as well!  One one more week until Christmas! Wheeee!
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I’m Happy Just Because

Do you ever just wake up and find yourself in a crazy random (awesome) mood?  This happens to me A LOT.  Like a lot, a lot.  It happened today.  I meant to spend my day doing productive things like writing blog posts and tons of other adult-like real people things.  But I didn’t.  What I did do was buy a purple wig.  It’s from the same company that Melissa and I bought our New York Comic Con wigs from.  It’s purpley and magical and will match my galaxy leggings.  I love wigs.  After that I decided to run around my room in a hot pink wig that I already own and pretend to be an airplane while straightening my room.  Why?  I have no idea.  And that’s right.  I spent much of Hurricane Sandy and the snowstorm cleaning and organizing my room and it’s already a little messy again.  What a failure!  I’ve also spent much of my day scouring the internet for a pink handbag that has a giant bow on it.  Sadly after looking through 20 pages of products on ebay, I was devastated to find that most pink bow handbags are actually made for Barbie dolls.  Wtf?  Anyway, my next order of business was finding a gif maker online.  I thought it would be entertaining to make a gif set of myself from the video I used to audition for a reality show this one time.   I actually got picked to be on it but they keep having production setbacks so I’m still not sure if it will actually happen.  Either way, I’ll be happy<3  Oh wait come to think of it, I already was on one reality show.  It was on TLC and it was called Geek Love.  This one (if it gets made) will also be geek-centric, but I digress.  The next unproductive topic I tackled was to sit at my laptop and think about how unfair it is that Sailor Moon and Sabrina the Teenage Witch have talking cats and I do not.  At least I had a gingerbread latte while I contemplated what my cat and I would talk about.  Well, that’s two blog posts in one day which is probably crazy.  GTG read some Batman comics and listen to Bright Eyes until The Walking Dead starts!  What have you been doing on this unseasonably warm November Sunday? Hope you like my gif.  Byeeeeeee.

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