5 Fandom Friday: Holiday Recommendations

For this week’s 5 Fandom Friday I decided to throw together a little hodgepodge of my favorite holiday recommendations in 5 different categories.  I’m going to be doing a book specific holiday recommendations post next week so I thought it would be nice to compile my top favorite favorites here today.

5 Fandom Friday

1) Book – My True Love Gave To Me – This book is full of short stories set during the holidays.  It’s perfect to read during the season when you can’t devote as much time to reading a full blown novel.  I read it last year and really enjoyed it and I’m planning on re-reading it this year and writing a full review of each tale!

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2) Cookie – Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – My mom makes these every year and I have never been able to resist them when they’re just sitting there on our table basically begging to be eaten.  It’s essentially a shortbread cookie with a scoop of raspberry jam in the middle.  I’m a sucker for raspberry anything so these have always been my holiday favorite!

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3) Drink – Gluhwein – It’s been a tradition in my family since long before I was born for my grandfather to make a huge batch of gluhwein.  It’s a mulled wine (full of tons of liquor) and can be garnished with a cinnamon stick or orange slices. It’s so delightful to warm up a cup on a freezing cold winter night and sip it while reading or watching tv.  Luckily, my grandfather has been teaching my dad and brother to brew his version for the past few years so the recipe will continue to be passed down throughout our family.

Two glasses of  mulled wine on german christkindl markt

 4) Song – Baby It’s Cold Outside – I just adore this song.  Paticularly, the She & Him version.  I play this on repeat without ever feeling the slightest bit sick of it and I love singing along and switching parts or singing both by myself if I’m alone.  Zooey’s vocals are so beautiful<3

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5) Movie – Elf – Elf is one holiday movie that I watch year round.  I love everything about it! The humor, the positive Christmas spirit message it sends and obviously Buddy’s enthusiasm and eating habits.  Andrew and I have been quoting Elf to each other since we met (a sure sign of true love if you ask me).

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BONUS

Decorations – Rolf’s – Andrew and I went to Rolf’s for the first time last year.  We spent at least 1.5 hours (it honestly could’ve been more) waiting outside in the freezing cold December weather just for the opportunity to get inside.  Rolf’s takes Christmas decorations to a whole other level.  It’s like Christmas exploded inside.  Plus, there’s gluhwein!  We’re definitely planning on going back this year because despite the wait, the experience was just perfect.

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Kristin

My Bucket List

I love the idea of having a published Bucket List to reference when I’m planning future events and reflecting back on the past.  Kristina Horner published a bucket list on her blog and it inspired me to type out my own so I can focus on making sure I accomplish as many of the things I want to do during my lifetime.  I’ll be writing posts about the things I do and even flashing back to some things I’ve already experienced but were always a part of my list.  What’s on your bucket list?

  1. Visit Harry Potter World in Orlando
  2. Live in New York City
  3. Meet JK Rowling
  4. Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
  5. Tour Studio Ghibli
  6. Lord of the Rings Tour in New Zealand
  7. Attend the Yule Ball
  8. Visit all of the Canadian locations in Scott Pilgrim
  9. Disneyland in Paris
  10. Disneyland in Tokyo
  11. Visit Club 33 at Disneyland
  12. Sakura Matsuri in Japan
  13. Attend Sleep No More
  14. Wine tasting in Napa Valley
  15. Publish a novel
  16. Own a pink KitchenAid mixer
  17. Drink champagne in front of the Eiffel Tower
  18. Cultivate and maintain a garden
  19. Go to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
  20. Learn to French braid hair
  21. The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff
  22. See the Chicago Bean
  23. Go pumpkin picking
  24. See Shakespeare in the Park
  25. Go on a Jack the Ripper Tour in London
  26. Learn how to bake French macarons
  27. See the Yayoi Kusama exhibit
  28. Go skiing
  29. Go to Coachella
  30. Go to The Louvre
  31. Stroll through Central Park in the fall
  32. Complete NaNoWriMo
  33. Sakura Matsuri in NYC
  34. Stay in the Library Hotel in NYC in the Fairy Tale room
  35. Tour NASA
  36. Ride a train across the country
  37. Stargaze on the Highline
  38. See Stonehenge
  39. Kiss Andrew atop the Eiffel Tower
  40. Go apple picking
  41. See the Northern Lights
  42. Watch a sunset on a beach
  43. Go to all 50 states
  44. Climb a lighthouse
  45. Create a board game
  46. Fly in a private jet
  47. Meet R.L. Stine
  48. See the Acropolis in Greece
  49. Stand on the Equator
  50. Visit The Globe Theater in London
  51. Visit YouTube Studios
  52. Go strawberry picking
  53. Customize toys
  54. Carve Andrew and I’s initials into a tree
  55. Attend the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
  56. Get married
  57. Kiss Andrew in front of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center
  58. Visit NBC’s Rainbow Room and Observation Deck
  59. Attend a live taping of SNL
  60. Attend a live recording of Welcome to Night Vale
  61. Tour Pixar
  62. Tour Nintendo
  63. Meet George Lucas
  64. Tour Google
  65. Attend BlogHer
  66. Drink at the Met’s rooftop bar
  67. Learn how to use photoshop
  68. Visit the Glow Worm Caves
  69. See the Hollywood sign
  70. Attend a movie premiere with a red carpet
  71. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
  72. Meet Michio Kaku
  73. Own a pair of Christian Louboutins
  74. Own a Chanel purse
  75. Style a fashion shoot
  76. Be styled for a fashion shoot by a celebrity stylist
  77. Attend an outdoor concert at Jones Beach
  78. Attend a farewell concert for a band I love
  79. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
  80. Be thanked in the acknowledgements of a published book
  81. Meet Neil Gaiman
  82. Meet Stan Lee
  83. Get a Sandman tattoo
  84. Fall in love
  85. Help out at a fashion show
  86. Get published
  87. Be on a television show
  88. Be made fun of by Joel McHale on The Soup
  89. Have an IMDB page
  90. Speak on a panel at a convention
  91. Moderate a panel at a convention
  92. Live in Los Angeles
  93. Read all of the books I own
  94. Get a Harry Potter tattoo
  95. Attend San Diego Comic Con
  96. Attend Star Wars Celebration
  97. Attend Book Expo America
  98. Walk and shop along the Champs-Élysées
  99. See a show at the Moulin Rouge
  100. See the Cirque de Soleil Beatles LOVE show in Las Vegas
  101. Drink gluhwein at Rolph’s during Christmas season
  102. Go to the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball in LA
  103. Buy a vintage typewriter
  104. Visit The Last Bookstore in LA
  105. The Walking Dead Tour in Atlanta
  106. Visit Powell’s Bookstore in Portland
  107. Visit the Space Needle in Seattle
  108. Attend an event in the Great Hall at Whimsic Alley
  109. Visit the castle in Scotland that Hogwarts was based on
  110. Go to Star Wars Weekends at Disney
  111. Meet Peter Jackson
  112. Go to a Renaissance Faire
  113. Attend the Holi Festival in NYC
  114. Take a photo in front of the mirror fence at Storm King

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5 Fandom Friday: The Albums That Made Me Fall In Love With Music In High School

I’ve always enjoyed music very much but it wasn’t until high school and the days of Napster and Lime Wire that I truly fell in love with it.  Through these new sites I was able to discover new bands and listen to music other than what was on the radio or MTV (you know, when MTV still played music videos) or the CDs my parents owned.  I felt like I had found music that was all mine.  My friend Lauren and I would burn CDs together and just hang out and listen to music for HOURS.  It was awesome.  I would create my own fonts and draw full pages of lyrics in shapes of hearts and balloons and such while I probably should’ve been paying attention in class.  This is the music that got me to start regularly attending and enjoying shows.  While my tastes have certainly refined since the good ole days of high school, I can still sing the lyrics to every song on every album I mention below.  Actually, I’m getting pretty nostalgic just listening to all these songs now<3  Oops, my 5 Fandom Friday is mega-sized this week.  I just couldn’t cut it down, so happy 12 fandom Friday!

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The Starting Line: Say it Like You Mean It – Favorite song: Best of Me

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Saves the Day: Stay What You Are – Favorite Song: At Your Funeral

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Taking Back Sunday: Tell All Your Friends – Favorite Songs: Cute Without the ‘e’ (Cut From the Team), You’re So Last Summer

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Brand New: Your Favorite Weapon Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, Seventy Times 7, Soco Amaretto Lime

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Brand New: Déjà EntenduSic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades, The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows, Guernica

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Fall Out Boy: Take This To Your Grave – Favorite Songs: Dead on Arrival, Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy, Chicago is so Two Years Ago

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Fall Out Boy: From Under The Cork Tree – Favorite Songs: Of All the Gin Joints in the World, Dance Dance, A Little Less Sixteen Candles A Little More Touch Me

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Something Corporate: Leaving Through the Window – Favorite Songs: Punk Rock Princess, I Want To Save You, Fall, Drunk Girl

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Something Corporate: North – Favorite Songs: As Your Sleep, Space

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Panic at the Disco!: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out – Favorite Songs: There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of it Yet, Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Off Her Clothes, Build God Then We’ll Talk

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Motion City Soundtrack: Commit This to Memory – Favorite Songs: Attractive Today, Everything is Alright, Make Out Kids, L.G. FUAD

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The All-American Rejects (Self Titled) – Favorite Songs: Swing, Swing, My Paper Heart

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PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS

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January 23rd – Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th – Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own
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February 6th – Favorite Funko Pop Figures
February 13th – Favorite Fictional Couples I Ship (Valentine’s Day)
February 20th – Things I’ve Bought But Haven’t Read/Watched/Played Yet
February 27th – Characters I Would Name My Kids After
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March 6th – Favorite Snacks/Drinks To Consume While Blogging
March 13th – My Fictional BFF’s
March 20th – My Comfort Films

March 27th – One Fandom Item Styled Five Different Ways

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5 Fandom Friday: My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year.  In fact, I attempt to celebrate Christmas for about 5 months of the year (as soon as my birthday is over on July 23rd, it’s officially Christmas season in my heart), but sadly, there are many people who do not share my enthusiasm and they try to break my spirit by reminding me of Halloween and Thanksgiving and yada yada yada.  Now that it’s December and my attempts to spread holiday cheer are met more kindly, Megan and I decided to include our favorite holiday songs as the 5 Fandom Friday topic of the week.  Because as a wise man (Buddy the Elf) once said, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

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1) Baby it’s Cold Outside by She & Him – I absolutely ADORE this song.  I know all the words because I’ve listened to it on repeat since the She & Him Christmas album debuted.  Fun fact: one of my coworkers even called me out for blasting it too loudly in my car one morning when I was arriving.  I especially LOVE the animated video they released to go along with the song.  It’s so whimsical and Christmasy!

2) The Entire Beach Boys Christmas Album – I have SUCH fond memories of decorating my Christmas tree and having a sing-along to this album with my family.  Many of the tracks are unique and non-traditional tunes written and performed by the Beach Boys and I LOVE THEM ALL.  My two album favorites are ‘Little Saint Nick’ and ‘The Man With All the Toys.’

3) Christmas Unicorn by Sufjan Stevens – The title of this song is CHRISTMAS UNICORN and it’s performed by Sufjan Stevens.  Enough said.

4) Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas Album – This is another album that was always in the Christmas decorating rotation in my family.  I love how Alvin never seems to pay attention when they’re supposed to be signing.  I think many people may find their voices slightly annoying but I just loved growing up hearing their songs and hearing Alvin get yelled at by his dad that I had to include it on my list!

5) All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey – When I was in high school, my best friend Amanda and I used to drive around aimlessly with no destination in mind and BLAST this song.  Even if it wasn’t anywhere near Christmas season, it was always a song we could agree on and it’s SO much fun to belt out at the top of your lungs!

6) The Christmas Song by Idina Menzel – This song is an honorable mention since Idina Menzel’s Christmas album just came out and I don’t have any memories to share about it just yet.  But OMG Idina’s voice is always so so beautiful<3

What are your favorite holiday songs?  Don’t forget to add your link to the collection below!

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PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS

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December 5th – My Favorite Holiday Songs To Spread Cheer
December 12th – Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me
December 19th – My Must See List of Christmas Movies
December 26th – New Years Blogging Resolutions
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January 2nd – New Years Fandom Resolutions
January 9th – My Favorite Things About Winter
January 16th – Conventions I’ve Been To Or Wish To Attend
January 23rd – Songs That Changed My Life
January 30th – Favorite Fandom Accessories I Own
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The Best 16 Albums of 2013

Music is one of those things that I’m really into.  That might sound like a ridiculous statement but I once met a girl who said she “just wasn’t really into music.” Any music.  I asked incessantly for even one song she liked and she was never provide a response.  It was one of the weirdest conversations I’ve ever had and obviously I was very (rightfully) skeptical of her afterwards.  Music can completely change your entire day and alter your mood for the better depending on what you choose to listen to.  While I was living in California to film Fangasm, one of the hardest restrictions was that we weren’t allowed to listen to music.  They confiscated our iPod’s and iPhone’s the day we got there and we didn’t see them again until the day we flew back home.  Music is a huge part of my life and one of the first things I did when I returned home was catch up on all I missed in the months I was away.  So fear not, my best of 2013 list encompasses all the best music this year and not just the music that came out while I had access to music.

1616. Duckspeak – Haunts

Favorite Track: Discovering Oceans

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15. Anamanaguchi – Endless Fantasy

Favorite Track: Japan Air

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14. Deerhunter – Monomania

Favorite Track: Back to the Middle

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13. Dr. Dog – B-Room

Favorite Track: Broken Heart

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12. Lucius – Wildewoman

Favorite Track: Turn It Around

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11. Savages – Silence Yourself

Favorite Track: Shut Up1

10. Of Montreal – Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Favorite Track: Belle Glade Missionaries

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9. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual

Favorite Track: Full of Fire

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8. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Favorite Track: Doin’ It Right (featuring Panda Bear)
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7. Arctic Monkeys – AM

Favorite Track: Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

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6. Haim – Days Are Gone

Favorite Track: Forever

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5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – The Speed of Things

Favorite Track: Beautiful Dream

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4. Tegan And Sara – Heartthrob

Favorite Track: Goodbye, Goodbye

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3. Summer Camp – Summer Camp

Favorite Track: Fresh

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2. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

Favorite Track: Gun

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1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Favorite Track: Here Comes the Night Time

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The Fifth Beatle By Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson & Kyle Baker Review

I read The Fifth Beatle by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson & Kyle Baker on the recommendation of my friend Clayton and boy am I forever grateful.  The Fifth Beatle is the true untold true tale of Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager who spent his life busting his bum turning an ordinary group of boys from Liverpool into an international success story- bigger than Elvis Presley.  Epstein wholeheartedly believed in The Beatles and he poured his soul into building their image and preparing for their success even before they had achieved it.  If it weren’t for Epstein, we wouldn’t know of The Beatles, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to enjoy the legacy they’ve left behind to this very day.  But while The Beatles’ story is well known, Epstein’s has remained a mystery to the general public until now.  Ambitious, persistent, wildly successful, and empty are the best adjectives to describe Epstein.  On the outside, he has it all, but his personal life is full of struggle. The Beatles are known for signing “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” and after reading Tiwary, Robinson and Baker’s retelling of Epstein’s story, it seems like the song embodies some of his personal woes.

“Mythology is better and more fondly remembered than history.  It’s more entertaining so we create legends rather than recount truths.”

The book uses a matador fighting to the death against bulls as a metaphor for every aspect of Epstein’s life.  He spent his life fighting for success (for The Beatles, and several other entertainers), fighting stereotypes (being Jewish during an anti-Semitic time), fighting to find love (at a time when homosexuals were imprisoned in England because it was considered illegal), and never once losing the drive to succeed despite all the odds being against him.  It explores his insecurities, his personal relationships, the evolution of his interaction with the band, his friendly meetings with the band’s lawyer, and his intriguing experiences with his peers in the entertainment industry.  The artwork and colors evolve throughout the story to reflect Brian’s professional and emotional progression. The visual alterations from scene to scene offer a pleasing depiction of the changes Epstein is experiencing both internally and within society.

“Well the truth always gets outed. Eventually. Only when it becomes more sensational than the myth.”

I became so involved in the story that I read it in its entirety in one sitting.  I even got teary eyed at the end which is a thing that rarely ever happens.  One of my favorite lines is when the lawyer tells Epstein “if you weren’t so damn British, Brian, I’d say you were the American dream!”  Arguably, the most important theme in Epstein’s story is love. The lack of love in his romantic life is largely responsible for igniting Brian’s need for professional fulfillment to accomplish things that had never even been dreamed of in the past.  The irony of the story is that while Brian never found love himself, he made love possible for so many other people.  Epstein left the world a better and brighter place than he found it.  You can watch the book trailer for The Fifth Beatle here, and you can purchase your own hardcover copy or hardcover collector’s edition on Amazon or in your local comic book shop.  And remember, love is all you need<3

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Scott Pilgrim Vs. My Closet

After careful consideration I decided to take the weekend off (after the Midtown Comics Book Club and an early morning movie screening), and spend the remainder of Saturday and Sunday at my house being productive and such.  Since my closet/room/life, etc. is in a perpetual state of chaos, it felt like the perfect time to attempt to tackle a portion of the disarray. I had already consumed brunch, dropped my brother off at the train station, and picked up my treinta unsweetened green iced tea from Starbucks, so the only pre-cleaning task that remained was choosing the perfect film to keep me company.  The obvious choice was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  My love for Scott, Ramona, and co., has never wavered, but ever since the color editions of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s beloved series started being released, I’ve found myself re-immersed in all things Scott Pilgrim.  I’ve been saying for ages that I’ve been dreaming of cosplaying Envy Adams, lead singer of The Clash at Demonhead, Scott’s ex-girlfriend, and the current love interest of Ramona’s vegan ex-bf, Todd Ingram.  Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness has always been one of my favorite volumes in the series, mainly because of Envy.  I’m drawn to Envy for many reasons; 1) her 100% percent rating, 2) she’s a fellow blogger (Knives is not-so-surprisingly one of her devoted fans), 3) her voluminous hair and impeccable sense of style, 4) she’s the lead singer in a super famous band that played with The Pixies, and 5) she has great taste in men (obviously).  While I was enjoying the sounds of Sex Bob-omb and cleaning my closet, I realized I already owned the only two items of clothing and few pieces of jewelry needed to cosplay as the movie version of Envy Adams.  And so my Sunday morphed into an impromptu cosplay day while dancing around my room to Metric.

Envy1

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And just for good measure, I had to pic-stitch at least one photo of me as Envy and Melissa as Ramona<3

Envy:Ramona

Here are several more of my favorite cosplaying friends.  I can only hope that we’ll all reprise our roles one day for a major Scott Pilgrim photo shoot.  (Ages: Vary, Ratings: AWESOME.)

San DiegoBetty Felon & Alicia Wood as Ramona Flowers & Roxy Richter

Door to sky

Lauren Moran as Ramona Flowers

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 7.24.34 PMGiovanni Colantonio as Gideon Graves interviewing Scott Snyder

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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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