Yesterday morning Andrew and I braved the below freezing cold weather and headed to Washington Square Park before work because we found out that one of our favorite authors would be there handing out free books. The author in question is Neil Gaiman (*heart pounds* *arm flails* *Sailor Moon heart eyes*). On top of Neil being there, Daniel Handler, the author better known as Lemony Snicket, was also in tow for the event which was held by The National Book Foundation. The Great Book Giveaway was a contest in which Neil Gaiman and Lemony Snicket would spend 30 minutes competing to hand out the most free books of their own and those nominated for the 2014 National Book Awards.
Two brilliant authors in one Manhattan park? TOTALLY worth the loss of sleep and feeling in our extremities. We arrived around 7:50AM and were handed numbers (60 and 61!) to wait in line for our chance to meet and greet the mastermind who’s changed both of our lives (side note: a mutual love of Neil Gaiman is one of the reasons Andrew and I started dating). After getting our numbers, we headed to Starbucks for a quick hot beverage to combat the cold (another side note: I tried the new Chestnut Praline latte from Starbucks and it was scrumptious! I’ll definitely be grabbing another one this season) and a warm buttery croissant to fill our empty stomachs. As we walked back to get on the line which was now long enough to circle an entire New York City avenue, Neil Gaiman and Lemony Snicket walked RIGHT BY US. So. Much. Excitement.
The line moved fairly quickly and the closer we got, the higher my already inflated energy level climbed! I got a copy The Graveyard Book Volume 1 graphic novel which was adapted by P. Craig Russell, a big hug, a photo and an everlasting memory! Andrew let Neil choose his book for him and he ended up with a copy of a graphic novel nominated for a book award called Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? I had a wonderful time despite the 20 degree weather and having to wear multiple pairs of leggings yet still losing feeling in many places on my body and then being in pain from coldness once I re-entered the warmth of the subway. Also enjoyable were the fall foliage and architecture of Washington Square Park. Yay books!
This week’s 5 Fandom Friday topic is “Comfort Foods that Always Make Me Feel Better.” In a surprise to no one, my list includes some of my favorite desserts- cupcakes and ice cream, and my two biggest comfort meal foods- pizza and bagels (but, very importantly, only from New York). If this were a favorite foods list, sushi would be in there somewhere too.
1) New York Bagels – I remember being in elementary school and counting down the days each week until it would finally be Wednesday and I could finally enjoy a bagel. I don’t eat them as often as I used to (which is a shame since I’m now living and working in NYC, the bagel capital of the world)
2) Starbucks Zen Tazo Tea – My body basically runs on Zen Tazo tea. I have about 3-4 20oz cups of it each day at work and sometimes I’ll even spring for an additional cup at night. I like that the Zen tea isn’t a straight green tea. It blends lemongrass, and spearmint as well which makes for an irresistible flavor.
3) Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns or Candy Bar Pie – The Ben & Jerry’s Candy Bar Pie is a recent addition to my list but it is seriously the PERFECT ice cream. It’s the exact right combination of sweet and salty and I could eat container after container. I particularly love enjoying it while watching Netflix so it’s kind of a double comfort food. Cinnamon Buns has always been one of my favorite flavors Ben & Jerry’s consistently produces. It has cinnamon bun dough chunks, and a cinnamon swirl all mixed in with caramel flavored ice cream. Delish!
4) Cupcakes – Also living in NYC, I have a pretty wide selection of bakeries to buy cupcakes from when the craving strikes. If I’m in the mood for something small and sweet I would head to Baked by Melissa for chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. If I want a flavorful full sized treat, my first instinct is to head to SoHo for Georgetown Cupcakes. I especially love their Key Lime flavor. And lastly, if I want a classic vanilla cupcake, I’ll hit up Magnolia for buttercream goodness.
5) New York Pizza – The first thing I do whenever I land home in New York after going on vacation is to make it a priority to eat a slice of pizza, no matter how late or early I arrive. I made the mistake of ordering pizza in a few other states (the only one that was okay-ish IMO is Chicago), and there’s just nothing that compares. Andrew and I also have designated Sunday as pizza and video game day so I look forward to it every week!
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
November 7th: Comfort Foods That Always Make Me Feel Better
November 14th: Smart Phone Apps I Cannot Live Without
November 21st: Characters I Would Invite To My Thanksgiving Feast
November 28th: Black Friday Purchases I Would Sacrifice A Night Of Sleep For
Baltimore Comic Con is once again my favorite convention of the year. Each convention has a specific focus and personality to it and Baltimore’s is strictly comics. I was so pleased to see how much the convention had grown in only one year. There were plenty more people in attendance this year than there were last year, but even still the floor was not unmanageable to walk around. There were definite crowds in some areas, but the floor is set up with enough space between aisles that there isn’t ever a major human traffic jam. One of the reasons I love Baltimore so much is because all of the creators are so easily accessible. This year the two longest lines I waited in were to buy artwork from Amanda Conner, and the Starbucks line. But to talk to Brian Bolland, the creator of one of the most infamous and terrifying images, depicting the Joker peering out from behind his camera with that eerie over exaggerated smile, I waited for MAYBE three minutes.
I spent the overwhelming majority of my convention time walking around with Amy, who I absolutely adore. The first day of the con Amy dressed as Princess Amethyst of Gemworld, and I was dressed as a casual Stephanie Brown Robin. We were able to walk the entire floor in less than one day, but we spent a lot of time perusing through artist portfolios and Amy was in search of artists to draw in her new Daredevil themed sketchbook. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money we spent between the two of us. We also visited our friend Stephanie at Bill Willingham’s table and she entertained us with stories about cats. Then we followed her into the two hour long Fables panel which I’m going to recap very soon for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink. Amy and I walked into the panel slightly late and in the same door and time as Shelly Bond (executive editor for Vertigo Comics), so we were pointed at by everyone on the panel and stared at by the attendees while we tried to move across the room as quickly as Barry Allen to find seats and get out of that awkward situation. After the panel we went back to the floor and (shocker) bought more art. I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Fay and Rich Bernatovech who I were drawn to because of their incredible artwork. I bought a bunch of things from them including their complete Sentinels series, and I just finished reading their current series, Neverminds, which I totally love and am going to write a separate blog post about.
Remember how I said the other longest line I waited in was for Amanda Conner? Well that was because she already had prints with her from the upcoming Harley Quinn series her and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti are working on. And Harley looks beautiful. I’m really happy that I decided to commit and brave the long line because when I went to see Amanda on Sunday she was completely sold out of Harley. I also picked up Supergirl, and Black Cat prints from her as well. And if she’s coming to NYCC (which I’m pretty sure she is), there were Catwoman and Wonder Woman prints I had my eye on. Other artists we saw and purchased prints from were Chrissie Zullo, Sean Gordon Murphy, Chris Samnee, and Franco. I was disappointed that Cliff Chiang had to cancel last minute, but hopefully he’ll be at NYCC as well. I also bought a bunch of older DC trades for 50% off and a Marvel holiday trade (because the cover has Spider-Man wearing a Santa hat, insta-buy) at the same booth I purchased trades at last year. If it weren’t for the kindness of Amy’s fiance Thom Zahler, and his table mate Paul Storrie (who I also bought a really cool comic from called Robyn of Sherwood about Robinhood’s daughter), I might’ve ended up breaking my back and needing medical attention (which I how I felt on my commute back to NY).
I had woken up at 3AM for my commute to Baltimore so I was pretty lame on Saturday night and instead of hanging out in the hotel bar and drinking with my friends I decided to stay in my hotel room and read some more of my book before I called it a night. I know, such an exciting life I lead! Still, I started Sunday morning off with an iced Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte and I spent the 45 minutes in line catching up with fellow New Yorker, Heidi MacDonald, who runs Comics Beat before the panel she was moderating. Sunday is the big cosplay day of Baltimore because there’s a huge costume contest held for all the attendees. I spent Sunday morning photographing my favorites (including these DC Aquaman/Mera and Green Lantern/Star Sapphire couples). Afterwards, Amy and I (who dressed as ourselves for the day), attended another panel called Genderizing Comic Books which was moderated by Christy Blanch, who I totally want to be when I grow up. She was so inspiring and full of fascinating Superman stories I hadn’t ever known existed. Her panel was very engaging and interactive, and it was clear the entire audience was captivated by her wisdom. Amy and I had the longest talk with her after the panel and she told us all about her new comic book shop which I’d basically do anything for a chance to visit. Then we popped back over to see Steph before she had to rush off to the airport back to Canada land. And then we too were on our way back home. I’m so happy I was able to spend the weekend with Amy. We’ve been internet friends for a while but we hadn’t ever gotten to spend so much one on one time together! I’m sure there are other highlights I’m probably forgetting from this whirlwind of a weekend because I definitely haven’t caught up on sleep just yet. But, I’m not planning on getting much sleep anyway until after Fangasm premieres which I cannot believe is only two weeks away! SO EXCITING!
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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.
Q: What do a Doctor Who bar, Looper
, a Zombie Walk, Mean Girls
, and Left 4 Dead
all have in common? A: They were all contributing elements to my fabulous weekend! And what’s even better is that 1) it’s not yet over, and 2) NEW YORK COMIC CON STARTS THIS WEEK! After a stressful day at work on Friday, I was forced to employ my Speed Racette driving techniques to ensure I made my train into Manhattan. Seriously, I need to move there ASAP so I can avoid these types of close calls! First on the agenda was to see the movie Looper
, staring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. I had been wanting to see it since the movie trailer was released because besides the obvious reason (JGL), time travel is my absolute favorite sci-fi subject to explore in movies, novels, television, and *crosses fingers* hopefully IRL one day. After a brief mishap with the ticket machine (aka Melissa
& I’s first blonde moment of the weekend), we purchased our movie snacks and headed into the theater. It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and thankfully the concession stand at the theater was able to satisfy my major Sour Patch Kids craving. Overall I really enjoyed Looper
. I’m thinking about writing a full review of it for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink
sometime this week if I can find the time between all of my NYCC planning. I was excited to see that Paul Dano had a small part in the film. I’ve loved him since I saw him in Little Miss Sunshine
, and I’ve been following his film career ever since. Immediately following the movie, we were planning on going to the Bottleneck Gallery for their Zombie Art Gallery opening, but since we have all month to view it, we opted instead to head over to The Way Station.
It was my first time going to the famed Brooklyn Doctor Who bar and I had a blast! I will definitely be going back there the first chance I get. Melissa and I decided to do a quick photo shoot in the bathroom with all of the fun paintings on walls. Tom Baker’s scarf lines the wall, Matt Smith’s signature is framed above the toilet, there are Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, K9, and more, all are enclosed in a TARDIS which is definitely bigger on the inside. The bar even has Doctor Who themed drinks (we stuck to River’s Red Setting which is a mix of Absolut Citron, Orange Juice and Grenadine), and they also have a supply of Sonic Screwdrivers. At the bar we met a nice group of guys, one of which was body painted silver (the photo below is super blurry, but you get the idea!), and another that appeared to be cosplaying as David Tenant, although when Melissa inquired, he informed us that those were his normal clothes. But the fun did not stop there! After The Way Station, we headed back to Melissa’s lovely apartment and then proceeded to play Left 4 Dead until 3:35 AM. It was my first time playing Xbox, so Melissa was giving me tutorials and tips on shooter games. We spent hours taking out zombies and I can definitely say that Xbox is at the very top of my wish list. (The limited Star Wars edition Xbox that I mentioned in my last post =^.^=). After we successfully slayed said virtual zombies, we knew we had a long day ahead of us on Saturday but we opted to watch Mean Girls anyway. It was so much fun to watch it with some else who also knows all of the words!
After a night of 2 hours of sleep, I woke up Saturday morning, took a train home, and had just enough time to shower before driving back to the train station. Normally it’s my train rides home from NYC where my comic reading is interrupted by drunken club goers, but as soon as I boarded my 11:54 AM train it was evident that Irish Day was being celebrated by the rest of the Long Islanders. Leave it to me to be the outcast in the Imperial logo tank while everyone else was sporting kelly green and Irish accents. Luckily I survived my commute and was going to have to re-read everything I began anyway due my lack of sleep. So as everyone knows, my first stop in Penn Station was to acquire my obligatory Treinta Unsweetened Green Iced Tea from Starbucks, and some pumpkin bread for good measure. The walk was in Asbury Park in NJ, so I met up with Mel and we hopped our next train to New Brunswick where we were greeted by Cassie
. Our next stop was the Halloween store where we tried on numerous costumes before finally settling on our final choices. I ended up choosing to go as a Zombie version of Jem, the infamous animated front woman of Jem and the Holograms, while Cassie dressed as a Zombie Slytherin, and Melissa as a Zombie Chucky doll. We headed back to Cassie’s where we bloodied ourselves up and then drove down to Asbury to join the herd of walkers and our friend Kim
her fiancé Xander
, and their friend Eric.
We roamed around town a bit, did some quick shopping at the booths set up by the boardwalk, and ran down the beach for a bit! We missed the Zombie Thriller dance due to our tardiness, but hey, transforming into a zombie is no easy task. We saw some very clever costumes while we were walking around, but my favorite was a group of people who were LARPing in the food court as the characters from the video game (Left 4 Dead
) I had just played on Friday night! We basically froze the entire time we were there which reminded me to start perusing ModCloth for new winter coats! I was so cold the entire time we were waiting for our train back to NY that I couldn’t even tweet or text correctly. Which made me even happier to think that in a few short weeks I’ll be in a much warmer climate when I visit Kristin
in Florida. Yesterday I spent the majority of my day curled up in my bed watching The Vampire Diaries,
which is one of my new television obsessions. I had never caught any of the episodes before but I took a twitter poll a few weeks ago and I received overwhelmingly positive responses from all who replied. My verdict has been the same as what everyone forewarned. The first few episodes are kind of silly and Twilight-esque, but by episode 5 they find a great action packed stride. I’m going to start DVR’ing the current season in the hopes that I’ll catch up soon, although that may just be wishful thinking with all of the events I have lined up in October.
I’m planning on trying to start writing some more blog posts throughout the week which won’t only recap the events I’ve been attending, but will also give an inside look into what I’m currently reading, watching, listening to, and just loving in general. I may also put together some fun cosplays to blog about, and some fun personal top 10 lists of my own. Is there anything specific that you guys want to see? Let me know in the comments section, on twitter, or send me a message on my tumblr! But anyway, I must go get ready for the New York BlackMilk meet up! First we’ll be doing a photo shoot in Central Park and then eating dinner with JL & Handsome Cam at a swanky Italian restaurant. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the East Coast sharkies!
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