Posted in Geek Out

My Trip to NY

Once a year for the past five years, I’ve visited New York (stayed on Long Island, took the train in to NYC as often as possible) to visit some of my boyfriend’s family. Coincidentally, his family lives a short car or train ride away from one of my best friends of thirteen years, fellow agented writer and one of my beta readers, Melissa. So it’s been a lot of fun making time to hang out with her when I visit–although this is the first year we met as two agented authors!

And speaking of agents, I met mine for the first time, the very kind Jason Yarn, who picked out a chic restaurant with great food, Gramercy Tavern, for our meeting. (I apologize for being a few minutes late! That was the only day I’ve ever had to deal with train delays to that extent!) I had a fun time talking my writing, books in general and the geek culture at large. Now that I’m back home, I need to snap back into focus and get back to editing and working on new drafts!

Some highlights of the trip include:

Shopping

I’m not usually big on shopping, or clothes shopping in particular, but that’s not the case in NY. We hit all of our favorite stores, including Uniqlo, which I admittedly just started liking because it was a Japanese brand of fashion (similar to Old Navy in pricing–I don’t like spending tons on clothes!), but I really do love their HEATTECH line during frigid winters.

We also stopped at the Scholastic store, so I could squeal over Harry Potter and Hunger Games displays.

I hit the HBO Store, Disney Store, Nintendo World, FAO Schwartz, Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore), Book Off (used Japanese and American bookstore), and Mitsuwa (Japanese marketplace in New Jersey), to name a few.

Eating

Aside from the aforementioned Gramercy Tavern, we ate at another chic restaurant with yummy food for a lunch, NoHo Star. We got some peanut butter sandwiches at Peanut Butter & Co, ate delicious Japanese food at Go Go Curry (multiple times), dined at the Mitsuwa food court, and stopped by Cafe Zaiya and Sunrise Mart for Japanese cakes and sweets more than once. (Sensing a pattern here? Yes, I tend to focus on Japanese places in NY!)

Wax Museum

Melissa convinced my boyfriend and I to accompany her to Madame Tussauds, and it was a lot of fun! The wax figures were so real, at one point, we fell for a trick; there was a wax figure of a tourist taking a photo of other wax figures and we seriously hesitated to let her take her picture… Which she never did. There was a Marvel 4D experience, and it left a bit to be desired, plot-wise, but it was amusing. And there were wax figures of the Avengers outside!

Central Park Zoo

We headed to the Central Park Zoo for the second time; we went a few years ago, too. But it’s conveniently placed in a beautiful location, pretty affordable for a NY attraction, and full of cute animals. The red pandas are my favorites here, but I got slightly better pictures this time of other adorable guys, like the polar bear, the snow leopard and the sea lions! Too bad my camera battery died right toward the end!

All in all, it was a great trip. Bye, NY! (And have fun at the NYCC next week, everyone there! I’m sorry I’m missing it… Even though it’s impossible to move inside the convention center anyway.)

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

Reading the Source Material: Too Much for the Mainstream?

“Most people just don’t care that much, Amy….”

I heard that from my boyfriend the other day. No, we weren’t discussing anything of import at the time (although the quote sadly applies to those topics, too). I was in the middle of another ranting geek fit that my boyfriend puts up with. (He’s a geek, too, but since I’m the one who drags him to conventions, and I have a love for superhero comics that he simply has never shared, perhaps I flatter myself to be slightly more geeky.) The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season two had aired, and I was telling him about some of the reactions I read online. Many people feared something had happened to a beloved character… And I knew almost as soon as I became a fan of the series what that character’s entire future (thus far) would be. Hadn’t they read the books? Or at least Googled info? It’s been online probably since the days of dial-up. I didn’t even start watching Game of Thrones until this past March, and I didn’t pick up the books until shortly thereafter. I wasn’t one of the fans who knew for years and years, but still, once I was interested enough in the series, I was dying to know more, and I devoured almost anything I could find on the topic.

I had a similar geek fit earlier this year towards the end of the second season of The Walking Dead. My own friends were the culprit this time, shocked and confounded by what happened on the screen! Meanwhile, almost as soon as I liked the TV series (a year later than most), I picked up all of the graphic novels and devoured them in a matter of a week. True, the series differentiates quite a lot from the original source material, but the particular event in question is something I braced for from the start… Seeing as how it happened almost at the start in the comics.

It could simply be a matter of time, and the fact that when you earn some free time, it’s far easier to veg out in front of a screen that does all of the entertaining for you. Sometimes going back to the source material is a pretty big commitment. (I’m now week six-ish into my vow to read all of A Song of Ice and Fire, and I’m only about 3/4 through the second book… By the way, I bet you didn’t know that’s what the Game of Thrones series is actually called, if you’re among those not interested in the source material!) Other people want to be surprised as they watch the movie/series, and they consider the originals sources of “spoilers.” (Me, on the other hand–I’ll look up spoilers before I even get that far in the reading, although I am getting better at fighting that urge…) I get it, I get that I’m probably just too much of a geek, but I can’t imagine loving a movie or a series, finding out it’s based on books, comics or even a video game, and not wanting to immerse myself further!

…And yes, I know, I probably just need to chill.

Do you read the book/comic first or are you inspired to read something after seeing an on-screen adaptation? Do you ever love a movie or TV show, learn that there are source materials and just not have the urge to check out more? (I’m looking at you, millions and millions of Avengers movie fans!)