Category Archives: out & about

BookCon: Comic-Con for Bibliophiles!

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here as comments have been disabled here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to transfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

I got to go to BookCon last Sunday while I was in New York and it was BANANAS — B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I had to spell it out Gwen Stefani style because that’s just how bananas it was.

I didn’t know that it was the very first one, or that Book Expo America (BEA), a trade show for industry folks, would be going on at the same time. One side of the exhibit hall was cut off just for BookCon while the rest was devoted to BEA and it was constantly crowded as BEA attendees were also permitted access to the show floor at BookCon and the panels. It felt like all I did was wait in lines for a majority of the time — lines to get into panels, lines to get into the bathroom (which sounds normal, but 30 minutes?), lines to get freebies, etc. It was mass chaos — especially when it came time for the The Fault in Our Stars panel. My sister and I didn’t even bother trying to get into the queue, so no John Green for me. 😦

But with all that aside, I’m really happy that I was able to go! I just need to remind myself that it was their first go, so it wasn’t going to run perfectly smooth (no convention really does, in my experience). Hopefully they’ll take into account some of the snafus from this year to make the next one more successful. Plus I GOT SO MANY FREE BOOKS (pictured below)!!!

We went to the kickoff panel the night before where Tina Fey (AHH!!!), Jason Bateman, Shawn Levy, and Jonathan Tropper talked about and showed some special clips from the film adaptation of Tropper’s novel This is Where I Leave You. I read the book a couple weeks prior to the trip and I loved it. I’m all for stories about dysfunctional families (who isn’t?) and Tropper is a great storyteller, and based on the clips they showed it looks like it’s going to be a hilarious and gut wrenching adaptation. Oh, and I BREATHED THE SAME AIR AS TINA FEY (and Jason Bateman, but I’m mostly excited about TINA FEY). Just being in the same room as her was a f*cking honor! And Jonathan Tropper read a few passages from This is Where I Leave You to set up certain scenes they showed, which I thought was quite spectacular. He also wrote the screenplay, so it was definitely interesting to learn how he and the director decided to translate the book and figure out what parts to keep, what parts to tweak, and what parts to omit all together.

I also got to go to a panel that featured debut novelists Courtney Collins (The Untold), Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase), and Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You) where they talked about their own individual journeys on how they got their first novels published — pretty informing stuff for aspiring writers. I also got a copy of their novels after the panel as well. I feel slightly bad though because the volunteer that was putting them on the table for us to collect them said, “One each.” I thought he meant one of each. But he didn’t. He meant literally only take ONE book. Oops. Courtney Collins’ book is in stores right now — I actually saw it at work yesterday. It’s such a trip to know I saw her and heard her talk about her book and a slew of other things!

SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE HALLWAY FOR THE PANELS. O__O

I got a free signed copy of Eric Smith’s The Geek’s Guide to Dating and I was pretty stoked to meet him since I started following him on Twitter after seeing an article about how he proposed to his fiance with a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars last year. If anyone is qualified to write a guide book on dating for geeks, it’s him, no question. I mean proposing by way of The Fault in Our Stars? SHUT UP, OKAY? OKAY. I high fived him for that too (I’m very enthusiastic about high fives). And he also sent me a copy of Ransom Riggs’ Hollow City to review last month, so I was happy to be able to thank him in person. Which reminds me, I really need to get crackin’ on that! By the way, I highjacked the picture above from his Twitter page since my sister and I are in it. I look unamused, but I promise I was happy. 😀

Like I mentioned earlier, I got quite a few free books! This isn’t everything, but they’re the main biggies that I managed to grab. I still can’t believe I got the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter audiobook for free. CRAYCRAY! I also got a couple tote bags and a tumbler that says “I Read YA” which I will proudly sip Arnold Palmers out of as I read YA novels this summer.

Since the line to wait to get into the The Fault in Our Stars panel was too crazy for me (like holy sh!t, so many teenyboppers — but I’m glad they’re all fangirling over something respectable like TFIOS instead of boybands like I did back in the late ’90s-‘oos), so we headed to Jason Segel’s panel where he talked about his upcoming children’s novel Nightmares which he co-wrote with Kirsten Miller. Luckily we got there before the line got too crowded! Listening to him talk, it’s clear that he’s a child at heart which just made me appreciate him more than ever. He talked about some of the crazy nightmares he had as a child — a witch that would eat his toes, and being chased by Dracula in his castle, and how one night he dreamt that he found a secret room in the castle that Dracula didn’t even know about and he just chilled there. And he said that he believes in magic and called Kermit the Frog the Tom Hanks of Muppets.

Oh, bless him. ♡

I didn’t get to take a picture with the infamous Grumpy Cat (that line was too hectic as well), so I had to suffice with this crazy ass taxidermy Fantastic Mr. Fox looking fellow.

Did any of you get to go to BookCon, or watch The Fault in Our Stars or are excited for Jason Segel’s book and the movie adaptation of This is Where I Leave You?

Cheers,
Nina

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Luck Be a Lady [Liberty]

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to transfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

Hey my little ponies, I just got back from New York!

I’m really excited to share my adventures with you all, but I’m super pooped (I had an in-flight delay which was the worst) and I’m on the verge of having a sugar crash because I just ate two cookies from Milk Bar that I brought home and a couple Raspberry M&Ms I picked up at the M&M store in Times Square instead of eating REAL food for breakfast/brunch . Ugh.

Sooo expect lots of fun posts this week because I have LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS to share! But if you follow me on Instagram, I think you pretty much got to experience a good chunk of my trip 😀

Cheers,
Nina

 

 

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Tasty Travels: PDX Eats – Part 2

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to tranfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

Sooo, I was supposed to post the second half of my PDX Eats series like a month and a half ago or something like that. My bad. It’s been so hard trying to write little blurbs about these places without getting hangry and homesick for a place I’ve only visited once. UGH! Anyhow, I finally powered my way through it just for you, my little ponies.

Without further ado, here are some of the other tasty places I got to visit while I was in Portland…

Voodoo Doughnut: 22 SW 3rd Ave

Like many, I first heard of Voodoo Doughnut through the Travel Channel (or was it the Food Network? I don’t remember), and I desperately wanted to try one of their quirky sweet concoctions SO BADLY. But over time I kept hearing that it was extremely overrated, and my interest waned. But with it being a 20 minute walk away from our hotel, Caitlin and I decided to try it for ourselves so we could form our own opinion. I tried the Captain My Captain, which consisted of Cap’n Crunch Berries sprinkled over vanilla frosting. The verdict? I thought it was yummy, but not life changing.

Pro-tip: Go on a weekday early in the morning. During the weekend the line went for miles — okay, not really, but it was crazy, stupid long enough to make me not want to join the queue. We went on a Monday morning around 8ish and there was no line! You might also want to visit the website before your journey so you don’t stand there looking at the menu like, “What the hell is the Memphis Mafia?” and order “the one with the Cap’n Crunch Berries.” <– yeah, I did that.

Bijou Cafe: 132 SW 3rd Ave

Jen and I went to Bijou Cafe for breakfast before we headed to Saturday Market on a Sunday morning. I usually don’t eat chorizo which dumbfounds me, because it’s tasty as hell, so I opted for the chorizo with eggs and potatoes for breakfast because you can never go wrong with potatoes for breakfast (second breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Plus I recall it being the yummiest looking item on their menu (in my mind’s eye, anyhow). It was nice and hearty, which is just what I needed that day since we were walking all over the place, searching for fun knickknacks and whatnot at Saturday Market.

Lardo: 1205 SW Washington St.

The name of the restaurant sounds a bit unappetizing, but good grief did I enjoy my meal ever so much! And I left not feeling like Jabba the Hut, so that’s always a good thing, right? Lardo’s menu mostly consisted of pork, but the special of the day was a sandwich with fried chicken which I believe just got added to their menu (Fried Chicken & Tasso Bacon), and chicken is my favorite kind of meat, so I immediately went for that. That doesn’t sound very adventurous, sticking with things I like, BUT it also had slaw and relish which are ingredients I normally stay away from. So I’d like to think I made a bold choice. And their fries. Oh. My. Gawd. THEIR FRIES HAD PARMESAN AND FRIED HERBS SPRINKLED ON TOP OF THEM. ALL CAPS NECESSARY BECAUSE IT WAS SO GOOD. If you are not a vegetarian and find yourself in Portland, you should go there and thank me later.

Ahi Sushi: 2038 SE Clinton St

We stumbled upon Ahi Sushi while trying to find a place to eat dinner before having cocktails at Fifty Licks. The ambiance gives off a bit of an “expensive sushi bistro” vibe, but my Salmon Butteryaki dish was only $11, including tip. I was totally astonished by how affordable it was. And look at the fancy presentation! The portion was just right and the salmon was perfectly flaky too. Why can’t my town have a place like Ahi Sushi where I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a delicious salmon meal?

Jake’s Grill: 611 SW 10th Ave

We ate at Jake’s Grill for our last meal in Portland. Jen’s guild buddy met up with us and we walked around trying to find a place to eat breakfast. I was at the point of hunger where I felt like I was going to punch someone in the face, and we FINALLY came across Jake’s Grill. I felt positively fancy dining there as they served fresh baked biscuits with jam and freshly squeezed orange juice. The restaurant also used to be part of a hotel, and I know you can’t tell by the picture I took, but it was chez fancy pants. And my omelet was nice and cheesy and full of ham and mushrooms. I’m not crazy about mushrooms, but I’ve grown accustom to them. Oh, and the potatoes had a nice little crisp to them. Breakfast food is the best food. 🙂

Maybe it was the taxidermy animal heads mounted above the bar and the fact that I was eating meat and eggs, but Jake’s Grill seems like a place Ron Swanson would eat a nice and hearty meal at. And by hearty I mean meaty.

Pix Patisserie: 2225 E Burnside St.

Pix Patisserie has deep fried macarons, so it was a no brainer to put it on the places-we-must-eat-at list. The decor at Pix was so charming — the walls were covered in deep red damask, tables were decorated with vintage French art, and the bar table was full of bottle caps underneath plexiglass. I tried the Jane Avril (named after a famous can-can dancer) which was a little piece of heaven on a sponge cake with raspberries, pistachios, and raspberry mousse, and also a deep fried raspberry macaron. It was good, but I think it would’ve been better if I had a chocolatey deep fried macaron rather than a fruity one. Jen and Caitlin both got the Amelie (named after the film’s titular character), and I’m all kinds of forlorn that I didn’t take one to go because it was –insert another phrase for amazingly delicious because I can’t think of anything else-, but I put in an order of 5 maracons to go and there were other foods that needed to be eaten. I got the fleur de sel, spumoni (pictured above), annnd I can’t remember the other flavors I got since it’s been like a month and half since my trip. I really should’ve written this thing as soon as I got home. *slaps self*

I do recall thoroughly enjoying every piece I ate though, if that says anything.

Alright, that concludes all the tasty places I had to pleasure of eating at in Portland! I can’t wait to go back… I have no idea when my booty will make its way there again, but hopefully it won’t be too far off in the future. And next time I’m going to hit the food trucks! 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

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Put a Horse On It

ATTN: Le Fancy Geek has moved to lefancygeek.com. If you’d like to make a comment on this post, please visit Le Fancy Geek’s new home on the web here. I’m still waiting on WordPress to tranfer email subscribers, so until the transfer is finally made, I’ll be posting here as well. For more information on this change, please refer to this post.

outfit details: cardigan: H&M // dress + belt: Xhileration // necklace: borrowed from Jen // boots: American Rag (buy here) // glasses: Brooks Brothers (buy here) // bracelet: Anna Grace Designs (buy here)

After reading the Harry Potter series, the idea of having a spirit animal (or in the world of Harry Potter’s case, a patronus) has been fascinating to me. I used to think really hard about what mine would possibly be — I finally settled on a unicorn, because I’ve always had an affinity for all equine creatures and unicorns are magical, so why not? I mean, how cool would a figure of a unicorn look bursting out of the end of a wand? SO COOL THAT I GOTTA SAY IN ALL CAPS, THAT’S HOW COOL.

Not too long ago, I took a quiz on Zimbio to see what my patronus would be and my result was a horse, which isn’t very far off from a unicorn, so I’m contempt.

Anyhow, one thing I noticed during my Portland holiday was that there was an abundance of horses. Not particularly in Portland itself, but on the way there we passed by plenty of farms and all these horses were just out there, doing their horsey thing (and by that I mean they were looking all regal and whatnot). I made it a point to yell “PONIES!” anytime I saw a group of them, just because their presence was so beautiful, I had to make it known. I also saw plenty of merchandise in stores with horses plastered on them, especially when Jen and I visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden‘s gift shop as it’s the year of the horse. That’s the location of where all these outfit shots were taken too. 🙂

I found a book about spirit animals at Powell’s City of Books called Spirit Animals: Unlocking the Secrets of Our Animal Companions by Stefanie Iris Weiss;  the cover has a horse on it, so of course I had to browse through it. Here’s what it said about the horse:

Personality: Horses long to run free. They are in their element when untethered, galloping gallantly across the plains without saddle or bridle. A wild horse is a wonder to behold; it’s happiest without boundaries.

Guiding Powers: When you feel the need to move, get out, and break free of restriction, the horse is your ultimate spirit animal guide. If you’ve been stuck in a limiting mental sphere or emotionally constrained situation, consult the free-spirited horse. If you want to get away from it all by taking a vacation but are deterred by financial difficulties or personal obligations, the horse will show you how to dissolve boundaries and roam.

After reading it, I was slightly flabbergasted because it perfectly described the state I’m in. And I totally have no business spending what little money I have to go out on lavish vacations, yet I just went to Portland, New York is next in line, and Comic-Con afterwards. I feel so very stuck where I am, and job hunting just isn’t working out in favor, and I just want to get out there and explore… is it weird to believe in signs or make connections to these kind of coincidences? Probably, but I don’t care. My spirit animal is a mutha’uckin’ horse. I mean, I have a tattoo of one for crying out loud.

What do you think your spirit animal/patronus be?

Cheers,
Nina

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Tasty Travels: PDX Eats & Treats – Part 1

Fifty Licks: 2021 SE Clinton St.

Jen and I saw Fifty Licks on the Food Network or Travel Channel around Christmas time during a round of Cards Against Humanity. We had to stop the game momentarily in order to watch them make delicious looking cocktails with sorbet. It was a no-brainer that we had to visit when we went to Portland. And it was so delicious, we went twice! I had the Nordic Palmer sorbet cocktail with sparkling iced tea mead and lemon sorbet, and took an ice cream sandwich with Stumptown flavored ice cream on a gluten free cookie to go during our first visit . So divine! I got another ice cream sandwich with toasted milk ice cream the second time around. My taste buds miss it so much!

The Waffle Window: 3610 SE  Hawthorne Blvd. & 2624 NE Alberta St.

Caitlin suggested The Waffle Window for our first breakfast in Portland so we could get our Leslie Knope on. I opted to get the savory special called Spring Forward which had asparagus and peppered bacon on it. I’d like to think that Ron Swanson would approve of my choice. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savory and I was crestfallen after I ate the last bite because it meant I was done with my waffle and that there wasn’t any more of it to put in my mouth. I also had a green tea mint lemonade that was super refreshing (I guess I was too thirsty to take a picture of it)! THIS DRINK. I LIKE IT. ANOTHER. *throws cup fervently down on the ground*

The Press Club: 2621 SE Clinton St.

We ate at The Press Club a few hours after we checked into our hotel the first night. The plan was to eat dinner, have sorbet cocktails at Fifty Licks, then watch Muppets Most Wanted. I Googled restaurants nearby Fifty Licks and came across this particular one because it said it served sandwiches and crepes, and I am all about a good sammich! When we got there I noticed that everything on the menu was named after a famous author or book, so my inner book nerd was totally fangasming! We all ended up ordering the Ernest Hemingway (it said turkey and pesto, so if anything has those two ingredients I. Am. Down). We were hangry as hell, and though it did take awhile for our order to come out, it was ever so satisfying.

Hot Lips Pizza: 2211 Southeast Hawthorne Blvd.

I suggested to Jen that we should order pizza from our hotel room one night and she thought it was a brilliant idea (she literally gasped after I said it, so I’m assuming that means she thought it was brilliant). We decided it would be best to order local since we didn’t drive 12 hours out of California to have a pizza from Domino’s, y’know? It took awhile to pick what toppings we all agreed on, but we ended up with the ABC – Artichoke Bacon & Chicken pizza. ERMERGERD. SO TASTY. I love, love, looove, artichoke and chicken as pizza toppings, and the bacon just made it that much better (because bacon).

Moonstruck Cafe: NW 23rd Ave. (Pioneer Place)

Is this horse truffle not the most adorable truffle you have ever laid your eyes on?! It was almost too cute to eat. Almost. It was also super scrumptious with rich chocolate on the inside. Best $3.50 I ever spent. Caitlin’s friend suggested we visit Moonstruck (it has several locations throughout the city, but we went to the one at the mall). It’s kind of like Godiva, but better. Yeah, I said it. They’re better than Godiva! I think I dropped over $35 buying chocolate bars and whatnot to bring back home to friends and family, but it’s just so damn good. My only regret is not trying their hot chocolate, or at least buying the mix for it. My mom and aunt still have yet to eat the treats I brought back for them and it’s kind of driving me crazy because I want to eat them, but know that I shouldn’t because that would be a horrible thing to do. 😦

I’ll be posting the last half of my PDX Eats & Treats series in a few days! I don’t want to bombard you guys with all this food porn, and I also don’t want to make myself hungry and sad because these food places are so far away from me and there really isn’t anything that’s nearly as great in my hometown. *cries over first world problems*

Cheers,
Nina

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The Second Happiest Place on Earth

Powell’s City of Books is one of the most magical places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It is without a doubt the second happiest place on earth — the first being Disneyland (duh), but it definitely gives Disneyland a run for its money. If only they had Dole Whips. *le sigh* Upon entering Powell’s, Caitlin and I were both bright eyed and bushy tailed and extremely overwhelmed. Books upon books upon books and MORE BOOKS! We spent a good two and a half hours in there (Jen joined us a bit later since she had a late start that morning), and I could’ve easily spent the entire day there if my stomach wasn’t telling me to put some food in it. I’ll talk more about food on the blog later, because OMG. *salivating*

Anyhow, I had no idea where to even start as all the literary categories were split into different rooms on various floors (Gold, Rose, Purple, Pearl, etc). At the front of the store there’s a bookshelf featuring their best sellers, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was in their top 30! This made me quite happy since that’s my “100 item” at my job. Caitlin and I went into the Rare Book room where many books that were printed around the 1800s were beautifully displayed in all their worn-out leather bound glory. We must’ve looked really strange as we opened books and held them close to our faces to inhale the old book smell. I sniffed a book from 1884. It smelled spectacular.

I kept straying away from everything I had on my original booklist, then found myself with at least 10 books. One included a gorgeous copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote that was in fact Tiffany blue. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, but I couldn’t justify buying a book I already had two copies of (I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I got a copy that looks like a first edition, but I can’t tell if it actually is or isn’t). Ugh! It was very difficult, but I managed to trim the fat off of my shopping basket.

I walked away with…

  • Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
  • I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
  • The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • Spirit Animals by Stefanie Iris Weiss
  • Van Gogh quote card
  • Unicorn postcard (most beautiful postcard EVER!)
  • Downton Abbey tea (not pictured, and it was a last minute find at the register)
  • Powell’s tote

I gave myself a budget of $50, but then I said eff it. BUY ALL THE BOOKS! Carpe diem! Next time I go to Powell’s I’m going to bring some books from my personal library to sell for store credit, that way my bank account won’t be pissed at me. The only problem is that I have a hard time letting go of books. I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

I’m not even close to being done about sharing all my fun adventures in Portland, so stay tuned for more posts!

Cheers,
Nina

PS: In case you’re wondering about the group picture, Jen said I could only share it so long as I Photoshopped a horse head over her face.

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Back from Portlandia

I am completely and utterly head over heels in love with Portland. Maybe I had vacation goggles on throughout the entire trip, but that city is absolutely lovely — the people were so damn friendly, the streets were [fairly] clean, it was quiet and never sounded like it was bustling, there were trees all around, there was an abundance of beautiful men … it was just nice. SO. NICE. Even the sketchy looking places weren’t that sketchy looking when I compare it to San Francisco or my hometown of Stockton.

Caitlin and I went to Stumptown Coffee our first morning there and the barista offered to give me a free drink card since they were out of stock of both teas I wanted and said that they had them at another location. I said it was okay, but she offered me a free drink anyway since I was picking up a bag of coffee and a scone. She was sooo apologetic and kind about it. WHO DOES THAT?

I’m really excited to share more with you ponies about my time in Portland, but I’m still recovering from the ridiculously long road trip we embarked on yesterday (we had a late start and didn’t get back until a little past 1 am). Plus I think I left my camera in Jen’s car, so I can’t upload some of the pictures I took. Wah! But if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a lot of the stuff I was up to already! I swear, Portland made my Instagram look a billion times nicer too.

Ugh, can I just stay in Portland forever?

Cheers,
Nina

PS:

🙂

 

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