Alumni Perks: Entertainment Weekly Q&A

Because I am currently job searching, I was on NYU’s alumni job board the other day, and I happened to notice an upcoming event because it had bright red under it saying “RSVP REQUIRED”. I looked closer and saw that Entertainment Weekly’s Sirius XM radio channel was hosting a Q&A with Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth about their upcoming film Blackhat.

That taping was yesterday (it’s airing tomorrow, the 15th at 6pm EST according to their Sirius XM webpage), and it was a lot of fun. I’d gotten an email the day before asking for those of us affiliated with NYU to send in questions that we would get a chance to ask during the event. I came up with a couple and sent them in right before the deadline, and had no idea if they’d get used or if I even wanted to be one of the people asking anything.

Then came yesterday. We had to check in with security downstairs, get our bags scanned, use weird elevators, and then check-in with the show in the lobby of the Sirius XM offices. There they checked if we were NYU students (or alumni, I guess) and had us pick out a question from the ones they’d chosen to ask. They had a pre-determined order and we were sitting in those seats as well. I ended up picking one of my own questions and was seated on the end, in spot number 1. They didn’t end up having us ask in order, though I was the first. It was kinda funny though because I think the EW people thought the students were all current NYU film students, so I kinda went with that even though I studied the music industry and no longer am in school. Oops.

Once we’d checked in and maybe grabbed a soda or some water, we lounged around in the lobby for a while until they were ready for the show to record. I made friends with a girl who just graduated in December, and we chatted about career goals, geeky things we are both into, and tv/film in general.

The Q&A was fun – probably about an hour long? I wasn’t timing it… and was mostly led by EW’s editor-in-chief. I think most of the people in the room had won some sort of contest, but nobody told us the details of that. I only saw a couple other people copied on the questions-seeking email so I don’t think there were very many of us from NYU. There was also a group that watched from the other side of the glass to the cube studio/room/fishbowl we were in. I think they were also piping the sound into the lobby so they could hear.

Being on the end, I was in the somewhat-distracting position of being in Chris Hemsworth’s eyeline (almost) every time he turned to look at Michael Mann when he spoke. Not that I ended up tuning out Michael Mann – he’s a legendary director and I love behind-the-scenes peeks into the film & tv world so I was definitely trying to soak up every word. It was a really really fun time.

After the Q&A they rushed everyone through the next bit because they had us all take a couple of photos with Mann & Hemsworth in front of the step-and-repeat on the wall of the lobby. Then we grabbed our coats in the elevator bay, the subscribers got swag bags, and I exchanged contact info with my new friend!

Definitely a fun day. And now, the photo proof:

SiriusXM's Entertainment Weekly Radio Special With Chris Hemsworth And Michael Mann

Agent Carter, week 1

I sat down last night and watched the 2-hour premiere of the Agent Carter television event with my roommates. (That’s what they’re calling it right? An 8-part event?) I have to say, I really really enjoyed it.

First off, Hayley Atwell has done a fantastic job in both Captain America movies and her one-shot of leaving us wanting more of the fabulously badass Peggy Carter. I also was excited coming in due to her and Dominic Cooper’s excellent use of Twitter to take us somewhat behind-the-scenes with them as they were filming. One of my favorite things is the group of screenshots someone put together of Hayley publicly apologizing to all the stuntmen and actors she accidentally injured. Add in Hayley stating in interviews that the show is not just about Peggy being badass with or without Cap around, but also about looking at how the secret agent life affects Peggy outside of work.

Then Marvel made it clear that they were going into the show and exploring the sexism inherent in the era of returning-GIs and laying off women who had found new empowerment through joining the work force and maybe didn’t want to get pushed out. Consider my excitement even more heightened.

It started off heavy, with a flashback to the end of Captain America: The First Avenger with Steve Rogers putting the Valkeryie into the ice, saying goodbye to Peggy over the radio. Then we have a montage of Peggy getting ready for her day and flashbacks to the movie (and a brief one to the one-shot) to help establish her relationship to Captain America, Howard Stark, and her badassdom. As her roommate Colleen comes home unexpectedly, we already establish the working climate of the day – women are being laid off from their wartime positions as the men come home, even though they’d rather like to keep their jobs & the newfound freedom

Can I say…I want most of Peggy’s outfits. Like, so much. So do all my friends who were also liveblogging over on Tumblr with me. I was excited that she also seemed to see the request people had and tweeted the nail polish, lipstick, and perfume that she wore standard throughout the series. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the OPI shade whenever I’m in the drugstore, and will probably get the lipstick from the company’s website at some point (better if I can find a store that sells them and use the tester first – it’s nice stuff).

Another takeaway from the first 2 episodes is that Jarvis & Peggy’s working relationship is absolutely the best thing. I adore dry humor, so Jarvis’ outlook on life, hints at he & his wife’s sex life, and jokes at Howard Stark’s expense delighted me every single time. And Peggy going with it but not really sure how to handle him was fantastic.

Also her exasperation with the Captain America radio program was great. Plus it’s always fun to get a peek at what went into making those programs. That scene in the original Annie movie where they’re asking for help to find her parents on the radio and Annie is perplexed at the sound effects guys is one of my favorite things. And then using the Captain America radio show intermixed with one of the big fight scenes? Really really excellent choice, in my opinion.

Where the hell has Chad Michael Murray been for the last 8 years? I didn’t even really recognize him for the first half of the first episode, and then was kinda laughing every time he was on screen. And not just because his character is an incompetent jackass.

I think these two episodes did a great job of laying the groundwork for story (what are Howard & Jarvis up to?) and showing off how competent Peggy is as compared to the jackasses at the SSR who don’t believe her at all. I WISH they had introduced a bit more diversity in the casting. It looks like the wonderfully diverse Howling Commandos are coming back based upon the “coming up” credits teaser, but the Captain America movies have been some of Marvel’s best in terms of (as my friend put it) “balancing accurate history with aspirational fiction when it came to POC presence even when it just came to set dressing with extras”. I 100% am with her on that, so it was disappointing that I spotted 0 people of color in these first 2 episodes. I love the Howling Commandos as characters, but if they’re used to check the diversity box instead of giving us new characters of color to fall in love with, I will be massively disappointed.

I think my one slight confusion comes with where the one-shot links in with all of this. It showed Peggy taking a late-night mission on on her own, and instead of getting in trouble for it the next day as she expects, Howard Start calls to invite her to found SHIELD with him. Yet they used a clip from it in the flashbacks of the beginning of the first episode, and this most definitely takes place pre-SHIELD while Peggy is still at the SSR. I do hope they clarify that detail as the series continues, because I really liked the one-shot and want it to be canon.

So far, Agent Carter is winning me over. Let’s hope it continues over the next six weeks and that we get more Peggy Carter  in the future. Marvel has introduced a great everywoman character that most of my fellow fan friends are utterly in love with & want to be. The more we get to see of her, the better.

Not Going to NYCC

Well, for the first time since moving to New York, I won’t be going to New York Comic Con. That’ll be weird.

I was banking on working for the company I worked for last year, but I found out two weeks ago that their badge allocations this year were such that they wouldn’t be able to use me again even if they wanted to and by that point all of the regular tickets were sold out. I’m sure I could find something on Stub Hub if I was set, but due to current plans I’d rather save the money at this point.

I am going to try to hit up some of the after-hours stuff and parties that friends going/working will also be going to, but having gone every year since 2008 it will be weird not roaming the exhibition hall at all or attending any panels.

To psych-up anyone who is going, I’m gonna leave you with some of my favorite photos from the past years (Apparently there are no great photos from 2008 or 2009):


This week leading up to my birthday yesterday has been great.

On Monday, I got a text from my college friend A asking if I wanted to meed up for $0.25 wings that evening. As I had forgotten that my supervisor at work was out of the office and I was along for most of the day, I was definitely down to gorge on some wings afterward. We also tried the Abita Lemon beer – which is new – and it was pretty tasty.

Then, Tuesday, my friend’s plans between work and her hair appointment fell through so I joined her for happy hour at a seafood bar in SoHo for a little bit.

Wednesday was the only normal day where I came home and vegged out all evening, but earlier we’d had a small party (cupcakes and some champagne) at work for all 5 of us who have birthdays this week.

Thursday during the day I made a hair appointment on a bit of a whim and dashed to that after work. I dyed my hair red again (it’s been a couple of years) and cut bangs and shorter layers into it. I’d brought in a more interesting cut as a reference photo and somehow ended up with the same haircut I’ve always been given when I put layers and bangs in, but it’s tried-and-true so I’m not THAT annoyed about it. After the haircut I went to a bar in my neighborhood to see a friend who was in town for the night.

Friday I stopped by the bar my friend works at just after work before coming home and hanging out with my cats. Then had a good catch-up with Bailey and Harry since we all ended up having really busy weeks and hadn’t really seen each other at all.

Yesterday was my actual birthday, so I slept in and watched tv all afternoon (between talking to my grandma and my parents) before meeting up with some friends for dinner and then a bunch of friends for karaoke. I really like this place I was introduced to last year. It’s a private-room place, with fairly cheap prices and a pretty great song selection. Also it’s super easy to go out and get drinks at the bar instead of ordering on the room so that the only calculation at the end is who owes what for the room instead of also divvying up all the booze charges.

Then today was the first meeting of the book club a bunch of friends and I just made. We talked about The Bees by Laline Paull, which is a really interesting book & concept. I think I might write a separate post about it.

So, I’ve utterly failed my “blog everyday in August” goal, but I do think it was a success in that it has gotten me posting MORE. I do want to continue being active in this space and so now hopefully I will get into a rhythm with it instead of posting in spurts and then not touching it for months.

Next month I’m not even going to try to have that same goal as I’m going out of town a couple of times and already proved I can’t be trusted to update much while not at home. Or even when I am at home…

What a Week

So, just as I was about to start brainstorming things to blog about yesterday, the news hit everywhere that Robin Williams had died. As he was such a staple of my childhood movies I was knocked a bit off kilter for the rest of the evening and ended the night with a good sob while watching Hook for the millionth time.

Today, though, I am going to recount my vacation last week, because it was fun and because everyone else has already weighed in on Robin Williams’ death and I don’t really have anything new to contribute. So, instead, last week:


  • Went to work, stopped for coffee after work and rejoiced with my favorite barista that I didn’t have to go back until the next Monday.
  • Packed all evening


  • Slept in, then went to lunch with a friend I don’t get to see that often because of law school and a friend who is in town visiting her sister.
  • Came home and finished up packing and helped Bailey clean the apartment
  • Met Harry at Grand Central after he got off of work and headed to the house upstate


  • Slept in, made breakfast and sat out by the pool
  • Went to WalMart and Target (We always go when we’re upstate. It’s so much cheaper than the city!) for a frisbee, a badminton/volleyball set, and with the idea of getting another pool floatie or two but didn’t end up finding aything
  • Went to happy hour at Sonic, ended up with 6 drinks for 3 people in the most surreal, bananas Sonic experience I’ve ever had
  • Got groceries for the week
  • I made dinner & ate with Bailey while Harry went to pick our friends Jack & Laura up at the train
  • Board games galore!
  • Accidentally stayed up all night and took photos of the dawn before passing out


  • Glorious, glorious pool time
  • Set up & started “playing” some badminton


  • Got up a little earlier to get some time in by the pool before going to see Guardians of the Galaxy (again, for me) at a matinee at the mall in Poughkeepsie
  • Did go kart racing with the boys. We were ranked by fastest lap and I came in 3rd of 3, but had the 2nd place average lap time.
  • Joined Bailey & Laura at Target while the boys went to poke around in Dicks Sporting Goods and ended up with more Marvel swag (Thor baseball tee) and some earrings that I can leave in forever because they don’t have nickel in them (but were still cheap!!)
  • Topped up on groceries and bought some more sunscreen on the way home
  • More pool until the sun set, then over to play some badminton & volleyball, then in to play more board games


  • Yet another morning by the pool
  • Lounging around the house and reading and such
  • Dinner out along the Hudson
  • Back to the house where we watched How to Train Your Dragon because Harry had never seen it
  • Board games until it was midnight and time to wish Harry a happy birthday


  • Cleaning and packing and then some more time by the pool before heading to the train
  • Missing the train we planned on taking because there was traffic getting into the station because it was being used as overflow parking for a riverside event and it took forever to find a parking space
  • Drove back out into town and stopped at a cafe for about 45 minutes until it was time to head back for the next train
  • Started a new book on the train & had a stranger seatmate for a good half of the ride who was talking loudly on the phone for half of that time
  • Home to cat snuggles and mentally preparing for the return to work

Also I got a lot of reading done. I finished The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and read 2 graphic novels: Three by Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire and Buzz! by Ananth Panagariya & Tessa Stone. I also read the first collected volume of Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky. All were excellent and I can’t wait for sequels where sequels are happening. Then on the train home I started Portrait of a Girl by Dorthe Binkert, which I got because it was a Kindle deal but it proving to be pretty interesting so far.

All in all a pretty great time with pretty great friends and I wish it could have gone on for another week or two (I think).

I am a Book Person

I’ve always loved reading. I think I started learning around 3 at preschool, and started beginners books around 5 or 6, and I’ve had a love affair with the worlds crafted by words ever since.

There are books that I read over and over, books that I read once even knowing that I’ll hate them, books that have helped change my worldview.

I’ve never understood people who only read non-fiction. Or who won’t branch out and read any genre fiction, or YA, or graphic novels. I guess that people aren’t as entranced by the way worlds are presented to them in these formats, but I am an equal-opportunity escapist. Give me a story I can get lost in and I am devouring it.

Let me introduce you to my bookshelves:

Comics shelf 1 and YA shelf

Comics shelf 1 and YA shelf

Comics Shelf 2 and Non-Fiction shelf w/ Sci-Fi/Fantasy overflow

Comics Shelf 2 and Non-Fiction shelf w/ Sci-Fi/Fantasy overflow

Sci-Fi/Fantasy series shelf

Sci-Fi/Fantasy series shelf

Mostly Neal Stephenson shelf & College books shelf

Mostly Neal Stephenson shelf & College books shelf

Assorted Fiction shelf

Assorted Fiction shelf

Assorted fiction and non-fiction shelves

Assorted fiction and non-fiction shelves

They have a vague organizational structure that has broken down as I’ve read and re-shelved things since the move in October, and I definitely haven’t quite read everything in there yet. And this is only the bookshelf in my room in New York. I have an entire bookshelf to myself at my parents’ place in Seattle and a few old textbooks in bags in various places in my apartment here, not to mention a bunch of books and comics in digital format on my tablet.

One of the best things in my life as a book-lover? My roommate and my friend both recently got jobs at publishers. There are about 4 more bookshelves throughout my apartment that mainly have Bailey’s books on them, and there are more books being traded around the three of us all the time. I really love getting to hear about what’s coming up and what is going to be amazing and even getting to read galleys they’ve managed to grab here and there before something comes out.

Even besides my closest friends, it can be great when people notice that you read a lot. One of the security guards at the hotel has noticed that I nearly always have a book in my bag for the commutes, so now when lost and found books have been unclaimed for the month that we hold them for, I usually get first pick of the books before they get given away/sold/donated or whatever we do with unclaimed books.

Expect a lot of book talk here. I am constantly seeking new material and always have opinions to share.