apartment hunting… or not really hunting at all

4 11 2009

So my roommate and I have discussed many times the prospect of moving from our apartment at the end of the year, and our lease is up at the end of November, so we were thinking about starting to look for places at the beginning of November. So, right now. And so today, my roommate emailed me a bunch of craigslist ads to call and make appointments. I called three, and only one person answered, so I scheduled a viewing of that apartment later that afternoon. Four hours later, we signed the lease. WHAT? I know. It sounds crazy, but it really happened, and the hilarious part is that now I get to tell people that we found an apartment before they even knew we were looking for one. Because we had been “officially looking” for about 2 hours.

Anyway, the apartment is in Hoboken, which is perfect because my roommate works in Hoboken, and it has cool things like exposed brick walls, and a dishwasher, and two ACTUAL bedrooms, and it’s pretty much perfect for what we need in an apartment. And, I’m very excited to buy bookshelves and other things to decorate!




I’m so happy we were able to find a nice apartment without any of the hassle! So excited to move in next month.


apples and goats

21 10 2009

Hey, remember when I said I was going to make an apple picking blog but that never happened? HERE IT IS. I know. It’s like your wildest dreams are coming true.

So a couple of friends and I went on one of mta’s getaways, which was called the Farm Fresh tour. It was SO AWESOME. First, we all got on a metro north train at Grand Central and made our way up to Poughkeepsie, where the shuttle met us, and about a full bus worth of people.

Our first stop was Sprout Creek Farm, where we sampled their cheese, toured the milking facilities, and saw many farm-y type animals including my favorite… Soda Pop the GOAT!


Hello Goat!

Then we went to a vineyard and winery, named Millbrook, and we had a wine tasting, and the tour took us through the building and showed us how they make the wine (which apparently was totally unknown to me, as I discovered on the tour). The wine was actually pretty good especially their Tocai Friulano, and they served these amazing wine crackers which I would have linked here, but apparently they don’t sell on their site. Anyway, it was really quite fun and I took many pictures of the vineyard through the bus windows, so of course NONE of them came out… I mean hello, BUS WINDOWS, but I’ll show you one anyway.


And then last we went to an Orchard… which of COURSE I no longer remember the name, but it was cute and the apple trees were all in little rows for us to pick from! Now, I had never seen an apple tree like these before, and I was VERY excited. It was so weird to see all of the apples on the ground, and just SO MANY on the trees. It was ridiculous. So many apples! And you could just pick them off the tree and eat them. Not to mention, I had never seen so many different types of apples in my life. My fellow apple pickers were very upset that the Honey Crisp tree had been picked dry, but I’ve never had a Honey Crisp apple, so I’m now on a mission to try them soon.

pickin apples

Oh, the bliss of apple picking in the fall! So much fun, SO MANY APPLES. I wish I could make apple pie of some sort, so the apples don’t go bad. Poor apples.

google knows i’m not looking for the bureau of economic analysis

2 06 2009

I’m sorry this is soooo long, but I tried to give you a small sense of that fateful day, otherwise known as, the day the roommate and I met Suzanne Collins at BEA. I’ll add the pictures as I receive them. (The title of this blog is a reference to the fact that I’ve trained google to show me Book Expo America instead of the Bureau of Economic Analysis when I search “BEA.”)

So I’m guessing you all know about this video my roommate and I made to celebrate The Hunger Games being a contender in School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books.

And you probably know that not only did The Hunger Games WIN said competition, but School Library Journal decided to INTERVIEW US because our video had gained so much attention.

But what you might not have known, is that Suzanne Collins’s publicist (Suzanne Collins being the author of The Hunger Games) saw the video and/or the article, and decided to invite me and my roommate to Book Expo America because Suzanne was going to be there signing ARCs (that’s advance reader copies: early paperback editions of the book that are given away to reviewers) of CATCHING FIRE, the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Um, WOW.

So of course we said yes, we’d absolutely LOVE to go, that would be amazing, etc. Not only to meet Suzanne, but to attend Book Expo America, which is the largest book trade fair in the United States, closed to the public, and as someone interested in a profession in children’s book publishing, attending would be a DREAM COME TRUE.


On the day of BEA, many people were lining up outside the convention center at 6am or earlier to get tickets to the Suzanne Collins signing, as it was a ticketed event, meaning only the first 200 people could get signed copies. The tickets were free, but it was first come first served. Our friend at Scholastic (Suzanne’s publicist) had assured us that they would reserve copies for us at the booth (RESERVED COPIES, OMG) so there would be no need to stand in line.

So we arrived at the much more reasonable 9am, and walked around awkwardly. For a couple of reasons:
1. We had badges that said SCHOLASTIC on them, but we didn’t actually work at Scholastic. This caused some confusion as people would ask us something about a company that we knew nothing about and we were too lazy to explain why exactly we were there.
2. At first we were kind of confused to how the ARC giveaways worked at the different booths. For instance, I knew that there would be copies of Libba Bray’s new book Going Bovine, at the Random House booth, but when I got there, there were two people I didn’t know signing books, and no Libba Bray books in sight. Hmmm. Eventually we realized that at the bigger houses, they have their own little schedule to when authors would be arriving to sign and give away books, and so we figured out that Libba Bray would be at the booth at 12, so we went to eat lunch and came back up for the signing.

Libba was SUPER cool, and hilarious, and I told her how much I loved her post on Prop 8, which I linked to in a previous blog, and really, it’s great, you should go read it RIGHT NOW, and we got copies of GOING BOVINE which besides having the strangest plot summary of all time, looks to be pretty good and I’m excited to read it.

Then… we were RECOGNIZED. Seriously guys. A woman (who worked at Baker & Taylor, if you can believe it) stopped us in the middle of an aisle and said, “I LOVED YOUR YOUTUBE VIDEO!” and we kind of stared at her dumbfounded for a second, before thanking her profusely and probably terrifying her in the process. It was amazing.

Speaking of amazing… we then went to the Scholastic booth at the time we were supposed to meet up with someone from Scholastic, and we were trying to figure out who to ask, because we knew the name of the person we were supposed to meet… when all of a sudden FOUR DIFFERENT people run up to us. “IT’S THE EVERDEEN SISTERS!” “We are huge fans!” “We all love your video!” and I almost cried it was so great. A bunch of people told us how amazing they thought the video was, and believe me, if I knew the VP of trade marketing at Scholastic would be watching it, I’d have at least tried to render the video in higher quality, but they all loved it and it was so cool. They then took a picture of us in front of the HUGE Catching Fire display they had, and I’ll post that picture when I get it, don’t worry. We then were escorted over to the Author Green Room, where all the authors who are about to sign hang out, and they eat cookies and drink espresso and talk about the weather or whatever they do, and we had to wait for Suzanne for a while because she had just come from an event, and I suppose one of the bad things about being a person who actually BELONGS at BEA is that a million people stop you every five seconds to chat and you can’t get from point A to point B. But we had a great talk with the woman from Scholastic, and she even said that they wished they had a Library Marketing position open for me (since in the interview I said that was what I wanted to do). Ahh.

And then… Suzanne arrived. She GAVE US EACH HUGS, told us how much she loved our video, and then took two books out of her bag. Two HARDCOVER copies of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and inside she wrote “For Summer, a true Everdene sister, Thanks for the amazing video! Love, Suzanne Collins” and then she has this little vine stamp that she stamps on all her books, and she wrote “PRIM” over the stamp (because in the interview, we referred to ourselves as Prim and Katniss, and I’m Prim).
Oh. My. God.
At this point my roommate almost cried (which is quite a feat, as there’s a few reasons we call her Katniss Everdeen, and her lack of human emotion is one of them), and I couldn’t believe that we had just received a GIFT FROM SUZANNE COLLINS. (The protagonist of Far From the Madding Crowd is a woman named Bathsheba Everdene, which is where Suzanne got the Everdeen part of Katniss’s name, as they apparently have similar boy problems. Suzanne gave it to us because, as “Everdeen Sisters” we should at least know where we got our name. Ahh!) Then she signed the copies of Catching Fire that Scholastic has reserved for us, and our copies of The Hunger Games that we had brought from home. She was so cute because she had this little box of rubber stamps, and she stamped each book with either a vine pattern or a feather before she signed them, and she wrote little notes like “Let the Hunger Games begin!” on The Hunger Games and “May the odds be EVER in your favor” on Catching Fire. She also wrote our names which was cool because all the people at the ticketed signing were not allowed to get their books personalized, so we felt pretty special. We also met her agent and her publicist (the latter of whom invited us to this whole thing, so we were very excited to meet her). We joked with Suzanne about how we were afraid she would sue us for calling ourselves “The Everdeen Sisters,” and talked a little with her publicist about how the roommate and I met (study abroad in Taiwan), which she thought was awesome (CAUSE IT IS!!) Later when Suzanne’s agent asked if we were indeed going to library school (something a librarian suggested to us casually and was mentioned in the article) the publicist said “No, she’s going to work in Library Marketing at Scholastic!” (referring to me) and I almost gave her a hug. And now I kind of want to be Suzanne just so I can hang out with her agent and publicist. And then Suzanne had to go sign other peoples’ books, so they disappeared out the back door to the autographing area and the roommate and I stood gaping at each other for about 20 minutes.


We then met up with a friend of mine from the Denver Publishing Institute, and got a couple more ARCs (so many that my handbag strap broke!), but really there was nothing that could top what had just transpired, so eventually we just trekked back to the path station and went home to read Catching Fire.


Then the next day we headed over to Books of Wonder where Kristin Cashore (the author of Graceling, another book in the battle of the books that we liked, just not as much as The Hunger Games) was signing, and before the signing began, she looked over at us and said “I recognize you two! I loved your video!” and then proceeded to tell her agent and publicist who we were, as if we were people they should KNOW. Later when we got our books signed, she said “When Graceling got eliminated, I thought to myself ‘Graceling, you’re going down like a basset hound!'” (Which is a line from our song). You guys… KRISTIN CASHORE QUOTED US and not the other way around.


Life is good. So was Catching Fire. 😉

beda day #26: bringing may flowers

27 04 2009

a tad early.

So remember when I said the other day I nearly cried seeing tulips? Well I saw some more. And instead of crying… because that would be awkward for everyone, I took a picture of them.

Who needs a burger?

Who needs a burger?

These tulips were in Madison Square Park, where the roommate and I got frozen custard at Shake Shack to try to beat the sudden heat. Where did it come from? The weather seriously jumped from the teens to the 30s instantly, with NO time at all in the glorious 20s we all know and love (Celcius, kids – learn it). This is not in my approval matrix.

More flowers for you!

More flowers for you!

Speaking of frozen custard… guess what flavor we got? The flavor of the day, which was SPRING FEVER! We took bets on what it was taste like, I thought it would taste like rainbow sherbet, the roommate thought it would taste like grass (which I seriously doubted), but we ended up asking so as not to be stuck licking wheatgrass flavored green goop in the middle of the day. So it happens that Spring Fever = Passion fruit, Orange, and Guava. Yeah, that’s right folks, I had POG flavored frozen custard in the middle of NYC.

Me and teh flowerz.

Me and teh flowerz.

It looks like I cut my hair, there. But I didn’t. It’s still long. Also, I have to admit, I’ll be right sad when this BEDA thing is over. It’s been a good (albeit crazy) month.

beda day #22: wait, you actually want a life update?

23 04 2009

okay… fine.

So… you guys are probably wondering what I am doing here on the east coast if I’m from Hawaii. And the answer is, yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing here. No, I’m just kidding. There are MANY REASONS WHY I AM HERE!

(for those of you who just started reading because of BEDA, here’s a little something to help you catch up)

1. In May of 2008 I graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in English and Comp Lit, and a minor in Chinese. I had no idea what I wanted to do with said degree. I asked a bunch of people, most of which said “English Teacher, obvs” and to whom I said “Ew no, I gave my English teachers so much hell in high school, and so I KNOW karma would come and bite me in the ass.” Because it totally would. But one person suggested publishing, of which I knew absolutely nothing about, except for like, what they show you in The Devil Wears Prada (wait, that WASN’T a documentary?).

2. I went to the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute that summer to LEARN HOW TO BE A PUBLISHER! If anyone is considering that program, I would still recommend it, regardless of the fact that I am still unemployed because all my friends I met there already have jobs (yeah, I’m not bitter)! I’m sure that people with connections would be able to be successful in the field without going to an institute, but for someone like me who knew literally NO ONE with the job I wanted, and NO ONE in NYC, it was amazing. I met so many people with many different experiences, and it kind of opened up my idea of what a publishing house did. I left there realizing that I really wanted to be involved in the marketing / publicity / sales side, and NOT the editorial side (even though I was decent during the workshops, it’s just not what thrills me). And that I wanted to deal with Children’s and YA literature. (That should come as no surprise, to any of you who are following the Battle of the Books and read this blog to see how I’ve been following it like it’s March freakin’ Madness.)

SPEAKING OF THE BOOK BATTLE… HUNGER GAMES MADE IT TO ROUND 3! THANK YOU JOHN GREEN! Yes. I’m so happy. If I haven’t sold you on The Hunger Games by now, I can only guess that it is not your type of book at all, and I’ll have to tell you to read anything by John Green (except those coloring books, as he didn’t write those) as a thank you for him picking THE HUNGER GAMES over We Are the Ship! HOO HA!

below is a huge <digression>. just warning you.
(I was reading something about book blogs recently, and a bookseller was complaining that book bloggers always link to Amazon whenever they talk about a book, and never to Indie Bound [an independent bookstore aggregator-type thing – except aggregator isn’t the right word, basically you type in a book, and it tells you the nearest indie bookstore where you can buy it], and to that I say… um, there aren’t independent bookstores in Hawaii. I just tried it out for The Hunger Games using my home zip code, and it told me to fly to California. Thanks. Very helpful.)

Plus, for anyone who lives in Hawaii… the 25+ dollar free shipping Amazon has is an absolute GOD SEND. Anyone from the rock in the middle of the ocean knows that shipping fees are this nasty thing that creeps up on you all the damn time, the same way Metro North schedules ruled ruined my life when I lived in Westchester.

FOR EXAMPLE: For my parents’ birthdays this year, my brother and I tried to buy them a gazing ball and a gazing ball stand:

That was not the stand we had in mind, but you get the idea.

That was not the stand we had in mind, but you get the idea.

And after we bought both items, the companies contacted us personally and told us that “because we are shipping to Hawaii, we are going to need to charge you an additional 40 dollars for shipping.” Not. Cool. That’s on TOP of the 20 dollar shipping we were already paying. The damn ball only cost like 30 bucks. I’m not going to spend 60 dollars to ship a 30 dollar ball to another U.S. STATE. SERIOUSLY?

okay. it’s over. back to the point. </digression>

3. So I moved to NYC to become a publisher! And everything worked out perfectly! RIGHT? No. Apparently the economy was like “Hey Summer! F*CK YOU!” and decided that now was as good a time as any to absolutely go down the crapper. Love. ly. Publishing houses were laying off people like crazy, and it’s just NOT a good time to be a recent college graduate. But I haven’t given up yet! I’m still trying and trying and trying and going on interviews and sucking up to people and sleeping in and eating fast food and spending my days on youtube and WAIT, this all doesn’t sound too bad! Well, I guess because it isn’t. I’m living in an amazing city with seriously fascinating weather (I’d tell you about last week when I saw planted tulips blooming for the first time and almost cried, but that’s a different story for a different time), with one of my best friends, and I’m still right at the beginning of the rest of my life! That might all sound really weird and strangely optimistic, but I really do feel like things will work themselves out eventually, and in the meantime I’ll keep trying to find the silver lining in being unemployed and broke in the most expensive city in the United States!

Hey, I might not have a television, but I have YouTube.

I’m unemployed, but the Apple Store on 5th is open 24 hours!

I’m eating ramen for lunch, but RAMEN IS EFFING AMAZING!

I don’t have a job, but LIBRARIANS LOVE ME!

See? It’s not that bad!

beda day #9: i’m a 19-year-old girl, not sydney freakin’ bristow

9 04 2009

The above quote is from this week’s episode of Greek, and it’s clearly not applicable, as…

1. I’m 22 years old
2. I am Sydney freakin’ Bristow

Glad we got that settled.

So I know I’ve technically been doing this whole “blog every day April” thing, since I’ve blogged every day in April, but I feel like I haven’t really talked about things that would interest the BEDA community. See, now I promised myself I wouldn’t go changing the way I write my blogs just for this BEDA thing (um, okay, cause your style is THAT exciting? Summer, shut up), but I thought that I should do a blog that talks about something that most everyone in BEDA loves (not counting Maureen Johnson. Because that would just be an odd post, considering hardly any of it would be about her amazing books or awesome Obama campaign, but would most likely center on the youtube videos that she does with Libba Bray. Because I’ve actually used “Libba Bray, funny as a dialysis machine” entirely too often in everyday conversation), BOOKS!

Today I will be talking about one of my favorite books…

KIKI STRIKE (both book 1: Inside the Shadow City and book 2: The Empress’s Tomb) by Kirsten Miller

Kiki on the top, Ananka on the bottom.

Kiki on the top, Ananka on the bottom.

When Kiki Strike was in school, her teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“Dangerous” was her answer.

This series is about a group of six middle school girls (the Irregulars) who explore a underground city beneath Manhattan. Now this sounds crazy, and it is, but wonderfully so. It’s written from the point of view of Ananka Fishbein, who believes that her life was mushy-pudding boring until the day she met Kiki Strike. Each of the Irregulars has a specific skill that helps them pull off their missions, which range from rescue missions, to revenge plots, and everyday good deeds. There are disguises, inventions, and such that would obviously be impossible for anyone to pull off, especially 12-year-old girls, but it’s all so much fun that you let it go. The first two books take place in NYC, but I heard a rumor that the third one takes place in Paris! I’m so excited.

Another picture of the Kiki. And that's her VESPA! A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD WITH A VESPA! LOVE HER!

Another picture of the Kiki. And that's her VESPA! A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD WITH A VESPA! LOVE HER!

This was the image that they printed on the Kiki Strike t-shirts that they sold at the website… but apparently they are sold out. Sad.

Gah. So awesome.

… plus, she actually IS like Sydney Bristow, unlike me and Rebecca Logan.

beda day #8: across the universe

8 04 2009

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I have lived in some very different places.

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Then when I was 18, I decided to go away for college, to Los Angeles, California.

In my junior year of college, I spent a semester abroad in Taipei, Taiwan.

And last August I moved clear across the country to the New York City Metropolitan Area (I technically live in Jersey City).

It’s a long way. My entire family is a whole five (six during DST) time zones behind me in Hawaii. When I look at flights, the prices make me want to cry. But I’m glad I moved away. I love experiencing the real seasons for the first time, and I love all of the many opportunities that the city has to offer.

But in the spirit of moving around… here is a list of places I’ve never been to but would love to visit in my lifetime:

1. Sydney, Australia
2. New Delhi, India
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
4. Helsinki, Finland
5. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
6. Shanghai, China
7. Savannah, Georgia
8. Auckland, New Zealand
9. Anchorage, Alaska
10. Cardiff, Wales

and some places I’ve been to but would love to revisit:

1. Hong Kong
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. San Francisco, California

…mmm…. I want to go traveling so badly now!


For those of you who are like me and every day strive to become more like the legend that is Blair Waldorf, you’ll appreciate how happy this makes me.