bloop

2020: My Year in Review

2020… how can I even recap it? I almost don’t even want to make my annual Year in Review post, but I’m not one to break tradition.

To say it’s been a weird, sad, maddening hot dumpster fire of a year would be the ultimate understatement. I’ve found myself angrier and even more disheartened by the state of the world and many of the people in it — particularly in the United States in which I live. From those who choose to not understand the Black Lives Matter movement, racial injustices seen in BIPOC/POC communities, to COVID-19 non-believers, it’s hard to look at how other countries are taking better precautions in social distancing and taking care of small businesses and its citizens financially. Must be nice to live somewhere where everyone considers the community as a whole rather than themselves as individuals. Le sigh.

Sometimes I get upset with myself for not accomplishing a whole lot this year. I didn’t even reach my GoodReads goal despite changing it 3 times. Like… that’s something I thought I could accomplish, but alas! I’m trying not to get down on myself because as my friend Sara told me, we’re all dealing with a pandemic. We’re not required to do X, Y, and Z when we’re just trying to survive, so everyone should give themselves grace.

And I’m still alive and [somewhat] well, so that’s something! I feel like some friendships have grown stronger throughout this year, so I’m thankful for the Zoom calls, Google hangouts, and barrage of text messages. They definitely helped me cope and get through 2020.

BTS was an unexpected godsend, too. I started listening to them last November and my love for them has flourished since then. While I’m sad 2020 robbed me of seeing them live in April, a lot of stuff they came out with wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the pandemic — and that includes some bonds growing stronger with friends who fell down the BTS rabbit hole after ‘Dynamite’ came out in August. And of course, I love how they brought my sister and I a lot closer 💜

A few cool things did happen this year such as…

  • being invited to be a guest on The Star Wars Show Book Club to discuss Leia: Princess of Alderaan
  • promoted to Content Editor of Sartorial Geek with some articles in 3 of their printed issues this year
  • successfully co-hosted 4 Sartorial Geek Fashion Fix challenges
  • successfully co-hosted 2 Animal Crossing events with Sartorial Geek
  • did a couple collabs with friends for fun content such as EK Johnston’s Queen’s Peril contest (I won a bookplate!) and Julie and the Phantoms costumes for Halloween
  • helped organize and execute a virtual Star Wars Celebration with a few of the girls from Galactic Coven in just 2 weeks, including panels, small business features, and a Galactic Gala
  • asked by Loungefly’s Stitch Shoppe to model a few pieces from their collections
  • learned how to trim my own bangs
  • got to watch 3 BTS online concert events
  • got to watch Riz Ahmed’s online performance (was also supposed to see him in April)
  • started taking Korean, Spanish, and French lessons on Duolingo

Okay, so that last one isn’t that exciting but I’m like… HEY, I am learning something. Haha! And most of my accomplishments were via Sartorial Geek, which is pretty effing cool.

I’m not really sure what else to say. I’ve mainly been cooped up at home lying on the couch scrolling endlessly on Instagram or TikTok, immersing myself in BTS content, watching a k-drama or random show on a streaming platform… yup, that’s pretty much it. 😅

I don’t know if anyone reads my blog anymore, but if someone happens to be reading these words I hope you’re well and doing the best you can, and that you and yours are safe. And please wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Here’s hoping 2021 will have a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. On that note, I’ll leave you with ‘Life Goes On’ by BTS. It definitely gives me some hope in this strange and scary timeline we’re all living in. I wish it can do the same for you. 💜

Cheers,
Nina

pup life

Happy 9th Homecoming, Rory!

Today marks 9 years since I brought Rory home! I would say it’s his Gotcha Day, but I think that would technically be when I first met him on August 7 and was like, “Mmm hmm, yes. He’s the one.” Nevertheless, I still like to consider today his Homecoming Anniversary. 💜

It goes without saying, but finding the good in these trying times has been hella difficult. I miss the obvious things like hanging out with friends, seeing family, going out and about, and traveling. But one thing I haven’t taken for granted is that I’m able to spend more time with Rory — especially since he’s now considered a senior. AH! It hurt to just even type that 😩 He’ll always be a puppy to me! I can’t even tell he’s aged since he’s all white and is still super energetic.

I remember last summer, I was at a shopping outlet out of town [le sigh] and I had Rory in a stroller — this woman came up to me and asked if she could pet him, so I said sure and when she asked how old he was and I said 8, she goes, “Oh cool, a senior dog.” 😨 I still can’t believe it’s been 9 years though. Getting a dog has been a dream of mine since I was just a wee baby, so even though all this time has passed I still look at Rory sometimes and think to myself, “Holy crap, I have a dog!”

Rory tolerates me terribly singing “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey to him or my own original silly ditties. Also me walking by and shaking his butt saying “SO FLUFFY!” And in turn I tolerate him barking at anyone or anything that walks by our house while he looks out the front window (most recently he barked at a hummingbird), or playing hard to get when it’s time to put his harness on before we go out for a walk. Or when I ask him to come over and he just stares at me and walks away. He’s basically me in dog form and I don’t know whether to be amused or annoyed 😅 I love him unconditionally anyway.

Cheers,
Nina

bloop

Not Bad For the End of the World

I started writing this blog post at the end of March to post on April 1, but that obviously didn’t happen, because WTF it’s already the end of May.

So I’ll start over.

With the pandemic going on, many of us who aren’t considered essential workers have been laid off from our jobs (hi, it me). And with sheltering in place and only being able to go out for essential things I thought, “wow, maybe this will bring a blogger resurgence!” — like, LiveJournal/Xanga status kinds of blogging. Getting all deep and introspective, or just writing a lot in general. Because what do we have but time on our hands now? But alas. This is the first post I’ve written since NYE 2019. Haha!

At the beginning I was on constant edge about covid-19 (or as I’ve been calling it La Rona); I’d wake up with what I call hummingbird heart because it felt like mine was beating 250 beats per minute from all the anxiety built up. Sometimes I’d wake up with trouble breathing, and panicked even more because it made me think La Rona got me. Everything had me in a constant state of worry. But slowly, I’ve been able to keep it under control thanks to distractions like group chats and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Honestly, Animal Crossing has been a true godsend! It helps me take my mind off everything, and I’ve been able to keep in touch with my friends and sister in a fun new way. Last month I also co-hosted another Sartorial Geek Fashion Fix Challenge, and participated in some fun projects with the Galactic Coven (like the pass the brush challenge). It’s nice to have those spurts of productivity in a time like this, especially since I feel like I haven’t been that productive. My room is still a mess and I haven’t read a book since February! It’s not for lack of trying — my mind just doesn’t want to shut up every time I pick up a book. And I get very overwhelmed with my piles and piles of clothes. I’m thoroughly annoyed by it.

Even though I feel okay most days, I can’t help but feel sad — which I know is totally normal and okay. I don’t know how long this is going to last, or when it’ll be safe to see my friends and other family again. I had so many plans that are now postponed until who knows when. April was supposed to be a fun month with a trip to LA to watch Riz Ahmed with some of my Bodhi Brigade sisters, and a BTS concert in the Bay Area with my mom and sister. SDCC was also cancelled, and I’m sure Star Wars Celebration will be too. And if it’s not, I’ll probably skip it because I wouldn’t feel safe going.

I miss being able to travel and explore. I miss random trips to Target just to walk around. I miss my family and friends. 😦

Whoever is reading this, I hope this finds you safe and well. Ideally at home and practicing social distancing. I mean, for those of us lucky to have a place to call home anyway.

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · out & about

2019: My Year in Review

Not only is today the last day of the year, but the decade! Oh, Time. Where have you gone? This decade has brought me love, heartbreak, disappointment, clarity, happiness, and friendships to last a lifetime. Though I often feel like I’m stuck in the same place and nothing’s changed, I have to give myself credit where credit is due. I’ve evolved. I can feel it. The hardships that have been thrown my way over the last 10 years have only made me stronger and changed me for the better.

And I became a dog mom, which is probably the highlight of this decade!

2019 wasn’t a hot-garbage-fire year like previous ones. In fact, I feel it might be my best one yet! It’s only fitting for me to welcome the new year and new decade going out on a high note 🙂

A goal of mine for 2019 was to travel often and experience new things. This year alone I’ve…

  • watched Sarah Kaye + Phil Kay in San Francisco
  • watched Waitress the musical in Sacramento
  • saw Ken Jeong live in Stockton
  • met Karen Ashley, the second yellow Power Ranger at StocktonCon
  • went to a Kook’s concert in Oakland (my bff’s fave band)
  • went to Disneyland for a Bodhi Brigade reunion
  • flew to Las Vegas for Janet Jackson’s residency
  • went to Disneyland again for Marvel Night
  • I went to New York in April and watched Hadestown and White Noise
  • I went to Philadelphia for a day and went to the Franklin Institute to see the Marvel exhibit and the Museum of the American Revolution and learned about “diaper butt”
  • went to G. Willow Wilson’s book signing in Oakland and got to tell her how much I love Ms. Marvel
  • got to model for one of my fave small geek shops, Jordandene!
  • went back to Disney for a third time to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • went to my 13th San Diego Comic-Con International (or 12th? I can’t remember if I missed 2 or 3 between 2004-2019)
  • planned a “Basic Autumn Bitch” trip for the third week of October to visit Boston + New York — I fell in love with Boston and went to Salem for a day, and I watched Betrayal (with Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton) on Broadway, and Little Shop of Horrors off Broadway with Jonathan Groff (where I got a terrible selfie)
  • finally saw the original Winnie the Pooh toys at the New York Public Library which has been on my bucket list for ages!
  • watched Hamilton for the second time in San Francisco
  • unexpectedly booked another trip to New York for the first week of October after being invited to be on a geek fashion panel at New York Comic-Con thanks to the Sartorial Geek
  • was a panelist for the first time ever at a convention!
  • became a staff writer for the Sartorial Geek
  • co-hosted 3 geek fashion challenges this year
  • saw Jo Koy live in Stockton
  • saw my one of my best friends get married to the love of her life
  • gained 2 furry nephews and a furry niece thanks to my other best friend
  • went to Feel the Force night at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

I did all that in a year! HOW CRAZY.

The biggest setback I’ve faced this year was getting laid off from my first “big girl” job. I worked for a fashion app for a good 3 years in San Francisco. I started as an unpaid intern and worked my way up to contract worker, to full-time as their Customer Success Manager. On top of that, I was also a stylist (and still am) on their app and earned many rave reviews. Of course I was sad and angry when it happened. It was a blow in all kinds of ways, but also a blessing because now I can figure out what it is I truly want to do. What that is, I haven’t figured out yet. Haha! But in the meantime I’ve been able to go back to a part-time job I never thought I’d go back to. And you know what? I’m feeling okay about it. It’s changed and so have I.

Here’s to more adventures and new experiences to come in the next year/decade.

Cheers,
Nina

out & about

Way Down, Hadestown

hadestown preview night broadway

Long time, no see! I can’t believe I haven’t updated Le Fancy Geek since February 😱

I’ve been up to A LOT since then. I’ve traveled to New York, Philadelphia (for a day), Las Vegas, and Disneyland twice — once for Marvel Night and then for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! In New York, I got to watch Hadestown while it was still in previews back in April. It was by far one of my favorite theater experiences ever. And it’s gone on to win 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical! With the rest of the songs from the Original Broadway Cast album being released today, I thought it would be the perfect time to do a #FlashbackFriday post about my trip to the underground.

Purchasing my ticket to Hadestown is by far my most extravagant impulse purchase to date. I was a bit more detailed in my reasons for getting it in the first place in my first post of 2019, so I shall spare you from repeating myself. But I can tell you that Hadestown was entirely worth every penny! And I still can’t believe the random date I chose was the same day as my fellow Bodhi Brigade sisters, Alice and Cat, and new geek pal Sherry!

The women who played the Fates had the slickest and most haunting harmonies I’ve ever heard in my damn life, and Eva Noblezada was a force to be reckoned with as Eurydice. Reeve Carney’s portrayal of Orpheus was a sweet cinnamon roll that kind of makes you go “UGH” because he reminds you of every arty poetic guy you ever had a crush on (or is it just me?). Everyone involved was incredible! I’m at loss for more synonyms to say “amazing.” I guess all I can really say is if you’re a lover of mythology, poetry, and musicals, Hadestown is for you.

I’m going to try and find some time to write up about all the fun things I’ve been up to this year! From catching the train to Philadelphia at an ungodly hour for a day of museum hopping, to seeing Janet Jackson rock the stage in Las Vegas, to being a pilot on the Millennium Falcon — 2019 has been a whirlwind of AWESOME! What have y’all been up to? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

PPS: Catch the OBC’s performance of my favorite song from the 2019 Tony Awards!

#lampography

(photo of Reeve Carney courtesy of Alice Fanchiang)

geek style

You’re Just As Sane As I Am

I found this post just hanging out and collecting figurative dust in my drafts. It’s too cute to not share though! If you know me, you know I love getting dressed in theme when I go places or for certain days. I wore this outfit on September 1st aka Back to Hogwarts Day! Since it’s a Luna Lovegood outfit, why not post this on her birthday? 🙂

I’m a Hufflepuff through and through, but I’d like to think that Luna would be one of my best friends if I went to Hogwarts. We’d hangout and read the Quibbler together and I’d listen to her talk about nargles and other weird things, and we’d have fun craft sessions (making cool jewelry and papier-mâché headpieces for quidditch games).

Both my Luna skirt and beret are from 1138 Clothing, a super cute geek small biz owned and run by my girl Linda. Linda sews all the dresses, skirts, and tops for 1138 Clothing and will even customize pieces to fit your exact measurements. The silhouettes/style of her garments have a retro/vintage feel with a geek twist as she uses fabrics adorned with characters from all kinds of fandoms — from Harry Potter to Disney to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — there’s something for every geek!

:: OUTFIT DETAILS ::
skirt & beret: 1138 Clothing (buy here & here)
glasses: Zenni Optical (buy here) | top: Old Navy
shoes: Dexflex Comfort | belt: Lane Bryant
purse: Kate Spade | bag essence: Tokyo Disney

Who’s your favorite Harry Potter character and what house are you in? Did you get sorted by Pottermore or did you figure it out on your own? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Happy Galentine’s Day!!!

 

 

the biblio files

The Biblio Files: Norroway by Kit & Cat Seaton

Last week I read Norroway by Kit & Cat Seaton from start to finish right before I reached my stop during my commute on BART. Seriously, the only good thing about my long ass commute is that it gives me an hour to read!

Norroway is about a young woman named Sibylla. As a young girl she seeks what her future holds for her from a witch and is told she will be the bride of the Black Bull of Norroway.  Sibylla longs for a life full of adventure; in fact, her original question for the witch was if she’d ever get to sail a ship, but was pressured by one of her sisters to ask the same question they did: who will she marry? So though the fate the witch revealed is rather odd, Sibylla accepts it. Years later the Black Bull of Norroway comes knocking on her door and much to her surprise he’s a literal bull… and so her adventure begins!

I don’t want to get too into the plot because I’d probably write a CliffNotes of the whole book, but if you’re a fan of fairytales I think you’ll really enjoy Norroway. When I looked it up, I found that the Seaton sisters had been wanting to work on a book together based on the Scottish fairytales they loved as children, and they had started working on Norroway back in 2013. If this book isn’t a labor of love, I don’t know what is! Though I’m not familiar with this tale, I thought they did an incredible job from the engaging writing to the gorgeous illustrations. I immediately Googled the fairytale to see how it ends, but I’m really looking forward to see how the rest of their retelling goes!

If you’d like to read it, you can find Norroway at your local comicbook/bookstore or online. You can also see if your local library has it.

Do you love fairytales? If so, what’s your favorite one? My sister and I were obsessed with Hansel and Gretel when we were little — we made our mom read it to us almost every night! Let me know your faves in the comments. 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

the biblio files

The Biblio Files: Runaways

Runaways is a series that’s been on my TBR list for over a decade. I remember my sister and brother-in-law telling me about it — the premise is these teens find out their parents are actually pretty damn evil after witnessing them do a heinous act, and thus find themselves on the run as they can’t depend on the law to be on their side. The original series was written by Brian K Vaughan and I remember around the time it was out, my sister and B.I.L. had been reading BKV’s Y: The Last Man (which I started and never finished, but thoroughly enjoyed).

Back in October I started reading the first volume of Rowell’s run since it was easily accessible, and as soon as I finished it I found myself falling down the rabbit hole as I read the entirety of BKV’s run, all the way to the Young Avengers three issue mini series on this website (WARNING: the ads are gross AF). I had to know what happened to this group of misfits and how they all got to where they are in the current series as it begins with all of them being dispersed. I still have a bit of a ways to go before I complete it all, but it goes without saying: I’m OBSESSED.

This series is so fun and filled with tons of humor, action, angst (a bit too much from Gert if you ask me), and there’s a dinosaur with a septum piercing named Old Lace! If you haven’t read Runaways yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. But don’t be like me — start from the beginning. I really wish I would’ve started there because the plot twists that come before are insane. I picked up the second volume of Rowell’s run last month and still need to read the rest of the original, but I’m still taking a bit of a break before I dive back in.

Have you read Runaways or watched the show (I have yet to see it)? Who’s your favorite character? Mine’s Nico! Let’s talk about it in the comments section 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

geek style

New Year, Who Dis?

Welp, 2018 has come and gone and it was filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but I made it out alive (had my first bought of food poisoning the day before New Year’s Eve and wanted to die, but I’m here) so… yay?

I wrote a blog post last July saying I wanted to be better at writing on here, and after that I did a whopping 3 posts. ::cue sad trombone:: I’m gonna cut myself some slack though! On that note, I’ll try and be better this year. I feel like I did a lot of cool things in 2018 (went to Portland and checked out the Laika exhibit, went on my first business trip to NYC, read sooo many awesome comics, modeled in the Her Universe Fashion Show, oh and my hair is blue now!), so maybe I’ll do a few throwback posts throughout the year. We’ll see…

I’m pretty stoked for 2019 though — I have some fun things planned out already. Besides SDCC in July, I’m planning a trip to NYC in April!!! My plane tickets have been purchased and everything. My trip happened upon impulse after I had a mental breakdown about how I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, and I could probably do so many things, and I got really down on myself about my frivolous spending habits (this was sometime after Black Friday, and ooh lord, I spent sooooooo much). The amount I spend on food, clothes, Funko Pops, comics, and whatnot could totally be put towards traveling or going to shows. I cracked numbers in my head about how much I need to pay off my credit cards (even though I’m bad at math), and my friend Alice (Bodhi Brigade) had told me that tickets to Hadestown, a musical she had talked about on Twitter that I fell in love with, had discounted fan tickets before they’re sold to the general public. I didn’t know what day she got her ticket, but after my little breakdown, I picked a day and just fucking bought it.

I know. I KNOW! It all sounds crazy, stupid, and reckless, but Neil Gaiman said he hopes we make mistakes because when we make mistakes it means we’re trying new things and changing our world… or something like that. Anyway, my goal from that moment forward was to invest more in experiences. I want to do more things, not buy more things (except for books and the occasional clothing item).

Wanna know something else? I bought a ticket to watch White Noise, a play that Daveed Diggs will be starring in, at the Public Theater in NYC a week after I bought my ticket for Hadestown, so I was like, “Okay, yep. I am definitely going!” And by happenstance, my ticket for Hadestown is for the same day and time Alice and Cat are going. What are the odds???

Other goals I have this year are to create more, be more active, and read more books. Last year I told myself I wanted to write at least one thing and submit it for publication, and I did! Not sure of its status, but it felt so good to get back into writing anyhow. 🙂

::OUTFIT DETAILS::
t-shirt: Jordandene (buy here) | jacket: Old Navy (buy here)
skirt: Hot Topic | shoes: Dexflex Comfort | belt: Walmart
hat: H&M | glasses: Bonlook (sold out)

What are your plans for 2019? Have any trips lined up, goals, or resolutions? Are goals and resolutions practically the same thing? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

(photos by Jennifer Khut)

PS: I almost forgot! Jordandene has kicked off an official ambassador program and I’ve been asked to return! I’m hella excited to be working with them again because they’re one of my absolute faves; their shirts are soo comfy and the geek centric quotes printed on them often feel like armor. My Clever Girl scoop neck also looks hella dope with my fossil skirt if I do say so myself ;)You can use my coupon code LEFANCYGEEK to save 15% on a minimum purchase of $20

the biblio files

The Biblio Files: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Pashmina is the debut graphic novel from one of my favorite artists, Nidhi Chanani, that focuses on the coming-of-age of Priyanka “Pri” Das, an Indian teen living in America with her single mother. She has tons of questions as to why her mother left India and what happened to her father (who she’s never met), but the more her mother keeps mum, the more curious she becomes of her roots. One day she happens upon a pashmina and finds herself transported to a fantastical and vibrant version of India. Whenever she wraps it around herself, it takes her further and further into the depths of India and unravels the mystery that is her family.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read this book, but I really wanted to share it on here because it resonated with me on another level. When you’re the first generation from an immigrant family in America (or anywhere for that matter), you must figure out how to balance two cultures. I loved the way Nidhi portrayed that; it was so relatable… sometimes to the point where it hurt just a wee bit.

I also loved the transition from black and white (every day scenes) to saturated color (scenes set in India) within its pages pages. It felt an analogy for the experience of growing up with two cultures — one seems less than compared to the other, but you soon discover there’s a whole side of you that’s rich in history and traditions. Well, that was my takeaway, anyway!

On Free Comic Book Day back in May, I trekked to Isotope Comics in San Francisco to get my booked signed! Nidhi was super sweet and took the time to chat with me, too 🙂

Have you read Pashmina? Let’s discuss in the comments section! If you’d like to get a copy of Pashmina, go here or pick it up at your local bookstore or comic shop.

Cheers,
Nina