Fangirl Moment: The Last Unicorn

With San Diego Comic Con month upon us, I thought it'd be nice to revisit some of the magic of past cons in preparation for this year. This was one of the first unexpectedly wonderful moments for me at SDCC 2014, only our second year going.

While trying to figure out how to get into the Funko booth line (which is always badly managed and perpetually capped), I wandered through the neighboring Artists' Alley area of the Exhibit Hall floor. A The Last Unicorn poster caught my eye, and since that was my favorite movie from childhood and one of my favorite books ever, I went over to see what it was.

And then I freaked out because Peter S. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn was sitting right there at the table.

I flailed at the Sister, who was still keeping an eye on the Funko booth, and she encouraged me to go over there and talk to him. So I made my way over. He was speaking to someone browsing the book selection at the time, so I talked to the man at the table about the books and whether I could get stuff signed. I obviously did *not* have my copy of The Last Unicorn on me, so I did what any self-respecting fangirl would do; I bought a new one. There was no way I was not going to get my favorite book signed by the author. I also picked up one of his other unicorn books.

I'm going to pause here because I need to talk about The Last Unicorn. As a kid, this was my favorite animated movie - even above all the Disney princess films. I watched it so much, the VHS cover is wrinkled and crumbling at the edges and the tape itself has warped sound during the opening credits. I found the unicorn again in college when I finally read the book, and that deepened my love for the story so much more. My childhood love for the story was based on the gorgeous animation, my fascination with unicorns, the princes and romance and magic. It was just another fairy tale to love, albeit one that gave me nightmares in the form of fiery red bulls and witches who kept vengeful harpies. But the book...

The book moved me in deeper ways - partly because I was now old enough to understand the themes that were present in the movie, but also because as is often the case, the book had more. It was wistful and nostalgic, romantic and world-weary, tragic and hopeful all at once. I love this story so much, I wrote about the unicorn for my "hero story" for the geeky menswear brand Hero Within.

And can we talk about the prose? It's the lyrical but not purple style I adore, effortlessly evocative. Beagle can do so much with so little; he makes words sing. It's the kind of poetic prose that has you believing in unicorns. I still look at the world hoping to catch a glimpse of one.

Anyway, despite my word-vomit tendencies, I think I tend to keep it cool enough when I've had the opportunity to meet people I admire. I am definitely not a burst-into-tears-from-the-feels type of person (though I'm moving towards that in my older age). But I will confess to you now that I found myself inexplicably tearing up when I met Peter S. Beagle and told him how much his book meant and continues to mean to me.

He was so gracious and kind, and he took the time to have a little chat with me. Since there was no one else in line, he told me an entire story, which essentially turned out to be a fantastical explanation for the Lizzie Borden murders, over the table after he was done signing my books.

The whole experience was so delightful and unexpected. Meeting Peter S. Beagle is not something that had even crossed my mind, and to sort of just stumble upon him in the chaos of Comic Con was magical in and of itself. This year will be my 5th year at the convention, and this experience is still one of my favorite things that has happened to me.

Q4U: What or who have you freaked out about? What's a favorite convention memory?


Geekchic OOTD: Wonder Woman

The Wonder Woman movie opens this Friday, and I am so scared and excited for it. Scared because frankly, I've been burned by the DC movies too many times to trust them, but excited because it's Wonder Woman! She's arguably the most famous female superhero, and she's finally getting her own movie and one directed by a woman, too. These milestones in pop culture are something to cheer about (though it's taken shamefully long to get here)!

To celebrate the release, here's a throwback Thursday OOTD post of the casual/closet cosplay Wonder Woman I wore to Comic Con two years ago.

I zip-lined across the Gotham skyline in this outfit. Luckily, I brought a pair of shorts to change into before zipping.
The skirt is what makes it. It was a lucky find at Forever 21; I literally saw it from outside the store as I was walking by. It was the inspiration for the geekbound in the first place. Once I had the skirt, I just bought a red shirt and accessorized appropriately.

The bangles, belt, headband, and ring were all from Forever 21, too, but other than the bangles, everything else I'd already had. The necklace was another lucky find at Papaya (an F21-like store). The Sister did her own geekbound take on Aquaman and DIYed a sea-themed headband for it.

I updated the look a little for Halloween - different headband and belt, red sandals, and I found one of my mom's old belts that conveniently looked like rope for my lasso! For Nerdvember, I put together a simpler (and warmer) geekbounding look. I'll probably wear something similar to see the movie!

I have never hoped so hard for any movie to be good, and the positive reviews coming out now are letting me rest a little easier. I'm seeing it tonight! Keep your fingers crossed that I come back with a glowing review!!

In any case, if you're thinking about seeing it, I encourage you to do it sooner rather than later. As they say, money is the language Hollywood understands best, and it's time the myth that female-led movies (superhero or otherwise) don't sell is dispelled.

Q4U: Are you excited for Wonder Woman?

**EDIT: Saw the movie, and oh my goodness, Diana is everything!! Mini-spoiler-free review taken from my Instagram post today: While the movie had its flaws (the 3rd act was not my fave & probably the weakest part of the film, & the movie could've been tighter in parts), everything else was what I hoped it would be. Gal Gadot's Diana is idealistic & compassionate, vulnerable & strong, & truly just someone out to do good. And her chemistry with Chris Pine's Steve Trevor is đź’Ż. He lets her do her thing without trying to diminish her & he in turn is not diminished by her superheroics.


April, the cruelest month

April - as the title suggests - was rough, but rough in the sense that it was a mix of a lot of things. The title of this post is especially appropriate because it's the first line of T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, and April was National Poetry Month.

So yes, this post is about poetry and the writing I did last month (even as May is ending now, how?!), despite how hectic my schedule turned out to be and how tired I was. I wrote a record number of poems. They were not all great or meant for further revision, but they're out there now on the page or in my Twitter timeline. I did not work on novel or short-story writing, though I meant to; I was supposed to do Camp NaNoWriMo for the novel but ended up with a bunch of poems instead?

The novel aesthetics put together for me by Kaye for the thing I didn't work on.
For me, April had a lot of fun social activities, but it was also very busy at the day job. The current state of government continues to be a constant trashfire, but on top of that, I felt particularly abused by the fun pop culture things I love - the things that should generally be there to bring me joy or even escape! In April,  there was still on-going fallout from the March releases of both Iron Fist and Ghost in the Shell - a double-header of Asian American representation issues (IF for its Orientalism, White Savior-flavor, and general crappiness; GitS for its whitewashing & doubling down on it in movie), made only worse by the excuses, deflections, and general cluelessness given by both productions' teams. Not to mention, how these discussions dredged up the age-old arguments of who true fans are and the role of canon (and when it matters).

I've never really been the type of person to write in reaction to something, but thanks to what I just mentioned causing my low-key constant state of rage, I wrote a couple of poems about that. This was also a useful way for me to try a new poetry form: the Sevenling. It's a 7-line poem that is meant to feel a little mysterious and incomplete with the last line acting as something of a kicker. I've had a lot of fun with them, and I encourage you to try it yourself.

The rage also helped me finish a poem I'd been struggling with since last year. So yay, for channeling negative energy into something I hope is worthwhile! I'm pretty happy with it and hope to be able to share it with you in the future.

A post shared by alice (@akangaru) on

But I won't lie to you, anger is exhausting - at least it is for me in the long-run. Usually, it leaves me feeling depleted and helpless, but I guess the constant barrage in March going into April tipped me over to rage, which felt empowering for my writing. That said, it sucked to feel betrayed by the things you usually turn to for fun. Like I can't tell you how good it felt to finally not be mad at Marvel when I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this month.

That said, like in my college glory days, when I was the most sleepless and procrastinating, I tended to be at my most creative - like my brain was searching for anything else to do. Strange how sometimes it's when you have no time that you somehow manage to be the most productive! Like I said, I wrote a record number of poems - about 9 - though most of them were Twitter poems. I'll be posting most of them at Girl on the Roam, but here's one for the road.

The path we're on is often unclear, and therefore scary. What can we do but push forward? I wish you peace and compassion, friends, and the patience to keep on keepin' on.

Q4U: How was your April and May? Are you more productive when you're busy?

P.S. The winner of my "Nevertheless, She Persisted" giveaway was Cate at Cateaclysmic! She received her tank earlier in May.

P.P.S. I'm trying to blog more often. In fact, I'll have a new post in a few days. See you then!


Geekchic OOTD: Here We Are- Feminist AF

In honor of Women's History Month & International Women's Day earlier this month (March 8), I'm joining Kelly Jensen's week-long feminist celebration on social media! You can join too by posting whatever you want in celebration of feminism (blog posts, tweets, Instagrams) and using the #HereWeAre. (Details are in the link above.)

The big social media blast day is today 3/15!

For my contribution today, I thought it'd be fun to do an outfit post featuring a great shirt from fave geek-girl brand JordandenĂ© and paying gentle homage to 2 feminist icons- Rosie the Riveter and Wonder Woman.

Nevertheless, She Persisted

In February 2017, when Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Senate Republicans while she read Coretta Scott King's letter opposing Jeff Sessions, women everywhere were given a new rallying cry by Senate Majority Leader McConnell when he defended the action with the words: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

Too bad no one ever told these people that women are all too familiar with being dismissed and silenced and as such are also experts at persisting against the odds.

So when Jordan put this phrase on a shirt (comes as a tank, a mug, and phone case, too), I absolutely had to get it.

And to make this look a shout-out to strong women, I wanted it to call back to historical icon Rosie the Riveter - a propaganda tool used by the U.S. government when they wanted women working during World War II. Rosie has since become a symbol of women in the workforce and a reminder of the contributions of women during the war era. To do that, I went with casual-fit blue denim and a red star-spangled ribbon for my hair.

I last minute added the bangles I bought 2 years ago for my Wonder Woman costume to add a little geek girl power to the whole thing. And bright red lips, of course, to top off the Wonder Woman vibes and as a nod to Kumander Liwayway - real life teenage resistance leader, who wore lipstick to war and kicked so much ass while looking straight up fabulous.

Learn more about Liwayway here: https://storify.com/themackenzilee/bygonebadassbroads-commander-liwayway

Outfit details:
SHIRT (Jordandené) // JEANS (Uniqlo) // SHOES (E8 by Miista) // BRACELETS (Forever 21 - similar) // HAIR RIBBON (Forever 21 - similar) // BACKPACK (Longchamp) // LIP COLOR (Colourpop in 'Creeper')

Hope you like the look, and remember, you can dress and look however you want and still smash the patriarchy. Work!

And to help you level up your feminist wardrobe, I'm giving away 1 Jordandené "Nevertheless, She Persisted" tank or shirt (your choice) to one of you lovely people!

The giveaway will run until the end of the month (3/31) and is open internationally (or rather anywhere JordandenĂ© ships). Enter below.

(Disclaimer: I'm running this giveaway of my own accord, and I'm featuring Jordandené gear because I truly love it and I think Jordan is lovely. Plus, I support women-run small businesses.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


5 Fandom Friday (28): Galentine's Day Gifts

New year, new logo from Megan for her Five Fandom Friday!

5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Also, tweet at @thenerdygirlie on Friday with your post (and they'll RT) and use the #Fandom5 hashtag so we can all connect!

I'd be lost without all the incredible women in my life, especially my girl gang. So, of course, I'm all about celebrating women's friendships. Here are some fun things you can share with your squad for Galentine's Day.

1) Soul-Sister patches for your soul sisters. (These soul sisters are from Kodiak Milly)

A photo posted by Kodiak Milly (@kodiakmilly) on

2) Books about badass women and ride-or-die girl friends.

Heroine Complex stars Asian American super-heroines who are childhood friends. Plus, there are costume changes, gossip blogs, and demonic cupcakes.

TRUTHWITCH is about threadsisters trying to live their lives without upsetting the politically volatile landscape of a rich fantasy world. And the cutest side note about this novel is that it's kind of a tribute to author Susan Dennard's friendship with author Sarah J Maas.

A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS is a YA anthology featuring amazing girls across America and through history.

Not pictured here, but one of my all time favorite badass girls who are besties books is CODE NAME VERITY! It features a spy and a pilot who become friends during World War II.

3) Tees/Tanks/Sweaters for the entire squad.

A photo posted by alice (@threadedpages) on

4) Donations to a charity supporting women/girls in your gal pals' names. (A few suggestions...)

5) Feminist art

Q4U: What are you getting your best gal pals?


5 Fandom Friday (27): My TBR Pile

New year, new logo from Megan for her Five Fandom Friday!

5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Also, tweet at @thenerdygirlie on Friday with your post (and they'll RT) and use the #Fandom5 hashtag so we can all connect!

It's been a while since I've done one of these, and frankly, the world is on fire right now. So it's been hard to have the energy to blog or write. I'm living a constant state of stress and exhaustion. THAT SAID, this is a welcome distraction, and I do miss talking about books and sharing geeky things with you.

This week's prompt is about our To Be Read piles, and I have one that could stretch to the moon, but here are a few that I need to get to this year or bust. :)

1) THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi

A photo posted by alice (@threadedpages) on

I'm actually reading this RIGHT NOW. Meant to read it all last year because I'm such a huge fan of Roshani's writing. I found her through poetry and then her short stories, and her words are so lush and vivid you feel like you can reach out and hold them. So far, this read is as magical as promised.


This book technically doesn't come out until May this year, but a perk of being friends with the author is sometimes getting an ARC! The book is about a girl who uses K-Dramas as a blueprint to navigate her love life. Hilarity ensues, I'm sure.

3) OUTRUN THE MOON by Stacey Lee

I need to read a Stacey Lee book, period. Both her debut UNDER A PAINTED SKY and this one have been acclaimed, and I am always down for more books starring Asian characters written by Asian authors.


I'm now 2 books behind in SJM's Throne of Glass series. Gotta catch-up this year before the final book out next year.

5) THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

I know, I know! I love the Raven Cycle books and this last entry in the series was like my TOP anticipated book last year. But I think I'm afraid of it being over, so I've been putting it off. Definitely going to read this asap.

A photo posted by alice (@threadedpages) on

Q4U: What's on your TBR? Have you read any of these?

If you want to join in next week, the prompt is: Galentine's Day Gifts!


Year in Review: BYE 2016

I've said, written, and tweeted this so much: 2016 was a weird year.

There were the ominous signs of the apocalypse: acts of terror at home and in the world; the exposed hate brought about by hard and necessary conversations starting to be had in media and society; Brexit; the Election (in the U.S.); the loss of so many beloved icons.

There were the positive things as well: all of the amazing travel I did; the friendships I deepened; new projects; so many people I know had years of personal growth and triumph - new businesses, self-care, marriages, new deals, babies; diversity issues coming to the forefront; Hamilton winning all the awards; all the good geeky things - like Wizarding World, SDCC, a new Star Wars movie full of space baes.

Whatever it was, 2016 was a year we couldn't say goodbye (and good riddance!) to soon enough. But like I said above, there were good things about it too. So, I'm reviewing the year behind and looking forward.

My best 9 Instas of 2016 - mostly outfit posts!

  • Girl gangs: New Year's gathering, brunches, The Force Awakens in 4DX, karaoke, and general fun times with my favorite girls kicked off 2016.
  • Geekery: Picked up a bunch of Star Wars and Hamilton things - sometimes they were even mash-ups. The Hamilton love was going strong.
  • Petal Drop LA: a temporary art installation/exhibit where petals rained into an alley in the middle of Los Angeles. Needless to say, it was a kind of magic.
A video posted by Catherine (@catherine) on

  • Nerdcoolture: Interviewed by Marlon of Nerdcoolture about what fandom is. This was our first meeting and would lead to the nerdy travel series we'd collaborate on later.
  • Family Trip to AZ: We drove to Sedona, where we took in the stunning red rock formations, the clear, clean skies, and went on our first helicopter ride. We also drove up to Flagstaff to catch a tour out to unspeakably beautiful Antelope Canyon and breathtaking Horseshoe Bend.

A photo posted by Catherine (@catherine) on

  • Geek hang-outs: explored LA with my gals at the FIDM movie costumes exhibit and Break Bread modern art show.
  • V.E. Schwab: Finally met Victoria Schwab on her book tour for Book 2 of her sweeping Shades of Magic fantasy trilogy. She's an author whose books I love and whose work ethic is so admirable. Bonus- I put together one of my fave JordandenĂ© outfits to date.

  • Harry Potter Wizarding World: We heard the Wizarding World had a soft open ahead of its grand opening in summer. So we took an early trip to Universal Studios and lived our magic dreams and got sugar-drunk on frozen butterbeer!

  • Cherry Blossom Festival: Descanso Gardens with the Con Squad
A photo posted by Catherine (@catherine) on

  • Loki's 4th birthday
  • Bookstagram: I started a bookstagram account for book pics only - @threadedpages
My Best 9 bookstagrams from 2016

  • JordandenĂ© x Hamilton: A fave geek-lady-run business, JordandenĂ©, started doing shirts of the month in 2016. For April, Jordan asked me for help with picking a Hamilton quote. Our brief collaboration resulted in a great Schuyler Sisters shirt & an OOTD post from me!

  • Coachella: We hadn't planned on going, but the Sister won tickets. So we went off into the desert and had a lovely, music-filled weekend. In some ways, I enjoyed this year's trip more because I wasn't suffering from "desert sickness" aka relentless allergies.

  • Desert pit-stops: We always say we're going to do side-excursions but never do. This year, we made it out to Desert Christ Park after reading about it before Coachella. Out in Yucca Valley, the park contains crumbling statues of Christ and the Apostles. It was a cool site to visit because it was a little eerie in its disrepair under a blazing blue California sky. The Sis and I walked around, had a snack, and spotted a real life roadrunner here. And we stopped at the Cabazon dinosaurs, of course.

  • Book releases: Online writer friend Jessica Love had her solo debut this year (IN REAL LIFE), and we finally met IRL, despite the fact we don't actually live that far away from each other. The Hamiltome is finally out!!
  • Goats in the cemetery: Sis and I happened to see goats at a local, historic cemetery, and they were there to clear away the grass.

  • YALLWest: My first book convention (not counting the LA Times FOB) and it was so fun - but especially because I got to hang with book/writer friends and to meet online friends IRL.
  • BeyoncĂ©: This was life-changing, which sounds like an exaggeration but not really. Not only is she an incredible performer, but the entire experience was just so affirming and empowering. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan or anything, but I might be now?
A video posted by Alice (@girlontheroam) on

  • Marvelous events: Captain America Civil War! Blackmilk Sample sale!! A friend's quarter-century birthday, hiking with Loki. Seeing Sarah J. Maas on her ACOMAF book tour.
  • Rhysling nomination: "ACTAEON" was Rhysling-nominated in January & put into a book!

  • NOLA: First time to New Orleans and first time traveling with the Con Squad girls. It was a great time! Food, history, music, beignets, swamps, thunder storms, walking tours, tarot. I was told I might be psychic! I also met one of my oldest online writing friends!
A photo posted by alice (@akangaru) on

  • Exploration: Giant inflatable bunnies of INTRUDEla, Outlander costume exhibit, learning more about the tarot, trying out SoulCycle (Hamilton themed, of course)
  • Hamilton at the Tony's: we had a Tony's party to cheer on Hamilton & to see their performance of course. We baked cookies and dressed accordingly. They, of course, swept their awards categories. Rise up!
  • Beach movie: Star Wars - The Force Awakens at the beach!
  • Voted in the CA Primaries
  • A Geek's Guide: One of my fave books of 2016, A Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love, was published this month. I loved it because it was light, fun, and takes place at New York Comic Con. It was the perfect read leading into San Diego Comic Con.
  • Found out some good news from a close friend. ;)

  • 4th of July: Saw the Rose Bowl fireworks for the 1st time & they really are HUGE!
  • SDCC - outfits: Upped my geeky outfit game with less graphic Ts and more casual cosplay (best Loki look to date). I sort of actually did my first cosplay ever on accident (Rey - I built a staff and everything), and that was fun! Also, nothing to do with me, but seeing Hamilton cosplayers was maybe my fave thing.
Elliot from Mr. Robot and Loki
  • SDCC - friends: the best part of Comic Con is always seeing and spending time with friends! Con Squad was in full force, but it was also Gennia's first time there. I got to see Natasha's adorable family, writer/book friends, meet online friends, celebrate the successes of nerd friends (Tony of Crazy4ComicCon's mens fashion line- Hero Within- launch!), and of course, make new ones!
  • Harry Potter: While I ultimately was not a huge fan of The Cursed Child, I couldn't resist going to a midnight release party with the ConSquad girls.

  • Birthday: I turned 30! It was not super exciting, minus the part where friends got me an annual pass to Universal Studios. More Wizarding World! More butterbeer! Grateful to know these beautiful people.
  • Nicole's Wedding: honored to be invited to our friend's wedding, which was just the sweetest!
  • Loki's 1st Beach Day: Took Loki to the beach where he had the time of his life trying to take on the ocean!
A photo posted by Catherine (@catherine) on

  • Summer fun: chilling in the pool on giant unicorn and gummi bear floaties; getting obsessed with The Black Tapes podcast; falling in love with Riz Ahmed in The Night Of (and now in Rogue One & rapping a verse on 1 of the best tracks of the Hamilton Mixtape "Immigrants); putting together & blogging about geeky summer outfits.

  • Celebrations: made a special trip to a cutesy cafe that relocated further away from us to celebrate a friend's birthday; celebrated the Sister's birthday w/ dinner & then a free fancy brunch with the parents down in San Diego. We recreated our old Hannibal pic from SDCC 2 years ago.
  • At Home with Monsters: Guillermo del Torro's exhibit at LACMA featuring items from his personal collection was fantastic - full of creepy, eerie, funny props and art from both his movies and others. This trip with the Con Squad girls ended with Pokemon Go hunting at the La Brea tar pits and pie-eating.
  • Poetry sales: After starting the year strong in terms of poetry writing, I felt discouraged by Fall, thought I might be a one hit wonder. But the universe has strange timing, and I found out over one weekend that I sold my 2 favorite poems of 2016 - "Susurrus" and "Skin".
  • Labor Day Weekend: Busy weekend! Visited the Getty Museum with the parents to see the Dunhuang Temples exhibit & imitated some art. Saw John Williams conduct at the Hollywood Bowl with Con Squad and lit the night up with lightsabers.
  • Book Club: I joined a new book club/ podcast called Books & Boba, which is committed to reading books by AAPI authors. Join us!! Oh, and my comic book interest is real & growing.

  • Got politcal: urged people to register to vote; wrote letters to women in NC urging them to vote Dems; got angry over whitewashing and white-savior-ing in Hollywood & diversity growing pains in publishing; wanted to smash the patriarchy.
  • Fun stuff: Went to a Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them live event; Disneyland for Halloween for a final check-in at the now-gone Hollywood Tower of Terror ride; Bon Iver at the Hollywood bowl; dinosaurs at the LA Zoo!
A video posted by alice (@akangaru) on

  • Good news: One of the most dedicated writers I know, Julie Dao, landed a huge 3 book-deal, and I couldn't be more excited for her. I was lucky enough to have read the book that will be her debut, and it is a sweeping Asian-based fantasy. I can't wait for the world to read it!
  • Happy mail: apple cider donuts from my Fall angel Tracey; a signed copy of Goldenhand from Kim; scrabble pendants featuring Rey from Celeste; Darth Vader rings from Syl
  • Halloween: the Sis actually went to Germany for the end of October to see her favorite soccer team; Loki's Poe-ki Dameron costume was featured on starwars.com for Halloween Pet costumes; I put on 2 versions of my Rey costume (grey vest & arm warmers from ElhofferDesign!) & made Loki my BB-8! And hey, I found out later, I won a gift card for our Star Wars Halloween pic!

  • The Election: We all know how disappointingly that turned out, but I won't deny how exciting and electric it felt to be in New York City on Election Day. It felt like history was happening in Manhattan. We were so proud to have been able to vote for a qualified woman for President.
A photo posted by alice (@akangaru) on
  • New York City: Got to see Sarah G again, and while the night we spent at her place turned out to be bittersweet because of the election, it's always nice to see long-distance friends. My Founding Squad made it out and we had fun despite everything. Crossed a few things off my NYC list like seeing a talk show taping (we saw Eddie Redmayne - and then saw a Newt Scamander cosplayer at dinner later!), go to the NYPL, stand on the NY Supreme Courthouse steps a la Law & Order & every other crime procedural set in NYC. The Sis and I finally made it to the Cloisters and saw the stunning Unicorn Tapestries.

  • Hamilton: The Sis and I had our Hamilton 3-peat and saw our favorite A. Ham (Javier Muñoz) perform again. A bunch of our friends saw the musical for the first time and were not disappointed. I finally got my Hamilton sippy cups. 
  • NYC- History nerding: My friends indulged my history nerd touring of the city and helped me both "steal" the Declaration of Independence Constitution and find the Hamilton statue in Central Park.
A video posted by alice (@akangaru) on

  • Morris-Jumel: The Sis and I visited Morris-Jumel Mansion aka Aaron Burr's house and were delighted by the history and finding that the guide there that day was also from Southern California. He gave us a discount on admission and everything.
  • Sucky thing: I lost my phone at the Met on the last day of my trip and that sucked. :(
  • Meeting people: made it to Nilah's picture book launch party (How To Find a Fox is the cutest!); stopped by ElhofferDesign's pop-up shop & bought a bunch of goods for gifts & met Catherine in person - before that, bought myself a Loki dress over Thanksgiving.

  • Holidays- friend time: KKBQ and matcha soft-serve with ConSquad; Wizarding World in the cold and hot butterbeer (so delicious); the new musical AmĂ©lie (starring OG Eliza Hamilton, Phillipa Soo), brunch and gift exchange with my best girls; monthly geeky lunch with writer-friends - so grateful to have gotten to know Sarah and Maurene (and the not pictured Kirsten) better over this past year!

  • Loki meets Santa: We took Loki to meet Santa and got a picture!! Also, have to share his many holiday outfits because he's so cute!

  • Rogue One: what can I even say? Another Star Wars movie in December; what a time for geeks to be alive! While I wished there was a little more on the character and front-end pacing side, Rogue One was great - inspiring, heart-wrenching, and thrilling. It's a story that puts the unsung heroes of any struggle front and center - and it goes a step further by putting a woman and POC men forward as stars and heroes. It left me quietly devastated but also filled with hope - the touchstone of the movie.
  • Carrie Fisher: we lost many beloved celebrities this year, but to follow-up the loss of George Michael on Christmas with the double whammy of Carrie Fisher and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the day after felt like 2016 had really crossed some kind of line. Celebrities and icons always mean different things to different people. I'm not normally too affected by them, but this one hit me harder than expected. RIP.
  • Holidays - family time: chatting with visiting family; Xmas Eve at my cousins where we did arts & crafts, played White Elephant, and delighted my little cousin by gifting her with a wand (she just started reading Harry Potter!).
  • Disney Holidays: we volunteered at a Disney 5K in January, earning a 1-day hopper pass. We cashed it in for the holidays, so that we could bid goodbye to our favorite ride, The Tower of Terror. We went right after Rogue One, so we had to see Chewbacca & we finally got a pic with a stormtrooper. Plus, Disney is always at its most enchanting during the winter season.

  • Misc. December fun: decorating xmas cookies at Gennia's (we were really nerdy this year) & opening presents; the arrival of "this is fine" dog; seeing my college-roomie Michelle; geeky decorations; writing really late holiday cards; buying a new tarot deck.

A photo posted by alice (@akangaru) on

So that was 2016 for me, which was generally awesome. You can't really tell that the world often times seemed like it was on fire when viewed through my personal lens, which is why I say last year was weird. There were so many ups and downs.

I know that 2017 isn't going to be easy either because of all the things happening or potentially happening in my country, but at least the new year gives us all a marker for turning over to a new page. We have a chance to get our bearings and find our footing. The theme for 2017 is vigilance and resistance. Rogue One is timely because it gave us this: Rebellions are built on hope.

And to echo my Hamilton closing from 2015, "Rise Up!"

P.S. I've chosen my Word for 2017 and will link here when the post goes live next week.