2018 Credits

Let ’em roll!

This year was kind of all over the place, but ended up balanced. It was full of both unprecedented happiness and frustration. Many of my goals saw success and the frustrations illuminated new areas for me to work on. And I’m setting up my 2019 to tackle those things head on.

But let’s look back at the highlights of 2018 first!

Themes of the year
Black and gold – almost everything I was drawn to or purchased held these colors. My DnD dice. My guitar. My wardrobe. The Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. My Kate Spade phone case. My wedding cake.

What I did // Saw Wicked on Broadway! Met some rad penguins (Currently trying to figure out how to get an emotional support penguin.) Got in shape. Celebrated the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win. Took a hand-lettering class. Started the Action Book Club with Glux where we read a book and then do an activity on theme with that book! Took my mom to see Mean Girls on Broadway. Achieved a new PR in skeeball. Saw Waitress on Broadway. Climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. GOT MARRIED WOAH. Permanently inked my bond with my sister. Got my stripper license. Experienced the brilliant David Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Most-played albums // Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / Gorillaz*Humanz / Band of Skulls*By Default / The Dead Deads*Rainbeau + For Your Obliteration / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*Who Built the Moon / The Orwells*Disgraceland + Terrible Human Beings / ZZ Ward*The Storm / A Perfect Circle*Eat The Elephant / Beck*Colors

Most-loved shows & films // Black Mirror. The Commuter. The Good Place. The Handmaid’s Tale. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (it grew on me). Glow S2. Jane The Virgin. Nailed It. Orange is the New Black. Disenchantment. American Vandal S2 (hilarious). The Haunting of Hill House 😱 Dexter. Breaking Bad.

Places I traveled // Las Vegas for #Think2018. Philly for my 5th Hot Chocolate 15k (4th consecutive in Philly). Los Angeles for E3. San Jose (and checked out the Winchester Mystery House). New Orleans.

Live shows I attended // Noel Gallagher (finally!). The Dandy Warhols. The Smashing Pumpkins! Depeche Mode. ZZ Ward at Think! Bon Jovi. Beck. Ben Folds and Cake.

Breweries Visited // Big aLICe (LIC) / Transmitter (LIC) / LIC Beer Project (LIC) / Coney Island Brewery (Brooklyn) / Departed Soles (Jersey City) / Flagship (Staten Island) / Killsboro (Staten Island) / Mudhen (Wildwood NJ) / Interboro (Brooklyn) / Grimm’s Artisan Ales (Brooklyn) / Hapas Brewing Co (San Jose, CA) / KCBC (Brooklyn) / Other Half (Brooklyn) / Evil Twin (Philly) / Circa (Brooklyn) / Strong Rope (Brooklyn) / Banger Brewery (Las Vegas) / Brieux Carre (New Orleans) / Braven Brewing (Brooklyn)

Top purchases // My Passion Planner. MealPal. The Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot (signed edition) – the Eight Coins was my eighth deck and I’m an 8 in numerology – what a powerful sign! An Amazon Fire 8 tablet – sure cuts down the clutter of all the books I’ve been reading! This Pokemon tarot deck for Glux’s birthday. A new vacuum (so adult). Backing BOI: Four Souls card game. New renegade cooling system – I upgraded my AC and bought a vornado for the bedroom to circulate the air. My money manifesting wallet. This super cute little radio – It’s been YEARS since I listened to FM radio (it has bluetooth too. Mixing modern and vintage 📻). Moleskine x Nintendo rolltop backpack. Wedding bands!

Goals achieved // Saved $5000 (and THEN some)! Sister tattoos. Hit a 6 figure salary WOOOOOOO!

Style obsessions // Ponchos (so cozy!). New York Black – I created a work uniform that consists of 5 black dresses in different styles that I can change up with funky jewelry, leggings and various accessories – paired with gold – lots of gold! Carnival flavored lip glosses (a la my middle school Lip Smackers days) like cotton candy. Mirrored cat eye sunnies. Handbags that look like cartoon snacks (thanks Betsey Johnson and TokiDoki). Barbie Pink pedis. Makeup made from crystals.

Books read // Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (for the FIRST time! I KNOW, WHAT?!). Shoe Dog – Memoir of the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. Heart Talk by Cleo Wade. Bossypants by Tina Fey. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (ugh). The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel. Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar. IT by Stephen King. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Captive of the Labyrinth by Mary Jo Ignoffo. Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. Super Chill by Adam Ellis. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Best things I did for myself // Took vitamins (almost) every day. Cut back on sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Canceled cable (sorry not sorry, Ryan). #NoSpendFeb! Took a pole dancing class in Vegas. Started learning guitar. Crystal bed therapy. Meditation.

Top games // Splatoon 2 (Switch). Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 (Switch). South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Switch). Octopath Traveler – I mained Primrose the badass stripper (Switch). Pokemon Go (mobile). Jurassic World: Alive (mobile). Salt and Sanctuary (Switch). Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4). Jurassic World: Evolution (PS4). Hollow Knight (Switch). Fallout 76 (PS4). Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4). Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (mobile). Super Smash Bros (Switch).

Favorite gaming moments // This team wipe and a half in Clam Blitz. This ridiculously badass scene from Bayonetta. This ghostly super-lag induced demise. Attending the exclusive grand opening of the Las Vegas Esports Arena.

100% completed Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero!. That time my mom went viral over The Binding of Isaac. When my octoling completed every Octo Expansion challenge IN HEELS. 100% completing Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Beating my BIL in Smash Ultimate.

What were your biggest highlights of the year?


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Happy Freak Week!

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It’s my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons, but one of the coolest (and tastiest) is Coney Island Brewery’s 3rd annual Freak Week. The brewery creates some strange and unusual concoctions in small exclusive to this event, and then tours them around with city with some tap takeovers. So not only do I get to try weird new beers, but I’m motivated to check out new neighborhoods and bars! Last night I went back to my old neighborhood and had a great time at Five Mile Stone – a spot I never would have found if not for Freak Week.

Freak Week is anchored by the annual release of Freaktoberfest, one of my favorite fall beers up there with Brooklyn’s Post Road Ale, Southern Tier’s Pumking and Abita’s Pecan Ale. What sets Freaktoberfest apart for me is the espresso flavor. It takes the pumpkin to a darker place that reminds me of moonless October nights, wind whipping the last few leaves off the trees and a sense or anticipation for the unknown.

This year’s exclusive beers are:

* Super Freak – 9.1%
Brewed with pumpkin, lemon peel, nutmeg and allspice, this beer offers a citrusy twist on traditional fall flavors

I had this one last year and it never disappoints. However, the two truly new beers kept in line with CIB’s seemingly cereal-themed year. In spring, they launched a Cinnamon Toast Kolsch with a fun brunch party. For Freak Week, we get two childhood throwbacks.

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* Blueberry Boo-Liner – 5.5%
Kettle-soured Berliner Weisse brewed with marshmallow creme and lactose and aged on blueberry puree

In a close decision, this one is my favorite. I’ve been really into sours this year so the mild blueberry pucker makes it really enjoyable. Blueberry has never been a flavor I enjoyed, but it’s not overwhelming in this beer and has more of a general dark berry flavor.

* Count Flocula – 5.5%
Kölsch brewed with marshmallow creme and lactose and aged on Cocoa Nibs

Chocolatey beers are usually stouts or novelty. This light, crisp kolsch nailed the perfect aftertaste of Cocoa Krispies milk – sweet, slightly stale, and soft. It was nice not be hit over the head with the chocolate flavor.

Fun times. Freaky beers. Fall vibes.

What’s your favorite fall beer?

Putting It Into the Universe

It’s looking like we’ll be able to move into a new place next year, so I’m working hard to manifest the perfect apartment.

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Here’s what I want to make HAPPEN:

East Village – I really want to stay in my neighborhood.
Doorman – So my deliveries no longer go missing
Closer to trains – We’re equidistant from 5 lines as it stands, but I’d like to be closer to Astor.
Yes dogs – Because Muldoon goes where I go!
Dishwasher – please please please!
Outdoor space – Whether it’s a tiny balcony or a finished rooftop, I want to be able to get outside.
Decent view – This means being high enough in a building.

NYC Summer Goals!

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Summer in the city means sundresses, rooftops, sidewalk cafes, turning hydrants into sprinklers and, of course The Great Flip Flop Debate (as an island girl, I refuse to give up my flip flops). I’m not a huge fan of the heat, but I’m determined to put down the controller and brave the sun more. So I’ve put together a list of fun summer outings I want to accomplish before September.

Sister Tattoos – Scheduled!

Ride the Thunderbolt

Find the most wild ice cream concoction

Sip fancy cocktails on a rooftop

Pack a picnic and head to a park

Rent kayaks

Explore a new neighborhood on a Citi Bike

Go to an outdoor concert

What’s on your adventure list?

MoviePass is a Massive Scam

I’m not a generally a complainer, but over the last couple of months I’ve had such a horrible experience with MoviePass I feel morally obligated to warn my fellow humans.

I signed up for the service in early February. And I honestly loved it. MoviePass gave me the freedom to see even the shitty movies guilt-free. Making fun of crappy movies at the theater with my friends was actually one of my favorite things to do for the first half of 2018. When I reserved a movie too early one day and had an issue getting my ticket at the theater, MoviePass customer service responded immediately through their in-app chat system and sorted out my problem in time for me to catch the film.

I enjoyed my experience so much that I gifted Ryan a MoviePass for Valentine’s Day so we could have an easy date night whenever. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, MoviePass doesn’t have an easy way to gift a membership, so I just signed up for a second account with a different email address, my same payment method and surprised Ryan.

In April, I needed to cancel the account I made for him. He had never activated the card, downloaded the app or used the service. I thought this would be easy. I contacted customer service through my app, sure they would be as fast and helpful as they were when I had a ticket problem.

I was wrong.

My question went unanswered for DAYS. I checked in on my app every couple hours for two days and then had more important things to do. I had notifications turned on, so I just waited for the notification. Or an email. Or ANY form of communication. After 5 days, I checked on the app again. I never got a push notification alerting me to a response, but MoviePass had finally responded… and 5 hours later, closed my case because I hadn’t seen it and responded so they “assumed everything was good.”

I should note that their response before closing my case directed me to their website to cancel the account. There is nowhere on their website to access your account, so the website directs you back to the app where they don’t answer either.

After repeating this cycle – messaging them, opening a new case, getting the same response, no notification, case closed before I could provide more information – THREE TIMES, I finally got a new answer on the 4th attempt. They told me I needed the card in my possession and they needed the number to close the account. It took me 2 months and a lot of pain and suffering to finally get the unused card from him. At which point, I contacted customer support yet AGAIN with the card number. This time, they told me that it didn’t matter if I had the card. Because the account was under his name, HE would need to contact them to close the account.

OH! And they also made sure to respond after midnight and close the case before 7am for non-response. It’s not like I need to sleep.

It’s the end of June at this point so let’s recap: I have been paying for this subscription for three months while getting the run around about canceling the account. The account is linked to MY email address, MY bank account and I have the card IN MY POSSESSION. But now they need HIM to contact them to cancel? Bullshit. I am the owner of his account and my account. It’s clear at this point that MoviePass is going to do everything in their power to prevent me from closing the account.

So fuck them. Now I want MY account canceled.

They never responded to this request. They also stopped responding to my Twitter DMs for help. Thankfully, I was able to cancel my account and delete the app. THEN re-download the app, log into the gift account with my OTHER email and finally cancel that one too. I filed a complaint with the BBB (where their reviews are shockingly negative) and wanted to tell my story here as well so no one else gets dragged and charged for months.

I understand that MoviePass is struggling – especially with the recent launch of AMC’s A-list service – but is milking me for $10 a month so worth it to them that they’re willing to damage their reputation and customer perception? Clearly, MoviePass is just another greedy company willing to dick over the users they depend on just to make a buck.

Honestly, AMC’s program sounds MUCH better. And I’m sure Regal will introduce their own suite of options as well.

Have you ever used MoviePass?

Lessons New York Will Teach You

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An ongoing list of lessons this great city will eventually teach you…

If you wear a dress, expect your ass to go on display at least 3 times a day. Plan underthings accordingly.

If you accidentally sext your Super, your apartment problems will be solved much faster.

You cannot walk your dog after 10pm in the East Village. Drunk girls WILL mob your dog for pets and gush over how adorable he is. You can’t have a puppy in NYC at all. Same reasons.

Cohabitation seems like a good idea to save on rent and bills. It is not a good idea.

Electric blankets for winter. Ice packs in your pillow case for summer.

It’s expensive to live here, but not to live it up here. Rent includes your membership to the greatest city in the world and endless free/cheap food and entertainment.

Visiting Alternate Dimensions

Yesterday after work, my friend Maria and I were in need of an escape. From ourselves. From this planet. So we checked out VR World in midtown- a virtual reality arcade. It’s the largest on the planet, in their words.

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Checking into a Pixar-like animation about an old man who fixes broken dreams.

I’ve only slipped into VR a handful of times because I find it dangerously addictive and a little nauseating if I stay too long. This is definitely the future of gaming, entertainment and probably human living.

We walked in and were presented with three options, a 2 hour, all day and moveo access. A 2 hour pass was $40 so we went with that. Our wristbands allowed us to scan into the queue for games with our gamer tags. But we could only be in one queue at a time so if we scanned into one game and then went to another while we were waiting, it canceled out the first game. So it took some strategic planning on our part. Luckily, none of the lines were very long. Mostly we were able to scan right in and play.

VR World hosts over 50 experiences ranging from games to 360 movies and music videos. The “museum” on the mezzanine had several different experiences that allowed us to explore the planet or disappear into different stories from the comfort of swivel chairs so we didn’t risk wandering off down a flight a stairs.

We warmed up with a plank walking experience. It was freaky. We walked out onto a beam high above the city and then stepped off and fell to the sidewalk. My heart rate shot up to 84bpm from 60. Maria was also not a fan.

From there, we teamed up to take on some robots in a shooting game. It felt crazy. I screamed out loud when a robot snuck up behind me and I could SWEAR I felt one crawl over and grab my leg. I’m terrified of robots so that didn’t help, but I was astonishingly good at the game.

They also had Job Simulator, Rick and Morty Virtual Rickality, Zombie games, an archery game and so much more to explore. I’ll definitely go back next week to try out more experiences. It’s a great little escape in the middle of the realest city in the world.