D.C.: Is it Still Swag if you Pay for It?

febrero 27, 2012 at 11:28 am (Comic Books, I am what I buy, Random Lists, Reviews, Stuff, Things that make me froth) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

One of the reasons I was super-excited about going on my trip to DC was because, with Borders gone, Puerto Rico has had no major bookstore, meaning that there was no way to get stuff like Pratchett or Bujold without relying on Amazon, which isn’t particularly .  While the situation with comic books isn’t as dire–Metro Comics, PR’s biggest comic book shop, generally satisfies my needs–it’s still good to head outside once in a while to fill in any gaps (for example, I was looking for copies of Berserk Vol. 35 and Brodie’s Ghost Vol. 2., neither which I found. ;_; ), which means that I was glad for the chance to go visit another store.  So, three days and approximately $100 later, this is what I bought:

  • Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry: I’ve had my eye on this book ever since Harris-Perry started promoting it, and from what I’ve read so far, it does not disappoint, being informative
  • The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle: I’ve always loved the movie version of Unicorn; unfortunately, getting the book is one of those things that I never quite manage to remember to do, and something that probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t seen a copy while browsing for something else.  I’m super-excited to read it.
  • I Am America (And So Can You), by Stephen T. Colbert, others: Found in the discount racks, and so I quickly picked it up.  Colbert can be a tad predictable, and this is especially so here, where there’s no room for improv, but it’s still fun.
  • Thud! by Terry Pratchett: It’s a Pratchett Squad book, which means it’s always a good time.  I really didn’t like the subplots involving Angua and Sally though–not only am I way tired of “women in the workplace can’t be friends” trope, I don’t like how they meddled in Tawneee’s relationship with Nobby.  It’s none of their business.

As for comic books, my list looks something like this:

  • TMNT (Vol. 6) (IDW) #7: I’d given up on the comic after the first arc, and returned for a bit to see what was being done with Krang, one of my favorite characters from the original cartoon.  It still doesn’t catch my attention.
  • Polly and the Pirates Vol. 2: I’d run into the first volume of this graphic novel series at Metro Comics, and  bought it on the strength of the cover, which made it seem like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, if The Wind Waker had starred a girl.  It is utterly and completely charming, and I was gobsmacked when I found a second volume.  Haven’t read it yet, but when I do, I’ll probably review it.
  • Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 5: Lone Goat and Kid: Stan Sakai is like the comic book version of Pratchett, regularly crafting UY comics with a shockingly consistent level of quality for the past 25+ years.  This volume does not disappoint, and happens to feature not only the introduction to the Lone Goat and Kid (a riff on the Japanese Lone Wolf and Cub story), but also what is my personal favorite moment involving the “Kid” half of that equation. Also, with this volume I know have all but the most recent of the UY collections, so I am finally completely caught up, more or less.
  • Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan: I bought this for dad’s birthday as gift, so don’t tell him, ‘kay?

Surprise “I can’t believe I forgot this” (actually, I totally can) edit!:

  • Castle Waiting Vol. 2, by Linda Medley: I bought the first volume of Castle Waiting some years back after hearing Paul O’Brien speak complimentary about the series, and I found it to be an excellent read.  It’s hard to do a work where the mundane is made interesting, and she did it rather effortlessly.  It is totally on the top 3 series I’d recommend for people who are tired of standard (read: super-hero) comic books.  We’ll see how Volume 2 pans out.

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Notes on D.C.

febrero 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm (Stuff)

Note: Since I have not received any authorizations by any of the private people mentioned here to talk about them here, I have replaced their names with non-arbitrary, non-initial letters, and refrained from using gender-identifying pronouns.  If any of the people who I’ve mentioned here would prefer to be identified by name, let me know and I’ll gladly do so. 

So I came back from Washington D.C. yesterday, after spending the weekend hanging out with old friends, making new ones, and getting interviewed as part of my application for the JET Program.  It was quite fun, and a nice break from Puerto Rico.  I kinda wish I could have stayed longer.  In any case, some random notes.

  • Dupont Circle is not Logan Circle, and Logan Circle is not Dupont Circle.
  • Dupont Circle, on the other hand, is mostly unrecognizable for me.  With the exception of the circle itself and one of the Metro Station exits.
  • On the other hand, it had been six years since I’d last lived there.*
  • G, who allowed me to stay in hir appartment, was an awesome host.  Zie gave me a bed, made me food, took me drinking, and introduced me to hir equally awesome (and, if I may be utterly and completely superficial for a moment, quite good-looking**) friends. I was also really, really glad to see hir again and catch up after nearly four years.
  • Books-a-Million did not have a copy of Melissa Harris-Perry’s.  Sister CitizenKramerbooksa nearby bookstore which I can only describe as “indier”, based on the three minutes I spent there–did. I wish I could have spent more time there, but I was carrying the ton of books I just bought, and just wanted to get home.
  • Also, I would by anything written by Melissa Harris-Perry.  If she ever decides to write a version of the phone book, I’d pre-order that thing in a picosecond.
  • S, my friend/former boss-person, whom I went to have lunch with on Friday, has personally met Chris Hayes.  That is AWESOME.
  • As a Puerto Rican, winter snow causes inscrutable feelings of nostalgia and longing, and makes me feel like a kid.  Winter rain, on the other hand, is the worst thing ever, and can fuck off. Guess which one I got?
  • The one bus I took had a $1.70 fare–$.95 cents more than Puerto Rico buses.  On the other hand, the D.C. buses arrived when they said they did, and could be depended on when making plans without having to leave a two-hour window to account for them.  Advantage: DC.
  • In opposition to suggestions by individual Washington Center, I chose to take the Metro Green Line during my trip.  I am so a rebel.
  • Most of the people at the Japanese embassy that I managed to see were, somewhat surprisingly, not Japanese.  I’m not sure if this is always the case, or something that’s particular for the occasion.  The interview I thought went reasonably well, with the only particularly disappointing part being the last part, where I was asked a series of questions in Japanese, with the expectation that I answered in Japanese.  I do not feel I did particularly well–I mostly deal with written Japanese–and I fear that that part will turn out to be the deal maker/breaker.  In any case, I rather enjoyed my experience there.  Now all that’s left is to knock on wood furiously***


A list off the goodies I bought and one-sentence reviews is upcoming.


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