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  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.

Posts Tagged ‘TV’


Posted on February 7th, 2011 by annakjarzab

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I finished my latest revision of The Opposite of Hallelujah yesterday. I am very excited about this! Mostly because books are hard to write and even harder to revise and I’m tired, etc., but also because I’m hoping this will be the draft that my editor gets to read and I’m excited for her to see it, mostly so that I can give you fine people an actual synopsis of it instead of a vague description. I just don’t want to jinx it and say THIS IS WHAT MY NEXT BOOK IS ABOUT because, as I know from experience, the book you are writing is not necessarily a book anybody wants to publish. So we shall see! Hopefully soon. I have no idea.

Also, did you know that All Unquiet Things is coming out in paperback on May 10, 2011! This is way sooner than I thought it was going to be; I think we originally discussed it being on the Spring 2012 list, with my new book, which is also not happening in that season. (I’m guessing Fall 2012? But that’s just a guess, nothing–and I mean NOTHING, not even the actual project–is for sure at this point.) I’m so excited about the paperback. First of all, I love paperbacks, way more than hardcovers. Second of all, the back cover is BLACK, which is super cool. Third of all, it has a wonderful blurb from New York Times bestselling author (and Edgar-award winner) Nancy Werlin, who has written a bunch of really great teen thrillers and also Impossible, which was a huge hit (and a great book, I think I finished it in, like, three hours because I couldn’t put it down). I’m really honored to have Nancy’s seal of approval!

Not that Hallelujah is even remotely finished, but I’ve already got a new project in the pipeline that I’m excited to work on. I’m also excited about all the TV I now have time to watch can now stop pretending to not be watching instead of doing my revisions whoops. Like the new season of Parks & Rec (Rob Lowe, we did not know what we were missing until you came along (Adam Scott, you are really great too, please don’t go anywhere))! Last week’s Twilight themed episode was exceptionally brilliant. Not that those books need any more publicity or anything (although, probably everyone who was ever going to read Twilight has read it and/or seen the movies by now), but really, just some superb stuff. That show is getting really, really good. Or Greek! Do y’all watch Greek? First of all, as a sorority girl myself, I can tell you that it’s the most realistic show/movie about college and Greek life I’ve ever seen. Also, Cappie. He is a beautiful, beautiful man. And the writing is pretty good and the acting is pretty good. It’s the last season, so you should definitely catch up via DVD and then watch this sucker till the end! And Bones is still okay even though they are really jerking us around with this Bones/Booth business and I am tired of it, and Castle is heating up (I’m even starting to care about/like Beckett!), 30 Rock remains funny, Community is LOL, Perfect Couples is way farther away from terrible than I was sure it would be, and GUESS WHAT IS COMING NEXT WEEK! Jeopardy! Man vs. Machine. Plus the return of Glee (maybe it will be good again–just kidding, it won’t be, it’s a ridiculous show, but the music) and Raising Hope. AND MAKE IT OR BREAK IT IN MARCH!

Oh boy. If I get anything else done this spring, I will be shocked.

Out-of-borough experience

Posted on September 13th, 2010 by annakjarzab

I don’t know if you all are veteran Sex and the City fans, but there’s this one episode in like the third season (or maybe second?) where Carrie is dating some guy (duh) and she brings Miranda along with her to Central Park on a date with this guy, because she’s setting Miranda up with this guy’s friend. Obviously, I’ve managed to retain a lot of details. Anyway, Miranda’s blind date seems all right until he admits that he hasn’t left Manhattan in ten years. Like, at all. And when she, aghast, asks WHY, he’s really judgy about it, saying how everything you could ever want is right here in Manhattan, why would you EVER EVER LEAVE?

I’ve been feeling a little bit like that guy as of late. Not in my opinion of Manhattan, but in my lack of going anywhere else. Of course, I’ve left the city–I went to D.C. and Chicago and California and New Orleans, all in the last four or five months. And I go to Long Island about once a month to visit Kim. But this weekend I was trying to recall the last time I went to another NYC borough and COULDN’T DO IT. That’s messed up. When was the last time I went to Brooklyn? I HAVE NO IDEA. I mean, I have a pretty terrible memory, all things being equal, but still. It’s been a while.

But I made up for it this weekend! You should know now that writing a post about leaving Manhattan usually involves a lot of complaints about transportation, and this one will be no different. I was not blessed, transit-wise, this weekend, although the weather was GORGWA, as my Contiki European tour guide Raquel would say.


Friday I mostly chilled, and did not, in fact, leave Manhattan. I had to work until 5, which was torture–the first Friday back from summer (during which all we publishing drones get to leave work at 12:30-1:00 PM) is always really brutal. We were actually pretty punchy around the office, but by 5 everybody was like, GET ME OUT OF HERE OH MY GOD. We were crawling the walls.

I had dinner at Chat ‘n Chew with Alex, and then we, of course, went to the bookstore, where I got to see firsthand the horror of the new toy section. This non-book emphasis in bookstores is really bumming me out, yo. I know it’s hard out there for a pimp these days, but it breaks my heart to see what was once a robust teen section shoved into a corner to make way for Dora the Explorer plushes or whatever. Sad face to the extreme. On the upside, I bought Blameless, the third book in Gail Carriger’s awesome, hilarious, sexy Parasol Protectorate series. So it wasn’t a total loss.

It was also Fashion Night Out, but as you know I’ve been having my Fashion Week Out recently, so I decided it was best for all parties if I skipped it. Nevertheless, Alex and I ducked into the Union Square Sephora after B&N and it was a madhouse. And then we saw this in the sky:


Okay, I know that’s a crappy iPhone camera photo in the dead of night, but it’s the lights coming up from Ground Zero. At first I thought it was the moon, but no: so much sadder than that. On September 11, 2001, I was at home sleeping–it happened early in New York, and I was three hours behind in California. I was bumming my way through my last weeks pre-freshman year in college. I remember my dad woke me up and told me that someone had just flown planes into the WTC, and those words took a while to sink in; I just rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but in a few seconds I was up and out of bed and sitting in front of the television all day. It was horrible. A week or so later, my parents were moving me into the dorms at Santa Clara, and there was a giant memorial outside the mission for a SCU junior who had died on flight 93. I just remember being totally devastated, and it did color all of my college experiences, because I was a poli sci major, and it was so fresh and awful and people were taking 9/11 and pushing and pulling it in a million different ways to extract what they wanted out of it.

Sorry to be such a bummer. Let’s move on to Saturday.


My first out-of-borough experience. My friends Nikki, Cambria and I decided to go to the Bronx Zoo. The only zoo I’d ever been to in New York was the Central Park Zoo, even though they literally have one in every borough. The Central Park Zoo is probably the least awesome of all of them, because how many animals can you reasonably fit into a small corner of a park? Not many. One depressed polar bear, a couple of penguins, and a red panda who you can never see.

Of course, this was my first standoff with public transportation this weekend. The New York City subway system is actually very reliable on the weekdays, but on the weekends it’s like it goes off its meds or something–nothing goes where it’s supposed to, entire lines are canceled, you can’t get anywhere, it’s a total nightmare. And this weekend was no exception! You can take the 2 or the 5 on up to the Bronx Zoo, so, because we all live on the west side, we decided to take the 2 from 96th St. Except that the 2 was only running up to 96th St, and then randomly switched over to the 1 line (the 1 and the 2/3 diverge at 96th St, if you care) and stopped at 103rd St (on the 1 line, not the 2 line) and 137th St. on the 1 line. WTF? We luckily jumped off at 103rd before we got trotted all the way up into Hamilton Heights. We had almost no other option but to take the 5 train, which is on the other side of the park, so we took a cab to 125th and Lexington Ave and waited for the 5 there. After that, it was kind of no problem. We got to the zoo in good time and spent pretty much the entire day there.

I didn’t take very many pictures because of course I forgot my camera, and my iPhone camera is whack, but I did get this one of some giraffes:


I guess it’s a little impossible to see them. But this red panda is really easy to see!


I used my Cam Zoom app to get in close to this one. Cam Zoom is not such a super great app, at least the lite version I have isn’t, and most things were so pixilated when I used it that it was useless to me, but this one turned out okay. That red panda (not actually related to the panda, it turns out!) is very close to where I was standing, and it’s just sleeping there like a stuffed animal you can grab off the shelf. Amazing. And so cool. It was my favorite animal I saw all day.

We also had something of a gastronomical adventure. First of all, I had Dippin Dots (or whatever they were called there, I will always call them Dippin Dots):


I remember the first time I had Dippin Dots–it was at Space Camp, and they were called Space Dots. Yum! Also, Nikki got this awesome novelty cup with lions on it:


The thing about the lion cup was that you could get free refills anywhere in the park as long as you had your receipt. Since I drank like half the Diet Pepsi in there, I offered to facilitate the refill, so I went up to one of the snack counters and showed the girl my cup. She said–I KID YOU NOT–“Take off your top.” Meaning, of course, take off the top with the lions so that she could actually refill it, but for a second I just stood there like, “What can I say to this that is funny but not stupid because this lady seems to not be in such a great mood, but you can’t pass up this opportunity, can you?” I couldn’t come up with anything, so I just meekly handed her my cup–top off–and then took it back when she’d filled it and raced back to my friends. GOD, though. If I’d only been quicker, the JOKES I could’ve come up with.

Here’s a pic of our friend Kyle drinking from it later. I told Nikki we should get the bar to fill the thing with beer, but I don’t think that happened:


After the zoo, we took the 5/6 back down the east side so that we could watch the Texas v. Wyoming game at Bar Coastal. If you ever come to New York and want to watch sports, go to Bar Coastal. They have the best waffle fries known to man, and about a glockjillion TVs. We were so zonked by the end of the game (Texas kicked Wyoming’s butt) that we couldn’t stay awake for the USC v. Virginia game, but I was delighted to discover, upon waking up the next day and checking my ESPN app, that USC won, too!


Sunday I went to two boroughs, although one was just in transit. You know I’m Polish, right? Maybe I don’t mention it enough…anyway, my friend Monica is also Polish (she actually speaks Polish, which makes her cooler than me), and we like to try out the local Polish fare together. The best (only) Polish food I’ve ever had in the city is at Krolewski Jadlo, which is this great authentic Polish restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Greenpoint is a traditionally Polish neighborhood, although, like all other ethnic groups, the immigrant population that’s been there for decades is being pushed out by gentrification. Still, there’s a healthy Polish population still alive and kicking there. I love going there; it’s sort of like being back in my grandmother’s neighborhood in Chicago, although being surrounded by all the Polish signs and people speaking Polish makes me miss my grandmother a lot.

Getting to Greenpoint is sort of a nightmare, though. There’s only one subway line that goes directly there (the G), and it’s notoriously awful and unreliable. To get to Greenpoint from my house, I have to take the 1 to the 7 at Times Square, then switch from the 7 to the G in Long Island City, which is in Queens. EXCEPT: the G train was not running this weekend. It had been replaced by a shuttle bus. And you know what? A shuttle bus (which is just a normal city bus that has been repurposed, and is free) is actually a lot smaller than a subway train! So of course it’s packed to the gills with people, and I had to wait a long time for it.


Oh, and it was raining. This strange place was right across the street from the bus stop. I kept staring at it and wondering, “What could possibly go on in there?” I posted that question to the Twitterfaces, and I think we’re all in agreement: it’s best not to know.


Finally I got off the bus at Nassau and made my way to Krolewskie Jadlo–right on time. Not much to say about this, except that the food was delicious, as always.



This is a terrible picture of a not-so-photogenic but oh-so-tasty prune wrapped in bacon. Or, as it said on the menu, “bacon stuffed with plum”, which doesn’t make any sense.


My entree. This is what they call the “Polish plate”–pierogi, golombki (stuffed cabbage), kielbasa (Polish sausage), and potato pancakes. It came with a side of shredded beet salad and a very sweet cole slaw.

After lunch, my friends and I went to a chocolate shop, where I bought some Polish chocolates to bring back to Chicago in a few weeks, and then to a bakery where we got some sweetbreads stuffed with cherry jam. After a long subway ride home, I collapsed on my bed and proceeded to watch hours and hours of Make It or Break It, which is my new favorite obsession show now (full post about its awesomeness to come). I actually stayed up till 2 AM to keep watching it, then wanted to kill myself at 7 when my sunrise alarm clock woke me up–and then watched another episode while I was getting ready. OB. SESSED.


Wednesday win!

Posted on May 5th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Guess what you guys? Jonathan Groff is maybe probably sorta kinda coming back to Glee next season! (I think that picture is of Groff and Lea Michelle, even though she looks like Penelope Cruz. Or maybe it’s Penelope Cruz? Hard to tell.) This is good, because I was just whining to my coworker today about how it was rude of them to waste one of Groff’s six episodes last week (that boring “Home” episode) by just having him stand in the background and sing back-up on “Beautiful” without having any lines or much to do when we know that he has nefarious plots a-brewin’ and I would like to know about those plots please thank you!

I THINK IT AND THEN IT HAPPENS. I have to figure out a way to harness this power for evil–I mean good–just kidding, of course I mean evil.

Related: Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence are getting their own sitcom on ABC Family! Did you guys see My Fake Fiance? It was so stupid! But it turns out that Joey Lawrence is kind of scrumptious? Anyway, for pure camp factor this is great news.

AND: Apparently a Breaking Dawn movie is so in the works that they’ve hired a director? I don’t know how they’re going to make Renesmee at all believable, so I’m glad that’s not my job.