Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tea and Coffee and NYC and Me

I had been wanting to go to the Coffee and Tea Festival for years, and I'd kept missing out on buying tickets, so when I saw it come up on Gold Star for half price, I was all over it and I basically told Eddie that he was going to have to learn to like tea and coffee for a day. He wasn't thrilled about that part, but he was thrilled that I'd get free stuff because he likes my reaction to getting free stuff. And I got a lot of free stuff. Because that's what I do.

We got to the Armory a bit before 11, and we shouldn't have walked to the front door because we wound up backtracking around the block because the line was very long.  Like super duper long.  While we found the end of the line, Eddie kept repeating in amazement: This many people like tea?  I would answer, And coffee.  Yes, it's a thing.  People like these drinks.  Some people make a living out of them, like the vendors inside. Also as we found the end of the line, he commented, Wow, that smells good and I don't even like this stuff.  "This stuff" smelled super yummy.

We waited.  My only worry was that we would not get free bags.  Bags came with admission, but only a limited number were available; therefore, they were bonuses and FREE.  He asked how many.  I said around 1000.  He said, there were not that many people on this line.  I was like, How can you be sure?  He was like, there just aren't.  He is a numbers guy, so I trusted that we would get bags.

We totally got bags.  When we walked in, we signed in after waiting five minutes for two women to write their names on a piece of paper (literally: five minutes--even the registration guy was rolling his eyes at them).  Then we got our bags.  They were heavy and about to get heavier because I was going to fill mine with anything I could grab.  This is where I shine.  I grabbed Eddie and into the rows of tables we went in search of the best tasting tea or coffee--the freer it was, the better it'd be.

Eddie managed to find the only sport-related thing in the room: one of the vendors had set up a kids' basketball hoop and was offering free stuff for sinking a basket.  Eddie missed on the first try but then got it on the second and was awarded a tiny lime-green ceramic parrot.  Eddie urged me to shoot, so I did.  I got it in on the first try (once again proving how I'm better at the sports than he is), and I was awarded a tiny brown ceramic pair of puppies.  I have no idea what to do with these items; I don't know why they actually exist.  However, FREE is for me.

From table to table, from taste to taste, through crowds of coffee and tea drinkers, I basked in the delight of warm and comfy liquid.  I tasted tea that had bourbon in it.  My first time with bourbon.  I have a new friend.  I tasted coffee that was cold brewed and almost talked myself into having to buy a batch but then told the woman I'd come back later after lapping the place.  She was like, you can buy it now and I'll hold it for you, and I was like, No I don't want to be a bother, and quickly let the crowd whisk me away.

I failed a blind taste test, causing Eddie to mock me. In all fairness, I didn't know it was a blind taste test.  The woman was like, we're testing out flavors--which do you prefer?  When I told her the second one was more flavorful, she told me she was surprised because most people say the opposite, and then I learned that I'd liked Lipton over her brand (which I don't even remember).  I immediately lied and said that I use Lipton at work so I must be used to the taste.  She gave me a whole plastic baggie of her brand of tea and I said, I'll bring these to work!

The only tea I drink at work is the tea I bring, which is Trader Joe's Green Tea.  I'm a good liar on my feet to save face.  (Right now at work, I'm drinking whatever I got from the show.  Haven't bought tea in weeks!).

Some other highlights were the honey tasting (dip a stick in honey and lick--so simple!), the tea ice cream tasting (so friggin good), the Mexican hot chocolate sample (mmmmmmm), and the Cabot cheese spread.  Why was a cheese item at a coffee and tea festival?  Not a rhetorical question.  I'm simply puzzled.  However, cheese is good and it was very unexpected so score another one for me.  Eddie did not partake in the cheese even though he likes cheese.  He couldn't push to the table the way I could because I'm small and sneaky.  And again, this is what I do.  The only thing he actually did get on his own was candy from the Verizon stand, and the woman was pushing it on him because she didn't want to eat any more of the candy from her big bowl of sugar. 

We'd looped the Armory in about two hours.  Yeah, that's right: two hours of tea and coffee goodness.  He asked if I was hungry for lunch and I was like, Nope.  He was like, Seriously, you're not hungry?  Shocking, I know.  But I was full from all the tea and coffee and few snacks.  I nibbled a piece of the Verizon candy and he got McDonalds.  There, I unloaded all my goods and found that I had at least two of everything because we both got a bag, and they were both so heavy because both had two bottles of drinks in them in addition to all the tea bags and coffee pouches and biscotti samples.  I hit the jackpot on this one. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Moment of Free Stuff

Write a review on Trip Advisor and get free stickers.

These were in the bags from the Coffee & Tea NYC Festival. More on that soon!

Arrived in the mail after the Coffee & Tea Festival.

Got the Picfx app free from Starbucks and went at it on this photo of the Flatiron Building.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Room

So I can't say much about what Escape The Room is because if I say anything I'd spoil it for anyone who wants to go. So I'll say this: It was R's birthday and S decided a fun way to celebrate would be to get locked in a room for an hour and figure out how to get out and then go to Fatburger. And we did just that.

Because I don't want to ruin anything, I didn't take any pictures except for this one:
This was what we saw when we came out of the elevator. We followed it even though it was unmarked. Because we are smart people.

Escape The Room is apparently an app and an online game and we knew none of that until the guy at the place asked if we had played any of those and when we said no he was like, So you just decided to let a stranger lock you in a room? And we all said, Yes. Because we are smart people.

Basically, you have an hour to figure out how to find a key that's been hidden in a room to unlock the door to get out. Everything can be a clue though the guy told us not to stick anything metal into an electrical outlet and any furniture bigger than me should not be moved. These were rules based on previous experience with people who tried to do such things.

We came close. Like very very close. We are very smart people and we came very very close to figuring it all out. But we didn't. And we lost. And we got to take a picture of it.

Then we went to Fatburger to drown our shame in good food. That lead to another mystery called Where's M's Food because they gave her a number that wasn't hers, failed to give her a cup for a drink, and then took forever to bring her the food she'd ordered. By the time we were done with the food, the shame of losing was pretty much gone. Or maybe it was just hiding under the shame of having eaten at a place called Fatburger. At least it's a place with no pretenses.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Veronica Mars, Girl Detective, Intrepid Girl Reporter

A store with stuff I want. Passed by on the way to Kip's Bay.
You know you're hanging with an awesome crowd when a preview comes on for a dance movie about which you jokingly say "Oh I've seen this before" because it's like every single other dance movie ever made and when the dancing begins, the audience snickers, and when Derek Hough does a dance move that simultaneously removes his shirt, the entire audience erupts in laughter.  Yup, it was that kind of scene when S and I trekked over to Kips Bay after finding the two more local theaters in midtown were SOLD OUT for the PREMIERE of VERONICA MARS.

It was a big day for us.  Veronica Mars was THE girl detective, the end-all be-all of all things that needed detecting.  We made our own lyrics to the theme song.  Watching the series on DVD offered the opportunity to pause, rewind, rewatch, replay, and remind ourselves why this series was one of the greatest series ever made.  Hyperbolic?  Perhaps.  But Kristen Bell is uh. may. ZING! as is everyone else associated with anything V.Mars.
A long time ago, we used to be friends....

bring it on bring it on....
For an extra added bonus, we were in an AMC theatre, and the AMC app has this function that allows you to point your phone at a movie poster in the theatre and it "comes alive."  We did this twice.  The poster does not come to life.  A weird little animated character appears on the screen of your phone and when you point your phone at the poster, the animated character moves in front of the poster even if it has nothing to do with a poster, so a tiny can-can lady danced across the face of V.Mars and then a guy pulled a rabbit out of a hat in front of a poster for some other movie I can't remember the name of.  Dumb.  On the plus side, Captain America was about to come out, too, so we found his shield.

This is how to use a shield.

This is how to get killed in battle.
So why was the premiere of VMars SOLD OUT?  Because it was all kinds of amazingly awesome. Everything you could want from a movie followup years later appeared.  The characters.  How they changed realistically.  The logical backstories of what happened and how.  Original cast members.  Originals!  Old storylines coming up again. The guy on the sidewalk singing the theme song.  The reference to the never-realized tv show where VMars works for the FBI.  Just everything everything, including Leo.  Including Vinnie Van Lowe.  Including Weevil in a button down shirt and slacks.  Then there was the new guy, Jerry O'Connell as the brother to Sheriff Lamb who became the second Sheriff Lamb.  But there wasn't much new stuff.  Mostly old stuff.  Like did I mention Leo?  Yeah, him too.

From start to finish, it was friggin mesmerizing, but because we were watching with all the hardcore fans, things got a little loud so when there was a line that caused a huge reaction (laughing, yelling, clapping), the next few lines went missing.  The good thing about being in such an active audience was when S and I jumped from being scared out of our seats, everyone else did the same exact thing.  Us Marshmallows, we are cut from the same cloth.

The following Tuesday, I saw it for a second time with my officemate.  We'd recently found out that we both liked the show, and she'd been following the kickstarter campaign for it, and we were both very excited.  Seeing it for the second time?  Still amazing.  Here's why: watching her reactions to all the nostalgia was worth the price of the ticket itself.  Then getting to hear the actual dialogue I'd missed the first time around was nice.  Also, nothing scared me out of my seat this time, so I didn't miss anything while trying to recover from a panic attack.  It's fun to watch other people falling in love with the movie I fell in love with just days before.

So now it's onto the books.  Apparently, there are VMars books and I  need to read them.  What made this show great was the writing.  What made this movie great was the writing and Kristen Bell and the slow-mo dancing and Tina Majorino's rockin new hairstyle and Wallace and of course Leo and Keith Mars being Keith Mars and Dick being the biggest Dick he could be and the writing again.  So the books are a must.

Plus, the ending left a lot to think about, so I'm not sure if another kickstarter is going to come about, but another movie should be made.  Veronica Mars Forever.