Thursday, March 29, 2012

UMAMIcatessen

On our monthly field trips with my Uncle, cousin and O.G. we often end up downtown or at a donut shop. In this case - we got to hit both at the same time! UMAMIcatessen down on 9th and Broadway has been open for a few weeks, so it was time for a visit.

UMAMI makes some of the best burgers in town but this restaurant is a new concept. You are still seated and served but your options are many. The menu includes an expanded UMAMI Burger menu, PIGG which offers pork in a variety of ways, The Cure which has a take on deli options and & a Donut which of course, offers up donuts.

The menu is vast and mouth watering. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement and it had nothing to do with the ham elevator (ham-evator!) in the corner:
O.G. was captivated by the ham going 'roud and 'round.

Here's how it went down: I basically ordered one of everything. I'm joking...sort of. We all ordered our own main dishes and then we battled it out over the sides.

O.G. stuck with her favorite UMAMI Burger, my cousin ordered the only-available at this locale Shrimp Burger. I went with the chicken salad only because I wanted something on the 'lighter' side? (My goal was to eat donuts at the end of this. Ah, always thinking.)

Meanwhile, my Uncle the more adventurous of us - was anxious to try the 'Hoof & Mouth' sandwich with a side of Pig's Ears with Brain-aisse. Uh, yeah. That's brain-aisse as in mayo made with brain.

He went whole hog - literally - and pretty much ate nose to tail off the menu.

As for those sides: skinny fries, cheesy tater tots, pork corn (pork flavored popcorn) and cone o' cracklins (aka chicharrones).

Everything was good in it's own way but the thing that I went back to over and over was the Pork Corn. That was truly addicting.

At the end of it all, my ordering of the chicken salad paid off - although the sandwich was large (I only ate half) I still had room for house made to order donuts while the rest of my family was hurting just a little.

But we are a donut-loving family and we had to power through. I ordered the Tres Leches, the lemon and the beignets.

They were all great but I was a huge fan of the Tres Leches. I think I would wander in just for one of those and nice cup of coffee.

I've heard the evening wait times and get crazy (an hour+) but because we went right at 11am when it opened we were seated immediately. I'm glad to see that it's open til midnight for late night snacks...should pig ears and donuts be your craving in the wee hours.

All in all it was a wonderful visit and I can't wait to go back to order my faves - luckily I've already tried one of everything. Next time maybe I'll attempt the Ham-evator!

UMAMIcatessen
825 S. Broadway
downtown L.A.
Mon-Sun 11 am - 12 am

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Do I hear, five dollars and ONE CENT?

When the kids go to bed at night I just want to sit on the couch and watch The Amazing Race or Food Network...but sometimes there are things going on in my space on the couch. Apparently the Baby decided to hold a robot auction:

If you notice, it's closed right now.
I'm sure it will reopen tomorrow.

Labels:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

O.G. promo

Last week at WonderCon I sold a lot of O.G. comic/cookbooks! It's great to see this book still going strong since I released it last year!

Right now if you buy an O.G. book online you get a single card of your choice for FREE! Thanks for your support and thanks for reading the blogs!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Conduct Happiness

(Part 1, part 2)

Lastly, my favorite thing from WonderCon is a company I've been cheering for years now: Conduct Happiness!

CH does a whole line of 'pea' shirts. Pea pea dance, pea in the pool, pea standing up. It's adorable and fun and I can't get enough of it! Every con they have something new and fantastic and WonderCon was no exception.

Their new line "Get Fresh Kitty Crew" is too much goodness all in one shirt. Cats. Breakdancing. An homage to rap. How could I resist? AND a bonus boom box image on the back. Love it!

What I like about their product is that it's durable, fits well and they have mens, womens, kids AND baby sizes. My kids have been wearing their Pea shirts for years and I just keep buying the same designs over and over in bigger sizes as the kids grow.

At the con I also picked up a Pea shopping tote. It was great for toting things around the con and I've been using it on my market runs. The best thing to me is that they are only $5!

Conduct Happiness' entire line is adorable and if you become a V.I.Pea you get an exclusive look at new designs and sales.

That's it for my three favorite things at WonderCon. The best thing is: Archaia, Pascal Campion and Conduct Happiness all have online stores so I can buy their products whenever I want and relive my lovely WonderCon memories. Ahh...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pascal Campion

(part 2 - Part 1, here)

Whenever I have free time at cons (rarely) I usually make a mad dash to specific vendors which always seem to be at the furthest point from my booth. In the case of WonderCon, I had to look no further than across the aisle.

Small Press is filled with indie artists selling their prints, comics and wares. There is always so much to see, you can spend your entire con just roaming the aisles and finding amazing new creators.

Across from me in Small Press I spotted the work of Pascal Campion. Immediately his signage caught my eye. I knew that his work would be perfect for my mini-at-home gallery and I started going through his print collection.

What I found was amazing. Beautiful perspectives and wonderful colors. The imagery was sweet and whimsical.

What I noticed the most was his use of reflections, they were stunning. Reflections in light and water - he seemed to master it, which is far from easy. His aerial shots made you feel like you were spying into tiny little fragments of characters lives.

I tweeted his booth number immediately so that people could go and find his work. I sent more than a few customers his way but he didn't need it, his booth was packed with people lined up to buy his prints.

The very last day I went over there, hopeful that he'd have the one I'd been coveting. A fun drawing of a little girl having breakfast with a bunch of animals. Towering pancakes, messy monkeys - I thought my kids would love it because we have breakfast almost all day long!

Because he has kids of his own I feel like his drawings reflect the fun and adventurous side of life with a whole lot of imagination mixed in.

His online store is filled with so many colorful, warm prints, all evoking different emotions. I know I will be buying more than a few of Pascal Campion's prints in the future for gifts and for myself.

And the last of my absolute favorite finds at WonderCon is....(to be cont'd)
Link

Labels: ,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Archaia

This past weekend was WonderCon! A comics/pop-culture/entertainment convention, usually located in northern California but this year was in Anaheim for the first time! The move...well, it wasn't without faults. The absurd L.A. rain made things strange but it all worked out in the end and the Con was fantastic - like a mini SDCC!

This week I'm a highlighting just a few of my favorite things from WonderCon.
First up: Archaia!

They clearly had the best booth at the Con. Clad in iconic Archia black with a lovely orange logo wallpaper pattern, the towering structure was a perfect beacon for navigating the Con aisles.

Archaia is a publisher with an amazing array of graphic novels. All the books are beautifully made both inside and out. They've released Mouse Guard and Robotika as well as Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock comics.
Recently they released Tale of Sand, an adaptation of a lost screenplay from Jim Henson.

When I visited the Henson Studios last year I was thrilled to see Jim Henson's legacy living on but saddened that so many of his ideas never came to fruition. However, when you pick up Tale of Sand you can see that Archaia captured the magic of Jim Henson with detail and a lot of love and care.

I get a lot of Archaia books for myself but eventually give them away and have to get more because they make great gifts! All the books are well made, with gorgeous interiors that easily convey the stories through imagery and color. So much of that is due to the amazing writers and artists that they collaborate with.

Archaia is a fixture at comic cons and always run fantastic con-specials that are too good to resist. Their next event is Emerald City Comic Con March 30 in Seattle, stop by and see their beautiful books in person!

But what else did I see at WonderCon that I loved....hm....(to be cont'd)

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 12, 2012

My life in miniature

Last year I attended the first ever Geek Girl Con. I spoke on panels about running my own business and about parenting and I left the con with a renewed sense of self. Sometimes when you are a creative person you can doubt yourself - er, I doubt myself A LOT. But I felt like this welcoming, friendly Con put it all in perspective.

One of the great things about the Con was how small it was. You could rub elbows with peers and mentors alike. The first day we got there my good friends Jess and Sarah and I were lost. It wasn't the easiest of places to find and we all were on panels and just wanted to get to the Con. As we wandered the streets we caught up with a couple in front of us. Determined to find our destination, we all went searching together. As the five of us walked, we talked about where we were from, what we did and mostly - comics.

The woman in the couple didn't know who we were, but we definitely knew who she was - it was Gail Simone. Writer of Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Batgirl?! As a comics fan it was sort of surreal. We were all big fans of hers and it was nice to be able to walk and chat as we searched for the Con.

Her husband and I chatted and he asked me what comics I was currently reading. I told him a few of the single issues but I was also a little embarrassed to add that I just happened to be going back and re-reading The All-New Atom...by Gail Simone. I wasn't sucking up, it was in my travel bag right on my arm, I had brought it with me on the plane! What are the chances that I'd even run into her?! I just liked that book and wanted to start it over again. I mean, this particular Atom was one of the very few Asian American superheroes but...let's not relive what happened to Ryan Choi. Um.

Recently, one night during 'after dinner art' with the kids, I saw that the Baby had pulled a book off the shelf. I went over to see that he had taken the All-New Atom: Future/Past and that he was drawing his own version of Atom.

I think it was fate running into Gail and her husband. It made me feel good to know that the people that I respect are also kind and respectful as well. Sometimes that's not always the case. It's the little things like that made me happy to be a geek raising geeks (the name of the parenting panel I was on) I think the second Geek Girl Con in August will bring even more fantastic memories.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

One, two, three, four - let's have a thumb war!

Nowadays when the kids do after-dinner-art they seem to be incorporating books. The Baby is moving pretty fast with his reading. Even though he is only 6 he is currently reading at a third grade level - I think this is mostly because of the books that he's choosing. Right now his current obsession is the Stink by Megan McDonald - who is also the author of the popular Judy Moody books.

Stink is Judy Moody's younger brother and let me express that the selling point on these books was the fact that the kid's name is STINK, of course. How can a kid not want to pick that up?

The Baby just finished Stink: The Ultimate Thumb Wrestling Smackdown and you can guess what came next...my living room is now a Thumb Wrestling war zone.

As soon as that book was finished the kids started shredding paper to make custom thumb wrestlers - this was AFTER I explained that no, you can't use a sharpie to write on your thumb.

Like Beyblades, Pokemon or any custom fighting item the kids went full force in coming up with names, fighting tactics and abilities. They even made a custom thumb wrestler for *me* named...

...THE CUPCAKE! Do my boys know me or what.

So it was me vs. THE TORCH.

The Torch is a feisty little wrestler but in the end I stuck it out and won. Someone needs to make me a paper championship belt, just sayin'.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 05, 2012

These are the keys you are looking for

My new house keys also start up the Death Star.

Labels:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

What's up Doc

Easter is not for another month but it can't get here fast enough. I love Easter, why I have no idea. It's not a particularly important day for our family - we aren't religious and the kids don't believe in the Easter bunny. In fact we no longer even have a yard so it's just me throwing a ton of eggs on a patch of grass. But I love all the cuteness and bunny-related things about Easter.

I saw these plastic treat bags at my local baking supply store and I had to have them.

I didn't want to fill them with orange candies and on the display they filled them with Chee-tos, I thought that was hilarious! Baked or regular, Chee-tos make a very nice orange alternative that is totally adorable. I'm going to bag up a bunch of these to eat with our Easter brunch!

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Young Justice

Anything superhero related is a plus around here - but you can't pull anything over on the Baby, it has to be good.

One of our favorite shows to watch together is Young Justice, an animated series that focuses on DC Universe's young superheroes.

We enjoyed the series when it first aired on Cartoon Network and now the episodes are being released on dvd. All the episodes on this new release of Season 1, volume 3 just happened to be our favorite episodes!

One of my favorites is 'Terrors,' Superboy and Miss Martian acting as a sort of undercover crime fighting duo inside Belle Reve prison was fun to watch.

By far the Baby's favorite episode (even before we got the dvd) was 'Targets.' As you'll see in this clip, it's funny to see Superboy not quite...get...why everyone is wearing symbols on their chest. Hey, t-shirt cosplay is big here on earth, Superboy.



Also in this episode is one of the Baby's favorite moments, when Superboy assumes that his alias of 'Conner Kent' is an homage to Dr. Fate. You see, the Baby is a HUGE Dr. Fate fan.

And that's what brings this series full circle, it's a fun and renergized look at familiar characters in new and exciting situations. All the the hints at invested DC Universe characters, along with modern storylines make this series fun for comics fans of all ages!

Young Justice, Season 1 Volume 3

**full disclosure: Warner Brothers provided me with a copy of Young Justice: Season One V. 3 for review, all the opinions expressed are my own.

Labels: ,