May 10, 2013

Lauren Graham, In the Heights & Other Shenanigans


It has been way too long since I shared on the blog about what's been going on in my world. The last time I wrote a personal post was my post celebrating Macky's birthday, and that was nearly two weeks ago! So get ready - there's been a ton of things happening, and I'm excited to share about them with all of you.


Last Thursday, I met up with two of my favorite people, Estelle and Rachel. We had dinner at Goodburger, and spent some catching up on our lives and our recent reads, which is always fun. (Just a thought - I love that I can be completely candid with these two, and their friendship means so, so very much to me. I'm honored to know them and have them in my life!)

We headed on over to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square to see Lauren Graham, eagerly anticipating hearing her talk about her book Someday, Someday, Maybe. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the line was massive. It snaked all the way from the top floor (where the event space is) to the floor below! Instead of listening to Lauren talk, we ended up chatting about anything and everything as we waited.

Once Lauren finished talking about her book and started signing, the line moved really quickly. I really want to give a shout-out to the employees of that Barnes & Noble for being so efficient about handling this big turnout so well! I've been at one other event in their store that had a big turnout, and it wasn't handled as well as this one was. It appears they've improved on that front, and that's really awesome!

We waited for about an hour, and during that time, I managed to read a couple more pages of my read then (Chantress - and my review is coming up!), while Estelle finished her read (Rules of Summer). We also read a couple of pages of a book Estelle had recently finished, and they made us laugh and cringe - and not in a very good way. (Technically, Rachel read the whole chapter. I had to stop somewhere in the middle.)

Finally, it was our turn to meet Lauren! She was really sweet, and totally up for taking photos with the people who came to see her. While waiting for Rachel and Estelle, I spotted Jennifer E. Smith (who looked super cute!) too!

Once we got our books signed, the three of us headed to the YA section of the store. It used to be on that top floor as well, but it's now been moved to the second floor! I actually didn't think I'd like the new arrangement initially, but after wandering it for a while, I think it grew on me. We perused the books for a while, and I ended up buying three paperbacks for books I had read, loved but didn't own yet.

  Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham (review coming!)
We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) - Jenny Han (review coming!)

On Friday, I made my way all the way to Flushing in Queens (and a little beyond that) for the first time in years. Why? I went to support my friend Jonathan in his high school's spring musical, which was In the Heights! I love the music from the show, though I've never actually seen it performed in person. So I definitely took the opportunity to go!
Stacey, Subbha & I

Together with Jonathan's sister Stacey and our friend Subbha, we watched their first performance - and it was great! I enjoyed their set and the choreography best of all, but nothing made me prouder than when Jonathan first appeared on the stage as Piragua Guy. I am so, so proud of this kid for being able to show the world his amazing performing talent! 

Pat & Ian
On Saturday, I returned to Queens yet again -- but this time, I came to spend time with some fellow Filipinos! I'd been craving Jollibee (Filipino fast food, basically) for a while, so I roped one of my friends into meeting me there. She contacted a whole bunch of other people, and we all ended up showing up. I love bringing friends to Jollibee, but there's something special about eating there with a bunch of Pinoys who totally get why Jollibee.

Instead of eating at the restaurant, our friends Danica and Ruth invited us to come over to their place. We made a quick pit stop at Red Ribbon (which was my idea, because I wanted mamon and ensaimada) first, before we went to their house and indulged in all the food. Other fun activities that afternoon including longboarding, a spur of the moment karaoke session and watching Sisterakas. It was a quiet, relaxed day, but oh so much fun, and I'm so glad it all fell into place.


Yesterday night, apart from spending serious $$$ on books, I was reunited with Gaby! We met for the first time early this year (at the Panera on 5th Avenue, where I proceeded to give her a big bag of books). I didn't get the chance to hang out with her again before she left for London and Israel, so you can imagine how excited I was to see her yesterday! It was really fun to get the chance to catch up and bond over books.

We met up at the Strand, where we ended up perusing the YA shelves for a good hour. Have I mentioned how I love being in bookstores with fellow booklovers? It's always a joy to be able to linger among the shelves and talk about all the titles we see, and to go over them WAY more than once. Plus, armed with iPhones, we were able to do some Goodreads research on interesting titles too.

The one reason I love the Strand is because I can get books for much cheaper than list price. All the hardcovers below were only $9, while the two paperbacks were $5 - seriously good deals that I just could not pass up (even though I probably should have)! All you BEA-goers might want to take note: the Strand is a great place for affordable books, as I mentioned in this previous post.

Storm (Elemental #1) - Brigid Kemmerer (my review)
Spark (Elemental #2) - Brigid Kemmerer

After the Strand, we hadn't had nearly enough of books, so we headed over to the Barnes & Noble. I wasn't intending on buying anything there, but I just couldn't leave without Nantucket Blue (which came highly recommended by Estelle & Cassie). I also scooped up a paperback copy of Throne of Glass (because I clearly don't have enough copies of this book....), which has that kick-ass UK cover and a few extras included!

 Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas (only the paperback is new!) (my review)

We then talked over dinner at Panera (where we both got EXACTLY what we ordered the last time we'd been together - mac and cheese + French onion soup!), which was the highlight of the night. Aside from bonding over books, we talked about life and love and blogging for an hour or so before we finally parted ways.

When I got home, I was extra hyper and couldn't sleep so I ended up culling and organizing my bookshelves yet again. I ended up with a stack of books for Gaby, another stack to donate or sell and lighter shelves (in spite of all the new purchases). I love the feeling of spring cleaning my shelves (even though I do it regularly, and not just in the spring)! (In case you wanted to try to clear out your TBR pile, here are some handy tips for you, care of Rachel. These are primarily targeted towards cleaning out Goodreads TBR shelves, but I think they apply in real life too!)


I also got in my pre-order of Golden yesterday, and I squealed when I saw it. It is so pretty in person, and I hugged the book immediately after I opened the box. It came with something else I ordered too - the four books in the Song of the Lioness Quartet (which is just in time for PierceFest).

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) - Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness #2) - Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness #3) - Tamora Pierce
Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4) - Tamora Pierce  


So yes, it's been a busy two or so weeks over here in my world - and I love it. Despite getting severe allergies due to the pollen, and then getting an awful head cold, I enjoyed everything a lot! Now, my allergies are (slowly) dying down, the weather is getting warmer and there are lots of fun things coming up in the weeks to come - and I promise, you'll hear all about them soon!

My favorite dress came out to play!


  1. I'm jealous of you meeting Lauren Graham! She's one of my FAVOURITE actresses (mainly because of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood) and I just finished her book the other day ... it was great!

  2. So jealous you got to meet Lauren Graham! I loved her in Gilmore Girls and think she is fantastic in Parenthood!

  3. Jealous of you meeting Lauren Graham! She's my fave and have her book in my TBR. Looking forward to your review!

    I'm reading Golden soon- on her blog tour! Can't wait to open up my e-galley of it!

  4. LAUREN! GRAHAM! I left a similar comment on Estelle's post but omg, you lucky girl. esp bc they let you guys take pics!! I was surprised at how cheap the Strand was. def knew why they're so popular after that!

  5. Aww! Your friendship means so much to me too! I love all our dinners/hangouts, gchats and texts <3 Also - you did not mention all the book shopping you did this week! (I'm actually about to preorder like 5 books lol). Anyways, it seems like you've been having a great month so far. And it's only going to get better.. esp with BEA coming up!

  6. Oh, I love this post so much! Look at all the amazing books you got! I can't wait to hear what you think of Someday, Someday, Maybe. I love Lauren Graham! Ugh, I wish I had IRL bookish friends to hang out with all the time. Sigh...

    Loving the dress tho!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  7. Fab post Alexa with great books. I'm very jealous that you got to meet Lauren Graham! And you have reminded me that I still need to read Throne of Glass!

  8. OMG You have NO idea how jealous I am that you met Lauren Graham! Gilmore Girls remains my favorite show EVER I watched the whole series at least 7 times and I'm thinking it might be 8 or 9. I would have seriously died! GAH!! So when I meet you, and you've met her, means I will meet her indirectly, right?

  9. Wow fun stuff!!! So cool that you met Lauren Graham, got all those cool books, and met up with all those fun people! I love seeing all the cool stuff that you do in NYC :)

  10. I love all the pictures! I'm still slightly jealous of you for living close to other bloggers and actually getting to meet them! And yay for catching up with friends!
    And look at all your pretty books! I'm so tempted to pick up a paperback of Throne of Glass as well, it's so pretty... And I want the extra scene between Chaol and Dorian!

  11. Wow, it sounds like you had a great week or so! That's awesome that you got to see Lauren Graham. I need to check out her book. It also makes me want to watch Gilmore Girls now :)

  12. What a fun time! Excited that you got to meet Lauren Graham - she's my hero! Lots of fun books and excitement! :)

  13. Goodburger! Did you ever watch All That or Kenan & Kel? "Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger, can I take your order?" Haha.

    Lauren Graham! That is amazing that you waited an hour. I love the pics.

    I'm clicking over to your PierceFest post now because both Noelle and I are reading the Alanna series. I'm only on Book 1 but she's on 3. Love it so far! I keep picturing Arya from Game of Thrones as Alanna. Can't wait to read more. :)


  14. Eep, I'm so excited (and a little jealous, ha) that you got to meet Lauren Graham! It's even more awesome that you actually have a picture with her. I mean, LAUREN GRAHAM. I can't wait to read Someday, Someday, Maybe. I hope it won't disappoint :) As much as I would love to meet Lauren Graham, I would love to "meet" Gaby as well haha. It sounds like you guys had fun!

  15. what a great week, Lauren Graham and BEA! Great post Alexa thanks foe sharing!


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