Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I wrote a lot about my shoot with web divas Julia Allison, Megan Asha, and Mary Rambin of Nonsociety a couple weeks ago. Now their segment has aired on Better TV and I thought I'd share it with you all. Honestly, it was tough to compress the essence of these girls and their web biz into three and a half minutes - seriously, I could have done an hour documentary with the footage I had - but I made the best of time I had. Check it out!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 8:53:00 AM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Say what you will about New York City--expensive, dirty, expensive, crowded--but one thing is for certain, there's always something interesting going on. Keep your ear to the ground and your mind way, way open and you'll find something unique to do every week.
Case in point: Dances of Vice. A bi-monthly time travel - yes time travel - party. This weekend's event? "SCENES OF DYNASTY" -- an evening of opulence and pleasure in the Louis XIV sense, combined with the glamour and rebellion of the glittering glam rock era.
In other words - 1770s meets 1970s. Marie Antoinette meets Ziggy Stardust. And oddly, even though I never seem to be able to find anything suitable to wear to work each morning, I created the perfect mishmash out of clothes stored in my closet for this theme. I scare myself sometimes.
Simple really. Take one Harajuku, Japan purchased gothic lolita black vampire dress, add two crinolines underneath for appropriate body. Then slip on a Catherine Coatney black mesh skirt over the skirt and pin a set of brass keys to it for a steampunk flair. (I really wish I'd had steampunk goggles to replace the headband with...) Now add glam touches: shag bleach blonde wig, headband, red boa, and disco looking silver earrings. And finally, the glam piece de resistance - gold sequined boots. I got these originally for the "These Boots Were Made for Stomping" party at the RT Con this year - never thought I'd have a chance to break them out again!
The event took place at the Montauk Club in Park Slope, Brooklyn. According to its website:
The magnificent Club House was designed by the famed New York architect Francis H. Kimball, who was inspired by a palace on Venice’s Grand Canal. The Club House was completed in 1891 and its Venetian gothic architecture, carved mahogany woodwork and beautiful stained glass windows remain its signature features.
It was really a perfect venue for such an event! Jacob and I arrived fashionably late and met up with all our beautifully dressed friends who were already there.
We mixed, mingled...
And got our fortunes told...
Liz told shocking stories...
While watching avant garde performances...
Some of the costumes were really amazing. Though I definitely saw more 1770s than 1970s glam...
All in all - a strange and interesting evening. And one you'd only find in New York!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 11:31:00 AM
Friday, November 21, 2008
It’s been such a busy week, I haven’t had any time to even tell you what I’ve been up to!
I interviewed Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock. She was pitching a new videogame on X-Box called "You're in the Movies!" I asked her if she was a real life Gamer Girl and she said she was trying to be - so her nephews would think she was cooler!
She was super nice, by the way, and really enthusiastic about 30 Rock. Since that's one of the only sit-coms I watch, I was excited to do the interview. Now I just have to meet Tina Fey!
I also interviewed country singer Blake Shelton. I didn't get a photo of the two of us, which is kind of a shame, cause he's pretty hot. In fact, People Magazine just voted him one of the sexiest men alive. He was very down to earth and "country" and didn't seem to like New York City too much. Luckily I had some cred dating a Texan and so we talked about the Dallas Cowboys a bit while waiting to begin. He was funny and turned the camera on me - videotaping me with a home camera. He does a lot of YouTube type videos of life on the road - don't know if I'll end up in one of them now!
Anyway, I'm not a country fan so I can't speak to his music, but I did think he had a great personality so I highly recommend country fans to check out his new album, Startin' Fires.
Later that day I interviewed socialite Tinsley Mortimer, along with the author of the Park Avenue Diet, Doctor Stuart Fischer. It's not a diet book, per say, but more of an entire lifestyle makeover. It looks like an interesting book, actually, and I'm probably going to read it.
Tinsley made a guest appearance on Gossip Girl last season so add her to the list of Gossip Girl people I've interviewed or met this year. Oh and she was wearing the best shoes! I wish I'd gotten a photo of them or asked what they were. I had major shoe envy.
Oh and lastly I interviewed John from John and Kate Plus Eight on the Learning Channel. They have a set of sextuplets and a set of twins. CRAZY! He was really nice though. I can't imagine how he does it.
That's all I have time to update for now!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 11:28:00 AM
From the lovely Diana Peterfreund who has the cutest puppy ever!!
Diana talks about GAMER GIRL in her blog today. Says it's her favorite book of mine to date. Though she might be a bit prejudiced - being a gamer girl herself, and all!
Now I just have to figure out how to get that puppy of hers to go fetch me one of her unicorn book - Rampant - arcs. It sounds so awesome and has one of the best YA covers ever!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 10:57:00 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here it is - Gamer Girl, as seen in Barnes and Noble in San Antonio, Texas, where I was visiting this weekend. They were good and had it out on the shelves. But other bookstores I've visited have not pulled the copies out from the backroom. Sooo...if you don't see it out, make sure you ask! We need to make sure these books get onto the actual shelves where people can find them.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 3:03:00 PM
I, Marianne Mancusi, can write books, dance all night, and apply liquid eyeliner without ending up looking like a raccoon. (Usually…) I cannot, however, run 26.2 miles. Well, maybe if I split it up the mileage over say, two weeks I might have a prayer, but certainly not in one sitting—er, standing.
So I greatly admire those who can pound the pavement for that exorbitant distance and not have their legs fall off in the process. Case in point – my boyfriend Jacob – who ran the San Antonio Rock and Roll marathon along with his sister and father this weekend.
His mom and I met them every five or so miles to collect unwanted layers and offer up water, Advil, and gummi bears.
Jacob didn't want to stop though. He was a man on a mission. I could barely get a kiss out of him. (He tasted salty, anyway.)
His mom got extra gummi bears for other runners and was quite popular when handing them out.
And I'm happy to report, all three of them finished the marathon! Amazing!
I don't know how they did it, but I'm very proud of them all the same!
Monday, November 17, 2008
We authors all love independent booksellers. LOVE THEM! You know why? Cause they really care about books. So I was super excited to have GAMER GIRL be selected for the American Bookseller's Association Indie Next List.
The Indie Next List, drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells, epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem.
Pretty awesome, huh? I feel very honored to be included in such a list. Here's what they said about the book:
Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi
(Dutton, $16.99, 9780525479956 / 0525479953)
"After her parents' divorce, a move away from her friends in Boston, and a horrific first day at her new school, Maddy seeks refuge in her manga and the game world of Fields of Fantasy, where she can be powerful, beautiful, and beat back the bullies with her spells. Mancusi handles the ups and downs of high school, family, and virtual reality with zest, uniting books and the online world in a fun-tastic novel." --Jenn Northington, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Thank you Jenn and ABA!! It means so much to be chosen for your list!!!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 3:11:00 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
With this tough economy, you're probably checking your bottom line as well as your shopping list. And if so, you're in luck! Books are a great gift for all the teens in your life. You'll be giving them tools to grow a lifelong love of reading -- and they're a lot cheaper than video games!
That said, my book GAMER GIRL hits store shelves today! Hurrah! Hope you will honor me by picking up a copy and checking it out. It's perfect for girls 11 and up - especially for those who love manga, anime, and video games.
In addition to being a fun pop culture heavy book, it also has a serious message about bullying and teaches kids to stand up for themselves and be proud of who they really are. I felt this was so important as I, myself, was a victim of bullying back when I was in junior high school. I remember feeling so helpless and alone. And I had no idea how to crawl out of the hole I was in.
I'm actually guest blogging over at The Story Siren today and wrote a little blog post about the bullying thing and my experience with it, if you want to check it out. You can also comment over there to win a copy of the book.
You can find Gamer Girl at your local bookstore or online at Amazon. If you want to read an excerpt, you can do so here.
Thanks for letting me share. This book really means a lot to me personally and I hope kids will feel empowered after reading it.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Yesterday was one of those lessons in patience that only New York City can teach you. Nothing went horribly wrong - yet nothing went smoothly either.
Jacob and I woke up and headed down to Soho to get our haircut (him) and colored (me). Yes, now we officially go to the same hairdressing place, which officially makes us geeky couple of the year. What can you do? Maybe you'll give me a few coolness points back if I tell you my new hairdresser is a tranny? She/he did a great job on my hair, too. And the place is nice - small, quiet and you don't feel like you're in a hair factory - something I hate at the larger salons - even the expensive ones like Fredric Fekkai. (Though I must admit I LOVED LOVED LOVED the end result the one time I went to FF. If I could afford them, I'd go everytime, despite the hustle and bustle of the place.)
But I digress. We got out of the hair salon and went to find food. The deli was out of bagels. The crepe girl was out of strawberries and then it started to rain and my beautifully blow dried hair was out of non-frizziness.
Ducking into an East Village Starbucks, we waited in line as a bathroom bouncer checked each stall after each person exited before ushering the next person in. Now a while back, Liz was wondering why everyone took so long in Starbucks bathrooms and I said that it was a great place for people to duck in and do drugs. They're on every corner, after all, and each bathroom is private. I'm not sure she entirely believed this could possibly be true, so I took my chance and asked the bathroom attendent why he was checking the stalls. Sure enough, they were looking for evidence of drug use. If they find it, they call 911. I felt extremely validated, though also a bit shocked when the guy told me he'd had 7-8 episodes of someone trashing the bathroom this week. It seemed impossible - yet I suppose it must be true; after all, they have to pay this guy to run the bathroom line. They must have felt it necessary.
After Starbucks, we headed to the train, which we found out was not going to Astoria since they were working on the tracks. So we walked up to Union Square and hit Forever 21 and H&M (which were both packed beyond belief - rainy Saturday = long dressing room lines). Still I ended up finding an outfit for the party that weekend, so this was good. Leanna met us at H&M and we took a cab back to Astoria. Long, expensive cab ride, I might add, since everyone who couldn't go by subway had the same idea.
We hung out in Astoria and watched a movie as Jacob fixed Leanna's laptop. Then we got dressed and headed out to Elizabeth "Bitsy" Mahon's birthday party. It was held in a very cool bar called The Dove Parlour in the West Village. We mixed, mingled, took a bunch of photos, then walked to the East Village to go to Pyramid Club to dance the night away to classic 80s tunes. Besides an unfortunate incident with a club tool spitting water at everyone on the dance floor, a fun time was had by all.
The night ended with a $30+ cab ride home since there were no trains and the bridge was closed to cars as well. The cabbie had to take the Williamsburg bridge and then completely went the wrong direction to Astoria. Much grr'ness for that.
In any case, here are some pics from the night! Thanks to Morgan for some of these. No thanks to slacker Liz who hasn't uploaded hers yet... :)
Me, Stacey and Liz (It's Stacey's birthday next!)
The Rebels girls
The birthday girl! Isn't her dress amazing?
The boys don't want to pose for pictures.
Though Jacob doesn't mind taking them...
Liz, Stacey and Hope chatting.
And even sillier!
"It's time to go dancing!"
Friday, November 07, 2008
So remember when MTV actually aired videos? Wayyyy back in the day. When I was young and innocent and my mother wouldn't let me watch. In fact, once I was old enough to make my own television choices from the comfort of home (and wasn't foced to head to a friend's house to get my fill of those santanic, misagonistic televised vingettes) they stopped showing videos! Instead - they had shows! Game shows, reality shows, documentaries - stuff that loosely had to do with music - but very little actual music. And when they did play music, they only had time to get through the Top 40. My music - alternative, new wave, goth - was relegated to a very late night show they called 120 Minutes. And you never knew - staying up late and praying to the video gods - if they'd play the one you wanted them to.
But now The Cure, The Smiths, New Order and all my obscure favorites are on-demand. MTV has started a new website - www.mtvmusic.com - where you can find ANY VIDEO EVER MADE in miliseconds.
What a world we live in! The masses can rise up once again and shout their passionate battlecry, "I WANT MY MTV" without being subjected to Road Rules or The Hills ever again.
And our late night, living room Dance Party USA now no longer requires the crappy quality of YouTube.
Leanna, this one's for you.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 8:18:00 AM
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Wow. Where to begin? Well, how about Bar 9, an inconspicuous Manhattan pub on 9th and 54th. There, our friend Sarah Sweeney had an election gathering to either celebrate (or commiserate) the historic night.
There was a buzz in the air as we stepped inside. An excitement crackled. It was almost as if there was a World Series or Super Bowl going on. But the event tonight was far more important. The potential for a real change in our country—one so long overdue.
Now I know in other parts of the country things may have been more divided but in New York City, Obama played for the home team. When they announced his taking states on CNN, the place would erupt in cheers. McCain states would get boos. It’s really strange what a huge impact geography has on people’s values and beliefs.
Here are some Obama supporters I know!
Speaking of CNN, what was the deal with their correspondent holograph? Did you see her? She was physically in Chicago and beamed into the CNN newsroom like Princess Lea in Star Wars. That was so strange to watch—almost giving the night a surreal, futuristic feel. In fact, the whole crazy high tech set with its pull down wall menus, etc. was pretty out there. At times it was cool—at others you wanted to scream—just tell me the results! Stop messing with your toys!
I wasn’t supposed to stay at Bar 9. I’d promised Liz I’d go to Brooklyn to Megan’s house. Megan was having an election dance party, which sounded fun—if not far. (About an hour subway ride or more and then an hour home.) Liz said, “I know it’s far, you shouldn’t feel obligated to come.” But I thought about all those nights I wanted my friends to come to my apartment in Queens. How I admonished them for dissing the idea of crossing water into a (shudder!) borough! I was determined not to be like that. It was Brooklyn or Bust.
Liz left early to help prepare for the party. Jacob arrived at Bar 9. More friends from work arrived and settled in for a long election night. And still, I told them, I’m going to Brooklyn in a bit. They looked at me as if I were crazy. “Brooklyn?” they’d repeat in disbelief. “Tonight? Do you know how far that is?”
In the end, I gave into peer pressure and stayed at Bar 9. Watched Obama take swing state after swing state from the comfort of their couches. I even ate tater tots! I watched Obama take New Hampshire (sorry Dad!) and Obama take Florida (sorry Mom!) And at around 10:30 Jacob and I headed home—tired but happy—just in time to see Obama be officially declared winner around 11:00. We stayed up and watched McCain’s concession speech (I felt kind of sad for the guy in an old grandpa kind of way) and then Obama’s acceptance speech. I especially liked the part about the puppy.
So that was my night. Historic, happy and surrounded by friends who have the same belief system I do. It truly renewed my faith in this country and the people who live in it. It’s been a really long eight years. But now I have hope again.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 11:59:00 AM