"Studies show that intelligent girls get more depressed because they know what the world is really like."

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hello guys!

I hope everyone survived the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Things are still pretty bad in New York and New Jersey but myself and everyone I love is safe and for that I am very thankful. I was supposed to start working at the New York Public Library this week but the building as well as all transit in the city has been shut down. Tomorrow I do start at a bookstore in my neighborhood though!  I'm nervous but in a good way, and am looking forward to be surrounded by books again.

Tomorrow is the start of National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) and this is the first year that I'm actively participating in it. For those of you who don't know what this is, in short #NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November- the equivalent to the length of a novel. I have a a basic idea of what kind of novel to write, but I won't over think it for once. I'm the kind of writer that likes to have an outline and extensive backstory charts for all the characters. This tends to take a lot out of the writing process and I hope jumping straight into the story without much planning will do me good. I've had writer's block for the past month, growing stagnant with my current story ideas and running out inspiration.

I'll keep you guys updated on my writing process here on this blog. You can also join #NaNoWriMo at at the site and become my writing buddy through my profile HERE. If you are doing the challenge drop me a line on Twitter and we can keep each other motivated!

In order to prepare for #NaNoWriMo I am reading "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood and watching the "Pushing Daises" TV show. I admire both styles of writing and I plan on creating my own voice that's a mixture of the two.

What are you guys currently reading that inspire you?


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“People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I am currently sitting on a train going from Jersey to Manhattan on a Sunday morning. The overcast is gloomy and the winds are starting to pick up speed in foreshadowing of the hurricane set to hit New York tomorrow. Despite dangers I’m looking forward to being in the city during a big storm for the first time.

There are a bunch of updates I wanted to tell you guys about, namely my career changes! As mentioned on Twitter and Facebook, I was hired this week to be an intern at the New York Public Library (NYPL) as well as a bookseller at a Bookstore near my apartment. I have worked at a small bookstore during college for four years and have missed the bookstore environment. Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” worked in a bookstore on the Upper West Side and now I will too!

However, working for the library was an opportunity I didn’t consider an option until I saw the intern application online last weekend. You need to have a librarian degree to work there as well as a ton of experience. In case you aren’t familiar, the NYPL is a famous historical landmark and one of the most prominent libraries in the world. You might have seen it as the hideaway for Jake Gyllenhal and Emmy Rossum in “The Day After Tomorrow”, where Audrey Hepburn reads in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or where Carrie (almost) got married in the “Sex and the City” movie. Do yourself a favor and Google Image search the building: it will take your breath away.

My internship is for Social Media and Events in their Live department. This means that I will be running their Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and various sites as well as help plan events. The NYPL has hosted many incredible events such as the movie premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” this past summer! Not only do I get to work in this incredible building but I also may have the chance to meet some important people.

I have never believed in internships actually. I did not sign up for ones during college because I was too busy working three jobs plus a full course load. I had always told people, “why do work for free that I already get paid to do?” However, if the NYPL offers you an internship, one simply does not say no. I’m supposed to start at the library tomorrow but the subways and buses are already being shut down tonight at 7pm so my chances of starting soon are minimal.

I am very grateful that things all came together for me work wise. It was the stupidest decision I have ever made, quitting my last job without another job lined up but I am so glad that I did. I had a few job opportunities lined up after I quit, but none of them were a good fit for me. I wanted a job that I could be excited to go to everyday in a place where I felt I belonged. The more interviews I went on, the more I realized that I do not like the tech start up community.

One job interview I went on was for a website that was about to “relaunch” next year. It was a team of 25 people all working in some guy’s one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side. During my interview the boss wore a ratty sweatshirt and a dog slobbered on my shoes. Another interview boasted having happy hours all the time but the work hours were from 9am to 7pm with less than $25,000 a year. I did not want to be a part of this environment again. Instead I was dying to have a stable 9 to 5 environment with professional people. Start ups may be good for some people but I do not work well in that setting. Anyway, 
enough rambling on that matter!

Other interesting highlights of this week include seeing “Cloud Atlas” with Tom Hanks and Halley Berry as well as “Flight” with Denzel Washington. In short I thought “Cloud Atlas” was a mess of a movie while “Flight” was very well done. You can look forward to my “Flight” review on The daily BLAM! this week. I don’t need to review “Cloud Atlas” because everything I feel about it can be found in this review by Christie Lemire HERE.  The highlights include Tom Hanks talking with Forest Gump in a caveman speak “I want tru-tru!” and Hugo Weaving running around as the villain from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” Some people loved “Cloud Atlas” but I thought it was a long movie with no payoff in the end.

Otherwise, life is good. It’s quiet right now, the calm before the storm. It’s fitting that Hurrican Sandy is coming this week, to stir up New York. Life is going to be crazy starting this week, and I hope you’ll all keep me company along the way.


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“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal."

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hello guys! This late Sunday afternoon I’m sitting on a train back to the city after spending the weekend with my family in Jersey. One of the main reasons I visited was because one of my favorite people Angela (@angelaplz) was also visiting the area. You might know Angela as my soccer loving, often yelling, science briantic best friend from college. She lives back in upstate Jersey now so haven’t been able to see each other for nearly six months.

Angela and I spent Saturday catching up on all the drama and events we’ve missed as well as lunch and coffee with my mom before settling down to do our favorite pastime: picking a weird ass movie on Netflix and yell things at the television. Somehow we always end up watching strange films such as “Four Faced Liar” which turned out to be about lesbians or “Timer” which is about injecting a device into your arm to detect when you’ll meet your soul mate.  This weekend’s pick was “Reality Bites” with Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, and Steve Zahn. For a film set in the 90s about post college misfit and finding true love, it won positive reviews from both of us.

Saturday night my family visited my other favorite female, my cousin Kim (@NotAKennedy) and her dad, my Uncle Ray. Uncle Ray and my dad are best friends and we all have the best pizza nights. This particular one included a story about my parents accidentally visiting a ship owned by a cult (“Only dumbass white people join cults.” –Kim) and then watching “How To Train Your Dragon” on Telemundo. It was a very successful night indeed.

Reading: “Story of a Million Years” by David Huddle. I found this book for a dollar at Book Off, a store run by Asians in Midtown where I find the best and cheapest movies and novels. The story featured a group of characters and explored how the actions of each other affected one another over decades. A simple and quick read, but no less profound and enjoyable. The title of this post is a quote from the book.

Listening To: Christmas Piano Jazz on Spotify. I mean, what else is there to say? It’s perfect.

Watching: “Gossip Girl” season one. I had never watched this show but I read the books when they first started coming out years ago. I stopped reading because the characters are very catty and eventually there was no one left to sleep with one they’ve fucked everyone they know. I wanted to give the show a shot however because I heard the New York location shots are beautiful and they indeed are. I’m admittedly addicted now but we’ll see how long I can stomach the petty drama

Wanting To: Find my center. I’m feeling very lost right now. Not in an overbearing or bad way, just one of those….misplaced feelings. I did however, officially stop biting my nails which doesn’t sound like much but it’s a personal feat. From a small age I started biting them to be more like my older cousin and I never stopped, resulting in being embarrassed about them my entire life. Once I moved to the city I wanted to sop, and them I simply did. Score one for me =P

And so life goes on, much as it has been. I’m feeling restless, and am hoping for something big to come my way. If it does, you will all be the first to know. =)


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“Born This Way” Book Review & Giveaway

, by Zoë Gulliksen

“Nobody is better than you, and you’re no better than anyone else.”  

            “Born This Way” by Paul Vitagliano from Quirk Books is a timeline of pictures and snippets from the 1940s to the 2000s of gay adults reflecting back at their childhoods. Not all knew at a young age that they were gay, sometimes their parents and peers knew way before they did, but all agree that they were this way from the beginning.

            The stories range from different time periods and locations from around the world recalling childhoods of both females and males who identify as gay. The stories are everywhere from sad and endearing to upbeat and reflective. I even found a tale from someone named “Perez” who greatly resembled Perez Hilton- a pleasant surprise to see a famous personality include his story in this book. Each snippet is accompanied by only a first name and the age of themselves in their childhood picture so I couldn’t find any other famous names, but maybe you can!

            Aesthetically it’s a great little book: a regular sized coffee table book to give to your friends or family to show your support or just because you love them for being who they are. Even as someone who isn’t gay I found great inspiration reading stories from people who aren’t afraid to just be themselves no matter what. And because I love my readers exactly as you are, I’m giving away this copy to one of you!

Simply enter below and spread the word!


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“Doesn’t New York Just Turn You Inside Out?”

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hello guys, I hope you are all well! Today I am sitting in the best seat in this café (a squishy chair near both a window and an outlet) feeling very much in love with my life. This is not always the case, but I’m afraid I have come down with New-York-in-the-fall-syndrome where I cannot help but be cheerful. Even Tom Hanks in ‘You’ve Got Mail’ suffered from this: “Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” I went for a run this morning in Riverside Park (another ‘You’ve Got Mail’ connection) and I was quite overwhelmed by the crisp air, changing leaves and unique beauty that Manhattan holds.

It felt nice to have a quite morning after the chaos that was New York Comic Con this past weekend. This year’s convention was surprisingly different than previous years due to the lack of major booths and panels. Marvel had a very low-key booth compared to last year’s Helicarrier set up and San Diego Comic Con’s Iron Man 3 display this past summer. There were hardly any major panels either, just ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Carrie’ and ‘Firefly’. Marvel even did not have their big Saturday night panel, which is disappointing considering how impressive their footage shown at SDCC was. 

However, the people I saw at Comic Con more than made up for the lack of entertainment. I was able to spend most of Wednesday with Stephanie (@hellocookie) showing her Canadian self around New York City for her first time! We both enjoy the television show ‘Smash’ so I stalked the Internet and found out the crew was filming that day at the Flatiron building. Stephanie and I were able to watch Megan Hilty, as her character Ivy, film a scene. After the stalking I took her to Tiffany’s, FAO Schwarz (where we danced on the Big Piano with little kids), the New York Public Library and the stunning Disney Store in Times Square! We admittedly spent way too much money at the Disney Store hahahaha. Steph is an adorable and brilliant person to hang out with and I suggest you follow her immediately.

That night Pietro and I went to the Hasbro cocktail party where they showcased their new toys. Free drinks named after Avengers characters and delicious food complimented our perfect company: Rick and Jessica Marshall (@rickmarshall and @Jess_on_ice). Rick is my favorite journalist in this industry and Jess is complete sweetheart who quotes ‘Lord of the Rings’.  After the Hasbro party Pietro and I met up with Stephanie and her boss Bill (@BillWillingham) at the Assassin’s Creed party thrown by our dear friend Stone (@GreatWallofChin). There we took silly pictures as the game characters and hung out with some famous rapper named Prodigy in the VIP room.  It was interesting to say the least. 

The rest of the weekend went by in a flash but highlights include the Aliens party Friday night Pietro and I attended and then breakfast Sunday morning with my favorite #Fukamush crew! I spent the rest of Sunday hanging out with this marvelous group of people from all over the world and running into people I hadn’t seen in a long time. Since I never do a #FollowFriday I’ll mention them all here and you can follow at will, but I highly recommend them all: Lindsey (@tokyoacid) Sebastian (@LindsaysFaveMex) Jessy, (@H3artlessSeph) Annerys (@annerys_dc) Daniel (@Darkflight) Gregg ( @GreggTurek), Hyo (@yuidiot) Andrew (@blackdieseluk) Andrew (@BigAxC) and Miranda (@theneonindian).

Last week I also managed to squeeze in a few job interviews, but they were all at start up companies and I turned them down. Some people find that environment challenging and exciting but I prefer a more structured company so I’m looking into other options. I also STILL DO NOT HAVE A FRIDGE. Oh New York.

Matter of business: Congratulations to Justin (@Jaydee_yo) for winning a copy of 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' in my blog contest! Your book will be shipped out this afternoon! Come back to tomorrow to another book contest =D Speaking of books....

I finished reading ‘Rules of Civility’ by Amor Towles that I mentioned in my last blog post and I cannot recommend it enough. This novel turned out to be different than I what was expecting, but in a good way. It’s full of love, though not romance, human interaction and most of all: stunning New York. The books I enjoy most are ones that use this city as a character, and I never can get enough of them.

The title of this blog post is a quote from the book, one of many that I underlined while reading. This novel was full of moments and lines that struck me, however one in particular stood out:

“To even have one year when you’re presented with choices that can alter your circumstances, your character, your course- that’s by God alone. And it shouldn’t come without a price.”

That line struck a chord within me. This year my life has changed drastically, full of the very best circumstances and many not good ones. Often I have found myself focusing on the low points instead of the positive ones. And then I read that line. “And it shouldn’t come without a price.” How painfully true is that? My life has changed for the better tens times over, but shouldn’t it come with price? By god shouldn’t I have to pay a debt in return for having my dreams come true? For then all of this will be worth that much more.

And that is what I will leave you with today. Think of your hardships and your difficulties and wonder, isn’t your happiness worth this price?


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, by Zoë Gulliksen


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"I Don't Want To Be Anything Other Than What I'm Trying To Be Lately"

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Hello guys!

I'm currently writing from a Barnes and Noble cafe on the Upper West Side on a Sunday afternoon. I have a warm coffee amid piles of paper and chilly rain outside. It is, not so oddly, a perfect day.  Yesterday I went for a long run in Riverside Park, which was the first time I've been able to do this. It was a simple act, but being able to run two blocks from my apartment to the park was something I've wanted to do for years, and it was exactly as I had always hoped it would be.

I used to run a lot but life got in the way, so I downloaded an app to make sure I don't overwork myself too soon. It is called '5k Runner: 0 to 5K run training' and can be bought on itunes HERE. I find the app useful because it gives me visual instructions as well as a voice command that can be used with my own running music. The app also only has you running 3 days a week, so it won't intimidate new runners. 5K cost $2.99 to download, and even though I normally don't like spending money on apps I am very glad that I chose this one.

Manhattan is the land of food and runners. I can order any kind of take out known to man to my apartment door at 3 in the morning but I can also run through Central Park with devoted (and often beautiful) runners who inspire me to keep going. All in all, life is very good and pretty quiet. I still don't have a working fridge and no internet in my apartment but I don't mind the loss of connection so much. I'm glad that when I go home I curl up with a book or write instead of scrolling away endlessly on tumblr. 


Reading: 'Rules of Civility' by Aror Towles. I found this book at the Strand in Union Square (a favorite place of mine) and immediately knew I had to buy it. According to the back cover it's about a young woman named Katey who befriends a wealthy but troubled banker set in 1938 New York City. My dream novels have three requirements: set in my favorite city, a WWII time period, and a troubled romance. Throw in the fact that it takes place on the Upper West Side, I am so excited to see where the book goes. I'm only about 20 pages in, but thus far I'm enjoying the writing style.

Listening To: This past week Pietro and I were invited to see 'Rock of Ages' on Broadway, and I'm happy to report that it was much better than the movie. I have always found theater singers to be more talented than others in the entertainment industry which is why the play succeeded compared to it's film adaptation. My favorite track is 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot', however, that was always my favorite 80s song to begin with. Check out the whole cast album on Spotify! Also, I have been listening to 'Fuck You' by Lily Allen and 'I Don't Want To Be' by Gavin DeGraw quite often. Both songs are acting as personal anthems lately =P

Watching: This week Pietro and I also went to go see a screening of 'Anna Karenina' with Kiera Knightly and Jude Law. The movie was different than what I was expecting and although it fulfilled the intentiona of the director, I still found it lacking. My main complaint is that Knightly was not a good fit as Karenina and it should have been played by someone older, such as Winona Ryder.  I also have been continuing my 'Will & Grace' marathon. When I first moved to the city I started watching the complete series and now I have just started season 5, which is where Harry Connick Jr shows up on a white horse in Central Park. Needless to say I am a happy camper.

Wanting To: Buy pin up dresses from Modcloth.com. Last night my mom and I were emailing each other links to all the dresses we wanted and lamented on the prices. If I wasn't saving money I would have definitely have bought two dresses by now.

Saw This Week: Yesterday I was reminded of the upcoming Disney short film titled 'Paperboy' which is described as:

"The short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him."

I mean really, this sounds exactly like my dream movie. WWII era New York city featuring an adorable romance, paper and a woman who happens to look exactly like myself? My friends have been very kind to humor me by saying she does look like me, but really...the resemblance is uncanny.

I wasn't going to dress up for New York Comic Con this week, but maybe I should just put together her outfit and walk around with a paper airplane. Nobody except myself will really get it...but that never stopped me before.

That's all for today folks! You should keep an eye out for changes coming to this blog! It's getting a complete makeover and I'll be updating more than once a week plus some upcoming giveaways! I've got to get out of this bookstore because somebody just set fire to a spinach quiche and it smells awful.


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