Restaurant Review: Zen Sushi & Bar

Note: With the permission of the editor-in-chief, I’ve decided to repost some of my articles written for The Western Front here on Radical Geekery. Today’s review was originally posted here, on October 22, 2014 and all pictures and text are my original work. 

Sushi has started to become a staple of most young adults lives, and students at Western are no different. In Bellingham alone there is over fifteen different sushi restaurants, but Zen Sushi & Bar seems to stand out among them all — if not only for the 600 lb. stone Buddha statue featured prominently in the restaurant.

5447129410d0e.image

When you think of posh and upscale, conveyor belt sushi doesn’t usually come to mind, but Zen blends both the affordability of conveyor belt sushi with the the class of a modern restaurant. Along with the knowledgable waitstaff and their chic dress code, the decor code completes an atmosphere of professionality.

In the past, you may have found the ease of picking out a dish quite easy, but the night this particular night, it was a bit more difficult, due to all labels on the belt being removed. If one wasn’t already familiar with sushi, guessing would be the best you could do. During that dinner hour, along with the lack of ingredients shown, many of the plates were getting stuck on that belt leading to back-ups and messes on the belt.

544712c7a597a.image

Even though there were no ingredients or dish names listed, the restaurant did provide a clear menu with a variety of sections such as — regular rolls, vegetarian, hot food, and dessert. This menu was complimented by their color-coded pay system, which was stated at every single booth and bar seat.

Being a vegetarian (like myself) can be tricky when going out to eat in any town, especially with sushi, but Zen has that covered. Dishes like Tamago (Egg, Seaweed and Rice sweetened with Maple Syrup), Spinach Gomae (Spinach, Sesame Sauce and Sesame Seeds) and Avocado Rolls (Avocado, Rice and Seaweed) can satate that lifestyle choice.

5447125eb90ed.image

Zen also provides a whole list of unusual and quirky plates like the Dragon Roll (Shrimp tempura, imitation crab, spicy mayo, tobiko, green onion, eel sauce, cucumber, spicy tuna, rice, and seaweed), the Rainbow Roll (Imitation crab, cucumber, avocado, shrimp, salmon, albacore, rice, seaweed, sesame seeds), and the Volcano Roll (Crab salad, tuna, tobiko, spicy mayo, eel sauce, rice, seaweed, sesame seeds) — all of which are aptly named.

Zen is also reasonably priced; I spent $18 on seven plates and two drinks.

54471300013fe.image

Out of a ten out of ten scale, with ten being the highest, this particular visit to Zen would get an overall 8/10, with the price, waitstaff and taste ranking highest and seating, and information about the food ranking lowest.

To find out more information about Zen Sushi & Bar visit their website at http://zensushibellingham.com/ or call to place and order for pick-up at (360) 734-7888

Doctor Who: New Who

Ooh-ee-ooh-ee.

This has been uttered by many a Whovian, and this year marks a special date in ‘New Who’ history. As of March 26, 2005, this British sci-fi series we all love has been on the air for ten years. Because I am one of those die-hard fans (despite my misgivings about Steven Moffat), I wanted to give a proper tribute to the show that has changed my life.

I am and always will be - the optiist. The hoper of far-flung hopes. the Dreamer of improbable dreams

The rest of Season 9 doesn’t air until this autumn, I’m giving it another run through from the beginning with Episode One, “Rose,” until the latest episode, “Last Christmas,” featuring Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi. Each week I’m going to watch an episode and live-blog it.

*SPOILERS*

Even though I’ve seen every single episode at least once, I want to see it again from a fresh perspective exploring the storylines, actors, spoilers and details about each episode. I’m looking for you to join me each week  and let me know your favorite parts of each episode

The New Who Doctors

1. Nine (Christopher Eccleston) – (13 Episodes)

2. Ten (David Tennant) – (48 Episodes)

3. Eleven (Matt Smith) – (44 Episodes)

4. Twelve/Thirteen (Peter Capaldi) – (14 Episodes)

You don't just give up. You don't just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what's right, even when everyone else just runs away. -Rose Tyler

Be sure to follow me at the hashtag #NewWhoMarathon on twitter @radicalgeekery each week.

How Comic Books Made My Marriage Better

Many people tend to see comic books and superheroes as geeky or a waste of time and something that isn’t as valuable as any other hobby or interest. Pulling a Kayne West, I’m gonna have to interrupt those people and pull out my  big ole’ BS meter. Exclusive thinking like that actually shuts off entire groups of people, interests and relationships. Not only are comic books good for the children’s learning (see here), they can enhance and create relationships between people.

During the last few weeks, my husband and I have had some major life stressors so we’ve been doing what we usually do to de-stress and relax, watch our favorite shows together, one of which happens to be the DC comic-book inspired Arrow. It might have been the two consecutive weekends at conventions (ECCC and Sakura-Con) but I had the urge to be a bit creative while we were watching and turned him into a comic book hero, the Blue Arrow.

The Blue Arrow

The show that inspired this photo is one my husband started watching a few years ago  as his interest in comic book to TV show titles started to happen. To be honest, I wasn’t interested at the beginning and couldn’t understand why people would want to watch it, especially when most shows of this nature couldn’t even pass the Bechdel Test. But, like anyone who resides in a small apartment knows, there are times you will catch a glimpse of whatever TV show, movie or video game your roommates or partners are involved with.

I would occasionally see what was happening on screen but it wasn’t until an episode in the third season entitled The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak (S3, E5) that I really got into the storyline and the characters, I mean who wouldn’t love an episode that starts out with a goth Emily Bett Rickards totally kicking ass in coding and hacking?

Felicity SmoakAfter that episode (which I actually saw three times in one week), I binged watched the entire show in about two weeks so I could catch up with what was happening. I couldn’t believe how excited I was getting over a comic book vigilante hero.

Knowing that my husband and I could share such nerdy interests without feeling ashamed helped us to appreciate each others hobbies more.

After realizing that I really enjoyed these shows, as did my husband, I had an epiphany. Why wasn’t I actively getting involved with these shows, movies, books and more with him? If it made us both so individually happy and excited, think of how geeked out we could get together if I started to engage him in one of his favorite pastimes. What other parts of our marriage was I missing because I simply didn’t get his interests or thought they they might be ‘silly’? And this is how it all started. From there we enjoy shows like The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Gotham — all of which are based off comic book characters.

During our nerd-out TV nights we often have conversations about what the characters are doing, why they are doing and perhaps what we would have done differently if we were in their shoes — learning more about each other. In addition to just watching the shows, we’ve jumped in headfirst to the comic book and graphic novel world. Even though we have different tastes in artwork and writing, we’ll often swap books so that we can share our favorites with each other.

One of our favorites is a newer series, and more independent than most comic books you will come across called Saga written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. Without giving away too much of the plot, Saga is the story of two star-crossed (literally, it is set in space) lovers dealing with war, drama, marriage, children, politics and family while trying to live as normal of a life that they can together. Sounds pretty much like what most people (sans war) have to deal with everyday, right?

Comic books aren’t just for kids anymore, and adults can like superheroes. We shouldn’t exclude an interest or hobby just just because it seems less important than what our culture generally deems ‘important’. Take that risk, be a superhero to your partner and see what sort of comic books and superpowers they are. Tweet me @radicalgeekery with the hashtag #comicbookcouples

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping for Emerald City Con 2015

With just over a little more than a week to go, Emerald City Comic Con is fast approaching and I am just so dang excited (!!). This will be my third year attending, and first year ‘working’*.  Even though my full cosplay isn’t together yet, I’m quickly getting things organized so that this year won’t feel as hectic and scattered as last year..

*As a freelance geek journalist, I’m covering the event for a few different blogs that I write for. Be sure to follow me on social media to catch where and for who I am writing for!

ECCC

There are so many things for me to look forward to at this years con, especially since ReedPOP has absorbed ECCC into it’s family of conventions. Their particular style of organization and efficiency at cons is well-known and respected, and I’ve already seen that in the information that the PR and social media team of ECCC has released so far.

This year, I’m planning on attending several panels as well as picking up a photo-op or two and making sure to get the signatures from my favorites. Here is a quick-run down of how I hope this year happens for Radical Geekery.

Panels

I am so impressed with the selection of panels this year. In the past, I’ve only gone to one or two and haven’t paid too much attention to any other panels as they didn’t hold my interest as much as I thought they could — in fact, last year I didn’t attend a single one.

This year is different.

With the incredibly array of artists, actors, performers and names at Emerald City this year, the panels over-exceeded my expectations in both recognizable names and content. I actually had to make a spreadsheet so that I could attend my top choices while still getting a chance to wander around the rest of the convention floor. Here are my picks for next weekend:

Friday

  • Taking Fandom Seriously — 10:50 AM – 11:40 AM
  • Ten Years of the New Doctor Who —  1:50 PM – 2:40 PM

Saturday

  • How To Be a Nerd for a Living: Your Career in Nerd Culture — 11:40 AM – 12:40  PM
  • Gigs and Careers In Fandom & Geek Culture  — 4:30 PM – 5:40 PM
  • Clark Gregg & Chloe Benn:t Agents of A.W.E.S.O.M.E. — 6:00 PM – 6:50 PM

Sunday

  • Curtis Armstrong: The Scribe of God — 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM
  • Firefly with Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin –2:00 PM – 2:50 PM
  • Women in the Gaming Industry Panel  — 2:50 PM – 3:40 PM

Cosplay

As sad as it was for me last year, I didn’t end up cosplaying at all. The first year I attended ECCC, I put together an amateur Leela (Futurama) cosplay and had so much fun with it. After realizing you really have to plan ahead for this type of geekery, I was able to plan two days of ‘dressing up’.

Radical Geekery

I won’t go into too much detail on this post, but I’m doing a casual/punk Harley Quinn outfit on Friday which I’m especially excited about as I’ve recently delved headfirst into Harley Quinn canon and lore. On Saturday, my first love of nerddom will show itself as I’m working on a Bad Wolf Girl cosplay from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special. And to make sure I don’t exhaust myself with cosplay this year, Sunday is going to be a general ‘nerd-girl-at-a-convention’ attire.

Personally, I’m itching to see what everyone will be cosplaying as this year. Most cons typically have an influx of certain characters or fandoms and I’m guessing this year we might see an influx of Doctor Who, Marvel & the Arrow outfits….but that is just a speculation.

8530756638_0c4cba82f1

Leave a message in the comment section and let me know what you are planning on going as this year!

Special Events

I feel like ECCC outdid themselves with special events this year, but you won’t hear any complaints from me. From a Laser Guardians of the Galaxy experience to Drinking & Drawing and a Guardians of the Galaxy inspired burlesque show, this year seems to have a special event for just about anyone.

To be honest I’m just incredibly excited to be there this year and can’t wait to share all the geekiness with you, my readers. Be sure to follow me on twitter and instagram @radicalgeekery as well as the media organizations @fanpup101 and @nocontinuescast to catch all the happenings at Emerald City Comic Con this year.

Restaurant Reviews: Fiamma Burger

Note: With the permission of the editor-in-chief, I’ve decided to repost some of my articles written for The Western Front here on Radical Geekery. Today’s review was originally posted here, on November 5, 2014 and all pictures and text are my original work. 

Fiamma Burger

Some cold and blustery nights here in town, you just have to ‘eat-in’, and that is exactly what I did last Saturday, when I picked up my favorite comfort food in all of Bellingham — a burger and some fries.

Known for their diverse menu of burger choices, which include: pork, lamb, turkey, salmon, and veggie; along with its great downtown location at 1309 Railroad Ave., Fiamma Burger is well-known in our city of subdued excitement with locals and students alike.

Seeing as Fiamma was a decidedly Bellingham institution, I decided to go with their B’HAM burger and a side of hand tossed garlic fries which came out to a little over $10 in price, but well worth it in taste.

This particular burger usually comes with a beef burger topped with cheese, prosciutto (a salt-cured Italian ham), an egg, shoe-string potatoes andsmokey sauce on a regular bun for just under $7.

As a allergy-friendly and vegetarian option, I went with a veggie burger on a gluten-free bun omitting the smokey sauce and prosciutto. Out of all the burger joints I’ve visited in town, Fiamma seems to be in the top percentile for being able to provide these options to patrons who need and want substitutions in their meals.

As I brought the brown paper bag home containing my meal, I could smell the garlic fries wafting their delicious scent and had a to sneak a few before I even got out of the car. If you haven’t had a chance to try their famous garlic or sweet potato fries, they are a must.5459a730b8194.image

Overall, I would give Fiamma Burger an eight out of ten points, with two missing points for the price, which is not student-budget friendly. To find out more about Fiamma’s menus (breakfast, lunch & dinner) you can visit their website.

Radical Geekery is getting SuperBetter!

SuperBetter

Every life has those little serendipitous moments, those epiphany instances and those unexpected life changing happenstances that sometimes make you stand still with wonder and confusion. Recently I had one of these moments and teasingly decided to call it my ‘super better’ moment.

What is super better you ask? It’s a phrase coined by game designer and psychologist Jane McGonigal a few years ago that I recently came to know through a TED talk that my husband recommended me to watch. Now, I’m a little hesitant when it comes to TED talks as everyone thinks they are wonderful, but I saw that this one was about videogames (one of my favorite topics), so I sat down to watch it.

Isn’t that a great talk? I find it incredibly inspiring and it helped me to feel that my choice to go into the video game industry was a legitimate choice and was more than just a flash-in-the-pan career move. Jane McGonigal took what I wanted to say about my path of work and put it into words that anyone could understand — even my 67-year old mother-in-law who told me she could see how games were something that could have not just negative benefits, but incredibly positive ones as well.

After watching the talk, I actually downloaded the SuperBetter app and began to play around with it. Even though it hasn’t had an update in two years (!!) it still can give you a basic gameplay at getting super better yourself. I’ve actually started to feel better once I realized I can ‘play’ my life as a game and still be a happy and productive member of society.

Along with this view on what games can really mean, her book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (which just happen to be sitting on my shelf for over a years) has also started me on one of those paths that will change your life, just like Radical Homemakers did for me about three or four years ago. There is just something about the book that has hooked me, in fact, I would call it what my blog is all about…radical geekery.

Jayne's Hat Firefly Yahtzee Ship

So here is to another layer of enjoyable cognitive dissonance, a different way of viewing the world, and a drastic change of thought. Here is to getting superbetter.

Allons-y from RadicalGeekery.Com

Becky, @radicalgeekery

 

 

 

 

Did You Know?

Did you know that this blog is an ever-evolving, ever-changing piece of work? Somedays it is a personal journey of my radical and geeky ways. Other days it is promoting my favorite artists and being completely transparent when I do so. And sometimes, I don’t have a frakkin’ clue what it is or what it should be.

But, whatever is seems like, it is to you. I’m happy just to share my passion, my geekiness and my ease of networking with people to bring to you all the different ideas, opinions, projects, and anything else out there that I can find and I want to share and talk about.

If you want to find me in a more organized fashion of geeky writing, check out No Continues Media and FanPup for some of my pieces.