Friday, March 23, 2012

Let the Games Begin...

Last night (this morning?) I attended my very first-ever midnight showing of a movie.

If you couldn't guess which one, you probably (a) live under a rock or (b) are new here.

Don't worry. I'm going to give you guys at least the weekend to go see it before I dive into my thoughts on it, because you KNOW I have them. And I wrote most of them down when I got home last night. (This morning?) But no spoilers today.

For those of you that ARE new here, I read the Hunger Games trilogy about a year and a half ago (ish) and they stabbed me right in the heart and I did some (very spoilery) verbal flailing while trying to process what had just happened to my poor little brain and heart. (I tried re-reading those two posts just now, and they were much more incoherent than I thought, so... hmm. I was clearly still in a State at that point.)

But I had absolutely devoured the HG trilogy in such a way that I've done for no book before or since. In fact, I think it's ruined me for all other books. I was so drawn in, so enraptured, so invested in a way that was simultaneously refreshing and a bit alarming. I know these are technically in the YA market, but holy damn. I was so emotionally traumatized by the time I finished that I just sat there for a while wondering why other books even bothered to exist.

Then, of course, came the first rumblings of the movie, and I was suspicious. There was no way they could pull off a quality adaptation, I was convinced of it. For starters, all the violence and horror could not be contained to that golden PG-13 rating. For seconds, that story became so precious to my heart that I just KNEW they were going to ruin it somehow. I watched apprehensively as casting began (though felt immediately better when I heard that Suzanne Collins was going to be heavily involved in the entire process, including the screenplay). Jennifer Lawrence was never my first choice for Katniss, but, guys... she nailed it. I'm still not 100% sold on some of the other casting choices, but none of them did a terrible job. But that's for my other post on another day.

The midnight movie experience was something else all together. I've never done it before. I don't think there's really anything that I loved enough to put forth the effort into (maybe, if I'd gotten into Harry Potter sooner, I would have done it then, but I'm definitely a latecomer on that bandwagon. Meanwhile, I feel like I'm sitting in the front half of the Hunger Games bandwagon - early enough that it was still relatively unknown, but late enough that all the books had been released. I can't even imagine having had to wait a year between books... I didn't even last five minutes.) Though I've been saying repeatedly that I want to do the midnight showing of the Avengers. (Speaking of which, we got a new trailer for that - I almost peed my pants. Metaphorically, of course.)

I'd ordered my ticket three weeks ago online, snagging myself a spot at the 12:01 showing with a handful of my coworkers. Then they added a 12:05 showing. Then as each showtime sold out, they kept adding more. When all was said and done, there were 10 showtimes last night between 12:01 and 12:45. Not shabby for our town of 50K people.

Unfortunately, us having the first show, means that we were the first group that needed to be herded into the theater.

We went to the theater at 10am to get our wristbands, where we stood in the rain and drizzle for a half an hour, and watched people cut into line into the group in front of us. After a while, I was about ready to stab someone, but I figured my opportunity for being a bitch and demanding that they in fact go to the end of the line should have been about three people ago, and it was too late now.

Forty-five minutes later, we had our wristbands and went back to work. Fortunately the rain stopped mid-afternoon, since when we re-arrived at the theater around 8:30 to line up, our part of the line was in fact outside again. We were led into the theater at 9, where we then had a three hour wait. After about a half an hour, they turned the house lights completely on, making it easier to read or chat with your friends (I totally brought a book). The whole thing had the feel of a giant slumber party or youth lock-in. A girl dressed like Effie Trinket had a fishbowl of slips of paper and passed around papers for people to sign up for a reaping. They drew out 24 "tributes" and held a rock-paper-scissors tournament at the front of the theater. It was kind of awesome.

There was in fact bursts of cheering and applause when the lights went back down, and when the trailers started, and then hushed squeals of excitement when the Lionsgate logo appeared onscreen. (There were also random pockets of laughter at scenes that I'm not sure were all that humorous, but, whatever. We'd been crammed into that theater for three hours and still had another two to go. At that point, you were either sleepy or punchy.)

Despite the long wait and three hours of stale movie-theater air, the overall experience was positive (even though I was out of vacation time and had to haul myself into work the next morning - I was still able to get about five hours of sleep, which wasn't awful) and I may even do it again, on a very selective basis. (The Avengers. Catching Fire, Mockingjay. That's... probably it, really.) There's a palpable excitement in the air that you don't get with a general showing, even if it is opening weekend. And, you know, us being the 12:01 show, we were the craziest of the crazy, because we were the first to scramble for a spot.

Aaaaaaaaaand I'm going again tonight because the BF wanted to see it and even having not SEEN the movie yet, I suspected I was going to want/need a second viewing, so I pre-bought a pair of tickets online to hopefully avoid (a) lines and (b) sold-out shows. Hardcore, yo. I think I've finally crossed the line into fangirl-ism. It's awesome. I apologize for nothing.

Also! If you haven't read the book(s), I'm not sure we can be friends. Do yourself a favor and remedy that immediately. I promise it won't take you very long. Because you will be incapable of setting the damn thing down, which makes the whole process of finishing go a lot faster.

I don't know how to end this post, so... here. Have a movie poster.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yeah. That happened.

I'm minding my own business on Saturday afternoon, freshly out of the shower, searching for my comb to untangle my mess of hair, and lo! It's on the floor.

So I bend down to pick it up, forgetting that I'd left my cabinet doors open.

I hit my head with such force on said open door that it SMASHED INTO MY LIGHT FIXTURE AND DETACHED IT FROM THE CEILING.

That's right. I broke my light fixture. WITH MY HEAD. (Well, sorta.)

I immediately texted my mother and asked her what the symptoms of a concussion were. Her response: dilated pupils, vomiting, sleepiness, headache.

To which I was like, okay, I don't know what my pupils look like normally, I'm already sleepy because I'd only gotten four hours of sleep the night before, OBVIOUSLY my head hurt because I JUST NAILED IT ON A SOLID OBJECT, but... no vomiting, so I figured I was in the clear.

Needless to say, I had (okay, still have) a ginormous bump on my head. We're talking probably about two to three inches. Which, in the grand scheme of measurements, isn't really a lot, but when you look at the size of my head, well... I have a pretty small head.

Graceful and coordinated, I am not.

Fortunately, my landlord got it all fixed up for me and I no longer have to worry about it falling ON my head when I walk underneath it.

Moral of the story, kids? CLOSE ALL CABINET DOORS WHEN NOT IN USE.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Blah blah, weekly food post, blah blah.

Here, have some chocolate-mint food porn:

These were so ridiculously easy that I was kind of suspicious of them. But they were okay. You know, if you like chocolate-mint. Which Megs doesn't. Apparently. Don't worry, I'm currently in the process of re-evaluating our friendship.

(I kid, I kid.)

In other news, I still have not recovered from Daylight Savings Time and I get to take my cat to the vet this afternoon because she's being a psychotic demon-beast again. It's actually kind of nice to have mild annoyances like this because they keep me anchored in reality, because everything else is going so well right now.

Also, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy degrees outside - a rarity for March in Iowa, for sure - and all I want to do (besides take a nap) is go frolic. Preferably in a meadow. Meadows are kind of an ideal place for frolicking, no?


The end.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Refuse to Apologize For This.

On what has become a borderline obsession, I have been questing for the alleged Birthday Cake Oreos for the past week or two, once I learned that they were A Thing That Supposedly Existed. I use terms like "alleged" and "supposedly" because THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THEY DO.

Except for this. Photographic "proof" from the Googles.

NONE of my stores have them. Ironically, Wal-Mart has the most extensive selection of Oreos I've ever seen, and they didn't have them. (They also have the best selection of Ben & Jerry's around. That's the only place I could find the elusive Pumpkin Cheesecake flavor.)

Did you know they have a "Triple Double" version of the Oreo? It looks a little something like this.

 Amazing, right?

They also have a Neapolitan version with the blonde Oreo, that has strawberry + chocolate.


This is, of course, in addition to the glorious Mint Oreos that I've used at least once so far in my March Mintness (get it? Like March Madness? Oh, never mind. Hey, by the way, my alma mater made it to the NCAA tournament because we're playing some solid BB this year. GO CYCLONES!). And then the pink-creme-filled Berry Burst Oreos that were also unexpectedly delicious that I stared at for about three minutes in the cookie aisle before my curiosity totally won out.

 [image via]

Anyway, back to the original topic at hand... I utilized my mad Google skillz (with a Z, so you know it's legit) and the only option that presented itself was to order online. I have some qualms about paying $18 for a package of Oreos (seriously, Amazon, wtf)... but... OH, MY CURIOSITY.

Dare I?

I dared.

I bought them here instead, and I am filled with great shame that I just dropped $14 on a package of Oreos (TEN DOLLAR SHIPPING WTF), but...

Don't judge me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Paper'd. BiSC'd. Pants almost pee'd.

I woke up this morning with an unusual amount of text messages - mostly coming from Twitter. In my groggy, Daylight-Savings-Time-induced lack of functioning, I fumbled with my phone to see what the hell was going on.

It took me a minute to process what was happening, because it turns out... I WON THE FREE SPOT TO BLOGGERS IN SIN CITY.

Let me repeat that. I WON. THE FREE SPOT. I just... gah. I CANNOT PROCESS.

I can't even tell you how unbelievably excited (and relieved) I am. I'd already paid the fee, so I'd already kind of figured on that money being used for Vegas, and I was okay with that. But I'm getting $500 back in my pocket and my brain can't even process it. I could (and should) just shove it all in my savings account until May and use it IN Vegas. Or, I could finally FINALLY upgrade my phone and get the iPhone that I've finally dreamed of (and, of course, get the app that is paying for my registration fee - which, incidentally, launched today. More on that in a bit.) (I think maybe it's fate. I'm SUPPOSED to get an iPhone. Paper'd wants me to have an iPhone. The UNIVERSE wants me to have an iPhone.)

(I know, I know. I should use it for something responsible like student loan payments or paying down my credit cards... but this was earmarked as "fun money" from the get-go... so... I DON'T WANT TO, SO THERE.)

As always, I feel a bit guilty about my good fortune, because if I won, that means other people didn't, and I would have been absolutely thrilled for whoever would have won. The selfish side of me, of course, is glad it was me. (My hopeful optimist side also had a dream a week or two ago that I woke up to the news that I'd won... maybe I AM psychic after all?!)

Eeek! I'm refraining from bouncing up and down (made possibly by aforementioned lack of energy) but really, that's all I want to do. I had a great weekend and to wake up to that news was absolutely amazing. What's more, Skyy Vodka, one of our sponsors, is shipping out samples for us (last year, it was in our gift bag and I couldn't take it on the plane with me, so I reluctantly had to give mine away, though I know it found a good home with Simone). So if I get home and find a package of vodka waiting for me, too, I'm pretty much going to declare this the best day ever. EVER.

So, about Paper'd, while we're on the subject. I showed you a little bit of it when I was writing my shameless plug entry about BiSC and its awesomeness (here), but it's officially LIVE now. And it's free. Unless you want to upgrade to the fancy collections, in which case, it's cheap to do so. GET IT HERE.

And then tell all your friends. Because MY friends made this. Six degrees of separation, whatever. My friends = your friends. WE ARE ALL FRIENDS HERE. LET'S HAVE AN INTERNET SLUMBER PARTY.



Anyway, so, Paper'd.

[image yoinked from Nicole's blog - I'm sure she won't mind. I mean, I AM shamelessly pimping them, after all]

Also-also, Nicole and Jamie were featured on Mashable today (!!) with the launch of this app, and I absolutely wanted to burst with pride for them. (Also, you know - I felt cool because I KNOW INTERNET CELEBRITIES, WHAT?!).

I forget what I was saying. I'm still delirious.

I'm actually a little suspicious, though. Why are all these good things happening to me? This clearly means that something bad is going to happen, now, right? This is how my brain works.

Though maybe I should reframe it. A lot of bad shit has happened to me, so maybe this is just karma's way of apologizing?

I just don't trust it when all the good stuff starts happening. Like I don't feel like I deserve it or something. The self-hating part of my brain is having a really hard time getting on board with the happy part of my brain. God, I'm so fucked up.

Anyhizzle. A big big big big big thank you to Paper'd for not only sponsoring BiSC (aka the Greatest Weekend of My Life) but also for randomly choosing me to be their winner and to go for free. I just... eek! I can't even coherently express my gratitude.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Smitten Kitten

Sadly, I did not make this myself. Though I really wish I would have.

Guyyyyyyyyyyyyyys. I'm about ready to lay some cheese on you. At least, the first increment thereof. I'm trying to write the post I really want to write, but I haven't quite gotten there yet.

Do you remember at the end of my post about how Valentine's Day was trying to destroy my spirit and it was probably succeeding, where I subtly snuck in a quick mention of how I was probably meeting a boy that weekend and how I was cautiously optimistic about the situation? (And then my sister rolled her eyes at me and said that I say that about every boy I meet, but I think I pretty much have "PROCEED WITH CAUTION" stamped onto my forehead so that I see it every day in the mirror.)

Well, that date lasted seven hours. I'm not a dating expert, but that's generally a good sign in my book. We met up for coffee and talked until they closed down and booted us out. So we relocated to the nearby brewery and continued to talk until THEY closed down and booted us out. He walked me to my car and we kissed and it was wonderful and he texted me the very next day because that was as long as he could stand to wait, and so we went out again that following week for dinner. We stayed at the restaurant until they closed and then stood by my car in the stupidly cold Iowa winter until we couldn't feel our toes, just standing there and kissing and snuggling and joking around and it was kind of then that I realized that this was totally different than anything I've ever experienced before. Despite the cold, despite the lateness, despite it all, I would have stood out there all night with that boy. There was absolutely nowhere else I would have rather been in the entire world - I just wanted to stay in that moment for as long as possible.

That was about three weeks ago, give or take, and I've been holding out on you this ENTIRE TIME because I'm totally head over heels for this boy. I'm trying to figure out how to put it into more coherent terms and so there will maybe be a completely sappy post coming in the near future, once I figure out what the hell I want to say, beyond just the initial "squee" from this post that I started a week and a half or so ago and never posted. (oops). Or maybe I'll just wallow in glee forever and never tell you anything. It could go either way.

Usually when I disappear from this blog it's because I'm stressed out or exhausted, or, like the last time, fighting off a crippling round of a depressive episode. This time? This time it's the complete opposite. I went MIA because I'm actually, like, living my life. (I KNOW, RIGHT?) If it weren't for my food column, I'd probably have completely floated away on my little cloud long ago... at least it's something to keep me tethered to my home base, here. I don't want to be one of those people that completely abandons everything because of a boy. That's not my style. Been there, done that, hated myself afterwards. It's always about balance, and a balance I intend to keep... once I catch my breath, of course.

In other news, Daylight Savings Time is the devil and that extra hour of sunlight can go fuck itself because I am utterly exhausted. GIVE ME MY HOUR BACK.

Friday, March 9, 2012

C is for Cookie

So I think I've made the executive decision to steer my Twenties Hacker food column into being solely for baked goods. For starters, they're more enjoyable for me to make, and for seconders (what?), that seems to be what more people pay attention to when I post links.

As what has become the trend (the trend being... two months? heh), I'm kicking off my new month with a cookie recipe. I'm doing a chocolate-mint theme for March. Like I said in my, like, one other post this month. I've found some pretty kick-ass recipes that have, thus far, been a success. I made the second one last night, but you'll just have to wait until next week for it. (I say this with a heightened sense of anticipation, AS IF ANYONE REALLY CARES THAT MUCH.) (Please humor me.)

Anyway, here is what I made this week. Err, technically last week. Whenever it was. My sense of time is all skewed.

(Speaking of senses of time being jacked up, this weekend is apparently Daylight Savings Time, if you happen to be one of the few people who didn't actually know that before I did. I found this out yesterday and went "wait, what?" and then started telling everyone whether it came up naturally in the course of conversation or not. I AM JUST THAT HELPFUL.)

Here, look at these. Mmm, aren't they pretty? You should go make them. RECIPE IS HERE. GIVE ME PAGEVIEWS OM NOM NOM.