Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hunger Games – AKA The Best Thing That Happened to Me All Weekend


I, like millions of other people, saw The Hunger Games movie over the weekend, and all I can say is HOLY COW. I thought the movie was extremely well done and stuck pretty

Image from

closely to the book, as far as movie adaptations go.

**SPOILER ALERT** If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, and you don’t want spoilers, STOP READING NOW.

A few things that stuck out to me:

1. They totally cut out Madge, the mayor’s daughter who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin. She’s important later – I wonder how they’ll change those parts too, or if she’ll be introduced in a different way?

2. No scenes of Katniss and Peeta snarfing down food on the train or in the Capital? They were STARVING and the book remarks about Katniss putting on a few pounds in preparation for the Games. A tiny detail, but I’m just saying.

3. Her pre-Games interview dress was very different than I imagined. In the book, it was made of red, yellow, orange and blue jewels, to look like flames. In the movie, it was red fabric and when she twirled it made flames like in the chariot parade. I was looking forward to the jeweled dress.

4. No bread from District 11 after Rue died? That made me sad. It showed solidarity between districts, and is important later in the story. I know Katniss did the three-fingered kiss/salute to District 11 in honor of Rue (thus inciting the revolution in that district), but it wasn’t quite the same.

5. I really like the cave scenes in the movie better than the book. In the book, it was like Peeta was playing a game with Katniss – teasing her for kisses all the time. In the movie, it felt way more real – like they were really falling for each other.

6. The cornucopia in the book was gold and had grooves that would help them climb up – the movie’s was super modern, silver and slick. Again, no big deal.

7. There was no “fix up/hospital” session after the hovercraft picked up Katniss and Peeta from the arena. I thought scenes of Katniss screaming for Peeta and the revelation of Peeta’s artificial leg (which did not happen in the movie) would have been great. But I understand editing for time purposes. But again – the leg thing is important later in the series.

And no, I didn’t remember all of these details/discrepancies from reading the book last July on our honeymoon. I read it again on Friday/Saturday before I saw the movie. Yes, I am that nerdy. And yes, I did say I didn’t enjoy the book that much the first time around – I couldn’t get over the kids killing kids part – but after stepping back (and after reading it NOT on my honeymoon, where violence, death and sadness were total buzz killers), I realized the genius that was this story. It’s sad to say that something like this is technically possible – especially with the stupidity of some people on this earth.

So – what did you think of the movie? Best parts? Parts you didn’t like? All in all, I loved it and would definitely see it again.

Baby Names


So, the other night we were without power for several hours, and after our super romantic candlelight dinner of Taco Bell (yes, Chad got the Doritos Locos Tacos – disgusting), we entertained ourselves by talking about all kinds of things. One of My child will definitely have this kind of attitude.which was baby names.

Before we go any further – NO, WE ARE NOT PREGNANT. Nor are we planning to become pregnant anytime soon.

Anyway, we decided on names for two girls and a boy – two girls and a boy because that’s what we could come up with/agree on, not because we have a premonition or desire to have two girls and a boy. We don’t like the super popular names – those in Twilight or any version of Laura/Lauren or any other names where you know at least 5 of them (Brittney/Brittany/Britney/Brittanie/etc included). We both like traditional, classic names – nothing like Blue or Apple – but also nothing boring or dated, like Gertrude (sorry if there are any Gertrudes reading this).

I’m not telling you our non-existent children’s names because I don’t want what happened in FRIENDS or Seinfeld to happen to us – name poaching. But if you ask me, I’ll probably tell you :)

Book Review: Smokin’ Seventeen


Tons of people had been talking about the Stephanie Plum book series, so I thought I’d try one out. After all, there are eighteen in the series so far – the author wouldn’t keep writing them if they weren’t great, right?


Yes, you know I’m a sucker for those “who done it” murder mystery books, and after this book landed on’s must read list, I decided to check it out. Within the first chapter of Smokin’ Seventeen, I’d figured out the plot and the killer. Wah wah. So the following 300 pages weren’t really that exciting for me – I was just waiting for everyone in the book to catch onto what I already knew.

Stephanie Plum (the main character in all 18 books) is a bail bonds agent in Trenton, New Jersey. There is a cast of zany characters in her life, all straight out of the Jersey Shore. Picture your stereotypical New Jersey Italians – complete with mobsters, foul language, crime and out of control sex drives – and you’ve met just about every character in the book. She’s torn between two lovers (of course) and then a new guy comes into town…right at the same time dead bodies start popping up. I mean really – do you even need to guess who did it? Obvious.

With all of that said, it was an extremely easy and quick read, so if you’re looking for something mindless – perhaps you have a beach vacation or a flight ahead – this is good for that. Just keep your expectations in check.

National Chips & Dip Day!


Y’all – today should be a national holiday.

The BESTIE has just informed me that it’s National Chips & Dip Day. This is a sacred occurrence! In college, one of my birthdays was a chip and dip party – there were about 25 people, and everyone brought a different kind of chip and dip. It was quite possibly the most amazing party in the history of parties. And one that I should definitely repeat…

If you know me at all, you know that I love any kind of chip with any kind of dip. Mmm...quesoTortilla chips and salsa, guacamole, queso; Fritos and bean dip; seven layer dip; spinach artichoke dip; crab dip; buffalo chicken dip…the list goes on forever. The fact that I did not know about this most glorious occasion until the 26th year of my life is a travesty – but one I plan to rectify immediately.

A coworker and I were discussing the glories of chips and dips just a few days ago, when I came up with an awesome party idea – Dip n Sip. Everyone would bring a dip and a bottle of wine, and we would eat, drink and be merry. There are clearly no losers in this scenario.

Do you have a favorite chip-and-dip combination? I honestly couldn’t choose a favorite – that’s like picking a favorite child! They are all beloved.

Awesome Movies I’ve Never Seen – Until Now


Over the past two weeks, The Hubs and I have watched two movies together that he’s seen several times, yet I’ve never seen. You see, I’m not really a movie person, so those films that everyone and their dog has seen – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, etc. – I’ve never seen, and I really have no interest in. Judge me all you want.

Chad, having worked in a video store in high school, has seen every movie under the sun. Twice. He’s made it his personal mission in life to educate me on various movies that he deems important to pop culture (though I still refuse to see Star Wars and Lord of the Rings). Recently, we watched Interview with the Vampire and Basic Instinct – my first time seeing both. And they were AWESOME.

The Hubs knows me style when it comes to books, movies and TV shows, so he was sure that these two films would be a slam dunk – and he was right (as usual). LOVED both films, and if you haven’t seen either, I would definitely recommend them.

Basic Instinct is not for the faint of heart. There are some graphic sex scenes and an infamous shot of Sharon Stone’s vagina – but all that aside, the story is great. Interview with the Vampire has Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (in his heyday, pre-couch jumping). You had me at hello. Don’t think I didn’t catch the similarities between IWTV and Twilight – because I did. And I made sure The Hubs was aware of them – to which he responded “Yes, but this was the original – this proves that Twilight was a ripoff.” Well played, Weatherman. Well played. The plot was really great and Kirsten Dunst was PHENOMENAL. I mean really – she was what, 8? KILLED IT. And of course Brad and Tom are great too. Go see it!

I realize that you’ve all probably seen both of these movies, and you probably saw them 20 years ago when they first came out – like everyone else on the planet. I’m okay with being behind the times – it makes me “special.”

Devil Birds


Our complex has been overrun by DEVIL BIRDS.

I don’t think it’s just our complex – friends from all over Arkansas are complaining about the unusually loud birds that chirp RIGHT OUTSIDE THEIR BEDROOM WINDOWS, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, at all hours of the day and night.

For about two weeks now, we’ve been woken up by birds before the sun. I mean really?? Chad gets so flustered that he goes outside and shakes the tree right outside our window (which usually works…for a while). This morning, as I was going to the gym AT 6:30 IN THE MORNING, there was a bird symphony going on. It was SO LOUD and there were SO MANY bird calls from EVERY DIRECTION. Seriously – I can’t put words to it. It was just. so. annoying.

Over the weekend, we tried to have a nice dinner outside on our back patio while the weather is cooperating. However, the birds were SO ANNOYING that we couldn’t even enjoy a nice dinner and conversation – we were just irritated. I don’t usually find chirping birds irritating – this is just a really extreme circumstance.

Some of my friends here in Arkansas know what I’m talking about here. We have friends who have a 2.5 year old and a 2 month old. The devil birds chirp so loudly outside the 2.5 year old’s window that she’s up at 5 a.m. THEY feel our pain. It’s even all over Twitter – the Arkansans have had ENOUGH with the devil birds!

So tell me – is this just an Arkansas thing, or are the devil birds elsewhere? Where are they NOT? I want to move there.

Book Review: I’m Not Political


I was given a political book by a very political, very high-up coworker and asked (read: told) to read it. I’m quite possibly the least political person out there – I have views that run the gamut, really – so this was not very appealing to me.

However, I decided to be an adult and try to read a book with an adult subject. I will not reveal the name of said book, nor the political affiliation of its author – that’s just opening a can of worms and I don’t need zealots from the right or the left coming after me. This experience KILLED ME. I felt the book was 200-ish pages of someone saying “This is why I/my party am/is right, and this is why they/the other party are/is wrong/stupid/incompetent/etc.” I don’t care which side you’re on – no one wants to read a book like that. Grow up – this is not second grade.

The truth is, I found some of the ideas very good, some very bad and some neutral. Again, I’m not very politically-minded or very smart, so perhaps a lot of the propositions/ideas/suggestions went over my head. Regardless. It was just not an engaging and interesting read.

I am SO GLAD to be done with this book, so that I can get back to reading things I actually enjoy – namely, Smokin’ Seventeen, which is but one in a very popular series of books, of which I’ve read none. Logic would say to start with the first one, but I’ve been assured it doesn’t matter. YAY!

If You Had One Wish…


What would it be? After 8 years of working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I can tell you all kinds of Wishes I’ve seen granted for kids of all ages. I really don’t think I would have been as smart and/or creative as half of them when I was their age! I mean really – would I have wished for a trip to Paris at age 12? To go to the Olympics? No! I would have said something like “I wish I had a pair of scissors!”

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of granting Mallory’s Wish. Mallory was born with a congenital heart disease that will require many surgeries over her lifetime. But do you think that got her down? NO! She’s the happiest, sweetest little girl.

I’ve spent weeks planning the details of Mallory’s Wish Enhancement Party, so you can imagine my excitement when the day had finally come. I wanted to do something I’d never done before (which is hard after 8 years), and I came up with a human/balloon tunnel. Several dozen balloons were donated and dozens of people formed a tunnel for Mallory and her family to walk through. As they passed, the people handed the balloons to Mallory and her family, until they got to the end of the tunnel where Mickey, Minnie and Daisy Duck were waiting with sparkly posters that read, “Mallory, you’re going to Disney World!” As Mallory rounded the corner, everyone started cheering for her and clapping, and even though she couldn’t read the signs, she totally knew what was going on :)

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Gifts were open, cookies were eaten and punch was drunk, and all had a great time. Mallory and her family are off to Disney World for a week of fun and a doctor-free life – something they haven’t known in the past 4 years. YAY!

I Did It!!!


Saturday was the Little Rock 5K, which kicks off Marathon Weekend. I signed up for the 5K back in January and told myself I’d have plenty of time to train and learn how to run 3.1 miles without dying.

And I was right!

Sure, I got a little behind in the training (my first time to run 3.1 miles was the day before, and you are NOT supposed to run very far the day before), but whatevs. I DID IT!

Me pre-race. If I look both cold and sleepy, it's because I am!

The Hubs was sweet enough to wake up at 6:30 with me – what a trooper! He cheered for me at the start and finish lines, and my friend Sara cheered for me in two spots mid-race. She even made a sign! And bless her heart, she decided to run the final mile with me – now that’s a true friend :)

Thanks for my sign and for all the cheering!

And here’s the video of me crossing the finish line, complete with the hubs cheering me on! :)

I finished in my fasted 5K time ever, 37:16! Sure, it’s the fastest out of two tries, but still! It’s over 3 minutes faster than last time, and I’m told that’s a long time in the running world :)

I felt great during and after the run, and really enjoyed myself. I think I’ll do it again!