Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Obsessed, Part 2

While visiting family in Nebraska I came across a copy of The Hunger Games and asked my father-in-law about it. As it turns out, the book belonged to my sister-in-law, who'd read and LOVED it. She'd lent it to my father-in-law, who'd also read and loved it. He told me to take it, and I did, though reluctantly and mostly to be polite, as my in-laws were moving in a few days and I figured if I took the book they'd be left with one less thing to pack, move, and unpack. When I returned home I went back to oscillating between yet another James Patterson mystery and The Lord of the Flies (which is, in my opinion, the slowest read on the planet), while The Hunger Games collected dust.

Two weeks later and while visiting me in Texas, my sister noticed the book - which I hadn't yet started - on my nightstand. "OMG HAVE YOU READ THIS YET?!" were the first words out of her mouth. She was mortified when I said I hadn't, and then she told me she'd watch my kids that afternoon so I could crack it open.

Now that the trilogy had the recommendation of three people whose opinions I greatly respect and none of whom I'd categorize as Sweet Valley High-reading young adults, I felt it safe to start reading.

Will/Hallie: "Can we have a snack?"
Erin: "Eat whatever you want.  Take it to the playroom
and watch a cartoon."  That's A+ parenting, people.
I have no idea what happened around the house that afternoon, because once I started the book I literally couldn't put it down. My sister was as engrossed in Mockingjay (the third book) as I was in The Hunger Games, so we read for hours every afternoon while our kids were napping. And while our kids were awake, we basically threw snacks in their general direction (it crossed my mind to attach their snacks to silver parachutes and drop them from the roof, until I realized that constructing silver parachutes would mean time away from the book) and then sent them outside to play so they'd leave us alone. When one of us had to step away from our reading, the other one read my book aloud so we'd never have to fully disengage from The Games. (I'm not kidding - she read aloud while I made dinner, I read aloud while she cut my hair, and one evening, while our husbands watched the NBA tournament, we climbed into bed together like we did when we shared a room as little girls and read aloud for hours.)

As soon as I finished The Hunger Games I moved on to Catching Fire (which my father-in-law had since mailed to me), and I bought Mockingjay just a few short hours after I'd finished Catching Fire. For the amount of time it took me to finish the three books I did essentially nothing but read and take care of my kids' most basic needs until Tom came home from work, and then I just read.

At the beginning of the month I spent a few days at The Lincoln Lodge in Northern Wisconsin with the kids, my in-laws, and my sister-in-law, Jenna. All of us were at various stages of reading the books, and Jenna and I spent much of our free time (free = not reading) reenacting our favorite Hunger Games and Katniss moments.
That's my FIL reading The Hunger Games, my MIL reading
Catching Fire, Jenna reading Mockingjay, and me reading
The Hunger Games Official Illustrated Movie Companion.
The way we're all crammed on the coach makes it look
like the Lodge has very limited seating.
Yes, I bought it.  It's awesome.
Jenna and I tried to buy a bow and arrows (real or toy - we'd have purchased either/both) at Wal-Mart, but the store that supposedly has everything had neither bows or arrows, or polite employees, for that matter.  (It was their loss, because in our state of Hunger Games obsession I think we would have spent quite a bit of money on anything even remotely resembling a bow.)  Instead we just pretended, or used other weaponry - wooden swords, rubber knives - we found lying around at the Lodge.
Taking aim while tubing - what can't that girl do?!
Preparing to attack the mosquitoes with
my bug-zappers-turned-bow.
Modeling the tribute jacket we found in
a downtown Minocqua gift shop.
We found this poster - which taught us which foods could
keep us alive in the forest - in a Minocqua antiques shop.
Matching Katniss braids.
Ready to do battle (somehow we arrived in the
arena with weapons already in hand).
While at the Lodge we actually had an experience that made us feel like we were in the arena, minus the children, tracker jackers, walls of fire, and mutts trying to kill us, of course...  One night an incredibly strong storm - thunder, lightening, torrential rains, and 80+ mph winds - blew through the area.  Around midnight, my FIL woke up, realized we'd only loosely anchored the boat to the shore earlier that day, and prepared to head down the steep hill to the water to remedy the situation.  Jenna and I were still up, watching movies and reading our books, so we decided to join him on his adventure.  We threw on light-weight parkas, hats, and flip-flops and headed out into the pitch-black night.

I can't remember the last time I went out in a storm like that one.  We slipped and slid down the stairs (of which there are MANY) and then trudged through the muddy sand to the water, where we discovered the boat still anchored to the shore.  We carefully maneuvered our way down the dock and into the boat to gather those things that hadn't yet but might very well be blown away, and then we waded into the lake to literally pull the boat further onto the shore with our bare hands.  We were absolutely drenched, incredibly cold, and covered in sand, mud, and pine needles.  And it was perhaps the most fun I had the entire time we were there.  

We've since returned to the real world, but a few days ago I received an email from Jenna with this picture attached:
I think Lionsgate studio has found their
understudy for Jennifer Lawrence.
I've harassed my mom and Tom into reading the books. Though neither seemed all that interested in the beginning, they're now completely hooked, as I assured them they'd be if they'd just give the series a chance.

The proof of Tom's commitment came in the form of a text he sent to me after finishing Catching Fire:

"Just saw a lizard on the bush outside the kitchen window. Is it weird that the first thing that came to mind was, 'If I were in the Hunger Games I could eat that'?"

I was so proud.

So my obsession has been hanging around for a few weeks now, and I don't really foresee it moving on until after November, 2015, when Mockingjay Part 2 arrives in theaters. (As a side note and teaser for a blog post to come, I'll mention that not only does Catching Fire premiere on my birthday in 2013, but Jenna and I have plans that will hopefully land us on the red carpet...) I'll admit this seems like a long time, but there IS a positive associated with this timeline - since the next three movies will all be released on or within two days of my birthday, Tom won't have to worry about coming up with how we'll celebrate. I can hear him breathing a sigh of relief as I type.

A few final thoughts to bring this two-day rant to a close:
- If you haven't already, read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
- If, once you've read the books, you need someone to get excited about them with, call/text/email/message me.
- Plan for a August 18th Hunger Games viewing party at my house.
- Tell me about your obsession(s) so I don't feel quite so childish and ridiculous!


  1. You are hilarious! Loved the pic Jenna sent...I laughed out loud! Xo

  2. They are so good! When I see a bee/wasp/hornet/bug of any kind with a stinger I think "at least it isn't a tracker jacker. Phew."

  3. I'm heart broken that I didn't see this blog post until right now... nevertheless.. it was the perfect way to start my week. I genuinely laughed out loud every few seconds. What a great week in the North Woods.