Eaten at a Cook-Out

A Cook out is a restaurant chain popular in North Carolina, one opened up about a week ago and I was excited to try it. Basically, one of the only things to do around here is eat food, because this city is all filled with baptists. ;0).

I went today and the parking lot was crowded and cars were circled twice around the building (it is also a double drive thru, but still both lines were completely filled) as well as there were lines to get to parking. However, I was immediately impressed with the forethought that this was handled with. They had several staffers outside to help direct people to the correct line, hand them copies of the menus to decide while waiting, as well as help them navigate through the parking lot to leave. This level of attention to detail immediately made me think of Chikfila, as they also handle lines very well.

Inside there were a line of customers circled within the interior of the building. I went with another couple, so the man friends waited in line, as we held down the booth, and texted them our orders. I got the BBQ sandwich tray (having be recommended by several staffers throughout the day). This included two choices of sides, which I picked coleslaw and hushpuppies. This came with a drink but I substituted a strawberry cheesecake milkshake. The wait wasn’t too long, the staff had everything perfected pretty smoothly, despite that this was their first week or so of business.

The food was excellent! I think I also would have loved getting the onion rings and fries as a side (I don’t think this restaurant will help my plan at all to get healthier). The milkshakes are very think, the most difficult part is sitting there want to drink more because it taste so good, but struggling with the straw! One of our friends looked down at the cups and realized that there were bible references on the cups. I found this awesome! And, I am glad that I was so impressed with this place before I knew that they are Christian. Because, honestly it should be able to stand out first, before you find out its a Christian company. If it is Christian it ought to be better!

Owned a Smart Phone!

Husband playing Pokemon on the gboy emulator

It is fitting that I would post about this tonight, despite that technically I’ve been the owner of a smart phone (specifically the Motorola Photon) for two weeks now. However, I’m pretty sure the main reason that husband was swayed into actually going ahead and purchasing them because we had two weeks to bring them back if they didn’t work (or we decided they couldn’t fit into our budget, etc.).

Two weeks ago I was stunned with husband randomly decided to take us to Sam’s Club to discuss with the representatives the possibilities for our Sprint plan. I have been basically dying for a smart phone or a device with internet at my finger tips. I am the kind of person who will wonder about a lot of different things and never remember to go look it up on Wikipedia later. Also, I think that people have been surprised that husband and I didn’t have smart phones, because for our technological skills you would assume we had them.

For those above reasons I had been basically hinting subtly and otherwise for our entire marriage of how we should get something with internet. I’d always say “well…if we had 3g…” This past summer right before I left for Italy, husband surprised me with upgrading my phone to an android device so that I could use it as a small WiFi device around the campus, etc. However, when he brought the phone home it literally had no reception (even less than our already sub parr phone reception) due to being in a basement apartment. So, after a couple of hours and even going to the Sprint store to figure it out, I was downgraded again to my dumb phone. Since then, I’d been pretty silent about wanting a 3g device, especially since I had my Kindle with free 3g on it in November.

Husband and I were obsessed with our phones (and probably still are) when we first got them. Staying up very late that night to download all of the apps that we wanted. I was hysterically happy when I found out that there are several book cataloging apps that use the camera to scan the bar code to input the information about the book. This phone also makes my job and internship hunting much easier. I have alerts whenever I receive an email. Plus, my social media is helped, I can quickly take a picture with an actual 8mp camera and within minutes upload it directly to dailybooth, twitter, or facebook. Husband is very creative using the app Subsonic to set up our media server (of music, tv shows, and movies) to stream to our phones. I was proud of this last feature while driving over to dinner at our friends’ apartment. I was watching Gilmore Girls, and figured I’d watch in and share the highlight of my Spring Break.

Little did I know that I what I thought was going to be the highlight of my Spring Break was quickly blown out of the water. I found one of our dear friends who had moved to Florida with one of my other best friends, sitting in the middle of the living room. I immediately started looking around for his wife, but knowing that he often travels for business without her. The husband moved, and I realized that she was sitting crouched under the back of the couch. I literally squealed in excitement. Then, they said that they were here because it two weeks they would be living here. I stared, shocked, confused, excited, and confused again waiting for more details. Found out that he had gotten a job that he’d been hoping for so they decided to move back here! This led to more squealing, flapping of arms, and hugging. You’d recognize them as being one of my bridesmaids and husband’s best man.

Pizza I topped! Also, stuffed crust!

That night for dinner we caught up and talked more than we had in such a long time. The husband and I are not very good at long distance relationships. It was so much fun to see them in person as we laughed and joked while making yummy pizzas laden with all types of toppings. Sitting around the table eating said pizza was in a sense magical. It was like some vortex had transported us back years to where we were sitting around a similar table, joking and laughing, playing card games while eating whatever we could make edible in the school cafeteria, affectionately named “the rot.” By the end of the night I was still in shock I think by how much I had missed them. I was texting with the guy and he said that they felt the same way. He was also very entertained with watching husband and I try to figure out our new smart phones.

The rest of that weekend involved being listed to tell another best friend couple of ours, and watching “Once Upon a Time” (newest favorite show) and those friends’ apartment. It is so awesome to think that just another week from now they will be living here! We can hang out, plan random events like we used to, play games. I’ll have people to hang out with when all of the college students leave me for the summer. I couldn’t be happier :0)

P.S. Here is some bonus footage of our furbabies. Something that we learned the past few days. The dog is scared to death of bubbles while the cat is entertained by them. Meanwhile, the dog looks like a psycho killer when she’s trying to get the peanut butter out of the Kong. Enjoy!

Watched the Midnight Premiere of “Hunger Games”

The computer put 12:01 pm instead of 12:01 am.

I am not going to lie…I have been anticipating the movie adaptation for the Hunger Games series since I finished the series and first began to hear the rumors that a movie was going to be made. I stalked the Hunger Games page on waiting to see what would happened, now that the rights to the movie were purchased. Whenever the movie premiere date was announced, earlier this fall or maybe the previous summer?, I wrote it down in my agenda, and had been counting down the days.

During Spring Break this led to me rereading the first book, (so I could refresh myself to the specifics of the story), which quickly led to rereading the second book. Poor husband could repeat from memory different quotes from the trailers I had seen them so many times. Then, finally the time came!

Me and my Mocking Jay pin from Hot Topic

The opening of Hunger Games came at an unfortunate time for me. The midnight showing fell right in the middle of the final of four large promotional events for Xtreme Impact, CFAW. If you do not remember here is a post in which we led these events while the Director and his Assistant were out of the country: Here. But, I decided to go, and managed to wrangle a few other Xtreme Impact related people to come with me :0).

Here is my critique of the film. Note, if you haven’t seen it yet, you will probably want to wait to read my opinions as they will contain spoilers. I admit that this analysis is likely too strict, and I think that I should watch this movie again sometime while I’m not so sleepy :0).

I am a HUGE fan of the books, and I hate it when movies deviate from the books. It did happen with this movie. It is inevitable, because somehow you can convey a lot more in a book than you can in a limited time for a movie. Maybe that is because more people are willing to take an entire day/week to read a well crafted story, but to sit and watch a movie longer than 2.5 would be unbearable? Mostly there were minor things that were cut out of the film, just to save time.

We were just 1 of 14 showings!

Things that I didn’t like about the movie: I think Peeta’s and Katniss’ relationship was underdeveloped. I think that they needed to play more on her guilt and why she felt indebted about the bread. Also, the one time that I really could tell the depth of Peeta’s feelings was when he was shouting at her to run away in the Tracker Jacker scene. They are great actors, I just think that they didn’t give them and their relationship enough “on-screen” time, especially during their scenes in the cave when they are pretending for the audience.

The scenes in the games felt a little rushed as they had to combine several days worth into minutes. I think it would have been important to see Katniss struggle to find water, to show how difficult the environment was.

Also, I think the last challenge of the games with the Mutts was VERY disappointing. I felt like the book made a very big deal about the psychological terror of the Mutts having the same eyes as the other tributes. This importantly conveyed the sick terror of the Capitol and how they will not limit themselves.

Me and my XI group!

That being said I LOVE the new twists that were added for the film adaptation. I miss the feel of being inside Katniss’ head, but instead most of the movie is watched with behind the scenes footage in which you see the Game Makers and President Snow discussing the Games and manipulating the environment. I think portrayal was fantastic, and despite that it was completely imagined and extrapolated from the books, it definitely maintained the integrity of the books. Watching from that perspective highlighted the control of the Capitol and helps to establish the political plots that will continue through the third book/movie. I was very impressed with their creativity.

All in all, a really great movie. I think I still prefer the book, because there is simply more depth there. However, I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and would recommend it :0). (I’m also really happy that the opening night did better than any other non sequel movie including Twilight).

Voted in a Primary Election

I had the opportunity to vote in my first Primary Election today! It was more chill than other elections that I’ve voted in, apparently there is no literature distribution allowed. I used to not really care about politics at all, but definitely being more involved in lobbying my state legislators during Lobby Day, makes politics more real to me. It is no longer this arbitrary ideal in which people argue about and nothing happens for it; becoming involved (at least in Virginia) means actually seeing results for the lobbying. (I’ll post more about an update from my participation in this year’s Lobby Day later).

In Virginia there are only two candidates that one is allowed to vote for: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. I don’t know if I’m in a very skewed population, but TONS of people that I know are die hard Ron Paul fans. It is shocking to me when I go some place new and I hear hard core conservatives saying something to the effect of, “Ron Paul, that whacko!” For me, I was cautious about deciding to support Ron Paul, because his fans are definitely very passionate, I didn’t just want to jump on the band wagon (especially being considered one of those wives who just does whatever her husband does). For me, I took an honest look at his website and other beliefs, and they seem very logical to me. I have not researched as much about some of the other Republican possibilities; I’m hugely turned off by the amount of random drama they have in the news as well as seeing their history of flip flopping. And, in the end Ron Paul’s ideas are very different than the rest of the Republican group, and you realize that we need that at this point. Because, if any of those other guys get elected they will end up doing a lot of the same things as Obama (when it comes to taxes or spending, etc.)

It is funny to think of how my views on politics have changed since the 2008 election, I was more of standard Republican… now I would define myself as a Republican with Libertarian tendencies…It will be interesting to see which way the election goes, and what happens in November.