I wish I had been updating throughout this entire weekend. It probably would have been a lot funnier as it was happening. As it is, however, I have about an hour and a half to kill sitting here in the airport, so I’ll try to recap everything to the best of my comic abilities.
My sister and I have been planning to see “Catching Fire” at midnight since the first movie came out. She is a freshman in college and we both agreed that it didn’t matter where she ended… one of us would fly out to the other so we could see the movie together. She ended up at Texas Tech in Lubbock, so as soon as movie tickets went on sale, I bought two tickets and booked my flight to Lubbock.
Now, my parents love Lubbock. Every time they visit my sister, they come home absolutely raving about it. Me, I’d never been, but the way my parents made it sound, Lubbock was just paradise on Earth and I would just love it so much and places like Scotland and the Gulf Shores would pale in comparison. Naturally, I was eager to visit this exotic piece of Texas Heaven.
I was so excited when I finally arrived at the airport on Thursday afternoon. Not only would I get to see my sister, but we were going to see “Catching Fire!” THE cinematic event of the season! Also my favorite book of The Hunger Games trilogy. My optimism didn’t waver one bit when my dad warned me that Lubbock was expecting snow storms over the weekend and that I needed to pack boots.
Now here’s the thing about me. I believe in packing the absolute least I need to get by. Boots take up a lot of space in a suitcase and they are a nuisance to wear through airport security. After insisting over and over to my dad (by the way, I get my stubborn side from him) that I would be fine, he relented and I went about my happy little way, sure that I would not actually need boots.
Almost as soon as I made it through security, I noticed that my flight was delayed. Again, not a big deal. Flights get delayed all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a plane that actually left when it was supposed to. Heck, the plane I’m supposed to be taking in an hour is delayed. Hence the blog post. And actually I’ll be home when I actually get to post this. I’m just writing it at the airport.
For the record, I just tried to take a selfie with my laptop to prove that I’m at the airport, but I just ended up looking really stupid. I’m trusting you all to just take my word for it.
So back to Thursday. Plane’s delayed, but I wasn’t worried, or even fazed by it. I was in too good a mood. Finally boarded the plane, the flight attendants tell us to buckle seat belts and turn off electronics. Check. Okay. Got it.
We pull back from the gate.
Then we stop.
Okay, again, no big deal. They were probably just checking something or communicating with the control tower.
But then twenty minutes passed, and I began to wonder. Finally, the Captain came over the speaker and announced, “Uh, hello ladies and gentlemen. You might be wondering why we haven’t moved. We’re experiencing some technical problems. We’ve discovered we have no steering. We will know in a few minutes if it can be fixed so we will either be headed back to the gate or on our way to Lubbock.”
Okay. Not cool.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you all this, but I am a very nervous flyer. I think it has something to do with my control issues. Or you know, the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING between the plane and the ground after it takes off. I hate turbulence, I hate that feeling you get when your ears pop, and I hate being closed in tiny little places and knowing I can’t get out. I love traveling, but I’ve got to tell you that the only thing I like about flying is LANDING.
So, Mr. Captain, you’re trying to tell me, an already anxious passenger, that you might not be able to steer the plane? Oh, that’s awesome.
However, I knew that the Captain would never knowingly endanger the lives of his crew, his passengers, or himself, so I knew that he wouldn’t take off unless he was absolutely 100% certain that the plane would land safely in Lubbock. And we did. Twenty minutes after we were supposed to.
The reason that was an issue was because I had a shuttle waiting to take me to my hotel. Well, apparently shuttles don’t like sitting around and waiting on planes that are almost half an hour late, because mine left. While I waited for my bags, my mom called the hotel for me to let them know I’d finally arrived and that I still needed a shuttle. The lady said that she would have sent the shuttle that was supposed to get me back to the airport, but it was stuck in traffic.
Wait a minute, what? There’s traffic in Lubbock? Hey Mom, where’s your magical land with no traffic?
Anyway, to make up for the lack of shuttle, the hotel called a cab for me. They told me to look for a checkered cab. Now that right there confused me. I’d actually never ridden in a taxi cab, but weren’t they all checkered? Well, it turns out that Checkered Cab is a company! I found that out only after I ran over to a not-Checkered-but-still-checkered cab and asked if they had been sent by La Quinta. The driver was very nice and honest and he told me that no, he hadn’t been, but he would love to take me since A) I was in no way dressed for the frigid Lubbock weather and B) I wouldn’t have to wait around. I told him thank you, but I thought it was best to wait for the cab that was scheduled for me. I didn’t tell him that the real reason I wanted to wait around was because the hotel was paying for the other cab and I’m a poor writer up to her ears in student-loan debt.
Well, the Checkered Cab finally came and I made it to my hotel. My sister came to pick me up and we went to Chili’s. There, they got my order wrong, but one of the waiters who worked there actually looked like Finnick Odair, so I didn’t mind all that much. After we ate, we hightailed it over to the movie theater for Catching Fire!
We arrived at exactly 8:00. Four hours to midnight! But, as anyone who has ever attended a midnight premiere knows, if you want good seats, you’ve got to get there early.
Well, we got there early, alright. Unfortunately, we went to the wrong theater!!! Apparently, Lubbock has more than one movie theater! Who knew?!
Well, we finally made it to the RIGHT theater, and still managed to get a pretty decent spot in the line for seats. For those of you sane people who’ve never waited four hours to see a movie at midnight, it’s a very interesting endeavor. You’d think it would be long and boring, but you’re so excited and everyone around you is so excited that you kind of feed off each other. There’s an unspoken sense of camaraderie. You don’t know these people, but you know automatically that you share at least one similar interest, in this case, The Hunger Games. Books are powerful. I bonded with a few of my closest friends over books.
One of my favorite moments while we were still waiting in the hall was when a few guys walked by, glanced at all of us in line, and said, “Oh, are y’all waiting for the Hunger Games? Harry Potter dies in the end.” I don’t know why, but he cracked me up.
When the doors to the theater were finally opened to us, my sister and I bolted for the best seats in the house. We settled ourselves down to top row, middle of the theater seats and prepared ourselves for the beginning of the revolution.
Two hours later, we were ready. The lights began to dim, the screen went black…
And then a lady and two men walked to the front of the theater.
“Hey guys, we’re sorry to have to tell you this, but we’re experiencing some technical difficulties. This movie is showing on a lot of screens right now, so it will take just a few more minutes to get yours up and going. It will probably start around 12:45, but you won’t have any previews.”
Well, it just so happened, my sister and I didn’t have to wait for Catching Fire for the revolution. We got to experience an uprising right there in the theater. My sister was ticked off because she had an 8 AM class. The people in front of us were ticked off because we were among the first people in line for the movie, yet we’d be the last to see it. We should have been the FIRST theater to get the movie! A few of them started angry-tweeting Cinemark, which, I have to admit, while childish, was kind of funny. I was pretty much just flabbergasted. Had I brought the Delay Curse with me or something? What was the deal?!
Well, naturally, I forgot about everything as soon as the movie actually started. Catching Fire might actually be one of the best movies ever. Seriously, I am pretty hard to please when it comes to movie adaptations of books that I love (I hate the third Harry Potter movie. I’m even more resentful of the fact that Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book!), but Catching Fire was PERFECT. I found myself reading the book in my head throughout the entire movie. I loved it. I loved everything. I loved all the new cast members and I especially loved the returning characters. I actually cried during Effie’s final scene. There was nothing I did not love about that movie. My sister and I are already planning to see it again on Wednesday when she comes home for Thanksgiving.
Okay, it is now the day after I began writing this post. I was planning on having it finished and up as soon as I got home from the airport, but I was so tired that I crashed right after I ate dinner.
I’m sure I’ll write another post about how much I loved Catching Fire at a later date, but at the moment, I’m still overwhelmed by how amazing it was.
Anyway, the rest of the weekend was absolutely frigid. I knew it was supposed to get colder, but I had no idea that it would be freezing. The temperature must have dropped at least twenty or so degrees while we were in the movie. I even took a picture of the world to remind myself how cold it was.
I finally got into bed around four in the morning. The next morning, I was rudely awakened by a strange noise blaring throughout the entire hotel. After the noise didn’t stop, I stepped out into the hall to discover that the fire alarm had been triggered and that the hotel staff were signaling everyone to gather down in the lobby. Since I was still in my pajamas, I ran back into my room, pulled on a sweatshirt, and grabbed my phone and my computer (obviously the most valuable in my possession) and ran down to the lobby wearing my pajamas, totally barefoot, and clutching my computer like a treasured stuffed animal. I also still had my night guard in.
Well, needless to say, there was no fire. Everything was totally fine. It was a heck of a way to wake up, however, after such an amazing movie.
The rest of the weekend was, to put it lightly, COLD.
However, it was still enjoyable. My sister and I saw a lot of her professors and a few classmates perform in a local theatrical production of Les Miserables. Simply fantastic.
We also had lunch with my friend Rachel and her wonderful husband, Steve. Rachel is my oldest friend and just so wonderfully delightful. We’ve been friends since we were 3. She’s actually one of my sister’s teachers also and is in the process of earning her PHD. God bless her soul.
My sister and I also made a stop at Barnes and Noble, where I almost always have more fun than I should.
The rest of our weekend was spent trying to stay warm…
And when that didn’t work, we decided to just embrace the arctic chill and went out to play in the snow. As much as I complain about the snow, I secretly love it. I don’t like driving in it and I don’t like being cold, but there is something magical about snow, especially when you live in Texas.
Then I got on a frosty airplane and went home.