Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Book Club, Race for Hope and a Baby Shower

Busy – that is the word to best describe my past week. Coming back from a long weekend (Labor Day) is always tough because it means squeezing a ton of work into four days.

But as busy as things were, I had to take time out to go to book club on Thursday night. We meet monthly and are each responsible for selecting a book for our month. This past month, we read The Hunger Games and you can check out my review here. But the first book was soo good, that most of us read the second and third book as well. Every month, we also try to choose a restaurant that goes along with the theme of our book. This month we thought it would be kind of tough, but turns out that Korean BBQ was the perfect choice! We went to Yakiniku West in the East Village. And soon it was time to cook our meat and veggies, just like Katniss did in The Hunger Games – okay… well kind of.

It was a great choice. We split four entrees, a few appetizers and several pitchers of beer and it was still very affordable and delicious!

With Thursday over, it was time to head upstate again on Friday evening. We drove up to Albany and got there in time to watch my cousins play in the CBA vs. Albany football game. CBA crushed them. I headed home early and went to bed because I had a race the next morning!

On Saturday morning, I ran the Race for Hope in Slingerlands, NY with a few friends. I can’t say it was the most organized thing in the world. They had one person working the table where they were handing out the tags, so the race started about 15 minutes late. But regardless, we were off and running. The course was a little hilly and pretty suburban, but it flew by.

According to my Garmin, I finished the 5k in 23:52. Not my fastest, not my slowest. That’s fine, I’ll take it!

After the race, we “raced” home to shower and get ready for a friend’s baby shower. I didn’t have my camera with me, so I have no photos from the shower, but I’m hoping friends will send a few my way. We had a gorgeous day for the shower, which was outside, and it was a lot of fun. Lots of food, fun baby stuff, ginormous CUPCAKES, and a very pregnant friend who looked fabulous. Seriously, she is eight months pregnant and so very mobile and comfortable looking.

After the shower, I headed to Clifton Park to spend the evening at another friend’s new house. She moved in about a month ago and already it’s looking pretty good. Know what else looked good? The mounds of food we brought…

…and devoured. We had so many awesome snacks, that we didn’t even end up needing to make the actual dinner foods that were prepared. To be honest, sometimes I prefer that. I love appetizers and snacks.

The night was filled with lots of laughs, girl talk, wedding talk, baby talk, and almost anything you can think. We go off on some serious tangents when we get together.

On Sunday it was time to head back to NYC, but not before stopping at Lindsey’s Country Store for some freshly picked apples and apple cider. It’s such a cute little store and I love it because they spell my name right!

We bought some gala and honeycrisp apples. Is there anything better in the fall?

And lastly, I will leave you with what we came home to on Sunday night…

Such a teaser – as soon as you go over and try to smush his stomach he tries to attack you. He’s sneaky like that.

What are you most looking forward to as fall approaches? I am torn between fall clothes, delicious fall flavored coffees, foliage, our wedding anniversary and apples. If you couldn’t tell – fall is my favorite season!

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Book Review: The Hunger Games

I waited what felt like FOREVER to read this book. One of the girls in our book club mentioned early on that she was choosing it as her book, but I totally forgot she was sooo late in the year. The waiting was horrendous.

But when I finally did pick up the first book in this series by Suzanne Collins, it was all over. As I expected, I could NOT put it down. And although some people may consider this a teen or tween read, I’m not 100% sold. First of all, I’m not entirely sure about young kids reading a book that focuses solely on the annihilation of other human beings. And before you get all up in arms, I completely understand the underlying political and humanitarian theme of the book–I realize that it is not being condoned. Just saying that if I had a kid, I’d think twice before letting him/her read a book all about killing other kids for sport.

But I digress. Back to my point – this book is thrilling. I am a huge John Irving fan. And what, might you ask, does he have to do with this book? After hearing Irving speak in person twice, he extolled the long-lost virtues of PLOT in a book. To many reader’s today, plot is seen as a negative word – one that diminishes the poignancy and message of the novel, making it simply an easy, mindless read.

Not so! I completely agree with Irving’s point of view that plot is essential in a story, maybe even more so today than ever before. A good plot can help get across your message in many ways. And in today’s world where attention spans are miniscule, a gripping plot is a savvy device to use.

The Hunger Games is ALL plot. And that’s probably why it’s such a page-turner, has been so successful, and completely wraps you into the book. The plot is highly developed and strategic. You know what is going on almost from the first few pages and continue to expect the worst. This plot-induced dread and, yes even fear, force you to tear through the pages at light speed to find out what will happen next.

I started this book on a Tuesday and finished it late on Thursday night. I skipped running, turned off the T.V., sped through meals and stayed up all hours of the night to finish this book.

So maybe you think these are kid books, or just easy reading, but I really enjoyed this book and think it deserves appropriate props. It was really good, well-written, and so utterly engaging. And at the end of the day, scrap all my concerns about it being inappropriate because of the violence. If it can tear kids away from their video games and DS’s for a while, then that is a win in my eyes.

All in all – I suggest you run, don’t walk, to buy these books and “devour” them.

Midweek with a Movie Review

How is it Thursday? This week is FLYING by. I last posted on Tuesday and really wanted to get back into the swing of any everyday post, but not happening. The good news is that we’ve made it over the mid-week hump and I’ve actually managed to get some running in.

Tuesday – no running to speak of. I’m pretty sure that was the day I attempted to run in the morning before work (a plan my husband laughs at whenever he hears it), but of course I just hit snooze instead. Seriously people – how do you do it? Unless I am meeting someone, I just can NOT seem to get up and run. It could have to do with the fact that a morning run for me means running at 5:45 a.m., which to my mind is CRAZY early. If I could run at 6:30, things might look a little different. But because of my work schedule, it has to be that early. ARGH!

So seriously – tell me your early morning running tricks. I think next time I may try sleeping in my running clothes. I believe this might instill a more pronounced sense of guilt if I’ve worn the clothes and done all the prep, only to hit the snooze five times. We’ll see how that works out for me. Other tips?

So because  I did not get my lazy arse up on Tuesday morning (or Wednesday), I decided to squeeze my run in before our book club meeting Wednesday evening. I fueled up with a decent lunch and then ate an early dinner of leftovers from Tuesday night.

Brown rice, chicken, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and carrots with low sodium soy sauce. It made for decent pre-run fuel on Wednesday afternoon as well.

After work I begrudgingly hit the gym treadmill for four quick miles before book club. An outside run would have been ideal, but not realistic given my time constraints.

Run done – feeling better, I headed to our book club meeting which happened to at a movie theater this time around (we usually meet at a restaurant that coincides with our book theme) to see The Help. I actually read The Help awhile ago and you can check out my book review here.

I will say upfront that I RARELY like a movie even half as much as the book. So I was a little surprised when halfway through the movie, I found myself enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the book better. But the movie did not make me want to scream insults or get up and leave. And before you say it sounds like I really didn’t like it. I truly did. I just won’t ever give a movie as much credit as a book, no matter how well-scripted and acted it is. The movie reel in my mind that goes along with the book is always 10 times better.   

Anyway…it was good. I love Emma Stone (like in a serious girl crush kind of way) and I think I’ve seen just about every move she’s been in. I do need to see the other new one she is in with Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling though – it’s on my list.

To summarize this travesty of a movie review, I will finish by saying it’s a good movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it, thought the acting was great and I recommend it.

So now it’s Thursday evening and it’s time for what I hope will be a delightful run in exceptionally tolerable weather, a delicious dinner (there may be corn-on-the-cob on the menu), perhaps reading a bit of The Hunger Games (just started it, sooooo good), and then if I’m being completely honest…probably some Jersey Shore. 🙂 Have a great night all!