How I Survived a 31-Hour Marvel Movie Marathon

It takes a special kind of person to sit in a movie theater through 12 movies over the course of almost two days. And folks, I'm just that kind of person. 

From the moment I heard about AMC hosting a 31-hour Marvel-movie marathon event leading up to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War, I knew without a doubt I was going. Mind you I came to this realization at work, where my co-workers thought I was absolutely nuts. They were used to me coming to work on Mondays and talking about how I saw at least one film each weekend, but this was some next-level stuff.  Still, I was up for the challenge, and I'm proud to say I survived. 

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Of course, I braved the event alone, as my friends wouldn't be caught dead doing this. So for that reason, I had to go into this completely prepared. First, I did what every newbie nerd does right before a big movie-marathon: I scoured the internet for tips and tricks on how to survive. Many were as follows:

  • Drink lots of energy drinks. Just not in the first few hours or you'll crash. 
  • Avoid eating greasy foods, which will increase gas. 
  • Bring a neck pillow and blanket to make the duration more comfortable. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. 

Pretty simple, I thought. Most articles also told me to get plenty of sleep before the event, but of course, I was too energized to shut my eyes. Let's just say that I was incredibly excited to see Thanos, and Bucky (and Black Panther in theaters for the fourth time. I know, I know.) So, I failed to get enough sleep beforehand, but I did manage to pack a dope ass survival kit. My advice to you if you're thinking about ever braving an event like this is to overpack. Half of the stuff I brought with me I didn't use at all, but it was comforting to know that I had everything if I needed it. The contents of my backpack included:

  • A notebook and pen, for note taking, duh 
  • A portable charger
  • Snacks for when I got tired of eating movie theater popcorn
  • Eye drops because I assumed that my eyes would get dry from staring at the screen
  • Deodorant, because it was early spring
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mouthwash, toothpaste and a tooth brush
  • Baby wipes
  • Antacids
  • Blanket

Turns out you don't need that much when deciding to spend over 24 hours in a dark room. Just a good attitude and a few snacks.  The morning of the event I was still incredibly pumped. After I took a long ass, thorough shower I threw on my cheeky shirt (a nod to Black Panther, if you didn't catch that)  and a comfortable pair of jeans and headed out the door. 

Of course I wasn't the first person to arrive, but I made it just in time to snag an exclusive Avengers poster, collectible coin, and badge.  I only say this because I later heard grumblings that AMC ran out of some of the items.  I introduced myself to my seat mates and we started chatting about our favorite (and least favorite) MCU films. I learned that this was the third marathon for one of the guys's beside me (he was also the one smart enough to bring a whole power strip to share), while the other was a father of two whose family didn't understand his obsession with these movies either. Another, turned out to be a writer for the New York Times and actually quoted me in an article

As soon as the credits on the first film, Iron Man, began to roll everyone started cheering, and instantly I felt like home. A lot of people don't understand why I love watching movies in theaters.  There's just something electrifying about seeing a story that so many people worked on come alive on the big screen. It's a feeling that words won't do justice, in my opinion. And at that moment I was surrounded by other people who felt exactly the same way I always have. 

I managed to stay awake the entire night with the exception of about an hour. The hour was split between Guardians of the Galaxy and a break. I kept full munching on a combo of pizza, my protein-packed snacks from above, and an order of cinnamon soft pretzels. In addition to staying awake, I'm also incredibly proud of the fact that I didn't drink a single energy drink or cup of coffee. Or dip out and go home for a nap like some of the other movie-goers. Seriously, we paid way too much to keep coming and going. 

Finally, at 6 p.m. on Thursday it was announced that Infinity War would be shown in 3D. My neighbor was sweet enough to get my glasses for me and like the other 11 films before when the credits rolled the cheering once again ensued. And honestly, it made every hour I sat there, every leg cramp and every time I wondered if I was certifiably nuts worth it. Ask me if I would do it all over again. Without a doubt, yes. 

My takeaways for any other brave (or nerdy) soul who might be thinking of doing the same thing one day for Marvel movies or any other franchise are:

Pace yourself when it comes to eating

There's no reason to binge-eat just because you're binge-watching. Eating too much too soon will cause you to feel tired and bloated long before you even make it to the 24-hour mark. 

Get to know the people beside you...

...and everywhere else in the theater too. I can't tell you how nice it was to meet other people in the lobby/waiting areas. And this is coming from a socially-awkward introvert. I wondered how uncomfortable it would be sitting beside people for almost two days, but talking to them made it an incredibly enjoyable experience. 

Sleep during the breaks

Fun fact: break time is factored in. So, instead of snoozing during movies when I took the opportunity to crash during those built-in 20-minute breaks. That way I'd be ready to go when my favorite movies came on. 

Have Fun

No one goes to an event like this to be crabby and grouchy and sad. This is the time to let your nerd flag fly proudly. Wear the fun t-shirts, bring your Captain America shield, feel free to laugh loudly and quote the lines. This is an experience like no other, so if you're going to go, enjoy every second of it. 

Now that I've fully recovered, I can totally start preparing for next year. Let's just hope part two of this film doesn't make me want to curse at the screen. If you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

The Pop Culture of My Life: 'Girlfriends,' Dream, & The Babysitter's Club

Inspiration can be found anywhere: in people, in places, or if you're like me, it can be found in magazines. Oh, and pop-culture. Clearly, my life revolves around TV shows and movies. I mean that's the basis of my entire blog! Today I thought I'd share everything that's influenced the creative spirit in me from books to movies to authors, inspired byEntertainment Weekly's Q&A series.

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My favorite book as a child

Of course I was a huge fan of books that centered around female friendships with my favorite being The Babysitter's Club: #1 Kristy's Great Idea. I can pretty much say that this book (and series) jumpstarted my love of reading. 

The last book I read that I loved

Intercepted by Alexa Martin -- all about the life of a NFL girlfriend. I was lucky enough to score an ARC, but you can pre-order here. If you love romance, characters full of humor and wit, and boss ass women who've got their own shit this is the book for you. 

My guilty pleasure TV show

Girlfriends. I'm in the process of re-watching the series again right now. 

The tv character that inspired me to become a writer

Khadijah James (Queen Latifah)  on Living Single. She was a bomb ass magazine editor and entrepreneur who wasn't afraid to go after a good story. 

A writer I really admire

One of the greatest days of my life included meeting Terry McMillan. The author of *many* bestselling novels like Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and I Almost Forgot About You. 

My all-time favorite movie

It's a three-way tie between Friday, Clueless, and Waiting to Exhale, and I know ALL of the words to all three.  

The scariest movie I've ever seen

The original IT. Though, I eventually grew to love it (and the remake!), I'm absolutely terrified of clowns and Tim Curry is super creepy looking. 

The first CD I bought with my own money

It Was All A Dream, by Dream. Hands down these ladies formed one of the most underrated girl groups in music history. And if you see me on the subway 9/10 I'm listening to one of their songs.  

The song that always makes me feel better

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. It's my go-to turn up, dance-in-the-mirror anthem that always puts me in the best mood ever. 

A Movie I'm Excited About This Year

The Hate U Give (coming Oct. 19!)

The fictional group of pals I always felt I belonged with

Joan, Toni, Maya and Lynn from Girlfriends! Why else do you think I'm wearing that shirt?

Book Review: 'The Queen of Hearts," by Kimmery Martin

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If you didn't already know it: I'm obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. Not just in an "I've heard of it and seen the episodes" kind of way. I'm involved with the characters. I laugh with them, cry with them, get angry at them. And I even know a little bit about being a surgeon from watching them for 14 seasons. I basically am one. But not really, though I do like to think I could jump in the O.R. if need be. It's for this reason I was incredibly drawn to Kimmery Martin's debut novel The Queen of Hearts. Well, that and it's gorgeous cover. Because yes, I do judge books by their covers. 

The Queen of Hearts tells the story of two doctors and best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley. They've been inseparable since their early days in medical school and now they're both married with kids. But there's one time in their lives that neither dares to talk about — the third year of medical school. Though, the return of an unwelcome, former colleague threatens to unearth a devastating secret that was buried right along with that third year. 

Now, normally I'm good at guessing the twists and turns in books, but this one threw me for a bit of a loop, which is why I thought this book was so good. I didn't see the "secret" coming. Or at least not with that much baggage. Seriously, it's not at all what I was expecting. Of course, I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that the book's themes center on friendship, betrayal and the heart's capacity for forgiveness, hence the name of the book. 

There is a good bit of medical jargon thrown in, but Kimmery's beautiful prose makes the "huh" moments totally worth it. Take for example: "…I have to be poured out of bed each morning like human syrup, and I lurch around emitting miserable squeaks until I’m caffeinated." That language and imagery are amazing. Not to mention incredibly relatable for all adults, even those of us without kids.

The book is also told from the viewpoints of both Zadie and Emma, in present day and in the past. The flashbacks did occasionally leave me confused, but once the action really picked up, they were great. It's always nice to get two sides of the same story. It's so much more interesting that way. But Emma and Zadie weren't the only two women killing it in the book. 

In addition to the drama, Zadie's three-year-old daughter Delaney brought the perfect amount of comic relief to the novel. At times she stole the show! Using phrases like “hi, beloved dear” and “hello big kids," her cute antics never ceased to make me chuckle. I can only imagine how animated she'd be on screen if this book was ever turned into a movie. The end was little unrealistic in my opinion, but overall I loved this book. And anyone who's a fan of medical stories or strong female friendships will enjoy it. So, if you've got space in your life for some *good* drama, then The Queen of Hearts is a must read. 

Watching 'Spice World' In Theaters For The First Time 20 Years Later

"I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah!"

Spicemania and Spicefanatic don't even begin to describe my feelings — or that of any 90s girl — towards the Spice Girls. Seriously, if you don't remember pretending to be Sporty, Scary, Ginger, Posh or Baby Spice at least once in your life, you totally missed out. Scary Spice a.k.a. Mel B. was always my favorite (what can I say, representation was always important to me!), but I also loved each of the other women and what they brought to the group. So naturally when I first learned that they were coming out with a movie back in 1998, I was ECSTATIC. 

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Now that brings me to a confession: I have no recollection of what happened in 1998, particularly when it comes to Spice World. I know I saw it, but I have no idea how I felt watching it, the plot, etc. I do remember seeing it on a VHS tape from Blockbuster, but that's about it. And the trailer on YouTube doesn't provide too many hints on what happened either. Therefore when I learned that the Alamo Drafthouse, here in Brooklyn was hosting a special screening, I jumped at the chance to see it. And let me just tell you, seeing Spice World in theaters 20 years after it's initial release was quite the experience.  But I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I was happy that the evening started out with a quick theater karaoke session, because it gave me the opportunity to sing "Wannabe" at the top of my lungs with no shame whatsoever. Then the movie started and almost instantly I was transported back to 1998. I'll say that the movie does a phenomenal job of not taking itself too seriously and definitely holds your attention the entire time. Probably because if you turn your head, you'll miss something incredibly wacky.  Here are 10 other things I realized and thought watching this movie for the first time after all these years:

1. The Spice Girls Were The Queens of Shade and Sarcasm

Laughs were in high supply during the screening, as almost every word out of the ladies' mouths was a joke, typically at the expense of each other. And each joke was even more ridiculous and over the top than the last. I'll say that the best ones always came from Mel B. and Mel C. 

2. Alan Cumming is In The film (and in a canadian tuxedo!)

Every time I see this guy all I can think of is Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. I totally forgot he was in this movie. His zany character was shooting a documentary about the Spice Girls, much to Victoria's annoyance and he provided some additional (and much appreciated) comic relief. 

3. The whole Alien sighting scene was bonkers

"Did it just touch her boob?," I whispered to the person beside me as soon as the alien reached out and touched Mel B.'s breast. And by the way she smacked the hell out of its hand you would've thought it tried to touch her hair. Ginger kissed one of them. And they all looked like troll dolls if we're being completely honest. The whole scene was out of this world — literally, but I understand that it was a gag to how popular the Spice Girls were, even to extraterrestrial beings. 

4. Mel B.'s natural hair is everything

Representation. Representation. Representation. If you don't appreciate anything else about this movie appreciate the representation courtesy of Mel B.'s many hairstyles. Her flourishing natural curls and her bantu knots were on full display. I loved that she got to wear any style she pleased with pride and fortunately, no one tried to touch it. 

5. Posh's dedication to wearing nothing but heels the entire movie is admirable

Five minutes of wearing anything higher than a flat and my calves will start screaming, so I was entirely impressed with Victoria's ability to strut in heels everywhere the ladies went — even through a freaking obstacle course!

6. The spice force Five should've been a thing

Seems like everyone wants to film the Spice Girls.  In addition to the documentary, two other filmmakers were interested in making a movie about them and kept coming up with the most outrageous plot lines for the ladies. Their manager Clifford might not have like the action-packed storyline, but I personally totally support a Spice Force Five spinoff film or franchise. 

7. The way they say "baby" is amazing

Their accents are everything. I could listen to these ladies talk forever, but my favorite moments were the many times any of them said "baby." Their random (?) friend Nicola was pregnant and every time she came around I loved how the girls fawned over her and kept talking about when she would have the "beh beh." 

8. Their Tour Bus Was Goals

That double-decker bus was the automobile dreams are made of. From the futuristic decor to the fire pole, to the fact that each of the ladies had their own area (Sporty's, of course, had an exercise bike), I loved everything about this bus. And I loved it, even more, when Posh decided to drive it, yep, still wearing those heels in order to make it to their concert on time. 

9. spice world was low-key woke

There were plenty of moments where the Spice Girls called out — usually to Clifford —sexism, racism and more and for a movie that was pretty *out there* I appreciated all of the times when this happened. 

10. "Spice Up your Life" is the perfect song to end the movie with

Of course, the entire movie leads up to them performing at a huge concert and luckily they sing my favorite song! 

Now, I desperately want to own this movie, but of course it's not on DVD or iTunes. Still I won't give up searching. It might have been panned by critics, but Spice World gets 5 stars in my book, if for no more than it's total, unapologetic portrayal of friendship, girl power and the ability to hold my attention the entire time.