Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthdays and Superheroes...

Friday I left work with a plan to eat… but after a long week, I decided a quick nap was in order.  I slept for about one glorious hour before I got up and got ready to go meet my friends.  It was Amber’s 30th birthday dinner at Toby Keith’s.  Amber and I have been friends since high school… well maybe not SINCE high school… we were friends IN high school and then we had several years of ups and downs, many years of which we did not speak, but somehow kept connecting again.  As we have settled into our adult lives, we have come to love and respect each other for who we are.  Amber is fun to be around, has a great sense of humor and is a very loving person with a big heart.  I really enjoy her company so when she asked me to join her and her husband Russ, along with a bunch of people I don’t know for her birthday dinner, I enthusiastically said yes. 
I arrived at the Hard Rock at 7:00, as I was told to… but the birthday girl was nowhere to be found.  I thought for a second I’d been stood up, but then I noticed another guy wandering around aimlessly through the restaurant.  He introduced himself as Doug, though I soon discovered Dougie was a better name for him.  J  Dougie and I quickly deduced that we were there for the same birthday party and so we sat at the bar and had a drink while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.  Everyone else finally found each other when Amber arrived around 7:30 and we were quickly seated since Dougie and I had already put us on the list.
I enjoyed the non-work-related conversation with these new faces and had a good time catching up with Amber.  Here is a picture Russ snapped of us during dinner. 
with the birthday girl
After dinner, it appeared the fun was about to really get started at the Center Bar and I decided that was my cue to head out.  Not because I don’t love fun, but because I had already made plans with my friends Matt and Caleb to see the late showing of Captain America: The First Avenger back in Claremore. 
Caleb was nice enough to have already bought my ticket before I got there, so I jumped in line with them.  Apparently a lot of people decided to see the 9:55 showing of Captain America in Claremore… including our Fire Chief and his wife, so they sat with us too. 
Insert spoiler alert on Captain America…
A friend who had seen it earlier in the day told me to be sure and stay after the credits for more scenes.  It turns out in the end, this movie was really just a two-hour preview for another movie.  I can’t wait to see The Avengers, mostly because I love Robert Downy, Jr., but also because what girl doesn’t love watching a bunch of superheroes save the world. 
But back to this movie… it stars Chris Evans, who as it turns out, is pretty fun to watch too.  I love his character... such a good guy with an unbelievable heart… makes you wish there were more people like him in the world.  Steve Rogers is a little guy who just wants to go fight for what he believes in, but no one will give him a chance.  Then one day his whole life, and his whole body, changes when he becomes Captain America.  But his heart never changes.  He stayed that same sweet-natured, determined, socially awkward and self-sacrificing guy no matter how big his muscles got.  The movie is based in the early 1940s, during the war and is nostalgic without making a big fuss about it.  There is a good mix of old ideals and real-life history.  It has just the right amount of outlandish scenes to make it a classic superhero movie but just enough touching scenes to invoke a little emotion and just enough comedy to make the movie likable.  Even though I thought the ending was crummy, overall, I enjoyed the movie.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this superhero is that even when he was granted super-human strength and metabolism, he still had to pay his dues.  He had to dance around on stage in tights like an idiot and while there is nothing glamorous or super about that hero, it put him on a path of self-discovery.  It gave him a chance to get to where he needed to be and wait for the right opportunity to pursue his admirable dream of protecting the country he loved… a bit more realistic than your average superhero who becomes a household name overnight simply because he gets bit by a spider or is really an alien.
And of course, there’s the girl… Agent Carter, who is Steve’s supervisor.  One of my favorite parts in the movie is when she tells him, “You can’t give me orders” and he responds, “Sure I can, I’m a Captain.”  J  The chemistry between the two is very innocent and reminiscent of a school-girl crush, but it works for the time period, the jobs they are doing and also the dorky personality of Steve himself.  She does a good job taking on the role of a 1940s beautiful dame while still fulfilling the modern expectation that a woman should be able to throw a punch and handle a gun.
But she is also part of the reason I was disappointed in the end.  The girl in me longed for the happy ending where he showed up to take her dancing.  Unfortunately he didn’t show up for 70 years and she was nowhere to be found.  L  I was sad to see it all evaporate at the end.  But I guess it’s for the greater good… so here come The Avengers.  I’m really looking forward to it.
Tune in to Monday's blog where I update you on my fantastic family reunion.  Here's a hint... it involves a blowfish... :)

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