I love you 3000

Yesterday was truly one of the most exciting days ever. I woke up to my Disney alarm at 3:20 AM, brushed my teeth, got dressed, grabbed a camp chair, and jumped in the car. I made it to the Bucktown Best Buy before 4:30 in the morning and prayed I was among the first 100 people in line to pick up my preorder copy of Avengers Endgame, which, after seeing it four times this summer, I can safely say is my favorite movie of all time.

I waited in line with other Avengers superfans and the hours flew by. I sat in my comfy camp chair, took a Cap nap, even walked to the Mariano’s a few blocks away for a bathroom and breakfast break. There seems to be a gentleman’s agreement that the people in line will respect your place in line so you can take care of human needs etc. I was very glad of that being by myself on this particular adventure. It was surprisingly cool when I was napping, and in hindsight I should have brought a light blanket, but otherwise I had everything I needed.

I was in line to meet Joe Russo, who is probably the first director to ever have such a huge impact on me. He was in Chicago as part of the We Love You 3000 tour. With his brother Anthony and writers, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, they make a dream team of storytellers that inspire and delight me as an audience member and fellow storyteller.

I kept thinking about the Q&A I had the honor of attending, sitting smack in the center of the front row, on Monday with Joe Russo at The Second City and some of the nuggets of wisdom he imparted on an audience of artists, performers, creators, and filmmakers.

Make the story you want to tell. Make what you believe in. Make what you care about.

-Joe Russo

As someone who is deep in the throes of writing a novel, this particular advice was meaningful in ways I didn’t expect. Hearing it from someone who capped off one of the greatest storytelling events in this lifetime gave it so much more weight than I could have imagined. Avengers Endgame was the twenty-second movie in a ten-year saga of 23 movies. I still get emotional thinking about the events that transpired and the way they were able to truly payoff the set-up they started a decade ago.

He talked about long-form storytelling being the future, as it helps audiences connect with the characters for an emotional payoff you can’t get out of a singular movie. How the actors know their characters better than he ever would and the trust he puts in them to bring those characters to life. This is something Brian and I talk about a lot. We both really hope to see more movie studios picking up on this idea that a series of interconnected stories in a single world can truly immerse audiences and drive interest and excitement.

He answered my question about “I love you 3000” – where it came from (Robery Downey Jr. told them it was a cute thing his daughter said, so they used it) and if they realized the impact it would have on the audience and eventually their marketing plans (they actually found that test audiences loved it so much, they added it to the hologram later, unaware of its potential at the time. He claimed meme culture helps bring one-off lines like this to the front line of movies and TV).

Joe Russo inspires me. And so when I had the opportunity to wait in line to meet him, I took it.

Which returns us to his appearance at Best Buy yesterday.

As they handed out wristbands, I anxiously watched, hoping our counts had been close and we were under 100. It didn’t feel real until they wrapped a blue paper wristband with the number 075 around my left wrist.

They handed out pins and Chicago themed posters with Iron Man (my favorite Avenger) that had me tearing up. They gave out gift bags with McDonald’s toys and Funko Pops for everyone.

In addition to the meet and greet, autograph, and goodie bags, they had actual props that had actual screen time in the movie.

  • Cap’s broken shield.
  • Thor’s axe, Stormbringer.
  • Iron Man’s power source.

I died.

It was truly a dream come to life, and it got even better when it was time to get back in line to meet the storytelling legend himself.

I walked up and shook his hand and told him it was an honor to meet him. He made polite conversation and seemed genuinely kind. He complimented my Captain America shirt twice. He signed everything he could in and on my Bluray case and then told me he would sign an extra poster, “just in case.” It really seemed he knew what it was like to be a fan getting autographs andhe did his best to make it a magical experience for everyone in line, so I like to believe he was there once upon a time too.

I didn’t embarrass myself this time. I didn’t fawn all over him, ramble like a fool, try to touch his chest, or let Brian come so he could say something that gets us death stares. I didn’t cry like I did when I met John Grogan (I should really tell that story). I was cool. I was collected. I was still me and talked the whole time, but would you expect any different?

Overall, this was one of my favorite meet and greets, and it was worth every second of sitting out in the strangely cool humidity for 6 hours.

Have you ever met a celebrity? What was it like? Would you rather wait in line for hours or pay money at a convention to meet someone? Let me know in the comments!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What to wear to jury duty

This important fashion tip is brought to you by the wonderful world of civic duty. And also TV Store Online, who sent me this sweet dress I wore to jury duty.

Any links in this post may be affiliate links, which will earn me a small percent commission on any purchases you make.  

chrissy wearing a Marvel dress for jury duty

I may be one of the few creatures in this world who gets excited about jury duty. My best friend, Cletus, and Mama Bear are two others on that short list. So when my summons came, and it was scheduled for my first say in Disney World, I was heartbroken. And feeling all the sass.

Luckily, I was able to reschedule my service upon returning from my magical vacation.

My last jury duty stint was on Halloween, five years ago. More sass ensued. I wore a cape. Thus beginning a tradition that I had to bring my silly sense of style and joy to jury duty.

This year, a Marvel superhero dress from TV Store Online showed up just days before my assigned date in court. Fortuitous? I think so.

I debated whether to wear it or not because it could have been the deciding factor of whether I was put on a jury or not, but ultimately I went with my gut and choose to wear my style on my sleeve. Literally. And if I wasn’t going to wear a cape, I was definitely going to wear some superheroes wearing capes. I like to be a little meta.

chrissy wearing a Marvel dress for jury duty

This dress is SUPER cool, and definitely made a few people smile in a place where no one really smiled (which of course made me sad). It did run a little small, so I needed Brian’s help zipping me in. You can find it, along with several other fun dresses and costumes (just in time for Halloween, amiright?), including a Rockford Peach replica baseball uniform (I was THIS close to getting that instead) at TV Store Online.

I styled it the way I do with all my summery dresses in the winter…with leggings, boots, and a cardigan. But look how cute it is without the cardi!

chrissy wearing a Marvel dress for jury duty

During my time at the courthouse, only one set of jurors was called to make a jury for a single trial, and I was set free by about 3 PM. I was sad to have missed an opportunity to view a courtroom and participate in our judicial system, but I was happy to go home and snuggle with this puppyface.

Would you wear a fun dress to jury duty? Would it a date in October, close to Halloween make a difference for you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review AKA That One Time I Saw a Movie Brian Wanted to See Before Him

Guardians of the Galaxy

One of the perks of being a blogger is getting to see movies a few days early so I can tell you all about them. In this case, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy on Tuesday. Without my deliciously geeky, comic-loving, Marvel-adoring boyfriend. Who was jealous like no other. To be fair, I told him I would decline and wait to see it with him if he asked me to. He didn’t.

Instead, I had to promise to keep all the excitement to myself. Until now. (Of course, after the slew of questions, pokes and prods from Brian, I revealed quite a few little tidbits of information. Whatever.)

Guardians of the Galaxy2

Look at those outlaws. Don’t they look like a bunch of A-holes? Because they totally are. Of course, I like to think that A stands for awesome, but that’s just me.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Guardians of the Galaxy brings us back into the Marvel universe head first with an unlikely hero, the self-dubbed legendary outlaw Star Lord (Chris Pratt *swoon*) who attempts to steal a very precious relic from a space cave somewhere in the ‘verse (Oops. Wrong nerd reference. Gearing up for Gen Con hard core over here.) Of course, he’s not the only one vying for a piece of the action, and finds himself in space prison with a few other infamous characters.

Rocket and GrootRocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) take teamwork to a whole new level with their verbal/nonverbal communication and friendship. I figured Rocket, the talking raccoon would be the be-all-end-all of comic relief, but I was surprised and impressed that the entire ensemble held their own with humor. Groot, the tree/muscle/amazing-being-with-ridiculous-resilience being, captured my heart from beginning to end.

Starlord and GamoraGamora (Zoe Saldana), a genetically engineered being created as a weapon kicks major butt in this flick, taking on the most serious role in the movie with the least comic relief. Drax (Dave Bautista), the most serious character, takes everything literally, leaving room for plenty of jokes about sarcasm and sass.

From outlaws to heroes, the guardians work together to save a planet, and probably the entire universe from the dangerous infinity stone. Star Lord leads this ragtag band of heroes on the search for wealth, revenge and escape.

YonduThe rest of the cast is equally fantastic with Michael Rooker (anyone remember when The Walking Dead was cool?) as the morally gray Yondu, Karen Gillan (Whovian girl crush!) as the wickedly vicious Nebula, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close as Nova Prime, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, and Lee Pace as Ronan.

NebulaI laughed, I cried (I know, right?), and I sat on the edge of my seat (I’m lying-I comfortably sprawled across two seats) for the entire movie. The pop culture references were stellar. The soundtrack was amazing (Can someone PLEASE make me an Awesome Mix?). I saw it in 3D, but I suspect it will be just as delightful when I see in in regular 2D.

I really loved it. I thought it was light and fun with just enough action to make my boyfriend want to see it again. (Even though he hasn’t seen it once yet. Whatever.)

Verdict? Go see Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you hate nerds. And nerd movies. And nerd references. At which point I will call you Ogre. Because I know you’ll come around eventually.

Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Release Date: August 1, 2014
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

Are you planning on checking out Guardians of the Galaxy? What’s your favorite Marvel movie so far? If you’re not down with the Marvel universe, what movies are you looking forward to this month?

Disclaimer: No one paid me to say nice things. I’m also planning on seeing this flick again tonight on my own (OK, fine on my boyfriend’s) dime. All images were used with permission from Disney and Marvel Studios.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!