Let me start by saying that there are NO spoilers in this post. So if you're like me, and you haven't been able to finish Mockingjay because for some reason you're expected to actually WORK at yr job (I mean, what?!), fear not. This post will focus solely on the INCREDIBLY AMAZING EXTRAVAGANZA known as the FYA Mockingjay Midnight Release TaleGate Party! Some of us may also know it by the name of The Night I Got Bruised By a Nerf Battle Axe And Drank Too Many Effies.
Cos when it comes to parties, the citizens of the Capitol ain't got NADA on FYA. Sure, they have those bulimia pills and that tasty lamb & plum stew, but do they have CHAMP CANS? DIY T-SHIRTS? CUPCAKES DECORATED LIKE EACH DISTRICT? And, most importantly, do they have the awesome readers of FYA who totally know how to BRING ON THE FIESTA? I don't think so! Plus, no one actually died in our Hunger Games, which is honestly all the proof you need to realize that we are the superior hosts.
Before the official party began, Meghan and I met up at Jenny's place for dinner. This was a momentous occasion because 1) well, dinner! duh! 2) Meghan and Jenny had never met! Plus Jenny & I got to introduce ourselves to the youngest member in the FYA family, Thomas! Or as we like to call him, Mr. T, because HE PITIES THE FOOL THAT IS NOT AS CUTE AS HE IS.
Jenny and I were instantly smitten by his preciousness, and I have the feeling that all of us would volunteer to take his place in the Hunger Games if need be (although I'm pretty sure he could slay all tributes just by being adorable).
Around 9 PM, we headed over to the parking lot of BookPeople to GET OUR TALEGATE ON! So you know how people tailgate because they're excited about a game and want to support their team? Well, we talegate because we're SPAZZING ABOUT A BOOK AND WANT TO BUY IT IMMEDIATELY! And also because we exploit any opportunity to enjoy cocktails.
Now, if you've ever tailgated before, you know there's a few rules that MUST be followed (and I'm not talking the police kind). So when it comes to talegating, we take those higher laws of public intoxication and
run with them transform them with a whimsical layer of literary references!
Rule #1: Talegates must have appropriate signage, i.e. posters that resemble student council campaign posters:
That's my friend Talena, whom I've known since 6th grade. She loaned me my first L.J. Smith book, and for that, I owe her a great debt.
Rule #2: One should never, ever, EVER run out of adult beverages.
As you can see, we went with a mix of classy and cheapass. Which is basically, uh, what we are.
Rule #3: Invite fans of the book who aren't afraid to express their inner YA (or in this case, their inner Hunger Games).
That's right, Anna Marie and Lee CAME IN COSTUME! ALL THE WAY FROM HOUSTON! What the WHAT!!!!! Not only were they v. believable inhabitants of District 12, but they also played extremely convincing dead tributes in the arena. It should come as no surprise to you that these ladies are ABSO CHARMING, and you should totes check out their account of our party.
Speaking of good company, LOOK IT'S ALL FOUR OF THE FYAERS IN ONE PLACE!!!! Y'all that has NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF TIME!!! Factor in our excitement for Mockingjay, plus the extremely strong Effies in those red plastic cups, and you can imagine JUST HOW SPAZZTASTIC WE WERE. INTENSITY IN TEN CITIES.
Rule #4: Bring your (Hunger) game face.
I asked Lauren and Mary Claire to give me their best Katniss and this is what happened. Dude, even President Snow would not mess with that fierceness!
Rule #5: Indulge in tasty business, because you need to keep yr energy up if you're going to make it to midnight (not to mention survive in the arena).
In a tribute (HAR) to Peeta, Erin baked some DELISH cupcakes and provided icing and sprinkles so that people could decorate them like different districts in Panem before totally devouring them (hey! just like the Capitol!). I believe Trish is displaying District 4, while Hur-Shiu is presenting a bloody battle scene from the arena. Violence has never looked so appetizing.
Rule #6: Show support for your book/team (Peeta!) by wearing the appropriate wardrobe.
For Mockingjay, we took it a step further and provided stencils and paint so people could pull a Cinna and design their own! Thanks to the ever crafty Meghan and her DIY screenprinting skills, folks could choose from a variety of messages ("I like boys who bake") and images to represent their inner revolutionary. Check out Reeves, aka REBEL GIRL:
We also offered the classic Mockingjay (modeled by Erica) because people need to know which side you're on! Although with Katniss' observation skills, Erica may need to tattoo one on her forehead.
The screenprinting got a little messy, but that's ok, because it's really fun to pretend like red paint is blood. At least, if you're eight-years-old like I am.
But all of this awesomeness pales in comparison (ok, except #2) to the seventh and final rule:
Rule #7: Engage in a highly ridiculous activity that somehow relates to the book. In other words: WE HAD OUR OWN HUNGER GAMES BISHES!!!!!!
Since we did, in fact, want to avoid actual death, we went with Nerf, although those foam bullets can still inflict some damage if you're
intoxicated strong enough. Henri is modeling the Katniss weapon of choice, and we also had guns, swords and battle axes!
One of our guests, Sadie, totally careered it up and brought HER OWN BOW & ARROW. HOLLA!
Unlike Katniss and Peeta, our tributes came PREPARED. Not only to party, but to KICK SOME MAJOR ASS.
As you can see, this TaleGate had more attitude than a Beyonce video.
You know how Tyra teaches us to "smize"? Well, Lucy and Lily were basically KILLIZING.
Don't even get me started on Trish's bloodlust. That's some Cato shizz right there.
Ok, enough stalling! Let's GET TO THE GAMES, which will begin at the Cornucopia:
Per tradition, tributes must take what they need to survive: weapons... OR CHAMP CANS?!! I'm sure you can guess what I ran for.
Warning: the following videos depict massive Nerf carnage and the innocent faux death of many tributes. HAPPY HUNGER GAMES! And may the odds be ever in your favor!
After five vicious rounds, we followed in the steps of the Capitol and invited forced the five victors to compete in THE QUARTER QUELL! I played like Caesar Flickerman and asked the tributes to introduce themselves:
And now, ladies and gentlemen, THE FYA QUARTER QUELL! HOLY SHIZZ! WATCH OUT FOR THE MONKEYS!
There you have it, THE CHAMPION OF THE 2010 FYA HUNGER GAMES!!! The good news is that he didn't have to kill anyone to achieve this honor. The bad news is, we don't have a Victor's Village for him to move into, unless you count my crappy one bedroom apartment with plumbing problems.
The Quell ended right at the stroke of midnight, launching a mad rush towards BookPeople, the likes of which would've overwhelmed even the most ardent Bieber fan cos OMGGGG IT'S MOCKINGJAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!
I don't think I've squealed this much since the NKOTB concert in '89. And I don't think I've known such YA bliss, such unhinged happiness, such champagne-fueled "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING I LOVE YOU GUYS!" as this moment, right here:
I can't even handle the amount of win in that picture. Nor can I recall why we thought it was a good idea to make Effies without proper measuring tools.
To everyone who came to our TaleGate, THANK YOU!!!! It was such a blast to actually hang out in real life, and we'll definitely do it again soon. To those of you who held yr own celebrations, tell us about 'em in the comments (and remember, NO BOOK SPOILERS!)! And to Suzanne Collins, thank you for giving us a reason to throw a party that was OTC TO THE MAX!
And finally, to President Snow, YEAH YOU WEREN'T INVITED TO THE PARTY SO SUCK MY PANTS LOSER.
Check out our Hunger Games themed t-shirts!